|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE
COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Dave Evancoe – Director of Planning
Nancy McClain – City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Lorenzo asked to add Item #5 to Mayor and Council Issues, "Request of Status of Ash Tree Removals and Status of the Tree Fund".
Mayor Clark noted that he had received a note from Mr. Pearson to add to Agenda Item #6, "Approval of Resolution Setting an Availability Fee of $9,578.54".
CM-03-10-323 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-323 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
1. Proclamation for October 2003 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Mayor Clark presented the proclamation to Patti Merritt of the Novi Rotary Club. October, 2003 is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and October 17, 2003 is National Mammography Day. 200,000 new cases of female breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2003, and close to 40,000 will die from this disease. Almost 1500 new cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2003, and more than 200 will die from the disease. Early detection and prompt treatment can significantly reduce suffering and death caused by the disease. Mammography and x-ray of the breast is recognized as the single most effective method of detecting breast changes that may be cancer, long before physical changes can be seen or felt.
Ms. Merritt proudly accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Novi Rotary Club. She thanked Dr. Sanghvi for bringing awareness to the club on how early detection and greater awareness will help to prevent the disease. On Saturday, October 10th, the American Cancer Society will hold their annual walk for the prevention of breast cancer.
1. Special Assessment District No. 168 – West Lake Drive Water Main Extension.
Mayor Clark noted that Council had received a number of response forms pertaining to SAD 168 and SAD 169. Forms had been received from Lori Marshik, approving of SAD’s 168 and 169; Thomas P. Harvey and Joyce Harvey, approving of SAD’s 168 and 169; Arlene P. Colter, opposing the SAD’s; Jerry M. Young, opposing the SAD’s; Juanita Jones, protesting SAD 169; Mike Sulla, protesting SAD 169; Roger and Sue Curtis, protesting SAD 169; Timothy C. Richardson, approving of SAD’s 168 and 169; Lawrence L. Luchi, approving of the SAD’s; Bruce D. Barnard, approving of the SAD’s; Ronald Johnston, approving of the SAD’s; Lori A. McLean, approving of both SAD’s; Richard Curtis, objecting to the SAD’s; Ernst Von Schlager, objecting; James J. Harvey, in favor; Anthony Moy, objecting; and Brian A. Kosaian, approving of the SAD’s.
2. Special Assessment District No. 169 – West Lake Drive Road Paving. – No public comment
3. Community Recreation Plan 2003-2008. – No public comment
4. Local Law Enforcement Block Grant 2003 Proposed Use of Funds. – No public comment
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
Member Csordas said he had the opportunity during the previous week to meet with a group of high school students that are interested in local government. They talked about how the City works, the City Manager’s role, and the master plan. Those students filled out a survey and asked him to bring those responses in for the master plan.
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig was pleased to report that all lanes are now open on Twelve Mile Road just west of the intersection of Novi Road and Twelve Mile, eastward toward Meadowbrook. There is some further restoration work going on, and the traffic signal controllers still need to be properly placed. Later this month, the project will be completed.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Lori Harris, Wainwright, noted that she had dropped off a packet of letters and petitions regarding the proposed celebration for July of 2004. There is already an existing traffic problem in the neighborhood area due to malls, construction, and the increase in the City population. Included in the packet was a comparison for population to show population growth since 1960. The population of Novi in 1960 was about 6,000, and the City is currently up to greater than 47,000. There is no parking available on the casino site, and residents are concerned that visitors would park in their neighborhoods, creating an unsafe situation for residents. She expressed concern about who would pay the costs for the event. Other concerns include property damage to the area, child safety, the availability of the Police and Fire Departments to residents during the event, noise, and traffic. Novi has changed dramatically since the casino was in existence.
Mary Mactervane, 2297 Austin Drive, thanked Council, particularly Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and Member Lorenzo, for their persistence in chip sealing Austin Drive. Research shows that chip seal is not only durable, but also cost effective. She thanked Benny McCusker, as well as the Jeff – the owner of the company that performed the chip sealing. The workers from both the City and the chip seal company were friendly, informative, and extremely polite. Her neighborhood, one of the oldest in Novi, has supported the City since the tax base was established. The residents had paid their dues for years, and never received anything from the City until now. She asked Council to consider chip sealing the remaining 9 or 10 miles of dirt roads in the City in the same manner if it is applicable. The citizens living on those roads deserve to live on a dirt, dust, and mud free road. Ms. Mactervane expressed concern about how Member Lorenzo and Mayor Pro Tem Bononi were being treated by other Council Members during Council meetings.
Jeff Harris, 134 Wainwright, said that not many residents remember the amusement park or associate it with the City. Residents today think of Novi as a great place to raise a family. The City has safe, well-maintained neighborhoods and a great school system. Residents find comfort in the fine Police and Fire Departments. The City’s shopping centers are great, and the Music and Motor Fest is a strong attraction. If Council considers Mr. Alan’s proposal, he asked that parking be considered. Emergency response to some of the neighborhood streets would be impaired by parked cars. He expressed concern about disorderly conduct because of alcohol consumption at the event. This event is more suitable to be held at the Expo Center, where parking is available, and the event would not be in any neighborhoods. Mr. Harris asked what would later be allowed on the property, should the proposed event be approved.
Clare Wilson, 42028 Loganberry, has lived in Novi for 32 years. In the 1980’s, the citizens of Novi voted the necessary taxing authority to build and maintain the Novi Civic Center. Wisely, the designers provided for convenient handicap parking on the north side of the building. Many residents who paid for the building are now seniors. Unfortunately, some are handicapped. In a year’s time more than 1,500 seniors visit the Civic Center for recreational pinnacle. There are also two bridge groups with a similar attendance. Other events are also attended by handicap parkers. The parking area is very important to those who use walkers and wheelchairs. The removal of the north side parking area has been a waste of taxpayer money. He presented Council with 3 pages of signatures requesting that the driveway on the north side of the Civic Center be reopened, and the handicap parking there restored.
Bob McCann said he had spent the past 15 years as the president of the Music and Motor Fest of Novi. He wished to speak to Council about the consideration of another festival that would take place at roughly the same time, called nearly the same thing, and that would be held on City property as opposed to a privately-funded event that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the community over the past 17 years. While the concept that Mr. Alan certainly has merit, and he was a resident of Novi when the Walled Lake Casino was in business, there are many ways that that time could be celebrated. The Music and Motor Fest has been putting on a privately-funded community event in Novi, and 100% of the proceeds go back to the community. He asked that Council deny the request for the proposed festival. The Music and Motor Fest would run about the same time as the proposed Music and Family Fest, and this would pose a competitive disadvantage to one of the festivals that does not need to exist. Hundreds of thousands of people have attended the Music and Motor Fest over the years and have enjoyed it.
Mark Adams, 1721 East Lake Drive, noted that he had served on the Lake Property Study Committee with the charge to create recommendations for the City property. The Committee performed a City-wide survey on what citizens believed should happen with that parcel. This survey was conducted through 3 sources: a newsletter around Walled Lake, the Novi News, and homeowners’ associations. The surveys consisted of 13 separate questions asking people to rate whether they were in favor, indifferent, or against various ideas. No matter how the survey was conducted, the results were similar to one another. Regarding whether the City should retain the property or sell it, respondents supported retaining the property by a 10-to-1 margin. A similar number felt the land should remain as a park. The overwhelming response for the property’s use was for special events such as concerts and art fairs. Another question was whether there should be a public boat launch on the site, and responses showed a 3-to-1 level of opposition to this idea. In essence, the feedback showed that residents desired the land to remain as a park setting. He suggested that it would be worthy for Council to consider Mr. Alan’s proposition, as well as the concerns of residents about the matter.
Andrew Mutch, 24740 Taft Road, wished to comment on the City’s proposed Community Recreation Plan. When the plan was first presented, he expressed concerns with some of its fundamental assumptions, which he still has. The plan assumes that the City will have a build-out population of 72,000 residents. He asked why this number comes from SEMCOG, not the City’s Master Plan for Future Land Use. The City does not plan its police and fire services upon SEMCOG figures, nor its water and sewer service. Even the master plan’s conservative estimate of 74,000 residents will require over 100 acres of parkland. He questioned why the City would deliberately understate its future population and in the process underestimate its future needs. The plan fails to address the real needs of the City’s population based on geography. For example, there is a great disproportion of parkland in the southeastern section of the City, where 37% of residents live. The plan states that the City meets the current passive recreation needs because it provides 473 acres for passive parkland uses, which is inaccurate. Most of this acreage is not usable for passive recreational uses such as walking trails and picnic areas. The 473 acres includes large areas of wetlands, floodplains, and all of Shawood Lake. While there are certainly environmental benefits from protecting these areas, they are not usable for passive recreation uses. Parks in southeast Novi have very limited accessibility to residents, especially those with disabilities. There is no way for a person in a wheelchair to access Brookfarm Park, and it is not connected to any sidewalk system. The plan contains no recommendations to address many accessibility needs.
Tom Markus said he has worked for the Music and Motor Fest since it began, and wished the presenters of the proposed festival would have approached the Music and Motor Fest before going to Council. He owns commercial property at 25914 Novi Road, and a developer would like to build condos next to his parcel. While he supports whatever is best for the community, he had served on the Town Center Committee, and they had agreed that the lot would always remain open to the Main Street parking lot.
Wayne Hogan wished to speak about the casino festival. He had examined an aerial photograph of the location and did not see adequate parking for such an event. Without much parking, there would be very limited accessibility for wheelchairs. Regarding the handicap parking issue on the north side of the Civic Center, while everyone understands the need for homeland security, this situation could be improved. He said that if sidewalks are not installed for the diversified properties development then wheelchairs will not be able to access the property. The doors planned for the houses are too small for wheelchairs to fit through. The City’s compliance with ADA requirements for recreation is currently very poor. He expressed concern about objects along a sidewalk on Main Street which render that sidewalk unusable by many people. His concern is not the uncompleted building, but rather the safety of citizens.
Mike Kame of Singh Development Company said Council should have received correspondence from Singh regarding properties that the company has assembled at the south side of Ten Mile, east of Napier Road – one property being the Links of Novi golf course. The letter was written to let the City know there may be an opportunity for the City to benefit greatly. The Company has an opportunity to donate to the City 65 acres of upland and wooded wetland parkland. Even though part of the site is a wooded wetland, it is still usable wooded area. Singh’s concern is to work expeditiously through the process. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee has agreed to help work through the process. The Company has a very small time frame, and he asked that the City work through the process in a timely and expeditious fashion if it so desired the donation. The assemblage will dissolve at the end of the year if the process is not completed.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Lorenzo asked to remove Item E for discussion.
CM-03-10-324 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Items A through D and F through N of the Consent Agenda.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-324 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
September 22, 2003, Regular meeting
B. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-08 for the installation of a No Thru Traffic sign posted on westbound Beckenham Boulevard at Beck Road.
C. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-09 for the installation of a No Thru Traffic sign posted on northbound Kensington at Nine Mile Road.
D. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-10 for the installation of a Yield sign on southbound Barclay Drive at Stratford Lane in the Barclay Estates Subdivision.
F. Approval of contract with Resource Recovery Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County for city management of the recycling center located at the Public Works facility (Delwal Drive).
G. Approval of Resolution Number 5 - Special Assessment District Number 168 – West Lake Drive Water Extension, directing the City Assessor to prepare the Special Assessment Roll and to file the roll with the City Clerk for presentation to City Council.
H. Approval of Resolution Number 5 - Special Assessment District Number 169 – West Lake Drive Paving, directing the City Assessor to prepare the Special Assessment Roll and to file the roll with the City Clerk for presentation to City Council.
I. Approval of Storm Drainage Maintenance Agreement between Gateway Village of Novi, LLC and The Shops of Gateway Village of Novi Association located on the northwest corner of Grand River and Meadowbrook Road.
J. Approval of Storm Drainage Maintenance Agreement with the Gateway Village of Novi, LLC Association located on the northwest corner of Grand River and Meadowbrook Road.
K. Approval of South Lake Drive License Agreements for the placement of conduit pipe under South Lake Drive.
L. Approval to accept the Woodland and Open Space Conservation Easement for the Kirkway Place Condominium Development.
M. Approval to award Fall 2003 Street Tree Planting contract to the low bidder, Greenscape, in the amount of $59,538.
N. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 658.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of Zoning Map Amendment 18.626, request from Alan and Kathy Bond, as the applicant on behalf of three property owners, to rezone the subject properties located in Section 18 on the west side of Wixom Road and south of Grand River Avenue, from R-1 (One Family Residential) to B-2 (Community Business).
CM-03-10-325 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Zoning Map Amendment 18.626, request from Alan and Kathy Bond, as the applicant on behalf of three property owners, to rezone the subject properties located in Section 18 on the west side of Wixom Road and south of Grand River Avenue, from R-1 (One Family Residential) to B-1.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-325 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark
2. Consideration of the request of Ken Albers of Diversified Land Development, LLC for preliminary site plan approval with a PD-1 (Planned Development) Option, Design and Construction Standard waiver for public sidewalk, and a wetland permit, for a 27-unit residential development, SP 02-15B. The subject property is located in Section 10, on the south side of 12-1/2 Mile Road, west of Novi Road in the RM-1 (Low Density, Low Rise Multiple Family) District. The subject property is 4.633 acres.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Ken Albers if the condominium would be a owner occupied project. Mr. Albers said all 27 units would be owner occupied. Member Lorenzo said a concern of hers regarding the PD-1 option, which allows the developer to build an additional story with more rooms, is whether this would reduce buildable area or preserve additional woodlands or wetlands that would otherwise not be preserved. She said it appeared that the site would be maxed-out, and no upland woodlands would be preserved. She questioned what the benefit would be to the City to allow the increase to a third story and create additional units than allowed under RM-1. The Planning Department estimated that if the development consisted of only 2-story buildings and kept the same room configuration, there would be 21 units as opposed to 27 units. She questioned the benefit to the City of the changes, except adding population.
Member Lorenzo said she would support the plan if the developer would agree to remove building #1. This would still net at least 5 additional units, as well as the configuration of rooms. Removing building #1 will eliminate some buildable area on the site, thus creating less impervious surfaces. This would also preserve a small wetland area that is adjacent to the larger wetland area.
Mr. Albers said the PD-1 district has certain standards to meet. The reason for the requested switch to PD-1 is to conserve more natural features on the land by building further upwards while constructing fewer buildings. He disagreed with the density count which was provided to her by the Planning Department. If the RM-1 requirements were used without the PD-1 option, he would be able to construct 32 units on the site, versus the 27 that he proposed.
Member Lorenzo asked if he had ever submitted a plan that showed 32 units on the property. Mr. Albers said Diversified Land Development had submitted alternate plans to the Planning staff throughout the conceptual portion of the development. They had submitted a plan that showed 66 units on site. There were 7 or 8 different design formats submitted.
Member Lorenzo asked how many variances those plans needed. Mr. Albers said the 66 unit design needed fewer variances than the current plan. Member Lorenzo said she found this hard to believe as she looked at the site. Mr. Albers noted that the documents were included in the packet provided to the Planning Commission. The plans that Council received had evolved from previous submittals. This was actually the third submittal of the site plan.
Mr. Albers said the formulas for PD-1 would allow for 94 units, which is certainly not practical for the site. The 27 units is well below the 94 units, and is also below the 32 units that would be allowed under RM-1. He pointed to wetland areas on a map that he said could be developed, but that Diversified Land Development has decided instead to preserve. Currently the property is clear to the water’s edge, but under the site plan trees will be planted to make a net gain of 103 trees. PD-1 also dictates that the development must be in harmony with surrounding areas, and the condominium development would be surrounded on the east, west and south sides by a total of 481 condominium and apartment units. Since this is a small and separate development, additional setbacks are required, whereas these would be eliminated if the parcel were part of an adjacent development. There will be no permanent disturbance to the wetland area.
Member Lorenzo appreciated Mr. Albers’ explanation. Without seeing the plans for 66 units or 32 units on the site, she could not comment on the layout. She would support the plan, but only with the removal of building #1.
Mr. Albers said there were 3 minor variances for the proposed layout, which the Planning Commission has recommended for approval to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The purpose of variances from the Zoning Board is to relieve hardships placed upon property owners because of extreme conditions. This site meets all of those requirements. The parcel is a unique shape – it is two and a half times longer than it is wide. The site is small in comparison to other sites, and thus the restrictions that are set up for larger areas place a hardship on the developers of the parcel. The combined total of the setbacks is 150 feet, but the total building envelope is only 130 feet. He said the Planning Commission made positive comments about the constructions designs, which are 100% brick, earth-tone façade. Removing building #1 would not affect variances at all because none were needed for that construction.
Member Sanghvi asked if there was anyone in the Planning Department who could verify how many plans were presented before the current proposal came to Council. Mr. Evancoe answered that there were 3 plans presented. The original plan was a "total build out" plan that showed a number of units, and in fact what is currently called unit #1 originally had 2 units. A plan was presented to the Planning Commission in April, which made a number of suggestions that resulted in the current plan being submitted.
CM-03-10-326 Moved by Sanghvi, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED: To approve request of Ken Albers of Diversified Land Development, LLC for preliminary site plan approval with a PD-1 (Planned Development) Option, Design and Construction Standard waiver for public sidewalk, and a wetland permit, for a 27-unit residential development, SP 02-15B, subject to Design and Construction Standard waivers, variances, and Planning Commission conditions. The subject property is located in Section 10, on the south side of 12-1/2 Mile Road, west of Novi Road in the RM-1 (Low Density, Low Rise Multiple Family) District. The subject property is 4.633 acres.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Albers to describe the condition of 12 ½ Mile Road as it would serve his site. Mr. Albers said 12 ½ Mile Road would be the main entry to the development. Currently, 12 ½ Mile Road is a hard-packed gravel road. For the last 2 years, this has been used extensively by gravel haulers that have been balancing the Sandstone development down the street, as well as by the equipment from the 180-unit development adjacent to his property. They will be widening the road in front of their development.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if Mr. Albers was saying that this was not a permanently constructed roadway, as the road is not paved and does not have curbs and gutters. She said she was asking in regards to the findings that are required for the special land use considerations in planned developments (PD). What Mr. Albers proposed is in character compliance of the surrounding zones. Although he has RM-1 to the south and west of his site, the area is predominately RA and R-4. She was not completely convinced that what Mr. Albers proposed was compatible with the existing zoning and uses surrounding the area, but asked for Mr. Albers’ opinion.
Mr. Albers said the zoning that the Mayor Pro Tem referred to was no longer current. The property on the south side of 12 ½ Mile used to be R-1, but property immediately on the east from Novi Road up to his property is RM-1 and is being developed with the PD-1 option. To the south are 301 apartments.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was aware of the properties immediately surrounding Mr. Albers’ property, but the compatibility of the existing zones provides a different perception.
Mr. Albers commented that the property immediately to the west is 180 units and is also zoned multiple. The only RA remaining is across the street, and he believed this had already been surveyed and tagged and would be proposed for rezoning as well.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi remarked that she found the capacity of the roadway deficient, and felt that increasing the multiple might create a domino effect in the area for more multiples, which she was concerned about. She was concerned about the character of the buildings and the building mass. The topography of the land will forgive some of the building heights, but the landscaping proposed in the plans was more mature in relation to the construction than what will realistically occur. She expressed concern about how the square footage would fit the character of the buildings. The proposal calls for 171,016 square feet on 4.633 acres. She said she would be more favorable of the proposal if it called for fewer buildings that would be constructed higher. In comparison, the square footage is the equivalent of 2.13 Wal-Mart’s, or 2.85 super-store supermarkets. If the configuration of the parcel does not suit the number of units that Diversified Land Development wishes to build, it does not make the land parcel a hardship. She felt the development proposal was too dense for the site and would did not meet the requirements for compatibility of character.
Mr. Albers said the site is very small in comparison to the adjacent developments in the area. The net site area density of his development is less than any of the developments that surround his. The allowable building coverage for the site, per ordinance, is 25%. The company is only proposing 13.65%. The impact on the traffic and utilities would be so minor that the traffic consultants said a traffic study was not even required for the site. He said the actual total combined square footage of all of the buildings would only be 60,000 square feet.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi had a problem with the findings regarding the special land use and how the project would fit in there. If the project featured higher buildings with a reduced footprint, she would support the proposal, but she felt the stated plan was too dense for the site.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Evancoe how many units could be developed on the property without the Planned Development status. Mr. Evancoe said he believed the developer’s statement was accurate, and was either 32 or 35 units.
Member Csordas felt the development would fit precisely what is desired for that area and the rest of the City. Many parcels that will come forward from the balance of the build-out are going to be difficult parcels to develop. He commended the developer for proposing 5 less units that would be allowed for the site, and said the development was a good use of the land. He inquired what the average sale price of the units would be. Mr. Albers replied that prices will likely start about $275,000 to $280,000.
Member Csordas said he was surprised by the relatively low cost of the condos because the artist’s rendition of the final product was of a very attractive development. This would bring good revenue to the City for very low service requirements. The Planning Commission forwarded a positive recommendation for the preliminary site plan, wetland permit, and storm water management plan.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Albers to explain the waiver for the public sidewalk. Mr. Albers said the requirements are for the sidewalk to be in the future right-of-way, as opposed to the existing right-of-way. On the submittal, the sidewalk was moved into the future right-of-way with the exception of a small area around a waterfall, where the sidewalk was moved around that water feature. They have offered to present documentation to the City Attorney that if the road was ever widened and that portion of the sidewalk had to be moved, the developer would pay all costs to bring the sidewalk back in.
Member Csordas commented that the City is protected against that waiver. He noted that the City Engineering Department indicated that the storm water management plan is satisfactory for the preliminary site plan review, which Mr. Evancoe agreed was correct. Member Csordas said the City needs to apply flexibility to projects that come forward and look for projects that encourage families to move to Novi. This is an upscale development with excellent use of the land, and will be a success.
Member Landry said this appeared to be an applicant that came with a potential site plan, and the applicant was willing to work with the Planning Department. This is the third iteration of what was originally prepared. Both the Planning Department and Planning Commission have recommended approval. The development is less dense than the surrounding area and is surrounded by multiples, so it would make sense to develop the parcel as multiples as well.
Member Landry said the motion, as he heard it, did not specifically recommend design and construction standard waivers. He asked Mr. Fisher if this should be added to the motion. Mr. Fisher said it should, as it was important to clarify that the motion contemplates all of the recommended action and is subject to the variances and Planning Commission conditions if approved.
Member Landry asked if the proposal were to receive approval from Council, but did not obtain the waivers from the Zoning Board of Appeals, the procedures would need to start over from the beginning. Mr. Fisher stated this was correct. Member Landry proposed a friendly amendment to the motion to include the design and construction standard variances, and make these subject to the waivers from the Zoning Board of Appeals as set forth in the recommendation of the Planning Commission.
Member Sanghvi and Member Csordas agreed to the friendly amendment.
Mayor Clark said he supported the proposal. The development would not be for a Wal-Mart or box store, but rather individually owned homes which in this case are condominiums. As the City begins to build out, it has more difficult sites to develop, and it must be creative. This development will add a true amenity to the City.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-326 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Sanghvi, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
3. Consideration of concept proposed by Mr. Lee Alan for the use of city property located at 13 Mile and Old Novi Road (former site of Walled Lake Casino) for the proposed Music and Family Festival - July 1-4, 2004.
Member Landry asked Mr. Alan who would pay for the event. Mr. Alan said this was Walled Lake Casino, Inc. Member Landry asked Mr. Alan if he had an interest in the entity, which Mr. Alan said was correct. Member Landry asked if all costs would be covered by this entity, which he assumed was created solely for the purpose of this festival, which Mr. Alan replied was also correct. Member Landry asked if the profits would go to that corporate entity. Mr. Alan said the profits would go to the corporation, and the corporation would make donations to foundations in both Walled Lake and Novi. Member Landry asked if those foundations had been identified. Mr. Alan said that these needed to be discussed with the City of Novi and with Walled Lake.
Member Landry had concerns about the proposed festival. His initial concern was that the City already has a music and family festival called the Music and Motor Fest. The City does not hold this festival every 35 years, but rather every year. This is sponsored not by a corporation, but rather by the residents and businesses of the City of Novi. It actually costs those people money to hold the festival, and the people on the board volunteer their time. For the past 17 years, the fruits of the efforts of the Music and Motor Fest Committee have been plowed back into the City. Every Thursday night the Sounds of Summer concert is held on the Civic Center lawn on a stage that was paid for by the Music and Motor Fest. The Christmas Walk stage was paid for by the Music and Motor Fest. While he is not opposed to a celebration of the Walled Lake Casino or the City’s heritage, he would like to see Mr. Alan and the Walled Lake Casino corporate entity meet with the Music and Motor Fest to discuss whether they could "join forces" for the celebration. He was very concerned about the 17-year-old Music and Motor Fest being overshadowed, and the work and efforts of many people being eclipsed by a corporate entity.
Member Landry said that before he was prepared to support the proposed festival, he wanted to see Mr. Alan and his group meet with the Music and Motor Fest.
Member Csordas agreed with Member Landry’s comments. He commented that the Walled Lake Casino was a wonderful thing during its time, but the area has changed dramatically since that time. He could not imagine the logistics for moving people to and from the proposed festival site, and said this would do a disservice to residents in that neighborhood. The proposed festival is a noble idea, but the area is wrong since it has changed so much. The people of the Music and Motor Fest should be able to help because of their experience of working in the City. He supported improving the site as a passive park, but commented that the site could never hold such a festival event.
Member Lorenzo said her concerns were more in context with statements from residents. It would have been to Walled Lake Casino, Inc.’s benefit to have presented more details to Council earlier on. She wondered where parking would be for the event, what size of an event is desired, and where the event would be held other than on the 13-acre parcel of land.
Mr. Alan said he planned to simply ask for Council’s consideration to approve the concept for the event at the meeting, which would then follow with step-by-step approval on each of the concerns.
Member Lorenzo said she could not support this process. To support a concept, Council needs the details. She did not want the event to spiral out of control with so much media attention and hype that the City could not "turn it off" near the end of the timeframe. She said that if she were to support anything, it would be to postpone the item for at least 30 or 60 days and have Mr. Alan speak with administration, the Police and Fire Chiefs, and work out details. Some items such as fireworks permits can be decided upon at a later time, but there are basic issues that need to be addressed immediately before she could support conceptual approval. She questioned what would happen if Council were to approve the concept but find out later that the event did not have parking plans, or enough funding for police and fire, or any other issues. If the group were to work out details and meet with the Music and Motor Fest, she would consider the approval.
Member Capello commented that Member Landry’s points were well taken. Member Landry is the liaison from Council to the Music and Motor Fest Board, and he understands the efforts put into that 4-day event. Member Capello wished to make clear that there was not a directive for Walled Lake Casino to talk to the Music and Motor Fest, or vice versa. However, without the Music and Motor Fest’s blessing, he would not support Mr. Alan’s proposal.
Member Sanghvi wished to remind people of what the Music and Motor Fest has meant to the City, as well as to him personally. Thanks to those festivals, the Rotary Club has raised over $100,000 to immunize children of the world against polio. They have raised enough funds to contribute towards Rotary Park and carry on all activities of the Rotary Club. The Lions Club has also benefited tremendously from the Music and Motor Fest. He had a philosophical problem with such a commercial event, and said he could not support the proposal.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Alan how the event would be publicized. Mr. Alan noted his experience in producing hundreds and thousands of events in this and other areas. The most difficult item that he has faced with these events was not only advertising and marketing, but getting the media to discuss those events.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what media format would be used for advertising the event. She expressed her concern with the number of people that would be drawn to such an event.
Mr. Alan said he did not know how many people the event would draw. He did not believe the event would require much paid advertising. Walled Lake Casino did not approach the media about the item. The Detroit News called him to ask about the event. He spoke with them for 5 or 6 minutes and there was an article the next day. The company does not plan to aggressively advertise the event because it will take on a life of its own.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked who would provide the financing, and how much this would be. Mr. Alan replied that this depended on whether the company had permission to use the site under discussion, as well as the number of events that are held. There are a group of corporate underwriters prepared to back the event and pay for any costs that either city would have. He said that regarding the event coming from a corporate entity, he has a deep love for the area, and the company would donate the money to the City of Novi if needed. He said that on June 5th, his company discussed the event with Mr. Helwig and Mr. Klaver, who asked the company not to come before Council until after the Music and Motor Fest was completed. Walled Lake Casino went to the Walled Lake City Council and was approved. The event in discussion will take place, but the Casino would very much like the City of Novi to be a part of it. Mr. Alan apologized for coming before Council to request the concept, but said he was instructed to do so by administration.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Alan who had instructed him to come before Council to request permission to proceed with the proposed festival. Mr. Alan said the City Manager and City Chief Operating Officer had asked the company not to discuss the festival until the Music and Motor Fest was completed, and had told them to go before Council. The main endorser of the project is L. Brooks Patterson. He said he had the principal planner from Oakland County with him that evening who could discuss parking plans and other items with Council if it so desired. The intention of his festival is not to take away from the Music and Motor Fest. The company was asked not to speak with the Music and Motor Fest Board, but would have otherwise.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Alan if he would be amenable to a postponement of 30 days for his proposal. Mr. Alan asked what the discussion with the Music and Motor Fest would entail. Mayor Clark said this was something that the two groups would need to work out, as Council does not direct the Music and Motor Fest. Mr. Alan asked if the Casino were to work something out with the Music and Motor Fest, Council would be favorable to using the site on the lake. Mayor Clark said this was only part of the problem, and noted that given Council’s response it would be beneficial for Mr. Alan to provide the requested information for Council and to meet with the Music and Motor Fest within the next 30 days.
Mr. Alan said there is no intention of having any parking, traffic, cars or people in the neighborhood. (The plan has been thought out and put forth, and the company thought the best person to present it was the principal planner for Oakland County.) There would fewer cars and less traffic than in the days when the Walled Lake Casino and the amusement park existed. There would be no circus or amusement park on the property – those activities would take place in the City of Walled Lake. What would take place on the property is a stage and people and outside for 4 days leading up to the Fourth of July, with an interdenominational sunrise service on Sunday morning, local talent during the day, a name act in the afternoon, and a pre-produced program that would celebrate the Fourth of July in the evening. Mr. Alan said his only concern with the postponement was the available timeframe to plan out the event, as he originally tried to approach the City about the item in June. He received a call several weeks ago from the original host of Hollywood Squares, Peter Marshall, who expressed interest in attending the event. He had also received a letter from someone who was at the old Casino and saw a big band with a great saxophone player that ended up leaving that band. That saxophone player’s name was Alan Greenspan. He said that perhaps the event should be renamed a "celebration" or something else, as he supports the Music and Motor Fest. However, he believes that there is room for more than one event in one city. Walled Lake Casino is not a rich company and cannot afford to spend months planning an event that will be rejected. He suggested that since the event will occur in Walled Lake if the Novi Council did not approve it, people would want to see the site of the old casino anyways, but without the coordination of the City. He asked the City to work with the Walled Lake Casino in some fashion.
Mr. Helwig said some representations were made that were difficult for him to accept. He and Mr. Klaver had met with Mr. Alan and an associate in June. The request was to consider such a festival this summer, which he turned down as politely as he could because of the Music and Motor Fest. He never asked the Casino not to talk to the Music and Motor Fest, and simply said that there was a conflict and many problems that would need to be worked out. He had said that they would get direction from Council after the Music and Motor Fest.
Mr. Helwig said he was very concerned with the long discussion at the evening’s meeting that was not producing a result. He has been feeling pressure since the onset of the concept for an event as early as this year. What he sensed at the evening’s meeting was more pressure. He expressed concern with content being presented as it had not occurred.
Bob Donahue, Principal Planner for Oakland County, noted that he was not in attendance at the previous meeting and represented L. Brooks Patterson, and said he had been in party to discussions that Mr. Patterson had on the event. Mr. Patterson has agreed to be on the steering committee, and he agrees that there needs to be a specific plan in place. This would provide the level of comfort that the City is looking for. He said he would like to work with the Music and Motor Fest representatives. Mr. Patterson would not be involved in the event if it were entirely a commercial venture. If Oakland County is involved there will be a charity aspect to the event. Arts, Beats and Eats in Pontiac is a private event but has an overwhelming charity aspect to it.
CM-03-10-327 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To allow the presenters to present City Administration with information regarding their proposal within 30 days. Administration, upon the approval of the City Manager of the Walled Lake Casino, Inc. plan, shall prepare a response and analysis for Council within 45 days of receiving the information.
Mr. Helwig noted that in order to produce a proper response for serious consideration by Council, administration would need 60 to 90 days.
Member Capello asked Mr. Helwig if he was seeking 60 to 90 days because he felt it would take that much time to bring something back to Council. He said he would not want administration to spend significant time on the matter and take up 90 days away from something else, when Council does not seem at all certain that it wants to move forward on the item. The Music and Motor Fest is trying to make the transition from being a bigger festival to focusing back on the City. He said he would rather see Mr. Helwig work on a quick bullet point presentation and have the matter done in 30 days. Then, if Council wanted to move forward it could request more detail and give administration more time.
Mr. Helwig felt administration would need 30 days after it receives something to comment upon. He wants to be able to discuss the item with the Music and Motor Fest to learn what their vision is, and then present the information to Council in something that it can engage in a true policy discussion with.
Member Landry suggested that Mr. Alan be given the opportunity, should he so choose, of presenting the City with additional information. City administration would have 45 days after it receives the information to respond and provide its thoughts to Council. If Mr. Alan chooses not to respond to the item, the matter would be dead. If he chooses to pursue it, administration would have 45 days after it receives the information to do its analysis and provide that material to Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi agreed to this amendment. She added the caveat that Mr. Helwig would determine whether the information that he receives is complete enough to make the determination within that time frame.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-327 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello
4. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-1.03 amending Chapter 30, "Special Assessments" in order to revise and clarify the procedures for approval of special assessments for local public improvements, of the Novi City Code regarding procedures for Special Assessment Districts. 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-328 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-1.03 amending Chapter 30, "Special Assessments" in order to revise and clarify the procedures for approval of special assessments for local public improvements, of the Novi City Code regarding procedures for Special Assessment Districts. 2nd Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-328 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Council Recessed at 9:32 p.m.
Council Reconvened at 9:50 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
5. Consideration of Ordinance No. 03-28.49, an Ordinance requiring payment of availability fees (for Special Assessment District 170). 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-329 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-28.49, an Ordinance requiring payment of availability fees (for Special Assessment District 170). 2nd Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-329 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry
6. Approval of Resolution Setting Availability Fee of $9,578.54 for Sanitary Sewer Service Availability provided by sewer improvements financed by Special Assessment District 170.
CM-03-10-330 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Resolution Setting Availability Fee of $9,578.54 for Sanitary Sewer Service Availability provided by sewer improvements financed by Special Assessment District 170.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-330 Yeas: Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo
7. Approval of Notice of Intent Resolution (SAD #170) for the City of Novi Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds – (Maybury, Tuscany, Singh) in an amount not to exceed $2,500,000.
CM-03-10-331 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To allow Council Member Capello to abstain from participation in Item #7.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-331 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
CM-03-10-332 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Notice of Intent Resolution (SAD #170) for the City of Novi Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds – (Maybury, Tuscany, Singh) in an amount not to exceed $2,500,000.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-332 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
8. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-124.13, an ordinance to amend Chapter 11, "Design and Construction Standards," Article VIII, "Streets, Roadways, and General Right-of-Way Requirements," of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances for the purpose of clarifying the requirement that an aggregate base of sufficient depth be installed under concrete roadways. 1st Reading
CM-03-10-333 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-124.13, an ordinance to amend Chapter 11, "Design and Construction Standards," Article VIII, "Streets, Roadways, and General Right-of-Way Requirements," of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances for the purpose of clarifying the requirement that an aggregate base of sufficient depth be installed under concrete roadways. 1st Reading.
Member Landry asked why the ordinance was specific to concrete roads, and not asphalt roads as well. Mr. Helwig said the City already has the standard codified for asphalt.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how this specification compared with that of other local Michigan governments, as well as with the National Engineering Standards.
Mr. Helwig noted that Ms. McClain was not present for testimony.
* Council postponed further discussion of Item #8 until the end of discussion for Item #9.
9. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-125.16 amending Section 37-30 Woodlands review process to be addressed by Planning Commission. 1st Reading
CM-03-10-334 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-125.16 amending Section 37-30 Woodlands review process to be addressed by Planning Commission, and to include the language in the ordinance, "and/or if there is not sufficient membership for the Woodlands Review Board, the process will revert to the Planning Commission." 1st Reading.
Member Capello remarked that the process should not go to the Planning Commission. Council should create a Board and appoint citizens to the Board, having it continue as it previously was. Since the Planning Commission is already very busy with its duties, it is not fair to impose the Board issue on the Commission.
Member Landry said he also had read Commissioner Kocan’s letter. For the purpose of advancing the item in the discussion stage, he would support the item at 1st Reading. However, he wished to know how Council felt about suggesting to Administration that the City again try advertising for the Woodlands Board. Ms. Kocan had indicated that she believed there may be some public interest in the Board. He proposed, if Council approved, to have the City Clerk again advertise for Woodlands Board positions.
Mayor Clark asked if the City would advertise again for Boards and Commissions in December. Ms. Cornelius replied that this was correct, and said the City usually advertises beginning in November. Mayor Clark suggested that Council could approve the 1st Reading and hold off on any further processing of the ordinance until the City sees if it receives a response. The last time the City advertised for this position, no responses were received.
Member Landry said he had no problem with this suggestion, but asked if there was already a backlog of work for the Board to do. Mr. Helwig said it was his understanding that the City would not hold anyone up with this action. Administration provided a report to Council which was requested in the off-week packet, and there is nothing pending at the moment. Member Landry said he would support the Mayor’s suggestion.
Member Lorenzo commented that she had proposed this at the last discussion of the item. She was concerned that at any time, whether or not there are people to serve on the Board, term limitations and turnover will remain pressing issues. She did not want to see backed up applications because of a lack of sufficient membership on the Board, or because of a lack of sufficient applicants. She preferred that the ordinance language include "and/or if there is not sufficient membership for the Woodlands Review Board, the process will revert to the Planning Commission." This way an applicant looking for a decision would not have to wait until the Board could finally be assembled.
Mayor Clark asked how long responses are accepted after the advertisements are first posted in November. Ms. Cornelius said responses are accepted until the Council interview date, which is always in the second week of December.
Mayor Clark expressed concern with the possibility that the acceptance period for applications would close without any replies, but the matter would still go to Council for 2nd Reading.
Member Lorenzo said she was suggesting that between the 1st and 2nd Reading, Mr. Fisher would add language to specify that either membership of a Board or the Planning Commission will fulfill the duties. If Council approves the 2nd Reading and has applicants for the Woodland Review Board, it would be the Board that would review the applications. If there is not sufficient membership for a Board, then the duties would revert back to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Fisher said this could be included in the ordinance.
Member Csordas said he read in his packet that Administration is taking care of any related issues that are coming up at this point. He questioned whether a Woodlands Review Board was needed, or whether City staff and the City Forester could handle such issues.
Mr. Helwig said the spirit of discussion with Council and recommendations from staff was to empower the citizenry more in keeping with other Boards and Commissions, as opposed to staff serving in that role. This was the direction that was to be implemented in June, and in all fairness to the process, this came very close to when the City advertised for other Board and Commission positions so there was little time for the community to receive this notion.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she agreed to the addition of the language by Member Lorenzo.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-334 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi
* Council continued discussion of Item #8
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Ms. McClain how the specification compared with that of other local Michigan communities and with the National Engineering Standards. Ms. McClain said the specification meets or exceeds those of surrounding local governments, though she did not compare them to communities with a more sandy type of soil which would not meet the same soil conditions. National standards are not appropriate for comparison because of varying soil conditions, but the specifications do meet the local area’s standards.
Member Sanghvi asked if this would take care of problems such as those seen at Westmont. Ms. McClain implied that it would.
Mr. Fisher mentioned that there were a number of other issues in the ordinance that needed to be addressed, but this issue was put forward on an expedited basis.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-333 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark
10. Consideration of Ordinance 03-61.01 to provide definitions, penalties, sanctions and enforcement of Municipal Civil Infractions for the purposes of establishing and administrating violations of City ordinance provisions defined to be "Municipal Civil Infractions." 1st Reading
CM-03-10-335 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance 03-61.01 to provide definitions, penalties, sanctions and enforcement of Municipal Civil Infractions for the purposes of establishing and administrating violations of City ordinance provisions defined to be "Municipal Civil Infractions." 1st Reading.
Member Capello said he agreed with the intent on page 3(2)b, which he felt was abate a nuisance through some kind of injunctive action. Like any other type of injunction, he felt the City needed to specifically state in more detail what would invoke its use. For example, the City has two different types of ordinances that it tries to enforce. One might be an ongoing violation, such as an ordinance that prohibits a house from being painted blue – the house is blue today, and will continue to be. However, if an individual has 3 dogs in the backyard but is only allowed to have 2, he could simply get rid of a dog for a few days to satisfy the ordinance but then get his dog back the next week. Council needs to distinguish between the two types. He agreed that the City needs this type of injunctive relief with the ongoing "blue house" type of an ordinance. He found it unfair to have an ordinance that would allow the City to go to court and get injunctive relief for something that had not yet occurred, however, such as with the "dog" ordinance example.
Mr. Fisher understood Member Capello’s point, and said that given the language which essentially tracks the statute, the judge will be able to deal with this on a case by case basis.
Member Capello asked if court rules outline in detail what is needed for some type of restraining order or some other type of injunctive relief. The City does not provide its citizens with that type of procedure.
Mr. Fisher said court rules do specify this, but this particular statute does not. He was not sure that the City has authority to alter the authorization granted by the Michigan Legislature in the statute. The City merely "parrots" the authorization of the Michigan Legislature in the ordinance.
Member Capello asked if this was the language that provides the District Court the jurisdiction. Mr. Fisher replied that this was correct.
Member Capello asked if on page 4, section 3, a subsection D could be added that would state that a person who owns or occupies a parcel upon which a civil infraction exists or continues to exist could be given a ticket just for occupancy without subsections A, B, or C being used. Mr. Fisher said the State Statute is very detailed in who receives the citation, etcetera.
Member Capello asked if on page 3(D), the City could create a preliminary stage where it could issue a ticket and give that person 10 days to comply and pay a fine for non-compliance, which could come directly to the City instead of through the court system.
Mr. Fisher said this could absolutely be done, and was included as a formality for how the City actually commences a case. The contemplation of both the statute and the spirit of the discussion is that there would be a notice of violation that would precede the citation.
Member Capello asked if this language could be included, as this would allow the City to recoup some of its inspection costs for the violation with a processing fee. That money would stay with the City, instead of being divided up between the County, Court, and the City.
Mr. Fisher suggested adding that a notice of violation may be issued, because there may be an emergency situation.
Member Capello agreed with Mr. Fisher’s suggestion.
Member Landry asked if such a payment would have to be accompanied by admission of liability. Mr. Fisher said the authorization was to admit the liability with or without an explanation.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-335 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello
11. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-172, an ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code of Ordinances to implement a Municipal Civil Infraction penalty for select ordinance provisions. 1st Reading
CM-03-10-336 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-172, an ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code of Ordinances to implement a Municipal Civil Infraction penalty for select ordinance provisions. 1st Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-336 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas
12. Consideration of Ordinance Amendment 03-81.20 for ordinance regulating cost recovery for emergency responses to motor vehicle accidents and arrests involving drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence of or impaired by intoxicating liquor and/or controlled substance. 1st Reading
CM-03-10-337 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance Amendment 03-81.20 for ordinance regulating cost recovery for emergency responses to motor vehicle accidents and arrests involving drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence of or impaired by intoxicating liquor and/or controlled substance. 1st Reading.
Member Capello asked why this was being limited to just alcohol and drug related offenses. He asked if there could be cost recovery for other types of criminal offenses as well.
Mr. Fisher said this was the extent of the City’s authorization. The City does have, for example, hazardous materials cost recovery program where the Fire Department is reimbursed for monies expended when it responds to a hazardous substance release. However, this is the extent of the City’s authorization for this purpose for now by State Statute.
Member Capello asked if the City could extend the ordinance to domestic violence. Mr. Fisher noted that he had not yet investigated this possibility.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-337 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
E. Approval to send out proposals for grant writing services on a contractual basis (Parks, Recreation & Forestry).
Member Lorenzo said she had pulled the item to clarify that, in her opinion, this proposal is broader on a contractual basis than just Parks and Recreation. From her perspective, the City will do this for any grants under consideration, not only for Parks, Recreation and Forestry grants. Although this is being considered under the auspice of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, this is a much more broad-based contractual proposal.
CM-03-10-338 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to send out proposals for grant writing services on a contractual basis (Parks, Recreation & Forestry).
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-338 Yeas: Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Discussion of Community Development Block Grant property swap pertaining to Sandstone litigation – Member Lorenzo.
Member Lorenzo said she had become concerned with the implications to the City, especially regarding funding and contractual obligations to Sandstone, from reading the letter provided to Council. She asked if the City had scheduled a meeting with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Mr. Helwig responded that the City has a meeting on October 24th with State HUD officials. The person who wrote the letter for the director has left. The County has assisted the City in facilitating the meeting with the new person filling that role. He felt the agency has not fully understood the City’s position, as they have not accepted the City’s invitation to meet prior to this scheduled meeting.
Member Lorenzo felt the agency did understand the City’s position based upon what she read in the letter. She was not optimistic that the City would prevail in the meeting. In the event that this is the case, she asked administration to inform Council of the implications, particularly regarding the Sandstone agreement. In that agreement, the City allowed 2 roads to go through this property. If the property must be sold by Oakland County to the highest bidder, the sale could be complicated by the agreement that binds the City to allowing those 2 roads, and she questioned how this would affect the Sandstone agreement.
Member Lorenzo asked what the City would have to reimburse to the CDBG funds. She expressed concern about funding the item, and asked that the City investigate an alternative plan so that it will be prepared should the City have to return the property.
Mr. Helwig said that should the City not prevail at the State HUD level, he strongly recommended a "full court press" at the national HUD offices with Legislative representatives. He feels the City has a very compelling case, as does also the County, and he did not want the expectation to be that everything would be done at the end of October if the City cannot change the State decision. Not only is the decision important for the reasons outlined by Member Lorenzo, but the City does not want to lose another 4.3 acres of woodlands and parkland.
Mayor Clark joined in Mr. Helwig’s comments. Having dealt with the federal government on many levels during his career as an attorney, he noted that "no" does not always mean "no", especially on the first level. Usually common sense does prevail at some level.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said it was brought to her attention in a discussion with a colleague that a property held for 7 years that is of federal origin is not subject to transfer restriction. Mr. Fisher said this regulation was a relatively detailed and complex statute unto itself. He did not believe that the statute made that provision. However, based upon the City’s obligations to Sandstone, he did not believe the property could be transferred to a 3rd party for anything other than passive park purposes.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if he was saying that he was not aware of any regulation that would enable the City to transfer the property with regard to the 7 year restriction. Mr. Fisher said he did not find that in the portion of the statute that he read. This statutory scheme, as interpreted up to this point, had indicated that the statute was silent on this issue rather than against the City.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if he felt it would be worthwhile to read that regulation from the standpoint of such an interpretation. Mr. Fisher said that this could be done if Council desired. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if there was any protocol that prevented the City from going directly to federal representatives, since the issue has dragged on for so long. In the event that the 7 year situation is not applicable, she would like to respectively ask federal representatives ask the question on behalf of the City.
2. Discussion and inquiry concerning City of Novi's Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water purchase rates per letter received from Oakland County Drain Commissioner, John P. McCulloch dated 9/19/03 – Mayor Pro Tem Bononi.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was looking for a response from Mr. Helwig about whether or not he believes it to be in the City’s best interest to look at an assessment, such as Drain Commissioner John McCulloch received, regarding how the City’s water rates are computed, and the costs of leakage within the water system and how this affects rates. Drain Commissioner McCulloch’s figures are quite impressive regarding the expense that is allocated over Oakland County itself. He excludes in his letter the 10 communities that negotiate their water rates independently, of which Novi is one. She sought Mr. Helwig’s opinion about whether the City should also pursue such a question. Mr. McCulloch based the letter and information about the assessment that was done for Oakland County on the premise that the County wants to pay its "fair share" and not any more.
Mr. Helwig said he would need some time to generate such an opinion. He had read the day’s Oakland Press, which featured an article about the water study conducted by Mr. McCulloch being expanded to all southeast Michigan communities through SEMCOG, to be completed by the end of the year.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted that she was not seeking an explicit time frame. However, given the cost to the community and rate payers, she suggested that a response within 90 days would be very helpful.
3. Update on Economic Development Committee Status – Member Csordas.
Member Csordas asked if the Economic Development Committee had been disbanded.
Mr. Pearson said the Economic Development Committee is still in the books. Their function is to supervise some bonds that the City issued, essentially industrial revenue bonds for the West Oaks development. Their only requirement right now is to meet annually to approve the audit, which they did in March of last year. There has been interest expressed by the Committee during the past 6 or 7 years to do more, but at the moment this is their only function.
Member Csordas noted a comment from a prior meeting’s audience participation that there were available funds in an Economic Development Committee fund somewhere. Mr. Pearson said that same group has $29,000. Those are fees that were generated from the issuance of those bonds some years ago. The money is available for purposes that the group would choose to allocate.
Member Csordas asked if the group would spend those funds, or if City Council would do so. Mr. Pearson said he would have to defer, but felt that the group would have to have at least a strong say in the decision. Member Csordas expressed concern with the funds, noting that the group meets annually, and the money does not seem to be serving any purpose. Mr. Pearson said the Committee would definitely like to employ the funds, but there is a question of what to do with the money. They are required to meet a minimum of one time a year, but they could meet more. There are certainly other ideas for using that money in addition to the one mentioned at audience participation, so if there was a charge from Council to make use of those fees they could bring those suggestions to Council.
Member Csordas said he did not want to impose a burden to that Committee. He asked how many people served on the group, which Mr. Pearson said was 5. Member Csordas asked Mr. Pearson to ask the Committee to get together and develop a suggestion for using the money, if this was not too much of a burden for the group.
Mr. Fisher indicated that he believed that the actual mission was to have the Economic Development Corporation make that determination with recommendations from Council. The use of the funds can be quite broad under the Charter for that entity.
Member Csordas said he would be interested to hear the opinions of the Committee as a whole.
Member Sanghvi thought he had heard that $25,000 was allocated for entranceway signs to the City.
Mayor Clark said this was only a suggestion that someone on the Committee had made. He suggested that the Committee be encouraged to further develop their recommendations.
4. Walden Woods II Subdivision streets condition and repair – Mayor Pro Tem Bononi.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she wanted to bring awareness to the subject. She expressed interest in when the City would have an assessment brought to Council so that those subdivision streets can be appraised and have a repair plan developed for 2004. Those streets are also not accepted, and there may be some performance bond remaining that could be used to repair the streets. She asked if the streets are in the circumstance that the Westmont subdivision streets are in, in order to know how to proceed in a time efficient manner next year.
5. Request of Status of Ash Tree Removals and Status of the Tree Fund – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo asked that this report be included in an upcoming packet, with information as to how the City is progressing in removing dead ash trees throughout the community, as well as the status of available un-obligated funds available in the tree fund, so that Council can examine possibly contracting out some work, if needed.
Mayor Clark noted that this will be an ongoing problem for years. Canton has 10,000 such trees that must be removed.
Wayne Hogan asked the City to examine the true spirit and goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Those are to lay out minimums to allow people with disabilities to participate and improve their quality of life. He found it difficult to understand how in Novi, a handicap parking space might be only 8 feet wide, but a spot next to that might be 10 feet wide. Chair-lift vans require additional space to load and unload in handicap spaces. He said the City only complies with minimum requirements from the ADA. The ADA also mentions "universal" spaces, which are 11 feet wide plus 5-foot-wide access. This allows a car to be jockeyed as needed. He said that Novi does not require businesses to comply with the ADA, but will fine a business $20,000 for not maintaining its appearance.
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Clark adjourned the meeting at 10:36 p.m._______________________________ _________________________________
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: October 20, 2003