2018-02-12 / News

Assisted living, used car lot projects approved by Imlay City planning board

By Phil Foley
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com

IMLAY CITY — Gary DeShano, a Gladwinbased builder, moved a step closer to beginning his newest assisted living facility when the Imlay City Planning Commission recently voted to approve the site plan for DeShano’s 40-unit project on the city’s south side.

DeShano expects to begin construction in April on the $3 million project located on a fouracre site on the east side of South Almont Avenue just north of Hickory Square Apartments. He said he eventually plans to build a second 40-unit building on the site.

“We’ve done a market study, DeShano said, “that shows there’s a demand for twice as many beds as we’re planning.”

Lori Ettema, a planner with the Spicer Group, told planning commissioners that engineers with DeShano Development Corp., had addressed all but three of city planner concerns — including signage, a minor driveway drainage issue and plans to upgrade water and sewer to the site.

City Manager Tom Youatt told planning commissioners that his office is negotiating a cost-sharing agreement with DeShano for upgrading sewer and water service to the site, but providing utilities to the site is a city responsibility.

While Lengemann objected to approving the project’s site plan contingent on the city’s planning staff signing off on the developer’s compliance, vice-chairman Stu Davis noted the city has been doing that for 20 years. “I have a philosophical problem,” Lengemann said, “delegating our duty. Our job is to make sure the site plan complies with our ordinances.”

In other business:

• Planning commissioners approved a special land use request by Manhal “Mike” Botrus’ to add a used car lot to Imlay Quick Mart, the Marathon gas station on North Cedar Street at Capac Road.

Botrus told planning commissioners he plans to add an exterior door to an unused office in the gas station and put used cars between the gas station and an unused car wash. He added that he plans to eventually convert the car wash into a mechanic’s shop. Botrus said the two projects would allow him to hire between two and five new employees.

Lori Ettema, a planner with the Spicer Group, told planning commissioners that the site’s B-3 zoning allows both of the uses Botrus is considering as special land uses, but she added, he’ll have to request special land use approval for the garage and both projects will require site plan review by city planners.

“As long as it meets the rules and regulations,” said planning commissioner Mike Romine, “we should allow him to make more revenue with his land.”

Planning commissioners unanimously approved the request.

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