|REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, JULY 6, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid (absent/excused)
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen noted that a letter from the city’s Forestry Department was placed before them concerning street trees in the Autumn Park subdivision which is also before them tonight for final plat approval. She added there are also letters from the ordinance officers asking for further clarification about Item 4 under Matters for Council Action Part I and from Phil Koneda regarding his resignation from the Parks and Recreation Commission because of his recent appointment to the Planning Commission. Finally, there is a memo addressing a correction for the minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of June 22, 1998.
Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that Council add Communication Gaps as Item 2 and Request for Report Regarding Barclay Estates Complaints as Item 3 under Mayor and Council Issues.
Councilwoman Mutch requested that Council add Library FYI Report Comments as Item 4 under Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-98-07-215: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-98-07-215: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
1. Proclamation to Brandon Rogers
State Representative Nancy Cassis presented a special tribute to Mr. Rogers on behalf of Governor Engler, Senator Bullard and herself.
On a personal note, Representative Cassis believes Mr. Rogers has seen and guided Novi’s unprecedented growth and development. She added that everyone is reminded of his professionalism, integrity and commitment to Novi’s image and vision as they look around the city. As a planning consultant, Representative Cassis believes Mr. Roger’s craft is deeply rooted in the New England heritage of which Novi has been the beneficiary and his work is a lasting legacy to the city.
Mayor McLallen presented a Proclamation and a key to the city on behalf of the City of Novi to Mr. Rogers.
State Representative Nancy Cassis - advised because of the issues raised by the City of Novi, the state has taken a renewed interest in Grand River Avenue. She noted that any improvements for Grand River are connected with the Wixom/Beck improvements and that she hopes to see both intersections greatly improved within four to five years. She then reported that the Director of the Oakland County Road Commission has communicated that Oakland County is going to facilitate these projects, and will pursue a variety of funding mechanisms while working with both Novi and Wixom to widen Grand River Avenue. Representative Cassis assured Council that she will follow-up on the funding issue regularly. In addition, she recently read that SEMCOG has also identified Grand River as deserving improvements.
In response to the issue of access to the Internet at the libraries, State Representative Cassis advised she has recently conducted some research with the intent to protect the children. She explained that she recently presented this issue to the state’s legal research division who drafted proposed legislation to address Internet access for children. She advised that the legislation would permit libraries voluntarily to restrict access of Internet use for minors. She continued by stating that because it is voluntary, that they could avoid the Headlee funding issue as to mandating programs that do not have any funding. At this point, Representative Cassis advised that they have assigned the bill to the Advanced Technology and Computer Committee. She added that although they respect privacy and confidentiality, the Internet is a new arena and that this is the correct way to pursue this issue in order to protect children and families.
Tom Woodruff - Novi Chamber of Commerce, advised that Brent Blair, Director of the Oakland County Road Commission will be the speaker at the Chamber’s August luncheon and asked that those who are interested in attending to contact the Chamber’s office.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor McLallen noted there is memo before them from the Clerk’s office advising Council about the correction (Southfield Construction Company should be changed to South Hill Construction Company) to the Minutes for the Regular City Council Meeting of June 22, 1998.
Councilman DeRoche requested that they remove Item B.
Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that they remove Item C.
CM-98-07-216: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda with correction to Minutes for the Regular City council Meeting of June 22, 1998 and as amended:
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. Regular City Council Meeting of June 22, 1998
2. Special Meeting of June 22, 1998.
D. Approval of various easement for the Meadowbrook Road Paving Project.
E. Approval of Drainage Easement and Grading Permit for Olde Property Corporation for the Nine Mile Road/Novi Road Intersection Improvements Project
F. Approval of a Grading Permit for Harry Slatkin Builders, Inc. for the Nine Mile Road/Novi Road Intersection Improvements Project.
G. Approval to purchase one Front Loader from Foote Tractor, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 for the Parks & Recreation Department.
H. Approval to purchase one GMC truck and snow plow through Oakland County Joint Purchasing Program in the amount of $24,444 for the Parks & Recreation Department.
I. Approval to extend the Street Sweeping Contract with Metro Sewer Cleaners at current pricing for the remainder of the 1998 season.
J. Schedule Executive Sessions for:
1. July 20, 1998 at 6:00 P.M. for the purpose of Pending Litigation, Union Negotiations and Attorney’s Opinion.
2. July 6, 1998 immediately following the Regular Council Meeting for the purpose of discussing Property Acquisition and Pending Litigation.
K. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 521
B. Adoption of a Resolution and approval of Amended Agreement of Sale/Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Adell Childrens Trust Fund, et. Al., to include a Temporary Construction Easement for the Crescent Boulevard Extension Project.
C. Approval of a Resolution reaffirming the availability of a wetland mitigation site for the Nova Development with costs of such to be the responsibility of Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust.
Vote on CM-98-07-216: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part I
1. Request for a waiver from the Design and Construction Standards, Article XII, Chapter 11-276, Pedestrian Safety Paths - Walgreen’s Property located south of Ten Mile and east of Novi Roads
Mayor McLallen understands the request for the waiver is a result of the topographical limitations of the site. She added that the applicant has requested that they be permitted to bond for the twenty feet and not have the path constructed until the property to the east develops.
Mayor McLallen understands there are three issues. She explained one is that the petitioner must make a case that a literal interpretation of the ordinance would be a hardship on them at this time. Secondly, the petitioner must then offer an acceptable alternative (i.e., bond). Finally, the petitioner must insure that there is no detrimental impact in granting the waiver to the city or any adjacent property owner.
Mark Drane, architect for the petitioner, advised that they do not wish to build a portion of the safety path at this time. He explained if they construct the path, they would end with a 20% gradient on the path which would cause an unsafe situation. Consequently, they are before Council requesting this waiver. He advised they would propose a bond for the work and when the property to the east is developed, they can then resolve the issue at that point. In addition, he believes it makes more sense to work with the adjacent owner at the time they develop the property. Further, they do not believe the granting of this waiver would be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the community.
Councilwoman Mutch asked Mr. Nowicki to comment on Haim Schlick’s recommendation that Council deny the waiver. Mr. Nowicki understands that Mr. Schlick believes there is an engineering solution available and therefore, the petitioner could proceed with the bike path. As a result, he had some concerns about granting the waiver. However, Mr. Nowicki believes if the waiver is structured properly, that it is possible to grant the waiver because it only amounts to a twenty foot section.
Because it is only a small piece and connects to undeveloped property, Councilwoman Mutch agreed that it makes a difference in this request. Further, she believes although there may be an engineering solution at this time for the topography, she noted that the owner to the east may also have to address the same kind of engineering issues and make adjustments also. Therefore, she believes that granting the waiver at this time may be better.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what kind of material will be used to construct the paths? Mr. Drane understands that the area is master planned for an eight foot asphalt safety path on Ten Mile Road. He added there will be a five foot concrete sidewalk on Novi Road and the two surfaces will abut at the corner.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they can offer a more attractive alternative where the two surfaces will meet. Mr. Nowicki recommended that the corner be constructed of concrete.
If they were to construct the twenty foot path section at this point, Councilman DeRoche asked whether it is likely that they would have to reconstruct it when the property to the east is developed. Mr. Nowicki believes they could make it work from an engineering perspective. However, he reminded Council there would be a twenty foot path that would lead to a drop off. Mr. Nowicki added that because it would lead to nowhere, it would get no use and would deteriorate.
CM-98-07-217: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request for a waiver from the Design and Construction Standards, Article XII, Chapter 11-276, Pedestrian Safety Paths for Walgreens property located south of Ten Mile and east of Novi Roads subject to the developer posting a bond for construction of the pedestrian safety paths until the easterly adjacent property is developed and that concrete will be used for the construction of the path at the corner
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that the ordinance requires that the Ten Mile portion be constructed of asphalt. However, he then asked whether they can construct it with concrete because it looks better and is easier to maintain. He added that constructing the path of all concrete would also solve the problem of abutting the two surfaces at the corner.
Mayor McLallen understands that the current construction standards require that the bike paths be eight foot wide asphalt and that the safety paths should be five foot concrete; Mr. Watson agreed.
Mayor McLallen asked whether there is another mechanism if Council wishes to deviate from this requirement? Mr. Watson believes Council must revise the ordinance and added this is something that has been before the Ordinance Review Committee in the past.
Mayor McLallen believes Mayor ProTem Crawford is concerned about the high visibility of this corner and questions whether there is a mechanism to construct the entire path with concrete. Mr. Watson restated that he does not believe such a mechanism exists unless Council changes the ordinance or unless the applicant makes that request.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the petitioner would agree to that? Mr. Drane replied he would have to decline at this point.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether there is a major difference in cost between asphalt and concrete? Mr. Drane replied that there is, but he is unable to provide a cost comparison at this point.
Mayor McLallen reminded Council that the petitioner has a plan that meets the ordinance requirements and that this issue is not the burden of the applicant.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the corner will be concrete? Mr. Drane advised they would be willing to put concrete at the corner.
Mayor McLallen reminded Council that there is no relief for this issue tonight and it would be beyond their power hold them up at this point because of an ordinance issue.
Councilman DeRoche suggested that they resolve the ordinance issue at some other point and added he will accept the amendment to construct the corner with concrete.
Councilwoman Lorenzo will support the motion, but noted that she believes that they should not discuss the issues about the bike path ordinance at this point and that those conditions should not be a part of the motion.
Councilwoman Mutch encouraged Council to resolve the issues about the bike path ordinance so they do not have to keep revisiting it.
Vote on CM-98-07-217: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
2. Request for Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval - Westmont Village, SP 97-05C, property located south of Ten Mile Road and west of Taft Road.
Richard Lewiston, Westmont Development Associates advised they appeared before Council on November 24, 1997 in connection with a nineteen lot subdivision plat known as Westmont #2. As a result of that meeting, Mr. Lewiston reported that the residents of Westmont Village #1 clearly preferred a plan presented to Council in 1992 and showed a two cul-de-sac continuation of the existing streets in Westmont. Mr. Lewiston advised that they clearly understood what the residents wanted and therefore, the petitioner redesigned the subdivisions so that it conformed precisely to the 1992 plan. He reported that Westmont #2 has eight lots and Westmont #3 has three lots. He explained they are depicted as separate subdivisions because they have not physically connected them. He continued by stating that the consultants to the city circulated the plat for consideration and review, and the plat received positive recommendations. He advised that they received their woodland permit and that they impact no wetlands in either subdivision. Regarding the woodland permit, he advised that twenty four regulated trees are being removed and will be replaced by thirty four trees. Further, he advised that they have agreed voluntarily at the Planning Commission level to grant the remaining land (29.6501 acres) to the city as a conservation easement.
CM-98-07-218: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant request for Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval for Westmont Village, SP97-05C, property located south of Ten Mile Road and west of Taft Road
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked where will the storm water run off from the storm sewer? Mr. Lewiston replied it will go easterly through Addington to one of the regional retention basins.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the retention basin is a wetland area or a man-made retention basin? Mr. Lewiston would have to look at a map.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned about the water quality if it is a wetland related retention basin. Mr. Lewiston is unsure, but noted that there are only three acres and they capture everything in the storm sewer.
Councilwoman Lorenzo commended Mr. Lewiston on the revised plan and she appreciates the petitioner’s generosity regarding the preservation easement. However, Councilwoman Lorenzo noted that she has never seen language regarding a preservation easement that has a proviso in that it is usually natural in perpetuity. She explained that this seems to have a proviso that states, "unless modified or terminated by written agreement of the parties." Mr. Lewiston advised that the city’s counsel added that language and his original draft did not include it.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned that this language will leave the city open for someone else to terminate the agreement at another time if another developer wants to develop the land. Mr. Watson understands that a future Council would inherently have that power in any case. He explained that an easement runs in favor of the city and as with any property interest, Council is the body that would have the authority to modify that. He added if they removed that language, a future Council would still have the authority to do that.
Regardless of the ownership, Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that they cannot change a conservation easement if it is established and it runs in perpetuity. Councilwoman Lorenzo advised that DEQ permits say something to that effect and asked whether that means the DEQ could change its mind; Mr. Watson agreed. Then Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that it is not in perpetuity. Mr. Watson advised that it is in perpetuity until all parties to the agreement agree to something otherwise.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked why is the language included? Mr. Watson replied they included the language so that both parties understand to what they are agreeing.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned about that particular language because she has never seen a proviso with that language included in a DEQ permit.
Mayor McLallen understands that the easement issue cannot be separated from granting the preliminary plat. Mr. Watson disagreed and advised that the easement is a separate issue.
Mayor McLallen asked that Council only speak to the motion.
Mr. Kapelczak advised that the storm water travels into a constructed vacant basin in Thornton Creek.
Councilman Kramer commended the petitioner in working with the city and citizens to create what he views as a desirable plan.
Vote on CM-98-07-218: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
Mayor McLallen asked whether Mr. Watson is going to review the preservation easement situation for a formal Council discussion. Mr. Watson advised that they will bring back the issue formally before Council for acceptance.
Mr. Lewiston is willing to accept whatever language that the city proposes concerning the preservation easement.
Mayor McLallen has some reservations about the city holding this easement and may prefer that it go to the homeowners. Mr. Watson advised that the city commonly holds easements for wetland preservation.
Mayor McLallen asked how does this preservation relate to the other preservation in that section. Mr. Watson advised that this area is not actually a part of either plat. He explained in other subdivisions there are areas that they are preserving that were either designated as parks or served as common areas that the homeowners’ associations would take over.
Mayor McLallen understands that the adjacent landowners will use this area and she does not want to be involved in the policing of that area because it is an isolated piece.
Councilwoman Mutch suggested that the attorney provide a brief definition of what a conservation easement does and does not provide for. She added that she understands that it does not grant ownership or any other right, and that the question of enforcement is reasonable.
Mr. Lewiston advised that there are other problems. He explained one major issue is that the area must be protected against use by anyone and the only way to deny the usability of the land is to grant the easement right to a party that will never change its mind, which is the city. He noted that because the other easements are all private, they can change them. He continued by stating that if there is a value to preserving these things, then there must also be a value in enforcing these kinds of issues against people who would abuse it and that is why the language stretches so far that it even purports to deny even the right to walk through it.
3. Request for Final Plat Approval - Autumn Park #3, SP91-35W, property located south of Ten Mile and east of Beck Road.
Don Bosco advised he is a principal for Autumn Park and is before Council to request final plat approval.
Councilman Kramer would like to take Mr. Pargoff’s letter into account.
Mayor McLallen understands that street tree plans are not a part of final plat approval. Ms. Lemke advised that they have traditionally been a part of final plat approval and added that she understands there are a number of items that may be outstanding. However, she added that she is unsure at this point and they are currently looking through records to resolve that issue. In the future, Ms. Lemke hopes to have all these types of issues resolved prior to it coming before Council.
Mr. Nowicki advised that he has not seen Mr. Pargoff’s letter.
Mayor McLallen asked how did this letter come forward this evening? Ms. Bartholomew advised that she received it today.
Ms. Lemke advised that the letter was placed on Mr. Pham’s desk this morning.
Mayor McLallen asked the City Manager to note that Council has consistently requested that the City Forester not be involved in the development process any longer. She added that they did not receive the letter before them through typical channels and reminded Council that they have previously discussed what the forester’s responsibilities are. She explained it is her feeling that the forester’s responsibility is to care for the trees. Mayor McLallen added that she understands Ms. Lemke is currently working on a solution to resolve this issue.
Councilman Kramer asked whether they must resolve the issue for final plat approval? Mr. Watson advised that they could grant final plat approval subject to the street tree issue being resolved.
CM-98-07-219: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To grant request for final plat approval for Autumn Park #3, SP91-35W for property located south of Ten Mile Road and east of Beck Road subject to the resolution of the street planting issue, open issues raised in the woodland consultant’s letter and that the plan conforms to storm water standards in effect at the time of tentative plat approval
Councilwoman Mutch understands that there may be some issues that they have not yet identified. Ms. Lemke agreed that there may be some additional issues in terms of financial guarantees and bonds. However, she would be comfortable with an approval if Council would make her letter as a part of the motion. She explained that she and the developer have spoken and she assured Council that they can resolve the issues.
Councilwoman Lorenzo referred to Section 303 of the Subdivision Ordinance, Improvement Design Review and Approval, number 1, under letter c: "The city engineer shall initially review all plans submitted to determine their conformance with the city’s engineering and design standards." She then asked what would occur if the subdivision does not conform to that requirement. Mr. Watson advised that the city engineers would make a negative recommendation for approval of the plan.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that the petitioner does not conform in this case. She recalled that they no longer discharge water directly into wetlands under the current Design and Construction Standards and instead, they discharge into basins. She noted there are no such basins on the plan. She advised that Dave Bluhm of JCK advised her that they just let it go through at this point. She continued by stating that she has a serious concern about that because of the sensitive areas. Further, she is concerned about applying for a general permit under NPDES and believes that they need to be doing everything they can to maintain water quality in the city’s system. Mr. Watson suspects that under the Subdivision Control Act and the Subdivision Ordinance that once a plan gets tentative preliminary plat approval that the plan is entitled to be considered under the standards that were in effect when that happened. He noted that the city has a statute and ordinance that provide for that.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that would then supersede Section 303; Mr. Watson agreed.
Mayor McLallen understands that they approved the tentative plat in 1993; Mr. Watson agreed and suspected that the regulations changed sometime in the interim.
Councilwoman Lorenzo will not support the motion
Councilwoman Mutch understands that an approval would be based upon the assumption that the petitioner is conforming to a different standard that was in place when the whole process started. Mr. Watson advised there is no reference to that issue in the engineer’s recommendation.
Councilwoman Mutch would not like to grant this approval based on an assumption.
Councilman Kramer asked that it be clarified and be brought back before Council if that is not true.
Mr. Watson believes they could request Administration to verify that the particular regulations in question were in effect grandfathered in by having the tentative plat approved prior to the change in the regulation.
Councilwoman Lorenzo would appreciate seeing that in the ordinance.
Mr. Watson stated the condition of the approval would be to have that verified.
Mr. Bosco advised that there are temporary and permanent basins constructed on the property prior to discharge.
Councilwoman Lorenzo does not see that on the plan and noted that she only sees wetland areas that refer to an entire park subject to private easements for storm sewer, storm drainage, wetland preservation and public utilities. Mr. Bosco advised they are cited on the soil erosion control plan.
Mayor McLallen understands the issue is about the revisions made in the standards for storm water management since the plan was originally submitted and further understands that the plan meets today’s standards. Mr. Bosco agreed and restated that there is a temporary and a permanent area prior to discharge on the property.
Therefore, Mayor McLallen believes that an amendment is not in order.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands there are gas and oil separators; Mr. Bosco agreed.
Councilwoman Lorenzo further understands that the petitioner is saying this is temporary, so it will eventually go away; Mr. Bosco agreed.
Councilman DeRoche suggested that the final plat approval be subject to the plan complying with the ordinance at the time they granted tentative plant approval; Councilman Kramer and Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed.
Vote on CM-98-07-219: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch
4. Request for approval of Ordinance Amendment 98.100.22 - amendment to the Sign Ordinance - I Reading
Mayor McLallen reminded Council this issue was prompted by sign issues within the Town Center, and the preliminary changes proposed by staff and a subcommittee are before them tonight. She further noted that a request also came from the Ordinance Officers concerning the definition section (28-01) regarding what is an event sign on premises. She explained the Ordinance Officers need a further definition about what an event is, and whether there are time constraints and size restrictions. She added they indicated that they had many concerns about controlling something that is not clearly defined as a temporary sign.
Mr. Watson believes the Ordinance Officers raised valid issues. He added that prior to the time that the sign ordinance comes back for a second reading, Council should provide some definition about what "event" is referring to. Mr. Watson understands that an event generally deals with what prior versions of the ordinance have recognized as community events (i.e., festivals, church fairs, school fairs, blood drives) that require the use of a temporary sign. Mr. Watson continued by stating he thinks it would be effective to define it more specifically within the ordinance because the current language only provides a broad definition of "event."
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether this is issue will also go before the Ordinance Review Committee before adoption? Mr. Watson replied that will be determined by Council.
Mayor McLallen asked Council whether the issue of event signs should go before to the Ordinance Review Committee before it is adopted at the second reading? Councilman Kramer believes it would be beneficial. He explained that the Building Department is represented on the Ordinance Review Committee and added they are the ones who deal directly with this issue. He also suggested that the ZBA review this matter because they also spend a large amount of time on sign variance requests. Mr. Watson advised that he does not believe that becoming involved with ordinance revisions is customary for the ZBA. Further, he understands that they were a part of the genesis of the process and that they were also very involved with the Main Street project. However, he noted that the ZBA felt it was appropriate that another body look more closely at the ordinance itself.
Concerning whether the Building Department has reviewed this issue, Khanh Pham advised that they have included them throughout the process (Don Saven and Alan Amolsch).
Councilwoman Mutch appreciates the comments and thinks it is obvious from the Ordinance Officer’s memo that they have carefully reviewed the ordinance. She explained they have provided input through a memo because they did not have any other means by which they could present that information as this issue had not come before the Ordinance Review Committee where they would ordinarily have that opportunity. Therefore, she thinks that sending that part of the ordinance to the Ordinance Review Committee would be beneficial.
Mayor McLallen noted that the second reading is proposed to take place at Council’s July 20, 1998 meeting and she does not believe that the Ordinance Review Committee meets until after that date. Consequently, she understands that the second reading could not take place until August.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether having the second reading before August is crucial? Mr. Pham advised that they would like to address the sign ordinance issue before more tenants move into the Main Street development in order to avoid further requests for ZBA variances. He added that they could probably go directly to the Building Department and ask them whether they could address this issue before the July 20,1998 second reading.
Councilwoman Mutch believes it is just a matter of the Building Department formally addressing an issue that they are concerned about and noted they have essentially done that with their memo. However, she reminded Council that Mr. Watson has already pointed out that some further definition is needed and the Building Department may also want the opportunity to react to that.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether Mr. Watson can complete the work that he needs to before the proposed July 20, 1998 second reading. Mr. Watson believes anything done further to address this issue will be administered by the Building Department to insure they are comfortable with it.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that they do not have to wait for the Ordinance Review Committee to review this issue; Mr. Watson agreed.
Mr. Kriewall asked why was the name changed from community event sign? He believes it makes it more difficult to allow these types of signs by removing community from the definition. He explained they use the definition of a community event sign to preclude many events and therefore, he suggested that they put community back in. Mr. Watson believes that could be another issue they could raise.
Mr. Kriewall added that another issue is the dedication of one third of the sign area as an identification sign for the building hosting the events. He does not believe it is necessary and that it would be another requirement the city would impose unnecessarily.
Councilman Kramer asked whether the attached chart is part of the ordinance? Mr. Watson understands that it is not a part of the ordinance and that it is meant to be used as a summary.
Councilman Kramer believes further clarification is necessary regarding the "not to exceed one square foot in height" (Rear Wall Sign Proposed Solution) requirement; Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilman Kramer noted that a kiosk should not exceed sixty five square feet. However, he further noted that there are alternative kiosk designs with various numbers of sides and it is unclear to him about how sixty five square foot is applicable to the various kiosk designs.
Councilman Kramer asked whether the engineering report is a part of the ordinance? Mr. Watson replied the Design Review Manual is proposed to be made a part of the ordinance.
Councilman Kramer believes that the definitions of "halo illuminated letter" signs under Allowable Wall Signs and "translucently internal illuminated" signs (i.e., channel letters, box signs etc.) under Prohibited Wall Signs are unclear.
Councilman Kramer referred to Figure E where it lists examples of Prohibited Wall Signs and noted that three of the signs that are prohibited are already in the Town Center. He continued by stating he believes the signs may be translucent internally illuminated signs by definition and not halo illuminated letter signs.
In regard to the halo illuminated signs, Doug Necci of JCK advised that this type of sign is characterized by a three dimensional letter with lighting within the letter, but only coming out of the back of the letter. He further explained there is no light coming directly out of the front of the letter. He noted that it illuminates the background onto which they mount the letter and gives a halo effect bouncing off the facade behind the letter. He added there is no example included because photographing it is difficult.
Councilman Kramer understands the ordinance changes would prohibit those types of signs that have light within the boxes that form the various letters and is transmitted through a translucent front surface; Mr. Necci agreed.
Councilman Kramer pointed out that a number of these types of signs are already in the Town Center District. Mr. Necci advised this is a tremendous change from the existing signage in Town Center, TC-1 and throughout the city. He explained the ordinance will prohibit the typical type of signage seen throughout the city. He added that the ordinance is consistent with a neo-traditional architecture motif.
Councilman Kramer understands that this definition is only going to be applied to the Town Center District; Mr. Necci agreed.
Councilman Kramer understands that the ordinance will prohibit certain types of signage only in the Town Center District; Mr. Necci agreed. Mr. Necci added that the typical Town Center sign will be characterized by board type signs. He explained they are three dimensional and the letters are raised from a background with a goose neck lighting source or some other type of external lighting source.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the proposed amendments only address the TC-1 District. Mr. Watson replied for the most part the amendments only relate to the TC-1 District. However, he added that they have also addressed residential entrance signs and noted they have struck "sign tower" on the first page of the comparison draft.
Councilwoman Lorenzo believes some of the changes have merit and are appropriate for TC-1. However, she has several of concerns. She explained the city has spent far too much time and money on a developer-driven proposal. Although Councilwoman Lorenzo supports the Town Center Steering Committee, she is concerned that instead of this committee serving as body that guides development, she believes it has become a developer forum. She added she believes this has become particularly true for ordinance changes and she is not supportive of that. Further, Councilwoman Lorenzo stated if this continues, she will no longer support the Town Center Steering Committee.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that they should address the Town Center and Main Street area differently than the rest of the city. However, she also believes some of the changes would also benefit other businesses in Novi and she does not believe it is fair to only allow it in the TC area.
Further, Councilwoman Lorenzo advised that she does not support kiosk pedestal signs. She reminded Council that many of the already established malls and centers do not utilize this type of signage, and added she has never seen kiosk signage on a typical main street.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is also concerned that Council has not had the opportunity to review mock up drawings of the signs because she believes they need to see how the signs will actually appear. Mr. Necci replied they raised that same question and noted they have measured signs in Northville to serve as a reference point for many of the numbers. In regard to the kiosk sign, Mr. Necci advised that sixty five square foot is a sum of all of the faces and by nature, he believes every kiosk sign will have at least two faces. Mr. Necci believes a typical four-sided kiosk could be ten foot high. However, he added if it were ten foot high, it could only be eighteen inches wide.
Councilwoman Lorenzo noted kiosk signs are not typically found on main streets. Mr. Necci advised the design sketch which appears on the left in Figure F in the Design Manual is actually taken from a kiosk in Northville. In addition, Mr. Necci emphasized that the Design Manual sets subjective ornamental standards and that the examples show the extent of ornamental decoration that is to be provided on the signage. Mr. Necci believes if that is followed, that the kiosks will become a visual focal point as much as solving a demand for advertising. He explained that the detailed architectural work is an important aspect and the type of signage (i.e., a board sign with wood trim and careful painting) will soften the impact. Mr. Necci noted they carefully analyzed kiosk signage to make certain that the kiosk would not have outrageous neon lighting and so forth.
Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled Mr. Chen proposed inappropriate lighting for the kiosks.
Mayor McLallen hopes that the ordinance changes have addressed that issue and instead provides a unified look to the area.
Mr. Necci reminded Council that Fifth Avenue Billiards has erected an upper level projected mock up sign that is seventy two square feet. Mr. Necci noted his reaction to the sign was that it may even be somewhat on the small side.
Councilwoman Lorenzo restated it is difficult for her to visualize a sixty five square foot kiosk. Mr. Pham stated that the ZBA shared Councilwoman Lorenzo’s concern and Fifth Avenue Billiards erected mock up signs to serve as a point of reference.
Councilwoman Mutch pointed out that the signs on Fifth Avenue Billiard are ones seen from the roadway and at a different level. Consequently, she believes a bigger sign is needed and would have less impact.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the allowable height for a free standing kiosk sign? Mr. Necci replied if the Council Chamber podium were a kiosk sign, it could be as high as nine feet high which would be less than the height of the ceiling. Mr. Necci added that constructing a mock up of a kiosk for Council to look at would not be difficult.
Mayor McLallen asked what are the Town Center illuminated table top directional signs called? Mr. Necci is uncertain.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that a kiosk could come in many different configurations and therefore, he does not believe that constructing a mock up would be necessary.
Councilman DeRoche concurred and added he believes they would then debate the merits of the mock up.
Mayor McLallen noted that it appears there is not a consensus to direct staff to spend time or resources on designing a mock up. However, she further noted there are still concerns about the size and placement of the kiosks.
Councilman Kramer thinks the ordinance revisions are appropriate because the ZBA has spent an inordinate amount of time on signs and is an indication that the current ordinance is insufficient. He added that the current ordinance also does not consider the urban character of Novi’s Main Street.
As for kiosks, Councilman Kramer reminded Council that because Main Street is an outside development, shoppers will need to know where they are going. Therefore, he believes a properly designed and placed kiosk will service the citizens.
CM-98-07-220: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To grant request for approval of Ordinance Amendment 98.100.22 - Amendment to the Sign Ordinance - I Reading subject to the addressing of comments and concerns raised by Council, and schedule second reading for possible adoption at the July 20, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting
Vote on CM-98-07-220: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch
James Chen - Evergreen III, thanked the city and staff for addressing this issue. Mr. Chen explained the reason they needed this process to take place is that they had no direction for the development to follow in terms of signage. Mr. Chen advised he was only involved in the beginning of the process and was not invited to be involved in the second part. However, he realizes they must compromise, and he is satisfied and appreciates the work of the city, staff and consultants.
In regard to the kiosk sign, Mr. Chen reported that a Planning Commissioner brought forward the concept after visiting a Canadian city during the winter because the kiosk quickly provided the directions he needed so he could get out of the cold weather. Mr. Chen continued by stating that he then conducted further research based upon the Planning Commissioner’s comments and found good examples of different types of kiosk signs.
Secondly, in regard to second floor projecting signs (Page 15, Section 2.c.), Mr. Chen noted it states that a sign shall not be placed closer than two hundred forty feet to any other upper level projecting sign. Mr. Chen explained a typical Main Street building is approximately one hundred and fifty feet which means the building can only have one projecting sign for the second floor tenant and the adjacent building would have no sign because it is only one hundred fifty feet away. Mr. Chen would like to discuss this issue further with the city’s staff.
Gerilyn Gruzwalski - 307 Duana, advised she was visiting a park during a designated ozone day and there were approximately six mowers mowing the grass. She advised when she contacted the city she was told about the limitations (i.e., city contract, holiday) the city had for complying with an ozone day. Ms. Gruzwalski advised she spoke with Oakland County and Michigan State University’s environmentalist to see if there are any alternatives to grass for these areas because of the increased number of ozone days.
Mayor McLallen advised the city will pursue this issue to see if there is a way to mitigate Ms. Gruzwalski’s issues. The Mayor asked Ms. Gruzwalski to leave her name with the clerk.
Ms. Gruzwalski noted she has compiled some information that she can share with the city.
BREAK from 9:44 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II - None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Items listed on the Consent Agenda which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
B. Adoption of a Resolution and approval of Amended Agreement of Sale/Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Adell Childrens Trust Fund, et. Al., to include a Temporary Construction Easement for the Crescent Boulevard Extension Project.
Councilman DeRoche understands that Mr. Kriewall had something to add to this item.
Mr. Kriewall advised that they have several revisions that they would like to add to this document and therefore, he would ask that they postpone this item until the July 20, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting.
CM-98-07-221: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the adoption of Resolution and approval of Amended Agreement of Sale/Offer to Purchase Real Estate from Adell Chidrens Trust Fund, et. Al., to include a Temporary Construction Easement for the Crescent boulevard Extension Project until the July 20, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting
Vote on CM-98-07-221: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
C. Approval of a Resolution reaffirming the availability of a wetland mitigation site for the Nova Development with costs of such to be the responsibility of Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust.
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised that she has reviewed the minutes of April 6, 1998 and she does not recall that Council affirmed this request to begin with. She recalls that she mentioned mitigation concerning another issue (Meadowbrook paving issue), but restated that the minutes do not reflect that Council affirmed anything.
Councilwoman Lorenzo still has some serious concerns about this issue in terms of the proposal at hand. She believes it is presumptuous to believe that the city would possibly give some kind of tacit approval to permit the filling of thirteen to fourteen acres of wetland area before a site plan has been submitted to the Planning Commission for review.
Secondly, she is also concerned about actually physically fulfilling the construction obligations of this mitigation area and the monitoring that would have to be undertaken following the mitigation. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes that the city’s direct involvement with this mitigation could be somehow seen as influencing or giving credibility to the permit process of private enterprise. Further, Councilwoman Lorenzo does not believe it is a wise business decision at this point. She explained although the city may currently have enough mitigation; they may need city required mitigation in the future and could be without property to mitigate on within Novi.
Councilwoman Lorenzo added that she believes the city has not yet addressed the issue of criteria for participation in this program. She explained that the petitioner’s current proposal is for the Galleria and she asked whether the city has established any criteria. She further asked whether they are going to do this on a first come, first served basis. She then asked if the Galleria project uses all the acreage, then how could anyone else participate. She then asked whether the city is being arbitrary or prejudiced in any manner to anyone else that may want to participate in this type of program.
Councilwoman Lorenzo stated she will not support the motion because of her concerns about this request. In addition, Councilwoman Lorenzo stated that mitigation is also about location and while coordinating mitigation might be preferable or necessary sometimes, she believes they still should look at mitigating at the site or near the site prior to mitigating at some central location.
In response to location, Tony Nowicki recalled that Council has discussed this issue and he understands that Council indicated they would prefer a large city managed wetland mitigation site instead of small pockets. Further, he recalled that Council directed staff to prepare permits, prepare preliminary plans, identify additional sites for city-wide mitigation and work with potential program participants. Mr. Nowicki continued by stating that Ramco-Gershenson was involved early in the process and had requested a mitigation site from city representatives. Mr. Nowicki advised they brought that request back to Council during initial discussions and recalled that they even mentioned that Ramco-Gershenson was interested in this particular program. Further, Ramco-Gershenson has subsequently advised that they are going through the site plan approval process and would like something more formal from the city that would indicate that the property is available because they would like to provide a formal document to the Planning Commission. He explained they would like a document that would indicate they are working with the city in a large wetland mitigation project and that they are willing to undertake the necessary financial obligations to mitigate the wetland. Mr. Nowicki stated this Resolution will permit Ramco-Gershenson to move forward in the site plan process.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands this process presumes that the petitioner will be requesting and receiving a permit to fill thirteen to fourteen acres of wetland. Mr. Nowicki does not believe it presumes that. He believes it suggests that the property is available for that, but they still have to go through the Department of Environmental Quality. Further, he advised that they can also use this to indicate to the DEQ that they do have a site that is available for wetland mitigation and use that as part of their permit process. He also understands that they have been working with the engineers in an effort to coordinate their permit along with the city’s permit when the city moves forward with this program.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether this process will influence the applicant’s application with the DEQ? Mr. Nowicki does not believe this would influence the DEQ. He believes they would look at the merits of the program and the merits of the application and make a judgement based on that.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what criteria will they use for the next developer if the city no longer has any land? Mr. Nowicki replied they are actively looking for sites. He noted they may come back with a proposal on another site in the near future. He stated there is some additional property adjacent to the West Road site that is available for mitigation. In addition, Mr. Nowicki reported several other private developments have contacted the city and they will see what is available for them as well.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what will the City of Novi do when all of that land is used? Mr. Nowicki replied they have been planning that all along. He explained that they have taken care of the current project and now they are currently looking for additional sites for future projects. He explained that they already know that they will need some wetland mitigation sites in the future and they have identified some other sites which they will bring before Council in the near future.
