PLANNING COMMISSION WORK SESSION

TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010

COUNCIL CHAMBERS OVERFLOW CONFERENCE ROOM

CITY HALL; 333 W. ELLSWORTH STREET;

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

Present:  Ballard, Brown, Hanna, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

Absent:   King and Pnacek

Staff:      Keith Baker, Planning Director, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and Cindy Winland, Contract Planner and 1 other

 

1.      Miniature Pigs

 

Apparently the Planning Commission left the petitioners for the mini-pigs with the idea that although they don’t want to change the ordinance, they might consider allowing them by a different venue, i.e. special use permits.  There was the feeling that, although mini pigs should not be in the city, these people were very nice people and they had a nice presentation.

 

The Planning Commission discussed other “mini” animals including micro-pigs, micro-horses, micro-goats, micro-sheep, etc.  If one is allowed in the city, the commission needs to look at all the different species that might fall under this category.  How will the city monitor the size of these animals?  Another farm animal that the Planning Department receives calls about is chickens.  They get up early in the morning.

 

Cindy Winland stated the new proposed language is fairly clear defining domestic animals and service animals versus exotic and farm animals.  Mr. Young stated that, in another community where he served, “exotic pets” started out as fish and then snakes and then a jaguar in someone’s back yard.

 

Mr. Mead thinks the best option regarding the petitioners for the mini-pigs would be to have someone write them a letter and state mini-pigs will now fall under “these guidelines” and this is how they are classified in the zoning ordinance.  Mrs. Hanna stated this is why they allow farm animals out in the county.  People can have them as pets and go out and visit them every day.  Also, what diseases will these animals be bringing in to the city?  What vaccinations have they had and what do they need to have?

 

Staff will discuss how to respond to the original petitioner and how to proceed from here.

 

2.      Master Plan Amendment (Letter)

 

Mr. Baker suggested discussion on this item be postponed until he has a map ready.  This item is regarding the Bennett property on Letts Road.  The property was purchased by another individual and the Bennett’s are no longer seeking to rezone this property.  The immediate property owner to the north purchased the property and will submit a letter requesting a zoning change.  There is not a rush to zone that property as it has recently been annexed into the city by petition.  The city has two (2) years to apply city zoning to this property.  The new purchaser wants to know if the Planning Commission is agreeable to taking another look at that area.

 

The Planning Commission discussed this area in general.  They do not see large homes going in here.  The Pnacek property to the south was divided into three equal sections.  The southwest corner of Jefferson and Letts Road, owned by the Pnacek family, was divided into thirds, the east 1/3 being recommended for medium density, the center 1/3 recommended for office service and the western 1/3 recommended for commercial zoning.  Commercial property does abut the western Bartos piece.  The Planning Commission has some time to think about this area.  There is a willingness by the Planning Commission to discuss this area in a more formal manner. 

 

We are awaiting the results of the 2010 census so the Planning Commission wants to see that data before they start making any changes to the Master Plan.  Other areas for discussion in the Master Plan include the following:

 

 

3.      List of permitted uses in the zoning ordinance for:

a)      Men’s/Women’s shelters (homeless shelters)

b)     Soup kitchens

 

How do we treat these types of uses?  Cindy Winland stated they need to have mutually exclusive definitions of uses.  She proposed three general definitions, based on whether or not they have overnight accommodations.  The three types include:

 

Transitional housing would definitely include the overnight stay and soup kitchens.  Day shelters, such as Safe Haven Outreach Center, has a soup kitchen but no overnight stays.  The shelters would be defined by the kind of service they provide.  The first group of overnight accommodations and treatment requires a state license.  Ms. Winland proposed a chart for classification of uses and the locations for those uses.  This would address screening, parking, setbacks, etc.  The Open Door is still out there looking for a place to relocate their facility.

 

Staff will bring these topics back in a more formal format as a zoning text amendment.

 

4.      Places of Worship/Clubs/Lodge

 

Meeting time expired before discussion was held on this agenda item.  Staff will include this item on the agenda for the next work session of the Planning Commission.

 

There was no further discussion and the work session adjourned at 6:48 p.m.