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.
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