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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
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Barbara Mc Beth, Director of Planning
Jeff Johnson, Acting Chief of the Fire Department
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-06-07-175 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
/Roll call vote on CM-06-07-175 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy,
1. Recognition of Novi High School Girls Varsity Soccer State Champions 2006 Ė Coach Brian OíLeary
Mayor Landry commented he was proud to participate in this very special presentation.
He said it was his pleasure to introduce the 2006 Novi Wildcat State Champion
Girls Soccer team, who had won this honor for two consecutive years. He said they are #1 in the country. Mayor Landry presented head Coach Brian OíLeary, Coach Mike Mc Shane and Coach Mike Ziegler with proclamations.
Coach OíLeary said they were pleased to be present; it was an honor to be recognized by the City of Novi, and everyone loved the signs and they meant a lot to them. Coach OíLeary commented that it was a special season with a very unique group of girls, who were very team oriented, cared about each other, put themselves last, and that made this a special team and was why they had been good for so long. He said their record this year was 24-0-0. Mayor Landry called all the members of the team up for recognition, and presented them each with certificates.
1. Public hearing for proposed TC-1, Town Center Zoning District text amendments as revised.
Mayor Landry opened the Public Hearing and there was no one who wanted to address City Council so the Public Hearing was closed.
Member Mutch said the Pathways Committee, made up of representatives from the Council, Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission, had their initial meeting this evening. It started off well; they have quite a bit of work to do and are working down that path.
Mayor Landry said the Fifties Festival, July 26 through July 29 would be a great time for everybody, and asked everyone to come out. He said it would be at the Novi Town Center this year.
2. CITY MANAGER - None
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Kirk Nicola, 18184 Buckingham, Beverly Hills, MI 48025, said he was present at the last meeting to discuss Ordinance Amendment 9718, Allowance of Pet Boarding Facilities. He updated Council, and said he met with Tim Schmitt of Plan Review, and presented the research that he did on parking. He commented, at the last meeting, that the parking was excessive, and several Council members agreed. He said Mr. Schmitt did some additional research on that issue, and changed the way the amendment read to one parking space per 700 sq. ft. Mr. Nicola said this satisfied the research he had presented to Mr. Schmitt, the additional research that Mr. Schmitt had done, and would be presented to Council with that change this evening. He said there were questions about traffic patterns, and since he had been looking for property he had been able to see most of the Light Industrial in Novi, and from what he had seen he didnít feel there was an issue with the traffic flow. The way the parking was set up for a lot of the existing buildings accommodated a simple flow through, usually around the buildings. Also in pet boarding and day care facilities traffic was very scattered throughout the day. It was usually open from about 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. so there was never a rush hour. He said there was a question regarding dog waste and standard practice was that solid waste was picked up right away in an indoor kennel. The waste would be double bagged, put in a dumpster and picked up twice a week, which was a very sanitary way to handle it as opposed to flushing it down the sewer. He said there was a question about governing regulations and there were no specific State or Federal guidelines for pet boarding. He said most kennel owners are members of the American Boarding Kennel Association which have best practice, and they certify each group.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-06-07-176 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-176 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of July 10, 2006 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation and privileged correspondence from legal counsel.
C. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 2 in the amount of $1,647.50, to Maddox Irrigation, Inc., for the installation of the irrigation system at Community Sports Park.
D. Approval to award Chip Sealing to Highway Maintenance Construction in the amount of $50,000 to complete 12 1/2 Mile Road to Dixon Road and for various minor maintenance of previously chip sealed road repairs city-wide.
E. Approval of request for an Outdoor Gathering Permit from the Mainstreet Merchants Association of Novi for a Classic Car Street Show to be held at Main Street and Market Street on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., May 31, 2006 through August 30, 2006.
F. Approval of a Resolution adopting and accepting the Oakland County Hazardous Mitigation Plan as it pertains to the City of Novi.
G. Approval to award contract to Power Plus, Inc. for un-interruptible Power Supply for the 911 Center in the amount of $38,328.05.
H. Acceptance of a Conservation Easement for Bolingbroke Condominium, located on the west side of Old Novi and Novi Roads and north side of 12 Ĺ Mile Road.
I. Approval to prepare a grant application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grant program for land acquisition of 16 acres (Heritage Shoppes, L.L.C. property) located adjacent to the Singh Trail property.
J. Approval to schedule a public hearing to be held on July 24, 2006 for the purpose of receiving public input for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grant application for land acquisition of 16 acres (Heritage Shoppes, L.L.C. property) located adjacent to the Singh Trail property.
K. Approval of sole source Archonix Maintenance and Support Agreement for one (1) year for Police Department C-PLIMS (Comprehensive Public Safety Information Management System) software in the amount of $41,336.
L Approval of Street Acceptance Resolution adding 3.54 miles of local streets and recognizing 48.16 miles of streets (already accepted de facto) for 51.7 miles of Local Streets within platted subdivisions Ė Act 51 Map Update.
M. Conditional acceptance of Keystone Medical Office Center Phase I site water main and sanitary sewer, and approval of storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement, cross-access agreement, and conservation easements. Acceptance of site utilities will be contingent upon the completion and approval of all items related to Phase I site work no later than July 11, 2006.
N. Approval of contract to Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) for 2006-7 to access $15,288 in OLHSA funding of the total $59,512 cost for the contract position for Senior Center Manager (City funding is $44,224 consisting of $7,000 in CDBG funds and $37,224 in General Fund support).
O. Approval of Change Order No. 1 (reducing the original contract by $549,507.68), final balancing Change Order No. 2 (reducing the contract by $46,312.00), and final payment in the amount of $238,047.32 to MEG Development, LLC for the Special Assessment District (SAD) 170 Phase 2 Sanitary Sewer Extension Project.
P. Approval of request by E&M, Inc. (Society Hill) for one-year extension, to October 9, 2007, of site plan approval for a 294-unit apartment project developed as a PD-1 option in a multi-family (RM-1) district, located at the southwest corner of Novi Road and 12 Ĺ Mile Road, previously extended under a consent judgment and subject to annual extension reviews.
Q. Approval of good faith offers for public easements on the Ward and Smith Properties (Parcel ID 22-17-400-028 and 22-17-400-006, respectively) for the purpose of siting a pedestrian safety path on the north side of Eleven Mile Road as part of Phase II of the Eleven Mile Road Pathway Project.
R. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 724
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Approval of Resolution to Authorize to Close MERS Division 13 Appointed Officials
Mr. Pearson said this item was procedural and recommended by Ms. Smith-Roy and the Assessor. He said it would close Division 13 comprised of two members, the Clerk and Manager. He said the thought was that this group was so small it didnít make sense, and they would be combined with the administrative group from this point forward.
CM-06-07-177 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Resolution to authorize to close MERS Division 13
Member Paul asked if this would include any of the people that were retired. Mr. Pearson said it would have no affect on present or retired employees, and it was only future hires that would not be included in this group.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-177 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
2. Approval of employment contract between the City of Novi and City Manager Clay J. Pearson.
Mayor Landry said Council made a motion authorizing him and City Attorney Tom Schultz to discuss a potential contractual agreement with Mr. Pearson.
Mayor Landry asked Ms. Smith-Roy if the contract could be met within the current budget without any budget amendments. She said yes.
Member Nagy said she questioned page 2, paragraph A, "in the event that the employee is terminated by the City Council, and during such time the employee is willing and able to perform his duties under this Agreement, then the employer agrees to pay the Employee six (6) months salary as severance pay." Member Nagy thought six months was high. Then, "Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event Employee is terminated because of his conviction of any felony, or any illegal act involving personal gain to him or affecting the performance of his duties under this agreement, etc." She said, not that it pertained to Novi but did in another City; the City Manager was sued on more than one occasion for sexual harassment. She wondered if instead of "any illegal act involving personal gain" something broader could be included to encompass harassment or anything along those lines.
Mr. Schultz said if there was agreement to that kind of language it would be permissible. However, he thought the problem would be, in terms of an employee accepting that kind of a provision in an employment agreement, was that anyone with $100.00 could go down to the local Circuit Court and file a lawsuit. He said unless and until there was some kind of a judgment they have the presumption that they havenít been found responsible or guilty for anything. Mr. Schultz said that kind of thing usually falls within the discretionary determination of the Council, for whatever reason whether these are meritorious or not claims they donít want to deal with it so they would let the manager go, those are typically things to which severance pay was applied. This language saying it had to be illegal activity affecting performance was standard language out of pretty much any manager contract that he had put together, and was kind of an ICMA standard.
Ms. Nagy said on page 3, performance evaluation, "the evaluation process shall be scheduled between Employee and the Mayor by May 1 of each year." She asked if there would be an evaluation process with the full Council as there was before. Mr. Schultz said yes. She asked if it was standard to have six months severance pay. Mr. Schultz said six months was minimum and six months to a year was standard.
Member Mutch said on page 3 under salary and benefits, section 1 it indicates "any incentives, transfer rights, or other benefits provided to other administrative officer employees of the City for enrollment in a defined contribution plan at the time of Employeeís enrollment shall be available to the employee." He asked Ms. Smith-Roy to outline what those would be in this situation.
Ms. Smith-Roy said what was being represented in that paragraph was the DC plan as adopted by Council on May 8th, all of those parameters would be applicable, and the City Manager would fall into that group/division for purposes of the DC plan. The benefits that had accrued in the DB plan would be calculated by the actuary, and those assets would be transferred to the DC plan. The 8% and 3% are what was included in that plan on May 8th. Member Mutch asked if there was also a provision in there to encourage employees to switch over. She said yes, there was a $1,000 bonus for employees to be received that on December 1, 2007, and it would be applicable to this position as well.
Member Mutch said on page 4, section 7 regarding hours of work, "the employee shall be allowed to take compensatory time off". Member Mutch said this would be for hours worked outside of the normal office hours. He asked what formula the City used to determine comp time. Ms. Smith-Roy said there was only a small group of members within the administrative group that currently have compensation time defined. There are union groups that have it very specifically defined, so this language was very unique to this position. Member Mutch said in other communities compensation time was sometimes a one to one direct and the employee takes an hour off for an hour worked, or one and a half, or one to two. Ms. Smith-Roy said for the administrative employees that receive compensation time it was 1 to 1, and there are union groups that are time and a half. Member Mutch asked Mr. Schultz if that should be defined in the contracts.
Mr. Schultz said the intention was not to subject the manager to that 1 to 1 formalized situation. He said that would be very unusual to make the Chief Executive Officer subject to that kind of an accounting for hours. He thought the idea in the next phrase says, "as he shall reasonably deem appropriate", which meant if there was a late Council meeting or additional dinners, etc., the manager was the best one to determine what point the next day work started, because it was a more than 40 hour a week job. He said it was not intended to be compensation or something you get money for. If Council thought the Manager was taking too much time off, they would get into the discipline or removal of the Manager.
Member Mutch said Mr. Pearson wouldnít be tracking compensation time, and that wouldnít be something thatís a payout. Mr. Schultz said he was correct. Member Mutch said regarding page 4, section 8, Outside Activities, would it be unreasonable for the Council to ask the City Manager to report what those activities would be. Mr. Schultz said he didnít think it would be unreasonable. Member Mutch said the intent wasnít to keep track of what Mr. Pearson was doing, but he thought it would be reasonable for Council to know if he was engaging in outside activities to allow Council the opportunity to determine whether they fall from the scope of the contract. Member Mutch thought language to that effect would be appropriate in Section 8. Member Mutch said the "golden parachute" was fairly standard, and he had some of the same concerns that Member Nagy expressed in terms of the scope of the language. He thought it put the
Council in a difficult position. If a situation arose where the legal process had not reached a conclusion and Council felt they needed to take action to end the City Managerís employment, it would be a heavy price to pay because it was $60,000, half a yearís salary, plus they would have to hire another City Manager. He thought the language could be broader to give Council more discretion in terms of being able to address a situation that didnít fall within the scope of criminal activity, but was still a situation that would require the City Manager to leave the job and Council to move on to another person.
Member Gatt thanked Mayor Landry and Mr. Schultz for putting together a great example of a perfect contract. He didnít agree with the previous speakers.
CM-06-07-178 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To accept the contract and offer it, as written, to Mr. Pearson
to be the Novi City Manager.
Member Margolis said she had no issue with the 6 months severance pay, and that in an executive contract six months was very small and she wouldnít call that a golden parachute. Member Margolis said in terms of comp time, the reality was she had been e-mailing Mr. Pearson on a Saturday morning and he replied back. She felt he would put in the amount of time it took to get the job done.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said Council had known Mr. Pearson for several years, knew what he was like, what his morals were like, and what kind of a Manager he was. He didnít think any of the issues brought up pertained to Mr. Pearson in any way whatsoever. He said they had worked with Mr. Pearson and expected he would do his job even better once he became City Manager and had those additional responsibilities. Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated he didnít see any weight at all to be given to the lawsuit from another City because those lawsuits could be filed by anybody. He said when naming a City as a defendant everyone in the City would be named so that was no indication whatsoever that any act of Mr. Pearson had anything to do with the bringing of that lawsuit. He fully supported the motion and Mr. Pearson as the next City Manager of Novi.
Member Paul said she appreciated everyoneís comments, and didnít think that anyone was pointing to Mr. Pearson, and thought it was just in general. She said they were looking for flexibility in the contract in case a problem comes up with any City Manager, Mr. Pearson, or someone else. Member Paul said Mr. Pearson was very morally capable, kind, and hardworking. However, it was something they wanted to have as a legal loophole if necessary.
Member Margolis stated she would support the contract as presented. She said the idea of calling out a specific item like discrimination or harassment in an employment contract doesnít exist, and didnít think it would be defensible legally. She said the reality was they had a way to terminate an employee if they were accused of a felony, and a way to terminate an employee they were not satisfied with.
Mayor Landry said generally speaking he could understand why an employer would want a clause in the termination section of a contract that allowed the employer a greater flexibility to terminate an employee for wrongdoing without having to pay severance pay. He explained that the reason it was not in City Manager contracts was because of the special nature of the contract. He said when thinking about it how many people would accept the job, move their family to another city or state realizing that at any time if four people on Council decided, theyíre gone and had no job. He said he didnít know if any of them labor under that kind of standard. Mayor Landry said forget
Mr. Pearson, just to protect the field of City Managers in general, that was why a clause of that nature was not in the contract. He said the reason it wasnít was to make it so that a City Council would have to sit down and think twice before terminating a City Manager because it might cost them, and in this case $60,000. He thought this kind of employment contract was unique to the job of City Managers and not unusual.
Member Nagy stated she prefaced her statement that it had nothing to do with Mr. Pearson, and was a comment and question she had because of a situation in another City. She noted she would appreciate it if people would not try to change what she said, and make it sound as though she were talking with regard to Mr. Pearson. She said her remark was because it happened in another City more than once, and this was the first contract she had ever read for a City Manager, and she had that question in general.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-178 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
3. Consideration of the requests of HHT Devco, LLC for modifications to the existing Fountain Walk shopping center, located west of Novi Road between I-96 and Twelve Mile Road in Section 15. The 67.2 acre development is located in the RC, Regional Center District. Two requests have been submitted:
Mayor Landry said his understanding was that Fountain Walk was owned by an LLC called HHT Devco. He said it was his understanding that HHT Devco was owned by Transwestern Investments. He asked if that was true.
Mr. Reed said he was principal with Arthur Hill and Co. and was one of the Hís in HHT Devco. He said the T was Transwestern Asman Fund #3 LLC, which was an $800 million fund so the property was not specifically owned by Transwestern but Transwestern had a substantial interest in so far as its Asman Fund was a major capital provider.
Mayor Landry stated he raised the question because he had been retained in one case by Transwestern Investment, itís in another county, had nothing to do with Fountain Walk, but it was Transwestern so he wanted to ask Council and Mr. Schultz if they thought it was a conflict. If so, he would be happy to recuse himself.
Mr. Schultz said he did not believe it was, as there was no direct financial interest.
Mayor Landry asked Council if they were uncomfortable and they were not.
James Ludwig, Director of Landscape Architecture at Mc Kenna and Associates, was present representing HHT Devco. Mr. Ludwig introduced Mr. Reed.
Mr. Reed displayed some photos of projects they had worked on in Coconut Grove, Denver Pavilion with 50 general tenants, and Evanstonís Main Street project. He said Fountain Walk was in foreclosure, they acquired the note, and their plan was to revitalize it. Mr. Reed said the south end of Fountain Walk was very successful, but the mid-central and north end had never been successful. They were asking Council to allow them to bring the vitality of the south end through the middle of the Center in a way that the Midwest understood and dealt with. They wanted a drive aisle with the perception of opportunity parking to produce normal sidewalks for a kind of city street experience people expect when they go out in a place with a varied climate. They were not trying to make a thoroughfare they were trying to make it like a narrow city street where peopleís attention was focused on their driving, the traffic was calm and it was a pleasant place to sit along the sidewalk. At the same time at the north end, there was a section of space that had never been leased, and he couldnít think of a way to ever get it leased, and felt they should get the benefit of the additional parking they could put in there. Mr. Reed said the Planning Commission supported both of these items, and he hoped the Council would do so as well.
Mr. Pearson said Mr. Reed outlined the logistics of what was being requested and said he was looking forward to meeting Mr. Reed tomorrow morning. He said they would talk about future visions for the project beyond this. He thought it was very exciting when an existing center got this kind of active ownership investment, and felt they would have something to look forward too with the revitalization of the center. He asked City Planner Jason Myers to speak to these items.
Mr. Myers said there were two items before Council tonight. He said the entire site was 67 acres and was surrounded entirely by public right-of-way. He said there were two separate site plan applications and two separate sets of reviews from staff and consultants, and it would need two separate motions of approval or denial for this application.
Mr. Myers said they were proposing to demolish the north end of the project and also open the pedestrian street area, and a part of that proposal would be to put in a new valet and drop off area. He spoke about the site plan for the south drive. He said in the area of the current fountain it was now a drop off area, kind of a traffic circle, with some sort of feature in the center. Mr. Myers said going north was an area where the buildings widen slightly and the applicant was proposing about ten parking spaces, and said it was the location of the only waiver required by this proposal and it was for the sidewalk width. Mr. Myers said when it was heard by the Planning Commission there was a discussion of the drive aisle width. He said they met with the applicant and OHM, traffic consultant, and they were proposing now to take a little space from the sidewalk, the parking aisles, and have the necessary driveway width adjacent to parallel parking but not the unnecessary parallel parking width. He said the waiver would be for a seven foot parking space width instead of an eight foot width.
He displayed the new parking areas where the current skate park and Chuck E. Cheese were located. He said there would be screening and landscaping around the edge, and the loading area would remain the same.
Member Mutch asked about the May 11, 2006 letter from Orchard, Hiltz, McCliment, (OHM). Stephen Dearing, Manager of Traffic Engineering Services for OHM was
present. Member Mutch said this specific letter from their office said they recommended against the conversion and recommend denial of the request. It continued "if the City disregards the recommendation for denial then the following changes should be applied prior to re-submittal." Member Mutch said they referenced the overall site plan "the pedestrian facilities were originally designed with no consideration for through traffic or parking. The potential for the injury to pedestrian in these areas is very significant. In addition, the layout of the surrounding buildings was not intended to support traffic moving within this internal area." He felt that was a strong negative recommendation and asked if this was still their position, and if not what had they done to address the concerns in their initial letter.
Stephen Dearing said he would still oppose this conversion on a philosophical basis. He believed it was important to look at the movement of people whether in a vehicle or on foot. He said the idea that they would be losing a pedestrian facility was always bothersome to him. He also recognized there were economic realities and other considerations, and that meant choices had to be made. Mr. Dearing said within the context of those choices, the applicant and their staff had been working with him to try to fit a vehicle facility into an area that was not designed for it. This was difficult to do in an area designed for pedestrians and not vehicles. He said they had done a lot, the plan had changed, and it was a lot closer to what might be expected if designed for vehicles from the beginning. For example, they are showing in an area where there was no parking proposed, a 22 foot wide drive aisle that presupposes 11 foot lanes, thatís considered an acceptable dimension for vehicles. Mr. Dearing said in all cases they are dimensioning to the face of a curb. If there was a separate gutter, it would be something that a driver could still put their tire in. He said an 11 ft. drive aisle was considered a reasonable accommodation for vehicles. Beyond that the City standard for where there was parallel parking assumes a wider drive aisle for the express reason of a door opening to a parked vehicle into the path of traffic. This might cause the vehicle to swerve into oncoming traffic while trying to avoid the opened door. The City Ordinance requirements have wider aisles to provide that kind of lateral clearance above and beyond the 8 foot parking aisle. He said the City standard gave an extra two foot to help with the separation between the open driver side door and the traveled way. He thought it was a wonderful standard and didnít want Council to change it but would like to point out that MDOT required a one foot shy, so they would accept an 11 foot drive aisle, 1 foot shy and an 8 foot wide parking cell. The net affect was 20 ft. from the center of the road to the face of the curb with on street parallel parking allowed. Mr. Dearing said that was the kind of standard that would be seen on any MDOT route in old downtowns. The applicant was painting the lines differently, but providing that 20 foot. They are suggesting a 13 foot aisle and 7 foot parking bay but thatís just playing with paint. They are providing what the engineering profession would suggest as a reasonable accommodation of vehicles and parking, and the residual 10 foot sidewalk is also in older downtown areas. He wasnít particularly happy to lose this area to pedestrian only, and he would not have characterized this suggestion as being more pedestrian friendly. He thought it was more patron friendly because they are trying to revitalize their properties. He said what they were showing was not pedestrian unfriendly and would meet the standards developed by MDOT.
Member Mutch said he had concerns about bringing a lot of traffic into an area that was fairly high traffic for pedestrians. He said, generally speaking, this was the part of the center that worked, and now a two way traffic flow would be introduced into an area where there was a fair amount of pedestrian traffic from the parking lots.
Mr. Dearing said the engineering business was a business making tradeoffs in a manner that they hope are safe and effective. He believed the applicant agreed to their recommendations to achieve that balance point. He said he was comfortable with narrowing the pedestrian facility to the betterment of parked and moving vehicles because it was in keeping with MDOT standards. He said taking another foot of sidewalk to meet the Cityís current ordinance was laudable, but he would also question where the priorities should lie. As traffic engineer he tried to give as much as possible to the pedestrians, and he would be more comfortable keeping it as proposed rather than taking more sidewalk space away for vehicles.
Member Mutch asked if there would be any kind of traffic control signage for the new through roads. Mr. Dearing said Member Mutch was talking about the current drop off area which would be turned into a full four-approach intersection, as well as the new terminus location where, if the drive aisle was constructed, would have more traffic and could be a two or four way stop. He said, at the north end, for the control of the aisle itself, the applicants agreed that they would build into this vertical deflections in the form of speed humps or speed tables to help control or calm traffic in the area traffic had not been before. At the north end or the T intersection, stop signs and speed bumps or tables could be used.
Member Mutch said one of the review letters talked about adding a sidewalk on the west side of the parking area, the northern demolition area. He said he didnít see that in the plans that it would run north south along the west side.
Mr. Myers said his request was to put a sidewalk in front of those spaces so that people parking there could exit their vehicles, and he believed the applicant agreed to do that. Member Mutch said before they voted he wanted that clarified because he wanted it included. Member Mutch asked him to discuss the facades, in the same area, that were previously essentially a loading area. He said some of the facades are not attractive to look at and asked how they would be addressed in terms of what would now be a public facing wall. Mr. Myers said behind Chuck E. Cheese thereís a screen wall which was six feet tall and opaque, and a row of relatively densely planted trees. He said at the outdoor portion of Modern Skate Park there was a similar wall and tree treatment. He said the ordinance requirements were to screen the loading area from the public right of way on Donaldson Drive, and because of the grade change, you cannot actually see any of that area in a way that could be screened. He thought it was something that should be discussed and looked at more carefully. He believed the Planning Commission and their landscape architect agreed it was an appropriate screening. Mr. Myers said the south drive project requires one waiver, and the north drive project would require a faÁade waiver. They would be, basically, on the new building faces that donít currently exist. He said their proposal was to match the existing faces on the other side, which do not meet the current faÁade ordinance. He said that would be up to Councilís discretion. Mr. Myers showed Council where the new faÁade would be going.
Member Mutch said that would match what might be seen down the front of those buildings. Mr. Myers thought he was correct and would verify that.
Member Mutch asked Doris Hill of Vilican Leman, if the new faÁade was in a place that would be an improvement over what was existing in terms of screening the loading area to the north, and the rear portion of building that doesnít have new faÁade put in place. He asked what kind of screening was being put in place and was it adequate. Ms. Hill said the screening area on the north that screens the loading area where thereís a wall proposed, and the Hornbeam trees are very densely branching upright deciduous trees and the branching structure was very tight. She said they provided a very good screen all year long and she was satisfied with the trees.
Member Mutch asked if Ms. Hill felt the screening was adequate from the parking area on the portion of the building wall that would not be changed on the west side. Ms. Hill said she didnít think that needed to be screened as a loading area. It was her understanding that it was the outdoor skating area. She said she liked the idea of interacting with what ever was going on in a particular use area. She said screening a skating area sort of makes you want to look and see whatís going on. She said she didnít think screening the buildings was necessary. She said they had provided a nice entryway with an alley of trees on both sides, and she thought people driving in would be more focused on the trees than the buildings. She said she didnít know what Building Dís faÁade would look like and would address that when the information was available.
Member Mutch commented that he had concerns with the pedestrian traffic interaction. He said it sounded like what was proposed tried to balance those two elements. He said this was the part of the center that worked and they were changing that. He was concerned about the traffic interaction with pedestrians and introducing a lot of traffic into an area with a lot of pedestrians. He was concerned about the loss of green space by the theatre with the drop off and how that traffic interaction would work. Member Mutch said, at the minimum, he wanted to see those traffic controls in place at both those intersections because now there is nothing. Member Mutch commented that when Fountain Walk was proposed to the City, and came before the Planning Commission, it was pitched that it would be a real high end center that would compete with the stores in Twelve Oaks Mall. He said there are some very nice places in the center, and there are establishments competing with whatís in Twelve Oaks Mall. He said whatever they brought in they had to high bar to him because someone years ago said this was going to be the next great thing. He encouraged them to set their sights high because he had high expectations for the center. He also felt that until they established a direct connection from West Oaks Drive, they would always be challenged because of their location behind West Oaks, and the fact that they didnít have the traffic flow from Twelve Mile that the mall and some of the retail establishments did. Mr. Ludwig said he brought additional illustrations for the access drive.
Jason Myers stated the applicants response letter stated they would provide a sidewalk in that area. He said, regarding the facades, basically what was happening was there was only a small portion of this whole eastern faÁade being recreated and only a half or a third of the southern faÁade that was being recreated, and token pieces around the fronts of either one of those to cap it off. He said on the south face they would be matching the existing thin brick that was in the back portion, and matching brick on the southern portion.
Member Paul commented she was concerned about the drive and how to funnel people through. She said she had been to their site in Denver and itís very successful. They have trolleys that are very quiet that go through there, but the one thing they did for pedestrian traffic that really worked was there were stop signs and sidewalks that were brick pavers that went through instead of the speed bumps. She thought it was more attractive, and thought speed bumps annoyed people. Member Paul said the biggest complaint about Emagine Theater, which she shared, was in the middle of winter people donít want to walk 300 feet to get to the doorway, and would rather park at the north and south side of the building and use a side entrance. She said regarding economic vitality, anything they can do to keep the present businesses happy and thriving was important to her, and pedestrian safety was just as important. She said if they could consider stop signs in several areas along that pathway they are putting a street on, and putting the brick pavers to delineate a difference more than just painting. She said it was very difficult for people to see that with snow covered ground.
Mr. Ludwig spoke about the speed bumps. He showed Council the south access drive and the north access drive. He said the areas in red were the two areas that are the defined brick crosswalks. He displayed the area in Fountain Walk that was the center, and then displayed what it would look like with a road. He said there would be a raised brick crosswalk that was sometimes referred to as a speed bump, and there would be pedestrian signs.
Member Paul thought the road would help with public safety, and would help cut down on loitering making it easier for parents to pick up children in the center. She said when Mr. Dearing was talking about the different aspects of what MDOT required and what the City standards were, she understood there would be 8 ft. parking, and an 11 ft. road, and asked if it was more than that for the shy or lateral clearance. She asked if the 2 ft. was requested by the City. Mr. Dearing responded that the City normally requested a total width drive aisle of 26 ft., which would be 13 ft. for each direction of travel. He said only 11 ft. was needed for the actual traveling lane and the extra two foot was the shy distance off the parked vehicles. She said MDOT has less of a shy and looked for a one foot shy. She said it would be an 11 ft. road, a one foot shy, and 8 ft. parking and Mr. Dearing said exactly. She said they have the 20 ft. and asked what he would like to see in this scenario. Mr. Dearing said what they are showing was what he believed was the most appropriate balance in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety. He noted what he would like to see was not reasonable or economic, and it would have been the buildings only 50 or 60 ft. apart, and it would have been nice if they were 66 ft. apart. He said that would be new construction not retrofitting. He said recognizing the realities of the existing structures this was the best they could hope for, and he was happy with this in terms of a retrofit and thought it was in the communityís best interest.
CM-06-07-179 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the preliminary site plan for South Drive, SP06-25. modifying the pedestrian and vehicle circulation between the existing buildings on the Southern portion of the development, as this would help with economic development and vitality as well as meeting City standards to the best of their ability with traffic flow, and subject to all revisions made in the plans as outlined by staff and consultant review letters. To also include the 1 ft. waiver for parallel parking spaces, an acceptable review standard for the proposed north/south drive, a finding of the proposed building perimeter, and parking lot landscaping meets the intent of the landscape ordinance, and sufficient turning space to be provided for fire apparatus through the central feature.
Member Nagy felt any improvement to the center was acceptable to her. She said she would take a foot off the sidewalk and make the road wider because she thought there were more problems with opening the door than with pedestrian pathways. She also noted that it was difficult to find anything in Fountain Walk because it wasnít possible to see any signs of what stores were in the area. Member Nagy wanted to see them have an opportunity to improve the signage because it would help make the stores more visible. She would like to see more green put into the interior with planters, more benches, etc. to make it more inviting. She asked Ms. Mc Beth if all the issues by Fire Marshal Evans had been addressed. Ms. Mc Beth replied not all had been addressed but would be by the time of the final site plan to the satisfaction of the Fire Marshal. Member Nagy said she had concerns about the canopy of trees along that area as she wanted to be sure that fire apparatus had room to get around. She asked if the trees could be moved closer to the buildings. Ms. Mc Beth responded, regarding the issue of the location of the trees and the canopy overhanging the drive, she thought the issue had been resolved, and would make sure the Fire Marshall was satisfied. There was also a question about whether the central roundabout would have either have adequate turning radius or mountable curbs so that the largest fire apparatus could get around there. She believed that they were close to resolving that. Member Nagy said this would be a private drive, and since the City would not be maintaining this road, who would police the streets. She assumed they would have security vehicles. Mr. Ludwig said they would police the streets and were doing it now. Member Nagy asked if the barrier free access had been worked out, and she was told it had been. Mr. Ludwig displayed a drawing of the fire truck and how it could maneuver around the trees on the road, and they would only use upright columnar street trees, and they have changed to a wider drive aisle. Member Nagy thought she had heard something about parking only on one side. Mr. Ludwig stated there would be parking on both sides but theyíve changed the proposal to allow for a wider drive aisle. Member Nagy commented she would be in favor of taking a foot off the sidewalk but knew the majority of Council was not in favor of that. She commented this would be a great improvement to the area, and she knew it was a difficult area. However, she encouraged them to see if they would be allowed to put signage on the outside of the buildings to make them easier to find.
Member Margolis thanked them for their investment in the community. She felt what was happening with this center was what was supposed to happen because the forces of the market had told them there were things in this one that arenít working. Member Margolis commented that she had read everything in the packet, and was confident they were protecting the citizens of Novi, and that the things being proposed were safe. She noted she appreciated their investments in the community and would support the motion
Mayor Pro Tem Capello noted he supported what they were doing on the south end of the project with the drop off for the Emagine Theatre. He thought the road would bring traffic to the inner stores, create more foot traffic and activity in the area, and it was consistent with how they viewed this plan when it came before Council originally. He said a 7 ft. waiver was being granted, but when looking at the plan itís a 60 ft. road, 11 ft. sidewalks, 8 ft. parking area, and a 22 ft. road. He said that was 60 ft. and told him there was 8 ft. widths for the parking not 7 ft. according to the plan. He asked if they wanted the 7 ft. waiver or would it be 8 ft. wide. Mr. Ludwig said they were approving the 7 ft. with the waiver.
Member Gatt thanked them for their endeavor to make the shopping center more robust. He fully supported Member Paulís motion.
Mayor Landry stated he would support the motion and commended them for investing in the City, and improving this project. He said Mr. Dearingís presentation was the best he had ever heard from a traffic engineer. He said it was the best explanation balancing the ideals of engineering with the realities of the real world; it was very clear and very helpful. Mayor Landry stated he would be remiss if he didnít make a comment to HHT Devco, LLC. There is a festival in Novi every year, called the Fifties Festival, and for the last two years the ownerís of Fountain Walk had allowed that festival to be in their south parking lot. He said the City was informed that the new owners would not allow the festival to be held there. Mayor Landry said he would support the motion, welcomed them to Novi, and said he hoped they would be good corporate citizens. Mayor Landry said he hoped that in the future, they would reconsider partnering with the City and reconsider their position to not let the festival be held in the parking lot.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-179 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Part b Ė
Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated he could not support the north end demolition. He commented he didnít see why they would remove a building and add parking where there was already a sea of parking that wasnít used. It made no sense to him to take down buildings which would house the smaller type of businesses, the type of users they were looking for to enhance the center and develop parking in that area. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said in rezoning the property one of the things they were promised was there wouldnít be big box stores to compete with West Oaks I and II. He said if that were to happen, it would not get his support. He asked that they explain the parking.
Mr. Reed stated the area they propose to remove was only a shell with no floor, no HVAC, and no tenant had ever expressed a desire to locate there. He said they could use the additional parking right now. It would be better if it was on the other side but the other side is active, and they wouldnít take down areas where there are tenants presently. This was the first phase of what would be a multi phase revitalization of this project. He didnít know what other phases would be included. Mr. Reed said they did know that it would be what customers wanted, what private capital would support, and what Council would approve. He said taking down that space would send a big message to the market that there was a major balance sheet involved in this project. He said whatever the problems were prior to their involvement they had been told that one of the problems they had was most recently was that the market place didnít believe they had the balance sheet to do the work that was necessary to attract the tenants that pay the rent. He said they had the balance sheet and the money, and this was a way of demonstrating it concretely. He said it was expensive to remove that space, but they were never going to lease it. Mr. Reed requested Council allow them to make the mistake of removing that, if it was a mistake, and allow them to transmit the message to the market place that they were ready to do big and aggressive things at Fountain Walk. Mr. Reed said if they turned down the use of their south parking lot for the festival that would have to be one of the dumbest things they had ever done. He was not aware of the request or why they thought it was smart to turn it down, and there would be a different review next year.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if they needed that area for parking or would it be adequate to take them down, and leave it as an open active area since they were eliminating a lot of the open active areas by putting the north/south road in. Mr. Reed responded if the City staff would be supportive, and their consultants advised in favor of it, he thought they would be happy to consider leaving that area in a different form. He thought it integrated well with the drive aisle, so he was reluctant to try to reconfigure it, but if there were a way to provide a proper terminus to the new drive aisle, and not pave all of that area, he thought they would be open minded on that. Mr. Reed asked Council to allow the staff to resolve that with them because their big interest was in getting a trailer on that site, getting construction fences up, and having the press report that thereís activity. Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if they would consider coming back with the second part of this to discuss with staff the utilization of that area for a parking lot instead with the understanding that the drive through road would be fine.
Mr. Reed commented he understood Councilís interest in continuing this discussion but would prefer to leave tonight and have all things done at one time. He said if they left with Councilís approval to do what was requested subject to their undertaking to work in good faith with the staff to produce a slightly different use of part of that area. He thought it was important that where the drive aisle ended at the north and then matches up with the area to be demolished that they donít terminate the drive aisle without that loop. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he thought that was a good idea, and asked if it could be approved subject to their coming back just for the parking area. Mr. Reed stated it was very hard for them to do this with the contractors, and satisfy the lenders with a contingent approval. Mr. Reed said their ideal situation was that Council would accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission, which included that they continue to work with the City staff, and allow them to go forward. He said he was more than willing to study that area because it was difficult to know how they would change that as the cars needed to go north and come back around. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he had no problem with that, he liked that loop. Mr. Reed said he worried about creating an active area as an island between two parking fields. He said once they made the north drive continue up, and they made a parking field there it kind of wants to be joined with the other parking field. However, through consultants and the City staff, there might be a way to address it thatís more satisfactory. He said they are open minded if there was a way of doing something better that satisfied the customer better, but they couldnít see much to do with it except pave it over and add to the parking.
Member Nagy said she had no problem demolishing a building that had never been used. She suggested using it as a small park. She would support the demolition, but parking lots are not very attractive, and she didnít see a need for all that parking. She said it was just a sea of impervious surface. Mr. Reed and Mr. Ludwig suggested a limited amount of parking, and still maintain the north drive with a turning bulb of some kind. Then leave an area for multi use open space, and they would come back to Council with that use, and in the meantime they would know they had Councilís approval to build the road and an appropriate turning bulb. Mr. Ludwig said if they were to leave the drive aisle the way it was and let it flow through, and have a limited amount of parking there would be possibilities. Member Nagy said she wanted green space or something so that people could sit down, eat, etc.
CM-06-07-180 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the preliminary site plan of removing the building, a Section 9 FaÁade waiver that the proposed concrete block
would match the existing building, and all the comments in the staff and consultant review letter, with the reason that the
plan meets the original intent of the area and compliant with all the other ordinances, and that the parking lot be reduced by 50
parking spaces which would leave the applicant 75 parking spaces, and that the applicant work with the Planning
Commission to come up with a concept, and even though this would be approved, it would eventually come
back to Council so they know what the project looked like.
Mayor Landry asked if she was requiring that they reduced the parking lot from what it was proposed now. Member Nagy said yes. Mayor Landry asked Mr. Schultz, with respect to a motion of this nature what should it be.
Mr. Schultz said Council had the site plan approval authority. He commented he heard the motion saying that the Council was not approving that particular parking lot. He said Council needed to be sufficiently specific with what they wanted the administration to do, and they would need direction. Mayor Landry asked Member Nagy if she could let the motion stand as it was and have more discussion to see what the remainder of Council members wanted regarding reducing the parking lot. Member Nagy asked if the applicant could give her a rough estimate as to the percentage of reduction of parking spaces. Mr. Reed said Mr. Ludwig suggested 30-50% reduction in the parking, and Member Nagy said what Mr. Reed was showing her was less than a 50% reduction. Mr. Reed said they were trying to do something that Council would approve. Member Nagy said she would like to see 30% to 50%, and would leave the motion stand for the present time.
Member Paul said she understood the intent of some of the Council members to make this more attractive. She said take the pathway system that was being removed where the street would go and jiggle it a little more so there was a more friendly area for people to visit. She said then people would stay, use restaurants, businesses, etc., and they all wanted to see the businesses thrive. She also understood the intent of more parking, but it wasnít where it really needed to be. She would support the motion either way, thanked them for being accommodating, and for the investment in the area.
Member Margolis asked if the motion as it stands was the motion in the packet with the addition of a reduction in parking. Mr. Reed said yes. Member Margolis said but there was not a number associated with that yet, and Mr. Reed said not yet. She said she would support the motion in the packet as listed. She was concerned with supporting this motion because she didnít like doing design, decisions and problem solving on the fly. She said Council had spent hours of staff time reviewing, and she had concerns about changing this at this point. She would support the motion in the packet, and trusted that they would work with City staff, and listen to some of their comments.
Member Gatt commented he agreed with Member Margolis.
Mayor Landry stated generally speaking Council wanted less impervious surface and more green space, which was rule one when any project such as this was approached. However, in this case, he didnít want more green space because it would become a gathering space. He said one of the issues, and he would not call it a problem because it was a wonderful project and Novi didnít have those kinds of problems, the City has had was youths gathering at late night hours at Fountain Walk. He said with many entertainment establishments here that all close their doors at 2:00 a.m. there are a lot of people emptying out into a certain area at a certain time. He said there are high school kids that love to gather at Fountain Walk and that could be a security problem. Mayor Landry said he would much rather see the pedestrian traffic move in and out rather than have a small pocket park that teenagers hang out at. He supported the demolition project, and thought there should be a parking lot there. He would not support this particular motion but would support allowing the site plan with the demolition.
Member Nagy said this applicant offered to make changes had been cordial and compliant and really wanted to make Fountain Walk look good. She said regarding teenagers congregating that could be said from any area. She said they are at 7-11 on Meadowbrook, and itís just the way teenagers are. She said there were 125 parking spaces in the area being discussed and it was a lot of impervious surface. She would support her motion and appreciated the consideration of the applicant.
Member Mutch said the current motion stated there would be a reduction in parking and Council had not attached a number to that yet. Mayor Landry noted he assumed that before it was voted on there would be a number attached to that. Member Mutch said he had some concerns regarding the demolition of the building because the change being made to the south end would presumably generate traffic into the area and hopefully change the vibrancy of the area. He said the applicant offered some modifications to the plan that he thought were more attractive. Member Mutch noted he was not locked into a vision of what this area would be, and landscaping would be fine. He said he was looking for a way to provide the flexibility if the applicant took the time and effort, and the City staff was willing to work with them. He said Council could approve something tonight that gave the flexibility to incorporate the comments heard from Council regarding modifications. Member Mutch said they would be approving something that wouldnít postpone the process, because whether he liked a particular vision or not he didnít want the applicant to leave without certainty of where the process was going. Member Mutch asked the City Attorney if there was a majority of CouncilĎs support for the motion, what was the best way to package it so Council accomplished the goals they had just talked about.
Mr. Schultz restated the original answer. If Council was interested in delegating the final site plan review authority it had to attach, in the motion, some standards for that delegation. Whether it was a number of parking spaces, a percentage of parking spaces or eastern or western side of the site, the Planning Department needed to have specific direction as to what it had the authority to approve. He didnít know if a majority of Council was there but it did need to be a part of the direction when the motion was finally voted on.e Did
Member Mutch said he would be looking in the motion language would be something like to maintain the traffic pattern through this north end with a potential reduction of 30-50% of the parking spaces, and working with staff to either landscape that or develop it as a non-parking area.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello offered a friendly amendment to the motion that Council would allow the northern section of the street and going easterly to the parking area eliminate the two easterly double rows of parking, leaving the single row to the west, the double row to the west and the circulation to the east of the double row to the west, thus eliminating the two double rows to the east and leaving that to be worked out with the Planning Department even if just landscaping.
Member Nagy commented she wanted to be more liberal with the applicant, and wanted to say reduce the parking by X amount of spaces wherever. She said she wanted them to be more flexible. Mr. Reed said from their point of view that would be preferred if they were going to do this in sort of a target range of percentage without specifying precisely. Member Nagy asked how many parking spaces there were all total, and Mr. Ludwig replied 125. Member Nagy said to reduce parking by 50 spaces, which would allow them 75 parking spaces.
Member Paul asked the applicant if there was an area of their parking lot that wasnít doing well, could be eliminated, and spaces closest to the building could be kept to help some of the other members. She said she was open to whatever Mr. Reed wanted to do, and liked the fact they were getting some flexibility with staff.
Mr. Reed thought the area to deal with this was before Council; this was an area they had earmarked that if all went well they would come back with something else for this area in the future. He said if Council would support the motion as proposed now they would gratefully accept that.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-180 Yeas: Paul, Capello, Mutch, Nagy
Nays: Landry, Gatt, Margolis
4. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.204 to amend the City of Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to increase building height, modify density calculations for mixed-use buildings, and allow modified room counts, in the TC-1, Town Center Zoning District. Second Reading
John Jackson, Mc Kenna and Associates, said they had been working with staff since the last meeting to come to an agreement on how to handle some of the issues. He thought they were all in agreement in general on the issues addressed in the text amendment, but it was a matter of how they could mechanically address it. He said there was a draft of the text amendment that came from staff based on meetings held with them since the last meeting. He said the text amendments achieved what they had hoped to, and he thought some of the current text amendments went a little beyond that. He said in terms of flexibility they came to an agreement on how to do that for the room counts, and he thought the building height had been addressed and met their needs as proposed. Mr. Jackson said one issue was ensuring there was sufficient non-residential uses in a mixed use development. Currently, the ordinance required up to 10% of non-residential uses in a mixed use development, and the proposed ordinance required 20%. He said the project, as it stands today, is they are proposing it met the 20%, and the only issue with that was that might reduce the flexibility in terms of responding to market trends and issues.
He said the language regarding parking on the first floor had been tightened up. He said there would be no parking on the first floor on Main Street. He said on the buildings off of Main Street with parking on the first floor would be adequately screened with landscaping or architectural elements. Mr. Jackson said they also discussed the possibility of having upper floor setbacks to minimize the canyon effect or to add architectural articulation. He said in terms of the building height and the canyon, they are still at a ratio that the canyon effect wonít be an issue but would still provide visual interest.
Mr. Pearson explained thereís been a lot of work and compromise and what they recommended would bridge the gap.
Barb Mc Beth spoke about the four main changes were an increase in the minimum percentage of non residential uses, 10-20% increase in the TC District, allowed a height bonus of additional non residential floors, standards were added for allowance for the first floor parking on non public roadways only, and standards to increase Councilís discretion in allowing for compatibility in design of the taller buildings. Ms. Mc Beth said two additional items were discussed but were not included in the language at this time. She said two story buildings were mentioned at the last Council meeting, and the Planning Department identified a number of single story buildings throughout the TC District. So in an effort not to create a large number of non-conforming buildings they didnít include that language in the ordinance this evening. She said regarding the parking standards, it would take a lot of work to modify the parking standards for this area, and these types of uses. She said if Council wished they could take the additional time to do that, but at this point she believed the applicant had provided traffic and parking analysis with the submittal of the preliminary site plan.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello thought they needed to stick with 20% minimum non-residential uses. He said this was a downtown area, not a residential area, and he thought they could meet that, and if there are problems they could come back and Council would work with them.
CM-06-07-181 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; MOTION FAILED:
To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.204 to amend the
City of Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to increase building height,
modify density calculations for mixed-use buildings, and allow
modified room counts, in the TC-1, Town Center Zoning District,
subject to the change of non-residential to retail uses in subsection
10d. Second Reading
Mayor Capello said if office use was allowed on the first floor the offices would close up at 6:00 P.M. and the downtown would also close up. The idea of having the first floor uses as retail was so potentially there would be something that would stay open.
Mr. Nona said this presented potential problems for them. He said their intention was to make it retail but there could also be dentist or lawyer offices on the first floor. He said according this motion it might not be allowed. They didnít want to get into a situation of deciding what an office was and what retail was. He felt this was unnecessary and uncalled for.
Member Mutch said he had been trying to look at providing two things when working with ordinance changes. One, would they want to have specific things giving clear direction to not only this applicant, but all applicants in the TC and TC-1 Districts. Member Mutch said he was looking at how these changes would impact their project but was also looking down the road as to how other developers might apply these standards. He wanted to be flexible to a degree. He said he agreed with the intent of Mayor Pro Tem Capelloís amendment, but looking at the entirety of the TC District to have retail uses on the first floor exclusively would be more restrictive than he wanted to go. He would not support that specifically. He agreed about the mixed use of 20%, and felt that they needed to understand that what the mixed use definition did, in addition to determining a number of percentages of uses, drives the amount of residential density permitted. He said if a straight 100% residential development was done they would get a lower permitted density for residential than mixed use. He said he didnít want to see someone doing 90% residential because of the 10% requirement for non-residential, and getting that bonus density of additional residential and having 90% versus someone doing just straight residential and have a much lower density. The goal was to have a downtown with a mix of uses. He said residential was a very important component but he didnít want it to be the overwhelming component of this development. He thought 20% was appropriate for the applicantís use, and any other future mixed use projects. He noted he didnít agree with the height bonus, and didnít have a problem with the concept but the implementation was problematic with the way the language was drafted. He said each additional floor of office or retail use above the first floor would get the applicant an additional floor of residential up to seven stories. He said they could essentially get two bonus stories of residential use, and there was no language to control that if non-residential was proposed and they came back later and changed that to residential. He would like the height bonus removed until there was language that gave Council something a little more concrete. Member Mutch said the kind of incentives he would be looking for was underground parking, which would earn the applicant an additional floor. He said thatís the direction he was looking at because if the uses changed the underground parking would stay as a benefit. Member Mutch was concerned with the ordinance compatibility language. He said they addressed that in terms of some buildings being taller and with this potential height bonus they were looking at buildings 104 feet high, and was concerned about future projects coming in and giving a shear face. He said even 65 ft. to him was excessive without having that articulation and building set back. Member Mutch said he researched other communities that had established downtown districts and most either had upper floor set backs or were contemplating adding upper floor set backs into their ordinances. He said most communities have this regulated and have setbacks of a minimum of 5 to 10 feet, which ensures there wouldnít be a 100 ft. of vertical shear and what results of that such as the canyon effect, loss of sunlight, etc. He was looking to avoid all of those things. He said his other concern with the language was how it would work in terms of the process. He said the language said when the proposal got to City Council if they determined they didnít like the style of the building and determined a set back was needed, at that point they would be told to change it and that was unreasonable and impractical. He said the applicant would go through the entire approval process and the Council would tell them to shift the upper floors of the building in 5 to 10 ft. He said it made more sense to say that up from saying on all buildings higher than 3 or 4 floors there would be a set back of 5 or 10 ft. to avoid canyon effects, etc. He said the language of the ordinance now was a recipe for trouble. His goal was not to eliminate the intent but to eliminate the unclear language that didnít work and substitute specific set back language for any building having stories above a 3rd or 4th floor. Member Mutch thought this was one of the most important projects in the City, and the details are important to give clear direction and flexibility. He couldnít support it as it stood now.
Member Nagy thought that all buildings fronting onto a publicly dedicated roadway shall have non-residential uses on the first floor and shouldnít be restricted to retail. Itís important to be thorough with a new ordinance in order to have it be effective with everything that comes after it. She didnít have problems with the height of the building and agreed the set back requirements should be determined in the beginning and not after they are done. She felt 65 feet was too tall, and didnít like the bonus part either.
Member Margolis stated she supported the ordinance as it was in the packet, and was comfortable with that. She thought the 20% amount was a good change but could not support required retail on the first floor. She felt that what they sold would determine what went on the first floor. She said staff had been working on this trying to divine Councilís wishes for the last several weeks, and she felt they had to pass an ordinance tonight because people are tire of the brown space sitting there, and the merchants in there now need the development to move forward and need more traffic. She said the more Council waited, changed, and worked on this the longer those people have to wait for this. She said she couldnít support the retail and thought they needed the flexibility to sell that space as it sells. The reality was that retail also closed at a certain time so that was not an issue. She would support a motion for the ordinance as presented.
Member Gatt noted he supported the project from day one and would support it as it appeared in the packet. He said the citizens of Novi are probably tired of looking at it as well, and not getting any tax benefits out of that property. This was not the 1980-90ís when everything was booming. He said this is 2006 and this Council had sat here time after time saying they were going to make it easier and better for developers. He said he could think of a dozen cities that would love to be in this position with Triangle ready to spend millions of dollars to develop this project. Member Gatt said he would not nickel-dime them to death; he was ready to vote on this package tonight.
Mayor Landry commented he would adopt the comments of the two previous speakers, and was ready to vote in favor of this as written. Mayor Landry asked for a friendly amendment to return the language back to the original with all buildings fronting onto a public dedicated roadway shall have non-residential uses on the first floor.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated he could not accept that because retailers there now on Main Street were promised a retail development. He said that was what they had invested their money and had spent it trying to keep their businesses open and several had failed because the retail facet of Main Street was never completed. He said they were promised that and he felt Council needed to maintain that promise. He didnít want to tie the hands of the developer but if they were going to allow the market to dictate what the planning was they might as well get rid of the ordinance, fire the Planning Department and get rid of the Planning Commission. He said the market cannot dictate the planning; it comes into affect when working with businesses but it doesnít drive planning or zoning. Just because retail wasnít strong now didnít mean it wouldnít come back again. It was planned for retail with office on the second floor and he would stick with the plan they started eight years ago.
Mayor Landry said currently the motion stands with the restriction to retail on the first floor.
Member Nagy thought if this was made so restrictive for this development what would they do when other developers come in. While understanding the commitment made to the retailers, she felt they could not obligate to hold to the promise of the original developer. However, in essence she agreed with what was said.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-181 Yeas: Capello, Paul
Nays: Landry, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy
CM-06-07-182 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.204 to amend the City of Novi Ordinance, as amended, to increase
building height, modify density calculations for mixed-use
buildings, and allow modified room counts, in the TC-1, Town
Center Zoning District as written.
Member Mutch said if a developer came in with three stories of office/commercial and four stories of residential. Then later want to convert any of the floors that are non-residential to residential, and they receive the mixed use bonus as far as density because they would qualify more than 20%, what control would the City have to prevent that conversion down the road.
Mr. Schultz said the only thing the City had was the Occupancy Permit requirements. The residential wouldnít be permitted without a change of the ordinance or a use variance. The additional office/commercial floors that were the basis for granting the bonus would need to remain that non-residential use unless and until something happened that relief was granted. Member Mutch said once locked into that there would be no way to change that. Mr. Schultz said not without further review approval, a substantial ordinance change or use variance.
Member Mutch said that was his problem with that provision because he didnít think it would accomplish what Council wanted. Developers arenít going to take a chance on going for the bonus floor, and then find out the market doesnít support it and being stuck with an empty floor. He thought if a bonus was going to be done, do it for something literally concrete, like underground parking or some other public benefit that could be seen. He was concerned about Section E because the developer comes to City Council and they say thereís something about the project they donít like, and thereís a catch all provision that allows them to make changes the developer might not agree with. He reiterated developers needed clear direction, and he thought having buildings 65 or 104 feet tall without that building upper floor setback was 1) not consistent with best practices, 2) was not consistent with what other communities do, and 3) gives clear direction to the developer so there were no surprises at the end. He said a project would come in with the really ugly faÁade that Council wouldnít like, and they would be stuck with it because no developer would want to go back and shove back the front of the building 10 ft. He said Council would have a building that no one wanted to look at. He would not support an ordinance that didnít reflect the changes he had stated.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-182 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Paul, Landry
Nays: Mutch, Nagy
5. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.203 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to include provisions for animal boarding facilities in the l-1, Light Industrial Zoning District. Second Reading
CM-06-07-183 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment
18.203 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to
include provisions for animal boarding facilities in the l-1, Light
Industrial Zoning District. Second Reading
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-183 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
6. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.205 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to modify the requirements for outdoor storage of recreational equipment in residential zoning districts. Second Reading
Mr. Pearson said this reinstated the 72 hour provision for people to load and unload their RVís, they were cleaning up the language and reacting to what was presented last time.
Member Margolis asked if a recreational vehicle that the resident claimed was their only transportation would that be covered by this ordinance. Mr. Schultz said it currently did, and this would not change anything relating to that. Member Margolis said it would be considered a recreational vehicle and needed to be gone. Mr. Schultz said yes.
CM-06-07-184 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.205 to amend the
City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to modify the
requirements for outdoor storage of recreational equipment in
residential zoning districts, and clarifying that only one motor home
would be allowed. Second Reading
Member Gatt said the administration was asked to research other communities, and he was surprised to learn that Rochester Hills allowed storage in their rear year, Farmington Hills allowed storage in the rear or side yard. He said Livonia, Southfield, Troy, Wixom, Sterling Heights and West Bloomfield also allowed storage. He said he could understand that residents that own RVís would be upset by Noviís restrictive ordinance.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello commented he was happy the direction that the ordinance went after the first reading but didnít understand the last section under subsection 2, "the presence of the same equipment on the same premises within a seven day period is a violation". Mayor Pro Tem Capello said the violation was after three days.
Mr. Schultz said the idea of this was Code Enforcement couldnít be in the same neighborhood every day. He said these are exclusively enforced on a complaint basis. The idea with the last section was if the equipment was seen to be there, even outside a 72 hour period, within the same 7 day period, the presumption would be that it was there in excess of 72 hours. He said the property owner would have to say they moved it and got a new 72 hour period.
Mr. Schultz said in #5, in brackets, this was a discussion item rather than automatically the case. He said he wanted to be sure that "no more than one motorized recreational vehicle on one residential premise". Mr. Schultz said that was an additional requirement that if not there now he wanted to be sure that before this was adopted it was intentional.
Mayor Landry said that was the one change, that it was being limited to the storage of one recreational vehicle. Mr. Schultz said theoretically what that might do was pick up two jet skis or something like that and it would become an issue, and might merit discussion.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said it would be a motorized motor home pulling a trailer, and not two jet skies on one trailer. Mr. Schultz said recreational vehicles have a broader definition under the zoning ordinance and picks up jet skies, etc.
Member Mutch said he would not support the motion because he thought the language was too restrictive for the reasons outlined by Mr. Schultz. Mr. Schultz said they were not sponsoring it or putting it in there for discussion items and was not necessarily a recommendation. Member Mutch stated he would support the motion if that provision was stricken.
Mayor Landry agreed with the previous two speakers, however, he liked the limitation of only one motor home in the yard. He didnít care if someone had two jet skis, or two jet skis and a motor home, but to have two Winnebagos in someoneís yard, which was occurring, he would not be in favor of. He asked Mr. Schultz if there was a way to put language in to say that. Mr. Schultz said they would clarify that they were talking about motor homes.
Mayor Landry asked for a friendly amendment to allow that, so that they could have only one motor home stored and would not include jet skies. The maker and seconder of the motion accepted that provision.
Member Nagy commented she wanted to use the example of her parking lot. She said they have an office and a parking lot, and when someone came in with a big motor home they put it in the parking lot and they were allowed to stay there for seven days. She asked if they would be in violation because there was no screening. Mr. Schultz said #9 was one of the provisions that was not changed and related mostly to single family homes. Member Nagy stated she didnít want someone who used their vacation home and couldnít park on the street to get a ticket. She said she would support the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said one motorized recreational vehicle means one snow mobile, motorcycle or Jet Ski. Mr. Schultz said in light of the amendment that was offered, the language would be revised so it was just limited to one motor home, and the rest of the
recreational vehicles would be whatever was permitted depending on their size, height and location. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said if they had a trailer with four snow mobiles on it, it would still be one recreational vehicle.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-184 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
7. Consideration of Text Amendment 06-104.04 to amend the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, as amended, to modify the requirements for outdoor storage of building materials in residential zoning districts. Second Reading
CM-06-07-185 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Text Amendment 06-104.04 to amend the City of Novi
Code of Ordinances, as amended, to modify the requirements for
outdoor storage of building materials in residential zoning districts.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-185 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
8. Consideration of request from Pacific Stars, LLC to transfer ownership of 2005 12 months resort Class C licensed business (MCL 436.1531(3); nontransferable), located at 45017 W. Pontiac Trail, Novi, MI 48377, Oakland County, from Ka-Hing, Inc.
CM-06-07-186 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve request from Pacific Stars, LLC to transfer ownership of
2005 12 months resort Class C licensed business (MCL 436.1531(3);
nontransferable), located at 45017 W. Pontiac Trail, Novi, MI 48377,
Oakland County, from Ka-Hing, Inc.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-186 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Council recessed at 9:56 P.M.
Member Gatt exited the meeting at 10:00 P.M.
Council reconvened at 10:17 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
9. Approval of Ordinance No. 06-174, An Ordinance to Amend the City of Novi Code of Ordinances to Make Violations of Sections A 22-46(a), 22-66, 22-67, 22-69, 22-73, 22-76, 22-77, 22-78, Punishable by Imprisonment for not more than ninety-three (93) days and/or a fine of not more than five-hundred dollars ($500.00) First Reading
CM-06-07-187 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To Ordinance No. 06-174, An Ordinance to Amend the City of Novi
Code of Ordinances to Make Violations of Sections A 22-46(a), 22-66,
22-67, 22-69, 22-73, 22-76, 22-77, 22-78, Punishable by
Imprisonment for not more than ninety-three (93) days and/or a fine
of not more than five-hundred dollars ($500.00) First Reading
Mayor Landry asked why it was 93 days. Mr. Pearson replied it was to come into conformance with the State Statutes that had been revised to 93 days so they could administer them better through the District and Circuit Courts, and getting everything in line with State Statutes.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-187 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Margolis,
10. Referral to the Planning Commission for Public Hearing and recommendation back to City Council of a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment for modification of the standards in the OST Planned Office Service Technology District.
Mr. Pearson said the Ordinance Review Committee spent a good deal of time on this item and results were suggestions from some of the primary developers in the OST District, which was obviously one of the most important things going forward in the build out of the City. He said the property owners see some merit in consideration of modifying the requirements in the OST District, specifically the building height as it related to buildings bordering interstates, freeways, etc. Mr. Pearson said this was to get the process moving by a referral to the Planning Commission, a public hearing, and back to Council for a Text Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance. He said there were other items in addition to the height that the Ordinance Review Committee reviewed but it was agreed that the best use of everyoneís time at this point, and actually meet some of the demand of development proposals would be to tackle the height and leave the others for another day.
CM-06-07-188 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To refer to the Planning Commission for Public Hearing and
recommendation back to City Council of a Zoning Ordinance Text
Amendment for modification of the standards in the OST Planned
Office Service Technology District, to be back before Council in 60 days.
Member Margolis said she had no problem increasing the floor height in that area, and that is the target area for development, tax base, economic development, and she thought they absolutely needed to give them that flexibility. She assumed his comments about signage, use of restaurants in the area and possibly allowing for day care were the issues that were left for another day. Member Margolis said those issues were specifically targeted in their letters that they were something they were interested in seeing. Mr. Pearson believed that all those other provisions were more involved than they were ready to get into at this point.
Member Margolis agreed with the priority but wanted to see the other items addressed because they have some very valid concerns.
Member Paul said looking at the OST District and set backs, one of the biggest issues they had were set backs. If talking about a 110 ft. building for height and only 100 ft. away from residential property was too little, and her thought would be to increase the amount of the set back. Member Paul suggested 180 to 200 ft. set back with that tall of a building. She said a lot of times a building would be designed to taper in to eliminate the big box effect, and that might be something to look at.
Member Mutch said that was discussed. He said the 100 ft. provision still applied but there was a change in provision for any buildings over 65 ft. He said there was a 1 to 2 setback requirement so every foot over 65 ft. an additional two feet of setback would be required. He said so 110 ft. building would have a setback of beyond 100 ft. of setback.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello didnít think 110 ft. was enough and guessed that would be 7 or 8 stories. Mr. Pearson said the Building Department said an 8 story building would be 108 feet but could vary. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he would be looking at 10 to 15 stories of buildings and thought they would look better closer together as opposed to stacked every 150 ft. He said the setbacks didnít bother him and suggested they could stagger it like Eastern Michigan University Green Glass building at Six Mile and Haggerty. It was specifically staggered and set back from the residential so there was that large wall that Member Mutch didnít like.
Member Nagy asked if the fire truck ladders would reach a building that tall.
Chief Johnson said they wouldnít be able to reach it with the equipment he had. However, these buildings would all have sprinkler systems by code. She asked if sprinklers were mandatory, and Chief Johnson replied in these types of buildings it was. He said they also had emergency exits, stairwells, etc.
Member Mutch asked what height their ladder could reach. Chief Johnson said their aerial ladder was 100 ft. but they had to take into consideration what the setback was and then figure out, according to the angle of the ladder, what the reach was. Member Mutch asked for the Chiefís input regarding additional height before this came back to Council.
Member Paul said if there was a building of 110 ft. they would have 190 ft. from residential. She said she understood the intent to raise the buildings to 10 stories but was not in favor of that and this was as high as she could go in her level of comfort. She said she didnít want to see a shell of a building as OST might move to other areas such as Southfield has. She wanted to keep the neighborhood feel when walking or driving through the City.
Mr. Pearson asked if Council wanted to put a time frame on this of perhaps 60 days.
Mayor Landry asked if the maker and seconder accepted the friendly amendment and they did.
Mayor Landry said he would support this to the Planning Commission because a required public hearing needed to be held. He said all comments would be welcome but it was not Councilís intent that this go to Implementation or have all kinds of committees because this had to be back to Council in 60 days. He said they would appreciate their comments but really wanted them to hold the public hearing.
Roll call vote CM-06-07-188 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
11. Approval to amend the Building Department Fee Schedule due to the implementation of the required changes necessary for public notification in accordance with the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act per attached resolution.
CM-06-07-189 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To amend the Building Department Fee Schedule due to the
implementation of the required changes necessary for public
notification in accordance with the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act per
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-189 Yeas: Capello, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,
12. Approval to award a construction contract to Six-S, Inc., the lowest bidder, for the Eleven Mile Road Reconstruction and Culvert Replacement project (just west of Meadowbrook Road) in the amount of $348,444.53.
CM-06-07-190 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve awarding construction contract to Six-S, Inc., the lowest
bidder, for the Eleven Mile Road Reconstruction and Culvert
Replacement project (just west of Meadowbrook Road) in the amount
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-190 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Capello,
13. Approval to award an engineering services contract for Storm Water Study Phase II to Orchard Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. for a not-to-exceed fee of $59,950.
CM-06-07-191 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve awarding an engineering services contract for Storm
Water Study Phase II to Orchard Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. for a not-to-
exceed fee of $59,950.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello commented he saw in the study that some of the existing regional storm water detention basins would be looked at. He said the last time they talked to Council they thought that the regional basins were the way to go, and preferred them as opposed to all the on site detention basins. He said perhaps they could look at the areas and see if there are any areas where new regional basins could be developed.
Member Paul remembered when this company came forward and what they were recommending was to have the regional detention in place but to have smaller retention basins in each re-development or new development area. She said they needed to have the run off stored before it went down to the regional detention basins, and one of the issues Council had was the cost of maintaining those regional detention basins. She said her recollection was a little different but she would like to hear whatever they had to say.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-191 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello,
14. Approval of Traffic Signal Modernization Agreement, Twelve Mile Road and West Park Drive, between the City of Novi, Road Commission for Oakland County, West Park Partners and RSM Development & Management.
Mr. Pearson said even though these are specific contracts they would like to have some direction as to how they wanted administration to handle these particular agreements and going forward. He said now if a development came in as part of their site plan review and approval they were required to put a traffic signal in and the developer would install it at their expense. He said once it was in there was an opportunity for the City to go back to the developer and say from now, you the developer, would have to pay a portion of the maintenance fees for the traffic signal. Itís the way itís been done and there are four cases they outlined where it was being done. He said it was difficult to track and bill but not impossible. He was looking for direction as to whether the Council wanted them to keep collecting for the ongoing maintenance of signals like these. He said each agreement was set up a different way, and no matter what Council decided they would have to go back and modify the particulars of this language.
Member Margolis asked if the amounts on the chart were amounts and not percentages. Mr. Pearson said they were percentages. Member Margolis said it didnít seem to be an efficient use of our time to be tracking and billing these small amounts. These are things the City
maintains as part of being part of the public. She said her policy direction would be to pay to have it installed, dealing with these maintenance fee ongoing, and she thought it was quite ad hoc as to who had to pay part and who doesnít. She didnít think this made a lot of sense even from a money point of view.
Member Paul asked if there was another way to look at this. She said if we have a light and it was having a lot more light because of this business over time because they were getting full was the purpose of this to have the money to do a turn lane, etc. She asked what the need was.
Mr. Pearson said this was different and after the fact. He said the turn lane, etc. had already been installed and after that initial construction had been done it was the ongoing paying for what had been put up. It was not changing the landscape under these agreements. Member Paul asked what determines the amount. Mr. Pearson said the RCOC billed the City for their actual costs and then the City tries to cost count and bill it out. Mr. Pearson said it was not a fixed amount. He said if the road commission had to repair a signal, paint it, etc. it would be actual. She said it wasnít all businesses was it, and Mr. Pearson said it was whoever triggered the light to be installed. Member Paul said she was in favor of going with Mr. Pearsonís recommendations.
Member Mutch said for policy direction he would support continuing to require whoever the developer was to pay the installation costs and whatever percentage was appropriate. He said in terms of the maintenance costs and in light of the small number and the fact that it looked like a majority of the lights when benefiting specific businesses arenít required to pay the maintenance costs. He didnít think it made sense to require that small number to pay. Member Mutch said providing uniform policy and clear direction he would have the City take over whatever our percentage of the maintenance costs would be for those lights and future lights.
Member Nagy agreed.
CM-06-07-192 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve entering into a maintenance
agreement with Oakland County but modifying each of these
so that the City paid the local share as opposed to trying to
find the developer to pay for part of that.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-192 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello,
15. Approval of the Traffic Signal Maintenance Agreement between the Road Commission for Oakland County and the City of Novi for the Grand River Avenue and Rock Financial Showplace traffic signal.
CM-06-07-193 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Traffic Signal Maintenance Agreement between the
Road Commission for Oakland County and the City of Novi for the
Grand River Avenue and Rock Financial Showplace traffic signal.
Roll call vote on CM-06-07-193 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Margolis, Mutch,
Discussion of dedication and acceptance of Vista Hills streets.
Mayor Landry explained that Council earlier agreed to accept the streets if the association agreed to bring them up to city standards. He wanted to be sure Council was prepared to accept those streets before they assessed everyone individually, and bite off $80,000 worth of improvements. He said they were not looking for acceptance tonight but were looking for on the record commitment from Council that if they do what they have been asked to do the City would accept the streets.
Member Mutch said he would support accepting the streets once they were brought up to the appropriate condition. However, he wanted Council to discuss the broader issue of what had happened over the past several years. He said they had a number of streets that either by design or intent were going to be private streets that were accepted into the public street network. Member Mutch said a few months back they got a map that showed what streets in the City were being maintained and considered City streets, and which were private streets. Member Mutch felt it was time to look at the few remaining areas where the subdivisions or complexes are still not included. He said there were a few condominium associations out there that have streets that have not been brought into the public street network, and he thought they should be. He said some of these donít meet the public street standards, but we maintain a lot of streets that donít meet the public street standards, pretty much anything in the Walled Lake area. Member Mutch said he wanted Council to address this specific neighborhood, and also address what was out there that was private that could come in. He would look favorably on bringing those streets into the system.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson for a report in an off week packet reiterating the previous report with a map of what streets are of the nature described by Member Mutch. He said perhaps on a future agenda it could be placed as a discussion item. Mr. Pearson asked for a little time and the Mayor Landry suggested 90 days, and Mr. Pearson agreed.
Member Nagy agreed with Member Mutch and explained that her complex as well as Maples of Novi had private streets and felt it was unfair as the City kept accepting streets. She felt this should be revisited because she thought it was discriminatory tax wise.
Member Margolis said she would support this as it was a commitment made by a previous Council, and to do anything otherwise would be impossible for this Council. She was willing to look at the issue of private streets but would need to see a great deal of information to see why that made sense, because the commitment was made when the developments went in that they would be private streets.
Member Paul said this was considered to be private streets, and there are many others that have been accepted. She said the City accepted Act 51 money for streets that were never actually accepted by the City, but the City did the plowing, repairs, and the City de facto accepted those streets. Member Paul said she would support them doing the repairs an making them acceptable to the City, and she would accept them if the repairs were done. Member Paul said looking at the other private entities Council was talking about she would like to hear if Council accepted the Act 51 money what that would be, how much road way that was, and how much time it would take to do the repairs. She wanted to see what the DPW and Parks and Recreation staff to see how much we can do for all the streets, and she would want to look at the financials from all different perspectives.
Mayor Landry said a formal motion would not be needed if we are not accepting the streets tonight, and he didnít hear anyone from Council say they were opposed to accepting Vista Hills streets provided that they comply with all City requirements.
Mr. Schultz said he wanted to be sure that Council was aware that through the Engineering Department and his office they would want to see an agreement/commitment in writing and a performance bonds prior to this.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Video Streaming on Cityís website Ė Member Paul
Member Paul said she read about having video capability on websites. She said her concern was that many people donít have the cable network, and many of them have satellite dishes. She said with the technology she thought it would be a smart move, and wanted to understand what it would be financially, what the workload of the staff would be, and what would be required.
Ms. Walsh said in a memo in Councilís packets last week at the request of Member Margolis they did some investigation as to what video streaming capabilities would be available on the Cityís web site. She said video streaming was the ability to produce video through our internet service; so people could log onto the City website and watch the video of City Council meetings, and could be done live or on demand services. She said to do that they would need about $5,400 of equipment in the AV room to do that either way. She said a PC, monitor, software and a network feed would have to be provided to that room. Then there would be additional staff time required following the Council meetings to bookmark the video so someone logging on to the website would not have to watch a three hour meeting to get to the topic they were interested in. The meeting would be bookmarked according to the agenda items; they could click on that and watch that section of the meeting. She said they were looking at equipment and a one time set up fee of about $5,400, and to provide the services on demand it would cost about $1,440 per year for Muni Web, additional staff time of about an hour a meeting, which would be just over $2,000 a year to provide both Council meetings each month, and archive them on the web site for three months.
The other option, which the web service cannot provide, was streaming the video live so someone who didnít have Bright House Cable could log on to the web site and watch the meeting live. She said Power Stream, a local vendor, could provide that service for two Council meetings a month and estimating approximately 50 viewers would log on would be about $4,800 a year. She said if they were to upgrade the room and provide all those services for the 2006-2007 budget would be just over $12,200 for the initial cost to do it for one year. She said the cost for subsequent years would be about $6,800 for live and on demand.
Member Paul asked what if there were more or less viewers. Ms. Walsh said then the fee would go up. Member Paul said she was in favor of at least looking at the first venue that weíre capable of at $5,400 for the equipment and book marking of the video.
However, she wanted to hear from Council members to see if they wanted to do anything more than that in regards to the live video with the Power Stream company.
Member Margolis said personally she didnít see the benefit from the extra money from the live streaming. She said the purpose of this was to get access to meetings for people who didnít have access. She would be in support of the video streaming and not the live version. She asked once they had the video capture equipment would that allow us to do other items on the web site besides Council meetings. Ms. Walsh said they have that capability now.
Member Mutch said he was interested in providing as many routes to information for the residents as possible. However, he thought if they did some sort of video on the internet, the version where it would be available on the site on demand, and then with the archive it seemed to serve the broadest possible audience. On the other hand, looking at the amount of money required to get this up and running, he was more interested in other technology ideas that Council had talked about. For instance, the electronic Council packets, and he thought that could have better benefit than this does, at least now. He would like to talk about what they would want to be doing through the web site and with technology and prioritize those. He didnít want to lose focus on the fact that there might be other directions that might be just as valuable or more so from a technology perspective.
Mayor Landry said Council talked at the last budget session about getting together to do some goal setting sessions, perhaps in August or September. He would like to suggest following up on Member Mutchís idea. Mayor Landry said he was in favor of video streaming and it wasnít that much money. He said they could asked administration to bring it back as an action item, and give us two option, real time and on demand, the costs, and Council could vote it up or down. The second option would be to discuss the whole subject of how we could improve with technology at an upcoming goal session.
Member Nagy stated she would like to discuss it in a goal session as she would like to look at the whole topic and not just focus in on one. She felt they needed to talk about the big picture and where the City was headed.
Member Paul said she understood that two members are speaking about waiting, but said this was a small amount of money. She said she wasnít sure if administration had to go before Council for an item under $10,000. Mr. Pearson said technically, but he would bring this before Council. Member Paul said she would like to see it as an action item for this portion for the public. She said the reason was she had spoken to one woman who had a difficult time getting around and only had the cab as her access, and she does have cable. However, she has a neighbor that canít do that and occasionally she could go over if someone wheel chaired her over to see what was going on in the City. She would like to move forward on the book marking video, and maybe talk about the live video and electronic packets at goal setting.
Member Margolis agreed that they needed to look at the whole issue, and thought this was a small amount to provide a service that had been requested by a few people, and it would allow people to not have to wait until 11 P.M. to see their item. She thought they should move forward on this.
Member Mutch asked if the proposal from Muni Web took into account the additional traffic to the web site. Ms. Walsh said there was a $200 set up fee that would create the page, etc., and then they built in $120 additional charge per month to host it out there. She said they had the capability and there were no issues with the amount of traffic to the site. Member Mutch said that wasnít too bad.
Mayor Landry suggested bringing this back as an action item within 45 days, and vote it up or vote it down. He asked if it would require a budget amendment, and Mr. Pearson said he would look into it.
2. Beck Road and Grand River Traffic Signalization Ė Member Paul
Member Paul said she drove along Wixom Road going north bound today going toward the downtown area, and by the sports complex on the east side of Wixom Road all of their lights were on the opposite side of the road where you would sit. Therefore, she was looking at one of the busiest intersection and looking at the amount of traffic that would come in after the hospital was built and wanted to understand the administrationís thoughts and RCOCís thoughts of what could be done to have the signals put on the right side of the mast arms instead of the side closest to us.
Mr. Pearson said the signal location at Grand River and Beck had been reviewed by MDOT and RCOC, and there was a difference between technically correct and functionally correct. He said the signals are where they are supposed to be technically, per design and most importantly per MDOTís specifications on how they designed it. Mr. Pearson said initially after some of these questions came up, some of the staff at MDOT was open to the idea of the modifications they described and making it happen. However, as they got into it deeper, for whatever reason, they said no and if change was made it would be on someone elseís dime. Mr. Pearson said the RCOC, who managed Grand River and these intersections had budgeted and was willing to make the modification and move them to the other side, and the RCOC would be looking for a 25% cost participation from the City. He said they would do what ever Council wanted as far as writing to MDOT, and diligently and honestly try to get that modified but be forewarned they have moved on.
Member Paul asked what the 25% cost would be. Mr. Pearson thought it was about $30,000 total. She said this intersection with the hospital completed would be extremely busy, and itís already very difficult to make a left hand turn because of the traffic thatís present. She would like to investigate MDOT having a formal review of it again, and asking Senator Cassis and Speaker of the House DeRoche for a little help. She would like to do it now before someone was hurt.
Member Mutch said he had driven that intersection and had never had a problem with it, and didnít see the issue. He asked how changing the light location would benefit the traffic flow through the intersection. He said if only six or seven cars are getting through either the signals not timed correctly, or the SCAT system was working the way it was supposed to work. He asked if moving the signal would improve the function of the intersection or was it to make it consistent and not have any impact on the amount of traffic going through there. If it wouldnít help the intersection flow, he wasnít sure it was worth the time and effort to jump through the bureaucratic hoops.
Member Margolis said to spend that money she would need to see something that showed there was an issue in terms of traffic flow or accidents or that it really was an issue before she would spend that kind of money.
Mr. Pearson said the number for the movement was more on the order of $80,000 so the 25 % would be on that. He said he had the wrong equation. He said Member Mutch was correct regarding different issue of flow versus how you see the light, and moving it would not change how many people get through it.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Date approved: July 24, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
________________________________ Date approved: July 24, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean