- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A development company has received state approval for the construction of an access road across sand dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Singapore Dunes LLC expects to start building the two-lane blacktop this spring in Allegan County’s Saugatuck Township, the Grand Rapids Press reported (http://bit.ly/1jHIgWR ).

The road will allow access to 18 upscale home sites that front the lake or sit in the dunes with views of the water. Cost of each site could range from $1.5 million to $2.75 million. Construction of the homes has yet to begin.

Project manager Stephen Neumer said the road will follow a historic wagon trail that led to lumber mills at what once was a village called Singapore. The village was covered by the dune’s shifting sands and became a ghost town near the end of the 19th century.

Neumer said the company on Friday received permission from the state Department of Environmental Quality to build the road.

Environmental groups have objected to the project, saying the dunes area is fragile and can’t support major development.

A federal judge in Kalamazoo approved a settlement in 2012 of a lawsuit between the township and Singapore Dunes. The company battled a tough zoning ordinance passed by the township in 2005 after it had acquired the land.

Singapore Dunes is owned by Oklahoma oilman Aubrey McClendon. The company also plans to build a condominium and marina project along the Kalamazoo River Channel, Neumer said.


Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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