Construction equipment on vacant lot draws concerns from Ishpeming residents

There are some concerned residents in Ishpeming regarding the zoning use of a vacant lot.  The property is on the corner of Division and Lakeshore Drive, at the site of the former Lofaro’s Market.

Residents claim the property is being used by an industrial business, Lindberg & Sons, on a lot that is zoned commercial.  They voiced their concern to the Ishpeming City Council at its meeting Wednesday night, asking them to stand by the ordinance.

“We feel that when their (the city of Ishpeming) zoning administrator [Al Pierce] gave them approval for that site, he acted out of the bounds of the zoning code,” concerned resident David Vernier said.  His daughters own the Oasis Fuel Station across the street from the site in question.  “There should have been a hearing as to a change of use, as to whether or not they could use it as an industrial site…that did not happen, so they’re violating my rights as an adjoining property owner.  I never received notification or did any of my other neighbors as to what that side was going to be used for.”

Ishpeming Zoning Administrator Al Pierce told ABC 10 that the city discussed the series of uses that would be allowed and not allowed under the ordinance.  Lindberg & Sons is currently working on various projects throughout the city, which is why the equipment is housed at the current site.  They are working on creating a rock and earth wall to hide equipment and to redevelop the site.

Vernier said equipment has been on site since May.

“We don’t want it to become a permanent jumping off site,” Vernier said.  “It’s clearly being used as an industrial site, not a commercial site.  They’re (Lindberg & Sons) are violating the ordinance.  It’s not fair to the neighbors or the businesses across the street.”

Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said the city has been aware that there is a problem, but does not believe the construction equipment was left there to attempt to circumvent laws.  He added the construction equipment will be removed once the projects are wrapped up, but it might take another month or two.