Apr. 14, 2016 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Northville Township planning commissioners have rejected a request from the Kroger Co. to rezone the land on the northwest corner of Five Mile and Haggerty roads where the company plans to construct a 12- pump gas station and convenience store. The six commissioners in attendance were unanimously opposed to the plan which was discussed during a public hearing on the request last week.
The recommendation not to approve the rezoning will now go to the Northville Township Board of Trustees for a vote April 21.
During the public hearing, the commissioners discussed various factors they said rendered the request inconsistent and incompatible with existing and future land use as prescribed by the township master plan. The commissioners listened to public comment on the request for rezoning and following discussion voted 6-0 to recommended not rezoning the property.
Kroger representatives have requested a zoning change from B-1 to B-3. The B-3 zoning district allows several auto related uses as a special land use. The commissioners cited concerns as to the suitability, traffic impact, aesthetics and potential influence on property values compared to uses permitted under the current zoning. In addition, commission members studied capacity of the township utilities and street system to safety accommodate the added traffic that the gas station would attract.
The Kroger store is currently located on the north end of the property. To the east is a Marathon gas station. Tutor Time Day Care Center sits to the south and a 15,000 square foot school, formerly Tanger Elementary, is located on the west.
Kroger was represented at the hearing by Matthew Pisko of consulting firm, Project Collaborative of Farmington Hills. Pisko argued that the Kroger redevelopment plan is consistent with the goals of the future land use map and does not include any additional curb cuts. He said the new project is simply a redevelopment and would have “little or no impact on the existing sites physical, geological, hydrological and other environmental features.”
Pisko said Kroger customers in the township “…are not well served by the absence of a Kroger fueling station.”
Township commissioners did not agree.
“I find the request problematic,” said Commissioner Fred Shadko.
In a formal review addressed to the commission, Northville Township Director of Community Development Jennifer Frey stated, “There is an existing gas station across the street…gas is also available three miles to the north on Haggerty. The ability for Kroger to increase store volume and visibility are not criteria for approving a rezoning.”
Although the Kroger property is located in Northville Township the potential impact for Lake Pointe, the largest subdivision in Plymouth Township, could be significant. The Lake Pointe Homeowners Association sent out email notices to more than 600 residents alerting them of the township hearing.
Lake Pointe resident Tony Signorelli attended the public hearing and voiced concerns about safety and traffic before the commission.
“I’m afraid this is just beginning,” Signorelli said after the meeting. “I heard they also want to expand to become a ‘Big Kroger,’” a reference to the Super Kroger supermarkets.
Both Pisko and Kroger Communications Manager Ken McClure declined to comment on the rezoning request hearing.