Panera plan waits as planning commission meeting canceled

BIG RAPIDS — Although official plans for Panera Bread were scheduled for discussion during Wednesday’s Big Rapids Planning Commission meeting, the meeting is canceled because not enough commissioners are able to attend.

Mark Sweppenheiser, director of Big Rapids’ Neighborhood Services, said because the commission might not reach quorum for a decision, he was forced to cancel the meeting. Commissioners couldn’t show up for personal reasons or already planned vacations, he said.

Sweppenheiser hopes to have a special meeting to approve the Panera project but no official date has been set.

“We want to get them moving along as quickly as possible,” he said.

Norman Rautiola, owner of the property at 1014 S. State St., told planning commissioners in May about some issues with the entrance and exit onto his property.

Commissioners suggested he add a exit in the back of his property or the property of his neighbors to alleviate some of the problem.

Sweppenheiser said the plans he received do include rear access but the Ferris State University-owned Clark Street.

“I’m don’t know how far they’ve gone in getting approval from Ferris they need to get approval from,” he said.

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