(810) 347-0475



Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo.



PRESENT: Members Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges,

Chairperson Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington



ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Director of Planning Jim Wahl, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Water Resources Specialist Sue Tepatti, Planning Aide Steven Cohen







Motion by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, MOTION WITHDRAWN: To postpone Lakewood Preserve Subdivision SP 95-17F.





Member Bonaventura prefers that a Public Hearing be held and then determine if the Lakewood Preserve agenda item should be postponed.


Member Bononi has unanswered questions with regard to the storm sewer system and its discharge into proposed and existing wetlands. Some other concerns are for the wooded wetlands between lots 90 and 133 in that they may experience a tree die back and what the general effect of this proposal on woodlands would be. She also has concerns about future plans to determine the least harmful locations and methods of discharge from the basins into the wetlands as mentioned in Sue Tepattiís letter of December 26, 1995.


Member Weddington also agrees with some of the shortcomings that have been sited, but concurs with Commissioner Bonaventura that a Public Hearing should be held before determining postponement.


Member Capello stated that if questions arenít aired tonight that the developer is not aware of, then they will have to appear before the Commission again which will cause unnecessary delay in the plan.


Mr. Watson stated that as a practical matter, the issues should be stated as it is under the agenda tonight. In addition, since there is a Public Hearing scheduled, there may be many additional questions that members of the public will raise that perhaps can be resolved tonight by the consults.

Member Hodges feels a responsibility to the public and that the comments from the consultants and the developer should be heard before making a recommendation.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that since four Members of the Commission want to move forward tonight, the motion is not going to be carried. Motion is therefore withdrawn.





Motion by Hoadley, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as stated.





Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None






Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive, stated that her concern in regards to Lakewood Preserve, is that the public may not have the opportunity to speak about this issue again in a Public Hearing format and therefore, supports the Public Hearing on tonightís agenda.

















Property located on both sides of West Road, south of Pontiac Trail for possible Tentative Preliminary Plat recommendation to City Council; Woodland Permit and Wetland Permit approval.

Arnold Serlin, Lakewood Preserve Developers stated that it is important to his group and to the people that are here to participate in the Public Hearing. At this point, Mr. Serlin is pleased with the consultantís letters.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated in his letter of December 27, 1995 that if the Subdivision Control Act is going to be followed, the Planning Commission has this opportunity to make a recommendation to City Council. Thereafter, if the Council approves the tentative preliminary plat, the applicant and their engineer, Mr. Hofsess will prepare the final preliminary plat which would go back to Council for review and approval and the various consultants would write opinion reports. Thirdly, a final plat has to be submitted to the City Council for approval. At that point, the various consultants will write another letter addressing the more detailed engineering and woodlandsí protection plans.


Mr. Rogers went on to state that Lakewood Preserve is actually three plats; Lakewood Preserve North, Lakewood Preserve South, and Lakewood Preserve West and will possibly phase into subdivisions one and two. It is a large subdivision and itís usual to split it into two parts. It is difficult describing this project as three plats, because of the division of certain roads within this overall boundary which precludes platting through a public right of way on the same plat. It does conform in principal with the approved concept plan. It has 231 lots which the concept plan had. The review of the preservation credits has been determined to exceed 20% of the net site area after regulated wetlands are removed. That means that if they exceed the 20% that certain lots can be reduced in area and to a degree in width up to 20%. About 5% of the lots go the full measure down 20%. There are about 10% that donít go as far. Some donít go below the required minimums in the R-2 District. Most of these plats are in the R-2 single family subdivision area, which requires 18,000 square foot lots. Along the lake, a portion of the development is in the R-4 District, for which thereís no further reduction from the 10,000 square foot minimum lot size.


The Lakewood Preserve West Subdivision is divided into two sub-parts. They are not called phases because in platting there has to be subdivision number one, subdivision number two, etc. They can stand independently if developed sequentially in the manor that they are numbered. This approach works for a phasing plan or a subdivision plan. Theyíre proposing five foot concrete sidewalks on both sides of all internal roads and indicating also along the east side of West Road and the south side of South Lake Drive. Per the Cityís Safety Path Plan, they are showing eight foot wide asphalt bike paths to be built along the west side of West Road and the north side of South Lake Drive. They are also dedicating the full hundred and twenty-foot right of way on West Road and eighty six-foot right- of- way for South Lake Drive. The bike paths and sidewalks along West Road and South Lake Drive will be, unless there are some topographic problems, about one foot or so inside the right-of-way. They have called out on the various plat maps that thereíll be no vehicular access from any lot abutting at the rear of South Lake Drive or West Road. All access will be from a dedicated internal street system. From the standpoint of planning and zoning, Mr. Rogers recommends approval of the proposed tentative preliminary plats subject to approval of the proposed name of the project and the street names by the Cityís Street Naming Committee. The City Street Naming Committee did address the name of the project and some of the street names and did not approve it. However, this does not inhibit action on the tentative preliminary plat.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant for JCK stated that the water mains are going to be extended along South Lake Drive and loop back out to West Road. They currently exist as a sixteen-inch water main along South Lake Drive in the vicinity of the southwest corner of Walled Lake. Water mains will also be extended up and down West Road to the perimeters of the site per the Master Plan with the ultimate connection second source of supply connection to the north and south as those mains get developed in the future so there is the ability to service it that way. The moratorium restricts the use of the water main for domestic supply and there should be no problem addressing that issue as it is typically done.


Mr. Bluhm then stated that one of the bigger issues is with the storm sewer system. A storm sewer system is proposed and will be extended throughout the streets. The streets are public roads with a sixty-foot right a way and all the storm sewers that collect run off will be in the right-of-way. Those storm sewers are going to direct the storm water to a variety of locations. Thereís a total of five detention basins proposed and all of the detention basins are outside of regulated wetland areas. In addition, the site is a unique area from a drainage perspective. There are basically three different districts that storm water is directed in. The first two districts are west of West Road. The northern half of the development is in a district that extends or that directs the storm water to the north, northwest area. The second area on the west side of West Road directs about 70% of the development to the south. There are detention basins proposed for both of those districts; two for the southern part of the area west of West Road and one for the northern part. East of West Road there is basically one big district. There are a couple of basins in that location that will collect the storm water and ultimately discharge to the regional basin which is proposed in the large wetland area east of West Road and west of Walled Lake. That basin is called North Novi Basin and currently is not on line. JCK is looking at securing easements at this time. Itís a very large basin. The basin on this site will exist only in the very northern edge. The reason the basinís not on line is that they will be providing for detention basins on a temporary basis and then once those basins are put on line, the restrictors will be taken out and the storm water will be directed right into the basin. The basins can be used for sedimentation or water quality control purposes beyond that. The basins on the west side of West Road are going to be more permanent in nature because the regional basins for those areas are quite a distance down the line as far as planning goes. Thatís not to say that theyíre never going to go in, but theyíre a little further in the future. Another comment was made regarding the storm sewer systemsí outlets to the basins. After several meetings with the developer to try to optimize the outlets for these basins and try to direct the storm water outlets to areas that werenít protected woodland areas, other locations on the west side of West Road were sited for the basins that outletted the water.

There were also some concerns about the larger wetland in the southwest corner of the site. In conversations with Chris Pargoff about lots 90 through 133, he originally thought that due to the detention and the outlets, they were going to be problematic for holding storm water and affecting the trees. It was agreed that only in the immediate outlet areas a couple of lots will be affected. In lots 90 through 133 there will not be any kind of detriment to the trees with respect to the storm water. Another concern regarding the detention basins is the access to them. Each basin has access platted. The access will allow sediment to be removed from the basins and the basins maintained because they will be collection points for sediment.


Mr. Bluhm commented on getting easements for the regional basin which should be provided at final. There is also a sanitary sewer easement that must be provided along the west property line of the Lakewood Preserve property for future sanitary use. Mr. Bluhm concluded by stating that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and he is recommending approval subject to his comments.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated that there are some changes from a traffic perspective from the original concept plan that was approved. In Lakewood Preserve North, what is now shown as Pennington Lane, originally terminated with two different cul-de-sacs on the concept plan. They have modified that somewhat to show a single bulb which is what we refer to as an U-street and there is a standard in the Cityís Design and Construction Standards for an U-street. These standards allow it and this is essentially what the standards call for. The lots would front on the U-street with a large median in the center. There have been revisions made and it now conforms with the design and construction standards. Essex Boulevard, off of Pennington and crossing West Road, has been modified from the concept plan. It generally meets the standards with the exception of the width of the median which is supposed to be reduced to ten feet wide to avoid left turn conflicts. This is something that would need to be changed on the subdivision engineering drawings. The eyebrow off Pennington Lane had some minor dimensional modifications that were necessary. Those changes have been made. Deceleration lanes and a center turn lane at West Road and Essex Boulevard would need to be detailed on subdivision engineering drawings. That also goes for improvements to the intersection of South Lake Drive, West Road, and Sheffield Road where that would need to be modified to provide appropriate deceleration lanes and a center turn lane to provide for turning movements at that intersection.


Another significant change from the concept plan concerns Marlborough Place, which is in the western half of the proposed subdivision. It previously intersected with Kensington Drive and that intersection has been removed and now there is a cul-de-sac which adheres to design and construction standards. Mr. Arroyo recommends approval of the tentative preliminary plat subject to the comments identified that will be addressed at the subdivision engineering standardsí stage.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect would like to remind the Commission as to where the woodlands are on this site since there are a lot of trees that are not regulated on the site. The regulated woodlands form a hedge row in the center of the site and then follow along on the western property line and wetland and go down to the very southwest corner. The slashed orange areas are the areas that are going to be removed by this site. With the exception of the hedge row, the developer pulled out of the mature woodlands in the northwest corner. The vegetation is new growth, elm and poplar, with a few maples. The exceptions are four lots that are on the southern end of the woodlands and they have enlarged those lots to enable the building to be put in there in a larger envelope. Basically, the number of regulated trees to be removed with this plan is approximately 177 with a fluctuation of another hundred depending upon final engineering and grading. Ms. Lemke further stated that a number of items can be handled in final engineering. One is additional protected fencing and itís common to ask for additional protective fencing throughout the whole review process. Other items that can be addressed during final engineering are a summary of tree numbers. In summary, Ms. Lemke recommends approval of a Woodlandís Permit with some standard conditions.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester commented that much of the work on the specifics of individual trees and individual areas is yet to be done and that an evaluation of trees and possible additional fees will be done for each individual lot. In addition, trees will also be bonded in wooded wetland areas where storm water discharge may occur and that an additional tree survey in those wooded wetlands may be necessary for additional bonding for a possible tree buy back. Mr. Pargoff has asked for a chain link fence to be constructed for additional woodland protection. He also makes reference to the "no back yard" to let the developer know that the City will be making a recommendation to these homeowners that there will not be any grubbing or clearing behind their house. He added that this does not preclude decks, but would like to see a limitation on play structures in those particular areas.


Sue Tepatti, Water Resources Specialist indicated that her office has reviewed the plan at several stages for wetland impacts and wetland reviews and that the current plan has reduced the impacts over the previous plans. The total estimated wetland impact that mitigation would be required for is 0.34 acres of wetland fill. This wetland fill involves the fill for the bike paths along the major roadways, West Road and South Lake Drive, as well as, wetland filling that was proposed for the tip of Wetland 4B, which is also along West Lake Drive. There is a small wetland labeled 3D on the plan, which will likely require mitigation. This wetland is only about a quarter acre in size and under the new ordinance wetlands of all sizes are regulated, but typically mitigation is only required if the fill is unavoidable and the wetland is deemed to be of a quality that would require mitigation. There are also several detention sedimentation basins proposed that have been relocated to better address any potential impacts. The most sensitive area that has been discussed is that large wetland along the southwest property line, Wetland 3A. The large detention basin shown near the center of the site originally was proposed to discharge to that lobe of wetland. Additional concerns with storm water are typically addressed at final engineering. At this stage they do not provide detailed topography, culvert elevations, and the bottom elevations of the detention/sedimentation basins. In summary, Ms. Tepatti recommends approval of the wetlandís permit for the plan.

For the record, Chairperson Lorenzo would also like to note that Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department has indicated that, "the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended."






Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, expressed the support of both the Shawood Homeownerís Association in the north end and her individual support for the project in general. Ms. Gray supports the preservation agreement in that it states that the preserved lake front area cannot be used for access to the lake for water skiing, swimming, water sports, boating access, or similar usage. She further supports that the agreement states that this will not preclude nature paths or walkways within the lake front area. However, she does not agree with the use of the term "park" in the Preservation Protection Ordinance because in this instance it does not follow the true definition of a park.


Dennis Watson, City Attorney responded to Ms. Grayís comments by stating that certain changes to the wording of the proposed easement agreement have been requested and that once it is in a form that he feels is acceptable, it will go before City Council for acceptance.





Member Vrettas asks if the term "park" going to be one of the things addressed so that there is no misunderstanding as to what that area is. Mr. Watson responded by stating that it will. He further states that the problem isnít with the term "park," but what is going to be permitted to occur there and that the term park is used in subdivisions for open space areas.


Member Hoadley does not want to make a positive recommendation to City Council as the plat is now presented because of its lack of detail. For example he states that there is nothing in Rod Arroyoís traffic report regarding deceleration lanes, center turn lanes, or a traffic light. He further contends that such items should be on the plat so that it can be looked at and debated. Therefore, Mr. Hoadley believes that he does not have enough information, as far as traffic is concerned, to make a positive recommendation. Mr. Arroyo responded by stating that his office is reviewing and addressing Mr. Hoadleyís specific concerns.


Member Hodges noted the fact that this is a tentative preliminary plat and that if the Commission recommends approval, it does not mean that the developer doesnít have to worry about meeting any of the specifics of the ordinances as he continues the development of the project. Furthermore, she states that the Commission should be careful in requesting information before necessary because it may put the plan in a position of approval that it is not ready for.



Member Bonaventura agreed with Commissioner Hodges in that the traffic consultantsí recommendations will come in at a more appropriate time during the site plan process.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Arroyo if there is any reason that this traffic situation couldnít have been on this preliminary plan. Mr. Arroyo responded by stating that it could have been shown, but it wouldnít be shown at the detailed level that it would be on engineering drawings.


Member Bononi directed her questions to the projectís engineer, Rick Hofsess of Zeimet, Wozniak, & Associates about the sites detention ponds. In reviewing the plan, Member Bononi did not see any outlets into the entire park area which can be used for surface drainage and storm water retention. She was specifically concerned about the outlet to detention pond A. Mr. Hofsess responded by stating that there is an inlet between lots 14 and 15 and a paved swale across the bottom which outlets through a pipe at the east end of the paved swale.


Member Bononi further stated that there would be a general discharge into the wetland area increasing the possibility of having some nonpoint pollution coming into the wetlands such as salt for ice and snow control and fertilizers from homeowners fertilizing their grass. Mr. Hofsess agreed that there is a possibility, but the ponds could be modified if necessary to provide more sedimentation if it was required. Mr. Hofsess further stated however, that the current vegetation would filter out some sediment as the water flowed across to the center swale. In answering Member Bononiís further detention questions, Mr. Hofsess responded by stating that all of the water will ultimately end up in the wetlands, just as it does today.


Member Bononiís other concerns were in regards to a specific erosion control plan. Mr. Hofsess responded by stating that there is not a complete plan currently and it will not be complete until the construction drawings are done. However, he went on to state that as a part of the construction drawings, silt fence locations will be specified, and that filters will be placed on all of the inlets to the storm sewer system. Furthermore, he does have notes on this plan to specify that they will over cut the bottom of the retention ponds to provide sedimentation during construction. At the completion of construction, they will clean out that sediment and put the ponds to their final plan grades, assuming that the site is stabilized at that time. In addition, they will meet any of the erosion control requirements of the city.


Member Bononiís next concern was in regards to the one hundred year flood line elevation 934.2. The flood line roughly intersects from time to time the potential wetland mitigation area. Member Bononi asked how that elevation reflects on the retention pond thatís unlabeled and is it the only one on the plan with regard to the top of the slope on that pond? In addition, does this pond have the ability to be topped during the hundred-year flood event and would it necessarily be topped in a flood event that would be more severe than a hundred-year flood? She also asked what effect it would have on lots 12, 13, 11, and 10? Mr. Hofsess responded by stating that the flood elevation on 934.2 is as it was established by the DNR and that flood elevation takes in the whole basin of Walled Lake and the discharge from Walled Lake. In answering Member Bononiís question about the elevation of the storage in the retention pond, Mr. Hofsess states that the bottom of that pond is at elevation 936, which is 1.8 feet higher than the one hundred-year flood plain in that large wetland. The top elevation of the storage is at 939. All storage is above the one hundred-year flood plain level, so storage is provided in addition to any storage that is accommodated by the hundred-year flood plain. As far is its effect on lots 10 through 13, he states that the top of the storage elevation on the pond is at 939 and there is a 40-foot contour, which is a foot above that, which runs from lot 10 to lot 13. If that was a concern, they could make sure thereís a bit of a swale to direct any spillover down to the flood plain instead of onto the lot. Additionally, Mr. Hofsess states that the pond could not be topped and they will provide for a controlled outlet from the pond so that itís not going to overtop just any place. The outlet structure on the southeast corner of the pond has a manhole in it, which will serve as the hundred-year overflow.


Member Bononi then asked if all of the storm water would eventually reach two sources; either Walled Lake or the Middle Rouge River. Mr. Hofsess responded by stating that there will be no water discharged directly into Walled Lake, because it is upstream of all of the discharge points.


Member Bononi had another area of concern with regard to one hundred-year flood plain on lots 26 through 29 as itís the same sort of convergent meandering boundary with regard to one hundred year flood and the wetlands. She questioned the impact on those lots with the hundred-year flood boundary. Mr. Hofsess replied that the area would be in the upper reaches of the lots and everything would be kept above that.


Member Bononi then asked whether or not flood hazard insurance would be required for any of the lots. Mr. Hofsess could not specifically respond to Member Bononiís question because he was uncertain whether the lots were in zone A or C. However, he further stated that by keeping the flood plain off of the lots, they should not require flood insurance, but if it is required it will be designated on the plat.


Member Bononi asked if that at any point of discharge for any of these ponds, did Mr. Hofsess foresee that there were going to be a lot of trees with wet feet or vegetation with wet feet that would then die off. Mr. Hofsess did not foresee that, but would not guarantee that it couldnít occur. He further stated that the water goes to the wetlands as it is today, but it doesnít get there as fast today as it may when the project is complete. The intention of the retention ponds is to slow that water down and trickles it off into those wetlands at the same rate.


Member Hoadley then asked Mr. Hofsess if the discharge of the detained water would increase the average level of the wetlands in any way. Mr. Hofsess replied that there should not be a permanent raising of the water, because theyíre not affecting the down stream side of those wetlands.

In addressing some of the issues raised by Member Hoadley, Mr. Bluhm stated that Mr. Pargoff brought out some of the developments in his letter that experience some flooding. Those are areas which were detention basins in the wetlands functioning as detention basins holding the water or used to convey developed flows. Mr. Bluhm went on to state that in this case the flows are being detained one 100% before they get into the wetlands and that is the difference that you see with some of the problem areas that are currently in the city and the reasons for some of the change.


Member Hoadley then stated that Mr. Hofsess remarked that there are going to be increased flows and itís not going to discharge as quickly. As a result of the increased flows, the water tableís going to be raised and may cause environmental damage. Member Hoadley then questioned why canít that situation be prevented at this point.


Mr. Bluhm responded by stating that one reason for the need of several basins in this plan is because theyíre trying to match the areas that run off agriculturally to a wetland and put a detention basin that matches that original area as much as possible. If the developer was to go with two or three basins instead of five, he may be pulling areas that didnít drain to a wetland into another wetland and cause a problem. By providing the additional basins and as final engineering approaches, it can be verified that the undeveloped areas that went into the wetland match the developed area that goes into that wetland and increasing the chance that thereís not going to be a problem with an increase after itís detained. He further stated once roads, utility, and storm grades are established, the detention areas are going to be at different elevations as the project varies in elevation.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Ms. Tepatti if she believed that filling the pocket on 4B will benefit the wetland in terms of mitigation. Ms. Tepatti responded that she believed it would be beneficial because the entire wetland 4B has a couple different habitat types within it and the majority of it is the higher quality wetland type in open waters where actually several smaller pockets of open water with black willows and shrubby willows surround it. She also added, that they would not be filling any areas of standing water or even seasonal surface inundation.


Member Hoadley asked if there is a bike path requirement. Mr. Rogers responded by stating that there is along West Road and South Lake Drive. Member Hoadley then asked Ms. Tepatti what areas were sited for mitigation. Ms. Tepatti responded by stating that the current ones are along West Road and South Lake Drive.


Member Hoadley also asked if mitigation could include the expansion of existing wetlands. Ms. Tepatti responded by stating that is what is usually required rather than creating isolated pockets.


Member Bononi asked the applicant who delineated the wetlandís boundary. Mr. Serlin replied that they retained Resource Management to outline the wetland after which Rick Hofsess mapped it.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Pargoff if he could site any impact on the woodlands as the plat currently stands. Mr. Pargoff responded that he was concerned with lots 28, 29, 30, and 31 but added that the developer pulled those lot lines back. He will look at those lots again at the time of building permit application when they will have to submit a woodland affidavit. Mr. Pargoff added that is when we normally address the issue of how to site those houses on the individual lots.


Member Hoadley then asked how many trees would be affected on those particular lots. Mr. Pargoff estimated that it would be between ten and fifteen trees per lot. Mr. Pargoff also stated that during their work with the developers that the developers feel that they have to have these lots for the economic viability of their project. Mr. Pargoff stated that he and Ms. Lemke will work with them to try and minimize the impact of the individual homesites.


Ms. Lemke added that she does not deal in economic viability with these projects and that she is looking at what the best alternatives will save the most amounts of high quality woodland and that in her opinion that the developer has gone beyond what she has requested.


Member Vrettas stated that he has a problem when a consultant considers financial consideration and that they have got to be influenced in some way by what is said to them by the developers. He added that it is his hope that as they work with the developers that their decisions are based on their own expertise to know when there is a legitimate complaint. Ms. Lemke responded by restating that she does not take economic arguments into consideration and that she is looking at the quality of the woodlands and not all the woodlands are equal. Therefore, she is looking to save the most amounts of the quality woodland. In addition, she stated she defends the ordinance and while doing so she reviews what areas are in the highest quality per specific set standards to determine the best alternative.


Chairperson Lorenzo interjected in defense of the consultants by stating to their credit, she has had the opportunity to work with them for a number of years from behind the Commissionís desk and across the room and has a high confidence level and trust in their intentions and ability to preserve as much as possible.


Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Cohen how many notices were sent out for Public Hearing? Mr. Cohen responded that hundreds have been sent.











Motion by Hodges, Seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-2): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for tentative preliminary plat and wetland permit approval for Lakewood Preserve Subdivision SP 95-17F subject to consultants conditions and recommendations.





Yes: Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura

No: Bononi, Hoadley






Motion by Hodges, Seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the woodland permit for Lakewood Preserve Subdivision SP 95-17F subject to the recommendations of the consultants, concerns of the Planning Commission and residents.




Member Hoadley made an observation that he did not see the previously agreed upon preservation easement on the area along Walled Lake. Mr. Watson responded by stating that the reason it is not in the packet is that itís not a part of this approval. It was something that was presented to the Council at the conceptual level in which the Council directed the Commission to take care of at final review.


Member Hoadley then asked why the Commission would not have the opportunity to have input in regards to what language is going to be preserved. Mr. Watson replied that it was done at the conceptual level and that the direction City Council gave the Commission was to complete the review of that.


Chairperson Lorenzo added that it was the Councilís decision in terms of what verbiage actually went into that language.







Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None












Property located north of Nine Mile Road, between Beck Road and Taft Road for possible Tentative Preliminary Plat recommendation to City Council.


Bob Schron, of Jarrett, Mills, Schron & Assoc., Inc. stated that he had no formal presentation, but would be glad to answer any questions.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated that this is a tentative preliminary plat proposal for five lots, not 231, on a five-acre parcel, zoned R-1 and the developer is not seeking any option. Theyíre coming in under an R-1 plan and meet the requirements of at least half acre site area. Each has at least 120 foot widths at the building setback line. Theyíre proposing to dedicate the sixty-foot right-a-way from center line from Nine Mile Road and will provide a five-foot concrete sidewalk within that right-of-way. The cul-de-sac is just over four hundred feet in length and complies with zoning limits. The Castlegate Subdivision name and the road Castlegate Court should be reviewed by the Cityís Street Naming Committee. Mr. Rogers recommends approval of the tentative preliminary plat in addition to calling out that they are going to provide the internal sidewalks and they should be shown on the final preliminary plat. The vicinity map should be at the eight hundred scale and the street names and the subdivision names should be approved by the Street Naming Committee of the City.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant for JCK, stated that the applicant is proposing public roads into the site with a cul-de-sac and a single access. Water and sewer is proposed into the site from Nine Mile Road extensions. The applicant is also proposing storm sewers to collect the developed flows. No detention is proposed on the site. The storm sewers within Nine Mile have the capacity to handle the developed flows which will be discharged to the east and then south into the Lexington Green Basin, which is currently on line. A sedimentation basin precedes that regional basin. The applicant will also be requested to provide deep sumps to handle the sediment that would be generated from the site. Interior sidewalks are not shown and must be provided per the ordinance requirements. Utility easements along the real line for telephone and all the other private utilities will need to be shown at the final. Additionally, Mr. Bluhm noted that the applicant is proposing a twenty five-foot wide park to separate and provide some buffer to the existing lots in the Southwyck of Novi Subdivision which exists immediately to the west of this development which will provide some buffer to the rear yard of those lots. Beyond that, Mr. Bluhm states that this plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and approval is recommended.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated that with five lots, this project is a fairly low trip generator of approximately fifty trips per day and that no improvements are warranted to Nine Mile Road because of the small size of the project. He further states that comment five on his letter indicates that the minimum pavement width within the cul-de-sac bulb is thirty-two feet and the internal island can be increased in size to provide a little more green area if they wish to do that. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo recommends approval.


Chairperson Lorenzo noted for the record that in a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department, he states that "the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: 1) All roads are to be paved prior to construction above the foundation; 2) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation; 3) The building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least three inches high on a contrasting background; 4) Street names on suitable poles shall be established and installed prior to construction above the foundation; and 5) Fire prevention practice during construction shall be in accordance with the adopted building code and fire prevention code."






Richard Bond, 46700 Nine Mile Road who shares the 682-foot eastern boundary of the proposed subdivision recommends approval, but has three minor concerns. Mr. Bond has spoken with the developer and believes they can be settled. One concern is the easement for Detroit Edison between Lots 2 and 3 and how the line to the east of his property will be supported. His other two concerns deal with drainage. His first concern is between Lots 4 and 5 because there is significant water that comes onto this Castlegate property from the Autumn Park Subdivision. His second drainage concern is between Lots 1 and 2. All of the general topography in the area travels downward to a point where all the properties intersect. He would like attention paid to the proposed storm drain thatís going in that area to make sure that it doesnít start accumulating water on his property.





Member Hodges asked Mr. Bluhm if the project has well or septic or is it hooked up to sanitary and water. Mr. Bluhm responded that he forgot to mention that, but they will have to provide wells for the domestic supply.

Member Hodges then asked if Mr. Bluhm could comment on Mr. Bonds drainage pattern concern?

Mr. Bluhm stated that he has talked with Mr. Bonds and that the applicant is running the main part of the storm sewer along the eastern edge because it is the low point and the storm catch basins that heís proposing are going to be picking up the intermediate flows between the catch basins. In addition, the developer will also be providing a slight berm at the property line to drain the water at the property line back to the catch basins. That is very typical so that drainage is not taken from their development or drainage thatís coming across their property from another development, as in Autumn Park, and then discharging directly to his property. Those issues are going to be discussed and dealt with at the final. Itís typical for the engineer to put berms and swales to accommodate that.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Schron if the overhead power lines are proposed to be removed. Mr. Schron responded by stating that it has not yet been finalized with Detroit Edison. It is his understanding with the original subdivision that the overhead power line would be placed underground. At this point, he has not finalized a route or whether they are going overhead or underground.


Member Bononi then asked if the homeownerís association will maintain and hold title to the twenty five-foot wide park. Mr. Schron stated that the park will be dedicated to the homeownerís association under the final plat.





Motion by Bonaventura, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation for tentative preliminary plat to City Council per consultantís letters and recommendations, and comments made by the adjacent property owner for Castlegate Subdivision, SP 95-54.





Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None





3. ORDINANCE NO. 95-18

An Ordinance to amend subpart 1602.3b of Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the standards for retail commercial buildings within the TC-1 Town Center District for possible recommendation to City Council.





Mr. Wahl began by stating that the Town Center Steering Committee has recommended that the Commission take another look at Ordinance No. 95-18 because the Cityís Main Street project has been presented with a unique situation not only to Novi, but also to the state of Michigan and nationally.


Mr. Rogers stated that the ordinance should be revised to state that a 7,500 square foot limit may be exceeded in a multistory building provided that smaller uses are encouraged by compliance with the following conditions: 1) that all floors above the first floor are occupied by uses permitted in the TC-1 District including offices, apartments, restaurants, and recreation uses; 2) retail commercial uses on any floor above the first floor shall not exceed 12,000 square feet or 25% of the floor area of such floor, whichever is lesser; 3) retail commercial space devoted to a single user shall not exceed 15,000 square feet within the first floor of such building and at least 50% of the retail commercial space located on the first floor of such building shall be devoted to users of 5,000 square feet or less, or to restaurant users.


Chairperson Lorenzo believed that at the November 8, 1995 Town Center Meeting it was unanimously voted to remove "or to restaurant users" and that it should read "5,000 square feet or less."


Mr. Rogers responded that Mr. Watson added it and that it improved the language, and then stated that he would strike "or to restaurant users." Mr. Rogers went on to say that some of the language originally was going to say to "encourage small business uses" and that was the original intent of the ordinance and the "7,500 square foot limit may be exceeded subject to the following conditions." Mr. Rogers stated that the word "encourage" has been inserted and that he thought that the Committee wanted to make those mandatory.


Mr. Watson then stated that he believes that "required" is a better substitution after discussing the verbiage with Member Capello. He further stated that grammatically it indicates that all four items have to be complied with for somebody to be able to comply with the ordinance. To make that even clearer, Mr. Watson stated that he would insert the word "all" in the first sentence after the phrase "compliance with" so that it will read, "smaller uses are required by compliance with all the following conditions."






Todd Smith, Thompson-Brown and representing Evergreen III stated he has been working with a variety of different tenants and it has been determined that the City needs to take another look at the TC zoning in order to attract and accommodate specialized, unique type uses.





Member Hodges stated that she has a question regarding minutes from the Town Center Committee in that there was a general consensus that "if and only if" did not need to be included. Instead, it should simply state, "subject to the following conditions." She then asked; "Are we not going to include that consensus in this?" Instead of reading "required by compliance," it would then read, "subject to the following conditions."


Mr. Watson responded by stating that the verbiage does not make sense grammatically. After reading the minutes, Mr. Watson further stated that the jest of what he is saying is that he doesnít think "if and only if" is required. What he wants to make sure is to exceed the 7,500 feet, you have to comply with all of those conditions and Mr. Watson believes that is accomplished by the verbiage changes that have been made.


Mr. Roger added that any ordinance has to be set up in legal form and content by the City Attorney. The draft that he did, and provided to Mr. Watson has the changes the Committee wanted. He did however confer with Mr. Watson and was comfortable with these editing changes. Tonight is the time to make any further changes before itís finalized.


Member Capello stated that it is his recollection that the consensus was to work close enough in theory of what we want Council to approve and that the Committee left that to Brandon and Dennis to get the appropriate verbiage before this Commission to recommend to Council.





Motion by Capello, seconded by Bonaventura, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to approve the amended ordinance as written by Mr. Watson and subject to the minor revisions made by the Planning Commission for Ordinance No. 95-18.





Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None







- Update from City consultants and staff

- Planning Commission recommendation for action


Mr. Wahl stated that the reason that this matter was brought back to the Commission is that there was some confusion on this particular assignment. This matter was brought to the City Council two years ago in a comprehensive attempt to address an aged document and bring it up to date and otherwise improve it. At that time, for budgetary reasons and other debate, essentially the work as proposed was cut from $30,000 to $15,000. Assignments for this update cannot be phased, the assignment has to stand on its own, so that the Council would not be obligated to complete it. Furthermore, Mr. Wahl stated that you canít obligate a future Council or future budget to complete something thatís only half done. The assignment has to be viable and worthwhile as it was presented at 50% of the work load. Mr. Wahl wanted to demonstrate that 50% of the work being proposed would still produce a product that is worthwhile to the Planning Commission and to the City. The June report reflected Phase I, but the work that was completed at that point was worthwhile as it stood and could have gone forward. Mr. Wahl further stated that when it was presented, the implementation process had already begun because the Council had already funded and approved the work. Furthermore, rather than piece meal it and bring forward a lot of amendments starting in July and preceding, Mr. Wahl stated that they moved forward with Phase II to complete those recommendations and have a complete package.


Mr. Rogers referred the Commission to the document included in the packet stating that many of the elements in the assignment have been completed and some of them have already been implemented by ordinance amendments. Examples are that Residential Agricultural is now Residential Acreage District and item two has already been adopted into the ordinance. Mr. Rogers stated that further review is needed for item five which would allow site plans that do not need to go to Council left to the discretion of the Planning Commission. Mr. Rogers went on to site other specific items outlined in his report.


Mr. Arroyo added that they are looking for direction from the Commission on how to handle what has been done to date and what is left to complete. He further anticipated that Part II should be completed in May and asked the Commission if it was appropriate to submit it as one package of amendments, have a Public Hearing, and then make a recommendation to Council.


Member Bonaventura stated that it would make more sense to review what is completed, then advise the Commission of the plans to complete the rest of the elements, and then submit to the Planning Commission. Member Bonaventura then asked if there was going to be a meeting regarding this item in May. Chairperson Lorenzo responded by stating that she assumes that they would. She further stated that she believed the question tonight is whether the Commission should move forward with Phase I or combine the phases and come forward in May.


Member Capello stated that if it is going come back before the entire Commission he would rather not see it on the bottom of an agenda. Chairperson Lorenzo responded by stating that the entire package should be discussed one night or at a special meeting.





Motion by Bonaventura, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Matters for Discussion until January 31, 1996 Special Meeting.





Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None










Motion by Bonaventura, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Planning Commission Meeting.





Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None





Steven Cohen

Planning Aide


Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

February 2, 1996


Date Approved: March 6, 1996