By Mike Kruzman /

A new gas station and convenience store in Hartland Township is one step closer to reality despite resident and neighboring business complaints.

The Hartland Township Planning Commission made a recommendation for site plan with special land use application approval, Thursday night. The 6,000-square foot gas station and convenience store with 9 pumps, 3 being diesel, would be located across portions of 2 parcels north of Clyde Road and east of Runyan Lake Road.

A public hearing was held with a few neighbors and the owner of a nearby establishment raising concerns on several matters. One was about the traffic impact this new business would cause near an intersection that is already busy during peak hours. Township Planner Troy Langer noted that the Livingston County Road Commission, in addition to a third party study provided by the applicant, felt that a study was not necessary. It was believed that this type of business does not generate new traffic, but rather diverts nearby and existing traffic.

Another concern was about a wetland that was going to be filled on the property. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy however stated it was an unregulated wetland, and thus no permit would be required. The planning commission also accepted a photometric lighting plan despite worries about potential light pollution. Realtor and Builder Dale Brewer said he was phoned by the developer and said that to him it appears they are trying to bully their way through the process. The construction manager responded to the bullying charge, saying he was trying to explain the project to Brewer, but he took his words offensively and that he is not that kind of businessman.

The project’s parking appeared to be a couple spaces short of the required number, but the way their diesel pumps are configured could be argued to require a couple fewer spaces.

Ultimately the planning commission approved the site plan with special land use application that will now go to the township board by a 5-1 vote.