By Benjamin J. Gohs
The Boyne City location of Glen’s Markets is planning some major upgrades to its current facility along Lake Street.
The proposed building addition, drive-through window amenity and 14-by-30-foot cooler have been approved by the Boyne City Planning Commission.
“What they would like to do is enclose a an area in the front of their store that’s kind of where the ice machines are—that’s kind of an open walkway; they want to put a drive-through for the pharmacy … and they also want to put a cooler on the back corner,” said Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson.
McPherson said there are some issues with the plan in regard to the flow of traffic.
“It’s not a normal kind of pattern,” he said
McPherson said the amount of room for vehicles, especially large semi trucks, to maneuver around certain portions of the building—like the area for the proposed new cooler—could potentially cause traffic conflict.
“The one thing about the pharmacy drive-through, I don’t think you have the number of trips per day like you would for a fast-foot drive-through or a bank drive-through, so in that regard you probably don’t have the volume but still the potential (for traffic conflict) is there,” he said. “If there is an issue with traffic moving around this corner there is plenty of additional property where that can be widened.”
Boyne City Planning Commission member Lori Meeder asked if any parking spaces would be lost in the new plan.
Officials from JML Design Group of Traverse City said the provided plan will not reduce parking in the plaza, which is owned by Catt Realty.
The planning commission members asked Glen’s Markets representatives about numerous potential issues related to the plan including whether there would be an increase in noise due to compressors in the new cooler and how the traffic flow would be dealt with.
Officials said there would be no more noise from the cooler than the store already generates from similar equipment and some signage will be erected to help direct drivers to the drive-through route.
“Where I’m confused is … where is your specific design?” said Boyne City Commissioner Tom Neidhamer.
“Because I don’t think we have a problem with it, I think there is enough space, but from an engineering standpoint the details are a little lax.”
He added, “I think that’s all we’re asking is show us exactly where you’re going to have the delivery trucks not interfere with the drive-up lane and the parking and so on and so forth.”
Nancy Roseman of JML Design Group told the planning commission that her firm was looking to get an overall feeling on the proposed project from the commissioners on what would be acceptable.
“We tried to put together a basic plan of what’s there and basic improvements,” she said.
“And we’re hoping that from you this evening we could get further directions to move forward.”
Facade improvements planned are proposed to include some new brick work, repainted gable and some changes to the pharmacy sign and Family Fare sign.
The planning commission approved a measure to go forward with the final site plan amendment with the following conditions:
The city’s planning staff will continue to work with JML on the traffic concerns
Parking at the north end of the property will be changed to angle parking
Striping and signage will be used to help traffic flow
Ensure there is adequate room for cars and trucks to maneuver at the northeast corner of the building
Ensure there is no additional noise due to the new cooler
Install guard barriers at the corner of the new cooler
The motion was approved 7-0; Boyne City Planning Commission member George Ellwanger was absent.