Land owner decides not to extend

extension on sale of property


ALMONT — A proposed development project to build as many as 200 homes, seven retail spaces and a medical facility on 80 acres of property at the northeast corner of Van Dyke and Hough Rd. is off the table.
The development, proposed in late 2019 by local developers Dan and Roger Walker and members of the Blake’s Apple Orchards family, was contingent on the Village of Almont extending water and sewer services to the parcel located inside Almont Township.
Village Council President Steven A. Schneider informed councilmembers that he had received an e-mail from Dan Walker before the meeting, indicating that the developers were pulling the plug on the project.
Schneider told the council that Walker said the owner of the 80-acre parcel had abruptly decided not to agree to an extension on the sale of the property.
“I’m very disappointed in the way this happened but its not feasible to continue to sink non-refundable money into a venture that is so uncertain,” Walker said in the email.
“The property will be back on the market promptly.”
Schneider stated that at this point in time, the project is not going forward and that the village will not investigate the idea any further unless confronted about development in the township that requires sewer and water.
On Nov. 21, 2019, the Walkers and Blakes were in attendance at a joint Almont Village/Township meeting, during which they shared their plans with the respective board members and a large crowd of interested residents.
While there was generally support for new housing, there were concerns expressed among attendees about the logistics and costs of getting water and sewer to the location; among other concerns, such as increased traffic volume and the impact on the village’s wastewater treatment plant.
Almont Village Manager Mike Connors noted the plant had experienced periods of sewage overflow during heavy rains in the past; and that the limits of the existing sewage system could be seriously tested with a significant addition of sewer users.
At the conclusion of the Nov. 21 meeting, it was decided that Rowe Professional Services would be asked to provide a cost and feasibility study to determine the potential benefits and drawbacks of the proposal.
Engineer Doug Skylis of Rowe was present at Tuesday’s meeting for the purpose of presenting a proposal for an engineering feasibility study for $9,990.
Editor’s note: Tom Wearing contributed to this report.