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Breaking: Hazel Crest board votes to annex Calumet Country Club despite objections of protesters

Calumet Country Club will be part of Hazel Crest as soon as the village records the Board of Trustees decision Tuesday, Feb. 14, to annex the property at the request of property owner W&E Ventures.

W&E Ventures is owned by Walt Brown of Scottsdale, Arizona, whose previous attempt to redevelop the golf course as a warehousing complex failed in 2021.  The property was part of Homewood, but Homewood officials declined to rezone it from open space to industrial use.

The decision by the Hazel Crest board came early in the meeting, in part because the opportunity for public comment on agenda items — that usually precedes board votes — was not included on the agenda. The meeting lasted about 1 1/2 hours, though, because Hazel Crest and area residents had much to say during the post-vote public comment period.

Members of South Suburbs for Greenspace rally in the rain in front of Hazel Crest village hall prior to the board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14. The group was formed in 2021 to oppose the industrial redevelopment of Calumet Country Club. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

At least four people were removed from the meeting, two of them by force. The first person was removed as the ordinance was being read and a number of protesters shouted “Let us speak.”


Hazel Crest residents who spoke were almost unanimous in expressing disappointment in the board’s decision. At this and the previous meeting, residents told trustees few people in the village were well informed about the redevelopment project that is expected to follow annexation. They asked the village to call a community meeting to provide more information.

Mayor Vernard Alsberry said at the end of the Tuesday meeting that community meetings would be held soon. He explained that village officials could not speak in more detail about the project while the land was not part of the village. Now that it is, he promised to provide more information.

A more detailed story will follow.

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