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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager
Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager
Gerald Fisher, City Attorney
Nancy McClain, City Engineer
David Evancoe, Planning Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Lorenzo suggested that item number 8 be changed to item number 11. Mayor Clark agreed and suggested changing item number 9 to 8, item number 10 to 9 and move item number 8 down to 10.
Member Landry asked to add to Mayor and Council Issues a discussion of scheduling a joint Council and Planning Commission Meeting.
CM-03-03-054 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-03-03-054 Yeas: Clark, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
SPECIAL REPORTS - NONE
COMMITTEE REPORTS - NONE
PRESENTATIONS - NONE
PUBLIC HEARINGS - NONE
Mr. Helwig distributed a copy of the state budget information received from Senator
Cassis. She had hosted a meeting for local officials to establish communications with
her new role as Senate Finance Chair as well as to bring district officials together. Also
in attendance she also had the senior economist for the Senate fiscal agency, Jay Wortly. The information passed out was important as Governor Granholmís recommended budget will go to the legislature on Thursday, March 6, 2003. Mr. Helwig thanked Member Csordas, Member Sanghvi, and the City Clerk for attending. Mr. Helwig asked Senator Cassisís opinion as to the status of the Beck Road interchange. The City had just learned that the State letting of the contract was put back to May after having been moved from March to April. He stated the Senator Cassis had just spoken with the new Michigan Department of Transportation director, who was confirmed last week, and in her opinion that all federally funded projects are safe. This project has a significant amount of Federal highway funding plus our local communityís $6,000,000 as approved in the 2000 Road Bond. We will continue communicating with Senator Cassis on this matter.
2. DEPARTMENT REPORTS - NONE
3. ATTORNEY - NONE
Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi arrived at 7:39 p.m.
Jim Korte stated he reviewed the South Lake Drive proposal. He felt there was nothing in the way of amenities for this road even though there is quite a lot of space. He stated a school bus width is at least 9-1/2 feet on a proposed 10 ft wide lane. Mr. Korte asked why the road was not 24-foot wide plus 6-foot for the path that makes it 30-feet wide. He felt this would make better sense. Regarding the area just past the hill near the Park, he questioned why not have the hill come down in that area. While this is a collector street, the hill should be taken away completely. He questioned why the road width changes from 30-feet to 50-feet in width. He suggested using a 30-foot road width for the entire length of the road. He felt this was the best and most reasonable solution. He felt curbs and gutters were not needed and neither were the raised flat areas at the intersections. Idlemere Subdivision is probably the biggest subdivision and has the worst for interruption of the road with regards to their out lots and getting their boats from one side to the other.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, wrote a letter last week regarding item number 7. She stated that most people at the meetings stated they want their road done the same way as East Lake Drive. She stated that the City should leave the middle section alone. Most improvements have been good for the area but she asked that the City not reinvent the wheel. She asked that they repave the road, put in the bike safety path adjacent to the road on the north side, and do what they want at the ends, there is plenty of room. Do not put speed tables, or bumps in the road. While she has spent the last fifteen years helping to launch boats, they have to pull in the side streets and have two spotters on the road. Her concern was the change in height that was being proposed for Idlemere Subdivision. She felt Council should listen to the residents that do not want this. She asked for an answer as to what survey was used to formulate the plan.
Linda Wash, 40499 Paisley Circle, representing Haverhill, pleased to hear Councilís comments regarding this property that was proposed to be rezoned (Brightmoor Church). They are concerned about impact to the Haverhill subdivision value as it was referenced that the homes proposed to be built were of lesser value. Haverhill residents preferred an R2 zoning. She asked if the RM zoning was part of the original Master Plan. She also asked if precedent was being set here. She stated the property was bought for church use and now they are asking for higher residential density rezoning compared to the two adjoining properties, Haverhill and previous Braypoint Estates. 18.600 was also recently purchased by a church and wondered if that property would also be changed. Also, Haverhill Park is a wetland/woodland area with no trails, or removal of fallen trees, it has been left in a natural state and is privately owned by Haverhill. They have no plans for turning it into a park. They do not want people entering this area due to safety and privacy reasons. They are concerned with lack of a development agreement and asked if that could be required. Also, her subdivision was not notified about these hearings, however the entire Haverhill Park is on the property line. She would like notification in the future. She thanked the Council for re-broadcasting their meetings or they would not have known.
Roy Grosbeck, spoke about the proposed closing of Clark street at Grand River. He purchased his home in 1982 on Lannys Road at which time it was a gravel road. In 1990 the City of Novi decided it was time to pave the road to limit the costs of upkeep. At this time, the residents pointed out to the City that the deterioration was due to the school buses, who wanted to avoid the blind hill at Taft Road. The City decided that the homeowners on Lannys Road would pay 75% of the cost of the paving. If Clark Street is closed, Lannyís will be the only access road between Novi Road and Taft Road to Grand River Avenue. It appears that even estimating low, 190 cars will come by every morning and every evening. He asked how the neighbors to the south would feel if they requested the City to close Lannys at 11 Mile.
Teddy Lee, Lannys Road, spoke about the problems they might face if Clark Street is closed as Lannys Road would be the only road open to Grand River. The objection is the volume of traffic going through the street. There is a big safety concern for his child and other family members as there are no lights and the road is narrow. The road is showing signs of deterioration. He felt Clark Street should remain open and not allow left turns. As the subdivision to the south grows, that one street could not handle that volume of traffic. All the residents on Lannys Road greatly object to closing Clark Street.
Kim Wagner, 24529 Christina Lane, noted they have lost 100 trees to the ash problem and asked Council to consider replacing those to return the curb appeal. She felt that the 25 years worth of taxes paid on this property should be for her home to get trees prior to the new subdivision next to them. Also she spoke about item number 4, Catholic Central appeal for an ordinance change; she felt that 3000 trees being removed from any development should be replaced. That is not something that should be allowed from any developer. While she supported the school and itís ideals, she thought it would be impossible to utilize any of the schoolís facilities for recreational use. With 1100 students, it did not appear feasible. She asked that there not be a second reading and also asked that the school must replace the trees they have removed.
Clinton Price, 26070 Lannys Road, asked about the five lane $15 million road improvements and not notified that it would be proposed to close Clark Street. The only notification they had was less than one week ago, by a hand delivered letter. He felt there was also concessions made to Tri-Mount and now they are bankrupt and moving out. He did not think it was a fair solution to close Clark Street and asked for alternatives prior to Council making a decision. He requested that some thought be placed into making a decision on this issue.
Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive, has not spoken before Council for quite a while but I felt compelled to do so this evening regarding Matters for Council Action item number 4. She has reviewed the proposed amendment to the Woodlands Ordinance, Section 37-8 (g), which would waive the replacement of trees removed in a woodland area by encouraging joint use of recreational facilities as proposed by Catholic Central.
She was disappointed to see that there was no supporting rationale for this amendment, as well as no recommendation from the Planning Commission, which is typical with ordinance amendments. The Planning Commission just held four public hearings for changes to the sign ordinance. While not required, those public hearings were held as a courtesy. She asked where is the public hearing for this ordinance amendment.
As a resident of Novi, as a Planning Commissioner, and as a member of the Woodlands Review Board, she is able to support section (g) (5) of the proposed revision. She believes that, particularly for private schools, there should be a written agreement between the City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department and the school for usage of the school's "indoor and outdoor recreational facilities" for joint use by the school and the City. She would, however, be looking for more specific language regarding the "limited times during which the school has not scheduled their use".
What she is not able to support is a waiver of the tree replacements required by the City when woodlands are destroyed.
As a Planning Commissioner, she believes that our natural resources are of the utmost importance to our quality of life in Novi. The way the Ordinance reads today, trees 8 inch d.b.h. or greater which are removed in a dedicated woodlands must be:
a. relocated or replaced within the same woodland areas, or
b. relocated or replaced elsewhere on the property, or
c. relocated or replaced at another location within the city, or
d. the permit grantee shall pay into the city tree fund monies for tree replacement to be utilized for the planting of trees within the City.
She believes these requirements are reasonable. Without such a requirement, there would be no incentive for a developer to save as many trees as possible. When we are faced with decisions at the Planning Commission table, we rely on the requirements of the woodland ordinance to be complied with. Her decision to compromise and to allow possible destruction of an entire woodlands area is very much contingent upon the knowledge that the trees will be replaced, if not on the property, then at least somewhere in Novi. If the City Council chooses to change the intent of the original Woodlands Protection Ordinance, she believes the City will lose the ability to discourage tree removal and enforce any tree replacement.
As a member of the Woodlands Review Board, she is faced with making decisions about tree removal and replacement, mostly with respect to individual residential properties. Her decisions at Review Board meetings have always been supported by the Woodlands Protection Ordinance, which requires individual property owners to be treated no differently than commercial property owners. If a tree is removed in a woodland area, there will be tree replacement. For equity reasons, it is imperative to keep the same rules for our developers as we have for our individual residents.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, as a tax paying citizen of Novi, she expects developers to pay for the cost of their developments. With every development, the individual taxpayers of Novi are burdened with increased traffic, more strain on our police and fire departments, and infringement and/or destruction of our natural resources. As a citizen, she deserves to have the wetlands and woodlands replaced throughout the community, which helps maintain a certain quality of life as well as aiding in the reduction of pollution.
She requests that Council does not change the intent of the Woodlands Protection Ordinance with the addition of the proposed amendment.
John Huber, 44115 Stassen Street, addressed Council on item number 5, the plan in place is to keep Clark Street open. He apologized to the Lannys residents for no notification. Novi Heights Community has some members who do not want the street closed. He requested finding out how many favored closing or not closing the street.
Dean Waldrup, South Lake Drive, agreed with Mr. Korte that the hill should be lowered. At each end of the road, there was room to place a boulevard. The number one priority for South Lake Drive was traffic calming. A proven traffic calming measure was to have a narrower road. There were a significant number of people on East Lake Drive that did not feel it was safe to have the bike path right next to the road and they do not want that on South Lake Drive. With regard to the traffic tables, his opinion was that a chicane in the middle of the road would work better. He stated none of those things were investigated. He also stated they had been previously told there would be test chicanes put in, to see what the effect would be on traffic calming. This has not been done.
Carol Price, 26070 Lannys, spoke about the quantity of traffic on Lannys Road. She mentioned the speed at which the cars travel. They moved there in 1994 and since that time only one person has slowed down in order to let her get her mail from across the street. People cannot back out of their driveway. Do what Council needs to do, but keep the safety of the residents in mind.
Chris Jacek, 44011 Stassen, stated he felt the City should replace the trees. He suggested closing both Clark and Lannys Roads.
Mayor Clark indicated Gwen Markham sent a letter to Council regarding the Catholic Central Site Plan. Mayor Clark read her letter in to the record.
She could not attend tonightís City Council meeting, so she requested that the contents of this letter be read into the record. As a member of the Planning Commission, and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, she has worked since last July with the Detroit Catholic Central on their site plan. She believes this school will be an asset to Novi for decades to come.
Detroit Catholic Central and the Planning Commission worked together to reach compromise on several important issues. Catholic Central modified their sports field layouts to minimize negative impacts to the wetlands and woodlands. The Planning Commission recommended waiving the lighting requirements to accommodate football stadium lighting. We also were amenable to creative means for Catholic Central to handle parking for special events, including sports, when their onsite parking would be inadequate.
There was never any discussion at the Planning Commission level to waive the requirement to replace trees removed from the regulated woodlands. No one from the developer organization or the City Planning Department ever told us that they planned to waive the woodland ordinance. Obviously, we would have wanted to discuss this subject. We could have reached a win-win compromise, as we did on other issues. Instead, we issued a woodlands permit in good faith, assuming Catholic Central would meet their obligations.
Our ordinance first requires tree replacement to be done onsite. Clearly, that is impractical with this project, since almost 3000 trees are required and the site is crowded already. The next option is to replace the trees within the city, at locations approved by the forester. The third option is to pay the City tree fund the cost of purchase and planting of the replacement trees, which in this case could be more than $3-5 million dollars.
This ordinance is designed to insure preservation of Noviís aesthetic and natural beauty. We must work with all developers to meet woodland replacement requirements in ways that best suit the City and the developer. Sometimes creative compromise is required. If a development of this size isnít required to work within our standards, we set a dangerous precedent for all future developments containing sensitive woodlands.
At the Planning Commission meeting she suggested that Catholic Central combine a portion of their studentsí community service requirement with a tree replacement project. A plan could be worked out with the city forester to replace the trees over a set period of time. It wouldnít need to be a hardship. The replacement cost would be much less than $3-4 million, since the labor is "free". Catholic Centralís student population is planned to be 1100 young men. Father Elmer told us several times that he intended for some of the schoolís community service to be done in Novi. Why not start with this project?
She urged City Council to work with Catholic Central to meet the requirements, not ignore them. The precedent is important. Letís stand by our residents and keep Novi Beautiful.
James Moyer, 44179 Old Grand River, spoke about living at the corner of Old Grand River and Clark Street. He felt he lived at a most dangerous corner. They have reported to Police about speeders, and he felt there would be more accidents. He would lose a favorable lot on the corner, the roads will be raised on both sides of his lot and his driveway will be very steep due to the pitch of the road. He would lose some older trees as well. There are safety issues for his family. If the street were closed, there would not be sidewalks, but that would be acceptable. He asked that the Council consider safety as the biggest reason for making any changes.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-03-03-055 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the consent agenda as presented.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-03-055 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
A. Approval to renew Massage Business License for The Sports Club of Novi, 42500 Arena Drive.
B. Approval to renew Arcade License for Vanís Skate Park, 44275 Twelve Mile Road.
C. Approval to award low qualified bids for weed cutting, mowing and landscaping to Gerich Landscape, Alternate A, $5,420 per request; D & J Lawn and Snow Service, Alternate B-F and H, $12,142 per request; and Rasins Landscape & Associates, Inc., Alternate G (irrigation) $1,890 annually.
D. Approval of Final Pay Estimate #8 for Special Assessment District #155 Wetland Mitigation Ė Areas I & J to PLC Development / Waterland Trucking Service, in the amount of $44,788.40.
E. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No 644.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Consideration of Zoning Map Amendment 18.621, request from Brightmoor Christian Church, to rezone property located in Section 1, north of Thirteen Mile Road and west of M-5, from RA (Residential Acreage) to RM-1 (Low Density, Low Rise Multiple Family) or any other appropriate zoning. The subject property is 62.5 acres.
Mr. Jim Galbraith, PT Commerce Associates, LLC, spoke to Council and displayed an illustration of the residual Brightmoor Church property. When they met with the Master Plan Committee, they felt it was compelling to limit the density of the development, hence the development agreement that would run in tandem with the zoning. He also addressed the comments made by Haverhill residents concerning a park and that it was a misnomer as they realize this is a natural habitat park, of a passive nature. The wetland and woodland systems that are part of the Erickson property and Brightmoor residual property blend into that very well. If Council looks favorably on their request and the development agreement, they would enter into an appropriate conservation and restrictive agreements. It has been their intention to preserve as much of the wetland and woodland character of the site that is absolutely possible. There will have to be corridors for utilities and perhaps a road connection within the development. They have responded to the four items addressed by Council at last weekís meeting. They have directed a letter to Mayor Clark and Council stating that based upon the plan that has evolved today, they would explore the possibility of limiting the development on the site to 192 units which would be incorporated into a development agreement. They have also estimated the preserved wetlands and woodlands on the site to be approximately 20 acres, which represents about 30% of the gross site. We have provided a letter from the Cityís Engineering Department confirming the availability of sanitary sewer and water service to the site. The Department also noted the developers will have to deal with storm water retention on the site. They also stated these would be owner occupied condominiums.
Member Lorenzo asked with regard to the woodlands and the 5.5 acres to be preserved; are any portion of the upland woodlands or 5.5 acres wooded wetlands. Mr. Galbraith stated they are upland woodlands. She stated it was important to her to have those issues addressed in a development agreement. She commented that during site plan approval they might have to lessen the number of units for storm water management. She did not want to see anything less than the 5.5 acres of upland woodlands preserved. She also asked about dedicated senior citizen housing. Mr. Galbraith stated there will not be any dedicated senior units within the development, they have found repeatedly that this type of living unit and market conditions far exceed the percentages that have been spoken about and it is not their intention to limit them. She asked if that was the case why they would not commit to a percentage. Mr. Galbraith stated their concerns in those areas are relative to the long range enforcement and how it folds into a re-sale program as you move forward. Also because of the portion of the law relative to age restricted communities, he did not believe that you could have a percentage such as that incorporated in such a development. It can be, if it is an all or predominant senior situation. He stated candidly that they are not willing to limit it to a seniorís development. Member Lorenzo stated this was an issue because of additional traffic generated. She stated that according to the latest traffic counts that at just 25% committed to seniors, the traffic would be reduced significantly. Another concern she had is the representation made by the church and read from a letter dated December 26, 2001 stating the church intends to use about 21.5 acres of the southerly part of the 61.5 acre parcel for its senior citizen housing, these dwellings would be attached single family units ranging in size from1055 square feet to 1935 square feet, all with one or two car attached garages. This 21.5 acre area located between the northern boundary at the church site and the large wetland that traverses the site in an east/west direction would support 45 to 60 units of this type. From a letter dated June 12, 2002, she read an excerpt from Siegal, Toumaala and Associates. Currently the church has entered into an agreement with a prominent developer for purchase of the land, it is the intention of that developer to build a low density condominium community geared and marketed to empty-nesters, 55 years of age and older, which would include the senior citizen housing for the church. She felt there was representation from the church that they were committed to this type of housing. She stated she was disappointed that is no longer a commitment and a good faith representation. Mr. Galbraith stated their position is the market makes that commitment for them. They have developed over 400 hundred of these units and he believes there are 5 children within 346 units. He felt this would be primarily a life style change buyer with many potential church members. The units are two bedrooms, two baths, with a two car garage; they lend themselves predominantly to that type of user. Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher whether or not it is available for Councilís discretion to limit any of the houses to senior citizens. Mr. Fisher replied if both sides concur, it may be feasible. He also stated that Mr. Galbraith has been in this business for some time and if he has some concern about limiting part of the project, he suggested that the issue be researched. He also commented there is a statute for senior housing that seems to set an age limitation that you intuitively think may not otherwise be permissible because you would be discriminating on the basis of age, the statue does establish an age category. The question would be whether or not you can devote part of a development strictly for that purpose and it would require a mutuality of understanding between the property owner and the City. Member Lorenzo stated from her perspective, Council is being asked for a rezoning. Her opinion is, if she is to approve a rezoning, she would only do so if a percentage of the homes are committed to senior citizens. She also asked Pastor Ratz to come forward so she could ask about the representations made previously. Pastor Ratz stated they have worked for five years with the City, the Cityís consultants, and the Planning Commission. When they purchased the property they notified the community that it was their intent to sell a portion of the property. Initially they thought they would sell part to a developer and part they would develop on their own for sale to seniors. Some of the letters that Member Lorenzo referred to are dated prior to their entering into an agreement with this company. As they started working through the project with the City, it became unworkable for them, but that was their original intent. At this point, the church realized that in the interest of fiscal management of the church and their resources, it was wiser for them to have a developer do the whole project. By using a developer there would only be one sales trailer, and all of the units would be uniform and they would be alike, and are basically the same units they would have built. It saves them, as a church, the hassle of being a builder, which they are not they are a church, and all of the financial implications of developing. They did not want to get into real estate. They want to get out of it. He felt they could fulfill all the desires of the church by entering into the agreement. As part of the sales agreement, people in the church will have an opportunity to purchase the condominium units. They have a list of people who are interested in purchasing the units which would fulfill the churchís promise to the members. Member Lorenzo asked how many seniors are on the list. Pastor Ratz stated they are all seniors, about twenty of them. He has others who are waiting for the pricing, design, and location of the units. All of them were without children. Once this was provided, they believed this would fulfill their commitment to the church members. Member Lorenzo asked if they have ever approached Haverhill regarding the plans. Pastor Ratz stated four years ago they had circulated a packet of information regarding their intent to purchase the land and sell off a portion and they also rented Meadowbrook School for a public meeting to explain the intent of their development. She asked about when the plan came further into view for the property and requesting a multi-family designation from the Master Plan Committee, did they notify Haverhill. Pastor Ratz stated he understood the Planning Commission had that responsibility, but they did post the signs on the property stating it was in for rezoning. His major concern was what was approved next door to the church, the Erickson development, with 1500 units and what the church was doing was insignificant as to what Erickson was planning to do. There is major tree buffer to the north, but they have nothing to the property to the west.
Member Lorenzo also clarified her concerns about the Planning Department and their performance with regard to this application. So there is no misunderstanding or misinterpretations she wanted to make sure that if she states her concerns, that in her opinion, the department or planning director that has reviewed the plans appear to be representing the applicants or if she questions if the Planning Department is working for the applicant, it is not meant literally. What she meant, in her opinion, that the points of view or presentations or the responses to questions, from the Planning Commission, were what she expected to hear from the applicant, not the planners of the City who work for the City and are paid by the City. She is not thinking, suggesting or implying that there would ever be anything improper between the Planning Department, or any City department, and the applicant. Another concern she has now, as she hears this, was why there was not any notices sent to the residents of Haverhill. She does know as a courtesy that they notify the residents. This was something she looked for in the Planning Commission meeting minutes, and did not find any responses from anyone in Haverhill from the Public Hearing. She felt if they had been notified, even at the beginning of the process, the Planning Commission would have taken the concerns into consideration when changing the Master Plan. This brings her even greater concerns as to how this did not take place. She wondered if that could have skewed this situation. Her concerns with the Planning Department and more specifically the director, and planners at times, in her opinion, the approach, attitude, philosophy and tone appeared to be coming more from an applicantís point of view rather than a City planning point of view.
She asked Ms. McClain about the Section 1 and 12 sanitary sewer district. She quoted there was a design capacity of 2,000 sewer units, much of the property that was estimated for the future, while it is zoned RA, may be master planned differently. She asked how those numbers came out. Ms. McClain noted currently the parcels are zoned RA and are master planned for 1.65 units per acre and using that number the difference would be 25.5 additional units if they were rezoned to meet the Master Plan. Member Lorenzo thought as in this situation, if it were to exceed those densities, we could be tapped out. Ms. McClain stated there are 180 taps remaining, taking into account Brightmoor needing 160 taps and with the current taps of one per acre on the south side of Thirteen Mile Road. Member Lorenzo asked what density was used to base the 160 taps on that are indicated for the Deer Ridge/Brightmoor residential units. Ms. McClain stated that was based on what they are currently proposing, if this proposal was to change and the number was to change, then the number would be taken from the 180 taps. It was not based on an acreage density, because there is an actual proposal for it. Member Lorenzo stated this was not based on any particular density. Ms. McClain replied they looked to make sure that this use as it is proposed would fit within this district.
Member Sanghvi commended the people who prepared the paperwork as it made it very understandable for him. He also thanked Mr. David Evancoe, Planning Director, for his efforts in facilitating a meeting with Mr. Galbraith, Mr. Kassab, and himself to address his questions on the development. They met at 14 Mile and Welch in Commerce Township to view that development. He was impressed with the quality of the housing. He stated that his questions and concerns have been addressed and would be happy to support this application. He suggested that as part of the development agreement, the widening of Thirteen Mile beyond the property line should be done, before the major construction begins. He felt he needed to respond to one of Member Lorenzoís comments, that on one hand, Council is trying to make City Hall and the City departments more user friendly, and to encourage them to help people coming into the City to do any kind development and so they may have gone a little overboard this time, but personally he feels they are doing a good job. He has no complaints about their bending over backwards for this particular applicantís position.
Member Landry supported the rezoning as it is consistent with the Master Plan, it provides a transition with respect to the surrounding uses, adequately served by infrastructure and a development agreement would take care of the concerns of the Haverhill residents to the north. He believed that the plan before them preserves open space, 30% of the site would be preserved.
CM-03-03-056 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consideration of Zoning Map Amendment 18.621, request from Brightmoor Christian Church, to rezone property located in Section 1, north of Thirteen Mile Road and west of M-5, from RA (Residential Acreage) to RM-1 (Low Density, Low Rise Multiple Family) or any other appropriate zoning. The subject property is 62.5 acres, with the requirement of a development agreement stating the front yard set-backs should be 25-feet from the right-of-way line if the streets in the development are to be public streets or 33-feet from the back of curb if the streets are to be private streets, the set-backs in the side yard between the building should be no less than 10-feet, the set-backs between the buildings in the rear yard should be no less than 70-feet. The development shall not exceed 192 dwelling units in 96 buildings and the remaining wetlands and woodlands on the site shall be preserved on a conservation easement, and the concept plan should be attached to the development agreement, however the development will still need to achieve preliminary and final site plan approval from the City of Novi, and with no Section 9, FaÁade Ordinance waivers asked for. The rezoning would be final after a development agreement was received and approved by Council.
Member Landry stated that personally he did not feel we should limit any amount to Senior citizens, the market will do that. He also felt that competing with the Erickson development for senior housing would be difficult. He also thought that Haverhill residents would not want this to be limited, thus limiting the marketability and therefore the value.
Member Csordas stated he supported the motion and agrees entirely with it. He asked Mr. Evancoe, to articulate some of the other provisions. Mr. Evancoe stated the primary provisions are the ones that already have been articulated, having to do with density and the open space preservation of regulated wetlands and woodlands that would be an advantage in a development agreement. Member Csordas thought clustering homes and providing open space was important as well. Member Csordas also agreed with the maker of the motion in regards to a percentage of dedicated units to senior citizens. He commented that it made him sad to think that people fifty-five years and older are now considered senior citizens. He felt that most people attracted to that demographic would be attracted to this area. He made clarifications on the surrounding property. Regarding Haverhill, as he looked at plans, there was a significant area not developable, it being an open area, which would be an amenity to the Haverhill Subdivision. Regarding the Pastorís concerns that there would be no protection of the property to the west, he felt the woodlands and wetlands do extend to the back of the Erickson property, it appeared to be all pine trees and the opacity was very high there. Member Csordas asked the projected price of homes? Mr. Galbraith stated it would be in the high $220,000ís to $230,000ís. Some loft options would be available as well as walkout units and daylight units. Member Csordas stated he would like to see the property developed very close to what was presented to Council; it would be a very nice addition to the City. Mr. Galbraith stated the developers are very committed to that, if Council sees fit to consider a development agreement, they will be evolving a plan in that direction. Member Csordas also asked for a straightforward business agreement.
Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi asked at the last Council meeting for a simple draft of a number of points, to be included in the development agreement. Mr. Galbraith extended his apologies for the omission. Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi asked if he could tell what the points are. Mr. Galbraith stated they agree with the thought that it will be a simple and straightforward agreement which will limit the maximum number of units, buildings, address the setbacks, and address the preservation of the wetlands and woodlands. She would have liked the parameters of what they were asking for and she asked if Mr. Galbraith was interested in anything else. He stated he did not believe there was anything else. She was interested in the quality of the buildings being proposed, in particular not having any Section 9, faÁade waivers for their buildings included in the development agreement. These buildings will meet the requirements of the Cityís existing architectural ordinance. Mr. Galbraith replied he was not familiar with the Section 9 building faÁade ordinance; he is not looking for any waivers or variances. She asked for that to be included in the motion. Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi asked about the estimated cost per square foot of construction. Mr. Galbraith replied about $70 per square foot. She asked how they would market this site. Mr. Galbraith said they will establish a sales center at the site with furnished models. They will also advertise and staff the office a minimum of six to seven days a week. She asked how an ad would describe their development in the local newspapers. He replied they will be described as attached condominium units that are like single family housing; usually there will be photographs of the interiors, a location map, pricing, reference to the fine school district and facilities of the community. Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi asked if he owned the property, optioned it, or has an agreement. Mr. Galbraith responded he has an agreement to purchase. She asked if he has any intention of selling the site after the rezoning is granted. He replied no. Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi asked to have added to the motion that no Section 9 waivers to the architectural ordinance would be requested. Member Landry, Member Csordas and Mr. Galbraith agreed with this addition.
Mr. Fisher stated to avoid any ambiguity he suggested that the motion be such that the rezoning would be final after the development agreement was prepared and approved. Member Landry and Member Csordas agreed to accept this amendment to the motion.
Member Lorenzo asked for a friendly amendment to extend the Section 9 to say there would be no variances requested on this project in the agreement. Member Landry could not support that amendment because you do not know until you are making a site plan if this is a realistic request. Member Lorenzo asked that the shoulds be changed to shall and the wording for 96 units and 192 residents be corrected. Also with regards to the wetlands and woodlands she believed the applicant stated he would agree in the motion to call it 15 acres of wetlands and 5.5 acres of woodlands at a minimum. One other item was the advisability of calling these out as For Sale, Condominiums.
Mayor Clark supported the comments of the maker of the motion and seconder of the motion. He again cautioned his fellow Members of the Council; their function is to do what they individually feel is in the best interest of the City. He supported any member of Councilís right to do that even if he disagrees with them on a particular item. He feels at times they get dangerously close to social engineering and planning; that is not Councilís function. This Country was founded on the concept of the sacredness of the right of private property and the right of property owners to develop their property with reasonable restrictions. If they start asking people how much per square foot and what the advertising will say, that is not Councilís function or to try to control things with an age. Anyone who has done any investigation of the condominium market knows that the majority of people residing there are empty nesters and widows/widowers. The example given was of the project at Fourteen Mile and Welch, of a large number of units that adds five children to the school district. The population in this Country is getting older, by 2020 we will have over 12 million Americans over the age of 85 years of age and many will be healthy. He spoke about not going down the road that some western states have with too many restrictions or micro managing some elseís property. This is government run amuck. He also spoke of the comments made by Council Members disagreeing with department employees and using language that inferred such a reference as to challenge anyoneís integrity or honesty. This affects everyone, City departments and those that come before Council.
Mayor Pro-Tem Bononi felt that as he spoke about conscience she too had a conscience, however she believed that being a non-partisan Council, in the wisdom of the Charter planners, because there are certain things that all of them need to feel they can support, that is why there are local laws. She does not believe that ideological philosophy has any place at the Council table. She has her opinions in that regard too, and does not consider herself a social engineer. She does consider herself responsible for upholding the local laws. From the standpoint of suggesting that people who disagree are here to socially engineer someoneís usage of their property is simply not accurate. Perhaps it is another opinion. When you look at a planned community, the reason we have a planned community, is to look out for the interests of all, not one personís rights over everyone elseís.
Mayor Clark stated as usual he respects her opinion even though when they do not agree on a particular point.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-03-056 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
Lorenzo, and Sanghvi
Council recessed at 9:40 p.m.
Council reconvened at 10:02 p.m.
2. Appointments to Boards and Commissions.
Mayor Clark asked the City Clerk to read the results of the balloting. The results were as follows:
Building Authority - Mark Sturing; reappointed with seven votes
Cable Access Committee - Patricia Poirer; reappointed with seven votes
Construction Board of Appeals - David Byrwa; reappointed with seven votes, David Stec; reappointed, seven votes
Historical Commission - Maggie Pringlemeir; appointed with term expiring 1/1/05 with seven votes
Storm water Management & Watershed Stewardship Committee - Michael Barton, reappointed with seven votes; Asa Smith, reappointed, with seven votes; Susan Thompson, reappointed with six votes; Robert Wolf; reappointed with six votes.
Zoning Board of Appeals - Robert Gatt; to complete the unexpired term, ending 1/1/05; and Christopher Reed, alternate term ending 1/1/06.
Mayor Clark brought forward, for the Library Board, Terry Margolis.
CM-03-03-057 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the appointment of Terry Margolis to the Library Board.
Member Capello asked how many positions and applicants there were? Mayor Clark replied three positions and seven applicants.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-03-057 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, and Bononi
Mayor Clark brought forward the name Nipa Shah for Library Board.
CM-03-03-058 Moved by Sanghvi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the appointment of Nipa Shah to the Library Board.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-03-058 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi,
Clark, Bononi and Capello
Mayor Clark brought forward the name Thomas Swope for Library Board.
CM-03-03-059 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the appointment of Thomas Swope to the Library Board.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-03-059 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark,
Bononi, Capello and Csordas
3. Consideration of 2-year Professional Services Agreement with Ayres, Lewis,
Norris and May for Civil Engineering Services.
CM-03-03-060 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve 2 year Professional Services Agreement with
Ayres, Lewis, Norris and May for Civil Engineering Services.
Member Csordas stated he wouldnít support this as they werenít first on the list that was provided by employees of the City who had rated all of the applicants and this applicant was seventh on their list. Also, he didnít appreciate their decision on the Quail Ridge issue and felt they represented the City of Northville and not the City.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-060 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
4. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-125.14 Ė an Ordinance to amend Chapter 37,
Section 37-8 of the City of Novi Ordinance Code, for the purpose of
encouraging the joint use of recreational facilities by adding a new provision
relating to tree replacement. 1st Reading
Father Elmer stated he appreciated the sense of welcome extended to them. Catholic Central wishes to be sensitive to the environment in the community. They are discussing opening an environmentally rich campus to the students and teachers of Novi as well as opening their athletic facilities for use in Novi. He noted all students are required to fulfill 10 hours of community service amounting to over 10,000 hours each year and many of those hours could be used for the benefit of the City. Theyíve spoken with Dr. Lippe and Jennifer Cheal.
There is one serious issue and that is the wetlands and the woodlands. They have done everything possible to preserve the wetlands and have settled with less than optimal shape for the school so that the border of the wetlands and the school would mesh. They have made every effort to preserve as many trees as possible on the rest of the land. Despite their efforts, they must clear approximately 1,700 trees for baseball diamonds and other playing fields. Over 2,000 trees of over 8" caliper will remain. He said tree replacement costs would amount to approximately one million dollars and they donít have that kind of money and they were asking for alleviation from the tree ordinance. They have agreed to replace 700 trees on the property.
Tom Ryan, 2055 Orchard Lake, Sylvan Lake, attorney for the school spoke about the efforts made to maximize the features on the site. He felt the value of the site would go up exponentially as great care has been made to custom fit this use on this property. They have downsized the building to minimize the footprint of the building itself and worked to minimize the parking to eliminate vast parking areas. They had asked the Planning Commission to allow them to place trees outside the parking areas instead of having interior trees to maximize the property they have to lower the impervious service of the parking area. He felt when the campus was built it would be a monument to the environmental efforts of the City and its ordinances. The ordinance doesnít allow for any relief other than tree replacement elsewhere in the City or replacement of money into the tree fund. Their efforts have been geared toward being as environmentally sensitive as possible. The decision was made, in consultation with staff to maximize the natural features, leave the wetlands and trees where they are but unfortunately trees would have to be removed to build the site. Mr. Ryan said they were not here to take, they were here to give. They could give back natural features to other areas of the City, work with the Parks and Recreation Department regarding field and gymnasium usage in the City and would work to bring that to the table. They have fields and an auxiliary gymnasium and field that could be used to fill a need for the City. They also have the community service impact and would work with the City in that regard. Mr. Ryan believed they would bring a specific benefit to the City and would be good citizens. He asked Council to consider allowing them an opportunity to give back to the City in a different way.
Mr. Fisher stated this was a proposal that was prepared by the property owner to avoid the necessity of paying into the tree fund. This has been prepared and would essentially have narrow application to circumstance involving a public or private school where the property is not less than 50 acres in size and where a majority of the site is being preserved for the long term and where other public interest components are involved. Those components being joint use of the athletic facilities and recreation facilities and an arrangement for community service that would support preserving or enhancing City natural resources. It is an attempt to exchange public interest for public interest and a matter within the sound discretion of the Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated while she appreciated the applicant had gone through the trouble of bringing this ordinance forward, the ordinance in its present condition isnít anything she could support. She said she called Parks and Recreation Director Randy Auler and asked him to comment regarding the proposal of indoor/outdoor recreational facilities they would be shared with the City by way of a memorandum of understanding. She asked what the value of using those facilities, if they were shared, would be using a formula of what such usage would cost the City if we wanted to find them somewhere else and had to pay for them times the number of events or hours that would be available. She said she would want to put that information together with an agreement that would cover a number of years, 5 or 6, wherein each of those years that an amount totaling $20,000, if we are talking about a million dollars worth of trees being required under our current Woodland Ordinance, we would be separating that amount in to a specific period wherein we would ask for 1) trees on site, 2) trees off site, 3) provide service, 4) estimated value of recreation facilities provided, and 5) cash to total that $20,000. If 5 or 6 years is too short, it could be longer. This would address the concerns that our Woodlands Ordinance currently requires. The main reason she could not support the ordinance was other facilities could use this ordinance. Also, under G-1 we donít know what an "indefinite future" is and we donít know if the facility would be sold. She thought a formalized agreement about how this could be done could be a win-win situation for everyone. She understood the dollar costs but felt other costs on the site could be delayed in favor of meeting this obligation to the City. In the recent past, Holy Family, St. James, Our Lady of Victory and Meadowbrook Congregational all proposed to build and are meeting City requirements. She said there is a way and she thought it could be done if everyone agreed to work together, but she would not approve this ordinance.
Member Lorenzo concurred with previous speaker and thought this would be a wholesale change to the Woodlands Ordinance that hasnít changed since 1986 and has only been appealed twice and would undermine the intent of the ordinance. She suggested a development agreement for this particular situation instead of designing an ordinance amendment for it. The proposed language is more of an automatic situation and is not asking the Council for a variance from the strict application of the ordinance. Other religious and educational institutions have complied with the ordinance. She was concerned the students would get the wrong message that when their obligations couldnít be met, change them to suit their needs. She would be willing to consider other alternative such as a development agreement that would meet both the Cityís and the schools needs. It is important to apply the standards across the board with regard to the ordinance and she did not like "designer" ordinances. If there was to be an ordinance, if a development agreement could not be done, this ordinance would have to be tightened up dramatically and would have to be an ordinance amendment in a variance form from the Council.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Ryan when this was brought to the City woodland staff personís attention and he responded it was last fall. The City Manager and Assistant City Manager worked with them on these issues and had been very accommodating during this process. Member Lorenzo asked if the Planning Department and the City Attorney was aware, at that point, of the issues? She asked why the Planning Commission didnít know about the issues? Mr. Ryan replied because they wouldnít make the decision, Council would. However, they knew it was an issue. Member Lorenzo felt the Planning Commission, as a courtesy from the applicant or City staff should have been advised. Mr. Fisher advised them to include strict compliance with the ordinance and no one spoke of not being able to meet the ordinance. Mr. Ryan said the Planning Commission was shocked at how much money it would take to replace the trees, which is $980,000. He felt that with this complicated site plan, they came through as well as any applicant could and the only issues to be dealt with after site plan are parking and woodlands.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher why he didnít tell the Planning Commission there were discussions going on about a possible ordinance amendment? Mr. Fisher stated his job was to make things work and to protect the community and keep it out of trouble. There had been no finality and no submission of an ordinance. He asked, in hindsight, with trying to make things work, should he have mentioned the trees because the Planning Commission had no control over that? He said from his standpoint, his throwing out the idea of an ordinance would create chaos and wasnít productive. She felt if information is available, regardless of what commission is being dealt with, it should be provided.
Mr. Fisher stated there were always various issues in every complicated project that would prove to be lengthy. He understood what she was saying but in each and every situation it doesnít have the right perception to bring up complications that seem to be open ended. She said she understood.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Ryan if it mattered to them how they met the relief? Mr. Ryan stated no. She asked if he would be amenable to a development agreement? He said he would be happy to work with Mr. Fisher.
Mr. Helwig stated that while he hiked the site two years ago, he was stunned by the amount of water and woodlands on the site. To the north there was cleared land and Mr. Helwig said they kept pushing them toward cleared land and that was made public several times. They went back to the owner several times to get cleared land to make the project work. Staff didnít know where the project would land and he sent information out in an off week packet because he knew it would be news.
Member Sanghvi stated he was personally against cutting any trees and thought it was a tragedy to sacrifice the trees at the altar of this religious school. He doesnít care for this.
Member Csordas asked about compliance requirements for public schools. Mr. Fisher replied the current state of the law is now being questioned and set to be argued in the Supreme Court in about 10 days and in all likelihood a public school might not have to comply. The school code says the Superintendent of Public Schools shall have exclusive jurisdiction. Member Csordas asked about mitigation for the fields south of the high school. Mr. Fisher stated it was specified they had to meet ordinances by way of contract rather than by ordinance or statute. They contracted for that regulation because it was a joint arrangement.
Member Csordas noted that the owners donated this property knowing they couldnít develop it with all the trees and it was donated to a good charity. His challenge with this, while being flexible and working as partners, gives merit to Mayor Pro Tem Bononiís suggestions. The issue of spreading obligation was an intriguing solution and suggested making it 10 years. He felt Council needed to be flexible and fair with anyone who comes to the City. Member Csordas didnít want to set precedence that might have consequences on future Councils and the City in the future. He said there has obviously been a lot of constructive work done on this with all parts. He suggested getting some numbers on a ten year agreement in terms of student community service, shared facilities, and costs. He thought it was a step in the right direction to address concerns without setting a precedent that would be a problem in the future. Mr. Ryan stated they would be happy to explore that. It has been a partnership thus far and it would continue to be and they appreciate support of the idea. Member Csordas stated he wouldnít object to something being worked out over 10 years.
Member Capello stated his concern was how it affected the public school. Our public schools donít have to replace the woodlands so why should they have to be replaced with this school? On the other hand, we just approved a lease with the school system and are requiring them to replace all the trees. He thought Council needed to rectify both of these situations and that there was consensus of Council that somehow they wanted to work something out. He asked if the first reading was done, and a development agreement was made, how would that affect the ordinance? Mr. Fisher stated it was very critical because we are talking about a very substantial million-dollar deviation from our ordinance. We have no standards in our current ordinances or any other established policy, etc. to make a decision like that. He concurred with Member Csordas not to saddle future Councilís with a monster that is attempting to do something very helpful, as in this manner. We have to avoid making an arbitrary decision a decision without standards in this kind of situation. If we do it would be very difficult not to approve a future request made of this nature. It was Mr. Fisherís opinion that an ordinance was needed to create standards of some sort even if it is an ordinance that carried out a mutually agreeable arrangement for the establishment of a 5 or 10 year plan to authorize that arrangement.
Member Capello asked if Council could take this process that is moving forward now in regard to an ordinance amendment regardless of the content in the language and have an amendment to the effect that there may be an appeal to the City Council based on these standards and the Council could enter into a development agreement in regard to woodlands? Mr. Fisher said yes, if the issue is to move forward Council would want to move for a First Reading but specify the modifications Council intended to make in the First Reading so it can be a First Reading. Member Capello said he wanted to avoid that because he wasnít sure there was consensus yet.
CM-03-03-061 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the First Reading of Ordinance
Amendment to Chapter 37, Section 37-8 of the Woodlands
Protection Act. Second reading will include all Mr. Fisher and
Member Capelloís comments.
Mayor Clark commented the ordinance specifies some things including the property is approved for use as public, parochial or private elementary or high school, isnít less than 50 acres in site or area, this ordinance states no less than 60% of open space, a conservation easement in a form approved by the City Attorney that is permanent (in perpetuity) and sharing of recreational facilities by way of written memorandum of understanding. There is no other development in the City that guaranteed all these things. Mayor Clark commended Mr. Pellerito for donating this property to the school. By each of the 1,100 students doing 10 hours of community service in the community, this might be a solution to the Cityís need to have additional staff at Meadowbrook. Mr. Ryan noted in the tree replacement program $325 is allocated per tree for replacement and two thirds of that is labor. The student body could provide the labor and the City could use the money saved elsewhere in the City. Mayor Clark noted a perfect example of that was Arbor Day with the scouts enhancing the community by planting trees. Mayor Clark said he would support a First Reading of the ordinance to provide them an opportunity to get with Mr. Fisher and if they came back with something that would require Council to fine tune the ordinance, Council could do that as well.
Mr. Fisher stated that could be done for Second Reading and adoption and thought that it was necessary to interject some ideas to have a legitimate Second Reading. Member Lorenzo wanted to make a motion to postpone. Mayor Clark stated he would support the adding of ideas but not a motion to postpone.
CM-03-03-062 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; MOTION DEFEATED: To postpone the First Reading and direct Mr. Fisher and Mr. Ryan to collaborate and further explore a development agreement that would incorporate the opportunities discussed at the Council table and be for non-profit schools or tax exempt schools.
Member Landry stated the religion should be taken out of this because it has nothing to do with this. This is about the location and the opportunity for a prestigious educational institution to move to Novi. If this were Cranbrooke or Detroit Country Day the situation would be no different. He thought nothing else would add to the draw of Novi like this type of school and itís unique a situation and meeting the criteria of 60% open space, community service component, shared facilities, etc. was great. Member Landry was leery of setting a dollar figure on using the gym, as that might not be able to be done. He would not support postponing this and was in favor of approving the first reading with some standards for a development agreement that moves toward an exchange of public interest for public interest.
Mayor Pro tem Bononi asked the attorney to clarify a point if Council is talking about tweaking the ordinance she would not support it because it would be a major overhaul to the material that we have because there is so much missing and so much that would have to be removed. She would not support any exchange of effort as being totally an equitable exchange because that would open the door to inequities to many potential applicants. Her concern is what criteria would be in this ordinance. If it is the same ordinance that is on the table she would not support it so she didnít see what good postponing it would do.
Mr. Fisher suggested a decision of Council for an agreement, geared toward an educational institution with a history of quality education, it would require an evaluation to provide over time contributions in terms of value by way of tree planting, community service, and recreational facilities. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was looking for cash and it was a part of her original intention, a combination of all. Mayor Clark also agreed the agreement could be spread over a period of 10 years. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she would be satisfied with that but there would be other portions of the ordinance she would want removed. Mr. Fisher said removal is easy. She asked how would they have this input? Mr. Fisher said the next step would be that he would take these items and work with Mr. Ryan and provide it back to the Council. Mr. Ryan agreed.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-062 Yeas: Sanghvi, Lorenzo
Postponement Nays: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
Mayor Clark asked if Mr. Capello would incorporate into his motion the issues and items raised by Mr. Fisher because of his concerns about the motion needing specifics? Member Capello agreed and suggested adding a Subsection 6 entitled Community Service with a memorandum of understanding just as was in Subsection 5 and that might satisfy some of the development agreement concerns of some of the Members. He thought there was a lot that Catholic Central could offer such as juniors and seniors that could referee our basketball, soccer, etc. as a part of Community Service, which would get some money back into the system. Also, Catholic Central students could provide summer camps for hockey, basketball and soccer. Subsections 1 and 2 need to accommodate our own school system in the event the Supreme Court turns around the Court of Appeals decision. Subsection 1 should talk about ancillary uses in case our high school wants to expand they donít have to build another building they can just expand their fields. Maybe the 50 acres wouldnít accommodate our high school or middle school site. He thought Council had to look at those acreages to make sure to accommodate our own school systems if we need to comply with this ordinance.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was concerned about including any acts of legislature that are not accurate as of today. She would not be interested in pursuing that because in the event that they are successful, they would have to be addressed anyway. If that is part of the amendment it would be the only part of it she would not accept. Member Capello said 50 acres might accommodate Catholic Central itself and not accommodate our high school or middle school. So since we are talking about public schools, take an acreage that fits into our public schools also. She said she didnít know that it would fit so thatís the reason she wanted to comment.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-061 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Ryan if he could meet with Mr. Fisher before the Council
meeting of March 17th. Mr. Ryan said he could.
5. Consideration of request to Road Commission for Oakland County to close
Clark Street at Grand River Avenue to through vehicular traffic.
Mayor Clark said there are people on both sides of this issue. He asked if thought had been given to the possibility of local and emergency traffic only. In Bloomfield Hills, if on a "local traffic only" road and youíre not local traffic, it is a $100 fine. Mayor Clark asked if Council would be amenable to closing Clark St. and leaving Lannys open with "local traffic and emergencies only" signage? Then provide residents on Clark and Lannys with a decal for their cars that designates they are local residents. Mr. Fisher stated areas can be designated for local traffic and are in many communities. The gray area becomes guests but that would be traceable when a stop is made.
Member Landry asked if a fine could be assessed at this time. Mr. Fisher said it would be a civil infraction and the judge would impose the fine accordingly. Member Landry said the people on Lannys and Clark Street have legitimate concerns with 17 accidents in the last five years. Heís in favor of closing Clark but addressing the Lannys Road residents concerns and would like to hear from the engineers, police and fire.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was concerned about compliance issues in local traffic only. She felt there should be a grace period until people became accustomed to the fact that if they are through traffic, they would be stopped and fined. She wanted parameters on how long the grace period would be and whether there was police department commitment to do that. She would also look into the sufficiency of the existing pavement on that street to carry the traffic we are talking about, absent any kind of improvement, and if closing one street would improvements be proposed for the other such as considering sidewalks. Mayor Clark suggested a 1st time warning and a 30 to 60 day grace period. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said the signalization at Grand River and Taft was going to be improved and folks that might have sought another route might reconsider because of the turning phase at the new signal at Taft and Grand River.
Member Capello said he drove Lannys or Clark Street almost everyday. He said when Grand River is five lanes it would be logical for residents to also come from Roma Ridge, Jamestown etc. to come north through Lannys or Clark to get to Grand River. They are not going to go through the subdivisions to 10 Mile Road to Novi Road to get back up to the expressway and Grand River. When talking about local traffic it would have to be designated what the local areas will be and it would probably be much broader than anticipated. He thought both streets should be kept open and designated to local traffic otherwise all of that traffic including the Clark Street subdivision and the new subdivisions along the railroad track would be pushed down Lannys and that would be unfair to Lannys. He asked if a new ordinance would have to be adopted? Mr. Fisher stated it would be a traffic control order. He asked if the local traffic would have to be designated tonight or would it be part of the traffic control order. Mr. Fisher said it would be a part of the order.
Member Csordas suggested one-way south on Lannys Road, which would allow the Fire Department and Police Department to get in there but would not allow non-local traffic and he would close Clark Street.
CM-03-03-063 Moved by Landry, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: That City Administration give direction to
the County to close Clark Street and make Lannys Road a one
way street going south with an affirmative response by traffic
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi would support the motion if the maker of the motion would agree that the one way movement south would be affirmative responded to by the traffic engineer. Member Landry agreed.
Member Capello suggested that a no left turn sign during certain hours would work.
Member Lorenzo said she would support the motion and thought it was a better solution than the local traffic only because that would be an enforcement nightmare.
Member Sanghvi asked why Clark Street should be closed instead of making it a one-way street both ways? There would still be accessibility and suggested Council should wait to hear from more people. He spoke with friends that live on Clark Street and they donít want it closed.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-063 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
Lorenzo, Sangvhi, Clark
6. Consideration of Traffic Signal Permit fee, in the amount of $75,000, to the Road Commission for Oakland County for signal improvements at Grand River Avenue and Taft Road.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if this item was budgeted and was advised that it was.
CM-03-03-064 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Traffic Signal Permit fee, in the
amount of $75,000, to the Road Commission for Oakland
County for signal improvements at Grand River Avenue and
11:48 PM Member Landry absent from room.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-064 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark,
7. Consideration of citizen feedback and information on for design decisions to complete South Lake Drive Reconstruction.
Member Landry returned to the room at 11:50 p.m.
Mr. Helwig noted additional information has come forward along with further input from residents and direction from Council and he asked for approval to proceed with bidding. Mr. Helwig explained the changes included in the proposed plan. He said there was no permanent acquisition of private land and it has been brought down to close proximity of the money already appropriated for the project setting aside what must be awarded for construction engineering and inspection contract. Mr. Helwig asked for Council authorization to proceed to have the revised design completed and proceed to bidding with the estimate of $1,748,000. The recommendations would include the narrow corridor along the lake shore from Henning to the entrance of Lake Shore Park. We are adopting the East Lake Drive model on the south side of the integrated bike path with drainage along that painted line. On the north side there is the monument curb separated by gaps for various bio-swales that would work in concert with the separators. At the hill east of Lake Shore Park entrance by moving the roadway north a little avoided any acquisition. The bike path would be narrowed there to about 3 or 4 feet for that short distance until you crest the hill. East and west of that major 75% area there would be the monument curbs with the gaps for the bio-swales. Road width would remain at 10-foot lanes, separated bike path in that 75% and would be 8 foot wide on the south side of the road. There are medians at the east end and the west end in conjunction with the Bristol Corners development east of West Park Drive. Traffic calming circles or chicanes werenít practical, thatís why speed tables were introduced.
Mr. Fisher stated the facilities should conform to State and Federal standards.
Member Csordas asked if the bump on the road would be removed? Nancy McClain stated it was being remedied at Shawood Canal and the dip would be removed.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how many lineal feet of bio-swale was being proposed with this amendment to the original plan? Also, how many vortechnics units would be used? Ms. McClain said it would now be four units. One at the Shawood Canal, one in the area where the Middle Rouge crosses under South Lake Drive and the other two are in the center of the area. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if any easements would have to be acquired? Ms. McClain said some drainage easements might be necessary. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was concerned about costs. She said the vortechnic units donít take nutrients like fertilizer, etc. out of the water nor does it treat pathogens. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what the life of a vortechnics unit was? Ms. McClain replied approximately 50 years. Mayor Pro Tem Bononiís concern was the units would become the maintenance responsibility of the City and the ultimate replacement would be the financial responsibility of the City. Ms. McClain said all of the drainage system is the financial responsibility of the City. Each unit costs between $12,000 and $20,000. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked for the lineal feet of bio-swale? Ms. McClain said on the western portion there is about 2,500 feet and in the interior, along one side, there is about 4,000 feet, which is approximately 6,500 feet. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated that was a great improvement over what we had before and that she appreciated Dr. Tiltonís letter to that regard as well.
Member Landry was concerned about the speed tables as Fire Chief Lenaghan thought it was the equivalent of 20 stop signs when fire apparatus went down the road. Chief Lenaghan had checked with the Fire Marshall about this and his opinion was if he was operating a piece of fire apparatus, he would stop at each one of them. Research was difficult to find on this speed table and they had talked to Washington Twp., Ohio, Boulder Colorado and got the most comprehensive study from Boca Raton, Florida who had a program like this that has been successful. In a 25 MPH zone the truck would be reduced to 21 MPH and not at a complete stop as previously stated. Member Landry asked about painting it to look like a traffic table. Chief noted tables in California and Colorado and Florida increased response times by 8 seconds per table. Member Landry would support it without the tables.
Member Lorenzo appreciated Dr. Tiltonís information and supported removing curb and gutter. She was not in favor of the tables and if raised intersections caused the same type of delay she would not be in favor of them either. She had questions regarding the boulevards in terms of the fire apparatus and automobiles trying to get to the side to allow them passage. She asked if those figures had been adjusted or are they still the concerns noted by the department back in August? Ms. McClain said when Fire Marshall Evans looked at the boulevards, they were much longer and they have been shortened. He noted that in that amount of space, they could go around if need be or a vehicle could clear out of that space. It does not leave a lot of space to have a lot of vehicles in. She said they could go around in the opposing lane and there is the possibility of doing that as vehicles could move past the boulevard section to allow the fire truck to pass. The fire truck wouldnít have to go around the opposing lane but it would also be an option at Pennington Drive and on the south side of the road there is a widening of the road because of the volumes going into Bristol Corners South. This would also give additional room for vehicle passage in that area. Member Lorenzo asked Chief Lenaghan if he was satisfied that vehicles could get through? Chief Lenaghan said there is always a safety concern but he had no objection to the revisions they did as noted in the second letter dated February 27th. Member Lorenzo noted she didnít have the second letter and asked for a copy of it and said she couldnít support the boulevard without documentation from the Fire Department that they were satisfied with the adjustments that had been made. Chief Lenaghan stated he was satisfied.
Member Lorenzo was concerned about curb and gutter restricting. Ms. McClain stated they were proposing that most of the road would have curb and gutter and the only portion not having it would be the south side between Henning and the park, north side between Henning and the park and the rest of the road would have curb and gutter on both sides. There would be periodic cuts in the curb and gutter to allow drainage to come in, it would control the drainage and bring it into the swales and from a roadway maintenance standpoint if there is no curb and gutter we need to have shoulder or the road would ravel away. The curb and gutter, would protect the investment in the road. In the dark, the curb is visible and acts as a safety feature. Member Lorenzo was not sure she would support full curb and gutter.
Member Sanghvi felt there were two issues on South Lake Drive, which are safety and better road service for the residents and what to do with commuters traveling east to west. He read comments asking, "hasnít enough been spent on the roads, etc. He said commuter traffic wouldnít get any better. He believed local roads should be repaved and a solution found for commuters farther south of South Lake Dr. Member Sanghvi suggested this be looked into it from different perspectives and try to solve the problem once and for all.
Mayor Clark noted that safety is a real concern with increasing traffic. Something needed to be done and thatís why a traffic study was begun over 2 years ago. We projected that with the opening of M-5, traffic would be less on East Lake Drive and that has occurred. The improvements proposed to South Lake Dr. in conjunction with the Beck Road improvements in the interchange, which is still on track, would produce a substantial reduction in traffic on South Lake Drive. Mayor Clark said he supported curbs and gutters but would not have a problem with the removal of traffic tables due to concerns expressed by the Fire Department. He would support moving this project along and agreed curbs and gutters afford protection. He suggested taking out the tables and put the striping in. It would accomplish the same purpose and save money. He felt it was crucial to move this along as after two years, it was time to do something. It wouldnít be possible to satisfy all the residents but the best had to be done to serve the public interest and this is the most practical solution.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated she was concerned with receiving such a small number of responses. Of the 1,400 mailers sent to South Lake and lakes area residents, only 225 responded. She wanted to accommodate the residents as they live there and have to deal with the improvements and she hoped they had opinions on what is being done. However, with that small response, she has very real concerns but the people were allowed to speak and they have spoken or not.
CM-03-03-065 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To bring the matter forward for continued
design decisions utilizing the concerns and amendments
that each member of Council has added to the discussion this
evening to be returned to Council the second meeting in April.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Helwig if he was looking for a time frame to bring this back and Mr. Helwig referred it to Ms. McClain for an opinion on how much redesign time this would need.
Ms. McClain said approximately a month to six weeks. Mr. Helwig suggested the second meeting in April and she agreed.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-065 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark,
8. Approval of Ordinance 03-108.04 amending Sec. 5-9 "Limit on Number of Dogs" to eliminate duplication of regulations. 2nd Reading & Adoption
CM-03-03-066 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance 03-108.04 amending
Sec. 5-9 "Limit on Number of Dogs" to eliminate duplication of
regulations. 2nd Reading & Adoption
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-066 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi,
9. Approval of Ordinance 03-156.02, an Ordinance to amend Chapter 2, Article V, Division 3, Sections 2-193.2, 2-193.3 and 2-193.5, 2-193.6, of the Novi Code of Ordinances to provide for eligibility standards using the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and additional sources of income and factors, for the granting of poverty exemptions from real property taxation by the Board of Review. 2nd Reading & Adoption.
CM-03-03-067 Moved by Sanghvi, seconded Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance 03-156.02, an
Ordinance to amend Chapter 2, Article V, Division 3, Sections
2-193.2, 2-193.3 and 2-193.5, 2-193.6, of the Novi Code of
Ordinances to provide for eligibility standards using the
Federal Poverty Guidelines, and additional sources of income
and factors, for the granting of poverty exemptions from real
property taxation by the Board of Review. 2nd Reading &
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-067 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
10. Discussion of Growth Management Plan deliverables.
CM-03-03-068 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone discussion of Growth
Management Plan until the April 7th meeting.
Member Landry said he would not be available March 17th. There was consensus of Member Lorenzo and Council to reschedule this item for April 7th.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-068 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II Ė None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Schedule joint Council and Planning Commission Meeting Ė Member Landry
Mayor Clark suggested this be moved to the next agenda and Council agreed.
Wayne Hogan, had concerns regarding Catholic Central handicap parking at stadium entrances and asked for a guarantee of appropriate handicap parking. There are only 13 in the entire area of the school. His suggestion to Catholic Central was to place roll out signs for additional handicap parking but he had no response. He stated one Father told him that people with disabilities donít attend the games and that bothered him. He requested that all handicap spaces be provided in the front for a few more dollars. He also had a problem with obligatory servitude, as they werenít coming to the City volunteering and he felt it was contractual servitude that they are entering into. Regarding the neighborhood issues such as Clark Street, he suggested using a speed gun and video for those who violate the ordinance. Mr. Hogan didnít have a chance to see all the changes to the South Lake Drive and was concerned about a cross walk at a curve and wondered if that was addressed. There was 75 feet between the curve and where people would be crossing.
Mr. Hogan said tonight there are 12 people with mobility disabilities. There was no handicap parking spaces left when he arrived. Out of 318 spaces there are only 4 handicap spaces and he would like additional attention to that situation. Even at Meadowbrook Commons, where the seniors live, there was very little thought to parking. He felt people were blind to the issues. He asked, with the Brightmoor issue and some of the others, he would like to see some forward thinking being put into the process. Curb cuts are going in for drainage but they are also needed to accommodate humans as well.
Pat Karevich, Clark Street resident, was concerned that the street was closed without notification to the residents that this item was on the agenda tonight to close the street. Also, sheís heard very little talk about the bridge? She asked if it was true that there was a mesh fence on top of the wall? Is it aesthetically pleasing to those entering our downtown area? Mr. Pearson stated the residents pointed that out, he took it up with the Road Commission and they found that it was not necessary and the fence has been removed.
Gary Zak, 359 South Lake Drive, spoke about the time spent to increase safety on South Lake Drive and said since he has had the opportunity to look at the plans closely he had concerns that it might not go far enough in addressing the safety issue. He thought many task force suggestions have been disregarded or watered down. The goal was to increase the safety of pedestrians and residents of South Lake Drive. He was told that the City considered removing the tunnel between the park and the beach to further reduce the height of the overpass. The Parks and Recreation Department dismissed this because of concerns of liability and safety of people crossing from the park to the beach. If the new design is effective, why is this a concern? He had concerns over the portion of the bike path that is immediately adjacent to the road. He didnít see how it would work with mail delivery or garbage pick-up and snow removal. He asked for consideration of residents while struggling with these safety concerns.
John Pisha, 351 South Lake Drive, sent a memo dated February 19, 2003 to Council. In November 2000 when the City first began discussions to increase quality of life for South Lake Drive residents. Five goals were agreed upon and he asked Council to keep the goals in mind as they move forward. He said Dateline ran traffic calming stories last Thursday with similar issues around the country as ours and many communities have made permanent changes. Boulder Coloradoís Deputy Fire Chief said in the interview that the 6 inch speed humps were slowing them down 5 to 7 seconds. What the City is proposing, a 3 inch raise over a 6 foot run would be pretty minimal. Mr. Pisha thanked Dr. Sanghvi for his comments and support.
Mark Kemper, 357 South Lake Drive, noted while some would like to compare East Lake Drive to South Lake Drive, he would like to see South Lake Dr. more pedestrian friendly. He realized that when additional roads open, such as the Beck Road Interchange, it might help slightly but all the traffic coming westbound is bottlenecked before it even gets to Beck Road, sometimes as far back as Southfield. He felt 12 Mile access would alleviate some traffic as it flows into the expressway. Our real concern is how is traffic going to be diverted off of the road and how are we going to slow traffic without police out there all day long. He said 90% of traffic is cut through traffic.
Jorge Linke, thanked Council for their recommendation on Clark Street and Lannys Road.
There being no further business to come before Council the meeting was adjourned at 12:47 a.m.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Charlene McLean
Date approved: April 7, 2003