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May 2016

The Planning Commission considers the proposed development of the site

By Site development

HARRISON TOWNSHIP – A local businessman plans to expand his reputation in the local boat sales and service business with a proposed new marina development on vacant land at the northeast corner of Metropolitan Parkway and Prentiss Street.

At a Harrison Township Planning Commission meeting on May 19, Tom Raguso, owner of Sundog Marina/Sun Sport Marine on South River Road, presented his vision for a 795-foot piece of frontage just outside West of Lake St. Clair Metropark.

Raguso was joined by Ted Whittlesey, a commercial realtor with Whittlesey Development in New Baltimore.

But some nearby residents have expressed concerns about the boat sales and service facility, namely altering the habitat and natural look of the area, as well as increased traffic and noise. .

Prentiss Street resident Chris Lanzon suggested that a traffic study be carried out so that the commission can get a better idea of ​​the impact of the proposed development on the area.

“Prentiss (a dirt road) currently sees probably more traffic than any other side street in Harrison Township,” he said, adding that the proposed plan would result in both more commercial traffic and vehicles towing large boats. “And the speed limit is not enforced. I have a friend who lives around the corner (at Helzer Street), and he gets three to four cars in his ditch a year. And the traffic during the summer turns everything into a bowl of dust.

Others in attendance told individual stories of why they chose to move to Harrison Township. Due to the abundance of green spaces and relatively few shopping malls, they believe this new development would diminish the natural beauty of the area, increase road wear, decrease wildlife in the area, bring an increase in noise pollution and creating a hazard for children waiting for the school bus at Prentiss Pointe Apartments.

Justin Saputo, a resident of nearby Nautical Lane, echoed that sentiment and suggested Raguso consider using an already vacant building.

Saputo added that many people living in residential neighborhoods west of Metropolitan Parkway often use its street instead of Prentiss Street due to its rocky condition, with many traveling far beyond the city limit. displayed speed.

“My wife and I moved to Harrison Township not because it’s ‘Boat Town USA’, but because it’s ‘Small Town USA’,” he said. “There is something far more than commercial to lose.”

Raguso, a resident of Harrison Township for 24 years, rented the site where Sundog/Sun Sport currently operates for around 10 years. He said it was time to expand.

“It’s time to take the showroom to the next level,” he said. “We run a very first class operation, a very professional operation.”

Entry into Sun Sport’s sales and service area would be outside of Prentiss. Recommendations to the plan also included a “No Through Traffic” sign and a “No Right Turn” sign at the exit of the establishment.

The marina would have a nautical theme and meet landscaping and fire department requirements. Scheduled hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

John DeWald of Principal Associates in Southfield, the company selling the land, said there are four lots for sale on this site, up to the adjacent cul-de-sac, ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 acres. Lot prices range from $250,000 to $350,000.

He said the site, zoned commercial, is large enough to accommodate a large chain of box-type stores like Costco.

The Planning Commission has cast its vote for the go-ahead to begin construction of the new sales and service center until its June 16 meeting.