WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.


(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


ABSENT: Member Markham (absent/excused)


ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Traffic Consultant Jim Schaffer, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Staff Planner Greg Capote, and Planning Aide Steven Cohen






Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any changes or additions to the agenda. Member Capello commented that he would need to excuse himself from 8:50 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Chairperson Lorenzo noted his comment. Member Bonaventura stated he would like to discuss City Council action as of 6/3/96 under Matters for Discussion and stated if time allowed, he would also like to discuss the Cluster Option.


Member Hoadley asked that the items that were unable to be completed at the last meeting be added under Matters for Discussion. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that some of the items could be added, but there was no guarantee that they would be covered. Due to the time, Member Hoadley specifically added Format of Review Letters as Item 3 under Matters for Discussion .


Member Bononi stated she had a four minute report on the Watershed Management Conference she attended on May 3, 1996.


Member Hodges asked if all of the Commissioners’ workshop reports could be combined. Chairperson Lorenzo added Commissioners’ Workshop Reports as Item 4 under Matters for Discussion, if time permitted.




Chairperson Lorenzo stated if no one else had anything, she would like to add as Item 3 under Matters for Consideration the action that was taken at the City Council meeting of Monday, June 3, 1996 which directed the Planning Commission to hold a Special Meeting and a Public Hearing on July 10, 1996.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there was no one else, the Chair would entertain a motion to approve the Agenda as amended.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve agenda as amended.


Chairperson Lorenzo called for an oral vote and asked all those in favor of approving the Agenda as amended please signify by saying aye; those opposed say no.





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

No: None







Debbie Bundoff commented that although this segment is for anything other than what is scheduled for a Public Hearing, she wanted to speak on Item 1 of the Public Hearing only because this hearing has been postponed time and time again. She stated she hates to think that the city staff is going to create a 20 year project. She also stated the project needs to be brought before the Planning Commission, so that input can be made and if revisions need to be made, it would be beneficial to make them at the same time as the staff and consultants revisions.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to participate. Seeing no one, she closed the first Audience Participation stating there will be a second Audience Participation after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.








Member Weddington stated she received two letters. The first was from Richard Herbel, regarding Zoning Map Amendment 18.552, rezoning of property along Thirteen Mile Road. Mr. Herbel suggested maybe consideration should be given to considering new ways for balance between single-family residential and industrial developments. He suggested looking at some of the neighboring cities and their outcomes to possibly learn some things.


The second letter was from Lynn F. Kocan, Ennishore Drive. She addressed City Council direction to the Planning Commission regarding a proposed Recreation Ordinance. She stated she was interested in an Ordinance which develops standards for districts which abut residential zones, however, she cautioned the City to act carefully stating that effective enforceable Ordinances which protect residents as well as the City take time. She requested the resolution to direct the Planning Commission to hold their special meeting prior to the mandated July 3, 1996 Public Hearing on the Recreation Ordinance.







1. Approval of the May 1, 1996 and May 15, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any corrections or changes to these minutes.


Member Hodges referred to the May 15, 1996 minutes, page 50. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the discussion of the Recreation Ordinance at the June 19, 1996 Regular Planning Commission meeting. Then at the Special Planning Commission meeting, the date was changed to June 26, 1996. Member Hodges asked if this could be done. Dennis Watson answered yes, it can be done and it does not affect the minutes. The minutes reflect what was discussed at that particular meeting and at a subsequent meeting the date can be changed if desired.


Member Bononi stated one change to the minutes of May 15, 1996, page 18, paragraph 1, the third sentence refers to SES Manual, it should be SCS Manual (Soil Conservation Service).


Member Hoadley referred to the minutes of May 1, 1996, page 17, paragraph 5, line 5. It read, "Member Hoadley asked how this can be considered as an expanded footprint...", it should read, "Member Hoadley asked how this cannot be considered as an expanded footprint...".

Chairperson Lorenzo made reference to the minutes of May 15, 1996, page 54, last paragraph, "Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to comment, see no one..." It should read, "Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to comment, seeing no one..."


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there were no other corrections she would entertain a motion to approve the minutes from May 1, 1996 and May 15, 1996 as corrected.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes from May 1, 1996 and May 15, 1996 as corrected.


Chairperson Lorenzo called for an oral vote and asked all those in favor of approving the May 1, 1996 and the May 15, 1996 Regular Planning Commission meeting minutes as amended please signify by saying aye; those opposed say no.





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

No: None








The applicant respectfully requested this item be postponed until the June 19, 1996 Regular Planning Commission meeting to revise the application to address City Staff and consultants concerns.





Moved by Hodges, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the Zoning Map Amendment 18.542/Society Hill SP 95-44D until

June 19, 1996.







Member Hoadley supported Ms. Bundoff’s comments as stated during the Audience Participation segment. He asked if Society Hill continues to be postponed, should it then be put on the front burner, and if so, what is the concern if it is put on an agenda in front of another applicant?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered she was going to support the motion reluctantly, but if the Item did not take place on June 19, 1996, the only motion she would then support, would be to postpone indefinitely. Chairperson Lorenzo stated it was her inclination not to support any other postponements to a certain date.


Member Vrettas supported Chairperson Lorenzo’s comments.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll to postpone to June 19, 1996 per the applicant’s request.





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

No: None





Property located west of the proposed M-5 connector for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning from Residential Acreage (R-A) to One-Family Residential District (R-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Phillip Dondero, representing Mr. Robinson and Mr. Gorcyca. Mr. Dondero summarized his request by presenting a board showing development which he felt matched with the zoning request. The property is located on the northwest corner of Thirteen Mile Road and the proposed Haggerty Road connector, it is a 104 acre parcel. The request is for zoning to accommodate 116 lots, a density of nearly one acre per lot. In order to achieve a desirable single-family neighborhood, yet preserve the wetlands and woodlands, Mr. Dondero requested a change from R-A to R-2. The intent of the Master Plan has implemented the detached single-family homes at a density of about one acre per lot. Mr. Dondero stated he has also prepared a feasibility study to extend the utilities, water and sewer from the current location to the site. Water would come from Thirteen Mile Road and Decker Road and sewer would come from Twelve Mile Road and Meadowbrook Road. There has been a request of the Novi Department of Public Services to advise on the advisability of either special assessment district or payback agreement.


Jerry Gorcyca represented the estate of George and Josephine Kovacs. The Kovacs have owned the property for 54 years. When George Kovacs passed away, Mr. Gorcyca and Mr. Hal Robinson were designated as trustees to help Josephine and her daughter develop the land for the benefit of the trust and for the citizens of Novi. There have been many purchase agreements submitted for a number of reasons. All of the purchase agreements were for large amounts of money but conditioned upon their appropriate zoning, all of which were rejected. Mr. Gorcyca and Mr. Robinson felt that their request was a reasonable solution to both the trust and the City. Mr. Gorcyca stated he did not see how it would deprive the City of any enhancement of its’ values to any detrimental use of the land.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant referred to his report addressed to Mr. Cohen, dated May 16, 1996. He stated it summarized some background research, he had been out to the site with Mr. Cohen and was familiar with it. The petition is to rezone property, not to review a site plan, woodlands plan or a wetlands plan, it is a land use decision. Mr. Rogers stated he fell back on the recommendations of the City’s adopted Master Plan of 1993. In addition, there was a map in that plan that was entitled, "Residential Density Plan" from which he extracted the plan for his report. For the record, Mr. Rogers read the purpose for the petition for this rezoning. "To satisfy a strong demand for fairly large lots (nearly one half of an acre) as a viable housing type, while preserving the natural beauty and resources of the site, the requested lot sizes allow the site to be laid out without intruding into the wetlands and woodlands and yet provide practical, pleasant and safe street layout." Mr. Rogers stated the property is indeed vacant, the property to the east is vacant and zoned R-A. The property to the south is zoned R-A and used for large parcel scattered home development. The property to the west is vacant and zoned R-A. Further west, is the Chateau Mobile Home Park. To the north, the property is partially zoned R-2 to accommodate the Haverhill Farm site condominium project. Just to the east of Haverhill Farm is zoned R-A. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends the subject site and all adjacent property for single-family residential future land use at a density of 0.8 dwelling units per acre except for the Haverhill Farm site which is recommended for two (2) units per acre. Mr. Rogers stated Thirteen Mile Road is classified as a minor arterial and Mr. Bluhm might want to comment on its’ paving status, however it is currently gravel. Looking at all of the options and the basis for the petition, Mr. Rogers concluded that it would be unwise to recommend a rezoning for the following reasons: 1) There is no showing that the property cannot be used as presently zoned and planned. It appears owing to upland woodlands on the site, there may be an opportunity to qualify for an R-A preservation option development (ie. reduced lot sizes). 2) With the exception of the Haverhill Farm site, nearly one half of the southern third is comprised of regulated woodlands and wetlands. Except for the Haverhill Farm site all surrounding property zoned R-A and is recommended for 0.8 dwelling units per acre in the Master Plan for Land Use, implications of spot zoning exist.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it was a Public Hearing and opened the floor for comments.



Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, agreed with Mr. Rogers’ recommendations. He stated he was opposed to the rezoning for a number of reasons. The first is that it is contrary to the City’s Master Plan and contrary to the proposed zoning in that area. The second was the potential impact of the rezoning, not only on the property but on all of the adjoining properties. The area would most definitely have to be rezoned to an R-2 and maybe even a higher density zoning. The third point is the potential impact on the woodlands, wetlands and the habitat areas on the property. A large number of regulated woodlands, especially on the northern third of the property, would be impacted if development extended into that part of the property. The northern third part of the property is "Type A" habitat, the highest level of habitat, which would not only affect the habitat area but the extension into the Haverhill Farm preservation area and the preservation areas to the west on Maples and Wexford Townhomes. Mr. Mutch made a few comments about the conceptual plan, which provides no buffer along M-5. The ordinance only requires a fifteen (15) foot green belt which Mr. Mutch felt was an issue that needs to be addressed if there is to be residential along M-5. There is also the question of extension of utilities to the properties. There is currently no water or sewer and the road is not paved at this point. The applicant is only proposing 116 lots, and under R-A zoning approximately 92 acres of developable land allows 73 units. R-1 allows 73 units for approximately 93 acres of developable land, an increase of one zoning district, jumps to 150 units, R-2 allows 182 units. Mr. Mutch commented this property is unique, there will be an impact on it due to the fact that it runs along M-5 and he also felt that there needs to be some creative solutions. He stated he wouldn’t mind seeing the developer be allowed the R-A density and utilize smaller lot sizes where only half of the property would be developed. This would mean if there was a preservation of open space, using half acre lots at R-A zoning, there could be 40-50 percent preservation and all of the lots would enjoy premium prices fronting onto an open space area.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Public Hearing. Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.







Member Bonaventura stated the problem he had with down zoning the property was the increase in population which goes against what was set in the Master Plan. The extra burdens on the community that would come about by doubling and possibly tripling. Member Bonaventura stated that he felt the state has determined these lands to be undevelopable. Member Bonaventura stated he agreed with Mr. Rogers, he did not see any reason why this land could not be developed in R-A. Preservation Option would be one option which would work for property with sensitive lands on it. Member Bonaventura stated he would be against a rezoning.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Dondero why the property cannot be developed under the current Master Plan and zoning that is in place. He also asked how would the necessary utilities be brought in, should he desire to develop in any means, and how would it be paid for?


Mr. Dondero believes the estimated preliminary cost to bring water and sewer to the site, is about $750,000. The trust is prepared to do this. It would bring the water from Decker Road and Thirteen Mile Road and the sewer would come from Twelve Mile Road and Meadowbrook Road.


Member Hoadley then asked Mr. Dondero if he took into consideration obtaining easements. Mr. Dondero replied yes, in the feasibility study. He then looked it up in his reports and answered, no, he was sorry the figure did not include the cost of easements. It covers the restoration clean-up, the tap, manholes and the construction and preliminary engineering. Member Hoadley then asked if he had any projection as to what easements would cost for that distance. Mr. Dondero answered, no. He has asked the Department of Public Services for their advice and the necessary steps on both the SAD (Special Assessment District) and the payback agreements. Member Hoadley asked if the SAD would be placing a tax on people who may not want to be a part of it. Mr. Dondero replied it is only voluntary, they are not a part of it if they do not want to be.


Member Hoadley stated that Mr. Dondero had no idea what the total cost of bringing utilities to the project was, was this correct? Mr. Dondero answered no, to his understanding the total cost to bring the utilities to the project is $750,000. Member Hoadley then stated that this figure did not reflect the cost of requiring easements. Mr. Dondero stated it is a matter of condemnation and there is no cost in the easements.


Member Hoadley then restated his question as to why the land cannot be developed with its’ current zoning?

Mr. Dondero stated that Mr. Rogers had asked him earlier if the property could be used as R-A. It was Mr. Dondero’s opinion that any piece of property could be used as zoned, it is technically feasible to develop that property under R-A just as any other piece of property in the city. He did not feel it would be very realistic if that property were flat, but the reality is that the land is not flat, therefore the concept gets into the wetlands and woodlands.


Member Hoadley asked if Mr. Dondero had thought about the preservation possibilities. Mr. Dondero stated yes, Robert Leighton looked at it rather carefully and applied it to the site It was his opinion that the community and owners were all better off with the



Member Weddington asked Mr. Rogers if he was in concurrence with Mr. Mutch’s numbers in terms of units and different classifications. Mr. Rogers stated that he has not computed it and added if it were zoned R-2, it could also come in as a Preservation Option and could reduce the lot sizes from a minimum of 18,000 square feet to 14,400 which is slightly higher than the R-3 density. If rezoned to R-1, it could reduce the lot sizes from half acre to 18,000 square feet. Mr. Rogers stated just using the densities, he does not disagree with Mr. Mutch’s number, but he hasn’t multiplied them out. Keep in mind that the Preservation Option does apply to all of the districts except for the Cluster Option.


Member Weddington stated for all of the reasons stated in Mr. Rogers’ letter and also concerns regarding preservation of the woodlands, wetlands and habitat and the fact that if it were rezoned to R-2, she will make a motion for a negative recommendation to City Council on rezoning the parcel on Zoning Map Amendment 18.552.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Bonaventura, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a negative recommendation to City Council for rezoning Map Amendment 18.552.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it has been moved and seconded to send a negative recommendation to City Council for this rezoning. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was any discussion on the motion.


Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers If M-5 was a boulevard situation. Mr. Rogers responded that he thought Mr. Bluhm could better answer the question.



Dave Bluhm, of JCK answered, yes, it is a boulevard type, similar to Telegraph north of I-696, it is not a highway. Member Bonaventura asked how many lanes on each side of the median? Mr. Bluhm answered he believed there are two lanes on either side, but in a lot of areas three lanes will be provided for acceleration, deceleration and turning lanes.


Member Bononi shared Member Weddingtons concerns regarding density from the standpoint of the ultimate number of lots that the applicant could claim under a zone change. She stated she had two concerns. The first being with the project description, under the reason for request, she read a quote which said, "To satisfy a strong demand for fairly large lots (nearly one half acre)." She then stated what the applicant was saying on the storyboard was 116 lots of approximately 1 acre per lot. Through her calculating, even utilizing the available Preservation Option, if the applicant were to leave the zone as it is, he could be looking at a 0.808 acre lot which is nearly one acre. The further end of the extreme is using gross acreage of this site which is 104 acres if rezoned to R-2 and use a Preservation Option, it will be down to one third an acre of a lot which is a three to one ratio. Member Bononi stated she shares the concerns regarding the density possibility irregardless of what is shown conceptually and she stated she agreed with Mr. Rogers by looking at it as a land use decision.


Member Vrettas also supported the comments of Member Weddington as well as Member Bononi. He added as he understands it, diversity is what is wanted in Novi. The area was Master Planned R-A to provide the diversity housing to go with the diversity of population that is being encouraged. He stated he had not heard anything that said the zoning should be changed. Member Vrettas stated he did not feel any motivation to rezone the property.


Member Weddington stated the plan had some merit. She felt something could be worked out and encouraged the applicant to continue to explore the preservation alternatives or other mechanisms in place that would meet their objectives as well as maintain the integrity of the existing zoning map and Master Plan. Member Weddington stated she would be reluctant to down zone the property two whole district levels.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was not convinced that R-A was feasible or desirable. Until someone convinces her that the zoning and density are not appropriate at which time, possibly R-1 can be considered. At this time Chairperson Lorenzo maintained her vote for R-A.


Member Bonaventura commented on Member Weddingtons statement regarding down-zoning two zones. He stated he would not be comfortable down zoning even one zone. He cautioned everyone with respect to rezonings.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there was no further discussion, the motion is to send a negative recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.552 and asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.





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

No: None








For possible revised Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Robert Stine architect, stated his resubmission of a site plan which was given Preliminary Site Plan approval on the original building, the project had been stalled and has started up as a one-story building in lieu of a two-story building as originally proposed. The site plan shows parking for 42 cars plus 3 handicapped. One of the recommendations was to eliminate two parking spaces at the drive entrance which are shown as removed on the site plan. Another recommendation was to remove a couple of parking spaces in the back, due to the possible turn around area. Mr. Stine stated this particular building is serviced by small vehicles and doesn’t require a large turn-around area. The slope on the north end of the property from the drive to the cemetery property shows a ratio of 1 to 2. This was discussed with Mr. Rogers, JCK stated if Mr. Rogers approved of this then they would as well. The soil erosion plan is in the works and had been approved on the original. The Oakland County Road Commission sent a recommendation for the drive approach to slightly change the radius and to resurface a small area of the existing driveway.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated a one-story building requires less parking spaces versus a two-story building. The issue of eliminating two spaces at the rear for back-up for a fire truck has some merit. He stated that Mr. Schaffer would speak on this issue. The setback requirements are in compliance, they recognize the proposed right-of-way from centerline of 12 Mile. The parking is in compliance and, the greenspace is adequate. Because this is OS-1 property abutting residential, unless there is reconsideration of slope or existing vegetation, a 4 1/2 foot berm will be needed along the north edge where the cemetary is. The loading/unloading space is properly provided in the rear yard. The building will be white brick with certain drived gables. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval.

Dave Bluhm, of JCK stated the applicant is proposing water and sewer from existing utilities on Twelve Mile Road to extend and service this site. There is quite a bit of grade across the site and the applicant will have to work with it to make it function properly. Two to one slopes along the north end are not acceptable, but retaining walls or other methods can be used to achieve the grades that are acceptable. The applicant is proposing paved parking. Storm sewers will pick up the storm drainage and direct it to a large pipe which acts as a storage tank for detention storm water at the southern end. South of the building the applicant intends to allow the storm water to drain into the ditch along Twelve Mile Road at a restricted rate. Mr. Bluhm stated JCK feels the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and recommended approval.


Jim Schaffer, Traffic Consultant stated that he has reviewed the plan, and the driveway meets dimensional standards. He did comment that an alternative access could be considered to link this site with either of the adjoining driveways to the east or west in accordance with the provisions in the site design review standards that call for encouragement. The two parking spaces in the rear, the northerly most tier of parking, two most easterly spaces are still warranted to eliminate to accommodate a "T" type turnaround. With an arrangement as currently designed, even smaller vehicles may have some difficulty negotiating that type of arrangement. Mr. Schaffer still recommended elimination of the two parking spaces and mark them with a sign reading, "No Parking, For Turn-Around Situation." He also recommended wheel blocks to be placed along the parking spaces immediately adjacent the proposed five foot walk to keep vehicles from overhanging the walkway. With these addressed items, Mr. Schaffer recommended approval of the plan.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated for the record she has received a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department and the plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended. Chairperson Lorenzo then turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion





Member Hoadley commended the petitioner on retaining water on the parking area. He asked the petitioner why he could not go along with what the Traffic Consultant recommended regarding an alternate egress into the property. He stated this will eventually be a very high volume street when fully developed and the more cuts on it, the more danger there will be. He also asked if the petitioner had tried to work out a deal with the neighbor.



