WALKER, Mich. — The word about a potential sale of Lincoln Country Club spread fast through the Sunrise to Sunset neighborhood.
The subdivision backs up to the golf course, with many homes right along the greens. Proposed plans for the space call for redevelopment, including an apartment complex, homes, and senior living units. That plan is not sitting well with homeowners.
“We live by this beautiful, green golf course,” said Jared VanDop, who lives in the neighborhood, “I get to walk my dog here every day. It’s just a beautiful, quiet environment, birds are chirping and people play golf here on the weekend.”
VanDop is concerned that could all change. The preliminary site plan and rezoning proposal include redesigning his road, Maplerow, into a through road from Leonard and Lake Michigan Drive.
“Just with the houses going in there, it was 73 houses,” said VanDop, “so the potential of 73 or 146 additional cars coming down my road every morning and evening, that’s two to three times the amount of traffic coming through here now.”
He adds there are many children and dogs in the neighborhood. He thinks adding more traffic could put some of those in danger.
The proposal includes creating 204 apartments in a complex, 73 single-family homes, and 300 units of office and senior assisted and independent living. It also calls for green space and a park.
“It looks like they are going to put in a nice park and some other things, walking and riding trails,” said Mark Hughes, who also lives on Maplerow. “Hopefully they connect it to Fred Meijer Trail, and you can zip down to Millennium Park. So, some parts are good, but It’s really just the traffic.”
Hughes said he’s concerned about the property value of his and his neighbor's homes if the sale goes through. The traffic is also his main concern, as he sees his quiet road becoming a busy connection between two major roads. He is also sad to see the golf course leave.
“There are three [houses] that have sold in the last six months on the golf course,” said Hughes. “They sold for a very high dollar, and no it’ll no longer be a golf course. They will pile in a bunch of homes and put them as close as they can together to maximize the development profits. They no longer will have a golf course in their backyard, they will have someone’s back door.”
There is a public hearing about the proposal on Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at Walker City Hall. There will also be a community meeting with the developer prior to the hearing, but a date has not been set.
“I’d really like to keep this as my forever home and not have to move again,” said VanDop. “I don’t know if it would be a deal-breaker that I’d move, but I’m definitely worried about my property value going down.”
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