MEMBERS PRESENT:    Gregory Adkins, Jerry Deming, David Ginis, Joe Kozuch, Jon Lynch, Clifford Miles and Clinton Struthers

      MEMBERS ABSENT:          None                     

      STAFF PRESENT:          Keith Baker, Planning Director, Debbie Marquardt, Technical Secretary, and Heidi Saidizand, Chamber of Commerce and one other


It was moved by Struthers and supported by Deming to approve the minutes of the October 15, 2008 meeting as presented.  Motion was unanimously approved.

3.   PUBLIC COMMENTS  (unrelated to items on the agenda)




a.    PPS ‘Center City’ Process


Heidi Saidizand gave a verbal historical overview as how they came together as of today.  A couple of years ago a group of community leaders in Midland got together for ways to pull the community together.  They brought a company in called Project for Public Spaces, PPS, on how to make some of these things happen.  The larger group took on the Ashman Circle and the South Saginaw Corridor. That was where it started from.  The chamber was involved and agreed to put a staff position in place to start that about two years ago. 


b.    Naming of authority


Heidi Saidizand stated at the last meeting the official name that was given to the group was Corridor Improvement Authority.  Everyone has been referring to this area as Center City and using the name interchangeably.  She looked up all the corridor authorities she could find.  Some name it for a street or a township or district that everyone in the community is familiar with. 


Dave Ginis has been thinking about that as well.  Joe Kozuch thinks they should have Center City in the name somewhere.  They could add it Center City Corridor Improvement Authority plus the City of Midland but Center City needs to be included.


Greg Adkins agrees that they have been marketing it as Center City on brochures, posters and maps.  He would like to keep it simple. 


Clinton Struthers asked if there is any legal concern about the name.


Keith Baker noted that to formally adopt a different name they would have to take to City Council in a form of an ordinance.


Jon Lynch thinks they need a name that would be marketable.  The DDA has an image of downtown.  He feels they can call themselves anything they want and if it is simply a marketing effort they may decide to do that.  There is no legal requirement.  Center City has been up and running since the PPS.


Dave Ginis stated two possibilities Center City Authority and also Center City Improvement Authority.


Greg Adkins likes simple so he agrees with Center City Improvement Authority and the Center City is the key.


Jerry Deming asked if the name change can take place.  Jon Lynch stated that when you talk about identifying a marketing logo so people understand what they are doing they can call themselves whatever they want.


Moved by Adkins, seconded by Struthers to approve Center City Authority.


They can adopt a motion and if sometime in the future they would like to change the ordinance they can.  They will check to see if the bylaws will need to be changed.


Motion passed unanimously.


5.   NEW BUSINESS (unrelated to items on the agenda)

      a.   Santa Parade Committee Update


Joe Kozuch gave an update that last year they had seven tents and this year they are going to do eight tents starting at Eastlawn through the circle and at Ashman and Nickels.  They have 21 businesses that have donated goods and service to make this happen.  Other organizations have also helped out with this project.  It was successful last year and they hope to continue it.  Every year they just keep tweaking it and it is coming along nicely.


      b.   Sub-committee discussion


Dave Ginis suggested they need to establish committees that will go out and do some of the investigative type work to bring back to the board.  Some of the committees from the downtown organization are an organization committee and a design committee.  What do you think the types of committees that would be fruitful for them right now?


Jon Lynch stated that the structure utilized by the DDA follows the Main Street model from the national template and transferred down to a state template.  That approach is a very effect approach and needs to be considered seriously.  Since they come together an hour a month in this forum they are going to establish the direction there.  One of the critical components to look at is a typical general administration platform, you see a marketing effort and an organization.  They should get the background on the approach before they see what the list should be.  It is a good structure and the board may have their own opinion. One of the things they are confronted with is this is a brand new effort and even the simplest of things are important.


What is that they plan to accomplish?  The marketing around the holiday events are important and they want to pursue it.  Certainly the component of what is it that they are going to accomplish is a very good place to start.


Greg Adkins thoughts are with what Jon said.  What direction are they going and what is it that they want to get done.  If they know this is a priority, then this is a committee they want to form. 


Jerry Deming stated that when they first started they were talking about some long term visions and some short term objectives and they can put them together and come up with a strategic plan and start tackling those. 


      c.   Consideration of conducting a Strategic Planning Session


Keith Baker was glad this evolved into a discussion to getting them set up as an authority and identify their priorities, mission and vision as a group.  They typically do that with a facilitator and do that on a Saturday morning around a table and work through that process.  It sounds like there is an interest in pursuing that.  They would get in a group together in a room and go over some of the things they identify as a group as their projects and priorities.


They did some of this earlier in the process with Paul White about what the group would like to see.  That was a large group of 20 to 30 people and they would say things that the whole group would have an interest in.  Some folks were from outside the area and some were from within the area. 


Roger Jennings actually facilitated a couple of those meetings.  Heidi has the minutes that were kept from the meetings.  She can also get with Paul White and see what he has.  Dave Ginis was involved as well as Clint Struthers and Jon Lynch.  There was an exercise that was done as if they had the perfect list.  There were some things they would like to see and some problems.  It was in that format.  That information will be available prior to a strategic planning meeting.  So they won’t have to take time now to work on the meeting and gather information and get back to them.  It will be a public meeting and they will post it as such.  They would invite the other business owners and have others present to participate and observe as well.  Keith will work on a time and location for the first part of 2009.


      d.   Review of Ashman Circle Enhancement Plan


Keith Baker presented background activities that took place and a plan that was prepared by Hamilton/Anderson in 2002 and it included references to roundabouts in the area.  It included a Circle zoning district and it also included the formal introduction of the Circle Business Association.  They included some conceptual plan goals.  It looked at the evolution of the circle from 1944 to what it looks like today.  The plan shows streetscapes.  They evaluated the current circle traffic pattern and discussed the possibility of a modern roundabout. 


Circle Zoning District is a new zoning district included in the Zoning Ordinance which was adopted in January 2005.  Circle zoning is from Manor to Rodd and Ashman to Cambridge. 


The Circle Business Association was organized in February, 2004.  They have their own list of goals. 


Jon Lynch stated that when you examine the plan the only part that didn’t take effect was the roundabout.  At the time it was discussed, there was a lot of community concern about the cost and safety and changing the one way pairs.  There was a lot of discussion about the expense.  The street element was in the 3 to 4 million dollar range.  This community had no experience with roundabouts and there was a traffic circle and that didn’t work.  It never was a roundabout, which is different from a circle.  There was a justification to spend money.  There really wasn’t a body until now to do that.  Part of the question is what are the priorities and what are the type of things to focus on. 


Keith Baker said that in working with Heidi and reviewing all improvement plans they will help them through the development plan after the strategic planning efforts.  There are certain areas they would have to cover per state law and they can work through that process.


Jerry Deming said that it was good to see a visual conceptual plan.  There was a lot of opinion about the roundabout and that the area would be redeveloped.  Cliff Miles doesn’t think a roundabout is going to be any easier then the way it is now.  The new wrinkle with roundabouts is that traffic will have to stop for pedestrians. 





Circle Business Association has been working on putting a Christmas tree up in the Circle area.  There are several vacancies still in the circle area.  There is some activity on Bayliss and Saginaw Road.  The old 7-11 building is being worked on.  The former 7-11 building is being renovated into a liquor store.


Keith Baker made note to get to the board background information about the Main Street committee process and Mr. White’s information that was collected through the PPS process.


      As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Keith Baker, AICP

Director of Planning & Community Development