MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2006, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Rapanos

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Assistant City Manager; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist and 3 others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of April 11, 2006.

It was moved by Kozakiewicz and supported by Jocks to approve the minutes of April 11th.  The minutes were unanimously approved. 

Special Meeting of April 13, 2006.

It was moved by Kozakiewicz and supported by Jocks to approve the minutes of April 13th.  The minutes were unanimously approved.

 

3.      Public Hearing

 

      None

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

 

5.   Old Business

 

Plan No. 251 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Ledy Design Group,

on behalf of Commercial Net Lease Realty, Inc., to approve a site plan for a Bed

Bath & Beyond retail store on approximately 1.77 acres located at 1118 Joe Mann

Boulevard.

 

Mr. Lynch began by showing a location map for the proposed site plan.  This plan happens to be located immediately next to the existing Best Buy store.  It is situated between the Wal-Mart and Meijer Stores on Joe Mann Boulevard.  The subject site is a component of a broader site master plan that was approved back in 2003.  Joe Mann Boulevard exists to the south of the proposed site and there is a parking lot that exists between the street and the stores. 

As was highlighted in the staff report, there are a number of contingency items that need to be addressed.  The parking spaces must be box striped.  The excess parking must be approved by the Planning Commission.  A revised version of the site plan had been offered by the developer.  This was essentially the same as the original plan, but in the new plan, these additional parking spaces have been removed.  The city recognizes that some day Joe Mann Boulevard will have to be expanded.  The additional contingency items included handicap parking spaces and that the on-site landscaping complies with the ordinance.  The Planning Department has received no additional comments since the public hearing two weeks ago. 

 

Cathy Evanston, 10260 Alliance Road, Ste. 310, Cincinnati, OH.  She is representing the petitioner.  This area has been in the process of being developed since 2003.  This seems like a long time.  Usually economic conditions would cause changes in a site plan, but in this case, this is not true.  They have moved forward and have agreements in place for access across all the parcels.  They have four agreements that are affected immediately by the circulation in parking.  Bed, Bath and Beyond definitely wants at least 81 parking spaces to be provided. 

 

No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.

 

Mr. Eyre stated he has been out in this area quite frequently.  There are a lot of cars in the Best Buy parking lot and they will lose 15 parking spaces if Joe Mann Blvd. is widened.  He can see no reason why they should not have the 81 spaces they are requesting.  He thinks they can use that additional space.  There will be overlapping parking at some point, especially during the holidays.

 

Mr. Mead stated that he thinks the reason for the maximum number of parking spaces goes to the issue of storm water and runoff.  Mr. Lynch stated that this is only one of the issues.  Mr. Mead thinks that, since they have done the additional landscaping to make the area look good, it would be reasonable for us to allow the additional parking spaces. 

 

Mr. Gaynor stated that every store could make the same argument.  When he interviewed for the Planning Commission, the City Council specifically asked him what he thought of large parking lots.  If the city and the Planning Commission went through a process to determine the maximum number of parking spaces that would be allowed, he does not see a pressing need to expand the number of parking spaces beyond what the zoning ordinance allows.

 

Ms. Svenson stated that she is in agreement with Mr. Gaynor.  She sees no reason why the additional parking spaces are needed.  She does not think they will be full all year.

 

Mr. Kozakiewicz stated he can appreciate sticking to the ordinance.  However, this is the last portion of this development and this is not an over abundance of parking spaces beyond what is allowed under the new zoning ordinance.  You might create a safety issue if people are parking at Wal-Mart or Home Depot and trying to walk to this store.  He would support the additional parking spaces.

 

Mr. Jocks stated he has noticed times that Best Buy is exceptionally busy and if they lose 15 spaces to widening of the roadway, they will need the additional spaces in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond lot.  He would support the additional parking spaces.

 

Mr. Senesac complemented Ms. Evanston on the landscaping on the plan.  He feels this was a project that was in an overall master plan that came in and they have not deviated from the original plan that was presented in 2003.  Mr. Senesac is in support of giving the variance for the additional spaces. 

 

Mr. Mead stated that he agrees that this plan was developed several years ago.  He feels they have bent over backwards to create the additional spaces to accommodate the city’s need for additional space to widen the road.  Their additional landscaping is also an effort to show that they are trying to make this as aesthetically pleasing as possible. 

 

Mr. Gaynor stated that we should not be supporting this because it was in their original master plan.  The fact that this master plan is nearly the same as it was years ago is rare.  He thinks the fact that we are asking them to make a change in not burdensome.  This is the first portion of this development that has been developed under the new zoning ordinance.

 

Mr. Mead feels that a case-by-case basis is why they are here.  The Planning Commission would not be needed if they are not to consider petitions on a case-by-case basis.  These are not something that cannot be changed.  This would not be setting a precedent.  This is enough for him to justify the additional parking. 

 

Mr. Eyre feels they have gone beyond what they need to do to satisfy the Commission.  The parking lot is there and there is nice landscaping going to be provided.

 

Mr. Lynch stated that this is not a variance.  Only the Zoning Board of Appeals can grant variances.  He also stated this is not setting a precedent.  There are specific features here and you have a master plan that included this parcel that was approved prior to the current zoning ordinance. 

 

It was moved by Mead and supported by Eyre to recommend approving Site

Plan No. 251 with the following contingencies and approval of the additional parking spaces:

 

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

2.   Excess parking spaces are approved by the Planning Commission.

3.   Barrier free parking spaces must be provided in accordance with Table 5.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.

4.   On-site signage complies with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.   On-site lighting is fully shielded and complies with Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

6.   On-site landscaping complies with Article 6 of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Eyre, Gaynor, Jocks, Kozakiewicz, Mead, & Senesac

NAY:          Svenson

ABSENT:   Rapanos

 

The motion was approved 6-1.

 

Zoning Petition No. 530 – Consideration of a petition initiated by John Rapanos to

rezone approximately 10 acres located at 4203 East Ashman Street from Industrial A

zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

Mr. Lynch showed that this petition includes about 10 acres of land area.  The subject property has been requested to change from the Industrial A category to the Residential B category.  The surrounding area falls into the agricultural zoning classification.  In the area, we have operations of the municipal landfill.  You can see the entry gate to the landfill and the subject property located in the cross-hatched pattern. 

 

The future land use map indicates that this property would be designated for a public or quasi-public use in the future.  The surrounding land is owned by the City of Midland and has been designated for future use of the landfill.  During the public hearing, you received testimony from the petitioner.  He stated that in the future, the landfill would eventually be capped and be used perhaps for a park.  Mr. Lynch has spoken with Mr. Bush, Utilities Director.  Mr. Bush stated the current landfill has approximately a 75 year cap and there would be 10-20 years before additional development could be considered there due to the settling of the existing landfill operations.  Ultimately, staff recommended this plan not be approved because it is not consistent with the master plan and this would create a precedent that it is an incompatible land use with the surrounding land uses. 

 

The entrance road to the landfill is very close to the east side of this property.  There are trucks that come down this road all the time and could pose a noise problem for residents who might be located in this area.

 

No one from the public spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.

 

Mr. Kozakiewicz stated he is against this request because of incompatibility.  It is not appropriate for this type of development so close to the landfill.

 

Mr. Mead stated he also agrees that this is premature with the property being in so close proximity to the landfill.  There are just too many negatives that could occur.

 

Mr. Eyre agrees with Mr. Mead.  So does Mr. Jocks.  Just going to the recycling center there, it is not a good arrangement for residential development.

 

It was moved by Kozakiewicz and supported by Svenson to recommend approval of Zoning Petition No. 530, as amended to rezone approximately 10 acres located at 4203 East Ashman Street from Industrial A zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          None

NAY:          Eyre, Gaynor, Jocks, Kozakiewicz, Mead, Svenson & Senesac

ABSENT:   Rapanos

 

The motion was unanimously denied.

 

6.  New Business

    

     None

  

7.  Communications

 

     None

    

8.  Report of the Chairman  -

 

     There will be a special meeting on Thursday, May 4th at 7:00 p.m. with LSL to discuss existing conditions.  May 17th and 18th will be a special meeting to discuss meetings in a box results at the Midland Holiday Inn at 7:00.  Applications for the open positions on boards and commissions is this Friday by 5:00 p.m. 

 

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                

 

May 8th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Petition No. 528 – Public hearing for consideration of a petition initiated by Michael Rapanos to rezone approximately 11 acres located at 4124 Waldo Avenue from Residential A-4 zoning to Residential B zoning.

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Site Plan No. 251 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Ledy Design Group for approval of a site plan including a Bed, Bath & Beyond retail store on 1.77 acres located at 1118 Joe Mann Boulevard.

§         Petition No. 530 – Consideration of a petition initiated by John Rapanos to rezone approximately 10 acres located at 4203 East Ashman Street from Industrial zoning to Residential B zoning. (Public Hearing – June 12th)

 

May 22nd

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

None

                                ACTION ITEMS

None

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

May 4th 

MASTER PLAN

Review of Existing Conditions

 

May 9th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Site Plan No. 252 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Helger Construction Company, on behalf of Feeny Chrysler, for approval of a site plan including a 13,000 square foot body and paint shop on 7.13 acres located at 7400 Eastman Avenue.

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 21 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Robert LaBelle on behalf of Verizon Wireless to approve a conditional use permit to allow construction of a 140’ tall monopole tower located east of Elisenal Drive, north of Wal-Mart.

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 22 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Tom McCann to approve a conditional use permit to allow placement of a single family home on property zoned Office Service located at 416 George Street. The petitioner has requested that the Planning Commission act on this matter on May 9th.

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

None

 

May 23rd

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         Site Plan No. 253 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Three Rivers Construction, on behalf of Members First Credit Union, for approval of a site plan including building and parking additions on 2.2 acres located at 600 West Wackerly Street.

§         Zoning Text Amendment – Consideration of a petition initiated by staff to include conditional rezoning in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         Site Plan No. 252 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Helger Construction Company, on behalf of Feeny Chrysler, for approval of a site plan including a 13,000 square foot body and paint shop on 7.13 acres located at 7400 Eastman Avenue.

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 21 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Robert LaBelle on behalf of Verizon Wireless to approve a conditional use permit to allow construction of a 140’ tall monopole tower located east of Elisenal Drive, north of Wal-Mart.

§         Conditional Use Permit No. 22 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Tom McCann to approve a conditional use permit to allow placement of a single family home on property zoned Office Service located at 416 George Street. The petitioner has requested that the Planning Commission act on this matter on May 9th.

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

April 18th

No. 06-03 – James Dubiel for two area/dimension variances to permit the expansion of an existing detached garage over the maximum allowed square footage and into the required front yard area at 1428 Bitler Street. (denied)

       

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

§         May 17 & May 18 LSL conducts public topic workshops in support of the Master Plan.  These identical sessions will take place at the Midland Holiday Inn and will begin at 7:00 PM.

 

§         Commissioners are provided with a copy of PA 110 of 2006, the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act.  This act becomes effective July 1, 2006 and consolidates the Township, City & Village, and County Zoning Enabling Acts into a single law.

 

Some of the more substantive changes that were incorporated into the new zoning act include:

 

• General reorganization of the Act into seven logical articles: Article I, General

Provisions, which now includes a definition section; Article II, Zoning

Authorization and Initiation; Article III, Zoning Commission; Article IV, Zoning

Adoption and Enforcement; Article X, Special Zoning Provisions; Article XI,

Zoning Board of Appeals; and Article XII, Statutory Compliance and Repealer.

The reorganization results in a more intuitive structuring and flow of the law.

 

• Consolidation of all public hearing notice requirements into a single section based on the current procedures used for special land uses in all three statutes. This change is intended to create a single process for notification that works for

ordinance adoption and amendment, rezonings, special land uses, planned unit

developments, variances, and other actions by the Zoning Board of Appeals

(ZBA).

 

• The phasing out of zoning boards in townships and zoning commissions in

counties over a five year period, with responsibility to be transferred to the

planning commission. This consolidates planning and zoning authority in all

jurisdictions to the planning commission and makes it easier to ensure zoning is

based on the master plan.

 

• Elimination of state review of county zoning ordinances and amendments. The

current process simply adds time before the decision of the county board is put

into place, as there is no consistent substantive review by the state of the content

of the zoning action.

 

• Retaining the use variance authority in cities and villages and extending it only to those townships and counties which had it in the zoning ordinance as of February 15, 2006

 

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 7:54 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jon Lynch

Assistant City Manager

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION