Township cautious with Meijer change

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By Karlee Humphry
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP — Many questions and concerns were surfaced at the past planning commission meeting. Changes are planned for the Meijer on Grand River Avenue, including a new free-standing sign as well as a pharmacy drive-through.

To make this happen, work would downsize the garden center and remodel the front of the building. Roger De Hoek, real estate manager for Meijer, came before the township board to discuss the plans. Due to the size of the project and possible safety hazards, the planning commission has become quite a spectacle.

Planning commissioner John Scott-Craig said, “Selling plants, and selling fertilizer and selling seed; they are fairly large bags. All that has to come out of the garden center. I don’t see where this plan works, because people will be parking and possibly driving through the pharmacy drive-through to pick up these things. We seem to have a conflict there.”

Ody Norkin, also a member of the Planning Commission, agrees with Scott-Craig and said he believes that the location of the proposed drive-through pharmacy could be dangerous for shoppers.

“I recognize that you are competing with other drive-through pharmacies on Grand River, and that is what is driving this decision, but this is still the most dangerous spot to enter the store,” said Norkin. “I see this as a danger for the pedestrians still because that door is the most risky of all doors to try to enter Meijers in terms of pedestrians, bikes, cars and carts.”

The planning commission asked questions about the sign that Meijer would like to add to the front of the building. With heavy traffic nearby, and the large size of the sign, Norkin worries that it will distract drivers.

“We are looking at the ordinance, and possibly downgrading due to the ordinance,” said De Hoek. “Tonight, we just want approval of the concept.”

The Planning Commission asked Meijer to investigate putting the drive-through on the west side of the building rather than the east side to decrease traffic and danger for pedestrians.  The commission will meet again on Nov 8 to discuss this issue and possibly make a decision.

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