WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475



The meeting was called to order at 7:55 P.M. by Chairman Clark.



ROLL CALL: MEMBERS Bonaventura (Present), Capello (Absent-Excused), Clark (Present), Hoadley (Absent-Excused), Hodges (Present), Lorenzo (Absent-Excused), Mutch (Absent-Excused), Taub (Present), Weddingtom (Present)


Present (5)

Absent-Excused (4) - Members Capello, Hoadley,

Lorenzo & Mutch


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

Steve Cohen - Planning Clerk





The Planning Commission pledged allegiance to the flag.





Chairman Clark indicated they would be having a short meeting that evening and it has been requested that Items No. 2 and No. 3 under Matters for Consideration be deferred until their next meeting of February 15, 1995.


It was,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Hodges



That Items No. 2 and 3, FY 94-95 Planning Commission Work Program and Budget and Proposed 95-96 Planning Commission Work Program and Budget, under Items for Consideration be postponed until the February 15, 1995 Planning Commission meeting and to approve the Agenda as amended.


(voice vote) Motion Carried





Mr. David Olson of Casco Corporation was present, representing Circuit City, the first item under Matters for Consideration. Chairman Clark indicated he would be able to speak at the time they discuss that item.





Member Taub indicated there was no correspondence.





1. Portsmouth West Apartments, SP94-07 - Property Located South of Pontiac Trail, Easterly of Beck Road for a Possible Four-Month Preliminary Site Plan Extension.


It was,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Bonaventura



To approve the Consent Agenda, Portsmouth West Apartments, SP94-07, Four Month Preliminary Site Plan Extension.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously






1. Ordinance No. 95-18 - An Ordinance to Amend Subsection 2407.3B of Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to amend the Requirements for Site Condominiums within the City of Novi for Possible Recommendation to City Council.


Mr. Pargoff was present and indicated the Condominium Ordinance before the Commission was a clarification of the newly adopted revisions to the Subdivision Ordinance, Section 4.03B. He indicated the City Council adopted the Subdivision Ordinance revisions on January 23, 1995 with language differing from the published Condominium Ordinance.


Mr. Pargoff said the adopted language has been provided and the previous proposal lined out. He said this office recommends that the language in the condominium revisions be adopted as it appears in the revisions to the Subdivision Ordinance.


Mr. Pargoff said the Council was not in favor of the words, "Performed By the Department of Public Service" and they preferred the wording, "Under the Direction Of," and this was part of the clarification of the Street Tree Planting Ordinance in which the City would be doing the contracting out of the planting on all public streets. He stated for site condominiums in particular, where the streets were going to be dedicated to the public use, they were going to do that planting.


Mr. Watson indicated as Mr. Pargoff has stated, the Council recently adopted a change to the Subdivision Ordinance dealing with some of the details of street trees and landscaping. He said one of the things that the Ordinance provided was that street trees in subdivisions, since the streets were all dedicated, would be done under the direction of the Department of Public Works.


Mr. Watson indicated in a site condominium, sometimes streets were dedicated to the public and sometimes they were kept private, and this amendment was simply to indicate that those same requirements for street trees and boulevard island plantings, would, of course, apply to site condominiums, even though they were not under the subdivision form of development.


Mr. Watson said the change again was one that Council made to the other Ordinance indicating that when the plantings were done by the City, they were under the direction of the subdivision rather than by the Department, meaning they may contract it out, as opposed to having the Department actually hiring people/employees, to do it.










It was,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Hodges



To send a positive recommendation to City Council to approve the Ordinance for street tree planting to amend Subsection 2407.3B of Ordinance No. 84-18 as amended.





Member Weddington said she viewed this as a minor change, and she was certainly in favor of the same standards applying to site condominiums and other building sites as to the subdivisions.


Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Pargoff to give him any examples of problems that they have had without this Ordinance change.


Mr. Pargoff said in particular, Riverbridge, which was west of Chase Farms and when it was determined that it was a site condo project, there was never any bonding collected for the street trees and consequently they have had to perform a very persuasive campaign to get the builders and developers to plant street trees in there and it has been quite an extensive situation. He indicated there were some sites that never did get street trees.


Member Bonaventura said that was classified as a site condo and Mr. Pargoff said yes and Member Bonaventura said now they would be able to hold bond on street trees for condos and Mr. Pargoff said yes.


Mr. Watson added one other item. He said when this does go to City Council, he would provide them with a clean draft that has that language change that was written in here.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Bonaventura (Yes), Clark (Yes), Hodges (Yes), Taub (Yes), Weddington (Yes)









1. Circuit City Stores, Inc., SP95-01 - Property Located North of I-96, Westerly of Novi Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mr. Dave Olson of Casco Corporation was present. He indicated they were Circuit City's national architectural firm and he does work for them across the nation. He said if someone wasn't familiar with Circuit City, they were a national retailer of consumer electronics and they were on the New York Stock Exchange and they operate approximately in excess of 300 superstores nation-wide, east to west coast.


Mr. Olson indicated the Detroit area was a new market for them and they intend to enter the market with a number of stores simultaneously and they were looking at sites in Pontiac, Taylor, and Tel-Twelve Mall. He said they were looking at every major retail area.


Mr. Olson indicated Novi was the first one that they were really getting steam on, and the space that they were looking at, which was the existing Kroger Store, became available and they wanted to pick it up quick.


Mr. Olson said before them was his proposed floor plan and building elevations and site plan. He stated he has brought a materials board that Mr. Rogers had requested which he passed around to everyone. He indicated he brought in color elevations also.


Mr. Olson said the material that Circuit City sells was a complete cross-section of consumer electronics such as TV's, stereos, video equipment, ranges, refrigerators, big screen TV's, etc.


Mr. Olson said they have received the review letters from the different departments and all of them recommend approval with the exception of the Fire Department who brought up a valid concern. He said with Circuit City's operation, their material leaves the store always from the Customer Pick-up area, which he pointed out.


Mr. Olson stated the elevation that they were looking at was prepared based on a possible solution to the Fire Department's concern and the plans the Commission has in front of them would show the Customer Pick-Up area on the right hand side and that was the way they have presented it so they could utilize the existing dock, etc.


Mr. Olson then explained what they were proposing to do to mitigate the Fire Department's concern. He said on the site plan that they have in front of them, they would see there was existing parking on the side of the building and what they would like to do was to utilize that existing parking area and flip the floor plan that they have and just merely mirror it and locate it on the right hand corner so they could utilize the existing customer pick-up parking.


Mr. Olson said the drawback to that was that the customer pick-up area always has to be on the warehouse side. He said the existing truck dock, which would then be the warehouse side, was on the right-hand side, so what they would have to do was actually demolish the existing dock facility and re-construct the dock on the other side.


Mr. Olson said that was not shown on the plans that they have in front of them, and what they have in front of them was utilizing the space substantially as is, and what he would request was that the Commission give preliminary approval with the condition that they address the Fire Department's concern and then obtain Final site plan approval at staff.


Mr. Olson then said he would be happy to answer questions.





Mr. Rogers reviewed his letter of January 10, 1995. He stated they were re-doing the front facade and building that pediment of about 38 feet high, with red enamel block. He indicated there was a new entry and vestibule. He indicated there was a reduction in actual footprint of the building by nearly a 1,000 sq. ft. and the building was part of a planned commercial shopping center and so when they review it for off-street parking under the current Ordinance they would find the numbers that he has indicated, which was a need for about 1522 parking spaces at the West Oaks Center. He said there was a lot of shared parking and actually the West Oaks Center has about 1185 parking spaces.


Mr. Rogers said that was built under the prior Ordinance, and were the building to have been expanded, it was his opinion then that would trigger a need for additional parking and if that could not be found in the vicinity, then a variance from the ZBA would be needed.


Mr. Rogers said they need to show handicapped spaces and ramps and of course ADA applies nationally. He said the City of Novi was still operating under the State Barrier Free rules but nearly every plan coming in was meeting ADA.


Mr. Rogers said loading and unloading was at the rear of the building and even if they flip the warehouse function, it would still be on the south side of the building. He said at the time of Final site plan submittal, some degree of landscaping either adjacent to the building or in islands or in the vicinity should be shown.


Mr. Rogers said while he did call out the building facades, and ask for clarification, which has been brought to them that night, that was another function at the time of Final Site Plan review, so he recommended Preliminary site plan approval subject to providing at the time of Final site plan submittal, information on handicapped parking and ramps, and further definition of materials by computing each exposed facade of building, the north, east and west by percentages in the Zoning Ordinance, which he was sure they have. He said they would accept the design board that night so they wouldn't have to resubmit that.


Mr. Rogers said then addressing the Fire Department's concern for fire lane, the three parking spaces he felt they may wish to discuss.


Mr. Bluhm indicated he has approved both Preliminary and Final, but in light of the new information, he would like to have the Final come back for his re-review if the Commission chooses.


Mr. Arroyo said he has also recommended approval based on the fact that no significant changes were proposed to the parking or circulation system, however, if they do end up moving the loading docks, obviously, he would have to take a look at that and make sure maneuvering was adequate in that area. He said he was recommending approval of the Preliminary.


Chairman Clark said there was also a letter from the City of Novi Fire Department, Daniel W. Roy, Captain, indicating that the original plan as submitted was not recommended for approval for the reason that the three customer pick-up parking spots could not be placed through the fire lane. He said there has been an indication by the Petitioner that night that alternatives were being explored that would comply with the concerns of the Fire Department and they would be addressed on the Final plan to be submitted in this matter.





Member Weddington asked a question of the Petitioner as to whether there would be any installation of car stereo's or cellular phones at this location, and Mr. Olson said yes they do have the area in the rear of the store where three overhead doors were located for allowing vehicles to enter the building and install merchandise that they sell at the store. He stated they do not install merchandise from any other vendor and they only install equipment that they sell on their floor.


Member Weddington said she would then ask their Consultants if that presents any other issues by virtue of the fact that the vehicles would be brought into this site.


Mr. Rogers said they could have inside parking and Lanny's Catering for example on Meadowbrook Road north of Grand River does that. He said this was an accessory use, probably no different than Sears Auto Center at 12 Oaks Mall, and it was a small percentage of the 32,000 sq. ft. building and there would be no installation allowed or was it desired of a security system or a cellular phone outside of the property and it would all be done inside.


Mr. Rogers said in his opinion, it was an accessory use, a permitted use and the primary use of the building was retail sales and service business and it certainly wasn't an automobile service establishment as defined.


Member Weddington then asked what was a thump room and what were white goods. She said she noted them on the plans. Mr. Olson explained the white goods would be refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, microwaves, etc., and the thump room specifically was the area that they demonstrate the car stereos in, which he believed they would see on their plan was adjacent to the car stereo installation area.


Member Bonaventura asked about the sample board they passed around and he noticed two shades of red and was that correct. Mr. Olson said yes but they were suppose to match.


Member Bonaventura asked if they would match on the building and Mr. Olson said absolutely and Member Bonaventura asked if they would be more the earthtone color red and Mr. Olson said yes that was Circuit City red and the manufacturer actually had it in their catalog and it was listed as Circuit City Red.


Member Bonaventura asked when did he plan on opening and Mr. Olson said specifically he wasn't sure of the opening date, but he knows they were FY 96 stores in the Detroit area and as he mentioned earlier, this space became available and it was ahead of the rest of the stores so whether they were going to open in 1995 or not, he wasn't sure at this point.


Mr. Rogers asked if Krogers has given them a date when they may leave and Mr. Olson said not at this point.


Member Taub commented he felt they were fortunate to have a use going in an area that was otherwise vacant or to be vacant and he knows they have seen this before in the Novi Town Center with Borders, when they were moving in, and it was important for this City to be able to transfer in a positive use, as opposed to having glaring vacancies, so he would say this looks like a good plan.


It was,


Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Bonaventura



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Circuit City Stores, SP95-01 per the Consultants' letters, including specifically the Fire Department's recommendations.





Member Bonaventura said he wanted to expand on Member Taub's comments and they had a piece of property on the southeast corner at 12 Mile and Novi Road and they had different sections of the Town Center that were vacant at one time or another. He said a couple of pieces of property they had proposals come up in front of the Commission that were questionable and there were concerns about them and two of them the Council and the Planning Commission turned down.


Member Bonaventura said right now, they were being used by an acceptable use, and he felt patience was a virtue and they don't necessarily have to take, just because a building was vacant, anything that comes in. He felt the experiences that the Council and the Planning Commission have had have proven that, and right now all of those locations have excellent businesses operating now. He stated this operation seems to be very compatible with the surrounding business and he would be voting yes on it.


Member Bonaventura mentioned that JCK had wanted this to come back for Final review and Mr. Bluhm said yes because their letter said there would be no further reviews and he just wanted to clarify that he would like to see it.


Member Hodges also asked Mr. Rogers about needing a ZBA variance and Mr. Rogers said he wasn't saying they need a variance because they were actually reducing the off-street parking need and they were still deficient but it was grandfathered in. He said they have strengthened their off-street parking for retail business not so long ago and added on the requirement for handicap spaces.


Mr. Rogers said he just needed the details for the handicaps and ramps, which may be associated with other handicapped ramps and parking facilities already at West Oaks, so the developer may want to go beyond their building, but they have to be near the entrance.


Member Taub then called the question.


Chairman Clark restated the motion:



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Circuit City Stores, SP95-01 per the Consultants' letters, including specifically the Fire Department's recommendations and also subject to the Final Site Plan coming back for Administrative Review and Approval.



ROLL CALL VOTE: Clark (Yes), Hodges (Yes), Taub (Yes), Weddington (Yes), Bonaventura (Yes)













There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:29 P.M.





Steven J. Cohen

Planning Clerk


Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

February 13, 1995