New Meijer development outrages Flat Rock residents

Meijer is moving in and now some of the neighbors want to move out.

They're fighting the mega store, telling the big business to stay out of their backyards.
It's a $25 million investment that will create 300 new jobs and could attract even more businesses to Flat Rock. But not many are thrilled about what will be the city's only grocery store.

A number of Flat Rock residents were left reeling when Meijer began construction on a new site next to three subdivisions a couple of weeks ago.

"It's so close to a residential area," said one resident. "We're going to have way more crime, more traffic." 

And these neighbors say that's not the worst of it. The land Meijer plans to build on, is considered wetlands and it often causes this street to flood.
"You're going to put a huge store here," said Renee Fesenmyer. "Where's the water going to go? it's going to flood all of our homes."

"This is just one gigantic example of horrendous city planning," said Eric Morrison.

Homeowners Morrison say Meijer could've taken up in this empty Kmart building nearby, but city officials say the property isn't big enough.

Morrison says his beef is not so much with Meijer, but city officials who he claims did not warn them about construction or truly consider their concerns.

"They spot zoned this property, they changed the city's master plan after building two brand-new subdivisions (of) $250,000 homes all sold out," Morrison said. "And then they went and changed this zone."

A Meijer spokesman says the grocer received a green light from state and local agencies and will build berms and plant trees to create a buffer zone between the store and neighborhoods

Flat Rock's Mayor Jonathan Dropiewski suggested Meijer's moving into town could increase residential property values.

They however are not buying it.

"No I don't," Morrison said. "Anyone one of your viewers could go to the internet right now and find just the opposite."

"I'm upset," Fesenmyer said. "I'm looking for another house."

Dropiewski said there are a lot of people in favor of the Meijer opening up there which is set to happen in 2016.

Those homeowners who will be closest to it are still trying to find some recourse for Meijer to open up in a different location in Flat Rock.