MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2006, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Kozakiewicz

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Assistant City Manager; Debbie Marquardt, Technical Secretary and 32 others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of January 24, 2006 and Special Meeting of February 2, 2006

It was moved by Eyre and supported by Jocks to approve both the minutes of January 24th and February 2nd.  The minutes were unanimously approved. 

 

3.      Public Hearing

 

      Site Plan No. 250 – Consideration of a petition initiated by the Michigan Baseball

      Foundation to review a site plan consisting of a 3,500 seat baseball stadium on

      Approximately 21 acres bounded by State Street, Buttles Street, Lyon Road and

      Dow Chemical – Michigan Operations property.

 

      The chairman explained the public hearing process.  Jon Lynch showed the subject

      site on the map with an address of 822 East Main Street .  It is currently in

      the Community zoning district as of last nights City Council meeting.  Other action from

      City Council was street vacation.  In their packet they received a site plan.  A revised

      site plan was received this evening.  The process is an overview of the details.  It

      includes nine square blocks and is composed of a baseball stadium with a parking lot

      to the south and north.  Landscaping provisions have not been addressed but will be.

      A pedestrian parkway is just to the northwest of the stadium.  The primary entrance will

      be developed with hard scape and vegetation.  The stadium will have 3,595 fixed

      seats.  There is not a lot of existing vegetation.  The baseball field will be built on street

      grade and the surrounding facility will be built up around it.  There is residential off to

      the north and to the northeast.  Berming will be 14 feet high and will be sloped.  The

      sound will be public address equipment that relies on many speakers rather than a few

      large ones to keep the noise down in the stadium.  Emergency vehicle access and the

      street network effect traffic on the surrounding street.  A connection at Mill Street, the

      northwest corner, was anticipated to provide a through traffic movement.  There will be

      a change to the flow of traffic between Indian Street and Buttles Street to a south

      bound movement.  A recommendation from the traffic engineer that Haley Street be

      converted to a north bound one way to transmit a higher volume of movements and

      Indian Street would be disconnected. 

 

      Pedestrian circulation would provide access and linkage to the path at State westerly

      to the existing rail trail.  Sidewalks will provide good access for the drop off.  The

      opportunities are strong for pedestrians for this layout. 

 

      Parking and transportation demands.  Parking spaces required for seating for 3,595

      fixed seats would be 1,298 parking spaces plus one for each employee.  There will be

      roughly 100 employees at the facility on a day when a game is taking place. 

 

      The baseball field itself will have drainage.  The petitioner is working with the

      Engineering Department.  A soil erosion permit is required from both the city and the

      DEQ. 

 

      Exterior lighting requirements state that there should not be more than 1 foot candle

      come off of the property line.  More than one foot candle may cross the property line

      if a petitioner requests the need.  This proposal calls for 120 foot tall towers to

      illuminate the playing field. 

 

      Steve Rapanos asked if the lighting compares to the Midland Football Stadium of

      if they have received any complaints.

 

      The height of the towers has a limit of 30 feet but there is a provision. 

 

      Capacity for public services, water main, sanitary sewer and storm water.  Screening

      and the landscaping plan is pending.  Health and safety has been addressed from

      Roger Garner in regards to site security and the safety of the patrons at the facility.

 

      The project will generally be built all at one and the modification of the street network

      will take place for it to work correctly.  The plan is self explanatory.  No information has

      been received for on site signage.

 

Departmental reviews from the Engineering Department storm water facility design must be approved prior to construction.  Public Services public transportation vehicles should be able to access the drop-off lane with little difficulty.  Utilities sufficient capacity exists at this location.  Several mains will need to be removed or capped.  Fire Department requested location of fire hydrants be included around the site.  There are a number of contingency items to be addressed which are:

 

      1.   Adequate trees and shrubs are provided on site to meet the standards of Article 6.

      2.   The north concession / restroom building is moved to meet the required 75’ setback.

      3.   Lot combinations must be completed prior to issuance of a building permit.

      4.   Sidewalk is provided along the south side of the stadium, along the south parking lot.

      5.   Sufficient parking is provided either on site or via agreement to meet patron and employee requirements.

      6.   Parking spaces be constructed must be delineated with “box” style striping.

      7.   Each parking lot must provide barrier free spaces in accord with Table 5.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.

      8.   City Council approval of field lights mounted on 120’ tall mast.

      9.   On site signage complies with provisions of Article 8.00 of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

      There is a community wide effort from the Entranceway Initiative Task Force for

      signage. 

 

      Scott Gaynor asked about recommendations if this is the best option for traffic flow.

 

      Who pays for this is still up in the air but they are discussing this with MDOT for grant

      funds.  The city for now is not involved.  The plan will be approved and also with the

      street segment. 

 

      Carol Svenson asked if any other streets would be changed that lead into this traffic

      plan. 

 

      A representative for the petitioner, Fred Eddy, 4322 Eastman Road, Larkin

      Township, Michigan Baseball Foundation.  The rail trail will be completed to the

      stadium site along the river.  Traffic will be coming from down Main Street.  There will

      be pedestrian traffic coming down Ellsworth with sidewalk entrance.  There is an entry

      plaza with hard and soft scape materials to be a gathering place for patrons for

      functions before games.  Buses will go off site and stay off site.  There will be six foot

      wide walking paths. 

 

      You come in the stadium at ground level and go up 14 feet.  It will be 14 to 16 feet

      above grade and down to the playing field.  The seating are arm chair style seating

      with no bleachers.  There are sitting for 500 on picnic tables.  Part of the facility will be

      enclosable to be used year round.  Vehicle traffic can take place up on top and you

      can walk all the way around.  There is berm seating in the outfield. 

 

      You go down a level and to the playing field level.  There are retaining walls around the

      outside.  There will be a batting cage that will be viewable by patrons and you will be

      able to watch the players in the batting cage.  There will be four locker rooms.  There

      are offices for both administration and the team. 

 

      The top level is the suite level.  The entire suite area and hallway is enclosed and is

      intended for year around use.  There is a party deck and also a press box on this level.

      There are fireplaces and that is part of the theme for family entertainment. 

 

      Everybody is down in the bowl and that will help with the sound.  The playing field is

      the same elevation as the street.  Roof top appliances are fully screened.  A block wall

      will be in the outfield and a brick facade on the building with a lot of glass. 

 

      Susan Carrington, Vice President of Dow Operations, they have no plans to share at

      this time for the use of that property at the 47 building. 

 

      There will be provisions for bicycle and lock up for bikes to go to the game from the rail

      trail. 

 

      Parking issues have identified 680 spaces.  In compliance with the landscaping

      the number may change.  The rest of the spaces they have in place with agreements

      for use of their parking during the games.  All of those agreements are signed.  With

      those spaces they have 690 identified parking spaces including the ones they are

      going to build which are beyond the number they are required to have.  At least a 150

      more spaces have been volunteered.  Ashman Court has given their parking lot for

      exclusive use.  Michigan Baseball Association are encouraging people to use

      downtown parking and move their way to the ballpark.   They won’t be using residential

      for parking because of safety issue with three lanes roads. 

 

      The diamond part of the playing field is 110 foot candles.  The light pole height is part

      of that.  If the lights are too low, the ball will disappear.  They are tall and will be facing

      downward.  Each light is individually focused.  They can do shielding on these lights. 

      All the parking lot lights are shielded lights and the lights pointing on the pavement

      where it belongs.

 

      Carol Svenson asked what the usual start time of the games will be.

 

      Game time will start at 7:00 pm and be over by 10:00 p.m.  The main lights will be

      turned off and the light level will drop considerable when the patrons are out and clean

      up is done.   

 

      The sound system is in order to manage the sound.  Each area of the stadium will

      have speakers to serve that area.  This is a more complex system and minimizes the

      overflow.  The berm will be going all around the outside and most of the sound will be

      contained within.  Whatever sound does get out will be go up in the air. 

 

      Ray Senesac asked about the use for concerts and such.

 

      All the lighting and sound systems will be set up for all uses.  They are providing power

      connections but they would bring in their own speakers for a concert.

 

      Bill Eyre asked about parking buses.

 

      The parking lot at Dow Credit Union will be used for buses to use the back roads to

      safe spaces near the stadium. 

 

      Senesac asked about airborne chemicals and how many releases have been outside

      the plant in the last few years.

 

      Susan Carrington, Vice President Dow Operations, stated that weather related event is

      top priority.  They would work with emergency response as the plan goes forward.  The

       wind row is away from the stadium.  She stated that ballparks around the country will

      offer comments.

 

      Senesac asked about structures that can be enclosed.  If there is a cloud, would that

      keep it out.

 

      Gaynor asked about the security plan for the ballpark in event of terrorists.

 

      Senesac asked how long would it take to empty that stadium if they had to evacuate.

 

      You can get within an enclosed place within 10 minutes.  Security issues are having a

      planned security meeting next week.  They have been regular participants on what

      they need to do for security. 

 

      They will get an assessment letter from Roger Garner and clarification of his letter.

 

      Michigan Baseball Foundation appreciates working with this group and other groups in

      the community. 

 

      People who spoke in favor of the petition.

 

      Sid Allen, 1301 Evamor Drive, President of Chamber of Commerce, this is one of the

      most exciting announcements.  This project will not just serve downtown Midland but

      the overall community and region and provide future growth. 

 

      Christin O’Callaghan, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority, no

      official position or statement in regards to the stadium.  The local impact of the stadium

      is incredible for not only business space downtown but residential.  Kevin Green the

      executive director of Lansing noted that the Lansing Lugnets is nothing but a success

      story.  The DDA is willing to work with the city and the Michigan Baseball Foundation

      for the success of this project.

 

      Jack Starling, 1204 Scott, families will be walking to the ballpark on an evening in April.

      Thank you for making this happen.

 

      Bob Rothburn, Senior Vice president, Chemical Bank Main Street, supports the new

      development for his customers and the City of Midland and the region as a whole. 

      Chemical Bank offered parking spaces for the stadium.  He is fully supportive of the

      site plan.

 

      Scott Walker, 1422 Clover Court and Executive Director of Midland Tomorrow, is in

      support of the project and the local economy.  Lots of jobs through the project.  They

      will spend earnings here.  Provide new  jobs for the community.  The ball park

      attendees will spend money while they are here at local motels, gas stations and

      restaurants.  It will have ability to attract and maintain a skilled work force.  Progressive

      Farmer Magazine states that 21-30 year olds make up 30% attending and 31-40 year

      olds make up 30% attending.  Baseball will be good for Midland.

 

      Karl Ieuter, 3564 Sunset Way in Sanford, supports stadiums.  He has been living in a

      big city and there was a lot to do and now Midland can have minor league baseball and

      that is exciting.

 

      Terry Starks, First Automotive, 608 East Ellsworth Street, would like to note his support

      and it is encouraging to see new development.

 

      Terry Johnson, 2207 Sylvan, Midland Redcoats Participation.  He enjoys sports and

      baseball for family.

 

      AnnaMaria Morgan, 807 Fournie Street, she is in support of the stadium and excited

      about the positive aspects and that it will generate revenue and create new jobs.  She

      loves Midland and she wants the best for the city.  This promises to be a win win

      situation.  She has reservations about the proximity to her residence.  It is just three

      blocks away.  It sounds good on paper.

 

      Her concerns are:

 

      1.   Traffic congestions or grid lock in the area.

      2.   The noise from the crowds during the games.  She can hear concerts from the tridge during the summer.

      3.   The bright lights affecting the neighborhood.  The 120 foot poles.

      4.   The possibility of drunk and disorderly conduct.

      5.   The long term impact on property value in the neighborhood.  Property taxes will the citizens have to pick up the tap. 

      6.   The security and safety for the people. 

 

      David Morgan, 807 Fournie Street, stated he has no complaint about the stadium.

      There has been a lot of talk about available parking spaces and it may be in the

      residential area.

 

      Doug Schlosser, Mill Street, he would like to mention a concern about possible alcohol

      related incidences.  Will there be any additional police support during game nights for

      the neighborhood.  The parking in residential spaces will be the first choice.  He asked

      if there will there be shuttles to encourage parking downtown?  The 500 seats in the

      picnic area, was that included in the total of 5,200 seats.  Who will have over site on

      what will be allowed to take place in the stadium?  He is concerned about the cost of

      who will be paying for the street modifications and sewer that has been mentioned.

 

      Fred Eddy stated capacity is 5,498 and it is complete.  That number is going to change

      as they do detail design and see how many seats will go in a certain area.  That

      includes the picnic area, the berms, suites and all the paying patrons in the stadium.

 

      Svenson asked if there will be additional security during game nights. 

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

 

5.   Old Business

 

      None

 

6.  New Business

    

     None

  

7.  Communications

 

     Planning & Zoning News.

 

8.  Report of the Chairman

 

    They had two assignments from the last meeting.  A listing of names for the

    Meetings in a Box and to mark up a map with areas to look at for the master

    plan..  Turn in by the end of the week.  The At Your Service newsletter will be

    devoted to the Master Plan.

 

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                 

 

February 13th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Street Vacation – Public hearing to consider 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 (approved)

§         Zoning Text Amendment  (approved)

§         Zoning Petition No. 525 – Lapham’s (denied)

§         Zoning Petition No. 526 – Michigan Baseball Foundation (approved)

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Rezoning, Zoning Petition No. 527 – Set public hearing for consideration of a petition initiated by Midland County to rezone approximately 30 acres located at 4600 Bay City Road  from Agriculture to Community zoning. (public hearing 3-6)

§         Master Plan – Adopt a resolution expressing City Council’s intent to adopt the master plan.

 

February 20th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

                                None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Receive proposals for reuse and / or redevelopment of the Midland Civic Arena.

§         Receive a report outlining public input opportunities associated with the Master Plan.

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

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

February 28th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

Site Plan No. 250

 

March 14th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

None

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

February 21st

 

Cancelled

       

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

Staff will be contacting Commissioners to set a date for the annual training session.  A Saturday during the month of April is likely.

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at approximately 9:10 PM and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jon Lynch

Assistant City Manager

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION