Residents express concern over proposed storage facility in Lyndon Township
Lyndon Township residents will have to wait until next month to find out if Ronny Hamama will be granted a special use permit for a self-storage facility with an office and a manager’s residence at 9750 Stofer Road.
The township’s Planning Commission tabled a decision after about two and a half hours of discussion and public comment Thursday night to allow Hamama to bring a revised plan which, among other things, will be more harmonious with the surrounding area that is zoned rural residential.
About 35 residents filled Township Hall Thursday night expressing a number of concerns that ranged from the potential of increased crime because of the potential for “the storage of illegal and dangerous substances ” in the units, environmental impacts such as potential damage to local watershed because the site is a unique “recharge area,” increased lighting and traffic.
Residents said that there were at least three similar businesses in the area, one each in Chelsea, Dexter and Scio Township.
Concerns also were expressed regarding the health, safety and welfare of people who live in the area as well as the potential for reduced property values in the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
Planning Commissioners wanted a better handle on what the units would look like, how well they could be buffered from the nearby homes and how they would be placed on the parcel.
“Can the site plan be made to be harmonious and in character with the community?” asked Planning Commission Chairman Leon Moore.
About 15 residents from both Lyndon and Dexter Township spoke, and only one was in favor of the project. In addition, about six people sent emails or letters in opposition to it.
Teresa Blasius, a Dexter Township resident who lives near the proposed facility, wrote “I recognize that there are already commercial facilities with entrances located on Stofer Road. However, those businesses are also adjacent to North Territorial Road and are more closely tied to the small commercial corridor that is located along North Territorial Road.”
Her sentiments were echoed by a number of residents who expressed concerns about the impact the business might have on the value of their properties. They don’t want to see the nearby commercial district encroach on or change the rural character of the area, increase traffic or noise or be in plain view from their windows.
The plan includes eight buildings that would be built in three phases, Hamama said, on about 6 acres that border Stofer Road. Included in the plan is a 6-foot fence made of an opaque material and added landscaping.
The first phase is planned closest to Stofer Road and in total, there could be from 375 to 380 units. Proposed hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
“The front will look like a nice building, not a bunch of garages,” Hamama said, adding that he plans “beautiful landscaping.”
He said that there will be low traffic impact to the area, and he expects his clientele to be out-of-town people who use North Lake. He is waiting on a feasibility study to determine the viability of the business.
“We are targeting the people who come to North Lake seasonally and provide them a safe place to store their toys,” he said.
Hamama owns North Lake Country Store and the gas station next door.
The Planning Commission is expected to continue its discussion on March 8 beginning at 7 p.m.
Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.