CORUNNA — A handful of Bennington Township residents made another pitch Wednesday urging Shiawassee County commissioners to deny a rezoning application that would allow a trucking company to build a cold storage/loading facility in their area.
Commissioners voted 5-2 at the board’s Committee of the Whole meeting to advance the motion for a final decision at tonight’s regular board meeting. Commissioners Cindy Garber, R-District 6, whose district includes Bennington Township, and John Plowman, R-District 7, opposed the motion.
Commissioner Gary Holzhausen, R-District 3, noted the county commission has previously approved rezonings for companies that planned to locate along major roads. That’s where, he has said, businesses should be located.
“They aren’t on county roads or back roads, they’re on state highways,” he said.
The rezoning request, by Ohio-based Custom Transporters, concerns land at the corner of M-52 and Tyrell Road. The owner has said his company plans to construct a 4,000-square-foot building and parking lot on the 1.5-acre parcel, which has sat vacant and unused for many years.
The rezoning would change the property from A-2, agricultural production/rural residential zoning, to M-1, light industrial.
Two of the three residents who spoke Wednesday had already voiced similar concerns at a county committee meeting Monday.
They said they believe the rezoning would change the character of their longtime residential neighborhood and dangerously increase traffic.
They said Custom Transporters’ voluntary agreement to restrict any future sale of the land to a similar business could be waived by the county commission, leaving residents vulnerable to a more intrusive industrial use.
Resident Michael McKone said he had negotiated to purchase the property, but was told he couldn’t build the pole barn he wanted on it if he didn’t also build a house. He said it wasn’t fair to disallow his pole barn but allow the trucking company’s building.
Custom Transporters plans to pick up pontoons from Crest Marine, which is also located on M-52, load them onto trucks at the new site and transport them to boat dealers or other destinations.
There will be no manufacturing at the site and no regular staff.