The Orchard Lake Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has voted unanimously to grant approval to the Orchard Lake Country Club to construct a chemical storage building near the existing equipment storage structure on the north side of Old Orchard Trail.
City Council member Ann Hartzell, who is a member of the club located at 5000 West Shore Drive off Old Orchard Trail, recused herself from voting on the issue at the Monday, Aug. 20 meeting.
The city’s zoning ordinance permits accessory buildings within Zone 4, with a front yard setback requirement of 70 feet. The new chemical storage building proposed had a setback of 42 feet, 8 inches; therefore, a front yard setback variance was needed to proceed with construction.
“Essentially it’s in line with the equipment storage building that’s there now,” said Director of City Services Gerry McCallum.
Several Shady Beach residents attended the meeting to voice concerns that there could be potential dangers associated with a chemical building adjacent to residential property.
“A lot of dialogue took place, but it was a zoning issue,” McCallum said. “It’s called a chemical building, but it’s just for pesticides for the greens and fairways.”
“It’s a variance — I don’t think we are aware of any immediate environmental issues,” said Mayor Bruce McIntyre. “The things used on the golf course are the same as what are used in yards.”
The club is also required to screen the area on Old Orchard Trail with trees and shrubs.
“Most of the concern expressed by council had to with screening requirements between the road and the building,” McIntyre said.
The club most likely will begin construction soon — it is already behind schedule.
“This is the final step — there were a number of things that preceded it,” McIntyre said. “They are already behind schedule in building (the new structure) because of the special use and variance approvals.”
A special use modification was approved on June 18 for adding a new building and relocating portions of the existing building on the site in conjunction with an infrastructure restoration project.