Zoning Board gives 1-year extension to landscaping company at Telly’s

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 13, 2020

 Ryan Youngblood, of R. Youngblood and Co., requests a temporary use approval from the Shelby Township Zoning Board of Appeals Jan. 9 to permit his landscaping business to operate from the Telly’s Greenhouse property until Jan. 31, 2021.

Ryan Youngblood, of R. Youngblood and Co., requests a temporary use approval from the Shelby Township Zoning Board of Appeals Jan. 9 to permit his landscaping business to operate from the Telly’s Greenhouse property until Jan. 31, 2021.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Zoning Board of Appeals Jan. 9 approved a request presented by a landscaping company that will allow it to continue to operate out of the Telly’s Greenhouse property for one year.

Many residents previously voiced their concerns with the business arrangement at a Planning Commission meeting Oct. 21. Residents noticed large machines and buildings being built at the Telly’s Greenhouse location on 24 Mile Road, west of Shelby Road. R. Youngblood and Co. had begun storing trucks and equipment for its landscaping business there.

Homes line the perimeter of the Telly’s Greenhouse property, which is an agriculturally zoned property. In 2013, the Planning Commission approved Telly’s to build retail buildings, greenhouses, a concrete parking lot, a barn, a berm and more, but not to run a landscaping company on its property.

During the Oct. 21 meeting, residents expressed their concerns about the landscaping company running out of the property, which had been going on for approximately a year at that time.

Many of the residents stated that they would hear loud beeping noises and large vehicles driving around at all times of the day, many times as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 9 p.m.

Forty-six residents signed a petition asking that Telly’s not be allowed to proceed with the landscaping company.

After hearing the residents’ concerns and seeing the property themselves, the Planning Commission members unanimously denied a request to allow a landscaping company on Telly’s agriculturally zoned property.

During the Jan. 9 meeting, Ryan Youngblood, the owner of R. Youngblood and Co., asked the Zoning Board to allow his company to operate out of the Telly’s location for another year, which would allow him time to relocate to another property.

He said that he moved to Telly’s not knowing that the property wasn’t allowed to have a landscaping business on it.

“So really, unknowingly, I moved into the property with my business,” he said.

Youngblood said he has started to put a plan in motion to move out of the location and into a new location in Auburn Hills.

“What I have been doing is, I have a site plan submitted over to Auburn Hills with the approved, signed purchase agreement. We are trying to purchase a piece of property over there, but everything is in full motion at the Planning Department over in Auburn Hills. I have the full support of the Planning Commission in what is taking place. I go in front of the Planning Commission over in Auburn Hills Feb. 5 and the City Council Feb. 17. We are projecting a start date around April,” he said.

He stated that he had spoken with the Shelby Township residents who were most affected, and said that they had developed a plan that the residents were satisfied with. Youngblood said that George Papadelis, the owner of Telly’s, had signed an agreement that included relocating a mulch pile.

“There are 22 residents that surround the property. I met with three out of the four and addressed any concerns they may have, and all three of them stated that we would like to have a berm built so that we don’t have to be visually looking at the operation, and then another concern was that they didn’t want to have the smell and odors from the mulch and compost,” he said.

He said the berm would be built in the spring.

During the Jan. 9 meeting, residents attended again to voice their concerns.

Gerald Butler, who has lived at his home for 35 years, attended the meeting and said that he was happy that Telly’s wis his neighbor, but in a way, he wished that Mueller’s Sunrise Nursery would have never left. Mueller’s was in business from 1958 to 2009, when Telly’s took over the property.

“But back then, when we looked over the fence, we saw trees and deer,” Butler said. “When you talk about 35 years, there’s going to be changes, and that’s what happened when Telly’s bought out Mueller’s. A nursery is a perfect fit for our neighborhood. I sincerely feel that George was acting in good faith when he brought Youngblood aboard and told him he could rent space on his property. As we know, thankfully, Telly’s was denied of putting a commercial company on a property zoned agricultural.”

He said that neighbors need to step back and look at the bigger picture: They would not want Telly’s to be put up for sale and possibly become a trailer park or apartments. He said that he would be OK with the landscaping company staying for one year and then relocating to Auburn Hills.

Robert Marks, who has lived at his home for three years, said he agreed that there should be a berm along the property, but that an extension should not be given.

“I feel like we’ve heard enough of what is going on back there. A berm should not be a trade for an extension of a year. The berm should have to be put up anyway, just to shield us from what is going on, on the property. I am totally against another year and a half with possible extensions and noise and stuff like that on my property,” he said.

The request was approved by the Zoning Board until Jan. 31, 2021.

Corby Mason, who has lived in his home for 32 years, said he was disappointed in the board’s decision to approve the request.

“I’m disappointed the Zoning Board decided to give Mr. Youngblood an entire year. As a homeowner, we send the wrong message if we gave him any time at all. We only get one chance to speak or comment. We can’t make a rebuttal to Ryan’s comments. Despite him saying, ‘We are a quiet business,’ it isn’t true. His truck traffic is in and out of the nursery several times a day, and who wants to listen to a power washer seven days a week? I apologize to my neighbors because my generator runs once a week for 10 minutes,” he said.

“The sad thing is, if they weren’t so noisy and loud, how would I ever know they were even there? It’s because they make a lot of noise. It’s just ridiculous for anyone to be subjected to this, let alone the smell from the peat moss pile that’s delivered several times a month and stinks for a week at least,” said Mason.

For more information about the issue, call the township at (586) 731-5100.

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