|REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MAY 4, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor ProTem Crawford called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen (arrived 7:45 p.m.), Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo (departed 11:55 p.m.), Mutch (arrived 7:45 p.m.), Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Craig Klaver requested that Council add Introductions; Mayor ProTem Crawford advised they will add that item under Approval of Agenda.
Ed Kriewall requested that Council add Approval of the Revised Amoco Property Purchase Agreement as Item 7 under Matters for Council Action - Part II.
CM-98-05-128: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-98-05-128: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Schmid
Mr. Klaver introduced Lauri Loechli, Network Administrator. Mr. Klaver noted that Ms. Loechli has a Masters from Eastern Michigan, a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Technology and a Major in Computer Data Design. Mr. Klaver added Ms. Loechli has worked with several consulting engineering firms and brings a wealth of technological experience to the city.
1. Request for approval of Special Assessment District Number 150 - Resolution #5 - Willowbrook Subdivision #2 - Storm Drainage Improvement
Robert Knight - Lot 160, asked to be excused from participating in SAD 150. Mr. Knight explained his lot does not abut any of the drainage ditches and that it drains to the south.
Sandra Lapham - 23434 Meadowbrook Road, reported she supports SAD 150. Ms. Lapham advised she has resided in her home since 1974 and has always been aware of the water problem. Ms. Lapham added she understood that there would be no further building because of the creek at the end of her property. However, she reported four or five additional houses have been built and because the homeowners are adding fill to their lots instead of using the original swale, her land is always flooded. Ms. Lapham was advised of the swale and drainage when she purchased her home, and noted they have kept that area clear so it would drain. However, she suggested that perhaps the new homeowners were not properly informed and because of that, she requested that the city consider incurring some of the costs.
Mayor McLallen and Councilwoman Mutch arrived at 7:45 p.m.
2. Proposed 1998-1999 City of Novi Budget
Mr. Kriewall advised that the budget proposed has been studied extensively by Council at five Budget Study Meetings and added that there is a continuing concern to minimize any impact to the taxpayers. Mr. Kriewall reported that the General Fund is proposed for $18,708, 244.00. In addition, he advised there are several revenue funds that affect the revenue and the expenditures that flow through the city’s Finance Department. Mr. Kriewall reported the city receives gas and weight tax receipts from the State of Michigan for streets under Major and Local Street Funds. He advised they are anticipating expenditures of $3,219,804.00 for Major Streets and they are proposing a budget appropriation of $1,126,850.00 for Local Streets. Mr. Kriewall noted that the Municipal Street Fund is $3,887,515.00; Police and Fire Fund is $3,058,286.00; Parks & Recreation Fund is $1,930,131.00; Drain Revenue is $2,677,735.00 and the Library is $1,664,540.00. Mr. Kriewall reported the total budget appropriation amounts to $17,564,861.00.
Mr. Kriewall reported Appropriations by Fund are some of the debt service funds that are catalogued and kept track of in terms of the community. Mr. Kriewall advised the city has a 1991 voted Street Debt Bond obligation to retire which amounts to $810,000.00; a 1997 Street Debt Fund of $1,121,000.00; a Park Debt of $810,000.00; Act 175 Debt; Roadway Improvement Debts for 1987, 1989 and 1995; 1997 Fire Debt for $185,188.00; DPW Debt for $108,777.00; Civic Center Debt is $41,000.00; 1993 Refunding Debt is $577,000.00; 1992 Refunding Debt is $1,027,595.00. Mr. Kriewall reported the total debt appropriation amounts to $5,034,800.00.
Mr. Kriewall reported the 1997 Voted Street Debt amounts to $5,835,00.00; 1998 Voted Street Debt amounts to $4,350,00.00 and the Fire Capital Improvement amounts to $2,164,000.00 for a total appropriation of $12,349,000.00.
Mr. Kriewall reported they also keep track of funds that do not have any connection to the taxpayer. He explained they are funded by revenue or run like a public utility (i.e., water and sewer fund). Mr. Kriewall advised that the Ice Arena Fund is considered to be an Enterprise Fund through the Building Authority and shows appropriations of $1,717,000.00. He further advised that Water and Sewer shows appropriations of $9,088,000.00. Mr. Kriewall reported that the total of all funds that pass through the city’s treasury for the proposed budget is $64,400,000.00.
Mr. Kriewall reported appropriations by fund type are: General Revenue, Enterprise, Capital, Debt, and Special Revenue.
Mr. Kriewall advised they propose to collect $7,560,000.00 in taxes as a portion of the $18.0M General Fund Budget. For non business permits, Mr. Kriewall reported they will collect $1,375,000.00 and he added it supports the self-funding Building Department. Further, Mr. Kriewall advised they will receive $10,000.00 in grants; $3,562,00.00 in State Revenue Sharing; $617,000.00 in Other Services and Charges; $270,000.00 Fines & Forfeitures; $725,000.00 Interest on Investments; $289,000.00 Miscellaneous Revenue; and $3,058,000.00 Police and Fire Fund.
Mr. Kriewall reported the city budgets the revenue from revenues left over in the prior year’s budget in the Appropriation of Fund Balance and noted that amount is $1,241,000.00.
In terms of budget expenditures, Mr. Kriewall advised:
City Council $ 32,840.00
City Manager $ 336,000.00
Finance Dept. $ 763,000.00
Information Technology $ 303,022.00
Assessing Department $ 577,000.00
City Attorney $ 310,000.00
City Clerk $ 466,000.00
Buildings & Grounds $ 457,000.00
Forestry $ 145,000.00
Public Information $ 184,000.00
General Administration $ 1,308,000.00
Police Department $7,371,000.00
Fire Department $2,637,000.00
Further, Mr. Kriewall advised General Fund Appropriations are:
Building Department $1,158,000.00 (Offset by revenue)
Ordinance Enforcement $ 291,000.00
Planning Commission $ 61,000.00
Community Develop. $ 586,000.00
Other Funds $ 240,000.00
Contingencies $ 453,000.00
Mr. Kriewall summarized the staff additions in the various departments.
Mr. Kriewall reported the millage of the General Fund is proposed at 4.1215; the Municipal Street Fund (continuing maintenance and construction) is proposed at 0.6945; Police and Fire is 1.5032; Parks & Recreation (continual Charter amended millage) is 0.4063; Drain Revenue is 0.6945; and the Library (Charter established) 0.8125 for a total proposed operating millage of 8.2325.
Mr. Kriewall reported the city has a 1991 Street Debt Service of 0.4478; a 1997 Street Debt Service of 0.6193; a Park Debt Service of 0.4481; Fire Debt Service of 0.1020; Civic Center Debt of 0.0226; 1992 Refunding Debt of 0.5681; and a 1993 Refunding Debt of 0.3172 with a total debt millage of 2.5251 for a proposed total millage of 10.7576.
Mr. Kriewall reported Novi’s State Equalized Valuation is now proposed at $1,920,000,000.00 and amounts to an increase of 12.08%. He noted taxable valuable is reduced to $1,808,000,000.00 and amounts to an increase of 9.84%. Mr. Kriewall added that includes new growth and change in values of existing properties.
In 1997, Mr. Kriewall advised that a $200,000.00 home would be assessed at $100,000.00. He reported the city operating tax rate would amount to 8.2419% and the operating fund impact on the tax bill would have been $824.19. In 1998, Mr. Kriewall reported that the assessed value increased by a maximum CPI of 2.7%, would have increased the value to $102,700.00 SEV and that the proposed city tax rate is 8.2325%. Therefore, the tax bill would increase from $824.19 to $845.48.
Mr. Kriewall advised there is a more offsetting decrease that is more significant in the debt fund. In 1997, Mr. Kriewall explained the total tax bill for a $100,000.00 SEV would have been $1,092.82. For 1998, Mr. Kriewall reported the tax bill would increase to $1,104.81.
Mayor McLallen noted there was no public comment on the Proposed 1998-1999 City of Novi Budget.
Cindy Gronachan - spoke on behalf of the Deer Run residents and asked Council not to permit the Park Place subdivision developers to connect a secondary access at Buck Drive with the Deer Run Subdivision. Ms. Gronachan advised that the Deer Run homeowners purchased their homes on what they were told was a cul-de-sac. Further, they were also told there would only be five houses and now there are eighteen proposed. Ms. Gronachan advised if Buck Drive is used as a through street and all the roads from Eight Mile to Garfield to Deer Run are paved and the present Nine Mile Road and Napier are not, these residents would be adversely affected with the proposed increase of traffic of one thousand cars per day. Ms. Gronachan displayed photographs of the Deer Run Subdivision depicting how the traffic would travel through Deer Run Subdivision. Ms. Gronachan added they do not want to stop development, but asked that the city protect the residents of Deer Run. Ms. Gronachan thanked the various city staff members for their professionalism and assistance.
Diane Risko - Novi Chamber of Commerce, advised that the Novi Expo Center will host a box lunch and the topic for discussion will be about the hiring and firing of employees. Further, she reported Mayor Dennis Archer is scheduled to attend their May 19 Chamber Luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel. Ms. Risko reported the City’s Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee will meet with the Oakland County Road Commission on May 11, 1998 regarding roads. Ms. Risk advised the Chamber’s telephone number is 349-3743 and added prepaid reservations are required for the May 19 luncheon.
Ken Nanda - Owner of Cheltenham Estates, advised he is the southern neighbor of Wilshire Abbey development. Mr. Nanda advised he has written a letter to Council about his concerns. He advised when plans for Cheltenham Estates came before the city there was much discussion regarding the secondary access. He explained he was given an approval on a temporary basis to provide a secondary access until the developer on the north side provided a permanent access. Mr. Nanda reported when the developer made a proposal before the Planning Commission on April 1, there was major opposition expressed by neighbors on Inverness Court which is located to the north of the development. He understands that the major concern was about access from the cul-de-sac. Mr. Nanda’s believes it boils down to one issue, economics. He explained he had to provide an access, purchase additional property to provide an easement, and block Lot 3 making it unbuildable until the northerly neighbor provided access from Inverness Court. Mr. Nanda strongly requested that the developer on the north side make every effort to work with the neighbors on Inverness Court and added that he believes the developer should look into any economic damage that may be caused to them. Further, Mr. Nanda added it was also suggested at the last Planning Commission meeting that the developer should meet with the neighbors to discuss their concerns.
Mr. Nanda believes because he has already assumed the costs to provide a single curb cut on the back road and the main entrance that the Wilshire Abbey developer will use, that the Wilshire Abbey developer should at least make an effort and incur the costs to provide a secondary access so that each developer benefits equally.
Further, Mr. Nanda believes the Wilshire Abbey developer should reposition their construction road to the north away from the model homes and the homes located on the access road.
Clay Farrell - 23170 Inverness Ct., is speaking on behalf of the Edinbourgh Homeowner’s Association. He explained they are here in support of the Planning Commission’s denial of the preliminary plat approval requested by Wilshire Abbey. Mr. Farrell reported they are concerned about the developer’s proposal to construct a secondary access through Inverness Court. Mr. Farrell reported the houses are positioned in a circle and they believe the developer’s suggestion is inappropriate because there would be no place for the children to play and it would increase the traffic flow. Mr. Farrell understands there is a solution if the two developers work together and share an access road. However, he further understands that Wilshire Abbey is not willing to work with Mr. Nanda.
Leonard Walle - Edinbourgh Subdivision, advised he opposes the secondary access proposed by Wilshire Abbey and added that he believes the issue regarding the secondary access is an economic issue between two developers. Mr. Walle does not believe their economic issue should become the resident’s problem.
Mike Loiselle - Edinborough Subdivision, stated he also opposes the secondary access proposed by Wilshire Abbey.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Councilwoman Lorenzo removed the minutes of April 27, 1998.
Councilwoman Mutch removed the Minutes of April 16, 1998.
CM-98-05-129: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:
A. Approve the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meetings of April 20 and April 23, and Special City Council Meeting of April 6, 1998
B. Approval to purchase Fire Department Radio Equipment from Comm Source, Inc. In the amount of $4,501.70
C. Request for approval of Street Sign Agreement - Brickscape, Inc., property located Eight Mile Road east of Novi Road
D. Schedule an Executive Session to occur immediately following the Regular Council meeting of May 4, 1998 for the purpose of property acquisition
E. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 516
A. Approve the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meetings of April 16 and 27,1998
Vote on CM-98-05-129: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part I
1. Request for approval of Resolution No. 5, for S.A.D. 150, Willowbrook Subdivision #2 - Storm Drainage Improvement
Criag Smith advised they are asking for Council’s approval for Resolution No. 5 which will determine its necessity and approve the preparation of the plans for the SAD. Further, this action will direct the assessor to prepare the assessment roll. In terms of its history, Mr. Smith advised Duane Reames at 23386 Meadowbrook Road filed a complaint in 1979 with the Building Department. Mr. Smith explained the complaint was about a neighbor filling in the storm drainage easement and causing storm water to disburse into the other neighbor’s back yards. Over the years, Mr. Smith advised this continued in other resident’s yards and created little pockets in the various yards. Mr. Smith reported many of the neighbors signed a petition in June 1997 asking the city to address this problem as a special assessment district. Mr. Smith further reported that JCK & Associates surveyed the area, and the final design is currently before Council. Mr. Smith advised the engineers recommend the construction of a small under drain system along the rear lot lines that is estimated to cost $34,600.00. Mr. Smith reported if they divided this amount amongst the twenty residents in the assessment district, it would cost approximately $1,730.00 per homeowner. Mr. Smith reminded Council that there are still two outstanding discussion issues. He explained one is the city sharing a portion of the cost and another is the removal of one resident who may not benefit from the special assessment.
Mayor McLallen asked the city attorney to comment on the city’s participation in terms of cost. She also asked whether the resident that asked to be removed would benefit from participating in the SAD. Mr. Smith advised that he does not believe the resident would benefit from participating. Mr. Kriewall interjected, he believes the assessor should make the final determination about removing the resident from the roll. Mr. Watson added the reason Mr. Kriewall suggested that the assessor should make the final determination was because the whole legal or theoretical basis of providing for a special assessment is that it is for an improvement that is providing a special benefit to the properties being assessed. He explained by relieving a drainage problem on all of the parcels, there is a special benefit being conferred to those parcels and therefore, they should pay for the special assessment that will fund that improvement. For that reason, Mr. Watson believes it makes sense to allow the assessor, the engineers, and the DPW staff to confer before making a final decision. As to the issue about the city assuming a portion of the cost, Mr. Watson advised that the memo before Council indicates that they were unable to recall whether the city has ever done this in the past. Mr. Watson advised the city is not precluded from doing that if somehow Council concluded that in addition to being some special benefit to these properties, there was also a general benefit to the public or city at large by this improvement. It is Mr. Watson’s understanding that the conclusion is that this improvement is really a special benefit to these particular parcels and does not provide a broader benefit to the public at large. If that is true, then Mr. Watson believes it does not make sense to use general funds for this purpose.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson to explain the SAD process for the benefit of the general public. Mr. Watson advised a SAD is a multi-step process that provides notice to the public of what is being proposed and allows public input for each step. If tonight’s resolution is adopted, Mr. Watson reported they are at the point where the assessor is directed to develop the roll for the project. He added there would then be another public hearing so that the public could comment on the actual roll.
Mayor McLallen understands this would be the appropriate time for the resident who wishes to be removed to make his comments; Mr. Watson agreed. The Mayor further understands this would be the time to determine whether there would be any general benefit to the entire community.
Mayor McLallen asked whether this will ever be maintained by the city, or is it just something that the citizens would maintain? Mr. Smith replied that the city will maintain the system. He explained there is a dedicated storm drain easement that will lie in the city’s easement and that will be the responsibility of the city to maintain.
Although Mayor ProTem Crawford would like further clarification regarding the city’s participation, he believes the city should assume a portion of the cost.
