MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MIDLAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON

TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2014, 7:00 P.M.,

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   Roll Call

PRESENT:     Hanna, McLaughlin, Mead, Pnacek, Senesac, Stewart, Tanzini and Young (arrived at 7:20)

ABSENT:       Heying

OTHERS PRESENT:      Brad Kaye, Director of Planning and Community Development; Grant Murschel, Community Development Planner and eleven (11) others.

 

2.   Approval of Minutes

 

Moved by Hanna and seconded by Stewart to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of April 22, 2014.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

3.   Public Hearing

 

a.    Site Plan No. 330 – the request of MLR Engineering on behalf of Niche Properties for site plan review and approval for Twilight Self Storage, located at 4671 South Saginaw Road. 

 

Murschel presented the site plan application.  He explained the current RC Regional Commercial zoning and the details of the site design.  He explained the three contingencies recommended by staff.

 

Mead wondered about the outstanding lighting fixture details.  Murschel explained that the lights proposed will need to be shielded but that the photometric plan meets the light standards at the property lines. 

 

Kim Hill, of MLR Engineering, presented for the applicant.  She explained that lighting fixtures will be in full compliance and that the wall pack lighting that will be used will not protrude onto the abutting parcels.

 

Joseph Clark, of 4679 South Saginaw Road, explained that he was against the last site plan that was proposed but he has no issues with this one.  In his opinion, this is a much more appropriate use for the site and it will improve the area.

 

Maroo Nahikian, owner of Niche Properties, LLLC, gave his full support for the application.  He is glad a less intensive development solution was able to be found for the site.

 

The public hearing was closed.

 

A motion was made by Senesac to waive the procedural requirements for a second meeting.  The motion was seconded by Hanna.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Mead explained his satisfaction with the proposed use of the site.  Hanna explained that she believes that by reducing the site access by one driveway, the area will be improved.  Senesac commented that it was a good plan for the site.         

 

Motion by Senesac and seconded by Hanna to recommend to City Council the approval of Site Plan No. 330 the request of MLR Engineering on behalf of Niche Properties for Twilight Self Storage, located at 4671 South Saginaw Road contingent on the following.

 

1.    A means of access, suitable to the Fire Department, must be given to allow emergency personnel to access the gated area of the site.

2.    A final soil and sedimentation control plan shall be submitted to the City Building Department.

3.    Lighting fixture details meeting the requirements of the City Zoning Ordinance must be submitted to the City Building Department.

 

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

            NAYS:             None

            ABSENT:        Heying and Young

 

b.   Site Plan No. 332 – the request of Three Rivers Corporation on behalf of MidMichigan Health for site plan review and approval for a 69,000 square foot medical education building, located at 4611 Campus Ridge Drive. 

 

      Kaye presented the proposal including the current zoning of the site, COM Community.  The development is located within the MidMichigan Health hospital campus.  Two vehicle accesses are proposed.  Kaye addressed that the stormwater management plan has been chosen for the development, which is the underground option.  This is an issue that was resolved after the staff report was given to the Commissioners.

 

      Mead wondered about the extents of the stormwater management plan.  Kaye explained that what is proposed adequately meets the city’s stormwater management ordinance.

 

      Kristin Riddle, of Three Rivers Corporation, presented on behalf of the proposal.  She confirmed that the stormwater meets the requirements of the city.  She further explained the aspects of the plan including the unique elevations and connection to the existing walking trails. 

 

      Hanna wondered about fire access.  Riddle explained that the Fire Department has given its approval for adequate access to the entire building.   

 

      Commissioner Young joined the meeting.

 

      Mike Erickson, of MidMichigan Health, explained the changes to the residency program which is what needs the additional space on campus.  He further explained that retaining the walk path and as many trees as possible was an upmost priority of the project.

 

      Mead wondered about a potential dental clinic near this development.  Erickson explained that conversations have taken place but nothing has been finalized. 

 

There were no public comments in support or opposition of the application.

 

The public hearing was closed.

 

A motion was made by Hanna to waive the procedural requirements for a second meeting.  The motion was seconded by Senesac.  Motion passed unanimously. 

 

            Senesac explained that the site plan has adequately meet the criteria. 

 

Motion by McLaughlin and seconded by Mead to recommend to City Council the approval of Site Plan No. 332 the request of Three Rivers Corporation on behalf of MidMichigan Health for site plan review and approval for a 69,000 square foot medical education building, located at 4611 Campus Ridge Drive contingent on the following:

 

1.    A final stormwater management plan shall be submitted for the review and approval of the City Engineering Department and a storm water management permit shall be obtained prior to construction.

2.    A final soil and sedimentation control plan shall be submitted for the review and approval of the City Building Department.

3.    All required utility easements shall be submitted to the City Water Department.

 

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

            NAYS:             None

            ABSENT:        Heying

4.   Old Business

     

      a.   Site Plan No. 329 – the request of Velmeir Companies for site plan review and approval for a 13,600 square foot retail pharmacy, located at 1015 South Saginaw Road. 

 

Kaye presented the application including the current zoning and the details of the multi-parcel development.  He addressed the two concerns addressed by the Commission during the public hearing.  Kaye explained that the written recommendation of the traffic consultant was included in the staff packet.  Staff has acted in response to the traffic consultant by including as a requirement of approval that an agreement be entered into by the applicant agreeing to driveway modifications if deemed necessary in the future.

 

Kaye further explained the details of the proposed parking.  The applicant asked that the Walgreens located at Saginaw Road and Eastman Road be reviewed.  Staff determined that this was developed under a previous ordinance which required one space per 200 sq ft.  From a staff perspective, the Walgreens does not seem to have an over abundance of parking.  Kaye further explained the other option of classifying this development as a convenience store use which would allow for more parking that the retail standard.  Staff is not recommending the reclassification of the use.  Kaye finished by explaining that the most realistic option would be to recognize that other pharmacies in similar nature throughout the city, including the Walgreens at Saginaw and Eastman, have equivalent number of spaces.

 

Mead wondered if other site plans have been approved with additional “shared” parking.  Kaye explained that he could not recall from memory any recent plans. 

 

Stewart wanted confirmation that this site plan just shows a conceptual plan for the bank property and that further site plan approval will be required for that site when it develops; Kaye confirmed this.

 

Senesac wondered about the reasoning for the first two parking arguments outlined in the staff report.  He wondered if approving the parking would be effectively saying the ordinance standard is incorrect.  Kaye explained that currently the ordinance groups many retail uses under one broad category and that a provision exists in the current ordinance which allows the Planning Commission to approve parking in excess of 120% of the minimum.  Senesac explained that he thinks the argument for the additional parking is too generic and there is not sufficient detail for him to support such a position.  In his opinion, if another pharmacy were to move in and additional parking would not be granted, a lawsuit could ensue.  Senesac believes that a precedent would be established if the Commission approved all of the proposed parking based on the evidence presented.   

 

McLaughlin explained that while he is not fully convinced that all of the parking is warranted, he understands why the applicant is proposing this amount.  He explained that eventually the additional parking spaces will be absorbed when the remaining property is developed.

 

Hanna explained her opposition to the excess parking. She believes that even though it may be labeled as “shared,” it will likely not be shared in the future. 

 

McLaughlin explained that he is prepared to approve the additional parking because of the multi-use nature of the store and site.  He believes that the Commission should move away from the “shared” concept and view these simply as additional spaces for this development.

 

Mead explained that he believes that the approval of the additional 18 parking spaces would set a precedent that he is not comfortable with. 

 

Young explained his concern with the additional parking as well as the driveway.  He is not comfortable with the suggestion of the traffic consultant regarding the agreement to prohibit left turns at a later date.  He commented that there must be a better way to mitigate the potential issue without having to wait for traffic incidents to occur.  He explained that there is a lot of traffic movement around this site and that what develops here should not create more of an issue.  Regarding parking, he agrees that he is not comfortable with approving the additional 18 spaces of parking.         

 

Senesac explained that he is supportive of the traffic consultant’s recommendation.  Additionally, he voiced his opposition to the additional parking spaces as it doesn’t seem that the development will need them.     

 

Stewart explained that he is in favor of not allowing the additional 18 spaces. 

 

Tanzini explained his support for the proposal including the fact that existing curb cuts would be reduced, green space would be increased and that the additional parking will allow for the “bank property” to be more attractive for development.  Additionally, as this is a national chain, he is comfortable with this applicant asking for the additional parking.   

 

Pnacek explained that he is comfortable with the applicant asking for the additional parking but he would like to see the three spaces removed that border the conceptual drive-thru for the “bank property.”

 

Motion by Mead and seconded by Young to recommend to City Council the approval of Site Plan No. 329 the request of Velmeir Companies for a 13,600 square foot retail pharmacy, located at 1015 South Saginaw Road contingent on the following:

 

1.    A photometric plan meeting the requirements of Section 3.12 of Article 3 of the Zoning Ordinance shall be submitted to the City’s Building Department.

2.    Lighting fixture details shall be submitted in compliance with Section 3.12 of the Zoning Ordinance and approved by the City Electrical Inspector.

3.    Final storm water management plans shall be submitted to and approved by the City Engineering Department.

4.    Final soil and sedimentation control plans shall be submitted to and approved by the City Building Department.

5.    Ground mounted signage shall be installed in compliance with the approved site plan and Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance. 

6.    Wall mounted signage is not approved with this site plan.  All wall mounted signage shall be submitted to the City Building Department for final review and approval and shall comply with Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

7.    The required utility easements shall be provided to and accepted by the City Water Department.

8.    Cross-access easement agreements to the satisfaction of the City of Midland shall be executed between the property owners.

9.    A maximum of 44 parking spaces shall be provided for on-site.  Revised site plans identifying this allowed number of parking spaces shall be provided to and approved by the City Planning Department.

10.  An agreement shall be entered into between the applicant and the City of Midland addressing potential redesign and reconstruction of the most westerly driveway accessing Eastlawn Drive.  Such agreement shall provide that the City of Midland may require the reconstruction of this driveway, at the applicant’s expense, including limiting or eliminating turning movements into or from this driveway, should traffic impacts be determined by the city to be unsafe or otherwise detrimental to traffic movements on Eastlawn Drive.

 

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

            NAYS:             None

            ABSENT:        Heying

 

5.   Public Comments

 

      None

 

6    New Business

 

Mead requested that staff bring the parking ordinance requirements in front of the Commission to be reviewed.

 

Stewart announced that he will be resigning from the Planning Commission, effective at the end of his current term of office, being the end of June.  Young explained that he will also no longer be on the Commission when his term expires at the end of June.  Chairman Pnacek commended both Stewart and Young and thanked them for their service.

                                   

7.   Communications

 

      None

 

8.   Report of the Chairperson

     

None

 

9.   Report of the Planning Director

 

      Kaye reported on the ongoing Michigan Municipal League PlacePlan program.  He explained that the study will focus on the farmer’s market, including studying the best options for the future of the market.  The Planning Commission will serve as a focus group for the study. 

 

      Kaye also explained the status on the Redevelopment Ready Communities program.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the group behind the program, will kick-off the program with a presentation to City Council on August 25.  Kaye invited the Commissioners to attend that meeting. 

 

      Stewart wondered about the status of the changes to the city’s website.  Kaye explained that the new website is currently being developed in conjunction with staff being trained.  Kaye further explained that the pages specific to Planning Commission items will be fine-tuned as development continues.  

 

10. Items for Next Agenda – May 27, 2014

 

      a.  Site Plan No. 331 – the request of Pumford Construction on behalf of Midland Ford for site plan review and approval for a 52, 419 square foot car dealership, located at 520 Joe Mann Boulevard.

 

11. Adjourn   

    

Motion by Mead and seconded by Hanna to adjourn at 8:32 pm.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

C. Bradley Kaye, AICP, CFM

Director of Planning and Community Development

 

MINUTES ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION