February 21, 2022
By Mike Kruzman / [email protected]
Plans for expanding outdoor storage space at a rental business and a hardware store in the canton of Hamburg have been filed by the Planning Commission.
Owner Andy Ward of Ward’s Construction Rentals and Peter’s Hardware recently appeared before the Planning Commission of the Canton of Hamburg to seek a special use permit and preliminary/final site plan approval. The amendment to the existing special use permit would allow the rental company to add approximately 18,000 square feet of outdoor storage space and expand the hardware store’s outdoor sales area.
Township planner Scott Pacheco called it a complicated project for many reasons. The site already contains a large amount of material that is not on the current plan. Although it was originally built before many ordinances were in place, now that the site plan amendment has arrived, the planning commission may compel them to comply, if the demands are judged reasonable. Pacheco said one consideration, if space is an issue, is building a barn or finding another way to store materials on their 4-acre site.
Another problem was parking on site. There are said to be plenty of parking spaces at the back of the structures, but no designated walkway for people to get to the front entrances of the building. One option could be to open a rear entrance or an entrance through an existing greenhouse.
There have also been discussions between Ward and the planning commissioners about the logistics of a sidewalk at the front of the site, as the path in front of the nearby Dairy Queen receives very little traffic and has been referred to as a “sidewalk to nowhere”. Zoning administrator Chris Madigan argued that if they didn’t need sidewalks, every developer would come and argue that it didn’t make sense in their location. Madigan said a network of sidewalks is a patchwork network at first, and if they don’t require them to be installed, it will never happen.
The Planning Commission voted to submit the project so that staff could work with the applicant on these and other considerations.