REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1999, AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Led by Dan Heilman and Ricky Vera-Burgos of Boy Scout Troop
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer-absent/excused, Lorenzo, Mutch-arrived at 7:55 PM, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen moved Item H from the Consent Agenda to Item 5A under Matters for Council Action – Part 1. Mayor McLallen also added as Item 9, request from Planning Commissioner Watza regarding conflict of interest.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford added to the Consent Agenda a Special Meeting for Saturday, October 23, 1999 at 8:00 am in the Activities Room to continue the discussion on the hiring of a new City Manager.
Mr. Kriewall added to the Consent Agenda an Executive Session after the October 23rd meeting regarding property acquisition. Mayor McLallen also added an Executive Session immediately following this meeting regarding pending litigation and property acquisition.
Member Lorenzo added under Mayor and Council Issues, Road Bond Informational Mailer.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford added the Police School Liaison to Mayor and Council Issues and the Boys State/Girls State subject.
Member DeRoche added under Mayor and Council Issues the Consultants Review Committee Final Report.
CM-99-10-267 Moved by Crawford, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on 99-10-267 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
1. Presentations to Mayor McLallen - Mayor ProTem Crawford
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it is his pleasure and honor to make this presentation to Mayor McLallen. During the last six years she has provided tremendous leadership and direction and this Council and the City of Novi will both be much better because of it. This presentation is from the City Council, staff, citizens and everyone who appreciates all the hard effort and dedication Mayor McLallen has given. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford also presented Mayor McLallen with a photo album that depicts some of the more memorable events of the last six years.
Mayor McLallen said it has been her privilege to serve as the Mayor of Novi and like all good things she probably received more than she gave. She said it was a pleasure to meet the citizens of this community. She said it has been an incredible time to watch the City grow and to be part of a community that cares so deeply about creating a very special place to be. She felt it was fitting that we are 74 days away from the new millennium and it is a nice transition to the next level of leadership. She wished everyone well and thanked everyone for all of their efforts and support and said together we will still continue to make Novi the very best City.
2. Presentation of Community Service Plaques:
A. John Kirkish for his service on the Construction Board of Appeals.
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Kirkish was not able to attend the meeting but she wanted to thank him for his service and the presentation would be mailed to him.
B. Denise Jenkins for her service on the Cable Access Committee
Mayor McLallen said Ms. Jenkins has served the City in a number of capacities but the presentation tonight is for her service on the Cable Access Committee.
3. City of Novi Investment Policy Certification – Steve Babinchak
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Babinchak has done a lot of really terrific things with our Financial Management Programs. He makes sure that the books are balanced and the money is in the proper funds to make more money. He has done an excellent job.
She introduced Jeff Cyphert, Municipal Treasurers Association of the United States of America and Canada Board of Directors Member, Vice President of the Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association and he serves as the Treasurer of Grand Blanc.
Mr. Cyphert said on April 16, 1999 the written Investment Policy for the City of Novi was certified by the Municipal Treasurers Association. The City of Novi and Treasurer Steve Babinchak were formally recognized for this achievement on August 25, 1999 during the Association’s 34th Annual Conference. As of August, 1999 there are 233 entities that have their policies certified by the Association. The City of Novi, one of 30 Michigan Governmental entities to be granted the MTA certification for written investment policy, is the 15th City in Michigan to receive this certification. The Association is very demanding of the Investment Policies that are submitted for review and rejects approximately 45% of the first applicants.
Mr. Cyphert presented Mr. Babinchak a plaque, on behalf of the City of Novi, in recognition of his achievements in drafting a comprehensive investment policy that meets or exceeds the high standards of the Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association.
1. Resolution Designating Meadowbrook Road Between 12 and 13 Mile Roads as a
Natural Beauty Road – Continuation of Public Hearing from September 13, 1999.
Wallace Handler, attorney and member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, said he appeared as the attorney for the Congregation on September 13, 1999. He indicated at that time and reiterated tonight that their Congregation did not wish to do anything but be a good neighbor. He said they do not oppose progress. However, they must protect their property. The Congregation presently owns approximately 20 acres on the north east corner of Meadowbrook and 12 Mile Roads. Therefore, they are interested and concerned about this Natural Beauty Road designation.
Mr. Handler said a Public Information meeting was held on October 7th. At that meeting Mr. Nowicki and the City Engineer were present as well as Mr. Handler and Leonard Siegal, an architect employed by the Congregation.
Also present was Harold Barry, past President of the Congregation and the Chairman of their long range planning committee. At the informational meeting Mr. Nowicki indicated that there were no trees on their property that would be affected. The City Engineer concurred with Mr. Nowicki and showed Mr. Handler and Mr. Barry a drawing of the area that would be a Natural Beauty Road. Mr. Handler requested a copy of the drawing but has not received it yet.
Mr. Handler said they discussed new trees, which would be planted by the City along the Natural Beauty Road, and Mr. Nowicki indicated that new trees were not impacted by the new Ordinance. Unfortunately, Mr. Handler disagreed with that and reading Section 31-71 it is clear that the definition of natural vegetation does not limit the same to vegetation at the time the Ordinance was passed. Mr. Nowicki said he would discuss this with the City Attorney and get back to him regarding changes that are to be made.
On October 14th Mr. Handler discussed this with Mr. Watson and he forwarded to him the new City of Novi, Department of Public Service Natural Beauty Road Policy and a memo from Mr. Nowicki to the City Manager. The memo indicated that the Natural Beauty Road Policy had been amended to provide that accepted maintenance practices would be amended to allow access and removal of trees to private property. This would be subject to a permit from the Department of Public Safety. He said Section 31-74 of the Ordinance incorporates the City of Novi Department of Public Service Natural Beauty Road Policy. While this would seem to incorporate the new amendment he believed it was flawed.
He objected, on behalf of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, to the Natural Beauty Road for the following reasons: 1) He is not sure that 25 free holders or the City Council instituted the proceedings to designate the Natural Beauty Road. 2) Another permit is introduced besides the curb cut permit and besides designating any construction, which has to be approved by the City Planning Commission. 3) The Department of Public Service Natural Beauty Road Policy can change from time to time and does not require an amendment of the Ordinance and it only requires the approval of the Public Service Department.
Therefore, if the policy of the Public Service Department changed after the adoption of the Natural Beauty Road Ordinance the incorporation would be of the new policy and not of the old policy. Therefore, Mr. Handler and the Congregation believe this is flawed. The flaw is it has been represented to them that the Natural Beauty Road designation, because of the fact that there are no trees on the right of way which covers their property, would not affect them. He disagreed. Congregation Shaarey Zedek would not object if the Ordinance was amended to provide the definition portion, Section 31-71B, Natural Vegetation to mean the natural vegetation as of the date the Ordinance was adopted. Or as of the date a designation of a particular property as a Natural Beauty Road would be added. This would also require that the Department of Public Service would not plant any trees or other vegetation prior to the adoption of the Ordinance. If that were done the Congregation would have no objections.
Mayor McLallen closed the Public Hearing.
1. S.A.D. 153 – West Lake Drive Paving.
Mayor McLallen said this was for the paving of West Lake Drive from the intersection of South Lake Ct. north and is 1,100 feet of road, 22 feet wide with a depth of 4.5 inches. This is a citizen initiated project.
Jerry Ross, 1911 West Lake Dr., stated he was in favor of the paving because he was tired of his garage flooding. He has done numerous things to keep this from happening and saw no other solution but to pave the road and hoped that the Council would vote in favor of this.
Elizabeth Burkett, 2005 West Lake Road, stated she was not in favor or this. She said it would be a financial hardship and she could not afford to pay $10,000 to $15,000 to have this road paved. She knew that the City was also considering having water put in and it was possible that the road would have to be re-paved. She said the road does not connect to a paved road so she didn’t see any advantage to it since people would still have to drive over a dirt road to get to West Lake Road.
Gary Phillips, 1905 West Lake Drive, pointed out that the map that was originally sent with the packet had an error in a sidwell number. He also requested that particular lot be taken off the rolls for assessment because he had another lot that would be assessed. He did not want to pay twice to get the road paved. The lot in question, Sidwell #50-22-03-131-021, is already paved because it is his driveway and he paid for that. Mr. Phillips said he is in favor of the S.A.D.
Kenneth Penn, 1929 West Lake Drive, said he concurred with Ms. Burkett. Also, in the field across the road there are quite a few dirt bikes and four wheel drive vehicles that run up and down that road. He thought if this was paved they would use it as a drag strip. The drainage that goes down to the north end of the road is a long standing problem and there must be a way to resolve that besides putting a burden on all the other residents. He said he objected to the West Lake Road paving.
Jane Summers stated she also objected to the paving because water would be coming through and part of the road would be torn up and the residents would have to pay again. Also, there was a petition passed through the neighborhood, everyone did not see it and only a certain few people were aware of any changes. She said on her absentee ballot it stated that the City of Novi has a bond request issue for $28 million for paving of old and new streets. She asked why residents were being asked to pave this section. She has drainage problems to and still doesn’t know what can be done to relieve the problem.
Greg Gnatek, 2023 West Lake Drive, said he supported the paving of West Lake Drive and felt it would greatly improve a very neglected part of the City.
Mayor McLallen closed the Public Hearings and said this would be addressed under Matters for Council Action this evening.
1. S.A.D. 154 – Shawood Walled Lake Heights Subdivision, containing the streets known as Pleasant Cove and Crown Drive, Sanitary Sewer Main.
Mayor McLallen said this is a citizen initiated request and is for the laying of 618 linear feet of 8 inch sewer. There was no response from the audience and the Public Hearing was closed.
Chuck Tindal, 2453 Shawood, received his bill from the City Water Department and enclosed was a flyer about the Road Bond Issue. He called the Novi Public Service Department as the letter encouraged and talked with Tony Nowicki. He asked if there would also be a flyer sent out on the Charter Amendment that was on the ballot. Mr. Nowicki said no. Mr. Tindal asked whose idea it was to send out the flyer on the Road Bond Issue. Mr. Nowicki said it was a directive from City Council.
Mr. Tindal felt if some information was going to be mailed out then all the information should be sent out. There is a Charter Amendment on the ballot that a majority of this Council did not approve of. It took a little over 2000 citizen signatures to put it on the ballot. He asked the Department of Public Services to give the facts about the Charter Amendment to citizens if they called.
Mr. Tindal said there were rumors going around about the Charter Amendment and he felt the rumors were dirty politics and scare tactics. The rumors concern the language of the Charter Amendment and the possibility that it could affect some of our existing facilities like Senior Citizen Housing. He checked with the City Attorneys and they assured him that could not happen. The language went to the State Attorney General for approval and they saw no problem with it.
Mayor McLallen said to clarify, the Road Bond Program is a City initiated program and so the City has the right to put information out on behalf of the City for a Bond that they are proposing. The citizens are proposing the issue of the Charter Amendment themselves and that is a separate body and they are responsible for getting their information out.
Mr. Tindal said if the City is going to use his tax dollars to put out information then it should cover everything that is on the ballot. He said they would be doing the best they could with a very limited budget to get out the information on the Charter Amendment and would also be slanted on how they would like people to vote.
Lodia Richards, 45003 Roundview Dr., expressed his gratitude for being appointed and approved as a Planning Commissioner for the next three years. There was some discussion and difficulty during the approval process and he would like to clear up as many things as he could.
He said he is a Design Manager for General Motors Truck Chassis and has been with them for 34 years. He is in charge of time and resources and about 180 draftsmen. He has a BA in engineering and an MA in Industrial Administration. He has lived in Novi for 11 years and was on the Planning Commission for 4 years.
He saw the development of southwest Novi coming up in the near future. There is water and utilities out there and it will be the hot topic for the next two or three years. We have a lot of RA one acre residential lots and that is the way it should be and it is the way it is on the Master Plan.
He also thought Grand River was a hot item. The Gateway Ordinance looks at it coming from the east to the west and then there’s Providence Plaza and a few other things that are on the docket coming from the west. The west is still a part of the southwest Novi development and the Gateway will put a good look on our City.
Another thing of interest is Office Service Technology. He thought, when on the Planning Commission before, that a lot of R & D type facilities were lost to surrounding communities because we were not zoned appropriately and now we will be.
He saw in the planning that there will be an attempt to put more grocery stores in and hopefully in the right places.
He thanked Council and said he hoped to serve the City of Novi well.
Michelle Bononi, 22742 Bertrum Dr., expressed concerns regarding the costs to the taxpayers for the Charter Amendment, the $28 million Road Bond, Ice Arena deficit and the $53 million Sandstone Vista lawsuit.
Ms. Bononi also had concerns regarding the promotion of the Road Bond by the City on Cable TV, signs on the streets, at homeowners association meetings and in City mail. Ms. Bononi asked residents to do the math and make decisions based on the facts. We are concerned about our ability to pay. Think about whether these items will benefit you and the community as a whole and not special interest groups. Are we committing our resources to debt service and how did all these items fall into our laps?
Mayor McLallen said for the record the mailing of the informational piece that went out within the city’s water bills this fall was $186.00 and was paid for out of Road Funds. The signs that are around the City are paid for by a joint Citizens and Business Community and have not been paid in an official capacity by this City.
The issue of the debt from the Ice Arena is that debt has been paid since it was begun and has continued to be paid monthly by the Ice Arena funding and its current income. That is a managed debt that is already accommodated.
Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Dr., comments were directed at Item #8, request for Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments specifically those Ordinances that address Residential abutting I-1 developments. Ms. Kocan had also submitted a letter to Council regarding this.
Ms. Kocan was pleased that the 10-15 foot berm for I-1 adjacent to Residential has been restored as well as the 15 foot berm for I-2 adjacent to Residential. However, there are areas that were not revised for this reading that include the section regarding the proposed waiver by the Planning Commission to reduce parking setbacks next to residential from 100 feet to 60 feet. This is Subpart 1905.4B-2.
Ms. Kocan believed that setbacks should always be at least 100 feet from Residential. This should include not only the parking but also buildings and dumpsters. A 60 foot setback does not address adverse impacts of noise, odor, etc. She thought this was misleading to developers and might also be confusing to City departments.
Ms. Kocan thought the discussion to allow front yard parking was specific to Special Land Uses. In the wording it looks like the intent is to allow front yard parking in all Zoning Districts. She questioned if this was intended.
She stated she had a problem with there not being a level of appeal within the City for Special Land Use decisions. The Planning Commission makes those decisions and the only recourse a resident has is with the courts. She requested that for any Special Land Use there either be a requirement that waivers receive approval of Council or at least appeals of Planning Commission approvals be allowed at the Council level. She said this issue was not addressed in packets tonight and apparently it is to be taken up with the next Council.
Debbie Bundoff stated someone was hunting with a compound bow in the direction of her property about 25 feet from her property line. She asked Council to make it clear to people that they cannot hunt in a resident’s backyard with a compound bow and to consider this when they revisit the Hunting Ordinance.
Ms. Bundoff commented about the liquidation sale of a business at Twelve Oaks Mall. She said there were signs everywhere and it was atrocious and asked Council not to allow these signs to be put up all over the City.
Mayor McLallen said the Ordinance Officers were available on Saturdays and asked that residents let them know these things are happening. She said, for the record, hunting of any type is not allowed in this City.
Mr. Kriewall said the Ordinance Officers were picking up signs on Saturday and today and were on top of it.
Dana Howell, 46050 West Park Dr., said it is a pretty exciting time in Novi but there are problems coming up that need addressing. She felt that a $28 Million Road Bond was a little much. We have a lot of financial doubtfulness and for us to be building new roads at a time when we do not know what our financial future is could be irresponsible at this time.
She said regarding the Charter Amendment there was no other way. She and others addressed Council that they did not want a golf course at that location. Even though a majority of the public said no Council pushed on.
She thought, regarding the roads, let the new administration look at the road situation and have them determine what needs to be done and then send that to a Special Election which cost $10,000. This would be money well spent to save millions of dollars that may not benefit the City in the long run.
William R. Curtis, 101 Penhill, licensed land surveyor, said back in the 70’s when the sewer was put in South Lake Ct. was a paved road. They never re-paved the road and he wanted that part of the road re-paved so there would be a continuing paved road on the project.
Debbie Bundoff, said regarding Item D, S.A.D. #155, on the Consent Agenda, she is in favor of the Malls paving and improving roadways since they are responsible for bringing in the majority of the traffic through her neighborhood. She still felt that boulevarding 12 Mile Road was not timely. She felt improving it to Section 15 made sense because those people technically need that road because of what they have built in the past and what they plan on building in the future.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor Pro Tem removed Item B.
Member Lorenzo removed Items D, the revised H & I.
CM-99-10-268 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Schmid; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented with the exception of Items B, D, revised H and I.
C. Schedule an Executive Session of City Council for Monday, November 22, 1999 at 6:30 PM
in the Council Chamber Annex for the purpose of Union Negotiations.
E. Approval of Agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County for SCATS Traffic
Signal Project No. 95237 and adoption of Authorizing Resolution
F. Adoption of Resolution supporting the installation of SCATS controller and associated traffic
signal equipment at M-5/Thirteen Mile Road intersection
G. Approval of MDOT Contract No. 99-5442, Novi/Fonda Right-Turn Lane Project, and adoption
of Authorizing Resolution
J. Award bid for the Salt Contract to Morton Salt (18.74/ton) and Cargill, Inc. (23.83/ton). This is
a joint bid with the Tri-County Purchasing Cooperative.
K. Reject bids for Part (A) for Tree Purchase and Installation. Award Part (B1) Tree Planting to
Greenscape, the low bidder at $35.00 per tree. Award Part (B2) Tree Purchase split between
L. Approve the Novi Community That Cares Coalition $8,000 Grant with Oakland County Health
Division/Office of Substance Abuse, and the attached Budget Amendment #2000-4.
M. Approve the 1999-2000 Personal Property Contract with Oakland County Equalization.
N. Approve the 1999 Application for SMART Municipal Credit Funding
O. Approve and adopt the attached Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment
P. Approval of Claims and Accounts
Q. Executive Session for pending litigation and property acquisition
B. Schedule a Special Meeting of City Council for Thursday, October 28, 1999 at 7:00 PM
in the Council Chambers Annex for the purpose of City Clerk an City Manager
Evaluations and closed meeting at the request of the Clerk and Manager.
D. Adoption of Resolution No. 2 for Special Assessment District No. 155, Twelve Mile
Road and Other Roadway Improvements, setting a Public Hearing date for November
H Saturday Meeting, 8 AM for City Manager process.
I. Approval of Contract with Northern Equities for the construction of the Haggerty
Water Main (12-13 Mile)
Vote on CM-99-10-268 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo,
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Request for adoption of a Resolution Designating Meadowbrook Road Between 12
and 13 Mile Roads as a Natural Beauty Road.
Mayor McLallen said this has had a Public Hearing and has long been considered a potential Natural Beauty Road.
Mr. Nowicki said, by Ordinance, any work done in a road right of way requires a R.O.W. permit from his department whether there is a Natural Beauty Road or not. They review improvements with respect to utilities, potential conflicts, traffic, infrastructure and the permit is granted if there are no utility conflicts. The intent is to protect the city’s infrastructure from any damage or potential damage from a future development.
Mr. Nowicki said property owners expressed concern regarding natural vegetation. They wanted to know if street trees that are scheduled to be planted with the Meadowbrook Paving Project could be considered as natural vegetation and thereby limiting their ability to construct curb cuts to access their property. He did not think that a tree planted by man by the City in a R.O.W. would be consistent with what would be natural vegetation on that site.
Mr. Watson did not believe that natural vegetation would include the trees planted. Natural is designed in a state provided by nature without human made changes while they are uncultivated.
Member DeRoche asked what Mr. Watson thought about native vegetation specifically including trees.
Mr. Watson said it also indicates it means original or indigenous plants of the state. He interpreted that to mean plants and trees that are there naturally.
Member Mutch said native vegetation would mean those things that have been designated native to the State of Michigan. What is occurring there naturally has grown over time and these specific plants might be the ones introduced whether by the Department of Public Works or the property owners.
Mr. Watson said he believed the intent is to deal with things that are naturally occurring as opposed to plants that are introduced by artificial planting.
Member Mutch asked then why is there a distinction between native and natural?
Mr. Watson said they were probably reproducing language from the Statute that is probably superfluous.
Member Mutch said let’s back up to a previous discussion regarding Nine Mile Road about six years ago. The property owners said they would oppose the designation because they were concerned that if they were to plant things they considered appropriate, plants that were native vegetation but introduced by them, they would be adversely affected in their trimming and planting of their plants. Native and natural are two distinct things and if we mean one then we should use just the one term.
Mayor McLallen asked which would be more appropriate to send the Ordinance to Ordinance Review and get a clarification of the natural and native or go ahead and designate the area and then clean up the Ordinance.
Mr. Watson said whatever order it was to be done was up to City Council. He thought if it were referred to Ordinance Review and resolved first, before making a decision on the designation, there might be a response from the property owners as to whether they are in agreement with that.
Mayor McLallen said the challenge is that there are several roads within the community that the Council and the community feel are quite beautiful and would like them to be recognized. However, when it comes down to the actual verbiage in the Ordinance it causes people to back away.
Member Mutch felt there was no rush to do this tonight. She suggested a work session with staff and interested residents to discuss potential candidates for designation. If we look at Nine Mile Road or Garfield we are looking at one set of problems and when looking at Meadowbrook it is a different set of problems. She recommended this be sent to Ordinance Review and put in the newspaper that citizens are invited to attend the meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if it was possible to designate the remainder of this road a Natural Beauty Road except the frontage of the parcel that has a problem? Then send it back to Ordinance Review to address that problem.
Mr. Watson said it could be done if there was a method of designating just what that area was.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it would be whatever that parcel was and he would be willing to offer it as a motion after further discussion if Council concurred.
Member Schmid said every time Council tries to designate a road there are complaints and concerns about it. It seems this Ordinance is designed primarily for residential areas. He suggested sending it back to Ordinance Review and where there are conflicts of uses there may be a need to vary the requirements.
Mayor McLallen said the intention has always been there to recognize this special environment and yet the mechanics of doing that seem to be in opposition to achieving the goal.
Member Lorenzo said she had no problem sending this to Ordinance Review, however, there is a big difference between native and natural vegetation. Native vegetation is types and species of vegetation as opposed to the definition of natural of how it has occurred in this location. One is species and type related and the other is how it got there. Did we go out there and plant it or is it naturally growing?
Mayor McLallen asked if Council wished to take action on the request for adoption of a Resolution Designating Meadowbrook Road as a Natural Beauty Road? There was no wish for action.
CM-99-10-269 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Schmid;CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To send the issue of the mechanics and the language of these Natural
Beauty Roads to Ordinance Review.
Vote on CM-99-10-268 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo,
2. Request for adoption of Resolution Number 3 for S.A.D. 153 – West Lake Drive
Mayor McLallen stated Council has heard a number of comments on this and it appears from the speakers this evening there are three in favor and four opposed to this issue. She asked how many parcels this would affect?
Mr. Nowicki said there were approximately 35 parcels. This is a citizen initiated project and a Public Informational Meeting was held sometime ago and the project was reviewed with the residents that attended. There was a consensus of the group that the project move forward taking into account there could be a period of time when the residents may want to look at a water main. A couple meetings ago the concept of extending water from the City of Walled Lake at the future Detroit Water and Sewage Department Maintenance going across Walled Lake and extending that down West Road was discussed. That concept was approved by Council and is moving forward. The residents were updated on the potential that a water main would be going down West Road that would provide them with future access to water in the area. The residents at the meeting seemed to favor looking into this and continuing this project but not to the point where it would be paved without the extension of water. They were looking at two projects running parallel to each other.
Mayor McLallen said this is only the third step in a seven step process so the other one has time to catch up.
Mr. Nowicki said that is correct if they want to move in that direction.
Mayor McLallen said this process is to establish costs and final plans. The cost for Exhibit A is $171,000 for 1,000 feet of pavement which would cover 35 sidwell numbers and come to approximately $5,000 per lot. That would be paid back on the residents annual tax bill over a period of approximately 15 years.
The other issue is the sidwell number belonging to Mr. Phillips and whether he has two sidwells or not. Mr. Nowicki said this is the first he has heard of this and would have to research the issue.
Mayor McLallen said a side issue brought up was of people apparently using this area to go onto an undeveloped area of private land to use their off road vehicles. If this is causing a problem in that neighborhood and people are actually trespassing we can look into the enforcement of that issue. There are also, extensive comments regarding whether this road will improve or impair drainage.
Mr. Nowicki said the engineers have devised a design plan that can address the drainage issues and that is lowering the road so they can try to pick up as much of the surrounding drainage as possible. The areas around the lake developed at a time when a lot of drainage considerations were not taken. Mr. Nowicki said to go back and retrofit these roads is a challenge but he believed the engineers were up to it.
Member Schmid said when this Special Assessment came forward everyone was contacted and a petition was signed by more than 51% of the people that wanted this road. Mr. Nowicki said that is correct and it was presented to Council prior to adoption of Resolution 1.
Member Schmid asked what Mr. Nowicki would recommend? What is the process going to do and is a road going to be built or not?
Mr. Nowicki said it was up to the residents.
Member Schmid felt a lot of time was being wasted if the road was not going to be built. He thought the idea was to get the signatures, decide what was to be done and proceed.
Mr. Nowicki said that is correct through the resolution process and the residents have the option of backing off whenever they want. It is a seven resolution process and this resolution calls for the development of the final plan, specifications, cost estimates, etc. This will be presented to the residents and they will see their assessed values and determine if they want to proceed or not.
Member Schmid asked about the water main?
Mr. Nowicki said Council approved the concept of extending the water main up and down West Road to provide a westerly feed to the City which should solve a tremendous number of water problems. This project is moving forward and is under negotiation with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department and we will be approaching the City of Walled Lake in the very near future. If the residents would like to proceed with a water main S.A.D. that option is available. The people in attendance at that meeting looked favorably upon investigating the concept of water. They knew that the water main was not there yet and that the City was pursuing it. The residents asked that the process continue because they want a paved road but they wanted to see if there was a parallel project they could undertake which would be the water main extension. We are not at the point where a lot of investigation can be done on that project.
Mr. Nowicki said there is a two year timetable for the water and the road would have to be torn up again. Member Schmid asked if it made sense to proceed now?
Mr. Nowicki said he brought it to Council’s attention that this might not be the best move in anticipation of water coming through. However, to stop a design project where we can keep working with the residents to keep the project moving forward, at their request, is not the way to go either.
Member Schmid said this is at the City’s expense and Mr. Nowicki agreed. If there is never an S.A.D. the City will pick up these costs on residential developments and on commercial areas it is done differently. The next step could cost $25,000.
Member Schmid thought it was likely that the residents would want the water and was wondering if it made sense to go forward.
Mr. Nowicki said his recommendation was to adopt Resolution #3 and keep the project moving forward while at the same time investigating the water issue. This way all the residents are kept involved and we would know the grades, what is happening with the roadway and will also satisfy the needs and desires of the residents.
Mayor McLallen asked what the time line was for the actual paving of the road? Mr. Nowicki said if the process moves forward we can have construction next year.
Mr. Schmid thought firm answers were needed regarding the water from the citizens that are proposing the road and whether or not they are going to want the water when it gets there. If we are only talking 24 months more or less would it be possible to postpone the resolution? He thought a determination needed to be made whether or not there would be water down West Road and if so when.
Mr. Nowicki concurred with Member Schmid.
CM-99-10-269 Moved by Schmid, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone the adoption of Resolution #3 for the West Lake Drive
Paving until the second meeting in November to allow the
development and coordination of cost estimates for both the road and
the water for the entire area.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked why it is being brought back? He concurred with Member Schmid. He asked if any more information would be known in 30 days than is known now? He thought it should be postponed indefinitely.
Mr. Kriewall said Council might want to pass Resolution #1 on the Water Main. It doesn’t cost very much money to develop a service district for water in that area. The transmission main coming down through the City of Walled Lake will not affect the cost of building the Special Assessment District for the neighborhood. We can very quickly generate some numbers to forecast the cost of the water main and the residents would know within two or three weeks what it would cost. He suggested developing a cost for a water main down Pickford, Penhill, West Lake Drive and South Lake Court to give everyone an idea what it would cost for a water main in that area and create a looping system for that neighborhood.
Member DeRoche said he also lives on West Lake Road and understands this issue. The part of West Lake Road he lives on is not connected to the part that we are talking about now. He wants to make sure that the residents are being served and that the City Administration is not being directed by Council to go against the wishes of the residents.
Mr. Nowicki said this matter is before Council at the request of the residents. The residents know the potential of water and they realize that it would be a waste of money to build a road and put water in later. It was never the intent by the residents or the Administration to propose constructing a road and then putting a water main through it. It was clear from the beginning with the residents and Mr. Nowicki and was a coordinated effort.
Member De Roche thought that a postponement might be in order because what is in front of Council does not portray a coordinated event. It should be better documented and discussed before proceeding. Member DeRoche asked if the engineering was done now for the road would it have to be redone if a water main were put in later?
Mr. Nowicki said the basic survey work could be done at this time. There could be some minor changes and field checks but the basic fieldwork could be done. The engineers could review the grades and check the drainage, which would take considerable time.
Member DeRoche said then it would not be a waste of City money and the heart of the engineering would still be done. Mr. Nowicki said that is correct. Member DeRoche asked if it would be possible for a group of citizens to install the infrastructure underneath the road in advance of some of the other infrastructure coming down to them?
Mr. Nowicki said he would not recommend that because the pipes would be empty and when the system is charged there would be a potential for leaks and the road would have to be dug up anyway.
Mr. Kriewall said you could not special assess for a water main that would have no service. He thought Council should pass Resolution #1 asking for preliminary cost estimates for water main service for South Lake Ct., Pickford, Penhill, West Lake Drive and the frontage along West Road. This would provide an entire grid for that area and also the best cost they could get.
Mr. Watson said the Resolution has to be prepared and placed before Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if the first resolution for water could come back at the November 8th meeting?
Mayor McLallen said at the November 8th meeting the staff would develop Resolution #1 for the water.
Vote on CM-99-10-269 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo,
3. Request for adoption of Resolution Number 3 for S.A.D. 154 – Shawood Walled Lake
Heights Subdivision, containing the streets known as Pleasant Cove and Crown
Drive, Sanitary Sewer Main.
Mayor McLallen commented a Public Hearing had been held earlier in the evening and there was no public comment, there were seven sidwell numbers involved and the cost was estimated at $78,000.
Mr. Jerome said they have petitions from the owners of 81.4% of the assessed property value. The residents are in favor and it impacts a small area along Pleasant Cove with one address being on Crown Street. The residents initiated the petition and are also involved in S.A.D. 152, which is the water main.
CM-99-10-270 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt Resolution #3 for Shawood Walled Lake Heights Subdivision Sanitary Sewer S.A.D. 154.
Vote on CM-99-10-270 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo,
4. Request for approval of Pawnbroker’s License for Great Lakes Jewelry, 26103 Novi
Member Mutch said it appeared that the Police Department investigated not only the owner but also the employees. She asked why that was done and if new employees were investigated.
Mr. Watson didn’t think new employees were investigated because the license was to the applicant and not specific to a particular employee.
Member Mutch said the application clearly indicates that information about the employees is wanted including birth date, drivers license, home address and phone number. She said the
Police Department would run the employees, who are not owners, through the L.E.I.N system. She asked why they are investigated.
Mr. Watson said there is a provision on the application that requires the applicant to inform the City any time there are new agents or employees.
Member Mutch asked if it was our intent to investigate whenever there is a change in employees? Mr. Watson said when that information is provided. Member Mutch said if someone fails to notify us regarding a change of employees are they putting their brokers’ license at risk? Mr. Watson said they were.
Member Mutch asked if an investigation was done and some problems were found would they have to fire that individual? Mr. Watson said they would be given the choice of getting rid of the person or bringing the application back before City Council.
Member Mutch said this is coming before us and we are to look at it and decide, there is nothing telling us what is allowable and what is not so she had a problem with this.
C M-99-10-271 Moved by Crawford, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the request for approval of Pawnbroker’s License for Great Lakes Jewelry until the first meeting in December and request that the applicant, Mr. Jenkins, be present as well as some one from the Police Department and the supporting Ordinance included with the
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said there was one other applicant for a Pawnbroker’s License but it was a very limited and restricted use. He would like to question Mr. Jenkins on what his full intent is and also a representative from the Police Department.
Member Schmid felt it was a good motion to postpone this. The other applicant was extensively
questioned as to why he wanted a Pawnbroker’s License. He did not know where this fit into the Ordinance and what was allowed and not allowed and asked that whoever brings this forward could provide that information.
Member DeRoche thought it was important that employees were investigated for their histories because of the very nature of what we are empowering people to do as a Pawnbroker is different then allowing them to do retail sales in jewelry. It is important that the citizens of this City and other cities are protected by a Police Force with this preventative medicine as to who they are entrusting valuable items to.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked that a copy of the Ordinance that allowed pawnbrokers be in the packets the next time this is addressed.
CM-99-10-271 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo,
Mayor McLallen said what comes in Council Packets becomes public record and in this packet we have peoples names, drivers licenses and in the case of one individual a warrant and she asked if it was necessary to have that information given to the public. She asked what the confidentiality of doing this was?
Mr. Watson said there wasn’t any. If someone makes an application or is an employee of an applicant and that is part of the process there isn’t any confidentiality.
Mayor McLallen asked if anyone explained to these people that their life would be open to looking at?
5. Request for Final Plat approval of Westmont Village Subdivisions No. 2 & 3, SP97-05,
property is located west of Taft Road and south of Ten Mile Road.
Mr. Lewiston said these were two subdivisions. One consists of eight lots and one consists of three lots. They are both culdesacs that terminate existing streets in the original Westmont Subdivision. The underground utilities and pavements have been completed and as agreed with the Council we have impressed the remaining 27 acres with conservation easement that has been approved by Council and recorded. The financial assurances required by the Ordinance have been posted for both subdivisions. All of the consultants have recommended approval and Mr. Lewiston asked for the final approval of the subdivisions.
CM-99-10-272 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Schmid; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To grant approval of the Final Plat for Westmont Village Subdivisions No. 2 & 3, SP97-05.
Vote on CM-99-10-272 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo,
5A. Consideration of request for waiver of pedestrian walk crossover requirements by
Joseph R. Gatz and Mr. Enver Jusufi of Barclay Estates.
Mayor McLallen asked why these two intersection crossovers were a particular issue and one went in and one didn’t?
Mr. Nowicki said the approved plans showed a pedestrian crossover but the developer or the builder did not install it. Through the review process prior to acceptance the developer was advised that this was an outstanding item and they would have to take care of it. There were discussions with property owners and unfortunately the developer moved a little rapidly and put in a crossover. The property owner did not want pedestrian crossovers installed in front of his home and is requesting a waiver even though it was on the plans and was installed later after the landscaping.
The next request for a waiver was on Barclay Estates Lot #3. The pedestrian crossover that is shown there has a conflict between the plans and what the builder had constructed. The builder constructed a driveway where the pedestrian crossover was intended to be. Consequently, it had to be relocated on the opposite corner in order to comply with the standards. The property owner has indicated that the pedestrian crossover is not needed because they could enter and exit the driveway that was constructed on the adjacent lot.
Mr. Nowicki said it is not an appropriate use for a driveway and he would not recommend that driveways be substituted for pedestrian crossovers.
Mayor McLallen said the department’s position is to require the developer to put in both pedestrian crossovers as per the Ordinance. She asked if this would harm any of the private homeowners landscaping initiatives?
Mr. Nowicki said there was some grass and irrigation systems that would have to be repaired by the developer in the manner in which he found them and make sure everything functioned satisfactorily.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if it was a safety issue as far as handicapped access in a reasonable distance, strollers etc.? Mr. Nowicki said it was. Member Crawford asked if it was constructed on City R.O.W. or is it on the property owners property. Mr. Nowicki said it was within the City R.O.W.
Member Lorenzo said it is her understanding that neither of the homeowners were informed as the home was being constructed, after they moved in or before they landscaped that these crossovers were required.
Mr. Nowicki didn’t know whether they had indicated they were not informed although, in one instance, it was clearly shown on the approved site plan.
Member Lorenzo asked if it was on their deed and Mr. Nowicki said he did not think it was. She said then it is very likely that they were unaware. Mr. Nowicki said that is what they have indicated to him.
Mr. Nowicki said in order to keep the acceptance process moving forward and still keep in touch with the residents he indicated to them that they should make contact with the various homeowners and let them know what is happening. If the homeowners did object then we would have to take it to Council for a waiver from Design and Construction Standards.
Member Lorenzo said there was a communication gap.
Mr. Nowicki said they had advised Selective of this and they were aware of the process that was to be followed. However, their subcontractor moved a little quicker than they had intended them to.
Member Lorenzo said in regard to Lot #3 the homeowner indicates that there is a ramp on Lot #1.
Mr. Nowicki said there is no ramp on Lot #1 there is a driveway.
Member Lorenzo asked to hear from the homeowner. Mayor McLallen said, as a point of information, the Chair had to be asked for permission to have the public speak.
Mr. Gantz stated he was not aware of the big sewer manhole covers that went in his front yard. He received a call from Selective Group saying that excavation would be done on the R.O.W. the next day. He could not contact them that evening as they were closed. Another neighbor had made contact, with the help of Member Lorenzo, and due to her action Selective was informed that a process should be put in place to consult the homeowners.
Mr. Gantz said the next morning Selective contacted him and said they would not be excavating in his driveway or the R.O.W. because of this issue. He came home from work and they had done it anyway. It was not in any of the deeds or plans that Selective provided to him.
Member Lorenzo said this is an unfortunate situation. While she recognized the safety issue she also recognized the property owners rights. In this case, choice of purchasing a lot that did not identify a large piece of concrete going up the front area. She did not believe that people who are unaware of these situations should be forced into a situation that they did not buy into. She will support the waiver.
Member DeRoche stated he would support the waiver and asked if that meant that the property owner’s yard would be put back, by the developer, the way it was?
Mr. Nowicki said that is correct . Clearly it was their miscommunication between the Selective Group and the sub-contractor.
Member Schmid stated he concurred 100%. He questioned when the roads and sidewalks were installed.
Mr. Nowicki said the roads were first and then the sidewalks.
Member Schmid felt the homeowners should be compensated. He didn’t know what the ramification would be from a safety standpoint for the disabled if the crossover was removed.
Mr. Nowicki said the concept of the sidewalk crossovers is the separation of pedestrian and vehicle traffic at the corner intersection.
Member Schmid thought it was logical that there would be a crossover there.
Mr. Nowicki agreed and said it is a part of the Design and Construction Standards.
Member Schmid asked if there was a crossover on the other side by Mr. Gantz?
Mr. Nowicki said there was supposed to be but it was never put in.
Member Schmid asked how a handicapped person would get onto the road and across the street to the sidewalk. Mr. Nowicki said it would be difficult. Member Schmid asked if there was something that could be negotiated between the builder and the homeowner?
Mr. Gantz said he could entertain that idea but preferred the crossover be removed. He said there was no sidewalk on the other side because his driveway was there and this occurred on other lots north on Barclay Dr.
Mayor McLallen asked if there was a consistency issue here?
Mr. Nowicki said the plats do not take driveways into consideration and that is part of the problem we are experiencing. Certain amenities are required as part of the Site Plan Process but when it is time to construct the building there are conflicts.
Mayor McLallen said sidewalks and cuts are all in the public R.O.W. The issue is the public R.O.W. and how much is to be constructed in it is not disclosed to the prospective homeowner in a timely fashion. What can we as a City do to address the disclosure and timing of these things? Is there some recommendation to prevent these in the future.
Mr. Nowicki thought there had to be some coordination between the approved Site Plan and the final approved plans for the developed lot.
Mayor McLallen asked what can the City do to protect itself and future citizens from this change of ownership from developer to property owner?
Mr. Kriewall said the engineers need to pick that up when the individual plot plan comes in for the house construction.
Member Mutch said that is fine as far as the City is concerned but it doesn’t deal with the question of when are property buyers informed. We need to get the City out of the middle of these kinds of disagreements because we keep undoing our requirements because people say they were not informed.
Mayor McLallen said this is a request for a waiver of pedestrian crossover requirements by two homeowners within Barclay Estates. One homeowner wants the crossover that has been put in taken out and the other does not want a crossover put in.
Member Lorenzo said if what we are operating with at the intersections of Dartmoor and Barclay are driveways that are being utilized as crossovers or access to the sidewalk on either location then that is a similar situation.
CM-99-10-273 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the waiver for pedestrian crossovers for Lots #3 & #42
in Barclay Estates Subdivision.
Member Mutch asked for a legal opinion regarding the approved waiver. Would any statements made this evening put the City at risk in terms of our willingness to allow private driveways to be used as crossovers.
Mr. Watson said he would provide an opinion.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said the private driveways are not private they are in the R.O.W.
Mr. Watson said the location of the driveway approach between the sidewalk and the street is within the R.O.W.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford supported the waiver but was concerned about the safety issue. He said after this motion we need to go further and find a mechanism to deal with this issue.
Member Schmid suspected that the homeowner would be libel for any accidents in the driveway or on the sidewalks. There could be a question whether there should be a ramp for safety purposes for individuals to negotiate the curb.
Member Mutch asked if property owners who have the apron of the driveway in the public R.O.W. have to keep it clear at all times for public access?
Mr. Watson did not think there was anything to preclude parking a car there unless it blocked the sidewalk. If the approach is long enough to park without blocking the sidewalk it probably is not in violation of any regulation.
Member Mutch asked if there was anything to say that this particular driveway versus the one on the other side is the "designated crossover"?
Mr. Watson said there is nothing specifying any of them as a crossover.
Vote on CM-99-10-273 Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch
Nays: McLallen, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
Mayor McLallen said Item #9 has been removed at the Planning Commissioner’s request.
Member Mutch left meeting.
6. Request for approval of Ordinance No. 99-119.09 – To make housekeeping corrections
to the standards for the regulation of wetlands and watercourses – I Reading
CM-99-10-274 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Schmid; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 99-119.09 to make housekeeping
corrections to the standards for the regulation of wetlands and watercourses – I Reading
Mayor McLallen said the issue was that two acres in size was omitted in error.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford questioned redundancy and Mr. Watson stated it was just a language error the first time it went through.
Vote on CM-99-10-274 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
7. Request for approval of Zoning Ordinance Amendment 18.155 - TC-1 Sign
Amendment - An Ordinance to amend the definition of "Height of Ground Pole Sign or Entranceway Sign" contained within Section 28-1, amend Subparts 28-6(1)d.2, 28-6(2)b.1 (b), 28- 6(2)b.2, and 28-6(2)b.3, amend Subsection 28-6(3) and amend Subpart 28-8(4)b.3 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to correct typographical errors and to allow wall signs for those businesses in the TC-1 District which have entrances, or an outside wall, that are adjacent to a parking lot where the majority of the businesses' Off-street parking occurs – I & II Reading and Final Adoption.
CM-99-10-275 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve for I and II Reading and adoption of Zoning Ordinance Amendment 18.155.
Vote on CM-99-10-275 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
8. Request for Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.153 –An Ordinance to amend
Subsection 1602.4 and Section 2302A, of Ordinance 97-18, the City of Novi Zoning
Ordinance, to reorganize those provisions - II Reading and Final Adoption
Mayor McLallen said this is a number of clean up issues throughout the Ordinance. A resident spoke commending the re-inclusion of the size of the berms in the I-1 against residential. She also brought up a number of issues regarding parking in the front yard and also adjacent to residential. She also brought up the issue of whether Special Land Uses can be appealed to the Council.
Mr. Watson said he did provide an opinion on whether that could legally be done. He thought Council would have to look to the Department and Consultants for a recommendation as to the policy aspects.
Mr. Watson said if City Council wanted to provide for appeals on Special Land Use decisions it is something that can be done and Council could provide for those appeals to be directed to the City Council.
Mr. Arroyo said Council was also looking for a recommendation from the Consultant and the Department regarding policy implications and that will be forthcoming. If Council desires a change it would require Council to direct the Planning Commission to develop an amendment towards a specific change, hold a Public Hearing and bring it back as a separate amendment.
Member DeRoche commented he would rather have this be a II Reading only and not adoption because of the amount of important policy decisions being made. He felt they still needed to be reworked until they were all addressed in the Final Adoption and not be left out there as question marks to be brought forward again in some other Ordinance Review process.
Member Lorenzo stated she concurred with Member DeRoche.
Mr. Arroyo said Ms. Kocan had concerns regarding the 100 foot separation versus allowing the Planning Commission to potentially waiver it to 60 feet if adjacent to residential. That is already in the Ordinance. In fact, there is a section in the Ordinance that says it only has to be 60 feet and the Planning Commission can waiver it to 40 feet. We are just taking the two and making them consistent and going with the more restrictive of the two. It really is a clean up amendment. There is no policy change other than to affirm that the most stringent of the two requirements is the one that is in place. The front yard parking issues are being clarified not changed. Front yard parking is allowed in the districts that are specified and there is a clean up amendment to make it clear so that in each section there would be a reference so that if there is a Special Land Use there is front yard parking.
Mr. Arroyo said another question from the last meeting was the size of the islands for evergreen trees and Councils feeling that the 50 foot width was excessive. This was discussed with Ms. Lemke and has been revised to 25 feet.
Member Lorenzo said perhaps this or the next Council could take another look at that paragraph and while amending certain sections of it take a look and see if it is appropriate to allow a waiver from 100 feet to 60 feet.
Member Lorenzo said she did not think when discussing the front yard parking provision it is clear that this is to be permitted in Special Land Use and to say that it "shall" be permitted is an absolute. She thought it should say "may be" instead of "shall be".
Mr. Watson said normally the term "shall" is interpreted as mandatory and "may" as being permissive.
Member Lorenzo said it also did not specify that it was in relation to Special Land Uses. She wanted to make it clear that we would say for non-residential structures and uses permitted as a Special Land Use if that is what we are trying to address.
Mr. Arroyo said that is covered in another section that footnotes for Special Land Use, in footnote C, that would apply when you have a use other than a residential use in a Residential District.
Member Lorenzo thought that the objective was to make this Ordinance more user friendly and not have to go to other footnotes. It would be easier if this paragraph is going to be included to be very specific in what we are doing. Also "appropriately screened" should be changed to "effectively screened". She said she would be voting on the affirmative and if there are issues that are outstanding it will give her the opportunity to bring them up for reconsideration at the next meeting.
Member Schmid said, regarding island screening, he would like to see evergreens as screening and asked who changed the Ordinance.
Ms. Lemke said Chris Pargoff changed the Ordinance. She said it was approved because there had been problems with them so they were restricted. The islands were too small and the plant material too big at mature size. There is also a problem with salt with evergreens in an island situation.
Mr. Arroyo said this change to 25 feet would allow evergreens in parking lots.
Member Schmid said 25 feet is fine.
Member DeRoche was frustrated that they were having a policy discussion. He said he would support a II Reading but not a final adoption and hoped that the final adoption was a better document on the policy changes to be made or just take some out all together and bring them back at a separate time.
CM-99-10-276 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To postpone until November 22nd the approval of Zoning Ordinance
Text Amendment 18.153.
Mayor McLallen asked Member DeRoche if he was confident that his objections were clear to the staff? She felt like Council was doing the same thing they did two weeks ago.
Member DeRoche said they did what was asked of them two weeks ago on some of the issues like the berming. He is asking that this be a clean up Ordinance or that it be pushed through as policy changes to the Ordinances that are in effect.
Mayor McLallen asked what policies he was objecting to?
Member DeRoche said he wanted to see a better clarification of the parking and the mechanics of that, a comparison between the Ordinances you say are the more stringent of the two. He would like a separate memo saying this is A this is B and we chose B and this is why.
Vote on CM-99-10-276 Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
B. Schedule a Special Meeting of City Council for Thursday, October 28, 1999 at 7:00 PM
in the Council Chambers Annex for the purpose of City Clerk and City Manager
Evaluations and closed meeting at the request of the Clerk and Manager.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford removed this item because he wanted to remove the City Manager evaluation.
CM-99-10-277 Moved by Crawford, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Item B to Schedule a Special Meeting of City Council
Thursday, October 28th at 7 PM in the Council Chamber Annex for the purpose of City Clerk evaluation in a closed meeting at the request of the City Clerk.
Member Lorenzo would not support the motion. She thought the City Manager, even though he was retiring, should be evaluated for his previous years of performance. She asked Mr. Watson if the City Clerk or Manager requests a closed session is Council obligated to honor that request.
Mr. Watson said it was discretionary. There is an exception in the Open Meetings Act for personnel reviews. The exception is only permissible when the person requests it.
Member Lorenzo felt that these officials are in a public capacity and the meeting should be public. The taxpayers and residents of this City should have access to all the information that we have in the City and she did not believe that Council should be withholding information.
Vote on CM-99-10-277 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Schmid
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
D. Adoption of Resolution No. 2 for Special Assessment District No. 155, Twelve Mile
Road and Other Roadway Improvements, setting a Public Hearing date for November
Member Lorenzo pulled this item because she thought it was premature. Ms. Gray also questioned this item. She said we wouldn’t know for two weeks if the Road Bond is successful. She was also concerned about the language of the resolution that says, "the City of Novi is committed" in terms of funding. What happens if the Road Bond fails? Are we committing the City to $1.2 million of General Fund Expenditures?
Mr. Watson said this is only the second resolution and the City would not be committed to go forward with the S.A.D. until the seventh resolution is adopted.
Member Lorenzo still felt this should not be passed until the Road Bond is passed.
Mr. Kriewall said the developer is on a time schedule to get their project in the ground next year and he felt it was critical to move ahead and schedule a Public Hearing. It can always be cancelled if the Road Bond does not pass.
Member DeRoche asked what the turn around time is for scheduling a Public Hearing. Mrs. Bartholomew said it was a ten day mail and it had to be in the newspaper for seven days prior to the meeting.
Mr. Kriewall said if they waited until the 8th they could not do it on the 22nd.
CM-99-10-278 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Schmid; MOTION CARRIED:
To adopt Resolution #2 for Special Assessment District No. 155
and schedule a Public Hearing for November 22, 1999.
Vote on CM-99-10-278 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Schmid
Nays: DeRoche, Lorenzo
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
H Saturday Meeting, 8 AM for City Manager process.
Member Lorenzo pulled this item because she did not see a necessity for this meeting. She said there is an election coming and she saw no point in discussing the City Manager search when the next Council will conduct it. She will vote against the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford reiterated that City business could not stop because there is an election coming up. Last Saturdays meeting was very productive and had only four members present discussing what the process might be and what kind of qualifications to look for in a new City Manager. They intended to schedule a meeting for Saturday, November 28th, to continue that discussion with full input from Council. In addition, professional advice will be sought as to what direction to go. We have a tight time frame with Mr. Kriewall’s retirement in mid February and that does not mean we have to have a new City Manager on that date but it is a goal to strive for. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said they would contact Michigan Municipal League as they have people who give the kind of guidance we need.
CM-99-10-279 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Schmid; MOTION CARRIED:
To schedule a meeting for October 23, 1999 at 9 AM for the
purpose of City Manager’s Replacement Process.
Member Schmid agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Crawford. He found the meeting productive and the next Council will have a lot of information that they would not have had because of these meetings. It is important to get things moving, not make decisions but have information to pass on to the next Council.
Member DeRoche commented he had not been able to attend Saturday meetings and did not think he could attend the next one. He said it sounded like the process was beginning and decisions were being made. He felt that individuals seeking Council positions would very much like their input on everything, including deciding what professional firms are chosen.
Mayor McLallen commented that she was at the Saturday meeting. The group that was there was extremely cognizant of the fact that there will be at least one new member and potentially more than one. The goal is to hand off some preliminary information. There was no hiring of anyone. M.M.L. and I.C.M.A. were invited to inform Council what their resources were and what processes they could open up. The City Manager retires in 120 days.
Within that 120 days, there will be a new Council in November and portions of that Council will immediately attend the National League of Cities in December. Then the Holidays are upon us and actual working time is not going to happen until almost January. This Council felt it was important to get the issues on the table so that when those new people come forward they can hit the ground running. They can read these two Saturday morning sessions for information that may be valuable to them but there were no commitments made to anyone at these meetings. These meetings were strictly to get a game plan together to hand off to the next team. This was done because the time constraints are so challenging.
Member DeRoche understood this but thought usually when somebody comes forward and provides information Council Members ask questions. He placed a certain amount of value on things that could be asked by the new Members but can’t be asked because they are not a member of this Council.
Mayor McLallen said this was a public meeting and there were members of the public at the meeting.
Member DeRoche said they are entitled to a 3-minute audience participation not questioning of the experts and other people that get brought into the room. He said while February is on top of us and he wanted as much information and time as possible, if he is elected, to make a decision he knew that this City Council and Administration would get through it. Other cities have done it and he knew how great Novi and the support staff is that Mr. Kriewall has assembled to run the various departments and felt that we would get through just fine together. He hoped it was done in a productive fashion with the people included because they will have to live with these decisions.
Member Lorenzo asked how many applications had been received? Mr. Kriewall said there were two applicants. Member Lorenzo requested the meetings be held a little later in the morning.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford re-emphasized that Council is not making decisions or hiring anyone. They are gathering information and he felt it would be very beneficial to new Council members. He said whoever the new individuals were they would have the majority of input in this whole process. This will all be a matter of record and if the new Members want to talk with M.M.L. or I.C.M.A. they can be brought back as many times as needed.
Mayor McLallen said there has been a request to amend the motion to make it 9 AM and Council was in agreement.
Vote on CM-99-10-279 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Schmid
Nays: DeRoche, Lorenzo
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
I. Approval of Contract with Northern Equities for the construction of the Haggerty
Water Main (12-13 Mile)
Member Lorenzo pulled this item. Ms. Gray wanted to know why when dealing with residential property owners we go through the S.A.D. process and when dealing with a developer we are taking the money out of the Water and Sewer Fund?
Mr. Kriewall said most developers have demonstrated that they can build public improvements at a lower cost and quicker than we can so we can take advantage of their ability to negotiate and build a portion of our system. Several agreements have been monitored and the engineers have verified that there is an actual cost saving because they can negotiate with the contractors.
Member Lorenzo asked how the payback occurred?
Mr. Nowicki said whoever taps in pays the customary charges as well as the frontage foot charge by Ordinance. It is a little different from the typical S.A.D. that Ms. Gray may be looking at. This is a 24 inch transmission main. It is intended to satisfy the pressure needs of the entire city not just a residential subdivision. The developer will pay the frontage foot cost on a proportionate basis plus the tap in costs so all of the costs on an equivalent size main he would have to pay. The developer is paying it up front as he taps in and not spreading it out like an S.A.D.
Member Lorenzo asked if the developer paid all of the costs that go into design, engineering, construction, land costs, R.O.W. costs, etc.
Mr. Nowicki said there are no land or R.O.W. costs because these are donated. All other costs associated with that water main are recovered through the tap in costs and the system wide connection charges. This main is not intended solely to satisfy the developmental needs in that particular area. It is intended to boost the pressures in the entire system and to eventually provide another crossing of I-96.
Mr. Nowicki said they are moving toward a booster pump station at the corner of 14 Mile Road and Haggerty. It will be on the high-pressure side and help boost pressures. In addition, there will be some connections that will parallel 13 Mile Road, which will eventually complete the westerly feed up West Road.
CM-99-10-280 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the contract with Northern Equities for the construction
of the Haggerty Corridor Water Main (12-13 Mile).
Vote on CM-99-10-280 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid
Absent: Kramer, Mutch
Member DeRoche said the Housing and Community Development Committee met to discuss the distribution of the grant funds. They will meet again in the next couple of weeks. He and one other committee member is recommending an increase in funding to Haven, college scholarships for families whose children qualify financially and budgeting for the senior bus. Some of the remaining money is targeted to be spent for the North Novi Park. It will be for some of the signage, picnic tables and improvements. This is the only recreational facility in the area that qualifies for this grant so it would free up around $40,000 for those type of improvements.
This funding will be available for 2000-2001.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Road Bond
Member Lorenzo said the Mayor said it cost $186.00 to mail out flyers in the City Water bills is that correct?
Mr. Kriewall said it was.
Member Lorenzo asked why didn’t we put on it this was a $28.5 million Road Bond and break down the cost for each project? She agreed with Mr. Tindall that if we are going to provide information on ballot issues we should be fair and across the board and do it for all ballot issues. She said to her knowledge Council did not approve expenditure funds to mail out any information.
Mr. Kriewall said the funding for this comes from enterprise funds either the Road Fund or the Water Fund. He believed there was general direction from Council to mail them out.
Member Lorenzo asked if he came forward and ask Council to spend these funds?
Mr. Kriewall said they didn’t have to.
Member Lorenzo disagreed. This was an expenditure of taxpayers funds and she also questioned if this was an appropriate use of the Road Fund money.
Mr. Kriewall said not only did they have general direction of the Council to do this but also from the Communications Committee during the study meetings on the road program. He believed it was money well spent because it is better to inform the residents before they vote on it.
Member Lorenzo said she didn’t think Council made expenditure decisions at a study session and the Communications Committee is a committee and did not have the authorization to expend funds either. In addition to the flyer for $186.00 we are now sending out a map and a narrative for $7,500; is that correct?
Mr. Kriewall said it was.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it was not a bad investment for a potential of $70 million. On more than one occasion this Council gave general direction and guidance. When the ballot language was discussed he argued against putting each individual item on the ballot. A few other Council Members said the same thing and it was also backed by the Bonding Attorney who said it was not the kind of language you put on a ballot. At that time every Council Member agreed that the information had to go out to the public. People were coming up at Audience Participation and demanding this information. He would have been disappointed if this information only went out in water bills because he, and a lot of other residents, are on a well and would not have gotten a water bill. It is money well spent.
Member DeRoche said it went out in the sewer bill as well. He stated he was the only Council Member that did not support this motion. His concern was not what was on the document it was the process. He felt there should have been input from the Council bench and he felt this was overstepping the bounds of managing the City into the arena of the City Council. It did not go through a protocol and it absolutely has to. He didn’t care if it was free information. If it regards giving information to voters that they are going to vote on, hence a political piece put out by the City, Council must look at it and approve it. That should be universal for everything.
2. Police School Liaison
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it was with consent of Council to start some preliminary discussions with the school district on a police school liaison. This was requested 60 days ago and is now 30 days late. Council has not received an update on this. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked that the Police Chief bring a detailed report to Council by the next meeting.
3. Boys/Girls State
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said years ago we sponsored people to Boys State and Girls State. We were advised this could not be done with public funds and we ceased doing it. He believes there is a way of sponsoring this and that it is a very beneficial program. It is a relationship between the schools, children and government. He thought if Council was involved in the selection process it could be done. He asked for information back on how we might do it with consensus of Council.
Member Lorenzo said right now money is tight.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford commented again, we do not stop doing business and if we spend a couple hundred dollars to send a child to Boys State or Girls State it won’t make a difference in the financial stability of this City. He asked, with Council concurrence, that the City Attorney look into how this could be done.
4. Consultant Review Committee Final Report
Member DeRoche asked if Mr. Klaver had his report and he said he did. Member DeRoche said in the second paragraph it said "since you have acted upon all the committees recommendations dealing with our consultants there is no action required regarding this report". He assumed Mr. Klaver was directing that to the Mayor and City Council. Mr. Klaver said yes.
Member DeRoche then asked if the Council had acted on all the committees’ recommendations?
Mr. Klaver said regarding specific action on the consultants that was his understanding. The key point is the clarification of the relationship of the consultants. We tend to use the term contract and most people assume that it is a typical type contract that has a particular duration. They are appointments made by resolution for an indefinite period of time. Each year an evaluation is done and information is brought to the committee to review regarding cost, evaluation of services, etc. and if there is not a specific request from the Council, Consultant or the Administration to change any part of the relationship it remains the same. It goes on until such time that the consultant or Council requests some change or fee increase.
Member DeRoche said the sentence is "since you have acted on" but Council did not act on the recommendations and he did not want Council to think they had taken any action when they haven’t.
Mayor McLallen thought there were specific time frames in Ms. Lemke’s and Mr. Arroyo’s resolutions.
Mr. Klaver said no, there are sections that deal with if we cancel the resolution we have minimum advance notice requirements. There are no durations.
Member DeRoche was frustrated that the committee did not present its final report to this Council in any fashion other then including it in the communication section. It was his understanding as a member of the committee that it was to be presented to the Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked Mr. Klaver if he was saying that if there is no change in the previous resolution then Council does not do a new resolution?
Mr. Klaver said that is correct.
Mr. Kriewall said in answer to Member Mutch’s question last week regarding the bike path replacement. He thought Council should consider in next year’s budget or next spring re-bidding this as a concrete replacement out in front. It was not part of the parking lot replacement program since an asphalt contractor replaced the parking lot.
Mr. Kriewall said there was a special meeting of S.W.O.C.C., the Cable Commission, and the purpose of the meeting was to move toward creating this formal hearing process that we are trying to commence regarding Time Warner Cable. The bottom line was that we are looking at a three-person tribunal instead of one. The suggestion made by the Commission was to look to former or retired Council Members to sit on the tribunal. He thought Farmington was going to try and get the gentleman who sat on the original Cable Commission, Dick Tupper. They were also going to contact Ron Watson, who was the original Cable Commission Chair, to sit on the tribunal. Mr. Kriewall talked with Mr. Watson and he said he would agree to sit on the tribunal.
Mr. Donahue is preparing a resolution that will come to Council on 11-8-99 that will set up a timetable and an approach to move in this direction.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said in addition to that Mr. Watson and Mr. Donahue will be advisers to that body. He asked who would present our side?
Mr. Watson said Mr. Joseph VanEaton, Attorney, would do the presentation. Mr. Kriewall said Mr. VanEaton might do the preparation and have someone else present it.
Mr. Kriewall said time had to be allowed for Time Warner to react to the proposal and timetable.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said this is in Council’s hands and can be done anyway Council desires and Time Warner would need to accept that.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Kriewall to comment on the meetings with Ameritech and where it is at now.
Mr. Kriewall said there had been two meetings and information has been exchanged. They have requested that a questionnaire be filled out, Caren Collins completed that and Ameritech has it. The committee has asked that Mr. Donahue react to the Livonia Ordinance and he has not done so yet. He indicated he would have something before November 8, 1999. They have been provided with school district boundaries and all the information they need to make their proposal.
Member Schmid said Ameritech is extremely interested in coming to the City and if they come they will spend in the area of $10 to $15 million to get the cable ready. They will provide excellent competition for Time Warner. He thought it would be good for the community to have this competition.
Mayor McLallen commented to Mr. Kriewall that there were two items in packets and she wanted to know if they could be sent to him. One was the competition in the electrical deregulation and the other was applications for franchises. There are two already and will probably be more. She asked that at the next Council meeting information on how to handle these requests would be forthcoming.
Mr. Watson advised Council a written report had been provided in their packets. He spoke with Mary Masseron-Ross and was advised that an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals would be filed within the next several days on that last opinion order dealing with interest and attorney fees. She believes the application will be granted and once that is done it will be consolidated with the underlying appeal and proceeds on in that fashion with the rest of the case. Mr. Watson said last Wednesday in Court they had a stay order entered with regard to that opinion and an order staying any execution of that, again pending an appeal. That was the last thing occurring in Trial Court in this case. With the entry of that stay everything is now up with the Court of Appeals. This has gone on for 4-4 ˝ years. There were numerous pleadings and numerous volumes of transcripts so the report was not meant to be comprehensive as to everything in the case. There are pleadings that we referred to that provided additional information. There were one or two things that they felt needed addressing. The particular issues were the perception that the City’s decisions, with regard to the construction of that road were somehow vindictive; or if they weren’t vindictive in the sense of malicious with regard to the developer then the position the City took was somehow way out in left field. That is just not the case. The process that the City Council went through, that is discussed in the report, was a determination made by the Council based upon recommendations from our engineers and made in good faith with intention of benefiting the community at large and looking out for the welfare of the community at large. With regard to the legal basis for that he has provided Council with information, again not comprehensive of all the law, to point out that there is a legal principle involved that the City was relying on. That principle is that a municipality can’t contract away its governmental functions and its governmental authority. The interpretation that has been given to the contract is that the City Council retains the discretion as to the manner in which the road is constructed and the timing of the construction of the road. If the contract is given that interpretation it remains valid under that principle of law. If it is given a contrary interpretation that the road had to be built in a set period of time and fashion and that there was no discretion to divide it into two projects that construction would cause that contract to violate that principle of law and be invalid. They felt it was important to go into this because there has been this perception that the City was acting in a vindictive manner and basically, out to get this developer.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford commented that he thought it was an excellent response. It summarized the sequence of events and explained why things were done as the project went along and also as the appeals and court case went along. He would like to see that letter published in the newspaper and if necessary, to get it published, in Letters to the Editor. It goes a long way in explaining what happened, why things were done and where we are now. We have heard on several occasions from the public that they want to hear more and this would let everyone know where we are up to now.
Mayor McLallen thought the letter had already been given to the newspaper.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford stated he did not want to see the letter re-summarized in an article. He wanted to see it in total in Letters to the Editor.
Mr. Watson said his recollection of their editorial policy was that they limit letters to the editor to 400 words and reserve the right to edit those letters.
Member Schmid concurred with Mayor Pro Tem Crawford. Up until this time we have had to take a passive no comment view. Their attorney seems to be making comments and the Novi News has quoted the Judge and his opinion that is absolutely contrary to what went on.
Member Schmid read from the letter for public information. "This case arose out a Special Assessment Contract between the City and Sandstone under which the City agreed to finance a Special Assessment Construction and Extension of Decker Road, 13 Mile and Novi Road." That Special Assessment has been paid back. The important issue is there was nothing in the contract the City signed with Sandstone as to when the road was to be built or anything to preclude it from being built in stages. As a matter of law the contract could not require the City to build the road in a certain manner or time.
One of the issues the Judge and Mr. Carson made is that the road was not built in a timely fashion. There was nothing in the contract regarding this. In addition, the reason the road was not built in a fashion that might have pleased the developer was that M.D.O.T. was going to build this road. There was a water main beneath this intersection and our engineers advised us that it would be foolish to disturb that intersection to finish the intersection at Beck Road because of the unstable condition of the water main. If we did it at that time it would have to be disturbed again.
This Council decided not to disturb that intersection under sound information received by the engineers. When M.D.O.T. finally completed the road they made a bypass for this huge water main which would have shut off water for the entire City had it broke.
Member Schmid quoted the letter, "There are other good and sufficient legal reasons as to why the Trial Courts holding was contrary to law." He asked Mr. Watson to define a matter of law.
Mr. Watson said it is essentially something based upon a legal principle as opposed to a factual determination.
Member Schmid quoted on, "An additional item bares comment. It has been widely reported that Judge Howard disclosed on the record that he was a former partner of the plaintiff’s attorney, Robert Carson. We have reviewed the transcripts of the proceedings of this case and they reveal no such disclosure." Judge Howard never disclosed that he was a former partner. Legally he did not have to but it is the principal and ethical part of not disclosing this information. Also, Martin Stulman, Sandstone Attorney, during the process of this trial Mr. Stulman and Judge Howard had lunch. This is also not illegal but does not look good since it was done during the process. This came up in deposition of Mr. Sandstone.
Member Schmid said this developer had a bad project that went broke and he is trying to put his burden on the citizens of Novi.
There being no further business to come before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:47 PM.
Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew
Transcribed by : ___________________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: 11-8-99