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Posted on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Pittsfield Township planners: Costco proposal 'moving in a positive direction'

By Paula Gardner


The proposed Costco in Pittsfield Township would look like this rendering.

Costco’s plans to build a store near State and Ellsworth roads in Pittsfield Township are still moving forward, with township planners taking another pass through the rezoning petition at their meeting tonight.

The proposal hinges on rezoning of the property between Tyner Furniture and Airport Boulevard where the national warehouse store wants to build a 145,000-square-foot store.

The rezoning is in a holding pattern until the township finalizes its master plan revisions, Supervisor Mandy Grewal has said.

However, the Planning Commission will be giving Costco additional reaction to the proposed site plan tonight, following reviews by various township departments, in order to keep the process moving forward.

“The Planning Commission should look at this plan in terms of an area plan and give the applicant direction so they can finalize the … plan to bring back for action,” township planner Paul Montagno wrote in his zoning review for the project on March 11.

The plans, wrote township planning consultant Richard Carlisle in his report, “are moving in a positive direction …. However, further modifications to the plans could provide benefits to the community in return for flexibility in the ordinance standards.”


How Costco would look from Ellsworth Road.

Township staff is asking Costco to follow through on several points, including traffic flow on the property, pedestrian access, how open space is used and what the gas station would look like. Lighting, stormwater management and tree preservation also are on the list.

Costco also is making its traffic mitigation suggestions to the township, following traffic studies by both the store’s team and the township, Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor.

Costco’s plan, based on images distributed by the township, call for:

• Adding a left-turn lane to the eastbound I-94 exit ramp at South State. • Adding a right-turn lane to South State at Airport Boulevard. • Building a crosswalk across South State at Airport Boulevard. • Widening the right-turn lane of Airport Boulevard west of State. • Adding a boulevard access drive on Research Park Drive to connect the entrance and exit lanes.

The proposed traffic improvements “are not a final plan,” said Grewal.

The township continues to look at the potential impact from the rezoning in terms of the longer-term effects on traffic and not just immediate changes from the warehouse store.

The municipalities also are working on their recommendations.

“What the eventual mitigation and road plans are remains to be seen,” Grewal said.

The Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. today at Township Hall, 6201 Michigan Ave.

Paula Gardner is Business News Director of Contact her at 734-623-2586 or by email. Sign up for the weekly Business Review newsletter, distributed every Thursday, here.



Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Another Costco article... another article with "happy talk" and no specific timetable. The last time Costco bailed on an area project, the cost to the county in lease payments was $50Million, wasn't it? Their are real risks to delaying these deals and I see no sign from the public officials that they are doing everything in their power to expedite the process, or to communicate specifically what needs to happen to "finalize" the Master Plan. There is no financial downside to the public officials delaying and risking abandonment of the project, but there are real financial consequences to the area in total.

John Alan

Fri, Mar 18, 2011 : 10:14 a.m.

"Finalizing Mater Plan"!!!!!!! OK we have heard this so many times.... it has gotten way too old. This sounds just like an excuse now..... anything that want to happen, the township says:"first we need to finalize the master plan"...... OK OK... give a solid deadline instead of this wishy-washy reason....


Fri, Mar 18, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

If you want to know what a gas station looks like then, drive to another Costco and find out!! What a waste of breath public officials are.. hmm, what does a tree look like in front of Costco, ohh, lets me see a diagram, and what type of tree will it be?? will the squirrels be happy??? oh,no, sorry Costco, back to the drawing board!! lets postpone jobs for another year.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Is the proposal to make Costco pay for all these pedestrian crosswalks? I live in this area and drive by here just about every day and there is little to no foot traffic. The bridges are a waste of money. The additional dedicated turn lanes are definitely needed though, at minimum.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

1. This is Not first Rodeo for Costco 2. Costco have history of saying " forget about it!" 3. Pittsfield leadership should reign in " consultants " before too much damage done. 4. Don't Mess with Costco!

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

Can Ann e-mail me when its time to pitch my tent in the parking lot for the grand opening?


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

It would be nice to add a list of the steps (hoops) and expected time ranges required for each so readers could understand where they are in the process and what is steps need to be completed. Or perhaps just put a diagram of an infinite feedback loop, which seems to be the actual decision making process.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

The design shows no imagination whatsoever. Oh, I thought I was an Ann Arbor Planning Commissioner for a moment. I hope this project promptly receives all approvals and we can add to Pittsfield Township's tax base and quality of life.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

The plans, wrote township planning consultant Richard Carlisle in his report, "are moving in a positive direction . How much of our tax dollars are being spent on "consultants"?


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

These delays will only cause Costco to say forget it. Or maybe the elected officials want to delay until just before re - election so they can take credit. This is a calculated risk. Costco will not put up with this forever - we are now over a year behind. Get on with it.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

As long as we don't end up like Ann Arbor where you can't get anything approved. Mike - I don't remember Ann Arbor rejecting COSTCO. I do remember that COSTCO was going to build in Scio Township.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

Apparently, there were some Scio Township residents who took up a protest on having Costco in the neighborhood and thus stalled plans in the township. I wish that Costco officials would've surveyed our subdivision. We would have led a counter protest! The plans had also included a community park and a very nice layout design set in off of Zeeb Road. Unfortunate that those tax dollars have now shifted to Pittsfield Township, but happy it's still close by! Can't wait!

Basic Bob

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 11:54 a.m.

So Costco still doesn't have the rezoning they need. Any word from the township on the completion of the new master plan?

that's a tuffy

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Not very creative design. Just a big square. Just saying.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

It's a warehouse. Oddly shaped buildings with "pretty" architectural features don't make for very functional warehouses.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

You have a future on the Ann Arbor Planning Commission.


Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

Ann Arbor rejected Costco --- too much traffic and then they cry about lack of money to pay for all of the programs they want? No development + no tax revenue. Then they cry when they have to cut.

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

I don't think Ann Arbor rejected just doesn't make sense for a store like this to locate within a municipality with high property taxes. Scio Township did reject Costco, though.

Tammy Mayrend

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

Until they break ground updates on this Costco are useless. How many times are you going to tell us it's "moving in a positive direction" when nothing is happening?

Paula Gardner

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1 p.m.

Working through site plans does mean that something is happening. Nitty-gritty on stormwater detention isn't exciting, but questions about how the store looks, how the parking lot is configured and what kinds of road improvements will take place all are being resolved now - in anticipation of the (concurrent) rezoning. While some people only care at the end stage, there are people who want a voice in shaping of how the store fits into the community. I also think it's important to keep an eye on the progression of the process in case something drastically changes on the Costco or Pittsfield end later on.