Livingston County Catholic Charities (LCCC) has joined with Genoa Township and Marion Township to oppose variance requests pending before the City of Howell Zoning Board of Appeals concerning a proposed industrial shredder.
In a statement released Thursday morning (and posted below), the entities said that the variances, if granted, would allow a, “massive new industrial auto shredder to be installed in direct contradiction to the current zoning ordinance.” Mark Robinson, Executive Director for Livingston County Catholic Charities, whose facility is located at the corner of Lucy Road and Grand River, said the shredder would, “degrade and diminish the quality of life for area residents and vulnerable adults” who use their treatment services. Robinson contends that because it would circumvent the zoning ordinance, they have joined with Genoa and Marion Townships to oppose the variance requests. Those requests, which will be heard by the BZA at their January 22nd meeting, would allow Padnos Iron & Metal the use of gravel in the storage and parking areas. However, the issue at hand is the request that the company should be able to build the shredder without enclosing it, allowing it to operate in the open air.
In a letter to the city from the Dykema Gossett law firm, attorney Alan Greene contends the Planning Commission decision was not “appropriate” as the company failed to provide adequate environmental and traffic impact documentation. Greene acknowledges that those issues are not before the BZA’s meeting next Wednesday. But he says the request to operate the shredder outside of an enclosed building, which is on the agenda, does not meet the required standards that Padnos would suffer an “unnecessary hardship” or encounter a “practical difficulty” if it were not granted. Greene then asked the board to reject the variances.
The letter is also addressed to Howell Community Development Director Tim Schmitt, who previously said that the original decision by the city’s Planning Commission allowing the shredder can’t be overturned by the BZA. He added that the even if the zoning board was to reject the variances; Padnos would still have the ability to make the necessary changes and proceed without necessarily having to come back for further approval on those issues.