NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo Township Board approved a Special Land Use (SLU) for Roger’s Wrecker Services Inc. to operate a Towing and Salvage Business at 10271 U.S. 12 during its Monday, July 20, regular meeting.
The 4-0 vote (supported by supported by Supervisor Michelle Heit, Trustee Pete Rahm, Trustee Patty Iazzetto, and Clerk Judy Zabicki) requires the Special Land Use to be subject to findings, conditions and conclusions of the Planning Commission (which recommended the plan on June 2) and the Zoning Board of Appeals (which OK’d variances related to items such as fence height and setbacks on July 14).
Among the stipulations of the Planning Commission were: Nothing may be stored, and equipment may not be permanently parked in any areas that can be seen above the fence/or building by a person standing 50 feet outside the fence/building perimeter; A business office and other buildings may be constructed and maintained at the front setback line; Failure to control any polluting materials shall be subject to appropriate penalties by the agencies controlling such substances as well as fines by the Township; Storage of vehicles shall be organized so that emergency equipment can easily access all vehicles and buildings. The Local Fire Department shall approve such storage layouts and may periodically inspect the premises; and Vehicle parts shall not be stored on any part of the property outside the buildings.
Also on July 20, the board approved (by a 3-0 vote with Rahm abstaining) a 12-month extension (to Jan. 21, 2022) for Harbor Crossing, LLC, to submit its request for final Planned Unit (PUD) approval for a development at 19701 Kluver Road.
Unforeseen difficulties including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the State of Michigan’s state of emergency and stay home executive orders, and a pending circuit court
appeal involving the PUD Project and the Township’s decision were among the reasons cited for the applicant needing additional time.
Lt. Ryan Sullivan delivered the monthly police report, saying four vehicles (all unlocked) were entered with some cash apparently taken out of them in the Riviera subdivision on a recent weekend. One homeowner saw a suspect at about 3:50 a.m. and discarded property has been recovered.
With the trial road diet removed and U.S. 12 back to four lanes, Sullivan said things seem to be moving smoothly, with perhaps a bit more speeding.
He shared some information on crashes on U.S. 12 from the state lne to the city limits after going over about four years of data. Sullivan said the Sheriff’s Department handled about 18 multi-vehicle accidents (8 rear-end collisions and 8 involving cars pulling into traffic). One head-on and a sideswipe. One fatality and another serious injury. There were 30 car-deer accidents during the same time period.
During road diet he said officers witnessed “a lot of really bad driving,” but no multi-vehicle crashes.
Fire Chief Jamie Flick reported that the Township and City Fire Departments were able to knock down a structure fire on July 11 before it got out of control.
In other July 20 business, the New Buffalo Township Board:
• Approved a supplemental fire service agreement with the City of New Buffalo through Dec. 31, 2020 (Flick said it should help both entities).
• Were told by Heit that a Public Safety Day event is planned for noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, outside at the fire station on Clay Street, adding that school supplies will be given away during the event.
• Were informed by Zabicki that the Four Winds Casino has reported being back up to about 90 percent of revenue following its recent re-opening.
• Agreed to request a speed study on old M-60 from Clay Street to U.S. 12.