On Sept. 7, the Ypsilanti Township zoning board denied the temporary permit extension request of the drive-thru testing site run by LynxDx, an Ann Arbor-based diagnostics company.
Township officials pushed for the site relocation, arguing that it would be more beneficial to be attached to a building instead of in the plaza with the vacant Walmart being marketed to developers.
“The addition of a temporary COVID testing facility in the parking lot adds to the overall perception of this property being underutilized which affects the neighboring businesses and property owners,” reads a memo from township planning director Jason Lacoangeli.
The denied extension comes months after their first violation back in January for skipping part of the township approval process. They then cited the company for zoning violations and issued a shutdown order. After that, however, they paused it since the company could get the needed papers.
The company requested a 100-day extension of the permit, through Dec. 16, to complete the rest of its lease and keep the site functioning while the company tries to find a better location in the area.
“I move to deny the temporary use permit application to permit the operation of a COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Facility located at 2515 Ellsworth Rd,” said Lacoangeli.
The site provides testing opportunities covered by health insurance or free for the uninsured since the federal government ended its nationwide home testing distribution program.
“The need to remain in the location for a time period of more than six (6) months per the Ordinance requirements is a self-created hardship, other viable more suitable areas of the Township are available for the testing facility to relocate,” Lacoangeli said.
The company figured that if they moved to a more centralized site like a church, the testing numbers would go down. On Sept. 12, LynxDx officials decided to close their site rather than relocate their Ypsilanti-area testing location.