MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2003, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Max (unexcused)

OTHERS PRESENT:  Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; 1 other.

2.   Approval of the minutes of the meeting of January 13, 2003

Kozakiewicz moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 13, 2003 with Slicker supporting the motion.  It was noted in the Director’s Report the original approval date for Whisper Ridge should be 1-29-2001 not 2003.

 

 

3.   Public Hearings

 

None.

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

None.

 

5.      Old Business

 

1)      Site Plan No. 222 – request by Dow, Howell, Gilmore Associates, Inc. to review and approve a site plan for Dow Garden’s Natural Forest Visitor’s Center, a 3,700 s.f. interpretive center, located at 2303 Eastman Avenue.

 

The City Planner provided an overview of the project.  The issues which identified at the public hearing involved parking lot paving,  pedestrian circulation and Eastman Avenue traffic.  With regard to the paving the Zoning  Ordinance requires the lot be paved.  It was recommended that the Planning Commission consider a pedestrian connection between the parking areas not the site plan.  A report form the city traffic consultant recommends that a southbound taper be provided.  The taper assists in turning movements onto and off the site.

 

The city planner provided a list of contingencies for the site plan which included:

 

1.      Storm water plans shall be approved by the City Engineering Department.

 

2.      Hard surface parking be provided and designed in accord with off street parking requirements.

 

3.      Site lighting will not be cast off-site.

 

4.      The driveway taper recommended by the city traffic consultant be identified on the site plan and submitted to MDOT for approval.

 

5.      The site plan is modified to include these items prior to submittal to the City Council.

 

Jack Lee the project designer was the only person who spoke.  He commented that the project was a terrific opportunity to develop the 53 acres.  He thought that a gravel lot would be in keeping with what is be designed ( a natural look).  He noted that city parking lots for park uses are gravel.

 

The Planning Commission was in support of the project and the contingencies recommended by the city planner. 

 

Ray Senesac represented the sentiment of the Commission calling it a “neat project”.

 

It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Swenson to support Site Plan 222 with the contingencies recommended by staff and that the contingency that a pedestrian connection between the parking areas on the site be added.    

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

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

NAY: 

ABSENT:  Max

6.  New Business

The City planner distributed information about the Citizen Planner Program offered by Michigan State University Extension.  A review of the program was provided.  It was suggested that the Commission look  over the information and if there is interest MSU can be contacted.  Joe Slicker provided the information for staff to distribute.  He indicated the only class currently offered is in Gratiot County.

7.  Communications

None.

8.  Report of the Chairman

      The Chairman reported on the January 23rd meeting of the Downtown Development Authority, the Circle Consortium and the Entranceway Initiative Task Force.  He thought it was an excellent meeting.

9.   Report of the Planning Director

The Director reported on the following matters:

 

CITY COUNCIL

January 27thh

PUD No. 15 – Carolina Cove: Set public hearing for 2-10-03

      February 10, 2002 January 13, 2003

Site Plan No. 221 – Natural Forest Visitor’s Center consideration

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

      February 10th       

None items pending

 

February 25th

No items pending

 

Toolbox Project

·         Feb. 4 – DDA / Circle zoning

·         March 4 – Subdivision Ordinance                                                            

·         Copies of the Subdivision Control Ordinance were distributed.  The Chairman asked that each Commissioner review the ENTIRE document

 

Special Sessions

·         Consider a date for “spring training” .  A Saturday session in mid to late April may be appropriate.

·         The City Planner explained that two Saturdays in May will have conflict with Spring break and Easter.  The dates will have to be either April 12th or the 26th.  The Planning Commission will finalize a date at its next meeting.

 

Other Items

      City Planner recommended the APA and MSP web sites to the Commission.

 

 

 

10.  Adjourn.

Adjournment at approximately 7:30 PM was moved by Wieland, seconded by Senesac, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Jon Lynch, AICP

Planning Commission Secretary

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION