Lansing residents plan to take legal action against city to stop Ormond Park construction

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Members of the community are planning to take legal action against a plan to put a road through Ormond Park.

According to a news release, a group of Lansing residents known as the “Friends of Ormond Park” will file an emergency restraining order first thing Monday morning, to stop the project in its tracks.

Despite a lot of push-back from the community and some Lansing City Council members, the construction process of paving a road through Ormond Park got well underway on Friday.

Trees are chopped down, holes are dug, and flags are posted.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says Groesbeck Golf Course is losing tens of thousands of dollars every year. He says, golfers need easier access to the course, and building a road through Ormond Park will solve the problem.

Several members of the community say, he’s out of bounds. In fact, many of them have expressed concerns to Lansing City Council members.

Just a few weeks ago, the council agreed to launch an investigation to find out how the Groesbeck Golf Course entrance was put on the latest Master Plan.

Mayor Bernero has admitted he put it there, and council members approved it.

During a public meeting Monday night, council members will begin looking into the 2015-2020 Master plan.

Mayor Bernero says construction on the project will continue regardless, but council members have the option to seek an injunction to stop the process.

The group “Friends of Ormond Park” is one step ahead of them.

“We want them to halt further construction until the court has decided the matter,” Merry Stanford said.  She lives near the park and visits it frequently.  “We want to do it in this friendly and respectful way.”

Peter Wood is the board member of “Friends of Ormond Park” and plans to file the injunction Monday morning.

“Michigan parkland is protected unless it can be proven that there is no feasible alternative,” he said.

Wood said the city hasn’t properly studied this project’s economic, environmental or social impacts in the neighborhood.

“Trees can be replanted and play space can be replaced,” Julia Tarsa said. “But it will be harder to restore a park that has been paved over. It would make no sense for construction workers to proceed with work that they may have to undo immediately.  We should all wait for the Court’s voice on this,” she says.

Members of Friends of Ormond Park say they plan to gather at the park in the morning to discuss the issue further.

The public is also welcome to attend the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, where they’ll have a chance to speak up on the matter if they want to.

Stay with 6 News, we’ll continue to follow this story for you and provide updates both on air and online.

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