JULY 24, 2007, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

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

VACANY:    One

ABSENT:    Kozakiewicz

OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Director of Planning & Community Development, Daryl Poprave, Deputy Planning Director; Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, Bradd Maki, Assistant City Engineer, and 8 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Regular Meeting of July 10, 2007.

Page 2, second paragraph under the Condition Use Permit, it was clear what the petitioner was asking for; Mr. Senesac’s point was that there was no documentation to support the petitioner’s request.

Page 4, second paragraph from the bottom, second sentence, should say “There are eight houses from Harcrest to Shade Drive and they would see a traffic increase in the service vehicles that serve the condominium association because it is the only way to get in and to get out” and then delete the next sentence. 

It was moved by Senesac and supported by Hanna to approve the minutes of July 10, 2007 with the above stated corrections.  The minutes were unanimously approved.


3.   Public Hearing


      a.   Zoning Petition No. 544 – initiated by the Greater Midland Community Centers, Inc. for property located at 2009, 2021, 2105, 2111, 2113 Jefferson Avenue from Residential A-4 to Community. 


      Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph showing the location of the subject property.  It is located on the west side of Jefferson on the corner of George Street and Jefferson.  Cleveland Manor is just east of the requested site and there are single family homes both north and south on Jefferson.  The property containing the Community Center is zoned Community.  The parking lot is zoned community.  Within the six parcels, there are three homes that are rented, but they all belong to the Community Center.  On the zoning map, it was noted there are offices on the corners across the street.  The future land use map shows the public/quasi-public designation for the Community Center. 


            The Rezoning Evaluation Criteria shows that the proposed amendment is consistent with the City’s Master Plan.  It will be in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance and subject to the standards outlined in the ordinance.  The properties have been acquired by the MCC for the proposed expansion and redevelopment of the MCC Campus.  The planned improvements for the property include a playground, facilities for the Midland Curling Club and a parking lot.  The proposed zoning would not grant special privileges to a particular property owner.  The amendment will not set an inappropriate precedent.  This will not constitute spot zoning.  The proposed zoning is consistent with the future land use designation of the surrounding land in the City’s Master Plan.  The amendment will permit all uses allowed in the Community zoning classification.  The properties in question are already surrounded by land zoned community on three sides.  Both the land use plan of 1997 and the plan being considered indicate this land use as Community.  All requirements in the proposed zoning classification can be complied with on the subject parcel.  The proposed zoning is consistent with the trends in land development in the general vicinity of the property in question.  This area does represent a mix of uses and development.  You have community uses, high density residential (Cleveland Manor) and to the west you have Central Middle School.  The Community classification is consistent with the future land use projections for this area.  This rezoning is recommended by staff for approval.


            Chris Tointon, CEO of the Midland Community Center, stated they are trying to unify their campus.  They have purchased the six properties currently zoned residential, over the past 30 years.  There are only three houses left on the property.  The rest have all been removed.  It has always been the goal of the Community Center to unify the entire campus.  Mr. Tointon showed a proposed alteration of the site with the relocation of George Street.  They are currently trying to decide whether or not George Street should be closed.  They want to move all their parking up closer to the building, especially parking for senior citizens.  Right now, half of their handicap parking is across George Street.  They would like to unify all their handicap parking up close to the building.  They have 100+ children in their child care center every day.  There is not enough area for drop-off of children for the day care and sports activities.  There are three houses currently on the six residential lots.  Two of them are occupied at the present time.


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



4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.   New Business






6.   Old Business


      a.   Zoning Text Amendment No. 145A – Initiated by Michael Bensinger of Otto, Bensinger and Dice Architects, to consider the inclusion of “Child Care Centers” as a Principal Permitted Use in the Office Service district in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.


Mr. Poprave presented the zoning text amendment.  By definition, the Office Service land use category serves as a transitional buffer between more intense uses and residential uses.


The petitioner points out that day care centers are permitted via conditional use in both residential and commercial districts and they need to be permitted by right in some zoning classification.


Staff recommends approval of this zoning text amendment.  In Article 20 of the Zoning Ordinance, child care facilities would be added as a principal permitted use.


No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.  Mr. Senesac stated it was interesting that the Planning Commission spent two years working on the zoning ordinance and they had not found anything they missed until now.  He would support the addition of this use in the office service district.  Mr. Mead and Mr. Eyre agreed. 


It was moved by Mead and seconded by Hanna to recommend City Council approval of the Zoning Text Amendment No. 145A:


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

      NAY:         None

      ABSENT:  Kozakiewicz


      The motion was approved 7-0.


b.    Conditional Use Permit No. 24 – the request of Michael Bensinger for an

existing office building to be used as a child care center and office at 2515 Ashman Street.  This property is located in an Office Service and Residential A-1 zoning district. 


Mr. Poprave showed an aerial photograph showing the proposed site for a child care center in an Office Service and Residential A-1 zoning district.  The Circle District is to the north and east of the site.  There is single family and some commercial also in this area.  The existing land use map shows this area being used as office service.  There is a zoning boundary line running through the building with the back half being Residential A-1 and the front half being Office Service.  The site plan shows vegetation and a fence on the northeast side of the property.  There is a lot of vegetation on the site.  The building is not proposed to be enlarged to accommodate this use.  The property is located within the RA-1 Residential District and the OS District.  Child Care Centers are presently not permitted in the OS District but the petitioner has requested a zoning text amendment (ZT 145A) to allow them as a principal permitted use.  The petitioner has informed the City that his tenant is applying for a State of Michigan Child Care License, which does meet the intent of the zoning ordinance definition.  A site plan is not required in this case, because the petitioner is seeking to utilize an existing building, with no new construction taking place.  A plot plan has been provided which shows general site conditions. 


Mr. Benzinger, the petitioner, addressed the concerns of the Planning Commission.  The responsibility for the zoning and the use of the property would lie with the Planning Commission.  The State is responsible to see that everything is done with the health, welfare and safety of the children in mind.  The State does not require a fence around the play area.  They can walk down their sidewalk and to a nearby park and that is approved by the state. 


Mr. Eyre asked about the drainage.  Mr. Dennis Lauer, Right-of-Way Inspector for the City, stated via an email that he inspected the site and found that there was no standing water on this site.  The petitioner stated there is a very steep slope to the north of the property.  There is dense vegetation to the south of this slope.  There is a concrete foundation wall around the drainage area and it is covered with a grate.  It has been there for many years and could have had a number of different purposes.  The petitioner stated he has filled it in with rocks and dirt and it no longer exists.  There are no records of this having a connection to any drainage system. 


Mrs. Hanna stated she remembers when there was a creek, which is now buried under the Kroger parking lot, all the way to Barstow Woods.  As this area was filled, this helped create the problem Mr. Benzinger has on his property.  She feels the city is also somewhat responsible.  If there are continually wet areas on this property, something should be done about it.  A drain could be installed to take care of this problem.  Mr. Senesac stated he has heard from two or three sources that there is a drainage problem on this property.  He is concerned that there will be standing water on this property.  He likes the idea of the fence being built. 


It was moved by Hanna and seconded by Senesac to recommend City Council approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 24, based upon the following contingencies recommended by staff on page four of the staff report, and there shall be no inappropriate water standing on the play area as determined by the City Engineering Department:


1.   All off-street parking and storage spaces shall meet the requirements of Section 5.01(D)3 of the Zoning Ordinance.  All parking spaces shall be delineated by double striping. 

2.   The child care center shall provide parking equal to 1 space per employee plus 1 space per 8 pupils.

3.   Any new exterior lighting shall comply with Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

4.   Any new outdoor storage areas shall be screened in accordance with Section 3.15 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5.   The north side site drainage issues are corrected prior to the establishment of the outdoor play areas.

6.   The outdoor activity areas are enclosed with at least a 4 foot tall fence.

7.   There will be no inappropriate water standing in the play area as determined by the City Engineering Department. 


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

            NAY:               None  

            ABSENT:        Kozakiewicz


            The motion was approved 7-0.


7.   Presentations


a.  Stormwater Management in the City of Midland, Bradd

     Maki, Assistant City Engineer.


      In 1976, a 100+ year rain event caused large volumes of storm water runoff and flooding to many streets, businesses and residences in the City.  In 1985, Chapter 29 of the City Ordinance was developed to require storm water management for new construction activities.  In 1986, a flood event occurred due to long periods of rainfall eventually flooding the Tittabawassee River.  This event caused extensive flooding in residential areas.


      The purpose of the stormwater ordinance is to diminish threats to public safety and minimize flooding.  Mr. Maki proceeded to give a presentation about the City’s stormwater management polices, permit processes, design requirements and best management practices. 


8.  Communications


      Commissioners received a copy of the Michigan Planner.


9.    Report of the Chairman  


If anyone has not made their comments on the zoning ordinance changes, they are due to Mr. Poprave.


10.  Report of the Planning Director


CITY COUNCIL                                                                                              


July 23rd   

                        PUBLIC HEARINGS              None

                        ACTION ITEMS                     None


    August 13th  

                        PUBLIC HEARINGS             


1.    Zoning Text Amendment No. 144A, initiated by Mid-Michigan Energy, LLC, to consider the inclusion of “Electrical generating stations” as a Principal Permitted Use in the Industrial B district in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.


2.    Zoning Petition No. 542, initiated by Mid-Michigan Energy, LLC for property owned by the City of Midland to zone property on 4389 South Saginaw Road, west of Waldo Avenue from Residential A-1 to Industrial B.


3.    Zoning Petition No. 543, initiated by Mid-Michigan Energy, LLC for property owned by The Dow Chemical Company to zone property on 4249 South Saginaw Road, west of Waldo Avenue from Industrial A to Industrial B.


4.    Planned Unit Development No. 2, a request by Harcrest Woods Condominiums, to install traffic control gates at the east entrance to the complex (Harcrest Drive just west of Thornberry Drive), in accord with the provisions of Article 24, Section 24.06D of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Midland.


5.     Conditional Use Permit No. 23 - A request by J.S.W. Holding, LLC for a parking lot for hospital administration at 4815 Christie Court.  This property is located in a Residential A-1 zoning district.


                        ACTION ITEMS                     None




August 14th      

            PUBLIC HEARING


1.   Site Plan No. 261 for Communications Family Credit Union, a request for site plan review and approval for a 6,369 square foot proposed building located at 100 Joseph Drive on 2.04 acres.


            ACTION ITEMS        


1.    Zoning Petition No. 544, initiated by the Greater Midland Community Centers, Inc. for property located at 2009, 2021, 2025, 2105, 2111, 2113 Jefferson Avenue from Residential A-4 to Community


2.    Zoning Code Amendments – Continue discussion and review of proposed amendments to the City of Midland Zoning Code.


3.    Master Plan Discussion, presented by the city’s planning consulting firm LSL, to review and discuss comments received during the 90 day public review period and remainder of the master plan adoption schedule. 


August 28th

            PUBLIC HEARING    None


            ACTION ITEMS        


1.   Site Plan No. 261 for Communications Family Credit Union, a request for site plan review and approval for a 6,369 square foot proposed building located at 100 Joseph Drive on 2.04 acres.




July 17, 2007 Meeting Canceled.








August 14, 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 is still waiting for delivery of the Electric Utility Basics publication that has been ordered for each of the Planning Commissioners.  The publication, published by the American Public Power Association, apparently is on backorder with no estimate as to a potential delivery date. 


Mr. Senesac asked about petitions that have been lacking in information.  There is no basis for a public hearing and some have had a great number of errors in them.  He asked if the section of the zoning ordinance concerning the submission of applications could state the applications must be significantly complete before it is considered for application.  Most of the Planning Commissioners were in agreement.


Motion by Gaynor, seconded by Senesac, to extend the meeting for ten minutes to continue discussion of this issue.  Motion passed unanimously.


      Historically, Planning Department personnel try to help developers move their projects along as quickly as possible so their projects can move forward.  Mr. Poprave stated it is in Article 27 for the requirements of submission of a plan.


11.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 9:42 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker, AICP

Director of Planning and Community Development