REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.

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

(810) 347-0475

 

Called to order at 7:30 P.M. by Chairperson Lorenzo.

 

 

PRESENT: Member Bonaventura, Member Hoadley, Member Hodges, Member Lorenzo, Member Mutch, Member Vrettas, Member Weddington

 

 

ABSENT-EXCUSED: Member Capello, Member Taub

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Woodlands Consultant Linda Lemke, Wetlands Consultant Susan Tepatti, Staff Planner Greg Capote, Planning Aide Steven Cohen

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

PM-09-014-95 APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Motion by Vrettas, Seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as submitted.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Jim Korte discussed the West Oaks Veterinary Clinic item and his concern that it wouldnít be passed. He said the trash is gone and there is a sand pit and he asked if it isnít passed that evening, could the clinic be allowed to put in their foundations and the creation of the building because if his subdivision loses this building time, they were going to have the mess into next fall. He also said the double tandems have been using the road in front of his house because the city hasnít removed the barricades from Miles Street and he asked the city to remove those barricades.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Member Taub asked Mr. Watson if he should read into the record the letter from Mr. Ternan dated September 19, 1995 regarding Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision/Interlock Corporation and Mr. Watson requested adding that as an item for discussion and he would discuss it with the Commission at that time.

 

 

PM-09-015-95 Motion by Taub, Seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To place the September 19, 1995 letter from Lawrence Turnin, Attorney for the Meadowbrook Lakes Subdivision Association, as Item #1 under Matters for Discussion.

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

 

1. Approval of the August 9, 1995 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo had three minor corrections:

 

Page 21, last line of second paragraph from the bottom: "occurring during those items times and Mr. Watson..."

 

Page 22, last line of second paragraph from top, "terms of effecting residents, but she wasnít sure that drastic measures were the answer..."

 

Page 26, third line of third paragraph from top, "that it was destructive disruptive in her mind."

 

 

PM-09-016-95 Motion by Much, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Minutes of August 9, 1995 subject to noted corrections.

 

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 this has been postponed twice, and there is a letter in the packet which indicates the petitioner is still not ready to proceed and planning staff has recommended that the Commission postpone indefinitely to allow the applicant time to revise the plan.

 

 

PM-09-017-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Taub, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Delfino Estates Subdivision, SP95-06B indefinitely.

 

2. Main Street Village, SP95-09B - Property Located South of Grand River Avenue, between Meadowbrook Road and Novi Road for Possible Revised Preliminary Site Plan/Phasing Plan and Revised Wetland Permit Recommendation to City Council, Revised Woodlands Permit and Revised Section 2520.4 Facade Waiver Approval.

 

Mr. Kahm indicated he was before the Commission some months ago for Preliminary and went on to Council on June 19th at which time he received Preliminary site plan approval as well as woodlands and wetlands approvals. He said at the time conditions to those approvals required amendments to the site plan which he had suggested to the City Council that he would like to revisit and he has gone back and amended their site plan.

 

Mr. Kahm referred to the site plan that was approved with the exception of two buildings being removed from the site plan.

 

Mr. Kahm explained his amended plan and said the two buildings represented two-thirds of that particular unit style and it was his desire to try and keep a better mix of unit styles in this project, rather than having a lopsided combination of a certain type of unit. He said he would explain what he has done to remedy the problem.

 

Mr. Kahm indicated he has moved the road, Georgetown, which was dipped down into the woodlands somewhat and moved it north and introduced one of the buildings that was removed as part of the site plan approval by the City Council and allowed them to have at least two of those particular building styles.

 

Mr. Kahm said the 100 style buildings are stacked flats or stacked ranches and they were all two-bedroom two baths and they all have their own integral one-car garage. He said the purple buildings were the 200 buildings and those are stacked townhouses and this building is three stories in the front and four stories in the back and the reason for that is that all the garages enter at the rear. He indicated the units were interlocking stacked townhomes and all those units have two-car garages each.

 

Mr. Kahm said the red buildings and the yellow buildings were all individual entry townhomes with three stories at the front and two stories at the back and the grade rises up so that the green area they see in the middle of those blocks was actually a level or a story above the street level which provides a greenspace open area for all the units that back into these courts or parks. He indicated those were both two and three bedroom townhomes and they predominantly have one car garages and the first level is the garage and the upper level is the townhouse above the garage.

 

Mr. Kahm explained the difference in color is the yellow buildings were all three bedroom units and the red buildings were a mixture of two and three bedroom units and the appendenges on the end are two-car garages but most are one car garages.

 

Mr. Kahm said the brown color buildings are one-bedroom stacked ranches similar in concept to the pink except they are only one bedroom and all of those have their own one car garage, so it was somewhat of a unique product in the market place that one bedroom stacked flats also have an integral garage.

 

Mr. Kahm said the reason he was coming back before them this evening is that they want to re-introduce this building style so they could have somewhat of a snergy of unit types so they donít get too many of the same unit types and he felt diversity creates character so by adding enough different unit styles and building units, he felt that helps and enhances the site plan immensely.

 

Mr. Kahm said as a result of the adjustment of the sitr plan, he was able to save five additional trees as compared to the site plan that was approved by City Council, which removed those two buildings.

 

Mr. Cliff Seiber indicated of the 13 acres of trees on this site, they were now at 73% preservation factor and they have 211 trees being removed out of the total 794 trees.

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his letter of August 8, 1995 as attached. He indicated he recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the following conditions: (1) approval by City Council of Preliminary site plan, (2) Section 4 review and approval of building facades by Planning Commission. (3) Address Landscape Plans concerns at time of Final. (4) Woodlands Permit Approval.

 

Mr. Bluhm reviewed his letter of August 14, 1995 as attached. He said the plan continues to demonstrate engineering feasibility subject to all conditions in his letter.

 

Ms. Lemke reviewed the landscape issues first. She indicated there have been a few changes since their last review which she raised a lot of items that she wanted to see included at the next step and they have added a 6 foot high screening fence along the eastern property line, and they have added additional screening in the southeast corner on the landscape plan now to screen the residential to the south. She said those were the two most noteworthy additions to this site plan.

 

Ms. Lemke said they will have a lot of replacement trees that they would need to put on here and it would be a very dense planting and will work very well and contribute to the character of this urban setting.

 

Ms. Lemke discussed her boards and then stated she recommended approval with the conditions in her letter of August 11, 1995 as attached: (1) Woodlands areas not developed are to be placed in a Woodlands Preservation Easement per Section 37-30(e)(1). Documentation will need to be furnished and reviewed. (2) Determination of the number of replacement trees required based on review of final engineering plans by her office in conjunction with JCK. (3) Determination of amount of Tree Replacement Bonds required and appropriate tree replacement locations per Woodlands Ordinance.

 

Ms. Tepatti reviewed her letter of September 14, 1995 as attached. She indicated she recommended approval of the wetlands with the following conditions: (1) A DNR permit shall be obtained. The application is currently under review and any additional changes mandated by the DNR shall become a part of the Novi permit conditions. (2) Additional topography in the vicinity of the connecting swale shall be provided, as well as the road crossing. (3) Acceptance of the submitted wetland mitigation plan. (4) Culvert elevations shall be reviewed in future submittals to determine that wetland hydrology shall not be altered. (5) A plan shall be submitted for buffer enhancement or restoration along impact areas, road slopes at the wetland crossings, in the vicinity of the vegetation swale. (6) A soil erosion permit shall be obtained.

 

Mr. Arroyo reviewed his letter of September 8, 1995 as attached. He indicated he was recommending approval subject to all of his comments, particularly Items #7 and #8, which can be addressed and in his recommendation, he was recommending approval of the preliminary site plan subject to all of his comments being addressed in the Final site plan. He said he now felt comfortable that they can be, so he was recommending approval based on his comments.

 

Mr. Necci said his letter of September 14, 1995 was self-explanatory but he would be happy to answer any questions. (Letter attached)

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated they have a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the Novi Fire Department which stated the plans has been reviewed and approval was recommended subject to the following: (1) Adding fire hydrants to comply with the 300 foot maximum hydrant spacing for multi-family residential developments. Show these hydrants on all future plans.

 

Mr. Kahm indicated that Mr. Abanatha of Alexander Bogaerts Office was here and would answer any questions about the facades.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said there was a letter from Mr. Anthony Nowicki Director of Public Services and he is writing on behalf of City Forester Chris Pargoff and his letter states, "Responding to the referenced for City Forester Pargoff, the following conditions should be attached to the permit in addition to those recommended by Linda Lemke in her letter of August 11, 1995: Determination of the number of replacement trees required should include those trees that may be damaged as a result of construction traffic ingress and egress to the site via a construction route to be determined by the developer. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call Mr. Pargoff."

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Michael Clevenger, 42572 Cherry Hill, indicated he was in the southwestern corner of the site plan, abutting right up against the plan. He asked about the screening fence mentioned on the southeastern side, to screen the facility from the residential area and he asked about the southwestern side of which he was a resident.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated she would note the questions and the Consultants would respond after.

 

Mr. Clevenger asked about the parking on the south side of the complex of which he was a resident and wanted to know if there was going to be a lot of parking in that area. He also asked about the landscaping on the south side and possibly instead of the fence, some type of a berm in place. He also asked about the drainage, and there was quite a bit of drainage right now as it stands, coming into the residential neighborhood and he would want to make sure the drainage stays away from that residential area.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked the Consultants to answer Mr. Clevengerís questions. She asked Ms. Lemke to address the screening question of the southwest side and were there any parking areas on that south side, landscaping on the south side and particularly a berm in lieu of a fence.

 

Ms. Lemke said the retaining screening wall, which she spoke on before, was on the east property line and it was a foot high retaining screen wall, which at this point she didnít have any details on and that was immediately adjacent to the parking and there was probably about a 10 foot strip of greenspace between that and the parking and then there was the property line and it was almost located on the property line.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked what was located on the south side of the site in the area where Mr. Clevenger resides. Ms. Lemke said on the south side which is primarily the southeast corner, there is some existing vegetation and what they have done is they have supplemented that existing vegetation with a mix of evergreen and decidious trees throughout there, a very heavy planting. She said there were no berms shown.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked how many feet would be between the edge of the buildings and that property line, and Mr. Rogers replied 75 feet.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked how many feet did she estimate that the vegetation and the trees will consume and Ms. Lemke said about 3/4 of that. She said they have evergreeen plantings right immediately behind the units and then they have canopy trees and then they have another layer of evergreen trees and then they have the existing vegetation.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked about opacity and Ms. Lemke replied 80%, winter conditions.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked about the drainage concerns in the Meadowbrook Glens area and Mr. Bluhm replied for the impervious areas, the roads and the buildings, the storm drainage from those areas are going to be picked up into the storm sewers and they would actually be directed to the north and west the way the grading plans are laid out, and that is the direction they are going to be constructing in.

 

Mr. Bluhm said the only drainage that will remain is the area where Ms. Lemke had mentioned that the landscaping would be behind the buildings and more than likely although not shown at this level, a swale probably will be constructed at the rear of those areas and direct that remaining flow from the grassed areas to the west and to the wetland which is located in that direction. Chairperson Lorenzo said there would be no storm water heading towards the southeast and Mr. Bluhm said correct, and said the ordinances prohibit drainage of developed flows onto off-site areas and the engineerís requirements were pretty clear.

 

 

COMMISSION DISCUSSION

 

Member Mutch said to Ms. Lemke that she had indicated there would be five additional trees saved on the preferred plan and Ms. Lemke said yes, over the no-building on the south side of the road and that is because the road is moved further north. Member Mutch asked then keeping the second building that Council said they would prefer to see removed doesnít have a negative impact and Ms. Lemke sasid no, because what happens everything moved further north.

 

Ms. Lemke indicated both the no-building plan and the one-building plan is almost a toss-up and both of them are saving much much more than the way it was before with the two buildings in there.

 

Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo if there was any access to this from any of the neighboring residential areas, Meadowbrook Glens and Fountain Park Apartments. Mr. Arroyo indicated there was no vehicular access and the only vehicular access is the two points that they see, one being to Grand River and the other being to Market Street. Member Mutch asked about pedestrian access and Mr. Rogers said there was none.

Member Mutch asked when a person is walking or driving through this area, would Mr. Arroyo think people have the sense that they are driving through an apartment complex on these streets or they are driving through a neighborhood. Mr. Arroyo said in looking at the layout of this project and looking at the building design, it is unique and there really isnít something like it in the City that he could point to.

 

Mr. Arroyo felt what would make it feel more like a neighborhood was the fact that there are sidewalks and on-street parking, but in his opinion it would be more of a hybrid of multiple family and a neighborhood, but more of a neighborhood.

 

Member Mutch said these are rental apartments and Mr. Arroyo said that was his understanding. She asked if this would be more like Applegate or Old Orchard because they have a sense of neighborhood or similar to Fountain park which feels more like an apartment complex.

 

Mr. Arroyo felt it was closer to the Old Orchard example but he still felt it was a hybrid. He said one of the things to keep in mind is that the parking for the most part, is going to take place underneath those units and the garages are built in, and for a lot of the other complexes mentioned, there are parking lots quite often right in front of the building. He felt the parking configuration here was unique and it will give a somewhat different appearance to this as a person drives through it.

 

Mr. Wahl said he lives in Old Orchard and he felt this was different that where he lived where basically there were several building types that were just repeated throughout the entire complex and it was an attractive development but here they have created completely different units. He said it was not a single family neighborhood so it wasnít that either.

 

Mr. Wahl said the real question was how does it relate to the Main Street project and that is somewhat subjective because they all have their own opinions.

 

Member Mutch said she strongly felt the residential area surrounding the commercial Main Street area has to feel like it was an integrated part of a single community, the commercial Main Street area and then the residential, if it was to function in a mututally supportive way.

 

Member Mutch said it seems to her both Fountain Park and Meadowbrook Glens Sub are also right next to the Main Street Village, an extension of that once it was built, and they were connected and she knew people who have been representing Fountain Park Apartments and the management have said they would like to feel connected to Main Street via Main Street Village and that doesnít necessarily mean vehicular access and it doesnít necessarily mean that it was wide open and she was sure they each want their neighborhood identity but the more residential there is surrounding the Main Street commercial area, the more successful that is going to be and the more successful it is, the better it is for the rest of the community.

 

Member Mutch felt Meadowbrook Glens at the corner of all of this and not having a direct roaday connection at this point, could easily be isolated from this, however, there are people who use the existing pedestrian access which is via a stub at Cherry Hill and Highland.

 

Member Mutch said if people go to the Town Center now, they will certainly go to the shops and the offices that were on part of the commercial Main Street area, so she wondered if they could have a designated access as opposed to people crossing at the most convenient way to them. She asked Singh if they looked at the possibility of any kind of access for Fountain Park, if not anyone else and Mr. Kahm replied they havenít explored it but he didnít see why they could not.

 

Member Mutch said the Fountain Park people have stated that they would be very interested in having discussions with people representing Meadowbrook Glen with regard to access through Fountain Park because if there was access from Fountain Park through Main Street Village to the Main Street commercial area, obviously that was going to make it more attractive for Meadowbrook Glens residents to go through Fountain Park.

 

Member Mutch said the reason she asked a lot of questions about whether this would be an apartment complex or a neighborhood is that people are much more likely to access that if they feel like it is a public street going through another City neighborhood as opposed to feeling like they were walking across what is otherwise private property. She said at this stage, would that question of access be a major challenge to deal with or is there still room for that and Mr. Kahm said there was room for that and he wanted to be good neighbors.

 

Member Hoadley said this was a much better plan and he was pleased with it. He asked Mr. Arroyo why he wanted to decrease the width of the curb cut, Item #4 in his letter, and Mr. Arroyo explained the reason for the reduction is that the Cityís standard is for a 30 foot wide driveway and if they go with a wider curb cut, that would encourage a confusing traffic pattern there.

 

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Arroyo about his Item #5 as to what he was talking about in regards to the deceleration lane. Mr. Arroyo pointed out the driveway and the boulevard entrance onto Grand River. He said currently there is a deceleration taper and an acceleration taper entering into the Vicís property and they are proposing a driveway at that location because of the close proximity and the full length will be extended across so there would be actually one additional lane on the south side of Grand River as you approach this property.

 

Mr. Arroyo said when you get back onto this side going east of this property, it will be connected into the deceleration taper that goes into Belle Tire and whenever they create a lane that is this long, it really starts to function more like a second lane on the roadway rather than a deceleration taper and what usually happens in this particular instance is the Road Commission requires at the very end, a longer taper be put in so that if someone gets stuck over in that lane and they have to transition back over, there is an extra long taper so that it gives them time to taper over within a reasonable amount of distance rather than abruptly having to turn over. He said that would be a Road Commission decision, but he pointed it out as a point of information, that the taper length at the end here might have to modified as part of this driveway permit.

 

Member Hoadley asked who was responsible for the modification, and Mr. Arroyo said this applicant because they were the ones who were creating the condition with the new driveway. He asked why wasnít it part of his recommendation to do that as acceptance of the site plan.

 

Mr. Arroyo said primarily because it was the jurisdiction of the Road Commission and it was not a City roadway, and if it was a City roadway, then they would be making that a specific recommendation. He said in this particular instance, it was the Countyís road, and they will be issuing the permit and they will have the last say over how that works.

 

Member Hoadley asked if a recommendation from the Commission might be appropriate and Mr. Arroyo felt it was a good idea and he had no objections. He felt it might help bring their attention to the matter. Member Hoadley said he would think that the applicant would want to know where he stood ahead of time so he could anticipate what his costs might be and Mr. Arroyo agreed.

 

Member Hoadley asked if the applicant would have any problems addressing it as to his costs, and Mr. Kahm said he was presently working with the Road Commission with their preliminary design and they have taken their design to the next step so to have discussions with them on exactly how they want us to treat this.

 

Member Hoadley said in their recommendation of approval of this, could they recommend also this scenario as Mr. Arroyo has suggested as part of their conditional approval to be directed to the Road Commission and Mr. Kahm said he would have no problem with that, and Mr. Kahm said it was obviously all subject to whatever the Road Commsision wants us to do.

 

Member Vrettas asked about the apartments that have only one-car garages and was he planning on renting them out to families or a single family, and Mr. Kahm felt the mix would be both families and singles and young married couples. He said the one-car garage he didnít see posing a problem because there was also an apron in front of that garage for a second car as well as for on-street parking.

 

Member Vrettas was impressed with this project, but he was concerned about having one-car garages and he didnít like having cars parked in the apron or on the street. He said he would support this, but he was concerned about the one-car garages.

 

Mr. Kahm said because this project was urban in character, they would find cars parked on the street and in aprons in a more urban densely designed type of project like this one is. He said they do offer a two-car garage option, but he felt their goal here was to try and create an urban style of living.

 

Member Weddington said the problems she had the last time with this was lack of compliance or coordination with the Town Center Ordinance facade, the appearance and the woodlands and wetlands as well as the water management issues. She felt these issues have been addressed now and this is a great improvement over the last plan they saw and in order to move this along, she would make a motion.

 

 

PM-09-017-95 Motion by Weddington, Seconded by Hoadley: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for approval of the Revised Preliminary Site Plan subject to the Consultantsí conditions and comments being addressed.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley asked about adding the scenario just discussed with Mr. Arroyo regarding the additional taper and that they send a recommendation to the Road Commission that they take that issue into consideration now. Member Weddington felt that was out of their jursidiction and she didnít know if they needed to make that recommendation to the Road Commission as they have their own procedures. She asked Mr. Arroyo if there was a point when he gets involved with this and could pass this along and Mr. Arroyo said it would depend upon where they are in the process with the permit and if they have made an application already for the driveway permit, then there may already be some comments, but he didnít know exactly where they are.

 

Mr. Arroyo said typically the final permit would not be granted at this point, so if they felt like they wanted to convey that message to the Road Commission, they could certainly do it and that would be available to the Road Commission at the time they reviewed the permit and he would guess there is still time to pass along a recommendation.

 

Member Weddington asked thelikelihood of them doing it his anyway and Mr. Arroyo said it was fairly high they would do it.

 

Member Weddington said she didnít have a problem with the recommendation but didnít know if it was necessary. Chairperson Lorenzo said it appears that Member Hoadleyís intent was trying to have a bit of clout with the Road Commission and Mr. Arroyo commented it would raise the issue and obviously they review thousands of permits and in may be in this particular one, that it would be helpful for them to be reminded that it was an issue. Member Weddington said she would add that to the motion.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo restated the motion:

 

 

To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the Preliminary Site Plan of Main Street Village, SP95-09B and with a recommendation to the Road Commission for the extended taper.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Lorenzo asked if the motion also included the agreement to explore the possibility of pedestrian access to neighboring residential areas and Member Weddington said she would accept that.

 

Member Bonaventura said on the east side of this property there is a 6 foot fence and he asked was that required and Mr. Rogers said it wasnít required but he felt it was a suggestion at the last review. Ms. Lemke commented it wsnít required but it was a suggestion that they have additonal screening there since it was so tight and obviously the fence was another way to do that.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if there was any talk that those are two different types of developments as far as one being a more urban apartment complex and then the other one and Mr. Rogers said it was going to be a different appearance and hopefully the two projects would blend with adequate landscaping.

 

Member Bonaventura said on the southeast corner where it abuts up to Meadowbrook Glens, there was no berm requirement between the two residential projects and Ms. Lemke said that was correct. Member Bonaventura asked if they have requirements for landscaping between the two, and Ms. Lemke said there are requirements by zoning and not by use and Member Bonaventura said then TC-1 and R-4 and Ms. Lemke said she said when they have the TC-1 and R-4, then you are required to have a screen in there and basically in TC and any residential, you have to have a 6 foot screen or equivalent to that.

 

Mr. Rogers asked if Ms. Lemke was referring to Sec. 2509.5 and Ms. Lemke said yes and Mr. Rogers said that was 6 foot high and it would be satisfied by a berm unless the Planning Commission felt because of constricted areas, a wall could be substituted.

 

Member Bonaventura said they have 75 feet there in width and the reason he was bringing this up was if he lived there, he would want a berm with plantings on top and he felt that was more substantial. He said in the 75 foot range, how high of a berm could you get and Ms. Lemke said one problem you have is that you do have existing plant material along the edge but not continuously and you have so much property line and so much is Meadowbrook Glens and you have a small chunk out of the middle that has the existing vegetation so you have to take that into consideration too and so to get a 6 foot high berm at 3 to 1, you need 3 feet for every foot up and then a 2 foot crown.

 

Member Bonaventura said so you would be fooling with existing vegetation and Ms. Lemke said yes and that was one of the reasons that they proposed to put in the heavy landscaping and supplement that existing vegetation.

Ms. Lemke said that was in the Ordinance and so is the fencing that again would be required on the eastern property line which is why the fence is there, because it was TC against single family which also includes RM-1 and 2 in this case.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked the maker of the motion if revised preliminary site plan included the phasing plan and Member Weddington said yes. Chairperson Lorenzo restated the motion.

 

 

To send a positive recommendation to City Council for approval of the Revised Preliminary Site Plan/Phasing Plan for Main Street Village, SP95-09B, subject to all Consultantsí letters, a positive recommendation to the Road Commisson for the extended deceleration taper, and exploration of the pedestrian connection between Meadowbrook Glens and Fountain Park and Main Street Village.

 

VOTE ON PM-09-017-95 Hoadley (Yes), Hodges (Yes), Lorenzo (Yes), Mutch (Yes), Taub Yes), Vrettas (Yes), Weddington (Yes), Bonaventura (Yes)

 

 

PM-09-018-95 Moved by Bonaventura, Seconded by Taub, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Revised Woodlands Permit approval to Main Street Village, SP95-09B, subject to Consultant and Staff recommendations and subject to City Council approval of the Preliminary Site Plan/Phasing Plan and Revised Wetlands Permit.

 

PM-09-019-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Taub, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for approval of the Revised Wetlands Permit to Main Street Village, SP95-09B, subject to the Consultantsí recommendations.

 

Motion by Bonaventura - To deny Revised Section 2520.4 Facade Waiver to Main Street Village, SP95-09B.

 

MOTION DIED DUE TO LACK OF SUPPORT.

 

PM-09-020-95: Motion by Taub, Seconded by Weddington, MOTION FAILED: To approve Revised Section 2520.4 Facade Waiver to Main Street Village, SP95-09B, subject to City Council approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura felt they were very very close to meeting the Ordinance and the Commission has never had a facade waiver in any of the Town Center areas and he didnít think now was the time to start. He said they were so close he didnít know why they were even asking for it. He said they were allowed 75% brick, 25% other materials, very simple and he didnít see the argument and he didnít want to set a precedent and felt they should stick to the Ordinance.

 

Member Hoadley said the one building he didnít buy was the 300 building where it looks like barracks to him but the rest looks interesting. He asked could that be redesigned to fit more closely with the others.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo commented she wasnít sure if the Commissionís jurisdiction is to require different architecture and the issue before them was the Facade materials.

 

Mr. Kahm commented he has made substantial changes in that building addressing some of the concerns he heard the last time, but he understood the points he was making relative to the Ordinance and he would like to have an opportunity to explain why they were asking for the waiver.

 

Mr. Kahm said just because they happen to be in the Town Center District, he didnít feel that all the standards were necessarily the same, especially when comparing commercial and residental and he felt residential architecture is substantially different for good reason than commercial architecture.

 

Mr. Kahm said one of the things he was trying to achieve here is a warm neighborhood feeling and that is the kind of thing you do when you mix materials and add siding as he has done in the elevations. He said he was not trying to avoid the requirements of the Ordinance, but he was also trying to keep himself from subscribing to design by numbers and he was more trying to design by the character he was trying to achieve in this project. He said it was a deliberate design implication to each and every facade where they donít actually come up with that 75%.

 

Member Hoadley said they were architecturally interesting to him with that one exception and it seems out of place. He said he could support the facade waiver except for that.

 

Mr. Kahm said it was uniquely different than the other styles of architecture, but again they wanted to do that and create some diversity. He said for this one, he pulled some of the units out and created some interest in the elevation by bringing certain components out, adding gables on either end, as well as adding brick and it was a substantial change.

 

Member Hoadley indicated he would vote against the facade waiver because this was so close and there was no reason not to adhere to the Ordinance.

 

Member Hodges said she supported this and if you look at the facade that is proposed, it represents the construction that is going on in other residential communities in Novi and while it is uniquely Main Street, it is also period, with the other constructions and that was one of the criteria that it reflect the community and this type of facade does.

 

Member Vrettas felt they shouldnít make an exception and he would be voting no also.

 

Member Taub felt it was an improvement and he would be voting yes.

 

Member Mutch said she would be voting for it. She felt when there were design considerations or other justifications for granting a waiver the Commission has that discretionary power and she felt this is one of those cases.

 

Member Vrettas said he didnít see a good reason to grant a waiver.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo shared Member Bonaventuraís and Vrettasí concerns in this matter. She respectfully disagreed with Mr. Necci on this case because in her opinion, Main Street Village not only is in a TC-1 District, but as a residential component, it is a very integral part of Main Street and she wasnít sure if Mr. Necci was aware of the process that took place before this, but this is a situation where the developer was in an RM-1 zoning and actually requested to be rezoned to TC-1 in this case.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt it was appealing as it is, but she also felt whether the contrasting effect was another material or whether it was brick, it would be just as appealing and just as attractive and if there is that balance in terms of either one being attractive, she felt it was more important to comply with the Ordinance Standards for the whole of Main Street and TC-1, than to grant a waiver for one individual project because of the integral part of this project to Main Street and because they have not had any waivers in the Town Center district thus far.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said if it was a choice between granting a waiver for something that is not necessarily going to give us any benefit in terms of aesthetics, her preference was not to grant the waiver and to have him comply with the Ordinance standards and if that is done by adding brick, that is fine, or by adding other material, that is fine too.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she didnít see where this has any substantial merit over either adding additional brick or another material in order to accomplish that contrast that you are looking to achieve over the Ordinance requirements and the tone of TC. She would rather the City maintain the level of control and the level of the tone that they want to achieve there, than to start with any type of variances for this type of a project.

 

Mr. Kahm asked to speak and Chairperson Lorenzo indicated he was out of order and Mr. Watson then stated he didnít think the Section 4 presentation was ever made and Mr. Kahm said that is what bothers him. He also stated he did have justifiable reasons for the waiver. He said he didnít want to leave the meeting with everyone thinking that he just came in here and didnít have a documented reason for every one of the changes that deviate from the ordinance because he did. He wanted to make it clear that he did have justifiable reasons for the waiver. He said there is a substantial difference between a commercial building and a residential building and that is the reason you donít see subdivisions that have all brick and stone and residential architecture and residential living is a lot different than commercial and to try and compare them and make them live up to the same standards is very wrong.

 

Mr. Kahm said he would like to offer his reasoning for each one of the waivers if the Commissioners were interested.

 

The Commission asked Mr. Kahm to state his reasonings.

 

Mr. Watson requested to speak first and said he would like to state what the Ordinance indicates in terms of granting a Section 4 waiver. The purpose of the whole section in dealing with facades is spelled out in the Ordinance and indicates, "It is to provide a consistent and equitable set of exterior building wall material standards, the intent of which is to create, enhance and promote the qualitative, visual environment to the City."

 

Mr. Watson said in that regard it sets forth the standards for the various percentages. The Section 4 provision indicates that, "When the Commission makes a particular finding that the materials proposed or combination of materials is in keeping with that intent and that purpose of the section, but differs from the strict application of the schedule, the Commission can grant the waiver pertaining to materials."

 

Mr. Watson said and it is indicated that it be accompanied by a written design statement which is on the table. He said the purpose of that design statement is to describe how the selected facade materials and material combinations will be consistent with and enhance the building design concept and how they relate to the buildings and surrounding area and then that is what the Commission acts on.

 

Mr. Abanatha then stated Mr. Kahm has covered very thoroughly why, from a design standpoint, they did what they did. He said when you look at architecture from the standpoint of varying design elements such as the gables that are going on, to have those materials all similar in terms of brick and/or stone, they lose a lot of the dimension.

 

Mr. Abanatha said frankly they made a change on that building, the 100 building, to get it more in keeping, right on the garage, where they actually had a double gable there and had brick and had siding and he didnít like that, and he didnít think that was a good architectural design and they were here before them meeting an Ordinance and he had stated clearly in his letter that they increased the brick to the point where they feel that it meets the spirit and intent of the Ordinance, but didnít go any further because they were at a point where they felt it met the intent of where they started from a design standpoint.

 

Mr. Abanatha said so they were very strongly leaning towards this direction because of design and was the reason why they were asking for a waiver, which they feel very much was something that could be granted.

 

Mr. Abanatha said when you go beyond that and look at the structural aspects of this, and look at the fronts of all of those buildings where they put a lot of emphasis in terms of trying to meet that Ordinance, there were conditions where it was structurally difficult to put a gable against another gable, brick over roof structures, and those were not good details to have and not conditions that were typical to residential and there were problems in terms of leakage and there were a lot of different reasons why they donít do that and if they look at the fronts, they have integrated them as much as possible to try to work within that TC-1 requirement.

 

Mr. Abanatha said where they see a deficiency in terms of the actual percentages was on the sides and the rear. He said if they look at the rear of this building, all of it is brick, except for the very top portions, which not only break up that large four-story facade, but they were also cantilevers and they were conditioned where they have areas of four going out into the air and need to be held up structurally and it was a very difficult detail from the standpoint of putting brick on them.

 

Mr. Abanatha felt they were creating a wonderful project that would enhance the surrounding areas. He said also from a professional standpoint, in terms of how they detail these buildings, they have been very responsible in not putting the materials where they donít belong and as far as the firm is concerned and Singh is concerned, he felt the waiver was very reasonable.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo then restated the motion:

 

 

To approve the Revised Section 2520.4 Facade waiver approval for Main Street Village, SP95-09B.

 

VOTE ON PM-09-020-95:

 

Yeas: Mutch, Taub, Hodges

Nays: Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura, Hoadley, Lorenzo

 

MOTION FAILED.

 

Mr. Wahl asked to make a comment concerning some Commissionersí remarks. He said they were all aware that this particular Ordinance in this district is very unique and he just didnít mean unique in the community but unique in the planning arena itself. He said they were learning as they go and this Ordinance was first enacted ten years ago, he believed, before the term Neo-traditional planning was even a recognized approach to planning.

 

Mr. Wahl said he has said it many times and they were learning as they go along that good design is not done by an Ordinance and he felt the Ordinance protects you from the worse case scenarios. He said if they were going to achieve good design, there has to be some degree of flexibility and creativity and change. He says this because they have some proposals even now coming through the Town Center Steering Committee regarding some possible amendments to the Ordinance.

Mr. Wahl said that was because they were learning as they go as to what is practical and what isnít. He said when the Town Center was planned, this area and this type of project wasnít something they even had their sights on at the time. He felt the vision at the time was very much more of building like Main Center in the middle of Downtown Northville, which he thought was almost brick and it was totally different from this type of residential community.

 

Mr. Wahl said when the Town Center Ordinance was written and when the plan was initially done, this type of community wasnít even really imagined and as time went by, there were some other versions or visions that came from Oakland County, so what he was suggesting was although there were concepts of brick and stone, he wasnít sure if anyone ever even entertained the idea of a facade waiver because the logic of what they were trying to achieve makes very good sense and is part of the design concept that you see on these boards.

 

Mr. Wahl said with this type of project the more residentially designed concept, makes more sense. He said when those Ordinances were written and when those plans were done, five to ten years ago, he would have envisioned this type of project so he felt that although the Ordinance is important, they were also trying to accomplish good design and a Town Center Main Street project that makes sense in its overall form.

 

Mr. Wahl said people see Main Street and think there is going to be a shovel in the ground any day now, but they were a long way from the final aspects of the Town Center development and as they go forward, he was hoping the Commission would be aware that this was an evolving planning concept in their community and even through the nation. He indicated Novi was one of the few suburban areas that is doing this type of project so he was hoping you will let your imagination be as important as the books in front of you because that is what will help us to accomplish what this Main Street project is all about.

 

Member Hoadley briefly commented if they couldnít attack this facade issue from a different aspect. He said had they brought in an approvable facade where there was no waiver required and then shown us this facade and explained the differences, he might have been willing to change his vote. He said if they were to come back with more than one game plan and prove their point, he may be willing to change his vote. He said that may be something all developers may want to look at and to show a few options, rather than say this is it, and it wouldnít work any other way.

 

THE COMMISSION TOOK A BREAK.

 

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

1. West Oaks Veterinary Clinic, SP94-50B - Property located at the southwest corner of Novi Road and Iva Street for Possible Final Site Plan Approval - Approved.

 

Mr. Mamola said the project has proceeded to a limited extent and by that he has domolished three existing buildings. He stated they have a general contractor on board and they are in the process of the award of the construction in its entirety to various sub-trades and those bids are due in a few days. He said he would hope that after that nightís meeting, they could proceed towards final stamping and sign off.

 

Mr. Mamola indicated he has addressed all of the concerns of their consultants and he understood that as of a few days ago, there was still a concern regarding the drainage detail by JCK and he talked to his engineers and that has now been addressed and he frankly didnít know if it had gotten back to JCKís desk for review but he knows the issue has been resolved.

 

Mr. Rogers reviewed his letter of September 5, 1995 as attached. He indicated he was recomming Final site plan approval.

 

Mr. Bluhm said he has addressed some of the concerns brought up by the Commission at the Preliminary site plan, and he believed those answers were in the packet. His letter also indicated a couple of minor issues that the developer has also indicated he has addressed and they just need to get those back to their office for Final approval and he was recommending approval.

 

Ms. Lemke said there was concern when this was before the Planning Commission before about providing enough screening along the front yard space and at that time, one of the options talked about was a brick wall and people remember that. One of the problems with the brick wall was how do you make the transition from a certain height and being able to see through it or over it and still meet corner clearance and sight clearance distances.

 

Ms. Lemke said what they were proposing to use is a combination of berming and a hedge effect with evergreen shrubs and then going down to a low mounding with again low growing evergreen shrubs to meet the required clearances.

Ms. Lemke said throughout this, there are canopy trees that were proposed over that, so basically the berming is two to three feet in height and a hedge on top would grow to three feet, which is more towards the corner of iva and Main Street, and then those were supplemented with shrubs such as bayberry, compact american cranberry and the use of daylillies which is a perennial, so you get a variety there of interest and texture and different heights to achieve the screening effect.

 

Ms. Lemke said the overhead canopy is formed by an autumn purple ash, which is a good street tree and this also carries along Iva Street and there is screening of the same type and character.

 

Mr. Arroyo said all previous concerns have been addressed and he was recommending approval.

 

 

PM-09-021-95 Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Member Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Final Site Plan Approval to West Oaks Veterinary Clinic, SP94-50B per the Consultantsí letters.

 

2. PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES.

Recommendation from Administrative Liaison Committee for Possible Adoption of Amended Planning Commission Minutes.

 

Mr. Capote explained it was asked some time ago that the Administration come back with some recommendations as to how they may re-format the Minutes to reduce their volume. He said the Clerkís Office beat them to the punch and came up with a new format and he agreed with it along with Mr. Watsonís office and therefore he put it before the Administrative Liaison Committee and they seem to have agreed with some conditions that he noted in his memorandum to the Commission dated September 13, 1995.

 

Mr. Capote urged the Commission to adopt this format as it would help save their resources with personnel being able to dedicate more time to work on other things for the Commission and to support the Commission as much as possible. He then said he and Mr. Watson would be happy to answer any questions and he looked forward to a positive vote.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges said her only comment was that they have no more of those Minutes in the small print. She asked if they would leave the font at 13 point.

 

 

PM-09-022-95 Motion by Hoadley, Seconded by Vrettas, MOTION CARRIED: To change the Minutes to the format that has been presented by Mr. Capote for future Minute taking subject to the Administrative Liaison Committeeís recommendations and conditions. The Committee did recommend that they maintain the integrity of the Minutes by keeping the cassettes for whatever the legal responsibility might be.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura said regarding the size of the print, when he saw that, he thought it was an excellent idea because of the fact when he first came on the Commission, it amazed him as to the amount of paper and it amazes him even more that he was paying for it. He asked if Council was receiving Minutes with the smaller print and Mr. Capote said he wasnít sure if they were receiving the Minutes in that font as that was something he had recommended.

 

Member Bonaventura felt they were saving a lot of paper and maybe they could raise the font just a bit because the savings has to be unbelievable. Mr. Capote said it was a great savings and the Commission should be aware that everyone at the City was just updated this week on a windows environment and there were other fonts available so possibly he could find something in between.

 

Mr. Capote said he also noticed when reviewing the Minutes and they want to make notes, they have more information on that page and so as a person goes back and reflects over the meeting, it was easier to keep track of what they were reading and to make notes so he found that helpful too.

 

Mr. Capote suggested that they could find something in between and he would give it to the Commission in their next packet so they have a chance to sample it.

 

Member Bonaventura said regarding saving the audio tapes for a certain period, would they save them for three years.

 

Mr. Watson said that he took that as a suggestion that it would be a period of three years in terms of there being a Statute of Limitations, but there were no requirements in the Open Meetings Act that those tapes be retained and once the Minutes were prepared, it was entirely up to the public body as to what they want to do with those tapes.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Cohen if those tapes were given out to the public as far as they could take them home and Mr. Cohen replied no and he asks them to bring in a tape recorder and the department tapes them and they donít do that until after the Minutes were transcribed.

 

Member Bonaventura said if a meeting goes five hours, how many cassette tapes would there be and Mr. Cohen indicated there were usually four tapes. Member Bonaventura asked if there was any sort of schedule that goes with those tapes to locate a particular subject and Mr. Cohen explained he makes a note as to what side of the tape a particular item was on so they can track it.

 

Member Bonaventura said they have the technology and the capabilities to put it on video cassette which would mean, one meeting on one tape and the fact that as Mr. Cohen indicated, they donít give out the audio tapes, they wouldnít have to give those out either, and he didnít think it would be much of a problem having two VCRís set up for dubbing if a person brought in a blank tape. He felt this should have been done years ago when they started broadcasting the meetings and it makes a lot of sense to him because a lot of things they do were visual.

 

Member Bonaventura asked what might be holding them back as far as video taping the meetings and keeping them for a year and then recording over them after a year.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated the condition they have placed was to maintain them for three years. Member Bonaventura said his suggestion would be that they could do that with a video tape and he would like to hear any reasons why they couldnít do it on video tape.

 

Member Mutch said it might be useful to see what the Council discussion was when they came to the decision not to have Council meetings video taped. Member Bonaventura commented the reason was that if people came in, they thought they would have to give them the tape. He said if they were not doing it with audio tapes, then he assumed they wouldnít have to it with the video tape.

Mr. Watson indicated assuming they were keeping the tapes, whether they be audio or video tapes, under the Freedom of Information Act, if someone makes a request for them, they were entitled to have a copy of it. He said the City was allowed to charge them the costs of making a copy, but if it was a record, a tape or just a computer disk, it was a record under the Freedom of Information Act and was something someone was entitled to. He said if the City keeps the audio tapes and someone wants a copy, they would have to figure out a way to make copies of them and charge them what the reasonable cost was.

 

Member Mutch felt it would be useful to go back and review the Council discussion and it seemed to her they have discussed this on more than one occasion.

 

Member Mutch indicated her primary concern was that anytime a record was kept, that record was available to the public or anyone who wants to review it, and they have to have some accountability for how that record was kept. She stated in other words, if they have audio tapes, they were not dependent on those audio tapes for a record of the meeting. She said Mr. Cohen was keeping track as they go through the meeting as to what the motions were, how they were worded, what the votes were, etc., and that was what was essential in terms of a record of this meeting.

 

Member Mutch said the audio tapes, as she understood it, were a tool by which Mr. Cohen was able to ensure the accuracy of that record. She said if they go to video, the problem they run into was they need to have someone who was operating the camera, choosing what they were going to focus on throughout the course of the meeting, and she asked who would be accountable for that.

 

Mr. Watson said he didnít know what she meant by accountable, but if they retain public records, they were accountable just for that, for making copies when people request them. He said in terms of what ends up on that video tape, there was no requirement by law that if they were going to retain video tapes, they have to set up some kind of program with criteria as to where the camera was going to point at a certain time, etc.

 

Member Mutch felt if they were going to expend public monies to maintain a video record of a public meeting in addition to or supplemental to audio or written records, there should be some justification for that and there should be some accountability. She said in other words, the person who was video-taping the meeting, which would then be seen as yet another form of documentation of the meeting, needs to have some guidelines and from this Commission or City Council, which says when there were visual displays, for example, that was what they focus on.

 

Member Mutch felt anytime they spend public monies, they should have some accountability of how that money was spent. Mr. Watson said he understood and what she was saying may be very good from a policy standpoint, but all he was saying was there was no legal requirement.

 

Member Mutch said if their video tape was their only record of the meeting, that would change then and Mr. Watson said yes.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked the Commission to focus on the adoption of the new Minutes format and if they want to consider the possibility of video tapes, that might be something to put for exploration in the motion and they could discuss that further at another time.

 

Member Bonaventura commented the reason that was brought up was because part of the motion was to keep the audio tapes and the discussion he brought up was to replace the audio tapes with the video tapes.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt that would require some further exploration and she didnít feel they were at the point of discussing that and it could be researched by Administration in terms of the cost and the possibilities.

 

Mr. Capote commented they have the audio tapes now as back up before they were transcribed and often someone would come into the office and want to listen to them and there was a tape recorder in the office and they make it available to them and there were times when they want to make a copy so they bring in their own recorder and make a copy of the tapes, but the tapes do not leave the office.

 

Mr. Capote felt the same could hold true if it were the video tapes and if they wish to make a copy, maybe the burden would be on the individual to bring in their own machine and tapes as they do with the audio tapes and make a copy of the tape.

 

Member Mutch said but there were no video tapes to copy and she didnít think people realize that it was live Cable and it was not being taped.

 

 

Member Vrettas then said he agreed with Member Hodges about the size of the print and he would like to add to the motion to have the font for the Minutes be at least 12 point and Member Hoadley accepted that to the motion.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo agreed and said she appreciated the cost savings of this issue but she didnít think it should get in the way of the real point which was they have a set of minutes they could read and refer back to.

 

Member Mutch asked if there was any possibility since the Minutes were done on the computer, to have them on a disk and they could view them at home, and Mr. Capote said yes and they would like to do that and it would save time, money and resources.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said in terms of Audience Participation, where they donít have a letter included, she felt it would be more helpful to have a more detailed record of Audience Participation. She said as a Commissioner, she would find it hard if she needed to go back and respond to a person because she wouldnít have a record of the specific questions or statements made.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt for the Audience Participation, she would like to see it, if not verbatim, much more detailed as to what specific issues were raised. She then referred to Ms. Roderís comments in the shortened version of the minutes and said she had made some very specific comments and asked specific questions and if they look under her discussion, they wouldnít have gotten out of that, what she had stated. She felt it was very important to have a more specific record of what the Audience states so the Commission could respond back to it or could look at it again in the future.

 

Member Mutch agreed and said it was difficult to go back with just a summary to know what points they raised, but she felt it puts an unusual burden on the clerk because they do have people and Ms. Roder was one of them, who was very organized in her presentation and very articulate and it would be fairly easy to summarize her points, but then they do have quite a few people who come, who were not as organized and sometimes she didnít know what their point was, and she felt it did put some difficulty on the clerk because the person whose remarks were summarized may not see that summary and they go along referring back to the summary at some later date and it may not reflect their points at all.

 

Member Mutch said maybe what they could do to alleviate that for the time being was to do something more detailed, but begin a practice of alerting those who wish to speak that their comments were going to be summarized and then encourage people to submit a written summary of what they have stated.

 

Member Mutch said she has appeared before other governmental bodies and had that opportunity, and sometimes a person doesnít know they were going to speak and the opportunity presents itself, but they donít have anything to submit for the record but they have a set period of time in which they recap that or even expand upon it and have it submitted. She felt possibly they could begin to encourage that.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would still prefer to see either verbatim or more details in terms of Audience Participation. She then indicated she would be supporting the motion that evening, even though she was a very strong supporter of the verbatim minutes because they have been very helpful to her in the past, not only from a Commissionís standpoint, but also when she was on the other side in the Audience. She said she was compromising on this, but she still felt it was very important when the Audience Participation comes forward that they have a detailed record of what a person says to them and the questions asked.

 

Member Bonaventura said Chairperson Lorenzo brought up some good points. He felt the verbatim minutes have been very helpful to him in researching and preparing for meetings. He said he agreed with Chairperson Lorenzo that this would make it difficult and he asked if Council has made a decision on this new format.

 

Mr. Capote indicated that Council has adopted the new format.

 

Member Bonaventura said he would not vote for it and he was very disappointed that Council adopted it because at some point in the future, he was not going to be here and he would be out there, and before he became a Commissioner, he was the type of person that gathered Minutes and researched the information and he would like to do so in the future but not with something like this. He said he was very disappointed. He said he wouldnít be supporting the motion but he did agree with Chairperson Lorenzo.

 

Member Hoadley said first of all, if they keep the Audience Participation portion to what their By-Laws require of three minutes, that would eliminate most of the problem anyway and a summary should be more than adequate.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Hoadley about the motion and Member Vrettas had added the suggestion that the Audience Participation would be more detailed or verbatim and Member Hoadley said not verbatim but he would go with it being summarized.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo indicated she was looking for more detail and Member Hoadley felt it could be a good summary and besides that, they have the cassettes to listen to if anyone has a problem.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said to him then the motion was for the summary as it was now, with the Audience Participation summarized as has been presented in the new format and Member Hoadley said correct.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she could not support the motion.

 

Member Vrettas indicated he had a motion to make after this motion that would resolve the problem and Chairperson Lorenzo said she could not support the motion as it was right now.

 

Member Hoadley called the question. Chairperson Lorenzo indicated the motion was to approve the new format as was presented.

 

 

Vote on PM-09-022-95:

 

Yeas: Vrettas, Weddington, Hoadley, Hodges, Mutch

Nays: Bonaventura, Lorenzo

 

PM-09-023-95 Motion by Vrettas, Seconded by Bonaventura, MOTION FAILED: To recommend that the Minutes include the specific comments of the Audience Participation and Public Hearing.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley said he felt this motion was in direct conflict with the one that just passed.

 

Mr. Watson said he didnít feel that it made the motion out of order. He stated in effect, if this motion was adopted, it would modify what they have previously done by requiring all Audience Participation verbatim and that the rest of the Minutes be more in summary form.

 

Member Weddington said nothing was reported verbatim now, so they were going to the other extreme in requiring verbatim reporting of comments, so please keep that in mind.

Member Vrettas said he had stated specific comments.

 

Mr. Watson asked if there was some reason why comments during Audience Participation were any more critical than the comments made by Commission members during the consideration of those matters before them.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she just felt when someone comes before them and asks specific questions or comments concerning a specific proposal, it would be helpful to be able to go back to the Minutes and clarify that in the future.

 

Mr. Watson said but they address those questions at the same meeting.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said that was true, but she would just prefer to be able to go back to them and see exactly who said what and what comments or questions were asked.

 

Mr. Watson said from a practical standpoint, he assumed that when the Commissioners read the minutes prior to a meeting to approve them, they just were not reading the things that they have said, but they were reading all of the minutes to look for inaccuracies and he would hope if they use the reduced minutes, whatever portions of them they ultimately decide to reduce, that they were all reviewing those reduced portions to make sure that they cover the items that they have discussed and the decisions that they have made and the reasons for those decisions as they were stated on the record and whether that relates to their motions or audience comments or consultantsí comments.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she did find the verbatim minutes helpful than if they had a summary. She said she was a detail oriented person and it was a compromise for her to go to the summaries, but if that was the general flow of the Commission, then she was willing to support that, but in terms of Audience Participation from her standpoint, it would just be more helpful to her if she could go back and review a record of what was stated or asked by a member of the audience.

 

Member Mutch asked if it was a question of being summarized or perhaps was it the way in which it was summarized. Chairman Lorenzo said she was the person who actually asked for a comparison between the two because she went to the various portions of the new format and compared old to new and what they were missing and deleted. She said in terms of the Audience Participation, she would give Ms. Roder as an example and they have a six sentence paragraph under Ms. Roder and Ms. Roder actually spoke from Pages 11-13.

Member Mutch said she would respectfully suggest though that there were probably evenings when each of them take considerable amount of space on the printed page to make a single point which could be summarized in one sentence. She asked Chairperson Lorenzo was it the way in which those particular comments were summarized or was it the fact that it was summarized at all or did she prefer to have a close to verbatim transcript of what was said.

 

Chairman Lorenzo said her answer would be yes but she was willing to compromise in terms of having everything else summarized, but she still believed it was important under Audience Participation and for that matter people who speak during public hearings, to have their presentations close to verbatim.

 

Chairman Lorenzo said she was speaking from experience in terms of her personal research habits.

 

Mr. Watson explained why the nature of this discussion was causing him a concern. He said when they looked at this, the opinion he gave the Commission was that they didnít have a problem with the format provided and that it contained sufficient detail to reflect their decisions, the basis for the decisions, and the information that supported those decisions but the nature of this discussion now was indicating to him that within the new format of the Minutes, the Commission really does not have the confidence that they were going to have because they were indicating that relative to the Audienceís comments, it was not going to do that.

 

Chairman Lorenzo said she did not but she would go along with the motion only with the provision that at least the Audience Participation was not compromised.

 

Member Mutch felt it was still possible to provide some direction in terms of how things were summarized as opposed to a transcript but still be detailed in that summary.

 

Mr. Watson said Chairman Lorenzo wanted to make sure that questions were addressed that were raised by the Audience, but what they were going to end up with was Minutes that reflect that the questions were not addressed even in situations where they were addressed because they were going to have pages of detailed audience questions but reduced minutes for the Consultant and Commission discussion that was never going to reflect what the responses were and what the answers were. He felt the minutes would in effect be a misrepresentation of what they did at the meeting.

 

Mr. Watson said his point was if the reduced minutes were going to work at all, the Commissioners were going to have to look at the minutes and examine them for what was there in their recollection of the meeting.

 

Member Weddington said in making the comparison that Chairperson Lorenzo did, whoever summarized the minutes did a fine job in capturing the key points, and even though it takes up less paper and the statements were made in fewer words, she felt the gist of the comments was captured and the issues were there and there were key words that would trigger in her mind what the nature of the personís discussion was.

 

Member Weddington said she keeps notes of peopleís questions and issues and she was sure others do as well. She felt this was just a first attempt and with some with some guidance for the person who was transcribing them, the quality would improve and the key issues would be there. She agreed with Mr. Watsonís comments and she was willing to go with the new format.

 

Member Bonaventura said the more he thought about this and the way it should be, this doesnít even deserve a compromise, and the original motion was wrong and to him it was very sad. He said they were not only talking to people out there, they were talking to future Councils, future Planning Commissions, and how many times have they gone back 4-5 years and relied on the Minutes for a project. He felt they were missing something and he was considering this a compromise and he would vote for it as a compromise of at least keeping a record of the citizens that come up before this Commission.

 

The motion was then restated:

 

 

To recommend that the Planning Commission Minutes include the specific comments of those who speak at Public Hearings and Audience Participation.

 

 

Vote on PM-09-023-95:

 

Yeas: Bonaventura, Lorenzo, Vrettas

Nays: Weddington, Hoadley, Hodges, Mutch

 

 

MOTION FAILED.

 

 

3. Planning Commission By-Laws and Rules of Procedure - Recommendation from Planning Commission Rules Committee for possible adoption of amended Planning Commission By-Laws and Rules of Procedure - DRAFT APPROVED.

 

Mr. Cohen indicated the Department has revised the By-Laws and Rules Procedure and it has been looked at by the Rules Committee and it was recommended for approval on August Th and if they have any corrections or changes, he would be happy to make them and hopefully they will have a revised By-Laws and Rules Procedure.

 

Member Hoadley referred to Page 7, Correspondence, and he would like to make a suggestion. He said when they get this correspondence, they read it but it never gets discussed and he would like to have included in their Agenda, Discussion on Correspondence because they might want to make some direction. He said he could think of several times when people say they were not enforcing Ordinances, and he would like to see that added and if they make a decision on something that is presented to them in a letter form, that they make the appropriate recommendations.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he was speaking to discussion or some direction to the Administration.

 

Member Hoadley said when they get a piece of correspondence which may draw their attention to some problem in the city that may be a planning problem, they never discuss it.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said they were having discussion for example this evening and it was always an option and Member Hoadley said he would like to see it added as a sub-title to the Agenda.

 

Member Mutch commented correspondence is really another form of Audience Participation. She said she had some concern about reading correspondence that they have already had the opportunity to review and that the public has reviewed and the public does have access to the same material the Commission has and almost at the same time frame.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said what about the letters they receive on the evening of the meeting and Member Mutch said she would prefer to see a summary or notation that they have received that correspondence.

 

Member Vrettas asked Mr. Watson if a letter is sent to them, do they have to publicly acknowledge it at the meeting because for example if a letter is quite profane, he wouldnít want it read. He would like the Chairperson to determine how they should handle that and he would prefer not to set up a procedure for this at this point as it has worked out well so far.

 

Mr. Watson said there was no requirement that they do anything with the correspondence other than things that are supplied to the Planning Commission.

 

Member Hodges referred to Page 5, Public Hearings, Part D, and she was curious as to why it is necessary for the public to state their position on the issue and she didnít see what reference that has to their speaking and were they pro or con and they may have questions or they may just have statements that they choose to make, and they were not voting so it really wasnít necessary to know what their position is, and she would recommend deletion of that portion of it.

 

Member Hodges referred to Page 7 under Audience Participation and she would recommend that they have two out of three items that were under D on Page 5, and also that they should ask those people to fill out a card giving their name and address for Audience Participation.

 

Member Hodges referred to Page 10 under Minutes and she believed the Ordinance says that points of consideration should be added to the Minutes or the Minutes should reflect how the Commission came to their conclusion and her question was what about points of consideration.

 

Mr. Watson felt that would be probably between (b) and (c). She indicated she was specifically talking about screening, a noise factor or drainage and that those concerns be itemized.

 

Member Hodges referred to the comments that Ms. Roder has made previously and she was not a sound engineer and she could not tell her something was loud. She said she would want scientific evidence as to what arbitrary things are. She said personally she did not use something like that as a basis for her decision-making unless that person is a consultant and has the professional criteria backup for what they are saying.

 

 

PM-09-024-95 Motion by Hodges, Seconded by Hoadley-MOTION CARRIED: That amendments be made to the Planning Commission By-Laws and Rules of Procedure as stated: on Page 5, 3.4 Sec. D, Page 7, 3.8 Audience Participation and inclusion of a Part C and Page 10, 4.2 the inclusion of points of consideration.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura referred to Page 5, under D - "Any member of the public wishing to address the Commission during a public hearing shall fill out a card giving their name, address and position on the issue under discussion." He said as member Hodges just stated, she doesnít like a position on the issue under discussion, and he agreed with that. He would also eliminate that the public has to fill out a card, giving name and address, and he would change that for them to state their name and address and leave it at that.

 

Member Bonaventura said they have put up enough barriers between them and the citizens, and he felt they should be user-friendly and have them simply state their name and address.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo appreciated his opinion, but the reason she has asked that be done now is not so much as it is a rule to follow, but it makes her job easier and it makes the flow of the meeting easier and she felt it could be more intimidating to stand up there and state their name and address, than if they just have to write it on a card and give it to Mr. Cohen and then state their comments or questions.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she had one addition to the motion and that would be to take on Page 5, (e) and incorporate that as letter (d) under Audience Participation, 3.8. She said the way it is now, it just speaks to the Public Hearing and this way it will also speak to the Audience Participation portion.

 

Member Mutch also stated whenever there is a reference to any member of the public shall fill out a card giving their name, it should his or her name throughout the document.

 

 

Member Hodges and Hoadley accepted Chairperson Lorenzoís addition to the motion.

 

Member Bonaventura referred to Page 2 under the Chairperson Shall: Attend all City Council meetings which include a planning issue, or delegate a representative from the Commission. As you know they havenít been doing such a thing, either the old way or this new revised version and he would suggest that they add under Chairperson Shall: Attend all City Council meetings which include a Planning Commission issue, on an as-needed basis or delegate a representative on an as-needed basis.

 

Member Bonaventura said they havenít been represented to Council in a long time as far as requiring the Chairman to attend those meetings and the Chairman hasnít been attending those meetings for a long time.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would expect the Planning Staff to notify them if they need representatives at this particular meeting.

 

Member Bonaventura said he would suggest that they take this whole package and ship it back to the Rules Committee and then type it up and have them look at it and then send it back to them.

 

Member Bonaventura referred to Page 5, Item D, "The general public shall limit the remarks to three minutes each and he would want to add some wording there and also on 3.8B, which is similar, Audience Participation. He would like to put in there that the Chairperson may allow remarks to exceed three minutes. He said in other words, this three minute limitation would be at the discretion of the Chairperson and the reason he said that is occasionally, they have people who make some worthwhile comments and he would hate to get into a hammering session.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said the Chairperson would actually prefer in the By-Laws to maintain the three minute limitation and she felt discretion was already built in, however, if they wanted to add something, the only thing she would add was what they have been doing in cases where someone is representing a group of people and she didnít have a problem with limiting them to five minutes instead of the three, with the assumption the people they are representing are not going to follow them and then get their three minutes in as well. She would prefer to generally maintain the three minutes. Member Bonaventura said the three minutes would be in there and it would just basically be at the discretion of the Chair.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would rather not put those words in and both Members Hodges and Hoadley objected to adding that to the motion.

 

Member Bonaventura referred to Page 11, Item #6, which stated "A disclosure form shall be filed by any member receiving any gift over the amount of five dollars." He didnít like the word any. He had asked Mr. Cohen for minutes where this matter was discussed and when it was discussed, "from whom" was discussed and he believed that should be in there.

 

Member Hodges stated a comment was made if a person is speaking for an organization, and that was not in here and it should be added, so under 3.8 on Page 7 and it would be (e) under Audience Participation and also under Public Hearing on Page 5.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said so if someone is speaking from the Audience or someone is speaking during a Public Hearing and was representing a group of people, they would then be entitled to five minutes, provided the group they were speaking for, did not individually comment.

 

 

Member Hodges said that would be Item (f) under 3.4 on Page 5 under Public Hearings and Item (e) under 3.8 on Page 7 under Audience Participation.

 

Member Hoadley accepted that to the motion.

 

Member Mutch said she would like the Rules Committee to discuss the possibility that if a group wanted to make a presentation that is longer than three minutes, that the group could have a five minute presentation during Audience Participation.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo thought that Member Hodges was including that option in both Audience Participation and under the Public Hearing process and it was discussed further.

 

Member Mutch said if they give groups the option of a five minute presentation, she felt that gives direction that would encourage an organized presentation as opposed to one person speaking for a group of people who then go on to also address the issue independently.

 

Member Hodges said so they were saying that if it was a group, then they actually expect more than one person to be participating in that presentation and Member Mutch said no but it would allow for that possibility.

 

Member Mutch said she would just like to see a way to encourage people who choose to represent a group to be organized in their presentation and for that person to indeed represent a group of people and for that group of people to be comfortable with that representation and not feel the need to add onto that by restating everything that has been stated.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said with Member Hodges and Member Hoadleyís agreeing to the addition of that verbiage to allow for that, personally she felt that was adequate at this point in time, but if the Committee wants to further discuss it and come back, that would be fine also.

 

Member Weddington thought the Commission had agreed to keep their comments brief and she didnít see it in here so she would like the Rules Committee to consider that under Section 2.4 under General Membership and if it were added, it would show up at the top of Page 4, as Item (b).

 

Member Bonaventura referred to Page 5, (e), under Public Hearings and it was suggested to add that under Audience Participation, so they have the audience covered.

 

Member Bonaventura read on Page 5, under Public Hearings, (c): The petitioner shall limit his/her remarks to ten minutes. If the petitioner has a spokesperson, that spokesperson may make the main presentation and the petitioner may also speak, but both speakers shall not exceed the time limit of this rule without permission of the Chairperson," and then to add, "The Chairperson shall instruct petitioners to sum up their remarks when the Chairperson feels a Commission member has strayed from the pertinent facts, has become repetitive or disrespectful to the Commission."

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt that could be handled by just adding, "The Chairperson shall instruct the petitioner or those who wish to speak during the public hearing."

 

Member Mutch asked about adding "all who wish to speak" and that would cover the petitioner.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo felt they could add, "the Petitioner and those who wish to speak." and Member Hoadley accepted that.

 

Member Weddington felt they were making this complicated by repeating those things over and over again and one of the duties of the Chairperson is to preside at meetings and to conduct the meetings in accordance with the rules. She said they could add the comment at that point to the effect that the Chairperson shall instruct any person to sum up their remarks..... up at the beginning under Section 2l3 A rather than under Public Hearings, Audience Participation, etc. She said just for the flow of the meeting and it would apply to all items on the Agenda, all people in the room and it was just a general comment for consideration.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said there was a motion to approve subject to all of the amendments. She said if the Committee wants to meet again and come up with future changes, that is fine. Member Bonaventura felt there were many things brought up that night, that they need to put it together again.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would like to get this off the ground and they can always come back with future amendments.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if they were approving the draft with the changes and it was stated yes.

 

Member Mutch said they could approve it as a draft to send back to be reviewed by the Rules Committee since there were so many changes and have it come back in a final draft.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said when this comes back, the changes should be in there.

 

 

Vote on PM-09-024-95: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. Correspondence - Letter from the Attorney Representing Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision.

 

Mr. Watson explained the issue raised in the letter is the manner in which the Meadowbrook Lake residents will be permitted to address the Commission during the Interlock matter. He said at their last meeting, the Commission established this as a matter for consideration. He said one of the suggestions made was that this be a public hearing, and as they were aware, it was a special land use, and the statute for special land use requires public hearings, however, the public hearing on this matter was already held.

 

Mr. Watson said in remanding the matter, the circuit court didnít direct a further public hearing be held, rather the court directed the Planning Commission to make findings on two specific points and for that reason his suggestion to the Commission is that they not set this up as a public hearing but rather set it up as a Matter For Consideration. He believed however that the residents who are represented as litigants in this matter, should be given some opportunity to be heard as a part of that remand, particularly since the Planning Commission has requested the applicant to supply them with that additional information that was left hanging from the last meeting.

 

Mr. Watson said he has already told the attorney for the residents that as soon as any submission was made by the applicant, they would be given a copy of that. He said what he would suggest they do for the format of this as a Matter For Consideration is to give the applicant a period of time, for example ten minutes or fifteen minutes to present any additional information they have to supplement that submittal and allow the people who were represented in the lawsuit, those residents, a period of fifteen minutes to provide whatever input they have. He would suggest that they, through their attorney, designate a representative to do that.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said he was asking one person then representing the group of people. Mr. Watson replied either one person or if they want to split it up - but they make the decision and it was 15 minutes, and they should pick whoever is going to do that and if they want to split it up between people, they can do that.

 

Mr. Watson said obviously there would be no limit of the Planning Commissionís questions to any of these people.

 

Mr. Watson indicated he hasnít represented anything to the attorney and if this was agreeable to them, he would communicate that to everyone involved.

 

Mr. Watson explained when you conduct a public hearing, it was open to the general public to make comments on the matter and what he was suggesting is this is a remand from a court case and the circuit court has remanded it to this body for those specific two purposes or points, and he would suggest allowing the two litigants in that matter, the applicant, and the people who were represented in the litigation, to address the Commission.

 

Member Hoadley felt they should address only those two points and Mr. Watson agreed.

 

A time limit of ten minutes was discussed and Mr. Watson indicated it was entirely up to the Commission.

 

Member Hoadley wanted to include in this that the people who have made presentations be precluded from reiterating a point that has already been made.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo said she would assume their attorney was probably going to be the main representation for them and she didnít think they would be redundant and would speak to the point.

 

Mr. Watson then asked the time limit the Commission preferred and he would suggest a motion.

 

 

PM-09-025-95 Motion by Hodges, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To instruct Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney, to provide the following format for the meeting which will include:

 

1. Presentation for each party shall be limited to 10 minutes.

2. They are to address the two specific points as addressed by the Court.

3. This is not a public hearing and will be handled as a Matter For Consideration on the Agenda.

4. All written submissions be provided in time to be included in the packet.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

PM-09-026-95 Motion by Hodges, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the meeting at 11:50 P.M.

 

 

________________________________

Steven Cohen

Planning Aide

 

Transcribed by Sharon Hendrian

October 18, 1995