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Posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Menards on Jackson Road: Scio Township officials recommend conditional use approval

By Lizzy Alfs


A vacant piece of land on the corner of Jackson and Staebler roads could soon be home to a Menards store.

Lizzy Alfs |

Scio Township Planning Commission voted 6-1 Monday night to recommend approval of a conditional use permit request for home improvement chain Menards.

The conditional use is part of a multi-step process before the Wisconsin-based chain can build a 162,000-square-foot store on a vacant property on the corner of Jackson and Staebler Roads.

Menards was already granted a property rezoning from the township and still needs site plan approval before it can begin construction. If approved, Menards is hoping for a late 2013 or early 2014 opening.


If approved, Menards hopes to open its store in late 2013 or early 2014.

Source: Facebook

“I would really spend time coming up with a good, complete (site) plan; a package you feel is really your best effort,” planning commissioner Jack Knowles told Menards representative Tom O’Neil Monday night.

The home improvement chain, which operates 270 stores in 14 states, is under contact to purchase 62-acres of the 165-acre site off Jackson Road known as the former Farmer Grant land.

The store would occupy about 1/3 of that property and then sell several outlots for additional development. O’Neil said Menards typically solicits proposals from retailers, restaurants and financial institutions for its outlot properties.

“We look at who is not in the area, and then reach out to them to see if they’re interested.”

Plans for the Scio Township store include two access ways off Jackson Road and one off Staebler. O’Neil said Menards is in discussions with the Washtenaw County Road Commission for a signal light at the westernmost access way on Jackson. Plans call for 463 parking spaces.

Planning commissioner Celeste Novak was the dissenting vote Monday night, and she was concerned about whether a Menards store would fit with the surrounding neighborhood. She also didn’t agree that a 14-foot wall should be erected around Menards’ lumberyard and was worried about pedestrian connectivity.

“The conditional use has to be harmonious with the area,” she said. “I’m finding it very hard to see the lumberyard and the back of your building as harmonious with the neighborhood.”

Across Staebler from the proposed Menards is a residential development.

“There isn’t much connectivity,” Novak continued. “I would propose not having a wall there and having a walkway for people to walk through.”

O’Neil said Menards will be addressing some of these concerns when it goes through the site plan approval process. Plans are still preliminary, but he expects to submit a formal site plan in the next two weeks.

O’Neil told planning commissioners that Menards distinguishes itself from competitors via its expansive lumberyard. There is a Lowe’s store about 1 mile east of the proposed Menards site.

“It is an expansion of the traditional lumberyard that’s one of the ways we’ve deemed to distinguish ourselves from a Lowe’s or Home Depot,” he said.

The conditional use request will now go before Scio Township’s Board of Trustees for approval.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Got my fingers crossed for this one... Menards is awesome and the closest one is in Jackson. That Scio Lowes is the worst...poor customer service, limited selection, their prime SPF is usually worse than Chelsea Lumbers #2.

Linda Peck

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

I don't see much pedestrian traffic out that way. Also, a lumber yard needs protection with a wall. I hope that Menard's comes out there and does it in a big way.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

Menards will be a welcome addition as each year Lowes seems to carry a smaller selection of building supplies and a larger selection of giant blowup Santa Clauses.


Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 4:18 a.m.

High Larious.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

Lowes needs competition. But the menards stores are almost too large. They should let you drive your car down the aisles. Or loan you scooters.

Atticus F.

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

Often, big box stores will do anything to keep cometition out, including greasing local politicians who make up any excuse to deny access to a competitor... I'm not saying this is true in this case, but I'm highly suspicious. On a side note, I would ABSOLUTELY love to see a Menards in this area... As someone who rehabs homes, this could cut my operating costs by 20%, potentially saving me $2000/year in materials.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Ms. Novak, please! You don't want them to have a fence around their lumberyard? And they should have a walk through? Where would these pedestrians be walking from and to? Perhaps you could recommend putting a walking path along Staebler Road (often referred to as a sidewalk). Let's get this done. The Jackson Road corridor was designed to handle this kind of development.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Agreed. I thought that was the plan when the road configuration was changed a few years ago. If the Jackson Road corridor isn't a good spot for development, I don't know what is.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

Just so everyone knows what will happen next: the Board of Trustees must approve the conditional use request, then the site plan will go before Planning Commission and then to Board of Trustees. It will probably be several months before the process is complete.

Ed Fenton

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2 p.m.

Don't screw this one up, you lost out on Costo, Celeste Novak needs to step down from that postion and have someone in there that will work for our township, lets hope I dont bump into her at Menards.

Blue Marker

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

Scio Twp. wisely passed on Costco because they wanted to build on Zeeb right where the exit ramp for I-94 west is. That exit is already 30 some cars deep at 5 o'clock without Costco being there. I'm more than happy to drive the 10 minutes to Ellsworth to not have the extra traffic on Zeeb.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

This area tends to be anti-development...............good luck Menards. They'd rather pay high taxes that support development and an expanding tax base


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

Well, other than LOWES, Culvers, the new car wash, the new CVS, the new TSC, the multiple housing developments, the Auto Mall, Panera Bread, Discount Tire and that kind of stuff...They oppose "development", I guess. Maybe you could explain why Scio twp taxes kept going UP as new housing and these other businesses went in, not down?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

Sweet!! Next on the agenda .... how about a Target and some family friendly restaurants like Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel??


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

What residential? Mrs. Novak needs to look at the other corner they sell truck parks & next to that they sell lawn mowers. Don't screw this up Sico, we could of had COSCO remember?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

You need to talk to Kevin Wing and his neighbors if you want to whine about COSTCO. The TWP listened to THEM.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Any word on the Belleville Menards?

Jeffersonian Liberal

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

Must there always be some clueless self important politician standing in the way of capitalism. Mrs. Novak is worried about the neighborhood? There is nothing but commercial buildings and a trailer park. I bet she thinks property taxes grow on trees.

Lynn Liston

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

There are 914 homes in Scio Farms Estates, a mobile home community. The people living in Scio Farms think they live in 'nice' homes, too, and hardly think their homes are 'nothing but'. Some of the larger and newer homes have back yards overlooking Staebler Road. These residents probably think that their quality of life should be taken into consideration, same as the people living in the 'nice' homes on Sedgewood. There will be additional traffic and noise on Staebler, plus the Menard's lumber yard and large warehouse-style building. Why wouldn't local residents want some careful consideration given to this project since it will have an impact on their quality of life?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

AlwaysLate...........You are incorrect. The vast majority of homes on Stabler near Jackson are "mobile homes" and they are packed so close together that most cannot begin to see anything across the road.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

You are incorrect. Across Staebler is a very nice residential neighborhood...built in the 1990's. The trailer park is further west on Jackson Road. Check Google Earth...


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

The residential neighborhood is a "trailer" park. They are not trailers and it is not a park!


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

You're both correct in a way. The trailer park and those "nice" homes both back up relatively close to the area being discussed. Although, the "nice" homes are more diagonal to the space that Menards would occupy and the trailer park homes would be directly across the street.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

The trailer park extends for 1/2 mile south from Jakson the trailers excuse me mobile homes are witin 60 feet od Staebler RD. The nice homes are on a culde sac south of the creek that crosses the road another 1/4 mile down and on the opposite side from the Menards site..


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

The homes/subdivision on Sedgewood Lane is the neighborhood be discussed.

Rabid Wolverine

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Always late, You are incorrect. There is an entrance directly off of Staebler to the park. There are homes which back directly up to Staebler. If you go further south on Staebler, then there is a set of homes on the East side of Staebler....


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

You are incorrect. Across Staebler is a very nice residential neighborhood...built in the 1990's. The trailer park is further west on Jackson Road. Check Google Earth...


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Cross Baker road and shoot for Lima Township!


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Here we go Scio - its only time until the NO vote comes - Time ot look at Pittsfield Township


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Lets hope....