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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
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 Nagy arrived at 7:02 P.M.
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager
Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager
Craig Klaver, Chief of Operations
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Rob Hayes, City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-05-05-143 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Member Lorenzo added Item 3, under Mayor and Council Issues, Next steps for implementation of the Naming Rights Policy.
Motion passed by voice vote.
1. Recognition of Novi High School’s F.I.R.S.T. Intier/Novi Robotics Team 2005 World Champions
Mayor Csordas said it is an exciting day for the City of Novi and for the Wildcats. There are young men and women present tonight who have represented the City remarkably well competing in their First Robotics World Championship. The Novi High School First Robotics Team, 503 Frog Force, including students, Intier, Magna Automotive testing staff and Novi High School staff were honored as World First Robotics Competition Champions in Atlanta Georgia. Mayor Csordas gave each student a certificate and read the proclamation.
Ryan Gee accepted the proclamation and Mayor Csordas asked everyone involved mentoring the students to stand and be recognized. He called all students to come forward to receive their certificates.
Michael Decello said because the community has given them so much, they want to make an intelligent robot for the community. Other teams have done this for their Police Departments and the robot is used to go in under hazardous situations and do surveillance without any people getting hurt. Some teams have used them to clean up their parks and for a variety of things. He asked who they should contact and Mr. Helwig was recommended and said he would have someone contact him on the way out of the meeting.
2. Building Safety Week, May 9 – 15, 2005
Mayor Csordas declared May 9 through 15, 2005 Building Safety Week and asked everyone to consider projects to improve building safety at home. Mr. Saven accepted the proclamation.
3. Proclamation for National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive Day, May 14, 2005
Mayor Csordas declared May 14, 2005 as National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive Day. He encouraged all citizens of the community to participate in the Food Drive.
4. Proclamation for Parents Who Host Lose the Most
Mayor Csordas read the proclamation. This proclamation addresses underage drinking and the it will be posted in the atrium for parents to sign and show their support for not allowing alcohol to be served to anyone underage.
1. 2005-2006 Proposed Budget
Mr. Helwig noted City Council has devoted two work sessions to review the proposed budget and developed some very significant enhancements to the proposal that is being considered tonight. The property tax millage will remain at 10.5416 mils as it has for the last six years and is one of the lowest municipalities in Oakland County. The rainy day reserves will remain at a minimum of 14% and also under consideration tonight is a fiscal pledge to the taxpayers Council has unanimously approved in work sessions. It would focus on anything over the 14% at the end of this fiscal year should be devoted to emergency type of expenditures. There are no new personnel costs and one position is being abolished. Also, a number of the Council’s goals are being addressed in this document. Among them are the physical improvements of the Fire Department, improvements in Parks, Recreation and Forestry such as irrigation and ADA improvements and the City information technology will be upgraded, especially our financial management system.
In terms of Capitol Improvements the work program is very extensive and he thought the community would be very proud of the decisions Council would reach tonight in regard to this. For the fifth straight year the community will have enhanced neighborhood repaving and that will cost $1,580,000 and will be augmented by $760,000 of additional neighborhood street work converting Center St. from concrete to asphalt as well as doing two other concrete streets. Nine Mile Road from Novi to Meadowbrook will be done after the Meadowbrook Bridge is replaced and the first significant work will be done on Beck Road from Nine Mile to the southern city limits. It will be widened to three lanes and will include curb and gutter and will cost $785,000.
Sidewalk work has been identified as a priority and $50,000 has been dedicated for a sidewalk east of Beck Road to Abbey as well as filling in three gaps going towards Parkview Elementary. There is $275,000, for future consideration, that has been proposed for west of Beck to go over to the Middle School. Council has decided to wait
and take stock of the development proposals that are expected. Council wants to decide if that would be the best use of those funds or if they could be done privately.
The water and sanitary sewer improvements are extensive and exciting. They will roll from the Meadowbrook Lake dredging to Village Oaks Lake dredging later in the year. There will also be some vehicle upgrades, including a $175,000 investment in a brand new street sweeper. The Patch Mobile will probably become as popular as our skid steer for neighborhood service and will enable our crews to patch concrete streets with a material that can withstand winter and snowplowing. This is open for Public Hearing consideration tonight.
Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Helwig and his staff for presenting this budget and he thanked Council for the productive and professional budget sessions held this year. Mayor Csordas asked if anyone would like to address the Council on the City budget.
Christine Michael, 25925 Sierra Dr., noted she recently saw the end of one of the budget discussion meetings and was very happy to hear that the extension of the sidewalks and bike path along Eleven Mile Road is a high priority of Council. As a homeowner in Pioneer Meadows, she felt it was extremely urgent that her subdivision be provided safe access to the new Eleven Mile Road sidewalk extension that is proposed for 2005-2006. Ms. Michael said she is not alone in her feelings and has collected signatures from homeowners in Pioneer Meadows who are petitioning for the sidewalk to be extended south on Beck Road to connect to their subdivision entrance on Sierra Dr. She said a copy of the petition had been given to Council Members. The only access to and from the subdivision is Beck Road. It can be very treacherous exiting the subdivision toward Eleven Mile on bicycles or on foot. Ms. Michael said they need a safety path into and out of the subdivision. She applauded Council’s efforts in connecting existing sidewalks and extending others but if the new extension doesn’t connect to Pioneer Meadows all they have managed to do is create another sidewalk that stops short. If the sidewalk is extended to Sierra Dr., it would be used enthusiastically by many.
Mayor Csordas closed the public hearing.
2. Special Assessment District 173 – Connemara and Galway Water Main Extension
Mr. Helwig said the third stage of the resolution regarding SAD 173 is being approached and in this stage the City Assessor is asked to prepare a roll. Tonight is another opportunity for community input to further extend the water that has been introduced into that neighborhood in another special assessment district.
Connie Bowie, 21615 Connemara, stated she was opposed to SAD 173 because of the hardship of having a $13,000 to $15,000 lien put on her home for something that is called an improvement. Two neighbors petitioned and they had 33-36 homes which may have lowered the cost but she didn’t think City water would improve the value of her home. In fact, she thought the assessment would depreciate her home by $15,000. She said this happened a couple of years ago in her subdivision and the grass of their homes is still in disrepair. Ms. Bowie noted they already have wells so if Council is
going to do this instead of pitting neighbor against neighbor it should be passed on the whole subdivision in lieu of costs of $13,000 to $15,000, and perhaps the costs would only be $7,000.
Steve Gossard, 44915 Galway Dr., said he didn’t vote for or against the proposition because he wanted to learn about the due diligence that needed to be done. He wondered about what the new water assessment rates would be and what the cost would be. At the last meeting he asked Mr. Coburn what if he wanted to change his mind after the cost was realized. Mr. Coburn stated Council had told him that once an SAD is started there is no stopping it because the City incurs so much expense. If that is the case, we are wasting a lot of time. Mr. Gossard asked who becomes the watch dog for residents if it becomes a money making proposition. The City makes money off the residents for the water and interest rates so who is watching out for the residents if we don’t have a chance to say it is going to be too expensive. He asked if there was a water increase coming because he just read that Northville is settling for a 25% increase.
Mayor Csordas said normally there is no response from Council during a public hearing but he would override that. He said the statement made was not factual. The City Council does not force this on anyone and it is not a done deal. Mr. Helwig said there are five stages to this process and there is still potential for the Council to call for a vote of the residents as further input. This next step is when it becomes more serious in defining what the roll would be and gives residents the due diligence they need before residents and Council can conclude based on the further input of the residents. It is still a work in process.
Mayor Csordas said the City of Novi started a practice five or six years ago which is if the rates are raised by the City of Detroit it would be passed along to everyone. There is no mark-up on the water that the City of Novi buys from the City of Detroit.
John O’Brien, 45015 Galway Dr., stated he was very proud of his neighbors who are involved in this SAD. He is aware there were some hard feelings between neighbors regarding SAD 165 in Connemara Hills. This is not the case with this SAD. They are in favor of it and looked forward to the details regarding the cost and found it regrettable that it could not be divided up among the entire subdivision. His concern was that it will be done in a piece meal fashion to the detriment of the neighbors who are paying more money for these little SAD’s all over the place. While he is very much in favor of this project there are concerns regarding quality of life, financials, dealing with Detroit water, etc.
Mayor Csordas closed the Public Hearing at 7:43 P.M.
SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
Mr. Helwig said in Chief Shaeffer’s absence, he was pleased to report that the first of
the Federal drug forfeiture funds (related to the March 18, 2004 drug seizure) totaling
$1,332,410.22 has been received. This is the first installment and within the next few
weeks they will present their recommended work program for Council’s consideration
with alternatives for these funds. He would then appreciate Council setting a date to
reach their conclusions.
DEPARTMENTAL - None
ATTORNEY - None
Ramesh Verma, 45725 Jaslyn Lane, stated he was present to honor the veteran leaders past and present who give their valuable time and efforts into building Novi into a Class One City. Mr. Verma requested that a Wall of Fame be built in City Hall where all of the previous Council Members, with their photographs could be honored. This Wall of Fame should also include all those who contributed in any justified way that brought accolades to the City. We are proud of State Senator Nancy Cassis, Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche, Dr. Mav Sanghvi and so many others. We must not forget their sacrifices and must create a visual so our children and grandchildren can see, feel and be excited so they take part in volunteer activities. Our leaders have and are giving all the time and the time has come to repay them.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Paul removed Items:
E. Approval of final acceptance of the Community Sports Park baseball field project and
associated maintenance bond.
F. Approval of Resolution No. 3 for Connemara/Galway Water Main Extension – Special
Assessment District Number 173.
J. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 696 & 696A
CM-05-05-144 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Passed by Voice Vote
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. April 16, 2005 – Special Meeting
2. April 18, 2005 – Regular Meeting
3. May 2, 2005 – Special Meeting
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of May 9, 2005 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Approval of request for an Outdoor Gathering Permit from Detroit Telugu Association to hold an outdoor prayer assembly on vacant property located at 26233 Taft Road on May 22, 2005, subject to final inspections.
D. Approval of renewal of Pawnbroker and Precious Items Dealer Licenses requested by Weinstein Jewelers, 41990 Grand River.
G. Approval to award bid for a Generator Maintenance Contract for all municipal facilities and equipment to Gen Power Products, Inc. the low bidder, in the amount of $9,265
H. Approval of the Design and Installation - Fire Suppression System contract for the Department of Public Works facility to Guardian Automatic Fire Protection, the low qualified bidder, in the amount of $73,890.
I. Approval of resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by a City employee.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Adoption of 2005 City Millage Rates.
CM-05-05-145 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt the 2005 City Millage rates.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-145 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
2. Adoption of Budget Resolution for fiscal year 2005-2006.
CM-05-05-146 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt the Budget Resolution for fiscal
Member Capello thanked Member Lorenzo for pulling this together. She listened to concerns of the Council and came back at the next meeting and addressed all their concerns and found the money to give them what they wanted.
Member Nagy said Member Lorenzo has served the City as a Council Member and a Planning Commissioner and this is her last term and she is going out with a bang. As a taxpayer she appreciated what she did during the budget and as a Council Member she hoped to follow in her shoes. She thanked her for a great job.
Member Paul commended everyone for their statements and civility and Mayor Csordas for his excellent leadership. She said Member Lorenzo’s swan song was superb.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-146 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
3. Adoption of Resolution: “A Fiscal Pledge to the Taxpayers”.
CM-05-05-147 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt Resolution: “A Fiscal Pledge to the Taxpayers”.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented he had always taken the position that it was not appropriate for one City Council to control what another City Council does. Council Members are elected for a particular term and new people will be elected in the fall and every two years thereafter. Every City Council should have the ability and freedom to deal with the budget as they chose. He said he could support this because he believed that this is a pledge from this City Council and not binding on any future City Council’s who should have the freedom to deal with situations as they arrive.
Member Gatt commented that Member Lorenzo is the author of this pledge and he thanked her and stated he has respected her for many years and now more than ever before.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-147 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
4. Consideration of Zoning Map Amendment 18.605, request from Singh IV
Limited Partnership for Uptown Park to rezone property, approximately
38.62 acres, located in Section 14 south of Twelve Mile Road and west of
Meadowbrook Road from OST (Office Service Technology) and RM-1 (Low-
Density, Low Rise Multiple Family) to RM-2 (High-Density, Mid-Rise Multiple
Mr. Carson felt it was important to obtain this use as the property would be useless otherwise as it is a very distressed piece of real estate and soil conditions are very difficult on this site. They felt this proposal was a positive, important step for the developer and for the City to enhance the uses in this area.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that as a planning commission member he voted against developing this in 2001 to anything other than OST. On December 16, 2002, at a City Council meeting he voted no. A majority of Council voted to pursue a rezoning with the limitation of 201 units that would be owner occupied. It was to have a development agreement to that affect but the agreement was never done. He thought the density was an issue not the owner occupied portion of the agreement and the matter did not come back for final approval. Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Carson if the developer was prepared to limit a rezoning to a density of 201 owner occupied units.
Mr. Carson said he didn’t know whether the answer to be given is something that the Council would vote positively for or something that would be used for other purposes at a later date. So it was very difficult to respond to Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s question. He said there have been opportunities in the past to negotiate the agreements and that there have been multiple drafts of the agreements tendered.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he was looking for a commitment. He was willing to support what the majority of Council agreed to. If the developer is interested in 201 owner occupied units he could support that. Mr. Carson responded that for purposes of resolving this, yes 201 owner occupied units. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said there is a different zoning ordinance now, if this Council wished to pursue this, how would they do it.
Mr. Schultz said Council would have two options. First, a legal opinion is on the way, our position on the whole concept of conditional rezoning, which is an intervening event that complicates things. Mr. Schultz said their position has been that once you do the first conditional rezoning, you have to watch out for others. One way to deal with that would be to recognize during the process of approving an agreement, that we are not doing this under the conditional rezoning statute and this is something that precedes that statutory authorization. Second option would be to recognize that there is an ordinance, Plan Rezoning Overlay Ordinance (PRO), and it would be the safest thing to use, but it would involve some additional steps. Shortcuts could be taken on some of those steps by recognizing that some of the public hearings have already been held before the Planning Commission. However, before giving a final answer on this he would want to look at the PRO Ordinance and see if there is anything that has already been done that could fit into that process. He commented that direction from Council would lead to a more specific recommendation from them.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said, as a developer, he would want assurance that if starting down that road the City Council would be committed to 201 owner occupied units. He asked Mr. Schultz what kind of authorization he would envision from Council tonight. Would it be authorizing Counsel to approach them and come into the City with a Planned Rezoning Overlay petition?
Mr. Schultz said that would certainly start the process and if it received a majority, then they could have the process at the Planning Commission if needed. Council’s comments would be on the record for review by the Planning Commission and it would come back to the Council for an agreement and approval. Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if there is a chance that past proceedings before the Planning Commission would suffice. Mr. Schultz said he was suggesting past proceedings at the Planning Commission may well suffice but has not had the opportunity to look at the new PRO in relation to this potential action by Council tonight. He could look into this and have a response to Council by Thursday’s packet. Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if they could put a time limit to be back to Council within 45 days and Mr. Schultz said yes. Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked it the time limit was reasonable if it had to go back to the Planning Commission. Mr. Schultz said there was sufficient time do the required advertising unless the Planning Director has a better knowledge of the time for posting the notices and getting the publication in.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he is willing to make good on what Council did in 2002.
CM-05-05-148 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To direct the City Attorney to look into the possibility of presenting this to Council within the confines of a Planned
Rezoning Overlay with the overlay including owner occupied units with a maximum density of 201 units. Also, to put a 45 day outer time limit on when it would return to Council for final approval. If it returned sooner the motion would contemplate that.
Member Paul said on Mr. Schultz’s letter of April 28th talked about the lapse of time since this came before Council and asked why this was on the agenda. Mr. Schultz said there has obviously been a lapse of time as it is a difficult project with a lot of material submitted to the Council. It has been through the Planning Commission public hearing process and there is no time limit in the statute or ordinance by which an application that is under consideration lapses. There were gaps from the initial application until Council put this on the agenda in February of 2004 and then received additional information and request in September. It is on the agenda tonight for some action because the proponent has questioned whether the Council’s action in February 2004 was final. We wanted to make sure that Council’s action was, in fact, final and that is the question that is before the Council tonight.
Member Paul did not agree with that. She said there are very few things that would put it on the agenda and lapse of time of this proposal makes it obsolete. That is what was discussed in the last meeting with Council and it was unanimous that Council didn’t have a definite number and that this was expired and it denied. Therefore, if there was more explanation Mr. Schultz needed on the motion, she would have appreciated either his or Mr. Fisher’s comments at that time to make it clearer. Member Paul takes offense to this because putting it on the agenda is putting us in jeopardy. She said just because an applicant has something that expires or an overlap doesn’t mean it is Council’s problem. They have a 12 month time frame and it was not extended by the Planning Commission or by Council. It was denied unanimously. She thought Mr. Schultz did not give the best explanation.
Member Paul commented on soil conditions and that her understanding was that they were the same as the mall. She commented that it didn’t sit well with her for the applicant to state that only residential can be put on this site and not OST because a large facility like the mall is on the same peat bog.
Member Paul said one of our goals is to decrease density. We have a fiscal analysis that backs us up, we have all the documentation about that and so we have an opportunity to look at this situation with a new light because the site plan is expired. She said she would not support this in any means and thought that this should not be on the agenda.
Member Nagy commented she would not support this motion. She said before this went to Council she recalled that Mr. Carson agreed that they would put condominiums in and then it went to apartments. She would not support this because under Michigan case
law, if the master plan is ignored, the city faces the risk of losing the presumption of zoning ordinance validity. She saw no indication that the zoning map has been changed or that a zoning change from OST to RM-1 has been recommended by the Planning Commission. She was hesitant to move forward with this because she agreed with some of Member Paul’s comments. Member Nagy was also very concerned with the fiscal analysis, which is something she felt the City should have. If reading the Issues and Strategies for the Future, every issue whether it is police, alternative revenue, parks and recreation, etc., everything regarding the future in those areas, the strategies include some sort of bond. This means it would ultimately go to the taxpayers for their decision but everything is regarding the taxpayer and the burden would be on the taxpayer. She felt it was important to have the OST. The Hummer dealership talked about their soil conditions and they put pilings in and she thought the same could be done in this situation. She felt there could be a long entrance off of Meadowbrook with a boulevard going back into the office area or research, but to put more and more density into the city would cause problems for the City’s infrastructure. Why place the burden back on the residents whom we are trying to help in this budget. She said there was an agreement by Mr. Fisher that they would build condominiums and then Mr. Carson came back and said they don’t build condominiums they build apartments. Member Nagy said she would not go against the master plan.
Member Lorenzo commented that two months ago she raised this issue and asked Mr. Schultz if this should be addressed at the Council table. She stated she had serious concerns as to how this got back on the agenda as consideration of a zoning map amendment. If there was a question regarding the February 23, 2004 Council action wasn’t clear, then the question before Council tonight should be clarification of Council action on February 23, 2004. Mr. Carson is before Council tonight and is saying it was his understanding that that decision was final.
Member Lorenzo said typically there are three ways in which something that has already had Council action reappears on the agenda. First, there is reconsideration, second is rescinding and the third is a brand new proposal and this doesn’t fall into any of those categories. It sets a precedent and the motion on the floor is to change the Council’s action because the Council’s action was to reject the Singh development agreement. She asked what stops any other applicant from re-appearing on the agenda for subsequent action. This is very serious from a process point of view.
Member Lorenzo said she was very disappointed in the attorneys and how this appeared on the agenda. In terms of the question in the manner of rezoning, on February 23, 2004 if a development agreement in compliance with what the Council had agreed to on December 16, 2002 had been received she would have agreed to it. However, that wasn’t the development before Council on February 23, 2004. Council gave Singh Development and their representatives every opportunity between September 16, 2002 and February 23, 2004 to come forward with an agreement that complied with the voluntary agreement from Singh Development and their representative back on December 16, 2002. At some point, the process has to end and
the question has to be answered; Council answered the question by rejecting the development agreement. She never expected that same proposal to reappear on this
Council table. Member Lorenzo said time has lapsed too long ago for her to feel obligated any longer to confirm what a previous Council had done. She felt she now had to vote her conscience as she did on February 23, 2004 and that is residential land use for that parcel is the wrong plan for the City. It is inconsistent with the master plan, Novi has sufficient multiple family uses, the property owner has not established the property cannot be used for permitted uses within OST. Their representatives have stated that, but there has been no demonstration, studies or anything firm to make her believe that is the case. She hasn’t seen any marketing of the property as OST. Member Lorenzo believed the owner failed to establish the visibility of the property or that it is insufficient to use as OST. She referred to the poor soil conditions and thought they were self created and since time has lapsed, the Planned Zoning Overlay has taken the place of the development agreement. Previously, the city attorney told us there is no longer the possibility of a development agreement. She felt the whole case was null and void and that the owner should start from scratch.
Member Lorenzo noted she downloaded off the Internet from The Mackinaw Center for Public Policy regarding policy research, the cost of community services in Michigan. Commercial and industrial land has the largest positive fiscal impact on the community; they were referring to Scio Township. For every dollar raised in revenue the township spent 26 cents compared to residential development costs that were 49 cents. She commented that Novi needs more non-residential to residential property. There are many multiple family uses in this City. Member Lorenzo said all of these issues are reasons for her denial of this application on February 23, 2004 and her reason for denying it this evening. She would like an explanation as to why this is on the agenda from Mr. Schultz.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Schultz for an overview of process as far as setting precedence.
Mr. Schultz said he didn’t believe they were dealing with an issue of setting precedent as each one of these cases is unique unto itself. He heard the disappointment in the sentiments but could not apologize for the process and the way it is worked because it is the only way it could work under all the circumstances. Mr. Schultz said they wrote a letter to Barb McBeth, Director of Planning, attempting to address the fact that Singh had submitted this application discussing how to deal with it from a process standpoint. The letter said “in our opinion, based upon the minutes of the February 2004 meeting, an argument could be made that the City’s decision on the legislative question of rezoning wasn’t final and they were here to finalize it”. He said they recommended that it go to Council and the question went to City Council in closed session as essentially dealing with a legal opinion. Council does not make any decisions in closed session and they didn’t direct the City Attorney or staff to do anything and it never came out into open session. There was Council input and as a result of that and administrative discussions, Ms. McBeth wrote a letter to Singh saying it ought to go to the Planning Commission. Singh again, different from tonight, expressed surprise about that and called into doubt, once again, the finality of the decision and made all the overtures necessary to indicate to the City that this is going to be a lawsuit. Mr. Schultz said that’s fine. Whatever Council’s decision, this is one of those legislative acts and Council can
zone it anyway they want and the City will have a good argument to defend it. He said they have no opinion on the underlying zoning of this land.
In light of that response from Mr. Carson on behalf of Singh, they wrote another letter directly to Council saying they thought this was an issue and Council had to deal with it because it was going to a lawsuit and they felt it should be on a Council agenda on a zoning question. Mr. Schultz said that is how it got on the Council agenda. He said from a process standpoint, their recommendation was to finalize the decision because looking at the minutes from February 2004, an argument could be made depending on how a lawsuit was going, that Council didn’t finalize this issue. It is before Council tonight because the decision wasn’t final, looking at this from a legal standpoint, defending the lawsuit. In reading the minutes, he didn’t think there was anything that would have cued Mr. Fisher to change that motion, ask for more guidance or finalize it. That was what resulted in their legal opinion; if Council wanted to defend this case in the right way for the City of Novi, put it on the agenda because the case is coming. He said they heard no objection.
Member Lorenzo stated she was very firm in her decision, this was the end of the line for her. They are welcome to sell the property to another proprietor and follow through the process again. At no point did Mr. Fisher advise the Council to put anything additional on the record. If that was the reason for the letter, then the agenda should have stated clarification of final Council action on February 23, 2004.
Member Gatt said he was working for the City when the Twelve Oaks Mall was cleared. Member Gatt asked Mr. Kahm what happened to the soil that was taken from the Twelve Oaks Mall development area? Mr. Kahm stated when the mall was built in the mid-seventies, Taubman Company contracted with Dayton Hudson to be their general contractor. The site of the mall was once a peat farm. Dayton Hudson removed one million yards of peat and deposited it on the subject property east of the lake so the poor soils that were underneath the mall are now on the property being discussed. Member Gatt asked if Taubman owned that property and Mr. Kahm said they did. Member Gatt said then the people hired to clear that land illegally put the peat on this property? Mr. Kahm said there was a dispute between the parties about that and it was resolved. The bottom line is that peat was deposited from the site of the mall to the location of the property we are discussing.
Mr. Carson stated the reference point is in the book under Exhibit D and includes the reference to soil conditions, market studies, absorption, a financial analysis and a number of material submitted by brokers as to the lack of OST. There is also the OST reference to the study in1998 saying that this may be a residential site as part of the City’s analysis.
Member Gatt noted that there was an analysis in the reference that broke down OST costs versus the development that is proposed. Mr. Carson said there is an analysis, multiple versus OST, but the issue involved is that there is no market to absorb OST. So the receipt would be at 51% surplus as opposed to 75% surplus, if accepting the reference to Mackinaw, would never be caught up, because the OST site would never be absorbed.
Member Capello asked Mr. Carson if he was talking about 201 owner occupied condominium units. Mr. Carson stated that is correct. There has never been a difference to the high quality and type of unit. Member Capello recalled this item coming
before them and he was concerned about the rezoning from the OST and the loss of the tax base. He said he knew that they are looking to reduce the amount of multiple family and increase our tax base. This is before us for a rezoning and that is what should be decided, but we can’t forget what brought it here. We can see the posturing going on to put this in a position for a lawsuit. Member Capello commented that this is the first time Singh has ever indicated that they were considering filing a lawsuit over any project they have done in Novi. A majority of Council reviewed the proposal, it was approved and Council went through months and months of approving the PRO and were close to approving it and it was a density issue. As this case is posturing where it is going it is going to go on forever and cost us a lot of money, Member Capello didn’t understand why many of Council was digging deep into the sand because of the lapse of time and not willing to accept the 201 density and owner occupied units and approve this with the motion on the floor and move on. We don’t need this aggravation to continue. We already approved this once and the only reason Council turned it down was because we were not coming to a conclusion on the agreement and we had to do something. He asked that Council not linger and get into another lawsuit over something Council has already accepted. He said that’s why he supported the motion.
Member Nagy felt that as soon as anyone mentions lawsuit, Council should give in to avoid lawsuit costs. There has to be principals in things and she almost resents being told we will be involved in a lawsuit. This is one piece of land and there is a whole issue here beside that and it is not contained in the fiscal analysis. She said that is talking about the future, the millage, State Revenue Sharing limitations, Proposal A and how Headlee will all impact this City. When talking about neighborhood roads, parks and various departments, it is all going to be asked of the taxpayer. She thought Council worked hard on the budget to find money for the things that provide basic services for taxpayers. The City is funded by taxpayers and she felt it was her obligation to protect their interests now and in the future as the money decreases and the millage goes down. Member Nagy remembered the commitment Council made that they were not going to look for anymore multiples. She understood the market analysis and OST but still thought that in the long term, it is feasible. Because of the way Novi is with an excellent education system, freeways, regional shopping, great parks and Providence becoming a full fledged hospital, there are many reasons to come to Novi. She said when OST looks into an area, all those factors are taken into consideration. The master plan is the master plan and she wants to do the right thing. Mr. Schultz thought we have a good stand here and she would not do something out of trepidation.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry wanted to respond to the criticism of Mr. Schultz because he didn’t think it was founded at all. This particular proposal came before us years ago, it was considered and Council said they would approve it for owner occupied and 201units. Then Council asked for a development agreement and they couldn’t figure out the details and Council tabled it. Council was prepared to approve it with those two stipulations. They took longer than expected and Council lifted the table. The developer didn’t pursue it any further. He didn’t hear Singh saying they were going to sue, but Mr. Schultz observed this and perceived that Singh was positioning themselves to pursue a lawsuit. They are doing it because of the famous case of Paragon vs. Novi. They are
going to the ZBA for a use variance and they won’t get it because we don’t give use variances but the Supreme Court has said this must be done before filing a lawsuit.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry told Mr. Carson he was doing the correct thing for his client. Why would they go to the ZBA and ask them for something they can’t give and charge the client for that unless they are preparing to file a lawsuit. Mr. Schultz perceived that and informed the Council that the circumstances were a little unusual and they should clean this matter up. Mayor Pro Tem Landry told Mr. Schultz that he did a fine job in advising the Council on what they should do and if Council doesn’t like the proposal vote no. He stated he is still willing to do the deal. The worst the developer did was sit on his hands. Council is not restricted because time has passed. The deal was always owner occupied 201 units. If they are willing to do it he is willing to do it. He said his motion stands. Vote it up or down but don’t take on Mr. Schultz.
Member Paul noted there is a lot of anxiety about this project. She asked when Mr. Kahm purchased the property and what it was zoned. Mr. Kahm responded it was purchased 3 or 4 years ago and was zoned OST. She asked since owning the property, if Taubman or anyone had done anything regarding the soil conditions. Mr. Carson told her she knew that was not the case. Member Paul said she was speaking to Mr. Kahm and was looking for clarification. Mr. Carson said he was representing Mr. Kahm and was present to appear on behalf of the development in this case. He said Member Paul knew the answers to these questions and that clarification is in the book which people have ignored tonight.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Carson to allow Member Paul to ask her questions. This is not a jury; Council is just trying to come to a resolution. Mr. Kahm said he was not aware of Taubman or anyone else changing the soil conditions on the site since he has owned it. Member Paul commented she understood there are changes in marketing, resale and all of those things, but this property and the whole area was zoned OST. This was done in an attempt to offset the residential tax base. She appreciated that they wanted to get the most out of their property and she believed that Council had been fairer to them than a lot of applicants. She said she was looking at how to best serve the residential tax base. We are looking at a fiscal analysis that is new and just happened in the last year, so maybe Mr. Kahm was not aware of it when he bought the property. The fiscal analysis shows that there are a large amount of multiples from the most trailer parks in Oakland County (Novi has five), many condominiums, apartments and even owned units that are multiple use. She said she could not be fiscally responsible rezoning this property at this time. Since this was passed this two years ago, things have changed and neither of us had this information. Now with this new information, we have to utilize all the information received at the Council table. It is very important for Council to make strong fiscal opinions and changing the zoning is not beneficial to the taxpayers. She won’t support the motion at this time, not to be harmful to Mr. Kahm, but to do what is best for the City overall. Member Paul commented she appreciated all the projects and nice things he does for the community, but in this one she felt she had to be fiscally responsible.
Member Lorenzo said there are costs in everything. There is cost defending a lawsuit and to additional population in residential versus non-residential tax base. If we are
going to shrink every time lawsuit is mentioned, then let’s throw the master plan out, not attend meetings to discuss zoning and let’s just approve a budget and not bother with
land use decisions because they are all made by attorneys and developers. Council can not shrink and she stands behind this land use for OST and thought it was good for this location. She quoted a Detroit News article about suburbs continually adding more and more housing that takes people from the city. She said she might respond to the article and comment on this situation as a real life example. Sandstone was not a land use case, it was a breach of contract case and Council is not breaching any contracts. Council waited until February 23, 2004 for a gentlemen’s agreement to show up at the Council table and was ready to sign on the dotted line, but the agreement Council agreed to wasn’t there. Now when a final decision is made for an applicant, it is never final and is never dead. We have just immortalized every application that comes before Council.
Member Capello commented that Sandstone was a breach of contract and started the same emotional way when some Council Members were digging their heels in and being immobile and incapable of trying to resolve a problem before it got too big. He commented he seconded the motion and to say that of all the people on Council he and Mayor Pro Tem Landry, would be afraid of lawsuits is unreasonable. It is what we do for a living. The focus here is that we didn’t deny the project on the merits. The 201 owner occupied condominiums were approved by a majority of Council. The only reason Council denied it was because we didn’t move forward to complete the PRO agreement that we all agreed to on the record. Council didn’t deny it because of the OST use or because of the fiscal impact it would have over OST; we just didn’t get it completed. There hasn’t been any damage caused by waiting 1-1/2 years to get this resolved and it can be resolved tonight. We already approved it once, a year lapsed, let’s approve it and move on. He didn’t think there was anything in the record to indicate that the type of OST development that could be developed in this area on these soils without road access would create any additional tax benefit to the City than 201 condominium units. If anything at all, the 201 units might create more tax to the City because of the development potential or lack of potential for the OST. He was against the OST in the beginning but it seemed to be a good alternative. Council should get the contract done in 45 days and move on.
Mr. Helwig commented it was not for him to have an opinion on the rezoning. However, some shame has been tossed about and he has listened to what is motivating each of the comments made and he didn’t hear a negative, disagreeable comment coming from any Council Member. He heard honor talked about in honoring a prior deal, honoring our policies in the Fiscal Analysis or first priority long term goal and he just had to say this because he felt strongly about it; shame on Singh for putting Council in this position tonight. The shame belongs to Singh. Mr. Helwig said he would not accept any shame for setting this agenda tonight and he didn’t think the Mayor would either. The agenda was set in good faith because our attorneys have a perfect record in protecting this City. To hear tonight, at the 11th hour that something proposed two years ago is all of a sudden acceptable, shame on them. He said he felt for all seven Council Member for being put in this position. It is absolutely wrong.
Mayor Csordas noted threats of lawsuits are tedious and said they can bring it on because this Council has a very good record of taking a position and fighting the right
fights. He wanted to set the record straight that this is not a shrinking violet Council. It is very unfortunate that Singh reduced many years of good faith actions posturing for a
lawsuit in this situation. The City has worked very hard with Singh and made them very wealthy.
Mayor Csordas told Mr. Schultz he did the right thing to recommend this for the agenda and thought it was a good idea to step up and do this. Mayor Csordas said he is already on record as not supporting apartments because the City has too many single- family, owned units, condominiums all have costs but there are also lost revenues. Michigan is in a very unique situation regarding our economy and unemployment but we have to leave that to the people in Lansing. He stated he did not appreciate Singh putting Council in this situation.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-148 Yeas: Gatt, Csordas, Landry, Capello
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
5. Recommendation of Consultant Review Committee to develop contract with
Plante and Moran for Audit Services for fiscal years ending June 30, 2005 through
2007 with the option to renew for 2008.
CM-05-05-149 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To follow the recommendation of the Consultant Review Committee
to develop contract with Plante and Moran for Audit Services for fiscal years ending June 30, 2005 through 2007 with the option to renew for 2008.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-149 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry,
6. Recommendation of Consultant Review Committee to develop contract for Engineering Field Services with Spalding DeDecker Associates (two-year term with one-year renewal option).
Member Paul said the City has a new engineer, Aaron Staup, and his father works for this firm.
She was concerned about Spalding DeDecker and Associates having an employee in their firm
who is related to someone in our engineering department. She said Council had received
a letter regarding this but she still had problems with it even though Mr. Staup of Spalding
DeDecker would no longer be working on Novi projects. He is one of their top engineers and
does a lot of work for this firm. When she was on the Consultant Review Committee, she was
very impressed with this firm. However when she spoke with Mayor Csordas and Mayor Pro
Tem Landry, she didn’t know Aaron Staup and Mr. Staup of Spalding DeDecker were
father and son. She said she would not support Spalding DeDecker since Council was also
very impressed with Wade Trim.
Member Paul said another situation brought to her attention is a member of this community
works with Spalding DeDecker. There were several times where this person was working
with this engineering firm and several times their projects were brought back to the table and
every time they had to pay. It was a very expensive process and they felt they were
over charged a large amount of money. She said with that information she would not support
CM-05-05- Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy;
To award Wade Trim the Engineering Services with a two year term
and a one year renewal option.
No vote taken
Member Nagy said they didn’t have anything on Wade Trim and would rather amend the motion to table this decision until the next meeting so they can compare Wade Trim and the numbers with Spaldings.
CM-05-05-149 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; MOTION CARRIED:
To amend the motion to table this decision until the next meeting
to compare Wade Trim and the numbers with Spalding.
Mayor Csordas said he would like to have the other two members of that committee speak.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted they didn’t know at the time of the Spalding DeDecker interview that they had an employee who was related to a City employee. He said Spalding DeDecker was his first choice; they made an excellent presentation, understood the needs of the City of Novi and are very experienced. He thought they would be the best fit and voted for them. The other thing that sets this company apart is they have project portal on the web. Any member of the City can access the stage or status of any construction project at any time at this web site. The committee asked the administration to contact other municipalities who have dealt with this and we received glowing recommendations from the other municipalities. One of the problems in the past was communication and understanding what the status is of projects and rather than having to call the City anyone can access the status of any project at any time. He said reports have been submitted that are so huge and to be able to do this on the computer is a very large asset for the City. He commented he had no problem approving Spalding DeDecker and believed it would be in the best interest to utilize them so they had his support.
As the third member of the committee, Mayor Csordas said he respected Member Paul’s position. He said she was referring to an e-mail they received from Mr. Potter of Spalding DeDecker. Mayor Csordas read a portion of the e-mail, “Please note while Mr. Staup is one of our best it is not my intent to assign Mr. Staup to work on Novi projects. In addition, he was not listed in our proposal as part of the City of Novi STA Project Team.” Mayor Csordas noted
Mr. Potter was trying to provide some clarification. He said both members of the committee would agree with him that they had the benefit of interviewing very high quality firms. He believed when the presentation was over they had agreed on Spalding DeDecker. Then there was the concern from Member Paul and he respected her position. Mayor Csordas said he would not want to disqualify the unanimous consent of the committee that Spalding DeDecker was the highest and best qualified. He thought everything was above board, honorable and there was no intention to benefit this firm because of who works there.
Member Capello commented he would support the motion to table this item because he thought more information was needed regarding the job descriptions of Aaron and Jay Staup.
Then Council could make a determination on whether there would be any overlap or impact on the City. Wade Trim is not in the Council packets so there is no way Council could vote for them tonight. Member Capello said it is always hard when hiring a new consultant especially an engineering firm but with Spalding and DeDecker, Council would have two people they know. Member Capello noted that while he was on the Planning Commission, David Bloom was the City Engineer for years and he has a lot of respect for him. Dave Potter worked with the City for years and he was very pleased with both their performances. They have since gone from one firm to another but Council has an opportunity to bring known, well qualified engineers to work for Novi and he is leaning in that direction. However, he would support the motion to table until Council could look at the additional information.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-149 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Capello, Lorenzo
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Gatt
7. Resolution approving Building Authority Bond Refunding and Refunding Contract (Senior Complex - Meadowbrook Commons).
CM-05-05-150 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the resolution approving Building Authority Bond
Refunding and Refunding Contract (Senior Complex-Meadowbrook
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-150 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Beth Belter, Novi Community that Cares Coalition, thanked the Mayor and Council for the proclamation. She said their coalition has been working on substance abuse issues with children for the last nine years and they wanted to help parents realize that there are things going on that they need to be addressing. She said their goal is to delay the age of first time use among kids. We have to be there to help kids realize that if they do make a decision to experiment there are consequences for the choices they have made and the parents have to support that. There are a lot of parents who do not agree with the law that kids have to be 21 before they can drink but it is the law and if they don’t agree with it there is a process to change the law. In the meantime, it is our job to keep kids safe and healthy within the community. She thanked those who signed the proclamation and for those who didn’t it will be in City Hall for a while for anybody in the community who wants to sign it. She said if anyone has a place of business or an event going on and would like to have the proclamation there for others to sign she would be happy to provide it.
Ms. Belter said the Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign is going on throughout Oakland County with sixteen coalitions working in the same area. It is a joint initiative and there are Parents Who Host materials throughout Oakland County. The Oakland County Substance Abuse Office sent letters to all the hotels, motels and limo services in Oakland
County advising against parties in the hotels/motels or drinking in the limos. A lot of the pizza places in Novi will be putting notes on top of pizza boxes advising of the consequences of
a host parent intentionally allowing children to drink. There are also fact cards that will be
located at various places around the community such as After Hours Tuxedo, Flowers and More and places where parents will be going to pick up things before the prom. This event will run through May and June but is not something to be done only during prom and graduation seasons. As a community we must do things to help our kids avoid drinking at an early age. She thanked Council for supporting the coalition.
Council recessed at 9:15 P.M.
Council reconvened at 9:30 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
8. 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. Second Reading
CM-05-05-150 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; 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. Second Reading
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-150 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
9. Consideration of Ordinance No. 05-173.01, an amendment to the Novi Code
of Ordinances Chapter 26.5, relating to requirements for the posting of
financial guarantees for site improvements, including guarantees to be
posted at the time of acceptance of certain improvements within a project
while construction is incomplete. Second Reading
Member Lorenzo said she appreciated the language change on page 5, D and would appreciate it if that would extend on page 6, where the first new paragraph that has been added, continue where it says “Where a development has been approved in phases, and the applicant seeks acceptance of streets in one or more phases before substantial completion of all remaining phases, the City Council shall also require such site restoration guarantee, upon determination, in its sole discretion, to accept such streets in phases. Member Lorenzo thought it was “to guarantee the physical integrity of the roads to be accepted in light of continuing construction activity.” She thought it should keep some of the same verbiage that was under D and continuing it there. Mr. Schultz asked if she meant in the “reference to unusual circumstances” and she agreed because we are basically saying the same thing.
The other issue she wanted to raise was the issue of the 90% and whether it should be 90% of the building permits or certificates of occupancy. She asked if it could say “90% of the homes constructed”, this would be on page 5, c. She read c. “The following
signed acceptance documents must be submitted to the city engineer no later than the time ninety (90) percent of the building permits have been issued, or four (4) years after the initial paving has been installed, whichever occurs first:”. She knew they have had concerns about 90% of the building permits because even though the building permits have been pulled it could be years before someone buys the lot and starts construction of the home. She felt it make more sense to say “ninety (90) percent of the homes that have been constructed”.
Member Capello said constructed is not a defined term and suggested a TCO because then you know that a majority of the construction is done. She thought there had been concern raised with the TCO from the building department and others about closing, etc. She asked for Mr. Schultz’s thoughts on this and if there is no reason not to use a TCO, she would be amenable to that. Mr. Schultz said he didn’t think there was any reason it couldn’t be a TCO. He thought they had settled on building permits during the discussion process because it takes a while to review all the documents listed in Sub-Section c. It is going to take a while when that is done, if 90% of the building permits have been issued, they would be pretty close to being finalized. Member Lorenzo said what we are trying to accomplish is 90% of the homes are there so you know there is not going to be much more construction going on. Mr. Schultz said it is a policy issue and he didn’t have an objection to. She commented there isn’t any issue with doing it from a TCO. Mr. Schultz said no and Member Lorenzo said she would be agreeable. Member Capello said TCO or C of O whichever is issued first. Mr. Schultz said he thought a TCO would be best. Member Capello said you can always get a TCO, what if you went straight to the C of O.
Mr. Helwig said we are trying to protect residents. They could be occupying before the winter and they can’t get their C of O until landscaping and the whole drainage has been certified, etc., which is often six months later if moving in December. If Council is really interested in protecting residents, the TCO would be fine because people are there and occupying with a TCO.
Member Capello said what if they don’t get a TCO and go straight for a C of O? Mr. Schultz said they could deal with that in language. Member Capello said whatever occurs first and that would be within a defined period of time. Member Lorenzo agreed and noted they would be the amendments she would propose.
Member Nagy asked if they could just put “90 (90) percent of the TCO and/or C of O and the answer was yes. She spoke to Rob Hayes, City Engineer, about a letter he wrote about preferring a set amount rather than a formula or case by case analysis. Mr. Hayes said she was correct and she asked him to deliberate on that. Mr. Hayes thought a set amount per parcel built upon because it would be better for ease of administration. The $5,000 they came up with is a worst case scenario and didn’t envision any builder doing more than that amount of damage while constructing a home. She asked where this was in the document and was told it was on page 8, Sub-Section d. She asked if Mr. Hayes was happy with the language and he said he was.
Member Capello said he missed Member Lorenzo’s comments. Member Lorenzo said she agreed with page 5,d and just needed to add some of the language from d to the first new paragraph on page 6. He asked what the language was and she said “to
guarantee the physical integrity of the roads to be accepted in light of continuing construction activity”.
Member Capello noted the only comment he had was on page 2, Sub-Section 1, a, “no building permit shall be issued unless” and said isn’t it common to issue a permit for a model before we actually have site plan approval? Mr. Schultz said there is a separate section in this ordinance that would allow the four model homes. Member Capello said he was fine with that.
CM-05-05-151 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To consider Ordinance No. 05-173.01,
an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances Chapter 26.5,
relating to requirements for the posting of financial guarantees
for site improvements, including guarantees to be posted at
the time of acceptance of certain improvements within a
project while construction is incomplete with changes to add the language from page 5, d “to guarantee the physical
integrity of the roads to be accepted in light of continuing
construction activity” to the first new paragraph on page 6. Also, on page 5, c, change the ninety (90) percent to when a TCO or C of O is issued, whatever occurs first, and within a defined period of time.
Member Paul said Ms. Neumaier created this and it has been in progress and is now before Council for some tweaking. She asked Ms. Neumaier how this was working. Ms. Neumaier responded it has been a wonderful team effort in terms of our new Chapter 26.5. She said they have been working with the ordinance since Council adopted it and they now have several projects both residential and non-residential. They have been working affectively to make sure the developers are aware of the requirements at the pre-construction meeting and they actually sign off on the check list. We are now able to track two and four year completion requirements and be much more proactive in sending out notifications and working in conjunction with developers to make sure they comply with the new ordinance requirements. Member Paul commented that she had talked with one developer about this and his comments were that Ms. Neumaier was very proactive, informed them ahead of time and they were very pleased with the whole process. They said the finance department was so forthcoming with the information that they were surprised at how easy it was.
Ms. Neumaier said they know they can call and if our department can’t provide the answers then we work together as a team to get the information they need. She commented that time spent in education is so valuable because we want to work in
cooperation with developers to make sure we have responsible developments. Member Paul thanked Ms. Neumaier. Member Paul said there have been several situations in our community where we had financial backings slowly being given back to the developer. Unfortunately, when we got to a problem with a project, there wasn’t enough money remaining to do the repairs ourselves. This would rectify that problem by
withholding more money until more of the project is completed. This is a great asset for our community and protection for all of us. She thanked Ms. Neumaier, Mr. Schultz and Member Capello for their work.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-151 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas
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-05-05- To reconsider Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-100.34 to
amend Chapter 28, “Signs”, relating to non-commercial
message signs (Election and Political Signs).
Member Capello said he brought this up under reconsideration and after reading Mr. Schultz’s letters he apologized for the effort the administration and Mr. Schultz went through. Member Capello withdrew his motion for reconsideration and the seconder, Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed.
11. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 05-100.35 to amend Chapter 28, “Signs”, in order to incorporate regulations relating to window signs, portable
signs and non-conforming signs. Second Reading
Member Nagy said she could not go along with the 15% of the glass as it was just too hard to measure and it would be very time consuming for the staff. She would like to change it to 25%.
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve amendment of Novi Code of
Ordinance No. 05-100.35 to amend Chapter 28, “Signs”, in
order to incorporate regulations relating to window signs,
portable signs and non-conforming signs. Second Reading
amending #14, a, “Covers not more than fifteen (15)
percent” to “Covers not more than twenty five (25) percent”.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-152 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
12. Approval to award the construction contract for the Novi Road/Post Office
Access Intersection Signalization project to the low bidder, Florence
Cement Company, in the amount of $108,432.45.
CM-05-05-153 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve award of the construction contract for the Novi
Road Post Office Access Intersection Signalization project to
the low bidder, Florence Cement Company, in the amount of
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-153 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
13. Approval to award a contract for Design and Construction Engineering
Services for 2005 Additional Neighborhood Streets, including Arcadia,
Venetian and Center Street, to JCK & Associates, Inc., for a not-to-exceed
design fee of $29,195 (including geotechnical costs), and a construction
engineering fee equal to a fixed 4.50% of construction cost (estimated to be
$31,375) for a total of $60,570.
CM-05-05-154 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve award of contract for Design and
Construction Engineering Services for 2005 Additional
Neighborhood Streets, including Arcadia, Venetian and Center
Street, to JCK & Associates, Inc., for a not-to-exceed
design fee of $29,195 (including geotechnical costs), and a
construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 4.50% of
construction cost (estimated to be $31,375) for a total of
Member Lorenzo advised Council that she received a phone call from a homeowner on Windermere Ct. in Bradford of Novi who requested Council keep their street in mind for consideration as funds become available. They have severe problems with their street deteriorating and with ice build up in the winter because of drainage issues.
Roll call vote on CM-05-05-154 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Landry, Capello, Gatt
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS
E. Approval of final acceptance of the Community Sports Park baseball field project
and associated maintenance bond. – Member Paul
Member Paul asked if this was the final amount for field number two and why it went across three fiscal budget years. She thought the field was to be done in 2002.
Mr. Helwig responded that this had been a challenging project in terms of funding and execution but this is the final, including the scoreboard. Mr. Auler said it was originally allocated by the Council in July 2002. From July 2002 until April 2003 the Novi Youth Baseball League in partnership with the Park Commission were looking at options to fund the project. The original allocation project was $50,000 for the ball field project, $25,000 for parking lot
improvements, $25,000 for improvements to the shelter and $40,000 to remove the Brook Farm Park Tennis Courts with the remainder of that money to come back for consideration of Council. The Novi Youth Baseball League and the Parks Department were looking at a volunteer effort as to how to make the project happen within $50,000 at the level they
wanted to do. In April 2003 they presented a conceptual plan to Council and recommended reallocation of the money based on the commission’s recommendation to reallocate the money that was originally appropriated to provide $126,000 for the ball field improvement project. On May 2003 the project began with the award of the engineering design firm and July 2003 the project went out to bid and the contractor began in September 2003 and completed the work in October 2004. The plan has always been to have the ball field ready by May of 2005 and that deadline has been met.
CM-05-05-155 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve final acceptance of the
Community Sports Park baseball field project
and associated maintenance bond.
Passed by voice vote
F. Approval of Resolution No. 3 for Connemara/Galway Water Main Extension –
Special Assessment District Number 173. – Member Paul
Member Paul asked if the water main extension, SAD 173 and the road repair would be done in conjunction to avoid ripping up a portion of a brand new road if the SAD is approved? Mr. Helwig asked what road repair she was referring to. Member Paul thought Galway in Connemara was being repaired with Center St. Mr. Helwig said no, Center Street is strictly on its own without any impact on this. He noted there is an intersection with Galway but they would not be going down Galway to the west. There would be no interference with the new road construction.
CM-05-05-156 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve of Resolution No. 3 for Connemara/Galway Water Main
Extension – Special Assessment District Number 173.
Passed by voice vote
Member Lorenzo responded to an earlier inquiry by Mr. O’Brien that the SAD process is a citizen initiated process and is not forced upon the citizens of Novi. She wanted residents to understand that if they want, they can solicit their neighborhood for an SAD.
J. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 696 & 696A – Member Paul
Member Paul commented she had spoken with Kathy Smith-Roy regarding multiple library expenses on the warrant. Mrs. Smith-Roy explained that the warrant is not just the general fund and that is why there are library expenditures which will come out of the library fund.
CM-05-05-157 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 696 & 696A.
Passed by voice vote
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Consider a partnership with Novi Community Schools to provide summer
busing for of-age children within the City of Novi to designated Novi locations
Member Capello said was not ready to move forward with this but wanted to give Council a background on this idea. He commented that children in Novi can’t bike from ball field to ball field to find a ball game to play in during the summer like he did as a child. He commented his children came up with the idea of summer busing because children could go to the sports park for volley ball, basketball, baseball and tennis, the ice rink, the sports club, Lake Shore Park, the middle school with its summer activities, Emagine Theatre, putt putt golf and many other places if they had transportation. He thought utilizing the school bus system during the summer would be a good idea. This would not be a full route but a couple of stops at a couple of subdivisions off the main street to pick up the children. Parents would have to go to Parks and Recreation, sign off on the bus tickets, the date and where their children were going so the bus driver would know they have their parent’s permission. He said the school seemed to be onboard until they sent it to their attorneys. Since the buses were picking up students who were not within the school district and not attending the schools,they had issues with that. Member Capello said he would withdraw this until he would figure a way to provide the bus transportation.
2. Council consideration of participation in Wireless Oakland – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo commented she had been reading about this subject for a couple of months. She spoke to the project manager, Scott Oppmann, to become more familiar with the project and wanted to bring it to Council for their consideration. The project goal is to blanket Oakland County with wireless internet service of which a portion would be free. The project would also enhance Oakland County’s ability to attract and retain high tech and nanotechnology businesses. The City is looking forward to doing this as well so she thought if Novi became a pilot community it would be mutually beneficial as long as there is no cost to the city taxpayers. She commented that Oakland County is looking for justification for being selected and she offered her thoughts on that. Member Lorenzo said Novi is a premiere south Oakland community. Our Community has maintained its lead in building permits, has substantial investment and reinvestment of commercial business and service partners such as Providence Hospital, Twelve Oaks
Mall and coming to town soon is Second City. Novi has attracted OST companies that offer high paying jobs, clean industry and state of the art equipment. Member Lorenzo thought this would be a win win situation for both Novi and Oakland County. The possible downsides would be that there has been discussion that any higher speed or other services would be offered for a fee and they would be able to advertise on a splash screen. They are also looking for an inventory of qualified assets which would be our public buildings, structures, traffic signals, street lights, etc., and for Novi to designate a point person that would facilitate a streamline permit process. This permit process would aid in attaching the equipment to various street lights and buildings. The equipment would be very small and obscure.
CM-05-05-158 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To let Oakland County know of Novi’s interest
in being a pilot community and participate in Wireless
Oakland at no cost to Novi taxpayers.
Mayor Csordas added to the motion that it was not to cost the taxpayers anything and he would support the motion. Member Lorenzo agreed. Mayor Csordas said it appeared it would be fairly labor intensive for someone at the City so that would be a cost. He thought it was curious that a governmental entity would be competing with private entities and with the opportunity for profit for add-on service as well. If we are going to provide personnel, labor and time, then a piece of that should be ours.
Member Gatt said he had a meeting with Mr. Patterson about a week ago and this idea was presented at the State of the County address this year. Member Gatt said it is coming and will be the first county in the country to be wireless. Mr. Patterson would take exception to what was said about competing with private businesses. His goal and idea is if it can be done over the county, it would bring in so much business and revenue that it would more than offset any costs. Member Gatt said it would not cost the city or any municipality any money. He is offering this to the private industry and giving them the opportunity to buy into it and they will be the ones who bear the burden of the cost and in return they will offer services for a fee. Residents will have the option of purchasing these services or not. When this is done in 2 to 2 ½ years from now, every resident and business in Oakland County will have the ability to access the internet for no charge. Member Gatt said Mr. Bertolini, head of the project, is holding off waiting for our letter and we need to make him aware of our intentions as soon as possible. It will be keen competition to get on this pilot project and if Novi is not chosen, it is still coming, it will just be later rather than sooner.
Member Paul thought this would be beneficial to everyone. She said that Oakland County is no longer the fastest growing county in this state. So we need to make ourselves very inviting for businesses to come in and this is a wonderful avenue and a great opportunity. If we can continue to look at how to have an edge on Office Service Technology over another county, she would applaud it. It is a positive move and she would support the motion.
Roll Call vote on CM-05-05-158 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry,
Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
Member Paul asked when the letter of interest could be sent to the County. Mr. Helwig said the letter was transmitted last week after the Monday evening meeting and they will call Mr. Bertolini and fax the letter tomorrow.
3. Next steps for implementation of the Naming Rights Policy – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo commented that on April 11th the Naming Rights Policy was approved and she was anxious to move forward and implement the policy so non-tax revenue can be brought to the City. She spoke to Mr. Auler and he is working towards bringing Council facilities and
pricing information to one of the meetings in June. He intends to bring information regarding the potential agreement between the City and the Foundation to the Park Foundation. Mr. Auler hopes to have an agreement before Council by July 1st. Member Lorenzo said she would appreciate hearing from the Parks Foundation board President and Vice President to confirm that they are still interested and have the ability to manage and coordinate the naming rights for Council. She felt their confirmation was important before administratively working with them. Member Lorenzo thought both sides should start work on an outline to be put together to form an agreement.
Mayor Csordas said Member Lorenzo was right and Council needed to make a price list available.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CM-05-05-159 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adjourn to Executive Session at 10:25 P.M.
Passed by voice vote
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
_____________________________ Date approved: May 23, 2005
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean