Oval Beach Entrance Gate To Be Moved By Presbyterian Camp Developer
The Oval Beach entrance gate will be moved some feet from its current location, all part of the development project at the former Saugatuck Presbyterian Camps, just south of the beach, Saugatuck officials announced Monday night.
The developer is currently constructing paved roads, including retaining walls on some portions, for what will be eight single-family homes, and more being planned to the south in the future.
Despite being subject to much criticism by some local groups who allege the new planned development will devastate the critical dune area and ruin the beauty of the lakefront, the development was approved by the Saugatuck Planning Commission earlier this year.
“The gate is going to be relocated at the developer’s cost,” Saugatuck Planning Director Mike Clark told the council.
Workers will move the gate northwest, closer to the lake, and it is expected to take place fall. Construction of the turnaround is to be completed sometime early in the spring.
Clark said the benefit to the city is two-fold: it will create a much wider turnaround and because the beach won’t be visible from the gate beachgoers will be not be tempted to park their vehicle in an area right before the gate entrance, thereby not creating a vehicular jam.
Perryman Street, the road leading to the beach, is public right-of-way, while the land to the south - and some land immediately to the north - belongs to the developer.
“Water and sewer is still up in the air,” said Clark about the developer’s options.
Initially, the developer was considering running water and sewer underneath Perryman Street; now the consideration is of a two-track path via Vine Street.
The property owner has also in the past discussed the option of installing private well and septic systems on land.
David Barker is the developer and the project is being funded by Paulus C. Heule of Grand Rapids, with private equity firm Dune Ridge SA LP, which bought the 130-acre camp for $10 million from the Presbytery of Chicago.