FEBRUARY 27, 2007, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Gaynor, Hanna and Mead

OTHERS PRESENT:  Keith Baker, Director of Planning; Daryl Poprave, Deputy Planning Director; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist, Jim Branson, City Attorney and 4 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of February 13, 2007.

It was moved by Senesac and supported by Svenson to approve the minutes of February 13, 2007.  The minutes were unanimously approved as presented. 


3.      Public Hearing




4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.      New Business


a.      City Attorney to answer Planning Commission’s questions regarding the conditional rezoning process.


Mr. Branson spoke about the meaning of “conditional re-zoning”.  This is a new concept throughout the state.  There has not been a lot of data established regarding this issue.  Within our zoning ordinance, we have the conditions that the Planning Commission can accept what is before them, they can deny what is before them, or they can make conditions to what has been proposed.  They must make a decision on the situation that is before them based on the information that is presented. 


It is important that staff get the petitioner to be specific regarding what is presented to the Planning Commission.  It should not be negotiated from the floor between the Commission and the petitioner.  The facts should be presented and the Planning Commission should make their decision based upon the facts.  It is a land use planning tool that is now available to communities.  It is allowed under our zoning ordinance under Section 30.03(E).  It is strictly voluntary on the part of the petitioner to ask for a conditional rezoning. 


Mr. Branson stated if the petitioner wishes to make a change in what they are asking for in a petition, if it is a more restrictive use, the public hearing can continue and the Planning Commission can move forward with their deliberations.  If the change makes the conditions less restrictive, the Planning Commission must go back to a new public hearing as the public has not had a chance to comment on the new “less restrictive” conditions. 


Mr. Eyre asked how the Planning Commission can approve a petition with conditions, without asking the petitioner if they agree with the conditions.  Although the Planning Commission is advisory to the City Council, the petitioner might wish to withdraw his petition before it goes to the City Council if they do not agree with the conditions the Planning Commission has recommended.


Mr. Senesac recommended that staff use Table 21.1 from the zoning ordinance.  This table shows what is allowed in each zoning district.  A conditional zoning application should cross out what will not be allowed in the “conditional zoning” district and what is not crossed out is allowable in that district.  This would make the uses allowed in the district very clear.  Mr. Branson stated the more clear these issues are, the easier it is for his office to enforce the conditions.


Mr. Baker stated there could be some negotiations or adjustments to an application during the two weeks between Planning Commission meetings, between the public hearing and the Planning Commission deliberations.  The applicant could choose to make some modifications to his request. 


6.      Old Business


a. 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 reviewed the zoning petition with an aerial photo, showing the location of the subject property and the surrounding area.  The zoning map shows this property is currently zoned office service and is adjacent to office service on the east.  Property to the west is zoned Regional Commercial.  The future land use map shows this area as office service land use.  It is adjacent to medium density residential and some low density residential to the south. 

The petitioner has met with the Sylvan Pines Condominium Association.  The condominium association has changed their position from one of opposition to one of in support.  As a result of the meeting, the applicant proposed a few changes.  They will add Dollar Stores to the list of prohibited uses for the property.  They cannot eliminate specific stores so this could not be added.  Another condition they added was that they would not add supermarkets as a permitted use.  This will be added as a condition.  They also will not rezone the north 25 feet of the property so it would remain as a buffer as office service.  They will not be rezoning the west portion of the lot that is currently zoned regional commercial. 

The statement of conditions includes conditions presented by Lapham Development at the public hearing.  They include automotive uses and adult regulated uses.  Tonight they will not consider convenience stores, which is a principal permitted use in regional commercial.  They would also exclude restaurants or lounges and they have added restaurants with drive-thru windows.

Mike Lapham, 2816 Scott Street, stated that this is a new process for him and his business.  He decided to just talk to folks who might have concerns regarding his placing his business in this area.  They spoke with some of the surrounding neighbors.  They were concerned about the 25 foot buffer.  They took out a tape measure and measured 25 feet and everyone seemed to be able to live with that.  Nothing will be obtrusively up to their property lines.  Mr. Lapham stated he eliminated more than just gas stations – he eliminated the entire automotive industry.  Sylvan Pines was also concerned about convenience stores.  He is in agreement that there will not be a dollar store there nor a convenience store.  The neighbors had no issues with the type of materials they are going to use in their building.  This piece of property has been vacant for over 100 years.  They are the first ones ever to want to do something with this property.  Conditional rezoning can now be used as a tool to eliminate the uses that are not compatible with the surrounding uses.  Mr. Lapham feels his business is compatible with the condominiums.  The City of Midland has the benefit of taking a piece of property that has not been developed in over 100 years and putting a business on it that will raise tax revenue. 

No one spoke either in support or in opposition to this request.

Mr. Senesac stated this is the first conditional rezoning the Planning Commission has heard.  He disagrees that there has been nothing on this property for over 100 years.  In all the site plans we have done, the greatest majority have not had anything on the piece of property in the past 100 years.  This petition was brought before the Planning Commission previously, and it was denied to be rezoned to Regional Commercial.  There are many things allowed in Regional Commercial that Mr. Senesac finds too intensive for this property that have not been eliminated.  Mr. Eyre agrees.  This list is still not restrictive enough for all the things that could go there that would not be compatible with the surrounding land uses.  Mr. Senesac stated this business is a good example of what would be compatible in this zoning district, however, there are still too many more intensive uses that have not been eliminated.

Ms. Svenson agrees with Mr. Senesac and Mr. Eyre.  She would object to the rezoning as it stands now.  Ms. Brown is in agreement.  It is too open, that if something changes, there are too many more intensive uses that would still be allowed.  Mr. Jocks stated that he can understand the concerns that have been expressed.  He is in agreement with the rest of the commission.

Mr. Kozakiewicz stated that the petitioner went to the surrounding neighbors and tried to work with their concerns.  He feels that a contractor’s yard would not try to locate at this location.   He is in favor of this conditional rezoning.

It was moved by Eyre and supported by Svenson to recommend approving Zoning Petition No. 541 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 with the following restrictions:  there would be no automotive uses, no adult regulated use, no restaurant/bar/lounge, no convenience stores and no restaurants with drive-in or drive-up windows.  It would also include leaving the back 25 feet office service and the western 30 feet regional commercial. 


YEA:          Kozakiewicz

NAY:          Brown, Eyre, Jocks, Senesac and Svenson

ABSENT:   Gaynor, Hanna and Mead


The motion was denied 5-1.


b. Future Land Use Map – land use adjacent to Letts Road extension discussion. 

Mr. Baker presented the location of Letts Road and the proposed Letts Road extension later on this summer, subject to City Council approval.  Currently, the property has been identified as completely medium density residential.  Our intent tonight is to determine what, if any, changes the Planning Commission would propose for this area.  To the east of Jefferson, the land has been designated low density residential to the north and to the south. 


Mike Pnacek, the property owner, stated they have no problem with medium density residential along Jefferson Avenue.  The entire parcel consists of 80 acres.  The triangular portion of the property to the north of Letts Road is approximately five acres.  The portion to the south of Letts Road would then be approximately 75 acres.  Mr. Pnacek forsees no access of this northern part of Jefferson Avenue.  Access to whatever would be developed in this area would take access off of Letts Road. 

Mr. Senesac stated he would like to do some access management in some of the undeveloped areas of the city, similar to what was done on Wheeler Road.  Mr. Poprave stated there could be enough funds left after the master plan is done for LSL to develop a model access management plan for the city.  This is something that staff will present to the Planning Commission after the master plan project is completed.


7.  Communications




8.  Report of the Chairman  


     Reminders of mail distributed from Michigan Association of Planning.  The Planning Commission workshop is scheduled for April 14th.  The joint meeting with City Council is scheduled for April 19th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  This will be televised and advertised as a City Council meeting.   The Planning Commission will formally transmit the master plan to City Council with their recommendation of approval.


9.  Report of the Planning Director


            CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                


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 St., Bay City Rd., 19th & 21st St.)    Approved


April 9th

                PUBLIC HEARING


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




                February 27th

                PUBLIC HEARING




                ACTION ITEM


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


March 13th  

                PUBLIC HEARING


                SP #255 – Sloan Family Academic Bldg. (Northwood University)

                SP #256 – 100 room Springhill Suites (Marriot) Hotel

                SP #257 – Central Warehouse 41,310 sq.ft. bldg. 2520 Schuette Rd.


                ACTION ITEM




                March 27th           

                                PUBLIC HEARING




                                ACTION ITEM


                                SP #255 – Sloan Family Academic Bldg. (Northwood University)

                                SP #256 – 100 room Springhill Suites (Marriot) Hotel

                                SP #257 – Central Warehouse 41,310 sq.ft. bldg. 2520 Schuette Rd.




                February 20th – Meeting Canceled


                March 20th – Scheduled Agenda Items

                1.     ZBA #07-04  NE corner of Joe Mann Blvd. & T. Moore Dr. (Springhill Suites) request for two (2) dimensional variances for the size and placement of commercial signage. 

                2.     ZBA #07-05  7300 Eastman Ave. (Meijer parking lot) – Request to install additional signage in conjunction with an accessory use in the parking lot.

                3.     ZBA #07-06  3217 Pomranky Rd. – 2ft. side yd. setback dimensional variance for a residential building addition.








The joint meeting with the City Council and Planning Commission has been scheduled for Thursday April 19, 2007 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to review the final draft of the 2007 Midland Master Plan.     


March 13, 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.


Deputy Director Daryl Poprave will be absent from the March 27th meeting.


10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 8:39 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker

Director of Planning and Community Development