The Downs claim that Sutter Road is unsafe is due to the design of their own driveways on Sutter road and the way they use to current road.

  1. There have been no accidents reported caused by the configuration of the current road.
  2. The Club maintenance employees continue to use Sutter Road to travel between the maintenance facility by the driving range and their irrigation facility at the top of the hill by the back entrance to the Club.  The vehicles they use are neither intended or legal for use on public roads.  There is a dirt road that runs parallel to Sutter Toad on the Club property that is largely ignored.
  3. Large trucks have to back into the driveway at the maintenance facility due to inadequate room provided on the Club property for them to turn around.  This is a reason to reconfigure their own facilities, not move ¾ mile of a public road.
  4. If the back entrance to the Club that was built by the Club long after Sutter Road was constructed is dangerous, that should be a reason for the Club to relocate this private road, not move Sutter Road.
  5. The only known safety issue is vehicles being struck by golf balls from the driving range.  This has happened, and in one instance, the windshield was shattered.  There is no protective barrier in place to prevent this from happening again.
  6. Relocating the road seems to be the nuclear option. Far less intrusive solutions such as additional signage, flashing lights that activate when one of their vehicles enters the road, or even a tunnel would be better safety precautions that do not significantly impact drivers on Sutter Road.

The Club’s environmental arguments are not based in fact. The Crystal Lake Watershed Committee has never raised any concerns about water runoff from Sutter Road into the watershed.  The soils in that area are classified as fast draining/low filtering.  This means that any water that runs off the road would quickly drain into the surrounding soils well before creating any problems for Crystal Lake or the properties on the shoreline.  In fact, the proposed intersection with M-22 is half the distance from the homes and lake and any runoff would travel down the hill on M-22 directly to the lake.  It would take a lengthy, detailed study and extensive testing to determine if any runoff from the current road is entering the lake.  No such study has been performed.  I do have experience with storm water mitigation projects that have been engineered properly but still do not work. Even the owner of the property at the current intersection of Sutter Road M-22 opposes the relocation.  You can see the sign at the end of their driveway.

Entrance to lower maintenance facility:

Entrance to alternate road to upper irrigation facility:

“Back door” to club at top of hill:

Entrance to upper irrigation facility:

Property owners’ sign opposing relocation at current Sutter Road intersection with M-22: