REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.

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

(810) 347-0475

 

Called to order at 7:33 P.M. by Chairperson Lorenzo.

 

 

PRESENT: Member Bonaventura, Member Capello (arrived late), Member Hoadley, Chairperson Lorenzo, Member Mutch, Member Vrettas

 

 

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Hodges, Member Taub, Member Weddington

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Planning Director James Wahl, Planning Aide Steven Cohen

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated Dan Davis, Director of Parks & Recreation has requested to postpone action on the Novi Community Sports Park, Item #1 under Matters for Consideration, for 60 days. Additionally Member Mutch has requested to postpone the Approval of the August 9, 1995 Special Planning Commission meeting minutes as she didn't receive a copy in her packet.

 

 

PM-09-003-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Carl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, had a few concerns that still required attention regarding Profile Steel. One was drainage which remains an outstanding item; a fence which he felt an I-2 plant should have a fence around the entire perimeter rather than just where it meets the adjacent residential property; and signage. and to date the site plan has no permanent indication of signage.

 

Mr. Wizinsky said except for the easement, there has been no paperwork initiated on the easement which is required for them to complete the berm as indicated on their site plan so he was confused why some things have not been started as of a year later. He supported the final review as long as he could be included in that process.

 

 

Ms. Roder of the Novi Heights Subdivision indicated she was a member of the Board of Association. She wished to comment on the 24 Hour Operation of Industrial abutting Residential, but first she wanted to clarify something. She said each time she is here she tells them she lives in the Novi Heights Subdivision, one of the oldest subs in the city and yet many refer to them as the Clark Sub and she would ask that the city allow them their identity.

 

Ms. Roder said the general impression she has was that the Commission considers this a Meadowbrook Lake versus Interlock issue, even though the restriction would apply to all other industrial sites abutting residential. She resented this attitude and needed protection as much as they do and maybe more.

 

Ms. Roder said it was distressing when ordinary people come here repeatedly to try to improve their situation and were effectively ignored and she has repeatedly detailed for them problem after problem generated by the abutting general light industrial on Gen-Mar Drive, problems that would only multiply if a 24 hour operation were allowed. She said they have ongoing problems with their lights, water draining into their residential homes from the berm, the unkept appearance at the side of the berm and she said to Mr. Watson that she was still waiting for his call.

 

Ms. Roder said she couldn't stress enough the noise and traffic congestion on Novi created by the ingress and egress of semi-trucks and trailers and there was also the issue of what were the controls once the facility was operational. She said the major loophole that was pointed out to them recently when she asked about the seven million dollar renovation of Johnson Controls, was the questions were not answered since the process they were using was proprietary and therefore confidential.

 

Ms. Roder said Mr. Capote suggested that she ask the Council to refer this matter to the Ordinance Committee which she did last spring and she asked to be kept informed as to the findings, and obviously this was dying in committee since she has heard nothing.

 

Ms. Roder said Arbor Drugs recently sought a special land use for the height restriction and to more than double their size and they also wanted a railroad spur running off of the one given to Johnson Controls even though they assured them several years ago, that a railroad spur was something they would never need. She said assurances don't count and writing was a much better method of protecting.

 

Ms. Roder said there is also the problem generated by the growth and development and no business begins operations with the idea of remaining static.

 

Ms. Roder said the City was very concerned that the business community be notified regarding the August 9th meeting. She said two representatives showed up. She said once, Mr. Wisne who owns several operations, was definitely against the ban and that was strange since the kind of operation that he has is strictly forbidden next to residential anyway, therefore, the band wouldn't have applied to him.

 

Ms. Roder said very conspicuous was the lack of attempt by the City to notify subdivision associations in areas that abut light industrial of the special meeting and the reason for it and could the almighty dollar have something to do with the situation. She said the long-time residents were assured 20 years ago when 12 Oaks went in that this was going to do nothing but benefit them and after all, they would have tax revenue from this and their taxes wouldnít climb so high and they would have more services and just the opposite turned out to be the case. She said actually she felt that this has been an exercise in futility these past few years but at least she has had her say.

 

Mr. Watson said just for the benefit of the Commission, the call that Ms. Roder was referring to was a call from Steve Babinchak regarding the weed issue in that area next to the Arbor Drug and Ms. Roder made a complaint about it and that complaint has been referred to the Ordinance Enforcement Officers and he didnít know what action has been taken or lack of action but he would inquire immediately.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Audience Participation.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Mr. Cohen read a letter (attached) from Ruth Hamilton of 1245 E. Lake Drive regarding the August 25th Lakewoods Preserve Meeting.

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated the Minutes of August 9, 1995 had been postponed earlier and there were no other items.

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

1. Map Amendment No. 18.539 - Property located south of Grand River Avenue, east of Karim Boulevard for Possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning from General Business District (B-3) to Office Service District (OS-1) or any other appropriate zoning district - APPROVED.

 

Mr. David Donnelon representing Ollie Fayz the purchaser said the facts speak for themselves and the letter from the consultant clearly indicates this was a zoning from a more intense use to a less intense use and it was for a very good purpose, the construction of a day care center. He said part of the play area was in the split zone portion and they need to zone it the same as the area that the day care was currently zoned.

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his report of August 9, 1995 as attached. He explained the applicant initially came in for a site plan review but was informed that day care facilities in the commercial districts were not permitted and a rezoning to consolidate the two properties was necessary. The Master Plan recommends the subject half acre for non-center commercial future land use and the balance of applicant's site is recommended for office future land use.

 

Mr. Rogers concluded the optimum use of subject property is for coordinated OS-1 development with the parcel to the west and would be compatible with other OS-1 zoned parcels along Karim Blvd and further, the OS-1 zoning district boundary line would then be a consistent edge along the Ingersol Creek line. He said he recommended the petition be approved and prior to development, a separate sidwell number would be required.

 

Mr. Rogers said how this triangle piece of land occurred he couldn't tell them but he knows that Ollie Fayz, the owner and operator of Pheasant Run has not seen fit over the last 8-9 years for any additional parking there so that he might expand the shopping center, but since he has shown consent for this rezoning, then he was in favor of the rezoning.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no Audience Participation and Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing.

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo explained the issue was a question of land use and not the possible proposal of a child day care facility per se.

 

Member Hoadley asked how are they going to get to the facility and Mr. Rogers replied the site plan he has seen shows a loop road off of Karim Blvd and the building would be essentially on the present OS-1 property and the rear portion is largely to be used for the fenced area. He said it was a large facility and the site will accommodate the proposed use and access will come solely from Karim Blvd.

 

Member Hoadley asked did the owner of the land have the use or ownership of the land in front of it and Mr. Rogers said yes.

 

Member Mutch asked if this was a consolidation of two parcels and Mr. Rogers said that was his understanding and there was a question of lot splits and no preliminary site plan will be approved or recommended for approval until it is demonstrated that a separate sidwell number is assigned to this consolidated parcel.

 

Mr. Donnelon said Mr. Fayz has a purchase agreement for the property to the south that is about 1.5 acres and the property to the south has the split zoning on it and the B-3 zoning is not its own parcel but a split zoning with the OS-1 parcel of that land basically south of the Pheasant Run Plaza. He said Mr. Fayz is purchasing the B-3 zoning and OS-1 zoning further south to a line that would allow him to develop his proposed use. He said it will be consolidated into one sidwell number with Pheasant Run and have a split zoning and multiple buildings on it.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she was speaking for herself and also Member Hodges as they had a discussion this morning. She said Mr. Rogers concluded this was a good idea and that the OS-1 zoning district boundary line would be consistent along the edge of the Ingersol Creek and that it was an optimum use of the subject property for coordinated OS-1, but why didn't they foresee this as a good action when considering the master plan two years ago.

 

Mr. Rogers said it never came up in discussion and it was a parcel that was adjacent to Pheasant Run and it had the potential for additional parking for Pheasant Run which is a rather tight-knit development. He could not tell them why that property was so planned and zoned and it has been that way for 10-15 years.

Mr. Rogers said now, the owners of the Karim Blvd. area which has been slow in developing for office use, have a user that can take an acre or two and put up a modern facility and it does meet the requirements and there is no access to a major thoroughfare.

 

Mr. Rogers said the site was big enough to provide the 35 foot greenspace along the street and to have the loop road drop off to meet the parking and meet the off-street playground area and it was not a constricted parcel that was hemmed in by residential so it seems to fit.

Chairperson Lorenzo said in terms of the rezoning, was it Mr. Rogers' opinion that due to the changing conditions and since it will provide optimum use of the property and be coordinated with OS-1 and provide a more consistent edge along Ingersol Creek, that this is justifiable in terms of an amendment to the Master Plan, and Mr. Rogers replied it is and it is an adjustment he is comfortable with. He felt the next time there is a series of amendments to the master plan, they will pick this one up or the Commission can initiate a public hearing and amend the master plan.

 

 

PM-09-004-95-004-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to rezone the subject property from General Business District B-3 to Office Service District OS-1.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt they should at some point be following up if this is approved by City Council. Mr. Rogers recommended they address the master plan amendment after the Council decides whether to rezone or not and possibly Mr. Cohen could keep a log of these small area master plan amendments and bring them altogether in January perhaps and Mr. Cohen said he would do so.

 

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

1. Novi Community Sports Park, SP95-07A & B - POSTPONED.

 

2. Profile Steel & Wire, Inc. SP94-51 B & C, Property located at the northeast corner of Eight Mile Road and Napier Road for Possible Final Site Plan Approval. - APPROVED.

 

Phil Garcia of SSOE, architect for the petitioner, was present. He said this project has been granted preliminary site plan approval and at that time, there were minor adjustments regarding the berm and some retaining walls, which they have addressed on the plans. He said he has been in contact with Mr. Bluhm as well as Mr. Rogers and the other Consultants and received positive recommendations from all of them so he looked forward to getting his final site approval this evening.

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his report and indicated two concerns. There was the need to document to the satisfaction of the City Attorney and also of the ZBA of the off-premises area for the berm along the entry road in from Wixom Road. He talked to Mr. Wizinsky and he was unaware of any formal document being entered into. He said this was a requirement which was similar to what was done behind AGA Gas on Grand River where they took 30 feet to the Cambourne Place Subdivision area in an R-4 District and used that for an off-premise easement and that was approved by the ZBA about five years ago.

 

Mr. Rogers said this should be definitely a requirement because you canít build this ten foot berm unless you pile some of the dirt on Mr. Wizinskyís property and he was willing to allow that to happen subject to certain plans and conditions that the ZBA can lay down. He said there was a few grading issues that mainly deal with the drainage along the north side of the berm, drainage southerly, and the retaining wall detail, etc. He said for a ten foot berm 3 on 1 slope with a crown, you are talking about 60-65 feet in width and they must use half of that on Mr. Wizinskyís property. Otherwise he recommended approval of the final site plan.

 

Mr. Bluhm reviewed his letter (as attached) and indicated he was recommending approval but he had two conditions. He indicated one was he would like the developer to advise the contractors of the existence of what appears to be an 18 inch storm sewer through the parking lot area and they have indicated that they have not been able to, through survey, locate the entire storm sewer. He said what he would like to see them do is to field locate that and they would be advised of that in the pre-construction meeting and he would make their field manager aware that they need to advise the contractor to excavate in that location to determine the extent of it and if, in fact, it does have an inlet at a certain point, they were going to need to either clean it out or replace it and that situation would have to be addressed in the field.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the second condition is that the required off-site grading and landscaping easements that Mr. Rogers had mentioned would need to be secured before the preconstruction meeting and those he believed Mr. Wizinsky would be involved in and that would have to happen prior to the pre-construction meeting.

 

Mr. Bluhm indicated there were a few minor grading issues on the north side of the berm and those can properly be addressed in the field with the grading inspector and just a minor grading could take care of those issues pretty sufficiently.

 

Mr. Bluhm said one issue that was not a condition of approval but he would like to see the developer pursue is the City wishes to secure an on-site regional easement for drainage for the future regional basin to the south and the applicant has been provided the documents that were necessary for signature and he would like to see them pursue those, although he couldnít make that a condition.

 

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

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley said his only comment was that final to him means final and he felt sometimes they should set a policy in regards to what that means and not have open items come to them. He understood what Mr. Bluhm has said that they couldnít put the cart before the horse. He said he thought this was on the ZBA last night for approval and he asked if a variance was granted.

 

Mr. Watson said it was on the ZBA but for an extension of the time that they were permitted to have their construction sign up and apparently they have a construction sign and the Ordinance only allows a person to have that for a temporary period of time and they are still apparently undergoing construction and received a variance to have the construction sign for another three months or so. He said they were asked at that meeting about a permanent sign and the representative indicated that they did not plan to have a permanent sign and that once the construction was completed, the construction sign would come down and there would not be a permanent sign and that was why one was not shown on the site plan.

 

Mr. Watson said if they ever want to have a permanent sign, they would have to come back in and have it put on the plan.

 

Member Hoadley stated Mr. Wizinsky indicated that he was still not satisfied in regards to the drainage concerns. Mr. Bluhm said since he was late in arriving, he didnít know the specifics of the concerns.

Chairperson Lorenzo explained Mr.Wizinskyís main problem regarding drainage was the blocked culvert would have to be evaluated in the field and Mr. Bluhm said that was correct and they have not been able to isolate where this was and they were pretty sure it exists so it was something that could only be handled as a condition now and addressed in the field and replaced if necessary.

 

Member Hoadley asked about the fencing and he assumed that the final site plan does address the fencing as according to the Ordinance. Mr. Rogers didnít think a fence is required and if the owner wants a security fence that was good policy, but there was no mandatory reason to have a fence other than for the ownerís desire but not around the whole perimeter of the site.

 

Member Vrettas said he did not like seeing something that says final because it still seems like they were at the preliminary stage. He didnít want Mr. Wizinsky coming back here months later complaining that something wasnít done on the drainage.

 

Member Vrettas couldnít approve the final until those concerns were taken care of.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo appreciated his point of view and generally speaking she would agree with him but in this particular case, what Mr. Bluhm has indicated was not practical until they are out in the field to determine what the cause and effect is for this problem.

 

Member Vrettas said he always looks at worse-case scenarios and if they go out and find it and fix it but it doesnít fulfill the intentions of everyone, then what. Mr. Bluhm said the best they could do out there and what he was requesting them to do is to restore it to functional ability, basically to its previous condition. Member Vrettas asked about satisfying Mr. Wizinsky and Chairperson Lorenzo said if Mr. Vrettas wanted to accomplish that, he needed to put that in a motion in terms of Mr. Wizinsky being satisfied as to the resolution. Mr. Watson explained they could make it a condition for that issue to be resolved for the drainage problem to be corrected during the construction per Mr. Bluhm.

 

Member Bonaventura asked as a point of order, could he ask a question of anyone in the Audience, and Chairperson Lorenzo said that was not appropriate and the Audience Participation in terms of the public has been closed, but if he had a specific question of the applicant/petitioner in terms of clarifying a situation, that would be fine.

 

Mr. Watson said he would say if the Commission wishes to break from that rule and if it was the consensus of the entire Commission to do so, they could do so. He said if there was some point of information that cannot otherwise be obtained that was important to their decision, then ask the Commission to do that.

 

Member Vrettas asked what if Mr. Wizinsky doesnít like what Mr. Bluhm tells him and Mr. Watson said Mr. Wizinsky could express whatever his concerns are to Mr. Bluhm and also to the Planning Department and even City Council, but Mr. Bluhm should do his very best to make sure that the drainage issue was taken care of.

 

 

PM-09-005-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Capello, MOTION CARRIED: To grant Final Site Plan Approval to Profile Steel, SP94-51B & C subject to: (1) the Consultantsí recommendations and (2) that Karl Wizinsky (adjacent property owner) shall be notified when JCK & Associates determines that all outstanding concerns are addressed by applicant.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-09-005-95:

 

Yes: Hoadley, Lorenzo, Mutch, Bonaventura, Capello

No: Vrettas

 

 

3. Integrated Systems Technologies (IST) Building, SP95-40A - Property located south of I-96 east of Meadowbrook Road for Possible Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Section 2520.4 Facade Waiver - Granted.

 

Leonard Grieslink explained IST provides software and hardware for computers and computer oriented products. He said they currently anticipate 55 employees in this facility of which 45 would be located within the state and approximately 10 would be national and currently they were trying to develop this property in the Meadowridge Park Condominium Development and this was a project started about 1989 and there were existing buildings in that park. He said since that park was originally developed, the codes for building elevations and some of the setbacks have been modified. He said the current park has all the utilities in place and observing the utilities, that being the water, storm, and sanitary, they tried to place this particular building within the original outlot perimeters and tried to keep the parking basically in tact to what was originally designed.

 

Mr. Geislink said that design from the plans that were provided us by the City indicated a variance along the I-96 Corridor of approximately a 3-8 foot setback to the parking area so he maintained that as per the original plan and when he came to the elevation, he felt it would be in the best interest of this as a condominium industrial park to maintain similar materials and similar tones in terms of what was developed, although their buildings would not comply with the intent of the Ordinance today, they tried to do their best in making it apply. He said the north elevation, according to the reports, there was no problem with compliance to the ordinance as it stands today; the east elevation, there was a little bit of a deficiency if they did not include the glass in their calculation for material and if they did not include the glass, they would have 51% block, opposed to 50% and if they included the glass, they exceeded the minimum requirement.

 

Mr. Geislink said going to the west elevation, they have a similar situation that if they included the glass in the calculation for material, they would have a 49.9% block, not including the glass, they had 56% block, so they exceed the minimum requirement of 50%.

 

Mr. Geislink said the sound elevation is the elevation that would be perpendicular to Meadowbrook and the line of sight because the existing building to the south, blocks most of the rear portion of the south elevation from view, so they looked at the portion that was visible from Meadowbrook as meeting the 50% calculation and if you took the entire elevation, it does not meet the 50% elevation requirement.

 

Mr. Geislink said those are his problems as he saw them and he wanted to be an asset to the community and he looked for direction.

 

 

CONSULTANTSí REPORTS

 

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his August 23, 1995 letter (as attached). He said he recommended preliminary site plan approval subject to: (1) adjustment of parking bays-aisles to reflect 62' module width. (2) Adjustment of deficient parking lot setback from I-96. He recommended a minimum 10' setback since there is (1) substantial width of I-96 ROW, (2) property to north of I-96 is Master Planned for Office future land use, and (3) property directly north of subject side on north side of I-96 is presently used for a utility company pumping/regulator facility. Such modification would require a waiver from Planning Commission in consideration of alternate interior greenspace being available elsewhere on site, and (4) A section 4 waiver is necessary unless south facade is modified.

 

Mr. Bluhm reviewed his letter of August 24, 1995 (as attached). He indicated for the record knowing that parking lot detention is not the best situation, he would like the applicant to explore alternatives and he was not hopeful that there were many as the detention area was pretty tight and the volume limited, but any efforts that the applicant can make to minimize the parking lot detention would be greatly appreciated. He indicated the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and he recommended approval.

 

Mr. Arroyo reviewed his letter of August 31, 1995 (as attached). He indicated he recommended approval of the preliminary site plan.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated there was a letter from Daniel W. Roy Novi Fire Department, which stated he was recommending approval subject to adding a fire hydrant to the northwest corner of the parking area to comply with the 300' maximum spacing for commercial developments.

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley asked if there were any sensitive lands the drainage would go into and Mr. Bluhm replied the ultimate outlet for the storm water was in the ditch that flows along I-96 and he was not aware of any wetlands or other sensitive areas in that location, but he could certainly bring that to Ms. Tepattiís attention and have her take a look at it.

 

Member Hoadley asked if he was recommending a gas and oil separator and Mr. Bluhm said he would have to check on that as part of the final, but there should be an oil and gas separator provided already in the existing storm sewer system. Member Hoadley said if there wasnít one, it should be addressed before final is approved.

 

Member Mutch asked about the bikepath that used to run down along the expressway and the entranceway by Meadowridge and when the highway construction began, that path was effectively closed off and what was going to happen with that path and was it no longer there or to be reopened there.

 

Mr. Rogers said he understood it was not going to be reopened for security reasons. Member Mutch asked whose decision is that and Mr. Arroyo replied he thought it might be MDOT because it was within their right-of-way and probably the concern is that there is going to be a ramp for M-5 that is going to extend south of the freeway that is not yet open and it may be that there was not a way to cross the bikepath through the interchange area and he didnít think they typically have a bikepath approved through an interchange area anyway, so that could be the concern, but he didnít know that first-hand.

 

Member Mutch said the reason she asked was because if somewhere down the line, the bikepath was to be reopened and it was going to run along this area, then she would say that more people are going to see the facade, more people would be looking at it at ground level.

 

Mr. Rogers said he knows Federal Express is providing that bikeway with an easement arrangement since it would be on their property and they own to the centerline of Meadowbrook Road. He agreed with Mr. Arroyo and if they have seen the interchange plan, there is a perturberance that goes south of I-96 for a certain ramp, almost a 360 degree turn and that would effectively cut that freeway/bikepath in front of Meadowbridge Park or just to the east of it.

 

Member Mutch would like them to look into what is happening with that because they would be losing something that was used quite a bit before the construction began.

 

Member Mutch also referred to the recommendation from Mr. Necci on denying the waiver and she would wait to see if the petitioner had anything to say about that.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the applicant has reviewed Mr. Necciís letter and Mr. Greslink said yes and he referred to the west elevation, the 10% deficiency, and felt that could be worked out with his architect to meet the requirement. He asked for direction on the south elevation and he pointed out again the elevation they were referring to.

 

Mr. Greslink explained the way they viewed this was because of this building and the line of sight, a portion of the wall is not visible from Meadowbrook, however, most of the wall is, so what he was looking for was some relief in complying with the 50% inasmuch as the intent was to screen it from the corner or the roads. He felt the existing building does screen it already, so if the Commission feels it is not adequate that the existing building screens it, then he would have to meet the 50% and if they feel because of the existing building and the notch they have created, that they were not required to meet that 50%, then he felt they could work something out.

 

Member Hoadley said he really didnít have a problem with the facade and felt it was attractive and he asked Mr. Rogers to comment on what the petitioner has just indicated and is he correct. Mr. Rogers said it was hidden because that was the truck well notch, and it would be largely hidden, but technically under the Ordinance, it says 50% if the facade is within 300 feet, which it is.

 

Mr. Rogers said he didnít see a real problem adjusting this or a material cost problem to bring it into compliance and he felt Mr. Necci is comfortable with the east and north facades and the computation of intended glass versus vision glass.

Member Mutch said with regard to the waiver, she understood what they were saying that if they have a standard established, primarily for aesthetic reasons and the view is limited, she could see a reasoning, however, unless the petitioner would indicate otherwise, it does sound as if it was an easy accommodation to make to meet the ordinance and it wouldnít be a hardship. She said she would not support a waiver unless it was a hardship.

 

 

PM-09-006-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant preliminary site plan approval to Integrated Systems Technologies Building, SP95-40A subject to all Consultantsí recommendations and to include the 10" greenspace waiver.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura said he would not make a motion regarding the facade waiver.

 

Member Mutch said she agreed with Member Bonaventura that if they just leave it, they were not granting it and she asked was it advisable to indicate the reason the Commission wasnít granting it and Mr. Watson said yes and it should be in the form of a motion to deny the waiver and give the reasons.

 

 

PM-09-007-95 Motion by Mutch, Seconded by Bonaventura, MOTION FAILED, for a denial on the facade waiver due to there doesnít seem to be any compelling justification to do so and it appears the Petitioner can accommodate this according to the Ordinance.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Capello asked what was the most efficient way to have the applicant come back with revisions to the facades that were more consistent with Mr. Necciís letter and should they deny it or just postpone it.

 

Mr. Rogers explained the applicant didnít have to come that night for a Section 4 waiver and all he needed was preliminary site plan approval which he has with conditions. He said he has attempted to bring the Section 4 issue up, if one was perceived, by directing Mr.Cohen to get plans to Mr. Necci to have something before the Commission, so that if they do grant preliminary and allow the final to be done administratively, they donít have to come in from out of town again.

Mr. Rogers said the Commission approves the facade waiver with what has been said that night by the applicant and what he believes the Commission wants, and Mr. Necci approves it subject to conditions, and he didnít see a need for it to come back to the Commission and it can be wrapped into the final site plan submittal and Mr. Necci would look at the final site plan again and he would do his own measurements.

 

 

Mr. Rogers said if they donít discuss or grant any waiver at all, there are a number of numerical deficiencies if you read Mr. Necciís first letter that they would have to comply with. He said they could come back before the Commission at the time of final and make another presentation and rehear the Section 4 issue.

 

Member Capello said Mr. Necciís letter seems to indicate there is some benefit in allowing a waiver at least on the north and east facades and he would like to take advantage of that. He asked Mr. Rogers if that required them to make the changes on the west and south and come back and Mr. Rogers said they could approve two facades for waiver and the other two they could tell them to bring them into compliance and to do so at the time of final site plan submittal and he didnít perceive this having to come back to the Planning Commission if he has to live to those conditions, so he gets the two waivers, but the other two facade waivers he would have to add more dryvit and it wouldnít come back to the Commission unless they request the final to come back.

 

Member Capello said he was in favor of the facade waivers for the north and east but had problems with the west and south and wouldnít want to see the entire building turned down and the waiver on all four sides turned down.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone wanted to amend the motion.

 

Member Mutch said during the discussion a comment was made by the petitioner that he had no problem with the recommendations in the letter from Mr. Necci and did she misunderstood that.

 

The petitioner said along the west elevation, he had no problem bringing that into compliance but he was looking for some direction from the Commission to help him on the south elevation. Chairperson Lorenzo asked him about the north and east facades in terms of the 1% and 7% deficiency. She said Member Mutch is asking whether or not he wished to comply with that portion of the ordinance or whether he was requesting a waiver for the north and east facades.

 

Member Mutch asked if he could comply with the recommendation that would still require the waiver for the north and east and he said correct and she said that was her misunderstanding and she was more than willing to change the motion with regard to the north and east facades and from what he has just said, the west as well he was willing to do what was recommended here and it was only the south.

 

The petitioner said with the south, if it was the Commissionís recommendation that he meet this intent of the recommendation, he would follow that also.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said so the motion would be for granting the north and east facade waivers and deny the west and south and Member Mutch said did she understand the applicant in saying he agreed with the west as well and Chairperson Lorenzo asked did she just want to say to grant a Section 4 waiver for the north and east facade and Member Mutch agreed and would withdraw her earlier motion then.

 

 

Motion by Mutch: To grant the waiver for the north and east facades for Integrated Systems Technologies, SP95-40A.

 

NO SECOND TO MOTION AND MOTION WAS WITHDRAWN.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley felt the seconder of the first motion has to agree with Member Mutch withdrawing that motion and Mr. Watson said technically once a motion is made and seconded, it was up to the Commission as a whole to determine whether the motion is going to be withdrawn or not and he assumed since there was no objection, that there was a consensus to do that, and he asked if there was a consensus among the Commission to withdraw that first motion.

 

Member Vrettas did not feel they should grant any waivers and they should maintain some consistency and he would recommend going with the first motion and deny it.

 

Member Mutch restated her first motion to deny the Section 4 Facade Waiver:

 

 

For a denial on the Facade Waiver for the IST Building, SP95-40A.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she wouldnít support the motion because of Mr. Necciís response in his letter that indicates that he doesnít believe it would improve the aesthetic quality of the facade design, in fact, he indicated that a decrease in one would increase the percentage of split face block, and she wasnít sure if she liked split-face block much better than she did dryvit, so she didnít see an aesthetic change in that.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated she would support the other motion that probably will come onto the floor and the reason she would support that is because she believed in addition to just the ordinance requiring it, she felt overall they want to try to promote good architectural design and if there are deficiencies on the west and south that can be corrected, she would prefer to see that done and she would be voting against the motion.

 

Member Mutch said in the unusual situation of having made the motion and then going to vote against it, she would like to make it clear that the reason she made the motion originally was when the petitioner said he could comply and did not elaborate, she came to the conclusion that he meant he could comply with the ordinance and that a waiver was not needed and after further discussion and questioning by the Chairperson, it was clear then that he meant he could comply with what was outlined in Mr. Necciís letter, so this is not a matter of total confusion, it was just a simple misunderstanding.

 

Member Mutch agreed with Chairperson Lorenzoís comments and every building that goes up, they should be concerned about the architectural appearance because while this building is blocked visually in some regard by an existing building, there is no guarantee that that existing building will always be there and there are lots of reasons why that building sometime may not be there and the view would be total, so she felt they should be very careful and not casually grant these and she did think that there is sufficient reason though in this case and for that reason, she also would be voting against the motion.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-09-007-95:

 

 

Yes: Vrettas, Bonaventura,

No: Lorenzo, Mutch, Capello, Hoadley

 

 

MOTION FAILED.

 

 

PM-09-008-95: Motion by Mutch, Seconded by Hoadley, MOTION CARRIED: To grant a Section 4 Waiver for the north and east facades of Integrated System Technologies Building, SP95-40A.

 

DISCUSSION

Member Bonaventura said Member Vrettas commented he didnít like necessarily granting facade waivers and that this Commission should have some consistency and Member Bonaventura felt this Commission was being consistent because it is now granting another facade waiver.

 

Member Vrettas felt they should maintain consistency and maintain some sense of legitimate relevancy in granting these waivers and Chairperson Lorenzo agreed but said there was justification for granting this waiver.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-09-008-95:

 

Yes: Mutch, Capello, Hoadley, Lorenzo

No: Vrettas, Bonaventura

 

THE COMMISSION TOOK A BREAK AT THIS POINT.

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. Evanglista Property - Trans-X Drive - Presentation by Mark Evanglista regarding possible future uses and zoning changes for subject property.

 

Mr. Wahl explained this is a 10 acre site located on Trans-X Drive, which is immediately to the west of where Main Street Village is proposed and there is a tree buffer between that and the Trans-X Drive properties. He said five years ago when the Town Center Planning Study was undertaken, what the planners found was a number of the properties had been built on recently such as Evestco, Temperform, Barnes & Sweeney, W.F. Miller, Monte Costello, and Ironworkers and that those buildings really had the appearance of offices.

 

 

Mr. Wahl indicated the properties on the north side of Trans-X Drive are to a large extent, vacant. He then pointed to planning area no. 11, the framework plan, and indicated it was zoned heavy and light industrial and in this plan no. 11 the uses indicated were high and medium density housing and then he believed it was research and office and public open space and civic.

 

Mr. Wahl said what the planners and the committee felt was because of the immediate relationship of Main Street, the residential project, and the undeveloped nature of those parcels, that there was a natural connection and that there was a possibility that the area could be utilized for something other than heavy industrial. He said in the spring, they were approached by Mr. Evanglista regarding the possibilities that his company was interested in moving forward to do something and to do it as industrial or some other use, but they want to make a decision as to which direction to go.

 

Mr. Wahl said they went to the Steering Committee within the last 60 days and the consensus was the idea of using this property for other uses had some merit but obviously that is not a decision-making group and the Commission would have to be involved, and a rezoning application to presumedly TC, TC-1 and there would be site plans and other actions.

 

Mr. Wahl asked for any feedback from the Commission so that Mr. Evanglista could make some decisions regarding the future of this very important piece of property.

 

 

Mr. Wahl added in addition to the planning that was done to create this connection, he would just point out in looking at the area, it made sense to have some type of non-industrial plan for the whole Main Street area and for the city as a whole.

 

Mr. Evanglista then indicated he was representing the property owners on Trans-X and he indicated he also submitted a letter dated August 31, 1995 (attached). He indicated he has been involved in many meetings with Mr. Rogers, Mr. Wahl and the Town Center Committee and all meetings have been favorable to move ahead with investigating a senior housing project and he would ask for the Commissionís input.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo explained Mr. Evanglista would like some direction/reaction from the Commission in terms of possibly pursuing senior citizen housing on this parcel, as opposed to the I-1 and I-2. He said the Consultants havenít thoroughly researched this but may have some initial comments whether it was feasible. There are some concerns and obstacles in terms of separating the I-1, I-2 District from senior citizen residential and separating the traffic and there may be some environmental concerns in extending the road. She asked for the Consultantís input before going to the Commission.

 

Mr. Rogers strongly supported some type of senior housing. He said this site would abut Main Street Village, which is in the process of being reviewed and it would be divided from Main Street Village by a substantial woodlands/watercourse area, and there would be some impacts from truck traffic using Trans-X but the building could be backed up to Trans-X and with a new connection off of the Main Street bend at Vicís, that could be a more pleasant entrance. He said he was encouraged by it, but it was an inner city location and he would suggest TC-1 zoning, which would allow up to five-story height.

 

Mr. Arroyo also was encouraged from a traffic prospective and that the possibility exists in the near term that they could have an extension of Market Street from where it exists today down to Trans-X Drive and that is something that has been envisioned from the time the initial road network was laid out. He said one of the reasons why Market Street is the way it is and Main Street tees into it is because the southerly extension of Market Street was something that was envisioned as working well with the Town Center area.

 

Mr. Arroyo said there were some issues that need to be resolved regarding industrial traffic and commercial and residential, but the issue of traffic on Market Street could be addressed by restricting truck traffic so that they donít end up having the industrial traffic along Trans-X going up Market Street and that could be dealt with appropriately by City Council through traffic control orders. He felt there were some positive components to this.

 

Mr. Wahl felt one advantage would be that when they have been looking at the design of buildings that might go in on Main Street, one of the things they have been wrestling with is adequate access from the Main Street to the parking areas, in other words, the numbers of access points turning movements, etc. He said they havenít done any road layouts beyond the conceptual stage and there have been some discussions with JCK about the environmental impacts and he believed there may be an opportunity to add another access point from Market Street to the west into the parking area and just based on what they have been finding and looking at, Main Street could be very important to help the circulation for the parking for that whole area.

 

Mr. Wahl said it was his understanding from the committee discussions, that regardless of whether the city senior housing project would go on this site, Mr. Evanglistaís company was interested in looking at the general concept of senior housing and that his action to move forward wasnít contingent upon the City saying that is where they want to put their city oriented project and was he correct.

 

Mr. Evanglista said that was correct and the Senior Housing Commission was interested in seeing if they could subsidize it themselves to get affordable senior housing, which is the key. He said they were also investigating other opportunities of affordable senior housing that may be subsidized other than the City so just because the City may not participate, they still have an avenue of subsidizing it to the point where it is affordable without City involvement.

 

Mr. Bluhm said from an engineering prospective, the site is straight-forward. He said if it was proposed for a higher sewage usage type situation, he would have to review that and as Mr. Wahl mentioned, the wetlands both on the north side and east side obviously are going to play a role in determining what happens with that and the road that is coming through.

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Mutch asked when they say senior housing, could Mr. Watson explain what the difference would be between looking at it as senior housing versus looking at it as residential in general.

 

Mr. Watson commented there were particular provisions in the Ordinance that provide for congregate care or things that are oriented towards senior citizens that are not residential districts. He said there are things you might be able to do in a residential district such as in a multiple family residential district, but there may be other districts that are not residential, where you could also do congregate care.

 

Member Mutch asked the distinction between senior citizen housing and residential. Mr. Rogers felt senior housing was anyone over 50 years of age. Mr. Watson said when they had a specific SCH Article in the Zoning Ordinance years ago, the cut-off was 50 years of age, and that was based upon some provisions in the Michigan Elliott Larson Civil Rights Act that made it an exception from discrimatory practices to use the age 50 as a cut-off in real estate transactions so that was why that age was used. He said since that time, there have been revisions to the Federal Fair Housing Statutes that the cut-off of age that would probably be used would be 62 1/2.

 

Member Mutch said it sounds like what she is hearing is that when it is designated for senior housing, they are saying that in addition to it being residential units, there could be other things that you wouldnít find in a typical residential area and that is why a particular site might be looked at for senior housing and not just for typical residential, which might happen to be attractive to seniors.

 

Mr. Wahl pointed out when this area was looked at for housing, it wasnít singled out as senior housing and it was just housing in general and he felt the concept was that this whole area was going to change and the character was going to be different and the type of residents were likely to be in-town type residents who were not perhaps going to be as sensitive or as delirious of the suburban atmosphere. He said the uses that were developing on Trans-X Drive were not the old heavy industrial uses that they were used to seeing, but something different than that.

 

Mr. Wahl pointed out that the areas of Trans-X Drive that have developed are as close to the existing Meadowbrook Glens as they would be to these properties and over the years, they have had conversations with those residents and frankly it has been a long time since they have had anyone come to their office with any kind of complaint so he didnít see it as dependent on being only senior housing because there has been some other factors and the plan was it could be housing or senior housing something compatible with Main Street Village for example and that was the thinking five years ago.

 

Member Mutch said if it would turn out to be senior housing, it could be backed into the industrial and it would be a buffer in addition to the environmental buffer to the Main Street Village and would provide proximity to the commercial area without being a part of the commercial area because of the angular location.

 

Member Capello said he would be in favor of recommending a rezoning of this property to City Council to RM-1 or TC-1 and his preference would be TC-1 to allow some retail on the first floor of the establishment similar to what Singh has in downtown Northville to keep it consistent with the downtown district and try to expand it out a bit with additional retail shops.

 

Member Hoadley had mixed thoughts. He said there is no question they were looking for sites for senior citizen housing and this may or may not be a good site and there has been a lot of debate as to whether it would be a good site for senior housing or any other type of housing and it does butt up against industrial where there are sight and sound and odor problems with this location and there is also a railroad not very far away.

 

Mr. Hoadley had a problem rezoning industrial property because he felt industrial property if it can be properly developed, brings the city the most revenue and the least cost to the city as far as infrastructure and high density housing does bring the cost with it and not the revenue to support it.

 

Member Hoadley said it would be a transitional type of plan and it does back up to Main Street Village which is an asset and close to Main Street, which is also an asset. He wasnít prepared to make a recommendation.

 

Member Hoadley said if they did recommend a rezoning, they should find some other land that could be rezoned to replace it in an industrial use because he hated to give up that good revenue and increase their infrastructure costs.

 

Member Bonaventura said he used to live in Meadowbrook Glens and as far as the train he got used to it but as far as the odors from the one company, he didnít realize they still had problems with that. He said he had mixed views on whether or not this should actually go to a TC-1 zoning and it may be best to leave it industrial.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked for direction from Mr. Wahl as to the Commissionís options. She said there has been stated partial merit but also some concerns that need to be addressed before they consider supporting a rezoning recommendation to City Council and would it be possible to get additional information from their various Consultants that might be able to ease their concerns.

 

Mr. Wahl said since the Budget was approved that included a Town Center Planning line item, there is the opportunity to research and look into issues that were raised. He felt the key thing was whether Mr. Evanglista has a clear enough indication of which direction to go in, so he really couldnít answer that part of the question and he was just looking for enough input so that Mr. Evanglista would feel comfortable to continue his work and spending the money necessary to do further planning on his own behalf or whether he felt there was a negative reaction or simply he did not have enough indication.

 

Member Vrettas felt they were in a quandry if it was proper and he asked Mr. Evanglista his time-line and did the Commission have the luxury to think this over more. Mr. Evanglista said the sooner the better and the people he is dealing with are anxious to get something going in one direction or another and the property has been sitting there for 20 years or so that they have owned it and now is the time and the market is right for the I-1 and I-2 which he was ready to go with. He said it shows on the Master Plan that this is the direction they would like to see that property go so he was giving the City the opportunity.

 

Mr. Evanglista said the next step that he left with the Senior Housing Committee was maybe to sketch up an informal site plan of a layout of a senior housing development, and see if they could get the density that the Senior Housing Commission would like, which is approximately 150-200 units and see if the economics work out and then come before the Commission at the next meeting possibly but he was in a hurry to make a decision.

 

Member Vrettas said he was still hesitant as to which way he personally felt.

 

Member Mutch said the Senior Housing Commission may have their own views as to whether this is a good site or not and she would not want anyone to take any favorable comments here and interpret them that the Commission or a Commissioner is trying to push senior housing into an industrial area.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo cautioned the applicant to investigate whether he can meet the affordability criteria and if he has to market this at the going rate, it would not meet their criteria.

 

Mr. Evanglista said the type of housing he would want to provide is the type of housing that the Senior Housing Commission would want to provide too. He commented there are other ways to subsidize this project too without going through the Senior Housing of the City of Novi.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt Mr. Wahl had tried to clarify that issue with him earlier that he was interested in doing this project regardless of whether or not the Senior Housing commission was working with him on this and Mr. Evanglista said correct. Chairperson Lorenzo said he may find that the Senior Housing Commission is not interested in his particular parcel at some point in time, but that he was still going to be pursuing that though through Senior Housing on that parcel and Mr. Evanglista said yes if it seems favorable to the Commission because he would need the rezoning.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said the Commission was in a position of a land use change which is a serious decision for them and there are some concerns particularly if there are odor concerns. She felt somehow they need to start addressing whether or not this is practical for people to live in this location. She said she was trying to find a way for the Commission to suggest to the Administration to try and get that research and information to him and to the Commission so they all could move on or back, depending upon what they receive.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt there was some positive reaction from the Commission, but they were also skeptical as to the land use change and she would look to the Staff to direct the Commission as to what they could do to get that additional information.

 

Mr. Wahl said he would continue to gather some information and report back to the Commission in terms of what types of activities are going on in the street, what types of industrial functions are there and whether there are any environmental issues that may have developed over the last 3-4 years.

 

Member Hoadley asked if other uses besides housing were discussed if it was rezoned TC-1 and whether this property would be better developed commercial as a buffer between the existing I-1 and the Main Street Village and Main Street.

Mr. Wahl said that has been discussed and they talked about mixed uses and office uses and they were trying to move it away from the industrial and into some other use more compatible to the Town Center than industrial.

 

Member Hoadley asked if that property was developable on a commercial basis and Mr. Wahl said he didnít see why not.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said but that doesnít appear to be what the proposal is from Mr. Evanglista that evening.

 

Mr. Evanglista explained there has been no discussion of a commercial use for that property and it was more of a housing type situation and senior housing was brought into it because of their background in senior housing projects so it was a natural progression into the senior housing.

 

Member Hoadley asked if he thought about commercial and Mr. Evanglista replied no, and he would probably want to stay with the I-1 or I-2 than commercial because there are plenty of spaces to fill in the commercial arena right now in the Main Street project itself.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked what the Commission wished to do at this point.

 

Member Vrettas said he would be supportive but he had some concerns about the railroad and also the odor concerns.

 

Member Hoadley said he was not prepared to make a decision until his environmental concerns were cleared up.

 

 

PM-09-009-95 Motion by Vrettas, Seconded by Bonaventura: That an environmental investigation be conducted as to the odor in the area, where it is coming from, and what can be done about it for the Trans-X Drive area.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Mutch said she wouldnít want to see it so specific as to a particular odor and they should look at the environmental factors that were there now and also look at things that the Commission was not informed about at this moment and Member Vrettas said he would amend the motion to be more general.

 

PM-09-010-95 AMENDMENT TO THE MAIN MOTION: Motion by Vrettas, Seconded by Bonaventura, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct City Administration to conduct a general environmental investigation for the Trans-X Drive area.

 

2. Kitchen vs. Planning Commission of the City of Novi - Discussion by Dennis Watson, Assistant city Attorney regarding the "Interlock" case.

 

Mr. Watson explained he was looking for a date to bring this matter back before the Commission. He said the Planning Commission made a decision on this matter back last August, shortly after litigation was commenced and the matter was argued before one of the circuit court judges and the judge has not made a final decision and has deferred making that decision, but has ordered it to come back to the Commission to clarify two points.

 

Mr. Watson said the first point is he is directing the Commission to make a specific finding as to the aggregate noise level of the air-conditioning units that are going to be on the building. In the comments by Member Capello before the making of the motion, he had commented it was based on the conclusion that certain ordinance standards and certain sections were met although it was not directly a part of the motion and the motion was then amended and Member Lorenzo had added a condition to the approval, directing that there be further determination and confirmation that that was the case as to the air-conditioning units. He said the directive from the court is for the Commission to make a specific finding as to that element.

 

Mr. Watson said the second item that the court asked to be addressed was whether Paragraph Four of the amendment was actually a condition to the approval or whether it was just a comment and what that Paragraph Four was in Member Lorenzoís amendment was that the parking on the east side of the building be looked at and reduced and that Member Lorenzo would like to see it reduced so there was more separation between that area and the areas to the east and the court has asked whether that was actually a condition of the motion or whether that was just a comment by a single Commissioner.

 

Mr. Watson stated the Court has asked that this be done within 45 days and the date of the Judgeís Order was August 30th meaning that this has to be done by October 14th. He indicated there were two regular meetings during that time period, September 20th and October 4th and he would suggest they do it on October 4th because there were three new Commissioners since this matter was last before them and they were copying the entire record of this application so that it could be provided to those new Commissioners so they have the opportunity to review it prior to this coming back.

 

Mr. Watson suggested having this on their October 4th Agenda as an item for consideration to address those two points.

 

Mr. Watson also suggested in the motion to amend they had back when they first acted on this matter, one of the items was for there to be a determination and confirmation as to the air-conditioning units, and apparently after that meeting, the Interlock people began to do work on that, but never presented anything because the litigation commenced and he would suggest that you request the applicant to provide that information to the Consultants so they could review it prior to October 4th and bring it back on that date.

 

 

PM-09-011-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Vrettas: To direct Administration to contact representatives of Interlock to supply the Commission with the information that was requested regarding seven air-conditioning units that were recessed in the roof as far as their compatibility with the Cityís sound ordinance and to bring it back on October 4, 1995.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Capello said if it was questionable whether it does or does not meet the ordinance, to see if there are any construction means they could use to make it so it does meet the sound requirements so the residents are not affected.

 

Mr. Watson said since this is in litigation, rather than directing Administration to do that, he would do that through Interlockís Counsel, and the motion was then amended.

 

 

PM-09-012-95 Moved by Bonaventura, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That Dennis Watson will clarify the following items for the October 4, 1995 Planning Commission meeting:

 

1. Make a specific finding on whether the cumulative noise from the air conditioning units will comply with Ordinance standards.

 

 

2. Clarify whether an item in the amendment to the motion was a condition of approval or merely a comment by Commissioner Lorenzo.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None.

 

 

PM-09-013-95 Adjournment

 

 

Motion by Capello, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the meeting at 10:45 P.M.

 

 

 

 

____________________________________

Steven Cohen

 

Planning Aide

 

 

 

Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

October 4, 1995