Mr. Stine stated he would be glad to work with the proper authorities to try to solve that problem. He stated he had no problem with the elimination of the two additional parking spaces in the back. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Stine, if approval of the Revised Preliminary Site Plan were recommended subject to having access with the neighbor, would he have a problem with it? Mr. Stine again stated he would work with the proper authorities to try and solve it.


Member Hoadley asked if there were a ten year event after the property was developed and the storage overflowed onto the parking lot which has a steep grade, what were the plans to treat the overflow water that will go into the ditch to make it the same type of water that is going to be retained? Mr. Stine answered, with that type of storm with a drop of that it would be difficult to say that they could maintain all of that water on the property. Member Hoadley asked if there was a way the water could go through a filtering system? Mr. Stine answered with the slow run-off that size, and the holding tank, he felt it could be controlled.


Mr. Bluhm stated the ordinance standards require the applicants’ engineer to provide an overflow for an event beyond ten years to assure primarily that the event does not inundate the building. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Bluhm how he would propose the water be treated prior to entering the system. Mr. Bluhm answered in the event of that magnitude, once beyond the ten year event, there is such a flush of water the contaminates are not really in existance, as in the initial stages of a storm. There are no provisions in the ordinance as to that type of requirement beyond a ten year storm. Mr. Bluhm stated however, the ditch along Twelve Mile Road will provide that kind of a benefit in addition to what is being provided on site.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Chair will entertain a motion at any time.


Member Bononi asked if there was landscaping included on the plan? Mr. Stine answered no, however one would be turned in with the Final Site Plan. Member Bononi stated the reason she asked was due to the topography of the site, she was interested in the kind and number of landscaping specimens that would be proposed because of the aesthetic consideration from Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Stine stated landscaping on the original Preliminary Site Plan was approved and currently modifications were being made to the approved plan.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Rogers if he was in concurrence? Mr. Rogers answered yes, it is a prominent, visible location on Twelve Mile Road. He stated even though he has made a case for a berm on the north side, he thought it was equally important that enhancements be made along Twelve Mile Road. It will have to meet the standards of Section 2509 of the Ordinance, they have not submitted the landscape plan for the review by Linda Lemke and he assured that a boulevard of beautiful buildings along Twelve Mile Road was desired and landscaping was the key to it.


Member Hoadley gave recognition to the consultants, particularly Mr. Arroyo’s comments in regard to giving some alternative ideas in the review process.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Chair will entertain a motion.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the revised Preliminary Site Plan for Metro Rehab, SP 95-11D subject to all of the consultants comments and recommendations.


Member Hoadley asked if it should be conditioned in regard to eliminating the cut on Twelve Mile Road and have it go through the adjacent property.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it was in Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Schaffers’ recommendation so it was already basically in the motion.


Mr. Watson suggested that Mr. Arroyo’s letter, recommends the consideration of an alternative access issue. Mr. Watson thought the motion was to see the alternative access incorporated into the plan. His suggestion as part of the motion was if the applicant was unable to get any permission from adjacent property owners, that he be permitted to come back before the Planning Commission at the time of Final to address that issue.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the motion on the floor included it as a recommendation, however it did not call it out specifically and asked Member Weddington if she wanted to change the motion or if she wished to keep the motion as it was stated.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Watson if she should take it further. Mr. Watson answered Mr. Arroyo’s letter makes consideration of it and it is his understanding that Member Weddington wanted to have it as a condition. He suggested if it was a condition, that she allow the applicant to return to final if it proves problematic.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated at this time it is not a condition in the present motion, it is just according to Mr. Arroyo’s recommendations.

Member Weddington stated it was her understanding that the applicant would try to work something out, she stated she would not want to hold it up and this was why she did not change the motion.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to please call the roll, stating the motion is to approve the Revised Preliminary Site Plan subject to all of the consultants comments and recommendations.





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

No: None





For possible Final Site Plan approval.


Morris Stein, Keystone Design Group representing Soccer Zone, Inc. for Final Site Plan approval. One issue that surfaced at the last meeting was the existing drive entry from Meadowbrook Road. The concern was traffic safety with the existing building and cars having to back out into the drive. Mr. Stein stated he presented a plan at that meeting shifting the drive to the South, creating an island separation between the new drive and the parking for the building so that it would be completely separated. Because that became a change to the original consent judgement, plan changes have since been prepared and submitted to the City Council who approved for the amendment change to the consent judgement. The plan ended up with some minor tweaking. There were questions on some landscaping that he felt had been ironed out.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated this was the sixth submittal and this plan was very close to being approved as a Final Site Plan. Mr. Rogers reported that Meadowbrook Run Development has already modified their road access off of Meadowbrook Road. He stated there were letters and documentation in the packets showing the reviews that some of the consultants have done on Meadowbrook Run approving the Revised Site Plan per the consent judgement. Mr. Rogers referred to his letter, stating it reads what the consent judgement of 1990 required. The issue of the facades had been reviewed, he presented the facades with Mr. Stein on April 8, 1996, and they made the change to have face brick material compatible with the other building materials. The south facade will be the main facade as you will see it from Grand River. The east facade is somewhat concealed by the buildings along Meadowbrook Road. The second contingency was that there be recordable easements permitting access to the site from three locations. The special land use for this particular type of use was referred to and acted favorably by the ZBA on May 7, 1996 approving this particular use in an I-1 District, an indoor recreation use. Mr. Rogers stated he reviewed with Linda Lemke, the four minor items in regard to landscaping and these items must be shown on Revised Final Site Plan before they can be stamped. The final item is a five foot monument sign located off premises near Meadowbrook Road at the north entrance. SoccerZone will have to obtain a grant to put this off premises sign at that location. Mr. Rogers again addressed the facade materials, and stated that they comply with the Ordinance Section 2520 for the NCC District. This particular property is zoned NCC, but this site was granted permission to be used for an I-1 use in the consent judgement. Mr. Rogers thought this showed harmony between the two developments to be compatible with future NCC Commercial Development to the south of Meadowbrook Run, he thought this showed the harmony between the two developments. Mr. Rogers recommended Final Site Plan approval subject to the two conditions in his letter.


Dave Bluhm, of JCK stated with the exception of Items 1 and 2 in JCK’s letter that noted utility structure adjustment and a minor grading glitch, the plan was acceptable. In conjunction with Mr. Watson, JCK had been reviewing the ingress/egress easements in particular descriptions. Mr. Bluhm stated they are fairly well in order with some minor tweaks. Mr. Bluhm noted the applicant must provide the water main sanitary sewer easements off-site to JCK’s office prior to approval of the Final Site Plan for this project. The Final Site Plan for Meadowbrook Run revisions have been reviewed from an engineering point of view and they are acceptable and expected to be stamped fairly soon. Mr. Bluhm stated he recommends approval to the Planning Commission with a subsequent resubmittal administratively which they expect to approve soon.


Jim Schaffer, Traffic Consultant stated the previous comments on the Preliminary Site Plan have been addressed. The applicant should contact the Department of Public Works superintendent regarding installation of traffic control signage which would be warranted. Also prior to final sign off, the joint access agreements which Mr. Rogers indicated, should be in place with regard to all three access points for the driveways. City Council did approve the consent amendments for the driveway and Mr. Schaffer stated his office reviewed those access modifications and recommended approval.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated for the record she has received a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department recommending approval. Chairperson Lorenzo then turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.







Member Bononi commented on her concerns regarding the few number of landscaping specimens at the last meeting. She stated she was looking forward to seeing an amended plan this time. However from what Mr. Rogers had stated, there had been a verbal agreement on what was wished to propose. As long as Mr. Rogers was satisfied that it met the requirements of Section 2509.7 from the standpoint of numbers and types of materials, then Member Bononi was also satisfied with it.


Member Hoadley referred to the fax, showing off-premises treatment of the island and asked Mr. Rogers if this would also meet the expectations of the Ordinances.


Mr. Rogers referred to a memo from Linda Lemke dated June 5, 1996 stating she had received a faxed plan for the Meadowbrook southerly entrance landscaping to Soccer- Zone and that the plants were acceptable. However the petitioner needs to make sure that the islands drain. Either a drainage system needs to be provided and/or proper soils need to be added. She also stated she had received detail of the SoccerZone wall. Mr. Rogers stated even though it is off-premises, it would be nice to see these improvements done as part of the SoccerZone project, rather than wait for the Meadowbrook Run development to come in.


Member Hoadley stated there is quite a steep slope where the property adjoins the parking area for the other three buildings. He asked if the current slope was planned to be disturbed in any way.


Mr. Stein answered when the buildings were built, quite a lot of the cut from this site was put up, so there is almost a twelve foot fill which tapers out at about 100 feet. Mr. Stein stated they would have to remove a certain amount of that from under the building and recompact it for the foundation. The entire area would be lowered from what it is currently and they will cut some of it for the parking lot. In order to bring the road up and meet the required slopes on the banks, they would have a retaining wall from the corner on the side of the drive toward the building, approximately three feet high tapering to zero. Member Hoadley stated soil erosion has become a problem in the community in the process of development and he would like to see preventative measures so that there will not be any soil erosion onto the existing parking.


Mr. Bluhm stated the slope has been a concern and the plan has been in review for the slope as well as the grade across the site in trying to contain the erosion as it is developed. Mr. Bluhm stated he does not know if a soil erosion permit has been approved as of yet, but these are issues of concern that have been addressed.

Mr. Stein stated he submitted for the soil erosion permit and had made one revision. He believed it was down to some minor tweaking to finish it up. Mr. Stein spoke to the contractor and he anticipated that a screen type filter fence would be put around the entire site. Member Hoadley asked if there had been any consideration given to using a soil erosion blanket. Mr. Stein stated he was not that familiar with the blankets but he thought they were used after preliminary grading was done, prior to final grading and seeding.


Member Hoadley made a motion for SoccerZone, SP 96-11E to approve Final Site Plan subject to the discussion at the table and all of the consultants’ recommendations for Final Revised Site Plan Approval.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Final Site Plan for SoccerZone SP 96-11E subject to all of the consultants’ verbal and written comments and recommendations.


Member Vrettas commended both SoccerZone and the consultants with the way they used the present zoning and rules and regulations, showing when the procedure is followed and rules are used, the process can be done speedily and there is no need to rush when there is already a good system to work with. He commended both on teamwork showing the good neighbor policy.


Without any further discussion Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.





Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Chairperson Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington.

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Commission will recess for a period of ten minutes.





A Public Hearing for July 10, 1996 per the resolution from the Novi City Council.


Member Hodges stated she felt the resolution was not self explanatory. She was unclear as to what the City Council was asking of the Planning Commission other than they wanted to hold a Public Hearing. She asked Mr. Watson if a Public Hearing is required in order to act upon an Ordinance or can the City Council have a Public Hearing?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated that the procedure set-up, under the Zoning Enabling Statute and the Ordinance, that whenever there is a zoning map change or text change to the Ordinance, there is a requirement for a Public Hearing before it is done. This task, under the Ordinance, is then assigned to the Planning Commission.


Member Hodges asked what the options were as far as the resolution is concerned. Mr. Watson stated the Ordinance that establishes the Planning Commission lists the duties and responsibilities of the Commission. It also states that the Planning Commission shall pass upon all matters referred to it by the Council and give to the Council the benefit of its’ judgement as to such matters so referred. The essence of that, is so when Council requests the recommendation of the Planning Commission and passes judgement on matters that are being referred, the Planning Commission shall do so. The Council is directing the Planning Commission to do two things; (1) to conduct a Public Hearing on a Recreation Zone Ordinance and (2) to schedule a joint meeting so the Council can meet with the Planning Commission. Member Hodges stated she had a feeling that this was what was being done. Perhaps Council was unhappy with the process in which was being taken, but she did not feel that the Commission was usurping their duties. In regard to the joint meeting, she stated the Planning Commission has been requesting a joint meeting. The Planning Commission has means within the Ordinance to put in absolutely every type of facility that anyone could choose to bring into the City of Novi at this time.


Member Bonaventura commented that Mr. Kriewall spoke and was very clear on the action of Council on the resolution. He stated that Mr. Kriewall spoke about a specific site and time limits. Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Watson if there was anything wrong with writing an Ordinance for a specific site. Mr. Watson answered from his standpoint, the Ordinance was not being written for a specific site. Mr. Watson asked Mr. Rogers if he had done any drafts for a specific site?


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant answered that he had not. He stated this Ordinance could be applicable for all the City parks. Mr. Rogers stated this is a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance amendment, adding a new classification. If a site is selected, then a legal description and a Public Hearing, review by the Planning Commission and action by Council would have to happen after the immediate process of adopting a classification. It is a two-step process. Mr. Rogers stated it is only the text and is not site specific.


Mr. Watson added there are frequently text provisions in the Zoning Ordinance when they are being drafted. They are drafted with the fact that the particular district will only be appropriate in certain areas of the City, for example the Exposition District or the Conference District.


Member Bonaventura asked if there was anything wrong with developing an Ordinance that would only apply to one site through the provisions of the Ordinance. Mr. Watson stated it sometimes happens in unique districts.


Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers what the acreage of the site on eight mile was. Mr. Rogers answered just under 40 acres. Member Bonaventura asked what the proposed Ordinance was. Mr. Rogers answered 30 acres.


Mr. Watson commented that the 30 acres raised a question as to the number of different types of uses, he further commented that some of those uses are appropriate in different acreages, particularly passive parks. So when the draft comes before Planning Commission, an important point to consider would be the acreage may be significant as to the different types of uses that are permitted in a District.


Member Bonaventura restated his comments about the draft Ordinance. He stated Mr. Kriewall was very clear and very open and it was interesting that Council went as far as passing a resolution. He felt it also to be interesting that after two or three years there is going to be a joint meeting.


Member Vrettas apologized for putting his personal interests ahead of the City’s on Monday night by not watching the Council meeting. He stated he is at a disadvantage because he does not know what is going on and asked Mr. Watson to summarize what led up to this. Mr. Watson answered he was not at the Council meeting on Monday. Mr. Rogers stated he was at the Council meeting and stated some of the Council observed the Planning Commissions discussion on the Rec Ordinance. They were not misinformed, they knew that all nine of the Planning Commissioners had concerns. (The Council had been advised by the Administration that there was a possibility of a site that may not be there forever, it may not be the sight selected.) The Council was very concerned about the Planning Commissions input. Mr. Capote informed them if it were to be sent to Implementation Committee, it might not have priority and might be four months before it could be discussed. This possible delay was a concern to the Council. The Council was under the assumption that this would be discussed at the Planning Commission meeting of June 19, 1996. They knew there would be a meeting the following Wednesday with a single purpose agenda and further discussion on July 10, 1996. The Council went so far as to say they wouldn’t act on the Public Hearing until August 12, 1996. The Council felt this was adequate time to research, debate, fine tune and come up with alternatives. Mr. Rogers stated he would look at alternatives and discuss them in generalities. He felt the Council wanted the Planning Commission to act expeditiously. They felt that having four meetings to discuss the matter was enough and if this site on Eight Mile Road fits the bill there might be a major indoor/outdoor sports complex that would possibly be a public/private operation.


Member Vrettas stated he appreciated Mr. Rogers input, but he was still at a loss with some of the misconceptions that occurred. He stated it was discussed to send it to the Implementation Committee but the decision was reached that it was not going to go to Implementation and that the Planning Commission was going to take an entire Commission discussion on a special day. Member Vrettas stated he felt the Commission was acting expeditiously and doing what was expected of them.


Member Hoadley stated at the last meeting, the debate was whether or not there would be a Regular Meeting on July 3, 1996 or July 10, 1996. The consensus was there would be enough people in attendance to make a quorum on July 3 but maybe not on July 10. Member Hoadley asked if there was not a quorum, how could a Public Hearing be conducted? Chairperson Lorenzo answered that it has not come to that point yet, but if there is no quorum then obviously there cannot be a meeting where action is to be taken. Chairperson Lorenzo stated the point of the matter is that it is on the agenda as Item 3 to schedule a Special Joint Meeting with the City Council and also a Public Hearing for July 10, 1996. Furthermore, as Member Vrettas has stated, the Commission serves the Council. As Mr. Watson had pointed out, that a task of the Planning Commission is to hold Public Hearings. The Council cannot act on an Ordinance amendment until a Public Hearing has been conducted and the Council has directed the Planning Commission to hold a Public Hearing so they can do their job. Chairperson Lorenzo stated in order for the Council to do their job, the Planning Commission has to do their job and schedule a Public Hearing.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Watson if there was anything about the proposed Ordinance that cannot be done in existing zoning?


Mr. Watson answered before he started to work on the draft, he went through the Zoning Ordinance and tried to pick out every district in which some form of recreational use was permitted and advised that there were a lot of districts, including the residential districts and some industrial. Mr. Watson stated he did not feel they were all covered in existing districts. He did not have the draft in front of him, but he thought there were a number of things that were not covered elsewhere.


Mr. Rogers stated in the I-1 and I-2 Districts there is the situation of commercial private recreation facilities, but one may not have a permanent structure. Sanitary facilities can be in a permanent building, but there cannot be an indoor structure and one cannot be in the I-1 or I-2 in an area served by water and sewer facilities. Then there is the I-1 and I-2 District where it does not abut residential, which can be public or private. In the residential districts there may be all sorts of non-profit public recreation facilities. This recreation district would create a blend of public and/or private buildings, and/or open removable domes, indoor/outdoor pools, indoor/outdoor tennis courts, and by no means could these types of facilities be put on 30 acres.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers if the Council thought the Planning Commission was not acting responsibly by setting and devoting an entire night to review it. Mr. Rogers answered he did not say that, he was just reporting what he heard. The Council had no objection to the Planning Commission having a single item agenda on June 26, 1996. Initially, Council was going to ask the Planning Commission to have the hearing on July 3, 1996. Mr. Rogers then asked Mr. Cohen what the timing was in order to be on the July 3, 1996 Public Hearing. Mr. Cohen replied it would have had to be put out June 4 1996. It was agreed since the Planning Commission and Council had nothing on for July 10, 1996, the joint meeting would be scheduled for then.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she did not want to mispeak for the Council, but she thought the Council wanted the opportunity to do their job and act on it. Again, she stated that the Council cannot do their job until the Planning Commission does theirs by scheduling a Public Hearing. Chairperson Lorenzo again stated the substance of the Ordinance is not what is being discussed, but basically to schedule a Public Hearing and Special Meeting.


Member Weddington stated she thought before scheduling the Public Hearing the Planning Commissioners need to find out who will be available, as she may be out of town that week and cannot commit to July 10, 1996.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked how many would not be able to make the July 10, 1996 date.


Member Capello asked for a motion. Chairperson Lorenzo stated without knowing if anyone can attend she thought a motion may be premature for July 10, 1996 unless there will be a quorum.


Member Weddington and Member Hodges stated they may not be able to attend. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else may not be able to attend? Mr. Watson suggested this issue not be delayed, the Council has requested the Public Hearing to be conducted on that date. He suggested the Public Hearing be set for that date, if there is a quorum, the meeting will proceed, if a quorum cannot be attained, the meeting will not proceed. Chairperson Lorenzo asked to entertain a motion.




Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Special Joint Meeting with the City Council.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it has been moved and seconded to schedule a Special Joint Meeting with the City Council at which the Planning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing for the Recreation Ordinance on July 10, 1996. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was any discussion on the motion.


Member Bonavantura stated he did not have a problem with the time span that Council set. He stated the Planning Commission will do a good job in reviewing the Ordinance recommending the best type of Ordinance. The resolution specifically speaks of crafting an Ordinance for recreational development projects, Member Bonaventura stated he feels this may not be a good thing, however, he was still unsure.


Member Hodges asked Mr. Rogers or Mr. Watson if the third draft would be in the packets prior to the meeting. Mr. Rogers answered his third draft is being translated into legal form by Mr. Watson who is also inputting his suggestions for a better approach. Mr. Rogers stated he may have brief statements regarding alternative Ordinances and there would be material in the packets for the June 26, 1996 meeting.


Member Hodges asked what would be presented if the Public Hearing took place on July 10, 1996. Would it be what is concluded at the June 26, 1996 meeting or the third draft? Mr. Watson answered what is to be presented would be in the packets for the meeting of June 19, 1996, Mr. Rogers’ draft is finished along with comments regarding special land uses and it will be sent to Commissioners prior to the packet of June 19, 1996 to review. Mr. Rogers asked Mr. Cohen when the notice for the July 10, 1996 Public Hearing was to appear in the newspaper. Mr. Cohen answered he believed next Thursday, June 13, 1996. Mr. Rogers stated if the public wanted to look at the file, it would be available however, there may be refinements in the text of the Ordinance up to the date of the Public Hearing. After the Public Hearing there may be revisions to the text before it goes to the City Council on August 12, 1996.


Member Bononi responded to Member Bonaventura’s question by stating that it is not highly unusual for municipalities to craft Ordinances that speak to a specific item of interest and there is inherently nothing wrong with it. However, she stated she was concerned about the quality of the Ordinance and felt the quality in the Ordinance was not there. Her second concern was the fact that if the Planning Commission was just looking at an ordinary zoning ordinance to solve the problem, she was skeptical that the Ordinance that was wanted would come out of it. When specific, distinctive, or different land use instances are involved, there are other vehicles that can be used. She questioned if it had been looked into. If time permitted, she wanted the best that could be had. Member Bononi shared Member Hodges’ question regarding the fact that it was on this track.


Chairperson Lorenzo clarified some of Member Vrettas’ comments in terms that there have been no changes to the Master Plan and yet there is still consideration for a Recreation District. Chairperson Lorenzo stated if a Recreation District should be established, there would have to be a rezoning for any particular piece of property to be considered for that District. She stated there is a process and nothing has been changed at this point but it is something that is being considered. The Ordinance has to stand on its own and will apply to other sites within the City if it is established and it needs to be scrutinized. Chairperson Lorenzo stated her concern was also about a good District.


Member Vrettas disagreed by stating that if the Recreational zone is put into an area that has been zoned in the Master Plan as R-A, in his opinion, the Master Plan has been changed. Chairperson Lorenzo stated technically there is not an actual change made to the Master Plan.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there is nothing further she will ask Mr. Cohen to call the role, restating the motion is to schedule a Special Joint Meeting with the City Council at which the Planning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing for the Recreation District Ordinance on July 10, 1996.





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

No: None






Member Bonaventura made reference to a piece of property which was zoned R-A and because of the type of parcel it was, there was a limited amount of development space. It was down zoned to R-1 which went from eight (8) possible homes to be developed to sixteen (16). When the Cluster Option came into play it bumped the number up to thirty-two (32). It basically went from R-A to R-4 as far as the number of units and number of people. In the Cluster Option, R-A is not allowed to be used. Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers to give some history as to why R-A was taken out. He felt at the time it was drafted, the idea of one house per acre was undermined by the Cluster Option.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the R-A District was twice as big in minimum lot area as the next closest district, R-1 which is half an acre. It really does not lend itself to clustering under the present Ordinance and it was thought to be a lower density, more spatially designed district. It was felt that clustering was more appropriate in R-3 or R-4.

Member Bonaventura expressed concern about the possibility that R-1 does not necessarily lend itself to the Cluster Option. He stated he worked on the process when City Council was urged to omit the Adjusted Lot Size and came up with the Preservation Option. Member Bonaventura stated he was very comfortable with the Option, its’ wording, and the way the Option works. He stated concerns to the development to the west and north of the City requesting downzonings from R-A. The intent of R-A is homes and spacious lots, he felt the Cluster Option did not necessarily fit R-1. Member Bonaventura stated he would be open to comments regarding it. Member Bonaventura stated he sincerely believed the RUD Option and the Open Space Option should be eliminated and the Open Space minus R-1 and the Preservation Option should be the only Options. Member Bonaventura felt there were too many Options being offered and too much leeway being given as far as the rest of the development of the Community when it had been stated what was being looked for.


Member Vrettas stated the City of Novi is in a transition process but there was a time when the City needed all of the Options to attract development. Member Vrettas felt the City was past that stage and is now at a point where Novi is a place to live. He thought it should now be cleaned up and simplified.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the Cluster Option could be utilized under two different types of situations. One is where certain environmental conditions are found to exist, the other is a parcel of land abutting either a major thoroughfare or freeway of certain limited dimensions. The idea is to use the Cluster Option for oddball parcels that otherwise might not be utilized for residential use.


Member Hoadley stated he had some mixed feelings about the Cluster Option. He felt in some instances it is excellent, because it provided extra preservations which he felt should go with any increase in density and open space planning does not allow any more density. It would decrease density as to what would normally be allowed under its current zoning. It requires a great deal more preservation, not only for wetlands and woodlands, but also for meadowlands. Member Hoadley felt Cluster Optioning and Open Space Planning went hand-in-hand in that density was not increased, but preservation was.

Chairperson Lorenzo stated she felt there were places for the Cluster Option. One location is the Beckenham, which is a prime example of where a Cluster Option would actually have preserved more of the upland woodlands than the Preservation Option did with a single-family residential. This is one instance where she would have preferred the Cluster Option over the Preservation Option. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was not sure that the Cluster Option gave the option as much as it should. She felt if the applicant comes in with a Cluster Option and meets the criteria they are in, the only difference she would like to see is that it be more discretionary on the part of the City to determine whether or not the Cluster Option should be utilized in addition to the criteria. Chairperson Lorenzo also stated she was not sure if the wetlands should be counted as part of the fifty percent since they are already regulated and unbuildable.


Mr. Rogers proposed in the Zoning Ordinance update, the elimination of all the regulated wetlands, including the Cluster Option, similar to the Preservation Option. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would be very supportive, if the wetlands were to be excluded from qualifying and if some kind of a mechanism was used to give the City more discretion in terms of where it is used.


Member Bonaventura stated he appreciated everyones comments and as far as he was concerned, any changes to the Cluster Option would be good. He stated he was very pleased with whoever drafted it and saw fit not to include R-A. Member Bonaventura also stated someday he would like someone to review the RUD and the Open Space to see if they are necessary in the community any more.






Member Hoadley spoke about the consultant recommendation format, he encouraged the Consultants and Planning Department to offer more alternatives. He stated he still did not see the necessity to actually say, "he recommends." He would prefer to see that "it meets" or "does not meet" the Ordinance and some of the ideas discussed might be used by the Planning Commission in their deliberations in approving or not approving projects. Member Hoadley felt recommendations were important for rezoning. He questioned whether the format needed to be continued, stating that he would like to see it eliminated.

Member Vrettas disagreed with Member Hoadley and he thought it was a form of accountability that should be held to anyone that the City contracts to service. Member Vrettas supported the fact that the consultants were willing to take an objective and professional stand even if it is an unpopular position. Member Vrettas again stated he disagreed with Member Hoadley, but he thought it was a good system. Member Vrettas liked the fact that the consultants were willing to step up and state what they stand for.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any other comments. Seeing no one she moved to the next item.









Member Bononi thanked the members of the Planning Commission and The City of Novi for affording her the opportunity to attend the Watershed Management Conference at Burton Manor in Livonia on May 3, 1996 that was held by the Michigan Water Environment Association. She stated it was a good opportunity for her to reiterate and confirm issues of water quality management and apply them to her new home State of Michigan. She stated the seminar began by stating the commitment to the best management policies for storm water management and then defined what storm water management is. The conference allowed questions to be asked and the ability to network with each other to find out what government, engineers and all the other participants were doing in their particular municipalities. It was explained that the watershed concept had not been as strongly emphasized in the state as has the area of jurisdiction. In other words, splitting up areas of storm water management according to municipal boundary, as opposed to watershed simply being that area of land that catches rain as it drains to a marsh, stream, river, lake and then becomes ground water. Water quality and watersheds work hand-in-hand. On it’s way to the lowest point, water travels over surfaces or seeps into land and becomes ground water, as it travels it can pick up soil and pollutants along the way and thats where the City comes into play.


She stated we must be concerned about water quality in our City because water is a finite resource. Many questions were given at the seminar to think about and share with everyone. One question raised was, what is the current City wide percentage of impervious area? Water quality decreases as percentage of impervious area City wide increases. Temperature of water increases and water decreases as that temperature rises as a result of having an overabundance of impervious area. There are some goals that can be looked at from the standpoint of stating what the commitment to water quality in the City is. The most important goal can be the avoidance of waterlogging or dumping of storm water where it stands for extended periods of time. Secondly, utilizing best management practices to control run-off. Thirdly, require a twenty-five year storm minimum event design standard by Ordinance and require an Ordinance that states that zero percent of run-off will be tolerated for developments. Limit construction in flood hazard zones by Ordinance and begin to instigate a watershed management plan according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Furthermore, a developing community storm water management plan should be updated every five years.


The watershed concept is a comprehensive and systematic approach to balance how the needs of people and developers impact water quality. An important part of the concept is control of erosion and sedimentation and the priority is to contain water on-site, not to dump it elsewhere. If it is being dumped somewhere else, chances are in most cases, it is taking soil from the site and at the point when soil leaves the site, we have failed because we have affected water quality in a negative way. Erosion at road stream crossings is the single largest sediment pollution contributor in the state of Michigan. Member Bononi believes that the wetland and watercourse regulations in the City of Novi, should be updated to address this. The number of culvert replacements to require a wetland permit misses the point if there are erosion and sedimentation problems. City wide education systems should be conducted to enlighten developers that raw soil will not be tolerated either on a single-family homesite or by a developer. Member Bononi also stated she obtained a video from the Watershed Conference and if anyone would like to look at it, she would be happy to share it with them.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen if Member Bononi were willing to loan the documents from the conference to the Planning Commission, would copies be able to be made and distributed to the Commissioners? Mr. Cohen answered yes.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any questions or comments for Member Bononi.

Member Hoadley stated he also attended the Watershed Conference and was also impressed. He reported on one new item, a blanket, which in regard to detaining water does not pose a threat to erosion. Currently the City does not require one, but it does require a soil erosion fence which frequently breaks down and if not replaced promptly, can result in damage. A blanket is almost fool-proof and once in place, it does a good job according to the video shown and testimony heard. Another item was a bag that is used in storm drainage. In the actual area where the water is going into a pipe, there is a bag that can be put into the grate while under development that will catch all of the sediment and is easily disposable. The bag stops the sediment from getting into the ecosystem right from the beginning. Member Hoadley stated it might be a good idea to do whatever is necessary to change the Site Plan Manual or procedures to look at these new ideas that help to reduce these concerns in the future.

Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney suggested whenever anyone is made aware of some new technology or something that might improve the manner in which items like that are controlled, the information should be provided to Mr. Bluhm so he can look at it as part of the ongoing review that is done as a design and construction standard. Amendments are appropriate... Member Hoadley interjected, it is in the video.


Greg Capote, Staff Planner stated it may be helpful for the Commission to put something together in the form of a motion thus forwarding concerns and suggestions from both Commissioners Bononi and Hoadley to the Storm Water Management Committee as they are currently working on the design and engineering construction standards.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To forward to Storm Water Management Committee.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it has been moved and seconded to take the discussion in terms of the Watershed Conference from Member Bononi and Member Hoadley and forward it to the Storm Water Management Committee. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was any discussion on the motion, seeing none she asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to report on any workshops or seminars that they have had the opportunity to sit in on, seeing no one she moved onto Audience Participation.







Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, commented that he felt that the Cluster Option is rarely used, however he felt it is a great legal safety valve which gives the City the opportunity to use the Cluster Option on parcels that are undevelopable. Mr. Mutch stated he thought it was an excellent tool to have if rarely used. He also commented on Member Hoadley’s comments regarding Open Space Zoning. He stated he had always been supportive of the R-A zoning concept and density designs however, he realized more and more how a wall-to-wall city of subdivision streets was being created. There is no open space within the communities and he felt the vision where there are broad spaces of community recreation, areas of habitat that work together were not being created. It is great to have areas come in where there can be some preservation, but if it cannot be connected with the other areas by creating a broader green space, then it is just creating everything that we abhor in communities. Mr. Mutch suggested that other options should be looked at where density is not increased, but smaller lot sizes are allowed. He further suggested constructing new public park areas where there is greater habitat preservation and create a green fabric through the area.


Seeing no one else, Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Audience Participation and entertained a motion to adjourn.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Novi Planning Commission at 10:55 p.m.





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

No: None






Steven Cohen

Planning Aide


Transcribed by Diane H. Vimr

June 18, 1996


Date Approved: 7/17/96