Councilwoman Lorenzo agrees with Mayor ProTem Crawford. Further, she is concerned about how they got to this point. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes the city was not enforcing the ordinance and now she believes they are asking the resident’s of this area to pay for it. She added that there is a similar situation regarding Mr. Kour’s rear yard drainage situation in Addington Park. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes there are landscaping situations that are causing flooding and that the city should enforce the ordinances especially when flooding on adjacent properties occur. Therefore, Councilwoman Lorenzo would support paying half the cost for this project from the Drain Fund.
Mr. Kriewall advised this type of problem is fairly common in all cities. Mr. Kriewall recalled that they had many drainage problems with earlier development in the seventies when the city required a rear storm yard system for new homes. He explained that even two yards of dirt can affect the drainage for an entire neighborhood and it had become difficult to enforce because the city was not aware of the problem until an entire neighborhood experienced drainage problems. Mr. Kriewall reported today there is built in protection in the newer subdivisions because they require a rear yard storm water drainage system that accepts the sump pump discharge. He added that because they design the back yard swale drainage into the project, the problem is minimized in newer subdivisions. However, even then, Mr. Kriewall advised residents have been known to add landscaping features to improve the aesthetic value of their homes without realizing that it may affect the drainage of the entire neighborhood.
Mr. Kriewall reported he sent a letter approximately two years ago to the president of the Willowbrook Homeowner’s Association to advise that their storm water management system is comprised of an open ditch in front of the homes as comprised to the rear yard swales. He added this is especially true for the older portion of the subdivision. Mr. Kriewall added because there is a constant turnover of residents, new residents may not realize that. Further, Mr. Kriewall continued by stating that he encouraged the homeowner’s association to publish an annual notice to its residents reminding them not to fill at the rear yardline because it would affect the drainage of the entire neighborhood.
Mr. Kriewall restated this type of problem is fairly typical in most cities and the real solution is to implement exactly what is currently before Council. He further restated that enforcement is almost impossible for these types of situations because landscaping takes place unbeknownst to the city because a permit is not required for these types of improvements.
Councilwoman Lorenzo respectfully disagreed with Mr. Kriewall’s explanation. She then asked what action was taken about the complaint that the city received on July 3, 1979 from Mr. Reames. Councilwoman Lorenzo continued by asking if a neighbor was filling in the storm drainage easement, why wasn’t he required to remove the fill.
Mr. Smith suggested that they discuss that issue on its own merits; he explained he does not want to blend the two issues.
Mayor McLallen reminded Council that the issue currently before Council is a request for Resolution No. 5 for S.A.D. 150.
Councilman Schmid concurs that controlling the landscaping improvements in residents’ backyards would be virtually impossible. Further, he believes it is very easy to say that the city should pay for it, but added in reality it is coming from the citizen’s pockets when they say the city will pay for it. Councilman Schmid believes if the city has been at fault over the past twenty years for permitting Willowbrook residents to construct improper landscaping, he supposes they could justify having the city pay for some of the cost. However, he added that he has a problem dedicating citizen’s money to solve a problem in a subdivision that in effect caused their own problem even though many of those residents may no longer live there. Therefore, if the city is going to contribute to the cost, Councilman Schmid believes it should be a minimal amount.
Mayor ProTem Crawford concurs with Councilwoman Lorenzo and Mr. Kriewall. He further agrees that this matter is somewhat of an isolated situation and because of the updated ordinances that are currently in place, it is now highly unlikely that this problem will occur in the future. Therefore, for all of those reasons Mayor ProTem Crawford believes that the city should contribute to part of the cost because the city may have been part of the problem in the past by not following up on some of the complaints. He further does not believe this action would set a precedent.
Mr. Kriewall suggested that if Council agrees that the city should contribute, he would recommend approximately 20% because he believes they would be setting a precedent and other subdivisions could come forward with the same request. Consequently, he believes the city should be reasonable as to what they accord with this district.
Councilman Kramer understands that the next step is to bring the special assessment forward and he suggested that the city could be on that special assessment. He further suggested that they schedule a work session to determine what is appropriate. Further, although Councilman Kramer believes the city could be considered one of twenty participants, he believes that 20% in itself seems excessive.
Mr. Smith suggested that Council refer this matter to the Storm Water Financial Review Committee.
Councilman Kramer agreed they could refer the matter to the Storm Water Financial Review Committee and the committee could then provide a recommendation before the assessor sets the roll.
In general, Councilman DeRoche believes that assuming costs for problems that the citizens brought on is unwise for the city. However, in this case he would agree that the city should assume some of the costs and asked whether considering the monies that the city has appropriated for the expansion of the easement would be prudent as opposed to making amends for what was perceived as not taking action in the seventies. From a precedent setting standpoint, Mr. Watson does not believe that makes a difference. He explained either people will donate those easements because they want the project done or they will not.
CM-98-05-130: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To approve request for approval of Resolution No. 5, for S.A.D. 150, Willowbrook Subdivision #2 - Storm Drainage Improvement
CM-98-05-131: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, FAILED: To amend main motion to include condition that the City of Novi will contribute $10,000.00 to the cost of S.A.D. 150 Willowbrook Subdivision #2 - Storm Drainage Improvement
Councilman Schmid restated he believes this is a self inflicted problem and therefore, he believes a $10,000.00 contribution on the part of the city is excessive. He further believes this would set a precedent.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the $10,000.00 contribution is a set amount as opposed to being an equal participant in the S.A.D. Further, she asked whether this would be less of a precedent than calculating the city’s contribution some other way. Mr. Watson advised the precedent is that they are contributing any kind of an amount to the S.A.D.
Councilwoman Mutch also agrees these are self inflicted situations where owners have contributed to the problem. However, she also believes there are properties that previous owners changed and therefore, it would not be a self inflicted situation for the new owner. She also believes that the city should consider those cases where complaints were made and it was determined that someone was disregarding the ordinances. Consequently, she believes the city should incur some of the costs of specific S.A.D. assessments.
Mr. Kriewall believes it would be almost impossible to prove. He explained once the grass is growing and the trees are planted, determining who caused the first problem is difficult.
Councilwoman Mutch’s intention is not to determine who set the problem in motion. She explained she is saying that if someone made the effort to file a complaint because their property was affected and the city did not enforce its ordinances, that property owner should have some relief and the city should bear some of the cost.
Further, if the city does not contribute to the S.A.D. Councilwoman Mutch asked whether extending some sort of benefit to the property owners is possible so the resident does not have to write a check for the full amount. Mr. Kriewall advised they spread payments over a twenty year period.
Councilman Kramer will not support the amendment because he would first like to receive a recommendation from the Storm Water Financial Review Committee.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised the intent of his motion was to appropriate the funds from the Drain Fund; Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed. Further, Mayor ProTem Crawford believes that it is appropriate for the city to participate in some way. He added he agrees that determining who is at fault at this point is impossible.
Vote on CM-98-05-131: Yeas: Crawford, Lorenzo
Nays: McLallen, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
CM-98-05-132: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To amend main motion to include condition that the City of Novi be a participant of S.A.D. 150, Willowbrook Subdivision #2 - Storm Drainage Improvement and direct the Storm Water Financial Review Committee to provide a recommendation regarding the city’s financial participation prior to Resolution No. 6
Councilwoman Lorenzo will support the motion if this is the only way Council will provide financial support to the S.A.D., but she believes they are only passing the buck. She explained that she believes Council should be directing the city’s staff to enforce the ordinances and that Council should also be the ones setting policy. She further believes that the Storm Water Financial Review Committee does not have a responsibility in this matter.
Mayor ProTem Crawford concurs with Councilwoman Lorenzo. He then asked when would Resolution No. 6 come back before Council. Mr. Smith replied it would come back before Council at the first meeting in June.
Mayor ProTem Crawford will reluctantly support the motion.
Councilman Schmid restated that he believes this action will set a precedent for every ordinance which is not obeyed. He added they could potentially have every subdivision in the city come before Council for financial support.
Vote on CM-98-05-132: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,
Vote on CM-98-05-130: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,
For the record, Mayor McLallen noted there is a letter before them from William H. Stocker of 23512 Meadowbrook Road in favor of the project.
2. Adoption of Proposed 1998-1999 City of Novi Budget
CM-98-05-133: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To adopt proposed 1998-1999 City of Novi Budget as presented with the condition that Council direct staff to reevaluate any unspent funding with Council’s concurrence from the 1997-1998 City of Novi Budget, grants or any other funding in October 1998 for Parks & Recreation, sidewalk construction, tree planting, other quality of life additions, or other unspecified areas and create a Capital Improvement Fund
Councilman Kramer suggested that they include quality of life additions to the motion; Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed.
Councilman Schmid recalled that they did not make a final determination about the budget at their April 27 meeting. He further recalled that he made a proposal not to raise taxes, that they reduce the budget by 2% and that they conduct a traffic study. Councilman Schmid understood that there was a general consensus to reduce the budget by 2%, but recalled that they did not make a formal decision about this issue. In a conversation the following day with Mr. Kriewall and Mr. Gibson, Mr. Schmid believes it was understood that although there was no formal consensus, there was an indication that they would reduce the budget by 2%. However, when he spoke with Mr. Gibson the following Friday regarding the 2% reduction, he was informed that there was a change and Mr. Gibson recommended that he speak with Mr. Kriewall. Councilman Schmid stated Mr. Kriewall advised him that Mayor ProTem Crawford did not agree to the 2% reduction. He then spoke with the Mayor and they both agreed that there was some confusion concerning this reduction. He continued by stating when he received his packet that they removed a dump truck and the parking lot improvements from the budget to make up the difference. Councilman Schmid believes the current budget was not actually approved by Council because he does not believe it reflects what the majority of Council agreed to. Consequently, he believes further discussion is necessary because there are several unresolved issues.
Mayor McLallen agreed that Councilman Schmid did make specific recommendations. She recalled that Councilman Schmid was clear about the traffic study, but it was not discussed further by any of the other members. Although Mayor McLallen recalled Councilman Schmid making the 2% reduction recommendation, she also recalled that he agreed that the budget is presented by the city manager. She explained that although Council can offer their priorities, the city manager is held accountable. Therefore, she believes the consensus was that Council would like 2% of the budget redirected, but because they were not comfortable taking the full amount, they agreed that the city manager should find a way to reduce the budget by 2%. She added that 90% of the budget is personnel and therefore, the rest of the budget is very tight. Further, Mayor McLallen recalled there was a total consensus that Council would like any available additional monies to be redirected to quality of life matters.
Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled although there was not a consensus in terms of a vote, she thought there was a consensus that Mr. Kriewall would adjust the budget accordingly to accomplish those items listed in the motion. Regarding the traffic study, Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled she agreed there should be a comprehensive traffic plan for the city. Therefore, she would agree to a study if it will produce a comprehensive traffic plan.
Councilman DeRoche advised he provided a memo listing changes to line items that amounted to approximately a $400,000.00 decrease in the proposed budget. Therefore, he would support the city manager’s recommendations for a 2% decrease by repriortizing items in the budget. Further, Councilman DeRoche advised he would support a traffic study and would like to see it made a priority.
Councilman Kramer does not disagree with most of Councilman Schmid’s statements. However, he recalled that Council had a general consensus that the 2% would fund quality of life expenditures at Council’s discretion. Councilman Kramer believes that Councilman Schmid may have interpreted that as taking 2% off the overall total budget. However, Councilman Kramer believes what was presented was a figure in the contingency that amounted to approximately 2%. In addition, he believes Councilman Schmid indicated that there was already some of that in the contingency in the budget and Councilman Kramer will accept that. Councilman Kramer continued by stating that while there are line items identifying how they became contingent, he would suggest that they combine them, and say that is their contingent fund. Further, although Councilman Kramer would strongly support a traffic study, he did not believe that having a discussion at the budget sessions was necessary because he believes it should be a part of the creation of the next road fund plan.
Councilwoman Mutch will support the motion. In terms of the budget process, Councilwoman Mutch understands that Mr. Kriewall not only presents his recommendations, but he also presents the requests that he has already deleted from the various department heads. Councilwoman Mutch continued by stating she realizes each member has their own area of interest as they make their recommendations. For this budget, Councilwoman Mutch explained she realized there would be changes made because the original budget required an increase in taxes and she understood that two Council members would not approve a tax increase. However, it seems to Councilwoman Mutch that if someone felt strongly about lowering the bottom line by 2%, that it would have been more appropriate to make that statement at the first budget meeting instead of the last. Further, she believes there was an overall 2% reduction already made at the last meeting because of the various budget cuts that were made. Councilwoman Mutch added that she does not recall Council giving Mr. Kriewall the direction to make an additional 2% reduction after all of the adjustments were already made. Consequently, Councilwoman Mutch believes the consensus at the last meeting was that the 2% reduction was already made and therefore, she does not agree with Councilman Schmid’s interpretation. Further, because Councilwoman Mutch does not understand what alternatives Councilman Schmid would offer, she would like to hear it before the vote takes place.
In the interest of time, Mayor McLallen advised that the addition to the budget of an overall traffic study currently has the support of four Council members.
Councilman Schmid believes there is some misunderstanding. He agreed that he stated at the first budget meeting that he will not support an increase in taxes. However, he did not know at that point that he would recommend an overall 2% cut. He explained he did not make that determination until he had the opportunity to review the budget more closely at which point he believed that some of the money should be redirected. He added that he only suggested that a traffic study be conducted or that administration should come back with a plan about what would be accomplished in terms of traffic improvements. Councilman Schmid continued by stating that he also suggested that they leave everything in the budget and that they look for specific areas where they could reduce the budget by 2%.
Mr. Kriewall believes they can fund the comprehensive traffic strategy study from the 1 mil Road Fund and therefore, it would not require a budget amendment or budgeting at this time. He added that Mr. Nowicki could propose it anytime and fund it through an enterprise fund.
Councilman Schmid understands that the 1 mil Road Fund comes from taxes; Mr. Kriewall agreed.
Councilwoman Lorenzo will support the motion reluctantly. She added if they are going to remove the dump truck and parking lot improvements, she would like the funds reapportioned to the parks and the trees. Further, if there are monies left from the 1997-98 budget , she would like that money directed to the other areas proposed in the motion.
Councilman DeRoche considers the $250,000.00 from last year’s contingencies as revenues for the General Fund and therefore, he believes they are ahead in terms of the 2% reduction of the current budget . Further, he suggested they ask for more because he believes they have already met their goal. Councilman DeRoche thinks it is a good budget and that it is a matter of setting priorities as to whether items are needed this year or next year.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the 2% is not actually a cut but rather it is actually a reprogramming of the same funds; Mr. Kriewall agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the bottom line is acceptable and is the cost of government for the upcoming year; Mayor McLallen agreed.
Councilman Schmid interjected, he never suggested that they reduce the budget and not spend the money. He advised he stated that they should use the money for those quality of life items that he believes the city needs.
Vote on CM-98-05-133: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,
BREAK - 9:50 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
3. Request for Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetlands Permit Approval - Wilshire Abbey Subdivision, SP 97-48A, property located west of Beck Road between Nine and Ten Mile Roads
Richard Radner is before Council on behalf of the petitioner. Mr. Radner reported the first issue is regarding an island at the entrance and he reported they will remove the island based upon the city’s recommendation. He then advised that the second issue is more complicated because it involves secondary access. Mr. Radner reported the secondary access they designed is the access that they were instructed to use. He reminded Council that most communities have requirements relative to stub streets and other subdivisions, and this one is no exception. Mr. Radner explained that the Edinbourgh subdivision to the north has a cul-de-sac at the end of Wilshire Abbey’s Inverness Drive. He noted that the cul-de-sac has an out lot in the middle of it which has been designated on the plat for future roadway purposes. Although he understands the resident’s anger, Mr. Radner reported that the entire design of this particular plat was predicated on a secondary access to the north from Inverness Court. Mr. Radner added that they have a primary access that will be dedicated in the Cheltenham subdivision. He then displayed the plan and noted the proposed access. Mr. Radner added that he disagrees with the comment made in regard to this being the developer’s problem and that they are making it the resident’s problem. He explained that they believe the issue exists because of prior planning and platting. Mr. Radner advised they are not in the business of being bad neighbors and they are looking for further direction to fulfill the obligations set forth by the Planning Department. He added they purposely went ahead with the planning process because Mr. Nanda began developing his project. He further added that it was the city’s Planning Department who advised them that they would connect with Sarnia on one side and Inverness on the other.
Mayor McLallen understands that because the out lot is not owned by the city and is owned by a third party, that there is an easement acquisition issue. Mayor McLallen asked whether they spoke with the owner? Mr. Radner advised out lot A is still owned by Sussex and they have not contacted the owner because they do not intend on purchasing it. He advised they have constructed the stub up to that point and they now need further direction to resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction.
Councilman Schmid asked how did they get permission to use Mr. Nanda’s road? Mr. Radner advised that it will be a dedicated road.
Councilman Schmid asked what is the issue about the road that will be constructed to the north of Cheltenham? Mr. Radner understands Mr. Nanda is referring to the construction of a temporary emergency road that they believe would not benefit anybody. Further, he advised that the road is in an environmentally sensitive area and therefore, they believe that constructing a true secondary access farther on would be better so they could back up and access the subdivision.
Councilman Schmid asked how would they gain access to their subdivision if they were not going to use Mr. Nanda’s entrance? Mr. Radner believes they would have to gain access through the wetlands.
Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled that Mr. Lokey was concerned about Wilshire Abbey Subdivision having its own identity and asked where did they propose an entrance off Beck Road? Mr. Radner believes it was two hundred feet from Mr. Nanda’s and they would have to construct it through the wetlands.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands it would be possible to relocate the detention pond. Mr. Radner believes the detention pond was positioned on the best place possible unless they have cub cuts one after another. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes that may best versus what else is feasible and she would like an engineer to respond to whether the detention pond could be relocated.
Greg Smith of Spalding DeDecker, Inc. advised that the alternative was to bring in an access road through where they are currently proposing the detention facility. In terms of grading, they would remove some protected woodlands as well as wetlands and relocate the detention area. However, they did not pursue this alternative because of the proximity of the two curb cuts. He added they would not be comfortable having two access points so close together when a public road will be constructed once Cheltenham is developed.
Councilwoman Lorenzo does not view access through a cul-de-sac and disturbing an established subdivision as a feasible alternative. Further, Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled that the alternative was to relocate the access from Beck Road and added that the petitioners were very adamant about having a separate identity at that point. Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed it is not an ideal situation by having the two access points in such close proximity. However, given the circumstances, it would accomplish secondary access for both developers and would not disturb an already established subdivision. She also understands that a variance would be in order, but believes the petitioner has an excellent case because of the secondary access requirement. Councilwoman Lorenzo adamantly stated that she will not support access through Inverness Drive.
Mr. Radner understands the access point to the subdivision when the development started was not an issue because it was assumed that was where it was going to go because that is where the out lots were. Mr. Radner further understands that the access issue about coming in from Beck Road revolved around traffic safety.
Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled that Mr. Lokey and Mr. Nanda were going to both have individual access from Beck Road.
Councilman Kramer understands the purpose of a secondary access is for safety; Mayor McLallen agreed. Councilman Kramer suggested that there is room on a safety only basis to provide access through the out lot. Further, he believes as a compromise the configuration could include grass block that would support the emergency vehicles. He added that he believes a more imaginative design is required from the petitioner to recognize that it is not a through road. Councilman Kramer advised he would not support a Beck Road access because of the traffic implications.
Councilwoman Mutch agrees with Councilwoman Lorenzo’s comments and she would not support a road going through a cul-de-sac with established homes. Councilwoman Mutch believes the landscaped concept is interesting, but she thinks if they have a requirement that there be secondary access for safety reasons that the city must to look at the merits of that. Therefore, she thinks the developer must find a way to meet the safety needs of those purchasing homes in the development without going through the established cul-de-sac. She added that she also recalled when Mr. Nanda’s subdivision was proposed, that Mr. Lokey provided a public presentation at the same time. She added that she also recalled that Mr. Lokey was very insistent about having a separate access and he did not want to cooperate with Mr. Nanda in building a shared access. Further, she believes had they cooperated, they would have addressed all of the safety issues. Consequently, Councilwoman Mutch believes this is a self-imposed hardship and will support a motion denying the petitioner’s request.
CM-98-05-134: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny tentative preliminary plat and wetland permit applications for Wilshire Abbey Subdivision, SP 97-48A pursuant to the recommendation of the Planning Commission and Planning Department, the current form does not meet city standards
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands the grass block looks just like a lawn and noted they had done something similar to that several years ago in another subdivision. Therefore, he suggested that the petitioner pursue that alternative. In addition, he agrees that they need to protect the established neighborhood on Inverness.
Councilman Schmid understands that it is not good planning to have a stub street into a cul-de-sac? Mr. Rogers replied that it depends upon the need for a turn around. He advised the intent for the out lot on Inverness Road was to provide access to the south.
Councilman Schmid cannot recall another instance of a stub street going into a cul-de-sac. Mr. Rogers could not recall an example. Mr. Arroyo added that he could think of an example either and added that if this were to be an emergency access connection with grass pavers, it would be his recommendation that the area be changed to a cul-de-sac bulb. He believes it would further enforce the fact that motorists should not be traveling between the two projects.
Councilman Schmid is not totally opposed to adding another exit on Beck Road. He asked what would be the distance between Cheltenham and the farthest point north for Wilshire Abbey? Mr. Arroyo advised Wilshire Abbey has 227 feet of frontage with a dimension of approximately 150 feet which would amount to approximately 422 feet.
Councilman Schmid asked whether a 350 foot separation on Beck Road is adequate? Mr. Arroyo believes 350 feet would not cause a significant problem. However, he advised the practical difficulty is that because there are wetlands and woodlands, it would be unlikely that the petitioner could obtain a DEQ or City of Novi wetland’s permit. Consequently, the roadway would hug the south end of their frontage, the roadways would not meet the city’s spacing standards and would cause double frontage for some of the lots.
From a Beck Road standpoint, Councilman Schmid asked whether Mr. Arroyo would agree that a 350 foot separation between the driveways would be adequate? Mr. Arroyo believes they could get access, but restated it is unlikely that it would meet the spacing standards.
Councilman DeRoche will support the motion and added he believes Council has offered the petitioner several alternatives. From a planning standpoint, Councilman DeRoche stated although the city allowed something to get developed as a cul-de-sac, he believes they should position the houses so they can make it a street and avoid situations like this in the future.
Councilwoman Lorenzo noted that the motion should include denial of the wetland’s permit.
Councilwoman Mutch added she would like to add "pursuant to the recommendation of the Planning Commission and Planning Department, the current form does not meet city standards" to her motion; Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed.
Vote on CM-98-05-134: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
4. Request for Tentative Preliminary Plat, Wetlands Permit, Stub Street and Sidewalk Variance Approvals - Park Place Subdivision, SP 97-44A, property located south of Nine Mile Road east of Napier Road
George Norberg of Seiber, Keast & Associates advised he is before Council on behalf of the petitioner. Mr. Norberg clarified it is a 131 acre site with 100 lots as opposed to the 102 lots due to an increase in the preservation factor. He added they are currently working with the DPW department to determine the best way to provide sanitary sewer service. Further, individual wells will be provided and if they receive approval they will begin testing the wells. Mr. Norberg further reported that water retention will be held on site. Mr. Norberg advised there are several very small pocketed wetlands located on some of the lots and the wetland is approximately one half acres of which .25 of it was determined by Sue Tepatti to be not as essential as the other wetlands. Therefore, they are proposing to fill that to provide drainage for that section.
Mr. Norberg advised the request for the sidewalk waiver is because of the large lots and therefore, they question the need for sidewalks.
