1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Baker, Dowling, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Senesac, Slicker, Svenson (departed at 8:30 PM), and Wieland

ABSENT:     None

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Director of Planning & Community Development; Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant, and 16 others

2.   Approval of the minutes of the meeting of February 12, 2002

Baker, seconded by Senesac, moved approval of the minutes of the meeting of February 12, 2002 as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved with member Svenson abstaining.


3.   Public Hearings

  1. Public Hearing for Zoning Petition No. 487 – initiated by the Planning Commission to zone properties north of North Saginaw Road and west of Stark Road from Homer Township zoning to City of Midland Business C, Office Service-2, and Residential A-1 Zones [see transcript].
  2. Public Hearing for Zoning Petition No. 488 – initiated by the Planning Commission to zone property east of North Eastman Road, north and south of Commerce Drive, east and west of Commerce Court from Larkin Township Zoning to City of Midland Business B-2 and Business C Zones [see transcript].


4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

Mr. Bill Page of Edenville Township invited members of the Planning Commission to attend a seminar regarding farmland preservation on Friday, March 1st.  The Commission also accepted a copy of Community Organizing for Farmland Protection in Michigan – A Handbook for Concerned Citizens.


5.      Old Business


  1. Zoning Petition No. 485 – initiated by Phil W. Smith, to zone property south of East Lyon Road, north of the railroad tracks, and both east and west of Jefferson avenue from Business C to Industrial A.  Chairman Geisler is abstaining from considering this request so Vice-Chair Senesac introduced the matter.  Mr. Lynch provided a brief review of this request, recently submitted comments, and comments received during the public hearing.  Mr. Lynch provided a map illustrating the position of property owners within the area subject to the zoning petition.



Mr. Phil Smith of 1005 3rd Street noted that he does not use gas-cutting torches in his business and that the shop is located 17’ away from the existing house at its nearest point.  He reviewed a diagram illustrating the interior layout and utilization of the shop.  Mr. Smith also stated that he is an emergency machinist for Penndel Printing and that the business operations are quiet.

Planning Commissioners discussed the fact that this geographic area has been zoned Business C since 1951.  Some members felt that several of the issues raised during the public hearing are not zoning issues and he reminded the Commission to focus on the zoning matters.  Members Baker, Dowling and Svenson stated that some of the concerns about the machine shop in this neighborhood are appropriate.

Members Garner and Wieland noted that the requested zoning change is consistent with the Master Plan and would not impose immediate physical changes in the neighborhood.

It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Garner to recommend approval of Zoning Petition No. 485 to the City Council.  The vote proceeded as follows:

YEA:                Garner, Kozakiewicz, Slicker, and Wieland

NAY:                Baker, Dowling, Senesac, and Svenson

ABSENT:         None

ABSTAIN:        Geisler


At the completion of this vote Mr. Geisler resumed his duties as Chairman of the Commission.


  1. Zoning Petition No. 486 – initiated by the Affordable Housing Alliance of Midland County, to zone property at 3100 Isabella Street from Residential A-1 to Residential B.  Chairman Geisler introduced this matter and Mr. Lynch provided a review of the request and the public hearing.  Mr. Lynch also provided historical explanations of various rezoning requests that have taken place in close proximity to this subject site.

Mr. John Zimmerman of the United Way (2825 Chippewa Lane) explained that in 1998 the United Way initiated the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA).  Grove Street Commons was built shortly thereafter and Granite Club Acres is being completed this year.  The key to successful projects is affordable, developable land.  Funds are currently available for AHA to purchase this site if it is rezoned to Residential B.  The proposed project will improve the neighborhood and fulfill a community need.

Mr. Al Kiley, Acting Executive Director of AHA, (4112 Jefferson Avenue) provided a pictorial presentation of previous AHA projects as well as the subject site.  It was noted that M-20 carries over 19,000 vehicles per day in this area and the land is not likely to be attractive for single family homes.  On the adjacent property AHA will be constructing an 11-unit structure.  A similar structure is proposed for this site as well.  Commissioner Svenson clarified that AHA does not currently own the property at 3100 Isabella Street.

Mr. Jim Secor stated that he owns and resides in Perrine Pointe, which is adjacent to a single-family neighborhood.  He noted that multiple family uses are compatible with single-family homes.  He stated that AHA produces high quality developments and that the neighborhood fears are unfounded.

Commissioner Senesac first discussed the Master Plan, noting that this request would result in an action contrary to the plan.  He also pointed out that the plan may not be accurate in this geographic area given high traffic volumes, lack of single family development on M-20, and proximity to commercial land uses.  He questioned whether the future land use map should be updated for this neighborhood.

Commissioner Wieland also discussed his involvement in drafting the current Master Plan.  He recalled discussing land uses west of this subject location but does not recall discussions about this low-density residential area on M-20.  He stated that it was unlikely that this area would be developed as prescribed by the Master Plan.

Commissioner Slicker expressed his view that this area should be assigned a “community” designation so as to reduce the impact of traffic generation on M-20.

Commissioners discussed the fact that the Master Plan is a living document and it may need to be updated for this area of the City.  The proposed AHA project will be good for everyone.

It was moved by Senesac and seconded by Baker to recommend approval of Zoning Petition No. 486 and updating the Master Plan to the City Council.  The vote proceeded as follows:

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

NAY:                Slicker

ABSENT:         None


Commissioner Svenson departed at approximately 9:15 PM.


  1. Zoning Petition No. 489 – initiated by Randy B. Harsh, to zone property on the west side of Abbott Road, north of Betsey Drive, south of Alta Court from Residential A-2 to Residential A-4.  Chairman Geisler introduced the petition and Mr. Lynch provided a review of the request and the associated public hearing. 


Commissioners discussed the fact that this request did not comply with the Master Plan and noted that the petitioner did not present a compelling reason regarding why the existing Residential A-2 zoning can’t be used.


It was moved by Senesac and seconded by Wieland to recommend approval of Zoning Petition No. 489 to the City Council.  The vote proceeded as follows:

YEA:                None

NAY:                Baker, Dowling, Garner, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Senesac, Slicker, Wieland

ABSENT:         Svenson



6.  New Business


7.  Communications

The latest edition of the Planning and Zoning News was distributed.


8.  Report of the Chairman

      Noting that Cowenda Garner is attending her final Planning Commission meeting, Chairman Geisler presented Commissioner Garner with her member nameplate.

9.   Report of the Planning Director

The Director reported on the following matters:

The City Council, during its meeting of February 25th; approved Zoning Petition No. 481; set March 18th as the public hearing date for Zoning Petitions No. 482, No. 483, and No. 484; approved the Bartow annexation on Perrine Road; and approved the Bell annexation on N. Saginaw Road.

During the March 11th City Council meeting a public hearing regarding vacation requests for Hedgewood Street and Madison Street will be conducted.

On March 12th the Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the Preliminary Plat for Commerce Industrial Park (Nick Rapanos) near Bay City Road and will deliberate over Zoning Petitions No. 487 and No. 488.


10.  Adjourn.

Adjournment at approximately 9:16 p.m. was moved by Slicker, seconded by Baker, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,



Jon Lynch, AICP

Planning Commission Secretary