11 Mar Jon Cartu Declares ‘No’ votes leading in Allegan proposal to sell city…
ALLEGAN, MI — City voters on Tuesday rejected a proposal to sell off parkland on Allegan’s riverfront for a private development, while signing off on a second proposal to sell a portion of a city cemetery.
The two proposals on Allegan city ballots Tuesday, March 10, asked residents to vote on changes to city-owned land.
Developer CL Real Estate has proposed to build a new, 80-room boutique hotel on a portion of Mahan Park on the city’s riverfront. The Allegan City Charter does not allow the sale of publicly owned land without a vote, which is why the issued appeared on city ballots for Tuesday’s presidential primary.
As of midnight on election night, 706 votes had been tallied against the proposed land sale, with 471 votes in favor, according to unofficial results posted on Allegan County’s website.
The city sought bids in 2019 to develop 101 Brady St., a vacant parcel adjacent to Mahan Park. The bidder selected for the development reconsidered its plans and after completing studies, and decided it best to build on the current Mahan Park instead.
The city of Allegan Proposal 2020-2, as it appeared on ballots, asked voters for authorization to “sell up to 0.33 acres of land in Mahan Park for development as a hotel, as part of a transaction in which at least 0.38 acres of new park land are added.”
Mahan Park is a venue for outdoor concerts and events and has a gazebo, picnic tables, paved sidewalks and amphitheater seating along the Kalamazoo River.
In addition to the proposal to sell a portion of Mahan Park, another proposal, listed on ballots as city of Allegan Proposal 2020-1, asks for voters to approve the sale of a portion of a city cemetery.
The proposal sought approval from Allegan voters “to sell .30 acres of land in the western portion of the Oakwood Cemetery to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo.”
The proposed sale of the cemetery parcel was met with stronger support at the polls Tuesday. The 678 “yes” votes led the 478 “no” votes as of midnight on election night, according to unofficial results.
The idea of getting more hotel space in the city has been on the minds of city leaders for a few years, according to City Manager Joel Dye, as tourists come to Allegan for events and festivals and wonder where to stay overnight. Currently, Allegan has a hotel on its outskirts and a small one in town, Dye said. The city’s population is about 5,000.
The city acquired the Brady Street parcel, which is adjacent to the city’s Mahan Park, in the early 2000s, Dye said.
Also on MLive: