|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:36 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA: (additional communications or petitions)
Mr. Helwig requested a Special Meeting of Council, August 21 or 22, 2001, to adjourn to Executive Session for pending litigation. Council consensus was to address this as Item 1 under Matters for Council Action Part I.
Member Bononi added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Item 1, brief discussion of the traffic signal at West Park Dr. and South Lake Drive as a result of a letter from resident Chuck Blythe.
Member DeRoche added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Item 2, brief discussion regarding the letter from an employee of Owens Corning in Council packets.
Member Csordas added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Item 3, an article from the Detroit News entitled Changing Zoning Rules for downtown Romeo.
CM-01-08-205 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-08-205 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
1. Citizen Recognition:
Road Bond Committee: Tom Marcus
Mayor Clark recognized Tom Marcus for his dedication and hard work on the Road Bond Committee and presented him with a key to the City. He said when the community looked to pass a road bond issue to deal with serious road needs in this community, Tom Marcus was one of those citizens to step forward and go before his fellow citizens and explain to them the need for that road bond. He said he was really one of the community fathers; whenever help was needed at city hall or at the schools or for some other community organizationís project, the first person to offer his time and support was Tom Marcus.
Mayor Clark said this community works and is the quality community it is because of members of the community like Tom Marcus.
Member Cassis said Tom Marcus has rightfully been given the key to the City and felt he has had the key to the hearts of many people in the community for a long time. He thanked him for his service to the community.
2. Police Department Motorcycle Division Ė Chief Shaeffer
Chief Shaeffer presented the Police Motorcycle Program, which is just now being instituted in the community. He introduced Larry Fallon who is associated with Ann Arbor American Harley Davidson and arranged for the lease of the motorcycles for the Police Department. They also had an opportunity to work with one of our local city residents, Walter Merson, who
manufactures parts for Harley Davidson. Mr. Merson worked with the factory end of this in order to secure the motorcycles. Chief Shaeffer said Novi was very fortunate to lease the motorcycles at $1.00 per year through Ann Arbor American Harley Davidson. Chief Shaeffer thanked Larry Fallon for this opportunity. Additional cost was incurred because the motorcycles had to be outfitted with sirens, red lights, radios, etc. and personnel had to be trained as required for police service. Three officers were selected and went through a very intense two week training sponsored by the Michigan State University where they were taught high and low speed maneuvering, how to get out of trouble and how to drive in all types of conditions. They completed the course and the actual investment was about $20,000 between the training, uniforms, radios, sirens, etc. The good part of that is the money was not out of the City funds but out of a Federal Grant they obtained with a small amount of matched funds from the drug seizure forfeiture funds. The cost to the City and our citizens was zero.
Mayor Clark commented that this was a real plus for the City and a real plus in terms of our ability to provide even better law enforcement to the community.
Member Cassis thanked Harley Davidson and said at this very special rate he would have clapped for another hour.
3. "Novi Community That Cares Coalition " Ė Beth Belter
Ms. Belter talked with Council about the after school program and the coalitionís activities. Ms. Belter said the Novi Police Department had been instrumental in helping them address substance abuse issues within the community. It was Chief Shaeffer who, 5 1/2 years ago met with a lot of parents who had concerns about the substance use. At that time it was something that needed to be studied and addressed to see if there was something we could do to decrease it. Forty key leaders were called together to see if they would be interested in helping with a community study to look at the behavior issues of our youth. Then they would decide if they would be willing to help support and initiate programming to address the behaviors or other issues that came up. There was a 100% commitment from those forty people. They spent eight months collecting data to find out what was going on with our youth and found that they were above the Oakland County average and way above the national average for the amount of substances they were using. This was of grave concern to all of us and they began looking at programs to put into place that would address those issues. There was an after school recreational program for 10 to 14 year old students to give these children someplace to go until their parents got home.
Next, they addressed social skills for our kids. They took an existing program and expanded it and it became an extension of the DARE program in the City of Novi. It was only implemented at the 6th grade level and now it is in the 8th grade and the freshman year of high school. Also, they addressed the availability of substances that were in the community, the stings, places and dealers, etc. that needed to be taken care of. Chief Shaeffer began sting operations on a more frequent basis to look at the vendors who were selling to minors and held them accountable He let them know this was not acceptable and they would be more checks throughout the year.
Next, they had to come up with the funds and they applied for Title V monies and the City came up with the matching funds for that grant to plug in an after-school program. The first year, October 1998, they had 478 students out of a possible 2,000 who were participating.
At the end of the second year there were 926 students and at the end of the last school year there were 1,150 students registered for this program. It is a popular program in the community and it runs from 2:30 PM to 6 PM with sites at the Novi Ice Arena, the Soccer Zone and the Novi Middle School. They hope this becomes more and more popular over the years.
The Program Director is Sue Muthusamy who works through the Parks and Recreation Department and also present was Bob Steeh from Novi Community Education who has helped keep this on-going.
The Title V Grant fund has declined over the last four years. The first two years they received $232,000 in Federal funding and the next year they received $187,000. This year they will receive approximately $87,000 in funding. They have tried to find more funding to run the program and are still working on that. She said some times it was actually difficult for them to be eligible because they were a suburban community not qualified to even apply for many of the grants or foundation money out there. She said this year to keep the program running, they had to charge a registration fee of $140 per year per child, which worked out to about $12 per month for a child to use the program.
Ms. Belter said they did have to drop the professional tutor from the program this year, and she understood some residents had been upset about that. She said when looking at the survival of the program, they took the number of participants in the program and the number actually utilizing the tutor and felt there were other services in the community for that. She said in the best interest of keeping the program running, they decided to drop that piece of it but still would have homework assistance available at all sites. She said a staff person will be assigned, along with the National Honor Society students, parents who have volunteered and they were working to hopefully get some of the teachers to come in and help as well.
She said they continue to evaluate the DARE program and will keep them posted on progress.
She noted that there was a graph in their packet that shows the difference they have made in the community; it was not just the coalition but all the people involved who have taken information back to their own groups and plugged in other programs in the community that address what they identified as the needs. She said one of their goals this year as a coalition was to take the programs implemented and get them instituted with somebody in the community so that they can continue to collect data, evaluate the needs, and move on to other projects.
Ms. Belter said along with the other programs, the coalition also has done the vendor appreciation lunch and worked with the Oakland County Substance Abuse Office to do a big summit at the U of M extension, which was attended by 250 people in the County and funded by drug forfeiture funds from the prosecutorís office. She said they were highly involved with the Focus on Family held every year at the schools, the MADD picnic and the pizza box Picasso project during the prom and graduation season.
Member Kramer said he appreciated all the people who had worked with and helped to bring the program to fruition and make it a success. He said he would encourage businesses and civic groups to support the coalition for the benefit of our youth and it helps the entire community as well.
Member Bononi said she would like to have the backup information for the statistics shown in graph 1 and also a copy of the detailed budget document.
Mayor Clark said he would join the positive comments made tonight; he said the drug culture was all about money and getting our children hooked on alcohol or other dangerous substances. He said the only way to prevent that was by each of us working together. He said the Coalition has been a tremendous positive influence on the youth of the community and every family in the community owed everyone involved a sincere debt of gratitude.
Member DeRoche said he realized the struggles the organization was going through and its noble purpose as far as what they were trying to do. He said he requested that an invitation be extended to the coalition to encourage what they do and provide the opportunity to explain to the community the changes being made in the program and the basis for those. He said the city originally funded this program strictly to reduce the use of drugs in the community and he hoped they would keep the focus on that. Member DeRoche said that was what he cared about and why he has always voted in support of this, not the ancillary services.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
CITY MANAGER - None
DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY - None
Margaret Schmidt, 25377 Wixom Road, said she had a case of developer rage. She said they lived in the middle of Island Lake development and the quality of her life this summer has been the worst ever. She said in several meetings with project manager Kevin Sullivan he has proved to be rude, obnoxious and arrogant. She said when she asked for compensation for the frontage being taken out of her property, he reluctantly offered two trees for the many mature trees and privacy hedge lost. She said that Cindy Uglow has been marvelous in helping her and arranged a meeting that resulted in some agreement but she did not feel the builder would respect that. The dirt and dust has been tremendous because the roads have not been watered and the trucks drive too fast. Construction has begun as early as 6:00 a.m. and when she complained, the builder received permission from the City to begin at 5:30 a.m. because of the heat,
which broke the next day. Ms. Schmidt said she didnít think Council could do anything for her but she had to speak her piece because what she has put up with was a form of harassment. She said she would like a) the roads watered b) 3 to 5 inches of topsoil put in, c) her bushes replaced with what she wanted, d) her new sod watered, and e) Island Lakeís nature area fenced where it met her property.
Mayor Clark asked that Mr. Helwig schedule a meeting for them with Mr. Sullivan. He said Ms. Schmidt was a long standing resident of the community and she has contributed greatly to the community over the years and he was disturbed to hear of her treatment.
Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, said to follow up on Ms. Schmidtís comments, he thought Toll Brothers was much bigger on making commitments than following through. He said he wrote to them a month ago about completing their northern entrance because the dust was terrible as well as restoring the front of his home from the installation of water and gas under the road last year.
Mr. Wizinsky said he was here to talk about Novi Promenade. He distributed to Council a scale model of the Target store planned next to his property and displayed an aerial view of his property. He said there would be a 50-foot long berm that would be 6 feet high which wouldnít do much. The store would have 375,000 sq. ft. of retail, 1600 parking spaces and four out lots for restaurants. He said he understood this was a consent judgment so the normal process was not involved but his first awareness of the project was when he received a notice from the DEQ. He said he was a little disappointed that as a 26 year resident that no one called him. He was very concerned about the site plan review process. In 1983 this community developed a storm water management plan that was state of the art. It designed storm retention ponds throughout the city and in Section 17 the storm water was shown as going in four directions. He said from what he has seen so far, the plan is to have all the storm water from the siteís 58 acres come south towards his property to a retention pond farther south. He said because of the consent judgment he was not sure the neighbors would have any input but he wanted to make sure his rights were retained since the project could have significant impact on his property if the moving of storm water south was not handled. He asked how he could be in the loop and be sure of this?
Steve Babinchak, said he had a complaint he wanted to file against the City, the Department of Public Works and Toll Brothers development off Wixom Road near Ten Mile. He said the City of Novi Department of Public Works has permitted Toll Brothers to dewater the entire area of development over the past six months. The wells are designed to lower the water level in the underground aquifer so sewers can be installed using traditional methods. He said the dewatering has caused extensive property damage to dozens of homes and nothing has been done to protect the members of this community from this situation. When the residents called the city they received one of four basic responses. He said they were currently gathering well logs being filed with the County and have circulated information flyers to determine the extent of property damage that this activity has caused. He said they were demanding that the City begin negotiations with the affected homeowners through a designated member of their group. If they do not hear from the city attorney on this issue, they will file a class action lawsuit to force the Toll Brothers and the City of Novi to replace the wells they have
destroyed through their negligence. He said they would not accept thousands of dollars worth of damage to their homes not being reimbursed as a form of subsidy to a developer. He said Toll Brothers tells him that the City has an agreement to pay 60% of any damaged wells that occurred from the dewatering knowing in advance there was going to be a problem. Toll Brothers claim they would have been done already if the City hadnít forced them to put the main down Wixom Road so that the Fire Station to be located there would have service. He asked if the stonewalling the residents have experienced was related to the Cityís exposure? He said he certainly hoped that the people they elected to protect the community were not working with a developer and causing this kind of a problem for so many residents. He asked if there was in fact an agreement with Toll Brothers and if so, proper procedure would call for an insurance policy to be set up so the city would be a named insured. He said they would like to know the name of that insurance company and they would also like Mr. Nowicki to provide them with all of the known wells that have been affected.
City Manager Helwig said as far as his office was aware, this matter has been unfolding for the last two or three weeks in terms of wells going bad and calls coming into the DPS. He said any agreement would have to come before Council. They have been seeking to do two things. They have been trying to assist those people who were having well problems and he has been urging Mr. Nowicki to try to help develop criteria so they could share that with Council. He said they were also trying to expedite the dewatering and thatís why he authorized the early hours. They were told several dewatering wells were closed off Friday as a result. He said if need be, they will come forward with moral obligation recommendations to make situations right. He said they welcomed any and all objective information about what was happening to the wells there. He said the fire station was a long-standing, overdue, issue that they have been trying to move forward. He said the desire to do that right and do it with public utilities rather than wells and septic was in the public interest. He said the prior Toll Brothers leadership stepped forward in that regard but that has changed now and it grieved him to know that this bad blood was spreading. He said they wanted to do right by people.
Mayor Clark said the residents would hear further from the City and it was their intent to do what needed to be done to make things right. In light of the comments just made, in addition to Mr. Sullivan, perhaps they could invite his immediate superiors to that meeting as well so they get a full flavor of the dissatisfaction of this community.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she hoped they were not going to be subsidizing this development and that any obligations would come out of Toll Brothers pocket. Member Bononi said she was concerned that a communication wall has been hit and just from
the standpoint of what they have heard tonight, she would be very concerned that somebody in-house was not acting as an informational ombudsperson at the point that someone turns out of here in frustration and then ends up at City Council. She said she thought they could investigate alternative advice to seek when someone is frustrated by not getting the information they need.
Don Close, Pebble Ridge Homeowners Association President, concurred with the previous speaker and disagreed with the City Manager regarding his quote that they want to do what is right. Mr. Close commented that his own experience and the experience of people he had talked to seemed to be getting the run around from the
City. The City seems to have developed a script where it is the drought, people watering the lawns, etc. and they downplay that Toll Brothers have been pumping thousands and thousands of gallons of our water down their storm sewers. He had talked with many residents in Pebble Ridge, Birchwood, and Nottingham Subdivisions regarding how the water quality had decreased in their wells. Ms. Uglow has been tremendous and helpful but nothing is being done. He surveyed various sites that water quality was being complained about that had decreased since de-watering began. There are six new wells in the three subdivisions, two pumps were dropped lower to salvage as much as possible out of current wells although the well drillers recommended new wells. Mr. Close called the City last week and was told all they knew about was two new wells and there were two new wells going in that day. Everyone that called got the same story and felt it was getting ridiculous. Also, they are putting City water lines through, the cost quoted earlier has gone up, and they were wondering if those cost were associated with the well problems.
Mr. Korte, Shawood Lake, spoke to Item 4 regarding South Lake Drive. He commented about the process of a five-foot sidewalk, five-foot grass and paved street. That is taking up ten feet. It is ten feet in the City right-of-way. If this happens the mail truck would totally block the one driven portion of the road. Now they can pull off the shoulder so cars can get by. In his situation, ten feet are wasted and the mail truck now blocks the road. All major trucks that deliver around there are more than 40 foot long and take up more than one piece of land to make their deliveries. He asked if Council expected them to go over the curb, through the grass and over the sidewalk or is that truck going to totally block the road? Regarding health, safety, and welfare, it is not fiscally responsible to do it in this manner. East Lake followed the base concept that Walled Lake Sector Study started and technically, everything was to be on one side. On East Lake Dr. we have small on either side and it works. The mail truck delivers and the traffic is not stopped. If an ambulance or fire truck went by on East Lake there is a place to go. If these same base concepts were applied to South Lake, no cement and no curb, would provide a win, win situation. An eight-foot path could be put on the side of the road. They would then have a wider road and trucks would not block traffic. He
asked if the residents were aware that if they have a sidewalk and it cracked they would have to replace it? He commented he had asked the City who set in stone the five-foot sidewalk, curb and gutter but he has not been able to get an answer. Why didnít East Lake get cement curb and gutter? Curb and gutter in this City per the Ordinance said "retention, detention". Where would the retention/detention ponds go? Are they going to run directly into the Lake, that is illegal. All of the flooding occurred on South Lake and most of the flooding is to the west of the park before the new widened road. That happened when South Pointe got their water and as much as the engineers said they didnít change the road they changed the road. If the road is put back the way it was and tipped a little to the lake we have all the water sheeting over all the grass and a little bit into everywhere. Isnít that whatís desirable? He asked Council to rethink the sidewalk, the five-foot and curb and understand that an eight-foot contiguous pavement made better sense.
Barry Kaltz, President of Birchwood Homeowners Association, said it was good Council would set up a meeting with Toll Brothers. Ms. Uglow has set up a meeting for information sharing on all of this so they could resolve this and the residents who are having problems with their wells know what to do. He invited Council to the meeting on Tuesday at 7:30 PM. He said
they would like to know what Toll Brothers had to say after the meeting and asked Council to arrange that prior to the meeting. Perhaps, Toll Brothers would be there and would be open minded about the residents concerns.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, attended one meeting regarding South Lake Drive and felt the Task Force was in very good hands. She echoed Mr. Korteís comments about curb and gutter. There are serious drainage issues in that area and didnít know how it could work and she did not want the lake used as a detention basin. She didnít know where the property would come from to do detention basins if they did curbs and gutters as the only property the City owned was at the east end of the lake and at Lakeshore Park. She had driven E. Walled Lake Drive, the water main had been just installed, they had realigned their road with our road, and they have a bike safety path on each side and it looked nice and she thought something like it needed to be done on South Lake Drive.
Ms. Gray addressed Item 7, Bristol Corners South, and stated she thought this had been turned down at the Planning Commission unless the entrance was at West Park Boulevard. They were told to take it back and redo it and she was surprised to see it on the agenda.
John Foley, 24930 Delmont Drive, said he was between Toll Brothers and "the farm lady", he had walked down his street to pick up his daughter, and they stood in a cloud of dust as the machinery roared back and forth. Something has to be done but he was even more concerned about was having half million dollar homes next to an agricultural farm. He thought it was time to think about what the result would be of this and how Council would handle that. He thought the longer Council waited the harder it would be and citizens would end up against each other. Something should be worked out with the developer to leave the land vacant as long as possible. The lady who owns the farm should not be forced to leave her farm for the profits of the developer. He felt Novi had been subsidizing the Toll Brothers development from the beginning. The City gave the developer a 30% increase in density. The middle school is $2.3 million over budget due to the delay in the purchase of that land. That came out of taxpayerís dollars. The schools would have to expand and it would be taxpayerís dollars again. He
felt enough had been done for the developer and it is time to make the developer accountable for his actions.
Dean Waldrup asked that Council answer Ms. Grayís Bristol Corners question before the meeting ended. His and others perspective on South Lake Drive was safety. He said East Lake Drive was frightening to drive. There are kids playing on the sidewalk right next to the road, they are playing catch and ball next to the road, and it is not safe. He asked Council to drive East Lake during peak drive time and when the kids are out playing. There needs to be a physical or visual barrier between the sidewalk and the road. He was concerned with the way the resolution was worded and the way the work would be done. He asked how the engineering services could be bid out if traffic calming measures had not been decided on. He asked that this be discussed during the meeting when that topic came up.
Diane Stopinski, 233 Bernstadt, did not think cement sidewalks or curbs were needed. She has lived there for 34 years, raised three kids, and thought it was the parents who should watch the children in the street and Not City Council members. We have backyards, the lake, the park and a nature trail. Council would talk about a $1.2 million for South Lake Dr. road improvement and it is needed. She asked how the $1.2 million dollars would be spent to do the much-needed repairs on the canal bridge and have a new road put in with sidewalks and
curbs. She would not want to be responsible for sidewalks and she was concerned about drainage into the lake and asked Council to be cautious.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Bononi removed Item A- a) and b), for changes to the minutes.
CM-01-08-206 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Items A-c and B-J.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-206 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark
A. Approve Minutes of:
c. August 6, 2001-Special meeting
B. Approve appointment of Kathy Smith-Roy as the 2001 MERS Officer Voting Delegate
and Lisa Gianakos as MERS Alternate and Brenda Borders as the Employee Voting
C. Award bid for sound system for Meadowbrook Commons to Sound Engineering, in the
amount of $4,477.
D. Award bid for weed cutting contract to Gerich Landscaping, in the annual estimated
amount of $75,000.
E. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 4 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for the
Erma Street Improvements Project.
F. Authorization for JCK & Associates to serve as design and construction engineering
consultants for the Meadowbrook Road Non-Motorized Pathway Project in the amount of
G. Approval of agreement between the City of Novi and Soccer Zone for use of the Novi
Soccer Zone by the Novi After School Recreation Program.
H. Approval to solicit preliminary engineering proposals for Water & Sanitary Sewer Special
Assessment Projects. (Sierra Drive Water & Sewer SAD, 11 Mile Road Sanitary Sewer
I. Adoption of Ordinance No. 2001-120.07, Massage Ordinance, to provide reference for
Massage Establishment Ė 1st Reading
J. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 603
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Schedule Special Meeting for Wednesday, August 22, 2001 at 7:00 PM.
CM-01-08-207 Moved by Cassis, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Special meeting to adjourn to Executive Session for August22, 2001 at 7:00 PM to discuss pending litigation.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-207 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
2. Approve/Deny appeal of decision by Woodland Review Board Ė Lot 134, Autumn
Sheryl Chomiuk (Apellant) felt Mr. Sturing appeared to present a strong case. However, she felt the majority of it was irrelevant, misleading and untruthful. She needed to clarify:
1. At the last meeting Mr. Sturing said that the appellants must have known about the
woodlands case prior to the first meeting on May 17th. She said they did not know about it.
Mr. Klaver, Mr. Morrone and Ms. Marchioni were present when they heard about it.
2. Mr. Sturing attempted to convince Council that the area in question was not regulated woodlands. The City maps as well as Linda Lemke and Associates confirmed that this was not true. This was another attempt to mislead the Council.
3. Mr. Sturing tried to tell Council that the Ordinance did not specify that they should have
been notified prior to the woodlands meeting. This obviously was not the ordinance that
she and Mr. Fisher read. The ordinance states "Prior to the determination by the Planning
Commission on the use of permit application, notice of the application and date, time and
location of the Planning Commission meeting at which the application will be considered
shall be published in the paper of general circulation within the city. A copy of the notice
shall be mailed to those persons to whom real property adjacent to the proposed activity
is accessed prior to the determination on the use permit application by the Woodlands
Review Board. A notice of the pending application shall be published and mailed to those
persons to whom real property adjacent to the proposed activity is accessed. She did not
feel this was an oversight by their attorney.
4. Mr. Sturing would have Council believe that the handling of this case by the Woodlands
Committee was not legally correct and therefore hindering his clients position. We must
agree that the handling of this case has not been correct. The first meeting was not legal under the provisions of the ordinance because they were not notified. Therefore the meeting and vote should not have happened. The second meeting with all concerned
parties present decided to protect the regulated area and that was the legal meeting and should be the legally prevailing decision. The third meeting should never have happened. They agreed to that meeting not with the possibility that the Woodlands Committee might again change their decision but in a cooperative spirit. They were supposed to review the changes the Scholtens made to their plans and come to a compromise. Instead Mr. Sturing used the same intimidating tactics and threats and the committee changed their vote. Legally that vote should never have happened. Again, at this time, the Council would be addressing an appeal from the Scholtens of the original legal decision made by the Woodlands Committee, which stated they were not to remove the regulated area.
Mrs. Chomiuk said they were the ones dealing with unjustices and they were not asking for anything except that the City rules, regulations, and ordinances are enforced. They, who signed the petitions, have abided by the regulations and laws of this City and the law-abiding citizens are relying on the governing body to restrict the actions of those who cannot function within the law. She restated portions of the Woodlands Ordinance (Sec. 37, 29, #1 and Sec. 37, 29, #8).
They stand on their opinion that if the woodlands are removed, it would be harmful. The Scholtens, as told by the ZBA and the Woodlands Committee, have a self-imposed hardship. They were familiar with the building codes of the City, they knew the lot included a protected woodlands area and were told changes had to be made on their proposed home in April because it was too big for the lot. The Master Plan allowed for a 3,000 sq. ft. home, they have shown total disregard for the ZBA ruling, the original woodlands ruling and they are making a mockery of the City, its officials and its residents.
Mayor Clark said there was a comment made about the second meeting really constituting a legal meeting because of lack of notice of the first meeting. Action was taken then and the parties agreed to meet and the statement was made that at the third meeting there would be another vote. Assuming that there was another vote at the third meeting, he asked Mr. Fisher if he was correct, under Roberts Rules of Order, for the reconsideration it would have to take place at the next meeting of the Woodlands Review Board? Mr. Fisher said that was correct. Mayor Clark said and the maker of the motion would have had to have been from the prevailing side? Mr. Fisher said he had not reviewed the case for that. This matter, since the last meeting of Council, had proceeded in the administration and he had not been brought into a review of this matter.
Larry Papp, 46000 White Pines Drive, lives south east of Lot 134. He thanked Mr. Sturing for a letter asking them to put this issue behind them and come to terms by the same woodland permit as Trinity Bosco on October 31, 1997 the developer of Autumn Park Phase III referencing Lot #134. He read from the letter, which said "for clarification purposes what was Lot 135 on a tentative preliminary plat is now Lot 134 in the final plat. If this offer is acceptable to you it must be fully executed and returned to the undersigned before Monday, July 30, 2001." This was not between the Scholtens and us. This is between the City Council and the ordinances set forth by the City. He said it would have been helpful if Mr. Sturing had attached the woodland permit. In the permit it stated "the fencing is to remain in place per the approved plan until it is removed by the authorized City Forester. All vegetation, regardless of size, behind this fencing is protected by the City of Novi Woodlands Ordinance and cannot be removed without permission of the Woodlands Review Board." Since the last meeting on July
16th Mr. Scholten violated two City Ordinances related to the regulated woodlands. He chose to spray the area with Roundup, which is in violation of Woodlands Protection 37-9-2b. It states "It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct any activity within the drip line of any tree designated to the retaining to be retained. Including but not limited to the placing any solvents, material, construction machinery or soil within the drip line." Roundup is not a specific solvent, it will kill anything it touches. The area on Ten Mile east of the City has been sprayed with Roundup and he showed pictures of the dead area.Mr. Scholten also chose to remove the fencing which is also in the Woodlands Protection Act, 37-9-2 and stated "if a wooded area is required to be fenced off and the fence be taken down without permission or a violation of the fenced area has been documented by notice of violation by the City ForesterÖ." Mr. Scholten has taken a fence down, sprayed Roundup and he is in a protected woodlands area. Mr. Papp showed Council house plans that he drew that would fit within the lot. He felt they could come up with a better plan and within the limits approved for a 3,000 sq. ft. home.
Mark Sturing who was present representing Mr. & Mrs. Scholten, commented there were still issues that remained unclear. Last month he spoke to Council about the legal issues involving
the appeal and why it should be denied and the two previous unanimous decisions of the Woodland Review Board who approved the permit should be affirmed. Tonight, he wanted to add all the practical reasons the appeal should be denied. Regarding the third meeting, they presented a new plan before the Woodland Review Board, which was considered by them at the third meeting on June 21st. That plan was unanimously approved. The minutes of the second meeting would be continued for purposes of looking at this new plan. Mr. Sturing noted he submitted a letter for Council packets. It included the issue that Mr. Papp mentioned which was an offer to the appellants to allow for a woodland permit to be issued to the Scholtens identical to the woodland permit that was given to the developer of this particular property, Trinity Bosco back in 1997. Mr. Sturing did not know they didnít have a permit and no one responded to him and he presumed that they didnít want to consent or agree to an issue of a permit to the Scholtens, which was identical to the permit given to Trinity Bosco in 1997. The interesting thing about the permit that was not brought to Councilís attention, Section 14, issued on October 31, 1997, and it said "signage shall appear as indicated on the map provided at the pre-construction meeting on sites 106, 121, 123, 126, 129, 131, 133 and 136." Lots 134 and 135 were not mentioned. Those lot numbers did change between the tentative preliminary plat and the final plat. This permit indicates that there were no permit protected or regulated woodlands on this lot according to the developerís permit of 1997. There might have been before but this developer was given a permit to remove them.
Mr. Sturing had also provided to Council an affidavit sworn to under oath from James Ludwig the woodland consultant who prepared the woodland plan. It was the woodland plan reviewed and approved by the City which affidavit provided that no regulated or protected woodlands were to remain on this lot. This property was never shown on any woodland map as high or medium density woodlands and when it was shown on a woodland map it was identified as low density. Based on the latest letter from the woodland consultant received two weeks ago, the eight feet of property adjacent to the proposed residence, which the Scholtens wished to clear, does not include any trees for which a permit is required. The dead and diseased trees do not require a permit under the ordinance and they had received a letter from the woodland
consultant that acknowledges that. They did ask them not to remove the tree until they got the full permit and they have not. The ordinance suggests that the property should be cleared 15 feet from the residentís line. The Scholtens have agreed to clear only 8 feet of the property around the residence. That cost to them alone would add $10,000 to $15,000 to the cost of construction. They want to clear as little area as possible to create the necessary swale and side yard clearance as required by ordinance. There are many ordinances and they have spent countless hours working with their architect to make this the most feasible plan. He knew of no ordinance that suggested the maximum house size was 3,000 sq. ft. Most of the houses in the subdivision were in excess of 3,000 sq. ft. Almost every house in this subdivision and the adjacent subdivisions were at or near the side setback line. The Scholtens need to be at the setback lines just like most of the other houses including the houses of the appellants who are at the setback lines too. This house is not oversized and met all the engineering, building, and other City requirements. This house is not larger than the building envelope. The building envelope is described as a single level. When talking about the size of a two-story house you are talking about twice as much. Therefore, the square footage of a two level house could be twice the size in square footage as the building envelope. This house is nowhere near the maximum that could be on the lot. He requested that Council deny this appeal and reaffirm the two previous unanimous decisions of the Woodland Review Board.
Mayor Clark asked if the house was approved at that time for a house of approximately 3,000 square feet? Mr. Sturing said no.
Mr. Fisher believed it was correct that at the second meeting the original decision was rescinded and then the third meeting was scheduled. It was not a reconsideration at the third meeting and he did not think there was a problem with the voting.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Ms. Lemke of Lemke and Associates for a clarification of whether she had found regulated woodlands contained on this lot? Ms. Lemke said there were definitely regulated woodlands on the lot. As to whether or not they were going to be removed at any point in the review process they did not review the final subdivision engineering that was done by the City Forester, Mr. Pargoff, at that time. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo believed that the permit needed to be re-approved on a yearly basis. Ms. Lemke noted the permit stated "construction in a woodlands area must be completed within 12 months unless extended by the Department of Forestry." Mr. Pargoff issued this permit October 31, 1997. The permit had expired. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked her if, in her estimation, they were regulated woodlands on that property. Ms. Lemke said yes. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented she served on the Ordinance Review Committee and it was interesting that on the agenda of the last meeting it stated that on their "to do list" , which is still pending, an increase from the current 750 square feet of garage space for vehicles to 1,000 square feet. She had a letter from Fried, Watson and Bugbee dated July 27, 2000 to Mayor Clark and Council that "on July 24, 2000 Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.164 was on the Councilís Consent Agenda for First Reading. The ordinance revisions made by this amendment include a provision which increases the size of permanent garages within the RA and R-1 Districts from 750 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft." The increase was to accommodate three and four car garages. The Implementation Committeeís inquiry into the subject included input from the developer of the Bellagio Subdivision who had indicated that there was a demand for in the marketplace for such garages. The committee calculated that an area of 1,000 sq. ft. could accommodate a three car garage constructed to a depth of 24 feet and could accommodate a
4-car garage if the depth was restricted to 20 feet. The committee determined to allow the increased size only in RA and R-1 and the R-2 through R-4 Districts are still restricted to 600 sq. ft." At the Council meeting of September 11, 2000 this issue was referred to the Ordinance Review Committee where it still sits. She was not even sure three car garages were allowed in R-1 at this point in time according to the ordinance. A lot of confusion has been coming from the Building Department on this issue. In light of this, four car garages are not allowed. It is not the total square footage of the house or two stories, it is how it went out and spreading out it is 3,000 square feet.
CM-01-08-207 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
That the appeal of the decision by the Woodland Review Board be
approved and that the house is adjusted with the three car garage
intact with the removal of the area that indicates one car garage and
the house is shifted to avoid any woodland intrusion on the east
side of the home.
Assistant City Manager Clay Pearson cited the ordinance section where 750 feet is the max for garages, but it will permit an additional 250 sq ft to the space that is allowed for storage of tools, recreation equipment and/or a doghouse. For purposes of this submission, they could call the additional one car garage a 250 foot accessory structure, for storage of tools and recreation equipment.
But, there would be no practical way that we would require design changes for that 250 square feet or any other designations that would, in effect, render it anything but additional garage space.
Member Csordas asked if all the setbacks were met? Community Development Director Evancoe replied yes they were all met. Member Csordas asked if the original developer was granted a woodland permit? Mr. Evancoe replied yes and that permit was referred to as the October 31, 1997 permit. Member Csordas stated it did apply to this lot and they were given a permit. Member Csordas stated that for those reasons he cannot support the motion
Member Bononi asked to have everyone recall that with regard to the proposed offer to construct the swale that is required to provide positive drainage flow on this lot, that itís already been determined that 8 ft would not be sufficient to construct that swale, when in fact, the last time this matter was discussed, an approximate 15 foot width would be required in order to positively assure drainage flow.. The other reason she agreed to support this motion is because this applicant has reasonable and prudent alternatives. There isnít one house plan for everyone. As she understands it, there is a lot of professional expertise here that would allow a lot of adjustment and if we are really talking about using the services of an architect.vs. a stock plan, then thatís all the more reason that there are reasonable and prudent alternatives. Felt this matter should not be on this agenda at all and was concerned about a quote from a Board member of Woodlands Review Board that they rarely turn anything down. If they rarely turn anything down, what was Council reviewing? She was very concerned about that. She would like City Manager Helwig and Mr. Pearson to include the Woodlands Review Board in the informal audit of committees and the functions they serve; not to mention the makeup of those functions. Felt very disappointed in the contentiousness of this and didnít think anybody there considered the Council a Court of Law. She would like to see dispute resolution pumped up in this building with regard to what we are seeing both at the building department and the Woodlands Review Board. To sum it up, reasonable and prudent alternatives, there are a million of them and there is no reason for both of these parties to be here.
Member Kramer said there are woodlands on the site and asked if there were protected woodlands on the site toward the rear? Ms. Lemke said there were across the corner. Ms. Lemke responded to Mr. Sturingís comment about where the signs go on the lots and said generally when you indicate a lot number where the signs are going to go those are just for the placement of the signs. It does not mean those are the only lots that have protected woodlands on them.
Member Kramer asked if diseased trees could be removed from protected woodlands? Ms. Lemke said yes, and there are certain definitions they had tightened up over the years for diseased and dead trees in the ordinance. He asked if it was reasonable to provide drainage to remove storm water from the lot so it didnít flood the woodlands? Ms. Lemke said it was a requirement of the ordinances of the City.
Mayor Clark has the concerns raised by Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo and by Member Bononi who made good points regarding the drainage from this lot. We are not talking about just the removal of two diseased trees and we have had a lot of discussion about the fact that, in the past, the developer was granted a Woodlands Permit. He was, but unfortunately it was in 1997 and it expired in 1998. He thought the most unfortunate thing of all was that, if using an architect they are very creative people and he couldnít believe they couldnít come up with a plan that would give the Scholtens a house the size they wanted and the house not be able to be shifted. What bothered him the most was the fact that eventually you end up building a home on that lot, whatever size it is, you have to live next door to your neighbors and you have been fighting with them for several months. This is not a good situation. He agreed with Member Bononi that this should never have been here in the first place it should have been resolved long before us. It is a very unfortunate set of circumstances. For all of the reasons previously expressed and the concerns he expressed he would support the motion because creativity could solve this problem.
City for a long time and Member Cassis tended to accept that. He asked the administration "who is right, in this situation, as far as Lot 134 and whether that lot was shaded or not shaded." The Scholtens also said they would use smaller equipment and try to avoid those trees and will do whatever they could to preserve any trees. All of us agree and he thought the Scholtens would want as many trees as possible. We are buying wooded lots and paying extra money for them and he doubted they would want to chop trees down just to antagonize their neighbors. Member Cassis said to make the Scholtens sell their lot is unfair and tweaking here and there by an architect was none of his business. Every personís house is sacred to them. Every individual wants certain things and he doubted if two would agree on where the house should sit or where it should be tweaked. He wanted to see both sides live side by side and do whatever possible to get together like all the people in this community of Novi that he is so proud of. Neighbors that love their neighbors and work together, like Tom Marcus back there, are ideal people. Member Cassis said with a deep heart he would vote against the motion and he hoped both sides would work together with love and care.
Mayor Clark noted he had not heard anyone at the Council table, or from either side, tonight suggests that the Scholtens should sell their lot.
Member DeRoche wanted to bring this back to the objective standard which he believed was more along the lines of what the Woodlands Review Committee held this to before it rose up to the level that it is at now. We are faced with a presentation from someone who meets the current lot setbacks and he didnít see where there was any practical, malignant or serious degradation into the woodlands as currently proposed. He would make his decision on the information presented.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-207 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Lorenzo
Nays: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
3. Request for approval of Zoning Map Amendment No. 18.608 to rezone 40 acres in
Section 20 located on the west side of Beck Road south of Eleven Mile Road from
RA-Residential Acreage to R-1 One Family Residential
Terry Sever was present representing Lester Tomaszewski. Mr. Sever showed Council where the site was located. They originally brought this to the City and the City Managerís office explained the likely concerns of the residents in the area. Mr. Sever said they took that into consideration and although their original request was for R-2 they are asking for R-1.
Member DeRoche stated based on the findings of the planning consultant, the unanimous Planning Commission recommendation for the rezoning and the consistent nature of the change and the fact that this is in compliance with Master Plan he would make a motion to approve.
CM-01-08-208 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Zoning Map Amendment No. 18.608 to rezone 40 acres
In Section 20 located on the west side of Beck Road south of Eleven
Mile Road from RA-Residential Acreage to R-1 One Family
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented there were several references in the Planning Commission minutes and the review letter from Birchler/Arroyo regarding the applicant negotiating with the City to have sewer extended for the development of this parcel.
Mr. Sever said that was not the case and was misinterpreted. The sewers have been extended down to the Bosco homestead that was not sold to the schools. There is an additional 600 feet that had to come to the Tomaszewskiís property so they are working with the schools and extending that. They were negotiating a right to extend down to 27 feet from the existing right of way, which is 33 feet from the center, and they want to align it to go south across the school property, which would be a part of the future right of way when they develop. He had talked with Mr. Koster about the possibility of them dedicating the future right of way,
which is 30 feet to be consistent with the development. They would have to get an agreement to extend the sewers. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo didnít see anything that said they couldnít develop under the RA scenario. Mr. Sever didnít think you could not develop but thought the value in the property was in meeting the Master Plan designation so the property was worth more in R-1 than RA. She said the reason for the rezoning is to allow higher density? Mr. Sever said yes, R-1did allows for more units.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo what would really be on the property with the allowable options the City has available? Mr. Arroyo said it depended on a number of factors the first being the amount of regulated wetlands on the site. There is a graphic in Council packets based on an analysis done by JCK that showed 22 acres of wetland out of the 40 acres on the site. Density credit cannot be given under most of the options for wetlands.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said except a cluster option. They are over 50% so they could do a cluster development. Mr. Arroyo said potentially they could qualify for that. We donít have the information on how much of the site is regulated woodlands that isnít wetlands and we donít have all the site details because this isnít a site plan. So, trying to give a precise answer of what could be developed really depended upon whether they would qualify for some of the options on the books. She said that was one of her concerns with this. We are contemplating rezoning it to a denser rezoning classification but then we might end up with something even more dense than that. Mr. Arroyo said even under a cluster option they couldnít get a density greater than what would be allowed by calculating the net side area and applying the density to that. There would still not be more units than under a conventional development. The arrangement would be different.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo stated she would not support this. As a Planning Commissioner and as a Councilperson with the Mayor, they had said they were putting a line in the sand that west of Beck Road they were not going to have rezoning of this nature. We have been in litigation with Mr. Bosco for this very type of rezoning situation. Particularly with the option available, preservations option, open space option that might be approved this evening, this site could be developed under RA without a rezoning.
Member Kramer said the motion referenced discussion from the Planning Commission and the unanimous recommendation and he would base his decision based on the Planning Commission and the facts provided. The size of the wetlands was not a factor in his decisions in terms of whether the appropriate zoning for this was RA or R-1. There would be facts to iron out regarding site plan use and arrangements and under what specific ordinance development
could be proposed. This is land use orientation and he would support the motion based on the appropriate land use in the area and the Master Plan recommendation.
Member Cassis concurred with Member Kramer. R-1 is all around this area and the Master Plan has been studied and the Planning Commission made the decision to put this individual as a beacon by itself in a sea of other higher density would be unfair and against the Master Plan. What this applicant wants to build is not the question here, it is whether this kind of zoning is appropriate and consistent with prior decisions and with the Master Plan. He would support the motion.
Member Csordas would support the motion. There is a positive recommendation from City staff and a unanimous decision from the Planning Commission. He suggested the reason for legal issues with Bosco on that property was because that Council did not do the right thing and probably denied Bosco his rights because he tried to rezone in accordance with the Master Plan.
Member Bononi supported the rezoning because from the standpoint of what usable land is left here made no planning sense to her at all to be proposing land hog cookie cutter large lots. If the applicant is serious about a plan that made sense with regard to lot layout a design problem, nothing would be gained by chopping off large hunks of land in a configuration that would probably be inefficient from the standpoint of lot layout and use. She was concerned about the manner in which this came before Council. She remembered looking carefully at rezoning and zoning amendment applications, there is not nearly enough information, and it is probably our fault. She recalled when soil types were required to be shown on a rezoning application and whether or not an MDEQ permit was needed which in this case she guessed that it would be.
Mr. Sever said the approached taken was that they asked the City to rezone according to the Master Plan and then hold the developers feet to the fire when it came to ordinance and site plans and all the approvals. Member Bononi thought that was backwards and from the standpoint of a rezoning, this body or any other body had the necessity to know where the wetlands are. To leave that up for grabs at a later date constitutes it might be a change with regard to her attitude about whether she would approve it. From the standpoint of where the wetlands are now and where they were is irrelevant. She cautioned that if there was any presumption with regard to those wetlands, she would be looking very closely at that and at the applicant relying on something other than a JCK assessment with regard to where the wetlands are. If that meant a boundary change that was fine but she would be looking for the applicant to submit that information. She was also looking for a history of the use of the site and whether or not at the point of transfer that an environmental assessment was done on this site and what the results were.
Mr. Sever said the site had been a single family home and had been in the family for over 50 years and had been a farm of some sort. The developer had done assessments as far as soil samples and other issues but he did not have them and had not seen them since it had been the developers responsibility to do that not the sellers or current owners. He was sure it would all be in the site plan approval process. Member Bononi said that was too late. Mr. Sever said this was just the land use and they were not asking for a development of any kind. The Master Plan was the reason they were asking for R-1 and the R-1 would be an asset in terms of protecting the zoning on the Bosco property if the school decides they are going to sell it. The
owner has had this site on the market for a number of years and the developers have not known what they were buying because it wasnít zoned according to the Master Plan at the time. We initiated this step to try to sell it to a developer who would then answer to City requirements and ordinances. Member Bononi said there are certain qualifications regarding to what exists that are absolutely pertinent to the decision made for rezoning. She asked Mr. Fisher if it was possible to condition a rezoning approval with regard to a clean bill of health for Phase I and/or Phase II?
Mr. Fisher thought the only way to do that would be some sort of development agreement that was mutually agreeable with the developer. Member Bononi said we donít want to go there. She was concerned that the City and not the applicant provided the bulk of the material in their packets.
Mayor Clark would support the rezoning and agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo that there was a time when we said we were drawing a line in the sand and we wanted large lot subdivisions on the western portion of the City. However, the Planning Commission is charged with the oversight and revision of the Master Plan and not City Council and whether we agree or not is not the issue. Once those changes go into effect we have to consistently defend the Master Plan because if we donít we ultimately open ourselves up to legal challenges which have been a problem in the City in the past. This is designated R-1 and given the fact of what is around the site already this would be consistent with that and because of that he would support this.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-208 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
4. Adoption of resolution approving the No Road Closure South Lake Drive Conceptual Plan and authorizing design (bituminous roadway with concrete curb and gutter, drainage improvements, south off-set 5í sidewalk and grade improvements at Lakeshore Park and the Shawood-Walled Lake Canal).
CM-01-08-209 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt resolution approving the No Road Closure
South Lake Drive Conceptual Plan and authorizing design
(bituminous roadway with concrete curb and gutter, drainage
improvements, south offset 5í sidewalk and grade improvements at
Lakeshore Park and the Shawood-Walled Lake Canal) subject to the
changes at the table with the understanding that the Resolution
language would be modified as suggested and brought back
to the next meeting for final adoption.
Member Bononi said she thought the curb and gutter design scheme was highly inappropriate from the standpoint of specifying that with regard to the matter going out to bid and not making some effort to determine what the best water quality vehicle was for this. She said from the standpoint of looking where this water would go, it was an untreated direct dump, and she would hope that we would learn from our experiences on East Lake and look for an
engineering firm to design something appropriate. She said she didnít know if there was any time constraint that would not allow them to take a close, responsible look at this. She said from the standpoint of affecting stormwater, it would not work so she would not support the motion. She said it was premature and a determination needed to be made about a suitable, sensitive, professional water quality protecting design.
Member Kramer said the information provided at the table was really a policy motion and didnít have the design discussion that seemed to be warranted by the issues brought up at the table. He said they need to discuss the issues brought up and that was what were the merits, pros and cons, of sidewalk, curb and gutter versus a contiguous design. He said the motion did not explain the stormwater drainage and that needed to be discussed. There was the issue of sidewalk maintenance versus a bike path, which he thought belonged to the City, and there was some question with regards to where did the traffic calming initiative fit into the total. He said he was in philosophical support of moving forward, and did not want to delay this unduly but he would like to propose they put this up for a discussion of the issues presented tonight at their next meeting. If the answers were not very straight forward, then they should bring the alternatives for discussion and resolution so they could move forward. He said he would not support the motion currently on the table.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to describe what the look and what the drainage of that road would be. City Manager Helwig said this matter was coming before them after 14 months of reviewing whether a pedestrian way should be on the north side, which the residents said clearly they did not want, and coming up with a very strong consensus that the pedestrian way
should be on the south side. He said by narrowing the lanes even by a foot would do more to facilitate traffic calming and safety than perhaps many of the other things that have been considered. He said to have a pedestrian way on the south, buffered somewhat because it is
a very dense, changing landscape through that corridor, and to have some type of grass. The spirit of this concept is to not have curb on the north and to explore curb on the south side. The need is for professional help, and this resolution was designed to set in motion the investigation of these alternatives. Mr. Helwig said he was guilty of asking Mr. Nowicki to state ad nauseam in the title what was going to be explored because we had residents thinking they were still considering closing the road or considering a pedestrian way on the north side like East Lake Drive and forever people will debate whether East Lake Drive is an appropriate layout or not. He said the community would digest all this, by environmental professionals and this Council before anything went out to bid. This was to start the process so that conceivably they would have an opportunity to build something they would be proud of next year rather than keep putting it off and meanwhile the road was deteriorating dramatically and residents had safety concerns. He said that was the spirit of this; it was not to shortcut any drainage improvements. He said staff felt strongly that drainage improvements needed to be made, the pedestrian way would connect with what has been authorized on Old Novi Road and what exists on West Park Drive. He said they were simply requesting professional assistance to explore these concepts and all of that would come back to the community and to Council.
Member Csordas said he had the benefit of hearing this answer earlier and that was why he fully supported the motion and would urge Council to also support the motion.
Member Bononi said they should be looking at language changes to this resolution with regard to concept alternatives and the possible design concept of concrete curb and gutter. This resolution did not say that. She said concrete curb and gutter was specified under the second
Whereas paragraph. She said the Be It Further Resolved paragraph needed to say preliminary design effort. She said the resolution did not say these were conceptual considerations and it needed to, so that would be her addition.
Member DeRoche said that Mr. Helwig had spent an enormous amount of time researching the best way to proceed from here; he asked if any of the changes proposed were a problem. Mr. Helwig said they were not and they did a better job of capturing where they were right now and what they were trying to accomplish. Member DeRoche said he lived in the area and knew the amount of work Mr. Helwig and his staff have had to do and the enormous divide that certain residents had over what was to be done and urged every Council member to vote yes. He said the underlying reason was this road was funded with $1.2 million in 1994-95 so we were already halfway through the useful life of what should have already been repaved and the residents still had a major traffic problem over a road seven years past its prime. He said for that reason alone, regardless of what happened to it, it needed to be repaved.
Member Kramer said given the explanation, he would retract a portion of his prior discussion and support Member Bononiís recommendations that the Department of Public Services secure consulting services necessary to complete the project design. He said they needed to provide assessments, alternatives and recommendations to move forward. He said they could approve the motion and ask that a rewording be brought back.
Member Cassis said he agreed with Member Bononi and Member Kramer that the language should be clearer.
Mayor Clark said they could approve the resolution with the amendments suggested and have the resolution brought back for adoption at the next Council meeting.
Mayor Clark restated amended motion to adopt the resolution subject to the changes at the table with the understanding that the Resolution language would be modified as suggested tonight and brought back to the next meeting for final adoption.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-209 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark,
5. Adoption of Ordinance No. 2001-23.19, Theft Detection Shielding Device Ordinance Ė 1st Reading.
CM-01-08-210 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Ordinance No. 2001-23.19, Theft Detection
Shielding Device Ordinance Ė First Reading.
Member Kramer requested clarification because if he took it only as written without support information it was an ordinance without a consequence. He asked if someone from the Police Department or the City attorney would indicate how it tied into the ordinance and what the consequences would be.
Mr. Fisher said in the early parts of the Ordinance Code it specified that a violation of any of the sections of the code had certain consequences unless specified otherwise. Once a part of the code, it would be treated accordingly.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-210 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi,
6. Adoption of Zoning Text Amendment 01-18.168-An ordinance to amend Section 24, Sec. 2401 and 1402, of the City of Novi Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, relating to open space preservation in order to clarify the intent of the open space preservation option and to provide greater incentive for use of the option Ė 2nd Reading & Adoption.
CM-01-08- Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by
To adopt Zoning Text Amendment 01-18.168, an ordinance to amend
Section 24, Sec. 2401 and 1402, of the City of Novi Ordinance No. 97-
18, as amended, relating to open space preservation in order to
clarify the intent of the open space preservation option and to
provide greater incentive for use of the option Ė Second Reading &
Motion failed for lack of second.
7. Approve Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit for Bristol Corners North. The subdivision project is a 53.51 acre site and is zoned One Family Residential District (R-2) and is located in Sections 3 and 4 on the east side of West Park Drive and south of South Park Drive.
CM-01-08-211 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland
Permit for Bristol Corners North. The subdivision project is a 53.51
acre site Zoned One Family Residential District (R-2) and is located in
Sections 3 and 4 on the east side of West Park Drive and south of
South Park Drive. Also, to amend the Declaration of Restrictions with language addressing the finance of maintenance, and the payment of taxes on preserved open space areas within the development and an amendment to the Open Space Preservation Easement Agreement to include revised boundaries of protected area in the Bristol Corners North and South Developments, as approved by City Wetlands and Woodlands Consultants.
Mr. Fisher reviewed some of the details of when it went through the Planning Commission and had an associate take a closer look. There should be an amendment of the Declaration of Restrictions relating to addressing the finance of maintenance and payment of taxes on preserved open space areas within the development and an amendment to the open space
preservation agreement made to very slightly revise the boundaries of the protected area. He requested the motion contain that language.
Members DeRoche and Csordas accepted Mr. Fishers amendments.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if this required a variance for the 800 feet? Mr. Arroyo said the applicant had agreed to amend the plan to include an emergency connection to South Lake Drive. Per past practice with the interpretation of that, if you have two points of access the point of measurement of the 800 feet starts at the point where you have two points of access for emergency vehicles. She said technically it no longer exceeds it. Mr. Arroyo said as long as they have an emergency connection to South Lake and they have agreed to provide it.
Member Csordas asked if there was a tree in the entrance because one is on the plan. Mr. Serlin said there was not and that it was part of the landscaping plan that was created prior to the discussion about the emergency road.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Serlin how many square feet in the largest home in this subdivision? He thought the homes were anywhere from 2,700 to 3,200 sq. ft. and there would be no problem fitting them into the building envelopes. They reduced the number of lots by one. On R-4 there were 16 approved 80 foot lots and they realized the demand for the larger homes was there and they revised their plan so the R-2 represents basically the same lot size as the R-4 so the larger house can be put on them. She asked if the plan was allowed to expire to make this revision? Mr. Serlin said they let the plan expire primarily because of the
scale of the subdivision. The number of the lots didnít require them to move as quickly as they thought they could into that phase. Even if it didnít expire the fact that they made the change required they return before the Planning Commission and City Council.
Member DeRoche asked how many two-car garages were in the subs? Mr. Serlin said none, they are three-car. Member DeRoche asked if there were any four car? Mr. Serlin said no they wouldnít fit on the lots.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-211 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
8. Approve Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit for Bristol Corners South. The subdivision project is a 31.65 acre site and is zoned One Family Residential District (R-2) and is located in Sections 3 and 4 on the east side of West Park Drive and south of South Park Drive.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Serlin if the detention pond would have a treatment fore-bay? He replied that whatever was required before it leaves the site would be done. There was a note that said it was not anticipated that the water elevation in the wetlands was going to change as a result of the discharge. Mr. Serlin said that was correct. Member Bononiís concern was sufficiency of detention pond even though it would be oversized during construction and tree
die off as a result of the water elevation being increased. She asked Mr. Fisher if it would be appropriate to require during the phasing of the construction that there are checks to make sure that the elevation of that water is not changing. Mr. Fisher thought it would be appropriate.
Member Kramer presumed this was at the Council table because of a negative recommendation from the Planning Commission. Mr. Serlin said that he was correct. Member Kramer said beyond giving a negative recommendation the Planning Commission further recommended that an engineering feasibility study be done to determine the cost analysis and an alternative ingress/egress on West Park. Mr. Serlin said their engineers prepared a preliminary schematic with an entrance onto West Park so they could evaluate the cost difference. The cost difference between the two schemes, West Park and South Lake, would be a difference of $30,000 more to access West Park as opposed to South Lake. That is just for sewer and water because the sanitary sewer and water lines are on South Lake Drive and to access them and bring them entirely through the site represented a 40% increase in the cost of just the sewer and the water main. He said they did that. There is one significant issue besides the fact that it would cost more money. He explained that currently the sanitary sewer and water line would come in off of South Lake Drive and they would have to come through the cul-de-sac so in effect they would be running sanitary sewer and water main from South Lake through the cul-de-sac to serve the houses. The alternate scheme was to run it from South Lake through the site and out to West Park that would cost $30,000 more. One of the planning considerations he thought was very serious was the dramatic change in the character
of West Park Drive with the signalizing of the intersection and the increase in traffic, speed of the traffic, etc. It had really changed the complexion of West Park from the time they purchased the property and began their development. They only have 13 lots on phase south and cannot afford to lose any. If they bring the entrance in off of West Park it would force them to move the entire development in order to achieve the same thirteen lots they would have to move the development closer to West Park Drive. He pointed out the West Park entrance, the South Lake entrance, and the amount of green area representing the buffer between particularly at busy intersection the corner on the scheme from West Park Drive is diminished dramatically from what is available on South Lake. It creates a visual, sound screening, and a marketing problem they didnít have before. He was surprised that they had received a negative recommendation from the Planning Commission on Subdivision III. This sub had been approved two times before. Once by the Planning Commission and City Council and a second time because it was about to expire they had it done administratively. Now they are back with the same exact plan and had reasonable expectations that they could assume that the same plan would be approved again. The five to three negative recommendation was what traffic the 13 lots would generate on South Lake Drive. At peak hours it would be 13 cars in the morning and 10 in the evening and not all of them likely to use South Lake Drive. They conceded to the Planning Commission at the wishes of Mr. Arroyo to disconnect their north subdivision from South Lake so they wouldnít add those 39 lots to South Lake. He was not sure how it would look on South Lake Drive to have a paved emergency road with a gate. He thought from a streetscape it would look nasty and was hoping they could achieve something that would be aesthetically and architecturally pleasing to both the passers-by as well as the people living adjacent to it. He thought they could and that is why he conceded to the request to disconnect that. He could not see any reason this should not be approved again and that the Planning Commission did not give him the opportunity to explain some of the issues he is explaining to Council this evening. This was originally approved under the Preservation
Option, that has not changed, and they are fully cognizant of their responsibilities under the Preservation Option and have fulfilled every obligation they have been asked to.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Arroyo in regard to the change in environment and the two designs would he give his assessment and recommendation between the two.
Mr. Arroyo commented this was the first time he had seen them. The alternative comes off of West Park Drive and he questioned whether it met the ordinance in terms of the cul-de-sac design and thought it might require a waiver from Council. Member Kramer asked if the trade off in green space worth it and was the spacing from the entrance road to South Lake reasonable, what are the negatives on the proposed design and how would he assess the traffic impact on South Lake between the two?
Mr. Arroyo said the forecast was 10 AM peak hour trips, 13 PM peak hour trips and not all of those would travel on South Lake and would probably travel West Park Drive to get down to 12 Mile. If assuming half went on South Lake Drive, if it had access, there would be 5 cars in the morning and 7 in the afternoon. If the access is on West Park Drive it would not preclude someone from travelling on South Lake and even if the access is to West Park Drive itís a right turn and then a right turn to get onto South Lake when exiting, which is a fairly easy maneuver. He did not think there would be a significant difference in traffic on South Lake Drive in this
instance regardless of which design is approved. Member Kramer asked about the aesthetics of design and the benefits of more green space at the intersection versus a tighter design. Mr. Arroyo preferred the design that was submitted with the additional green space and thought the appearance of it was more in keeping with what was seen in other subdivisions and it was more attractive. He liked the idea of more green space at the intersection of South Lake and West Park Drive.
Member Csordas said the negative recommendation from the Planning Commission confused him because it has no warrant. There are positive recommendations from wetlands, planning, landscape, traffic and woodlands and he canít imagine what the Planning Commission was thinking on this. He asked Mr. Serlin why a 52 foot cul-de-sac required a waiver? Mr. Serlin said the problem was if they went to the standard cul-de-sac because those are pie shaped lots the front setback in order to reach the 90 foot front yard minimum dimension had to be another five or six feet back in the lot. By making the cul-de-sac a little larger it could still fall at the standard 30 foot. This avoided mistakes by someone trying to put the house to close to the front and not having the width to do it and it gave the property owners a larger back yard particularly as they back up to West Park Drive.
CM-01-08-212 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit for
Bristol Corners South, SP 01-30. The subdivision project is a 31.65
acre site and is zoned One Family Residential District (R-2) and is
located in Sections 3 and 4 on the east side of West Park Drive and
south of South Park Drive.
Member DeRoche thought the Planning Commissioners were trying to limit traffic on South Lake and applauded that effort. However, being someone who lives in that area he thought the trade off was significant with the configuration of this cul-de-sac. West Park Road has changed its dynamics dramatically. He wanted to keep traffic off of South Lake Drive but also wanted to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people who live there. South Lake Drive residents want traffic restricted and speed slowed down because it is a residential street. He agreed and said it was a significant difference from putting new cul-de-sacs on a street that is a 45 MPH speed limit that people drive 10 MPH over. He thought Council should weigh this and thought that within a matter of years if not sooner there would be 13 residents petitioning Council to pay for another stop light in front of their cul-de-sac because of the number of accidents. He was persuaded by what he knew of the area to favor allowing them to get onto South Lake Drive and use a light to get on West Park Road.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-212 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
9. Approve Conservation Easement for Bellagio Site Condominium.
CM-01-08-213 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Conservation Easement for Bellagio Site Condominium.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if the only thing lacking was the property description.
Mr. Fisher said correct.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-213 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
10. Policy discussion regarding processing Sewer and Water Damage Claims.
Mr. Fisher said this follows decisions in Michigan courts, particularly the Court of Appeals, on a City of Midland case that seemed to indicate that Cities are insurers of anything that happens, as a matter of strict liability, as a result of a sewer backup or similar incident. The Michigan Supreme Court recently, in a Farmington Hills case, before the decision of the Court of Appeals has taken a case and said that they would reconsider the whole concept. In the meantime the U.S. District Court Judge Feikens has certified the same question to the Supreme Court. It is very likely that by the end of the year or so there would be a decision in the Supreme Court. The Michigan legislature is also taking this up with the idea of providing some relief. The way the law is now it is a recipe for disaster for communities and these disastrous types of claims are hitting them where they might not have fault. The question is whether the municipality should pay. He thought that under that kind of circumstance the best course of action for the City until either the legislature or the Supreme Court acts is to deny claims and abide by the ultimate ruling of the Court or the legislature. A policy was needed so
that administration could act consistent with a policy and advise residents that they are acting consistent with an established policy of the City. Mayor Clark said they were not including earlier comments and complaints from people who were talking about losing their wells during de-watering. Mr. Fisher said correct.
CM-01-08-214 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the policy that the City would reject all sewer
backups and related types of claims unless it is concluded
that the damage was caused by the grossly negligent or
intentional acts of a City official or agent until such time that
court action makes a determination to a period ending
December 30, 2001 if no such action is forth coming. At such
time the matter would again be brought before Council
including a list of unpaid claims to that date.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-214 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
11. Approve Right-of-Way Licensing Agreement with General Filters, Inc. for driveway
construction associated with their new parking lot and facility expansion.
CM-01-08-215 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Right-of-Way Licensing Agreement with General
Filters, Inc. for driveway construction associated with their new
Parking lot and facility expansion.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if they carry insurance equal to the City limits, which is $10 million. Mr. Fisher noted it required insurance based upon the requirements established by the City.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-215 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
12. Acceptance of Drainage Easement, Grading Permit, and Driveway Grading Permit
from Americore Centre, LLC (Parcel No. 22-11-300-007), authorization of Mayor
Clark to sign. (12 Mile GAP Project)
CM-01-08-216 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Drainage Easement, Grading Permit, and
Driveway Grading Permit for Americore Centre, LLC (Parcel No. 22-
11-300-007), and to authorize Mayor Clark to sign. (12 Mile GAP
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-216 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark,
13. Acceptance of Right of Entry from 42430 Twelve Mile, LLC (Parcel No. 22-11-300-005), William R. Eldridge (Parcel No 22-11-300-003), Lakeside/Novi Land Partnership, LLC (Parcel No. 22-14-100-058), Redfern Investments Co., a Michigan Limited Partnership (Parcel Nos. 22-14-200-025, 22-14-200-031), Rehabilitation Institute, Inc (Parcel No. 22-14-200-035), from Franchise Realty Interstate Corporation (Parcel No. 22-14-100-057), Siena Group, LLC (Parcel No. 22-14-300-006), authorization of Mayor to sign. (12 Mile GAP Project)
Mr. Fisher commented this project was one they had made a significant effort to expedite in order to bring it on line along with SAD 155 project to minimize the disruption to the motoring public along 12 Mile Road. They had the task of attempting to secure rights of entry for this project even before they had appraisals, which meant they were going to property owners and begging for assistance in working with the City. In many instances there were very cooperative property owners and citizens that worked with us. The first two items, 42430 12 Mile and the Elridge, have been signed. The rest have not been signed yet but they thought they would be. They have a promise for delivery tomorrow of the McDonaldís property, likewise with the Redfern Investments. They have indicated they are distributing it amongst all their people. They have imposed a couple of minor conditions but are consistent with all of the other conditions the City made. They do not have an absolute promise from the Siena Group
and canít start the project without these things. However, they really need Councilís blessing on this before the next meeting of Council or the project would not go this year. He left it to Council whether they would want to approve the materials with the view that we would not move forward with the project and not utilize the approval of Council unless they were signed on the other side.
CM-01-08-217 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Right of Entry from 42430 Twelve Mile,
LLC (Parcel No. 22-11-300-005), William R. Elridge (Parcel No. 22-11-
300-003, Lakeside/Novi Land Partnership, LLC (Parcel No. 22-14-100-
058), Redfern Investments Co., a Michigan Limited Partnership
(Parcel Nos. 22-14-200-025, 22-14-200-031), Rehabilitation Institute,
Inc. (Parcel No. 22-14-200-035), from Franchise Realty Interstate
Corporation (Parcel No. 22-14-100-057), Siena Group, LLC (Parcel
No. 22-14-300-006), authorization of Mayor to sign. (12 Mile GAP
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-217 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
14. Acceptance of Warranty Deed and Grading Permit from Sears Roebuck (Parcel No.
22-14-100-042), Lakeside/Novi Land Partnership, LLC (Parcel Nos. 22-14-100-038,
22-14-100-039 and 22-14-100-034), authorization of Mayor to sign. (12 Mile GAP
CM-01-08-218 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Warranty Deed and Grading Permit from
Sears Roebuck (Parcel No. 22-14-100-042), Lakeside/Novi Land
Partnership, LLC (Parcel Nos. 22-14-100-038, 22-14-100-039 and 22-
14-100-034), authorization of Mayor to sign. (12 Mile GAP Project)
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-218 Yeas: Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Cassis,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action
a. July 16, 2001 Ė Regular meeting Ė Member Bononi
Member Bononi stated corrections to be made on Page 18, 4th paragraph, 6th line, were "big bucks" should be "big box".
July 30, 2001 Ė Special meeting Ė Member Bononi
Member Bononi stated corrections to be made on Page 12, 3rd paragraph, were that the first sentence is not a complete thought. Member Bononi added in the second line and third paragraph after "feet for retail" add "we need to look at". On page 13, 5th paragraph, where it
begins "Page 9, Item 6, 8th sentence where it read "She would not approve" add "the wall concept to be used exclusively". On page 20, 3rd paragraph, where it refers to "Mrs. Crock" her name is spelled Krock.
CM-01-08-219 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the minutes of July 16, 2001 Regular meeting and
July 30, 2001, Special meeting as amended.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-219 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Traffic Light at South Lake and West Park Drive Ė Re: Letter from Chuck Blythe
Member Bononi commented she and Mr. Blythe had a conversation over the weekend regarding the content of his letter and his concerns about traffic with regard to unchecked development, or at the very least smart growth, was becoming a concern to many people who live here. In his letter he refers to the timing of the signal at West Park and South Lake Drive and she asked Mr. Helwig if Mr. Arroyo could look into Mr. Blytheís contention about the manner in which the signal is currently working.
2. Letter from Owens Corning Ė Member DeRoche
Member DeRoche noted Council received a letter from Glen Ritner, Global Manager Performance Based Solutions for Owens Corning and he assumed Mr. Ritner was authorized to send this letter on behalf of his company. Member DeRoche said Owens Corning Fiberglass apparently was interested in pursuing a MEGA Grant tax abatement and it appeared they had applied to receive this through the State. The letter is basically a complaint that this was not formally brought by the administration before Council. Member DeRoche relayed to Owens Corning through Mayor Clark his non-interest in pursuing it with the Council. He would not be against Owens Corning having their hearing before Council. Member DeRoche said there is not a 5% tax rebate required by the act and, in fact, Novi is only required to have local participation and not required to give a tax abatement. That is a call of eight appointed members of the MEGA Board that they see fit to require tax abatement that is not in the act, which is what Mr. Ritner pointed out. His company was looking to have a facility built by the end of January 2001. He assumed it was a year into the future and that they were looking to do it in 2002 or 2003.
3. Changing rules for downtown rezoning Romeo Ė Member Csordas
Member Csordas distributed copies of an article from the Detroit News entitled Changing Zoning Rules for downtown Romeo.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
1. Letter from Chuck Blythe, Re: 13 Mile Road and West Road at Pontiac Trail.
2. Letter from Gary C. Phillips, Re: South Lake Drive.
3. Letter from Len & Jamie Wilczewski, Re: South Lake Drive Task Force Presentation.
4. Letter from Mark Sturing, Re: Lot 134 Autumn Park.
5. Letter from Lynn Kocan Re: Woodlands Review Board Ė Lot 134 Autumn Park.
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by ______________________
Date approved: September 10, 2001