Douglas Residents Present Petition To City Leaders Over Miro Property Plans
“I think it’s very arrogant of the council to purchase the land (the 16.5-acre portion of the former Miro Golf Course) when we have a proposed consolidation (of the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck on the table),” local resident Adrian Vincent told the Douglas City Council at Monday’s meeting.
The proposed city land acquisition became the subject of a petition that garnered more than 100 signatures from local residents opposing the city’s proposal to purchase the former golf course property.
The petition, presented and submitted to council on Monday, demonstrates concerns about how the possible future development of the property could impact the surrounding residential neighborhood.
With a price tag of $196,600, the city is scheduled to close on the property, located off of Wiley Street (6825 130th Ave.), at the end of this month.
Among other possible future uses, the city is eyeing the property as part of a proposed expansion of the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW) facilities.
Vincent and others argue that if Douglas does indeed merge with its neighbor, Saugatuck’s DPW has more than enough facility space to house Douglas’ own materials and equipment.
“What you are doing is spot zoning,” adjacent property owner Norm Jones also told the board Monday. “You are supposed to protect us by keeping the integrity of the area.”
Jones, a retired mortgage banker, is concerned about the devaluation of residential property and unfavorable prospects for real estate financing.
City officials continue to ask for patience from the public, particularly those residents adjacent to the property such as Dana Burd, who has previously expressed concern the city “lacks a plan” for the land.
“Patience,” said Douglas Council Member Lisa Greenwood on Monday. “We are going to be involving the community and talk about how that property is going to be used.”
For the time being, there are no plans to construct any structures on the land, but the city wants to make use of the existing structure on the golf course property, a garage, to store DPW materials and equipment currently housed at the block structure at Wades Bayou, said Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere.
As part of future improvement plans in the next two budget years, the city intends to completely tear down that structure at Wades Bayou and build a multi-use pavilion in its place.
As for the golf course property, the city is currently conducting an environmental analysis, as city officials have been advised that there might be elevated arsenic levels associated with previous uses.
“In order to better evaluate potential future uses of the property, we will then be undertaking a planning function designed to encompass not only this property, but also other properties that are currently available for development or in transition at the south end of the city,” LeFevere explained in a letter dated May 3 to Burd.