OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
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
Nancy McClain – City Engineer
Jeff Johnson – Assistant Fire Chief
Benny McCusker – Director of Public Works
Jack Lewis – Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Nagy requested to add, under Mayor and Council Issues, "Inquiry Regarding Mr. Bedro."
Member Lorenzo asked to add "Sump Pump Diversion Reimbursement Request for Homeowner at 22190 Antler Drive" to Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Paul asked to add "Drainage for Concrete Roads" to Mayor and Council Issues.
Mayor Csordas asked to add item number five to Mayor and Council Issues, "ACLU Notice of Sign Ordinances."
Member Paul asked if Mayor and Council Issues item number two was Mr. Bedro’s letter.
Mayor Csordas replied that this was correct.
CM-04-07-257 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-257 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
PRESENTATIONS - None
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that he sits on the Fifty’s Festival Committee, and was very happy to announce that the festival in store for this year will be wonderful. The festival dates are July 28th through 31st, Wednesday through Saturday instead of Thursday through Sunday. Fountain Walk will be the location of the Fifty’s Festival this year, and he said that Fountain Walk has been wonderful and extremely C of Operative. The festival will have the biggest family area it has ever had, the largest carnival, community groups that are involved this year, Lions, Rotary, Novi Newcomers, Catholic Central Dad’s Club, Novi Goodfellows, Boy Scouts, and other groups. Local car dealers will sponsor displays; there will be a NASCAR on display. The classic car cruise this year will only be on Twelve Mile, but like the Woodward Dream Cruise, anyone can get in, and no streets will be blocked off. For the first time, the festival will go with the security company of Fountain Walk, Guardian Security. The festival has hired additional security staff to work with Fountain Walk’s ordinary security people assigned by Guardian. Extra guards will be available on call. Guardian is prepared, in case the crowds become large. Fountain Walk itself is hiring 12 extra security guards for the evening. Community EMS will staff a first aid station with their own volunteers. There will be no streets closed off, except Donelson Drive for 30 minutes during fireworks. Because the festival will be held at Fountain Walk, it will be held virtually entirely on private property, which will mean less disruption from street closings. The Drifters will perform on Friday night, and Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone on Saturday night. The Fifty’s Festival will be a wonderful community event.
Mayor Csordas agreed that the Fifty’s Festival is a great longtime tradition of the City of Novi. The dates will be July 28th through July 31st.
2. CITY MANAGER - None
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Dan Harfoot, 25742 Buckminster Drive, said he had a simple request, but a real concern. He had noticed over the previous few days that on Taft Road in front of Novi Woods Elementary School there is a hole in the ground, perhaps four or five feet long, a couple feet wide, and five or six feet deep. There are some orange cones near that hole, likely to warn people, but these often act more to attract people. The hole is right in front of soccer fields and a playground at the school. He was concerned that the situation was inviting a tragedy. There is a path that runs right by the hole. A sheet of plywood over the hole, some fencing, or both could prevent a tragedy that could happen by accident. There is a lot of construction going on at different roads, and perhaps there is the same situation at different parts of the City. He asked the City to keep an eye out for such problems to avoid a tragedy.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to send someone out to look at the hole that evening.
Mr. Helwig said the City would do this immediately.
Helen Kaczmar noted that though she is not a resident of Novi, she owns property and is a taxpayer. This property has been in her family for a long time, 49 years. When South Lake Drive was rebuilt this year with the new bike path, the road was raised above her property so that there is now a big slope. When that happened, she began calling people, the first person she talked to being Scott Klein. She talked to Scott Klein for two weeks, and he had said he would do something about the problem. He came and put some loose rocks there, but this did not fix the slope, so he packed down the rocks a bit. When she was through with him, she went to Nancy McClain, who said the City must do something for her. Ms. McClain had said she would do something and would get back with her, but Ms. McClain never returned her call. She went to the next person, Clay Pearson, and talked to him. Mr. Pearson and Haim Schlick came out and said they could not see a problem. Mr. Pearson said the City would take their old fence out for them, but nothing has happened. The City had come back and put some dirt down, but she does not feel that she should have to take care of it herself because she did not create the problem.
Mayor Csordas asked where the property is located that Ms. Kaczmar was referring to.
Ms. Kaczmar said this property was on South Lake Drive.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Pearson if he had any familiarity with the situation.
Mr. Pearson noted that Ms. Kaczmar’s husband was in attendance, and said he had spoken with Mr. Kaczmar that afternoon. Mr. Kaczmar had confirmed that the City did improve the drive approach. The Kacmars had a concern about being able to get their boat out. When he and Haim Schlick visited the site, Mr. Schlick did feel that the approach met most of the grade requirements, but he had agreed to come back out and add something. Mr. Kaczmar had said he had not tried to move his boat since then. He had also told Mr. Kaczmar that the City still had to come out and would try to feather back the berm. The City has improved the road and raised the road to meet grade requirements, and he told Mr. Kaczmar that the City would come out and try to lessen the slope next to the road, but this was all the City could or should do in the right-of-way.
Ms. Kaczmar said she had been trying for three months to correct this problem.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Pearson to follow up with the Kaczmars the next day and report back to Council about his findings, results, and actions at the next meeting.
Carol Crawford, Beck Road, said she wanted to ask a question to make sure she was speaking about the correct item. She asked if the Mayor’s issue that evening was the Charter amendment dealing with the budget and allowing it to be handed over with a problem. She asked if this was the Mayor’s article from the newspaper.
Mayor Csordas said there was no action that evening at all, as he would not even speak to it. He would only advise Council that he would like to place the matter on some future agenda for discussion.
Ms. Crawford said she hoped that the Mayor would seriously look at the issue before he would even put it on an agenda. The City works on a similar level to that of the Federal and State governments. The City has elected legislative power, and executive power that is not elected but is hired, and lawyers and judges that would represent the City as the judicial branch. She is very concerned that Council would even consider giving away one of its powers. Council is the elected legislature of the City, and holds the key to the City’s tax money. If Council has a problem like it had this year, then that is Council’s problem. Council is elected to do for the community what needs to be done. If the solution is hard, then it’s hard. If the matter doesn’t go smoothly, then it doesn’t go smoothly. Elected officials do not get everything they want. She asked Council to think about the matter. The Charter is an ongoing document. Amending the document was made difficult to avoid "fly by night ideas." The Mayor is responsible as an elected official to make sure that the budget passes, as are the other elected Council members. The City Manager is not an elected official and is hired. Council may trust the money with a contested problem in the budget to the current City Manager, but Mr. Helwig will not be with the City forever. No one knows who the next City Manager or the next Mayor will be. She asked Council not to give away the powers that it has to control, check and balance the budget to the City Manager. She said that she and others would be disappointed if the matter was brought up for discussion. She asked Council to think long and hard about the idea. Council should not give away its powers, as it was given some by the Charter. She quoted Harry Truman: "If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen." The budget was heated this year, but Council made it through it. Giving away Council’s powers would be very wrong.
Mayor Csordas said that Ms. Crawford’s comments were well taken, and he appreciated the civil tone in which she presented her opinion.
Mayor Csordas also noted his appreciation for the efforts and time committed to the City by those involved with the Fifty’s Festival.
* Member Capello arrived at 7:39 p.m.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Nagy removed item M for discussion. She noted that there was a letter requesting that it be read into the record, and she asked if Council would be doing this.
Mayor Csordas noted that the letter was in the Novi News and was for public record.
Member Paul removed items E, G, and P for discussion.
Member Capello asked to add an item to the Consent Agenda. At the intersection of Eight Mile and Napier there is no traffic signal and this seems to be becoming a dangerous intersection. He said he just wanted Council to prepare a resolution and send it to Oakland County and Wayne County, asking them to work jointly to get a traffic signal installed.
Mayor Csordas felt that this issue could be placed under Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Capello said this would be fine.
CM-04-07-258 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the consent agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-258 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
Approval of minutes of:
June 21, 2004, Special meeting
June 21, 2004, Regular meeting
B. Enter into Executive Session in the Council Chambers Annex immediately following the regular meeting for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Approval of appointment of Brenda Borders (Employee Delegate) as the 2004 City of Novi representative to attend the Annual Michigan Employees Retirement System (MERS) Conference to be held on September 21-23, 2004.
D. Approval to award bid for soccer uniforms to McNish Sporting Goods, the low bidder, based on unit pricing.
F. Approval of Personal Property Contract with Oakland County Department of Equalization for tax years 2005 and 2006.
H. Approval of final payment and acceptance of Hold Harmless Agreement with Liberty Bond Services for Novi Parks Improvements.
I. Approval of water main and water main easements and acceptance of a storm drainage facility maintenance agreement from Community Federal Credit Union; parcel No. 50-22-26-101-022 located at 43350 Arena Drive.
J. Approval of resolution authorizing the reimbursement of expenses associated with Mosquito Control from the Oakland County West Nile Virus Fund.
K. Approval of Novi 50’s Festival fire works permit to be held on Friday, July 30, 2004, at Fountain Walk of Novi (rain date set for Saturday, July 31, 2004).
L. Approval of request by Maybury Park Estates LLC for a two-year extension of the design and construction standard waiver for a secondary access on Phase 1 of Maybury Parks Estates Condominiums, located in Section 32, on the north side of Eight Mile Road between Beck and Garfield Roads.
N. Approval for Plante & Moran to provide consulting services in the amount of $40,000 for the Fiscal Analysis Component of the Growth Management and Development Plan.
O. Approval of Final Acceptance of the Rouge Watershed Assembly Agreement and
2004 assessment of $15,774.00.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of Zoning Map Amendment 18.639, the request of Jerome A. Ruggirello for rezoning of property in Section 36, located south of Nine Mile and west of Haggerty Roads from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to OS-1 (Office Service) District. The subject property is 2.3 acres.
CM-04-07-259 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Zoning Map Amendment 18.639, the request of Jerome A. Ruggirello for rezoning of property in Section 36, located south of Nine Mile and west of Haggerty Roads from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to OS-1 (Office Service) District. The approval is subject to all consultants’ conditions, including the reasons stated by the Planning Commission: Compliance with the master plan; provide an appropriate transition between the apartment complex to the west and Haggerty Road to the east; the Haggerty Road corridor is decidedly office; and higher density residential developments to the west and surrounding properties. The rezoning is in conformance with the City’s master plan. The subject property is 2.3 acres.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he wanted to add some reasons to the motion. He asked if "subject to all consultants’ conditions" included all of the reasons stated by the Planning Commission, which were listed one through four on the report.
Member Lorenzo said she would include these reasons in the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said these reasons were: Compliance with the master plan; provide an appropriate transition between the apartment complex to the west and Haggerty Road to the east; the Haggerty Road corridor is decidedly office; and higher density residential developments to the west and surrounding properties.
Member Paul said she was looking at the Oakland County road improvements, and she believed that Haggerty was scheduled in 2010 or 2012 for expansion to five lanes all the way through. She asked that Oakland County be made aware of the five-lane setback there.
Mr. Helwig said he was not quite sure how the City could impose this now. He did not know the ownership status of the right-of-way there. The City was able to do this with Twelve Mile as part of those negotiations and litigation that it was involved in, so that the setback would relate to the eventual right-of-way. He said he did not know the ownership situation on Haggerty Road. The City could inquire about this, but he suspected that there has not been any acquisition up and down that corridor.
Member Paul said she was sure there was not any acquisition at this point with the County’s and the State’s financial situation. She does not want the applicant to build too close to the road, and then be upset in five years that their parking setback is not meeting requirements. She would like to give the County a heads-up on the situation.
Mr. Helwig said the City could mention this to the County. The County would have to compensate property owners for the value of this land. He asked Council to let administration take the matter under advisement.
Member Paul said she understood, and just wanted to see if the City could provide some extra knowledge.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-259 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
2. Consideration of request from Haggerty Hotel Associates, LLC to transfer ownership of 2003 B-Hotel liquor licensed business with Dance-Entertainment permit, located at 21111 Haggerty, Novi, MI 48375 from Hotel Investors of Michigan, Inc. (Sheraton Hotel).
CM-04-07-260 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request from Haggerty Hotel Associates, LLC to transfer ownership of 2003 B-Hotel liquor licensed business with Dance-Entertainment permit, located at 21111 Haggerty, Novi, MI 48375 from Hotel Investors of Michigan, Inc. (Sheraton Hotel).
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-260 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
3. a. Consideration of request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue, for a variance to Sec.11-194 (a) (19) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards requiring a secondary access.
b. Consideration of request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue for a variance to Sec. 11-123(c) (1) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards to allow pumped discharge out of a storm water detention basin.
c. Consideration of request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue for a variance to Sec.11-194 (a) (18) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards amended by adoption of Sec. 15-17 503.2.5 requiring a turn around if drive exceeds 150 feet in length.
Norman Hyman, representative for the petitioner, said that with him were George Keros and his daughter Patricia, who own the property. Ron Nuechterlein, the project manager, and George Norberg, the engineer for the development, were also present. This property is a "real problem piece." The parcel is only 55 feet wide at the road, which constrains what can be done to the parcel to get some value from it. A number of plans have been prepared. The Keroses started out with a proposed building that was over 4,000 square feet. This design has been reduced to under 3,200 square feet, and is about as small as a building can get while still getting economic value from the parcel. A number of waivers and approvals were obtained from the Planning Commission, which were passed on to Council. The applicants still need to go before the ZBA for some variances, which is scheduled for August. Bearing in mind the problems with this piece, the Keroses have done everything conceivable to try to get the neighbors on either side to C of Operate in order to help solve the problems. With respect to the House of Blinds parcel, Mr. Keros offered to totally redo their site at Mr. Keros’ expense, to construct a common driveway to service both parcels. In addition, Mr. Keros had offered to give the neighbors cash as an incentive. The plans proposed for the House of Blinds were first drawn in 1998. The applicants have been met with a "blank wall" in dealing with House of Blinds. He said he had correspondence in the file, including a letter dated November 26, 2003, offering to totally redo the House of Blinds site at Mr. Keros’ expense. Mr. Keros had also offered to give the owners $50,000 cash, but he was turned down. Recently the House of Blinds parcel went on the market, and Mr. Keros offered to buy that parcel. The House of Blinds owners agreed to sell the property to Mr. Keros, and the price proposed was a modest $800,000; obviously this is not realistic.
Mr. Hyman said there were two issues that his client faced with respect to Wendy’s. Number one was the request for an easement to handle drainage. There is a drainage that has been proposed as an alternative to the easement over the Wendy’s parcel, because Wendy’s has refused to C of Operate. The proposal made to Wendy’s, for an easement for drainage in the back of their property, was to pay all costs in connection with doing the drainage work. Mr. Keros also proposed a written restriction on the property that no restaurant of any kind would be allowed to occupy any of the subject property, and a $10,000 payment. This was proposed in a letter dated November 26th, 2003. With respect to the fire access, Wendy’s did agree, at Mr. Keros’ request, to give a letter to the Fire Marshall, dated May 20th, 2003, in which they agreed to do what the public health, safety, and welfare would permit the Fire Marshall to do in any event, to access the Wendy’s property to get to the rear of Mr. Keros’ property if needed. In addition to this, the applicants sought to obtain from Wendy’s a breakaway from the curb that separates the two parcels so that the Fire Department could have access either directly through the Keros’ site or from the Wendy’s site, and could have a loop to get in and out without having to back out into Novi Road. Wendy’s refused to allow this. The Fire Marshall still has the ability to do so in the event that it is required for public safety. There is a problem, however, in that in order to get from the Wendy’s property to the subject property, although the applicants have agreed to use a breakaway gate, there is a five-inch bumper curb at the Wendy’s property. Wendy’s has refused to do a breakaway in that bumper curb. However, the applicants have offered to provide a mobile ramp that could be used in the event that the Fire Department ever had to access that way. There should be no need for this, because the building that is proposed is virtually on the property line, and there would be no needed to access from Wendy’s to service the building in the event of a fire. However, it would be desirable to have the loop in any event in order to avoid fire trucks having to back up onto Novi Road after an event. Unfortunately, the applicants cannot do this.
Mr. Hyman said that the factual presentation he had made really explained the need for all three of the waivers that the applicants had requested. With respect to the drainage issue, as a result of the drainage system that has been proposed by George Norberg, which he believed had been vetted by the City’s external engineering consultant and by in-house engineering staff, this would result in no more runoff than now exists in the natural state of the land, and probably a little bit less. This will not impose a greater runoff burden than is already imposed by the site’s natural condition. The runoff would be in exactly the same area where it is pre-developed.
Mayor Csordas pointed out that for the first item under the request, the Engineering Division supports the variance due to a lack of alternative designs. For the second request, the Fire Department states that it cannot support the variance due to the potential damage to the emergency vehicles. The third item, the secondary access variance request, is supported by the Fire Department due to the available access surrounding the property.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he did not personally have a problem with the storm water pump discharge variance or the secondary access variance. He was concerned about the turnaround variance. He asked how a Fire Department apparatus would turn around at House of Blinds, and asked if that store has an access onto Wonderland Plaza.
Ms. McClain replied that she did not believe House of Blinds has an access onto Wonderland Plaza. The store has a drive that is substandard to current City requirements and stops.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if House of Blinds does not need this access because a fire truck can turn around in the store’s parking lot.
Ms. McClain replied that this was not correct, but that House of Blinds predates the current requirements.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if there is a fire at the House of Blinds, if the City’s fire trucks have to back out onto Novi Road.
Ms. McClain replied that this was correct.
Mr. Hyman said he believed that the applicants had a potential solution to this problem.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry invited Mr. Hyman to speak to the question.
Mr. Hyman said it was correct that the House of Blinds does not have secondary access; the store has the same problem that the Keroses are confronted with. The House of Blinds building is unoccupied, and he believes that the property is still for sale. The matter was discussed with the Planning Commission. The fact is that when somebody comes to either rebuild or to reuse that property, they will have to come to the Planning Commission. When they come to the Planning Commission for site plan review, the Planning Commission has a certain degree of leverage. The Planning Commission can require House of Blinds to get secondary access. The applicants have offered, and are willing to make it a condition of the waiver, that they will provide an easement for the House of Blinds so that that company can have secondary access through the applicant’s property, and by the same token, the applicants would have secondary access through the House of Blinds parcel. That offer was made on the record to the Planning Commission, and he wished to make it on the record that evening. At some point, the House of Blinds will be before the Planning Commission for site plan approval. At that point, the problem that the applicants were confronting that evening should be a temporary problem.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Fisher for his opinion about the matter.
Mr. Fisher replied that assuming Council was favorable to the general concept, he would suggest that Council accept the proposal and make it a binding part of the approval, if Council saw fit to approve it ultimately.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Fisher if he was suggesting that Council grant the waiver/variance, but make it a requirement of the petitioner that they agree to a mutual easement.
Mr. Fisher said this was correct, based upon the offer made.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that the House of Blinds building is vacant right now. If the building stays vacant for five years, the City will have this problem on two parcels until someone occupies the site.
Mr. Fisher said this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the House of Blinds sells to a corporation, who comes in and wants to operate a House of Blinds, he asked if the company would need to come before the Planning Commission for anything.
Mr. Fisher said that the company would not have to come before the Planning Commission for the same use.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked how the same use would be defined.
Mr. Fisher replied that this would basically be a retail use that has the same impact that House of Blinds has.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that he liked the proposal; he was just trying to figure out what the probability was of the scenario actually happening.
Mr. Hyman stated that he felt there was a very high degree of probability for the scenario. He agreed that the time factor could not be determined. Even without the easement, the Fire Department now has the ability, in the event of an emergency on the Keros property, to either access the site from the House of Blinds property, or to leave via the House of Blinds property. This is not ideal, but it is there.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he understood this, but the information stated that the Fire Department believed there was a risk of damage to their equipment by doing that.
Mr. Hyman said that the Fire Department was referring to the Wendy’s site on the north side. He said he had to confess that there was a grade issue, to some extent, between the Keros property and the House of Blinds property.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Hyman if the applicants had offered to purchase an easement from the House of Blinds, to purchase a mutual easement that they were suggesting that Council grant.
Mr. Hyman said that this had not been done specifically in that narrow sense. They have offered to purchase the property, and have also offered to totally redo their site, which would include secondary access. They have not made a narrow offer like that, as far as he was aware.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if Wendy’s would "flat out not give (the Keroses) that, they just won’t talk to you?"
Mr. Hyman said this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if this was not a matter of money, that Wendy’s just would not talk to the applicants.
Mr. Hyman replied, "Flat out. We have tried, and tried, and tried."
