REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, JULY 19, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBER - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

(810) 347-0475

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairperson Lorenzo at 7:33 P.M.

 

Vice-Chairperson Lorenzo first welcomed the new Planning Commissioner, Arthur T. Vrettas, to the Planning Commission. She indicated his background was in Educational Administration and he has also been a resident of Novi for four years.

 

 

ROLL CALL: Bonaventura (Present), Capello (Present), Hoadley (Present), Hodges (Present), Lorenzo (Present), Mutch (Present), Taub (Present), Vrettas (Present), Weddington (Absent/Excused)

 

(8) Present (1) Absent/Excused-Weddington

 

A quorum being present, the meeting was in session.

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Brandon Rogers - Planning Consultant

David Bluhm - Engineering Consultant

Rod Arroyo - Traffic Consultant

Dennis Watson - Assistant City Attorney

Linda Lemke - Landscape Architect

James R. Wahl - Director of Planning

Greg Capote - Staff Planner

Steven Cohen - Planning Aide

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

The Planning Commission pledged Allegiance to the Flag.

 

 

ELECTION OF NEW OFFICERS

 

Vice-Chairperson Lorenzo stated that Mr. Watson has indicated to her that in his opinion, it would be proper and appropriate for the Commission to proceed with the Election of New Officers, but they could postpone the matter if the Commission so chooses.

 

Mr. Watson explained the reason for that. He said what their By-Laws provide was that the Election of Officers occurs at the first meeting in July following the City Council's appointments or re-appointments. He said what has happened so far was that the City Council has done appointments or re-appointments for two of the positions, but still has to take some action to fill the third position.

 

Mr. Watson indicated it was within the Commission's discretion as to whether they want to go ahead and take care of the Election of New Officers now or wait until their next meeting. He said it really boils down to whether they want to have a complete Commission when they do that. He said the only downside to not doing it now was if that process for some reason drags on for an extended period of time, they would be left without one of their officers and obviously the Vice-Chairperson would continue to serve as their Chair of the meetings, but they run the risk of having more than one officer missing and having a problem at future meetings.

 

 

Member Hoadley said he would begin the nominations.

 

 

CHAIRPERSON OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To nominate Laura Lorenzo as Chairperson of the Planning Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Mr. Watson explained the Commission needs to see if there were any other nominations and the nominations have to be seconded. He said if there were no other nominations, then the nominees assume to be elected unanimously.

 

Member Hodges asked what other offices were they electing officers for and Mr. Watson replied Vice-Chairperson and Secretary. Vice-Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any other nominations and there were none.

 

 

Member Lorenzo indicated she would assume Chairperson of the Planning Commission with great honor.

 

Mr. Watson added that one of the requirements to be considered for an officer was to have served on the Commission for at least one year.

 

 

VICE-CHAIRPERSON OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

 

It was,

 

 

Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To nominate Glen Bonaventura for Vice-Chairperson of the Planning Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Member Capello said they didn't vote on the first motion for Chair and did they need to vote now and Mr. Watson replied no.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked for any other nominations and there were none.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated Glen Bonaventura was now the Vice-Chairperson of the Planning Commission.

 

 

SECRETARY TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Capello

 

 

To nominate Robert Taub for Secretary of the Planning Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

There were no other nominations and Chairperson Lorenzo indicated that Robert Taub was elected to remain as Secretary of the Planning Commission.

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Member Bonaventura requested to add under Matters for Discussion, Item #1, Hours of Operation for I-1, and he believed they were given a 45 day time limit from the Council, and find out where they were at on that matter.

 

Member Taub requested to add an item regarding Status of Position as a Planning Commissioner under Matters for Discussion, Item #2.

 

Member Capello said regarding the item added by Member Bonaventura, wasn't that an item coming up at a Special Meeting in two weeks, and Chairperson Lorenzo replied when they get to that item they would just confirm the date and make sure that they would have a quorum that evening.

 

Member Hoadley requested to add Discussion of Site Plan Review Manual Criteria, Item #3 under Matters for Discussion.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Vrettas

 

 

To approve the Agenda as amended.

 

(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None and Chairperson Lorenzo closed the first Audience Participation.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

Member Taub indicated there were two letters received and the first letter was dated July 17, 1995 from Karl Wizinsky and it was actually written to Mr. Douglas Stewart of Novi Properties Inc and copied to the Planning Commission. He then read the letter:

"Dear Mr. Steward:

 

On May 25, 1995 I sent a letter indicating that the Profile facility on Wixom Road behind my home has a malfunctioning culvert which runs north to south under your proposed paved parking lot. The blockage of this culvert has and continues to cause flooding and damage to my property. As of this date I have had neither a phone call or written response to my letter.

 

I am again requesting that the culvert be cleaned and/or repaired to functioning condition to permanently relieve the flooding of my property. I will be glad to meet with you or your representative to demonstrate the damage that continues to occur on my property due to the blockage of your culvert.

 

If I do not receive a written response within 30 days regarding the resolution of this very important issue, I may pursue legal action.

 

Sincerely,

 

Karl T. Wizinsky"

 

Member Taub said the second letter was dated July 10, 1995 from Lynn F. Kocan and that letter read:

 

"Letter to the Editor:

 

In response to your editorial of July 6, the residents of Meadowbrook Lake do not want your sympathy. What we do want is for the City to comply with City Ordinances. The Ordinance which speaks to light industrial properties states that developments in this district must "at all times protect neighboring residential districts from any adverse impacts" and "in no manner affect in a detrimental way any of the surrounding districts."

 

When the discussion of the Interlock project first came to the Planning Commission in March, 1994, it was unanimous that this was the right development proposed for the wrong location - and the development was turned down. Again, in May, 1994, the development was turned down. At the meeting the Planning Commission discussed whether or not hours of operation should or COULD be a determining factor in the review process. Because all the residents agreed with a statement by one Commissioner, in order to "recognize the adverse impacts and the potential adverse impacts that permitting this project would have on the quality of life for residents, especially with the 24 hour operation," I proposed that an amendment be added to the Ordinance to limit the hours of operations to daytime hours for developments in an I-1 District directly abutting residential property. My request to the City for this amendment was two months before the Interlock proposal was subsequently approved.

 

 

The City already recognizes normal working hours through its Ordinances regarding noise levels, refuse collection times, as well as stipulated times for construction. Hours of operation SHOULD be a determining factor when placing developments next to residential. When a manufacturing plant works around the clock, I don't believe that should be classified as light industry. What differentiates light industry from heavy industry? There are no clear cut definitions. We are told that a decision is made in the Planning Department, but I say, based on what?? When businesses rank their positions, they use a grading scale, assigning points for increased responsibilities. I believe the City should do the same when ranking industrial uses. There needs to be a scale to rank the degree of intensity of an industry. When an industry exceeds a certain degree of intensity, it should NOT be allowed next to residential.

 

The editorial gave the impression that all the vacant I-1 property in Novi abuts residential property. This is not so. Half of the property in Hickory Corporate Park next to Meadowbrook Lake does NOT abut residential property. However, we believe that the residential property which DOES abut industrial, not only deserves the protections which are already specific in the Ordinance, but also that a limitation of hours of operation would reinforce the intent of the Ordinance as well as allow for clear and consistent interpretation and implementation of the Ordinance. I-1 property also abuts residents in the existing subdivisions of Chase Farms, Meadowbrook Glens and Novi Heights.

 

Last year a petition was signed by almost 300 residents of Novi who were opposed to a factory being placed next to residential property. Over 14 subdivisions were represented on that petition, with over half of the signatures from residents NOT from Meadow brook Lake Subdivision.

 

If I used your editorial as a basis for decision-making, just because I would like to shop at Kroner, then it really doesn't matter where it's located. The residents who might be next to it should be happy because it will satisfy a desire of some residents as well as add to the tax base of the City. That's irresponsible and I don't believe that tax base should ever take precedence over quality of life.

 

Novi is less than 50% developed. Responsible development is a must. I urge all residents who have the vision of a City which is sensitive to residential property, while developing a mix of commercial and industrial development, to attend the public hearing or write a letter and state your position.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lynn Kocan"

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVALS

 

 

1. Sikh Temple, SP89-05C - Property Located North of Eight Mile Road, between Taft Road and Garfield Road for Possible One-Year Extension of Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan/Phasing Plan Approval.

 

 

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

 

Member Hoadley removed Item #1, Sikh Temple, SP89-05C.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Mutch

 

 

To grant a Four Month Extension of Preliminary Site Plan Approval for Portsmouth West Apartments, SP94-07.

 

(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

1. West Village at The Vistas of Novi - Phase II, SP95-32A -Property Located South of Thirteen Mile Road, East of Novi Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland Permit, and Wetland Permit Approval.

Mr. Ronald Hughes was present on behalf of The Vistas of Novi. He said Hughlan Development Company was the developer of the project and also with him that evening was his partner Mr. David Lanciault along with Rick Hofses, Ken Stamps and Dennis McNeeley.

 

Mr. Hughes said he was present for Preliminary site plan approval for Phase Two, which was on the west side of Decker Road. He said he has brought, for information purposes only, a colored rendering of the subdivision, which was a representation of the homes that would be built in Phase Two, which was not presented when they had their aerial plan approved in July of 1994. He said there was one home with three elevations along with the respective floor plans so it gives the Commission a flavor of the architectural difference between Phase One and Phase Two. He then said he would be available for any questions.

 

(Please note the tape was inaudible at times during the Consultants' Reports.)

 

 

CONSULTANTS' REPORTS

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his letter of July 7, 1995. He indicated 54 site condominium units were proposed on a 23 acre site. He said the Area Plan had envisioned 68 units at a density of 2.5 units per gross acre and this was 54 units at a density of 2.33 units per acre. He said there was extensive preservation in open space and wetlands and pond area that surrounds the site.

 

Mr. Rogers said all application data was provided and they meet all the standards. He said he added to his report a segment out of the Area Plan Page 11, which gives some of those proto-typical facades and the various setback requirements, and he has found that those were in compliance.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated the lots were about 50 feet wide and some narrow to 40 feet wide at the back. He indicated those units were going to be relatively close together and they have approval for a zero lot line. He said they would also note on Page 2 of the file that the building envelope abuts one side lot line and then there was an 11 foot setback on the other side. He said then you come to the next housing unit and it abuts up to the zero lot line and it too has at least an 11 foot setback.

 

Mr. Rogers said the required 50 foot landscape setback from Novi Road was shown per the Area Plan. He said the gazebo in the entrance was set back 80 feet from the right-of-way accessed by a sidewalk system. He said the new set of plans that came in gave detail on what the gazebo in the circular court would look like, and there were sidewalks coming into it from all sides.

 

Mr. Rogers said he talked on Page 2 about the setback requirements and the landscape plan and they have reviewed it, but they were going to do it and submit it as part of the Final site plan and they saw no major problems, but Ms. Lemke has already reviewed it and she could address any questions.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated he recommended Preliminary site plan approval.

 

Mr. Bluhm introduced Mr. Gary Streight from their office who would be doing some of the reviews occasionally.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated he reviewed the Preliminary site plan and the applicant was proposing 28 foot wide streets with two access points from Decker Road and one alley between Units 1-9 and 10-31. He said sanitary sewer and a water main was proposed to be extended from the existing facilities in Decker Road into the site.

 

Mr. Bluhm said they were proposing a storm sewer system which would collect runoff and direct it to a sediment basin at the southwest side of the site. He said they could see it on their plan along the left side of the lower map.

 

Mr. Bluhm said they would be collecting water there at the sediment basin and also there was a water quality device. He said the applicant then intends to take the developed storm water from the site and direct it across Novi Road into the existing culvert and then there was a ditch that runs to Shawood Lake and they were intending to detain the water to Shawood Lake.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the applicant recently submitted a faxed letter and plans indicating that developed storm water would be directed to Shawood lake and their initial plans did not indicate that, but that was what they were intending to do.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated easements would be required for conveyance of the storm water from Novi Road, west to Shawood lake, as well as verification of the capacity in the conveyance channel and the culvert under Novi Road for developed flows prior to Final Site Plan approval. He said additionally, an evaluation of the hydraulic effects the storm water would have on Shawood Lake would be required at the time of Final Site plan submittal.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the proposed alley, while indicating pavement width, does not show right-of-way, which was necessary for dedication as a public way and areas for paving in square feet have not been provided. He said where placed outside of road right-of-ways, utilities would be required to be centered in 20 foot wide easements.

 

Mr. Bluhm said based on the current Water Moratorium in the City, no taps would be permitted on new water main extensions, therefore, individual wells or an alternate source of domestic water supply would be required to be secured prior to Final site plan approval.

 

Mr. Bluhm said beyond that, he felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and he was recommending approval.

 

Mr. Arroyo indicated access was proposed from two points on Decker Road. He indicated Decker Road was designated as an arterial on the City's Thoroughfare Plan. He said the site plan property delineates 120 foot right-of-way. He said Decker Road was currently five-lanes wide, however, access was limited to 13 Mile Road only until the widening of Novi Road south of 12 1/2 Mile Road was complete.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the plan was generally consistent with the area plan road network for this particular portion of the PUD, the main difference being that they have actually eliminated one point of access for this particular phase, going from three points of access to two points of access. He said there was another roadway connection to Decker proposed at the northeastern end there of the road layout and that has been dropped and they certainly have no objections to that.

 

Mr. Arroyo said he found that the general layout of this proposed phase to be acceptable and they were recommending approval of the Preliminary site plan.

 

Ms. Lemke reviewed the landscaping and indicated this particular project was up for a Woodlands Permit. She said in the last few months, the projects she has brought before them for woodlands have had some outstanding woodlands, but the two projects that they have that evening have lower quality woodlands on them.

 

Ms. Lemke explained she looks at her review as to how much impact the development would have on the existing woodlands, but she also looks at specific criteria for the woodlands and then she evaluates the whole thing together.

 

Ms. Lemke said the two projects and especially this one, has quite a bit of impact on the existing woodlands, in fact, 4.5 acres of it would be removed, but the quality of the woodlands was really low primarily because of the species, which were elm and cherry and apple trees.

 

Ms. Lemke said the area in the solid dark green color was upland woodlands and the bluish green was wooded wetlands, which means they both have trees on them and they were also designated as wetland areas.

 

Ms. Lemke said in the striped pink area were the areas that were going to be removed by this plan. She said as Mr. Bluhm described, there was going to be no real drainage into the wooded wetland areas except from some of the individual back yards of the units and she had requested that additional trees be placed and located near the sedimentation basin and at the rear of those units and they have complied with that.

 

Ms. Lemke said basically now there were 362 regulated trees proposed to be removed and using the values of replacement of 1-1, 362 trees would be required at a minimum of 2 1/2". She said 124 were currently being indicated so they still need additional information on the replacement trees. She said a buffer was being left around the wetland area of 25-40 feet.

 

Ms. Lemke indicated in summary, she recommended approval for a Woodlands Permit with several conditions: (1) Establishment of a Woodlands Preservation Easement. (2) The correct location of replacement trees. (3) Pre-con, snow fencing, and receipt of Woodlands Permit must be obtained before any construction could begin. (4) Payment of bonds or Letter of Credit, replacement trees, and additional plantings adjacent to wetlands areas as directed by Mr. Pargoff. (5) Review of Final Engineering documents by her office. (6) Furnish missing required information. (7) Preservation signage was erected as directed by the City. (8) An estimation was given of the trees in the wetland areas.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated he would be reviewing Ms. Tepatti's letter that evening. He indicated there were two wetlands located within this phase of The Vistas and one wetland was located along Novi Road at the southwest corner of Phase 2. He said this wetland was forested with a heavy shrubby buffer and the land rises quickly to the lots to the east and the center of the wetlands contains standing water much of the year.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated the wetland located along the northern edge of the phase was a high quality open water pond with emergent shrubby vegetation along its edges. He said the eastern third was a forested wetland with a narrow swale running through it which conveys runoff from Decker Road and the regional basin. He said the majority of this wetland was deep open water, a heavily vegetated fringe and it borders Novi Road and eventually overflows into a roadside ditch and beneath Novi Road to the west. He indicated the 25 foot setbacks around both wetlands were heavily vegetated with trees and shrubs as Ms. Lemke had indicated.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the applicant was proposing to disturb a portion of the buffer zone at the southwest corner of the phase for the construction of the road where it takes a 90 degree bend to the extreme southeast corner. He said a small portion of the buffer at the northeast corner of the site was also proposed for disturbance as well.

 

Mr. Bluhm said a sedimentation basin was proposed between the two wetlands along Novi Road. He said the basin receives storm water runoff for the site and discharges it to the culvert beneath Novi Road.

 

Mr. Bluhm said clean-out of the wetland/swale on the west side of Novi Road was proposed to allow for undetained conveyance of the storm water to the Shawood Canal and eventually to Shawood Lake, which was a regional basin which he didn't mention before.

 

Mr. Bluhm said there were some minor issues which need to be addressed by the applicant. He said the wetland boundaries have been drawn incorrectly on Lot 45 and the woodland plans have been revised to reflect the correct boundary, but the wetland plan and other sheets have not been revised.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the lot lines have also not been revised to keep the wetland off the lot. He said the outlet to the Novi Road culvert should be shifted if feasible to stay out of the buffer and portions of the wetland were wooded and should be preserved if possible.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated improvements to the Novi Road culvert and west side swale will need to be reviewed in detail in the future and they do not object to the improvements since they were directed by the Master Plan for storm water, however, Ms. Tepatti wants to be assured that they were done with the least disturbance to the wetland and to the canal associated with it.

 

Mr. Bluhm said they do not recommend any detention be allowed in the existing wetland areas on site. He said the southern wetland was wooded and may be negatively impacted by increased runoff. He indicated the northern wetland was high quality with heavy edge vegetation that could be impacted. He said significant topography would need to be supplied and analyzed if detention were proposed in that ponded wetland area.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the buffer impacts were relatively minor and could be partially mitigated through restoration after construction. He said they do have concerns with the proximity of Lots 44-48 and Lots 52-54 to the pond and swale and those lots were located along the northwesterly area in the larger wetland.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the entire 25 foot setback was located almost entirely within those small lots and the edge of the water was very near the actual wetland boundary, therefore, if the setback (buffer) were disturbed or sodded, the pond would have little edge vegetation in spots. He said she recommended that the buffer be preserved in its entirety within those lots through placement of a conservation easement. He said at this time, no planned access/trail to the pond has been proposed and if any future uses under the Ordinance were proposed, they must be submitted for review.

 

Mr. Bluhm then stated Ms. Tepatti recommended approval of the wetland permit with the following conditions: (1) Detention in Shawood Lake must be provided as indicated by the applicant. Engineering drawings shall be reviewed for proposed drainage improvements and their effect on the canal leading to Shawood Lake. If detention is proposed elsewhere, it must be reviewed for environmental impacts. (2) A conservation easement shall be placed over the 25 foot setback on the aforementioned lots. (3) Engineering drawings shall be reviewed to assure that grading within the setbacks is avoided. Cross sections will be provided in critical areas. (4) Buffers will be restored with plantings where feasible. (5) A DNR permit shall be obtained for the storm water discharge to a wetland.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo then indicated there was a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department, which stated that the plan has been reviewed and approval was recommended with the following conditions: (1) Place fire hydrants in front of Lot 129 on Alcott Street. The hydrant in front of Lot 5 may be eliminated. Please show those changes on all future plans.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said also in the packet was a letter from Terry Marrone, Deputy Building Official, and Mr. Marrone's letter was in regard to reviewing this for compliance with the BOCA requirements and Mr. Marrone has indicated that (1) All exterior walls shall comply with the applicable provisions of this code and with the fire resistance rating requirements of this section, Section 905.0. (2) Exterior walls that are 0-5 feet from the property line shall have a fire resistance rating of one hour. Table 905.2. (3) The maximum percentage of openings in the exterior wall shall be in compliance with Table 905.3.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said while this was not a direct planning issue, she believed this was in their packet to advise the Commission of the codes and as an advisory to the applicant that those standards were in place and must be complied with. She said the only planning aspect of this that she would see was in terms of facades and it may have some impact on the facades, and she felt they might want to consider calling this back for final to see some specific facade treatments and for those types of standards that need to be met.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Mr. James Korte of Shawood Lake was present. He indicated the beginning of this was coming from the direction of the Sector Study that he chaired for a short period of time. He said their concerns back then were of storm water drainage and they went to Storm Water Management with their concerns and they directed the City to look into two specific problems that they came up with.

 

Mr. Korte said it was still his presumption that the culvert underneath Decker Road that was engineered was not at the right level. He said today if a person looks at the water that was being retained to the east of Decker Road, they were going to have swamps and all of those trees that were protected were going to die. He said this was ridiculous that they were preserving trees and killing them at the same time.

 

Mr. Korte said there was a mitigated wetland hunk in this new area next to Howell's Walled Lake Subdivision and of course they thought that was the most ridiculous thing and had the original flow of water been followed, there would have been no reason for that mud swamp there.

 

Mr. Korte indicated one of their other concerns was an area they refer to as the gorge, and the gorge was the point south and west of this Phase Two. He said that was a phony wetland and that was never a wetland before and it was never a wetland before the Decker Road engineering did not go in right.

 

Mr. Korte said he was on the site with Mr. Kapelczak who had indicated he would see where the water was coming from and as they were standing, he walked to the right, and Mr. Korte said he had asked him where he was going as the water comes from the left. He said they have a massive problem and Storm Water Management said to look into it. He said also the Shawood Sand Dam was created by the lack of water that flows and not the storm water, which dumps all the crud right into them, which they didn't need more of.

 

Mr. Korte said he had appointments with JCK to walk the sites of all of this until somehow JCK needed $7,000 to inspect what the Sector Study said was wrong and that was frightening. He said Storm Water Management says if they have a problem, let's look at it, but no one was going to look at it until they pay $7,000 so that got whitewashed under the rug.

 

Mr. Korte said his meeting was cancelled with Ms. Sue Tepatti and they have admitted the problems of the gorge area but it all got whitewashed and he asked what were they going to do about it.

 

Mr. Korte said if one follows the plan, you do not need another storm retention/detention in this area. He said he found it interesting that no one has shown the Commission the plans of Oakland County and what they plan to do with the new culverts under Novi Road, because that was a done-deal to be done at the time of the widening of Novi Road to five lanes, and also shortly thereafter, Oakland County would be upgrading Novi Road between 12 1/2 and 13 Mile.

 

Mr. Korte said regarding the drainage tubes, he wanted to say it was going to be two new 19's, but he may be wrong, and it was to be in a large retention/detention basin on Oakland County's road right-of-way right next to the Realty Center or now the small office building, so they don't need to do any more of that and it was being done and JCK has the plans and the Sector Study was shown the plans, and it keeps getting pushed further and further back.

 

Mr. Korte said the builders, who have always been fine builders, were not going to like this either, but he would suggest if they would not build their retention/detention on site, that they would take that money and start the retention/detention in the direction of Oakland County's engineering. He said it would solve the builder's problems and it would solve his problems as a Shawood Lake resident.

 

Mr. Korte said he has had JCK on site numerous times, and there has been no storm water runoff erosion control and there was the sludge and the mud and the first year, Shawood Lake had brown ice. He said it was unacceptable what they were doing to Shawood Lake and JCK wouldn't even come out and look at the sludge that floats up daily.

 

Mr. Bill Helvenkas of 2020 Austin of Shawood Lake was present. He said most of his comments had been brought up by Mr. Korte and he mostly supports the themes that he brought up. He said he has been at 2020 Austin for 3 1/2 years and this was his fourth summer there, and he has seen that lake change significantly in the last four summers and that sludge was not there when he first came in.

 

Mr. Helvenkas said there seems to be no flow or there seems to be a lack of flow as that water comes past his property. He said he has heard some earlier comments about the water was going to be retained and separated and that this new phase was going to take care of any concerns he would have about water overflow.

 

Mr. Halvangis indicated he has walked that first phase and he has gone into the back and he has seen large collections of water and he didn't think the water in that first phase was properly managed in the first place and there was a ton of water back there in several different places that to him as he looks through the property and looks at the flow, it strikes him that the water should be flowing through and should not be held in the sections that he has seen it held in.

 

Mr. Halvangis said he felt it should be going underneath Novi Road, which he didn't see happening and it should go through that canal and hence, he should get flow that would not just be storm water, but a deep regular steady under-water flow through that lake.

 

Mr. Halvangis said his concern was that the first phase was not handled properly and it didn't happen and he wasn't sure that the second phase then was going to be handled any better. He said regarding the water and whether it does or does not go into Shawood Lake, he was quite concerned about also.

 

There being no further Audience, Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing.

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges said she had a question just to bring her up to speed on the approval of the plan. She said the first question would be to the applicant, and whether or not his deed restrictions and covenants would allow fences and he replied they do.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Rogers how do they put a fence on a zero lot line, and Mr. Rogers said they wouldn't have a fence at that point. He said they could set the building off a foot or two if they wish, and they also show building envelopes that do go pretty much to zero lot line, although there was a small gap there.

 

Mr. Rogers felt the fences would be in the front or the rear yard. Member Hodges said she was concerned still about whose fence was on whose property and she felt that would create problems.

 

Mr. Rogers said that was an interesting question. He asked Mr. Watson was there not a construction easement on the adjacent property if it was a zero lot line, so they could go on that lot, and did he recall in the agreement.

 

Mr. Watson said their agreement with the City doesn't cover that, and that was something they would have to cover if those sites were dealt out to builders and they would have to resolve that issue, and certainly they were not going to be building and maintaining activities on the property that the person building doesn't own.

 

Member Hodges said they should encourage the applicant to do that to keep down problems for potential residents in the future.

 

Member Hodges said another question was regarding their City's plan review process and approval process. She asked even though the Commission doesn't get the facade plans, weren't the facade plans already approved for the site plans. Mr. Rogers replied that was part of the Area Plan, and many of the diagrams they probably have seen in the big book, which he has with him that night.

 

Mr. Rogers said Section 2520 of the facade element of the Zoning Ordinance doesn't apply to single family homes, and where the review comes though on single family homes was through the similar-dissimilar section of the Ordinance for single family homes and an architect with JCK & Associates does those unit plans and Mr. Bluhm may want to expand on that, but he would say that those individual detached homes would have to go through similar-dissimilar review.

 

Member Hodges asked upon application and approval of the plan, was not also sought the approval of the facades and not down to each lot, and Mr. Rogers replied no. He said they did provide that night and he did extract Page 11 out of the Area Plan, which showed pretty much the same thing, but this was a little different than commercial or industrial site planning where at the time of Final site plan review, they go into the facades.

 

Mr. Rogers said this would be done after they grant Final site plan approval and they come in on individual home sites for a building permit and they would have to go through the similar/dissimilar review by an architect with JCK who works he believed with the Building Department.

 

Member Taub asked Mr. Rogers looking at the trees that would be placed by the structures, would they have complete screening by the time the trees were matured or what would it look like as far as any landscaping.

 

Mr. Rogers replied that was required in the park area in the two entranceways to this development, and there was a street tree requirement and Mr. Pargoff would review that and then there was the landscaping that Ms. Lemke discussed around the perimeter of the wetlands area, so there was a landscape plan.

 

Mr. Rogers felt they want to be attentive to what was done in the 50 foot buffer strip along Decker Road, and that was their front door and he was confident that they were going to have an attractive entranceway.

 

Member Taub asked what would the screening look like once the trees were matured in the front off of Decker Road and would the structures be noticeable at all. Ms. Lemke replied yes and they would be able to see filtered off of them, and they have a double row of trees there. She said it wouldn't be like an evergreen hedge, which wasnít appropriate anyway.

 

Member Taub said so the structures would be seen through the trees and Ms. Lemke said yes.

 

Member Taub asked Mr. Bluhm his response to the public participation as far as the effect on Shawood Lake and other possible problems. Mr. Bluhm said that would be part of what they would have to provide at Final, and they would have to analyze the storm water runoff from this site, and its impact on Shawood Lake as far as elevation increases and that type of thing. He said Shawood Lake was a very large body of water and it was functioning as a regional basin for a lot of those older areas that surround the lake right now taking the storm water runoff.

Mr. Bluhm said so it would be something they would have to look at real long and hard at the time the Final comes through, but it was his feeling that they wouldn't anticipate from the volume or the level of water increase, that they would see much of an impact.

 

Member Taub asked if he believed there has been increasing adverse impacts on Shawood Lake over the last several years and Mr. Bluhm replied that was hard to tell but their office, as well as Mr. Nowicki's office, have taken a look at a lot of the different aspects of the effects that this development and the existing conditions were having on Shawood Lake and they believe they have some studies that were in process and he may be looking at that also.

 

Mr. Bluhm said he was not aware of anything that has been proposed or that has been looked at that shows that there were negative impacts and he wouldn't anticipate any with what they were proposing.

 

Member Taub said if the proposed drainage was approved and the project goes ahead, if it turns out there were problems, were there things that could be done after the fact, and Mr. Bluhm said from what they were proposing here, especially with the sedimentation basin and the size of the basin that they were putting in, he has a good feeling.

 

Mr. Bluhm said also in consultation with Ms. Tepatti, whatever was going to be run off from this site was going to be contained before it goes under Novi Road to a large extent and the type of water that they were going to see going down into Shawood Lake would be pretty clean and he and Ms. Tepatti feel fairly confident that would occur.

 

Member Taub asked Ms. Lemke about the lack of information and incorrect numbers on the tree replacements, and he took it that the matter has been dealt with, and Ms. Lemke said it has been partially dealt with and it certainly would be dealt with before a permit was issued and what was stated was the number needs to be complied with.

 

Member Taub said so she was saying this was an issue that could be resolved before Final and Ms. Lemke said yes and they had a lot of time to do that.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers about the Final Area Plan that was approved by Council, and he didn't consider it necessary for the Planning Commission to receive that, and Mr. Rogers replied he thought the Commission had. He then referred to the Area Plan and indicated he had approved it and stamped it on March 31, 1995 and it was SP87-30CC.

 

Mr. Rogers said if the Commission doesn't have this, he felt copies should be made available as he was continually referring to it. He said the applicant would be in Phase Three shortly, the church site just to the north of this site, and there has to be a small adjustment in the Area Plan Phasing, but they use this as a guide for each of the 15-16 site plans they were going to be seeing to determine if they fit the Area Plan.

 

Member Bonaventura said he fought his battle with this concept during the Area Plan and lost that battle and he was willing to accept that, but what he was concerned about was during his research, he did remember that this was a little different than a condo site or a site plan as far as they could discuss the park and the amenities that were going to be in that park and was that correct, and Mr. Rogers said yes and they did show a park in the Area Plan.

 

Member Bonaventura said then all the amenities that were mentioned in the Area Plan, that was the of discussion of that and it was stated yes.

 

Mr. Rogers said now as the individual plans come in, the Commission has the jurisdiction to approve the Preliminary and then the Final or any amendments there to.

 

Member Bonaventura asked the square footage of the park and Mr. Rogers felt about an acre. Member Bonaventura said he was curious if anyone has any information and this park is to service this one section and was pretty much isolated from the other phases.

 

Member Bonaventura said the real lots that were up against the preserved area, they were allowed to be shorter in depth and there was a footnote that allows them to be somewhat less that the required depth and Member Bonaventura asked if there was a minimum put on that and Mr. Rogers said there was no minimum and no reference that the lot must have 5,000 sq. Ft. or 4,000 square feet but many of those lots are between 4,000 square feet-5,000 square feet in site area and it was not a subdivision lot but it was a site condominium parcel.

 

Mr. Rogers said in the packet, they have some architectural footprint plans with different housing styles, cape cod, etc., and there was no other minimum area requirement and the overall density when they take in all the way over to Novi Road and up to Howellís Walled Lake Subdivision, was about 2.3 units per gross acre which is a bit over an R-2.

 

Member Bonaventura asked does that mean those lots can be individually owned by the person who purchases the home and Mr. Rogers said yes. Member Bonaventura said the rear lots wouldnít have an alley behind them and Mr. Rogers said the ones on the perimeter do not but the ones in the internal segment, about two-thirds of the lots, have an alley in back for the garages.

 

Member Bonaventura asked did that mean the garages will be oriented towards the front or access from the front to the rear lots from the front of the home, and Mr .Rogers pointed out the alleys and said all of the garages would be accessed from this so-called 20 foot public alley and not from the curb or street. He said the homes that were on the outer perimeter along the west and north edge, would have to have garage access from the street because there is no alley behind them.

 

Member Bonaventura asked was the entrance to the garage facing the alley or the street and Mr. Rogers said the alley and he believed it was set back from the alley line a bit to make the turn in at least 20 feet, so they have two parking apron spaces in front of the garage door and then a two-car garage inside for each unit.

 

Member Hoadley asked if there would be any dwellings in this section that would be work- live dwellings and it was stated no. He said he was on the ZBA when they submitted their 17-19 variances and if his recollection was correct, they asked for a 10 foot setback on the fronts for picket fences to be on the sidewalk area and were they now showing that 10 feet because that was the variance they received, and Mr. Hughes said whatever the variance was.

 

Mr. Rogers said yes with 50 foot and 60 foot wide lots and Member Hoadley said with 11 feet between the side lot lines and Mr. Rogers felt that was correct.

 

Mr. Rogers said he looked at the floor plan again and the buildings were really not directly on the side lot line, but they could be and if they were, the other side yard has to be 11 feet.

 

Member Hoadley said he would like see their footprint for the house on Lot 54 particularly where it looks like they have less than half a lot and they have an intrusion into the woodland and wetland area there, and he asked how would they put in that house and not intrude into it. Mr. Hughes indicated the house would be turned sideways and Member Hoadley asked to see a footprint of that and Mr. Hughes said that would be submitted to the Building Department when they go in for the building permit stage, and actually the home was turned sideways.

 

Member Hoadley said but they were asking the Commission to approve this concept and he has a hesitancy of approving it and there were no footprints on the site plan they have. Mr. Hughes said that was not required for Preliminary site plan approval and Member Hoadley said but they have a lot that has some real constraints and there was a concern by the Consultant about several lots that were impacted so that makes a concern for him.

 

Mr. Hughes said all of the lots comply pursuant to their consultantsí recommendations and all of the lots that they feel have different configurations all comply as far as the width and the square footage and if it is applicable and when he applies for individual site plan or individual building permits per site, he would have to meet all of the ordinances.

 

Mr. Hughes said each home would have an individual design and the design is naturally compatible to that specific site so when they have an odd configured site or a site that is not as comparable with the other sites, there would be a special home design for that site and they have several of those sites as the site plan reflects.

 

Member Hoadley asked Ms. Lemke about the lots that were impacted by the woodlands/wetlands, and could she envision a proper footprint on those that would not impact that wetland and the buffer zone. Ms. Lemke said she has looked at those and they were going to have the garages in the front in those particular ones rather than the rear so they would be on the side of the buildings, so they could in fact lengthen the home and put the garage on the side and not have it as deep as some of the other ones.

 

Member Hoadley said she didnít feel there would be a problem on the side lot line requirements there and Ms. Lemke said no.

 

Member Hoadley said he went out to the site and looked at it extensively and it looks to him like the whole area is covered with dense woodlands and wetlands from 13 Mile Road right on down to along Decker Road and down to 12 1/2 Mile Road and it looked like high quality to him and not low quality. He asked what was the gross area of this particular site plan of the 23 acres and what does that represent.

 

Ms. Lemke asked as far as the woodlands and Member Hoadley said the gross acreage of the plan and they have 23 acres altogether and how much were they preserving, and how many acres are they preserving out of 23 acres and Ms. Lemke said they were removing 4.5 acres on this particular site. Member Hoadley said this area is 4.5 acres where all the 54 homes are going to go and Mr. Rogers replied yes.

 

Member Hoadley said they were preserving 80% and Ms. Lemke said yes. He asked if she had any concerns about those lots that were impacting the buffer and Ms. Lemke said she would feel more comfortable if there was a larger distance between the buffer, but she didnít have any overall concerns. She said she did have a concern about the drainage for those lots at the north which is why she wanted to look carefully at that with final engineering plans as the plans today do not give them enough detail to make a determination.

 

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Bluhm where the planned retention/detention basin would be and Mr. Bluhm explained the detention basin they were proposing to use was Shawood Lake. Member Hoadley said they were going to retain some water on the site, and Mr. Bluhm replied only for the purposes of sedimentation and Member Hoadley asked where would that be.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated where that would be and Member Hoadley asked what size was that and Mr. Bluhm said basically with sedimentation he has them design to a one-year storm event, which was a volume of a certain amount of water so they have to size it to at least hold that much and that provides a sedimentation that was necessary for the site.

 

Member Hoadley asked if they were taking trees out to do that and Ms. Lemke said no, there was a definite break there. Member Hoadley asked if Mr. Bluhm could address what Mr. Korte had to say in more depth and Mr Korte had made a suggestion in regards to what the County intends to do later on, and what kind of merit does that have. Mr. Bluhm replied as he knows it today, the County was not anticipating immediate construction of Novi Road, in fact the volumes of Novi Road, would go way down when the extension was pushed through to 12 Mile and Decker Road.

 

Mr. Bluhm said regarding some of the concerns as far as detention in areas in this location, with the exception of the regional basin that already exists on the west or east side of Decker Road, everything in this area was intended to drain to Shawood Lake and be detained in that location according to the Master Plan, so he was not aware of any additional detention in that location.

 

Member Hoadley said if he was hearing Mr. Korte right, it seems his concern was they needed increased flow and they were not getting the flow across Novi Road that they would anticipate, and it was full of sludge, etc., and he asked what was the City doing or what was the developer going to do to clean this out and make sure the flow was proper.

 

Mr. Bluhm believed that particular problem that was brought up was being addressed through Mr. Nowickiís office and he was not aware that they have identified a specific problem that was occurring out there to date. Member Hoadley said but he just heard there was sludge and if that was the case and they try to force additional water through there, it would back up on this site. Mr. Bluhm said that would be one of reasons that they would have to provide a clean-out for the channel and verification of the capacity and basically a cleaning of the whole system right down to Shawood Lake.

 

Member Hoadley said they were talking about the developerís cost and Mr. Bluhm said that would be a part of the development. Member Hoadley said that was not stipulated in any of his reviews, and Mr. Bluhm said that would be a requirement for them to achieve the detention that they need for this site so it would be a requirement of the final site plan.

 

Member Hoadley said shouldnít that be part of a motion, and Mr. Bluhm said that could be made as part of the motion but it was going to be something that was required for them to show that they have capacity downstream and there may not be a lot of cleaning necessary in that area and it may be localized and it was difficult to tell how much and to what degree it was necessary in that location.

 

Member Hoadley said to Mr. Korte, hearing what Mr. Bluhm has said that the developer would be required to clean out those pipes that were accessing Shawood Lake and the fact that they were going to have a retention basin that will filter out all the sediments including gas and oil and fertilizers, which would increase the flow into the Shawood Lake, would that be a help in his opinion.

 

Mr. Korte said if it increases the flow into Shawood Lake, yes. He said their proposal was not doing that and when you talk of the clean-out, Oakland County will go on a regular basis and clean it out if the City of Novi will demand it, but the City of Novi has never demanded that Oakland County do that. He said opening those drains is fine but the problem is they do not have steady water as they always did flowing in that direction, and they could clean out the drains all they want and if there is no water to flow in it, it doesnít make any difference. He said when the flash floods come, they plug immediately because of the erosion control problem.

 

Mr. Bluhm commented he assumed Mr. Korte was talking more specifically the culverts under Novi Road, and Mr. Korte said yes, and Mr. Bluhm said that is a County roadway and the County is required to maintain them, and he couldnít speak to what the City has done to request them to maintain those, but he believed what they were going to see with the developerís proposal here is basically attuned to a culvert replacement and he would suspect the culvert they have under that roadway is not going to be adequate to handle the developed flows from the site, and they were going to end up replacing it and adding additional storm sewers, which he believed would help the situation.

 

Member Hoadley asked if they could require that and Mr. Bluhm said that would be required if they canít show that the existing culvert has capacity. Member Hoadley asked if the Commission could require it as far as the site plan review, and Mr. Watson said what Mr. Bluhm was telling him, which he believed was correct, was that it was already a requirement under the Design and Construction Standards, that when they design that sedimentation basin, and the flow to Shawood Lake, they are going to have to design that in as part of the standards.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo at this point pointed out she had neglected to mention a letter from the City Forester, Chris Pargoff, who indicates he would not recommend approval of the Woodland Permit due to the lack of information and incorrect numbers on the tree replacements.

 

Member Mutch said on that point, didnít Ms. Lemke already say that has been addressed in the interim, and Ms. Lemke said she has received additional information since Mr. Pargoff wrote that letter and as long as they have a number in here to agree on, the location of those trees could be on the final engineering plans.

 

Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo to review the difference between an alley way and what they normally think of as a public street, and how the traffic flow might be different. Mr. Arroyo said from the prospective of the Design and Construction Standards, the primary difference between the two is the width of the road. He said a standard subdivision street is 28 feet back-to-back curb, and an alley is generally 20-22 feet and he thought they were proposing 22 feet in this particular instance.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the narrow width obviously dates back to the function of alleys, which is primarily just to provide access to the abutting properties and not to provide any type of access for through-traffic. He said from a functional standpoint, you are not going to see on-street parking on an alley where you would see on-street parking on a typical subdivision street, and you are basically going to use the alley for accessing garage areas, turning in and out of the driveway, which brings it into the garages, whereas, with this particular layout, the primary road network, will carry that traffic out to Decker Road, so those were the primary differences between the two.

 

Member Mutch said for instance, the lots that were on the perimeter that have only street access, there might possibly be additional parking available to them on their side of the street or on one side of the street, but she asked what about the people who would not have street access and would they have a drive in front.

 

Mr. Arroyo said all the lots have street access. He said the smallest half-circle roadway closest to Decker Road, is a regular subdivision street, 28 feet back to back, and the alley is the one in between those two. Member Mutch asked about the center row and does that have car access from both, and if they have a home on one of those center lots, can they park in a drive in front of their house, or can they access a garage at the rear and Mr. Arroyo said correct, they would have on-street parking available on the regular subdivision street, the one that is 28 feet, and then they have parking on their individual lot via the driveway apron from the alley.

 

Member Mutch said the same would be true for the shortest curb as well and Mr. Arroyo said correct, and he further explained on the outer roadway, the largest radius roadway towards the outer end, the major difference there that you are going to find is that the lots that front on the south side or the southeastern side, will not have driveways fronting onto that roadway because the access will come from the alley, whereas the ones on the northwestern side, will have actually driveways fronting on that roadway.

 

Member Mutch said if those center lots have a place to park, whether it is in a drive or in front of their car, in a garage, especially if they have two places to park, there is less likelihood that that alleyway would be misused and that was her concern.

 

Mr. Arroyo said correct, and in this instance, they would have parking for four vehicles for each lot that has access to the alley, two in the garage, two in the apron, plus they could park on the regular street, the standard 28 foot wide street, and there would be on-street parking and that far exceeds the Ordinance requirements.

 

Member Mutch asked how do pedestrians move through the alley way, and Mr. Arroyo said that was not really intended for pedestrian access and they could walk on the alley if they wanted to as nothing prohibits that. Member Mutch said that would not be their only way of getting through and not the preferred way and she just wanted to be sure it wasnít the only way, and Mr. Arroyo said no, they would park on their lot and if they wanted to walk, the logical thing would be to walk to the front yard where the sidewalk was and then walk throughout the rest of the subdivision.

 

Member Capello said the Ordinance does not regulate the facades in residential communities, but he specifically remembered attending a lot of the Vistas meetings where part of what was told to us on the Vistas project and the high density and the narrow lots, was the fact that they were going to bring houses close up to the road and they were going to have front porches on the houses and have a specific design throughout the community to be consistent with the narrow lots. He asked wasnít there somewhere in the Agreement where they agreed to do that.

 

Mr. Watson said within the Area Plan itself, there are certain standards and criteria for the houses and the facades in general terms and he felt what Mr. Rogers has indicated was that the plans they have put before you were consistent with those and that the rest of the review of that occurs when the actual building plans come in and the engineers with the Building Department do the similar/dissimilar facade review.

 

Mr. Rogers said in the Area Plan, there is a big chapter, and he showed one drawing of the type of architecture that they intend to emphasize throughout the Vistas plan, so this being an approved agreement PUD under the Zoning Ordinance, there is that degree of regulation.

 

Member Capello said he had the same concerns as Member Hodges because he thought specifically they told the Commission what facades they were using and also that every house was going to have a front porch for people to sit on to create that community atmosphere. He said from what Mr. Watson has said, they have reviewed that and the plans that are in their packets and they are showing that night, were consistent with the Area Plan.

 

Mr. Rogers said yes, from what he has seen here, and from what was submitted and the intent, it would comply with the Area Plan and there was flexibility here and there were a number of floor plans, 7-12 different plans and building facade plans, but it was strictly the 2 - 2 1/2 story house, dormers porches, fences in the front yard.

 

Member Capello asked if porches were required and Mr. Hughes replied no.

 

Member Capello asked if it would be Mr. Blumís Department or the Building Department that is going to have to, in reviewing the individual building permits, look at the Area Plan to make sure everything was in compliance.

Mr. Watson indicated the Building Department reviews the building permits, but the similar dissimilar review would be done through Mr. Necci of JCK.

 

Mr. Rogers said he felt this should be brought specifically to their attention, when they come in for similar/dissimilar and they should read Tab Two of the Area Plan, and he was stating this for the record.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Hodges

 

 

To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to West Village At The Vistas of Novi, Phase II, SP95-32A.

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Member Hoadley asked would the maker of the motion, be willing to accept an amendment that this come back for Final and Member Capello agreed but Member Hodges asked for what purpose and Member Hoadley said for the similar/dissimilar issue and facades and he would like to see the footprint on those lots he has a problem with.

 

Member Hodges asked as a PUD, the materials already have been approved, so the purpose of bringing it back for Final are to dictate which house has it and which house doesnít.

 

Mr. Watson said if he understood Member Hoadleyís reason, it was so that the similar/dissimilar issue could be reviewed and the plat plans be reviewed, and the problem with that was it was not something that occurs prior to Final site plan.

 

Member Hoadley said he would have a problem with this if all the houses did not have porches in this particular phase when those people have said they were going to have porches and he also had a problem with some of those lots.

 

Member Hodges said she could not accept the amendment based upon those itemized comments.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo pointed out to Member Hoadley that they could make a motion to amend to bring this back for Final and get the Commissioní vote on it and Member Hoadley said he would make a motion. Member Hodges said they already have a motion on the floor and Chairperson Lorenzo said it would be an amendment.

 

 

MOTION TO AMEND THE MAIN MOTION:

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Bonaventura

 

 

To bring it back for Final.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON AMENDMENT TO MAIN MOTION

 

Member Mutch said she would have to agree with Member Hodges that it would appear that there is adequate review at the building permit level and the review that goes into the Final site plan before it even comes to them. She felt that was built into the process.

 

Mr. Watson added with the facade and similar/dissimilar issue aside, he felt one of Member Hoadleyís additional concerns was whether a couple or one or several of those sites were actually buildable sites and he didnít know if there was additional information or discussion from the engineers or Mr. Rogers that could aid in resolving that question or not. Mr. Watson said if he understood Member Hoadleyís questions regarding this particular site, it was could they actually fit that house there and comply with everything else that is required at the PUD and he thought that question was answered, but possibly it wasnít.

 

Member Hodges said she was under the impression that if the applicant comes in with a site plan/a request for a building permit, and the lot does not meet the specifications regardless of whether or not the plan has been approved, they cannot build a house there and it would be a lost lot. She didnít understand why it was necessary for them to dictate things that they have no control over.

 

Mr. Watson explained the issue wasnít dictating but what they were trying to do is to prevent there being a lot that ends up being a useless lot because it would presumedly detract from the entire phase, and if they actually reached a point where they went to the Building Department and tried to get a building permit for the house and it would not fit on the problem lot, the Building Department would deny them the permit and they would be left going to the ZBA or just leaving the lot in an undeveloped state and he felt that is what they were trying to prevent.

 

Member Hodges said in that case, if it cannot be developed, would it then go back into the greenspace. She said perhaps this was something they need to recommend be written into the Covenants and Restrictions. She said for that particular lot, they could put a ranch on it and they give a plan for a ranch and they could put a ranch on that lot and it has already been approved for a structure.

 

Mr. Watson said he didnít know what they could fit on it as he doesnít physically review the plan, but that was the question they were trying to resolve.

 

Mr. Hughes said there were three engineering firms here represented, all of which were unanimous that each and every one of the sites have been studied for compatibility and he could represent to the Commission today, that all sites were buildable, and some sites have different configurations, as he mentioned before, a specially designed home just for a particular lot, but all sites would be buildable and it would also have to comply with all the requirements of JCKís final review criteria.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he anticipated additional variances to make them buildable or are they buildable as is, and Mr. Hughes said as is.

 

Member Mutch asked if by some fluke, a lot is not buildable at this point in the game, was there something in the Area Plan that would require that to be a landscaped lot, a mowed lawn lot, as opposed to being left a pile of dirt. Mr. Watson replied there were provisions in the Covenants and Restrictions that would require it to be maintained in a sightly condition so it was not an eyesore.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked for a clarification from Mr. Watson and was he indicating that as the Planning Commission, they have no jurisdiction over the facades in this proposal, and Mr. Watson thought the criteria for the facades have been approved as a part of the Area Code, and the approval now is an indication of what has been presented to them is a part of the site and is consistent with that, but as to the particular facades on a unit-by-unit basis, that comes during the Building Permit process.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo commented if the motion is a general motion in terms of just bringing it back for Final and nothing specific, such as the items they have discussed that really donít pertain to the Planning Commissionís jurisdiction, she would support the motion for other reasons which was the landscape plan still has to come back and also some of them had questions concerning what the landscaping is going to look like, and additionally all the drainage concerns and not only from the drainage prospective of waterflow but any impacts they may have on the woodlands and the wetlands etc. She said she would support the motion to bring it back for Final for those reasons.

 

 

VOTE ON AMENDMENT TO MOTION:

 

(Voice vote) (6) Yeas (2) Nays

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

ADDITIONAL AMENDMENT TO MOTION:

 

Member Capello said approval would be subject to the Consultantsí letters, particularly Ms. Lemkeís letter and Member Hodges accepted that also.

 

 

MAIN MOTION:

 

To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval, to West Village at the Vistas of Novi - Phase II, SP95-32A, subject to the Consultantsí letters, especially Ms. Lemkeís letter and that Final Site Plan come back to the Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura said seeing how the Area Plan has been approved, he would be supporting this Preliminary site plan that night basically because he felt his hands were tied. He personally didnít feel this project was right for Novi but there was nothing he could do about it.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm about the storm water and some of the problems that Mr. Korte has indicated were stagnant water and the lack of continual flow of water to Shawood Lake to get a consistent depth and did he have any information or did he anticipate that the proposal as has been presented, would address some of those concerns.

 

Mr. Bluhm felt it would address issues regarding an increase in flow and there would be an increase in flow there and this is still a minor development when they consider Shawood Lake as a whole, and the impacts and the increased flows into Shawood Lake with this development are still going to be relatively minor.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said it was her understanding all of the water from Vistas of Novi, would be going into Shawood Lake.

 

Mr. Bluhm said no that was not the case, and he indicated this phase and all the phases that were on the west side of Decker Road, and Phase 9, and the phase coming up with the Church site, would be draining into Shawood Lake and then the phase that would be just north and east of that. He said some of the phases immediately east of Decker Road, will also be directed into Shawood Lake, but they would be detained before that in the existing basin that exists right at the center of the site of the Vistas development as a whole.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said when he says the existing basin, was he talking about a wooded wetland and Mr. Bluhm said the existing detention basin that was constructed. Chairperson Lorenzo said there was a constructed man-made basin and Mr. Bluhm said yes, there is a control structure that was constructed the time Decker Road was put in and Chairperson Lorenzo asked they were not talking about detaining in wooded wetlands at this point and Mr. Bluhm said there is detention being provided in that center wetland area which is basically a real ponded area. He said it was functioning as detention for phase one right now, but it would also provide detention for some of the latter phases, the commercial phase to the north, and some of the phases on the east side of that, but the entire eastern half of that Vistas development is intended to drain to the east across Meadow brook Road.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said you mentioned the phases, so approximately four phases will end up detaining in Shawood and Mr. Bluhm said they would have three phases providing unrestricted flows into Shawood and they would have two or three or four phases where the storm water would be directed into the regional basin which then outlets across Decker Road and as Mr. Korte mentioned, makes its way to Shawood Lake and the remaining phases to the east would be directed to the east.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked about the future water that is going to be detained that they were talking about in the wetlands, and has any of those impacts been looked at yet.

 

Mr. Bluhm said they are going to have to take each one on its merit, and the ideal is to take those phases west of Decker Road and provide detention in Shawood Lake, but if they have to convey through open channels, they have to convey it through areas where there are wooded wetlands and those would have to be looked at and it may very well be that the detention would have to be provided on those individual phases to keep from impacting downstream in the wetlands.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she noted in Ms. Tepattiís letter that she talked about not recommending any detention be allowed in the existing wetlands on site and she was assuming that meant all of the wetlands on site and not just anything within this particular phase.

 

Mr. Bluhm said he believed she was intending for this phase specifically and Chairperson Lorenzo said Ms. Tepatti was only talking about the wetlands that exist within Phase Two and Mr. Bluhm believe that was the intent.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt all of these wetlands she would think were part of the entire site. Mr. Watson said but her review letter was just for Phase Two.

 

Mr. Bluhm said one of the submittals the applicant made was to detain in the wetland areas and that was looked at hard and long and determined that it was going to adversely effect the wetland area and she just wanted to make sure that it was on record that it was opposed by her.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said this is such a large project and there are so many wetlands on the site that maybe they should be looking at this entire area than to do it piecemeal and put drainage here and drainage there, and she didnít know if they would be locked into something in the future. She said she had concerns about the drainage for this project but would support the motion. She then repeated the motion.

 

 

To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to West Village at the Vistas of Novi - Phase II, SP95-32A, per all of the Consultantsí letter and to be brought back for Final.

 

(Voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Capello

 

 

To grant Woodlands Permit Approval to West Village at the Vistas of Novi - Phase II, SP95-32A subject to all the Consultantsí letters.

 

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

 

(6) Yeas (2) Nays

 

MOTION CARRIED.

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Capello

 

 

To grant Wetlands Permit Approval to West Village at the Vistas of Novi - Phase II, SP95-32A subject to all the Consultantsí letters.

 

 

(Voice vote) (7) Yeas (1) Nay-Bonaventura

 

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

THE COMMISSION TOOK A BREAK.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None and Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Audience Participation.

 

 

2. The Enclave Condominiums, SP95-36 - Property located south of Thirteen Mile Road, east of Novi Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan, Woodlands Permit and Wetlands Permit Approval.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated the applicant has respectfully requested to be tabled until August 2, 1995.

It was,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To postpone The Enclave Condominiums, SP95-36, to August 2, 1995.

 

 

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

 

MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

Member Capello asked if the Commission would agree to amend the Agenda and move Item #4 under Public Hearings, Delfino Estates Subdivision, to Item #3 before Novi Grand and the reason is he looked at the recommendations from the Consultants and it looks like to him the matter should be postponed because they need additional information and if they were going to do that rather than keep the public and the petitioner here through the entire hearing of Novi Grand, it would be a courtesy to them to put them ahead and then move on to Novi Grand.

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To move Delfino Estates Subdivision to Item #3 from Item #4 under Public Hearings.

 

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: Taub (Yes), Vrettas (Yes), Bonaventura (Yes), Capello (Yes), Hoadley (Yes), Hodges (Yes), Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (Ye)

 

MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

 

3. Delfino Estates Subdivision, SP95-06A - Property Located South of Nine Mile Road, West of Taft Road for Possible Tentative Preliminary Plat Recommendation to City Council.

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Vrettas

 

 

To postpone Delfino Estates for two weeks, to August 2, 1995 at the applicantís request.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked the applicant if that was favorable to them and the applicant said yes they would like to postpone their item.

 

 

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

 

MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

 

4. Novi Grand, SP95-30 - Property Located South of Grand River Avenue, West of Novi Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Recommendation to City Council and Woodlands Permit Approval.

 

Mr. Chuck Fosse from Wah Yee Associates was present. He said the site they were discussing that night is basically an assemblage of smaller pieces of property that have taken place over the last several years by Mr. Keros and they feel because of this aspect, it alone represents a major improvement in the area and it will enable the property to be developed in a much more organized and controlled way.

 

Mr. Fosse said one of the aspects of this improvement would be the elimination of several existing curb cuts and their plan proposes only one curb cut on Novi Road and one curb cut on Grand River with an additional service oriented curb cut on Flint. He said as far as the Flint situation is concerned, there was some concern about Flint being unpaved and the owner will pave this portion of Flint Street if that is requested or necessary.

 

Mr. Fosse said other than that, you can see from the site plan illustration that there are existing buildings on the corner of Novi Road and Grand River, the service station and the Chandelier Store and they dotted in the present location of the church, which is intended to be moved off the property to become part of Novi Vistas.

 

Mr. Fosse said the plan illustrates how they have oriented the building to take advantage of the shape of the property and also to impact as little as possible the natural amenities of the site and the woodlands than run along the existing river that parallels Flint Street and also they could see that the property to the west is not being developed at this time, other than for a limited amount of parking and access from Grand River, as well as a small detention area that will serve as a sedimentation area to filter the water before it goes back into the river.

 

Mr. Fosse said vehicular access is through these curb cuts and they could see that the parking is arranged more or less uniformly around the buildings and it is set back from the existing right-of-ways with the required 20 foot buffers. He said the other illustration is of the two principle facades of the building and that shows that their intention is to build a building that is compatible with the architectural character that has been established for the Town Center area and it was a one-story building, but in many aspects it has the massing and appearance that is similar to a two-story structure and the materials will all be durable and classic materials. He indicated the principal material would be face brick with some accents of cement plaster or cementitious sorts of material such as dryvit and then the roofing material could be a combination of shingle and metal roofing.

 

Mr. Fosse said he would be happy to answer any questions.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo pointed out that there was an error on the Agenda for this item. She said the Agenda indicates that this is a recommendation to City Council and she has been advised that it is not since it is under five acres so this is for Preliminary Site Plan approval and Woodlands Permit approval by the Commission.

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his report of June 14, 1995 and said the site is 4.524 acres and they wish to build a 24,400 square foot planned commercial center which was zoned TC District. He said all application data is provided. He reviewed the setbacks and from the existing right of way lines of Novi Road and Grand River, they meet the setback of the building.

 

 

Mr. Rogers said under the TC and TC-1 District classification, it calls out that the parking setbacks are technically measured from the right-of-way line of any street presently existing or as planned by the Road Commission of Oakland County or as shown on the Cityís Master Plan.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated that Novi Road here at this point is proposed, as is Grand River, for 120 feet right-of-way which is not the case throughout most of this area. He said the property fronts on Novi Road and for the southern portion, they do show the 60 foot from center line, but the northern two-thirds of the frontage was only 33 feet from center line. He said if you were to measure the setbacks from the proposed 120 foot right-of-way line, letís say 60 feet from center line, the proposed building is 42.13 feet from the closest point from the proposed Novi Road right-of-way and the parking lot at the northerly end would fall within that future right of way line.

 

Mr. Rogers said the northerly parking lot of where the church is today on Grand River, is set back 30 feet from the existing right-of-way line and would comply with the 120 foot right-of-way proposal for Grand River.

 

Mr. Rogers said regarding parking, he has counted 180 spaces including 6 handicapped and under the formula for parking, 172 spaces plus 6 handicapped are required, so they meet the parking.

 

Mr. Rogers discussed the access to the parking lots at the three points discussed, and for the one from Flint Street, it is absolutely necessary and he was pleased the applicant has agreed that that section has to be paved. He said this way the traffic generated from the parking lot will be on a paved parking lot area and will exit via a paved stub on Flint Street out to paved Novi Road.

 

Mr. Rogers said there was adequate loading and unloading at the rear of the building. He said sidewalks are proposed both along Novi Road and Grand River Avenue, and they have shown on the plan a pedestrian path along the east side of the creek on the east side of Flint Street. He said the landscape plan will be reviewed at the time of Final site plan submittal and the proposed conceptual facades have been submitted, face brick on all sides with a plaster veneer system highlights. He said again the detail facade reviews requiring brick or stone or materials compatible in the TC and TC-1 District, would be done at Final site plan review.

 

Mr. Rogers said he was discouraged to see that there was no orientation of the building to the west and there are no display windows or windows of any kind on the west side of the building and for that matter, on the north side of the building and the building turns its back on what could be a new amenity when Main Street is brought around to Grand River and a Riverwalk treatment enhancement occurs.

 

Mr. Rogers said he recommended Preliminary site plan approval subject to (1) the paving that has been agreed to of the stub on Flint Street, (2) consideration of, before Final site plan submittal, the west and the north facades of the building and (3) consideration of the building setback requirements and the parking lot setback requirements from Novi Road. He said if this property was zoned TC-1 in the Ordinance, they have assumed and they did this for the Novi Pavilion project and for Vicís Market, that the future rights-of-way going by a TC-1 District would be considered a 100 foot right-of-way, from which setbacks would be measured, which was the case when they reviewed Novi Pavilion and Vicís Market and the Novi Sports Tavern Retail.

 

 

Mr. Rogers said there would be some adjustment, but the key here was where do they measure the setbacks from, the existing right-of-way line or from some planned right-of-way line. He said their Town Center Ordinance calls out planned, as well as existing, but there are certain legal considerations here.

 

Mr. Watson said in reading Mr. Rogersí letter, he didnít understand what item no. 3 meant until he just explained it now, and it appears what his letter was saying was that does not comply with the letter of the Ordinance and therefore when they say, consideration of a need for variances, that refers to a need to go to the ZBA for a variance. He said it would appear that the issue being raised that night was maybe that requirement was not valid, and he didnít feel the Commission should act on this without having a good answer to that and he couldnít give them a good answer without any research.

 

Mr. Watson said if this had been raised before this issue had come to the table that evening, and it could have been looked at and he could have provided a report on it. He said as it would stand now if it was approved, it was going to the ZBA, but if they wanted a further opinion on that, it would take some research.

 

Mr. Fosse suggested that it may well be that this does not have to go to the ZBA and he did perhaps have an answer to the legal question that Mr. Watson just posed but without their permission, he was not going to say anything.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said if Mr. Watson feels he needs to research the matter, he should do that.

 

Mr. Fosse asked if he could discuss this information with Mr. Watson, and Mr. Watson suggested they could discuss this matter after it has been postponed. Mr. Fosse said if he is being told the matter is going to be postponed, then there is clearly no reason for him to speak now, but if there is some feeling that his comments may bear on whether or not they are going to postpone, then perhaps they should give him a few minutes to speak.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said it appears that Mr. Watson feels that if the Commission is going to act on this matter, that it will go to the ZBA for these variances. She said if they have another opinion that he would like to discuss with Mr. Watson, in terms of an interpretation, then it appears that it would be best to postpone the matter, so the attorneys can get together.

 

Mr. Fosse said if they were given that choice, then they would like to get approval that night, subject to going to the ZBA and then perhaps they could come back to the Commission, but at least they would be on the ZBA Agenda.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said they would be proceeding with the matter with the assumption that the required setback deviations will be a ZBA matter and subsequent to that, if there are any attorney interpretations otherwise, that would be discussed by the two attorneys after the fact.

 

Mr. Bluhm said access is provided along three entrances and they have a concern which is echoed in Mr. Arroyoís letter with the approach onto Flint Street and then onto Novi Road, and he would like to see them provide more detail of how they were going to handle that, and the road is in poor condition.

 

Mr. Bluhm said water supply and sanitary sewers will be provided by existing facilities that exist in Novi Road, and a lead will be brought in for the sanitary sewer to service the building. He said storm sewers would be constructed in the parking areas and storm water will be diverted to the northern part of the site into a detention basin, which will then outlet into an existing storm sewer, which then outlets into the Rouge River.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the Middle Branch of the Rouge River runs along the north side or actually the northeast side of Flint Street, along almost the entire site and then when it reaches the southern end, it crosses under Flint Street under some culverts and then continues on to the south.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated as shown on the plans, they were proposing five foot sidewalks along the Grand River and Novi Road frontages and there were some concerns with the location of the sidewalk not indicated in his letter, and he would like to see it pushed back if possible, further towards the parking areas to provide more of a separation from Novi Road.

Mr. Bluhm said the Middle Rouge River has a floodplain associated with it, a FEMA designated flood plain for the river itself and the flood plain essentially wraps around the proposed building, and they are proposing to elevate the building approximately 2 1/2 feet above the flood plain, however, the northern tiers of parking will be in the flood plain and they are also intending to bring those areas up.

 

Mr. Bluhm said there was a flood way associated with the flood plain in that creek and all the proposed construction is outside of the flood way which will be required under the Novi Ordinances and FEMA requirements.

 

Mr. Bluhm said however for the elevation of the parking areas that were in the floodplain at the northern edge, they would have to secure a flood plain use permit through the Cityís Building Department, which is looked at also by his office.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the applicant is proposing to outlet the detained flows into an existing storm sewer that then connects into the Rouge River, and they are going to have to show that the storm sewer has the capacity to handle the flows from this site, especially the southern end of the site, as it was not intended to go into that area and that can be looked at in more detail at the Final site plan level.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated he recommended approval.

 

Mr. Arroyo said he had the following comments regarding the Preliminary site plan. He indicated access is proposed to three different locations, one being a proposed driveway onto Grand River Avenue, and another being a proposed driveway to Novi Road, and the third being an access point to Flint Street. He pointed out that Flint Street is designated as a non-residential collector road on the Thoroughfare Plan and that was essentially the Town Center Ring Road or the extension of Main Street.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the City has envisioned essentially that the area south of Grand River, the Ring Road, would develop as a traditional Main Street, whereas on the north side of Grand River, the Ring Road was taking on more of a boulevard configuration such as what was currently existing on Crescent Blvd.

 

Mr. Arroyo said regarding this Ring Road configuration, the appropriate right-of-way for that is 70 feet and Flint Street should be shown on the plan as having a 70 foot future right-of-way and he has also indicated that the 120 foot future right-of-way for Novi Road should also be delineated on the plan, and obviously there are some issues to resolve regarding setbacks, but he really didnít address that in their review.

 

Mr. Arroyo said he has mentioned what some of the recent traffic count information was that they have available on the two major roads. He said for Novi Road, the latest count for 1991 was approximately 28,000 vehicles per day, and Grand River was carrying approximately 13,000 vehicles per day as of 1991. He pointed out that today he was able to receive some updated traffic count information from the Road Commission on Grand River and they did a count last month and the count now on Grand River, west of Novi Road, was 18,273 vehicles per day and that compares to the 12,900 from approximately four years ago.

 

Mr. Arroyo said he indicated in Comment No. 3 in their letter for the proposed driveway on Novi Road, that they would recommend that it be shifted slightly to the south to better align with Sixth Gate Drive, and that drive as they understand it, at least at the Preliminary planning stage, would likely remain in place and could provide a secondary access into the Main Street project on the east side of Novi Road, therefore, it makes sense to line up this driveway with that driveway and currently they are slightly off-set. He said that would involve some minor modifications to the internal parking, but that is something they feel could be resolved at Final.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the issue of the condition of Flint Street between Novi Road and the proposed access has been addressed and they concur with the paving of that and it should make a significant impact on the access to and from the site.

 

Mr. Arroyo also pointed out that as part of the Main Street project, Main Street will be directly across from Flint Street, but this would be a signalized intersection, therefore its function would be much different than would otherwise be, because obviously if they were trying to gain access or particularly leave this facility, they would have the use of that traffic signal at Flint Street, which will certainly make left turns much easier than they would be if they were attempting to make left turns out without a traffic signal, so he felt that was a significant benefit having access to Flint Street and being able to take advantage of that traffic signal.

 

Mr. Arroyo said relative to the access to Grand River, he has indicated that left turns in and out of there would not be recommended due to his proximity to Novi Road and the fact that eastbound traffic desiring to turn left to go northbound on Novi Road, backs up on a regular basis beyond the location where this driveway would be placed and therefore, turning left in or left out, at this location, would be very difficult at many times throughout the day and they were recommending that be a right turn in and right turn out situation.

 

Mr. Arroyo said he has also had a chance to study in more detail the implications of the access to Novi Road, particularly the new driveway and there is one area of concern that they still have. He indicated he was able to go through his old files and look at some of the traffic projections that were made for the Main Street development and approximately during the PM peak hour, 450 left turns are projected for that southbound Novi Road movement, turning left onto Main Street. He said that roadway has a five lane section essentially with the center turn lane and that center turn lane was the same lane they would use to turn left into this project at the access of Novi Road.

 

Mr. Arroyo said therefore they feel that was still an issue that they have some concerns about and there were a couple of options and one option was to go ahead and prohibit that or two, study that in more detail so they would have a chance before Final to look at the proposed queing for that southbound left turn maneuver into Main Street to see if there would, in fact, during peak hours, be any storage available for left turns into this site.

 

Mr. Arroyo said if left turns were in fact prohibited there, he didnít see that as a detriment because there was the ability to turn left onto Flint Street and there would be a traffic signal there anyway and people would probably be more inclined to make that left turn. He said in addition, there would likely be a significant amount of left arrow green time for that maneuver because they are going to have to provide it for the southbound traffic going onto Main Street, so that is probably going to be a good situation to provide access to this site, so he didnít see where any restrictions of inbound left turns on Novi Road at the Novi Road driveway would have any significant negative impact.

 

Mr. Arroyo said under Comment No. 7, he talks about trip generation, and a project of this size can be expected to generate approximately 2900 average trips per day and AM and PM peak hour trips are forecast to be approximately 70 and 265 respectively. He said he has indicated here that because Novi Road and Grand River are both five lanes, they donít see that any additional road improvements are warranted to those roads, but they do mention that Flint Street requires some additional improvement.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the minor modifications to the parking he has gone over, so he was recommending approval of the Preliminary site plan, subject to resolution of the items in his letter and also the verbal comments he has made that night in the Final site plan.

Ms. Lemke began with pointing out the woodlands on this site and indicated they were located along the lower branch of the Middle Rouge River, and they occur immediately adjacent to the river bank. She said they are primarily pioneer species which are younger species of trees that come in and colonize a site for eventual regeneration of woodlands into a higher quality of vegetation.

 

Ms. Lemke said the plan proposes removal of only six regulated trees within the regulated woodlands and that would be trees 8" d.b.h. or greater. She said in addition, about a half a acre of younger trees and understory are proposed to be removed. She said the proposed design will save the majority of regulated woods along the river. She said the regulated woodlands continues basically up to Grand River, and then is associated with the river woodlands that goes along the Middle Rouge River. She said basically the overall quality was low and it does serve as a buffer to the river and provides some habitat value.

 

Ms. Lemke said it was isolated in this quadrant of the Novi Town Center and the soil quality is poor with urban soils on the level portion of the site and wetlands soils closer to the stream. She said tree species are typical of river habitat and relatively small, with the majority being under 8" dbh. She indicate the understory is very dense and the health and vigor of the tree stand is good for this type of species and the wildlife within the woodlands areas is limited. She said the value of the woodlands area as a scenic asset, windblock, noise buffer and environmental asset is good.

 

Ms. Lemke said there were two minor pieces of information that need to be changed on the plans and can be submitted with Final engineering plans. She said on was a symbol differentiating the siltation fence and snow fencing and two, the changing of sugar maples to red maples guaranteeing them for two years. She said she recommended approval of the Woodlands Permit due to the small amount of woodlands to be removed and the lesser quality of the woodlands on the site with the following conditions as noted in her letter of July 13, 1995: (1) Payment of a performance bond or letter of credit in the amount of $2,225.00 and woodlands inspection fee of $342.50. (2) No construction can begin until the protective fencing has been approved by their office. (3) Remaining regulated woodlands which are not platted are placed into a Preservation Easement. (4) Preservation signage is erected as directed by the City. (5.) Review by her office of the Final engineering plans to verify the effects on the woodlands to be preserved. (6) Petitioner to furnish data as delineated above on revised plans.

 

Mr. Bluhm reviewed Ms. Tepattiís letter of July 10, 1995. He said Ms. Tepatti has indicated, "due to the nature of the impacts, the proposal falls under the minor use permit category of the Ordinance and can be reviewed administratively." He said she has indicated that the Walled Lake Branch of the Middle Rouge River flows along the southern property line of the property and the watercourse is shown on the Cityís official wetland and watercourse map and is regulated by the City of Novi and the DNR.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated Ms. Tepatti has stated there are no fringe wetlands associated with the watercourse, although river banks are quite steep in the vicinity of the proposed building, and along its length the river banks are littered with debris, cinder blocks and bricks, dumped in as an apparent attempt to stop erosion from the site.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the river bank becomes less steep along the northwest end of the site but there are still no fringe wetlands and the banks while steep are heavily vegetated with trees and shrubs, providing a nice canopy for the river.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated the applicant was proposing to construct a building east of the Rouge River and portions of the grading for construction would be within the 25 foot setback. He indicated construction of a combined sedimentation and detention basin to receive storm water prior to its being discharge to the river and an existing outlet structure, is already in place and will be utilized as the storm outlet.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated Ms. Tepatti has no objections to the proposal and expected to approve the Wetlands Permit once the following conditions were addressed: (1) The grading in the buffer must be delineated on the wetland plan. Efforts shall be made to minimize any intrusions. The setback (buffer) must be shown along the entire stretch of the river within the site. (2) If it is found that the existing outlet cannot be utilized and a new outlet is required, the applicant will make a formal application to the DNR for an Inland Lakes and Stream Permit. (3) An oil and gas separator shall be installed in the last catch basin prior to discharge to the basin. (4) The Rouge River shall be labeled on the plan. The flagged edge of the watercourse shall be labeled as well. (5) Existing debris in the buffer shall be removed where it is feasible and where additional disturbance of the buffer vegetation will be minimized. (6) Buffer enhancement or restoration shall occur where grading or temporary disturbances are proposed. Engineering drawings shall be reviewed to determine appropriate measures.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated there was a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the Novi Fire Department, which states the plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None and Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing.

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Capello

 

To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Novi Grand, SP95-30.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley indicated he would not support the motion for many reasons. He said he has done a lot of homework on this item and spoke to a lot of Consultants. He said he received a call from a member of the TC Steering Committee, who indicated they have reviewed this a few times and had informally indicated it was not ready and felt it should not be approved.

 

Member Hoadley said not having seen any of those Minutes in the packet, he asked Mr. Wahl to prepare them and apparently there was no quorum present and no formal vote was taken.

 

Member Hoadley said he had severe concerns with traffic and he felt they have the same problem on Novi Road, with left hand turns in and out on their cut and he wasnít sure they even need a cut there and once they have the Flint access road coming in, they could have their left hand turns there and eventually have a traffic light.

 

Member Hoadley indicated he spoke with Mr. Arroyo and asked him what the true traffic counts were and since then, he has provided that information. He then asked what was the count on Novi Road and Mr. Arroyo replied he had an estimate of what the volumes would be and they were 27,800 in 1991 and using a growth rate of 6% per year, it would be estimated that there were about 35,000 vehicles per day if the growth rate continues and that was just an estimate.

 

Member Hoadley said his report indicated about 3,000 trips in and out a day total and Mr. Arroyo said correct. Member Hoadley said there was a stacking problem on Novi Road from what he has been able to ascertain and he has heard comments from people in the DPW that have said at peak hours, the left hand turns stacking, stacks up almost back to Flint Street. He said if that was the case, you would have an impossibility of turning in or out to the cut that they have proposed.

 

Member Hoadley asked how many feet is the cut from the traffic light on Novi Road and Mr. Arroyo replied center line to center line, the driveway is approximately 430 feet from Grand River. Member Hoadley said he would want more study on this before he could approve it and he would only be able to approve right hand turns in and right hand turns out on that Novi cut and then let the left hand turn people come in on Flint Street.

 

Member Hoadley said there was nothing addressed here on the Riverwalk and he understood that this is going to be a collector road and he didnít understand why there is not a requirement for a sidewalk, which in this case could be the beginning of their Riverwalk.

 

Mr. Rogers said the way he interpreted the sidewalk requirements was that this is not a major thoroughfare and this is not a section-line road and this is not a residential development and he couldnít find any requirement for a sidewalk per as. He said he did allude to a pathway system that was going to go along the river and maybe the problem of a sidewalk is that you have the Rouge River cutting in and out of the right-of-way line of Flint Street and where would they put it. He said the design of the Riverwalk certainly has a hard edge and Ms. Lemke can talk to the concept plan which was not made part of the Ordinance, but he firmly felt that with the extension of Main Street through up to Grand River, that there would be and could be an enhancement of that body of water.

 

Mr. Rogers said JCK did a hydraulic study that showed there was water that could be kept in the system here and it would work, in fact, it was extensive even on the other side of Novi Road as he recalled.

 

Mr. Rogers said he couldnít see a need for a sidewalk on Flint Street under the present scenario and this is one of the few areas where it is the rear lot. Member Hoadley asked why not consider requiring the Riverwalk and Mr. Rogers said it should be discussed further He said Flint Street may not be along this alignment when Main Street is put through.

 

Member Hoadley said then they have this problem of setbacks and he would like to see this go back to the TC Steering Committee and get a positive recommendation from them one way or the other on this and hear what their real concerns were and they donít have that information here that night.

 

Member Hoadley said he hated to send things to the ZBA, things that the Commission should be making decisions on and if the attorney can straighten them out on that, he would prefer to see this postponed for another meeting to get all of those things addressed, particularly this left hand turn in and out on that Novi cut and he wasnít sure if they need that cut. He said there would be a light on Flint eventually and if that is the case, why do they need it.

 

Mr. Wahl addressed the Riverwalk question and said it was a very important issue and has been a goal for a long time to have some sort of a pleasant pedestrian area in the part of the Town Center. He noted that the applicant has expressed an interest in working with them in the several sessions they have had and also in staff discussions with Mr. Keros, the property owner.

 

Mr. Wahl said however, they donít really have a design plan and several years ago, they had a series of design and engineering studies that were intended to provide them with guidelines for what this project was intended to be and to look like, however, due to the fact that in this particular case, not much was happening and because there was some controversy over spending too much or whether there were available funds for more studies, nothing was done.

 

Mr. Wahl said to sit down with the applicant and say why donít they put a birch park path in or a concrete path in or plant so many trees, they do have ideas like that but there isnít anything that they could really hang their hat on and say this is the design, so they were really at a point of discussions and ideas rather than something they could specifically state because they donít know whether it would be a project like this or a hotel in this area, so it was difficult.

 

Mr. Wahl said the applicant has indicated a willingness to work with them and because the City Council did approve the Budget as presented, they do have some funds available in the TC line item that they could devote to this particular subject and if it would be referred back to the committee and that was a purpose of that committee, to spend the time and effort to do some work on those types of assignments.

 

Mr. Wahl said if the Commission would so request that, they would put it on an Agenda and they were planning on having a meeting next Wednesday, so they could immediately list that as a discussion item, if the Commission would so direct.

 

Mr. Rogers referred briefly to Sheet 2 of the packet, the landscape plan and indicated there was the designation of the pathway, but the reference to it says, "possible future pedestrian path" and it was not completely continuous along the whole western edge of the property, but they have meandered it to follow the edge of the riverbed and that was maybe a start.

 

Member Capello said along Flint Street was the proposed walkway just referred to on Sheet 2 and he asked Mr. Rogers was that within the easement or was that on Mr. Kerosí property and Mr. Rogers replied it was within his property.

 

Member Capello asked if they have any ability to ask him to grant them that easement at this stage of the process and to put that walkway in, in the future, and Mr. Rogers said it was not completely designated along the entire west edge, and they could see the dotted lines on Sheet 2, and it was voluntary to grant a sidewalk easement on private property and he felt the intent was to do it and they could ask him and this could be part of the preliminary site plan approval.

 

Member Capello said Mr. Rogers sensed the back of the building is facing Flint Street and a thoroughfare and a possible future Riverwalk, and did he propose some windows be put in to beef up the back of the building a bit and Mr. Rogers said yes, and he referred them to Sheet 4 and it was a long linear building with no windows and there was one pedestrian door, a fire exit door and it was all brick with some drain pipes shown vertically and the north elevation is also stark-naked and there is no detailing, no doors no windows.

 

Mr. Rogers felt if they donít want a rear door for security reasons, they could certainly have a more attractive facade design in his opinion if Main Street ever does come through, and the Riverwalk ever materializes.

 

Member Capello asked if that was something that they have the ability to negotiate with him or are they asking him of his own good will to do something for them and Mr. Rogers said the Ordinance only speaks to the materials, not the number of windows.

 

Member Capello asked Mr. Hyman about the walkway along the River. Mr. Hyman indicated they have committed to the idea of working with the City, but the problem is at this point, it was premature for them to know what they would be asked to do and he doesnít want to sign a blank check and they were committed to working with the City, but they just donít know at this point, what the City wants.

 

Member Capello asked about granting the City an easement in the event they want to put the walkway along the River and Mr. Hyman said but the problem is at some day in the future, when the City comes back to them and says they have worked it out and this was the easement they want, and it was an easement they donít deem as workable, they donít want to be in a position where all of the approvals are contingent upon giving the kind of an easement in terms of location that would not be workable from the standpoint of site development or tenants.

 

Mr. Hyman said it was a difficult situation and they were committed to the concept, and they have shown the concept on the plans, but to agree to a specific configuration or to agree to be bound now to some configuration that is dictated to them, they canít do that as it was premature.

 

Member Capello asked what if it was something generic such as a 15 foot easement along the easterly bank of the river and would that be acceptable and that would give the City something to work with.

 

Another gentleman indicated the problem with the river is the river is not completely contained on Mr. Kerosí property in other words, it winds through and at one point, it goes off the property so they would be getting 15 feet on the one bank, but then there would be a gap for where there wasnít a bank.

 

Member Capello said in generic terms, they could easily work that out to say 15 feet from the easterly edge of the river provided it was on Mr. Kerosí property. Mr. Hyman replied obviously any condition would apply to his property, so he didnít conceive that as being a difficulty and they could certainly work out the language.

 

Mr. Hyman said he was concerned and he was waiting for an answer from their Consultants as to whether or not that 15 foot concept or some other dimension was workable within the confines of the footprint and site plan they have in front of them.

 

Member Capello said he didnít know if 15 feet would work either, and he just tossed out that figure and Mr. Hyman said they were reviewing it right now to see what might be possible. Member Capello said they would return to that issue.

 

Member Capello said what about the second issue, in regard to the back of building and trying to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing and is that something the architects can work with, and Mr. Hyman felt so but at this stage, it might be premature. He felt they have some clout at a future stage on that, but he asked Mr. Fosse if there was the ability to work with the facade on the western end of the building and perhaps create some treatment in terms of windows.

 

Mr. Fosse said yes he just talked with Mr. Keros on that matter, and he feels he would be able to provide some additional windows on those facades. Member Capello said he thought in their last building they did it on the easterly side, and they even came up with some peak designs on the southerly side of that building and it turned out all right. He also felt with some landscaping, they could up the contour of the straight building.

 

Mr. Fosse indicated the landscape plan was very conceptual at this point and he was sure it would improve with future detailing.

 

Member Capello asked if those were two issues they could resolve that night, and he knows the petitioner doesnít want to come back but were those things that could be resolved that night.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated the facade plan was reviewed at the time of Final, and he has taken notice of what was said that they would re-address. He said he would like some spaced out proper balanced window treatments and that would give a complete appearance of the building, rather than just having a 270 foot wall with nothing with a squared off roofline, which was very unattractive.

 

Member Capello asked if the easement issue was something that they need to do that night and Mr. Wahl indicated Wah Yee Associates was an excellent architectural firm, and as was pointed out on the other building, they went through a number of renditions and he felt they were open to suggestions and he felt the final product was an improvement over the earlier designs, so he felt the applicants were aware of the Town Center planning process and he felt they have shown an indication that they would cooperate and that a way to deal with it is to refer it back to the Steering Committee which is meeting next Wednesday where they can really spend some time on it, more than they could that evening.

 

Mr. Wahl said there were three Commissioners on that board hopefully that could be there for the meeting, and therefore, they could really take some of the steps that are being pointed out here and work through it and see what they can come up with. He would suggest that is the route to go in since they really donít have to act on the facades as part of this review that night.

 

Member Capello asked if they could make approval that night subject to working out the facade on the west end and working on an easement along the River bank and have it come back to them for Final and was that feasible.

 

 

Mr. Watson felt what they were doing is asking the developer whether he was willing to consider those issues and that what they were requesting was that the resolution of those issues come back to the Commission at the time of Final. He said obviously as Mr. Rogers has indicated, neither of those things are requirements of the code or ordinances so they were not making those requirements of the approval, but the applicant has indicated he was willing to work with them on those issues and the Commission was asking that they be apprised of what the resolution of those issues are at the time of Final.

 

Member Capello said Member Mutch brought to his attention that the walkway ends just before the entrance/exit onto Flint Street, so that easement actually should carry around and tie into the sidewalk along Novi Road to make it a feasible walkway. Mr. Hyman said that certainly makes sense.

 

Member Hodges said she had one concern which was until the issue of the right-of-way line is set, she was concerned that they were asking them to put this walkway in and set it back as such, that the walkway is not feasible. She asked if there was a conceptual plan for a TC.

 

Mr. Wahl said they have the conceptual plans at Oakland County Planning who prepared them, however, he would suggest that of all the quadrants, this is probably the most furthest away from what they could realistically expect to see. He said it was the most difficult because it was a small area with a railroad track and some other things, so what plans they have, he didnít know if they would be a real valuable guide for this Commission.

 

Member Hodges said so that maybe increases the need to have the Steering Committeeís input and Mr. Wahl said that was correct and if they noted in the Minutes, Committee Member Schmid was very anxious that that quadrant should have some planning attention and they were intending to do that pursuant to the Budget, so they could do that and it was an opportunity for this project and for that Budget approval to drive them to do some planning for that whole quadrant and they were not all aware of that.

 

Member Hodges said so it would almost be a discredit to the Committee to continue without their input.

 

Mr. Wahl added there have been some concerns expressed over a period of time that that Committee was performing site plan reviews and was getting into too much detail and he felt the Committee members have tried as much as they can to go down the fine line where they are providing good input to the applicants and to the Commission, but not performing site plan review level of details. He said when talking about the Riverwalk, landscaping and conceptual planning for that whole area, that was clearly something that the Committee can do a lot of homework on.

 

Mr. Wahl said when getting into the site plan issues that this Commission has to make decisions on, there are some Commissioners who have found that to be uncomfortable so they were just trying to perform responsibly and to be of serve to everyone.

 

Member Mutch asked about the issues that were raised that were problems.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo explained one of Member Hoadleyís main issues was the cut on Novi Road and whether that was necessary or whether that was prudent to have it there.

 

Member Hoadley added if it was prudent whether or not they should require just right hand turns in and out of that cut and he didnít feel they have enough information to make a qualified decision on it and with the little bit of investigation that he did today and if the indication that the stacking stacks past where that cut is, is true, then he would not support that cut where they would have left turns out and into it.

 

Member Hoadley said if it was not true or if it was not going to be true in the future with the increased flow they were getting, then he wouldnít have much of a problem with it, but they donít have that information, and Mr. Arroyo cannot supply it to them at this point and they need some additional traffic studies made to find it out because he didnít want to see another Hardeesí situation. He added he was not opposed to this project.

 

Member Mutch said she felt Mr. Arroyo had addressed the safety issues related to that turn and then she asked is this the entrance to the front of the building and Mr. Arroyo replied correct and the building would be facing towards Novi Road so that is the main entrance towards the front of the building.

 

Member Mutch said given the configuration of this lot being triangular, if they eliminate that entrance then a person would be coming in the rear or side at some distance from the actual building and Mr. Arroyo said from the front of the building. He said as he indicated earlier when talking with Member Hoadley, because of the amount of frontage that this project has on Novi Road, he didnít specifically object to having an access point to Novi Road, however, as he mentioned earlier, there is a concern he had about left turns particularly in-bound that he has expressed and Member Hoadley has a concern about outbound left hand turns and that could be an issue but really for the outbound left turns, he felt what would happen in that case was that there were a couple of scenarios.

 

Mr. Arroyo said if the signal is in place, people will tend to use that if it was available during peak times because that is going to be there and it was going to be the logical place to try to turn out where you have the gap, however, during off-peak times, it may be that making a left turn out of that particular driveway would not be a significant problem because there would be more gaps on the street system itself so that doesnít concern him as much as the in-bound left turns do.

 

Member Mutch asked if he felt the situation was very similar to people wanting to exit from the parking lot of the Grande building on the opposite corner of Grand River and Novi Road, where they can come out of that parking lot and if they wanted to, turn left, but of course, most of the time they would be turning right into traffic and they wouldnít do it, and they would go around the building and exit directly onto Grand River and take advantage of the green arrow left turn.

 

Mr. Arroyo said that generally happens, and if you provide people with a reasonable alternative, they are going to try and take that alternative. He said fortunately with this plan and the coming traffic signal, there was the ability to take advantage of that.

 

Member Mutch said as far as the traffic signal, how far in the future did he see it and Mr. Arroyo said as he understood it, if the SAD is approved for Main Street, then that will go out for bids and he felt they were looking at construction in 1996 and then the signal is part of that improvement package so if that is approved by Council and moves forward, if the warrants are met and if the volumes are there, the signal could go in 1996.

 

Mr. Arroyo said another possibility depending upon the situation is if the volumes arenít there right away to warrant the signal, it could be delayed until the volumes are met because the Road Commission is pretty picky about not installing traffic signals until there is enough traffic there to warrant them, but it is in the package as he understood, and it is funded as far as the SAD so he would think it would go in, in short order.

 

Member Mutch said when he said volumes, did he mean the volume of traffic on Novi Road or the actual left turn, and Mr. Arroyo said it was really a combination of the Main Street volumes and the volumes on Novi Road that are looked at as part of signal warrants. He said the Michigan Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices has a number of warrants that they go through to look at minimum volume warrants for traffic signals and it is based both on the side street, the minor approach volume and the major street. He indicated there is a graph they follow depending upon which warrant they are looking at, which guides the installation of signals, so it is not just having a lot of traffic on Novi Road, they have to have some traffic on the side street to warrant the signal.

 

Member Mutch said for that particular signal, the volume of traffic entering and exiting from the east side of Novi Road onto Main Street would be probably a greater factor in achieving those critical volumes than the traffic coming off of Flint Street and Mr. Arroyo said correct and Main Street is going to be the driving force behind that.

 

Member Mutch said she perceived Mr. Wahlís enthusiasm for sending this back to the Town Center Steering Committee and she asked why and Mr. Wahl replied for the facades and the architectural issues that were raised by Member Hoadley and she asked also the windows and he replied the appearance of the building and all the issues related to the design of the building.

 

Member Mutch asked is there any reason why that has to be postponed or could they vote on it and if it was approved, it would still go to them. Mr. Wahl explained they were not acting on it that night, but questions were asked by several Commissioners that he thought they might have a comfort level where they could deal with it thoroughly and be prepared for that aspect of the review process. He said there were other issues about the Riverwalk that fit into the design planning that were not necessarily items that they needed to act on that night, but could have been given thorough attention next week and prepared for future action.

 

Mr. Wahl said just like the previous project with The Vistas, there are items that have not been necessarily on their Agenda that evening, and they want to be comfortable that they are being dealt with at some point and he felt they could do that if they want them to.

Member Mutch said they have said and she thought someone else said something about this should definitely be postponed and she was trying to understand why it was necessary that they not take some action.

 

Mr. Wahl said he was not asking that it be postponed on the basis of concerns about the facades because he felt that could be dealt with so that would not be a reason to not take action that night.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Wahl at Final could they deny the Final based on the architectural design and Mr. Wahl said they do deal with the facades at Final review.

 

Member Bonaventura said he had a problem bringing this to Final and then talking about the architectural design and he felt that should be talked about at the early stages and should have been talked about in the Town Center Steering Committee. He said when the Town Center was designed, he had assumed that the architect read this Ordinance and took a hint from the Ordinance and took a hint of the architectural style from their only started building on the corner and put it in a contemporary fashion for the Town Center, and it was hard to notice, but if they look at the corners of the buildings, there was a similar style between the two.

 

Member Bonaventura said he was looking for some imagination and a bit of consistency and the possibility of a slight duplication of what is conceptualized for Main Street. He said when he sees this, he feels he sees a colonial design and when he looks at the conceptuals of Main Street, what he sees is a Midwestern Main Street design and what he is trying to do is to get some consistency like the Ordinance states and he didnít think the colonial design fits in so he would like this to go back to the Town Center Steering Committee.

 

Member Capello said he was at a few Town Center meetings where they discussed this, particularly the last meeting where they didnít have a quorum so they couldnít take any action, but he felt what they have tried to do is to try to design this building consistent with their Novi Pavilion building which is at the southeast quadrant and be consistent with the design that is over at Vicís, and so he felt their architect has tried to make this fit in with the total design of the Town Center area.

 

Member Capello said the concerns of the Committee and they were only informal concerns as to whether or not this quadrant should be TC or TC-1 and they donít have any authority to go ahead and rezone this property as they themselves donít have any authority and if they wanted to rezone this property, they should have done it when they reviewed their Master Plan the last time, not when the petitioner comes before them with a plan. He felt that evening was not the time to do that, and it was unfair to the petitioner and was inconsistent with their position as planners because if they were going to plan a project that was in front of them, rather than years in advance, they were not acting as planners.

 

Member Capello felt the concerns of the Town Center Steering Committee regarding the building, the facades and Riverwalk, can still be addressed after that evening by sending it back to them before it comes back for Final and they can address the sidewalk, the landscaping, the rear of the building and some additions to the facade. He said he didnít think they can sit there and say this was colonial and not Midwestern and go back and redesign it because he felt it should be more Midwestern than colonial, and it was consistent enough with the Town Center theme that they canít micro-manage it and that is what the TC Steering Committee normally does with the developer before they get this far.

 

Member Capello felt it meets all of the requirements of the Ordinance subject to the ZBA approval or Mr. Watsonís letter and he felt they could make the approval subject to the ZBA, and then if Mr. Watsonís letter comes out and determines that the Planning Commission has the authority to make the decisions, they can just step back from the ZBA docket and bring it back to the Commission for that particular issue. He asked if that was a fair way to address this problem and Mr. Watson replied yes.

 

Member Capello said so they can take action today and still have it move forward to the ZBA if it needs to or come back to the Commission and still send it to the Town Center without making the petitioner go back and do a redesigning and redrafting.

 

Mr. Watson said just as an added note on the facades, he felt the question raised wasnít really answered directly whether when it comes back, assuming it is coming back at the time of Final, with information on the facades, whether they might deny the Final based on that. He said the facades are reviewed at the time of Final and whether they deny it or not, that was based upon whether it complies with that particular section of the Ordinance that basically says the materials shall primarily be brick or stone, which may be augmented by materials complimentary to brick or stone, and if they want to get away from that and want a waiver from that basic requirement, that is when they start looking at the surrounding area.

 

Mr. Watson said they were not looking at the surrounding area and deciding whether that was colonial and this is colonial, or that is Midwestern and this is Midwestern and the facade review is a little more basic than that.

Chairperson Lorenzo said she was glad Mr. Watson clarified that issue because it appears that in terms of building orientation or facades, they have very limited jurisdiction to require, so while she shared some of the Member Bonaventuraís concerns, and she believed Mr. Rogers had mentioned a preference for an orientation of the building, it doesnít appear that they have the latitude to require those types of things if it meets the other requirements of the Ordinance, so she would support the motion.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said regarding the motion, she would like to clarify a few things. She said first this does have to go to the ZBA and she wasnít sure if that was in the motion, and it was stated it was part of the motion. She then said she didnít believe they had mentioned the Consultantsí letters and Member Capello said when the motion was restated, they would make sure it was subject to the ZBAís approval and comments of the City Attorney. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if they wanted this to come back for Final and Member Capello said yes.

 

Member Taub said he would restate his motion:

 

Member Capello seconded again

 

 

To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Novi Grand, SP95-30 subject to: (1) Consultantsí letters, (2) Comments and approvals of the City Attorney, with the possibility that it will have to go to the ZBA or depending upon the City Attorneyís ruling that it may not have to go to ZBA, and (3) Return to the Planning Commission for Final Site Plan Approval.

 

Member Capello seconded the motion again.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if they wanted to include the Riverwalk easement considerations and the facade considerations, and Mr. Watson felt they had wanted the resolution of the questions raised on those issues brought back at time of Final.

 

 

Member Taub said so they were reserving absolute unconditional approval until Final, subject to discussions with the applicant regarding a possible 15 foot easement wherever possible along the river and to accommodate a Riverwalk consistent with Town Center Plans and overall City plans for that quadrant.

Member Vrettas asked why not just say river easement, rather than 15 foot.

 

Member Taub indicated he would state it as follows:

 

 

Whatever suitable easement to accommodate a Riverwalk.

 

Member Capello seconded.

 

 

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

 

 

(7) Yeas (1) Nay

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Capello

 

To approve the Woodlands Permit for Novi Grand, SP95-30 subject to the Consultantsí letters and recommendations.

 

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

 

MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

1. Sikh Temple, SP89-05C - Property located north of Eight Mile Road, between Taft Road and Garfield Road for possible one year extension of Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan/Phasing Plan approval.

 

A representative from Singh Development was present indicated she would answer any questions.

Member Hoadley felt at some time they have to call a halt on just automatically renewing and this particular project has been going on for six years. He said first, it was given a one-year extension in 1989 and although the ordinance doesnít have a cut-off date, things change and traffic changes and the ordinance changes and he didnít know if this still deserves special land use or not and he felt six years is long enough to grant it and he felt it should come back to the Planning Commission as a regular site plan review and public hearing.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated the Planning Commission for as long as she has been serving, does not have a formal policy in terms of denying expirations and what the informal policy has been, was if the project has not moved forward due to legitimate extenuating circumstances, they have generally approved the request to extend. She said now in this case, it appears to be a funding situation and in her humble opinion, she would view that as a legitimate extenuating circumstance, but her opinion would be, unless or until the Commission, through their Rules Committee, comes forward with a formal policy that they would approve the project, that was her opinion and she would like a consensus from the Commission.

 

Member Taub indicated that those on the Commission a long time have been sensitive to an occasional request for extensions, and in this case he felt they have to be sensitive as this was a religious place and they have to be more sensitive and patient. He felt they should extend the request for extension.

 

Member Mutch said they have seen a number of projects of churches involving new construction and or additions, and congregations in general tend to run into financing problems, and that type of project gets different kinds of financing than a commercial venture.

 

Member Mutch felt they should take into consideration that the financial hardship could very well be the case and they should take them at their word. She felt in this kind of a project they ought to follow what Chairperson Lorenzo has described as the informal policy.

 

Mr. Rogers commented that the church, the plan, the special land use still conforms with the ordinance, and he and JCK did recommend the extension for the period requested.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Mutch

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To approve the one year extension of Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Phasing Approval for the Sikh Temple, SP89-05C.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Vrettas felt they should treat this as they would treat anyone else and ask was this a legitimate request and did it fall within their guidelines, which he felt it does and they should give them the extension, but he felt they should look at the possibility of a cut-off date, but it would have to be prepared formally by one of their committees.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he wanted to make a motion to refer this to the Rules Committee and it was stated they would act on the first motion.

 

Member Hoadley said he absolutely did not consider religion in his thoughts and it was just a comment he wanted to make and he did feel sometimes they have to say enough is enough.

 

 

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

 

MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Vrettas

Seconded by Member Mutch

 

 

To refer the matter of limits on extensions to the Rules Committee.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges asked if that could fall under their rule or did they need to do an Ordinance amendment for that. Mr. Watson felt the Commission should have the Rules Committee come to policy on that matter and it may very well be something that they want to have a formal change to the Ordinance, but possibly not.

 

(Voice Vote) MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

 

1. Hours of Operation for I-1 - Bonaventura.

 

Member Bonaventura asked the date for the public hearing on Hours of Operation for I-1. Mr. Capote said it was Wednesday, August 9, 1995.

 

 

2. Status of Planning Commission Position - Taub.

 

Mr. Watson indicated as they all are aware, the Council the other night reappointed Member Hoadley and appointed Member Vrettas but didnít take action on the third Commissioner position. He said what the Code of Ordinances provides specifically for provisions dealing with the Planning Commission, was that Commissioners continue to serve and the term of the Commission was three years from July 1st of the year appointed or until their successor was appointed and takes office, whichever date comes later.

 

Mr Watson said as a result of that, Commissioners serve until they were replaced, irrespective of whether it goes beyond the three-year period. He said the question that arises when Council took its action, was what positions were they replacing and what order were they doing it in, and he was able to get the Minutes from the discussion and although they didnít explicitly deal with that issue, he felt from the manner in which they discussed it, it was implicit that what they did was first reappoint Member Hoadley, then appoint Member Vrettas to replace Chairman Clark and then failed to reach a resolution of the third position.

 

Mr. Watson said there were two things in their minutes that led him to that conclusion. He said the first was that Chairman Clark was not seeking reappointment and in fact, he made it pretty clear he wanted to get off of the Commission because he had time constraints and had other things to do with his time. He said the Council was well aware of that and so it was logical to assume that when they were filling the initial position, that Member Vrettas has filled, that it was the position that Chairman Clark had formally filled.

 

Mr. Watson said the second thing was that when they discussed the third position that they couldnít reach a resolution on, they specifically discussed appointing or reappointing Member Taub, and that also makes it pretty clear that they were talking about that position and that being the case, the conclusion that he drew from that, even though they didnít explicitly state it in their motion, was that was the position that was not resolved and therefore, Member Taub continues in the position until a successor is appointed by the Council whenever that occurs.

 

 

3. Site Plan Review Manual Criteria - Hoadley.

 

Member Hoadley said there were a couple of items he would like to see added to their site plan review and one was distances shown on the site plans from cuts to traffic intersections.

Member Hoadley said with case in point that evening, he had the same concern about stacking and they didnít have the distances and he asked Mr. Arroyo to get those, which he did, but they didnít have them in their review package and he felt that was important. He said also he would like to direct their Planning Department to get them an updated traffic count as they were operating on 1991 counts and it was not fair to them and certainly not fair to the applicants or the public in general to use four year old figures, and he would like the Commission to take a pro-active stance on that and direct the Planning Department to expend whatever funds or do whatever necessary to update those figures for them.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Arroyo if this data was available and Mr. Arroyo said traffic data comes from a number of different sources, the three primary sources. He said one was the Road Commission, however, they donít count their roads every year and it depends upon the roadway and typically they were looking at every three years to four years generally. He said for example, for Grand River the last count was in 1991 and they just did one in 1995 last month, so there was a four year gap there.

 

Mr. Arroyo said another source was the City and the City does have traffic counters and they place them out, however, it was his understanding that in the past, there hasnít been a regular program and he has talked about it and there have been discussions about establishing a regular count program on an annual basis, but there have been some concerns about manpower with the DPW with all their responsibilities and trying to maintain that type of schedule.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the third major source comes from traffic studies, and whether they were done by Consultants for the developers or in some instances, they do traffic counts when they do specific projects, particularly when the thoroughfare plan update or some special project comes along, there was a special effort made and there were funds allocated to do those particular counts.

Mr. Arroyo said one of the things frustrating was quite often, they would look at a particular area and there were not current counts available and there wasnít always a way of getting those in short order without some type of mechanisms to do that and that mechanism doesnít currently exist so that gives them an idea where those counts were coming from and some of the limitations.

 

Member Hodges said when they did that grid that showed what their preference was for the Budget, was that a Budget item that they had requested of high priority to have traffic counts done.

 

Mr. Arroyo explained there was a Thoroughfare Plan Update component in this yearís Budget item that would call for some updating of traffic counts and that was going to happen probably and they would see some updating of traffic counts some time in the next 12 months.

 

Member Hodges asked Member Hoadley for more clarification of his request for distances from cuts to intersections. She said was he asking that all of their plans submitted, that information be included and Member Hoadley said just when it was going to be an impact.

Member Hodges asked was he talking about the one that they just did, and Member Hoadley said there were distances between the cuts. Member Hodges said when he was talking about distances, was he talking about that being a line item because in reality it was there simply because they give them the scale. Member Hoadley said it was hard to read. She asked if it was to be a line item and he said to be in the legend.

 

Member Hodges said she would have to ask when they go to items that were required, does that require an amendment to their Ordinance for an item to be included for site plan review or approval and Mr. Capote said right now the Site Plan Manual was under complete review which they have almost completed and he would imagine within 30-45 days they should have it completed and would be presenting it to them and there were major changes in the Site Plan Manual.

 

Mr. Capote said one thing the Commissioners could do was if they have an engineering scale at home, they could scale off the distances between the curb cuts and the intersections and get their rules out and the scale was at the bottom of the map and they could scale off those distances.

 

Member Hodges said what she was hearing on both counts from Member Hoadley and Mr. Arroyo was that the things that Member Hoadley had addressed, they were now having an opportunity within this next fiscal year to actually take action and when they bring them this proposed new plan they could input those types of things through the Final approval of it, and Mr. Capote said they could and the same thing with Mr. Arroyo in the Thoroughfare Plan.

 

Member Hodges said so in actuality, Member Hoadleyís concerns could be addressed within this next fiscal year.

 

Member Hoadley said he talked with Mr. Nowicki today and the DPW was in the process of updating their traffic counts and they need to have it coordinated so the Planning Department gets that information automatically.

 

Member Hoadley said other suggestions he would like to make was that when the developerís traffic consultants come in and have developed additional updated information, that they request them to put it on a disk so they could put it in their computer system that would automatically update their data and since they were going to develop it anyway why not make it a permanent record so they could pull it up on their computer.

 

Mr. Arroyo said that was something that could be added to the Site Plan Manual where the Traffic Study they could submit on a disk and that could be provided to the DPW or whoever was interested and that would be no problem and they could incorporate that.

 

Member Hodges wondered when they do those types of updates and that data becomes their data base, do they have a source that they use that they recognize for such trip generations because she said for example, she could come in here and say she was a transportation planner and here are my counts.

 

Mr. Arroyo said they use information from Consulting firms that they have reviewed their data in the past and that they basically have some feeling of trust because they have checked their information before. He said they just donít take a firm that they have never heard of that would come in and give them a count and take that as being accurate. He said there are firms that regularly do traffic counts and studies within the City and they have been reviewing their studies for a number of years and they have significant confidence that what they were providing them was accurate data. He said those were the things that were included in the data base that they try to collect and maintain and if it had been someone they had never of, they wouldnít necessarily accept that data without backing it up with confirmation.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if they were going to make a formal motion to include this in the Site Plan Manual and was it necessary, and Mr. Arroyo felt the changes that have been suggested were good ones for the Manual and they would make sure they get incorporated and it would come back to them anyway before adoption so they would be taking action on it.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 P.M.

 

 

______________________________

Steven Cohen

Planning Aide

 

 

Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

October 27, 1995