MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2006, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:  Kozakiewicz, Gaynor and Svenson

OTHERS PRESENT:  Jon Lynch, Assistant City Manager; Daryl Poprave, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist and 12 others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of May 9, 2006.

It was moved by Mead and supported by Jocks to approve the minutes of May 9th.  The minutes were unanimously approved. 

 

3.      Public Hearing

 

a. Site Plan No. 253 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Members First Credit Union, for approval of a site plan including a 21,215 square foot building addition on 3.11 acres located at 600 West Wackerly Street.

The City Planner showed Site Plan No. 253.  The site is currently occupied by Members’ First Credit Union, across from the 555 Medical Office facility.  The property is zoned RC.  Across the street is a fair amount of office service.  South of the office service is various residential from RB to RA-1.  This site plan is for the 21,215 sq. ft. office building.  The current building is located to the west of the proposed addition.  They are going to add the building to the east along with a lot of parking and some storm water detention.  They will move the eastern most curb cut further to the east.  Directly adjacent to that is a doctor’s medical office.  The front yard setback requirement is 25 feet.  This building will be set back 90 feet from the front property line.  They will save approximately four existing trees.  They will be landscaping heavily.  There is no sidewalk on the W. Wackerly frontage.  It is all on the south side of W. Wackerly Road.  Parking is based on two use categories, the first floor is based on the banking category.  The second story is based on the office category.  The second story and the basement are just used as offices for the credit union.  The ordinance requires 116 spaces and they show 112 spaces.  Storm water detention is located on the east side of the site.  Because they are surrounded by like uses, there is no additional screening required. 

Randy Sherman, Three Rivers Corporation, 1901 Trailwood Circle, Midland.  He stated he has nothing more to add.  The lower level will be used for the storage of records.  There is no plan to lease space to another tenant.  The old landscaping will meet the requirements of the new ordinance.  There will not be a significant difference between the two landscaped areas.  There are plenty of trees on the property.  The landscaping exceeds the current ordinance requirements.

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

 

b. Zoning Text Amendment No. 143A – Consideration of a petition initiated by City staff to a zoning text amendment to allow for conditional rezoning of property.

 

This topic arose out of the April 2006 training session for the Planning Commission.  The topic of discussion is referred to as “conditional rezoning”.  The terminology is not reflected in the act that allows for this tool.  There has been quite a bit of discourse in the planning profession as to what this should be called.  Conditional zoning, conditional rezoning, conditional use are all terms that have been used for this.  Conditional Rezoning has been allowed by Public Acts 577, 578 and 579.  Public Act 579 amends the City and Village Zoning Act.  It was signed by Governor Granholm in January, 2005.  It requires the voluntary initiation by the property owner.  It specifies a time period to satisfy the conditions.  It discusses the reversion to the previous zoning if the conditions are not satisfied.  The Act is rather brief.  It left open several questions regarding the tool.  What is the technique called?  Can uses not permitted in the district be allowed via conditional zoning?  Are other approvals (site plan, variance, conditional use) still required?  Can off-site improvements be required as a condition?

What is the relationship to the master plan?  Is reversion automatic if approved development does not proceed?  Can a site plan be required in conjunction with a conditional rezoning application?  Can the conditions ever be changed after they are approved?

Over the last year or so, planning commissions have struggled with these open issues.  They have attempted to find resolution to these open issues.  They have decided to allow specific ordinance language that is used for the planning tool.  Staff has provided a draft of an ordinance amendment that would modify the provisions of Article 30 of our zoning language.  Article 30 – Section E. 

When a petitioner presents a rezoning request, he usually has something specific in mind.  It is not uncommon for a petitioner to stand before you and tell you how they desire to use the property once the zoning is changed.  They may even present a site plan for the new use.  However, staff continues to tell the Planning Commission that, once the zoning is changed, they can place any use allowed in that district on that property.  There are 12 sections to this article:

1.                  Intent

2.                  Application and Offer of Conditions

3.                  Planning Commission Review

4.                  City Council Review

5.                  Approval

6.                  Compliance with Conditions

7.                  Time period to Establish Use

8.                  Reversion of Zoning

9.                  Subsequent Rezoning of Land

10.              Amendment of Conditions

11.              City Right to Rezone

12.              Failure of Offer Conditions

 

No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this zoning text amendment. 

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

 

5.      Old Business

 

a. 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.

Mr. Poprave provided a summary of the information from the public hearing.  The site is located at 7400 Eastman Avenue.  It is located on the east side of Eastman Avenue, across from the Fairgrounds, north of Joe Mann Blvd.  It is located directly north of the Meijer store. 

The site plan is a 1300 sq. ft. body shop and wash bay.  This site was previously constructed in 1999.  All of the site features were constructed at that time.  There is not a lot of new additional site work for review. 

Mr. Eyre asked about the signage on the property.  The staff report indicates they already have more signage than is permitted.  Mr. Poprave stated that if they wanted additional signage on the building, they would have to amend what they have or seek a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Sean, of Helger Construction represented the petitioner.  There is some new signage above the new doors.  They will not be added, they are only there on the site plan to depict where the bays will be.  No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this petition.

Mr. Rapanos stated he feels the applicant seems to have met all the requirements and he is in favor of the project.  Mr. Mead agreed with Mr. Rapanos.  This looks very nice and he feels it will be a nice addition to the existing facility.  Mr. Eyre agreed, as did Mr. Jocks.  Mr. Senesac asked about the four contingencies listed in the staff report.  Mr. Poprave stated they still apply.

It was moved by Eyre and supported by Rapanos to recommend approving Site Plan No. 252 with the following contingency items:

 

1.   Stormwater detention system is re-verified to determine that it can handle the new runoff.

2.   Verification that the private sanitary system will handle the additional capacities.

3.   New and relocated exterior lighting shall be fully shielded and not exceed 1.0 foot candle of illumination at the property line.

4.   Any new or restriped parking spaces must be delineated with “box” style striping.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Eyre, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos and Senesac

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Gaynor, Kozakiewicz, Svenson

 

The motion was approved 5-0.

 

b. 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.

 

Mr. Poprave showed the proposed site.  It is 135 feet in from the property line.  The petitioner went through a zoning variance last Tuesday.  The variance was granted from the Zoning Board of Appeals.  They granted him 149 feet in height.  This came from the FAA requirements that they could build up to 149 feet in height.  The tower is approximately 135 feet from the zoning boundary.  The petitioner would have to move the tower up to 14 feet to the west, depending upon the height of the tower.  The road access to the tower would have to be plowed in the winter.

 

Mr. Rapanos asked about the fact that the land is leased.  When cell towers are no longer needed, is there some requirement that these towers must be removed?  Mr. Poprave stated that there is a condition that the towers are removed if they are no longer needed. 

 

Mr. LaBelle spoke on behalf of the applicant.  The total length of the access road is 120 feet.  It is 20 feet wide.  At either location on the site, they will be able to meet the requirements for setbacks for the tower.  All the conditions will be satisfied by the cellular tower company.  Currently, the zoning ordinance encourages 120 foot poles.  That is why you are getting all the other poles out there.  There is no co-location on these towers.  In order to promote co-location, they will go to 140 feet at a minimum.  They will agree co-location.  They are required by the telecommunications act to allow co-location on their towers.

 

Mr. Mead asked how often these towers are maintained.  The petitioner stated these towers require very little maintenance.  They usually visit the towers about four times per year to check on it.  They will arrange to have the road plowed in the winter.   Mr. LaBelle stated they can get at least two more cellular companies on their tower.  No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.

 

Mr. Mead stated the petitioner seems to have answered all the questions they had at their last meeting.  Mr. Rapanos stated this looks like another clean site plan and he is in favor of this for the community.  Mr. Eyre and Mr. Jocks agreed.

 

It was moved by Mead and supported by Eyre to approve Conditional Use Permit No. 21 along with the following contingency items:

 

1.   The equipment shelter is setback at least 25 feet from the front property line as required by the Zoning Ordinance.

2.   All barbed wire is removed from the proposed site fence.

3.   The access driveway is constructed of sufficient material to support a 60,000 lb. fire apparatus in all weather conditions.

3.      The maintenance/removal affidavit is provided to the City Attorney prior to Conditional Use Permit approval.

4.      The petitioner agrees to co-location requirements set forth in the Zoning Ordinance.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Eyre, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos and Senesac

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Gaynor, Kozakiewicz and Svenson

 

The motion was approved 5-0.

 

5.            New Business

Site Plan No. 253 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Members First Credit Union, for approval of a site plan including a 21,215 square foot building addition on 3.11 acres located at 600 West Wackerly Street.

 

They would like to see this petition acted upon tonight because it would give them two extra weeks in the construction season.  It could be taken up by City Council at their June 12th meeting.

 

Mr. Mead stated he thinks he can deal with this tonight.  However, there are three members of the commission that are absent tonight.  He feels the process of having two weeks between the petition presentation and the deliberation is a good process.  It gives the commissioners the opportunity for additional input as well as members of the public an opportunity to provide input.  Mr. Jocks stated he thinks this site plan fits in with the surrounding property.  This site plan is fairly straight forward and the commissioners can deal with this in a timely manner. 

It was moved by Mead and supported by Eyre to move ahead with the Member’s First Credit Union site plan approval:

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Eyre, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos and Senesac

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Gaynor, Kozakiewicz and Svenson

 

The motion was approved 5-0.

 

Mr. Rapanos stated this is another good site plan.  The petitioner is prepared and has taken care of all the concerns from staff.  Mr. Eyre stated that all the conditions are fairly straight forward and he is in support of this site plan.  Mr. Mead stated this adds to the neighborhood and he is also in favor of this site plan.  Mr. Jocks agreed.

 

It was moved by Eyre and supported by Rapanos to recommend approval of Site Plan No. 253 with the stated contingencies.

 

The vote proceeded as follows:

 

YEA:          Eyre, Jocks, Mead, Rapanos and Senesac

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Gaynor, Kozakiewicz and Svenson

 

The motion was approved 5-0.

 

7.  Communications

 

       None

    

8.  Report of the Chairman  - Mr. Senesac discussed the meetings held last

     week for additional public input on the master plan.  Approximately 30 people  

     attended these meetings at the Holiday Inn.  There were many people there

     who would not have been at City Hall.

 

    The Chairman stated he will appoint the nominating committee at the next

    meeting.

 

     There is a meeting for the Master Plan on Thursday, June 1st and this will be

     primarily to discuss traffic issues.  The public is invited to provide input at this

     meeting.

    

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                

 

June 12th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

§         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.

§         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.

 

                                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 – Set public hearing to consider 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. (public hearing June 23rd)

 

June 23rd

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

Conditional Use Permit No. 21 – Set public hearing to consider 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.

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         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 142A – Set a public hearing for consideration of a petition initiated by staff to include conditional rezoning in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance. (public hearing July 24th)

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

June 1st

                                Master Plan

§         Traffic Conditions

§         Presentation regarding non-motorized transportation

                               

June 13th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

§         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 142A – Consideration of a petition initiated by staff to include conditional rezoning in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.

 

June 27th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

                                None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

 

None

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

May 16th

 

No. 06-04 – Randy Sherman on behalf of Midland Center for the Arts (Midland County Historical Society) for area/dimension variances to permit the addition of a 32 s.f. ground sign on property located at 3417 West Main Street. (approved)

 

No. 06-05 – Robert LaBelle on behalf of Verizon Wireless for an area / dimension variance to permit a 140’ tall monopole on property located at 1100 Joe Mann Boulevard. (approved to 149’)

 

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

Firehouse Soft Wash – a 5,100 s.f. car wash facility located on 1.83 acres, south of Joe Mann Blvd. and east of McDonald Nursery.

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

The City Council will be interviewing candidates for Boards and Commissions on Tuesday, May 30th.

 

 

Mr. Poprave stated the Planning Commission will get the existing land use draft map would be presented to you on June 1st.

 

1415 S. Saginaw Road – They are going to demolish that restaurant and build an Advance Auto Parts store at that location.

 

After the ZBA public hearings, they made a text interpretation on the existing ordinance that, in the future, Section 3.16 should be a decision that is recommended by the Planning Commission and affirmed by the City Council as the condition of a waiver.  The Planning Commission could recommend a waiver of the height requirement in the ordinance.

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 8:20 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jon Lynch

Assistant City Manager

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION