MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

FEBRUARY 12, 2008, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:    

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

 

2.    Approval of Minutes

Moved by Mead, seconded by Hanna, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 22, 2008.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

3.   Public Hearing

 

      a.   Site Plan No. 273 from Rowe Incorporated on behalf of Midland Community Center, a request for site plan review and approval for a 14,940 square foot Curling Center at 2009 Jefferson Avenue.

 

            Mr. Poprave showed an aerial photograph of the subject property and surrounding area.  The property is owned by the Community Center, south of Eastlawn Drive and north of E. Haley Street.  It is east of Central Middle School.  The property is zoned Community, which permits community centers by right.  The existing land use maps shows public and semi-public, with a rectangle of yellow, being three residential structures that will be demolished.  The drawings in the packets show a cloud around the southwest corner of the building and the drive through in the central row of parking.  These are the only areas that will be changing on this site plan, approved as Site Plan No. 271.  The building itself was not approved as a part of this site plan.  Zoning Petition No. 544 was approved by City Council, which allows the parking lot to be extended through to Jefferson Avenue.  The eastern elevation of the building is facing out towards the public on Jefferson Avenue.  The closest building exposure to a property line will be set back 54 feet.  There are no other provisions that will need to be changed from the site plan that was previously approved.  On the north side of the building, there will be screening around the chiller area.  There will be a speed bump between the two major parking areas for traffic calming purposes.  The east elevation facing toward Jefferson should be made a contingency of approval of this site plan revision so the building is built as it is intended, with the most appealing side toward the street for public view.  Signs will be on the building, verses being ground mounted.  Ms. Hanna stated she sees the screening for around the chiller but she does not see any screening for a trash receptacle.  Mr. Poprave stated he does not think there will be an outside trash receptacle at this location. 

 

            Chris Tointon, CEO of the Greater Midland Community Center, 2001 George Street represented the petitioner.  The current curling center is located on Gerald Court, off Bay City Road.  This curling center has been there for over 50 years.  This volunteer group has already raised over $1.4 million dollars to build this center.  It is within walking distance of five schools.  One advantage of being on the campus of the community center is the shared parking, shared snow plowing, shared garbage collection and many other shared facilities.  Doug Stevens, of Rowe Incorporated, stated they will be turning in all their storm water calculations to the City Engineer tomorrow.  This facility will accommodate four sheets of ice.  Mr. Senesac asked about the noise from the chillers.  Mr. Tointon stated an existing chiller is outside near a residential structure and there is no issue with noise.  They do not anticipate much noise at all from these compressors. 

 

            John Zimmerman, 2825 Chippewa Lane, stated there are four curling clubs in the state of Michigan.  They include locations in Detroit, Midland and Lewiston. 

 

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

 

      b.   Zoning Petition No. 546, initiated by Alexander Irigoyen on behalf of Rapanos Enterprises for property located at 4228 Bay City Road from Regional Commercial to Community Commercial zoning.

 

            Mr. Poprave showed an aerial photograph of the subject property, located north of the municipal ice arena, east of Fast Ice Drive, on the south side of Bay City Road, just east of the railroad tracks.  The property is currently vacant.  The petition is to rezone 3.4 acres of land from Regional Commercial to Community Commercial.  Property to the west and east are zoned agricultural.  There is RB to the north across Bay City Road.  The existing land use map shows the subject property is vacant, the ice arena is located to the south of this property and the Midland County Jail will be located to the east of this property.  The surrounding land uses are compatible with the use of this property for any range of commercial uses.  The petition is consistent with the city’s master plan and the zoning ordinance.  In Community Commercial, you have uses that are even more compatible with some of the surrounding residential, as they are less intense uses.  This will be the only Community Commercial zoning to the east of N. Saginaw Road on this side of town.   The property to both the north and south of this property are also owned by the petitioner so they have control of the development of this property.  Ms. Hanna asked if 24-hour uses were allowed in this zoning district.  Mr. Poprave stated that they are.

 

            Alex Irigoyen, 3717 Woodlawn, spoke on behalf of Rapanos Enterprises, the petitioner.  They are intending to downscale from the current zoning.  They are putting in a lot of time and consideration into the design of this area of town.  They are working with both the public sector uses in this area and the existing commercial uses in this area.  They are talking with a number of parties who are interested in the development of portions of the vacant property in this area.  Community Commercial would be “down zoning” of this property and would be more compatible with some of the surrounding residential uses.  Mr. Irigoyen stated they are interested in limiting some of the uses that might be built in this area as it is currently zoned.  Outside storage for lumber yards, industrial uses, etc. are businesses they would not like to see there.  There are about 120 acres of land that are yet to be developed in this area. 

