Proposed Trucking Depot Op-Ed

NOTE: The following is an Opinion/Editorial piece regarding the proposed new Truck Depot (see Upcoming Rochester Hills Planning Commission Meeting to address New Truck Depot and Mobile Home Park for background) that was voted on during a August 19 Rochester Planning Commission meeting. The vote ended in a 4-4 split, so it will be brought back at another date. The sole purpose of this post is to bring our readers another side of the story.

To Whom It May Concern:

My husband and I are residents of Rochester Hills and have been for the past 28 years. We live 1 block south of this proposed development on Willowood. We are sending this letter to express the many concerns of the residents that are going to be greatly impacted if this trucking terminal is to be approved. Being that none of you live in this immediate vicinity I would like to enlighten you on a few things about our area and our concerns with this project. You may feel that this is just a few residents that are upset about this project, but let me assure you that their are countless residents upset and angry about this. It is not just the residents that live 500 feet or so away from it.

First off: We deal 6 days a week now with constant gravel haulers, semi-trucks etc. in this area. We get the constant traffic of the haulers for the SOCCRA site that was built in our City and the only benefit the residents get is “free dirt.”  We still get the occasional stench from this site. The sounds of the trucks starting as early as 6 am and going through the whole day is crazy. Dequindre Road is a 2-lane road that is not in very good shape as you may be aware. We also on the Shelby Township side of Hamlin Road have to deal with the traffic that comes from the Messina Trucking Company. That also is traveling through this area at all times. The thumping of the trucks tires when they are slowing down and stopping at the light at times can be very annoying. The shaking of the resident’s homes on Dequindre is disturbing. You may travel through this area twice a day on your way to and from work, but it by no way compares with what we deal with daily. Dequindre Road is not designed to handle what traffic uses it now and we want to add more to it. Not only do we have the truck traffic, we also have the traffic of the Chrysler people that use Hamlin to access the headquarters on Squirrel. At times the back-up during rush hour are enormous. It can be challenging pulling out of your street unto Hamlin or Dequindre.

Concerns regarding this trucking terminal are immense. First and foremost the loss of values that we will suffer to our properties. If you were to be looking for a new home to buy and looked over here and saw a trucking terminal, surely you would look somewhere else. Then we have the concern of this being a 24/7 operation. What will the quality of our lives be? We will not have one day that their will not be truck traffic in our area. At night when we are sleeping we will be able to hear their thumping of brakes on the pavement and noise of them going through here. So all hours of the day this will be disrupting our lives. We also have the safety of the local children to think about here. Their are bus stops up and down Dequindre and Hamlin. How can one of these semi’s stop in time if someone were to wander out into the road?

This type of business does not belong in a residential neighborhood. There current location in Warren is surrounded by all Industrial on both sides of the road, and they are also located on a 4-lane road with a boulevard. They have very quick access to I-696, which as you know is a major freeway. This area offers none of these things. Allowing them to have crushed concrete to park these truck on is another concern of ours. As they pull out onto Dequindre how many stones are going to be flying and landing into vehicles windows and breaking them. We have had 3 broken windshields through the years from gravel haulers throwing rocks up at our cars.

Would this Company still want to build out here if the City was not offering a $750,000 tax abatement? They did not seem to answer that question at the Planning Commission meeting. My guess is that they likely would not. We know the parcel is an existing landfill, which is capped with stone. We cannot be guaranteed by putting an operation of this scale on this site will not cause problems for the residents. Who knows for sure if the dangerous contaminants in the Super Fund Site abutting this property has not leached in the soil. City of Rochester Hills Staff reports the plan is to import soil and fills where necessary and haul away excess spoils to another suited landfill. What are the risks of exposing these things in the air going to do to the residents that live here?

Also in the General Requirements for Conditional Land Uses there are 5 areas of consideration for the Planning Commission to regard in the discretionary decision of conditional land use. One of them being it will not be detrimental, hazardous, or disturbing to existing or future neighboring land uses, persons, and property or public welfare. This project going forward would be totally violating the local property homeowners. This facility will cause us again to lose property value, take away the quietness of the neighborhood (at least what we have left), and cause more truck traffic in an area that is not equipped to handle it.

From what I understand this is the first business that has approached the City to build on this property. What makes this the best thing for this area? We need to form a committee that will work with Brownfield and Green Space to find other alternatives for these landfills. A TRUCKING DEPOT is definitely not the solution to this. One question for you all to consider: Would you want this built in the area where your home is? I am sure that the answer would be no. It is a shame that the City we have always been proud to call our home is now taking our area and turning it into the “Armpit of Rochester Hills.” Would this project be considered in another area of the City where the home values are $500,000 plus.

Thank you in advance for reading this letter, and I hope that you will carefully consider some of the points that we have made in this letter. Putting this business here definitely goes against the City motto of a place where you want to live and raise your family.

Respectfully submitted,

Helene and Tom B.

About Sarah Hovis

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  1. Well said Helene. I believe it will take many more visits to Council and Planning Comm to have your voice heard.

  2. Agreed, on so many counts – they would never try this near expensive subdivisions. I, for one, will be at the city counsel meeting when they next debate this, listing the toxic chemicals that will be spewed into our air from all these trucks. As an asthmatic, it troubles me greatly to think of the increased pollution, and being stuck behind a vehicle belching soot and sulfur into the air during stop & go rush hour. There was obviously NO PLANNING on traffic concerns or congestion. I urge all residents who don’t want to get their lungs, roads, & property values destroyed by this type of business to show up at city counsel when they finally re-debate this. They’ve rescheduled it twice now. They’re trying to sneak it in quietly. Let’s not allow them to give this company the opportunity (& a tax break) to trash our neighborhood, roads and air.

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