REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011 AT 7:00 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS –
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Gatt, Council Members Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Wrobel
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-11-04-052 Moved by Fischer, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Agenda as presented
Roll call vote on CM-11-04-052 Yeas: Gatt, Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Wrobel, Landry
PUBLIC HEARING – None
Mayor Landry recognized the Novi High School Varsity Hockey 2011 State Champions.
Coach Krygier thanked the Mayor and City Council for recognizing the hockey team. He said 22 teammates came together to accomplish something for the first time for Novi High School hockey which was an honor. He thanked the parents and supporters in the community.
Mayor Landry said when you accomplish a team effort like this, it not only reflects on you but also on your parents, coaches, and the community. He said it was a lot of hard work, which they knew better than anybody. He said Council honored them because they reflected on the City of Novi.
1. MANAGER/STAFF – None
2. ATTORNEY – None
AUDIENCE COMMENT –
Mike Looney, Oakwood Drive resident, revisited the Nine Mile Pathway project covered at the April 4th meeting. He said he understood that Council planned to discuss the matter further given the residents’ concerns expressed that day and City leadership discussions afterward. He said he was grateful that Mayor Pro Tem Gatt e-mailed him back on April 9th stating that he would recommend a 5 foot sidewalk as opposed to the current 10 foot pathway project. He said a 5 foot sidewalk made more sense than a 10 foot pathway for the following reasons: durability, cement as opposed to asphalt; consistency, in addition to the existing stretch by the apartments it would even link up with the 5 foot sidewalk on the south side of Nine Mile past Haggerty; aesthetically pleasing, cement was clean looking and uniform; flexibility, in terms of being able to wind around foliage; environmental impact, far less impact on trees, shrubs, and bushes than with the asphalt pathway; less intrusive, people would be less inclined to erect fencing especially if the sidewalk was closer to Nine Mile. He said he was in favor of such a sidewalk if the project was a must have for the City, but he wanted to emphasize that they weren’t functioning in the best of financial times. He recommended that if 5 feet was deemed reasonable and agreeable that the project be tabled until the City was on firmer financial footing. He said right-of-ways weren’t going anywhere. He said the main argument for the 10 foot pathway was that Federal funding would be lost if it weren’t adopted since overall cost was critical. He said if it was that critical that the City was required by Federal guidelines to put in the widest pathway ever seen in Novi and tearing up the environment beyond repair in the process, then the whole project was flawed from the start. He said this time around let’s take our time and do it right so the cost wasn’t also an issue. He said to involve residents to jointly agree on a solution which made both sides happy and preserved and not unduly damaged the Nine Mile Road stretch. He said a 5 foot sidewalk addressed that matter.
Greg Seach, 46282 Cordoba Dr, made an appeal to change the PASER rating of Cordoba. He said in 2005 they watched Arcadia Drive in Walden Woods be repaired and they thought Cordoba would be next. He said they were currently rated with a PASER rating of 7 and after looking at the City of Novi’s website, the description said isolated transverse cracks and in an overall good condition. He brought with him pictures that showed 6 to 8 inch cracks that were the full length of the street in the first 75 feet of Cordoba Drive. He said he believed it should be a PASER rating of a 2 or a 3. He said the pictures were after asphalt was added earlier in the week. He wanted to bring to Council’s attention that the street had substantially deteriorated and he decided it would be important to look at what other PASER ratings looked like. He said there were 2 streets within a square mile with a PASER rating of 2, Picara and Sutherland; he took DVD video of all 3 roads. He said if Council reviewed the information, they would find that Cordoba was in worse shape than Picara and was equal to Sutherland. He asked City Council to reevaluate the PASER rating and move Cordoba up in the scale.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS AND APPROVALS (See items A-I)
CM-11-04-053 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented
Roll call vote on CM-11-04-53 Yeas: Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Wrobel, Landry, Gatt
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of April 18, 2011 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation, labor negotiations, and privileged correspondence from legal counsel.
C. Approval to award the contract for the 2011 Spring Tree & Landscape Planting to RC Tuttle Refinishing, Co., the lowest bidder in the amount of $87,115.
D. Approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.247 to include provisions to allow for additional height on properties adjacent to limited access freeways. Second Reading
E. Approval to participate in regional matching grant for $800 with the Western Wayne County Fire Department Mutual Aid Association from the 2010 Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program.
F. Approval of the first year renewal option of the Great Oaks Maintenance agreement with Meadowbrook Commons.
G. Approval to award a one-year renewal option of the Civil Engineering Field Services contract with Spalding DeDecker with no changes to the terms, conditions, or fees in the contract through May 1, 2012.
H. Approval to award one-year Aggregate Materials contract extensions to four aggregate suppliers for separate types of materials at an estimated total annual amount of $97,040.
I. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 842
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
Mr. Pearson said it was brought to Council roughly a month ago for a first reading and there were a number of comments. He said Mr. Schultz and Mr. Cardenas went back and made changes and there were now options A, B, and C for Council’s consideration.
Member Margolis clarified that option A was the ordinance as it was presented at first reading as the Ordinance Review Committee recommended. She said there were a number of bullet points in option B but the main pieces were the idea of a parent organization and Subdivisions or Condo Associations being able to post a no solicitation sign, which was not included in option A. She said option C added more stringent standards for a Peddler’s License. She said she knew there was discussion during the meeting over concern of a posted no-solicitation sign and after she reviewed it again she came back to what the Ordinance Review Committee recommended. She said doing some regulation to tighten up handbills and not having the no-solicitation signs all over the City still made sense to her.
CM-11-04-054 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Mutch; MOTION CARRIED: 4 – 3
To approve the second reading option A, adoption of Ordinance 11-40.07 to amend the Code of Ordinances of the City of Novi, Chapter 26, "Peddlers, Solicitors and Transient Merchants," in order to change the title of the Chapter to include commercial handbills, and to include standards for the distribution of commercial handbills
Member Fischer said he more or less requested options B and C and unfortunately he wasn’t able to support the motion. He said it didn’t go far enough; they had the occasion to give residents more opportunity to keep solicitors out of their subdivision if they chose to and they could allow Homeowner’s Associations the right to put signs up. He said the regulations on no solicitation signs were reasonable and he would like to see the ordinance have more bite. He would be more willing to support options B or C.
Member Mutch said he looked at all 3 options as they were presented and like Member Margolis said, he came back to the option discussed and presented from the Ordinance Review Committee. He said his 2 big issues with options B and C were in terms of how they would be implemented and enforced. He also had concerns over the applicability of the Ordinance on public streets and being in a situation where there were different rules within a subdivision than on other public streets within the City. He said people tried to make a distinction in terms of the Homeowner’s Association having the ability to speak on behalf of the Subdivision, but public streets were different than buying a house and a lot and having deed restrictions and regulations that the Homeowner Association had the ability to enforce. He said they would be handing over the control of that public street to the Homeowner Association which he wasn’t comfortable with. He said in a private condominium where the streets were private, he thought they had the full ability to do what they chose because they paid for those streets. He said commercial speech was treated differently than political speech and didn’t always get the same level of protection. He didn’t have enough comfort level going beyond option A and bringing in options B or C which had language that he wasn’t comfortable supporting. He said they should look at how it would be enforced; it would be through the Police Department going out and spot checking or based on complaints, checking if the Peddler had permission to be in a particular neighborhood. He said option A had the correct balance.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said a violation of the Ordinance was a misdemeanor that could put people in jail. He didn’t want Novi to be known as the City where people were put in jail for putting a flyer in a mailbox. He said he didn’t see the problem in Novi that some people articulated at the last meeting. He said people had the right to put a no solicitor sign on their private property which would prohibit somebody from coming to the door or putting something on the mailbox which he thought was good enough.
Member Wrobel said he agreed with Member Fischer that the Ordinance needed more bite. He said he had been involved with Homeowner’s Association in Novi for over 25 years and solicitors coming through was one of the biggest complaints in all 4 subdivisions he had lived in. He said all the Ordinance was doing was giving Homeowner’s Associations or Condo Associations the right to say they didn’t want people coming up to their property soliciting. It had nothing to do with using the roads whether public or private roads. He asked Mr. Schultz how the no solicitation sign in option B related to the distribution of handbills.
Mr. Schultz said option B only covered soliciting and peddling which was the face to face interaction; it didn’t cover placing handbills because that was a non-personal interaction.
Member Wrobel said he didn’t think most residents wanted to disrupt the Girl Scouts or High School Organizations that collected cans and looked for donations, it was geared toward the commercial for-profit organizations coming through. He said reading through the Ordinance copies, he had a hard time differentiating if there was an allowance for that type of activity.
Mr. Schultz said it already treated religious, charitable, and educational organizations going door-to-door easier than it treated a commercial solicitor which was called Peddling in the Ordinance. He said they wouldn’t apply that to the Girl Scout type organizations but they would be run through the first part of the Ordinance.
Member Wrobel said he wouldn’t be supporting the motion as proposed. He thought they should give the residents more opportunity to decide what they want going on within their Subdivision.
Mayor Landry said he would be supporting the motion because he wasn’t in favor of subdivision wide prohibitions because of the First Amendment. He said while Subdivision Associations could take a vote it wasn’t enough for the First Amendment.
Roll call vote on CM-11-04-54 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Landry, Gatt
Nays: Staudt, Wrobel, Fischer
Mr. Pearson said it was another project that had been identified in storm water plans. He said Mr. Hayes and the engineering staff was successful in getting a grant to help pay for half of it.
CM-11-04-056 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the award of an engineering services contract for design and construction engineering services related to the 2011 Regional Basin Retrofit Projects (Leavenworth, Lexington Green, and Thornton Creek Regional Storm Water Detention Basins) to Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment in the amount of $136,418 (50% offset by grant revenue)
Roll call vote on CM-11-04-56 Yeas: Staudt, Wrobel, Landry, Gatt, Fischer,
Mr. Pearson said, in his opinion, the item should be on the Consent Agenda as a pro forma but he put it on the matters for action with the Mayors consent because Oakland County had language in the agreement that they were using as standard language. He said in their opinion it was particularly onerous and one sided and not the way an intergovernmental agreement between two parties should operate. He said the recommended approval of the agreement but wanted to make note of the language which the County wouldn’t change.
Member Margolis asked if they were passing a resolution that approved it but gave their conscientious objection.
Mr. Pearson said there was approval, but there was some language that was noted so when it was sent to the County Board of Commissioners, it wasn’t passed without something being said about it.
CM-11-04-057 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Staudt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Interlocal Agreement for Ballot Layout and Programming Services between Oakland County and City of Novi
Mayor Landry said he would be supporting the motion even though he didn’t like the language because it was financial language and given the fact that it was $300 he thought it was in their best interest to pass the item.
Roll call vote on CM-11-04-57 Yeas: Wrobel, Landry, Gatt, Fischer,
Margolis, Mutch, Staudt
Mr. Pearson thanked the property owners for the donation. He said they had a lot of cooperation in getting the easement for the project.
Member Margolis said she appreciated the tenor of the comments they received. She said one of the best examples of government was when Council could have an opinion and the residents could comment back to them in a civil and positive way. She said when she saw the measurement on the tape measure, it was a nice visual and as homeowners, it was a good checkpoint for Council. She said she called City Manager Pearson the next day to say that he did try to save Council from themselves when they brought up the pathway the first time. She said when it was brought up to Council the first time after the staff heard from residents, they told Council to think about the project and those who voted to move ahead with the large sidewalk blew the decision. She commended Mayor Landry, Member Fischer, and Member Staudt who disagreed and wanted to move ahead with the study. She said in the comments, they spoke of a 5 foot sidewalk and she wanted to discuss a 5 foot versus 6 foot sidewalk.
Mr. Hayes said the City generally went for an 8 foot wide multi-use pathway on one side of a major road and a 5 foot wide pedestrian sidewalk on the opposite side. He said the choices for a narrower path would be an 8 foot wide or a 6 foot wide path. He said the 6 foot wide pathway was consistent with what was in the non-motorized Master Plan for a major road. He said the 6 foot wide path would be concrete.
Member Margolis asked if they would have to have gravel on either side of the path or if it would strictly be the sidewalk.
Mr. Hayes said there wouldn’t be gravel on either side, there would be 2 feet of clearance, shy distance, so brush or a fire hydrant wouldn’t conflict with a user near the edge of the path. He said on a narrower pathway, it would be 1 foot minimum of shy distance on either side. He said they would like to see more if possible, he believed the ordinance listed 3 feet as the guidance but 1 foot was as narrow as they could go.
Member Margolis said she drove down Nine Mile and understood the concerns. She said she wanted to see the 6 foot because it would give a little more leeway to bikers on the path.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said the last time they voted it wasn’t about the size of the pathway; it was whether they should spend money on another study which was what he was against. He didn’t want to spend more money on a study to have it come back as a wasted study. He said the people who came to Council were professional, courteous, articulate, stayed on point, and were correct. He said no one wanted a runway in their backyard. He talked to a few residents and wanted to suggest a 5 foot path which there was a precedence for in Novi. He said one was put in a few years ago to appease the homeowners on Meadowbrook Road. He said it could be narrow at times if there was two way traffic on the path, but to his knowledge, no one had been hurt or complained, and it worked. He said right now on Nine Mile, there was a large stretch of 5 foot concrete already in place. He said 5 foot would be cheaper than 6 and the money they wouldn’t be getting from the Federal grant, they would save by making the pathway smaller. He said they wouldn’t have to take out hardly any trees with the 5 foot pathway.
Member Fischer said there was some sidewalk on the north and south sides of Nine Mile and asked Mr. Hayes if he knew the width of those pathways.
Mr. Hayes said there was an 8 foot multi-use pathway on the south side of Nine Mile from Novi to Meadowbrook and he believed every segment that existed on the north side of Nine Mile between Meadowbrook and Haggerty was 5 foot. He said between Eight Mile and Nine Mile on Meadowbrook was 5 foot.
Member Fischer said he was happy to support the study to look at alternatives a couple months ago. He said looking at the different size pathways he wasn’t sure that the environmental impact would be that much different. He said there would still be devastation to the trees which was unfortunate, but his main reason for supporting the study to look at the alternatives was because of the aesthetics of the area. He said he walked the resident’s property and if you were on someone’s property on Nine Mile and went from their lot line to where the 14 feet was required, you were almost in the ditch and anything between the pathway and the ditch would put you right onto the road. He said aesthetically it would be displeasing and he understood the concerns of the residents of that area. He said his preference, speaking of the Master Plan, was the 6 foot pathway with concrete. He said he echoed the sentiments of the previous speakers and said that everyone had been very cordial and professional which he appreciated.
Member Wrobel said he appreciated that the residents didn’t want a 14 foot wide pathway and it was really brought to light when the tape measure was brought out. He said he didn’t like giving away government money. He had the opportunity to walk the area where the path was proposed and the difference between 5 and 6 feet of sidewalk was not very significant. He said he would prefer to see a 6 foot sidewalk because it would meet the Non-Motorized Master Plan requirements and for safety reasons.
Mayor Landry said whether it was 5 feet or 6 feet there would have to be a foot of clear space on either side for people to step off onto if necessary, so no matter the size, it would be centered on the same center line. He asked if they would be saving any more trees with a 5 foot pathway instead of 6 feet.
Mr. Hayes said they couldn’t quantify that at this time.
Mayor Landry said the important thing to him was that it wouldn’t be 10 feet with 2 feet on either side totaling 14 feet. He said to go from 14 feet down to a 5 or 6 foot pathway was the way to go.
Member Staudt said they needed to provide clear guidance to the administration of their intentions.
CM-11-04-058 Moved by Staudt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To change the pathway from the proposed 10 foot federally mandated size to a 6 foot concrete sidewalk andaccept a highway easement from DB Development for the vacant property at the northwest corner of Nine Mile Road and Haggerty Road in conjunction with the Nine Mile Pathway project as a donation by the property owner (parcel 50-22-25-400-027)
Member Mutch said, in hindsight, it was a good thing they didn’t approve the study because the study was to design an 8 foot path which residents would have been upset with. He said they needed to work on communication during the front end of the project because people wanted to know what the impact of the pathways going through the properties that adjoin their properties would be. He said the engineers needed to design a pathway first before they could answer those questions but engineering couldn’t design a pathway until they were given specifications to follow. He said they also needed to work on better showing people how the impacts occur on the properties. He said he could look at a design plan and have a pretty good idea of how it would look in the real world but they couldn’t expect the residents to figure out what was going on. He said he was disappointed they had to spend more money but one of the reasons he was willing to support the motion for a 6 foot path was because of the Non-Motorized Master Plan. He said one of the concepts the plan talked about was developing a midpoint connection at 9 ˝ Mile to the I-275 bikeway which wouldn’t be a 10 foot path through Village Oaks, but would utilize the existing roads and park properties and create a way for people to get from Meadowbrook Road to the 275 bike path in a safe manner. He said that was an alternative for someone who might have used the pathway on Nine Mile to get to the 275 pathway if they weren’t comfortable riding along a major road like Nine Mile. He wanted to look at doing additional planting where trees would be removed and the landscape changed to mitigate some of the buffer that was being removed. He said there were definitely some properties that no matter the size of the pathway would be impacted more than others and they wanted to do what they could to offset that. He said he stood on a property along Nine Mile when there wasn’t a lot of traffic and it was still quite noisy at times. He could only imagine what it was like during the work week. He said his house was 60 feet from the middle of Taft Road and he thought the traffic noise was kind of bad but Nine Mile must have a higher volume comparatively because it seemed more intense. He commended Mr. Hayes and his staff for their efforts in trying to mitigate the trees that would be removed.
Member Staudt said the memo mentioned there was an additional $7,000 needed to do the planning for the sidewalk and asked if that was correct.
Mr. Coburn said they gave a budgetary estimate of what they thought it would take to get the plans revised and out for construction.
Member Staudt asked if they needed approval for the $7,000.
Mr. Coburn said they would take the direction they were given and come back with a proposal on the Consent Agenda.
Mr. Pearson said they would need to bring back a contract with the engineers as well.
Member Staudt asked if this was a Capital improvement item from this year or if there was funding from previous years.
Mr. Pearson said the construction was budgeted in ’11-’12.
Mayor Landry echoed his thanks and appreciation to the residents who worked respectfully with City Council and contacted individual Council Members.
Roll call vote on CM-11-04-58 Yeas: Landry, Gatt, Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Wrobel
AUDIENCE COMMENT –
Rebecca Smith, Nine Mile Resident, thanked Council for listening and was pleasantly surprised at the response. She said she wanted to respond to Member Mutch’s comment on the noise on Nine Mile, one of the reasons it was louder was because of the berm on the south side. She said she would still rather see a sidewalk on the opposite side of the street where there weren’t as many entrances to subdivisions and there was already a berm in place protecting the homeowners. She said she was moving her saplings out of the easement and asked for Council to consider not running it as a straight-away and taking the 5 or 6 foot sidewalk and aesthetically weaving it through, she would be able to save her bushes so her property wouldn’t be completely wiped out. She also asked for her property to be surveyed so she knew exactly where her lot line was and not be charged for that so she could move her trees to a secure spot. She appreciated the comments about communication and would like to be notified before their trees were removed so they had time to do something with them and not just find the construction crew in the backyard one morning. She said she also liked the suggestion of planting and taking the time to plant once trees were taken out. She said as a resident who would probably end up taking care of the trees in the backyard, she would appreciate some input as to what was planted there and offered to serve on a committee or at least give input of feasible plantings that would make sense in the area. She said she would also consider a stipend where they would be able to plant something in their backyard and put in for reimbursement.
Naomi Wood, Nine Mile Resident, thanked Council for listening to the homeowners and hearing their concerns and making a decision that she was much more comfortable with. She said she wanted to reiterate that when the sidewalk goes through she wanted to ask if there would be a way to maneuver the path around any large trees. She said she would like it to be more along the lines of what was seen between Meadowbrook to Novi Road because that was what she envisioned as a more appealing look for a pathway. She said they wanted to see it consistent with the other sidewalks around them and she was grateful that cement was the consideration because it was important to them to have cement versus asphalt.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
COMMITTEE REPORTS – None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
AUDIENCE COMMENT – None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:07 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
________________________________ Date approved: May 9, 2011
Transcribed by Natalie Laitinen