NOVEMBER 9, 2010, 7:00 P.M.,



1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Ballard, Hanna, Mead, Pnacek, Senesac and Stewart

ABSENT:   Brown and Young


OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Planning Director, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and 7 others.


2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Ballard, seconded by Hanna, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 28, 2010 as written. Motion passed unanimously.


3.   Public Hearings


Mr. Mead reviewed the public hearing process for those in attendance and those watching on cable television.


      a.   Zoning Petition No. 573, initiated by F/A Pnacek, Ltd., to rezone property at 800 Commerce Drive from Larkin Township zoning to Regional Commercial zoning. 


            Shawn Pnacek requested to be excused from this petition due to a conflict of interest as the petitioner is his family’s corporation.  Motion by Hanna, seconded by Senesac to excuse Mr. Pnacek from participation in this petition.  Motion passed unanimously.


            Mr. Baker reported that the petitioners, F/A Pnacek Ltd are owners of property at 800 Commerce Drive.  The property was annexed from Larkin Township on August 31, 2010.  It is approximately 4.72 acres in size.  The property is currently zoned Residential “A” in Larkin Township.  The proposed City of Midland Zoning is to Regional Commercial zoning.


            The property is located on the north side of Commerce Drive on the west side of Jefferson Avenue.  The aerial photography shows it is surrounded by vacant land.  The parcel to the north of this parcel is still under the township zoning classification.  The parcels to the west are zoned Regional Commercial, LCMR and Midland Evangelical Free Church’s property is zoned Residential B. 


            The city’s Master Plan has identified this area as commercial.  There was a lot of discussion about this area during the Master Plan process when it was under consideration.  The zoning of Regional Commercial would be in keeping with the Master Plan for this area.  There is commercial to the west and south, and medium density residential to the north and east.  The Township’s zoning ordinance shows this parcel being zoned Residential A.  This property is surrounded by property zoned Residential A in the Township.  In Larkin Township’s Master Plan, this area is shown as residential, with commercial to the north and west. 


            Criteria for reviewing zoning petitions include the following:


1)    Is the proposed amendment consistent with the City’s Master Plan?  Staff believes that it is.


2)    Will the proposed amendment be in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance?  Staff believes that it would be.  The Zoning Ordinance can be complied with and the prerequisite of the ordinance can be met with the change in zoning.


3)    Have conditions changed since the Zoning Ordinance was adopted that justifies the amendment?  The extension of the road was completed after the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance and the master plan.  There is commercial development filling in from the south and west.


4)    Will the amendment merely grant special privileges?  Staff does not believe that it would.


5)    Will the amendment result in unlawful exclusionary zoning?  Staff does not believe that it would.


6)    Would the amendment set an inappropriate precedent?  The area is prepared for commercial purposes and has sufficient development around it to be consistent.


7)    Is the proposed zoning consistent with the zoning classification of surrounding land?  Yes, it is consistent.


8)    Is the proposed zoning consistent with the future land use designation of the surrounding land in the City’s Master Plan?  Yes.  Property to the west and south is already developed as commercial.


9)    Could all requirements in the proposed zoning classification be complied with on the subject parcel?  If the property were to be rezoned to regional commercial, it could conceivably be used for any of the uses allowed in a commercial district.


10) Is the proposed zoning consistent with the trends in land development in the general vicinity of the property in question?  The surrounding land uses are commercial to the west and vacant to the north, south and east.  There is active commercial development and a clear trend toward this type of development in this area.


            This rezoning request is consistent with the Future Land Use map which identifies the area as appropriate for “Commercial” development.  Staff recommends approval of this zoning petition.


The public hearing is being held on November 9, 2010.  The Planning Commission will make a recommendation at their meeting on November 23, 2010. 


      Mike Pnacek, 2661 Blackhurst, spoke on behalf of the petitioner.  This land has been in his family for over 100 years.  It has been used as farm land over the years.  The parcel was created by the City of Midland with the road being installed.  They felt it was time to do something with this parcel. 


      Deborah Kane, 2706 Summerset, is also a member of the Pnacek family.  She is in favor of this rezoning.  The street is named “Commerce Drive” and she thinks this reflects how the property should be used. 


      John Bartos, 2095 N. Jefferson Avenue, lives just north of the parcel in question.  He has no negative comments at this time.  However, he has two questions.  In November, 2009, a petition was presented to the city to rezone 37 acres to the north of this property a year ago.  On February 15th, the City Council denied this request.  Mr. Bartos and his wife purchased the 37 acres to the north of this parcel.  At the City Council meeting on February 15, 2010, a petition was presented to the City Council from Larkin Township residents.  The residents asked, at this point in time, that the city reopen the Future Land Use process.  It states that “this Plan is intended to be flexible and respond to new information, trends and opportunities.”  The petitioners sent a letter to the city asking that the Planning Commission review this process.


      Mr. Bartos would like to know when this review will begin.  He would also like to know how this rezoning will impact his property to the north.  Mr. Baker stated it would be at the discretion of the Planning Commission if they would like to perform a review of this area, as it relates to the Master Plan.  In February, there was no urgent need to reevaluate this area.  The Planning Commission could direct staff to review this and bring it to the Planning Commission for a public hearing.  In answer to the second question, the Planning Commission would go through the same evaluation process as this current petition, in that the Commissioners would look at the surrounding properties and how they are being developed.  Commissioners would also look at how it has been identified in the Master Plan and how they would foresee the development in this area.


      Mr. Mead stated that he does not think these questions have to be answered now, but it would certainly be worth having a work session on this subject after the first of the year.  The current Master Plan was adopted in 2007. 


      Mr. Bartos asked what he could build on his 37 acres to the north if this parcel is zoned Regional Commercial.  Mr. Mead stated that Mr. Bartos should talk with Mr. Baker regarding his options.  Mr. Baker stated that there is a petition before the Planning Commission.  There is a need to act on that petition in a timely manner.  The 37 acre parcel, currently zoned Residential A in Larkin Township, would allow single-family residential to be built there. 


      Mr. Pnacek had no further comments.  Mr. Mead closed the public hearing.



      b.   Site Plan No. 297 from MLR Engineering on behalf of Schauman Development for site plan review and approval for River Crest Apartments located at 4517 Dublin Avenue.  (Withdrawn by petitioner)


4.   Old Business




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


Val Johnson, 3535 E. Ashman Street, asked what has happened to the miniature pig.  Mr. Baker stated that at their November 8, 2010 meeting, the City Council reconsidered and has given first reading to a draft ordinance, through the city’s Code of Ordinances, to allow a licensing process with specific criteria on an individual property basis for the keeping of miniature pigs in residential areas.  It will be up for a second reading and potential adoption at the next City Council meeting on Monday November 22, 2010.


6.   New Business




7.   Communications


      The Planning Commission received copies of the “Planning and Zoning News”.


8.   Report of the Chairperson




9.  Report of the Planning Director


    In addition to the miniature pig issue at City Council meeting last night, the proposed Medical Marihuana ordinance was adopted prohibiting dispensaries or co-ops from dispensing medical marihuana within the City of Midland.  This ordinance will take effect upon publication.


     There have been several ground breakings on Dow projects that have been approved by the Planning Department.  The developers of the BP gas station at Jefferson and Joe Mann Drive have requested an additional extension of the site plan that was approved, due to current economic conditions.  This was approved by City Council.


     Mrs. Hanna asked about a new road off Waldo Avenue between Patrick Road and Eastlawn Drive.  The new “road” is actually a new service drive to provide access to the new Dow/Tata office complex. 



10. Adjourn               


      Adjournment at 7:44 p.m. was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,




Keith Baker, AICP, CFM

Director of Planning & Community Development