UNOFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

APRIL 8, 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:    (none)

OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Planning Director; Daryl Poprave, Deputy Planning Director; Cheri King, Community Development Specialist and 16 others.

 

2.    Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna, seconded by Senesac, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of March 25, 2008 as revised. Motion passed unanimously.

 

3.   Public Hearing

 

      a.   Site Plan No. 275 from Mid-Michigan Real Estate/Century 21 Central, a request for site plan review and approval for a 3,743 square foot office building located at 609 East Wackerly Street on 0.77 acres. 

 

            Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph showing the location of the proposed site.  The property is located on East Wackerly, with US-10 to the north.  The Tennis Complex is across the street diagonally and the soccer fields are across US-10 to the north.  The entire property is zoned Regional Commercial.  It is zoned single family and RB to the south.  The property proposed for development is currently vacant. 

 

            A photometric plan is required and has yet to be submitted.  All other application materials have been provided.  This is the third project proposed for development on the north side of East Wackerly Street in the past six months.  The buildings are of similar construction and do not impede development in this area.  The landscaping meets the ordinance requirements according to the site plan.  The project meets all height and setback requirements of the Regional Commercial zone in which it is located.  A 3-foot landscape berm is proposed along the Wackerly Street right-of-way for screening.  There is no screening required to the west as these properties are also zoned commercial.  The Fire Department has reviewed the proposed site plan for adequacy and have found it acceptable.  A single drive approach will be shared with the property to the west.  There are written communications for the joint access between the two properties.  Sidewalks will be provided along East Wackerly Street.  Sidewalk is also provided between the building and the parking lot.  Based upon the square footage of the building, there is a requirement for 25 parking stalls and a maximum of 20% above that number may be permitted, which would be 30 stalls for this development.  This petitioner has requested an additional seven parking spaces and plans to add an additional 11 parking spaces in the future.  The Planning Commission will need to take this into consideration when deliberating on this site plan. 

 

            Above-ground storage for drainage has been provided.  A soil erosion and sedimentation plan will be submitted to the Building Department.  The city can provide adequate public services to this site.  The dumpster will have a fenced screen enclosure and it is recommended that the dumpster will be relocated to the north upon completion of the parking lot.  This site plan utilizes the proposed drive approach for Salon Magnifique.  A sign is proposed to be located upon Wackerly, in the center of the property.  The specific details of the sign have not yet been worked out.

 

            Six contingency items include:

     

            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 5.01D of the Zoning Ordinance and be delineated by the “box” style striping.

            6.         That the total calculation for permitted parking stalls not exceed thirty (30) stalls unless otherwise waived by the Midland City Planning Commission in accordance with Section 5.01(C)(3) of the Zoning Ordinance.

 

            Elevation drawings were shown of the proposed building.  The petitioner has two years to start construction on the site plan or they would have to come back to the Planning Commission with a revised site plan.  Ms. Hanna asked about bicycle parking spaces being provided.  Mr. Baker stated staff had not mentioned this to the petitioner and there is no requirement for this.

 

            David Rapanos, Wildflower Circle, Midland, Michigan, stated they need a larger facility than they have at the present time and they need additional parking for real estate agents.  On the first floor, they can accommodate 25 agents.  They currently have 18 agents.  They anticipate having 25 agents by the fall of 2008.  That does not take into account other employees and customers.  There are 10 nice offices in the basement.  This would be phase II.  This would require additional parking.  The photometric plan is being reviewed and will be submitted within the next 24-48 hours. 

 

            Mr. Eyre asked if there was another lot remaining between this site and the restaurant next door.  Mr. Rapanos stated there is 400 feet between this development and D’Alessandro’s.  Mr. Eyre asked if they developed both floors, would that justify the additional parking spaces requested.  Mr. Baker stated they have already taken into consideration the entire square footage of both floors when calculating the required parking.

 

            Mr. Senesac asked how common it is for all of the agents to be there at the same time.  Mr. Rapanos stated they are becoming a full-time office.  They do have weekly sales meetings and perhaps three times a week they would have a gathering of most of the agents.  He stated business is starting to pick up and real estate is on the up-turn in Midland.  Real estate offices do require more parking than some other office service uses.  If they have 25 agents, they will require more parking to be available.  These agents will also be working early evenings and weekends. 

 

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

 

b.    Site Plan No. 276 from Wilcox Professional Services, LLC on behalf of Members First Credit Union a request for site plan review and approval for an expanded parking lot and an additional curb cut located at 400 Dartmouth Drive on 0.9 acres. 

 

Mr. Baker showed the location of the subject property on an aerial photograph.  There are currently two parcels owned by Members’ First Credit Union, on Bayliss and Dartmouth.  There are two curb cuts already onto Bayliss and they will be utilizing these two existing curb cuts.  The property is zoned Office Service and it adjoins Regional Commercial on Dartmouth and S. Saginaw Road.  The future land use map identifies this area for office use.  High density residential has been proposed to the south and southwest.  The site plan shows an existing facility (Members’ First Credit Union) at the intersection of Bayliss and Dartmouth, with a drive-thru on the north side of the building.  It has an existing one way curb cut onto Dartmouth and a two-way curb cut onto Bayliss Street. 

 

The site plan shows expanded parking and an additional curb cut onto Dartmouth Drive.  This development has met the criteria of an office building.  The removal of a building and adding parking will be a less intensive use of the property.  The landscaping plan meets the requirements of the ordinance for both trees and shrubs.  The street right-of-way on Bayliss Street will be screened because they are across the street from property zoned Residential B.  The project meets all setback, height and design requirements as required by the zoning ordinance.  Storm water detention is being provided along the south property line and is connected internally to the city’s storm water drainage system.  The Fire Department has reviewed the plan for emergency vehicle access.  There are two existing properties, both owned by Members’ First Credit Union.  The northern drive approach will remain one lane of ingress and one lane of egress.  The new driveway will be only one lane going in.  Pedestrian circulation is accommodated by a sidewalk between the parking lot and the building and around the building.  Vehicular and pedestrian circulation requirements are met by this site plan.

 

This project does request additional parking, based upon the square footage of the existing building.  18 parking stalls would be required as a minimum.  A maximum of 22 stalls would be permitted, but the petitioners are seeking 27 stalls with the demolition of the building and the addition of the ATM machine.  The two parking lots, as they exist independently, include 28 spaces.  The Planning Commission would have to recommend approval of additional parking spaces if they deem it necessary in discussions with the petitioner.  The city can provide adequate public services to the site.  The dumpster will be screened as shown on the site plan.  No health or safety concerns have been identified for this project.   There are no additional signs proposed at this time. 

 

Contingency items include:

 

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 5.01D of the Zoning Ordinance and be delineated by the “box” style striping.

6.         That the total calculation for permitted parking stalls not exceed twenty-two (22) stalls unless otherwise waived by the Midland City Planning Commission in accordance with Section 5.01(C)(3) of the Zoning code.

 

Ms. Hanna asked if there is presently a storm water detention area on this site.  Mr. Poprave stated it is fairly shallow and does not require a fence.  They currently have 28 parking spaces on the site. 

 

Brent Barringer, 5859 Sherman Road, Saginaw, with Wilcox Professional Services addressed the commission on behalf of the petitioner.  There is an existing detention area at the corner of Dartmouth and Bayliss.  That is the same look they are proposing for the new detention area.  It will basically be a dry basin.  The existing drive approach on the southern side of the property is currently a 2-way drive approach.  It is in a state of disrepair and they would like to improve it and still be able to use it.  It will be only one-way for ingress traffic.  The proposed number of parking spaces are 27 spaces.  The existing use was the old credit union location.  There are currently 28 spaces that are fully used, especially on Thursdays and Fridays.  The proposed renovation does allow for 17 spaces, which is reduced by one purely due to the geometric features on the site.  The building to be demolished is currently vacant. 

 

Linda Kartz, 616 Bayliss Street, spoke in favor of this development.  Their home is directly across the street from the credit union.  They are credit union members and the credit union has been a good neighbor for the past number of years.  There is a lot of traffic at the credit union but it usually moves along quite well.  The only concern she has is the lighting.  She would like to know if they are going to have the parking lots lit up all night long.  There is definitely a need for off-street parking due to traffic on this street. 

 

Richard McCreadie, 601 S. Saginaw Road, spoke in favor of this petition.  He can see it out his office window and he is also a member.  He is glad they are going to remodel this and the credit union has been a good neighbor over the years.  He is in agreement that both of these site plans tonight require more parking than is allowed under the ordinance.

           

            No one spoke in opposition to this site plan. 

 

            Mr. Barringer stated that the existing light pole on the lot does need an additional shield placed on that to meet the ordinance.  The new light poles that will be installed do meet the city’s ordinance.  The ATM machine is a walk-up ATM machine right now.  It will be changed into a drive up ATM machine which will alleviate some of the parking congestion.  There are no plans for screening along the Saginaw Road side of the property at the present time.  There is a curb there now.  There is landscaping proposed around the dumpster location.  There is a concern for safety when you get close to the ATM machine. You do not want a place where people can hide in close proximity to an ATM machine.

 

            The public hearing was closed.

 

      c.   Site Plan No. 277 from Wilcox Professional Services, LLC on behalf of Alloy Construction Services, Inc. for site plan review and approval for a 32,532 square foot building located at 92 Waldo Avenue on 13 acres.

 

            An aerial photo was shown by Mr. Baker, of the site, currently owned by The Dow Chemical Company.  The proposed site plan is near the intersection of Waldo Avenue and Schuette Road.  Fast Ice Drive now extends from Bay City Road to the property.  It is south of Bay City Road and the jail property is to the east.  The zoning of the property is Industrial B.  It is surrounded on all four sides by Industrial B.  The Master Plan has identified this area for heavy industrial use.  The shaded areas on the drawings show wetlands.  The white areas on the parcel are the developable areas on the parcel.  The site plan represents the building.  Both this property and the surrounding properties are currently vacant.  All required application materials have been provided.  A new public street is being planned to service this development.  It would provide access for this parcel and future parcels for development.  This site plan meets the landscaping regulations and parking within the developable envelope of the property.  The project meets all setback, lot area and height requirements of the ordinance.  No wetlands are proposed to be disturbed.  Berms are proposed to enhance the storm water retention areas.  The site is heavily wooded.  The building and site design are made so as not to disturb surrounding properties.  One drive approach is proposed, with a one lane ingress and one lane egress from the property.  A small area of private sidewalk is proposed around the building and to the parking areas. 

 

            In calculating the necessary requirements for parking on this site, the ordinance would require 40 parking stalls for this development.  The maximum number of stalls would be 48.  The petitioner has requested an additional three parking stalls.  On-site above ground water storage has been provided.  Six free-standing light poles and eleven lights have been proposed to illuminate the site.  There are adequate public services by the city for this site.  The dumpster location is screened by a 6-foot masonry screen.  The staff has not identified any health or safety concerns with regard to this site plan.  Utilities will be provided to this site. 

 

            Mrs. Hanna asked about the storm water detention ponds.  Mr. Baker stated the storm water will be collected on site and will drain off to the south.  An elevation drawing was shown to provide a concept of what is anticipated to be placed on this site.

 

            Ronnie Newman, 7 Slightstone Saginaw, 48603 is the owner of this business.  They are a fabricator of structural steel and are currently located in Carrolton, Michigan at the present time.  They supply steel to Dow Chemical and Dow Corning, as well as MCV.  They have totally outgrown their existing facility and are looking to relocate to a larger location.  Along with the expansion, they will also be able to store their materials inside.  They project an additional 10 or more employees over the next five years.  They desire to expand their business to other market areas with this expansion.  They have a subcontractor who will use some of their office space, who will need some additional parking on this site.  This is the reason for the additional parking spaces requested.

 

            Rich Fosgitt, of Wilcox Engineering, stated the proposed road will meet all the requirements for a city street.  It will also extend the city sewer down to this area.  The storm water detention pond will be the existing ponds on site.  The DEQ likes this, as they will be using existing wetlands and it will be a natural runoff from the site.  The circulation of traffic on site had to be designed to accommodate truck movements on site. 

 

            Mrs. Hanna asked about the storm water runoff.  What about the debris from trucks and cars.  Will there be any filtering of the storm water?  Mr. Fosgitt stated this runoff water has to be monitored so there is no grease or oil that will contaminate the site. 

 

            Ryan Richards, 5017 Russell Street, Midland.  He is representing Midland Tomorrow.  They have been working with the owners of this project.  Approving this site plan will allow Alloy Construction to serve their client base in this area.

 

            No one else spoke inn favor or opposition to this site plan.  The public hearing was closed.

 

4.   Public Comments (not related to agenda items)

 

      None

                                                                     

5.   New Business

 

Mr. Senesac stated he has a concern about the rule in the Planning Commission’s by-laws that requires meetings to end at 9:30 p.m. unless there is a motion to continue.  He moved this sentence be struck from the “Rules and Procedure” for the Planning Commission.  The motion was seconded by Scott Gaynor. 

 

Mr. Mead stated he can never remember a question about a meeting being extended.  It has always been extended.  He would be in favor of continuing this as a target, but not as a hard and fast rule.  If there is no end in sight, we just sort of amble along.

 

Mr. Kozakiewicz stated he attends a lot of meetings and those which have time limits seem to move along faster.  There have been meetings in the past where the meeting moved along a little faster to meet the 9:30 termination time.

 

Mr. Eyre stated that we have people who come down here and sit all evening and are expecting their business to be conducted that evening.  However long that takes, we need to complete the business on the agenda.  He is in favor of eliminating this rule, as we are the only board that has such a rule.

 

Mr. Gaynor stated we never know how long a public hearing is going to last.  If we have business to do, we are here to do it.  He is in favor of eliminating this rule.

 

Mr. King stated that if we use the three-minute time rule for public hearings, that would lend itself to keeping the meeting moving along.  He would be in favor of striking this clause from the Rules and Procedure.

 


Vote:  (2/3 majority required)

 

Yeas:  Eyre, Gaynor, Hanna, King, Senesac and Svenson

Nays:  Brown, Kozakiewicz and Mead

 

Motion passed 6-3. 

 

6.    Old Business

 

a.       Zoning Petition No. 549, initiated by Kevin Roeder for property located at 215 Fast Ice Drive from Agricultural to Limited Commercial Manufacturing and Research (LCMR). 

 

Mr. Poprave showed an aerial photo of the subject property.  The zoning map shows a large area of Regional Commercial on Bay City Road and Rockwell Drive.  Fast Ice Drive is across the street and there is heavy industrial to the south.  The existing land use map shows what is vacant.  There is vacant property to the north and northeast.  The ice arena is also an institutional and public use.  The future land use map identifies this area as being light industrial.  The land use map supports both light industrial and LCMR zoning.  The petitioner is requesting LCMR zoning for this property. 

 

Most of the surrounding property is vacant.  The ice arena is not adjacent but it is north of the property.  The rezoning is consistent with the master plan.  Fast Ice Drive has been developed according to city standards.  Goal #5 of the master plan is to strengthen the economic diversity of the community.  The petition is in accordance with the zoning ordinance.  No other zoning designations have been changed in this area.  LCMR permits a wide range of industrial uses.  All storage will be inside this building.  LCMR is compatible with the industrial and agricultural uses to the north. 

 

Kevin Roeder, 5901 Partridge Lane, Midland, Michigan, is the petitioner for this project.  His company has been consistent and has followed through on the tax abatement that they were given a few years ago.  They did execute on their business proposal and they did add up to 120 employees.  To be consistent on this site, they would expect to have over 400 employees by the year 2010.  This would be a combination of full and part-time employees with health care benefits and a 401K plan.  They have recently been informed that they have their first State contract for this facility.  They hope to bring in alternative pharmacy business from the surrounding areas.  They are already moving on the site and they feel they will be able to execute the building and meet the criteria described at the last meeting of the Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Mead stated he thinks this will be a good use of the land and will be a great project.  Mr. Gaynor agreed with Mr. Mead.  LCMR is a good use of land in that area.  It borders on Regional Commercial and additional industrial property.  Mr. King stated this is a great use with the new jail being right there and the surrounding industrial property.

 

It was moved by Eyre and seconded by Hanna to recommend City Council approval on Zoning Petition No. 549, in accordance with Section 30.03(d). 

 

Vote on the motion:

 

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

NAYS:             None

ABSENT:        None

 

The motion was approved 9-0. 

           

7.    Communications

 

      Commissioners received copies of the “Michigan Planner”.

 

8.  Report of the Chairperson  

 

     This Saturday is the Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals annual training session, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Dow Diamond.

    

9.    Report of the Planning Director

 

Mr. Baker highlighted the items that will be at the next City Council meeting that the Planning Commission acted upon and on items that will be on the agenda for the upcoming meetings.

 

10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 9:10 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Keith Baker, AICP

Planning Director

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION