OCTOBER 14, 2008, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:    King

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


2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Gaynor, seconded by Brown, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 23, 2008. Motion passed unanimously.


3.   Public Hearing


      a.   Conditional Use Permit No. 32, the request of Brittany Real Estate Company, LLC for a 16,983 square foot building addition to an existing 52,078 square foot nursing home located at 3615 East Ashman Street. 


            Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  It is located on the north side of E. Ashman, approximately 10 acres in size, just to the east of Waldo Avenue and further to the east is US-10.  This property is zoned RB, residential.  It is surrounded by RA-2 and RA-1 further to the west.  Across the street to the south is LCMR, Community and Agricultural zoning.  The existing land use map shows commercial use just to the west of this property, single family uses to the north and west, and community and industrial uses to the south.  The future land use map shows this area designated for multi-family use, with commercial on the corner, and agricultural to the south.  Collingwood Court is the closest residential subdivision to the property. 


            The request is for a conditional use permit.  There are both discretionary and non-discretionary standards for conditional use permits.  The conditional land use permit has provided adequate information to make a determination regarding the proposed use of the property.  The project does not pose any impediment to any future developments of the property.  The proposed landscaping exceeds that which is required by the Zoning Ordinance.  The closest point of the existing building to the nearest property line is just over 21 feet, which is on the west side of the property.  The new building will be 25 feet from the nearest property line.  The highest point will be approximately 22 feet tall, in a one-story structure.  The north approximately half of this property is wooded or has natural vegetation.  The retention area is diagonal to the properties on Collingwood Court.  Approximately 91 trees are designated for removal and 34 trees will be retained.  They plan to plant an additional 100 trees.  The building is designed so as not to interfere with surrounding properties.  The dumpster location is screened to the requirements of the zoning ordinance.  There is some concern about parking on the site.  Parking will be restricted and relocated to a new parking lot.  Landscaping is provided along the east and west property lines where it abuts residential uses.  There are two existing driveways accessing this site.  They are located on the east and the west property lines.  There are no changes planned for the driveways.  A private sidewalk is provided between the building and the parking lot.  Sidewalks are required as a commercial use unless waived by the City Council, by recommendation of the Planning Commission.  The driveway along the east property line must be identified as a “Fire Lane,” per the Fire Department.  There is ample turning radius for service vehicles in the new parking lot.  Total parking after new site construction will be 117 stalls.  The minimum requirement is 106 parking stalls, so the 117 stalls are within the range permissible.  There will be one storm water detention area to the north of the site.  The area will outlet to the storm water detention system to the Ashman drain.  Two existing lights will remain in place.  Two other lights will be relocated and one additional light provided.  No photometric plan has been submitted. 


            This is an addition to an existing building.  There is no additional signage proposed for this project.  Access to the proposed development shall be in accordance with city standards.  The existing driveways will remain as they are.  Adequate provision will be made for fire suppression on the site.  The addition of one fire hydrant to the north side of the building is shown and the fire lane on the south driveway shall be marked as such.  This plan has a positive recommendation from staff with 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 Section 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. The location, access and flow of the proposed fire hydrants and water service shall

                be in accordance with the City of Midland Fire Department and City of Midland

                Utility Department specifications.

            7. A five (5) foot wide public sidewalk shall be provided along Ashman Street.

            8. The under clearance for the canopy shall be a minimum 14’ high.


            Mr. Eyre asked what the maximum height is in this zoning district.  Mr. Baker stated it is 28 feet. Mr. Mead stated there are 100 parking spaces indicated in the existing drawing and 17 additional spaces are proposed.  Mr. Baker stated they will place the additional spaces to the north of the site.  One letter was received, from Mr. David Vanderpool,


            Al Paas represented the petitioner.  There are currently 153 beds in the facility.  With the addition, there will remain 153 beds in this facility.  There are several rooms with two beds in a room and a few rooms with three beds in a room.  The beds will be removed and private rooms will result.  There is an additional therapy room being provided for the facility.  The property to the north of the new proposed fence line will remain in its natural state.  There is only one lot on Collingwood that will be affected by this expansion and there will be three rows of 10-foot high spruce trees that will be planted for screening in this area.  Mr. Paas stated there will be an emphasis on rehabilitation and the ten rooms in the rear will be all private rooms with private baths.  The occupants of these rooms will have extensive rehabilitation.


            Chris Raush, Administrator for Brittany Manor, stated people will come there for extensive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.  They are looking at having people there for short-term stays for up to perhaps 90 days.


            Mr. Paas stated the ridge of the building will be approximately 26 feet, but the average height of the building will be 22 feet.  The height of the building will be approximately the same as it is now.  There is an existing fence on the west line that will remain.  There is also an existing fence on the east line, which will remain, so the entire property will be fenced except for the front of the property. 


            Lynn Glenn, of 3414 Collingwood Dr., stated she is probably the lot that is behind the new development.  She wondered if there will be a berm or will the new addition come right up to the property line?  In the spring time there is a lot of water that sits back there.  She stated that right now, they can hear the intercom system when they are sitting on their deck.  She asked if they could turn down the intercom system.  She wanted to know if the fence will have landscaping around it and wondered if the city will check if there are wetlands in this area.


            Dan Moore, 3418 Collingwood Drive, is the next house to the north.  In the spring and through much of the summer, there is standing water in the woods.  He is concerned that there will be standing water all the time and whether or not this area will be able to be mowed.  He also stated they can hear the paging of people at the nursing home. 


            Ms. Svenson reminded the public that the Planning Commission does not make a determination on wetlands.  Mr. Paas stated they have a pipe drainage system that will cause the water from this area to drain away much faster than a normal drainage pond.  The existing vegetative area will be left as it is.  Ms. Hanna asked if they had contacted the MDEQ regarding the existence of wetlands in this area.  Mr. Paas stated they had, and there are no wetlands in this area.


            Bill Johnson, 3545 East Ashman Street, stated the nursing home has been a very good neighbor.  They have no objection to their expansion.  They do have a big objection to the requirement of a sidewalk in this area.  It would go nowhere.  He has no sidewalk on his property and he contacted Rapanos’ and they do not need the sidewalk on their property either at this time.  There is no need for a sidewalk in this area.  There is sidewalk on the other side of the street. 


            Dan Moore, 3418 Collingwood Drive, asked about the area to the north on this site.  Is there any plan for future expansion of the nursing home into this area or had they thought about selling it to some of the neighbors on Collingwood Drive.


            Mr. Paas stated there will be three rows of spruce trees and he feels this will provide an adequate buffer from the single-family development to the north.  The Administrator is here and has taken note of the sounds from the intercom that disturbs the surrounding property owners. 


            Mr. Eyre asked Mr. Baker about the external speaker system.  Is there a time frame specifying what hours it can be used?  Mr. Baker stated there is a noise ordinance and it could come under that ordinance.  It could also fall into the discretionary standards that the Planning Commission must consider in making their decision about this use. 


            Ms. Raush stated they have an internal speaker system but it does page outside in case employees are outside at the time.  She had no idea that it was so loud and that it disturbed the neighbors.  There are other devices that can be used and, as they are now aware of the problem, they will do something to alleviate this problem.


            Sue Steffen, 3816 Collingwood Street, asked who owns the property to the north.  Mr. Paas stated Brittany Manor owns that property.


            Lynn Glenn, 3414 Collingwood Court, asked about the lighting to the site.  She stated that currently the lighting spills over from the site onto her property. 


            The public hearing was closed.


4.  Public Comments




5.   New Business




6.    Old Business




7.   Communications


      Commissioners received their Planning and Zoning News and a transmittal letter from the Spicer Group.


8.  Report of the Chairperson  


     Between the last two Planning Commission meetings, the MAP Conference was held in Kalamazoo.  Commissioners Svenson and Senesac attended.  Mr. Senesac stated this conference seemed to put more emphasis on planning for walking and activity within the community.  Another aspect of the conference was “Form Based Zoning”.  We have zoning and look at permitted uses within those zones.  The “Form Based Zoning” described buildings and their design being described in particular areas of the community.  There is no enabling legislation on this subject at the present time. 


9.    Report of the Planning Director


Senesac asked staff to look into the aspect of conditional zoning.  This legislation was enacted about two years ago.  He would like to know how many conditional zonings we have had and how many rezoning requests we have had that might lead someone to ask for a conditional rezoning during that same time period.  He would also like to know how many changed between the time the Planning Commission received the request and the time it went to City Council.  The Planning Commission received a memo from the City Attorney that they are not permitted to negotiate with the petitioner on the conditional rezoning requests.  Commissioners would like some clarification from the City Attorney on the ability to discuss aspects of conditional rezoning requests.  Mr. Senesac would also like to see what was finally approved by City Council after the Planning Commission makes their recommendation.  He would like to know what was removed following the Planning Commission recommendation and prior to presentation to the City Council. 


Mrs. Hanna asked how long approval exists following approval by the City Council.  Petitioners are given two years to begin development or construction of a plan following approval by City Council. 


10.  Adjourn

Adjournment at 8:15 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker, AICP

Director of Planning & Community Development