The only grocery store in Hudson, Mich., appears close to winning approval for a zoning change that would allow it to expand, but some neighbors object to the loss of several 19th century houses as a result.
At a meeting this week, the city's planning commission voted 5-4 to rezone four parcels owned by the store's owner, Brett Boyd, from office to commercial. Four other nearby parcels also owned by Mr. Boyd already are zoned commercial.
The zoning change still needs approval by the city's board of zoning appeals, which meets Oct. 7. In plans filed with the city, Mr. Boyd has proposed adding 24,800 square feet to Bob's Market House, more than doubling its 23,800 square feet, and expanding the parking lot to include 225 spaces.
The eight properties to be used for the expansion are in the block bordered by M-34, West Street, Main Street, and Railroad Street. They include the site of a former gas station and several single-family houses and duplexes, said Mark Knoblauch, city manager.
“The objections came mainly from the residents of the immediate area who did not want the residential atmosphere of that area to be taken away,” Mr. Knoblauch said. “It was somewhat of a historical argument, somewhat of a changing-the-face-of-downtown argument. It was a difficult decision for everyone involved.”
Mr. Knoblauch said crews were demolishing two of the homes on West Street last week that are proposed for rezoning.
Mr. Boyd couldn't be reached for comment.
Two residents of the block have refused to sell their homes to Mr. Boyd. One of them, Beverly Mullaly, who lives on Main Street, said she couldn't bear to give up the house where she has lived since 1967. If the store expands, her home will be next to the enlarged parking lot.
She believes the supermarket could expand and add parking without removing all the houses. “I wasn't against the Market House expanding their store per se, but they took out five houses on Main Street, which they're going to make now into a parking lot,” she said.
Mrs. Mullaly said her house dates to 1856 and once was owned by B.D. Chandler, a former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.