On Nov. 8, the Meridian Township Planning Committee unanimously approved a proposal to build a Consumer Credit Union Bank on the lot at 2763 Grand River Ave.
“Ultimately, [Consumers Credit Union] was able to do a lot of the things that the Planning Commission was looking for,” said Chairman Tim Schmitt.
Schmitt said plans include removing parking from the front of the building to be able to move the building closer to Grand River.
Schmitt also said that after the staff’s initial review, construction should be able to meet ordinance requirements from a site planning perspective, and there were no major concerns.
Representing Consumers Credit Union to speak on the topic at the meeting was Bosch Architects employee Nick Lockes. He said they moved the building about 28 and a half inches closer to Grand River Avenue to fit the configurations for the drive-thru lane.
“We eliminated seven parking spaces along Grand River as Tim said and moved the ADA access to the west side of the building,” said Lockes. “We also enlarged the planning area on the south side… when we move the planning area, the parcel got quite a bit bigger, so the credit union alone has about 47% more open space.”
The committee then went on to discuss the changes made to the original plan for the bank.
“I just wanted to say that I drove past that lot, and I think it will be a definite improvement to the looks and feel of that portion of the community,” said Commissioner Gerald Richards. “I think it’s a benefit and I will be voting in favor of the request.”
The board also discussed the modifications made to the drive-thru. Commissioner McConnell had a couple queries about the plans.
“I’m interested in the bank’s current policy on what vehicles are appropriate to use the drive-thru,” said McConnel. “I’ve been discouraged in the past from using those terminals in anything other than a private vehicle and I’m curious what the bank’s policy on that might be.”
Lockes responded to McConnell by saying that there will be a 10-foot clearance for the drive-thru lane. Lockes also said that they are not traditional ATMs in the drive0-thru lane of the bank. There will be normal ATMs where people can drive up and withdraw bills, but there will also be a teller plus system implemented in the lane.
Members can drive up and push a button to be connected via video to a bank teller located in Kalamazoo at Consumer Credit Union’s headquarters. All the money in this system is in the machine, so patrons will be able to deposit or withdraw money.