Genoa Township is moving forward when it comes to zoning amendments to help spur future development in the Latson Road/I-96 interchange area.

The Genoa Township Board met Tuesday night and unanimously approved an ordinance to amend zoning ordinance in regard to “interchange campus” and “interchange commercial” planned unit development or PUD districts. There was a lot of work involved on the part of township staff, the planning commission and board. Property surrounding the interchange is zoned agricultural.

Supervisor Bill Rogers tells WHMI times have changed with the interchange going in, which didn’t really have any zoning. He says the township is now addressing it, which will assist in identifying appropriate uses in the interchange area and help encourage some development. Rogers says they’ve never had an interchange to deal with before, which is why language is more specific to interchange commercial or interchange campus. He says they can now work within what they have at the interchange and corresponding properties so those can develop versus staying farmland. Rogers added there is also a dwindling retail store industry and a lot of empty buildings so who knows what next best thing will be and the township needs to me more fluid so it can adjust to what any demands might be.

Rogers noted there was a ton of work involved, as well as lots of meetings and public hearings. He says it’s exciting because they know developers and others are interested and the area is now beyond being agricultural so the township can entertain some options. Genoa Township utilizes the PUD process for projects, which Rogers says gives everyone an option at the table to adjust things that are more application specific. He noted the township still has a master plan, which must be reviewed every five years or so, and that plan might be the best vehicle in regard to a next step should other things come up. (JM)