Fire barn presentation halted

After close to 90 minutes of Spring Lake Township representatives talking about their proposal for a new township hall and fire station, Village President Jim MacLachlan extinguished the presentation.
Marie Havenga
Mar 12, 2014

MacLachlan said he felt Monday night’s conversation was straying too far from the issue at hand – whether or not to rezone property at the northeast corner of Fruitport Road and M-104 from residential to public/semi-public, which could pave the way for a new municipal building.

The township proposal was slated for a one-hour block on Village Council’s work session agenda as an “abbreviated version” of the presentation given three times to the village’s Planning Commission. The commission presentations included experts discussing site selection, response times, traffic issues and building plans.

Township representatives were only partway through their scripted presentation Monday when MacLachlan halted it.

“You get kind of lost in the weeds with all the details,” MacLachlan said. “We gave them the allotted time.”

MacLachlan said the zoning issue should be at the forefront when Village Council hosts a public hearing at 7 p.m. April 21. That issue is whether a municipal use is aligned with the master plan, and would provide a smooth transition from commercial to the site’s east and residential to its north and west.

“We will allow them to make some kind of statement at that meeting, but I don’t think it will be an hour-long presentation,” MacLachlan said. “We’re going to try to get people to focus on what the issue is, which is to rezone from residential to something else.”

If Village Council approves the rezoning, the site plan and building details would then be reviewed, and either approved or denied by the Planning Commission.

The commission failed last month to pass a recommendation to Village Council after deadlocking in a 3-3 vote. Commissioners expressed concerns about the location and building height.

The preliminary plans call for an 18,800-square-foot brick building on the 2.4-acre site. Maximum height would be 40 feet for the board room portion of the structure.

Both MacLachlan and Township Manager Gordon Gallagher agreed it can be a difficult balance knowing how much information to provide initially.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



I have to agree with the village president on this one. I am NOT necessarily opposed to fire station at this location. And I am actually a fan of the township. However, the township does appear to be acting like bullies in this situation. They are trying so hard to tug on the emotional heartstrings instead of looking at the core issue. The issue is exactly as the president described. Should this property be rezoned to this use? All the rest of the information is fluff designed to distract from the core issues.


Where was the concern on building height on the ugly yellow condos across from holiday in? How does that fit any plan? If that fit the master plan we might as well start over. To me the village sold out on that one to increase the tax base. The property on the Southwest (m-104 & Fruitport rd) corner was rezoned without problem. What's the difference? Zoning is not the issue here. The fact that the twp bought the property without the Village input is the problem. The Village now wants to make it difficult to get this done. It would make a positive impact on services for the community. Twp shouldn't be put in a position to have to talk for 90 minutes. It made sense from the first presentation. The village is used to "fluff" and I think the twp was trying to appeal to that in the most recent presentation. The whole village government is "fluff".


This is the best spot for the new fire department. It is the most central. That's where I want my fire department to be, right in the middle of things. Lets get this done and stop the bickering.


Well, end of discussion then! Consider the bickerers spanked! Start building it, Admin14 has spoken!

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