REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.

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

(810) 347-0475

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M.

 

 

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

 

(9) Present (0) Absent

 

A quorum being present, the meeting was in session.

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Brandon Rogers - Planning Consultant

David Bluhm - Engineering Consultant

Rod Arroyo - Traffic Consultant

Dennis Watson - Assistant City Attorney

James R. Wahl - Director of Planning

Steven Cohen - Planning Aide

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

The Planning Commission pledged Allegiance to the Flag.

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Member Weddington said she would like to remove from the Consent Agenda, Item #2, Amoco Service Station.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo added two items under Matters for Discussion, Item #1 Request from Commission on Extension for the 60 days Regarding Adverse Impacts of I-1 Next To Residential. She said she would request that be extended to 90 days.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would add Item #2 under Matters for Discussion, Disclosure of Some Members of the Commission being Guests at the Novi Chamber Luncheon yesterday.

Member Bonaventura asked to add under Matters for Discussion, Item #3, August 9th letter from Mr. Fried and Mr. Watson Regarding the Planning Commission Agenda.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Hodges

 

 

To approve the Agenda as amended.

 

(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Member Taub said there was a letter by the developer of Delfino Estates requesting that their matter be tabled so that they could further comply with some of their outside Consultants' concerns regarding the subdivision. He said he would read that letter when that item came up.

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

 

1. Approval of the July 5, 1995 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.

 

2. Amoco Service Station/Remediation Facility, SP95-04B and C. - Item Pulled.

 

Member Weddington had a minor correction on Page 9 of the July 5, 1995 Minutes. She referred to the middle of the page under Further Discussion, the second paragraph, last line and said the 10% should be 110%.

 

Member Hoadley referred to Page 16, 4th paragraph from the bottom, and stated access should be excess in two places in that paragraph.

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Weddington

Seconded by Member Hodges

 

 

To approve the July 5, 1995 Minutes.

 

(voice vote) Motion Carried Unanimously

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

1. Delfino Estates Subdivision, SP95-06B - Property Located south of Nine Mile Road, west of Taft Road for Possible Tentative Preliminary Plat Recommendation to City Council.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said Member Taub has indicated just recently that evening they have received a request from the Petitioner to postpone due to an unfavorable letter from Mr. Rogers and before they make a decision to do so, she would like to ask Mr. Rogers if his negative letter was something he felt could be handled as conditions.

 

Mr. Rogers said he recalled when they make a recommendation to City Council on a Tentative Preliminary Plat and the Council agrees with that, that fixes the footprint of the lots and the location of the roads, etc. He said if they send it on without an approvable plan, he felt the Council would have a problem of what to do with it.

 

Mr. Rogers said he knows they have recommended Preliminary site plan approval with conditions to be handled at the time of Final, but he would defer to Mr. Watson in the case of a plat, particularly going to Council, that they might want the Commission's thinking on.

 

Mr. Rogers said if they want to recommend what they have and disregard his comments, the Commission could do that and they could certainly recommend what they have now that night to Council.

 

Mr. Rogers said he felt if it did go to Council with the lot lines, there would be questions raised by Council as to why couldn't they be straight and radial or at right angles, which the Subdivision Ordinance does call out and those could be largely corrected by moving since they have eliminated two lots from the subdivision and move the lines around to the right.

Mr. Watson explained Mr. Rogers was correct and if it goes to Council in a form that was not approvable, that they were going to have problems with it and he felt because of that, the only way they would do this conditionally, would be that those revisions be made before this goes to Council.

 

Mr. Rogers said he would be agreeable to that and then he could have a supplementary report that would go into the Council's packet and he felt if that was done, possibly JCK would want to take a look at it to make sure that the new lots, Lot 6 stays out of that retention easement that was on the plan, but he was willing to do it if they wish to give them the discretion to do it.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the Petitioner was present and it appeared the Petitioner was not present and a motion was made.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Vrettas

 

 

To postpone Delfino Estates Subdivision, SP95-06B to the September 20th Regular Meeting.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Member Hoadley said for the record because it was going to go back to the developer, he had a concern on the map that they had given to the Planning Commission that there was no place on there where it shows the sedimentation basin and it should be on the map when it comes back to the Commission.

 

Member Hoadley said there was nothing discussed about making it permanent and that should be discussed and then there was nothing discussed about gas and oil separators and that should be in there also.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he would like to request that additional information then and Member Hoadley said yes.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said the appropriate parties have acknowledged that then.

Member Capello said this has been in front of them a few times now, and it seems like Mr. Rogers' concerns were fairly clear-cut and straight forward, and he didn't see why they couldn't approve it subject to Mr. Rogers' conditions and Member Hoadley's conditions and administratively let Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bluhm look at it and approve it and move it along, rather than bringing it back to the Commission again having the public hearing on it again and taking their time and taking time on their Agenda again.

 

Member Capello said if the Commission wouldn't approve it, then he would be in agreement with the motion, but he would really like to see this move forward and let Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bluhm take care of the few minor problems.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said Member Capello's point was well-taken and she was also disappointed that the Petitioner wasn't there that evening because she would have preferred to move forward as well, but seeing that the Petitioner was not there, she was concerned that they were not giving the Petitioner the due process of appearing before the Commission so she empathized with him and agreed with him, but she wasn't sure if it would be the best thing to move forward given the circumstances.

 

 

Member Capello asked if there was any reason why they couldn't hold the public hearing that night and the public wasn't notified that there would be an adjournment so at least the public hearing portion would be out of the way.

 

Mr. Watson said he supposed they could but then the public doesn't have the benefit of any presentation that the Petitioner might make and it was always possible that the Petitioner, aside from requesting a tabling, may after they have reviewed in more detail what Mr. Rogers has requested, have some disagreement and perhaps it would be even a valid disagreement with that what Mr. Rogers says. He said they could hold the public hearing but it was difficult without having the Petitioner here to respond to anything.

 

Member Hodges said if the postponement had not been initiated by the applicant but instead by the Commission, she would say yes they could go ahead but since they asked for it, the Commission should honor their request.

 

 

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

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

THE COMMISSION TOOK A TEN MINUTE BREAK.

 

 

2. Map Amendment No. 18.541 - Property located at the southwest and southeast corners of Grand River Avenue and Novi Road for Possible Recommendation to City Council for rezoning from Town Center District (TC) and General Business District (B-3) to Town Center District (TC-1) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated this was a City Initiated proposal for rezoning. He said for some time there has been discussion about the area in the Town Center south of Grand River on either side of Novi Road being uniformly consistently zoned TC-1, which was an incentive district or a desirable district and has benefits for future development.

 

Mr. Rogers said the Novi Pavilion project was reviewed under the TC-1 and it was rezoned to TC-1 and the site plan came in and met the Ordinance and that was under construction. He indicated Vic's was in the TC-1, Main Street Village, soon to come before the Commission and the future Main Street development was in the TC-1 already.

 

Mr. Rogers noted there were some mixed patterns and he has attached to his letter two small maps that he felt very clearly shows those areas that were proposed for rezoning.

 

Mr. Rogers said on the southeast quadrant they have properties on Grand River other than the Novi Pavilion property, extending down to Vic's Market, and also they have frontage on Novi Road, in fact all of the frontage today on Novi Road from Grand River south to the I-2 District where the KMH property was, was zoned TC and the two parcels down near the I-2 District, were zoned B-3. He said all of that frontage was proposed to be uniformly zoned TC-1 along with the Main Street property, the Vic's Market property and the Main Street Village property, which were already zoned TC-1.

 

Mr. Rogers said the other proposal before them that night was the southwest quadrant and this would include properties of Mobil Gas, the lighting company, and the proposed site plan of Mr. Keros-Novi Grand, which has received Preliminary Site Plan Approval from the Planning Commission. He said also there was the Fendt property and the cemetery property, which was zoned B-3 and it would go up from Novi Road all the way around Grand River to a small piece of I-1 property where there was a supply store right down by the railroad.

Mr. Rogers said Flint Street splits this property and his inset map reflects property that Mr. Keros proposed for TC-1 but then the petition was withdrawn. He said at that time, there was a cut-out, 013, and he believed that was the Shirley Cash Real Estate property which was now under option or control of Mr. Keros.

 

Mr. Rogers said his property would be the same as the Novi Grand property including the small cut-out 013 which was the site of Novi Grand between Flint Street and Novi Road and it cuts up to Grand River where the Methodist Church was and hopefully the church could be moved and that would give entrance and exit onto Grand River from the Novi Grand project.

 

Mr. Rogers said the entire triangle area down to the railroad on Novi Road on the east and Grand River on the north, was proposed to be changed from TC and B-3 zoning to TC-1 District zoning.

 

Mr. Rogers said there were a number of uses in that area that would be obviously legal non-conforming uses and the Mobile Gas Station was already a legal non-conforming use because that was not permitted in the TC zoning nor would it be permitted in the TC-1 zoning. He said Fendt Concrete was a heavy industrial use but it has been zoned at least since 1984 as TC zoning so they were a legal non-conforming use.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated there was another gas station up at Flint Street and Grand River, a vacant station that was trying to come back in. He said the cemetery interestingly enough, they could have it in any district, but they were B-3 so he saw a need to have uniform zoning in this area, and certain projects may have legal non-conforming status. He said rather than gerrymandering a spot zoning, he really recommended that they have TC-1 zoning for those remaining parcels south of Grand River.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Mr. Norman Hyman of 2290 First National Building in Detroit was present and he indicated he represented George Keros who was here with him. He said first, Mr. Keros tells him that he believed there has been a mistake to some extent in Mr. Rogers report and it wasn't really basically relevant, but he would like the record corrected.

 

Mr. Hyman indicated the parcel he says that he sought to have rezoned was not part of the property that they had approved for site plan a month ago and it was a parcel that he had an interest in on the east side of Novi Road on the south side of Grand River, and it doesn't involve the parcel that they were there to talk about that night at all.

 

Mr. Hyman said Mr. Rogers has already reminded them that just one month ago, he gave preliminary site plan approval for Mr. Keros' development and he started assembling this parcel ten years ago, and it was a series of fractional multiple owned parcels, very small, incapable of any kind of sound unified development. He said in reliance on the TC zoning, they assembled the piece and he has now assembled a piece which could permit a development which was consistent with the whole TC concept.

 

Mr. Hyman said it would be a unified development, which eliminates the risk of having a number of separate parcels with all kinds of small unrelated types of uses. He said he has been working on the site plan for over six months and he has obviously spent a lot of money both in assemblage and in preparing and presenting to them a plan and that was all on reliance on the TC zoning.

 

Mr. Hyman said the site plan that he has proposed was in fact consistent with the whole Master Plan concept and it was an aesthetically pleasing development which should complement the whole idea of their Town Center and therefore, the development has to be in accordance with the existing zoning and in accordance with that site plan which he was now bound to follow. He added if he wanted to do anything else, he has to come in again.

 

Mr. Hyman said he also wanted to suggest and about a month ago, Member Capello pointed out that there really was at this point, an element of unfairness if they apply this rezoning to this parcel given everything that has been done. He said it would be different if Mr. Keros were coming in here with something which really did violate what they envision at this intersection and this plan does not, and it was a substantial improvement and eliminates the risk of multiple development and it was something that he felt the City should be encouraging.

 

Mr. Hyman said he would ask that they exclude this parcel from any recommendation to rezone if they decide to make a recommendation to rezone and at a minimum, should they not agree with that and he hoped they will, he would ask that they add to any proposed ordinance, a grandfather provision which grandfathers developments which have received site plan approval and that would permit them at least to be grandfathered.

 

Mr. Hyman also stated he wondered if the Commission understood the significance of difference for Mr. Keros between TC and TC-1 and under TC-1, he could only in essence have 7500 ft. of commercial and that would destroy this development.

 

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

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Taub said to Mr. Watson that Mr. Hyman brought up the issue of grandfathering and it was his understanding once there was a Preliminary site plan approved, that there was an entitlement on the part of an applicant and they get at worst at best, a non-conforming use in the future, if there was a rezoning.

 

Mr. Watson explained for purposes of a project going through site plan approval, the dividing line wasn't Preliminary site plan approval. He said the dividing line was what was referred to as obtaining a vested right and the dividing line was under the case laws to be considered to be when they do something of a substantial nature in relation to the land itself. He said the slang term for that was "getting the shovel in the ground." He said in other words pursuant to a valid permit, actually going out there and doing work on the land pursuant to that permit.

 

Mr. Watson said the mere fact that he has received Preliminary site plan approval doesn't get him to that point just yet and just when he does get to that point was an open question and it used to be that someone would get preliminary site plan approval, final site plan approval, a building permit and then start doing work out at the site.

 

Mr. Watson said there were provisions in the Ordinance now that allow for certain initial grading work and underground work even prior to final site plan and that was under certain conditions that the Building Department could grant that, so when this project reaches that point, he didn't know, but that would be the point when he obtained his vested right.

 

Member Taub said he was indicating then it was an issue of fact in terms of how the applicant would proceed and how the applicant would proceed prior to a rezoning. Mr. Watson said it was an issue of how the applicant proceeds and at what point this gets to Council and was approved by Council and then has an effected date. He said what the applicant was asking them to do was to say irrespective of how those respective time-lines fall, either take his parcel out of this rezoning, or recommend to the Council to add a specific grandfathering provision.

 

Member Taub asked if that would be spot zoning and Mr. Watson replied no.

 

Member Hoadley said the Master Plan Zoning Committee met before this meeting, he and Member Capello, and they both reviewed this matter. He said it was his intention to recommend rezoning to TC, but he did raise the question and he felt very strongly that something has to be done to protect the developer's interests under this site plan approval that they granted them a month ago.

 

Member Hoadley asked if Mr. Keros could get a shovel in the ground and if so, when Mr. Hyman said Mr. Keros would answer that and then after he answers that question, he had some further comments. Mr. Keros said possibly in a couple of months.

 

Mr. Hyman then said the point he wanted to make was as Mr. Watson has pointed out, there were some clear lines and there were some blurred lines and if they start to put foundations in the ground, they have vested rights under the Michigan Case Law. He said if, however, they start to do some underground utilities work as Mr. Watson has pointed out, it was not entirely clear and the easiest way to eliminate the issue was to actually have the Ordinance provide, if the City decides to rezone this property, that a development which has received preliminary site plan approval be vested and they could do that. He said many municipalities in passing Zoning Ordinance Amendments do provide for similar type grandfather provisions as he was suggesting.

 

Mr. Watson explained actually the City of Novi has done that on a number of occasions and generally it has occurred when there were particular text amendments, and he felt probably when the lot averaging was changed to the preservation option, he felt something similar was done and there were times when they have changed setback requirements when that type of thing was done so the City has done that on occasion.

 

Member Hoadley asked if they could except that property and leave it TC if they make a positive recommendation and Mr. Watson replied they could recommend it that way also.

 

Member Hoadley said the problem with grandfathering was the Commission could make a recommendation, but that doesn't mean the Council would agree to it and they may say they were going to rezone the whole thing.

 

Mr. Watson said either way the Commission recommends it, it was up to Council and they could recommend deleting this parcel and it was up to Council whether they leave it in or not.

 

Mr. Hyman said that was why he was saying his first choice was that they vote not to rezone this parcel at all.

 

Member Hoadley said he feels those folks should have protection because they did approve and they did go through a great deal, even though he didn't agree with everything that the Commission ultimately approved, and fair was fair, and he couldn't consciously vote to rezone their property unless they were guaranteed somehow the protection of the TC zoning that they want to develop this under.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said the Commission obviously could not make those guarantees since this was not a Planning Commission decision but a recommendation to Council, so whatever they do here, it was a recommendation so they couldn't guarantee anything unfortunately.

 

Member Bonaventura asked what would be the definition of this property they were talking about and Mr. Rogers replied it was the Novi Grand Shopping Center development.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To send a positive recommendation to City Council to rezone the areas brought to them that night from General Business District and Town Center District to TC-1, excluding the Novi Grand property.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Member Vrettas said he had a lot of questions and he agreed with everyone who has spoken so far that the Novi Grand property should not be railroaded. He said however he had some concerns and he asked Mr. Rogers why were they doing this now and he liked the idea of making the zoning consistent and putting things together in a logical fashion, but why was this happening now and why was there a need to do some rezoning.

 

Mr. Rogers explained they would have to go back and this has been studied for a year and they have in the packet a second memorandum he addressed to Mr. Wahl of February 10, 1995 that talked about the rezoning and he believed that was written before the submittal of this particular shopping center plan, and at that time or on or about that time, there was a petition from Mr. Keros to rezone this subject property to TC-1 and it did not include the Cash property, but it was withdrawn and it stayed on the map just for identification purposes but he withdrew it and he didn't think a hearing on was held on the matter.

 

Mr. Rogers said his concern was there was something to be said for a uniform zoning district policy and gerrymandering and spot zoning and they have very few of those situations in the City today.

 

Mr. Rogers said he had recommended approval of the Novi Grand project and he felt that project could and would go forward and there was a Town Center meeting last week where there was considerable discussion with the architect, Fosse, about cooperating and understanding better the Riverwalk situation in back of that shopping center and maybe adding some windows to the otherwise blank wall that he was concerned about facing west.

 

Mr. Rogers said if asked his recommendation, he would say go TC-1 for the whole shot and somehow recommend that the Novi Grand project be permitted to proceed as approved by this Planning Commission last month as an exception.

 

Mr. Watson said he wouldn't do it in that manner as an exception for the project. He said the technique used before was to grandfather projects effected by the change that have reached a certain point in the process and they have used Tentative Preliminary Plat and they have used Preliminary Site Plan, something more akin to that.

 

Member Vrettas said another issue was the comment, "or any other appropriate zoning district." He said whenever he sees something like that, he gets very nervous and he doesn't like to leave things open like that.

 

Member Vrettas asked why couldn't they do it this way and why couldn't they say they were going to change this entire area to TC with the exception of that area.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated that was what Member Bonaventura's motion was for.

 

Member Hodges said she needed a little more assurance from Mr. Watson as to why this was not spot zoning if they exclude that. Mr. Watson said he would leave the spot zoning question to Mr. Rogers, but his response to Member Taub's question relating to the issue of grandfathering and not grandfathering, he felt that was just a concern that Mr. Rogers had raised which was referred to as gerrymandering the district boundary lines.

 

Mr. Rogers said Mr. Arroyo had advised him a moment ago that one advantage of putting it all into TC-1 was that if for some reason, Novi Grand/Mr. Keros/Mr. Hyman take a walk, this would then open the property up to discordant types of uses and several multiple developments and this was the heart of the southwest quadrant. He said what they do there and how they control it by not letting someone else beyond Novi Grand come in, was going to influence the Grand River frontage, the Fendt property, the west side of Flint Street, which were some really serious problem areas.

 

Mr. Rogers said he liked the grandfathering based upon what Mr. Watson said and they did just that up on Pontiac Trail with Portsmouth Place, the Springs and all of those apartment projects, and at one time it permitted a lot of single bedroom units and they tightened up the Ordinance and they dropped the density down 20% and they limited the one bedroom units up there to one-third instead of two-thirds of the total units in the buildings, but they grandfathered in two or three major projects that were underway and had received Preliminary site plan approval.

 

Mr. Rogers said he remembered the language in that Amendment Ordinance.

 

Member Hodges said her question to Mr. Watson was because of the response he gave to Member Taub's question about grandfathering.

 

Member Hodges then asked Member Bonaventura if he would amend his motion to delete/exclude and instead use "grandfathering" the Novi Grand property, in other words, if Novi Grand would not go through, the property would be TC-1. She asked if Novi Grand didn't go through, would he have any objections to amending his motion to delete/exclude and to add grandfather.

 

 

Mr. Watson commented if they were going to do that, the grandfathering should not be of that particular parcel, but for any parcel within the entire rezoning area that has reached Preliminary site plan approval.

 

Member Hodges asked if they want to put a specific level of approval and Mr. Watson said Preliminary site plan approval.

 

Member Bonaventura then asked if he was being asked to amend his motion to remove the word "exclude" and to put "grandfather" any project that has received Preliminary site plan approval and Member Hodges said yes and Member Bonaventura said he would amend his motion.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said it appears that Member Bonaventura was agreeable to a friendly amendment and Member Vrettas said he would second the motion, but they need to assure him that nothing was going to happen with Mr. Keros' plans. He said he liked the word exclude because it was very clear cut.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said once again the Planning Commission could not assure Mr. Keros of that and the final word would come from the City Council and all they could do was recommend.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Hyman if what the Commission was doing was what he was requesting, and Mr. Hyman said it was what he would like to call a "fall back" and the fact was as Mr. Watson would advise them, there was a significant difference between excluding them and grandfathering them and if they grandfather them, they could go ahead with this development, but they would be what was called a lawful-non-conforming use, which means if at some point in the future because of engineering issues or something like that, the site plan has to be changed and they have to come back here for amended site plan review, it could be argued that amended site plan was not grandfathered and so they were putting them at least at a hypothetical disadvantage and perhaps more than that.

 

Mr. Hyman said given the level of Mr. Keros' reliance and investment here and the fact that what they were asking for really doesn't do violence for what they were aiming at, at the Town Center, their strong first preference was that they exclude them. He said he came to the Commission hat in hand and said please at the very minimum, if they were not going to do what they think was right, then at least grandfather them.

 

Member Vrettas said then he could not agree and he would have to stay with exclude.

 

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Watson if they grandfather those projects that have reached Preliminary site plan approval, she wanted to disagree with Mr. Hyman then that they would be hitting him in the back. She said what was the point of saying yes just because their site plan was going to be corrected and now he has to do what the Commission wants. She said her understanding was once the project was built out, if he decided to come back and do anything, then he has to conform to TC-1, but not in the process itself now.

 

Mr. Watson said what they were saying was the Commission was grandfathering those projects that have attained the Preliminary site plan stage and if the developer then revises his project so that it was a different Preliminary site plan, it wouldn't meet that deadline so he could have a problem by that. He said they would always have the remedy in this case of turning to the ZBA and asking for a variance.

 

Member Hodges said although they would like to give as much support to the Novi Grand project as they could, she felt they have to understand too that they could not leave themselves open to the fact that Mr. Keros may not go through with this project.

 

Mr. Hyman said he didn't quarrel with that and the point he was making was if he sat down with the Town Center Committee and continued the discussions which were ongoing in good faith and continued the discussions with Staff, there was an extremely good chance as Member Vrettas points out, that some changes were going to be required and that was the normal course of development, and nothing ever finishes in quite the same way that you start.

 

Mr. Hyman said now if what they were talking about was simply fiddling with the footprint a bit, he felt and he thought Mr. Watson would feel they were still grandfathered, but if what happens was a fairly substantial change in the footprint, he didn't think it was quite that clear and he felt Mr. Watson would also agree with that.

 

Member Hodges said she didn't feel that was any different from any site plan and if it was a substantial change, they would have to come back and they still would have to go through review according to the Ordinance, and she didn't feel that was putting him in an exceptional position.

 

Mr. Watson said he didn't know what Mr. Hyman meant by "fiddling" but anything that causes this project to return for revised Preliminary site plan approval was going to cause them a problem.

 

Mr. Hyman said he agreed, however, some changes were of a nature that they would be encompassed within their Final site plan review and that they think they would still be grandfathered in. Mr. Watson said there may be provisions within their site plan manual that allow certain things.

 

Mr. Hyman said he just felt there was a risk or a hole here that he was trying to close for his client.

 

Member Hodges said she didn't think anything that they could do would close all holes for his client and they have to look at this one small slice of the pie and the total big picture and whether it was today or tomorrow, they have to keep that view in mind.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo wanted to advise Member Hodges that since Member Vrettas did not second the motion, she could make a motion to amend to exactly what they want to do.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo explained Member Vrettas who seconded Member Bonaventura's motion did not agree to a second for the motion for the amendment, so if she so chose to put that amendment on the floor, she may do so through a motion.

 

Member Hodges said she was not happy with that and it does not protect the City in the fact that she hasn't gotten out of her mind that it wasn't spot zoning.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo further explained what she was saying was even though Member Bonaventura agreed with it, Member Vrettas did not, but if she wished to include that in the motion, she may do so as an amendment.

 

Member Hodges asked if she was asking her if she wished to include excluding Novi Grand property and Chairperson Lorenzo said no and she was asking her if she wished to make an amendment to the main motion to include the grandfathering for any project that has received Preliminary site plan approval.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo then said the original motion still stands to exclude and if Member Hodges wished to amend that, she may do so.

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Hodges

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To amend the original motion to delete excluding Novi Grand property and adding in a positive recommendation on Map Amendment No. 18.541, grandfathering any projects which have reached Preliminary site plan approval.

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said so in other words, what Member Hodges was doing was deleting the exclusion of that parcel but she was including grandfathering any projects that have Preliminary site plan approval.

 

Member Taub felt there were two important elements here and the biggest element was the City Council who has the final say and the second was the fact that City Council takes the Commission's Minutes which was part of their function and they were suppose to pre-crunch and discuss and debate so that they could look at their Minutes and save themselves some trouble.

 

Member Taub felt it was obvious what the Commission's intent was, and it was very clear what they were trying to do. He felt the current motion creates an across-the-board rule as opposed to just an ad-hoc type of thing which was better and more fairer to everyone.

 

Member Taub said the Commission could not tell Mr. Hyman that no matter what happens, he would never have a problem with this project and that wouldn't be fair to others.

 

Member Taub said if there was something that happens that would create a need for a wholesale modification, they were talking about ZBA and some things could also be brought to the Building Department. He felt they would create an unhappy trend that would anger other applicants in the future if they basically gift-wrapped this because they don't do it with others, so he felt they were doing everything to protect Mr. Keros, but he felt to go too far was going to defeat that purpose because they just couldn't make guarantees.

 

Member Taub felt the current motion would certainly communicate to the Council and then it would be left to them.

 

Member Vrettas said the way the original motion was set up with the exclusion makes it very clear that since they were at the preliminary level, they still have to get final approval from the Commission so they were not going to be able to play any games with them because they still have the final site approval.

 

Member Vrettas felt they were putting an extra roadblock in front of the developer and he would be voting no on this amendment and he felt they should stay with the original motion.

 

Member Capello asked for clarification and asked what happens if the Planning Commission sends no recommendation to City Council and could they still move forward since the Public Hearing was closed and do what they wish with the property as far as rezoning.

 

Mr. Watson said if they don't take action, it wasn't going anywhere, but he felt they have a responsibility to take action. He said there may be reasons that they table it, or take additional time on it if they need additional information, but he felt just to set it to the side so it doesn't go to Council would not be appropriate.

 

Member Capello asked if they could send a recommendation to Council on the southeast quadrant and postpone a decision pending further information on the southwest quadrant.

 

Mr. Watson said they could make a recommendation to the Council that they act on a portion of it and not act on another portion of it but the whole thing was still going to be before them.

 

Member Capello said if they make a recommendation on the southeast corner and send that to Council but postpone their decision on the southeast portion, could the Council act on the southwest parcel.

 

Mr. Watson said this was referred to as 18.541 which was inclusive of that area so he didn't think they could delay a portion of it going to Council and it was either going or not going.

 

Member Capello said he would make a motion to postpone and Mr. Watson said a motion to postpone could be made at any time.

 

 

MOTION TO POSTPONE

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Hoadley

 

 

To postpone a decision on Map Amendment 18.541 until their first meeting in October to give the Commission more time to decide how they specifically want to handle this particular Keros parcel of property.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Member Capello said he understood Mr. Hyman's concern and he could especially understand from his own personal viewpoint because at the last Town Center meeting, he asked if they moved their loading dock to the opposite side of the building so that they could keep the portion of the building facing Flint Street Novi, which was the main focus and have a nicer facade there than the loading dock, so he could see that someone could ask the developer to do something which could be a drastic change to their site plan, so he could foresee that even though it might not happen, he could foresee someone doing that.

 

Member Capello said maybe it would be easier for the Commission to make the decision and maybe Mr. Keros and Mr. Hyman would have a better comfort level once their plan gets through the Town Center Steering Committee and it was in a more final form and they were closer to the point where they were going to be putting in their footings and foundation, and he didn't know if the first meeting in October would give them that or not, but at least for the first meeting in October, he felt they could revisit it and see where they sit so far as pulling a building permit, commencing construction and a decision from the Town Center Steering Committee.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said a motion was made to postpone Planning Commission action on Map Amendment No. 18.541 until their first meeting in October.

 

 

FURTHER DISCUSSION

 

Member Mutch said it seems to her that they really don't have information on what other parcels might be effected and she didn't happen to recall anything coming in where they may be close to having that vested interest or not, but some of that property has recently changed hands and there might be some more information. She said it would appear that they were all trying to find a way to say they agree with the argument that was being made that someone who has been proceeding through this shouldn't have the rug pulled out from under them through a rezoning, but at the same time, she could see that not everyone was completely comfortable with the exclusionary or the grandfathering because something of course could happen to that property and it could change ownership too.

 

Member Mutch said she would like to see them do this in a way that protects the project that was already underway that they have already approved. She said the last time when they discussed this, she made the point of saying that she thought it was especially complementary to the rest of what was underway in the Town Center on the other side of the road and in fact, this project when it came to the Commission, looked tied to the other projects that Mr. Keros has on the east side in a way that brings that whole area together.

 

Member Mutch said they should protect Mr. Keros' interests but at the same time protect the City's interests, so she would like to see more information and not make assumptions that this was the only project that would be affected so she was in favor of the postponement.

 

Member Bonaventura indicated he was against the idea of postponing this project because it was basically an issue of fairness and to put this Novi Grand project in limbo until October bothers him. He asked Mr. Rogers if he originally gave a positive recommendation to the Novi Grand a month ago and Mr. Rogers replied he did.

 

Member Bonaventura said having one of their Consultants give a positive recommendation to a project and the Commission giving it approval and possibly some things going on behind the scenes with properties that they don't know about, the difference to him was obvious.

 

Member Bonaventura said the difference was if there was a person out there right now negotiating to assemble properties and he didn't know about it, he wasn't really concerned. He felt the TC-1 was the best for the east side of Novi Road and that would not bother him. He said but to have a person come in and get approval from this Commission and then a few weeks later, to postpone it, he didn't feel was fair.

 

Member Vrettas said he had a feeling if they postponed this, it does not in any way effect Mr. Keros' project and he could continue moving forward because all the Commission was doing was delaying a decision on a rezoning and was that correct.

 

Mr. Watson explained it doesn't effect Mr. Keros except he has no assurances that when they act in October and when the Council acts after that, that it was not going to be in a way that doesn't impact him. He said it may or may not ultimately and he may go further on down the primrose path and spend more money and not reaching that point of having a vested right.

 

Mr. Watson also pointed out two other practical aspects of this. He said one was they were all in agreement that the Commission was the recommending body on this rezoning and the practical effect of what they were doing by postponing it was keeping that judgement on how this issue should be handled from the City Council until not only October, but for whatever subsequent date it would get to the Council.

 

Mr. Watson said the second aspect of this was that the Commission was sending a signal to anyone else that might have an interest in the property to run in the door as quick as they could with a site plan for approval. He said the Commission has expressed concerns over the fact that this particular project has been led along and has received approval, but he didn't feel the Commission had any intent of grandfathering something that might rush in because of the action they take that evening.

 

Member Vrettas said if what Mr. Watson was saying was true, he found himself in the position of first of all, he liked the idea of this postponement until what Mr. Watson just said so he would be voting against the postponement as well as against the amendment to the motion. He felt what Member Bonaventura suggested in the very beginning was the way to go and that was just excluding this one thing and recommending on the rest because it was the cleanest way.

 

Member Weddington said to put this in prospective, she asked Mr. Rogers to highlight the other changes/differences between the TC and TC-1 besides this restriction of 7,500 sq. ft. of retail and how would any differences affect this project.

 

Mr. Rogers said he spelled out some of those changes in his February 10th letter, but one of the basic things which the applicant was concerned about was that in a TC-1 District, they don't want Big Boxes dominating Main Street and so a cap was put of 7,500 sq. ft. which he believed could be exceeded if there was a second floor of offices or residential or third, fourth or fifth floors.

 

 

Mr. Rogers said the TC-1 District also provides for 0 lot lines, whereas in a TC District, they have certain specifications for side yard setbacks.

 

Mr. Rogers said the TC District provides for shared parking and if they were to continue Main Street across Novi Road and up Flint Street to Grand River, that would allow curb parking to satisfy some of the required parking. He said the TC-1 District prohibits large parking lots in the front yard and they may recall that Vic's Market had to go to the ZBA for their parking lot in the front yard, but the way the standard reads was that the building must set no further back from a street frontage than 137 feet from the centerline of that road.

 

Mr. Rogers said what it does was it sets up as in Mr. Keros' other project in the TC-1 District, the Novi Pavilion project, that they could get one double row of parking, an access aisle and two rows of parking but that was it and so the TC-1 District encourages urban development, buildings up near the street, and 0 lot lines, a more traditional development style.

 

Mr. Rogers said the permitted uses were the same. He said actually this project, Novi Grand, except for perhaps the excess parking in the front yard, the building was probably set back in some parts greater than 137 feet from the centerline to Novi Road.

 

Mr. Rogers said actually it could be built onto either district, however, the building, the principal office/supply store going in, has about 20,000 sq. ft. and needs it and they were building a lot of those currently around the metro area and they need that and it was their formula.

 

Mr. Rogers asked Mr. Arroyo if he saw any other distinguishment other than that. He said for one thing to leave the B-3 zoning on the east side of Novi Road, they could get a gas station and a fast food and outside sales, which would be inimicable to the Main Street development and that has got to be changed.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the only other major issue that comes to mind was some flexibility with sales. He said, for example, in TO-1, they could have outdoor cafes/outdoor display of merchandise within the public right-of-way, and they have the allowance for projecting signs into the public right-of-way in the TO-1 District that they don't have in the TO District, so it really was a lot more flexible than TO in a lot of ways. He felt the only major restriction was the limit on retail, particularly, if there wasn't a second floor.

 

Member Hodges said she could sympathize with Mr. Keros. She said she had no reason to believe that Mr. Keros' project would not go forward and the City couldn't come with their baton and hit him in the shins and break his leg in the middle of his project if this recommendation goes through because he was protected.

 

Member Hodges said, however, if he should decide for whatever reason, which he has the right to decide, to put a For Sale sign in front of that property tomorrow, the City has no protection that a "Barney's Purple Water Slide" wouldn't come in if it didn't meet the Ordinance, but they could protect themselves by grand fathering this and it still gives him the right to proceed with his plan as preliminarily approved.

 

Member Hodges said just because they tell him he has to plant a few more trees or move a parking space to the other side of the building, was not something that was drastic, however, if he wants to put in a "Barney's Water Slide," she felt they were all going to have problems with that, and she felt they would have problems with that regardless of who brought that plan to the Commission.

 

Member Hodges felt they have a responsibility to protect the rest of the property owners in Novi, as well as his property and that was why she would not vote for the postponement, and she did believe that they could not exclude it and she was still not satisfied that it was not spot zoning if they exclude it.

 

Member Capello said if Mr. Keros does put the property up for sale tomorrow, he would rather see that zoned TO-1 rather than TO and his purpose to postpone it was to give Mr. Keros the opportunity to move far enough down the pipe with their TO zoning with their plan as it is. He said then they would be able to see that Mr. Keros was going forward, and if not, then they would go ahead and rezone the entire parcel TO-1. He said he would like to see everything TO-1.

 

Member Capello said to Mr. Hyman perhaps he made his motion without concerns of what Mr. Watson said and he asked would the postponement give him a comfort level or would he like to have the postponement.

 

Mr. Hyman said frankly he could go either way and he certainly had no objection to the idea of a postponement and it does do what the Commission envisions. He said also it was not true that Mr. Keros could tomorrow put up a For Sale sign and someone could come in and have a right to do anything because they have before them an approved Preliminary site plan and anyone else who buys this property would have to develop it in accordance with the plan they already approved or else they would have to come in and ask for new Preliminary site plan approval and they would have plenty of time then to rezone the property and stop it.

 

Mr. Hyman said he didn't agree with Mr. Watson's position that they couldn't shrink the proposed recommended rezoning, and that was done all the time, and he has always advised his clients that a municipality could always do less than it has advertised without having to re-advertise, but if the City wants to add, then they have to re-advertise so that they could, in fact, based on what they have before them, recommend today a rezoning on the other side of Novi Road and in essence, postpone any decision on this side of Novi Road.

 

Mr. Hyman said the second issue he wanted to point out to ease some concerns that have been expressed and Congress does this all the time with the tax laws, was if they were afraid, as Mr. Watson suggests, of someone making a race to the Planning Commission door, they could be more specific in their grand fathering and they could provide that properties that have received Preliminary site plan approval as of August 16, 1995 was grand fathered and that would prohibit new people running in and trying to get in under the wire and that was done all the time by legislative bodies.

 

Mr. Watson then explained the question of whether someone could buy his site and be bound by the site plan, the Zoning Enabling Statute does provide that a site plan once approved was how the property has to be developed unless a revised plan or a new plan was approved both by the applicant property and the approving body.

 

Mr. Watson said the problem here was that this site plan has not reached the point of being an approved site plan and it reaches that point when it receives Final site plan approval and it has only received Preliminary site plan approval so it hasn't reached that point and it may not receive Final site plan approval for some time, so they don't have that assurance.

 

Mr. Watson said as to whether a body could delete from the rezoning, a body could do that, but the body to do that was the City Council, and what was before the Commission was a recommendation on a particular map amendment and they couldn't break that recommendation up and hold part of it back and send part of it forward.

 

Member Capello said by holding back, did he mean postpone decision on part of it and Mr. Watson said yes.

 

Member Vrettas called the question.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said the motion on the floor was:

 

 

To postpone Map Amendment No. 18.541 until the first meeting in October.

 

 

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

 

(6) Nays (3) Yeas

 

MOTION FAILED.

 

 

AMENDED MOTION

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said the motion on the floor now was to amend the main motion to delete the exclusion of Mr. Keros's property and to include grand fathering of any properties that have received Preliminary site plan approval.

 

Member Hoadley said he was not clear on the motion and he asked if this motion was intended to not grandfather their project and it was stated it was to grandfather and Member Hoadley asked why were they excepting and Chairperson Lorenzo said the motion was to grandfather all projects that have received Preliminary site plan approval.

 

 

Mr. Watson explained the original motion excluded his property and the amendment deleted the exclusion of that property. Chairperson Lorenzo added and substitutes it for the grand fathering of all projects that have received preliminary. A vote was then taken.

 

 

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

 

(7) Yeas (2) Nays

 

 

MOTION CARRIED.

 

 

VOTE ON MAIN MOTION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated the main motion was:

 

 

To send a positive recommendation to City Council for this rezoning for Map Amendment No. 18.541 with inclusion of a grand fathering clause for all projects that have received Preliminary site plan approval.

 

 

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

(8) Yeas (1) Nay

 

 

MOTION CARRIED.

 

THE COMMISSION TOOK A TEN MINUTE BREAK.

 

 

3. Ordinance 95-18 - An Ordinance to amend Section 202 of Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance to amend Article 3 of said Ordinance, to amend the "schedule limiting height, bulk, density, and area by zoning district" contained within Section 2400 of said Ordinance, to amend Subsection 2402.2 of said Ordinance, and to amend the R-A designation contained within the Zoning Map of said Ordinance, to identify the R-A zoning district as a Residential Acreage Zoning District and to revise the purpose of said district for possible recommendation to City Council.

 

Mr. Rogers said about six month ago, he and JCK did a survey of Act 641, the Landfill Ordinance, where the City might be pre-emoted because one of the criteria that could overstep City regulation would be if there was a need for more landfill capacity and if nothing was reasonably and conveniently located in the vicinity, a developer could just go to the County and get his permit and open up a landfill in Novi.

 

Mr. Rogers said they ruled out most of the areas in the City that would be eligible for that with one exception and that was Agriculture Districts. He said Residential/Agriculture Districts, were like Commercial/Industrial and were eligible for landfill usage. He said their Ordinance had, at least since the 1984 Ordinance, a Residential Agriculture District/R-A District, and even with the Statement of Purpose, there was the term Agriculture and the use of land for Agriculture until some more urban use comes along or infrastructure comes into an area.

 

Mr. Rogers said so one way to eliminate that exposure was to change the district name from Residential Agriculture District to Residential Acreage District, which seems to be a good term because they require one acre homesite in the R-A District.

 

Mr. Rogers said what Fried, Watson and Bugbee has prepared were amendments to the text of the Ordinance and they don't need to change the map as it already says R-A District on the map, and all they have to do was to change the title block where it says R-A Residential Agriculture and just in the future make that Residential Acreage.

 

Mr. Rogers said but for the text amendments, wherever it said R-A Residential/Agriculture District, that was being amended and it was specifically called out in this Amendment Ordinance and there was no need and that includes the reference in the Schedule of Regulations and that was why it was put into the packet here, because it was called out as R-A and it has to be changed to Residential Acreage District.

 

Mr. Rogers said by leaving the code letters as R-A, they would only have to amend where it says Residential Agriculture to Residential Acreage and they wouldn't have to amend the Zoning Map in a lot of places.

 

Mr. Rogers said so he felt the key here besides this editing was the change in the Statement of Intent, and he felt that was very important and it was very brief and to the point and it reads, "The R-A residential acreage districts, were intended to provide areas within the community for a particular living environment characterized by large lot low density single family dwellings" and then it goes on to list the principal uses permitted, which have not changed and the principal uses permitted subject to special conditions, such as plant nurseries, dairies, livestock raising, etc." He said so none of the permitted uses or special land uses have changed and it was just the titling of this district and the changing of the Statement of Intent of the district.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

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

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura said what he looks for when he has an Ordinance presented in front of him with changes was for the highlighted areas on the changes, and it would be easier for him to quickly make a motion to approve this if Mr. Rogers could give him the specific word changes and where they were located.

 

Mr. Rogers said the Statement of Intent was the best place to start. Member Bonaventura said he was not looking for comparison to the old Ordinance just tell him exactly what areas were changed.

 

Mr. Rogers said the Statement of Intent was changed. He said the present Statement of Intent Section 300 of the Zoning Ordinance read, "The R-A Residential/Agriculture districts are intended to provide areas within the community for Agriculture uses until such time as the land may be eventually developed in other uses pending proper provision of utilities, transportation to other facilities, and to provide for a particular living environment characterized by large lot low density single family dwellings." He said so all references to Agriculture uses has been taken out and the inference of a holding zone has been taken out.

 

Mr. Rogers said then the only other change in all of this was that wherever in this book it stated Residential/Agriculture it was changed to Residential Acreage.

 

Member Bonaventura said he liked the name change as far as keeping the R-A so that they don't have to learn a new phrase. He then said he would make a motion.

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Ordinance No. 95-18.

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

None.

 

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

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

2. Amoco Service Station/Remediation Facility, SP95-04B and C - Property located at the northeast corner of Novi Road and Grand River Avenue for Possible Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval.

 

Member Weddington said she had some questions on the remediation that was going forward at the old Amoco Station. She said she had pulled this so she could ask a few questions about the remediation process that was going on there. She asked if Mr. Bluhm could explain what sparging was and it was her understanding that it was the spraying of a liquid with the help of compressed gas or air, so she was wondering what impact that had, and whether there were odors or emissions of any sort that results from that process.

 

Mr. Bluhm said he didn't know that he could directly speak to that matter and he asked the applicant if he had any comments.

 

A gentleman was present who indicated he represented the consulting firm that would be working on this system. He said all that sparging means was that they inject air into the lower atmosphere of the ground and what that does was it volatilizes any hydrocarbons that might be in the soil and then there was a vacuum system that extracts the volatilized hydrocarbons and then passes it through a carbon system. He indicated there was no odor and it was all done in the ground and when the air was discharged, all the hydrocarbons were absorbed by the carbon system that was in the remediation shed, so there wouldn't be any odors and they would not be able to see anything and everything would be taking place underground.

 

Member Weddington asked how long would this process have to go on until the site was cleaned up, and the gentleman felt they could be looking at 2-3 years.

 

Member Weddington asked how often would someone have to come and attend the equipment and replace those filters and it was stated there was a schedule that was submitted to the DNR and there would be weekly monitoring and at the initial stage, there would probably be someone there for the first month every other day. He said there would be a telemetry system and they would be able to monitor that back at the office at any time that they desire. He said they were trying to eliminate the expense of sending people there, and a lot of this system was so sophisticated that they would be able to monitor it from a computer system.

 

Member Bonaventura said he realizes that this was something that has to be done in order to fulfil someone's commitment to that property and he also understood that the City had an option on this property. He said his concerns revolve around since the City has an interest in this, the way he saw it they have an interest in it in several ways and one was that it was the heart of the downtown area.

 

Member Bonaventura said he went out and visited the site which was strange for him because he has never really been out there let alone walking in the park that was a Town Center Park, which was adjacent to it. He then asked about the Russian Olives and he felt they were on the Town Center property.

 

Mr. Rogers replied he thought they were put in by Trammel Crow to screen the gas station which was unsightly. He said the actual service station site was, before any taking for the Grand River or Novi Road widening, about .23 acres or about a quarter of an acre, and surrounding it was a piece of property 50 feet wide and then there was the park that sits back there which he felt they could see.

 

Member Bonaventura said from what he saw on the blueprint, he got the impression that the Russian Olive Hedgerow was on the Town Center property and it doesn't involve this property.

 

Member Bonaventura said concerning this property, when he walked out there, it was requested by City Council to landscape this property until the clean-up and in his opinion that was a wise move to require that because of the fact of the aesthetics and the importance of that piece of property and it reflects on the City.

 

Member Bonaventura said one of the things that bothered him was the condition of this property that has been landscaped, and he noticed a 55 barrel drum half on the property and half off in the Russian Olives and he also noticed broken concrete, dead bushes and a whole lot of weeds and he felt what they have here was if they thought the Amoco Station was an eyesore, they now have a landscape eyesore.

 

Member Bonaventura said he didn't have any problem with the landscaping and since they were talking 2-3 years, he wanted that landscaping maintained on a regular basis and he would also expect to have sod material placed between the landscaped islands and have it maintained.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Watson to what extent they could go to achieve what he was trying to achieve, which was a well-landscaped and well maintained appealing-to-the-eye corner, which was going to be with them for two to three years.

 

Mr. Watson said for any site has landscape plan requirements and they were going to submit them with their final site plan of this.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated they already have submitted and they have reviewed and approved the Final site plan which distinguishes that. He indicated the applicant has hired Jack Anderson of Anderson and Lesniak that did the landscape plan for Novi Town Center, and he came in with an excellent landscape plan and on it, it shows the existing plant materials to remain and some of those plant materials out there were pretty stable and have grown up pretty well now and then the new plant materials needed. He said there was also a maintenance agreement they have to live by in the final site plan and they frequently make inspections and require dead trees to be replaced and grass to be cut, etc.

 

Mr. Rogers said if they implement the approved landscape plan, there was quite a bit on it, and it was quite a big investment. He asked who was paying for it and a gentleman replied Amoco was paying for it and he explained the reason why it was in such a disarray was they have never been given approval to go on the site and they haven't been able to do anything and they have been waiting for approval now for eight months and so they have been going back and forth and the site was not being remediated and it was not being maintained and the proper landscaping hasn't been involved.

 

Member Bonaventura asked what were all the hoses laying around and what was the 55 gallon drum doing there.

 

The gentleman indicated they have inherited that project from another consulting firm and they were pulled off of it because they were dragging their feet in getting this project approved so what they all see there was what was done and then of course there was a decree that nothing further be done until they got this approved so that was why he was there that evening.

 

Member Bonaventura said so they were telling him that for the past few years now, that the only thing that has been done to this land was the landscaping and there has been no work on cleaning up this contamination problem.

 

Mr. Watson said other than he assumed they went to the DNR to get a remediation plan approved at some point and the gentleman indicated they have submitted that to the Fire Marshall and the DNR was waiting for him to do something, but they couldn't do anything until they get permission from the City to actually take over the project.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if anyone knew how many years it has been since the Amoco Station has been torn down and it was felt maybe 2-3 years.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers if he could assure him that this landscaping and the maintenance on everything was going to be upheld and Mr. Rogers said yes. Member Bonaventura asked if they would have sod in between those landscaped envelopes and Mr. Rogers said he didn't recall, but he felt it would be good ground cover than having dirt and sand and broken concrete.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if he could require that and Mr. Rogers said he would have to look at the landscape plan, but he was sure they have some sod intended. Mr. Rogers discussed the comment made about they have been waiting around for eight months and it wasn't in his opinion the City's fault and they had a different engineer, who for one reason or another didn't proceed timely on the plan and thereafter. He said the other engineers turned in a site plan, literally the size of about two inches by two inches and they couldn't read it and it didn't meet the Site Plan Manual and it was illegible and then they didn't have a landscape architect aboard and they came to him and he had suggested Jack Anderson, who timely prepared the plan. He agreed it should be moved ahead, but this gentleman knows there have been a number of people dealing with the plan that had nothing to do with the City, and that was why they were doing both Preliminary and Final that night to speed this on, which he would recommend.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Rogers as a point of clarification for what Member Bonaventura was requesting in terms of the sod, they indicated in their review letter that a note on the plan indicates that after the remediation procedures have been completed, that the undeveloped portions of the site would be graded, top soil applied and areas seeded as lawn to ensure positive drainage, after their remediation.

 

The gentleman stated yes after the system was in, because there was going to be some excavation there. Chairperson Lorenzo said she may be mistaken, but she thought Member Bonaventura was speaking of the three years during remediation.

 

Mr. Rogers indicated they would develop that plan they have in their packet right away.

 

Member Bonaventura said on the plan it says to put down top soil and seed and he asked could they change that to sod.

 

The gentleman said if they were talking about putting down sod there, they were talking about putting in an underground sprinkling system in there.

 

Member Bonaventura said they were required at this point to water and to irrigate either by tanker truck or whatever and what he was getting at was this was right next to the Town Center and the Town Center put sod in and this was a very small piece to put sod in.

 

The gentleman said Amoco at this stage of the game doesnít really have to do anything, and they can walk away from the piece of property and not make one cent of improvements. He said the new laws were in place now. He said he was just there as a representative to tell them as a good citizen Amoco has committed themselves to doing this particular improvement and not because they have to, only because they want to be good citizens.

 

This gentleman said if they would enter into a by-pass, he has been instructed by Amoco to pull right out of this site and not do anything at all and then the City would have to do whatever they want to on their own and he was only telling them what the Amoco people have told him.

 

This gentleman said it was very expensive, and there are brick pavers involved along with re-landscaping and replanting of trees.

 

Member Bonaventura asked why the brick pavers were there and Mr. Rogers said along Novi Road, there was a brick splash treatment and this would complete that element.

 

Member Bonaventura asked was it because it was required under the Ordinance and Mr. Rogers said it was in the Town Center Design Guidebook Standards. Member Bonaventura said they were not requiring very many amenities in the Town Center Guidebook, and they were not requiring any park benches or lighting and Mr. Rogers said he didnít recall.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if they could require lighting, and Mr. Rogers said they have street lighting along the sidewalk treatment there and Member Bonaventura asked about the Town Center lighting and Mr. Rogers said he didnít think that standard was in place in front of the Amoco facility and Member Bonaventura asked if it could it be required and Mr. Rogers said he supposed so.

 

Member Bonaventura said there were things they could require because this was zoned TO and Amoco was saying donít push us too far or they will walk, and he personally didnít care about the paver brick but he would rather see this sodded and landscaped and maintained, something that they havenít had for a very long time and Amoco has owned this site for 2-3 years and it has been an eyesore for 2-3 years.

 

Member Bonaventura said an attempt was made to make it look nice and the landscaping was nice, but they have to follow through on this and make sure it is maintained and push for quality, and not for seed, but for sod and it is only because of the aesthetics of it and it matches the adjacent Town Center property.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Bonaventura

Seconded by Member Vrettas

 

 

To grant Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval to the Amoco Service Station, SP95-04B&C subject to the applicant using sod instead of seed and that the landscaping and sod be maintained at all times according to the Ordinance.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley asked if it was Amocoís intention to keep the grass area mowed if it is seeded, on a regular basis and the gentleman replied yes.

 

Member Hoadley said a seeded lawn is much superior to a sodded lawn and it holds up better and was disease free and sodded lawns absolutely take a sprinkler system and they were not required to put a sprinkler system in and a seeded lawn doesnít require a sprinkler system. He said it takes longer to grow in, but it was a perfectly good lawn and would be maintained much better and stay better longer and is just as satisfactory.

 

Member Hoadley felt it was the wrong motion and he would support a motion that they approve it as it is presented with a condition that it is mowed on a regular basis, once a week.

 

Member Taub was concerned about what the applicant indicated about their legal position as far as they can just walk away and do nothing. He said they donít want Amoco to walk away and he would go with Member Hoadleyís suggestion.

 

The gentleman indicated if Amoco commits themselves to go in there and improve the site, the Commission could be guaranteed that they would go in there and maintain that property as they propose. He said they would like to proceed and get this done and start before they get into Fall.

 

Member Mutch said looking at the plan, does the brick paver come down Novi Road and around the corner and onto Grand River and connect at both ends with the existing brick paver and Mr. Rogers said he didnít believe it does and he felt it was just on Novi Road and on the Grand River frontage, that would be presumedly grassed in and maintained all the way to the curb.

 

Member Mutch asked if there was an existing pedestrian path on Grand River up to this property to the right, and Mr. Rogers said the sidewalk connects with those other sidewalks. Member Mutch said this pedestrian pathway stops when you hit this Amoco property or just before that and turns to the north and Mr. Rogers said the sidewalk goes along the curb line now on both roads. He indicated the brick pavers go between the concrete sidewalk and the curb. Member Mutch said so the pedestrian path is a regular concrete sidewalk and the brick pavers are just a decorative edge and Mr. Rogers said yes.

 

Member Mutch asked if there was a pedestrian pathway that encourages pedestrian traffic around that corner and Mr. Rogers said yes.

 

Member Mutch said regarding the seed or sod, she didnít have a preference. She said they could require the seeding and felt they could get a seeded lawn by next spring but if they donít meet that, then they would lay sod later.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Rogers didnít she hear him say he already had a landscaped maintenance contract and Mr. Rogers said in Section 2509 in the Ordinance, it provides that any landscape plan, and he was sure this must already show it, they agree to maintain the property continuously and that means cutting the grass and replacing dead trees and it was an enforcement and one of the conditions.

 

Member Hodges didnít think the Landscaping Ordinance has gone anywhere, so they were not exempt from doing anything any other developer would do and she would definitely go with seed and it would be excellent to put it down in the fall.

 

Member Bonaventura said he has walked the area which is a mess and it has been seeded. He said to establish a lawn, you have to pay attention to it with seed, but with sod it is instant and all you have to do is irrigate it and from what he saw in the site plan, they are required to irrigate it, either by pump or truck or by bringing in the water one way or the other and they are required to do that.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Watson about Amocoís threat not to clean up their own property and Mr. Watson said he didnít know what the gentleman was referring to, and he may be referring to changes in Act 307 concerning varied levels of clean-up, but he couldnít tell them what they were able to do and he did know they had an agreement with the City that requires certain things, but he didnít have the agreement here that night as to what it exactly requires.

 

Mr. Watson said but one of the items was clean-up of the site to a point where the DNR will deem it acceptable. He said if what they are telling you is that the site is at a level now that the DNR would sign off on, he couldnít tell them without having information from the DNR and he would be surprised at that.

 

 

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

 

(6) Yeas (3) Nays

 

MOTION CARRIED.

 

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION.

 

 

1. Committee Selection for the Following Committees:

 

(1) Planning Studies and Budget Committee.

(2) Capital Improvements Program Committee.

(3) Town Center Steering Committee.

(4) Lake Property Study Committee.

 

Member Hodges indicated she couldnít make any changes right now become of personal commitments but in a few weeks, she may be able to make some changes.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated Member Capello has indicated he would like to be removed from the Novi Chamber of Commerce Liaison Committee, so that is another Committee vacancy.

Chairperson Lorenzo said Member Capello has indicated he would like to remain on the Town Center Steering Committee instead of being an alternate and he would be a regular member.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo would suggest that since Member Capello has been serving as an alternate, she thought it would be fair to give him his full-fledged status and ask for someone else to be an alternate.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said there were two members, Member Hoadley and Member Mutch, who wish to be an alternate.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo also indicated that Member Mutch said Member Hoadley was interested in the Novi Chamber of Commerce Liaison and Member Weddington said she would like to serve as Liaison also.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked for nominations to serve on the Town Center Committee as an alternate.

 

Member Mutch said she would withdraw from the Town Center Committee so Member Hoadley could serve.

 

 

Town Center Committee

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Taub

Seconded by Member Hodges

 

 

To nominate Member Hoadley to serve on the Town Center Committee as an alternate.

 

There were no other nominations and Member Hoadley was appointed to the Town Center Committee.

 

Lake Property Study Committee

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated that Member Vrettas wishes to serve on this committee.

It was,

 

Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Capello

 

 

To nominate Member Vrettas to the Lake Property Study Committee.

 

 

There were no other nominations and Member Vrettas was appointed to the Lake Property Study Committee.

 

Chamber of Commerce Liaison

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated both Members Mutch and Weddington were interested in this position. Member Hodges asked if they could both serve. Member Capello didnít feel that would be a problem. Mr. Wahl commented it was an informal type of situation and didnít feel there would be any problems.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Vrettas

 

 

To appoint Members Mutch and Weddington as co-liaisons for the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Planning Studies and Budget Committee

 

 

Member Hodges said she would serve on this Committee tentatively.

 

 

Capital Improvements Program Committee

 

 

Member Vrettas said he would serve on this Committee tentatively.

 

Member Mutch then said Chairperson Lorenzo was a member of the Communication and Community Liaison Committee and she is also on that Committee and it has never met the entire time she has been on it, and it was her impression that it is a Committee which by its own definition could be very proactive in educating the community in terms of various issues and that Committee should meet at some point, where they could evaluate the potential.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would see what she could do.

 

 

2. Special Meeting - Lakewoods Preserve and OS-3 District.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated the Commission needs to consider having a special meeting next Wednesday, August 23rd and the petitioners for the Lakewoods Preserve, which is going to be a subdivision proposal around Walled Lake, would like to present on an informal basis, their proposal to the Commission so that they can have the Commissionís input on various issues. She said additionally the OS-3 Ordinance that the Implementation Committee has been diligently working on, is just about in its refined form and she would like to bring it to the Commission so that they can set a public hearing for that item.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was a consensus for the special meeting next Wednesday, August 23, 1995.

 

Member Vrettas said he already had a commitment. Member Hodges asked about the OS-3 Ordinance and Chairperson Lorenzo said they would be bringing it to the table in its most recently refined form for a brief discussion and possibly setting a public hearing date for it.

 

Member Hodges also asked if there would be public participation at this special meeting and Chairperson Lorenzo indicated there would be the usual Audience Participation.

 

It was then,

 

Moved by Member Hodges

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

That a Special Meeting regarding Lakewoods Preserve and the OS-3 District be scheduled on Wednesday, August 23, 1995 at 7:30 P.M. in Council Chambers.

 

 

DISCUSSION ON MOTION

 

Member Bonaventura said he didnít mind putting the other discussion on the Agenda and that probably makes sense, but what bothers him was this would be four meetings in a row for the Commission. He also asked if this matter was brought up by a Planning Commission member, and Chairperson Lorenzo said it was and it was actually her decision to bring it forth to the Commission for a special meeting because she felt with the sensitivity of this issue, that there would likely be a lot of Audience Participation and that if this was added to a regular meeting, they probably would not get out until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.

 

Member Hoadley said if this was going to be a special meeting for this purpose, if they have it open to all this public discussion, wouldnít it be a public hearing and Chairperson Lorenzo replied no and they would have their normal Audience Participation.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she has also asked the petitioner to prepare a written presentation to be included in the packet so the Commission was aware of all issues and could form their questions and everyone is prepared. She said this is more for the Commission in terms of asking questions. She said there are two things that will come into play in terms of how long this meeting lasts and one is the amount of Audience Participation that they have and two, is how many questions and how long the Commission wishes to discuss it.

 

Member Capello said if they have the meeting next Wednesday, he will be away.

 

The date was discussed further Mr. Cohen indicated they scheduled this date in advance and scheduled the Chambers and it was hard to get a date scheduled for Council Chambers so he would suggest keeping this date.

 

(Voice vote) (7 ) Yeas (2) Nays

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. 24 Hour Operations

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated it has come to her attention this evening at Implementation Committee by Mr. Capote of two issues that would delay the request for the 60 days in terms of the I-1 next to Residential coming back to the Planning Commission and Mr. Capote has asked and she has agreed and believed the consensus among the Implementation Committee was to also ask for an additional 30 days to report back to the Commission.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said Mr. Capote will not be at their next regular meeting on September 6th and would be out of town, and she understood that one of the clerical staff that has been typing all of the Minutes will be going on a new assignment and so they would not have the Minutes available to them in time. She said she was requesting a 30 day extension.

 

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Hoadley

Seconded by Member Taub

 

 

To request an additional 30 days to research possible amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.

 

Member Capello said he was going to make a motion:

 

It was,

 

Moved by Member Capello

Seconded by Member Hodges

 

 

To reconsider their motion from last week relative to the Implementation Committee getting back to the Planning Commission within 60 days and amend that to the Committee getting back to the Planning Commission within 90 days from the August 9th meeting.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo explained it was to basically give the Implementation Committee an extension of 30 days to report back for a total of 90 days regarding the I-1 next to residential.

 

(Voice vote) (8) Yeas (1) Nay-Bonaventura

 

Motion Carried

 

 

2. Disclosure Forms.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo wanted to indicate to the full Commission and the public that five Commissioners, herself included and Member Mutch, Capello, Weddington, and Hoadley, were guests at the Novi Chamber of Commerce General Business Meeting yesterday where they presented a special report regarding the Novi at a Crossroads, which in the future, she would try to ask Mr. Bowman to present to the Full Commission when it is convenient for himself and when it is convenient for the Commission on the Agenda. She wanted to disclose that information so everyone was aware of it.

 

Mr. Watson said he assumed they were there as individuals and not acting as a body and Chairperson Lorenzo said correct.

 

 

3. Limiting Planning Commission Agenda.

 

Member Bonaventura wanted everyone to be aware that this is something they have not been doing and he was assuming with their new Chair that they would be able to get control of their Agendas through their Rules, and he was assuming the Chair would follow the rules and Chairperson indicated she would try.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 P.M.

 

 

 

________________________________

Steven Cohen

Planning Aide

 

Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

October 19, 1995