Planners turn down creekside rezoning ; Residents complain the plan calls for too many houses on the golf- course land. The City Commission plans a final vote early next month.:[2 Edition]
Kathy Bush / The Grand Rapids PressThe Grand Rapids PressGrand Rapids, Mich.: Aug 13, 2003.  pg. D.5
Full Text (395   words)

Copyright Grand Rapids Press Aug 13, 2003

KENTWOOD -- Residents who crowded into the Kentwood Planning Commission meeting Tuesday to oppose rezoning the 104-acre Meadowlane Golf Course won the first round.

After listening to more than two dozen of the almost 100 people speak against the proposal to put in 244 single-family homes, planning commissioners voted unanimously to recommend denying the rezoning.

City commissioners, who have the final say, will consider the recommendation at their next meeting, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Kentwood City Hall.

Trinity Development Corp. in Grand Rapids is requesting the property on the south side of 44th Street, east of Shaffer Avenue, be rezoned from the current mix of residential and estate agricultural to low-density planned unit residential. That would allow the proposed Meadowlane Village to feature some lot sizes not permitted with the current zoning.

The development would be built in phases over the next five years.

Bruce Brown, representing the development company, noted the golf course will be developed either as it is zoned or under the requested rezoning.

Residents at Tuesday's meeting were especially opposed to the proposed high number of small houses, averaging 1,000 square feet. They also cited concerns about increased traffic, flooding from stormwater runoff, potential increase in crime and loss of property value and green space.

Planning Commissioner Nancy McIntyre-Evenocheck said she received "21 pages of signatures disapproving" of the rezoning.

Carl Warfield, who lives next to the golf course, is an environmental sciences teacher at East Kentwood High School. He said he teaches his students that preserving green space and protecting the environment is important scientifically and for abstract reasons like "quality of life."

The audience applauded when Warfield told planning commissioners, "You are hearing from community members saying this is important."

Mark and Alison Dreisbach organized Kentwood neighbors United "Fore" Improving Our Community to fight the rezoning request. Alison Dreisbach said development of the golf course should be consistent with surrounding housing as required by city ordinances.

City Planner Joe Pung said the developer could create 189 lots on the property under current zoning but recommended no more than 196 under any rezoning.

Pung recommended several other conditions for rezoning, including: 1,000-square-foot minimum home size, architectural features, and no residential development south of the Plaster Creek Flood Plain.

The developer has offered the flood plain portion of the property to the city as part of the future Lamberts Park.

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Section:   City & Region
Text Word Count   395