1.   Roll Call.

PRESENT:    Commission members – Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Senesac, Rapanos, Slicker, Wieland

ABSENT:    None

OTHERS PRESENT:   Jon Lynch, Director of Planning and Community Development; Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant; and 42 others.

2.   Approval of the minutes of the meeting of November 28, 2000.

It was moved by Geisler, seconded by Senesac, to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 12, 2000.  The minutes were approved with the correction of Geisler’s “yes” vote on Site Plan No. 194.


3.  Public hearings:

a.  Zoning Petition No. 471 – the request of John Rapanos to rezone property on Lee Street (north of East Patrick Road, east of Clay Street, and west of the US-10 Expressway) from Residential A-3 to Residential A-4.  Noting that the petitioners in Zoning Petition Nos. 471 and 472 are his parents, Mr. Steve Rapanos requested permission to abstain from consideration of these requests.  The Commission unanimously affirmed his request [see transcript].

b.   Zoning Petition No. 472 – the request of Judith Rapanos to rezone property on the west side of Waldo Avenue south of Bay City Road from Residential A-4 to Business B-2  [see transcript].

c.   Preliminary Plat of Bogel’s Urban Subdivision No. 2 – a residential subdivision of 23 lots on 11.47 acres north of Airport Road and west of Perrine Road.  Proprietors are Joe and Barb Bogel [see transcript].

d.   Planned Unit Development No. 13 – the request of Royal Castle Companies for review and approval of a residential development of 128 units on 13.54 acres on the south side of Joseph Drive east of Jefferson Avenue, to be known as The Village at Joseph’s Run  [see transcript].

4.  Public Comments.

Steven Graham of 3576 Oakbrook Drive noted that the neighborhood meeting sponsored by Royal Castle Companies provided an excellent forum to discuss their project on an informal basis.  He suggested that the City encourage other developers to utilize similar meetings and further encourages the City to publish a best practices guide.

Mike Lerner of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, thanked the Commission and commended the City staff for their professionalism.

Leon Stanley, 3777 John’s Lane, inquired as to whether the Planning Commission would be discussing zoning of recently annexed property.  Chairman Wieland responded that the Commission would indeed be discussing that issue.


5.  Old Business.

  1. Consideration of Site Plan No. 197 – the request of A.J. Damman Company for redevelopment of an existing shopping center, Eastlawn Center L.C., located at 825 – 985 South Saginaw Road.  It is located on a 6-acre site with approximately 80,000 square feet of commercial area.  The proposed redevelopment will eliminate 15,000 square feet of existing space and construct 14,490 square feet of space in the form of a freestanding Walgreen Pharmacy.  Action on this matter was tabled on December 12, 2000.

It was moved by Senesac and seconded by Baker to remove this matter from the table, thereby enabling further consideration.  This motion was unanimously approved.

Jon Lynch, Director of Planning and Community Development, directed the Commission to the area map and site plan that had been included in the meeting packets.  Mr. Lynch noted that the reasons for tabling action on the matter in December included absence of the petitioner and a request for information from the municipal traffic engineering consultant.  Regarding the former, Mr. Mike Damman of A.J. Damman Company was in attendance.  With regard to the latter, the Planning Commission sought comment on three specific items as follow:

                           i.Introduction of stop signs to the interior of the parking lot.

                         ii.Utilization of physical barriers to direct queued vehicles at the drive-up windows.

                        iii.Relocation of the south curb cut on South Saginaw Road further north.

Mr. Lynch further noted that responses from Mr. Stan Cool, the traffic engineer, had been provided in the staff report.  Mr. Cool did not feel that the stop signs or the physical barriers would be necessary in this project.  He also stated that the south entrance would be functional if his previous recommendations for signage and island design were followed.  However, Mr. Cool felt relocation of the curb cut to the north would be beneficial, as the issues surrounding the misaligned intersection would not exist.

Members discussed the value of interior stop signs and curb barriers as well as the curb cut placement.

Mr. Michael Damman addressed the Commission regarding the project and indicated that the project design included closure of an existing curb cut on Eastlawn Drive.  That closure was proposed to address safety concerns raised by City staff.  Other elements of the site design are driven to a certain extent by Walgreen’s, the potential tenant.  He also discussed proposed landscaped islands, parking lot striping for pedestrian movement, pedestrian movement along the west side of the proposed buildings, and stacking spaces for vehicles queued at the drive-up windows.

Commission members continued to discuss the relative safety of the south entrance and the interior intersection it created.  Discussion was given to available options for modifying the design including, moving the entrance further north, aligning the curb cut and the drive-up lanes, and moving the entrance further south.  Several members felt that the traffic pattern through the intersection as designed would be unsafe.  The noted entry designs were discussed.

A majority of members noted that they were supportive of the project as proposed but that the entrance design was deficient.  It was moved by Geisler and seconded by Baker to recommend that the south curb cut on South Saginaw Road be relocated 75 feet north of its existing location.  Mr. Rapanos proposed amending the motion to permit alignment or relocation of the curb cut to the south.  Several members discussed a desire to give the petitioner some flexibility to address this matter.  Since Mr. Geisler was not in favor of the motion, Mr. Lynch advised the Commission to dispense with the motion as presented.  The vote proceeded as follows:

YEA:  Baker, Garner, Geisler, Lind, Rapanos, Senesac

NAY:  Kozakiewicz, Slicker, Wieland


It was moved by Lind and seconded by Kozakiewicz to recommend approval of amended Site Plan No. 197 with the following contingencies:

                              i.                           Storm water retention, flow and disposal will be addressed in accordance with recommendations of the City of Midland Engineering Department.

                            ii.                           Any new advertising signs will be placed in compliance with Section 31 of the Zoning Ordinance.

                           iii.                           Site landscaping will be provided in compliance with Section 30.3(k) of the Zoning Ordinance.

Noting that the recommendation would also include a contingency for relocation of the S. Saginaw entrance, the vote proceeded as follows:

YEA:  Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Rapanos, Senesac, Slicker, Wieland

            NAY:    None

Chairman Wieland called a five-minute break at 10:20 PM.  The meeting resumed at 10:25 with all Commissioners in attendance.

  1. Consideration of Site Plan No. 198  the request of Mark Rapanos for site plan review and approval of Whisper Ridge East, a residential site condominium development of 16 building sites on 4.9 acres north of North Saginaw Road and east of Russell Street.  Chairman Wieland indicated that members Garner and Rapanos had previously been permitted to abstain from consideration of this matter and informed them that they would not be required to participate in consideration of the plan.  He then asked if any new information was to be presented.  Mr. Lynch noted that during the public hearing on this matter the Commission requested assurance that the Fire Chief was aware that Whisper Ridge Drive would be a dead end street.  Based on two separate discussions with Chief Hargarten since that time, the Chief was aware of the dead-end design, and his original recommendations still applied.

It was moved by Baker and seconded by Senesac to approve Site Plan No. 198.  The vote proceeded as follows:

YEA:  Baker, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Senesac, Slicker, Wieland

NAY:  None

ABSTAIN:  Garner, Rapanos

  1. Zoning Update – Properties recently annexed to the City (the west side of Jefferson Avenue north of the US-10 Expressway, and the east side of Perrine Road between Airport Road and Letts Road) are subject to application of municipal zoning.  Mr. Ostgarden presented the Planning Commission with a map illustrating the subject parcels and noted that the Department of Planning and Community Development has solicited comments from affected property owners.

Staff recommends that the Jefferson Avenue area be zoned Business-C in compliance with the Master Plan, Land Use Plan.  Mr. Leon Stanley informed the Commission that he owns property in this subject area.  The property consists of a three-unit residential rental structure that was purchased with the intention of deriving retirement income from the rentals.  Mr. Stanley expressed a desire to retain the residential uses as a conforming use and suggested an office-service designation.  The Commission expressed an interest in seeing a recommendation from staff regarding the office-service suggestion during its next meeting.

Staff recommended that the Perrine Road property be zoned medium-density residential.  There has been no response from the property owner.  The Commission directed staff to go forward with zoning the property to RA-4.

6.   New Business.

a.  February Training Session.  Mr. Lynch reminded the Planning Commissioners that a training session has been scheduled to take place on February 17th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  It will take place at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library and is open to the public.

b.   Planning Literature.  Mr. Lynch also directed the Commissioners to the copies of the proposed Coordinated Planning Act and Planning & Zoning News provided at their seats this evening.

Adjournment at approximately 10:50 PM was moved by Geisler, seconded by Baker, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,


Jon Lynch

Planning Commission Secretary