Thursday, May 6, 2021

Van Buren officials seeking public input about ‘Sumpter Corridor’

Plans for the Sumpter Road Corridor between Van Buren Township and the City of Belleville began last week with a webinar hosted by members of the township planning commission.

Township officials are now seeking input from residents, business owners, community leaders and other stakeholders about what they would like to see in the area. Township officials said that following completion of a full update to the master plan in 2020 they recognized more work needed to be done in several key areas. 

One of the most important areas of concern is the south side, including the Sumpter Road Corridor, they said. This part of the township was planned in depth in 2007 through the South Side Master Plan. 

“Based on feedback and direction in that plan, the township has kept its promise to keep much of the area south of Hull Road rural,” explained Van Buren Township Public Services Director Matthew Best.” North of Hull Road, the township planned for commercial future land use to Spencer Avenue and mixed use future land use north of Spencer Avenue. “It is time to hear again from the community,” said Best.

Township officials are hoping for consensus on whether or not people want to see a different future along Sumpter Road south of Hull, they said. The township has already planned for limited pockets of commercial use, including the Citgo gas station and pockets of commercial use near the intersections with Bemis Road and Hull Road. Otherwise, the township has planned for large lot (rural) housing and agriculture.  

Officials are also seeking guidance on how properties along Sumpter Road north of Hull can be better utilized, they said.

North of Hull Road, Belleville and Van Buren Township intertwine. 

“Up until now, the township planned and zoned for commercial use from Hull Road to Spencer Avenue, and even zoned for industrial use to the north of Owen Street,” said Van Buren Township Planning and Economic Development Director Dan Power. “One of the effects of the past planning and zoning is that lots built as home sites were planned to convert into things like retail, restaurants, offices, and even Industrial Uses.” North of Spencer Avenue, the township planned for mixed use.

“The township would like to build consensus behind how this can be achieved, and do so in a way that complements zoning and land use on the City of Belleville side,” stated Power.

Following the introductory webinar on April 28, Van Buren Township Supervisor Kevin McNamara stated, “One of the striking results of the meeting was that there is no consensus yet. We heard from people who want something done north of Hull Road. But south of Hull Road, there are differing opinions on what to do or not to do. We need more input from the community.”

Residents and others are asked to contact Power with suggestions or comments at or (734) 699.8900, ext. 9392.

All feedback collected will be put into analysis and used as recommendations for the project, officials said. At a later date, the township will notify residents of specific scheduled public input activities related to the project. More information and future updates will be posted at RoadCorridor.