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Torch Lake sandbar party violated laws, judge rules


It will be harder to throw a huge party on the Torch Lake sandbar in the future. Last Fourth of July, the Sandbar Bash drew around 10,000 people. That party prompted a lawsuit from the Torch Lake Protection Alliance, a group working to preserve the lake.

Yesterday, Judge George J. Mertz of Kalkaska Circuit Court ruled in favor of the TLPA's lawsuit which said the Sandbar Bash violated safety, environmental and zoning laws. 

Defendant Beatbox Beverages agreed not to host parties for five years. After that, they would have to get the right licenses and permits before hosting a party.

The other two defendants, Lansing and DJ Fade, did not appear in court or respond to the lawsuit. Judge Mertz ruled those two defendants are permanently banned from hosting parties at the sandbar unless they get the necessary permits. They would also have to prepare for crowd control, sanitation and security. 

The Clearwater Township Board adopted a resolution at the beginning of the week supporting the lawsuit.

TLPA's attorney Karen Ferguson says these rulings will help streamline the legal process if future parties occur.