|REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:38 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: 2nd Year Webelos Scouts of Pack 54, Den 6, of Novi Woods Elementary School
Mayor ProTem Crawford introduced Webelos Jared Adler, Jason Margolis, Nicholas McMasters, Marcus Michalske, Travis Rozek, Matthew Van Sickle and Robby Wagner. Those Webelos unable to attend were Brandon Coles, Dan DePollo, Michael Hamady and Christopher Mully.
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen reported the following are corrections to the Agenda: removal of Item L from the Consent Agenda by staff to send to committee, a correction to the November 9, 1998 minutes and a letter from the city attorney.
Councilman DeRoche requested that Council add Discussion regarding Senate Bill 1181 (Revenue Sharing Bill) as Item 2 under Mayor and Council Issues.
Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that Council add Wetland Ordinance Amendments as Item 3 and Mr. Jolly’s request regarding the Peach Tree rezoning as Item 4 under Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-98-11-368: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-98-11-368: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
1. Christmas in April - Martin
Mayor McLallen advised Christmas in April is made up of a group of citizens who rehabilitated twenty eight homes in need of repair. Mayor McLallen added that she understood that this work was spread over a year and just discovered that this work is actually completed in one day. Mayor McLallen read the sentiment and presented a Proclamation on behalf of the City of Novi to the Christmas in April Chairperson, Beverly Spore.
Beverly Spore stated it is an honor to be before Novi’s City Council this evening and Christmas in April is something near and dear to her heart. Ms. Spore reported Christmas in April is a one day blitz project that unites volunteers from all walks of life armed with truck loads of donated materials to improve the quality of life of those in need. She continued by stating that they are a national 501-C (nonprofit) organization and nationally, they have rehabilitated 37,000 homes in an accumulated number of years. Further, Ms. Spores reported they have had 1.7 million volunteers with a market value of more than $470M. Ms. Spore added in over the past five years In Oakland County, Christmas in April has rehabilitated 93 homes with 4,400 volunteers and last year they rehabilitated 28 homes with 1,700 volunteers. Ms. Spore gave special recognition to Ray Cousineau.
As a volunteer himself, Mayor ProTem Crawford recognized those who have contributed their time or materials for the Christmas in April project. They are: Anglin Landscaping, Leo Amici, Mary Ann Cabadas, Michael Cagle, Patrick Cousineau, Larry Cramer, Dinser’s Greenhouse, Ben James, Christina James, Thomas F. James, Jr., Thomas F. James, Sr., Jim Klausemeyer, Cheryl McNamara, Tim McNamara, W. Greggor Neiless, Novi Mobile Home Service, Beverly Spore, Gerry Stipp, Striker Paint and Timberlane Hardware. Mayor ProTem Crawford also gave special recognition to Ray Cousineau and his company, Tri-Mount construction. Mayor ProTem Crawford explained that there is no way that a project of this magnitude could move forward without the expertise Mr. Cousineau contributes. Mayor ProTem Crawford read the sentiment and presented a plaque to Mr. Cousineau in recognition of his outstanding contribution and dedicated effort to the Christmas in April volunteer program on behalf of the City of Novi.
Mr. Cousineau did not anticipate this special recognition and is honored. Mr. Cousineau gave a special thanks to the James’ family, the McNamara’s, Gerry Stipp and Beverly Spore. Mr. Cousineau added that this project has given him and his company the opportunity to give back to a community that has been good to them.
2. Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting for 1997 Report - John Lamerato, GFOA Representative for the MMFOA and Asst. City Manager/Finance Director for the City of Troy
As the GFOA state representative of the MMFOA, Mr. Lamerato advised that one of his responsibilities is to travel throughout Michigan to make a presentation to those governmental units that have received various awards and honors for their association. Mr. Lamerato is pleased to present the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in financial reporting to the City of Novi. Mr. Lamerato explained the purpose of this program is to encourage and assist governments to prepare financial reports of the highest quality for the benefit of the citizens and other parties with vital interests in government’s finances. Further, he reported that the program has gained widespread recognition as a premier indicator of excellence in governmental accounting and financial reporting. To earn this certificate, Mr. Lamerato advised that the City of Novi had to substantially conform to the programs demanding criteria that go well beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles. Mr. Lamerato continued by stating that program participants submit copies of their comprehensive annual financial report for an in depth review and evaluation by two state members. In addition, Mr. Lamerato advised that members of the GFOA’s professional staff have also reviewed and evaluated the reports. He added only those reports judged by all reviewers to have substantially met the program’s criteria are awarded the certificate. Mr. Lamerato reminded Council that this is not the first time the City of Novi has received this honor and noted today’s presentation marks a second consecutive year Novi has received this honor. Mr. Lamerato believes such a record reflects the professionalism and commitment of many individuals, as well as many hours of hard work. In addition, Mr. Lamerato believes it also reflects a high degree of dedication and leadership on the part of the Novi’s elected officials. He continued by stating once a governmental unit has received this award, it is not just a matter of inserting new numbers each year. He explained there are constant changes in reporting requirements that they must follow. To date, Mr. Lamerato advised there are forty three municipal recipients that amount to less than 3% of the cities in Michigan. Mr. Lamerato then presented the Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting to Kathy Smith-Roy.
Ms. Smith-Roy reported there were many city employees who contributed to this and gave special recognition to the Financial Department (Maureen Trombley, Mary Cutting, Cheryl McNamara and Jane Keller). She also thanked Les Gibson and Plante & Moran for their technical support in coordinating all the various software they used to help them achieve this honor.
Mayor McLallen noted that the document is available for public review in the Clerk’s office and in the Library.
3. 1998 Financial Statements by Plante & Moran
Mr. Heffernan of Plante & Moran advised Mike Walsh and Scott Jansen actually directed this audit. He added they have attached a letter outlining their comments and recommendations, and will refer to several charts and graphs in their presentation.
Mr. Walsh advised the first graph depicts a five year trend for the revenue of the city. He reported they have combined the General Fund, the Police and Fire Fund, the Parks & Recreation Fund and the Library Fund into one because many communities combine all those activities in their General Fund. He advised there are three main categories: property taxes, state shared revenues and everything else (i.e., interest income, licenses and permits, federal grants, etc.). Mr. Walsh noted that property taxes have increased steadily in the last five years (average increase amounts to approximately 9% per year). Mr. Wash believes the growth is due to the new population growth and the new construction in the city. Mr. Walsh added there has also been an increase on the state source side (18% increase) due to the mid-decade census payments from the state (approximately $550,000.00 for the last three years). He continued by stating that the other revenue side has leveled off in the past year and amounts to approximately $4.0M annually.
Mr. Walsh reported that the next graph compares Novi with some of its peer communities. Mr. Walsh reported that Novi’s revenue per capita is less than the peer cities on average, the state revenue share is equal to the other peer communities and other revenue is approximately 37% less than its peer communities. Mr. Walsh advised that Novi averages approximately $455.00 per capita and the peer cities average approximately $560.00 per capita (Novi is approximately 22% less).
Mr. Walsh reported that the next graph depicts the upward trend for the expenditure side due to an increase and demand in services due to the population growth. Mr. Walsh noted that Novi is also spending less than the peer cities in all of the main categories. Mr. Walsh reported the expenditures per person is approximately $438.00 and the expenditures for the peer cities amount to approximately $542.00.
Mr. Walsh reported the Fund Balance decreased slightly from 1994 to 1995, but has increased steadily over the last three years (7% per year increase). He noted there is approximately a 24.4% Fund Balance as a percentage of the city’s expenditures and it is in line with the state’s average (just over 25%).
Mr. Heffernan added Novi has a low millage rate on the revenue side which means they are levying fewer tax dollars per capital than in the other peer communities. In addition, Mr. Heffernan advised that the older and more established cities have been very aggressive in trying to charge additional charges to its residents for services. In terms of expenditures, Mr. Heffernan reported that Novi is in line. Further, Mr. Heffernan also believes Novi has very actively managed its Fund Balance and consequently, it is below the peer average.
In regard to State Revenue Sharing, Mr. Heffernan advised there has been a push to move toward a per capital distribution (Senate Bill 1181). He believes Council is already aware that while on the face it might seem fair, there is an argument that this change might be an incentive toward urban sprawl. He continued by stating it is clear that these bills will severely hurt the older urban communities (i.e., Detroit, Pontiac, Benton Harbor) and consequently, Novi’s Council has not favored this legislation although it would benefit Novi.
In regard to Transportation Financing, Mr. Heffernan advised it is very similar to State Shared Revenue. He reported that the original legislation for Act 51 was scheduled to have terminated September 30, 1998, but it was extended it for two years. He noted while they were in the process of argument, there were two things that the state wanted to change. He explained they wanted to take jurisdiction over some of the major roads (i.e., Ten Mile, Novi Road) on a state wide level because they felt it was more efficient. Mr. Heffernan added that most local communities did not favor this action because they believed the local communities would have a better knowledge about which roads would need work and therefore, they could spend the dollars more effectively. Secondly, Mr. Heffernan advised there was some debate over how to allocate. He reminded Council that they are currently using population and miles of roads and the argument in south east Michigan is that they also need to look at the type of traffic.
Mr. Heffernan reminded Council about Year 2000 compliance and noted that the city’s staff has already done a significant amount of work. He warned Council that the trickiest areas are likely to be embedded type systems (i.e., heating, air-conditioning systems) and not the major systems.
Mr. Heffernan advised they have already discussed Bond Issue Proceeds with Administration for the Water and Sewer Fund. He explained this fund requires certain amounts to be set aside and noted they have been separately identified. He then recommended that they also physically segregate those investments.
Mr. Heffernan advised they have discussed Federal Programs on the last page of their comments and they noticed that the paperwork related to the grant expenditures seems to be independent of the accounting and general ledger activity of the city. Mr. Heffernan advised if they integrate those two separate systems, they can be more efficient and have less chance for errors.
Lastly, Mr. Heffernan reported they reviewed Remote Location Cash Receipts. Mr. Heffernan explained the city may be looking toward other types of operations that could involve remote locations similar to the ice arena (i.e., senior housing, golf course). Mr. Heffernan advised that the possibility of errors occurring are much higher and that they should give a great deal of attention to the internal controls in terms of collecting the cash at these remote locations.
4. Senior Citizens Project - Klaver
Craig Klaver advised that although the Building Authority will manage this project, it is their intention to keep Council informed. He explained they are currently anticipating the submittal of the site plan this Wednesday and noted that they have scheduled another public meeting tomorrow evening at 8:00 p.m. in the Civic Center. Mr. Klaver then introduced Al Toumala, the architect of the project.
Mr. Toumala advised they are preparing to submit their documents for site plan approval and for rezoning. Mr. Toumala reminded Council that the project is located on Meadowbrook Road and consists of 18.5 acres of which 5 acres is existing landfill. Mr. Toumala noted that no construction is planned for the landfill area. In addition, Mr. Toumala reported the primary boulevard entry is from Meadowbrook Road and there is also an emergency entry from Cherry Hill Road. Mr. Toumala advised the building is proposed to be a split three-story building with two entry levels. Mr. Toumala continued by stating there are 40 one-story attached ranch units clustered around the west side of the building and 159 units in the three-story building which amounts to approximately 161,800 square feet. Mr. Toumala then provided further details of the project and its amenities.
Councilman Kramer asked what is the proposed format for tomorrow’s meeting? Mr. Klaver advised they will give a presentation and then provide a question and answer session for the residents.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the shower fixtures are low enough to accommodate someone seated? Mr. Toumala replied they will comply all of the standards as they are outlined in the Michigan Barrier Free Requirements and in the Federal Fair Housing Requirements.
Councilman Schmid asked what kind of exercise and recreation facilities will be provided? Mr. Tuomala advised there is a public room for activities for both residents and the public. Further, he reported there is a waiting area, a library, laundry facilities, multiple purpose lounges, exercise space that opens into a larger space for aerobic classes, a clinic, hair salon, trash disposal facilities are located on each floor and space for additional resident storage. He added that there are also areas on the second floor that can be used for activities to take place.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether having an on-site manager is customary? Mr. Tuomala advised it makes sense to have an on-site manager in a facility of this size.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the on-site manager would pay rent? Mr. Tuomala replied that is determined by arrangement made between the management company and the manager. He noted that the rent is sometimes a part of the salary or they can make an agreement that the manager has to pay his own rent, but is compensated for the rent. Mr. Tuomala noted the manager’s unit would be located on the first floor near the entry.
Councilwoman Mutch asked how large is the recreation area? Mr. Tuomala replied that the recreation portion Councilwoman Mutch is referring to will seat 150 people.
Mr. Klaver acknowledged the fine work of the Implementation Committee incorporated into this project. Mr. Klaver reminded Council that they are tentatively planning to come back before them at their December 7, 1998 meeting and at that point, they will recommend the issuance of the Notice of Intent to begin the bonding process.
Mr. Tuomala added that they are in the process of gathering cost estimates and they hope to have them within the next week.
PUBLIC HEARING - None
Terry Gannon - 24741 Glenda, stressed the urgent need to provide a pedestrian walkway in the wetland area along Ten Mile Road between Taft and Novi Roads so that children can travel through that area safely.
Mayor McLallen recalled they designed that pathway approximately eight years ago and has never been funded.
Mr. Kriewall advised that the city received a tentative notice last Friday that there is a grant for that project.
Elaine Gasaway - 44669 Kerri Ct., advised she has reviewed the city’s water bill and divided the amount of water the city used this summer into the amount of water proposed for the golf course. Ms. Gasaway knows the water problem has been a major issue in Novi and she believes there is no good way to water the proposed golf course. She reminded Council that there are problems with the aquifer in that area if they were to dig a well. Further, if they used city water, according to her calculations it would be equivalent to the water use of 422 households. It is also her understanding that Detroit’s rates are based on usage and is one reason the city has instituted the odd/even day watering policy. Consequently, if they use city water for the golf course, it will raise the water bills for all of the residents.
Further, Ms. Gasaway would like to address the myth that this park is under used. She explained there are probably only 64 people at one time using a golf course and she does not believe that is a great improvement over the number of people who currently use the park. Ms. Gasaway would also like to address the myth that this will provide additional revenue for the city to develop their other parks. Ms. Gasaway explained that according to Council discussion that they all realize it will be years before they accumulate any revenue from the golf course. She continued by stating that it is not a good return on investment from a monetary point of view. Consequently, Ms. Gasaway would recommend that they put this issue to a vote because she believes the citizens will vote in favor of those things that they really want. Further, because the citizens were unable to vote on the ice arena, she believes they deserve an opportunity to vote on the golf course. Ms. Gasaway asked how much money is Council going to waste on studying the golf course before the issue is placed on the ballot?
Chuck Tindall - 2453 Shawood, advised there was much concern about under use of the park property in northern Novi. Mr. Tindall understands there are eleven acres on the shoreline of Walled Lake that the city currently owns and it is not being used at all. Therefore, Mr. Tindall would recommend that the city construct a putt-putt golf course on this site as a place for the children, to provide employment and provide revenue for the city. Further, Mr. Tindall understands that it would cost as little as $10.00 per year per resident to preserve North Novi Park property and cover the expected revenue from the golf course. Mr. Tindall does not believe that is too much to pay to preserve this property. Mr. Tindall also suggested that the city sell the park property that fronts Twelve Mile Road to attract commercial businesses. Mr. Tindall added he would also like this matter to go before the voters.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor McLallen noted there is a correction before them for the Minutes of November 9, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting and Item L was removed.
Councilman DeRoche requested that Council remove Items D. 2 and K.
Mayor ProTem Crawford noted that the correction for the November 9 minutes is incorrect.
CM-98-11-369: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:
A. Approve Minutes of:
2. November 12, 1998 Special City Council Meeting.
3. November 5, 1998 Special Joint City Council and Building Authority
4. November 9, 1998 Special City Council Meeting
5. October 26, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting
B. Schedule Executive Session:
1. For Monday, November 23, 1998 immediately following the Regular Meeting for the purpose of Property Acquisition, meeting to be held in the Council Chambers Annex
C. Schedule Special Meeting:
1. Monday, November 30, 1998, at 7:30 p.m., for the purpose of the annual evaluation of the City Manager, meeting to be held in the Council Chamber Annex
D. Approval of Budget Amendments:
1. Budget Amendment #99-4, for the 1998-99 Fiscal Year
E. Approval of Clerks and Dispatchers Contract for July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2002
F. Approval of Command Officers’ Contract for July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2003
G. Approval of resolution for the 1999 Community Development Block Grant
H. Approval of Telecommunications Permit Agreement with Level 3 Communications, LLC
I. Authorization to solicit construction bids for the Eubank Street Water Main Project - SAD #149, Austin Drive Water Main and Erma Street Closure Improvements SAD #151
J. Authorization to solicit construction bids for the Yorkshire Basin Project, a/k/a Munro Creek By-Pass Channel Project
L. Award bid for Web Site Development to Spectrum 3/Selectware Technologies, in the amount of $16,400 - Removed
M. Approval of Letter of Agreement to permit Media One to provide cable service to Tim and Debra Bostwick
N. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 530
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. November 9, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting.
D. Approval of Budget Amendments:
2. Budget Amendment #99-5, for the Community that Cares Coalition, in the amount of $232,718
K. Award bid for copier for the Ice Arena to Ricoh Business Systems, Inc., in the amount of $2,093
Vote on CM-98-11-369: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part I
1. Request for approval of Final Plat for Broadmoor Park #3, SP 92-21AA, located on the south side of Ten Mile Road, east of Beck Road, proposed 59 lot subdivision on an R-1 zoned site
The developer advised that the paving is completed and that they have addressed all outstanding items.
CM-98-11-370: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Final Plat for Broadmoor Park #3, SP 92-21AA, located on the south side of Ten Mile Road, east of Beck Road, proposed 59 lot subdivision on an R-1 zoned site
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether all the best management practices are in place as discussed on April 20, 1998? Mr. Potter replied that the developer has incorporated those items.
Vote on CM-98-11-370: Yeas: McLallen, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
2. Request for approval of Pawnbroker License for Weinstein Jewelers, 41990 Grand River Avenue
Gary Weinstein advised he is a part of a family jeweler business that has operated in the Detroit area for more than 60 years and noted that he is the sole proprietor of the Novi location. During the eleven years he has been located in Novi, Mr. Weinstein reported he has received many requests from the public to purchase jewelry or if he could, take them on consignment. Mr. Weinstein advised he has been unable to take the jewelry as collateral for a term and offer monies for it as provided under a pawn operation. Mr. Weinstein added that this service is new to him, but he knows of several jewelers who have extended their services to include this and they have expressed there is a need to provide this service to their customers.
Mayor McLallen understands that the applicant has met all the requirements of the state’s statute.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if unclaimed jewelry is incorporated into Mr. Weinstein’s inventory? Mr. Weinstein replied that he can either incorporate it directly into the inventory or break it up and sell it directly to other dealers.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the attractive appearance of the store would not change; Mr. Weinstein agreed and added that unless it was an unusual piece, he would sell the jewelry to get the revenues. Mr. Weinstein added that although the term "pawn" is more commonly used, this type of service is best described as a loan operation. Further, Mr. Weinstein is only interested in offering this service for fine jewelry.
Councilman Schmid asked how can Council be certain that the applicant will only pawn jewelry? Although the license does not limit him, Mr. Weinstein advised he is only experienced in jewelry and has no means to dispose other types of items.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that the license is only valid for one year; Mr. Fried agreed and noted that it must be approved annually.
Councilman Kramer understands that the statute requires the applicant to provide a statement of property received to the police department regularly; Mr. Weinstein agreed.
Councilman Kramer understands the police department is prepared to receive that report; Chief Shaeffer agreed.
CM-98-11-371: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request for a Pawnbroker License for Weinstein Jewelers, 41990 Grand River Avenue
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the police department can assist jewelers with a Pawnbroker License from acquiring stolen jewelry? Chief Shaeffer replied there are several ways outlined in the state statute describing how the police department can assist a pawnbroker. Chief Shaeffer explained a pawnbroker is required to obtain reliable identification from their clients (i.e., driver’s license, state certified identification or government identification). Secondly, Chief Shaeffer advised that a pawnbroker is required to provide a complete description of every transaction to the police department within forty eight hours of the transaction.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the applicant objects to working with the police department? Mr. Weinstein replied that he looks forward to working with the police department.
Vote on CM-98-11-371: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
BREAK - 9:20 p.m. until 9:37 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II
3. Request for approval of Ordinance No. 98-111.05 - An amendment to increase the volume of fill allowed under the exception to the soil mining and filling permit requirements - I Reading
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands this request is to preclude the filing of a permit and asked if there are certain conditions that must be followed, how will they know whether the conditions are being met? Mr. Fried replied an ordinance enforcement officer would visit the site and if the fill is over the amount allowed without a permit, then the ordinance officer will take action.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how can they be certain they are in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations? Mr. Fried replied the city must require a permit for someone doing anything on their property to assure that they are in compliance.
Councilwoman Lorenzo can understand increasing the amount of filling to a certain degree, but she noted there are conditions that must be satisfied. She continued by stating that there is no way to know whether the conditions are met unless someone actually investigates the situation. To satisfy Councilwoman Lorenzo’s concerns, Mr. Fried believes the city would have to require a permit for everything and an ordinance officer would have to follow up to determine whether the applicant is in compliance. Mr. Fried noted that JCK recommended this amendment because they believed it would be in the best interest of the community to increase the amount of fill that can be put on a property.
Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled she was concerned about this issue at an Ordinance Review Committee meeting. She stated she is particularly concerned about filling a wetland, a drainage easement or a flood plain and questioned how would the city know whether people are not filling those areas. Mr. Fried questioned how would the city know that people are not filling in 40,000 square feet without an ordinance enforcement officer. Mr. Fried believes that the city cannot assume that people are going to disobey the law unless a permit is required for all situations.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how does the city determine that at this time? With this amendment, Mr. Fried stated that the resident must determine how much fill they will use. He explained if it is more than 20,000 cubic yards of fill, the resident must file for a permit.
Mayor McLallen noted that they currently require a Land Improvement Permit for fill in excess of 1,000 cubic yards.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that this amendment would provide carte blanche to fill. Mr. Potter disagreed and advised there is a system of checks and balances in place (i.e., wetland ordinance). Further, Mr. Potter believes if someone is using 20,000 cubic yards of fill, it is usually for filling a lower area.
According to the way this is written, Mayor McLallen advised that a Land Improvement Permit is required. Mr. Potter agreed and added that the MDEQ also requires a permit if the amount of fill exceeds 10,000 cubic yards.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands a Land Improvement Permit is required in order to fill 20,000 cubic yards or less. She further understands that the Land Improvement Permit would indicate the location of the filling, whether it is appropriate and whether they have met the local, state and federal statutes; Mr. Fried advised that is not his understanding.
Mr. Potter noted that Item 1 states, "Where each of the following conditions is satisfied."
Councilwoman Lorenzo does not understand how they will know whether the conditions are satisfied unless the applicant is required to apply for a permit.
Mr. Fried understands that a resident can fill 20,000 cubic yards without a permit.
Mayor McLallen disagreed and referred to Part 1, Section 1, C. of the draft which states, "Where each of the following conditions is satisfied, the area to be filled or mined is less than 3 acres, the amount of soil does not exceed 20,000 cubic yards, a Land Improvement Permit is required." Mr. Fried agreed a Land Improvement Permit is required.
Councilwoman Lorenzo presumes Item C determines whether the other conditions are met. She understands that the Land Improvement Permit will make certain that the applicant does not exceed 3 acres and so forth; Mr. Potter agreed and added that the reviewer looks at a check list of items to identify potential impacts.
CM-98-11-372: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To approve Ordinance No. 98-111.05 - An amendment to increase the volume of fill allowed under the exception to the soil mining and filling permit requirements - I Reading
Councilman Schmid understands a typical truck holds 5 cubic yards and therefore, he believes 20,000 cubic yards is much greater than 1,000 cubic yards. Councilman Schmid asked why have they amended the ordinance to permit such a dramatic increase? Mr. Potter cannot answer that question tonight.
Councilman Schmid asked whether he would be required to obtain a permit to fill his 3 acres? Mr. Potter replied he would have to apply for a Land Improvement Permit.
Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Potter to describe the process. Mr. Potter advised that this particular ordinance addresses a Soil Mining and Filling Permit. He explained that an applicant would still have to apply for a Land Improvement Permit, but he would not necessarily be required to apply for a Soil Mining and Filling Permit.
Councilman Schmid asked what is the difference? Mr. Potter replied there are two processes. He explained the purpose of a Land Improvement Permit is to look at property that is being developed that is not a subdivision or condominium. He explained an owner is doing something on his own land and this amendment is concerned about the potential impacts to other resources. Mr. Potter noted a plan is required at the same time the application is submitted and certain details about the plan are required depending upon the circumstances.
Councilman Schmid has no objection to increasing the amount if there are logical and reasonable reasons for the increase. Mr. Potter restated he is uncertain about where the 20,000 cubic yard amount came from.
Mayor McLallen suggested that question be answered at the second reading.
Councilman Schmid would also ask that they clarify the differences between the two permits.
Councilman Kramer believes the text would be more effective if the Land Improvement Permit and Soil Mining and Filling Permit were reversed; Mr. Potter agreed and understands that is the process they are currently following.
Vote on CM-98-11-372: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
4. Request for approval of Ordinance 98-14c.06 - Amendment to Land Division Ordinance and Resolution authorizing fees to cover the costs of reviewing applications for land division - II Reading & Final Adoption
CM-98-11-373: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 98-14c.06 - Amendment to Land Division Ordinance and Resolution authorizing fees to cover the costs of reviewing applications for land division - II Reading & Final Adoption
Vote on CM-98-11-373: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
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:
1. November 9, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting
Mayor ProTem Crawford referred to Page 22 and advised that they should change the $28,800 amount to $12,800.00.
CM-98-11-374: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Minutes of November 9, 1998 Regular City Council Meeting
Vote on CM-98-11-374: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
D. Approval of Budget Amendments:
2. Budget Amendment #99-5, for the Community that Cares Coalition, in the amount of $232,718
Councilman DeRoche recalled when Council approved this federal grant they understood the grant was a declining grant over five years and that Council was tentative about their approval of year one. He continued by stating that it seems odd to him that they are approving a budget amendment at this time as though it were the start of year one. He explained that he is concerned about combining these years when he was planning to look at year one with a great deal of scrutiny as to the performance of the program in that year. Therefore, Councilman DeRoche would ask Mr. Gibson and Chief Shaeffer to clarify what is day one of this grant so that Council can identify each year to the day for the subsequent grants before it becomes too late to make any decisions or changes.
Mayor McLallen understands that this grant is from the beginning of the 1998-99 fiscal year on July 1, 1998.
Councilman DeRoche advised that he spoke with Mr. Gibson during their break and he was unclear as to when some of this money was spent and unclear about the actual date of day one.
Mr. Kriewall advised they will confirm those dates.
CM-98-11-375: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Budget Amendment #99-5, for the Community that Cares Coalition, in the amount of $232,718
Councilwoman Mutch believes the actual date of day one was July 1, 1998.
Councilman DeRoche would like a flow chart that indicates the date they accepted the money, the date they started spending the money, the date the program officially started, the dated they juggled budget money to back pay for those expenditures accrued over the past four months and the last date of year one.
Vote on CM-98-11-375: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
K. Award bid for copier for the Ice Arena to Ricoh Business Systems, Inc., in the amount of $2,093
Councilman DeRoche advised that the Parks & Recreation Department clarified that this amount was for the ice arena as part of an asset and not for the management company. He further understands that the copier will be paid for with the ice arena’s revenues.
CM-98-11-376: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award bid for copier for the Ice Arena to Ricoh Business Systems, Inc., in the amount of $2,093
Vote on CM-98-11-376: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Councilwoman Mutch reported the Communications Committee is scheduled to meet December 1, 1998 to discuss E-mail, the web site development and GIS progress.
Councilwoman Lorenzo is uncertain as to whether this would fall under the realm of the Communications Committee but advised there was information in a recently published SWOCC newsletter that Farmington Hills repeat their Council Meetings on different nights of the week and that they have call-in sessions during their Council Meetings. Councilwoman Mutch understands that there is a set period of time prior to the meeting where people can call in a single question and the Farmington Hills Council or their Mayor respond to those questions at a specific time during the meeting.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Planning Commission/Commissioner actions, rendering of services and/or business transactions pertaining to willful neglect of duty and/or standards of conduct for public officers
Mayor McLallen advised that Councilwoman Lorenzo forwarded her concerns to the city attorney and their response is before Council. She continued by stating for this matter to go forward, Council must first take action.
Councilwoman Lorenzo stated the recent actions of the Planning Commission has raised serious questions as to whether there are violations of willful neglect of duty and/or violations of the standards of conduct for public officers. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes these are serious issues and added if Council does not ask the city attorney for this review, she is prepared to take this matter to the Attorney General’s office as a citizen.
Councilman Schmid read Mr. Watson’s letter and he believes it would be appropriate to review this matter and obtain an opinion from the city attorney. He added that he has asked Mr. Fried on several occasions about the potential conflicts of interest and he has never received a definitive answer. He added that he cannot recall in the history of Novi where there have been so many potential conflicts of interest with individuals sitting on certain committees.
Councilman DeRoche cannot think of anyone better to pass judgement about whether a member may have a potential conflict of interest than their fellow citizen volunteers. He continued by stating that he views most of these conflicts as benign and most volunteers readily disclose potential conflicts to the people that sit with them. Councilman DeRoche believes they should continue to address conflicts of interest in this way because he understood that some conflict of interest votes were forced so that another member could avoid difficult votes. Councilman DeRoche is not opposed to the review nor is he opposed to putting some kind of mechanism in place. However, he restated that he believes they should leave this responsibility to the board or commission where it belongs and that Council review only issues when someone tried to conceal something. Further, Councilman DeRoche believes it is important for Council to discuss these matters as issues rather than speak about a specific person. He suggested that Council should either discuss the overall issue or put a mechanism in place to review the issue internally and refer it to the city attorney.
Of the seven items listed in the attorney’s letter, Councilman Kramer believes Item 5 is the only issue that does not address an individual’s behavior. He noted the six items were disclosed and discussed at a previous Planning Commission meeting and approved by the body. Councilman Kramer does not have a problem with obtaining the city attorney’s opinion on Item 5.
Councilman Schmid does not care about the individual or the issues; he has been concerned about the overall potential for conflict of interest for some time and suggested that the city attorney provide an opinion in regard to the city’s rules and policies. Councilman Schmid explained he has recently reviewed the policies and believes they could be interpreted several different ways. Consequently, Councilman Schmid believes it would be helpful for the city attorney to provide Council with a recommendation as to what is acceptable and what is not.
Councilman DeRoche agreed, but he would like to avoid having to have a city attorney attend every meeting.
Councilwoman Mutch is unclear about where they are headed. She explained Items 1-7 of the attorney’s letter are only restating the original complaint. She continued by stating that she understands the attorney is asking Council whether they want them to review this further; Mr. Fried agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the original complaint singles out an individual and asked whether Council wants the city attorney to investigate an individual. She does not believe Council wants this kind of investigation, but questioned what they really want. She further questioned whether they really want a broad interpretation because they have already determined that could be interpreted many ways.
In light of the recent questions raised, Mayor McLallen believes Council is asking for an opinion about the situations that caused this discussion to come forward. She explained that they should review their ethic’s policy to determine whether its language is stated in such an open-ended way that it can be interpreted in many different ways. She believes they should determine whether there are ways to make the language clearer rather than investigate a specific action.
Councilman Kramer believes the Mayor’s statement is accurate.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether it is possible for the city attorney to review the ethic’s and disclosure policy as it was described by the Mayor? Mr. Fried agreed that Councilman Schmid has brought this issue to his attention several times and added that he has interpreted this policy on several occasions. In doing so, Mr. Fried has found that there was no conflict of interest. However, he added that he believes they should review the policy to determine whether it is doing what they want it to do. He believes Item 14 (Paragraphs 5 and 6) of the city’s policy is critical.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether Council or the city attorney should conduct this review? Mr. Fried believes Council should review the policy with input from his office on what they interpret this policy to be. He suggested that they could provide Council with the interpretations his office has already made in regard to this policy. However, he added this will not relate to their November 23 letter and he is uncertain about whether Council really wants his office to address those items. Mr. Fried restated he would prefer that Council review their Standards of Conduct (Paragraphs 5 and 6) to determine whether that is the policy they want.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether Council wants Mr. Fried to review six of the seven items as outlined in the letter? She believes Council does not want to conduct a personal investigation of an individual.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether Mr. Fried will then review the various policies? Mayor McLallen recommended that a smaller group of Council would be more effective in working with the city attorney to provide a report to Council of their findings.
Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed that they should formulate a subcommittee to review the standards of conduct for officers, employees and consultants. He further believes it would be important to have a consistent policy rather than have different policies within the different boards and commissions.
Councilwoman Mutch would agree to serve on this committee for a limited period.
Mayor McLallen suggested that the committee consist of no more than three members and hold three meetings between now and January, and that they would hold the second meeting with the city attorney.
Councilman Schmid advised he will agree to serve on this committee.
Councilman DeRoche advised he will agree to serve on this committee for a limited period.
Mayor McLallen reported there is a consensus to form a committee to review the city’s ethic policies and that the members (Mutch, Schmid and DeRoche) will meet with the city attorney and provide a report to Council by the second meeting in February.
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised there are policies in place and because they have been violated, she questions their review of the policies that have been in place since 1991. Councilwoman Lorenzo restated she wants to know whether the actions and business relationships taking place on the Planning Commission are in violation of the city’s Standards of Conduct and the policy in place for public officers.
Councilwoman Mutch believes those specific situations could be incorporated into the committee’s discussion.
Councilwoman Lorenzo would ask that the committee also discuss the action that took place at the November 4, 1998 Planning Commission meeting regarding Brightmoor Tabernacle (motion to approve application without wetland mitigation) and would like to know whether this action could be constituted as willful neglect of duty in accordance with legal issues as well as the city’s standards of conduct that are already in place. Councilwoman Lorenzo is also concerned that because of the lack of action taken by Council, that this issue will continue because there are no consequences for this kind of behavior. She asked whether Council is fostering and providing an environment where members of boards and commissions feel comfortable ignoring city policies.
Councilman Kramer restated Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the November 23 letter refer to an individual’s action and reminded Council that the body gave its consent for the individual to participate. Consequently, Councilman Kramer believes it is a matter of whether the policy is clear. Councilman Kramer believes Item 5 is a different issue because the question is whether the Planning Commission was appropriate in a decision that they made. He continued by stating that Councilwoman Lorenzo’s last comment questions an initiative of a commissioner who made a motion and he is uncertain as to whether he would want to address that issue. He explained that they thrive on differences and diverse input, and that it is up to the individual bodies to assess each motion. He continued by stating that they need to be careful and that he might feel differently if there were no disclosure. However, he believes they are on the right track by reviewing the whole policy.
Councilman Schmid believes it is still a good idea to formulate this committee and provide feedback to Council to determine whether the issues raised in the letter are violations of the city’s policies.
Councilman DeRoche reminded Council that this bill addresses the proposed revenue sharing agreement for the State of Michigan with the municipalities. He added House Bill 5989 was introduced in the House of Representatives and both bills have different effects. Councilman DeRoche also reminded Council that they voted to provide a resolution expressing their opposition to Senate Bill 1181. He is opposed to the bill because it did not give enough money to the City of Novi and he understands that this bill will increase money for other cities at the expense of one (Detroit). Councilman DeRoche believes Novi should continue to stay in the forefront because the legislature will listen to them. He continued by stating that he believes the opposition to this bill did not go far enough and if they are going to continue to speak as a body on this particular issue, then it would have to be brought back up for a vote.
Councilman Schmid was dismayed about the reason they were opposed to this bill. He explained that he understood that the bill could be improved to help the City of Novi because Novi is a regional shopping center. However a few days later, the Detroit News made it clear that members of the South Oakland Mayors Association were opposed to the bill because it severely hurt Detroit and urban sprawl would be encouraged if the bill were not passed. Councilman Schmid stated that philosophy is the opposite of his thought process. He explained that he is not concerned about Detroit until they stop the fraud and misuse of public funds. Consequently, Councilman Schmid does support Senate Bill 1181 or a similar bill because he believes it benefits the City of Novi.
Mayor McLallen stated the meeting Councilman Schmid referred to was the meeting of the South Oakland Mayors Association where they went to Lansing to meet with Senator Bullard and several other senators. Mayor McLallen explained although there were twenty mayors present that day, there were at least twenty different positions about Senate Bill 1181. The Mayor stated she still stands firm in her opposition to the bill in that it does not benefit Novi and as a regional city, she believes they should get more than 3% of the share. Further, Mayor McLallen added they all agreed that although Detroit’s management of their bureaucracy has not yet reached an acceptable level, they have made progress and to pass 1181 in its current form would take $91M from Detroit’s budget. Mayor McLallen noted that Representative Cassis advised her that there are several new versions of this bill and consequently, the Mayor does not believe they have seen the end of this. Mayor McLallen believes it is important for all the voices to be heard regarding this issue because this bill will definitely affect Novi’s revenue sharing.
Councilwoman Lorenzo advised this issue was referred to the Ordinance Review Committee and they were unable to meet this past Thursday. She added she is also uncertain about whether they will meet in December. Because this is an urgent issue, Councilwoman Lorenzo would recommend that the latest draft of the wetland’s ordinance be brought forward to Council at their December 7 meeting as a first reading and then go to a second reading for immediate effect.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether there are proposed revisions awaiting review by the Ordinance Review Committee or would it come before Council in its current form? Councilwoman Lorenzo reported there is a draft from the city attorney to the Ordinance Review Committee.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that Council would be acting as the Ordinance Review Committee on that particular issue; Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed.
Mayor McLallen recalled that Council had requested that it go before the Environmental Committee and now it is before the Ordinance Review Committee; Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch has no objection because the recommendations that come to Council from the Ordinance Review Committee are often debated by the committee at the Council table.
Mayor McLallen noted that the rewrite includes many revisions and the highlight is the regulation of mitigation down to a quarter of an acre.
Councilman DeRoche would agree to have this issue come before Council, but if Council does not come to an agreement, he would support sending it back to the Ordinance Review Committee.
Councilman DeRoche asked why is it urgent to move forward on this issue? Councilwoman Lorenzo explained although mitigation down to a quarter acre is a city policy, it is not included in the ordinance as a requirement. She further explained that because the Planning Commission and certain commissioners have found a loop hole to undermine the city policy, there is an urgency to place this practice in the ordinance.
Councilman Schmid believes if there is a city policy that is not being followed, then they need to pass an ordinance. He added that he does believe it would do any harm to bring it up at a Council meeting, but he does not feel waiting another month would cause a problem. Further, because this is somewhat controversial at this point, he believes that sending this back to the Ordinance Review Committee would be beneficial.
Mayor McLallen advised there is a consensus to leave this issue with the Ordinance Review Committee.
After the Frankel request for a rezoning, Councilwoman Lorenzo thought they settled this issue. She explained she understood the Site Plan Manual specifically states that after a Planning Commission recommendation on a rezoning, that the rezoning will appear on the next available Council agenda. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes it is inappropriate for this applicant to request a postponement so they can first go before the Implementation Committee. Consequently, she would recommend that the City Clerk notify Mr. Jolly and his client that they will appear on the next available Council Agenda.
CM-98-11-377: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny request for postponement and direct the City Clerk to notify the applicant that they will appear on next available City Council Agenda
Councilman DeRoche believes it is unfortunate that a Council member must bring this issue forward again, and that the petitioners and staff should follow the city’s policy.
Vote on CM-98-11-377: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Mr. Kriewall reported an article in last week’s Oakland Press indicated funding for the I-96/
Beck Road and Wixom Road interchange construction has been put in place by MDOT. He reported they derived this funding from a special allocation from the Federal Government. Mr. Kriewall added that they must meet with Kay Schmid because the biggest problem is getting the Oakland County Road Commission to commit to widening Grand River Avenue between Beck and Wixom Roads. Mr. Kriewall advised that a committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 7, 1998 to move this project along.
Mr. Kriewall reminded Council that the Main Street Holiday Walk is scheduled for Tuesday, November 24, 1998 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Michigan Public Service Commission Public Hearing Notice, Re: Consumers Energy Company Case No. U-11816.
2. Letter from Mary Ann Weber to Novi News, Re: Opposition to Golf Course Study.
3. Letter from Terrence Jolly to Khanh Pham Novi Planning Department, requesting rezoning request for Peach Tree Plaza to a B-1 district be postponed until after the Implementation Committee meets and reschedule to January or February 1999
4. Letter from Rob Mitzel to Council, Re: Farmington Hills Park Use Vote in 1997.
5. Ten Mile Road Task Force Meeting Summary Report from JCK
6. Video Upgrade Equipment Report from Lou Martin, Public Information Director.
7. Report on Planning Commissioners Briefing program from Jim Wahl, Director of Planning and Community Development
8. Resolution from City of Huntington Woods, Re: opposing any change in the State Revenue Sharing Formula
9. Letter from James Korte to City Council, Re: Paul Weisberger
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:05 p.m.
Mayor City Clerk
Date Approved: December 7, 1998