Two applicants spoke in front of Hartland Township’s Planning Commission on Monday night in hopes of being hired to lead a retail market analysis.

Robert Gibbs of Gibbs Planning Group and Sharon Woods of LandUseUSA addressed the township planning commission to discuss their abilities and answer any questions while applying to conduct a new study in the township. Recently the township has been discussing the current retail demand within commercial zoning areas. The township is considering hiring a candidate to determine what the future demand for retail will be and if commercial districts should be rezoned to residential. Both Gibbs and Woods received 30 minutes to tell the planning commission what they had to offer in terms of filling the position. After each candidate spoke, everyone on the planning commission seemed to agree that while each individual seemed fully capable of doing the job, Gibbs Planning Group would be the best route to go. Planning Director Troy Langer told WHMI that Gibbs seemed to be the best choice due to his proven track record working with other cities.

The planning commission agreed to forward a recommendation for Gibbs Planning Group to perform the analysis. One concern the commission seemed to have towards Woods was the fact that she is the sole owner and operator of LandUseUSA and does not have a team working behind her. The planning commission was concerned the workload would be too great for one person to handle all on their own. Langer told WHMI the price Gibbs bid for the job is around $15,000 while Woods has a bid near $10,000. He said that’s something the board may take into consideration but the price differential didn’t seem to be a concern to the planning commission.

The recommendation will be discussed at the township’s next board meeting and Langer said a hiring decision will likely be decided too. (DF)