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Augusta panel OKs rezoning for post office

Mark Thompson-Kolar
The Ypsilanti Press

AUGUSTA TWP. — The Township Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend a rezoning for the building of a new post office.

The proposal requests that a 0.74-acre lot on Bunton Road north of Willis road be rezoned from limited industrial to office-commercial use. The U.S. Postal Service plans to build a new post office on the spot, but law prohibits construction of government buildings on land zoned limited industrial.

"It is a downgrading to a more stringent zoning," said Roger Meintz, a Kalamazoo architect who presented the proposal.

The limited industrial zoning allows research-oriented industrial uses, the manufacture of foods and cosmetics, warehousing and commercial printing. Office-commercial zoning permits no manufacturing, but authorizes business offices and sign placements.

Although the rezoning does not require that the post office be built there, the commission displayed preliminary plans for the new postal center. The planned structure measures 3,800 square feet. The old Willis post office contains only 1,000 square feet of space.

Meintz said the postal service used demographic figures to determine post office floor space requirements. The new office must handle more mail and customers than the old one did.

"the vast majority (47 percent) of the building is for customer service," Meintz said.

The proposal still must go before the Township Board for final approval.