SALINE, MI-One of the oldest car dealerships in Washtenaw County will move a few blocks down the road, in a reloction that will allow it to triple in size. Saline Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep has submitted plans to the Saline Planning Commission requesting a land use permit for a new location. The dealership, now at 147 W. Michigan Ave. in Saline, wants to relocate about a mile to the west.

The new site, if approved by the city, is a 6.5-acre vacant tract at the northeast corner of Austin Road and Michigan Avenue currently zoned for general business and requiring special land use approval for car sales business. A preliminary site plan shows a newly constructed facility for sales and service totaling 24,675 sf, including 4,760 sf of showroom, 9,770 sf of office and parts space and 10,145 sf of service shop without body work. The new project is valued at about $3 million.

Last year, the city rejected a $4 million proposal to develop an automotive service center–including a gas station, convenience store, car wash and oil change operation–at the site, which is owned by Fred and Barbara Hill. A neighborhood group rallied to stop the automotive service center, joined by the nearby St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, citing traffic, pedestrian safety and aesthetic impacts.

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