WESTMINSTER -- An auto parts manufacturer's expansion plan and a developer's design for houses beside a golf course won approval Thursday from the city Planning Commission.
Marada Industries Inc. expects to hire about 60 workers to staff the planned 40,000-square-foot manufacturing building, the first phase of a two-part expansion plan. The building, and a similar one that does not yet have a construction date, will be on the Marada Industrial Campus opposite the Air Business Center on Route 97.
"A lot of positive things are happening in the market," Marada controller David M. Bailey told the planning commission. He said the corporation has submitted quotations on contracts potentially worth $120 million in the past six months.
The market will govern how soon a second 40,000-square-foot building will join the first one, Mr. Bailey said. The corporation hopes to begin construction on the first building as soon as permit requirements are met.
Marada makes parts for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Honda and Jeep.
The new building will be used for light manufacturing, spot welding and assembly of parts on a contract the corporation recently won from GM. The contract is to supply beams for trucks and minivan doors, Assistant General Manager Dan L. Quickel reported in April.
The industrial campus remains up for sale, but Marada executives' intent is to reserve the space needed for a second phase of expansion, Mr. Bailey said.
The expansion may mean a new traffic signal on Route 97 at Airport Drive. Marada will extend the street to the east side of Route 97 and is requesting a signal from the State Highway Administration.
Commission members unanimously approved the final plat for Fenby Farms subdivision over the objections of Hank L. Majewski, owner of the adjacent Wakefield Valley Golf Club.
The approval clears the way for developer Michael Oakes to sign a public works agreement with the city government and record the lots for sale.
Mr. Majewski and his attorney, Nathan Greene, reviewed the history of failed attempts to reach agreement on measures to protect homeowners from stray golf balls. The dispute focuses on one hole of the course where Mr. Majewski sees "a substantial safety hazard" to homeowners from golfers whose balls hook to the left as they tee off.
Mr. Majewski argued that while a golf course architect he retained was still working on a landscaping plan, Mr. Oakes submitted a less comprehensive plan.
Mr. Greene said the developer's plan "was worked out and submitted without our knowledge."
Mr. Oakes countered that he submitted a plan only after the Majewski plan was 30 days past deadline. He denied Mr. Majewski's charge that his plan contains no mounds to act as barriers. In fact, Mr. Oakes said, the plan calls for L-shaped mounds along parts of two sides of the properties. He said the tree-covered mounds would shield the homes and also allow owners a view of the golf course because the mounds do not run the full length of the property line.
The planning commission agreed that Mr. Oakes' plan would meet safety needs when it approved the landscaping plan in April.