Mountain Lodge deed restrictions could ‘go away’

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Jim Vivian, Keweenaw County board member, discussed Keweenaw Mountain Lodge deed restrictions.

EAGLE RIVER — In a addition to more than $2 million dollars in maintenance being necessary to the facility, there are a few concerns about the sale of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge to the Veridea Group. Among the concerns are two existing deed restrictions.

When the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge was constructed in the early 1930s, it was constructed on land formerly owned by the now defunct Keweenaw Copper Company. When the lodge was deeded to the county, the deed came with restrictions, one of which is that the property must remain open to the public.

“The only thing they’re (Veridea is) concerned about is the deed restrictions, and their lawyers are looking into what it would take to clear that up,” Jim Vivian, KML board member said. “So, all decisions will be based on what they found. So far, we haven’t heard back from them.”

The deed situation is actually more complicated than that. Sometime in the 1940s, it was discovered that the property survey was not conducted accurately, and approximately have the Mountain Lodge cabins were built on state-owned land.

“I think it’s 156 acres. That was the land that was deeded from the state to the county, and that goes all the way to Brockway Mountain,” Vivian said.

That parcel of land, when deeded to Keweenaw County, also received the same deed restriction as that of the rest of the lodge facility. Vivian said it is these two restrictions that the Veridea Group’s attorneys are exploring.

“And then, that’s just the first step,” Vivian said. “They’re not planning to move forward with anything until they find out about those restrictions.”

At the meeting, Charles Miller, acting attorney for Keweenaw County, said it might require some legal finagling, but it is possible to “make the restrictions go away.”