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CORUNNA — A proposed mini-storage development in Perry Township is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

Monday, the Shiawassee County Economic and Physical Development Committee unanimously advanced a rezoning request for property at the corner of M-52 and Winegar Road to the county board of commissioners’ Committee of the Whole meeting tonight.

The rezoning request, filed by John and Matthew Slocum, seeks to convert 5 acres of existing farmland to B-3, or commercial zoning, to accommodate a storage facility. The land is currently zoned agricultural/rural residential, according to Commissioner John Plowman.

“There’s been a lot of discussion on this,” Plowman said Monday, noting Perry Township’s planning commission and township board both voted against the rezoning. “(Perry Township is) very accommodating and they like business, but this falls out of their area of where they want business to be, so it ought to be a very good discussion (tonight).”

The rezoning request was initially filed in Perry Township, whose board voted 4-0 against it after receiving a recommendation from its planning commission.

The county planning commission recently voted 5-2 to recommend the rezoning to the board of commissioners, which will make the final decision, since Perry Township land use planning is handled at the county level.

In a letter to the board of commissioners, township Treasurer Troy Parmalee indicated the township’s rejection was based on the fact the rezoning request does not comply with the township’s current master plan and subsequent zoning map.

He explained the township has commercially-zoned land along M-52 — south of Perry — from Beard Road north to Church Road, as well as a mix of commercial land on the west side of Perry on Lansing Road and commercial/industrial between Perry and Morrice, including two industrial parks.

“There remains significant amounts of undeveloped property within these already designated districts as well as similar property in both the city of Perry and village of Morrice,” Parmalee said in his letter to the board. “If that property were to be rezoned B-3, then the assumption would be the entire frontage along M-52 should be commercial up to that point ... This makes a situation where the property is truly spot zoned and could create conflicting uses presently or in the future if the nature of the B-3 use changes.”

Another concern, according to Parmalee, is that rezoning the land along M-52 north of the city could lead to potential traffic issues.

“This is a heavily traveled stretch of roadway,” Parmalee said. “If we do not handle this planning properly in regard to creating designated commercial areas we will have a poor planned mess with sprawl that will eventually result in the speed limit on M-52 being reduced, and (that) will have negative economic impacts on the Owosso area.”

County Planner Peter Preston explained Monday that while the applicants are requesting the land be rezoned B-3, the request is not a straight rezoning.

“The only way a mini-storage can go in is if the property is rezoned to B-3, but (the applicant is) also limiting the uses that can go in there,” Preston said. “As a conditional rezoning offered up by the applicant they’re excluding billboards, social entertainment activities, adult entertainment and food services, so they’ve restricted those uses from the blueprint.”

The board of commissioners will discuss the rezoning request during tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting, set for 5 p.m. at the Surbeck building.

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