The township’s Planning Commission on Monday approved the additional ponds and the expansion of two more at the redesigned Grand Haven Golf Course, following a public hearing.
The plans for the American Dunes Golf Club have generated local interest, as professional golfer Jack Nicklaus will be personally designing the course. Work is ongoing on the site to remove trees and reshape the course to bring out features of the natural dune landscape.
About 125 people attended Monday’s meeting, Township Community Development Director Stacey Fedewa said. There was “overwhelming support” for the project, she added, while some residents wondered whether the ponds would cause drainage issues for nearby residents.
Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner Joe Bush said drainage issues would be improved by the ponds.
“When they learned the new ponds are intended to help solve the wetness problem, they were even more supportive of having a world-class golfer like Nicklaus design a course in Grand Haven Township,” Fedewa said.
No one at the Monday night meeting voiced opposition to the ponds, which will be featured on holes 1-4.
One of the five new ponds will replace a current pond on the west side of the 9th hole, near the green, and will be placed on the east side of the hole. Ponds at holes 6 and 17 will be “cleaned up” and slightly enlarged to meet township guidances.
According to township officials, soil that was intended to grow manicured golf-quality grass is being removed, while the native sandy soils underneath will drain stormwater more efficiently.