|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Cub Scout Pack No. 746 Ė Den No. 10
Den Leader: Una Nelson
Assistant Den Leader: Cynthia Straky
Members: Erik Failing, Robert Hong, Elliot Middlemass, Joseph Nelson, Jacob Randall, Thomas Smither, Andrew Straky, Lemuel Wang
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager
Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Barbara McBeth, Planning Director
Rob Hayes, City Engineer
Benny McCusker, Director of the Department of Public Works
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Nagy added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Item #3 Spalding DeDecker inspections.
Member Mutch added, to Mayor and Council Issues, #4 the Joint Planning Commission/City Council Meeting, transfer of development rights.
Member Paul added, to Mayor and Council Issues, Item #5, Beck Road Interchange.
Member Paul added, to Mayor and Council Issues, Item #6, Wixom and Eleven Mile.
CM-06-01-001 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
PRESENTATIONS - None
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig shared that Council received information in their packets over the holidays that the Old Dutch Farms neighborhood is now connected to the public sanitary sewer. This action was a long time coming, and took City initiated legal action to accomplish. The connection was made over the holidays, the tests were passed, and that neighborhood is now being served. He thanked Council for their direction, leadership and staying power on this issue.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Dr. Sanghvi was present to thank Council for the wonderful affair for the volunteers and workers of this City. He thanked Council for a great evening.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-06-01-002 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-002 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch,
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. December 19, 2005 Ė Regular meeting
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of January 9, 2006 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Authorization to apply for and participate in Phase II of the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program if approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
D. Approval of final pay estimate in the amount of $3,143 to Guardian Automatic Fire Protection for DPW sprinkler system contract.
E. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2006-08.
F. Acceptance of water main, sanitary sewer and some storm sewer as a public utility with corresponding 20-foot permanent easements from Waltonwood at Twelve Oaks I, LLC and Waltonwood at Twelve Oaks II, LLC for the Waltonwood at Twelve Oaks project for property located on parcels 50-22-12-200-037 and 50-22-12-200-038, respectively.
G. Approval of final adjusting change order and final pay estimate to Teltow Contracting, Inc. for the West Lake Drive Water Main Extension (SAD 168) and Road Paving (SAD 169) project in the amount of $27,351.18.
H. Approval of a Conservation Easement Agreement between the City of Novi and the Land and Water Management Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to protect created and existing wetlands at the Haggerty Regional Stormwater Detention Basin site.
I. Approval of license agreements from 17 Camden Court residents to place non-standard materials (brick pavers) for private walkways within the right-of-way.
J. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 712
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Consideration of request of Singh Development for Uptown Place for Preliminary Site Plan approval with a PD-2 (Planned Development) Option and Storm Water Management Plan approval. The subject property is in Section 14, south of Twelve Mile Road between Novi and Meadowbrook Roads in the R-C, Regional Center District. The proposed project is a mixed-use development with 148 residential units and approximately 22,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The subject property contains approximately 8.0 acres.
Mike Kahm, Singh Development, explained that this proposal is a mixed use development that is on a PD-2 master planned piece of property. He said that provided for special or planned uses that were more fluid than the underlying RC zoning classification of this property, which was the periphery of the Twelve Oaks Mall. In 2002, an ordinance amendment was adopted within the PD-2 Option that allowed for a mixed-use concept to be placed within a designated PD-2 property. They were present to request approval of a project that fits within the criteria of the amended PD-2 Option in the Zoning Ordinance. He said the development was presented to the Planning Commission about a year ago. They were before Council this evening because there were some items that the Planning Commission, at the time, didnít have the power to approve. However, with the adoption of another Council approved ordinance, Council has the discretion on waivers of certain design parameters within the ordinance under the RUD and PUD options. He displayed a rendering of a building that has three stories in the front and four stories in the rear due to the grade of the property. The retail is on the first floor, and will front on 12 Mile Road with parking on 12 Mile Road.
Mr. Kahm said parking for the residential component will be completely under the building. Access to the lower level parking will be on a road, which will be constructed from the finger road into the mall and eventually out to Meadowbrook Road. This is an easement they have with the Taubman Company, which will eventually serve as another access into the mall from Meadowbrook. This road will also be a part of Uptown Place and will be finished as part of their Uptown Park project. Mr. Kahm advised that the access to the underground parking would be at the south, west, and east and the entirety of the parking for residential will be under the building. The surface parking will be for retail. They envision the retail to be service related and complementary to the mall uses.
He said theyíve spoken with the Taubman Company about the proposed uses and they are in harmony with what is proposed on this property. He wanted to point out specific items on the site plan that needed Councilís attention, and they were asking for Councilís consideration of waivers to the Zoning Ordinance. Tony Marzelic from Alexander Bogaerts and Associates was also present to answer questions.
1. They proposed, instead of a berm along the 12 Mile frontage, a three foot masonry wall. They thought it was more in keeping with the urban scale of the development, and more in keeping with the streetscape proposed along 12 Mile. He said it was debatable with the Planning Commission whether this would be a waiver or not so he was offering it for Council discussion. Along the frontage of the building at the retail, the ordinance typically requires landscaping, and on a retail setting that is counter productive because storefronts would be hidden. They proposed to do brick pavers and small street tree plantings, which are more urban in scale. Main Street of Novi and downtown Northville would be an example of this. It is more of the character along the front that they are trying to create. He asked Council to consider granting this use along the front of the building.
2. Another issue with the Planning Commission is the loading area. Because of the functionality of the building and because there is technically road frontage on three sides, 12 Mile, the finger road, and the future road to the south, itís difficult to have all the loading, because of topographic constraints, at just the rear. The loading area shown is intended for residents. There are two other areas for loading intended for the retail components. They are asking for a waiver for side yard loading areas to service the retail. Also, for Council consideration is their taper on 12 Mile, accessing the entry into the development. He said because the taper is within 100 feet of the intersection of the finger road and 12 Mile the ordinance requires Council to grant a waiver. They have already received an Oakland County Road Commission approval for their geometrics. The other two items are related to the height of the building and he asked Tony Marzelic, of Alexander Bogaerts and Associates, to explain that element to the Council.
Mr. Marzelic said there is about 28 feet of fall across this site, with the high point being along 12 Mile Road, and the low at the rear towards the Waltonwood Novi project. He said because of that there is a tremendous amount of fall across the building. With the fall they are 37 feet at the front of the building, and because of the average grade and the fall across the building they exceed the 45 foot limitation with the proposed building height of 47 foot 10 inches. He said that is due primarily because of the extreme amount of fall that goes across this site, and because of the amount of fall it is also considered a four story building.
Member Gatt asked what type of housing was being proposed. Mr. Kahm replied it was geared for the empty nesters; those who are not yet ready to live in a community like Waltonwood. These empty nesters might live here in the summertime and go south for the winter. Mr. Kahm said that is why there is covered underground parking, and there will be concierge services. It is an upscale, high end tenant rental. Member Gatt asked if it was a "for purchase" property and Mr. Kahm said it is intended for rental. Member Gatt stated he was excited about the whole project and thought it was beautiful. He said they had his support. What excited him more was another entrance into the mall because he thought it would do wonders for the residents of Novi, and if nothing else it would add to the community. He had no problem with the variances and thought the three foot wall was very attractive and in keeping with 12 Mile Road. The landscape and loading areas, no problem and itís not really a four story building due to the topography.
Member Nagy stated sheís liked the concept plan and was willing to waive the berm issue as this would be in keeping with what they are trying to build. She asked if there would be mechanical units on top of the building, and if they would require screening? Mr. Kahm replied there would be some rooftop mechanical and they would be screened. She asked how much that would add to the height of the roof. Mr. Marzelic replied the only rooftop equipment would be, if necessary, for the commercial component, the 21,000 plus square foot retail. He said they were about four feet tall. Member Nagy said it would add to the 47feet 10 inches making it about 51 feet if looking from the rooftop. He said correct, to a screened mechanical unit. Member Nagy said she understood his need regarding the loading issue. She asked if he was screening the loading areas in the side yards and if it would be hidden by a wall.
Mr. Kahm said this is actually a story below the retail so it wonít be seen from 12 Mile at all. He said they are actually looking at these loading areas a full story below 12 Mile. Obviously,
coming down the finger road you would be able to see the loading area, but they intended to hide the dumpster behind a 14 foot garage door on both ends. She said she read the packet and liked this idea in development. She read all the history and thought this was an ordinance that his office helped the Implementation Committee with. Member Nagy said she was willing to do all the waivers. However, the problem she has is that it doesnít meet the intent of the ordinance with regard to the residential density. The calculation is that this would be about 80% residential, and it doesnít meet the intent of the ordinance. Member Nagy felt if they veer away from the ordinance where are they going to go with the next project and the one after that. Member Nagy asked if they could lower the residential to make more of an effort to meet the ordinance requirements. Mr. Kahm stated there was a misconception at the Planning Commission level on two things. One, the ordinance provides that no more than 20% of the buildings shall be retail or office, and they complied with that. He thought the Planning Commission misinterpreted it. The distinction is no more than 20% shall be retail or office. He said they more than comply with that requirement. The other issue about density is that the ordinance provides for residential to be looked at under the RM-2, and the Planning Department actually did a calculation in their planning report and showed that they are below density on this project as compared to what they would be allowed by rooms. There was a calculation in the Planning report that said that. Mr. Kahm didnít know why they made the motion they did, and mentioned at the end of their motion. Their report shows they are below density.
Member Nagy asked Ms. McBeth to address what Mr. Kahm just said. Ms. McBeth stated there were two things that Mr. Kahm indicated. One was the Planning Commission recommendation for denial based on the fact that there seemed to be more residential than they had originally expected, and were not coming in with 20% of the floor area for non-residential purposes. She agreed with Mr. Kahm that the ordinance does provide a maximum of 20% for non-residential types of uses. However, with regard to the density, the RM-2 District has two different standards for density. One level of the standard is for buildings that are three stories and less, and the other is for four stories or more. She said the Planning Commission had made a determination that it is four stories and would be within the density requirements for a four story building. However, the RC District only allows a three story building. Member Nagy said the building height is what we are having a problem with. Ms. McBeth agreed and said that is another factor she thought City Council should take into consideration. Member Nagy said if they didnít have a problem with the building height, then youíd say that the density is coming within the allowed density of RM-2 three stories, and asked if that would be allowable. Ms. McBeth said it would not be allowable at this density, because there is a much lower density for three stories or less than for four stories or more. Member Nagy said the only other alternative Council could have is the burden of the developer to grade that area to make it one level. Ms. McBeth said there are several options. There could be a redesign of the site, and there could be grading with large retaining walls to make it more level across the entire sight. She thought part of the problem was that the site drops off from 12 Mile. It starts at a higher elevation and drops off quite a bit. Member Nagy asked if they had been able to meet with Singh since this project came before the Planning Commission, and have any redesigns been offered. Ms. McBeth said they had not looked at any redesigns since this was before the Planning Commission. Member Nagy asked, during their meeting with Singh, were any redesigns suggested to the developer. Ms. McBeth said they did. She remembered early on there were a number of different designs they looked at.
Although, she thought the design that was initially presented, when the ordinance amendment came in, is similar to the design presented this evening. Member Nagy asked Mr. Kahm if they have discussed doing any other design that would solve the three story versus four story problem. Mr. Kahm said the problem would be it would be a mammoth retaining wall on the south side of the property, if they were to fill it in. They didnít feel it would be conducive to the mall traffic or the Waltonwood project as the residents would be staring at a 20 ft high retaining wall. It would be costly and had done them before, but aesthetically it wouldnít be the right use for this property. They thought it would be better to try to use the building to work with the grade. Member Nagy said she thought one of Councilís goals was to not put any more multiples in.
Member Paul asked Ms. McBeth if they initially knew they would have some HVACís on top of the building. Ms. McBeth thought there was an assumption that equipment would be put near the loading zones or possibly in the courtyard areas. Member Paul said then this is going to be more than 45 feet, it is going to be 51 feet 10 inches, and she asked if they were concerned about that. Ms. McBeth replied they were concerned and would want to be sure it was screened adequately. Member Paul asked if both buildings would have this height on it or just the one in the rear. Ms. McBeth responded it depended on where the unit would be located, and she wasnít sure the architect indicated that. Member Paul asked if there was anyone from Singh that could tell them if there would be HVAC on the front and back building, and what the height would be there. Mr. Kahm said they needed the rooftop commercial HVAC systems for retail and the proposed restaurant. He said all the residential would be self contained so there wouldnít be any need for rooftop equipment. He said they do have a way to do the mechanical without putting it on the roof. If thatís a height issue another spot could be used hide it, and it would not increase the height of the building. Member Paul said itís only on the front of the first building, and he answered thatís correct. She asked if that was at the maximum height, because she thought they were talking about the 47 foot building, which is the rear building. Mr. Kahm said the shortest component of the building, the front, is where they need the rooftop because it is where all the retail is, and it would be behind the parapets along the front. Member Paul said that would be the screening. He said the height of the building elevation on 12 Mile is 38.7, and 47.10 is grade averaging around the whole building. He said in the front they are well below the height. She stated she doesnít have a problem with the building because of the grade. She did have a problem if the screening is going to make it even taller. If it is going to be within the peak and can be hidden in the front, she didnít have a problem with that. Mr. Kahm said it depended on where you look at the building. If you look at the front, which is 37 feet 10 inches, and add four feet then we are well below 45 feet. He said the definition of height in the ordinance is the highest point of the building, and then you measure the average grade. So, even though the height point is only way up here in front because of the HVAC equipment, technically by doing the math it ends up being higher. He said from an aesthetic perspective we are proposing that if the HVAC goes on the roof here, itís at the shortest point the component can go, which is the front. Member Paul said aesthetically it is very important to her not to have a really tall building. So, she thought his explanation was good because the main view would be the front view on 12 Mile. She didnít have a problem with the loading zone areas because of how they have been screened. Member Paul also did not have a problem with the waiver of the landscaping berm on 12 Mile, or the waiver of the Design and Construction Standards to allow for the deceleration taper, because it is a preexisting problem with 12 Mile Road with no alternative. She said if they can guarantee the screening to be no higher than what is proposed on this plan, and anything that is going to be higher will be put on the side yards. Member Paul asked Mr. Kahm if he was comfortable with that and he responded he was. Member Paul said she usually supported the Planning Commission but now with the explanation she has received and the fact that this fits within the zoning, she is comfortable.
CM-06-01-002 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the Singh Development for Uptown Place for
Preliminary Site Plan approval with the PD-2 Planned Development Option and Stormwater Management Plan approval. The subject
property is in Section 14, south of 12 Mile Road between Novi and
Meadowbrook Roads in RC, Regional Center District. Proposed
Project is a mixed use development with 148 residential units and
Approximately 22,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space. The
subject property contains approximately 8.8 acres. This fits with
the Master Plan, waiver for Design and Construction Standards
to allow for deceleration taper within 100 ft. of existing taper along
12 Mile Road. The plans require a waiver of the landscape berm
along 12 Mile Road and decorative screening will be appropriate
with the wall and appropriate for the residential view that Council
is trying to give. The proposed loading areas are located in the side
yards instead of the rear yard. The proposed building exceeds the
maximum building height by one story but they will be working to
stay within the screened areas already proposed on these residential
and commercial areas. Also, that brick pavers will be used as
landscaping. The sidewalks will be along 12 Mile and along the
finger road, and extended all the way down to the mall ring road along the west side of the Waltonwood and Twelve Oaks property and along the east west road that goes to Meadowbrook Road. Also, City Council shall be authorized to grant deviations conditioned upon the Council finding that:
1. that each zoning ordinance provision from which a deviation is sought would, if the deviation were not granted, prohibit an enhancement of the development that would be in the public interest;
2. that approving the proposed deviation would be compatible with the existing and planned uses in the surrounding area;
3. that the proposed deviation would not be detrimental to the natural features and resources of the affected property and surrounding area, or would enhance or preserve such natural features and resources;
4. that the proposed deviation would not be injurious to the safety or convenience of vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and 5. that the proposed deviation would not cause an adverse fiscal or financial impact on the Cityís ability to provide services and facilities to the property or to the public as a whole. In determining whether to grant any such deviation, the Council shall be authorized to attach reasonable conditions to the Preliminary Site Plan, in accordance with Section 2406.4.B.
Mayor Landry addressed Member Paul saying that the statute Ordinance Section 2406.5 requires that if deviations are going to be granted there has to be certain findings by the City Council, which are enumerated in items 1 through 5 on the top of page 2. He asked if she was incorporating those into the motion. Member Paul replied she would.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello wanted clarification. He said he supported the motion. He said Member Paul was allowing the four stories and the 47 feet 10 inches, correct. He said looking at the plan, he thought from her presentation that Mr. Kahm also needed a landscape variance for the greenery along the building where the walkway and the pavers are; is that true? Mr. Kahm said that was left in limbo when they were before the Planning Commission, but to be clear he thought the Planning staff were recommending approval but wanted some feedback, because Mr. Kahm said they were trying to maintain the urban character of the front of the building, particularly because it is retail. He said they were offering the area to be brick pavers, which is demonstrated on the landscape plan. They were trying to keep within the spirit of the ordinance yet realizing that this is an urban design in retail, not trying to hide the building. He wanted to be sure Council was comfortable with that approach to the landscaping along the front of the building.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked Ms. McBeth if she thought that needed to be added as an additional variance or was she comfortable with the plan as it sits without a variance. Ms. McBeth thought it was Mr. Shipmanís opinion that those decorative pavers have in the past served as landscaping, screening and buffering around the building. She said if he wanted it clarified in the motion it would make it even better for the Planning Commission to look at during final site plan. He asked Member Paul if she wanted to add that. She responded she would add it as an amendment and, as seconder of the motion, Mayor Pro Tem Capello accepted.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said in the goal setting sessions Council set a goal to have no additional multiples but we also had an exception for any projects that were in the planning stages. At that time, this was in the planning stages, and so was an exception to our goal.
Member Margolis thought this was a very nice development for the City. She said as the City gets more and more developed Council would see more and more difficult sites like this. She appreciated their going the extra mile to try to fit within the ordinances of the City and producing a development that will really do us proud. Member Margolis stated they had her support and that she didnít have an issue with the building height. She said looking at it from the front it would not look like a four story building. She noted itís the grading issues that need work.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Kahm who would be maintaining the access road coming in off the Twelve Oaks access road. Mr. Kahm replied it would be a private road. There is a joint maintenance agreement very much like the balance of the mall roads where there is a collective "pot of money" that the Taubman Company oversees. He said they and Singh would maintain that road.
Member Mutch said, in the future, Mr. Kahm had talked about that road being extended out to Meadowbrook Road and asked if there were any plans, at any point, to make that a City road or is the intent for that entire access road to be private. Mr. Kahm responded itís the intent for it to be private. Member Mutch said in terms of their bigger picture looking at this project with the other project they have coming in on Meadowbrook Road there will be a connection via access road, is there going to be any other connection between these two projects. Mr. Kahm said it was too early to say now, but there is a possibility that could happen, but they havenít solidified the final plans for Uptown Park, so that is a possibility. However, right now there are no definitive plans to connect the two. Member Mutch said the access road on the plan as it goes east off of the property there is another connection to the DMC development to the north, is that going to be constructed along with this. Mr. Kahm said yes, it is across the south side of the DMC property and there is already a pre-existing easement on their property for the road. Member Mutch asked if that road would be connected all the way to the eastern boundary of their property. Mr. Kahm said yes. Member Mutch commented that he didnít see the sidewalk being extended, and if the long-term goal is to have this access road interconnect he wanted to see that sidewalk included with the access drive. Mr. Kahm agreed with that being necessary.
Member Mutch said the regarding the access into the parking garage, it wasnít clear to him what the traffic pattern is. He was concerned that coming in off of that finger road for Twelve Oaks Mall there would be issues of people queuing up or stacking up to turn into the garage entrance. He was also concerned about the sidewalks around the building and pedestrian conflicts where they cross those entrances and exits to the garage. Mr. Kahm replied that the sidewalks will be along 12 Mile and along the finger road, and they would like to extend that sidewalk all the way down to the mall ring road along the west side of the Waltonwood and Twelve Oaks property. He said it would also be along the east west road that goes to Meadowbrook Road. The parking is on two levels. The lower level parking will only be accessed from the south. The east and west entries are a level above and provide a vertical separation. Mr. Kahm said, as far as a conflict here, there really arenít many units here as far as the massing of the building, and didnít see the crossing problem to be much of an issue. Member Mutch asked if the garage entrances were entrance and exit both ways. Mr. Kahm said yes. Member Mutch said with people coming back in the evening, and coming down the entrance road, as to not having to turn into that garage, will there be a stacking issue on the mall entrance road? Mr. Kahm stated they used the Main Center project as a guide and have never had that kind of problem, and that has a much less circulation availability than this one does. Member Mutch said it looks like there are sidewalks adjacent to the building itself. Mr. Kahm said yes, there are, and thatís for access from these surface parking spaces for people going up to the retail wonít walk in and out of the parking area. Member Mutch asked if there would be situations where people are crossing across those garage entrances. Mr. Kahm said these garage entrances are going to be securely gated and are inset into the building so anyone coming out of the building is going to hear the gate coming up. Drivers wonít be able to zoom out of the building.
Member Mutch said the big problem he has with this project is that the ordinance is pretty clear regarding the height. Section C states "a maximum permitted building height of the RC, Regional Center District, shall apply to all uses under the PD-2 Option", and the RC District has a height limitation of 45 feet. He felt they had gotten fixated on how it would look, but the real issue is what the impact is. The impact is the density and if it is a three story building and meets the RC requirements its 1/3rd of the density. Member Mutch said if it was a three story building and 47 feet it would produce the lower density. He said it is the number of stories that is driving the density quite high. He said another concern is the intent of the ordinance which is to provide transitional uses on the periphery of regional oriented shopping centers. He thought that a transitional use is not only in the kind of use, and he thought this was a transitional use, but also in its impact. He said putting buildings that are higher than the principle buildings in the district on the periphery doesnít strict him as a transitional use. Another concern is the nature of the multiple. Obviously, the City made a policy decision when they amended this ordinance to allow the higher density, mixed use in this area. But the other multiple developments in the area are the Enclave condominiums, the other Singh condominium project, Waltonwoods senior complex and these are proposed to be apartments. Member Mutch thought it was not only the density of the use but the impact of the use. He said Council has been trying to move away from that in their long term vision of the City. He didnít think, from a policy viewpoint, that it was clear to him that we wanted this kind of density in the RC District in the PD-2. He said the language is pretty clear that they werenít looking to do the density permitted in RM-2 by limiting the uses to three stories. Member Mutch said he couldnít support the project as proposed.
Mayor Landry stated he didnít have a problem with the height. He said the average height is only 2 feet 10 inches higher; the front height from 12 Mile Road is well below 45 feet. He thought the topography created unusual circumstances and they had to be looked at and not ignored. Mayor Landry was not concerned about loading or height, and preferred the loading areas not be in the back. He was also fine with the landscape berm and the deceleration taper is being proposed by the Oakland County Road Commission as far as he was concerned.
Mayor Landry believed this was the first mixed use development proposed, it is a good thing, a good project, and he would support it.
Member Nagy asked Ms. McBeth if there were any requests for waivers from the Brooktown developer to have more than the allowed stories. Ms. McBeth said they had not asked for any waivers for the building height. Member Nagy asked if any projects had come forward that had the same circumstances with the grading and did anyone else requested 4 stories instead of the three allowed by the ordinance. Mr. McBeth said not that she recalled. Member Nagy said she had read Mr. Avdoulosí comments in the Planning Commission minutes and he mentioned that the first finished floor is actually the first floor. Ms. McBeth said he was making a point that there were only three levels of residential dwellings, and she thought that was the point he was trying to make. She said the building immediately adjacent is one story with a taller roof on portions of it, the building adjacent to that is a little taller, and she thought the building to the east was three stories. Member Nagy asked if the roof line would be the same height if she were standing on the east side and looking at both of them. Ms. McBeth said it all looks the same height with the exception of the front area, which is a little lower. Ms. McBeth displayed the elevations.
Member Paul added to the motion items the developer stated he would like to do: Add the sidewalk to the ring road.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-002 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Landry
2. Consideration of a request from Monal, Inc., applicant for Minns Dental Clinic (to be located on Taft Road south of Grand River Avenue) for: 1) a variance from Section 11-68(a)(1) of the Design and Construction Standards (DCS) requiring the extension of water mains along all road frontages abutting the proposed development (no water main is proposed), 2) a variance from Section 11-68(a)(1) of the DCS requiring the ability to serve the development with at least 4,000 gallons per minute flow (none provided because of lack of connection to water system), 3) a variance from Section 11-68(f)(1)(h) of the DCS requiring a fire hydrant located within 175 feet of building (none provided) and 4) a variance from Section 11-276(b) of the DCS requiring a path across the frontage of arterial and collector roads (80 feet of the frontage which would require boardwalk is excluded from the plan).
Robert Allen, Architect, was present with Dr. Steven Minns who is the owner and future occupant of the proposed building. Also, Mr. Phil Seymour, the applicantís attorney, was present to address some of the comments regarding the review letters.
Mr. Allen said Dr. Minns has had a business on Meadowbrook Road in the City of Novi for the last 28 years, and is now looking to construct his own building that would be owner occupied, and to be located on Taft Road. The proposed building is 3,250 sq. ft., which is smaller than many homes here in Novi. It is a one story structure and is considered, as a business use, a very low hazard. In addition, they had taken steps to provide additional reductions and fire risk for this as acknowledged in the Fire Marshallís review letter. This project is an ideal solution for a Light Industrial abutting other residential uses. Immediately across the street on Taft Road there are existing residential development and proposed residential development. Since they abut a residential district their intent in doing this design was to create a very harmonious structure similar in scale to the adjacent residential structures. He said while a much greater density and more intense use is permitted in a Light Industrial District they thought this type of use and project would be ideal as a buffer between those two districts. The key with regard to our proposal and the reason for the variances has to do with scale. As a building that is 3,250 sq. ft. their anticipated cost of construction is probably about $500,000. In doing the plan review, and going through the various departments they came across the problem of meeting the ordinance requirements of providing extension of the Cityís infrastructure to this site. This site is approximately 400 ft. plus away from Grand River, which is the nearest water main. There is an additional requirement required for extending across the frontage of the site. So, they are looking at just under a 600 lineal foot extension from Grand River of a 16 inch water main, which is a huge water main. He said the district might need a water main of that size but it absolutely does not address the needs of this particular building. The cost of doing that is approximately a quarter of a million dollars. He said this is half again the cost of the project and, frankly makes this type of project not feasible. Accordingly, they are present to discuss with Council three variances related to that, and why he thinks it makes sense to give to them, and why they are in the interest of the community in order to do so.
Mr. Allen said they have requested a variance from extending the water main from Grand River to this site. He pointed out that should the Council decide that it is in the interest for them to construct a water main in front of their facility; they would have no objection to doing that. He said their initial feeling on this was that it would make sense for that to occur all at once and they would participate in the cost if at some point that work would be done in the future. However, if there is concern about the mechanics of accomplishing that, they are willing to construct a water main, and install a covered hydrant so it wouldnít be a safety hazard, along the frontage of their lot. That cost is something this type of project could absorb. Mr. Allen said after reviewing the review letters for this project it was noted that other development projects are required to extend water mains from off site to their site. It should be pointed out that in most cases itís not a single occupant 3,000 sq. ft. building. Examples to the south are a large multi unit residential development. There are other examples where a loop was created, and it should be pointed out that it was only 200 ft., and also a multi tenant development. Mr. Allen said clearly they didnít face the same economic hardship because they had more participants in the project. There has also been discussion of getting property owners to the north of the site to participate in a Special Assessment District in order to accomplish this. Mr. Allen said the issue they have there is those sites, as currently defined by their properties with the expanded right of way are not buildable in the Light Industrial Zoning District. The only way those sites are buildable is if they are combined with the site adjacent to it to the east. It was impossible to say when that would happen. However, there is very little motivation for those property owners to participate voluntarily in a Special Assessment District. So they didnít have a good method, in order to share a system, of bringing that down for this project.
Mr. Allen pointed out that immediately across the street there are residential dwellings that he believed were site condominiums. All of those units were recently constructed and it is significant to note that they are supplied by well water, and probably offer a higher hazard than this building, which would be one story non-combustible. He said there is not a fire safety issues in terms of what they are doing. It really is a financial hardship.
Mr. Allen said with regard to the fire hydrant they can install it but didnít want it to become a fire safety hazard by providing a hydrant that doesnít work. They would work with the Fire Marshall to do whatever is necessary to meet their requirements.
Mr. Allen said the last variance needed was for the boardwalk to be constructed in the wetland area. Their request for the variance has to do with their desire to provide the least destruction to that wetland area. Their plan is to not disturb the wetlands unless they are required to place the water main on their frontage then they will construct the boardwalk as required by ordinance. However, if that is postponed or the variance not to provide that water main then they would ask not to have to build the catwalk until the construction of the water main occurs; therefore disrupting the wetlands only once providing the least impact.
Mr. Allen said his final point has to do with the scale of this project and planning and development in Novi in areas like this. He wasnít sure there were a lot of sites like this there are some that come up to address this type of issue. He said this type of project that is owner built, owner occupied, one story, appropriately scaled is a perfect buffer adjacent to future residential, and is the type of development they would like to see along Taft Road and along this Light Industrial District. If it is saddled with the burden of paying for the cost of constructing 600 lineal feet of 16 inch water main it is not feasible. This means that the only time that that type of development is feasible is if someone is doing a multi tenant, not necessarily owner occupied development, or if someone was doing a larger development like a Light Industrial building. Those uses are probably not as good a buffer as this one is. Mr. Allen said they are asking for consideration for this unique financial hardship with regards to the scale so they can contribute something appropriate and very attractive on this site. He said they are asking for three variances and possibly four. First would be the variance for the water main extension to the site. They are willing to put the water main across the frontage if that is required or appropriate. They are asking for this because of the financial hardship and the impact of not making this project feasible to develop. The second and third variances are for providing the required water flow and the fire hydrant. He restated that they are not against participating in the cost of doing those but felt it would be appropriate for them to participate
only in their proportionate share of that cost so they can afford to construct the building. He pointed out that they have taken measures beyond what is required by code for this use. They are not required to have a non-combustible building for a 3,000 sq. ft. building. He said per the Fire Marshallís letter they have reduced the risk even lower than what is already a low risk. Mr. Allen said they also feel that these variances are supportable since similar consideration was given to sites immediately across the street where the development is ten times the size of theirs, and their use is much less of a hazard. Also, in the review letter from the Engineering Department said that the Fire Department said they do have alternate ways to fight a fire on this site if it occurred. They were not saying they wouldnít participate in the ability to support water to the district; they were saying they would participate in it with a reasonable amount. They just canít participate in the excessive costs for all the other portions that would come along with it. Finally, if the waiver is granted for constructing the water main across their frontage they would be asking for a variance for constructing the boardwalk at this time. If that is not the pleasure of the Council to grant those variances with regard to the water main then when they construct that they would construct the required boardwalk.
Phil Seymour stated, with respect to the department letters, he acknowledged that all departments recommend denial, however he believed they were authored under some misconceptions. Chief Lenaghanís letter of December 22nd recommended in part on the lack of at least installing a water main with a hydrant across the applicantís property for future connection. Mr. Seymour said the applicant is willing to do that and willing to participate in the future, and if Council wants this done in the present he is willing to do it at the present. He said the same thing with Ms. McBethís letter to Mr. Croy. He got the impression reading that letter that it was based on the fact that the applicant was unwilling to install anything, including the sidewalk. Mr. Croyís letter is the same, although when we are talking about extending a 16 inch water main 425 ft. to the property line and another 162 feet across the property line, normally itís not for a one use building, but for large developments. He thought the letters were based on the statement that the applicant was refusing to participate at all and that canít be further from the truth. The applicant is going to build the building out of fire retardant material that would be cement, etc., which would be not as combustible as the homes across the street that are built on a well and donít have the necessary water mains. Lastly, Mr. Aube, DPW, says he is against it, but if the money was placed in escrow that would be sufficient to grant an approval. Mr. Seymour said these are Design and Construction variances and are not the same as a ZBA variance criteria set forth in the ordinance. He asked that Council grant the variances however they want to posture them, if he has to install the water main across the front he will do it now, if Council wants the sidewalk and boardwalk now, the applicant will do it. However, as he has done it now, it is not a danger to the public health or safety of the neighbors. They are shielded by a wetland at the north end of the property, the non-combustible material, the well would not be used for the water system in the building. The users of the building would be supplied bottled water. Furthermore, it is not a situation where people are not ambulatory that would come in and all the people would be ambulatory so that if there was a fire they could get out.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Helwig for a report from the administration in the form of a summary of what the recommendations were from the various divisions of the City. Mr. Helwig said they were prepared to do that and asked Rob Hayes and Chief Lenaghan to come forward.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Hayes to address, for the record, the applicant is suggesting that they put a water main on their property, basically a pipe in the ground, connected to no water source and having no water in it to be connected in the future. Apparently they are under the impression that the administration was unaware of that. He asked Mr. Hayes to express his thoughts on that, and whether that would satisfy the goals and intent of the policies, ordinances, and Design and Construction Standards of the City.
Rob Hayes was unaware that the applicant was willing to install a dead main. As a standard of practice they prefer not to see that as it could deteriorate the pipe if left uncharged and unused and it could be difficult to locate in the future. He took issue with the cost estimate that the applicant came up with. He believed that construction cost for a 16 inch main for 600 ft. wouldnít cost more than a $100,000. There may be ancillary costs as far as easement acquisition, etc.
Mr. Helwig asked Mr. Hayes to go through recommendations and put on the record what he said in the review letters. He said the Engineering staff reviewed the primary variance request, that being the provision for extending the water main from Grand River to the site. They are recommending that it not be approved because the ordinance doesnít distinguish between single or multiple users. It simply says the water main must be extended to and along the frontage of the development. Since the next two variances stem from the first one, engineering also recommended that those two not be approved. As far as the sidewalk variance they are suggesting that should also not be approved because they would prefer the boardwalk be built concurrent with the sidewalk. Mr. Hayes said regarding the other departments, Planning had similar concerns as Engineering did in that regard. We also had recommendations from Public Works along the same vein as Engineering and Planning.
Chief Lenaghan stated they spent time on this and the final decision was based on compliance with the present ordinance, and that requires that the water supply be in. He knew concessions were made in dealing with the Fire Marshall in terms of type of construction. However, their job is to do the review based on the adopted ordinance, and that is what they did. It doesnít comply with the water supply, and he would be opposed to the dead end water main or hydrant connected to nothing giving the impression that there was some type of protection when, in fact, there is nothing there. The concessions made by the owner are more than the ordinance required, in terms of construction of the building, but they only look at one portion of it and that would be the hydrant location.
Member Nagy asked where their water would come from. Mr. Allen replied water would come from a well until water is brought to the site. The actual dental operation doesnít use tap water anymore, they use bottled water only. The well would be used for flushing toilets and for washing. She said it is really hard to give this variance. She said each one of the departments have legitimate reasons, including the fact of the ordinance, not to grant these variances. Member Nagy agreed with the Engineer that putting something across the frontage with a hydrant that doesnít work would accomplish nothing for the City or for the applicant.
Member Nagy asked Mr. McCusker about the designated costs. Mr. McCusker stated there are costs set up for districts and installation of a new main. There is a charge based on what the cost is to bring it there no matter who puts it there. When the tap fees come in it is based on those charges. She asked if the applicant had discussed, with him, placing funds in escrow. Mr. McCusker said no, but the 425 ft. of 16 inch water main is not a quarter of a million dollars. He thought Mr. Hayes was probably right that it was more in the neighborhood of $100,000. The Water Master Plan was set up in those districts and thatís why the main is sized that way is to satisfy that piece of the district. It happens to be on a distribution point along Taft Road and that is why the main is sized that way.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Allen if they discussed the ability to put funds into escrow to cover future installation. Mr. Allen replied they had preliminary discussions at their plan review meetings with the Planning Department. Mr. Allen said they were willing to do that and would be willing to do that now. However, he took exception with the cost analysis. He said they are in the business and have to solicit bids for them and the cost is well in excess of $100,000 with the addition of the hydrant and work thatís there. He also pointed out that the new work would have to go on the expanded ROW. There isnít the expanded ROW on the parcels to the north and it would be very cumbersome and costly to accomplish that. Mr. Allen said they have no objection to participating in their cost for the portion that would relate to frontage across their site. Member Nagy said originally when asked if they would put funds in escrow for the future they said yes. Then they went on to explain that there was a difference in opinion in regard to cost. Mr. Allen thought he misunderstood her. Member Nagy asked if they were willing to do that. He said they were willing to put into escrow the cost of the main that would be across the frontage. They do not believe the figure is correct, but if that is the cost they would consider escrow because they canít get it constructed for that cost. It is a very crucial point because of the nature of whatís involved in order to do this. Their whole point in coming before Council is the cost is not what is represented to be reasonable with regard to a half million dollar project. Member Nagy asked how they knew what the cost was. Mr. Allen explained they had to solicit bids from contractors and offer to make that information available. She asked if the bids were supplied to the Engineering Department. Mr. Allen didnít know if the contractor had done that or not, but said he would make sure that it is done. He agreed that putting in the fire hydrants would be a hazard, and he would not want to see that however itís done at this point. Mr. Allen said they could provide a T for it and perhaps a dead cap or something and can put escrow to that. He also agreed that it was not preferable to put a water main at this time. The preferable solution would be to put in escrow the amount necessary to cover the construction in front of their building. However, if it is $100,000 he thought that was something they would consider. Member Nagy asked where we would get the water if there was a fire. Member Nagy asked if he brought the bids with him and he said he had not but would be happy to provide them. Member Nagy said it would have been most appropriate for him to bring them so Council would know what he was talking about. He said if he had know it was going to be an issue and that was the figure the Engineering Department thought was appropriate he would have come prepared for that.
Member Nagy commented that she didnít know how they were going to get around this and was not willing to grant all the variances. She said they have had plenty of time to meet with all three department heads. She asked Chief Lenaghan where they would get the water. Chief Lenaghan stated the closest hydrant is probably on Grand River as far as using public water supply. Member Nagy said 600 feet concerns her and that she appreciated all the materials they are using. However, she understood their financial concerns but they were privy to the ordinances. She was not in agreement with putting in a T with a cap and thought that would be useless. She would like to see money put into escrow to cover future installations and maybe the department heads, DPW and Engineering could take their bids and compare them with ours, and come up with an amount they would be willing to put into escrow, and maybe we could table this until everyone gets together and determines what that cost is. She said she would deny their request at the present time.
Mr. Allen asked Mr. Hayes if he understood correctly that the City would be able to construct to supply a cost for a contractor retained by the City to construct this water main extension, and that we would then be responsible for whatever that amount is and putting that in escrow. Mr. Hayes clarified that could only be done through the Special Assessment District process. Mr. Allen said then that means that we would be responsible and there is no way to put anything in escrow because whoís going to construct it. Mr. Hayes said the applicant would.
Member Nagy asked if there was an appropriate amount of money put into escrow for the future installation of the development why canít it be put into escrow for that. Mr. Hayes stated Mr. Allenís question was who would be responsible for the construction, the City or the applicant, and the only time the City would be responsible, in effect managing the project, would be if it were an SAD. Member Nagy asked if there was future development coming next door, and he has his money in escrow. Couldnít they have a cheaper construction cost if the future developers got together to put in this main. Mr. Hayes said that was a possibility, but he didnít know if that had been done previously. Member Nagy said she would not support their variances at this point.
Member Gatt noted he would table the item or postpone it until the figures are determined.
CM-06-01-003 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That this item be tabled for a future Council meeting.
Member Paul stated she was willing to table this item also. We have a long-term business partner in our community who has an excellent reputation for 25 years as a dentist in Novi, and she was willing to work with him and come to some kind of agreement. She knew that Mozart Development was doing the residential development to the south of this proposal, and perhaps there is something that he might be interest in to do an SAD with this development and his. Anything that would clean up the area and improve it is definitely a positive to her. She would like to have the sidewalk and boardwalk put in. She asked for administrations thoughts and comments on how they could work this out together with the water main.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if the $100,000 was from Grand River to the south end of the site are only construction of the water main across the front of the site. Mr. Hayes said yes, that would be the 425 feet from where they would pick up the water main just south of Grand River to the property corner and then an additional 162 feet to the southern limit of the property. Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if all of that would be $100,000. Mr. Hayes said that was his estimate based on costs. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said running the line all the way down to the property and even across the front of the property is a very minimal benefit to this property owner. He said he would just accept the $100,000 contribution to the City to install it in the future because he thought they were paying more than the value they would get out of the property anyway. He said thatís his idea in regard to the water main. The more major concern to him is the fire safety.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked Chief Lenaghan what diameter of water service was needed for the hydrant. Chief Lenaghan stated the smallest mains that could be put in for residential property, for example, are 8 inches. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said if there was some other way to provide the fire suppression maybe through an 8 inch main through a private easement off of Grand River to the east, which would make the distance shorter directly to the property. He said he didnít know if a water suppression system could use less than an 8 inch service, provide a private easement through one of the industrial properties and get a self contained suppression system. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said that would satisfy his fire concerns.
Member Margolis stated fire suppression is her major concern also. She said when she sees that the City Attorney is suggesting a hold harmless agreement that concerns her a great deal. She said for future direction that would be one of her main concerns.
Mr. Allen asked what was done in the case of the residential development across the street that had wells. He asked if there was such an agreement entered into. Mr. Schultz said he believed that was put in when there was a water moratorium in place at the City and they were not permitted to extend it.
Member Mutch stated the applicant noted that he didnít think he could put together an SAD. He asked what the alternatives were legally for financing the water main extension, because he thought like other Council members the fire suppression, but the concern he has about doing an Ad Hoc kind of routing through other properties, because the looping opportunity would be lost that we obviously want to see happen. He noted how the residents further south on Taft Road extended water for almost a half mile on almost entirely one-acre lots, so they paid a lot to extend that water. He thought this had to be equitable. He wondered if there was some vehicle that the water could be extended in a way that is financially feasible for this particular applicant, and also recognizing there was some confusion about what they should be paying. Member Mutch commented he didnít think the burden should be entirely on this applicant to pay the entire extension. He suggested that maybe there could be a payback option. Member Mutch said when this comes back he would like to know what the options are in terms of financing the extension.
Mayor Landry commented that he couldnít support anything that didnít include bringing water to the site. He said fire suppression and safety are the key issues. The only way infrastructure gets developed through the City is that the people who develop the property bring the infrastructure to the property. He said they made an excellent presentation, very well stated, and addressed all the issues. Mayor Landry said whatever it costs it costs. The only reason the cost is a problem is because the applicant has chosen to build such a small building on this site. If the applicant chose to build a multi tenant industrial building, then the cost could be spread out, and it would make more sense. This is the applicantís property and itís the choice they are making. He said he didnít doubt that because of this particular use perhaps the costs would be prohibitive, but thatís the applicantís choice to build that small a building. So, as you attempt to work this out his comments are that he is definitely looking for a solution that brings water to this site.
Member Paul stated the City spent a lot of money on the engineering study to have the water mains done appropriately for the entire City. Although, they donít want to put in a 16 inch water main, and she doesnít blame them, they have to do that for the City. So, we have to figure out some means to help them, but in the same token we canít take all the studies that the City has paid dearly for and throw them out the window. Member Paul thought Mayor Landryís comment is very accurate as well as Councilís. We need the water main and the sidewalks, and are spending a lot of money to do all of these things for the infrastructure.
Roll call vote on CM-01-09-003 Yeas; Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
3. Consideration of a request from Interphase Land Development, the developer of Casa Loma, for a variance from Section 4.04.A.1(b) of the Subdivision Ordinance requiring the extension of street connections to neighboring properties unless practical difficulties exist or the connection would create undesirable traffic patterns (no street connection is proposed). The applicant is proposing a ten-unit residential site condominium to be located on the west side of Beck Road, south of Nine Mile Road.
Ron Van Singel, Nederveld Associates, was present representing the Campo family, said they are requesting a variance for the stub street for two reasons. First, it is not practical for this application, and secondly, it will create an undesirable traffic pattern. He said this property has been owned by the Campoís for several years, and it has a single family home on it that has not been lived in for many years. The vacant home will be removed to create a ten-unit community. The community will be built by the developers who are home builders in this area, and they will build all of the units themselves with an average home cost of approximately $1 million dollars. The parcel is approximately 15 acres. It is a narrow parcel that has 482 feet on Beck Road and 1,450 feet deep so the proposal is to service it through Cul-de-sac Boulevard through the center of the property with a length of just short of 900 feet. To the north of this project is the development of Bellagio, which is also on a western portion of this, and to the western boundary, is Mayberry Park, and both of those developments have been approved. On the east side is Beck Road and on the south side there are several long narrow parcels. This parcel also has a portion of wetlands and a DEQ permit has been received for them, and they went through the process for the woodlands. He said they presented this to the Planning Commission for an open space preservation community utilizing and saving as many of the trees as possible through this development. They received approval for the site plan November 2005 from the Planning Commission.
Mr. Singel said the reasons that they feel this stub street is not practical is that the existing street will be a private street maintained by ten association members, and they will have the responsibility for the repairs, maintenance, snowplowing, etc. for this street. Adding an additional stub street to this would mean that it would connect up with either another private street or public street, and thus cause the friction between the two associations as far as the maintenance and the use of the street. When the adjacent parcels were developed on the north and west side of this, both of those larger land areas did not provide access to this 15 acre piece. So, there are no existing stubs when we began the layout of this that they had to line up with. On the south side there is an area that is a part of the wetland and it is also a part of the woodland, and it comes into narrow parcels that are only 330 feet wide and long. So, again, providing access to this without coupling several of those parcels together would be hard to make developments into those parcels.
Mr. Singel said the other not practical is that they chose the open space preservation, and in going through that process they had to identify approximately six hundred trees that had to be preserved. Again, the creation of this additional stub street, the only
place that it could go was to the south and it would have to cut a 66 foot ROW through this woodland area to try to provide a stub. Thus, again, taking out these woodlands and wetland areas that they were trying to be very sensitive to and work around. He stated from the traffic pattern you currently have Casa Loma Court, and by placing a stub street and providing an access to it, the Court status is eliminated, and now it is Casa Loma, and it is an open invitation for the public to go into it, because itís not a true court. It would create a traffic pattern of public traffic trying to come through this quiet neighborhood. The connect ability of the neighborhoods would be aided by a bike path that is being provided for along Beck Road. So, the residents would have a sidewalk pattern that they could walk through for this entire development, and yet there would be connect ability with both of the developments through this bike path that would be on this property. Mr. Singel said for those reasons, he didnít think a stub street would be practical, and would create undesirable traffic patterns for this development.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said given the nature of the Court and the fact that they are preserving a lot of the open area, they are maintaining the RA density in this area he would support the project.
CM-06-01-004 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED:
To grant the request from Interphase Land Development, the developer of Casa Loma, for a variance from Section 4.04.A.1(b) of the Subdivision Ordinance, and that they are not required to provide for a connection to either neighboring property, and particularly the southern property line.
Member Mutch commented he would not support the motion, and at the minimum he would like to see something more than the current pedestrian connection to the south. He thought something more formalized was needed than there has been in some of the other subdivision in this area where there are large lots, but still pedestrian connections between the lots. He said kids are not going to go down to Beck Road to get to their friends house; they are going to cut through the yards, and a route needs to be provided for that. Member Mutch said if the goal was to minimize the cost long term for the homeowners, why have the 86 foot ROW boulevard versus a 60 foot standard ROW would significantly increase the cost to homeowners. He would like to see the sidewalk connection before he could support the variance.
Member Nagy stated that one of the reasons she would support the motion was that Bellagio was not required to have a connection. Mayberry built a connection and Council decided that they didnít have to have that connection. This gave Tuscany an extra lot. She asked if there would be sidewalks on Beck Road. Mr. Singel said there would be sidewalks all along Beck Road and also on both sides of the boulevard.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-004 Yeas: Margolis, Nagy, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Mutch, Paul
4. Consideration of a request from Bryn Hartshorne of a variance from Section 11-276(b) of the Design and Construction Standards requiring pathways along the arterial roadway network in accordance with the City Bicycle and Pedestrian master plan for the single family home under construction at 46450 Eleven Mile Road.
No representative of the item was present.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello thought it was very important to continue to work on our sidewalk systems even in small areas like this. There is no real reason a sidewalk shouldnít be constructed.
CM-06-01-005 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To deny the request from Bryn Hartshorne of a variance from Section 11-276(b) of the Design and Construction Standards requiring pathways along the arterial roadway network in accordance with the City Bicycle and Pedestrian master plan for the single family home under construction at 46450 Eleven Mile Road.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-005 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Council recessed at 8:57 P.M.
Council reconvened at 9:10 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
5. Acceptance of Camden Court streets, water main and sanitary sewer; approval of storm drainage maintenance easement agreement and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Whistler Drive, Whitman Way, Faulkner Drive, Muir Lane, Fitzgerald Boulevard, North Ellison Lane and East Ellison Lane as public, adding 4,940 feet or 0.936 miles of roadway to the City's street system.
CM-06-01-006 Moved by Capello, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY,
To accept Camden Court streets, water main and sanitary sewer; approval of storm drainage maintenance easement agreement and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Whistler Drive, Whitman Way, Faulkner Drive, Muir Lane, Fitzgerald Boulevard, North Ellison Lane and East Ellison Lane as public, adding 4,940 feet or 0.936 miles of roadway to the City's street system.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-006 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello Gatt, Margolis,
6. Acceptance of Abbey Hills streets, water main and sanitary sewer; approval of storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Abbey Hills Drive and Woodruff Drive as public, adding 1,868.29 linear feet or 0.36 miles of roadway to the City's street system.
CM-06-01-007 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To accept Abbey Hills streets, water main and sanitary sewer; approval of storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Abbey Hills Drive and Woodruff Drive as public, adding 1,868.29 linear feet or 0.36 miles of roadway to the City's street system.
Member Nagy said she would support the motion but would like to make a statement regarding the acceptance of condominium streets. She said while on the Planning Commission all the condominiums that came forward as a project were always private roads. She thought it was becoming blatantly unfair that Council is accepting some streets but not all streets. Member Nagy thought that it should be all or nothing. She said standards are standards depending on when it was built. There are associations like Maples of Novi and Country Place, just like this evening when Mr. Kahm said the intent was to make the roads private. Member Nagy felt it was inequitable, unfair and discriminatory. She said even the north end is plowed and it doesnít meet City standards. She thought that for the associations whose streets are not accepted have the burden of their raising the dues to maintain snowplowing, roads, etc. is really unfair, and Council should look at a policy. She said she would support this because her comments donít have anything to do with Abbey Hills, but in regard to comments made by past Council. She said she is receiving a lot of upheaval from older associations who have been around a long time, and watching us accept these other condominium streets. Member Nagy realized that the City Attorney said Council has the discretion, but she felt all streets should be accepted or none. Even from a tax point of view it is unfair.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-007 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
7. Acceptance of Morgan Creek Estates streets, water mains, and sanitary sewer and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Morgan Creek Court as public, adding 810 lineal feet or 0.15 miles of roadway to the City's street system.
CM-06-01-008 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To accept Morgan Creek Estates streets, water mains, and sanitary sewer and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Morgan Creek Court as public, adding 810 lineal feet or 0.15 miles of roadway to the City's street system.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-008 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch,
8. Approval of Sewer Utility Ordinance Amendment 05-28.52 to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities" of the City of Novi code in order to revise the Sanitary Sewer Flow District "Exhibit A" in Sections 34-499.3, 34-490, 34-462(b), 34-499.21, 34-499.11-12 (Second Reading) including amendment to the related payback agreements exhibits.
CM-06-01-009 Moved by Paul, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Sewer Utility Ordinance Amendment 05-28.52 to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities" of the City of Novi code in order to revise the Sanitary Sewer Flow District "Exhibit A" in Sections 34-499.3, 34-490, 34-462(b), 34-499.21, 34-499.11- 12 Second Reading including amendment to the related payback agreements exhibits.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-009 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy,
9. Approval of Water Utility Ordinance Amendment 05-37.31 to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities" of the City of Novi code in order to revise the Water availability fees (capital charges for City financed water availability improvements since 1976) in Sections 34- 21 (Second Reading) and approval of related resolution setting water availability fees.
CM-06-01-010 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Water Utility Ordinance Amendment 05-37.31 to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities" of the City of Novi code in order to revise the Water availability fees (capital charges for City financed water availability improvements since 1976) in Sections 34-21 (Second Reading) and approval of related resolution setting water availability fees.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-010 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello
10. Approval of Nine Mile and Center Street Utility Ordinance Nos. 05-37.32, 05-28.53, 05-28.54, 05-28.55 to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities" of the City of Novi code in order to formalize and add the following Sections 34-118.29-33, 34-499.25-28, 34-499.29-31 and 34-499.33-35.
CM-06-01-011 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Nine Mile and Center Street Utility Ordinance Nos. 05-37.32, 05-28.53, 05-28.54, 05-28.55 to amend Chapter 34, "Utilities" of the City of Novi code in order to formalize and add the following Sections 34-118.29-33, 34-499.25-28, 34-499.29-31 and 34-499.33-35.
Roll call vote on CM-06-01-011 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Proposed Special City Council Meeting Saturday, February 11, 2006 for the purpose of a background discussion regarding the composition of the City of Novi millage rate Ė Mayor Landry
Mayor Landry stated he was proposing a Special City Council meeting on Saturday, February 11th for the purpose of background discussion regarding the composition of the City of Novi millage rate. He said there has been some discussion about the millage rate of 10.5416 and the affect of Headlee. There has been some discussion among Council members regarding special funds in the City, the tree fund and the drain fund. He thought it would be helpful before Council enters the budget sessions this spring to have a presentation by Kathy Smith-Roy on how the millage is set, whatís happening with Headlee and how that all works. He was not suggesting that they discuss budget items or giving any recommendations to the City administration. Mayor Landry said this would just be information and discussion for City Council.
Member Nagy suggested 9:30 A.M. Member Margolis thought it was an excellent idea and would be a great opportunity for the newly formed Council.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Helwig to have administration accommodate Council and he said they would. This would be held on February 11th at 9:30 a.m. Mayor Landry commented he wanted to be crystal clear that the Council was not entering a discussion about raising taxes or talking about any of that. Council will simply have the Finance Director educate them and the community a little more about Headlee and the millage rate
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if they could ask Ms. Smith-Roy to give them a short discussion on the cost and benefits to the City of a mid-decade census. Mayor Landry asked Ms. Smith-Roy if she would have enough time to do that. Mayor Landry commented they would do that also.
2. Discussion regarding appointment of Interim City Manager Ė Mayor Landry
Mayor Landry said the City Manager, Rick Helwig, is retiring on February 3rd. Slavin Associates have been selected to locate City Manager candidates. However, an interim City Manager will be needed. Mayor Landry discussed this with Mr. Schultz, City Attorney, and he indicated that it would be appropriate for City Council to authorize the Mayor to ask someone, theoretically from the administration, if they would be willing to act as interim City Manager until the new City Manager is hired and work out a contract. Mr. Schultz suggested they have a written contract with the person. They would have to discuss whether it would be necessary for someone else to take over their duties while such person acts as interim City Manager. Mayor Landry asked Council to authorize him and Mr. Schultz to sit down with someone, ask if they would be willing to serve as interim City Manager, work out a proposed contract and bring it back in two weeks for City Council to review and hopefully approve. If approved, the City would have an interim City Manager in place prior to Mr. Helwigís leaving.
CM-06-01-012 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To appoint Clay Pearson as the interim City Manager under the contract that will be provided to Council in two weeks. Mayor Landry and Mr. Schultz, City Attorney, will work on the specifics of the contract.
Member Nagy asked Mayor Landry if he had a nominee. Mayor Landry responded his suggestion would be Clay Pearson.
3 Spalding DeDecker inspections Ė Member Nagy
Member Nagy asked if the Consultant Review Committee or the Engineer met on this.
Mr. Helwig said two members of Council, Member Paul and Mayor Pro Tem Capello, along with staff and representatives of the firm who have met. They had an excellent meeting and thought one of them might like to provide a summary report.
Member Paul said they had a meeting last week with Spalding DeDecker, Mr. Pearson, Mr. Saven and Cindy Uglow. She said they went over all their recommendations. They found information through Oakland County on what they were doing. They want us do soil erosion tests every week but it is not mandated by state law. So, they got the Countyís recommendations and they are going to every two weeks and come back with a formal proposal stating that some developers, if they are going along quite smoothly and they have a very good track record, that maybe Council could extend it to a three week period. Their fees stayed the same but their number of visits would be lessened. The City would still do the inspections through the winter months. All of the information they had proposed and shared with them from the County was very helpful. She said her only problem was the cost of the inspections. Member Paul said what they are doing and proposing is what the County is doing, so that was one positive venture.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said the main goal in the inspections was to put in a program better in place than we had with our previous engineers, and to satisfy the stateís requirements. What Spalding DeDecker proposed to do was to take Oakland Countyís plan, which has been indirectly approved by the State, and implement that here or something close to it in Novi. He said what the plan does is instead of requiring inspections every week, based on the size of the project and the particular time period the project is in the development process, will require more or less inspections. There could be an inspection every two weeks up to every eight weeks. During the winter months when the soil erosion is not predominate, there is a period of eight to nine weeks that the City will take over the silt because there will most likely be snow there and nothing to inspect. Overall, this has reduced the cost of the bond to the developer by not making them pay needless money when the inspections are not required on a weekly basis. They are going to come back to Council with a proposal, and will contact the State of Michigan and present this as a proposal from the City of Novi and see if the state rejects it. If they donít, Council will move forward with that proposal.
Member Nagy said it was her understanding that the inspection fees are charged to the developer. Mr. Hayes agreed. Member Nagy said then if the City of Novi decides to some of these inspections how does the City recoup those costs. Do they charge the developer? Mr. Hayes didnít have an answer to her question. Member Nagy said we have warm weather this week and there is a lot of slush out there, and she was not comfortable with winter inspections being eight to nine weeks. She thought it was way too much and thought the charges were too high. She thought if 5 acres should be about $80 or $90, and 15 acres $120.00. She did some research when they were talking about the wireless computer that gets a report out right away and anybody can purchase a computer and do that. So, she was not impressed.
Member Nagy commented Council is concerned about the cost to the developer and have discussed it over other issues. She thought their fees were way too high, and thought they should send bids out for the soil erosion control when this companyís contract expires. She said it wasnít the developers she was worried about but was worried about the sub-contractors. She wanted to see more of a cost reduction in their fee schedule. It is really high compared to what was paid before.
Mayor Landry said his understanding of the matter is that Spalding DeDecker is going to put together a written proposal and send it to the state for their comments, and bring it back to Council. Then Council will decide whether to accept it or not.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he thought it would come back to Council first for approval. He said, like Oakland County, the state doesnít approve it. They either comment or donít say anything and Council implements it. As long as we keep up with the inspections as proposed in the plan, there should be no problems.
Mayor Landry asked if Council would be able to look at the proposal before it goes to the State of Michigan. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said yes.
Member Nagy said, as Council, we have the ability to approve or disapprove their proposal. Member Gatt agreed with Member Nagy after listening to Member Paul and Mayor Pro Tem Capello. It seemed to him that what they have done is reduce the inspections by about half but the fees remain the same. He said he wouldnít be in favor of approving anything like that and felt that they should have to come down on their costs substantially.
Member Margolis said when this comes back she would be interested in seeing what other cities are charging developers for these types of inspections. If we are going to be competitive in this kind of economy to people coming in and doing quality development, we have to be sure we are competitive. She commented it would give Council some comparisons to know whether or not these are in the ballpark, and she would appreciate that information from staff when it returns to Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said the inspection fees charged before were much, much less. However, the problem was that we werenít getting the inspections, the reports werenít getting submitted to the state, and that is where the City of Novi was getting into trouble. Spalding DeDecker did break down how they arrived at each of their costs for the various inspections, whether it was the inspection, the preparing of the report or follow up. He felt the fees were reasonable, and with this new plan in place he thought the cost to the developers would be reduced by 60% to 70%. He felt they had made a lot of headway and commented that you get what you pay for.
Mayor Landry thought Spalding DeDecker should get the message that City Council is very concerned about the fees, and should be very careful as they draft their proposal. He asked that the City administration return a very complete supported material when this comes back to Council. He said including some comparisons to other municipalities because this is an issue that Council is looking very closely at.
4. Joint Planning Commission/City Council Meeting, transfer of development rights Ė
Member Mutch said there has been a change in state law, in the past year, that allows property owners who have two pieces of property that are not contiguous to each other to apply for an RUD or a Planned Development, and actually transfer density from one property to another. He said currently the ordinances only contemplate someone owning contiguous property to go through an RUD or Planned Development and shifting the density around on the property. The opportunity that would provide is if a developer came forward and had property on one side of the City and property on the other side of the City we might end up with open space on the one property and development on the other. This might present an opportunity for parkland or some other benefit to the City. Member Mutch commented he has had some preliminary discussion with Mr. Schultz and he is aware of the state law, and the opportunities that provides. Member Mutch requested that Mr. Schultz bring something to our joint meeting with the Planning Commission so this can be a discussion topic if Council wants to consider amending our ordinances to take advantage of this change in the state law.
5. Beck Road Interchange Ė Member Paul
Member Paul said this was brought up at the last meeting and a very good report had been received by Dave Allyn. One of her concerns was that when she went through this site the mast arms with the lights are closest to where you stop, if itís red. Therefore, in all of our other intersections where we have our green mast arms their lights are on the opposite side of the road and it is much easier to see. She said it seemed that Mr. Helwig was working MDOT to try to get this signal rebuilt so that the bar side mast arm will have the light for stopping and going. She asked Mr. Helwig when they would know when they are going to change it over and fix it the right way.
Mr. Helwig said he didnít think there was a time table, but they were committed to doing that. He said Council would be kept informed as they got an updates.
Member Paul said another thing about that intersection is when you go a little further north it is very hard to see 12 Mile, and they think they are getting on the on ramp. Several people have expressed confusion in the traffic flow. She said when someone is going westbound they almost fee they should be heading to 12 Mile but it is the opposite on ramp on to the highway when someoneís exiting. She suggested that signage be changed for 12 Mile. Mr. Helwig said some kind of directional signage and she said or a bigger sign for 12 Mile. She felt this interchange was so different from others that it added to the confusion.
6. Wixom and Eleven Mile.
Member Paul said she read through December 19thís report from Chief Molloy, and they suggested at least one item had to be met out of eleven warrants to meet the possibility of having a light. She said a resident was concerned about this area because during the early morning hours and the afternoon hours it is very difficult for someone on 11 Mile to make either a left or a right. It is extremely busy traffic. Member Paul said three of the eleven warrants have been met and she would like to know what Mr. Helwigís thoughts are regarding a traffic light for that area.
Mr. Helwig said she would soon see the members of the Capitol Improvement Plan Committee and would see this listed as a proposed traffic signal priority for the upcoming fiscal year budget, 2006-2007, that starts July 1. It is a question of priority. It is listed as $200,000 and he thought that was high for a T intersection, but it would be incumbent upon Member Paul to decide how that signal priority stack up with other signalization priorities in the City. He said it isnít a clear call because it only meets three warrants. However, it does meet three warrants and this Council traditionally placed an emphasis on school zones.
Member Paul commented she was concerned about the children who walk to Deerfield or the Middle School who are coming from Island Lake or Wixom or biking on Eleven Mile. They are crossing in this traffic and there are no cross lights or anything there. She suggested they consider putting a light in place, have an area for pedestrian crossing, consider making the school aware of this, and have traffic funneled to a different area, possibly Wixom Road instead of Eleven Mile. She asked for Councilís future support.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello thought Chief Molloy had already done an in depth study on that area. He said Chief Molloy could share that now or include that in the report when it comes back. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said the report had already been in one of Councilís packets.
Member Mutch said he looked at the same report and thought that the warrants that were being met didnít justify the expense of a light. Obviously, the children need a safe crossing but there are other intersections in the City that would also benefit from signalization, and we have to balance that. He said a concern he has been hearing from residents is that they feel there are too many lights in the City. He realized the Wixom Road corridor is not like that yet but we need to make sure that we are not pushing those lights at those intersections before they are needed. If there are needs for pedestrian safety he thought there were ways to do that besides a light. He thought a light might be more dangerous because there will be people running that light who are commuting up and down Wixom Road who arenít from the area.
He wanted to see a whole range of options explored for that intersection.
Mahesh Chintalapati, present on behalf of the Abbey Hills Homeowners Association, regarding Item 6, the acceptance of Abbey Hills streets. He said they appreciated the work put in by the officials of the City department, and wanted to thank Council for accepting the streets as public streets.
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:42 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, Clerk
_____________________________ Date approved: January 24, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean