CITY OF NOVI

 

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28, - 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBER - NOVI CIVIC CENTER

45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

NOVI, MICHIGAN 48375

(810) 347-0475

 

Meeting called to order at 7:33 p.m. by Chairman Clark

 

 

PRESENT: Member Bonaventura, Member Clark, Member Hoadley, Member Lorenzo, Member Mutch, Member Taub, Member Weddington, Member Hodges (arrived late)

 

 

 

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Capello

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Planning Director James Wahl, Staff Planner Greg Capote, Planning Aide Steve Cohen

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

 

 

MOTION BY BONAVENTURA, SECOND BY TAUB that Item 7 and Item 10 be placed on the July 5, 1995 agenda.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Member Lorenzo stated she would rather wait to see how far the Committee gets before a decision is made to place items on the next agenda.

 

 

MEMBER BONAVENTURA WITHDREW THE MOTION.

 

 

MOTION BY WEDDINGTON, SECOND BY LORENZO to approve the Agenda. MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

 

Member Taub read the following letter: "Dear Mayor, City Council, and Planning Commission. As new homeowners who are now prohibited from watering the new lawn the City dictated we establish, weíre appalled with the Cityís conflicting Codes and inadequate planning. Why are we ordered to establish lawns when you know watering restrictions will be imposed each summer? Why do you continue issuing building permits when you are not equipped to supply water to existing residences? Weíd like some answers. Sincerely, Richard J. Erler, Mary J. Erler, 21773 Chase Drive."

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

 

No items.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:

 

 

Lee Mamola, Mamola Associates, Architects: Weíre here tonight primarily for the issue of Bordineís. Bordineís is looking to purchase nearly 40 acres of property in Novi, zoned residential/agricultural. Bordineís is a nursery business, they sell what they grow, from plants to trees to shrubs. They can come in and do their operation right now, per the Ordinance. What they cannot do, and the reason for the Ordinance Amendment Request, is to retail. Their retail activities take place primarily in the spring; their "peak" period. They are a long established, family business. Iíd like to point out the alternative comparisons that could happen on this site.

 

The first map is a Conceptual Plan designed by Don Westfall, landscape architect with Bordineís. It takes great care and strives in being sensitive to that site and the surrounding neighbors. The second map, shows a single family, residential development of 30 single lots which could be built in accordance with the Ordinance today. The question is: Do you want one user? Do you want 30 users? Think about the utilities and the services that come out to that site. This is a very environmentally friendly user to this site. In your booklet, you have a Draft of Ordinance Amendment dated May 11, 1995. Weíre really here to ask your movement from this meeting tonight towards a formal Public Hearing on this amendment and, hopefully, the adoption of the amendment. After tonightís meeting, the owner has to make a decision, based on your reaction, if he should continue to extend some options out. This project and his option periods expire shortly. He is willing to risk, depending on your decisions tonight, to go ahead. In order to get this project up for next spring, we have to begin, literally, tomorrow morning. Iím very interested in your comments later in tonightís meeting. The schedule points to that and I can answer your questions.

 

We have been to the Planning Implementation Committee and received positive feedback. I have some comments regarding your facade ordinance and parking comments. With regard to the parking, there is text in there that refers to your parking requirements being in compliance with American Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is civil rights legislation, not a building code. No local authority has jurisdiction to enforce that; itís enforced strictly by the Justice Department. I would suggest that you change such linkage to the ADA to the Michigan State Barrier-Free Design requirements. Their parking calculations for the requirements get to be a little bit more restrictive. With regard to the facade ordinance, I did write a letter to Brandon Rogers (it should be in your packet) and I am available for comments or questions. It does need to be revised, updated, and streamlined.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION CLOSED

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION:

 

 

1. REPORT BACK ON CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION, FY 1995-96, PLANNING COMMISSION BUDGET/WORK PROGRAM

 

Jim Wahl reported on City Council action on the budget vis-a-vis the Planning Commissionís funding for FY1995-96. In conclusion, on June 19, 1995, the City Council did adopt a budget for FY1995-96 for the City on a 5-1 vote and included in that budget, as indicated, the approved budget for 1995-96 as listed at $154,227, which is an increase from last yearís budget of $130,891. However, when Council approved the budget, the discussion and the action is that two of the items (Grand River Corridor Design Engineering Studies and the Thoroughfare Plan Data Collection Analysis) could be funded through the Roe Program and there was a commitment to do that. In essence, these would not be in the budget, would not be reflected in the accounting of the budget, but the work would be done and I think thatís what the Commissionís goal was in the presentation. Effectively, you can add an additional $73,836 to that number and youíre looking at upwards of $220,00. I believe our total submittal was $247,000. The only study that did not get funded was the Lake Quality Assessment Study. There were some questions and concerns about other alternative methods of doing that work or duplication of effort. Staff and consultants have compiled some responses to questions that came up from the City Council at our budget session. Since only one item was turned down, it wasnít needed as part of the final debate and action. We do have that information and as the year progresses or in July weíll make that information available to you. I think this is a real positive step. As the Planning and Community Development Director, Iíd like to thank Chairman Clark and Member Hoadley who were at the meeting and budget session. I think that the Chairmanís reflection that "you canít get good planning or good community on the cheap" said a lot in a very short phrase and I think it went a long way to convincing the City Council that planning in our community was a priority and that funding these studies was an investment in that goal and was well worth the increase. Again, I think it was a credit in the sense that most of the other departments and operations of the City were on a pretty tight budget that was basically due to inflation and that all other increases in staff or additional expenditures were looked at on an item-by-item basis and were approved accordingly. I think this was a very positive step and you will recall when we were talking about the budget, that over a period of six, seven or eight years, weíd actually had a fairly consistent decline in the funding of the Planning Commission activities, so I think this was a step in the right direction, as far as the Department is concerned. Weíre looking forward to working with you on all of these items and I think, too, it should be mentioned that in the presentation that this is part of a five-year program. These studies are the first step in updating the Master Plan which should come around the year 2000. In order to really look at the plan, you need to do these research and analysis steps to provide the data so that the Commission and the public will know where the community stands right now and what do these numbers tell us, what is the research.

 

The next stage in the planning process is what types of policy changes or actions do we want to explore and how do we want to do that. What type of futuring does the Commission want to go through and itís been our experience that takes time. You canít do it effectively in six months; it takes longer than that. So thatís built into another two or three year increment of that five-year program. And, as we did in 1993, we will get too late in the decade when the final decisions and actions would be made to update the Master Plan. And thatís where that process stands and what these studies were intended to be; a part of that five-year planning process. The commissioners who were at that meeting were able to get the point across that while a housing survey or a data collection for a thoroughfare plan might seem like just spending money on information, that was an integral part of what is necessary to update a Master Plan, particularly in a community that is changing and growing and expanding.

 

Thatís a brief report on what happened in terms of Council action. They also approved a budget for the Department that supports your efforts, so we will be in good shape for the coming fiscal year to provide adequate services to you and weíre looking forward to moving ahead on all of these items.

 

 

Chairman Clark: The budget in large measure ended up where it is, too, because of the efforts of Mr. Wahl, members of the Budget Committee, the Planning Department, and Mr. Rogers and his associates and all the efforts they put into it. I think itís a step in the right direction for the future of this community because we are a growing community and when you invest money in your community, youíre investing it in the members of the community and it will only make this community better. It will be well spent and the return that we will get for that investment, I think, is not capable of counting, but it will come back year after year after year in the future.

 

 

2. 24-HOUR OPERATION

 

 

Staff Planner Greg Capote: Commission members were furnished with a memorandum and associated attachments. During the discussion, when that item was addressed at City Council, the purpose was to get some further direction or suggestions from Council as the Implementation Committee and Planning Commission had not reached a consensus whether to install a requirement that would not allow a third shift or 24-hour operations of industrial areas that are adjacent to residential. Thatís not how it came out. The Council is sending it back to the Planning Commission and giving the Commission a time line of 45 days to return to Council with a recommendation. The Council wishes for the Planning Commission to either give the administration the direction that itís something they no longer wish to visit, given they do not agree or set a Public Hearing date. Weíll go through the appropriate procedures, set a Public Hearing and have that Hearing and further debate. Weíll have that language before the Commission and then weíll go on to City Council. That is the purpose of why that item is on the agenda this evening. Iíve gone over those issues which surround 24-Hour Operation, both verbally and in writing, and the Implementation Committeeís looked at this numerous times. As you discuss it this evening, Iíd only like to mention that having restrictions of that nature, as I understand it from the private sector and dealing with industrial brokers, would render many of those properties useless to many users. Itís not to say that there wouldnít be a user for those sites, itís just that the likelihood would be much less as many manufacturing and light manufacturing facilities need to run a third shift. If the Commission decides that this is appropriate, that they give special considerations to repair, maintenance, cleaning, security, and those type of operations which must take place during the evening hours. I look to the Commission to give the administration direction as to what they would like to see. If there are any questions regarding my memo and attachment, I stand ready to do my best to answer those questions.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Asked if during Mr. Capoteís investigation on one of the concerns from the public, in regards to accidents, your research determined what in regards to decrease/increase of accidents on the second or third shifts? Did you look particularly at Interlock (they have another location and I assume they are on a 24-hour operation there). Also, we have the Wixom plant; there are several businesses in the immediate area that have three shifts and Iíd like to know, specifically, whether or not there is an increase or decrease in accidents on the third shift at any of these businesses.

 

 

Mr. Capote: In his research dealing with Ordinance Enforcement Officers, the police department, and US Bureau of Labor, he could find no evidence that suggests that there are any accidents or greater accidents in the evening hours than that of the day time. In talking with Mr. Bob Peterson, Interlock specifically, he has mentioned that there have been no increases to any kind of accidents whether personal injury or otherwise in the evening as opposed to daylight hours.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Asked if Mr. Capote had checked with any human resource personnel at these businesses. Mr. Capote stated he did not poll any businesses specifically. He left his research efforts to the police department, ordinance enforcement, and US government.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Asked if Mr. Capote could do that if requested by the Commission? Mr. Capote replied that he would.

 

 

Member Hoadley: In your research, did you determine whether there is any increased hazard from employees of third shifts causing any problems with neighbors? Mr. Capote reported that he could find no evidence that there were specific problems with employees loitering around the work area, parking lot, intruding into peopleís homes, traversing their yards; no interference there whatsoever.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Asked if there was any increase in crime. Mr. Capote stated "apparently no." Mr. Capote continued on stating that there have been some complaints of parking lot sweeping and cleaning in the evening hours when those parking lots adjacent to residential areas are dusty; they are noisy and a disturbance. There have been complaints, specifically from 10:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m. Itís not to say that there have been no complaints but according to the records keeper at the police department, to the best of her knowledge, no complaints. The way in which records are kept in the police department, thereís no way of accessing that information.

 

 

Member Hoadley stated he has read all the minutes, including public comments, both here and at City Council. What weight was given in regard to moving the parking on the other side of the building, away from the residents? Would that meet the intent of this Special Land Use in regards to cars and parking and slamming of doors? And would the building buffering that decrease that kind of a noise factor?

 

 

Mr. Capote stated that in the Ordinance there are requirements for special conditions and required conditions when there is an industrial use adjacent to a residential area so that there is proper separation of car doors slamming, people coming and going, trucks, loading dock doors, etc., so that they are away from the residential area.

 

 

Member Hoadley asked if this same business had been on the other side of the street, what control would the Planning Commission have had in reducing those same problems?

 

 

Mr. Capote: If there were a similar use, such as Interlock, and if it were across the street, it would not require a Special Land Use; therefore, Section 30.06 Requiring a Public Hearing, would not apply and the provisions would not apply.

 

 

Member Hoadley said that if he is analyzing this correctly, this Special Land Use abutting residential gives the Planning Commission greater authority and greater latitude in regard to making these types of projects more compatible with residential use, is that correct?

 

Mr. Capote: "Precisely." The Special Land Use gives the Planning Commission the opportunity to hear the public input and their concerns. Theyíre the ones who live in the area adjacent to any proposed light industrial use. The Planning Commission then has the opportunity to question the applicant. During that question and answer period, there may be certain findings and the Planning Commission could put, possibly, some requirements to install further protections to that residential area to ensure that there is adequate coverage as to any adverse odors, wastes, noise, etc.

 

 

Member Hoadley asked if any research had been done in regard to office use on a 24-hour basis which would have been an acceptable use adjacent to property owners and would not have taken Special Land Use request.

 

 

Mr. Capote stated not specifically to office, but to commercial uses - for example, Ten Mile and Meadowbrook, northwest quadrant - Farmer Jackís. You have a residential use just to the west of that and it has been a problem for street cleaning. Thatís a 24-hour use and often thereís a large street sweeper that comes to the parking lot and picks up all the debris because the parking lot is empty. There have been complaints to that issue.

 

Member Hoadley stated that those are accepted uses, correct? Mr. Capote replied "yes they are."

 

 

Member Hoadley stated that since Mr. Capote did not specifically delve into 24-hour office uses in this area, would he have the capacity of doing that? Mr. Capote stated he did have the capacity to do that, but he is not sure that he has the resources and available staff and his own personal time to poll questions of all the various businesses and establishments that would fit into that scenario within a 45 day time period.

 

 

Member Hoadley asked if Mr. Capote is aware of any offices that run on a 24-hour basis within ten miles of here? Mr. Capote stated he is not aware of any, but he is sure they do exist. Possibly accounting functions, computer systems that run batches in the evening, late night hours.

 

 

Member Hoadley asked if the Planning Commission should decide to come forth with a new ordinance in regards to a ban on third shifts of any type, whether it be office, manufacturing, whatever, how would you envision the City could enforce that? What would the cost to the City be to try to enforce it?

 

 

Mr. Capote wouldnít guess as to the costs. At first glance you would be required to hire an additional person and whatever the salary and associated benefits would be, that would be Step I. Enforcing that would be difficult.

 

 

Chairman Clark stated that in light of the questions that were raised by Mr. Hoadley, Mr. Capote might want to check with the State Department of Labor and the Bureau of Workersí Compensation in terms of third shift accidents. You can probably get some specific information from them without too much difficulty.

 

 

Mr. Capote stated he did contact both Lansing and the Regional Office in Chicago and any industrial accidents or office accidents, personal injury -- nothingís really been compiled for evening hours. There are two reports in the packet that you had, prior to this one, and Mr. Capote spoke to the authors of those two articles, and he assumes they are authorities on this type of industrial accidents, workersí compensation, etc. And, to the best of their knowledge, they could find no evidence that there were additional accidents and personal injuries during the evening hours. Mr. Capote could pursue and request that they give that to him in writing.

 

 

Member Bonaventura said there were several ways to answer a question. When Member Hoadley asked you if you found any evidence of increased accidents at night, you said "no," you hadnít found any evidence of increased accidents at night. You havenít found any decrease in accidents at night either, have you, as far as any information on that?

 

Mr. Capote stated he hadnít found any information either way.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that was important to point out because the impression he got was the way Mr. Capote answered the question the evidence pointed that there wasnít an increase. In actuality, itís hard to find information on the subject. Mr. Capote said that is correct. Member Bonaventura stated as far as complaints, the Police Department has a hard time getting you information on listing complaints in a certain district. Mr. Capote stated that is correct simply by virtue of the way their computer system is arranged. Apparently they could do it manually, but what kind of time and resources are we going to devote to finding that information.

 

 

Member Bonaventura: About a week ago, this came up before Council, and they sent it back to us for 45 days. Were there any suggestions of having a Public Hearing on this? Mr. Capote stated he did not recall any specific suggestions that the Planning Commission should hold a Public Hearing. He started that he heard the directive as that the Planning Commission has 45 days to decide what they want to do on the topic. Member Bonaventura stated that it is within the Planning Commissionís power to hold a Public Hearing on any subject, right? Mr. Capote said that was correct.

 

 

MOTION BY Member Bonaventura to discuss having a Public Hearing on 24-hour Operation and possibly working off of the Ordinance that was supplied by Fried, Watson and Bugbee. NO SECOND TO THE MOTION.

 

 

Mr. Capote stated that ordinance was a suggestion by the Implementation Committee; that may be a starting point and that language go to the City Council as a sample of what might be and, specifically, that was in hopes to facilitate further discussion and possibly extract recommendations from Council of which it failed to do and now itís come back here.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated he might be wrong about the Ordinance; maybe thatís Councilís business as far as dealing with the ordinances directly. He would like to hear some discussion on whether or not we should have a Public Hearing, what we would base the Public Hearing on. Personally, he would support the Public Hearing because of the fact that it would bring all the parties out, it would bring the business community, the real estate brokers, the residents out to discuss this. This is basically what Councilís looking for. We didnít give them a recommendation; we discussed it briefly. They deserve more than that from us and Iíd like to get as much information for them as possible. Iíd also like to make a decision on this for them within the 45 days. Iíd be willing to listen to any discussion on that.

 

 

Member Mutch asked if we were talking about a Public Hearing in which weíre just soliciting opinion and information to have a more informed discussion by the Planning Commission or are we talking about the Ordinance? She would be supportive of having a Public Hearing to solicit information and opinion, but not with a Public Notice that says "this is an Ordinance being discussed" because then people think this is the direction youíre going. Then you have to have another Public Hearing for whatever you eventually propose. If we were to go ahead and have the Public Hearing, I would like to see us make every effort to have, in addition to the public notice, as balanced a group so that we are indeed hearing from people. Maybe by letting those companies involved in light industrial operations that feel the need for a third shift, office situations, we can make an effort to let those businesses know as well as going through the homeownersí associations groups and let them know we want to hear from them. Especially all of those residential areas going out the Grand River direction where light industrial is yet to be developed.

 

 

Member Lorenzo stated her personal preference would be to have a Public Hearing on something more focused such as an ordinance. Her personal opinion is we have to be more focused on something and if itís a proposed ordinance, whether people agree with it or disagree with it, youíre going to get comments to that effect, but at least itís focused on something, itís not something abstract. In response to some of Dennis Watson questions in his letter to Greg Capote, she sees, from what the residents have expressed, the two main issues are noise and security. In noise that is the concussion of car doors slamming and itís a cumulative effect. Not one or two car doors, but perhaps 30-40 car doors slamming in close proximity at around the same time, continuously every night. Engines starting in close proximity at around the same time; not one engine or two engines, but possibly 30-40 engines. And possibly employees have a lunch break or a conversation out in the parking lot. From a security standpoint, itís the idea of having what could be construed to be strangers in close proximity to your home during the night, in the darkness. The first thing that the Commission and the City Council has to do is either recognize or not recognize that those are problems. Personally, I think it is a problem. If itís 40 car doors slamming, that would be a noise issue. Thatís me, thatís where I personally can see the problem. The bigger question is as nine members of the Planning Commission and seven members of City Council, do we recognize those issues as a "problem." I think that the I-1 District, as I understand it, was supposed to be residential friendly and less intense than other uses, and, in that sense, I think that would add to the recognition of such a problem of noise and security. I donít think that our current standards, even in reference to noise, adequately addresses those issues. In the category of noise, we go by decibel levels and Iím not sure that decibel levels are going to accurately describe or measure a disturbance of several car doors slamming or of engines starting simultaneously. I would be in support of at least drafting an ordinance; I think it needs to be more inclusive than what was previously drafted. I think we would need to make as exceptions, in addition to maintenance personnel, security personnel, custodial personnel, the people that do need to be there after hours. Thatís my personal opinion. I could support an ordinance to that effect because I believe that we do need to be extra sensitive with I-1 abutting residential and if weíre going to have a Public Hearing, I would like to see the Public Hearing focused on some type of an ordinance.

 

 

Member Taub reiterated that the problems we have seen, whether you are on one side of the Interlock question or the other, result intentionally, unintentionally, from poor planning. Itís important that we all remember that most industrial projects are, by way of planning, isolated from where people actually live. During the Interlock episode, I went to the Interlock project in Westland and there was a little bit of residential around there that I would describe as blighted. As planners, community planners, professional planners, collectively, itís important to take a look at trying to correct, after the fact, some of the problems engendered by poor planning. One step in that direction is having 24-hour operation limitation by way of ordinance. At a certain point in time, you had development of light industrial (you still have development) along the Grand River Corridor, and itís just a question of co-existence and creating a buffer by way of an ordinance. We canít do enough to look at this issue, to come up with an appropriate ordinance, that would also protect the rights of industrial businesses that require a certain amount of activity to survive.

 

 

Member Weddington stated she agreed with Member Lorenzoís sentiments and would like to see this move ahead. Everyoneís frustrated with this issue at this table, in the public, and at Council, and having something in a draft form in a more concrete fashion would help to move this ahead, even if it gets changed or modified as a result of the Public Hearing and discussion.

 

 

Member Hodges has a need to have a definition of the word "operation." Living in close proximity to Briarwood Point, at 4 oíclock in the morning trucks can be heard backing up and they are stocking. When you talk about operation, that really says a lot. Is it cleaning, stocking, anything that is happening within that structure or are you talking about a business? Sometimes we tend to let our emotions get involved. If people are there for the purpose of going to work, they are going to be working. They have no reason to be standing around slamming car doors all night; it just doesnít make sense. When we pick up our paper and read about the vandalism in our neighborhood, itís usually another neighbor whoís vandalizing our homes -- itís not someone from outside our community. There are a lot of misgivens and we need to look at those two things - emotions and the fact that we need to zero in on the word "operation" because are we saying you canít stock if we decide we donít want to have 24-hour operation? I would also like to see a proposed ordinance because I agree that it gives people something to identify with.

 

 

Member Hoadley stated we need to be focused, but thinks we need to be focused on the question of "do we" or "donít we" feel that a limitation of 24-hour operation is advisable. Thatís what we should focus the Public Hearing on, not try to address a new ordinance. That should come after we, as a determining body, make a decision that "yes, we do need to limit it" or "no, we do not." Everybody should be involved in the process; developers, realtors, citizens that are abutting these type of projects. If we have a Public Hearing, we should set aside a specific night and have nothing else on the agenda because this is a three or four hour process, at least, to give everybody a fair shot at it. If we determine that "yes, we should have some limitations," that is to alter the existing ordinance, then we work on the language. But to try to debate the specific language of the Public Hearing would be inappropriate.

 

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Watson if in the draft of Ordinance 95-18, the change would be "where adjacent to property zoned for R-A or 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 use, hours of operation shall be restricted to 6:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m. except for repairs of manufacturing equipment." Would it be possible to add "building maintenance" to that? In other words, "except for repairs of manufacturing equipment and building maintenance?" Mr. Watson replied it would be possible to add that or any other exceptions.

 

 

Chairman Clark asked that if going along with Member Hoadleyís suggestion we make this on an evening when it would be the only item on the agenda? Member Bonaventura said "no." Chairman Clark stated it would be difficult because unless you make it the first item on the agenda, youíll never get to it.

 

MOTION BY Bonaventura, Second by Hodges, to hold a Public Hearing, one item agenda, based on the draft Ordinance that has been supplied, for the next available date to be determined by the Planning Clerk to meet the 45 day requirement of City Council. MOTION FAILED.

 

 

Yes: Lorenzo, Taub, Weddington, Bonaventura

No: Clark, Hoadley, Hodges, Mutch

 

 

Mr. Wahl suggested that if we did schedule a special meeting, we may have other Planning related items that we could have as discussion items for that meeting if time allowed so that we could make the evening flexible to accomplish other work if that was a possibility.

 

One of the things that we have a concern about when we researched this and when talking with some Oakland County officials, was a lack of any model to follow because on a national scale, controls were not on hours of operation. I donít hear a lot of support for performance standards which is one major way of controlling these types of operations.

 

Another solution is the Master Plan and looking at where these areas near residential might be problematic. There are other solutions besides an ordinance and Iím wondering if the Commission would entertain looking at other solutions, besides drafting an ordinance, that act as something other than an ordinance because nationally that is not looked at as the way to deal with these kinds of things. Iím just giving you the benefit of what research and discussion weíve had, and Brandon Rogers had prepared a map that shows all the industrial areas of the City and what abuts residential and what doesnít and I would suggest that we might want to expand your view and look at other solutions besides just an ordinance amendment regarding 24-hour operation.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that he did not hear any suggestions that related directly to his motion.

 

 

Member Mutch: If you have a Public Hearing and the focus of your hearing is to identify the problems and, hopefully, to identify some possible solutions to those problems, a proposed ordinance or draft ordinance might indeed be one of those solutions. But to take a Public Hearing and say the purpose of the Public Hearing is whether or not this particular proposed ordinance should be recommended to Council, in my view, narrows it way too much. What we need to do is go back to the beginning when this first came to the Implementation Committee which is, "do we indeed need an ordinance that specifically addresses 24-hour operation?" There are problems created in varying degrees when you have 24-hour operation next to residential, but there is nothing that Iíve seen that says that every business that has a 24-hour operation next to residential generates those problems or the same range of problems or problems to the same degree. I think weíve lost sight of the fact that when you have a situation that calls for Special Land Use, we still without that ordinance have the ability to put certain restrictions on the business that takes place there to make it more residential friendly. We should be reminded that when thereís a Special Land Use situation, we do have the power to look at each project on its merit, looking at the negatives that might be generated by that business, 24-hour operation or not. We also need to look at the issue of just because workers are coming in over night on that third shift, doesnít mean that theyíre up to no good, or that theyíre more likely to wander into a neighboring yard than a day shift worker will. Or that theyíre going to make more noise at a time that you donít want it. Obviously if youíre sleeping at night, youíre going to be disturbed if people are having a party in the parking lot, but why is that any less objectionable in the daytime if youíre a family with small children that are trying to sleep. If you get back to performance standards and you get back to the nature of what is objectionable, we can deal with it more effectively by identifying what the real problems are and then look at a range of solutions and see what tools do we have now to implement solutions and what might we be missing that we could add, whether by ordinance or changes to the Master Plan.

 

I suggest that we look at having a Public Hearing, have a proposed ordinance presented by someone as a solution, and have that discussed within the context of identifying problems and finding solutions for them. Some of the discussion seems to assume that we need an ordinance. Somewhere along the line we had a discussion and came to the conclusion that there must be an ordinance; just a question of how itís worded. I donít think thatís happened at all. Some of the discussion also seems to indicate that itís not okay to have workers coming in; itís not okay to have people in the area over night because of the noise (closing car doors, starting engines, etc.), but somehow itís okay to make the exception for the street cleaning equipment, the maintenance to the building and surrounding area. If youíre in the Farmer Jackís parking lot when they are cleaning the parking lot, the noise is far more objectionable than if every building there was occupied and had workers arriving at the same time and all slamming their car doors and starting their engines. When you do have a shift change, while you may have double or slightly less than double the numbers of people coming and going, by having that additional shift, arenít they all arriving and leaving at about the same time? You donít have people leaving and then an hour later another group coming and starting noise intrusion again.

 

 

Chairman Clark: All comments made are appreciated and agrees it would be beneficial to have a Public Hearing on this. He wouldnít want to see us limit ourselves to a specific ordinance if thereís a possibility of other solutions. One of those might be to look at the Master Plan. Look at zoning; are there certain areas where I-1, even though itís a less intense industrial use, is none the less abutting residential and possibly remove that use from that area and contemplate some other zoning in its place. And encourage the development at a more rapid pace of some of the land that we still have left thatís zoned for industrial development. On those sites, we may want to downgrade from a more intense to a less intense use to attract the type of industrial uses that will be coming on line in the 21st Century. We have to view the ordinance in an area in which we would have the ability to have some control; in other words, health, safety, public welfare, where we would have some legitimate concerns and not simply trying to overly limit or burden the business simply because it abuts residential.

 

We have to be extremely careful that we donít place ourselves in a situation where we take an action where we would deprive someone of the use of their property. We have to be very careful between oneís right to use an industrial site under appropriate circumstances and proper zoning, and at the same time, to respect the peaceful enjoyment of those persons who have residence in an immediately abutting area. I could support the Public Hearing but would not want to see ourselves just limit the discussion or possible action that we might contemplate to a ordinance. The reason is that we have to have the ability, the means, and the manpower to enforce any ordinance that we might pass. One of the concerns and problems that we have in the community - we have a number of ordinances on the books, we have limited manpower, we have limited means and ability to enforce those ordinances. We hear that statement all the time, we donít need more laws, we need, perhaps, the enforcement of the laws we already have on the books. Part of that problem is simply manpower and a means and ability to enforce what we say are the ordinances or the laws. Thatís something else we want to take into consideration, too, where perhaps by another vehicle we may end up achieving the same end rather than simply passing an ordinance that we never have the manpower or the ability to enforce.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Is voting against the motion for the reasons just expressed by Chairman Clark. I think we do need a Public Hearing specifically to deal with whether or not there is a problem with 24-hour operation abutting residential. Thatís what the focus should be; having everybody testify. If itís a consensus of the Planning Commission, after hearing that testimony, we should then look at the alternatives at other sessions. I hope we have another motion that specifically addresses what Chairman Clark and Member Mutch said and what Iíve said.

 

 

Member Hodges asked for clarification: This will come from staff, will it not, the information that is presented at the Public Hearing?

 

 

Mr. Capote stated that the Implementation Committee has discussed this at length and there is no consensus. He could come up with some recommendations and clarify that with Counsel and Mr. Rogers, and give it to the Planning Commission to review.

 

 

Member Hodges asked if the motion on the floor would limit only to an ordinance? She perceives this as a staff presentation including other information. Weíre not there to approve the ordinance; just discuss the ordinance. Yes or no?

 

 

Mr. Capote said it is his understanding that the Commission wishes to set a Public Hearing date for the proposed adoption of restrictions of 24-hour operation in I-1 districts that abut residential areas.

 

 

Member Hodges said that is not the interpretation that she received. She understood that weíre having a Public Hearing for the purpose of getting information from both public and staff whether or not we limit it to only an ordinance.

 

 

Mr. Capote added that he has done some research and supplied materials to the Commission (minutes, memorandum), thereís been a Public Hearing and public forum here and he doesnít know what else the staff can report. If thereís going to be direction from the Planning Commission to the staff to carry out certain duties, he will do his best to carry those out, but he is asking the Commission to specify what is it that the Commission wants specifically.

 

 

Mr. Wahl stated that he sees this as being a Public Hearing to gain information from the public beyond what weíve already been able to provide from professional sources, committee meetings, etc. What we can do is send out an informational description of what the meeting is all about, perhaps provide some background material to the homeowner groups that we normally have on our mailing list and that we do communicate with, and use that as a method of obtaining additional input. We can also go back to the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations that are in the business of industrial activity or development and see whether theyíre interested in coming to a Public Hearing. They have had some participation at the committee level. He doubts that weíll find anything that we havenít found already. We can do that if you would endorse that. However, at this point, the motion on the floor as he understands it, is specifically to deal with draft language for an ordinance and, if that motion passes, thatís what we would transmit to the public - that weíre looking at an ordinance and hereís the language that weíre discussing. Whatever your motion would be, his thought would be to direct that information to the people who might be interested in coming to a Public Hearing.

 

 

Member Lorenzo stated again that when you propose a Public Hearing for the purpose of focusing on a proposed ordinance, people assume, even people at this table, that a decision or conclusion has already been arrived at, that an ordinance is needed and youíre only debating how that ordinance will be worded, what will be included, and what wonít, but in fact, an ordinance is needed. I donít think weíre at that point. Iím not saying that we might not get there, Iím just saying I donít think that weíve had that discussion and arrived at that conclusion. I think that we should be having a Public Hearing because we need the information and for the benefit of those who are not on the Implementation Committee, but the staff has already done extensive and exhaustive research and it appears it has been found necessary to have an ordinance of the type that is being proposed. Not that weíve been able to find nor are records apparently kept in a way that we can easily access them to answer some of the questions that were raised here earlier. If we want to have a Public Hearing on whether or not there are problems associated with 24-hour operation next to residential, then let that be the focus and let everybody say, from their point of view, what those problems are or what their proposed solutions might be. We may find support in unexpected places for an ordinance that addresses 24-hour operation and we may find support for something broader then what weíre talking about here, or maybe weíll find an alternative all together as Chairman Clark suggested.

 

 

Member Lorenzo would not be in support of the motion thatís on the table because it means that weíre starting at the point that the assumption has been made that an ordinance is required and this is the one that weíre proposing, that we may fine tune it, but we will be moving ahead with an ordinance. I would support a motion for something more general.

 

 

Member Taub stated that we should have a Public Hearing specifically dealing with the question as to whether or not a 24-hour operation limitation should be considered. The hearing should be a separate hearing from our regular hearings and should be the only subject on the agenda. The general public should be invited including any interested party which would include the Chamber of Commerce, developers, homeowners, that are adjacent to potential I-1 zoning. In direction to the Planning Department, there are specific things that you could testify to. For instance, you could talk to some of the Human Resource people in businesses that do have that operation to determine exactly whether there are any accidents or not rather than go to the state you can just make a couple of phone calls. You could also check to see what kind of buffering other cities have between I-1 and residential.

 

 

MOTION BY Taub, Second by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a specific Public Hearing on a specific date dealing only with whether or not it is advisable to limit 24-hour operations on I-1 zoning abutting residential.

 

 

Member Lorenzo stated that one of the problems at the Implementation Committee meeting became quickly apparent that itís very difficult to identify the businesses that have three shifts unless there is a problem. Itís difficult to identify them and to find out if theyíve had problems. Mr. Capote can give us some idea of how many businesses there are in the city that could potentially have a third shift that we donít know about and for him to begin identifying them in that way. Member Taub said he was referring to possibly calling the Ford Plant in Wixom.

 

 

Member Lorenzo stated that the notice be as broad as possible, however, apart from our usual legal notice, we encourage the newspaper and the Chamber of Commerce and other large groups to publicize this in any way we can and set a date that allows for reasonable publicity because to contact all the property owners adjacent to I-1 is going to be prohibitively expensive just because of that Grand River Corridor alone.

 

 

Member Mutch asked if we would be required to identify specifically those property owners adjacent since weíre not, by this motion, specifically addressing a specific zone.

 

 

Mr. Watson said "no," and if you were doing a text change to the ordinance, you wouldnít be legally required for purposes of a Public Hearing to notify specific property owners. Your reason for doing that is not because of the legal requirements of amending the zoning ordinance, because you want to get broad input on the issue. He doesnít see tying staff down having to go through every sidwell in the book to try to identify those property owners.

 

 

Mr. Capote stated that the direction of the Commission is to set a Public Hearing date for a meeting for a public forum and at that time there would be no proposed language, but simply to explore the topic. Is that correct? Chairman Clark stated "yes."

 

Mr. Capote asked if this item is to be a single agenda item. Chairman Clark stated "yes."

 

 

3. PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

 

Chairman Clark reported there was a request from the Administrative Liaison Committee for discussion and direction regarding future transcription of Planning Commission Minutes. Dennis Watson was asked to give a brief summary of his memorandum and concerns that his offices have from a legal perspective.

 

 

Mr. Watson stated that the requirements by law under the Open Meetings Act are not for minutes of great detail. Essentially, what the Open Meetings Act says is that you have to have minutes that show the date, the time, the place, the members present, the members absent, any decisions made at a meeting open to the public, and the purposes for which a closed session is held. Thereís nothing in the statute that requires the type of verbatim or close to verbatim minutes that you use. The concern that we have is we find the types of minutes that you use very helpful when weíre reviewing or whenever anyone else is reviewing what youíve done or when a matterís going to Council and wanting your recommendations. And Council wants to know, in addition to what your specific motion says, why you came to that conclusion. When we have the depth of your discussion in the minutes, that really provides that.

 

For purposes of subsequent litigation, if youíre going to modify the way youíre doing your minutes, thereís some basic things that Iíd like to see in them. The first is that the minutes always, obviously, identify what the decision is that you make, but, in addition to that, reveal the reasons for your decision, reveal within the context of those minutes, that the reasons given for your decision pertain to the standards within your ordinance that pertain to that particular decision. And then reveal that there was support by way of information, factual information, or things presented to you that support those reasons for that decision. If itís not going to be through the types of minutes that youíre doing now, it ought to be through some other form and that may be much more formal motions that give much more detail, giving the reasons, giving the support in the record thatís been put to you for the reasons, primarily to link the decision that youíre making to the ordinance standards that you have.

The conclusion that I come to is that the Open Meetings Act does not (and no other statute) require detailed minutes. Theyíre helpful but you may be able to come up with some other method to get to what Iím looking for.

 

 

MOTION by Taub, SECOND by Lorenzo: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To continue the recording and preservation of the actions of the Planning Commission as presently constituted by completing the full minutes of our meetings.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

 

Member Hoadley: Since he was the one that had this put on the agenda in the first place and the one who expressed a concern, he would like to speak to the item. Weíre spending $40,000 a year to produce these minutes just for the Planning Commission. Weíre probably spending another $40,000 for the City Council minutes. My idea on this would be to condense these minutes into a much more readable dissertation, only 8, 10, 15 pages rather than 125 or 150 pages. Youíd always have the minutes preserved on tape. Iím not suggesting that we would ever dispense with minutes, but just condense them. Hopefully, we will be on line fairly soon with our new computer system, within the next year or two, wherein those minutes can be put on computer and anybody can pull them up and read them, whatever portions they want or reproduce them whenever they need to, right from the computer. I just think thereís a better way of doing this. I donít think itís very difficult for me to go through and read 150 pages, 125 pages, 100 pages of minutes, but you have the Zoning Board minutes that we read, and you have the Council minutes that we read. We get packets that are thick with minutes. I have spent as much as 12 hours just reading minutes and Iíve got to think thereís a better way of doing them and to me it would be a savings to the City and the Planning Commission if we could use that clerical time to more advantage. Tatís why I put it on here and thatís why I wanted to see it discussed.

 

 

Member Bonaventura: When he first came on the Planning Commission he heard other new Members say the same thing - the first thing theyíre amazed at is the amount of paper. He shares Member Hoadleyís concerns. One of the comments made was that we can access minutes on a computer. Computers are nice but theyíre not magic. There has to be input and somebody has to type it into a computer, which is the same thing as what weíre doing now. As far as other methods of dispensing information once itís put into a computer, I support that greatly in order to save paper and time.

 

As far as reading the minutes that are supplied to us, I only read whatís relevant, and Iím not going to waste my time reading minutes that arenít relevant to the subject matter for the coming week. I donít have the time and I donít think anybody has the time for such things. I know it sounds terrible spending that amount of money having somebody doing minutes, but many times weíre talking to future Planning Commissions and the Councilís talking to future Councils, and I do believe that itís necessary. Itís one of the things thatís part of the process and we have to do even though it seems wasteful. Many times on this Commission and before I was on this Commission, comments were that these minutes are very useful to the public. Researching information, theyíre invaluable. I support the motion.

 

 

Member Mutch stated that she has a middle-of-the-road attitude about this. I do think that sometimes when things are recorded at great length, the temptation is to only read what appears relevant, but because what we approve as minutes, which are near-verbatim but not quite like a court transcript, we approve those and that then becomes the official record. It is what people have to fall back on in the future whether thatís future Planning Commission, the Council, or members of the public. I try to do this minimally, but there are times when I go back only what may be four weeks later, after weíve had a meeting and I look at something that I said, and there are several references, using pronouns -- "he said that he," or "the presentation by him was recommended by him." If you donít get that clarified right away and if you were there and canít track it, how in the world can anybody five years down the road or somebody who wasnít at the meeting track it? I donít find thatís particularly useful to anyone.

 

What I would be in favor of is continuing what weíre doing only because we donít have a good alternative at the moment. I would strongly urge us to consider looking at how other people do this, other bodies do it, and find a way that we can record the information we want in a briefer way. I think a step in that direction was suggested by Mr. Watson which is if we tighten up our motions and make a motion that we think about and itemize exactly what weíre doing and why weíre doing it. I think if we move in that direction, we will find a lot of the other verbiage to be superfluous and not necessary because that will encapsulate the substance of any discussions that we have. Of course, it also would be helpful if we would be a little more focused in what we say to begin with. All of us, including myself, have a tendency to go on and make speeches.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Maybe itís too soon to discuss this and maybe it was brought up prematurely, but weíre going to have the capacity to put this on line where anybody would have access to these minutes. The savings would be tremendous if we dispense with all these written things and just summarize them. You type them one time into the computer and a year from now you can bring them back up again. There would be the savings of clerical time and reproducing these over and over again, and we will always have the recording of the minutes on tape. I think itís something we need to consider, maybe not tonight, but some other time.

 

 

Member Hodges: Maybe we could consider asking support staff to suggest some formats that might be more acceptable. Theyíre the ones who do the work. Perhaps we could ask them to present us with some alternative formats. We may keep them, we may not.