Regarding the elimination of the southern stub street, Mr. Norberg reported the preliminary plan shows a 1,100 foot stub street that would support approximately thirteen lots. Mr. Norberg advised they understand it is in excess of the city’s standard of 800 feet, but noted thirteen lots are a lot less than what they would generally see in R-4. Consequently, they do not see a need for a stub street in that area. Further, Mr. Norberg noted there is an Edison corridor that could be penetrated as they are penetrating it at Buck Drive, but noted beyond that is the Novi Sports Center and therefore, it is unlikely that they would extend the road to the south. Mr. Norberg noted their request for a variance for a stub street to the east is similar to that in the south.
Councilman Kramer noted that the petitioner indicated an access point in the southeastern quadrant as a potential link to another potential subdivision. He then asked that if they built a subdivision, would the entrance be from Nine Mile Road and the 1,300 foot point is down further? Mr. Norberg replied the 1,300 feet comes just around the corner. He supposes that the logical point, if there were no woodlands or wetlands, would be to bring it down further to the center.
Councilman Kramer does not want to create problems for a future subdivision by not considering future alternatives for connection.
Mr. Arroyo believes a stub would offer the ability to provide a cul-de-sac that would meet standards and added that the 1,300 feet is a maximum length.
Councilman Kramer understands that if there were an access in this range, it would make anything that developed in that area able to conform to the city’s construction standards. Mr. Arroyo believes that is correct based upon what he has reviewed today.
Councilman Kramer would support adding a stub street to the east.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether there is a flood plain on site? Mr. Norberg replied there is no flood plain on site.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether every lot will be buildable without any fill or pilings? Mr. Norberg replied they expect that all the lots will be buildable.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how much does it cost to maintain a pump station? Mr. Norberg stated the cost may be approximately $15,000.00 annually and added that he believes it may be higher. Mr. Kapelczak recalled the cost was approximately $17,000.00 three years ago.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that they will expect the city to maintain the pump stations; Mr. Norberg agreed they will be dedicated to the city.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what if the city does not want to maintain them? Mr. Norberg understands that the area is only serviceable by one or two pump stations and they are trying to limit them.
Councilwoman Lorenzo does not believe that paying for a pump station for a petitioner’s subdivision is reasonable for the city and its citizens. Mr. Norberg is assuming that the maintenance fees will come from the tap fees or connection charges.
Mr. Kriewall advised the city has a systems approach to operating existing pumping stations. He explained there are two or three in the southern system and three or four in the Walled Lake System. He advised they treat them as part of the entire system from a maintenance standpoint. Mr. Kriewall added it is difficult to charge a particular subdivision a premium just because they have a lift station. Mr. Kriewall added that because of past criticism, they have taken the position that they would rather have a forced main where they can keep the excavation for sewers at a higher level as to not disturb the existing aquifers.
Councilwoman Lorenzo will not support the idea of citizens paying for a developer’s subdivision.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is also concerned about Nine Mile and Napier Roads. She noted the roads are not improved and added there were concerns expressed about the road’s maintenance. Mr. Kriewall reported the City Charter prohibits them from developing special assessment districts for the paving of mile roads. He then advised that Napier is a county road and if they wanted to take some initiative in cooperation with Lyon Township, they may discuss it as a joint effort. However, Mr. Kriewall noted they are not interested in paving it at a city cost. Mr. Norberg added that the density is 0.77 units per acre and the cost becomes prohibitive to try to carry those road costs.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the petitioner is willing to consider alternative improvements for Nine Mile Road (i.e., crown) that will help the drainage conditions. Mr. Norberg believes the dollars would become the issue. He then reminded Council that the petitioner is bringing in sanitary sewer and will put the road back in with a crown and so forth. Mr. Norberg believes they would make the standard improvements after the construction of the sanitary sewer is completed.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the petitioner would consider contributing partial funding? Mr. Norberg advised they are currently in the process of preparing a report for the sanitary sewer that will include costs and they can then evaluate additional costs that they might incur for the roadway.
Councilwoman Lorenzo will not support the extension into the cul-de-sac. Further, she believes this is premature until there is further clarification as to who will maintain the roads, what the improvements will be like and who will pay for it. Consequently, she is not willing to give even a preliminary approval at this point.
Mr. Norberg advised that Mr. Jerome has requested that they consider the possibility of combination gravity sewers so that individuals along the route could be picked up by gravity and connected to the sewer system. Mr. Norberg added that several residents along the route are interested in connecting to the sewer.
Councilwoman Lorenzo does not believe residents should subsidize a pump station that does not benefit them. Mr. Norberg disagreed and stated that it eventually could benefit other residents. He explained they plan to look at the entire district along Garfield Road, although its benefits may not take effect immediately.
Councilman Schmid hopes this development sets a precedent for one acre lots in the western portion of Novi. Councilman Schmid stated he appreciates the extensive costs that the developer will incur for the 8,000 foot sewer. Further, Councilman Schmid stated although he concurs with concerns about the roads and the costs to maintain the pumps, he believes the taxes for these homes will cover these costs. Councilman Schmid believes it is a cost effective subdivision because of the tax base derived from this type of development.
Councilman Schmid added he will not support putting a stub into the cul-de-sac and asked how will the petitioner resolve that issue. Mr. Norberg advised that the Planning Commission suggested that they put in a break away gate.
Councilman Schmid asked how many exits are there? Mr. Norberg replied there are three exits.
Councilman Schmid understands the long cul-de-sac in Deer Run is also a problem. Mr. Norberg advised that the resolution for both subdivisions would be to make the connection.
Mayor McLallen asked why was a connection between the two subdivisions proposed in the first place? Mr. Arroyo advised there are two city standards that address this issue. He advised one is the cul-de-sac length and he noted that Buck Drive exceeds 800 feet in length. To do that, Mr. Arroyo reported there must be another point of access or they must request a variance for the excessive length.
The Mayor understands they could also redesign the lots in that area; Mr. Arroyo agreed. Mr. Arroyo added that the other is the stub street standard which found in the Subdivision Ordinance and specifies they must provide stub streets every 1,300 feet. Mr. Arroyo noted that the connection to Deer Run is one of the requirements per the stub street standards. Mr. Arroyo then advised there are several options. He explained they could provide an emergency access, not provide the connection and Council would grant a waiver, or build it as a full access.
Councilman DeRoche understands the Planning Commission’s recommendation is to grant a waiver for the stub streets; Mr. Arroyo agreed.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether they can connect in the area that Councilman Kramer referred to? Mr. Arroyo believes the possibility exists.
Councilman DeRoche understands the Park Place variance for the cul-de-sac would be smaller than the Deer Run variance; Mr. Arroyo agreed. He added they require all of the homes to have sprinklers for fire suppression as a condition for granting the length in the Deer Run subdivision.
Councilman DeRoche would support a variance for the cul-de-sac if that would resolve the heart of the issue.
Mayor ProTem Crawford concurs with Councilman Schmid’s remarks. He added that he also agrees with the Planning Commissions recommendation regarding sidewalks because of the one acre lots. He added that he will not support the stub into the cul-de-sac, but would support the addition of grass pavers. Further, he appreciates the development of the sewer and does not think the city’s maintenance of the pumps should be an issue. Regarding the roads, Mayor ProTem Crawford would expect a more acceptable road to be reconstructed after the sewer is constructed.
Mayor ProTem Crawford is uncertain about whether he should include conditions about improving the road in the motion.
Mr. Norberg asked whether the sanitary sewer has to come back before Council? Mr. Kriewall believes it would have to come back before Council for some type of approval.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether expecting the road to be reconstructed to meet current city standards is reasonable? Mr. Kriewall believes it makes sense.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would like to stipulate that the road must be crowned and ditched in the motion, and he does not want to see a lot of trees removed to accomplish that.
Mayor ProTem Crawford then asked whether they require a variance for the internal sidewalks? Mayor McLallen advised variances are required for the two stub streets and the sidewalk. Mayor ProTem Crawford would also like to make that a part of the motion.
Mayor ProTem Crawford is unclear about the stub street’s issue and asked whether providing grass pavers is feasible for the developer. Mr. Norberg believes it is feasible and understands that the reason they have not used grass pavers in general is because of objections raised by the fire department.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that emergency vehicles would rather have an asphalt road or a break away gate. However, he believes this alternative may be acceptable because there will not be support to connect to the cul-de-sac. Mr. Norberg believes the grass pavers would be acceptable to the petitioner.
Mr. Arroyo added as long as the grass pavers can support twenty five tons, it will meet the city’s requirements.
Mayor ProTem Crawford recalled that the city has done this before.
Councilman Kramer asked whether they want to address the stub streets further.
Mayor McLallen advised that the Construction and Design Standards requires a stub off the southerly road going south. However, as the petitioner’s engineer has stated, that small subdivision will never go further south because it would then go into the park. The Mayor continued by stating that the piece on the east seems somewhat ill defined and that they could potentially put the stub on the east and will function with little detriment.
Mayor ProTem Crawford believes when they mandate stub streets that they run into problems with them years down the road. Therefore, he would like to approve a waiver to eliminate them.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised his motion would include: no stubs, no connection to the cul-de-sac and provide grass pavers instead, and improve Nine Mile Road to meet city standards after the construction of the sewer.
CM-98-05-135: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, FAILED: To grant tentative preliminary plat approval, wetlands permit approval and variances for the stub street to the south and east and sidewalks on the east and south at the corner of Wheatland and Nine Mile Roads and subject to grass pavers being introduced at the end of the drive, Nine Mile reconstructed, crowned and ditched where feasible and all consultants’ recommendations for Park Place Subdivision, SP 97-44A
Councilman Schmid agrees with just about everything included in the motion. However, he would prefer that the city would look at Nine Mile Road. He explained when they put in ditches, they remove large pieces of land (60-70 feet). Councilman Schmid believes the road will eventually be curb and gutter, and blacktopped. Therefore, he restated that the city should consider adding it to the road program at some point.
Mr. Kriewall advised that they have received several requests from residents in that area to include Nine Mile Road from Beck to Napier Roads in the next road bonding program. Consequently, they are looking very closely at that even though at one time they were considering leaving it as a natural beauty area because the trees are very close to the roadway. However, he noted that the road has become a maintenance headache because of the amount of traffic that is generated in the area.
Councilman Schmid believes they eliminated the stub streets. However, he believes they should take a closer look at the ordinance in regard to stub streets because they continually run into the same problem and he is beginning to believe subdivisions can stand on their own as long as they have the appropriate exits. Although it is a separate issue, Councilman Schmid concurs that they should eliminate the stub streets.
Councilman Kramer would like to support most of the motion. However, he noted that the cul-de-sac at the end of Deer Run is not a three hundred and sixty degree cul-de-sac, and is not surrounded with homes like Inverness Drive. Councilman Kramer believes it would be in Deer Run’s best interest to want to support an emergency access in that area because the cul-de-sac is a half mile long. However, he clarified that he does not support the idea of making the road a through road for the subdivision to the west. Therefore, he believes the right solution was suggested by Mayor ProTem Crawford in that a connection be made and that it be used for emergency use only. Councilman Kramer added that he believes they should provide for the access to the easterly parcel because he is in support of health, safety and welfare with regard to providing secondary access. He added that he believes they resolved the traffic concerns in terms of stub streets by the methods that they discussed this evening. Councilman Kramer would like to see the connection made and therefore, he will not support the motion if a variance is given for this stub.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what are the reasons for requiring sidewalks in subdivisions? Mr. Arroyo replied their purpose is to separate pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether there is a safe way for pedestrians to walk through subdivisions without sidewalks? Mr. Arroyo replied sidewalks provide a safer method for pedestrian flow.
Councilwoman Mutch asked at what point does it become relatively safe for pedestrians to walk without sidewalks? Mr. Arroyo replied this question arises frequently in rural areas and he does not know of any community that has a five acre minimum lot size that requires sidewalks. He added he does know of communities that have lot sizes less than one acre that do require sidewalks. Mr. Arroyo believes it is somewhere in between where most communities find it is reasonable not to require sidewalks and therefore, he believes depends on an individual preference.
Councilwoman Mutch asked why were one acre lots included when they drafted the ordinance? Mr. Arroyo recalled there was discussion to exclude one acre lots, however when it passed, it was included.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what is Mr. Arroyo’s recommendation. Mr. Arroyo believes until they modify the ordinance, he believes they should follow the ordinance unless there are special circumstances. Mr. Arroyo believes there are special circumstances in this case because there are woodlands and wetlands that abut some of the roadways.
Councilwoman Mutch’s position would be to follow the ordinance that includes one acre lots for internal sidewalks because she believes there are good reasons to include them. She added that she understands people often lose sight of the fact that there are small children that need to travel safely through the neighborhoods to visit their friends. Therefore, Councilwoman Mutch believes they need to provide a safe way for children to get through the neighborhoods. Therefore, Councilwoman Mutch will not support the variance for waiving the requirement for internal sidewalks. In addition, Councilwoman Mutch believes it is equally important to provide connections for safety, for connecting neighborhoods and for creating a sense of community. Councilwoman Mutch added she is uncertain about whether she supports the compromise and would like the Fire Department to address that issue further because she understands their opinion on grass pavers is somewhat dated.
Mr. Arroyo advised that the issue of break away gates came forward for this project and the Fire Department does not generally support them. However, in this case the Fire Department supported the gates because there was already one point of access. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo believes as long as whatever they decide to put in there can support twenty five tons, it will meet the city standards.
In regard to the stub streets, Mr. Arroyo advised when these two projects came before the Planning Commission, they also had concerns about stub streets and consequently, they referred the item to the Implementation Committee to study the issue in more detail.
Councilwoman Mutch understands some suggestions have been made to have stub streets going to areas that are currently undeveloped where the expectation is because of the size of the property and other considerations, there may only be a dozen to thirteen lots anyway. Councilwoman Mutch does not find that to be a good suggestion because there is no guarantee that the property will ever develop in a way that would lend itself to a stub street. Councilwoman Mutch believes it is kind of an illusion that they have secondary access or potential secondary access with stub streets because until the road is there, they do not have anything. Further, Councilwoman Mutch does not find stub streets that have not gone anywhere in older subdivisions very attractive.
Councilman DeRoche called the question.
Mayor McLallen advised the question before Council is the recommendation for support of Site Plan 97-44A. She noted there would be a variance granted on the requirement for sidewalks, a variance granted for the requirement of stub streets, Nine Mile Road would be reconstructed in better condition after construction of the sewer, the emergency access in the southeasterly portion of the property be constructed in grass pavers and that it be limited to the use of emergency vehicles only.
Vote on CM-98-05-135: Yeas: Crawford, Kramer, Schmid
Nays: McLallen, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch
Councilman Kramer moved to propose the original motion, but added that he would like to include the stub street to the east. Councilman Kramer explained he believes they should have a provision to connect the properties to break up a potential thirteen hundred foot cul-de-sac for reasons of health, safety and welfare.
Councilman Schmid believes it is a road, not a cul-de-sac.
Councilman Kramer stated it would be a stub street into a development and according to the layout, it is a piece of property that would be developed into a dead end and this would provide an intermediate intercept. He added it is also consistent with the city’s policy to try to minimize cul-de-sac lines. Councilman Kramer is trying to provide those design aspects.
Councilman Schmid understands that Councilman Kramer is talking about future development; Councilman Kramer agreed. Councilman Kramer added that the stub may not necessarily have to go in, but he believes this will provide the provision to connect somewhere in this area.
CM-98-05-136: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED: To grant tentative preliminary plat approval, wetlands permit approval and variances for the stub street to the south and sidewalks on the east and south at the corner of Wheatland and Nine Mile Roads and subject to grass pavers being introduced at the end of the drive, Nine Mile reconstructed, crowned and ditched where feasible and all consultants’ recommendations for Park Place Subdivision, SP 97-44A
Mayor ProTem Crawford wants to make certain that he understands the motion and asked whether it would be necessary to put the street in right now? Councilman Kramer believes they just need the provisions and they can discuss whether the developer will actually construct the street or not at another time. Councilman Kramer advised they just need the right-of-way assigned so that if a development comes in, the connection can be made.
Mayor ProTem Crawford will reluctantly vote for this, but he added that he believes they are setting themselves up for a future problem if they do not construct a street there. He explained they keep hearing from people that move in and now all of a sudden there is traffic that they never knew about. In addition, Mayor ProTem Crawford stated they asking to put in a street that they do not really know where it might go to benefit whoever else might come in next door, if and when anybody does. Mayor ProTem Crawford restated he will vote for the motion to move this matter forward, but he still believes they are setting themselves up for some problems and they are just guessing at where this stub might benefit a future development if it ever takes place.
Councilwoman Mutch will not support the motion because it still excludes the sidewalks and the ordinance requires them.
Councilman Schmid does not believe sidewalks have to be dictated by Council.
Councilwoman Mutch asked who is responsible for the maintenance of the grass pavers? Mr. Watson understands the subdivision’s homeowner’s association maintains the grass pavers as part of their Covenants & Restrictions.
Vote on CM-98-05-136: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Schmid
Nays: McLallen, Lorenzo, Mutch
Mayor McLallen wants the subdivision to be successful and added that she highly opposes the connection between the two subdivisions. She added that she cannot envision a fire truck using Buck Drive under emergency circumstances. Further, the Mayor advised her biggest regret is the lack of sidewalks because the children will have to play in the streets.
5. Requests for approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.573 (St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems) from R-A, Residential Acreage, and OS-1, Office Service District, to OST, Office Service Technology, property located on the southeast corner of Twelve Mile and Meadowbrook Roads
Joe Galvin advised he is present on behalf of the petitioner and they are present to rezone seventy acres to OST, Office Service Technology. He added that the rezoning is consistent with the city’s master plan use. Further, Mr. Galvin noted they have received a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission and city’s consultants.
Councilwoman Lorenzo departed at 11:55 p.m. because of a family emergency.
Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Rogers to explain the difference between OST & OS-1 zoning. Mr. Rogers replied that they both permit office use, hospital use, and ambulatory care facilities. In addition, Mr. Rogers reported that the height can be four to five stories in both districts. Mr. Rogers advised that more setback is required in an OST district and an OS-1 district permits certain retail uses (i.e., beauty shop or barber shop). Mr. Rogers advised that neither district requires a special land use, a public hearing, or a referral to Council. Mr. Rogers stated the purpose of OST is to make a consistent zoning pattern for Area 2A and 2B.
Councilman Schmid would like further clarification regarding taxes. Mr. Rogers understands some of the property will be taxable, but the hospital or medical care facility will not be taxable. However, if there is a medical office building with doctors paying rent, it is Mr. Rogers understanding that they will pay their share of taxes. Mr. Rogers is uncertain as to the percentage they will pay.
Councilman Schmid assumes they have addressed the traffic issue. Mr. Rogers advised that Mr. Arroyo carefully reviewed the traffic issues.
CM-98-05-137: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.573, St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems, requesting rezoning from R-A Residential Acreage and OS-1 Office Service District to OST, Office Service Technology
Vote on CM-98-05-137: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Absent for Vote: Lorenzo
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II
6. Request for adoption of Resolutions, Re: Abusive Language and Investigative Time
Councilman Schmid does not disagree with the resolutions, but he believes they do not need them. He explained if someone is causing trouble within the city’s offices, staff already has the authority to call the police. He added that he wonders whether this will be more of a hindrance than a help because he believes it does not do anything more than what the staff already has a right to do.
Mr. Watson believes the resolution provides direction for department heads and is a question of whether there is an ongoing problem in the city.
Councilman Schmid believes every business and organization has this problem and he does not believe they need ordinances or resolutions to address them.
CM-98-05-138: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt two Resolutions addressing substantial city employee time to fulfill requests and abusive language to city employees as amended
Although Mayor ProTem Crawford agrees with Councilman Schmid, he also believes the resolution shows Council support and recognition of the problem. Therefore, he will support the motion.
Councilwoman Mutch believes the resolution may divert potential problems. Councilwoman Mutch added she is concerned about the language stating that "requests would be referred to Department Heads who shall exercise their discretion as to whether such request shall be honored." Councilwoman Mutch believes the department needs to respond in some way even if they say they are not going to comply with that request for whatever reason.
Mr. Watson suggested that they add, "and shall so advise the requesting parties."
Councilwoman Mutch added that she believes if the idea is to curb behavior that is creating problems for staff that it might be helpful to post something at the public counters advising them that the staff will not tolerate that type of behavior.
Councilman Schmid believes negatives create negatives and does not agree that they should have the resolution posted.
Vote on CM-98-05-138: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Absent for Vote: Lorenzo
Mayor McLallen concurs with Councilman Schmid regarding the posting of signs and she added that it disturbs her that they must have this kind of policy at all.
Mr. Kriewall reported that Council had previously approved the purchase of the AMOCO property located at Grand River and Novi Road in the amount of $100,000.00. He then reported they sent the agreement to AMOCO and their corporate attorneys decided that they wanted it on their form. Mr. Kriewall advised they have received the agreement in proper form. He added that it has been reviewed by the city attorney and the city attorney believes it is a better agreement for the City of Novi in terms of some of the environmental language. Further, the city attorney recommends that Council reapprove the purchase agreement contingent upon AMOCO providing the environmental closure letter which they agreed to on the original purchase agreement and provide acceptable title policy in a timely fashion. Mr. Kriewall understands that AMOCO wants to close on the fifteenth.
CM-98-05-139: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: to approve revised Purchase Agreement on the AMOCO Property located at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Novi Road
Vote on CM-98-05-139: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Absent for Vote: Lorenzo
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Items listed on the Consent Agenda which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approve the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meetings of April 16 and 27, 1998
CM-98-05-140: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the approval of the minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of April 27, 1998 until the next Regular City Council Meeting scheduled for May 11, 1998
Vote on CM-98-05-140: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Absent for Vote: Lorenzo
Councilwoman Mutch noted under Audience Participation, the word "quorum" should read "forum." Councilwoman Mutch added that she would like someone in the Clerk’s office to review the tapes about something she said.
CM-98-05-141: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of April 16, 1998 as corrected and permit Councilwoman Mutch to direct the Clerk’s office to review the tapes about something she stated
Vote on CM-98-05-141: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Absent for Vote: Lorenzo
Mayor McLallen reported that the Rules Committee will meet Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Councilman Kramer reported that the Ad-Hoc Communications Committee is going to prepare a brief summary of current, newly planned, future projects, proposals, open items and a brief discussion on the committee’s status for Council. In addition, they are going to prepare a proposal to bring back for Council’s consideration about initiating a Town Hall Meeting. Councilwoman Mutch noted that there is an article in the Michigan Municipal Review written by Curt Anderson who conducted the Web Site Development Workshop and there are examples listing various communities in Michigan with web pages, including Walled Lake.
Mayor ProTem Crawford noted there was a communication in the packet from Linda Racey regarding Salow’s Walnut Hill Sewer, SAD that indicated the city has contributed to some portion of the water main under certain circumstances in the past and she would like Council to take that under advisement. He further understands that Ms. Racey, with Council concurrence, would direct staff to determine whether the city has contributed in the past.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES - None
MANAGER’S REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Memorandum to Greg Capote from Lou Martin, Re: Economic Development Corporation Photo
2. Letter from Representative Cassis to City Council, Re: MDOT’s procedures for notifying local units on the availability of sale of department owned property
3. Memorandum to City Council from Lou Martin, Re: Council Goal Statement
4. Letter from Councilwoman Lorenzo to Mayor and Council, Re: Resignation from the Fuerst Property Task Force Committee
5. Letter from John Tatum, Merch Health Services, to City Council, Re: Clarification of article in Crain’s Detroit Business about Merch Health Services moving its offices to Novi
6. Letter from Craig Smith to Leon Kour, Re: Rear Yard Drainage
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:16 a.m.
Mayor City Clerk
Date Approved: June 8, 1998