REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1995 - 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBER - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo.
PRESENT: Bonaventura, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Mutch, Taub, Vrettas, Weddington
ABSENT: Member Capello - Absent/Excused
ALSO PRESENT: Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant; David Bluhm, Engineering
Consultant; Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant; Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney; James Wahl, Director of Planning; Steven Cohen, Planning Aide
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PM-10-032-95 APPROVAL OF AGENDA AS AMENDED
Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended adding items 2) ordinance review, 3) stubstreets, and 5) Fifty Second District Courthouse facade.
Member Taub: (Summarizing correspondence received regarding Ordinance 95-100.17)
Victor Cassis, Chairman of the Legislative Affairs, Novi Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber Board urges the proper city committee to take up this measure and that the City Council will act favorably on ordinance.
Jonathan Brateman: Urges passage of the ordinance.
Gary Weinstein of Weinsteinís Jewelers: In his letter to Victor Cassis, wants passage of a neon open sign ordinance to make his place of business more visible to attract customers.
Karen Angelossi, Country Epicure - owner/operator: Favors a neon open sign.
Dr. Timothy R. Kirk, Town & Country Eyecare: Letter directed to the Novi Chamber supports modification to allow lighted signs or a functional sign.
Progressive Tool: Have certain signs that they receive because of their high rating with the big three as suppliers. They request that the ordinance allow them to have the requisite signs they need to show their relationship with their customers.
Kevin Crain: Supports open and closed signs with freeway exposure.
Novi Drug: Supports lighted signs.
Correspondence received regarding Ordinance Number 95-100.18:
K.J. Albers, owner of land: Suggests a study of the Master Plan, observe the intensity of the development around the PD-1 area in Section 10. Drive around the area at around noon and 5:30. The foresight used in designating this area for PD option was correct then as it is now, wants retention of the PD-1 Option.
Rob Mitzel, citizen: States that given the developmental nature and the environmental features; rolling hills, thick woodlands and wetlands, on the west side of Novi Rd. and the 12 Ĺ Road corridor, he canít see how PD-1 multiples fit the area. He thinks that lower density single family would be more appropriate. As an example, single family RA is along a five lane road and directly adjacent to the office in Section 36.
Joseph Galvin, representing the Solomon Group: Requests that PD-1 Option remain undisturbed. His letter will be available in the record to be reviewed.
PM-10-033-95 APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 23, 1995 SPECIAL PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
Motion by Weddington, Seconded by Vrettas - APPROVED (6-2, Bonaventura, Taub) to approve the Minutes as submitted.
Member Bonaventura: I will be voting against the approval of these minutes. These are the first minutes before our approval that are the new summarized version. I am going to take a hint from Council which refused Monday night to approve a set of minutes under this format until it came back to them in the old format.
Member Mutch: Is it procedural or the accuracy?
Member Bonaventura: I am objecting to the format which affects the accuracy.
Member Mutch: I did not listen to the tape and follow along with this version. I find having been there and reading it, it does seem to me to accurately represent what took place. I have no reason to question the recording of the comments in terms of someone even in summary appears to be in favor of or opposed to an item. The comments that seem to be relevant are included, even if theyíre summarized. For that reason, I donít have a problem supporting this.
1. KIDDIE ACADEMY CHILD CARE CENTER, SP 95-33A. Property located South of Grand River Avenue, east of Karim Boulevard for possible Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Cheryl Whitten, David Donalyn & Associates: We are proposing a one-story facility to handle one hundred and sixteen children. It would be mainly a brick structure using a red brick and a buff colored brick with some drive-it accent above the window area and a metal roof structure. The facility would handle children between the ages of two weeks and five years old. It would be a full day care facility from approximately seven in the morning until six oíclock in the evening. The site is located on Karim Boulevard behind the Pheasant Run property. The owner of this property is also the same owner of Pheasant Run Shopping Center. The project sits on a little over an acre and one-half of land. We have provided more than the required hundred square feet per child, fenced in play area on the site. The project meets the majority of the requirements of site plan approval from the response letters I have received. Thereís been some minor things that need to be addressed at the time of final site plan approval and we donít see any problems with incorporating those into the plan.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant: My report is dated October 12th with copies provided to the applicant, architect, and the owner. This is the second submittal. The first submittal had design deficiencies and split zoning. The Council saw fit to concur on your recommendation on rezoning and putting the entire site into an OS-1 District which permits upon Special Land Use approval for this type of use. The property is permitted in the OS-1 District subject to certain standards, which are met. The outdoor play area required is one hundred square feet per child and they more than provide that. Secondly, there may not be any direct ingress or egress from a major thoroughfare, Karim is a collect road. You may see the analogy at Rainbow Rascals on Eight Mile Road when this ordinance was developed. They could not curb cut out Eight Mile Road because of the traffic hazards. In an OS-1 District, we have a very stringent standard for no off-street parking being the first thirty-five feet from the front property line, with no parking in the front yard. They have complied with that. I do recommend Special Land Use approval.
All the data have been provided except the four items on page two. Before they get final site plan approval, they will have separate sidwell identification for that property, a split. The plans do not make it clear. But there is a strip of B-3 property behind Pheasant Run which should be deleted from the site itself. That is not intended to be used by the child care facility. There is a minor discrepancy on sheets CE-1 and A-1 on acreage of the site. Minor items implication maps, soil types, and tieing in the property dimensions graphically to a section corner. These were called out in the first review.
The proposed one story building with gable roof meets all building set back lines considering the OS-1 district boundary and provides adequate parking on the site. They need thirty-six and they have thirty-six, including the two handicap spaces. They also show the eight drop-off spots at the north side of the building.
Thereís one detail that will have to be adjusted. The parking bay modules should be shown at sixty two foot width with two rows of parking with an access aisle. There was no indication of any overhang of those boundaries. They have fifty-eight feet. This can be adjusted on the plan without moving the building. In addition, a ten foot set-back is required along the side and rear property lines and a thirty-five foot set-back from the front property line. If you take out the B-3 notch of zoning on the north east side of the site, the parking lot would extend within five feet of that OS-1 boundary, it should be ten feet. The proposed outdoor play space is shown which exceeds the ordinance required area and they have it fenced.
A landscape plan would be done at the time of final site plan submittal. They provide the dumpster accessed from Pheasant Run service drive, north of the site. Itís on their property, but the dumpster opens up to the alley behind Pheasant Run keeping the truck traffic away from the child care facility.
They show the five foot concrete sidewalk along Karim Boulevard. The building is all brick with a drive-it system above, gable roof meets the building height limitations. We see no problem with the architectural facade review when this happens at the time of final site plan approval.
I recommended site plan approval subject to four things: first, obtaining from the planning commission Special Land Use approval; two, provision of the remaining missing application data at the time of final site plan submittal; three, consideration by planning commission for a waiver for the north side deficient green space set back and finally, in consideration of alternate interior green space on the site and adjustment of the parking lot design to reflect the ordinance standards for the module for parking.
David Bluhm, JCK, Engineering Consultant: The single access is proposed into Karim Boulevard on the west side of the site. Applicant is proposing water and sewer from the existing utilities that service the site currently. Storm water, would be picked up and conveyed through storm sewers and detained on site. Thereís a shallow ponding detention base in between Karim Boulevard and the building. It will then be outletted into the Ingersoll Creek, which borders the eastern edge of the site along its entire length. The applicant is proposing a small sedimentation basin after the restriction to collect any temporary sediment that would be deposited from the construction. It then will be outletted into the creek itself. The plans should indicate any fill in the flood plain areas of the Ingersoll Creek which border the edge of Ingersoll Creek and require a city and a DNR permit. Weíll be looking at that when the final comes it. Beyond that, the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant: Noted in comment number two that because Karim is a non-residential collector, it has a seventy foot future right-a-way section. The architectís plans shows an additional five foot easement, which would according to the design and construction standard satisfy the requirement. There is an option on a non-residential collector providing an easement instead of the additional right-of-way. But itís not shown on the engineering plans. Either they need to be made consistent, or it needs to show the future right-of-way. We donít have any objection to using the easement alternative provided that JCK doesnít have a problem with it. In this case youíve got the road thatís already in and itís not as critical an item as might otherwise be.
Weíve provided some information regarding trip generation. This type of facility with this size can be expected to generate about six hundred and twenty trips per day with a.m. and p.m. peak hour trips approximately a hundred and twenty each. No improvements are warranted to Karim given its low volumes. We are recommending approval of the site plan.
Chairperson Lorenzo: For the record, Iíd like to note that we have a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department which states that "the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended."
Mr. Bluhm: Our environmental department has looked at the wetlands permit for this site and it falls under the minor use category as thereís only one outfall proposed to the wetland that involves the Ingersoll Creek. The outfall is surrounded by an area of cobblestone that will be constructed in the buffer area shown adjacent to Ingersoll Creek. The applicant is proposing a sedimentation basin. Thereís some concern as to the location of that basin, but weíll be looking at that at final to see if thatís a good spot or if they could possible provide sedimentation in the detention area itself. A four foot sump with an oil and gas separator is also proposed at the last structure before outlet into the sedimentation basin. Sue Tepatti, has recommended approval and suggests that it be done administratively from here on.
Ollie Faize, Pheasant Run Plaza: As a benefit to the community there is a need for day care in Novi and the building itself will be a special quality and add beauty to the surrounding area. In addition, taxes will be added revenue for the city.
PM-10-034-95 APPROVAL OF SPECIAL LAND USE FOR KIDDIE ACADEMY CHILD CARE CENTER, SP 95-33A
Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Special Land Use for Kiddie Academy Child Care Center, SP 95-33A per consultantís recommendations and conditions.
Member Hoadley: Is the center going to be on a school bus route?
Jonathan Brateman, tenant at Ten and Karim: I see a school bus turn around in our parking lot almost on a daily basis.
Member Mutch: The school district determines the route. But over the years Novi School District has debated whether or not day care facilities are on the route. That is something parents have to make an issue about with the school board and itís not something we can determine here, nor do I think can we require it. The district does happen to be Novi. The school district does change bus routes as they reconfigure their schools as they have demand increases or decreases. We canít require that because we have no control over it and no way of knowing that what is in place today will still be a route or even an appropriate route later.
Member Vrettas: Novi Schools have latch key programs. This day care center will basically serve kids who are not in school. For kids that are in school, the parents will drop their kid off at the school knowing full well he will not leave the building until he is picked up rather than put him at a day care and worrying about him getting on a bus and then going to school. I would think that most of the kids that are in school will be using this facility provided by the Novi Board of Education and that this will focus its intentions basically on those who are not yet in school.
Member Mutch: The exception is that the morning and afternoon Kindergartners do not
qualify for the earlier care programs so that they would need a facility like this.
Chairperson Lorenzo: Mr. Arroyo, will this child care facility generate less or more traffic in comparison to typical OS-1 use?
Mr. Arroyo: I havenít done a comparison. Judging from the numbers that are in our report, I would say that it would probably be somewhat comparable, but without doing a specific analysis, I couldnít give you an exact number. I can tell you that Karim is a relatively low volume roadway and certainly has plenty of available capacity.
Member Hodges: What type of soft top materials are youíre talking about for the play area?
Ms. Whitten: Grass or cedar chips.
PM-10-035-95 APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN FOR KIDDIE ACADEMY CHILD CARE CENTER, SP 95-33A
Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Taub, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve preliminary site plan per consultantís recommendations and conditions for Kiddie Academy Child Care Center, SP 95-33A.
Member Hoadley: What type and height of berming are we going to have?
Mr. Rogers: This property doesnít abut residential. I believe thereís some earth form in the front yard and I think that should be sculpted and handled delicately. The property abuts B-3 zoning on the north and the east and more OS-1 to the south. They will have fencing and some perimeter landscaping around the building. Plant species, spacing, and size will be reviewed at the time of final site plan review.
Member Hoadley: Thereís no berm required along the road?
Mr. Rogers: No, thereís no parking lot there. The parking lot and the drop-off are totally inside the site. If there is parking directly visible from the road there would be some low landscaping and berming treatment where those cars are parked.
Chairperson Lorenzo: I would like to remind the makers of the motion, the seconder of the motion that Mr. Rogers called out that we need a waiver for the north side yard deficient green space. Is that included in that motion?
Member Bonaventura: I will include the waiver into the motion. If you approve the preliminary site plan, you will be approving the waiver.
2. BLOOMING DAY CHILD CARE CENTER, SP 95-45. Property located at the northeast corner of Ten Mile Road and Wixom Road for possible Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Celeste Novak, Architect with John Allen Architects: Blooming Day is designed to reflect the owners love of children, nature, and the natural environment. The child care center is a residential design. The scale of the building is designed as a welcome to children and their parents. The windows and doors, as well as the play deck allow for access to this natural world preserved in the plan. Mr. Nagar wishes to preserve and recycle the existing structure, allowing him to provide a campus setting for the project offering a benefit to the director, while other staff will be maintaining the child care center. The entrance to the center off of Ten Mile Road follows a natural pine path up to the new drop off area and parking area. The parents have an access to the center for pick up and drop off. The arrival porch faces east for a warm morning welcome through the sunny doors. There is shrubbery to the north, west, and east and we wish to preserve it to provide a natural privacy enclosure from the adjacent intersection. Most of the trees on the property will be protected in this development. We feel that is the sites greatest asset and provides a private nature center for learning and play. Mr. Nagar has already worked with the consultants, including the city forester who has already advised him of ways he can trim the trees more or nurture the trees which would be most valuable retain. The site was designed with a play area surrounded by trees in a small valley behind the center and the building is primarily surrounded by green foundation plantings providing for a garden area. We will be providing civil engineering and more formal landscape plan as part of the final site plan submittal. The site is very ample and very capable of accommodating additional landscaping requirements and any detention requiring. Weíve also worked with Mr. Arroyo regarding the traffic issues and I think that we will have no problems meeting those requirements.
The structure is a one story structure. The building will be all in brick except for the upper portions in the roof peak and some of the existing portions of the existing garage, what is now a garage, will be clad in rough cedar siding. This project is an existing residence with a garage. We will be retaining that building and converting half of it into the child care center and the other half into a residence for a director.
Mr. Ned Nagar: The proposed site is located on Ten Mile Road just east of the new Wixom Road. It sits on a five acre parcel and is zoned residential agricultural. The property presently has a residential unit and a dog kennel. Our plan is to develop the front two and one-half acres for the child care and leave the remaining for future development or better yet, some day in the future Iíll have my own house there. The proposed use is an approved use under the city ordinance subject to a special land use permit. Capacity of the facility will be limited to sixty children. The business will be owned and operated by us as a small family business compared to a major national franchise. My wife, Nishi, has been in the child care business for more than ten years. She has experience working for others and for the last four years she has been running a business of her own. I am a chartered accountant and together we have the necessary experience and the financial strength to run the business successfully.
The proposed site is the northeast corner of the Ten Mile and Wixom Road making it ideal for parents to drop off and pick up and easy access to I-96 on the north side. It is my opinion that it is a logical and the best use compared to a gas station or a convenience store. Our concept design has a unique idea of a campus like facility. That is, we would retain the residential structure and fix it up to make it the directorís residence. There would be no direct access between the child care and the directorís residence. Again, given the choices of fixing it up and using the existing structure or demolish it, we have opted to preserve it. Our design also maintained a good balance between nature and construction. The site would retain all of its natural beauty, but give it a likeable, homey environment for children to grow. Of seventy eight trees, only three, including a dead tree, will be removed. In addition, the noise level from the current kennel operation will be greatly reduced.
We have received positive feedback and recommendation from all of cityís consultants and from our bankers. It reinforces our strong belief that this project is a good project at the right place and at the right time to serve the growing demand for quality child care in the area.
Mr. Rogers: My report dated October 5 reviews this day care facility of sixty child capacity and the directorís residence. Concerning special land use review, I find it meets the standards in that more than adequate outdoor play space is provided on site which will be fenced. There will be sufficient setback to screen the play space from any adjoining future residential lots. It abuts and provides sole access via two drives to a major thoroughfare, which in a residential district is a requirement as distinguished from an OS-1 district.
Concerning general standards for special land use, it is my opinion that there would be no detrimental impact on Ten Mile Road. They show the proposed sixty foot right-of-way designation from centerline and they show accel, decel lanes. Secondly, the project will be served by well and septic. Fire and police facilities are close by. No regulated woodlands or wetlands exist on site, but we do take judicial notice that heís saving nearly all of the trees on the site. I recommend special land use approval.
Concerning the preliminary site plan, thereís a couple of minor items missing that I call out and should be addressed in the final site plan submittal. The proposed new construction complies with the RA zoning district classification. Itís now known as residential acreage district. A seventy five foot setback should be provided for the day care facility from any of the four property lines. The existing house, actually the part to be used as a residence, is sixty two feet three inches from the new Wixom Road right-of-way is not centered on the section line. The new west property line of this applicant is actually the section line of the two sections involved. Wixom was designed off-center, so that the entire new right-of-way was taken from west of the section line in that area. So that calls out a minor deficiency which I recommend.
On off-street parking, they need nineteen, they have twenty. The stacking spaces are provided at the front as I required. Thereís a screened dumpster at the rear. The final landscape plan will be reviewed at the time of final site plan submittal. For the proposed conceptual brick facades, I call out the requirements for non-residential building in a residential district. Concrete block is being substituted for all brick.
In summary, I recommend preliminary site plan approval subject to special land use approval being granted. The two minor items of site plan detail will be provided at final site plan submittal. In addition there is one other item and that is securing a parcel split for the two and a half acre site leaving the other two and a half at the north. I believe youíve already applied for that and in effect before final site plan approval. In addition, it will be necessary to refer the plan to the ZBA for their consideration of the deficient west exterior side yard setback.
Mr. David Bluhm: Wixom Road is currently under construction due to finish in the next month or two or at least be open to the public. The roadway proposes a deceleration lane on Ten Mile Road for which the applicants entrance ingress, egress driveways will partially tie into. We do have some concerns with the island area between these two driveways protruding out into the right-of-way. Concerns which will be addressed by ourselves and the road commission as Ten Mile Road is a county road when the final site plan comes in.