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that the petitioner had indicated that there may be a grade concern about fire apparatuses exiting his property via the House of Blinds. He asked about the condition of that site.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that currently, that piece of property is existing. The Fire Department would have difficulty, just as it would have difficulty now, if the proposed site was approved. The Fire Department has to back their apparatuses onto Novi Road, as there is no other way to get out of the site. There is no turnaround, and no secondary means of getting out of the location.
Mr. Helwig noted that the specific question was about the grade difference between the parcel under consideration and the adjoining property to the south. He asked Assistant Chief Johnson if he was familiar with what the site was like in that area.
Assistant Chief Johnson said he had not specifically walked the site. He knows where the House of Blinds is located, but he does not know exactly how the building is configured. He has looked at the plans for the proposed site as well, which is a very difficult, narrow site. The owners have tried to do everything that they can to conform to the ordinance. He said, "Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite make it."
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that the issue to the north with Wendy’s, as he understood it, is a six-inch curb. From what he has read, the Fire Department believes that this poses a risk of damage to the apparatus.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that should the Department have to turn a large apparatus, such as a 38-foot-long aerial truck, firefighters would have to open the breakaway gate that is proposed, and they would have to mount that curb. There is potential risk that damage would be done, and this is a $750,000 piece of equipment. The Fire Department would probably choose not to go over that curb unless there was some kind of emergency situation where they needed to exit that way. Instead, firefighters would probably choose to block off Novi Road and back the apparatus out that way.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Assistant Chief Johnson if he had discussed the portable ramp with the petitioner, noting that the portable ramp, which could be maintained on site, and could be placed over the curb to eliminate or reduce the risk of equipment damage.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that he did not know specifically if the Fire Marshall addressed the matter with the petitioners.
Mr. Hyman said he was also not aware of this. He said the petitioners had measured the curb, and it is five inches tall, not six.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that it seemed to him that the problem had been answered with the ramp that could be placed over the curb. He asked Mr. Hyman if he had discussed the matter with the Fire Department.
Mr. Hyman replied that he had not.
Member Nagy recalled the site coming before the Planning Commission, and said she understood there were some problems due to the unC of Operativeness of the neighbors. She questioned what strength the ramp would have to be in order to hold the Fire Department’s equipment.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that this was "absolutely" correct. The ramp would have to be engineered for the use, and would need to conform to some kind of standard.
Member Nagy asked if he had ever seen or heard of such a ramp.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that there is probably some type of device out there like that which was described. He would have to look at devices for this specific site, however.
Member Nagy asked if the curb were changed to a flat five-inch or six-inch curb to a roll curb, if this would harm the Fire Department’s equipment.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that he felt there are some locations in the City where the Fire Department does have this type of situation. The roll curb would have to conform to whatever the road standards might be. The difficulty would be getting the Wendy’s property to also agree to this, because the truck would be mounting the curb on one side and dismounting on the other.
Mr. Hyman commented that the petitioners would need Wendy’s permission for this curb.
Member Nagy said she felt very badly for the property owner, as this is a very difficult site. When the matter came before the Planning Commission, she had a difficult time with the property. She noted that the House of Blinds site was grandfathered in, but asked if hypothetically there was a fire and equipment had to go over the curb at Wendy’s but the Fire Department’s equipment would be somehow damaged, who would pay for the equipment that had been damaged.
Assistant Chief Johnson said he believed that in some emergency situations, if the damage occurred due to something that the Fire Department caused, the City would be responsible for the repairs.
Member Nagy asked if the site plan were granted with the variance, the site is built and there is a fire, and the Fire Department’s equipment has to go over the curb and is damaged, if the City of Novi would be responsible for the repair costs.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that this was his understanding.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Hyman if he could understand some of the dilemma that she was facing as a Council member. The City’s equipment could be damaged from the decision, and then taxpayer dollars would pay for these repairs. She did not want to say "no" to the petitioners, but the matter was presenting itself as a real dilemma.
Mr. Hyman agreed that the decision was not easy. The cost of making one of the engineered ramps would be much less than what the petitioners would pay to take care of Wendy’s. Mr. Keros is not concerned about the cost, but in all candor there is another problem with the situation, which is that someone would have to move the bulky ramp into place. That should concern the Fire Department more than the petitioner’s cost of purchasing the ramp.
Member Nagy recalled that Mr. Hyman had said the petitioners had not offered to purchase an easement.
Mr. Hyman said that the petitioners had offered to pay to break open the curb, which is better than anything else. Wendy’s has agreed to let the Fire Department access the Keros’ property from their property. The problem is that the company has not agreed to let the Keroses break off a part of their bumper curb.
Member Nagy noted that the letter from Wendy’s was dated from 2003. She asked Mr. Hyman if the petitioners had held discussions with Wendy’s more recently, in 2004.
Mr. Hyman replied that as far as he knew, there have been conversations regularly with the company throughout the time span. He said Council would not be setting a precedent with the decision. He referred to the Chasson property on Eleven Mile Road, which faced the same situation. Chasson was given a waiver so that fire trucks could back out, in essence, onto Eleven Mile Road. The likelihood of there being a type of emergency where this type of back-out would be needed is very slight in the first place. Secondly, he knows it could happen, but it would not be the first time in history where a fireman has held up traffic; many delivery trucks do this now.
Member Nagy said she understood this and appreciated what Mr. Hyman was saying. However, the difference between Eleven Mile and Novi Road is that traffic can be "a little scary" on Novi Road. When Fox Run went in, the City did not have a ladder that could accommodate a building of that height. Low and behold, Fox Run had a fire. She does not want to jinx anything, but the petitioners’ area is very tight and there are places where a fire could spread. She has a general concern for that area. She understands that the area is not a great area to build in. She said Mr. Fisher had mentioned that Council could grant a waiver for the property, but with a caveat that there should be a mutual easement with the House of Blinds for the future owner.
Mr. Fisher said he was really responding to Mr. Hyman’s proposal, and was making it clear that Council would want to clarify on he record that the City would be accepting his proposal, rather than unilaterally imposing a requirement for this. It would also be his recommendation to make it a condition that the property owner shall C of Operate in all respects and any reasonable solution that is ultimately worked out. If the City is able to work with the House of Blinds owner and secure an agreement that there be a roll curb or a curb on both sides, the City would want this property owner, as well as the other one, to C of Operate. All of that could be worked into the approval, which he assumed would not be a problem with the applicant.
Mr. Hyman commented that this would be no problem at all, and said the petitioners would be willing to agree to pay for any damage to a fire truck, should damage occur as a result of going over the Wendy’s curb, and provide the City with adequate proof of insurance. He recalled a potential cost of $750,000; he said the petitioners could provide proof of insurance that would cover this cost.
Member Nagy asked if the House of Blinds property sells, if the new purchaser would be compelled to install access for the fire trucks. She asked if the new owner would no longer be grandfathered in with the property.
Mr. Fisher replied that the property is currently improved. The new owner may need a certificate of occupancy, but may not need to go through site plan review.
Member Nagy asked if the City cannot require a new purchaser with a certificate of occupancy, because it is grandfathered, to install secondary access.
Mr. Fisher said the property is grandfathered, so the purchaser would not need to newly conform with regulations that occurred after the improvement of the property.
Mr. Hyman said that the House of Blinds property is in terrible condition. Anyone who would buy that piece of property would have to do site work. As soon as they have to do site work, "you’ve got ‘em."
Member Nagy said she had been out to the House of Blinds, which was why she was asking questions. She wondered whether the new owners of that parcel would have to come to the City if any type of improvement will be done to the property.
Mr. Fisher commented that the improvements would certainly open up the door for discussions.
Member Lorenzo said she certainly sympathized with the petitioners’ dilemma, but by the same token, she had to keep the health, safety, and welfare, as well as the taxpayers, in mind. She suggested postponing the consideration that evening. She asked the petitioners if they had approached Wendy’s with a mountable curb installation, which the City has previously done.
Mr. Hyman replied that he did not believe this had been discussed with Wendy’s.
Member Lorenzo said she would like to see the petitioners ask Wendy’s specifically if the company would allow Mr. Keros to install, with his money, a mountable curb. She also asked the petitioner to approach their neighbor to the south, House of Blinds, and actually ask that company if it would be willing to sell Mr. Keros the easement that is necessary for the secondary access.
Mr. Hyman responded that the petitioner was certainly willing to try, but he predicted, given their past record with the owner of the House of Blinds property, that they would not get anywhere with that person. He said they were willing to try, however.
Member Lorenzo said that after the attempt has been made and the petitioner appears before Council again, she would like to see the documentation of the dialogue between the different parties, such as the offer of $800,000 for the parcel.
Mr. Hyman replied that the petitioners do not have any documentation of the $800,000 sale price of the parcel, as this was verbal. He said his client could provide an affidavit to this effect.
Member Lorenzo stated that this would be fine.
Mr. Hyman said the petitioners would provide this information.
Member Lorenzo said that if the mountable curb concept would not work, she would suggest that the petitioners talk to the City’s Fire Department with regard to the specific portable ramp/curb that they had in mind, to see if this would be feasible and practical or not. At that point, she would invite and welcome the petitioners to come back before Council.
CM-04-07-261 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; MOTION FAILED: To postpone consideration of request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue, for a variance to Sec.11-194 (a) (19) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards requiring a secondary access.
Member Paul said she had a very hard time with the item, because it involves a really good developer with a good track record in the City. This is the most difficult site that she has sat for, both on Planning Commission and on City Council. She asked if there would also be an internal sprinkling system for the building.
Mr. Hyman replied that he assumed there would be.
Member Paul said she would also like to hear about a mobile ramp that would support a truck that is 30-some feet long. She knows that when she has walked the House of Blinds site in previous years, there is a good two-and-a-half foot drop in the grade. Even if an easement to the south side is obtained, she did not know how a truck could be turned around in the distance from the Keroses’ grade to the House of Blinds grade. She did not believe that with this narrow of a site, the City could have a drop in the corner and turn around a 35- to 37-foot-long truck. She asked if the City could obtain an easement, with type of a grade, and be able to drop the truck in that.
Assistant Chief Johnson said the Fire Department would have to look at a site plan drawing. A 50-foot outside turning radius is required by City ordinance. He would have to measure the area to make sure it conformed to this requirement.
Member Paul said she would appreciate being able to understand if this would even be a possibility. It is a very difficult solution to have the south side with an easement. To her, the best solution would be the grade with Wendy’s, but it did not seem that Wendy’s was even remotely helpful. If the matter was in fact tabled, she would like to hear about the mountable curb, a mobile ramp, and if any easement could be obtained from House of Blinds, and if so, if there could be the grade drop for the 50-foot radius.
Mr. Hyman replied that the radius itself is not a problem. There is, however, a maneuverability issue in terms of the grade drop. This is doable, but it will create a bit of a "jarry" ride. He said that Member Paul was correct, however, in that they needed to get the facts on the situation.
Member Capello asked Mr. Hyman when he had filed for the site plan approval.
Mr. Hyman replied that the approval was filed for in 2001.
Member Capello noted that the petitioner was going on three years for approval for a 50-foot-wide lot.
Mr. Hyman said the parcel is a problem piece, and that they have tried and tried.
Member Capello asked if a 50-foot radius meant that a 100-foot diameter area is actually needed.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that this was correct.
Member Capello commented that there was no way a turnaround could be fit on the site unless both lots were purchased, because the lot is only 50 feet wide. He asked about using a turning radius for just a 90-degree turn. He asked what was needed for a fire truck.
Ms. McClain said the turning radius for the truck is 50 feet, even for a 90 degree turn. The City does have allowable T-turnarounds, which are used in some residential locations for the truck; these could be accommodated on both of the sites. This would require a "Y" turn.
Member Capello asked if the 50-foot radius meant with an outside curb or an inside curb.
Ms. McClain said this is for an outside curb. The radius is actually 47 feet on the truck bumper.
Member Capello said that regardless of the elevation of House of Blinds, the retention pond is in the back; the only area where the fire trucks would really turn is short of that retention pond, which is short of the dumpster. A fire truck could not make a left turn from the site onto the House of Blinds property, as there are not 50 feet there.
Ms. McClain responded that this is why there would need to be a "T" type of turnaround, as opposed to a circular type of turnaround.
Member Capello felt that even with a "T" type of turnaround, a truck could not turn off of the site onto the House of Blinds. There is not a 50-foot radius there. The truck would have to be on the north end of the property in order to make that turn.
Ms. McClain said the turn could be made, because a truck would turn halfway back and then turn again.
Member Capello said that where the radius was being hypothesized at, a vehicle would drive right into the retention pond.
Ms. McClain replied that on the Novi site plans there is not a retention pond, but there is an underground storage facility.
Member Capello clarified that he was talking about the retention pond on the House of Blinds site.
Ms. McClain said that on the south side, there is currently a pond. Right now, the turn could not be made because the area is not paved.
Member Capello said the turn could not be made on the south end of the building because there is not an available 50-foot radius there.
George Norberg, of Seiber, Kiest & Milletics, said the petitioners had looked at the site in several different ways and tried to come up with a design that would work for all three parcels. At one point, they had held discussions with Wendy’s and had suggested a mountable curb, as shown by the original exhibit drawing. They wanted to make sure that there would be some ability to continue secondary access at the House of Blinds site. Their concept worked very well with all three buildings, even though all three are individual; at least there would be an option where at some later point, the three could be put together. Unfortunately, they ran into many roadblocks along the way, which was why they had appeared before Council.
Member Capello said that in regards to the sale of the House of Blinds, he knew that he had at least four clients inquire as to the zoning and whether or not the building was for sale. He personally knew that the price on the building is somewhere between $750,000 and $800,000. His clients "basically laugh and then walk away." The representations made as to the asking price of that property were accurate. He recalled that when Wendy’s had originally come in, the building was a Burger Chef. Wendy’s wanted to come in, and the matter spent a good deal of time at the Planning Commission level because Wendy’s wanted to do a complete teardown of the building. The Planning Commission worked very hard with Wendy’s to allow them to put up a new building and keep their drive-through, which was not grandfathered in if the building was torn down. Today, the façade of that building on Novi Road is much nicer than what it was. He said he is a little upset that Wendy’s would now take the position that it would not help someone else with developing under even more constraints than that company had. The turnaround and the secondary access have nothing to do with life, fire, and safety. The truck would be using the turnaround, the secondary access, or would back up into Novi Road after the fire is over. Traffic would probably be stopped anyways, as the building is not far from the street. In the extreme event of a fire, he did not see any trouble with the truck having to back up into Novi Road and navigating back down the street.
Member Capello felt that the variance being requested, to waive the turnaround and the secondary access, was not a big deal, especially since the petitioners were saying that they were designing the site so that when the House of Blinds site is finally redesigned, it can accommodate a secondary access for both sites. As far as the removable ramp, his Suburban can easily go over a five-inch curb, so he did not see how a much larger fire truck would be damaged by going over such a curb at a slow speed. Tim Schroyer on the Planning Commission had recommended the removable ramp. While he is not an engineer, he did not envision a removable ramp that is 18 feet across; rather, he envisioned two ramps, maybe four or five feet across, just sufficient to carry the tires as they went down the curb. He said he would not be surprised if a six-by-six railroad tie could be cut to a 45 degree angle and placed against the curb to handle the weight of the truck down the curb. He did not feel that an 18-foot-wide curb would be needed for the fire trucks, as this would be very difficult for people to move. The petitioners have been trying to improve this property for three years. Mr. Keros has two of the best maintained parcels in that area on Grand River and Novi Road. Council should consider what the property looks like now, and what it will look like. There is a nice setback in that area, and it appeared that the site would be landscaped using brick, and the site would be an improvement.
Member Capello said that if Council denied the two variances regarding the turnaround and the secondary access, the owner has a piece of property that he cannot develop. The parcel is only 50 feet wide, and Mr. Keros cannot get a secondary access without buying something from either of his neighbors and acquiring additional land, and he certainly cannot fit a 100-foot-diameter turnaround in a 50-foot-wide lot. He asked if the City had any legal liability if Council turned the petitioner down, saying that Mr. Keros cannot build anything on his property because of the lack of being able to meet the two said requirements.
Mr. Fisher replied that this was a very broad question that would depend on a number of circumstances, but he felt that Council was headed in the right direction of to make the solution the most workable, and avoid damages and threats to life.
Member Capello said he would make a motion to approve the three requests, but noted that there was already a motion on the table to postpone. He is always willing to go back and work the situation out, but the petitioners have been working on it for three years, and he did not believe there was any other solution. They have looked at everything they can possibly do with both neighbors, and the best they can do is with the breakaway gate on the Wendy’s side, to grant the access to House of Blinds if they ever develop, and developing the curb around the building to accommodate future access to Wendy’s or the House of Blinds. He said he could not support the motion to postpone because he did not feel it would accomplish anything, the matter has been around for three years, and the things being requested were so minimal that Council should grant them and sent the petitioners on to the ZBA for their next request.
Member Gatt said that of the three variances, there was no question that two would pass with ease that evening. He had heard remarks about the health and safety of citizens about the third variance, which is paramount in everyone’s minds. However, he could not understand why there was such a "to do" about backing the fire truck up when the fire is done. Although this would not be the utopian way of handling the fire truck, he was sure that the Police Department and Fire Department could get this done in the event of a fire, which everyone hopes will never occur. He said he would support Member Capello’s motion, if seconded, to grant the requests of the petitioner. The requests were not a matter of health and safety, but rather of convenience and inconvenience with backing the fire truck up. Although this would be an inconvenient task, it is something that the City can do.
Mayor Csordas noted that there is absolute access to the rear of the site through the Wendy’s property if there is ever an issue in the back of that building. He asked how many doors are on the back of the petitioners’ building.
Mr. Hyman replied that there are no doors on the back of that building.
Mayor Csordas noted that the building is located virtually right on the property line, and presumed that there would be good access, should the need arise, to the back of the building. The primary access would be from the site’s driveway on the front side of the building. Although possible, a fire is not probable. If a fire happens one time, it would be totally tragic. Backing up a fire truck onto Novi Road would definitely be an inconvenience, but he agreed with a previous speaker that traffic on Novi Road would at least be blocked or rerouted at that time. He would personally prefer the fire trucks backing out onto the road, rather than driving over other property. He said he liked the rolled curb idea if he knew what the drop would be. He did not have any trouble with backing the rig back onto the road, as this would be safer for the equipment and safer for the firefighters. There had been reference to another site that is similar to this site in the City, and he asked how many sites in the City were similar to this in that the fire equipment would have to be backed onto a road.
Assistant Chief Johnson replied that he did not know this off the top of his head. He was certain that there are other parcels in the City where a truck would have to back out.
Mayor Csordas said that since there were two items that had the Engineering Division’s support, and the Fire Department supported the other variance, he fully appreciated why the Fire Department would not like to support the variance for the turnaround, but he did not see this as an issue. He did not feel he could support postponing the consideration, but said he would be in support of approving the variances.
Member Nagy asked if the House of Blinds site is basically the same width as the petitioners’ site.
Ms. McClain replied that the two parcels are essentially the same width, and are both long, narrow parcels.
Member Nagy asked if the owners had ever tried to sell their lot.
Mr. Hyman replied that he did not believe the owners had tried to sell.
Mr. Keros commented that nobody wants to buy his parcel.
Member Nagy said she thought it would have been brilliant if the whole lot of the parcels had been sold together and someone had bought this, as the City would not have these problems. In reviewing everything, she said she would not support the motion to postpone.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry remarked that after listening to all of the discussion, he would not support the motion to postpone. Instead, he would like to approve the variances but to accept the petitioners’ offer to indemnify the City if there is any damage. The only remaining concern is the Fire Department’s concern about damage to equipment given the curb. If the petitioners were willing to guarantee that if there was any damage, they would pay for this and provide proof of insurance, he could accept this and allow the Fire Department the choice of whether or not to possibly damage equipment or back up onto Novi Road. He could support a motion with those stipulations.
Mayor Csordas noted that the motion on the floor was to postpone.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-261 Yeas: Lorenzo
Nays: Gatt, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
CM-04-07-262 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To approve the three variances requested, approving -
a. Request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue, for a variance to Sec.11-194 (a) (19) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards requiring a secondary access.
b. Request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue for a variance to Sec. 11-123(c) (1) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards to allow pumped discharge out of a storm water detention basin.
c. Request from the developer of Novi Site, located on west side of Novi Road and north of Grand River Avenue for a variance to Sec.11-194 (a) (18) of the City of Novi Design & Construction Standards amended by adoption of Sec. 15-17 503.2.5 requiring a turn around if drive exceeds 150 feet in length.
- Subject to the applicant agreeing to provide a secondary access to House of Blinds, provided that this works within the company’s existing site plan and use of their building, and to accept the applicant’s proposal to indemnify the City in the event that a fire truck could be damaged in exiting the parcel through the secondary access to the north through the Wendy’s parking lot.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry suggested that the motion should read that Council would accept the proposal of the applicant to indemnify, rather than requiring the applicant to do so.
Mayor Capello replied that he would accept this amendment.
Member Nagy also agreed to the amendment. She asked if rolled curbs from Wendy’s should also be included in the motion.
Mr. Hyman replied that the applicants would attempt to get rolled curbs installed with the Wendy’s site.
Member Capello said he understood that the problem was that the curb is located on Wendy’s property.
Mr. Hyman said the applicants would approach Wendy’s with this request.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-262 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
4. Consideration of ordinances to amend City of Novi Code of Ordinances in order to revise the following ordinance to insure that "farming exemptions" and earth disturbance activity being conducted within the City of Novi are bona fide farming operations – 1st Reading
Ordinance No. 04-40.5, to revise Chapter 8, "Business Registration", Sections 8-1 through 8-12.
Ordinance No. 04-119.11, to revise Chapter 12 "Drainage and Flood Damage Prevention", Article V., Wetlands and Watercourse Protection.
Ordinance No. 04-125.18 to revise Chapter 37, "Woodlands Protection", Sections 12-152 and 12-171.
Mayor Csordas invited administration to present a brief summary if the item if necessary.
Mr. Helwig replied that this matter was actually requested by the City Council, and stemmed from a situation particularly relating to Beck North. The work was reflective of Council’s direction.
Member Lorenzo referred to page one of the amendment to the Woodlands Protection Ordinance, which discusses "bona fide agriculture." She had a concern with this page, that she did not see anything explaining that industry standards or recognizable standards are required in preparing the field for sowing. She believed was one of the issues with Tollgate, where while the developer said there was a farming operation, the site had not been prepared as with a typical farm. In the definition, she would like to see some kind of reference to industry farming practices or standards with regards to how the seed is actually prepared or sowed.
Mr. Fisher asked if this clarification would go in the definition of "bona fide agriculture."
Member Lorenzo replied that she imagined this would be the case, unless Mr. Fisher could think of a better place for the clarification. She was concerned that there exist a standard by which the land must be prepared and sowed so that it could be recognized by the industry.
Mr. Fisher said the City could perhaps defer to the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Member Lorenzo commented that this would be fine, but this was the one thing that she saw in the report that had caught her attention, that there was no standard included for a definition of how a field should be prepared in order to legitimately farm the land.
Member Nagy said she had the same concern, that there must be a better definition of what plowing the fields means. She said she would like to postpone that part of the ordinance until Council could receive more information.
Member Lorenzo noted that the item was in its first reading.
CM-04-07-263 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of ordinances to amend City of Novi Code of Ordinances in order to revise the following ordinance to insure that "farming exemptions" and earth disturbance activity being conducted within the City of Novi are bona fide farming operations – 1st Reading
oOrdinance No. 04-40.5, to revise Chapter 8, "Business Registration", Sections 8-1 through 8-12.
oOrdinance No. 04-119.11, to revise Chapter 12 "Drainage and Flood Damage Prevention", Article V., Wetlands and Watercourse Protection.
oOrdinance No. 04-125.18 to revise Chapter 37, "Woodlands Protection", Sections 12-152 and 12-171.
In addition, a better definition of "bona fide agriculture" shall be provided.
Member Paul wished to make three points, one being with the Woodlands Protection Ordinance. On Vilican Leman’s letter dated July 7th, they talk about the multiple tree stems; if these are 8 inches, 14 inches or 16 inches, the letter talks about the five replacements required. Her understanding was that as long as one of the trunks were eight inches in diameter, no matter what width the other trees were, even if less than eight inches, these were also included.
Mr. Pearson said the ordinance amendment was intended to clarify exactly that.
Member Paul said all of the measurements are above eight inches in diameter. She was wondering if the ordinance would apply if one trunk is eight inches in diameter, one is five inches, and one is seven inches. She asked if all of these would be added together, or if a tree would have to be greater than eight inches to be included.
Mr. Pearson said the trees would have to meet the minimum threshold, eight inches, on one trunk.
Member Paul referred to page four, 8.5b, the Inspection of Woodlands and Wetlands. She asked if the fee would be passed onto the applicant when these are reviewed for the farming inspection. That section states that there will be a woodlands expert and a wetlands expert that will go out and inspect a site. She asked if both of these fees would be paid for by the applicant. She said administration could provide this information at a later time.
Mr. Helwig replied that administration would verify this for Council.
Member Paul said that if farming actions would be done, the applicant should have to pay for both of the consultants to examine their property in their fee.
Mr. Helwig commented that the fee should cover these inspections.
Member Paul said that some communities record an aerial view of the property so that when there is a large amount of grading change and different issues with woodlands and wetlands, the community has a picture to verify what that change is. She felt that this could be something that might be included in the ordinance. This would be a beneficial long-term solution for the City.
Mr. Fisher noted that the motion was to approve three ordinances at one time. This was doable, as long as there was not any member of Council that objected to approving all three ordinances.
Member Capello said that in regards to not addressing the issue of paying for the inspections of the woodlands and wetlands, he wanted to make sure that there was not a payment in the other two ordinances, so that the City would not charge twice. He assumed that the inspection fees were included in the wetlands and woodlands.
Mr. Helwig said administration would double-check this.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-263 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
5. Appointments to City Boards and Commissions
Mayor Csordas asked Council members to complete their ballots and submit these. Ms. Cornelius would total these during the break and provide the results.
Member Capello noted that there was a vacancy on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and asked if Council would discuss moving the alternate up to the permanent position that evening.
Mayor Csordas noted that this was not on the agenda.
Mr. Helwig said that item number eleven discussed scheduling a special meeting. This would be one of the items for the special meeting to be scheduled.
6. Appointments to Planning Commission.
Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius for a clarification of the procedure for Planning Commission appointments. At the previous appointment session, it had been requested that the Mayor propose a candidate, which required a second.
Ms. Cornelius replied that this was correct.
Mayor Csordas asked if this meant that if there was a sitting Planning commissioner that a new appointee would replace, if this would have to be indicated, or what the proper procedure was. He asked if the person appointed had to be appointed to a particular seat on the Planning Commission.
Ms. Cornelius said that if there are three vacancies, and three appointments are made, then the people whose terms are currently being served would automatically be vacated. However, if there were appointments made and all three vacancies were not filled, Council would want to dedicate what particular seat the appointments were for.
CM-04-07-264 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Mr. David Lipski to the Planning Commission.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-264 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
CM-04-07-265 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Mr. Wayne Wrobel to the Planning Commission.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-265 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CM-04-07-266 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To appoint Mr. Andrew Gutman to the Planning Commission.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-266 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Csordas
Betty House, 22190 Antler Drive, Lot 51 of the Deerbrooke subdivision, said she was speaking to an item placed on the agenda by Member Lorenzo. The agenda item addressed her request for reimbursement for $2,071.88, for costs incurred when they rerouted a sump line. Her husband and she purchased the house on lot 51 in January of 2002. The sump line had been installed to empty to the curb. That winter was somewhat milder than some winters in Michigan, but the winter of 2003 was a different situation. The sump line emptied into the street and the sub-zero temperatures froze the water. The next sump discharge flowed over the ice, froze farther out into the street, and so this continued until the ice was a hazard for driving. The ice extension continued in front of the driveway next door to her in lot 50, causing concern for those homeowners. Her husband and her self were concerned for the safety of the neighbors and other residents using Antler Drive, as well as the safety for school buses and children walking to and from those buses. That was when they called the City to find out how to resolve this situation. With this phone call, they learned that it is against City Code for sump drainage to be routed to the curb. They ultimately rerouted the sump to a detention basin behind lots 48 and 49. They had four bids, took the lowest bid, and the project was finished in November of 2003. In their opinion, the history of the problem does not matter. What does matter is the fact that the curb discharge was illegal. Three things stand out; documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that number one, the water and plumbing department had documentation of this sump issue prior to TCO issuance. The City knew a problem existed. Number two, TCO stickers specifically note that the sump is to be rerouted to not drain onto a neighbor’s property. Number three, the C of O was signed and granted by Mr. Terry Morrone. The C of O document states that, "the property was duly inspected." If that was the case, then this verifies that Mr. Morrone examined the TCO deficiencies and approved how they were resolved. In this situation he, as representative of the City, approved sump discharge to the curb. She has been discussing this problem at great length with Mr. Klaver, and while she does not agree with his denial of her request, she wanted to express her appreciation for his respectful verbal and written communication. She also thanked the Mayor for the hours that he makes himself available to the residents of Novi. She thanked Member Lorenzo for listening to her concern, reviewing her documentation, and requesting that the issue be made an agenda item at that evening’s meeting.
Mayor Csordas thanked Ms. House "very much" for her civil demeanor.
* Council recessed at 9:14 p.m.
* Council reconvened at 9:20 p.m.
5. Appointments to City Boards and Commissions (Continued)
Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius for the results for appointments to City boards and commissions.
Ms. Cornelius said that for the Beautification Commission, both Anita Appel and Roland Heaton were elected. Elizabeth Nick was elected to the Historical Commission. Brian Burke, Reagan Schwarzlose, and Butch Wingfield were elected to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission. Anita Appel, Wayne Hogan, and Linda Krieger were elected to the Woodlands Review Board.
Mayor Csordas thanked everyone who serves on the boards and commissions for the City.
Ms. Cornelius noted that the appointments are effective immediately. She said the City would notify those elected the next day to come to City offices to be sworn in.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
7. Approval to rescind current Lawn Maintenance Contract with Lazoen Hay & Feed, and approval of Lawn Maintenance Contract for the remainder of the 2004 lawn mowing season to the next lowest qualified bidder, B & B Lawn Service of Fenton, Michigan, for an amount of $87,000.
CM-04-07-267 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to rescind current Lawn Maintenance Contract with Lazoen Hay & Feed, and approval of Lawn Maintenance Contract for the remainder of the 2004 lawn mowing season to the next lowest qualified bidder, B & B Lawn Service of Fenton, Michigan, for an amount of $87,000.
Member Nagy asked how far behind Lazoen Hay & Feed was on their contract.
Mr. McCusker replied that the company was somewhat behind, probably 60 days on some of their cuts. The City is in the process of catching up right now with the other contractor and the City’s own staff. The company was probably about 60 days behind on some of the major roads and retention areas.
Member Nagy said she had noticed that the new company had dug up and was now mulching around the trees. She also saw that when contracts are given to individuals, there is a description of what their job function is. She requested the new company be informed that the entranceway island does not have to be dug up. The City does appreciate the mulching that has been done. She asked if B & B Lawn Service would be coming in from Fenton.
Mr. McCusker noted that the company has general yards in the area. The company also does the freeway cutting for Oakland County on I-96.
Member Nagy asked if B & B also does the cutting along Ten Mile Road.
Mr. McCusker replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy noted that there has been an area at Ten Mile and Nilan that has not been cut for at least a month or so.
Mr. McCusker said the City would take care of this right away.
Member Paul said the motion sheet stated that there were standards and specifications that Lazoen did not meet. She asked who designates what the standards and specifications are.
Mr. McCusker replied that in the original proposal there are three levels of service, depending on where the company is cutting. These levels range from premium, to 10-day cuts, to 20-day cuts. There are standards right in the bid spec.
Member Paul asked who the staff person is that verifies this company will perform to the standards.
Mr. McCusker replied that the City has a DPW employee who is assigned to make sure that the City is getting its money’s worth.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-267 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
8. Approval of Proposal for extending 2003 Chip Seal Prices to the 2004 Summer construction season to Highway Maintenance & Construction Co., in the amount of $79,675.75.
CM-04-07-268 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of proposal for extending 2003 Chip Seal Prices to the 2004 Summer construction season to Highway Maintenance & Construction Co., in the amount of $79,675.75.
Member Paul referred to 12 ½ Mile and Dixon roads. It had been mentioned that there would be some construction due to the Sandstone area, but she was curious if the Singh rezoning would impact 12 ½ Mile as well.
Mr. Helwig replied that the rezoning would affect the road, as the property just to the north abuts 12 ½ Mile Road.
Mr. McCusker said this was why the City had actually delayed doing anything in that area for now. The City wanted to secure the unit pricing because it is a year old and this is a petroleum product. There is a five-year program called out in the budget. The City will just flip-flop some streets and wait and see what happens in those general development areas.
Member Paul asked Mr. McCusker if he was proposing not to do the 12 ½ Mile area.
Mr. McCusker said this was correct with the 12 ½ Mile and Dixon area, until the City knows more about what is going on there with both Singh and Pulte. Both companies have a fairly large development going in.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-268 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
9. Approval of time extension to July 31, 2005 for the existing Interagency Agreement between Wayne County and the City of Novi for Round V Storm Water General Permit Grant funds for the Dunbarton Detention Basin Improvement Implementation.
CM-04-07-269 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of time extension to July 31, 2005 for the existing Interagency Agreement between Wayne County and the City of Novi for Round V Storm Water General Permit Grant funds for the Dunbarton Detention Basin Improvement Implementation.
Member Paul asked how the grant for this money had come to be.
Mr. Pearson replied that this was from a grant program through the Rouge program office, which has been around for about two to three years.
Member Paul asked if, with Dave Maurice having left the City, this would affect the City because it would not have anyone present at the meetings to get future grants.
Mr. Pearson replied that administration has reassigned this duty, at least temporarily, within the Engineering Division. There are different committees that are picked up as well. The City is looking at the work effort required for Environmental Services.
Member Paul asked if the amount of money that the City would be matching was already included in the budget.
Mr. Helwig replied that this was correct. The approval that evening was simply for the time extension, due to the time to finish permitting and get the design done. All the money had already been appropriated.
Member Paul asked if, when the cleanup is done for this grant, if it will be examined why the problems exist for which the basin must be cleaned out, such as whether there are soil erosion problems.
Mr. Helwig commented that several City officials had walked the entire area and discussed the issue at length. He said he would like to give a more detailed report on the matter, as it was an excellent question. The City would like to take a systemic approach so that it does not have to redo the work in a year or two. There can be some very fast flows moving through that corridor. He said he would like to provide a more detailed report on the question, which could be included in the Thursday packet.
Member Paul remarked that she did not want to put a band-aid on a problem that might really be north of the Dunbarton basin. She would like to look at possible solutions for the upstream section in order to avoid the problem repeating itself.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-269 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
10. Approval to award the Engineering Consulting Services for assistance with Capacity Management, Operations, and Maintenance Activities associated with the Sanitary Sewage Collection System to Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc., in the amount of $320,120.
CM-04-07-270 Moved by Paul, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award the Engineering Consulting Services for assistance with Capacity Management, Operations, and Maintenance Activities associated with the Sanitary Sewage Collection System to Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc., in the amount of $320,120.
Member Nagy noted that the City has in-house engineering, and she had wondered if this work could be done by in-house engineers with consultants on the side. As she had read through the packet, she realized that this work might be a bit bigger than what the City is capable of doing in-house. She asked Mr. McCusker to describe what the work involves.
Mr. McCusker said the City had just formulated its water distribution system similarly to this, and had created the master plan. The City has a sanitary sewage collection system that has had a lot of additions to it over the past 15 or 20 years. No one has gone into monitoring, in depth, the entire capacity of the system. The City is required by the DEQ to justify the taps in areas of the system. Some of the system has been underground for 30 or 40 years. There have never been checks to see if these have illegal connections into the sanitary system. All of these are storm water events that eat up the capacity in the sewer and cause overflows into the streams. The grant money that the City received came from the available money from the federal government for removing storm water systems from sanitary systems, as these cause overflows. The City wants to take a look at the whole system and get recommendations on what to fix, what is leaking into and out of the system, and what has been pirated into the system over the past 20 years. This will create a better picture over the next 5, 10, and 20 years with what to do with the system. Perhaps it needs to be expanded in certain areas, such as the water system needed. This examination will help to determine where to spend CIP dollars on repairing the system. In addition, this will provide for a modeling system that the Engineering Division will receive a copy of; the modeling system will allow the City’s Engineering Division to model the system in-house with its own engineers. This grass roots part involves installing meters, which are full-circumference meters that fit inside a 15-inch pipe, 15 feet down into a manhole, and are set up with flow gauges and monitors that monitor the flow in the system. When the DPW must go into manholes, it has to call the Fire Department, which under OSHA requirements must perform a rescue if needed. The City just does not have the staff to perform this kind of monitoring and metering. This study will give the City all of the information it needs to make the system viable, have a full operation and maintenance procedure, and know where to go from year to year for the CIP process.
Member Nagy asked if the meters are rented by the City.
Mr. McCusker replied that the City owns "a couple" of the meters, but it will need to rent some. After this part of the process is completed, it will tell officials where to keep the meters all of the time. From that time on, the City will be able to monitor meters in certain parts of the system where there are known problems.
Member Lorenzo asked where the idea of the monitoring activities originated and what other communities are doing. Council’s information said that this is a new program, and thus comparison/cost experience is not available. She commented that this always scares her.
Mr. McCusker said that CMOM is the new acronym for the program, which used to be called INI or Infiltration In the System; after INI, the program was called Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study. The new acronym is CMOM. The study does not just tell an official what is in the sewer, but also tells them how to deal with what is in the sewer. Once the program is put in place, it allows future federal dollars to flow to the City. West Bloomfield has had their system in place for about seven years, and he believes that community has spent a little more than $4 million just on the process of getting everything into place. Especially when a community is in and around lakes, inputs and outputs from the system impact not only the lakes but the capacities in the sewers around them. Treating storm water drives up the cost of living. If the City can monitor and control the storm water in the system, it can justify the prices it charges for sewage.
Member Lorenzo asked if West Bloomfield is already utilizing this system.
Mr. McCusker replied that this was correct.
Member Lorenzo asked how much it cost West Bloomfield to do what Novi was attempting to do at this point.
Mr. McCusker said he did not know this cost exactly.
Member Lorenzo commented that if there was a DEQ requirement, the City must have monitored somehow without this system.
Mr. McCusker said the City has been chasing the different areas, called a Part 41. When a development comes in and tells the City they are tapping into the system, they will have a certain number of tap units, and the City has to move meters over to that piece of town right away to see if there are enough units left in that piece of the system. JCK has actually been doing the monitoring for the City over the past 10 years or so, but without a contract. The City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last seven or eight years doing this.
Member Lorenzo asked if at some point, the Engineering Department will be able to take this task over.
Mr. McCusker replied, "Completely." Part of the program will give a short-term and long-term view of where the City is going with the system. Once the City determines the direction it wants to go in, it can do much of the work in-house. Brian Coburn has the capability to view the water system, and this will provide the ability to compare the water input with sewer output. This is something that, once the models are out, he can do simply by running a computer model.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-270 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
11.Schedule Special Meeting for:
A. Additional Board/Commission interviews-Library, Zoning Board of Appeals and Housing and Community Development vacancies.
Member Nagy asked if both of these special meetings could be conducted in one evening.
Mayor Csordas replied that he believed this could not be done because the evaluations can get very detailed.
Member Capello noted that Sarah Gray had resigned from her permanent position on the ZBA. The City has an alternate for the ZBA, and he suggested that Council vote that evening to move the alternate to a permanent position, and then advertise for the alternate position.
Mayor Csordas asked if Justin Fischer is currently the ZBA alternate.
Ms. Cornelius replied that this was correct.
Mayor Csordas asked if a motion and second was required to do this.
Ms. Cornelius said that typically, Council selects from a ballot for Zoning Board of Appeals vacancies. However, she did not see why a motion could not be made to make an appointment.
CM-04-07-271 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a special meeting of City Council for a starting time of 7:00 p.m before the next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m., in order to conduct interviews for the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Member Paul asked if Council should ask Mr. Fischer, who is a college student, if he would be able to make it back to Novi for every ZBA meeting before Council put him in the position.
Mayor Csordas said that he and the Mayor Pro Tem had run into Justin Fischer, the Chair and resigning member of the Zoning Board of Appeals when they were doing a work-study session in a coffee shop. He said that Justin Fischer is definitely interested in the position. He and Mayor Pro Tem Landry spoke with all of the existing members of the ZBA, and subsequent to that received an email from Ms. Gronachan requesting Mr. Fischer’s appointment.
Member Paul said that this could be difficult for a college student going through trials and tribulations. However, if it was ok with Mr. Fischer, she would support the appointment. She said she did not want to stick someone with a position that they could not fill.
Mayor Csordas agreed that this was understandable. Justin Fischer did an internship in Washington D.C. and flew home for every ZBA meeting as an alternate. That internship is over, so he is now home. If Mr. Fischer flew home from Washington D.C. for ZBA meetings, he will probably drive home from Lansing.
Member Lorenzo said she had no problem with the person that Council was discussing. Her concern was with the process. She did not feel comfortable, not having advertised the position or having gone through the interview process, to reach this determination. She said she would vote "no" just on the designation that the appointment did not follow the process.
Member Capello said he would wholly agree with Member Lorenzo if this was a normal position that was upcoming, but this was to fill a vacancy that happened during the term.
Member Nagy believed that Sarah Gray’s resignation was effective August 1st, so Council would actually have plenty of time to interview and follow the process. She agreed that the issue was not with the person, as she watches ZBA meetings and Justin Fischer does a fine job. She said she does not want to keep getting away from the process. She would feel more comfortable with the process being followed.
Mayor Csordas felt this was a point well taken.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he agreed with what the Mayor had stated about their discussions with Mr. Fischer, Ms. Gray, and Ms. Gronachan. He suggested scheduling the next Council meeting for 7:00 instead of 7:30, in order to hold interviews at the beginning of the meeting. Ms. Gray unfortunately has to leave the community. He asked Ms. Cornelius if this provided enough time for the interviews.
Ms. Cornelius replied that this did provide for enough time.
Member Capello and Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed to the amendment.
Ms. Cornelius asked if this start time would be to interview only ZBA candidates.
Several members of Council replied that this was correct.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-271 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
B. City Manager and City Clerk evaluation
Mayor Csordas said that it seemed to him that Council requests a preference from the City Manager and City Clerk to perform evaluations either in a public meeting or in executive session.
Mr. Helwig replied that he and the City Clerk had spoken that day, and each preferred the executive session.
CM-04-07-272 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an executive session after the first Council meeting in August, for the purpose of scheduling evaluations for the City Manager and City Clerk.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-07-272 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CM-04-07-273 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a special meeting of Council before its August 23rd meeting, at 7:00 p.m., for the purpose of conducting interviews for the Library Board and the Housing and Community Development Board.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-273 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
E. Approval of first (1st) renewal of a Team League Photography contract with Photo Dynamics – Member Paul
Member Paul noted that the parks and recreation program offers photography to its parents and children. She asked if there is any overture from this contract that goes to the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department.
Mr. Lewis replied that there is an overture of 10% that goes to the Department.
Member Paul asked if the Department puts up a tent on the soccer field for the photography.
Mr. Lewis replied that this was correct.
Member Paul asked if the Department has staff members at the event to direct people as needed.
Mr. Lewis said this was correct.
Member Paul said she was at the counter, and at one point a parent was very angry that their pictures did not turn out. The Parks, Recreation and Forestry staff took a lot of time from their day to handle that situation. She wanted to make sure that there was some coverage for the cost of this work.
CM-04-07-274 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of first (1st) renewal of a Team League Photography contract with Photo Dynamics.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-274 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
G. Approval of easement from Charter One Bank for $1.00 for City installation of sidewalk at northwest corner of Meadowbrook Road and Ten Mile Road – Member Paul
Member Paul commented that it is not often that a community member in a business situation will give an easement for one dollar. She commended Charter One Bank for providing the City with an easement to install a sidewalk for public safety; this easement cost the City one dollar. Businesses that think of the City are important business partners. These improvements can make a business’ site better, and make it safer for the community.
CM-04-07-275 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of easement from Charter One Bank for $1.00 for City installation of sidewalk at northwest corner of Meadowbrook Road and Ten Mile Road.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-275 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
M. Approval to purchase replacement park maintenance utility vehicles (John Deere Gators) from Theiser Equipment (off the State bid list), for a price not to exceed $8,400 – Member Nagy
Member Nagy asked where the equipment had been located when it was stolen from the City.
Mr. Lewis replied that the equipment had been located at Community Sports Park in a storage trailer. When the park was first developed, the Department took equipment from the maintenance garage at Eleven Mile and Delwal all the way out to Community Sports Park. Due to the time and length of that travel, and the wear and tear on the equipment, the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department rented the trailer to store the equipment, which was to provide increased efficiency.
Member Nagy asked if the City has had other equipment stolen besides the utility vehicles.
Mr. Lewis replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy asked for an inventory of all of the equipment that the City owns and rents, so that Council could have an idea as to what the City has for use in parks. She asked if the trailer is an enclosed trailer.
Mr. Lewis replied that the unit is similar to a semi trailer that would be seen on the road. The trailer is 30 feet long and ten feet wide.
Member Nagy asked if the trailer is locked.
Mr. Lewis replied that the trailer is locked.
Member Nagy asked if the thieves broke the lock.
Mr. Lewis said this was correct. Department officials believe the thieves used a sledgehammer to break the gate that went across the lock.
Member Nagy commented that this was why Council approved another patrol officer. At some future date she would like to see an inventory of the equipment, both which the City owns and which it rents.
Mr. Lewis added that the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department will no longer have the storage trailers at Community Sports Park.
Member Nagy asked if the equipment would now be stored at Eleven Mile and Beck.
Mr. Lewis replied this was correct.
Member Nagy asked if the Department ever stores items within the DPW yard, as this has a large fence across the facility’s perimeter.
Mr. Lewis said the Department would also be keeping equipment at the DPW yard.
CM-04-07-276 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to purchase replacement park maintenance utility vehicles (John Deere Gators) from Theiser Equipment (off the State bid list), for a price not to exceed $8,400.
Member Lorenzo asked if the Eleven Mile and Delwal facility is secured.
Mr. Lewis replied that it is.
Member Lorenzo asked if the City would not have this problem again with this move.
Mr. Lewis said it would hopefully not.
Member Lorenzo commented that it was not the "best decision" to try to have less wear and tear on the equipment, only to have it stolen. She wanted to make sure that this time, the equipment would be stored more securely.
Mr. Helwig said that since his first visit to Community Sports Park, he has been promoting the development of a field office for parks. This is a very common feature in facilities when they are serving 32 square miles. Sports Park is the most isolated location for a park in the City, tucked away in the far southwest corner. The old fire station four does not lend itself perfectly for everything, but will work for a great deal of what Sports Park uses without needing to travel all the way to the DPW facility. In recent years, the City has added the security fencing to the DPW facility. This fencing is not found at fire station four, but there has not been a problem there. The City is hoping that the old fire station can come to be viewed as a parks field office for now.
Member Paul asked if the City has a long-term plan for what to do at Community Sports Park. She asked if an equipment site was being planned for that park at some point in the future.
Mr. Helwig said that such an equipment site is very high on his list. The City invests precious dollars in what equipment it has; some of this is not functioning very well. The City needs to guard this equipment like gold. He is concerned about vandalism in that location and so forth. He hopes that sometime at goal setting he and Council can discuss what should happen next.
Member Paul felt that if much equipment would be stored at the Beck Road and Eleven Mile site, even though it is much more visible with all of the traffic on Beck, a security system might still be warranted. Because this site was a fire station, she wondered if installing a security system might be easier than at Community Sports Park. The City needs a long-term plan for this equipment, or she cannot continue to support equipment renewals. Several different lawnmowers have been left out in the fields, which also cost several thousand dollars each. If someone can steal a Gator, they can also steal a lawnmower.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-276 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
P. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 675 – Member Paul
Member Paul said that on the July 1st warrant, there was an item for SCP Enterprises, Inc., for a desk, chair, and file cabinets for $4,518. She asked where this office equipment was going.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was going to the office for the City Manager’s administrative assistant.
Member Paul asked if when the City purchases equipment for different administrative offices, it normally comes through as a request, such as with the Gator utility vehicles, or if it is included in the warrant.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the City actually awarded a contract to SCP Enterprises. All furniture, equipment, and cabinets are purchased through that company. The purchases do not come individually to Council.
Member Paul asked if administration approves office furniture, if Council ever gets to examine the order before it is purchased.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the orders are automatically purchased.
Mr. Helwig said that Council authorized the contract for the furniture. Administration cannot go out and authorize the contract, as Council must approve it. In this instance, when the City gave Benny McCusker an administrative assistant, she took the furniture with her to the Public Works facility. This furniture was backfilling that furniture for the person who took the former administrative assistant’s job.
Member Paul asked what has to come before Council, and what must be placed on a warrant, in terms of City spending.
Mr. Helwig said that anything administration spends must come before Council in the warrant. This equipment was ratifying what Council had previously authorized with the office equipment contract.
Member Paul referred to warrant item 37108, the Smith Jones entertainment park concert series. She asked if the park concert series was what would be located at Fountain Walk on Thursday nights.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the series would actually be located at Lakeshore Park, except for the first one, which because of inclement weather was held at the Civic Center.
Mr. Helwig said that the last concert will actually be located at Providence Park.
Member Paul referred to item 37116, the Stevenson Company, property and liability insurance, for $446,000. She asked if this was a once-a-year amount.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this is a once-a-year annual payment that had been approved at the last Council meeting.
Member Paul asked what this insurance covers.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this was all of the City’s property and liability insurance for all facilities, including the ice arena, Meadowbrook Commons, the Library, and the water and sewer fund.
Mayor Csordas commented that the City saved several hundred thousand dollars by moving that contract a few years earlier.
Member Paul referred to item 37197, the Cintas Corporation for uniforms. She asked whose uniforms were covered by this item.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this item was for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, DPW, and the Water and Sewer crews.
Member Paul referred to item 37239, Leisure Pursuits amusement park tickets.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department is a member of the Michigan Association, and thereby through this corporation is allowed to obtain these tickets at a discount and sell them to residents at a discount.
Member Paul asked what amusement parks these tickets are for.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that there was a whole list of them.
Member Paul referred to item 37257, the Mobile Storage Group, for park maintenance.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this was for the trailers that Council had just discussed, for storage of equipment.
Member Paul asked if this was one of the monthly fees that the City pays.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was correct.
Member Paul referred to several items for Oakland County Parks.
Ms. Smith-Roy said these were all pass-through items for participants from Novi.
CM-04-07-277 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 675.
Member Paul said she knows it is difficult with the City’s software system, but she asked that warrant items be listed by department so that Council can follow them.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that there really is not a way to do this. She said she would be happy to show items by department if Council members wish to discuss them. Some items, such as insurance items, may hit up to 70 different account numbers because it applies to Water and Sewer, the drain fund, and all of the general fund departments. Such a listing would not be as simple as just separating the items. The City literally has a printout that lists items by fund. This is a very large printout, but she said she would be happy to provide this a few times if Council would like to see it that way.
Member Paul said she would appreciate this.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-277 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
Proposed charter amendment – Mayor Csordas
Mayor Csordas commented that this item should probably read, "Discussing a Charter Amendment." Consideration of change is leadership. He asked Council consider revising the system; if Council believes this should be done, this is fine, and if not, this is also fine. He said he just wanted to let Council know that the discussion would be coming, and said he only wanted to be very upfront with everyone.
Inquiry Regarding Mr. Bedro – Member Nagy
Member Nagy asked if Mr. Bedro had been taken care of with his septic field.
Mr. Helwig said that there had been an exchange of emails with Member Paul, where Mr. Bedro had indicated that progress was made on the murkiness of water. The problem is now the final landscaping of the ditch area. The City is at work on this problem.
Member Paul said she has had some emails back and forth with Mr. Bedro. He had said that several things were taken care of, but he cannot cut the grass in front of his home because the pitch and grade of the ditch have been changed so considerably. She asked someone to get back with Council at the next meeting about what could be done about the ditch, as the City cannot alter the pitch and grade of a person’s property.
Sump Pump Diversion Reimbursement Request for Homeowner at 22190 Antler Drive – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said that these types of issues deserve a case-by-case review. She understands that in a lot of instances, the case might show that the homeowner or subsequent homeowner had something installed. When she reviewed this case, she agreed with Mrs. House on the basis that had been described. The next door neighbor to Mrs. House wrote in December of 2000. That next door neighbor has no financial interest in addressing the situation from their own perspective. In other words, they will not be responsible for the payment, one way or the other. The neighbor indicated that this issue began in 1999-2000, when the home was under construction. Subsequently, on February 29th of 2000, the plumbing inspection occurred, and the plumbing inspector only gave partial approval, commenting that, "The outside sump line discharging onto the neighbor’s lot must divert to own property. Inside plumbing improved." Subsequent to that, on March 2nd of 2000, a temporary certificate of occupancy was approved, with one of the conditions being to install the permanent sump pump line prior to issuance of a full certificate of occupancy. On May 9th of 2000, the actual final certificate of occupancy was granted and signed by Terry Morrone; obviously, this issue was not addressed. She believes that, given the serious red flags on the documents, when the Building Department signed off on the final certificate of occupancy, this sump line issue should have been addressed and inspected. In this instance, a subsequent homeowner should not be held responsible for something that should have been addressed before issuance of a final certificate of occupancy.
Member Nagy said she would like further investigation into the matter. City departments are obligated to inspect appropriately. The person who issued the certificate of occupancy is no longer with the City, but the City owes it to the residents who purchase property in Novi to inspect their homes properly.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry suggested that Council have placed in its packets a summary of everything that has occurred, such as all documents written by residents. This would inform Council of what had been presented by residents, as well as the City’s view. Mr. Klaver had apparently already looked into the matter and provided a response that the residents did not particularly like; however, the residents had commented on Mr. Klaver’s demeanor, which is always nice to hear. He suggested that the matter then be placed as a Mayor and Council Issues item. He would like to look at all the facts. Obviously, from the standpoint of the City, he would be concerned about what precedent it might be creating. This might be a truly unique case with equities calling out for relief, but he would like to see both the City’s side and the residents’ side. He said he would like residents to be shown a copy of whatever Council is shown so that they can be confident that Council has the whole story.
Member Gatt suggested that perhaps Mr. Fisher could take a look at the matter so that Council could gather his opinion.
Mayor Csordas asked if Council was copied on the communication that Mr. Klaver had provided to him on the matter.
Mr. Klaver replied that Council had been copied on the document.
Member Lorenzo said she concurred with Mayor Pro Tem Landry.
Mr. Helwig noted that administration had also provided some materials on the matter for the previous packet, and said all of the information would be put together for Council and residents for the July 26th packet.
Drainage for Concrete Roads – Member Paul
Member Paul said she had the opportunity to walk through Addington and Westmont Village to talk about drainage issues. It was her concern when the first 850 feet was redone in Westmont Village, and she is still concerned that the City address drainage issues. She does not want to fix something temporarily and then have to fix it again. The City is installing edge drains, but has many drainage issues that are between side yards and back yards. She asked about leaf flaps used for these problems.
Mr. McCusker said the City wants the backup crew to lead so that the City can tie the stuff coming out of the back yards to direct-flow into a basin or an edge drain. In the future, if the City finds water running, it will not have to tear the street up; instead, it can go behind the curb. Leaving a cap lead will provide something to tie to in the future.
Member Paul said there are 30 areas on Kimberly Court, Addington, and Halston Court, where the back yard does not drain to the storm water area. There are black sidewalks, which become covered in moss, are wet, and are slippery. She would not want to fix those areas temporarily, just to have water not be able to drain and cause cracked roads again. The City will not continue having the opportunity for this money to come forward with which to repair roads. Mr. McCusker’s suggestion for what to do long-term was to have the lead behind a catch basin so that concrete roads do not have to be ripped up. There is also an area which she had discussed with Mr. McCusker; this was not in the proposal for Westmont Drive. In that subdivision, there is a new cul-de-sac past Phase II where the water is pitched so that the back of the cul-de-sac, which is the southern point of the site, will drain forward to the only two catch basins. This is approximately 800 feet long. There is not proper flow in a couple of areas, and one area is breaking apart very quickly. While the City is in that area, instead of having to go back and replace the entire cul-de-sac in the three years, she would like to go in and fix what is needed.
Mr. McCusker said there are probably six or seven different slabs that could be changed fairly easily to improve the flow.
Member Paul said this would create a long-term fix for that problem. In front of one resident’s house, the entire sidewalk where the water is draining over the top of the sidewalk is cracked to stones. While the concrete truck is in that area, it would be beneficial to provide the short-term fix for the long-term safety of the roads. On Kimberly Court, there must be three or four areas where water moves directly over the sidewalk onto the street. She would like the City to correct all the drainage problems before it fixes those roads. She asked Mr. McCusker for information on what the cost would be for such a proposal.
Mayor Csordas commented that cost is imperative, so Council would consider anything but would need to see the money involved.
ACLU Notice of Sign Ordinances – Mayor Csordas
Mayor Csordas noted that the City had recently received a letter from the ACLU, stating that it feels the City’s sign ordinance was non-compliant. In that letter, the ACLU says it wants to work with the City so that there is no lawsuit involved. He asked Mr. Fisher what the next step would be in addressing the letter.
Mr. Fisher replied that the letter is very serious, and noted that it had been sent to a number of communities. His recommendation was for the City Attorney’s office to provide Council with an evaluation.
Traffic Signal at Eight Mile and Napier – Member Capello
Member Capello said that Eight Mile Road, as everyone knows, is the border between Wayne County and Oakland County. Napier Road divides the City of Novi from Lyon Township, and divides Salem Township from Northville Township. On the south side of Eight Mile, Napier is a gravel road. When turning from Napier onto Eight Mile Road, it is very difficult to see down Eight Mile. The speed limit on Eight Mile Road is high. The jurisdiction for that intersection is Oakland County and Wayne County. He requested that Council send a resolution to Wayne County, the Executive of Wayne County, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, the Oakland County Executive, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, and both road commissions, asking them if they will install a traffic light. He believes that there have been studies done, and the results of the studies say that there is not enough traffic at that intersection for a light. That study relies solely upon numbers, and does not consider the situation that is present there. He asked that Council direct administration to prepare a resolution and send it on to the bodies he had mentioned, as well as the three townships that would be affected.
* Council consensus was to direct administration to send a resolution regarding a traffic signal at Eight Mile and Napier roads.
Dave Maychak, of Lazoen Hay & Feed, thanked Council for awarding his company the lawn maintenance contract on April 8th. On April the 19th, he had a meeting with Mr. McCusker, who had indicated to him that there were serious concerns with the contract at that time. This meeting startled him immediately; the company had started off as it always does with a typical contract such as this. He became very concerned at that time. He has been in the lawn maintenance business for 28 years. His company has serviced the cities of Sterling Heights, Troy, Centerline, and Farmington. In addition, they contract with Chrysler and other firms. On April 19th, he was very concerned and began to document with letters to Mr. McCusker. Each week, he would meet with Gary Clark or Mr. McCusker, and they would go over what was to be done to meet specifications in the contract. He was very concerned when there was an indication that the company was 60 days behind on the contract. Their invoicing, which corresponds with the weekly letters, shows that the company was following the contract to its specifications. Member Nagy had asked about work not being complete along Ten Mile Road. He had noted in a number of letters that some roadside areas were not on the specifications for the contract, but that his company would be more than happy to take care of them. On Ten Mile Road from the railroad tracks heading west to Taft was included, but east of there was not in the specifications. This was addressed in Lazoen’s letters. There are a number of areas such as this along Taft Road, and on Eleven Mile Road west of Taft; all of this was documented in the letters that he provided each week. He also had written some letters to Mr. Klaver and Mr. Helwig as the contract progressed. He said he wanted to bring this to Council’s attention, just to clarify the concern about his company being 60 days behind. He did not feel that this information was accurate. The invoicing approved by the DPW would show this. On April 19th, when the concern was brought to his attention by Mr. McCusker, he personally got involved with spending as much time as possible in the City of Novi. In reference to retention ponds that were missed, which the specifications called to be done five to seven times per year, he believed that these were done about four times. He personally saw to it that those retention ponds were done. It was fair to say that he had mowed and given attention to the 120 acres of lawn in the City, and he got to know the contract very well. He said his letters would document the last two-and-a-half months that he worked with the City of Novi. The contract is a very good contract, and the specifications are very well written, with the exception of when some of the things would come up.
Mayor Csordas commented that the item had been acted upon earlier, and said it would have been nice to have heard from Mr. Maychak.
CM-04-07-278 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn to executive session.
Voice Vote on CM-04-07-278 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 10:34 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: July 26, 2004