MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2002, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Baker, Dowling, Geisler, Kozakiewicz,  Senesac, Slicker, Svenson,  Wieland

ABSENT:     Garner

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Director of Planning & Community Development; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant, and 10 others

2.   Approval of the minutes of the meeting of January 8, 2002

It was moved by Wieland, seconded by Senesac, to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 8, 2002.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

3.   Public Hearings

  1. Public Hearing for Zoning Petition No. 482 – initiated by the Planning Commission, to zone property at 1983 Penrod Road (the north side of Penrod Road west of Vance Road) from Township zoning to Residential A-1 [see transcript].
  2. Public Hearing for Zoning Petition No. 483 – initiated by the Planning Commission, to zone property at 1610, 1616, and 1720 North Dublin Road (the east side of Dublin Road north of Airport Road) from Township zoning to Residential A-1 [see transcript].
  3. Public Hearing for Zoning Petition No. 484 – initiated by the Planning Commission, to zone property on the east side of Jefferson at Oakbrook Court from Township zoning to Residential A-1 [see transcript].

 

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

None.

 

5.      Old Business

a.        Zoning Petition No. 481 – the request of Nicolaos Rapanos to rezone property on the southwest corner of South Saginaw Road and James Savage Road from Business C to Industrial A.  Chairman Geisler introduced the request and Mr. Lynch provided an overview of the petition.  Commissioners discussed the petition and noted that it represented a “straight-forward” request that fully complied with applicable review criteria.

It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Baker to recommend approval of Zoning Petition No. 481 to the City Council.  The vote proceeded as follows:

        YEA:   Baker, Dowling, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Senesac, Slicker, Svenson, Wieland

        NAY:   None

ABSENT:  Garner

 

b.        Petition to vacate Goldenwood Drive at Hedgewood Drive  the petition of residents of the Amberwood Subdivision, including Amberwood Court, Goldenwood Drive, and a portion of Hedgewood Drive, requesting vacation of a potion of public right-of-way to facilitate closure of Hedgewood Drive.  The chairman introduced the petition and Mr. Lynch provided a review of the previous public hearing.  Mr. Lynch also pointed out that three new letters regarding the petition had been received and that staff has supplied the Commission with comments from the Traffic Engineer and data pertaining to calls placed to 911.

 

Police Chief St. Louis was invited by Chairman Geisler to explain to the Planning Commission whether this particular neighborhood is unique with respect to the traffic issues being discussed.  Chief St. Louis noted that streets in this area are very similar to Dilloway, Lambrose, Plymouth and other collector streets in the City.  He further noted that the Police Department routinely handles requests for selective enforcement in these areas.  The Chief also explained that sometimes there is a perception of traffic speed that is not accurate.  He touched on a recent speed study in a different neighborhood that pegged average vehicle speed slightly below the established speed limit.  A similar speed study has not been conducted in this neighborhood.

 

Commissioners discussed the information pertaining to calls placed to 911 and the role 911 plays in handling “nuisance” complaints.  They also discussed the generally deteriorating attitude of drivers in the community, increasing traffic volumes, and the varied responsibilities of police officers.

 

When questioned about traffic calming alternatives Chief St. Louis expressed a desire to “experiment” with such measures in neighborhoods that are willing to try them.

 

Nina Lacey of 4907 Goldenwood Dr. informed the Commission that someone had again driven across her lawn.  She has four small children and is concerned for their safety.  She also stated that in 1997 and 1998 she and her family routinely placed calls to 911 but that results were not satisfactory so they simply stopped calling.

 

Mark Wisnowski of Goldenwood Dr. expressed his view that the neighborhood is unique in that large apartment complexes surround it.

 

David Lovette of 4917 Hedgewood expressed sympathy for the plight of these residents but objected to any form of street closure.  He fears that traffic would be displaced and volumes in front of his home would increase.

 

Simon Toth of 5007 Hedgewood informed the Commission that street closure would certainly improve conditions in the neighborhood.  He also noted that if average traffic speed is at the speed limit, at least 50% of the vehicles are speeding.

 

Steven Graham of 3576 Oakbrook Court indicated that this matter appeared to be an issue for the City Council.  Mr. Lynch explained that local ordinance requires a recommendation from the Planning Commission when street vacations are considered.

 

Commissioners discussed the fact that the residents of this neighborhood are experiencing real problems.  However, many neighborhoods deal with noise, traffic, tire tracks on the lawn, and fast food wrappers.  Members who personally observed traffic in the neighborhood felt that most vehicles were from the homes within the subdivision.  This area does not seem atypical with respect to traffic problems so, in that sense, closing the street does not appear warranted.  It was also noted that closing the street might simply move problems to a different part of the City.

 

Members of the Commission also discussed the potential use of traffic calming measures.  They noted that this area is unique in that the single-family neighborhood lies between apartment complexes and the collector street.  A case study needs to be conducted in the City to determine if such measures will work.  They also viewed a speed study and examination of calming devices as sound steps toward addressing the concerns raised in connection with this petition.

 

It was moved by Slicker and seconded by Senesac to recommend to the City Council that Hedgewood Street not be closed but that traffic calming measures be evaluated an applied on a temporary basis and that performance statistics be gathered for the purpose of evaluating effectiveness of the calming measures.  The vote proceeded as follows:

        YEA:   Baker, Dowling, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Senesac, Slicker, Svenson, Wieland

        NAY:   None

              ABSENT:  Garner

6.  New Business

a.      Vacation of Madison Street and Burch Street north of Soper Street –

Chairman Geisler introduced a request to vacate Madison Street and that portion of Burch Street north of Soper Street.  Mr. Lynch provided a summary of the petition and explained that City owned property held by the Currie Municipal Golf Course surrounds these currently public streets.  Vacating the streets will make integration of the areas into the landscaping and their subsequent maintenance much easier.

Commissioners pointed out that vacation requests typically don’t require public hearings, but that in the case of the Hedgewood request, a hearing was appropriate.  In this case there are no privately held parcels supported by the subject streets and the area will likely be a golf course for the foreseeable future.

It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Slicker to recommend vacation of Madison Street and Burch Street, north of Soper Street, the City Council.  The vote proceeded as follows:

        YEA:   Baker, Dowling, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Senesac, Slicker, Svenson, Wieland

        NAY:   None

ABSENT:  Garner

b.      Community Capital Improvements List

Mr. Lynch shared with the Commission those capital project expenditures requested during the engineering priorities process that would result in construction of new facilities.  Staff has evaluated the requests and determined that all of them are consistent with, and in support of, the Master Plan.  If any members feel that requests do not support the Master Plan, they should forward comments to the Planning Department and they will be transmitted to the appropriate municipal department.

7.  Communications

Chairman Geisler received a letter from the Planning Department regarding Community Development Block Grant Funding.  Mr. Lynch explained that he Planning Department has engaged in an aggressive public information campaign regarding CDBG funds and that Planning Commissioners were included on the information mailing list.

8.  Report of the Chairman

      No Report 

9.   Report of the Planning Director

The Director reported on the following matters:

On February 12th the Planning Commission will conduct three public hearings and will deliberate on the three cases from the current meeting.

On February 26th the Commission will conduct two public hearings and will deliberate over the three items heard on February 12th.

Special sessions include the January 24th Access Management seminar sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation, the February 2nd annual training day, and the February 6th kick-off meeting with McKenna Associates.

 

10.  Adjourn.

Adjournment at approximately 9:00 p.m. was moved by Slicker, seconded by Senesac, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Jon Lynch, AICP

Planning Commission Secretary

 

 

MINUTES ARE NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION