Planning Committee advances construction in Meridian Township

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The Planning Committee of Meridian Township began its meeting with an approval request from Consumers Bank to start building another small branch near Hobby Lobby. The approval came with the contingency that the bank moves its proposed building forward and add a one-way drive-thru. 

Nicholas Lokus, a representative of this project, said the company issues fixed issues in its proposal.

“We moved the building approximately 28 and a half feet closer to Grand River. How the drive-through worked out, we had to move it a little shift a little bit further to the east. We eliminated seven parking spaces along Grand River. And moved the ADA access to the west side of the building” Lokus said.  

Once it was announced that the building was going to be moved closer to Grand River, Commissioner Holly Cordill was happy with Lokus’ response. 

“Actually, I just want to comment on the fact that I thought your response was very appropriate, and I very much appreciate your willingness to make those changes. I think they’re well within keeping as much as possible with what we were requesting” Cordill said.

Commissioner Scott Hendrickson offered some constructive criticism about allowing the flow of traffic to run in both directions instead of being one way.

“I think that you may want the free flow of traffic to go in both directions. But generally, I think that if that didn’t happen, there’s enough space in this parcel, entered and surrounding to accommodate the flow of traffic,” Hendrickson said. “So I’m happy with where this proposal ended. And I’m excited that we were able to make some positive changes, together with the applicants. And I look forward to having this join the community.”  

After Cordill and Hendrickson’s feedback, the commissioners continued to speak in a positive way about adding the bank. No one spoke out against the proposal, especially not Tim Schmitt.

“Staff has identified no major concerns that adding this small scale of a building. The original approval was granted, and we believe that this is a good addition as well. Therefore we recommend approval at this time,” Schmitt said.

Construction is going to begin on Okemos Road, specifically from Mount Hope Road to Grand River Avenue, including the bridge on Okemos road. Commissioners brought up the issue of major flooding that occurs at Ferguson Park and surrounding areas.

“It is going to be very difficult [to solve]. Part of this comes down to simply that we’re hitting funding cycles all at once and we’re getting hit from all sides because fundamentally we don’t control our roads. But yes, it’s been brought up and we are going to continue to work with both MDOT and the road commission to try and avoid a situation like we had with Dobie Road and Okemos Road for that couple of weeks that caught us by surprise as well” Schmitt said.

Commissioner Mcconnell brought up the problems of the geographic layout of Meridian Township that can cause more issues when it comes to construction. The Township does not have the usual grid layout. Instead, it is more of a linear layout, causing a lack of alternative routes when it comes to construction. 

“Given the street layout in Meridian township, we don’t have the benefit of a grid. It’s a very linear community with not a lot of alternative routes. So I was just wondering if there was some sort of way that some of these things can be staggered” Mcconnell said.

Annie Heeder

Planning Committee at Meridian Township. All commissioners attended the meeting from their homes in Meridian Township.

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