JANUARY 22, 2008, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:    Gaynor and Kozakiewicz

OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Planning Director, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist; Chris Coughlin, Fire Marshall, Lee Garcia, Fire Chief, and 4 others


2.    Approval of Minutes

Moved by Senesac, seconded by Hanna, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 8, 2008.  Motion passed unanimously.


3.   Public Hearing




4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)




5.   New Business




6.   Old Business


a.    Site Plan No. 272 from Bartow & King Engineers, Inc. a request for site plan review and approval for a 2,926 square foot beauty salon at 605 East Wackerly Street.                      


The property is located on the north side of Wackerly, east of Jefferson.  The soccer facility is to the north, across US-10.  The existing land use map shows the subject parcel is vacant, commercial properties to the west, a residential subdivision to the south, the community center to the south and the tennis area identified for the soccer club to the north.  The future land use map shows the entire frontage on the north side of Wackerly is identified as commercial.  Across US-10 is Community property.  Changes since the public hearing held January 8th include a pedestrian access to the west, a vehicular connection point on the western portion of this property and the eastern portion of Smitty’s Gym to create adjoining parcels.  There is a driveway easement from the property owners to the east.  This will be a shared driveway onto E. Wackerly. 


The elevation drawings show the design planned for this facility.  There has been no additional public correspondence since the public hearing on January 8th.  Staff recommendation continues to be a recommendation of approval. 


Mr. Senesac asked about the access with the property to the east.  Mr. Baker stated that the remainder of the property between this property and the next developed parcel to the east is all under one ownership.  There would be a requirement that any future driveways on that parcel would have to meet the required distance between drive approaches.  If the property to the east were subdivided, there would be a certain distance before another driveway would be allowed.  Mr. Baker stated the property owner to the east has been made aware of the limitations of future driveway accesses should he decide to subdivide the property in the future.  They could share the proposed driveway for this site plan as an access to their property.  This agreement is recorded with the deed and becomes a permanent record for this property.  The city did receive a letter from Mr. Fisher regarding the agreement to a shared access with this parcel. 


Gary Bartow, Bartow & King Engineers, stated there may be 14 chairs here instead of 13.  Mr. Senesac stated that, two weeks ago we talked about moving the driveway to the east.  If they move the drive approach to the east, it will create a jog in the cruise lane.  That may not interfere with parking that the adjoining parcel to the east may need depending upon their ultimate use of the property.  Mr. Bartow stated that they have provided for shared parking to the east.  If Mr. Fisher would sell a smaller parcel to the east, this entrance would be available to that parcel for joint ingress/egress.  Mrs. Hanna stated she is pleased that they have made the effort to talk to the property owner to the east and try to work out a shared access.  Mr. Bartow stated that the salon property was purchased from Mr. Fisher, as was the Smitty’s Gym property. 


Mr. Senesac stated we have potentially missed an opportunity for access controls by not moving the driveway over to the east.  Any new tenant to the east would have the option of using the shared driveway, but they would also have the ability to request their own access along Wackerly Street, which would be contrary to the goals of the Planning Commission.  Mrs. Hanna stated she is in favor of the plan.  Mr. Eyre stated he agrees with Mr. Senesac.  He does not see any reason to have the drive-through to Smitty’s Gym through the parking lot access.  They will have pedestrian access with the sidewalk.  Mr. Mead agrees with Mr. Senesac.  He feels they took the weakest options of all the parcels and combined them into this site plan.  There is no advantage to having access to the adjoining parcels.  He can see people cutting down the parking lots to get out onto the major thoroughfare at the furthest point to the east.  Mr. King stated he feels there is nothing that forces them to create a shared access at this time.  Ms. Brown asked if the shared access could be a contingency to this site plan.  She does like the fact that the shared entrance off Wackerly on the east side could be a shared entrance.  Mr. Baker stated that is not a requirement of the site plan under the zoning ordinance.  They are providing access to their site and it meets the distance requirements from any other driveway along Wackerly Street.  Mr. Senesac stated he believes there are safety issues present when you provide runways between parking lots.  Mr. Eyre said he does not feel we have gained anything so far as access controls if we cannot limit the access to future parcels. 


Mr. Baker stated that they could place the shared parking lot access as a contingency item on the site plan in their deliberations tonight.  Mr. King stated he favors the connectivity between the parcels.  He wonders if there is any way to move the curb cut so there is not a straight raceway between the two adjoining parcels.  Mrs. Hanna stated she does not see this as a raceway.  You can always do traffic calming measures such as speed bumps so there is not a speed problem in this connection.


It was moved by Mead and seconded by Eyre to recommend City Council approval of Site Plan No. 272 based on the following contingencies. 


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

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

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

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

      5.   All parking spaces shall comply with Section 5.01(d) of the Zoning Ordinance and be delineated by “box” style striping.

6.    That the appropriate land division (lot split) is completed prior to the issuance of a building permit.

7.    The elimination of the connection between the two parking lots.


YEA:    Brown, Eyre, Mead and Senesac

NAY:   Hanna, King and Svenson

ABSENT:   Kozakiewicz and Gaynor


The motion was approved 4-3.


7.  Communications


Site Plan Review presentation by Chris Coughlin, Fire Marshall, City of Midland.  The Michigan Building Code requires the Fire Department to use the International Fire Code for enforcement. 


The Fire Department requires a minimum of three feet of access around a fire hydrant and unobstructed view.  The fire hydrants are maintained by Water Distribution, not the Fire Department. 


The Commission did receive a copy of the “Michigan Planner” and a letter regarding coal-fired plants.


8.  Report of the Chairperson  




9.    Report of the Planning Director


The date for the Planning Commission/Zoning Board workshop will be April 12, 2008.  It is after Easter and after spring break.  Hopefully it is before the weather turns nice and people will want to be outside. 


City Council will take up the zoning ordinance text amendments on February 25th. 


10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 8:08 p.m. was unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,


Keith Baker, AICP

Planning Director