(810) 347-0475


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


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Churella, Hoadley, Chairperson Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Capello, Markham


ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Staff Planner Steven Cohen








Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any additions or changes the Agenda? Member Churella stated he would like to pass out a synopsis of the conference he attended in Lansing last week. Member Hoadley added under Matters for Discussion, Item 2, budgeted seminars, but not scheduled. Chairperson Lorenzo added Seminars and Budget as Item 2. Member Hoadley also added City of Northville rezoning as Item 3. Chairperson Lorenzo added it as Item 3 under Matters for Discussion. She also added Item 5 under Matters for Consideration, to schedule and Executive Session before the next Planning Commission Meeting on October 16, 1996 at 6:00 p.m. She stated if there are no other changes or additions, the chair will entertain a motion to approve the Agenda as amended.





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





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None









Dave Gillam, 21809 Shadybrook, Vice President of Whispering Meadows Homeowners Association spoke in regard to Ramada Limited of Novi. He stated he has met with the property owners to resolve the dispute about the applicability and the specifics of the deed restrictions. He stated some of the issues have been resolved, and some of them have not. One major issue that remains is whether or not a hotel is as such permitted in the area, under the covenants and restrictions. He stated it continues to be discussed. He has received a new proposal from the property owners regarding the use of the site, which he has not had a chance to review as of yet. He stated a general membership meeting is being scheduled to address the issue. In addition, he stated one of the residents has written to the Planning Commission asking for some clarification as to what the Zoning Ordinance means. He emphasized to the Commission, the importance of the issue to the Whispering Meadows Homeowners Association, and asked the Commission to table the matter to allow some additional time to explore a possible resolution with the property owners.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one she closed the Audience Participation announcing there will be a second after the mid-point break and a third before adjournment.





In Member Capello’s absence, Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to read the Correspondence.


Mr. Cohen announced he has received a letter from Dan Davis, Director of Parks and Recreation which he believed Mr. Davis would address later in the meeting.


Lee Mamola of Mamola Associates Architects who represents Novi Industrial Properties. The letter is of objection to Zoning Map Amendment 18.599 as proposed. The owners of the Novi Industrial Properties and the Isuzu site have agreed to withdraw their opposition, provided that their property is allowed to develop and utilize as if the property did not abut residentially zoned property.


Seven petitions were received from the Briarwood Village Subdivision. The petition states that they are objecting the proposed rezoning and building plans for the northwest corner of Ten Mile Road and Beck Road. They also object to the Kroger complex being pushed through and wish the Commission to consider all matters when discussing the zoning issue.

Nancy Janik wrote in regard to the Ramada. It states the history of Joe Gerak’s property. One main point that was addressed was the OSC Zoning Ordinance. Certain uses in the OSC Ordinance were not identified, they need to be clarified. Ms. Janik recommended the OSC Ordinance could be looked at by the Implementation Committee.











Property located south of Nine Mile Road, east of Roethel Drive for possible City initiated rezoning from Light Industrial District (I-1) to One-Family Residential District (R-2) or any other appropriate district.


Dan Davis stated he was before the Commission a few weeks ago, requesting a Public Hearing as required under the Ordinance. He stated he is looking to address it as a total 17 acre rezoning issue. Subsequent to that, he stated there were some inquiries from Mr. Mamola who represents the industrial property to the west and north, stating that it may infringe upon their future development issues. Mr. Davis stated in review of this concern, it is being looked at, for a way to work more cooperatively with the business community and still meet the initiatives of the development of Rotary Park. He stated it has been looked at, to reduce and modify the request for the rezoning of the full 17 acres and take a section of the property where the primary development activities will be. This will entail the extent of the development area. He stated there are a couple of issues that need to be dealt with from a Site Plan review process. Mr. Davis stated, proposed is a reduced modification to the rezoning to follow the mapping provided in the packets to take the city initiated rezoning from an I-1 District to an R-2 District.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant, stated the area for rezoning is part of the overall Rotary Park area which includes a waste water retention reservoir site in the process of being transferred from Oakland County, to the City. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends the site for Community Park use except for the waste water reservoir site on the south side. The surrounding uses are residential to the east and south, industrial to the west and north. Nine Mile Road is classified as a Minor Arterial Road on the Master Plan. Mr. Rogers recommended the rezoning.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated based on some recent changes in the City, comments and comparisons of trip generations will be provided as a part of rezoning applications. Mr. Arroyo stated the actual number of acres being developed is about 4 acres. Based upon trip generation, there are approximately 75 trips per day anticipated to be generated by a development of this size. If the City were to develop all 17 acres included in the rezoning, there is an estimate of approximately 135 trips per day. In comparison to the existing zoning which is I-1, a 223,000 sq. ft. office building could be built on a 17 acre site which would yield over 2,500 trips per day. There is a substantial difference in trip generation compared to what the existing zoning might allow if the entire site were developable. If the subject were to be developed residential, 34 units could be placed on the 17 acre site, generating about 380 trips per day. Mr. Arroyo stated regardless of whether it is developed as a park or residential development, there will be substantially less trip generation from the proposal before the Commission.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it is a Public Hearing and opened it up to the Public.


Lee Mamola asked the Commission to support the downsizing of the rezoning request. At the southwest corner of Roethel Drive and Ashbury Drive there are several parcels that will also be affected by the rezoning. He hoped there would not be a need to seek variances because of the fact that there will be residential property immediately to the west.

Tom Fry, acting President of the Novi Rotary. He stated if industrial is put next to this development, the City might be enforced to buffer the two areas. He stated it does not make sense to him. He stated it does self-sufficiently buffer itself from residential.


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 Vrettas asked Mr. Davis if he is comfortable with the downsize version of the proposal?


Mr. Davis answered yes, he would be comfortable with that as me mentioned in his letter, there are two issues that will need to be dealt with, the berming and the walkways.


Member Vrettas commended Mr. Davis and the Parks and Recreation Department for the way they have handled the issue, being a good neighbor.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Davis who the applicant is?


Mr. Davis answered the applicant is the City.


Member Bononi asked who owns the property?


Mr. Davis answered the City of Novi, and added that the Oakland County Commissioners did approve the transfer of the sewer treatment reservoir area and that property is being transferred to the city as well.


Member Bononi asked what the actual area of the zone change that is proposed?


Mr. Davis believed it to be approximately 4 to 5 acres in size.


Member Bononi stated her confusion was because she saw an area of 17.04.


Mr. Davis stated 17 acres is the full frontage as it continues all the way up to Nine Mile Road. This is what was originally advertised.


Member Bononi asked if the area shown on the map comprises the 4+ acres? She also asked if sanitary sewage water and power are available to the site?


Mr. Davis answered yes.


Member Bononi asked if there is also a wetlands designation and a stream crossing on the parcel?


Mr. Davis answered yes there are.


Member Hoadley did not understand where the downsized area was on the map and asked Mr. Davis to show it on the large map. He then asked Mr. Rogers if the revised rezoning map had the correct legal description on it?


Mr. Rogers stated he did not check it as he has not even seen the map.


Member Hoadley then stated if the Commission approves it, it must be subject to a revision in the legal description.


Mr. Arroyo stated legal description is correct on the revised map.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Davis to point out the property in question that abuts the property to be rezoned, he stated as Mr. Mamola indicated there might be a problem and it might need to be buffered. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers if approval is recommended and the lot is developed with a road buffering it, will this intrude on that petitioner in the future site plan?


Mr. Rogers stated it is R-4 today which will require the buffering. In reference to Ashbury Drive, he stated he would have to check the Ordinance. Mr. Rogers stated he has met with the developer of the four lots. This may be a single unit and under the present Ordinance, there is a 60' and a 5 on 1 setback relationship on the south. The lots are about 300' deep.


Member Hoadley stated he was not concerned about what was on the south because it does not come into play. He stated we are talking about the rezoning of a property that might come into play and inhibit any future growth in an industrial zoning.


Mr. Rogers couldn’t think of any specific requirements. He stated there would not be any berms or extraordinary setback requirements. There may be a requirement of overhead loading doors which would have to be located on the rear lot line or on an internal side lot line.


Member Hoadley stated all he wanted to know was if the property is rezoned, will it in any way intrude on the four lots as far as development is concerned.


Mr. Rogers stated he does not believe so, however he is not certain and he will have to research it.


Member Hoadley asked Dennis Watson if there is anything that the Commission should do to protect the adjacent property owner?


Mr. Watson suggested asking Mr. Rogers to conduct research prior to the time that it goes before the City Council and comment on it, making the Council aware that it was an issue of concern of the Planning Commission.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the reduced rezoning area for Map Amendment 18.599 Rotary Park.







Member Hoadley asked if the motion should be subject to Mr. Rogers research of the question he just raised?


Mr. Watson answered it can either be included in the motion or it can be requested of Mr. Rogers.


Mr. Rogers stated he would prepare a memorandum for the City Council packet.





Yes: Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi

No: None




An Ordinance to add a preamble to Chapter 28 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to amend Section 28-6 of said Code and to amend subsection 28-8(4) of said Code, to state the intent and purpose of said Chapter, to amend the regulation of the type, number, and placement of signs and to revise the Code provisions regulating the placement of flags for possible recommendation to City Council.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the changes to the Sign Ordinance have been through the Ordinance Review Committee and the Town Center Steering Committee. They pertain to issues that have arisen in the Town Center area. In particular, the proposals to do a Main Street project to recreate a downtown atmosphere. Mr. Watson touched on the main changes. 1) Projecting signs. Currently the Ordinance does not allow projecting signs, as opposed to wall signs. It was felt by the Ordinance Review Committee that there was some justification to allow projecting signs in the Town Center area. Because of the narrower atmosphere, there is a greater difficulty for visibility of a traditional wall sign. The signs are limited to 10 sq. ft. in area, the wall sign must be reduced by the size of the projecting sign, corner businesses which are traditionally permitted to have a sign on either side can only have a single projecting sign. 2) Common style rule relates to businesses occupying a single building. The current Ordinance requires a typical shopping center to use a common sign type, which relates to free standing letters or the box type. It was thought that in the attempt to recreate the downtown atmosphere, this type of sign was contrary to what is trying to be achieved from a planning standpoint. Typically in addition to having individual signs, there is also a shopping center sign. If this type of sign is used, there will not be a separate business center sign. 3) Rear entrance signs. The current Ordinance limits rear entrance signs to 2 sq. ft. because in a typical business, the only use of this entrance is from the employees, police, fire or other emergency personnel. The Main Street concept, with the reduced front setbacks, will eliminate front yard parking. There will be large rear yard parking and the rear entrances will probably become the primary entrances, therefore, there is a change that states if the majority of the off-street traffic is behind the building, a larger rear entrance sign will be permitted up to 18 sq. ft. 4) Definition of "parcel of land". Separate parcels are allowed separate signs. The definition has been modified to prevent the use of separate condominium units to increase the number of permitted signs. Mr. Watson stated the Ordinance has received the recommendation of the Ordinance Review Committee and the Town Center Steering Committee.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he is in concurrence with the comments of Mr. Watson. He stated it accommodates both sides of the street, improves the flexibility of the Main Street area and recognizes the rear entrance to the stores.


Mr. Watson added there were discussions regarding other types of sign changes. There was thought given to eliminating window, neon, rooftop and other signs that are not currently allowed in the Ordinance. After these items were discussed, it was not felt that any one of them could be recommended, therefore, none of them are included in the draft.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced it is a Public Hearing and opened the Matter up to the Public. Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Hoadley was concerned about the reduction of signage on the face of the buildings. He stated customers who try to park their vehicles and identify a business will create a potential traffic hazard if the normal size of the sign is reduced. Member Hoadley felt it was too restrictive and should be considered further before a recommendation is made. He stated with some stores having two or three doors at the store front, one sign would seem to be intrusive and might defeat what is trying to be accomplished on Main Street. Finally, he stated several years ago, the city approved an overlying zoning called a PUD in two locations of the city. At the time the contract was signed, they did not address the Sign Ordinance. In one of the locations, there is 10 acres designated to be commercial use (B-3), however, when it is developed, the underlying zoning is still R-A which does not permit any signage. He stated that any business that wants to locate in that commercial area will have to go to the ZBA for a variance. He stated this was intrusive and counterproductive to development. Member Hoadley suggested since the Sign Ordinance was being revised, adding something to allow the city to approve signage Administratively, for the two PUD’s based on whatever the overlying zoning would normally allow.


Mr. Watson suggested signs in the PUD be referred to the Ordinance Review Committee.


Member Hoadley stated it will then be another revision that will be sent to City Council. He thought it could be added to the current revision and taken care of all at once.


It was Mr. Watson’s feeling that it would take some study and looking at, as to how the Sign Ordinance impacts those types of properties and will have to be reviewed by more than just the Planning Commission. He commented on the issue of the reduction of signage. Some of the factors that lead to the conclusion of the reduction of the wall sign was that generally the Sign Ordinance is a conservative ordinance. In the area where the projecting signs would be allowed, generally, people are not going to be in their vehicles and those that are, it is a very narrow space where they are not be a great distance from the wall signs. He also stated there will be a reduced speed limit. Given these factors, it will not be that difficult for people in vehicles to be able to spot the signs and businesses.


Member Weddington stated if the majority of the parking is located in the rear of the businesses, the sign in the rear will address the issue of people being able to find the business and park close to it.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (4-2): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Ordinance 96-18 Town Center Sign Ordinance.





Member Bononi agreed with Member Weddington in regard to the composite area being proposed for the projected signs and the buildings signs. She stated in comparing them with ordinances that she is accustomed to working with, she feels they are more than generous and they exceed most areas of the combined signs for each use. She did not believe that more area should be called for. She commented on page 4, in reference to ground signs at gasoline stations. She stated 40 sq. ft. is much more generous than needed and 30 sq. ft. would be the maximum she would look for. She also commented on page 8, part 4, in regard to flags. She expressed concern about the American flag being used as a sign, in other words, being used to attract attention to a particular use. She was concerned with the language of the Ordinance in item 4 and item 1, which talks about the number of flags allowed. She stated it was not clear as to the number of flag poles that are allowed and the maximum height of a pole that is allowed. Through speaking with a flag and banner expert, she stated the standard American flag for normal outside use is 3' x 5' and goes up to 6' x 10' to an 8' x 12' which is 96 sq. ft. If the maximum allowed is 72 sq. ft., she believed this would be a visual intrusion. Member Bononi stated the maximum allowed should be a 6' x 10' flag. A maximum height needs to be proposed as well as looking at prohibiting more than one flag pole per site, per American flag. She also expressed concern with "open" flags and how many would be allowed per site if at all. She referred to page 9, item 3 which states, "flags shall be permitted without limitation at any single-family residence and at any apartment dwelling when located within an area leased to a resident and not within a Common Area." She was also concerned about the number of flag poles or whether or not they should be permitted in single-family residences.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (4-2): To amend the main motion.





Member Churella stated he cannot support Member Bononi on the amendment. He expressed strong feelings in regard to the limitation of the size of an American flag.


Member Bononi responded, stating that she was expressing her concern of the American flag being used as a sign. She stated she was not talking about the display of a flag. She explained she was speaking of businesses who use the symbol of our country as an attention-getting device, this was the only reason for her comment.


Member Vrettas stated he resents it when someone uses the American flag for their own selfish purposes rather than representing the country. He stated he was in support of Member Bononi.


Member Churella again stated he was not in support of the motion and stated he will be voting against it.

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers about the normal size, in regard to the square footage of a service station sign?


Mr. Rogers stated review of compliance with the Sign Ordinance is not reviewed at this level. He stated there is a strict Sign Ordinance rule, there can be no signage on the canopy, one sign is allowed on the corner, 40 sq. ft. of message units on a free standing sign. If the applicant has this, there can be no signage on the face of the building.


Member Hoadley stated this is why he would be opposed to changing what is already in the Zoning Ordinance because he did not feel that 40 sq. feet for one corner sign is intrusive. He supported Member Churella In regard to flags. He felt it was going a step too far, overstepping the civil rights of people. Member Hoadley stated before a positive recommendation is made, he felt the need to become more informed in regard to the height of flag poles. He stated he will not support the amendment because he felt there was not enough information.





Yes: Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi

No: Hoadley, Churella





Yes: Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi

No: Churella, Hoadley






Property located west of Haggerty Road, between Eight Mile Road and Nine Mile Road for possible Revised Preliminary Site Plan and Revised Woodland Permit approvals.


Member Churella requested to be excused on the amendment because he has purchased the property abutting the parcel in question.


Mr. Watson clarified the reason Member Churella is requesting to abstain is because he would have a direct financial interest in the outcome of the vote. Mr. Watson stated abstention is appropriate and Member Churella will be excusing himself during this item.


George Norberg stated the plan is the same as presented at the last meeting with the exception of modifications relative to storm water detention and traffic circulation. With regard to storm water detention, he stated it has been looked at to provide additional detention areas. He pointed out two detention basins to try to lessen the impact on the parking lot. He stated there will still be parking lot detention required, however, the two basins will handle approximately 1/3 as well as the piping systems under the parking lot which will lower the level, the deepest points in the parking lot will be 7-8 inches deep. A temporary sediment basin will be constructed prior to any work on the site. All of the storm water will be diverted into it. This basin will remain until all construction is complete and will be removed when landscaping is installed. After landscaping is installed, the pipes that run into and out of the basin will be abandoned and the water will be allowed to flow with the standard gas and oil separator and cobblestone spillway. In regard to traffic circulation, the aisle under the canopy area, he stated it has been widened out to 28' which is the with of a standard public roadway. He stated all Ordinance requirements are met and he has received positive recommendations from all of the Consultants.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant the application data has been updated. It reflects 81 rooms and a 3 story building. The only application data that is missing is a sidwell number which will be applied as soon as the parcel division is completed, this will be a requirement prior to Final Site Plan approval. The applicant meets the Ordinance requirements on setbacks, parking, green space and loading/unloading. It was Mr. Rogers opinion that the use of the cementitious E.I.F.S. material, face brick and metal material complies with Section 2520 of the Ordinance. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Mr. Rogers stated Linda Lemke has reviewed the plan with Chris Pargoff. He referred to her letter dated September 23, 1996, she states the revised plans contain all required application data as asked for in her previous letter. The replacement trees have been located at the edge of the area proposed for clearing, to place the sanitary line which will also provide some additional screening to the west. She continued to recommend approval for a Woodland Permit with the standard six (6) conditions. The only condition was that Mr. Rogers and Ms. Lemke will have the right to review the final engineering plans and the grading, with JCK for any last minute woodlands impact.


David Bluhm of JCK stated that Mr. Norberg has detailed out most of the changes to the detention area that is seen in the greenspace areas. He commented he would like to see at the time of Final Site Plan, that they explore lowering the rim elevation in those basins to try to pick up some additional storage in those locations. He stated one benefit from detaining in the greenspace area is that the flow will first run into those basins and only in severe storms, will storm water be heading out into the parking area. In regard to the sedimentation basin, it is temporary and will be removed once the site is stabilized. Mr. Bluhm noted the property that the sedimentation basin is on, will have to have a temporary easement for those purposes, prior to the approval of Final Site Plan.


Mr. Bluhm reviewed Sue Tepatti’s review of the plans. He stated there is no change from her perspective. The sedimentation provides an additional buffer to the wetland area during construction which she sees as a benefit. Ms. Tepatti continues to recommend approval of the plan.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there were minor changes made to the internal circulation. He recommended approval subject to a detailed review of the improvements to Haggerty Road at the time of Final Site Plan.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has received a letter from Chris Pargoff, City Forester, which states his office concurs with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant, Linda Lemke. This office may require additional bonding for trees that may not survive the building process. In addition, a $5,000 bond for fence maintenance will be required on this project. An environmental Pre-Construction meeting must be held before any clearing and grubbing takes place.


She also stated she has received a letter from Andy Pless, City of Novi Fire Marshal which indicates the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated before she turns the Matter over to the Commission, she would like to respond to some questions that the public has raised both in their verbal comments and through their letters. She asked Mr. Rogers why, in the OST, are the particular uses under O, S, and C not defined and clarified? She also asked which category does the hotel fall under?


Mr. Rogers stated a portion of the property is zoned OSC, as it comes closer to Whispering Meadows, the property becomes OS-1. In an OSC District, as a permitted use forthwith, is a transiant residential use such as a hotel/motel, facilities used primarily for transiant occupancy. He stated it falls someplace in between Service District and Commercial District. It is a business for profit but also a service for conventions, training sessions and for the public. Retail/Commercial business uses are special land uses under 1202 of the Article which has limitations on square footage and percentage of total office park site.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if Mr. Rogers believed there would be merit in sending it to the Implementation Committee to further define?


Mr. Rogers stated the last time it was considered, was to put a cap on the square footage of retail, in an OSC District and the phrase, "Retail/Commercial business uses other than restaurants serving the convenience and comparison shopping needs of the area." Mr. Rogers concern was in regard to defining it a little sharper.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if the Commission so desires to refer the matter to the Implementation Committee for further clarification, she will leave it to their discretion.


Chairperson Lorenzo turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Hoadley asked Mr. Norberg if the canopy area was being reduced in size?


Mr. Norberg answered no, the driveway under the canopy area was 22' in the previous plan and has now been increased to 28'.


Member Hoadley asked what the proposed distance was for the excel/decel lanes?


Mr. Norberg answered there is a center turn lane configuration which is being extended from Extended Stay America. The Extended Stay deceleration taper is 25' which will be attached to a 100' lane and extend across the front of the site, 25' beyond the approach and then a 100' taper.


Member Hoadley asked if the facade plan is similar to Extended Stay?


Mr. Norberg answered he was not sure and stated Mr. Rogers would probably know better.


Mr. Rogers stated he cannot comment on Extended Stay America. He did however, state they both comply with the Ordinance and they both have a degree of brick.


Member Hoadley asked if the roof color was green and what was the material?


Dennis Rogman, answered simulated standing seam, and the color is teal.










Moved by Hoadley, seconded by none, MOTION DIES DUE TO LACK OF SUPPORT





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by none, MOTION DIES DUE TO LACK OF SUPPORT


Mr. Watson asked if it is tabled, will it be put back on an Agenda at a given time?


Member Vrettas answered it would be for about 60 days.


Mr. Watson asked what is to be accomplished during this time? He stated there were no Commissioners who suggested anything that needs to be clarified on the plan. The only suggestion to the issue of tabling the matter has come from a member of the audience who suggested this be done in order for the applicant to further discuss the matter with residents. Mr. Watson stated as he mentioned last time, this is not an appropriate reason to table the matter and if the Commission has a reason for tabling the matter, he asked that it be made explicitly a part of the motion.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Bluhm if the changes that have been made to the plan, as presented, help the overall area in terms of water management and flood control, and how do they work with neighboring proposals?


Mr. Bluhm answered the improvements are to help their storm water site control. From a storage point of view, there is really no additional benefit to properties beyond where the water outlets. The sedimentation basin will provide some benefit to the downstream area of the wetland in helping to protect it more from sediment. The sediment basin will help off-site areas slightly.


Member Weddington asked if it should be made a permanent improvement rather than just a temporary one?


Mr. Bluhm answered, no. It has always been the feeling of JCK that sedimentation in these areas is a construction related activity. Once the construction has been completed and the paving is done and the areas have been vegetated, there is very little sedimentation off the site. At that point, water quality becomes the biggest issue. Oil and gas separators will provide the bulk of the benefit from a long term prospective.


Member Weddington asked if the separators will be permanent improvements?


Mr. Bluhm answered, yes.


Member Weddington asked if he feels this will adequately protect the water quality on an ongoing permanent basis?


Mr. Bluhm answered, yes, the oil and gas separators will provide the benefit that is necessary.


Member Weddington stated that was her major concern, besides the appearance in the plans that there was very little space for landscaping. She stated she was very concerned about paving, in the city, the more impervious material that is installed, the more it impacts the water management, overall.


Mr. Rogers stated under the present Ordinance, the applicant does meet the internal green space, however, in the Zoning Ordinance update, the requirements are being increased substantially.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Norberg in regard to the detention area that is proposed at the portico, how will the capacity of the detention area affect the depth of water that will flood the parking lot during a storm event:?


Mr. Norberg answered, it will reduce the height of the water. He stated the Cities’ requirement allows a 12" maximum depth which usually occurs directly over the catch basins. He stated he hopes to store approximately 1/3 possibly more by lowering the catch basins which would equate to a 1/3 reduction or more, in the depth.


Member Bononi asked how or will the salt, and its’ entrance into the wetlands, be accommodated for?


Mr. Norberg answered he did not know of anything that would relieve that problem.


Member Bononi asked if he had any idea how close he would be to the nearest single-family dwelling?



Mr. Norberg answered approximately 800 to 1,000 feet, he did not have a map that showed it. He stated it was discussed during the Extended Stay development.


Member Bononi felt that applications such as this one have a minimum adherence to the Ordinance regarding storm water management and impact on wetlands. She stated the application leaves a lot to be desired from the standpoint of management practices, however, the Ordinance allows such projects and it is up to the Commission to revisit the Ordinances to see that these things are positively changed. She stated she was disappointed in the engineers, Ramada and the Commission in that the Ordinances are not more stringent. She believed the thrifty approach to development does not speak well for the city, however, being that the Ordinances allow this development she reluctantly moves to approve the site plan.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Revised Preliminary Site Plan and Revised Woodland Permit for Ramada Limited of Novi SP96-28A.





Member Hoadley stated if Member Bononi thinks he likes the plan, he does not. He stated at the last meeting that there is too much project for the land. He stated he voted to table the matter at the last meeting in the hopes that the applicant would require more land or come back with a better plan, but it is allowed by the Ordinances and this was the reason for his motion in the first place. He stated he did not see where the Commission had a lot of choice at this point in time and Member Bononi made an excellent point that a lot of the Ordinances need to be revisited and brought up to date. He stated he would support the motion, however, he really does not want to.


Member Vrettas also stated he will be in support of the motion out of a commitment to the fact that the responsibility of the Commission are that when the requirements are fulfilled, it must be approved. He explained his reasoning for not seconding Member Hoadley’s motion was because of his concern with the "good neighbor" policy. He encouraged Ramada to speak with the homeowners.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm who’s responsibility is it to maintain the gas and oil separator so that it functions properly?


Mr. Bluhm answered, it is the property owners responsibility.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked, through his experience, have there been problems with its’ maintenance in the past?


Mr. Bluhm answered there is a regular maintenance program in city owned utilities, and he believed Bruce Jerome’s office also has a program set up for privately owned oil and gas separators to make sure they are functioning properly. Beyond this, he stated he cannot speak on the issue.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Commission has any discretion to either incorporate a maintenance program into this or require some other type of water quality measures before it enters the wetlands.


It was Mr. Watson’s recollection that the design and construction standards require these to be maintained and the city is to be provided with a record of maintenance activities on an annual basis. He suggested making a condition of approval, that the applicant provide the cities’ consulting engineers with a record of the maintenance of the oil and gas separators on an annual basis.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the Commission has the discretion also to require the temporary sedimentation basin to be made permanent into a water quality basin?


Mr. Watson stated he cannot answer because he did not know what the design and construction standards require.


Mr. Bluhm answered temporary sedimentation basins and sedimentation basins are not a part of the current design and construction standards ordinances.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked other than a gas and oil separator, there is nothing else in the design and construction standards that incorporate best management practice and consider water quality?


Mr. Bluhm answered, not at this time.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Hoadley




Yes: Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Hoadley, Lorenzo

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission will take a brief recess.






Nancy Janik stated she submitted a letter which was read during the Correspondence portion of the meeting. She clarified that she was asking the Commission to send the matter of Office Service Commercial property on Haggerty Road to whichever committee needed, to better define what is considered Office, Service and Commercial. She stated it is not defined in the OSC Ordinance. She asked that action be taken on it as soon as possible so it can be defined. It was her feeling that it would make a difference to the Haggerty Road property.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one, she closed the Audience Participation and announced there will be a third before adjournment.




Property located in the Novi Town Center (former F & M site) for possible Revised Preliminary Site Plan and Section 1602.9 Facade Waiver recommendation to City Council.


Greg Sullivan, General Manager of the Novi Town Center gave some history in regard to the Town Center and what has been attempted over the past five years. Mr. Sullivan stated they have run into problems of bankruptcy issues, the occupancy is about 87%. In looking for a tenant to occupy the old F & M building, he felt that the person who best suited the property and the merchandise mix would be Linens ‘N Things. He stated he has asked for some revisions on the site plan. The revisions show a 3,344 sq. ft. addition behind the current F & M and between vacancies on the truck-port side of the shopping center. He stated this would allow them to construct a building in that area for the operation of Linens ‘N Things. In doing so, they have deleted some parking in the rear court area. In order to meet the Ordinance, three (3) new parking stalls were needed, which have been accommodated for on the north side of the current Comp USA building. Here they were able to find four (4) additional parking spaces. The last revision to the site plan concerns the "I" building which is occupied by Bavarian Village. When the original approval was given, there was a note on the plan that asked once two of the four restaurants opened up for business, there be a pedestrian cross walk that would run across Crescent Boulevard, through the center median, hooking up to the sidewalk that runs along the north side of Crescent Boulevard. Through review with staff, it was felt that due to the current traffic on the road, there was a public safety issue to place the crosswalk in a midblock situation. Mr. Sullivan has asked to remove the crosswalk in that area.


Gary Hunt, the architect for Linens ‘N Things stated the corporate identity is a very large area on the store front. It has been the best way to get the sign to stand out. He stated they are using under 25% of cementitious materials and they have reduced the size of the sign to fall within the restrictions of the city. He stated they have reduced the size of the letters to 4 feet. Mr. Hunt stated there are a series of windows and door openings that he wishes not to remove, he would like to retain the windows and treat them with graphics that Linens ‘N Things have used at other locations. He stated there is a service door that will be used as an emergency egress door. He stated some investigating had been done and they found some raised panel metal doors that will address both the security issue and the attractiveness.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated his letter dated September 12, 1996 was in review of the entire Novi Town Center area. He stated an addition is being added to the inner courtyard of about 3,300 sq. ft. This causes a restriping of parking spaces and off street loading dock area. The net shortage was 3-4 parking spaces which they have provided elsewhere on the site plan. This is a planned commercial center and the parking is shared. The requirement is for 2,979 parking spaces, the plan shows 2,980 parking spaces. Mr. Rogers stated the addition meets the setback requirements, the parking complies with the Ordinance, landscape plans are not reviewed at this time, however, the applicant has been advised that some kind of treatment in the courtyard or in the front facade will be looked for. The conceptual and final facade plans did reflect some brick and stucco. Mr. Rogers stated Doug Necci, the architect, would speak in regard to the compliance with the Ordinance. Mr. Rogers spoke in regard to the removal of a proposed walkway that would go through the atrium in Building I, which is currently Bavarian Village, and out to Crescent Boulevard, with a crosswalk to the restaurant row. The desire from a safety standpoint, present use of Building I, and the need and necessity for such a walkway seemed prudent to delete. He stated maybe an alternate pedestrian-way could be looked at to the east of Building I. Mr. Rogers stated the issue was to construct a safe walkway and he recommended the deletion of the previous requirement of the pedestrian walkway. Mr. Rogers recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. He stated it needs to be recommended to the City Council because it is in the Town Center District and it exceeds five acres.



Dave Bluhm of JCK stated pavement area in the rear of the building is being replaced by an addition to the building. To facilitate this, they will need to relocate some water main in the rear. They will also relocate some storm sewer to better tie in roof drains. Mr. Bluhm stated the plan continues to demonstrate engineering feasibility.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the proposed changes are minor from a traffic circulation standpoint. Mr. Arroyo stated he has reviewed the minor parking lot modifications and finds that the proposal is acceptable. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval.


Doug Necci of JCK stated his review consists of analyzing the various facade materials as they correspond to Section 2520. He stated on the original plan, there was an excessive amount of cementitious finish which was noted and a revised plan was submitted which brought the percentage down within the schedule. He stated there was an issue regarding cement block on the back side of the building, it exceeds the 0% that is allowed by the Ordinance by 100%. However, it is a continuation of the design that was established previously. There is an issue in the Ordinance regarding paragraph 1602.9 which is an additional requirement in the TC District. In essence, it says that buildings need to be primarily of brick or stone. Mr. Necci stated he received a letter from the architect which explained his approach to this, he stated the most recent design is consistent with the use of the cementitious finish on that portion of the building and is consistent with other store fronts. Mr. Necci deemed the new design in keeping with Section 1602.9 of the Ordinance. Mr. Necci also recommended approval of the section for waiver, the waiver is required because of the block and the use of something other than stone.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has received a letter from Andy Pless, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi which states that the above plan has been reviewed, and approval is recommended. She then turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion and Action.





Member Hoadley stated he would speak for himself as well as Member Capello as he received a telephone call from him before the meeting. Member Hoadley expressed concern over the abandonment of the crosswalk over the street. He stated he and Member Capello are not in support of it and felt if anything, a bridge needs to be put across. Member Hoadley stated this requirement should be eliminated, other than that, he is in support of it.



Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated the issue was uncertain when the original plan was developed. The restaurant locations were not planned at that time. Mr. Wahl stated it was discussed with the applicant prior to this meeting regarding the location, re-location or the inherent danger is such that this would be an unsafe situation. He offered this as a response to the Commissioners comment.


Member Weddington shared Member Hoadley and Member Capello’s concern regarding the crosswalk. She encouraged the Town Center Steering Committee, the consultants or whatever group would best address the issue, to find suitable locations for crosswalks as she suggested more than one. She stated she was not sure that the location at Bavarian Village was the appropriate one, she stated it might be better to have a couple where the traffic exits and enters Crescent Boulevard. Other than this issue, Member Weddington was in support of the proposal. The facade waiver is acceptable as long as it is on the back.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the Preliminary Site Plan and Section 1602.9 facade waiver, subject to all of the consultants recommendations and with further direction to find suitable locations for the pedestrian link.





Yes: Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo

No: No




Property located south of Roethel Drive, east of Ashbury Drive for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Dan Davis stated within the City of Novi is looking to develop a community park which will include a 15 space, off-road parking area, walking trails, two (2) tennis courts, a restroom facility building, a picnic shelter and playground equipment. The development activity area is confined to a 3-4 acre area. Along the perimeter from Nine Mile Road would be an existing wood chip trail that will be improved, and a safety path along Nine Mile Road. Due to the issues that were raised by the adjoining property owner, of how can it be developed to effectively be good neighbors to the adjoining property owners, he has outlined in his memo, to delete the section of property from the site plan that would include the safety path and the excess walkway trail. The area to the south would be the area to be developed, which is up for Preliminary Site Plan Review. He stated an approach to address this issue would be to follow a land improvement permit process for the elements of walking trails and the safety path. He would like to put the paths in, however, if they are done, there are issues that Mr. Mamola had raised with the adjoining property owners that would be a problem regarding the zoning. Mr. Davis pointed out that in Mr. Necci’s review letter, he stated the facade issues that were a part of the restroom facility, were not in conformance with the Ordinance. Recognizing this and subsequent to information received through the bid process, the applicant will not be able to build the restroom building through the initial phase because of budgetary constraints. He stated he would like to see it remain a part of the site plan review process because he still intends to provide the facility, however, subject to conformance with the design standards. He anticipated the restroom building to be constructed next year.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the proposed use is allowed in an R-2 District. If the property is rezoned from I-1 to R-2, the proposed restroom would not meet the required 75 foot setbacks from Roethel Drive or Ashbury Drive. The off-street parking lot to the south off of Ashbury Drive is set off 3 feet from the ROW, it should be 75 feet. On the conceptual landscape plan, Ms. Lemke reviewed the site and she stated it does not appear that a Woodlands Permit is needed because there is no intrusion into any regulated woodlands. The small area of fencing adjacent to the pathway may need to be extended. Mr. Pargoff, City Forester will be doing inspections on the project and will make the final determination. Canopy trees have been provided along the exterior of the park site to meet ROW screening requirements. There are some utilities involved and no canopy trees are possible in those areas. Shrubs need to be planted to provide the necessary screening of the parking area. Planting details have been provided but the species and botanical names will be required in the Final Landscape Plans. The plan shows an 8 foot safety path along the south side of Nine Mile Road which is in conformance with the City’s Safety Path Plan. Building facades propose the use of split-faced, dry-set C.M.U. cementitious masonry units. In a residential district, a non-residential building has to be either of brick or wood, industrial materials may not be used. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the rezoning of the site to R-2, addressing the landscape issues noted above, securing variances from the ZBA for deficient building and parking lot setbacks and building facade plan compliance.


Dave Bluhm of JCK stated he would be commenting on both the engineering and wetlands. From an engineering standpoint, the restroom facilities which are to be serviced at a later point in time are to be serviced by public water and sewer leads from existing mains in Roethel and Ashbury Drive. There are two main impervious areas proposed with the development. The first being the tennis court area and the second the small parking area. The site flows from Ashbury Lane, east to the Rouge River. The intent, in regard to drainage is, the existing swail that runs east/west, between the parking area and the paved area for the tennis courts, the drainage will be directed to the ditch area instead of being directed directly to the Rouge River. The intent of this is to provide detention in the swails and ditch area which has a blockage near the Rouge River. Mr. Bluhm stated the main concern is with the water quality of the site, the swails that direct it to the ditch and the ditch itself are going to help maintain the water quality. There is a flood plain associated with portions of the site, JCK has received a permit for that and there are no anticipated problems with it. Mr. Bluhm recommended that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and recommended approval.


Mr. Bluhm stated that Sue Tepatti has stated in her letter that the plan does need an Administrative permit. Her concerns are primarily the buffer areas that abut the Rouge River. The swail that takes the flows from the parking area to the north end of the ditch will be impacting into the buffer area slightly, it is a good trade off in providing the water quality benefits. Ms. Tepatti also mentioned the wood chip trail that will be an aggregate trail. She noted the location on the plan will be more of a feel judgement as to where the trail will exactly be located. Being sensitive to the woodlands and wetland areas and would be staked out according to that. Ms. Tepatti has recommended approval for Administrative Permit.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated he has reviewed the plan. Access is proposed to Ashbury using a one-way in and one-way out drive. Appropriate signage would need to be shown on the Final Site Plan to indicate the one-way operation with the angled parking. The parking lot setback requirements are not met for the district and will require ZBA action, however, in this case there are natural features making it difficult to meet setback requirements. Trip generation has previously been discussed. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to detailed review of the parking area on the Final Site Plan a consideration of the setback requirement and obtaining a ZBA variance for the setback deficiency and also approving the rezoning petition by City Council.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has received a letter from Chris Pargoff, City Forester, which indicates, this office concurs with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant, Ms. Linda Lemke. This office may require additional snow fencing to assure no intrusion into the flood plain area. An environmental Pre-Construction meeting must be held before any clearing and grubbing takes place. This office has volunteered our services to do the tree planting along Roethel and Ashbury streets in conjunction with the Street Tree planting program, provided that funds are available at the appropriate planting time. Chairperson Lorenzo also announced she has received a letter from Andy Pless, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: Provide a hazardous chemical survey pertaining to the proposed occupancy and another pertaining to construction activity. The survey must be signed.


Chairperson Lorenzo turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Bononi asked Mr. Bluhm in regard to the sheet flow for the storm water in the parking area, is there no sort of inlet and consequently no gas or oil seperator?


Mr. Bluhm answered no. The sheet flow will be directed to the soil and the soil will then direct it, there is no "structure" proposed.


Member Bononi stated she was not real happy about the fact that there is no gas and oil separation proposed because she feels it is needed.


Mr. Bluhm further clarified that there will be a gas and oil separator as a part of the ditch area that centers between the tennis court and parking area. Specifically, it is meant for the tennis court area.


It was Member Bononi’s feeling that the more important area was the parking area. Being that there is a wetland line and a wetland buffer, she stated she was not satisfied. She felt something more sensitive to the existing wetland could be proposed.


Mr. Bluhm answered the soil will help and it could be looked at during the time of Final Site Plan to see if there are other measures that can be implemented prior to releasing to the Rouge River.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Davis if there was any landscaping proposed for the parking area?


Mr. Davis answered there are some utilities located along the berming area that separates Ashbury Drive and the parking area so there are limitations regarding the canopy trees. He stated he will be putting in some types of screening that will address the landscaping. Mr. Davis stated he would be working with Mr. Pargoff to cooperatively work on the landscaping of the whole park.


Member Bononi asked why the area to the north of the play equipment was being filled?


Mr. Davis stated that Ms. Gavey from JCK would address that question.


Juliet Gavey of JCK stated it is being filled because there is an existing culvert crossing underneath the drive and because of the culvert crossing and the elevations just to the west of the driveway, it is in the flood plain. Ms. Gavey stated permission has been granted from the DEQ to fill the area so that it is not in the flood plain. She stated the area will be available for future expansion.


Member Bononi asked because of the fill, does there need to be a compensating cut somewhere?


Ms. Gavey stated this is not required as a part of JCK’s approval because it is the flood plain and not the flood way.


It was Member Bononi’s understanding in regard to the restroom facility, that when funding becomes available it will be built. She expressed concern with children frequenting the site, that restroom facilities and running water are necessary. She asked Mr. Davis how he will coordinate the opening of the use of the play structures, the tennis court and the picnic pavilion with the provision of the bathroom facility?


Mr. Davis stated from an Administrative standpoint, he believes it is an item that should be there, however, there are parks that do not have restroom facilities. They are more of a limited use park, or a shorter stay park where restrooms are not mandated. From a budgetary standpoint, the construction is proposed to take place late this year for clearing and grubbing and some initial work to finish next year through the Spring and Summer months. He is proposing to look to attaining the necessary funds to build the facility next year.


Member Bononi asked if there is a plan for a development proposal for the residue of the site?


Mr. Davis answered most of the property to the south is protected woodlands and wetlands area that is contiguous to the river course. He stated the only reason he would look to utilize that area for park usage would be for nature trails and scenic overlooks. There are no buildings proposed.

Member Bononi commented that she has a problem with our own engineers, not only producing a plan, but also reviewing it. She believed this to be a conflict of interest from a planning sense. She suggested that if we wish the engineers to produce the plans, then we should be drawing from other engineering firms to review JCK’s work. She did not believe that there was any subjective way for one firm to review its’ own work.


Dennis Watson stated it could be referred to one of the Committees, he suggested the Rules Committee.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the matter of consultants reviewing their own plans to the Rules Committee.





Yes: Weddington, Bononi, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Vrettas

No: None


Member Hoadley stated he had strong feelings regarding the plans not going before the ZBA. He stated he understood the parking problem and felt that it could be alleviated by moving the parking lot north, freeing up more room for the planting of some canopy trees. He suggested this be done at the time of Final Site Plan. He agreed with Member Bononi in regard to the restroom facility. He stated he could not support the Preliminary Site Plan without the restroom. Member Hoadley stated there is no reason to have a waiver on the building because there is room to set it back 75 feet.


Mr. Davis stated the issue of the 75 foot setback was brought up by Mr. Rogers in his review and caught Mr. Davis by surprise because he was under the impression that it was a 35 foot setback. He stated it would be looked at and they could conform to it without a problem.








Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Preliminary Site Plan for Rotary Park SP 96-34 subject to all the consultants letters and subject to compliance with the 75 foot setback, additional greenspace and the addition of a gas and oil separator.





Member Weddington stated she did not know if the applicant could meet all of the requirements in terms of setback and screening because of the limitation of wetlands and buffer area. She stated she would not like to prohibit them from going to the ZBA if they cannot make it work. She stated she shares the concerns expressed, she would like to give the applicant a little more flexibility.


Member Churella stated he supports the park as it is even though the restroom facility will not be built. He stated there are ways to get around it. Member Churella asked if there is money for the gas and oil separator off the parking lot?


Mr. Davis answered not within the budget at this time, however, as Mr. Bluhm indicated, he would rely on the consultants as far as a recommendation.


Mr. Bluhm stated it was questionable if there is enough physical depth to do the site conditions as far as the topography as to whether a storm sewer could go in, off the parking area. He stated it could be looked at to reorienting the parking to sheet fill back into the ditch by Ashbury Drive and then out into the structure where an oil and gas separator can be placed. He stated it is something that will need to be looked at to see if it is a possibility.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated in terms of the grass swails, there ways of enhancing it to also incorporate water quality. She referred to a diagram from the Current Assessment of Urban Best Management Practices from Schuller 1987 which indicates check damns, weep holes and stone to prevent downstream scour and she hoped to see this incorporated in the grass swaled areas.


Mr. Bluhm stated one of the benefits from the layout is that there is about a 300 foot grass swail that will act as a separator.


Member Hoadley stated it has been provided for one gas and oil separator already, he felt a more important place to have one would be off the parking lot. He asked if the Rotary Club has dropped this as a project?


Mr. Davis answered no. They have completed their fund raising activities for the park development. There is a set budgetary number that is being worked with, for the initial phase.


Member Hoadley asked what the total funds were?


Mr. Davis answered, $150,000. $75,000 from the Rotary Club and $75,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreation Bond Grant.





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None




An Ordinance to amend Subsection 2508.1 and 2508.2 of Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, and to add Subsection 2508.8 to said Ordinance, to revise the regulation of communication towers for possible recommendation to City Council.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated there has been a change in the setback requirement. He stated the standard that he had suggested for certain districts with 1000 feet. He concluded upon further research of industry standards, that where a site in an approved non-residential district occurs, the setback from the residential property line would be equivalent to the height of the tower. Where the site does not abut residential, the setback requirement from the property line would be 40% of the height of the tower. Mr. Rogers stated Communication Towers would be permitted in the I-1, I-2, OS-1, OS-2, OSC, B-3 and RC Districts, currently they are only permitted in the I-1 and I-2 Districts. Mr. Rogers suggested one way to control the number of towers is by requiring co-location within the Ordinance. Towers can be built to accommodate 4 or 5 providers. All equipment shelters will be subject to site plan review, there is a maximum tower height of 150 feet. He defered to Dennis Watson on the finer points.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the Commission had this issue before it about one month ago and these are just changes that were requested to be made at that time. The only change that was not discussed in substance was the request to revisit the 1,000 feet, which has been outlined in Mr. Rogers letter.


Mr. Rogers stated the Telecommunications Act states that providers must abide by local Zoning Ordinances. If a provider already has a service area well marked out. Mr. Rogers stated the Telecommunications Act allows one to locate in an area to complete the service area in which case the FCC can pre-empt local zoning. He stated if a tower is located on municipal property, there is better control over it, there is an income stream and an up-front contribution for improvements, versus if it was located on private property. The lease payments range from $1,200 - 2,500 a month for 5 and 10 year leases with continuation. That money could be directed to the municipality of which property the tower is located. Mr. Rogers stated he would prefer to see the towers located on municipal property for control and the income stream.


Chairperson Lorenzo turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Churella





Member Weddington expressed concern regarding the setback. She did not feel that 100% of the antenna tower was sufficient, especially near a residentially zoned area. She also stated from her experience in writing many leases, very often the lease payments are no where near $1,200 a month, they are often only a few hundred dollars.


Mr. Rogers commented, he had quoted from leases that he has helped prepare in the past.

Member Weddington stated she would like to change the setback requirements to something greater, perhaps 500 feet.


Chairperson Lorenzo explained what is trying to be accomplished is visually, from a residential setback, not being able to see the tower. She shared Member Weddington’s concerns. She did not believe that 150 or 200 feet would accomplish this.


Member Bononi stated in regard to Part 1A, the second sentence which states "The City Council may permit a communication antenna or pole in other zoning districts not listed above." After all of the time that the Implementation Committee has spent on this item, this absolutely flies in the face of all of the concerns expressed, especially single-family uses and the possibility of such towers being placed in single-family zones. She felt this to be absolutely unacceptable and stated she will not support the Ordinance if it contains this particular section. She understood that when services are interrupted, there are certain legal limitations in prohibiting placements of the towers, however, there is no reason to encourage anyone to include the towers in any other zones accepting the ones that are listed in the first sentence. She stated she will support the Ordinance only with the removal of this section.


Mr. Watson stated the reason the language is in the Ordinance is because without the language, it would fly in the face of what the FCC requires under the Telecommunications Act. Among the instances where they pre-empt is where the regulation prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services. The language is duplicating the language that the Telecommunications Act has put into place. This gives Council the outs, so that they can comply with the Telecommunications Act, without the language, a simple requirement that says it can never be put into residential, when you impose it, there is the effect of prohibiting personal wireless services, it will be in violation of the Federal Act.


Member Bononi then suggested that the language used should be amended to reflect exactly what Mr. Watson just stated because she did not feel that is what it says.


Mr. Watson stated it is reflecting exactly what the Telecommunication Act says. The language is taken from the Federal Statute, that is the reason for its’ wording.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if it should be clarified with reference to that Statute in that sentence?


Mr. Watson stated he would say, "The City Council may permit a communications antenna or pole in other zoning districts not listed above when it finds that such restrictions would prohibit, or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services in violation of...Mr. Watson stated he would insert the Statutory site at this point.


Member Bononi stated she accepts this.


Member Hoadley differed with Mr. Rogers, it is testimony that at 7:30 p.m. on September 4, 1996, he made the following statement, "A 1,000 foot setback would detach the tower sufficiently from residential areas." Member Hoadley stated it has been left out of the Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers stated he wrote a letter that rescinded that earlier thought. He conducted a survey of a number of other Ordinances and felt an easy standard, depending on the height of the tower could be used.


Member Hoadley stated he was not in support of the Ordinance as it is currently written, without the 1,000 foot setback against residential. He also stated he would not support it with a fall zone of only 40% of the height.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, WITHDRAWN by Hoadley





Mr. Watson reminded the Commission of the history of the 1,000 foot setback to the current draft. When this issue was last before the Commission, Mr. Rogers made some comments on the Ordinance that seemed to indicate that there was nothing stated to indicate the rationale behind the 1,000 foot setback. Some of Mr. Rogers comments suggested that it was arbitrary. Mr. Watson stated that he asked Mr. Rogers at that meeting, to study and look into the matter because it seemed the primary accomplishment was an aesthetic benefit to residential areas from viewing towers. Mr. Watson stated to pull the 1,000 foot setback and insert it, is the last thing he wants to see done. If a different distance is going to be put in, he suggested studying the issue as he asked earlier and base the decision on some rational and reason.


Mr. Watson suggested due to the dissatisfaction of the current draft of the Ordinance, either the Implementation Committee or Mr. Rogers should review various distances to make a determination to be able to make a recommendation as to what distance accomplishes the aesthetic benefit for residential areas seeking to accomplish.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED (4-2): To postpone action on the Communication Tower Ordinance and refer the matter back to the Implementation Committee with the issue of identifying an appropriate setback from residential and to report back to the Planning Commission within 60 days.





Member Bononi was interested in knowing as per what Mr. Watson said in regard to the arbitrariness of setting a figure and the criteria that the Implementation Committee will use in looking at these.


Mr. Watson stated if what is trying to be accomplished, is that you never view a tower from residential areas, you may as well not bother. He stated he did not think this is what is trying to be accomplished, because he did not feel this has ever been attempted to be accomplished with regard to towers. There is a difference in the appearance of a tower from different distances. He felt the Implementation Committee and/or Mr. Rogers could view towers from different distances to get a feel for an appropriate distance that would protect the health safety and general welfare of residential neighborhoods.


Member Vrettas stated he thought this was what was originally asked of Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers came back with his advice and input, either we accept it or reject it.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she did not feel it was that simple, there is a lot of grey area in between.


Member Vrettas stated he did not disagree, it just sounds like it is being delayed. He would rather the Commission sit and come up with some suggestions that are reasonable.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she did not feel it could be done without actually viewing a

tower. She stated she was in support of the motion, she felt it needs further study. Chairperson Lorenzo also stated she shared Member Bononi’s concerns regarding not being in support of encouraging the towers on municipal buildings.





Yes: Hoadley, Lorenzo, Weddington, Bononi

No: Vrettas, Churella




Scheduling of an Executive Session prior to the October 16, 1996 meeting at 6:00 p.m. for a legal briefing.


Member Hoadley asked if it was necessary to allow 1 ˝ hours for the legal briefing?


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would like to allow more time than less.




Moved by Weddington, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an executive session on Wednesday, October 16, 1996 at 6:00 p.m.





Yes: Lorenzo, Weddington, Bononi, Churella, Hoadley

No: None

Abstention: Vrettas






Discussion of City Council deadlines for completion of assignments/reports from Planning Commission.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development referred to the report provided in the packets from Councilman Mitzel. He stated the action was concluded by City Council as a whole from the most recent meeting. Essentially the report is a review of items which City Council had requested reports with a conclusion as to when they might occur. Mr. Wahl stated that Council had asked for his reaction at a meeting and he replied that the Planning Commission should give a response. City Council agreed and asked for a reply as soon as possible, based on Councilman Mitzel’s request for the dates.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated her personal feeling was that she didn’t mind prioritizing the items, however she thought it would be impractical to give a realistic report date. Considering the number of items and their complexity, the number of times that the Commission meets, conflicts in scheduling, etc.


Mr. Wahl suggested reviewing the list and at least make a determination if any of the items are not moving forward with due speed and what can be done to move them forward.





Member Vrettas stated he did not have a problem with prioritizing to the best of his ability. He stated he was amazed that the Commission is afraid to create closure dates, stating


that this is how things are accomplished. He suggested creating a deadline and then try to meet it.


Mr. Wahl stated there a lot of items that are in site plan reviews, public hearings that are in dynamic time frames. He stated almost every day, the Staff Planner consults with the Chair on where the items are at and what the priorities are, and those items can change depending on how the paperwork is done. He stated it is very hard to isolate an item and state which Agenda it will appear on because there are other items that need to be considered which some have legal time frames attached to them.


Member Vrettas challenged what was provided because he stated he is in a situation that is a lot more complicated than what is being spoken of. He stated he is dealing with issues three times more complicated, that are tied into law and politics and he is meeting his deadlines.


Chairperson Lorenzo reminded Member Vrettas and all of the public that the Commissioners are in volunteer positions, they do not get paid for their time, they have families and other obligations and most of the items are under the auspice of the Implementation Committee. They meet at 6:00 p.m. before every Planning Commission meeting and are in attendance from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 or 12:00 p.m. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she gets a little offended when she hears a comment that the Commission is not working hard enough or should be meeting certain deadlines. She stated the Commission does the best they can and it is impossible to work at the deadlines unless they met 2, 3, 4, or 5 times a month.


Member Bononi stated being on some of the Committees that do spend a lot of time in looking at complex issues, the only problem she has are the report dates to Council. She stated from Implementation and Master Plan, through the cooperation of Mr. Cohen, they have made a great effort to prioritize the workload. She stated these are not full time jobs, there is only 1 ˝ hours to look at a lot of complex issues and the Implementation Committee and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee wish to do the job and do it right. She stated they are doing the very best they can, and she would feel uncomfortable committing to a report date that could not be kept.


Mr. Rogers stated in regard to the meeting at 6:00 p.m. with Mr. Watson, he noted that there is a scheduled Implementation Committee meeting with a lot of work to do, how will this work for the Commissioners that are on the Implementation Committee?


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Implementation Committee meeting will probably be postponed.




Member Hoadley stated $8,000 was budgeted for seminars to be conducted for public consumption and anyone interested in a unique type of zoning. There could be seminars in regard to the Economic Development operation that would help to implement new ordinances. The budget started June 1, and the Planning Department has not scheduled any seminars. Member Hoadley expressed the importance of having seminars. He also stated there has been money put into the Build-Out Design. He stated he has not received an update or a report as to where it stands.


Mr. Rogers stated it is started, however, there is no report yet.


Member Hoadley stated he would like to see a report or at least an update within the next two months.





Member Hoadley stated there was information provided in the packet in regard to the rezoning of OS-2 to Residential in Northville. It abuts Eight Mile Road and Haggerty Road. He stated this came to Novi after the fact, it seemed to him that it should have been received ahead of time so that a recommendation could be made to the City of Northville if so desired. He stated there is a lot of residential already with a tremendous impact on the roads which Novi is having to bear the brunt of. He stated thoughts and views should be expressed to any zoning that might affect the community and infrastructure.






Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court stated in regard to the Northville Township rezoning, he believed the sheet to be provided to schedule a date for a Public Hearing. He stated if the Commission is so inclined, they will have the opportunity to make a comment on the rezoning. He stated Commerce Township is moving toward their Public Hearing stage on their Master Plan update which will include areas along Novi’s northern border from Pontiac Trail and 14 Mile Road, from Beck Road to Haggerty Road. He mentioned the major rezonings at 14 Mile Road and Haggerty Road. He stated with the Novi Road closure, it is starting to be realized that the development in Commerce is having a tremendous impact on Novi, both from a land use standpoint and a fiscal standpoint that Novi is having to spend millions of dollars to widen roads. It was Mr. Mutch’s opinion that the Planning Commission would be well served to give some input to Commerce on their Master Plan update. Finally, he commented on the Rotary Park plan. He stated it seemed that the 75 foot parking setback well, may be warranted in some cases where there are non-residential type developments in a residential district. He stated in this case, it is detrimental to the design of the park, he stated it seems to serve no real purpose to have a 75 foot setback for a small parking area.


Chairperson Lorenzo interjected to say that the setback that was required is for the building.


Mr. Mutch retrieved his comments in regard to the setback, stating although it puts the building right in the middle of the only open space at the park area.


Chairperson Lorenzo entertained a motion to adjourn.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:30 p.m.





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None




Steven Cohen - Staff Planner



Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

October 15, 1996


Date Approved: November 6, 1996