KBIC gas station site plan approved

The proposed Keweenaw Bay Indian Community convenience store on U.S. 41 in Marquette Township took another step forward Wednesday night.

The Marquette Township Planning Commission approved the site plan and special use review for the three-acre property located on the south side of the highway between Gander Mountain and 41 Lumber.

The KBIC now has to go through Marquette County to get further permits to build the convenience store.

“They (the KBIC) has to get other approvals, such as driveway permits from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the (Marquette) County Road Commission, and they also have to get a county building permit from Marquette County,” Marquette Township Planner and Zoning Administrator Jason McCarthy said.

Commissioners said it is not up to the commission to decide whether the convenience store is good the for the township, but rather to decide if the plan meets township zoning requirements.

“In this case, that (the KBIC property) is an under performing site as it currently sits vacant,” McCarthy said.  “Anytime you can rehab or have an infill development and increase the tax space it’s a good thing for the township.”

“When somebody submits a site plan, we run it through a review process that looks for the consistency with the township zoning ordinance and the master plan of the community.  Whether or not they (the KBIC) decide to have discounted gas or anything such as that is not really in our plan review.”

The commission added that the proposed gas station would be the first one on the south side of U.S. 41 in the township.

The site plan, written by Bayland Builders, Inc., included plans for additional buildings:  a car wash and options to add-on to the proposed convenience store and additional gas pumps.  The commission voted to have the KBIC submit new site plans if they decide to expand on the property.