MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,
WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2002, 7:00 P.M.,
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN
1. Roll Call
PRESENT: Baker, Dowling, Geisler, Senesac, Slicker, Svenson, and Wieland
ABSENT: Kozakiewicz and Max (previously arranged)
OTHERS PRESENT: Jon Lynch, Director of Planning & Community Development; Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant; and 34 others
2. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of August 27, 2002
Baker moved approval of the minutes of the meeting of August 27, 2002 with Slicker supporting the motion. It was noted that the transcript of the public hearing for Broadhead Estates makes reference to 1,200 s.f. lots rather than 12,000 s.f. lots. The minutes were approved as corrected.
3. Public Hearings
a. Site Plan No. 217 – request of NuHorizons Properties, LLC for site plan review and approval of a 24 unit expansion of the existing Birchwood Pointe Apartments located on the northwest corner of Wheeler Street and Swede Avenue. [see transcript]
b. Site Plan No. 218 – request of McKnight Group for site plan review and approval of Eagle Ridge Church of God, 2808 Waldo Avenue, on 13.25 acres located east of Waldo Avenue and south of East Ashman Street. [see transcript]
4. Public Comments (not related to agenda items)
5. Old Business
Broadhead Estates Preliminary Plat – request of Midland Investment Co. for review and approval of a preliminary plat of 89 lots on 34.59 acres north of Oakbrook Court, east of Jefferson Avenue. Mr. Lynch provided a review of the public hearing conducted on August 27th. Mr. Lynch also pointed out that Commissioners had received written communications regarding the proposed plat from Commissioner Max, Ayres Associates, Christian & Tatyana Collins, Dick & June Mathieson, Carl & Helen Gibbons (3 letters) and Peter Saucier. He noted that the City of Midland Low Density Residential land use classification permits up to 4 dwelling units per acre. The proposed plat calls for 2.57 dwelling units per acre. Finally, Mr. Lynch noted that issues regarding the
horizontal curves and site drainage needed to be resolved.
Mr. John Rapanos of Midland indicated that in discussing site drainage with the Midland County Drain Commissioner it was concluded that the Siebert Drain ran across Oakbrook Estates to the south boundary of the proposed plat.
Mr. Carl Gibbons of 3364 Julie Ann noted that the claim of a ditch on the north side of the plat is erroneous. The proposed church on Jefferson Avenue will take its access directly across from Julie Ann. With no shoulders on Jefferson, he is very concerned about increased traffic as this project will create a serious hazard. Mr. Gibbons requested that a waiver of the street spacing standard not be granted without a study of the success of similar variances issued in the past. He expressed concern regarding the negative economic impact that this project will have on property values. Finally, Mr. Gibbons inquired about the public notification requirements for plats and indicated that he had contacted an attorney to investigate violations of application notification laws.
Mr. Arnold Haskell of 3606 Oakbrook explained that he felt Mr. Rapanos is seeking approval of a project that is inconsistent with his previously stated position with respect to the density of the Village at Joseph’s Run development.
Mr. Mike Poppa expressed reluctance to place any confidence in the master planning process given the City’s actions on the Village at Joseph’s Run project.
Ms. Lisa Tomsich of 3522 Julie Ann stated that she is a traffic engineer employed by the Michigan Department of Transportation and that this project should not be approved without Mr. Rapanos completing a traffic study. Single family homes will each produce 8 to 10 trips per day so this project will result in 900 new trips per day.
Ms. Susan Lewis of Midland Michigan noted that while the proposed lots are 80’ by 150’, there is no requirement that homes be placed at certain locations on the lots.
Mr. Rapanos stated that his position regarding project density had been mischaracterized and that his position had been consistent. He futher noted that the proposed project would be provided with an emergency access between Broadhead and Oakbrook Court. The land at the east end of Oakbrook Court will soon be platted into single family lots.
Mr. Ostgarden provided a review of public hearing notification procedures for plats and informed the Commission that all applicable requirements had been met.
Commissioner Svenson indicated that she had contacted a local real estate professional and had been told that the biggest increase in sales over the past year had been in homes between $250,000 and $300,000 while the biggest decrease had been in homes between $150,000 and $200,000. She also noted that the Planning Commission had recently recommended denial of a Planned Unit Development due to its proposed density.
Chairman Geisler noted that the Land Use Plan for this area calls for low density residential development. The City’s Residential A-1 Zone permits lots with a minimum area of 12,000 square feet. This standard is appropriately different than lot sizes in Larkin Township. If the developer chose to create only the smallest permitted lots he could perhaps create 20 or 30 more lots.
Commissioner Svenson stated that lower density than that proposed would fit into this area better.
Commissioner Senesac requested that Mr. Lynch provide a review of the Planning Commission’s standards for consideration of plats. Mr. Lynch pointed out that the Subdivision Ordinance provides design standards for subdivisions that the Planning Commission must follow.
Mr. Senesac noted that while there is passionate resistance to this proposal, is generally meets the requirements of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance.
Commissioner Wieland stated that there is no basis for recommending denial of the proposed plat.
Commissioner Slicker indicated that while the proposal might meet the requirements of the ordinance, the Commission is reacting instead of being proactive. The City is not looking far enough ahead to address annexation issues and what the community should look like. These area land owners have good points and he can not support the proposal. There should be a less intrusive change to the area.
Commissioner Baker stated that the developer would not likely build shacks on these lots and the plan meets the requirements of the ordinance.
It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Senesac to recommend to City Council approval of the Preliminary Plat of Broadhead Estates with the following contingency items:
1. The subject property is zoned to the City of Midland Residential A-1 zoning classification prior to approval of the Final Plat.
2. The Midland City Council grants an exception from Section 23-53 of the Subdivision Ordinance, permitting Broadhead to be located within 650’ of Oakbrook Court.
3. The development agreement includes provisions for installation of a temporary turn around at the end of Broadhead for each phase of development, with exception of the final phase when a permanent cul-de-sac shall be constructed.
4. The development agreement includes provisions for construction and maintenance of an emergency access road capable of supporting a 60,000 pound vehicle with a minimum surface width of 20’. Such emergency access road shall be constructed prior to development of any lots east of Lot 27 or Lot 36.
5. A storm water retention plan is approved by the City Engineering Department.
6. Provisions of the August 19, 2002 memorandum written by the Fire Chief are complied with.
The vote proceeded as follows:
YEA: Baker, Dowling, Geisler, Senesac, Wieland
NAY: Slicker, Svenson
ABSENT: Kozakiewicz, Max
6. New Business
Mr. Lynch provided Commissioners with a copy of a letter from A.B. Savage regarding concerns that a roundabout in the Circle would be damaging.
8. Report of the Chairman
Chairman Geisler reported that along with Commissioners Baker, Slicker, and Wieland, that he and Mr. Lynch had attended a meeting of the Larkin Township Planning Board to discuss long range land use issues.
9. Report of the Planning Director
The Director reported on the following matters:
ZP No. 493, Birchwood Pointe (approved)
SP No. 215, Hidden Pines Condominiums (approved)
SP No. 216, MidMichigan Medical Center (approved)
Preliminary Plat – Broadhead Estates
SP No. 217, Birchwood Pointe Apartments – Action
SP No. 218, Eagle Ridge Church of God – Action
SP No. 210, Liquid Molding Systems – Public Hearing
ZP No. 494, Whiting Property – Public Hearing
Community Development Toolbox Meetings
October 1 – Development & Performance Standards, Landscaping, Parking
November 5 – Administration, Schedule of Regulations, PUD
December 3 – Public Hearing Draft
October 2-5 – MSP Conference in Kalamazoo
Adjournment at approximately 8:45 PM was moved by Wieland, seconded by Slicker, and unanimously approved.
Jon Lynch, AICP
Planning Commission Secretary
MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION