ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (May 15, 2014) – In a five-to-two vote the Alpine Township Planning Commission denied Crop Production Service a Special Use Permit, ending its attempt to relocate to farmland.
The main reason cited for the denial was traffic hazards the new business would bring to Fruit Ridge Avenue. A street that some argue is dangerous enough as it currently is.
The meeting began with a plea from the manager of Crop Production Services to her critics.
“I invite anyone to come out and I will give them a tour of our facility,” said Claudia Arkesteyn of CPS.
The current location of CPS, a fertilizer and plant protection retailer, is in Sparta Township. That’s roughly 5 miles away from the proposed move site to Alpine Township.
It was the location of the proposed move, the 6000 block of Fruit Ridge Avenue, that had most neighbors concerned.
John May lives on the road and spoke during the public comment portion of the planning meeting.
“The traffic has increased on that road,” he said. “I don’t think Fruit Ridge is an ideal location.”
Jim May also spoke Thursday night during the meeting, “There is going to be a serious (traffic) accident there.”
Even Arkesteyn conceded that traffic was a concern. She argued that the spot was the most conducive to serving her customers.
“This is something we are passionate about,” she said. “Helping the grower.”
In total, 14 people came to the podium speaking against the company wanting to relocate to farmland.
FOX 17 spoke with Arkesteyn off camera who said she was disappointed in the board’s decision. She said she’s not sure where the company will go from here. When she was asked why CPS didn’t try to buy other land properly zoned for commercial business she said it was a matter of price.