No development activities are allowed on the Thompson Road Corridor for the next six months.
On Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Fenton Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to enact a moratorium for development in the area due to increased interest in the land.
This will give township planners time to develop a subarea plan to address health, safety and welfare concerns before allowing new projects and developments.
Zoning Administrator Michael Deem said their goal is to move away from the mixed use category and develop a more specific plan for land use along the corridor.
“We’re starting to see a lot of interest in development in this area. With new development comes new concerns and as we go through this planning process, we’ve already identified a number of items that will need to be addressed as part of any future developments in this area,” he said. “We need enough time to be able to complete the planning process so we can address these health, safety and welfare issues.”
This includes sewer capacity, traffic issues and incompatible land uses.
Deem said they are “full speed ahead” on this planning process and the moratorium could end sooner. Their goal is to have the planning process done by the end of June.
With this new resolution, there’s now a temporary moratorium on rezoning applications, land divisions, subdivisions approvals, special land use permits, building permits and site plan approvals in the Thompson Road Corridor district.
The moratorium does not apply to maintenance work of existing buildings and grounds, interior work and repair, demolition repair and reconstruction in the case of a fire. There’s also a waiver process. This also does not affect permits granted prior to the moratorium.
Township Treasurer and Planning Commissioner John Tucker said he’s in favor of the moratorium.
“As you all know, I sit on the planning commission and as I look at the agenda every month, I worry and wish and pray that we don’t get any application requests in this area while we’re trying to get it to where we want it to be. I think it’s a good idea to just pump the brakes for a little bit to let the planning commission finish what we’re doing,” Tucker said.
The commission will gather public input and go through the planning process.
Deem said the master plan currently identifies most of the land in the Thompson Road Corridor as mixed use, and it doesn’t include much criteria for which uses should be allowed where. They will narrow this down during the planning process. Uses that might be appropriate at Fenton Road/Thompson Road might not be appropriate in the middle of Thompson Road.
Increased interest in the Thompson Road Corridor is partly due to the township’s plans to bring municipal water to the area.
Clerk Robert Krug said they’re doing a lot of work to bring water to the township, and he hopes they lean toward bringing in facilities that help citizens. He doesn’t want the land use to be completely industrial.
“I think the impact of the water is going to be big,” he said, adding that he hopes they can provide opportunities in dining, recreation, shopping and other uses that residents want.
Supervisor Vince Lorraine agreed and said it’s important to get public input. “The planning commission — they’ve got a lot of work to do. Along with public input, I think we will set forth a plan that the residents will be proud of. Certainly, we’ll see some development,” he said.
Trustee Kade Katrak asked Deem if any companies had submitted applications for projects on the Thompson Road Corridor.
Deem said yes. He mentioned three applications the township has received, including a request from Miller Industries to expand.
“We get calls every day. These are important locations. We have issues with traffic and the capacity of the roads. We need to address those,” Deem said. “The last thing we want to do is put together a plan that’s not supportable by our infrastructure or have uses come in that are going to cut off uses that would be more favorable to the residents of the township.”