A. Description. Located in the rural fringe of the rapidly expanding Grand Rapids metropolitan area, generally in the southeast quadrant of Kent County, the Township Of Vergennes can be characterized in several distinctive areas.
* The majority of the Township has rural flavor as it is identified with scattered homes on large acre parcels with a balance of larger tracts of farmlands, fields, and open areas.
* The Township is characterized as a bedroom community where most residents travel outside of its boundaries to reach an employment sector.
* Major access to the Township is via Lincoln Lake Avenue which traverses the community from north to south and intersects with M-21 just south of the Township in the City of Lowell. Vergennes Street is the major east/west route. Interstate I-96 is located approximately four and on-half miles further south.
* While active farmlands exist throughout the Township, the largest acreage Concentration of agriculture is present in the northwest quadrant of the Township (north of Vergennes Street and west of Alden Nash Avenue).
B. Important Features. There are several natural features within the Township of Vergennes Which are worthy of consideration in the comprehensive planning exercise: The eastern third of the Township is traversed by the Flat River which provides attractive valleys and recreation opportunities for area residents as well as important Habitat for wildlife.
* Significant portions of the Township are covered with dense woodlands. These areas, together with the wetlands associated with the Township's lakes and the Flat River, provide important wildlife refuge and scenic amenities for the community.
* The topographic variation in the Township contributes visual interest and privacy and by itself is an important natural feature. * According to the Kent County Soil Survey, several acres considered to have "prime farmland soils" exist in the western half of the Township, especially in the northwest corner. (It is important to note that these prime farmland soils relate only to local conditions)
C. Planning Considerations.
* Growth. The Township of Vergennes is located in a highly desirable county setting and within acceptable commuting distances to major employment centers. It is expected that the Township will continue to witness residential development pressure.
* Soils. According to the Kent County Soils Survey, in general, a majority of the soils in Vergennes Township present development challenges with regard to septic systems while some soils are well suited to a variety of agricultural activities.
* Balanced Character. In Vergennes Township, a major challenge is to find balance and harmony in protecting the farmer who still wants to farm and directing growth in appropriated areas while still maintaining the rural character of the Township.
* Land Uses. Residential development is the predominated land use in the Township, comprising 87% of total property value.