Hartland Township officials are discussing commercially-zoned properties within the municipality and whether their designation fits, should be reduced, or should be modified.

The township previously hired Gibbs Planning Group to conduct a retail market analysis of the area, which found that the region could support an additional 90,000-square-feet of retail space, three to six new restaurants, and about 15 to 20 new businesses. But officials say that study is just the beginning as they work toward identifying action they’ll take as a result of the information gathered. Township Planner Troy Langer says over the summer the Planning Commission reviewed land within the municipality that’s commercially-zoned and identified regions in which the designation could be changed, noting that the township has over 215 acres of commercially-zoned land that is undeveloped and currently does not have an approved site plan. Langer says the retail market analysis found that the township cannot support that much commercial development, which led officials to consider what other zoning could be implemented there.

The township’s Planning Commission and Board of Trustees came together for a joint meeting Thursday to discuss potential zoning changes to specific areas. The first piece of land that was discussed was 100 acres of commercially-zoned property along Clyde Road on the east side of US-23 that consists of about 50 acres each on the north and south side. Langer says the Planning Commission recommended keeping a small portion of the property commercial, but felt the vast majority of it should be rezoned. While officials did not make a decision on what that designation would be, the recommendation was received positively by the Board at the joint meeting.

Langer says the Planning Commission also identified the corner of Old US-23 and M-59, and recommended keeping that parcel in the commercial category but modifying the township’s future land use map to reflect a desire for a mixed-use walkable community so that it might encourage that kind of development in that location. (DK)