MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

JULY 24, 2012, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:   Hanna, Heying, McLaughlin, Mead, Senesac, Stewart, Tanzini and Young

ABSENT:      Pnacek

OTHERS PRESENT:   Brad Kaye, Director of Planning and Community Development, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and 15 others.

 

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna, seconded by Stewart, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of July 10, 2012 as corrected.  Motion passed unanimously. 

3.   Public Hearings

     

      a.   Zoning Petition No. 580 – initiated by The Dahlia Hill Society of Midland to rezone property at 2803 Orchard Drive from Residential B zoning to Community zoning.  (A small triangular parcel of land at 1400 West Main Street.)

 

            Mr. Kaye stated the applicant is The Dahlia Hill Society of Midland (Charles Breed).  The property is located at 1400 W. Main Street (2803 Orchard Drive).  It is currently zoned Residential B.  The proposed zoning is Community.  Dahlia Hill is located at the corner of Orchard Drive and Main Street.  The Community zoning is consistent with the gardens that are located in this area.  This parcel is partially zoned Parks. 

 

            There are ten criteria we consider.  Is the proposed amendment consistent with the city’s Master Plan?  Yes, the Master Plan shows Public Parks and Recreation on part of the parcel.  Have conditions changed since the Zoning Ordinance was adopted that justifies the amendment? Yes.  Will the amendment grant special privileges?  No.  Will the amendment result in unlawful exclusionary zoning?  No.  The community zoning is consistent with the public or semi-public use of Dahlia Hill.  Will the amendment set an inappropriate precedent?  No.  Is the proposed zoning consistent with the zoning classification of surrounding land?  Yes, when considered in the context of the broader surrounding area.  There is an extensive amount of Community zoning in this area.  Is the proposed zoning consistent with the future land use designation of the surrounding land?  Yes.  Is the proposed zoning consistent with the trends in land development in the general vicinity of the property in question?  Yes.

 

            No public comments have been received to date.  Staff recommendation is for approval.  Staff recommends that, since a public hearing was held on the rest of the property at the last Planning Commission meeting, that the Planning Commission also make a decision on this portion of the petition tonight.

 

            Public hearing closed.

 

4.   Old Business

 

      a.   Zoning Petition No. 579 – initiated by Schauman Development, LLC to rezone property at 3535 East Ashman Street from Agricultural zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

            Mr. Kaye reviewed the ten criteria that are established by the zoning ordinance for consideration when reviewing a rezoning request.  He advised that the application was in general compliance with the standards and the application was therefore recommended for approval by staff.

 

            The public hearing was held by the Planning Commission on July 10, 2012.  If the Planning Commission makes a recommendation tonight, it will go to City Council to set a public hearing on August 13, 2012 and the public hearing would then be held on September 17, 2012.  Two public comments were received at the public hearing.  A number of emails have since been received and have been provided tonight for consideration.  Mr. Kaye described the two easements located on the property.  The easement is 15 feet wide running along the full length of the western boundary of the property.

 

            The petitioner stated he had no comments at this time.

 

            Chairman Mead stated that the public hearing was held and closed on July 10, 2012 but that people could offer new information on the petition.

 

            Derrell Steffan – 3816 Collingwood, had a question about the drainage.  Will the sewer system for the new development drain into the existing sewer lines?  Mr. Mead stated that this is a rezoning petition, not a site plan review.  Mr. Steffan asked about the property to the east – he thinks they own all the way back to Mark Twain Drive.  The property to the east is currently zoned Residential B.

 

            Randy Oliver, 3304 Fuller Drive, stated he has some concerns about the Master Plan.  The Master Plan says it will protect the quality of neighborhoods.  It shows where they encourage the development in this type of property.  He does not think the rezoning is consistent with the interpretation of the master plan.

            Janice Richter Jones, 3308 Fuller Drive, stated she has sent several e-mails.  She received an e-mail at 5:12 p.m. tonight from Mr. Kaye.  In that e-mail, he stated the Planning Commission is currently looking at the Master Plan but there is no plan to change the High Density Residential designation, yet this application proposed to change to current Agricultural zoning.

 

            Kent Hodges, 3300 Fuller Drive, stated the Master Plan did not take into consideration anything to do with the corner of Ashman and Waldo.  Now he sees lines all the way to the corner where people are trying to get onto Waldo Avenue to get to work.  Just entering Waldo Avenue from Fuller Drive is difficult.  He is asking for a traffic study to be done to see what would be appropriate in this area.  He does not see a lot of data being presented about the traffic in this area.  He is concerned that there hasn’t been some kind of study done for that intersection.  Mr. Schauman has done one development, of 24 units.  They are not completely rented yet.  Any new traffic will be in addition to what is there right now.  We should wait until all the units are rented and see then what the traffic numbers are in this intersection.

 

            Kent Winslow, 3410 Collingwood, is a 20 year resident there.  He thinks that high density up against single family will decrease the value of his home.  When the time comes to address this area with the Master Plan, he would like to be a part of that.

 

            Mark Jones, 3308 Fuller Drive, asked if any studies have been to show that home values would not decline if this development were to proceed.  Mr. Mead stated that this is not our purview at this time.

 

            Bill Johnson, 3545 East Ashman, stated he purchased the land 64 years ago.  The whole piece was 80 acres and was requested as Agricultural, so he could build his business.  He has gradually added to his business until the city has seen that this land is more valuable as residential land.  He is keeping a small piece of land so he can continue his business.  He has to get rid of the property in order to pay his taxes.  He would like his lot to remain Agricultural and rezone the remaining land Residential B.

 

            Motion by Senesac, second by McLaughlin, to recommend to City Council the approval of Zoning Petition No. 579 initiated by Schauman Development, LLC to rezone property at 3535 East Ashman Street from Agricultural zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

            Mr. Senesac stated he does not believe this property, considering how it fronts Ashman, will ever develop as Residential A-1 or A-2.  He questions if there is some other zoning that would make sense in the rear of the property but has not been able to come up with anything.  This is consistent with the Master Plan and he believes this is the best use for the property.  Mr. McLaughlin stated he agreed.  There is nothing of a lesser intensity that is going to develop here.

 

            Mr. Heying stated there are some inconsistencies here.  There are three residential portions before you get to the parks.  You may have something that might work.  He also was unable to come up with another solution that would provide buffers to the adjoining residences.  Mrs. Hanna stated she agrees with what has been said tonight.  There is also single family across the street.  It was explained that they are actually duplexes.  That would be a good fit.  She is concerned about the depth of the property and the number of single family homes that abut that.  She has a problem with the high density abutting the single family homes and is also concerned about the traffic.  She had to get out onto Waldo for twenty years and it got worse every year.  Due to the additions on the far end, there is now more traffic on this road.  She does not see this as high density. 

 

            Mr. Young stated we have talked about RA-1, RA-2 and RB.  There are two zoning classifications in between.  He is not sure how many units could be placed on this property under each zoning classification.  How many units could be placed on this property if it were zoned RA-3 or RA-4?  Perhaps medium density would be a better fit.

 

            Mr. Kaye stated the Zoning Ordinance requires 10,000 sq. ft.  Density would be dictated by parking and infrastructure needs on this property.  Mr. McLaughlin stated that the petitioner stated he would build 35 units which equated to five units per acre and that is far fewer units than what could be built under another zoning classification.  They would consider this to be low or medium density.  The easement runs the entire length of this property.  Mr. Kaye stated that the 15 feet of easement could be a part of a setback. 

 

            Mr. Tanzini stated it was brought up that this is an area of yellow zoning.  There has to be a transition somewhere.  It is unfortunate that these people are on the edge of it.  He is in support of the rezoning.  Mr. Mead stated he has one concern, that being the potential of a traffic problem in this area.  Mr. Mead would like to see a traffic survey done prior to doing anything with that property.  He feels they owe it to the area to see what the traffic patterns are and how they would impact the surrounding area.  Mrs. Hanna stated she agrees with Mr. Mead that a traffic study be done prior to their voting on this issue.  Mr. Kaye explained that a traffic study would typically be requested at the time of site plan review, once a specific use of the property was proposed.  The Engineering Department may also have sufficient information available without requiring a traffic study.

 

            Mr. Schauman asked if there is another zoning district that would accommodate multiple family development and be more appropriate in this area.  Mr. Kaye responded that multiple family uses other than two family dwellings require the RB zoning district. 

 

            Vote:

            YEAS:            McLaughlin, Mead, Senesac, Stewart, Tanzini and Young

            NAYS:            Heying and Hanna

            ABSENT:       Pnacek

 

      b.   Zoning Petition No. 580 – initiated by The Dahlia Hill Society of Midland to rezone property at 2803 Orchard Drive and a triangular piece of property located at 1400 West Main Street from Residential B zoning to Community zoning.

 

            Mr. Kaye reviewed the full application for Zoning Petition No. 580.  The Dahlia Hill Society of Midland and Charles Breed would like to change the property at the corner of Orchard Drive and Main Street from Residential B to Community zoning.  The Master Plan shows a portion of this zoned Public Parks and Recreation.   The criteria are the same as for the prior petition.  All of the criteria are answered and complied with.  We have dealt with two public hearings on this petition.  No public comments were received at either public hearing.  Staff recommendation is for approval.

 

            Motion by Hanna, second by Young, to recommend to City Council the approval of Zoning Petition No. 580 initiated by The Dahlia Hill Society of Midland to rezone property at 2803 Orchard Drive and a triangular piece of property located at 1400 West Main Street from Residential B zoning to Community zoning.

 

            Vote:

            YEAS:            Hanna, Heying, McLaughlin, Mead, Senesac, Stewart, Tanzini and

                                    Young

            NAYS:            None

            ABSENT:       Pnacek

 

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

 

      None

 

6.   New Business

 

      None

 

7.   Communications

 

      None

 

8.   Report of the Chairperson

 

      None                           

     


9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

None

 

10. Items for Next Agenda – August 14, 2012

 

a.  Site Plan No. 314 – Public Hearing – Will not be on the agenda next time as the application was incomplete.

b.  DNO Sign Standards (tentative)

c.  Master Plan Update (tentative)

 

11. Adjourn             

 

      Adjourned at 8:11 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

C. Bradley Kaye, AICP

Director of Planning and Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION