The northwest corner of Broughton and 25 Mile roads became the subject of a discussion at Macomb Township’s Jan. 25 Board of Trustees meeting when seven residents spoke against rezoning it from residential to commercial.

The northwest corner of Broughton and 25 Mile roads became the subject of a discussion at Macomb Township’s Jan. 25 Board of Trustees meeting when seven residents spoke against rezoning it from residential to commercial.

Photo by Dean Vaglia

Macomb Township residents speak against rezoning

Corner of Broughton and 25 Mile roads rezoned commercial

By: Dean Vaglia | Macomb Chronicle | Published February 6, 2023


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Seven Macomb Township residents spoke against a proposed rezoning at the Jan. 25 Board of Trustees meeting.

Centered around 2.25 acres on the northwest corner of Broughton and 25 Mile roads, the area was zoned as one-family urban residential (R-1) with petitioner Salvatore DiMercurio requesting a rezoning to local commercial (C-1). Those who came to speak against the rezoning claimed the township did not properly inform them of the requested change, and they generally opposed the idea of commercial space in a residential area.

“I have lived on a farm here all my life — 74 years of my life,” said Merlene Thompson, one of the residents speaking against the rezoning. “This is a residential, rural area. People have lived here for multi generations. They have given their time and their life to this property, to their homes they’ve built here. They’ve been here, and then you want to put a commercial complex in. … It is totally out of place.”

The board unanimously voted to grant DiMercurio the rezoning, a decision that came down to several points.

First, the township master plan has the northern corners of the Broughton and 25 Mile roads intersection designated for a future land use as either commercial or office space. The rezoning was recommended by the Planning Commission, and denying the request would open the township up to legal liability, according to Township Attorney Ben Aloia.

“I’m not saying we would lose,” Aloia said. “I’m just saying that it would be very difficult to defend that case in front of a judge.”

Secondly, though speakers did not receive notice of the zoning change request, Macomb Township Planning Director Josh Bocks said mailers were sent out notifying people within 300 feet of the properties and published in a newspaper per state law. Members of the board recognized that this 300-foot distance is not entirely sufficient when homes in that area are so spread out, with Clerk Kristi Pozzi stating she would like to revisit expanding the notification distance.

It was also noted that anything that happens at the site must fall under the types of activities allowed by C-1 zoning, and any work on the site cannot begin without the Planning Commission’s approval. C-1 zoning is also the township’s least intensive commercial zoning. Some types of businesses Bocks said can operate under C-1 without special considerations include barber shops, bookstores, florists and jewelry stores. Drycleaning, hardware stores and non-drive-thru carryout restaurants would need to go before the Planning Commission for a special land use permit in addition to regular site plan approval. Township code requires a physical barrier to be erected where commercial and residential zones meet, and other mitigation measures can be placed on the property by the Planning Commission.

One speaker, Scott Bruglio, accused the board of corruption for going through with the rezoning, which led to members of the board denouncing the claim.

“I am not going to spend the township’s tax dollars fighting more lawsuits,” Trustee Peter Lucido said. “That’s the reason I joined this board; (the reason) was I saw the amount of lawsuits that were happening and amount of things that were happening, and I was sick and tired of it. So for somebody to say that there is corruption on this board, I am 100% offended by that. Myself, I read the agenda, I ask my questions, I make my decision on my own. I am not talking to any developers, I don’t take lunches, I don’t take phone calls saying, ‘Hey, let me talk to you about my agenda item’ — never once in my 2 1/2 years on this board now.”


Parks and recreation
The board also approved the township’s 2023-2027 recreation master plan on Jan. 25.

The plan lays out several upgrades the township would like to make to its parks and recreation properties and its approval allows the township to apply for recreation-related grants.

Some of the projects proposed in the plan include new parking lots at Township Center Park and the Macomb Nature Preserve, upgraded and inclusive playground equipment at Macomb Corners Park and finishing Pitchford Park. Some environmental projects were included, such as finding ways to control flooding at Waldenburg Park and creating a “vegetative maintenance schedule” for the nature preserve.

The Parks and Recreation Department was approved to purchase a new ball diamond grooming vehicle for use at Macomb Corners Park. Three bids were received and the township went with a $26,845 groomer from ABI Attachments of Indiana.


Two appointments were made to the Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 25.

The board approved Paul Mazzara to serve on the board as a regular member and James Gammicchia as an alternate member. Mazzara is a township resident of 47 years and is a service engineer for the Ford Motor Company. Gammicchia is a township resident of eight years and has over 20 years of experience working in municipal governments and nonprofits.

Mazzara will serve a partial term ending Dec. 31, 2024. Gammicchia will serve a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2026.