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Design plans for Wilder Crossings in Alpine Township. Design plans for Wilder Crossings in Alpine Township. COURTESY OF PLANNING DOCUMENTS

Alpine Twp. officials table large housing plan at golf course amid community pushback

BY Monday, November 21, 2022 05:06pm

ALPINE TWP. — Local backlash has caused township officials to pause their consideration of a developer’s plan for 567 housing units at Gracewil Country Club in Kent County.

The Alpine Township Planning Commission voted on Thursday night to table a rezoning and preliminary development plan that would replace the 36-hole golf course with housing.

At least 20 residents spoke against the Wilder Crossings project during a Nov. 17 public hearing, calling the project “monstrous” and “deceptive” and claiming it goes against the rural character of the township. 

Wyoming-based home builders JTB Homes LLC and Interra Homes LLC, doing business as GWCC Holdings LLC, are behind the project, as MiBiz previously reported. The development team plans to bring the plan back to the planning commission, said Howie Hehrer, land development manager for JTB Homes and Interra Homes.

“We take the comments from the public seriously and are actively working on solutions to accommodate the concerns,” Hehrer said in an interview. “We will continue to work on the plan and ensure that it is in complete compliance with all requirements.”

The developer seeks to rezone the 206-acre, 36-hole golf course located at 2597 Four Mile Road from low-density residential to an “open space neighborhood” planned unit development (PUD). The 567 housing units in the site plan comprise 315 single-family lots, 104 detached single-family condos, 84 attached single-family condos across 42 buildings, and 64 attached single-family townhomes across 16 buildings.

The development team has received pushback from surrounding residents related to density and traffic concerns since it was first presented in a concept stage to the township in November 2021, according to township meeting minutes. The plan was modified slightly to move the higher density uses away from surrounding single-family homes in response to community concerns.

All of the buildings on the golf course would eventually be demolished for the project, except the clubhouse, which would be renovated into a community clubhouse for residents. Plans also call for sidewalks on both sides of the street, trails, covered seating, two pickleball courts and a splash pad. 

Gracewil Country Club opened in 1929 and has 36 holes open to the public. GWCC Holdings LLC purchased about 100 acres of the golf course property in February of this year and has a development deal with Gracewil Country Club owner John Wilson to purchase the rest of the property by 2024. The plan is for the golf course to continue operations in the early stages of the development until 2024, Hehrer said.

The project would be constructed in phases, with the first phase set to begin in 2023, and full build-out expected to be complete in 2042. Three access points are planned on Four Mile Road, Walker Avenue and Peach Ridge Avenue. 

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