1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Baker, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Senesac, and Wieland

ABSENT:     Dowling, Max, and Svenson (each excused)

OTHERS PRESENT:  Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Administrative Assistant; and 8 others

2.   Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Geisler and supported by Wieland to approve the minutes of July 8th. The minutes were unanimously approved as corrected.


3.   Public Hearings


Zoning Petition No. 501 – Action initiated by the Planning Commission to zone property located at 1367 and 1419 East Saginaw Road from Township zoning to Business B-2.  [See transcript]


4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.   Old Business


Zoning Petition No. 502 – Action initiated by the Planning Commission to zone property located at 1351 East Saginaw Road from Township zoning to Business B-2. 


Staff reviewed the significant aspects of the zoning and the six criteria for evaluating the petition.  A letter from property owner Cora Belle Bell was received opposing the commercial zoning.  The letter stated she desired the zoning to be residential and cited, among other reasons, loss of property values and spot zoning as reasons.


Dan Kozakiewicz questioned whether the Office Service zoning to the north, which is more area than identified on the Land Use Plan constitutes a changed condition in the neighborhood.  The City Planner explained that the lines are not fixed.  Determination of whether the additional Office Service is a change condition would need to be a Panning Commission determination.


Sheldon Mitchell asked about what type of commercial activity would be permitted.  The City Planner explained that the proposal is to zone the property BB-2, which would allow a wide variety of commercial activity.  Mr. Mitchell asked whether a gas station would be allowed.  Staff responded that it would.  He did not object too most commercial uses but had concerns about a gas station.


Tom McCann thought if the property to the north is zoned Office Service 2 then there should be a transition toward a busy highway.  He did not think RA-1 would be appropriate for the property.


Jim Geisler thought BB-2 was not appropriate because it would make the residential use nonconforming.  He suggested that Office Service 2 zoning should be considered.  That zoning allows single family residential uses as permitted uses. 


Rod Wieland thought that the property should not be zoned residential in conformance with the Master Plan.  Russ Baker agreed.


Dan Kozakiewicz thought Office Service zoning would be in character with the neighborhood and will make her property conforming.


Roger Mead would like to see the Office Service zoning.


Ray Senesac reminded everyone about the discussion that took place when the property was reviewed as part of the Master Plan discussion for the 1997 Plan.  He said the intent was to limit the commercial activity and that the Commission at that time did not want another commercial strip.  He was not in support of business zoning


Rod Wieland stated that the Homer Township Plan had the entire area zoned commercial and that this area should be evaluated again.


Jim Geisler reiterated that Office Service 2 would be a good compromise.


A motion was made by Jim Geisler and supported by Dan Kozakiewicz to zone the area in Petition No. 502 to Office Service 2.


The vote proceeded as follows:


Yea:           Baker, Geisler, Kozakiewicz and Mead

Nay:           Senesac and Wieland

Absent:      Dowling, Max, Svenson


Zoning Petition No. 503 – Action initiated by the Planning Commission to zone property located at 1649 East Saginaw Road from Township zoning to Business B-2. 


City Planner reviewed the significant issues with the zoning request and the six criteria for evaluating the request.  It was suggested that if the Planning Commission recommended a commercial zoning, that only a portion of the Midland Fence Company property be zoned Business B-2.  An air photo of the property was shown depicting the developed portion of the property.  This represented approximately 700 feet of depth from Saginaw Road.  The north part of the property was vacant and was about 500 feet deep.


When asked about zoning only the developed potion of the property, to Business B-2 owner Terry Humpert responded he did not know what he would do with the part that as not zoned business.


Tom McCann thought that the frontage to a depth of 700’-800’ should be zoned business.  He did not think the entire depth of 1200’ was appropriate.


Rod Wieland thought it appropriate to zone the developed portion to Business B-2. 


Ray Senesac stated that zoning the property Business B-2 is not in accord with the Master Plan.  The uses along Saginaw Road are residential.  Zoning the property to business means we are committing this area to business development.


A motion was made by Dan Kozakiewicz and seconded by Russ Baker to zone that portion of the property from the fence line south to Business B-2 and the remaining property zoned Residential A-1.


The vote proceeded as follows:


Yea:           Baker, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Mead, and Wieland

Nay:           Senesac

Absent:      Dowling, Max, Svenson


The exact distance to the fence line and to the north line will need to be determined.


Site Plan No. 229 – Request by Three Rivers Construction, Inc. on behalf of the Midland Evangelical Free Church to construct a 125,000 square foot family life center on property located west of North Jefferson Road and south of Monroe Road.  Commissioner Kozakiewicz requested to abstain from action, as Three Rivers is his employer.  It was moved by Max and seconded by Dowling and was unanimously approved to allow Commissioner Kozakiewicz to abstain. 


Dan Kozakiewicz reminded the Planning Commission about his abstention on this petition.


The City Planner described the significant aspects of the site plan.  The Commission is acting only on Phase I of the project.  The contingency items described in the staff report were reviewed.  The staff report indicated that the City Traffic Engineer Stan Cool had been requested to review whether a bypass lane for northbound traffic should be considered.   Due to surgery that Mr. Cool has had he has not reviewed this request.  It was recommended that the review be included as a contingency item.


Sheldon Mitchell inquired of the Commission how long it would take to develop the project.  Randy Sherman the architect of the project indicated that this is a four-phase project and that each phase could take two years complete.


All members of the Commission ware in support of the project with the contingencies that had been reviewed.  Roger Mead supported the project but was concerned about the traffic on Jefferson Avenue.


A motion was made by Jim Geisler and seconded by Rod Wieland to recommend approval of Site Plan No. 229 subject to the following contingencies:


1.   A minimum of 31 barrier free parking spaces are provided.

2.   Site lighting will not cast illumination off site.

3.   Refuse dumpsters will be screened.

4.   Fire hydrants shall be provided around the perimeter of the building at intervals not to exceed 600’.

5.   The south entrance must align with the entrance to Broadhead Estates, east of Jefferson Road.

6.   MEFC considers providing an additional 7’ to the Jefferson Road ROW along the east side of the site.

7.   The 16” water main at Jefferson Road will be extended to the north entry drive so that the site supply system can be looped.  MEFC will request such extension in the 2004 Engineering Priorities process.

8.   Storm water retention plans are reviewed and approved by the City of Midland Engineering Department.


The vote proceeded as follows:


Yea:           Baker, Geisler, Mead, Senesac, and Wieland

Nay:           None

Abstain:    Kozakiewicz

Absent:      Dowling, Max, Svenson


7.       New Business


There was no consensus by the Planning Commission to consider Zoning Petition No. 501.  That will be scheduled for August 12th.  The Commission would like more input from the property owner.

8.  Communications

      An article on churches and zoning was distributed by Jim Geisler

9.   Report of the Chairman


 No report.

10.  Report of the Planning Director



            June 22nd – Approved Site Plan No. 228  - Boulder Creek Condominiums.




Zoning Petition No. 501


            Zoning Petitions No. 502 and No. 503

Site Plan No. 229

Toolbox Project

Special meeting on September 2nd at 6:00 p.m. for Zoning Ordinance public hearing




Site Plan No. 220 – Taco Bell WT Development and Nick Rapanos are continuing to discuss the easement issues.


The Planning Department is reviewing Midland Township’s Master Plan and will be providing written comment to the Township.


     Encouraged the Planning Commission to begin planning for the MSP Conference  

     scheduled for October 15-18 at Grand Traverse Resort.


11.  Adjourn.

Adjournment at approximately 9:00 PM was moved by Geisler, seconded by Baker, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,





Mark Ostgarden AICP, CFM

City Planner