MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2005, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Baker, Kanuch, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Plotzke, Svenson and Wieland

ABSENT:     Eyre and Senesac

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Assistant City Manager; Daryl Poprave, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist; and 8 others.

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of April 12, 2005

It was moved by Wieland and supported by Plotzke to approve the minutes of April 12th. The minutes were unanimously approved. 

 

3.   Public Hearings

     

      None

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

 

5.   Old Business

 

A.    Zoning Petition No. 519 –Consideration of a petition initiated by the City of Midland Planning Commission to zone property at 31 Cheryl Drive, owned by Donovan & Carrie Ellis from Township zoning to Residential A-1.

 

The site is a ½ acre of property off of Isabella.  It is located just east of Cheryl Drive, just inside the city limits.  It is a single family medium density zoning district.  The public hearing was to zone this property RA-1.  An e-mail was received from the owner in support of the RA-1 zoning for this property.  The parcel immediately to the north has recently received the Regional Commercial zoning classification. 

 

Commissioner Wieland thinks this is pretty straight forward.  This has been discussed several times.  He thinks there was general consensus prior to the public hearing to zone this property Residential A-1.  Commissioner Kanuch is also in favor of this zoning.

 

It was moved by Wieland and seconded by Mead to recommend zoning for this property as Residential A-1.

 


The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:           Baker, Kanuch, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Plotzke, Svenson and Wieland

NAY:           None

ABSENT:    Eyre and Senesac

 

Motion passes unanimously.

 

B.   Zoning Petition No. 521 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Todd Bennett to zone property on West Wackerly Street located north and east of Northgate Drive and owned by Bennett Construction from Office Service zoning to Community Commercial.

 

At the public hearing, they received significant public input regarding this zoning petition.  Input covered a wide range of issues, including the location of the retention basin.  The subject property is located next to Community Commercial zoning.  A portion of this property already falls within the Community Commercial zoning district as this property is divided by zoning districts.  The future land use map indicates the entire corner area should be Office Service.  However, the corner is all zoned Community Commercial.

 

Rich Fosgitt – Bartow & King Engineers – stated that Bennett Construction would agree to leave the triangular area as Office Service zoning, occupied by the storm water detention pond.  Mr. Fosgitt read another letter in support of the rezoning from another small business owner on Wackerly, Heidi Allis. 

 

Sheila Messler, representing Bennett Construction, spoke in favor of the rezoning.  It is an ongoing construction site, so they are maintaining the bags to keep the storm water on site.  Ms. Messler referred to Zoning Petition #513, from Mr. Weckesser, also on W. Wackerly.  She stated there are several similarities to this project and this is the side of town businesses want to grow on.  She states this is a good spot for commercial and it is a good location for small businesses to locate.

 

Jeff Dulude spoke in opposition to the rezoning.  His office is at the south end of the detention pond.  He feels if this area is rezoned, anything allowed in commercial zoning could go in there.  He prefers not to smell gas or food when he opens his windows while he works.  He built his office here as it was built in Office Service and that is what he would like it to stay.

 

Mead – asked what the proposed grade of the new building is?  As it is now, it sort of slopes off toward the Office Service properties.

 

Rich Fosgitt stated that the land does slope toward the Office Service buildings.  If they build a building in between, they would step it down so it is at a lower grade. 

 

Mead – asked if there was going to be water in the detention pond continually through the summer?

 

Fosgitt stated that those ponds are no different than the ponds around the mall or by Kohl’s.  The pond by Kohl’s has about a foot of water in it all the time.  Once it is all developed, you will get vegetation that will thrive in that type of environment. 

 

Mead – Thinks the offices look very nice behind this area.  The commercial development backs up to the offices and looks very nice, also.  He would support the rezoning.  He would like the pond area to remain zoned Office Service, however.

 

Baker – The rezoning of the pond is irrelevant.

 

Wieland – This came before us several years ago.  At that time, I did not support it.  There are some buildings there now that were not there then.  Development has proceeded on the corner, of a commercial nature.  This has been a positive addition to the city.  This is a much more limited request than it was several years ago.  He will support the rezoning request, with the understanding that the retention pond not be a part of it.

 

Kanuch – He would also support.  The owner has done a tremendous job on that corner already.  He doesn’t think this one lot will make a big difference.

 

Plotzke – Thinks the Community Commercial would not severely impact this area, except for the triangular area.  This is not in conformance with the Master Plan.  He would not support the rezoning.

 

Kozakiewicz agrees with Plotzke.  This is not in conformance with the Master Plan and he will not support the rezoning.

 

It was moved by Mead and seconded by Wieland to recommend Community Commercial zoning for the northerly square piece of property, but not the triangular shaped portion.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Kanuch, Wieland, Baker and Mead

NAY:          Plotzke, Kozakiewicz and Svenson

ABSENT:   Eyre and Senesac

 

Motions passes 4-3.

 

C.   Conditional Use No. 15 – Consideration for a conditional use permit for a commercial parking lot at 425 Waldo Avenue on behalf of the Judith Ann Rapanos, Inter-Vivos Trust, submitted by Richard Fosgitt of Bartow & King Engineers.

 

The subject parcel falls within the Residential A-4 zoning classification.  They have an L-shaped parcel at the corner of Waldo and Bay City Road.  It is generally surrounded by the Residential A-4 zoning classification.

 

The subject area currently accommodates a restaurant.  The second parcel is used for the catering service.  The curb cuts are on Waldo Avenue and Bay City Road, for the support of the business parcel.   Entry to the parking lot would be from Waldo Avenue.  Landscaping is noted as being provided with a berm and some landscaping along the perimeter of the parcel.  During the public hearing, the Planning Commission received testimony in opposition to the use of this parcel for a parking lot, due to noise and odors.  Tonight the Planning Commission received two letters of support, including one from Stasik’s Market and customers of the restaurant.  A letter in opposition was received from the 7-11 across the street.  We did receive some photographs from the petitioner, intended to demonstrate the need for parking.  Looking south, you can see the building that accommodates the catering business.  There are vehicles parked in violation of the Zoning Ordinance, on an unimproved surface. 

 

The petition before the Planning Commission tonight is a conditional use permit, which has different criteria for review than the usual rezoning petitions. 

 

Rich Fosgitt, Bartow & King Engineers – stated there will be a “No Parking” sign posted so no one can block the entrance to this driveway.  There is a curb cut and a driveway along the Waldo Avenue side of this property.  If this petition is approved, this driveway will be closed and landscaping will be placed along the street side.  They are also proposing a fence along the southern portion of the proposed parking lot to screen the house next door.  The house is only setback 3 feet, so it is also a legal non-conforming structure on the lot. 

 

Bill Wall – Owner of Bone Daddy’s Barbecue stated that he and his wife opened this business and they never expected the business to take off the way it has.  They have put a lot of time and money into this building.  They have a good thing going and they need the additional parking.  With the civic center going in that part of town, it is nice to have a good restaurant in the area. 

 

Fay Wood, 3501 Bay City Road stated that there is going to be a parking lot just three feet from someone’s bedroom window.  Couldn’t the parking lot be shortened up a little bit?  People buy their homes with a certain understanding. 

 

Mike Misze of 419 Waldo Avenue stated that a six foot fence will not help him at all.  Instead of having a nice view out his window, he will be looking over the top of a 6’ fence.  It will not help with the noise or headlights.  He has lived there since 1985.

 

Jon Lynch stated that the total number of parking spaces will be about 42 spaces.  You are talking about 81 trips per day under the number of trips generated. 

 

Plotzke does not think the issue is the popularity of the restaurant or the popularity of the food.  He will vote against the conditional use permit to protect the residential uses in the area.  This is also a school zone and he is concerned about the safety.

 

Svenson – Agrees.

 

Mead does not think we owe the restaurant the extra parking, however, he thinks it fits within the requirements of the conditional use permit language.  He will support.

 

Kanuch is in opposition to it.  It is a close call.  You have the land, the building, the business owner, you have the residents who have been living there for quite a while, and you have the city and the Master Plan.  When he weighed all the issues, the land owner came in and is trying to push this development on the local residents.

 

Wieland stated this is the fourth time this has come up since he has been on the Commission.  This is one of the more difficult issues we have looked at.  He did support rezoning this property on several past occasions.  However, that was before the existing business was even there.  His rationale was that it was across from commercial property (Stasik’s Market).  The conditions for approval in this case, are certainly not more stringent.  He has heard the arguments for and against.  He will vote to recommend approval of the conditional use for the parking lot.

 

Baker thinks the business moved in there knowing there were problems with parking in this area.  He will vote for approval with some reservation.

 

It was moved by Mead and seconded by Wieland to recommend approval for the conditional use permit with the following contingencies:

 

1.   The front yard setback is increased from 15’ to 25”, or the parcel is combined with the adjoining parcel to the north.

2.   Parking space 33 is eliminated if recommended by the fire department.

3.   Six foot tall fence is recommended for screening.

4.   A concrete curb of wheel chocks are provided along parking spaces 34-43.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Baker, Kozakiewicz, Mead and Wieland

NAY:          Kanuch, Plotzke and Svenson

ABSENT:   Eyre and Senesac

 

Motion passes 4-3.

 

D.   Code of Ordinances Amendment – Consideration of amendments to Section 25-10 of the City of Midland Code of Ordinances to permit storage of trailer coaches with wheels and / or tires removed.

 

John Muste stated that Section 25-10 talks about trailer coaches.  You need to look at the definition of trailer coaches in the ordinance.  Section 25 also requires a permit to use and occupy a trailer coach on someone’s property.  He feels that the removal of Section 25-10 would be the most appropriate.

 

Kozakiewicz – On the merit of the safety concerns, he is opposed to changing the ordinance.

 

Wieland agrees with Kozakiewicz.  He did check around a little bit.  He asked some folks that own RV’s, realizing this was a controversial issue when the zoning ordinance was written.  He feels it should remain as it is.

 

Baker – Agrees with Wieland and Kozakiewicz.

 

Svenson – Agrees for the same reasons, especially the safety issue.  This is a big concern.

 

Plotzke – Agrees with the other comments.

 

It was moved by Kozakiewicz and seconded by Svenson to revise the Code of Ordinances to repeal the ordinance to permit storage and trailer coaches without wheels.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:           None

NAY:           Baker, Kanuch, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Plotzke, Svenson and Wieland

ABSENT:   Eyre and Senesac

 

The motion was denied.

 

6.  New Business

A.  Vacation of Public Property – Consideration of a petition from The Dow Chemical Company,        Michigan Operations to vacate East Ellsworth Street from Haley Street to Third Street; to vacate Lyon Street from East Ellsworth Street to Buttles Street; and to vacate Patrick Street from East Ellsworth Street to Buttles Street.

The aerial photograph shows Buttles Street, East Ellsworth Street, Patrick Street and Lyon Street.  The Dow Chemical Company owns the property on either side of the streets in all of these directions.  The subject area petitioned for vacation falls into two classifications, the Regional Commercial along the northerly portion, and the Industrial A zoning classification on the southerly portion.  The Master Plan shows the entire area within the Industrial land use category.  The petitioner states the continuance of the public streets are unnecessary, given the alternate access to this area.   The City Council will hold a public hearing on this issue. 

 

Patrick Street from East Ellsworth Street to Buttles Street was vacated in 1997.

 

Engineering, Fire, Public Services and Utilities Depts. do not object to vacation.

Utility easements should be maintained.  Upon vacation, the ownership of the street area would revert to Dow Chemical Company as they own the property on both sides.

 

There is no public hearing required for the Planning Commission.  The ordinance that deals with street vacations assigns this to the City Council. 

 

Kanuch would be in favor of it. 

 

It was moved by Svenson and seconded by Kanuch to recommend vacation of these street vacations as requested by Dow Chemical Company.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:         Baker, Kanuch, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Plotzke, Svenson and Wieland

NAY:         None

ABSENT:  Eyre and Senesac

 

Motion passes unanimously.

 

B.  Receive Draft Subdivision Ordinance – Receive a report from the Subdivision Ordinance Review Committee and schedule a public hearing for May 10, 2005.  The proposed ordinance will be available on the website and hard copies will be available if necessary.  A copy will be available at the Library and at the Planning Department.  A notice of the public hearing will be sent to the Homebuilders’ Association and a notice will be published in the newspaper.

 

7.  Communications

 

     Members received their copies of the Planning & Zoning News.

 

8.  Report of the Chairman

 

      None

 

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                 

 

                May 9th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Zoning Petition No. 514 – 3705 Letts Road to Residential D

§         Zoning Petition No. 515 – 3721 Letts Street to Residential D

§         Zoning Petition No. 516 – 6201 W. Wackerly Street to Residential A-1

§         Zoning Petition No. 517 – 4412 Waldo Avenue to Residential A-4

§         Zoning Petition No. 518 – 4705 Isabella Street to Regional Commercial

§         Zoning Petition No. 520 – 6305 W. Wackerly Street Residential A-1

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Set Public Hearing; Zoning Petition No. 519 – 31 Cheryl Drive to Residential A-1

§         Set Public Hearing; Zoning Petition No. 521 – W. Wackerly at Northgate Dr. to Community Commercial

§         Set Public Hearing; Conditional Use Permit No. 15 – 425 Waldo Avenue for parking lot

§         Set Public Hearing; Vacation of Public Property – East Ellsworth street from Haley Street to third Street and Lyon Street from East Ellsworth Street to Buttles Street

§         Receive Planning Commission Recommendation - Tires on stored recreational vehicles

May 23rd

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 15 – 425 Waldo Avenue

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

                                                                                                                                                               

                May 10th 

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 16 – 305 E. Reardon St; Cingular Wireless

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 17 – 1305 E. Sugnet Rd; Cingular Wireless

§         Proposed Subdivision Control Ordinance

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

 

May 24th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

                               

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 16 – 305 E. Reardon St; Cingular Wireless

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 17 – 1305 E. Sugnet Rd; Cingular Wireless

§         Proposed Subdivision Control Ordinance

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

May 17th

                     PUBLIC HEARINGS

                     None

 

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at approximately 8:50 PM and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jon Lynch, AICP

Assistant City Manager

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION