A new dental clinic in the City of Howell has been granted site plan and special land use approval. Heartland Dental is one of the largest dental support organizations in the country with offices in 34 states. Representatives from the Effingham, Illinois-based company were before the Howell Planning Commission, Wednesday night, seeking the needed approvals. The 4,150-square foot office will be situated on a curved plot, on the northwest corner in front of the Kroger’s on Highland Road at Oak Grove. Due to the curved nature of the site, developers face a couple of challenges. One is satisfying the 100-foot setback required by ordinance. However, to meet that, would put the building in a position where parking would be required on all sides of the building, which Schmitt wrote in a letter to the planning commission, that the city did not want to see. Schmitt recommended waiving the perimeter setback requirement. The location of parking spaces, then, would have to be permitted by a variance from the zoning board of appeals, of which the applicant will apply for.

Questions were also brought up about the architect having the right credentials to work and build in the state of Michigan. Heartland representatives said that the paperwork has been submitted and should be approved by mid-January.
The planning commission approved both the site plan and the special land use application with conditions, unanimously. The developer hopes to begin construction no later than July.(MK)