Source: Sherman Publications

Eagle Ridge open space development goes forward

by Mary Keck

March 13, 2013

From a golf course to open space, plans to develop the area around Morgan Lake have been in limbo since the late 80s, but those sketches may soon leave the drawing board and become reality.

Plans for a residential development on the Southeast border of Independence Township saw their first reading at the Board of Trustees meeting on March 5.

Eagle Ridge LLC proposes to construct 228 homes on the 265 acre property, 66 of the houses will be on 90-foot lots, 70 on 80-foot lots, and 92 on 60-foot lots. Much of the land surrounding those parcels would be dedicated open space instead of the 18-hole golf course originally drawn up and partially constructed.

At the public hearing in November, Planning Commissioners asked Eagle Ridge to reduce the number of 60-foot lots; however, the number has increased from 81 to 92.

The larger amount of 60-foot lots doesn’t trouble Trustee Ron Ritchie who is also a member of the Planning Commission. From his point of view, Eagle Ridge LLC has “gone a long way” to compromise.

Ritchie points out, “the overall number of lots went down from 230 to 228, and the township has retained the right to review each proposed home individually when they obtain a building permit for conformance on each lot.”

In addition to concerns about the lot sizes, residents who attended the Planning Commission’s public hearing were worried about the potential increase in traffic as drivers could cut over to Maybee road from Rohr and Morgan roads.

Eagle Ridge LLC’s amended plans now show the only public entrance into the development at Maybee road; the other roads would be gated for emergency vehicle access only.

Before a second reading, Eagle Ridge must negotiate with the Homeowners Association for The Ridge at Morgan Lake. The northernmost border of the Eagle Ridge development plan touches properties of those who live in The Ridge at Morgan Lake. They were promised a golf course when they purchased their houses.

Trustee Andrea Schroeder recused herself from the first reading on March 5 because she is President of The Ridge at Morgan Lake Homeowners Association. She spoke on behalf of her fellow property owners at the public hearing in November, however.

“Some of our homeowners paid significant premiums to be on golf course frontage," Schroeder said. "We would request further discussion on the dedication of the portion of the open space to those lots that have the immediate golf course frontage.”

The homeowners wanted to engage in more discussion with the developer about how the land would be restored and to determine what entity would be responsible for the open space that would have been a golf course.

Without Schroder, the Board of Trustees approved the amended plans for the development in a 6-0 vote.