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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2001 AT 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER - COUNCIL CHAMBERS - 45175 W TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:39 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche (absent/excused), Kramer, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Clark asked if anyone had additions, corrections, or deletions to the agenda. Member Kramer asked to add, under Mayor and Council Issues, Item Number 2, Open Space Ordinance amendment. He also indicated they have a letter on the table before them removing Item Number 4.
Mayor Clark explained Item Number 4 is the approval of the final preliminary plat for North Haven Woods Subdivision, SP00-43, located in Section 3, Southeast of West Road, and south of Pontiac Trail. The item is being rescheduled to the Council Meeting being held September 10, 2001.
Member Bononi added the August 15, 2001 letter from Gerald Homberg, Road Commission of Oakland County, to Roger Safford, Michigan Department of Transportation, as Item Number 3, under Mayor and Council Issues.
Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk, stated there is a change for the wording of Item Number 11. The item is now called an extension of the escrow agreement between the City of Novi and Northern Equities Group for Cabot and Lewis Drives.
CM-01-08-222 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-08-222 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer, Lorenzo
Chief Operating Officer, Craig Klaver stated there were no Special Reports.
COMMITTEE REPORTS None
1. Citizen Recognition - Lifesaving efforts Ė Linda Bidwell
Mayor Clark and Fire Chief Lenaghan, recognized Linda Bidwell, Novi U. S. Postal worker, for her quick action and willingness to help in the successful resuscitation of a Novi resident. Linda Bidwell was speaking with the resident at his home when he collapsed. She promptly called 911 and began life saving efforts until the Fire Fighters arrived.
2. Presentation of medals earned from military service in the U. S Army during WWII - Walter J. Rabchuk
Mayor Clark asked Maryanne Corneilus, City Clerk, and other members of her family to come forward with her father. Mayor Clark stated again it is a privilege and honor to recognize a member of the United States Armed Forces, who served during World War II. Mr. Walter J. Rabchuk served in the Medical Corp during WWII, in some of the most inhospitable environments in the world. Vinegar Joe Stillwell was a part of the world where much was asked and more given by the men of the armed forces, we suffered tremendous casualties. Many of the men came home because of the dedication, work, sacrifices, and efforts by men such as Walter J. Rabchuk. Mayor Clark asked Congressman Joe Knollenberg to join him at the podium in the honor of presenting Mr. Rabchuk with the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European/African/Middleastern Campaign medal, with one bronze star, the World War II Victory medal, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button.
Congressman Knollenberg commended Mr. Rabchuk for his service, patriotism and commitment to this country. Mr. Knollenberg stated he remembers much about Burma and the many other places Mr. Rabchuk explored during his military career from 1943 Ė 1946. Congressman Knollenberg, with great honor, presented Mr. Rabchuk with the medals and a certificate.
Mr. Rabchuk, thanked Congressman Knollenberg, and the Mayor for the honor. Congressman Knollenberg also presented a Congressional recognition certificate of his accomplishments.
Mayor Clark asked Congressman Knollenberg to again join him at the podium. He thanked him for his efforts in honoring the veterans and obtaining their medals. Many of the veterans and their wives have been trying, unsuccessfully, for over fifty years to obtain their medals. Congressman Knollenberg has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the veterans have received their medals. On behalf of the City of Novi, Mayor Clark presented Congressman Knollenberg with a proclamation of commendation for his assistance in obtaining the veterans medals.
Mayor Clark asked Ruth Elrod and Melissa OíRear to join him. They are members of Congressman Knollenbergís staff. Ms. Elrod and Ms. OíRear were presented with a
proclamation of commendation for their efforts in assisting and aiding Congressman Knollenberg and Veterans in obtaining their medals.
3. Rouge Watershed Signs Ė Dave Maurice
Mayor Clark recognized Mr. David Maurice. Mr. Maurice spoke briefly of the Stormwater Permit activities, and the identification of river crossings and watershed within the City of Novi.
Mr. Maurice explained the significance of the Rouge Watershed signs being installed in the City. The purpose of these signs is to build a sense of community among residents located along different parts of the watershed. Twenty-two signs to date have been installed. Workshops have also been held for public education as part of the permit requirements.
A sub-watershed plan has been worked on with other communities and completed. This identifies problems being faced by the watershed and the condition the Rouge River Watershed is in. Goals have also been outlined for the communitiesí efforts in stormwater protection.
Mr. Maurice will be finalizing the pollution prevention plan in the next few months. This outlines the cities specific actions to enhance the storm water quality.
4. Resolution proclaiming September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
This item has been moved to the Council Meeting being held on September 10, 2001.
5. Resolution proclaiming week of August 31 as AITA Lebanon Week
Mayor Clark presented the proclamation for AITA Lebanon Week. He stated he would formally present the proclamation on Sunday, September 2nd, to the delegates attending the convention of the former residents of AITA Lebanon.
PUBLIC HEARINGS None
1. CITY MANAGER -None
2. DEPARTMENT REPORTS -None
3. ATTORNEY -None
Dr. Sanghvi, President of the Novi Rotary Club, spoke about Breast Cancer. This disease will strike 200,000 this year and 40,000 will die. Last year 325,000 walkers crossed America and collected $26,000,000 for research. Novi Rotary will focus their attention on Cancer, especially Breast Cancer, he asked Council to declare the week of October 13, 2001 as Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Everyone is welcome to join Rotary on October 13th, 9:00 AM, at Belle Isle Park in making strides against cancer.
Matt Harsha-Strong and Sarah Holt, Seniors at Novi High School. Last June he had an idea to help the cancer community and started an organization called Teens Aiding the Cancer Community. The main idea of the organization will be a backpack program. They will approach corporate sponsors for donations of toys, video games, and books to be placed in backpacks. These will be delivered to children who have cancer or who have lost a parent to cancer. They will begin this program with Providence Hospital in Novi and Southfield and will work with a counselor. They hope to accomplish an atmosphere conducive to counseling and encourage more children to ask for counseling. They already have received over $600 cash, 350 toys, and 25 backpacks. At this time donations are from: Office Max, Kinkoís Copy Center, Johnsonís Printing Services, JoAnn Etc., Kids "R" Us, China Cafť, The Learning Tree, Santinoís Place for Pasta, Town and Country Eye Care, Border Cantina, Novi Bowl, Philís Barbershop, Red Hot and Blue Restaurant, Games Workshop, Ford Motor Company, Meijers and the Novi Rotary Club. In addition to the backpack program they hoped to include activities such as baseball game and barbecue combinations, Red Wing appearances, puppet shows and a hat drive for the patients. They are currently recruiting people to help fill their goal of 300 backpacks. Teens Aiding the Cancer Community also need additional funds to complete filling these backpacks. Matt Harsha-Strong can be reached 248-380-3722 for more information or with donations. Thanked Mayor Clark and Rep. Knollenberg for their support with letters of recommendation.
Mayor Clark commented that with these men and women in our community, we donít need to worry about our future. They are two sterling examples of young leaders in our community Dr. Sanghvi commented that Novi Rotary has already donated $500 to this group.
Larry Papp, White Pines Dr., regarding Lot 134 Autumn Park. Mr. Papp displayed drawings, submitted on May 29, 2001, of the original drawing of a 4,057 square foot house and five-car garage; the five-car garage was not approved. The amended drawing submitted June 21, 2001, with an additional one-car garage; was approved. As of Friday, August 24, 2001 construction has started using the original plan. A 3,000 square foot house was approved on Lot 134 on the first plan submitted. The two-car garage has been turned into a studio, which he believes will be converted into additional garage space. He is getting a total of 4,257 square feet of house, of which 1,257 square feet would be over the square footage of the approved plan. He also asked about how to get the ordinances enforced with regard to working on the property and asked for someone to follow up on the plans and see what is really being done on the lot. Mr. Papp showed additional pictures of what is actually occurring on the lot. Mayor Clark assured that someone would follow up.
Sheryl Chomiuk thanked Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo, and Member Bononi for being prepared to respond to the decision on Lot 134, Autumn Park and appreciated their efforts. Ms. Chomiuk felt the other members of Council were not prepared, did not listen to what the residents had to say or vote on the issue presented. She asked why the consultants were listened to and wondered why they were hired if their reports would not be adhered to. Ms. Chomiuk referred to Lynn Kocanís letter rescinding her decision. The letter from Ms. Kocan speaking against this item was in their packet. She asked why are there were ordinances if they were not going to be enforced? She also noted that she has attended Council Meetings and listened to other residents complain about other ordinances not being enforced such as noise ordinances and wells going dry. She also stated she has heard about trees that have been cleared and it was not supposed to be done that way. It was now too late, the trees cannot be replaced and no one was there to protect property ownersí rights. Ms. Chomiuk noted Member Cassis stated the City should not have the right to have a resident move to another lot or purchase a different lot. The Zoning Board of Approval had made her and her husband change their plans and forced them to build on a different lot. She displayed pictures of before and after trees were removed from the lot next door and the basement 5 feet from the lot line. She stated people were weeding and cutting trees in the protected area after 6 PM and on weekends. There are no trees left. She wondered who would be responsible if the ash tree on the lot line falls over and hits her house. The root system has been damaged by the construction work. Ms. Chomiuk watched as large trees were being removed and called immediately to City Hall. Forester Steve Printz and an ordinance officer came out and saw trees removed that were not supposed to be taken out. She also spoke with Ms. Kocan regarding her opinion of what was approved. She believed the lot owner was supposed to use smaller equipment to remove only trees that were indicated on the site plan. She felt that her dream home has been destroyed because what has been done to the lot is not what was approved. Ms. Chomiuk had asked the City when the permit was issued. She had been told a permit had not been issued and wouldnít be issued until the plan approved by the woodlands committee was submitted. Within 2 days, the lot was staked and the basement was dug. Ms. Chomiuk and Mr. Papp came to the Building Department again questioning if a permit has been issued. The City employee in the Building Department stated a permit has been issued to the original plan. On Friday, she was called and told a permit wasnít issued. Ms. Chomiuk is still asking who issued the permit? Noted Erik Olsen stated he wouldnít give a Certificate of Occupancy until the restoration plan is submitted. Who will enforce this plan? Her concern is for her property values, and the rules to be followed. She felt the lot owners have not had to follow a single rule yet.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Fisher for a legal opinion as to whether or not there are any violations that exist and actions taken subsequent to this. Mayor Clark the assured the residents the laws would be applied and enforced equally to all of the citizens.
Kathy Mutch wanted to bring three things to the Councilís attention. 1) Fall cleanup at the Fuerst property on September 8th from 9 a.m. to 3PM. There is plenty to do for family members of all ages. Volunteers from the prior year will be getting something in the mail. 2) The following week, September 16th from 1-4 PM, the annual Fuerst Farm picnic will be held on the Fuerst Farm site. They are working to make the activities appropriate to the site. The plans include a Barn Dance band of Senior Citizens for entertainment for the afternoon, free food provided by a local restaurant and other fun activities designed for families in the community. 3) The center of the event is the dedication of the historic marker.
Mr. George Krieger complimented the Mayor Clark for having done an excellent job for the City. The Saturday hours the Mayor has instituted for the citizens to air their concerns is a promise kept. He wished the Mayor good health in the future and hoped that in his second term he would do the same and noted that Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo deserved recognition for her listening skills and hard work. He will vote for her as he felt she deserved another term. He also complimented the Police Department on their program for the Lakes Area Citizens Academy. Itís a very worthwhile effort on the part of the Police Department. The communications with the policeman on the beat, the officers on motorcycles and on bikes are exposing the residents to the various ways that the police interact with the community. He felt this program should continue as its extremely worthwhile. He gave kudos to the Chief and the officers and Evie Lewis and all those who are on the front line. He also commented that he has read several articles and letters criticizing the Mayorís choices of people appointed to the Planning Commission. He felt that Council should support the Mayorís appointments. Also referred to the Police Department invitation to the community to attend the open house on Sunday September 9, 2001.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Kramer removed item C for a brief discussion of the process. Item C is the Adoption of Resolution No. 1 for Birchwoods Subdivision and Delmont Drive, Water Main, Special Assessment District No. 164.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo would like to remove item P, the Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 604, specifically the Cadillac Asphalt Paving Company, in the amount of $ 174,971.42.
Member Bononi stated she would like for a revision to remove A -1, which was the August 13, 2001 Regular meeting Council minutes. She would also like to remove Items H and I for related brief discussion.
Mayor Clark recapped that items A1, C, H, I, P have been pulled. This leaves items B, D Ė G, J Ė O.
CM-01-08-223 Moved by Lorenzo seconded by Bononi; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Items B, DĖG, and J Ė O.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-223 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
Approve Minutes of:
August 13, 2001-Regular meeting
August 22, 2001-Special meeting
Approve renewal of Arcade License for JWís Sports Club, 24555 Novi Road.
Adoption of Resolution No. 1 for Birchwoods Subdivision and Delmont Drive, Water Main, Special Assessment District No. 164
Approval of Coin Laundry Lease Agreement with Automatic Apartment Laundries, Inc. for Meadowbrook Commons.
Approval of Authorizing Resolution Visa Purchasing Card Agreement with LaSalle National Bank (Standard Federal Bank).
Request to seek bids for street trees for the Fall 2001 street tree planting
Approval to purchase Hurst Tool Equipment for extraction equipment from Apollo Fire Department, a sole source vendor, in the amount of $7,319.00 (Fire Department)
Authorization for staff and attorneys to prepare Abbey Drive acceptance documents for final consideration by Council.
Denial of request from Weathervane Village Condominiums Homeowners Association for City acceptance of Weathervane Court as a public street.
Approval of Ordinance No. 2001-23.19, Theft Detection Shielding Device Ordinance Ė 2nd Reading & Adoption.
Approval of Lease Proposal with Bob Peranis Sport Shop, Inc.
Approval of Traffic Control Orders No.01-11, 0-12, 01-13, 01-14 and 01-15.
Approval of Resolution of support for the Novi High School Homecoming Parade on September 29, 2001 utilizing Ten Mile Road.
Authorization and Appropriation to Hire One Additional School Crossing Guard.
Approval for Police Department to apply for and accept Firearms Safety Devices from the Michigan State Police.
Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 604
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
Adoption of Resolution approving the No Road Closure South Lake Drive Conceptual Plan and authorize design engineering proposals.
Mayor Clark stated this item has been before Council on one other occasion. The engineering process should begin for South Lake Drive so the citizens concerns can be addressed. To date there have been numerous meetings with the residents about South Lake Drive. Unfortunately when the resolution came before Council, there was a lack of consensus among them. The Mayor asked the City Clerk to bring back the initial authorizing resolution and he respectfully asked Council to consider supporting this resolution. He asked them to keep in mind they will have engineering studies and proposals brought back to the Council table for their final say as to what will go into the project in this area. The reason is that the longer its delayed and debated at the council table, he felt it does a disservice to the residents on South Lake and asked Council to consider this.
Member Bononi stated she still has reservations but supported original resolution.
CM-01-08-224 Moved by Bononi seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To support the original authorizing resolution and add the words "or alternatives"; with the understanding that Council will make the final decision.
Member Kramer stated he can support the motion, but felt one item needs to be blurred slightly. The resolution specifies a five-foot concrete walkway, he believes if any other specification needs to come before Council with the pros/cons and recommendations, adding the words "or alternatives" would assist. Mayor Clark asked the Members Bononi and Csordas if the change in wording is acceptable to them? Members Bononi and Csordas replied it was acceptable. Member Cassis noted a $1.2 million-dollar amount has been budgeted and asked if Council must stay within that? Mayor Clark replied Council must adhere to that figure.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-224 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark
Approval of Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land use Permit and Drilling Permit for Comerica Well 2-29, SP 00-58, located in Section 29, on the south side of Ten Mile, east of Wixom Road.
Member Bononi moved to deny Comerica Well Site Plan Well 2-29, SP 00-58 request for Preliminary Site Plan Special Land Use Permit. This is on the basis that a well is not permitted in residential zoning district and is inconsistent with the Master Plan for Land Use.
CM-01-08- Moved by Bononi seconded by Lorenzo; To deny the Comerica Site Plan Well 2-29, SP 00-58, located in Section 29, on the south side of Ten Mile, east of Wixom Road.
Member Csordas noted he could not support that motion is because Mr. Brennan, Zoning Board of Appeals member, stated that he lives there and doesnít object, as there had not been any problems with it. Mr. Brennan also stated the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the variance on the basis of the good track record, over the period of time the applicant has been in the City. Also the Zoning Board of Appeals found the well does not negatively impact the surrounding area.
Mayor Clark asked City Attorney Fisher to comment on the case referenced in the minutes? Mr. Gerald Fisher spoke about Miller Brothers vs. State of Michigan Ė Department of Natural Resources. It was a case where the Director of DNR determined that a particular area within the State designated as the Nordhouse Dunes should be preserved and drilling activity prohibited. The court found that the land had no other viable use and therefore resulted in a taking of that property by the government. We are faced with the fact that if we deny this use, we must do so on the basis of specific findings and be as objective as possible using standards and evidence. The motion does track the language within the ordinance regarding the criteria, but what is needed is a relationship between each of the proposed conclusions as reasons for denial to relate those things to specific factual evidence that gives rise to the conclusion. Council must state what the detrimental evidence on record is and what the impact is to the property. Mayor Clark stated that the original case went back to 1991.
Member Kramer felt the information was very thorough and well discussed. The proposal is to sink a second well within 12 feet of the existing well and he would like evidence that this will be a safe distance. Going as far down as 4-5,000 feet, was insufficient spacing to allow for a margin of error while drilling with regard to spacing to allow for stress/cracks between the shafts. He believes the well would work at a greater distance from the first well.
Mayor Clark recognized Mr. Bill Horn, legal counsel for Somoco. With him is Mr. Gary Gottschalk, Vice-President and Mr. Tim Baker, Operations Manager for Somoco. The location would be 12 feet apart so as not to use more area of the property to drill. The property size is about 80 acres, with the City owning 75 acres of the surface, most of it being woodland and wetlands. The same drill pad, pipeline and existing infrastructure are used to drill the new well. Member Kramer asked if it is a safe distance, with a secure margin of error?
Tim Baker, operations Manager for Somoco responded. There is indeed a safe margin of error. They have three wells in Kensington Metro Park about ten feet apart. Careful records are kept and the position is monitored. The drilling is done with a pendulum effect, a time drilling technique and they watch samples and cuttings so as not to intersect the existing well path. They have never had a problem with this in the past 25 years. Member Kramer had concern about the short distance on the site, is there room to put more distance between the wells if that is prudent to do? Mr. Baker stated there is room on the site to reconfigure the situation by turning the rig around and gaining fifty feet. Member Kramer asked would 50 feet be safe? Mr. Baker had replied as much as fifty feet would be safe. Member Kramer is concerned about the technical safety of twelve feet. He would like to see alternatives that would provide a greater safety factor given the reasonable close proximity to the residential area. He challenged them to step forward with an equal amount of sensitivity in their second well as they had in the first. He would like the technical risk to be minimized. Mr. Baker stated they could agree to that. Member Kramer stated with that agreement the benefit to the community would be to remove the product from the earth at a quicker pace and with less risk. Mayor Clark stated that in light of this, some additional time might be beneficial to both sides. Mayor Clark asked if Mr. Horn and Mr. Baker would be amendable to returning for the next Council Meeting on September 10, 2001. Mr. Horn stated they would be available and will take a look at trying to separate the well heads by a greater distance.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher if the use has been decided by the ZBA? Mr. Fisher stated the ZBA removed the impediment that this use cannot be undertaken in a residential zoning and that cannot be basis for a denial. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if ZBA still requires a Council waiver for the 660 feet and eight-foot bike-path? Council has the authority to waive the requirements in 23-5, b, c, and d or the bike path. Mr. Horn stated they would comply with the bike path. Also, Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo noted her concern about sound levels, did they conduct actual sound levels? Were there any other sound measurements done since February? Mr. Baker stated weather conditions were not suitable to adequately measure as a lot of noise was coming from 10 Mile Road and they needed to project the levels. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if they were done during the daytime hours or night hours? She is concerned what type of noise levels there will be in the wee hours of the morning at the property lines. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if it is a 24-hour operation? Mr. Baker asked if she was referring to drilling vs. operation? Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if the actual drilling of the well would be daytime hours? Mr. Baker stated itís a temporary use but will be going 24 hours. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if they have sound levels during construction times? Mr. Baker responded that would have to be modeled, since there is not a rig there and at the time they drilled the first well, there was not an ordinance in place for noise levels. The alternative would be to find an operation rig site and model the sounds, which would be difficult to do given the varying environment or they would conduct another sound study. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if the drilling was a 24-hour operation and if the noise levels exceeded our ordinance, could we limit these hours? Mr. Fisher asked if it was feasible to limit it to business hours? Mr. Baker noted that when drilling at 3,000 feet, it would be safe and prudent to remove the pipe from the hole and close the well control devices and let it sit. It could take as long as twenty-four days rather than eight days. Although it is not out of the question, it presents a number of problems, cost, and time issues. Mr. Fisher stated it is feasible and would have to be determined in light of pluses and minuses.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked do we know what the sound levels are at the property line when the revolution cycle and discreet noises were included? Mr. Baker spoke of a fitting on the horseís head, which had been improperly installed, that made a clank sound at the top of the stroke. This occurred about every eight minutes plus a small air compressor that provides air for the monitoring systems of the well. They have addressed these problems by changing the bolt on the horseís head so it did not hit any longer and insulated the building to further reduce the sound. Calano and Associates did not see a problem once these items were addressed. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo feels they need to get a better handle on the noise situation to ensure that itís in compliance with our ordinances and the least disruptive to the citizens in this area. She also noted there were odor issues raised that need to be addressed. Mr. Baker responded they had received complaints about an occasional odor and in response odor detection devices were installed at each fence corner at the well site. They are linked to the security system and automatically shut down the well and it calls them. Also added is a fire eye in case of flashes or fire that will notify them and shut the well down. The devices were installed about two weeks ago. The fire department does not have any odors of record. The work was done due to a comment made by a resident. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if they have received any notifications from their equipment? If and when you would receive a contact, what would the response be? Mr. Baker stated they have not received any notifications from this equipment. If notification was received, the response is within 10 minutes, the person receiving the notification goes to the well site to identify the problem and determine a course of action and a report is filed internally in the company and a cause is determined. Mr. Baker answered when they have responded to other wells, the problem is identified and two people analyze the cause of the problem, and then respond with a solution. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked about a time line for response? Mr. Baker responded that the well shuts itself down first, they review the problem the next day and determine a solution. There may be a lapse of a day 2 days or a week to implement the solution and bring the well back into production. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked how long this process would take and how long the citizens would have to deal with two wells? Mr. Baker responded the life of a well is dependent upon a number of things. It is dependent on the production rate, the price of oil, the cost of doing business, and the cost of personnel. They estimate if they donít drill the second well, they will be there longer using the first well. If they drill the second well, they would be there another ten or fifteen years at a minimum and if they do not have the second well, they could possibly be as long as sixty years with one well. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo stated she would agree with the proposed postponement. She is very interested in the sound and odor questions. She asked Mr. Fisher to find out more about the case law on this regarding the ultimate determination in the case.
Member Bononi asked how many more wells did they propose to drill on that site? Mr. Baker stated he didnít believe that if they drill this well in a fashion that they were going to be drilling in; in other words, theyíre going to be drilling it and then putting a lateral spur in it. He gave an example that if you take a straw and put it into a sponge with a straw on each end and put a lateral on each one of the straws, you will more equitably drain the reserves. Thatís their plan in this situation and if they were successful in drilling the second well under that scenario, he didnít believe they would be drilling any other wells at this site. Member Bononi asked if he didnít believe, or that he was not? Mr. Baker stated he didnít believe it would be necessary. Member Bononi asked if he would come back to this body and ask the same question again? Mr. Baker stated he didnít see that happening, he didnít believe itÖ he didnít see it as beingÖ.no. Member Bononi asked if he was not? Mr. Baker stated he didnít believe it. Member Bononi stated she was looking for "he was not"; not that "you are not believing you are .. ; asked for a specific answer to the question and if he couldnít, she would prefer that he would say so. Member Bononi asked if he was not? Mr. Baker stated no, he didnít believe they were going to be drilling another well. Mr. Baker stated he would like to clarify so that she understood that it was difficult to hold them to something that they cannot necessarily do and he stated the following with reservations. If they drill this well and producing this well and the bottom of the well, some of these wells produce salt, letís say the bottom of this well is salt-soft, they may have to go in and drill another lateral off it. He didnít see it as, no, we are not going another well from the surface but they may have to do more work on the well and so he wanted her to understand they may have to move a rig in there and do some work on occasion. Member Bononi asked if, originally though, the request was to drill one well here and no other? Mr. Gary Gottschalk , Vice President with West Bank, replied that what she was asking them to do was to predict the future. Member Bononi stated thatís not what she was asking. She asked if indeed there was an initial request to drill one well only? Mr. Gottschalk stated that yes there was an initial request to drill one well.
Member Bononi stated she wanted to make a few final conclusions and number one was to make sure that itís put on the record that this matter comes to Council with a unanimous decision from the Planning Commission that this application not be approved and she doesnít think this was about track records or about being a good neighbor and this was not about the business record of these folks which was probably stellar. This was not about whether or not Frank Brennan approves or whether his neighborhood approves; she felt it was about a land use issue and her concern was these folks can be knocking on her door down the road or your door if you live in a single family subdivision. Her concern was about the exposure with regard to the land use decision that Council was making and the land use decision alone. It wasnít her opinion that what was going on here was a benefit to the community; this was a benefit for profits of a corporation and thatís fine, that was the American way but there were reasons that we have land use law and incompatible uses were a very, very big part of that. So, from the standpoint of Mr. Fisherís question about looking at these matters even more closely or concluding about the reasons for denial, she believed that increasing an existing, non-conforming use, places Council in that position. So from the standpoint of looking at her neighborhood concerns and rights as a single family zoned occupant, this was not about track records, itís not personal, itís not about the court of popular opinion, itís about land use law and she would continue not to support any approval of this.
Member Csordas asked if they have had any equipment failure or other problems since 1991. Mr. Baker replied there have not been any problems. Member Csordas stated it speaks volumes that no residents were there to speak to this action. He asked Mr. Fisher to check if there is an issue of taking of land. He also felt there was no logical reason to oppose the drilling of the extra site.
Mayor Clark noted the Miller Case cost $70 million taxpayers dollars. For the reasons expressed by Council and Planning Commission, he stated we must have factual documentation to back up any objection the second site because in 1991 we allowed the first well to be drilled.
CM-01-08-225 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Cassis ; MOTION CARRIED
To postpone Approval of Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land use Permit and Drilling Permit for Comerica Well 2-29, SP 00-58, located in Section 29, on the south side of Ten Mile, east of Wixom Road until the next Regular Council Meeting held on September 10, 2001.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-225 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark
Representatives of Somoco extended an invitation to Council for a trip to the well site.
Approval of Residential Unit Development Agreement for Maybury Estates Condominium project, SP 00-53, located on the north side of Eight Mile between Beck and Garfield Roads.
Mr. Kim Capello, representing the applicant, explained this project was before Council on March 5, 2001 and a motion was made to approve the application for residential unit development subject to resolution of the water and sewer issues. He stated this issue included some concerns regarding provision of water service that will be addressed by a mutual agreement with Novi and Northville until water pressure is sufficient from Noviís water system. Noviís sewer system through Bellagio Estates will be used with the addition of an on site pump station. Once the Cityís sewer system is available, the pump station will be disconnected and the gravity feed system will be used, at the developersí cost. They have lost a few additional lots to preserve other natural features and they have expanded the detention basin to a hundred-year basin. These items are included in the RUD agreement with a payback agreement. While Mr. Fisher drafted the agreement the developer continued with the Engineering of the plans and a very involved plan is attached to the RUD agreement. They are asking for approval of the RUD with the attached plans.
Member Csordas asked how the water from Northville billing would be addressed? Mr. Capello answered the City of Novi and Northville, through their attorneys, will prepare an agreement. Northville will be selling water to the City of Novi and Novi to the residents. Member Csordas said he mentioned that the intention was to hook the sewers up to Bellagio; he said that means he must have an agreement with the management of Bellagio. Mr. Capello said they have an agreement; he said they have even identified the easement on the vacant lot where the temporary sewer connection will be. He said they were working with the City and JCK to help the City get easements to develop their own gravity sewer in that area. He said if they were successful in going through a portion of the Zayti property, it would save the City hundreds of thousands of dollars as opposed to coming down to 8 Mile and Beck Road right-of-way but that probably wouldnít be on line by the time they were ready to develop. He said if it was ready, they would hook directly to it. Member Csordas said there were positive recommendations from consultants for planning, engineering, woodlands landscape and the RUD was approved, however, wetlands were not approved. Mr. Capello said he was sure the wetlands were approved also; they have done exactly what the City wanted them to do. He said there was some mitigation they were doing, but it was his understanding they had wetlands approval. The city attorney clarified that there was an approval letter dated January 26, 2001 in the file.
CM-01-08- Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; To approve the Residential Unit Development Agreement for Maybury Park Estates SP 00-53.
Member Kramer said in principle, he supported the motion, however, in detail, he thought the agreement needed some additional work. He said he was concerned about truth in advertising. He said under section XIV Sanitary Sewer there were two costs that a lot owner needed to be informed of directly. He requested that at the point of sale, the customer be given information that he was assuming some potential debt. He quoted the section on temporary sanitary sewers, which said all costs of maintenance and repair, and replacement of such facility shall be paid by developer or the association. He said he was presuming that was time dependent and it was not clear when the developer was out of the equation and when the association took over so there was a risk to the homeowner. He said if the switchover occurred when the developer had control that would perhaps have a different consequence but the ongoing cost of maintenance and repair was maintenance cost that needed to be borne. On the permanent facilities where the lift station would be shut down and the connection re-plumbed, there was a built-in SAD to pay for the construction cost to connect to the Novi system at whatever was the appropriate time for that. Member Kramer said he had no problem with the agreement but he had concern that the person buying the property needed to be aware that financial obligations came with it. He said perhaps the developer could assist in making financial arrangements where money was set aside but somewhere along the line, the property owners should be aware they would be faced with a bill.
Mr. Capello said that has been addressed in-house. They were going to do that and if he wanted that included in the agreement, it was not a problem. Member Kramer said if he had a pro forma of what would be presented to a customer, he recommended that it be attached as a document. Mr. Capello said for final site plan approval they needed to submit the master deed and bylaws and they could easily include it as an attachment to that.
Member Kramer said he thought the words under XV Water Supply needed to be re-done. The discussion included with the packet indicates the subdivision will be launched with a water supply from Northville and that was not reflected in the words they had. He said they needed some parallel wording if that was their intention on how the cost of that will be borne to switch it over to Novi. He said his request for point of sale information would be the same as sanitary sewer.
Member Kramer said in the various letters received, they have proposed some innovative approaches to wetland mitigation that have been recommended and supported as a worthwhile direction for this plat. Mr. Capello said since the existing wetlands were not that high quality, they would be doing some enhancement, which would be better than expanding or creating some small pocket. Member Kramer said they would be creating a benefit on site, and it was indicated they would need a variance. Member Kramer said that would be part of the overall process and as he understood it, tonight they were addressing the agreement and then the site plan would go back through the Planning Commission to work out the details for final approval.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher if he drafted the agreement, and Mr. Fisher said he was the word processor. They did this as a committee consisting of Mr. Capello, his client, and staff and consultants of the City. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if his time spent on this had been billed to the applicant, and Mr. Fisher said it had. Rod Arroyo and Dave Bluhm said their time was covered under retainers with no extra cost to the City. She said she asked because the way a RUD is set up, the applicant is supposed to prepare the contract for review by legal counsel and she wanted to make sure they were not incurring any costs to the taxpayers.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said with regard to stormwater management, the original application proposed on-site retention not utilizing a regional basin. She asked why the change and whose idea was it. Attorney Jerry Fisher said it was a group decision; the question was did they want to use the starting point of a ten year storm detention or did they want to take advantage of the prospect of a 100 year storm that would satisfy the needs of this project and others upstream and in the area. He said the conclusion was to make a recommendation to Council to go with the master plan that contemplated a regional stormwater detention basin in this area and recommend that subject to the policy recommendation of Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said with regard to the benefits, Mr. Fisher said it would be most beneficial to other projects upstream and what she was looking for was how did that benefit the citizens of Novi. She said under this structure, it looked like the contract was stating that the City shall pay additional costs in terms of excess land that would be utilized for construction of on-site basin versus regional detention basin. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said at the time of application, she did vote in favor of moving this forward and exploring all of these alternatives but she also stated she would not support a regional stormwater detention basin, particularly if it was going to involve impacting wetland A, which apparently it does. She said wetland A was a protected wetland that was designated by the Cityís wetland consultants as essential to the preservation of the natural resources of the City. She read from a report that described the land as a forested wetland with dense shrubby vegetation and dense foliage that allows for abundant wildlife to utilize this wetland habitat. This wetland already functions as an excellent source of water retention and meets criteria 5 and 6 and is believed to be essential to the preservation of natural resources.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said they value the Cityís natural resources and have a wetlands and woodlands ordinance for preservation and protection. She said given that the plans for utilization of wetland A say they will cut down all the trees, indiscriminately dump stormwater in it, and the City would pay for it, there was something inherently questionable about that to her. She said this benefited the property owner and future developers but how did it benefit the taxpayers of Novi?
Mr. Fisher said this would amount to an implementation of the master stormwater plan put into place some time ago that contemplates regional stormwater basins, and the benefit to the residents is they would get the 100 year detention in this basin to the benefit of this development and the surrounding area as well as not passing an unreasonable amount of water downstream from this region.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said legally the applicant canít pass more stormwater than capacity downstream. She read the first paragraph under Stormwater Management from the proposed agreement which stated the parameters for stormwater flow; she said it was the applicants job and responsibility to make sure they donít exceed the parameters.
Mr. Fisher said he was not sure that provision would read exactly the way it does if other provisions were going to be made for stormwater detention. He said she was absolutely right that the developer had the obligation of restricting the outlet of this property to the agricultural rate.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she was all for detaining the 100 year storm, but she did not see why it became the Cityís or the residents problem to do so. She said she thought it was the applicantís responsibility. We should not be impacting wetlands to do it, and we should not be charging the citizens of Novi to do it.
Mr. Capello said citizens were going to be living there and it would be a benefit to them. They have had stormwater problems in the past like Briarwood and they have learned a lot from that and they donít make that mistake any longer. Mr. Capello said it was the Cityís obligation under its regional stormwater master plan to build regional basins and if they built a ten year basin on their site and then the City wanted to build a regional basin in the planned location, the City would need to purchase the property from the applicant and pay for the construction of a basin. Right now, the City could have the applicant construct the basin at 70% of the cost because the cost of the ten-year basin would be deducted from the construction cost to the City. He said they would be building it cheaper and quicker and handling all of the stormwater for the future residents.
Mr. Capello said they have alleviated the Briarwood problem and the Mystic Forest problem of trees dying in wetlands by removing the trees in the low quality wetland and replacing those trees pursuant to the Woodlands Ordinance so they were getting replacement trees as opposed to letting them die and then having the cost of taking them down. He said by putting additional water into a low quality wetland, they were improving the wetland and enhancing it.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said according to the wetland consultant, it was not labeled a low quality wetland. Mr. Capello said the reason they were being allowed to cut the trees and fill it was because of its quality. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said the lesson they learned from Briarwood was donít put more water into a wetland than it can naturally sustain without trees dying, not letís cut down the trees so it wonít be unsightly.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if they as a Council were obligated to build what was proposed in the stormwater master plan as regional detention basins. Mr. Fisher said the master plan sets forth the concept of a future projection and capability with the idea that each basin on a case-by-case basis would have to be approved. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said then it was Councilís policy whether or not they want to build the basin, and Mr. Fisher said that was really one of the questions before them as far as approving this agreement. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said we could say to the applicant build an on-site detention basin and we donít want to get into any involvement and cost to build a regional detention basin, and Mr. Fisher said that was a decision they could make. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said that was the decision she would chose to make.
Mr. Capello said as a caveat to that, he thought that was true of this particular basin because there was not any development within this region, however, the City has collected maintenance funds from developers over the past several years prior to any regional basins being built. Now if they were going to say that they werenít going to build these regional basins after already charging the developers a fee to tie in, he thought there would be a real problem.
Mr. Fisher said he was not aware of charging a developer a fee to tie into a basin that was not already constructed. Mr. Capello said Park Place and Bellagio were examples where the City has charged a pre-maintenance fee for the regional basins without those basins being constructed. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked that this be looked into.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she could not approve this plan as presented specifically because of those issues. Also, they did not receive any information in terms of any proposed agreements with Bellagio subdivision. Mr. Capello said that was part of the requirement and they would be in place but to go to the legal expense of creating those agreements prior to getting this contract signed didnít seem to make sense. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said even a letter of intent from the other party would have been adequate. She said if she hadnít asked the questions with regard to Bellagio, she wouldnít even have known that the subdivision owner had to give its approval. There wasnít anything that stated that.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said if this was to move forward, with regard to the costs indicated, particularly for stormwater, how would that cost be calculated. Mr. Fisher said a model would have to be developed in terms of what system the developer would have had to construct on the property if they were going to do on-site detention. That may be a ten-year storm or may have to be more than a ten-year storm if that was necessary in order to achieve the ultimate standards of the ordinance that requires a restriction to the agricultural rate. The model would be developed and then it would be determined what that would cost to build. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked whoís responsibility was the model, and Mr. Fisher said he assumed because the developer was going to be paying the consultant fees of the City for the reviews that the developer would pay the fee for that determination. Then the City would have the construction costs for a regional basin and the actual construction cost to the City would be the difference between the two.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said they didnít know at this time if the developer would lose additional lots if he were unable to utilize and impact wetlands in the City and had to build on-site basins. She said if they didnít have to build on-site detention because they were using a regional storm basin, it might be that they really should be paying us because they may be getting more lots out of this deal than normal.
Mr. Capello said the pay back language in the contract is very typical in construction matters with the City. It is merely construction cost versus construction cost and value of land versus value of land. He said whether or not they were getting an extra lot did not come into the formula, but what did come into the formula, which was a benefit to the City, if they were going to use regional wetlands for the basin, those wetlands as being wetlands were less costly. You could use City money to buy uplands and create wetlands but that would be wasting City money. He said you might as well use the existing wetlands with a lower value.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if we knew how much it would cost, what fund the City money would come from and was that money obligated for other purposes. Mr. Fisher said the cost associated with the difference in construction and land value would be paid at the later of either the acceptance by the City of the basin or July 1, 2002 to ensure that the City had the opportunity to budget for this. Mr. Nowicki said the funding would be derived from the stormwater fund but it would have to be considered and budgeted through the normal budgetary process through Council. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked what if they didnít have the money or wanted to budget it for something else, and Mr. Fisher said if the contract was approved, they were saying it was a priority.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said building a subdivision regional detention basin was not a priority of the City at this time in her opinion. She said she thought the plan had a lot of merit and she has supported the concept of this plan, but she could not agree with the particulars of this contract. She said she did not think it was in the best interest of the citizens at this time.
Member Bononi noted that Mr. Nowicki had put together a presentation with regard to how these matters are considered and will be considered in the future. She asked him to briefly discuss the kinds of criteria they were looking at to determine which direction to go in from the standpoint of whether they were going to consider on-site detention or whether they really must consider regional detention.
Mr. Nowicki said we needed to retain a level of flexibility to ensure that water quality and quantity was managed appropriately. The committee would look at where the basin would be located, the type of wetlands that were there, the downstream conveyance systems, and the tributary areas of the drainage district. Member Bononi asked if we were at that point with this particular proposal; she asked that he take into consideration all the various facets of it and the funding vehicle. Mr. Nowicki said he thought there was a lot of study that needed to be done. He said the developer has put together a program and a plan by which to develop his site that has been reviewed by the various consultants and city attorney and other staff and he was trying to advance that program which was his right. It is Councilís right to look at what the developer has proposed and see if it is in accordance with Councilís standards. He said the development appears to be consistent with the stormwater management master plan and that is being advanced in that fashion. It is Councilís prerogative to elect whether or not to move in that direction but as staff and consultants, he believed both of them had to move the programs forward in accordance with the adopted master plans.
Member Bononi said she didnít think everybody knew that and knows the information they were looking at to make the best decision. She said from the standpoint of the entire concept of regional detention basins, the majority of the benefit was not always to the community and from the standpoint of this particular application, she thought it was laudable the developer would think of regional detention, however, she was not ready to say that because regional detention would serve this applicant best that the City should be getting into the regional basin construction business. She said the folks benefiting most from this were the applicants which was an honest approach, but from the standpoint of saying they were going to utilize a wetlands area for a regional basin and the city would be charged the difference between the land cost that would have been utilized for construction of on-site basins and facilities under the city ordinance requirements if the regional basin were not established, they were not there yet. She said from the standpoint of where and what the outlets will discharge, she was not convinced that the agricultural rate would be maintained and from the standpoint of the developerís alternative action, that would be to build a detention basin to suit the developerí s needs.
Member Bononi said another concern was the signal at 8 Mile and Beck and how the oncoming traffic out of this development would affect that signal. She said although improvements were proposed there, she didnít think they were real high up on the Cityís priority list. She said she traveled that intersection most mornings and it was backed up, so she disagreed with the traffic interpretation that this development will not affect the already existing terrible traffic, particularly left turn movements eastbound.
She said another concern was the manner in which this proposal came forward with regard to the agreement. She quoted from page 3273 of the RUD appendix A in the zoning ordinance that talked about the applicant preparing a contract for review by the Cityís legal counsel. Member Bononi said she didnít think they were asking for a community project and she had real reservations about that.
Member Bononi said overall, her concerns centered around the stormwater, and she would absolutely not be in favor of committing to a regional detention basin based on the information given in the application. She said she believed that the application with regard to that served the applicant. She said there was not nearly enough information contained in the application for her to want to approve a contract so she would not be supporting the motion.
Member Cassis said he didnít want to see any expenses borne by the City because he paid taxes; he did not want to have trees cut or woodlands or wetlands condemned. He asked Linda Lemke if the plan was beneficial to the city and did it pass her muster. She said it did pass based on the amount of acreage they are preserving throughout the entire site. She said a lot of the trees in the proposed basin were already compromised due to the high water level, however, since it was a wooded wetland it did have a certain quality level based on the fact that it was a dual system. Member Cassis asked if they were sacrificing wetlands or improving them, and Ms. Lemke said that was a question for a wetland expert. She said as far as the trees that were in wetlands now that were being compromised due to high water tables, replacing them from a woodlands perspective was more beneficial than watching them slowly die in this area.
Member Cassis asked for the wetland expert, and Dave Bluhm of JCK said he wasnít the expert but he did have some conversations with them on the matter. Member Cassis asked if the City was sacrificing a lot and suffering wetland deterioration. Mr. Bluhm said for this specific project, his experts indicated that the enhancements they would see with this plan would far outweigh any detriment in the wetlands area. He said a significant amount of enhancement is proposed with the plan that in their opinion will improve this wetland beyond the quality it is in right now as the trees continue to deteriorate. He said his experts believed it was better to enhance what was there rather than mitigate in other upland areas because they do believe the City can end up with a product better than what exists today. Member Cassis said as a consultant to the City, he was saying that the City was benefiting from this kind of a project. Mr. Bluhm said the wetlands experts are indicating this will be an enhanced and better quality wetland because of the improvements proposed as a part of the regional basin improvement.
Member Cassis said he would like a clear-cut answer from Mr. Nowicki on the value of detention versus retention. Mr. Nowicki said it is the Cityís master plan to construct a regional detention basin in the area as depicted by the developer. That would not only address the stormwater issues related to this development but also address the stormwater issues that are associated with any upstream development. He said it could be done in an alternate method that would require several site detention basins by this developer and anyone further upstream. Mr. Nowicki said the decision was whether they wanted to see one regional basin at the 100 - year level or several small site basins located throughout a developmental area.
Member Cassis said he felt there would soon be more developments in that area along with Bellagio II and the church. He questioned whether they wouldnít be farther ahead if they thought futuristic and did the regional detention now rather than having multiple basins and then still having to eventually do regional detention. Mr. Nowicki said if they had to come back and reconstruct some basin in the future to serve as a regional basin, the cost would significantly increase. He said if they were looking at moving towards the regional basin concept, now would be the time to do it.
Member Cassis asked where the money would come from and has there been any escrow money coming in from development in the past and has it been dedicated to such a task. Mr. Nowicki said he would check to see if the City has collected any stormwater fees for a basin that wasnít there. Typically a program like this is funded by a set dollar amount for impervious area of developments that come on line. He said that money went into a maintenance program that serves to maintain all the regional basins and conveyance systems of the City. Mr. Nowicki said there is also a millage on all the properties in the City that goes toward funding the construction and improvements to the conveyance program of the entire stormwater master plan.
Member Cassis asked if the City was a little behind in developing the master detention plan, and Mr. Nowicki said it was difficult to keep up with developments because you have to forecast where developments will be occurring and it takes a number of years to construct a basin. He said in a manner of speaking, the City was behind in the construction of some of the regional basins if they were moving in that direction. Member Cassis said itís true that while it may benefit the developer, the goodwill of a developer coming forward and dedicating land for master detention has enabled the City to accomplish the 100-year detention. Mr. Nowicki said a lot of public utilities were extended or improved with the help of development contributing to those improvements.
Member Cassis asked what was wrong with the document, and Attorney Fisher said he thought the key was that it wasnít good or bad, but it presented an important policy decision for Council as to whether they would move forward with a regional basin in that area. Attorney Fisher said as the agreement was discussed and they looked at pluses and minuses, the agreement as written with the regional detention basin represents what has to be considered the recommendation and consensus of the group as being superior to strictly the on-site system otherwise it wouldnít be in here, but it is still a recommendation presented to Council for a policy decision.
Member Cassis said it was the city attorneyís obligation to make the agreement correct and legally right; he said based on the comments tonight, would he say the document was right and there could be improvements in the future. Mr. Fisher said he thought some of the comments made tonight would result in improvements relative to both the water and sanitary sewer, leaving the stormwater decision to Council.
Member Cassis said this development looked OK to him. He said he looked at the way the development has progressed in the last several months and the expense he has gone through and the things he agreed to do and he didnít see any reason for him to turn it down.
Member Csordas said they have experienced the slow death of trees in a number of areas of the City, and he was glad to see Ms. Lemke and Mr. Bluhm talk about the impacts on the woodlands and wetlands. He said it looked like there was a significant improvement here that would avoid that slow death we were seeing. Member Csordas said he was looking for some clarity on the method of reimbursement if they were to go forward with the regional detention plan as presented. He asked if he was right to assume there were two time frame options for reimbursement to the developer. The City would either A-pay the difference, or B-wait until the regional detention plan was implemented.
Attorney Fisher said the time frame was one of two options and it was the later of the two. He said the City didnít know when the developer was actually going to do the work so the City did not want to agree to make payment for the system at any arbitrary time if it was not going to be done. He said they have indicated that the payment would be made at the later of the Cityís acceptance of the regional basin which would mean that it had been designed, constructed, inspected, and approved or the later of that date and July 1, 2002. He said the 2002 meant that even if he constructed it more quickly, they wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for City Council to budget the money. Member Csordas said then the farthest date out would not have any tie in to the implementation of a regional master plan, and Mr. Fisher said it did in the sense that if the latter date is acceptance of the basin by the City, that means thatís a time when it would be available for others to connect.
Member Csordas said then he would assume that the manufacture of a retention basin would cost a lot more in the future than now. He asked how willing is the developer to alter the plans? Mr. Capello responded the original submittal was to construct the ten- year basin on sight to accommodate the City and save money. They went through the extra time and engineering cost to propose that the developer construct the basin for the City. If the City wishes, they would revert to the original ten-year basin but felt it would not benefit the city because there would be a taking of property later to accommodate that regional detention basin. Member Csordas thanked him for the information. He continued to support his own motion based on the fact that it is better to pay less now than more at a later time. He is also concerned that there will be another situation of trees standing in water and dying a slow death.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if the contract stated Council was agreeing to make payment for a stormwater system, and did this require five votes?
Mr. Fisher believes it would, this is an expenditure of money. It is essentially agreeing to give priority to money now. The expenditure is indirect, the point is that it is not an appropriation at this time but indirectly it is, but it is creating an obligation.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Fisher about the proposed agreement and perhaps fine tuning the language as to water and sewer by the next meeting? Mr. Fisher replied yes. Mayor Clark would feel more comfortable with those proposed changes in the agreement.
CM-01-08-226 Moved by Cassis seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone this item until the next Regular Council Meeting held on September 10, 2001.
Member Csordas asked if the petitioner could come back without the regional detention basin and just change the plans to eliminate the whole problem? Mr. Capello stated they would still have the language change issues that Member Kramer wanted to see done, effecting the sanitary sewer and water systems. Mayor Clark suggested they come back with two plans. Mr. Capello stated they would come back with 2 proposals, one with and one without storm water issues, they are not part of the RUD agreement. Attorney Fisher stated he thought if they were going to include the regional detention they should have some of the provisions spelling out the manner of payment and timing. Mr. Capello stated if they do not have the regional basin, by going back to the ten-year they would just refer to the engineering drawings. Mayor Clark felt it would be helpful to have the agreement in both forms to make an informed decision.
Mr. Dave Bluhm stated they do have some costs. Mr. Fisher stated they would not have land costs. This will not be any easy analysis and calculation because there are two things at work. There are acres of wetland and upland needs to be determined and the value of each plus factoring in the before and after value/effect on the subdivision and it would not affect the number of units.
Member Kramer requested when it comes back for discussion that there is an engineering presentation and assessment of the retention plan with regards to the Cityís master plan for storm water drainage. What are the alternatives, pros/cons and recommendations of the two plans, a more formal presentation of conclusions and results?
Member Bononi asked for water quality issues as opposed to only the flow issues being stressed in regional detention, also from the standpoint of the purpose of the master plan should be described by in-house staff.
Member Csordas said he mentioned that the intention was to hook the sewers up to Bellagio; he said that means he must have an agreement with the management of Bellagio. Mr. Capello said they have an agreement; he said they have even identified the easement on the vacant lot where the temporary sewer connection will be. He said they were working with the City and JCK to help the City get easements to develop their own gravity sewer in that area. He said if they were successful in going through a portion of the Zayti property, it would save the City hundreds of thousands of dollars as opposed to coming down to 8 Mile and Beck Road right-of-way but that probably wouldnít be on line by the time they were ready to develop. He said if it was they would hook directly to it.
Member Csordas said there were positive recommendations from consultants for planning, engineering, woodlands landscape and the RUD was approved, however, wetlands were not approved. Mr. Capello said he was sure the wetlands were approved also; they have done exactly what the City wanted them to do. He said there was some mitigation they were doing, but it was his understanding they had wetlands approval. The city attorney clarified that there was an approval letter dated January 26, 2001 in the file.
Roll call vote on CM-01-08-226 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,Lorenzo, Clark,
4. Approval of Final Preliminary Plat for North Haven Woods Subdivision, SP 00-43, located in Section 3, southeast of West Road and south of Pontiac Trail.
Mayor Clark stated this item has been postponed to September 10, 2001, the next Regular Council Meeting, at the request of the petitioner.
5. Adoption of Professional Service Rates and Fees for FY 2001/2002: A) Birchler/Arroyo Associates; B) JCK & Associates; C) Linda Lemke & Associates.
Chief Operating Officer Craig Klaver clarified this item came from the Consultant Review Committee and asked Member Kramer to comment on behalf of the committee.
Member Kramer stated the meeting minutes has been forwarded to Council. The Consultant Review Committee reviewed the consultants and discussed them with the Administration. The package before Council was a result of the new working arrangements and supports the recommendations.
CM-01-08-227 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis: MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the adoption of the Professional Service Rates and Fees for the FY 2001/2002
Member Bononi stated she read the information with interest and in some cases disbelief. She does not see any reason to approve the increases on the basis of merit or performance. Her reasons regarding planning and traffic engineering services were that she was not satisfied with the quality of services delivered, timeliness, and recommendations given. The recommendations are not consistent with our Ordinances and Master Plan. Her reasons regarding JCK & Associates are the proposed changes in rate are totally unacceptable because of the manner in which information is brought forward. There are too many services vested in JCK, and the quality of service does not require an additional increase. She is especially disappointed in JCKís soil erosion control performance and many insensitive statements about water quality. She feels the vendorís action/inaction left the City in a situation where we had a "black-eye" with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Member Bononi stated she does not look at performance absence as a reason for a reward. The rates as they stand are sufficient. With regard to Linda Lemke & Associates, she finds a rate increase unacceptable because the quality of work does not merit an increase this time. She is looking for consultants who offer improvement in creative and proactive ways and with some sense of urgency. She felt the rates being paid the consultants at this time were sufficient and would not support the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-227 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer
6. Acceptance of the Boardwalk and Non-Motorized Pedestrian Facility Easement and Temporary Construction Easement from Whitehall Nursing Centers, LLC for the Ten Mile Road Non-Motorized Pathway.
CM-01-08-228 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the Boardwalk and Non-Motorized Pedestrian Facility Easement and Temporary Construction Easement from Whitehall Nursing Center, LLC for the Ten Mile Road Non-Motorized Pathway.
Member Kramer commented itís about time. He asked Attorney Fisher to clarify the last sentence in the second paragraph in his August 23rd letter. Quote "In the event the City exercises imminent domain rights for the area of property between the current Ten Mile Road right-of-way and the northern edge of the easement the City will at that time pay just compensation for the easement (or in the alternative, acquire fee title for the easement area for just compensation)." Is the contemplation that the City will need additional right-of-way that will take us up to the walkway? Mr. Fisher stated he was not aware of any anticipated need at this time, however this type of concern is not unusual. If the City does decide to do a widening in this area for one purpose or another, the sentence is saying to Council the property owner should not be punished by the existence of this easement, if and when that ultimately happens. Member Kramer stated he could understand this if the road widening easement required removal of the sidewalk. This leaves the sidewalk in place? Mr. Fisher responded the concern is the just compensation be determined on a before-and-after basis, a desire not to punish anyone for the existence of an easement. We have the easement in place. Currently the additional right-of-way for the road will not be an adverse impact. Member Kramer asked if the intent was for the City to take another look at it and agree to just compensation? Mr. Fisher agreed this was the intent.
Mayor Clark asked DPS Nowicki if the Cityís intent is to build a non-motorized pathway this season? Mr. Nowicki responded as soon as we can; now we can certify to the Michigan Department of Transportation that we have all of the right-of-way. After they approve the project we can ask for bids.
Member Kramer asked if there is grant funding available for this project? Mr. Nowicki responded there is funding for the construction of the project.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-228 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
Jean Sinelli, Vice-President of Abbey Hills Homeowners Association, thanked Mayor and Council for their support in the dedication of Abbey Drive to the City of Novi. They would be grateful for a favorable vote to their petition.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
Approval of Old Novi Road Non-Motorized Pathway design with authorization to prepare final design plans and solicit construction proposals.
CM-01-08-229 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Old Novi Road Non-Motorized Pathway design with authorization to prepare final design plans and solicit construction proposals.
Roll call Vote on CM-01-08-229 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
Approval of the Consent Judgment for Vacating of Public Utilities Easement in the Hickory Corporate Park Subdivision.
CM-01-08-230 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Judgment for Vacating of Public Utilities Easement in the Hickory Corporate Park Subdivision.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-230 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
Acceptance of Right of Entry from Midas Realty Corporation/Acorn Auto Service, Inc. and authorization for the Mayor to sign: Twelve-Mile and Other Roadway Improvements (SAD-155).
CM-01-08-231 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer: MOTION CARRIED
To accept the Right of Entry from Midas Realty Corporation/Acorn Auto Service, Inc. and authorization fro the Mayor to sign: Twelve Mile and Other Roadway Improvements (SAD Ė 155).
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-231 Yeas: Clark, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Acceptance of Detroit Edison easement for Northern Equities required for the
dedication of Lewis and Cabot Drives.
CM-01-08 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer: To accept the Detroit Edison easement for Northern Equities required for the dedication of Lewis and Cabot Drives.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked Attorney Fisher if the insurance company has reviewed the document for its appropriateness? Mr. Fisher stated a condition could be made to have a review and satisfactory results by the cityís insurance company. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo felt it would be prudent to have the insurance company review the documents for adequate coverage, and asked if our insurance would increase? Mr. Fisher stated there might be an exclusion of the policy. He has struggled with Edison over this. They will not change in order to protect their shareholders and people as we want to protect the residents. The only alternative we could consider would be to condemn this right-of-way and give them an easement for their power lines. Itís for road purposes and should not interfere with their utilization of the power lines. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked why hasnít this been between the developer and Edison? Mr. Fisher stated we would have to grant them a permanent variance between by the ZBA, as the Ordinance requires frontage on a public road. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if it would be less costly? Mr. Fisher answered the developer contemplated a public road and this would change the rules of the game in some respects on the developer. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if we are under any obligation to accept the road? Mr. Fisher stated we are not under any obligation to accept the road, but an obligation to exercise reasonable discretion. Mayor-Pro Tem Lorenzo asked to postpone the acceptance to further research other alternatives. Mayor Clark asked if the presents any problems to postpone this. Mr. Fisher said there would not be a problem to postpone as long as Item 11 was approved to extend the escrow agreement.
Member Csordas withdrew his motion.
CM-01-08-232 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the acceptance of the Detroit Edison easement for the Northern Equities required for the dedication of Lewis and Cabot Drives subject to ultimately accepting such drives in order to review alternatives, comments and questions raised to City Attorney Fisher.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-232 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
Approval of extension of escrow agreement between the City of Novi and Northern Equities Group for Lewis and Cabot Drives.
CM-01-08-233 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the extension of the escrow agreement between the City of Novi and Northern Equities Group for Lewis and Cabot Drives for ninety days.
Mr. Fisher clarified this would only be an extension of the escrow agreement for ninety days.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-233 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A 1. Approve Minutes of August 13, 2001-Regular meeting
Member Bononi referred to page 10, approval or denial of the appeal of the decision of the Woodland Review Board, Lot # 134 and stated her comments have been omitted.
CM-01-08-234 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the approval of August 13, 2001 Regular Council Meeting Minutes until her comments can be inserted into the minutes.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-234 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
C. Adoption of Resolution No. 1 for Birchwoods Subdivision and Delmont Drive, Water Main, Special Assessment District No. 164
Member Kramer felt it was appropriate to have a brief discussion to publicly acknowledge that Council was starting the SAD (Special Assessment District) process on behalf of the subdivision. He asked Mr. Nowicki to give a brief overview of the process and what the first step means, for the benefit of the people requesting the process.
Mr. Klaver reminded Council that a booklet produced by the City had been shared with them explaining the SAD process. These have also been handed out to the Homeownerís Associations.
Mr. Nowicki mentioned the SAD process booklet is available tonight at the Council Meeting, at the Clerkís Office, Public Services Department, and Water and Sewer Department. SAD 164 is proposed for the installation of water in the Birchwoods Subdivision area. A number of residents petitioned the City to initiate a Special Assessment process for the installation of water lines. A successful petition is based on fifty-one percent of the assessed property value being a signatory to the petition. In Birchwoodsí case, they had in excess of seventy percent participants. This is for resolution number one that directs the City Manager to have preliminary plans and cost estimates prepared. There are six other additional resolutions, and three public hearings in the process. Unofficially, Public Services conducts a public information meeting with the residents. This updates the residents on the progress, what the design looks like and what the tentative costs will be. This gives the residents an opportunity to decide if they wish to continue with the process. Resolution number two, which tentatively determines the need for the project, directs the City Clerk to give notice for the first public hearing. This is an opportunity for the Council to hear the residentís comments and for Council to take a vote to progress to the next stage.
CM-01-08-235 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Cassis: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution No. 1 for Birchwoods Subdivision water S.A.D. 164.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-235 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
H. Authorization for staff and attorneys to prepare Abbey Drive acceptance documents for final consideration by Council
Member Bononi asked Mr. Nowicki if they were talking about the final acceptance of a public street, or a private street that wants to become public. Mr. Nowicki responded it is a private street and the residents have petitioned Council for acceptance as a public street. She asked why there is an outstanding punch list on a five-year old project? Mr. Nowicki answered they were minor items on a private road. The developer and the Homeownersí Association are working through some of these items. Member Bononi asked why the five-year duration? Mr. Nowicki responded it is up to the developer and association to move these issues forward. Member Bononi reiterated that there are construction issues that five-years later are not complete and accepting a street that has private status as a public street. She is concerned about both of these items, but what is most disturbing to her is they have previously discussed designating a policy and process for the manner in which requests were handled, who paid for the inspections, legal advice, and recording of documents. Her main concern is the issue of fundamental fairness. She understands that people in private developments have the right to petition and ask for this. Is it fair to ask the taxpayers at large to subsidize these requests? She is also concerned this is a five year old subdivision, has the developer built the streets and improvements not to the City standards? The language that is used to verify and designate why we are doing this is not specific enough and who is paying for the legal costs of the acceptance? Mr. Nowicki replied that historically the City of Novi has gone through the process.
CM-01-08-236 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve this request with any legal costs and documents that are required in order to finalize the acceptance be paid by the Abbey Hills Homeownersí Association or their designated corporate entity and the punch list items completed.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-236 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
I. Denial of request from Weathervane Village Condominiums Homeowners Association for City acceptance of Weathervane Court as a public street
CM-01-08-237 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Deny the acceptance of Weathervane Court as a public street.
Member Bononi removed this one also because does not believe the City should be paying for this item. Also the specifications by which the streets were built do not pass the Cityís Code. There is also a big financial burden being picked up by the taxpayers. In all fairness, we need to have a policy and how we look at this.
Member Lorenzo asked if this was included in the motion to deny?
Member Bononi replied yes, even though she does not want to deny this.
Member Cassis presumes they are saying this is not a very important decision to make. Now we are faced with objections that he agrees with in some respects, but have we not been doing this all along? Also is it fair if we do not have a policy yet in place to throw obstacles up for Weathervane? Mr. Nowicki believes these are appropriate recommendations for each of the developments. Our current Design and Construction Standards require private development to conform to the same City standards that we have for public streets. Weathervane Village was a private development that he does not believe was ever intended to be a public roadway. The petitioners have looked at their streets as taxpayers and feel their road should be public. Their logic was they pay the same Act 51 taxes to support the City roads and the 1 mil road tax as everyone else. Abbey Hills roads are very close to City specifications, Weathervane Village does not meet the standards as well as the maintenance of the facility needs improvement. Therefore they do not recommend acceptance of that roadway.
Member Kramer requested a clarification of the motion. Member Bononi answered the motion was to approve the denial. Member Kramer asked regarding costs, he supports the prior discussion that it was a function of the City to fund the investigation to determine whether it was worth going forward or not. He still believes it is a function of the City to provide this service for our residents.
Member Bononi stated if the record were checked, Council has decided to do just that. She feels it is important to take exception about the status of any matter that is placed on the Consent Agenda.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-237 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
P. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 604
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo stated she had pulled it was for Warrant No. 58, Cadillac Asphalt Paving Company, for the neighborhood subdivision in the amount of
$174, 971.42. She recalled, in information just recently received, that work was scheduled for Sunday to complete the project. She wanted to make sure this was in according to City of Novi standards and there were no complaints from residents.
Mr. Nowicki stated this warrant was the first progress payment. The total Contract with Cadillac is about $700,000.00. Cadillac has requested to work Sundayís to keep up to schedule and their target date to finish was when school started. The road was opened and ran into rain and other problems. They will continue working until the road is paved, improved and in an acceptable condition. The road is being inspected and everything will meet City standards prior to acceptance. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if he recommended payment? Mr. Nowicki replied that is correct. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if they do not meet the requirements, would we hold back the other payments?
Mr. Nowicki replied if the standards are not met, that is correct, they do not receive payment for the work.
CM-01-08-238 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve payment of Warrant No. 604
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-238 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, Kramer,
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Ice Arena Oversight Ė Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo placed the Ice Arena on the Agenda after reading the Parks & Recreation and Forestry Commission Meeting minutes of Monday, July 19, 2001. Her recollection of Councilís last discussion on the Ice Arena oversight was it was Council and Managementís responsibility to oversee the business or financial plan and issues would be the directorsí through to the Council. If this is correct, there may be misunderstandings on the part of the Parks & Recreation Committee. She would like that information conveyed to them. Mr. Klaver stated it was his understanding if there were policy or public issues and usage were identified as the appropriate body to hear these complaints. He believes the issues reported on in the minutes came from concerns addressed by Northville and Novi Schools regarding ice rates. They felt the Parks & Recreation/Forestry Commission was the appropriate place to discuss their concerns. There were some questions asked about the business plan from this discussion. The focus of sending this issue to the Commission was strictly to have an airing of the schools concerns and to have Mr. Anastos respond to the public use issues. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo commented a lot of the discussion focused on the financial and business plan issues. Mr. Klaver thought the context of the discussion was to deal with the public policy issues of pricing. This can be clarified with the commission. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo would appreciate that. Also she wanted to add that Mr. Anastos through Mr. Klaver came forward with a potential business plan to request Council seek corporate naming rights to the Ice Arena. She would like to see this issue come forward to City Council expeditiously. The arena is still in bad financial straits; it is in debt by about $ 812,000 out of the General Fund. Any kind of revenue would be a positive for the arena; she would like to see it come back expeditiously.
Member Cassis had concerns about the financial problems, building problems, and contract problems. He would like Council to start looking closely at how much money they could come up with every year? As a businessman he can appreciate the service to the community the arena provides, there just has to be an analysis by Council to make decisions about the arena. Mayor Clark agreed we are not in business of operating loss leaders.
2. Open Space Ordinance Amendment
Member Kramer stated there was an item on the last agenda that did not have any presentation or discussion in support of the item. He requests that it be placed on an upcoming Agenda with supporting discussion for Councilís deliberation and action. Mayor Clark asked Mr. Klaver to bring the Amendment back for the September 24, 2001 Agenda.
3. Letter from Gerald Holmberg to MDOT
Member Bononi stated she brought this item forward because members of the public would not have had the opportunity to look at this letter. The letter is dated August 15, 2001, to Mr. Roger Safford, Project Development Engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation. The letter is under the signature of Gerald M. Holmberg, Deputy Managing Director of the Oakland County Road Commission. She finds the letter disturbing regarding the progress we hoped to make on the I-96/Wixom and I-96/Beck Interchange projects. Mr. Holmberg takes exception with MDOTís decision to downscale, to a disturbing degree, the interchange improvements. There are four items referred to that are deletions or downscaling of right turn lanes on southbound Wixom at Grand River Avenue, westbound Wixom Road at Grand River westbound Grand River at Wixom, southbound Beck at Grand River, and westbound Grand River at Beck. Also included is deletion of the dual left turn lane on eastbound Grand River to northbound Wixom Road, the deletion of the second thru lane on southbound Wixom at Grand River, and the deletion of the third northbound land on Wixom Road and Beck Road from Grand River north to the on ramps at the interchange. The letter goes on further, even more disturbingly, suggesting MDOT is considering delaying the interchange project. Mr. Holmberg takes strong exception saying there was a lot of pressure to build this project and the Road Commission was required to borrow funds to bring the project on line per the original plan. Mr. Holmberg ended his letter suggesting a meeting should include representatives from Novi, Wixom, Novi Expo Center, the Road Commission for Oakland County, and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Member Bononi suggested that Council consider sending a letter notifying Mr. Safford of MDOT of our extreme exception to his suggestions that this project be degraded and/or perhaps even delayed when in fact the citizens of this community supported that project and that we forthwith seek a re-commitment to the original terms of the execution of this project.
CM-01-08-239 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: That City Council send a letter to Mr. Safford
of MDOT expressing our extreme exception to his suggestions
that the I-96/Wixom and I-96/Beck road interchanges project be
downgraded or delayed and that we seek are-commitment to
the original terms of this project.
Member Kramer asked whether there was already some conciliation and additional meetings scheduled that we should take into consideration.
Mr. Nowicki said that information was revealed by MDOT at a meeting hosted here by the City. The meeting was called jointly between him and the Road Commission for Oakland County to gauge the status of the MDOT project to see where they were at because none of them have had real positive communications with MDOT and they needed to get together to coordinate the project. He said it was at that time they noticed some of the slices they were taking out of the project and they requested a copy of all of the design studies and the capacities of all the various intersections to see exactly what was happening and how they based the decision to downscale a particular project. Mr. Nowicki said they have not seen any of the studies yet so consequently, they have scheduled a meeting for Friday 8-31-01 at the Expo Center to go over the issues. He said there would be representation from the Road Commission, himself and the Michigan Department of Transportation to look at their engineering studies and designs to see where they are and where they propose to take this project. Mr. Nowicki said after the meeting, he would report back to Council and most likely could suggest that Council adopt a resolution reaffirming the project as it was originally proposed, as it was originally included in the environmental assessment, and as it was originally presented to the communities.
Member Kramer said given that, he would suggest that perhaps the motion could say that they would support that but at Mr. Nowickiís discretion, subject to the results of the Friday meeting. He said if the results were positive, they need not do it; if they were not supportive and not positive, then do it.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo asked if they should declare their support for it now. Mayor Clark said they were in support of what the State originally promised, especially in light of the fact since they made such demands as Mr. Holmberg said on the County that the widening of Grand River was pushed ahead to comply with their plans as projected to us. He said now that everyone has done their part, for them to say they were now cutting pieces out, did not sit well with him and probably would not sit well with the majority of residents in this community who send a lot of money up to Lansing every year. He said Mr. Nowicki, perhaps accompanied by Mr. Helwig, could let him know that there were not a lot of happy campers in the community as far as the remarks from MDOT and their representative are concerned. They are viewing it as a reneging on a commitment to this community and we did not appreciate it.
Member Cassis asked if there were any right-of-way issues involved in this controversy. Mr. Nowicki said he believed there were some right-of-way issues associated with the overall project; it has been reported to them that the right-of-way costs were significantly higher than originally estimated and that was one of the justifications used to scale down the project. He said they canít accept that at this time because the project was predicated upon certain capacity studies that were performed a number of years ago based on the future growth of the community and so far, he believed the City had met those capacity projections. Mr. Nowicki said he believed that intersection should be constructed in accordance with the original concept plans.
Mayor Clark said he should also convey to the representatives of MDOT we donít view this as a cost saving measure on their part; we view it as compromising the public safety of the citizens of this community and those who travel through this community because of the increase in traffic. He said obviously the project as proposed, without the deletion of lanes as they were talking about now, were put there because of concerns for public safety. Mayor Clark said perhaps they needed to be reminded that they have a huge obligation in that regard and it didnít fall just on the City and the County.
Mr. Klaver said he would recommend that they authorize drafting of the letter to take to the meeting expressing their concerns. He said the city manager would be out of town this week and he would be happy to carry it forward and attend the meeting. It was noted the meeting was 9:30 Friday morning and the City of Wixom would also be present. Mr. Klaver said he felt it was important to get that on the record and make it clear what the Cityís position was on this immediately.
Member Bononi said, as the maker of the motion, she thought it was doubly important to do that going into the meeting that the City expected the commitment to be honored.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-08-239 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Mayor Clark adjourned the meeting at 12:14 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by ______________________
Susan E. Blumer
Date approved: September 24, 2001