 

 

Chairman Clark: Would support the motion as presently before us. He is in favor of saving tax payersí funds whenever we can, but, at the same time, doesnít think it would be prudent or wise to ask someone on the staff to begin to synopsize minutes and determine what may or may not be important to record, knowing that at any of our meetings, the documentation may be needed later by Council or another public body or in connection with litigation when some action that the Commission has taken is challenged. Thinks it is a substantial sum of money, but in the long run, money well spent and itís comparable to a legislative history. When you try to figure out what the reasoning or logic of a particular action was, you go to the legislative history and thatís the function that our minutes serve for us. Thinks that we need this and would support the motion.

 

 

Mr. Wahl : I would add to what Member Hodges said that we could certainly take a look at some alternatives and talk to Dennis Watson. Steve Cohen has pointed out to me that the City of Farmington Hills, which certainly has many of the same kinds of circumstances with growth that we have, has minutes that are about half of what ours are and they apparently manage to function with that particular arrangement. We could look at some other alternatives.

 

When this item came up at the City Council Budget Sessions, there were a couple of rather strong remarks that "we like it the way it is" and "weíd like to keep it that way." They did reflect on the ability to access that information at any time for whatever subject matter was under consideration. Thatís something you may want to consider.

 

In conclusion, we wanted to get a policy determination because we have heard comments from Commissioners over the years that "why doesnít anybody look at some other way of doing that." We did take it to Committee and the Committee gave us direction to at least bring it forward to the Commission and get some sort of position at this point in time and either put it to rest or look at it further or do something substantially different.

 

The other point Iíd make is that we are very busy in the Department. Weíre at an all time high in both the planning process and development process and thereís no prospects of any suggestions for additional staff. We have 33 per cent of our clerical staff devoting about 90 per cent of time to minutes. Itís a question administratively of what is important to you as a Commission in terms of providing support to you when we have a third of our clerical staff doing one particular assignment. Could they do other things that would be of equal or greater value to the Commission in the light of the unlikelihood for any additional personnel.

 

Those are just some thoughts on it from the Departmentís perspective and we would follow your direction.

 

 

Member Bonaventura: Since we are on the subject, if the ideaís to free up one of the staff from just typing these minutes all year long, there is the possibility technology can help. There are videos with a counter in the corner where you can actually fast forward the video to a menu. The subject matter is at a certain number, then you stop it, and listen to the tape. There is a possibility that we could document these meetings by using a video tape. MetroVision or somebody would have such equipment that could do that. It seems like it would take less time to do such a thing.

 

Chairman Clark: You have the problem of (a) whoís going to buy the equipment; itís going to have to be here at City hall on a permanent basis; (b) youíre going to need an employee available at all times should someone come in from the public or an attorney and say "I want to see the tape of a particular proceeding." The employee has to find the tape and stay there while running the tape. If the individual wants a copy, the employee has to make the copy and then you have to decide what youíre going to charge for the copy.

 

 

Member Mutch: One of the reasons that we keep these minutes the way we do is for the benefit of the public, particularly those people who do not have cable and, therefore, donít have the opportunity to view us as the meeting occurs, and those people who donít have direct access to the information being presented. Currently, we have minutes of Planning Commission Meetings as well as City Council minutes kept at the Library and I donít see any reason why the suggestion that Commission Bonaventura made, in terms of having a tape of a meeting, audio or video, stored somewhere so all the public has to do is come and view it. Just pull it off a shelf, check it out of the Library if you want. There seems to be some misunderstanding here, maybe itís on my part, but the audio tapes are only kept for a limited period of time, from what I understand, and videotapes that weíre talking about currently do not exist.

 

I believe Member Bonaventura tapes the meetings so he has a tape that he often refers to and maybe some of the rest of us have gotten the idea that what is going out over cable is somehow saved - itís not. Itís sent out "live," and it is not taped by MetroVision and itís not taped by Community Access. If we wanted to move in that direction, I think thatís great. We would have a tape made and have that tape available, and maybe the third step would be to index it so people can fast forward through it. But we donít do that now so we shouldnít jump to the conclusion that it is currently happening.

 

I have one question for Mr. Watson which is during the City Council discussions about whether or not they should go in the same direction of limiting their minutes, a comment was made that when you use tapes, somehow, that becomes part of your official record. Isnít there some way to have that as supporting your official record?

 

 

Mr. Watson stated itís not that itís your official record. Itís that whatever you keep is a public record, is a public record for purposes of freedom of information, so you have to be ready if somebody wants a copy of that, to give them a copy of that, to respond to that within the time frame thatís within the statute.

 

 

Member Mutch asked if the idea of having something available at the Library or from the City would work? Mr. Watson stated he didnít know if it would work or not. You would still have to prepare minutes. Maybe your idea is that if you have some sort of electronic record of it, you would keep less complete minutes and maybe thatís a possibility. The problem is that your minutes are still your official record of what happened at your meeting. Thatís a possibility, Iím not sure if itís a practical possibility.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Mrs. Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive. I see on the agenda later on this evening that you are going to be discussing the OS-3 district and I just wanted to say that back in October, I did sit in on an Implementation and Review Committee Meeting which did discuss the OS-3 district. I was told at that time that the OS-3 district is considered to be a more intensive use than an I-1 district. It was stated that OS-3 was being planned to abut residential. My copy of the proposed Ordinance which is from last October, and I havenít read the version that you have in front of you, but at that time it did not address OS-3 property abutting residential. There was no special land use stipulation or any requirement for a Public Hearing regarding placing this district next to residential. Based on continuing discussions regarding the intensity of development which would be compatible with residential properties, I would propose that there either be no OS-3 zoning abutting any residential property or at least a stipulation in the ordinance requiring special land use approval and other limitations when OS-3 would abut residential property. Thank you.

 

 

Member Hodges: As a point of clarification, her recommendation was that support staff check into different minutes formats and she wasnít sure if that was to be carried out or if staff received that recommendation.

 

 

Chairman Clark: There had been a recommendation for staff to see what other communities have been doing who have minutes shorter than ours.

 

 

Member Hodges asked if the staff had recommendations for a proposed format that the Commission could use that would be shorter. Mr. Wahl said they would look into the matter, but he thought there was a clear message to keep things the way they are.

 

 

4. POSSIBLE CITY-INITIATED RE-ZONINGS

 

 

Chairman Clark stated this was reference to a City Council request for a Planning Commission investigation of possible re-zoning of several parcels.

 

 

Mr. Wahl prefaced the report Brandon Roger did which was a summary of what this item is about by indicating that there have been a number of zoning and planning issues that have either bounced back and forth between City Council and the Planning Commission or were initiated from City Council discussions. We saw an opportunity to address that particular issue and bring this forward a little more quickly than would normally be the case. Typically, some of these would be referred to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and we have even had a recommendation that the Committee could have informal Public Hearings. What we have done is summarize some of the matters that had been before Council, look at the issues, and then place it on the agenda tonight for direction.

 

The point here is two things: (1) is the Planning Commission interested in taking any actions vis-a-vis City-initiated activity. Typically, there has been an informal policy that the City not aggressively do any re-zoning even to the extent of the Master Plan and Zoning Map. Any action for re-zoning would only be City-initiated re-zoning taken for specific reasons and other re-zonings would only be at the initiation of property owners. However, I think because Council had addressed these matters and was looking for some kind of report back, we did want to bring them forward.

 

The second question is if the Commission is interested in any circumstances of City-initiated re-zoning, would you want to schedule a Public Hearing on any of these items, obtain public input, and consider at that time whether to move forward to City Council with a recommendation for a City-initiated re-zoning.

 

As Brandon has outlined, and I think weíve had some discussion maybe even at this body, on these matters, this background information should be helpful in any determination as to whether to do anything with these particular issues. There is no rule or regulation or standard practice that would say to you because weíre not at the five year Master Plan or Zoning Review that itís not an accepted exception to consider taking these actions at this point in time or even amending the Master Plan. I think itís a guide and changes can be made during that five year time period, if there is sufficient justification and rationale to do that. Brandon Rogers could describe these three items in detail if you want.

 

 

Brandon Rogers: There are actually four areas; two segments of Town Center. It would seem to me that the re-zonings of the southeast quadrant to bring it all into the TC-1 is highly in order. We have some B-3 property there that allows much more intensive commercial use and in time we should be thinking of this as a TC-1 Main Street area. On the other side of Novi Road, southwest quadrant, Grand River/Novi Road, the intent here has always been that TC-1 Zoning was intended on the south side of Grand River and the north side of Grand River where we have heavy commercial and Expo Center would stay Town Center District, or in the case of the Expo Center, the Expo District. Flint Street that runs through this District is not the preferred alignment for the service ring road, but it reflects the intent to carry Main Street around to Town Center Drive, Crescent Blvd., and have that circular, internal ring road.

 

There is an application pending for a planned commercial center in the southwest quadrant. Mr. Keros withdrew his petition for TC-1 and he now has an agreement to purchase the parcel from Shirley Cash, she being entitled to stay there for up to two years. In that property that backs up to Flint Street he has a planned shopping area complex, maybe 30-40,000 square feet anchored by an office supply company which would have 20,000 square feet. It has some design problems, serious woodlands and wetlands problems, it has no windows on the west and north sides of the building, but it does meet setback, parking, TC Ordinance requirements. Heís proceeding ahead to seek approval from this body within the next 30 days. That project probably will be reviewed under the TC Ordinance, not the TC-1 Ordinance. It sort of "cuts out the heart" from that southwest quadrant and yet the rest of the property and even this subject property could be zoned TC-1 for what offers more liberality and more option for development; mixed use, certain incentives, shared parking, that you donít get on the TC. The better zoning for this quadrant is TC-1, but the developer has seen fit to proceed under the TC Ordinance.

 

The second report in my summary is the 11 Mile re-zoning. The Council has been concerned about having industrial uses along 11 Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Town Center Drive which is a nice road today; a permanent road; people gain access to the Town Center from M-5 down Meadowbrook. There was a discussion at a Council Meeting that instead of re-zoning all of that I-1 property, that maybe another Town Center District, OSC District, OS-1, something other than industrial. The consensus was that I-1 property be considered by the Commission for another classification other than I-1. The Commissionís attention is being drawn only to that area west of the Crescent Blvd. extension. The Council felt comfortable leaving it as zoned and master planned east of Crescent Blvd. extension over to Meadowbrook, leave it I-1.

 

The third report is an interest by Councilman Rob Mitzel to revisit Section 10, the property at the northwest corner of Twelve Mile Road and Novi Road. Itís the multi-family district that extends north of the planned office frontage on Twelve Mile up to 12-1/2 Mile; it extends from Novi Road, 2/3 of the way to Dixon. That area on the east side of Dixon would stay as planned as single family. This area has different zoning; most of it is R-A (single family), but the 20 acres at the southwest corner of 12-1/2 Mile and Novi Road was rezoned to RM-1, the Master Plan laid on the PD-1 option, which elevated the density to an RM-2 and allowed for 3-4-5 story dwellings. Thatís what Centrum wanted to do a few years ago, but they didnít and the property has never been developed. Itís heavily wooded and wetland. The bulk of the property thatís planned for multi-family is today zoned RA-District. The Master Plan for this area has an overlay of PD-1. The only other PD-1 overlay we have is on Glen Oaks Apartments, southeast of the mall. It is the interest of Mr. Mitzel that it be considered for a low-rise, lower density, residential use. He doesnít call out RA District, he doesnít speak to R-1 or R-2, but something other than RM and he would also like to delete the PD-1 Option from the text and the map. The big interest Mr. Mitzel has is the 130-140 acres up at the northwest quadrant of Twelve Mile and Novi Road. Should it stay multi-family and should it have the PD-1 overlay? The Master Plan is the function that you review; itís your body after Public Hearing that could modify the Master Plan. Itís this body that could modify deleting the PD-1 bug; itís the Councilís jurisdiction to amend the zoning map as you well know after your Public Hearing and after your recommendation. This particular interest by Mr. Mitzel only came up in the last three weeks and itís something that was added to the agenda tonight.

 

 

Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson how far we were along in the TC-1 re-zoning of that property and when it is appropriate for a petitioner to just withdraw that? Mr. Watson stated a petitioner always has the ability to withdraw a petition.

 

 

Member Lorenzo asked where we were at with that rezoning? Mr. Rogers said that he did not believe it ever came to Hearing and he did not recall any reports written. It was filed and the fees paid, they may have refunded the fees since it didnít come to Public Hearing. Mr. Watson stated it is not a commitment on the petitionerís part. There is no assurance when they ask for it to be withdrawn that the City doesnít go forward with it. In this case, the City did not go forward with it.

 

 

Member Lorenzo stated we should go forward with all of the recommendations in number one. Member Lorenzo would like number two referred to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for further research with assistance from Mr. Rogers. She would like for the Planning Commission to look at other possibilities in terms of not just OSC, what about OS-1. It depends on what we are really looking to do. The Master Plan just calls out "office," in general. The OSC, obviously, is "office but with a planned commercial center when itís integral with an office development." We need to decide what we want to see at that location. Is it primarily office or is office/commercial. In terms of the rezoning to TC, again, TC is a broader perspective in terms of retail, as far as I can tell. Whereas OSC, the primary use is office with commercial when itís integral to the office. But with TC we get a lot more retail uses in there. Itís a question of what we really want to see in that area and I would like the Master Planning and Zoning Committee to do a little more research and come back with the various pros and cons and possibilities of what we want to see in that area.

 

 

MOTION by Lorenzo, SECOND by Bonaventura, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer 11 Mile Road area rezoning to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for further research.

 

 

 

MOTION by Lorenzo, SECOND by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To set a Public Hearing to delete the PD-1 Option from the Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan for Land Use and a recommendation to send the question of the zoning for that area to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for research.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

 

Member Bonaventura asked if this is the area west of the Crescent Drive extension. Chairman Clark asked if Member Lorenzo was referring to both the southeast and southwest quadrant? She replied "yes."

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated he had a question about the extension. Where does it go to? Chairman Clark replied all the way to Grand River.

 

 

Member Bonaventura asked what the status of the extension is. Jim Wahl stated right of way acquisition and he is not certain as to whether that is concluded or not. The Cityís acquiring the right of way. Member Bonaventura asked if this was part of the 1990 bond issue? Jim Wahl stated "yes."

 

 

5. ZONING ORDINANCE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

 

 

Chairman Clark reported this is a joint report from Brandon Rogers and Rod Arroyo.

 

 

Mr. Rogers stated the work assignment in the first year program to update the Zoning Ordinance follows the cover letter. This was a split of work, re-definition of work, and an assignment of work that was established back in December 1994. The recently approved Council budget for the Planning Commission, Phase 2 of the Zoning Ordinance Update, will complete the other remaining items in this list. On the cover page, it is indicated the primary responsibility and it is also a table of contents. Following that: Work Element (1) Amendment, Addition, and Deletion of Definitions; Work Element (2) Discussing Statements of Intent, the most important one being the RA Statement of Intent.

 

What I am recommending is that we change the term RA Residential/Agricultural District to R-Residential District. The way it would read after the additions: "The R-Residential Districts are intended to provide areas within the community for a living environment characterized by large lot, low density, single family dwellings. Space for other uses such as parks and recreation facilities, golf courses, and natural resource preservation areas are also provided." We deleted the agricultural definition and reference and holding zone; getting rid of that. You may recall we had this concern on landfill siting and it was strongly recommended that we call our R-A District an R-District so that it wonít have in the eligibility list the landfill siting. Thatís a very important paragraph and itís so important that I may recommend this be extracted and set up for hearing as soon as possible.

 

There has been a lot of discussion on whether some of the uses referred to Council after Planning Commission recommendation could be left with the Commission, could be returned to the Commission to reduce the workload of the Council. In the appendix of the report, there is a series of memorandums on certain uses that could be delegated back to the Planning Commission by Ordinance giving the Commission sole jurisdiction and other uses that had to be left with the Council. The ones that could be brought back to the Commission would be Planned Review of Improvements to the Expo District. In the future, any additions to the Expo Center, we could simplify the review process by having it go through the Planning Commission, Preliminary and Final Site Plan Review.

 

Dealing with communication towers, it is suggested that this be reversed to the Planning Commission. We have not developed a Conference District which includes the Sheraton Oaks Hotel. Any improvements in that district could be done by the Planning Commission.

 

The Regional Center District. It used to be that only the PD-3 Uses in the RC District, around West Oaks II, had to go to Council. Iím not suggesting that those not go that process; they should. A conventional RC thatís not a PD-3, a developer who wishes to develop under RC district, even though he has a PD-3 overlay, or in the RC district, like Dennyís, theyíre not in the PD-3 but theyíre in the RC district. The Council requested that the Ordinance be amended to have those uses also go to the Council for review after Planning Commission review. Rod Arroyo and I felt that the Commission should be able to handle those small sites, but an RC site, non-PD-3, of over 10 acres, we think that should stay with the Council review.

 

Work Element 6 - Deals with making all the standards for our options consistent and not allow inclusion in densities of regulated wetlands, state or federal, city regulated wetlands of value under two acres. In other words, compute density in a consistent manner. The Preservation Option today does not allow you to count regulated wetlands. But a cluster housing option does.

 

Pages 9-12, I took a look at documentation required for PD-1 Options. When a person comes in and asks for re-zoning or even a PD-1 application, if the PD-1 stays in, I see no reason for a fully documented preliminary site plan be submitted at the time for re-zoning or application for a PD-1. We wouldnít require a developer, before he gets his zoning, before he gets his PD-1 overlay, to come in with a very expensive process to fully document a preliminary site plan.

 

 

Brandon Rogers reviewed sections by Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo on Split Use where a building has two different types of uses; office and high-tech use. Rod Arroyo suggested some dimensional changes in the size of spaces and aisles for different types of parking. He also talked about standards that have to be complied with the design and construction standards rather than just specifications approved by the city engineer.

 

Work Element 10 - Deals with some new parking standards for drive-up facilities that are not today identified in the ordinance. Single vehicle automatic car wash, drive-thru only restaurant and drug store.

 

Regarding Building Facades, Brandon stated the need to be specific in what we donít want.

 

When you make an amendment to an ordinance, itís quite likely there has to be a cross-reference back to another section of the ordinance that itís referring to and not all of them have been corrected.

 

Page 24 deals with one dimensional standard in the schedule of regulations where in a single family district, all uses other than single family homes, like day care, churches, schools, must be set back 75 feet from all property lines. It is the interest of the Fire Department that the setback of a fire department structure, branch station from a roadway, be 50 feet instead of 75 feet.

 

 

Brandon Rogers stated that this is only a second progress report, but itís "food for thought" for the Implementation Committee and some of these items are very important. He recommends this be referred to the Implementation Committee.

 

 

MOTION by Bonaventura, SECOND by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Zoning Ordinance Update Progress Report be referred to the Implementation Committee.

 

 

6. Bordine Nursery, Ltd.

 

 

Greg Capote reported that the Implementation Committee has had the opportunity to review this packet of material and hear the presentation from Mr. Mamola who presented the idea that allowing this type of retail sales would be a less intense use of any land designated as a PA 1/16 and zoned under the RA classification. That the net benefit to be a less intensive use, less use of City infrastructure and services, and it was well received by the Implementation Committee. There is proposed change for that language also in the packet and the Implementation Committee voted unanimously in agreement with the proposed language and proposed uses.

 

 

Chairman Clark said he understands that the proposal would take up approximately 40 acres. Mr. Rogers said thereís a proposed draft copy of the ordinance dated May 11, 1995, Article 3, RA Residential/Agricultural District in the packet. Itís a re-write of the entire RA District and this was generated by the applicant. They are interested in accommodating a Bordineís operation subject to certain criteria.

 

 

Mr. Rogers stated we are talking about a revision to the RA District, not necessarily the Bordineís site. Keep in mind that if this goes in the plan, any 35 acres on a major thoroughfare having 350 feet of frontage would be eligible.

 

 

Chairman Clark: Assuming the designation was changed from RA to R and with the language added with reference to the R designation as far as zoning, then in essence if we took the same site weíd be talking about approximately 35 homes on one acre sites. Brandon said not exactly because in the RA District, you have to take out roads and it would be 28 or 29 homes.

 

 

Member Weddington: When this was reviewed in Implementation Committee, we were curious as to how many parcels in the City may qualify for this. Someone was going to check on this. Member Weddington stated she was excited about this proposal because one of the things the Committee wanted to try to do with one of the goals of promoting diversity of land use was to try and preserve small farms wherever possible. Itís sad to see them disappear from the landscape and as long as thereís no adverse impact on the other neighbors or the area overall, I would like to see something like this done, provided that it does meet these criteria and would protect the quality of life of the surrounding neighborhoods. I would encourage the Commission to support this proposal.

 

 

Chairman Clark stated this item is on the agenda for discussion tonight for a possible motion of support giving some direction to future applicant Bordineís Nursery Ltd. before they proceed further along.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that currently there are sales on the property. Is that considered non-conforming use right now because they are selling the produce?

 

 

Mr. Capote stated he would interpret it as a legal non-conforming use relative to retail sales. The use of the property right now is non-conforming to what it is zoned. If Bordineís was there and doing this, that would be non-conforming also.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that when he was on the Implementation Committee he did not have a chance to see this draft copy and after reviewing it, it brought some concerns to him as far as whether itís necessary to do this for this one project. He thinks Bordineís is a great operation and very attractive in design and concept, and it would definitely be an asset to the community, but it would be no more of an asset than Glendaís Market which is a non-conforming use. Then you have Englandís Landscape Supply which offers similar services which is another non-conforming use. Here we are with a suggestion to re-write the ordinance. Is there another way around this?

 

 

Mr. Capote stated that the benefit is that those lands designated as PU-116 have the potential for this type of user and that user would be less intensive than that of a residential development as currently permitted. It was his understanding that the Implementation Committee seemed to receive that quite positively, that those possibilities exist for those lands that have the PA-116 designation.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if Bordineís runs an extensive catalog operation which might require shipping of materials year round.

 

 

Tony Macken, General Manager of Bordineís, stated that they do not operate a catalog operation. They mail a catalog out; just for retail.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that as far as it being less intense, have we done any traffic studies or has Bordineís offered any.

 

 

Mr. Capote said they havenít, but as you can see on the boards before you, they show the two different scenarios of developments and they speak for themselves as far as users, traffic, schools, etc.

 

 

Member Bonaventura: What really concerns him is the retails were excluded from the charts because of the intensity of retail sales surrounded by residential. He is concerned about that. He is concerned about how intense this use is which will be surrounded by RA and thatís his biggest concern. Retail sales were excluded from RA for a good reason and I think the reason was the intensive use and Iím concerned about how the materials are brought in. Iím concerned about what they are growing. If what they are growing is being shipped to other nurseries in bulk, that involves trucks. That would be my biggest concern.

 

 

Member Hoadley: Has some of the same concerns as Member Bonaventura. He really doubts that this would generate less traffic than a subdivision would considering itís going to be a retail operation and considering other retail operations, they generate a tremendous amount of parking and tremendous amount of traffic in and out. Weíre talking about 350 trips a day if that was maximized as opposed to how many on a commercial venture, so I donít accept the fact that it would be a less intensive use from a traffic standpoint. I would agree that it would be a less intensive use for people living there. Why would we consider relaxing parking standards for an operation like this wherein we would allow parking on lawns as opposed to pavement and when we require paved parking for every other commercial use that we allow.

 

 

Greg Capote: Bordineís, in their packet of information, shows how their operations are seasonal and that there are some months of the year where they have very few visitors and that there are other months during the year, summer, mostly spring, they may need some overflow parking.

 

 

Member Hoadley asked if there werenít other commercial businesses under the same scenario, but we do require parking for them? Greg Capote stated that he thinks there are, but given the uniqueness of this particular operation, itís more so. He has not seen any numbers that reflect that and naturally we would have to review that to make that determination.

 

 

Member Hoadley stated he has a real problem with this. Here we have denied Glendaís Special Use when they wanted to expand and hereís a business thatís been around for years and are a class operation, but I canít see preferential treatment. I think before I can accept this, we have to level the playing field for existing businesses. To outline a new ordinance in deference of one as a newcomer to our community, which will definitely have a bearing on how well Glendaís does, I donít think itís right; I donít think itís right morally. I can accept it, maybe, if we tie the two together, I canít really accept making a special exception like this for one business to the exclusion of all others.

 

 

Greg Capote stated he understands the concern. The issue that surrounds Glendaís Market has a longer history and given the restriction of the NCC District regarding retail sales to 10,000 square feet, is a little bit different scenario in that the operation of Glendaís. I believe they are dependent upon lands that are designated as open space and farm land as PA-116 so designates. Maybe the Commission may want to pose those questions to Mr. Mamola or the representatives exploring that.

 

 

Member Hodges stated that in reference to what Mr. Hoadley said about Glendaís, if she understands this proposal correctly, there are other parcels that will qualify. In fact, what we would be doing is opening up other locations for Glenda to relocate within the city rather than restricting them. We would actually make it more successful for them to expand in a conforming area. Mr. Capote stated that is correct, but the business plan of Glendaís Market, may be different.

 

 

Member Hodges stated she doesnít see that weíre doing any special favors for Bordineís by reviewing this proposal. These types of businesses are very attractive in a community that wants to maintain the type of quality and aesthetic view that Novi wants to maintain. Having lived in communities that have these types of businesses, they really are a plus to help maintain. They themselves help to slow down that growth through design and development and itís amazing, it sounds like "how can you do that?" but once they are in place they really have a positive effect.

 

 

Member Weddington stated that a suggestion was made to Glendaís when they were here on at least one occasion that another avenue that they might pursue would be to suggest or petition the Council for changes to the Ordinance that would allow them to operate, but the situation is quite different. They are a non-conforming use; theyíve expanded their non-conformance and there are other problems as well. It is a different situation and it was suggested to them that they take this sort of approach and they have not chosen to do so.

 

 

Member Lorenzo stated that conceptually and preliminarily, she supports the concept but does want to caution the petitioners that, as she understands it, if the Ordinance was amended, this would be under Special Land Use. Mr. Capote stated that is correct; Section 30.06, a Public Hearing is required.

 

Member Lorenzo stated that under Special Land Use, we usually look at the principal uses permitted and compare in terms of traffic generations and other impacts. To date, we donít have an actual traffic study to give us a definite determination in terms of which use would be more intense in terms of cars and trucks. I have to caution you that if we did have that information and it came back that this was a more intense use, I might not be as supportive. Any support that I may give this evening, is not any commitment towards any support in terms of site plan and land use. I just want to caution you on that and make sure that you know the perimeters in which you are dealing with it. There are woodlands and wetlands ordinances, obviously, that are going to have to be dealt with and the Special Land Use issue and the comparisons that have to be made. I do support it conceptually, but weíll have to wait and see if this proceeds.

 

 

Mr. Macken, Bordineís, stated that the issue of parking and traffic has come up on a couple of occasions and reference to traffic in this proposal had to do with the different time in which the traffic is generated. First of all, Bordineís peak use is on five or six weekends of the year, those weekends generally before and after Motherís Day, Motherís Day tends to be the biggest weekend in Bordineís. Secondly, traffic is generated not at peak periods of time, but at off-peak periods of time. Their hours of operation donít coincide with the morning rush hour or particularly add to the afternoon rush hour traffic. We did mention this in our report, along with traffic and cash register count reference not specifically to the number of cars that would be generated at any given time, but that the traffic would be at a different period of time than the traffic that would be experienced from a subdivision in terms of peak morning and afternoon hours. Thatís the reference we would like to offer at this time relative to traffic.

 

Bordineís is unique in that they built their reputation on growing the materials that they sell. Bordineís could not go into a commercial zone and pay the kind of money thatís required to grow materials within a commercial type of zone. They need to have acreage and they need to have it in a configuration that will allow them to continue the tradition and the confidence that they give their customers, of being able to purchase materials they sell. Of course, Bordineís moves materials. They have greenhouses in their two locations and they do move materials from one greenhouse to another because itís better to specialize some items. There are products that are grown in both of their current locations and their are plant materials that are best grown in Oregon. They have been able to get along quite well by restrictions on the delivery times and so forth in both their other locations. There are really some unique aspects of their operation that fit well into this particular location and with the protections that are built in the wording that has been suggested.

 

 

Member Mutch: When you have a community that does want open space and does want to preserve large areas of land close to its natural state, at least to preserve that sense of transition, if not rural nature, itís very difficult to get that unless you are willing as a city to acquire pieces of property and leave them open spaces or if you, by zoning, create large lots that become so expensive that theyíre not easily developed or sold. This is a very interesting kind of proposal because as Member Weddington pointed out, it allows preservation of an open area, a sense of space, but in a way that is affordable to the property owner. Itís very difficult for a community to buy that open space for themselves; to persuade voters that this is a good investment until itís too late and the property is either so expensive or itís gone. When a commercial operation comes in and what they want to do is not just take up space and throw buildings on the property and then just have a buffer zone, but actually utilize the property in an agricultural way, which this is and which the other nurseries are not, I think thatís something we should welcome and find some way to accommodate if, in fact, we can do that without sacrificing the other protections that we try to put in our ordinances. Iím hoping that we find that the traffic thatís generated from this sort of an operation is not so adverse as to create itís own obstacle to this moving forward. I think that would be great because when you have an agricultural operation just because of the nature of it, itís not something that you can just by zoning put on a map and say "this is where weíll do it," because that may be property that can be used agriculturally. Things may not grow there; it may not be the right kind of soil or right kind of conditions otherwise. So you canít just arbitrarily create property that can be used for agricultural purposes just by zoning designation. If we happen to have a piece of property that is indeed good for that purpose and itís located on a main road and itís located in an area where weíre attempting to have large open spaces, it seems to me itís something that we should be taking a long look at and seeing how we can accommodate that as long as we are not giving up or sacrificing the other things weíre trying to do in the community.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated what concerns him is their business is big on the weekends and in a residential area that we want as residential, this might be too active for a place that a person wants to rest and relax on their weekend. He is concerned about the parcels adjacent to this and what exactly abuts up to this property.

 

 

Member Hoadley made another observation that the week of 5/29/94, generating almost 10,000 register transactions, transmits almost 20,000 trips for that week as opposed to residential of 2,550 trips a week. Thatís a lot of trip generation that youíre going to be faced with when the traffic consultants come out. To me a transaction would probably amount to somebody driving to your location and buying an item - thatís a trip, a trip in and another trip out. So you have two trips for every transaction. This may be very, very intensive.

 

 

7. NCC District

 

 

Mr. Capote reported that he received numerous letters regarding the restrictions in this District as it relates to 10,000 square foot retail limitation and has supplied copies of those letters to the Planning Commission. This issue then became an agenda item for the Implementation Committee. Glendaís Market at the same time was hopeful that the Implementation Committee may see fit to make a possible amendment to this District which may help them with their proposed preliminary site plan, as that plan has been denied by the Commission. In turn, the ZBA has given them an extension of their variance to continue their business as it currently operates until August of this year. With that in mind, the Committee looked at this topic and the idea of possibly loosening up the 10,000 square foot requirement; maybe the two acre and 200 foot of frontage requirements were too great. Brandon Rogers was asked to put together a letter giving the Committee a little bit of history relative to the methodology, the intent, and the justification of the NCC District. The Committee discussed this on two occasions in reviewing Mr. Rogersí letter and having the chance to discuss these issues with property owners and those persons who wrote letters to myself and to the Commission. We discussed it at length but given that the amount of retail uses that currently exist in Novi, the Committee decided that they would keep the 10,000 square foot limitation; that thereís enough retail use in the City of Novi and that the NCC District allows other uses. There are other opportunities to develop this land. Even though Glendaís is having its difficulties, there are other alternatives for Glendaís Market to pursue as well as all those other property owners. So the Ordinance stands as is - that the restrictions should apply and that the 200 foot of frontage requirement remain in place, which I strongly support; not allowing additional curb cuts for developments along Grand River Avenue, and that the two acre requirement also apply. With that, I supplied to the Commission a brief report to the ZBA, correspondence to Mr. Arroyo who also responded, and a section from the Cityís Master Plan for Retail Sales within the City. With that, I have nothing further to add.

 

 

8. OS-3 DISTRICT

 

 

Mr. Capote reported that the City has been in a need, as has been communicated to him through land developers, real estate developers, to have a District that would allow a high-tech, research and development use, and that the current allowance in the Ordinance under the OS-2, PD-4 Option is too restrictive. It doesnít work given the disclosure requirements and the lengthy approval process of which the PD Option requires; that being the impetus for proposing a change. The OS-3 language would be very similar to the PD-4 Option as it currently is written, proper landscaping, setback requirements. But the requirements of which and the process of which the PD Option requires would be less stringent, therefore, attracting higher-tech uses and supporting the intent of the Ordinance as is currently stated in the PD Option to encourage high-tech uses and also in the Master Plan. With that, this would be part of the Ordinance Amendment that Mr. Rogers and Mr. Arroyo are currently working on. That concludes what I have to say about the OS-3 and rescinding the PD-4 altogether. As designated in the Master Plan, those lands designated with the PD-4 Option, the PD-4 Option would be rescinded and the OS-3 would be in its place.

 

 

Jim Wahl added that weíve been in a situation for a number of years where we havenít had a classification or ordinance language that was applicable for a lot of state-of-the-art users who were looking to this area; Nissan, Bosch, companies of that stature and nature that came to this area. Weíve had a number of discussions and people approaching us looking for this type of zoning classification and weíve been trying to implement it since 1990, very slowly for a number of reasons that it is not adequately in place. If the City is to take advantage of these opportunities and avail itself of quality businesses in our community, we would like to bring this to a conclusion. From a logic of planning practice and whatís out in the profession, so to speak, we really have a missing link here and weíre trying to deal with that in an appropriate fashion. Weíre trying to move it forward; itís been languishing and weíre hoping to bring it to a conclusion in the very near future.

 

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Capote if this had been through the Implementation Committee. Mr. Capote replied "yes" and that the Implementation Committee was in favor of this proposed change. They had a chance to read the material and as it was brought up by Ms. Kozan earlier, that she was of the opinion, as also other members and residents who have been attending the Implementation Committee Meetings, that restrictions of 24-hour operations when the OS-3 were to abut residential also be imposed. The Committee seemed to act favorably to this proposal, overall.

 

 

Member Lorenzo recalled reviewing some of the materials, but did not recall ever actually reaching a consensus on the draft of adding the Article. She has a concern with Item 2, from the October 21, 1994 draft. She thought the way we were going to protect residential is by not zoning OS-3 near residential properties because thatís one of the questions she had in terms of residential. Are we going to set distance standards, whatís going to be a buffer? She doesnít see anything in here that addresses that; she sees "to protect abutting residential districts by separating them from a permitted OS-3 uses, limiting uses which may locate adjacent to such residential districts by setbacks." If she reads this correctly, the way weíre going to protect them is by having setbacks for buildings and off-street parking, not by not zoning OS-3 next to residential.

 

 

Mr. Capote stated he did recall discussions relative to that issue, whether we would or we would not include or exclude it. Member Lorenzo stated her concern is how are we going to protect the residential properties from this more intense use. Whether it was going to be through setbacks in terms of OS-3, not building setbacks, but zoning setbacks. Weíre just saying that weíre going to locate OS-3 next to residential and the building has to be so many feet away from the property line and Iím not sure if I can support that.

 

 

Mr. Capote stated that on the last page, page four, number five, says "uses specified" under Section 32, 1A, 204 inclusive shall not be located on a building site adjacent to and or sharing a common boundary with an RA R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, RT, MH, RM-1, or RM-2 District. Member Lorenzo asked if this wasnít somewhat contradictory, Items 2 and 5. She stated that why are we going to protect abutting residential by setbacks for buildings, parking, limitation of street loading and unloading, landscaping and berming if weíre not going to allow it all. Mr. Capote stated you would still have those elements in place.

 

 

Member Lorenzo: Are we not going to allow it next to residential or are we going to allow it subject to the things I just mentioned? Mr. Capote stated apparently weíre not going to. Specifically, Item 5 on the last page, I donít recall that being a problem. Item 2 just may be a matter of semantics, we could strike it out if it becomes confusing for other members. What is the Commissionís position on that?

 

 

Jim Wahl stated that he likes to look at ordinances from the practicality of what really happened in Novi. The question in my mind is, and it relates to your concerns, supposing XYZ Company comes to Novi and they want a rezoning to build their plant. Chances are the site they own is going to be surrounded by residentially zoned property. Since the developer could only request a rezoning for his property, then we create sort of a Catch-22 situation. One of the things Iíd like you to think about is how do we deal with that kind of circumstance where the developer wants to do 40 acres and the rest of the area, Master Planned Office, is zoned RA. I think part of the solution to the problem would be looking at the larger context of where these uses might go and how do we deal with that situation. If it was all Master Planned and Zoned office, there might be a way to deal with that. I see the circumstance as a problem. As weíre looking at this, I wish we would also take the maps and look at the areas and see if we have a problem and if so, how do we deal with it?

 

 

Member Lorenzo: Further research is needed before we do anything. Her feeling is to return it to the Implementation Committee and start looking at those issues and see if we can come up with anything.

 

 

Member Weddington: It was discussed and agreed to not locate any such use adjacent to residential. I think we might be able to address Mr. Wahlís concern by adjusting that language to put protections of landscaping and setbacks whenever this District is adjacent to any other District. We want to protect everybody. We didnít want to have industrial or manufacturing or high-tech uses adjacent to residential districts.

 

 

Member Bonaventura: Is surprised that this is just a verbal report and that he doesnít have something in front of him. He is also surprised that three out of the four members on the Implementation Committee donít necessarily remember sending a positive opinion on this or having a positive opinion on this as far as certain aspects of it. This is the same one where the broker was petitioning us. He was talking about having an anonymous user.

 

 

Mr. Capote reported that during the Public Hearing portion of the PD Option it becomes a concern of the potential user that word becomes public that the company may be relocating or building a new facility and people at their existing facility become concerned that maybe they would be losing their jobs. Or that the existing City is going to lose that company to move somewhere else.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that the broker said that weíre discouraging some companies from coming here just because of our Public Forum. Commission Bonaventura agrees with Member Lorenzo that this should go back to the Implementation Committee.

 

 

Mr. Capote reported that the Commission has had this in their packet in the past and best case scenario is I would have been present when the packet was being put together and I would have supplied this again to the Planning Commission along with a cover letter and that way my comments would have been official. Unfortunately, that did not happen. To suggest that thereís something underhanded or unbeknownst to the Commission or that weíre having dealings with someone is not true. You have inferred that in your comments and Iím saying to the Commission and publicly that is not the case. Thereís been a need to change the zoning and simply I have had the opportunity to speak to developers and real estate persons and they simply presented that maybe the City of Novi is missing an opportunity and certainly, if I have misunderstood any of the wishes or desires of the Implementation Committee, I stand corrected, let the record show that. If the Committee would wish to see this again, so be it.

 

 

Member Bonaventura stated that he implied that this Administration favors this change and thinks that they ignored the opinions of the Implementation Committee. Thatís what he was implying, he wasnít implying anything underhanded.

 

 

MOTION by Bonaventura, SECOND by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, to refer this item to the Implementation Committee.

 

 

Member Hodges stated that one of things she thinks is important, and she heard Mr. Wahl and Mr. Capote try to point out, is the fact that being as wonderful as we are to plan our City sitting on this Board, in the future they may not have the wonderful foresight that we have and we can never take away the property ownerís right to at least request a zone change. And to have these things built into an ordinance is just extra protection. If we donít have control over who may at any given time, 30 years from now, decide to change it, it still protects the residents. To just strike it because itís redundant, itís not redundant because at any time that the Planning Commission and City Council decides that this rezone can go through, then the adjacent property owners are left without any protection. Itís excellent foresight and I commend the staff and Implementation Committee. It might be redundant to send it back to the Committee.

 

 

9. Possible Joint Meeting with City Council

 

This item was requested on the agenda by Member Bonaventura.

 

 

Chairman Clark reported receipt of a communication stating that given the Councilís present schedule, they would not be able to meet with us until after July 1 and look forward to meeting with the Commission in July.

 

 

Member Hodges stated that before a date is set, do we want to give precedence to the Public Hearing that has to be held within the next 45 days which will put us approximately in August. That would be two special meetings within that time frame.

 

 

Member Hoadley stated that he has had occasion to speak with more than one Council person about this and theyíre not anxious to have a Joint Meeting unless we can be very specific as to what we wish to meet with them about. I recommend that before we suggest it, we come up with some agenda items.

 

 

Mr. Wahl reported that we come up with a list of items that we work with the Commission on and the Council does the same thing. If we can do that, we could have something concrete and forward it on to the City Council.

 

 

Chairman Clark: Item 10, AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE REPORT will be moved to the next meeting.

 

 

MOTION by Clark, SECOND by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY, To adjourn the meeting at 11:33 p.m.

 

 

_________________________________

Steven Cohen

Planning Aide

Transcribed by Christine Gehler

December 5, 1995