MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE WEST MAIN STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2005,

AT 7:00 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS,

CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

Chairperson Applegate called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

Roll Call

PRESENT:                                        Terri Applegate, Tim Lichtenwald, Sue      MacKellar, Donald Deibert, Randy Swierzbin,         and Donna Gross

ABSENT:                                           None

OTHERS PRESENT:                      Daryl Poprave, and 5 other citizens

           

Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Meeting on April 27, 2005

It was moved by MacKellar and seconded by Gross that the minutes from the regular meeting of April 27, 2005 be approved with minor corrections.

      The motion passed unanimously.

      Gross – wanted to be sure that all future meeting minutes include the specific sections of the Secretary of the Interior standards for all Certificate of Appropriateness actions.

Certificate of Appropriateness

 

None

 

Public Comments

 

There were no public comments.

 

Old Business

 

None

           

 

New Business

 

Lichtenwald asked the Chair if item c could be discussed first because he had to leave the meeting at 8:15 and wanted to be present for this discussion and vote.  The Chair agreed.

 

Staff – the City Council at Monday’s meeting has asked that the HDC review and recommend whether or not a city owned parcel located at 405 W. Main St. could be sold to Midland County for utilization as a County Jail facility.  Staff showed several aerial photos of the site in question and informed the HDC that while no specific criteria have been established, that the HDC should evaluate what impact a County Jail facility would have on the adjacent historic district.

 

Staff – The site could possibly be used for parking and this might entail erecting security features such as bright lighting, cameras and fencing.  This property is not within the WMHD but is adjacent to it and the Pere Marquette Rail Trail.  Midland County has asked the City to review 5 different properties and has asked for responses in early August.

 

It was moved by Lichtenwald and supported by Deibert to approve recommending to the Midland City Council that 405 W. Main Street could be sold to Midland County for utilization as a County Jail facility.

 

Deibert - The disruption caused by the development on this lot would destroy the gateway into the District. The current City property provides a buffer from the adjacent commercial properties in the downtown.

 

Applegate - Possible security features (i.e. lighting, cameras, and fencing) would detract from the unique character of the District.

 

Gross – The establishment of the District was meant to prevent drastic land use changes which would have detrimental affects on the surrounding properties.

 

Applegate - The proposed uses of this property could create traffic hazards by increasing left hand turns onto W. Main St.  Because the new Zoning Ordinance increased setbacks for such uses these requirements would make most of the property unusable.

 

Gross - The aesthetics of this property could negatively impact the adjacent historic properties because this property is not within the District and thus not under the control of the HDC.

 

Swierzbin - The integrity of the District needs to be maintained by preserving the residential character of the surrounding neighborhood.  Use of this property for jail facilities would make it incompatible in terms of land use, aesthetics, and traffic volume.

 

Both Lichtenwald and MacKellar agreed with the statements presented by the other HDC members.

 

In addition, there  were five citizens from within the West Main Historic District who attended the meeting and one citizen, Dianne Maughon of 601 West Main stated that the noise from the increase activity on this parcel would negatively impact the surround properties within the District.

 

Voting in support of the motion:

Deibert:  No

Gross:    No

Lichtenwald:  No

Swierzbin:  No

MacKellar:  No

Applegate:  No

 

The West Main Street Historic District Commission does not recommend that 405 West Main Street be sold to Midland County for utilization of this parcel as a County Jail facility.

 

Also under new business, staff informed the HDC of many proposed changes to Article VII of the Midland Code of Ordinances.  The resulting changes will bring the West Main Historic District into compliance with the recently updated PA 169 of 1970 (State of Michigan’s Historic District Act).  In addition, several areas of the ordinance are being removed and re-inserted in the HDC’s Rules of Procedure. 

 

Staff stated that the most substantive change was amending the application and approval time frames to more closely reflect the present restraints on the scheduling of televised meetings.

 

Staff would like to hear thoughts and suggestions on this language between now and October 7, 2005.  At the next HDC meeting (October 26, 2005), these amendments will have been polished and approved by the City Attorney’s Office and the HDC should be ready to forward them on to City Council for action.

 

Next, staff handed out articles from the Michigan Planner on historic preservation in Michigan.

 

Finally, the HDC discussed additional items for the October 26, 2006 meeting agenda.  These items include:

  1. Possible capital improvement projects for the district such as street signs and lighting.
  2. Discussion on expansion of the District.
  3. Discussion on inclusion of city owned parcels into the District.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Hearing no further business, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:35 PM.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Daryl Poprave

Secretary