|REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor ProTem Crawford requested that Council add Reconsideration of Adult Day Care as Item 11 under Matters for Council Action - Part II. He further requested that they add Cul-de-sac Ordinance as Item 2 under Mayor and Council Issues.
Mayor McLallen requested that Council add Consideration of a Resolution in Opposition to Proposed Senate Bill 11-82 that is introducing state revenue sharing changes and will be before the Senate in November as Item 3 under Mayor and Council Issues.
Dennis Watson noted since the item Mayor ProTem Crawford added is an item of reconsideration from a prior meeting and there was not a request made in writing by last Wednesday, it would technically require a suspension of Council’s Rules and a two-thirds vote of Council or five members.
Mayor McLallen asked whether taking that vote at this time is appropriate. Mr. Watson agreed it is appropriate.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understood that any member could propose a motion to reconsider at any time. Mr. Watson agreed they can make a motion for reconsideration at any time, but according to the Council Rules of Organization and Business, if it is at a meeting subsequent to the meeting when they originally took the action, the request is supposed to be made in writing by the Wednesday prior to the meeting.
Mr. Watson added that the motion is to suspend the rules to allow the reconsideration to be placed upon the agenda.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether this issue could be placed upon the agenda as a discussion item and make a motion later.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised his intent is not to discuss it and make a decision tonight. He explained his intent is to revisit the issue, hear additional Council input and propose that it come back before Council in two weeks for reconsideration.
Mr. Watson advised that if Council adds an item for discussion with no action, they would be unable make a motion for reconsideration tonight.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would then like to amend the agenda to discuss that issue. He asked if they could then choose to send it back to staff for further consideration in two weeks. Mr. Watson replied they could do that provided they make the written request in a timely fashion for the next meeting.
Mayor ProTem asked that the item then be added as Item 11 for discussion. Mr. Watson believes it should not be a matter for Council action, but a matter for Council discussion after matters for Council action.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the alternatives are to either add it to the agenda as a matter for discussion with no action possible tonight or make a motion at this point to suspend the rules to allow it to be added as a possible action item. Councilwoman Mutch asked whether Mayor ProTem Crawford is certain that he does not want to add it as an action item.
Mayor ProTem Crawford restated he would like to revisit the issue and discuss it with all members present, send it to staff for their recommendation based upon Council’s discussion to come back two weeks from now for action.
Mr. Watson believes Mayor ProTem Crawford’s request sounds like more than discussion. He explained that it sounds like he would like to take some action to send it back.
Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed that would be the action, but he does not want to take action on the ordinance.
Mr. Watson believes they should make a motion to suspend the rules to allow reconsideration and put it on the agenda as an item for reconsideration or do it in two weeks with a written notice.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would like to take care of this tonight and if that does not work, then he will provide written notice so that the item can be on the agenda in two weeks.
CM-98-10-309: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To suspend Council Rules of Organization and Business and amend the agenda to allow the reconsideration and discussion of Adult Day Care
Councilman Schmid will not vote for the motion because he believes it should be a dead issue.
Councilman Schmid understood the Council Rules require that they must submit the request for reconsideration in writing by the Wednesday prior to the next meeting. He continued by stating that Mr. Watson has suggested that they can make a motion tonight and if it fails, they could make a motion or put the request in writing later. Consequently, Councilman Schmid believes they could bring back issues to Council an unlimited amount of times.
Mr. Watson’s recollection of Council’s Rules of Organization and Business is that it can be added at a succeeding meeting and not necessarily the very next meeting. He added that he will confirm that.
In general, Councilwoman Mutch would probably agree with the comments just made except in this case there was a three-three vote and she does not believe that is necessarily the same decision they would arrive at if a full Council were present.
Councilman Schmid stated his argument is, if Mr. Watson is wrong and the request was not submitted in writing by last Wednesday, then this is a dead issue.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned about discussing this issue this evening because there is no information in tonight’s packet and therefore, she is at a loss not having that information. She continued by stating that she can recall certain elements of the ordinance, but without a copy of the ordinance, she does not believe Council should be discussing this issue. She added that she would agree to this discussion in two weeks when they have the appropriate information before them.
Councilman DeRoche believes this is a result of trying to rush the readings through when many Council members had some deep reservations. He continued by stating he is not interested in debating this issue again tonight for the same reasons Councilwoman Lorenzo pointed out. However, he believes this issue should remain open because he thinks that a consensus of Council clearly stated that this was something they wanted to find some place for in the community. He noted some members believe there is already a place for these facilities in the commercial districts and others thought that it was just a bad proposal that came before Council. Consequently, Councilman DeRoche is willing to support placing this issue on another agenda. He added that he does not like the idea of the minority being able to bring forward these proposals and take up additional time at meetings in the future and therefore, he hopes whatever they bring up tonight is done very quickly and that they do not debate it until a solid proposal is brought forward.
Roll Call Vote on CM-98-10-309: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch,
Nays: Lorenzo, Schmid
CM-98-10-310: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-98-10-310: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
1. S.A.D. 149 - Eubank Street, Idlemere Park Subdivision, Water Main
Jim Korte - Shawood Lake, advised he has no vested interest in this specific area. However, he advised these taxpayers have been involved in this process for two years and he hopes this will be the end of the water running through the streets. He believes their problem is not quite as serious as the Austin Drive situation. However, he understands that they too and especially those residents with two inch wells are in serious danger of collapse. Mr. Korte asked Council to move forward with this item so the residents can have water.
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, lives in this district and advised that the residents have met many times about this issue and they are down to thirty sites. She added they are doing something interesting in their area in that they are distributing the cost of the water main per building site. Ms. Gray explained she supports the distribution of the costs for an S.A.D. in this way. Ms. Gray reported they have the support of 66% of the affected properties and she believes Council already understands why they need the water main in this area because of the many residents who have spoken in past Council meetings. Ms. Gray noted the owner of 128 Maudlin (50-22-03-451-010 and 011) is Chester Spencer, not Chris. She advised Mr. Spencer is 79 years old, he does drive at night and since he purchased his property in 1972, he has hauled water from the Northville Ford plant in Northville for most of those years. Ms. Gray advised that Mr. Spencer asked her to advise Council that he supports this S.A.D. Ms. Gray asked Council to move forward quickly with this S.A.D.
Beth Oppenheim - 22271 Erin Circle, believed Council thought that resolving the rezoning issue at Eight Mile and Beck Roads was important. She reminded Council that 2,500 hundred people signed petitions opposing the rezoning. She continued by stating that hundreds have attended the Planning Commission hearings and are well aware that Novi’s own planning consultant voted against this rezoning. Further, she reported that the Planning Commission sent a negative recommendation to Council concerning Stuart Frankel’s development. However, now she finds that Mr. Frankel has again delayed the issue. Ms. Oppenheim is before Council to speak as a concerned resident. She explained when she and 3,000 other residents were surveyed, that 79% of the people surveyed advised that Novi businesses already provide all the goods and services that they need. She continued by stating that 84% agreed that commercial development near homes needs to be more restrictive. She reminded Council these are their voters and they are telling Council that green space is important to them and noted that the Master Plan provides for one acre, residential development in the area around Mayberry State Park. Further, newer Novi residents have invested in their homes near the Eight Mile and Beck intersection believing that they would be living in an area that was free of commercial development. She continued by stating that the city’s studies show that Mr. Frankel’s plans will increase traffic by nearly 8,000 cars daily. Ms. Oppenheim believes Mr. Frankel’s plan will affect all of Novi. She is concerned about cut-through traffic in residential, the safety of their children, and the value of the homes in this area. She asked Council to adhere to the spirit and intent of the current Master Plan and satisfy the great majority of Novi’s citizens by denying commercial development at Eight Mile and Beck Roads.
Ann Bright - stated she is the secretary/treasurer of Northville Estates and reminded Council that the City of Northville and the Northville Township Planning Commission have written letters to Novi’s Council requesting them to consider the residential zoning in this area.
Debbie Harrell - 47033 Elmsmere, Northville - was disappointed to find out that the Eight Mile and Beck rezoning proposal was not on tonight’s agenda, but she will continue to attend the Council meetings to voice her opposition regarding this matter. Further, she does not appreciate Mr. Frankel’s delay tactics.
Mayor McLallen interjected, the agenda’s are prepared by the City Manager, the City Clerk and herself based upon the work load that is coming through the city. She noted that the agenda is not managed by the development community in any way and added that in all probability the rezoning issue will appear on the next agenda. She further explained that the agenda’s are set by Thursday afternoon and anyone can contact the city to determine what is on the agenda.
Pat Lamerato - 45947 North Valley Dr., Northville, does not understand the delay and asked the Mayor to explain further what took place so that Mr. Frankel received another two week extension.
Mayor McLallen advised that the delay is not a matter of assembling more information regarding that development. She explained it is a matter of what is on Council’s agenda. She noted Council’s previous agenda included the Golf Course Proposal which is a large issue. She continued by stating that the rezoning issue is also a big issue and they want to have an agenda where they can devote the entire agenda to this issue and they have not had that luxury because of the many other issues before Council.
Then Ms. Lamerato understands that Mr. Frankel did not request a delay of any kind; Mayor McLallen agreed.
Kim Capello - 24406 Nantucket, advised he is before Council representing the residents petitioning the removal of a sidewalk and guard rail under Matters for Council Action, Item 3 and asked whether the petitioners will have an opportunity to address Council at the time the matter is called. Mayor McLallen advised that the petitioner should speak during Audience Participation, but Mr. Capello can speak on behalf of the petitioner when the item is before Council.
Diane Risko - Novi Chamber of Commerce, reported a mixer will be held at Red, Hot and Blue Wednesday, October 6. Further, the Chamber is holding a mixer with the schools and businesses at the Novi Media Center at 5:30 p.m. Finally, the Chamber luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 at Providence Hospital and Brian Connelly, CEO of Providence Hospital is scheduled to speak.
James Korte - Shawood Lake, stated although he believes Bristol Corners is developing very nicely, he Is concerned about the traffic generated by this development. He hopes that the city will be able to find a way to redirect and curb some of those traffic problems. On the other hand, Mr. Korte believes they should have never started the Lilly Pond Subdivision in the middle of the wetland and he hopes the city is doing their best in developing this area in the best way possible in an impossible situation.
In regard to Item 4, Mr. Korte reminded Council that although the city no longer allows alleys, the Chapman alley served its purpose for those three houses and he believes to vacate this active roadway would be a mistake. He explained the city owns a majority of the lake front property in front of that little piece of road and he believes that vacating something that in a few years would only be purchased back would be ridiculous.
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, understands there will be an Audience Participation at the beginning of the agenda for the special meeting scheduled for the golf course on October 26 and hopes that they will also schedule one for the end so that the residents have the opportunity to ask questions. Further, Ms. Gray advised that the affected residents in the area of the golf course demand an Environmental Impact Statement.
In regard to the Lilly Pond Subdivision, Ms. Gray believes it is sad that the water keeps building up and moving across the road and yet, the development is still moving forward. Ms. Gray hopes that there will be no basements because she does not want to see another Briarwood situation occur.
In regard to Bristol Corners, Ms. Gray agreed they are not happy with the traffic, but she understands improvements will be made when other things get into place. Further, Ms. Gray does not personally understand how the Taft Road extension will benefit South Lake, but is willing to see what will happen.
Gary Zack - South Lake Dr., advised he has lived on South Lake Drive since 1990 and prior to that, he understands that the city decided to create new South Lake Drive in 1985 to facilitate the development of the north end of the city and to free up some land in trade for a storm drain right-of-way. Mr. Zack believes that action forever changed the character of South Lake Drive. He explained prior to that he believed it was a "sleepy" residential road with cottages. He continued by stating that beginning in 1986, they saw 3,800 cars per day and since then it has been steadily increasing. He explained in 1974 they counted 7,400 cars per day and in 1998 there are 9,200 cars per day. Once Bristol Corners is developed, Mr. Zack is concerned that it will reduce the options to return South Lake Drive to a residential road and that South Lake will become a through route to M-5.
In addition, Mr. Zack noted that 80% of the motorists on South Lake still exceed the speed limit. Mr. Zack suggested that the city consider the possibility of a cul-de-sac with an emergency gate on that road and return it to the character that it once had. Otherwise, he believes the residents will be back before Council in a few years with the same problems.
Patsy Schreer - 1805 East Lake Dr. requested the vacation of Chapman Drive because this section has been closed at the south end since East Lake Drive was rerouted. She further noted that it was closed by the Walled Lake Amusement Park years before that. Ms. Schreer believes this has turned this section of Chapman Drive into a dead end alley and has now turned into a haven for criminals. She explained residents have robbed several houses using this area as a staging area. In addition, it also serves as a late night partying site for teenagers and is a small drag strip for drivers who ignore traffic laws. Therefore, Ms. Schreer is concerned about the safety of the small children that play in this area. Further, they cannot accomplish maintenance of this alley fully as nonconforming structures are located on the lot lines. As a result of the lack of maintenance, Ms. Schreer reported they have a rodent problem and unsightly rubbish piles. Ms. Schreer believes the two homes on the section of this alley have adequate access to their property and garages from East Lake Drive and therefore, she sees no valid reason to keep this alley open and asked Council to support the vacation of Chapman Drive.
David Creedon - 22237 Hazelton Ct., thanked Councilwoman Lorenzo for attending both of the important Planning Commission meetings for the Eight Mile and Beck Road rezoning as a citizen of the area. Further, Mr. Creedon hopes that Council understands and listens to the findings of the people they entrust for the individual studies. He continued by stating that he hopes they will not go against their judgements (i.e., Master Plan). He noted that the area for the proposed rezoning has always appeared as residential on the Master Plan. Mr. Creedon is not opposed to commercial development, but he does oppose commercial development outside those areas already proposed for commercial development on the Master Plan.
Mark Kemper - 357 South Lake Dr., advised since he has lived on South Lake Drive that the traffic has doubled and although they believe the Taft Road improvements will help, he still has some concerns. He explained he is not certain what these improvements will do in the long run for South Lake Drive residents. In particular, Mr. Kemper reported there is still access with M-5 and that is open to Thirteen Mile Road which is a straight shot across over to West Road and other roads. Further, with Taft Road being added, there is still the railroad issue at Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Kemper advised there are more than 56,000 motorists per week traveling along South Lake Drive and besides the traffic issues, there are safety issues. He explained they have constantly complained to the police, but there are still speeders. Mr. Kemper does not believe it will change, unless they close the road at one end with access for emergency vehicles.
Karen Pisha - 351 South Lake Dr., shares the same issues of her neighbors. However, she asked Council to realize there are significant issues with the traffic in terms of safety. She explained they are constantly crossing the road to reach their beachfront property and it is a hazard. In addition, Ms. Pisha stated that backing out of their driveway in the morning is impossible because of the traffic backup. Ms. Pisha asked Council to take a closer look at the traffic and safety issues, and the impact these issues have on their property values on South Lake Drive.
Paula Seek - 1321 South Lake Dr., advised although she has seen police officers issue tickets all day, it does not affect the speed of the motorists. She continued by stating that she has seen motorists pass those motorists who are traveling the posted speed limit. Ms. Seek does not believe the road is safe and she asked Council to help the residents on South Lake Drive find a resolution to the traffic problems before something happens.
Fred Beyea - 23615 Silvery Lane, referred to Item 7 and believes it is worth fighting for. Mr. Beyea explained that according to the Master Plan that there should be an effort to preserve the city’s water courses, surface waters, wetlands and woodlands as functioning ecosystems to guard against contamination and afford public access. Mr. Beyea continued by stating that they should protect habitat areas whenever feasible. In regard to that, Mr. Beyea advised that the proposed road will travel directly through a wetland and a woodland (approximately 1¼ miles). Mr. Beyea reported that the DNR advised this area is unique as far as wildlife and that the area is definitely a wetland. Mr. Beyea is also concerned that the proposed road will connect to Silvery Lane and noted according to the Master Plan, he understands that the city should provide a road system based upon functional hierarchy of roadways and separation from local traffic as to permit efficient, safe traffic flow. Mr. Beyea noted Silvery Lane has the only hill in the subdivision and further noted there are no sidewalks. He also understands that the road itself is narrower than what the city code requires. Mr. Beyea believes if they approve the proposed road, traffic will travel through that subdivision to gain access to Ten Mile Road or the school. Mr. Beyea believes there is a safety issue because of the hill on Silvery Lane and that an accident is waiting to happen because there are no sidewalks. Mr. Beyea asked Council to adhere to the intent of their Master Plan.
George Rourk - 1331 South Lake Dr., advised he and his wife are at tonight’s meeting for the traffic issues on South Lake Drive. Further, Mr. Rourk understands there are five letters in Council’s packet from other neighbors describing the nature of the traffic problems on their road. He continued by stating that he hopes they can come up with a solution within the next few months that will help the residents affected by the traffic problem in the entire area.
Mayor McLallen noted that the letters that Mr. Rourk referred to did not arrive in time for this packet and if they are in the building they will appear on the next agenda under Communications.
An unidentified speaker- stated he spends as long as twenty minutes trying to get out of his driveway onto South Lake Drive. The speaker further stated that his granddaughter was struck by a hit and run driver three weeks ago. The speaker stated something has to be done for the sake of the residents and their children. The speaker then asked Council to take some kind of action on the traffic on this street before children are needlessly killed.
Leanne Link - 210 Bernstadt, advised their street has only one access road which is South Lake Drive and therefore, lends her support to her neighbors on South Lake Drive.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Councilwoman Lorenzo removed Item A. 2.
Councilwoman Mutch removed Item A. 1.
Mr. Kriewall requested that Council remove Item B because it is unnecessary.
CM-98-10-311: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:
C. Schedule a Public Hearing for Monday, November 9, 1998, at 7:30 P.M., for the purpose of considering public input on the 1998 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program Number B062.
D. Request to change corporate name on 1997 12 Months Resort Class C Liquor License with Dance-Entertainment Permit for Red Timbers Inn, Inc., 40380 Grand River held by Basil A. Stavropoulos to Cornithian, Inc.
E. Request for transfer of 1997 12 Months Resort Class C Liquor License located at Grady’s Inc., 43350 Crescent, from Quality Dining, Inc. to Southwest Dining, Inc.
F. Adoption of Resolutions accepting Sanitary Sewer Easement and Temporary Construction Easements from Husky Injection Molding Systems, Inc., for the Taft Road East (Husky) Sanitary Sewer Project.
G. Adoption of Resolutions accepting easements, grading permits, and deeds held in escrow pursuant to the Letter of Understanding involving FG40 Corporation, Beck Corridor Partners Limited Partnership, and Monkey Wrench Associates for the Taft Road Extension, Bridge, Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, and Wetland Mitigation Project.
H. Adoption of Resolution accepting Highway and Utility Easement from John and Patricia Karimalis for the Meadowbrook Road Improvements Project.
I. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 527
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. September 28, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting.
2. September 28, 1998 Special City Council Meeting.
B. Schedule an Executive Session immediately following the Regular Meeting of October 5, 1998 for the purpose of Pending Litigation and Property Acquisition.
Vote on CM-98-10-311: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part I
1. Request for adoption of Resolution #7 S.A.D. 149 - Eubank Street, Idlemere Park Subdivision, Water Main
Mr. Jerome reported the total cost of the project is estimated at $180,000 and they have the support of the owners of 66% of the assessed property value within the district which exceeds the 51% support required in the ordinance. He continued by stating that the residents have requested a thirty year term with an 8% interest rate which is also within the provisions of the city’s ordinance. Mr. Jerome reported that the property owners arrived at what they felt was a fair and equitable method to split the cost by benefitting parcel.
CM-98-10-312: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution #7 for S.A.D. 149 - Eubank Street, Idlemere Park Subdivision, Water Main
Vote on CM-98-10-312: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
2. Request for approval of lot split, parcel #50-22-15-351-041, Charles & Katherine Tvardek, Property located north of Eleven Mile Road and east of Taft Road.
Mr. Tvardek distributed surveys to Council.
Mayor McLallen reminded Council that this issue is before them because the parcel does not meet the street requirements under which the assessor can grant a lot split. The Mayor continued by stating that one main issue is that the surrounding area is zoned for R-4.
Mr. Tvardek noted that the lots that they have rezoned to R-4 are a result of what he did approximately five years ago.
Councilman DeRoche understands the petitioner owned those lots and then had them rezoned. Mr. Tvardek agreed and added they are following same process they followed before. He explained they came before Council first to approve the matter and after that they had it rezoned.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether Council split the lots or did they send the applicant back to petition for a rezoning? Mr. Tvardek replied that Council first approved the lot split and then he went into the rezoning process. He noted that they only rezoned the parcel that was split.
Councilman DeRoche asked what was the size of the previous parcel? Mr. Tvardek replied it was approximately a half acre.
Councilman DeRoche understands they only split out a half acre and then they rezoned that half acre as R-4 and the balance was then left as RA; Mr. Tvardek agreed.
Councilman DeRoche asked what year did this action occur? Ms. Tvardek recalled it occurred the end of 1994 or the beginning of 1995.
Mr. Tvardek advised because they now have children they want to expand the existing house and will need the additional forty one feet on the side lot.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether Mr. Arroyo knows why the recommendations are different. Mr. Arroyo is uncertain about the exact procedures that the applicant just described. However, Mr. Arroyo reported that the subject properties to the east of this property are zoned R-4. As a matter of background information, Mr. Arroyo advised that they have included a Zoning Map with their letter and the Master Plan Residential Density Pattern Map which identifies this area as 3.3 units per acre which is consistent with the R-4 zoning. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo believes R-4 zoning would be appropriate in this location and it would be appropriate either prior to or as a condition of any lot splits. Further, Mr. Arroyo noted the letter from JCK which indicates that the plat of the survey should reflect an existing forty three foot path right-of-way along Eleven Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo advised if that is true, he believes it changes the parcel sizes included in the plat drawing currently in front of Council. Mr. Arroyo continued by stating that Parcel A, 4, which is the remainder parcel, would be 1.08 acres after the land division and Parcel A, 3, which is the parcel they want to be split, would be 0.48 acres.
Councilman DeRoche understands it would make more sense to have the property rezoned before Council granted the split. Although Mr. Arroyo would agree, he would defer this issue to Mr. Watson as to whether or not granting the land division contingent upon the rezoning is appropriate.
Mr. Watson advised there are two things that could happen procedurally. He explained one is if they granted the rezoning, they would not need Council for the lot split because the assessor could then grant it because it would not be of a substandard size. Mr. Watson continued by stating that Council could approve the lot split subject to the petitioner getting the rezoning and noted that there is an alternative procedure that they could go through to get a building permit. He explained the petitioner could go to the Zoning Board of Appeals to get a variance from the lot size vis a vis the Zoning Ordinance if Council were to approve this.
Councilman DeRoche asked what is the Planning Department’s recommendation for this request? Mr. Pham replied that they would recommend the rezoning first. He explained if Council grants the lot split, the Zoning Board of Appeals would then view this as a hardship created by the city because it would create a nonconforming lot.
Councilman DeRoche asked how long would the process take? Mr. Pham believes it would take thirty to forty five days just for the public hearing process.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether the petitioner has anything pending at this point? Mr. Tvardek advised they would agree to whatever Council wants to do.
Mr. Arroyo added that one thing that presents a difficulty for the ZBA if they present this petition is that one of the standards they have to look at is whether it is a self-created hard ship. Therefore, if the petitioner moves forward with a piece of property that conforms now and they want to split it and it is not consistent with the ordinance, then it is really a self-created problem. Consequently, Mr. Arroyo believes that making a case for a ZBA variance would be difficult for the petitioner. Mr. Arroyo then believes it is more appropriate that if it is designated for 3.3 units per acre on the Master Plan and it is appropriate to rezone it, that it be rezoned first and then the lot split can go forward and it would be consistent with the zoning so there would not be a ZBA case.
Councilman Schmid asked why is this matter before Council? Mr. Arroyo replied that it was the petitioner’s request although he understood one of his options was to have it rezoned.
Mr. Tvardek asked whether he would be rezoning the parcel he is creating or the whole property? Councilman Schmid understands he would be rezoning the whole property. Mr. Tvardek was under the assumption that they were just going to rezone the parcel.
Councilman Schmid does not believe it would take any more time to rezone the entire property than it does just the parcel.
Mayor McLallen asked whether Mr. Tvardek’s property is approximately 1½ acres? Mr. Tvardek believes it will amount to 1½ acres after the split.
Mayor McLallen asked what does the entire parcel amount to? Mr. Arroyo understands the entire parcel amounts to 1.56 acres before the split and would amount to 1.08 acres after the split of 0.48 acres. He noted that is less than what is in the description because of the right-of-way.
Councilman Schmid believes this request does not meet the lot split ordinance and therefore, he believes it makes more sense for the petitioner and for the city to rezone the entire parcel first.
Mr. Tvardek advised that he never understood why it happened that way before. He advised that they thought the city was concerned that they would tear down the house and make more lots.
CM-98-10-313: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny the request for the approval of lot split for Parcel #50-22-15-351-041, Charles & Katherine Tvardek, Property located north of Eleven Mile Road and east of Taft Road based upon the recommendation made by city consultants and staff
Mayor McLallen asked whether there are any implications for the petitioner if he is denied this lot split and further asked if taking no action on this request at this point would be more appropriate for Council. Mr. Watson advised if the request is denied tonight, it will not make a difference when the petitioner comes back for the subsequent split after the rezoning because it would then be a request that the assessor can grant.
Councilman Kramer agrees it makes more sense to rezone the land from the Master Plan’s point of view. He explained their position is much stronger if they have coherent zoning and planning.
Councilwoman Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo to explain his comments about the right-of way. Mr. Arroyo explained that JCK indicated in their letter that there is a forty three foot half right-of-way from the center line of Eleven Mile Road going back into the properties. Mr. Arroyo believes when the city did improvements to Eleven Mile Road that they purchased the right-of-way to meet the Master Plan which would be 86 feet and 43 feet is half of that. Mr. Arroyo continued by stating that this changes the legal description that is attached by changing the dimensions of the parcels. He noted that they show Parcel A-3 as 200 feet deep and now it would actually be 157 feet deep because they must subtract 43 feet from that. He added that the same would apply to the parent parcel by taking off 43 feet along Eleven Mile Road and the remainder is what the petitioner actually owns today.
Councilwoman Mutch asked which part of the petitioner’s property was split in the past. Mr. Tvardek advised that the portion that was split is not pictured in the information provided to Council. He advised that property would be to the far east of the parcel before Council tonight.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether that rezoning took place at the same time they rezoned other property? Mr. Tvardek advised that rezoning took place independently of any other rezoning.
Councilwoman Mutch recalled that the petitioner’s last request for a lot split was so that he could do some additional building. Mr. Tvardek advised that his father passed away at that time and they held onto the land for approximately one year to determine what they were going to do with it, and then they sold it.
Vote on CM-98-10-313: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
3. Request for approval of a Petition to Remove Sidewalk and Plant Trees and a Petition to Remove Barrier for Mystic Forest Homeowners Association, property located west of Mystic Forest Drive and north of Castlewood Drive.
Kim Capello advised that he was retained as an attorney by the homeowner’s association to assist them in preparing their association bylaws, to set up the procedures for the architectural review committee and to take control of the subdivision from the developer. Since then many side issues arose and this is one of those issues. Mr. Capello noted that the homeowner’s association requested that he appear before Council to represent their viewpoint even though he is a Planning Commissioner.
Mr. Capello reminded Council that this particular pond in Mystic Forest is now a focal point for the entire subdivision after Mr. Harris took money from his own pocket to improve the quality of the site under Sue Tepatti’s direction.
Mr. Capello noted there is an area near the pond that is very narrow and although there is a sidewalk in place, the area between the curb and the sidewalk is so narrow that they cannot even plant trees there. Further, the area between the sidewalk and the upper edge of the pond is so narrow that they may only be able to plant a few trees there. Mr. Capello advised that the homeowners would like to maintain the pond and in accordance with the subdivision plat that was approved, a vehicular barrier is required between the sidewalk and the pond. Although they have asked that the barrier be removed, Mr. Capello advised they do not want the barrier removed but would be happy if Council accepted Mr. Bluhm’s recommendations. Mr. Capello explained Mr. Bluhm recommended that the vehicular barrier be posts into the ground. Further, he believes Mr. Bluhm should have the authority to determine the length of the post, the length of the post above grade, the spacing of the post and the diameter of the post. Mr. Capello understands that Mr. Bluhm will determine what is required there in terms of engineering. Mr. Capello restated they do not want the barrier removed, they are just requesting that Council approve Mr. Bluhm’s recommendation of allowing the post without any fencing.
Mr. Capello understands that Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Bluhm believe that they should not remove the sidewalk because they do not approve of a street crossing where there is not an intersection. Further, Mr. Capello understands there is concern that if they remove the sidewalks that the children will continue to ride their bicycles in this area. Mr. Capello advised their intent is to add enough vegetation so that the children cannot ride their bicycles through that area and they will be forced to ride on the sidewalks instead.
Mayor McLallen noted this subdivision is somewhat unique from the other subdivisions within Novi in that it is not a neighborhood where outside traffic drives through.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how many homeowners currently reside in Mystic Forest? Mr. Capello reported there are 109 lots with 100 currently built. He added that he understands there is only one extension that will consist of approximately 12-14 lots.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether all the homeowners favor this request because she noted they have not received a petition from the residents. Mr. Capello advised that he expected that issue to be raised and therefore, he required the residents to bring this matter to a general homeowner’s association meeting for a vote. Mr. Capello reported the vote was twenty four yes to one no out of twenty five that attended the meeting in January 1998.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the residents were allowed to vote by proxy. Mr. Capello advised that the residents were permitted to vote by proxy. Mr. Capello added they brought this same issue before the homeowners in March 1998 and it passed twenty nine to one.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how many lots were represented? An unidentified member of the audience advised that each lot had one vote.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether they have since polled the new homeowners? Mr. Capello advised that they took the last vote in March 1998.
Mayor McLallen asked whether the homeowner’s association has the authority to move forward with this action if all of the lots are not represented at their meeting? Mr. Watson advised if their covenants and restrictions are typical of what the city has been seeing for the past ten to fifteen years, then the board is representative of the subdivision just as Council represents the city.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that, but she is concerned that one hundred homeowners currently reside in the subdivision and only 29 homeowners favor the request. Councilwoman Lorenzo is not saying that the vote is inappropriate, but she is trying to determine how many residents of the subdivision actually approve of this request.
Mr. Capello advised they did more than just hold the two meetings. He explained they sent out written proxies with notifications so if anyone was really opposed to this, they would have had the opportunity to object.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the other residents were aware that this matter would be before Council tonight? Mr. Capello is uncertain.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands they are requesting an alternate type of barrier; Mr. Capello agreed. Councilwoman Lorenzo further understands that they are proposing a wood barrier. Mr. Capello agreed and explained they are suggesting that wooden posts with reflective tape reflectors be sunk into the ground and spaced far enough apart that a car could not travel between the posts and into the pond.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands they are requesting the removal of the sidewalk to plant street trees. Mr. Capello advised they would like to plant street trees, other vegetation and trees, so they do not have to construct a pedestrian fence to prevent someone from falling into the pond.
CM-98-10-314: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request to remove the sidewalk and plant trees and additional shrubbery, and remove the present barrier and replace it with a wood post barrier as recommended by JCK & Associates in the Mystic Forest Subdivision for property located west of Mystic Forest Drive and north of Castlewood Drive.
Councilman Kramer understands there are sidewalks on Castlewood Drive to Pine View Park on both sides of the road; Mr. Capello agreed.
Councilman Kramer asked whether there is a sidewalk between Lots 82 and 83. Mr. Capello believes there is.
Councilman Kramer asked whether there is a sidewalk constructed on the west side of Mystic Forest Drive. Mr. Capello advised there is sidewalk and noted that area is wider so there is room for trees and vegetation.
Councilman DeRoche believes this is a case where a subdivision has taken it upon themselves to improve their own living arrangements and he believes that the thirty residents who showed up for the subdivision meeting is what he would consider a strong showing.
Councilwoman Mutch would normally not vote for this because of the points that Mr. Nowicki raised. She explained she is concerned about children who will begin to travel on a sidewalk and will then travel on the street as they pass this section. She then questioned whether they would continue traveling on the sidewalk once it picks up again.
Councilwoman Mutch asked how well represented are the lots that are directly affected? She explained it is more impressive if the twenty five residents represent the people who are most affected.
Mr. Capello advised that the homeowner association’s president lives on Lot 81 and supports the request.
An unidentified speaker advised that three of the residents of Lots 93, 94, 95 and 96 are new residents and one is still being built.
An unidentified speaker advised that the resident on Lot 96 supports the request.
Mayor McLallen advised that the petitioners have the right to speak at this point.
An unidentified speaker believes they have done their best to contact all of the residents.
Mark Russell - 23408 Winsborough advised the pond was what attracted him to the subdivision and he believes that a guard rail would detract from the beauty of the pond.
Councilman Kramer asked if it reasonable to request that the petitioners paint a pedestrian crosswalk on the road from Lot 94 to Lot 82? Mr. Arroyo does not favor the crosswalk, but it could be something they could look more closely at if Council chooses to move forward with this request.
Vote on CM-98-10-314: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
4. Request to vacate a portion of Chapman Drive from Endwell to East Lake Drive between lots 72 through 79, Patsy Schreer.
Mayor McLallen understands that the city attorney needs a more accurate description. Mr. Watson agreed and advised that Council procedure for vacating a street is to introduce a resolution providing for the vacation, set a public hearing, conduct a public hearing and then take action on the resolution. Mr. Watson reported he indicated in his letter that before he could actually prepare the resolution, he would need an actual description of the area proposed to be vacated. Mr. Watson understands this is before Council to determine whether Council wants that resolution to be prepared. He continued by stating if Council wants the resolution to be prepared, he would then request JCK & Associates to provide that description to them.
Mr. Kriewall believes there is enough difference of opinion within the neighborhood for this request to warrant a public hearing.
Mayor McLallen asked whether the city is responsible for maintaining this alley? Mr. Kriewall replied the city does not maintain Chapman Drive and noted it is very narrow with a lot of overgrowth.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the city is obligated to maintain the road? Mr. Kriewall advised the road is more of an alley or rear yard easement and therefore, the city is not obligated to maintain it.
Councilwoman Mutch believes if they can show that it is used by the neighborhood as a pedestrian access, then she asked why doesn’t the city do something about cleaning it up and make it look like a pedestrian access to eliminate the vehicular access? Mr. Kriewall would not recommend investing any money in this piece of real estate. He restated he would recommend holding a public hearing to determine what the neighborhood wants.
Councilwoman Mutch would support a public hearing because she believes that is the only means they have to determine how the area is being used. She continued by stating that she believes there is confusion about whether it is for vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or whether it is public or private. She noted that the current residents do not maintain it at this time.
Mr. Kriewall believes this is a common situation around Walled Lake. He explained the easements, walkways, driveways, alleys, thoroughfares, and bike paths are not maintained by the local residents.
Councilwoman Mutch believes the city is trying to correct that problem and she believes that it means vacation in some cases so that it can be maintained by the residents that take over the property. However, if there is community use of a public easement, then she suggested that the city should look at improving the way it is used.
Mr. Kriewall believes there may be some neighborhood use, but there is certainly no thoroughfare or traffic.
Councilwoman Mutch is not talking about vehicular traffic, she is talking about pedestrians. Therefore, she would move to set a public hearing.
Mr. Watson interjected, tonight’s action would require Council to direct the city attorney to prepare a resolution that they would bring back before Council at which point they would set the public hearing.
CM-98-10-315: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the city attorney to prepare a resolution to initiate the city’s vacation process for a portion of Chapman Drive from Endwell to East Lake Drive between lots 72 through 79 as requested by Patsy Schreer
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what is the purpose of the city’s easement on that property? It is Mr. Kriewall’s opinion that it is an alley easement and it is probably not used as an alley.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how long has the city had the property? Mr. Kriewall believes the city owned the property since it was platted in approximately 1920. Mr. Watson added that he suspects that the plat depicts it as being dedicated as a street.
Councilman Kramer will support the motion and is interested to know what happened to the ownership of the vacated right-of-way behind Lots 83 to 93. He would further like to know what would be recommended for the road if it is vacated from Lots 75 to 82.
Councilman DeRoche stated there are an incredible amount of problems regarding the roads that the city has inherited from eighty years of use. Therefore, as these issues come forward, Councilman DeRoche believes they need to take them seriously and that they all should go to a public hearing as the citizens come forward.
Councilman Schmid’s first reaction is to vacate, but asked if the city has any responsibility to share in the maintenance of these alleys. Mr. Kriewall replied that the city does not share that responsibility because it would not be open to traffic.
Councilman Schmid asked whether one resident has the authority to initiate the public hearing process because he reminded Council that it is an expensive process. Mr. Watson replied if Council makes the decision to set a public hearing, then the request would go to a public hearing.
Mr. Kriewall believes that the history of an area often drives a public hearing initiative. He explained in this particular situation, Mrs. Sheer was detected by the neighborhood as trying to build a berm across this roadway and consequently, a complaint was sent to the Building Department. Mr. Kriewall reported that they investigated the matter and they advised Mrs. Sheer that she could not build a berm because it was a dedicated public right-of-way. The city then advised Mrs. Sheer that she could take this matter through the city’s vacation problem and set a public hearing so that the neighborhood has the opportunity to address this issue.
Since the city has inherited an antiquated system of roadways, Councilwoman Mutch asked whether there has ever been a study conducted of that whole area with that in mind. She asked whether there is some way that the city can improve the whole area because of citizen input.
Mr. Kriewall advised the area is varied because it depends upon things like the street, the location, and the wording in the plats. Therefore, they cannot apply a singular policy.
Councilwoman Mutch is asking whether they have looked at it as a whole community. She noted that they refer to the Walled Lake Sector Study quite often during council meetings, but she understands that it is not a current group.
Mr. Kriewall believes the difficulty is that each neighborhood, each alley, each right-of-way, each stub street has a different story and he does not know how they can address each situation. He thinks they would spend a lot of money if they tried to inventory what they have up there.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the Walled Lake Sector Study included the roads in their work? Mr. Kriewall believes they did.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether they made any recommendations regarding these problems. Mr. Kriewall recalled that they only addressed the major roads.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the different problems will require different solutions. However, she is asking whether there is some way they can take a comprehensive look at this area with the input of the neighborhood and with the assistance of the city, rather than having to deal with the problems one at a time endlessly. She would like to know what the neighborhood would suggest to address these problem areas.
Mr. Kriewall advised the city became involved in some of these with the assemblage of Lake Shore Park and he believes that it is best to leave some of these alone because there is no solution to some of these.
Councilwoman Mutch believes they often hear from the north end that they have an endless list of problems that the city does not respond to because they are too difficult to address. Councilwoman Mutch is not saying that Council or Administration must come up with the answers. She is suggesting that they create some kind of vehicle or entity through which the neighborhood can identify for themselves what their problems are so they can bring forth their recommendations one by one for a comprehensive solution instead of isolated problems.
Mr. Kriewall believes there is no comprehensive solution to many of these problems. He continued by stating that the Walled Lake Sector Study addressed the paving of roadways, curb and gutter, storm water management, and provision of water mains for the area, and as a result fragmented special assessment districts have evolved from that study. Mr. Kriewall believes the neighborhoods are bringing forward their issues (i.e., LARA), and he restated he does not believe the city can provide comprehensive solutions to the entire north end area on any given issue. Mr. Kriewall added that he believes they will resolve many of their problems through special assessments.
Due to the external growth outside the immediate lake area, Mayor McLallen believes this area is experiencing a new set of problems. She explained they have inherited a very antiquated infrastructure that is difficult to track through plats and maps. Mayor McLallen also believes another issue is resources and asked what sort of resources does the city at large have to direct to a particular sector. Further, as property values increase in that area, Mayor McLallen added that the property owners must ask themselves seriously what portion of the burden do they want to assume in special assessment districts.
Vote on CM-98-10-315: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen asked staff to be prepared to discuss issues about the maintenance of the area, what the potential uses or disposal of the property would be and what safety and emergency vehicle issues would emerge from the possible vacation of this area.
BREAK - 9:45 p.m. until 10:05 p.m.
5. Request for approval of Final Plat for Lilley Pond, SP 93-05N, located south of South Lake Drive, west of Buffington Drive
Claudio Rossi advised that he represents Mirage Development and they are before Council to ask for their approval of the final plat for Lilley Pond Subdivision. Mr. Rossi added they have complied with all of the requirements set forth by the City of Novi and the recommendations of all of the city’s consultants.
Councilman Schmid asked whether they will construct basements with these homes? Mr. Rossi advised they will build basements because the water table was shown to be below the level of all the basements. As an added precaution, Mr. Rossi advised they are providing a waterproofing system with a ten year warranty to all of the homeowners with basements versus a typical damp proofing system.
Councilman Schmid assumes what Mr. Rossi is saying is accurate and that he is suggesting that the sump pumps will not have to operate twenty four hours a day. Mr. Rossi believes the pumps will be working during storms and agreed they should not have to work twenty four hours a day.
Councilman Schmid would like the city’s engineers to comment on the potential water issues for this subdivision. Mr. Potter advised they look at the ground water during the usual process for constructing a basement. He explained they look at where the ground water table is located and how they are going to drain the water adjacent to the basement walls. Mr. Potter advised a sump pump continually runs when an area has high ground water and is something that the Building Department reviews on a site by site basis. In regard to damp proofing versus waterproofing, Mr. Potter believes waterproofing is a structural improvement and considerations to the basement walls so the water does not push and crack the walls. Mr. Potter added if the sump extends into the water table, it will run continuously.
Councilman Schmid asked if the city permits that? Mr. Potter is not sure about how the Building Department looks at that.
Mr. Rossi advised that Mr. Bluhm has given them the flexibility that if they encounter any situations where they may hit a water table that he will allow, with some discretion, for them to jack up the basements so they are not into the water table and they can avoid a drainage or sump pump problem.
Councilman Schmid asked whether the city allows basements to be built when it goes below the water table which will require twenty four hour a day pumping? Mr. Kriewall advised that historically, the city has allowed some basements to be constructed that are at or near the water level. However, he noted the state regulates a lot of this. He explained that the state must go through an approval process for a waterproof basement and typically that is allowed. He continued by stating that the rest of it becomes a field decision. Mr. Kriewall does not believe the city has any legal discretion to prevent that once the state approves a basement in a particular area.
Mr. Potter added that field conditions typically warrant when a basement inspection is being performed for the footings, the ground water elevation is one of the key things that they look at. He explained when they dig the hole, it is very obvious whether the floor slab is going to be under water or not.
Councilman Schmid is still amazed that the city will permit the construction of a basement below ground water level that will require a sump pump to run for twenty four hours a day. Mr. Potter advised there are provisions to completely waterproof a basement wall and floor system so that water will not get into the structure at all. He explained there are federal guidelines that Core of Engineers developed for construction in flood plains for exactly that reason.
Mr. Rossi reminded Council that they had borings done on the property as they were constructing and the worse case scenario showed that they still had a couple feet of clearance between the bottom of the basement, the floor elevation and the water table. He restated if they encounter a situation where they hit some water, he advised that they can always jack up the basement within the provisions of the City of Novi to prevent any problems from occurring.
CM-98-10-316: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To approve the request of Final Plat for Lilley Pond, SP 93-05N, located south of South Lake Drive, west of Buffington Drive subject to staff and the consultants’ recommendations
Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled that a resident made a reference to the road being flooded. Mr. Potter has no knowledge of that. Mr. Rossi advised that the road has never been under water since they have paved it.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what measures are they taking in regard to best management practices. Since that issue was raised at the last Council meeting, Mr. Potter advised that the storm drainage system has been constructed with the best management practices possible. He explained that each structure has a two foot sump and a couple have four foot sumps for discharging the storm water. He advised an oil and gas separator has not yet been installed, but they have received assurance from Mr. Rossi that it would be installed and Council has a letter of credit that will be posted as security that it does get installed before they release the final funds.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked who typically maintains the oil and gas separator once it is installed? Mr. Rossi believes they will transfer all of the utilities to the City of Novi.
Mr. Potter understands the road system and the storm drainage system will be maintained by the city. He added there is no detention basin in the subdivision that the subdivision would typically maintain.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether other best management practices were feasible? Mr. Potter advised that the area constructed between the road and South Lake Drive is all wetland. He continued by stating that they would typically ask the developer to construct a temporary sediment basin, but in this case it would mean that they would have to dig up part of a wetland and therefore, it was not feasible. He advised that the developer did construct downstream ditch sediment traps at the outlet and once they stabilize those, they will put in stone rip-rap to control the erosion.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that approximately 50% of the water discharges into the catch basin and the other 50% drains toward the wetlands in the back. Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what best management practices on the lots are they going to have in place for the drainage to the wetlands? Mr. Potter advised there are buffer strips and the lawns will act as a basic buffer. He continued by stating that once they establish the lawns, they will serve as an ideal buffer strip.
Councilwoman Lorenzo agrees that is true until fertilizer and other things are added to the lawns. Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if they are simply dumping the water into the wetlands? Mr. Potter advised there is no standard ordinance that requires any particular type of best management practice in this case. He also understands that there is no ordinance that restricts the type of fertilizer used on lawns.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands there are design and construction standards that indicate they should be using best management practices in accordance with the DEQ’s Guidebook for Watersheds as a subdivision is being developed. Mr. Potter believes Councilwoman Lorenzo’s statement is accurate.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that the guidebook recommends filter strips and other types of best management practices to filter storm water before it reaches any body of water. Mr. Potter believes the recommendation is not to encourage any type of concentrated discharge. Mr. Potter restated that a lawn offers some of the best protection they can have despite the chemicals or fertilizers being used.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands there is a new best management practice which states they should have 100 feet of buffer between a wetland and whatever it is.
Mayor McLallen reminded Council that the issue before them tonight is the approval of a plat. She continued by stating that although Councilwoman Lorenzo’s issues are very concerning to the city because of the large amount of wetlands located within the city, she questions whether they can obligate anybody at this point to do anything with those is perhaps an issue that they should pose to the attorney. Further, the Mayor believes Councilwoman Lorenzo’s efforts to keep the discussion moving in this direction would be better served if it went before Ordinance Review.
Councilwoman Lorenzo respectfully disagrees. She explained the Design and Construction Standards specifically states that they should use best management practices in accordance with DEQ’s Guidebook for Watersheds. In this particular situation where there are flood plains, Councilwoman Lorenzo is asking whether they are following these best management practices.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the DEQ could offer some suggestions for this development? Mr. Potter does not believe the DEQ could offer further suggestions. He explained his experience in working with the DEQ is that they encourage sheet flow before discharging into a regulated wetland and he believes the development is using that practice in this development. He continued by stating that for the city to require homeowners to create a buffer zone that cannot be maintained has been a large issue around lakes with residences that mow right up to the edge of the lot. He advised that residents will typically form an association and impose their own restrictions for the type of fertilizing that will be used or they may choose not to fertilize thirty to forty feet adjacent to the lake so that the grass absorbs the nutrients before it gets to the lake.
That is Councilwoman Lorenzo’s point. She questioned whether they should be permitting the use of chemicals prior to the point of discharge to the body of water. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes they can reduce the amount of contaminated water by having a filter strip or something else in place. According to the wetland’s ordinance, Mr. Potter understands there is typically a twenty five foot buffer before the water discharges into the wetland.
Mr. Rossi added that the site is heavily wooded so a lot of the area will already have a natural buffer and they are going to try to preserve as many trees as possible while building.
Councilman DeRoche believes the main concern Council has with this project is that they all know the site is wet and there is the potential for flooding in the future. However, he believes this is not the appropriate time to debate whether things should get built right there, but it is the time to send a clear message that the developer will be held to a standard so that these homes get built right.
In regard to the traffic issue on South Lake Drive and West Road, Councilman DeRoche believes although the new developments are contributing to the problem, the problems have existed for twenty years and he hopes that the Taft Road Extension will solve some of the problems. He continued by stating that he would like the citizens in the area get the opportunity to debate the history of the traffic problems, see what the city and engineers have planned for these roads, and what has been done in other communities that may serve as a benefit to this problem. Councilman DeRoche added he would like to see South Lake Drive added to the list of traffic studies.
Vote on CM-98-10-316: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
6. Request for approval of Tentative Preliminary Plat and
Final Preliminary Plat,
Mayor McLallen noted the woodlands approval is incorrect because Council does not have jurisdiction over the woodlands.
Arnold Serlin advised he is a representative of the Novi Group and added that they are the developers of Bristol Corners. Mr. Serlin advised they are before Council for two reasons. He explained he overlooked the expiration date of the original approval they received two years ago and notwithstanding, they are requesting a change in the subdividing of the west side of West Road (from two subdivisions to three subdivisions). He explained it is simply a phase line introduced to divide the balance of what is not yet platted. Mr. Serlin advised 72 lots of sub number are platted and they have recorded the plat. Mr. Serlin restated they are asking that the balance of the west side of 106 lots be divided into 68 and 38 lots. Mr. Serlin reported that the engineering has been approved and they have gone forward with the development. Mr. Serlin noted nothing on the plan has changed from what was approved previously.
CM-98-10-317: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve tentative preliminary plat and final preliminary plat, for Bristol Corners, SP97-15Q located in Sections 3 and 4 on the east and west side of West Road and on the north and south side of South Lake Drive in the R-2 and R-4 Districts
Councilman DeRoche asked whether the developer plans to sell the lots. Mr. Serlin advised they prefer to develop the site with a smaller number of lots for marketing considerations.
Councilman DeRoche does not understand and explained that usually when they see that the developer is partnering with a different builder or selling off that portion. Mr. Serlin advised they are not planning to do that. He explained the builders that are in there right now already purchased the second phase (68 lots) and they have an option to purchase the balance of the subdivision (38 lots).
Councilman DeRoche asked what kinds of slow downs are they currently experiencing. Mr. Serlin advised he believes everyone is aware of the uncertainty of the economy and that they were somewhat aggressive in their original plan. He continued by stating they do not plan to change anything except that they want to develop the site in a more regimented manner. Mr. Serlin added that they have already graded and developed the south end, they have installed storm sewer, and they installed a storm water retention pond at the south end. Mr. Serlin explained the problem is if they waited to develop a second sub a year from now when perhaps they might have sold all of the first 72 lots, they would not have an inventory. He continued by stating that they are trying to anticipate what their needs might be and they believe this size of a second subdivision is more appropriate at this time.
Councilman DeRoche asked how many in the first subdivision have been built to date? Mr. Serlin replied there are 25 sold and he would guess between the sales, the starts and the spec there are probably 40 homes under construction.
Considering Council has the authority to approve the wetland permit, Councilwoman Lorenzo stated that having information in the packet indicating exactly what the Council is being asked to approve would have been helpful. She explained she would like to know what exactly were the wetland impacts in this proposal.
Mr. Serlin advised they depict the existing wetlands in blue on the plan and there are two other areas that are wooded wetlands. He noted those wetlands are preserved and they have put in place a preservation agreement that preserves both the woodlands and the wetlands. In regard to the Walled Lake access on the far east side, Mr. Serlin reported they have not only preserved those wetlands and woodlands in an agreement that has been recorded, but they have also recorded an agreement for an easement of 75 feet along the lake front that preserves any development of any kind on that lake front. Mr. Serlin noted that is explained in the easement agreement reviewed by the city attorney and signed by the Mayor.
Councilwoman Lorenzo assumes there was some kind of impact that required a permit. Mr. Serlin agreed and advised they filled some small wetlands and at the time they made the studies, they were granted a permit.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the temporary detention basins will become permanent water quality basins after they serve as temporary detention. Mr. Potter cannot recall what the conditions of the approval were. However, he noted the current ordinance requires that if they do have temporary sediment basins, they must be converted to a permanent water quality type measure.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that this should then say that the on site temporary detention basins will become permanent water quality basins. Mr. Potter stated he is uncertain about whether this was approved before the current ordinance was enacted.
Mr. Serlin advised there are three detention ponds with water quality features that will become permanent.
Since Council is giving a new approval, Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that all of the ordinances that are currently in place should be complied with.
Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Serlin to explain further how he wants to create another subdivision. Mr. Serlin reported subdivision number one is recorded with 72 lots and is located north of the line that runs east and west on the map. He continued by stating that the balance is what they called when they received their original approval, sub number 2. Mr. Serlin explained they have chosen to request from Council a further dividing of the west side into three subdivisions.
Councilman Schmid is concerned that the rest of the sub is built and nothing happens with the remainder for a long period of time. He explained he is concerned about the construction noise for the other new homeowners. Mr. Serlin does not believe it would create any more of a problem than if they were to develop the entire west side. He explained regardless of whether they develop two subdivisions or three subdivisions, they still have two entrances. He further explained if they were to develop the balance of the south portion of the site (106 lots), it would still be served by the same south entrance.
Vote on CM-98-10-317: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen noted they also have a wetland permit which was to transfer all of the current activities of the Bristol Corners West to Bristol Corners West 2 and 3 in compliance with all current ordinances.
CM-98-10-318: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve transfer of the wetland permit for Bristol Corners, SP97-15Q located in Sections 3 and 4 on the east and west side of West Road and on the north and south side of South Lake Drive in the R-2 and R-4 Districts from Bristol Corners West to Bristol Corners West 2 & 3 subject to compliance with all current ordinances
Vote on CM-98-10-318: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Mr. Serlin noted that the description is incorrect in that the area is not zoned as Office Service Technology, but rather it is zoned as R-2 and R-4.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Arroyo to comment on the traffic concerns in the north end. Mr. Arroyo believes there are two issues in this area. He explained one is speeding and he understands that the Police Department has increased its enforcement efforts to address that situation. He continued by stating that the other issue is about the increase in traffic volumes on South Lake Drive. Mr. Arroyo advised that Taft Road is viewed as a way to try to reduce those volumes by providing an alternative route. Mr. Arroyo believes once Taft Road is completed and there is a connection made to Twelve Mile Road, the city’s ability to implement other enforcement techniques to lower volumes on South Lake Drive tremendously increases. He explained people will then have a reasonable alternative route and if they do not reduce the volumes to a level that Council feels is adequate once Taft Road is completed, there are other measures that they can examine further to reduce the speed and amount through traffic traveling on South Lake Drive.
7. Request for approval of
In August 1996, Mr. Lewiston advised Council asked that an ad hoc committee be appointed to study the use of property depicted on the drawing. He continued by stating that the ad hoc committee consisted of representatives from the school district, the Orchard Hills Homeowners Association, the Meadowbrook Lake Homeowners Association, Novi Ridge apartments, all the city departments and all the cities’ consultants. Mr. Lewiston reported that they met as a group on at least six occasions and every aspect was studied by the ad hoc committee (i.e., drainage, flood plain, access to site) and it was their recommendation by a consensus of the group that the new subdivision be served by a permanent access road from the subdivision to Meadowbrook Road south of the existing Orchard Hills subdivision. The Council’s action on November 4 was to adopt the recommendation and to recommend to the developer that they file a plat that contained a permanent road south of Orchard Hills. He added they were also asked to incorporate other changes that had been suggested during the preparation of that ad hoc report (i.e., dedication of Meadowbrook Road, granting of easement rights for the woodlands drains, increasing and improving the drainage, increase turning movements, construction of water quality sedimentation basins, improvement of existing basins). Mr. Lewiston reported they filed the plat on November 26.
Mr. Lewiston advised that the report also asked them to go back to the Planning Commission to receive consideration for their woodland and wetland applications. He continued by stating that those findings determined that from a parcel of 60 acres, 8/10's of one acre of wetlands is disturbed and that type of impact was outweighed by the benefit of a permanent access road.
Mr. Lewiston advised that a great deal of work was done in regard to the drainage studies. He explained they determined that the proposed subdivision did not only add anything to the flood conditions of the middle branch of the Rouge River, but it was insignificant. Further, Mr. Lewiston reported that it was felt that their internal storm system would aid in the drainage in that area.
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised there is no information included in the packet regarding the studies that Mr. Lewiston is referring to in terms of no impact on flood hazards.
Councilwoman Lorenzo’s question was going to be about the obvious impervious surface throughout this flood plain area for this almost acre of land that is going to be taken up by a road which in existing conditions serves as a ponding area for the water during a flood. She understands that the rest of the area is a flood plain and questioned whether the wetlands will see an increase. Mr. Potter replied the increase is negligible, which means basically that they cannot even model what the increase would be.
Councilwoman Lorenzo noticed that there are lots depicted for future development and asked if it is the petitioner’s intention to come back and develop these lots later. Mr. Lewiston replied that they were asked to indicate those areas of the site in addition to the proposed subdivision which were in upland areas and were otherwise useless by the ad hoc committee. He noted there are no wetlands located in that area. He reminded Council that he advised them in August that he would never make application to use any part of the remainder of the property that required any wetland or flood plain mitigation.
Councilwoman Lorenzo’s question is whether it is the petitioner’s intention to come back at some point and build lots. She noted the map does indicate field located wetlands on the southern half of the road. Mr. Lewiston advised they are not asking to use those.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the area they are proposing for mitigation is outside the woodlands. Mr. Lewiston advised it is located in an upland area.
CM-98-10-319: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To approve tentative preliminary plat and wetlands permit for Orchard Hills West Subdivision SP 95-09b, 18.6779 acres located in Section 26, south of Ten Mile and west of Meadowbrook Road zoned R-4
Councilwoman Mutch asked Mr. Lewiston to indicate which part is part of this plat. Mr. Lewiston noted all of the blue area is a conservation area and will never be developed.
In regard to the white area depicted as future development, Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether tonight’s approval would also approve a future concept that would permit the petitioner to come back in two years with the understanding that Council already approved the future development.
Mr. Lewiston expressly stated this evening that no such request or intention or implication is to be drawn from; none whatsoever.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether that guarantees the petitioner will not return in two to five years to ask to develop that area. Mayor ProTem Crawford recalled there was considerable discussion about whether they should construct a permanent or temporary road. He further recalled they discussed the fact that if they only constructed a temporary road that all that area would remain pristine. He believes they decided that the trade off for a permanent road would be better, but he does not recall any mention being made about a proposed development on the Meadowbrook Road end of that road. Mr. Lewiston does not know whether that question was ever raised. Mr. Lewiston asked where would Mayor ProTem Crawford like him to go then because he would like to see the thing end too.
Mayor ProTem Crawford stated this is the first time he noticed that and suggested that maybe he overlooked it. He continued by stating if it is the petitioner’s intent to develop that someday, then he believes Council should know that right now. He asked if tonight’s approval would also approve the potential development of that area someday.
Mr. Lewiston advised that a great many people have done four years of good work. Mayor ProTem Crawford applauds them all, including Mr. Lewiston.
Mr. Lewiston stated he does not want to appear greedy or unappreciative. He stated if there is a feeling that they should not develop this area, he has no intention of holding anyone to a development concept based on the fact that he shows it as upland. Mr. Lewiston continued by stating that if it is the feeling of Council that they ought not develop it now or in the future, his answer tonight would be yes, he will not develop it now or in the future.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would be satisfied with Mr. Lewiston’s explanation if his comments are reflected virtually verbatim in the minutes.
Mr. Watson understands that Mr. Lewiston does not intend to develop that portion of his property.
Mayor McLallen understands everything in pink is part of the plat before Council and the blue is a part of the preservation easement that is being granted in conjunction with that plat. She noted the white area is not on the table tonight.
Councilman Kramer understands that tonight’s approval would be the acceptance of the area depicted in pink and that the blue area is a preservation area. He further understands that the white area is subject for discussion at another time. Councilman Kramer believes the plat is well thought out and further believes that the trade off for the wetlands to provide the access and to complete the road net for the sub is reasonable.
Councilman Schmid concurs with Mayor ProTem Crawford’s comments. Councilman Schmid continued by stating that it should be noted that Council sometimes makes decisions about the wetlands that may not always keep with the master plan, but for other good reasons.
Given Mr. Lewiston’s statements that he does not intend to develop within the white portion, Councilwoman Lorenzo would move to include the pink road area as a no load road.
Mayor McLallen noted there is no support for the motion.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the white area is linked to the motion. The Mayor advised that this motion addresses only the request for tentative preliminary plat and the wetlands permit approval.
Vote on CM-98-10-319: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Mr. Lewiston noted the acreage is incorrect and should be changed to reflect 18.6779 acres.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II
8. Request for approval of Zoning Text Amendment 18.143 - An ordinance to amend Subsection 200.9 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to provide that parcels of land and zoning districts shall be considered to be abutting or adjacent to one another irrespective of whether they are separated by a railroad right-of-way- I Reading
CM-98-10-320: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Text Amendment 18.143 - An ordinance to amend Subsection 200.9 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to provide that parcels of land and zoning districts shall be considered to be abutting or adjacent to one another irrespective of whether they are separated by a railroad right-of-way- I Reading with corrections to be made before the II Reading to a date uncertain
In light of Item 9, Councilman Schmid is curious and concerned about why they brought forward this text amendment.
Mr. Arroyo advised that the Implementation Committee of the Planning Commission brought forward this idea. He explained when they were discussing the OST amendment, at least one member of the Implementation Committee had noted that there is a provision in the ordinance that deals with the definition of abutting and adjacent. He continued by stating that it was their intention that for the OST provision that if the OST District was separated from a roadway that it would be okay for the additional height to be provided for in the OST District. He said they then began to discuss the use of the terms abutting and adjacent throughout the zoning ordinance and Mr. Arroyo advised them that for example with landscaping provisions, that if a district is separated from a residential district by a roadway, the district is already exempt from putting in the type of landscaping provisions required if the district were directly adjacent parcel to parcel between a nonresidential and a residential development. In retrospect and upon the review of the way that the issue of adjacency is handled throughout most of the ordinance, Mr. Arroyo advised the city is already applying these standards because they are exempting parcels that are separated by road right-of-way from a lot of the requirements because it has been determined that the right-of-way is sufficient separation from residential. Consequently, the Implementation Committee requested that a separate amendment be prepared and brought forward that would clearly specify so that they would not have to mention it throughout the ordinance that if in fact a district is separated from residential by a railroad or road right-of-way, the district would not be considered adjacent to that district for the purposes of whatever application might be throughout the ordinance.
Councilman Schmid understands that if residential is located on one side of the railroad tracks and OST zoning is on the other a building can be as much as five stories. Therefore, he does not believe this is a good ordinance because he believes they must protect the residential areas. He noted they currently permit three story OST buildings across the street from residential and that they only permit five stories along the expressways. He restated it is inappropriate to permit five story OST developments next to residential development.
Mayor McLallen noted the text they are currently dealing with is adjacency.
Councilman Schmid agreed, but added that it is also related to Item 9.
Councilwoman Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo to give Council some indication about what areas are currently undeveloped where the railroad separates residential from any other district. Councilwoman Mutch understands that there are not many areas that would be affected.
Mr. Arroyo advised they are adding railroad, but they are also applying the provision to streets and railroads. He explained it currently states if the district is separated by a street, a road or a freeway that the district is considered to be abutting. He continued by stating they are changing the language to say that the district would not be considered to be abutting if it is separated by these rights-of-way under this amendment.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the difference between adjacent and abutting. Mr. Arroyo advised they are essentially the same.
Councilman Kramer asked Mr. Arroyo to restate his explanation.
As defined in this proposed amendment to the ordinance, Mr. Arroyo replied a district would not be considered to be adjacent or abutting residential if a road or railroad right-of-way separates it. Mr. Arroyo continued by stating the current ordinance considers a district as abutting even if it is separated by these rights-of-way, but noted they are exempt from the landscaping provisions if there is a road. Mr. Arroyo believes it gets confusing and the committee decided to change the definition so that it applies to all provisions.
Councilman Schmid believes there is no relationship between landscaping and what they are talking about. Mr. Arroyo advised that the landscaping provisions are already in place except for railroads. He continued by stating that this issue came forward in the Husky project. He explained this project is separated from residential by a railroad right-of-way and therefore, they would have technically been required to put in a four foot six inch high berm for the parking lot and the thought was if they excluded that and made it so it was not considered adjacent to residential if separated by a road or railroad right-of-way, then the berm would not be required because that buffering would already be in place because of the road bed of the railroad.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if there was some thought that the width of the railroad and the right-of-way was the equivalent of a road. Mr. Arroyo agreed that is exactly what it was in that they believed that a railroad right-of-way is much like a road right-of-way in terms of the type of physical separation it offers.
Mr. Arroyo pointed out the zoning and development adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks on the map.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that residential area is primarily undeveloped at this point north of Grand River. Mr. Arroyo disagreed and noted it is primarily undeveloped for the most part north of I-96.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether there are any other major areas of undeveloped residential that would be impacted by the changes that are proposed here? Mr. Arroyo referred to the OST corridor and advised that it is separated from residential on the other side of Haggerty. He added that they also have M-5 that is separated from residential areas in that area. To the south of Twelve Mile, Mr. Arroyo reported they have the same situation occurring. Mr. Arroyo continued by stating that they would also have the same situation on Twelve Mile Road where there is nonresidential zoning south of Twelve Mile Road and there is residential zoning north of Twelve Mile Road.
