MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:      Stewart

OTHERS PRESENT:   Brad Kaye, Director of Planning and Community Development, Cheri King, Community Development Specialist, and 38 others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna , seconded by Heying , to approve the minutes of the regular meeting and the special meeting of August 28, 2012.  Motion passed unanimously. 

3.   Public Hearings

     

      a.   Conditional Use Permit No. 42 – the request of North-Point Building and Remodeling, Inc. for a 14 unit residential town house development, located at 2711, 2721, 2801, 2811 West Wackerly Street.

 

            Mr. Kaye presented the petition.  The applicant is Midland Rental Properties, LLC.           The property is located at 2721, 2801, and 2811 W. Wackerly Street on 1.69 acres.  It is zoned Office Service.  Multiple-family residential is permitted but only as a conditional use in the Office Service District.  The petitioner has proposed to build 14 three-bedroom units.  The footprint of each unit is to be 1,027 sq. ft.

 

            The site plan, as proposed, shows four units on the east, four units on the west and six units to the south.  There is a small bank of parking spaces in the central portion of the site.  A single driveway out onto West Wackerly Street is proposed, which is directly across from the driveway across the street. Schade West Condominiums are immediately behind this property.  The area in general is zoned for Office Service use.  The Schade West Condominiums are zoned for residential use. 

 

 

 

            The conditional use includes site plan approval and the subjective standards as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance.  Site Plan facts include two story development.  It meets all the required yard setbacks.  There is a 25 foot setback required for the rear yard of these properties.  There is adequate parking on the site.        There is a single drive access to West Wackerly Street.  The landscaping requirements are met.  The parcel is fully wooded at the current time.  None of this will be preserved.  The site plan meets emergency access, drainage, public services and lighting requirements.  There are existing sidewalks on West Wackerly and a limited internal sidewalk system.  There is an existing brick fence along the rear property line.

 

            Discretionary standards for Conditional Land Use approval include compatibility with surrounding land uses and detrimental effects, impact of traffic, adequacy of public services, protection of site characteristics, compatibility with the natural environment, lack of on-site amenity area, non-preservation of natural features, among others.  Tonight is the public hearing before the Planning Commission. 

 

            Staff recommendation is that the application does not fully satisfy all required criteria in its current form.  Several public comments and one petition have been received to date. 

 

            Mrs. Hanna asked about the detention ponds.  Mr. Kaye stated a detention area can locate in the required setback.  The Engineering Department, at this time, is satisfied with the plan, as presented.  All sides, at this point, are at the minimum setback, but they do comply with the requirements of the ordinance.

 

            Mark Sirrine, North Point Building & Remodeling, was hired by the potential purchaser of this property, to get this property ready for the 14 unit townhouse property.  They want to be compatible with the neighbors.  At this point, they have revised the site plan, eliminating the circle part of the driveway.  They also moved the six units forward ten feet, to create a rear yard setback of 35 feet.  They want to have a green area in the front and trees along the back as a buffer.  They are trying to keep in mind that this is a single family area behind this development, but there is a need for this type of rentals in town.  This is not low-income housing.  They are regular townhouse apartments.  He does not believe it will be a detriment to the people behind the development.  There is no way that he could see, that property values would go down.  The owner of the property will ensure the tenants abide by the rules and laws of the city.  If this project does not go through, the property owner will look at putting in some office space here, but he does not want to do that.

 

            Mr. Sirrine stated they are going to leave trees wherever they can leave trees.  There are some nice maple trees and oak trees in there, which will be preserved if possible.  If they have to tweak the plan so they can leave some of the trees, they will do it.  There are trees behind many of the condominiums that are fairly mature.  It is the petitioner’s intent to add trees for a buffer for additional privacy.  He wants to add green space in the front to make it look more like a little park.  There is going to be some landscaping between the units also.  They want to get it so there is more green in the front of the units.  Mr. Sirrine thinks there will be a lot of professionals, or families just starting out, who will be living in these units.  Once they start construction, they are going to build it out all in one phase.  These units will have two car garages and space for two cars to park in the driveway.  Each unit will have room for four cars to park. 

 

            Wayne Crosby, 2313 Oakfield Drive, is part-owner of the land to be used for the apartment buildings.  He is also one of the people who developed Schade West Condominiums.  This property has been sitting there for a long period of time.  The proposed project is compatible with the area and the traffic can be handled by Wackerly Street.  That road was meant to handle larger amounts of traffic.  The land, the trees and the density there has been that way for a number of years.  If they can maintain some of the trees, that would be positive.  If Office Service goes in there, they could just strip it all down and build offices there.  There is not a sidewalk in any of the condominium projects in Midland.  None of them have any sidewalks whatsoever.  Like the city said, the property is zoned for this use, by conditional use permit.  If the city has problems with certain aspects of this whole project, they should change those portions of the plan.  Give somebody the right to develop their property, to spend their money.  This will add to the tax rolls.  If he thought this was detrimental to the area, he would not sell them the property.  If it is up to what the neighbors want, tell us what you want. 

 

            Diane Pendleton is one of the owners of Midland Rental Property.  She lives at 2185 N. Rolling Ridge Drive.  They do own some condominiums in the city.  Because of Schade West behind it, this land is quite appealing to them.  The asphalt and the screening are extremely important. They have begun some revisions.  The rent will be between $1200 and $1500 per month.  They have had plenty of Dow employees come in and rent from them in other rentals they own throughout the city.

 

            Dave Near, 2504 Schade West Drive, is the President of the Schade West Board of Directors.  When they bought at Schade West, they bought into an “adults only” development.  Over 90 percent of them are either retired or about to be retired.  Everyone who bought there asked what that vacant property would be used for.  They are very proud of their association.  When the condos there go on the market they sell very quickly.  They have a total of 22 buildings consisting of 44 units.  They have been there 22-1/2 years.  There are 12 units that they feel would be directly impacted by this development and an additional 32 units that will be indirectly affected by this development.  Everyone that was approached to sign the petition signed it.  The Board unanimously agreed that this is something that they are not in favor of.  It does not matter if they are one or two story units.  The Office Service establishments behind the condos are already in use there.  Their biggest concern is noise and loss of privacy.  The office service uses are gone at night and on weekends.  It is quiet then.  Their other concern is that this is 1.69 acres for 14 units.  That is high density development and there will be children playing.  This is not what they agreed to when they purchased their units. 

 

            Terry Miner, 4918 Belmont Street.  His parents live at 4718 Schade West.  His parents are concerned about this project going in behind them.  This is where they spend their time.  They spend their time looking out their back windows.  They are very concerned about what happens behind them.  Property zoned Office Service has generally been built as office service – not multi-family.  The trees now offered b y the applicant are a great addition in there.  In the first drawing there were no trees.  He would suggest that it be populated with trees as a buffer zone to control the noise.  He disagrees with Wayne Crosby who stated this development would not lower property values.  When condo owners purchased the property, they purchased it with the idea that this property would be developed as Office Service. 

 

            Bud Carpenter, 2801 Schade West, stated that, when the Planning Commission zoned West Wackerly Street as Office Service, they did a good thing.  There is a need for Office Service in this area and this is acceptable to these residents.  He thinks this should be turned down for privacy issues, property values and the noise.

 

            Richard Goodman, 2718 Schade West, stated they purchased the property as a retirement location.  About half of the land between Schade West and West Wackerly would be Office Service.  They drove down the street and saw other rentals.  If they thought that was going to go in there, they would never have purchased that property. 

 

            Mike Jackson, 6128 Londonberrie Court, stated his lot is at the end of Londonberrie Court.  His property backs up to the Schade West condominium unit.  You say that it will be developed for families.  How long will it remain for families?  They become homes for college students and then you have noise and parties.  It does not matter how many trees you put in there, you still have the noise from the parties.  He would not let his children play in the proposed park area out by the busy street.  It is not safe.  Like someone else said, office service is there only during the day.  During the evening and on weekends it is quiet.  How long will it stay family before it becomes college students?  Our police are busy and noise disturbances go to the bottom of the list.  It would not offend him if there were a two or three story office building there, so long as it is quiet on nights and weekends.  You will have 14 units squeezed into a small lot there.  There is nowhere for the children to play.  How much green space can you add to that small area? 

 

            Sylvia Patchen, 2716 Schade West Drive, is concerned about the entrance to this development.  There is only one entrance to empty all those people onto Wackerly.  There is a back-up of traffic in the morning trying to get onto US-10.

 

            Shirley Sanburn, 2803 Schade West, asked if there is going to be any restriction whether they could leave their cars out overnight?  She thinks it will be overcrowded looking.  Families are not going to live there.

 

            The public hearing was closed.

 

      b.   Zoning Petition No. 581 – initiated by the Planning Department, to zone property at 1334 Stark Road from Township zoning to Residential A-1 zoning.

 

            The applicant is the City of Midland.  It is annexed property located at 1334 Stark Road on 0.36 acres.  The existing zoning is Community Service Commercial in the Township.  The proposed zoning is Residential RA-1, which will recognize the single-family home that currently exists on the property.  The zoning has some industrial zones and some Residential A-3 zoning around it.  There is also some office service to the northwest.  The proposal would place it in the RA-1 district, which would not be contiguous with any other RA-1 zoning.  It is in the midst of an area designated by the Master Plan for commercial purposes.  However, there are some medium and lower density areas that are proposed for the northeast portion as it is annexed. 

 

            No public comments have been received to date.  Staff recommendation is for approval. 

 

            Mrs. Hanna asked about the wishes of the property owner.  Mr. Kaye stated staff notified the owner about the proposed rezoning and about this public hearing, but no response has been received.

 

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

 

            Lawrence Bartos, 2450 N. Eastman Road, stated that the two year limitation shocks him.  If you rezone a piece of property in Larkin Township and make it commercial, he cannot get a building permit and he cannot add on to his property in the township.  He is in favor of the residential zoning for this property.

 

            The public hearing was closed.

 

Mr. Heying proposed that the Commission take action tonight as there is no opposition to this petition.

 

 

 

            Motion by Heying, seconded by Hanna, to waive the second meeting requirement.  Motion passed 7-1 (Senesac voted “no”.)

 

            Motion by Heying, seconded by McLaughlin, to approve Zoning Petition No. 581 and send it to City Council.  Motion passed unanimously.                  

 

      c.   Zoning Petition No. 582 – initiated by the Planning Department, to zone property at 9203 Eastman Avenue from Township zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

            Mr. Kaye indicated the applicant is the City of Midland.  The location is 9203 Eastman Avenue.  The parcel is approximately 57 acres.  The subject parcel is at the corner of Eastman Road and Monroe Road.  Most of the surrounding property is in the township.  It is contiguous with the City Forest.  Residential B zoning is recommended by staff as it contains a single family residence on the parcel.  The future plans for the majority of this property is low-density residential.  There had been earlier discussions between the property owner and city staff that the parcel frontage on Eastman Road be zoned commercial.  The property owner is represented this evening and the front 250 feet back to the west will not be dealt with tonight. 

 

            One public comment from a property owner and one public comment have been received to date.  Staff recommendation is for approval. 

 

            There were no public comments in favor of the petition.

 

            Lawrence Bartos lives right across from the Eagle’s in the commercial property.  He is shocked about the recommendation of RB.  RB is Residential B zoning and permits multi-family development.

 

            Sheila Messler, Bennett Development, stated that the property owner initiated the annexation to the city of that parcel.  It is contiguous with the city.  This property is next to the city forest.  It makes sense that it is developed residential.  The only reason it is appropriate for residential is because of City Forest.  They do not foresee that parcel being a high commercial use.  This was the first step.  They are fine with the RB zoning.  She would just like a little time before we zone the 250 feet along Eastman Road.

 

            The public hearing was closed.   

 

      d.   Zoning Petition No. 583 – initiated by the Planning Department, to zone property at 7730 West Wackerly Street from Township zoning to Industrial A zoning.

 

            The applicant for this petition is the City of Midland, for a recently annexed property.  It is 14.75 acres in size.  The existing township zoning is M-1, Light Industrial.  The proposed zoning is Industrial A, which is Light Industrial in city zoning.  Around it are business-type zoning districts to the highway.  There is city Industrial A zoning next to it and this application will expand the same zoning onto the subject parcel.  The Master Plan shows this area as being planned for Industrial purposes. 

 

One public comment was received to date.  Staff recommendation is for approval.

 

            Terry LeVictor, 7617 West Wackerly, stated he lives right across from where ABC is.  He has been in that house for 13 years.  When he purchased it, it was residential.  Then it went to commercial and now it is being considered for industrial zoning.  He is looking at the cost to sell his property. 

 

            Margaret Tevlo, 7617 West Wackerly Road, stated her house is right across from their driveway.  They received a letter from the city stating that they had been annexed into the city.  The thought of having something zoned Industrial behind them would contribute to additional noise for them.  Mr. Mead stated that they are proposing the same zoning classification that it is in the township.

 

            Floyd Kilbreath, Coleman, asked where the property was located.  Mr. Kaye stated the south side of the property is still in Homer Township.  Mr. Kilbreath stated he owns some of that property on the south side of Wackerly.  Mr. Kaye told him there is no change being proposed for the properties that he owns.  His properties are still located in Homer Township.

     

            The public hearing was closed.

 

5.   Old Business

 

      Master Plan – Chapter 4 – Local Economy and Market Strategies

 

Mrs. Hanna asked about page 4.1.1, Education.  She is concerned about some of the wording in the proposed section.  It is significant that, when you talk about the health area, that the hospital is now associated with the University of Michigan.  She feels that is significant.

     

      Mr. Senesac stated he thinks the hospital should be added to the first paragraph.

 

6.   New Business

 

      Building permits have now been issued for Olive Garden.  There will be a sign

      variance in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals next week.

 

Mr. Senesac referred to his “no” vote for dealing with the zoning petition earlier

tonight.  Why are we moving to only one meeting just because “everyone else” does

it that way.  “Everyone else” should move to our procedure of having two meetings. 

We need to change our by-laws if we are going to start changing our procedures.

Mrs. Hanna agreed.  Mr. Mead stated perhaps we need more discussion on this

matter before we get it resolved. 

 

A special meeting will be held in a few weeks for the purposes of continued discussion of Planning Commission procedures.

 

7.   Communications

 

      None

 

8.   Report of the Chairperson

 

      None

     

9.  Report of the Planning Director

 

None

 

10. Items for Next Agenda – September 25, 2012

 

a.    Zoning Text Amendment No. 156 – DNO Sign Standards – Public Hearing

b.    Conditional Use Permit No. 42 – Midland Rental Properties 14 Unit Townhouse Proposal at Schade Drive and W. Wackerly Street (action)

c.    Zoning Petition No. 582 – Proposed RB Zoning of Annexed Property at 9203 Eastman Avenue (action)

d.    Zoning Petition No. 583 – Proposed IA Zoning of Annexed Property at 7730 W. Wackerly Street (action)

 

11. Adjourn             

 

      Adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

C. Bradley Kaye, AICP

Director of Planning and Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION