Sodus Township Speedway Project for I-94 at M-139 Advances Another Step Forward

The proposed new Speedway service station destined for I-94 and M-139 in Sodus Township has cleared another hurdle. The Sodus Township Board of Trustees voted to approve the recommendation of their Planning Commission with a couple of caveats that still need to be addressed going forward.

Township Supervisor David Chandler made the motion “to approve the recommendation of the Sodus Township Planning Commission pending the township’s Zoning Board of Appeals approval on three sign variance issues, and pending contact with the Berrien County Drain Commissioner for water runoff issues.”

Marathon Oil and it’s retail arm of Speedway are seeking to establish a new service station and convenience store in the northwest quadrant of the interchange at I-94 and M-139 on the site of the vacant Cosmo Extended Stay Inn that was heavily damaged by a fatal fire two years ago.

The sign variance issues entail a 70-foot tower sign which would exceed township height limits, and both a ground based monument sign and a canopy fascia sign whose surface areas would both exceed current township limits. The Zoning Board of Appeals will take up those issues at a special meeting next Tuesday evening, August 18th at 7pm at the township hall.

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The Township Planning Commission viewed the proposed site plans and heard from company officials on Monday night and gave their  blessing to the project, recommending that the Township Board do the same. You can read more about that from the earlier story at this link:

After the Township Board’s action to approve the Planning Commission recommendation last night, Township Supervisor Chandler was delighted, although he cautioned, “It’s not a done deal yet.” He added, “This has been a project we’ve been working on for over a year and I’m ecstatic. This is probably one of biggest projects Sodus Township has had in many, many years or even decades, and I’m thrilled, but it’s still not a done deal and Sodus Township will be working with the Speedway, both parties, to try to get brownfield tax abatements considered, and I’ll reach out to my local county commissioner in hopes that she could share some insight on that, too.” That County Commissioner is the newly elected Julie Wuerfel who was on hand at the meeting last night to introduce herself to the board and the community.

If the Zoning Board of Appeals grants the sign variances next week, the team at Marathon Oil, Speedway, and the engineering team at DeWitt-based CESO will launch efforts to obtain brownfield assistance to get the project officially underway. Stay tuned.