Todd Williams Michigan 0

Support The Downriver Drive-In

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If you believe that having a drive in theater would be a great addition to our Downriver community, then sign this petition. We currently have plans to construct this theater on the south side of Sibley Road just east of Telegraph in the Township of Brownstown MI. On Monday March 14th the planning commission turned down my plans to construct at this location. The property is zoned B2 that is used for various types of business however they classify a drive in under an industrial class 2 zoning. We asked for a special use permit to allow us to operate this theater on B2 zoned property. We were denied for the sole reason that they believed traffic at 1-2am leaving would create a disturbance to the surrounding community. Other potential issues were used by some of the residents as to traffic increase, noise pollution and visual disturbance caused by our screen.

Here are the facts about this area and their decision:

1. The property is zoned B2 meaning that any type of business that falls under the B2 classification can open without getting any type of variance, special use permits or permissions. One potential business that could open there is a bar. A bar that serves alcohol to its patrons until closing time at 2am. The planning commission essentially said that a bar with people drinking until 2am then exiting onto our road ways is okay but a drive in theater who does not serve alcohol and prohibits it from coming in is not good at 2am. They stated that there would be too much "ruckus" going on. Never once did any member of the commission care to ask me any questions nor give me a chance to reply to their notion of closing time being a nuisance.

2. There were concerns as to the increase in traffic. Here are the facts: Currently there are over 14,000 vehicles traveling down that stretch of Sibley Road ranging from passenger vehicles to tractor trailers. Sibley is a major road that has exits on both I-75 and I-275 and is a major commuting route for travelers. As it stands now, the drive-in that I am proposing would only increase traffic by 3.2%. at the most and this would be during off peak hours when traffic is at it's lightest. The future plan for Sibley Road is to be widened, this information is located in Brownstown Township's master plan. This change is expected to take place by 2023. With such a small increase of traffic during off peak hours, and the future widening of Sibley Road the potential risk of problems due to traffic increase is very minimal. Let's keep in mind that this property is zoned for a business, any business that will have success at that location will have an increase in traffic.

3. The residents within the vicinity believe the noise and sound will be a disturbance to them. First I will show the facts about sound. Today drive-in movie sound is broadcast through FM radio and played within each patrons vehicle, the same as if you were listening to your radio. We fully intend to have rules in place to control the loudness of listening to the movie and anyone that causes a disturbance to our patrons within our drive in will be made to turn it down or leave. Keep in mind that sound dissipates over distance and barriers could be used to eliminate this disturbance. Next I will give you the facts on visual disturbance caused by our screen. These facts also apply to noise as well. The property is completely wooded and our plan is to leave 375' of 60' tall trees on the rear of the property, 250' of trees on the front of the property and 40' along the sides. Of the few homes to the rear of the property that are in eyesight's view, they would have to see over 700' of industrial zoned property and 375' of 60' tall trees to view a screen that does not even reach the height of the trees. To the north, residents would have to see through over 200' feet of business zoned property, Sibley Road itself, and 250' of 60' tall trees to see the back of the screen, there are no residents to the east or west of this location.

These are actual facts that can be found at Brownstown City Hall and images on Google Maps.

We have family out of state that live near a drive-in, whenever we visit we never miss the opportunity to load the cars up with the kids, blankets, etc.. and go enjoy a night outside with a movie. It's such a joy to see all the families having a good time together, the kids playing.. brings back a lot of good memories. . It's unfortunate that our downriver community doesn't have an environment like this for our families to enjoy. I easily made the decision 10 years ago to make it my mission to bring that back to us. Some call it nostalgia.. some say its a thing of the past and it should be left there. I truly believe that there are more people that want this for our community that those that don't. If you would like to bring this back to the community, please sign and share this petition and help spread the word. Thank you for your support!

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