WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475



The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by Chairman Clark.



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


(9) Present (0) Absent


A quorum being present, the meeting was in session.



ALSO PRESENT: Brandon Rogers - Planning Consultant

David Bluhm - Engineering Consultant

Dennis Watson - Assistant City Attorney

Rod Arroyo - Traffic Consultant

Eric Olson - Landscape Architect

Sue Tepatti - Wetlands Consultant

James R. Wahl - Director of Planning

Greg Capote - Staff Planner

Steve Cohen - Planning Clerk





The Planning Commission pledged allegiance to the flag.





Member Lorenzo said she would like to add under Matters for Consideration Item #3, Rescinding and Reconsideration of Aspen Woods Cluster Option Development. Member Bonaventura asked if it was both, one or the other, and Member Lorenzo said it was really both.


Mr. Watson indicated the appropriate motion would be a motion to rescind the prior action and then once they have done that, it would be back before them.


Member Bonaventura said rescinding has to be done by a person in the affirmative or was he wrong about that and Mr. Watson said a motion to rescind could be made by anyone.


Member Bonaventura said under Matters for Discussion he would like to add, Discuss Joint Meeting with City Council, which would be Item #1.


It was then,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Mutch



To approve the Agenda as amended.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously










Member Taub said there was a handwritten letter from Christine Abbate of 26062 Clark Street, Novi regarding Programmed Products and he indicated that letter stated:


"Dear Novi Planning Commission, I am against the plan. Preliminary site plan, Section 15. I strongly disagree!"


Member Taub said there was also another letter dated April 5, 1995 from LaReta Roder and that letter stated:


"My name is LaReta Roder and I am here on behalf of the Novi Heights Community Association. There are a few items regarding Programmed Products' request for Special Land Use about which we have some concerns.


1. Regarding the proposed exit onto Clark Street. The gate that is proposed for this emergency only entry should not be open at any time. Left turn signs should not be necessary as only fire or police personnel should be allowed use of this entry/exit on a residential street. No other vehicles should be using it.


2. No construction vehicles should be taken into the site from Clark Street. No construction workers should be parking along Clark Street and no entry by them should be made from Clark Street. The site is completely accessible from Grand River and our residential area should not be compromised.


3. From the packets, we understand that this construction period should be about one year. During this time our residents should be protected from excessive construction noise, dirt, traffic and flooding. Since there have been problems in the past with flooding associated with the creek and wetlands, we need to know that every means has been taken to prevent any greater problems than we presently experience.


4. From the packet in the library, we gather that there is need for at least one 55 gallon drum of hazardous waste materials per month. Nowhere in the packet did I find a listing of what these chemicals might be. There was also information regarding storm drainage into a basin and then on into the creek and then the existing ditch on Clark. Requirements of an oil and gas separator prior to the basin is also mentioned. It sounds like a lot of material that no resident wants anywhere near our ground water. The entire subdivision is on well water. We have to protect our water supply.


5. Disturbance of the wetlands is of concern for the above stated reasons and because they are supposed to be protected for their own value. Mitigation or replacement is not really protecting existing areas.


In considering this special land use, we hope that you will consider the residents who have lived here since before the City of Novi was a city. It has been seen from past experience that we are often the last ones considered when new projects are proposed. This time, make a difference and protect us, the residents.


Thank you."


Member Mutch said it may not be clear from Member Taub's copy but the letter was from LaReta Roder and she was there that evening and it surprises her that there was only one letter because they didn't get copies, so she would suspect that it wasn't correspondence of the usual sort, and it was probably a courtesy copy of what she intended to read to the Commission during the Public Hearing.


Chairman Clark said she would certainly be free to address the Commission.


Member Taub apologized for mis-pronouncing her name and Member Mutch said the only reason she brought it up was usually correspondence comes in ahead of time and the staff xeroxes it and the Commissioners all have a copy, even in the few minutes prior to the meeting, and they were able to read it and therefore a summary of its contents really was not a problem.


Member Mutch felt in this particular case, this was someone who has appeared before Council and before the Commission any number of times and maybe she was out of line saying this, but she felt if someone has prepared something and was providing a courtesy copy, when they intended to read it, she could certainly speak for herself during Audience Participation, but it seems like they were doing her a disservice by having read through a summary of what she has prepared.


Member Mutch said maybe what they need to do was let people know before they give material to the Clerk to distribute to the Commission, whether they intend to present it themselves during the course of either the Public Hearing or Audience Participation.






1. Approval of the February 15, 1995 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.



2. Approval of the March 1, 1995 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.

Member Lorenzo said her comments were more of a question than a correction at this point. She referred to the February 15th Minutes on Page 50, sixth paragraph down, the first sentence which read, "Ms. Lemke said they have almost 30 feet of screening." She said she was wondering if that was 30 feet or a larger number. She requested that to be checked out.


Chairman Clark asked if she was proposing to pull this from the Consent Agenda and Member Lorenzo said yes until they could clear that matter up.


It was then,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Capello



To postpone the approval of the February 15, 1995 Minutes until such time as the paragraph she referred to could be looked at and possibly corrected if necessary.





Member Capello felt in the past they handled those types of issues administratively and they had said to go back and check it and whatever it should be, correct it and that was how the Minutes stood rather than pulling the Minutes and having to go back to them again. He felt they could handle this the same way.



Member Lorenzo said she would be agreeable to that also and she would withdraw her motion.



Member Mutch said she had some minor corrections to the Minutes of February 15th and she would give a copy to the Clerk so that he could pass it on.


Member Mutch began with Page 31, the third paragraph which stated, "Member Mutch said the same may be true even if they have an option," and then further down in that paragraph the fourth line stated, "Consultants were going to say it doesn't matter how much money they want to spend, they were not going to recommend that they be allowed..." She indicated that was the part of the sentence she wanted to correct.


Member Mutch said just for clarification, that sentence should read, "Consultants were going to say it doesn't matter how much money the developer wants to spend."


Member Mutch said she has stated before that sometimes everything was perfectly clear in the meeting, but when they have long sentences that were transcribed from a tape, sometimes there were several references to "he and they" and when reading the transcript, a person has no idea who "they" are.


Member Mutch next referred to Page 73 just before the Roll Call Vote, the first sentence which read, "Member Mutch then said she had one additional comment and she wanted to state that the Commission was to be commended....." and she indicated it should be the "Parks & Recreation Commission."


Member Mutch said that concluded the February 15th corrections and a motion was made.


It was then,


Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Lorenzo



To approve the Minutes of February 15, 1995 subject to the concerns expressed by Member Lorenzo with reference to Page 50 and the corrections as noted by Member Mutch.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously


Member Mutch stated regarding the March 1, 1995 Minutes. She said she had a few corrections. She referred to Page 35, the second paragraph which read, "Member Mutch felt it was misleading for people when they do have a single piece of property like this...." Member Mutch indicated what they were speaking about was the Public Notice could be misleading because they were dealing with one large piece of property only part of which was to be developed and so that sentence should read, "Member Mutch felt the Public Notice may be misleading for people when they are near a single piece of piece like this....."


Member Mutch referred to the same page, the third paragraph from the bottom which read, "She said on the other hand, they also had the packet...." and Member Mutch said it should read, "She said on the other hand, the Planning Commission had the packet...."


Member Hoadley referred to Page 58 and indicated the vote should be changed to read instead of (3) Nays to (3) Yeas.


It was then,


Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Lorenzo



To approve the Minutes of March 1, 1995 as amended.


(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously






1. Programmed Products, SP94-52A - Property Located at the Southwest Corner of Grand River Avenue and Clark Avenue for Possible Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit Approval.


Mr. Lee Mamola was present of Mamola Associates, Architects. He indicated with him that evening was David Sheeran from Programmed Products and George Norberg from Seiber Keast Associates who assisted him in the site engineering of this project.


Mr. Mamola said he would review the Special Land Use and then continue right on into the site plan and wetland issue. Mr. Mamola said he would first like to start with a brief introduction as to who was Programmed Products and what was the nature of their business. He understood they should have received in their packet, a small brochure that outlines the nature and history of their business and for the benefit of the Audience, he would highlight some of their points.


Mr. Mamola indicated the business was established in 1971 and they established another location here in Novi in 1980 and it was a business which consists of the design and manufacture and construction and installation of store interiors, stores such as supermarkets throughout the country and drug stores throughout the country.


Mr. Mamola said they were an award-winning firm. He said if you were to walk into their current lobby, they would see it lined with plaques of fine examples of their work and plaques and awards within their industry. He said they were a well-recognized firm.


Mr. Mamola said they could see an example of their work today just shortly down the road at the newly opened Vic's Market where they did all the interiors, the design, and the installation of that facility. He said they were currently located in Superior Township and they have a location here in Novi and they were looking to move the facilities from Superior Township into the City of Novi and add onto their existing facility at Grand River near Clark Street.


Mr. Mamola said when they consider Special Land Uses, they must of course consider that relative to other uses and would this project have a detrimental impact on the adjacent or existing thoroughfares and they don't believe so. He said the City's Traffic Consultant could talk further on that issue, but they have at the most at any one time, 75 employees that were on any maximum working shift and most of those employees were on the property and they come and go as a nature of their normal business and they were involved in manufacture and assembly.


Mr. Mamola said a few of the employees, especially the office personnel, may come and go occasionally at various times throughout the day. He indicated regarding public service, they have water, sewer and fire service to that property now and it would be available for the proposed development as well.


Mr. Mamola indicated it was compatible with some of the natural features on that property and he would delay most of his comments on this question to the discussion of the wetlands portion of the project.


Mr. Mamola said it was a permitted use under Sec. 1902.5 as a manufacturer and assembly of certain materials. He said this particular use was what they would refer to in the Building Code as a mixed use, that is, it was an industrial use and it was also an office use. He said a good portion of their building, of their proposed floor plan, would be renovated to become their offices. He said in Superior Township was where they currently have their office so their office would move to Novi.


Mr. Mamola said the office would be renovated to reflect the nature of their work and it would not be a standard office he could guarantee them in terms of the design and the interior decor. He said it should be quite striking and quite unique.


Mr. Mamola said they have taken care in the design of the building addition to be concerned about the effects of openings in the walls to the adjacent residential neighborhood. He said in the floor plan, the yellow represents the addition and also he pointed out Clark Street and Grand River. He said all along the Clark Street side, there were no openings and it was a solid wall. He indicated they did require one opening on the south for an exit door but otherwise that was all solid wall.


Mr. Mamola said the building does meet egress requirements for building code purposes and it was a safe building to work in as far as building codes were concerned, and he would mention also as an addition to the solid wall, there were no light fixtures on that part of the building or looking toward the residential neighborhood either.


Mr. Mamola said the building was fully fire suppressed today and they were proposing that not only the existing building where the suppression would be modified, but the addition would be a fully fire suppressed building as well.


Mr. Mamola said the addition and the existing building would be referred to what the building code would call, 2C or non-combustible construction, which meant a very solid built building.


Mr. Mamola said they currently operate at times of lunch shifts and times of overtime, and at times with more than one shift, and if the Commissioners have questions about the timing and the shifts of the different personnel, Mr. Sheeran could answer those questions.


Mr. Mamola said he would point out to them at this point, that the ability to expand this building allows this business to operate more often than not on less than 2 shifts and there may be occasionally a second shift from what he understood, but there would not be a 24 hour operation here.


Mr. Mamola said currently they have 40 employees in their building looking to maximize their employee count at 75. He said odds were that throughout most of the building, it would not be quite 75 people employed in that building.


Mr. Mamola said also when they look at Special Land Use, they must be concerned or at least ask the question about alternative land uses for this property. He said they have some unique considerations here. He said they were here before the Commission that night with Special Land Use and as he said before, they were manufacturing and they were adjacent to residential and they have the ability to provide some stipulations onto the project because of that very nature.


Mr. Mamola indicated this project consists of 3 parcels, one he would refer to as parcel no. 1, which was about 100 feet in width and it fronts Clark Street. He indicated the next parcel was about 140 some feet and he would call it parcel no. 2, and it was between the Clark Street parcel and between the existing Programmed Products parcel. He said Programmed Product owns all three parcels and they were all separate Tax ID parcels. He said they also own a small flare of a parcel that fronts onto Eleven Mile Road and it was part of the project that it would be split and the survey work was done and the split was pending approval that night.


Mr. Mamola said going back to this use in the I-1 Ordinance, they could come in and build an office building and it was essentially the only use in the I-1 Ordinance that could come in adjacent to residential property without a Special Land Use. He said in other words, for the folks in the Audience that night, they could come in and construct the appropriate parking for about 60 cars, a few spaces for handicapped spaces and they could meet all the other requirements of the Zoning Ordinances and if that plan was in accordance with the Ordinances, his submission was properly prepared and this plan must be approved.


Mr. Mamola said this plan would still accommodate the wetlands and this plan would still accommodate some berms and screening and what not, but there would be no choice that this plan must be approved.


Mr. Mamola said this was an alternative and he was not suggesting that this alternative would happen tomorrow, but vacant property was on the market, and vacant property in Novi was a hot commodity and they all were aware of that. He said the downside of this plan was that it would require a driveway onto a public street and this plan shows it coming onto Clark Street and why not Grand River and he explained there were a couple of reasons.


Mr. Mamola explained the toe of the overpass at the railroad was roughly at the intersection of Clark and Grand River and they have site considerations if a driveway was to come out of either parcel no. 1 or 2 onto Grand River. He said they have other curb cut considerations across Grand River and the existing Programmed Products, and this assumes that nothing happens to the existing Programmed Products facility.


Mr. Mamola said the safest curb cut would be at Clark Street and regarding whether they would cut back away from Grand River, he felt probably so for two reasons. He explained one, it gives them a further distance from the intersection, and two, the Ordinance would not allow front yard parking in any significant amount without a variance. He said it would also put a driveway closer to Grand River and would likely have a greater impact on the wetlands than what was there today and what they were proposing either in this proposal or in the Programmed Products Proposal.


Mr. Mamola said so this very well could be a professional office, a doctors office, an attorney's office, anything, as long as it was an office arrangement and that would be a very viable situation in terms of their current Ordinance.


Mr. Mamola then discussed some of the issues that were addressed and raised in the letter which was read prior to the early part of this meeting. He said he didn't see a problem at all with limiting construction traffic off of Clark Street, in other words, keeping it off of Clark Street, with the exception of some water main work, which must occur on Clark Street, but the vast majority of construction traffic could certainly be held off of Clark Street and that wasn't very problematic at all.


Mr. Mamola said he would ask Mr. Sheeran at a later point in their presentation to respond to some of the other specific questions that were raised.


Mr. Mamola then said that was a quick summary of their presentation for the special land use issue and they do believe they meet the criteria for special land use, and special land use was recommended by all of their Consultants. He said when they really weigh thoroughly the alternatives to this addition, this addition makes good sense considering the impact that an alternative would have, particularly on the immediate neighborhood and the surrounding residential area.


Mr. Mamola said with respect to the site plan issues, he would assume and hope that they all have a copy of his March 3rd letter in their packet, which they wrote when they resubmitted this proposal. He said as he mentioned before, the survey work has been done which was a concern of Mr. Rogers and a property split would be applied for and would be required before Final site plan approval and that could be held rather easily.


Mr. Mamola said other more technical parts of the checklist could be complied with, such as contour lines and the like. He said they have talked about an 8 foot bike path along Clark Street and there was some history behind that. He explained that night the Commission was looking at a Revised Preliminary site plan. He said when they initially submitted their Preliminary site plan, some revisions were called for and he would explain the reasons they were revising their plan.


Mr. Mamola said much of the reason had to do with wetlands and had to do with their discussions with some of the neighbors surrounding this property.


Mr. Mamola said early in January, the neighbors who received the public notice were given a letter by Programmed Products and invited to come to Programmed Products for an evening and see the proposed plans and he indicated that most of the neighbors, if not all of them when they came in, were not too happy to hear that there was going to be an expansion of an industrial use nearby.


Mr. Mamola said once the neighbors saw the plans and once they understood the nature of the business and how he was trying to accommodate their concerns and how they did accommodate their concerns since, he felt most of the neighbors now welcomed this plan.


Mr. Mamola said so if there were any apprehensive neighbors that night, he would like to reserve a time to discuss that later and he would hope that could be addressed later in the meeting.


Mr. Mamola indicated the initial plan called for a sidewalk along Clark Street, which was required per their Master Plan. He said the sidewalk not only went into a linear fashion, but they decided to make it somewhat curvelinear, bringing it into the site a little bit. He said there were some rather stringent dimensional issues between the property line and the edge of Clark Street and they don't feel it was safe. He said to construct a sidewalk, it would be several feet away from Clark Street. He noted there was an existing drainage ditch there as well that would cause some engineering grief, but it was a basic safety question.


Mr. Mamola said so they decided if a sidewalk has to go in that territory, they should meander it a bit and he indicated the plan was the middle board and he pointed out the sidewalk on the board and also pointed out the berming and the landscaping.


Mr. Mamola explained the purpose of that berming and landscaping was to provide for the people that use Clark Street as an entrance to their neighborhood and to provide them with at least a park-like landscaped setting.


Mr. Mamola said this particular part of ground was not indicated on the Wetlands Map and he did not believe a Wetlands Permit was an issue and this goes back a bit in time, but subsequently it obviously has become part of the project.


Mr. Mamola said once they looked at the sensitivity of the wetlands, they looked at the practicality of putting a sidewalk on the edge of Clark Street and determined that it wasn't in the best interest for people to safely put a sidewalk there. He said he doubted that they could be required to place a sidewalk on their property if there were no wetlands there.


Mr. Mamola said the other question about a sidewalk there on Clark Street was that it would extend and dead-end to a neighbor's yard and the neighbor lives on the corner of Clark and Eleven Mile Road and it would essentially be into their side yard, but it still comes onto their property, indicating that a sidewalk would come onto a person's property whether they want it or not at some point in the future.


Mr. Mamola said there was what he viewed a minor question in Mr. Rogers' letter which he felt could be resolved easily. He stated Mr. Rogers points out to the Planning Commission in his review letter that they were shy in greenbelt setback at the far west corner and he pointed that out to everyone and they were about 3 feet shy.


Mr. Mamola said if the Commission would like, they could remove a parking space and they could comply with that setback and they could comply still with parking, but he didn't think frankly, it was in the best interest of the project or the City or for anyone, so he would respectfully request a greenbelt waiver in this case.


Mr. Mamola said they do feel they have adequate trade-off green area between the western facade of the building and the western boundary line. He said he would discuss that more later, but there was more than enough trade-off type area there.


Mr. Mamola said he also wanted to add to that the point that this area was protected by the residential area by a 6 foot berm and at least 7 foot tall pine trees, perhaps even taller, so there was screening to screen off a 3 foot by 20 foot sliver of triangular piece of parking, so if the Commission sees fit to approve the other portions of this plan, they could give them a greenbelt waiver there on that position.


Mr. Mamola referred to the berm design and indicated when he speaks of the berm design, he was speaking of the south border and in the plan initially submitted, it somewhat schematically showed the berm going across the rear of the property east to west with a row of pine trees on top of the berm and that would provide screening. He said it would function to do what it had to do.


Mr. Mamola said at that meeting in January, they met with the neighbors, the Clark family, who had expressed a sadness in the loss of the vegetation that was in their backyard and in their view and he respected that. He indicated he came back and said instead of that conceptual long string of trees, they would try to meander more the plantings and would suggest a mixture of plantings and would suggest a mixture of plantings by the planting legend they see on the plan and plantings and shrubs that would offer color and would offer a variety in shade trees and canopy trees and pines and the like.


Mr. Mamola indicated they also still maintained their six foot berm height which wasn't easy to do and they have to become involved with wood retaining timber walls that step up, particularly in that area. He said with a combination of the wood and temporary retaining walls and the shrubs, they felt that would make a very handsome appearance to their back yard although it was on Programmed Products' property, but the Clark's and the other neighbors here would have the benefit of the view.


Mr. Mamola said that was a nice step in their direction but they still were not 100% there. He said last week when they had a discussion with Mr. & Mrs. Clark, he found out even further some of their details of what they see and how they enjoy that part of the property. He said there were some large canopy trees and some box elders and elms, trees that were frankly not on the highest priority as far as the City would be concerned with and that was why he felt they could come off the property.


Mr. Mamola said the Clark's have erected birdhouses and feeders and they watch quite a variety of species in that area and it was quite interesting to have them tell everyone that story the other night. He said so what he did about a week ago was he pinpointed the trees which were on the survey and they believe that there was still the ability to provide screening for them and for their neighbors and into the backyards and still maintain the two primary trees that they were concerned about and the berm would not extend as far east as it does, because it was the berm by virtue of going under the canopy of the trees which would eventually kill those trees and was the reason why those trees were coming out.


Mr. Mamola said but if they hold the berm back and instead plant mature pine trees behind the trees in a meandering fashion, the Clark's could still keep the view of their trees and still provide berming and screening and he felt both sides of the property would be happy.


Mr. Mamola said the Clark's may come to the Podium that night and tell them what they see out their back window. He said those canopy trees and the elms and box elders certainly provide a certain amount of shading in the summertime, but the addition of those pines would provide shading year round and they would propose to plant pines of not necessarily the minimum height, but of reasonable heights that they would be assured they would have a good success of staying alive and being there forever and not requiring a replacement and having to do it over again.


Mr. Mamola said they believe this was what they would call a win-win type situation.


Mr. Mamola said the Traffic Consultant had expressed certain concerns in his letter and one concern would be very easily remedied with some cooperation with their neighbor, which was the neighboring fence company that was on Grand River. He said he wasn't against that, but it just has been his experience that that tends to delay an ultimate approval, that is, the Final site plan approval.


Mr. Mamola said instead, if everyone looks closely at their site plan, they would note that this greenbelt was set off 10 feet from the property line and currently that was paved and it was paved from this existing building line to the property line and they were adding 10 feet of greenbelt there. He said there was a triangular piece of greenbelt then between the parking and the building and that triangular piece becomes larger as they get closer to Grand River.


Mr. Mamola then pointed out where it may be 5 or 6 feet and then where it was almost 20 feet. He said simply by holding this point and allowing that driveway to be parallel to the building, that sliver of greenbelt becomes larger as it gets toward Grand River. He felt they could address the curb cut issues that the Traffic Consultant talked about and he didn't see a problem in the technical dimensions or the Grand River right-of-way. He felt they should not need to have to coordinate the approval of an adjacent landowner.


Mr. Mamola said it was in this sliver of greenbelt then, that they have the trade-off area that he spoke of earlier in this westerly park and they more than have that by several hundred feet.


Mr. Mamola then said he would like to back-up the discussion at this point and he apologized for doing so, but in the existing building on the west facade, there was essentially a series of overhead doors and those doors for the most part would be removed with the exception of one.


Mr. Mamola said the on-site circulation would work in a way so that when truck traffic comes in and they do have deliveries daily, the trucks would enter into this property off of Grand River, drives past and backs into a truck well. He said the parking and the interior landscaping was laid out in a way that would prevent a truck from making a left turn and exiting out. He said a truck could not do that without running over the dumpster as it was in its way.


Mr. Mamola said he has purposely designed the plan to keep the truck traffic off of Clark Street should access be there and he would get to that issue in a moment.


Mr. Mamola said again they would have the truck traffic coming in, backing out into the truck well and moving out towards Grand River, so the truck traffic stays on the main thoroughfare and does not get involved with the adjacent residential portion.


Mr. Mamola said another major issue that involved partially the special land use but was more a site plan issue, was what they would call the excess drive between the parking area and Clark Street. He said that drive was intended to be used solely for emergency vehicles and they do not wish to have that utilized in any way for any of their business or for any of their employees and it was also their client's demand.


Mr. Mamola said on the initial site plan, the street was shown as being paved, and he felt there were some comments or concerns such as requirements for signage and that was fine. He said also resulting from the meetings that they had with several homeowners in January, they do have a very serious and rightful concern about traffic going off of Clark and into their street and so on.


Mr. Mamola said there were a number of solutions to that and the homeowners would like to not have a drive and their client would like not to have a drive and they both agree and the Fire Department would like to have access. He said the current plan calls for the drive and it meanders in a way that would hopefully intimidate a few cars from coming in, but also be able to provide some screening and not a direct shot. He said it helps in some screening to some degree there.


Mr. Mamola said they have added on the site plan removable speed bumps so that they could be removed when the snow starts to fly and they could be put back on when the snow was gone. He said that was somewhat an ongoing maintenance issue and it was a very doable one and a use where they have an owner in an occupied site facility and they feel it was one that could be easily controlled.


Mr. Mamola said in addition to that, the neighbors had expressed the idea of a gate there that would not allow cars to utilize that area, a breakaway style gate, as it might be referred to.


Mr. Mamola said he understood in his discussions with Captain Roy that the Fire Department does not prefer a gate and they prefer quick direct access and that was what they prefer.


Mr. Mamola felt the Commission should consider that night the nature of the business and the nature of the construction and the nature of the fire suppression, etc., and the likelihood of calls compared to other kinds of businesses and other kinds of building construction.


Mr. Mamola said what he would suggest in lieu of what was submitted here was if a drive has to be there, perhaps there could be a grass paver block type drive, which was a pre-cast type piece of concrete where the grass was allowed to grow through it and it looks like an egg-crate and the drive looks partially green and it was durable and would support the weight of a fire truck with a properly constructed sub-base. He indicated the problem with that type of an arrangement initially was that it may not be maintained very well in the wintertime if there was a few feet of snow.


Mr. Mamola believed the solution was to mark the drive and the drive could be marked in several ways or a combination of ways and the suggestion of boulders or landscape features on either edge of the drive just a few feet off the edge of the drive would allow the snow plow operator to know where the drive was.


Mr. Mamola said in addition to that and in lieu of removing speed bumps in the spring and in the fall, the staking occasionally of those small orange flake type holes would be of very minimal visible impact to the community but of a great help to the snow plow operator.


Mr. Mamola said Programmed Products does anticipate contracting out for the balance of the snow removal for this, and the snow plow operator would certainly be able to do a little more, and they would have to plow that drive anyway, if the drive was there of course.


Mr. Mamola said they should compare that to the arrangement which the Fire Department thought as intriguing and apparently has accepted, which was a gate and whether the gate would be closer to Clark Street could be discussed, but the fact was if there was a gate, the Fire Department would accept that gate being shut and locked during normal business hours, with the theory being if a fire breaks out or they need to get access during normal business hours, someone who was in the building could come out and unlock the gate while the fire truck was coming down the road.


Mr. Mamola said the Fire Department would require and he would expect it to be enforced by the City's Enforcement Officers, that when no one was in the building conducting business, that that gate be opened. He said that was apparently not acceptable to the homeowners and if they think about it and do some quick math, over 700 times a year someone from this building has to come out and unlock and lock that gate morning and night and they should compare that to possibly 20-30 times a year for a snow plow operation through there.


Mr. Mamola said they believe a snow plow operation could work if the lanes were properly marked and they believe the lanes could be properly marked in a way that was not visually intruding to the neighborhood and that was very important and he understood a very sensitive issue to the residents and they believe it was resolvable. He said the other solution of course was to simply not have the drive and that was a consideration as well.


Mr. Mamola said with regard to the wetland area, there was some existing standing water and some vegetation and they were suggesting that the exact boundary of that planned area be reconfigured slightly so there was some mitigation of sorts going on there, but essentially that wetland would be left undisturbed along Clark Street or when the project was all said and done, it would be undisturbed.


Mr. Mamola said they do have to put a water main in there right near Clark Street, so there would be some disturbance and he pointed out where the water main extends and then indicated it provides fire service and fire suppression systems to the building.

Mr. Mamola said at the corner of Clark and Grand River, they would like to keep some sort of landscaped identity, a landscaped form still addressing the people who use Clark Street as an access to their neighborhood and giving them a nicely landscaped area with flowering annuals and perennials and trees.


Mr. Mamola said they understand there was a concern for drainage and Mr. Norberg from Seiber Keast was present that night and would discuss the drainage design and how that would work. He said he would tell them only briefly that much of the drainage that falls straight down from the sky and comes across this property otherwise was being redirected and he believed any current problems, any current situations that exist with the neighbors on Clark Street, would be resolved by how this drainage gets redirected.


Mr. Mamola then asked Mr. Norberg to discuss the drainage.


Mr. George Norberg pointed out the existing building and the existing parking area and explained what they propose to do was to construct a storm sewer system which would come down through the existing area which this would be repaved and then out to a certain point and then into a sedimentation basin prior to discharging to an existing 12" pipe which was out at the road.


Mr. Norberg said this storm sewer would pick up all waters that were generated from both the existing and the proposed buildings and it would all be conveyed underground into the catch basins as well and then all of the parking lots would also go into that.


Mr. Norberg said the site itself has been designed for an on-site storm water detention, using the parking lot as well as the sedimentation basin. He said the water generated from this area and on the east side of the building would simply go into this wetland area to help recharge that wetland area and then there would be culverts placed under the driveway which would be set into an elevation that would handle the overflow. He indicated it would be a ditch that would be approximately 2 feet below the existing road, so there would be no water and no way for the water to flow over the top of Clark Street, but it would be conveyed into the culvert and then also into the existing 12" pipe which has an outlet into the existing pipe under Clark Street.


Mr. Norberg said basically that was the entire system and there has been some question about establishing flood plain elevations for the drain itself, which they would be happy to do during the preparation of the Final plans.


Mr. Norberg indicated the sanitary sewer was connected to the existing system, and Mr. Mamola has already touched upon the water system.


Mr. Dave Sheeran of Programmed Products was present. He said he wanted to address one item mentioned which was the 55 gallon drum and he indicated the 55 gallon drum contained primarily paint residue, paint thinner and cleaners that they use in their operations. He said it was captured in a 55 gallon drum and hauled away by an EPA licensed qualified waste hauler from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He indicated he pays quite a premium to have that happen and he felt they were in compliance with handling that. He said they don't dump anything out on the grounds or anything of that nature whatsoever.


Mr. Sheeran then said he would be happy to answer any questions.


Mr. Mamola spoke again and indicated he wanted to briefly discuss the architecture of the building. He said first of all, he would say he didn't believe that this project requires a facade waiver and they were given a challenge and one of the partners in the business was the designer in the business who was somewhat pessimistic about the architectural image of adding on an industrial building and it being done attractively.


Mr. Mamola said they had to appease a designer and they also knew they had to appease the neighborhood and they also had the City standards to respect. He said the renderings which they see on the far end and which he believed each of them have a smaller color version of, depicts the architecture of the building and it was an industrial building. He indicated it was a combination of decorative masonry materials, in combination with ribbed metal panels and flat metal panels and also a combination of cementitious materials. He indicated there were only a few other things on the chart that he did not use.


Mr. Mamola said they feel it was the combination of those materials which they have tried to streamline and the horizontal nature which gave the visual appearance of the building being lower. He said then they were also respecting the corner of Clark Street and Grand River, especially as they come off the overpass.


Mr. Mamola said the building's unique feature architecturally was what they see from the site plan, and it sawtooths somewhat and they have what he would refer to as a "flying beam" on the top rendering and that beam would go from the corner, which he pointed out and then extend and become an entry feature to the building.

Mr. Mamola said it provides a horizontal effect to the building and it unifies the stepping or sawtoothing of the building and it doesn't look like necessarily an addition onto an existing building and it looks like one brand-new building, which he felt would be an asset to the community.


Mr. Mamola said to the Chairman and the Planning Commission, when they consider this project and when they consider the alternative of a 15,000 sq. ft. office building and the impact that building has to the neighborhood and then also consider the economic impact of a 15,000 sq. ft. office building versus this project to the community at large, he felt this was a very positive project for the community everywhere.


Mr. Mamola felt they have done as much as they could at this point and they were being sensitive to the adjacent neighbor's needs and concerns and they have not heard from all of them, but if there were other issues that could be addressed, they certainly intend to do that. He said they were seeking their review and approval of special land use and seeking their review and approval of preliminary site plan, hopefully with the small greenbelt setback waiver being granted. He said he would like the opportunity to come back to this podium after the public has spoken to respond to any questions they may have.





Mr. Rogers reviewed his letter of March 14, 1995. He said that many of his points have been presented by the applicant and his architect. He said he has personally toured the inside of the facility, each department, on January 19, 1995.


Mr. Rogers felt the reason for expansion was largely that they were combining operations here in Novi. He said they were combining their design department, their office department, and their fabrication department.


Mr. Rogers said in his opinion on special land use, there was with the greenspace, the setback off of Clark Street and with those new limitations on vehicular traffic access, Clark Street, a residential street, could be preserved. He also stated that Eleven Mile, a residential collector road, was not shown on the plan, but they intend to build two homes on their property fronting onto Eleven mile.


Mr. Rogers indicated there was no long-term truck parking and the truck dock was depressed at the rear side of the property, and the performance standards in the Zoning Ordinance in his opinion apply and would be used to regulate any emissions. He said the improved paint shop where they use water-based latex paints would be renovated and new air exchange and filtering systems would be installed.


Mr. Rogers said the Fire Department would be reviewing the hazardous chemical data sheet and there was a report from them. He said there were other special land use standards on Page Two. He said the traffic impact on adjacent roads, Mr. Arroyo would comment on. He said if they do not allow employee or truck traffic to use Clark Street and use as they were using today, only the Grand River access, that should channel the traffic out to the major thoroughfare, which was Grand River.


Mr. Rogers said all utility services were available and Mr. Bluhm would comment on those on behalf of JCK. He said this was not really a correct statement anymore, but at the time of review and the first project, they knew there were no regulated woodlands, but apparently there were some regulated wetlands at this time that Ms. Tepatti would comment on.


Mr. Rogers said he recommended special land use approval of this Tier II use as being compatible with the neighborhood and making good use of the property that they own.


Mr. Rogers then continued on with the Preliminary site plan. He said the sidwell on parcel one, where they were spinning off the two homesites on Eleven Mile, has to be split properly into a separate sidwell and approved by the Assessing Department prior to Final site plan approval.


Mr. Rogers said there was a small need to extend the contour lines a full 100' beyond the south and west boundaries of site.


Mr. Rogers referred to the adopted plan of the Parks & Recreation Commission and the bike path comes along Grand River on the south side and comes down Clark Street on the west side and carries across the City to ultimately Napier Road on the south side of Eleven Mile.


Mr. Rogers said he appreciated that it doesn't wrap around the corner of Clark and Eleven Mile, but it was on the plan and it was something they would have to review and he would look to Mr. Watson on whether the Planning Commission could waive that or whether it was an issue that has to go to the Council.


Mr. Rogers said they do show a six foot wide concrete sidewalk along Grand River, and he believed it said 6 feet although Mr. Bluhm has indicated 5 feet, but that might be something they could resolve later on, with a note that an easement of access would be granted.


Mr. Rogers indicated the building height ranges from 18-22 feet and as they all know, if they were adjacent to residential in an I-1 District, they would be limited to 25 feet and that was what they were well within.


Mr. Rogers said regarding parking, they more than meet the required off-street parking, including handicapped. He said there was a minor area of landscape space on the south edge, which was more than made up by the extensive greenspace along Clark Street.


Mr. Rogers said the off-street loading and unloading was on the west side of the new addition and it would be a recessed truck dock for two cars and on the landscape plan, they intend to screen it from view from the south edge.


Mr. Rogers said as was also noted, the landscape plan and building facade plan would be reviewed in greater detail at the time of Final site plan submittal.


Mr. Rogers indicated he recommended Preliminary site plan approval subject to special land use approval being granted initially by the Planning Commission, revision of the three small items of application data, the adjustment of the equivalent greenspace at the south corner of the site, and the lot split for Parcel 1.


Mr. Bluhm indicated he has also reviewed the Preliminary site plan. He indicated utilities currently service the site, and the applicant was proposing an extension of the water main, as has been mentioned along the west side of Clark Street on the east side of the site to the southern boundaries, and he was proposing an 8 inch water main per the Master Plan.


Mr. Bluhm said the applicant, as Mr. Norberg mentioned, was proposing a storm sewer on site for width detention in the parking areas and in the sedimentation basin, which outlets to the Leavenworth Creek backing up onto the pathways. He said as Mr. Rogers and others have mentioned, the pathway was on the Master Plan to be put on the east side of the site in the Clark Street right-of-way.


Mr. Bluhm said, however, they would concur that the right-of-way was not sufficient for the bike path, therefore, the other option would be to put the bike path in an easement outside of the right-of-way preferably at the proposed 43 1/2 foot right-of-way and the accomplishment there, however, as Ms. Tepatti would mention, was that it puts it into the wetland area and there was obviously some concerns with that also.


Mr. Bluhm said in his reviews of the Ordinance documents, it appears that Council was the body that would waive or provide a variance for it if that was requested.


Mr. Bluhm said regarding the storm water, the storm sewers outlet to the sedimentation basin and then to the Leavenworth Creek. He indicated the Leavenworth Creek flows from the west to the east along the south edge of the property.


Mr. Bluhm said as Mr. Norberg has mentioned, detention was to be provided on site however, some of their evaluations of the downstream areas would indicate that detention may not be required for the site.


Mr. Bluhm said what they would like them to do was to provide a hydraulic analysis of the impacts of providing no detention and outletting the water directly to the Leavenworth Creek area.


Mr. Bluhm said the benefits of that would be two or three-fold actually and what he would like to show was that if it goes undetained, that there would be no impacts with flooding in the creek areas of the adjacent properties. He said secondarily, it would appear that the easements do not exist properly on the site itself, and he would like to evaluate the additional needs for easements and have the developer provide it at Final. He said as the project would close out, they feel that was something that could be done at Final and it would leave the option open if the drainage in the Leavenworth Creek was not sufficient, that they could certainly provide the detention on-site.


Mr. Bluhm said he had a few other comments most of which were minor in nature and he would leave it at that and those would stand for the record. He then stated that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and he was recommending approval.


Mr. Arroyo said he has also reviewed the proposal and he would begin with his comment no. 2 regarding trip generation. He said for this manufacturing facility, it could be expected to generate about 160 trips per day and the current facility has about 40 employees versus 75 employees, which they were projecting to have at build-out of this proposal.


Mr. Arroyo said so they were expecting it would be about a 75 trips per day increase with the expansion. He said as has been mentioned, access was proposed from Grand River which was an arterial roadway and no vehicular access for the most part other than emergency access was proposed except for the access to Clark Street and Clark Street was designated as a collector road on the Thoroughfare Plan.


Mr. Arroyo referred to his comment no. 4, which was regarding the proposed access to Clark Street. He said he has heard the comments from Mr. Mamola and they would like to see this discussed in more detail. He said obviously if the Fire Department feels the access was important, they were in support of that.


Mr. Arroyo said as proposed, they would prefer that if the gate situation remains and it was a paved driveway as it was shown on the plan, the location of the gate they feel poses a potential problem because people could turn in off of Clark Street and get up that drive and get to the parking area and then they would have a stop situation and would have to back out down the drive and back onto Clark Street and they would rather try to have that situation avoided.


Mr. Arroyo said there were some other alternatives and one might be moving the gate and looking at some other signage and as Mr. Mamola mentioned, another option would be the grass paver and once again the snow removal was an issue and marking it was an issue and there would also have to be some signage to take care of that as well,

just because in the wintertime, if it was plowed and there was a light covering of snow, if a person was driving by and there was no sign, it may look as if it was a driveway that was open to use and if it wasn't intended to be used, then obviously the signage was going to be needed to resolve that problem.


Mr. Arroyo said so they would like to see that discussed in more detail and it looks like there were a number of options to try and resolve that, and it may be that some of the details would have to be worked out at Final and they may not be able to resolve them today, but that was something they need to discuss.


Mr. Arroyo said as has been mentioned, the primary driveway onto Grand River was proposed to be improved and they were going to be improving the radii and improving by adding deceleration tapers and they were going to be adding a passing lane on the north side.

Mr. Arroyo said their deceleration taper would need to be connected in with the passing lane that Delwal Corporation was putting in on the south side of Grand River, so they would have a full connection across there and as Mr. Mamola mentioned, they were in the position where they could move the location of that driveway to the east somewhat so that the entering radius does not encroach upon the property located to the west.


Mr. Arroyo felt that issue could be resolved, so he was recommending approval subject to the comments they have noted in their letter and further discussion of the access to Clark Street.


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


Ms. Tepatti indicated her office has also reviewed the plan for the impacts to the wetland and watercourses and setback requirements. She said as Mr. Mamola has stated, there was a creek flowing through the southern edge of this site which flows on and off the southern property line, and that was the Leavenworth Creek which was flowing to the east and this creek was regulated by the City and the State, and the City of Novi regulates the 25 foot buffer or setback from this creek which does fall onto this property.


Ms. Tepatti said as he also mentioned, there was also a wetland pocket adjacent to Clark Avenue and this wetland pocket did not appear on the wetlands map but upon their site inspection, it was discovered. She said it was considered contiguous to the creek by the DNR and they would expect that they would be going to the DNR for a permit at some time before construction.


Ms. Tepatti said this wetland pocket was a small pocket that was dominated by young trees and shrubs, primarily elms, dogwoods, and willows and has seasonal standing water.


Ms. Tepatti said the applicant was proposing to disturb the edge of this wetland along Clark for the installation of the watermain as was stated. She indicated this wetland would be restored and then replanted once construction was complete and therefore the impact would be temporary in nature.


Ms. Tepatti said if the bike path was required along that area, they would look at ways to minimize the impact and they would not be opposed to it if it was seen to be in the City's best interest.


Ms. Tepatti said she also understood that the watermain would be continuing to the southern property line along Clark and this would necessitate crossing the stream. She said if at all possible, the engineer has stated they would be boring and jacking underneath the stream which would result in no disruption to it and that would be the preferred method of crossing that stream.


Ms. Tepatti said there was a wetland impact proposed and about 20 feet of the tip of the pocket wetland was proposed to be filled for construction of the slope from the edge of the building and mitigation was proposed for this at a 2 to 1 ratio so far and this wetland fill totals approximately .03 acres or about 1200 sq. ft. She said they were not opposed to this as they have made several efforts to comply with the Novi regulations by installing a sediment basin and by adjusting their landscaping to accommodate the preservation of this wetland.


Ms. Tepatti noted there were also two impacts to the buffer zone along that southern stream and the first one was right next to Clark Avenue for the construction of the sedimentation basin and that would be partially in the buffer zone and she would expect some grading in the buffer to construct this.


Ms. Tepatti said this area has the ability to be landscaped and enhanced to restore the buffer and to use this sedimentation basin also as a water quality basin.


Ms. Tepatti said the other impact was near the middle of the site along the southern edge for the construction of the retaining wall that Mr. Mamola mentioned which was on the southern edge of his berm and this was constructed to decrease the amount of fill in the buffer zone, so she was not opposed to this amount of disruption of the buffer and there would be some enhancement of the buffer further west.


Ms. Tepatti said the stream portion near the western edge of this site which was barely on their property was a channelized flow and it has been dredged in the past and there was very little vegetation adjacent to it, so any enhancement to this area would be a great habitat increase from what was currently there.


Ms. Tepatti said she has recommended approval of the wetland permit with the following conditions: (1) That the water main shall be restored or that plans be submitted for construction of the bike path; (2) That the buffer zone shall be restored adjacent to the basin and that wetland enhancement or buffer enhancement be conducted further to the west; (3) That the water main be bored and jacked beneath the stream or if not feasible, that plans be submitted for some other type of work to establish this water main; (4) That protective fencing be placed along the edge of the protected areas; (5) That the DNR be contacted for a wetlands permit; (6) That an oil and grease separator and 4' sump be installed in the last catch basin prior to discharge to the sedimentation basin which the applicant has stated would be permanent in nature. In summary, Ms. Tepatti indicated she recommended approval.





Ms. LaReta Roder introduced herself and indicated she was present on behalf of the Novi Heights Community Association. She said their President had a family emergency this past week and couldn't be at the meeting so he had asked her to make a few points. She also thanked Member Mutch and said Member Mutch was absolutely correct and she had just given her letter to Mr. Cohen as a courtesy.


Ms. Roder indicated the points raised in the letter were adequately discussed but she couldn't stress enough about protecting their residents. She indicated there has traditionally been an existing flooding problem in the area and that should not be allowed to be increased by discharging into the creek.


Ms. Roder said they also have well water and in this day and age, that was a concern for all of their residents and to have their ground water contaminated would be disastrous.


Ms. Roder said there was one other item that she needed to clear up and she was talking to Mr. Cohen about this at the beginning of the meeting and that was the inadequacy of the maps that were published and they gave a misleading idea in the paper that Eleven Mile Road was actually a thoroughfare and goes through and crosses the railroad tracks and crosses Novi Road but it does not. She indicated it was a dead end road and was a very, very short block east of Clark Street.


Ms. Roder said their subdivision was really quite unique in that it was one of the oldest subdivisions in the City and it was really a series of dead-ends and the only way in or out was Clark Street.


Ms. Roder indicated Clark Street has four short blocks and although they were really long blocks, there were four short roads running off of it and they all dead-end. She indicated Eleven Mile dead-ends, Whipple comes from Eleven Mile and curves back to Clark Street and the only way they could come in or out was Clark Street, and to have Clark Street torn up unnavigatable would be disastrous and it really was imperative that they all think long and hard about what they allow to be done to all of the residents in Novi Heights.


Mr. Tom Clark was present and he indicated he owned the property directly south. He said first of all, he would like to thank Mr. Sheeran and Mr. Mamola because they have been pretty cooperative regarding their concerns and what they would end up with and what they don't want to end up with. He also felt it would be a nice project.


Mr. Clark said his main concern was the exit that goes out onto Clark Street and naturally he would prefer not to see it at all, and he knows that Mr. Rogers feels the one exit on Grand River would handle the traffic without a problem and he guessed it was the Fire Department who would like to see it. He felt because of the measures the developer has taken for the fire suppression in the building, he had some doubt in his mind whether that absolutely has to be there and he would prefer that it not be there.


Mr. Clark said if it has to be there and if there was no choice, he felt at the very least, there should be a gate right adjacent to Clark Street so no one could pull into it. He referred to a breakaway style gate and he thought some were already used in the City in certain areas, and if that style of a gate could be used, he felt that would keep out the traffic, which would be right in his back yard.


Mr. Clark said also when the company would not be open but if that area would be open, that lot would be open to Clark Street and he felt possibly there could be teenagers loitering as it would be a spot that would be accessible to them.


Mr. Clark said his concern would be to eliminate the entrance onto Clark altogether or if that was not feasible, then to have some kind of a gating system right at the point where it exits into Clark and that would eliminate their concern about people pulling into that drive and not being able to get out.


Mr. Clark said other than that, he felt it was a nice project and the developer has been pretty cooperative with the residents.


There being no further discussion, Chairman Clark closed the Public Hearing.





Member Hoadley said to Mr. Bluhm that he was not clear as to why he would want to eliminate the retention basin and have that water just go directly into the creek and since they were certainly willing to do it, it seemed to him that a retention basin and oil and gas separator would be far preferable than just letting waters cross over and pick up all the affluents.


Mr. Bluhm explained there were pluses and minuses to keeping the water on site and obviously one of the pluses was keeping it from flooding out the residents downstream. He said the minus to it was that if the water was retained on site, there was a certain amount of ground water recharge that occurs with that percolation into the soils and an impact to the ground water table, which certainly plays into the areas - problems with water and flooding also - so that was a negative to keeping the water on site.


Mr. Bluhm said where possible in the Storm Water Master Plan, when the channel has the capacity to carry the flows and the easements were in place, it was much preferable in their mind to allow the water to go off-site unrestricted. He said some additional information on that creek was that immediately upstream of this site, the Leavenworth basin was due to be constructed in the spring. He said what that would ultimately do was alleviate a good deal, if not all, of the problems with the flooding that occurs downstream through the area and to the east from there.


Mr. Bluhm said what he would like the engineer to do was to do the hydraulic analysis of the Final, taking into account the improvements to the Leavenworth Basin upstream to determine just what kind of impacts this new drainage would have in the area, and he would suspect from the current conditions with the construction of the Leavenworth Basin and the outletting of this water unrestricted, that they would see a significant decrease in the amount of water in the creek area, but that could only be done with the hydraulic analysis.


Mr. Bluhm said just to reiterate, the construction of the basin was going to take care of essentially all of the drainage problems and that was the intent of the basin construction.


Member Hoadley asked doesn't the water flow from the retention basin directly into the storm water system now, the pipe and Mr. Bluhm asked along the creek itself and Member Hoadley said no he understood that the water from detention basin would go under the driveway on Clark Street directly into a storm water system.


Mr. Bluhm said yes in this case it would, but upstream as he had mentioned, the regional basin was due to be constructed which would essentially hold back all of the Leavenworth Creek's water that flows through the entire creek area that crosses this property and this was a separate basin from anything that was being constructed on this site.


Member Hoadley asked why wouldn't it always be preferable though to have the water go directly into a storm water system than to go across lands into a wetlands scenario or into a creek.


Mr. Bluhm said primarily it was storm water management and they want to control their storm waters in as few areas as possible, so that from a management point of view and a maintenance cost point of view, it was much more preferable to the City.


Mr. Bluhm said in addition to the issues of keeping the water on site and recharging the ground water table and that type of thing, if the conveyance channels were in place and the creek and the easements were in place, it was much more preferable to have the water directed directly to those areas and then into the regional basins downstream.


Member Hoadley asked about the proposed or not proposed sidewalk on Clark Street and would he again show him where they now plan to put that because it was not on their plans at all.


Mr. Mamola asked if he meant the bike path on Clark Street and Member Hoadley said yes and Mr. Mamola explained they propose not to construct one along Clark Street and Member Hoadley said he thought they were going to gerrymander it around.


Mr. Mamola indicated their initial proposal did and that was before they realized there was a wetlands issue involved on that part of the property. Member Hoadley said he has already heard Ms. Tepatti say they could work with that.


Mr. Mamola said this was the first time he was hearing Ms. Tepatti say that, and it has been his understanding that whenever possible, they were not to go into the wetlands and Member Hoadley asked if he was willing to do it, and Mr. Mamola said they would like to work something out yes.


Member Hodges asked Mr. Mamola for clarification and she said Ms. Roder alluded to the fact about the chemicals and she was concerned about the chemicals on site and it was her understanding that that part of the operation was currently going on now and that was something that would be brought to the site new.


Mr. Mamola said that was correct and the operations would be improved and right now there were significant areas for improvement in some of their painting operations and the operations would be improved to the point that pre-manufacturer underwriters laboratory approved paint booths would be installed inside this building and that was not what was there today.


Member Hodges indicated she had a few more questions concerning the plans. She asked on the plan that was marked A-2, the floor plan, they have 14 bays and she asked what kind of bays were they and Mr. Mamola replied the terminology "bay" was used in floor plan drawings to designate the space between columns and it was a way of noting the dimension.


Member Hodges said she was still not comfortable with the truck traffic in the sense that this was a manufacturing operation and they were going to have goods that need to be taken off-site and delivered to customers and she asked were they going to see truck storage. She said Mr. Rogers had alluded to the fact that there were actually no on-site trucks and she asked were the trucks by the company contracted to come in for delivery or does the company have their own trucks and if so, where were they stored.


Mr. Mamola said yes to all those questions. He said there would be trucks making deliveries and vendors and so on, with no ownership or relationship to Programmed Products. He indicated Programmed Products does own or operate in some manner a truck or so and Mr. Sheeran indicated they have one 15 foot van which was parked inside the building at night, but all the trucks that come and deliver and pick up their merchandise were not owned by them but were for hire and there would be no overnight truck storage.


Mr. Mamola said he would point out in the building that while there was the space for two truckwells there and two trucks in a truckwell, there was an overhead door that remains and it was there today and that was where that truck would pull in.


Member Hodges said she understood that from their presentation, but in reading the review that was given to them, she didn't hear about the truck traffic enough to satisfy that.


Member Hodges said her last clarification was regarding that bottom rendition, and she asked would that be from the north of Grand River looking south on Clark Street, and Mr. Mamola said yes, they would be standing on the north side of Grand River looking at the intersection of Clark and Grand River, looking from the northeast towards the southwest.


Member Lorenzo asked if the present operations incorporated the carpentry, the paint, and all of the actual manufacturing processes and Mr. Mamola said yes. Member Lorenzo said so they have the truck traffic that exists today.


Mr. Mamola said the truck traffic does exist today and Member Lorenzo asked would it be increased, and Mr. Mamola replied he didn't expect it to, but he asked Mr. Sheeran to respond to that question.


Mr. Sheeran said the truck traffic does exist today and they expect it to increase slightly and they have the trucks pull up for the deliveries to the supermarkets and drug stores across the country and they get loaded on and then they go away and deliver them so it would probably increase and that was why they have the two depressed truck bays to accommodate that.


Member Lorenzo appreciated his honesty. She asked him if that would be a daytime delivery operation and Mr. Sheeran replied yes and she asked they wouldn't have trucks delivering or taking anything at night and Mr. Sheeran said no, it would be during business hours. He indicated the manufacturers work 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM and the office hours were 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. He said the truck deliveries would not occur before 8:00 AM and deliveries could be up until 6:00 PM at night in the depressed truck bays and then they pull away.


Member Lorenzo asked for the exterior materials that were on the existing building and that were proposed for the addition, what type of sound deadening properties do they have. She said they have a large carpentry manufacturing process and she knows from living next to ongoing construction, they do hear saws and hammers and that sound carries quite a distance, so she asked what type of sound deadening properties do the exterior materials have, if any.


Mr. Mamola said currently the existing building on the west facade was a series of overhead doors, regular windows and regular exit doors. He said the building initially was set up to be a speculative industrial building and they could go in and rent 6-8 different bays or units and they have now become the sole occupant and owner of this facility.


Mr. Mamola said they were proposing with the exception of where the one truck would come in, that overhead door would have an insulated door and the overhead door openings and the windows would be blocked up for the most part and the material, the existing concrete block or cinder block, would be covered with other wall material such as a styrofoam type product which was then finished and there would be some certain sound absorbent qualities to that.

Mr. Mamola explained anytime they were dealing with acoustic abatement, what they want to work with was mass and absorbency, and the mass of the concrete and the absorbency of the styrofoam type insulation on that part of the building would handle that.


Mr. Mamola said in the building addition, the roof was constructed in such a way that when a person walks into that manufacturing area, they would see a structure open, and there would be painted beams and joists, etc. He said there was proposed a fiber roof insulation that they would see 16 feet up there and that insulation would absorb much of the sound going vertically.


Mr. Mamola said going out horizontally particularly towards Clark Street, the building has a berm on the wall, concrete block covered by a berm and sound could not go through that block and soil. He indicated up above that wall, there was again solid masonry with insulated metal panel material and/or solid masonry with the styrofoam finish insulation on it. He indicated it would depend upon which part of the wall they were looking at and it varies as they go up and down that wall.


Mr. Mamola said the carpentry shop was intended to remain in the existing building and not to remain in the addition. He said in the addition, they purposely tried to develop the interior floor plan in such a way that the quiet areas run the outside walls, such as storage, etc., and that the noisy area, which was really in this case only the carpentry shop, was pretty much where it was and it was buffered a bit there on the south end, but it was primarily in an enclosed area with solid wall construction.


Mr. Mamola said the existing wall would remain inside and that was an existing 12" block wall and there were a couple of door openings, but again what sound that would go through, would come through and travel over 125 feet and be absorbed by the roof insulation and be deadened by the mass of the wall on the outside perimeter. He said that was one of the reasons they took care in not putting any openings on the wall that fronts Clark Street.


Member Lorenzo asked if that styrofoam insulation would be carried around the total west of the existing building and would that have the sound deadening property because she noticed there was a residential area to the west. She asked how many feet west would that be between the existing building and where the existing subdivision lies, and Mr. Mamola replied just by comparison, he would say at least 100 feet away to the rear yard property line and more to a house. Member Lorenzo asked if that western wall would have that type of sound deadening property as well.


Mr. Mamola said yes it was an existing 12" block wall that would be covered up for the most part but wouldn't be covered up all the way down to the ground, but he felt that the concrete block wall would be sufficient to keep the sound in.


Member Lorenzo said so that wouldn't have the additional styrofoam insulation. Mr. Mamola said the insulation does cover part of the building and it does not go down to the ground and it goes from the height down to a portion and then down.


Member Lorenzo asked if it was possible to continue that and Mr. Mamola said he didn't think frankly that it would serve the purpose in terms of acoustics. She said it would not then deaden the building and he replied no.


Member Lorenzo indicated her concern was the carpentry and Mr. Mamola said the acoustic strength was the concrete block wall and the acoustic weakness was the doorway in normal door situations and when they think of a door from an office to a hallway, sound would go under the door and the doors were acoustically clear and the sound would go through.


Mr. Mamola said being exterior doors, they were insulated with weatherstripping around which would keep the sound from going around the cracks of the door. He said he believed the doors were regulated through other parts of their Ordinance to be kept shut and so on, so he felt there was protection there as well.


Member Lorenzo next asked about the spray booths and were those industrial type spray booths such as if someone wants to spray paint in their homes, spray models or whatever, or was it different than that, and would those be larger and Mr. Mamola said they were quite large and Member Lorenzo said that was what she meant by industrial as opposed to a residential application.


Mr. Sheeran pointed out where the existing paint operation was and then indicated it was being relocated and that was why they need the new equipment. He explained they were updating to the latest technology to pre-fabricated contained, self-contained, enclosed environmental protection agency improved spray booths. He then pointed out where that was being relocated. He added it would be the best technology that was out there.


Mr. Sheeran said the equipment they have now was fine, but they don't have enough of it and one of the bottlenecks that they have in their manufacturing process was that they couldn't push the product through the paint department quickly enough and couldn't paint it fast enough so they need modern equipment and they need two of them and they want to buy the best and be good neighbors.


Member Lorenzo asked if they would be run on a generator and Mr. Sheeran said it would be compressed air and it would run on electricity and it was an exhaust containment system and there were a series of filters that contain the exhaust and has some air coming in. She asked if there would be any noise associated with the use of that and Mr. Sheeran said it was all self-contained within the building and it was actually fairly quiet. He said it would be a little noisy if a person was in the building and it was actually spraying. She asked if it would be like a vacuum cleaner and he said yes a loud vacuum cleaner.


Mr. Mamola said he would add that on the spray paint booth, that was under the jurisdiction as well of the Fire Department, not only in the annual inspections, but when the booth gets installed and permits were issued for it.


Member Lorenzo said regarding the air emissions, she noticed that they were all regulated and does that mean that from the outside, they were not going to detect any odor, any type of paint out in the air and Mr. Sheeran said that was correct.


Member Lorenzo then thanked them both for their information. She next asked Mr. Arroyo about the secondary access and she certainly sympathized with the residents in terms of not wanting to see an access there, but she also empathized with the Fire Department in terms of public safety precautions.


Member Lorenzo asked what options do they have in terms of do they have the option of allowing the road but placing the gate there or was that a Council decision or how would they handle that.


Mr. Arroyo said there would be a number of options. He said they could have the driveway constructed as a full-movement driveway and have no restrictions whatsoever; they could have the driveway to Clark Street constructed as a typical driveway with signs to prohibit turns towards the residential area; they could have it constructed as has been proposed with gates in either the location that it was proposed or another location; and they could go with a grass paver option.


Mr. Arroyo indicated there were a variety of options and as far as he knows, they would come under the site plan review process and the only exception that he could think of was if there were signs that were required to restrict movements, that a traffic control order would likely be required if it was going to be in the right-of-way for Clark Street, which would require Council action. He said that was the only action he could think of other than a Planning Commission action. He felt for the most part, the decision belongs to the Planning Commission.


Member Lorenzo said Mr. Arroyo expressed some concern also with having cars or trucks entering in off of Grand River and trying to access off of Clark Street and then having to turn around.


Mr. Arroyo said no, what he was referring to was with the gate at the location that it was currently proposed and if someone came in off of Clark Street, they would actually drive up the driveway, not being able to see the gate because of the way it was curved and then they would get to the gate and then couldn't get in and would have to back out essentially onto Clark Street and go back around to Grand River.


Mr. Arroyo said that was why he had suggested maybe the gate would be better served being closer to Clark Street, if the gate, in fact, was going to be used so that if they were to approach from Clark Street, they would see the gate and know that they obviously could not enter that way and they would have to go in another way.


Member Lorenzo asked if additional signage would help in that respect, something along the lines that there was no access through there and Mr. Arroyo felt a Do Not Enter sign could be considered, and he felt they could definitely work towards a sign program to fit the situation, whatever situation the Commission chooses.


Member Mutch said she would like to know what it was that triggered the secondary access since they only have the one access now and granted they were expanding the size of the building. She said she didn't know if it was related to that and what she has been told was that it was primarily a Fire Department request that there be a secondary access and Mr. Arroyo said that was correct.



Member Mutch felt that secondary access was interesting when they look at the location of the building, in addition to the fact that neither the applicant nor the neighbors really would like to see it there and then also with what has been reported to be the high level of fire suppression equipment.


Member Mutch felt the Fire Department responding to a fire at this particular site, was likely to come Grand River to get to the building faster, whether it was coming from Beck Road or it was coming from Grand River on that Grand River access, and she couldn't even imagine them turning down Clark Street and coming in the back unless that back corner happens to be where the flames were.


Mr. Arroyo said yes, unless there was a situation where Grand River was blocked and they couldn't get to the building from Grand River and they had to come in from Clark Street. He said just as a point of information, he would read to everyone how this regulation was stated in the Site Plan Manual.


Mr. Arroyo indicated the Site Plan Manual says that the site plan has to provide for more than one point of external access to the site. He said a secondary access shall not be required under certain circumstances such as in the case of a non-residential development, or when the development was of a single building, or when the Fire Chief or his designee determines, based upon the use and occupancy of the proposed building, the manner of construction in the proposed building, and the number of occupants for the proposed building, that there was a reduced risk of fire hazard, such that the facility may be served by a single point of external access.


Mr. Arroyo said so the Ordinance states they have to provide for two points of access to a non-residential building unless the Fire Chief makes the determination that a single point of access was adequate and in this case, he has made the determination that two points of access were required.


Member Mutch felt that was an assumption because they have on this particular project, the same thing they get on just about every other project which was basically this one sentence, "the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended." She said there was no discussion at all as to whether that was considered and maybe Mr. Mamola could tell them, or whether it was submitted originally without that access and they got the request coming back.


Mr. Mamola said the Fire Department did review his initial submission and their comment was they approved it subject to an additional fire hydrant being located on the property. He said there were some limits and distances between hydrants and by putting a hydrant in the rear of the property, he met that condition.


Mr. Mamola said he did discuss at that time with Captain Roy, this idea of the gate, this idea of access, and other alternatives. He indicated Captain Roy never said that there shall or must be a road, but he said he definitely preferred to have the road there or something to that effect and they had talked about various ways to limit access only for emergency vehicles. He did say too that he felt it was his opinion that really the road, despite some immediate concerns that the residents may have, would serve a greater safety to the residents, even if access was somehow minimized or mitigated.


Mr. Mamola felt he did think it was Captain Roy's preference to have the drive there and he did try to contact him earlier that day but did not get an answer back yet, and he would hope that they could still discuss that matter with him, and perhaps the Planning Commission would, in their motion to approve in one manner or another, include language that the road be deleted subject to Captain Roy's approval and acceptance, or something to that effect. Mr. Mamola indicated he was certainly willing to revisit that issue.


Member Mutch said the reason she brought it up was that if it was just their typical empty field with no other problems engineering- wise, etc., maybe they would be talking about something else, but in this particular situation, they have the wetlands and they have the creek, and they have the sidewalk or not have the sidewalk, and all those things were happening on that small area. She said also the residents would prefer not to have it and the details she has not heard that night.


Member Mutch said but what she has heard was that if a road was there, people would use it and they may not use it as access to the interior of the site and they may not use it as access to this company, but they would use it as a place to park or they would use it as a place to turn around.


Member Mutch said as Mr. Arroyo was indicating earlier, it prevents a safety hazard if someone pulls in there intentionally or accidentally and then was faced with having to back out onto Clark.


Member Mutch said it seems to her that if she were with the Fire Department and someone came in and said what did she think, she would express the preference for having the access too, but it doesn't sound as if the Fire Department said definitely and the Commission certainly doesn't have anything to document it and that it would pose a fire safety hazard not to have it.


Member Mutch said what she was hearing from the residents in the area was that it poses a different type of hazard and it would seem to her that they may have a situation where they would want to weigh as well as they could, which poses the greater hazard. She felt that a company like this, with the regulations and the safety things in place, that the Commission may find that the greater hazard to the neighboring residents wasn't one that would trigger a response from the Fire Department, as much as one that might trigger a response from the Police Department who might need to get vehicle access in order to deal with a situation that might occur.


Member Mutch said so that was one question she had and she would hope someone would find a way to include that wording, that possibility, so they get a more definitive answer from the Fire Department.


Member Mutch said secondly, she had a question regarding the bike path, and she wasn't sure she understood this. She said the bike path on this plan was not there and Mr. Mamola said that was correct, not on Clark Street.


Member Mutch said the Master Plan calls for a bike path and was it on the eastern edge of this property or was it on the eastern edge of Clark Street.


Mr. Bluhm said it was to be on the west side of Clark Street, which was the eastern side of the development.


Member Mutch said the reason they were suggesting that they don't want to have the bike path at all, was in part, because it was going to dead-end at the property that belongs to the people that were at the corner of Clark and Eleven Mile, at the northern edge of their property.


Mr. Mamola said that was a point and when they look at where the wetlands were, he noted there was a purple area along Clark Street that represents the area of installation for the water main. He said if that area gets disturbed and the sidewalk gets constructed a little bit, say to the west, then they were left with a certain area of land between the easterly edge of the sidewalk and Clark Street, and they were diminishing that part of the wetland that much more and they were making it that much more narrower, but granted, not by a whole lot.


Mr. Mamola said the other alternative was perhaps to bring the sidewalk back in, in that meandering way, which they did bisecting the wetland area and they were walking through the wetland. He said again, it was their intention, if there was a wetland there, to minimize any work into it and that was their primary reason at this point.


Member Mutch said if they don't have the sidewalk or the bike path on this particular stretch of Clark, how do they then accommodate the rest of the plan so that they do have that access in that area when the rest of it was there.


Mr. Rogers said this was a key east-west alignment continuity from Eleven Mile over at Meadowbrook through the Town Center and Eleven Mile across town. He said just looking at the first submittal Mr. Mamola put in, he did show the bike way, but it did go through this apparent wetland and there were still some areas on the site that were not wetlands and there were still ways to cross wetlands with bike ways and he was reluctant to say forget it.


Mr. Rogers said he thought about putting it on the east side of Clark Street and there were about four curb cuts there and maybe those people wouldn't mind if there was right-of-way. He said he even thought about snaking the bike way down Clark Street and then staying totally on the applicant's property and then coming back to Eleven Mile without having to go in front of the house that was on the corner of Eleven Mile and Clark.


Mr. Arroyo said it was important to note also that this was the only bike path connection from the entire western side of Novi to the Town Center area, so if this link was eliminated, a person could not take a bike path from anywhere on the west side of Novi Road to the Town Center.


Mr. Bluhm said in addition to that, one of the other alternatives might be if Council makes the decision, possibly the developer could escrow that money in until Clark Street was widened out and improved and the 43 foot right-of-way was deeded. He said they could hold onto the money and construct it at a later date. He said he didn't know if that was possible and he would look to Mr. Watson to correct him if he was incorrect.


Mr. Watson said he didn't think that would be possible. He said although it wasn't written in the Site Plan Manual, one of the requirements was that they actually have the right-of-way and if the right-of-way wasn't there to put the bike path or a sidewalk, they couldn't require the property owner to dedicate property to do that, so if they didn't put it in now, it would be simply something that was put in if and when Clark Street was widened, just as a part of doing that project.


Mr. Watson said having said that, it was his understanding that the applicant was willing to consider putting it through the wetlands and to snake it through the wetland area and if the applicant was willing to do that and there was a way to do that and get wetland permit approval from all entities, then that would be fine.


Member Mutch said there was also some discussion of 5 feet, 6 feet and 8 feet widths for the path and as Mr. Watson just said, the applicant has indicated, if it was required, the way he would prefer to do it was to meander it and she asked Mr. Mamola if that was correct.


Mr. Mamola said yes and he would also ask that consideration be given from an 8 foot path to a 5 foot path to minimize the impact as they go through that part of the wetland area.


Member Mutch asked if there has been any contact with the property owner at the corner of Eleven Mile and Clark with regard to the willingness or resistance to a sidewalk being there. She said in other words, the problem that they have suggested might be there - the idea of the sidewalk just ending - and she asked has that been brought up to him. Mr. Mamola said he hasn't heard anything and he asked Mr. Sheeran if he has heard anything.


Mr. Sheeran replied he hasn't heard anything. He felt the problem with the sidewalk ending was that they were riding their bike and the sidewalk ends and they fall into the Leavenworth Creek and that was really the problem and he didn't know if the homeowner was aware or concerned about that.


Mr. Sheeran said he wanted to clarify the meandering of the bike path and it was first proposed in the initial plan to give an appearance to the neighborhood of a nice entranceway and they meandered it rather than just going a straight shot to give it some appeal. He said that was the reason why it was meandered and it could be so many feet off the easement or whatever it was in a straight line all the way down and that was all over town too. He said they wanted to meander it and put some landscaping in front of it to give it more of a park feel.


Member Mutch said actually she liked that and Mr. Sheeran said they did too, but then they discovered this wetland and it was unfortunate that it was there. He said they didn't know it was there and it was a manmade created wetland when Clark Street was paved and the water couldn't go anywhere and it stood there and cottonwood trees dropped their seeds and trees grew and up came the wetland.


Member Mutch said maybe she misunderstood Mr. Bluhm but she thought he had said when the Leavenworth Basin was constructed, there was a lot of flooding but this wouldn't be that kind of wetland flooding and Mr. Bluhm replied no, and Member Mutch said then it wouldn't effect this at all and Mr. Bluhm said no, not for the area they were talking about.


Member Mutch referred back to Mr. Rogers' comment that he would like to see a sidewalk of some kind and that there were ways to do it and she felt that was a good argument. She said also the reason she liked the meandering design and the landscaping on the street side was because it does end their property line and because as they have said, it does present an entryway to that residential area.


Member Mutch said while it might be a public path, people would have some sense of it being accessible, but not really knowing if it was public or private because it appears a person was walking or biking on a path that was going through someone's property which obviously it was, so that dead-end wasn't quite so unexpected when it occurs.


Member Mutch said a typical sidewalk looks like it should go somewhere and a meandering path, not to get too philosophical sounding about it, was an experience in itself and it was not necessarily to get a person from one end to the other, but just offers an opportunity to take a walk through a nice area.


Member Mutch said so she would like to see the sidewalk, but she was willing to say do it subject to the wetland approvals they would need because if they don't have it, then it sounds from what was stated earlier, they would have a safety problem because the path would have to be too close to the roadway and was that correct and Mr. Sheeran stated yes.


Mr. Sheeran said they would be in favor of putting in a sidewalk if it could be approved through the wetlands somehow with the JCK people and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and they would have to figure it out.


Member Mutch said to Mr. Rogers from a planning prospective when Mr. Mamola made his presentation, he said he needed to consider the other uses that could be made of this property, meaning not where the existing building was, but the property between that and Clark Street itself and he suggested an office which would generate more traffic.


Member Mutch asked in general, did he think that a single use like this, which combines three separate parcels, would be preferable to having what might be three separate developments, and Mr. Rogers replied he felt it would be good that they could coordinate their entire operation in Novi, and it was a bit like Delwal across the street, bringing in the tool and die shop to the warehouse.


Mr. Rogers said architecturally, he felt it would be more unified and all tied together than perching a small office building of another developer, another architect, on the corner. He said from an economic development, it was certainly an asset to have a single major user providing spacious greenspace around the site.


Mr. Rogers said regarding the question of an office building there, the office building market was still a little soft and this was a viable use and a national use, and in this particular case, looking at all the facts, he strongly supported Programmed Products.


Mr. Rogers indicated they have been through EDC which wasn't brought up that night and they own the land and they appear through their representatives to have done their homework and met with the people so he would recommend this project.


Member Mutch said she was just saying that while Mr. Mamola brought up that they should take a look at what else might go up and suggested office as an alternative, she was looking at it from another prospective, which was when she looks at how Grand River was developing, one of the problems they have seen on the eastern end of Grand River was because they have small or narrow frontage on Grand River, but long and large lots, they keep getting small businesses, small operations, dotting the length of Grand River.


Member Mutch said it would seem that this might be a more attractive and better use of frontage on Grand River. Mr. Rogers said if they put a small office building there, they would have their own curb cut to Grand River, but this way they have no more curb cuts on Grand River.


Member Mutch said it was really a pleasure to have someone come with a project where they have actually worked with the people who were their current neighbors and people who were not just abutting them, but people in the area. She said it seems that those who were going to be most directly impacted, particularly the residents who would be most directly impacted by this project, seem to be satisfied. She said as Mr. Clark stated, the residents were listened to, their concerns were taken seriously and they have found a way to compromise and work together.


Member Mutch said she only wished that where they had mixed uses coming before the Commission, that they would find that kind of cooperation and sense of responsibility from all the parties involved, so this really has been nice to hear.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Bluhm if he could address and make sure that the record was clear on any impact there may be on the wells. She asked would there be any effect from the retention of storm water or anything like that, that may contribute to contamination of the wells or harming the drinking water.


Mr. Bluhm said as far as containing internal to the building, there was some building restrictions on emissions on the ground water, as well as the air. He said it would be very tough to determine the impact on wells and the aquifers, and he would expect that it would be very minimal, if any at all, and there would probably be no impact at all.


Mr. Bluhm said the only risk they run of detaining the water on site was that it affects the surface ground water table but not any water table that was drawn on for domestic use for the residents in the area.


Member Weddington said the other issue that was brought up was clarification of the construction of the water line on Clark Street, and she asked would there be any impact of the traffic and would the traffic still be able to get through on Clark Street while that part of the construction was underway.


Mr. Bluhm said yes they would have to maintain the traffic flow through the area and there would be some temporary impacts to the roadway itself as far as the construction equipment and the signing requirements and traffic control would take care of most of that.

Member Weddington said but the road wouldn't be blocked off for any period of time, and Mr. Bluhm said he believed they would have to have City approval for that prior to and he doubted that they would get that approval.


Member Weddington asked if he knew how long that phase of the construction would take and Mr. Bluhm said with the bore under the creek, it may add some time to it, but typically it would be a one-day construction, but he would say at the very worst, two days.


Member Weddington then said she believed all her other questions and issues that she had, have been addressed one way or the other.


Member Capello said he agreed with Mr. Rogers' most recent comments and also what Member Mutch has stated. He felt by taking an older building and expanding it, the City was getting a much nicer project on Grand River, and they have only one curb cut, and he felt the residents should be happy now that their entranceway to Clark Street was going to be improved and maintained and be a much nicer corner that it stands now.


Member Capello said given the facts that were contained in Mr. Rogers' letter and his comments that night, and also Mr. Mamola's comments that night, he would make a motion.





It was,


Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Hodges



To grant Special Land Use Approval for Programmed Products, SP94-52A.




Member Bonaventura asked if this was just for Special Land Use only and Chairman Clark said yes and Member Bonaventura said that doesn't involve the site plan whatsoever and Chairman Clark said no.



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








Member Capello said in his motion, he was going to require a sidewalk going along Clark Street, even though they don't have that on their plan, and if it encroaches upon the wetlands, how were they going to handle coming back with an additional wetland approval beyond what they grant that night because that night they were not granting any encroachment.


Mr. Watson explained the developer would have to come back for a revision on the wetlands permit unless they make that a part of the wetlands approval. He said if they make a motion on the wetlands permit, they could make that change a part of their motion, and he didn't know if their Consultant has looked at that though.



Member Capello asked Ms. Tepatti if she has looked at where it could go through the wetlands without encroaching and Ms. Tepatti said it would probably need to encroach on them, otherwise it would come very close to the building. She indicated she and Mr. Bluhm and Mr. Mamola did sit down in a meeting and talked extensively about this with the water main construction and the sidewalk location.



Ms. Tepatti said there were ways that they could try and keep it to a minimum or keep the disturbance to a minimum and maybe go in the field and look at where it may have the least disturbance. She said naturally, their first preference was not to have the disturbance at all, however, their policy with the City has been that if the City feels that the bike path was required, or they would really like to see it in this area, then they have granted those permits in the past and they would have no objection to this time either.


Ms. Tepatti said she would work with Mr. Bluhm and Mr. Mamola to try and minimize any impacts, but she was sure there would be some impacts going through there, but they would be having the water main construction too going through there with some disturbance, so if they could follow that same corridor, that would probably be the least disturbance because they would be clearing a path already.


Member Capello felt that most of their comments were geared towards trying to meander it and to try and keep it a park place setting. He said he would go ahead and a make a motion to grant the wetlands permit subject to the Consultants' recommendations and then when they work this out, they could come back with an amendment to that.


It was then,


Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To grant Wetlands Permit Approval to Programmed Products, SP94-52A, subject to the Consultants' recommendations.






Member Hodges asked does this also include the sidewalk and Member Capello said no it didn't and if he makes the next motion, he would include the sidewalk, but right now it was the wetlands permit and he was saying if their sidewalks encroach on the wetlands, come on back to the Commission and show them where. She asked him if he would put it in with the site plan and Member Capello said yes for preliminary and whoever makes the motion, he would hope they would put it in with that approval.


Member Hodges said she would call the question.



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





Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers in his Item #3 in regard to the approval of the 3 foot landscaped greenspace on the west end of the property by those few parking places, does the Planning Commission need to do that as a special waiver or could he just make the site plan subject to that, and Mr. Rogers said they should just make a note of it when they make a motion on the site plan and the Planning Commission could make that waiver.


It was then,


Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Programmed Products, SP94-52A, subject to the Consultants' recommendation, allowing the 3 foot greenspace on the southwestern corner of the property, and requiring that a sidewalk be constructed on the east part of the property on the west side of Clark Road.





Member Hoadley indicated he seconded the motion for discussion purposes, but he would like to offer an amendment to the motion.






To exclude that secondary road coming in off of Clark Street subject to the Fire Marshall's approval. He indicated he didn't see any reason to have it, no one wants it, and he didn't see the necessity to have it.





Member Capello said he would agree with it, but from what he understood from what Mr. Arroyo wrote, the Commission doesn't have the authority to do that and it would be the Fire Marshall.



Member Hoadley said it was subject to the Fire Marshall's review and approval and Member Capello said he wouldn't have any problems with that amendment then and he would accept it.



Chairman Clark indicated Member Capello accepted the amendment and there was a second on the motion as amended, so they would vote on the motion to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval subject to the amendment as stated.



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


(8) Yeas (1) Nay-Bonaventura





The Planning Commission took a break at this time.





There was no Audience Participation.



2. Westbrooke Driving Range, SP95-08, Property Located South of Grand River Avenue, westerly of Beck Road for Possible Wetland Permit Approval.


Mr. Todd Gerhart, General Manager and Golf Professional at Westbrooke Golf Course, was present. He said also present was Mr. Chuck Bisel who was representing Providence Medical Center, who owned the property and also Ms. Aimee Kay of Kay Environmental who was their Wetlands Consultant on this project.


Mr. Gerhart explained they would like to build a driving range on property that Providence Medical Center has recently purchased and he would have Mr. Bisel speak next on the property and then Ms. Kay would speak.


Mr. Bisel indicated he was the Director of Facility Planning & Construction with Providence Hospital and Medical Center. He said the parcel of property that they were talking about was the ten acre section that they just recently purchased from the Novi School System and Mr. Gerhart and his group were in fact the Managers of the golf course and have been in that role since they bought the property back around in 1990.


Mr. Bisel said since that time, they have managed the course, and have put a lot of time and effort and work into the project to make it much better than it was when they took over the property and it has been successful from that standpoint of good public participation, and they annually provide the course to a number of different ventures in terms of fund raising campaigns and so forth, so it has been a real asset to the community.


Mr. Bisel said he wasn't an expert on golf courses so Mr. Gerhart would talk to the detail of the driving range and the golf course. He said he would rely on Ms. Kay to talk about the environmental issues. He added that they did receive earlier this week, the wetlands permit as determined by the DNR that they had applied for and Mr. Gerhart has that in his possession that evening.


Mr. Bisel then asked Ms. Kay to speak next.


Ms. Kay said she did the wetlands determination for the subject property. She then gave a brief history and stated there was a few years of history to this property and they consider it an expansion of the existing commercial establishment, i.e., the golf course to the west and north. She said much of the buffer area as depicted on the Wetland Map has, in past years, been maintained by cutting of the vegetation and they would also like to say that some of this cutting of the vegetation was done prior to the buffer amendments in the Ordinance to her knowledge.


Ms. Kay indicated the applicant has cooperated with the City's Consultant regarding the wetland matters for the past four months and the applicant has submitted the best compromise solution with regard to the site conditions and wetland configuration. She said impacts have been minimized as much as possible, given the design requirements necessary to operate the driving range.


Ms. Kay said she would submit to them that the proposal adheres to the City of Novi's Wetland Ordinance Review Standards Section 12-174 and all ten items under this section were considered. She referred to the City's Consultant letter of March 30, 1995, which stated, "The Impacts associated with this proposal are primarily vegetation and habitat." Ms. Kay said both of which she believed the applicant has addressed through restoration and enhancement opportunities which she would discuss later on.


Ms. Kay said she wanted to strongly mention that the proposed activity was seasonal and therefore, the impacts were not only minimized with regard to some of the wetland components, but they were eliminated for six months of the year. She said with regard to other required permits, it was her belief that a land improvement permit has been approved, and as Mr. Bisel has discussed, MDNR permit has been approved earlier this week, and regarding the woodlands permit application, to her knowledge the issues have been resolved and it was pending as soon as they submit some review fees.


Ms. Kay then said it was her understanding that Ms. Tepatti was going to have a map and it was stated there was a map and then Ms. Kay said she would be happy to answer any questions.


Ms. Tepatti reviewed her March 30, 1995 letter. She indicated her office has reviewed the project in depth over the past several months and this project does have quite a bit of history to it since last Fall.


Ms. Tepatti said the wetlands on this parcel came to her attention originally through a violation that was noted to the Soil Erosion Ordinance. She said there was a large area of fill that had been placed on the site without application for permits being made, and especially since it was adjacent to Beck Road, this was visible from the road and as such, her office became involved in investigating whether permits had been obtained.


Ms. Tepatti said once they had investigated the site for the Soil Erosion Permit, a further inspection reviewed that further south into the property, there had been quite extensive cutting of the forested wetland that was present on this site. She said several dozen large trees and hundreds of smaller trees and shrubs had been cut down with the wetland and the buffer and subsequently wetland and woodland violations, as well as soil erosion violations, were issued through JCK and through the City Forester.


Ms. Tepatti said subsequently a meeting was held between the City and JCK and the Building Department and Mr. Chris Pargoff and representatives from Westbrooke, as well as Providence, to resolve the issues with the violations. She said Westbrooke Golf Course had stated that they had a desire to pursue construction of a driving range in this area and that was the basis for the cutting of the trees and for the placement of the fill, and that they were beginning investigation into this possibility and were clearing the land to see what options were available to them.


Ms. Tepatti said so during this meeting, they stated that they did wish to pursue the applicable permits and that they did not wish to at that time, restore the wetland and woodland through plantings because they wanted to apply for the permits so that they didn't restore an area and then come back later and apply for a period to disturb it again.


Ms. Tepatti said therefore it was agreed at that meeting at the City that those permits would be applied for and subsequently in the next couple of months, there were permit applications made and reviewed.


Ms. Tepatti indicated there were two wetlands on the site that were both forested and scrub shrub in nature. She said the one that was just outside of the range of the wetland was approximately 3/4 of an acre in size and the other wetland was approximately 2.4 acres in size and approximately a total of 1.23 or so acres of wetland lies within the range limits, which she pointed out on the map.


Ms. Tepatti said the current proposal for the construction of the driving range, which was near the center of the parcels and run parallel with Beck Road, was to cut the vegetation in the areas that she has shaded pink, and that was a direct impact on the wetland of approximately .63 acres and the applicant has stated that they would like to grub the vegetation or cut it to the ground of approximately 6" in height in those areas. She said the current condition or the past condition prior to the violation was that the area was forested and scrub shrub with large cottonwoods and elms and also a variety of dogwoods throughout the understory.


Ms. Tepatti said the remaining wetland to the south that was not shaded pink but was within the range limits was also approximately .6 acres and through various revisions of the plan, the applicant was now not proposing to disturb this area, but they were proposing to have it within the driving range and it would be utilized within the range meaning that golf balls would be driven into that area.


Ms. Tepatti said the applicant has stated that golf balls which were hit into the southern wetland would be removed by hand with what they call a shag bag and someone would walk through the area and retrieve the golf balls on a daily basis.


Ms. Tepatti said there was no disturbance to the grade proposed and she would caution that if this were approved, if they do grub the area, that it be done in a very careful manner, because there were many times that grubbing also involved ripping all the root systems out and it was basically a disturbance of the entire soil surface, so if they went through and grubbed it to maintain that 6" height, it would have to be at an above ground level.


Ms. Tepatti said the majority of the wetland permits that come through their office were for a typical fill for road crossing or for construction or nipping a wetland maybe for construction of a house pad. She stated that was an unusual situation in that they have primarily disturbance to the wetland habitat and to the vegetation.


Ms. Tepatti said this plan does require a wetland permit through the City because of the cutting of vegetation, which requires a permit under the Ordinance and also because it was maintaining a development use within a wetland.


Ms. Tepatti said the applicant has stated that they have received a DNR permit and it should be noted that the DNR does not regulate the cutting of vegetation in a wetland and therefore, their permit was primarily for the use of the wetland within a driving range.


Ms. Tepatti said also the applicant has stated that the driving range was a seasonal use and they have stated in their application that the use would be from Mid-April through September and during their reviews, they have asked if the driving range could be shifted to the west, which may help to reduce the impact to the larger portion of the pink shaded area.


Ms. Tepatti said the small pin box they see to the west was actually a "Tee" on the adjacent golf course that was constructed and it was one of their most southeastern Tee's in this area, and they have stated that they feel it was a safety factor that they do not wish to move the driving range any closer to this Tee. She indicated the current distance was approximately 244 feet that they have measured on the plan and they have asked for some justification whether it could be shifted and that was what they have stated was a safety issue.


Ms. Tepatti said this proposal does show a reduction in impacts from the original application and the first application that was received proposed to plow at least the northern half of those wetlands and that would remove the existing vegetation and disturb the soils. She said then her understanding was there would be a seed cover established on that so this was a reduction and impacts from the original plan.


Ms. Tepatti said, however, she had some concerns about the impacts to the habitat and also to the removal of the vegetation. She said the applicant has stated that they would be willing to do a restoration plan or an enhancement plan and that they do still have available areas on the parcels here that they could do some plantings to enhance the habitat, and if this plan were deemed permittable by the Planning Commission, then she would recommend that that route be followed.


Ms. Tepatti said she would appreciate some Planning Commission discussion on this project since it was atypical and she was looking for some guidance also in the appropriate use of a wetland within a driving range.


Ms. Tepatti said, therefore, their review has been based that if the Planning Commission did approve the permit, that a pre-construction meeting would be held between JCK, Chris Pargoff and Westbrooke and that protective fencing would be installed, and that the enhancement plan be submitted through their office and approved. She then indicated she would be happy to answer any questions.


Mr. Chris Pargoff was present and indicated that the Westbrooke Golf Course Driving Range had committed a woodlands violation that occurred in November of 1994. He indicated he has been working with the developer of the Westbrooke Driving Range and have formulated a replanting plan for 95 trees.


Mr. Pargoff said 40 of those trees shall be planted along the south side of the property and they were hoping that this would limit the impact of the driving range on the adjoining property, including both the intrusion of light and possible golf balls onto the southerly property.


Mr. Pargoff indicated that southerly property was currently being farmed and farms and golf balls don't always mix very well.


Mr. Pargoff said the remainder of the trees would be planted along Beck Road as a screen planting and at various locations throughout the golf course and the figures in his letter reflect the bond necessary to replant those 95 trees.





Councilman Mitzel was present and stated he was there on his own behalf. He indicated he hasn't seen the site plan for this and he didn't even know that it was on the Agenda until he looked at it that night, but he had a few questions concerning site plan issues.

Councilman Mitzel said his first question was if an 8 foot asphalt bike path was going to be provided along Beck Road per the Parks & Rec Master Plan. He said his second question was if there were any parking lot changes which have to be provided based on the driving range, specifically paving as specified in the Zoning Ordinance. He said those were just two questions he thought he would bring to the Commission's attention, and he wasn't even sure if they were considered that night with the wetlands approval.


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





Member Lorenzo said her first question was for the Petitioner. She stated that Ms. Tepatti indicated that they do not want to move the range closer to the Tee because it was a safety issue, and she asked if the applicant could explain that further and what type of a safety issue were they talking about.


Mr. Gerhart indicated that he was a golf professional and has been in the golf business since 7 years old so he has been around this game all of his life. He said he had 1230 league players that play Westbrooke Golf Course and it was a very popular golf course because they keep their costs very low and he did not raise the rates in 1995 from 1994. He said if any of them have driven by the golf course, they would see that he has put a lot of work into it.


Mr. Gerhart said as a golf professional, he could stand and point to the left and hit the ball right, but for amateurs and beginner golfers, which a lot of their golfers were, it was commonly a shank, which means the shot goes from left to right. He said 244 feet was not uncommon for safety factors on the 18th hole with 1230 league players, plus the other open play that they receive on the weekend.


Mr. Gerhart said he spoke with a gentleman by the name of Robert Langdon and he was the owner of West Maple Tee in the Wixom area and he has 252 feet on his west boundary and 248 feet on the eastern boundary and it was just a safety factor for balls flying over there into the fare way.


Member Lorenzo said so he was saying it was a safety factor in terms of driving the balls into players that were playing on the course and he said that was correct.


Member Lorenzo then stated she wanted to thank Mr. Pargoff and Ms. Tepatti for their observations and vigilance with the violations. She had to say that she was extremely disappointed and displeased that those violations have occurred and she felt that the petitioner and the property owner should have known better.


Member Lorenzo said that Ms. Tepatti has explained that there have been other wetland and woodland permit approvals in the past so she felt they were aware of the procedure and requirements and it doesn't seem like there was any legitimate reason that those violations have occurred other than just total disregard.


Mr. Gerhart stated to answer Member Lorenzo's question, when he discussed this matter with Providence, they were unaware that there were actual wetlands out there and they came and purchased a map here at the City and there were not wetlands on there and they checked with Providence and Providence had checked with their people and they were unaware that there were wetlands out there.


Mr. Gerhart said they were not there to stir up trouble with the City of Novi and as Mr. Bisel mentioned, they do a lot of donations and they have actually donated the golf course to a number of civic organizations so they could raise money for the fund raisers. He indicated they currently have the Novi Parks & Recreation Seniors League this year that moved from South Lyon to their golf course and they give them discounts, and he felt they do a lot of things in the community and there wasn't anyone that doesn't come in that he doesn't give a donation to. He said he hated to plead ignorance, but they would have never gone through with this had they known that they had to take care of it in the beginning.


Member Lorenzo asked didn't they recognize that there was water and wetlands and didn't they recognize that there were trees and Mr. Gerhart said he was saying the entire summer and into the fall that land was wet, and they were out there walking that entire year in preparation for this and there was no standing water out there.


Member Lorenzo said but he didn't recognize that he needed a woodland permit to cut down those trees and Mr. Gerhart said no he did not as he was new to the area.


Ms. Tepatti said that this area was indicated on the wetlands map.


Member Lorenzo indicated she was extremely disappointed and disturbed that this has occurred and it does seem from what their Consultants have told them, that the applicants should have known better and she would leave it at that.


Member Lorenzo said in terms of the use, he had indicated that it was a seasonal use and that was important from one of the ways that she was looking at it because the wetland in a sense, in terms of habitat, was also a seasonal use and that was when the birds nest and when the birds courtship and have their young and she saw it as a safety issue from that prospective.


Member Lorenzo said it was interesting that the applicant doesn't want to drive balls into their players, but they were willing to drive balls into the wetland where it was a wetland and that was a fact and it was a wildlife habitat and that was a fact, and there were wildlife in there and that was a fact. She said they were not concerned about driving balls into the birds' nests, squirrels, and whatever else may be inhabiting that area.


Member Lorenzo said there were three disturbances that Ms. Tepatti has pointed out and that she could see. She said first was the physical disturbance to the wetland and that was the cutting of the trees and the cutting of the vegetation. He said they also have disturbance to the habitat value and activity, which the City of Novi takes very seriously in protecting.


Member Lorenzo said last but certainly not least, was the safety issue and the physical harm that could come to the wildlife that inhabits this area and for those reasons and particularly because it was a seasonal use and it was unfortunately in the season that the wildlife uses that area the most in terms of nesting, she could not support this proposal.


Member Lorenzo indicated she did not feel this was an appropriate use of the wetland and in fact, she felt it was an abusive use of a wetland and she was surprised and disappointed that Providence Hospital, particularly with their religious affiliations, would support such an insensitive proposal, so she would not be supporting this.


Member Bonaventura then indicated he would make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Capello



To grant Wetlands Permit Approval to Westbrooke Driving Range, SP95-08.





Member Capello said he supported the motion but he would ask Member Bonaventura if his motion would be subject to the recommendations on Page 3 of Ms. Tepatti's letter, particularly that the enhancement plan be approved administratively by JCK and Member Bonaventura indicated yes and Member Capello said he would second that amendment to the motion and it was then restated.


To grant Wetlands Permit approval to Westbrooke Driving Range, SP95-08 subject to the Consultants' letters, particularly Page 3 of Ms. Tepatti's letter indicating that an enhancement plan be approved administratively by JCK.





Member Capello then indicated he understood what Member Lorenzo has stated and he understood her feelings, however, he didn't feel the Commission was a judicial body and they were not there to judge the applicant and whether or not he violated the local Ordinance and the Commission was there to determine whether or not what they propose to do was an encroachment upon the wetlands there and whether or not the Commission should approve it.


Member Capello said putting aside what the applicant has already done, he had to look at what he was proposing to do and he felt it was a nice plan.


Member Capello said for those who have not seen him golf, if he took a bucket of balls, 90% of his balls would be over in the 18th Fairway without a doubt just 80 yards over, so he could understand what they were saying that it was a safety factor so the applicant couldn't move it any closer unless they put up some type of a fence barrier to prevent the balls from going over there and that would be the only thing the applicant could do besides the distance.


Member Weddington said she would concur with Member Lorenzo's sentiments and comments and to her, an approval of a wetland permit or a woodland permit has to meet a very high standard and that was articulated in the Ordinance where it says there shall be no less harmful, feasible, and prudent alternatives to the proposed activity. She said there has been nothing offered here to show that there was no other way to accomplish their goals, putting aside the issue whether this was a good use or not.


Member Weddington said she needed to see some evidence that there was no other place that this could work on their site and she hasn't seen that, therefore, she could not support the motion.


Member Bonaventura said one of the main reasons why he made this motion was the fact that this community was in need of recreational areas and he felt this was an opportunity for them to let the private sector take some of the burden off the community and supply some recreation to the residents and that was why he supported it.


Member Hoadley asked if they were going to use floaters and Mr. Gerhart asked if he meant floating balls and Member Hoadley said yes and Mr. Gerhart replied no. Member Hoadley asked how did they intend to retrieve the balls in the wetland area unless they use floaters and Mr. Gerhart said as they stated during the summer, there was no water out there and he employs high school kids from Novi High who would go out with a shag and they pick them out by hand.


Mr. Gerhart said he knows it sounds very cumbersome, and it is, but they want to do everything they could do for recreation and this was something that they could do and they have done it in Miami at Golf Courses where they go along the different areas and have to pick them out of the creek bends.


Member Hoadley asked if there was standing water would they use floaters in that situation and Mr. Gerhart said he wasn't real sure if that was practical. He said floating balls were used when there were driving ranges that they hit onto a lake and then the current brings it back and they were very popular in the Florida area where they don't have so much land and there were special balls that go out and land in the water and float back.


Mr. Gerhart said from a recreational standpoint, one of their staff members, Mr. Bob Mickowski, who was from Novi, has recently qualified for the PGH Championship at the Riveria Country Club in Los Angeles in August. Mr. Gerhart indicated that he met with him on Sunday and he was going to donate his time to put on Junior Golf Clinics at this driving range during the summer months when school was out.


Mr. Gerhart said in essence, their children or relatives, etc., may be taught by Mr. Mickowski who could possibly be seen on ESPN and he has already qualified and would be going to the Riveria. Mr. Gerhart felt that was something that they would like to add to their staff and Mr. Mickowski would be donating his time for the kids in the neighborhood.


Member Mutch said there was something said about protective fencing and what was being protected. Ms. Tepatti explained the protective fencing that was mentioned in her review letter was during the construction only. Member Mutch said then they were not talking about that fencing or netting that keeps things from going further. Ms. Tepatti said they had proposed that type of fencing, but the applicant had indicated it was too cost prohibitive. She said this fencing was primarily for snow fencing and siltation.


Member Mutch said if there had been that fencing in place, she was going to ask was that something that once it was up, it stays up or it comes down. She said Member Lorenzo also had said she felt Member Capello actually had a very good idea and he had suggested that they could utilize it the other way if they put fencing up.


Ms. Kay then spoke and indicated she had proposed that fencing initially as an alternative under their original submission to Ms. Tepatti and that was under Item Attachment A as they would recall and they did discuss that as an alternative and it wasn't something that they didn't think of.


Mr. Gerhart indicated as far as the fencing was concerned, Pine Lake Country Club recently put fencing up and the cost was $110,000 to put it up to protect some homes around the golf course so it was a very expensive proposition.


Member Hodges asked what was the par on the 18th hole and also was the distance 387 feet and Mr. Gerhart said the distance she was looking at was 387 feet from the 18th tee to the front part of the tee as it runs along the 18th hole. Member Hodges asked what was the par and Mr. Gerhart replied it was a par 4.


Member Hodges said so chances were when they tee off at the 18th, if a person was lucky enough to get it 250 yards, then they were going to come up with their 7 iron on their next shot to try and get it up on the green and they were not going to go very far. She said she didn't see that the safety factor was that great.


Member Hodges further stated she would have to first of all hit her ball 250 yards from either direction, and she had taken her compass and drew a radius and her chances probably were slim for her to be fortunate enough to get it over to the 18th tee on a shank.


Mr. Gerhart said he would like to explain something. He said if it was 244 feet and a person tees off at the 18th hole and they go a certain way, which he pointed out, and the green comes on the ground and it was 244 feet there, if someone was standing on the tee, they could shank the ball up there and hit someone standing on the tee.


Member Hodges said she would have a choice of shanking from the driving range or if she tees off from the 18th tee, she could get them in the back of the head trying to get it onto the green and Mr. Gerhart agreed.


Member Hodges then said she had to agree with her fellow Commissioners on the fact that she would like to see something done to get them out of that wetland area and since safety was a factor, she has to look at the relative chances of her being an average golfer and putting herself or someone else in jeopardy and she has been hit by golf balls from the driving range that someone 2-3 places down from her hits one straight up in the air and everyone was on the ground and she felt there was a risk.


Mr. Gerhart said yes there was a risk and again it was 244 feet from the tee out to that range and they have to circumference everyone, whether it was a man or woman because 9 times out of 10 a man hits a ball further than a woman because of the strength.


Mr. Gerhart then said they have done everything and his boys were not excited about going out there and shag-bagging and picking the balls out of the wetlands. He indicated they have moved this over as far as they could and obviously it would lower his labor cost if they didn't have to do this. He said if they look at this parcel, there was no other part and they own no other property in the area and Providence doesn't own any other property adjacent to the golf course to do something like this and he felt they have addressed every issue that they could.


Member Hoadley then called the question.



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


(5) Yeas (4) Nays








1. Mini-U-Storage, SP95-10A - Property Located North of Grand River Avenue, Westerly of Haggerty Road for Possible Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan, and Woodlands Permit Approval.


Mr. Matt Quinn, attorney representing the Dahn Corporation, was present. He indicated they were before the Commission about a month ago and at the Commission's request, they were directed to have further consultations with Ms. Lemke regarding alternative site plan locations and their engineer did, in fact, have the meeting with Ms. Lemke and different alternatives were looked at and they have Ms. Lemke's letter, in which she does recommend their current site plan as a viable alternative.


Mr. Quinn indicated that Mr. Rick Hofses was putting up the new revised plan and as they could see, what has been done was the distance between the buildings, front and back, has been shortened, still in compliance with the Novi Ordinance and that, therefore, allows them to have a greater greenspace in the rear of the property and allows them to maintain an increased number of trees that was in accordance with Ms. Lemke's requirements.


Mr. Quinn said also they have saved additional large trees in front. He indicated the additional trees in the rear that they were saving were very large quality trees and that was what Ms. Lemke was looking for.


Mr. Quinn said regarding the replacement trees that they were putting on site, they were putting 135 replacement trees on site at a cost of $38,000, and they were adding $10,000 in landscaping to the Grand River frontage of the property and the preliminary tree count would show that they would be contributing to the City of Novi's Tree Fund under the City Ordinance of approximately $56,000. He said he would venture to say it was probably the largest donation the City's Tree Fund has ever had.


Mr. Quinn said that was something they were willing to do and they were willing to follow exactly what the Ordinance requires them to do here. He said all the other Consultants have basically given letters of approval and they were willing to meet the requirements of the Consultants' letters with one exception of Ms. Lemke's.


Mr. Quinn said one of the things that Ms. Lemke did require was a preservation easement of the rear property treed area. He said he and Mr. Bradley of the Dahn Corporation really didn't see the necessity of that because this was a totally fenced in and enclosed area and it was not open to any other source and no one else could come through there.


Mr. Quinn said with all the money that has been spent on the replacement trees in this area, it was going to be the owner's responsibility and obligation to maintain all of the trees on their site and with the money that they were putting in, he believed they could trust Mr. Bradley when he tells them that they were going to do whatever they could to maintain the beautiful new trees that they have and to maintain the old ones and also the new landscaping, so they really don't think that a preservation easement fits this.


Mr. Quinn said mostly they would see preservation easements along the front of subdivisions where the berm was and the trees were, but he didn't see why there was a necessity in the rear of this and he believed that was what Ms. Lemke was referring to here.


Mr. Quinn indicated the engineer was present, along with the owner, and they would be happy to answer any questions. He felt they have done a good job and have met the requirements and they would expect special land use approval. He indicated Mr. Rogers has reiterated every requirement of the special land use approval and they meet every one of those requirements. He said also they would expect site plan approval of the amended plan and then the Woodlands Permit Approval.


Mr. Quinn said the variance they need to go to the ZBA for was the Ordinance requires 5 acres for a mini-storage, and they have 4.98 acres, so they would go to them next month and request the two hundreds of an acre variance and they would totally expect that variance would be received.


Mr. Quinn said if anyone has any questions, he would be happy to answer them.





Mr. Rogers indicated he recommended the special land use and the three missing portions of special land use data, Items 6, 8, and 11 were answered in a letter that they had before their last meeting, dated February 27, 1995 by Mr. Bradley, who was here in the Audience. He said all fifteen criteria was satisfied and he itemized each of them.


Mr. Rogers said regarding the general standards, Mr. Arroyo could comment on the traffic. He said they have utilities and a fire and police station nearby. He said they also have the woodlands review and Mr. Pargoff was present and Ms. Lemke's associate, Mr. Olson, was also present.


Mr. Rogers indicated he recommended the special land use approval, subject to the site size deficiency and actually it was a little bit less than 5.98 acres if they take out the road easement, but he wouldn't argue and he certainly recommended it and they have nearly 5 acres and there was no way they could expand to get 5 acres, and other than that, the site was big enough to do what they wish.


Mr. Rogers said regarding the Preliminary site plan, they have still a need at the time of Final to complete the facade drawings and the conceptual drawings for the Managers Unit and the east elevation for the warehouse and there was a small detail in the table to get the north going in the right direction.


Mr. Rogers said regarding the parking, they have now identified the parking adjacent to the warehouse units which services both as the loading and unloading and the parking. He said for the marginal access road, which terminates really at this site, both he and Mr. Arroyo have called out that it should be extended as the future easement a little bit further to the east and Mr. Arroyo would go into the details on that issue.


Mr. Rogers said the mixture of building materials appears to comply with the Ordinance and it would be reviewed in detail at the time of Final site plan review. He also commented on the materials schedule, which should refer to the correct facades. He then stated with that, he recommended Preliminary site plan approval, subject to special land use approval being granted, straightening out the facade drawings for all facades and having the material schedule match up with the facades, and the adjustment of the marginal access road location.


Mr. Bluhm indicated there were no significant engineering revisions and they were continuing to recommend approval.


Mr. Arroyo said he had two minor comments that were pointed out in their previous letter, and one Mr. Rogers has mentioned and the other deals with a minor change in the alignment of the roadway access point to Grand River, so he was still recommending approval.


Chairman Clark said the record should reflect that they do have a letter from the City of Novi Fire Department under the signature of Daniel W. Roy, Captain indicating that this plan has been reviewed and approval was recommended with the following condition: (1) To add fire hydrants to the northeast and northwest corners of the development to conform with the 300' maximum spacing for commercial developments.


Mr. Pargoff said for the Mini-U-Storage, he did a review of the plan, and he concurred with Ms. Lemke's letter of March 27, 1995 with the exception of the item under replacement, where only those trees that were to be retained should have their elevations and identification more extensively indicated. He said for those trees that were going to be removed, they don't need that because they wouldn't be there when they were done.


Mr. Pargoff said in addition, the reason he believed why Ms. Lemke was asking for the preservation easement at the back of the property was for legal considerations as far as the possible sale of the property so that any new owners would realize that this area was to be maintained rather than to be turned into a park type setting. He then said he would be happy to answer any questions.


Mr. Olson was present and pointed out the regulated woodlands and stated it was a good quality woodlands but it was isolated in that there was very little contiguous woodlands that go off the site. He said the trees do range from good quality oaks down to poplars, which were not as good a quality.


Mr. Olson indicated Ms. Lemke has met with the Petitioner and they have discussed four different alternatives for the site and they agree that out of the four alternatives proposed, this was the best alternative out of those because it did provide a contiguous area of woodlands.


Mr. Olson said he would like to see that area kept in a conservation easement and if this property ever did change hands, they would like to see the trees remain. He then said he would be available for any questions.








Member Bonaventura said he would like to make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub



To grant Special Land Use Approval for Mini-U-Storage, SP95-10A.





Member Hoadley called the question.


Member Lorenzo first said she had a brief comment which was she felt this was a better alternative than was previously proposed and although she would have preferred to see at least one building removed, she would reluctantly support the project.


Member Hoadley called the question and a vote was taken.



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


(8) Yeas (1) Nay-Weddington








It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub



To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Mini-U-Storage, SP 95-10A subject to the Consultants' letters and recommendations.





Member Bonaventura had a comment regarding the site plan and the donation to the Tree Fund. He said he looked at site plans as far as a burden to the community and if there was any less of a burden that this project could offer to the community than other projects.


Member Bonaventura felt the traffic generated was on the low end and also the loss of the woodlands was in his opinion no great loss for the wildlife habitat of this community because it was basically an island right now.


Member Bonaventura said the other issue that encourages him to support this was the large donation which was estimated at $56,000 to their Tree Fund and in conversations with Mr. Pargoff, their City Forester, this could be put to good use to enhance the quality of life in their community and to offer aesthetically pleasing areas for their citizens and he really felt that the benefits really outweigh any of the burdens of this project.


Member Hoadley called the question and a vote was taken.



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


(8) Yeas (1) Nay-Weddington








It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub



To grant Woodlands Permit Approval to Mini-U-Storage, SP95-10A per the Consultants comments and recommendations.





Member Taub called the question.



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


(8) Yeas (1) Nay-Weddington






2. Apple Crest Site Condominiums, SP94-33B - Property located on the north side of Eight Mile Road between Meadowbrook Road and Haggerty Road for Possible Final Site Plan Approval, Woodlands Permit, and Wetlands Permit.


Mr. Ray Cousineau, Engineer on this project, was present. He said they were back there for Final site plan at the request of the Planning Commission. He indicated it was a 19 lot site condominium at 8 Mile near Haggerty and it was one acre lots with one large estate lot at the end of basically 20 acres, but 10 acres of that was a protected woodlands area and all the other lots were one acre or more.


Mr. Cousineau indicated the roads would be private and they have gone over all the comments that they have received from the Consultants and they have no problem complying with the minor details pointed out.


Mr. Rogers indicated this was a site condominium and the Final site plan conforms to the previously approved Preliminary site plan. He said concerning the project name and street names, the name Apple Crest Subdivision, aka Apple Crest Condominium, would be known as Turnberry Estates as of March 24th at the Street Naming Committee meeting. He said then the road that goes up through the middle there, Apple Crest Drive, would be Turnberry Blvd., and the small court that goes westerly would be known as Preswick Court. He indicated there had been already an Apple Crest Drive in Meadowbrook Glens #2 and the other stub street, Orchard Court, was too much like the development to the east.


Mr. Rogers said with that, his contingency on straightening out street names for Dispatch was all taken care of as the applicant now knows. He indicated the landscape plans have been reviewed and there was a report from Mr. Pargoff. He said the applicant has added protective fencing on the plan and he recommended approval of the woodlands issue.


Mr. Rogers indicated he also called out in his letter that there was a need for bonding for woodlands protection at the north end as may be required by the City Forester. He indicated he recommended Final site plan approval.


Mr. Bluhm indicated he has also reviewed the second submittal of the Final site plan and probably the best way to describe it was they have reduced the engineering issues down to numerous very minor issues that would require a subsequent submittal.


Mr. Bluhm said he would like to point out some of the key points to what they have been negotiating with them on as far as the engineering goes. He said one of the concerns was with the detention basin adjacent to 8 Mile toward the west end of the site, and it has been determined that based on the original layout in the Preliminary site plan, the detention basin has been substantially scaled down and doesn't nearly need the size it had previously and that certainly has freed up the area somewhat.


Mr. Bluhm said one of the other concerns that they were looking at currently was the drainage ditch wetland that courses through the site, and primarily from a point of view of trying to make sure that by basically taking the water to the detention area that they don't dry up the wetland and they feel comfortable that in working with their engineer, that they would end up with a flow that equals what went there before and there shouldn't be a problem but he was currently evaluating that issue.


Mr. Bluhm said one other concern in the preliminary site was it was indicated that a sanitary sewer extension would be put in across between Lots 10 and 11 which was more towards the north end of the site to service the Cambridge Drive residence with sewer as part of an SAD.


Mr. Bluhm said there has been many numerous ongoing meetings with staff and others with respect to that, and where it stands at this point was that a stub would be left off in their sewer in the right-of-way of the road and they were requesting that they provide an easement only at this time across for future extension.


Mr. Bluhm said along with that, he has requested them in lieu of putting that sewer in, to extend the water and sewer utilities on the north side of 8 Mile Road to the west to service the future areas to the west and they have certainly complied with that.


Mr. Bluhm said beyond that, he would like to recommend the Commission's approval of the Final site plan with a subsequent resubmittal and approval by him.


Mr. Arroyo said this project contains a roadway system that doesn't meet the Design and Construction Standards in that it has a cul-de-sac of excessive length and it doesn't provide for secondary access.


Mr. Arroyo said when the applicant went before the City Council to address those issues and they were granted relief but the condition was that parking would be prohibited on one side of the road, that being the side where the water access was for fire hydrants. He said they have in fact, now shown their plans to prohibit parking along the east side of Apple Crest Lane, which was undergoing a name change, but at the time it was Apple Crest Lane.


Mr. Arroyo said he has noted that they would also have to prohibit parking within the cul-de-sac bulb of the shorter street which was shown on the plan as Orchard Court and that needs to be added to the plans.


Mr. Arroyo said they had another minor note and they were, in a similar manner to Mr. Bluhm, recommending that the Planning Commission grant approval subject to one further administrative review to address the minor outstanding items that he has.


Chairman Clark said there was in the file a letter from the City of Novi Fire Department under the signature of Daniel W. Roy, Captain, indicating that this plan has been reviewed and approval was recommended.


Ms. Tepatti said their office has also previously reviewed this plan and had a review letter in the past dated September of 1994. She said they had still required some information at that time, prior to wetland permit issuance and had recommended approval of the wetland permit.


Ms. Tepatti said the information has all been submitted and the plans have been revised in accordance with their previous review letter and requirements. She indicated the applicant still needs to submit a DNR permit prior to the City wetland permit issuance and also they need to apply for a soil erosion permit prior to any work going on the site.


Ms. Tepatti said other than that, she would like to have the wetland plan modified which was a minor change to be at a different scale and to be in conjunction with the soil erosion control plan. She said it was just an easier scale to work with than the one that was submitted.


Ms. Tepatti said finally she would ask that the remaining wetlands and mitigation area be placed in a preservation easement and language for this easement should be submitted for review by the City and JCK prior to permit issuance as well.


Ms. Tepatti said otherwise she had no objections to the current plan.


Mr. Pargoff said he has just been informed by the City Attorney that a woodlands permit was already granted in September. He said but there was going to be no intrusion into the woodlands so that was not a real critical issue. He said he felt the previous approval would be acceptable.


Mr. Pargoff said the only additional item he would like to see handled at the woodlands type situation was the placement of the fence that they call for on the plan and he would like to see that around the building envelope or whichever area that the building on Lot 9 was going to designate as their yard area.


Mr. Pargoff said the other parts of the lot should possibly be retained as a natural area, depending upon the desires of the homeowner, but that could be handled at the woodlands affidavit which was at the building permit time so it was not a critical issue for woodlands.


Mr. Pargoff said the landscape plan was numerically correct and it actually exceeds the standards that Ordinance 2705 requires of the applicant and he wanted to speak to the landscape contractor before any work begins on the site. He said there were several different items pertaining to the signs and other issues, primarily utility placement. He said if utilities were to be placed in the front yards, they have to petition the Department of Public Service for approvals.


Mr. Pargoff said the landscape fees and street tree numbers were in his letter. He indicated he would be available for any questions.





Member Bonaventura indicated he would make a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To grant Final Site Plan Approval to Apple Crest Site Condominiums, SP94-33B.





Member Bonaventura said this property was purchased R-A and they developed it R-A and they preserved the natural resources on the property and there wasn't any whining of not making it economically feasible and there wasn't wasn't any whining about rezoning it to R-A and then doubling the density of the homes by doing that and then coming in and doubling the density of the homes and asking for a cluster option. He said what this person did was they came in and it was R-A and they took the high road and preserved the natural resources as they should. He said this was a developer with a social conscience.


Member Hoadley called the question but others wished to discuss the matter further so Member Hoadley withdrew his calling the question.


Member Mutch said if they refer back to the Minutes of the September 7th meeting, near the bottom of the page there was the record of the question that she asked Mr. Leighton when he was there representing this project at that time, which was if they would be willing to photograph the historic resources that were currently on site that would be gone once this project gets under construction.


Member Mutch said the Minutes don't show this but the response was Mr. Leighton agreed that that would be possible. She said as far as she knew, that has not yet occurred, so she felt that since Mr. Leighton had agreed at that time to do it and he wasn't there that evening, that she would like to bring that up again before the buildings were gone.


Member Mutch also wanted the Commission to know that in the current issue of the Mill Race Quarterly, which was the Northville Historical Society Publication, this particular orchard was indicated as one of the last working orchards in the area and not just in Novi.


Member Bonaventura then asked if Member Mutch wanted him to amend his motion and she replied yes. He asked her if she was talking about photographing the foundations of old buildings and Member Mutch said just documentation of the buildings that were part of the orchard operations.


A gentleman said he couldn't speak for Mr. Leighton but he didn't see any reason to argue with this point.


Member Bonaventura said he would amend his motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To include photographic documentation of the orchard buildings.



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





3. Rescinding and Reconsideration of Aspen Woods Cluster Option Development - Lorenzo.


Member Lorenzo said she would begin with a motion.


It was,


Moved by Member Lorenzo

Seconded by Member Hoadley



To rescind the previous motion to approve Aspen Woods, SP94-36B Cluster Option which was subject to conditions that have been stated, particularly the removal of Units 19-22, with further reconsideration of an alternative compromise.





Member Taub said he knows from experience as a Planning Commissioner that in certain instances where the Commissioners were unhappy or less than satisfied with projects that were proposed, what happens was there was essentially an implied compromise in the sense that a developer would modify a request to satisfy particular Commissioners to effectuate a majority vote, but in this case Member Lorenzo has stated right up front a compromise.


Member Taub said he would ask Mr. Watson about the legality of an expressed compromise or contract between Commissioners and a developer as far as modifying the project.


Mr. Watson said the answer to Member Taub's question would be that this was not a contract or an agreement with the developer, and this was a motion to rescind that prior action and then review the matter again.


Member Taub said what he was referring to was the mention about a compromise.


Mr. Watson said the motion was a proper motion from a legal standpoint and whether the Commission wants to do that or doesn't want to do that, was up to them. Member Taub said in other words it wasn't the notion of an applied compromise.


Mr. Watson said he didn't know why the word compromise was used, but the Commission was still considering this project under their Ordinances and standards and the criteria in those Ordinances.


Member Taub said in his years as a Commissioner, Member Lorenzo has been very artful and strong in the area of sometimes encouraging a modification that has salutary benefits to the community which was what they were there for, but he just didn't know about the idea of rescinding for the idea of obtaining an expressed compromise.


Member Lorenzo said if it would make the Commissioners feel more comfortable, she would remove that language and simply say rescind and reconsider.


Member Taub said he would be more comfortable with that, but he wasn't trying to criticize Member Lorenzo in any way.


Chairman Clark asked Mr. Watson in light of the prior approval that was granted and what has been proposed that evening, in the interim, has there been any reliance that they were aware of on the previous approval.


Mr. Watson said to his knowledge there has not and he felt the developer would be the person to ask that question and one thing to consider when they were rescinding something was whether someone has taken action on the prior approval, and Chairman Clark said that was his concern. Mr. Watson said it was his understanding that they have not, in fact, they were there to discuss the matter.


Mr. Kevin Kohls, an attorney of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn of Detroit, was present. He indicated the developer has not acted in reliance on the prior approval, except to the extent that the developer has proceeded to request the necessary variances for the approval. He said he was referring in this case to the cul-de-sac variance required from the City Council for the width of the cul-de-sac and the setback variance from the adjacent Lochmoor Village Subdivision.


Mr. Kohls said in addition, the developer has filed an appeal to the City Council under the Woodlands Ordinance, and also has filed suit in circuit court to protect his legal rights. He said other than that, they were there and would look forward to what he would characterize as a reconsideration of the prior motion. He said he has heard talk of rescission and he would point everyone to Roberts Rules of Order under the provisions that deal with rescission and he indicated the provisions which were in Section 34 deal with rescission and amendment of something previously adopted and that was really what was at issue here.


Mr. Kohls said the developer filed a lawsuit fundamentally because he believes it was unfair and unlawful to take four sites from this development and that all 34 sites were fully permitted under the Zoning Code of this City and allowable under law. He said to protect his legal rights, as they all know, that lawsuit had to be filed within 21 days of their decision which was today and this was their first regularly scheduled meeting since that decision.


Mr. Kohls said that being said, there was an opportunity here for both parties to amend something previously adopted and to allow the developer 31 sites, instead of the 33 sites that he originally asked for and instead of the 29 sites he was granted with four being taken off the block, and to also protect the interest of the City as articulated by certain people here among the Commission and to balance the land use rights and property rights of the Petitioner. He then said he would be happy to entertain any questions they might have.


Member Taub asked basically was the developer stating that if there were to be a majority vote here, that this would not only be acceptable, but he assumed this Oakland County Circuit Case would be dismissed with prejudice and was that what he was saying, and then also he wondered if the Commission was getting out of their realm. He said as he recalled, they were recommending. He then asked would this still have to go to the City Council, plus the idea of a lawsuit has to go to City Council.


Mr. Watson indicated the City has not been served with the lawsuit so he didn't know if he was going to serve them or not serve them or what they would do with the lawsuit so they couldn't deal with it until they do that. He stated it would still have to go to City Council for the cul-de-sac variance and the woodlands appeal, but as far as the lawsuit itself, there was really nothing to do with the lawsuit until they were served with it and file an answer to it.


Member Taub asked Mr. Kohls if it was the intention of the developer to drop the lawsuit if there was a majority vote in favor.


Mr. Kohls said clearly they would have to wait and see what the will of this Commission was and certainly that was why they were there that night.


Mr. Watson said he would suggest that the fact that a lawsuit has been filed should not effect the Commission's decision, and he felt they should make their decision based on whether they feel the project complies with their Ordinances or doesn't comply with their Ordinances.


Member Taub said his own personal vote was in favor of the notion of non-interference with this project, which wasn't changed by this, and he felt that the project under the current legal scheme was proper. He said he had indicated to his fellow Commissioners at the last meeting the words, "walking into a bear trap." He said there were certainly projects that he has seen in his 3 years as a Planning Commissioner where he voted against them because they were clear problems to the community, but he didn't see it here.


Member Taub said he had mentioned Vistas and other similar projects to be of more concern to him and also a concern to people who were aware of what was going on in Novi as far as their growth. He said he was willing to proceed if a motion was made or he would make a motion.


Chairman Clark said a motion has been made to rescind the prior approval and reconsider.


Member Taub said he meant a more specific motion if they were reconsidering. Chairman Clark said he would assume if that motion was granted, then there would be a further motion after some discussion.


Member Lorenzo asked if two motions were needed then.


Mr. Watson replied they would rescind it and then it would be back before them for their further action and they may do that, that evening or come to some other type of action or they may not. Member Lorenzo said it would be to rescind the previous action then and Mr. Watson said yes.


Member Bonaventura had a question for Mr. Kohls. He asked him if there has been any contact since the end of the last meeting between himself or the applicant with any individual Planning Commissioners, and Mr. Kohls replied there have been no contacts between himself and any Planning Commissioner. He indicated he did speak with the Attorney for the City today to let him know that a lawsuit had been filed and to discuss that night's meeting with him and the procedural aspects of that night's meeting.


Member Bonaventura said he was trying to track this down as far as out of the blue there was a Commissioner rescinding a previous vote and this was the first time he has ever seen it happen.


Member Bonaventura asked if the City Attorney contacted Member Lorenzo to tell her there was a lawsuit and it was stated no. Member Bonaventura then said possibly the Commissioner making the motion could explain how this great idea came to mind.


Member Lorenzo said last week Mr. Cousineau called her at her home and reached out to her and asked whether she would be receptive to a possible alternative compromise in this matter.


Member Lorenzo stated they spoke a little further and she said she had indicated her concerns with the project and the Petitioner had indicated that he was willing to relook at some of the lots and he got back to her that day and indicated that he would be willing to go from the 33 lots to 31 lots. She felt that could be done in either two scenarios. She said one would be either removing one unit from within that wetland lobe and meeting the wetland setback requirements and removing one unit from the cul-de-sac woodland to the south and leaving one in each of those areas, instead of removing both in either of those areas.


Member Bonaventura asked if there was any discussion of the lawsuit being filed and Member Lorenzo said today, Mr. Cousineau did indicate to her that to protect themselves they would have to file within that 21 day period.


Member Lorenzo said she also had indicated to Mr. Cousineau that while she might be supportive of this, that she was one of 9 Commissioners and that she would be willing to make this motion, but obviously she could not speak on behalf of the entire Commission.


Member Hoadley then called the question.


Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Watson if this required a two-thirds vote or a majority vote and Mr. Watson said in this instance, it would be a five member vote and the reason being what Roberts Rules provides as to the vote on a rescission, was either a two-thirds vote, a majority vote when notice was provided in advance, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership, whichever was the most practical to obtain.


Mr. Watson said the idea behind those three alternatives was to protect absent members and in this instance, where they have the full Commission there, it would be a majority vote.


Member Bonaventura said in light of that, he would like to add to the discussion as far as the voting process and as far as whether this Planning Commission stands its ground, which he felt was exactly what they should do. He indicated he was not one to take threats and he didn't think this City should be one to take threats and that was exactly the impression he got and he didn't think anyone's rights have been violated and lawsuits were filed all the time and that was how those people make a living.


Member Taub said he would object to that comment because he was an attorney and he would object to any personal attacks. Member Bonaventura said he meant no personal offense but he felt that was how people make livings.


Member Taub said he would make the same objection to the record. He said they were there to decide what projects fit the Ordinances and which projects were good for the City or bad for the City and not to use their chairs to insult people.


Member Bonaventura said it was not meant as an insult.


Member Hoadley said he had called the question earlier.


Member Bonaventura stated he had the floor and indicated this was a plea to the other Commissioners to strongly think about this and not be subject to any threats and that was all he meant.


Member Weddington said to follow up on that matter, she agreed with Member Bonaventura, but she felt they were all capable to listening and taking information and if there was some sort of a change that would make this acceptable, she had no objection to hearing it out and the decision may stand the way it was or it may change, but she had no objection to taking another look at it.


Member Mutch said they don't have the Minutes from the meeting that this was presented at, but it was her recollection that it was Member Lorenzo who made what she considered to be an overly restrictive motion that did get the support of the majority of the Commission and she thought she had not supported the motion.


Member Mutch said she had no idea when Member Lorenzo added this to the Agenda, what could have prompted her, of all Commissioners, to bring it to the table, but Member Mutch indicated she certainly welcomed the opportunity. She said she would have asked Member Lorenzo during the break, but she didn't have the chance then, but it seems to her that one assumes an awful lot to say that just because someone calls and tells a person something or they overhear it, or however they find out about it, that it was going to be intimidating.


Member Mutch said she for one, was not easily intimidated and as far as lawsuits go, it was totally irrelevant as Mr. Watson has pointed out, so she didn't think any of them were swayed by that.


Member Mutch felt if Member Lorenzo, who was indeed the most demanding of all Commissioners when this was before them before, has some reason to ask that the Commission reconsider it, she for one was willing to vote to rescind the action for the purpose of finding out what change might prompt a different vote.


Member Mutch said as Member Weddington has pointed out, for anyone concerned about the action that was taken being undone, if the information presented or the suggestions made were not persuasive enough, she would assume now that they have even more people present than they had last time, the chances were that action would take place again.


Member Mutch said so she wasn't at all afraid of hearing more information and she certainly wouldn't be intimidated by the mere mention of a lawsuit.


Member Bonaventura said really the Petitioner has an avenue and that was to resubmit his plans and to petition this Commission again with his new and improved plan and not come in through the back door the way this was happening that night. He said he was just asking that the Commission think about that and that the Petitioner does have another avenue, which was to resubmit to the City.


Member Capello felt this puts them in a difficult situation as Commissioners and he really didn't believe that the Petitioner filed his lawsuit and then came in here to intimidate the Commission with it, and he understood the Petitioner had his time-frame to file in. Member Capello felt if the Petitioner had longer to file his lawsuit, he would probably be there that night before he had filed it. He said all the Petitioner has said to them that evening was he has filed their lawsuit.


Member Capello said he wasn't present at the last meeting for the vote so he didn't know what decision was even made or why, but as it stands that night, the only evidence they have put in front of the Commission was the Petitioner was suing, so change their minds and he was uncomfortable with making a decision just based on that.

Member Capello said he didn't think they had to do what Member Bonaventura has said as he felt it would be cumbersome and time consuming and he didn't want the Petitioner to refile. He felt the Commission could look at it again, but he would like a couple more weeks to see what was voted on the last time, so he could make an intelligent vote.


Member Capello felt two weeks was a lot less time than the Petitioner would spend on an appeal and then the Petitioner could tell him why the Commission may have made a mistake in their last meeting and why they should change their mind without bringing the lawsuit into it.



Member Capello said he would like to make a motion to table to give everyone a chance to find out what this lawsuit was about.



Mr. Watson said a motion to table could be made at any time and would take precedence.



Member Capello said he would like the Minutes from the meeting where they made this decision so he could review them as he wasn't at that meeting.


It was then,


Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Taub



To postpone Aspen Woods, SP94-36B and bring it back at their next meeting of April 19, 1995.





Mr. Kohls said he would be happy to tell them all about the plan and he was hoping there could be a resolution satisfactorily to both parties. He also indicated he didn't mean to imply a threat by the lawsuit. He said he didn't make threats and that was something he just doesn't do.


Mr. Kohls explained the only reason he articulated the few things he did was because he was responding to a direct question and it wasn't the time for a presentation and the Chair had asked him a direct question.


Member Capello said he didn't think he had made a threat but it could be viewed that way. Mr. Kohls said he understood and it was a matter of protecting legal rights and property matters.


Chairman Clark asked for a second to the motion and Member Hodges said she would second the motion, but she would like to ask a question first.


It was stated there was no discussion on a motion to table and Member Hodges said she would rescind her second then because she had a question and Member Taub then seconded the motion, but Member Hodges indicated she was recognized before Member Taub was.


Member Hodges then continued and said she would like to know if the information they will receive in the future will have some kind of information regarding why the Petitioner felt it was necessary to come back and were they going to get a little more information than just rescind the vote and look at what the Petitioner wants.


Chairman Clark said he assumed they would receive the entire Minutes and Member Hodges said besides the Minutes, was the Petitioner going to present new information and would they be getting copies of this. She asked the Petitioner if they were going to present the Commission with new information.


Mr. Kohls said until the motion was amended or until consideration of a proposed amendment was before this Commission, it was somewhat presumptuous for the Petitioner to tell them the way it was or the way the applicant perceives it.


Mr. Kohls indicated there was a plan that he has here that would remove a total of two sites from the original plan.


Member Hodges asked if he was going to make this information available to the Commission or did he just want to present it at the next meeting and were they going to get any information prior to the next time they were on the Agenda.


Mr. Kohls said they should be able to provide them with the proposed modification prior to the next meeting.


Member Mutch asked what were they tabling then and was it the motion to rescind. Member Capello replied no, he felt they needed to make the motion to rescind and then table the action.



Mr. Watson suggested the Commission postpone the motion to rescind until the next meeting and put it on their Agenda as an Agenda item and as a motion to rescind.


Member Capello asked don't they have to have a decision on the motion to rescind at the following meeting and Mr. Watson said no.


Member Hodges said if at the next meeting they agree to rescind, could the applicant then present new information and Mr. Watson said that was correct.



Member Capello then said his motion to postpone was on the motion to rescind and it was to postpone to the next meeting of April 19, 1995 and a vote was taken.



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


(7) Yeas (2) Nays





Member Mutch said she had a brief comment. She asked when a Commissioner brings up a motion like the one that Member Lorenzo did, she would have been listening for Member Lorenzo to make a case to persuade the Commission to rescind. She said she would have thought Member Lorenzo would have been making a presentation of sorts to them, but the Commission didn't give her the opportunity to say much more than there was a lot reduction.


Member Mutch said she was assuming that since Member Lorenzo did say that, the only way it was able to come before them in this particular way, was they were picking up where they left off. She said in other words, here is what the project was, here is what they have objected to, and this is what the vote was and then to give the Petitioner the opportunity to say, "you objected to this and this and I am no longer doing that." She said she wasn't quite sure how it was coming back.


Mr. Watson said he didn't understand her question. Member Mutch asked how was it coming back at all and how was it getting a spot on the Agenda.


Mr. Watson said because the Commission just put it on their next Agenda and they made a motion to do that - the motion to rescind on the Agenda. Member Mutch said she understood the motion to rescind, but it was the action that followed that decision.


Mr. Watson said it depends what that decision was and if they vote it down, that was the end of it, and if they approve it, then the matter was back before the Commission. Member Mutch asked immediately and Mr. Watson said yes it would be before them, but it doesn't mean they take immediate action and they would take it just like they would any other project that was before them.





1. Joint Meeting with City Council.


Member Bonaventura said due to the late hour, he would suggest that this item be postponed until the April 19, 1995 Regular Planning Commission meeting.





There being no further business before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 P.M.






Steve Cohen

Planning Clerk


Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

May 10, 1995