MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY,

FEBRUARY 26, 2013, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

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

ABSENT:      Stewart, Young

OTHERS PRESENT:   Brad Kaye, Director of Planning and Community Development, Jeff Burdick, Community Development Planner and twenty-nine (29) others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

Moved by Hanna and seconded by Heying to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of February 12, 2013.  Motion passed unanimously.

3.   Public Hearings

     

a.    Zoning Petition No. 584 – initiated by Prodo, Inc. to rezone property at 400/410 North Saginaw Road from Residential A-1 zoning to Residential B zoning.

 

      Brad Kaye stated that the two properties proposed to be rezoned from RA-1 to RB total 1.27 acres. He noted that the existing land use surrounding the subject property is predominately single-family residential and the surrounding zoning is predominately RA-1.  He explained that the site’s two parcels were recently changed from low density residential to medium density residential through the Midland Master Plan update of January 2013.  Medium density residential would permit a development density of 6-10 dwelling units per acre.

 

Kaye went through the ten zoning map amendment review considerations in relation to this proposal and noted that it is not a requirement that each of these ten points of criteria be met by the proposal in order for the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the rezoning request. 

 

1.)  Is the proposed amendment consistent with City’s master plan? 

Planning staff response: This rezoning request partially meets this criterion.  Medium density development such as duplexes would be consistent, but higher density development permitted within the RB zoning district would not be consistent with the Master Plan.

 


 

2.)  Will the proposed amendment be in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance?

Planning staff response: The intended duplex uses proposed by the applicant would be reasonable for this site but multiple family residential uses permitted by the RB zoning would not be reasonable. 

 

3.)  Have conditions changed since the Zoning Ordinance was adopted that justifies the amendment?

Planning staff response: Yes.  The recent update of the Master Plan changed the designation of the property from Low Density Residential to Medium Density Residential.  In addition, a traffic light will be installed at this intersection in the near future.

 

4.)  Will the amendment merely grant special privileges? 

Planning staff response: No.

 

5.)  Will the amendment result in unlawful, exclusionary zoning? 

Planning staff response: No.

 

6.)  Will the amendment set an inappropriate precedent? 

Planning staff response: Possibly.  There currently is no other RB zoning in the area. 

 

7.)  Is the proposed rezoning consistent with surrounding zoning? 

Planning staff response: No.  The predominant zoning of the surrounding area is RA-1. 

 

8.)  Is the proposed zoning consistent with future land use designation of the surrounding land in the City Master Plan? 

Planning staff response: No.  The predominant future land use designation of the surrounding area is low density residential. 

 

9.)  Could all requirements in the proposed zoning classification be complied with on the subject parcel?

Planning staff response:  Yes. 

 

10.) Is the proposed zoning consistent with the trends in land development in general vicinity of the property in question? 

 Planning staff response:  No.  The surrounding development is predominantly single-family residential. 

 

Kaye stated that the property has been zoned for single-family since 1954.  The first petition to rezone the property was in 1977 and was denied.  Subsequent rezoning attempts were either denied or withdrawn.  In 1981, the validity of RA-1 zoning on this site was challenged in court and the Circuit Court upheld the validity of RA-1 zoning on this site.  In 1993, a house located at 400 N. Saginaw Street was moved from the site and the site has been vacant since that time.  Kaye displayed a map showing addresses of individuals who signed a petition in opposition of this rezoning request and noted that several of these individuals are in attendance at this public hearing.   

 

Commissioner Senesac stated that he doesn’t believe this site will ever be built as RA-1.  He inquired as to why RB is being requested by the applicant and not RA-4.  Kaye replied that RA-4 zoning would allow only one duplex on each lot, but RB zoning would allow more than one duplex or building on each lot.  The applicant’s intent is to construct a number of duplex units, thus the request for RB zoning.  Commissioner McLaughlin asked what the maximum density would be if this property would be rezoned to RB.  Kaye replied that RB zoning would probably allow 6-8 dwelling units per acre, but noted that there is an easement near the center of the site for an underground storm sewer pipe, which needs to be considered by the applicant.  Commissioner Hanna stated that multiple dwelling units would create multiple driveway access points onto Saginaw Road, which would not be desirable.  Kaye replied that City staff would require a single-access point onto Saginaw Road and that each driveway would connect to this access point.

 

Matt Rapanos, representing the applicant Prodo, Inc., provided a brief overview of the proposed project.  He stated that the current proposal would be to construct four duplexes on the site that would share one driveway access point onto Saginaw Road.  He stated that he has marketed this site as single-family for over 20 years and has never received an offer.  He noted that he would consider rezoning the site contingent on an approved site plan. 

 

No one spoke in favor of the petition and several individuals spoke in opposition of the petition. 

 

Mark Sands – Mr. Sands stated that he is in opposition to this rezoning request.  He noted that in 2004, a request was made to rezone this property to RA-4 and that five units were proposed.  He asked how this could be possible, considering this would be restricted under the current RA-4 zoning.  Chairman Mead replied that the Zoning Ordinance has changed since 2004. 

 

Michelle Vouaux – She stated that the best option for this property is for it to be donated to the City as open space.  She felt that four duplexes at this site would create traffic issues and that the proposed traffic light at Saginaw and St. Andrews would not alleviate these traffic issues.   

 

Megan Marino – She stated that she is a walker and is visually impaired.  This proposal would create too much traffic and she is worried that it could also increase traffic on Sandy Ridge Court. 

 

Beth Ewerth – She asked the Planning Commission if there is a guarantee that there would be only one driveway off of Saginaw if this request was granted.  Mead replied that this would not be guaranteed. 

 

Matthew Berchert - He noted that Hillcrest Drive is already used as a cut-through for Saginaw Road traffic.  He is not interested in more vehicles using Hillcrest Drive as a cut-through.

 

Debbie Sands – She stated that she feels it is a certainty that the house behind the proposed development on Sandy Ridge Court would be torn down as it would no longer be marketable if this request is granted. She felt that this house would be removed to accommodate an access point onto Sand Ridge Court for the duplexes. 

 

Tom Myers – He expressed concern with the surrounding property values as a result of this property being rezoned to allow higher density residential development.  

 

Steve Hales – He asked about the ramifications of the recent change in the Master Plan, designating this site as medium density residential from low density residential.  Kaye replied that the allowable density on the site increased from one to six dwelling units per acre to six to ten dwelling units per acre as a result of this change.  Hales inquired as to the reason for this change.  Mead stated that the Master Plan change is not up for discussion this evening. 

 

Debbie Sands – She noted that an exit onto Saginaw Road would be undesirable for the buyer of this property.  She expressed concern with a driveway access to St. Andrews Road. 

 

Bill Johnson – He stated that a similar rezoning occurred adjacent to his property on Ashman Avenue and that the new rental properties that were constructed have not produced more traffic.   

 

Michelle Vouaux – She stated that citizens are upset that they were not notified of the density change request within the recent Master Plan amendment.  Kaye replied that the Master Plan for the City of Midland provides a future vision for development within the City and is written with a 20-year timeframe in mind.  The update of the Master Plan took 14 months.  This future land use of this site was changed through the Master Plan update because this property has sat vacant for decades.  It was determined that residential development of a slighter higher density would be the highest and best use for this site.  Kaye noted that during the 14 month long process, the Planning Commission discussed the updates at most of their regular meetings.  Public open houses, a public hearing before the Planning Commission and a public hearing before the City Council were held on the Master Plan update.  The City received very little public input during these public meetings.  He also noted that it would not have been feasible to send notices to every property owner impacted by the Master Plan, as notices would have needed to be sent to every property owner within the city.

 

Connie Couchy - She stated that surrounding property values would be negatively affected by this proposal.  She feels that this site would best serve as a park or open green space. 

 

Kaye explained that the property at 317 Sandy Ridge Court is not part of this proposal and would not be permitted as an access location for this proposal, as it is zoned RA-1.   

 

Rapanos briefly stated that both RA-1 and RA-4 zoning would allow more driveway access onto Saginaw Road than his proposed development under RB zoning. 

 

      The public hearing was closed.

 

4.   Old Business

 

a.    Conditional Use Permit No. 45 – initiated by NJR Properties to permit a second one-family dwelling on a lot located at 307 Sam Street in a Residential Business zoning district.  (See packet from February 12, 2013.)

 

Brad Kaye stated that he has no further comments or new information pertaining to this case.    

 

Commissioner Heying stated that he visited this site and noted that it is very unique.  Commissioner Senesac expressed a concern over the shared driveway situation that would emerge from this conditional use request.  Kaye stated that the residents would have to resolve this issue among themselves and noted that the property is such that vehicles can maneuver around one another if needed.  Commissioner McLaughlin asked if parking is restricted within the required front yard. Kaye replied that one of the two required parking spaces for single-family residential can be located within the required front yard.     

     

Motion by Senesac and seconded by Hanna to recommend to City Council the approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 45 initiated by NJR Properties to permit a second one-family dwelling on a lot located at 307 Sam Street in a Residential Business zoning district with the following contingencies.

 

1.    One (1) additional single family dwelling, for a total of two single family dwellings, shall be permitted on the property.

2.    Not more than one (1) driveway shall be permitted to Sam Street and shall be constructed to meet city standards.

     

      Vote:

 

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

            NAYS:            None

            ABSENT:      Stewart and Young

 

            Motion passed 7-0.

 

b.    Site Plan No. 314 – initiated by MLR Engineering on behalf of Niche Properties for site plan review and approval for an expansion at the Twilight Motel, located at 4659 South Saginaw Road.  (postponed)

 

c.    Trotter’s Pointe Subdivision – Review changes to the preliminary plat. 

 

Brad Kaye stated that the developer is coming back for final plat approval.  He explained that during the development of the final plat, it was determined that it would deviate slightly from the approved final preliminary plat. These revisions include the size of the cul-de-sac and the location of the storm water basin. The developer is now proposing the storm water detention area be relocated so to create the elimination of one of the original 20 lots within the subdivision.  The Planning Commission is being asked to determine if the proposed final plat substantially conforms to the approved final preliminary plat. 

 

Commissioner Hanna asked if the new detention area would be deeper.  Kaye replied that the detention area would be a flat basin with slight side slopes and is designed to meet accepted engineering practices.  Hanna replied that safety fencing might need to be installed around the basin.  Commissioner Pnacek stated that he lives adjacent to a similar storm water detention area and that there is never standing water in the area.  Kaye stated that these detention areas are not designed to hold water and that trash often collects within fenced areas.  Pnacek noted that there are guidelines as to when fencing for storm water detention areas is required and that this area does not require fencing.  

 

Rich Fosgitt, the engineer for the project, stated that all 19 of these lots will be developed by Mayberry Homes.  They do not have an issue with losing one lot in exchange for larger lot sizes fronting the cul-de-sac.  Fosgitt noted that the storm water basin is designed to have a very flat grassy slope that will need to be mowed.  It is intended to be very easy to walk on, even when wet.  Commissioner McLaughlin asked if the detention area behind lots 17, 18 and 19 is slightly larger than shown in the preliminary plat.  Fosgitt replied that it is slightly larger.   

 

Motion by McLaughlin and seconded by Pnacek to recommend to City Council that the Trotter’s Pointe final plat is substantially compliant with the approved final preliminary plat. 

 

            Vote:

 

            YEAS:            Hanna, Heying, McLaughlin, Mead, Pnacek, Senesac, Tanzini   

            NAYS:            None

            ABSENT:      Stewart, Young

 

            Motion passed 7-0.

 


 

5.   Public Comments

     

      None

 

6.   New Business

      

      None

 

7.   Communications

 

Brad Kaye informed the Planning Commission that the text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance were not presented to City Council during their February 25, 2013 meeting as they are being reviewed by the City Attorney.  Mr. Kaye stated that the City Council is expected to see these amendments at their March 11, 2013 regular meeting.

     

8.   Report of the Chairperson

     

      None

 

9.   Report of the Planning Director

     

None

 

10. Items for Next Agenda – March 12, 2013

 

a.    Zoning Petition No. 584 – by Prodo, Inc. to zone property at 400/410 North Saginaw Road from Residential A-1 to Residential B – public hearing

b.    Site Plan No. 314 – action

Commissioner Pnacek asked if the changes to the Twilight Hotel site plan (Site Plan No. 314) had been submitted.  Brad Kaye replied that the changes were submitted late last week and that staff is starting its review.  

 

11. Adjourn 

    

Motion by Senesac, seconded by Hanna to adjourn at 8:11 pm.                  . 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

C. Bradley Kaye, AICP

Director of Planning and Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION