MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2003, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Dowling (excused)

OTHERS PRESENT:  Mark Ostgarden, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist; and 6 others.

2.   Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Baker and supported by Svenson to approve the minutes of November 11th. The minutes were unanimously approved as presented.

 

3.   Public Hearings

 

None

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

None

 

5.   Old Business

 

A.  Site Plan No. 233 – Consideration of site plan approval requested by Wal-Mart to construct a 72,427 square foot expansion of an existing retail store at 910 Joe Mann Boulevard. 

 

Mark Ostgarden presented an overview of the proposal for an expansion on the north side of the existing building.  The contingency items that were specified at the public hearing were reviewed.  Reference was made to the site including an area for a future gas station.  Staff has been in contact with the company proposing the development and a meeting is scheduled to review that site plan.  It was clarified that the gas station is not part of this site plan approval.  One of the contingencies is that 410 feet of screening is required along the east property line.  A fence will require that the good or finished surface efface the exterior of the property.  During the staff presentation reference was made to the use of shipping containers for on-site storage.

 

Robert Matko of CESO Engineering commented that in response to landscaping concerns  expressed during the public hearing, that additional landscaping wil be provided along Joe Mann Boulevard.  They have added a six foot wooden fence on the east side of the property.    The storage container location will be limited to the north side of the site. 

 

Commissioner Senesac asked how long was it, after the store opened, before storage containers started being used? Mr. Matko stated that shortly after the store opened there became a need for additional storage.  Mr. Matko indicated that he did not expect there to be a need for as many containers on site after the expansion is completed.

 

Fred Westphal, 4740 Wackerly Road, stated landscape islands in the parking lot should be mandatory to direct traffic flow and for pedestrian safety.  He also questioned whether Joe Mann Boulevard can handle the additional traffic generated by Wal-Mart and the Home Depot.  He also commented that, in his opinion, using containers is a cheap way to provide additional storage as he doesn’t think they are taxable.

 

Mr. Ostgarden stated that the city traffic consultant had reviewed the site plan, and the ability of Joe Mann Boulevard to handle the additional traffic was not mentioned as a concern. 

 

Using an aerial photo, Mr. Ostgarden identified that there were thirty eight containers on site.  It was estimated that the square foot area of storage being provided by the containers is approximately 14,000 sf.  The magnitude of the use of containers was not known by the City until the building expansion was proposed. 

 

Commissioner Kozakiewicz said that the plan looks acceptable but thought there should be a resolution to the use of the containers. The position of the Planning Commission was that the site plan warranted approval, however, the containers needed to be removed once the addition was ready for occupancy.

 

A motion was made to recommend approval of the site plan with the following contingencies:

 

1.      Particular design and dimensions of the driveway at the southwest corner of the site shall be approved by the City’s Traffic Engineer so as to ensure effective prohibition of left turn movements.

2.      Parking spaces are delineated by “box” striping.

3.      Screening is provided as required by Section 29.12 of the Zoning Ordinance along that portion of the site adjacent to residential zoning (approximately 410’ along the east property line).

4.      Site lighting will be sufficient to provide for the safety of customers and employees while not casting illumination off site.

5.      Any new signage will comply with applicable zoning provisions.

6.      Storm water handling plans must be reviewed and approved by the City’s Engineering Department.

7.      Easements for the public water mains will be transmitted by the property owner to the City of Midland promptly upon completion of the water main installation.

8.      The storage containers must be removed from the site prior to receiving an occupancy permit for the new building.

 

A vote proceeded as follows:

 

Yea:           Baker, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Max, Mead, Senesac, Svenson and Wieland.

Nay:           None

Absent:      Dowling

 

 

B.  Zoning Ordinance Update

 

Mark Ostgarden reviewed four issues that are included in the proposed Zoning Ordinance to be  sure that the Planning Commission and the public were aware of the revisions being proposed.

1        RV Parking.  RV parking and storage in residential neighborhood is proposed to be more restrictive.

2        Fences.  The finished side of a fence shall face out and appeals to the Zoning Board of Appeals wil be considered as variances, not special approvals.

3        Multiple Family Uses in Office Service Zoning.  One and two family dwellings are proposed to be removed as permitted uses in the Office Service zone.  Multi-family uses will be conditional land uses.  Removal of single and two family uses as permitted uses will create over 200 non-conformities.

4        Storage of Merchandise in Commercial Zoning.  The proposed language need to clearly identify where storage is permitted.

 

6.   New Business

 

Website Feedback – Mark Ostgarden explained that the Planning Department is seeking assistance in evaluating the information on its website.  Commissioners Senesac and Wieland volunteered to evaluate the information.  Information will be provided to assist  in the evaluation.

7.   Communications

      None

8.   Report of the Chairman

Public hearing on the Zoning Ordinance will occur at the December 9, 2003 meeting.

Chairman Senesac suggested that a Zoning Board of Appeals report be added to the Planning Director’s report.  The Commission thought that was a good suggestion. 

Report of the Planning Director

The City Council recognition of Ray Senesac, Citizen Planner was mentioned.  Mr. Senesac stated that the course was a good learning experience.  Several other commissioners expressed a desire to participate in the program at next years MSP Conference.   MSP will be informed of this interest.

 

      CITY COUNCIL

                       

o        November 24th

Recognition of Ray Senesac by City Council.

            PLANNING COMMISSION

o        December 9th

Public Hearings

Draft Zoning Ordinance Update

Zoning Petition No. 504 - Midland Soccer Club

Site Plan No. 234 – The Courts of Joseph’s Run

 

Action Items

None

 

11.  Adjourn.

Adjournment at approximately 9:10 PM was moved by Geisler, seconded by Baker, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Mark Ostgarden AICP, CFM

City Planner

 

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION