1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     None

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Director of Planning & Community Development; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant; and 8 others

2.   Approval of the minutes of the meeting of March 26, 2002

Wieland, seconded by Baker, moved approval of the minutes of the meeting of March 26, 2002.  The minutes were unanimously approved.


3.   Public Hearings

  1. Zoning Petition No. 490 – initiated by Alexander Irigoyen, to zone property at 2101 Bay City Road and 2107 Bay City Road from Business-C to Industrial-A [see transcript].


4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)



5.      Old Business


  1. Preliminary Plat of Harsh Estates – a residential subdivision of 23 lots on 6.74 acres north of Betsy Drive, south of Alta Court being developed by Randy Harsh.  Mr. Lynch provided a brief review of the public hearing conducted regarding this matter on March 26th.  In response to a request by the Planning Commission, comments were solicited from the City’s consulting traffic engineer.


Mr. Stan Cool indicated that if the proposed subdivision design included continuing Airfield Lane to Abbott Road, the residents of the new subdivision would have the greatest number of options for vehicular access.  Such options would also be available for City emergency and public service vehicles.  Mr. Cool also stated that if Airfield Lane were not going to be connected through the subdivision to Abbott Road, that an access from Abbott Road would produce a situation whereby traffic could enter the proposed subdivision without traveling through the established neighborhoods to the west.


Mr. Lynch also referred to an e-mail received via the City comment line.  The e-mail expressed opposition to continuation of Airfield Lane to Abbott Road.


Commissioners inquired about their options for addressing the proposed plat.  Mr. Lynch noted that the Commission could act on the plat as submitted or it could recommend that the plat be modified.  Modifications discussed to date would be either continuing Airfield Lane to Abbott Road or requiring that the single point of access be taken from Abbott Road, rather than Airfield Lane.



Mr. Randy Harsh, the project developer, noted that bringing the street to Abbott Road would likely require relocation of an existing municipal water main and its associated maintenance easement.  The general sentiment is to keep the current subdivision design.


Mr. Mike Wood of 413 North 5 Mile Road stated that Mr. Harsh’s developments are top-notch and this subdivision design is more than adequate.


Commissioner Kozakiewicz expressed support for the existing subdivision design, noting that the need for dimensional variances along Abbott is indicative of potential problems.  In addition, making Airfield Lane a through street would create a bigger problem for the neighborhood in the future.


Commissioner Wieland stated that he generally accepts recommendations of the traffic engineer but in this case feels that extending the street would create a situation similar to the Amberwood subdivision.  While sympathetic with concerns of residents to the west, new vehicle traffic in the area shouldn’t be burdensome.  Connecting to Amberwood presents more concerns than it solves.


Concerns of the residents would not be addressed if Airfield Lane became a through street, noted Commissioner Svenson.


Commissioner Baker stated that he favored a through street to Abbott, as he was not sure that traffic through the neighborhood would increase as a result.


Commissioner Slicker pointed out that several residential cul-de-sacs currently take access from Abbott Road.  Requiring this subdivision to take access from Abbott Road rather than Airfield Lane is a much more fair proposal.


Stating that the current design will avoid future traffic problems, Commissioner Dowling expressed support for the plat as submitted.


Commissioner Senesac noted that the current plan is not without problems but that it is better than either a through street or accessing Abbott Road.


Chairman Geisler also expressed support for the submitted design.


It was moved by Svenson and seconded by Kozakiewicz to recommend requested approvals of the Harsh Estates preliminary plat with the following conditions:

1.      The plat includes restrictions indicating that buildings will not be constructed within the utility easements along lots 8 and 9.

2.      Lots 7-11 are sufficiently screened along Abbott Road.

3.      White Pine Circle is renamed.

4.      A storm water retention plan is approved by the City Engineering Department.

5.      Provisions of the March 15, 2002 memorandum written by the Fire Chief or complied with.


A vote on the motion proceeded as follows:

YEA:                Dowling, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Senesac, Svenson, and Wieland

NAY:                Baker, Slicker

ABSENT:         None


6.  New Business

Mr. Lynch presented the Commission with information pertaining to revisions to the Midland Subdivision Ordinance made necessary by the Michigan Land Division Act of 1997.  Commissioners discussed the recommended revisions and recommended that the ordinance language reference the 1997 Land Division Act and that the application form be revised to include an earlier statement regarding the affidavit.

It was moved by Svenson and Seconded by Slicker to recommend that the City Council adopt the ordinance revisions with the recommended changes.


A vote on the motion proceeded as follows:

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

NAY:                      None

ABSENT:               None

7.  Communications

Chairman Geisler pointed out that copies of Roberts Rules of Order and Parliamentary procedure have been provided for review.

8.  Report of the Chairman


9.   Report of the Planning Director

The Director reported on the following matters:

During its regular meeting of April 8th the City Council approved Zoning Petitions No. 482, 483, and 484.  Tentative and final approval of the Tri-City Commerce Park preliminary plat was also granted.

On April 22nd the Council will conduct public hearings on Zoning Petitions No. 485, 486, 487, and 488.  The Harsh Estates preliminary plat will also be considered.

During the April 23rd Planning Commission meeting the Commission will conduct public hearings on Zoning Petition No. 491 and Site Plan No. 112.  The Commission will deliberate on Zoning Petition No. 490.  A request to vacate a public walkway between Virginia and Carolina Streets will also be considered.

McKenna Associates will be meeting with the Commission on April 30th to review the outcome of the Community Development Toolbox session held on April 2nd.

On May 14th the Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on Zoning Petition No. 492.



10.  Adjourn.

Adjournment at approximately 8:20 PM was moved by Wieland, seconded by Slicker, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,



Jon Lynch, AICP

Planning Commission Secretary