Mayor McLallen clarified by stating that this property is not going to be sold to the private sector. She explained that the petitioner will pay the cost of creating the wetland, but the city will retain ownership. Mr. Nowicki added that the petitioner will also be paying for the cost of the property as well and agreed that the city will retain ownership.
Councilman Kramer understands that there are approximately nineteen acres of potential wetland mitigation available for a City of Novi project. Councilman Kramer asked whether the nineteen acres amount to the total that is available out of the property that the city owns. Mr. Nowicki understands there is a total of nineteen acres for the whole site.
Councilman Kramer does not believe the total amount of acreage is clear. Mr. Nowicki advised there are seven acres on the West Road mitigation site and there is also a site that has been set aside that is located south of wastewater treatment plant. He added that there is also a site at that location that has been set aside for a potential DPW facility if they move in that direction in the future.
Councilman Kramer understands that this indicates approximately thirteen acres, but the letter suggests that they need six. Mr. Nowicki advised that would be six acres at the West Road mitigation site and the balance is needed south of the treatment plant for an anticipated total of thirteen acres.
Councilman Kramer understands this is an attempt to consolidate all of the various wetland mitigation requirements, rather than have them scattered. Mr. Nowicki agreed and added the plan is to combine them into one high quality wetland mitigation site.
CM-98-07-223: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To approve Resolution reaffirming the availability of a wetland mitigation site for the Nova Development with costs of such to be the responsibility of Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust
Vote on CM-98-07-223: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Novi Township Sanitary Sewer Update - Kriewall
Mr. Kriewall advised that Lynn George has been attempting to schedule a meeting between Mayor McLallen, Councilman DeRoche and the Novi Township officials. Mr. Kriewall reported that the township has had difficulty in meeting with the city because of vacations. However, Mr. Kriewall believes the meeting will take place during the week of July 21, 1998 and they will report to Council after the meeting.
Mayor McLallen clarified that there are approximately ten to fifteen homes in Brookland Farms that are a part of the city; Mr. Kriewall agreed.
2. Communication Gaps - Lorenzo
Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned that Council is not being kept apprized about some of the issues that are coming before them and she would appreciate being notified by Administration rather than reading about these issues in the newspaper or receiving a letter from a homeowner’s association.
Mr. Kriewall advised that sometimes they run into a problem where issues are taken to Council members just when they come to staff. Mr. Kriewall recalled there were times when council members were involved and he did not know anything about it. Mr. Kriewall reported that the Barclay matter is being addressed Administratively, but he has no control over how people will communicate their issues. He added that the city is also being covered very actively by the various newspapers and they sometimes have the information before the city does.
Councilwoman Lorenzo would appreciate Administration making more of an effort to keep Council informed of litigation and issues similar to Barclay Estates.
3. Request for Report Regarding Barclay Estates
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised that serious allegations were made in the Barclay Estate’s letter to Council and she would like to give staff an opportunity to provide a response to Council. Mr. Kriewall advised they are currently following up on that matter.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised that he had received a different letter from a Barclay resident that included a detail listing of the resident’s concerns. He added that he will forward a copy of the letter to Mr. Nowicki.
4. Library FYI Report Comments - Mutch
Couuncilwoman Mutch noted there was an FYI Power Point presentation document included in the packet regarding the use of Internet filters used by libraries. She added that it also included information about Internet web sites that could provide additional information from the viewpoint of various other library associations. Councilwoman Mutch explained that she forwarded that information to the Clerk’s office to have it faxed to Mr. Watson for his information as he researches the library Internet issue and because it did not have an explanation attached to it, she wanted to clarify what its purpose was. Councilwoman Mutch further explained that she received the information from Andrew Mutch who used it for a presentation on filters at the State of Michigan Library for librarians. She noted that the presentation was geared to address some of the Internet issues that librarians faced. She restated that she had only intended for it to go to Mr. Watson. She explained she did not intend for it to be reviewed by Council or the general public because it may have raised more questions than it answered in its current form. She then suggested that Novi’s Library provide a report to Council about this issue.
MANAGER’S REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Letter to City Council from Jim Utley, Re: Walden Woods 1998 Paving Program - Dedication of Streets - JCK Job #N-2689.
2. Letter from John Chambers, President of Novi Library Board, Re: Internet Use at Novi Public Library.
3. Letter from Dennis Watson to Mayor & Council, Re: Library Internet Policy.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:27 p.m.
Mayor City Clerk
Date Approved: July 20, 1998