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Michigan family thwarts CUs branch plans
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (2/23/09)--The Grand Rapids Board of Zoning Thursday upheld an earlier decision by the city Planning Commission to reject a credit union's proposal to build a branch because of concerns about traffic congestion. Mike Buwalda and his family opposed Consumer CU's proposal to build the branch, which would have been located behind their home. Three of his school-aged children canvassed the neighborhood and collected more than 150 signatures opposing building on the site (mlive.com Feb. 20). The credit union had hoped to build a branch with three drive-thru teller lanes and two ATM lanes through the back of its site. Opponents argued that a bank branch across the street from Breton Village could create too much traffic congestion in a neighborhood already served by seven bank branches. They also said the drive-thru lanes would create too much noise and headlight glare behind their homes. The zoning board voted 8-0 to uphold the Planning Commission's decision to deny the branch. The credit union, which is headquartered in Kalamazoo and has $262.8 million in assets, told the newspaper it would not submit new plans for the site or appeal the board's ruling, but would "do what's right for the community and the neighborhood."


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