Demolition of Walnut Hills Country Club Discussed at Public Hearing

Demolition of Walnut Hills Country Club Discussed at Public Hearing

EAST LANSING - The Meridian Township Building Board of Appeals hosted a Zoom public hearing on Monday, June 29th regarding the health and safety hazard that the (closed) Walnut Hills Country Club has become.

Located at 2874 East Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing, this property has been vacant for two years. Summer Park Realty (the owners of the property) have received safety infractions and violations due to having dangerous materials exposed.

The subject of these violations are things like shattered glass from broken windows, tampered/ajar doors, an exposed pool with debris on the surface, brick walls crumbling and weathered roofs.

The Township officials are requesting to have all five buildings (including the pool) be demolished. Joe Wade, Meridian Township Senior Code Enforcing Officer, led the conversation with his own findings as well as pictures showing the damages.

“This has been going on long enough and we are all very fortunate that no one has gone out there and gotten hurt or perished. This needs to be addressed now,” said Wade. “The more we do, the more they try and get in, the whole situation out there is so accessible, it’s hard to keep people out so it is best that all buildings be removed.”

Summer Park Realty, the Developer Steven Shafer and the Board members are working to meet the Township’s safety concerns to ensure that no harm comes to anyone from the location.

“I have to apologize for the conditions of the building. I have had a decent relationship with Wade and the police department, but I will say I haven’t heard a word from them in the last 6 months from this notice,” said Shafer.

The Board members, along with Shafer, discussed a new plan to secure the site and eliminate confusion on the go forward.

The revised plan states that all buildings will be securely re-boarded, the pool be pumped out within 48 hours, the pool should also have a hard deck over it or be demolished starting in 45 days and the demolition of all three buildings (all buildings except club house) should be completed in 66 days.

However, if the break-ins and vandalizing persist, the Board ordered that the demolition be expedited.

Board members, including Joe Wade, Charles Wallin, Pete Potterpin and Spencer Shafer will physically do an inspection of the property on June 30th to go over topics covered from meeting.

Both the Board members and Shafer want this location to become an asset again, while addressing the hazards to minimize dangerous threats. It is advised to avoid this area as the current status is unsafe and demolition is to begin soon.

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