A proposed development calls for a gas station, convenience store and a drive-thru restaurant at the northwest corner of Gratiot Avenue and Hall Road. It was discussed at the Nov. 4 Macomb Township Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

A proposed development calls for a gas station, convenience store and a drive-thru restaurant at the northwest corner of Gratiot Avenue and Hall Road. It was discussed at the Nov. 4 Macomb Township Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Screenshot from Macomb Township meeting


Gas station, retail area planned near Hall and Gratiot

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 23, 2021

Advertisement

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A proposed development calls for a gas station, convenience store and a drive-thru restaurant at the northwest corner of Gratiot Avenue and Hall Road.

At the Nov. 4 Macomb Township Zoning Board of Appeals, or ZBA, meeting, one variance request was postponed, and one was granted from the zoning ordinance related to the site.

The tabled request was to reduce the required 300-foot setback to 113 feet for a drive-through window call box. The request will be considered at the Dec. 2 ZBA meeting.

The ZBA approved the second request of reducing the required 70-foot setback along Hall and Gratiot.

On Nov. 16, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a rezoning request for the property, from residential one-family and local commercial to general commercial. The site has been master planned for commercial space for a number of years.

Macomb Township Planning Director Josh Bocks said it’s an irregular shaped property that is less than 300 feet wide.

“The noise produced by the call box, unless heavily screened, may result in some unfair justice from the point of view of the neighbors,” he said.  

Bocks noted the front yard setback would be acceptable and align with other gas stations along Hall Road.

Prior to the Planning Commission’s action, the 3.15-acre vacant property was tripled zoned – residential urban one-family, local commercial and general commercial.  

Jason Fleis, from the Umlor Group, said the spirit of the ordinance is for someone to be in their backyard and not hear the speaker box.

“This site doesn’t have any opportunity to put a call box on it,” he said. “We initially had two drive-thrus and reduced it to one. We moved the call box to a distance further around the  corner.”

Fleis noted that adjusting the angle of the call box significantly decreased decibel levels.

“The spirit of the ordinance is strictly for decibel level referring to the call box,” he said. “We believe we have many measures in place and provide the supporting data.”

Vito Pampalona, of Pampalona Construction Management, said once sound travels to the outside layer of the property, it will go down to the ambient level of cars on Hall Road.

He cited that each layer of vegetation cuts the sound down by 25-50%.

“We’re trying to make this a win-win for everybody,” Pamplona said. “It will not be a 24-hour drive thru, something like a Tropical Smoothie.”

The maximum decibel level will be maxed at 85.

John Parkinson, whose home directly backs up to the property, said the variance would create a nuisance and quality of life issue.   

“We would still hear the call box traffic during open hours, especially during spring and summer with the windows open,” he said.

Nicholas Viviano spoke on behalf of the group that owns the 7-Eleven at the northeast corner of Hall and Gratiot.

“When we signed our franchise agreement and purchased the property 24 years ago, we were advised the area in question was zoned originally not to allow for a competing convenient store and gas station,” he said.

Gloria Cynowa, who lives near Hall Road and Gratiot Avenue, said the development would be directly behind homes.

“The corner is very busy, and the parcel is small,” she said. “There are already gas stations with convenience stores on two of the other corners of this intersection.

Carol and Walt Sutherland, live just north of the land.

“We had no idea the call box was changed to 130 feet and I’m pretty upset,” Carol Sutherland said. “I’m not only going to be able to hear it, I’m going to see it.”

She noted that their subdivision is already dangerous and is used as a traffic thoroughfare.

Advertisement