Village says no to township’s rezoning request

Village Council doused the hopes Monday for a township fire station/township hall at the northeast corner of M-104 and Fruitport Road.
Marie Havenga
Apr 22, 2014

On a 6-1 vote, council denied a request by the township to rezone the land from single-family residential to public/semi-public, which would have paved the way for a new municipal complex at that corner.

Although some audience members at the council meeting spoke in favor of the project, many in the crowd applauded the decision.

Village President Jim MacLachlan was the only one to vote in favor of the rezoning. Other council members expressed concern about traffic and the suitability of a large building marking the entryway to the village.

The township’s preliminary plans called for an 18,800-square-foot township hall/fire station on the 2.4-acre site.

Councilman Mark Powers said he grew up in the Fruitport Road/Savidge Street neighborhood and, when he was a kid, used to mow the lawn on that corner for a neighbor.

“I can’t find it in my heart to say yes to the rezoning,” he said. “It doesn’t feel quite right to me.”

Councilman Bill Meyers said he’s looked at the master plan and studied the proposal from many angles.

“I’ve been all over the chart on this and I keep coming up with question after question,” he said. “I don’t think I have enough information.”

Carmen Avantini, the village’s planning consultant, said the municipal use would make a good transition between the gas station, fast-food restaurant and grocery store to the east and the residences to the north, west and south. He said other uses that could potentially occupy that site — such as office, fitness center or retail — could generate more traffic than a township hall and fire station.

Township officials have pinpointed that intersection as being centrally located, and say a fire station in that location would cut down on emergency response times and potentially save lives.

Township Supervisor John Nash said some Township Board members are upset with the village’s decision.

“With the temperament of township officials, I think it’s a good idea to take a little breath here,” he said. “Some of us talked after the meeting. I think we will look at the options. There’s a lot of options.”

Nash said putting “for sale” signs on the property they purchased two years ago is one of those options.

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




Village President Jim MacLachlan has been out of touch with the Village residents for some time now. The rest of the council should understand that it doesn't feel right because it isn't right. The Township owns plenty of property and sites that it should utilize for this purpose. The Village on the other hand should use the property to build a tax base, but not one that includes emergency vehicles.


It is good to know that the village is listening to the voice of the people.


I look forward to seeing a for sale sign on that lot.....and another one in front of the Nash home.


Good. I thought there was a lot of hubris in how this was handled. But now undoing this purchase is going to result in the loss of substantial $ to the township. Instead of plunking down a big tribute to masonry in a pleasant wooded neighborhood, the township might consider one of the more blighted lots 30-seconds down the road.


Even though this was voted down I can wait to see what the TWP board comes up with next. One should look at how many pieces of land the TWP owns and is used for the fire services. Now the TWP should look at the special assessment they rammed down us tax payers throats for the fire service. I am one who supports the fire service.. but I can't support the duplication of services. We need a board who questions these decision which are made by fire chief and his staff. Maybe if they show some restraint in waste fraud and abuse.. then maybe someone will give them a cookie or toy.

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