MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2005, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Eyre, Gaynor, Jocks, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Rapanos, and Senesac

ABSENT:     Svenson

OTHERS PRESENT:  Daryl Poprave, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist; and 11 others.

 

      Introduction of the new Planner Commissioner, Jim Jocks, he just recently retired from Dow

      Corning after 33 years.  He joined the Planning Commission to provide service to the

      community and because he thought planning would be an interesting topic.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of September 13, 2005

It was moved by Mead and supported by Eyre to approve the minutes of September 13th. The minutes were unanimously approved. 

 

3.   Public Hearings

 

      Zoning Petition No. 524 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Nicolaos Rapanos and

      the City of Midland to rezone property at 4228 Bay City Road and 405 Fast Ice Drive from

      Agriculture zoning to Regional Commercial zoning.  [See transcript.]

     

Steve Rapanos requested to be allowed to abstain from this public hearing, as the petitioner

is his uncle.  Motion by Eyre, seconded by Mead to allow Steve Rapanos to abstain

from this deliberation as the petitioner is his uncle.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

 

5.   Old Business

 

      Hours of Operation Restrictions – Consideration of a petition initiated by the Planning

      Commission to expand hours of operation by businesses located in the Neighborhood

      Commercial zoning districts from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. to operations on a 24 hour per

      day basis. 

 

They had one new commissioner that was not present at the public hearing.  Mr. Senesac

requested that Mr. Jocks be allowed to abstain from discussion of this item.  Motion by

Mr. Mead, seconded by Kozakiewicz, to allow Mr. Jocks to abstain from voting on this item.

 

Mr. Poprave reviewed the petition stating that the City Council specifically asked the Planning Commission to provide input on a Code of Ordinance item.  The petitioner asked the City of Midland if they could expand their hours to be open 24 hours per day all year.  It is the Planning Commission’s responsibility to offer a recommendation to City Council rather or not the concept of “hours of operation” should be applied to a particular zoning district.  It is City Council’s job to direct the city attorney to come up with an ordinance and the hours of operation to be applied. 

 

There were two positions that needed to be taken.  The two narrow issues are (1) should the 7-11 be allowed to operate on a 24-hour per day basis, 365 days per year, and (2) should hours of operation be placed upon the land uses within the Neighborhood Commercial district?  It is the city attorney’s job to figure out what the hours should be and how it will be defensible. 

 

Pete Poznak, 6024 Eastman Avenue, spoke on behalf of Garb-Ko Corporation.  Since the ordinance is not enforceable, or invalid, it should not be considered the policy of the City of Midland at this point.  The Planning Commission needs to determine if there is inherently wrong with 7-11 remaining open 24-hours per day. 

 

Chairman Senesac suggested they first discuss whether or not there should be hours of restriction in the Neighborhood Commercial district.

 

Mr. Gaynor suggested that they recommend limited hours of operation in Neighborhood Commercial districts.  They heard from many residents of the community that this is desirable.

 

Mr. Kozakiewicz disagreed.  The zones are put there to house certain types of businesses.  This one was created for a reason – to allow businesses to be there.  On that basis, it is a commercial zone, they should be allowed to operate a business. 

 

Mr. Eyre agreed with Mr. Gaynor.  Neighborhood Commercial is not set up for 24-hour operation.  There is no reason for them to operate 24 hours per day.  These are small neighborhood businesses.  This is what the Neighborhood Commercial zoning districts were designed for.  You have residential right on the next lot.  It is difficult to control people who come and go, especially at all hours of the night.

 

Mr. Mead agreed with Mr. Kozakiewicz.  These zones were set up to do business.  In today’s world, lots of things are open 24 hours per day.  I do not find this to be a big issue to the neighborhood.  I think we do need to be sensitive to problems, however.  If their business fits into the Neighborhood Commercial, he thinks that the restrictions should be kept away.

 

Mr. Rapanos agreed with Dan and Roger.  If we are referring to Council, let’s not be restrictive.  Let’s say to the Council that “it’s your responsibility to place those restrictions”.   It is not the Planning Commission’s responsibility to determine if 7-11 is a nuisance or not.  While he might not ultimately agree, as a part of the process, he feels we should leave it open-ended.

 

Mr. Senesac stated that we have different zoning classifications for commercial.  The districts are generally categorized according to intensity, ranges of activities, and it would be much more disruptive for Regional Commercial businesses to be located in neighborhood areas.  Neighborhood Commercial businesses are meant to fit into the neighborhoods and be more “convenience” type of operations.  These stores are frequently next door to a home.  In any case, they will be in neighborhood areas.  If we have unlimited 24-hour operation from any business that is allowed to be there, I think you can get into very disruptive activities taking place throughout the night.  People may not be noisy but you will have doors slamming, people talking, etc, and so he feels we should have restrictions.  It should be a rare occasion that businesses would be allowed to be open 24 hours per day.  We had one business owner speak two weeks ago and say that he also felt that businesses in Neighborhood Commercial should not be open 24-hours per day.

 

It was moved by Eyre and seconded by Gaynor to restrict the hours of neighborhood commercial.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:                      Eyre, Gaynor and Senesac

NAY:                      Kozakiewicz, Mead and Rapanos

ABSENT:               Svenson

 

Mr. Rapanos stated he believes Mr. Poznak made some very valid points.  He does not think we should restrict businesses unless it is absolutely necessary. 

 

Mr. Eyre said that if you look back to the 1980 court hearing, the limited hours were put into place due to disruptive behavior.  In 2004, they had four police complaints.  In 2005, they had seven complaints.  He does not feel there is a need for that store to be open 24 hours per day.  They have that from September through June.

 

Mr. Kozakiewicz agrees with Steve – he does not feel there should be restrictions.  These zones were created for specific reasons.  If there are issues, they should be dealt with on an individual basis. 

 

Mr. Mead – Bill mentioned that in 2005, there have been seven complaints at 7-11.  It just seems like the owners of the 7-11 need to be sensitive to these issues and they could deal with the issues.  He feels the 24-hour operation, 12 months of the year is O.K. 

 

Mr. Gaynor stated that this owner seems like they care.  However, as one of the individuals stated last week, that owner could change tomorrow.  It is quite clear that the community does not want 24-hour operation in their back yard.  I personally would agree with that.  He would support earlier operation, but to recommend 24-hour operation, resulting in late night activities in a residential district would not be the correct thing to do.

 

Mr. Senesac stated that what he said before is applicable to this one.  The neighbors should not have to deal with the noise that naturally goes on with 24-hour operation.

 

It was moved by Rapanos and seconded by Kozakiewicz to approve the operation of the 7-11 store on the corner of Sugnet and Jefferson to be open 24-hours per day, 12 months of the year. 

 

The vote proceeded as followings:

 

YEA:                      Kozakiewicz, Mead and Rapanos

NAY:                      Eyre, Gaynor and Senesac

ABSENT:               Svenson

     

6.  New Business

     None

 

7.  Communications

 

     Planning & Zoning News was distributed.

 

8.  Report of the Chairman

 

Three commissioners attended the annual planning conference this year.  Bill went to the  Citizen Planner training.  He felt it was an excellent program.  Steve Rapanos went to a preview of conditional zoning and found it very interesting.  He feels this will be an important tool in the future. 

 

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                

 

October 10th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Receive Planning Commission Recommendation – Business hours of operation in Neighborhood Commercial Zones.

§         Preliminary Plat Extension – Broadhead Estates

 

October 24th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

                                                None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Rezoning, Zoning Petition No. 524 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Nicolaos Rapanos and the City of Midland to rezone approximately 14.32 acres located at 4228 Bay City Road and 405 Fast Ice Drive from Agricultural to Regional Commercial zoning. Set public hearing for November 14th.

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

               

October 11th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Preliminary Plat, Trotter’s Pointe – Consideration of a petition initiated by Bartow & King Engineer’s for approval of a 20 lot residential subdivision on approximately 5.84 acres located south of East Wheeler Street and east of Liberty Drive.

§         Planned Unit Development, Barstow Woods – Consideration of a petition initiated by John Rapanos for approval of a planned unit development consisting of 5 residential duplex structures on approximately 1.59 acres located at 400 & 410 North Saginaw Road and 315 & 317 Sandy Ridge Court.

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

Rezoning, Zoning Petition No. 524 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Nicolaos Rapanos and the City of Midland to rezone approximately 14.32 acres located at 4228 Bay City Road and 405 Fast Ice Drive from Agricultural to Regional Commercial zoning.

 

October 25th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Preliminary Plat, Trotter’s Pointe – Consideration of a petition initiated by Bartow & King Engineer’s for approval of a 20 lot residential subdivision on approximately 5.84 acres located south of East Wheeler Street and east of Liberty Drive.

§         Planned Unit Development, Barstow Woods – Consideration of a petition initiated by John Rapanos for approval of a planned unit development consisting of 5 residential duplex structures on approximately 1.59 acres located at 400 & 410 North Saginaw Road and 315 & 317 Sandy Ridge Court.

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

September 20th

 

§         05-15 - Subway for an area/dimension variance to permit an additional wall sign on the Wal-Mart store near the food center entrance at 910 Joe Mann Blvd. (denied)

§         05-16 – Lapham’s Flowers for an extension of a previously approved temporary permit at 1412 North Saginaw Road. (approved)

§         05-17 – Mark Kohtz for an area/dimension variance to permit a 6 foot tall privacy fence to exist in the side yard setback at 2507 Greenwich Circle. (denied)

§         05-18 – Fifth Third Bank for an area/dimension variance to permit four (4) signs on an ATM machine located at 6641 Cinema Drive. (approved)

       

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

Interviews of firms responding to the City’s RFP for services to update the master plan are scheduled for October 14th.  The preparation meeting is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on October 7th in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at approximately 8:27 PM and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Daryl Poprave

City Planner

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION