MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2004, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Dowling and Svenson (each excused)

OTHERS PRESENT:  Mark Ostgarden, City Planner and 7 others

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of January 13, 2004

It was moved by Geisler and supported by Max to approve the minutes of January 13.  The minutes were unanimously approved as corrected.

 

3.   Public Hearings

     

      None

     

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

None

 

5.      Old Business

 

A.  Zoning Petition No. 505 - Consideration of a zoning change requested by Family and Children’s Service of Midland to zone property at 1610 Bookness Street from Residential A-4 to Office Service 2.  Mark Ostgarden provided a summary of the request and the public hearing conducted on January 13th.  Bonnie McManus of Family and Children’s Service described her agency as being a good neighbor and that if the zoning is approved that the parking lot will be screened from adjacent property.

 

Commissioner Kozakiewicz stated that there was a similar situation which occurred at Wolverine Bank.  Rezoning seems compatible with the uses across the street.  He sees no adverse affect of a parking lot. He realizes the property can be used for residential purposes.  He questioned whether the change will cause erosion of the neighborhood.

 

Commissioner Max was surprised that there was no opposition.  He can not support the plan as it does not fit with the Master Plan.

 

Commissioner Wieland understands the staff recommendation, most compelling is the inconsistency of the zoning with the Master Plan, however the area has not developed in the manner anticipated in the Plan.

 

Commissioner Mead stated that the rezoning will offer a buffer and the area will gradually change.

Chairman Senesac noted that discussion should not be about a specific use.  He has difficulty in supporting the request.  He agrees that Office Service is a buffer.  He supports the use of the property (as explained at the hearing) but he cannot support the zoning.

 

Commissioner Geisler said that Office Service makes a good buffer.  If the buffer were extended, it can help protect residential uses in the area.

 

Commissioner Wieland is hesitant but he will support the request, however this is an area for disagreement.

 

It was moved by Kozakiewicz and seconded by Wieland to recommend approval of Zoning Petition No. 505. 

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

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

NAY:         Max and Senesac

ABSENT:  Dowling and Svenson

 

B.       Site Plan No. 235 - Consideration of site plan approval requested by Arthur J.

Fisher to revise an approved site plan (#219) for a residential mobile home park with 137 sites on approximately 35 acres located east of Perrine Road and south of Letts Road.  Mark Ostgarden provided a summary of the request and the public hearing of January 13th.  The changes in the revised plan, the list of outstanding issues, the staff recommendation and approval contingencies were presented.

 

The significant issues of discussion included the pedestrian bridge across Sturgeon Creek, and a children’s play area.  The City Planner inquired how residents would get to the park office which is on the east side of the Creek, if there is not a pedestrian bridge.  Arthur Fisher, the park owner, explained that Letts Road would be used.  The City Planner asked where children would play.  The site engineer indicated that there is open space along the Creek (floodplain).  Mr. Fisher identified areas where a playground could be constructed in the new park. 

 

Mr. Fisher is willing to construct a pedestrian bridge.  The site engineer indicated that approval of the bridge could take up to a year as it involves a DEQ floodplain permit to construct the bridge.

 

Some Commissioners questioned why the bridge was being discussed.  The City Planner reminded the Commission the bridge is part of the already approved plan but was removed on the revised plan.

 

A poll of the members taken by Chairman Senesac indicated support for the bridge.  The City Planner suggested that because there was concern about the amount of time required to get permit approval, and whether the bridge would even be approved, that the approval could include a condition that the application for the DEQ permit is made within six months, and the bridge be constructed within one year following permit approval.  The suggestion was acceptable to the Commission.  

 

It was moved by Max and seconded by Baker to recommend approval of Site Plan No. 235 with the following contingencies: 

 

1.      An application for a DEQ permit to construct a pedestrian bridge across Sturgeon Creek is made within six months of site plan approval and the bridge be constructed within one year following DEQ approval.

2.      Dumpsters shall not be visible from the public right of way.

3.      Geometry of the intersection of the private street at Perrine Road must be approved by the City traffic engineer.

4.      Private street names must meet local naming convention.

5.   Fire hydrants must be in place and operable prior to installation of dwelling units.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:         Baker, Geisler, Kozakiewicz, Max, Mead, Senesac, and Wieland

NAY:        

ABSENT:  Dowling and Svenson

 

 

C.       City of Midland Zoning Ordinance – Continue discussion of draft zoning text.

The City Planner explained that the only outstanding issue is recreational vehicles.  The memo prepared by Assistant City Manager Jon Lynch was reviewed.  The significant change increased the time allowed for temporary storage in the required setback from four weeks to six weeks.  The table that compared the existing Zoning Ordinance language to proposed language was discussed.  It included language requested by the Commission which restricted front yard parking.  It was explained that there is  language in the City Code of Ordinances that will need to be amended if the existing language is retained.

Commissioner Kozakiewicz asked what would be gained with restricting parking in the required yards and he thought the restrictions would be confusing.

Commissioner Mead thought the change in the proposed language was a small change and the new language goes back to existing language.

Commissioner Geisler was the only member present who thought that parking should be restricted.  He thought that if recreational vehicles are parked in the setback that a neighbor should be allowed to construct a tall fence to shield the view of the vehicle.  He reminded fellow Commissioners that there are differences between urban and rural areas. 

Chairman Senesac said that he has come full circle on the issue.  He now supports leaving the language the way it is. 

It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Max to include the existing language (with the amendments suggested in the staff report) in the new Zoning Ordinance.

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:         Baker, Kozakiewicz, Max, Mead, Senesac, and Wieland

NAY:        Geisler

ABSENT:  Dowling and Svenson

 

In reference to a letter distributed to Commissioners from resident John Rapanos, Chairman Senesac asked whether the Planning Commission desired to consider language in the new Zoning Ordinance which would permit parking as a conditional land use in Residential A-4 and RB zoning districts for adjacent business and office zones uses.  It was his impression that there have been several situations before the Commission that would warrant consideration of this in the new Ordinance.

The Commission thought it would be a good idea.  The City Planner cautioned the Commission that it may sound like a good idea; however, staff would like to talk to McKenna Associates about it.  The Commission agreed and asked whether information could be provided at its next meeting.  The City Planner stated he will try to have the information for the next meeting.

The City Planner asked the Planning Commission to consider having a public hearing on the entire Zoning Ordinance draft at its February 24th meeting.  He recommended that if the Commission wanted to move ahead that a motion be introduced and a voice vote be conducted.

A motion was made by Rod Wieland and seconded by Dan Kozakiewicz to conduct a public hearing on the new Zoning Ordinance on February 24, 2004.

All in support.

6.  New Business

      None

7.  Communications

None

 

8.  Report of the Chairman

      The chairman had no information to report.

9.   Report of the Planning Director

The Director reported on the following matters:

 

CITY COUNCIL

February 9th

                        PUBLIC HEARINGS

                                                                        Set date for Zoning Petition No. 505 – Family and Children’s Service

                        ACTION ITEMS

                                    Site Plan No. 235 – Alpine Mobile Home Park

PLANNING COMMISSION     

February 10th

                        PUBLIC HEARINGS

                                                                            Site Plan No. 236 – Forestview Condominiums

                       

The City Planner reminded the Commission that it requested reports on Zoning Board of

Appeals activity.  The City Planner reported there was no January meeting of the Board.

.

10.  Adjourn.

The motion to adjourn at approximately 9:00 PM was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Mark Ostgarden, AICP, CFM

City Planner

 

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION