Shelby approves gas station at formerly blighted corner

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 9, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On July 18, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously gave special land use approval for a Circle K gas station and convenience store at the partially vacant northeast corner of 22 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue.

The site in question is a combination of five parcels totaling approximately 2 acres that were rezoned in June 2016 from commercial, local retail and residential to a more advanced commercial use. Shelby Township Planner Glenn Wynn said the approved use “couldn’t have been better” for the intersection.

The former Skopje liquor store — now razed — had been blighted for years. Several existing buildings, including a newly opened psychic business and a single-family home, are also scheduled to come down in anticipation of the new gas station and convenience store, Wynn said.

According to backup materials for the July 18 Board of Trustees meeting, Circle K is proposing a 5,333-square-foot building with seven gas pumping stations and exits to both 22 Mile and Van Dyke. The Planning Commission held a June 12 public hearing on the application and recommended approval.

“In a couple of ways, it’s a big-picture issue here,” Wynn said. “The blighted site is getting some redevelopment there to take away the blight, and the site plan is designed in a way to adequately (reduce nuisances).”

He called it “addition by subtraction.”

“The architectural design for the building is principally brick on all four sides, not your standard kiosk or gas station. It’s a very attractive building,” Wynn said. “It’s a very competent proposal. Everything about this was done the right way.”

Treasurer Michael Flynn made the motion, which included the reasoning that the Circle K gas station and convenience store are “consistent with the predominantly retail pattern at the intersection.” It also provided that there will be “sufficient room available to accommodate the use,” and the gas station will not be “located adjacent to any residential.”

Trustee Doug Wozniak double-checked with Wynn that the landscaped buffer on the east side of the proposed development is sufficient. Wynn said it is “more than is required.”

Sileena and Steve Johnson, owners of Psychic Reader & Advisor, said they knew going into renting the house-turned-business that formerly served as a hair salon and furniture store that they might have to move.

“We knew that the property was for sale and that if someone was to purchase it, then we had to deal with that, and we were thinking, hopefully, we’d have longer than shorter, but we love Shelby,” Steve Johnson said. “We wish everybody the best on both sides, and we will look for another location in Shelby.”

He said he and Sileena love the “beautiful” building and that it will “be a shame” to see it bulldozed.

“But that’s life, and people in business do big things, and this is part of it,” he said. He added that he and Sileena have known the landlord for 27 years, and the only reason he rented the building to them was because he knows them.

He said they still have a psychic chakra center in Roseville while they relocate to Shelby Township.

The backup materials from the meeting also included emails from a couple of residents who live on 22 Mile Road who objected to the gas station and convenience store for a number of reasons, including traffic and a fear that property values will decrease.