By Rosemary K. Otzman
The site plan for Fox Auto’s proposed new self-service building off Bemis Road was approved with stipulations by the Sumpter Township Planning Commission at its regular meeting Aug. 8.
Joe and Bill Fox explained the project, which would be part of their full-service operation at 8111 Rawsonville Road.
Bill Fox said the 40’x46’ sales office building will be at an existing driveway to their property off Bemis Road. It will have 12 additional parking spaces on an asphalt surface.
He said the idea is that customers who want small parts can go out and get them themselves off the cars in the 25-acre salvage yard. He gave examples of a cigarette lighter or a headlight.
“This allows them to get a product cheaper than we could do it,” Bill Fox said. He said they might charge $1 for a customer to get into the yard and then there would be a list of set prices for parts.
Commission Chairman Jane Stalmack asked if a person could remove an engine as part of the self-service and the Foxes agreed it was possible, if someone wanted to go to all that work. Bill Fox said the cars in the lot have all the fluid removed so that wouldn’t be a problem.
Joe Fox said they might call this service the “Fox Pull and Save” or something like that. A designation is still under consideration.
Joe Fox said the stipulations, which were just announced, were no problem to them. The recommendations included planting two trees and buffering the parking lot from Bemis Road with plantings.
Also, the project needs to be reviewed by the township engineer for possible stormwater items and approved by the township building official.
Planning consultant Laura Kreps of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, was on vacation when the site plan was submitted to the township so she didn’t get her recommendations to the Fox family until during the planning commission meeting.
Fox Auto plans to get the work done in the fall and have a spring launch of the new service.
In other business at the 25-minute meeting, the planning commission:
• Discussed opportunities for additional training for commissioners by attending meetings throughout the state, including an upcoming session in Kalamazoo. Chairwoman Stalmack said Township Supervisor Johnny Vawters encouraged the commissioners to go for training when they could and let him know when they needed funding;
• Heard Commissioner Matthew Oddy ask how much work can a person do on a building without site plan approval and he was told none. He said work continues on John Chapman’s auto shop, but Chapman was supposed to come back to the commission with a site plan. “We promised the neighbors we’d keep watch,” Oddy said. The commission voted unanimously to ask township building officials to look into the project;
• Heard Oddy ask about what is considered “hard surface” in the ordinances and if that crushed asphalt he sees around the township complies. He said the crushed asphalt looks like it was painted and then the paint washed off. The planners said if it is a current lot that is being resurfaced it complies; and
• Learned that Jean Chudzinski, planning commissioner who resigned June 25 due to ill health, had passed away the night before, on Aug. 7.
By Rosemary K. Otzman