MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE WEST MAIN STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2005,

AT 6:30 P.M. IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS,

CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

Chairperson Applegate called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

 

Roll Call

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

ABSENT:                                           None

OTHERS PRESENT:                      Daryl Poprave, and 3 other citizens

           

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

It was moved by Deibert and seconded by Gross that the minutes from the regular meeting of July 27, 2005 be approved as presented.

      The motion passed unanimously.

Certificate of Appropriateness

 

None

 

Public Comments

 

There were no public comments.

 

Old Business

 

None

           

 

New Business

 

  1. Staff gave a presentation on the second draft of proposed revisions to Article VII of the Code of Ordinances (West Main Street Historic District) specifically stating highlights of the proposed revisions. Staff stated that these revisions mainly came about because of the amendments made to PA 169 of 1970.

          

Gross inquired about what affect Sec. 5-22(b) had on her living situation.  Staff stated that he believe the City of Midland had discretion in determining how city residency is defined.

 

Swierzbin stated that he did not agree with the changes made to Sec. 5-23(b) because a majority of the members present could make am important decision and he did not think this was appropriate considering the HDC only hears major Certificate of Appropriateness petitions.  I was the general consensus of the remaining HDC members present that this revision not be changed from the present language which requires 4 members to approve any action of the HDC.

 

Staff states that in addition to the revisions mentioned at the beginning of the presentation, the new revisions include 1 annual meeting and the rest of the meetings would be convened if approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness was necessary much like the Zoning Board of Appeals operates.  Regarding the City’s attendance policy, Staff stated that the one annual meeting would be mandatory attendance and the special meetings may not be covered by the City Council Attendance Policy. 

 

Swierzbin also state that Staff and the City Attorney should review Sec. 5-25(d) 1 paragraph two which states “If the building official or his/her designee denies an application . . .”    Swierzbin stated that PA 169 of 1970 forbids administrative officials from denying Certificates of Appropriateness.  He stated that if there is a problem with a C of A it should automatically be forwarded to the HDC for further review.  

 

Swierzbin stated that he had issues with the wording of Sec. 5-25(e) 1 because of the scenario that could occur that would make a C of A petitioner wait an extended period of time for the next available meeting of the HDC to finish a construction project.  Staff stated that the 4th Wednesday of the month meeting reference would be removed from any final draft language.  Swierzbin was satisfied that this would give more flexibility to the HDC to hear these petitions as soon as possible. 

 

Finally, Swierzbin stated that he believed Sec. 5-26 (the appeals section) was not in compliance with PA 169 of 1970 and that the City Attorney’s Office should verify that these appeals procedures do conform to State law.

 

It was moved by Swierzbin and supported by Deibert that the revisions to Article VII of the Midland Code of Ordinances be forwarded to the Midland City Council for approval along with the proposed changes listed in the October 26, 2005 meeting minutes.

 

Voting in support of the motion:

 

Swierzbin:      Yes

Deibert:          Yes

MacKellar:      Yes

Gross:             Yes

Applegate:     Yes

 

Lichtenwald left the meeting before the vote was taken.

 

Motion passes unanimously.

 

  1. Staff stated that the in response to previous concerns about getting lighting, and streets signs into the City Budget, that the HDC should authorize the Chairperson to sign a “call for projects” capital improvement request letter to be submitted to the City Manager’s Office by November 15, 2005.   This will get suggested District improvement projects in front of the Midland City Council as part of next year’s budget cycle.

 

Swierzbin inquired as to why the connected City properties are not in the West Main Historic District as is the case with many other historic districts around Michigan? 

 

Staff stated that with regards to the vacant lot located west of the M-20 bridge abutment; this lot was being reserved for future expansion or reconstruction of this bridge.  Other City properties could be included if City Council so chose to have them added to the District.

 

Applegate stated that street lighting should be a focus of this capital improvement request letter as many District residents have inquired to her about the lack of sufficient lighting along the Districts streets and sidewalks.

 

Swierzbin stated that the HDC should propose a comprehensive list of capital improvement projects.

 

Deibert stated that any proposed improvements should not be solely placed along West Main Street but should be placed throughout the District.

 

Gross stated that for several years the City has been trimming and removing the large trees within the District and those new street trees should replace the old trees that were removed.

Applegate asked Staff if the HDC could place a small flower garden and park bench on the vacant property located adjacent to the west M-20 bridge abutment?   Staff stated that he would look into this matter further. 

 

It was moved by Swierzbin and supported by MacKellar that the West Main Historic District Commission Chairperson be authorized to sign a Staff generated “call for projects” capital improvement request letter asking the Midland City Council to consider installing new decorative street lighting within the District as well as street signs, new street trees, historic markers for individual homes, and park benches as projects for the 2006-2007 City Budget.

 

Voting in support of the motion:

 

Swierzbin:      Yes

MacKellar:      Yes

Deibert:          Yes

Gross:             Yes

Applegate:     Yes

 

The motion passes unanimously.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Hearing no further business, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:40 PM. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Daryl Poprave

Secretary