MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

JANUARY 13, 2009, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:  King and Kozakiewicz

OTHERS PRESENT: Daryl Poprave, Deputy Planning Director; Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, Tony Kulick, Downtown Development Authority Director, Bradd Maki, Assistant City Engineer and four others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Senesac, seconded by Brown, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of December 9, 2008 as written. Motion passed unanimously.

 

3.   Public Hearing

 

      2008-2009 Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments

 

      Zoning Ordinance became effective on January 1, 2005. 

 

      Article 2 – Definitions

 

      Section 3.01J – require bicycle racks – Recommends bicycle racks for all new developments, except one and two family homes

 

      Table 3.2 – projections into yards – Amend footnote “3” to permit open porches to be located within five feet of the side yard lot line.

 

      Section 3.10 – Commercial Driveways – Amendments have been proposed that strengthen our existing commercial access standards as they apply to site plan review to act as an “interim” improvement which will ultimately compliment a full access management ordinance.  This section now contains language in direct support of the city’s Master Plan Transportation Goals.  It will limit commercial driveways to one per parcel.  It will also allow for additional driveways based on set criteria that both staff and the Planning Commission can utilize to grant additional access based on individual property and use conditions.  It will add more tables to clearly explain driveway spaces standards within parcels, separated from intersections and off-set from other driveways.  It will also retain the same methodology as the existing ordinance:  based on speed limit and classification of the road.

 

It will allow for increased utilization of traffic impact studies by petitioners to provide the Planning Commission with the necessary data to make informed decisions on appropriate roadway access and place more emphasis on this section’s connection with the Master Plan goals.

 

      Section 3.16 - Communication Facilities (cell towers) – This language will delete the existing text and create a new ordinance, create more practical and defensible requirements and create more comprehensive review criteria.  Standards will be created that are compliant with current case law, allow for administrative and site plan review options, create topic specific definitions and create a “table” to explain the review process by zoning district.

 

The new language will encourage more “co-location” of antenna by allowing taller structures in certain commercial districts, encourage “stealth” design (e.g. flag poles, light poles, etc.)., and allow the Planning Commission to grant additional waivers from the standards based on clear standards and conditions as required by the FCC.

 

      Section 5 – Parking and Loading – The handicap parking space diagram has been re-drawn to show correct dimensions.

 

      Article 8 Signs – Section 8.05 requires new Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D.) signs to be dimmed at night.  It will also require that L.E.D. signs in residential districts or adjacent to residential districts to be turned off when the business they are advertising is not in operation.

 

Section 8.05 – LED signs – Business Districts – Table 21.1 – Table of Permitted Uses

 

      Table 21.1 – Table of Permitted Uses – Define the following uses and list the districts they will be permitted in kennels in RC without outdoor kennels (outdoor kennels are already permitted in Agricultural Zoning), pawn shops and tattoo parlors in RC.

 

      Article 22 – LCMR District – Section 22.02 – Additional permitted uses by right include:  (1) medical and dental offices/clinics; (2) health spas physical fitness clubs; (3) child care/day care centers; and (4) banks and savings and loans

 

      Section 22.02 – Additional permitted uses by right

 

      Article 27 – Site Plan Review – Section 27.02(C) - Further clarify the Administrative Site Plan Review process.  Section 27.04 will create additional requirements for off-site improvements related to an approved site plans.

 

      Section 27.02(c) – Administrative Site Plan Review

 

      Section 27.04 – Create additional requirements for off-site improvements

 

      Article 31 – Administrative Organization -

 

      Mrs. Hanna requested Section 2 include a definition of “exotic” animals and define what they include.  She also asked about wind turbines and if they are allowed in residential districts.  Mr. Poprave stated there are height limits for accessory structures allowed in these districts.

 

      Mr. Eyre asked about the height of cell towers.  There are height limits in this community for accessory structures due to the flight path for MBS & Barstow airports. 

     

Tony Kulick, 300 Rodd Street, DDA Director for the City of Midland, spoke in favor of eliminating some of the proposed uses in the Downtown District, due to the negative impact they could have on the Downtown.  They want to encourage growth and development of the downtown area.

 

            Ellie Morrison – LCMR District – they requested revisions in the language to support the businesses that are already established in the LCMR Districts.  They are asking for medical offices to be allowed in the LCMR district.  Some of the businesses were allowed by right and then were taken out prior to 2005.  They want them to be re-inserted into the ordinance.

 

            Jess Atwell – Midland Tomorrow – They want the businesses in the industrial areas to be allowed by right so the businesses do not have trouble when they want to sell them – that they are allowed by right in that district.

 

      Ms. Brown stated she would like to limit the number of check cashing establishments and pawn shops allowed in the city.  Mr. Gaynor said he did not think that was possible.

 

      Ms. Hanna asked how we regulate wind turbines in residential districts.  Mr. Mead stated he has a number of word-smithing changes.  He will get those to staff for final ordinance revisions. 

 

      Mr. Eyre asked staff to refine/define the phrase “directly adjacent”.  Does that mean ten houses down the road?  Is it “directly adjacent” if it is across the street or three houses down?

 

      Commissioners inquired about audible messages on signs.  So far we do not have any of these, but would they be allowed under the guidelines of the ordinance?

 

      The public hearing was closed.

     

4.  Public Comments

     

      None

 

5.   New Business

 

a.    Introduction of proposed North Side Downtown Overlay District Concept.

 

Mr. Poprave presented the North Side Downtown Overlay Zoning District Project.  Staff has identified the need to pursue the creation of a new overlay zoning district to more appropriately regulate redevelopment between Indian and Buttles Streets.  This project is being pursued as a result of the unique opportunity currently available due to a private entity’s purchase of parcels within this district and assembling of larger tracts for the purpose of redevelopment as well as a couple of other projects that have been proposed for this corridor.

 

We have two overlay districts at the present time.  One is the Historic District Overlay District and the other is the Downtown Overlay District.  It is the city’s goal to put in place a set of regulations that would help guide the physical redevelopment of this area in a more attractive and thoughtful way, as well as protect and provide a more appropriate transition between the existing residential and commercial areas.  Staff is proposing to engage a planning consulting firm to assist in the preparation and public process in development of a “Formed Base Code” Zoning Ordinance amendment to guide redevelopment in this area. 

 

The development of a “Form Based Code” would provide more flexible zoning regulations which tie physical form and aesthetics to future development. 

 

Given the state of the city’s financial and budgetary constraints, staff submitted a funding request to the Midland Area Community Foundation.  City Council approved the project and accepted this Community Foundation gift on December 15, 2008.  LSL Planning will be conducting the first Overlay Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.  Staff would like the Planning Commission to select two to three members to serve on this Committee. 

 

The Overlay Advisory Committee will meet three to four times during the day for between two to two and a half hours to help “guide” this project.  LSL will conduct all presentations and will be present at all public meetings.  The nine member committee will include representatives from local businesses, architects and Midland developers. 

 

Mrs. Hanna requested that, if you are going to have people living in these areas, she would like some “green space” for children to play and people to recreate.  Mr. Mead, Mr. Senesac, Ms. Brown and Mr. Gaynor are interested.  They will attend the meeting on January 27th and represent the Planning Commission. 

 

6.  Old Business

 

      None

 

7.   Communications

 

      Commissioners received a “Planning and Zoning News”

 

8.  Report of the Chairperson  

 

      None

 

9.    Report of the Planning Director

 

CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                

 

January 12th 

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

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 zoning classification. 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

January 27, 2009

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

a)     Zoning Petition No. 557, 558, 559, 560 – Application of city zoning to annexed parcels.  ZP 561 will be put on hold because Wysong Inc. is now interested in annexing additional property.

 

b)    Site Plan No. 287 from Smith-Miner Funeral Home for site plan review and approval for a 9,216 square foot funeral home located at 2700 West Wackerly Street.

 

ACTION ITEM

 

a)     2009 Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

 

January 20, 2009 Meeting has been cancelled

 

PENDING ADMINISTRATIVE SITE PLAN REVIEWS

 

None

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

 

January 27, 2009 is the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting.

 

January 27, 2009 is the first Overlay Advisory Meeting at 3 pm in the City Council Chambers.

 

Annual Training Workshop – The commission’s annual training workshop will be held at the “H” Hotel.  The date is Saturday January 31, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

 

Daryl Poprave resignation – After 4 plus years of service to the Midland community, Daryl is leaving the City to pursue employment in the private sector.  Daryl’s last day will be January 23, 2009. 

 

10.  Adjourn   Adjournment at 8:44 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Daryl Poprave, AICP, CFM

Deputy Director of Planning & Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION