|REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford (absent/excused), Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Dennis Watson requested that Council remove Item 3 from the agenda. He explained according to Robert’s Rules of Order, a motion to rescind is inappropriate when a contract has been agreed upon and the other party has been notified.
Mayor McLallen advised based upon Robert’s Rules and the city attorney’s advice they will remove Item 3 from the agenda.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is disappointed and respectfully requested whether Council Rules supersede Robert’s Rules in this instance? Mr. Watson replied they do not. He explained Council utilizes Robert’s Rules except to the extent when Council Rules specifically indicate something contrary to Robert’s. He noted Council Rules supersede Robert’s Rules in terms of the rule for timing in that Council may rescind or reconsider a motion at the same or the next regular meeting. However, he added there is no Council Rule that overrides the types of action that can be reconsidered or rescinded under Robert’s Rules.
Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that they add "Request for Soliciting Volunteers for the Frog and Toad Survey" under Mayor and Council Issues.
Craig Klaver requested that they change Item 7 from a "budget amendment request" to "discussion only" to give Chief Shaeffer additional time to respond to Council’s concerns.
Mayor McLallen requested that they add "Rouge Watershed Report" under Mayor and Council Issues.
Councilman Schmid requested they add "Storm Management Report" under Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-98-02-063: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-98-02-063: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
1. SAD 148 - Salow’s Walnut Hill Sanitary Sewer: Review of the Special Assessment Roll
Mayor McLallen advised the city has received three communications and a petition that was circulated among the SAD residents. The Mayor advised the SAD will service twenty two lots and will amount to $260,744 or $11,852 per home amortized in annual payments of $542.60. Mayor McLallen advised homeowners would pay $50.00 per month on their tax bill.
Linda Racey - 24740 Taft Road, understands a couple of citizens along Taft Road that had some lots to develop approached the city about getting city sewers last April. She further understands they believe that to get the vacant lots developed they need to have city sewer to do so. Ms. Racey noted a couple of other residents joined in and the next thing she knew there was an informational meeting held at the Civic Center. She advised they were told at that time that the construction costs would be approximately $7,000 per lot and the only other out of pocket cost would be a tap-in fee estimated to be $2,000 for a total cost of $10,000 per lot. Ms. Racey advised more than 50% of the residents signed a map saying that they wanted the city to move forward and look further into the project. She added they were also told at that time that the next step would be a city-engineered survey. Further, they were told nothing was final at that meeting and everyone would have the opportunity to review the costs before the project continued. Ms. Racey stated four months later they were advised that the cost would be almost doubled per lot in construction alone and additional research by the homeowners has shown that the out of pocket costs have possibly tripled. Ms. Racey reported they estimate that the cost would amount to more than $20,000 per lot for city sewer and they are not sure whether the cost will be capped or not. She added when most of the residents expressed an interest in the project they believed it was going to be $10,000 and felt that the trade off for a city sewer was not much more than the cost for a new engineered septic field. Further, there is no benefit to the homeowner’s. She explained many of the homes are new and the older ones could get a new engineered septic field for $10,000. Ms. Racey reported she has nineteen residents that represent ten of the twenty two lots who have signed a petition to stop the project. She noted they represent more than 56% of the assessed value in this special assessment district which means there are not 51% in favor of this district. Therefore, Ms. Racey believes they should stop the project and any further review by the city is a waste of taxpayer money because the residents have clearly spoken against the project.
Scott Silvers - 24740 Taft Road, agrees with much of what Ms. Racey has stated and for the record he would add that the original idea of the sewer for $9,000 was a wash between paying for a new septic or new sewers. However, since the costs have doubled, its usefulness is questionable and he thinks it should end here.
John Wohlfiel - 24660 Taft Rd., stated he supports the project and noted that the amendment passed by Council allows residents the option of not tapping into the sewer at this time if they have a working septic. Mr. Wohlfiel added if they do not permit the older homes to tap-in, there will be problems. Mr. Wohlfiel agrees the cost for a new septic is accurate, but he then asked what will the residents do about hauling the hazardous waste?
Debbie O’Grady - advised she is a resident on Glenda and has seen tubes coming from the Taft Road lots onto theirs to drain some of the water. Consequently, she believes many of the Taft Road septics are leaking and they should be looked at.
John Adams - 24630 Taft Rd., advised he owns three lots in this district and noted he has no intention of developing his vacant lots. Mr. Adams believes most of the septic systems for the older homes have served their usefulness and are in a bad state of repair. Therefore, he believes they need the project to move forward.
Daniel Moore - 24742 Taft Rd., advised he supported the project when they quoted them the original costs, but now they have escalated. Further, Mr. Moore reported that an engineered field works by evaporation more than anything else. Therefore, the lots are wet because of the large amount of recent rain, but noted there is no significant amount of pooling along Taft Road. He added that the freeze thaws could have caused the tubes protruding from the ground and can be easily fixed. Mr. Moore does not support the project because he would prefer not to incur the cost.
Bruce Jerome interjected, Council should continue the Public Hearing to a future date. Mayor McLallen replied they will not close the Public Hearing tonight.
John Serkaian - 24816 Taft Rd., understands the costs are final and have escalated from the original proposal. Mr. Serkaian would like to go on the record as objecting to the cost because he personally cannot afford it. He explained he has a newer home with a fairly new engineered septic field. However, because the home he previously owned on Lot 6 was built in the mid-fifties, its septic field is still the original field and needs replacing. Mr. Serkaian understands this is his opportunity to debate the actual costs and findings. He explained until they fully understand what all this entails, he does not think the residents are prepared to make a decision. Further, he thinks that making a decision is also premature for the city. Mr. Serkaian cannot support the proposal as it currently stands.
For the record, Mayor McLallen clarified that they agree there is still information that needs to be reviewed and agreed upon by the neighborhood. Therefore, Mayor McLallen advised that Mr. Jerome was proposing that they leave the Public Hearing open in continuance. Further, the Mayor advised she will call on Mr. Jerome Under Matters for Discussion to state what is known at this point and where they will go from here. She advised Council will not make a decision tonight.
David Poltorak - 22358 Taft Rd., lives farther south on Taft, but it sounds to him as though JCK was the only firm involved in the whole process. Mr. Poltorak suggested they give someone else the opportunity to bid on the project.
Mike Rosinski - advised his parents live at 24614 Taft and he would like to offer letters from his parents to Council in support of Ms. Racey’s petition.
Mayor McLallen restated they will end the Public Hearing, but not close it. Mayor McLallen added they have learned that the neighborhood has not come to an agreement since they were offered the final estimate. Therefore, the city will not close the Public Hearing because it will lengthen the process. The Mayor further advised when they reach this item under Matters for Discussion, Mr. Jerome will speak to Council about where they should go from here. Mayor McLallen noted that Council does not make a decision, but rather they affirm what the citizens tell them. Mayor McLallen understands that the citizens are saying they need to meet and come to a consensus about this project.
David Poltorak - 22358 Taft Rd., is concerned about the proposed traffic signal at Nine Mile and Taft Roads. He explained they have held several informational meetings with JCK and the resident’s many suggestions seem to have been ignored. He explained JCK’s February 17, 1998 letter consists only of the installation of a traffic signal. Mr. Poltorak added that safety seems to be a major concern of the city, yet they removed a sign indicating that the motorists are approaching an intersection from the front of his house.
Mayor McLallen noted there is a request on Consent Agenda to approve the delay of the Nine Mile and Taft Road signalization. She gave Mr. Poltorak a copy Mr. Arroyo’s report which she believes will address some of his concerns.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Councilwoman Mutch removed minutes from the Regular City Council Meeting of February 9, 1998 and minutes from the Special City Council Meeting of February 7 under Item A.
Councilwoman Lorenzo removed Items J and K.
CM-98-02-064: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:
A. Approval of Minutes of Special City Council Meeting February 9, 1998
B. Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow the Regular Council Meeting of February 23, 1998 for the purpose of pending litigation
C. Approval of Agreement for Independent Contractor Services - Larry Utter, Music Director for "Oliver" in the amount of $600.00
D. Approve Renewal of Arcade License for Time Zone, 30750 Beck Road
E. Approve Renewal of Arcade License for Sterling Amusements located at United Artists Theater-12 Oaks Mall
F. Approve Renewal of Arcade License for Mr. B’s Farm, 24555 Novi Road
G. Approval to purchase seven (7) patrol vehicles through Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program in the amount of $139,202 for the Police Department.
H. Award quotation to LifeSaving Systems Corporation for Ice Rescue equipment in the amount of $3,290.65 for the Fire Department.
I. Adopt Resolution authorizing the replacement of lost Water & Sewer Revenue Bond.
L. Approval of 1997 Concrete Paving Program Change Order No. 2 extending the contract for 1998 and Approval of Change Order No. 1 accepting 1997 Concrete Paving Program work.
M. Authorization for the City Attorneys to prepare a draft agreement between the Kovac Trust and the City of Novi for conceptual engineering associated with sanitary sewer service for Sections 1 & 12.
N. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 511
A. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of February 9, 1998 and Special City Council Meeting of February 7
J. Approval to delay the Nine Mile/Taft Road Signalization Project
K. Approval of Eleven Mile/Beck Road Intersection Improvements preliminary design and Authorization to proceed to final design and right-of-way/easement acquisition
Vote on CM-98-02-064: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part I
1. Request for adoption of Resolution No. 7, Confirmation of Assessment Roll, SAD 148 - Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision Sanitary Sewer
Bruce Jerome advised the city was approached by petition from the owners of five lots at the extreme north end of the subdivision to request sanitary services in 1996. Mr. Jerome advised there were two different sanitary sewer districts involved and after doing a feasibility study, they came before Council to get permission to relocate from one sanitary sewer district to another. After an initial informational meeting with residents of Lots 1 - 5 in December 1996, Mr. Jerome advised the city then solicited the residents of Lots 7 -10 and held the first Public Hearing. Mr. Jerome added that by that time residents who lived in the southern half of the subdivision expressed an interest in being included in the SAD. Mr. Jerome continued by stating after coming up with a preliminary plan and cost estimates, they held an informational meeting with nineteen residents of the twenty two residents in April 1997. Mr. Jerome advised they gave the residents preliminary costs at that time and it was determined they had support of at least 51% of the residents.
Mr. Jerome agreed the costs increased and explained when they originally proposed the concept they proposed to construct the sanitary sewer on the east side of the water main. He advised there were concerns about trees and problems with acquiring easements. Consequently, Mr. Jerome advised they discovered that it would be easier to move the location of the sanitary sewer to the west side or between the water main and the road. Consequently, being in the influence of the road, Mr. Jerome noted that the Design and Construction Standard’s require sand backfill instead of the natural excavated material. He added there is also some proposed work on the ditches.
At this point, Mr. Jerome reported there are both opposition and support of the project. He noted of the original five petitioners, there are still four in support. Therefore, there may be an option to do a sewer project on the north end and on the south end to give those who want to participate in the sewer an opportunity still to participate. However, to do that, Mr. Jerome advised that the assessor is looking at the petition that Ms. Racey gave to the city to determine what percentage still favors the project. Mr. Jerome believes they need to schedule a meeting with the residents and then come back to Council with a consensus from that meeting.
Mayor McLallen asked whether Mr. Jerome has a date in mind. Mr. Jerome said they could hold a meeting within the next week or so.
Councilman DeRoche thinks that providing the citizens with the preliminary costs would be important, what percentage there would be for a cost reduction if the project is downsized, and the pros and cons of bidding the SAD.
Councilman Schmid advised JCK works for the city as engineers and although they made the plan, the project will go out to bid.
Councilman Schmid asked if they connect some of the residents at both the north and south ends would they be connected to different sewers. Mr. Jerome explained the plan calls for two crossings at Taft Road and noted once they receive input from the southern residents they could do both, they could do smaller parts of both or they could do none of it. However, Mr. Jerome believes there are still some people who are seriously interested in it. Further, if they reduce the size of the project, he reported it will impact the cost on the ones that are still interested because the construction cost associated with the construction of the sewer has two major components. He explained one is the road crossing, which is the most expensive portion and then there is the open trenching along the fronts of the property. Mr. Jerome added that it may take two meetings. He explained one would be to determine whether there is enough interest to proceed with the entire project and if there is not, they need to revise the size of the project and meet again with those who are still interested in connecting to the city’s sewer.
Councilman Schmid asked if they held an informational meeting after they got the final cost figures? Mr. Jerome advised they did not hold a meeting. Councilman Schmid believes the residents should have been contacted to explain the costs and determine at that point whether they are still interested. Mr. Jerome advised although they did not hold a public meeting, they provided them with the information.
Councilman Schmid asked whether the residents were told the cost would be approximately $8,000 in addition to the tap-ins? Mr. Jerome replied that cost was based upon the original concept of putting the sewer on the east side of the water main. Mr. Jerome recalled the tap-in fees that they quoted the residents were approximately $3,200 and further, they gave the residents a copy of the city’s ordinance that discusses the special assessment process.
Councilman Schmid understands they will meet again with the residents to determine if there are some compromises that can be made and then this matter will come back before Council to continue the public hearing. Mayor McLallen agreed.
Councilman Kramer restated that this is an open and democratic process, and is citizen initiated. He added part of the process is discovery and identification of the real costs. Councilman Kramer believes when they present the plan that there are some benefits in doing it with the city as a SAD because residents will get the city bond rate which is much less than if they had to secure their own loan. Further, Councilman Kramer added there are some tax implications. He believes they need to take a good look at the total costs and base their decision on that. Councilman Kramer reminded the residents that Council is here to work with them, not against them. Councilman Kramer believes that connecting to the sewer will add to the value of their property in the future.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they only service the residents on the north and south, would they exclude the residents in the middle? Mr. Jerome replied there are only two lots basically in the middle. He explained one would go gravity to the north and the other would go gravity to the south. However, he noted they would have to install a pump if a property had to attach to the opposite line in terms of gravity and that would add to the costs.
Mayor McLallen asked whether Council has to make a formal motion to continue the Public Hearing. Mr. Watson replied they have already done that. He explained they broke away from the Public Hearing without actually closing it and when it comes back, they can continue the Public Hearing at that time. Mr. Watson advised because it appears Council does not want to adopt the resolution, the appropriate step would be to postpone action.
CM-98-02-065: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone request for adoption of Resolution No. 7, Conformation of Assessment Roll, SAD 148 - Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision sanitary sewer to a date uncertain
Vote on CM-98-02-065: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
2. Request for adoption of resolution authorizing SWOCC to move forward in negotiations with Time Warner
Caren Collins reported the second extension to the contract renewal with Time/Warner expires at the end of February. She advised that SWOCC felt it was in the city’s best interest not to extend another extension without bring some type of contract to Council. Since they do not have a contract, Ms. Collins advised they propose to offer a resolution to move forward and take a new step in the formal process which is to ask Council to direct SWOCC to issue an RFP to Time/Warner. Ms. Collins explained this is a part of the formal process, but it should be noted that this does not preclude SWOCC from continuing negotiation and advised some headway has been recently made.
Councilman Schmid asked how long can they expect the extension to last? Ms. Collins replied there are some definite time lines in the formal process, and advised to issue the RFP they must complete all of their ascertainment reports and prepare the RFP. However, Ms. Collins noted there is not a time line for that, but they are hoping to move along rapidly and bring something back to Council within the next couple months. Council would then approve that, it would be submitted to Time/Warner and then the clock starts ticking according to the FCC renewal process. Ms. Collins believes Time/Warner has four months to respond to SWOCC and the cities, and then there is a 120-day period to respond back.
Councilman Schmid asked when did the original contract expire? Ms. Collins replied the contract expired in May 1997 and they have had two extensions since that time.
Councilman Schmid asked when did the negotiations begin for the renewal of the contract? Ms. Collins replied they began the renewal process in 1994 which included ascertainment, research and an analysis of the contract. She noted that the actual talks began within the past year with Time/Warner.
Councilman Schmid asked if they can expect results within two months? Ms. Collins hopes so, and added that it is in the city’s best interest to insure that all of the ascertainment is complete and that they have an RFP that everyone is happy with when they present it to Time/Warner.
CM-98-02-066: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt a resolution authorizing SWOCC to move forward in negotiations with Time/Warner
Once Council formally approves the RFP and they submit it to Time/Warner, Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the cable company has four months in which to respond; Ms. Collins believes that is correct.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what is the 120-days for? Ms. Collins replied once they receive a response from the cable operator, there is another time period by which the cities need to take action to either accept or deny a renewal.
Mayor McLallen understands Council can then anticipate an RFP by May 1 after which there is a period of four months which would take them into September. Ms. Collins replied that is correct and added because negotiations will continue, they hope to bring forward a contract instead of an RFP.
Councilwoman Mutch noted although the cable company has up to four months, they do not have to wait that amount of time to respond; Ms. Collins agreed.
Vote on CM-98-02-066: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
3. Harvest Lake of Novi - Request of Council Member Lorenzo to reconsider Area Plan and Agreement
Removed from agenda based upon the advice of the city attorney.
4. Request for Final Preliminary Plat Approval-Settler’s Creek Subdivision, SP 96-22D
Clif Seiber advised the past waivers that Council has granted for the cul-de-sacs in Beckenham, Turnberry Woods and Cheltenham are consistent with the intent outlined in the Fire Marshall’s letter in regard to the cul-de-sac for Settler’s Creek Subdivision. Secondly, Mr. Seiber noted that Mr. Watson had provided a legal opinion to the Fire Chief regarding secondary access provisions in the subdivision ordinance. Mr. Seiber explained Mr. Watson’s opinion suggested that if limited frontage or topographic conditions preclude the establishment of secondary access, they may approve a subdivision without secondary access. Further, in such case, they do not require a waiver or variance. Mr. Seiber believes they qualify because of the restrictions of topographic conditions in the wetland areas located along the entire northerly side of the site and the limited amount of road frontage that they have. Therefore, he believes they meet the city ordinance requirements and are requesting final preliminary plat approval tonight.
Mayor McLallen noted there is a letter from Chief Lenaghan dated February 6 that concurs with what Mr. Seiber has just stated. She added the letter is based upon a review with the city attorney.
Councilman Schmid understands there is another issue with the cul-de-sac in that a road coming to the cul-de-sac extends it further. Mr. Seiber agreed and explained that it measures approximately 1,300 feet from the Marlson and Clark intersection. However, Mr. Seiber noted that is a temporary condition.
Councilman Schmid understands the real issue is 1,300 feet. Mr. Seiber agreed, but noted it was 1,600 in Beckenham. He explained the intent was to limit the number of residences on that dead end.
Councilman Schmid understands that the only thing that has changed since the last time this plan was before Council was that the attorney has redefined what the ordinance says about feasibility and the Chief is now agreeing with the attorney. Councilman Schmid noted they have stated nothing about whether it is safe or not.
Mr. Seiber replied he asked the Chief what his recommendation was and the Chief indicated that he had no recommendation; he was concurring with the city attorney.
Councilman Schmid advised he has read the attorney’s letter and believes the ordinance makes no sense. Councilman Schmid said if there is a requirement in the ordinance and then they question whether it is feasible, then there is no requirement. Councilman Schmid stated almost any developer could say it is not feasible, and Council could allow it from a safety and welfare standpoint. Councilman Schmid reminded Council that it does not change the fact that fire trucks, police cars and ambulances cannot get through. Councilman Schmid asked how that makes a big difference?
Mr. Watson replied the way the ordinance is drafted is that they must have two points of access and there are exceptions to that under certain circumstances. Mr. Watson explained those exceptions attempt to provide emergency access and further indicate that they provide that where it is feasible. The purpose of the language was so they would not have an ordinance requirement that made it not feasible at all to use properly. Mr. Watson advised he has discussed this ordinance provision with the Chief and noted that neither of them is happy with its language. Mr. Watson added they have prepared a draft to make some changes at least to provide a descending order of when they are able to use the different exceptions. Mr. Watson noted one exception is when the developer can provide a stub street, but added there is currently no provision to make a developer use that alternative first. Mr. Watson further added if that were the case, this property would at least have to provide a stub somewhere along that length of street to be used in the future.
Councilman Schmid asked whether constructing another access is feasible? Mr. Watson replied feasibility has to take into account circumstances of the property owner and the neighboring property owners. In this case, Johnson Controls told the developer that they will not provide access to that site. He added they were given the same indication from the property owner to the south.
Councilman Kramer was concerned, but through discussion he has observed there is a potential for access at a future time. Councilman Kramer explained the subdivision is constructed with north/south Clark Street and a series of east/west roads (Stassen, Durson, Marlson). He advised if they look at the definition of a cul-de-sac, it is duplicated three times in the Clark Subdivision to the north. Councilman Kramer advised Gen-Mar comes from the east of Novi Road and is directed at Marlson. He recalled when that road was constructed there was a break away gate at Johnson Controls that will allow emergency access from the east onto Marlson and therefore, provides a secondary access to Settler’s Creek as well as to Marlson and to Durson. Therefore, Councilman Kramer believes Durson and the road in Settler’s Creek are similar. He believes Stassen is the street that is without a secondary access and therefore, he does not think this is the worst case in this area. Further, given that there is a potential for the north, south, east and west connection at the south west corner, and there is middle access through Marlson, he will support the request for final preliminary plat approval.
Mr. Watson noted the reason Stassen, Durson, and Marlson are configured in the manner they are is because they constructed them before requirements were in existence.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether Clark Street could act as a stub street? Mr. Watson replied when he was talking about a stub that another exception would be is if they had a stub farther in along the cul-de-sac. He noted that Clark does serve as a stub for the subdivision.
Councilwoman Mutch understands there was a suggestion that Clark might drop to the south and connect to Sussex Drive; Mr. Seiber agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the vacant area to the north is a wetland area? Mr. Seiber believes that is one of the city’s regional storm water detention basins.
Councilwoman Mutch referred to an intersection of lines on the map and asked if the area where the road would have to drop down to connect is a part of the detention basin? Mr. Seiber replied it is not, and added the area is high and dry.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether it is feasible to construct a road there? Mr. Seiber believes it is feasible.
As far as Councilwoman Lorenzo can see, the last fire department letter was dated January 21 from Fire Marshall Evans which did not recommend approval because the applicant did not provide an adequate secondary emergency access to the development. Further, other than the Chief’s letter to Mr. Watson, that is the only information from the fire department in terms of recommendations and is the one that she will follow.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands Mr. Seiber has not received a response for his February 7 letter from Fire Marshall Evans; Mr. Seiber agreed and added that Fire Marshall Evans does not intend to respond. Mr. Seiber noted that the fire department will not provide a recommendation either way and restated that the fire department concurs with the city attorney. Councilwoman Lorenzo is still concerned with the safety issues and the secondary access for the homeowners who will live in this subdivision.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether Mr. Seiber would be willing to provide a stub street although the ordinance does not require it at this time. Mr. Seiber replied they believe they have provided a stub street. He explained there is a stub street that terminates at the end of Clark Street for future extension and they believe it provides for the stub street and the future extension of that roadway. Mr. Seiber continued by stating once that is done, then they will achieve secondary access.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if that would be a stub street according to the ordinance as Mr. Watson is proposing to revise it? Mr. Watson replied their suggestion would be to make that the last alternative.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the city would then require an actual stub street to one of the lots as a first alternative before they would consider it not feasible. Mr. Watson agreed and added it would be farther to the east.
Councilwoman Lorenzo cannot support the project at this time because she believes there are alternatives for a stub street. Further, she is concerned that if they block Settler’s Creek Court that there is no other access into it for emergency services and she would ask Council to consider the health, safety and welfare of those homeowners. Councilwoman Lorenzo suggested that they provide a secondary access on the portions of approximately four of the lots that would provide access into the cul-de-sac.
CM-98-02-067: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To approve the Final Preliminary Plat for Settler’s Creek Subdivision, SP 96-22D subject to consultants’ approval
Councilman Kramer asked whether they will provide the subdivision with water and sewer? Mr. Seiber replied water will be extended from Johnson Controls and introduced for the first time into the Novi Heights Subdivision for fire protection.
Councilman Kramer asked whether the rest of Clark Subdivision has water and sewer? Mr. Seiber replied it has sewer, but no water.
Councilman DeRoche advised the reason he moved for approval is because he recalled that Council had a lengthy discussion about the history of these variances, the concern of those continuing and the dynamics of this particular plot. Councilman DeRoche added they were waiting for the fire department’s approval and it is now clear they will not receive that. His main concern is that they were asking for a variance from an ordinance that was set up for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the city and now the city attorney is saying that this project complies with that ordinance because having a secondary access is not feasible. For that reason, it is Councilman DeRoche’s opinion he should keep his vote consistent because the project is in compliance with the ordinance.
Councilwoman Mutch sees the fire protection given by the hydrant being in that area as a mitigating factor. Although Councilwoman Mutch agrees it makes sense to plan for a secondary access, she realizes to do so it would require the applicant to select arbitrarily where that would be. Therefore, she believes it would make little sense to have a road which would isolate three lots at the beginning of the subdivision from the rest of the homes on the court. Further, she does not see what is gained by having a sub that is not going to develop any sooner than what Clark Street itself could develop because they both connect to the same property that is currently under single ownership. She noted that owner has publicly expressed that her intent is not to divide the property and sell to developers. Councilwoman Mutch believes it would make more sense from a planning perspective that Clark Street continues down rather than try to fragment an already small neighborhood. Councilwoman Mutch noted that because it is a court, the turnaround capability improves the safety aspect with regard to emergency vehicles over the existing situation with Marlson, Durson and Stassen. Therefore, Councilwoman Mutch will defer to the legal opinion and Councilman DeRoche’s comments.
Councilman Schmid believes the fire department clearly does not condone this development. In addition, he restated the surrounding subdivisions were developed long before there was a concern about safety and welfare for these types of developments. Consequently, Councilman Schmid finds it difficult to perpetuate an already existing problem. In addition, Councilman Schmid is not in complete agreement with the city attorney’s interpretation of what is feasible. Therefore, Councilman Schmid will stand by the strict interpretation of the ordinance and believes it is a mistake to compound the problem in this circumstance. Councilman Schmid will not support the motion.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether another stub beside Clark would that take care of the problem? Mr. Watson replied it is one of the three exceptions.
Councilwoman Mutch understands there is nothing in the ordinance that requires the developer of the property to the south to design the development of their property in such a way that it would connect to that stub. Mr. Watson believes there is a requirement in the Subdivision Ordinance. Councilwoman Mutch does not believe this would be a good plan in this case. Mr. Watson is uncertain whether that would make an ideal connection.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether they would satisfy the need for a secondary access if the city required a stub other than Clark? Mr. Watson restated that is one of the other of the three exceptions.
Councilwoman Mutch’s point is even if they do that, there is no guarantee that the stub would ever connect and therefore, they would be imposing a requirement that does not improve the current situation or accomplish what they had hoped it would.
Councilman Schmid believes Clark Street will go through some day to the south and understands that the subdivision will then be in compliance with the ordinance. Mr. Watson disagreed and explained the issue before them is about providing secondary access.
Then Councilman Schmid understands that the stub streets would not provide secondary access; Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilman Schmid asked if a stub meets the intent of the ordinance. Mr. Watson replied it not only meets the intent, it also meets the direct language of the ordinance.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if an internal stub meets the ordinance for secondary access; Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if Clark Street as it stops south of Settler’s Creek Court meets the ordinance for secondary access; Mr. Watson replied it does not and explained Clark Street is not within this subdivision. Mr. Watson further explained that the ordinance states one exception is when a stub street is provided to adjacent property at a location feasible and practical for the development of a future connecting subdivision. In other words, Mr. Watson advised they should put a stub street at a location where the adjacent property might develop in the future. He added they do not know when that is going to happen, but the ordinance provides for that as an alternative.
Mayor McLallen clarified that Site Plan 96-22D is in conformance with all the city’s ordinances at this time.
Mr. Watson noted he has only reviewed this particular issue and added he has not double checked everything the engineers and consultant’s have reviewed.
Mayor McLallen understands the plan is in conformance with this issue; Mr. Watson agreed.
