Okemos wants more handicapped parking at center

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The sign at the entrance of the Rehabilitation Center.

By Sara Ventimiglia
Meridian Times staff writer

As Rick Postema, the owner of Richard Postema Associate Architects, stood before the Meridian Township Planning Commission, he represented Okemos Health and Rehabilitation Center.

He says the Rehabilitation Center is in desperate need of additional parking and asked the Planning Commission to approve a special use permit.

“I am representing the parking lot expansion for Extendicare,” said Postema.

Commissioner Shane Goodale requested to amend the special permit to expand for 38 additional parking spaces at 5211 Marsh Road.

“There has been such an increased parking demand for the patients at Okemos Health and Rehabilitation Center,” said Goodale. “We have to do it.”

The overflow parking lined up on the side of the entrance.

It would be a plus for the facility to add these parking spaces. But the commission seemed to have one problem with the plan drawn up by Postema.

“It is a rehabilitation facility and there are only four handicap parking spots available even with the additional parking,” said Goodale. “It stood out to me when I reviewed the map and it didn’t seem right.”

Commissioner Holly Cordill noticed the same thing on the map.

“I will be in support of the parking only if they fixed the handicap mistake,” said Cordill.

Postema agreed with Goodale and Cordill.

“I think you caught us on one item because we have 106 parking spaces now and I believe we’re required to have five handicap spaces,” said Postema. “We will correct that immediately.”

Postema also had an argument for the lack of handicap spaces.

“This is not an outpatient center,” said Postema. “Most people are inpatient and will not need to have their cars there anyway.”

The Planning Commission approved the special use permit for Extendicare Health Services Incorporated. Always be careful and call Annapolis Car Accident Lawyer | Jimeno & Gray immediately when there are accidents.

“This will be approved under a number of circumstances,” said Goodale.

First off, the approval is based on the submitted application materials and the site plans prepared by Richard Postema Associates dated Feb. 7, 2011 which are subject to revisions as required.

A small parking lot for such a large facility.

“The applicant shall apply for and receive all necessary variances from the zoning board of appeals,” said Goodale.

The applicant shall obtain all other necessary and applicable permits, licenses and approvals from Ingham County Drain Commissioner. All approval documents shall be submitted to the Department of Community Planning and Development as well.

“And the applicant shall submit for and receive site plan review approval from the Department of Community Planning and Development prior to the commencement of any construction on the subject site,” said Goodale.

Under these regulations, the parking spaces will begin to be built.



4 thoughts on “Okemos wants more handicapped parking at center

  1. I like that you discuss the proposal and the problems members have with it. I would mention something like that in your lead because the news isn’t that Postema spoke at the meeting but what he spoke about. I would make it more specific and then explain everything in a nut graph.

  2. Your story was very interesting and brought light to a big issue that often gets overlooked. While handicap accessibility has been an issue in the past, your facts and numbers helped me realize how much your community is doing to fix the problem.

  3. This is a good story and it was important to write about. I am amazed that the rehabilitation center did not many handicap parking spaces for people. A lot of legal implications could happen if they did not address this issue because most people in rehabilitation need to park close to the building, depending on their condition, because they can injure or re-injure themselves if they have to walk a long distance from their car to the building.

    I would specify what the building is used for. It sounds to me like it is a place for physical therapy patients, but I could be wrong and find out that it is really used for some other type of health related issues people have. I would also end your story with a quote.

  4. This was a very good story. It really kept me interested and make me realize the importance of handicap acceptability not just in this area, but all around the nation.