MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,
WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2001, 7:00 P.M.,
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN
1. Roll Call.
PRESENT: Commission members – Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Rapanos, Slicker, Wieland
OTHERS PRESENT: Jon Lynch, Director of Planning and Community Development; Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant; and 14 others.
2. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of January 9, 2001.
It was moved by Baker, seconded by Garner, to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 9, 2001. The minutes were approved.
3. Public Comments.
4. Old Business.
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, and was granted, permission to abstain from consideration of these requests.
Chairman Wieland introduced Zoning Petition No. 471, and Mr. Lynch provided a brief review of the request. Ms. Julie Kiel of 925 East Wheeler Street, representing the petitioner, explained that this request is driven in large part by the proximity of this parcel to a Residential-B Zone and a multi-family apartment complex located in the zone. She also responded to testimony received during the public hearing, noting that duplex structures in this community are typically very nice buildings that are well maintained.
Planning Commissioners discussed the fact that this request appears to be supported by the Master Plan. Based on the staff assessment of applicable review criteria, Commissioners felt the requested zoning change was warranted.
It was moved by Geisler and seconded by Baker to recommend approval of the zoning change requested in Zoning Petition No. 471, from Residential A-3 to Residential A-4. The vote proceeded as follows:
YEA: Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Slicker, Wieland
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.
Chairman Wieland introduced the petition, and Mr. Lynch provided a brief review of the request, that being a 107’ deep by 99’ wide area of parcel #14-23-30-014. Ms. Julie Kiel of 925 East Wheeler Street, representing the petitioner, introduced some new information to the Commission. Several photographs of an existing parking lot on the property were displayed for the Commissioners. The photos illustrated a congested parking lot. Ms. Kiel explained that there may be certain times of the day or week that the parking lot is not full, but at other times the lot is congested and vehicles may be encroaching into Waldo Avenue.
Ms. Kiel further noted that the petitioner has removed a dilapidated structure from the subject site, constructed a berm, and planted pine trees to provide screening. A photograph illustrating the trees and berm was also displayed. She pointed out that if a fence were to be constructed on the berm, the fence would be above the windows of the Mize residence to the south. Finally Ms. Kiel noted that during the public hearing, Mr. Mize stated that his house was 3˝ feet from the side lot line. That must be a nonconforming dimension and as such the petitioner should not be penalized.
Commissioner Baker inquired about the recent zoning requests on this parcel. Mr. Lynch explained that on September 16, 1999, Judith Ann Rapanos, seeking rezoning of this area from Residential A-4 to Business B-2, filed an application. On October 26th of 1999, the Planning Commission recommended approval of Zoning Petition 450 by a vote of 4-2 with one abstention. Upon receiving the Planning Commission recommendation, the City Council voted 1-4 to approve the request resulting in denial of the change.
On December 10, 1999, Ms. Rapanos filed Zoning Petition 451, requesting rezoning of this same area of the parcel from Residential A-4 to Office Service 2. On January 25, 2000, the Planning Commission voted 6-2 with one abstention to recommend approval of the requested zoning change. On February 28, 2000 the City Council denied this rezoning request on a 2-3 vote.
Commissioner Giesler inquired about reasons the City Council concluded that neither requested change should be supported. Mr. Lynch responded that information in the files appeared to indicate the Council was concerned that the Planning Commission recommendations were split, residents of the neighborhood raised several serious concerns, and the range of potential land uses was rather broad.
Commissioners discussed the fact that the petitioner had made a number of improve-ments on the subject parcel. Those improvements illustrate a positive intent, and the lot looks much better now. Members also discussed how a fence would be added to the site. Ms. Kiel expressed her feeling that a site plan review of a parking lot design could address such concerns and that it is unlikely that the petitioner would wish to remove the recently planted pine trees.
Commissioner Giesler questioned whether an Office-Service zoning designation should be applied to this subject parcel. Mr. Lynch responded that an Office-Service district on the portion of the lot subject to the petition would be contrary to the Master Plan and would constitute spot zoning.
Commissioner Lind made clear that he was originally in opposition to the two previous rezoning requests. However, given the recent improvements to the lot and opening of the Bay City Road interchange, he is now supportive of the request. He noted that he never felt that parking demand justified a change in zoning and still does not.
The Commissioners discussed neighborhood conditions and the relationship of this request to the Master Plan. It was moved by Garner and seconded by Lind to approve Zoning Petition No. 472. The vote proceeded as follows:
YEA: Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Wieland
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.
Chairman Wieland introduced the plat, and Mr. Lynch provided a brief review of the application, noting that much of the testimony received regarding this matter dealt with wet conditions at the south edge of the proposed plat.
Commissioner Slicker asked for an interpretation of site contours illustrated on the preliminary plat. Mr. Lynch explained general topographic conditions of the subject site. Commissioner Slicker then inquired about the accuracy of the illustrated contours. Mr. Jerry Jones of Ayres Associates responded that the contours were derived from aerial photography and are probably accurate to within one foot, but they have not been field checked.
Mr. Dave Roth of 4208 Airport Road informed the Planning Commission that water problems in the area are very real. He shared a letter from the Municipal Engineering Department written in 1993 that offered free 4-inch drain tile to property owners. The tile was to be installed in sanitary sewer lead trenches with the intent of helping drain rear yards of lots fronting on Airport Road. Commissioner Baker asked if the 4-inch tiles had been installed. Mr. Lynch responded that Engineering Department staff members previously indicated that the 4-inch tiles had been installed.
Commissioner Rapanos clarified that the staff recommendations called for project drainage to be constructed to the satisfaction of the City Engineering Department, not to the satisfaction of area residents. Commissioner Lind expressed his feeling that the proposed road and associated storm-water system would help solve storm-water problems in the area. Commissioners also discussed the fact that the City began actively reviewing and regulating storm-water system designs in the early 1980’s, well after the lots along Airport Road were developed.
Planning Commissioners discussed the role of the County Drain Commissioner in approval of plats. They also discussed the potential future extension of Bogel Road.
It was moved by Rapanos and seconded by Slicker to recommend tentative approval of the preliminary plat for Bogel’s Urban Subdivision No. 2 contingent upon:
1. Lots 24, 25, 26 and 27 be modified to meet the required width of 80 feet or an appropriate dimensional variance be secured.
2. Lots be modified to meet the 1 to 2.5 width to depth ratio, or appropriate dimensional variances be secured.
3. Bogel Road will be continued in the future.
4. A temporary turnaround shall be provided at the dead-end of Bogel Road.
5. Fire safety requirements, as set forth by Chief Hargarten in his memorandum of December 6th shall be complied with.
6. Storm water retention, drainage, and easement requirements will be met to the satisfaction of the Midland Engineering Department.
The vote proceeded as follows:
YEA: Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Rapanos, Slicker, Wieland
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.
Chairman Wieland introduced the Planned Unit Development, and Mr. Lynch provided a brief review of the application. Mr. Mike Lerner of the Royal Castle Companies explained that the Planning Commission had been provided with revised drawings illustrating design changes to parking areas. He also noted that other site elements such as lighting and landscaping had been amended to address concerns raised during a neighborhood meeting.
Commissioner Baker indicated that while originally opposed to zoning the subject area for one- and two-family uses, the proposed site design now considered by the Planning Commission is very good.
Mr. Lynch advised to Commission to revisit the issue of parking spaces. Mr. Lerner noted that the site plan proposes 256 parking spaces, as required by the Zoning Ordinance. Adequate visitor spaces will be present as the average vehicle-to-unit ratio is 1.25, based on other Royal Castle projects.
Mr. Lynch also provided information from the Midland Police Department regarding traffic law enforcement on private streets.
Commissioners discussed the general appearance of the site, a community need for affordable housing, and the provided staff report.
It was moved by Rapanos and seconded by Slicker to recommend approval of Planned Unit Development No. 13 contingent upon:
1. Interior drive grades will be between .3% and 6%.
2. Ten-foot wide utility easements along both the north and south sides of Joseph Drive between Jefferson Avenue and Midfield Lane will be recorded prior to issuance of building permits.
3. An adequate number of parking spaces to meet the needs of both residents and visitors will be provided.
4. Illumination from site lighting will not be cast off the subject site.
5. Utility easements for sanitary sewer, water, and storm sewer will be provided to the satisfaction of the Midland Department of Engineering.
6. Water on site shall meet minimum flow required in the Uniform Fire Code.
7. Installation of a fire department access roadway, 20 feet wide and capable of supporting 60,000-pound vehicles, prior to construction of any structures.
8. Interior drives shall be posted for no parking as directed by the Midland Fire Department.
The vote proceeded as follows:
YEA: Baker, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Lind, Rapanos, Slicker, Wieland
6. New Business.
a. Bartow Annexation - Property on the east side of Dublin Road north of Airport Road. Mr. Mark Ostgarden, City Planner, introduced to the Commission the matter of annexation, zoning, and site plan approval of a project being developed by Mr. Gary Bartow. While no action by the Commission was necessary at this time, Mr. Ostgarden pointed out that the Planning Commission would be asked to render decisions on proposed zoning classification and site plan approval the same evening that public hearings are conducted.
Mr. Ostgarden presented information leading to the conclusion that a Business C zoning classification would be most appropriate for this property. Commissioners agreed that the hearing for application of municipal zoning should advertise this area as potentially being zoned Business C.
Adjournment at approximately 8:42 PM was moved by Geisler, seconded by Rapanos, and unanimously approved.
Planning Commission Secretary
NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL APPROVED BY PLANNING COMMISSION ACTION