MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

JUNE 28, 2011, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:  Brown, Hanna, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

ABSENT:  Pnacek and Tanzini

VACANCY:  One

OTHERS PRESENT: Keith Baker, Planning Director, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist and 16 others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna, seconded by Young, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of June 14, 2011 as written. Motion passed unanimously.

3.   Public Hearings

     

     a.       Site Plan No. 304 from MSARI Holdings, LLC for site plan review and approval for a 3,920 square foot addition located at 1905 Mark Putnam Road.

 

               Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  This is a site plan for a 3,920 sq. ft. addition to an existing building.  Normally this would not require a site plan.  However, the petitioners are requesting a second drive approach, and the total square footage of the existing building plus the addition exceeds 7500 sq. ft. which requires Planning Commission approval.  This is a permitted use. 

 

               The property is located in between commercial and industrial uses on Mark Putnam Drive.  The zoning to the south, east and west is Industrial B.  The zoning to the north is Industrial A.  The property in question is zoned Industrial B. 

 

               With the addition, they need to add four trees and 26 shrubs for landscaping.  The building is located 86 feet from the property line.  The property to the east is not developed and has a natural drain that will remain undisturbed.  While there may be some existing residential uses to the north, as these properties are zoned Industrial, there is no screening required on the north side.  The proposed site plan makes it easier for emergency vehicles to access the site.  The petitioners are requesting an additional driveway approach.  This is a 25 mph road so it has a reduced minimum regarding how far the driveways must be set apart.  This proposed plan does meet that requirement.  The driveway across the street is just a service drive to the Dow Corning property and is seldom used.

 

               The Planning Commission is allowed to waive sidewalks on Industrial zoned properties.  Staff recommendation is that the sidewalks be waived for this particular project.  Staff identified the need for 14 parking stalls.  There are 16 stalls shown on the site plan.  With the additional building, they are providing some underground storm water detention that feeds into the existing storm water detention system.  There are no health or safety concerns.  This will be a single-phased construction.  The development itself does not require any coordination with adjacent sites. 

 

               At 3,920 square feet, this is a relatively small addition.  Exterior lighting and signage will meet the city’s requirements.  With this plan, the Planning Commission will be approving the second driveway.  Staff’s recommendation is to recommend approval of the site plan with the following contingencies:

 

               1    The storm water management methods are designed and constructed in accordance with the City of Midland Engineering Department specifications.

               2.   A soil erosion and sedimentation control plan is submitted for review prior to permitting, in compliance with Section 3.11.

               3.   All landscaping shall comply with Article 6 of the Zoning Ordinance.

               4.   All exterior lighting shall comply with Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance.

               5.   All exterior signage shall comply with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

               6.   The additional driveway will comply with Section 3.10D of the Zoning Ordinance.

               7.   The barrier free parking stall dimensions shall be corrected and striped appropriately.

               8.  Waiving of the sidewalk requirements for this site.

 

               Mrs. Hanna asked for bike racks.  Mr. Baker deferred to the petitioner.

 

               Matt Ziegler, Congress Drive, stated that, regarding the bike racks, they have considered this in the past and will be happy to comply with a requirement for bike racks.

 

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

 

               Public hearing was closed.

 

4.   Old Business

 

      a.      Zoning Petition No. 575, initiated by F/A Pnacek, Ltd., to rezone property at 405 Joseph Drive, Clayhill Court and Fieldstone Court from Residential A-3 zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

               The property is approximately 11.3 acres in size.  It is zoned RA-3.  The proposed zoning is Residential B, multiple family residential.  The “Ten Question Test”, in Section 30.02(D) in the Zoning Ordinance is applicable here.  The petitioner has submitted a letter with some stipulations.  The property is on Joseph Drive to the east of Jefferson.  It is adjacent to the Oakbrook Estates Subdivision to the north; Village at Joseph’s Run to the south, vacant property also owned by the petitioner to the south, and the soccer fields, a credit union, and an assisted living facility to the west.

 

               The property to the south that is the location of the Village at Joseph’s Run is zoned RA-4.  There is LCMR property to the east, which is owned by the Dow Chemical Company. 

 

               The Master Plan shows this parcel and the parcel to the south as being designated medium density Residential B.  There is Office Service shown to the west, and public/institutional, which includes the soccer fields to the south. 

 

               The Planning Commission conducted their public hearing on June 14, 2011.  Tonight will be the recommendation to City Council.  No public comments were received prior to the meeting.  City Council will set a public hearing on July 18, 2011 and hold the public hearing on August 8, 2011.  Staff recommendation is for RB with the conditions as identified by the petitioners. 

 

               No public comments have been received in the past two weeks.

 

               Mr. Mead asked what is the current density of the Village of Joseph’s Run housing development.  Mr. Baker stated they have 128 units, which exceeds nine units per acre.  Mr. Pnacek stated they have 13.5 acres, which would be about ten units per acre.  In RA-4, they could potentially have up to 62 single family lots or 49 duplexes.  In Residential B, it would be unlimited, except for the restrictions that are being imposed.  The limitations would include a maximum height of two story buildings.  This would be a similar height to the apartments at the Village of Joseph’s Run. 

 

               Mike Pnacek, 2661 Blackhurst, stated a potential builder has an interest in the property but he was not interested in doing single family homes in RA-3 zoning.  The property is only about 200 feet deep.  He cannot see how you could put more than nine units per acre there.  The property was annexed in 2000.  They have tried the RA-3 zoning and it did not work.  It would be a shame to have the property sitting there, not being able to do what you want with it. 

 

               Ed Pnacek, 1913 N. Jefferson Road, Midland.  He wants to offer his support for the rezoning of this property.    No one spoke in opposition to this rezoning.

 

               Mr. Senesac asked for a quick review of how a Planned Unit Development (PUD) might work on this property.  Mr. Baker stated a PUD allows for a mixture of uses on the property.  A PUD would also have to come before the Planning Commission.  There is some flexibility where they might allow a corner store or an office use.  They do not need a PUD to accommodate the number of units they are proposing for the development of this property. 

 

               Mr. Mead stated that trees die and they could end up with less than adequate screening.  Less than adequate screening and higher density of development could pose a problem in this area.  Mr. Baker stated that they still would have to come to the Planning Commission with a site plan. 

 

               Mr. Senesac stated that there is a lack of depth of those properties.  He thinks RA-3 is too restrictive but perhaps RB is too much.  Ms. Brown stated she is struggling with this one too.  Mr. Young asked if the conditions presented run with the property.  It is kind of pushing it right up to the limit.  If the Planning Commission permits this, how is it enforced?  Mr. Baker stated the conditions would be recorded at the Register of Deeds’ Office so it goes with the property forever.  Ms. Brown asked if they were to recommend RA-4, would the petitioner have to accept that.  Mr. Baker suggested they act on the petition as it is presented.  Then if it is voted down, they could make another motion to adopt something at a lower density. 

 

               Motion by Senesac, seconded by Hanna, to recommend to City Council the approval of Zoning Petition No. 575 to conditionally rezone property at 405 Joseph Drive, Clayhill Court and Fieldstone Court from Residential A-3 zoning to Residential B zoning with the two conditions as presented.

 

               Mr. Senesac stated that he plans to vote against the motion as it stands.  If this motion does not pass, he plans to offer an alternate recommendation.

 

               Vote:

 

               YEAS:                Hanna

               NAYS:                Brown, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

               ABSENT:           Pnacek and Tanzini

      VACANCY:        One

 

      Motion was denied 1-5. 

 

               Motion by Senesac, seconded by Young, to recommend to City Council the approval to rezone this property to RA-4. 

 

               Vote:

 

               YEAS:                Brown, Hanna, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

               NAYS:                None

               ABSENT:           Pnacek and Tanzini

      VACANCY:        One

 

      Motion was approved 6-0.

 

               This will go to the July 18, 2011 City Council meeting to set a public hearing.

 

      b.      Tentative and Final Preliminary Plat of Pinehaven Estates, a residential subdivision of 14 lots on 12.4 acres east of Foster Road and north of East Wheeler Street.

 

               The property is north of Wheeler, on the east side of Foster Road.  Properties to the north, south and west are all zoned Residential A-1.  The property to the east is zoned RB, but is developed as RA-1.

 

               This is a proposed subdivision of 14 lots.  The public hearing was held two weeks ago on June 14th.  There have been no public communications received since the last meeting.  The staff memorandum states that the regulated wetlands would be protected by a conservation easement.  They would be delineated on the final plat.  The easements are actually deeded to the MDEQ in perpetuity.  These would be conservation easements.  There was a question about storm water detention.  This would be on the north west corner of the site.  It would have a limited depth and usually dry with a gradual slope; this would also be placed in a deed restriction for the maintenance of that area. 

 

               The petitioners have requested approval of both the tentative and the final preliminary plat at the same time.  They have provided the additional detail to have these two actions occur concurrently.  Water, sewer and storm sewer will come off Foster Road.  There is the capacity to handle the additional 14 units. 

 

               There were no comments either in favor of or in opposition to this petition.

 

               Rich Fosgitt, 5004 Bristlecone Drive, Midland, noted that lot 6 is a 2.14 acre lot and lot 7 is a 3.73 acre lot.

