Parents concerned by gas station being built near Plainfield Township school

Posted at 5:58 PM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 17:58:47-04

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Some parents are expressing concern about a gas station being built near a school in Plainfield Township.

They say it could become a hazard and are upset they didn’t have a say in the decision.

"I think that a gas station is probably one of the worst things that could go in there as far as safety is concerned for our children, both from patrons that will be frequenting there, traffic concerns and of course the environmental hazard concerns," says Mindy Worley, a parent of two Chandler Woods Charter Academy students.

That gas station is being built right now on the corner of Post Drive and Samarick Avenue, not far from Chandler Woods Charter Academy where nearly 700 students attend.

Some of the parents say the street leading into the school is already congested during pick-up and drop-offs and they're concerned that a gas station will bring in more traffic and strangers near the school.

They also say they weren't aware of the building project until a couple of days ago, but the township supervisor said he's been in contact with the school about this for months now and that they were on board with project.

In a statement, the school had this to say about the project:

"The land adjacent to the school is zoned commercial, so we knew it was a possibility that, at some point, it may be developed.”

They went on to say they will continue to consider their options when it comes to traffic impacts.

But according to a letter from the Kent County Road Commission about the gas station's traffic study, there are no plans to improve the roads in the area.

"The gas station itself wouldn't really make the situation any worse than it already is," said Plainfield Township Supervisor, Cameron Van Wyngarden.

The township says the project's been in the works for a year and was mentioned in two township news letters.

"Part of what we need people to understand is that a lot of decisions were made years or even decades ago and so we need people to be involved in the planning process from day one not at the last stage," Van Wyngarden said.

Still, some Chandler Woods parents are concerned that this lot may not be the place for a gas station.

"I would like to see plans changed for that space, I understand that it's prime real estate being right on the highway in a growing and developing area but I think that a gas station is probably one of the worst things that could go in there," Worley said.

Building has already started on the gas station but there is no firm date on when it will be finished. Unfortunately, according the township supervisor, the time for public comment has come and gone.