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Ghent P&Z to consider developer’s request

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Phase two of construction on the site of the former Ghent school tops the agenda for the Ghent Planning and Zoning Commission at its special meeting at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 4, in city hall.

James and Oak Properties has signed the Macomb Group, a Michigan-based wholesale distributor of pipe, valves and fittings, to a 10-year lease of a second building to be constructed on the property, according to property company spokesman Shawn Keeton.

Fastenal is leasing the first building, which is nearing completion. That lease also is for 10 years.

Keeton and Travis Rison attended the Sept. 11 meeting of the Ghent City Commission to discuss plans for the project, but were reminded that they must first meet with the P&Z, which will determine if it conforms to the city’s zoning ordinance.

Rison also came to the Sept. 6 P&Z meeting, but arrived after the meeting had been adjourned and two of the commissioners had already left. He apologized to the remaining commissioners, and said there had been a misunderstanding about what time the meeting was to start.

Rison presented some of the information to the remaining commissioners, who could not offer suggestions or make decisions on the project because the meeting had officially adjourned and there was no longer a quorum.

He said the 6,600-square-foot building would have an overhead door, and behind the building would be a paved driveway where semis would unload deliveries, entering from Fishing Street. Additionally, next to the building would be a 40-foot-by-90-foot “layout yard,” an open-air fenced-in area where Rison said Macomb would store pipe and other materials that would not be stored under roof.

The P&Z commissioners, at that time, told Rison that they had been given the impression that the building would be more of a retail store, like Fastenal. They said that it sounded as though it would be more of a warehouse and office space, and that, along with the layout yard, may not fall under the criteria laid out by the city’s residential/commercial zoning.