A corporate resort in the works

A corporate resort is being planned by Hayes Township residents T. Scott and Debra Law, from Zionsville, Indiana, on nearly 500 acres of contiguous properties, over 100 acres of which are Lake Charlevoix waterfront. Much of it (especially the waterfront portions) is zoned R-1 “low density residential” that is “relatively quiet.” In October 2019, Scott Law hosted Hayes Township Supervisor Ron Van Zee to tour his acreage and talk about his projects. Law had already applied for a zoning permit to the Township for a “boat basin.” The two memorialized their visit in an email exchange in which Law said:

"One of the main goals of buying what is now over 400 acres was to allow people from our charitable foundation, our employees, family and friends the opportunity to benefit from this property . . . We are building log cabins to accommodate our guests on the property . . . Our future plans include zip lines, horse barn for trail riding and therapeutic activity, a dining facility for guest [sic] and events, a winery facility, fly fishing lake and possible golf holes. All private use for friends, family, charity and local organizations as we see fit!"--T. Scott Law

The "boathouse" dining and event facility

The proposed “boathouse” is that dining and event facility. It would be two stories, made of stone, 60 x 90 feet and would be over the waters of Lake Charlevoix in the proposed artificial boat basin. 

The second story floor plan (left) would be the very large “event area” and “covered decks” which could fit 350 people sitting around tables (over 700 people just standing up). A commercial kitchen and serving area, public restrooms for women and men, an elevator, large coat closets, closet for storing tables and chairs, fireplace, and 22 floor-to-ceiling windows on the lakeside.


The building is commercial in design, according to the International Building Code, for “public assembly” Group A-2 occupancy for assembly uses intended for food and drink consumption.

The Laws' residence that they would like to attach the dining and event "boathouse" to.

The fake-out

The master plan

Scott Law told Ron Van Zee in 2019 he developed a master plan. While the entire master plan hasn’t surfaced yet, the “Law Site Overall Project Map” and “Properties Sketch” maps below, provided to the Township for a fence permit, reveal that the old Powers residence on the waterfront is being converted to a “clubhouse” as indicated by the drain field. And the Properties Sketch shows how the entire 400+ acres are being developed as one cohesive development project.

The golf course and pavilion building

A six-hole golf course has already been built. On the Lake Charlevoix waterfront, a pavilion building was built in 2021, approved by Zoning Administrator Ron Van Zee as two separate buildings. Massive tree clearing all around the pavilion went straight through in corridor fashion to the waterfront.

The Charlevoix Building Department required the Laws to write a letter “stating that the structure will only be used for family events and never rented or used for corporate events/retreat.” Scott Law wrote a one-sentence letter stating instead “The Pavilion we are currently building at 06497 Woods Creek Drive is for private use only,” not answering the question. Apparently this was good enough for the County to issue the permit.

The clubhouse

The former Bob Powers residence at 06497 Woods Creek Drive, purchased by the Laws, is being transformed into a clubhouse. They already applied for a Hayes Township zoning permit to put in a pool and spa in front, with a company (Zotec Partners) employee filing the paperwork. Powers put in a permanent dock in the 1990s. It’s an old dock we wonder if it might be replaced by the Laws. Could there be another marina in their plans?

The Powers residence in the 1990s when permanent dock was being built.
Plan for pavilion shows Powers house/clubhouse, permanent dock
The former Powers residence today

The residential complex

The trout pond

The Laws’ plans for a “fly fishing lake” on their land had them going to the State of Michigan EGLE for a permit. Thanks to the public’s request for a public hearing, EGLE held one on June 9, 2022. (See video to the right). They’d like to dam Woods Creek that flows into Lake Charlevoix. 

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and several Hayes Township residents gave public comments. 

ELGE denied the permit on June 21, stating it “will have significant adverse effects on the natural resources associated with Woods Creek.”  The agency said an alternative would be to build it in uplands away from Woods Creek.