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By Lonnie Huhman,

lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com

A Bingham Farms developer wants to construct three new commercial multi-tenant buildings on a piece of the Meijer store property in Scio Township.

Before it can do that, however, it needs some approvals from the Scio Township Board. It got two of these at the June 25 meeting of the township board.

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The board unanimously approved a site plan application from ALRIG USA of Bingham Farms and a landscape deviation, to construct and operate three multi-tenant buildings, a total of 28,800 square feet in the eastern portion of the Meijer property at the southwest corner of Jackson and Zeeb Roads, at 5645 Jackson Road.

The township planning commission recommended to the board the plan and deviation be approved.

Township supervisor Jack Knowles said he thinks the project is a good one and will add something to that location, and it might better enclose the parking lot area to make it appear more like a retail/commercial center.

However, he said he does have concerns with the potential traffic flow and movement, primarily at both intersections. He said the proposed main drive off of Jackson could become problematic with the existing traffic flow.

Knowles also suggested, which seemed to get the rest of the board’s support, that the developer and Meijer change up the sign that says, “Welcome to Scio Township.”  He said the sign implies that area is an entry point into the township, which it isn’t, and board member David Read said it’s closer to the center of the township rather than the beginning.

In another concern, Knowles said the dumpster area and its relation to the stormwater system also needs to be addressed.

These were just a few issues and the developer will now have to do some work on the concerns, including the traffic flow questions.

In his presentation to the township board and prior to Knowles’ comments, Alan Cruz, the project manager, who is also with Hennessey Engineers of Southgate, said they worked with the planning commission and consultants to address concerns/issues in an effort to improve the plan. Cruz said they took the feedback and made some changes to such things as the facades, landscaping plan, improving pedestrian friendliness and moved the dumpster location.

“I think we’ve made it a great project for Scio Township,” Cruz said.

The proposed development would be on a parcel that is 4.5 acres is north and east of the Meijer parking lot, abutting the storm water basin.  Township planners said the two northern structures will contain 10,720 square feet and the third multi-tenant structure in the eastern portion of the site is proposed to contain 7,360 square feet. Modification to the existing Meijer parking lot will be required to accommodate the proposed development.

Township consultants said the plan would have a net gain of 12 parking spaces between the existing Meijer building and the proposed outlot development.

Township consultants said, “In reviewing the Meijer Outlot Detail Engineering Plan prior to Township Board consideration, we found the calculation had been provided, and was deficient the 25 percent requirement. After discussing options to move the application forward, the applicant has indicated they cannot meet the general site landscaping requirement and is requesting a deviation from the Planning Commission.”

As the planning commission reviewed the plan, some of its concerns noted included the proposed stop sign at Zeeb Road drive, at the east end of the property adjacent to the south building.
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