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MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul (Member Paul arrived at 7:03 P.M.)
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager Craig Klaver, Chief Operating Officer Tom Schultz, City Attorney Kathy Smith-Roy, Finance Director Barbara McBeth, Director of the Planning Department Douglas Shaeffer, Chief of Police Benny McCusker, Director of Department of Public Works Rob Hayes, City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA 1. Meadowbrook Lake Sub – Mayor Pro Tem Landry
Mayor Pro Tem Landry added Item #1 Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision Member Capello added Item #2 Signs at Novi and Grand River. Member Gatt added Item #3 Meadowbrook Road Bridge Member Lorenzo added Item #4 Status of the Novi Promenade Wetland Mitigation. Member Nagy, speaking for Member Paul added: Item 5 Post Bar Item 6 City Council Policy regarding employee attrition Item 7 Sandstone Item 8 Water and Sewer Identification for old SAD’s
CM-05-04-123 Motion by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
VOICE VOTE ON CM-05-04-123 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy Nays: None Absent: Paul
1. Proclamation for Arbor Day, April 30, 2005
Mayor Csordas read the Proclamation declaring Arbor Day to be April 30, 2005
2. Proclamation for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, May 12, 2005
Dr. Ostalecki was present to accept the Proclamation for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day declared by Mayor Csordas to be May 12, 2005. Mayor Csordas read the proclamation into the record. Dr. Ostalecki thanked Mayor Csordas and the Council for the
proclamation and advised everyone that an article will be in the Novi News that will give a list of events where there will be speakers and information on Fibromyalgia.
Member Paul requested that Water and Sewer Identification of old SAD’s be added to Mayor and Council issues as #8. There was consensus of Council.
PUBLIC HEARING – None
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - City Council Main Street Committee Update
Mayor Pro Tem Landry advised Council that he and Members Capello and Nagy met with the proposed developer of Main Street on April 13th and will provide Council with copies of their resume. The developer is Triangle Development who developed Gateway Village. They are the Nona family and they have been developing since 1984 and they have an inside Board of Directors. When asked who their investors were they indicated that currently they are Bacal Development and Mr. John Loccia in addition to the Nona family themselves. They were asked if they had ever done a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) before and they responded they personally had not but had hired McKenna and Associates because their representative John Jackson has done more DDA’s than anyone in Michigan. Triangle has also hired special consultant Jerry Detloff who is the former executive director of the Royal Oak DDA and a certified Main Street director. The financial aspects were prepared by McKenna and Associates.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said they discussed the plan at length and they propose 120,000 sq. ft. of retail, 80,000 sq. ft. of office/medical building, and 380 owner occupied residential units with a target sales price between $200,000 and $300,000 each. The concept plan contains a potential hotel, band shell park fountain skating type area that they would be willing to dedicate to the City. The cost is estimated at $120,000,000 with a six to eight year build out. Council members inquired if they had anyone committed now and their response was that a group of Beaumont Hospital doctors were interested in the medical building. They also had a great deal of inquiry on the residential aspect. In respect to parking, the general idea is to have retail on the first floor with commercial and retail in the upper five stories. The residential buildings are U shaped and the parking for those residents would be underground and on the first floor with the residents on the second floor. They believe that a parking deck is important to their concept because they need the spaces and Mr. Nona indicated that if there isn’t a parking deck there won’t be a downtown. The area can be developed under the ordinance but if there are massive parking lots you are not going to have the downtown feel with buildings close to each other and close to the road and it would not be conducive to pedestrians. It is anticipated that the parking decks would be paid for with the DDA. There would also be 500 angled spots on the road and the parking decks would be free. They felt the parking decks would encourage redevelopment of the corner of Novi Road and Grand River.
He said in regard to the financial aspects of the DDA they are proposing it only for the undeveloped portion of Main Street and would it not encompass the existing buildings. They are proposing a recapture of 76% of the tax revenue and are prepared to post a
letter of credit to cover any shortfall in the DDA with respect to the parking decks. The DDA they are proposing is for 20 years.
Member Paul asked what Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s thoughts were on the project?
Mayor Pro Tem Landry thought it was a good plan and would succeed in creating a downtown. When he looks at Main Street now all he sees is Main and Market Streets. However, this plan has side streets and it makes sense to him to have a residential component to feed some of the existing smaller retail. It makes sense to have a large medical building and he thought Providence Hospital has certainly invested in our community and might also have an interest. He thought it was good planning sense to have a parking deck or two to avoid a large expanse of parking area.
He would be concerned about safeguards on how this would build out and wanted to stair step this plan so they wouldn’t be able to only build out one aspect of it. We want the retail downtown, not another apartment or condo complex. If condos are a part of the downtown it would be alright but he would hate to see them build the condos and not build the retail. He didn’t want them to come back and say the market is driving multiples or condos and then a medical building is pushed back five years.
The next step would be to request they come back with some type of phasing program and some guarantees. He was very impressed with the letter of credit offer. He mentioned Member Lorenzo’s statement that the City didn’t want to be responsible for a dime over and above the DDA and their answer was that they would post the letter of credit. He thought they were thinking DDA for all the existing Main Street, across Novi Road and back over into the Town Center but they are thinking just what is dirt now. So, the City would still get 100% of the tax revenue from all the rest of Main Street. He commented that Council had to decide if they wanted to go forward with this. He thought it would make sense to include the corner of Grand River and Novi Road in the DDA. Mayor Pro Tem Landry was very impressed, wanted to pursue this and thought it would be excellent for the City.
Member Nagy said there were some things that would need variances. The first phase of development would be the medical building and two or three buildings the first year and one to two buildings after that. They would need variances for the hotel which would be 6, 7 or 8 floors. The parking structure would eventually become City owned. She asked about the potential of extending the DDA further with the potential of considering relocating the existing fire station on Grand River because going around the corner of Novi and Grand River is a possibility. They will add two streets with angled parking; one will go onto Grand River and the other is the existing Sixth Gate. They also mentioned the potential of Novi Town Center being included in the DDA and possibly going up to Meadowbrook Road.
Member Nagy thought the concept was very interesting but did express concerns about the financials. She noted the City of Novi has residents bringing their bad roads to the Council’s attention. Also, If the City owns the parking decks she felt it would be a great liability regarding safety and a great expense for maintenance and repair. Member Nagy stated she was concerned about the variance in height for the hotel because there is nothing that high in Novi and she thought it would stick out being so high. She
mentioned there are already four hotels within a half mile radius and there are nine restaurants in the present Main Street. She wondered after they talked about having high end retail how many more restaurants could be absorbed. They are also wondering whether or not the MDEQ would do wetland mitigation with regard to the wetland in the area. This is an acre and a half and they want to turn it into a skating rink with a band shell.
Member Nagy said the concept is nice but she wants more information about the long term planning regarding how much more retail the City can absorb. A study was done and in summary the study showed that property taxes would increase for residents and business owners in and around a TFI District. She commented she wants a better understanding of how captured taxes would work because she didn’t want to compound our financial limitation with regard to State Shared Revenues, the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A. Member Nagy wanted to know financially how this would directly affect the City and suggested a survey be done.
Member Nagy was also concerned about Beaumont doctors coming to Novi when Council has worked with Providence Hospital to have a hospital and become a major center.
Member Nagy worried a little about the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) because a Board would run it and not be accountable to the residents and taxpayers of the City. They will function on their own and their goal is to develop. She wasn’t sure she wanted to give control over to an unelected board that would be making decisions and Council would probably lose some control over the development of Novi.
She noted that part of the captured taxes would come from the City, Oakland County and the mils that go to Oakland County Community College and there might be legislation coming up that it could eventually come from the school millage as well. Member Nagy wanted to weigh the situation and be sure this would be entirely to the benefit of the City.
Member Paul was concerned about the parking structure. We just went through a lot to figure out how to analyze the cost analysis of roads. The safety of residents regarding accidents and dark areas under parking structures is a concern as well as amount of police time. If 75% of the tax dollars in that area, just the dirt, it won’t be a whole lot of money coming back to the police for the time invested in that community. She commented about the Post Bar liquor violation for serving a minor and said the police have to be active in that area.
Also, the insurance costs to accept this parking deck would be a huge liability. She thought very high buildings were unappealing. She said high end retail was talked about and it was supposed to happen at Fountain Walk and didn’t. Fountain Walk is bankrupt and the City will have to absorb the Twelve Mile SAD. Mr. Chen promised a Main Street and he went bankrupt. She commented she is very skeptical but pleased with the information about this company because they seemed very sound. She liked the project as a whole but her problem was the taking of 75% of the tax dollars.
Member Paul had questions about the fire station and at whose cost would it be moved. Land acquisition is huge and we don’t have any explanation of how that would transpire and would it be at the cost of the taxpayers? She asked what Fire Station #4 cost and Mr. Helwig said they would report back to her, however, the City owned the land and that’s a big factor. It would be about $2.2 million or more depending on how elaborate the resident components are but the station also has the training center tower there. If we are getting serious about a new fire station in another location we should start putting some ranges down in terms of costs. Member Paul said she would look to the Fire Chief for his expectations on this. She was concerned about taking on the expense of two parking structures, fire station and the land acquisition. Also, the parking structure was going to be done immediately and initially there was talk about the City advancing the money for that structure. She asked if that has changed. She was informed that the City is not advancing the money. She wanted more information on the civic building of 60,000 sq. ft. and whether it would be a theatre or a library and what would be needed regarding police in that area. She said the plan is beautiful but she still has a problem with the finances.
Member Lorenzo commended Triangle Development in their efforts to bring forward a plan that does represent and accomplish the physical characteristics of the City of Novi’s vision for a downtown area. The biggest concern and deal breaker for her is the DDA and she would not support it. She said with our decade of financial uncertainly, the Headlee millage limitations coming in a few years, Proposal A limitations, health care and pension costs and the economy as a whole is not good and thought a DDA would be a bad business plan for the City. She was not sure that the DDA would be resolved after 20 years and felt that it would create a financial disaster that the City would never recover from. In the financials of the plan over a 20 year period the City would be losing $11 million dollars that could be used to pay for so many other necessities.
Member Lorenzo said she spoke with Mr. Dave Nona on April 7th and he said he did have an alternate plan without a DDA. There would be a more typical suburban development with office buildings and parking lots and would not be as dense as the proposed Main Street plan, it would be more profitable for him to build and would take less time to complete. She wanted to see the City pursue that plan. Member Lorenzo was more concerned with maximizing tax dollars instead of fully accomplishing the vision of downtown. It is time to realize our limitations and adjust our expectations accordingly. It is more important to the taxpayers that we have the tax revenue generated from any future development in this area.
Member Lorenzo noted she read the City of Northville’s DDA retail analysis that was completed in November 2005. She found it interesting how much regional competition the downtown receives from malls in Novi as well as all of the malls in Livonia and Northville Township. They are looking at the Village of Rochester, which has a downtown because they recently had a life style center built which is adversely affecting their downtown. Northville has talked about meeting with Rochester to see the pitfalls of something like that happening. Additionally, all of the models from the DDA analysis are looking to incorporate anchor stores and strip mall type stores such as the Gap, American Eagle, Eddie Bauer, Ethan Allen, Bombay, Stone Cold Creamery, Sub Way, etc. If a long established traditional historic downtown like Northville is having difficult
challenges maintaining a viable downtown, especially concerning their specialty shops, how can a manufactured downtown hope to survive when it is across the street from a regional mall and within two miles of other malls. She would be very interested in seeing Triangle Developments alternate plan with the DDA and she would like to move forward with that plan immediately and start collecting the tax dollars this City needs. She hopes Council decides soon whether they could support a DDA because we do need to move forward. She would not support this with a DDA.
Member Gatt said he is on record as saying that Novi does not have a downtown and will never have one. We have downtown envy of Plymouth and Northville and Main Street will never achieve that goal. It is a beautiful area and he is not concerned with the hotel or the Beaumont doctors because that is a problem for whoever owns the building. He would like to see the other plan and the finances of that plan. He was not prepared to make a decision for or against the DDA because he doesn’t have all the facts and figures yet and didn’t know how much money the City would lose. If we are only losing tax dollars on the dirt that’s there now he didn’t see the City as losing money and we are not going to gain as much as we could. He liked the direction they have been taking.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that all Triangle Development said was they would like to talk about the possibility of this if the City is interested. Mayor Pro Tem Landry thought the City needed to make a policy decision on whether they want to develop the area as a downtown with dense buildings or just let it develop like West Oaks or the Town Center. If we want it to develop as a downtown we will have to take some risk and are going to have to play a part in this. It is never going to get built unless we relax some ordinances, agree to a DDA or something else. Otherwise, we are going to get a couple of buildings with a big parking lot behind them. He asked Council if they wanted to meet with Triangle Development in a special or regular meeting or did they want to send the committee back with these issues.
Member Lorenzo stated she is not interested in talking about this plan but would like to see the alternate plan that gives the City 100% of the taxes from the property. Her approach would be to ask Mr. Helwig to acquire the alternate plan from the developer and bring it back to Council.
Member Nagy thought a policy decision was needed. She wished Triangle was here when Main Street started to be developed. Their ideas and sketches are excellent and she appreciated a lot of the things they said. However, personally she thought a lot of mistakes were made with Main Street and she was not sure how an old fashioned downtown will work. The report says that people want to park in front of the store and go in or they want an anchor store. Everyone talks about wanting a downtown area but the Northville study indicates that Novi’s malls compete with their businesses. Specialty shops can thrive when the economies good but Birmingham is a traditional downtown and there are changes there too. She didn’t want to put them on the spot about the alternative plan because they might not be interested in developing it. First we should have a policy discussion about DDA and then give Triangle a chance to advise us whether this is something they want to come forward with. She agreed with Member Gatt that it is very difficult to create a false downtown.
Member Capello suggested that Triangle Development be invited to a meeting for a conceptual review of their site plan and what they think the benefits of a DDA are. It makes no sense to discuss a policy for a DDA in the abstract. We need to understand the benefits of a DDA, what the financial impact would be and what the financial benefits would be. We need to talk about this in relation to a specific project and a specific need.
CM-05-04-124 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To invite Triangle Development to attend a City Council meeting within the next 45 days for discussion purposes only and present to Council their downtown Main Street plan.
Member Csordas said he has looked at the project and thought it was very attractive. To look at it as a pseudo downtown he agreed with Member Gatt that it isn’t a downtown and never will be. It is a unique shopping and residential area. He is not convinced that a DDA is good for the City but will look forward to the meeting and attend with an open mind. The City doesn’t need to be in the parking lot business and that concerns him. DDA’s seem to be initiated in cities that are in a downturn or past peak development or are under financial stress. The City of Novi does not own that property and it is going through some development problems and he didn’t want it to become a Novi problem. If that is what DDA’s are for he didn’t think Novi was on the downturn and thought Novi has a tremendous upside up to and past our build out in 15 to 20 years from now. He really liked cooperation between business and local government, it makes good partnerships but being in business with somebody like that is a little disconcerting. Immediately east of this potential project on Grand River Avenue there is a company called Adco that is looking at a very interesting project that could be called a downtown project three blocks down the street.
Mayor Csordas requested clarification regarding Member Paul’s comment about the SAD at Fountain Walk. Mr. Helwig didn’t have any confirmation on that. He said they missed a tax payment but there is a process through the county for recovery and he had not heard anything more about it. He said he would check into it.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-124 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Nagy Nays: Lorenzo, Paul
CITY MANAGER - None
DEPARTMENTAL - None
ATTORNEY - None
Lisa-Ann Smith, 24324 Lynwood Dr. thanked Council for a wonderful Parks and Recreation program and said her children both enjoy the soccer and theater programs. She commended Council for allowing the youth to serve on boards and commissions and for the youth Council. She felt these activities would be good for the children and for the community.
These opportunities will enhance our youth’s education and the community in general. She is also a candidate for the Novi School Board and promised her support if she is elected.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Capello removed Item K to discuss Check #43430. Member Paul removed Items E and H.
CM-05-04-125 Moved by Paul, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-125 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas Nays: None
A. Approve Minutes of: 1. April 4, 2005 – Regular Meeting 2. April 9, 2005 – Special Budget Meeting B. Approval to renew Arcade License for Novi Bowl & Recreation, 21700 Novi Road, with 10 machines. C. Approval to renew Arcade License for Chuck E. Cheese’s, 44275 Twelve Mile Road, D-134, with 54 machines. D. Approval of Massage Business License for Tres Jolie Salon & Spa, located at 39915 Grand River. F. Approval of Resolution for Memorial Day Parade to be held on Monday, May 30, 2005, starting at 10:00 a.m. on Ten Mile Road at Karim Drive proceeding west to the Novi Civic Center. G. Approval of Pebble Ridge Estates Street Name Sign Agreement as requested by the Pebble Ridge Estates Homeowners Association. I. Approval to award bid for Hair Salon Services at Meadowbrook Commons to Debbie Bye, the low bidder, based on unit pricing contingent upon receipt of salon license for the City. J. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2005-9.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of a proposed amendment to the Carlton Properties vs. City of Novi Consent Judgment to allow modification of the previous stipulations for building setback, berm locations and the addition of a conservation easement. The property subject to the consent judgment is located on the north side of Twelve Mile Road between Novi and Dixon Roads and contains 7.217 acres.
Matthew Quinn was present representing the petitioner Shannon Development. Shannon Development has purchased the subject property from Carlton Properties. They are creating a unique condominium/office development in Novi. There will be separate buildings and individuals and companies will be able to buy separate units within the single building as their own instead of renting them. This is very popular in other parts of the country and it is now coming to Michigan. He noted this was all vacant property and the size has been increased because Shannon purchased the edge of the property also and it is now a little over 8.11
acres. Mr. Quinn showed Council where the Carlton Forest Condominiums sit on the property and the frontage on Twelve Mile is all OS-1 and this development fits under that zoning.
Mr. Quinn said under the current consent judgment the rear area was to be maintained as a parking lot with berms on all three sides around it with a 6 ft berm and plantings. What is being proposed on this amendment and has gone through to the site plan process is to keep this entire area as a conservation easement. There will be no disruption of that and no parking lot. It will be totally kept and a draft of the conservation easement has been submitted for this 2.47 acres. The buildings will be on the front section and the conservation easement will be in the rear and will provide protection to the Carlton Forest Condominiums from being able to see through here. The site plan also has an additional 35 foot landscape buffer through the area to give more protection to the Carlton Forest area.
Mr. Quinn said they would voluntarily substitute in the lawsuit as a new defendant. Then the consent judgment would be amended to keep a portion of the existing consent judgment in effect and change the ideas of removing the parking lot and making it a conservation easement and allowing them to proceed with the site plan on the frontage of these parcels. It is a definite improvement to this area and would bring some additional tax base and a new idea to Novi. He said by entering into the conservation easement it is better than using it for a parking lot.
Mayor Csordas asked if the diagram in their packets included the additional property? Mr. Quinn said it did and that was all part of where the condominium development would be.
Mayor Csordas asked Mrs. McBeth, Director of the Planning Department to tell Council about the variances that are needed.
Mrs. McBeth said this is coming before Council because of the request to amend the consent judgment to allow the building to encroach about 20 feet back further than expected. The plan was reviewed and they were holding it up until Council had time to look at it and it had not been sent it to the planning commission yet. Mayor Csordas asked for her opinion. She said they were in favor of the plan as presented and they had worked with the applicant on a few different designs. One of them showed a parking lot in the back and staff was unanimously in favor of the plan that reserved that back area as natural open space.
Mr. Schultz, City Attorney, noted the initial consent judgment has not yet been made so any entry of the order with the circuit court should be conditioned upon receipt of that payment. Mr. Quinn has used our basic form for the conservation easement and we want to make sure that everything is covered in that and it looks generally to be. Beth Kudla from his office would look at it one more time. The final issue is this was noticed tonight for a meeting of the City Council rather than an executive session because Council held a public hearing on this the first time because nothing had ever gone to City Council. It was Mr. Fisher’s recommendation because it is in the nature of a rezoning and should be held. Even though it was not on the public hearing portion of this meeting he thought it would be appropriate to ask if there are members of the public who would like to comment.
Mayor Csordas asked what payment he was referring to. Mr. Schultz said in the original consent judgment, along Twelve Mile it was in the SAD 155 and there was a payment to
Carleton Properties of around $57,000. Mayor Csordas asked if this was for the R.O.W. and Mr. Schultz said yes. Mr. Schultz said part of the judgment was that that amount shall be paid to the City as the overall consideration. There was general discussion about what that money related to but it was to be returned. He thought the delay results from the fact that it was not to be returned until there was a change in the zoning map which lagged a little bit. He thought they just needed to seal that open issue. Mayor Csordas asked if there was a check sitting there and Mr. Schultz said he didn’t know but the way he is reading the consent judgment it is binding upon Carleton and there successors.
Mr. Quinn said Carleton is responsible for the payment and the draft of the consent judgment maintained that they would continue to be responsible. This has been developing the last few days and Kevin Kohls was the attorney that represented Carleton Properties. He spoke with Mr. Kohls today and said that his client has been looking through all their paper work over the last three years to find a check and he thought the City was trying to find the check also. Mr. Kohls said perhaps the reason his client never sent the check was because his client made a claim to the City for something in excess of $30,000 for damage done to their landscaping along Twelve Mile Road during the construction and they would be looking for a setoff. Mr. Quinn agreed with Mr. Schultz and would like Council to approve the adoption of it contingent upon payment of the funds. Then the planning department can start moving ahead and that will give everyone time to work out the economics of it all.
Member Lorenzo asked if Shannon Development would be willing to, in the 35 foot buffer they are proposing, put some more mature specimens in there as opposed to the typical twigs we would anticipate otherwise? Mr. Quinn believed they have a landscape plan worked out with Mr. Shipman already and it calls for some 8 to 10 foot evergreens in addition to the maintaining of the current vegetation that would be in the conservation easement
CM-05-04-126 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the proposed amendment to the Carlton Properties subject to the outstanding payment to the City being made prior to the amendment to the consent judgment entered in court and subject to landscaping that is significant and substantial to provide opacity screening to the residents. DISCUSSION
Member Capello said for clarification that’s receipt of $57,094 without offset correct. Member Lorenzo said that’s correct.
Mr. Schultz reminded Council of the public hearing.
Member Paul asked if Council wanted to put SAD 155 for road improvements in that motion since it is part of what they are paying. Mr. Schultz said no.
Mayor Csordas called and closed a public hearing with no response from the public.
Member Paul asked if it was possible to hold a public hearing without notification.
Mr. Schultz said the public hearing was noticed it just did not appear on the agenda.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-126 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas Nays: None
2. Approval of the request of Mike Kozlowski for approval of a Final Site Plan for Sharrak Gas and Convenience Center at the southeast corner of Thirteen Mile and Novi Roads subject to the comments being addressed in staff and consultant review letters at the next submittal. The subject property is 1.512 acres of the "Remaining PUD Property" referenced as part of the Sandstone Consent Judgment executed June 26, 2002. The applicant is proposing a gas station and convenience center with office space, consistent with the approved area plan from the Vistas PUD.
Mike Kozlowski from CED Architects spoke and Brian Sharrak from Sharrak Enterprises was present. Mr. Sharrak purchased the property from Sandstone so the sale portion of this is closed and Council would only be dealing with Mr. Sharrak with regard to the actual site plan approval.
Mr. Kozlowski commented Barb McBeth, Darcy Schmitt and the planning staff have been extremely patient and he is very happy with how they have helped him through this process. He noted they are presenting a gas station and it is the use that was specified in the consent judgment for that parcel. He said tthey are presenting one that the residents, Mr. Sharrak and he would be proud of when complete. It is outside the Town Center area but they felt that capturing the copper roof and the brick detailing of the building would be appropriate because it is an identifying characteristic here in Novi. Mr. Kozlowski said they have gone over the top regarding the architectural treatment of this building. It is substantial, larger, taller and with elaborate treatment to the columns on the canopy and treatment to the canopy. The building as shown in the agenda is intended for the commercial use of selling gas and has a convenience store. It also has offices on the mezzanine level inside the building which are intended to be the headquarters for Mr. Sharrak’s business.
Mr. Kozlowski noted that they recognized that the site plan has three actual deficiencies that require some relief in order to approve it as it is shown. They are a slight reduction of the landscape buffer at the south end of the lot, a deficiency of two cars on the stacking lane entering the carwash and two drying spaces that would normally be required as you exit carwash, which are not shown. The reason for not having the exiting spaces is that the way the circulation is on this site there are no actual driveways into the site as they come in off the adjacent parcel. He said they have shown a circulating isle where the entrance comes in off Novi Road travels down along the south side of the site and then heads north toward Thirteen Mile Road. The entrances to the site are off that circulation drive which will become part of Sandstone’s development also. It is closest to Thirteen Mile where you enter the site in order to keep traffic coming off of Thirteen Mile and making a full turn into the site before they move into the circulation path. The driveway entrance is moved south at the direction of the traffic consultant and Mr. Kozlowski said that was what eliminated their drying spaces. Drying spaces are there so cars can shake water off before they get to the road and there is ample space for that to happen on the site because you have to travel approximately 100 ft before you’re off the site.
He said the deficiency at the stack up for the entrance part of the wash is caused by the circulation that they have by entering off the adjacent parcels. If two more stacking spaces are added it would back up into the entrance lane running parallel to Novi Road.
It is an automatic car wash and runs quickly and is not intended to be a Jax style operation where people are washing cars off and drying them. It is an automatic system where you drive up, push the coin box and drive through so the stack up at a wash of this style typically wouldn’t get outside of those seven cars.
He commented they have landscaped the site fantastically and Mr. Shipman has made sure that he provided a lot of plant material at this site. There is extensive buffering and because of the grade change along Novi Road there is a decorative retaining wall and landscaping on top of that. Along that south edge they ran out of land and would have to move the property line to get that extra five feet and could still do that if they absolutely had to. However, he thought with the 15 feet that is provided along with the fact that there is buffering against a drive isle makes it something that is palatable at least.
Mr. Kozlowski said there are some technical issues that need to be resolved for the engineering staff and they are happy to comply with all of those issues. Primarily they relate to clarifying the exact description of the grant of R.O.W. to the City and the county for Thirteen Mile Road and the establishment of the exact material and sizes of the storm water detention system and some of the utilities. None of these things would change the overall layout of the site.
Mayor Csordas noted there was a recommendation from Mrs. McBeth. Mrs. McBeth said they had worked on several rounds of reviews on these plans. There were plans that seemed to meet the requirements for the stacking spaces before and after the carwash but they seemed to sacrifice some of the traffic safety issues. The staff felt it was time to bring this to Council to see if Council could support the waiver of the two stacking spaces as you are entering the carwash and the one and a half spaces as you exit the carwash. The other deficiency is on the south side of the property for the landscape buffer area and it is deficient four feet in that area although it is heavily landscaped. The planning department is ready to support those waivers if the Council sees fit to do that. The other option was to eliminate the carwash from the site and that is indicated in the response letter they provided to Council. The planning department is in support of the plan and felt they had worked out most of the problems but these three problems remain.
Member Paul asked for clarification on Item #4 under Engineering Review. She said they had made a comment that the additional R.O.W. would be dedicated to the City to eliminate need for easements along Thirteen Mile Road. Member Paul asked Is this on Thirteen Mile Road on your whole entire site and your offering this to the City as freewill? Mr. Kozlowski replied yes. She asked what the R.O.W. length and width was? He wasn’t sure but said it was between 20 and 30 feet wide and is the full length of their corner parcel along Thirteen Mile Road but does not include the remainder of the Sandstone parcel.
Member Paul asked for numbers to insert in the motion. Mrs. McBeth said the property is 222 feet wide approximately along Thirteen Mile Road and it looked like the City would already retain the 33 foot statutory R.O.W. so an additional 27 feet would provide the 60 foot half R.O.W. needed.
Member Paul commented she appreciated the comments on matching the masonry to the main building and the fact that they were trying to come up with additional screening to enhance the property. However, she was concerned about the stacking by the proposed carwash. She has sat in carwashes of this nature and been in the roadway because of the lineup. She didn’t wish to comply with the carwash because they are two spaces short on the entrance and one and a half stacking spaces on the exit. It is a concern to her because of the safety of the residents and she appreciated their willingness to eliminate the carwash.
CM-05-04-127 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the gas station, convenience store modeling, eliminate the car wash due to the lack of compliance with stacking and increase the building size to 5,500 sq. ft. Also the applicant stated in the March 24, 2005 letter to Barbara McBeth that they would leave the car wash off if the City Council desires. Add the landscaping buffer to the southern boundary to meet the ordinance to provide the proper buffer on their site. The berm on Thirteen Mile would include a retaining wall on portions of these frontages with specified elevations of the planning department/landscaping review. Adjust the placement of the trees to insure proper landscaping according to the landscaping review. The dumpster to be enclosed with brick that matches the current building and Council would accept the applicants offer for the full R.O.W. along Thirteen Mile Road, 222 feet long and width of 27 feet plus the 33 feet existent. Approval is subject to all consultants recommendations.
Member Lorenzo said she would second the motion if it was alright with the developer.
Mr. Kozlowski said if they eliminate the carwash they would add the square footage to the building so it would be a total of 5,500 square feet but it would eliminate all three needed variances. He was agreeable.
Member Capello said it looked like they did a nice job of landscaping along the entire site and then all of a sudden in the area on the north side of the property along Thirteen Mile Road there was no landscaping. Mr. Kozlowski said Mr. Shipman’s last comment was to spread the shrubs out through there and give more consistent shrub coverage through that area and they will make the change. Member Capello said that would be the area where most of the traffic is going to see the cars pumping gas. Mr. Kozlowski said that’s true but there is a grade change of about five feet between the safety path and the station elevation and there is a retaining wall so the cars will be looking at that.
Mr. Capello asked if the wall would be on the road side. Mr. Kozlowski said it would be on the gas station side of the sidewalk. Member Capello said then you won’t see the retaining wall when pumping gas. He said no. Member Capello said on the west side there is quite a bit of landscaping but seemed to be a large area between landscaping and the edge of the road. He said the easiest way for Mr. Kozlowski to identify it is it says 12 inch water main. Mr. Kozlowski said it is R.O.W. property that they can’t landscape but it is grass now and will remain that way. Member Capello said the irrigation plan didn’t show that he would be sprinkling that and asked if it was his intent to water it. Mr. Kozlowski said if that is the system that is typically installed in Novi they would comply with the normal situation but he didn’t normally do that. Member Capello said the north elevation threw him off as it was the north elevation of the building without seeing the canopy for the gas pumps. This rendering is really the elevation? Mr. Kozlowski said yes, it shows the canopy and the exact relationship between the building, the pumps and the canopy. Member Capello commented he thought he did a nice job and it would be one of the nicest in the City.
Member Lorenzo wanted to clarify with the maker of the motion that it included subject to all the consultants recommendations. Member Paul said yes and Member Lorenzo concurred.
Mr. Schultz said the proponent indicating that he was fine with removing the carwash followed up with he would increase the size of the office portion and asked if Council was all right with not having that come back and having it administratively reviewed. Mayor Csordas said he heard him say that and didn’t think he needed to come back.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-127 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry Nays: None
3. Consideration of request from NBBJ, architectural and planning consultant for Providence Hospital for a variance of Section 11-276(b) and Figure VIII-C of the Design and Construction Standards requiring pedestrian safety paths along the internal collector street system frontage for the Providence Hospital site, as the applicant has proposed an internal pedestrian circulation plan.
CM-05-04-128 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To consideration of request from NBBJ, architectural and planning consultant for Providence Hospital for a variance of Section 11- 276(b) and Figure VIII-C of the Design and Construction Standards requiring pedestrian safety paths along the internal collector street system frontage for the Providence Hospital site, as the applicant has proposed an internal pedestrian circulation plan. Subject to the conditions of the letter dated April 13, 2005 from White Hall Real Estate.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-128 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello Nays: None
4. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-120.08 to amend Chapter 20, “Massage,” Article II, “Business License,” Section 20-27, “Application,” to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department; to amend Chapter 20, “Massage,” Article II, “Business License,” Section 20-28, “Facilities Required,” to delete that part of subsection (7) requiring that all doors and doorway coverings within a massage establishment to have an unobstructed window; and to amend Chapter 20, “Massage,” Article III, “Massage Therapist Permit,” Section 20-52, “Application,” to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department. Second Reading
CM-05-04-129 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-120.08 to amend Chapter 20, “Massage,” Article II, “Business License,” Section 20-27, Application,” to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department; to amend Chapter 20, “Massage,” Article II, “Business License,” Section 20-28, “Facilities Required,” to delete that part of subsection (7) requiring that all doors and doorway coverings within a massage establishment to have an unobstructed window; and to amend Chapter 20, “Massage,” Article III, “Massage Therapist Permit,” Section 20-52, Application,” to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department. Second Reading
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-129 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt Nays: None
5. Consideration of Ordinance No. 05-157.02, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 31, relating to work within City rights-of-way and the posting of appropriate financial guarantees during construction. Second Reading
CM-05-04-130 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 05-157.02, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 31, relating to work within City rights-of-way and the posting of appropriate financial guarantees during construction. Second Reading
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-130 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo Nays: None
Mayor Csordas called Mr. Bruce Heckman to the podium for a special announcement.
Bruce Heckman, Vice President of the Taubman Company, Dan Jones, General Manager of Twelve Oaks Mall and John Agar, Budget Manager from the Taubman Corporate Office were present. Mr. Heckman advised there would be a couple of exciting press releases about Twelve Oaks Mall released tomorrow morning. The first would announce that Marshall Fields is going to both expand and remodel its store so that the Novi store will be second to none. Another will announce that Nordstrom has decided to locate its second store in Michigan at Twelve Oaks Mall. These decisions by Nordstrom are not taken lightly and it is a significant development. He said they would also be making a small addition to Twelve Oaks Mall adjacent to Nordstrom to allow the addition of some complimentary stores. Twelve Oaks was always designed to accommodate an expansion of this type because part of Taubman’s careful planning is to design its malls to allow for the opportunity to capture the right new anchor store when the market is ready. Mr. Heckman said they had worked with the City of Novi to be sure the adjacent road work, road network and other facilities are adequate to handle this planned growth. It’s been a great partnership with the City. Novi will get the benefit of the expanded tax base and the regional image and Twelve Oaks can retain its position as one of the premiere shopping centers in the Detroit metropolitan area. Mr. Heckman said they were looking forward to working with the staff and commissions to insure a smooth process. He anticipated starting construction of these stores in the spring of 2006 with an opening in the fall of 2007. He thanked Council for the opportunity to continue their partnership with the City.
Mayor Csordas commented that Council appreciates that they presented this tonight and wanted to thank him and Taubman Company for all they have done for the City of Novi; most recently for underwriting the cost of closing the gap on Twelve Mile Road. Mayor Csordas said the Taubman Company is an excellent corporate citizen.
Council took a break at 8:36 P.M. Council reconvened at 8:56 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
6. Approval of the Parks and Recreation Facilities Naming Rights policy and the Event and Recreation Program Sponsorship policy.
CM-05-04-131 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Parks and Recreation Facilities Naming Rights policy and the Event and Recreation Program Sponsorship policy. Also the following changes would be made: under definition “Facilities” brick pavers and decorative walls will be included. Second page #4, will specify that the cost of the change of the sign will be billed to the company. Item #10, “naming rights may be renewed with the purchaser and City Council by way of mutual agreement”. Item
#11 for Termination Rights there’s an A but no B as it was put as a bullet instead of a letter. Under Process change “the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry or his/her designee shall solicit” to “the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry or his/her designee (employee of the City)” also delete on the first page, under definition, paragraph that says exclusions, the first sentence, “Any exception to this policy will require the consideration and approval of City Council”.
Mr. Klaver advised Council that the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission unanimously recommended Council’s adoption of this. He spoke with Member Lorenzo earlier and she asked that we consider one deletion on the first page, under definition, paragraph that says exclusions, to eliminate the first sentence that reads “any exception to this policy will require the consideration and approval of City Council”. He and Mr. Auler discussed this and found no problem deleting that sentence.
Member Paul wanted to add a few items. Under definition “Facilities” a lot of times there are brick pavers and decorative walls people use and asked if that could be included in this area. On the second page #4, she wanted it specified that the cost of the change of the sign would be billed to the company. Item #5, second sentence says in “general the following industries and products are not eligible for naming rights”. She wanted to delete “in general” and insert “the following industries and products are not eligible for naming rights”. Under Item #10, “naming rights may be renewed with the purchaser and City Council by way of mutual agreement”. Member Paul said Item #11 for Termination Rights there’s an A but no B as it was put as a bullet instead of a letter. Under Process it says “the director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry or his/her designee shall solicit” and she wondered if designee had to be spelled out to be an employee or any designee of Parks and Recreation or foundation.
Member Paul asked if the maker of the motion would be amenable to adding the above suggestions. Member Lorenzo said she would be agreeable and assumed that a “designee” would be an employee of the City. As seconder of the motion, Member Nagy agreed.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that if the words “in general” are deleted then you are limited to those uses. By including the words “in general” it allows you to go beyond those specific uses. If “in general” is included a Council could point to language so anything like this Council would have the right to exclude.
Member Paul said her understanding was that these were the areas they were totally eliminating, political organization, companies whose businesses substantially thrive from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography, gambling and lewd or lascivious behavior. She did not want any of those items and her intention was not to have alcohol related items. Therefore, her intent was that there was no “in general” and those items would not be there.
Member Lorenzo asked if Mayor Pro Tem Landry was trying to state that if there were
additional industries in the future that Council didn’t want to be eligible that would eliminate them. Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed and Member Lorenzo then agreed to leave the “in general” in because something may come up that the Council wants to deny and if Council said just these as listed above then Council wouldn’t have the ability to do that. Member Paul appreciated the clarification and understood. Member Lorenzo noted she would like to include in the motion the taking out the exception to this policy for the same reason. She is concerned that when there is any exception to this policy it could give the impression that Council is willing to make exceptions to the policy in some other manner. The only exceptions that Mr. Auler and Mr. Klaver were intending were for the categories of facilities eligible which would obviously be a Council decision. Member Lorenzo asked that Council consider one deletion on the first page, under definition, paragraph that says exclusions, the first sentence, “Any exception to this policy will require the consideration and approval of City Council”. She asked that the first sentence be deleted so the policy is not misconstrued in the future.
Member Lorenzo commended Mr. Auler and Mr. Klaver for a good job on the revisions. She also acknowledged the Parks and Recreation Commission for their fine work in giving Council a firm foundation.
Roll Call vote on CM-05-04-131 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy Nays: None
7. Approval to award a contract for Design and Construction Engineering Services for the Lanny’s Relief Sanitary Sewer Project to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber, Inc. for a not-to-exceed design fee of $82,830 and a construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 4.44% of construction cost (estimated to be $68,380) for an estimated total of $151,210.
