MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

DECEMBER 12, 2006, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Eyre, Gaynor, Hanna, Kozakiewicz, Mead, and Senesac

ABSENT:     Brown, Jocks and Svenson

OTHERS PRESENT:  Daryl Poprave, Acting Director of Planning & Community Development; Debbie Marquardt, Technical Secretary and 15 others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of November 28, 2006.

It was moved by Hanna and supported by Senesac to approve the minutes of November 28th.  The minutes were unanimously approved. 

 

3.      Public Hearing

 

a.   Zoning Petition No. 532 (tabled) – Consideration of a petition initiated by Patrick and Shawn Pnacek to rezone .98 acres of land located at 110 Oakbrook Drive from RA-1 to OS.

      This is still tabled and will not be dealt with tonight.

      b.   Zoning Petition No. 534 (tabled) – Consideration of a petition initiated by Patrick and Shawn Pnacek to rezone .96 acres of land located at 104 Oakbrook Drive from RA-1 to OS.

      This is still tabled and will not be dealt with tonight.

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

 

5.      Old Business

 

a.  Site Plan No. 254 – Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Midland Medical Oncology, for site plan review and approval for an 11,409 square foot medical office building at 4500 Campus Ridge Drive.

 

Dan Kozakiewicz abstains as he is employed by Three Rivers Corporation.  They elected a temporary chair.  Roger Mead moved to have Ray Senesac acting chair and Gayle Hanna seconded the motion.

 

Daryl Poprave gave a brief review.  The site is located on Campus Ridge Drive, which is a private drive on the hospital campus.  It is zoned community and a hospital is a permitted use.  Staff recommends approval with the following contingencies.

 

1.      The stormwater detention system is designed and constructed in accordance with the Engineering Department requirements.

2.      The drive aisle adjacent to the building’s entrance shall be posted “no parking” fire lane.

3.      To properly service the site, the water main should be extended south to McCandless where a 12 inch main exists.

4.      Landscape irrigation is not shown and should be an extension of the existing system.

5.      Care should be taken when placing the pneumatic tubes so that they are spaced at least 10 feet horizontally from the water main.

6.      All exterior lighting shall adhere to Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

7.      All landscaping shall adhere to Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

8.      The dumpster should be screened in accordance with Section 3.15 of the Zoning Ordinance.

9.      All ground mounted mechanical equipment shall be screened in accordance with Section 6.02(E)2 of the Zoning Ordinance.

10.  All parking spaces must be delineated with “box” style striping per Section 5.01(d)3 of the Zoning Ordinance.

11.  All signage shall adhere to Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

Keith Wirth, Three Rivers Corporation, architect, they met with the facilities staff and they will have ambulance service from the back.  They met with Consumers Power there is a 70% chance they will connect underground.  They will see how much power is available at that time.

 

Roger Mead stated that it looks like a good plan, a lot of consideration and a good addition to the campus.

 

      Bill Eyre agrees, it is a good thing.

 

      Gayle Hanna stated that it is sited nicely.

 

It was moved by Mead and supported by Hanna to recommend approving Site Plan No. 254, with the contingencies, by Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Midland Medical Oncology for site plan review and approval for an 11,409 square foot medical office building at 4500 Campus Ridge Drive.

 

YEA:          Eyre, Gaynor, Hanna, Mead, and Senesac 

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Brown, Jocks and Svenson

ABSTAIN:  Kozakiewicz

 

The motion was approved 5-0.

 

 

6.         New Business

 

a.   Vacation of Public Property – Consideration of a petition initiated by the Dow Chemical Company – Michigan Operations, to vacate the following public streets:  Austin Street, Bay City Road, including sections of 18th Street, 19th Street, 21st Street and Washington Street.

 

Daryl Poprave showed the location of the vacation on the aerial map.  The reasoning for Washington Street is the new gate will be used primarily for Dow Chemical or Dow visitor traffic.  It frees up some additional maintenance from the city.  The added benefit in the event of heightened security is that they will be able to close off the street and maintain a buffer zone.  The history on this area was that back in 1985 it was vacated.  Dow has requested to improve chemical plant site security.  This is a Code of Ordinance requirement.  City Council adopts the resolution on December 4th.  The Planning Commission offers a recommendation in support or denial of the petition.  City Council receives the Planning Commission recommendation.  City Council would then set a public hearing at least four weeks after it has been set.   After the public hearing, City Council can determine if the streets can be vacated.  Street design and construction will start immediately.  Staff recommendation is to approve the request based on the following contingencies.  City streets are allowed to be vacated and the railroad grade road be built and construct a public street to handle the traffic displaced by these original streets.  Second one that James Savage Road be disconnected and that in addition they still maintain some emergency access so the fire department can get around.  The City retain any public utilities easements inside the fence line.

 

Ray Senesac asked what property Dow owns.  What is the process to get to the final plan if these streets are to be vacated?  With that alternative the city recommends there is a portion of James Savage that would be vacated.

 

Bradd Maki, Assistant City Engineer, stated that during the reviews a consensus was reached between the consultants.  Other city departments had no objections to the recommendation.  The replacement route would contain any detours and emergency evacuation routes.  With the closing of James Savage, west of Saginaw Road, the traffic should be encouraged to use the east west connector road.  The Dow consultant also indicated there would be some traffic also still going to James Savage corridor to alleviate the congestion.  Washington Street will function better.  With the construction of the proposed project of MDOT, all three options recommend the closer of the west connection point on James Savage.  Two of the options involve an off ramp and one of the options does not deal that with the off ramp but the removal of the over pass itself and a whole intersection change.

 

Scott Gaynor doesn’t understand why they want to close James Savage.  They are just moving Bay City Road and Austin and the same traffic options are available today.

 

The Dow Consultant and support by our traffic consultant in general traffic will seek a path they want to seek.  The new road will be there and a portion of the traffic will still go up to that corridor.  When the new gate gets put in, all traffic is going to be going to that location.  Bay City Road will not be the connector, it will be the new connector.  They may use different routes to get in.  There is going to be a percentage that will be using the corridor.

 

Scott Gaynor asked if the existing lights will remain.

 

Bradd Maki stated yes, but if James Savage is a cul de sac there will be significant less traffic and you will still have the signal there but the efficiency will be much improved.  Saginaw Road will help support the east west road.

 

Scott Gaynor asked about three signals within one quarter mile.

 

Bradd Maki stated that yes, the way it looks for the moment there will be three.  When the numbers come through, we will see if the signal will still operate.

 

Ray Senesac asked if they identified any increase or decrease of through traffic.  The new road will be how many lanes?

 

Bradd Maki stated that right now maybe four or it could be three. 

 

Gayle Hanna asked with the new ball park would there be signage on the main highway prior to the interchange to go up to M-20 to alleviate the congestion.  You want it to be a welcoming entrance to town.  If they have to make many turns, they would be frustrated.

 

Bradd Maki said that the work will take place the following year.

 

Dan Kozakiewicz asked what the timing of the MDOT projects?

 

Bradd Maki stated they haven’t received a time line yet.

 

Dan Kozakiewicz asked when the property is vacated, does the city still has access to that property.

 

Daryl Poprave said that normally a street vacation is in a subdivision and you would split a road to adjacent property owners.  In this case the platted subdivisions have never been platted.  Once the vacation occurs city deeds the property to Dow.  That is part of City Council process to give the property to Dow Chemical.  The city could choose to sell that property to Dow.  It doesn’t have to give it to them.  Dow has accepted the construction costs of the new streets so an agreement would be worked out. 

 

Gayle Hanna asked about MDOT’s plan.  Could they expedite and have good ability to move people out of harms way quickly. 

 

Todd Konechni, Dow Chemical, project manager working on projects.

 

Rollie Shook, Director of Security.

 

Todd would like to cover the back ground and a little more detail.  The Dow petitions were brought about by Homeland Security to relocate the security fence out further.  The vacation of these roads would allow them to relocate the perimeter fence line.  Right now the public is able to drive through this area and get close. 

 

Ray Senesac asked what would Homeland Security be unhappy about today.

 

Rollie stated there have been many bills and actions pushing for various requirements to upgrade security in the chemical facilities nation wide.  Since September 11th some of the basic security is to add extra layers.  To push boundaries out as far as possible.

 

They have updated their perimeter fence line to help gain some better defense in that area.  They are capable of future expansion.

 

Roger Mead asked if they are looking forward to the vacation of Saginaw Road.

 

Rollie state that there are not plans right now for that.

 

Ray Senesac asked Daryl Poprave about the decision this evening and what would happen if that property was vacated.  They need it for security issues and if their decision is based on that he needs more information.

 

Bill Eyre said that Dow wants to create a buffer and then expand but that doesn’t make sense. 

 

Daryl Poprave stated that with the open meetings act they would have to be tabled and they may have to meet one on one.  They would have to get the city attorney involved.

 

Gayle Hanna responded to Ray Senesac that this company would not go into all this time and expense on a whim.  They are trying to work very carefully with the city and accept that and she would not vote for anything by going into closed session.

 

Ray Senesac asked if they would treat every company the same way.

 

Roger Mead agrees with Ray Senesac and there are probably some concerns and questions. 

 

Ray Senesac stated that his raising issues has nothing to do with the Dow Chemical, just to have a better understanding.

 

Todd made a brief comment on the green belt expansion.  It would be a low impact low risk activity.  It is real estate of theirs and there are other activities it could be used for without a risk at the fence line.

 

Alex Irigoyen, 3717 Woodlawn, was there to speak on behalf of Nick and Elaine Rapanos.   The Rapanos family realizes how important this project is and the city concerns; however, they have a few concerns about this project.  They own a resort on the east end of Bay City Road and it is currently hard to travel from the downtown area.  The resort guests need detail instructions without getting lost.  If this new vacation goes into effect, the east west road will isolate Bay City Road even more.  Definitely it will not be a short way getting back and forth.  This would be a perfect opportunity to do a big fix of the intersection.  The closure of James Savage could come at a later time.  There could be a traffic reduction rather than a traffic increase.  The closer of James Savage Road would have a negative effect on the Rapanos property and the location of their billboard.  The Rapanos family would donate the real estate for the connecting road from James Savage Road.  The city invited them to discuss this and they understand Dow’s need and the Rapanos family would need some concrete answers.

 

Tom Begin, Consumers Energy, they were provided the plans a couple of weeks ago for the gas and electric plan.  The operation of their service center currently has three drives.  With the change in traffic flow there might be some effect to get trucks in and out.  The increase in traffic would only be three vehicles per minute.  So based on those discussions they were comfortable with the operations and the change in the traffic flow.  They also have some critical lines within Dow property to make sure they would still have access 24/7 and get to those facilities quickly.  They have no objections to the proposal.

 

Dan Cline, 143 McDonald Street, on behalf of LaLonde’s Market.  They would like the commission to postpone proposal to do some more consideration with the general public and neighboring property owners.  LaLonde’s has some concerns with the business and property value.  They have not had the opportunity to speak with Dow about the proposal.  They did review the traffic impact study.  Has Dow considered the connection from the railroad street back to Bay City Road?  LaLonde’s is simply requesting the Planning Commission fully examine the appropriate alternatives before making its recommendation.

 

Ray Senesac continues to feel he does not have sufficient information to make a decision.  He would like a better understanding of what this is going to do to help security.

 

Roger Mead thinks there are too many maybes to vote tonight.  He questions the closing of James Savage and making it a cul de sac.  Is there going to be a signal, a four lane road, signage hasn’t been talked about.  For him he is not ready to vote on this issue tonight.     

 

Scott Gaynor said that there are multiple plans and this was decided and there it is. 

 

Daryl said that is how it is.  The City Council treats the Planning Commission like another city department. 

 

Dan Kozakiewicz said they need to be specific of what they need for help do their job.

 

Scott Gaynor would like to talk about vacating and the closing of James Savage separately.

 

Gayle Hanna would like to separate the issues.  She has a problem with the route.

 

Ray Senesac wants a better understanding as to why they want to move ahead.

 

Dan Kozakiewicz thinks that if the city departments stated that they don’t object.  He struggles to go against that.

 

Roger Mead wants to know more information and has other questions.

 

Ray Senesac requests they want to learn more about the need to do this and have justification on this project.

 

Roger Mead is concerned about what is going to happen with James Savage Road.  When is that going to happen?  He would like to know more about the road. 

 

Scott Gaynor stated that discussions were involved without them and now they are suppose to give their recommendation. 

 

Gayle Hanna agrees that James Savage needs to be separated.  It should not be cul de sac at this point in time; they need that extra street there.

 

It was moved by Mead and supported by Senesac to recommend tabling the request until the January 9, 2007 meeting to vacate the following public streets:  Austin Street, Bay City Road, including sections of 18th Street, 19th Street, 21st Street and Washington Street.

 

YEA:          Hanna, Kozakiewicz, Mead, and Senesac

NAY:          Gaynor, Eyre

ABSENT:   Brown, Jocks Svenson

 

Hanna moved that the appropriate parties within the city set a meeting with themselves, Dow and MDOT with the Patrick, Lyon cross over area. 

 

The motion died for lack of a second.

 

b.   Vacation of Public Property – Consideration of a petition initiated by the Dow Chemical Company – Michigan Operations to vacate the following public streets:  Buttles Street, Bay City Road, including sections of 6th Street, Jefferson Avenue and Pershing Street.

 

Daryl Poprave introduced the petition showing the location on an aerial map.  Currently these streets do not have much traffic outside the Dow Chemical workers.  As part of the fence line improvement, Dow asked that these streets be vacated so that they can put a fence line through this street and put in a new gate.  City Council adopted a resolution on December 4th and City Council will receive that recommendation on December 18th and hold a public hearing on January 8th.  Austin and Indian streets will be converted to two way access.  Public utilities will be maintained

 

Todd shows the proposed gate they are looking at.  The fence line would move out to the boulevard between Bay City Road and Austin Street.  They will move the fence line out and reduce traffic and provide real estate for the gate entries.  They are doing this as a Homeland Security initiative.  When they could close cross streets, this is what they are trying to do.

 

Rollie stated that the Dow health department is for Dow retires and the blood donation center is there.  Part of the design is for outside parties to provide the service.  The agent assigned to this area had a security assessment done.  They have had meetings with Roger Gardner and the police as to why they should go forward.  Things are changing and from a security and public safety purpose it is to protect Dow Chemical Company and the public. 

 

Ray Senesac stated that this one will be easier and this is an active street and driving it today with closing it off it will have zero impact on the community.

 

Roger Mead stated that he lived in Midland over 35 and drove down there for the first time this weekend.  It puts it in possession of Dow Chemical.

 

Bill Eyre said that if you go there you either got lost or it was a mistake.

 

Gayle Hanna agrees.

 

It was moved by Senesac and supported by Eyre to recommend approval to vacate the following public streets:  Buttles Street, Bay City Road, including sections of 6th Street, Jefferson Avenue and Pershing Street.

 

YEA:          Eyre, Gaynor, Hanna, Kozakiewicz, Mead, and Senesac 

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Brown, Jocks, and Svenson

 

The motion was approved 6-0.

 

c.   Vacation of Public Property – Consideration of a petition initiated by the City of Midland to vacate the following public street:  Midfield Lane from Soccer Drive to 430 feet south of Joseph Drive.

 

Daryl Poprave reviewed the petition location on the aerial map.  This was requested by the City due to a previous agreement with the Midland Soccer Club.  City Council adopted a resolution on December 4th and City Council will receive that recommendation from the Planning Commission on December 18th and hold a public hearing on January 8th.  The city recommends approval contingent on the public utilities agreement. 

 

Ray Senesac supports this and Bill Eyre agrees.

 

It was moved by Mead and supported by Hanna to recommend approval to vacate the following public street:  Midfield Lane from Soccer Drive to 430 feet south of Joseph Drive.

 

YEA:          Eyre, Gaynor, Hanna, Kozakiewicz, Mead, and Senesac 

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Brown, Jocks and Svenson

 

The motion was approved 6-0.

 

7.  Communications

 

     Brochure on training workshops.

    

8.  Report of the Chairman  

    

     There was a request of several of the commissioners in regards to site plan reviews.  There was a change in the site plan approval in the Zoning Ordinance from 10,000 square feet to 7,500 square feet.  Daryl gave them the statistics and they could discuss it.  There were five site plans reviewed by the Planning Commission in 2006.  There were six administrative site plan reviews for 2006.

 

     Roger Mead would like to do a year end monitor of the site plans and check into next year and keep their eye on it and see how it goes. 

 

     Bill Eyre stated that he thought there would be more site plans between 7,500 square feet and 10,000 square feet and it appears there is not.

 

     Roger Mead stated that they should review it yearly.  Ray Senesac agrees.  Gayle Hanna states that she feels Daryl should bring them to the commission if there is a problem. 

 

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                 

 

. December 4th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

None

ACTION ITEMS

Set public hearings for ZP 535, 536, 537, 538, 539, and 540

Hearings should be scheduled for January 8, 2007.

Remand (3) Street vacations for Bay City Road, Buttles and Midfield Lane to Planning Commission for recommendation on 12/12/06

 

December 18th

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

None

                                ACTION ITEMS

SP #254

Set public hearings for three street vacations – January 22, 2007.

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

                                               

 

January 4th

                                                SPECIAL MASTER PLAN MEETING

                                LSL presentation on Implementation

 

                January 9th 

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS

                                None

 

                                ACTION ITEMS

                                None

 

February 1st

                                                SPECIAL MASTER PLAN MEETING

                                Public information session on entire draft plan (televised)

 

                               

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

        December 19th  

 

        Cancelled

                 

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

The next special meeting on the Master Plan is scheduled for Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers.  Following this meeting the next Master Plan meeting will be:  Thursday, January 18, 2007.

 

The public can view the Master Plan Update by accessing the City’s website at www.midland-mi.org and going to the Master Plan Update link on the homepage.

 

1.        MSU – Citizen Planner Online – City has money for up to two PC who wish to get this invaluable certification online.

2.        5 Site Plans were reviewed by the PC and approved by CC.

3.        7 Administrative site plans were approved by staff most were way under the 7,500 sq. ft. threshold with the average development being 5,000 sq. ft. in size.

 

Happy Holidays!!!

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 9:25 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Daryl Poprave

Acting Director of Planning and Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION