SAUGATUCK, MI (WHTC) - The controversial Singapore Dunes development took another turn on Wednesday night.
Officials of the holding company for oil tycoon and part-owner of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder Aubrey McClendon presented plans for a luxury resort-condo complex on 310 acres of land near the mouth of the Kalamazoo River before the Saugatuck Township Planning Commission. These plans would conform to current zoning regulations, unlike another set of drawings submitted to the township's zoning board last week that would need six variances in order for it to be built.
This is the latest in a protracted legal and philosophical battle over building up the northern part of the former Denison property that environmentalists claim is one of the last "pristine" dune land along the Lake Michigan shore. Historians are also balking over building above the site of the abandoned Singapore village that was abandoned and buried more than a century ago, while supporters say that the development would bring revenue and jobs to the community.
Planners tabled the development proposal pending a decision on the variance request by the Zoning Board. Singapore Dunes was able to convince the commission to recuse one of its members on this matter, as Dayle Harrison is president of the Kalamazoo River Protection Association and is a critic of the development. Harrison plans legal challenges to regain his post for this issue.