View Agenda for this meeting 

 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2004 AT 7:30 P.M.


Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy and Paul

ALSO PRESENT Rick Helwig – City Manager

Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer

Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager

Gerald Fisher – City Attorney

Art Lenaghan – Fire Chief

Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director

Doug Shaeffer – Police Chief


Member Capello added Mayor and Council Issues Item #3, snow removal on non-accepted City streets which the City has maintained in the past; Item #4, status of accepting streets and utilities; Item #5, sending instructions to review the Grand River corridor from Beck Road to Novi Road to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee; and Item #6, Novi High School senior party.

Member Gatt added Item #7, CEMS.

Member Paul added Item #8, Meadowbrook Town Homes Association; Item #9, Toll Brothers commitment to place a sidewalk on the east side of Wixom Road from Delmont to Eleven Mile Road; and Item #10, Post Bar.

Member Lorenzo added a potential Item #11, subdivision drainage issues / premature deterioration of subdivision streets. She suggested that because the CEMS report was of interest to everyone in the community, she suggested placing this near the beginning of the agenda under Special Reports or Presentations.

Council consensus was to move "CEMS" to Special/Committee Reports.

CM-04-02-034 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.

Voice Vote on CM-04-02-034 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY





Member Gatt said that a few meetings ago Council had received correspondence from Mr. Korte regarding an incident that happened to him with his mother, who had a medical emergency. It turns out that just before that emergency in the City, there was another emergency, and this caused the CEMS unit to respond to the first one. The Fire Department responded to the Korte residence, and fortunately Mrs. Korte was stable enough where they were able to transport her to a local hospital. In so doing, they asked the location of a different CEMS unit that was responding and apparently was down in the Seven Mile and Farmington Roads area. It was determined that it would take a bit too long for that unit to get to the Korte residence, and the Fire Department transported Mrs. Korte. The system worked exactly as it is supposed to. He has no complaints with CEMS, the City, or the Fire Department. The only issue that he wished to bring before the Council to discuss with the CEMS representative was this: in that situation, Mrs. Korte did not need any medication that could not be administered by the Fire Department, but the Fire Department is not authorized to use medicines and start an IV. If that had been an emergency where an IV was required, there could have been trouble. Then, the ambulance from Seven Mile and Farmington would have been absolutely required, and the response time would have been longer than what the City would like.

Member Gatt noted that in the letter from CEMS to Mr. Korte, CEMS says that they were called off by the City. This is misleading, as they were called off by the City only because the unit that could respond was so far away that it was deemed more prudent for the Fire Department to transport Mrs. Korte. He said he asked the CEMS representative to attend because the City now has 50,000 residents, and three times this amount are often shopping or visiting in Novi. He asked how much it would cost and what types of problems would be encountered by having two CEMS units in Novi. Often, there will be two emergencies at one time in the City. Two units is a reasonable number to discuss. The City is now big enough to discuss what it would take to have two dedicated CEMS rigs here in Novi.

Mayor Csordas said he had the opportunity to sit on the Fire Task Force. Prior to that task force, the City had emergency services in Novi, but with no contract. There is now a contract, but with that came no cost to the City. The only difference was the introduction of a contract. The City now has the emergency service at no cost. The simple question is whether there could be two units at no cost.

Larry Ragneau of Community Emergency Medical Service (CEMS) said that the City of Novi averages between 4 and 5 transports a day. This would in no way cover the costs for two ambulances.

Mayor Csordas asked what amount would justify two vehicles.

Mr. Ragneau replied that there would need to be more than 8 transports per day to justify such a cost.

Mayor Csordas asked why the Novi Fire Department is not allowed to start an intravenous treatment.

Chief Lenaghan said this is because of the level of service that his department provides. The Fire Department currently provides basic service, but if it were to start administering drugs then this is advanced life support, which the Fire Department is not licensed for.

Mayor Csordas asked what advanced life support licensing would require.

Chief Lenaghan replied that this requires 24-hour staffing, having the personnel trained for it, and being licensed by the State of Michigan.

Mayor Csordas asked if the 24-hour staff could be trained, but the paid on-call employees could not be trained.

Chief Lenaghan said that the paid on-call could be trained, as the City already has some that are trained paramedics.

Mr. Ragneau said that the contract calls for one ALS unit dedicated in the City of Novi, which is stationed on Ten Mile Road. There was a back-to-back call in Mr. Korte’s case. Page 3, #4-D of the contract says that "The City’s Fire Department shall make decisions regarding transport within its level of licensure, and is not obligated to wait any specific period of time to make that decision." What occurred in that circumstance was exactly what was supposed to occur according to the contract. Even though the City has one ambulance in the area, this is still a very high performance contract. This is not an easy contract. He recommended challenging and comparing this to any other city, as he said there would not be any that were better in terms of response time. Response time is extremely difficult to make. 90% of the time, the response time must be 8 minutes or less. The average for the past calendar year was under 6 ½ minutes, which is good. There are times with back-to-back-to-back emergencies because of I-96, and an accident can require 3 ambulances. Community EMS has other ambulances, not just in Novi, but also in Commerce, Farmington, and at its headquarters. Continually there are trucks going in and out of the City. When one truck goes out, the next truck must be brought in.

Mr. Ragneau said that in the Korte case, the dispatch was initially coming from the Farmington area. The Fire Department made the call that the patient was not seriously injured and did not need ALS care, and therefore decided to transport the patient to the hospital. If necessary, the Fire Department response vehicle could have met up with one of his ALS trucks on the way to the hospital. There is no cost for the contract, and there is just one vehicle. There is a significant cost to add an additional vehicle because the City would have to pay for wait time. The City averages 4 to 5 transports a day. The average transport takes an hour. Out of a 24 hour period, there is a lot of idle time, and somebody has to pay for that idle time. Second responses (at once) are common, but in their contract they count the response time to a second call. This is in their 90%, 8 minutes or less requirement. Community EMS is dedicated to the City, and he did not feel that the City had anything to worry about regarding its ambulance response service.

Mayor Csordas asked what it would cost to add an extra vehicle every year.

Mr. Ragneau estimated that this would probably be close to $250,000.

Member Lorenzo asked Chief Lenaghan if in terms of what the Fire Department has available to a patient, if they have AED’s available.

Chief Lenaghan replied that this was correct.

Member Lorenzo asked if the Fire Department has oxygen available, which Chief Lenaghan said was also correct. Member Lorenzo asked if the only thing that the Fire Department response crews are missing would be the ability to administer drugs.

Chief Lenaghan said that this was really a general term for the difference between advanced life support and basic. The training program for a paramedic is now about 1800 hours, versus an EMT which is about 240 hours. A lot of other things go into that training, as there are other things that a paramedic can do that the Fire Department cannot do at this time.

Member Paul commented that 6 minutes of time is enough for someone to possibly go brain dead. The faster the response time the better. If someone has a loved one who has been down for 5 minutes and they know that in 1 more minute that they could be brain dead, then this is a huge ordeal. If EMS is unable to get there, and the Fire Department is there but cannot intubate, then it does not matter what drugs they are pushing – the patient cannot get oxygen. A responder has to intubate, give the patient CPR, and give them oxygen. Otherwise, responding is useless. This is a very valid issue that Council needs to postpone at this time and study, especially with 50,000 people in 33 square miles.

Member Gatt said that not once did CEMS do anything wrong with the incident in question. They performed to the letter of the contract. The Fire Department did their job admirably. The voters in the City already spoke a couple of years ago and were not interested in a full-time, 24-hour Fire Department. His suggestion was that CEMS come back with some sort of plan with "real figures" that Council could contemplate during budget discussions. Perhaps something that was not full-time rig in Novi but may be stationed nearby could be discussed, something that Council could contemplate and talk about. This is a growing city of 50,000, and he was not sure that one standby ambulance is good enough. He understood the costs involved, but he felt that this was something that Council should talk about.

Member Paul said she would like to compare this with what it would be to have more trained Fire staff. At a cost of $250,000 for another EMS service, she wondered if it would be better to train a few more Fire Department staff in that regard, and compare the numbers.

Member Nagy said she agreed with Member Paul’s comment. She would like to look into, at budget time, looking at the Fire Department’s staffing and its needs, not just the EMS service. She has seen the Fire Department in action, and they do a great job. Those needs especially need to be examined with a growing population of 50,000 people. She felt that this could be done at budget time, as the Chief was probably going to prepare some kind of financial report for Council anyhow.

Mayor Csordas asked Chief Lenaghan if the City’s full-time fire fighters have this level of training.

Chief Lenaghan replied that some of them do.



4. ATTORNEY – Cheltenham Estates

Mayor Csordas said there would be no discussion on the issue during the meeting. He had one of the parties talk to him on Saturday, and he asked Mr. Fisher and administration to meet with Mr. Lokey, Mr. Nanda, and Mr. Rossi, and have them work things out. One of the alternative offers presented to Council could be viable. He said he wanted to know if Mr. Lokey is a title holder of the Wilshire property; the status of the out-lot, and how the out-lot on Beck Road happened; and why the minutes of 4 or 5 years ago reflect the fact that the driveway might be able to access the temporary emergency exit and entrance to that subdivision.

Mr. Fisher said the City has had a very extraordinary event occur relative to Cheltenham. This is a plat that was approved in approximately June, 1998 by the City. The plat, when approved, included dedicated streets. Dedication is an offer to the City to take the streets. On the basis of the actions taken in constructing those streets, and doing substantial work on those streets, the City preliminarily accepted that they were completed to a degree necessary in order to issue building permits. On that basis, 28 out of the 30 lots in the subdivision were improved, sold, and the city issued certificates of occupancy. Those units are being occupied at this point.

Mr. Fisher said that if the streets were not going to be public streets, under the Plat Act, the proprietor or developer of the plat has an obligation to give a notice to each and every purchaser in a separate document at the time of closing that those lots are not going to be maintained by a governmental entity. It is his understanding at this point, subject to further confirmation, that this was not done. Each of those 28 property owners took those deeds with the understanding and representation on the part of the developer that the streets would be public.

Mr. Fisher stated that the dedication was an offer. The City has attempted to accept the offer, and actually on a preliminary basis did accept the offer by issuing building permits. The fact that they were public or in accordance with the subdivision design standards, as well as the zoning ordinance, all of these things fell into place on the assumption that the streets were going to be public streets. There was a meeting in which the fact that the streets were not being dedicated, in spite of months of attempts by the City, was unacceptable. Council authorized him to give the developer of Cheltenham notice that unless those streets were dedicated, or the City received an indication that they would be dedicated, that the City would start litigation.

Mr. Fisher said that on December 22nd, he received a letter from Mr. Nanda’s attorney indicating that the streets were going to be dedicated and that they would cooperate in doing so. On January 28th, the City received another letter from a new attorney for the developer of Cheltenham indicating that they have filed a notice with the Register of Deeds, saying that they were withdrawing their dedication of those streets. Effectively, what they attempted to do is amend the plat. There are procedures in the Plat Act that provide for how to amend a plat, and this is not one of them.

Mr. Fisher said that at this point, what has occurred in his opinion is that as to the 28 property owners, there has been a consumer misrepresentation to each and every one of them by virtue of that notice of withdrawal; there has been a violation of the Plat Act; a violation of the City’s zoning ordinance; and a violation of the City’s subdivision design standards. The City relied on the dedication in approving the plat, in issuing building permits and certificates of occupancy, and in processing the Wilshire plat that relies upon the dedication of those streets. He did not believe that the withdrawal is permissible. The State Land Division Act specifically authorizes the City to take action to prevent a violation. He wished to put Mr. Nanda on notice that unless he turned the withdrawal around and started to cooperate, by the end of the week the City was ready to go forward. Going forward will include a notice to the State Attorney General’s Office and to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office if there has been what appears to be a consumer misrepresentation of a very serious nature. There has been a breach of contract to the property owners, a breach of contract to the City, and a violation of the City’s ordinances and the Plat Act. The City is ready to move forward to get this straightened out.

Mr. Fisher said he understood that there would be some value in trying to get all of the parties together. They have pursued those alternatives, and there is never any harm in pursuing such a meeting. It seems to him that this is serious enough that some notice to the appropriate authorities needs to be given unless the City gets some movement to turn this around immediately. The attorney that sent the notice to him, Ms. Friedlaender, is a good attorney, and he did not believe she would have done this had she known all of the facts and circumstances, and particularly would not have done so without giving the City’s legal counsel a call. He felt that the City was in the throes of a very serious event.

Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Fisher, as his opinion is highly valued by the City Council. He asked that Mr. Fisher contact Mr. Nanda and his attorney the next day and lay the facts out as he sees them, and hear their response. He also asked Mr. Fisher to get all three of the parties together, including Mr. Lokey, and if this could not be done that week to give up.

CM-04-02-035 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To direct the City Attorney to send a letter to Mr. Nanda and provide him 7 days to withdraw the withdrawal of dedication offer. If sufficient action is not taken to withdraw the withdrawal of dedication offer and the other matters mentioned by the City Attorney, by 5 p.m. on February 9, 2004, the City Attorney will be authorized to send notice to the State Attorney General’s Office and the Oakland County Register of Deeds.




Member Lorenzo said she would not support the motion, because she believed that the Mayor’s direction is the right one to take right now. She questioned whether it is the City’s responsibility to take the action of litigation. She wondered whether tax dollars should be spent on the item. She understood what Mr. Fisher had explained. Obviously the homeowners in Cheltenham may have litigation. Obviously, Mr. Rossi may have litigation. She was not sure if this should be the City’s litigation. She questioned whether this was something that the City should be getting involved in to the point of litigation. She said she wholeheartedly supported the Mayor’s direction in trying to get the parties together, as obviously there is "a lot more than meets the eye" with the street acceptance. There are other concerns that she raised at the last meeting that still need to be ironed out – secondary emergency access is one of them. For those reasons, she would not support the motion.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-035 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Nagy, Paul

Nays: Lorenzo

Absent: None


Ken Nanda, Developer of Cheltenham Estates, wished to talk about the issues that happened the previous Monday, where Member Paul had brought up issues such as snow removal. As Mr. Fisher had said, he retains a very good attorney, Susan Friedlander, who gave him advice that was important, especially considering that the City had passed a resolution and motion to sue him. He felt this was improper considering the circumstances that the City had made several mistakes in planning the entire area of Beckenham, Edinborough, and Cheltenham; nor giving the proper access when they could do that. The City created a problem, then further perpetuated the problem by giving Mr. Lokey a split lot on Beck Road, and Mr. Lokey could then put a block on him. These are all issues that have to be discussed. He dedicated the roads on the plat, but said Mr. Fisher had not pointed out that on the same plat, the City also represented that it would provide and approve a permanent secondary easement for Cheltenham. Upon doing this, he would be released. He said there are issues that have to be resolved. As the Mayor suggested, there should be a meeting to discuss all of the issues. It was very unfortunate that the City Council passed another resolution. All he could say was that Sandstone did not start overnight; it took years. Cheltenham’s situation has been going on for 7 years and has not been resolved. Any fire starts in a small spot. It is for everyone involved to look at the spark and stop it before it becomes a big fire. Litigation is expensive for the City and expensive for him. He does not have money to waste, and would like to talk. Unfortunately, the issues have been swept under the rug and have not been brought forward. This Council and the prior Councils have not addressed some of the issues. Unless that is done, this problem will not be solved. He has not committed consumer fraud. He said Mr. Fisher had again misrepresented the situation by saying that he represented the public streets to 28 homeowners. They have not sold the lots to 28 homeowners. They sold the lots to Toll Brothers, who may have made such representations. However, he had not made misrepresentations to the individual homeowners. There is no consumer fraud. There are case laws by the Supreme Court that these subdivision roads, even if they are not public, each of the 28 homeowners have the same rights as if they are public. The 28 lot owners are a unique public. There is a unique public versus a general public. The general public is like Rossi and Lokey. Mr. Fisher did not advise Council properly, and because of this Council was passing a resolution which is one-sided and hurting him. He only wants a fair, due process. Council must look at both sides equally, and cannot look at him as the "bad guy." Member Paul decided to inquire about the issue of snow removal. As part of her inquiry, he said she could have placed a call to him, which she did not do. He had spoken with Mr. McCusker about bills, but no bills have been sent to him. He wished that Member Paul should publicly resolve his comment.

John Garabelli, a board member of the Cheltenham Homeowner’s Association, thanked the Novi Council for keeping the Cheltenham item on the agenda. He would not have bought a home, nor would his 27 neighbors, knowing that their roads would be private. They are not happy with the snow removal currently being provided, and want City services that they are paying taxes for. He requested that sometime in the future, when Council feels it appropriate, that a letter be sent to all of the Cheltenham homeowners on the status of events. It is difficult for him to summarize the status since he is not an attorney, but would attempt to do so the next day during the homeowner’s association meeting. He thanked the City for its time and effort on the matter.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to provide a summary letter and provide it to Mr. Garabelli so that he can distribute it to his neighbors.

Mr. Helwig said he would be glad to work with Mr. Fisher on this.

Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, wished to provide Council with a brief update of the ongoing problems with Target’s overnight trucks next to his home. Despite the many commitments on behalf of Target, both locally and from corporate offices, there has yet to be any resolution to this problem. During January, they called the Novi Police Department twice to request assistance regarding this issue. Both of those reports document a parked semi with its engine running and drivers asleep in the cabs. The officers politely indicated to him that there is no ordinance prohibiting this practice. Target is private property, and only Target can request that the drivers leave. On January 20, he met with Lisa Rahm, Target’s Novi store manager, and Casey Schroeder, the region’s Target team leader, to relay their disappointment with this situation, and requested a Target phone number that he could call after hours to get assistance in having the overnight trucks removed. They indicated that they were doing all that they could do, and would do nothing else. They would not give him a phone number to contact after hours. He then contacted Target’s regional director’s office in Troy, and was again told that there was no after hours number, and that Target would do nothing further to address his concerns. For more than a year, he has made many requests that the City create or modify an ordinance that would prohibit the use of parking lots next to residential property as an overnight truck stop. On January 8, 2004, he came before Council asking for replies to his many unanswered letters from last year. Mr. Helwig responded that he would receive no written responses because of his pending lawsuit. None of the outstanding issues in those letters, including overnight trucks, are related to his lawsuit. The claims of his lawsuit derive entirely from preconstruction plans for the store, its approval, and siting, and do not relate to operational issues now confronted. The issues he is now asking the City to address have risen entirely from the reality of the building as constructed and the operations of the store. Although the Target store has been open for 15 months, it has yet to receive its permanent certificate of occupancy. It is difficult for him to understand why the City has continued to make concessions for Target by extending its temporary certificate of occupancy beyond the limits of the City’s own policy when Target has not been able to cooperate by meeting the reasonable request regarding overnight trucks. His family awaits the addition or modification of a City ordinance that would prohibit the overnight parking of tractor-trailer rigs with sleeper cabs adjacent to residences.

Mayor Csordas said Council would support Mr. Helwig’s response on the matter, as he has been working with Mr. Fisher on it.

CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)

CM-04-02-036 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.

Member Paul asked to remove the warrant, Item K, for discussion.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-036 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas

Nays: None

Absent: None


A. Approval to set a Public Hearing for February 23, 2004 for purposes of receiving public input on the reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant funds.

B. Approval to award bid for Window Washing Services to Allied Building Services, the low bidder, in the amount of $9,260.

C. Approval of Resolution No. 2 for the Woodham Drive Water Main Extension – Special Assessment District Number 171 and setting the public hearing for February 23, 2004.

D. Acceptance as public utilities the water main, sanitary sewer, and interior roadway systems constructed to service Delfino Estates Subdivision, and acceptance of all documents and easements mandatory for City acceptance conveying such infrastructure to the City of Novi, along with the Act 51 New Street Resolution required by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

E. Approval of Revised Resolution Number 5 for Special Assessment District Number 168 – West Lake Drive Water Main Extension – necessary to reduce the cost per benefiting property owner as a result of the contractor's bids.

F. Approval of Revised Resolution Number 5 for Special Assessment District Number 169 – West Lake Drive Road Paving – necessary to reduce the cost per benefiting property owner as a result of the contractor's bids.

G. Approval of Revised Resolution Number 7 for Special Assessment District Number 168 – West Lake Drive Water Main Extension – necessary to reduce the cost per benefiting property owner as a result of the contractor's bids.

H. Approval of Revised Resolution Number 7 for Special Assessment District Number 169 – West Lake Drive Road Paving – necessary to reduce the cost per benefiting property owner as a result of the contractor's bids.

I. Approval of right-of-way acquisition for a grading permit from Sheridan and Judith Anderson for Parcel No. 22-16-451-041 in the amount of $350 for improvements – Grand River Avenue to CSX Bridge.

J. Approval to Award Purchase for (25) Police Taser – X26, accessories and training equipment to Taser International, Scottsdale, Arizona, sole source vendor, in the amount of $25,780.43.


1. Approval of Resolution for Project Plan for Catholic Central High School of Detroit Project to facilitate funding through the Oakland County Economic Development Corporation for Industrial Revenue Bonds (no City financial obligation incurred).

CM-04-02-037 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution for Project Plan for Catholic Central High School of Detroit Project to facilitate funding through the Oakland County Economic Development Corporation for Industrial Revenue Bonds (no City financial obligation incurred).

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-037 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry

Nays: None

Absent: None

2. Consideration of Ordinance No. 04-100.33 to amend an Ordinance, Chapter 28, "Signs," of the City of Novi Code to implement a Municipal Civil Infraction Penalty. – First Reading

CM-04-02-038 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 04-100.33 to amend an Ordinance, Chapter 28, "Signs," of the City of Novi Code to implement a Municipal Civil Infraction Penalty. – First Reading.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-038 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello

Nays: None

Absent: None

3. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.187 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, of Ordinance 97-18, as amended, for the purpose of amending Article 38 to implement a Municipal Civil Infraction Penalty for violation of the Zoning Ordinance, and Article 2 to provide additional definitions. – First Reading.

CM-04-02-039 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.187 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, of Ordinance 97-18, as amended, for the purpose of amending Article 38 to implement a Municipal Civil Infraction Penalty for violation of the Zoning Ordinance, and Article 2 to provide additional definitions. – First Reading.


Member Capello expressed concern with the additional language of "including, but not limited to, specific approval such as permit and/or plan approvals, and conditions imposed thereon" on section 3800(a). He said he was concerned that as the Council or Planning Commission grants approvals, sometimes the language is very vague or ambiguous. In granting permits, such as with a landscaping permit, he wondered that if someone had a permit to install landscaping but did not do so, then the person would be violating the ordinance and would be subject to a civil infraction. Most of the City’s permits do not have any requirements as to when the work needs to be completed. He wondered at what point the civil infraction would kick in, and at what point in time they would have violated it. The City is having enough problems right now with its permitting processes, review processes, and its acceptance processes. He said he wanted to pass the first reading, but felt Council should pay more attention to the exact language because it is too broad and encompasses matters that the City does not really want to consider civil infractions.

Mr. Fisher noted that Member Capello’s reference had to do with landscaping, and he did not find that reference in this ordinance modification.

Member Capello felt that "including, but not limited to, specific approvals such as permit and/or plan approvals" meant that specific approvals would include a landscaping permit, a wetland permit, a soil erosion permit, and a right-of-way permit. He felt the language was too broad.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that he interpreted the language in that if the Planning Commission gave a permit, and the developer decided not to put landscaping in, this is one thing. However, if the developer put landscaping in that violated the permit and was something other than what the permit called for, then this would be a violation and would be subject to a civil infraction.

Mr. Fisher said this was correct. Also, if the developer did not put landscaping in then this would be a violation.

Member Capello felt that this position was where the ordinance was trying to aim, and felt that the current language was too broad. The City needs to identify when a civil infraction really occurs, and not just the permit process itself. He asked if the City’s letters of credits and bonds are renewable annually.

Mr. Fisher replied that these normally are.

Member Capello asked if it is a violation of a civil infraction when work isn’t completed in a year when the bonds are renewable. He did not believe it would be, because the City does not have any deadlines in its ordinances at this point to say when the work must be completed.

Mr. Fisher agreed with Member Capello that this would not necessarily be a civil infraction.

Member Capello said he was just looking for a bit of clarity. He agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry about what the ordinance was trying to say, but he felt that the language was too broad to truly say this.

Mr. Fisher said he would take a look at the language.

Member Paul commended the Planning Commission for coming forward with the ordinance in a timely fashion for administration. When she read the minutes, Member Kocan came through as helping the lawyer provide clarity and giving suggestions. She commended Commissioner Kocan on her work.

Member Nagy said she was not certain if she understood the point of the previous speaker. She assumed that within the City’s ordinances there are guidelines. She felt the ordinance was well written. Commissioner Kocan does a wonderful job, as does Mr. Schultz. If Mr. Schultz felt the ordinance to was too broad, she assumed that he would have brought something up. She approved of the way the ordinance was written, and did not feel it may be good to be too detailed in the language.

Member Capello said his only point was that somebody reading the ordinance should know when they violated it and when they have not. He did not feel that the ordinance, with the City’s other standards, advises a reader of when they have violated an ordinance.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-039 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt

Nays: None

Absent: None


4. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.186 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Section 2507.3, of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, in order to amend the Ordinance relating to the off-street loading and unloading standards in any I (Industrial) District, Expo (Exposition) District, or Exo (Exposition Overlay) District abutting Residential Districts within the City Of Novi. – First Reading.

CM-04-02-040 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.186 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Section 2507.3, of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, in order to amend the Ordinance relating to the off-street loading and unloading standards in any I (Industrial) District, Expo (Exposition) District, or Exo (Exposition Overlay) District abutting Residential Districts within the City Of Novi. – First Reading.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-040 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo

Nays: None

Absent: None

5. Consideration of a request from Chason Properties for a variance to Section 15-25 (Fire Protection) of the City of Novi Design and Construction Standards to eliminate the requirement of a secondary access drive for emergency access for their site on 11 Mile Road and Delwal; Parcel Number 50-22-14-376-004.

Mayor Csordas noted that there was a letter included in Council’s packets indicating that this had been approved by the Fire Department.

CM-04-02-041 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOIUSLY: To approve request from Chason Properties for a variance to Section 15-25 (Fire Protection) of the City of Novi Design and Construction Standards to eliminate the requirement of a secondary access drive for emergency access for their site on 11 Mile Road and Delwal; Parcel Number 50-22-14-376-004. The excessive grade differential to the property to the west precludes the extension through the neighborhood, and the adjacent parking area from the hotel parking lot would offer sufficient means of alternative emergency access if necessary.


Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he agreed wholeheartedly with the motion. He believed that it should be stated on the record that the reasons stated in the memorandum from the Engineering Department should be incorporated into the motion. The excessive grade differential to the property to the west precludes the extension through the neighborhood, and the adjacent parking area from the hotel parking lot would offer sufficient means of alternative emergency access if necessary.

Member Paul and Member Nagy both agreed to this friendly amendment.

Member Capello looked at this particular site plan, and it just so happened that he looked at the site plan for the Funco that has proposed to come in on Grand River Avenue. In that particular plan, the Fire Department also required a secondary access. The City has been fighting for ages not to have two curb cuts on one piece of property. He did not see the sense of requiring a secondary access on a site plan with one building that has access directly to a major thoroughfare. He asked to have this come back to Council on an agenda in March or April so that the ordinance could be examined as to whether it makes sense for individual buildings in industrial areas and site plans.

Mr. Helwig said administration would do this.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-041 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy

Nays: None

Absent: None

6. Consideration of Ordinance No. 04-28.51, to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities," of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to add a subdivision regarding Park Place Estates/Nine Mile Road Sanitary Sewer Force Main and Pump Station and to provide for the reimbursement of sewer tap charges. – Second Reading

CM-04-02-042 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To recuse Member Capello from participation on Item #6.

Voice Vote on CM-04-02-042 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Member Nagy said that on page 3, the fifth line reads "including the any," and she believed that this should read "including any."

CM-04-02-043 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 04-28.51, to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities," of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to add a subdivision regarding Park Place Estates/Nine Mile Road Sanitary Sewer Force Main and Pump Station and to provide for the reimbursement of sewer tap charges. The City is accepting the pump because it is in good working condition. – Second Reading.


Member Paul noted that the DPW Director had said that the pump was in good working condition, which is the reason that he would accept it.

Member Nagy and Member Lorenzo agreed to add this friendly amendment to the motion.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-043 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul

Nays: None

Absent: None

Abstention: Capello


7. Approval of Resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2004-5.

CM-04-02-044 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2004-5.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-044 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas

Nays: None

Absent: None

Mayor Csordas asked how the funds would be replaced in the next budget year to balance this amendment.

Mr. Helwig said that in his budget message to Council, he highlights the flexible dollar spending. Administration plans to have a line item in the budget reimbursing the rainy day funds.

Mayor Csordas asked if even if the City had the opportunity to take advantage of having rainy day funds, it will replenish them in the next budget year.

Mr. Helwig replied that this was correct. The City has committed to the new snowplow truck. Administration is having some thoughts about emergency generators, as this is a big item. There is no policy that requires the rainy day fund to be at 17%. The policy has been to keep the fund at double digits, closer to 14%. If the City can do some other things that are priorities of Council without reimbursing for the emergency generators, but reimbursing for the dump truck and the tasers, for example, administration may bring this to Council if this were an alternative.

Member Nagy commented that she felt the City got a great deal on the new snowplow truck. The truck looks great, and will definitely add to the City services provided to residents.



Robert Spencer, 13033 Ohrman Drive, Belleville, said he was in attendance in regards to Item #5 on the agenda. He was told to be there at 8:30.

Mayor Csordas said there was a decision, and that the item was approved.

Mr. Spencer thanked the Council for its decision.





CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)

K. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 666. – Member Paul

Member Paul referred to check #34033, Municipal Web Services. She asked how often the City maintains its web page. The check was for $662.50.

Mr. Helwig replied that often this is on a daily basis.

Mr. Pearson said that the City’s web site is updated daily. Some master plan material had been posted that day on the site. The billing is on a monthly basis. The City averages about $1000, and this will was for $662.50, so this was probably on the low end of a monthly service fee for all they do for maintaining the site.

Member Paul asked if this was a monthly bill, which Mr. Pearson replied was correct.

Member Paul said the other check that was of curiosity to her was check #34093, Teamster’s Local 214, Employee’s union dues, for $3,445. She asked if the City pays these dues.

Mr. Klaver replied that the City collects these through payroll, and then turns the payments over to the union. This is just a pass through.

Member Paul referred to check #34098, Toll Michigan, Number 2 Limited Refund Building Department Fees. She said she did not understand how the City does the refund, or why the company would ask for a refund.

Ms. Smith-Roy said this was just a partial refund. The calculation of the permit itself was incorrect, so this is only a refund of part of the payment of the permit.

CM-04-02-045 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Item K of the Consent Agenda, Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 666.


Member Lorenzo referred to check #33913, Anderzack-Pitzen, South Lake Drive Reconstruction. She asked what part of the payment this was, or if this was the final payment.

Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was not the final payment.

Member Lorenzo asked if it was known how much money was left to pay after this payment.

Ms. Smith-Roy said she would research this and provide the answer before the end of the meeting.

Member Lorenzo said her concern was that Council may not have resolved all of the issues, and that the City should perhaps not be paying the balance of this.

Mr. Helwig replied that there is significant work yet to be done in the spring as far as completing the separated bike path from the western end, all of the restoration work such as lawn work on the eastern end, and other things.

Member Lorenzo said there were drainage issues and several other issues that she did not believed Council had resolved. She asked to remove this check from the approval that evening, get the information, and put it on the next warrant for the next meeting.

Ms. Smith-Roy believed that this was just a partial payment per the City’s past plan, which the City is required to do within a certain period.

Member Lorenzo asked if this was a requirement.

Ms. Smith-Roy replied that there was a contractual obligation to pay this within a certain number of days unless there was something wrong.

Member Lorenzo said this was what she was questioning. If there is work yet to be done, she wondered how much money the City was still withholding.

Ms. Smith-Roy asked for a few minutes to get an answer for Member Lorenzo.

Member Paul agreed to the postponement.

* Council postponed consideration of Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 666 – for further information from Ms. Smith-Roy.


1. Review residential garage size limitations – Mayor Csordas

Mayor Csordas said he would like Council to review the residential garage size limitations set forth in the City’s ordinance. This item was brought forward to his attention by some developers. The developers feel that while the ordinance was probably appropriate at one time, they now have the need for larger garages for some estate homes, and it does not sound like 1,000 square feet is enough space for those garages.

Mr. Helwig said it would be preferable to have a vote from Council on items in Mayor and Council Issues to provide direction. It may be appropriate on this matter to direct the issue to the Ordinance Review Committee, or to the Planning Commission or staff.

CM-04-02-046 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To place the Review of Residential Garage Size Limitations on the February 23rd City Council agenda.




Mr. Fisher said that this was a fine idea. For the sake of discussion, because this was a zoning matter, Council could also send the item to the Implementation Committee of the Planning Commission.

Member Capello commented that this was a small issue. Council had looked at the item several times in the past, and it just has to do with larger sizes of cars and needing more square footage in garages.

Mayor Csordas said he did not want to make a big deal of the matter, but felt it was something that needed to be done.

Member Nagy said she also would like to have the item looked at, since there are so many garage variances that go to the Zoning Board of Appeals. However, she would not mind if the Implementation Committee looked at the idea, as the City needs to look at not only the increased need for garage space, but also the impact that this may have on other factors. She would prefer the item to go to the Implementation Committee. Also, it may be of benefit to look at ordinances from other cities to see how they are handling the garage size issue. She felt the Implementation Committee would have a lot to offer for the item that Council may not be looking at from the same way.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if there was a way that Council could suggest that staff draft a proposed amendment to the ordinance, have the Implementation Committee look at it, and then bring it back to Council so that it is back by April.

Mr. Helwig said that each of the suggestions was possible. It was just a question of how comfortable Council is with what process it wishes to use.

Member Capello said he would accept the friendly amendment, to let administration and Mr. Fisher come with a draft to Council, provide it to the Implementation Committee let them know when it will be on Council’s agenda. If the Committee wishes to provide comments, they will be able to do so.

Member Paul noted that she had sat on the Implementation Committee for the Planning Commission. There is a laundry list of expectations of where they are. The Implementation Committee had whipped through several ordinances for that evening’s meeting, and passed them up to Council. She knew that Mr. Schultz was working hard on a laundry list of about 20 items. To have the suggestions for the ordinance come back to Council in 60 days is asking a lot. She wondered if there was a way to send the matter to Ordinance Review, have Council look at it and not send it to the Planning Commission, or have the Implementation Committee examine the ordinance after Council looks at it. She suggested this because if they were talking about a zoning issue, the people that use this are the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission had very great success looking at ordinances in Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Troy, Farmington Hills, and other neighboring communities. Northville has a zoning ordinance that allows a 6-car garage depending on the square footage of the home. She understood the desire to expedite the issue since there are some bigger homes coming forward in several developments that do not have their site plans approved. However, she did not want to make a hasty decision that will be on the books for another 15 or 20 years. She questioned whether Mr. Schultz, if he already has a list of things to work on, could have the ordinance back to Council within the 60 day timeframe.

Mayor Csordas commented that Council does not need to legislate, over-analyze or over-regulate the size requirements, as he did not feel it was that big of an issue. His goal was to expedite and apply common sense to the ordinance. 60 days was "way out of line."

Mr. Fisher said that because this was a zoning regulation, it will ultimately have to go through the Planning Commission and have a public hearing, then be recommended to the Council.

Mayor Csordas asked how quickly this could be done.

Mr. Fisher replied that this was probably 60 days. What Council could do was, playing on Member Capello’s suggestion, was direct staff to put something together, bring it back to Council for initial recommendation, and then it would go through the Implementation Committee, the Planning Commission, a public hearing, and then back to Council.

Member Capello said that Mr. Fisher’s suggestion was wonderful, up to the point where he said it should go through the Implementation Committee to the Planning Commission. He did not believe that the ordinance had to do this; rather, it just needed to be scheduled in front of the Planning Commission for a public hearing.

Mr. Fisher said the ordinance did not have to go through the Implementation Committee, but once it goes back to the Planning Commission they have some prerogative of how they treat it.

Member Capello asked that if Council agreed on the language and sent it to the Planning Commission to schedule a public hearing, that the Planning Commission could send the item to one of its Committees and sit on it before they have a public hearing.

Mr. Fisher replied that if the Planning Commission had a view that before it holds the public hearing it needs to do an amount of investigation they are not bound moment by moment by the direction of Council. Because Council is the appointing body, the Planning Commission will listen to Council.

Member Capello asked if by statute, the Planning Commission has to hold a public hearing.

Mr. Fisher replied that this was correct.

Member Capello said that the public hearing is held so that Council can approve the ordinances. He asked where the Planning Commission had the authority to sit on a request for a public hearing.

Mr. Fisher said that this was really through the operation of their rules. When Council sends something to the Planning Commission, they operate by their rules.

Member Capello asked if Council could give the Planning Commission a deadline by which to hold their public hearing.

Mr. Fisher replied that Council could give the Commission a strong recommendation on this.

Mr. Helwig said that as had been referenced, there is tremendous progress being made with the Planning Commission and moving things forward. The Planning Commission is moving on "all 8 cylinders." He suggested that the City staff and City Attorney bring something to Council in an off-week packet before its next meeting. At Council’s next meeting, it could decide if it is ready to refer the matter to the Planning Commission with whatever direction desired. The item would be listed as an agenda item for February 23rd, and staff would have something for Council to consider in terms of looking at what other communities are doing.

Mayor Csordas said this sounded good to him.

Member Capello noted that he had a motion on the floor, and said that this was close enough to his motion that he would accept it.

Member Nagy noted that she had come from the Planning Commission and had served on the Implementation Committee, where they met twice a month and moved a great deal forward. This Planning Commission is moving a great deal forward. She felt the Planning Commission would accommodate the City Council with regards to this ordinance.

Member Paul asked to have Barb McBeth, who is "unbelievable" at working on finding other ordinances that work best in other communities, work on the item. She noted her appreciation for all of Ms. McBeth’s work.

Voice Vote on CM-04-02-046 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

2. One-day Special Sign permits – Mayor Csordas

Mayor Csordas said this item was brought to him by the Chamber of Commerce. They are looking for a one-day special event sign. Specifically, there was a small business over the holidays that was holding a fundraiser for Toys for Tots, and they wanted a sign saying "Today, Toys for Tots" at the end of their street, Heslip. Mr. Klaver says that requests for that are approved by a waiver, administratively.

Mr. Klaver said there is a provision in the sign ordinance that for special community events, any charitable activities are eligible to be granted a waiver.

Mayor Csordas asked if charitable events are covered.

Mr. Klaver replied that the event described certainly would qualify.

Mayor Csordas said these one-day special event signs would be for one-day "sales", events at retail establishments.

Member Nagy recalled that there was a problem at the High School last year, where they wanted to hang up some banners, but could not put those up. She agreed with the idea of allowing a one-day special sign for some activities.

Mayor Csordas suggested following the same process as in Mayor and Council Issues Item #1.

CM-04-02-047 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To place the consideration of a special one-day special event sign on a City Council agenda within 30 days.


Member Gatt asked Mayor Csordas if he was talking about private businesses’ Monday sales, or about charitable groups.

Mayor Csordas noted that charitable businesses are already included.

Voice Vote on CM-04-02-047 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

* Council continued consideration of Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 666.

Ms. Smith-Roy said the Engineering Department reviewed the pay estimate, and they have concluded that holding $106,000 would cover the outstanding items. As a matter of process, administration brings the final pay estimate with any change orders or balancing change orders required for the final payment to Council. This will be coming back to Council when the City does the final payment.

Member Lorenzo asked if the City is still holding $106,000 after this payment.

Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was correct.

Member Lorenzo asked if Engineering had concluded that this was enough for all of the outstanding issues.

Ms. Smith-Roy said that this was correct.

Member Lorenzo asked if it was known from Engineering at this time what the outstanding issues are.

Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the outstanding issues were listed in great detail on the pay estimate, and that this could be included in Council’s off-week packet.

Member Lorenzo said she would appreciate this being done. She hoped that the amount was truly enough to cover the outstanding issues.

Member Paul and Member Lorenzo indicated that they were satisfied with this.

Member Nagy recalled that at Council’s previous meeting, Member Capello asked for change orders when Vortechs and Stormceptors were being discussed. She asked if all of the change orders for South Lake could also be included in Council’s off-week packet.

Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this would be done.

Voice Vote on CM-04-02-045 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

3. Snow Removal on Non-City Streets – Member Capello

Member Capello said that he was looking for Council to give administration some direction on how they will be handling snow plowing streets that have not been accepted by the City that, due to the plat or condominium approval process, are to be dedicated as City streets, and that the City has been plowing and maintaining over this year or the past few years. By his definition, this specifically excluded Cheltenham. There are several streets that the City had been plowing in the past, though he was not certain that the City was collecting Act 51 reimbursement funds for them. Because of the Cheltenham issue, it may have appeared that Council gave direction at the last meeting that the City should not be plowing any of the non-accepted streets. It was his belief and understanding that merely because the developer has not dedicated the streets to the City and the City has not accepted them that this means that the developer is liable for plowing the streets. In some cases, all of the lots are sold and even in some cases all of the houses are built and occupied by tax-paying residents. In some cases, the residents have even taken over control of the association. He was sure that in these cases, the association is not charging annual dues to the members to account for snowplowing, and the developer is not collecting any money from the homeowners to apply towards snowplowing.

CM-04-02-048 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To direct the City to continue snowplowing streets that it has done so to in the past, even though the streets have not been dedicated and accepted by the City to this date.


Member Nagy asked for a listing of those streets which Member Capello referred to.

Mr. Helwig replied that staff has been working on a map of accepted streets for several weeks. He commented that this was "the City, perhaps at its worst, in terms of going back 30 years and seeing where it has been officially done and where it has been de facto done." He was told that the map would be ready for Council’s Thursday packet, highlighting those developments that have not been accepted. That definition includes those that the City is not receiving Act 51 funds for. He would like to get that map to Council. The issue has grown up over a lot of years and a lot of arrangements, and the City needs to bring some order to it. Administration needs Council’s direction on the matter. Mr. Fisher has very strong feelings about the subject, as it is a risk management issue for the City. In fairness to Council in deciding the issue, he felt staff should get more information to Council that Thursday that would clearly delineate what streets that had not been accepted, and what arrangements had been going on and for how long. He suggested that, though it went against his common sense, the City should continue to do what it had been doing between that evening and February 23rd, and call for Council’s direction at the February 23rd meeting.

Member Capello said this was all he was asking for; to give administration direction to continue to plow those streets for residents until Council provides further direction.

Mr. Helwig commented that the previous week, he was almost ready to cut off plowing for all such streets "cold turkey", as some of the arrangements have very strange origins in his opinion. He said he would like to honor Council’s decision making processes and get it better information than it currently had.

Member Lorenzo said the whole process of street acceptance is for the benefit of the residents and the City of Novi. This protects the City against the situation such as happened by virtue of placing the streets on a map, receiving Act 51 monies, and not having the streets accepted, such as in Westmont Village and some other streets. Had the City not done that, it would not be liable to go in, maintain those streets, and spend money on repairing those streets. The acceptance protects the City because it makes the engineers go out, take a look at the roads, and make sure they are built to the City’s standards before it accepts them and the Act 51 monies.

Member Lorenzo said that previous to one or two years ago, the person in charge of this was placing the streets on a map, and while the City was starting to receive Act 51 money the formal acceptance had not come to Council, nor had the formal report from the City’s Engineering Department. She did not have a problem with continuing to plow and maintain streets that were accepted de facto, as they are on the map and the City is accepting the Act 51 monies. However, she had a serious concern about starting to plow streets where they are not on the official map and the City is not currently receiving Act 51 monies. This places the City in financial jeopardy. As soon as the City starts doing this, it will be responsible to do it forever. This could be another situation where the streets will be in deplorable shape, and the City will spend large sums of money to repair them.

Member Lorenzo commented that the other issue that the City has, in terms of acceptance of streets, is that the City needs to know how many employees and how much equipment the DPW has. Every time the City adds streets, it needs to know how it affects the challenge placed on the DPW to complete snowplowing within a 24-hour period. She does not want the DPW to fall behind because the City is adding more streets. This is a process. The first step is street acceptance. Until that is done, she was not prepared to do anything further than what the City currently does. For clarification, any of the streets where the City has accepted Act 51 monies and are basically accepted de facto, she did not have a problem with being plowed. Otherwise, she has a "serious issue" with the streets being plowed because of the financial and other liability.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that the comments of the previous speaker made a lot of sense to him. When the ultimate issue comes up, he may be very well persuaded to go in that direction, as it makes a lot of sense. However, he believed that the motion on the table was to continue to do for the following 2 weeks whatever the City was currently doing with streets. It was his understanding that Council would receive from administration a much more comprehensive report in 2 weeks of what the City had been doing for whatever reason it has been doing it. He felt he had heard the City Manager at least intimate that there were some reasons that he understood, some he understood and did not accept, and others which he understands and does accept. He felt that Member Lorenzo was "going in the right direction," but for purposes of that motion he would agree for the City to do whatever it had been doing for the following 2 weeks. Then in 2 weeks, Council could comprehensively address the issue, look at administration’s information, and go at the matter head-on. For the next 2 weeks, he agreed with Member Capello to "go ahead and keep on doing whatever we’ve been doing."

Member Paul said she was in this situation and had lived through it. The City has a risk management situation, and Council needs to know 3 things when the matter comes back in 2 weeks: what roads are accepted de facto that the City has received Act 51 money for but are not formally accepted; what roads have not been accepted and the City has not accepted Act 51 money for. Also, private roads which the City never touches could be highlighted. She wanted a better map and wanted to understand how much Act 51 money the City had accepted for roads that had not been truly accepted. This will delineate what time frame they were put on the map. She said she would support the motion for the two weeks, but would not support one more day after that. She wanted to know what responsibility the City is accepting, because the deterioration of roads is a very serious issue. She wanted to see the item on the February 23rd agenda so that there was no question from a developer’s standpoint, from a risk management standpoint, and from the DPW. She asked if Parks, Recreation and Forestry is also involved in snowplowing.

Mr. Helwig said that when the City goes to a "full court press" in dealing with snow, it mobilizes Parks, Recreation and Forestry, as well as the Water and Sewer Department. Every one of those employees is then under the direction of the DPW.

Member Paul said that some of the City’s snowplows are in deplorable shape. She was amazed that some subdivisions pay only $100 for the entire subdivision to be plowed. In her subdivision, people pay $15 or $20 just to have their driveway plowed. She felt that the City may need to examine the fee charged to a subdivision that is de facto accepted or that the developer wants the City to plow.

Member Gatt said he had a rhetorical question. In 2 weeks, when Council comes back with a report and finds some subdivisions that have not yet been accepted but which the City has been plowing, he wondered how those residents would be affected if the City stops this plowing.

Mayor Csordas replied that his perception was that Council would receive information about this. He sensed that Mr. Fisher was very concerned about some of the issues. On the surface, this may look like an easy issue, but he believed it was actually very complex with a number of ramifications.

Member Nagy said this was also her concern. She wondered if some of the subdivisions which the City is plowing actually have a contract but are not happy with the plowing. She did not know what the situation was, and it almost seemed absurd to her to say that the City would continue to plow for 2 weeks and then stop, even though it is not known if those subdivisions have another snowplowing contract. She said she would agree with the motion for the 2-week period and then see what administration could provide to Council. However, this situation was not created by this administration or the DPW. Rather, it was created by the previous DPW Director. It is bizarre that this was happening with no accountability by the previous administration or the DPW Director. She felt the City needed to come up with a very feasible solution to this situation which could affect residents at the present time.

Member Lorenzo asked if the City was plowing streets where it was not receiving Act 51 money for.

Mr. Helwig replied that the City was plowing these streets. He said that Member Paul was exactly correct.

Member Lorenzo said she wanted to know how the City got to this position as well. The last time this was discussed, about a year ago, it was said that the reason this was being done was that streets were put on the map, sending in the acceptance paperwork, the City was starting to receive the monies, and at that point it was de facto. She thought that Council received a memo stating that this was over and done with, that this was not happening anymore, and that the only way the City was doing anything was when Council accepted a road. She wanted to know what happened between that earlier conversation and whatever Council was hearing this evening. She wanted to know specifically what happened.

Mr. Helwig said he understood Member Lorenzo’s concern. He noted that he would hold people accountable as necessary. His focus right now is in straightening the situation out and getting direction from Council once and for all. He had heard things in the last week which did not make the City look very good.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-048 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Nagy, Paul

Nays: Lorenzo

Absent: None

4. Status of Accepting Streets and Utilities – Member Capello

Member Capello said this went "hand in hand" to look to the future of the problem that the City has right now. Shortly after he was elected to Council, it approved the creation of a committee made up of chosen Council Members and developers in the City. The committee was going to review the ordinance and the processes by which streets and utilities were accepted. On the previous issue, the previous speaker was trying to place blame on one individual for this entire problem, which is clearly not the case. The City’s current ordinances have no periods of time by which developers must complete certain facets of a development. There are phasing plans where they can begin one phase at a time, go into the next phase, and at the same time post the financial guarantees for only one phase. There is nothing in the City’s ordinance that says the developer must complete the sewers or the roads and turn these over within a certain number of days. The closest thing the City has to this are the financial guarantees, the bonds that are renewed annually. In the past with Mr. Nowicki, on several occasions he tried to force foreclosures on the bonds or the letters of credit or financial guarantees, and was told that "there are not enough teeth" in the City’s ordinance to do this without ending up in litigation.

Member Capello commented that the City needs to look at this and the entire acceptance problems. When he was on the Planning Commission, the developers posed to try to turn over to the City different facets of a subdivision as it was completed. The policy then was that the City would not accept anything until it was completed, and that the City would not let the developer complete the roads until all of the houses were built. That, in and of itself, creates a huge dilemma for the City, especially if the developer is not building the houses and is selling lots. He could own nothing in the subdivision and still have no control over getting the subdivision turned over to the City because the City won’t accept it until the houses are done. There are pros and cons in this, and this is why Council needs to put that committee together. The City wants to make sure that it does not accept the roads, and then have the builders damage the roads and curbs during construction. Because of that past policy, the City is in the situation that it is in now. Council needs to address the item, address it quickly, and overcome it. He was asking for Council to follow up on what was done a few years before and get that committee moving forward, and have some recommendations come back to Council in the spring. This is a lot of work, and probably cannot be done before the budget hearings. Hopefully with the information prepared for the next meeting, Council can at least get through the snowplowing issues and address the other issues in the spring.

Member Paul felt that Member Capello’s suggestion was "absolutely excellent." She felt that this would be very instrumental, both for administration and for Council. This could also help the voting community. She had spoken with an engineering firm about this process that week. Some of the bonds that are proposed are sometimes from the Cayman Islands and can never be accepted. Sometimes they are a bond which is on a federal list. The City needs to have a good idea as to where some of the bonds are coming from, and if they will ever actually come through. Another thing is a letter of intent from a bank, as sometimes cities will only accept those. There are a lot of different avenues available, and they encompass so many different parts of the City’s administrative staff.

Member Paul said that the other thing that needed to go hand-in-hand with this are what the City’s standards are for its streets. The committee could look at two facets of this: status of accepting the streets; and what the street standards are. The City has some sub-standard roads with no kind of base underneath them. She felt that the asphalt solution was probably the best and would cost a lot less money. She would like to have the two different avenues examined at the same time by this committee, and have them come back to Council with a very good explanation of what the street standards will be, and the bond process in accepting those roads.

Member Capello said this was acceptable to him with the understanding that those are two totally separate ordinances. He did not want to incorporate the road standards into the acceptance.

Member Paul said she only meant that the committee was one.

Mayor Csordas asked Member Capello if he was saying that the committee had already been authorized and established, and that there was just nobody on it right now.

Member Capello replied that he believed this was correct.

Mr. Helwig said he was "mystified" as to what committee Member Capello was referring to.

Member Capello said he made a motion right after he was elected to the City Council to form that committee, get developers on the committee, and get Council Members on it.

CM-04-02-049 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To create a committee consisting of two City Council members, one or two members of administration, and two members of the City of Novi development community, to review and provide information for Council on the process for accepting streets and utilities and the financial guarantees involved, no later than June 30th, 2004. This committee will also look at a different ordinance relative to the road standards.


Member Capello said he wished to serve on the committee, since he had been working on the issue since he served on the Planning Commission.

Member Paul said she would be happy to join Member Capello on the committee, if it was Council’s desire, as she had a lot of interest in the subject herself.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that he would like to limit the membership of the committee. He suggested that it consist of two City Council members, one or two members of the City administration, and two members of the development community.

Member Capello said he would accept this as a friendly amendment.

Member Paul also agreed to the friendly amendment.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-049 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas

Nays: None

Absent: None

5. Instructions to Review the Grand River Corridor – Member Capello

Member Capello felt that the City needs to revisit the land use in the master plan and zoning along Grand River Avenue between Beck Road and Novi Road because of the new construction of the road and the new Novi Expo Center that will be constructed. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission is now working on the master plan, and he would like to specifically ask them to pay special attention to that area while they are revisiting the master plan.

CM-04-02-050 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the Master Plan and Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission to pay specific attention to the section of Grand River Avenue between Beck Road and Novi Road during their work on the master plan.


Member Lorenzo asked what the motion was specifically asking the Planning Commission to do.

Member Capello said he wanted to make sure that the Commission is paying special attention to that area, not just "tweak it and leave it as is."

Member Lorenzo said she had no problem with the Planning Commission taking a good look at the area.

Member Nagy said she was fairly certain that the Planning Commission had examined the area intensely, and was certain that they were close to being done with that section. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee has been working very hard and has made some good contributions.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-050 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry

Nays: None

Absent: None

6. Novi High School Senior Party – Member Capello

Member Capello noted that each year for the past 17 years, Novi High School has had a senior all-night party. This is a very supervised party. They provide fun and food in a safe and controlled environment. The parents go to local churches, agencies and businesses and ask for money to pay for the party. Each year he receives a letter from them, as do many of the other Council members. He felt that the City and City Council should support that all-night party. He had never seen anything in the budget to financially support the party. To show the support for the high school seniors and their endeavors to stay away from drugs and alcohol, he proposed giving $250 towards their June 5, 2004 party, and then Council could consider this in the budget next year. This is not a lot of money to the City, but it is a lot of money to the high school seniors, and this would show that the City is paying a lot of attention to what they are doing and that the City supports their endeavors to have safe, clean fun.

Mayor Csordas felt that the City should not contribute anything to this, as it sets a bad precedent. He said he would be willing to donate $50, and perhaps other Council members would like to do so as well. He would like to support the high school seniors, but did not want to set the precedent of providing City funds to, not only the school, but any entity. He said he would be personally willing to "cough up some money."

Member Lorenzo agreed with the Mayor. She noted that Novi sends schools to four different school districts. Northville High School, which encompasses her area, also has an all-night party, and Walled Lake and South Lyon likely have such parties as well. She appreciated the spirit of Member Capello’s suggestion, but said she agreed with Mayor Csordas on the matter.

Member Nagy said she also agreed with the Mayor. Oftentimes when Council discusses the schools, it is easy to forget that there are four school districts represented within Novi. The suggestion pertained only to Novi High School. If Council were to allot money for one, then it would have to do so for all. She said she would be willing to donate money on a personal level versus through the City.

Member Gatt said he wanted to go on the record saying that he agreed with Member Capello. The City can afford four "token" donations as a message to the students that the City does care, is watching, and is part of their team.

Member Capello said that the suggestion did not have to do with giving the senior class the money. It was the fact that the City would express its support for the seniors for doing something good and becoming safe adults. He felt that the City should let them know, besides patting them on the back, that the City is fully supporting what they are trying to do. It is not a question of whether Council members will give personally or not, as most probably already do. The point is to express that the City is behind the kids. Not getting behind any of the schools because there are four high schools is a bad message to send to these kids.

Member Gatt noted that the Police Department participates in the DARE program in at least two, likely three, of the school districts, so the City has financial commitments to the school districts already in manpower.

CM-04-02-051 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; MOTION FAILED: To donate $150 to the senior class parties of Novi High School, Northville High School, South Lyon High School, and Walled Lake Western High School.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-02-051 Yeas: Capello, Gatt

Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry

Absent: None

7. CEMS – Member Gatt (Moved to Special Reports.)

8. Meadowbrook Town Homes Association – Member Paul

Member Paul said that at the previous meeting, she had asked if Meadowbrook Town Homes was truly getting their punch list together, and what the status of that was. She had thought that the matter was going to come before Council that evening, and so she wanted a clear reference that it would be on the agenda of the February 23rd meeting. She wanted Council to receive information on the status of the road conditions, what the punch list items are that are not completed by the developer, and if the roads are or are not accepted by the City.

9. Toll Brothers Sidewalk Commitment – Member Paul

Member Paul said she had reviewed the packet from Mr. Evancoe, which talked about the master plan meeting that they had. One section talks about a sidewalk phasing map. There was one area that was brought forward on Wixom Road between Delmont and Eleven Mile Road. This is an area of interest because during a site plan review at the Planning Commission, there was discussion about an interchange with a potential traffic problem that Toll Brothers would have on Wixom Road. The DPW Director and the City’s traffic engineer came up with a solution to rearrange the traffic component of Delmont and Wixom. This was going to save the developer money, would be safer, and was a win-win situation. In lieu of the extra money that would be saved, the City asked the developer to put a sidewalk in on the east side of Wixom Road from Delmont to Eleven Mile. Every child in the Novi School District will go to that middle school, and there are many children who walk or ride their bikes to that school. At the time, she was looking for the developer to pay for that sidewalk, and they agreed. Mr. Sullivan had agreed, before he left Toll Brothers, that they would actually install that sidewalk for the City. This was one of the items that was being considered for adding to the CIP budget, and she wanted to see if Toll Brothers would fulfill their agreement with the City to install that sidewalk.

Mr. Helwig said he would like to prepare a report on the matter for the Thursday packet following the meeting. At the risk of perhaps misspeaking, he did not believe that the traffic adjustment happened, and therefore the City was looking at the need of having to fund the sidewalk improvement. He asked to confirm this in a report to Council that Thursday.

Member Paul said that change was never brought before the Planning Commission while she served on it, and she had not seen the matter brought forward in the Commission’s agendas or minutes since. If the change happened administratively, she asked Mr. Evancoe and the staff to share that with Council. If that was going to happen, she said she would appreciate that developer holding their commitment to the City.

10. Post Bar – Member Paul

Member Paul said she had reviewed the information that administration had provided to Council on the Post Bar. She asked if there were any updates from legal services or from the Police Chief about the Post Bar.

Mr. Fisher replied that he had no updates.

Chief Shaeffer said that he had received a call from the Post Bar manager. The manager was in receipt of Mr. Fisher’s letter. Unfortunately, this call was just a message as the manager had called on the weekend. However, he had returned the call and the Post Bar manager had asked for a meeting, so they may meet face-to-face to discuss the concerns. They are in process of scheduling that.

Member Paul asked if Council would be able to hear the results of that meeting on February 23rd.

Chief Shaeffer said he would be more than happy to provide feedback as soon as they have the meeting.

Member Gatt asked if there was any abnormal activity at the Post Bar during the Super Bowl.

Chief Shaeffer replied that there was not, and as a matter of fact, he was told that everything was well controlled.

11. Subdivision Drainage Issues/Premature Deterioration of Subdivision Streets – Member Lorenzo

Member Lorenzo said this tied in with some of the previous issues regarding street construction standards, but also had to do with drainage issues. In the previous week’s packet, Council received a memo from Mr. McCusker regarding 22511 Dartmoor. This was a history of drainage issues that were going on there. She was concerned, not just with this one issue, but on the broader basis how the City is doing business. This particular lot and the roadway system in Bradford of Novi was a wetland. When the developer came through with requests for the lots and the roads, the City approved the filling of some of the wetlands on the particular lot and for some of the road area. When this is done, workers just put fill in, and the water finds its way back to the surface. In terms of drainage, two things need to happen. In this particular case, Mr. McCusker had noted that the drainage swale had only 1 foot of fall in the 400 feet of drain. She wondered whether this met the City’s current standards, or whether this was an old standard.

Member Lorenzo said she felt that the standards need to be looked at. If the City is going to allow wetlands to be filled on lots, then prior to that approval process, the City needs to make sure that the applicant will take proper precautions and procedures to make sure that the lot is truly buildable. This homeowner should not have to have these issues, and the City should certainly not get into spending $6,000 in remedies to these drainage issues after the fact. She asked administration, and perhaps the Engineering and DPW Directors to get together and provide Council with some information regarding issues of drainage, particularly regarding areas of wetlands and ways to address these issues. Mr. McCusker had also mentioned in the memo that a particular court, Windermere Court, had failed numerous times even though it is not a very old street. Once again, they filled in a wetland but may not have used an appropriate base to provide structurally for the street to be an appropriate road. In cases where the City knows it has areas with high water tables or wetlands, such as Westmont Village, the City needs to take a particular look at the design and construction standards and make provisos that those areas need to be treated differently. If this is not done, subdivisions that are built on similar sites will have similar problems, and the City of Novi will become the entity that will have to take care of those problems. It is very premature for these roads to be failing to the degree that they are. She felt that this should be examined expeditiously, as every time the Planning Commission or City Council approves a new subdivision to go online, they will apply the standards that are in place now. Until the City gets some kind of fix for this, the same problems and issues will be repeated, and the City will continue to have to prematurely fix streets. She asked to direct Mr. Helwig to get together with the City Engineer, Mr. McCusker, and perhaps Legal Counsel if necessary to look at the matter and come back to Council with specific recommendations that could be put into the design and construction standards to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Member Nagy agreed with Member Lorenzo’s comments. With all of the clay soil conditions, she felt that it may not only benefit the builder and residents, but also the City, to consider putting in modified asphalt for curb and gutter versus concrete streets, which are very costly. If the City puts commercial or industrial concrete mix in there, this is too expensive for the builder and homeowner. When the committee meets regarding streets, she felt they should look into doing this. Brookhaven did this, and it looks very nice. With the City’s soil conditions, the area may be better served by using asphalt.



There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 9:34 p.m.

____________________________ ___________________________

Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk


Transcribed by Steve King

Date approved: February 23, 2004