1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Kozakiewicz

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Assistant City Manager; Daryl Poprave, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist and 24 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of December 13, 2005

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


3.      Public Hearing


      A.   Zoning Petition No. 527 – Consideration of a petition initiated by the County of Midland

            to rezone approximately 30 acres at 4600 Bay City Road, west of Rockwell Drive, from

            Agricultural zoning to Community zoning.


            The Chairman reviewed the procedures for presenting at the public hearing.  Mr. Lynch

            showed a location map of the subject site.  There is Bay City Road to the   north, Rockwell

            Drive to the east and Fisher Road to the south and east.  The aerial photo shows

            undeveloped land.  There is an existing mobile home off to the east of the subject

            site.  To the north is the municipal ice arena, which has recently been built.  The subject

            property is currently zoned Agricultural.  The zoning map displayed the surrounding

            zoning classifications.  The Agricultural zoning district is designated for agricultural

            uses and to retain a more rural-type of development.  It is essentially a holding

            zone.  The proposal is to rezone this property to the community classification.  It is

            the intention of the County of Midland to construct a jail on this site, under a

            conditional-use permit.  However, the issue is zoning – not the construction

            of a jail.  The Planning Commission should determine if this request would be

            consistent with the master plan.  In determining whether or not conditions have

            changed, we must keep in mind that nearby land has recently been developed

            for the ice arena.  The community district does allow for public and quasi-public uses.

            We have to keep in mind that our zoning ordinance mandates that this type of facility

            be located in a community zoning district.  Applying community zoning to this parcel,

            it would be very compatible with the agricultural zoning to the west.  It would not

            be compatible with the RD zoning district to the east or the industrial zoning to the

            south.  Thirty acres would allow for the setback requirements of this zoning

            classification.  Ultimately, staff offers an affirmative recommendation for this zoning



            Water and sanitary sewer both run along Bay City Road.  Utilities would be very

            practical to bring to this site. 


            Cindy Winland was available from Midland County to answer any questions for the



            Jim Stamas – County Commissioner for District 1, 723 Osborne Drive, Midland

            Township.  Mr. Stamas requests the Planning Commission support this request.


            Nathan Lederer, Arlington Manor Mobile Home Park – represents the owners of the

            mobile home park and most of the residents of the community.  He thinks he is

            against it.  He likes the idea of commercial businesses coming to this area,

            however, he is concerned about how the residents of his mobile home park will feel.

            He is concerned about additional vacancies in the mobile home park. 


            Dave Hintz, 324 Willow Street – he is against it.  He does not think we need any

            more property taken off our tax roll.  He does not feel this is the place this use belongs.

            He also feels they do not need the additional traffic in the area.


            Carol LaMott, resident of Arlington Manor.  She has lived there for 20 years.  She is

            concerned about the placement of the jail.  She feels the jail should remain downtown.

            There are elderly people and young children in the mobile home park.  There is

            already enough traffic on Rockwell Drive. 


            Betty Washburn, 4930 Monteray, also a resident of Arlington Manor.  She has concerns

            about the environmental issues.  Also the location is Fisher and Rockwell – not Bay City

            Road.  She does not like the fact that this will be so close to the mobile home park.  She

            wonders how this will affect the water flows and sewer flows from the residences in this area.


            Deanna Jacobs, lives on Monteray in Arlington Manor.  She states there are small

            children and elderly people in the mobile home park.  With the widening of Bay City Road

            and the full interchange, there is a lot of traffic on Bay City Road now.  She is opposed

            to the rezoning.


4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.   Old Business


A.   Zoning Petition No. 525 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Ron Lapham to

      rezone property at 1314 West Wheeler Street from Office Service zoning to

      Regional Commercial zoning.


      Mr. Poprave presented a location map of the proposed site.  The site is 2.06 acres.  The proposal is for this site to go from Office Service to Regional Commercial.  It is currently a vacant wooded site.  Directly west of the property is a car wash.  Directly east of the property are residences.  The types of uses allowed in the RC district are restaurants, retail establishments and those types of uses.  Access to this site would have to be achieved from an alternate route as they would not be allowed a curb cut onto W. Wheeler Street, by resolution of the City back in 1968.  It was a development agreement.


