Council approved a site plan amendment requested by the Brighton Area Fire Department requiring Brookside Mall on West Grand River to install a gate with a Knox lock, to which the department would have a master key, allowing quick access to the adjacent Taco Bell property in the event of an emergency.
Fire Chief Michael O'Brian said in a letter that his department and other emergency responders require a secondary access point besides the Taco Bell driveway on Grand River, according to the rules established by the International Fire Code.
The mall's owners had wanted the driveway access from Taco Bell closed, saying that customers of the fast food restaurant sometimes drop trash in their driveway and the Taco Bell food delivery trucks cut through to the mall parking lot driveway.
The matter also involves a monetary dispute between Taco Bell and the mall, which is demanding compensation for easement access to their driveway. On a 4-3 vote, Council approved allowing the mall to put a locked gate where the driveway is currently located.
The vote was close, with Mayor Jim Muzzin and Council Members Chad Cooper, Shawn Pipoly and Claudia Roblee voting yes and Jim Bohn, Ricci Bandkau and Larry Schillinger voting no.
City Manager Dana Foster said if the two sides resolve their dispute and the mall wants to reopen the driveway, council would re-visit the emergency gate issue.
New gas station gets approval
Council also approved a site plan for Kroger Co. to construct a gas station at the southeast corner of East Grand River and O'Dohery Street. The gas station will have four gas pump islands - which comprise eight fueling spots - an overhead canopy and a 200-foot central kiosk. The property has been vacant for over a decade and was most recently a coffee shop.
The gas station will be a couple of blocks away from the Brighton Kroger Store, which is located in Brighton Township on East Grand River near Whitmore Lake Road.
City Manager Dana Foster noted that Kroger formerly had its grocery store in the city of Brighton, and moved to the township for its new supermarket when it couldn't reach agreement with the owners of the property where it was located. "It's nice to have Kroger back in the city," he said after the meeting.
The Kroger Co. plans to build the gas station sometime next spring, according to company spokesman Jack Knowles.
Brighton landmark to get a make-over
Champ's Pub, a downtown Brighton landmark for decades, is scheduled to have a face lift this fall. The Brighton City Council Thursday night approved a site plan for a new facade for Champ's, located at the intersection of East Grand River and North Street.
Architect Piet Lindhout of Lindhout Associates told council that the facade improvements would include a new ceramic tile veneer, fypon molding, new canopies over the windows and deck, a new cornice and accent lights.
The $75,000 project will be paid for, in part, through a $50,000 Michigan Economic Development Corp. grant. The remaining $25,000 will come via a Downtown Development Authority facade loan agreement with a local bank and private funds contributed by pub owner Dave Beauchamp.
The project will take place this fall, pending finalization of the financing aspect.