 

               Motion by Mead, seconded by Hanna, to recommend approval to City Council of the Tentative Preliminary Plat of Pinehaven Estates.

              

               Vote:

               YEAS:  Brown, Hanna, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

               NAYS:  None

               ABSENT:  Pnacek and Tanzini

               Vacancy:  One

 

               Motion was approved 6-0.

 

               Motion by Mead and seconded by Hanna to recommend approval to City Council of the Final Plat of Pinehaven Estates.

 

               Vote:

               YEAS:  Brown, Hanna, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

               NAYS:  None

               ABSENT:  Pnacek and Tanzini

               Vacancy:  One

               Motion was approved 6-0. 

 

      c.      Site Plan No. 302 from Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Airgas Great Lakes, for site plan review and approval for a new 12,936 square foot facility located at 2300 South Saginaw Road.

 

               Mr. Baker showed an aerial photograph of the subject property.  It abuts James Savage on the north, S. Saginaw Road to the east, and Discovery Way to the south.  Business 10 runs to the north.  The City’s water treatment plant is to the south and east and there is additional industrial development to the due east.

 

               Zoning classifications in the area show it is surrounded by Industrial zoned property.  This is a 12,936 sq. ft. new facility on approximately 2.6 acres.  There have been no public comments since the last meeting.  It is a permitted use in the district.  Staff has addressed photometrics (lighting), means of ingress and egress, the shared driveway approach to Discovery Way,   The list of contingencies are the standard ones. They are all met.  The flow and access of the water system have all been met.  Staff’s recommendation is for approval of this site plan.  Mrs. Hanna reminded Mr. Baker about the stipulation for the bike racks.

 

               Wesley Kohn, Three Rivers, stated they do indeed have bike racks next to the handicap parking. 

 

               There were no new public comments either in favor of or in opposition to the petition.

 

               Motion by Senesac, seconded by Mead, to recommend to City Council the approval of Site Plan No. 302 from Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Airgas Great Lakes, for site plan review and approval for a new 12,936 square foot facility located at 2300 South Saginaw Road contingent on the following:

 

               Contingency items:

 

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 specifications.

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.

 

         Mr. Senesac stated he thinks they have met all the criteria.

 

 

Vote:

 

         YEAS:                      Brown, Hanna, Mead, Senesac, Stewart and Young

         NAYS:                      None

         ABSENT:                 Pnacek and Tanzini

         VACANCY:              One

 

         Motion was approved 6-0.  This will go to the July 18, 2011 City Council meeting.

 

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

 

      None

 

6.   New Business

 

a.     The Nominating Committee met and places the name of Dr. Mead for Chairperson

        and Mr. Pnacek for Vice Chairperson on the table.

 

        Motion by Young, seconded by Stewart to accept the Nominating Committee’s slate of

        officers.  There were no additional nominations from the floor.  Motion passed 6-0.

 

b.     LED lights – Mrs. Hanna stated there are flashing LED lighted signs around town that

        are very distracting.  She would like to propose that the city have a moratorium on the

        installation of any more of those until it is further reviewed by staff and

        recommendations made to the Planning Commission.  Mr. Baker stated that the Zoning

        Ordinance currently has some sections that address this issue.  He would like to have a

        work session to see what we would like to accomplish with that.  It would be

        handled like any other issue that is initiated by the Planning Commission.  Mr. Mead

        stated he thinks this would be a good topic for the Commission’s annual training

        session.  Mr. Senesac stated that he has had concerns about these types of signs.  He

        does not know if there are any statistics about if there have been any accidents caused

        by these signs or not.  Mrs. Hanna stated she has heard of three areas of the state that

        have stopped these signs already because they are concerned about these kinds of

        signs.  Mr. Baker stated there are another couple issues that are related to signs as

        well so these issues could be incorporated into some proposed language for a text

        amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.

 

         Mr. Baker stated that staff could be ready to have a work session at 6:00 p.m. prior to the Planning Commission meeting on July 26th.  This seemed to be acceptable to those present.

     

7.   Communications

 

      They received the May edition of the Planning and Zoning News. 

 

 

 

8.   Report of the Chairperson

 

      None

 

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

     Mr. Baker reported that Lowell McLaughlin has been appointed by the City Council as a new Planning Commissioner.  At the next meeting there will be one decision from tonight’s meeting and three new items.

 

Mr. Senesac thanked Ms. Brown for her service as Chairperson for the Planning

Commission and her leadership.

 

10. Adjourn               

 

     Adjournment at 8:20 p.m. was unanimously approved.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Keith Baker, AICP, CFM

Director of Planning & Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION