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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Girl Scouts #2236 5th Grade Juniors
Leader: Ann Kowalczyk
Co-Leader: Diana James
Members: Christine James, Kerry Abel, Sheena Bhatia, Katie Dale, Diane Bayyouk
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Ms. Cornelius, City Clerk, requested a Proclamation for National Nursing Home Week for the week of May 12-18, 2002 be added as Item #6 under Presentations.
Under Mayor and Council Issues add Façade Ordinance and Architectural Review Function - Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
CM-02-05-106 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-02-05-106 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
Member Csordas advised the SWOCC budget had been approved. The budget was developed by representatives from the cities involved and then the elected or appointed representatives review and approve it. The budget was approved with a Fund Balance of $35,000. There were salary increases in line with the new employees that had been hired. Most of the Capital Improvements are part of the new building project and the debt service was presented at a 7% interest rate with a 15-year payment schedule. The report would be given to the City Clerk to copy for Council if requested.
1. Community Service Appreciation plaque – David Paul, Cable Access Committee
2. Community Service Appreciation plaque – Patrick J. Brunett, Library Board
3. Community Service Appreciation plaque – William Briggs, Construction Board of Appeals
Mayor Clark presented appreciation plaques to Patrick Brunett for his service and dedication to the City and its residents. David Paul and William Briggs were unable to attend.
4. Proclamation-10th Annual Letter Carriers Food Drive-May 11, 2002
Janelle Thompson, coordinator of the food drive, was present to accept the proclamation and said Novi residents were overwhelmingly generous and that last year they had picked up over 9,000 pounds of food.
5. Proclamation – Athletes with Physical Disabilities Week – May 12-18, 2002
The representative of this organization could not attend the meeting and the proclamation would be mailed to the organization.
6. Proclamation – National Nursing Home Week – May 12-18, 2002
This proclamation would be sent to member facilities of The American Health Care Association, Charter House of Novi and Whitehall in Novi. They would provide a host of activities in observance of National Nursing Home Week guided by this year’s theme Celebrating the Seasons of Life.
CITY MANAGER - None
DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None
Mr. Fisher reported on the case the motor carriers initiated against approximately 34 communities in southeast Michigan and that the objective of the case was to avoid all local regulation by municipalities. This dealt with primarily, but not exclusively, weight regulations. All trucks are limited to certain roadways for safety purposes and there is a weight limit per axle to avoid road devastation from the weight. The case is in the U.S. District Court and essentially the motor carrier’s objective is to avoid all regulation including speeding, defective equipment, etc. Motions have been filed, the plaintiff had asked for a preliminary injunction for the purpose of seeking a court order that would stop Novi and other communities from enforcing their ordinances during the pending case. That motion is scheduled for May 22nd and briefs have been filed. They also filed a motion to certify the plaintiff’s class so as to include every trucker in Michigan and they filed a motion to certify the defendant class so as to include all municipalities in Michigan. In the meantime the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week on a very similar case. They are getting into the act because there are several circuits throughout the U.S. and the districts are not in agreement on the interpretation of this statute that is also primarily at stake in our case. A ruling is expected by the end of the Supreme Court term in June and the direction of the case should be known by the end of June. The defendants in the case have filed a motion to put everything on hold with our case until the U.S. Supreme Court rules.
Another case, possibly the shortest initiated against the City, was initiated in connection with a building that has now received a temporary C of O for Magna. Mr. Fisher said this was not an easy situation and they were disputing about securing a necessary easement over a five-foot strip of property in order to insure that all ordinances were met. This land is at Haggerty and Lewis Drive. They had gone back and forth to work out the terms of the temporary C of O to make sure the City had all of the security that was necessary. Unfortunately, the property owner ended up disputing with and discharging their contractor. There were encumbrances on the title and last Wednesday they filed a lawsuit and filed their brief with the court Wednesday evening seeking a temporary restraining order. It would have allowed them to enter the building. They were seeking this order directing the City to issue the C of O. Mr. Fisher said they responded and Mr. Schultz filed a brief Thursday morning in order to address the judge with the temporary C of O. At 9 AM the judge denied the temporary C of O and that resulted in a settlement being worked out later Thursday. It was a 24-hour litigation that had $45 million at stake and at this point it appeared things worked out.
Member Csordas asked if, regarding the carrier case, that was applicable to local roads, expressways, etc.? Mr. Fisher said it would be applicable to every road in the City and the carrier was claiming that the local communities were not entitled to regulate and enforce and if they are successful there wouldn’t be adequate coverage by State officials. There are 43 State officers for southeast Michigan, which gave them a territory of 100 square miles each to regulate, which was not adequate. They only cover the State highways and expressways and there would be unreasonable truck traffic on local roads that would go entirely uncovered. Member Csordas asked what the financial impact to the City would be regarding fines? Mr. Fisher said now the fines go toward compensating the enforcement official that the City has. If the City was not able to enforce, they would not have that local official and he thought it would be some loss to Novi.
Jeff Potter, 1099 Stable Lane, South Lyon, Mayor of the City of South Lyon announced he would run for County Commissioner District #8, which included Novi Voting Precincts 9 and 10. He said he was a very committed advocate of innovation and making government find new ways to do more for less. He was the champion and initiator of Michigan’s first shared school City Hall administration building. He and the community were recognized with top awards from SEMCOG for outstanding leadership and joint public services. He said Automation Alley looms before us and the Grand River corridor was next on the list for high value jobs and high value economy and he wanted to support the allocation of appropriate attention and infrastructure to give communities in this district choice. He would resist top down mandates from county or State government to make sure that we have a place at the table in deciding how restrictions and mandates come down. He felt it was important to support parkland and green space and bike paths to attract people into these high quality jobs. He spoke about the Huron Valley Trail System that would soon open and felt it was a great idea to support local government.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi removed Item G and Member Lorenzo removed Item E.
CM-02-05-107 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY:To approve Items A through D, F and H through K.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-107 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Award bid for Lawn Cutting Services for Meadowbrook Commons to Great Outdoors, the low bidder, in the amount of $33,600.
C. Award bid for Police and Fire Department uniforms to Allie Brothers, the low bidder, based on unit pricing.
D. Award contract to Visionics for Livescan maintenance agreement, printer and printer maintenance agreement, in the amount of $14,370.
F. Acceptance of water main easement and a temporary construction easement from Gary Grandsko for the West Park Water Main Extension project.
H. Authorization to seek bids for Lakeshore Park playground equipment
I. Acceptance of water main easement and a temporary construction easement for Mirage
Development, L.L.C. for the West Park Drive Water Main Extension project.
J. Acceptance of water main easement and a temporary construction easement from FPC-
Summerlin, L.L.C. for the West Park Drive Water Main Extension project.
K. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No 621.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approve/Deny Development Agreement & Zoning Map Amendment 18.618 –
Request from Jim Barnes of Boardwalk Investments Group for approval of a
Development Agreement and rezoning of 3.44 acres in Section 1, located south
of Fourteen Mile Road and west of M-5 from Residential Acreage RA to One
Family Residential R-2 zoning district.
Member Csordas stated this item was presented to Council before and they were not certain that all the local residents were notified on this issue. That has been taken care of and there is a staff recommendation to approve it as shown.
CM-02-05-108 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Development Agreement &
Zoning Map Amendment 18.618 – Request from Jim Barnes of
Boardwalk Investments Group for approval of a Development
Agreement and rezoning of 3.44 acres in Section 1, located
south Fourteen Mile Road and west of M-5 from Residential
Acreage RA to One-Family Residential R-2 zoning district,
subject to receipt of a signed copy of the agreement before
the ordinance is published.
Member Lorenzo asked if this was approval of a development agreement or the zoning map amendment and was told it was for both. She would not support the development agreement and questioned the legitimacy of the agreement. Mr. Fisher had cautioned Council in terms of case law and lack of case law in regard to this. She asked what the difference was between a "development agreement" that said the property could not be used for anything other than preservation of the natural resources on the site and "condition" of a zoning. Mr. Fisher stated the primary difference was that in this situation, it was the developer that had come to the City indicating intent to develop this land in conjunction with an adjoining larger parcel and made a representation of general intent to retain this property as open space as part of this larger cluster development. In order to legitimize this condition that the developer has offered, which was not required by the City, we prepared this development agreement that contains recitations including the notion that the developer will not be permitted to challenge this and they have reviewed it with legal counsel. What we are saying by this is that the developer is bound to move forward with the overall proposal to develop the larger piece in conjunction with it, to submit the proposal showing this piece to be retained in open space, in perpetuity, and if the developer presents anything that is inconsistent with this, it gives the City the right to rezone the property back. This agreement formalizes the city’s right to do that. Member Lorenzo asked how this is different as a land issue not a site plan issue? Mr. Fisher felt this made an effort to introduce site-specific considerations as part of the rezoning process and does so in a way that we have a strong probability of enforcing. Member Lorenzo asked if the developer agreed to this? Mr. Fisher had been informed that the developer had received it, reviewed it and was satisfied. She asked Mr. Barnes if he was agreeing to this development agreement totally voluntarily?
Jim Barnes said that was correct. They were going to the Planning Commission a week from Wednesday and he hoped they would have no problem with it.
Member Lorenzo said with that on the record she would support the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if the property was sold, would the agreement be transferred? Mr. Fisher said it would. She asked if it would be called a conditional rezoning? He said no, it is a rezoning and a development agreement. She asked if they would have to entertain such agreements down the road? Mr. Fisher said there is no obligation to entertain these agreements. This is a situation that could be determined on a case-by-case basis as to whether it is in the interest of the City. In this situation what you are securing, in the interest of the City, is a 3.5 acre parcel of open space that has wetlands and woodlands on it so it could be concluded that it would be a plus for the City. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how it’s greater for the City than requiring a conservation easement when the development proposal was brought forward. Mr. Fisher said it was really a matter of timing. If you merely grant the rezoning and later entertain the development proposal and seek the conservation easement, the property owner has every right to present the proposal in a different manner or sell the property and then it would be too late at that point. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was concerned about how this would translate into other proposals brought before Council. She asked Mr. Barnes if he felt that his application for rezoning would more likely be approved with the presence of this agreement? Mr. Barnes said he did because the two tied together made sense.
Member Capello agreed he didn’t want to get in the habit of rezoning with development agreements. He asked if Council could legally, with amended ordinances, allow for density credits of contiguous property that was not zoned the same as the developed property? Mr. Fisher said they could and Member Capello asked Attorney Fisher if he would look into that? Mr. Fisher said it was his recommendation that a signed copy be received before the publication of the ordinance. The motion maker and seconder agreed.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said in the event that the site condo plan, subdivision etc. on the property that abuts/adjoins was not approved, could the City be held harmless with regard to this development agreement? Mr. Fisher said in the event the other development was not approved, then the Council had the option of leaving the zoning as ruled tonight or rezoning it back to the RA.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-108 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,
2. Approve/Deny ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.620 Request from Blair Bowman
of TBON, LLC to rezone 52.611 acres located in Section 16 north of Grand River
Avenue and west of Taft from OST (Office Service Technology) to OST with
EXO Overlay (Exposition Overlay) or any other appropriate zoning.
Mayor Clark had specific concerns and had asked Mr. Bowman if it was his understanding and intent that the OST with Expo Overlay would apply only to his 52.611 acres? He said yes it was their understanding as well.
Member Csordas said Council approved the EXO Overlay in October 2001 and supported and encouraged the project for the years he has been on Council. The project seemed to have been on target and focused on the same goal all those years. The Novi Expo Center had been and continued to be a good corporate neighbor generating millions of dollars in revenue to the City, to the businesses of the City and entertainment to the residents and visitors from all around. It is a highly beneficial attribute to the City of Novi and its taxpayers and he would support the staff’s recommendation.
CM-02-05-109 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.620 Request from
Blair Bowman of TBON, LLC to rezone 52.611 acres located in
Section 16 north of Grand River Avenue and west of Taft from
OST (Office Service Technology) to OST with EXO Overlay
(Exposition Overlay) or any other appropriate zoning.
Member Lorenzo noted she would not support the motion and thought the Expo Center had been a mixed blessing for the City. She agreed that the future location should be a better one for all parties concerned. However, her biggest concern was the actual EXO Overlay Ordinance, which she did not support when it was adopted. She agreed with the Planning Commission’s decision and thought the Expo Center Ordinance gave the City more control, had higher standards and more control over ancillary uses.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said the EXO Overlay was probably one of the most egregious examples of a designer ordinance that Council had seen. Her concern was what we would or could end up with as a result of this EXO Overlay. We are talking about a degradation of present zoning standards with regard to setbacks, landscaping, screening, building, parking standards, building height, and a degraded example of architecture that was not worthy of Novi. If looking to downgrade what we already have, she would have to ask why? She was also concerned, as was Mr. Schultz and the Planning Department, about the comparison of EXO/Expo standards in that the discretion with regard to how the site would operate was entirely the discretion of the applicant. She asked Mr. Fisher if a full time or seasonal carnival type situation could exist on this site? Also, under the EXO Overlay could it support a water park, amusement park, monster trucks or any of the other outdoor things that we normally see that this ordinance would suggest should not be limited? She felt these activities would be allowed. She was also looking at whether or not there could be unlimited musical events such as heavy metal, Insane Clown Posse. She understood that in the information we have, the City decibel ratings regarding noise abatements are noted. However she didn’t think there was any such compliance program offered when this event took place on the current Novi Expo site. She had real concerns about whether or not these outdoor areas could be used for not only a variation of outdoor events but whether some could become permanent fixtures to the site. She was concerned about who would benefit from this. The costs to the City would be great regarding traffic control, police and fire service and air and water quality standards would be degraded. The EXO Overlay limitation is not as good as a Special Land Use limitation, which gave the City the discretion that Mr. Schultz noted was missing in his interpretation. We have no control over hours of operation or night lighting as long as it met ordinance requirements, no limit with regard to events where in the present Expo District only six events of a single type could be held in a calendar year and we don’t have any kind of discretionary controls with regard to hours of operations or local community standards. As soon as this EXO Overlay is applied, these events are pretty much whatever the applicant says they are. It would be her suggestion that the existing Expo District would be the best district to apply to this area with regard to the benefit and the interest of the City and its residents.
Mr. Fisher said there are three provisions of the ordinance that come into play relative to the outdoor recreational facilities. The first over arching provision would be the intense section of the ordinance that essentially sets the tone for the type of use, the second would be Section 1002A, subpart 2E which authorized outdoor recreation facilities. Then the same section, subpart 8 that authorized the establishment of reasonable conditions to ensure that outdoor recreational uses are compatible with the surrounding area including site improvements and features such as additional screening, landscaping and increased setbacks. In general terms he thought that various types of outdoor recreational uses of the type Mayor Pro Tem Bononi outlined could very well be permitted uses. He didn’t think that taking into consideration the intent of this section that a large-scale use of that type would be permissible because it would undermine the basic intent of the ordinance. However, some sort of minor kind of carnival type use could be a part of this, could be outdoors and could be permanent with the understanding that the City would have the ability to impose conditions to make sure they did not disturb surrounding property.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted she had great reservations about what reasonable conditions were and who would decide that. In planning circles, it was a great mistake to hang one’s hat on the intent of any ordinances. We are talking about permitted main uses or we’re not or we are talking about specific variances from the standards. She wasn’t comfortable hanging her hat on the intent of the ordinance and then arguing in a court of law perhaps about whether or not the language and intent said what we thought it did or whether the applicant thought it said. In view of the fact of the outdoor events that Mr. Fisher described that might achieve some permanence and all of the other comments with regard to preserving quality of life and cost to the citizens versus benefit to the applicant, she would not support the motion.
Member Landry commented he would support the motion. He thought it was important to move the Expo Center from its current location because of the horrendous traffic problems at Novi and Grand River. The proposed site appeared to be a good one. It is contiguous to I-96, has traffic access away from Novi Road so access could be off of the new Beck Road Interchange. It is within one mile of the City center and would benefit other aspects of the City financially when people shopped and frequented the restaurants. Like it or not, the EXO Overlay is on our books and it appeared to him to be the valid zoning district to which the Expo Center would move. Frankly, if this doesn’t get approved under the EXO Overlay he didn’t think anything would. As far as recreational uses, reasonable conditions could be imposed by Council to ensure that an outdoor recreational use was compatible with the surrounding area including site improvements and features such as screening, landscaping and additional setbacks. He thought this gave Council the ability to place reasonable conditions on such outdoor recreational uses. This ordinance gives Council the flexibility to still have the control needed over this particular use. He would not be in favor or rezoning the entire Grand River between Taft and Beck Road EXO Overlay. This parcel is the best place, the City would benefit and he would support the motion.
Member DeRoche agreed with Member Landry. He thought the Overlay District made a lot of sense. The concerns at the table alarmed him because he did not want to create another Main Street where the developer and owner of a business are burdened with regulations that made it hard for them to turn a profit and stay in Novi as a partner for the long haul. This Overlay draws a good balance between our regulations and oversight and allowing someone in business to know where they need to make a profit, where they need to stay as long term business partners of ours and the flexibility they need to continue on that venture. He believed it was important in the long-term strategy of our retail base to keep the Expo Center in our City. Having retail and businesses that drive consumers to our retail establishments go hand in hand. This is a fair balance, a good decision and would benefit the residents with a new Expo Center and a better traffic pattern and he would support the motion as well.
Mayor Clark would support the motion as he felt the move of the Expo Center to the new location was the right thing to do, a smart move and the City would benefit. He was not concerned that the owner would benefit but hoped he would because he was taking all of the risk. Mayor Clark believed there was enough protection in the ordinance and wanted to take a positive approach and think that self-interest would motivate the actions that Mr. Bowman would take with reference to a new and improved Expo Center so that the activities at the Expo Center would benefit both himself and the community and those who would visit the community. He thought this was the right move; the right place and it would be limited to those 52.611 acres. He would support it on this site on the property Mr. Bowman owned but would not support any attempts to extend it anywhere else.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi could not recall any member of this Council opposing the Expo Center moving to the proposed site. She had never heard a member of Council suggest that the Expo Center should not be located in Novi. However, regarding the EXO Overlay, time would tell whether or not applying that Overlay benefited the City and its residents as well as Mr. Bowman.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-109 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
3. Approve request from TMA ENTERPRISES OF NOVI, INC. to transfer ownership
of 1998 12 Month Resort Class C licensed business, located in escrow at 43455
W. Oaks, West Oak Shopping Center, Novi MI 48377, Oakland County from
Pizza Hut of America, Inc. (A Delaware Corporation); transfer location to 44375
W. Twelve Mile Rd., Space G-149, Novi MI 48377, Oakland County, subject to
final building inspection.
CM-02-05-110 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request from TMA
ENTERPRISES OF NOVI, INC. to transfer ownership of 1998 12
Month Resort Class C licensed business, located in escrow at
43455 W. Oaks, West Oak Shopping Center, Novi MI 48377,
Oakland County from Pizza Hut of America, Inc. (A Delaware
Corporation); transfer location to 44375 W. Twelve Mile Rd.,
Space G-149, Novi MI 48377, Oakland County, subject to final
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-110 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
4. Approve request from Van’s Skatepark for an Arcade License with 28 machines
at 44275 Twelve Mile Road (Fountain Walk), subject to Building and Fire
Department final inspections.
CM-02-05-111 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request from Van’s Skatepark for an
Arcade License with 28 machines at 44275 Twelve Mile Road
(Fountain Walk), subject to Building and Fire Department final
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked why the applicant, David Harrison, did not provide references on his application and if he would do so? Mr. Harrison commented he thought the application requested local references and he had none as he was from California but said he would provide business references. She asked how much money they projected generating from the arcade games? Mr. Harrison didn’t know because a game company would manage that and the profits would be shared. He offered to get the information. She asked what their position was with this group? Mr. Harrison said they would provide the games and the maintenance. She asked if he was responsible for this site; he said he was. She asked what the ages of their customers would be? He replied as young as three and up to 30 and 40. The arcade area would provide people waiting for the next skate session with something to do. She commented that she hoped the video games offered wouldn’t concentrate on violence. Mr. Harrison said they would not. For the most part they were foos ball, air hockey and most of the games try to represent the sport and lifestyle that Van’s brings out. There are a lot of games that are skate boarding, snow boarding, motor cross and things of that sort.
Member Csordas stated he would support the motion because one of his major concerns was what Chief Shaeffer thought about this and he spoke to the Chief and felt better with his recommendation. He asked if they would have indoor motor cross? Mr. Harrison said no. Member Csordas asked if they had it at other parks? Mr. Harrison said no, Van’s has a different division that does Triple Crown Events that are televised on NBC and FOX Sports Net. They are held at arenas throughout the country but are not held at any of their parks. They also have surfing events and wake boarding but this would not happen at the park. He said skate boarding, BMX and inline skates are about all they do. Member Csordas said he had read an article that said they could convert the jumps, etc. from skateboards to motorcycles. Mr. Harrison said not at the indoor parks. There isn’t enough room structurally and approval of City Council would be needed.
Member DeRoche said this is unique to the area that Novi is getting a private sector business to bring in a skate park indoors and he thought it was absolutely phenomenal and a testament to the desirability to locate in Novi. Another reason he would support this was that he spoke all day long at a Civics class in Novi High School last week and without exception the first question asked was when was Van’s opening? Mr. Harrison said Van’s would open June 15th.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-111 Yeas: DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
Hugh Crawford, County Commissioner, noted tomorrow, the County Public Services Committee would be meeting in Novi’s Council Chambers. As Chair, he brought them to Novi to get the County government out to the rest of the County and let people know we do service cities. It would be a small meeting with three items. Two of them would be the sheriff’s contracts with the townships, and he has asked the Sheriff’s Department Marine Division to demonstrate what they do on Oakland County lakes. Mr. Crawford announced he is running for re-election for County Commissioner.
Member Capello asked when Grand River would be done. Mr. Crawford said it would begin this Wednesday and be finished by end of July. The delay was primarily because utility poles weren’t moved and it had gotten late into the construction season. Mr. Crawford noted he was told that the Grand River Bridge contracts would be let this fall and hopefully done by fall or winter of 2003. As county commissioner, he would be losing the City of Walled Lake and precincts 9 and 10 in Novi.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Crawford to find out how many private lakes with no public access does Oakland County spend money on? Mr. Crawford said Oakland County has the most lakes of any county in the nation and he would find out how they allocate their money to private lakes.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
5. Authorization to Apply for the 3 additional officer positions under the COPS
Universal Hiring Grant.
CM-02-05-112 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve authorization to apply for the 3
additional officer positions under the COPS Universal Hiring
Member Landry was in favor of this motion but wanted to state on the record as he did during the discussions on the budget, that he was in favor of hiring three police officers now. He was concerned that if we don’t apply for the COPS Grant, the money won’t be there to hire the three officers. He would be reminding everyone that if we don’t qualify for this, he still wanted to hire the police officers.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-112 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
6. Approve Resolution to authorize the third quarter budget amendment #2002-4.
CM-02-05-113 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution to authorize the third quarter
budget amendment #2002-4.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-113 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
7. Award bid for Street Trees, in the amount of $72,935 to Panoramic Landscaping and
$42,900 to Michigan Turf, the low bid.
CM-02-05-114 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve award of bid for Street Trees, in the
amount of $72,935 to Panoramic Landscaping and $42,900 to
Michigan Turf, the low bid.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Forester Steve Printz what percentage of these trees were native Michigan trees? Mr. Printz said 80% to 90% were native to Michigan and the ones that are not were grown in a northern nursery so they would most likely survive.
Member Csordas asked what the warranty was on the trees? Mr. Printz said it was one year. They are holding 10% of the total dollar amount for the plantings for a period of one year and next spring he would conduct a detailed survey of the trees.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-114 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,
Member Capello suggested addressing Items G and E from the Consent Agenda to be sure they would be discussed. Mayor Clark and Council agreed.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
E. Acceptance of water main easement from Daniel and Staci Miron for the West Park
Drive Water Main Extension project – Removed by Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said with regard to engineering, Mr. Pearson’s memo indicated that the developer was not required to prevent downstream capacity analysis according to existing ordinances? She thought that the ordinances did require downstream capacity analysis and didn’t understand why that wasn’t accomplished. The hydraulic analysis indicated that the appropriate size for a 100-year storm event was 42", and she asked why wasn’t it done to begin with, how was it approved without that and whose responsibility was it? Who is accountable? Mayor Clark suggested Mr. Fisher look into this and get back with a report. She said that would be fine.
CM-02-05-115 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To accept water main easement from Daniel and Staci Miron for the
West Park Drive Water Main Extension project.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-115 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
G. Approve request from Evergreen III for an Outdoor Gathering Permit and Street
Closure Permit at Main Street and Market Street for Wednesday Evening Classic Car
Shows May 29 through August 28, 2002.– Removed by Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked about insurance and bonding requirements for each of the events and if amounts were satisfactory. Mr. Fisher said at minimum, the precise amount should be stated and the City’s risk manager should be consulted to determine whether under these circumstances it would be adequate.
CM-02-05-116 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve request from Evergreen III for an Outdoor Gathering
Permit and Street Closure Permit at Main Street and Market Street for Wednesday Evening Classic Car Shows May 29 through August 28,
2002 subject to the submission of the precise amount of the insurance being submitted to Mr. Fisher and designees, as he saw fit, to determine insurance sufficiency.
Member Capello asked if they were asking for additional insurance beyond the insurance they have in place on Main Street or looking for specific insurance to insure the City or just to insure that they have their insurance in place? Mr. Fisher said they are both relevant. There should be adequate insurance to protect the public and the City should be named as an additional insured. Member Capello said if their existing insurance policy was adequate, could the City of Novi be added to their insurance. He didn’t want to create an additional economic burden on the tenants by requiring Evergreen to get additional insurance, which they would pass onto the tenants. Mayor Clark thought the concern was to make sure there was proof of insurance and it was insurance that covered both the public and the City. Member Capello asked if they would be asked to get a new insurance policy for this? Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented it would be up to Mr. Fisher and whatever he thought was sufficient to protect our interests.
Member Landry said if Main Street and the tenants have insurance, it would not name the City currently as an additional insured on any of those policies. Mr. Fisher said not the tenants, it would be Evergreen III. Member Landry doubted that Evergreen III’s current insurance would name the City as an additional insured. Mr. Fisher said generally they don’t, but a short-term rider can be purchased for something like this at a nominal fee.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-116 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo,
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Façade Ordinance – Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi discussed the concerns about the façade ordinance and how it worked and how it didn’t and noted there was dissatisfaction with the steady stream of waivers that seemed to be granted for almost no reason. Ordinance Review Committee inquired as to the placement of the review of the Façade Ordinance with the Implementation Committee who would review the ordinance and offer comments for improvement or whether another vehicle should be found to review architectural plans. She received a copy of a memo that a JCK architectural consultant submitted that referred to several "housekeeping" matters that were to be done with the existing Façade Ordinance
She proposed they look at the Façade Ordinance, what was working and what was not and look to an architectural review function. She suggested considering a voluntary professional group that would look at architectural review as a recommending body. She had specifics that she thought could be set up and would work well. She was really concerned that when looking around Novi there was more and more poor quality materials and more color combinations we don’t espouse to. She wanted to hear what other members thought and how they could improve the architectural review standards.
Mayor Clark asked if she would like Council Members to submit their written comments to be brought before Ordinance Review? She said they could be sent to Ordinance Review to see the areas that Council felt needed to be improved.
Member DeRoche stated he voted against the Façade Ordinance every time it came up. A good-looking building can’t be legislated no matter what the Façade Ordinance said; an ugly building could still be built. He felt human influence and some subjectivity was needed and if that was what she was talking about he was all for it. He felt it was needed and had been lacking; this has been demonstrated with buildings such as the Best Buy building, which complied with our ordinance. He had long advocated he would rather have employees or consultants with discretion as opposed to an ordinance.
Member Landry agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and at one time had requested from the National Planning Group copies of other Façade Ordinances and received about a dozen municipality façade ordinances. All of them were the committee type that the Mayor Pro Tem Bononi referred to and agreed they had to look at an alternative to the present ordinance. However, he cautioned Council that if this went to the Planning Commission very strong recommendations would be needed.
Member Capello thought facades and architecture were an art and he liked the waiver process because it allowed the architect to come up with some good ideas. What was being discussed would be by committee and would be much more subjective. He thought Council should work on this themselves and not send it to the Planning Commission. Mayor Clark suggested obtaining sample ordinances.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented that she had a couple of model ordinances as well that ideas could be taken from, however any ordinance penned for this community should be for us and it has to fit this community.
CM-02-05-117 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To refer the matter of the existing Façade Ordinance and a proposed
architectural review function to the Ordinance Review Committee to be returned to Council within 90 days and any specific comments by Council members and anyone else would be submitted within two weeks.
Member Capello suggested a time period to return to Council. Mayor Clark suggested 90 days and any specific comments of Council would be due in two weeks.
Member Csordas strongly supported this. He wanted it to stay with Council and he wanted Council to work on it and make it happen.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-117 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello
8. Wrap-up discussion of 2002-2003 budget
Member Lorenzo recalled there had been a motion to approve one civil engineer with a P.E. designation and to continue utilizing consultants for our traffic reviews. She believed that was tabled and she requested it be called back and put back as a main motion.
CM-02-05-118 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To approve one civil engineer with a P.E. designation and to
continue utilizing consultants for traffic reviews.
Member DeRoche thought this was tabled because specific information was requested.
Member Landry asked Mr. Helwig if he anticipated that adding 2 engineers would pay for themselves? Mr. Helwig said yes. Member Landry stated then, in his opinion, this would not increase a draw on the general budget, although money would be taken out to pay salaries. He asked if that money would go back into the General Fund? Mr. Helwig said yes.
Member Landry commented he was in favor of two engineers. The administration had been requesting them for two years and it is a move that should be made in the best interest of increasing our efficiency.
Member Capello noted for years the DPW and DPS haven’t had an engineer and have needed one just to do some of the in house operations and he thought the water problem, last year, was a prime example. Therefore one is definitely needed there. To handle City business and the plan reviews JCK had Dave Bluhm on a full time basis and Victoria Weber dedicated about 60% of her time to just City of Novi business. They were very experienced and had their hands full. If there are only two engineers given he felt one should go to DPS full time, one in plan review and some money would have to be budgeted for the overflow. Do we want to hire a consultant at a higher hourly rate or use that money and hire someone in house?
Member Csordas said his plan had been to grow the department slowly. Since the last meeting he spoke with Mr. Helwig to find out what his goals were, what savings there would be to the City and for an in depth background of what’s happening within the City. After his discussions with Mr. Helwig he decided to change his vote. Previously, he did not support two engineers. Mr. Helwig said he would be absolutely accountable for these people and there would be no more; therefore he would support two engineers for this budget.
Mayor Clark noted there is the right and obligation to criticize but felt sometimes they were too quick to criticize the City administration for not doing the job while not affording the administration the tools to do the job. This is bare bones government and there are no frills or luxuries. $590,000 was slashed from the budget. We are talking about adding two engineers and they would pay for themselves. There would still be plenty of work for outside consultants because of the nature of projects where in-house manpower would not be able to do it. It makes good economic sense and he would support two engineers. Mr. Helwig is a man of his word and he would put the engineers to best use. Mayor Clark thought Mr. Helwig’s judgment, in terms of staff that had been added, certainly had justified Council support and confidence in him.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-118 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi
Nays: DeRoche, Landry, Clark, Capello, Csordas
CM-02-05-119 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the hiring of two engineers .
Member Lorenzo requested that the maker and seconder agree to one with a P.E. (Professional Engineer) designation and one with an ITE (traffic engineer) designation.
Mr. Helwig noted his goal was to have two P.E.’s to concentrate on roads and utilities in addition to Ms. McClain. Traffic is a whole other consideration and we are trying to do in house plan reviews with our engineers, provide oversight and aggressive implementation on roads and oversight and aggressive coordination with utilities. Traffic engineering has been done on a consultant basis and should really be done as much as possible on an applicant basis where they are doing traffic studies for review.
Member Csordas declined the amendment.
Member Capello asked if the ordinances could be amended requiring the applicant to submit the traffic study and asked if there was someone in Planning Review capable of reviewing the traffic studies? Mr. Helwig said no, it would still need to go out to a consultant. Member Capello asked what that would cost? Mr. Pearson said it was part of the site plan review fees. They are paid on an hourly basis and he thought planning and traffic both totaled $70,000.
Member Lorenzo said page 57 of the budget is contrary to what Mr. Helwig just said regarding traffic reviews. It said, in the third paragraph, "The addition of the two civil engineering positions would allow all traffic review to be brought in house and eliminate the need for flood plain and backup review services from JCK and Associates." Mr. Helwig said since we’ve had our discussions, some staff advocated the traffic engineer, and that was put in for discussion. His recommendation was oversight of roads and utilities and to have enough people to do as close to 100% in house plan review as possible.
Mayor Clark said that proposed budget document was just that, a proposed document and until it was adopted in final form, it was subject to modification and that was done during the budget discussions.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-119 Yeas: Landry, Clark, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was interested in the financial policy explained on page 155 of the big budget book. The financial policy she was interested in was setting up financial policy planning and she didn’t know if this Council had ever done that. Council was supposed to set policy and administration was supposed to carry it out. Some of the things she was looking for in regard to policy planning with regard to finance are items over certain amounts, say $50,000, that were approved by previous Councils that might have been three years ahead. Then all of a sudden, here they are, and this Council doesn’t know what they are. She was looking for a policy and a way to address that when they come through, that we have not automatically accepted them simply because a previous Council had approved them. Also, that when we look at the budget document, we can take in to consideration everything that is now in the tubes and look at those items as to whether or not we want to continue to approve them or re-allocate the money somewhere else. What it would do was put Council in a position of looking over the budget and becoming detectives to try to figure out what was approved by whom and when and for what, particularly with regard to infrastructure extension. She requested Council look at this as a policy item.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Fisher if a former Council approved something and it’s in a prior budget that was adopted as required by State Law, if it was binding? Mr. Fisher said if it’s a contract entered into based on the action of Council with a third party, then yes, relative to that particular allocation of funds; otherwise Council had the option to renew policy. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was concerned about spending funds with a specific contractor with no history. Also, in the Neighborhood Services section, zoning compliance, pages 194-195, she asked about last year’s budget and an allotment for a half-time additional compliance officer? Mr. Pearson said no others were added. She thought this came about as a result of questions about on-call and who was serving after hours and she thought additional funding was set aside. She said one of the greatest numbers of complaints she received from residents was that they felt they were acting as their own compliance officer. She was concerned that the numbers that are projected with regard to complaints received, notices of violation issued and tickets issued were going down. Education is part of it but from the standpoint of complaints she heard alone didn’t speak to her of status quo compliance or stepped up compliance program, which was what she was looking for. From the standpoint of having the resources to have an effective compliance program, these numbers for 2001-2002 and into 2003 did not impress her because we are talking about notices of violations issued going from 1,508 decreased to 1,000 and tickets issued from 100 decreased to 50 and the only thing that had gone up was communication, written and verbal. She understood the education part of that. The compliance job needed to get done and she was not at all satisfied with the chart. Why are we seeing this?
Mr. Helwig said administration was spending more and more time in the field talking to complainants and perhaps the administration should report to Council to give a more hands on feel for these numbers.
Mr. Pearson thought Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was asking for compliance percentages and that would be one statistic to generate. Also, origin of complaints, are they from residents or are they inspector generated in the field. They had to have residents but could not rely entirely on them and he would look for a percentage to be generated on our own. They could start to report that information. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi wanted an answer as to why the numbers were going down? Mr. Pearson said because the communication was going up and he would have to look into why tickets were going down. It might be voluntary compliance prior to a ticket.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented she had received an explanation at the table this evening regarding the Taft Road reconstruction between Ten Mile and Grand River to the tune of $865,000. She was interested in knowing and having on the record that what we are talking about with regard to the improvement was the improvement of the existing 2-lane roadway. We are not talking about any additional lanes. Mr. McCusker said it would take the existing pavement and reconstruct it with no additional lanes other than standard turning lanes at the intersections. She asked why so many water lines are being relocated. Mr. McCusker said there was a real problem with the elevations of a hill just south of the middle school and part of the problem was to remove that hill and lower the water mains and the grade structure. She asked what storm event all the culverts were designed to accommodate? He said the agricultural flows, basic 10-year events. There are a number of retention ponds above both of those areas and above 11 Mile a lot of that water goes north to Grand River and would be picked up as part of the Grand River project. There are a number of flat areas that need some profiling so they drain properly. The engineering work for this had already been done.
Member Capello asked when Cindy Uglow came on board because part of her program was to educate as well as enforce and from what he has heard from the residents, she is doing a great job. Mr. Helwig said she initiated a newsletter to subdivisions and education and prevention is working. He thought they could give Council more meaty case studies and statistics in this area. Member Capello wanted to follow up with the discussions with the judges and perhaps create some revenue out of this also.
Mayor Clark thought the judges tried to give residents the opportunity to correct the error of their ways before they imposed sanctions.
Member DeRoche spoke about his thoughts on the Judgment Trust Fund and felt that if our insurance terms are reduced as far as our deductibles going up, it was Council’s responsibility to allocate some of the money, in excess of $500,000, found in the budget to the Judgment Trust Fund. He felt it was appropriate to have enough money for this Council to operate going forward and thought the number was approximately $300,000. He asked that our financial experts on staff, insurance people and risk managers suggest an amount to be kept in the trust fund. The deductible is $100,000 and if that went up, it would have an effect on whether $300,000 or $50,000 was to be budgeted over the course of the year to settle our claims. Council would not know the insurance costs since insurance contracts are renewable in July so cost quotes would probably come to Council in June and the budget would be voted on May 20th. After that is over and a commitment is made to the carriers for the terms that we are purchasing, he hoped that our professionals would come back to Council and that they do budget enough money in that line item to operate for the next 12 months.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi supported Member DeRoche’s concern about sufficiency of insurance coverage. She asked Council to consider allocating or holding in abeyance and placing into that special fund to satisfy insurance requirements the $200,000 she requested be recouped for the traffic signal at Nine Mile and Taft Road.
Member Lorenzo agreed. She felt it was an important fund and it needed continued funding but asked if it would be legal since that money was from road fund money not from General Fund money.
Ms. Smith-Roy offered clarification. The $200,000 was in the CIP program and was never actually programmed from the Major Street Fund or the Municipal Street Fund because they were waiting for information from Oakland County to determine what Novi’s actual share would be. So that money is not available for reprogramming. Also, Member Lorenzo is correct. Act 51 monies can’t be set-aside for the Judgment Trust Fund.
Member Lorenzo asked if there were any road fund monies that could be allocated to General Fund? Ms. Smith-Roy said not technically but indirectly the General Fund does get money from those funds by allocating DPW charges. There is a transfer from the road funds to the General Fund for the specific reasons such as use of equipment, supplies and staff time. Member Lorenzo said on April 25th a memo from Ms. Smith-Roy regarding budget reductions achieved at the last meeting was $391,412.00, she suggested taking half of that and placing it in the Judgment Trust Fund because as it stood, even though the Judgment Trust Fund showed almost a million dollars in it, the reality of it was it is all spent. Also, we have no contingency funds for emergencies other than dipping into the 10% minimum in the fund balance.
CM-02-05-120 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To place the $391,412.00 in the Contingency Fund.
Member Landry commented he would agree in principal and as a matter of policy with the three previous speakers. However, he was concerned about adding to the Judgment Trust Fund until Sandstone was settled. They, Sandstone, would demand money in a specific fund with a specific dollar amount and it would become a bone for negotiation in the case. He would rather see Council take the money and put it in a General Contingency Fund that Council could get to and move it at a later time. For that reason alone he would not support this motion.
Member Csordas agreed with Member Landry and noted if funds were reallocated, they need to be sure to protect funds for grant officers.
Member Capello assumed insurance costs would go up and they had to budget for it but why do we have to play around with the figures? Why not budget what we anticipate the increase to be, put that as a line item for insurance and if there is money left over it would go somewhere else? Mr. Klaver said the insurance premium category had been increased by 30% but this is preliminary and it might exceed that and also we might want to increase our self-retained limits, which is our deductible. Therefore, the increases on premium might be minimized but there might be a higher occurrence per case, which is the underlying motive for recommending additional money in the Judgment Trust. Member Capello asked what they anticipated the increase would be? Mr. Klaver said they didn’t know at this point and that it was based on very preliminary information from our current provider and they’ve indicated they expect at least 30% from their re-insurance which is a big portion of their costs and that was why the premium category was increased. Member Capello asked where the money would go if it wasn’t all used? Ms. Smith-Roy said it would go back to the General Fund. Member Capello asked if there should be 40% or 45% in there and Mr. Klaver said it would be another way of responding to the issue. Member Capello said he would rather be a little more conservative but agreed with Member Landry that enough money to hire the three officers, even without a grant, had to be available. So if we are lucky we’ll have a tight budget and end up with a lot of extra money. He suggested increasing the budget item for insurance to 45%.
Mayor Clark agreed with Members Capello and Landry given the fact that they are dealing with some very difficult litigation that had not been resolved and he was not in favor of painting a big red bulls eye on the building. He would not support the motion for the reasons that had already been stated. He would not be favor of tweaking or adjusting this budget because no one knows what the insurance increases would be. He thought they had done a good job in coming up with a realistic and workable budget.
Member DeRoche agreed with the previous speakers. The issue raised in his memo and tonight was to pay for prospective claims and responsibilities and not existing claims and responsibilities. He agreed and thought Member Capello had a good idea. Member DeRoche’s memo said there were two ways to budget for this, either pay more up front costs or budget more for expenses that are to be incurred later. Keeping this on the future and prospective claims they might or might not face this year, going forward might be the best place for now with the situation we are in is to make sure we are adequately funded in the insurance line item. Then once Sandstone was settled, the Judgment Trust Fund could be titled something else and used to pinpoint the cost and claims and lawsuits to the City in one line item. Member DeRoche wanted Council to know that 30% is likely optimistic and he didn’t want to have to revisit this issue the first meeting in July for additional funds. If additional money could be found for the insurance area for prospective claims, he would support it.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked about basement flooding of sanitary and storm water backups and if there was an overall percentage of what municipalities could expect to be responsible for and how should our insurance reflect that? Mr. Fisher didn’t believe that that type of analysis had been made in light of the new legislation. He knew there should be a reduction in comparison to what the short-term landslide appeared, but it could not be quantified yet. She said this was a matter they would absolutely have to cover, as they were required by law to do that.
Member Csordas asked who the insurance provider was? Mr. Klaver said it was the Michigan Municipal League Liability and Property Pool. He asked if going through them was a requirement? Mr. Klaver said it was not and they were talking to two separate brokers trying to ascertain which private companies might be willing to bid.
Mr. Helwig said if Council was looking to protect the $391,412 for their appropriating, the Contingency Fund was the vehicle to do that. It was out of the General Fund balance, out of the Judgment Trust Fund and it would be where only Council could appropriate money and is truly a contingency for planning.
Member Landry asked if the maker and seconder of the motion if she would consider an amending the motion to put all of the money in the contingency fund. They agreed.
Roll call vote on CM-02-05-120 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
Mr. Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, south of the Target store that is being built. He shared with Council some of the ordinance enforcement issues he has faced with this project. First, his driveway and back yard had been used for access to the site, as there was no curb cut provided when the construction project started. He contacted the City four times and the problem was resolved within a week. Second, was the backup of water on his property. They had discussed at both planning sessions that the design indicated that water would back up when they started the 12 foot of fill on which the Target store would be built. Mr. Pearson had been out to view this and it was an ongoing problem. He asked the City if someone could monitor this? He had talked with the contractor and met with him in person and asked him to pump out last weeks water and was informed he could not because of union problems. Mr. Wizinsky said that is not his problem and he needs to pump the water out when it backed up. He’s called the City 4-6 times on that. Also, there is a lot of after hour construction noise. Construction starts at 7 a.m. and after hours is more difficult because Police can’t always come to the site. Basically our after hours enforcement of ordinances was scattered and not consistent. He asked for support from the City to enforce the ordinances instead of having the residents be the primary source of that.
1. Letter from Joseph Sutschek Re: Expo Center Overlay District.
2. Letter from George Krieger Re: Library Board
3. Letter from Liquor Control Commission Re: Denial of Request for a license – Ka Hing
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ____________________
Date approved: May 20, 2002