CHS, Inc. wins conditional approval for customer service office

CHS Inc., Hamilton Farm Bureau, which has built an agricultural storage products facility on Reno Drive near 133rd Avenue, was given conditional site plan approval to build a 4,000-square-foot customer service office.

The City Planning Commission Tuesday night granted approval with conditions the firm take care of issues brought up about sewer hookup, parking lot landscaping and signage.

CHS in 2012 won site plan approval for an 84,000-square-foot storage facility for both liquid and dry fertilizer, a warehouse warehouse to take care of the dry storage products, or what General Manager Wage Blowers called, “complementary items” on site.

This small facility will be located on Reno Drive near 133rd Avenue at the southern edge of the city limits.

CHS, with locations in Hamilton, Holland, Traverse City and Wayland, serves farmers, consumers and home builders through its agronomy, eggs, energy, feed and lumber businesses.

The customer service office will be on a 21.54-acre site on the south side of Reno Drive, on what City Planning Consultant Janice Johnson of Wade Trim calls “an unusually-shaped parcel.”

“Seventy-five percent of our customers will be driving a semi and a truck of some kind,” said CHS Assistant General Manager Wade Blowers. He added that the small facility will have six full-time employees and as many as eight sales representatives who will come and go according to needs of the company and its customers. The site is near the Norfolk Southern Railroad for shipping.

There are 10 parking spaces required and 25 provided.

The site already has a sign, and local regulations only allow one of the free-standing variety, so any others would have to be wall signs or directional signs.

There also could be an issue on sanitary sewer hookup because the adjacent property owned by Mercantile Bank may have to hook up as well. Blowers said he will have discussions with Mercantile Bank about a possible easement or some other kind of agreement in the future.

The Planning Commission at first considered tabling the request for site plan approval, but then agreed to grant it with conditions that regulations be met later after being examined by City Manager Mike Selden, Johnson or City Engineer Mickey Bittner.

PHOTO: CHS Inc. Assistant General Manager Wade Blowers points to an architect’s sketch of the proposed customer service facility and engineer Jeffrey Oonk of Pathfinder Engineering looks on.CHS reps2

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