A planned unit development that would lead to the development of a restaurant, a childcare center and a Goodwill store was approved with conditions by the Pittsfield Board of Trustees in March.
The new site, approved by the board 5-0, would be developed on a 4.58-acre site on the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Moon Road. Supervisor Mandy Grewal and Trustee Linda G. Edwards-Brown were absent and did not vote on the ordinance.
The approved project will include the development of a Rainbow Child Care building, a Goodwill store with a drive-through drop-off, a multi-unit retail build and a 5,220-square foot restaurant. The ordinance was approved on the condition that the future tenants mind the safety concerns made by officials at the Washtenaw Christian Academy, located south of the proposed development.
Alicia Ceccarelli, director of operations at the Washtenaw Christian Academy, told trustees that although she supported the development, she was concerned about the proximity between the proposed Goodwill and the school. Ceccarelli said she had previously spoken with the proposed developer about a required green belt of landscaping and a wall between the school and the development.
“The fence that they’ve proposed is a Home Depot wooden fence or a white vinyl fence – both of those are not commercial grade and we feel that for the safety of our children, that fence needs to be a commercial-grade fence,” Ceccarelli said.
The new development, she said, would be located near the school’s playground as well as the student pick-up and drop-off area.
“That is also the entrance that parents use to pick up their kids in the evenings and there can be a lot of noise in the back of the Goodwill store, where there’s going to be trucks, deliveries and drop-offs, up to nine o’clock at night,” she said. “In the winter, it is extremely dark at night there, and those are preschool kids, so for kids to be picked up at night and to not have the maximum amount of barrier doesn’t seem appropriate.”
A representative of Goodwill responded to Ceccarelli’s concerns, telling the trustees they would place a commercial grade fence between the two sites. Before voting on the ordinance, Trustee Gerald Krone asked that the board add a condition requiring the safety concerns between the two parties be dealt with before the final site plans were presented to the township’s planning commission in the near-future.
The restaurant, which would be located on the corner, would be part of phase two of the project. The developer said a decision has not yet been made on the restaurant.