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Posted on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Menards on Jackson: Scio Township Planning Commission offers critique on site plan

By Lizzy Alfs


The front elevation rendering of the proposed Menards building in Scio Township. Only a portion of the store is shown.

Courtesy of Menards

Scio Township Planning Commissioners weighed in Monday night on a site plan proposal for a Menards store on the corner of Jackson and Staebler roads.

The Wisconsin-based home improvement chain intends to purchase 62 acres of the 165-acre site known as the former Farmer Grant property. A roughly 160,000-square-foot Menards store and lumberyard would occupy about 1/3 of the purchased site, leaving room for additional outlot development surrounding the store.

“We’re really looking forward to your support and getting going with the project,” Menards spokesman Tom O’Neil told commissioners on Monday.

Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the plan, subject to several revisions. Menards has to resubmit the plan and then the Scio Township’s Board of Trustees will consider it in the coming weeks.

Menards was granted a property rezoning and a conditional use permit last year. Site plan approval is the final hurdle before the company can move forward with the project.


Menards wants to build a store on the vacant property on the corner of Jackson and Staebler roads.

Lizzy Alfs |

“It’s getting pretty solid looking,” commissioner Allison Arscott said Monday night.

The commissioners did raise a few issues with the site plan, including whether a public easement could be provided along Honey Creek and whether the parking is effectively configured.

The site plan shows the Menards store would be set back from Jackson Road, with a parking lot in the front and a warehouse behind the store. The company could then sell four outlot properties.

Plans include two access ways off Jackson Road and one off Staebler. A traffic light is proposed at the westernmost access way on Jackson.

Menards has provided about 450 parking spaces in the plans, but 618 are required under township ordinance. O’Neil said Menards is confident in the amount of parking provided, and cited several similar Michigan and Ohio Menards stores with the same amount of parking it's proposing at the Scio Township store.

“I think the final number that we’re going to provide is a little bit in flux. We’re going to make some additional change,” O’Neil told on Tuesday.

Arscott said she’s happy with the amount of parking provided, but suggested including a landscape island that would separate the western access drive and the parking area.

“The parking, I’m fine with,” she said. “The less you think you can get away with, I’m all for it.”

Commissioner Jack Knowles suggested Menards and the township draft some sort of development agreement or binding document that would address a public easement along Honey Creek.

Arscott added: “I’d like some kind of language that keeps that possibility open.”

When Menards resubmits its site plan, O’Neil said the company does intend to provide an agreement for a north-south crossing of Honey Creek that could eventually lead to a pedestrian walkway on the south side. He said the new plan will also address concerns about a landscape island.


Menards' Scio Township site plan shows the four outlot redevelopment areas in green. (The outlot on the right is partially cut off)

Lizzy Alfs |

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



Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

I hope the Scio Township Board of Trustees carefully reviews Medards' multitude of environmental violations (including polluting streams near some of the stores' locations) before granting the final site approval.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Wish something like that would come to our end of Ypsilanti. Would totally spruce up the place.

greg s

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

About time home depot and lowes had some competition.

Rabid Wolverine

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

They do...eachother...


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 11:28 a.m.

Some of you don't want Menards moving in. Now you know how I felt when you moved into my neighborhood.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

Hopefully, Scio won't over-regulate this project too much and scare off another large employer. I'm sure Menards is right on the parking issue. Don't put in way more than is needed like in the ocean of asphalt around the Meier's down the road.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Putting an island in to separate the parking from the access road will make it more complex for people who normally don't pull trailers to do so into the store parking lot to pick up large items. I think one access road should be very clear for that reason. People who routinely pull trailers should not have much of an issue with an island, but someone who borrowed a trailer to go get something may end up hung up on the turns.

Ann English

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 12:47 a.m.

Trailers have been in the news recently, and other readers have displayed their knowledge of trailer hitch safety and efficiency. Even at the low speeds used on access roads, as you say, skill is needed.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

Check out this article:


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

This guy sounds like a real jerk.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.



Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

That's a pretty damning story. I'd encourage everyone to read it.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

I won't be shopping there. Mr. Menard has no respect for anyone or anything. Family, friends, workers, he drove them all into the ground for money. Truly a sick individual. Costco would have been a much better fit.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

I agree, Westfringe, and won't be spending any of my money there either.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

I'm all for less (environmentally unsound) paving. We welcome this store and will be customers.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

I meant to reply, but voted 'up' by mistake. If you're really concerned about the "environmentally unsound", you might want to familiarize yourself with Menards' considerable environmental violations. Many are documented in Westfringe's link below.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

Sounds good -- finish the revised plans and get it in.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

Why are you in such a big hurry for this big box store to go in? I am glad the commissioners are taking their time to make a decision.