Developer Of Former Presbyterian Camp Property Wants Expedited Public Hearing On Second Phase Of Project
The residential development manager for the former Presbyterian Camps property was on hand Monday night to request Saugatuck City Council hasten the review and approval procedure—via a special public hearing—for the second phase of the development proposal so as to minimize the impact on the summer tourist season, particularly as it relates to Perryman Street, the roadway leading to Oval Beach.
The Dune Ridge SA’s planned unit development (PUD) application was on Monday’s agenda, as was the developer’s request for a waiver from the city’s requirements that say developments must be connected to the public sanitary sewer system.
Instead of connecting to the municipal system, Dune Ridge requested to install a septic disposal system and drain field.
The waiver was made possible thanks to a recent ordinance amendment approved by city officials.
The council Monday approved both requests with conditions, which includes approval by applicable county, state and federal regulatory agencies. The special meeting for a public hearing was set for June 1 at 7 p.m. at Saugatuck City Hall.
The development is currently enmeshed in two ongoing lawsuits, both appeals before the Allegan County Circuit Court.
One lawsuit was filed by Gary E. Medler and the other by Shorewood Association, both southern neighbors of the development and both essentially fighting the city’s determination the property can be provided an allowable special land use.
The Dune Ridge purchased the property from the Presbytery of Chicago for $10 million last year. It is funded by Grand Rapids investor Paulus Heule and fronted by developer David Barker, who is preparing the property for development with lots worth between $2.5 and $3 million on the 130-acre camp property.
The land is located within a critical dunes area as defined by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the proposed development entails a total of 21 lots, some with Lake Michigan frontage.
The city previously approved a special-use permit for eight lots on 22.7 acres. The proposed second phase, which will be the subject of the June 1 public hearing, constitutes a PUD of 14 condominium building sites on 32.9 acres, including one of the eight previously approved lots re-submitted under the PUD.
“It will have minimal impact to the forest which is in everyone’s interest,” said Heule, the investor and development manager with the firm Eenhoorn LLC, referring to the developer’s proposal not to connect to municipal sewer and the decision to connect to the water system in a way that he asserts will have minimal impact on the environment.