Commission considers site plans, marijuana moratorium
During its first meeting in several months, the Tecumseh Planning Commission had four public hearings, a zoning change request, and several site plan approvals on the agenda Tuesday evening, Sept. 10. The first order of business, however, was to approve a Medical Marijuana Moratorium extension. Brad Raymond, Director of the city’s Building Department, said the current moratorium is set to expire on October 14.“After talking to Scott Baker, our city attorney, he indicated that the cases we were anticipating going through the court systems have not yet been resolved in court,” Raymond said. “Once they are, these cases will have a major impact on what we’re attempting to do with our ordinance.”The commissioners recommended that a 180-day extension be sent to Tecumseh City Council for approval, effective on October 14.The Planning Commission approved Preliminary/Final Site Plan for 106 N. Occidental Road, for construction of a new 12,000 square foot maintenance shop at Bader and Sons. Repairs and maintenance that are currently conducted outdoors will be done indoors at the facility to be built approximately 10 feet from the existing building. City Planner, Michael Gradis, of McKenna and Associates, outlined details of the plan for the commissioners prior to their approval to send the plans on to city council. Kevin King was present as a spokesperson for Bader and Sons. Raymond asked if the company wanted to speak about the former Foodland property that Bader and Sons recently purchased.“There are plans, but they currently are undefined,” said King, adding that they were working on plans to do something with the site that would be brought back to the Planning Commission at a future date.“Once we make a decision on what we’re going to do with the site, we’ll be back to see you,” said King.Another Preliminary/Final Site Plan approval was given to Speedway for a remodel/addition project at 905 W. Chicago. The company plans to expand an area in its store for a refrigeration unit, and add façade improvements to replace the current vinyl siding with brick that will fit in with design standards being used in that area. “I’m very happy you’re improving that area and thank you for going along with our West End designscapes,” said Chairperson Bob Fox. “I think everyone can see the site improvements and design going on in the West End.”The commissioners also recommended a rezoning with conditions for 828 N. Evans Street from Single Family Residential (RA-1) to General business (B-3). Owner Troy Wright and his wife, Nicki, plan to transform the former Airport Bowl to include a Curves and cardio gym, practice space for athletics, including batting lanes, and a neighborhood convenience store. Wright said the indoor recreational program will be known as The Zone Elite Performance Center. Gradis outlined how the petitioner proposed rezoning to B-3 but operating under the rules of a B-1 zoning, with conditions, because of the indoor recreational facility.“What he is proposing opening is something new, and something that would be a real benefit to the community,” said Gradis. “He and his wife would like to have an indoor recreational center to allow children and teens to practice with a batting area and possibly a lacrosse area. There isn’t anything else like this in this portion of the county.”Discussion included the fact that having a convenience store in that part of the city could be an asset to the neighborhood. The store could sell wine and beer, but the site’s liquor license is for on-site service only. Commissioners also reviewed plans to reconfigure parking, and to tear out some existing asphalt and add green space, then approved that the plan be sent to Tecumseh City Council. Chairperson Bob Fox recused himself from the discussion, and commissioner David Malmquist presided over the discussion.“We’re really happy to see this improvement happen,” said Gradis. “It’s an interesting project and the applicant is very easy to work with.”“I’m just excited to, hopefully, be able to do something with this,” said Wright. “My goal is to be open by November, if possible.”Raymond also updated the commissioners on the proposed reconstruction of McDonald’s. He said he’d been in touch with a corporate representative who indicated that there was still going to be a new restaurant, but due to the franchise changing hands (from Janelle Corp. to new owner, Jeff Stanton), the reconstruction would not occur until February. Raymond said he was told to expect an estimated 70-day turnaround.