We are always happy to work to answer your East Lansing-centric questions as part of our Ask ELi to Investigate public service reporting! Here are answers to some questions that have recently arrived via our contact form.
Reader question: “It looks like the HUB is adding more retail between the Pizza place and 7-Eleven. Any information about their plans?”
Answer: Dominick Luciano, Senior Vice President of Marketing of Core Spaces, the company that owns of The Hub, responded: “No new information here. We simply added window decals to brighten the space up. I will absolutely reach out if this indeed does change.”
Reader question: “Now that the former Sawyers Pontiac building has been removed, I thought the site had been an approved marijuana distribution location. Lately I heard that it may be student housing development. Any ideas on what might be built there?”
Answer: Scott Weaver, the Building & Code Administrator for the City, says that the recent work there is related to the Montgomery Drain project. That’s the big project associated with the new Red Cedar project across Michigan Ave. from Frandor.
A marijuana provisioning center has been approved for the site of the old Sawyers Pontiac building, but the developers have not yet started work on that project. They recently came to Planning Commission and obtained an extension for their approvals.
Reader question: “Between two residential properties, should the finished side of the wood fence face the neighbor’s property?”
Answer: A check of East Lansing’s zoning code and with those in the know on our zoning code indicates that making sure the nice side of the fence faces the neighbors is seen by some of us as customary and considerate, but it is not legally required.
Reader question: “I see the East Side party store is back open. Was it sold? Wasn’t it purchased with idea of turning it into a marijuana store?”
The property at 1108 E. Grand River Ave. was indeed purchased with the hopes of turning it into a marijuana retail operation. (“My clients didn’t need to open a crummy old beer store,” said the owners’ representative at one public meeting, hoping to get marijuana retail approval.)
However, City Council decided to limit how many marijuana retail operations could be in any given area. In the case of East Lansing’s downtown, four proposed marijuana provisioning centers came forward, including the one at this former party store, and only one could be approved under City Council’s spacing rules. The one that got the prize is at 1234 E. Grand River Ave. That property, a former apartment building, is now being rehabbed for that purpose.
The owners of the party store property tried to get around the Council’s spacing restriction with an appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals, but that failed.
Reader Question: “I went to run at the high school track in the rain this afternoon in the rain and found it locked. Evidently community hours are now only from 7AM to 1PM ‘for the safety of our high school athletes’ according to the sign posted at the gate. I think this is a smart policy but might be something your readers want to know about.”
Answer: We asked Superintendent Dori Leyko about this. She responded: “We needed to set aside some time for our coaches and student-athletes to conduct practice and for our staff to prep for contests, so our stadium will be open from 7:00 am-1:00 pm for community members. After that, it will be secured to prep for games and/or conduct practices. Signs were put up at the stadium, and this information will be in my weekly updates this weekend.”
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