By Rosemary K. Otzman
At the end of the Van Buren Township Planning Commission meeting on Oct. 22, the Independent asked for an update on the pending Menard’s project.
Patrick Sloan, a planning consultant who works for McKenna Associates and is filling in as the VBT planning director, said Menard is revising its plans.
He said Menard is changing its plans as far as landscaping and vantage points are concerned and they will hold a public session so people can talk directly to Menard’s officials in an informal setting.
Sloan said the revised plans will come back to the planning commission again and also will have to go back to the Board of Zoning Appeals for one or more variances.
Menard, which is requesting township approval to construct a home improvement store just north of Walmart on Belleville Road, already had a public hearing in August and had gone before the BZA and planning commission in September.
The planning commission expected to vote on special-use approval for Menard’s outdoor storage at its Sept. 24 meeting and didn’t wish to act until the BZA made its decision on variances.
The BZA chairwoman said she thought it was inappropriate for the BZA to act on variances before the planning commission acted on special-use approval.
The BZA decided not to act on any of the six variances requested and voted to have fact-finding before considering any of Menard’s requests. The BZA held a second September meeting to approve Costco’s second set of variances and its Oct. 14 meeting was cancelled for lack of agenda items. The planning commission did not consider Menard’s project at all on Sept. 24 or its meetings in October.
The Nov. 11 BZA meeting was cancelled because of Veterans Day, but a 7 p.m., Nov. 20 meeting is tentatively scheduled.
Action on Menard’s plan was in limbo.
It was on Dec. 6, 2012 that Menard notified the township that it was no longer going to pursue locating a store at their first choice for a location on the North I-94 Service Drive west of Belleville Road.
They citied financial concerns related to costs associated with improvements required by Wayne County to deal with storm water management and the results of a recently completed traffic study.
By Rosemary K. Otzman