Planning Commission to seek public input on proposed industrial park



GRAND BLANC TWP. — The Grand Blanc Township Planning Commission has set Oct. 7 for a public hearing on proposed rezoning for property slated for a light industrial condominium park.

The 150-acre site, located on Baldwin Road, encompasses two large parcels, about half of which once housed the Trim Pines tree farm.

Together, the parcels currently are zoned Neighborhood Commercial and Medium Density Multiple Family Residential.

The developers, operating under the name Grand Blanc Enterprise Park, are seeking to rezone the property to Light Industrial. An adjacent property currently is zoned Light Industrial, and the township Master Plan calls for the parcels in question to also be zoned Light Industrial.

Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Rhoads & Johnson, served as a spokesman for the developers and outlined the project before the Planning Commission last week.

“Making sure we attract the right things to the community is key for us,” Johnson said.

Automotive suppliers have been eying Genesee County for relocating operations north along the “automotive belt” from Auburn Hills to Flint, he said.

The challenge has been in finding property large enough with access to water and sewer services, Johnson said.

The proposed industrial development represents a “tremendous opportunity” for Genesee County to support the tier automotive suppliers.

“I believe that Genesee County has been an automotive leader and will be for years to come, and I believe there is an opportunity … to attract some of this work that has been going to Auburn Hills,” he said.

The proposed development would use the natural topography as a guideline. Buildings would be constructed toward the back of the site, and a 300-foot to 400-foot buffer would be maintained between the development and adjacent residential properties, Johnson said.

In addition, two wetland conservation easements of about 10 acres are planned along the northwest and northeast property lines, as is a one-acre part setting to the north. Whether the park would provide passive recreational opportunities or play equipment, or a dog park, is yet to be determined.

“We’re trying, in good spirits, to be friendly to the residents,” Johnson said.

The project is anticipated to bring about 1,000 new jobs to the area, as well as considerable tax revenues.