Meridian Township Denies Plasma Center Proposal

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

There will not be a plasma center going in at the site of the old L&L grocery store in the Carriage Hills plaza in Meridian Township.

The township's planning commission voted unanimously Monday night to deny the special use permit requested by DTN Management.

One of the big concerns raised by neighbors was the possibility of crime and the fact the center would be located near Donley Elementary.

Many of the residents in opposition drew comparisons to the CSL Plasma Center currently located in South Lansing.

"This facility next to an elementary school and across from a nursing home is not a proper place for this particular business," said Bree Anderson, one of the residents who organized a petition against the center.

Following last week's public hearing, which had a standing room only crowd, the township received more than 20 letters in opposition to the center and even received one letter from East Lansing School Superintendent Clifford Seybert.

"Many children will and are walking to school along a corridor that takes them past the Carriage Hills shopping center," Seybert said in the letter. "Concerns expressed by our families for the safety of their children and neighborhood warrant additional consideration."

WILX looked into the current CSL Plasma location on S. Cedar in Lansing to see if the safety concerns were warranted.

According to Lansing Police, since 2010 there have been 14 reported incidents occurring at the location ranging from larceny, to destruction of property, and a domestic dispute.

Since 2013 began, there has been just one reported incident, involving a stolen bicycle.

While every incident isn't reported, Officer Robert Merritt said the numbers are still relatively low and the center isn't an area of concern for Lansing police.

Even so, residents were pleased with the commission's decision Monday night.

"They heard loud and clear that a plasma center is not the right business to be going into a residential area and an area so close to an elementary school," said Mike Jenkins.

Jenkins said he looks forward to working with the township to determine a business that would be a better fit for the plaza.

"It's just a real success story of how communities come together and fight for the most vulnerable in the population amongst them," Anderson said.

Though DTN Management has the option to appeal the decision, they will not be doing so, according to Mark Kiselbach, Meridian Township's director of community planning and development.

Calls made to DTN Management and CSL Plasma Monday were not returned.

Neither DTN nor CSL had representatives present at Monday night's meeting.

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