      Mr. Rapanos requested information as to other sites that had been changed from Office Service to Regional Commercial and how those cases were considered.  Mr. Lynch stated Wolverine Bank is the only one he can think of at this time.  This seems to have worked well.


      Rich Fosgitt, Bartow & King Engineers, on behalf of Ron Lapham.  Mr. Fosgitt stated that the access agreement specifically applies to platted lots and this is not a platted lot.  He feels this issue is not applicable to the rezoning anyway.  Mr. Fosgitt showed an aerial sketch showing where the condominiums are located.  They have drawn setback lines on the sketch showing where the setbacks would be for office service and where they would be for regional commercial zoning.  As the zoning currently stands, they could have parking within 10 feet of the condominium complex.  A building could be built at the lot line in regional commercial zoning, but the parking would be required to be set further back.  They are proposing to change their petition so that the regional commercial zoning only goes so far back on the property, or they would request the rear 25 feet of the property be rezoned to Residential B, which would require screening of the business located in the regional commercial.


      Mr. Lynch stated the first scenario could be accomplished without a new public hearing, as you can always zone less area, but the second proposal would require a new public hearing.  Mr. Fosgitt stated he would like feedback from the Planning Commission.  The zoning ordinance of the City of Midland does not allow for “contract zoning” so he is trying to make an agreement for the proposed use.  Mr. Lynch described the statutes and the two planning schools of thought regarding the use of “contract zoning” and some of the issues surrounding it. 


      Commissioner Eyre stated that it is not their job to zone property for a specific use.  It is to establish the appropriate zoning for that parcel of property and then any use allowed in that zoning district would be permitted.  Commissioner Senesac concurred.  Mr. Gaynor thinks this parcel of property would be fine for what they want to use it for, however, it would not be appropriate for a gas station or some other such use.


      Mr. Lynch reminded the planning commission that it is permissible for them to give feedback, but not to redesign the request of the petitioner. 


      Mr. Fosgitt requested the Planning Commission proceed with the original rezoning request, omitting a buffer of 50 feet from the residential zoning, which would remain in the office service zoning classification.  Parking could occur in the office service zoning district.  Mr. Lynch stated this remains one parcel, however, there would be a zoning district boundary running through this parcel. 


      Mr. Eyre feels this parcel is not appropriate for regional commercial purposes.  The zoning ordinance states RC should have access to a major or minor thoroughfare and not next to residential zoning.  Mr. Gaynor is in favor of the request.  Everything to the west of that is regional commercial.  This is not in the middle of a residential neighborhood.  Pizza Hut and the car wash already abut the residential property.  With the access to the site being limited, he does not see this property being utilized as office service.  Mr. Rapanos is hesitant to change the master plan to accommodate this.  That particular use on that site would be welcome.  However, rezoning this property is not the way go get there. 


      Mr. Mead stated he would like to vote for this, but he thinks there are too many things he is just not sure about.  Ms. Svenson stated that she has to focus on what else could go in this area and where the curb cuts could be.  Mr. Jocks stated he also has to be concerned about what could go in there in the future.  When Mr. Senesac steps back and looks purely at a rezoning, he sees a list of uses that are far more intense than he would be comfortable having in there.  He does not want to open all of Wheeler to the full spectrum of uses allowed in the Regional Commercial zoning district.


It was moved by Mead, and supported by Gaynor, to recommend approval Zoning Petition No. 525, as amended to rezone property at 1314 West Wheeler Street from Office Service zoning to Regional Commercial zoning for that part of the parcel south of a line that is 50 feet from the north property line.


The vote proceeded as follows:


YEA:                Gaynor,

NAY:                Eyre, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos, Svenson & Senesac

ABSENT:         Kozakiewicz


B.  Zoning Petition No. 526 – Consideration of a petition initiated by The Dow Chemical

      Company – Michigan Operations to rezone property at East Ellsworth Street and East

Buttles Street east of State Street from Regional Commercial zoning to Community zoning.


This location is on Buttles Street and occupies approximately 20 acres of land area.  This also involves a street vacation request on which City Council will be taking action.  The subject site is generally undeveloped.  The aerial photograph shows a building that is not on the site today.  The streets and the parking area do currently exist.  The requested parcel for rezoning is adjacent to a parcel that is already zoned community.


