Request passes for rezoning

Proposed plan is for childcare facility on 22 Mile 

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published March 12, 2019

 KinderCare Learning Centers, a commercial childcare facility, is proposed to be built on this 2.6 parcel of land at the northwest corner of 22 Mile Road and Card Road.

KinderCare Learning Centers, a commercial childcare facility, is proposed to be built on this 2.6 parcel of land at the northwest corner of 22 Mile Road and Card Road.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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At the March 5 Macomb Township Planning Commission meeting, the lone new business item was a request to rezone agricultural space to an office low rise.

The proposed area is on the northwest corner of 22 Mile Road and Card Road. Currently, that 2.6-acre land is vacant. 

Reed Fenton, a principal developer at EIG14T Commercial Real Estate – a privately-owned real estate development and investment firm that develops childcare facilities across the U.S – addressed the commission. 

“The applicants are requesting that the planning commission review this rezoning,”  Macomb Township Planner Patrick Meagher said at the meeting. “In this case, we find that the master plan doesn’t address the office uses, where they belong and don’t belong.”

It was up to the commission to determine if an office is appropriate on that corner. 

The motion to approve the rezoning request passed in a 7-0 vote.

Fenton said the plan is to have a commercial childcare facility, KinderCare Learning Centers, at the proposed location. It would be a single-tenant facility around 11,000 square feet.

Locally, KinderCare currently has four locations in Sterling Heights.

“We’ve talked with the road commissioner about access because we thought if there were to be an issue, it would be some concern over traffic and access, since those are busy roads,” he said. 

Fenton added the intended entrance to KinderCare would be further down 22 Mile Road, not on Card Road, to avoid further traffic congestion.  

Chairman Charles Oliver brought up to Meagher that if “something went south with the intention of a daycare, what wouldn’t fit there?”  

“The O-1 (office low rise) is designed for professional office buildings,” Meagher said. “Outside of that, anything would be a special land use.” 

Oliver said that he asked the question because “things change” and the commission needs to be ready if a change were to happen.

Fenton assured the commission that if there would be a case where it would be turned down due to some kind of variance request, it would modify the plan to become compliant.

“We do have a lease in hand for this property,” he said.   

Commissioner Michael Hardy said that the parcel of land on the southwest corner of 22 Mile and Card is zoned agricultural. He asked Meagher if the decision the committee made would affect that land and wondered if strip malls would be on either side of 22 Mile. 

Meagher said it wouldn’t, only impacting the northwest corner.

“Technically, it could be a multi-tenant office, but not a strip mall. We don’t allow retail in that district,” he said.

The next planning commission meeting is at 7 p.m. March 19.

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