Currently, there are no plans underway showing signs of re-development for the now-empty lot that was once the Waverly Golf Course.
Due to a zoning moratorium expiring in Lansing Township, the 120-acre property owned by the City of Lansing closed in 2007.
The lot is now a “single-family residential area,” according to Sam Schultz, who is the township planner in Lansing Township.
“Currently, it is used as recreation space and it would have to be re-zoned if anything was to be done,” Schultz said. “If zoning was re-done, it could be used for only the options under the township ordinances which involve low resident intensity like churches or public parks and playgrounds.”
Holly Madill who is the outreach specialist for the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute and Planning & Zoning Center provided information on zoning moratoriums from the Michigan State University Extension.
The Michigan State University Extension states that, “The problem in Michigan, some point out, is that there is not any statutory authority for local government to adopt a moratorium in the first place. This is a problem because the authority appears to be missing and there is not any specific procedure or process for enacting a moratorium – leading to questions about how it should be done.”
Local governments may use a moratorium to prevent developments until any further plans are established. This would allow time for these units of government to establish regulations for any new developments.
Steven Gray who is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Community and Sustainability said when there is a policy change, similar to the zoning codes of an area expiring, a formal assessment is made on how communication will impact this change.
“What you first want to do when a change like this occurs is include all stakeholders involved with the area so everyone is informed on how they’ll be impacted,” Gray said. “Having the opportunity to discuss and make projections in different ways can help discuss the land development changes that are happening.”
Lansing Township resident James Scofield said he doesn’t mind the empty lot, he personally likes the green space that is there.
“I recognize the township probably has some pressures to create some revenue generating real estate property on it,” Scofield said. “A golf course is really ideal there, it’s recreational, environmental but I guess another golf course would be a dream.”