FEBRUARY 13, 2007, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Hanna

OTHERS PRESENT:  Keith Baker, Planning Director; Daryl Poprave, Deputy Planning Director; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist, and 14 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of January 9, 2007.

It was moved by Senesac and supported by Svenson to approve the minutes of January 9, 2007.  The minutes were unanimously approved as presented. 


3.      Public Hearing


a.   Zoning Petition No. 532 (postponed indefinitely) – 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 (postponed indefinitely) – 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.

c.      Zoning Petition No. 541 – Consideration of a petition initiated by Lapham Development, LLC to rezone 2.06 acres of land located at 1314 West Wheeler Street from Office Service zoning to Regional Commercial zoning including the voluntary offer of conditions pursuant to Section 30.03(E) of the Zoning Ordinance. 


Mr. Poprave showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  It is located north of Wheeler Street and Saginaw Road, east of Eastman Avenue, and south of Sylvan Pines Condominiums and west of Tucker Street.  A map of the zoning ordinance shows the property is located currently in the Office Service zoning classification.  The future land use map shows this area identified within the office service designation, next to some commercial, with high density residential to the south.  This petition is to rezone this parcel from OS to Regional Commercial.  The property was rezoned from RB to OS-2 in 1981.  Zoning Petition 525 was brought forth by the same applicants to rezone this property from OS to RC but the petition was denied at that time.  Lapham Development would like to use the conditional rezoning approach for this petition.  The existing zoning is office service.  This zone is intended to serve as a buffer between residential and higher use classifications such as commercial zoning.  The RC district is intended to be the city’s most intensive vehicle traffic use.  The residential areas should be buffered from these high intensity and high traffic uses.  Regional Commercial should take place on major or minor thoroughfare streets.  The property does meet these criteria. 

The proposed rezoning is not consistent with the master plan.  The land use map shows this area as office service, not commercial.  The proposed use of the property for retail is supported by regional commercial.  The conditions of this property have changed since the adoption of the zoning ordinance.  The property to the west has been developed with a bank and a car wash.  Regional commercial would consolidate the zoning on the west of the property with this parcel.  The proposed zoning is consistent with the surrounding land to the west, but it will be moderately compatible with the office service to the east, but it will not be compatible with the high density residential to the north.  If approved, great care would need to be taken during the site development phase to assure the properties to the north are properly buffered from the intensive uses on this property.

Mr. Poprave read the conditions which have to be met for a conditional rezoning to be approved.  Staff recommends denial of this request in that it is not consistent with the city’s master plan or future land use map.

Mike Lapham spoke on behalf of Lapham’s Garden Center.  Several years ago, they sold some property between Pizza Hut and Fast Eddie’s Car Wash.  At that time, they did not anticipate any problems with having their business at that location.  The Zoning Board of Appeals gave them variances for several years; however, it was their desire that Lapham’s would find a permanent location for their business.  They found this lot and it seemed to meet their needs.  However, when they applied to have the zoning changed on this lot, it was found that someone could place any use allowed in a business district on that parcel.  They decided to go with the conditional use permit as it will allow their use.  They wanted to make sure there would be no gas stations allowed in this area.  This land has been vacant for over 100 years.  There has never been a business or gas station there.  It is not a very desirable place for most businesses.  It is, however, a rather desirable place for their business.  This is an opportunity to develop this property and maintain the aesthetics.  Their impact on the land is very minimal.  It is a seasonal business.  Mr. Lapham asked the Planning Commission to keep in mind that no one has done anything with this property in the past 100 years.  There is lots of office service land in the City of Midland.  To find an open area of land that is open and flat is difficult.  Having grass and trees for shade are advantages for their business.  They do not want to operate their business from a parking lot.  The grass and trees allow them to be competitive with the big box stores who sell their product. 

Rich Fosgitt spoke on behalf of Lapham’s project.  There is going to be a need for a curb cut somewhere on Wheeler Street whether this property is zoned commercial or remains office service.  They would anticipate a right-in, right-out turning movement from this site either way.  Setbacks for the parking lot and drive aisles are allowed to be within 10 feet from the north property line if it remains office service.  If it is rezoned commercial, setbacks would be increased to 25 feet as a buffer to the residents to the north.  The residential B zoning to the north is the buffer for the transition between the low-density residential and the commercial property to the north.  This property would be sold to Lapham’s for $2.50 per square foot.  The majority of the commercial land in the city sells in excess of $10 per square foot.  This is not affordable for the Lapham’s. 

Norma Perry, 2422 Morning Dawn Drive.  She came to support Lapham’s Nursery.  She feels they are an asset to the City of Midland and this is an ideal spot for this type of business.  It is centrally located.  Many people do not like to go to the big box stores to buy their plants.

Mr. Fred Warner, 4724 Grandview Circle – he is the president of the condominium association.  He has not heard any consideration of the people who live in Sylvan Pines this evening.  He has some questions for the commission.  The intent is not to put a structure on it, as stated this evening.   In the future, could a structure be built on this parcel?  Lapham’s stated Residential B is part of the transitional zone.  The city code states that office service is the buffer between residential and the commercial.  They live with the car wash noise, the debris that is thrown over the fence from the car wash and that the commercial use should never have been placed there in the first place.  Where is the barrier between the commercial and the residential?  What would the structure look like if and when they decide to build one?   What happens if Lapham’s decide they no longer want to conduct their business at this location?  What could go in there then?  He asked the Commission to reject this petition.

Rich Fosgitt spoke on behalf of the petitioner.  The last speaker spoke on the office service buffer.  One alternative would be to rezone a portion of this parcel to commercial and leave a portion of the property office service, as a buffer area.  He asked that if this was such a great price for the land, why it has not been developed in the last 100 years.  Rich stated he has been involved in these conditional rezoning in other communities.  He suggested some type of negotiations with the Planning Commission.  Mr. Baker stated the Planning Commission has been instructed that this is not within their realm of authority. 

Mr. Lapham stated this is a difficult site to develop.  There is a reason why no one has tried to develop this site in the past 100 years.  It is not their intent to build a “plastic” greenhouse like they have on M-20. 


4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.      Old Business




6.      New Business


a.      LSL presentation on public comments received on February 1st and 2nd.


Draft Review:  Public Information Meetings


            Review public comments:  future land use


The Southeast corner of Wackerly Street and Stark Road – the other three corners are office in nature and as this area develops, traffic will only increase.  It does not make sense to have residential on one of the corners.  At least a small area should be commercial.  The Planning Commission is comfortable with what we have.  It should remain residential.


The east side of Poseyville, just south of the river - The previous master plan included all of the land in that area as heavy industrial.  As a part of this plan, we have changed it to low-density residential.  There is the 4-D property and the remainder of the property north of the dashed red line is either Dow property or 4-D property.  It is all in the flood plain, so a new business could not locate there.  We are proposing to keep this as industrial.  The Planning Commission is in agreement.


The light industrial classifications in the NW corner and the west side, east of Eastman - We have had comments regarding the impact of industrial zoning on the residential neighborhoods to the north.  He is talking about north of the mall.  It has been suggested to limit the uses allowed in this light industrial zoning district or something similar to the LCMR district so there is no smoke or emissions into the surrounding residential areas.  The Commission achieved consensus to leave this area the way it is.


            Comment Four:

            Stronger non-motorized language

            Health benefits

            Stronger language for facilities

                        Bike Shelters

                        Bike Lanes

                        Walkable neighborhoods

These subjects need to be in the implementation phase and the comments passed along to the Parks &

                                    Recreation Master Plan.


            Eastman Pedestrian Overpass(es)


            Comment Five:

            Area northeast of the Midland Mall


Area between Wal-Mart and Midland Evangelical Free Church - The eastern half of this property should be Institution and Civic, as it is currently used as a church complex.  The northeast quarter of this section is all owned by one family.  They have proposed that the western most quarter of the property be zoned commercial, the next quarter would be office service and the rest of it would be medium density residential.  This would allow them to place some commercial along Letts Road once it is extended. 


            Comment Six:

Several areas of low density residential or medium density residential to be upgraded to high density residential

                        Waldo north & south

                        Wheeler east & west


            Mapleton Area – Saginaw Road & Waldo Court

                        The property owner desired for it to remain in high density



Comment Seven:


Strip of land south of US-10 east of Jefferson


Motion to continue the meeting for 10 minutes beyond 9:30 p.m. by Mr. Mead.  Seconded by Eyre.  Motion passed unanimously.



Other comments?


* Incorporate strong points from design standards

* Stronger reference to fixed-route bus service

* Commercial on north side of Wackerly should extend to Dublin right-of-way

* Additional north-south circulation mid-block connecting Wackerly and mall, east of Eastman


Next Meeting – Joint Planning Commission/City Council –

Tentative dates:  3rd, 4th weeks of April 12th, with the alternate dates being April 19th or 26th.


     a.     Set dates for the planned 2007 Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals Saturday training session.

     b.     April 14th is an acceptable date as there will be no time that everyone will be able to make it.


Motion by Senesac, seconded by Eyre to extend the meeting until we complete our business.  Motion passed unanimously.


7.  Communications




8.  Report of the Chairman  




9.  Report of the Planning Director


            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                 


January 22nd  

                                PUBLIC HEARINGS


                                ACTION ITEMS


February 12th

                PUBLIC HEARINGS


                ZP 540 (221 W. Wackerly) – Rezoning petition denied.


February 26th

                ACTION ITEMS

Street vacation request by Dow Chemical Company

                (Washington Street, Austin Street, Bay City Road, 18th, 19th & 21st St.)




                February 27th

                PUBLIC HEARING



                ACTION ITEM

                                ZP 541 (1314 West Wheeler Drive) – Lapham Development LLC.  


March 13th  

                PUBLIC HEARING

                None at this time.                


                ACTION ITEM

                                None at this time.




           January 16th  

07-01 – 205 S. Saginaw – dimensional variance for increased business signage (denied)

07-02 – 2706 Jefferson – dimensional variance for a setback encroachment of new 49 unit senior apartment complex (approved)

7-03 – 1610 Sayre – dimensional variance for a setback encroachment for a garage addition at a single family residence (denied)


                February 20th – Meeting Canceled




Mid Michigan Medical Center - Plant Chiller

6,445 square foot HVAC plant – unoccupied




The City Council was unable to meet on either of the two proposed dates in March for the proposed joint meeting to discuss the draft Master Plan.   


February 27, 2007 is next the regular Planning Commission meeting. 


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.


The City’s website has been update through the February 2nd Master Plan meeting including all of LSL’s meeting presentations.


10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 9:47 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker

Director of Planning and Community Development