Lyndon Township planners table self-storage plan for 2nd time
The Lyndon Township Planning Commission tabled a plan for a self-storage facility for a second time in two months Thursday night, this time until the township planning consultant had a chance to review a revised proposal.
About 80 people filled Township Hall - this time with about a dozen proponents of the plan - to hear what changes had been made to better situate the facility on the about 7-acre site.
Lisa Allmendinger | AnnArbor.com
The planners must decide if the proposal is “designed, constructed, operated and maintained so as to be harmonious and appropriate in appearance with the existing or intended character of the general vicinity, and that the use will not change the essential character of the area in which it is proposed,” according to the general standards of the township’s zoning ordinance.
They received the revised plans two days ago, Chairman Leon Moore said, and the township's planning consultants did not have enough time to review and comment on the changes.
About 40 people spoke, the opponents expressing concerns about issues such as increased traffic, light pollution, possible environmental contamination from imperious surface run-off, increased crime and the possibly of lowered property values in the area.
Proponents highlighted its economics benefits for the area, including added tax revenue and managed growth.
“I understand a lot of people are against this,” one long-time resident said. “But we know there is a demand for storage and he’s paying taxes on 6-plus acres, he should be able to make some money on it. It’s growth; it’s the times, you need to adjust to it, or buy the property,” she said.
Lisa Allmendinger | AnnArbor.com
Janet Longworth, a Lyndon Township resident, who has lived near the site for 52 years, said she thought the storage facility would be “an eyesore” and was worried that the run-off from the site could contaminate the water supply.
“We don’t have clay protection. We have sand wells,” she said. “If it endangers anyone, you shouldn’t do it,” she told the planners.
Ronny Hamama, who owns North Lake Party Store and a gas station next to the Stofer Road site, addressed a number of the resident’s concerns, including a fear of increased crime in the area.
“We’ve changed the site plan to be more harmonious. We’ve added more buffers and trees and it will be a nice fit and go well in the area,” Hamana said.
He told those who were concerned about an increase in crime in the area, “I believe it will be a crime deterrent,” he said, adding that there will be a 6-foot fence around the site as well as round-the-clock surveillance and an operator on site.
“It will be like a jail without all the inmates,” he said.
He said a traffic study showed that there would be very little additional traffic or noise. As for lighting, it would be "wall mounted and shine down."
He also addressed concerns about what might happen if the facility went bankrupt by giving planning commissioners a professional market study for the business that showed there was a need for a facility of this type in the area despite the fact that there are similar facilities in both Dexter and Chelsea.
“Lyndon Township has opened its arms to me I am your neighbor and I plan to be here a long time,” he said.
Moore said he didn’t want to see “Lyndon Township as the land of mini-storage,” and wanted to be sure that the plan fit the “rural character” of the area.
Architect Peter Stuhlreyer of Designhaus of Rochester, who specializes in designing self-storage facilities, said “from south to north, you will see a form, you’ll just see a barn and the rest of the building will be buried in a berm. It won’t be an eyesore,” he said.
Engineer Terry Baker said in the new design, the front building was shortened by 16 feet and the remaining buildings were shortened by 10 feet. “A buffer was extended all the way around and there are two rows of staggered trees.”
He said that any run-off would go into an infiltration basin that’s designed to hold “two 100-year storms, back-to-back,” which would protect the ground water.
Hamama said he has a petition in favor of the plan with about 400 signatures with about 100 from residents in Dexter and 100 from residents in Lyndon Township.
The issue is expected to be revisited on April 12 at Lyndon Township Hall, 17751 N. Territorial beginning at 7 p.m.
Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.