JUNE 23, 2009, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:   Eyre

OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Planning Director; Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and 6 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna, seconded by Brown, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of June 9, 2009 as written. Motion passed unanimously.


3.   Public Hearing




4.  Public Comments (unrelated to items on the agenda)




5.   New Business




6.  Old Business


      a)   Conditional Use Permit No. 35, the request of Rodney Huntley for the construction of a single-family home located at 22 Huntley Lane and 4314 Isabella Street. 


            Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  It is located at the northeast corner of Huntley Lane, which is a private lane, and Isabella Street.  It is currently zoned RB, which is our multi-family residential zoning classification.  It joins RB to the east and west.  One parcel over is Commercial on M-20 and the properties across the street are in Homer Township.  The future land use map shows this area as high-density residential, with low-density residential to the north and high density residential to east and west.  A drawing in the packets shows the two lots and the buildable area on those two lots.  The two properties in question are vacant parcels encompassing 1.82 acres.  Single family use is a conditional use in the RB District to reduce potential for future conflict or nuisance.  Mr. Rodney Huntley is seeking a Conditional Use Permit for a single family dwelling on each lot.  There is a purchase offer pending on 22 Huntley Lane for a single family use.  All the adjoining uses are single family.  This property is surrounded by single family homes.  There are two sets of criteria, discretionary and non-discretionary, that have to be met.  These are spelled out in the Zoning Ordinance, Section 28.03B.  The staff recommendation is for approval.  The property is suitable for single family use, it does meet the Conditional Use Permit criteria, and staff has reviewed additional information submitted since the last meeting.  Gary Jones, Director of the local Habitat for Humanity of Midland County, stated they have looked into purchasing this property but they are not pursuing the purchase of this property at the present time. 


            Mr. Mead asked about the proposal for the positioning of the homes on the two lots.  Mr. Baker stated city staff assisted Mr. Huntley in preparing those drawings.


            Rodney Huntley, 695 North Eight Mile Road.  Mr. Huntley stated he is not planning to build on the property.  He just thinks it will be easier to sell the property if it can be developed as single family homes. 


            No one from the public spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.


            Ms. Brown asked that, if the rendered drawing is a part of this packet, does that mean that when these properties are developed, the lot facing Isabella Street and Huntley Lane would have their driveway off Huntley Lane.


            Motion by Hanna, seconded by Brown, to recommend approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 35, with the condition that the driveways all be located off Huntley Lane.


            Mr. Senesac stated he is sympathetic to the plight of the petitioner and that the property probably would be able to sell more quickly if it were permitted to be developed as single family.  However, the ordinance is very clear that, under a conditional use permit, there would be a site plan presented to the Planning Commission.  He does not see how they can approve this without the site plan.  Mr. Kozakiewicz stated that he does not know how the petitioner can develop a site plan when they are not planning to develop it.  They only want to sell the land.  The requirements would be reviewed by the Building Department and meet the criteria of the Zoning Ordinance once a building permit is applied for.  Mr. Senesac stated that the criteria are clear in the ordinance and having a site plan is one of those criteria.  Mr. Baker stated this property could accommodate a duplex without a change in use.  We are looking at the use of the property, as opposed to how the property is going to be developed. 


            Mr. Kozakiewicz and Mr. Mead both stated that there is nothing that would be built on these lots, as they have been proposed, that they would vote against.  They will vote in favor of this project.  Mrs. Hanna also stated she is in support of this conditional use permit.  Mr. King stated that lowering the intensity of the zoning does not seem to him to be a problem.  So long as the driveway accesses are off Huntley Lane, he does not see any problems with developing this area as residential.  Mr. Gaynor was in agreement.  Single family is a lower use and he feels it meets all the discretionary standards of the ordinance.



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

NAYS:    Senesac and Svenson



            Motion passes 6-2


      b)   Review second draft of Northside Overlay District zoning language


            Mr. Jeff Purdy made a presentation of the Northside Overlay District proposed zoning language and the changes that have occurred since the first draft.


            The goal:  transform the “Near Neighborhood” or Northside Downtown area based on common criteria.


            They added the following uses:  hardware, floor covering, paint, kitchen and bath store.  Hotels would be either conditional or permitted uses.  The uses removed include:  funeral homes, motels, radio and television towers without broadcasting towers, repair service establishments, drive-thru restaurants, retail strip centers, veterinary clinics with overnight kennels and outdoor runs.


            Proposed building placement is as follows:

·         Front yard:  0 foot minimum, 10 feet maximum

·         Side yard:  0 feet with fire wall

·         15 feet clear vision triangle at intersections

·         Awnings and canopies may project over the sidewalk


            Buildings must occupy a minimum of 40% of the frontage.  Marking may occupy a maximum of 50% of the frontage.  They are trying to get the buildings built out closer to the road and have the parking located behind the buildings.  Underground parking would be permitted along with parking structures. 


            Building Height would be as follows:

·         Minimum height would be two stories or 25 feet high

·         Maximum height would be 54 feet

·         It could be increased to 76 feet with:

o   A multi-level parking structure

o   Sustainable

o   Open space/plaza

·         Is incentive needed?

·         Transition from residential zoning


            Houses in this area are already located in Office Service Zoning Districts.  These homes have been there for a number of years.  However, they are already located in an Office Service District.


            The Building Design standards would be changed as follows:

·         Reduced ground floor fenestration requirement to a minimum of 30% for office

·         Removed blank wall restriction for cottage shop building

·         Removed requirement for raised first floor on residential buildings designed to be accessible

·         Addressed drive-thru location on corner buildings – While they do not allow drive-thru restaurants, they do allow drive-thru pharmacies and drive-thru banks.  The drive-through window would need to be located on the side toward the back of the building.


            Site Design Requirements would be changed as follows:

·         Downtown district would be exempt from parking

·         Parking may be off-site

·         Driveway access standards

·         Parking lot landscaping would not be required 50 feet back from the street frontage

·         References to new district added to other sections of ordinance such as signage and the schedule of regulations


            The intent is to ensure that there are a limited number of driveways and shared parking would be encouraged.


            Streetscape Requirements:

·         The curb lawn may be sidewalk with tree grates/wells

·         Decorative street lights would be required as part of the site plan


            Next steps include another review of the final draft by the Planning Commission.  Then, they would advertise for a public hearing and a recommendation to City Council.


            Mrs. Hanna stated Grove Park sits on land that was specifically given to the city for a school.  If there is no school located there, the land must remain open space.  Therefore, no office service uses could be built there, even though the property is zoned in that classification. 


            Mr. Baker stated there have been no letters from the community, providing input into this project.  However, this map of the district boundaries and the proposed overlay district are located on the website.



c)         Report of the nominating committee


            Mr. King, Chairman of the nominating committee, reported they would like to nominate Diane Brown as Chairman and Roger Mead as Vice Chairman.  A vote will be taken at the next meeting of the Planning Commission.


7.   Communications


      In the Planning Commission packets, there was a copy of the Michigan Planner and the Bicycle Friendly Yearbook was distributed at their seats.


8.  Report of the Chairperson  




9.  Report of the Planning Director

The City Council, last night, appointed Sean Pnacek, to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Kozakiewicz.  A rezoning petition and a site plan have been submitted and these issues will be before the Planning Commission at their next meeting.


Mr. Baker mentioned the Michigan Association of Planning meeting that will be held on September 30th through October 3rd.  If anyone on the Planning Commission is interested in attending, please contact the Planning Department.


Mr. Baker thanked Dan Kozakiewicz and Carol Svenson for their service over their years on the Planning Commission.  They both stated they have learned a lot about the city in their tenure as Planning Commissioners. 


10. Adjourn   


      Adjournment at 8:42 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker, AICP

Director of Planning & Community Development