The purpose of this study is to identify improvements and possible land use recommendations for the Novi Road Corridor. Corridor planning is a tool that permits the City to closely examine an area that is in need of a more intense planning focus.
Novi Road, which is a major north-south arterial, links Eight Mile Road to the commercial center of the City, as well as I-96 and beyond. Much attention has been focused in the past on the regional shopping center and Main Street areas; however, the focus of this study is from Main Street south to the City’s southern limits. This corridor presents unique planning challenges and deserves special attention due to the following factors:
Novi Road is planned for widening to five lanes from Ten Mile Road north to Grand River Avenue in the next few years, including a grade-separated crossing over the railroad.
The segment of Novi Road north of Ten Mile is a major entryway into the heart of the City. Drivers exiting I-96 and driving south to residential areas, the Novi Civic Center, the Novi Ice Arena, Powers Park or other destinations pass through this important road segment.
The segment from Ten Mile Road south to the City limits includes a wide range of land uses including commercial, single- and multiple-family residential, industrial and office.
The Novi / Ten Mile and Novi / Nine Mile intersections are important and visible nodes in the community that deserve special attention from a design and land use perspective.
In the City’s continued effort to implement its Master Plan for Land Use, the Novi Road Corridor Study documents the corridor’s existing conditions with regard to the existing land use, infrastructure, and natural features. This study will examine the anticipated impacts of planned road improvements Novi Road in the corridor and offer recommendations for access management techniques and the future arrangement of land uses. In addition, the study will include a corridor enhancement program component, which provides recommendations for improved lighting, enhanced landscaping and special intersection treatments.
Two of the Corridor’s major intersections differ significantly in appearance and traffic volumes. Facing west at the Ten Mile Road intersection (above); facing east at the Nine Mile Road intersection (below)
Land Use and Zoning
The following provides a brief overview of existing land use and zoning of properties in the Novi Road area.
General topics and recommendations from the recently amended Master Plan have also been included to provide a background to the direction that the City would like to see development occur in the corridor.
Historical and archeological sites have also been identified.
Existing Land Use
The current land use make-up of the corridor consists of the following:
Nearly 28% of the land area in the corridor is being used for light and general industrial uses;
Both heavy and light industrial uses such as Michigan CAT, Cummins Michigan and uses along Trans-X Drive have existed along Novi Road for decades;
There are some commercial uses at the 10 Mile Road and Novi Road intersection consisting of more auto-oriented uses such as gas stations and Walgreens with a drive-through window;
Single and multiple family residential uses are more dominant in the south segment, south of Ten Mile Road;
There are some industrial and commercial sites located on the southeast section of the study area near the CSX railroad;
16% of the land area in the corridor is currently vacant;
Residential subdivisions are well established in the south segment of the corridor and are separated from more intense uses by Novi Road;
The major zoning classifications for properties along Novi Road are as follows:
Residential zoning districts in the corridor include single family R-A through R-4 districts.
Both B-1, Local Business and B-2, General Business districts are present along Novi Road south of Nine Mile and at Ten Mile roads.
Both of the City’s Multiple Family districts are present in the corridor. RM-1 zoned properties exist between Ten Mile and Nine Mile Road, east of Novi Road, and a property north on Trans-X was recently rezoned to RM-2.
General and Light Industrial (I-2 and I-1) districts are also prevalent throughout the study area.
Master Plan Recommendations
A recent amendment to the City’s Master Plan for Land Use included some recommendations for land use changes along Novi Road. These included adding more local commercial at the southeast corner of Ten Mile and Novi Road and office uses west of Novi Road.
Novi Road was also designated as a Special Treatment Corridor within the amended Master Plan. Specifically, the corridor was viewed as an Entrance Corridor to the City. The Master Plan states that improvement of the visual quality of Entrance Corridors is key and would include:
Providing varied landscape materials in planned patterns;
Utilize standards for street and site lighting;
Eliminate overhead utilities;
Provide special treatments at intersections such as landscaping and special paving;
Highlight and direct travelers to key destinations; consider way-finding signs for public places.
Historical and Archeological Features
There are a few sites of historical and archeological significance within the Novi Road Corridor 1 . These include the following:
Robert and Joseph Yerkes homes are located south on Eight Mile Road. The Yerkes family was among Novi’s first settlers, arriving from New York in 1825. The Yerkes subdivision was developed later in the area near the original homesite in recognition of the Yerkes family.
Knapps Cemetery is located on Nine Mile Road. Named after a large and significant family from Novi’s history, Mariah Knapp (who died in 1837) has the oldest gravesite in the cemetery.
The Novi Cemetery is along Novi Road south of Grand River Avenue. Many of the early settler’s of Novi are buried here including many revolutionary war veterans.
The State of Michigan also lists an Archeological site within the corridor. This site is located within Section 26; however, in order to protect the site, its exact location has not been disclosed by the State.
1 Images of America – Novi; Barbara G. Louie with Samual D. Popkin; 1998 Arcadia Publishing.
The following overview of natural features located within the Novi Road Corridor Study area includes a brief description of the existing condition of wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife habitat. In addition, potential impacts of planned Novi Road improvements on these natural features are described. Finally, a summary of existing environmental conditions is also discussed which highlights potentially contaminated sites in the Corridor.
North of Ten Mile Road, there are two watercourses that cross Novi Road: the Walled Lake Branch of the Rouge River and Munro Creek. In addition, two wetlands are present along the Novi Road frontage in this portion of the study area. One is an unmapped open water wetland with a forested edge; the other is part of a much larger wetland complex that extends to the south and east. This wetland system consists primarily of open water with an emergent and scrub-shrub fringe.
Two other watercourses occur in the Corridor between Nine and Ten Mile Roads: the Chapman and Miller Creeks. Both of these stream sections contain a forested / scrub-shrub edge. Evidence of erosion exists along the banks of the Chapman Creek. Three wetlands also exist within this portion of the study area. All with similar characteristics, these wetlands are primarily permanent open water areas with intermittent forested / scrub-shrub edges.
The southernmost mile of the Corridor, between Eight and Nine Mile Roads, contains an open water wetland with emergent vegetation. The only watercourse in this section is the Walled Lake Branch of the Rouge River as it leaves the City of Novi flowing west into Northville. This portion of the Walled Lake Branch is the least disturbed of all watercourses along the Novi Road frontage.
With the proposed expansion of Novi Road, a number of wetlands and watercourses will be impacted. These wetlands vary in quality and in the amount of potential impact. The majority of the impacted wetlands and watercourses are regulated both locally and by MDEQ. Impacts of the planned road improvements may limit wildlife utilization and reduce the quality of many of these areas. A high incidence of invasive species in some of the potentially impacted wetlands is another issue that needs to be addressed. In addition to direct impacts, wetland buffer areas will be eliminated around many of the wetlands which will ultimately lead to greater pollution and degradation of such wetlands.
Existing Environmental Conditions
A search of available federal and state environmental records was conducted by Environmental Data Resources, Inc. As indicated on the Existing Environmental Conditions Map, this search resulted in 44 total sites of possible contamination located within the Novi Road Corridor.
The following provides a brief overview of the existing infrastructure within the Novi Road Corridor study area. Water and sewer utilities, public right-of-way, daily traffic volumes, and surface water drainage are all discussed as part of an analysis of the existing conditions of the Corridor.
Along the Novi Road Corridor from Grand River to the CSX Railroad tracks, there are public utilities along both sides of the road. The majority of both the sanitary and watermain lines run along the west side of Novi Road; while in the south segment, both utilities run along the east side.
The Corridor is primarily served by an 8" sanitary line; however, in a few places there are also 10" and 15" pipes. The watermain line along Novi Road varies in size with a 24" pipe north of Ten Mile Road, a 16" pipe between Nine and Ten Mile, and a 12" pipe south of Nine Mile Road. Both the sewer and water lines provide taps to other lines outside of the Corridor.
Streets and Rights-of-Way
The width of the existing public right-of-way varies slightly along Novi Road within in the study area. Most of Novi Road, between Grand River Avenue and the CSX Railroad tracks, is located within a 60-foot half right-of-way; however, there are portions within the Corridor with a 33-foot half right-of-way.
As indicated on the Daily Traffic Volume Map, Novi Road north of Ten Mile is the most heavily traveled portion of street within the Corridor. Based on July 2000 count data, this segment of Novi Road carries over 25,000 vehicles per day. Ten Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Taft, as well as Novi Road between Nine and Ten Mile, carry slightly over 20,000 vehicles per day according to June and July 2000 counts. In 1995, Eight Mile Road also carried over 20,000 vehicles per day.
There are five major drainage areas that cross through the Novi Road Corridor as follows:
The C & O District is located in the north segment of the Corridor from approximately the south side of Main Street to Ten Mile Road.
The Munro District borders the western edge of Novi Road, about half way between the CSX Railroad tracks and Ten Mile Road.
The Orchard Ridge District crosses Novi Road from the west to the east just north of the Ten Mile and Novi Road intersection.
The Chapman District is along both sides of Novi Road south of Ten Mile and is approximately one-half mile long.
The Dunbarton District is in the south segment between the Chapman District and the southern boundary of the City.