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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 – absent/excused, 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 – Planning Director
Randy Auler – Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director
David Paul – Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission Chair
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Csordas added "Update on Barricade Issue" as item #2 to Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Sanghvi added "Election" as item #3 to Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Lorenzo added "Status of Pending Litigation" as item #4 to Mayor and Council Issues.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi added "Status of Drinking Water" as item #5 to Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-03-10-339 Moved by Sanghvi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-339 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
1. Proclamation for Pauline Druschel’s Retirement – presented by Library Board
Mayor Clark presented Pauline Druschel with a proclamation recognizing her retirement from the Novi Library. Ms. Druschel has been a jewel in the community of Novi for her service as Assistant Director of the Library, and the Mayor said she would be sorely missed.
The President of the Library Board, Terri Margolis, recognized Ms. Druschel for her 20 years of service with the Library. Ms. Druschel loves the Library and the members of the community which she served. The Novi Library Board of Trustees presented Pauline Druschel with a proclamation to recognize her service and retirement.
Ms. Druschel thanked the City for its recognition. She also thanked the Library’s Director, Brenda Evans, for being supportive, as well as the Library staff.
2. Fall for Novi Sponsors:
Glen Copeland of Intier Automotive Seating, Marla Feldman of Marty Feldman Chevrolet, Blair Bowman of Novi Expo Center and Central Park Estates, Lou Martin of Providence Hospital of Novi, Gary Jonna of Whitehall Real Estate
Mayor Clark recognized Neighborhood Services Director Cindy Uglow for her efforts in organizing the Fall for Novi events, as they have become an outstanding success in the community. Fall for Novi has also been so successful because of support from the Novi business community. Mayor Clark recognized representatives from key corporate supporters of the event that help to make Fall for Novi a success every year.
Member Landry said that during the week, he and Mr. Klaver had met with Mr. Lee Alan and members of Walled Lake Casino, Inc., along with members of the Music and Motor Fest Board of Directors. They had a cordial meeting and discussed Mr. Alan’s plans. At the suggestion of a representative of the Oakland County Planning Department, Mr. Alan decided to limit the participation to Walled Lake this year. This will give the City of Novi an opportunity to observe the event and see what the event is like. Mr. Alan is planning the event to be an annual festival.
Member Csordas had a "report" from the residents of the City of Novi. He thanked the Mayor for his sincerity, his efforts, his honor, his integrity, and the way he has lead the City for the past 4 years.
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig brought to light the State’s fiscal situation. Last week saw a review by State legislators and the Governor of the current fiscal year, which began October 1st for the State. They have revised their estimates for an $898 million deficit for the current fiscal year. Budget cuts often seem to target State shared revenues to cities. Those shared revenues are the City’s second greatest revenue source for the general fund behind property taxes. This year, the City will get about $4,110,000, which is $126,000 less as a result of balancing the State budget before the year began. Everything appears to be on the table again, including statutory revenue sharing, which is not held fast by the State Constitution. For the Novi community, this is $841,000 of the $4,110,000 that it receives. There are many rumors circulating, such as a 50% reduction in statutory State shared revenues and that every community, if this happens, must not take this cut out of public safety forces to balance individual local government budgets. These are just the first of perhaps many rumors that will go around, but the City needs to be very watchful and remind legislative leaders and State officials that this "is getting very close to the bone" in many local governments throughout Michigan.
Mr. Helwig’s second issue was broached by Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, the issue of public water for manufactured housing neighborhoods in the Novi community. First and foremost of concern right now, because they have received a certificate of non-compliance from the MDEQ, is the Chateau of Novi neighborhood. Last week he made contact with the president of Hometown America, Barry McGabe. He has not yet been able to confirm the merger of the national organization. Mr. McGabe is coming into town later this week, and the City will try to expedite the process. Mr. McGabe has seemed responsive to expediting public water service to the entire neighborhood. There has been a backup notion broached by the residents to bore under Thirteen Mile Road this fall and connect the community water supply to their clubhouse if water cannot be connected to the entire neighborhood immediately. This would at least be better than the status quo if water cannot be connected immediately. The City will know more this Thursday afternoon after that meeting. No plans have yet been submitted by Chateau Novi or Hometown America. There are other manufactured housing neighborhoods close to the Paragon site, where the City is working closely to settle long-standing litigation under Council’s direction. The City is now starting to get updates about possibly connecting those neighborhoods to public water and sanitary sewer service as well. The City is trying to get in contact with the owners of those individual properties to see what their plans are. While those sites do not yet have non-compliance certificates, it may be just a matter of time before they become public health issues.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi thanked Mr. Helwig for bringing those issues forward. She congratulated him with regard to the fact that the MDEQ agreement was not requiring the property owner to install water for the residents at Chateau Novi, which was untenable to her.
Mr. Helwig noted that Grand River Avenue from Beck Road eastwards to the bridge now has its center three lanes open, and that road is seeing an increasing amount of traffic. The City just recently learned from the Road Commission of Oakland County that as early as the first week of November, the County may be ready to open the first three lanes of the bridge as well.
It is likely that the State will soon award a contract for the first phase of the Beck Road/I-96 interchange, as successful bids – some up to 8% below engineers’ estimated costs - were received in early October. The contractor will have 1 year to complete the bridge replacement, and the State will likely award the contract for the ramp work next spring.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Ron Boron, 21307 E. Glen Haven, noted that he was with the Novi Homeowners’ Council. He wished to go on record for all the homeowners’ associations in the City and thank the Mayor for his efforts. The Mayor started breakfast homeowners’ leadership meetings for the community, and also attended and presented awards for the Homeowners’ Council holiday lighting contests. On behalf of the homeowners’ associations, Mr. Boron thanked the Mayor for his service.
David Ruyle, 40474 Mill Road Court East, said he respected Mayor Clark as a man with the utmost integrity who has accomplished a great deal for the city during his 4-year-long tenure. Mayor Clark recognized veterans, helped the City end its Sandstone case, and brought Mr. Helwig to the City. Mr. Ruyle thanked Mayor Clark.
State Representative Craig DeRoche thanked the Mayor for serving the City of Novi. In 1999, Representative DeRoche, Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and Member Csordas all began their terms on City Council. Mayor Clark was elected at a time when the City needed to truly reevaluate how business was done in the City of Novi, and he rose to that task and provided a great deal of leadership. When in the future people ask when Novi began to truly change and flower, a great deal should be attributed to Mayor Clark’s foundation and leadership.
Representative DeRoche said it is very important to help Providence Medical Center become a true hospital. The Medical Center services hundreds of thousands of people in the area, but families cannot receive traditional hospital treatment there. Revenue sharing cuts have been an easy target by the State for trimming its budget, starting with Governor Engler and continuing with Governor Granholm. This puts growing cities like Novi in a bad situation, especially when the City’s fiscal year is just beginning. His office will do everything that it can to fight for that money for Novi.
Tami Bethune, 25922 Arcadia Drive, noted that she had been present at the June 22nd Council meeting with a young man who described how he had fallen in a street in the Walden Woods One subdivision. She said she was in attendance to follow up and request that Walden Woods retain an opportunity to have its roads fixed in the next year.
Mr. Helwig said the Walden Woods subdivision had been very much on administration’s minds during the past week and a half. He had a very detailed meeting during the previous week about the City’s streets, and administration will be making recommendations to Council for next year’s repaving. The southern part of Arcadia Drive in Walden Woods One will definitely be recommended by administration for complete repaving. Public Works wants to perform more analysis of the northern portion of the road to determine its needs, since that section of the road has a higher pavement management rating. He said this would likely come to Council in the next 4-5 days following the evening’s meeting.
Ms. Bethune also encouraged people to vote at the November 4th City election.
Mary Muller, 45460 Addington Lane, thanked Mayor Clark for his four years of dedicated service as Mayor of the City. While she had not necessarily agreed with the Mayor’s position on every item, she never questioned his motive. Mayor Clark is man of honor, and the City has been lucky to have experienced his leadership.
Mayor Clark said he appreciated all of the remarks during the evening. The mayor recognized his wife Diane for her support during his tenure as mayor, as he could not have accomplished anything without her.
Pat Holt, 45409 Addington Lane, thanked Mayor Clark. Four years ago, a number of people in the community wanted a change in the City. Mayor Clark promised three things: openness, responsiveness, and inclusiveness. This was the best thing that has ever happened to the City.
Greg Nelson, 25870 Strath Haven, noted that he lived in the Pioneer Meadows subdivision at the corner of Beck Road and Eleven Mile. Earlier in the year, Council helped get those residents through the SAD process, including city water and sanitary sewer service. He was pleased to report that the construction was going quite well in his opinion. Sub contractors now have the sanitary sewer completed, and should have water main leads in very soon. He asked Council for its assistance regarding some of his concerns. Storm sewers are a main concern of residents in the subdivision. In one area in the northeast corner of the subdivision, there are plans to do some culvert work to improve drainage. On September 27th, workers hit the storm sewer, which was replaced, but caused water to run for at least 10 minutes. The design of the storm sewer is intended for the water to flow from north to south. In this case, water was flowing to the north. Perhaps the storm sewer needs adjusting. Regarding road paving, he suggested that the ground should settle to allow for a good surface for paving the final coat. Residents are paying to have the approaches of their driveways replaced, and he said he is spending about $1,000 for his. Several concrete suppliers have said that they would not warranty work after October 15th, and have said that this is very late in the season to do concrete work. The majority warned against doing any concrete work after November 1st because of the cold weather. He asked that the City wait until spring to do both the final pavement coating and the cement work.
Mayor Clark thanked Mr. Nelson for his comments and concerns, noting that the City has the same concerns and does not want to have to repeat the construction.
Cynthia Gronachan noted that she was a resident of Novi for about the past 24 years. She did not know Mayor Clark prior to his election in 1999, but he has done a good job as Mayor. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and Member Lorenzo had done a great deal to reconstitute her faith in the City of Novi. She worked on the wetland project with Garfield Road residents for 12 years. 5 years ago when she called City Hall, she never had her call returned. 4 years ago when she called City Hall, she had people calling her to the point that she could not return the phone calls fast enough. This year, the Maybury Estates water project is being constructed on Eight Mile Road. If residents pay attention, they will know what is going on in the City of Novi by making the correct choices at the Council table. With the Mayor Pro Tem’s help, she received answers regarding the water project on Eight Mile in a day. City staff has been calling her on a regular basis with status updates so that she can report to her homeowners’ association. Because of Council’s dedication and commitment to the City, she took the step of joining the ZBA and has no regrets.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-03-10-340 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the consent agenda as presented, with item H taking effect October 21st, 2003.
Mr. Fisher recommended that Council’s resolution on item H take effect the next day, October 21, 2003.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and Member Landry both accepted this amendment.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-340 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, 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:
B. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-11 implementation of 35 mph Speed Limit on Thirteen Mile Road between Novi Road and Paramount and 25 mph on Thirteen Mile Road and Old Novi Road between Linhart and Paramount.
C. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-13 for the installation of a Stop sign southbound Queens Pointe Drive to stop at Kings Pointe Drive.
D. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-14 to void TCO No. 80-74 southbound Queens Pointe Drive to yield at Kings Pointe Drive.
E. Approval of the Storm Drainage Maintenance Agreement and to accept the water main on-site, and off-site sanitary sewer for the North Novi Medical Building, located at 39525 Fourteen Mile Road, as public utilities.
F. Approval of request from Visions Salon to transfer Massage Business License from 22002 Novi Road to 26800 Beck Road.
G. Approval to set a Public Hearing on November 10, 2003 for the 2004 Community Development Block Grant Fund program.
H. Approval of Resolution Number 1 for Echo Valley Subdivision Water Main Extension – Special Assessment No. 171 to residents on Woodham.
I. Approval of License Agreement with Yorkshire Place Subdivision Homeowners Association for the placement of a new subdivision Entryway sign, an irrigation system, and plant materials within the City’s right-of-way in the median island of Dover Boulevard
J. Approval of 2004 Contract to receive Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) Municipal Credit Funds in the amount of $44,713.
K. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 4 for the Rotary Park Restroom Building in the amount of $16,687.30, to Richmar Construction, Inc.
L Approval of Balancing Change Order No. 1, reducing the contract award by $48,357.70 and Final Pay Estimate #7 in the amount of $32,817.40, with Cadillac Asphalt Paving Company for the Ten Mile Road Intersections Improvement Project.
M. Approval to award bid for Clothing and Sports Apparel to American Silkscreen, the low bidder, based on unit pricing.
M. Award snow removal and salt application contract for Meadowbrook Commons to J. C.'s Lawn Care as recommended by Midwest Management (estimated annual cost of $25,000-35,000).
O. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 659
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Resolution adopting the Community Recreation Plan, including the Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan, 2003-2008.
CM-03-10-341 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED: To approve resolution adopting the Community Recreation Plan, including the Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan, 2003-2008.
Member Lorenzo said she would not support the item in its presented form. Several Council members had made clear at the previous Council meeting that they would not consider additional millage increases in the future or a bond issue. She was concerned that the language in the item and the target strategy actually call for consideration of an increased millage and a bond issue in the time frame of 2004. She would only support the item if any language in the document regarding a millage increase or a bond issue was completely eliminated. The Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission should not be given any false hope that this or future Councils would be willing to entertain a tax increase or bond issue for the City of Novi.
CM-03-10-342 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED: To amend the main motion to eliminate any discussion pertaining to a millage increase or bond issue, to change the fourth line of the Resolution of Adoption to read "physical features, existing recreation facilities and the short and long term action goals to be taken to improve and maintain recreation facilities", and revise language in the final paragraph of the Resolution of Adoption to read "improving recreation for the residents of the City of Novi as financial and other resources become available."
Member Lorenzo said she had concerns with the actual verbiage of the resolution of adoption. The fourth line discusses desired actions to be taken to improve and maintain recreation facilities. She would prefer that the language be changed in that line to state "physical features, existing recreation facilities and the short and long term action goals to be taken to improve and maintain recreation facilities…" Also, the last paragraph should continue following "improving recreation for the residents of the City of Novi" to add "as financial and other resources become available." She did not want the document to be seen or presumed to be a mandate that Council would dedicate funds for everything in it. The City is at risk of losing State funds, and has other priorities such as public safety, roads, and snow plowing. After the City takes care of these other issues, Council will be committed to improving recreation facilities for the City of Novi. However, Council should not give any false hope that it will take action on any of the specifics in the document anytime soon.
Member Lorenzo said Council never received additional information about some issues that were brought forward during presentations for the recreation plan. The Commission was trying to make a case that similar communities spend more money on recreation than the City of Novi. While she had requested information about recreation finances in other communities from the Commission and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director, she had received none.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if the adoption of the plan is legally binding with regard to any language mentioned by Member Lorenzo. Mr. Fisher said there were no amounts included that would be approved, and thus Council was not making an allocation. Thus, it would not be binding in that regard.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if other such quantities, such as numbers of people designated to be hired in order to do a job, would have the same connotation, which Mr. Fisher replied was correct. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if by adopting the document, there would be any circumstance under which Council in cooperation with the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission could not amend the document at any time. Mr. Fisher said this was correct.
Member Landry understood the notion of fiscal responsibility that underlay the motion to amend; however, he could not support the motion because the Community Recreation Plan was not binding, and he would rather see the document be realistic than unrealistic. It is reality that "the current park millage rate does not provide sufficient funding for the Department’s operations", and this should be in the plan. If Council will be realistic with the plan, then it should allow the plan to be realistic. The language did belong in the plan, and he said it should remain in the document as part of a realistic parks and recreation plan. For this reason, he would not support the motion to amend.
Member Sanghvi asked why the population projection mentioned in the Community Recreation Plan and the one used by the Master Plan Committee differed from one another. He noted that the Community Recreation Plan used SEMCOG population statistics.
Mr. Evancoe asked for a specific reference of what the two different numbers were.
Member Sanghvi said the numbers were population estimates for the City of Novi in the year 2020. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee’s estimate was 80,000 persons, while the SEMCOG estimate was for 72,000 people. Mr. Evancoe noted that the Planning Department did not provide census data to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission for the plan. Member Sanghvi said this was exactly the point that he was trying to make. He stressed the lack of communication between City departments in creating the documents, resulting in the use of two different population estimates.
Mr. Auler said the population estimate of 72,000 was from SEMCOG, and his Department also received a 2020 population estimate of 74,000 from Darcy Schmidt in the Plan Review Center. After calculating the amount of needed park acreage for all three population projections (72,000, 74,000 and 80,000), the Department was still in the same range depth of 0 to 100 acres. Thus, the population estimates did not affect the required amount of land according to these guidelines.
Member Sanghvi thought the parkland requirements were based upon the City’s population. Mr. Auler said the numbers were run according to a population of 72,000, and also on 74,000 and 80,000. With each estimate it was determined that the city would potentially need 0 to 100 acres. Member Sanghvi asked if the parkland required for 72,000 was the same as that for 80,000 people. Mr. Auler said these estimates required the same parkland acreage range.
Member Sanghvi asked why the document listed Maybury State Park as part of Novi. Mr. Auler said the park was never included as part of Novi. State requirements require the City to look at local and regional park and recreation facilities. Maybury State Park was identified as a local and regional facility. Because Maybury State Park is simply across Eight Mile from Novi, it was identified in the plan.
Member Sanghvi expressed concern that including Maybury State Park in the plan would inflate the park and recreation acreage in the community. Mr. Auler said that Maybury State Park’s acres were not included in the Department’s calculations.
Member Sanghvi also expressed concern that most attention was given to summertime activities. He said that Walled Lake’s potential for water sports and activities was not addressed in the plan. The plan does not address the issue of diversity in the City’s population. He suggested an amendment be made to the Community Recreation Plan to address these issues.
Member Csordas said he would not support the amendment. When he read the document, he saw no formal requests for millages or bonds, but saw the potential for being eligible for State and Federal grant monies. He asked for the probability for success of such grants, and for what amount of money.
Chairman Paul of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission said he could not estimate the amount. This depends on how many grants are written and how many grants are available.
Member Csordas asked if the grant money would be available without the Community Recreation Plan. Chairman Paul said that it would not be available in most cases.
Member Csordas said he supported the plan in its current form. There was no mandate for a tax increase or millage. City residents will tell Council if they support the plan through their visit to the polls.
Mayor Clark said he could not support the amendment but could support the main motion. This is a broad plan that covers a five-year period. The community has a very educated electorate, and if it does not want a millage increase it will let the City know. The City needs this plan and needs to have a plan in place. However, this is only a plan and many things will happen at different levels during the next five years. No one can sneak a bond proposal or a millage increase past the voters of the Novi community.
Member Lorenzo said the plan clearly indicates as a key measure that a millage rate increase should be considered, as well as a bond issue for the implementation of capital improvement programs. The country is in a very serious economic period. She remarked that suggesting a tax increase right now is ludicrous.
Mayor Clark said he did not hear anything about a tax increase from the plan. Legal Counsel has said the plan has absolutely no binding effect. These are tough economic times at the State level and in many communities. Many people that live in this community have seen tough times at their places of employment. He could not believe that if a millage increase were proposed it would pass. On the most recent road bond issue, residents voted a resounding no to the original proposal, but supported the second proposal which focused more on neighborhood roads and the major roads that needed work. The worst thing that Council could do would be to not adopt the Community Recreation Plan. On one hand, people say that the City’s parks need to be upgraded and improved, which the document recognizes. The plan also recognizes that the City has fiscal constraints, and says that the City will do what it can within its means. The Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission is comprised of members who also are residents of the community, and would not rush to judgment in proposing something that the community may not support. The Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission should be given the benefit of the doubt. The plan also has an aspect for updating facilities to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There are some things that must be done for the ADA that cannot wait.
Member Sanghvi said his problem was with finding money to follow through with the plan. Without money, Council can pass any kind of plan, but that plan will just come to naught. He has never said that he was against a Community Recreation Plan. The City needs to find a way to finance what it is approving. He questioned whether Council was in position at that point in time to finance this type of plan.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said that both population projections used in the plan were correct. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) projection plan based on the U.S. Census data, and the population projection regarding land use at build-out, are both correct. Regarding investments, nothing will happen for this plan without Council approval. However, nothing can happen in the City’s ability to fund and carry out the plan if it is not approved. The Community Recreation Plan is a starting point that can enable Council to be able to request funding and receive it according to the quality of the plan.
Member Landry said that when any requests are made of corporate sponsors for donations, the first question asked is whether or not there is a plan, since the sponsor wants to know where their money will be spent. For this reason alone, the Community Recreation Plan needs to contain its "wish lists".
Member Lorenzo said she supported plan, but could not support have millage increases or bond proposals for the plan.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-342 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi
Nays: Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Clark
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-341 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi
2. Consideration of the request of Brightmoor Christian Church and PT Commerce for the first amendment to a development agreement. The applicant is proposing the addition of 2.11 acres of land, which will provide an opportunity for further preservation of natural features on the site north of Thirteen Mile Road and west of the M-5 Connector.
CM-03-10-343 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request of Brightmoor Christian Church and PT Commerce for the first amendment to a development agreement. The applicant is proposing the addition of 2.11 acres of land, which will provide an opportunity for further preservation of natural features on the site north of Thirteen Mile Road and west of the M-5 Connector.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-343 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas
3. . Consideration of the request of Erickson Retirement Community the first amendment to the development agreement for Fox Fun Village, incorporating recently approved changes to the Preliminary Site Plan for Phase II.
CM-03-10-344 Moved by Landry, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request of Erickson Retirement Community the first amendment to the development agreement for Fox Fun Village, incorporating recently approved changes to the Preliminary Site Plan for Phase II.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-344 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry
4. Consideration of request from Mozart Homes for waiver from Design and Construction Standards Section 11-194(a)(7) from the maximum cul-de-sac length of 800 feet, to the requested length of 1,059 feet.
CM-03-10-345 Moved by Landry, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request from Mozart Homes for waiver from Design and Construction Standards Section 11-194(a)(7) from the maximum cul-de-sac length of 800 feet, to the requested length of 1,059 feet.
Member Lorenzo asked the applicant if the parcel of property adjacent to Monroe Drive was vacant, or if there were homes on the site. The applicant, Michael Fellows, said that to the south there is a vacant 10-acre parcel, and to the north there are 13 acres with a house and sawmill on it.
Member Lorenzo asked if there was a possibility that the land would be subdivided in the future. The applicant said that this was a very good possibility. Member Lorenzo said this was a concern of hers. She agreed with the Fire Department’s assessment that this was approvable, assuming that future connections would be there to provide secondary access.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-345 Yeas: Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo
Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, wished to discuss construction debris that remained in the conservation easement of the Target property (Novi Promenade). Fifteen months ago it was clear that something needed to be done about the debris, and he indicated his concern that the entire project was completely approved with nothing being done about the debris sitting in the wetland. Fifteen months have passed, and the debris remains in the wetland. He had recently heard that the City had received an approved plan from the MDEQ to crush the debris material; including concrete, wire, and other black sheeting, and cover this with dirt. Mr. Wizinsky said he had received no response from the City about the item, so he spoke to the MDEQ and learned that there was a permit to enter the wetland, but knowing that Geological and Land Management of the MDEQ would have nothing to do with the effects on the adjacent property if this were crushed. He was referred to Hazardous Waste Management at the MDEQ and spoke to Larry Bean, who indicated that it would require an additional permit to bury any of the other debris on the site. Thus, it will require more than the wetland permit to clean the debris up. He said that he definitely wanted the debris cleaned up, but he wanted it done correctly. Mr. Wizinsky said he would stay in touch with the MDEQ until the matter was taken care of.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig if there would be an updated report on the status of the item at the next Council meeting.
Mr. Helwig replied that he would be happy to provide the update.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
5. 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. 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-346 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve 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. 2nd Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-346 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
6. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-125.16 amending Section 37-30 Woodlands review process to be addressed by Planning Commission. 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-347 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-125.16 amending Section 37-30 Woodlands review process to be addressed by Planning Commission. 2nd Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-347 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark
7. 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." 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-348 Moved by Sanghvi, seconded by Lorenzo; 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." 2nd Reading
Mr. Fisher noted that the penalties for civil infraction first offenses start at $200, which is a high number. The second offense can start at $500.
Mayor Clark said the costs are "attention grabbers."
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-348 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi
8. 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. 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-349 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; 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. 2nd Reading
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-349 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas
9. 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. 2nd Reading
CM-03-10-350 Moved by Sanghvi, seconded by Csordas; 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. 2nd Reading
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-350 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry
10. Consideration of Ordinance No. 03-81.21, an amendment to Chapter 33, Traffic and Motor Vehicles of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to adopt by reference as it exists now and in the future the Michigan Vehicle Code to comply with State Statues. 1st Reading
CM-03-10-351 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-81.21, an amendment to Chapter 33, Traffic and Motor Vehicles of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to adopt by reference as it exists now and in the future the Michigan Vehicle Code to comply with State Statues. 1st Reading
Mr. Fisher commented that this ordinance, if adopted, would ultimately by reference adopt future amendments to the Michigan Vehicle Code. The idea of adopting future amendments to State law is something that is being discussed around the State by municipal attorneys and related parties. Legal Counsel may later return to Council about this issue. This would keep the City covered to the maximum and up-to-date without changing anything.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-351 Yeas: Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Revisit request by Fountain Walk Manager, Schostak Brothers & Co., for updates to
City Vending Regulations – Mayor Clark
Mayor Clark said he put this on the agenda because the item ended in a tie vote at the prior Council meeting. He noted that Fountain Walk is evolving into an entertainment venue, and said the proposed business might fit in well at that site. He had concerns which were noted in a report from Chief Shaeffer about minors being on the premises beyond certain hours without a parent or responsible adult. Mr. Fisher has not moved forward to make a recommendation to Council about the item because of the tie vote. He suggested the item be placed on the agenda so that Council could decide to direct or not to direct Mr. Fisher to examine the issue.
Member Sanghvi said that when the item had been proposed before, he had objected to the method by which the issue was raised, but not to the content of the item. He does not like amendments made to the Zoning Ordinance without proper attention and planning. He said he would have no difficulty in supporting the revision of the ordinance, provided that it was done in the correct manner.
Mr. Helwig noted that no action had been taken by administration on the item except the distribution of information to Council.
CM-03-10-352 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Sanghvi; MOTION CARRIED: To direct the City Attorney to examine the request for Fountain Walk Manager, Schostak Brothers & Co., for updates to City Vending Regulations, and to confirm with the applicant’s attorney that the applicant shall reimburse the City for its Attorney’s fees.
Member Lorenzo said she would not support the item. Since Council would be spending Attorney money, it would require 5 votes to pass the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi agreed with Member Sanghvi about the matter of setting an uncommon precedent of bringing forward an ordinance under Mayor and Council Issues. She did not want to see this procedure followed again. She called this an example of "fast tracking", where a special interest project was brought forward from established practice and tradition in a non-emergency situation. She had read the proposed amendment and revisions very carefully, and asked Mr. Fisher whether or not the ordinance that was proposed for the amendment for the existing Arcade Ordinance allows for minors in the company of a responsible adult to be present on the premises between 12:01 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
Mr. Fisher said the amendment indicates that no licensee shall knowingly permit any person 17 years of age to be on the premises during the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. unless accompanied. Depending on the reading of the amendment, it could indicate that a 17-year-old could be on the premises during that period of time.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if this amendment specified that this applied to persons 17 years or younger. Mr. Fisher replied that the amendment did apply to persons under 17. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said that of the many people who contacted her about the ordinance, none would support such a proposal to have children under the age of 17 in an atmosphere where alcohol will be served, even though "last call" in Michigan is 2 a.m. She said she would not support an ordinance that would encourage minors to be in such an environment, and said she had not heard a single word of support for such an ordinance from a member of the community.
Member Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer to provide a recap of his memo to Council dated October 8, 2003.
Chief Schaeffer said the Police Department was asked to look at proposed language to the ordinances that was specifically related to amusements, entertainment, pinball arcades and machines. Specifically, the Police Department was asked to examine Ordinance 4-65, which relates to the prohibition on winning prizes in the City of Novi. State law allows the winning of prizes up to a wholesale value of $250. In most instances, prizes do not reach this level, so the Police Department does not object to bringing the ordinance into definitions under the State Statute.
Chief Schaeffer remarked that the second component of the request was much more complex. Changes were proposed relating to age and when people could be in a facility. The first component which currently exists under the City ordinance is the prohibition of persons under the age of 16 from being on the premise unless accompanied by a parent or adult/guardian. The proposed change would nullify that particular component and would allow a minor to be on premise when two conditions are met: the establishment must have a liquor license and a 300,000-square-foot gross lease-able space in a shopping center. The Police Department felt it was odd that the change would require a parent or guardian when there is no liquor license present, but would allow no parent or guardian when liquor is being served on the premises.
Chief Shaeffer noted that the Police Department was also asked to examine the hours when minors could be on the premises. Discussion within the Police Department was varied in opinion and view, and the Department did not reach a conclusion with which to provide a firm recommendation to Council. The protection of youth is paramount in everyone’s minds. At the same time, the Police Department considered less dramatic issues, such as having a birthday party for a child at premises such as the proposed establishment so that they could play video arcade games. Current ordinance prohibits this without the presence of a parent or guardian. The proposed modification would allow such a gathering with only the presence of a supervising adult.
Chief Shaeffer noted that the current ordinance prohibits a youth from being in the proposed establishment on any day during which school is in session where that business is located. Novi has 4 school districts whose breaks do not always coincide, and this may be a burden to the proprietor. The final requirement for Police Department review was a 300,000 foot separation between arcades. The proposed ordinance change would permit arcades to be closer together when they are within a shopping center of more than 500,000 square feet of gross lease-able area, which the Police Department had no concerns with.
Member Csordas thanked Chief Shaeffer for the summary of his memo to Council. He concurred with all of the Chief’s comments, and said he shared some of the same concerns. He advised that the City allow flexibility and use common sense in working with the owners of the proposed establishment. The business would locate in a 65,000-square-foot facility that is presently empty. He agreed that allowing persons under 16 into the establishment without a parent or guardian was inappropriate, but said the City needs to discuss the business with the owners in the best interests of residents.
Member Landry said he could not imagine supporting a change in the ordinance to allow the use of the premises by persons less than 16 or 17 years old without a parent, but felt it was worthwhile to examine amending the ordinance with respect to the prohibition on prizes. He noted that he had recently taken his family to Frankenmuth, a family-oriented city, and his children had earned prizes there with tickets from games. He supported the motion and the Mayor’s suggestion, and said it was worthwhile to simply examine the issue.
Member Lorenzo said the example of Frankenmuth was something uncommon. A person does not have access to go to Frankenmuth everyday. A $250 prize is a very expensive prize for an adult, let alone a child. To earn such a prize, a person must continue going to the venue over and over to earn enough tickets. This allows children under the age of 16 to be on the premises before 9 p.m. without a parent or a guardian. She had concerns about targeting youth at the expense of the economic engine of the City of Novi. The City wants to attract clean businesses that generate tax revenue and low traffic, but not at the expense of the community’s children. She said that if prizes of a much lesser value were only being offered, she would not have those concerns about the prize aspect of the business. Younger children could bicycle to the establishment during the day while their parents are working. She said she was totally opposed to the item.
Mayor Clark said he brought forward the item simply to "get it off the dime." What is proposed is simply to have the City Attorney examine the item. What has been proposed is language from a petitioner – this does not mean that Council will approve it. He said he would like to see a legal opinion about the proposal. Any child that would take a bicycle all the way up Novi Road to reach the establishment would already have gambled far more by fighting traffic than by playing any type of arcade machine. The Mayor said he did not encourage in any respect the concept of having children gambling. This was simply a vehicle to allow the City Attorney to review the proposal and provide Council with his legal opinion.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was delighted that Council was "baking up a batch of waffles", as this would help to steer Council. If there was support for the item when it first came to Council on Mayor and Council Issues, it would have been a done deal, and she was very grateful that it was not. She said the ordinance amendment proposal sends the wrong message to children.
Mr. Fisher said he believed that since the City has adopted the ordinance calling for the reimbursement of Attorney’s fees, the City should call the attorney for the applicant and receive a confirmation that the applicant is paying for the City Attorney’s fees.
Member Csordas and Member Sanghvi agreed to include this in the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-10-352 Yeas: Clark, Csordas, Landry, Sanghvi
Nays: Bononi, Lorenzo
2. Update on Barricades – Member Csordas
Member Csordas said that Council has continuously received updates and behind-the-scenes activity on the barriers issue. Council had three documents in its weekly packet; one from Rod Arroyo, one from Chief Shaeffer, and one from Mr. Helwig. He questioned whether the public knew of all the activity occurring on the issue, and asked Mr. Helwig to briefly address the issue.
Mr. Helwig said that for two years, the City has been examining the defensible space of its facilities. This has been done with the well-being in mind of everyone who visits City facilities, as well as the ability to function properly in an emergency. Homeland security guidelines from the federal government have encouraged local communities to revisit distances that vehicles are permitted to come within public gathering places and facilities. At a meeting in September it was suggested that administration examine reopening the northern part of the Civic Center for drop-off purposes. The information provided from Rod Arroyo, the City’s traffic consultant, pertained to this topic. The City has increased the number of Civic Center handicap access spaces from 12 to 15. Five of these do not require a visitor to cross the street on the south side of the building. Twenty spaces were also added for senior citizens and expectant mothers. When Novi Community Schools was expanding Novi High School, they considered a through-way on the north side of the school, similar to the through-way on the north side of the Civic Center. The Schools took the City’s advice to truncate the road so that it is not a through-road, and also to move it farther from the facility. Administration is trying to enhance the general community’s eyes and ears, as well as the City’s eyes and ears, to see if something looks out of the ordinary, which is the real intent of the action. Administration will be guided by Council, present and future, in what it feels is best for the community.
3. Election – Member Sanghvi
Member Sanghvi said he had heard that City employees were directed not to take any part in the political process of the local election, such as by showing support for any candidates. He wondered whether the City could legally prevent its employees from such participation. He asked Mr. Helwig to reconsider this decision if it was true.
Member Sanghvi said his second concern was about election signs. His understanding was that political signs were a form of speech, and he suggested that the City not dispose of the signs when they are removed by ordinance officers, and instead hold the signs and return them to candidates.
Mr. Helwig said it is extremely important that City employees who are residents of the community not lose any of their rights in the political process. It is also extremely important that they follow certain "do’s" and "don’ts" during the election process. City employees are not permitted to use City facilities, City time, City materials, or anything to express a favorite candidate. They can express this outside of City work hours and without using taxpayer funded materials, but do not lose their rights in the process. What he has tried to emphasize is that first and foremost, City employees work to get a job done for the citizens. He has seen situations where during an election campaign season, people become more focused on candidates than on responding to citizens. City business goes on every day, and employees are here to respond to this – not to be talking who to vote for and such. The City would never interfere with employees’ rights to participate during their own time.
Mr. Helwig said that regarding signs, the City started the "corral notion" two years ago at Public Works. If a sign that was within the prohibited distance in the right-of-way from the street was picked up, the sign would be picked up and the candidate notified of the pickup. He apologized if this was not occurring, and said the City is not in the business of throwing away someone’s personal property.
Member Sanghvi asked Mr. Helwig to send out a directive that people are allowed to place political signs in their yards.
Mayor Clark related a story from his past election for Mayor, that he had only 235 of the 1200 campaign signs that he started with. He echoed Member Sanghvi’s comment that political signs should be protected for all candidates.
Member Lorenzo said that Council Members need to lead by example on the political sign issue. If Council feels that any candidate should be allowed to place signs closer than a certain limit, then it should amend the ordinance. However, Council should not ask law or ordinance enforcement officers to "look away" from signs either. The law needs to be enforced uniformly for all candidates.
4. Status of Quarterly Litigation Report – Member Lorenzo
Mr. Fisher said this report is labored upon in his office because it requires bringing many people together for its coordination. His office is working on the pending legal matters report for the City, and is preparing a similar document for cases that might affect insurance risks and other issues for the audit.
Mr. Fisher said that in the past, the City Attorney’s Office has included in an appendix the most important litigation and done an in-depth analysis, rather than only listing the case. He asked Council how it wanted the appendix done, such as whether it wanted all or just some cases analyzed.
Member Lorenzo said she would prefer the report to be done in the format by which it has historically been prepared.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted that her item had already been discussed.
Member Landry thanked and congratulated Mayor Clark for his service. He wished to state for the record that he greatly respected how the Mayor has handled himself personally and as a representative of the City. When he sat in the Mayor’s living room 4 years ago, the Mayor pledged 3 things: openness, responsiveness, and inclusiveness. The Mayor has accomplished all 3. The Mayor is a rare politician who leaves office having accomplished exactly what he said he would do. The Mayor is returning his title to the City with more luster than when he received it.
Mayor Clark said to each Member of the Council that it was an honor and a privilege to work with them. To the members of the community, he remarked that it was a true honor to serve. He served for 4 years in one of the finest communities in the State of Michigan. This was an honor bestowed on him by the citizens of Novi, but the Mayor is an office that is only loaned out. He appreciated the trust and confidence that the community placed in him, and he hoped that members of the community understood that his only motivation was to do the best job possible for each and every resident of the community. He said he could not imagine any other community that he would rather live in than the City of Novi.
Member Sanghvi echoed the sentiments stated earlier about Mayor Clark. He has nothing but the highest esteem for the Mayor, and thanked both the Mayor and Council for giving him an opportunity to be part of Council.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Clark adjourned the meeting at 9:44 p.m.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: November 10, 2003