Macomb Township Planning Commission approves request for proposed medical building

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 9, 2019

 At a public hearing April 2, the Macomb Township Planning Commission unanimously approved to change zoning on two parcels of land on the north side of Hall Road, between North Branch Street and Deneweth Road, west of North Avenue, to an office low-rise.

At a public hearing April 2, the Macomb Township Planning Commission unanimously approved to change zoning on two parcels of land on the north side of Hall Road, between North Branch Street and Deneweth Road, west of North Avenue, to an office low-rise.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Public hearings were held for a couple of rezoning requests at the April 2 Macomb Township Planning Commission meeting.

The majority of the discussion dealt with rezoning from a general commercial and residential urban one-family area to an office low-rise.

The commission unanimously approved to change zoning on two parcels of land to an office low-rise, contingent that the parcels be combined.

The application was for rezoning two parcels of land, the larger of which is 4.02 acres located on the north side of Hall Road, between North Branch Street and Deneweth Road, west of North Avenue.

The smaller parcel is 0.6 acres, previously zoned as residential.

Peter Zingas, the owner and developer of the property, works at Hall Road Properties and addressed the commission.

“We’re looking to develop this property as a medical office building and surgical center,” he said. “We have a group of orthopedic surgeons who are looking to occupy it.”

The surgical center would be for orthopedic outpatient services and not a 24-hour operation.

This property would be Zingas’ third development in Macomb Township. He owns a surgical center near 22 Mile and Romeo Plank roads, and medical offices near Heydenreich and Hall roads.

“This area is prime for an office site,” Zingas said. “We think it’s a solid opportunity for us as well as the township.”

In regards to Deneweth and North Branch, which are dead-end roads, Zingas said he wouldn’t be able to have entryways on those streets. Access to the building would be from Hall Road.   

For access to the site, Macomb Township Planning Supervisor Doug Plachcinski said that the Michigan Department of Roads, or MDOT, controls driveway permits off of Hall Road.

Zingas indicated it would be a 40,000-square-foot, two-story office building, with only a small portion dedicated to a surgical center, around 6,000 square feet. The rest of the building would be medical offices.

Understanding that if both parcels were not zoned the same, Zingas said the project wouldn’t be able to move forward.

“If both get zoned office, the big piece is the one that will cause this property to become an office project, not the residential. The residential will stay a house,” he said.

Planning Commission Secretary Aaron Tuckfield said his vote was contingent of both parcels being zoned the same and combined. He added he has no problem with the development at large.    

Commissioner Richard Bentley asked if the medical building can be accommodated under the current general commercial zoning, why change it?

“We’re looking for a less intense use on it,” Zingas said. “There was some thought of putting a small commercial building there, and in the future, I don’t want anyone to do anything else but office on that property.”

Jeffrey Rizzo, the president of Fenn & Associates, said the intent is to combine the two parcels of land.

“Were not going to combine them until the zoning is the same and we have a comfort level. We would ask the commission to make a motion to approve the rezoning on both parcels to an office low-rise, subject to the parcels being combined.”

Since the proposed site does align with Deneweth and North Branch, several residents commented on the effect it would have on them and their families.

Crystal Lappin, who lives on Deneweth, said she is relieved to hear that another fast food establishment won’t go there.

“I know it’s inevitable that this field is going to be built on, but it’s sad,” she said. “I am a little concerned with it being a two-story building and the privacy of myself and my children.”

North Branch resider Vito Meatte is concerned with traffic in the area, mentioning that he is glad it would have standard business hours.    

“There is a hazardous bus stop on North Branch and Deneweth, and they basically block the street,” he said. “If you have people coming in and out during the day, as long as it’s after school starts, it’s not an issue.”

The second request passed in a 5-1 vote from a residential one family urban to general commercial.

The parcel, located on the north side of Hall Road, east of North Branch Street, is adjacent from the prior mentioned land.

Pete Snyder, of Urban Land Consultants, said the area is master planned as a commercial site and the building would be about 4,000 square feet.

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