Mike Rybicki, Wilcox Professional Services, represents Dow Chemical Company.  He does not have any new information at this point in time.  No one addressed the commission with new information. 


Mr. Mead sees nothing negative about increasing the size of the community district in this location.  Mr. Jocks thinks this would be a good use of the property in this area.  The city will reserve easements in the area of the street vacation.  The remainder of the commissioners agree.  Mr. Senesac stated he is concerned that this is not consistent with the land use plan; however, it is adjacent to another parcel that is zoned community so it is consistent with what is already there.


It was moved by Mead, and supported by Eyre, to recommend approval Zoning Petition No. 526 to rezone property at East Ellsworth Street and East Buttles Street east of State Street from Regional Commercial zoning to Community zoning. 


The vote proceeded as follows:


YEA:                Eyre, Gaynor, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos, Svenson and Senesac

NAY:                None

ABSENT:         Kozakiewicz



      C.  Zoning Text Amendments – Consideration of revisions of Zoning Ordinance 1585

            initiated by the City of Midland.


            Mr. Poprave reviewed the proposed revisions to the zoning ordinance that have been

            discussed at length at the previous Planning Commission meeting.  The issues

            of signs, administrative site plan review requirements, expanding the use of

            non-advertising murals and the standards for duplex structures that have property

            lines running through the middle of the duplex.  This had not been carried over

            into the new zoning ordinance. 


            Mr. Mead feels the sign ordinance chart is extremely confusing, even for those who

            are familiar with it.  At the last meeting, Mr. Gaynor brought up the subject of election

            signs.  He does not feel the city should be in the business of regulating the size or

            number of signs for something that is political.  Mr. Rapanos agrees with the ordinance

            regarding the limitation of sign area for election signs as well as other signs.  It is a case

            of how the community wants to appear and what is “visual blight”.  He feels it is the

            responsibility of the planning commission to regulate that aspect of our community. 


            It was moved by Svenson, and supported by Mead, to recommend approval of the

            revisions of Zoning Ordinance 1585. 


The vote proceeded as follows:


YEA:                Eyre, Gaynor, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos, Svenson and Senesac

NAY:                None

ABSENT:         Kozakiewicz



6.  New Business

Mr. Senesac asked the Planning Commission’s opinion as to whether or not they would like to have a training session on some Saturday early this year.  Ms. Svenson requested it occur in March so she would be more likely to be able to attend.  The remainder of the commissioners agreed that these sessions are beneficial and they would like to pursue this event.

7.  Communications




8.  Report of the Chairman




9.  Report of the Planning Director


            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                


January 9th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS



                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Street Vacation – Set public hearing for consideration of a petition initiated by Dow Chemical Co; Michigan Operations, to vacate East Ellsworth Street between State Street and Haley Street; vacation of Mill Street between East Ellsworth Street and Buttles Street; vacation of Haley Street between East Ellsworth Street and Buttles Street (February 13)

§         Approval of contract with LSL Planning, Inc. for update of the City’s master plan.


January 23rd

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS



                                ACTION ITEMS

Zoning Text Amendment – Set public hearing for consideration of a petition initiated by the City of Midland to amend various articles of the Zoning Ordinance as outlined in a memorandum to the Planning Commission dated December 6, 2005. (hearing 2/13)




January 24th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS



                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Rezoning, Zoning Petition No. 527 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Midland County to rezone approximately 30 acres located at 4600 Bay City Road  from Agriculture to Community zoning.


§         Review projected socio-economic data related to transportation demand model being developed by the Michigan Department of Transportation.


February 14th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS



                                ACTION ITEMS





January 17th


§         No. 06-01 – Keith Wirth on behalf of Amish Reflections for an area/dimension variance to build into existing setback for first floor entrance and build up with second floor addition at 503 South Saginaw Road.


§         No. 06-02 – Lawrence Hale for an area/dimension variance for a parking lot expansion into side yard setback at 3106 Swede Avenue.








The City Attorney has informed me that ordinance language regulating the hours of operation in the Neighborhood Commercial zones does not require modification to be enforceable.


Vacancies on Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals (alternate).


10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at approximately 8:45 PM and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Jon Lynch

Assistant City Manager