Site plan approval has been given for an addition to a local hockey facility that will benefit parents and a college team, alike.

Mark Schaffer is owner of the Hartland Sports Center off of Arena Drive near M-59 in Hartland Township. The Sports Center has 2 ice rinks and additional space for gymnastics. Schaffer was before the Hartland Township Planning Commission Thursday night for approval of an 8,000 square foot expansion that would allow Cleary University’s hockey team to move in and call the Sports Center “home ice.” The expansion would be located on the southeastern side of the building in an area that currently houses around 30 spots. While parking is not usually a problem, a few times a year, like when Brighton and Hartland High Schools play in Hockey, it can become an issue. To compensate for lost spots, Hartland Township Planner Troy Langer said they came to an agreement with adding a second lot. Whereas normally the township would require an owner like Schaffer to combine lots, they agreed to allow it via an easement. Schaffer was worried about the currently empty parcel looking like a sea of asphalt.

The new lot has more spaces than they are losing in the expansion and adds an additional entry point on Arena Drive. The center also has parking in the rear, though Schaffer says not many use it. Planning Commissioners recommended signage to help fix that. But that opened up a new problem, when it was discussed how there is a not a lot of lighting in the back of the building. Commissioner Sue Grissim recommended that Schaffer add a light back there for safety. Schaffer was agreeable towards working with the Planning Commission, though all wanted to be careful of increasing the light footprint too far so that it doesn’t become a nuisance to neighbors. (MK)