Councilman Kramer is willing to add railroad right-of-way as equivalent to a road, street or a highway, but he is not willing to make that a delineation of adjacency that has not been there for the last significant time period. He continued by stating it was put in there to buffer light industrial, OST or other uses from residential. Councilman Kramer believes they should give more thought to the total implication. Although the focus here is for the railroad right-of-way, he believes it is very minor compared the word "not" that is in that paragraph. He explained "not" takes every road, street, highway, freeway and railroad right-of-way in the city and changes its consideration for adjacency. Councilman Kramer is not very comfortable at this point.
Councilwoman Lorenzo agrees wholeheartedly with Members Schmid and Kramer. She added that the whole issue of adjacency is visual screening and buffering between residential and nonresidential uses, and to say that a right-of-way serves as a buffer is ridiculous. Councilwoman Lorenzo sees this as the city creating a loop hole for developers and not as a means to protect its residents. Further, Councilwoman Lorenzo believes it seems as though the Husky project precipitated both changes.
Mayor McLallen has strong feelings about leaving the roads and streets as it is currently written. In regard to a highway and a freeway, the Mayor asked what is the real difference between them. Mr. Arroyo advised they essentially treat them in the same manner. Mayor McLallen understands that the highway or freeways would be I-96, I-275 and M-5. Mr. Arroyo believes M-5 would be considered as more of a highway than a freeway because it has a different type of access situation.
Mayor McLallen could support the introduction of the word highway, freeway or railroad as a change in whether something is truly adjacent because the impacts of highways, freeways and railways have very specific impacts that cause a great divide. She further agrees with the comments made about the issue of adjacency over road or street can remain as they are.
Councilman Schmid rejects any change in this ordinance whatsoever because they designed it to protect residential zoning and that is why it should stay in effect.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether it is possible to better define freeway and highway. She would also agree that streets and roads are part of the neighborhood character of a community that they do not want to disturb. However, it is very difficult when they look at some of the remaining RA sections of the city and what the zoning is to understand that some of that is going to be developed as very large lots, and the impact would not be the same as it would be in a densely developed subdivision. Further, she believes they need to look at what they are trying to do and keep in mind that although the goal is to protect the residential neighborhoods, they should also not create unrealistic situations by trying to attract OST development adjacent to large RA development.
Mayor ProTem Crawford will support moving this on to a second reading and added he agrees with the Mayor’s comments in that a freeway, highway and railroad might be the exception. Mayor ProTem Crawford believes it would be ridiculous to require a development to construct a berm between themselves and a railroad with residential on the other side because he does not know who would be benefitting from that buffer. Therefore, Mayor ProTem Crawford hopes that the second reading will take this issue into consideration.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether they require the OST developers along Haggerty Road to construct berms because of the adjacent residential in another community. Mr. Arroyo advised according to the current screening and berming requirements, they do not require a development to put the same level of screening requirements if a road right-of-way separates it.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Novi’s ordinances apply to its neighbor’s zoning? Mr. Arroyo advised that they would apply the ordinances in the same way.
Councilman Schmid asked the Mayor to clarify her comments. Mayor McLallen restated that she would like the ordinance to remain as it is currently written for properties that are separated by a road or a street. She continued by stating that she is in favor changing the ordinance if the property is adjacent to a highway, freeway or railroad because those particular uses in and of themselves create a wide buffer zone and other issues. Consequently, she believes they are in a different category and creates issues that are entirely different from neighborhood streets and roads.
Councilman Schmid respectfully disagrees and believes that some of the biggest challenges in the city was addressing zoning next to railroad tracks.
Councilman DeRoche asked Mr. Arroyo to point out the Wisne Building near Pheasant Run. He then advised that he currently lives in the adjacent development and has had to use his air conditioning since February because of the noise created by the trains traveling on the railroad. Consequently, Councilman DeRoche believes this particular railroad serves as an intrusion into a residential area and added if this ordinance serves to discourage new residential developments in those areas, then he thinks it is a good change.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the ordinance already addresses those instances where topography and vegetation surrounding a railroad right-of-way are already sufficient to screen it from residential effectively and that they would not require a berm. Mr. Arroyo agreed. Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned about those instances where this does not exist (i.e., Meadowbrook Glens).
Vote on CM-98-10-320: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch,
Nays: DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
9. Request for approval of Zoning Text Amendment 18.144 - An ordinance to amend the OST Planned Office Service Technology District designation within the schedule limiting height, bulk, density and area contained within Section 2400 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, and to add footnote (u) to Section 2400 of said Ordinance, to allow an increase in the maximum heights and stories of structures located within the OST District provided certain criteria are met. - I Reading
Mayor McLallen referred to U which states, "this site shall not be adjacent to a residential zoning district" and asked if this would stand as an exclusion if the previous amendment were to be passed. Mr. Arroyo advised if the previous ordinance were passed as was presented, a five story building would be permitted in OST if it is not adjacent to residential because it would be separated by a road. However, if Council were to move forward with an amendment that excluded streets and roads, then that same OST property could not construct a five story building because it would only be separated from residential by a road. He added that a five story building is not permitted if a district clearly abuts residential.
CM-98-10-321: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Text Amendment 18.144 - An ordinance to amend the OST Planned Office Service Technology District designation within the schedule limiting height, bulk, density and area contained within Section 2400 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, and to add footnote (u) to Section 2400 of said Ordinance, to allow an increase in the maximum heights and stories of structures located within the OST District provided certain criteria are met. - I Reading and schedule a second reading to a date uncertain
Councilwoman Lorenzo cannot support this amendment because she does not know what adjacency means any longer.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether the Husky petitioner received a variance from the ZBA. Mr. Arroyo advised that they did receive a variance and added this would not affect the Husky project.
Councilman DeRoche is not certain about whether 65 feet is appropriate.
Councilman Schmid reminded Council that this community developed as a low rise concept and that they only permit five story buildings along major highways. He asked what has prompted this amendment?
Mr. Arroyo understands that the Planning Department was concerned that the 42 foot height restriction may not be applicable due to the fact that the first or second application within an OST district (i.e., Husky project) had to request a variance. Consequently, the department suggested that the Implementation Committee look at alternatives. He continued by stating when it was brought forward to the Implementation Committee, they discussed how they could accomplish this. Mr. Arroyo recommended that the committee look at the area designated on the Master Plan with the PD-2 option. He explained that if this area were zoned OS-2, this option allows a petitioner to come forward with an optional approval that would permit five stories. He explained the thought was that the site is located next to the freeway and railroad right-of-way and that is an appropriate area. He continued by stating there are other areas of the community where development is permitted to go up to 65 feet if it is adjacent to the freeway. Mr. Arroyo’s initial reaction was why don’t they look at the PD-2 option and consider allowing the 65 feet within an OST District, and amend the provisions to say OST instead of saying OS-2. Further, Mr. Arroyo suggested that they look at other areas along the I-96 corridor that are going to be zoned OST and consider possibly adding the PD-2 option in those areas. Mr. Arroyo believes it makes sense to have greater height next to the freeway. Mr. Arroyo advised during the Implementation Committee meetings there were concerns about making a developer go through the PD-2 process because it was cumbersome and would discourage people from taking advantage of the OST District. In addition, Mr. Arroyo reported that others felt that it should apply to all of the OST and that they should allow for the flexibility if there are additional setback provisions to allow for height that exceeds 42 feet under certain circumstances. Mr. Arroyo reported that a majority of the Implementation Committee ended up making that recommendation and it went forward to the Planning Commission, and is now before Council.
Councilman Schmid will not support the motion because he believes they are making a major mistake. He believes it creates a visual problem for the City of Novi and its residents because they will now view tall buildings from their homes. Further, he is concerned about who is actually controlling this city and asked whether it is the developers or its citizens. He noted that Farmington Hills has maintained their three story provision and they have attracted a great amount of office development. He then added that he realizes there may be an occasion to construct a five story along the expressway, but to put this kind of development adjacent to residential destroys the concept of this city.
Councilman Kramer noted that the ordinance states that the site shall not be adjacent to residential zoning districts and he believes if they could take that at face value, it would resolve the issues of adjacency. He believes that the previous proposed amendment confuses the issue of this request and that is the amendment at which they need to look at more closely.
Councilwoman Lorenzo concurs with comments made by Members Schmid and Kramer. She added that as a former member of the Implementation Committee, she spent a lot of time and effort drafting the OST ordinance and she recalled that it was not an oversight that they did not expand the height. She explained they purposely left it at what it was and thought that any deviations could be addressed by the ZBA as hardship cases.
Mayor McLallen asked how tall is the Hilton. Mr. Arroyo believes it is very close to the 65 foot limit.
Mayor McLallen asked how tall is Crystal Glen. Mr. Arroyo believes it also is very close to 65 feet.
Mayor McLallen understands those two buildings are potentially the tallest buildings in Novi and they are adjacent to much more residential than any of the properties in question. She continued by stating that it is her opinion that these two buildings are two of the handsomest buildings in the city. Mayor McLallen believes the concern about this ordinance has been about the impacts surrounding adjacency to residential and she believes they can successfully accomplish such development.
Councilman DeRoche stated the main purpose of this text amendment is to raise the height to sixty five feet and he believes if that is its whole purpose and it is completely unsettled about where this is going to be applied, it does not serve any purpose to advance it at this point. Consequently, he will not support the motion.
Mayor McLallen believes these two amendments should be brought back for a second reading at a time when Council can fully discuss them.
Vote on CM-98-10-321: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch,
Nays: DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - NONE
10. Request for approval of Zoning Text Amendment 18.145 - An ordinance to amend subsection 2516.1 and 2516.4 to permit or require administrative approval of certain site plans - I Reading
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked who is going to be held accountable. She further asked what corrective action will be taken or what penalty will be administered if there is an error in judgement or a situation occurs that is not handled in a manner that Council members approve of after the fact (i.e., Barclay Estates). She reminded Council that an Administrator released the bond because the Barclay Estates developer was including and proposing more trees and vegetation than the approved site plan called for. However, the residents of the subdivision felt that the approved landscape planting should have been complied with and that the trees on the plan should have been planted as indicated in the approved design.
Councilwoman Lorenzo believes if there is a change with a facade and the changes still comply with the ordinance, she does not have a problem. However, when there is discretionary authority, she is concerned because an administrator may not think in the same way a council member does.
Mr. Arroyo views all these as more of a policy decision than a technical decision, and it is whatever Council feels comfortable with. Consequently, he does not have a recommendation.
Councilman Kramer believes they should consider the city’s level of requirements of approval. He understands Council is always responsible and believes that by delegating that action does not delegate the responsibility. He recalled when this came before Council the last time that they were given a chart and suggested that this request be reformatted in the same way. Councilman Kramer added he believes they should delegate as much as possible because it helps the process move more quickly. He realizes that they must delegate prudently and reassess that from time to time.
Mr. Arroyo advised that chart is included in the Development Review guide Book and they can bring that forward for the second reading.
Councilwoman Mutch believes in general delegating does not necessarily mean perfection any more than not delegating. She recalled the problems in the past have not been a result of discretionary decision making, but rather they have been a matter of outright error of someone who overstepped their authority and in those cases, she believes they should be held personally accountable. Further, she also believes that delegating does not absolve Council of the responsibility, but it also does not place every microscopic decision at this level when the city pays a lot of money for professionals to deal with the issues more efficiently.
CM-98-10-322: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Text Amendment 18.145 - An ordinance to amend subsection 2516.1 and 2516.4 to permit or require administrative approval of certain site plans - I Reading and schedule a II Reading for possible adoption at the next available meeting
Councilman Schmid believes this is a move in the right direction, but believes it is somewhat incomplete for a first reading. Councilman Schmid asked how would they address an item that Council specifically conditioned their approval on and then the petitioner comes back requesting administrative approval. Mr. Arroyo believes those situations are provided for on Page 4, Paragraph D of the comparison draft.
Councilman Schmid asked whether there is a policy that will control these kinds of issues. Mr. Arroyo understands that the Planning Department will review all of the requests that come forward and will ask for input from the consultants during the normal review process and request their input as to whether or not in review past actions this is a project that should go back before the approving body. He added they would all be charged with the responsibility of looking at their specific areas of expertise to see if there was some particular area that was of concern when the project originally through to see if they would recommend that it actually go back to that approving body.
Councilman Kramer requested that the second reading for this text amendment and the two previous text amendments not be placed on the Consent Agenda.
Vote on CM-98-10-322: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Council Discussion and Reconsideration of Adult Day Care.
Mayor ProTem Crawford assumes they are now in a position to revisit the issue if they approve to reconsider; Mr. Watson agreed.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands they made a motion to suspend the rules and add it to the agenda; Mr. Watson agreed.
Mayor McLallen understands that in order for Council to take any action, they must move to reconsider; Mr. Watson agreed.
Before he makes a motion, Mayor ProTem Crawford explained he brought this issue back because he is in favor of the concept of some type of adult day care. He continued by stating that he knows there are some problems with the ordinance and noted it was obvious by the 3-3 split vote. Mayor ProTem Crawford does not interpret that action as a defeat; he interprets that more as a no action because it was not approved nor was it defeated. He further understands there are many concerns, but he believes they may be addressed if this matter can be discussed further.
CM-98-10-323: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To reconsider the Adult Day Care Center (CM-98-09-299)
Mayor McLallen asked whether this action requires a two thirds vote. Mr. Watson advised it would only require a simple majority.
Councilwoman Mutch believes although the concerns raised regarding this matter are reasonable, she also believes they can be addressed. She explained that she does not believe Council had the opportunity to raise those kinds of questions to the people (i.e., regulating agencies, businesses) who can best answer them in terms of whether they are legitimate concerns based on experience in other communities, as well as in Novi.
Vote on CM-98-10-323: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch
Councilwoman Mutch restated she believes there are still some outstanding questions regarding this matter and she does not want to risk asking for a vote at this time. Councilwoman Mutch voted in favor of adult day care centers the first time and she would like a vote to be successful. She continued by stating she would favor a way to further discuss the concerns that people have had and work toward a middle ground.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would suggest that they hold a brief and pointed discussion tonight and not repeat the things they did before. He would like some suggestions to come forward that might be acceptable to a majority of Council and forward those suggestions to staff for an ordinance recommendation to come forward at the next Council meeting. Mayor ProTem Crawford would also like someone from one of the facilities to attend the meeting.
Mayor McLallen asked whether Mayor ProTem Crawford has any suggestions regarding the text.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised the only area he would be interested in looking at more closely at downsizing the recommended size of the facility so that it would be more compatible with the residential development.
Councilwoman Lorenzo believes 8,000 square feet is a reasonable size with a 75 foot parking set back, and 6 foot berm to address adjacency issues. Councilwoman Lorenzo would also like to resolve the issue regarding employee background checks. Councilwoman Lorenzo added that her position on this matter had nothing to do with the proposed facility. She continued by stating that this proposed ordinance is much broader than just what their facility is proposed to be. She explained they are introducing adult day care into a RA zoning classification and therefore, to her it is a land use issue.
Councilwoman Mutch believes in terms of the residents of the whole community and those who might want to be clients, she can understand the concern. However, she believes that concern would still be there in the case of adult day care wherever it is placed. She explained wherever it is placed, Novi citizens are using whatever else is near by. She suggested that Mr. Watson address this issue in terms of regulation at another time. She then cautioned if they do that, how do they justify to parents that the city does not require that kind of regulation for other types facilities that are also not regulated. Secondly, Councilwoman Mutch believes one of the challenges of any type of facility that has seniors or people with physical challenges, is the need to have it handicap assessable and single story facilities. Further, she believes what will be left of five acres of RA after building the facility will not be next to very dense residential.
Mayor McLallen understands that Council would like staff and consultants to address: size, compatibility and architectural harmony with adjacent residential, parking set backs, actual floor for the square footage and background investigations for the employees.
Councilman Schmid remains opposed to constructing these types of facilities in RA districts. He explained that they can assume that many of these areas are going to have $500,000 to $1.0M homes and he suggested that they will reduce the value of these homes if they permit a commercial development next to it which in effect is a rehabilitation center. He said the people who will use these centers are not elderly, but they are people who have suffered traumatic injuries in car accidents. He continued by stating that at times they can be dangerous and can even be criminal. He advised that he can provide documentation to support his statements. Councilman Schmid can also attest to have this type of operation in a residential area is extremely dangerous to young people. He reminded Council that these facilities are permitted in Office and NCC Districts and that they should not permit them in areas that would jeopardize the safety of the city’s residents.
Councilman DeRoche does not believe this item has any more priority over any of the other items discussed this evening and therefore, he will not support a motion that includes this matter being placed on the next agenda.
Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed and that it should come forward at the next available meeting.
Councilman Kramer will support a motion to reopen this matter and also agrees although there are outstanding issues, there is still potential to address them. Councilman Kramer is primarily concerned about compatibility with residential development.
CM-98-10-324: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To adopt Zoning Text Amendment 18.145 and direct staff and consultants to add a further definition of Adult Day Care Center in RA Districts as a principal use subject to special conditions as brought back by Council for reconsideration for further discussion and to be modified prior to II Reading at the next available meeting
Vote on CM-98-10-324: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Items listed on the Consent Agenda which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approve Minutes of:
2. September 28, 1998 Special City Council Meeting
Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that the interview questions and responses be included in the minutes for interviews.
Mayor McLallen advised that this matter should be discussed as a part of Council’s Rules of Organization.
CM-98-10-325: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve minutes of September 28, 1998 Special City Council Meeting as submitted
Vote on CM-98-10-325: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
1. September 28, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting
Councilwoman Mutch referred to Page 1, Paragraph 5 and stated that September 26, 1998 should be changed to October 26, 1998.
Councilwoman Mutch referred to Page 4, questioned Mr. Fruehan’s statement regarding "power" in the design and asked the Clerk’s office to review the tapes. Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that by power or strength, Mr. Fruehan may have been referring to a course that only caters to a golfer who can hit a ball 250 feet over a swamp and that the proposed golf course will also cater to other abilities besides those that just have a power game.
Councilwoman Mutch referred to Page 8 and believes "clean" should be "clean up".
CM-98-10-326: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve minutes of September 28, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting as corrected.
Vote on CM-98-10-326: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. November 1999 City Council Interview of Potential Board and Commission Members - Mayor McLallen.
Mayor McLallen understands that the calendar is ready to go to press and because next year is an election year, she reported the next appropriate date for the meeting would be November 15, but noted that date is the beginning of hunting season. She continued by stating that the next available date would be November 29 which is the night before Council leaves for the NLC conference. She noted that the current date scheduled for the interviews are of concern because it would be potentially lame duck council interviewing people that another council will appoint.
Councilwoman Mutch suggested that they schedule the interviews for the first appropriate Monday in December.
Mayor McLallen advised there is a Council consensus to hold the interview sessions on the first appropriate Monday in December.
2. Cul-de-sac Ordinance
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether there is a Council consensus to send this issue before the Ordinance Review Committee because the number of variances that have come before Council recently. He continued by stating that the main concern has been about safety and he is uncertain about whether that is a valid issue.
Mayor McLallen advised there is a consensus of Council to forward this matter to the Ordinance Review Committee.
Mayor McLallen advised that this proposed bill is not positive for the City of Novi. She believes it appears to be offering revenues in a greater extent into townships. Therefore, she would like to ask the attorney to work with Representative Cassis and Senator Bullard to formulate a position statement from this Council that can be passed as a resolution.
Mayor McLallen noted there is a consensus of Council to prepare a resolution.
Mr. Kriewall reported that he, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Councilman Schmid, several staff members, traffic engineers and Dr. Tappan Data from Wayne State University met with the Ten Mile Road Task Force (the homeowner’s group concerned about the potential widening of Ten Mile Road) last Wednesday night. Mr. Kriewall advised that he believes the meeting was fairly productive and many issues were brought forward that raised questions over the data that has been generated by SEMCOG and assimilated into various reports. Mr. Kriewall noted that questions were made directly to Dr. Tappan Data (Professor of Traffic Engineering). Mr. Kriewall believes they left the meeting with a challenge to the residents of Ten Mile Road to give their best recommendation about what they felt was an acceptable geometric to Ten Mile Road. Mr. Kriewall advised that the city offered to put their recommendation to the number’s test (i.e., computer models available for measuring traffic potentials and impact to that area) and if it works to some extent, that is one thing. However, if it does not work from a traffic modeling standpoint, he believes they will have to come back before Council to discuss the issue at that level. Mr. Kriewall added that they will place a suggested date on the next to hold a road study meeting that had been requested by Councilman Kramer. Mr. Kriewall further added that he does not believe there is any rationale in waiting for the Ten Mile decision to get moving on the rest of the road program. He noted that the residents asked for 60 days to present their proposal.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Letter from Judie & Frank Spadafore to City Council, Re: Opposed to Beck & 8 Mile Road Rezoning.
2. Letter from Mr. & Mrs. Ritterling to City Council, Re: Support of Beck & 8 Mile Road Rezoning.
3. Letter from Dale A. Chiara to City Council, Re: Opposed to Beck & 8 Mile Road Rezoning.
4. Letter from Jack & Susan Couzens, Re: Opposed to Beck & 8 Mile Road rezoning.
5. Letter from Jack & Susan Couzens, Re: Dissatisfaction with appearance of area surrounding Beckenham Subdivision.
6. Public Hearing from City of Detroit Water and Sewer Dept., Re: Capital Improvements at the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant.
7. Letter from Birchler Arroyo Associates introducing new staff member William A. Stimpson, P.E.
8. Summary of Minutes from SWOCC, 9-29-98.
9. Memorandum from C. Smith, Re: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:51 a.m.
Mayor City Clerk
Date Approved: October 19, 1998