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Thursday, 03 September 2015 23:15

MI Homeowners Oppose Plan to Convert Ex-Library into Car Repair Shop

After years of quiet living behind the Clinton-Macomb Public Library South Branch, residents on a dead-end street in Clinton Township are concerned about the impact of the building’s development.Homeowners say plans to convert the closed library on Gratiot Avenue north of 15 Mile Road into a quick lane automobile service center will have a negative impact on their property values and lifestyle.

Clinton Macomb Library

Residents on nearby Sunnyview Drive are opposed to converting the former Clinton-Macomb Public Library South Branch into an automotive repair facility.

MITCH HOTTS -- THE MACOMB DAILY

“I do not want the extra traffic that could present itself with a commercial building there,” said Michelle Robinson, who bought a house on Sunnyview Drive about two years ago. “Right now, I feel safe, I feel secure, I feel at home. It would be inconsiderate to have a business there.”

Robinson made her comments at the Aug. 27 meeting of the Clinton Township Planning Commission, which was asked to rezone the property from R-5 one-family residential to B-3 general business for a half-acre of land behind the former library.

The small parcel is now home to a 700-square-foot empty house.

The property was purchased, along with the former library, by the Dorian Ford dealership directly across Gratiot Avenue.

Dorian Ford officials plan to renovate the library into a Ford Quick Lane Repair facility, which would perform a number of automotive maintenance services, including oil change, transmission, tires and more.

The library closed in 2014 and moved operations about 800 feet away at the former Slapsticks Billiard Hall, where a new 20,000-square-foot facility now stands.

No plans for the ex-library have been submitted. Dorian Ford representatives say the house on Sunnyview will be demolished and the land will be vacant to serve as a buffer between the repair shop and the residential neighborhood.

Carolyn Dorian, vice president of the longtime Gratiot Avenue dealership, said there are “no plans to access” Sunnyview from the quick lane facility.

“We want to be able to circle around the building because it’s too tight right now,” Dorian said at the commission meeting. “We’d like to move the fence, so that’s the reason for the rezoning. It’s all about moving the fence for better circulation.”

Planners praised to Dorian dealership and its staff, but expressed concern over future uses of the property.

By rezoning the property to general business, the land conceivably could be home to a gas station or some other commercial use in the future, according to commission chairwoman Kirkanne Moseley.

“As crazy at is may sound, that possibility does exist,” Moseley said. “We do know what the future holds.”

Planning Director Carlo Santia suggested Dorian agree to a contract rezoning, where the rezoning would revert back to residential if the property is sold for a use other than the specified quick lane shop.

Dorian said she would agree to that stipulation, and also agreed to submit conceptual drawings to show how the property might look if the rezoning is approved and the land is developed.

Officials postponed action on the item until the Oct. 8 commission meeting.

We would like to thank The Macomb Daily for reprint permission.

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