At the July 20 Macomb Township Planning Commission meeting, special land uses and site plans were approved for a proposed Meijer near 24 Mile and Hayes roads. The special land uses were for outside storage and a drive-thru pharmacy.

At the July 20 Macomb Township Planning Commission meeting, special land uses and site plans were approved for a proposed Meijer near 24 Mile and Hayes roads. The special land uses were for outside storage and a drive-thru pharmacy.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Meijer, residents express varying views on development in Macomb Township

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 28, 2021

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Representatives from Meijer view it as a first-of-its-kind grocery store for the company, and in great location.

Some Macomb Township residents who live near where a Meijer store and gas station could be built see it as a nuisance and not necessary.

At the July 20 Macomb Township Planning Commission meeting, special land uses and site plans were approved for a proposed Meijer.

The vote was 6-1, with Secretary Richard Bentley voting no. A special land use and site plan was approved for the Meijer shopping center and gas station.

The special land uses were for outside storage, or displays, and a drive-thru pharmacy.

The development is proposed at the northeast corner of 24 Mile and Hayes roads, east of Comerica Bank, west of Bayberry Drive. It would be bordered by the Goddard School to the northwest of the site.

The store would be roughly 90,000 square feet. Jason Vander Kodde, a senior engineer with Fishbeck, said the store will primarily be for grocery use, as opposed to a supercenter with general merchandise that can be as big as 215,000 square feet.

Macomb Township Planning Director Josh Bocks said in 1989, the property was rezoned from agriculture to C-2, general commercial. He noted that a site plan was approved in 2008 for an over-100,000 square foot shopping plaza, restaurant and nearly 600 parking spots.

About 30 residents spoke at the meeting, many concerned with traffic that the site would generate, emphasizing it should be kept zoned C-2 for a commercial district.

Greg Booton said he moved to the neighborhood to the northeast of the site in March.

“Had I known this was going to be here then, I wouldn’t have purchased that home,” he said.

As a detective sergeant with the Warren Police Department, Booton said he’s seen that the two Meijer stores in Warren are a “breeding ground for thieves.”

He said he gets about five cases a day from Meijer.

“This is going to be an eyesore and loud,” Booton said.

Several residents presented petitions and supporting documents for the township to review.

Earlier in July, the Macomb Township Zoning Board of Appeals approved reducing the number of parking spaces at the store and denied changing the building height.

For the special land use, Bocks said criteria used includes seeing that vehicular and pedestrian traffic shouldn’t be more hazardous than normal at the drive-thru and for outdoor sales, a line that received negative response from the public.

Meijer Real Estate Manager Chris Jones said the store being proposed is a new prototype for Meijer. He said it will employ about 150 people.

Jones stated that Meijer is working on a similar project in Orion Township.

Regarding store deliveries, Jones said it’s about 27 a week, with one or two coming between midnight and 4 a.m. This means it would have similar truck movement as a Meijer supercenter, with less volume of items.

At this meeting, Jones indicated the store will be open 6 a.m. to midnight, but a 24-hour operation is possible. This changed from the July 1 meeting, when he said it wouldn’t be open 24 hours a day. The pharmacy would be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Commissioner Nunzio Provenzano said as a commission, there are certain things it can and can’t do.

“If the proposed use is within the ordinance, by law we have to allow it,” he said. “We can’t tell people how to develop their property. If we want to approve a project that doesn’t meet the ordinance, we can’t do that either.”

He added that the commission is created by a statute, and at this stage of the process, it has certain things it has to do.

“I don’t know if we were led on like a chase, but we were all present at the ZBA meeting and they heard us speak,” resident Ryan Tengler said. “During that meeting, they said to come to the planning commission where the entire site plan will be discussed. What do we do? We bring everybody, voice our concerns and now are told this is not the appropriate place to do it.”

Bocks said Sal-Mar Homes Inc. owns the property, and Meijer can’t split the parcels — one for the gas station, one for the store — until they own it. He said the intent is for Meijer to split the parcels after they take ownership.

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