MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — Another Marshall City Council meeting Monday night was set to determine how one of the future Ford battery plant site’s properties will be zoned.
The matter before the council deals with property south of Michigan Avenue, near 13 Mile and 15 Mile. It was the land transferred to the city from Marshall Township two weeks ago. The board will vote on how to rezone the property where the plant will be built. No matter what decision is made at the Calhoun County Building Monday night, the battery plant is still moving forward.
When it comes to zoning, Marshall city has three industrial classifications: I-1, I-2, and I-3. For this property, I-3 is the one council members are looking at. According to the agenda packet and city leaders, it is industrial but prohibits “potentially unsuitable” businesses, like a marijuana dispensary, from using the land.
Prior to its 7 p.m. start, the meeting was moved to the Calhoun County Commission chambers, where it was standing room only. The vast number of public comments forced the council to take a recess before reconvening, as of 11 p.m. Monday.
The majority of public comments were against the plant, not just the rezoning. One opponent argued the land was never classified as industrial to begin with.
“Do the right thing, as I know you are all capable of. This vote will be with you for the rest of your lives. Please vote no,” said Glenn Kowalski of Marshall Township. “Open up the dialogue that opens up the complete land use. This vote speaks to your character and should come from your heart as well as your mind.”
Meanwhile, those in favor said the rezoning would open the door for the largest wetland-free property run by a singer owner in the state.
“As a parent, owner, property owner, and community leader, I’m excited about this once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunity for our region,” added Marshall resident Derek Allen. “A new manufacturing development of this magnitude will spark billions of dollars of investment into our community and surrounding area. It will also create thousands of jobs, more people working here, means more people spending money here, including in our beautiful downtown.”
The intrigue of the meeting stems from last week, when a joint planning commission voted against the rezoning recommendation. However, the city council could overrule and take it upon themselves to rezone it with a yes vote.
The meeting is still under way as of 11:40 p.m. Sunday.
Ford is holding a virtual information session for residents about the project Wednesday at 6 p.m. over Zoom. You can join here.