MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION, MIDLAND MASTER PLAN, SPECIAL MEETING, PROJECT KICK OFF

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2006, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Eyre, Gaynor, Jocks (arrived 7:07), Kozakiewicz, Mead, Senesac and Svenson (arrived 7:01)

ABSENT:     Rapanos

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Assistant City Manager; Daryl Poprave, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist and 9 others.

 

2.   Overview of Work Plan and Schedule

 

LSL presented their kick-off for the City of Midland’s Master Plan.  Tom Dabareiner presented the agenda and an overview of the work plan and schedule for the update of the City of Midland’s Master Plan.  They plan to heavily involve public involvement in this process right from the beginning.  They have already started some of the demographic work for this project.   Brad Strader will be here most of the time, however, he is not here this evening.  Scott Weeks will manage the non-motorized transportation portion of the plan.  He will also be involved with the public input portion of the plan.  Sarah O’Donnell is the environmental expert with LSL Planning.  Scott and Sarah are out of their Grand Rapids office.  Dow Howell and Gilmore will be the local architectural team and Kezziah-Watkins will take the lead in the public involvement process. 

 

A Master Plan is a document that provides a comprehensive long-range guide to manage growth, development and redevelopment in a community for a period of about 20 years.  It includes analysis, recommendations and proposals for the community’s population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, environmental resources and land use.  A master plan focuses on the physical layout of various land uses and the compatibility of activities anticipated on the land.  It provides a sound basis for any subsequent regulations, policies, and programs intended to help achieve the goals laid out in the plan.

 

A Master Plan is not a zoning ordinance.  It is not adopted by ordinance.  It is not a promise of change or a guarantee to prevent change.  It is not a place for final design.  It is not an economic development, parks & recreation, facilities or transportation plan.  The focus is City-wide not property-specific.  Something good for one property is not necessarily good for the neighborhood and the City.  It is highly constrained by federal and state laws, as well as numerous court cases that limit what property owners may do with their land and what government can regulate.

 

Work Plan and Schedule

 

Mr. Dabareiner showed the City of Midland Master Plan Schedule draft.  The project stretches into July, 2007 and there are numerous meetings along the way.  They are now into the second month of this process.  They will utilize performance measures so the community can monitor their progress once the consultant is done.   

 

Final Document

 

The final document will have a usable executive summary, it will include a traditional plan and a data-rich CD-ROM, so the plan can be accessed electronically.  This kick-off meeting will be followed very shortly by stake-holder interviews and community involvement.  “Meetings in a box” will also be happening throughout the community in March.  At that point, decisions will be made about traffic corridors and intersections that need to be studied.  The next special meeting for the Planning Commission will be on May 4, 2006.  At that time the Planning Commission will receive input from the meetings in a box, on existing conditions, and the Commission will be asked to sign off on the “existing conditions” for Midland today. 

 

On June 1, 2006, the Planning Commission will have another meeting.  They will discuss traffic patterns in the city at this time.  In July, we will have an update from the “meeting in a box” surveys, topic discussions, and they will focus on the future at that time.  In August, they will begin talking about future trends and pressures. 

 

Beginning in January, 2007, they will begin discussing implementation of the plan.  In February, 2007, they will begin looking at draft performance measures, that will be used internally.  There will be another public information meeting where the public will have a chance to review all the information, prior to the final plan being drafted.  On March 1, 2007, they will have a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council to review the final document.  Surrounding townships and agencies have already received notification letters telling them about this process.  This is required by state law.  They are looking for a public hearing and City Council adoption in June, 2007. 

 

 

3.      Upcoming Survey and “Meeting in a Box” Public Involvement Techniques

 

      Need for Recruitment of Meeting Hosts

 

Public outreach will include a survey that goes out in the city’s newsletter to every household.  It will be available on-line as well.  This information will be compiled and presented to the Planning Commission in May.  A “Meeting in a Box” is a way to reach people who typically do not attend public meetings.  It is a way to get them involved in the process.  In the box will be instructions, questions to be asked, a box of popcorn, and these surveys are tabulated for the data to be used in the plan.  This method has been very successful in other communities.  This reaches those people who are less likely to complete surveys or attend public meetings.  The issues raised by these meetings will be discussed in greater detail at later topic workshops.  It is suggested that Planning Commissioners or staff not host these meetings, but may participate as any citizen. 

 

One of their assignments is to recruit a potential host(s).  These would be people who could host 10-12 people in their home for about an hour an a half.  There will also be a project related area on the city’s website.  If an individual is interested in hosting a “meeting in a box”, they can also sign up on the city’s website. 

 

4.   Introduction to Existing Conditions and Demographics

 

Demographics include age distribution, the average of residents by block groups, household size, household income, poverty rates, housing value and commute time.

 

5.   Planning Areas of Interest – Commissioners to Consultant

 

Assignments – “Meeting in a Box” host assignments – Due February 10.  Each Planning Commissioner should come up with at least one individual who would be willing to host a “Meeting in a Box”.  Name, address and telephone number should be provided.

 

Areas of Interest Assignment – Due February 14th – The Planning Commission should mark up their maps according to where they think LSL should especially look for a particular issue.  It could be a neighborhood that needs some attention, it could be some particular change.  This will help LSL focus on specific areas in the community. 

 

6.      Next Meeting – May 4, 2006

 

At this time, they will discuss existing conditions and survey the “Meeting in a Box” results.

Faye Wood, 3501 Bay City Road, asked whether LSL was looking at working with MDOT or just with the local road commissions.  Tom stated these would all be involved.  They will look at how the state, county and local roads interact, but they will especially look at three corridors for closer evaluation.

 

7.  Adjournment

Adjournment at 8:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Jon Lynch

Assistant City Manager

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION