The expansion of a homeless men’s shelter and the proposed redevelopment of an old family video into a gas station and convenience store are on the agenda for Port Huron planning commissioners on Tuesday.
Commissioners will review special use permits and site plans for both projects.
The Planning Commission will meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the public meeting room of the Center du bureau municipal, 100, boul. McMorran. Agenda documents can be read online at http://porthuroncitymi.iqm2.com/Citizens/calendar.aspx.
Enlargement of the shelter
Blue Water Area Rescue Mission currently operates a men’s shelter at 1920 24th St. and a nearby women’s shelter. The men’s shelter has already expanded toilets and showers since increasing its capacity of men’s beds over the past two years.
New plans, however, under Helping Hands Ministries indicate another 3,300 square foot addition to the site for what executive director Arnie Koontz has said is an expansion of living space for BWARM clients.
âWe will also be renovating our kitchen and dining facilities,â he said. âWe still stay at 30 beds, but we are doing this to better serve our customers. We’re going to have a day room, or we’re going to have counseling areasâ¦ areas of quiet time where we can meet individuals and their needs.
Last Friday, Koontz said the BWARM shelter has 14 bunk beds and accommodates seven to eight clients per night. Typically, BWARM, like other shelters, welcomes those who leave during the day to seek employment or accommodation and deal with other referrals.
But the shelter added the bathroom before the pandemic began, and over the past 18 months, Koontz has said COVID-19 has delayed implementing additional plans.
The project, which Koontz says will likely cost “around a million more”, requires special use approval as it is zoned in a light industrial district on the western outskirts of the city. According to the site plans, the shelter completed with an addition on the north side would have an area of ââover 7,700 square feet.
Koontz said they were looking to kick off the expansion next spring and it was funded by a mix of fundraising, existing funds, and donations or grants.
Development of a former video store
Plans for the old video store, 1002 Lapeer Ave., would turn the vacant business at the corner of 10th Street into an auto gas station and convenience store.
Claimant Jameel Alhadiss said he’s been looking to make similar conversions on other sites in the state and has been looking into Port Huron’s for the past few months.
Alhadiss said he knew Lapeer’s address was among dozens of addresses where applicants had applied to the city for a marijuana license. But he said he believed his proposal would serve the community better, citing the intersection as a high traffic area.
“So, this is the best place for that, and it is necessary there,” he said. “We’re just going to sell the gas and sell the things they need.”
According to plans, the entrance and the glass monolith from the old Family Video would be removed and a new entrance installed. Other minor changes would be made to the interior of the building, as well as the addition of gas stations and an underground storage tank.
So far, Alhadiss does not own the property but has said he is in the process of buying it. It needs special use permission as the property is zoned for general business.
In addition to the site plan and permit approvals, Alhadiss was summoned to a hearing on Monday before the zoning appeal board to allow less parking than necessary for a gas station.
âIt would take maybe four to six weeks. Eight weeks maximum, âhe said of his construction schedule if approved. It is existing (structures). Not like from top to bottom. The only thing you have to do is (put in the fuel tank), that’s it.
Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ Jackie20Smith.