CM-05-04-132 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award a contract for Design and Construction Engineering Services for the Lanny’s Relief Sanitary Sewer Project to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber, Inc. for a not-to-exceed design fee of
$82,830 and a construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 4.44% of construction cost (estimated to be $68,380) for an estimated total of $151,210.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-132 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul Nays: None
8. Approval of resolution to amend the Building Department fee schedule effective July 1, 2005.
CM-05-04-133 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve resolution to amend the Building Department fee schedule effective July 1, 2005.
Mr. Schultz added a reference to the State Construction Code in the resolution along with the Home Rule Cities Act. Mayor Csordas advised Mr. Schultz to do what he thought was appropriate.
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-133 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas Nays: None
9. Consideration of Ordinance No. 05-148.01, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 7, relating to digital imaging for as-built documentation of private and commercial development. First Reading
CM-05-04-134 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To consider Ordinance No. 05-148.01, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 7, relating to digital imaging for as-built documentation of private and commercial development. First Reading
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-134 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry Nays: None
10. Reconsideration of Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-100.34 to amend Chapter 28, “Signs”, relating to non-commercial message signs (Election and Political Signs).
CM-05-04-135 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To reconsider Council’s decision relative to Novi Code of Ordinances 05-100.34 to amend Chapter 28, “Signs”, relating to non-commercial message signs. (Election and Political Signs).
Vote not taken
Member Capello commented he would like to make a motion to reconsider Council’s decision at the last meeting relative to the ordinance to propose a couple of amendments to that ordinance. The impact of this puts certain individuals that are running for office at a disadvantage to run for office, particularly those who are new to the community or not familiar with property owners or businesses because it limits the political signs they can put out. He understood that some residents didn’t like 30 days before the election because of unsightly signs on the streets but it is part of the political process. Those that are running for political office are putting a lot more out there than just signs. They are putting their names, credibility, families, money and a lot of time and effort and it is very little for the community to put up with signs out of the R.O.W. for 30 days before the elections.
He is proposing that it is allowed to put signs out in the public R.O.W. as we have always done in the past with the addition of the signs on private property. He was sure the City Attorney would have comments regarding this.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed with Member Capello and thought the idea behind changing the sign ordinance was that the ACLU was challenging municipal ordinances under the First Amendment. The challenge was that political speech, non-commercial, was being more restrictive then commercial and you can’t do that under the First Amendment. Non-commercial speech cannot be more restrictive because in America we want to foster political speech, opinion speech or rail against the government if you want because that is what we are all about. If you allow “For Sale” signs in a certain location and size you also have to allow non-commercial, i.e. political signs to be of the same size and in the same location. It appears that what we were presented with was altering our ordinances to make commercial and non-commercial signs the same to withstand a challenge, which is the thing to do. However, what has been done in the process is by not allowing political signs in the public R.O.W. we have made it more difficult for political candidates. By not allowing political signs in the public R.O.W. you are favoring incumbents and those people that know property owners. Now it becomes a question of who you know. If you are a nobody and you decide to run for City Council you have to know someone to put your sign up. If signs are allowed in the public R.O.W. there is equal footing for everybody. He said with what was passed two weeks ago it becomes a matter of who you know and he agreed with Member Capello. If political signs were allowed in the R.O.W. that would be granting non-commercial speech a little more than commercial speech. He thought this would withstand a First Amendment challenge because we are not being more restrictive than non-commercial but are doing exactly the opposite.
Mr. Tom Schultz agreed that the question to allow non-commercial signs in the R.O.W. is a policy question for Council. They checked to make sure other cities have the same restrictions but it is a policy decision. It makes non-commercial speech easier than commercial. The two issues are first there is no 30 day limit because the Federal Courts are not permitting the City to regulate that. So the signs in the R.O.W. could relate to non-commercial messages and are most likely to be election oriented but could be other issues as well. The second is the limitation on the number of signs that can be placed is also removed from the ordinance another issue that the Federal District Courts ruled on during the last round before the national elections. In making the policy determination, Council needs to know there isn’t going to be a limit on the timing or number of signs. If you want 20 signs for your candidate that can happen because that is an issue the District Court ruled on in favor of the property owner. Those are the two main things Council needed to know about.
Some communities also look to the public safety aspect. Council has already said it will not apply to this May 3, 2005 election, but it could be discussed further. If they are allowed in the R.O.W. maybe they could be regulated more and maybe a time frame could be enforced. Mr. Schultz said Council could go ahead with the reconsideration or think about it a little more with those two main issues in mind.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said if he understood it Mr. Schultz was saying although everyone is looking at this as a political sign during election time there are other signs
that could be left out all year. It could be “Let’s get out of Iraq” which would be a political sign and under the First Amendment people have a right to do that. He suggested either allowing Mr. Schultz to look at it further and do a little research into other communities. We know the courts aren’t agreeing to 30 days so is there some other time limit. Or, let’s allow them in the R.O.W. and see what happens and look at this in another year and see if anyone does put up non-commercial signs. He would rather error on the side of free speech. Mr. Schultz stated they are done looking at the timing and didn’t think it could be imposed and they are done looking at the limit on the number of signs. He said they would look into it more if Council wanted but what they proposed is what they think can work. Mr. Schultz said they could look into if it is the city R.O.W. they might have a little more regulatory authority if we can put them all together. He said it is a limited narrow question if we can prohibit them in our R.O.W. can we permit them with minor regulations and he would look into that if Council wished.
Member Nagy thought ordinances from other communities should be reviewed. Mr. Schultz said they checked several cities and for the most part the R.O.W does not permit signs political or otherwise. Member Nagy commented that since the courts are having no limitations on the number of days or number of signs or timing she was concerned about offensive signs being put up such as one she saw in a subdivision pertaining to gay people. She noted that most people don’t want to let everyone know who they favor for a candidate. Member Nagy preferred to stay with the ordinance as it stands and didn’t think it was unfair to new people.
Member Lorenzo commented she wanted to maintain the ordinance as it was adopted. She felt Incumbents will have more financial support compared with new candidates and therefore if you have more money you can buy more signs. Her concern is there might be 30 signs for an incumbent and the new person could have one or two because it is all they could afford. Her concern is there could be an unlimited number of signs for an unlimited number of days. She questioned whether there would be any concern of further challenges if we allow non-commercial where commercial is not allowed.
Mr. Schultz said the Supreme Court has been consistent on free speech issues that commercial speech is entitled to a little less deference by the community. He thought there was a rational basis to distinguish between the two as long as it’s not in favor of the commercial speech. There is a tendency if it is something that favors non-commercial speech the courts will generally accept that as long as the difference is reasonable. Member Lorenzo noted it’s not all our R.O.W so the City of Novi has no right making any policy decision on what Oakland County owns. She thought if this is changed they will have to include the language of “City owned R.O.W.”
Mr. Schultz said that was an interesting comment and they did check with Oakland County and they don’t regulate signs within their R.O.W. they leave it to the communities. He thought Council would have the ability to regulate and say they couldn’t be in the county R.O.W. Member Lorenzo said she was talking about allowing it. Mr. Schultz thought it would be permissible. Member Lorenzo questioned how it had become any different than private property. If you have to ask a private property owner permission what makes us think that we can control this county owned R.O.W.? Mr. Schultz said it is typical and the cities that say you can’t do it are making the same presumption. Member Lorenzo felt that the candidates would need to receive
permission from Oakland County to put their signs on their property. She said by virtue of the unlimited amount of signs and days she could not support the reconsideration.
Member Gatt stated he has no problem tabling this matter and allowing Mr. Schultz to do the research. This is a very unique City and most cities would like to be like Novi and for many years we have had political signs in the R.O.W. They have been a nuisance and they are ugly but they haven’t caused any accidents and he didn’t think it was a safety issue. He would be disappointed there were no elections signs up and thought it was a sign of the political season. It’s more than just the signs, it’s the time, effort and commitment and everything that goes with it. He wouldn’t have a problem revisiting this in a year or so. Most people won’t put 30 signs up and if they do they won’t last anyway.
Member Paul stated no 30 day limit with non-commercial speech and no limitation of the size is a concern. We are increasing the size to 16 square feet and if that is on the corner in the R.O.W. it will impair your view and if it is on Ten Mile and someone was hit she would be sickened. She felt that areas that are not our R.O.W. are a real challenge. She asked if the sign ordinance would head off any legal challenge.
Mr. Schultz was not sure how to respond to that question. We did the City like a number of cities that had time and size limitations unlike Farmington Hills that has neither of those got the letter from the ACLU that was part of their program to push to get ordinances either not enforced during that national election campaign or changed before it. He said that motivated this Council to direct their office to look at the sign ordinance in light of the cases that came down. What is in front of Council is a proposal to deal with what the Federal District Courts and commentators did with those kinds of challenges. He wouldn’t promise it would fix everything but it is a general potential solution.
Member Paul noted she appreciated any time Mr. Schultz led Council in a direction to avoid a lawsuit. She felt that if we throw an ordinance away that might avoid a lawsuit we are playing with fire. We know how much legal costs are and she didn’t want to be challenged by the ACLU. She wanted to make it clear that as a person running for office and new to the City she had no business support and was able to put 800 signs in yards. She asked Mr. Helwig to comment on staff time in removing signs.
Mr. Helwig said it is real regardless of the type of sign inappropriately placed. It is a real issue and we seek to enforce it and make it a priority during that season. Member Paul was very concerned that since there will be no timing of signs and 30 signs from one candidate could be in the R.O.W. that it would require a lot more time of our staff. She asked how many ordinance officers there were. Mr. Helwig said there were three and Ms. Uglow would also help. He encouraged Council to get any additional information that Mr. Schultz can provide if they want to reconsider so that they know what they are enforcing and what the legal ramifications are. Mr. Helwig said ver the long haul this is a very significant policy question to debate.
Member Paul noted the cities around Novi have been challenged and we have been proactive. She wanted to stay in the proactive mode to avoid a lawsuit. She felt that Council would make a mistake saying they would decrease the manpower or look at situations where we don’t hire anymore people and accrue more costs. How are they
ever going to do ordinance enforcement if we are going to say signs can be put out for six months or longer and 30 signs are up for one candidate. She felt that was a lot to ask. Lastly, we recently amended the sign ordinance for commercial signs to only have 15% in a window and now the ordinance officers will have a difficult time trying to maintain that, measure commercial signs and enforce the ordinance. We are making their job more difficult with less people. They don’t even have computers in their cars to communicate back and forth so they have to come back into the City. They don’t have the basic tools and now we are going to ask them to do five times more. She would not be in support of having this not go through, it is our mistake and we are making our City look trashy.
Member Capello asked them to remember that they are only removing illegal signs and not all of them so it shouldn’t be any different than it was before. Also, we are not going to face a lawsuit until such time as we go out and remove or ticket someone for putting a sign up. It is something that can be determined when we reach that event; it does not have to be determined now. By passing the ordinance with his suggested changes it would not walk the City directly into a lawsuit by amending the ordinance.
He asked if what they approved under Section 15, Sub B Sub 2, the language says” Non-commercial message signs that pertain to a specific event shall be removed no later then 30 days after the date of the pertinent event”. He asked why they can regulate when signs come down but not when they go up?
Mr. Schultz said the answer is because there has not been a case that says we can’t regulate when they come down. The challenge was and will most likely be before the event and what the district courts found was there was no actual time limit when people start to think about and make up their mind who they are going to vote for. Once the event is over it would be reasonable to say it is just clutter because the event is over. He said the hope is that it is not challenged because it is not as relevant to the person that might challenge it.
Member Capello said his suggested change is to go down to what is now 15, Sub Section B, 1D and delete that in its entirety and add a new 15, Sub Section D which would read “may be placed in the public R.O.W. no longer then 30 days preceding an election or an event. In such event the sign shall be placed no less then 10 feet from the traveled portion of any public street or road for purposes of this regulation the traveled portion of the road includes any road shoulder.” Now in Sub Sections 3 and 4 of Sub Section D, shall not obstruct the vision of drivers and shall not obstruct or detract from the visibility of any traffic sign or traffic control device. He is limiting to 30 days, keeping it out of the public R.O.W. for safety purposes as we have in the past, making it easier for enforcement officers and would also like to move the removal time back to 5 days for all the signs.
Mr. Schultz said they were going to bring back an amendment to clear up the fact that a house for rent and sale signs have 30 days.
Member Capello said try it until the end of 2005 and see if it works and if needed readdress it.
Mayor Csordas commented that he did read and understand the ordinance and that was why he supported it. He would not support reconsideration but would support Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s request to have Mr. Schultz look at it and come back with the things that are a concern to Member Capello and others. He said he very much understood the ramification of it and his concern was not so much with the political signs but the other stuff that we lose control of.
Member Lorenzo made a motion to postpone.
Mr. Schultz said the motion to reconsider has precedence.
Member Capello said with a motion to postpone would he lose the right to reconsider. Mr. Schultz said he would lose the right to reconsider and it would have to come back as a separate agenda item or perhaps along with the change from 30 days to 10 or 5. Member Capello didn’t mind postponing but then they would lose the motion to reconsider. He said they needed to pass the motion to reconsider first and then table it and send it to Mr. Schultz. Mr. Schultz said the motion to postpone is a subsidiary motion and the motion to reconsider would be voted on. Member Capello asked if once the motion is raised can they postpone the decision on the motion to reconsider until a future time. Mr. Schultz said once the Council rules have been met the maker of the motion would defer to the postponement.
CM-05-04-136 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the reconsideration of Council’s decision relative to Novi Code of Ordinances 05-100.34 to amend Chapter 28, “Signs”, relating to non-commercial message signs. (Election and Political Signs).
Roll call vote on CM-05-04-136 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello Nays: None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: Consent Agenda items which have been removed for discussion and/or action.
E. Approval to award bid for Vermeer SC 602A stump grinder to Vermeer of Michigan, Inc., the lowest qualified bidder, in the amount of $23,734. – Paul
Member Paul said initially the cost from Parks and Recreation was $25,000 and she wanted to know if the difference was automatically returned to the general fund. Mr. Helwig said that was in a budget amendment so it would go back to fund balance.
CM-05-04-137 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIOUSLY: To Approve to award bid for Vermeer SC 602A stump grinder to Vermeer of Michigan, Inc., the lowest qualified bidder, in the amount of $23,734.
Passed by voice vote.
H. Approval to award bid for landscaping and lawn maintenance at Meadowbrook Commons to Artistic Outdoor Services, Inc., for an estimated annual amount of $26,750, as recommended by Midwest Management. - Paul
Member Paul spoke with Mr. Checki and he was very concerned about the lawn and trees being fertilized last year. He said there were a lot of times when this site was not as attractive as it could be. He asked if the number of times it was fertilized last year could be increased by one. Council made a special recommendation to do five fertilizations instead of four. She asked how many times the lawn and trees would be fertilized? Mr. Klaver said the lawn receives four fertilizations and two of those are lawn and weed control and the trees are fertilized once in the fall and once in the spring. She asked if this had been done in the last five years at Meadowbrook Commons? Mr. Klaver said yes, and that has been our standard in the past. She asked if the landscaping would be looked at in that area because Mr. Checki’s mother lives in the back area and he said the landscaping was less then desirable in that area and that it was dying. She asked if they had looked at the landscaping in the areas and in the common grounds and how does it look? Mr. Klaver said they had and they have had a couple of programs where they had done replacements and they would look at it again this year. She asked that he report back at a future meeting.
CM-05-04-138 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve award of bid for landscaping and lawn maintenance At Meadowbrook Commons to Artistic Outdoor Services, Inc., for an Estimated annual amount of $26,750, as recommended by Midwest Management.
Member Nagy asked if Meadowbrook Commons had irrigation? Mr. Klaver said it did and last year a well system was added so they could irrigate at a lower cost more frequently.
Member Capello said there was bed weed control and asked if mulching was included in that or was it something that needed to be done. Mrs. Smith-Roy advised that the mulching was on an as needed basis and it is included in the estimated pricing. He didn’t understand if “Professional Grounds Maintenance” was a part of the contract or not. She said it was their submittal. He said that would be the line item and she agreed. He said it was $13,500 for mulch and Mrs. Smith-Roy said they didn’t anticipate needing that this year as most of it can be turned over. They anticipated putting some of it in and it was calculated in the estimated amounts that Midwest brought forward.
Passed by voice vote
K. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 695 – Capello
Member Capello noted his question had been answered regarding Check # 43430.
CM-05-04-139 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Claims And Accounts – Warrant No. 695.
Passed by voice vote
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision – Landry
MAYOR & COUNCIL ISSUES
1. .Meadowbrook Lake Sub – Mayor Pro Tem Landry
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked that Chief Shaeffer explain what is being done with respect to the traffic regarding the Meadowbrook Bridge. Mr. Helwig advised Council that Chief Shaeffer met with the homeowners leadership group in their home last week and shared with them enforcement that is occurring and what police can and cannot do. He was told it was a very productive meeting.
Chief Shaeffer reported the Police Department is very concerned about the closing of Meadowbrook Road at the bridge from the public safety component and also for the concerns we knew we were causing to their neighborhood and businesses. They immediately launched themselves into a very ridged enforcement program with their black and white cars in that area and appropriate signs in the area. They attempted to dissuade people from using local neighborhoods as a means of getting around the closed bridge and referred people to alternative routes such as Haggerty Road and Taft Road. The patrol cars were dispatched and traffic was discouraged in the subdivision and encouraged to use Taft Road. Officers were permanently assigned in the area and at both sides of the bridge. Several citations were written for speeders in the neighborhood. They met with homeowner’s associations where 10 people were present and they discussed the methods used for enforcement. Chief Shaeffer said they have followed through and they used the trailer and marked Police cars within the neighborhood especially during rush hour times.
Member Paul appreciated all the Police Department has done and they’ve done a very good job. She asked about the large trucks using the neighborhood to go around to Ten Mile Road and asked if there could be a weight limit posted or “No Trucks” to force them to use Haggerty or Novi Road.
Mr. Schultz stated they could review this and had already done some review on the police department’s authority to impose some regulations. Member Paul asked if there could be a temporary suspension of the ordinances that they would not be able to use that road except for local traffic and found that it was not possible. She is concerned about safety during rush hour for children and also for not spending more money on re-paving roads because of weight limits. She asked that they look into a truck limitation and report back to Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted there is an officer whose specific job is to check weights of vehicles. He assumed that person would be available to look at this question. Member Paul asked if there was a weight limit on neighborhood roads and are they differentiated between neighborhood roads and the construction of the base vs. the major thoroughfares. Mr. McCusker said they do have an assigned truck route and
Meadowbrook Road is not a part of it and never has been. We do limit certain size axles and weights in certain areas. The problem they have is the local delivery services, Art Van, garbage trucks, and delivery trucks that have to deliver in those neighborhoods are probably what people are seeing. Truck routes are Haggerty Road to Nine Mile and in from Novi Road from Nine Mile and back to Eight and then up to Grand River. Member Paul asked about weighing trucks. Mr. McCusker said most garbage trucks will pay the fine and continue their jobs. Member Capello asked if they could have an ordinance that if someone violated the ordinance more then three times in a period of time we would revoke their license to try to control it. Mr. Schultz said they could look into that but it was not something that they regulate at the local level but he would report back. He wasn’t sure there was any specific pre-emption for neighborhood streets but might be more of a practical consideration of how to enforce in a fair manner. He would report back along with the other inquiries. M
2. Signs at Novi and Grand River - Capello
Member Capello noted that the carpet store at the corner of Grand River & Novi not only had a 4 by 8 foot sign on the sidewalk like he does every weekend but now he has a tent sale going on. Ms. Uglow advised that he did not have a temporary use permit and notice of violation was issued today.
3. Meadowbrook Road Bridge - Gatt
Member Gatt noted Meadowbrook Road carries a lot of traffic everyday. He felt that Council will someday grapple with the idea of widening Meadowbrook Road to three lanes and wondered if the City should widen the bridge to three lanes now while it is going out for bids. Mr. Helwig said the sooner Council can tell them they want something that is different in size the better for the process if that is what they would like. He stated staff will bring comments back on this issue.
4. Status of the Novi Promenade Wetland Mitigation - Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo asked for an update in Thursday’s packet. She wanted to know if they had a commitment from a vender to do it and when it will be done.
5. Post Bar - Paul
Member Paul commented that Chief Shaeffer notified Council in a letter dated April 1, 2005 that the Post Bar served a minor and violated their liquor license. She asked what his plan of action was in reporting this to the State of Michigan. Chief Shaeffer noted that it is an action that is referred to the Liquor Control Commission and they have administrative action that they will take and it carries both fine sanctions and has a cumulative effect on their liquor license. If continued violations occur fines and sanctions increase and can increase up to removal of the license. She asked if there had been any other violations of this type. Chief Shaeffer noted he did not remember any but twice a year he sends underage patrons into every single establishment that holds a liquor license in Novi and they attempt to solicit an alcoholic beverage. He said they had not been successful in being served at the Post Bar. She said there are many minor violations at the Post Bar and asked for a description of the major violations since
their existence and report back to Council. Member Capello asked for violations at Hooters also. Member Gatt asked if establishments are given notification that underage persons will be sent in to solicit alcoholic beverages. Chief Shaeffer noted the establishments are notified of their responsibility under the law and advising them that the police department has the responsibility to not only help educate them in what the standards are but to also insure that they are in compliance. The letters go out about 90 days in advance of the operation and it would be impossible for them to predict when that might occur.
6. City Council Policy regarding employee attrition – Paul
Member Paul noted during their budget meetings they had discussed software for Parks and Recreation. A previous employee retired and Council didn’t have the opportunity to look at the attrition of maybe applying that software at that time and not replacing that individual. She said they were proposing to look at all positions of people retiring to decide if anything different should be done with that position. She wanted to set up a City Council policy for an employee to have all attrition come back to Council so they can make a decision on what they would like to do at that time. Carried 6-1
CM-05-04-140 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To set up a City Council policy to have all attrition come back to City Council so they can decide what they would like to do regarding that position at that time.
Vote on CM-05-04-140 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Capello, Gatt Nays: Landry
7. Sandstone - Paul
Member Paul said initially when the sanitary sewer was done there were a lot of different plans. They have taken on a little more parkland then they initially thought and there have been a lot of legal descriptions of what had to encompassed. There is a wider path and trees have been removed. She asked Mr. Hayes, City Engineer, how wide of a path was cut of the trees for the sanitary sewer and was it in the agreement. Mr. Hayes noted he did not have an answer for Council but would look into it and she asked for an answer back in the off week packet so Council can understand if there has been a violation of the agreement.
8. Water and Sewer Identification for old SAD’s - Paul
Member Paul noted there was a letter April 8, 2005 referring to the Bentley Bloomfield Subdivision water main extension and SAD 172. There were several people that were upset because they felt they didn’t need to pay for this. She asked what identification we give prospective property owners in the City that there might be an old SAD attached to the land they want to buy. Mr. Schultz said a notice is recorded and they are physically in the City Code book. Any one who buys a parcel is going to work their way through the finance,
treasurers and building departments if there are additional fees owed. We follow the State law requirements of making sure people get the notice they are entitled to. Member Paul asked for a letter explaining this process to Council. Member Capello asked what the letter will cost Council. Mr. Helwig noted he will handle the matter.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:12 P.M.
__________________________ _____________________________ Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
__________________________ Date approved: May 9,2005 Transcribed by Charlene McLean
Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Novi Monday, April 18, 2005 Page 6
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2005 AT 7:00 P.M. COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD