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



1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:     Jocks

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


2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of February 27, 2007.

It was moved by Senesac and supported by Brown to approve the minutes of February 27, 2007.  The minutes were unanimously approved as presented. 


3.      Public Hearing


a.   Site Plan No. 255 – Dow.Howell.Gilmore.Associates, Inc. on behalf of Northwood University, a request for site plan review and approval for a 25,537 square foot, two-story, classroom building identified as the Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies located at 4000 Whiting Drive on 2.04 acres.


Mr. Baker presented an aerial photograph of the site, adjacent to the NADA Building.  It is adjacent to community zoning on all four sides, as shown on the city zoning map.  The area is 2.04 acres.  Adjacent development is soccer fields to the east, the NADA Center to the north and there are woodlands to the south and west.  The site plan shows the project area in relation to the NADA Center.  Existing parking services the NADA Center.  The new building is proposed for construction adjacent to an existing parking lot and adjacent to an existing building.  The facility is in a campus setting.  Privacy is provided by existing trees to the west and south.  Ingress and egress to the site are handled primarily through two existing drive approaches which access the existing parking lot.  These will then feed into the drop off area for the new building in a landscaped courtyard.  Pedestrian access is provided by proposed sidewalks.  No new access points are being proposed.  The existing parking lot is currently connected to a parking lot to the east and this connection is being severed.  The current zoning regulations would require additional parking, both the architect and the property owner will address how they wish to handle the creation of these additional parking spaces.  Site drainage is being handled by the City Engineering Department.  A photometric plan was submitted and is in the packets of the Planning Commissioners.  The proposed building has been designed to interact with the NADA Center, adjacent to the building. 


Contingency items include the storm water retention system meeting the requirements of the Engineering standards and that the lighting not be cast off site. 


Mr. Senesac asked if the nine new parking spots will meet the requirements established in our ordinance.  Mr. Baker stated that even with those nine spaces, they will still be short of the number of required parking spaces.  The applicant is going to request that the spaces in the parking lot used by the NADA Center will fulfill the additional parking requirements.


Julie Roberts, 4300 W. Sugnet Rd, Midland, spoke on behalf of the petitioner.  She showed a map of the Northwood Campus, which have highlighted all the parking lots on the campus.  The parking lot adjacent to this site was put in place when Nagley Drive was developed.  It was not put there specifically for the NADA Center.  This building will not increase the enrollment on Northwood’s Campus so the parking requirements will remain the same after the development of this new building.  The University feels that at peak periods of the day this parking lot is at a maximum, 75 percent full so there is additional parking available at the present time.  They are adding eight new classrooms in this building.  There is a 150 seat auditorium and two 60 seat auditoriums.  They will be adding classroom space, but no additional students.  Mr. Kozakiewicz asked if Ms. Roberts would address the parking capacity at the next Planning Commission meeting prior to their deliberations. 


Mr. Mead stated he has some concerns about the parking as he is out there every Tuesday morning and he feels the parking lots are filling up at this time. 


Ms. Roberts stated there is nothing planned by Northwood University for the land to the west of this new building.  There is other property available for future development across Whiting Drive. 


Mr. Tim Nash, Provost and Chief Operating Officer of the Midland Campus spoke about why this building is necessary to the university.  Northwood has been blessed with the fact that the automobile industry has chosen to locate a large program here in Midland.  The growth capacity for the Midland Campus is 2000 students and they missed that growth capacity by 30 students this year.  They run classes into the evenings because they are at capacity and they need more space.  This building will primarily serve the automobile marketing program, but there will be other classes also held in this building.  This building is already paid for by the automotive industry and some of their associated businesses.  They currently have 1745 parking spots on campus.  On Nagley Drive, when it was developed last year, they added over 100 parking spots, without adding any additional buildings.  Community events at the NADA Center are usually held in the evenings and on weekends.  They only have about 800 students living on the campus.  The main parking lot is a commuter lot that fills to capacity every once in a while during the day.  There is always parking available on the campus.  Their NADA hotel has 31 rooms in it.  They would like to do some weekend seminars that will benefit other hotels in the area, which will be a positive aspect to the community as well as to the university. 


No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to this project.  The public hearing was closed.


b.      Site Plan No. 256 – Alpine Midland LLC on behalf of SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hotel, a request for site plan review and approval for a 22,598 square foot, 100 room hotel and 100 person capacity conference center located at 520 Joe Mann Boulevard on 2.95 acres.


Mr. Poprave showed an aerial photo of the subject site.  The property is located north of Joe Mann Boulevard.  Jefferson is to the east of this site and Eastman Avenue would be to the west of this site.  This property sits on approximately three acres of land.  The city zoning map shows this property is surrounded on all sides by Community Commercial.  It is in the Midland Mall area and is a greenfield site, meaning there is nothing developed on this site at the present time.  Planned at this site is a 96 room, 100 person conference center which will be a Marriott/SpringHill Suites center.  All the required information has been provided for this site plan.  This is a high traffic area which should support this type of use.  The landscaping plan shows two access drives, which is a plan that was worked out between staff and the developer.  They are currently deficient in the landscaping, but the developer is working to meet our ordinance requirements regarding the required landscaping. 


We require the existing trees remain, or that these trees be replaced on a one-to-one ratio.  They are going to move three evergreen trees to the outlawn areas.  The roadway to the north of the site must be extended once the development occurs.  Emergency vehicle access was such that the city’s ladder truck could not make the turns on the northeast and the southeast corners of the site plan.  These areas have been opened up to allow a larger turning radius for emergency vehicles.  There are sidewalks only on the south side of Joe Mann Boulevard.  If sidewalk was a priority in the future, the city would go through the special assessment process to add the sidewalks.  The zoning ordinance requires 160 parking spaces for this number of rooms and the site plan shows 160 parking spaces.  Storm water retention must meet the city’s engineering standards.  Adequate water and sewer service have been provided to this site.  The Fire Department wanted an additional fire hydrant within 75 feet of the building.  The developer added another hydrant in close proximity to the building.  They also wanted another fire hydrant on the east side of the building so the developer added that in the middle of the building, having to add an 8” water main to this area to support the hydrant.


The new zoning ordinance has a provision that signs cannot be placed above the windows of the third floor.  The petitioner is requesting a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to be allowed to place their sign above the windows on the third floor.  They are also asking for more signage than the ordinance allows.  This will also be taken before the Zoning Board of Appeals.


The standard conditions apply to this site plan including:


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

2.   All exterior lighting shall comply with Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

3.   The landscaping shall comply with Article 6 of the Zoning Ordinance specifically that:

      a.   19 additional trees shall be installed.

      b.   180 additional shrubs shall be installed.

4.   All exterior signage shall comply with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.   The interior drive aisle widths on the northeast and southeast corners shall be increased to accommodate fire apparatus.

6.   Two additional fire hydrants shall be installed, the first, within 75 feet of the west side FDC and the second at the buildings mid-point on the east side.  Both hydrants shall maintain barriers to prohibit access obstructions.

7.   The secondary curb cut on the northeast side of the property shall not be located less than 75 feet from the T. Moore Drive intersection.

8.   All parking spaces shall be delineated with the “box” style striping pattern prescribed by the Zoning Ordinance. 

9.   Soil, erosion and sedimentation controls shall be utilized during the construction of this project and permitted by the City’s Building Department.

10. All public water mains shall obtain Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality permits prior to construction.

11. The City shall be provided maintenance and access easements for all public utilities including fire hydrants.

12. The dumpster and storage areas shall be constructed and screened in accordance with Section 3.15 of the Zoning Ordinance.

13. All signage shall comply with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.


The Planning Department received an e-mail from Don Carlsen, who is in favor of this project.


Ryan Whiteherse, representing Alpine Midland, LLC.  They have had a couple meetings with city staff to get to this point in the site plan.  They have not found any items with which they cannot comply.  Don Carlsen has already taken care of water retention for this entire site.  This facility will have underground electrical service.  They will adjust their lighting plan so the lighting will not be cast off site. 


No one spoke in support of or in opposition to this project.  The public hearing was closed.


c.      Site Plan No. 257 – Wolgast Companies on behalf of Central Properties Development, Inc. a request for site plan review and approval for a 41,310 square foot addition with a total of 174,291 square foot floor area located at 2520 Schuette Road on 9.52 acres.


Mr. Baker presented a copy of the city zoning map.  The facility will be located on Schuette Road.  The property is zoned Industrial A and is surrounded by Industrial A on the north, east, and west sides, and by Industrial B on the south side.  An aerial photo shows industrial facilities to the east and to the north, and Dow property to the south, in the Industrial B district.  The site plan shows the 41,310 sq. ft. proposed building addition, along with other buildings that are already currently on this site.  Adequate information was provided by the developer.  The proposed addition is located immediately to the east of the existing facility.  There is a drive approach off Schuette Road that will be used for access to this site as well as an access drive to the west of the site.  There would be some additional landscaping required.  The building addition will be set back 43 feet from the front property line.  The minimum setback for this area is 25 feet.  This is a certified industrial park and would not adversely affect any of the existing property owners.  It is buffered by woods to the east and to the north.  The Fire Department has reviewed the site plan and found the ingress and egress points are adequate for the site.  The petitioner has provided 41 new parking spaces as required by a previous condition by the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Drainage is a concern on this site as the site is becoming quite saturated with impervious surfaces.  Storm water management issues must be addressed, but these can be done through building permit approvals and occupancy permits.  The contingency items include storm water management approval by the Engineering Department, proper installation of the lighting, and proper landscaping provided according to the zoning ordinance, and that all parking spaces be delineated with the box-type striping. 


A written request has been provided by the applicant for the Planning Commission to take action on this item at tonight’s meeting.


Ms. Hanna asked if this new addition will contain any flammable liquids or materials.  Mr. Baker stated it is his understanding that this building will not, however, some of the existing buildings do contain flammable materials.  He suggested that this would be a question for the petitioner.


Justin Lipscomb from Wolgast Corporation.   Central Properties Development, Inc. has given Wolgast Corporation an aggressive time line for the development of this property.  This is why they are asking for approval of this site plan at tonight’s meeting.  They are showing additional parking rather than asking for a variance in order to speed the approval of this site plan.  They do not anticipate having problems meeting any of the designated contingencies. 


Jess Atwell, from Midland Tomorrow, spoke in support of this expansion.  They have spoken with approximately 80 properties in this area, the majority of whom have a desire for growth in this area.  Wolgast Corporation is trying their best to accommodate a new business coming into town, which will provide jobs for the area.


John Strobel, President of Central Properties, spoke regarding the warehouse.  There is a high-level flammable storage area to the west portion of the site.  There will be nothing flammable stored in the proposed expansion.  Their customer is Dow Chemical Company who desires to utilize storage at their facility beginning in the fall.  Dow needs a place to store a new product when they begin the manufacturing of it. 


No one else spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.  The public hearing was closed.


4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.   Old Business


6.      New Business


It was moved by Hanna and seconded by Mead to consider Site Plan No. 257.  Motion passed 8 to 0.


It was moved by Mead and seconded by Hanna to recommend City Council approval of the Site Plan No. 257 contingent upon:


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

2.      All exterior lighting shall comply with Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

3.      All landscaping shall comply with Article 6 of the Zoning Ordinance.

4.      All signage shall comply with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.      All parking stalls must be delineated with “box” style striping.


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

NAY:          None

ABSENT:   Jocks


The motion was approved 8-0.


7.  Communications


A letter was received from Mike Lapham for hearing his case and working with him.


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                                                                                                                

March 12th

                PUBLIC HEARINGS                            None

                ACTION ITEMS                  None



March 19th  

                ACTION ITEMS                  None

                PUBLIC HEARINGS                            None


April 9th

                PUBLIC HEARING


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


                ACTION ITEMS


                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.  




                March 27th

                PUBLIC HEARING


                SP # 258 – Wikkiups Crossing 49 Unit Senior Housing Facility


                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.  


April 10th  

                PUBLIC HEARING              None


                ACTION ITEM


                                SP # 258 – Wikkiups Crossing 49 Unit Senior Housing Facility




                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. Petition withdrawn


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








The annual Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals joint training retreat is scheduled for Saturday April 14, 2007 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Location TBD. 


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 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.


Deputy Director Daryl Poprave will be on vacation the week of March 26th


10.  Adjourn

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

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker

Director of Planning and Community Development