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Posted on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 5:47 p.m.

Supervisor: 'Costco fits the bill' as Pittsfield Township moves forward on master plan revisions

By Paula Gardner

No final decisions were made this week at a work session to explore Pittsfield Township's future zoning changes - but officials appear to be moving in a direction to allow Costco to build a long-sought store in the Ann Arbor area.

The meeting - a joint work session of the Board of Trustee and Planning Commission where no vote was taken - clarified the direction of the committee working on the master plan revisions, Supervisor Mandy Grewal said.

The images presented to planning commissioners and trustees are available online here.

While the revisions - started in late 2009 - deal with land use across the township, particular focus has come on the 6 commercial zones in the township, and how their eventual rezoning could affect new development.

And among those zones, the corner of South State and Ellsworth Roads - an intersection shared with the city of Ann Arbor - has received the most attention, due to the proposal submitted by Costco to raze dated office buildings and build a new store and gas station. The location is between Airport Boulevard and the Tyner Furniture store.

The Costco proposal was put on hold until officials could conclude the master plan revisions, likely in spring 2011.

As far as that proposed Costco location, Grewal said discussion this week yielded unofficial consensus that the site fit the future vision for the area. (Examples of future land use at the corner can be seen in the presentation starting on slide 16).

costco site plan.jpg
"Yes there is room for retail to go in there," she said. "I think Costco fits the bill - there's room for them going in."

Zoning in that area also is likely to accommodate multifamily housing, a transportation center and an arts or cultural component after the revisions are finalized in spring 2011, Grewal said.

The next steps, Grewal said, is to revise some of the rezoning chapters based on feedback from the meeting, then seek the public's approval via meetings in early 2011. The final plan eventually will face a board vote after a 60-day public comment period.



Tue, Feb 8, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

It is now February 2011. Where is the master plan promised right after the new year started? Where is the approval? When will Costco say goodbye ? Where is the news ? Where is on this?


Fri, Dec 24, 2010 : 8:55 p.m.

It isn't a matter of if.It's a matter of when. Same deal with Menards.


Sun, Dec 19, 2010 : 8:47 a.m.

I'm all for this, and the sooner the better.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 4:59 p.m.

I would like to say building Costco and Menard's will be a tax base and jobs for those in Pittsfield Township. This will help the homeowner, spreading the tax base to pay for schools, fire, police, etc... you get the picture. Regardless if you like a big box store or not. I hope Pittsfield gets on with it, and as far as pushing this to fast, they have been doing this for how many years?? They should have some experiance with planning. I would say however the parking at Walmart is a disaster you can't hardly get out of it. They do need some help there.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

@Jamie I think you're right. When there's a big-box pull-out, it often leaves a huge mess.

John Q

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

"I wonder where those who want this development to be built with some slap-dash planning would feel when real long-term problems occur when the government officials don't practice due diligence. " They'll be the same people back here complaining about what a screwed up mess it is and why didn't the people reviewing it do it right in the first place? Let's get a reality check in place. Costco isn't going to bring a lot of revenues to the Township. It will employ some people with some decent wages and there will be some construction people who will do well on this project. But you would think that this is some massive money maker for the Township. It won't be. For those who have an obsession with spending their money at Costco, are you really that addicted to shopping? It's scary.

Jay Allen

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 10:07 a.m.

Pittsfield Twp classic dragging their feet. Now Menards wants in, Carpenter Road. You'd think they would finally get it.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 9:55 a.m.

Wow, all these comments from concerned citizens really shows there's alot of impatient pushy consumers in the Pittsfield Twp area just clamoring to drop buckets of cash down the retail toilet buying corporate products mainly made in China. I'm glad I don't have to work at this store. I'm also still glad they didn't build what will surely be a big box eyesore selling more junk that no one needs...anywhere near me. Pittsfield can have at it. SPEND SPEND SPEND, people, SPEND SPEND SPEND. Money makes the world go round.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 9:50 a.m.

Even though the delay is frustrating to most (from the comments here)--if the township doesn't enforce certain zoning or cosmetic requirements of these developers, we would have an abundance of disposable structures sitting in our cities and townships that cannot be re-tooled for re-use in the future. So these big box stores come in, set up shop, then pull out and leave us with abandoned structures in 10-15 years that are too big and unstable for another use so they sit abandoned until someone tears them down. I'd rather see some thoughtful design (and of course attention to that intersection) instead of a rush job just to get it done.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 9:46 a.m.

Government can completely screw up what should be a great thing for a community. Look at what Pittsfield did to the Wal-Mart on US-12 near Saline. A total parking lot mess and a totally stupid entry and exit to/from the store. It's as if they wanted that store to fail. Hope they don't screw this one up.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 9:09 a.m.

"...long-term problems occur when the government officials don't practice due diligence" Why should they start now? There isn't space to list the things that need to be done that they don't do. What they do is impede progress by fiddling around at the margins. They will probably force Costo to make all sorts of cosmetic changes while ignoring vital improvements that need to be made to the roads in the surrounding area. I am 100% for a Costco in this area but only if the planning addresses the long standing traffic issues in the area. Having a Costo store there will only be great if you can get to it. Try getting to/from that area around 5:00PM Mon-Fri.

David Briegel

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

GoBlue, The bureaucrats of Scio Twp and the NIMBY neighbors were downright hostile to Costco like they were to MEIJER 30 years ago. I would have loved Costco right behind Metzgers! Pittsfield will Git R Dun!


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 8:28 a.m.

I wonder where those who want this development to be built with some slap-dash planning would feel when real long-term problems occur when the government officials don't practice due diligence. There are usually good reasons for planning by experts. It may seem like forever, but it's really not. We as Americans have this it's got to happen now/drive through mentality and it's to our detriment.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 8:06 a.m.

This story magnafies what is wrong with the Michigan economy. Government is in the way of progress. We have become yackers and planners. Get out of the way, hold all to the rules that exist and please: stop talking and start doing. The election cycle is complete. Making things hard and taking to long is not the formula to keep your jobs secure.


Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 8:03 a.m.

I would have would have liked this store on Zeeb remember the original Costco request...then I could have all but walked to the store...but having a Costco in the area would be great.... Just build it...get on with it....every day Pittsfield plays around with the approval process means another day 50+/- people have to live without a paycheck. Why can't government in Michigan support business?

Tammy Mayrend

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 7:02 a.m.

We've heard about this forever... Just build it already!


Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 7:26 p.m.

Having a Costco in the A2 area is long overdue. I think that there probably has been push-back from area stores such as Meijer and Walmart and others in not wanting the competition for lower prices and good service (not publicized, of course), but hopefully they won't win this one. A2 residents should not have to drive 15 miles north on a congested and dangerous road (Rt 23) to go to a Costco. Can't wait for it to open!