Wayne County, Mich., has a deal on the table to sell the Dearborn Heights, Mich. club, which includes a golf course designed in 1922 by Donald Ross, to luxury-home developers for $1.8 million. The Save Hines Park group opposes the sale because it would undervalue the land and reduce stormwater control while disrupting parkland and wildlife.
A group whose members are vehemently opposed to the potential $1.8 million sale of Warren Valley Golf Course in Dearborn Heights, Mich. for a luxury home development will hold a public meeting on Monday evening, April 17, the Southgate, Mich. Press & Guide reported.
Set along the banks of the Rouge River, the golf course lies in a floodplain—a fact that has many nearby homeowners, city officials and others protesting the possible sale, the Press & Guide reported.
The Save Hines Park group, which will host the meeting about the golf course’s possible sale to either the City of Dearborn Heights or to developers Delta Management Co. and Safeway Acquisition Co., objects to the sale for a number of reasons, the Press & Guide reported.
Warren Valley GC is one of two golf courses owned by the Wayne County, Mich. which is considering the sale as a cost-saving measure. The golf course has seen a net loss during the last four years, the Press & Guide reported.
According to members of the Save Hines Park group, the sale would permanently divide the park into two sections with a 2/3-mile stretch of houses on both sides of Hines Drive, breaking up 17 miles of continuous parkland. The group contends that Hines Park was created for the purpose of protecting the floodplain from development and creating a continuous stretch of parkland for recreation, the Press & Guide reported.
The group further maintains that the 255-acre golf course, which was designed in 1922 by Donald Ross, is irreplaceable parkland for recreation, wildlife and stormwater control—and that the $1.8 million price tag, which works out to $7,058 per acre, undervalues the land.
Its members also fear that the sale could set a precedent leading to the sale of more Wayne County parks for short-term financial benefit and long-term loss of quality of life, the Press & Guide reported.
At the meeting, the group plans to form an advisory committee and develop a strategy for its next steps to preserve Warren Valley, the Press & Guide reported.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Daniel Paletko, Wayne County Commissioner Diane Webb and Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton are expected to give an update about the sale’s status at the meeting, the Press & Guide reported.
The Dearborn Heights City Council voted 5 to 1 at a recent meeting to oppose the $1.8 million proposed sale of the golf course and banquet center to developers for a 150 single-family, luxury home development, the Press & Guide reported. The council members said the proposed development would result in infrastructure liabilities, flooding issues and overcrowding in the Crestwood School District, among other issues.
The council also voted to give Paletko and City Attorney Gary Miotke the authority to negotiate selling the golf course to the city instead. The city would preserve the golf course and the floodplain, but develop other areas, the Press & Guide reported.
“The mayor sent correspondence to Warren Evans [Wayne County, Mich.’s Executive]. who responded and said you can buy it for $1.8 million,” Hicks-Clayton said. “That’s the deal on the table and he’s sticking to it; that’s what he wants.”
If the city decides to buy the land, a closed-study session will be held for negotiations, but Hicks-Clayton is pushing for a public hearing as well.
“Whatever decision the city makes, there needs to be public input,” she said.
Warren Valley features two 18-hole courses that have been a staple in the community for decades, the Press & Guide reported. The clubhouse includes a pro shop, the Ross Room Bar & Grille, and a banquet center that can accommodate up to 300 people.
Hundreds of upset residents gathered on February 27 at the Warren Valley banquet center to hear Wayne County’s proposed plan to sell the property, the Press & Guide reported.
The Wayne County Commission is expected to vote on the matter in the near future, the Press & Guide reported.