A non-scientific survey of Royal Oak residents show they’re split on the idea of selling up to 10 acres the city-owned Normandy Oaks Golf Club for development, but the Royal Oak City Commission is planning to put the question before voters in November.
If the question is approved, a prohibition on selling the land put in place several years ago would be repealed, The Daily Tribune reports.
The city has not-yet-firm plans for a housing development and a park with two full-sized soccer fields and other recreational amenities, including a sledding hill, jogging and bicycle trails, a nature area, park shelters and a splash pad. Selling 10 acres of the land for developers would help the city pay for the parks and recreation improvements.
Mayor Jim Ellison emphasized at a recent public hearing on the matter that all plans for redevelopment of the property are flexible.
“We’re simply trying to figure out a way to get some recreational amenities without burdening the taxpayers,” he said. “There’s been a lot of criticism based on this being a final plan and it’s not – it’s a conceptual plan.”
The 50-acre golf course, which has received limited use, is scheduled to close at the end of the current season.
Judy Davids, Royal Oak community engagement specialist, told The Daily Tribune the majority of the 597 residents who completed a non-scientific survey backed most of the park features recommended by the task force, but were lukewarm about proposals for soccer fields.
But whether selling the property is the only way to make the improvements is unclear in the survey results, Davids said.