WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475



The meeting was called to order at 7:33 P.M. by Chairman Clark.



ROLL CALL: MEMBERS Bonaventura (Present), Capello (Present), Clark (Present), Hoadley (Present), Hodges (Present), Lorenzo (Present), Mutch (Present), Taub (Present), Weddington (Present)


(9) Present (0) Absent


A quorum being present, the meeting was in session.



ALSO PRESENT: Brandon Rogers - Planning Consultant

David Bluhm - Engineering Consultant

Dennis Watson - Assistant City Attorney

Rod Arroyo - Traffic Consultant

Linda Lemke - Landscape Architect

James R. Wahl - Director of Planning

Greg Capote - Staff Planner

Steven Cohen - Planning Clerk





The Planning Commission pledged allegiance to the flag.





It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Weddington



To approve the Agenda as submitted.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously










Member Taub said they have received several letters which he would read to everyone.


Member Taub indicated the first letter was from James E. Korte of 2022 Austin regarding West Oaks Veterinary Clinic. He indicated Mr. Korte states the following:


"To Mr. Steve Cohen, Planning Department:


"The neighboring residents have known for some three months that this presentation would be made and everyone was thrilled with the thought process of the removal of the Iva Street area/enclave.


The 6' brick wall must be constructed totally to the west of the commercial property. The cut-through and illegal trespass over the short wall should no longer be tolerated. The activity back and forth is annoying and had the City required the 6' wall on the original construction, the problem would not exist. It should be rectified.


I have questioned and been against the retention/detention pond and no engineering exists or was demanded some 15 years ago and the reason the pond exists stems from the original confrontation upon the dance studio site and that six of the neighbors rallied together forcing the City to "dead end" the usage of the residential property.


The Iva Street property sits so much lower, I question the point of engineering to make successful flow of storm water into the existing pond. The preliminary site plan shows a direct connection under Austin to the Groves' property and no direct run-off can be acceptable. There has to be some other feasible solution of the needs of the Shawood Lake frontage residents and the Clinic. The existing plan calls for the removal of the 5' fence and a 4' replacement is shown - why? It took four police calls to stop the cut-through traffic over these fences. At a minimum, the existing 5' fence should be retained, if not higher.


The final issue has to do with the potential parking on Iva Street which was closed on Novi Road. As the traffic flow now exists, any commercial usage of Iva Street is through our Shawood/Walled Lake Heights private subdivision. As we speak, we take one-third of all party store traffic on Austin. I want to make sure that our private subdivision does not take any commercial traffic from this project.


The veterinary clinic has been a wonderful neighbor and the building has always been kept in immaculate condition and it was obvious and apparent that the business has grown and it goes without saying that an 80' x 100' enclave is of no value whatsoever and has been a detriment to Austin and Shawood Walled Lake Heights. I will be there in full support of this project.




James E. Korte"


Member Taub said the next letter was from Norman and Evelyn Young of 22827 Balcombe and it stated:


"The Novi Planning Commission:


We support an amendment to the City Zoning Ordinance to prohibit 24 hour operations in industrial developments which abut residential districts. The City Master Plan is quite clear in its intent that negative impacts on residential areas are to be minimized as much as possible, yet the City has not always followed that admonition in its zeal to bring industrial development into Novi.


As residents of such a district, we consider such an operation to be an invasion of our privacy and a negative intrusion into our quality of life. The mere presence of such an operation is offensive and does nothing to enhance Novi's overall image.


Certainly there are adequate desirable properties for these few businesses which feel the need to operate in that manner, without placing them next to residential properties and diminishing their values in the process.


You need no empirical evidence, only common sense, to tell you that this is not good planning. You make decisions all the time with such evidence, and this amendment should be adopted.


Norm & Evelyn Young"


Member Taub indicated the next letter was from Sarah Gray formerly Sarah Phelps of 133 Maudlin relative to the West Oaks Veterinary Clinic and he would summarize that letter:


"First of all, I am thrilled to learn of the plans. It is a positive difference.


Regarding Blight: The removal of the blighted buildings at this corner will be a tremendous improvement. Should you approve the plans, it is my understanding that the neighbors will immediately petition the City Council to start the procedures for vacating Iva Street. Several years ago, Mr. Muscat approached the City with a plan to vacate this "nothing" little street, erecting a brick wall across the street to divide the residential area from the commercial. It was not approved at that time for numerous reasons.


To this date, a "guard-rail" type barricade is erected across Iva Street at Novi Road with a large sign stating road is closed. This, in itself, is a blight to the area. How wonderful this immediate area could look with the improvements proposed and with the potential of vacating Iva Street.


Regarding Water Quality: There is one area however, with which I must express my concern: direct discharge of storm water into Shawood Lake. I cannot believe that it is Mr. Jerome's recommendation to do this. This cannot and must not be either allowed or encouraged.


The lakes are to be protected and not used as a general "dump" for whatever water is in the area. If storm water is directed to Shawood Lake, due care should be exercised to protect Shawood Lake and Walled Lake. There must be at the very least, an oil and gas separator or "elbow" with the appropriate maintenance contract installed at the site. The water should then be routed to the previously installed retention/detention basin on the property prior to running into the "septic tank" drain on the Groves' property, then to the lake.


Regarding Setbacks & Density: The final issue to you is that some of you will argue that the current setbacks cannot be observed. Too bad. This is another existing building and a business that is trying to make it better for them and the area. We cannot hold this area to current zoning standards. It does not work. Yes, there is a major road with right-of-way to be considered. Like the Party Store next door that came to you last year, I urge you to allow this business to take a less than perfect situation - by any standards - and make it better.


Thank you for your fair consideration.




Sarah J. Gray"


Member Taub indicated there was a letter from Harry Avagian, President of the Lakes Area Residents Association regarding West Oaks Veterinary Clinic and that letter states:


"I regret that I am unable to appear before the Commission to comment on the West Oaks Veterinary Clinic.


Throughout the tenure of the Lakes Area Residents Association-our association of residents/merchants have pro-actively supported the acceleration of positive development-along with concerted effort to eliminate the elements of neighborhood blight.


I am happy to report that I have received phone calls from area residents who are in support of the West Oaks Veterinary Clinic to expand its facilities to property just north of its present location.


I am hopeful that you will factor into your decision the positive impact that this proposed project will have on the lakes area community!


Harry Avagian"


Member Taub indicated the next letter was from Lynn F. Kocan of 23088 Ennishore Drive and that letter states:


"To Members of the Implementation Committee and Planning Commission:


At the next Implementation Committee meeting and future Planning Commission meetings, you will be discussing an amendment to the Ordinance regarding limiting hours of operation for industries which abut residential properties in an I-1 district. I request that the following comments be made part of the City record of the next Planning Commission meeting.




Following is specific language for amending Ordinance 1905.4 by adding (g) in order "to protect neighboring residential districts from any adverse impacts" (Section 1900) when light industrial developments abut residential districts. The purpose of this amendment is to clarify the Intent of Section 1900, eliminating ambiguity within the existing Ordinance and ensuring consistent interpretation/implementation of supporting Ordinances.


"For I-1 Districts, adjacent to any residential district, manufacturing and production operations are restricted to the daytime hours of between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM. Tool and other equipment maintenance requiring machine shop operations is also restricted to the above hours. Normal janitorial, building and ground maintenance requirements are not restricted."


This language is consistent with Section 2519.10. While it is generally understood that industries will occasionally have overtime or after-hours maintenance work, the primary objection is to scheduled operations (shifts) during late night and early morning hours. This is an issue of Quality of Life - pure and simple.


While this proposal is specific to light industrial districts abutting residential districts, I believe special care and consideration should be given to residential districts which are adjacent to any non-residential use. As you discuss the OS-3 District designation, consider the intensity of the uses as well as restrictions when abutting residential properties.




Lynn F. Kocan"


Member Taub indicated there was a handwritten xeroxed letter from Phil and Diane Brodak of Eleven Mile Road, but it was very difficult to read so he would propose that at the Break, if anyone was interested in this letter, they could come up and read it and the Planning Clerk would have a copy of it available should anyone want to come in to review it.


Member Taub said the last letter was from Norm and Evelyn Young of 22827 Balcombe addressed to the Novi News which stated:


"To: Novi News


We wholeheartedly support Glen Bonaventura's call for a slowdown in Novi's growth rate.


As 25 year residents, there is ample evidence that development has outpaced our ability to cope with it, and that many decisions have not benefited the residents.


The main reason people reside in Novi is to enjoy a certain quality of life, and City activities should be directed to that end. Too much development seems to have been made for the developer's benefit under the misguided philosophy that any development is good for Novi.


Our tax rates are no better than our neighboring cities and our City services, although good, are not demonstrably better than our neighbors. So what has all this development brought us - traffic jams, a strain on our limited resources and very little to enhance our quality of life.


Thus, it is time for Novi to re-think its overall direction and focus on improving the quality of life of its residents.


Norm and Evelyn Young"


Chairman Clark indicated all the documents would be made part of the public record of the Planning Commission.





1. Approval of the June 22, 1994 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.


There were no corrections and a motion was made:


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Weddington



To approve the Minutes of June 22, 1994 as submitted.


(voice vote) (7) Yeas (2) Abstentions

Hoadley & Hodges








1. West Oaks Veterinary Clinic, SP94-50 - Property Located at the Southwest Corner of Novi Road and Iva Street for Possible Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mr. Lee Mamola from Mamola Associates Architects was present. He said with him that night was one of the veterinarians of the project. He indicated Dr. Field, who was the other veterinarian, was not able to be present that evening. He said also with him was Ms. Jennifer Duram, a member of his staff, who was designer for the project. Mr. Mamola indicated he would begin with the Special Land Use issues and then proceed with the site plan issues.


Mr. Mamola said regarding the Special Land Use issues, some information that the Commission may not be aware of was the veterinary clinic that was there today that was known as West Oaks Veterinary Clinic previously, was a dance studio and the property was zoned B-3 and the doctors that own the clinic today, bought the dance studio somewhere about 1988 and went through the Special Land Use procedures back at that time and obtained site plan approval. He said he believed a variance was involved also at that time and they renovated that building and opened up the business in 1989 and they have been operating very well ever since.


Mr. Mamola said roughly about 98% of their business consists of the health and caring for dogs and cats and the other 2% of their business was other household type animals from hamsters to gerbils, birds, etc. He said the vast majority of their business were dogs and cats.


Mr. Mamola said on occasion, which they certainly don't promote, it may be necessary to have an animal overnight for various medical reasons and there were facilities inside the building to watch and observe those animals. He said they have pens and dog runs and those were to standards that were mandated to professional standards, to standards a person would see elsewhere through the country in animal health care.


Mr. Mamola said they were clean and were sanitized and very well maintained. He said he would like to make the distinction however that just because they have kennels and have dog runs, they do not operate a kennel type service. He said if an animal was a patient of theirs, they do not take the animal overnight if the owner chooses to go on vacation for example. He said that was a kennel type business and they were not in that business and he would like the Commission to clearly understand that. He said they were in the business of providing health care to animals.


Mr. Mamola said their office hours were generally Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM and they were there on Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and not on Sundays. He said on occasion if an animal was left overnight, arrangements were made with staff members to check on that animal periodically. He said the technicians were licensed and properly trained, so those animals were not left overnight totally unattended or over the weekend, if that should occur, but it was his understanding that that was a rare occurrence and they try to schedule so such occurrences do not happen.


Mr. Mamola said he would like to describe the building plan. He referred to the side of the building floor plan, which was the Novi Road portion of the building, the front of the building, and he pointed out the existing building and said they were proposing about a 24'8" addition to the north of that existing building and it steps forward a bit primarily due to the angle in the rear property line if they were to look at the footprint on the site plan.


Mr. Mamola said he would call to their attention the general light or yellow area that the public would walk into and be greeted which was the waiting area and then back to one of four exam rooms. He said odds are for most of the routine arrangements, that was about as far as a person would go and a person would take care of their business with the doctor and the pet and then walk out the door.


Mr. Mamola said on occasion depending upon the serious nature of a pet's treatment, a person may be called in to have a consultation and there was a separate consultation room where they would talk with the doctor or the technician about what alternative care the animal would be in need of.


Mr. Mamola said as they move back further into the building, there were areas that the public would not have reason to be in and there was a pharmacy and a lab facility internal and central to the building and then there was a surgery suite and a separate dog area and a separate cat area at opposite corners of the building.


Mr. Mamola said currently they have two exam rooms and would be expanding to four and then they currently have a consultation room and a very small waiting area. He said the waiting area was somewhat of a display area as well. He indicated they also specialize in certain foods and other paraphernalia that services the animal needs that a person might not be able to get at normal market arrangements. He then said that concluded the summary of the building.


Mr. Mamola said the project represents a consolidation of two businesses in essence and the two doctors have another location in Southfield and it was similar in size to the existing location here in Novi. He said the goal of this project was to bring the Southfield facility to Novi and eventually shortly thereafter vacate their Southfield operation, so much of their clientele was existing in and around the area and they feel they have the opportunity now to expand.


Mr. Mamola said the building was a two-story building, if they call the basement one of the stories. He said the existing dance studio had a basement and that was used as primarily an administration area for their business and it was used as a staff lunch room area. He said as a service on request by various patients and clients, they would offer to groom animals if need be. He said again, he wanted to make the distinction they were not in the animal grooming business and it was there as a service solely to their clients and they wouldn't be advertising the grooming part of the business.


Mr. Mamola said they have laundry facilities to handle towels and other kinds of clothing needs that were used in this type of business and there was also some long-term storage arrangements such as supplies and food and other things that might be in a display and then other kinds of storage that a person sees in any kind of business from office supplies to medical supplies. He said that was the highlight of many of the land use type issues.


Mr. Mamola then said he would proceed on with the site plan related items. He then passed around two boards for the Commission's review in case they haven't had the opportunity to see the site recently. He said one of the boards was a series of photographs showing the existing veterinary clinic as it was today and the other board shows the adjacent property, the property which they were seeking to purchase to expand their clinic and expand the various site developments that were necessary to go with it. He felt they would see quite a distinction in the two boards.


Mr. Mamola said the site was not an easy site, putting aside temporarily all the Zoning Ordinance requirements dealing with setbacks and dealing with landscapes and dealing with other issues. He said there was the fact that the site has a significant topography from side to side and also the site was very confined north, south, east and west, and then also the fact that this building addition was less than what the doctors initially would have hoped to have. He said the plan developed for the doctors was a doable one and would function very well there for some time if it gets built.


Mr. Mamola said taking all of that and then adding the Zoning Ordinance requirements and certain engineering requirements and certain requirements to drive a car safety onto and out of the site, all compounds the difficulties.


Mr. Mamola said one of the first things they did with this site and the analysis of the site was to evaluate where the curb cut comes in and right now, the curb cut comes in right about where they were proposing a future hedge. He said on this site plan, they were looking at the orange color as the addition and the white as the existing building, and their northerly property line was just about the northerly edge of the building, and the building may be only a matter of inches off the property line.


Mr. Mamola said they did review the curb cuts and their proposed arrangements with the City's Traffic Engineer, and had several different arrangements proposed in two different meetings. He said it was concluded that the safest entry curb cut area would generally be in the middle of the property.


Mr. Mamola said the way the traffic would function would be to enter into the middle of the site and flow to the existing parking area or turn to the right and flow to the new proposed parking area and as they were flowing to the right, they were generally going downhill a bit.


Mr. Mamola said they were proposing a certain amount of landfill after the building was demolished and the land was cleared and they would have to bring in some clean fill and raise the elevation of that existing property somewhat and not greatly and not to the extent that they were involved with retaining walls around Iva Street.


Mr. Mamola said the site plan they had before them did consider the idea of drainage of the new parking area and drainage of the existing parking area together into a little detention/retention pond to the west of the property and to do that in the proposed addition, they have to run an underground pipe very near a retaining screen wall and very near the rear of the building and it was extremely tight in through there and it was not an ideal situation.


Mr. Mamola said his engineer had discussions with the City engineer, and at that time, it was felt to be a doable kind of an arrangement, however, he would tell the Commission now that they had a meeting between himself, Mr. Bluhm and Mr. Jerome, and his civil engineer, George Norberg from Seiber Keast, and at this point, the arrangement they have proposed for storm drainage on the site plan before the Commission, they probably would not do.


Mr. Mamola indicated there were several other alternatives to drain the water off of there and he could tell them generally that they involve drainage of water towards Iva Street. He said there was somewhat of a ditch there, but the likelihood was that the water would drain from the proposed development towards Iva Street through a storm line and across the way and there were several City catch basins there, and the discussion they had focused not only on properly draining this site but also improving the drainage.


Mr. Mamola said Mr. Bluhm could elaborate on that discussion further, but for the purposes of preliminary site plan approval, it was quite apparent that there were other alternatives available to drain this site and that was the issue at this level of detail.


Mr. Mamola said it may be that the detention pond was no longer needed or it may also be that the detention pond may be needed but certainly not needed in any greater degree than it was needed today. He said regarding the fencing concerns, they would certainly have a 5' or 6' fence height there. He said in all candor, he felt the best solution was to provide drainage onto Iva Street, off and away, and make some improvements generally affecting the broader area.


Mr. Mamola said there were also some other site plan issues which were the requirements to provide a sidewalk along the Novi Road side and he stated that could be provided and would not be very difficult.


Mr. Mamola said there was some discussion regarding the brick screen wall on the westerly edge and that could be provided up to a 6' height as measured from the proposed development side. He said the existing screen wall that they have today by the existing parking on the west side was either 4' or 4'8" in height and that could be increased roughly to 6' or 6' and a few inches. He said but that would be of the same type of masonry construction that was out there today, a face brick on two sides.


Mr. Mamola said the other issue revolves around various landscaping kinds of issues, and normally their landscaping portion of the project was reviewed at Final site plan. He said they were deficient in the required setback for paving areas, and he believed there was some good cause here in this particular plan to waive those requirements which the Commission has the power to do.


Mr. Mamola indicated the diagram that they were passing out should be treated as an amendment to their conceptual landscape plan which they submitted, and what it does was they would see a diagonal area and that shows the square foot area where they were deficient in the greenbelt setback and they show a circular kind of area where they were suggesting that it be area traded off purely on a numbers basis. He said they were deficient by over 700 sq. ft., and yet they have other interior greenbelt area in the neighborhood of over 1200 sq. ft., so there was 400-500 sq. ft. extra.


Mr. Mamola said when they consider the fact that Iva Street was a closed street and in all likelihood Iva Street would be vacated at some point in the future, and it was difficult to say when, the distance between their property line and the current pavement line of Iva street, more than makes up with this 2' distance where they were shy on that area.


Mr. Mamola explained the reason they were shy the 2' as they approach Iva was due to the requirements of the landing requirements and the walkway requirements and those were a function of the building code and barrier free access design issues. He said as he mentioned before, the building internally was extremely tight and in this particular case when they were dealing with an open space of Iva Street, they have landscaped area between the building and the paving, and that to request a 2' trade-off between those two, he felt was a very reasonable request.


Mr. Mamola said the other portion of it was in the west area, and they were required to have a 20' greenbelt because there was adjacent residential zoning, and the area they were deficient was generally about 10-11', except for where there was a dumpster and there, they were a few feet within the wall.


Mr. Mamola said again because they have a 6' tall wall from this side and it was going to be about 10' or thereabouts in that corner, he really questioned the necessity to have a required 20' greenbelt and if he could put that green area some place else, it would be so much the better.


Mr. Mamola said he believed they have one extra parking space to spare if they work out the parking calculations, but they really feel they need every parking space that they could have to utilize on that piece of property and to lose one extra parking space at this particular point, he didn't think warrants much valid consideration.


Mr. Mamola said the last thing he wished to say was the proposed building elevations would mimic the look that they see and the height of the brick wall would essentially be carried around the building facade on the front and sides and there was painted wood trim above that for several feet and the facade materials do fall within the requirements of their facade chart and there was no need to request a waiver at this time, and it was essentially a brick building with some wood trim on it to reflect what was there today.


Mr. Mamola then said he would be happy to answer any questions. Chairman Clark said they would hold any questions until they finish the presentation.





Mr. Rogers said there were two actions required, the Special Land Use Review and Preliminary Site Plan Review. He explained the reason it was before them on Special Land Use was that there were some zoning variances, and were there none, they would not be here for Special Land Use Review because the veterinary clinic was already pre-existing.


Mr. Rogers said he has reviewed the plan and they all have his report of January 5, 1995. He said concerning the Special Land Use Review, the Ordinance states there couldn't be any outside dog runs and Mr. Rogers noted there were none. He said further, the building must be at least 200 feet from any abutting Residential District on the same side of the street. He indicated the setback was proposed for the new addition at the closest point of 10'. He said the existing building today was somewhat less than that.


Mr. Rogers said general standards for a use requiring Special Land Use found under the Site Plan Review Section of the Ordinance talks about traffic impact on Novi Road and would there be any adverse impact, and he felt Mr. Arroyo would address that in a minute.


Mr. Rogers said the second general finding was whether public services were available and they were with the exception of water supply where they propose use of a private well. He said as they all know, the fire station was a quarter of a mile to the east on 13 Mile and the police station was about 3 1/2 miles to the southwest.


Mr. Rogers said regarding environmental impact, the last general finding, there were no regulated woodlands or wetlands on the site.


Mr. Rogers said he recommended Special Land Use Approval and he could certainly see redeveloping a corner occupied by a non-conforming commercial structure and the homes on the site, and it would reduce curb cuts along Novi Road as he said, and it would permit enhancement of an existing business use well serving the Walled Lake Community, and his only condition other than the reports from Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Bluhm on traffic and civil engineering, would be the need for applicant to seek from the ZBA, a variance for the setback from the Residential District to the west for this proposed addition.


Mr. Rogers next discussed the site plan. He said he supports the Preliminary Site Plan and he made reference to property line ties to a section corner and Mr. Norberg could certainly do that in the engineering plan. He said they have already heard that a safety path would be provided along Novi Road where it was shown for part of the frontage already, and he didn't think that all of the curb cuts on either side of Novi Road within 200 feet from the site was shown and that should be rechecked.


Mr. Rogers said going on to the building itself, it meets the B-3 setback standards except in the rear yard where 10 feet was provided and 20 feet was required. He said regarding parking, there was an excess of parking and possibly they need that excess of 3 spaces and he would come back to discuss one of those spaces in a moment.


Mr. Rogers said loading and unloading was at the rear of the building property, and on the perimeter greenspace, he didn't know whether Ms. Lemke had a chance to see this drawing, but he would keep it for their files and it clearly shows those deficiencies and setbacks as were required under Section 2509 of the Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers said if Iva Street was vacated, this site instantaneously becomes bigger with more parking and a redesign because they would more than likely take over half of Iva Street, but it wasn't vacated and it was a public right-of-way and a 10' greenspace was required and they provide only 8' and for the rear yard which backs up to the Residential, the setback was a 2' to 11' greenspace and at that point adjacent to Residential, they need a 20' greenspace.


Mr. Rogers said he felt that was important and he felt it was important even though there was a wall there. He said they have heard that the brick wall would be brought up to code to 6' on the higher of the two sides which would be the parking lot side, and he would grant them that on the Residential side, the wall was going to appear to be more than 6' and exactly how that line lays out, he was not certain.


Mr. Rogers said lastly, he would review the landscape and building facade plan at time of Final site plan submittal but he observed that it was a brick building and he didn't see any Section 4 waiver issue at this point.


Mr. Rogers said he recommended site plan approval subject to: (1) the Planning Commission first granting Special Land Use Approval; (2) providing the items of application data that were needed; (3) consideration by the Planning Commission of permitting a brick on brick wall with a suitable cap along the west property line in lieu of what was primarily required of a 6' berm with landscaping on top. He said this was a distinct issue that the Planning Commission has to address and waive if they see fit. He said there was no way in the world they could put a 6' berm in this narrow constriction and he suspected the best plan was the brick wall.


Mr. Rogers continued with (4) increasing the greenspace along Iva Street to 10' by just shifting the parking lot to the south of 2'; (5) increasing the greenspace along the west property line to at least 20' and that could be done by eliminating one of the three access parking spaces and moving the dumpster away from the wall and away from the Residential District, still staying 15' from the building, which was a building code requirement; and (6) referral to ZBA for review of the 200' setback standard from a Residential District of the Veterinary building itself.


Mr. Bluhm said he reviewed the Preliminary site plan and indicated that public water and sewer service currently services the building. He said as was also mentioned, primarily the new development was to the north side of the site. He said he would like to mention that not only would the screening wall on the west side be used as a screening wall, but also as a retaining wall and as the developer mentioned, there was some fill required to get the parking lot slopes down to a management level so that cars were not sliding all around, which was the best way he could explain it.


Mr. Bluhm said regarding the storm water which was the real issue here, the storm water for the site was proposed to sheet-flow to the west side which would fall to the catch basin at the northwest corner which was the bottom left side of their plan. He said as Mr. Jerome mentioned in his letter, an oil and gas separator would be recommended and he would concur with that and recommend that be placed in the structure that would accept the storm water.


Mr. Bluhm said from there, the developer has shown the plans for storm sewer to be installed, carrying the storm water to the south behind the building and into a detention pond which exists behind the building currently. He said as Mr. Mamola mentioned, he did have some concerns with putting the storm sewer in the location behind the building and it was very close to the building, less than 5', and special considerations could be implemented to lessen the impact of that and it was something that was done before, although they don't like the idea that much.


Mr. Bluhm said they were proposing storm water detention in the detention basin and they have also shown an outlet across Austin Drive into the existing sewer. He said he would touch on Mr. Jerome's report and indicate they had a meeting with the developer yesterday and Mr. Jerome was there, and they all basically agreed that the outlet into that storm sewer system was not acceptable and the best way to describe it was that it doesn't function at all and most people that live out there would agree.


Mr. Bluhm indicated the purpose of the meeting was to explore alternatives and they did explore several alternatives all of which need to be looked at more in detail and it would be their recommendation that they explore those when they get into the Final engineering plans because they do need that level of detail to make a real accurate determination of what has to happen out there.


Mr. Bluhm said suffice it to say that several of the alternatives were feasible and a solution could be found for this and what they would like to do was to get together when more detail could be provided and obviously take in some of the input of the people that live out there and hopefully implement some solutions that might not only improve the area of the applicant's building, but also some of the adjacent properties too, including drainage from Novi Road.


Mr. Bluhm said he recommended approval, but he would like to condition that upon the outlet for the detention basin not being acceptable and a later-to-be-determined solution be implemented after they look at it in more detail.


Mr. Arroyo said he has also reviewed the site plan and as Mr. Mamola indicated, this was a difficult site for a number of reasons and access becomes difficult as well. He said this site does involve providing only one point of access on Novi Road and there was some discussion about the appropriate location and there were a number of conflicts that come into place. He said there was Wainright Road which was on the other side of Novi Road just south of this and there was the potential for left turn conflicts there and then there was the Lakeview Market to the south and the driveway off of Novi Road, so they don't want to get too close to that.


Mr. Arroyo said as you go to the north, there was Iva Street which was now closed at Novi Road, however, they also have the curve that takes them from northbound Novi to eastbound 13 Mile in very close proximity to the Iva Street area, so there were a number of conflicts and that was why the location that was proposed by Mr. Mamola when he first came to meet with him, was eventually agreed to because it at least provides the best separation from all the potential conflict points.


Mr. Arroyo said in terms of trying to make this work, the other good news was that this type of operation was a fairly low traffic generator and he felt that was judged by the fairly small size of the parking lot as well, so they were not going to have the types of trips going in and out of there like they would if they had some other type of retail use, so they believe the applicant has done the best they could with the difficult site. He said he was also somewhat pleased to see that the type of use going in there was a lower traffic generator than other potential uses on the site.


Mr. Arroyo said the only substantive comment they have related to the site plan deals with the aisle that goes along the east side of the building close to Novi Road and that needs to be 22 feet wide to meet the City's standards for an internal aisle to provide for two-way traffic movement, and he believed that was shown as being 18 feet wide on the plan so that would need to be widened out when the Final site plan comes before the Commission. He said once again, that was the aisle that was along the east side of the building running parallel to Novi Road and so he was recommending approval of the Preliminary site plan.


Chairman Clark indicated there was a letter from the Fire Department, Daniel W. Roy, Captain, indicating that this plan has been reviewed and that approval was recommended and as Mr. Bluhm indicated, they do have correspondence from Mr. Jerome that he has addressed.





Mr. Jim Korte of 2026 Austin was present. He said he was directly in front of and/or behind the retention/detention and parking lot area. He said regarding the Special Land Use, the Clinic was only asking for additional usage next door and they were granted the special usage some five years ago, and he felt this Clinic has a wonderful track record and has never presented a problem and there has never been an animal problem, never a noise problem and there has been no problems on site whatsoever to any of the residents, specifically the Shawood Lakefront residents.


Mr. Korte said the track record was perfect and now that they have seen what they refer to as the Iva Street enclave, he felt they could understand the problems it in itself creates. He said it was not conforming to any usage and it was not acceptable to the rest of the subdivision that this enclave was in their subdivision therefore, it would be absurd in his opinion, that the special land use not be granted.


Mr. Korte discussed Iva Street and its vacating, which he realizes is not a public or definite thought process yet. He indicated he and Sarah Gray would be starting immediately with the City the process of vacating. He said there has been so many problems with the Iva Street situation and he has addressed those concerns at City Council.

Mr. Korte said Iva could not be totally vacated and that was where their main sewer line runs. He said if an easement of approximately 20 feet or whatever was acceptable or correct as per City demands, there would always be some way through there. He said as it stands, there were no less than 8-10 cars on Iva Street at any evening time and there were five rentals in that enclave and the front building was already in the right-of-way Iva Street.


Mr. Korte said the fencing to the back two houses was already built into the Iva Street right-of-way, therefore, to not allow the man full usage of this small piece was ridiculous. He said they would automatically remove 8-10 cars nightly from the greater site and no one would use Iva Street and there was no entry to Iva Street and when the 13 Mile and Novi Road corner was ever developed, a person would not be allowed ingress and egress onto Iva Street, so he felt they understand that the vacation was a very possible situation.


Mr. Korte said he has been on that street in visual sight for 25 years and the retention/detention pond has never filled in, in any way shape or form. He said it was a very simple and relative cost-effective situation to make the pond deeper and they have already heard that the Iva Street property would have to be raised, and no matter how little they raise it, it would still be higher than his Austin Street in front of him and that was just purely the way it has to be.


Mr. Korte said the Clinic does own 4-6 feet not presently fenced, in that retention/detention area, therefore, there was adequate space there and it was a simple situation to get it to work and to get it to work properly with no intrusion into anyone else and no intrusion into the roadway and it should be a slick deal. He would hope that between JCK and the architects and engineers, that could be worked out. He said runoff was going to be a problem, but he felt if they would open their eyes, he has stood in downpours and have watched that area, and that in itself was not the problem and it would work.


Mr. Korte asked the Commission to please approve this proposal. He said he had three concerns and he felt the Commission understood all of them and that they were solvable. He said this was a wonderful project and terrific for the area and they have proven to be wonderful neighbors.


Mr. Korte said his last comment would unfortunately step on toes but as that Iva street property sits, it was worthless and useless to any person for any amount of money with the exception of the veterinary doctors, and no one else was ever going to go in there and say "they could do something here." He said so if they were going to help them make a better Shawood/Walled Lake Heights and if they were going to make a better North Novi with something they need, then approve it and get the bulldozer going.


There was no further Audience Participation and Chairman clark closed the Public Hearing.





Member Hoadley has a question for the Petitioner and he said he took the time today with Mr. Bruce Jerome over the phone on this proposal. He indicated he has also walked the site and he was in the area everyday both in front and behind the site and he personally felt it was a good use and he was in favor of it, but he did have a problem with the storm water system and he would not like to see this runoff go directly into Shawood Lake.


Member Hoadley said he thought they should work out a scenario where they have some kind of separator that would take care of the affluents that would be picked up off the parking lot, such as fertilizers, etc. and he understood from Mr. Jerome that he feels working with the Petitioner, they could work this out satisfactorily to him and JCK.


Member Hoadley asked if they were willing to work out a solution financially.


Mr. Mamola said there were several different alternatives discussed at this meeting and it was a brain-storming style type meeting and some of those solutions may involve City participation as it relates to the City portion. He felt in the long run, the proposed owners of the property would be better served, as well as the neighbors in that area, and yes they were willing to look into that and see if a solution could be worked out for engineering, and if it could be worked out engineering-wise, the question then was could it be worked out economically with all the other parts of the equation for this project and if it checks out, yes they would go ahead.


Member Hoadley said one of the things that Mr. Jerome shared with him was that the separator basin, which he assumed was either sand and gravel or charcoal, should be closer to the final discharge, which would entail them to have to tunnel under the street, and there was an existing septic tank that was not working properly and he looked at it and it was full and it hasn't been maintained and was owned by the City and he understood there was an easement owned by the City that runs from Austin down to the lake. He asked Mr. Mamola how would he envision working with the City on that.


Mr. Mamola felt they would have to get more data in and they would have to go out and get additional survey data. He said they know that for example, once they get off of Iva Street of 50-60 feet, there were several catch basins and they need to know what were the size of the pipes that were coming out of those catch basins, were they at an invert that would function for them. He said there was another point roughly 100-200 feet generally further west of there and they need to know does the ground go down and was it level or does it go up. He said all of those things would have to be looked at.


Mr. Mamola said he would say that he did not anticipate any problem in providing oil and gas type separators and those were relatively easy things to do and could be done.


Mr. Mamola pointed out to the Commissioners, however, that they don't know what they have coming off of that property today in terms of water and those buildings were old and they probably have asbestos and there could be any number of other things coming off of that building today and there were no safeguards whatsoever so anything they do would certainly eliminate that.


Member Hoadley said he has gone over this whole scenario carefully and he has visited this site more than once and he has visited with some of the neighbors in the area and he has heard nothing negative from anyone, and everything has been positive and he would like to see the project go through if it was possible.


Member Hoadley said obviously he felt they should make the recommendation that this has to be subject to ZBA approval as far as the setback requirements were concerned, but really there was a constraint that it was a non-conforming use now that they have there and the Veterinary Clinic was an accepted use that was approved several years ago, from what he understood, so he had no problem with it being expanded and it would be much, much better than what they have currently.





Member Weddington said she would make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Taub



To grant Special Land Use Approval to the West Oaks Veterinary Clinic, SP94-50 for the reason that this was an extension of an existing use and there was no apparent detrimental impact of the use on the neighbors or immediate area.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Bonaventura (Yes), Capello (Yes), Clark (Yes), Hoadley (Yes), Hodges (Yes), Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (Yes), Taub (Yes), Weddington (Yes)








Member Weddington said most of the questions she had were addressed either by the Petitioner or the Consultants. She felt the big issue was the management of the storm water and she was still a bit leery of that and it was not clear to her how that was going to work, so she would like to see this come back at Final if it goes forward just so the Commission has confidence that it has been worked out to the satisfaction of everyone.


Member Weddington said they were still in the situation of exploring alternatives and the solution wouldn't be determined until additional work was done. She said the other issues such as for the setback, she would be willing to recommend to the ZBA that a waiver be granted because of the tightness of the site and she felt there was a hardship here. She stated the Petitioner has addressed the other issues such as the walkway and that they were willing to build a 6' wall which she felt was agreeable to the neighbors, and then the fact that Iva Street very probably would be vacated, addresses some other issues, so she would make a motion.


It was then,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to West Oaks Veterinary Clinic, SP94-50 subject to all of the Consultants' recommendations and conditions, and also conditioned on the granting of a waiver by the ZBA for the setback, and also that this come back before the Commission for Final Site Plan approval.





Member Capello said he had a question for Member Weddington and then Mr. Mamola. He asked Member Weddington if her motion was subject to Item #4 and Item #5 in Mr. Rogers' letter, meaning that she wanted to increase the setback to 10' as opposed to 8' and eliminate the one northwestern parking space and did she mean to leave that in and she replied she did.


Member Capello then said to Mr. Mamola that he could understand why he wanted an 8' setback instead of 10' in order to get the cars backing out and moving around, but he didn't understand why he needed the one parking space in the northwestern corner by the dumpster and he asked couldn't he eliminate that and at least give them the 20' setback in the rear yard there.


Mr. Mamola felt physically that was possible but when they consider the number of parking spaces that they have, roughly half of them were on one side and then the other half were somewhat blinded from the first half on the other side of the building.


Mr. Mamola felt they needed every parking space they could to avoid a person driving in and seeing that all the spaces were filled and then having to back up towards Novi Road and maneuver around and go maybe to the other side of the building.


Mr. Mamola said they really would like to have every available spot on that site for parking. He said the fact that they have the 6' wall and were going to the expense to build that wall, they really see that there was no good alternative or reason to have 10 extra feet of lawn and/or landscaping in this particular case, but in other cases, it may be very well warranted.


Member Capello said then they wouldn't be able to see the landscape anyway from the other side of the wall and Mr. Mamola said in all likelihood they would not until that landscaping matures.


Member Capello said Mr. Arroyo's concern was they were about 4' short of width in the driveway as a person comes in, whether turning right or left, and Mr. Mamola said that would be only if a person was coming in off of Novi Road turning left, and they would be 4', and the plan indicates 18', which he would like to clarify.

Member Mamola said on the diagram that he gave them that evening, regarding deficiencies in the greenbelt area, they took another 4' of greenbelt area and made that drive 22' and they took 4' towards Novi Road. He explained the reasoning for that was they have no other inch to move to shift that drive to the west.


Mr. Mamola said they have a series of ramps and walkways which they must observe to comply with the barrier-free design requirements and they were very tight there and have a very limited slope, so the only direction he could move to make that a 22' area was to take away a little more, 4' more, of the green area. He noted they still have green area on their property and the calculations they presented to them that night included that additional 4' coming off.


Member Capello said so what Member Weddington's motion was on, was on the plans that were previously submitted, but what Mr. Mamola was saying was he wanted approved the amended 8 1/2 x 17 plan that he submitted.


Mr. Mamola said he would like the Commission to grant a waiver of the greenbelt setback requirements which they were in power to do.


Member Capello said if he was asking him to do that on the south side of the drive, why couldn't he do the same thing on the north side of the drive.


Mr. Mamola said he believed they have 22' feet there and he felt they have the width on the north side and Member Capello said to him when looking north/south, it looks like he has more width on the south than the north and he asked Mr. Arroyo if that was correct.


Mr. Arroyo said they were both 18' and Mr. Mamola has 18' of width on both sides there, so he would have to increase the northeast portion of the parking area as well. Mr. Mamola said again that 4' would come off in all likelihood towards Novi Road.


Member Capello asked if those were issues they could look at Final or do they need to address those now and Chairman Clark thought they were items they could address at Final.


Member Capello asked about the issue of the parking space and the setback 8' versus 10' on the north and does that need to be addressed now or could it be addressed at Final. Mr. Mamola asked which item was he referring to and Member Capello said the deficiency in the setback on the north property line and the west property line, Items #4 and #5 in Mr. Rogers' letter.



Mr. Watson indicated the motion included Mr. Rogers' conditions, which meant them changing it in each of those respects, so unless the Commission changed their motion, what the Commission would be doing would be asking the Petitioner to come back with some alternatives at the time they bring back the Final to them to resolve that issue and to make a final decision.


Member Capello said then one of the things they need to decide was do they want to have the additional space that Mr. Arroyo has asked for, the 22' and give up some greenspace along Novi Road, or grant Mr. Mamola the variance to give him 18' of driveway, as opposed to the 22' that was required to keep their greenspace and do they need to decide that tonight.


Mr. Rogers said he had two points. He said if they add the 4' to make it a 22' aisle, they would end up with a 6' greenspace along Novi Road, which was just too small and they would have a diminished buffer area, which was required in front of the parking and Ms. Lemke could attest to that.


Mr. Rogers also said the reason he wanted to move off the west property line, one of the excess parking spaces and also to move up the dumpster, was that there was a house about 5' off the wall and they were going to have a parking lot practically in the side yard and he agreed there was a brick wall, but they have no isolation and it was a congested enough area and since they have three extra surplus parking spaces, he suggested eliminating one. He felt that was important. He said the 8' along Iva if Iva was vacated would be a moot point but it was still there now.


Mr. Rogers said he did feel strongly about the front yard greenspace of 10' and secondly, they should try to maintain the 20' west set-off, but that was a discretion left to the Commission and it was not a variance.


Member Capello said if they were making it subject to all of the Consultants' recommendations, Mr. Arroyo was saying that he wanted the driveway to be 22' and the Petitioner has nowhere to move, so they would be approving a plan that was not going to work on the site.


Mr. Arroyo requested to make an additional comment on that issue, and he recognized the greenspace deficiency here, but the 22' was fairly important in this area because this was the main circulation area and all the cars that were coming in and out of the site were going to be coming through this intersection, and given the fact that they don't have circulation around this building, they were going to have some people that were going to pull in and try to pull out when there were no spaces available and there was going to be a lot of maneuvering.


Mr. Arroyo said this was a tight site and to narrow down the aisles to something less than the minimum standard, just doesn't make a lot of sense given the limitations to this site, so unfortunately, he would feel uncomfortable recommending anything less than 22' in this particular instance.


Member Capello said in the amended plan, it seems that if a person would come in that driveway and turn to the north, that there was enough width and was that correct, and Mr. Arroyo said no and he felt there would need to be a minor modification and it still was going to have to be widened out, but he didn't think it would have the same amount of taking of that greenspace that it did on the other side just because of the way it was configured. He said it would have to be widened some, but it would only be a slight loss of that greenspace because they could taper it down quicker given the placement of the building.


Member Capello said he would ask that there be an amendment to the motion. He said first, if the Commission was going to make it subject to the Consultants' recommendations and accept Mr. Arroyo's fact that the driveway has to be widened, that they then grant a greenspace variance to accommodate the widening of the driveway. He indicated his second comment was he could sympathize with the 2' variance they were asking for on the north just so a person could back a car out and maneuver around because that was a difficult situation on that side of the building.



Member Capello said he would ask that they delete Item #4 of Mr. Rogers' letter and that they grant an additional variance to encroach into the greenspace along the north property line along Novi Road so that they could accommodate Mr. Arroyo's concerns of the 22' width of the driveway.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Rogers and Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Mamola if there was any way that this could be resolved by putting their heads together and trying to work something else.


Mr. Rogers said when there was a constricted front yard greenspace area, they might go to a low brick retaining wall. He said there was very limited area for any berming so he felt that was a detail that could be looked at, at the time of Final site plan submittal and the landscape plan. Mr. Rogers said Mr. Mamola might even contain the feeling of containment on the site too by framing it in on either side of the driveway.


Member Weddington asked if Mr. Rogers was willing to give up that greenspace requirement then on Iva Street and Mr. Rogers felt the 22' was a public health safety factor and they couldn't move the existing building back, and they were just constricted there and they were providing the sidewalk and within 6', they would have to be very creative, and he felt maybe a 2 1/2' brick wall along either side of the entranceway blended in with landscaping as they get away from the entranceway might work.



Member Weddington said she would be willing to drop that condition then, which was Item #4 in Mr. Rogers' letter.



Member Capello asked about adding the granting of the variance of the front yard setback and he asked do they need to include in the motion to grant that variance also and it was stated yes.


Member Weddington said she would be willing to add the granting of the variance of the front yard setback.


Member Capello said they couldn't move the house and if they were going to give them the 22' and make it subject to Mr. Arroyo's recommendation, they need to give the Petitioner a variance then.


Mr. Arroyo said he had one additional comment and he would pose it as a question to Mr. Mamola. He said looking at this plan that was passed out that evening, he referred to a corner of the building, which seems to have a wider area between the building and the edge of the sidewalk, and his question was based on the building code requirements that Mr. Mamola has reviewed, and could the radius of this area be increased so that they get an increase separation here to provide the 22' while still maintaining the circulation around the building that they require. He said because it appears that it was wider here in front of his building than at other portions around the building and that may be one way at least in this area to maintain the greenspace but also provide the 22'.


Mr. Mamola said that thought was going through his mind as well. He said what they have at that particular corner, however, was a barrier-free accessible type ramp and once they get on those ramps, there were certain width requirements and so on. He said they might be able to reduce that by about a foot or so and that type of detail was normally looked at in more detail at Final site plan, but that was a part of the solution and may soften the greenbelt increment towards Novi Road.


Member Hoadley said before they vote on this, he felt the Petitioner makes a good point about this parking space and he really could perceive a problem where someone would pull in there and then have to try and back all the way around and he felt the Petitioner has a health and safety problem here. He said he personally would rather have him keep that extra parking spot and reduce that 20 foot space and they were going to put a wall there anyway and he just couldn't see any good reason not to provide maximum safety for the people who were going to come in there.


Member Hoadley said he would frankly like to see this motion amended to the point where they grant a variance on that too, and he would rather have them have the extra parking spot, and if they were going to take a parking spot, he would rather see it come off of the other side, not this side, as this doesn't have quite the amount of parking anyway or the room.


Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo if he concurred with the removal of the parking spot and did he see a circulation problem there.


Mr. Arroyo said he would agree from a pure traffic and parking standpoint that it would be better to provide an extra parking space if they could provide it, but that was looking at it purely from a traffic standpoint and Member Lorenzo, as a Commissioner, has to waive between the greenspace, but yes, he could see the benefit to having additional space, given the fact that they don't have circulation around the building and it provides one more opportunity for someone to pull into that side of the lot and find a parking space where the potential could be if that space wasn't there, they would have to back up so he saw a benefit in providing the space.


Mr. Arroyo said since they have three additional spaces over the minimum, he wouldn't call it an absolute necessity, but from a pure traffic and parking prospective, it would be preferable.


Member Lorenzo said she would support the motion, whatever that conclusion was going to be and she commended the Petitioner for redevelopment of this area and she felt they have done a fine job particularly with the constraints on the property.



Chairman Clark asked Member Weddington to restate her motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to West Oaks Veterinary Clinic, SP94-50 subject to all of the Consultants' conditions and recommendations with the exception of Mr. Rogers' recommendations for the increasing of greenspace along Iva Street and along the west property line.





Member Capello asked about the variance along Novi Road, and Mr. Watson then asked Mr. Rogers wasn't that a landscape waiver, and Mr. Rogers said the front yard setback greenspace could be reduced in the same token and they could wrap the three together.


Member Lorenzo also asked about waiving the landscape berm and to have the brick wall in lieu of the landscape berm along the west edge adjacent to residential.



Member Weddington added to motion:


To waive the landscape requirement along Novi Road; to recommend that the ZBA approve the setback waiver; and to have this come back before the Planning Commission for Final Site Plan Approval.



Member Hoadley accepted the addition to motion.



Member Mutch asked if that included a recommendation to the ZBA to approve the brick wall and it was stated that was the Commission's recommendation and it was part of the motion.



Member Lorenzo said she would clarify the motion for everyone:


1. To include the waiver of the 6' landscape berm with the 6' brick-on-brick wall in its place.


2. To include the front yard setback greenspace waiver to accommodate the 22' aisles needed to meet City Standards.


3. Subject to all the Consultants' letters except Item #4 in Mr. Rogers' letter and Item #5 in Mr. Rogers letter (the parking space stays in).


4. Subject to the ZBA approval of the 200' setback variance from adjacent R-4 District.


5. To return to the Planning Commission for Final Site Plan Approval.





Member Bonaventura asked for clarification and he heard someone mention that this motion included a recommendation to the ZBA and Member Weddington said it would be subject to the ZBA approval.


Member Hoadley called the question.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Capello (Yes), Clark (Yes), Hoadley (Yes), Hodges (Yes), Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (Yes), Taub (Yes), Weddington (Yes), Bonaventura (Yes)





Mr. Mamola asked one last question and said the Commission that night stated this project would come back for Final approval and he understood their concerns. He asked to have an understanding though that they were more than willing to come back and share the various drainage issues and various drainage details, however, he believed in the best interest of the Commission's schedule and everyone's schedule, if they come back primarily for that issue, that they could explore landscape issues or any other issue they would like at the time. He said to go over everything that was required for a completely certified, signed-off Final site plan document, was quite a task.


Mr. Mamola indicated he was willing to work with the Commission, but it was a burdensome task to have it all stamped and approved and he could foresee some options as they go through this drainage question that the Commission may want to have a handle on, which he would like some direction on before they continue 100% through the Final site plan.


Chairman Clark said he understood and he assumed he would be meeting with Mr. Rogers prior to any submission of a Final site plan and Mr. Rogers would be making the recommendation to the Commission with respect to whatever he comes up with or it might be one of several options.


Mr. Mamola said but if they get to the point where they feel they need the Commission's input, they would like to bring in that data, whatever it was at that point, recognizing that it may not be a complete Final site plan approval and the Commission could decide what to do with it at that time. He said he would hate to have a project totally nailed down with Final site plan approval coming back. He said he understood their concerns and were willing to come back.


Mr. Watson asked was Mr. Mamola's question if he has a resolution to that issue prior to the time the Final site plan was ready to come back, even administratively, could he come back to the Commission and discuss it with the Commission, and Mr. Mamola replied yes and Mr. Watson said that would be up to the Commission, but he wouldn't think they would have any objections.


Member Capello indicated Mr. Mamola could bring it up as an item for discussion then and Mr. Mamola that would be fine.





1. Aspen Woods, SP94-36A - Property located south of Eleven Mile Road, easterly of Beck Road for possible One-Family Clustering Option approval, Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Woodlands Permit Approval and Wetlands Permit Approval.

(Request by Applicant to table item to a future date).


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To postpone Aspen Woods, SP94-36A to the Planning Commission Meeting of February 15, 1995.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously










2. Nantucket Cove Restaurant & The Boston Club Banquet Hall, SP94-49A - Property located at the northeast corner of Meadowbrook Road and Grand River Avenue for Possible Special Land Use Approval, Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Section 4 Waiver.


Mr. Bob Fenton was present and he introduced his partners, Chef Matt Prentis and his brother, Mr. Ed Fenton. He said also present was Mr. Clif Seiber, Mr. Joe Philips and Mr. Baker.


Mr. Fenton said they recognize that in many instances, Zoning Ordinances refer to square footage of buildings in determining parking space requirements. However, he said they have a different type of situation here because there was no Ordinance in Novi specifically referring to banquet facilities or halls. He said the City Planning Commission does have a great deal of discretion in determining what the parking requirements were in this particular situation in setting appropriate and reasonable requirements for parking.


Mr. Fenton said because the Commission does have a great deal of discretion in this particular instance, he would urge that the Commission consider the guidelines offered by professional organizations relating to land planning such as the Urban Land Institute, the Transportation Planning Authority, and the American Planning Association.


Mr. Fenton said those organizations collectively offer sample standards for restaurants and/or banquet halls, which refer to "standards based on seating or occupancy not square footage" and then the reference continues "the preferred method of calculations required for parking related to restaurants and/or banquet halls is per seat, not square footage."


Mr. Fenton said this would be referred to again by their Engineer, Mr. Seiber, because of the tremendous discretion that this Commission has. He then asked Mr. Seiber to further discuss this project.


Mr. Seiber said when they were before the Commission two weeks ago, there were two items that needed to be resolved, and one was the location of the driveway on Meadowbrook Road and the other was the parking issue.


Mr. Seiber said first in response to the question of the location of the driveway on Meadowbrook Road, he investigated the sight distance of the proposed approach to be aligned at the northerly portion of the site and he also looked at the amount of wetland fill required and the number of trees that would have to be removed as a result of locating the driveway at that position.


Mr. Seiber said he has forwarded that information to Mr. Arroyo for his analysis, and he believed the conclusion was that the driveway was best suited at the proposed location as shown on the site plan.


Mr. Seiber said regarding the parking, as Mr. Fenton indicated, the Planning Commission, according to Section 10 of Sec. 2505 in the Zoning Ordinance, does have discretion since a banquet hall was not specifically mentioned in the Zoning Ordinance, so therefore, he could see three alternatives or methods that the Planning Commission could consider the parking requirements.


Mr. Seiber said one was, as Mr. Rogers mentioned in his review letter, if this restaurant and banquet hall were to be located in the City of Livonia, they would be required to have 109 parking spaces for the restaurant, 208 parking spaces for the banquet hall for a total of 317 parking spaces and they were providing 325 spaces, so in other words, if this were to be located in Livonia, they would have a surplus of 8 spaces.


Mr. Seiber said another alterative which was certainly acceptable to the owners of this property was that the amount of seating in the banquet hall be limited to 600 persons. He stated they certainly would be willing to enter into or provide any agreements or pursue any methods applicable to containing the maximum seating to that 600 seat limit. He said if that were the case, if he had 600 seats in the banquet hall divided by the 3, that would require 200 parking spaces, and with the 109 spaces provided in the restaurant, they would have in excess of 15-16 spaces.


Mr. Seiber said thirdly another alternative way as Mr. Rogers indicated in his letter, was to look at this by the BOCA Code and BOCA was requiring one person for every 15 feet and if they apply that to the banquet hall, they see a total of 231 spaces required.

Mr. Seiber indicated Mr. Rogers also attached that number to the pre-function area and as they indicated at the last meeting, they do not intend to use the pre-function area and it was not proposed or designed to be used as a seating area, and that was an area to the used as a gathering area where people would come into the building initially and then enter into the banquet hall after milling around in the pre-function area.


Mr. Seiber said so really the seating area or the banquet hall was the area they think would only be applicable to applying this BOCA code requirement and if that were to be used, they would have a total parking of 231 cars for the banquet hall, 109 for the restaurant for a total of 340 spaces. He said they were providing 325 spaces which would leave them deficient by 15 cars. He said so if that were the case, then they would pursue a 15 car variance from the ZBA.


Mr. Seiber said finally, he felt to a great degree because of the quality of this restaurant and banquet hall, it would be really self-regulating and if they found that if they book 600 people in the banquet hall and they were not meeting the parking requirement, they would then self-regulate or limit themselves from booking less than that because the clientele that was expected for this facility, would not permit that type of arrangement where they do not have adequate parking.


Mr. Seiber said they did look into parking on adjacent properties, and he felt really the only appropriate one without crossing Meadowbrook Road or Grand River would be parking on the vacant parcel just to the east of the City property. He said immediately to the east of this site was a large pond, the City's regional storm water basin and just to the east of that was a vacant parcel, and they found after looking at that site, the cost of it makes it prohibitive and they were selling the site as a building site and to buy that as a building site and to use it just for the parking, doesn't make the project economically viable any longer, so that would not be an alternative for them.


Mr. Seiber then said he would be glad to answer any questions.





Mr. Rogers said he did try to answer their question on parking and he looked at some other alternatives and came up with the two cases that were most appropriate, Laurel Manor in Livonia, which works because it has shared parking with a former K of C Hall that they bought and has some retail in now. He said in the letter from Mr. Shane, the Assistant Planning Director, he indicates the peak demand for one use or the other use doesn't seem to conflict.


Mr. Rogers said they also vacated a portion of Schoolcraft Road which gave them some more land. He said it seems to work with what they have there, but it wasn't really analogous to what was proposed here.


Mr. Rogers said their standards do include banquet hall space and not any pre-function area and he didn't have a floor plan to see how the building was laid out but some of them have been down to Laurel Manor on occasion.


Mr. Rogers said the City of Sterling Heights was certainly stringent and they do call out that standard specifically for banquet halls and he and Mr. Arroyo have been looking in the Ordinances but they couldn't find very honestly any Ordinance other than Sterling Heights, that speaks directly to banquet halls in the off-street parking section of the Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers said as noted, they have put a lot of the accessory uses and rooms into the basement and have increased the banquet room from 6,400 sq. ft. to 10,400 sq. ft., and the pre-function area has been increased from 3,700 sq. ft. to 4,200 sq. ft. He said they have reduced the restaurant seating of fixed seats, from 184 to 135 seats, which reduces to a degree the amount of required minimum parking for the restaurant.


Mr. Rogers said if the banquet hall was going full-steam with 600 people in the banquet hall alone, any other function going on in that building was going to need to look for other parking and they could close down the restaurant which was not uncommon where a party takes over the entire club house and the restaurant was used for later dinners by people who have come to the banquet hall for a speech or a reception.


Mr. Rogers then said they all have his report of January 10th. He said on Page 1, he ran through the numbers and then on Page 2 he summarized that which was in his first review and he found that they had, counting the restaurant, a deficiency in parking of the banquet and pre-function area of 69 spaces.


Mr. Rogers said on Page 3 using the new space, the enlarged space for the banquet hall, etc., counting the restaurant facility, he found a 116 space deficiency. He said it was true in Livonia they probably would meet their code and Sterling Heights requires nearly three times as much parking as anyone else that he was able to find.


Mr. Rogers said they could recommend to possibly the ZBA, if they were the appropriate body, that there be a maximum capacity in the banquet hall of 500 or whatever figure it might be, and have the proprietors of the business honor that and not book larger groups. He said then too, as he concluded, there was a 116 space deficiency and some of that parking could go by a valet service, which they do show on the plan along Grand River, to some type of off-premises parking lot. He said they should keep in mind that off-premises parking has to be within 300 feet of the subject site and must be on land owned by the developer or the people using the banquet hall and the restaurant.


Mr. Rogers said Mr. Seiber brings up the point of self-regulation and he felt that was a very real possibility and people were not going to come to a hall for 600 people and then find there were only 200 parking spaces. He said if people couldn't get parking spaces, they wouldn't come back.


Mr. Rogers said lastly there were four conditions in his report. He said the first was ZBA review of parking sufficiency either by a capacity total cap or some kind of a variance, but he would not recommend that course of action unless there was a real showing by applicant that there were no additional parking opportunities in all four directions, but not to the north. He noted all four quadrants of Grand River and Meadowbrook were vacant, the southwest corner of course was a medical clinic, Vic Saroki's group, which he felt would be taking off.


Mr. Rogers said he was concerned about the parking and also for the viability of the project, and a 7-8 million dollar project has to have the parking.


Mr. Rogers said his other three items were redesign of the compactor/dumpster unit, putting in a sprinkling system perhaps, which they have agreed to; ZBA review of the cupola height which he felt the Commission was fairly disposed to recommend to the ZBA; and a Section 4 waiver of proposed building facades which have previously been recommended by Mr. Doug Necci.


Mr. Bluhm indicated his report of December 13, 1994 still stands with respect to the site plan. He said at Mr. Arroyo's request, he looked at the sight distance situation for a proposed drive at the extreme northwest corner and it does not have adequate sight distance. He said the proposed drive on their plan was essentially at the high point of the road and has proper sight distance, so it was his recommendation that the proposed driveway remain.


Mr. Arroyo said his previous letter essentially stands as well with the exception of the driveway location, which they have discussed that evening, and given the combination of the sight distance issue, the impact on the trees and on the wetlands that moving that driveway would have, he was recommending that the driveway stay as the applicant has originally proposed it.


Mr. Arroyo said he had some additional minor comments from his original letter and they have carried those forward for the purpose of keeping them on the record, and he felt they were fairly minor and would be addressed at the time the Final site plan was submitted, so they were recommending approval of the Preliminary site plan.


Chairman Clark indicated there was a report from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the Novi Fire Department, dated January 10, 1995 indicating that this plan was reviewed and approval was recommended subject to showing fire hydrants with a 300' maximum spacing on all future plans.





Chairman Clark explained this matter was discussed at length previously and it was asked to be brought back because of the concerns the Commission had relative to the site or the placement of the driveway and also the question of the parking.


Member Lorenzo said she would begin with a motion:


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Taub



To approve the Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan for Nantucket Cove Restaurant and The Boston Club Banquet Hall, SP94-49A subject to ZBA variance for parking; recommendation to the ZBA to limit total occupancy to 600 persons; approval of the Section 4 Waiver; and also the ZBA review of the cupola height.






Mr. Watson said just as a suggestion on the motion, one of the items was in addition to sending it to the ZBA, the Commission should recommend to the ZBA to limit the maximum occupancy capacity to 600 persons, and he would suggest that they make that not merely a recommendation to the ZBA, but also a condition of their approval.


Mr. Watson said the reason he suggests that was because the enforcement section of the Ordinance provides that when they impose conditions on site plan approval or special land use approval, a violation of those conditions was a violation of the Ordinance, and that way if it was subsequently violated, the Ordinance Enforcement officers could issue citations for that.



Member Lorenzo said she would amend her motion accordingly.


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Taub



To include as a condition of Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan Approval, the requirement to limit the total occupancy to 600 persons in some form of a legal and binding contract.





Member Taub said there were concerns when they last met about enforcement and there were comments that those things really couldn't be enforced, but he would urge the Fire Department or whoever would be doing the enforcing, to encourage that this be monitored. He thought it was represented to them that this would be the norm or the limit anyway and that would alleviate the valid concerns of their Consultants about an excess of vehicles.


Member Taub thought the concern of the community was if this wasn't a viable project because of inadequate parking, then the community would be left with a large structure in a prominent area that would be a headache for all.


Member Taub felt it was important that it be limited.


Member Taub said he understood the problems of trying to make something economically viable but at the same time, their role was not to necessarily assure a profit but to assure that the community interests were served as far as health, safety and welfare. He said he would hope that the Fire Department, Building and Safety, when this project gets off the ground, would keep an eye out so that Member Lorenzo's concern as stated in the motion as a condition, was actually enforced.


Member Lorenzo said she would support the motion with all due respect to Mr. Rogers, and this was a type of decision that was a judgement call and because it does appear to meet Livonia's standards, she would give them the benefit of the doubt in this case and hope that the situation does not get out of hand.


Member Lorenzo felt this was a very unique and upscale project and she was certainly willing to give the developer the benefit of the doubt in that circumstance and she wished him well.


Mr. Prentis said he would be happy to send the City a report each and every month computerized that would show them the parties that they have.


Member Capello said the only comment he had was they get this first. He said if they went to the ZBA first and the ZBA granted their request and then it came back to the Commission, he didn't think legitimately they could use the lack of parking as a grounds to deny their site plan since it appears from the last discussion, that they all liked the project. He said he was going to vote in favor if it, and let the ZBA make the decision on the parking because he has not heard one Commissioner state that they don't like the project.


Member Hoadley said he had a big problem with the figures and common sense tells him that 200 spaces was not adequate for 600 people. He said first of all, he didn't buy the 3 to 1 ratio and he has been to enough weddings/receptions to be fairly confident that it was more like 2.5 people per car. He said there would be a lot of single people/adults going to the events, a lot of couples, very seldom children, and then once in a while there might be a party of 4.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers to justify the 3 to 1 ratio and if he could justify it satisfactorily, then he would go along with it, otherwise, he would like to see this motion amended down to 500 because at 2.5 people per vehicle, they need 240 parking spaces. He said he was very uncomfortable going for 600 and he didn't think the parking was adequate.


Mr. Rogers explained how they came to the 3 to 1 ratio. He said he looked at similar uses and Mr. Seiber did cite Section 2505, Paragraph 10 which there was a standard for conference facilities, for private clubs, for lodge halls in the Ordinance today and he would read that to everyone, "1 parking space for every 3 persons allowed within the maximum occupancy load as established by local county or state, fire, building or health codes." Mr. Rogers indicated to that ratio they add the handicapped parking in Novi.


Mr. Rogers said if they went and applied the restaurant definition to a banquet hall, that speaks to two different scenarios, one on square footage but the other one was 1 for every 2 employees, plus 1 for every 2 customers, 1 to 2 instead of 1 to 3, but in the case of a restaurant, they add in customers seating area, customers waiting in the lobby area and the employment area, so it was more than 1 to 2 and it was a different standard. He indicated that was all he could go on.


Mr. Hoadley asked where were they providing spaces for all the help and they would have a tremendous amount of help servicing a 600 person banquet. Mr. Rogers said it could be that it was a common kitchen on the first floor and if they require 1 parking space for every 2 employees, and they all drove individually, they would not have enough parking, but the Ordinance doesn't require 1 for each employee.


Member Hoadley said to take the worse case scenario on this, and they would have a 600 person banquet and they would have a full restaurant, how many employees was that going to use, and he felt it would have to use more than just the people for the restaurant, and they would have to have extra cooks, extra waitstaff, extra clean-up people.


Mr. Rogers said they have called out in this project, 25 employees on maximum shift and he used that for the restaurant measure but then there would be the kitchen help and Member Hoadley was correct and there would be a real demand.


Mr. Rogers said if they had a full house and 109 people in the restaurant, 600 in the banquet hall, he would submit that there would be some other possible meetings going on outside of the banquet hall and not necessarily in the basement, but maybe in that large pre-function area, although they say they were not going to double up. He felt the Commission has to weigh their statements against his statements.


Member Hodges then asked Mr. Rogers when he did his figuring on the 600 number, was he including their staff or was that in addition and Mr. Rogers said no he didn't add that in because under those other private clubs and conference facilities, there was no provision for employment or an add-on for employment, so he did not add it.


Member Hodges then asked the applicant in his 600 figure, was he including his staff and Mr. Prentis said the 600 would be the max and there would never ever be pre-function use for an additional affair, which they have to look at when they were looking at an upscale banquet hall or for that matter, any banquet hall. He said if they look at Tiger Stadium, they could say there was 52,000 seats so they should have X amount of parking for those seats and to rationalize the pre-function being part of the seating area, they would then be saying if Tiger Stadium has 52,000 seats, they should figure for the 52,000 seats but then there was all the area around the stadium where they serve hot dogs and things and maybe they should count that too because they could have people there and he didn't feel it made sense.


Mr. Prentis said the difference between an upscale banquet hall and a banquet hall that was more in the main stream would be much like comparing Tiger Stadium which has a very small concession or pre-function area, to the Palace of Auburn Hills which has a grandiose concession area because they have learned that the grandiose concessions brings in a lot more revenue, so therefore it was worthwhile to donate space to it.


Mr. Prentis said to answer their question about employees, the 25 employee number was for the restaurant and if the banquet hall had a full-blown 600 seat affair, there would be 30 waitresses, 2 banquet captains, 4 bartenders and then the cooks would be a swing, in other words, in that 25 for the restaurant, it would overlap and that was actually a bit high on the restaurant with 135 seats.


Mr. Prentis said the dish area would be pretty much the same because it would be designed to produce extremely heavy production through machinery and not so much with manpower.


Member Hodges said the reason she asked this question was because if he had a maximum of 600 people and this includes the restaurant and banquet area, if he takes out the restaurant people and his wait people, according to the figure that he just gave them, they were talking about approximately 400 people that they could put into their banquet area and her question was could he limit it to the type of upscale party he wanted to have.


Mr. Prentis said first of all, he has to convince the Commission that the space he has put up there was required space and if they were convinced of that and that he needed, because of the product that he was going to be packaging, a larger space environment, what Member Hodges needs to understand was that the types of parties that he would book, were not going to tolerate not having parking. He said there was no way he was going to spend 7 million dollars and then not be able to park the cars to bring in the revenue.


Mr. Prentis said he was very confident that the amount of parking that they have was adequate and he was more that confident, he was positive.


Member Hodges said her point was for the type of restaurant they were too, she didn't see having an upscale party there and not having an upscale number.


Mr. Prentis said the odds of booking a party for 600 were pretty slim, but he was confident that they could park enough cars to take care of that because odds are if the party was for 600 people, it would be an unusual situation and he felt their ratio would be a little different than a wedding.


Mr. Prentis said he didn't envision ever doing a wedding for 600 people and he has never heard of a wedding for 600 people. He explained the reason for the flexibility in the seating of 600 was very simple and they have to have some flexibility between the halls to accommodate various size parties and it was like putting together a booking puzzle.


Mr. Prentis said if he goes down to 500 people, then that makes the puzzle change and he no longer has the flexibility that he had before and he could get himself into trouble and to be honest if he goes down to 500, he couldn't justify it financially.


Member Hodges said that was what she was saying. Mr. Prentis said it has to be 600. Member Hodges said she didn't know how he could economically maintain this establishment at the level he was saying.


Mr. Prentis said he was the largest independent caterer in the state of Michigan, and he has a good idea of what he needed as far as parking goes. He said for his purposes, he was convinced he has enough parking, convinced enough that he was going to be accountable for 7 million dollars. He said if he couldn't convince them, it was not for lack of trying and there was no way he would build this and throw away 7 million dollars just because he couldn't park the cars.


Mr. Prentis said he could give them examples but they were not going to be quite as applicable because right now, he didn't have a 600 seat banquet hall. He said at the Hotel Baronette which he did operate, he had a restaurant that was packed, and a hotel that was packed and a banquet room that was packed every Saturday night and they never fill the parking lot, and he didn't think anyone ever expected the type of volume they were doing there right now, and he was positive they don't have 200 parking spaces.


Mr. Seiber requested to address that matter briefly. He said if they would note on Page 3 of Mr. Rogers' letter where it determines the parking requirement for the restaurant, it indicates that a total of 99 spaces was required based on the employee count and the seating and the foyer waiting area. He said that indicates actually there were 10 spaces additionally required and based on 1 space for every 2 employees, theoretically they would have additional parking for another 20 employees in the banquet area, in addition to the 25 employees which were somewhat shared within the restaurant area. He said so in total according to the calculations, they could have a total of 45 employees in the building and still meet the parking for the banquet hall and for the restaurant.


Member Hoadley said as much as he loved this project, he could not support it the way the parking was.


Member Bonaventura asked if the motion was for special land use approval and Member Lorenzo said it covered everything. He then said his comment was concerning the special land use, and he had a question for Mr. Arroyo. He said two weeks ago they talked about the underlying use and the amount of traffic that it would generate as far as the existing zoning and he asked Mr. Arroyo if he remembered the numbers as far as trips generated per day.


Mr. Arroyo said he had made a comparison for the principal permitted use in an I-1 district, which would be office, and they had a trip generation of approximately 1,036 per day or 138 during the PM peak hour and that was based on 10,000 sq. ft. per acre and if they assume a 25% lot coverage, which was probably another alternative, they would have potentially 1,100 trips per day, so somewhere between 1,000 and 1,100 trips per day for an office facility, whereas this facility was forecasted to have approximately 2,200 trips per average weekday.


Member Bonaventura referred Mr. Rogers to the Zoning Ordinance, Page 3289, where there was a section called Site Plan Review Procedure, Section C, Item #1 which states, "whether relative to other feasible uses of the site the proposed use will cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares in terms of overall volumes, capacity, safety, travel times and thoroughfare level of service." He asked Mr. Rogers if this would apply to this special land use for the site plan approval.


Mr. Rogers said it does and he called that out in his December 21st letter on Page 2 and in the specific reference he stated, traffic impact on existing thoroughfares was expected to be accommodated and he referred to opinion of Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo and applicant's abbreviated traffic study.


Mr. Rogers said he had been talking about access out to Meadowbrook and Grand River in this regard and he wasn't talking about parking and Member Bonaventura said he wasn't either and he was talking about the Level of Service. Mr. Rogers indicated he had deferred to Mr. Arroyo on that point.


Member Bonaventura said he just asked Mr. Arroyo the comparisons which was 1,100 to 2,200 for this project which would require special land use approval. He said according to the Ordinance, they need to consider this and they should. He said he went out to a restaurant over the weekend on restaurant row, which were all state of the art recently planned restaurants with a service drive which he believed Mr. Arroyo had some input on and Mr. Arroyo said actually that was a bit before his time.


Member Bonaventura said he was referring to the service drive which was parallel to Crescent Blvd., and on the Friday night that he was there, the entire length of the service drive from Novi Road to the new Fridays had parking on the shoulder and it was car-to-car parking and the restaurants were all packed. He said they didn't have enough parking for the restaurants and they had to park on the service drive and the service drive was not designed to handle parking even though there were no "No Parking" signs, but it was not designed for this.


Member Bonaventura said that only allowed 1 1/2 cars to get through and they could all see the problems especially when someone attempts to drop someone off in front of a restaurant and there was someone else trying to get through.


Member Bonaventura said so that was their state of the art number crunching and recently approved parking situation. He said he brought this up because of the fact of comments he hears that this project would be approved in Livonia and that was fine, but according to the numbers, it would not be approved in Sterling Heights.


Member Bonaventura asked if the size of the building had been increased at all and Mr. Rogers said not the footprint but what they did was to take out the minister's room, the dressing room, the conference rooms, a half dozen small rooms and they put them in the basement and they would notice a big circular staircase going down and then they spread out into that first floor nearly completely, except for the lobby, the pre-function and the banquet area. He said he has the numbers and they were able to nearly increase those spaces by 50% each.


Mr. Rogers said but the footprint stays the same, the restaurant footprint stays the same, the parking lot design stays the same and that has not been increased.


Member Bonaventura asked were they required to receive this changed design and have they received it and Mr. Rogers said the plans were distributed with their packets but they were just floor plans.


Member Bonaventura said in his opinion, common sense tells him that the facility was too big for the site and it would generate too much traffic which would place a burden on their community and they don't have enough parking because of the size of the facility and he would not be voting for it.


Chairman Clark said while he had some concerns for the parking, he also remembered that this site at one time was proposed for an excess of 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial which would have put substantial traffic on the road and not just when there was banquet activity in the facility but from early morning to late at night, seven days a week, so obviously this was a substantially better proposed use for this site than they have seen.


Chairman Clark said no one plans to provide for inadequate parking, and he did have some concerns, but not to the degree that would outweigh his support for the project. Again, he stated this was an upscale facility and the people who would be patronizing the facility and paying to use this facility obviously may come once but as has been pointed out, they would not be back a second or third time if they run into traffic jams, inadequate places or no places to park their car.


Chairman Clark felt when they look at something like this, they have to look at the track record and Mr. Prentis has indicated that they have turned around the Hotel Baronette with the restaurant and he did have occasion two weeks ago with friends to be there and the facility was full of activity, full of people and he had no problem whatsoever getting around or finding a place to park. He said when he came at 7:00 the restaurant was full and when he left at 9:00, the restaurant was still full and when he came, there were substantially adequate parking spaces and when he left it was the same.


Chairman Clark felt this would be a welcomed addition to the community and again, he felt the planning and thought that has been given to this and the conditions that the petitioner was willing to accept as a binding condition upon this project and to have imposed upon them, also speaks in their favor.


Chairman Clark indicated he would support the project.


Member Mutch asked if the reason this particular project requires Special Land Use was because it was a cited use or because this use was not otherwise defined. Mr. Rogers said this particular use was permitted under Section 1903 of the Zoning Ordinance under certain conditions which requires Special Land Use and secondly, if it abuts a Residential District, they wouldn't even be talking about it.


Mr. Rogers said it could not abut a residential district and also it has to be 1,000 feet from any other free-standing restaurant and must have 2 acres and there was a lot of criteria here and a restaurant in an I-1 District has to be at the intersection of two major thoroughfares and it meets that requirement. He said if they go back to his December 21st letter, he went through all that criteria, which they did meet.


Mr. Rogers said it was just like the Red Timbers and that was at the intersection of Grand River and Seeley.


Member Mutch said the reason she asked was there has been statements made that the traffic that would be generated from this particular use could be seen as an adverse addition or complication of existing traffic problems, but it seems to her that if they have this type of facility at all in their community, given what he just told her, it would have to be a Special Land Use and it was only because it was a Special Land Use that they were particularly looking at that.


Mr. Rogers said only in an I-1 District, but if they went into a B-3, RC, Town Center, they wouldn't need Special Land Use and it was only when they go into an Industrial District does that trigger the Special Land Use.


Member Mutch said so this type of facility could be somewhere else not just Industrial and Mr. Rogers said yes.


Member Mutch said she had some concern about the parking and the traffic that would be generated by a facility of this size, but she did think as Chairman Clark pointed out, this was preferable to things that have been proposed before and something that has been proposed only in a speculative way that hasn't gotten as far as the Commission or even the Planning Department.


Member Mutch said she lived in that neighborhood and passed through that intersection at least twice a day in peak traffic times, and she certainly would be the first to call for enforcement if she had any thought that there was an excess of 600 that was contributing to the problem.


Member Mutch felt this was a self-regulating situation and she would admit to having some concern if down the road for some reason they became so successful that they decided this was too small and would move elsewhere or something else happened that it changed ownership. She said the Special Land Use, as she understood, would stay with the property and if someone else wanted to come in and do a banquet hall, they could do it but they may not and most likely would not have the same standards because these standards were not average but beyond average.


Member Mutch said while she had some concerns she felt in this kind of business as in any other business, the customer's service was what leads to success. She felt the situation that was described on "restaurant row" when people see that kind of situation, often enough whether they were intending to go to the restaurant or not, would avoid those restaurants. She felt those restaurants would have to deal with the problems generated by their own success in regard to parking or they wouldn't continue to enjoy that level of success.


Member Mutch felt there was some self-regulation in the market and the free enterprise system would take care of it. She would support and welcome it as it was certainly an improvement over what was there now which was vacant land which was not very attractive and not very well maintained and preferable to some other uses that have been suggested.


Member Bonaventura said regarding Member Mutch's comment about avoiding restaurants with full parking lots, what usually happens was they pull in and look for a place because full parking lots at restaurants mean good food usually and a person will avoid restaurants with empty parking lots. He felt that was a good rule of thumb.


Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers or Mr. Arroyo would this generate local traffic or just where would this traffic be coming from and did anyone have any idea what type.


Mr. Arroyo replied in his opinion, the restaurant component of this could have a local traffic flair to it, however, he felt the banquet facility itself would likely have more of a regional attraction because typically the types of functions that would be there, whether they be weddings or get-togethers of a large professional group, the chances are they were going to draw people from a much larger area.


Mr. Arroyo said so depending upon which use within this building they were looking at, it was going to have a different draw, but he felt if they were comparing it to a typical restaurant, he felt this would have a much larger draw in terms of geographical area than a restaurant along Crescent Blvd. would draw.


Member Bonaventura wanted to stress that according to the Ordinance, it was the Planning Commission's discretion, which he was sure they would use their discretion that night, to compare the underlying use with the proposed Special Land Use as far as the effects on the traffic volumes and as far as the numbers that the Traffic Consultant has told them, and he felt those figures speak for themselves.


Member Weddington said regarding the doubling of the traffic volume, essentially what impact would that have on the Level of Service of the intersections in this area, particularly Grand River and Meadowbrook.


Mr. Arroyo said this proposed use was not required to do a full blown traffic study where they actually look at the Level of Service and provide a comparison. He said when looking at this use and comparing it to other uses, whether they be commercial or industrial or office, one thing from a traffic prospective was even though it was going to generate more traffic, a lot of this traffic was likely to occur off-peak times. He said when they have weddings and banquets, generally they would occur later in the evening after the PM peak hour when people were going home from work or some might occur at lunchtime.


Mr. Arroyo said a lot of them would occur on the weekends when certainly they don't have the peak hour traffic that they have on a typical afternoon or evening, so he felt there was some different trip generation characteristics about this use that have some advantages, but he couldn't tell them the exact impact this was going to have on the Level of Service at that intersection because that type of information was not required to be provided.


Member Weddington asked what this intersection was operating at, at this time. Mr. Arroyo said they haven't had a recent evaluation of that intersection. He said the Thoroughfare Plan has some Level of Service evaluations for the links, meaning the road segments, but it doesn't specifically look at the intersection.


Mr. Arroyo said as of 1991 the information indicated that Grand River Avenue between Meadowbrook and Novi had a Level of Service B and Level of Service C during the PM peak hour, depending upon whether or not you were looking at the westbound or eastbound movement.


Mr. Arroyo said Meadowbrook Road between Grand River and 12 Mile which would be adjacent to this site, was operating at Level of Service B during the PM peak hour, so at least as of the last time this was evaluated on a more generalized basis in 1991, the Level of Service was acceptable in this general area.


Member Weddington asked about Grand River between Haggerty and Meadowbrook and Mr. Arroyo said that ranges from Level of Service B to Level of Service C.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Rogers about the pre-function areas and that the number of people who were in that pre-function area in the banquet part of this facility, were indeed the same people who would be in the banquet hall itself seated or standing for whatever the function was.


Mr. Rogers said that was what the applicant was telling them. He said on the original plan in December that was submitted, he had Mr. Kessler of the Building Department do a capacity analysis dated December 21st, and he had noted that there seemed to be some indication of petitioning both in the banquet hall and in the pre-function area to reduce it down to a small party.


Mr. Rogers said if they had a 600 seat capacity banquet, they wouldn't use the petition and they would have one big event. He said if they divided up the pre-function, they could have a small party such as a christening party in one of those rooms and that was why he included the pre-function area. He said the applicant has stated though that they would never be petitioning off the area.


Mr. Rogers said the way they say they were going to operate, they have to believe their sincerity but there could be another operator down the road, he didn't know, and it seems to him that if you add the two rooms together, the banquet room now was going to be 10,400 sq. ft. and the pre-function of 4,200 sq. ft., that was about 15,000 sq. ft. and that was a lot of space.


Mr. Rogers said the Petitioner has stated that no more than 600 people were ever going to use that 15,000 sq. ft., but if they divide it into three rooms, they might get more than 600, and that was his fear and that was why he called out in both reports the need to consider this segmenting of the overall floor space but they say they were not going to do that.


Member Mutch said she understood his concern. She said the reason she asked this was because she could see a difference between a facility that was designed as they tell them this one was designed to function where the pre-function area was a waiting area and there was the same people moving from this part of the building to another part of the building. She said she could see a difference between that situation and a restaurant for example, where they have people who were waiting to replace people who were seated and there was a perpetual turn-over. She said they actually would have more people in the room or in the building.


Member Mutch felt there were some things they could do to legally bind Petitioners to what they say and to their site plans and representations made before them. She said then they have certain ordinances that come into play once a business was operational and they have enforcement capability there to the degree that the citizens were willing to fund and demand that enforcement.


Member Mutch felt at some point they have to take people at their word or at what they have presented to them and they reach a point where they have to accept what people have told them and whether it makes sense and fits together and looks like it would work and fits the Ordinance. She said in this particular case, she would tend to believe what the Petitioner has presented here and therefore in the discretionary areas, give him the benefit of the doubt and she could see in other projects, where she might not be quite so convinced, and in the discretionary area, would lean exactly the opposite.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers, taking the worse case scenario of 600 patrons in the banquet hall, the restaurant being full, and there being 41 additional wait people to handle the 600 patrons, would 200 spaces be enough to do the job and Mr. Rogers replied no.


Member Capello called the question.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Hoadley (No), Hodges (No), Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (Yes), Taub (Yes), Weddington (No), Bonaventura (No), Capello (Yes), Clark (Yes)


(5) Yeas (4) Nays - Hoadley, Hodges, Weddington & Bonaventura






3. Glenda's Market, SP94-29B - Property located south of Grand River Avenue, westerly of Meadowbrook Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mr. Chris Cagle, representing Glenda's Market of 40799 Grand River was present. He said at the last meeting, they were tabled and asked to meet with Mr. Rogers and some of the other officials in the City.


Mr. Cagle indicated they had that meeting and he believed they addressed the concerns at that time and also on the site plan that was submitted at that time. He said they have submitted another site plan which shows a bit more of the areas to be removed considering the building out front which they now operate out of, and also the outside storage that would be temporary on the premises.


Mr. Cagle said as far as the building itself, that would remain the same and he didn't think there was any issue on that. He then said he would be happy to answer any questions.





Mr. Rogers said this was the third time they have reviewed plans from the applicant and their engineers. He indicated his latest letter was dated December 27, 1994. He said they have made some improvements in the plan and they have provided for a reservation for a marginal access drive sometime in the future that he and Mr. Arroyo have looked at, which conforms in principle with the Master Plan's recommendation.


Mr. Rogers said they have included the present market site and now indicate it to be removed and they show now seasonal outdoor storage in the back. He said the house in the middle of the parcel would remain. He said they also have indicated seasonal outdoor storage to the south of the four greenhouses which were proposed, which was an add-on to the plan.


Mr. Rogers added that area was presently used for plant material storage. He said they have shown a sidewalk, but he has called out a need for the sidewalk in front of the existing Glenda's Market site.


Mr. Rogers said in his letter he indicated that the legal description does not call out the total site, which was 5.4 acres and he had previously requested on two occasions, building facade drawings to determine height and materials, and this was a requirement in the Site Plan Manual, Item #15, and was still not in the plan.


Mr. Rogers said in an NCC District, no retail sales building may be over 10,000 sq. ft. and they could have a basement for storage by the principal tenant but it was 10,000 sq. ft. He said an office building like Williamsburg Plaza just down the road was not limited by the 10,000 sq. ft. nor would a restaurant.


Mr. Rogers said the submittal continues to show the building and the attached greenhouse structures to be 21,200 sq. ft., and he continues to feel that was in violation of the NCC Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers said regarding the outdoor storage in an NCC District, a person was not allowed to have outside storage, but this has been grandfathered in over time and where they show seasonal outdoor storage, they now use it for seasonal outdoor storage and for that matter, west of this overall project plan. He said going west up Grand River, they would note even outside of the new boundaries of this project, they were using that for a gravel and dirt planting area and they have piles of mulch and sand.


Mr. Rogers indicated the building itself meets NCC setback requirements. He said along Grand River a five foot concrete sidewalk was needed and also up on the new parcel they have added on the west edge, that sidewalk should be continued over.


Mr. Rogers said they provide adequate parking, a total of 141 spaces including 5 handicapped were needed and they provide 143 including 4 handicapped spaces. He said technically if they do provide for 143 spaces, he believed they need 5 handicapped spaces, but they do meet the parking requirements.


Mr. Rogers said the loading and unloading area was properly in the rear yard as was the screened dumpster.


Mr. Rogers said they would note on the site plan because it abuts residential to the south, they have shown a proposed 6 foot high berm, 3 on 1 slope, along the entire south edge and as they come up to the westerly corner of the property, they carry that around and there was a 3 foot high berm, 3 on 1 slope which was not required because it was adjacent to other NCC property. He said they did that to help screen off the outdoor storage were this property to the west be developed.


Mr. Rogers said he did not recommend Preliminary site plan approval because of (1) missing application data; (2) expansion of a non-conforming use in an NCC District. He said they would tear down the old building perhaps losing the non-conforming status of that building and then build a new building in an NCC District. He said he was also given the impression by the applicant that a written consent by the homeowners of the Leslie Park Subdivision for the use of Lot 1 for commercial purposes would be forthcoming but he has not seen the letter as yet.


Mr. Rogers said (3) the proposed new building exceeds the Ordinance requirement of 10,000 sq. ft. in floor space; and (4) they need to extend the sidewalk to west portion of site.


Mr. Rogers said the ZBA has requested this to be reviewed and brought back to the ZBA, and he felt there was also some court action on this issue.


Mr. Bluhm said his office had two primary concerns with this plan at the last Planning Commission meeting. He said the first was regarding storm sewer drainage detention and the ultimate outlet for the detained water. He said he had hoped that the developer, through a series of meetings, could show him on the plan an outlet for their storm drainage after detention on site and they were proposing on-site detention.


Mr. Bluhm said they have indicated in the utility notes some general locations and routes that could be used, all of which were acceptable if the easements could be secured, and that was one of the reasons he wanted them shown on the plans so they could get some indication as to whether they were feasible. He said the applicant could always consider on-site retention which was different from on-site detention in that there was no outlet required, although they do have to detain their waters for two back-to-back 100 year storms, so the volume of detention was significantly increased.


Mr. Bluhm said it does appear that there was enough room to do that with shallow ponding on the site.


Mr. Bluhm said the other issue was with respect to sanitary sewer, and they have indicated they would be running public sewer in their notes again from off-site locations. He said although they were not showing them on the plan, he had again hoped they would do that, but they were not shown.


Mr. Bluhm said again those were feasible alternatives and they could certainly explore those at the Final site plan level as far as how they would come in with it. He said his engineer has indicated that also septic field was a possibility too, so this was not out of the realms of engineering possibility or feasibility.

He said it would need more work at the Final site plan level and they would need to see that at that level.


Mr. Bluhm said beyond that, it still maintains engineering feasibility and he recommended approval.


Mr. Arroyo indicated he has also reviewed this latest submittal and in his previous review, he had expressed some concern about the location of the driveway on Grand River and preferred that there be some additional separation from Joseph Drive and they have moved the driveway to provide additional separation and they now find that the location was workable.


Mr. Arroyo said regarding the marginal access road as Mr. Rogers has indicated, they have provided for a 30 foot wide easement and the only thing that makes this a bit different was that it doesn't directly abut the right-of-way for Grand River which was typically the case. He said they have it off-set somewhat but in some respects having it off-set from Grand River could actually be preferable because they get additional separation.


Mr. Arroyo felt it was workable so that when it gets extended at some time to the east, he felt there would be enough flexibility to make sure that they line up and then possibly they might have to shift a bit as it goes to the east closer to Grand River.


Mr. Arroyo said it seems to be workable so they find that the general layout appears to be acceptable and they were recommending approval of the Preliminary site plan.


Chairman Clark said there was a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the Novi Fire Department, indicating that the plan has been reviewed and approval was recommended with the following condition: there should be no parking within 15 feet of the fire hydrant on the east side of the parking lot.





Member Hoadley said to Mr. Rogers they both discussed this on the phone today in regard to his concern about the additional square footage of the building and he asked him to consider separation as to whether that would fit under their Ordinances. He asked him what he found out about that.


Mr. Rogers said he did some research and he was assuming the greenhouse was a structure and being attached to the retail building, was part of the retail function of that building. He said in an NCC District, a retail service building sales and service must have at least two acres and 200 feet of frontage and it just so happens they have over 5 acres of land and over 400 feet of frontage on Grand River.


Mr. Rogers said so the possibility exists that if the greenhouses were set off to the west as a separate retail sales building with its own 2 acres and 200 feet of frontage and it was no closer to the retail sales building/the main building than 40 feet, it might work. He said in an NCC District, they would have to have 20 foot side yards. He said this would mean a redesign of the site plan, but it seems it might work if both stayed under 10,000 sq. ft. and the greenhouse areas were 11,640 sq. ft., so they would have to consider bringing them down to 10,000 sq. ft. but the main retail market was 9,560 sq. ft., and it has always been that.


Mr. Rogers said it was a last minute idea and he did convey that idea to Mr. Warren of Basney & Smith this afternoon for consideration by applicant and maybe they have considered that and prefer to have them side by side. He felt they may be saying that those greenhouses were not structures and they were temporary and he had no way of knowing that because no building plans facade plans were submitted.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers if they have a footer, would he consider it a permanent structure or a temporary structure and Mr.

Rogers said if they have footings and a foundation and were permanently anchored to the ground and have a roof, they were a structure.


Member Hoadley asked the Petitioner if he has considered separating those buildings so that he could comply and Mr. Cagle said this was the first he has heard about that and as Mr. Rogers stated, it was a last minute idea and it could be something that he would look into.


Mr. Cagle said he would want his customers to come and have a nice feel at their location so he guessed it was something they could consider and see how it works and they do have the frontage and whatever was best for the community and their customers was what they want to do.


Mr. Rogers asked Mr. Watson if that new idea took place, would there have to be two separate sidwells so they would have to have a lot split running down mid-point.


Mr. Watson said he didn't know if two separate sidwells would be the case or not. He felt it was a possibility, but to give him a definite answer, he would have to review the Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers said it would be under the same name of Glenda's Market, but he supposed there could be two Glenda's Market.


Member Hoadley asked would a covered walkway between the separated buildings be considered as a structure.


Mr. Rogers said if they attach structurally one building to another building, they were in his opinion attached, and Member Hoadley asked what if they don't attach them with a covered walkway, and Mr. Rogers said he didn't see a problem with a covered walkway. Member Hoadley said that would address Mr. Cagle's concern about flow.


Member Bonaventura asked how long has Glenda's Market been in Novi and Mr. Cagle said 15 years.


Member Bonaventura then asked Mr. Rogers regarding the NCC, could he tell them what could go there as opposed to this, and Mr. Rogers said it was an interesting district and it was an interesting district and it was adopted in June of 1985, which was modified and then adopted by Council. He said it permits office uses in an OS-1 District and it permits B-1 local business district uses and it permits certain B-2 uses like a restaurant or a fraternal organization. He said it permits multiple family RM-1 uses. He said it required a large parcel size with limited curb cuts, and no automobile oriented businesses such as car washes, bump shops, gas stations, etc. He said they want to keep it of a low impact on adjacent residential and not have a commercial strip running up Grand River from Haggerty Road to Novi Road.


Member Bonaventura said when they have a non-conforming use, what did they expect the landowner to do as far as did he expect them to sell the property so it would then be for another use. Mr. Rogers said a non-conforming use was just that and it was non-conforming with the City Master Plan and with the City Zoning Ordinance and very frankly this was an issue he felt the ZBA has to address and they may not approve the relocation or the expansion of a non-conforming use.


Mr. Rogers said for example, Mr. & Mrs. Cagle could stay where they were on a piece of property on the west end there and they were grandfathered in and were a legal non-conforming use. He said that could happen. He said when they tear this present market down, possibly they were losing their status, although they continue to have open storage that has been accepted over the years.


Mr. Rogers said but to go and put in a new building which was maybe twice or three times the size of the present market and related parking around it, that was both a relocation with an expansion of a non-conforming use that the applicant was going to have to address before the ZBA.


Member Bonaventura said the Commission has had some projects in front of them where they have the Petitioners do a song and dance about themes and concepts and he would like to propose to them that this was a concept as opposed to office use and this was an established business that was expanding in Novi. He said regarding the greenhouses and the question in order to fudge on the Ordinance - could they separate them, he didn't see any need for that and he would think the greenhouses should be attached.


Member Bonaventura said it would seem easier to heat one building than two separate buildings, especially when talking greenhouses.


Member Bonaventura said he liked this concept and the theme and he also liked the fact that it was a well-established Novi business that serves the residents, and not necessarily a regional center, but a center that local people can go to and buy their goods.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Watson about this non-conforming use issue and the expansion. Mr. Watson said assuming it was a non-conforming use, if they were going to expand it, he took it that the element that was non-conforming was the outdoor storage of plant materials, and it would be up to the ZBA to permit them to do that.


Chairman Clark asked Mr. Watson assuming the ZBA allowed the storage of the plant material and also assuming that the greenhouse portion of that facility was not used for retail sales and retail sales were confined to the portion of the building that was slightly under 10,000 sq. ft., could the Petitioner then avoid the problem that seems to be before them that night and has been before them at least on 1-2 occasions.


Mr. Watson replied he didn't think they could because first, it would still be a single building being used for retail sales even though that portion was not used, and as a practical matter, he wasn't sure that they would really, even though it was a greenhouse area, be able to not use it for retail sales.


Member Capello asked if the only portion of the use that was non-conforming was the outdoor storage, would the greenhouses fall within that also. Mr. Watson said the greenhouse was operating as a place where they sell nursery items, so he felt it was like any other retail business in a building and he didn't think that was precluded.


Member Capello said it appears that the two parcels, the parcel where the old house was and the existing outdoor storage of the existing business would be grandfathered in as long as the structure was not expanded and was that correct.


Mr. Watson said if any portion of what was non-conforming was expanded, then they were expanding the non-conformity.


Member Capello said if they brought in additional outdoor plant materials, and the business expands and they need more materials to function, was that expansion of a non-conforming use then so they were going to limit them as to what they could do in their business operations.


Mr. Watson said they were limiting them to a particular area where they were doing it.


Member Capello said he wasn't sure because he doesn't know where the property line was, but looking at the structures out there, it seems to him that they have some of their outdoor storage now across the property line where their new parking was going to go and was that true.


Mr. Cagle discussed this and referred to the plan. He referred to a parcel which was all seasonal storage right now and the other parcel which was not, and said they didn't have any outdoor storage and they have used that since Dr. Joseph was active and in Michigan and he leased it from Dr. Joseph for their business. He said the area across the road they haven't used in the last 6-8 years because it was for sale and has been sold, but the area abutting Joseph has been used by their family and the business since 1981.


Member Capello said to Mr. Watson now they were showing the seasonal outdoor storage in the back and if they were just using the same square footage that they use for storage and relocating just to the area of the property that they use, does that still fit in with the non-conforming use and Mr. Watson said he didn't think so, but he would research it in the Ordinance.


Member Lorenzo said she really appreciated the Petitioner's dilemma and hoped they could reach some type of resolution, but it appears that they were going to need to separate the two buildings if they were going to be able to consider this.


Member Lorenzo said she would be willing to make a motion for another postponement to get their act together in terms of submitting a site plan that would conform and if there was support, then obviously they could leave the outdoor storage portion to the ZBA for their ultimate wisdom on that decision, but she didn't see how she could support this portion of it and the portions of the buildings that exceed the limitations as there were just too many exceptions at this point that they were asking them to give.


Member Lorenzo said she would make a motion to postpone if it was agreeable to the Petitioner so that they could resubmit possibly a site plan according to Mr. Rogers' suggestion of separating and possibly reducing one or both of the buildings somewhat to conform to the requirements.


Mr. Watson said he would think before the Petitioner prepares another site plan, preliminary to that, he should sit down with Mr. Rogers and his architects and discuss whether that was even feasible or permissible to do it that way because he felt that was still an open question and then the Petitioner could come back to the Commission.


Mr. Rogers asked Mr. Watson if they were just building a small flower shop at the corner of Joseph Drive and Grand River of under 10,000 sq. ft., would that be permitted in NCC and Mr. Watson said yes.


Mr. Rogers said but he thought when that small building depends upon storage of growing plant materials such as mulch and sand, etc., both in the greenhouse and on the lot all over, then that was part and parcel of the use and it assumes a non-conforming status.


Mr. Rogers continued that they were tearing down and when a person tears down a non-conforming building and broom-sweeps the site, he felt that was it and they have lost their status. He said then they want to build a new non-conforming building because it was associated with the open storage and he didn't think that was the way he would interpret it as being permitted without getting a ZBA variance.


Member Capello said he saw two problems with that and he felt what Mr. Rogers stated was correct except they were leaving existing buildings which they were originally operating out of and the City's requiring them to take down the building that they were taking down, so their initial non-conforming use structure was still there and some of the buildings they were still operating out of would still be there, so they were only taking down a structure out of their current structures and that was because the City was requiring them to do that, as he understood it.


Mr. Rogers felt the building was suspect because it may not have obtained all the proper permits and it was built without site plan review or building inspection and this was a matter of knowledge and he didn't think it was so much the City, as it was possibly the Court and the ZBA, were concerned that they want to bring it up to speed.


Mr. Rogers said he would like to get rid of the old market and it may even encroach into the right-of-way and there were no curb cuts and no paved parking, and it needs to be upgraded and they agree to that and they have come in with a very elaborate plan here, and he just wanted them to go through the proper process.


Member Capello asked what was the property Master Planned and Mr. Rogers said Non Center Commercial he believed which runs all the way down to Pheasant Run and it includes that type of Commercial even the B-3 property, but it was proposed for Commercial.


Member Capello asked if there were any special land use provisions in NCC and Mr. Rogers said it would be of a very low density, low profile of retail, office or multiple family district.


Mr. Watson then said the question asked earlier was whether the Petitioner could move the non-conforming outdoor storage to another area of the property, keeping the same area and the answer would be no. He said the provisions dealing with a non-conforming use was in the Ordinance and it precludes that in particular and that would be the section dealing with non-conforming uses of land and the Ordinance stated, "No such non-conforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any other location of the lot or parcel occupied by such use." He said so they couldn't shift it, even though it was the same area. He said they couldn't shift it around on the property.


Member Capello said if the Petitioner keeps his outdoor storage just where it was now and doesn't expand it and keeps it there and reconfigures his site plan to build a new building not getting into the issue of the size of the building but build a new building on the property to entail the retail sales, could he do that.


Mr. Watson said if he works around the existing outdoor storage, he supposed he could, assuming one thing, and that would be an issue that they really haven't discussed as yet and that was when they talk about a non-conforming use, the key to that phrase was that it has to be a lawful non-conforming use, and that was presuming that the area was established at a time when it was permissible under the Ordinance and not expanded after the Ordinance changed subsequent to.


Member Capello thought the Ordinance for NCC changed in 1985 and Mr. Rogers said yes it came in June 15, 1985 and the basic Zoning Ordinance was adopted in August of 1984 and this was an amendment in June of 1985.


Member Capello asked what about if the Petitioner has been there for 15 years, and Mr. Watson said assuming he was there for 15 years exactly the way it was, then yes he was okay.


Mr. Rogers said he believed the zoning before the NCC was strip B-3 zoning for miles and miles on Grand River and then City Council felt that it was a poor entry into the City and that was when the NCC and other district zoning took place, but it was all B-3 and if it were all B-3 yes, they could certainly do what they were doing, the open storage and greenhouse.


Member Bonaventura said he would make a motion and it was stated there was a motion to postpone already.


Member Lorenzo said she made a motion that the Petitioner and Mr. Rogers get together and see if they could separate the buildings and Member Hoadley indicated he had supported the motion.


Discussion continued and Member Mutch asked the Petitioner about one of the points that was made and she believed it was also noted in Mr. Rogers' letter that there was an understanding that the Petitioner would be providing a letter or some documentation from the nearby subdivision, Leslie Park, and that the residents would comment on the continued use and she asked why hasn't he provided that documentation.


Mr. Cagle said prior to him buying the property, he went to the President of the Association of the Leslie Park Subdivision, and had a meeting with the President and the listing realtor and told them their intentions and they were very pleased that they were going to buy the property and several other projects have come and gone for different reasons and they were happy for him to purchase the property.


Mr. Cagle said he met with a gentleman named John on January 5th and again on June 30th and presented him with a site plan and a letter spelling out exactly what they went over and gave him a plan to keep to present to his Association and to come back to him with any comments or remarks or suggestions. He said when he met with him on January 5th, he told John that since there was no input, he assumed that was because there was no one at the meetings.


Mr. Cagle said but in case they may have missed each other in correspondence, he spoke to John again and informed him of the meeting on the 18th and told him that if he did have time and could get a meeting together, he would like a letter, but he was assuming that they haven't had time to get an Association meeting together since he didn't receive the letter, but he felt if there was a drastic problem, the residents would be there.


Mr. Cagle said when he tried to get the property in the back, which was residentially approved for a subdivision, the community was out in force and gave their comments because there was a problem and they didn't want it.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Rogers did he request the letter because he has reason to think that there were subdivision restrictions on this property or did the Petitioner just offer that to support his petition.


Mr. Rogers said he has seen the restrictions and it appears that they were extended and were valid, but he didn't have a legal opinion on that.


Mr. Watson asked Mr. Rogers if he was suggesting that that be a condition of the Planning Commission's approval, and Mr. Rogers said no he didn't think they should get into private covenant enforcement, and Mr. Watson asked was there a reason why he put it in his letter then, and Mr. Rogers replied only because the Petitioner had mentioned it to him and also the Staff had sent to each homeowner a copy of those restrictions for their information several months ago and in the restrictions, which was a private arrangement, it limits the use of the lots on the corner to multiple family and it was not a condition that they could put on the plan.


Member Mutch said she had a concern that if the Petitioner was saying there was enough support and was offering documentation, she was curious as to why that wasn't there and now after his explanation, she wondered if it was required of him and that it was a requirement that wasn't met.


Member Mutch said to Mr. Rogers was he saying the Planning Department sent copies of the subdivision restrictions to the subdivision property owners to inform them of what they presumedly would already know and Mr. Rogers said yes and Mr. Wahl may want to comment on that issue. He said there has been a cover letter prepared and he wasn't certain who wrote it and it had been just for their information and that was done 2-3 months ago.


Member Mutch said she was speechless on that matter and she was surprised that would happen.


Member Mutch said if the residents in the area feel that they were protected in a sense by subdivision restrictions on that property, then she could understand that they might not come out even if they were opposed to it because they have received some sort of an official communication that would seem to point out to them if they didn't already know, that the property was restricted. She said so they might sit home thinking even if they were opposed to it, they didn't need to respond, so that confuses her in terms of do they interpret people not showing up or not responding as tacit approval or at least non-objection.


Member Mutch said it would be nice to have some resident comment because there was an earlier project where they had a non-conforming use and the residents were saying they welcome this particular change and that was in regard to the Veterinary Clinic, so it would be nice to have some resident input if there were strong feelings to support their position or to explain their opposition.


Member Mutch said it was a mind-boggling situation for her that they were taking it upon themselves to inform the residents of that.


Mr. Wahl stated he recalled conversation regarding that particular issue, but he was not at all sure if there was any communication or under what circumstances it may or did take place, and at this point, he wouldn't assume that it did happen until they have checked on the matter and he would be happy to do that.


Mr. Wahl said he recalled the issue, but he didn't think they should assume that they did the communication exactly as Mr. Rogers just described it and he would check on it further.


Member Mutch said she had one additional comment, which was she also considered Glenda's to be almost a neighbor of hers and she was in the general area of Meadowbrook and Grand River and they were just down the road and as recently as Christmas, she bought her Christmas Tree there again and also goes there in the spring and fall so this was a business she patronizes.


Member Mutch said as Member Bonaventura indicated, this was a business that has been established and was in the community, however, sometimes businesses, as she pointed out to Mr. Prentis who was there with Nantucket Cove, outgrow their site or their facility, and they need to move on, and the City may not always want to see them move but they want to see them be successful.


Member Mutch felt if the Petitioner could make their plans work on this site, that would be great because they were in an established location and their customers know where to find them, but at the same time, she felt there were limits as to what people could do with particular sites and the Commission saw that earlier that evening too and they were pretty much borderline on two projects, so she hoped they could work this out and hoped that the Planning Department and the Consultants were giving the Petitioner direction and explaining what they should do before they go through the time and expense of resubmitting.


Member Hodges said to Mr. Rogers that he had stated that the Ordinance was adopted in 1984 and amended in 1985 and she asked has building occurred on this site without the benefit of the necessary permits and site plan review and approval since that time.


Mr. Rogers indicated there was some enlargement of the existing market building and there was documentation on that and that was what led them to the ZBA. He said he wasn't sure if the outside storage has ever been expanded beyond what they use today. He said at one time where the new building was proposed, as he recalled, they did have some balled and burlap trees on that parcel over to Joseph Drive and that was brought to the attention of Glenda's and they were moved off of that lot, and today it was clear.


Mr. Rogers said there has never been, until now, in the last six months, a site plan submitted that could be reviewed and this has been done by a different engineer than they had used before.


Member Hodges said it has been her understanding under a non-conforming use regardless of the fact that the use was standing before the current Ordinance adoption, changes still have to go through the current day procedures, and Mr. Rogers said repairs and maintenance probably don't, but any expansion or structural change, it was his understanding they would have to go to the ZBA.


Member Hodges said just because it was a non-conforming use, does not exempt them from having to go through site plan approval and Mr. Rogers said no, and whether they were non-conforming or not, when they increase the footprint or change the structural characteristic, even expanding the parking lot, they have to go through site plan review.


Member Hoadley asked when they have a site plan review like this, were the adjacent landholders apprised of it, and Mr. Rogers said not in this case as there was no need for a special land use hearing and it was not a rezoning and Member Hoadley said that might address then Member Mutch's concern as to why people didn't know about it.


Member Mutch said except that the comment originally was made that they had been sent information about it and that was what led to that line of discussion.


Member Hoadley said he supported the postponement of this because he felt this would be a big improvement over what they have and he felt with proper berming and plantings and things like that, it would definitely be an improvement to the site. He said he was not opposed to the expansion of the building, but he suspected that it would have rough sledding with the ZBA and that was why he talked with Mr. Rogers that morning about the possibility of separating the buildings, so at least they could get by that legally so they could be in compliance since they do have enough acreage to support close to the total square feet and they would have to reduce the size somewhat.


Member Hoadley said from listening to the Petitioner that night, he was willing to consider that and that was why he seconded Member Lorenzo's motion to postpone this to give them an opportunity and he still felt that was the way they should go and that they should support that motion and give those folks a chance because he did think what they were trying to present here was going to be a benefit to the community over what they currently have.


Mr. Wahl said obviously they sit down with any applicant and answer questions and steer people through the approval process and direct them as to what the Ordinances require. He said they were working with something that in essence doesn't fit the Ordinances, and they want to be very careful as to how far they end up advising an applicant to do something that wasn't permitted as it may cause problems with other decision making bodies.


Mr. Wahl said the question he would like to add was they were looking at this existing activity of a small building not meeting any of the site plan requirements as it sits out there. He said he wasn't sure what the exact square footage was and he assumed it was around 3,000 sq. ft. or thereabouts and then there was the outdoor storage of various types of plant materials.


Mr. Wahl said then they get a site plan of two enclosed structures of 21,000 sq. ft. He said they were not looking at facilitating the continued operation of the existing business in conformance with various site plan requirements and relocating it and making the site work the way it should, but they were looking at a business that essentially may be expanding its indoor operations as much as 7 times.


Mr. Wahl said to him that was a rather dramatic change in a planning process where they were trying to not only accommodate the use and the business which was there, but trying to meet the difficult Ordinance requirements and somehow a 7 times expansion of a building footprint seems to him to be a rather dramatic difference of what was there today given the Ordinance restrictions.


Mr. Wahl said so in formulating their decision and recommendations, he would just like to be clear as to what their role was in trying to make that workable, and that they were doing not only what the Commission would like them to do, but also doing what was within a certain reasonableness of Ordinances and not trying to do something that just doesn't come close to the Ordinance requirements.


Member Capello said he wanted to be sure he understood the answers to his earlier questions. He said he had asked if the Petitioner built this new building and put it on the site, regardless of anything else that was going on, would it be in compliance if it was under 10,000 sq. ft. and he thought his answer had been yes.


Member Capello then said his next question was if they kept the outdoor storage at the same square footage they were using, would that fit within the non-conforming use, the same square footage and same location and Mr. Watson had said yes, provided that they had not expanded that use since it became a non-conforming use.


Member Capello said if he remembered right, one of the original plans that they had did not show the outdoor storage, and maybe by asking them to put the outdoor storage on the plans, they were getting themselves into a problem because they want to try to approve a site plan and make a decision on a non-conforming use and maybe they can't do that.


Member Capello said possibly if they approve the site plan showing the outdoor storage, some other body was going to come along and say they were in violation of the Ordinance and charge them with an Ordinance violation and the Petitioner was justifiably going to come back and say the Planning Commission approved it and they were going to say the Planning Commission has no authority to determine whether or not they were functioning with a non-conforming use.


Member Capello said possibly when they come back, they should just show the Commission the structure and show the structure to be within the 10,000 sq. ft. and take off the seasonal outdoor storage so they don't have to make the determination whether that was approved or not and let some other body determine that.


Mr. Watson said no they shouldn't do that because if the activity was going to go on, it should be on the site plan. Member Capello asked how do they make the determination or approve it to be a non-conforming use.


Mr. Watson replied that in order for it to be a lawful non-conforming use, it had to have been lawfully permitted under a previous Zoning Ordinance or zoning classification, and then made non-conforming by a change in the zoning. He said in order to determine that, the Commission could get a report as to the historic background from the Consultants or Administration, and maybe that has already been done. He said in other words, there would be an investigation to determine whether that was the case or not and if it was, as best that they could determine that, just like they would determine anything else of a factual nature that they were asking them to report, the Commission would receive information on that.


Member Capello said because the materials they were approving were not a structure and not part of the plan and it was just the location of seasonal outdoor storage and Mr. Watson said it was still a use of the property and the site plan was going to govern what the use of the property was. He said if they take it off there and it was not a part of the Commission's approval, then it should not be going on out there, once the site was developed in accordance with the plan. He said if it was going to go on, it should be a part of this process.


Mr. Watson further stated if on top of what the Commission does, they additionally need a variance for that and possibly a variance for some other things, then they would have to go through that process too.


Member Capello said so would the Commission have to make their approval subject to the ZBA decision that it was a non-conforming use that could continue and Mr. Watson said no, he felt they would make a determination as to whether it was a lawful non-conforming use to begin with, and if it was an expansion or a moving of that, then it would be subject to a ZBA variance to allow that.


Member Capello said Mr. Watson had indicated that the Petitioner come back with factual information that plans have been in this location for this period of time and be able to establish that and Mr. Watson said they may have already explored that issue before and if there was any question about it, that should be a part of the consideration.


Member Hodges stated she had made the comment the last time the Petitioner was before them that in observing the ZBA meeting that the Petitioner attended last, they granted them the right to come before the Planning Commission with the intent that they just be allowed to exercise their right to come to the Planning Commission. She said they were given an extension in March to allow them a timely way to do that and it was not to have it go back and forth and back and forth. She asked how many times would the Commission send them back to the ZBA when the ZBA has said this was basically it and that the ZBA was allowing them their right, but it was not so that they could just continue to bat this back and forth.


Member Hodges said someone would have to take responsibility for the situation and they were going to have to do it soon because these people only have through March before they were going to have to be before the ZBA and they made it very clear and she did not believe with the attitude of having to review again with Mr. Rogers and prepare for the ZBA in March, that they have enough time to do that in all fairness, so then were they going to be looking at another situation where they were going to be granting them yet another extension because they haven't allowed them the time to do that.


Member Hodges said then on the other hand, they have allowed them ample time to do that, from the last time they postponed to this time and they have had more than enough time and there has to be some responsibility taken by some body.


Member Hodges then called the question.



Chairman Clark said there was a motion on the floor which was to postpone it and he asked if there was a date and Member Lorenzo said she didn't think they would have enough time for the next meeting so the date of February 15, 1995 was decided upon.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Hodges (No), Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (No), Taub (No), Weddington (Yes), Bonaventura (No), Capello (Yes), Clark (Yes), Hoadley (Yes)


(5) Yeas (4) Nays






Chairman Clark said this matter was adjourned to February 15, 1995.


Mr. Cagle said just so he understood what he has to do, he was to meet with Mr. Rogers one more time and try to separate the greenhouses from the structure and Chairman Clark said Mr. Rogers has made some suggestions and he would suggest that Mr. Cagle and his architects sit down with Mr. Rogers and pursue those as to a possible solution of this because the Commission could only go so far as Mr. Wahl has pointed out and also the Commissioners, and they couldn't give him advice specifically as to what to do or not to do that may put him in compliance with the Ordinance because he has a non-conforming use that he wants to expand.


Mr. Rogers commented whether they split it or not, they were still expanding and relocating a non-conforming use and he would want to speak with Mr. Watson further on this issue as to whether this could be legitimately done under the same ownership and to have two side-by-side retail.


Chairman Clark suggested whatever they do, that they do it as quickly as they could.


Chairman Clark then said it was now 11:30 PM and a motion was needed to extend the meeting if the Commission wishes to do so.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub



To extend the Planning Commission meeting only to discuss Item #4, Schedule Executive Session and then to adjourn the remaining items under Matters for Discussion, which were the Habitat Study Presentation and Proposed FY 95-96 Planning Commission Work Program & Budget, to another meeting.





Chairman Clark said that Mr. Wahl has brought to his attention that there was a meeting of the Environmental Planning Committee which would be Monday and he has indicated that he felt they need one more Planning Commissioner on that Committee or possibly two, so the Commission should deal with that item as well.


Member Lorenzo said Ms. Lemke was present and has been patiently waiting and she has a brief presentation on the Habitat Study and she would ask that the Commission as a courtesy have Ms. Lemke present the Habitat Study and Ms. Lemke said it wouldn't take anytime at all.


It was then,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Capello



To extend the Planning Commission meeting 15 minutes to discuss the Habitat Study and the Environmental Planning Committee.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously



4. Schedule Executive Session - Proposal to hold an Executive Session on February 1, 1995 at 7:00 PM to discuss pending litigation.


Chairman Clark said Member Hoadley has indicated that he would be out of town on February 1st and would like the opportunity to be present at that session so he has respectfully requested that the Executive Session be scheduled for 7:00 PM at their Regular Meeting on February 15, 1995.


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Taub



To hold an Executive Session on February 15, 1995 at 7:00 PM to discuss pending litigation.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (Yes), Taub (Yes), Weddington (Yes), Bonaventura (Yes), Capello (Yes), Clark (Yes), Hoadley (Yes), Hodges (Yes)









1. Habitat Study Presentation - Presentation by Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect.


Ms. Lemke said the Commissioners received in their packet a green booklet, which was the printed copy of the Habitat Study and it was very similar to the one they saw the last time but just in finalized form.


Ms. Lemke said for those who have been through the two presentations, they would understand what the Habitat Study was and for those who haven't been, she just wanted to summarize it briefly. She indicated that it was a complex document that includes a series of surveys that were done by Wildlife Management Services through Kevin Clark throughout the City. She said the methodology was described in the booklet and the results of that survey was in the appendices which was in the Planning Department. She stated the Study was divided into the research area, discussion of fragmentation and mapping the critical areas.


Ms. Lemke indicated there were two core reserve areas in the City which all of them were aware of by now, one being up by the Walled Lake area and one down in the southwestern portion of the site.


Ms. Lemke said there were recommendations in here for wildlife management, recommendations for incorporating a review of critical habitat areas in the City and then there were steps to make sure that habitat was continued throughout the City of Novi if they were going to continue to have wildlife populations and that was very brief. She would ask that they again read through it, and there was an Executive Summary in the beginning so they wouldn't have to read every word of this document. She then said she would be happy to answer anyone's questions.


Member Capello said in the future, if Ms. Lemke would only take a short time to discuss this, she should let the Commission know and they could move her item up so she wouldn't have to wait.



2. Environmental Planning Committee. - Appoint Committee Member.


Chairman Clark said they need at least one more representative to the Environmental Planning Committee, which would be meeting Monday evening at 6:00 PM.


Chairman Clark asked Mr. Wahl who was on this Committee now and Mr. Wahl replied Members Lorenzo and Bonaventura. He said generally speaking, a committee of this statute, usually has 3 if not 4 members.


Member Bonaventura said he would nominate Member Jacque Hodges and Member Hoadley seconded the nomination but Member Hodges declined the nomination.


Member Weddington volunteered and Member Mutch said Member Weddington already has another committee to meet with but they haven't scheduled a meeting as yet and that was the Rules Committee. Chairman Clark said since she volunteered for the Monday meeting at 6:00, they know it wouldn't be then.



The Commission then appointed Member Weddington to serve on the Environmental Planning Committee. Chairman Clark said the meeting was on Monday at 6:00 PM.



3. Proposed FY 95-96 Planning Commission Work Program and Budget. - Discussion of the planning process and necessary Planning Commission actions regarding the Budget preparation process and possible future work sessions.


Chairman Clark said at their next meeting of February 1, 1995, they would discuss this item in more detail, but he did indicate they had just a few minutes this evening if Mr. Wahl would like to briefly discuss this item.


Mr. Wahl briefly stated they have been working on this in Committee and this was the Work Program and Budget and he gave the Commission what was pretty close to a final draft and it requires some editing but basically that was it. He indicated there was an initial Budget proposal that the Committee has been talking about of $227,000 for the next fiscal year.


Mr. Wahl indicated the current Budget by comparison, which they were operating under was $126,000, so what they would be doing at the Committee level was they were going to have a Special Meeting next Wednesday and they were going to prioritize the 9 planning studies that were included in that Budget and he thought the Planning Studies were $135,000 of the total, so the Consultants and the Staff and the Committee would review #1-9 and they did that last year so that they could provide that back to the Planning Commission.


Mr. Wahl said what he would request the Commissioners to do would be to review the entire Work Program during the next two weeks so that when they all come back on February 1st, they could deal with it hopefully in one meeting and they would have plenty of time to review the substance of it. He said the reason they need to do that was on January 30th, he has to submit to the Finance Department a Budget for not only his department but also the Planning Commission.


Mr. Wahl said what he would propose to do was submit this draft and that allows them to load it into the computer and have all the documentation to start with and that Budget then goes through several reviews and it goes through review by Administration, by the Manager and during that review process, the Planning Commission could make any changes, so they have the two February meetings to make any additions, corrections, deletions, so even though he was submitting this draft, it wasn't anything final or official, but it puts them on notice that they do have to conduct this review and have recommendations or decisions within the two meetings in February.


Mr. Wahl said he would only respectfully suggest that obviously this was one of their important responsibilities and they have had a lot of discussion about the Planning Commission doing planning and this was planning and this was the service provided by their Consultants to the Commission in the form of the retainers, as well as planning studies, which over the past ten years have been a major focus of the Commission's attention and presumedly would continue to be.


Mr. Wahl said he would hope that as they were able to spend an hour and a half on the Veterinary Clinic project this evening, that he would be able to have a similar amount of time for this very important responsibility and if they have any further thoughts as to how they could handle that, whether it be a Special Meeting, he was available and he mentioned that at the last meeting, and the Committee was going to have a longer meeting next Wednesday so whatever it takes to give it the proper attention, he was prepared to do that.


Chairman Clark said to Mr. Cohen when this was on the Agenda for the next meeting, would he please make that the number one item under Matters for Discussion.


Mr. Wahl said actually he would suggest that it be under Matters for Consideration since the Commission would make a decision or otherwise make a recommendation to the City Council and Chairman Clark said they would make it Item #1 under Matters for Consideration.





There being no further business before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 PM.






Steven Cohen

Planning Clerk


Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

January 30, 1995