Bedford Township residents concerned over future of land near Sterns, Secor

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WTVG) - It's a piece of land that's causing big controversy in Bedford Township.

"I think that all of you folks need to consider the hardship on all of us in this room," said one concerned citizen at the podium to township leaders.

Tuesday the township's board of zoning appeals discussed the modification of a piece of land on the 3100 block of West Sterns near Secor. The parcel in question would be turned into a driveway for a future commercial development, and residents turned out to make sure their voices were heard.

"If you grant this request tonight you open the door for this multi-step commercial property," said another concerned resident at the podium.

Many people in the crowded room said traffic in the area is already bad enough and think further development will only make things worse.

"There are multiple accidents at that corner," said one concerned woman at the podium. "My sister was in an accident at that corner."

Barbara White lost her two kids on July 4, 2018 after they were struck by a driver near the property.

"What kind of drivers will be on our roads?," said White. "Will they be the type of people that will be observant to the children walking down the road or not? Will they have the best interest of our community in mind?"

Others were worried about how a new development would affect property values.

"What's going to be in my backyard?," said one concerned resident. "Am I going to have a business that's going to bring my property values down?"

The property's intended developers, who live in the area, even turned out to show they want to work with residents going forward.

"I don't want my neighbors to be upset with me," said developer John Bates. "I live here. I'm here to tell the truth and put my cards on the table and let the township vote how they see fit."

In the end, township leaders voted unanimously, 4-0, to approve the variance if certain conditions are met, and neighbors say their fight isn't over.

The next meeting about the West Sterns Road variance is set for October 24, 2018.