MAY 12, 2009, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Brown, Gaynor, Hanna, King, Mead and Senesac

ABSENT:    Eyre, Kozakiewicz and Svenson

OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Planning Director; Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and 11 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna, seconded by Brown, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of April 28, 2009 as written. Motion passed unanimously.


3.   Public Hearing


      a)   Site Plan No. 291 from Three Rivers Corporation on behalf of Airgas, Inc. for site plan review and approval of a 12,085 square foot building located at 2300 South Saginaw Road.


            Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  The property is located at the intersection of S. Saginaw Road and Discovery Way, which is east and west, and also James Savage Road as the northern boundary.  The property is zoned entirely Light Industrial, with Heavy Industrial located to the south.  There is Light Industrial to the north and east.  To the east is land owned by the city for the Water Treatment Plant.  This site previously was the location of a motel.  It was commercial at one time.  The project is for a new facility for Airgas, Inc.  It is zoned Industrial.  The proposed project does not impede potential development or improvement of the surrounding property.  Everything is proposed to be developed on site.  The required landscaping was calculated based upon street frontage, parking lot area, and general site area.  A total of 44 trees and 198 shrubs are required.  The petitioner has shown 40 new trees and four tree credits for leaving existing trees.  They have also shown 198 shrubs.  The closest point of the building to the property line is 25 feet, which is the required setback in Industrial zoning.  The tallest point of the building will be 28 feet. 


            The building and site development are designed so as not to interfere with the surrounding properties.  There is access to the site off James Savage Road as well as Discovery Way for emergency vehicle access.  There is an existing 5-foot public sidewalk on Discovery Way.  A new 5-foot wide sidewalk will be constructed on the frontage on S. Saginaw Road that they own.  Sidewalk on James Savage Road is requested to be waived per the city’s engineering department.  James Savage Road, as it is, has no curb and gutter.  It has a drainage ditch and a narrow shoulder.  Therefore, sidewalk is not warranted in this area per the city’s engineering department.  There is a minimum parking requirement of 23 stalls, plus two barrier-free stalls, for 25.  The 20% allowable parking above that is 30 spaces and the site plan shows 29 spaces.  The plan shows three above-ground detention ponds along the west and south sides of the property.  They must meet and submit a soil erosion and sediment control plan.  The photometric plan shows six wall mounted light fixtures for the plan.  Utilities are proposed to be extended from both James Savage Road and Discovery Way.  A dumpster is located on the plan and will be enclosed.  No health and safety issues have been identified.  They have a shared drive, which has been negotiated with the property owners in question to serve this property and the property to the west.


            Staff recommends approval of the site plan with the following contingencies:


            1.   The Storm water 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.   The location, access and flow of any proposed fire hydrants and water service shall be in accordance with the City of Midland Fire Department and City of Midland Utility Department specification. 

            7.   All irrigation systems will comply with the City of Midland Water Department specifications.

            8.   That all exterior (roof or ground mounted) mechanical equipment shall be screened as required by Section 6.02(E)(2) of the Zoning Ordinance.


            There should be one more contingency that sidewalk is not required on James Savage Road.


            Wes Kohn, Three Rivers Corporation and Diane Pontell, Cleveland, Ohio, spoke on behalf of the petitioner.  The site is an older location.  They are not sure if they are going to install the storage tank or not, but it would be liquid nitrogen.  The flammable liquids could be propane, hydrogen gas, and other flammable products that are not made on site.  They will be installing a “bunker” system.  They can only store so much flammable liquid in one spot and it is surrounded by a wall or fence line.  The building is only 19.6 feet high.  They have relocated the flammable storage into the northeast area and removed some of the parking since they submitted the original site plan.  The detention ponds will be approximately four feet deep.  They are a low-slope pond and you should be able to walk on them at any time.  Ms. Hanna asked if they would consider having bike racks on a part of their parking area.  Mr. Kohn stated they would consider that.  The building will be 7,770 sq. ft. in area. 


            No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to the petition.


4.  Public Comments




5.   New Business


      City of Midland Non-Motorized Transportation Draft Plan Presentation.


The plan was presented by Keith Baker, Kerry Irons and Curt Peterson.  The City of Midland Master Plan includes a transportation component.  While non-motorized transportation is mentioned in broad terms, advocacy groups were interested in a more detailed non-motorized transportation plan.  The Planning Commission was interested and suggested that additional effort and study be conducted outside of the master plan process.


A committee was formed to research non-motorized transportation alternatives and provide recommendations to the community.  The committee meets monthly and has looked at related laws, pedestrian linkages, bike paths, paved trails, education, promotion, local policies and obstacles.  The committee developed a draft non-motorized transportation plan.  The committee consists of several Planning Commissioners including Gayle Hanna and Scott Gaynor. 


Mr. Irons stated the non-motorized transportation plan includes “Five E’s” including:  education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation.  The plan includes a network of sidewalk improvements, new dedicated paths, new bike lanes and new dedicated bike routes.  They have looked at three different types of street usage including path usage, along the side of the street.  The proposed Non-Motorized Trail Map was reviewed. 


Implementation:  They have applied to the Midland Area Community Foundation for a League of American Bicyclists “Bicycle Friendly Workshop” grant application.  They are doing presentations and seeking adoption of the plan by the City Planning Commission and City Council.  They will promote annual funding for non-motorized transportation improvements (sidewalks, paths and bike lanes), seek certification as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” and promote the “Complete Streets” program for future infrastructure planning.


Mr. Senesac asked if any of the costs were for land acquisition.  Mr. Baker stated it is presumed not to include any property acquisition.  Ms. Hanna asked about the availability for people with disabilities to use these trails.  Mr. Irons stated that, in the plan, there is a fairly long list of elements that have been suggested for changes, and, one of these changes is to improve the safety of people in Amigos to have safer places to cross city streets.  Mr. Irons stated that more than 150,000 people use the existing rail trail each year. 


Mr. Baker stated they are just looking for feedback tonight.  It will be brought back at the next Planning Commission meeting for their approval prior to it going to City Council.



6.  Old Business


      a)   Zoning Petition No. 561 initiated by the Macomb Group for property located at 400 Burgess Street and 3137 South Saginaw Road from Regional Commercial zoning to Industrial A.


            Petition requested to be withdrawn by the petitioner.


7.   Communications




8.  Report of the Chairperson  




9.  Report of the Planning Director


CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                 


April 27, 2009 




a)     Site Plan No. 288 from Dow Howell Gilmore Associates, Inc. site plan review and approval of a 14,152 square foot addition to Arnold Center located at 400 Wexford Avenue.  (approved)


May 11, 2009 




a)     Site Plan No. 289 from NPS Investors, LLC for site plan review and approval of a 21,138 square foot medical office located at 501 Fast Ice Drive.  (approved)


b)    Site Plan No. 290 from the Macomb Group for site plan review and approval of a 9,191 square foot expansion of a pipe supply warehouse located at 3137 South Saginaw Road.  (approved)




May 26, 2009


PUBLIC HEARING         None.  




Site Plan No. 291 from Three Rivers Corporation on behalf of Airgas Inc. for site plan review and approval of a 12,085 square foot building located at 2300 South Saginaw Road.




April 21, 2009 Meeting


No. 09-03 – Michael A. Taister for a 10’ front yard setback area/dimension variance to remodel the existing structure at 4804 Russell Street. (approved)


May 19, 2009 Meeting


No. 09-04 – Brian Beukema on behalf of Hotel Holdings Cinema, LLC for an area/dimension variance for an interpretation of the number of ground signs in their zoning district at 810 Cinema Drive.







May 26, 2009 is the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Department continues to be busy with daily inquiries about zoning, floodplain and community development block grant projects. 


10. Adjourn   


      Adjournment at 7:47 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker, AICP

Director of Planning & Community Development