Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry, the Michigan City Council, and the Michigan City Parks Board have authorized its attorneys to proceed with the next steps the city plans to take to preserve and protect the dune area known as the “Esplanade.” 

The city says it is pursuing a transparent process that includes reaching out to local residents along the Esplanade dune area to both notify and seek their support for the City’s next steps to confirm and settle the Park Department’s legal right to control and oversee the Esplanade on behalf of the public. 

The next formal step will be the city’s attorneys sending out letters to the property owners in the Shawmut Park, Lakeside, and Lakeside Second Additions to advise them of these efforts and seek their support through written consents. The consents will be presented as part of a formal quiet title legal proceeding initiated this fall designed to finally and formally address any lingering questions or confusion related to the city’s right to manage and oversee the Esplanade dunes area. 

The city stated, “The anticipated quiet title proceeding is the appropriate legal process to address any possible problems or lingering questions now or in the future regarding the City’s right to protect this important City resource according to Michigan City’s attorney Keith L. Beall, with the Indianapolis law firm of Clark, Quinn, Moses, Scott & Grahn.  Beall and his firm were engaged by the City to assist with the City’s plans and efforts regarding the Esplanade.”  

Beall said, “key Michigan City elected leadership has come together in support of these plans to finally and decisively establish the Park Board’s right to control, preserve, and protect this exceptional and important dune area and ecosystem.” The letters to targeted local property owners will be going out over the next few weeks. City leadership is confident that its residents will respond positively and generally support these latest efforts which are intended to safeguard the public’s proper use of and access through to the beach areas.  

Beall added, “the City has been an unwavering caretaker of this dune area for many, many decades, but has run into enough problems and questions that City leadership has collectively decided that this was important enough to finally put to rest any and all issues and chart a clear path forward on how to best oversee and manage this vital and unique public asset.”