 

            No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this zoning petition.  The public hearing was then closed.

 

      c.   Zoning Petition No. 547, initiated by Bennett Construction to rezone property at 221 West Wackerly Street from Office Service zoning to Community Commercial zoning.

 

            Ms. Svenson stated this is not the first time we have seen a zoning petition for this area.  Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property, on the south side of W. Wackerly, adjacent to an office facility, adjacent to a continually growing building to the east, Jefferson Avenue is to the east, Northgate Drive, which runs just to the south of this area and US-10 which runs just to the north of this area.  The petition this evening is to rezone this property to Community Commercial zoning from Office Service.  The property to the west, the south and the southeast is zoned for office service.  The properties along Wackerly are zoned for Regional Commercial. The triangular area that was originally advertised as a part of this zoning petition is not included in the area proposed for rezoning under this petition.  There has been significant public interest in the past regarding the rezoning of properties in this area.  The petitioners are offering a restriction of uses that would otherwise be allowed in this zoning district.  The proposed amendment is not consistent with the city’s master plan.  The master plan has been recently adopted and this area has been studied at length regarding the desired zoning for this area.  This parcel is at the crossroads of three zoning districts.  It would be contrary to goal #10 of the master plan.  Conditions have not changed since the zoning ordinance was adopted that justifies the amendment.  It is still identified as office service in the future land use plan.  The approval of this zoning would not constitute spot zoning.  Staff feels this zoning would grant special consideration to the property owner in this area.  The future land use plan, adopted in 2007, identifies this property as Office Service.  It is up to the Planning Commission to identify the boundary between the Office Service and Community Commercial zoning.  The staff recommendation is for denial of this petition and to maintain it as Office Service zoning. 

 

            Rich Fosgitt, Wilcox Professional Services, represented the petitioner, Bennett Construction.  The property in question tonight is on a parcel where the zoning is split on the parcel.  The area they are asking to be rezoned is entirely surrounded by property owned by the petitioner, except for MCVI, who is in support of this zoning petition.  The area along the south side of W. Wackerly Street, has been zoned commercial.  All of the uses in the existing facility on the corner of Jefferson and Wackerly are permitted in Neighborhood Commercial zoning.  The only reason they have not asked for Neighborhood Commercial zoning for this area is that there is no other Neighborhood Commercial zoning in this area.  In Mr. Fosgitt’s opinion, the proposed amendment is consistent with the city’s master plan.  They are not infringing upon anyone else’s property by this change in zoning.  Mr. Fosgitt agrees that the proposed amendment is in accordance with the intent and purpose of the zoning ordinance.  Bennett’s would like to finish the development of this area.  Office service property cannot be financed at a local bank as there is a lot of that type of property that is vacant in the city right now.  He feels the conditions have changed sine the zoning ordinance was adopted that justifies this amendment. 

 

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

 

      d.   Zoning Petition No. 548, initiated by Wilcox Professional Services on behalf of Thomas and Lorna Fryer and David and Kathleen Jackson for property located at 102, 104, 110 and 114 West Buttles Street from Office Service to Downtown zoning.

 

            Mr. Poprave showed the subject property, between Ashman and Gordon Street.  The current zoning map shows the subject property consumes about half of a city block.  The existing land use maps shows a wide range of residential and office service uses, in addition to some institutional uses.  The new master plan, which was just adopted, includes these parcels in the Downtown zoning district.  The present site has a couple of office buildings on it.  Across the street to the south in the parking lot for Midland County.  The petition is consistent with the city’s master plan.  Adding the downtown classification would help goal #6 in this area.  By encouraging the expansion of the downtown would certainly meet the goal of perpetuating the Downtown zoning district.  The petition is in accordance with the recently adopted zoning ordinance.  The adjacent zoning to the south is already downtown, so this is not a spot zone.  The proposed zoning is consistent with the future land use plan.  Residential uses will still be permitted on upper floors within new development. 

 

            Rich Fosgitt, of Wilcox Professional Services, stated this zoning petition falls within the city’s master plan and the proposed land use plan. 

 

            Shanta Heilman, 510 Gordon Street, asked the Planning Commission to explain the restrictions of this rezoning petition.  When she first moved in, all of her block contained houses.  Now several of them have been torn down.  She used to have very little traffic noise, but since the surrounding houses have been torn down, she has a lot of traffic noise at her house.  Mr. Baker stated that there are a number of permitted uses in the Downtown zoning district. 

 

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

 

      e.   Zoning Text Amendment No. 146A, initiated by Wilcox Professional Services, to consider the maximum height of the principal structure change from 28 feet to none in the Downtown zoning district in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.

 

            Mr. Baker stated this is a request to change the height limit from 28 feet to unlimited height in the Downtown zoning district.  The proposed amendment is consistent with the city’s master plan.  A goal of the city’s master plan is to expand the downtown zoning district.  This rezoning would meet this goal.  Conditions have changed since the zoning ordinance was adopted due to the adoption of the new master land use plan.  The prior zoning ordinance did not have a limit on the height of buildings in the downtown zoning district.  There are a number of buildings in the downtown that do exceed the 28 feet height including the Midland County Office Building and Riverside Place.  The amendment will not result in unlawful exclusionary zoning.  Staff recommends approval of this zoning text amendment.  The Fire Department will prepare a formal communication with the Planning Commission, stating their fire apparatus can reach between five and seven stories high so the taller buildings in the Downtown Zoning District would not propose a problem to fire suppression.

 

             Rich Fosgitt, Wilcox Professional Services, stated they looked at things that might need to be changed in order for development to occur downtown.  They had a choice of requesting a zoning text amendment or going to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Since this is a zoning ordinance issue, they decided to request a Zoning Text Amendment.  The current limit of 28 feet means they can only build a 2-story building downtown.  He thinks something like a four or five-story building would be an appropriate limit for buildings downtown, if there were to be a limit set.

 

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

     

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

                                                                     

5.   New Business

 

      None

 

6.    Old Business

 

      None

 

7.    Communications

 

      Commissioners received their current copy of the Planning and Zoning News.

           

8.  Report of the Chairperson  

 

     Ms. Svenson attended a class and received her master citizen

     planner certificate. 

    

9.    Report of the Planning Director

 

CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                

           

February 11th                                      

            ACTION ITEMS        

 

1.    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. (Approved)

 

2.    Conditional Use Permit No. 27, the request of Bartow and King Engineers, Inc. for a drive through      window for a restaurant at a fitness park at 601 East Wackerly Street on 1.6 acres in the RC District (amendments to approved Site Plan No. 265) (Approved)

 

February 25th                                      

            ACTION ITEMS        

 

1.    Revisions to Ordinance 1585 of the Midland Zoning Ordinance.

                         

           

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

February 26th   

            PUBLIC HEARINGS 

 

1.   None

 

            ACTION ITEMS        

 

1.    Site Plan No. 273 from Rowe Incorporation on behalf of Midland Community Center, a request for site plan review and approval for a 14,940 square foot Curling Center at 2001 George Street.      

2.    Zoning Petition No. 546, initiated by Alexander Irigoyen on behalf of Rapanos Enterprises for property located at 4228 Bay City Road from Regional Commercial to Community Commercial. 

 

3.    Zoning Petition No. 547, initiated by Bennett Construction to rezone property at 221 West Wackerly Street from Office Service zoning to Community Commercial zoning,

 

4.    Zoning Petition No. 548, initiated by Wilcox Professional Services on behalf of Thomas and Lorna Fryer and David and Kathleen Jackson for property located at 102, 104, 110 and 114 West Buttles Street from Office Service to Downtown. 

 

5.    Zoning Text Amendment No. 146A, initiated by Wilcox Professional Services, to consider the maximum height of the principal structure change from 28 feet to none in the Downtown zoning district in the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

        February Zoning Board of Appeals meeting has been canceled. 

 

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None  

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

February 25, 2008 is the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting. 

 

The Mid Michigan Energy Station site plan public hearing has been scheduled for the Tuesday March 11, 2008 Planning Commission meeting.

 

The 2008 PC/ZBA Training Retreat has been scheduled for Saturday April 12, 2008 at Dow Diamond.  The session will run from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m.  Topics will include a State of the City from City Manager Jon Lynch, meeting etiquette and information from the City Attorney & MCTV and keynote session on Access Management from LSL Planning.  

 

Planning Commission packets are available on-line at the City of Midland’s web site.  Meeting agenda items are highlighted and residents can “click” on the link to view all of the supporting documentation.  The city’s web site address is www.midland-mi.org.

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 9:02 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Keith Baker, AICP

Planning Director

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION