MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

OCTOBER 28, 2008, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:    Senesac

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

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Eyre, seconded by Hanna, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of October 14, 2008 as written. Motion passed unanimously.

 

3.   Public Hearing

 

      a.   Conditional Use Permit No. 33, the request of Midland County Habitat for Humanity

            for the construction of a single family home located at 309 E. Grove Street.  This property

            is located in a Residential B zoning district.

 

            Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  It is located mid-block

            between Townsend and Rodd Streets.  The existing land use map shows existing single family uses in the entire block.  The parcel in question was acquired by the city.  It is currently zoned RB residential.  There is RB zoning to the south, east and north.  Parcels to the west are Office Service.  The future land use map shows this area designated as high density residential.  Further north on Rodd Street there are some commercial uses.  The city purchased the property.  Single family is a conditional use in the RB District.  Habitat for Humanity is seeking a Conditional Use Permit for a single-family dwelling.  The property was sold for $1 by the City to Habitat for Humanity.  The city issued a building permit to begin construction. 

 

            Discretionary standards for Conditional Use Permits include:

1)    Protection of public health, safety and general welfare.

2)    Compatibility with surrounding land uses.

3)    Detrimental effects.

4)    Impact of traffic.

5)    Adequacy of public services.

6)    Protection of site characteristics.

7)    Compatibility with natural environment.

8)    Compatibility with Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

 

            The site itself is 4400 sq. ft.  The lot itself is approximately 55 feet by 80 feet.  The house itself is 26 feet by 38 feet.  Staff recommendation is for approval of this conditional use permit as it meets all the criteria for development in this area.  Habitat is continuing to build the house while the Conditional Use process is taking place.

 

            Gary Jones, Habitat for Humanity, 712 Heathermoor Drive.  They would like to urge approval of the Conditional Use Permit.  Mr. Eyre asked if timing is a factor for Habitat.  Mr. Jones stated the roof is now on so the house is fairly well enclosed.  Weather should not affect the house at this time.

           

            Brian Sutherland stated he lives in the house with the white car on Townsend Street.  He can see the back of this house from his home.  He received a letter on about October 12th so he started taking pictures of the house at this time.  He has been taking pictures of this wondering if the city could stop construction during this conditional use permit process.  His concern is that, if there should be severe oppositions to this, the house is already up.  If the people who eventually own this house have two pick-up trucks, he cannot see how they will not obstruct the driveway and the sidewalk.  This lot was platted in the 1930’s and this size lot was legal at that time for single family dwellings.  Mr. Sutherland asked about the family who will be getting this house.  How many vehicles will they have? 

 

            Gary Jones, from Habitat for Humanity, stated they will not ultimately be the owner of this house.  The concept for the house is a combination of the Affordable Housing Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, and Midland Area Homes.  The Affordable Housing Alliance will be the landlord and Midland Area Homes will manage the family who will move into it.  This is a 5-bedroom house, with three of the bedrooms in the basement. 

 

            The public hearing was closed.

 

      b.   Zoning Petition No. 555 initiated by Soil Tech, Inc., for property located at 4501 Bay

            City Road from Residential B zoning to Regional Commercial.

 

            Mr. Poprave stated that the subject property is located north of Bay City Road and east of Fast Ice Drive.  The existing land use map shows there is single family residential mixed in with heavy industrial.  The north end is not developed.  The future land use map shows this property as high density residential.  It is on the border of high density residential to the west and commercial to the east and the south.  The zoning map shows this area as RB residential.  It does not take up the part to the east.  There was a great deal of discussion at the time the Future Land Use map was designed. 

 

            This property was part of another rather large rezoning proposed in 1989 by National Amusements.  They were looking to rezone the old drive-in movie theater.  It was rezoned but nothing was ever built there.  The existing houses were already there in 1989. 

 

            The proposed amendment is consistent with the goals of the city’s master plan.  There is already existing infrastructure in this area.  Water and sewer are already available here.  Conditions have remained unchanged since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance in 2005.  The rezoning would give special preference to a single property owner.  We would have to take account of the surrounding residential properties in this area.  A commercial use on this property could have a detrimental affect on the surrounding residential properties.  Regional Commercial zoning does not present a spot zone in this area because it is adjacent to Regional Commercial to the north.  Valley Plaza is to the east and across the street is developing rapidly as commercial and industrial.  The proposed amendment is consistent with the commercial zoning to the north and south, and less compatible with the residential properties to the east and west.  This parcel certainly has enough size to meet development standards.  It is a large parcel of land.  Zoning districts in this area have changed over time to more intensive uses.  Staff recommends denial as it is inconsistent with the goals of the Master Plan.

 

            Mrs. Hanna asked if any communications had been received from surrounding residents.  Mr. Poprave stated none had been received.

 

            Heather Arnold, on behalf of Soil Tech, Inc.  Soil Tech purchased the property because it had the potential of being rezoned to commercial.  Soil Tech is a company that was formed to purchase homes and rent them to people in need. 

 

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

 

4.  Public Comments

     

      None

 

5.   New Business

 

      None

 

6.    Old Business

 

      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 that this property is located on East Ashman, just east of Waldo Avenue.  The property is also located due west of the US-10 corridor.  It adjoins Collingwood Court on the west side of the property.  There is a park to the east and a mixture of uses across the street.  The property is zoned RB residential.  The property itself is zoned all the way back to Kilmer Drive.  The future land use map shows the front portion of the property in question be zoned RB residential and the north part of the property be used for low density residential. 

 

            At the last meeting we talked about a 14 foot clearance to the overhang in the front of the facility.  That change has been made.  At the request of staff and required by ordinance, the petitioner included a 5 foot sidewalk adjacent to East Ashman Avenue.  They have also moved the shed to the west and provided additional screening in that area.  They have also provided a photometric plan showing the five light fixtures and their location on the site.  These meet the current zoning code of less than one foot candle at the property line. 

 

            Discretionary criteria include:

1)    Protection of public health, safety and general welfare.

2)    Compatibility with surrounding land uses.

3)    Detrimental effects.

4)    Impact of Traffic.

5)    Adequacy of public services.

6)    Protection of site characteristics.

7)    Compatibility with natural environment.

8)    Compatibility with the Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

 

The requirement for a 5 foot sidewalk is asked to be waived by the adjoining property owner.  This was brought up at the last Planning Commission meeting.  Mr. Baker stated this needed to be included in any motion made regarding this property if the Planning Commission chose not to require sidewalks at this location.

 

Al Paas represented the petitioner.  He did receive a phone call from the Glynn residence, which is the closest residence to Brittany Manor.  They have a swimming pool up next to the proposed fence line.  The fence line at Brittany Manor was going to intersect their fence line at approximately the same place as their swimming pool exists now.  Brittany Manor has opted to curve their fence line around in the back so they will leave the existing trees in this area and privacy for the rear of the adjacent property.  The parking is on the east side of the building and not anywhere near the Collingwood properties.  Mr. Paas stated at the last meeting that there were no wetlands on this property.  This was an error.  He stated he should have said there was no flood plain on this property.

 

Dan Moore, 3418 Collingwood, stated the effective line of sight from his house that includes a downhill view from his house, will eliminate the sound and light buffer provided by the existing trees.  He does like the existing proposal moving the fence line and leaving some of the mature trees.  He is still concerned about the light penetration through the trees and the noise that will come through to his property will affect his property values.  Mowers will move up to the fence line and will be a detriment to his property value. 

 

Lynn Glynn stated Mr. Baker came out and showed the neighbors where the fence line is going to go.  Mrs. Glynn showed where her swimming pool is located.  If you were to get out of the swimming pool you would get out right onto the fence.  The retention basin is located immediately over the fence.  Will there be standing water in this area?  They have maintained this property for the past 17 years.  They have mowed the grass and maintained the trees on the back of this property for a number of years. 

 

Mr. Paas stated that the retention area is designed to receive the water during a heavy storm and it has an outlet which intends to slow down the water over the period of a couple hours.  Eventually this will be dry grass again once the water flows through the pipe drainage system into the storm sewer.   There will not be long periods of standing water in this area.

 

It was moved by Kozakiewicz, and seconded by Gaynor, to recommend to City Council approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 32 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 East Ashman Street.

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

9. Additional screening and fence line shown at tonight’s meeting and the additional

    Vegetation.

 

            Mr. Eyre feels they should not have to put sidewalk in until it goes somewhere.  There is no reason to put sidewalk in this area.  There is no justification for it at this time.  Ms. Brown agreed, as did Mr. Mead.  Mr. Eyre wanted to amend Mr. Kozakiewicz’s motion to eliminate the requirement for the sidewalk.  The amended motion was seconded by Ms. Hanna.  Mr. Kozakiewicz also agreed.  Mr. Gaynor stated that, if we are going to have sidewalks, we need to have sidewalks built at the time of development.  We should not wait until everything is developed and then require property owners to install sidewalk. He does not understand waiting until this property is all built out and then require sidewalks in this area.  Mr. King stated that, on one hand, installing a sidewalk right now would go nowhere.  However, he is not sure that, just because a sidewalk has not been in place for the past 17 years, non-motorized transportation is a goal of the Planning Commission for the future and sidewalks in this area would be a first step.  He thinks we are not setting the best precedent by not requiring sidewalks in this area.  Mrs. Svenson stated she also feels that not requiring sidewalks in this area is precedent setting and we are trying to encourage sidewalks throughout the city.  Mrs. Hanna stated that across the street there is a sidewalk.  If someone would like to walk or ride a non-motorized vehicle, they can go across the street.  There is a traffic light at the corner that would enable people to cross the street.

 

            Motion by Eyre seconded by Hanna to amend the original motion by recommending that the City Council waive the requirement for a five foot public sidewalk for this project:

 

            Yeas:               Eyre, King, Kozakiewicz, Brown, Hanna and Mead

            Nays:               Gaynor and Svenson

            Absent:            Senesac

            Motion approved 6-2.  Original motion is amended to exclude sidewalks as part of the conditional use permit recommendation.

 

      Vote on the original motion 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 not be required along East Ashman Street.
  8. The under clearance for the canopy shall be a minimum 14’ high.
  9. That the site plan be amended to show the change in location of the fence line and landscaping in the northwest corner of the property as outlined during the public hearing process. 

 

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

NAYS:       Svenson

ABSENT:  Senesac

Motion approved 7-1. 

 

7.   Communications

 

      Commissioners received the latest Planning and Zoning News and a letter from the Spicer Group regarding an audio conference on Wednesday, November 5th.

 

8.  Report of the Chairperson  

 

      None

 

9.    Report of the Planning Director

 

CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                

 

November 17th

 

Set Public Hearings

 

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. 

 

b)    Conditional Use Permit No. 33, the request of Midland County Habitat for Humanity for the construction of a single family home located at 309 E. Grove Street.  This property is located in a Residential B zoning district.

 

c)     Zoning Petition No. 555 initiated by Soil Tech, Inc. for property located at 4501 Bay City Road from Residential B zoning to Regional Commercial. 

 

           

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

November 11th       

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a)    Zoning Petition No. 556 initiated by Cal Ieuter for property located at 404, 408 and 414 Townsend Street from Office Service zoning to Downtown. 

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

a)     Conditional Use Permit No. 33, the request of Midland County Habitat for Humanity for the construction of a single family home located at 309 E. Grove Street.  This property is located in a Residential B zoning district.

 

b)    Zoning Petition No. 555 initiated by Soil Tech, Inc. for property located at 4501 Bay City Road from Residential B zoning to Regional Commercial. 

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

October 21st Meeting – Four variance petitions acted upon

 

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

November 11, 2008 is the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting. 

 

Planning staff is planning to make a presentation to initiate the annual Zoning Ordinance review process at the November 11th meeting. 

 

Annual Training Workshop – Planning is underway for the commission’s annual training workshop.  Suggested dates include Saturday, January 31, 2009 and Saturday, February 7, 2009.  Topics being considered include the review of recent Conditional Zoning petitions and their implementation as well as an advanced Zoning Board of Appeals training opportunity. 

 

10.  Adjourn   Adjournment at 8:43 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Keith Baker, AICP

Director of Planning & Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION