Hayes Approves New Dollar General Site Plan

By Dianne Alward-Biery
Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – Site plan review was on the agenda for the April 11 Hayes Planning Commission meeting. That plan was for the new Dollar General store planned for construction just south of Arnold Lake Road on Business Route 127 near the U.S. 127 interchange.

Project manager Ron Hendrickson is overseeing the project designed by Overland Engineering, and he had ready answers for all questions put forth at the meeting. The first question was about the retention pond.

Hendrickson explained that the retention pond size is usually scaled to handle a normal runoff from the parking lot, and
that the one shown on the site plan is half as big as the parking lot.


Hayes Approves New Dollar General

The Hayes Planning Commission surveys the drawings for the new Dollar General site plan April 11. Pictured, clockwise from lower left are
Ron Hendrickson, Karen Laskowsky, Nola Hopkins, Stan Lewis, Ken Hoyt, Robert Buckley, Kim Kennicott, Doug Danberry and Norma Swafford.
(Cleaver photo by Dianne Alward-Biery)

“If it overruns, they’ll have seepage that goes into the drainage ditch out in the front,” he said. “This one has a large runoff area, and there’s a lot of sand up on top of that hill. It’s actually a very large area, and it’s a sand hill, so I can’t see anything ever coming off this site.”

Hendrickson likened the site to a mound septic system, wherein the more sand there is the better and faster it drains. He also pointed out the drainage diagram on the plan indicating that all flow is directed to the retention pond.

Karen Laskowsky questioned whether it would have fencing, particularly noting concern that children could get into the pond and get mired down.

Hendrickson said the amount of sand onsite would indicate water accumulation to be unlikely, thus have very little chance of anyone “getting stuck in it.” He then noted the gradual slope which takes 20 feet to get down to the 5 foot depth of the pond.

“If that place gets wet, we’ve all got a problem,” said Kim Kennicott.            

Hendrickson said the store had already been delivered to the site, although plotting for excavation had not yet begun; three semi-trucks had delivered the materials which had been moved to the back of the lot. Hendrickson said he had built a lot of the Dollar General and Family Dollar stores, and that he expects the building will be complete within 80 to 90 days.

He assured the Commission that in his dealings with Overland, he believes the company does a good job and that 99.9 percent of the time there are no issues.

“I’m here to make sure it all works well for you,” Hendrickson said. “If there is an issue, I’m the first one to pick up the phone and say ‘Hey, let’s fix this.’ I’ve built a bunch of these, and in general they all go up pretty smooth and pretty fast,” Hendrickson said. “We go in, we go fast, and it gets done right and it’s done clean.”

Hendrickson said he expects the building will be complete within 80 to 90 days. He also said his company uses local people as much as possible, adding the carpenter and excavator for this project are local.

The only other concern voiced by commissioners was about landscaping, shrubbery to line the retention pond and trees to meet the ordinance requirement of one tree for every 10 parking spaces. Those elements were included as Laskowsky moved “to approve the site plan as presented with the addition of five trees and 25 bushes that are healthy specimens compatible with the local climate, soil characteristics, drainage and water supply and which are resistant to drought and disease.”

After the plan was unanimously approved, Hendrickson said it was expected the property sale [which had been contingent on plan approval] would be completed April 16. And that if that closing happens, he said there would be surveyors onsite April 17 and 18, and that footings would be going in by the following Friday or Monday.

The Commission also took up its ongoing work on the township’s ordinance. Priority has been placed on putting into place language that would govern development and operation of renewable power generation. Residential requirements had been addressed previously, and at this meeting the focus was on commercial operations. So far, it has been determined that development could only take place on a parcel of 20 or more acres. It was noted that there are 205 parcels in Hayes Township which are 20 acres or more in size, however, it was made clear multiple property owners could join their parcels together to meet that requirement.

An item being considered is distance restriction for wind turbines, such as distance from the airport. There also is concern about sunlight reflected up from solar panels which could be a hazard to aircraft. It was noted that the solar array at the Clare County Transport site was done through a special use permit.

The group reviewed multiple ordinances from other townships to find features to adapt to Hayes Township’s needs. Laskowsky iterated the need to be consistent in the nomenclature used in the ordinance, noting other townships’ use of “type” and “size” as examples of the need to be consistent in the Hayes document.

Members also agreed on the importance of the ordinance addressing site mitigation after wind farm operators close up the site, defective or abandoned systems, and assigning financial responsibility for the decommissioned site.

There also was something of a consensus that Hayes Township should keep R-1 zoning and get rid of the R-2.

The Hayes Planning Commission will continue its work on the solar ordinance at a Planning Commission workshop slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 2. The group will deal with the specifics of wind turbines at a later time.