Berrien Hills redevelopment plan one step closer to approval
ST. JOSEPH TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Berrien Hills Golf Course is one step closer to becoming the Berrien Hills Community—a mixed use development with homes and apartments, an event center, nature trails, a marina, restaurants and more.
On Tuesday, the proposal by Southwest Michigan Coastal Ventures was brought before the St. Joseph Township Planning Commission and members of the community. The Planning Commission voted unanimously—with two abstentions—to approve the proposal, though, according to the township, the public reaction seemed split.
Some approved of the redevelopment plans.
Dale Delong, who lives next to the golf course, said “I’m just glad to see they’re getting it developed. It’s going to be developed sooner or later—and it’s better to do it sooner than later.”
Others were concerned about the impacts, from increased traffic on Napier Avenue to effects on the local environment, as the former golf course has become home to a wide variety of wildlife—including Bald Eagles that have nested on the property.
Mark Miller, the attorney representing Southwest Michigan Coastal Ventures, told me that they are working with experts to address those concerns, to make sure traffic is manageable for neighbors and that the eagles are undisturbed.
Miller added that once approved, work on the Berrien Hills Community will likely start next year, starting with the demolition of the old club house.
“By the end of 2023, early 2024, we’re going to be building,” Miller said. “I look at it more as a five-year build out. It may take more time, but if it does, it does. We want to do it right and take our time doing that.”
The final meeting for the proposal will take place at the St. Joseph Township Hall on Monday, October 31 at 6:00pm.