Vote on CM-98-02-067: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Mutch,
Nays: Lorenzo, Schmid
5. Adoption of Resolution and Agreement of Sale Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Aryeh Sharon & Soril J. Sharon and Eugene & Regina Neugebohr, Crescent Blvd. Extension Project
Mayor McLallen referred to Page 2 of the Purchase Agreement and suggested since they are not conveying the property for any sum of money that they strike the text that states, "Payment of purchase money is to be made by check or warrant drawn by the City Treasurer." Mr. Watson agreed and advised they will make that correction.
Councilman Kramer understands they need a dollar to seal a contract and asked if the increase of the agreed future increase and the value of the property is sufficient to make this a binding contract? Mr. Watson agreed and added the basis for this instance was that the appraiser concluded once the improvement goes in, the remainder of the property will actually be more valuable.
Councilman Kramer asked whether the property owner agrees that they have been compensated for the property by the value of the property by signing the agreement and there is no need to exchange a monetary sum. Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that they are offering no "additional" compensation for the take; Mr. Watson agreed.
CM-98-02-068: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt the Resolution and Agreement of Sale Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Aryeh Sharon & Soril J. Sharon, and Eugene & Regina Neugebohr, Crescent Blvd. Extension Project as corrected
Vote on CM-98-02-068: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
6. Adoption of Resolution and Agreement of Sale Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Doice E. & Joanne M. Ward-Eleven Mile Intersection/Water Main Improvement Project
CM-98-02-069: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt the Resolution and Agreement of Sale Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Doice E. & Joanne M. Ward - Eleven Mile Intersection/Water Main Improvement Project for the sum of Thirteen Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($13,800)
Vote on CM-98-02-069: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
BREAK - From 9:30 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II
7. Police Department (Coalition Grant) Discussion
Mayor McLallen asked Council members to state major issues, concerns or directions for further clarification by the Coalition. The Mayor noted that she understands that they will not award the grant until April so they have more time to work through these issues. Mayor McLallen further noted that Councilman Kramer provided his issues in writing to the Coalition.
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised she has already conveyed her questions directly to Beth Belter.
Councilman Schmid thought Councilman Kramer’s memo clearly laid out the issues for the Coalition. Councilman Schmid added that he would like further clarification about the city’s responsibility in terms of where the money will come from in the fifth year, who conducted the survey and that he would like to look at the survey, and how they plan to show their progress. Councilman Schmid agrees there is a problem, but questions their data. Consequently, Councilman Schmid would like to be convinced this will solve some problems because he does not want to throw money into another program.
Councilman DeRoche believes that Chief Shaeffer should be responsible for the program and the tracking of the progress of the program.
Councilwoman Mutch recalled all the concerns raised were conveyed to the Coalition. Councilwoman Mutch believes the response could use some fine tuning, but as was pointed out Mr. Kriewall and Mr. Crawford were out of town, and the schools were closed, so some members were unable to respond. Consequently, producing new documents was difficult so they pulled data from documents they already had. Councilwoman Mutch believes it would benefit everyone to repackage some of the information in a way that pulls out the material that specifically addresses the issues. Councilwoman Mutch stated the more specific the questions, the easier it will be to provide concrete answers.
Mayor McLallen would like to see a stronger definition about how the students are going to take a leadership position in this program. Further, she would like a statistical number instead of a percentage of how many Novi children are caught into the juvenile justice system on an annual basis from the Police Department. Mayor McLallen understands that the worse case scenario for the cost of the program over five years is $500,000 and would target 2,500 children within Novi which would equate to less than $40.00 per child. Mayor McLallen believes the question is whether they will get the program "right" and is thankful that Council is cautious as they proceed. Mayor McLallen also requested that the Coalition come back before Council at the April 1 meeting.
Councilman Schmid understands that the best case scenario is that they may only help 10-15% of the 2,500 juveniles. Councilman Schmid would like more facts before they make their decision and noted some of the information before them has no bearing on what they are talking about.
Councilwoman Mutch clarified that the numbers that Councilman Schmid is citing are numbers that came out of the information gathering from the various entities of the Coalition (i.e., Providence Hospital, Novi Schools, Walled Lake Schools, etc.) that were brought forward when there was an assessment of risk in terms of exposure to drugs, crime, etc. Councilwoman Mutch agrees Councilman Schmid may be correct that some of the data when taken in isolation is probably not relevant in and of itself to what Council is deciding. However, she restated it is a part of an overall picture of the community that was drawn from the various committees made up of members of the Coalition.
Councilwoman Mutch agrees that having good data to measure and to track is important so that Council’s conclusions can be meaningful. Further, it is important that they know now what they are dealing with. For example, she explained if they have a certain number shoplifting arrests in Novi for those under eighteen, she believes they want to identify how many of those arrests are Novi residents.
8. Receive Report on Walden Woods I Condominiums Drainage Issues
Tony Nowicki advised David Bluhm has provided a report dated February 13, 1998 in the packet. Mr. Nowicki reported that Mr. Bluhm has indicated there is a small ridge within the wetland area that detains water for a period longer than what would normally have been there because of the increased amount of water flowing from the development. Further, he advised Mr. Bluhm has offered that a potential solution for that would be the construction of a small swale in the wetland area to help the water move and be discharged through its normal course. Subsequently, Mr. Nowicki reported that Mr. Bluhm had received a commitment from Tri-Mount Homes to review this matter and to implement corrective action. The last report that Mr. Nowicki has received was that they scheduled the developer’s surveyors to be on site tomorrow and will begin to move forward with this project.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is pleased that Tri-Mount has stepped forward and assumed responsibility for this drainage issue. Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if they know when the remedial work will begin? Mr. Nowicki understands they will begin with the topography selection to analyze what they have and begin work once conditions permit.
Councilwoman Lorenzo would like a letter to be sent to Ms. Tami Bethune in Walden Woods and to the Walden Woods Homeowner’s Association confirming what Mr. Nowicki has just stated. She added that she would like a copy of the February 13 letter forwarded to the Planning Commission and would like a final report submitted to Council upon completion of the remedial work by Tri-Mount.
Mayor McLallen advised there is a Council consensus for recommending Councilwoman Lorenzo’s requests.
Councilman Kramer would like to amend Councilwoman Lorenzo’s request to say that they will review this and take it into account in an ordinance update. Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed to add that to her request.
Mayor McLallen referred to Item 4 on Page 2 of the February 13 JCK letter and asked what responsibility does the city have in regard to dead and dying trees on private property? Mr. Nowicki advised the city does not have any responsibility for that.
Mayor McLallen does not want to give the implication that the city is going to take any responsibility for these trees. Mr. Nowicki replied a parallel situation occurred in Briarwood and in that case, the developer disposed of the trees. Mr. Nowicki advised they will contact Tri-Mount to see how they can resolve that.
Councilwoman Lorenzo hopes they are not disposing of trees unless they are endangering someone’s property because there are many benefits to leaving the dead and dying trees in their place.
Mr. Nowicki asked whether they dispose of the trees or leave them? Mayor McLallen advised her question is what role does the city have with trees on private property.
Councilman Kramer asked whether it should instead state that the homeowner’s group contact the city forester for any recommendations for their action with regard to the trees. Mayor McLallen disagreed because she believes it is a private issue.
Councilman DeRoche agrees with Mayor McLallen.
Councilman Kramer believes the city forester could advise the homeowner’s association about what is or is not proper maintenance procedure that they might consider for a common area.
Mayor McLallen understands that the history in the past is that this is a development issue and the city has had some standing in the cost of removing the trees. She said they had tried to improve the planning and development processes to avoid this, but trees ultimately die that some view as a habitat source and others view them as a hazard. When they are considered a hazard, there is always the cost of removal and that has become an issue in the community.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Items listed
on the Consent Agenda which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of February 9, 1998 and Special City Council Meeting of February 7
Councilwoman Mutch noted there were several typographical errors that do not change the context of the minutes for the February 9 and February 7 minutes and she will forward those corrections to the Clerk’s staff. Councilwoman Mutch advised there is an error on Page 29 in the vote. Councilwoman Mutch reported she voted with the nay voters. Councilman Schmid and Councilwoman Lorenzo advised they voted with the yeas.
Councilwoman Lorenzo referred to Page 1 of the February 9 minutes and recalled that Mayor ProTem Crawford had also asked her if she knew of anyone that was in the audience that wished to speak during the third audience participation and that is to what she replied no.
Councilman DeRoche would like to change the word "purview" to "review" on Page 2 of the February 9 minutes.
CM-98-02-070: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Schmid CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of February 9, 1998 and Special City Council Meeting of February 7 as corrected
Vote on CM-98-02-070: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
J. Approval to delay the Nine Mile/Taft Road Signalization Project
Councilwoman Lorenzo supports the delay of this project. However, she advised the advisory signs (i.e., limited sight distance, four way stop ahead, hidden driveway, etc.) were not addressed. Further, she referred to Mr. Arroyo’s letter and hoped they still request that the DPW evaluate the reflectivity of the existing stoop signs at that intersection.
Mr. Nowicki agreed with Councilwoman Lorenzo’s comments and then referred to a memo dated January 29 he had written to Craig Smith asking him to review a reduction in the speed to thirty miles per hour in that area, place stop ahead signs, and review for possible stop sign vision obstructions. He added they are moving ahead with installing those signs and delaying the installation of the signalization.
CM-98-02-071: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the delay of the Nine Mile/Taft Road Signalization Project
Councilman Schmid will support the motion, but added he believes the intersection should remain a four-way stop.
Councilman Kramer asked if Councilman Schmid would like to request that a reassessment come back.
Mayor McLallen interjected, a reevaluation is requested for this intersection after Beck and Nine Miles signal is functional for some time. She added that they will improve the stop signs, but they will not put the signal in place without the consent of Council.
Vote on CM-98-02-071: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
K. Approval of Eleven Mile/Beck Road Intersection Improvements preliminary design and Authorization to proceed to final design and right-of-way/easement acquisition
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands there is going to be an increased cost to the project and she asked where is the increased funding proposed to come from. Mr. Nowicki referred to his memo dated February 18 which states that during the final design the engineers will refine their estimate of cost and address the increased funding at that time. Mr. Nowicki explained they normally reevaluate all the projects to see where the funds are and determine if they have surplus funds from other projects. Mr. Nowicki reported they have saved approximately $130,000 on the Ten Mile/Wixom Road traffic signal because Novi entered an agreement with the Oakland County Road Commission to do that.
Councilwoman Lorenzo noted according to the project summary the original conceptual design allotted for laying a configuration of a center left turn lane along Beck in both directions, plus a combination through and right turn lane. However, she noted the Signal Warrant Study indicated the need for separate dedicated right turn lanes due to an anticipated increase of traffic because of the new school at Eleven Mile and Wixom Roads, and increased development. Councilwoman Lorenzo is starting to have the same concerns as expressed by Eda Weddington in terms of not being convinced that they need five lanes at this intersection. Councilwoman Lorenzo would like to review the Signal Warrant Study between now and final approval. Mr. Nowicki will forward Mr. Arroyo’s study to Councilwoman Lorenzo.
Councilwoman Lorenzo noted this is primarily a residential area and she believes five lanes at every intersection is somewhat unusual. Mr. Nowicki replied Beck Road is the only major corridor between I-96 and north, and all the way to Michigan Avenue to the south. Mr. Nowicki believes it will continue to be a major corridor for travel in that area and recalled that Novi’s Master Plan calls for five lanes.
CM-98-02-072: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Schmid CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Eleven Mile/Beck Road Intersection Improvements preliminary design and authorization to proceed to final design and right-of-way/easement acquisition
Vote on CM-98-02-072: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Councilwoman Mutch reported the Communications Committee has met again, but this time without the benefit of citizens. She advised one request was to get questions from Mike Galea and other staff members about the kinds of information that are most often requested. In that way, they can compare Novi with similar communities in terms of how they have handled those communications problems.
Mayor McLallen advised she just received a book from the National League of Cities on improving citizen participation in government. She advised she will pass it on to the committee.
Councilman Kramer reported the CIP Committee continues to meet and they are currently working on prioritizing the items. He added although they need further clarification from some department heads, he believes they are moving forward in a way that they will have a report to Council before the budget sessions.
Mayor McLallen advised she was unable to attend the North Central Traffic Committee meeting and asked Dave Potter to comment.
Mr. Potter reported the overall project scheduling and detours were an obvious concern, especially relative to the proposed Grand River bridge reconstruction. At this time, Mr. Potter reported it is their understanding that the Road Commission is still looking at detouring traffic to Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Potter believes construction on the bridge may begin as soon as late summer and hinges on the city’s project for Crescent Boulevard, Phases 2 and 3. The other issue is signing toward the north central traffic off I-275 and I-696. Mr. Potter reported MDOT has agreed to add some additional signs which they are in the process of putting in place. Mr. Potter noted they are referred to as "trail blazing" signs so if a motorist is traveling north on I-275, they will try to direct motorists to exit off M-5 to get to Twelve Oaks and West Oaks via Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Potter added the committee is scheduled to meet again on March 20.
Mr. Klaver advised that the Consultant Review Committee has met twice and have scheduled their next meeting for March 5.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Rouge River Watershed Report
Mr. Nowicki reported the Rouge River Watershed is a permit system and is something that is being worked on at a national level, as well as by Judge Feikens. Mr. Nowicki added that the city’s attorneys have met with the judge, and that the engineers and Storm Water Committee have been involved. Mr. Nowicki reported they had a couple of presentations from experts who went over the application process and what the city can expect in terms of several of the grants. However, Mr. Nowicki added that the application and permitting process will become mandatory in approximately 2002. The positive note on this issue is that Novi is practically there in achieving all the mandatory aspects of this permit. He advised there is a public awareness program and reminded Council that they recently approved a grant and an agreement with Wayne County to provide that particular aspect of the program. Mr. Nowicki reported they still need to look at the Illicit Connection Program (i.e., failing septic fields). He added they will be coming before Council in the near future seeking authorization to apply for grants in those areas. Mr. Nowicki noted that Wayne County currently has grant programs to match 50% through the federal government.
2. Frog and Toad Survey
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised there is still some work that needs to be done to bring the community into compliance for the general permit. Councilwoman Lorenzo reported there are many positive aspects of this and one such aspect is that they can get grant funding for many of the things that is going be necessary for them to do to bring the community into compliance. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes this is a positive thing for Novi, for Oakland County and for all of the communities within the Rouge Watershed.
Councilwoman Lorenzo thanked the Novi News and the Northville Record for publicizing the Frog and Toad Survey in the last edition of their papers. She reported they need volunteers to participate in a Frog and Toad Survey that the Friends of the Rouge, the DEQ, SEMCOG and Northville Township are sponsoring and therefore, requested that Lou Martin publicize this through the local cable access channel. Councilwoman Lorenzo advised they will hold a training session in the Novi Civic Center Thursday, March 5 from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. Further, Laura Spears is the contact person and can be reached at (313) 426-1200.
Mayor McLallen reported there is a Council consensus to add this to the cable channel.
3. Storm Management Report
Councilman Schmid understands there was a great deal of rain last week and there is a citizen concern in the northern part of Novi about the water pooling due to the building of the elementary school at Meadowbrook and Thirteen Mile Road.
Mr. Nowicki replied they are currently working on a report for Council. He explained they know the school is not fully completed and that the site work is incomplete. He advised they should be able to complete that work in the spring.
Councilman Schmid asked whether there were any other problems? Mr. Nowicki replied there were very few isolated backyard problems, but noted none of the past road problems occurred during this most recent storm.
Councilwoman Lorenzo noted that Taft Road was flooded between Nine and Ten Mile Roads. Mr. Nowicki understands that the flooding was short in duration.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what type storm event did Novi endure? Mr. Potter believes it was a ten-year storm.
Mr. Nowicki stated in regard to the Taft Road issue, they are preparing to improve Taft Road between Nine and Ten Mile Roads this or next summer. He noted part of the improvements will be to increase the culverts under Ten Mile Road.
Craig Klaver updated Council about some recent personnel transactions.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Letter from American Legion Novi Post 19 to City Council, Re: Boys’ State
2. Letter from Larry Holland, Police Chief from the City of Wixom to Chief Shaeffer, Re: P.O. Blashfield’s Funeral Escort
3. Letter from Carol Mullins to Police Chief Shaeffer, Re: Thank you for assistance with preventing deer poaching near Maples of Novi
4. Letter from James Korte to Mr. Kriewall, Re: Communication in 2/9/98 Council packet
5. Letter from Tonni Bartholomew to James Korte, Re: 2/9/98 Council packet Communication
6. Resolution from City of Troy, Re: County Funding of Road Improvements
7. Resolution from City of Huntington Woods, Re: County Funding of Road Improvements
8. Letter from Fried, Watson & Bugbee to Timothy Stoepker, Re: Ramco-Gershenson Rezoning
9. Oakland County Drain Commissioner Rouge River Watershed information.
10. Wayne County Rouge Program Office Communication.
11. Letter from John Serkaian to City Council, Re: Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision Sanitary Sewer Extension SAD.
12. Letter from Barry J. Kaltz, President Birchwoods Homeowners Association, Re: Paving of Delmont Drive.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Mayor City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: March 2, 1998