Well and septic service the site. There are no public utilities in that location and the plan was deficient in showing a detention area. Although, they did mention that they will be detaining on site, itís going to be kind of like the previous plan where it will be fairly shallow detention. Thereís not a lot of storage volume required, but we would like to recommend that by way of these comments that they keep these detention areas outside of the parking areas and outside of any of the play areas for the children.
Some other comments with respect to the sidewalk along Ten Mile Road and that either be inside the right-of-way or in an easement dedicated for that purpose. When the storm sewers do go in, weíd like to make a note that an oil and gas separator will be required prior to discharge off site.
Some other minor notes are that the legal descriptions did not match entirely for the site, but these are minor and can be addressed at a later time. Beyond that, the plan demonstrates an engineering feasibility.
Mr. Rod Arroyo: This site does front on both Wixom Road and Ten Mile Road, but Wixom Road is under construction, so this will shortly become a corner lot. Basically one access point being a one-way pair configuration is proposed for access to and from this particular facility. The Road Commission is going to be reviewing the drive-way permit for this and itís very possible that the deceleration taper will have to be extended between the two driveways as a full lane. Since it is a Road Commission road, theyíll have the final call on that and that will be resolved before final as to the extent of that improvement. Ten Mile Road, where the project has access, we have a current count from April, 1995 showing a volume of about 9,200 vehicles per day. Wixom is not open to traffic. Weíve given you a forecast of trip generation at approximately 280 average trips per day for the 60 child day care facility.
In terms of internal side issues, weíve recommended that the entering radius into the parking area itself from the driveway area be reduced to better define that driveway and to cutdown on the entry speeds into that and thatís a minor item that can resolved at final as can one of the sign issues that weíve addressed under Item 6. So we are recommending approval subject to the minor comments being resolved at final.
Chairperson Lorenzo: For the record, Iíd like to note that we have a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department, which states that "the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended."
PM-10-036-95 APPROVAL OF SPECIAL LAND USE AND PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR BLOOMING DAY CHILD CARE CENTER, SP 95-45
Motion by Hoadley, Seconded by Taub, APPROVED, Vote (7-1, Hodges): To approve
Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan with the ZBA review of deficient west exterior side yard set back for Blooming Day Child Care Center, SP 95-45.
Member Mutch: At some point in the future you would hope to live on the other parcel?
Mr. Nagar: Yes, I donít want to split the five acre lot unless we get a chance to develop this property. Once we do split it, we intend to own the entire five acre parcel and down the road economics will decide if we want to expand it or we want to move there.
Member Mutch: But either way, someone will be in residence as part of the day care.
Mr. Nagar: It will stay residence.
Member Hodges: I have a lot of concern about the traffic on Ten Mile. If you travel on Ten Mile, you get passed on the right, which I think is very unique to Michigan, passing on the shoulder of the road. You get passed on double yellow line lanes. The driveways will be very hard to see and I think it is going create a true traffic hazard at that corner. Youíre going to have people coming from the new Wixom Road down to Ten Mile to try to get on to Ten Mile going east or west.
Member Weddington: To follow-up on that, on the road, do you know whether thereís any plan to signalize the intersection of Ten Mile and Wixom.
Mr. Arroyo: Thatís been planned for in that the way that the intersection there was designed. There was a center turn lane improvement thatís being made to Ten Mile. Thereís the deceleration lane thatís being put in and itís being configured so that once the warrants are met and I think thatís going to be the key is when Wixom Road has had an opportunity to be open for a few months and people get use to using it. Are the volume levels going to be high enough to warrant a traffic signal? Thatís something, particularly for a new road like this, its hard to really project whatís going to happen the first six months or so. What will likely happen is that if that road is used on a fairly heavy basis which is a potential given the fact that it provides freeway access to I-96. Then the volumes would be high enough to kick in the warrants and then you could have a traffic signal at that location. At the present time I do not believe that was included within the construction specifications for the new road itself. I think as with most instances when youíre going onto a county road, the county will wait until it is open to traffic so that a warrant study can be done.
Member Mutch: Rod, do you feel that the access from Ten Mile is far enough from the intersection and that itís a matter of acclimation to the fact that thereís a new road there?
Mr. Arroyo: Yes, the distance is adequate and the one way pair system provides some separation of in-bound and out-bound movements and the deceleration taper gets traffic turning into the site out of the through stream.
Member Mutch: Is it at least equal to what the type of access you would have if it was accessed from Wixom Road?
Mr. Arroyo: Yes, and we discussed with the applicant, about the potential for access to Wixom Road. In this particular instance, in the future if there were a traffic signal put at Wixom and Ten Mile the applicant may want to consider having an access to Wixom Road if they felt that would provide some benefit to trying to capture some of that traffic going down Wixom. Based on the volumes out there and the patterns on the road-way in that general vicinity, most of the people patronizing this facility will probably be traveling on Ten Mile. If the access was only onto Wixom, which was one of the alternatives, you would be forcing all of the people to turn off of Ten Mile Road onto Wixom and then loading that traffic onto Wixom that wouldnít otherwise be there. At least theyíre capturing it off primarily from the road where the traffic already is and not adding it to another roadway which I think does provide some benefit because you get less traffic going through the major intersection at Wixom and Ten Mile.
Member Weddington: Mr. Arroyo, how does a marginal access road differ from a deceleration taper?
Mr. Arroyo: Marginal access road is actually a road that runs parallel to the major roadway. For example, if there was a road running parallel to Ten Mile Road that a development had access to, then that would be a marginal access road. A decel taper, is just a short taper to get the turning traffic out of the way of the through traffic on the major road so that it can turn into the project.
Member Weddington: Wouldnít a marginal access road benefit this project in terms of the hazards and potential hazards that Member Hodges raised?
Mr. Arroyo: No, because you would have to turn off of Ten Mile Road to get onto the marginal access road and youíd have to turn off Ten Mile Road to get onto this project. I think youíre still going to have that turning movement. A marginal access road is generally most beneficial in an area with a high level of commercial driveways. For example, in an office area, retail area, or an industrial area. We have multiple curb cuts to an existing roadway and you have all these conflict points that are going onto the major roadway and youíre trying to cut down on the number of driveways that access the road. When you can put a marginal access road and then limit the number access points to only a handful and then all the other driveways that are currently on the major road can be on the marginal access road instead. Thatís why the city has proposed marginal access roads on roads such as Novi Road and Grand River where you currently have either a high number of curve cuts or the potential for a high number of curve cuts.
Member Weddington: Do you have any other alternative for this in terms of decel taper to address Member Hodges concerns?
Mr. Arroyo: What theyíre proposing meets the ordinance requirements. The only other item that I could possibly offer, would be that they consider some type of lighting in the area to light the driveways so that they are better seen when itís dark out.
Member Weddington: There is a ZBA review for deficient west exterior side yard and Iíd like to call that out as an issue for the motion.
Member Hoadley: The motion is subject to all recommendations.
Member Bonaventura: Are the street lights that are used to identify the entrances of subdivisions supplied by Detroit Edison?
Mr. Arroyo: It is typically is an installation by them that is paid for by the subdivision in the case of the subdivision, but Iím not one hundred percent positive of that.
Member Bonaventura: I am pretty sure that Detroit Edison has two or three different styles of street lights and that it is paid for by the developer in order to identify the front of the sub and I do think that we do require that at all entrances of subdivisions.
Ms. Novak: We have no problem with providing traffic lights and it would be good to have some choices for different types of lights.
Member Bonaventura: Iíd like to ask to make an amendment to include that to the entrance of this day care center.
Member Hoadley: I would accept the amendment.
Member Taub: Itís acceptable.
Mr. Arroyo: The key is the clear identification of Wixom Road as the major roadway. And I donít know what the actual construction plans and what the road commission has required for that. As long as Wixom Road is identified as the major roadway, and as you approach it you can clearly delineate that then. Keep in mind, that these two driveway are a one way in and a one way out and are substantially narrower than a standard street. As you approach them, theyíre going to look narrow. Itís not going to look like a major street that you would turn down.
Ms. Novak: Also, weíve been required to place entrance and exit, one way only, and do not enter signs.
Member Weddington: How far are these driveways from the corner and how far away from the intersection is the normal road sign. Where will the Wixom Road sign be relation to these driveways.
Ms. Novak: Itís a good a hundred and twenty five, close to one hundred and fifty feet. Currently there is a driveway that goes back to a kennel with quite a bit of in and out traffic. I think the opinion was that this would be an improvement at the intersection, especially with the deceleration lane. By cutting the property where the island is and making it, you actually have really improved that corner by giving close to a four hundred foot deceleration lane to Wixom.
Member Weddington: How long is that island between the two drives?
Ms. Novak: Itís about sixty, eighty, ninety feet.
Mr. Arroyo: The outbound driveway from centerline to centerline from Wixom Road, is about two hundred feet. Itís within what we generally look for on a road such as this in terms of spacing and thatís really not the most important roadway access point. Itís the egress which where you have that turning traffic and thatís even farther away.
Member Weddington: I think that those dimensions will ameliorate the problem somewhat.
Ms. Novak: I share the concerns with traffic. Part of the problem is the speed limit being fifty miles an hour.
Mr. Arroyo: That will eventually change. Generally the cause for the reduction in speed limit is additional driveways and additional development. Itís known as additional roadside frictions and once that condition occurs, you will see a modest decline in the speed limit.
Member Bonaventura: I would suggest a lower illumination than what would be going up at the corner of Wixom Road. Maybe the architect could answer that. Do you have experience in that type of lighting?
Ms. Novak: Itís something that we could bring before you in several options. My preference would be a five foot light similar to the kind you have for commercial properties or convenience stores because theyíre more attractive. It throws light on the drive but doesnít look like a street light.
For the aspects of this center, you really donít want to turn it into a parking lot. We chose this sight to make it less urban. Driveways are very well illuminated with the low level five foot lights.3
Member Taub: Read letter verbatim and summarized as follows (letter is attachment to minutes): In her letter dated October 11th to Mayor Kathleen McLallen and members of the City Council, Lynn F. Kocan, of 23088 Ennishore Drive stated that the Council directed the Planning Commission to have a hearing and bring back recommendations within forty five days regarding amending the current zoning ordinance to limit the hours of operations in light industrial districts that abut residential properties. The Planning Commission voted to send a negative recommendation and since then when placed on the City Council agenda has been removed.
Ms. Kocan does not agree with the Planning Commissions negative recommendation for several reasons. One reason for limiting hours of operation of industries which abut residential is to provide compatibility between residential and light industrial with no adverse impact on neighboring residential districts. Therefore, Ms. Kocan states that hours of operation must be addressed when Special Land Use considerations are being made. She further states that in addition to the need for additional fire and police safety requirements, residents are also subject to the disruption of shift changes in the late evening and early morning hours. Ms. Kocan specifically sites ordinance Sections 2519.10 and 22-98 that safeguards residents quality of life and recognizes normal work periods and sleeping hours and suggests that an amendment be added to Section 19-02 of the existing ordinance. In addition, Ms. Kocan stated that the tiers within the zoning classification differentiates the allowable uses based upon the intensity of the operation. Once the intensity of the operation steps outside the tier it no longer belongs in that tier. Ms. Kocan asks the Council to protect the welfare of its constituents by amending Ordinance 19-02.
LaReta Roder, Novi Heights: I would like to comment on the meeting before last in regards to the shortened form of the minutes. I was amused by you choosing my presentation to comment on until a day or so later when I saw a copy of the shortened version of my presentation on behalf of our subdivision association, not as an individual. If I hadnít seen my name as a speaker, I would not have recognized it as mine. I was here to represent our subdivisionís historical objections to having railroad spurs and all the noise and other problems that it entails.
No where in the fifty two word summary of my original nine paragraphs did railroad spur appear, even though three paragraphs were devoted to it. The reference to traffic made it sound as though I was speaking about the traffic in our sub, when in fact I was referring to Novi Road and Gen-Mar Drive. Since I provided a written copy of my presentation, I am sure a better summary could have been done. I thank the chair and others for being concerned about the draft version. It is certainly something to be concerned about and as you will be revisiting this subject tonight, I hope you will keep this in mind.
During the discussion periods regarding the minutes, one commissioner commented to another that since I was not a sound engineer, that commissioner didnít need to consider what I had to say about the noise generated in the abutting industrial complex polluting our sub. I fully admit to not holding a degree in acoustical engineering. Using the logic presented in that comment, almost no one, yourselves included, would be qualified to address any issue or make judgments about anything before this commission. However, all the things I presented to you about the noise generated, how it travels and affects us, including statements about our patios, having open doors and windows were validated by the acoustical engineer presenting on behalf of the Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision at the October 4th meeting.
Comments, such as the one made by that Commissioner, served only to reinforce the belief by the general citizenry that almost nothing we present to you is heard or considered. It would also be helpful if all the commissioners would speak into their microphones when they are commenting as well as when they are making motions. Much of what is said is inaudible to T.V. viewers as well as the live audience.
3. ORDINANCE NO. 95-18. An ordinance to delete Subsection 2406.5 (PD-1 Option) from Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance for possible recommendation to City Council.
Mr. Rogers: This proposed text amendment was referred to the Planning Commission to hold a Public Hearing on the possibility of appealing the PD-1 Option from the text of the ordinance. That would be a function of the City Council since they make amendments to the zoning ordinance. The PD-1 Option applies to residential and allows a higher density than the underlying zoning, which you might say would be RM-1, if this entire site were zoned RM-1. Only a third or less of the site is zoned RM-1, the rest of the site zoned RA. It also makes provision for structures of greater than two story in height, up to five stories. The PD-1 also provides for some close by internal retail services to serve such a multiple project.
The file that you have includes minutes from the Master Plan and Zoning Committee of September 20th, 1995 at which Mr. Arroyo and I both attended. We provided the Committee with what the Master Plan of land use adopted in 1993 provides and what the zoning district plan is for this same area. We also showed the submitted plan that had come in on Society Hill to make use of some of this property in Section 10. The recommendation was to delete the PD-1 Option text from the ordinance and to hold a Public Hearing on October 18th. Secondly, that if the City Council decides to delete the PD-1 Option language from the ordinance, then it is recommended that the Planning Commission hold a Public Hearing to delete the PD-1 designations from the Master Plan of Land Use and thatís a Planning Commission function and three, make no recommendation on any new future land use classification to replace the present multiple family residential future land use now shown in Section 10. This is a Public Hearing tonight on the text amendment. Thereís no rezoning of property tonight. By your recommendation to Council and by Councils possible action, there would be a change in allowable density in building height than what is presently provided for under the PD-1 Option, which is an overlay so to speak on the RM-1 District classification. I know thereís representatives here tonight representing the Solomon Group and I have had the opportunity to read a letter from legal counsel.
Joseph Galvin on behalf of Henry Sasson, of the Solomon Group: I think that you know that the Solomon Group opposes any change to the PD-1 Option and the text amendment which has been suggested by your Master Plan and Zoning Committee.
Iíd like to start with the fact that Henry owns the property outlined in yellow. Your immediate response is, thatís not what this item is about, itís about a tax amendment to the zoning ordinance of the City of Novi. We think that there are good and sufficient reasons why this Commission should not recommend to the City Council that the text amendment be adopted. We think its a bad idea and unfair. I have stated the reasons in the letter and Iím not going to belabor those things tonight. What I want to talk with you about is the process that brings us all here. It starts out at the inter-change of this expressway and of Novi Road. It starts out in 1975 after the mall gets built with a proposal for a fast food restaurant on the out lot of Taubmanís mall. When the out lot proposal was made to this city, this city decided that it would study this inter-change and the properties surrounding it to determine the intensity and the sorts of uses which would be put at that inter-change. Through a series of studies, all of this property, including Mr. Sassonís property was included in an area that received a series of designations that were called PD designations. PD-1, PD-2, PD-3, PD-4. Now if you go back and you look you will see that this city expended a lot of time, effort, and money to determine what uses would go on those lands. And you will find that the city proposed a series of PD districts for this property and all of these properties. And you will find that in the Section 15 properties the city proposed a series of special assessment districts for road and for infrastructure that were based upon the densities that were anticipated for these developments and you will find that those improvements were built. The infrastructure was put in and the developments occurred. There is more to the history, but these remarks should have been made at the sub-committee level. But there was no opportunity to do that. I direct the attention of the Commission back to the minutes when Mr. Wahl in June discussed this and said that he thought that there would be a sense of some informal Public Hearings. In other words, send out invitations and gather research and not take up the time of the Commission with a Public Hearing. This could have been done and it wasnít. By way of information, what the committee did not have was input from anybody outside the staff. We would not have even known that this Public Hearing was occurring had it not been for the fact that we were informed of it in an informal meeting that we had with staff on our proposal which had been submitted to the City. I really ask you to think about it. Because when I stood in front of you, I said I wanted to talk about the process that weíre all engaged in. I have watched you go in detail through proposals tonight. For parcel specific developments and I have listened to the level of detail of the questions. What weíre talking about tonight is to throw away twenty years of planning for this property as part of a larger group without one study being performed as to why that plan should be changed. If I were standing here tonight on behalf of Mr. Sasson or on behalf of McDonaldís Corporation, the very first words out of your words out of mouths would be that itís not in accordance with our Master Plan. The Planning Commission hasnít even looked at that question. What you are doing is throwing out the work that your predecessors did over a twenty year period without conducting one hearing.
Brandon has said to me before in depositions and in testimony in court about how this planning took place and how these utilities were figured out and how the utilities were sized and why it was all done. Youíre throwing all of that out if you make the recommendation your being asked to do. I want you to refer this back to your sub-committee. I recognize that you had a referral from the City Council, to conduct a Public Hearing, to determine the possibility. Donít you think itís a little strange that youíre looking at a motion to do away with all of this and not considering the possibility of changing the ordinance. Let me suggest what would be appropriate under these circumstances would be for you to refer it back to your committee to study and decide based on the facts whether or not it is appropriate to change the Master Plan and then make your recommendation on the zoning ordinance in the proper order. The order that you regularly follow when someone other than the City is the petitioner. Play by the same rules for the City that we play for. Make us look at the same issues in the same order. And I say this for a very specific reason. Has anybody tonight thought about the following question? Is it necessary to do away with all of the PD-1 in order to meet the cityís planning goals? And if there were some intermediate position under which Mr. Sasson and the other persons who have reasonably relied on this ordinance for the years that theyíve held their property, paid their taxes, and paid their special assessments imposed by the city based upon these densities. Is there something in between that works for everybody? That question was never addressed for a very good reason. Itís never been presented. We ask for the opportunity where we are not bound by a tight time limit and have an opportunity to be heard and to present our facts openly and freely to a sub-committee made up of your membership. We urge you to give us a fair hearing and the ability to present our facts before this Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council.
Bob Leighton, planner and landscape architect from Ann Arbor: The PD Option gives the developer a lot flexibility and capability of working with the site unlike some of the other techniques that we have in other ordinances. What this diagram begins to illustrate are some of the things we can do under the PD Option. First of all, if youíre familiar with Mr. Sassonís other work, River Oaks is one of them here in Novi, he does a very high quality project. In order to do that kind of quality and that level of really completeness you need some economic capability to carry it out. The PD Option gives that capability.
The intent is to do something superior to River Oaks. Like River Oaks, there would be an entrance thatís unlike anything in Novi. A guard house with a very elaborate entrance that comes into the development and terminates at a very sophisticated clubhouse. It would also have all of the amenities and more that you see in some of the better developments. Because of the decreased footprint in the additional height, it allows a road system to be built, unlike most multiple projects. We can put in a road thatís totally free from parking. Itís a parkway, a landscaped road and there arenít any cars parked on it. There is no driving through parking lots. The entire development will be serviced by a road of that kind of design. The parking will be very different. The footprints or the building locations that are illustrated on this diagram would contain attached garages. Units that donít have attached garages, will have detached garages, so it wonít be a multi-family project with parking lots. Parking will be serviced by secondary roads that are really small courtyards off of the major road. So there is a big difference under this PD Option in what youíre going to get because weíre going up and not spreading out and putting more buildings across the property. All of those things put together along with a piece of architecture has a lot of flexibility in terms of how to deal with grade, how to work with existing conditions like wetlands and woodlands and protect them. Itís a building that can take upgrade and be very flexible. All of those things put together, give us an opportunity to treat this site very carefully.
Member Taub: Is this site plan review or are we supposed to be discussing an ordinance per the request of City Council. It sounds like what weíre doing is reviewing a particular drawing.
Mr Watson: This is discussion of a proposed ordinance change and I assume that these gentlemen are showing these things and are connecting them in some way to the current ordinance as an explanation of why the current ordinance is of some benefit to the city.
Lou DesRosiers, DesRosiers Architects: Weíre just going to give you a cursory review of
Society Hill Apartments. What weíve created is a unique ambiance that reflects traditional, timeless style of architecture. We have restaurant and lounge. We have racquet ball and tennis. We have gym and exercise areas. Indoor pool, outdoor pool, concierge service, and social areas. Weíve taken a tremendous effort that youíll see in using our creative abilities here to break down a scale of the apartment buildings. Mr. Paas, my associate, will take over here quickly and youíll get a nice overview of this.
Al Paas, DesRosiers Architects: Our intent is to illustrate the type of development that can occur in PD-1 Option. Whatís being proposed for this particular site under the PD-1 Option are multi-family buildings with entry side elevation. There are three levels of apartments, one on top of the other with entry courtyards and garages. Thereís at least one garage for every unit within the building. Thereís a tremendous variety of units ranging from one bedroom at approximately 750 up to 2300 square feet, four bedroom units and theyíre stacked in buildings using the land forms. The PD-1 Option allows us to have walk-out units. The first floor apartments have lower level units with walk-outs. The third level floor units have lofts so that you do have five units in the rear of the building, but it is still basically a three story building. Again, utilizing the option gives us the flexibility to put these units together into compact forms and preserve the open space. If these units had to be in two story buildings, weíd be using a lot more land area, we would not be able to put garages in the courtyards, use the type of landscaping we are using, or incorporate some of the other amenities that we can put into this project with the PD-1 Option. We feel that these issues are important to preserve the quality of this project.
Henry Sasson, President, Solomon Group: PD-1 provides twenty some units per acre. I donít believe that we use half of that. We are not using the entire density provided under PD-1. Our prior submissions had six or seven hundred units. In the last few years, we decided to make some changes and brought it down to approximately four hundred and eleven units because weíre trying to provide and achieve a better environment.
Andrew Mutch: I want to read to you the intent of the Plan Development Option from our Zoning Ordinance. The PD Plan Development Options are intended to provide for alternative means of land use development within designated zoning districts. The land use parents alternative development under these options and are intended to be designed and laid out to create a desirable environment providing for the harmonious relationship between land use type with respect to uses of land, the location of uses of land, and architectural and functional compatibility between uses.
Article 5, Section 68 of the City of Ann Arbor Zoning Ordinance under their planned projects states: "The intent of this section is to provide an added degree of flexibility and the placement and inter-relationship to the buildings within the planned project. Modifications of the area, height, and placement requirements of this chapter may be permitted if the planned project would result in the preservation of natural features, additional open space, greater building or parking set-back, energy conserving design, preservation of historic or architectural features, expand the supply of affordable housing for lower income households, or a beneficial arrangement of buildings. A planned project shall maintain the permitted use and requirements for density, floor area, and usable open spaces specified in this chapter for the zoning districts in which the proposed planned project is located".
When a planned project goes to the Ann Arbor Planning Commission, they must make certain findings that benefit to the city. They must find usable open space in excess of the minimum requirement, building or parking set-backs in excess of the minimum requirement, preservation of natural features, preservation of historical architectural features, solar orientation or energy conserving design, an arrangement of buildings which provides a public benefit such as: transit access, pedestrian orientation, a reduced need for infra-structure, or affordable housing for lower income households.
The question is, what is the benefit of the PD-1 Option to the city. I say, it no longer works. Itís not in line with what other communities want. I could bring you a dozen different ordinances from different communities in the area and when they have planned development, they expect to get something more than just the standard. So what do we get? We donít have anything required in here. But what do they get? They lose the cap on their one bedrooms so they can go higher on the density. They get reduced set-backs. They get the add-in, limited retail, office and commercial. And what does the city get, no benefit.
I donít say that might not be a good design for that area. They can come in under the RM-2 District. They canít go as high as you could under the PD-1, but the gentleman stated tonight that he has no intention of going that high. Youíll have a larger set-back requirements, but that is something they could work with. Theyíll be able to go up to five stories if thatís what they desire. They can come in with limited commercial, retail, and office under a Special Land Use. Again, youíll have all the benefits of our zoning ordinance, without forcing them to go to City Council. I think, if we want to go with that type of density, then letís have them request a rezoning to RM-2 District and eliminate the PD-1.
Debbie Bundoff, Twelve Mile Road: Site plans are important, especially since thereís such a small amount of people whose lives are directly affected by what you do. If sixty-five to seventy percent of all the people in this city came into this room who are master planned or zoned for R usage, whether its RA, R-1, R-2 youíd have a lot of people. In this room tonight is between sixty-five and seventy percent of the people that you have in this community who are going to be affected. We represent a few houses in that area that is Master Planned and undeveloped for the PD-1 option. We have many changes in the Master Plan and every one of them directly affected that tiny little segment of the city and it greatly affects us. It affects speculation, which in return affects property values. Every time that land turns over to a new owner or a new company or changes hands one way or another from a pocket the assessments go up. They go up because of the potential usage.
Weíve seen approximately fourteen changes in Section 10 since 1979. I watched my land go from PD-3, down to PD-1. Itís changed a lot. I now have office. You heard a brief mention about SAD 94 sewer. Thatís a nightmare through my front yard. It was developed to handle the densities. I donít like when they blow my sewer out. The cityís reaction is donít worry. When everybodyís on it and the density is full blown to what we plan to have, it will flow. The sewer was designed to handle high, intense development on that quarter section. If you change it, youíre going to jeopardize a very expensive sewer system.
Chairperson Lorenzo: I would like to remind the Commission that this is not a site plan issue this evening and the focus should be on the planning merits of the deletion of the PD-1 for the best interests of all of Novi and not necessarily the interest of one or more individual property owners.
Member Mutch: Could you just briefly outline for us the decision options at this point.
Chairperson Lorenzo: This is a possible recommendation to City Council to delete the PD-1 Option from the ordinance.
Dennis Watson: Itís here for a recommendation from you as to that particular text change to the City Council. You can give it a positive recommendation, a negative recommendation, or study it further. When the Council directed you to act on this last July, they asked you to come back with some recommendation within forty five days which time period has passed by probably at least a month.
Member Weddington: Not being on the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, I would like to hear a little more about their discussion to give me a little better feel of the background of why this is before us. Or what the considerations were, pro and con.
Member Hoadley: We had the opportunity to look at it twice. We got an in depth background by Brandon Rogers, Rod Arroyo and Mr. Wahl on the history of PD-1 Option. This was originally brought to our attention by City Council to look at for other options for this property. Iíve been on this property, particularly along Twelve Ĺ Mile Road. It does butt up to some large estate type lots on Dixon. I didnít feel that we have explored all the possible options for this very sensitive land. There is deer on that land and it is heavily wooded. There is very little open area on this land with no meadowland at all on it. In areas toward Twelve Mile Road, itís very intense and we would lose a tremendous amount of woodlands no matter what was put there.
One of the things that I suggested to our consultants was that we take a look at it from a preservation and concept plan. Then, we also explore the possibility of other types of zoning that might be economically feasible for the developer before we made any final determination. Iíd like to explore this from the estate planning scenario, where we look at it from three to five acre lots. That would reduce the intensity on it and the density dramatically. I think thereís a place in this town for million dollar homes. Only a third of this property is RN. The rest of it is RA, which is large acre lots. That means we would have to be willing to rezone it to high density to start with in order for them to proceed with this project. I would have no problem if the Commission wants to remand it back to our committee. Hopefully, weíll get at least three commissioners there and I would have no problem with having these developers meet at a committee level.
Member Hoadley (conít): Novi Road will eventually be widened, but the access is going to be close to that traffic light. This means youíre going to have a cut very close to the Twelve Mile and Haggerty light. Itís going to cause a traffic problem. The land along Twelve Mile Road that this butts up to is zoned OS, which provides about a six hundred foot buffer to whatever residential development goes in there. Youíre going to have a natural office type buffer, which Iím comfortable with. Itís a fine project. But Iím not so sure itís on the right location at all in my mind.
I would entertain a motion to send it back to Committee and have some further research done on it with some alternative plans being presented for that by the developer. Iíd like to be assured in my own mind that this is the only way this land could be developed before Iím willing to either rezone it or not eliminate the PD.
Member Hodges: A good developer would want to get the biggest bang for their buck. It does not mean that it is the only option. I donít want to turn this into a design concept, but having had the privilege of staying in beautiful resorts in the Poconos, none of them had that type of design. Itís much more conducive of the landscaping. It was not a separate villa or village within the landscaping such as this is. I am very disturbed about this high density. And Iím very disturbed over the fact that we were accused of not having thought about this. We give a lot of energy to our thoughts and we have staff and other people that we can discuss our concerns with prior to our meetings. As a Planning Commission, we work well together and this is our first opportunity to do that.
Member Taub: I was at the meeting and Commissioner Hoadley persuaded me about this being a very nice area and perhaps one of the relatively few nice areas left in terms of pro-active planning. What weíre doing today is a form of pro-active planning. Which we almost never do. We basically just vote. Which is different from Planning Commissions of maybe twenty years ago in Novi where they actually planned. I would site everybody to Rob Mitzelís letter dated June 2nd, 1995.
Rob Mitzel takes a particular interest in planning issues. In his letter he pinpoints what the concerns are of the Council sending this to us and then to the Committee.
The biggest concern is density. It looks like a nice project, but itís a very dense project. If weíre looking at the north end of Novi that weíre all going to experience in ten years, itís going to be extremely dense. Vistas is going to be dense. We have some other smaller sub-divisions that have been considered lately. What weíre talking about here is going to be a very strong and infusion of people into that area. Even with a five lane Novi Rd., weíre talking about a lot of density. So it becomes a planning issue and I think the issue here is what kind of density do you want in that area. With the connection of Decker, weíre going having a pouring over of traffic. I think these are some of Commissioner Hoadleyís concerns. I think Rob Mitzel is expressing his concern that unthinkingly we are misplanning perhaps for too much density in the north side of town. This is a situation that we can pro-actively plan. I donít think theyíre going to come back and show us, as Commissioner Hoadley was saying that thereís no other alternative. Theyíre entitled to use the land, but under the zoning ordinances weíre entitled to zone.
Member Bonaventura: Mr. Cohen, as far as notification on your recommendation to Council on an ordinance change, would you notify property owners that would be affected?
Mr. Cohen: No. The ordinance states that you notify fifteen days ahead of time in the local paper and also that you notify the local utilities of the ordinance.
Member Bonaventura: Brandon, how many properties in the city are involved in this P-1 change?
Mr. Rogers: The PD-1 area is this orange area on the map.
Member Bonaventura: And elsewhere in the city?
Mr. Rogers: The property is approximately at best half of that orange area. Mrs. Bundoffís property is just below and thatís PD-1. The assumed property is probably another six, maybe eight property owners. The other PD-1 property is the Enclave Condominiums
Member Bonaventura: If itís that few, even though the ordinance doesnít state so and if the city knows that and the staff knows that this doesnít cover thousands and thousands of pieces of property and only covers eight pieces, then in my mind, they should notify them because this affects a lot of people and it affects a few people directly. I do not like the PD-1 Option because the density is too high. But then it becomes an issue of fairness and Iím going to go along with taking some more time on this. There was a motion made, correct?
Chairperson Lorenzo: No, there is no motion on the floor.
Member Bonaventura: I want a clarification. This came from the Ordinance Review Committee?
Chairperson Lorenzo: This came from the City Council. On June 19th, 1995 there was a motion to direct the Planning Commission to hold a Public Hearing within forty five days regarding the possibility of repealing the PD-1 Option. There were six yeas, so it was a unanimous decision. It is now sixty days tomorrow.
Member Bonaventura: Mr. Wahl, if we were going to study this, where do you think it should go?
Mr. Wahl: I think that the key question is, how quickly do you want to go forward to City Council. What kind of time frame do you want to work with? If you want to work quickly, then it needs to be dealt with right here at the Commission level. If you want to spend some time like the Implementation Committee has been on some other issues, we could report it back to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and as I indicated, although those minutes were slightly misconstrued, if you so assign that Committee, there have been instances like we did with the estate lot zoning for the west side of Novi where the Committee hosted an informal Public Hearing and took a lot of testimony and then turned that over to the Planning Commission where there was then a formal hearing. We could do that. The Committee did not do that because we were trying to act as quickly as possible and if we do that, itís likely to take longer. So I think that the answer to that question really depends on how quickly you want to deal with it. Tonight, within the next thirty days, or longer than that.
PM-10-037-95 ORDINANCE NO. 95-18
Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Vrettas, MOTION FAILS Vote: (4-4, Hodges, Lorenzo, Taub, Hoadley) To send a negative recommendation to City Council for the deletion of the PD-1 Option and simultaneously refer this matter back to the Master
Plan and Zoning Committee for further research.
Member Hoadley: I support the second half of the motion but I canít support the first. So itís going require me to vote no. If it was split, then I could vote on two different motions. I would vote no on the first and yes on the second.
Member Hodges: Iím not looking for expediency in this. Iím looking for expertise and I can hardly accept the recommendation to have this go back to Committee and would welcome the vote to do so. I think that in fairness to the City Council, if it takes us a little bit longer, I think that they would be willing to accept that rather than just to get it done.
Member Mutch: As I understood the motion, Commissioner Bonaventura was saying that our negative recommendation would not change anything and sending it back to Committee would indeed provide additional study. As I understood Mr. Watson, we have the opportunity to recommend to City Council that they not take any action on this. That we recommend additional study and when we get done with that study we may end up right back at this same point. Do we also have the option, Mr. Watson, after the study to come up with a proposed text change as opposed to deletion?
Mr. Watson: Thatís always a possibility.
Member Vrettas: I second this motion for several reasons. We sit here and say weíre talking about an ordinance, but weíre really talking about fairness. The Council has directed us to come back within forty five days. We canít just send it to committee, because weíre ignoring our responsibility. I think if we send this message the way weíve sent it weíre saying, if you want an answer in forty five days, the answer is no. We understand Council, but youíve given us a tough issue and we need more than forty five days to look at this. We canít make a decision in forty five days, but you want a response in forty five days so you got one. The answer is for right now, no. But weíre willing to look into it and do our homework.
Member Hoadley: The problem is that we were directed to do this back in June and it was never brought to our Committee until a month ago. We only had two opportunities to even discuss this. Why it was only brought back to us a month ago, I canít tell you. But the Planning Department didnít even put it on our agenda until a month ago. Thatís why Iím going to vote against this motion. We should either send a positive recommendation that we want it eliminated tonight or we should make a recommendation to send it back to Committee for further study. They directed us forty five days ago and it is long past forty five days.
Member Bonaventura: What is the date that Mr. Galvinís group was aware of this proposed change.
Chairperson Lorenzo: Mr. Galvinís letter states that the Solomon Group submitted applications in September, 1995.
Member Bonaventura: Is that when they found out and it was directed from Council after Mr. Mitzelís letter of June 2nd.
Chairperson Lorenzo: Thatís correct on June 19th, 1995 a motion was made to direct us to hold a Public Hearing.
Member Bonaventura: Iíd like to submit to this Planning Commission, there is strong possibility that Mr. Mitzel, including the rest of Council, had no idea of some of the history that we have found out in the past few days because when weíre talking about this option, weíre talking about this piece of property basically. I really canít believe that Council would know about some of the history of this when they directed us.
Member Weddington: I will support the motion because I think that this does need more study. Specifically, comparison of alternatives such as the use of cluster options and other changes to the ordinance for this district that would accommodate other types of plans. But, I agree that with many other people in this community that we are becoming much, much too dense. Especially in this north area. In the last twenty years the trend has changed. Weíve learned from some of our past mistakes. This is an opportunity to hopefully change things. It may be too late in this particular case. I donít think we have any choice. I donít think any of us are willing to just make a change to this tonight. I think it needs better clarification of what the alternatives are to address the issue of density in the area and still insure quality development.
Chairperson Lorenzo: Iíd like to get my comments on the record. Iíve given this very careful consideration and since Mr. Mitzel first brought this to our attention, in my mind, the question is a very simple one. That is, is the intent of PD-1, which is to permit the application of mid-rise, higher density, multiple dwelling structures in a district otherwise restricted to low-rise, lower density, residential use, still acceptable and reasonable and in the best interest of the city of Novi in 1995?
Chairperson Lorenzo: I appreciate the concerns raised this evening by members of the public in terms of the concern and the sensitivity towards the natural resources in the area. But itís hard for me to believe that an option that allows higher density and higher buildings can be more user friendly to the environment. If we maintain the zoning in this area, it will still allow multiple developments. I would like to see this area looked at in terms of a different zoning classification specifically in terms of single family zoning, possibly R-1 or R-2. We have preservation and cluster options that Iím sure could attain the same sensitivity and the same concerns being addressed for the environment of this area. The question before us this evening is it still appropriate and reasonable and acceptable in 1995 to have higher density and higher building heights in this area with all of the development thatís taken place and will take place, Vistas, Maples, and so forth. Conditions have changed and when the conditions change thatís when it is appropriate to change our Master Plan and change our zoning districts. I am prepared this evening to send a positive recommendation to City Council on this.
Member Hoadley: We want to have an opportunity to look at this from the alternate zoning standpoint. I talked about estate planning. You have some obvious good thoughts on it. We were just pushed into this. I would prefer to vote to eliminate this option right now. Thatís why Iím going to vote against this motion. I would like to have that opportunity to go back and take a look at this and make a positive recommendation as to what it should be zoned at perhaps differently than what it is.
Member Vrettas: The motion says itís being directed back and saying we need to look at it some more. I havenít heard one comment here from anyone that I donít agree with. The moment you said deer out there, you got me thinking, "Oh, my God. I donít want to do this." The other side of the coin is, thereís some people out here who for many years have put a lot of money out of their pockets into the coffers of this city on a promise that they were given.
Chairperson Lorenzo: When we decide these issues, these issues are based on planning merits, not financial interests of property owners.
Member Hoadley: I want to explore more options. By voting positively on this, itís not guaranteed that it will come back to us for further consideration.
Mr. Watson: The motion didnít call upon City Council to make any recommendation back to your committee. City Council could act on it once they get it one way or the other. That may render what your committee is doing. A moot issue. The motion as it stood sent a negative recommendation to City Council and directed the committee to take further look at the issues involved.
Member Weddington: Mr. Watson, if our recommendation is to leave the ordinance unchanged as is, Council could still could agree with us and not make a change and they could also disagree with us and go ahead and delete this ordinance. In the interim, regardless of what happens, if a project comes before us for site plan approval, assuming that thereís no change, then it would be addressed and approved or not approved.
Mr. Watson: It would be addressed like any other project.
Member Mutch: Itís also possible that whatever our recommendation to Council is, they of course have the authority to do whatever they want. Agree with us for the time being or ignore us altogether. Iíd like to trust that they would accept whatever recommendation this group decides to offer. But what if our action was just to send a communication back to them that we think that this is something that merits further study for a list of reasons which we could site out of our discussion. I suppose if the majority feel that itís premature to make a negative recommendation.
Mr. Watson: The whole point of the negative recommendation is to indicate that you think that itís premature. If Iíve understood the discussion from all of you this evening, thatís what youíve been saying. What your suggesting is simply referring it to the committee and simply advising the Council of what youíve done. I think if you do that, youíre really acting contrary to Councilís directive upon you to act within forty five days.
Member Mutch: We donít want to act contrary to Councilís direction here. Negative just means it is too early for this particular change. However, if Council gets a negative recommendation from us, not everybody reads all the fine print. They may think they donít want it. Itís out.
Mr. Watson: I think the minutes from tonightís meeting will probably contain a lot of print. The Council members are all well aware of what you way and what you think and what message youíre trying to send. I wouldnít worry about that.
Member Mutch: I hear two things being said. One is, thereís some concern that weíre changing something without sufficient study. Then I am hearing, if weíre going to have the possibility to reject this altogether, that opens the door to all sorts of other possibilities. That may be the motivation. Iím not sure that weíre all in agreement on which of those two directions as a group weíre going. I would hope that Council would read this discussion as carefully as possible and know that there is some divergence in views as to why there might be general agreement, if indeed there is, not to change it at this time. Thatís what Iím hoping there is. Thatís how I plan to vote.
Member Vrettas: Dennis, if Council says to us, we want a response in forty five days, are we or are we not obligated to give them some kind of answer?
Mr. Watson: I think you should give them some kind of answer.
Member Vrettas: Number two; the motion as weíve set it up says, "At this time we give a negative recommendation and have direct it back to our sub-committee." Does that not send the message that weíd need more time.
Mr. Watson: From the discussion Iíve heard tonight, thatís the message that you are sending.
Member Vrettas: It sounds to me, with all due respect to the Chair, that basically with her exception, that everybody else will vote yes. The response weíve given the Council says, "we need more time". It doesnít say yes or no. I think thatís what we should be focusing on this motion. If you say yes, itís yes. If you say no, itís no. But what weíve come up with is we need more time. Then it seems to support it.
Member Weddington: It boils down to an issue of do we want to suspend this ordinance while we study and come up with some other changes or alternatives. Or do we just leave it with the understanding that a project may come in very quickly that would take advantage of the ordinance as it is currently written. We all agree we want to study it further.
Member Taub: I would assume the reason the City Council put a little bit of a quick step deadline is because if we spend the next twenty years developing, you can go visit the project while weíre considering the rezoning. The concept is that theyíre talking about having something in the wings and now theyíre stepping up their project. They know once they get a shovel in the ground, itís too late. Thereíll be a non-conforming use.
PM-10-038-95 ORDINANCE NO. 95-1
Motion by Hoadley, Seconded by Taub, APPROVED (6-2, Mutch, Vrettas): To send a positive recommendation to eliminate the PD-1 Option and remand it back to the Master Planning and Zoning Committee for further study of alternative zoning.
Member Mutch: For what purpose we would be sending it back to the Committee, if itís no longer an option.
Member Hoadley: For alternative zoning.
Member Mutch: Hypothetically, maybe those Council members who sent it to us, who may have been inclined to want it dropped, like the underlying zoning. Why are we taking on one more thing like that?
Chairperson Lorenzo: I think this is something that we had previously discussed the first time this was before us. Thatís something we had already asked to be sent to the Master Planning and Zoning Committee. We had requested the Public Hearing for this and we sent it back to Committee to look at alternative zoning districts. Mr. Mitzelís letter did call out lower density, single family as an alternative. I donít know if the entire Council agreed with that. When we were here last discussing this, the motion was made to set hold a Public Hearing. It was also sent to the Master Planning and Zoning Committee at that time to look at alternative zoning districts.
Member Vrettas: If I understood it correctly, Council sent it to us. But the very first time that this Commission has discussed this, is tonight. How it got to the sub-committee, I have no idea. There was no meeting, unless it happened before I came on board.
Chairperson Lorenzo: There was a motion to hold a Public Hearing for the possible deletion of
PD-1 at the June 28th, 1995 Special Planning Commission Meeting.
Member Taub: What Pete is suggesting is, we get rid of PD-1, but weíve got to rezone it.
Chairperson Lorenzo: The PD-1 Option is an option to increase the density and raise the building heights above and beyond the RM zoning. You delete the PD-1, it still remains RM. It still remains multiple family. You just donít get the increased density and you donít get increased building height. Youíre not changing the zoning, youíre just changing an option thatís on there.
Member Weddington: I am going to support this motion. It may appear that I am changing my mind. But I do believe this needs more study and I think there are some other considerations that should be addressed by the committee.
4. ORDINANCE NO. 95-100.17. An ordinance to amend Subsection 28-8(14) of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to permit illuminated window signs which convey whether an establishment is open for business for possible recommendation to City Council.
Mr. Watson: Would you like to conduct a Public Hearing on this? This came from the Ordinance Review Committee. Currently the sign ordinance precludes in a building any illuminated signs within the window area. Thatís been how the ordinance has read for many years. What this ordinance would do would be to create an exception solely for open and close signs. In doing so, it would limit them to two square feet in area. The origin of it was a request from business members in the community. It was actually back before the Commission back in 1990 and before the Council when it was deleted as a part of separate ordinance draft. Itís been requested by the Chamber of Commerce to at least consider this again. The Ordinance Review Committee gave it a positive recommendation. It went to the City Council and the Council directed that a Public Hearing be held on it.
Chairperson Lorenzo: This is a Public Hearing, itís now open for members of the public to speak.
Victor Cassis, Chamber of Commerce: Weíre asking for an illuminated sign just about the size of this piece of paper and it will be hung inside the property as a service to the customer. Itís not going to be indicating anything else. It will be just an open sign. This will also eliminate some of the paper signs that are currently in the windows, making it a more appealing. We had many business owners request this. This has been going on for five years now. The history of this whole thing is in your packet. Weíve come before the Planning Commission before in 1990. Weíve gone to different committees and before the Council and now back here. If you have any other questions, Iíll be glad to answer.
Peter Wolford, owner of the Novi Pizza Cutter: I donít think that weíre asking for anything out of the ordinary. Most other townships that we are surrounded by have the open signs in the window. I think it just allows us to compete on an even basis with everybody else. Our location sits back quite a distance from the road. The sign ordinances are fairly restrictive. Weíre asking nothing other than just to be able to indicate to any vehicle traffic is going by, that we are in fact open after most of the other stores in our strip mall are closed. I think that applies to a lot of places that open after six oíclock or when some of them close up just to let people know that weíre still open in there.
Member Taub: It sounds like itís relatively non-obtrusive and necessary if youíre the kind of business that stays open fairly late. Itís important to get that extra margin of business by letting people know that your open . I think our sign ordinance is in general a good idea. But I think we have to defer to people who are trying to make a living with an entrepreneurial business or even I suppose a bigger restaurant or business.
PM-10-039-95 ORDINANCE NO. 95-100.17
Motion by Taub, Seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council on Ordinance 95-100.17 to permit illuminated window signs which convey whether an establishment is open for business.
Member Hoadley: Mr. Cassis, are you going to recommend a standard? I am in favor of letting you have a neon sign to open or close, but there should be a set standard that everybody has to apply.
Mr. Cassis: I think the size has already been mentioned in the ordinance.
Member Hoadley: No, the only thing it said is two square feet. But that is not a standard.
Mr. Cassis: We will have no problem if you would want to set some standard. In fact, weíll abide by it. I think mainly the shop owners are very conscientious of the way the shop looks and of the way they present themselves. They want to do it in a uniform way, in an appealing way. We have no problem with that if you want to put some standards.
Member Bonaventura: Do I get the impression that this is just going to be an open sign? The ordinance states closed too.
Mr. Watson: It could say closed or open.
Member Bonaventura: Does the ordinance does state that? Mr. Cassis, is there some company that sells this standard sign that fits the description of the ordinance? Is there a standard sign that is being sold on the market?
Mr. Cassis: No, I think it could be constructed in a certain way if you want to put the standards yourselves.
Member Bonaventura: I donít want all these shopowners to have to go out to a sign company and have all these custom signs made.
Mr. Cassis: I think there are signs that are on the open market that we could just buy that fit this ordinance..
Chairperson Lorenzo: Further discussion, I have a question. Are these going to be uniform in color or color coordinated?
Mr. Watson: No, the ordinance doesnít require them to be a particular color.
Chairperson Lorenzo: So they can be purple, pink, orange, or green.
Mr. Watson: Just like we donít require any other signs to be a particular color within the city.
Chairperson Lorenzo: Okay. Iím going to support this because I understand the need for it. I want to be cautious in terms of I would not want to see this proliferating to other types of signs. A little is good, a little is understandable. I would not want to see this proliferate to other types of signage or other types of accents on buildings.
Member Hodges: My only concern is in the verbiage and that is the difference between a flashing sign and a traveling sign. A traveling sign is one that will give a message.
Mr. Watson: Thereís a separate section of the ordinance that precludes that kind of sign.
Member Bonaventura: In order to justify my positive vote on this motion I feel our strict sign ordinances benefit Novi. When another person drives through our city they might think to themselves that thereís something about that town that they like. Our low level signs that are used for identification only and not for advertising are subtle. It really casts a good light on our community and it gives the impression of a quality community in my mind.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
Member Bonaventura: Greg Capoteís not here and I wish he was because heís the man that correctly said when we discussed changing the format of our minutes that when City Council had voted to change their minutes it was the Consent Agenda which they approved. Since then and after our decision to change our minutes, thereís been some discussion and complaints from Council Members about whatís going on. Apparently they approved Consent Agendaís without reading them. Thereís been changes made and I think they have reversed their opinion of changing it because of the fact that there was a motion to deny approval of minutes that have been altered into this new format. Not that we have to follow Council, but there are some excellent points and I feel very strongly about this as I know some of the Commissioners. If youíve ever done research of issues that were discussed years in the past, it really helps to have the near verbatim format.
Another concern is that Iíve walked in on Sharon with her headphones on and sheís typing on automatic. I question whether you can actually listen to a tape and then summarize that quickly. I question whether we are really saving time and money from a human being processing nine paragraphs, reprocessing in their head, and spitting it out across their fingers into the computer. I propose that when a person is in that mode, they are quicker.
The other fact that I feel strongly about is concerning the public. It is unfair to any activists in the community that pick a particular subject and then communicate their opinion to their officials and then not have the proper notes taken. For those of you who have come up in front of Council and made presentations as a citizen itís about something thatís very close to your heart. You know that these near verbatim minutes are real important. For these reasons, I think that this Planning Commission should rescind their decision to go to this new format or possible send it to a Committee.
Member Vrettas: Initially, I said letís do it. But in the space of two meetings, Iíve seen instances where the long minutes would have been the better rule. The case with the notes on whether or not our Chairperson had made a comment or whether it was a motion was very valuable and the case of LaReta Roder who was misquoted in the summary. In the space of one meeting, Iíve completely come one hundred and eighty degrees back. I think we should go back to the long form. This is too important an area that weíre in.
Member Bonaventura: Since Iíve got support now, it is a motion to rescind.
Member Vrettas: Iíll second.
Mr. Watson: A motion to reconsider has to come from someone on the prevailing side. It can be seconded by anybody. The catch is, it has to be done at the same meeting which the matter is acted on. The exception is City Council has amended their rules to allow it to be made at the very next meeting. That doesnít mean you have live with the minutes the way they are. What you should is ask to placed upon your agendas as an action item. An item for consideration, and then you can direct just like you would.
Chairperson Lorenzo: I think this is an important item and Iím going to be cautiously optimistic that weíre not going to have a whole lot of discussion on it at that time. Whether youíre going to make a decision on it in the affirmative or the negative. Letís try to place it on the first.
Mr. Cohen: Also for verification, is it possible for administration to provide more information for you as far as times savings and administrative changes. Weíre losing Sharon in a week and we hired two new people which weíre cross training on doing the minutes. Thereís a lot of things that are changing. Weíd like to at least give you a little more information about what weíre doing.
PM-10-040-95 AGENDA FORMAT
Motion by Bonaventura, Seconded by Taub, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To place the Agenda Format as an action item under Matters For Consideration at the November 1st, 1995 Planning Commission Meeting.
PM-10-041-95 DEFER ITEMS TWO, THREE , AND FOUR
Motion by Lorenzo, Seconded, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To defer items
2) MSPO Conference, 3) Ordinance Revision - Sub. Stub Streets, and 4) 52nd District Court House facade to a future agenda.
Ms. Bundoff: Although youíve made your recommendation to Council on the PD Option to remove it, I wouldíve hoped that it didnít go for specific reasons. Thereís been a lot of changes in that area and one of the main reasons that high density was given was because it was a buffer. You now no longer have that buffer. From what I understood just a few people had the opportunity to hear that history. One of the reasons the office is now north of Twelve Mile in that section was so that no one would build large lots for single family homes in that area. I got rezoned from large lot home to office just so no one would consider coming in under RA and building there. That came from the Commission to the Council. Youíre now saying, "try large lots" as an option. A few of the people that are left in that area have projects that have spent a lot of money on planning and things of that nature. Itís not cheap. City Council doesnít have to listen to you. I wouldíve hoped that maybe just a nice letter wouldíve sufficed and that since you do have the opportunity to rescind decisions you made in that same evening that you made them or rethink your decision. I would hope maybe that would be something that you do and just send a letter stating that you would like the chance to possibly change the language. I had thought when this originally was sent to this Commission that the City was looking at only removing the commercial segment. That has completely changed to abolishing the PD Option. I would hope that somebody would have checked to see if that really is what this originally started out to be. I hope that in your studies that you do in the future on what real uses may possibly go in there in the future, that you look at that and maybe just removing the commercial and office would have sufficed Council. It wouldíve given you time to just change the language and not complete delete another PD Option because the PD-4 is gone too. This City spent a lot of time and money. Brandonís office spent considerable years planning for that buffer zone. This City spent time engineering a contract SAD that will only work with a high intense volume of homes. If you take those sixty acres and you put 0.8 units per acre, theyíll be blowing that sewer out weekly. It wonít flow properly. The whole issue of that sewer which was very expensive. When we got our letter of notification before it went to contract my little part was $47,000 ten years ago when the actual sewer got started. I donít think Iíd be building a million dollar house, it would be more like a three million dollar house to pay for those sewers. There are people in that area that started out at paying $200,000 for that sewer. It well went beyond that.
So I think you really should at least try and think about it before this meeting is adjourned to change that decision and relook at it first before sending a recommendation to the City Council.
Chairperson Lorenzo: And I just want to clarify that while a member or members of the Commission, they have referred to alternative zoning districts that we have not made any decision for recommendation to Council at this point. That is the reason we are sending it to Committee for further study. I donít want you to get the impression that itís going to be R-A or R-1 or anything else. At this time, itís RM.
PM-10-042-95 Motion by Taub, Seconded by Weddington, MOTION CARRIED: To adjourn the meeting at 11:35 P.M.
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
January 11, 1996