WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475



The meeting was called to order at 7:40 P.M. by Chairman Clark.



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


(8) Present (1) Absent-Excused-Capello


A quorum being present, the meeting was in session.



ALSO PRESENT: Brandon Rogers - Planning Consultant

Dave Bluhm - Engineering Consultant

Rod Arroyo - Traffic Consultant

Dennis Watson - Assistant City Attorney

Linda Lemke - Landscape Architect

Chris Pargoff - City Forester

James R. Wahl - Director of Planning

Steven Cohen - Planning Clerk





The Planning Commission pledged allegiance to the Flag.





Member Lorenzo asked to add two items and she also had a request. She said the request was considering the length of the Agenda that evening, that they would adhere to their by-Laws and limit the Petitioners to ten minutes and the public speakers to three minutes a piece.


Member Lorenzo said the additions would be to add two items under Matters for Consideration, #6 - Commerce Township Rezoning and #7 -The Vistas of Novi. She said regarding the Vistas of Novi, what she would be suggesting to the Planning Commission was that they request that the City Attorney and Mr. Rogers provide the Commission with an opinion as to whether the specific details regarding the concept and character of The Vistas that have only recently been clarified, could be considered a major change in Area Plan, which would require the applicant to return to the Planning Commission.


It was then,


Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Hodges



Due to the lengthy Agenda, that they as Commissioners confine their remarks on each individual application to three minutes. He would also ask that the Consultants do the same thing, otherwise it would be tough to get through their Agenda that evening.





Member Taub said even though traditionally, he has been opposed to limitations, he felt for the Commission to limit input from their paid Consultants who were acknowledged experts, really cast out on why they would even be up there. He said he didn't see how in any situation of importance, they would limit their paid Consultants from informing the Commission and he had to object to any limitation on the Consultants.


Member Hoadley commented he has already read the comments from the Consultants.


Member Hodges said she wanted to make as a point of information, which was that the By-Laws state and the Roberts Rules of Order state that the Commissioners could be limited and also she would like to add to Member Hoadley's motion:



That the Commissioners not speak twice until all Commissioners have had an opportunity to speak and that they be limited to the two times as was written in Roberts Rules of Order.



Member Hoadley accepted that amendment to the motion.


Member Lorenzo said she could certainly appreciate and abide by Roberts Rules, but in terms of limiting the Commissioners to speak the three minutes, she did not think that was appropriate and she felt that discussion was healthy and necessary so she would not support the motion.



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


(6) Nays (2) Yeas





It was then,


Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Bonaventura



To approve the Agenda as amended.


(voice vote) (7) Yeas (1) Nay-Taub









Ms. Jan Halaby a resident of the Maples of Novi was present. She said she would like to appeal to the Commission to please urge the Commerce Township Board to not rezone the two parcels of property at 14 Mile and Decker. She said they have a large PUD where they live and they feel that the amount of traffic that the two pieces would generate would be very detrimental to Novi.


Ms. Halaby said also their streets were narrow and she felt they would get a lot of the traffic going through their area and since they live on a perimeter road, they have traffic problems now with just the people that were in their own area. She added she didn't feel the school system could take it either.


Ms. Halaby urged the Commission the please think about it strongly.


Chairman Clark then closed the Audience Participation.





Member Taub said there were a few pieces of correspondence. He said the first was addressed to the Novi Planning Commission regarding Willowbrook Estates No. 4, Subdivision Plat Approval. He indicated the letter stated:


"As the Novi Planning Commission continues to develop every acre of farmland in the City limits, some planning is required to preserve the open spaces. I propose the acquisition of the farmland adjacent to SP95-02 as park space for the east Novi Community.


John Haynes

24449 Willowbrook Road"


Member Taub said there was a letter from Mr. Mark Less of 24770 Willowbrook regarding Willowbrook Estates No. 4 which stated:




I have two concerns that should be considered. Will the houses be somewhat similar in size and style to surrounding houses or will they be larger 3,000 sq. ft. homes that don't fit in with the rest of the community. What will the traffic impact be on Ten Mile Road. As it is now, trying to turn onto Ten Mile from Willowbrook is tough during the day and nearly impossible at rush hour. I would personally like to see a traffic light at Ten Mile installed or some kind of traffic control in this over-capacity road if this development is passed."


Member Taub said the next letter was from Brandon M. Rogers regarding the inquiry from Mr. John Haynes.


"To the Novi Planning Commission:


Subject: Inquiry from John Haynes


Dear Planning Commission:


I have reviewed at Mr. Wahl's request the attached communication concerning the City acquiring a farmstead on the north side of Ten Mile Road between Cambourne Place Subdivision and Willowbrook Estates Subdivision pending. The City's Master Plan for Land Use recommends subject property for single family residential future land use, density 3.3 units per acre. Both of the above two subdivisions have provided for street stubs to allow direct extension through the farmstead when the owner so desires. The need for a park site at this location is an issue. The Parks and Recreation Commission and its staff have jurisdiction. No park site is currently planned on its Master Plan. If such an investigation occurs, I shall be pleased to assist.




Brandon M. Rogers"


Member Taub said there was a letter from the Maple Green Association, Gerald W. Hap, President, dated February 4, 1995 and the letter was regarding Proposed Commercial Commerce Charter Township Rezoning Petition:


"Dear Commission Members:


The Board of Directors of the Maples of Novi, Maples Green Association, reviewed the above rezoning petition at its Board meeting on February 4, 1995 and the Board believes the rezoning would be detrimental to the area and believes the high rate of ingress and egress of such high density use will create serious traffic problems on an already over-burdened 14 Mile Road and Decker Road during rush hours.


Further, the Board believes that apartment structures would be inconsistent with the development trend at the north, east and south of that area and will detract from the character of the community, moreover the Board believes such high density use will create serious problems for the already over-loaded Walled Lake School District.


The Board respectfully requests that the City of Novi Planning Commission make a public statement in opposition to this rezoning and convey that statement to the Township Planning Commission."






1. Approval of Minutes for the January 4, 1995 Regular Planning Commission Meeting.


It was,


Moved by Member Mutch

Seconded by Member Lorenzo



To approve the Minutes of the January 4, 1995 Planning Commission Meeting.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously






1. Willowbrook Estates No. 4 Subdivision, SP95-02 - Property Located North of Ten Mile Road Between Haggerty Road and Meadowbrook Road for Possible Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval.


Mr. George Norberg of Seiber Keast & Associates was present. He indicated they were the engineers for the project and he was there along with Mr. Tom Jetke of Singh Associates, the developer for the project.


Mr. Norberg said what they were proposing was a 31 lot subdivision which meets the minimum width and size requirements for the current zoning of R-4. He said briefly, their proposal shows a detention basin located just south of Lot 1 with an outlet to the Bishop Creek which would have the required gas and oil separators before they discharge that. He said currently their plan was to discharge to the existing box culvert which was under 10 Mile Road.


Mr. Norberg explained the road system was designed to connect to existing Brenda Drive as well as 10 Mile Road and then they have two future access points to Cambourne Lane, which extends to the existing Cambourne Lane on the other side of the farmland, and then another future access point, which would be the extension of Willow Road and that has been shown parallel to Grand River.


Mr. Norberg said their proposal for the 10 Mile Road entrance includes a boulevard entrance and the re-routing of existing Border Hill Drive, which would bring a T-intersection into their road and then the existing Border Hill Drive basically would be removed and replaced with the boulevard section, which the boulevard section has been moved to the east to help avoid any conflicts they may have with the creek.


Mr. Norberg said they were providing passing lanes and taper lanes on 10 Mile Road to allow the free-movement of traffic for left-turns in and out, and the boulevard entrance has been made wide enough so that someone exiting the site could turn right as well as left, so there were two lanes at that point, as well as coming in. He said there has also been set aside some area through this section for stacking for left-turns into Border Hill Drive.


Mr. Norberg said one of the comments from the Traffic Consultant was that this was required to have a 230 foot radius and they have designed it in this manner primarily because they do have one section that ends, which he pointed out, until the future development was designed, and they wanted to leave themselves a cul-de-sac at the end, so rather than have a 230 foot radius, that was the way they have designed it. He said also if they put a 230 foot radius, there was the thought that they may lose some lots, or the other idea would be to bring the stub down and put a cul-de-sac there, but they felt this was the best design for this particular site.


Mr. Norberg explained sanitary sewer construction and water main construction was standard for a subdivision, with both connections to existing systems. He said as they know, the Moratorium was on, so they would be providing a type 3 well system as opposed to individual wells for this project.


Mr. Norberg said there were two comments from Mr. Rogers' letter that he would like to discuss. He said Mr. Rogers has indicated Lot 16 was a bit small in the depth, and Mr. Norberg said he felt they could build a home on that and provide the same project that was in the area and they would like to keep that as is, and also Mr. Rogers brought up one question that they show a drainage area or drainage section of the Glenda Market going into their site and that was a requirement of the Drain Commission. He said if they have off-site drainage near the property, they have to pick that up if it was already headed in their direction so it was shown on the Preliminary Plat for the Oakland County Drain Commission.





Mr. Rogers reviewed his report of January 24, 1995. He said the property was zoned R-4 District and they wish to put in 31 lots and this was heretofore the size of two other subdivisions, Country View Subdivision and Lone Tree Subdivision. He indicated the developer has apparently acquired those two properties and was doing a single subdivision.


Mr. Rogers said the lots do meet the minimum area and lot width requirements in an R-4 which was 10,000 sq. ft. and 80 foot lot width at the building setback line. He said it meets the density criteria, which was a little over 2 lots per acre.


Mr. Rogers said the main entrance would come off of 10 Mile Road and there was a secondary access via Brenda Lane which cuts across into Cambourne Place Subdivision and also it steers north to Grand River. He said they have provided the two stubs previously noted and one would be to the east just south of the middle of the subdivision to connect up with the stub on the other side of the Earl property, if Mr. Earl desires to subdivide his property.


Mr. Rogers said there was a question of a few lot splits which would have to be achieved before Final site plan approval. He indicated he has mentioned two of them and there may be a third one, the Glenda's Market property, of which the northern part of this site, Country View Subdivision. was part of the Glenda's Market property, and would probably have to be split off from the market site and from the subdivision itself.


Mr. Rogers said sidewalks would be placed on all interior roads and he called out that they show the sidewalk that was existing on 10 Mile Road. He indicated Mr. Arroyo would talk further about the accel and decel and by-pass lanes.


Mr. Rogers said Mr. Norberg has commented on the off-site drainage area and that was something that JCK should look at. He said there was an indication on the location map that some of the site's drainage might go north onto Glenda's Market, and at one point, he had thought that was a good idea for irrigation, but with the new plan before them of Glenda's Market and some brief comments with Mr. Cagle, he felt that might be unwise.


Mr. Rogers indicated he recommended Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval subject to the indicated conditions in his report.


Mr. Bluhm said he also reviewed the Tentative Preliminary Plat and as Mr. Norberg mentioned, water and sewer would be provided by extensions to the existing systems into the development and as is typical with the Moratorium, water would be provided for fire protection only.


Mr. Bluhm said they have proposed a Type 3 well system and that was being proposed because the lot sizes were less than 12,000 sq. ft. and in essence the Type 3 system was a single well that services multiple lots and it was an acceptable form of water service/ domestic service.


Mr. Bluhm said he would like to make mention that they should provide a plan for them to review and City Council to approve for the Type 3 system and they would also need approval from the Department of Public Health for the use of that system.


Mr. Bluhm said as was mentioned, storm sewers were going to collect the storm drainage and the 1.2 acres to the north of this site would be collected in the on-site storm sewers, which would be City storm sewers, then directed to the detention basin in the Willow View Park West. He said the water would be detained there and then would be outletted to the Bishop Creek which crosses 10 Mile and then goes to the south.


Mr. Bluhm said there were a couple of comments he would like to add. He said one was that there appears to be no sanitary sewer provided for Lot 26 and that was really an administrative issue that they could clear up with the sub-construction drawings. He said they should probably clear it up at the Final Preliminary Plat and that would be acceptable.


Mr. Bluhm said in addition, he and Ms. Tepatti and Mr. Norberg have talked recently and because there was an outlet proposed to the creek itself, an Administrative Wetlands Permit would be required and that could be handled at the Final to assure that there was no impacts on the creek. He said as Mr. Norberg mentioned, they would be providing oil and gas separators to help filter the waters even further.


Mr. Bluhm said beyond that, it demonstrates engineering feasibility and they were recommending approval.


Mr. Arroyo indicated he has also reviewed this Tentative Preliminary Plat. He said the Commission has two separate reports and he would go over the primary letter that was in their packets first and then he would go over the supplementary report.


Mr. Arroyo indicated his letter of February 2nd has four comments. He said regarding the access, there was proposed access to this site from two locations at this point and two future locations, and the primary boulevard entrance as indicated on the plan, was 10 Mile Road, and there was secondary access which was provided to Brenda Lane, which was located in the northern third or so of this development, and it was the northerly stub street going to the east as they look at the plan.


Mr. Arroyo indicated that was an existing subdivision, the Leslie Park Subdivision. He said Brenda Lane and Joseph Drive, which was the north-south road that goes out to Grand River, were gravel roadways and 10 Mile Road was a paved roadway. He said the applicant has proposed to reconfigure the Border Hill intersection with 10 Mile so that Border Hill would actually intersect with the proposed Willow Road.


Mr. Arroyo said he has indicated in his review that this needs to be addressed more as a policy decision by the Department of Public Services in particular and also reviewed by JCK. He said in terms of design, he felt that this could work and could meet City standards. He said he believed Mr. Bluhm has reviewed it and feels that way as well, subject to a more detailed review of the engineering standards and engineering drawings as to whether the proposed Willow Road, should go down to 10 Mile and Border Hill should intersect with it or whether it should be the other way around.


Mr. Arroyo said to him it was more of a policy decision than a technical decision, because they could likely be made to work either way and that was why they had suggested that since Border Hill Road was an existing City street and that it would involve the modification of an existing City street, the Department of Public Services should provide comment as to whether or not they have any specific objections to doing that since they were in fact the agency on behalf of the City that oversees the roadways.


Mr. Arroyo said 10 Mile Road was proposed to be widened to five lanes and there were preliminary engineering dollars that have been approved from the Federal Government and the City was in the process of identifying a Consultant to do the design work for that project. He said they have noted that the applicant was proposing to construct a passing lane for this new Willow driveway onto 10 Mile and since 10 Mile Road was proposed to be five lanes with the center turn lane, it makes more sense to provide a center turn lane at this particular location so that the entranceway could be set back at its future location, so that when the five laning occurs, the construction and demolition of this entrance could be kept to an absolute minimum.


Mr. Arroyo said he noted in his comment No. 4 and Mr. Norberg also mentioned in his presentation, that at the very north end of this proposed subdivision, there was a turn that heads to the west in the form of a stub street and this would require City Council variance from the Design and Construction Standards in that a 230 foot centerline radius was proposed and if and when this applicant moved forward to the City Council, he was sure they would present this. He said there may be some request for alternative designs that the City Council would review at that time, but that was an issue that would have to be resolved by the City Council if this plan were to continue to move forward in this direction.


Mr. Arroyo said there was also a second memorandum which was in front of them that evening and it was in a package of information that was from the City of Novi. He indicated there was a memo from Mr. Steve Cohen regarding Willowbrook Subdivision background information and correspondence and then he has a memorandum dated February 15th.


Mr. Arroyo indicated this was prepared at the request of Mr. Wahl following comments and questions that have been raised regarding this project and he had asked that he provide a brief history of this particular property, where it has been, issues that have been raised, particularly as they relate to traffic and he has attempted to do that with this memorandum.


Mr. Arroyo said he would first note that this subject site was in the past known as two proposed subdivisions, Country View Subdivision and Lone Tree Subdivision, with Country View being the north half and Lone Tree being the south half. He said this started out as two plat submittals back in 1989 and the Planning Commission last considered them in 1992 when they voted for a positive recommendation to City Council, but it was subject to the two plats going forward at the same time because there were some utility connections that were required and both needed to move forward in order for them to happen.


Mr. Arroyo said in addition, the Planning Commission had expressed concerns that the Country View Subdivision, which was the north half, if it were to develop on its own, would only have access to Brenda Lane and Joseph Drive, which were gravel roads and would not have access to 10 Mile and they felt that was not acceptable and they wanted the two to move forward together and so that was the recommendation to Council and Council reviewed it and he noted in his memo that they had addressed it a couple of times. He said on March 16, 1992, both Lone Tree and Country View were not approved by the City Council based on health, safety and welfare issues, and access and utilities were once again raised as an issue.


Mr. Arroyo said on June 1, 1992, the previous developers of Lone Tree brought forth some additional alternative sketches that the City Council discussed, but it was not an action item and it was only a discussion item, and as he understood it, no additional submittals were made on the previous Country View or Lone Tree Subdivisions beyond the several that he just referred to.


Mr. Arroyo said he has provided some other additional historical background and at one time, and Mr. Rogers may want to comment on this in more detail when he was done, Brandon Rogers & Associates had been asked to look at all the vacant parcels in this general vicinity to see how they might be interconnected and how development might occur if that were to happen. He indicated there was a sketch that was included in there and it was identified as illustration No. 2 which shows potential development of the subject property and other properties in the surrounding area and then the property to the west of this proposed plat which was known as the Weiss property.


Mr. Arroyo said at that time, the Weiss property was considered as a potential for a cluster option with an access actually going up to Grand River, and then T'ing into the subject property that was currently before them that evening.


Mr. Arroyo said this was just a concept plan to show how those sites might develop and no formal proposals have been made to bring that exact plan before them.


Mr. Arroyo said also as part of the review of Country View and Lone Tree, the street system review was performed by he and JCK at the time that came forward given the fact that the access to Country View could potentially only be to Brenda and to Joseph which were gravel roads. He said he and Ms. Deb Gosselin from JCK visited the site and she noted in her memo to the Planning Commission that Joseph and Brenda were approximately 20-21 feet wide which was about the typical width for unpaved roads in the City of Novi and she had also noted that they were in average condition for a gravel roadway.


Mr. Arroyo said in his report, he provided a forecast of trip generation for those previous submittals and the Lone Tree and the Country View Subdivisions total 33 units versus 31 units that was currently part of this proposal that they have before them that evening. He said he noted the trip generation for that.


Mr. Arroyo said because some questions have been raised regarding traffic, he has provided a brief trip generation analysis and he would review that but before he did, he wanted the Commission to be aware that the threshold of this development was not such that a Traffic Study was required to be submitted and normally they have to have 100 or more units according to City Ordinance for a Traffic Study to be submitted and that was why they don't have one before them and why one wasn't provided in the packet.


Mr. Arroyo said because of the questions that have been raised, he went ahead and did a preliminary analysis of trip generation to try and shed some light on this issue to assist the Commission and their decision-making process.


Mr. Arroyo said the proposed 31 units in Willowbrook Estates No. 4 were forecast to generate approximately 296 daily trips and that would be on a 24-hour basis and there would be 23 AM peak hour trips during the morning peak hour and 33 PM peak hour trips, using the average rates that were included in trip generation by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.


Mr. Arroyo said when they previously looked at the street system for this area, they did evaluate the current traffic patterns on Bashian Drive to see what the directional split of traffic was and they found it was roughly a 50-50 split, meaning for the residents in that general vicinity, roughly half of them go up to Grand River and roughly half of them go down 10 Mile Road.


Mr. Arroyo said assuming that same split would occur if this subdivision were to be constructed, it would add approximately 17 new trips to 10 Mile and 17 new trips to Grand River Avenue during the highest volume of the adjacent street traffic, which was the PM peak hour.


Mr. Arroyo said on a daily basis, approximately 150 trips would be added to 10 Mile and approximately 150 trips would be added to Grand River. He said according to the City's Master Plan, and as a point of information, 10 Mile Road between Haggerty and Meadowbrook was carrying approximately 19,300 vehicles per day in 1991 and Grand River Avenue was carrying 15,750 vehicles per day in 1991 between Haggerty and Meadowbrook.


Mr. Arroyo said finally, he included an attached illustration No. 3 which was copied out of the sidwell book to indicate the existing property splits in the area and also to indicate the existing subdivisions and how the street network was currently connected. He said they could see that there was a Cambourne Place Subdivision, which includes the northern extension of Willowbrook north of 10 Mile, and it currently T's into Brenda and that subdivision in effect, has access to both Grand River and 10 Mile in a similar fashion that this proposed development would have access to Grand River and 10 Mile.


Mr. Arroyo said they could also see the other Willowbrook Estates Subdivision that was north of 10 Mile and they could see that road network and see how the subject property, which was highlighted, relates to the surrounding properties, so he hoped that provided the Commission with some historical reference and gives them some additional information. He then said he would be happy to answer any questions.


Chairman Clark indicated they also have a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain, Novi Fire Department, indicating that this plan has been reviewed and that approval was recommended.


Chairman Clark indicated that they do have a letter from Mr. Chris Pargoff, indicating that after review of Site Plan #95-02 for Willowbrook Estates No. 4, his office has determined that there were no regulated woodlands in this phase of the project, and therefore, no Woodlands Permit would be required.





Mr. Warren Jocz, President of Willowbrook Community Association, was present. He said he was also a resident of 10 Mile whose property was being directly effected by the proposal that they have in front of them that night.


Mr. Jocz said he believed there were several key technical issues at hand. He said there was the uniqueness of the geographical positioning of this proposed subdivision. He said as the maps indicate, the parcel of land that Singh Development would like to develop into 31 new homes was for all practical purposes, landlocked, except for the extremely narrow strip of land located between the Spirit of Christ Lutheran Church and Border Hill Road, and the land purchased by Singh Development on speculation, does not have any direct access to a major arterial road such as 10 Mile, Grand River or Meadowbrook.


Mr. Jocz said therefore, they have to ask the question how do future residents access this subdivision and the answer as presented to them that night, was a proposed, "parasitic subdivision," for lack of better terminology. He explained what he meant by that statement was that in order to gain access to their subdivision, they must solely depend on the various access routes provided by the three existing subdivisions which border on the two sides of the landlocked parcel, those being Willowbrook, Leslie Park and Cambourne Place.


Mr. Jocz said that Singh Development does not have a primary access road to any arterial road but rather three secondary roads in which to service the community. He asked for this privilege, the privileged use of their subdivisions, what would be given back in return. He said there would be more than double the traffic volumes on residential streets and the safety concerns associated with this doubling.


Mr. Jocz said there was also a potential increase in crime. He said in 1994, Willowbrook Sub #1, which includes the residents of Border Hill and Mill Stream, did not record a single incident requiring police assistance. He asked do they believe that with the increased development, regardless of the economic and social scale which the proposed homes would draw, would there be the same probability of maintaining this commendable statistic.


Mr. Jocz said they should note that nowhere else in Novi was there a subdivision that was landlocked like this and in fact, every subdivision he could find has at least one of their own unique roads as an access to a primary arterial.


Mr. Jocz said in fact if they want to look at recent times, they should look at Chase Farms, and they had two primary accesses, but then a third secondary access was required going through Deerbrook Subdivision because of the nuisance of the traffic of the residents and the construction. He said they were requested to add a third access road directly into 9 Mile Road.


Mr. Jocz said those small stub access roads that were existing now, were for inter-subdivision commuting and not intra-subdivision commuting.


Mr. Jocz said regarding traffic, there were also things of safety and he felt they have to look to the Y that they were proposing on Border Hill, and that Y subdivision he felt was a safety concern for both pedestrians and traffic and that was more than doubling the current traffic that was seen on Border Hill now.


Mr. Jocz said the corrective action being proposed on 10 Mile, was just like what the City of Novi was proposing to do with five lanes, and it was not the solution to the traffic problems. He said if they resort back to the Master Plan, the problem with 10 Mile was the number of access points per linear mile, and there were more than 27 access points in a linear mile on 10 Mile between Haggerty and Meadowbrook Roads.


Mr. Jocz said with the traffic volumes now, the Federal Highway Administration charts would show them that there was an accident to be predicted every 12 days. He said that chart and the number of access points, does not talk about how many lanes there were or if there were turning lanes and it was just pure number of access points versus the length of the road that was being accessed.


Mr. Jocz said this was not adding another access road, but what it was doing was increasing the volume on that access road being Border Hill and therefore they were increasing the potential and the probability of more and more severe accidents. He said when they put in a passing lane, they were having people doing 45 mph passing cars that were trying to turn in an area that already has too many access points.


Mr. Jocz said the proposed solution, which would then come up that night, was that Singh Development has also bought on option, land that goes from their proposed subdivision already to Meadowbrook and they bought on speculation too, but this option was contingent on wetlands survey and things like that.


Mr. Jocz that they were finding out he believed that there were more wetlands than they bargained for, but if they would develop that land, then they could have the access roads directly to Meadowbrook Road and they wouldn't need the use of the existing subdivisions as their primary access points.


Mr. Jocz said he realized that because they were finding out that there were more wetlands than they bargained for, it becomes economically not as viable a situation so they were stuck with Phase One. He said but again, all this land was developed on speculation and he didn't think the residents who currently live there should be punished because the developer couldn't get as many homes per acre on Phase Two. He said the correct way of getting traffic out of those new subdivisions was to provide their own access point. He then concluded by saying please not penalize the people who live there already.


Mr. John Beach was present. He said he served on the Board of Directors for the Willowbrook Community Association and has lived in Willowbrook Estates since 1973.


Mr. Beach said if they look at Border Hill the way they show it proposed, they really don't have a look at true Border Hill, the way it was today and all they see was the modifications with the slight arc and that arc was the existing road that Border Hill was.


Mr. Beach said Border Hill was a gentle curve that sweeps around and there was approximately 350 feet from the start of 10 Mile to the first home. Mr. Beech said in that area, there were trees and it was unique and he found out today as he was looking it over again, that there were Hickory, Maple, Aspen and Oak trees. He said there was a lot of wild brush that was in there and there was some regeneration from the Aspen that was going on.


Mr. Beach said this was going to be removed as it couldn't remain. He felt the Commissioners should take a drive over there before they make a decision on this and they should take a look at the very unique entrance to the road.


Mr. Beach said concerning the 31 more homes, he did a little survey in a 15 minute period. He indicated 8 cars left Border Hill in a fifteen minute period and of that, 4 made a left hand turn and the average time was about 18 seconds to make a left-hand turn onto 10 Mile between 2:15 and 2:30. He said then to double the amount of traffic with one car waiting behind them, someone was going to then need 2-3 minutes and Ripple Creek was approximately 150 feet due east of Border Hill and that was an entrance point to their Sub No. 3. He said the amount of traffic that comes out of there because of the number of homes, was 3-4 times more than what comes out of Border Hill now.


Mr. Beach said Coral Lane sits 300 feet to the west with LeBost sitting another 150 feet or so west of that. He said this combined traffic as it comes to the left or comes to the east, slows down either to or from Border Hill now. He said about 12 cars left LeBost while those 8 cars left Border Hill and in every instance, when a car left LeBost, it slowed down people leaving Border Hill because they had to wait for that traffic to clear.


Mr. Beach said the same conditions were going to exist with Ripple Creek as well as Border Hill and he felt it was pretty clear that they were going to destroy something that was built in 1955 and was a dedicated street and one of the first ones that the City had.


Mr. Beach felt they should take some consideration as to what they were really looking at, and the overall picture wasn't 31 homes and the overall picture was more than 100 homes and those more than 100 homes were going to have to find an entrance and exit to the subdivision. He said Meadowbrook Road would probably be one of them and more than likely 10 Mile would be one of them. He said if someone was going to Leon's, they were not going to go out Meadowbrook or Grand River and the same thing probably holds true if they have to go to Farmers Jack.


Mr. Beach then asked the Commission to take this into consideration and they were destroying an entrance to a subdivision that really does not need to be destroyed.


Mr. William Colbeck was present and he said he lived right on the back end of Border Hill, 24566 Border Hill, on the cul-de-sac. He said the installation of this street in there was going to create a major safety hazard in that area and there was a bridge right on 10 Mile Road there that was a problem as it was right now because it was a short corner and if they build more traffic in that area, that was a bigger hazard. He said he considered it a safety hazard because there was just too much traffic in that area right now.


Mr. Colbeck said also there has been nothing said about the drainage into the existing subdivision as far as grades of the back-side of that whole subdivision. He said the undeveloped land was about 2 1/2 to 3 feet higher than what the existing land was and there has been nothing addressed about that and nothing said about what the contractor was going to do about providing a back line between the two existing subdivisions and whether there would be a privacy fence or something like that.


Mr. Colbeck said they have never said anything about what was going to happen as far as security during construction and they were assuming for a subdivision, that if there was an entrance into the back end of their properties and there was vandalism or theft because of that direct entrance to construction, that the contractor was going to take the responsibility for that and he asked why shouldn't he?


Mr. Colbeck said there has been nothing set in the site for that type of a problem and if they were going to put an entrance street on 10 Mile, there should be a light put in there prior to the development of the intersection. He said he would question what happens during that intersection during construction and how do they get in and out of the subdivision. He said there has been nothing stated about that.


Mr. Colbeck said frankly it was a bad idea and no one has addressed the problem in the future of the traffic coming from Grand River across through the subdivision and on over to 10 Mile and no one was saying anything about that, and that was going to happen. He also questioned the fact that there was a primary sewer line or something put behind the subdivision and was that where the houses were going to set in relation to that line. He said he would ask if that line has to be maintained, who pays for the destruction of the private property after it was sold in there.


Mr. Colbeck said the bridge assembly that was on 10 Mile was going to have to be replaced and does the taxpayer pay for that or does the contractor pay for that during the time of his construction.


Mr. Colbeck said those things have not been brought up. He said another item was the height that they were building the houses, and that destroys the privacy in their own homes and they would have to redesign the decorations in their homes so the neighbor across the back fence wasn't staring in their homes because that neighbor has a two-story home and he didn't.


Mr. Colbeck said none of those things have been addressed on this and the biggest thing he has been concerned about was the traffic problem on 10 Mile because they were creating a dangerous situation. He said it was bad now but it would be a lot worse because there was too much traffic there and there were too many entrances and exits. He said he has sat there as much as five minutes trying to get out of the street in the morning because of the 10 Mile traffic and that traffic wasn't going to decrease, but it would increase and that condition was going to get worse with the traffic they already have.


Mr. Colbeck said if they want a primary entrance on that, then have them put a street outside of the existing street, not tie into it, or have them put a street over to Meadowbrook where there wasn't the traffic, where they don't have the entrances and exits, and that was a potential viable plan, but in off of Ten Mile, would be just too dangerous. He then thanked the Commission for their time.


Mr. John Waack was present and he said he lived on Joseph and he was part of the Leslie Park Subdivision. He said their sub has been there for quite some time and as they were all aware, it was a dirt road. He said Brenda Lane was dirt and as it already has been mentioned, it was only 20-21 feet wide and it really was not capable today of handling 150 more cars a day.


Mr. Waack said there was already a problem with traffic at Joseph and Grand River where the Novi Commerce Center was and Seeley Road was and people almost run into each other making left turns there now and it was a pretty common occurrence everyday. He said when living on Joseph, a person better watch it when they make their left turn going west on Grand River.


Mr. Waack said the people turning into the dance studio there and Novi Commerce, also have learned that they better watch. He felt with 150 cars a day going down Joseph which was dirt and Brenda Lane which dips right there, he didn't think it was a very good idea and he didn't think they were really thinking about the people who have lived there for years.


Mr. Waack said he has lived there about 11 years and he felt the sub has been there since the late 60's and it slowly has built up and now there were 15 houses in that area with one open lot left to build on. He said it was open to Cambourne Place a year ago and their traffic has increased for them and it was not a terrible situation, but it was not very good when they still were only on a dirt road and their kids want to play out there. He said it was a country setting that was being turned into the middle of the city and they were not ready to be in the middle of the city with a dirt road and traffic trying to go 40 mph down those side streets.


Mr. Waack felt this was a premature project and he felt they do need to get the Weiss property involved in this, and maybe that would be a suggestion that when the property to the west becomes available or the Earl property becomes available, then possibly it would make more sense when they could get some access from their own subdivision roads.


Mr. Waack said there has been a lot said about 10 Mile and Border Hill and that was all true and he lived there too and he goes down there everyday and 10 Mile was a mess to pull out onto. He then stated he felt they were doing a disservice to the people who lived there to approve this project at this time.


Mr. Glen Noe of 24770 Joseph Drive was present. He said he opposed this subdivision because of the road access and bringing it out and coming out onto their road. He said he knows that it has been stated that they could bring 18 gravel haulers down there an hour and the road would hold it and if it doesn't, they have a real good DPW that would bring them down gravel.


Mr. Noe said but after the developer was gone, the taxpayers were paying to have that road maintained. He said they have no sidewalks and they have a private street of 30 cars now and if they open up the sub next door for the Weiss property, they were going to have 30 more cars of traffic every hour or whatever the calculation was and he just didn't think it works on their street.


Mr. Gary Watkins of Mill Stream was present. He said he would like to invite the Commissioners down to that neighborhood before they open up the street onto 10 Mile and if they do look, it was a beautiful tree-lined road and that was why he bought there and many don't even realize there were residents back in there.


Mr. Watkins said by widening it, they were making it look like a commercial enterprise. He said he has lived there 14 years and also in those 14 years, they have had some pretty good rains back there and he has had 3 floods that tore out most of his backyard.

Mr. Watkins said the drainage that they were proposing to go from the retention pond into Bishop Creek, was going to pass by his house again and he has had to go to the point of buying cyclone fencing for a 10 foot drop down his bank and literally coat it with cyclone fencing and have truckloads of gravel and sand and sod brought in and he has gone through that three times.


Mr. Watkins said also he has children and with the additional traffic going down through this 350 foot strip down to 10 Mile, there would be no sidewalks. He said his three children like to go out to play with their friends down to 10 Mile and with no sidewalks there and with the additional traffic, he felt it would be unsafe for them to make this trip through there and there would be increased odds of them being hit by cars.


Ms. Jirasek representing Willowbrook Community Association was present. She said there was currently a Willowbrook Subdivision #4 and it was not a member of their association and not an active member, but it was located on Buckingham Court and that was just west of Cranbrook and north of 10 Mile. She said also north of 10 Mile west of Border Hill in the Willowbrook Subdivision, there was a street Willow Lane. She indicated both the proposed Willow and the existing Willow Lane run north and south, a few blocks of each other. She said that should be noted to the Street Naming Committee.


Ms. Jirasek said as she understood it, there was an entrance proposed to Grand River, south of Brenda and then to Willow and there was also access off of 10 Mile via Willowbrook north, which was Cambourne Place to Brenda to Willow. She said those were not two acceptable entrances, the Joseph and the Willowbrook north.


Ms. Jirasek indicated they were not necessarily opposed to the new development but they were opposed to allowing this development to occur causing hardship, creating conflict, and stealing an entrance that belongs to one of the Novi's oldest established neighborhood associations.


Ms. Jirasek said as Mr. Beach mentioned, they have been there for 40 years and they have an established entrance and she would ask would it be possible, as Mr. Arroyo mentioned earlier, to re-configure the T so that Border Hill does remain a Willowbrook Community Association entrance going out onto 10 Mile Road.


Mr. Levy of 24520 Border Hill was present. He said he has lived in this community for just about four years and one main reason why he bought his house was because of the cleanliness and how well kept the community was. He said if they allow construction and the entrance to this construction site go on for at least two years, there would be a lot of dirt and extra traffic in and out of that construction site and then the cars that come into their community bring all that dirt in and he hasn't heard anything about how often it was going to be cleaned and how much wear and tear was going to be on that road for the next couple of years.


Mr. Levy said he has two young kids and it was quiet with very little traffic on that road. He said they were proposing a park or something for the kids to play in, which was very close to the biggest controversy that they have there which was the big T.


Mr. Levy said every morning when he and his wife go to work, it takes a lot of time for them to get out onto 10 Mile and adding twice as much traffic would be a great burden on everyone who lives in their community at this time.


Mr. Levy said again, he would emphasize how he felt and it was the same way as many of the others who have commented about the inconveniences and hardship on the people who live in this community.


Mr. Dennis Suenkonis of 40890 10 Mile Road, northwest of Border Hill, was present. He said he was right on the creek line where the drainage that they propose would be coming into. He wanted to reiterate the comments that everyone else has made that the tree line was one of the reasons why he purchased his house and it was private and it was fenced in. He said the creek would flow also into his lot and as someone stated earlier, it was flooded at one time a few years ago and now more water was going to be drained if he was understanding this correctly.


Mr. Suenkonis said he was also interested in the safety feature and a few years ago, they wanted sidewalks down 10 Mile Road for a safety feature and now they were putting more traffic through there and that doesn't make sense to him.


Mr. Suenkonis said also one gentleman had stated that Coral Lane was exiting onto 10 Mile Road, which was about 300 feet and his driveway was about halfway between Coral Lane and Border Hill and his family has a very difficult time trying to get out onto 10 Mile or into their driveway. He said this makes for a difficult situation and it was a dangerous situation and people were passing left and right and going too fast.


Mr. Suenkonis said in conclusion, he would just like to say that his comments were that he was not in favor of this boulevard that they were planning on putting in.


Mr. Roger Bowman of 40620 Brenda Lane was present. He said earlier that night what they have heard was some prospective on what was presented in previous history for the plats under consideration. He said part of that was a traffic study that was done a couple of years ago prior to Cambourne Place being opened up onto Brenda Lane and it was mentioned that that was an average width road with average maintenance and of average condition.


Mr. Bowman said he would submit to the Commission two years after or a year and a half after that has been opened up, the condition of that road was no longer average and it was below average due to the increase in traffic. He said for that traffic, if an actual study was done today, they would see that that traffic study that was estimated two years ago grossly under-estimated the actual traffic that was occurring on Brenda Lane and Joseph Drive.


Mr. Bowman said so the increase that they heard before them, the estimates again, were still based upon that study of two years ago, which under-estimated Cambourne Place, which has also equally under-estimated the volume from the new proposed plat, so the traffic volumes that they have before them have grossly under-estimated the actuals.


Mr. Bowman felt they need to take that into consideration in terms of the safety that it generates, as well as the maintenance of that road. He said there was a high amount of small children that live on Brenda and Joseph and there were no sidewalks and when the children go from home to home, they traverse that on the street because there were no sidewalks there and it was just not a safe environment especially with the increase in traffic.


Mr. Bowman said he would like to comment that a gentleman earlier brought up the safety aspect or the crime aspect of it and he has lived in Novi on Brenda Lane for 15 years, and prior to Cambourne Place opening up onto Brenda Lane, he had no incident of crime ever in Novi and since it has been opened in 18-20 months, he has personally been the victim of theft twice, so there was a crime factor to be taken into consideration as well.


Mr. Bowman felt the Commission really needed to address the impact that it was going to have on the safety for their children on Brenda and Joseph Drive.


Ms. Ann-Marie Jocz of 10 Mile Road was present. She said she just wanted to re-cap one more time what the residents here were saying. She said before the Commission could approve this development, what they need to do was to look at the whole picture for the future residents of this development, as well as the present residents of the older established neighborhoods, to allow those people to get in and out of their development safely and not to jeopardize the new residents as well as the established residents.


Ms. Pam Luka of 24415 Mill Stream Lane was present. She said she was at the corner of Border Hill and Mill Stream Lane. She said one of the tree lines happens to be her property, so she really would not like it to be destroyed or changed in any way. She indicated she has small children which really effects her because again there were no sidewalks on their part and it was very difficult. She said there were also a lot of other issues such as the traffic, etc.


Ms. Luka said she was a teacher at the pre-school which was on the other side of Border Hill and it was adjoined to the Spirit of Christ Church. She said the proposed road goes right next to their playground which to her was a big safety factor. She said she has a real problem with not only being a parent, but also a teacher so those were her opinions.


Mr. David Bielenda of 24806 Joseph Street was present. He said he has only been on Joseph Street for four months, so he wanted to tell everyone on the Commission that it was not only the people's feelings that have been in a sense grandfathered in but that he was a brand-new resident and he and his wife were very attracted to Joseph Street and the surrounding areas due to the quietness and due to the safety that they thought their children would have.


Mr. Bielenda said he has been in Novi for the last few years, and they had moved from East Lake, which was a very busy road and they moved because of the traffic and also because of the traffic that went onto 13 Mile Road. He said they felt this area would be much better, so he wasn't too familiar with everything that has been brought up today but he was learning and just wanted to express his feelings.


Chairman Clark then closed the Public Hearing.





Member Lorenzo said she would address this project in a couple of different ways. She said her first question was relative to the drainage and the storm water. She said it was mentioned that there would be gas and oil separators for water quality and for dispersing the water to the 10 Mile culvert and into the Bishop Creek. She said in addition to that, was the detention basin also going to serve as a dual function of detention and sedimentation.


Mr. Bluhm said yes, the detention basin would also provide sedimentation but not so much water quality type issues because it would be a constructed basin and engineered basin, but yes it would provide sedimentation facilities during the construction phases and then be primarily detention after that, and the developer would have to maintain and excavate the sediment out as construction occurs.


Member Lorenzo asked if there was any way to construct that basin so that it would enhance water quality.


Mr. Bluhm said there were certain things that could be done through the construction of it that would help it somewhat and it was not going to be an ideal situation, but they were going to get a certain amount of quality benefit from it.


Member Lorenzo said because they did mention that there was a wetland connection there. Mr. Bluhm said there was a connection to the Bishop Creek directly and Member Lorenzo asked if a wetland was connected with that, and Mr. Bluhm said yes the creek in itself was an open, not an enclosed drainage system and it was a surface drainage system so there was a wetland associated with it and there was a need to protect the quality of that wetland.


Member Lorenzo said that was what she was getting at in terms of water quality - the water being discharged into that system. She would like to make sure that they do everything and require everything possible for that quality.


Mr. Bluhm said there were some things he believed that the developer through their engineering could do to enhance the qualitative benefits of the basin itself through the design process.


Member Lorenzo said the next issue of drainage would involve the backyards that were adjacent to the creek and one of the gentleman brought up possible problems that were already existing and again she felt they need to ensure if this development was approved at some point, that the additional drainage would not increase or create ponding of water in anyone's backyard, so she would certainly note that in terms of a requirement for any approval that they may make or recommendation of approval that they may make at any point in the future.


Member Lorenzo said another issue was one gentleman mentioned was that there were a number of trees and did she take it from Mr. Pargoff's memo that those trees were not part of a designated woodlands.


Ms. Lemke said that was correct and they were not on the Woodlands Map and there weren't any trees that were historic or specimen trees that were 36" dbh trees, so while they were not saying that there weren't any trees on the site or adjacent to it, there weren't any that were on the regulated Woodlands Map.


Mr. Pargoff said he agreed with that and they were not on the map.

Member Lorenzo said unfortunately then the most they could do would be to encourage the developer to take every precaution to save as many as possible. Mr. Pargoff said that was correct. He said most of those trees he didn't think were going to be impacted by the exiting of the road onto Border Hill, and there would be a few but he felt the ones that were most concerting to the residents were up further away from the entryway. He said there would be some, but he felt the big trees were further north than where the entryway was going to come out.


Member Lorenzo said her next issue was the traffic and she had a number of questions and scenarios, the first being, would the need for this development or apparent need for them to share access to 10 Mile Road, legitimize a requirement for a full-blown traffic study.


Mr. Arroyo said there were specific thresholds for a traffic study that were in their Ordinance and the way it was set up was if they meet the Ordinance threshold, they have to provide it, otherwise they wouldn't.


Mr. Arroyo said as to whether or not they could request it, he didn't think he could give her an answer to that question and it might be better suited to Mr. Watson.


Mr. Watson replied he didn't think that they could and their Ordinance has specific criteria for when a traffic study was required and if it doesn't meet the criteria, then they couldn't require it and a shared access was not part of the criteria.


Member Lorenzo said shared access or the consideration of additional traffic on 10 Mile Road, doesn't legitimize that then, and Mr. Watson said no.


Member Lorenzo said assuming the necessity to use 10 Mile as an exit from a traffic flow prospective, was a boulevard entrance preferable to a separate entrance.


Mr. Arroyo said there were pluses and minuses to each approach. He said a boulevard entrance has the advantage of typically providing for two lanes out and two lanes in, and the outbound traffic, left turners and right turners could be separated and there was also some separation of inbound and outbound movements by a median, which provides some additional separation and there were some benefits to doing that. He said it also provides an opportunity for some additional landscaping and they have a wider right-of-way.


Mr. Arroyo then discussed the disadvantages. He said in this instance it wasn't much of a case, but when they site another major driveway or street on the other side of a boulevard entrance, it becomes very difficult lining up left turns and in this case, it was developed for the most part on the south side so that doesn't become an issue, but that could be an issue with boulevard entryways.


Mr. Arroyo said also with a boulevard entry, when they have the separate left turns out and right turns out, although that was a benefit in terms of getting people through the stream better, they also have a situation where there was going to be a vehicle next to them if they were trying to make a turn, which could make it a little bit more difficult to maneuver or to see so that just depends.


Mr. Arroyo felt there were both traffic and aesthetic issues to take into consideration and the City permits both to occur as long as the minimum standards were met and there were not any other overriding concerns. He said so the fact that they have chosen a boulevard entrance and as long as it meeds the minimum standards in the Design and Construction Standards, theoretically would not be a problem unless there was some over-riding concern.


Member Lorenzo said so in other words, there were some additional controls over the traffic movement in and out, but there may be times simultaneously with people wanting to go one way or the other and Mr. Arroyo said that was correct.


Member Lorenzo said in this particular situation, did he see it as a plus or minus or does it wash out.


Mr. Arroyo said in terms from a convenience standpoint, the people who would be using that would probably appreciate the boulevard entrance and that if they were trying to leave the subdivision and they want to go and turn right and go westbound and there was someone ahead of them that wants to turn left, if they have a separate lane to make that turn, they were going to appreciate not having to wait for the left turner, since the left turns could be very difficult out of any driveway along Ten Mile. He said from that prospective, he felt the people who would use that drive would rather have two outbound lanes and two inbound lanes.


Mr. Arroyo said from another prospective, given the proposal to have Border Hill T into this proposed subdivision road, the applicant has proposed two northbound lanes coming into this project which would provide a separate left turn lane going into Border Hill, which he felt had some advantages if that was going to be the chosen configuration because if someone was turning left and they have to wait for opposing traffic, they at least do not block the other incoming traffic.


Member Lorenzo said with the constraints of the property, do they see this as the best approach in terms of exiting entranceways, secondary access or did he see any other alternatives to this.


Mr. Arroyo said there were always alternatives when they have a number of opportunities for stub streets such as this. He said one advantage to this scenario was that it brings the traffic directly down to a major thoroughfare - 10 Mile Road. He said if they were to eliminate that and they put a cul-de-sac at the end of that roadway and they don't have access to 10 Mile, then they have access basically until the property to the west was developed at two points, one being Brenda and then one future access to Cambourne Lane, whenever that connection was made.


Mr. Arroyo said with just the Brenda Lane access, they would require all that traffic to go on the gravel road, which certainly has some disadvantages associated with it.


Mr. Arroyo said if the Cambourne Place connection was made and that was in place and they had two points of access, one being Brenda and the other being Cambourne, certainly the option to get to 10 Mile would be to use Cambourne and go over to Willowbrook and come down Willowbrook, which was fine for the people in this subdivision but if they ask the people who live on Willowbrook do they want to have that additional traffic coming in front of them, they would say no.


Mr. Arroyo said whenever they start making changes in access, it was likely going to effect someone else, so it would just depend upon whom you ask.


Member Lorenzo said she noticed in the minutes that were provided to the Commission from the 3-16-92 Special Council Meeting, they made reference to a parcel owned by a Claude Earl. She asked was that the Cambourne Place.


Mr. Arroyo said that was the property in between and if they go by in the summertime, they grow corn there and it was directly east of the Lutheran Church and that was Mr. Earl's property and that was undeveloped and Member Lorenzo asked if that was the piece that the City possibly has an option on at this point.


Mr. Arroyo replied not that he was aware of. He said this was where they show a stub street and the Cambourne stub street goes directly into Mr. Earl's property and as he understood it, he has no proposals to develop that at this time, and that has been brought up in the past when the previous developer of this property was attempting to provide secondary access and he had approached Mr. Earl and Mr. Earl has been to several meetings, and the last he heard, Mr. Earl was not interested in moving forward with any development proposals.


Mr. Rogers added that in the planning of Cambourne Place Subdivision, that stub was purposely shown, which was fully improved that butts up to the east edge of the Earl property and so in the present submittal and in prior submittals 2-3 years ago, there has been a comparable stub from the west side of the Earl property. He said if that roadway were to be built though, he believed there was an opportunity to have three or four lots on the north side of that road that would butt up to the Joseph Drive Subdivision/the Leslie Park Subdivision.


Mr. Rogers said then if that was all Mr. Earl wants to unload for whatever reason at the time, and then if he wanted to remain living in his house and further subdivide, they could drop a cul-de-sac right down through the middle or if the house ever goes, right back down to 10 Mile, and he agreed with what Mr. Arroyo has said, he did remember meeting with Mr. Earl and it was his call whether he wished to subdivide any or all of his property. He said the latest word he has had was that he does not wish to at this time, but at least they have the stubs from either side which were lined up, that would eventually cut through. He said but right now there was no opportunity to do it and the City was not going to condemn the road through.


Member Lorenzo said she certainly sympathized with the public that has spoken, but it appears from what their Consultants were telling them, that there doesn't appear to be any legal way for the City to deny this project. She said they meet the requirements of the Ordinances and she could certainly understand their frustration and the shock of change and the disruption of traffic through the subdivisions because she has experienced it herself. She said in fact it was Singh Development that has an entranceway into the two access points into her subdivision off of Taft Road, a boulevarded access and then they have another major access into her subdivision.


Member Lorenzo said she wouldn't kid them and it was a disruption and a shock of having additional traffic pass her house everyday, but unfortunately in some circumstances, there just doesn't seem to be any other alternative of not connecting those subdivisions and isolating them.


Member Lorenzo said the way the law works was that a property owner owns a piece of property and they have a right to develop that property as long as they meet all of the Ordinance requirements and the Commission was stuck between a rock and a hard place and the best they could do was look to all of the Ordinances and make sure that they follow the letter of the law and try to come up with the best development possible, but she didn't think it was in the realm of possibility for the Commission to outright deny this because they connect to another subdivision and because they add traffic.


Member Lorenzo said that was why she has asked those questions of the Consultants because she was looking for a way to improve the situation, but there doesn't appear to be any legitimate legal way for them to do that.


Member Mutch said she was glad that Member Lorenzo asked the questions she did because she has been taking notes herself as the residents addressed the questions and certain problems. She felt the questions raised were good questions that needed some more explanation from the Consultants and she felt Member Lorenzo did get some answers.


Member Mutch said however some of what she was hearing was that it was not just the volume of traffic or the flow of traffic, or that some of the access may bring additional through traffic onto gravel roads, but there was the fact that there was a proposed boulevard entrance on 10 Mile that was not just a traffic concern but it goes to something else that she didn't think their Ordinance gives them much to work with or to help them with.


Member Mutch said if she understood what they were saying, all of the Willowbrooks, north and south of 10 Mile, even including Buckingham Court for all she knew, have worked over a long period of time to establish a certain sense of community identity which was the Willowbrook Community, not just Willowbrook 1, 2, 3, and possibly 4. She said that was a very difficult thing to do in the best of circumstances, let alone when they were located both north and south of a major road like 10 Mile and one that was proposed to be expanded to a five-lane road.


Member Mutch felt regarding that boulevarded entrance, the problem she was hearing them say was that a new development was coming in and in effect taking away what she was familiar with, that Border Hill entrance, which was a lovely tree-lined entrance. She said also people were not aware that there were homes back there.


Member Mutch said as far as appearances goes, it looks like it was just another narrow road leading into an undeveloped part of town. She said she could see why they would want to keep it and she could see where it would discourage crime, and it was very aesthetically pleasing and it would add to the value of the property for the people who live there and in general would add to continuing the sense of what Willowbrook was when it was first developed which was more of a country subdivision. She felt they have the benefit of all of those trees having matured and the vegetation that has come up providing both privacy from 10 Mile and also from those neighbors who choose to be more secluded.


Member Mutch said in addition, they have Bishop Creek running through and some of those residents have the privilege of having property that actually has Bishop Creek running outside their back windows or through their property. She said from what she has seen, they have taken a stewardship role in terms of that part of Bishop Creek that goes through their property and they have done a fine job of preserving a resource that was also part of the rest of the City.


Member Mutch said concerning a way that they could deal with the boulevard problem from a safety point of view, some of the residents have pointed out that to have a separate entrance as opposed to a boulevard entrance, actually may create more of the problem that they were already predicting, which was they have yet one more entrance, especially if they have entrances that were so close together that it was difficult to turn in or out, particularly out onto 10 Mile. She said she wasn't sure, short of eliminating an entrance at all, that a separate entrance was really going to solve more problems than it would create.


Member Mutch said she would like to think there might be some way, if this was the only access to this property, that Singh could make a good faith effort to come up with a design solution. She felt possibly they could preserve the same kind of entrance that was there now. She said regarding the actual entry into the Singh Development, which was actually past where Border Hill was, if they want to have a grant design there and some sort of individualized identity, that would be fine, but why not preserve that because the people who would then buy those lots, would appreciate that understated entry as much as the people who already live in Willowbrook.


Member Mutch said she would think that a boulevarded entrance does not have to be a barren, concrete and curbing asphalt type entrance and they could have landscaping, whether it was preserved or replanted.


Member Mutch felt that was more of a design question that they couldn't necessarily require the developer to conform to, but she felt that Singh has a reputation in this community for being cooperative and wanting to be a good neighbor and she would think the best time to do that would be before things were built.


Member Mutch said then in terms of the comments that were made on increased crime, one unfortunate thing was that every time they have development and any time they have more people coming in, whether it was two families or 200 families, that was the result and there was just no way around it.


Member Mutch felt the only option then was just not have development at all and as they have been told and have said, the only way to keep a piece of property that otherwise could be legally developed, undeveloped, would be to invest in it and acquire it or have, as she was always suggesting, the City buy it and have it as a City Park area.


Member Mutch said regarding the other comment that was made about access out to Meadowbrook Road, one of the real frustrations as a Planning Commissioner was that so many projects come in and the Commission looks at them and wishes that if the developer could acquire a certain piece of property, there would be better access or a better layout, include a park, etc., but the problem, as Mr. Rogers pointed out, was when they have a piece of property like the Earl piece that was just not available, they couldn't require someone to sell and they couldn't require the developer to buy.


Member Mutch said the same may be true even if they have an option on another piece of property because even if they bought that piece and they came before the Commission, their Woodlands and Wetlands Consultants were going to say it doesn't matter how much money the developer wants to spend, they were not going to recommend that they be allowed to put a road through there, let alone put houses on it. She said if the topography and the environment was of a kind that would really be damaged by development, they were not going to allow development there, even if it would provide a better access route.


Member Mutch said they were constantly having to weigh those things one against the other, and she felt what both she and Member Lorenzo have said was that the concerns they have raised were excellent ones, but some of them unfortunately they couldn't really do anything about and the only one she could see that they could do something about was to encourage in any way they could, the developer to consider how that entrance was actually designed.


Member Hodges first asked the applicant to see the landscape board that he had brought in. She then said to Mr. Arroyo regarding this road they were talking about and the radius at the end which does not meet, could they make suggestions to the ZBA and Mr. Arroyo said it would be the City Council in this case.


Member Hodges said if they were to overlay this in her subdivision, she would be at about Lot 12. She said she backs out of her driveway and by the time she gets to the street and gets her rear bumper into the street, there were cars careening around that curve, and she had a clear view when she started out her driveway, but she didn't have it in a distance and it was very difficult to stop.


Member Hodges asked if they could propose a stop sign going from the butt end of that to the south. She indicated she was down at Lot 15 and she asked could they propose a stop sign there at that corner at 14 Mile so that those first few lots could have a view that there was an automobile approaching as a person couldn't see them.


Mr. Arroyo said regarding the placement of stop signs, when the City does that it has to follow specific criteria of the Michigan Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices and this situation was not likely to be one where they would meet the warrants for the placement of a stop sign, however, there were specific sight distance criteria for residential drives that were in the Design and Construction Standards, which have to be reviewed at the time the engineering drawings come in and that was where the issue she raised was a good one and a person needs to be able to see out of those drives.


Member Hodges said they could see, but they couldn't control the speed at which a person approaches that curb. Mr. Arroyo asked if her concern was if she was pulling out of Lot 15 onto the eyebrow area there, was that when she couldn't see a car coming around the corner.


Member Hodges said no it was backing out of Lot 12, and she may have a clear view when she thought she would make it out into the street to turn around and go south, but by the time she gets out into the street, she was in obstruction. She said her concern was if a car would be going at such a speed that it would be very difficult for either one of them to stop in a safe manner.


Mr. Arroyo said when someone makes that curve which was sharp, obviously their speed was going to have to be lower than it would be if they were on a road with a 230 foot centerline radius. However, that was an issue that the Council may want to take into consideration as to whether they should grant a 230 foot variance to provide for this because there were some implications.


Mr. Arroyo said as the applicant mentioned, there might be other ways of addressing this, which would be to provide a true cul-de-sac bulb at the north end there and stub further down maybe where Lot 12 was to that property to the west, so that they don't have to go for any type of variance from the Design and Construction Standards. He said that to him would be another thing that should be evaluated as part of the whole issue as to whether or not a Design and Construction Standard variance should be granted or not.


Member Hodges said she would like to see something to prevent that because it was a problem and she couldn't control the speed of the vehicles and neither would those people be able to control the speed of the vehicles.


Member Hodges asked the applicant about the proposed square footage of the homes and the applicant said the square footage of the homes would be much like their Westminster Village development on Haggerty Road of 1,800 to 2,000 sq. ft. and would be two-story and single story homes.


Member Weddington said she appreciated Member Lorenzo's questions and comments but she was wondering whether there was another solution to this. She said she knows they cannot require the developer to acquire additional property, but she was curious as to what was directly at the north end of this, and she believed there were two parcels that front Grand River and she asked do they know what was on those.


Mr. Rogers replied that was Glenda's Market and in the plan that they would be discussing later that night, they retain that and then they take Lot 1 of the Leslie Park Subdivision for the new building and he believed the north end of this proposed subdivision was owned by Glenda's and they were selling it.


Member Weddington said she was very concerned about the traffic and safety issues and the health impact of the safety and drainage in this area, and she was not convinced that the drainage situation would be resolved satisfactorily and she was very sympathetic to the impact on the other adjacent residents.


Member Weddington said she has lived in the Village Oaks area for 18 years, and this was a very congested area and it just appears that they were trying to shoe-horn a very congested development into an already very busy and crowded area.


Member Taub indicated they were constrained by the Ordinances, and by the laws, but then on the other hand, he did not feel that they have to destroy the character of the Novi neighborhoods to somehow enhance Novi and that was a contradiction. He said when he ran for City Council, he walked around a bit on Joseph and those blocks and he felt from a planning prospective, that small neighborhood offers a certain appeal to people who do not want to be in the main stream of traffic and congestion.


Member Taub said as was mentioned, there were a lot of question marks here and that area doesn't have sidewalks and they have children there as was mentioned by many of the families that spoke and he didn't feel that health, safety and welfare which were matters they have to consider in making their decisions from a legal prospective, were served by super-increasing traffic and other problems with two years of construction.


Member Taub said when he sits up here and he sees the character of areas being destroyed by new projects, he felt in part they have a duty to coordinate development not stop development, and they couldn't stop people from using their land. He said but he could certainly see that this new development was going to destroy this existing neighborhood, but from his very limited walking around about a year ago, it had a certain charm, and that was why people live there and bought there and they have an obligation and there were drainage issues and traffic issues.


Member Taub said as was pointed out by the Commissioners, this whole 10 Mile/Meadowbrook area has real traffic problems in his estimation and they don't yet have a widened 10 Mile, which would help alleviate and unlike Livonia, they somehow have decided to develop first and to put infrastructure in later, than just try to cope with the problems. He said he didn't subscribe to that doctrine.


Member Taub said in this instance, he felt there was enough legal basis for himself at least to listen to the homeowners and he wasn't going to sit here and lecture the people who have invested in homes as to why he was going to vote to ruin their neighborhood and he wouldn't do that.


Member Taub said he wouldn't lecture to them and tell them why they would create a situation that was bad for them and their kids and their equity and neighborhood and why they moved there. He said so in this instance, he couldn't support this development, which was going to increase the density and create problems such as traffic on down, so he would not be able to support this.


Member Bonaventura said he had a few questions. He asked Mr. Rogers did anyone representing the City have discussions with the people that designed this about Border Hill and the boulevard entrance. Mr. Rogers said he was not involved with that.


Member Bonaventura said so was he telling him that the developer comes in with this design and just assumes they were going to tie this in into an existing City road. Mr. Rogers explained the developer came in with this proposal and then it was submitted for review by several reviewers so they were reacting to a Seiber Keast design.


Member Bonaventura then said to Mr. Rogers that he did not mention the front entrance to the boulevard on the west side of the boulevard where there seems to be a missing linkage of a sidewalk up to 10 Mile. Mr. Rogers said the sidewalk on Ten Mile was not shown and Member Bonaventura said that wasn't the area and he pointed out where he was talking about.


Mr. Rogers then said he couldn't see it here, but there was a note no. 2 on the plan that indicated 5 foot sidewalks shall be placed around all interior road rights-of-way, so that means that they would have an obligation to have a sidewalk on both sides of the road.


Member Bonaventura asked the Petitioner if that was what he had in mind or did he forget to put it on this and the applicant said that was a conceptual plan so sidewalks would be placed on both sides of the road.


Member Bonaventura then said he shared the same concerns as Member Hodges about the north end of this project which was the sharp turn at the very end and which was not up to their Design and Construction Standards and it needs a 230 foot radius on the end of that and was that correct and Mr. Arroyo said that was correct or some other design that would modify that so it would meet the requirements.


Member Bonaventura said his personal opinion was that when a Petitioner comes in with something like this, he couldn't approve the project and he couldn't approve something that was not up to their design standards which was pointed out and it was definitely a safety issue. He said also there was the excuse being that this way was preferred to the Petitioner because if they went to the 230 ft. center line radius, they would probably be losing some homes.


Member Bonaventura said a quick look at this project tells him that they were using every single square inch to put a home on and which was absolutely their right to do so and it doesn't show much imagination but it was their right to do so. He said it was his opinion that this should be denied and he would like to see if the Petitioner wishes to come back, to come in with the radius at the end of the sub instead of coming in and asking the Commission to approve this and then go on to get a variance because he didn't see how this Planning Commission could approve this.


Member Bonaventura said concerning 10 Mile and concerning this Planning Commission, this Planning Commission has to decide sooner or later, whether they were going to be the problem or be the solution and every single project was just a small bite and this was a very small project and they should just take it one step at a time. He then said he would make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub



To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Willowbrook Estates No. 4, SP95-02.





Member Hoadley said he would object to the motion being made before he had a chance to make his own comments and ask his own questions.

Member Hoadley then asked Mr. Bluhm since there was going to be waters traveling over paved roads, do they have a provision in here to put in besides a sedimentation basin, some kind of a configuration that would absolutely erase the affluents and the contaminants that would go into the wetlands.


Mr. Bluhm said the accepted measure was oil and gas separators that have been used in the past and those do remove a certain amount, and he asked Member Hoadley if he was talking about a specific sedimentation basin and Member Hoadley said he was talking about oil and gas separators, but he didn't see them in any of the recommendations.


Mr. Bluhm said that was something they were recommending now be installed in the areas that would be defined when the final plans come in.


Member Hoadley said to Mr. Watson that his observation was that they only have one entrance going into this project due to the fact that the stub was going down to a 21 foot wide road, and he asked was there anything in their Ordinances that would allow a second entrance to be less than the original entrance servicing the subdivision.


Mr. Watson said he wasn't sure if he understood his question and Member Hoadley explained they have 28 foot wide roads, the main road servicing the subdivision, but the secondary stub was going to go through a subdivision of only 21 foot wide roads and would their Ordinance allow the second entrance to be less than the other entrance.


Mr. Watson said it certainly doesn't preclude it and the Ordinance requires you to use existing stubs and the Subdivision Ordinance specifically requires that street systems shall make use of stub streets to adjacent property.


Mr. Watson said now the alternative would be for Council granting a variance from that particular requirement, but the Ordinance requires you to use stubs and the fact that the existing street was a less wide street doesn't preclude that.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Arroyo if he did an impact study in regards to how the traffic that would go through this stub, going into the other subdivision, would impact that subdivision and he pointed out the stub to Mr. Arroyo.


Mr. Arroyo said they have made a general forecast and in the memo he handed out, it states that this proposed subdivision would add approximately 150 trips per day to the Leslie Park Sub road network going out to Grand River.


Member Hoadley asked what impact would that have on the health and safety of the people in that subdivision, and Mr. Arroyo said he could not respond to that. Member Hoadley asked if any other Consultant would be willing to respond to the health and safety scenario and no one did.


Member Hoadley then said he was very concerned about this subdivision and he didn't like it frankly and he felt they have Ordinances in place that require two entrances and two exits to a subdivision and he didn't think there was an adequate secondary exit and therefore, he would not support approval of this subdivision.


Chairman Clark said he would agree with the comments of the Commissioners and the comments from Member Lorenzo with reference to the fact that certainly they couldn't preclude a person from developing their own property and the only thing they could do was within reasonable parameters, control how that development may or may not occur in terms of what type of a plat plan may be approved or what type of a plan for a sub that was brought in might be approved, within certain guidelines set forth in the Ordinance.


Chairman Clark said he had serious concerns, both in terms of the public safety issue and also concerns in terms of the water and drainage issues that were raised there that evening. He felt the City Council has on more than one occasion been addressed by residents with those very problems and they were very concerned and it has caused no end of friction within the community.


Chairman Clark felt until those concerns were addressed adequately, he did not see the benefit of running the risk of having that type of a situation develop again where a year or so down the road, a group of angry residents were before the City Council saying they have all of this water in their backyards now and why did this happen to them.


Chairman Clark said until those concerns were addressed, he could not support this proposal. He said they have the comments of public and the members of the Commission and they would be available in the Minutes and they should be addressed and then come back with the modified or changed proposal, and they may well find a much more receptive group of residents who would nonetheless bear some of the impact and brunt of the development and they would have also addressed the concerns of the members of the Commission. He said he makes his comments only speaking for himself and of course the votes that may be made by the individual members of the Commission were certainly theirs that evening.


Chairman Clark then restated the motion:



To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Willowbrook Estates No. 4, SP95-02.


Member Lorenzo said she would like to amend the main motion:



To include some language that if the City Council so chooses to move forward with this project, that certain conditions be applied and she would specify the certain conditions.






Chairman Clark asked Mr. Watson if they could do that, and Mr. Watson said yes, and they would have to specify those conditions and then if there was a second to that motion, they would vote on the motion to amend and then if that motion was adopted by a majority of the Commission, they would then act on the main motion.


Chairman Clark asked what conditions was Member Lorenzo talking about. Member Lorenzo said the conditions would be:



That the Petitioner would make every effort to maintain and enhance the quality of water being discharged downstream into Bishop Creek and that the Petitioner be encouraged to preserve as many trees as possible; to encourage the Petitioner to evaluate the boulevard design, and a negative recommendation for the cul-de-sac areas.





Chairman Clark asked if the maker of the motion accepted the amendment.


Member Bonaventura said no he did not however, he appreciated having Member Lorenzo state those conditions and they were now on the record.


Chairman Clark then asked for a second to the motion.


Member Taub said he would call the question.



Chairman Clark said he first needed to find out if there was a second to the motion and there was no second, so the motion to amend failed for lack of support. He said they were now back to the main motion. He said he would restate the main motion and then have a vote on the main motion.



To send to City Council a negative recommendation for Willowbrook Estates No. 4 Subdivision, SP95-02.


Chairman Clark explained a yes vote means they were supporting the negative recommendation to Council.



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


(5) Yeas (3) Nays





Chairman Clark said they would take a ten minute break at this point.





Mr. Warren Jocz of 40755 W. Ten Mile Road was present. He said he wanted to come before the Commission to talk about the 10 Mile Road widening proposal that they would be discussing later that evening and he believed the reason they have some information packets was in response to several questions he has raised in front of the City Council.


Mr. Jocz said the gist of his comments and questions to the City Council was the accuracy of the information that they were using to justify looking at a proposal for five lanes and one of his concerns first of all was that everywhere it was written, it says five lanes and that was what the City of Novi has decided because it was part of the Master Plan. He said 9 Mile was scheduled to be five lanes, and 10 Mile, Grand River, 12 Mile and 14 Mile were all scheduled to be five lanes.


Mr. Jocz said according to the actual contractor, there was suppose to be at this point a feasibility study on a no-built option, keeping it at two lanes, three lanes built, four lanes built, and five lanes built, but the City already has in their minds, a five lane proposal.


Mr. Jocz said his concern was that he has been working with SEMCOG and generating numbers for the year 2015 and those numbers do not correlate to what the Master Plan was. He said as a matter of fact, the Master Plan data shows estimates 68% higher than what SEMCOG was currently predicting and with the SEMCOG model that he was using, he also ran an analysis for the year 1990 which was the last time Oakland County did a road count on 10 Mile between Haggerty and Meadowbrook Road.


Mr. Jocz said and they were within 11% of that actual survey, well within a survey error tolerance, so he has a relatively good comfort level that SEMCOG's current predictions represent that and they also represent for year 2015, 21,500 cars and currently they were at 19,300 cars.


Mr. Jocz said the key issue here that he has been bringing up in front of the City Council and brought up to them that evening was one of the issues was speed, and if they make it 5 lanes, all people were going to do was to go faster, and they were going to do what the road bears, and it does not alleviate the number of access points that were currently on 10 Mile, and that was the safety issue and that was the congestion issue.


Mr. Jocz said a chart that was in the Master Plan and was published by the Federal Highway Administration shows for the current number of access points on 10 Mile, which was over 27 for that mile between Haggerty and Meadowbrook, that they have to have a speed of 20-25 mph on that segment of the road.


Mr. Jocz said right now on that chart, they could anticipate an accident every 12 1/2 days with the current volume. He said with the proposal of using the numbers that the Master Plan shows for future traffic volumes and the way they produce the five lanes, they could expect an accident every 6.4 days on that stretch of 10 Mile Road. He said if they drop the speed limit and focus on that as an alternative solution instead of having the mind set to five lanes as the way to go, he felt they could save the taxpayers a lot of money and solve the problem that people believe exist.


Chairman Clark then closed the Audience Participation.


Chairman Clark said at this point the Commission has some guests here that evening, a group of architectural students from Lawrence Technology University. He then welcomed them to the meeting that evening.



2. Estate Storage, SP94-37A - Property Located East of Novi Road, Southerly of Nine Mile Road for Possible Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan, Woodlands Permit, Wetlands Permit, and Section 4 Waiver Approval.


Mr. Pat Keast of Seiber-Keast Associates was present. He said the site was located at the rear of the existing Estate Storage development on Novi Road, which was just south of Nine Mile Road. He said it was adjacent to the Novi Bowl, and in fact, the site wraps around behind Novi Bowl and some of the buildings were adjacent to that property line with Novi Bowl. He said to the south was a vacant piece of property and further south from there, was the Novi Motive property.


Mr. Keast said they were proposing three buildings to be added to the existing eight on the site and those three buildings were situated and located in a similar fashion. He said there would be no sanitary sewer extensions proposed and there was a water main extension that was proposed which would provide fire protection at a proposed hydrant in the vicinity where the pavement ends right now and the new pavement would be added to it.


Mr. Keast said regarding the storm water, currently there was the Thornton Creek which traverses the site from the northwest to the southeast and then travels underneath the CSX railroad, which was on the easterly side of the site and currently the storm water from Estate Storage drains through a ditch and into the Thornton Creek.

Mr. Keast said the proposed storm water would collect the existing that comes off of the site now and divert it through a new pipe which would then carry the storm water into a proposed sedimentation basin. He said there was also a proposed oil and gas separator prior to the storm water entering into that sedimentation basin and then the storm water would leave that sedimentation basin and enter the existing ditch and then into the Thornton Creek, so they have some enhancements to the existing condition with respect to the storm water.


Mr. Keast said there were some minor encroachments into the wetlands of approximately a tenth of an acre and their Consultants would expand on that issue.


Mr. Keast said there were over 200 regulated woodlands on the site and those would be impacted and they were proposing to remove 27 regulated trees and they were being replaced in accordance with the City's Ordinance with 42 trees to be either placed on the site or at an alternate location within the City with the approval of the City Forester.


Mr. Keast said the proprietor of Estate Storage, Mr. Chuck Lapham, was also present to answer any questions they might have regarding the existing operation and Mr. Lee Mamola was present to comment on the Section 4 Waiver that was being requested.


Mr. Mamola indicated he has outlined the arguments for the Section 4 Waiver in his letter of November 4th and he presumed they all have a copy in their packets and there were several reasons that supports that argument in that letter.


Mr. Mamola said he wanted to remind the Commission that the purpose of the Section 4 Waiver when he wrote it nearly 10 years ago was to provide for consistency of architectural development on the site and they were replicating the existing buildings to the "T." He said he didn't know how more consistent they could be in compliance with the intent of that Ordinance.





Mr. Rogers indicated this was a two-fold report and one was Special Land Use Review and the other was review of a Revised Preliminary Site Plan that had been heretofore submitted to the City. He said also, they have the Section 4 Waiver report from Mr. Necci.


Mr. Rogers said this particular project was started back in 1986 and some of them reviewed it at that time. He said there was available adjacent property to the rear back to the railroad and they were occupying part of that site that was in the original project and then there was some new area to the north. He said there was an opinion in the file from Mr. Watson on the adjacency issue and why this property does abut the R-4 Riverbridge property to the east and the relief that would be needed.


Mr. Rogers said the site meets the criteria of the self-storage uses in an I-1 District, Sec. 1903 relative to the setbacks between buildings, access to a major thoroughfare, overall site size of over five acres, and length of buildings not exceeding 250 sq. ft. He indicated they do have a footnote on the plans about the storage of flammables and also a statement permitting impromptu inspections of those warehouses.


Mr. Rogers indicated no open storage was planned and no business was intended other than the self storage use. He said they have indicated the required wall treatment next to the Novi Bowl which was a commercial use, but in the Ordinance it was required and they need to detail the type of wall a bit better at the time of Final site plan submittal.


Mr. Rogers indicated all roadways were to be paved along with security gates and fire hydrants, and the building height complies and the architectural design with gable roof complies with the Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers stated in addition to specific standards for Special Land Use, which he just reviewed 15 of them, they have General Standards on traffic impact that Mr. Arroyo would discuss. He indicated adequate utilities exist and fire and police services were 1-2 miles away and there were regulated wetlands and woodlands for which a separate report would be submitted.


Mr. Rogers said in recommending Special Land Use Approval, he had the following three conditions:


1. A variance being granted by the ZBA, a use variance, of the adjacency of this development to a R-4 Residential District.


2. Detailing better the screening treatment around the site.


3. Compliance with the Woodlands Permit and the Wetlands Permit as may be developed.


Mr. Rogers said in summary, he felt the development would be a quiet neighbor to adjacent properties and it was somewhat landlocked and access was really only from Estate Storage and they do have the CSX Railway viaduct there, which was a large embankment east of which was a berm with plant materials as part of the Riverbridge development. He said being that the buildings were only 12'8" high, he felt they would be very unobtrusive, so he recommended Special Land Use Approval with those conditions.





Mr. Rogers indicated everyone should be aware that this was a Preliminary Site Plan Approval and not a Final Site Plan Approval, where they get into detailed engineering, landscaping and building facade analysis, however, there would be a report on the building facade analysis because the applicant seeks to depart from the strict letter of the Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers said on the site plan, all application data was provided and parking was sufficient and off-street loading and unloading space obviously would be at the doors to the mini-warehouse facility and the special screening requirements along the east side of the site would be addressed at the time of Final site plan approval, but he recognized the Thornton Creek and its floodway and the storm water lagoon and the railroad embankment would limit what Ms. Lemke could design to meet the terms of screening of an industrial use next to a residential use, but they would take that into consideration.


Mr. Rogers said regarding the building facades, this does require a Section 4 Waiver and he recognized that Mr. Mamola was replicating what was already there and those buildings of course were practically invisible unless someone was parking in the Novi Bowl parking lot, but the continuance of plain block which the existing development has with a gable roof, was a type of material that just was not approved or listed in Section 2520. He said they could use fluted block, ribbed block, shadow block, and split faced block, but plain block was not one of the uses nor was the single scored block which they propose. He added Mr. Necci's report was important for the Commission to review.


Mr. Rogers said he recommended Preliminary Site Plan Approval, subject to Special Land Use being granted with the conditions noted and the Commission's decision on the Section 4 Waiver.


Mr. Bluhm indicated he has also reviewed the Preliminary Site Plan and as Mr. Keast mentioned, the water mains would be extended onto the site throughout the building areas and they were also providing storm sewers to collect the storm water run-off from the developed areas and discharging into the existing ditch through a sedimentation basin/water quality basin that they were providing and outletting unrestricted and undetained to the Thornton Creek. He indicated the Thornton Creek has the ability to pass the developed flows for this area as defined in the Storm Water Master Plan.


Mr. Bluhm said the applicant has also previously submitted a floodplain fill or a floodplain use permit through the Building Department several months ago and they have reviewed that permit and as a part of that, correspondence from the DNR was submitted as the Thornton Creek was of the size that the DNR was required to evaluate it for floodplain use also.


Mr. Bluhm said in essence, what the DNR does in their reviews for the floodplain fill was that they look at the volume that was going to be filled in the floodway area to see what effect it has on the storage capability of the Thornton Creek during a storm event and they use a criteria typically that if there was more than a .1 foot increase in the storage or the high water elevation of the creek, that was considered extreme, but in this case, the magnitude of the development was far less than that.


Mr. Bluhm said they had subsequently issued a permit for the floodplain fill and they used that DNR permit in review of the local permit and they had subsequently issued an approval for that. He said the ultimate permit would be pulled from the Building Department and that was the concern that was issued through the floodplain.


Mr. Bluhm said they did have one comment in their Preliminary Site Plan and he would like to read that into the record: "The building elevations must be at or above the 100 year flood elevation, determined to be approximately 831.2 N.G.V.D. or be flood-proofed to the 100 year flood elevation. Building A has a finish grade of 831.0 on this plan which is below the flood elevation that is specified as required." Mr. Bluhm indicated this could be addressed at the Final and some additional grading may be required and some trees may be impacted, but they would like to address that at the Final site plan.


Mr. Bluhm said at this time he was recommending engineering feasibility.


Mr. Arroyo said they have also reviewed the Preliminary Site Plan and from the last submittal, the applicant had made some modifications to address internal circulation flow to meet his satisfaction and he has noted that some traffic control signs may be required as part of the Final Site Plan to reflect the detailed circulation system that they have developed. He said he has also noted that at the time of Final Site Plan, details for the driveway approach to Novi Road would need to be provided to ensure that it meets the adequacy of the existing plus proposed development, so he was recommending approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.


Chairman Clark said the record should reflect that the file contains a letter from the City of Novi Fire Department from Daniel W. Roy, Captain, indicating that this plan has been reviewed and that approval was recommended.


Mr. Chris Pargoff was present and he indicated his report was in concurrence with Ms. Lemke's letter, indicating that there would be the need for 42 trees to be replaced on site in accordance with the Woodlands Ordinance. He said the final determination would be made at the time of Final engineering and as Mr. Bluhm indicated, there may be more impact on other trees at that time.


Mr. Pargoff said in addition he wanted to alert the developer that a permit needs to be obtained and also a pre-construction meeting needs to be held before any work could be done on this site.


Chairman Clark said it was also his understanding from the report that Mr. Pargoff submitted, that it was his recommendation, at least if the developer was so inclined, that the tree replacements be designated for the 12 Mile island plantings and Mr. Pargoff stated unless the developer was able to place them on site.


Ms. Lemke indicated she has reviewed this plan for compliance with the Woodlands Ordinance and there were approximately 3.5 acres of woodlands on the site. She stated they were proposing to remove approximately one acre of regulated woodlands and the quality of those woodlands based on the Ordinance was generally pretty poor due to the limited size, limited wildlife habitat value and the species composition.


Ms. Lemke indicated the area of highest quality was along Thornton Creek and there was some intrusion into that with the building envelope, but if they move the building either way, they were going to take out additional trees and it was set in that particular location to meet setback requirements.


Ms. Lemke said as Mr. Keast stated, they would be removing 27 trees that were greater than 6" d.b.h. and they were showing the correct replacement trees and they would be working with Mr. Pargoff on that matter.


Ms. Lemke said she would like to review the Final Site Plan in regard to the building elevation and any removal of additional trees. She said in summary, she was recommending approval of the plan for a Woodlands Permit with the following conditions: (1) The proposed location elsewhere of the replacement trees needs to be established and approved. The number of each species proposed for replacement needs to be included. (2) A cost estimate also be included and the cost of protective fencing be submitted and inspection fees be paid. (3) A preservation easement for area of preserved woodlands be provided. (4) A woodlands performance bond in the amount of $2,500.00 be submitted if directed by the City Forester.


Ms. Tepatti indicated their office has reviewed the plan for conformance with the Wetland Protection Ordinance and this plan does require a Wetlands Permit as was stated due to some impacts to the wetland area and the wetland buffer. She said this project does lie just south of the Thornton Creek and west of the railroad tracks and there was a wetland system that was associated with the Thornton Creek that was primarily forested scrub shrub in nature that follows the creek and then wraps around along the railroad tracks.


Ms. Tepatti also indicated there was about a tenth of an acre of wetland impact proposed and those areas were shown in pink on the plan and at least one portion of that area was an existing storm water swale as was stated also.


Ms. Tepatti said the buffer in this area was primarily shrubby and forested habitat and was proposed to be removed in certain locations on the plan and the buffer was being preserved along a portion of the Thornton Creek where it was closest to the development. She said the DNR has issued a permit for the wetland fill as well as the floodplain fill as Mr. Bluhm has stated and this project was considered a minor use permit for the DNR since the wetland fill was under a quarter of an acre and therefore they require no mitigation. She said there was basically no upland located on the site that could be used for mitigation otherwise they would be impacting additional woodlands and buffer areas.


Ms. Tepatti said however, the applicant was proposing the sedimentation basin, which was also in compliance with the DNR Permit and that area could be utilized depending upon review of future plans, and there might be some plantings or some type of enhancement that could occur. She said as was stated, this basin could only enhance the quality of the storm water coming out, as most of the water was already coming from the existing Estate Storage and was not routed into a sedimentation basin previously, and now it would be going through that basin. She indicated she would be looking at ways to enhance that basin's use for water quality.


Ms. Tepatti said in summary, she did recommend approval of the Wetland Permit subject to the conditions as stated in the DNR Permit be followed, and that a preservation/conservation easement be executed over the remaining wetland as was also required by the Department of Natural Resources.


Ms. Tepatti indicated in future submittals, she would be reviewing plans to see if there was some type of buffer enhancement that could occur or when they finish grading, and she would be looking at the cross sections with the slopes from the parking lot to the remaining wetland and woodland to see if there was any plantings that could be done along those slopes.


Ms. Tepatti said again, they would be looking at the sedimentation basin plans with Mr. Bluhm to determine if there was any way that could be enhanced as well.


Chairman Clark then asked if Mr. Necci was present to address his report and Mr. Bluhm indicated he was not present that evening. Mr. Bluhm stated Mr. Necci felt his report was straight-forward so he would leave it at that and if there were any questions, Mr. Bluhm said he would certainly try to address them.


Mr. Rogers added that Mr. Necci had done a breakdown schedule of the percents of materials on each facade of each building which was required and he does recommend the Section 4 Waiver he believed and was saying the project meets the intent of the paragraph and Mr. Necci recommended granting the waiver on that basis.


Mr. Rogers felt they needed Mr. Mamola to make a statement and he did submit a letter explaining it and maybe he should discuss that letter briefly. Mr. Rogers asked Mr. Mamola if he brought in a sample of the single-scored block and Mr. Mamola said he did not but it was single-scored block and the discussion earlier might have led the Commission to believe that it was regular concrete common block, but it was not.


Mr. Mamola indicated it was single-scored block and he would have to do a little research, but he believed that years ago, single-scored block was a permitted material, and the amount of percentage that would be allowed on a building might not be 100%, but he felt since the time that the Facade Ordinance was initially placed on the books until today, at some point in time, the single-scored block was a permitted material.


Mr. Rogers said yes, the history of that was when Federal Express and Lanny's Catering was built on Meadowbrook Road north of Grand River, it was single-scored block and from a distance a person couldn't tell it from plain block, and that decision was made at that point, and Mr. Mamola who was on the Commission as a Commissioner in 1984 was correct, but there was an amendment to take out shortly thereafter, possibly in 1985, the single-scored, the double-scored and the plain block because it just looked like a flat wall treatment, to something that would give a light and shadow impact like split-faced or shadow or fluted block.


Mr. Mamola said they may want to verify this with the records, etc., but he believed the initial development of Estate Storage was done under the Ordinance that permitted single-scored. He would also point out that coincidentally he had a photograph of the partial detail of the existing Estate Storage building. He said the light color of the single scored block in this case did give some relief in texture and Mr. Rogers was correct, if it were not for the light color and if it were a dark color, a person probably would not see that scoring effect in the block in most cases.


Mr. Mamola said he would also remind the Commissioners that one of the points in his letter was the fact that those buildings were some 700 feet away from Novi Road and textured, scored whatever, would be difficult to decipher, however, in his letter of November 4, he pointed out the use of concrete and masonry was consistent with the design concept to provide long-lasting secure and maintainable building materials for this storage facility.


Mr. Mamola said so when they look at the use of a storage building, they want maintainable materials, they want materials that were going to withstand temperature ranges and condensation issues. He said the buildings were unheated and they have to be concerned about the contents as well as the exterior appearance and masonry works very well in that case.


Mr. Mamola indicated the facade materials replicate the existing pattern and characteristics of the existing storage buildings on the site, including the painted color banding which was out there today and he believed it was on the elevations that they submitted to the Commission. He indicated the front portion of the property has been developed as a storage facility and the proposed buildings were in the rear portions of the property approximately 700 feet from the main road.


Mr. Mamola said in summary, the proposed buildings replicate the existing buildings and their position on the property was well to the rear of the parcel and the proposed facade materials properly relate to the buildings and surrounding areas. He then said they therefore request that a Section 4 Waiver be granted.





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





Member Hoadley said to Mr. Bluhm that he didn't reference anything in the packet indicating he was going to require gas and oil separators and he asked him if he was going to require that on the Final Site Plan.


Mr. Bluhm said he believed it was referenced on the plan and Member Hoadley said he didn't see it and it wasn't in his notes. Mr. Bluhm said to look just above the reference to Building B on the plan and it was obscured and it was not easily visible but it was on there.


Member Hoadley then asked the developer if he has given any consideration to having the buildings that were going to impact the wetlands slightly and/or the trees, to have inside storage where there would be a corridor down the middle of the building where they could have a wider building, but they wouldn't have to have a back access or a back road accessing it.


Member Hoadley commented there were a lot of new mini-storage businesses that were addressing that concern because there was a big demand for it where people could get in out of the weather and take care of their storage needs with a corridor down the center and then one side of the building wouldn't have to have outside access doors.


Mr. Charles Lapham of 120 E. Main, Northville, was present. He said he didn't have any intention at this time to change from his present pattern and it would be all outside and entrance in, and there would be no corridors in any of the buildings. Member Hoadley asked him if he has given it any thought and Mr. Lapham said he has given it some thought and there was a need for it but usually it follows climate control and at this point, he didn't want to venture into that and he just wanted to duplicate what he had now to see if he couldn't fill a void.


Member Hodges said she understood that with their removal of trees, some trees would be replaced, but they were still abutting a residential district here and she had some concerns about proper screening and buffering against the residential area.


Member Hodges said they haven't any comments from the residents there, but it was still very much a concern of hers and she would like to see some landscaping designs or something at Final that may relieve some of her concerns. She asked if there were any plans to do any buffering.


Ms. Lemke said that has not been submitted yet and what they would be looking at would be what was existing there, and they want to keep as much existing vegetation as possible. She said they also have the railroad tracks and a lot of other things going on there. She said she would be looking at certainly to supplement any existing vegetation and to create the proper buffers, but to date, no landscape plan has been presented so she would be looking at that when they submit for Final.


Member Lorenzo said she shared Member Hodges' concerns regarding the buffering, and she didn't have a chance to go out to that property so she wasn't sure, and she was wondering whether Mr. Rogers or anyone else could enlighten the Commission as to whether the homeowners in Riverbridge visibly could see this property and what was the visibility.


Ms. Lemke said they have almost 30 feet of screening. Member Lorenzo said then the property was not visible, and Ms. Lemke said no it was not and the berm was huge there and it has plantings on top of it.


Member Lorenzo then said this increased vegetation was not going to make any difference to the homeowners in terms of their viewpoint. Ms. Lemke said not from what she could tell them right now from what she remembered, but she certainly would check that when it comes in for the Final plan.


Member Lorenzo said her other major concern was the floodplain fill and if they were going to approve this, she would stress that the Commission require a backwater analysis to be performed and in confirmation by their Novi engineers that the floodplain fill would not cause or increase any surface drainage or any ponding of water on any adjacent upstream properties.


Member Lorenzo said while it was all well and good that the DNR has signed off on this, she has found from her personal experience that the DNR's review and calculations sometimes fall short or were inadequate to address those types of concerns so she would really address that this be a condition of any Special Land Use and site plan approval for this project.


Member Lorenzo said other than that, if they do approve this, she felt it should come back for Final so that they could confirm the concerns she just mentioned in terms of floodplain, backwater effects and also the landscaping and screening and that it was proper and it would not have any impact on adjacent property.


Member Mutch said the only place that it seemed to her that it was going to be visible was on the Novi Bowl parking lot side and she wondered what they were seeing and it looks like they were seeing the end of the building and they were not even seeing the side.


Mr. Mamola said there was a screening wall proposed adjacent and he pointed it out. Member Mutch said then really the place where people were most likely to see those buildings, they wouldn't see them anyway.


Mr. Lapham said that was correct and in fact, as was pointed out, over by Riverbridge there was a large berm and the railroad tracks sits 6' higher than the site itself and then there was the remaining vegetation that was there that continues to screen that side but the only possible way that a person could see those buildings was from the Novi Bowl site.


Member Mutch said that was the way it appeared and it also seemed that whatever might change in that area, they still were not going to get anything built on adjacent property that was going to, down the road, have adverse effects in terms of the visual appearance of the building.


Member Mutch said whatever happens to the Novi Bowl or the property next to that, they were not going to be able to see it so the recommendation from Mr. Necci to go with the waiver, she could support that and after what Ms. Lemke has said, she didn't have any problem with this screening on the railroad track side/the residential side.


Member Mutch said the primary reason why the waiver was okay was because she felt they don't want to look around the community later and see a lot of buildings or a single building keep growing under previous standards that were no longer acceptable.


Member Mutch said the only reason it seems acceptable in this case was because it was so limited and no one was going to see it and it does make a nicer looking set of buildings if they match so she didn't have as much concern about the screening.


Mr. Lapham pointed out that the area along the railroad tracks was all wetlands, so if they were to propose screening in there, there would be some wetland impacts and he wasn't sure the net result would be a positive. He said again if anyone has been on the site, on either side, they couldn't see through the buildings that were there, so he didn't know that his landscape plan would propose any additional screening and he didn't think they possibly could, so if they came back at Final for review of landscaping, he couldn't see how anything along the railroad would end up with a net positive result.


Mr. Lapham said he also wanted to point out that there was a hydraulic backwater analysis performed by JCK before the DNR Permit was issued. He said when it was under review, they asked the City of Novi to comment and the City sent it to their engineer and they independently ran a backwater analysis of that and it had an impact on the change, so this plan actually evolved from that DNR permit review and JCK's backwater analysis.


Mr. Lapham said what they did was they matched it to the work that they had performed for the Riverbridge design through there, so all of that work had been done and the net result of that was there would be no impact upstream for this development and the floodplain alteration that was proposed by this amount of work.


Mr. Lapham said it was really a small amount of floodway fringe fill in relation to what was there now. He said the floodway actually was not impacted at all and could not be impacted.


Member Mutch commented that on the site plan it does say regarding the storage facilities, "no flammable, combustible or toxic materials shall be stored on site." Member Mutch said she just wondered who would enforce or monitor that.


Mr. Watson explained with all non-residential businesses, the Fire Department conducts annual inspections.


Member Mutch said so actually the Fire Department checks every unit. Mr. Watson said he didn't know the details on how the Fire Inspector does his reviews but he assumed he does something akin to that.


Member Bonaventura indicated he had no questions.


Member Hoadley asked if this would be 24 hour access storage and it was stated no and Member Hoadley asked the hours and it was stated 7:00 AM -10:00 PM. Member Hoadley asked what provision, if any, did they have to ensure the safety and welfare of the surrounding community for people coming in and out of the facility after dark.


Mr. Keast explained he felt that the 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM was doing exactly that and they had thought at one time they might have 24 hour access but they would have less control over the traffic after 10:00 in the evening until 7:00 in the morning. He said they could have probably accommodated more people with that, and they did lose some tenants with limousine drivers, lawn service, etc., but they had elected to have the shorter hours because it does give them more safety.


Member Hoadley asked about the lighting after hours and was it well-lit and Mr. Lapham said he felt it was well-lit. Member Hoadley asked if the new buildings would have some type of iridescent lighting on them and Mr. Lapham indicated they would continue the type of lighting they have and they may change the type of bulbs, but it should be very well lit and in fact, they would probably increase their lights back in there because of less security.


Member Hoadley asked if the lighting would be higher than the existing building and Mr. Lapham said no. Member Hoadley asked if it would be on the existing buildings and Mr. Lapham said yes.


Member Lorenzo then said to follow up on the floodplain issue, she and Mr. Bluhm had a conversation this morning and he did not indicate that any specific backwater analysis had been performed, in fact, he told her that in order to raise the comfort level of herself and the Commission, that it probably would be advisable to have such an analysis performed.


Mr. Bluhm said that was his error and in fact they have done it. He said what they could do was to reconfirm that there was no problem with that, but he did believe that those findings were correct and that there was a negligible impact but they could certainly look at that again.


Chairman Clark said he would entertain a motion.


It was then,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Bonaventura



To grant Special Land Use Approval, Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Woodlands Permit Approval, and Wetlands Permit Approval to Estate Storage Expansion, SP94-37A subject to all of the Consultants' written and verbal recommendations; subject to further confirmation from JCK regarding no backwater effect that would cause or increase any surface drainage or ponding of water up-stream and to bring back for Final to assure that has been taken care of; to also bring the Landscaping Plan back for Final; and also subject to the ZBA approving the variance.



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








It was,


Moved by Member Mutch

Seconded by Member Lorenzo



To grant the Section 4 Waiver for Estate Storage Expansion, SP94-37A.



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








1. Nantucket Cove Restaurant and Boston Club Banquet Hall, SP94-49A - Applicant Respectfully Requests for Clarification of the January 18, 1995 Planning Commission Motion of Approval.


Chairman Clark indicated the Petitioner sent the Commission a letter requesting clarification following this matter being heard on January 18, 1995 and indicated that he was requesting clarification with respect to the standard to be applied for determining parking requirements and also a determination by the Commission as to whether the Planning Commission may disregard dead space and thus avoid double counting of space for parking requirements.


Chairman Clark said in support of that request, there was a copy of their letter of February 13, 1995 to Mr. Dennis Watson which outlined the applicant's position and there was a response from Mr. Watson rendering his opinion that all spaces in the building should be counted even though some of it, that being the pre-function area, was dead space.


Chairman Clark said the Petitioner has indicated that in this particular case, counting of dead space would lead to an unreasonable and unrealistic result and has suggested that the Commission has discretion under the Ordinance to interpret the Ordinance in such a way as to avoid what the Petitioner feels in their opinion, would be an absurd result. Chairman Clark said that was the position as presented by Mr. Norman Hyman of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn. He said attached to the packet was the opinion that was given in that regard by both Mr. Watson and Mr. Fried.


Chairman Clark indicated the Petitioner was present that evening and available should they have any questions, but he felt they have a very narrow issue to address which was the request by the Petitioner for the clarification that they have requested. Chairman Clark said they know what their position was, what they were requesting to be clarified, and they have the opinion of Mr. Watson, so in light of that, he felt they could proceed directly into any discussion that the Commission might have or any questions they might wish to propose to the Petitioner.


Mr. Watson commented he felt the Petitioner would like to address the Commission first on that particular issue.


Mr. Norman Hyman was present and he indicated he was the attorney for the Petitioner. He said he would explain why he felt they need at a minimum, some clarification. He said if they were going to the ZBA, they have to be able to tell the ZBA what they want and in going through the Minutes, they have a problem.



Mr. Hyman referred to the Minutes on Page 6 and indicated the motion at the top of the page stated, "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. Hyman said then a little further down in the middle of the page, the motion was amended and the amendment read, "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."


Mr. Hyman said so in the second step, the amendment that this body made was to impose a condition limiting the number of occupants and the result of that was to create dead space, which they have no objection to and they were in favor of that. He said in fact, they were prepared to go further and suggest to the Commission that if they want to make that even clearer that night, they could add a second condition which was that the pre-function area would not be used independently but would only be used in conjunction with banquet events so that would be a second safety factor that would ensure that there was no double-counting, and would ensure that, in fact, dead space was being created. Mr. Hyman said he wanted to suggest to the Commission that they could disregard that space in the parking calculations.


Mr. Hyman said even if they go to the ZBA they need some clarification. He said one, it was required of the Commission under the Ordinance to make a determination as to what use they were most similar to and that wasn't done in the first round. He said the ZBA has to know that so they could proceed with a request for interpretation from the ZBA if they disagree with what they were doing.


Mr. Hyman said in addition to that, they want some clarification with respect to the second half of the resolution on the top of the page which stated, "Recommendation to the ZBA to limit total occupancy to 600 persons." He said he gathered from reading that, it was implied that there was a positive recommendation to the ZBA to grant the variance. He said they would like that clarification if the Commission was going to tell them to go to the ZBA, so that the ZBA has the Commission's thoughts on that as well.


Mr. Hyman said the next item of clarification or interpretation was his suggestion that in fact they do have the discretion. He said he would not repeat what was in the letter and all of them have a copy of the letter that he wrote to Mr. Watson and so he would not trouble them with going into it at great length as it was part of the record.


Mr. Hyman said he believed that the Commission has the authority to ignore dead space and to have the discretion to avoid double counting. He felt that Mr. Rogers agrees with the bottom line that he was suggesting, which was that the double space should not be counted or the dead space should not be counted. He said Mr. Rogers' concern was Mr. Watson's concern and that was does the Commission have the legal authority to do that, and Mr. Hyman felt that they did.


Mr. Hyman said he would also submit, and he put this in the first paragraph of his letter to Mr. Watson, that what they have here was a building that was divided into two portions which were both being used for the same purpose so that they have this double counting issue and that while in the Commission's list of uses, the closest use in the parking section was lodge and convention hall, he felt that was not entirely accurate because the counting for lodge and convention hall was, as he felt the Commission would agree, related to what they need in the way of exits and has nothing to do with parking at all.


Mr. Hyman said for that reason he felt because there was nothing that was close enough, that the Commission has the ability to look beyond this Ordinance and go to the Livonia Ordinance for example, to determine what they were doing. He said since the Commission has the authority to impose conditions on special uses, and in fact they have done it here in those Minutes, he would suggest that once the Commission did that, he would not have to go to the ZBA at all because the Commission has created an effective limitation on parking and they have assured that there would be dead space that wouldn't be used and they were two separate functions.


Mr. Hyman concluded by saying that in this past Sunday's New York Times Book Review, there was a review of a book by a lawyer named Philip Howard and the name of the book was The Death of Common Sense and the subtitle of the book was How Law is Suffocating America. He said the review was by a renowned professor from the University of Chicago Law School. He said he would briefly read a section to the Commission as he felt it was very applicable to this situation, "Mr. Howard, a New York Lawyer, builds his case nicely with many impressive stories of mindless bureaucratic rigidity."


Mr. Hyman said then at the end of the review it stated, "I think that a more systematic investigation would show that Philip Howard points in most of the right directions toward much less governmental focus on how people do things, much more attention on real world results, less in the way of governmentally specified technologies and outcomes, more in the way of public use of private initiative, fewer Soviet style governmental mandates and commands, more reliance on flexible programs creating proper incentives."


Mr. Hyman said the point was that a mindless strict reading of the Ordinance in this case leads to a result that doesn't make any sense at all. He said the title of the book was, The Death of Common Sense, and he would suggest to the Commission that if they take a mindless knee-jerk approach to reading this Ordinance in this case, they have checked their common sense out on the street and he would ask the Commission to view this Ordinance as giving them the discretion to impose on him the conditions that would ensure that he would have limited use and limited parking and therefore would not even necessitate ZBA review.


Mr. Hyman said if the Commission rejects the approach he was suggesting, he would at least request that they pass on to the ZBA (1) their determination that they have to do under the Ordinance as to what kind of use was most similar, (2) their positive recommendation and clear terms that they grant the parking variance that was necessary.


Mr. Rogers said he has not written another report. He said they have to admit that this particular use, the banquet hall, was not called out in the off-street parking standards and it was in other cities such as Sterling Heights. He said so they look for other uses like it and the closest ones that he has relied upon were conference centers, lodge halls and meeting places, which call out words to this effect, "one parking space for every three persons based upon maximum occupancy as determined by local, state, and federal health building code officials."


Mr. Rogers said they need to keep in mind the restaurant element of this facility was one for every two seats or capacity, waiting room, etc., plus one for every two employees. He said they were somewhat lenient when it comes to the banquet hall function.


Mr. Rogers said he took cognizant of the fact they would have no more than 600 people in the banquet hall and they may gather at the pre-function area, but as he recalled, there were petitions that might divide the space into smaller rooms if they had convening meetings of 100-150 people.


Mr. Rogers said the bottom line comes down that if they were going to have a banquet hall of 10,000-11,000 sq. ft. one big room, plus a pre-function area of 6,000-7,000 sq. ft. plus all the miscellaneous rooms down in the basement, they were talking here of 16,000-17,000 sq. ft. clear space and for 600 people sitting down for a banquet, they might need 50-75 employees and to allocate only 200 parking spaces for this size facility in his opinion was insufficient.


Mr. Rogers said it was to be self-regulating if they did not have adequate parking, because people would not come back a second time if they had to park on Grand River and take their life in their hands to get to the facility and the applicant has not desired to acquire off-premises parking on vacant land which was in the vicinity, so he would stick to his guns that there was a deficiency.


Mr. Rogers said if they want a close reading of the building code and evacuation exits, they could come up with 4,000 people having occupancy ability in this particular building. He said but they wouldn't all be standing and there would be people sitting and people coming and going, etc., so he took a very reasonable number for the banquet hall and came up with a total requirement, counting the restaurant, of 449 parking spaces, allocating 109 spaces to the restaurant and 326 for the banquet hall facility.


Mr. Rogers said the applicant would like to allocate 200 spaces for the banquet hall facility and when they add up the numbers and add in the required handicapped parking, they need 449 parking spaces and they provide 333 and so the deficiency, which they discussed at length at the last meeting, which was 116 spaces. He then said that was all he could add at this time.



Mr. Watson stated that the Commission has several issues before them. He said the first was the Applicant's request that they approve this without requiring it to go to the ZBA for a variance and after reviewing the Ordinance and discussing this extensively, he just didn't know how they could do that. He said it has been suggested that it results in an unreasonable requirement, but those were really arguments that were made for the ZBA and that was why the ZBA was there.



Mr. Watson explained they have instances in the Ordinance where it permits them to make certain waivers and this wasn't one of them and what the Ordinance allows them to do, Section 2510, was if there was not a category for the specific use, the Commission picks the most closest use or the most similar use and evaluates it under that standard.



Mr. Watson said there wasn't a catch-all provision that says do what they think would provide sufficient parking or pick a standard from an Ordinance of another community and he felt if they picked a standard from another community and picked the Sterling Heights standard, the applicant would be making just the opposite argument to the Commission that it was not permitted under their Ordinance.



Mr. Watson felt those things were arguments better addressed to the Zoning Board of Appeals and that would be the first issue before them.



Mr. Watson said the second issue was actually explicitly saying what standard the Commission was imposing when the motion was made. He said it was not explicit in the motion but he thought it was implicit in the discussions from that meeting since Mr. Rogers had given them his analysis of it, which was picking the lodge hall/ private club standard as the most similar standard, but he didn't think the motion said that explicitly and if they want to make that explicit, they could clarify it to that extent.



Mr. Watson said the next item of clarification would be the amount of deficiency, and he thought that was explicit in their prior discussion also, and Mr. Rogers had given them an analysis and he had made a computation of the maximum occupancy after consulting with the Building Department to go to those building codes/fire codes that that standard causes the Commission to look to and he came up with the number of 116. He said the motion simply says that they have to go to the ZBA on that issue, so he felt the Commission should clarify that to say that the number of the deficiency that they found by applying that standard was the 116.



Mr. Watson said the last item before the Commission was whether they want to make a recommendation to the ZBA either way. He said the way he read the motion the last time was they didn't make a recommendation and maybe they want to or maybe they don't and that would be the Commission's preference.





Member Lorenzo said as the maker of the motion, she would appreciate an opportunity to clarify her intent when she made the motion and it was not her intent to make a recommendation to the ZBA, but it was to say that if the ZBA did grant the parking variance, that the Commission made a recommendation for the ZBA to limit the total occupancy to 600 persons.


Member Lorenzo said she would not presume to undermine the ZBA's authority or overstep the Commission's bounds of jurisdiction and she did not intend to make a recommendation at that time to the ZBA for the variance one way or the other and she simply wanted to make sure that if they did grant the variance, that the Commission would have a recommendation to them to limit the total occupancy to 600 persons, in addition to them making that a condition of the Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Member Hoadley said he did not support the motion then and he still wouldn't now, but for further clarification, he assumed Member Lorenzo had meant total occupancy of the building, including the restaurant and including the employees and was that correct.


Member Lorenzo said she meant total occupancy and Member Hoadley said that would include the restaurant and the employees and Member Lorenzo said if that generally meant total occupancy within those parameters, yes, and she had meant total occupancy of the building.


Mr. Rogers said there was actually two functions in this building, and one was the Nantucket Cove Restaurant and the other was the Boston Banquet Hall. Member Lorenzo said she had meant for the banquet facility and if that was a clarification, the 600 persons was for the banquet facility and not the restaurant and Mr. Rogers said that was his understanding.


Member Hodges said she had a question about the twilight zone that now has emerged or the dead zone and it has now become an area, a holding pattern, and she needed more discussion on what the purpose of the dead zone was.


Mr. Hyman said they have all been to banquets and this was typical of the way they operate. He said they have a lobby area or a gathering area where they may have drinks or Hors D'Oeuvres and then the people who come to the banquet ultimately filter into the dining room and sit down at their tables.


Mr. Hyman said this was not like an assembly line where they have one group sitting in the dining room and another group out in the pre-function area waiting for their turn to get into the dining room, and it was the same people and that was what he meant by double-counting or dead area and even though they have petitions and even though they could divide the dining area into 5 different dining rooms, for example, they were still going to have a limit of 600 people in those 5 dining rooms.


Mr. Hyman said two, they were willing to have the additional insurance of a second condition which was explicitly that the pre-function area would only be used in the manner that he has suggested in connection with a gathering area for the dining facility so that no one would be in the pre-function area except as a preliminary to the dining.


Mr. Hyman said that means what they were doing when they were counting was they were creating dead space in terms of generating cars and people, because the entire space was still being used only for the people who end up in the dining room so that was why he was saying it was dead space.


Member Hodges said so under no circumstances for example, would her party that was in the dining hall have to walk through the party that was waiting to take the dining hall when she was done. She said if her reception, for example, was from 2:00-4:00 and there was a party coming in at 5:00, there would be no one in that holding area between 4:00 and 5:00 waiting to go in at 5:00.


Mr. Hyman said that was the way it operates and in any event, there was going to be a 600 person limitation at any one time, and that was exactly the way it was going to operate. He said they have all been to those dining facilities and they don't get traffic jams. He said the 2:00-4:00 includes both the dining and the gathering time before they go in, so that when they leave at 4:00, the next party would just be starting and they were going to be using the pre-function area/the gathering area.


Member Hodges said that was what she was saying, so part of her party could still be in the dining hall while the next party was in the pre-holding area.


Mr. Hyman said she wouldn't have more than 600 people and it wouldn't work that way. He said he has been to a lot of banquets and he has not encountered that kind of a traffic jam at a banquet hall. He then said he wanted to make one comment in terms of one of the reasons why he felt clarification was necessary and it relates to Member Lorenzo's comment.


Mr. Hyman referred to Page 37 of the Minutes, the second full paragraph and it read as follows: "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."


Mr. Hyman said the next paragraph read, "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. Hyman said so they could understand why he felt there was some need for clarification here, without the clarification, even if the Commission decides not to give him the relief they want, at least they know what to ask for when they go to the ZBA.


Member Hodges said to Mr. Hyman in the event that the income generated was not what the client had hoped for, and he decided to put in lunch and breakfast to survive, she felt they were going to exacerbate this parking situation.


Mr. Hyman said he didn't think so and he would explain why not. He said they still have a limitation in the restaurant itself which requires its own parking count in terms of the number of people they can handle and what they have here was a combined parking requirement that would limit the number of cars whether the restaurant was open at night or for lunch, and they would still have the total limitation on the two uses. He said so regardless of whether the restaurant was open, they still have the limitation on the capacity of the facility.


Member Hodges said that was exactly her point and Mr. Hyman felt there wasn't any issue as to the adequacy of the parking for the restaurant and if they add the restaurant parking plus the banquet hall parking, they have a number of spaces either under Mr. Rogers' calculations or under the calculations he suggests and it was irrelevant whether the restaurant was serving people for lunch or not, and it doesn't make any difference.


Member Hodges said it does make a big difference because she believed the recommendation that Mr. Rogers gave them was insufficient, of 116 spaces and Mr. Hyman said that had to do with the banquet hall and not the restaurant.


Member Hodges said the Commission has to look at the fact that if they add on the hours, they were going to extend the demand on the restaurant.


Mr. Hyman said no and at any one given time, they have only so many tables and so many seats in the restaurant and the fact that they were serving lunch doesn't mean they were going to have a bigger demand on the parking lot because whether it was lunch or dinner, it was still same number of tables and the same number of seats and it was irrelevant if they were open for lunch.


Member Hodges said her whole point was that there was nothing to stop them from using that facility during the day to change their hours of serving in the restaurant to compete with the hours that they were serving in the banquet hall and they were going to increase the daytime demand.


Mr. Hyman said whether it was daytime or night-time, the total cumulative demand of the two uses was going to be the same, whether they were using it at lunch-time or at dinner-time. Member Hodges felt it would still be deficient. Mr. Hyman said if it was deficient, it was deficient regardless whether or not lunch was being served and lunch was irrelevant to the issue here.


Member Lorenzo indicated she wanted to apologize to Mr. Hyman and the Petitioner for any confusion or misunderstanding her comments may have caused, and she was simply trying to be supportive within the parameters that she could be.


Mr. Hyman said he understood and it was just that they needed the clarification before they could have a case to present to the Zoning Board of Appeals.


Member Lorenzo said she understood his dilemma as well. She then suggested that they should try and move matters along. She asked Mr. Watson what the Commission needed to do to clarify this matter.



Mr. Watson said for the Commission to clarify this, they need to do two things. (1) To specify whether the private club lodge hall standard in Section 2505.14b6 was the standard the Commission had chosen as the similar standard and (2) Whether the deficiency that the Commission concluded existed, was consistent with the 116 space deficiency that Mr. Rogers advised them of.



Member Lorenzo asked if that would be a motion to clarify and Mr. Watson said yes.


It was then,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Hodges



To clarify the prior action for Nantucket Cove Restaurant and Boston Club Banquet Hall, SP94-49A as follows: (1) That the standard employed pursuant to Section 2505.10 was utilization of Section 2505.14b6, the standard applicable to private clubs or lodge halls; and (2) That the Commission's finding of deficiency in parking spaces by employing that standard was 116 spaces.





Member Bonaventura said what he received from the motion was clarification to the ZBA as it was not a recommendation to the ZBA, which he would be against as he didn't believe in making recommendations to that body. Also, he said if the ZBA were to deny the variance, the impression he received from the way the original motion read was that then their entire project would be denied and was that correct. Mr. Watson said yes because this was contingent upon the variance. He said the Commission's original motion on January 18th was conditioned upon the ZBA variance.


Member Bonaventura commented for the record that it was a close vote on this matter and he wanted to pass that along to the ZBA. He said also this banquet hall would serve as a regional facility in which the City of Novi would play host and he felt there were advantages and there were burdens to playing a host.


Member Bonaventura said as they all know, they were the host of a regional facility called Twelve Oaks Mall and it was a nice tax base, but sometimes he felt some of the citizens were wondering if the burdens don't outweigh the benefits.


Member Bonaventura felt for this type of regional facility, they were deficient on their parking, which the Consultants have indicated, and common sense tells him that the building was too big for their site. He said he would like to see a denial on this matter.


Member Hoadley said for the record, he hoped that the ZBA does read that he was totally opposed to this parking scenario and clarification because he felt it was totally inadequate. He said he loved the project and he would love to see it be there, but he felt they needed to acquire additional land for off-premises parking and they have showed a disinclination to do that and he didn't think the Commission should be a springboard to create an additional problem. He said he would bring the most recent item to mind of the Expo Center, which has totally inadequate parking for the facility and it passed somewhere along the line by a prior Planning Commission and City Council and they made a mistake.


Member Hoadley felt the Commission would be making a mistake again here. He felt they would find cars parked out in the aisles and they would be creating health and safety problems and they were going to off-street park and there was no way that 600 people plus another 130, plus all the wait-staff, could cram into 232 spaces and common sense tells him that this was a bad, bad scenario. He said those were his comments for the record.


Member Mutch said it seems to her that what they were being asked to do and what Member Lorenzo did was to clarify what the motion was that the Commission has already voted on at a previous meeting and it does seem to her that what they would be voting on, since Member Lorenzo has put this in the form of a motion, was whether or not her clarification was in fact representative of what they have previously voted on. She didn't think it was a time to be re-arguing the merits of the issue that they have already voted on.


Member Mutch felt at this point, if additional comments were to be included, she didn't have any particular problem with that, but she felt the Commission should be clear on what they were voting on and as far as she was concerned, she was voting on what Member Lorenzo has stated in her motion representing what the Commission had previously voted on and it was not a question of do they like it or not like it.


Member Bonaventura stated relative to Member Mutch's comment, he felt putting things on the record was absolutely appropriate and discussing the motion was appropriate also and that was all he and Member Hoadley were doing.


Member Mutch then asked was she correct that the Commission was voting on whether Member Lorenzo's clarification represents what they have previously voted on, if they were not re-voting on the merits of the issue.


Mr. Watson explained they were voting on the motion exactly as it was stated.


Member Hodges then called the question.



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


(5) Yeas (1) Nay-Bonaventura

(1) Abstention (Hoadley)





Member Hodges said they have had new people come into the Commission meetings since the beginning and they might want to re-iterate that they have set a time limit for the public and Petitioners.


Chairman Clark said for anyone who was now there for the remaining items on the Agenda and who may not have been there earlier, the Commission had indicated that they would restrict the Petitioner to ten minutes and any further comments to three minutes each, although he would point out that they were now past the Public Hearing items, so that there would be no discussion from the public and it was simply that the Petitioner would be limited to ten minutes, taking into consideration the lateness of the hour and that at approximately about four minutes, they were going to have to have a motion to extend the meeting.


Member Bonaventura said as a point of order, he would like to make a motion now to extend the meeting to 11:45 P.M.


It was then,


Moved by Member Bonaventura



To extend the meeting to 11:45 P.M.


(There was no support for motion)






Chairman Clark said they do have three Petitioners who were there and Member Lorenzo asked if they would be changing the order.


Mr. Watson said he would just point out the Commission's rule on beginning and ending times. He said it provides that they adjourn no later than 11:30 P.M. unless.....and then there were a number of items listed.


Mr. Watson said one of which was that there were Petitioners remaining on the Agenda, and as long as they have Petitioners, they don't need to make a motion just yet.


Mr. Watson said the remaining items were if the Planning Staff needs direction on a matter that can't wait until the next meeting, or if the Commission votes to continue the meeting, it further provides that they may not extend the meeting more than twice at any given evening.


Mr. Watson felt the Commission didn't need to make the motion until they were done with the Petitioners. Member Bonaventura said he would suggest then that they re-evaluate their Agenda.


Chairman Clark asked Mr. Wahl if he had any objections to moving Items #3, 4 and 5 before his item. Mr. Wahl said he didn't have a problem with that, but he wanted to point out that he would need an action on his item that evening as they were two weeks past the deadline.


Chairman Clark said he realized that and the Commission has to at least complete the items under Matters for Consideration that evening on this Agenda, which would include Mr. Wahl's item.


Chairman Clark then said there was a consensus and hearing no objections, the Commission would move to Item #3 next.



3. Novi Community Sports Park, SP95-07 - Property Located at the Northwest corner of Eight Mile Road and Napier Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mr. Bob Pheiffer of the Parks & Rec Commission was present. He said Mr. Dan Davis would normally be performing this function, but he was out of town this week, so a few of the other Commissioners have volunteered to come and listen to the comments that evening and they would be happy to respond to any questions.


Mr. Pheiffer said basically Ludwig & Associates have been participating with the City Offices and have gone through the required regulations and he felt they have met all the criteria. He said they have had public hearings and have discussed this with the groups that would be predominantly using this area and they have tried to respond to their needs. He indicated they have met with the neighborhood residents and he felt they have reached a reasonable compromise with the neighbors and prime users of this area.


Mr. Pheiffer said the Commission was anxious to keep moving ahead on this matter and they would like to be able to go out for bids and break ground as soon as the weather permits in the spring, so he was hoping to move everything right along. He then asked Mr. Dale Hall from Ludwig & Associates to do a quick overview and respond to any questions.


Mr. Dale Hall indicated he was with Ludwig & Associates and they were the landscape architects for this site and design. He said it was a multi-purpose sports facility that has six soccer fields and eight softball/baseball fields on site. He said there were 608 parking spaces spread throughout the site to allow for circulation and parking.





Mr. Rogers said his letter was dated February 6, 1995. He said it was a 71 acre site zoned R-A District and it was a conceptual plan indicating 608 spaces proposed to be on gravel and the Zoning Ordinance does require asphalt or concrete surfaces on parking lots within one-year after Certificate of Occupancy.


Mr. Rogers indicated the maintenance building was down near Eight Mile Road and there was another restaurant facility indicated at a later date at some location. He said he called out that there were no building facades and he did request Mr. Davis to re-produce out of the manual what he thinks he may want to put on the property. He said the Commission has that and it was a black and white xerox and he could not determine the materials of construction but he did refer to him the section of the Facade Ordinance for non-residential uses in R-A Districts and that was cited also in his report.


Mr. Rogers said there were some sparse areas of woodlands on the site which were not regulated and several large trees were indicated to be around the proposed maintenance building that were existing. He said he would suggest that protective fencing be placed around those particular trees.


Mr. Rogers said five foot sidewalks were indicated in a note on the plan to be installed as was required along Napier and 8 Mile Road, both major thoroughfares.


Mr. Rogers said the planting plan would be submitted at a later date and that was indicated on the documents, so he approved the Preliminary Site Plan subject to some discussion on the conceptual buildings facade plans which some of them may have only seen for the first time that night, and provision of parking lot paving or otherwise review by the ZBA was required.


Mr. Bluhm indicated he has reviewed the plan and water and sewer would be handled by private facilities and the applicant was proposing a paved roadway through the middle of the site with a curb and an asphalt roadway meeting public standards. He said as Mr. Rogers mentioned, gravel parking was proposed at this time but in initial meetings, those would be eventually paved.


Mr. Bluhm said there was a main storm sewer that runs through the site that directs drainage primarily from the north to the south to the wetland areas and a good deal of this site would require extensive grading and they make a lot of use of swales to direct water off fields.


Mr. Bluhm said the outlet for the storm water was to the southwestern wetland and they were proposing detention in that wetland and Ms. Tepatti would get into some of the comments with respect to information they were going to need on detention to assure that it was not going to harm the wetland, including elevations for ultimate detention in a future condition. He said by that he meant with anticipation that the parking areas were going to be paved, so they were looking for calculations to include those areas as paved also.


Mr. Bluhm said at the time that they submit this information, which would be the Final, he and Ms. Tepatti would make an evaluation as to whether that would be detrimental to the wetland, and if so, it does appear that there were off-site areas adjacent to this wetland to provide this storm water basin in and around that area.


Mr. Bluhm said one other comment was they would like to see them put a sedimentation basin in and it does appear that was something that could be done at this time. He said it does demonstrate engineering feasibility.


Ms. Tepatti indicated she has also reviewed the plan for conformance with the City of Novi's Wetlands Ordinance and standards and her letter was not included in the packet, but was on the table that evening.


Ms. Tepatti said the proposal was for the construction of the City Park and there were three wetlands on the site and one was quite a small wetland, about a tenth of an acre along Napier Road, which continues to the west and connects with some additional wetlands that were outside of the City of Novi.


Ms. Tepatti said there was a large wetland on the eastern border, which was in a disturbed state due to the construction of the Holloway Mining and Gravel operation to the east, and there was a very large berm that was along the property line and this wetland had probably formed in the past since the mining operation was going on, but in its current state it was an open water wetland, a large shallow ponded area with willows and shrubs along the edge.


Ms. Tepatti said the southwestern wetland primarily has a small center of a flat emergent area with some trees and primarily some shrubs along the edge and that was the wetland that they would be looking at when they get to the calculations for storm water to determine if that wetland would be negatively impacted by the storm water entering it.


Ms. Tepatti said it doesn't seem that much of the site would be paved, just the roadway, and so that was what she and Mr. Bluhm would be looking at to determine how much water was really going to be going into there. She said that water appears to enter into a storm structure right along Eight Mile Road and the wetland overflows into that area into a roadside ditch on the south side of the road.


Ms. Tepatti said the Wetlands Ordinance states that the City of Novi itself does not need to get a permit for the installation of the storm water outlets that was written into the Ordinance, however, those outlets would still be reviewed for conformance with the Wetland Ordinance and were water quality concerns.


Ms. Tepatti said there was a small amount of wetland fill proposed and the .11 acre wetland on Napier Road was a very small patch of cattails where the land slopes down to it, and then it continues through a culvert under Napier Road to the west. She said that was currently shown as being filled for the construction of a swale along the property line and also for the construction of the soccer field. She said that wetland was probably DNR regulated and the City would need to get a DNR permit for that fill.


Ms. Tepatti said Ludwig & Associates was also showing mitigation on the eastern wetland at about a 2-1 ratio and because of the small nature of the existing wetland proposed to be filled and its low quality, they would probably actually get a better result from the mitigation that would be on this large pond, which does get water fall coming into it.


Ms. Tepatti indicated as Mr. Bluhm has stated, they would be looking at the construction of the sedimentation basin on either of the storm outlets to intercept the storm water flow before it goes into the wetlands and if that were to determined to be temporary in nature, then even after it was taken off the line once construction was done, there would be Best Management Practices required to still treat the storm water, such as grass swales or holding areas, different things that the DNR usually requires in there and they have a Best Management Practice Manual that they have put out and they would be looking at that as well.


Ms. Tepatti said they would be reviewing the future engineering drawings and layout to determine the details of those effects and what they would be reviewing for.


Mr. Arroyo indicated they have also reviewed this site plan and in addition, they have prepared a Traffic Impact Study on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Department and that was included in the packet.


Mr. Arroyo said access was proposed to two roadways, the 8 Mile Road access they have indicated would require a deceleration taper and lane, as well as acceleration taper and lane per the Design and Construction Standards. He said as has been previously mentioned, the parking lot would have to be addressed by ZBA if the Parks & Rec Department and the Commission continue with their request for a gravel parking.


Mr. Arroyo said that in a nutshell were their comments and he wouldn't go into detail with any other item but if there were any specific questions, he would be happy to address those for the Commission. He indicated he was recommending approval of the Preliminary site plan.


Chairman Clark indicated they have a letter in their files from Daniel W. Roy, Captain, which indicates he has reviewed the plan and has recommended approval.





Member Bonaventura said he didn't know who made the decision to hire Ludwig and Associates, but they were a fine group and they did a good job on this project. He said he would make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Weddington



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to the Novi Community Sports Park, SP95-07.





Member Hodges asked if there could be consideration given to having No Parking signs along the thoroughfare. She said if anyone has ever been to a game here at Ella Mae Park, people park on that narrow strip and two cars cannot pass at the same time, so that might alleviate that problem if there were No Parking signs. She said she would like to make a personal recommendation to Parks & Rec that they request No Parking signs along that strip.


Member Hodges asked for a time-line concerning the "concession restrooms at future date," and she asked how future was that date and Mr. Pheiffer stated that was being worked on right now. He said he was working on doing that at Ludwig & Associates for Ella Mae Park, and there was a concession stand going in that and once they finally build the actual building structures for that, they were going to use similar structures onto those also, so they were looking at the next couple of weeks up to a month.


Member Hodges said she meant when they start building, how soon would they be putting in those structures, and Mr. Pheiffer replied the structures would be going in when the parks were being built. He said at a later date means they don't have the facades actually designed and put together, but it was all going in as the park.


Member Hoadley said he would like to be assured on the Final site plan, that there was going to be some kind of a filtration system to filter off the oil and gas affluents that would collect on the paved road and perhaps the future parking.



Member Hoadley said he would also like to amend the motion as follows:


To include the various different recommendations by their Consultants as part of that motion and he was particularly interested in the parking lot scenario and he was not in favor of paving that parking lot at this time because he didn't think they would get the kind of use they would have at a commercial venture or an industrial site.


Member Hoadley felt it would be intermittent parking at game times and to not pave would allow the natural water to be absorbed into the ground rather than running it over additional pavement and the potential damage that it could do to the ecological system. He said he knows their Ordinance requires it, but he was not particularly in favor of paving it for this particular project.



Chairman Clark asked if the maker of the motion accepted the modification and Member Bonaventura said yes and Member Weddington said yes.


Member Lorenzo asked if Member Hoadley might amend his amendment as follows:



To specify that the required sedimentation basin be of a permanent nature and to request that this be brought back for Final.


Member Hoadley said he would accept that, and in fact, would add to it:



That they require a filtration system in there that would filter off the gas and oil contaminants in conjunction with the sedimentation basin.



Member Bonaventura and Member Weddington accepted that also.





Member Mutch felt there was good reason why it was required that those areas be paved and they were not talking about ballfields that were used once in awhile or on the weekend. She said if they look at Ella Mae Power Park, anyone from the Commission could come up here and tell them that one of the reasons they were building eight ball diamonds was because those ball diamonds were in constant use and it was just not the ball diamonds but it was every available space around them.


Member Hoadley said it was not part of his amendment.


Mr. Watson explained Member Hoadley's motion was to add the conditions of the Consultants, that it either be paved or it go to the ZBA.


Member Mutch then said she had one additional comment and she wanted to state that the Parks & Recreation Commission was to be commended along with Ludwig and Associates and JCK and whoever else has been involved with the efforts that the Commission has made to at least explore the possible uses of an existing building that was on that site that was a residence of historical value to this community.



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






4. Glenda's Market, SP94-29C, Property Located South of Grand River Avenue, Westerly of Meadowbrook for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mr. Donald Samhat was present appearing on behalf of the applicant, Mr. Chris Cagle and Ms. Linda Durham. He said he was an attorney and his address was 115 N. Center Street, Northville, MI.


Mr. Samhat indicated this site plan has been before the Planning Commission on a number of occasions and he wouldn't belabor it with the Commission, but he would like to just give them some background as far as what has transpired since the time of the last meeting on January 18, 1995. He said he had other people present who would address certain issues, and he would outline as far as what they would address and they would keep their comments short as it was late that evening, but he brought them all here just to better explain what was going on with regards to the site being developed.



Mr. Samhat said since the time of the last meeting, Mr. Cagle did meet with Mr. Rogers to address the possibility of having two separate structures on the site, the structures being the principal building and the other structure being the greenhouses. He said that meeting resulted in it not being deemed feasible by either party to separate the structures in order to try to bring it within conformity with the Ordinance as far as size and it was decided that it would be better to keep it consolidated as a single unit consisting of a main structure with attached greenhouses.


Mr. Samhat said on February 1st there was a workshop at which time he attended with Mr. Cagle and Mr. Rogers and they addressed the various concerns of Mr. Rogers, and he believed they resolved all those issues. He said a few have been raised in Mr. Rogers' latest opinion letter, but Mr. Mike Warren was there that evening, who was the Civil Engineer from Basney & Smith and he would address the issues raised in Mr. Rogers' letter and he believed they could eliminate those that evening.


Mr. Samhat said the issues that have been raised by Mr. Rogers however involving the ZBA matters, he would ask that the Planning Commission grant Preliminary site plan approval contingent upon the three variances that they would need approval from the ZBA as outlined in Mr. Rogers' letter.


Mr. Samhat said what they did further was they did meet with the homeowners of the Leslie Park Subdivision on February 9th which resulted in a two hour meeting and they gave them a full presentation as to what was going to be done on the site and showed them the site plan. He indicated the result of that meeting was that it seems that the majority of them were totally in favor of what they were proposing here on the site development.


Mr. Samhat said unfortunately as they were well aware, they were here to raise opposition on an earlier matter but as was the case when people favor something, they normally don't show up, but he did get from them a letter which he would like to present to the Commission dated February 15, 1995 in which the residents indicate they would support the site plan as presented.


Mr. Samhat indicated they have been able to address all issues with them and have made some agreements with them with respect to doing any additional landscaping that they would so desire in order to try and buffer the site from the residential area.


Mr. Samhat said in their presentation, Mr. Cagle who was the property owner with his mother, would give a brief history and nature of the site. Also, he indicated Mr. Mike Warren of Basney & Smith, who did the site plan, would address the issues raised by Mr. Rogers, and also the architect would briefly address the issues involving the facade of the building, as well as the materials to be used on the exterior of the building.


Mr. Samhat stated finally, Mr. Robin Hawkins of Great Lakes Horticulture and Supply, would give them a presentation as to what the greenhouses would actually look like when completed to give the Commission a better understanding as far as their physical appearance. He then asked Mr. Cagle to speak next.


Mr. Chris Cagle presented a diagram and picture of what he proposes the building to look like to the Commission. He then asked Mr. Warren to discuss the site plan briefly.


Mr. Warren of Basney and Smith stated basically the only outstanding issue in Mr. Rogers' letter was extending the walk which they would certainly comply with, across the whole frontage of Grand River and then the concerns of JCK's letter he would address in the Final engineering aspects of the plans.


The architect stated it was apparent that most of them were seeing the facade for the first time. He said if anyone had any questions on the materials, etc., he would be happy to answer them.


Mr. Robin Hawkins of Great Lakes Horticulture Supply indicated he basically builds whatever someone wants. He stated he makes special environmental systems and he presented some pictures of what he did. He explained the pictures were of a greenhouse they did in Buffalo, New York where they have extreme snow. He said he builds what needs to be done, and he takes everyone's needs and recommendations and tries to make everyone happy.


Mr. Hawkins said it has to be nice and presentable and versatile. He said the sales areas were what makes the company go, and if they could keep the customer happy and keep the plants right, then they do the job.


Mr. Samhat indicated he did have the letter from the Leslie Park Subdivision, as well as he did obtain 11 letters from businesses in the area who were also supportive of this and he presented those materials to everyone.





Mr. Rogers indicated they have reduced the size of the building, the brick and shingle stone building, from 9,500 to 6,000, but they have increased the size of the greenhouses, which were attached, from 11,600 to 14,400 sq. ft. He still concluded that the total of 21,200 sq. ft. exceeds the 10,000 sq. ft. cap for a retail service establishment in an NCC District and therefore, would need that waiver.


Mr. Rogers said they have heard about the sidewalk and that was excellent and they have provided the design concept of the proposed building. He said they have been back into the City three to four times, and he would have wanted another site plan showing the sidewalk, but he felt they all know where it was missing on the last set of plans, and he would certainly check that out if it was approved at the ZBA when the Final site plan comes in.


Mr. Rogers said in his last paragraph on the first page, he indicated that this was a non-conforming use since there was outside storage and sales and display and stockpiling. He said that was not permitted in an NCC District, and it would be in a B-3 District, permitted as a Special Land Use. He said there were two items and one was they wish to relocate and expand the building and the use of the site from 2,700 sq. ft. to about 20,400 sq. ft. and that was not permitted without review by the ZBA.


Mr. Rogers said further, they wish to build a new building and some of the parking lot on Lot 1 of the Leslie Park Subdivision which has not heretofore been used for that purpose. He said so in addition to expanding and relocating on a site that has a certain legal non-conforming use status, they were moving into another piece of property which they own, adjacent for the market and the parking lot.


Mr. Rogers said regarding all the other design standards, the parking, the setbacks, the dumpster, were all accurate at this point.


Mr. Rogers said so while he recognized the hard work they have done in the many conferences over a period of a year or more, he could not recommend approval of the Preliminary site plan because of those issues he has mentioned earlier. (1) The expansion and relocation of a non-conforming building and use on the site. (2) Expansion of the non-conforming use on property not previously used by the non-conforming use. (3) The building exceeds 10,000 sq. ft. in floor space. (4) The issue of the sidewalk has now been taken care of.


Mr. Rogers said one last point on Page 3 of his letter regarding the gravel and dirt planting area was he felt that could be done easily because he and Mr. Cagle have talked about it. He said beyond the site and going westerly over to the Whitehall Nursing Home, they have still another property that was not within the 5.23 acres, which was the site under question here, that was indicated on the plan for a gravel and dirt planting area. He said it was just piles of dirt and gravel and mulch sitting out in the middle of a field all over, and Mr. Cagle said that type of outside storage, which was probably a legal non-conforming use also could be placed back on the site that they have before them that night, the 5.2 acre site.


Mr. Rogers said they have not submitted that parcel for site plan review and they have not suggested a sidewalk in front of that property, so he felt they may want to have some confirmation of that note being taken off of the site plan.


Mr. Bluhm indicated the engineering details remain unchanged from previous submittals, and he still had some concerns with missing information, all of which could be provided at the Final site plan but he was continuing to recommend approval.


Mr. Arroyo indicated he had no additional comments to make from his last review and he was still recommending approval.


Chairman Clark indicated there was a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain, Novi Fire Department indicating that the above plan has been reviewed and approval recommended with the following: (1) That there shall be no parking within 15 feet of the fire hydrant shown in the parking lot. Future plans should show this.





Member Lorenzo stated while she also recognized and appreciated the applicant's efforts thus far, there were just too many shortcomings that make this plan in her mind unapprovable at this point.


Member Lorenzo said with regret, she would make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Hodges



To deny Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Glenda's Market, SP94-29C for all of the reasons stated in Mr. Rogers' letter.





Member Hoadley said he would be voting against the motion as he felt that this plan was such an improvement over what was there currently and it would be an improvement to their City and Community.


Member Hoadley said he also understood business and small businesses like this have to grow in order to survive and they were competing against some major businesses of a similar nature such as Frank's. He said he did think that they could probably be required to move the dirt over to where it should be. He said had this building been separated, they could have had two-10,000 sq. ft. buildings on the amount of land that they have, according to what Mr. Rogers stated at the last meeting.


Member Hoadley said just because they choose to put it together, it was still the same square footage and they do have adequate land, so he couldn't support the motion, and he felt it was something that should be approved subject to the Consultants' recommendations with the exclusion of a couple of items that Mr. Rogers brought out. He said he would exclude no. 1 and no. 2 and no. 3 but include 4 and the other Consultants in regards to JCK's thoughts. He said those were his feelings on that matter and that was the reason he could not support the motion and he felt it should be approved.


Member Bonaventura said he also agreed with Member Hoadley and he would not be supporting the motion.



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


(4) Nays (3) Yeas





It was then,


Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Hodges



To send a positive recommendation to the ZBA for initial site plan approval subject to the Consultants' recommendations, excluding Mr. Rogers' recommendation of Nos. 1, 2, 3 to not exceed 20,000 sq. ft. in total, the 6,000 sq. ft. for the sales office and the 14,000 sq. ft. for the greenhouse area. Also subject to the Applicant moving the dirt that was off his property onto his property and put in the proper berming and the facades; and that Final site plan be brought back to the Commission for Final approval.





Member Hodges commented that in Member Hoadley's motion, he had said the outside storage off their property, and she said the outside storage was on their property.


Member Hodges said if Member Hoadley was talking about the materials that Mr. Rogers was alluding to that was not on the plans but that was there and Member Hoadley said yes he was, and Member Hodges continued, the applicant has indicated they would move them back onto what was on the site plan, and it was still on their property and she asked Mr. Rogers if that was correct and did the applicant own the property that it was on.


Mr. Rogers said they own the whole shot and Lot 1 was on the site plan. He explained the reference he made to Lot 1 of the Leslie Park Subdivision, they own and it was just a field there now and they wish to put the building on it and it was not part of the existing non-conforming use out there.


Mr. Rogers said the lot that was on the other side going over to Whitehall that one there, was not on the site plan, but they own it and they were using it and they have piles of stuff all over with no screening at all. Member Hodges said that was the one she was referring to and Member Hoadley said that was what he wanted to get moved back.


Mr. Samhat said there was some confusion here, which he requested to address. He said where the dirt and gravel was shown on the site plan was not their property and they do not own that property, and that was rented and owned by another gentleman. He said he has shown on the most current site plan, in a note which indicates relocate existing topsoil and mulch pile. He said at the time of their work session with Mr. Rogers, they both agreed that it would be most feasible to relocate those piles onto the site plan that they were proposing to the southwest corner, so it would be hidden by the berming that they were intending to do on the site.


Mr. Samhat said just above the notation, they do have a note that indicates relocating existing topsoil and mulch pile, but the current notation at the bottom of the page showing the gravel and planting area, they do not own that property and that was owned by Mr. Weiss.


Member Weddington said it was with regret that she voted against the proposal also and this was a fine business and she frequents it herself and she would like to see it stay, but the fact of the matter was that this use was non-conforming and work has been done there to expand a non-conforming use without permits she believed and it has been very difficult to try and get an agreement or the main issue addressed here, which was the non-conforming use and the size of the building and there were other avenues and other ways to do this such as to seek a rezoning for example, but this was clearly not allowed in their Ordinance.


Member Weddington said to approve this plan as presented would undermine the entire Zoning Ordinance so they might as well throw the whole book out and they have an obligation to uphold the Ordinance so that was why she could not support the motion that was on the table.


Member Mutch said she had to apologize to the Applicant before she says this and it was personally embarrassing for her to say this, but when they had the vote a moment ago and she was the first person to vote, she had misunderstood whether the yes was a yes or the no was a no, and she did not realize until the vote was underway that she had voted the opposite of what she had intended.


Member Mutch said she would have to point out that they all make mistakes and it was easy to do at this time of night.


Member Mutch said in any case, she did think that the comments that have been made both in support of the business and the work that has been done and the effort that has been made, she absolutely agreed with and they have come a long way and have put a lot of time and effort into it.


Member Mutch said unfortunately as they were well aware, they were caught in a situation as was discussed earlier that evening in the Implementation Committee, the problems of being caught up in a zoning situation, where the changes that they make were going to change their situation and if they move the building or they go into an area that was not presently being used in a non-conforming way, they change their situation and at this particular time, unfortunately it would change it for the worse.


Member Mutch said it was not always popular to do the right thing, but in this case she felt the right thing for her on this motion was to vote her thinking.


Member Hodges also felt the motion was stated in such a way that she had voted opposite of what she felt and she had to admit the same thing, and she agreed that the lateness of the evening makes it very easy to do. She said she would agree they were not supporting their Zoning Ordinance by following this.


Chairman Clark said he supposed they could vote on the motion that was before them and then they could always then vote on another motion after that.


Member Lorenzo said unless the maker of the motion wants to withdraw his motion and Member Hoadley said he would withdraw his motion and Member Hodges withdrew her second to the motion.


Chairman Clark said he would entertain another motion.


It was then,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Hodges



To deny Preliminary Site Plan approval to Glenda's Market SP94-29C for all the reasons stated in Mr. Rogers' letter.





Member Lorenzo said a yes vote means this would be denied.


Member Hodges asked a point of clarification, and she asked Mr. Watson if they actually had to rescind the vote and Mr. Watson said no and this was a new motion. He explained procedurally had the mix-up been realized prior to the next motion, someone who was in the prevailing party, could have made a motion to reconsider it and done it that way, but no this was just a new motion.



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


(5) Yeas (2) Nays






5. Kern Industries, SP95-05, Property Located North of Ten Mile Road, Easterly of Novi Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mr. Ilio Alessandri, the architect, was present. He indicated there was an existing building on the site right now, and it was an industrial type building and they were proposing to build another building to the rear of the property with approximately 7200 sq. ft. and of the same type. He said other than that, he was here to answer any questions.


Mr. Rogers reviewed his letter of January 31, 1995 and indicated this was the third expansion over the past ten years that this architect has brought it, and in this case, it was a separate building and the second addition was to the first building.


Mr. Rogers said this meets all the dimensional and parking standards and as a result of that, he recommended Preliminary site plan approval, however, he did indicate on the building facades, since this was a separate free-standing building, it was subject to Section 2520 that specifies certain materials.


Mr. Rogers said if this was an addition to the existing Kern Industries building, it could be a continuation of the plain block that was on the building.


Mr. Rogers said but he was sure the developer knows the remedy if he wishes to apply for a Section 4 Waiver, but he felt this building was in a fairly prominent location and he would recommend compliance with the Ordinance.


Mr. Bluhm indicated his letter was fairly straight-forward and they had a couple of comments that he would like to have addressed at the Final, but otherwise it demonstrated engineering feasibility.


Mr. Arroyo said he also reviewed the plan and he recommended approval.


Chairman Clark indicated that there was a report from the City of Novi Fire Department from Daniel W. Roy Captain, indicating the plan has been reviewed and approval was recommended with the following conditions: (1) All weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. (2) All watermains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation. (3) Fire prevention practice during construction shall be in accordance with the adopted Building Code and Fire Prevention Code. (4) Show fire hydrant locations on all future plans.


Chairman Clark indicated with those conditions, the Fire Department was recommending approval.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Weddington



To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Kern Industries, SP95-05 per the Consultants' letters, specifically the Fire Chief's recommendations.






Member Lorenzo said she would ask the motion maker if he would also include:



To have Kern Industries return for Final.


Member Bonaventura accepted that addition as did Member Weddington.





Mr. Kern said he was reading their Preliminary site plan and it says once they make it through Preliminary, they could avoid coming back for the Final. Member Lorenzo said but there were some outstanding issues such as the facades.


Mr. Kern said this was their fourth time through Mr. Rogers, and they have done everything he has asked for and there just hasn't been any trouble and for JCK it was the same people and he has worked with them along with Mr. Rogers and Mr. Arroyo. He said it would cut time off for them if they could just go through the Consultants and they have agreed on the facades and he wasn't asking for any Section 4 Waiver.


Mr. Rogers said if they put split face block instead of plain block, they don't need a Section 4 Waiver. Mr. Kern said that was agreed on right now. Mr. Rogers stated if they say that, then they don't need a Section 4 Waiver if they comply with Sec. 2520.


Chairman Clark asked if Mr. Rogers was saying if they put split face block, then they don't have any need to get a Section 4 Waiver and Mr. Rogers said yes, but it couldn't be all split face block.


Mr. Kern said he was in agreement with that and they have discussed that issue with Mr. Rogers and have done everything he has asked for and have never really had any problem.


Chairman Clark asked if the maker of the motion had any problem with that.


Mr. Rogers commented first he had also suggested the brown stripes around the building, which he felt enhanced the building and they were continuing with that design.



Member Lorenzo said she would put her faith in Mr. Rogers and give him the benefit of the doubt if Members Bonaventura and Weddington also agreed which they did. She said then she wouldn't request they come back for Final and a vote was taken.



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





Chairman Clark said they would go back and discuss Item #2 now.



2. Proposed FY 95-96 Planning Commission Work Program & Budget - Report to the Planning Commission from the Planning Studies and Budget Committee, Planning & Community Development Department and Consultants regarding:


* Proposed Planning & Traffic Consultant Services/Retainers


* Proposed Planning Studies - FY 95-96


* Proposed Planning Commission Budget - FY 95-96



Recommendations to City Council and Administration (City Manager and Finance Director):



* Determination of "Planning Study Priorities"


* Recommended Planning Commission Budget for FY 95-96; (July 1, 1995)


Mr. Wahl said he would begin the discussion by requesting or suggesting that the Commission consider whether they need to have a Special Meeting to go over planning items. He said he didn't think that even their Future Agenda for the next meeting would end up in the same situation they were in that evening which was having 5-10 minutes to discuss a $247,000 Work Program and Budget.


Mr. Wahl said he would start the meeting with that suggestion and he would also note that he has forwarded a request to Members Taub, Clark, Lorenzo and Capello, that the Town Center Steering Committee might meet next Wednesday at 6:00 PM so he might just respectfully make a suggestion that if the Steering Committee could meet at 6:00 PM, that the Commission might consider having a planning work session at perhaps 8:00 PM and that would give sufficient time for several important things to be handled.


Chairman Clark asked if he was saying he wanted to defer this to next Wednesday.


Mr. Wahl felt concerning the action or recommendation to the Administration, another week would not interfere with any of the paperwork or reviews that the Administration has been working on and another week would be sufficient.


Chairman Clark asked if the Commission had any problems with that. Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Wahl if he knew whether or not they would have a quorum for such a meeting and he asked how many were on the Town Center Steering Committee.


Member Lorenzo felt possibly this should be irrespective of whether the Steering Committee meets and that Mr. Wahl was saying they really need to meet at 8:00 PM to address the issues.


Member Hodges asked if he was suggesting having an Executive Session and Chairman Clark said no, that Mr. Wahl had said a Work Session. Member Hodges said they don't have to have a quorum to have a Work Session and Mr. Wahl indicated he would need a vote at some point, a formal action of the Planning Commission, that he could utilize.


Member Hodges asked if there was no quorum and they could not take a vote next Wednesday, could the Commission make a recommendation for the next meeting and Mr. Wahl indicated that would be difficult.


Member Lorenzo felt they should all make a commitment to be there next Wednesday.


Mr. Cohen indicated he couldn't speak for Mr. Rogers or Mr. Arroyo, but in attempting to set up a meeting for next Wednesday, they both have commitments.


Chairman Clark said they do have their comments though. Member Hoadley said he had a commitment next Wednesday. Mr. Wahl said he didn't have a whole lot of other alternatives.


Chairman Clark then took a poll and five Commissioners could make it with Member Hoadley having a commitment and Member Bonaventura not sure. It was stated they had their quorum but would also have to check with Members Taub and Capello.


Chairman Clark said then they would defer this matter until next Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1995 at 8:00 P.M.


Mr. Wahl said he would like to add a few comments to help the Commission be prepared for that meeting.


Mr. Wahl said first of all, he has requested of all the Commissioners and this was also on behalf of the Planning Studies and Budget Committee, which consists of Members Weddington, Clark, Hoadley and Taub, that they need to rank the Planning Studies proposals in terms of their priorities as to what they believe were the most important planning items for next year's work program.


Mr. Wahl said secondly, they had somewhat a spirited discussion as to whether to recommend the entire work program as it sits on their desk at $247,000 or have some other alternatives, recognizing from the memo that he sent them, that the Administration's recommendation was that the Budget not be increased anymore than 4% above this year's Budget which was $126,000.


Mr. Wahl said the consensus of the Committee appeared to be not to get into the process of picking and choosing and cutting and going somewhere at a lesser figure at this point because where would they cut. He said they went through several scenarios of different types of cuts and no one seemed to be satisfied that it was really the way to go at this point in time.


Mr. Wahl said relative to their past experiences with the Council, if they would look at the memo he sent, it shows a rather dramatic decline over a period of years to the point where they were at. He said it went down 5 consecutive years so whether they would submit a $126,000 Budget or a $130,000 Budget or a $247,000 Budget, he wasn't sure that the Commission attempting to guess what would be an acceptable amount, really has much to do with the final result anyway.


Mr. Wahl felt it was more of a qualitative review in terms of what the Commission views the planning needs of the City were, rather than try to guess the budgetary constraints of this City and the City Council's view of that, and that was really their responsibility, so he felt the consensus of the committee at this point in time was not to try and deal with budgetary considerations, but deal with planning priorities and deal with the work program from that prospective.


Mr. Wahl said that was where they were at when they adjourned at 7:00 PM and the next request was that the Commissioners would rank their priorities.


Mr. Wahl said in the event they get to City Council and they say the Commission should get $130,000 and what were they going to do with that, unless they know where the Commission's priorities were, it would put the Budget Committee at somewhat a difficult negotiating situation. He felt that was where they were at after the Committee meeting that evening. He said if anyone would like to add to his comments, that would be appropriate.


Member Bonaventura asked if Council has ever suggested that they take the ax to the Budget before it goes to them, in other words, do some of their work for them, or were they perfectly pleased with the Commission just dumping on them their entire Wish List and letting them go through it.


Mr. Wahl stated he didn't really think they have provided a specific policy direction over the years.


Member Bonaventura said his personal opinion was that they should prioritize and then anticipating cuts from previous years unless a miracle happens, he would suggest taking the items that they have at the very bottom of their list off.


Member Bonaventura said he would rather do that than having those being left on the list and then having some priority items that the Commissioners think were priority taken off, in other words, he felt it gives them a little bit more control but they could discuss it further next week.


Mr. Wahl said for those Commissioners who were not familiar with the Budget process in the past, what has happened was the Council would review all the line items and the Planning Commissioners generally provided the logic and the rationale for why those requests were being made, and then there would be some discussion about what Council thought were the important items.


Mr. Wahl said then several years ago, Council would pick a Budget item based on their view of what a reasonable Budget was and then let the Commission determine what to do.


Mr. Wahl said in recent years, that process changed where the Council would then vote a line item out, a line item in, 50% of a line item, etc., so they got into more of Council picking and choosing among the line items, so it was just somewhat unclear to him as to how that process would take place that year.


Mr. Wahl felt their comments were well considered that they go in with the whole Budget and it does take some of the choice away because that was a potential scenario. He said the other side of the coin was do they want to cut items prior to Council even having a look at it.


Member Bonaventura said every year that he has been on the Commission, they usually have a Joint Session with Council in January or February and Mr. Wahl said yes usually in February, and Member Bonaventura asked if they were going to have one this year, and Mr. Wahl said no one on either body has suggested any topics that require a joint discussion. He explained that usually he and Gerry Stipp keep a list of items the Council wants to talk to the Commission about, but he hasn't heard of any specific issues.


Mr. Wahl said that was a good point because he felt the Planning Commission may want to discuss whether they want to request a meeting, because if he wasn't mistaken, it was in their goal and objective for the year to meet so many times with the City Council, but there has also been a mood of both bodies, that if there wasn't a reason to meet, they were not going to have a meeting.


Mr. Wahl said they don't want to have a meeting just to sit around and hear themselves talk because everyone was busy and has a lot of responsibilities. He said so from their view as Administration, they have not taken an initiative to put together a meeting.


Member Bonaventura said he found it disturbing and it seems like it was almost a tradition in this town for the two bodies to have a bit of communication.


Mr. Wahl said it has been a tradition, in fact, he had Ms. Hendrian review the past years and what has happened was in 1986, they had 16 joint meetings and then it went down to 12, 9, 10, 4 and it has declined every year from the mid-80's where they were meeting almost once a month as a joint body to 4 and then 2. He said at any point that the Commission would request to meet with Council on one or more items, they should give him that direction. He said he hasn't felt that was a request that they were interested in dealing with at this point in time.


Mr. Wahl said when they get to the Budget process, Council invites the Planning Commission in for those sessions and typically they have only assigned a committee to deal with it and perhaps they might want to have the whole Commission there this year, and that was up to their discretion and that was where they stand on those items.


Chairman Clark said that was something they could discuss at that meeting.


Member Hoadley said since he didn't think he could be at the meeting next week, the only observation he would make was the fact that they had a much bigger Wish List than this when they started out, and they have already cut this more than 50% in regards to items and they don't all agree on the Committee as to the importance of the various items.


Member Hoadley said for instance, the last item happens to be a much higher priority on his Wish List than some of the others. He said that was an item that would go up dramatically if they put it off in cost. He said he has found out through life experience that it was not good to negotiate against yourself and you are much better off stating what you feel you need and then go on from there, rather than sit around and negotiate against yourself to start with. He said that was what he would say if he was attending the meeting next week.



6. Commerce Township Zoning - Lorenzo.


Member Lorenzo said she would like to make a motion:


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Weddington



That if there was a consensus, the Administration would send comments on the Commission's behalf to Commerce Township expressing their concern of increased density and the possible traffic impacts to both communities; and with a recommendation for careful consideration of existing patterns and the development trends, traffic capacity, and comparisons between the impact of single family versus multiple family developments.





Member Mutch asked didn't they just send a letter of support and Member Hoadley said it was a different parcel, and it was adjacent to this parcel and it was the same area, but a different parcel. Member Hoadley indicated the other one was turned down.


Member Bonaventura asked what were they asking for now and Member Hoadley said the same thing, only a lot more acres.


Member Hoadley said if this goes, the other one would come back and it would go and then they would have 30 some acres of multiples.


Member Bonaventura indicated he would be voting against this and the reason why was he wasn't around when Maples was approved, but representing the City of Novi to another City, he felt it was hypocritical of them to tell another City that they can't go multiple when Novi does what they want across the street.


Member Bonaventura felt it would almost be like if Best Buy came in across the street in Livonia and Novi would send a letter to them saying no, don't do that, as it would increase the traffic levels and that was very hypocritical because look at what they have done to their side of the street.


Member Hoadley said he heard Member Lorenzo's well-worded motion and she did not make a motion to direct a denial but if Member Lorenzo would repeat the motion, he felt that would satisfy Member Bonaventura. She then restated the motion:



To send comments to Commerce Township expressing the Commission's concern of increased density and the traffic impacts to both communities; and with a recommendation for careful consideration of existing patterns and development trends, traffic capacity, and comparisons between the impacts of single family versus multiple development.


Member Bonaventura said they should have sent that letter to themselves 4 1/2 years ago when Maples was developed.


Member Hodges called the question.



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


(4) Yeas (3) Nays






7. The Vistas of Novi Area Plan - Lorenzo.


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Bonaventura



That the Planning Commission request the City Attorney and Mr. Rogers to provide the Commission with opinions by the next Regular Planning Commission meeting as to whether the specific details of the proposed Vistas of Novi in concept and character that have only recently been clarified, could be considered a major change to the Area Plan which would require the Applicant to return to the Planning Commission.


Chairman Clark asked Mr. Watson if that would put an undue burden on him by the next meeting and Mr. Watson said no.



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







There being no further business before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 12:40 A.M.





Steve Cohen

Planning Clerk


Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

March 3, 1995