REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:31 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo
PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Hoadley,
Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington
ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Vrettas
ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Environmental Planner Eric Olson, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Staff Planner Steven Cohen
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda? Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the Agenda as presented.
PM-96-10-266 MOTION TO APPROVE THE AGENDA
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-266 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington
Chairperson Lorenzo announced there will be a second Audience Participation after the mid-point break and a third before adjournment.
Allie Fayz wrote in regard to the rezoning of the corner of Grand River and Haggerty Road. He stated he understands that the section requesting rezoning will be used for a Mercedes Dealership which he is much in favor of. It will attract quality and quantity consumers to the Pheasant Run Plaza tenants. It will also be a wonderful show place at that corner. He stated he is not in favor of additional commercial shopping, since there is already an abundance in that area.
Member Capello announced he has received six (6) letters from residents of the Briarwood Subdivision. He stated all of the letters are identical so he paraphrased one of them and read each signature at the end. The letter stated they were writing to voice their displeasure and true concern at the proposed rezoning and building plans for the corner of Ten Mile Road and Beck Road. They purchased their homes with the knowledge that the Ten Mile Road and Beck Road area was zoned residential, they are now informed that the push to rezone the area is for the construction of a Kroger complex. They hoped that the Master Plan for the City of Novi would not be altered at the expense of its’ zoning integrity. The letter was signed by Jeffrey A. Sinkovich, Denise D. Sinkovich, Matthew McEnnis, Thomas C. Bertin, Susan Bertin, Lori A. Schwarz, Kevin A. Schwarz.
Member Capello stated there was also a letter from Bill Bowman which was attached to the application of Matt Quinn. Since the letter did not come directly, he did not consider it as communication.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated there are two items. The approval of the September 11, 1996 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes and the approval of the September 18, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes. She asked if there were any corrections or changes to either sets of minutes?
PM-96-10-267 MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1996 AND THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1996
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve both sets of minutes for September 11, 1996 and September 18, 1996.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-267 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi
1. DEKA NOVI SITE, SP 96-18A
Property located south of Twelve Mile Road, west of Donelson Drive.
Matt Quinn represented the owners of the DEKA, 10 acre parcel and Emerald Oaks, the adjacent 10 acre parcel. He introduced Dan Redstone, the architect, Mark Young from Sieber, Keast & Associates, Inc., John Laidius one of the realtors, Adam Angelus one of the owners and Nick Madius. He stated the property is a 20 acre parcel of land, currently the easterly 10 acres are zoned OS-1 and the westerly 10 acres are zoned Residential. Mr. Quinn gave some history on the property. He stated the project was started in 1969 and there were 10 owners of DEKA, today in 1996, there are only 5 owners due to buyouts and deaths. This property has been owned since before Novi was a city. The westerly 10 acres has been owned by Emerald Oaks for 10 years. In 1986, there were three special assessment districts created due to the owners of West Oaks Mall. This 4+ million dollar special assessment district constructed Donelson Drive all the way from Novi Road to Twelve Mile Road. It also put in all of the underground utilities. When this special assessment district area was approved, the West Oaks area was rezoned from Residential to RC, PD-3. He referred to his presentation board stating there was a parcel that was not rezoned at all. He stated the purpose for the special assessment district was to benefit all of the property owners that participated in that district. The DEKA Associates have participated to this date, on vacant land, $800,000 in special assessment payments have been paid since 1986 and they have received nothing in return. He stated DEKA has been benefiting the city by paying for the road and underground utilities that serve other people. Historically, in 1987, DEKA thought they had sold the property so they came to the city to subdivide the office zoning into four separate equal parcels. The company that was supposed to buy the property was refused a loan from the bank because this was not an area to build an office building due to the fact that the rear end of a shopping center was adjacent to it. Mr. Quinn passed out pictures of the site which included an outside storage unit and a 16 foot high cement wall with storage on top of it. Another reason the parcel cannot be developed as office, is the fact that since it has been zoned office, there have been over 200 personal attempts by Mr. Laidius contacting various developers and land owners to come and consider building an office in that location. For over 10 years, there has not been anyone interested in the location. Mr. Quinn read from Bill Bowman’s letter, "Gottlieb could not convince their financial and mortgage sources that this location was appropriate for the speculative building of offices. The unfortunate high cost of the three special assessment districts that were placed against this property in 1986, makes it somewhat of a "white elephant". They can never recover this special assessment district cost under the present zoning for that of an office. This property has the least attractive elevation because it looks at the commercial Westbrook Development face, this is not place for a "Class A" office facility." Mr. Bowman states, "I sincerely believe that from a marketing standpoint, there will be no demand for this site for use as office." Mr. Quinn requested a Master Plan change, a rezoning and then the PD-3. He stated the rezoning makes sense because immediately along the entire easterly portion of the property, there is RC, PD-3 zoning. Along the entire southerly portion of the property, there is RC, PD-3 zoning. To the north and to the west is Master Planned for Office. The Ring Road shows the extension of West Oaks Drive on the southerly edge of the property and heading up to Twelve Mile Road, west of Dixon. He stated, in the site plan, it is being agreed to reserve a portion of the property for the extension of the Ring Road and as the property is developed to the west, hopefully it will follow the plan. He stated it makes sense to rezone this property to the same zoning as half of its boundaries. The purpose of the special assessment district was for commercial development. He stated what is being asked for is nothing more than what was assessed for in 1986. Commercially zoned property is the only property type that will allow the owners a payback. Mr. Quinn touched on the possibilities, if the property were rezoned to RC, PD-3. He stated there has been interest shown by Dunham’s in developing this project. Other interests include Barnes & Noble, Linens N’ Things, a national pet supply store, all looking at approximate spaces of 25,000 square feet. He read from the application for review of a PD-3 Option, section 2406 (3) A. He then turned it over to Mark Young, the engineer from Sieber, Keast & Associates, Inc.
Mark Young pointed out a few features of the conceptual plan that is proposed for the site. He stated there are two planned structures, one is a 177,400 square foot retail building that is divided into four sections, each will have a different finish grade because of the slope of the site, the other is a 600,000 square foot restaurant. Twelve Mile Road currently has a 60 foot ROW, the applicant proposes to provide its’ half of 180 foot ROW at the time that Twelve Mile Road is widened. Additionally, Donelson Drive is shown to have a 60 foot ROW, the applicant will be providing an additional 5 foot of ROW to allow for a 70 foot future ROW which is consistent with the Thoroughfare Plan. On the south, the extension of West Oaks Drive has been provided for with the dedication of ROW as well. There are two new entrances planned on Twelve Mile Road along with turning and passing lanes. There are also two entrances planned on Donelson Drive as well as on the south side of the site. Initially a private road is proposed to be constructed which will become public when the southern property owner dedicates the appropriate ROW. In regard to utilities on the site, there is a twelve inch water main on the east side of Donelson Drive, a fully looped system is proposed around the plan. Storm water utility is proposed to gather all storm water to the southeast corner of the site, there are 36 inch storm sewers leading to 54 inch storm sewers which run southward to the West Oaks regional detention basin. There is a 10 inch diameter sewer on the west side of Donelson Drive, with a proposal of an extension of this sewer to the western edge of the property. There are regulated woodlands located on the southern portion of the site. There are 31 trees that are to be removed which are listed on the site and are to be replaced with 45, 2 ½" minimum caliper trees. There is one wetland on the site with some concern over its’ possible extension to the south, Mr. Young stated he did not think it was possible due to the topography as it rises to the south. He stated the plan is a solid demonstration of the ability of the applicant to utilize the site in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of RC, PD-3 zoning.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the Planning Commission has to act first to amend the Master Plan to designate the land for Non-Center Commercial and for a PD-3 Option. Secondly, the Council has to act on the rezoning. Mr. Rogers referred to his letter dated September 20, 1996, he discussed the rezoning of the property from OS-1 and RA District to RC for developing a retail planned, commercial center and a free standing associated sit-down restaurant. He stated the required data has been submitted, the survey of the property and proof of ownership. The Community Impact Assessment is based on the first submittal which had a 200,000 square foot retail center and no restaurant, this should be updated. The property west of Donelson Drive and north of West Oaks Drive has been Master Planned for office which permits a number of different office classifications. The property north of Twelve Mile Road is Master Planned for about 600 foot depth for office future land use. Twelve Mile Road is a major arterial, however it is not improved to its’ full standard yet, the minor arterial is Donelson Drive and West Oaks Drive is a non-residential collector. In summary, Mr. Rogers did not recommend the rezoning to RC District because he finds that there is a lack of adequate showing the property cannot be developed under the regulations consistent with the Master Plan for Land Use recommendations for office future land use. Mr. Rogers stated there are a number of major office and medical developments along Twelve Mile Road, along with other interests by high-tech firms. In order to permit site plan review, the Master Plan for Land Use should be amended to show Non-Center Commercial future land use with use with PD-3 overlay classification. If the rezoning takes effect and if the PD-3 overlay and the Master Plan re-designation occurs, the findings are substantially met. (1) The property will be designated PD-3 on the Master Plan, (2) it would correspond to other PD-3 Options, (3) the request for the rezoning will be made with the intent of developing the site under the terms of the PD-3 Option, (4) the area would be adjacent to other RC, PD-3 on the east and south, (5) the area is able to be served by public utilities. All application data for a conventional preliminary site plan has been submitted except for the incorrect zoning on the east side of Donelson Drive (RC not B-2 and south of the site (RC not RA). The proposed plan indicates the extension of West Oaks Drive as a 22 foot wide temporary asphalt drive. The Thoroughfare Plan indicates it as a 70 foot ROW non-residential collector with future extension westerly and then northerly to Twelve Mile Road. The issue of traffic access capacity and timing of improvements is of concern to Mr. Rogers which he stated he would let Mr. Arroyo address. The conceptual site plan complies with the PD-3 setback requirements. Mr. Rogers stated the applicant needs PD-3, they cannot develop under the conventional RC zoning. The parking is adequate and they meet the standards of the Ordinance, however, Mr Rogers added if it is found that regulated wetlands, requiring DEQ and other reviews, do exist on the site and if certain woodlands issues arise, some of the parking will not be usable and the amount of square footage will not be possible. The parking areas comply with setback standards of the Ordinance. The loading/unloading area for the retail complex is at the rear of the building in the proper areas. The restaurant is not in the correct area, the dumpster and loading areas face Twelve Mile Road which can be addressed should the plan move forward. The plan has been reviewed conceptually under a Landscape review and he stated it can be addressed later in the meeting. Mr. Rogers felt the applicant has addressed many of the early aspects of interior green space and plant species, there is an issue of a 6 foot high masonry screen wall along the west edge. The present Ordinance requires a 6 foot landscaped berm with certain improvements and plant species or if the Planning Commission may consider an alternate 6 foot brick-on-brick wall. The conceptual building facade plans meet the Ordinance requirements, however no facade plans were submitted for the restaurant building. This is a requirement which is a missing piece of information. Mr. Rogers did not recommend approval of the preliminary site plan owing to: (1) conflict with the City’s Master Plan for Land Use, (2) improper zoning, (3) landscape plan concerns, (4) lack of conceptual facade plans for the restaurant, (5) improper loading/unloading area and dumpster locations for proposed restaurant, (6) correction of perimeter zoning.
Dave Bluhm of JCK stated Mr. Young has basically addressed most of the engineering details on the site, however, one concern he had was with the storm water drainage on the site. The storm water is intended to be detained in a regional basin which exists south on Donelson Drive. Preliminary drainage area maps indicated only ½ of the site to be picked up. He did not recommend approval of the plan, and stated he would like the engineer to do some evaluation as to possible extra capacity in that basin. He would also like it verified that the storm sewers have the capacity to handle the flow as he would like to see the whole site drain into the regional basin. If it appears that the whole site can be detained in the regional basin, he stated he would be in a position to recommend its approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant, referred to his report dated September 30, 1996. Access to the site is proposed from 6 different locations. Two on Twelve Mile Road, two on Donelson Drive and two off of the extension of West Oaks Drive. The site plan as well as the traffic study has been reviewed. A trip generation comparison has been provided. Mr. Arroyo referred to the table he handed out to the Commission, it compared trip generation for the proposed shopping development with what might be permitted if the site were to be developed as office. Also as a point of comparison, he provided the corresponding hourly volumes on both Novi Road and Twelve Mile Roads. He pointed out that the shopping center trip generation numbers are based on new trips to the road network and the actual total volume is forecasted to be 42% higher. Other traffic study comments as part of the analysis were made. The applicant’s traffic consultant was required to assign the trips to the road network, look at other developments that have been approved by the city and forecast those volumes on the road network as well, and then look at the impact of both background traffic and the traffic from this proposed development. The level of service under existing conditions was looked at, at various critical intersections. Traffic from other development was added to the road network, including Vista’s of Novi, DMC, Bristol Corners, Crescent Oaks and Society Hill. The level of service was forecasted to remain at D or better at all of the intersections, with the addition of the background traffic. However there were some improvements at one of the intersections, necessary to achieve the level of service, this was at the Novi Road and Twelve Mile Road intersection which would require an additional northbound through lane, making a total of three northbound through lanes as well as a westbound right turn lane in order to achieve that level of service. These two road improvements are not funded. The final component of the analysis was adding on the traffic from the proposed development. In order to maintain level of service D, there are a number of improvements that would be required including: (1) restriping the approach to West Oaks I, Novi intersection, (2) improving northbound left turn capacity by adding a second left turn lane or permitting left turns at the I-96 westbound off ramp, (3) construct a northbound right turn lane on Novi Road at 12 Mile Road, (4) provide a free flow right turn lane from westbound I-96 to northbound Novi Road. These improvements are necessary to have acceptable levels of service and they are not funded. There are some improvements proposed by the applicant, primarily to Twelve Mile Road, including the provision of passing lanes and deceleration/acceleration lanes. Mr. Arroyo stated in regard to the PD Option and rezoning issues, he does not provide a recommendation but rather a trip generation comparison information for the Commission to use in their overall analysis of the various issues that affect the evaluation of the proposal. In regard to the site plan, he cannot recommend approval until the rezoning and the PD issues are resolved. If the rezoning and PD approvals are granted, he would approve the preliminary site plan subject to the comments noted.
Eric Olson, Environmental Planner, stated Linda Lemke apologizes for not being able to make it to the meeting, he provided the Commission with her report. Primarily, ROW planting as well as interior space plantings have been provided adequately. There is a lack of screening along the western property that abuts residential. A six foot high berm is required with plantings of trees, evergreens and shrubs. The petitioner is proposing a 6 foot high wall, which will need to be approved by the Planning Commission. There are approximately 1.4 acres of regulated woodlands along the southern portion of the property, most of which is proposed to be removed with the exception of four. It will have to be determined at a later date whether or not this is feasible. The petitioner is also proposing to save some non-regulated trees within the ROW, these trees will probably be removed once Twelve Mile Road is widened. There are some discrepancies between the landscape plan and the woodlands plan as to which trees are proposed to be saved, this will need to be clarified and replacement trees still need to be provided for. In summary, Ms. Lemke did not recommend approval for a Woodlands Permit due to the items mentioned.
Dave Bluhm of JCK reported for Sue Tepatti of JCK. He stated there is a locally regulated wetland at the southeast corner of the site, which the applicants engineer has indicated to be about ¾ of an acre. Mr. Bluhm stated field investigations have indicated that it appears the wetland is connected to a larger wetland to the south by a narrow channel in the field. He stated he would like the applicant to have a wetlands expert flag the wetland, and provide that information to JCK for further review, as it appears there are some discrepancies in the location. The wetland that is on site, appears to have open standing water and appears to contain some wildlife habitat. For this reason, according to Ms. Tepatti, it is somewhat better of a wetland. It also appears that there are some areas to the north of the wetland that may be regulated. Mr. Bluhm stated at this time, JCK is not in a position to recommend approval of a Wetlands Permit.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has received a memorandum from Chris Pargoff, City Forester which indicates this office concurs with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant, Ms. Linda Lemke for denial of a Woodland Permit at this time, due to lack of complete information and proper application process. 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.
Chairperson Lorenzo also stated she has received a letter from Andy Pless, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
Chairperson Lorenzo turned the matter over to the Public and asked if anyone would like to speak on the issue? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Hoadley asked if the preliminary site plan was not a part of the meeting decision?
Chairperson Lorenzo answered, that is correct.
Member Hoadley then asked if any site plan issues were relevant at this time?
Chairperson Lorenzo answered they were premature at best and stated the focus should be the Master Plan amendment from Office PD-2 to RC, PD-3 and the rezoning recommendation from RA and OS-1 to RC.
Member Hoadley then asked if it would also be relevant at this point in time in regard to woodlands, wetland and road issues?
Chairperson Lorenzo answered any issues that are relevant to rezoning issues, comparing land use, she believed would be relevant, it was her belief that other information would be premature if it were in regard to the site plan.
Member Hoadley stated he was not persuaded that the consultants were correct in recommending denial. It would appear that the property probably cannot be developed in an OS manner, because of what it is fronting. It also appears that because of the property located to the south is zoned RC, PD-3, it would eventually be developed and at that time, Donelson Drive will have to be improved to the point of being two-way. Member Hoadley stated he was also persuaded with the fact that the petitioner is willing to donate land for the continuation of West Oaks Drive and felt that he makes a good case for a rezoning. Member Hoadley asked Dennis Watson if Mr. Quinn was correct in stating because the Ordinance is not in place, the Commission cannot give it any due consideration.
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the Commission is not giving it consideration, in the respect of viewing it as an alternative use of the property. It does not mean that the use is appropriate or that there are not other feasible uses of the property. In the current state of the Ordinance, it is conceivable that this could be Master Planned and rezoned for OS-2, PD-4, which is a possibility that has similar uses to what are being proposed under the new OST Ordinance.
Member Hoadley stated the fact that West Oaks I & II are developed commercial, this would be an ideal buffer zone that might be created between that and future office or OST. Member Hoadley stated the fact that attempts were made to market the parcel, has some persuasion to him and the fact that further east on Twelve Mile Road has developed some types of office, is not as relevant because they are not up against this type of RC development. Member Hoadley stated he was personally persuaded and he is in support of the rezoning request.
PM-96-10-268 TO AMEND THE MASTER PLAN FOR LAND USE FROM OFFICE (PD-2) TO NON-CENTER COMMERCIAL (PD-3)
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Capello, FAILED (4-3): To amend the Master Plan for Land Use from Office (PD-2) to Non-Center Commercial (PD-3).
Member Capello stated he would never imagine taking a client to this particular location to propose the location of an office. He stated the location is just not feasible for office because of the abutting shopping to the east, abutting parkland to the northwest, the poor expressway access and no expressway visibility. Member Capello stated the area should probably be consistent with some type of regional shopping center or as the Master Plan calls out, Non-Center Commercial. Member Capello stated if the parcel were capable to be developed as office, he felt it would have already been developed as such in the past. Member Capello stated he was in favor of the motion.
Member Bononi stated she is not in favor of amending the Master Plan. She stated without any really dramatic reasons to verify that the property cannot be used in any other way, she is not convinced as such. She stated she will not be voting in favor of the motion.
Member Weddington also stated she will not be in support of the motion. She stated she relies on the recommendations of the consultants and she is not convinced that the zoning should be changed. She stated there are a number of other types of uses that could be made of the property as it is currently zoned which have not been addressed to her satisfaction. She stated the argument that the building faces the rear of Builders Square does not hold water because the proposed site plan looks right at the rear. She stated she would have many concerns with the site plan if it were to come forward.
Member Churella stated he would not even build a "Class C" building in the area because it could never be rented out due to the location. It is conducive to retail types of businesses because it is coinciding with retail. He thought the Commission was doing a disservice to the City by not going ahead and allowing a business to be built that coincides with the businesses around it. He stated he will be in support of the motion.
It was Member Capello’s belief that the transition line would serve better at the railroad tracks. He stated the Beck Road intersection will be developed, as Taft Road goes through, there will be some light industrial, high tech and corporate parks going in. He thought it would be compatible with the use south of Twelve Mile, west of the railroad tracks. He did not see those uses carrying over to the regional center. He stated he had a concern with the site plan and the way the wall faces to the west, but this is something that can be addressed later.
Chairperson Lorenzo expressed concern with the traffic implications and land use, she stated she cannot support the motion. It was her belief that the request was premature, if the request was concurrent with the funding for the road improvements, she may be able to support it, however, without the road improvements in place or at least funded and approved concurrently, she cannot support increasing the traffic to this amount and lowering the level of service with this type of land use. She stated she is not totally opposed to the commercial use, her main objection was the traffic implications in terms of comparison of land use. She also stated as long as the applicant meets the requirements in terms of setbacks and green space, the Commission does not have a choice to say which way the applicant must face its’ building. Chairperson Lorenzo stated whatever type of building is built on the parcel, there will need to be concern regarding the layout, setbacks and berming because it should be compatible to the next zoning. She again stated at this moment she cannot support the motion.
Member Hoadley stated if the property immediately to the south was not already zoned Commercial, then Donelson Drive could be used as a buffer, however, it is zoned Commercial and this will not be able to happen, this is why he cannot see any reason not to rezone the property.
Chairperson Lorenzo again stated the motion and asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.
Mr. Arroyo pointed out the Master Plan does require six (6) affirmative votes.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-268 FAILED
Yes: Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Markham
No: Lorenzo, Weddington, Bononi
PM-96-10-269 TO REFER TO THE MASTER PLAN & ZONING COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE AMENDMENT TO THE MASTER PLAN
Moved by Capello, seconded by Markham, CARRIED (5-2): To refer the matter of the Master Plan, to the Master Plan & Zoning Committee.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would be voting against the motion because she felt once again, the motion was premature at this point in time. She stated she cannot support Commercial unless there is mitigation in place for the road improvements, she did not see any purpose for it at this time.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-269 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Hoadley, Markham, Weddington, Capello
No: Lorenzo, Bononi
Chairperson Lorenzo stated the chair will entertain a motion to address the other two items.
PM-96-10-270 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.557 FROM RESIDENTIAL ACREAGE AND OFFICE SERVICE DISTRICT TO RESIDENTIAL CENTER DISTRICT
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (4-3): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for the rezoning.
Member Weddington stated the Commission needs to take care of it and it would be inconsistent with the Master Plan to rezone it at this time.
Member Capello stated it would be inconsistent, however, the Commission can send a positive recommendation and it can be rezoned to RC District, it just cannot have the PD-3 Option attached to it. He stated he would also like to see the Master Plan changed.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-270 CARRIED
Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi
No: Hoadley, Capello, Churella
PM-96-10-271 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR PD-3 OPTION ON THE DEKA NOVI SITE, SP96-18A DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE MASTER PLAN
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (4-3): To
VOTE ON PM-96-10-271 CARRIED
Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi
No: Capello, Churella, Hoadley
Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission will take a brief recess.
2. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.561
Property located at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Haggerty Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from Light-Industrial District (I-1) to General Business (B-3) or any other appropriate zoning district.
Chuck Ghesquire, Jr. introduced the gentlemen working with him on the property in question. He announced he would like Tom Duke to speak on the matter.
Thomas Duke, commercial property broker, stated his company has been marketing a 2.47 acre parcel owned by Mr. Stiglich since 1990. He stated he is in the sixth consecutive year of combing the region for the highest and best use under current zoning for a truely unique corner site. He stated he has failed. He stated the property has attracted limited response from users who fit the present ordinance, and less from users who do not. Restaurants show no interest due to zoning, site dimensions, drainage ditch improvement costs, parking requirements, water tap fees and the fact that the restaurant market is saturated. No industrial user has shown an interest in this site due to site dimensions and property cost relative to industrial sites. There have been no office or bank branch inquiries. Not until Mr. Ghesquire’s use was coupled with the idea of assembly of additional acreage to the west, was there a possibility for such a premier development to take place. The assembly of additional acreage presents a challenge, that is, the nature of redevelopment and taking it to its’ highest and best use. The request will subtract from a mostly developed industrial area on the eastern part of the city and add it to an existing B-3 inventory of only 16.74, fronting Haggerty Road and 69.43 fronting Grand River. Mr. Duke stated the proposed change is a reasonable alternative to the Master Plan because it will promote land use policies of the Master Plan and will not conflict with present policies. The proposal will be compatible with existing uses in the area, it will not interfere with the orderly development of the area or be detrimental to the safety or convenience of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The proposed change will boost property values in the area, help the city maintain a commercial property tax base, eliminate a non-conforming use and finish off the immediate area with a premier business presence at one of the cities’ most important intersections. In summary, the rezoning request fits with good planning and good common sense. Mr. Duke introduced Mr. Lee Mamola for a more detailed presentation.
Lee Mamola identified the property more specifically. He referred to the map, the property sits generally at the intersection, however it has several peculiar features which make it unique when combined with the existing buildings. He stated there is a 135 foot ROW measuring from the center line of Haggerty Road, slightly beyond that, 180 feet off the center line of Haggerty Road is a floodway line, much of the other property is under a flood plain area. He stated if the buildings floor elevation is constructed at such a proper elevation, they can construct the building in the flood plain area. Mr. Mamola addressed some alternate scenarios. Mr. Mamola stated the plan has the most opportunity to offer a gateway to the City of Novi and with the quality of materials and the product they wish to sell, he sees nothing but positive action with the development.
Mr. Ghesquire concluded he has been in business for forty years and in the auto business for 35 years. Presently he owns 80% of a Cadillac dealership in Rochester, he owns 100% of the Mercedes store in Birmingham and he has just finished closing out a Mercedes dealership in Detroit, this is the reason for wanting to locate in Novi. He stated he has never had a problem with the various cities, he has always been very proud of how his businesses function, he does not post for sale signs in the windows, there are no tags on the cars in the lots, he treats people fairly and he becomes a part of the city. He asked the Commission to consider the land for rezoning.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the corner lot is presently occupied by a non-conforming old house and there are a series of industries that front Northwest Industries immediately to the west. The property to the west is zoned I-1 and is used by Family Dentistry and Keford Collision. Further to the west is Mini-U Storage and to the north is American Self Storage. To the east, in the City of Farmington Hills, is a Shell Service Station, Arby’s and Sam’s Club. The Master Plan does recommend the site for Light Industrial future land use. Across Grand River is proposed for Non-Center Commercial use. The proposal for a dealership, service area or new commercial could enhance the entryway to the city. It was Mr. Rogers’ thought, that the proximity of other dealerships shows that the area is one where comparison shopping is done. Mr. Rogers noted if the property is rezoned to B-3, any of the other permitted uses in that district would be allowed, should the dealership not materialize. Mr. Rogers stated about one month ago, issued in the packets was a notice from the City of Farmington Hills of a pending rezoning for a new car dealership across Haggerty Road, south of I-96, he announced that the Public Hearing on September 19, 1996 was adjourned to October 24, 1996 and the applicant is Mr. Ghesquire. Mr. Rogers concluded that the request for B-3 zoning has merit for the following reasons: (1) The intersection of Grand River and Haggerty Road is an existing commercial focal point, with B-3 zoning and development on the southwest, southeast, and northwest corners. (2) There is little likelihood that B-3 zoning will proliferate along the north side of Grand River or west side of Haggerty Road. (3) By rezoning the B-3 District, the proposed redevelopment of the site for a new car dealership could enhance the entrance to the City and further economic development. In the event that the dealership does not materialize, other permitted B-3 uses would be reviewed. (4) There has been no expressed interest in using the corner of Grand River Avenue and Haggerty Road for any uses in the I-1 District in the past 10 years other than an auto-service establishment and a restaurant of which no plans were ever submitted for either development. Mr. Rogers stated he has conferred with Mr. Watson regarding methods to restrict the site solely to a new car dealership and has been advised such methods are not possible in this case. Should the rezoning be effected, Mr. Rogers recommended the Master Plan for Land Use be amended to show Non-Center Commercial future land use for the property.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the applicants’ traffic consultant has provided a comparison of the proposed dealership to several other uses, including I-1 uses and B-3 uses. The proposed dealership has a trip generation estimate of 383 on a 24 hour basis, 16 during the morning peak hour and 21 during the afternoon peak hour based on looking at the Trip Generation rates from the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Mr Arroyo stated the applicant has also provided some trip generation numbers for a.m. and p.m. peak hours at a Sterling Heights luxury dealer as a point of comparison indicating a higher peak hour trip generation than what ITE calls for. Mr. Arroyo stated on a peak hour basis, Light Industrial would be fairly similar to the proposed dealership at 13 a.m. peak hour versus 16, and 14 p.m. peak hour versus 21. The office development generates more traffic than a typical dealership, but, about the same as the luxury dealer during the morning and slightly more in the afternoon. Mr. Arroyo stated the various retail uses generally generate more traffic than either the dealership, light industrial or offices uses. He stated the information is provided to the Commission as a part of their consideration.
Chairperson Lorenzo opened up the Public Hearing to the Public.
Ginger Barons spoke in favor of the proposed dealership, she recommended the rezoning of the parcel. She stated she owns Red Carpet Keim Reliable Real Estate and it is located directly across the street from the property in Pheasant Run Plaza. She praised the dealerships in the area and stated she cannot see a better use for the property. She asked the Commission to consider the rezoning.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else 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.
PM-96-10-272 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO REZONE PROPERTY FROM I-1 TO B-3
Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.561
As a matter of procedure, Member Weddington asked if the Commission first needs to amend the Master Plan before sending a recommendation for rezoning?
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney answered, no.
Member Weddington stated she supported the motion on the basis that she thinks it is a unique parcel because of its’ physical characteristics, limited size, existence of the drain and she agreed with Mr. Rogers comments that it was unlikely that a rezoning of the parcel would encourage additional rezoning requests or changes to B-3. She thought the potential use was attractive and felt the minimal traffic generated is preferable to some other uses. She expressed her concern if the rezoing occurred and the project were not developed as proposed, that there may be something less desirable built, but this was a risk she was willing to take. She stated if it is rezoned, she would like to see the Master Plan amended to make it consistent.
Member Hoadley stated he was in support of the motion. He asked Mr. Mamola how he will address the flood plain to keep the building and the cars dry?
Mr. Mamola answered, the flood plain is roughly one foot difference. He believed it to be close enough to go through the final engineering site plan process.
Member Hoadley asked if he proposed to add any fill to raise the land?
Mr. Mamola stated the building addition and its’ finished floor would be one foot above the flood plain. Giving almost two feet of ramping. He stated there is a natural division between the car showroom and the bay area at the rear of the building.
Member Hoadley asked if the existing building that it is going to be attached to, has ever flooded?
Mr. Mamola stated the owner is in the audience, and let him answer the question.
He answered, not since 1965.
Member Bononi stated the gamble of recommending a rezoning could bring uses that some would not like to see on that site. She stated her greatest concern would be a service station, which she did not believe would be appropriate for that site. Member Bononi stated the presentation was excellently done, it gave all the information that the Commission could possibly ask for to make a decision. She stated she would be in support of the motion.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she will be in support of the motion for the same reasons the Commissioners have stated. She then asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-272 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Markham, Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. MERRITT HANDLING SYSTEMS, INC., SP96-25A
Property located north of Nine Mile Road, west of Venture Drive for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Jeff Conkle of Wieland-Davco Corporation requested preliminary site plan approval from the Commission.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the plan is the second submittal. It is about a 12,000 square foot, one-story warehouse with a two-story attached office building on a 1.16 acre I-1 zoned site. It does not abut residential or require a Special Land Use approval. All application data is substantially provided, building meets I-1 District setback requirements. 16 parking spaces plus one handicapped space is required and these requirements are met. Off street loading and unloading are provided in the rear yard. Perimeter green space is properly provided which is a 40 foot front yard greenspace, 10 feet along side of the property lines. Landscape plan is to be reviewed at the time of final submittal. The proposed conceptual building facade plans indicate E.I.F.S. and split face block. It was Mr. Rogers’ opinion that the plans do not meet the standards of Section 2520. The reference to 8" and 12" C.M.U. block should be deleted if they are going to use split faced C.M.U. block, it should be indicated and can be done at the time of final site plan submittal. At that time, a percentage of materials for each facade demonstrated on the facade plan, per the requirements in the Zoning Ordinance and a materials design board per specifications in Site Plan Manual should be provided at the time of final site plan submittal. Mr. Rogers recommended preliminary site plan approval subject to: (1) Correction of CSX RR name on Sheet 1, (2) Detailing of facade plan on final site plan, (3) Provision of 2nd floor office plan.
Dave Bluhm of JCK stated the site is proposed to encompass the north 75 feet of lot 5 and the south 90 feet of lot 6 of Hickory Corporate Park. When the industrial subdivision was developed, the water main, sanitary sewers and storm sewers were extended up in through Venture Drive to service all of the lots within the industrial subdivision. With regard to the storm sewer, the site is proposed to allow unrestrictive flow, no detention is required on site, the storm water will be directed to the 36" storm sewer on the east side of Venture Drive which extends to the south, across Nine Mile Road and into the Middle Rouge River. Mr. Bluhm stated there are several errors on the plan with regard to existing utility size which are minor and can be addressed at the time of final. An easement will be required on the south side of lot 5 for the storm sewer extension that is proposed. The approach into Venture Drive has a very severe jog in it just west of the approach area and he stated he would like to see this removed. Mr. Bluhm stated the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated access is proposed directly to Venture Drive which then goes out to Nine Mile Road. Nine Mile Road currently has deceleration/exceleration and passing lanes in place and no additional improvements are warranted. He stated an estimate in forecast of trip generation is about 120 trips per day, less than 20 p.m. peak hour trips for this use. Mr. Arroyo had concerns regarding the entry and the abrupt nature of the shift, he recommended as a part of final that it be addressed and the transition be made more smooth in the approach into the site. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the site plan subject to this issue being resolved at the time of final.
Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: (1) All weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. (2) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and to be in service prior to construction above the foundation. (3) Show location of fire hydrants on plans. (4) Hydrant locations must conform to the 300 foot maximum spacing for commercial developments. (5) A hydrant must be provided within 100 feet of the Fire Department connection. (6) Show the location of FDC on plans.
Chairperson Lorenzo turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Hoadley asked the applicant if he had any problem with any of the recommendations made by the consultants?
Mr. Conkle stated he has had the opportunity to review all of the comments and he does not have a problem with compliance of any of them.
PM-96-10-273 RECOMMEND PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR MERRITT HANDLING SYSTEMS, INC., SP96-25A
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Merritt Handling Systems, Inc., SP96-25A for Preliminary Site Plan.
Member Bononi asked what actually will Merritt Handling Systems do in the building?
Victor Merritt, the owner of the site stated they will stock and ship shelving and racking for storage systems, it is a warehouse where orders are packed and trucks come in to ship orders out.
Member Bononi asked who the owner of the site is?
Mr. Merritt answered he is the owner.
Member Bononi asked about the second floor above the office and a floor plan not being shown for it.
Mr. Merritt stated it is a storage mezzanine area which is not clearly indicated on the drawing at this point, however, it can be made clearer as with the designation of the C.M.U. on the elevations.
Member Bononi asked if there was enough space on site so that if Mr. Rogers were to require the utilization of some of that square footage in parking space, it could be done?
Mr. Merritt answered, yes. He also believed it to be calculated.
Mr. Rogers stated he did not give any usable floor area credit, he took the total gross area of the second floor and the applicant still met the requirement. The usuable floor area is 90-95% of the gross.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm if a gas and oil separator was shown at the connection before going into the Rouge River?
Mr. Bluhm stated they do not have one shown on their plans but it will be required. He stated there is also one additional gas and oil seperator in the main system in Venture Drive. It was Mr. Bluhm’s opinion that a secondary one would not be detrimental.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo how much truck traffic can be anticipated?
Mr. Arroyo answered it would depend on the individual operation and suggested asking the applicant.
Mr. Merritt stated it would probably average one to two trucks in per month, for goods that are stocked. He stated shipments are made on common carriers, averaging two trucks per day.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked how big are the trucks?
Mr. Merritt answered when stock is received, it is on a 40-45 foot flat bed and when shipping out, it is normally a 40 foot trailer.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he anticipated any rail spurs at any time or if he would be utilizing CSX at any time?
Mr. Merritt answered, no.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo if there would be any ability to limit truck traffic to right hand turns only?
Mr. Arroyo stated it would be covered primary by the loading restrictions on the roadway. He stated there is a Memorandum in the packet from Bruce Jerome that addresses the issue. He stated Nine Mile Road from Novi Road to Heslip Drive, which is west of Venture, is a Class A, all weather roadway and from Heslip Drive to Venture is identified as Class B and drops down to Class C as you travel the other direction. Mr. Arroyo stated loaded trucks are only going to be able to go west in most instances because the roads in that direction are designed to handle it.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Planning Commission has the discretion of limiting industrial development truck access to right hand turns only?
Mr. Watson answered he did not believe so, however, it is something that can be referred to Mr. Jerome for purposes of traffic control orders. If this is something that is deemed appropriate from a traffic standpoint, then it could be considered.
Member Bononi asked the purpose for the monitoring well that is shown on the plan?
Mr. Merritt answered it was included as a part of JCK’s original comments.
Mr. Bluhm stated the ordinance requires monitoring man holes for all industrial developments so that they can be periodically checked to see if the proper effluents are going from the site.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-273 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham
PM-96-10-274 TO REFER THE RIGHT TURN LIMITATIONS, SUGGESTED BY CHAIRPERSON LORENZO TO DPW ENGINEER, BRUCE JEROME FOR STUDY AND COMMENT
Moved by Bononi, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the matter of Implementing a right turn only for truck movements onto Nine Mile Road to Bruce Jerome, DPW.
Member Churella stated he thought the type of truck must be designated, ie. a two ton versus a 4 ton truck.
Mr. Arroyo stated if a motion is made to have the issue addressed, Mr. Jerome will be able to analyze what type of restrictions might be appropriate and post the appropriate signs.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-274 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. DETROIT EDISON - PROPOSED PROJECTS
The Detroit Edison Company discussed their proposed sites and plans for Quaker and Tahoe Stations.
Mick Blunden, Corporate Permit Coordinator for Detroit Edison stated he is before the Commission to discuss future projects that will enable better service to the community. He mentioned the growth in Oakland County and stated when communities grown, the infrastructure needs to grow with it. Due to the growth of the electrical demand and the projected growth in the Novi area, it has become necessary to add to the existing transmission and distribution system. Mr. Blunden presented the proposed Quaker Station which will be located at the M-5, I-96, Haggerty Road intersection. He stated Detroit Edison has owned the property since 1972. Construction of the station will enable the addition of four new circuits that will connect to future or existing stations and substations in the area. The proposed Tahoe Station is sited at an existing corridor that has also existed since the early 1970's. He stated this station will address the immediate distribution concerns. It is to be centrally located near the center of growth, both existing and proposed to relieve the Cody and Akron substations which are at 133% capacity. Mr. Blunden stated the Cody Station is located of off Griswold and Nine Mile Road and Akron is located at I-96, between Meadowbrook and Novi Roads. Circuits that currently feed the area are coming from both Cody and Akron. He stated the area is at the end of its’ circuits from the substations which puts them at risk, from a capacity standpoint and a reliability standpoint, therefore, a substation needs to be put in the area to address these problems. In addition, to the reliability of capacity problems, it should also improve any restoration, if there is any large storm damage to the existing circuits. Mr. Blunden stated the plans are to contact the homeowners associations in the vicinity of the proposed sites to discuss the plans and address concerns and questions.
Member Weddington asked if all of the utilities need to go through the regular site plan approval process? She stated she was confused at this point.
Mr. Watson believed the applicant to be here for informational purposes.
Mr. Blunden stated he would like the Commission to know what the plans are and would like any comments or concerns it may have.
In regard to the process, Mr. Watson stated there is an exception in the Zoning Ordinance for essential services. He asked what physically will be put in at the substations?
Mr. Blunden answered the Tahoe station will not require a building, there are switch gears that are encased in a metal cabinet, plus two transformers. The Quaker Station will have a patrol center, which is a building.
Mr. Watson believed the station with the building would require site plan approval.
Mr. Rogers reported he met with the applicant last week and advised that the area is a part of the proposed OST District and the Commission would want to make sure it is compatible. He stated he did not see a problem with it.
Member Weddington stated she just wanted to clarify what point it was at and expressed her appreciation of Detroit Edison coming in early with preliminary information on what is being proposed. She was in favor of Edison doing what it can, to increase reliability. It was Member Weddington’s belief that there may be wetlands in the area of the proposed Quaker Station and the Commission would need to be concerned about this. In regard to the Tahoe Station, she stated it is right in the middle of an area that will be developed residential in the future. Currently, there are very few existing subdivisions, therefore there are not many residents to meet with. She personally preferred to see the installation located in an industrial zoned district, however if it had to be located in the residential area, she would want to see adequate screening and protection for the neighboring residents.
Mr. Blunden stated he is aware of the wetlands on the Quaker Station site and Mr. Brooks Williamson has been employed to conduct a wetland survey. He stated they will be meeting with the city wetlands and woodlands experts to address the issues. He also stated they are prepared to mitigate if possible but as a rule, they do not choose sites that have wetlands on them, however, it may not be possible in this particular case. In regard to the Tahoe Station, he stated it is realized that it will be located in a residential area and they are sensitive to that, it will be screened and will work with the residents in the community. He stated he is not aware of any industrial areas, central to the area that needs servicing.
Mr. Rogers stated Echo Valley is a subdivision that should be met with. He suggested to move the station southerly into a more remote area. He stated the Sunoco well head is underground to the west comes to the Edison easement and goes north 2 miles on the easement to their refining station. Mr. Rogers believed this to be a good possibility.
Mr. Blunden stated he has looked at the possibilities and it will probably entail purchasing property from the owner to the west. He stated it is under consideration.
2. SITE PLAN EXTENSIONS
Review of possible time limits for site plan extensions.
Member Capello did not see any problem granting petitioners site plan extensions on a site plan that has been before the Commission which complied with the Ordinance and was approved. He did not see any reason to put any more restrictions on it than what there is.
Member Bononi took the opposing view. She stated she had a problem with extensions that are granted over a period of many years. Other items that should be considered are changes in use in abutting zones, drainage problems that develop, different attitudes about what a neighborhood character will be, problems that surface and solutions that are proposed. She stated there are a lot of Ordinance changes within a five year period to give a developer an extension of that time. Member Bononi thought it was only reasonable to look at a series of two or a maximum of three, one year extensions. To let the extensions go on indefinitely does not serve any good purpose other than to serve the applicant. Member Bononi stated she spoke with Wells F. Cook who is a parliamentarian and a frequent consultant to the City of Novi, and it was his suggestion that a limit could be procedurally set per the bylaws. A second alternative would be to build in a time limit for each and every application. She stated in regard to the extensions being mentioned by reference in the Ordinance, it was Mr. Cook’s opinion that it would effect the Planning Commission in a negative way because he did not see a reason for that matter to be in the Ordinance at all. He also thought that it was a procedural authority of the Planning Commission, and they have the right to do that. Member Bononi stated it makes sense to do business this way and not see the same application come in, over and over again.
Member Hoadley supported the comments of Member Bononi. He stated the three year limitation is reasonable.
PM-96-10-275 TO PROPOSE TO CHANGE THE PLANNING COMMISSION RULES TO ALLOW THREE (3) EXTENSIONS AFTER THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Weddington, FAILED (2-5): To amend Planning Commission Rules to limit the site plan extensions to three (3).
Member Churella asked if the Commission was speaking of the commercial developments, one that is large and comes in with a plan and completes it in phases?
Chairperson Lorenzo answered they were talking about site plan extensions, across the board which is different from phasing.
Member Churella stated he agreed with the comments of Member Hoadley
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated if this were to be done, a revision to that section of the Ordinance would have to be made so that it corresponds with what is being done. The action is taken by both the Planning Commission and the City Council since some site plans and special land uses are approved by the City Council. It just refers generally to extensions of a year duration being granted. Mr. Watson stated a recommendation would have to be made to City Council on revising the Ordinance.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked where is it that the Planning Commission gets the discretion of either approving or denying an additional year or two?
Mr. Watson answered it is under this Section.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated it is under that Section, however it is not specified.
Mr. Watson stated there is no limit specified.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she will be in support of the motion because she feels that limiting extensions are important and necessary. She gave the example of the Andris Property. She stated when the Commission gives permission to renew the project and keeps extending it, the Commission does not have the ability to change or modify the project, particularly in terms of access/egress points. This was the case with the Andris Property. Chairperson Lorenzo stated this was the main reason she felt it was necessary. She felt that unless the Commission has the ability to tinker with the projects, they are doing a disservice to themselves, the project and the community in terms of accepting the project as it was once approved by the Planning Commission.
Member Capello asked if the current Ordinance says that every year the plan should come before the Commission and if it doesn’t want to extend it, they do not?
Chairperson Lorenzo answered, no.
Mr. Watson stated the plan comes before the Commission for granting of the extension or not granting of it. He cautioned that when the plans come back before the Commission, the implication is that there are just certain things that are liked and disliked. The Commission should be approving or denying based upon whether they meet the criteria of the Ordinances and Regulations.
Member Capello clarified his comments that each year as the plans come back to the Commission, there is the ability to accept it or grant the extension or not grant it. If it is not granted, the applicant will have to resubmit and be consistent with the Ordinance.
Mr. Watson stated every time an extension comes up, the consultants are reviewing it to make sure it complies with current ordinance standards. Just because a project was approved a year or two ago, if they do not do anything with the site, they do not have the right to continue with the site plan if the ordinance or zoning changes.
Member Capello asked if the Commission has the opportunity each year not to grant the extension?
Mr. Watson answered it is a possibility, however, the problem in the past with extensions, is that there is really no criteria in the Ordinance that deals with a basis for granting or denying them. The way the rules are structured is to have the consultants review the plans to make sure they comply with the Ordinance. He stated it appears that the Commissioners have concerns beyond making sure it complies with the Ordinance. He stated the Commission does not necessarily have the discretion to make modifications.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the area of access and egress has a little discretion?
Mr. Watson read the Ordinance standards which stated one of the things the Commission looks at with every site plan is whether traffic access to the site is such that vehicular congestion or other impairment of traffic may result from access to and from the site.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated this was an important consideration and in a case such as Mr. Andris’s, if the Commission felt that, they would have had the ability to change that had it been a resubmitted application.
Mr. Arroyo stated it was modified. He stated the Commission directed him to evaluate making the drive onto Eastlake Drive, out only if it was feasible. They revised their plan to do that.
Member Bononi thought that what Mr. Watson said was absolutely the point. To look at this from the standpoint that there has to be a basis for finding a problem with renewing the application. It was her understanding that the Commission could not arbitrarily do that. She stated she has a problem with longevity giving a certain legitimacy or claim on the part of an applicant that lends an obligation in the tone of what the request is being asked. She also expressed that although she felt this way, she had a difficult time accepting the explanation.
Mr. Watson suggested looking at the section with regard to giving some basis to evaluate the extension requests.
Mr. Arroyo commented that the proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance will impact a lot of site plans that have not yet been constructed. He stated if the changes go through as proposed, very few site plans that come back for extensions are going to be able to be extended, there will probably be substantial revisions. He thought the number of plans coming before the Commission for a basic extension of site plan will probably start to diminish because there have not been any major changes in the ordinances up until now.
Mr. Watson stated as a part of this, among the choices will not merely be to extend or not to extend but to include a process for site plan revisions for those kinds of cases.
Member Capello stated rather than voting on it, he would like to see it go to the Ordinance Review Committee with a directive to the consultants, to come back with some language to set forth some guidelines on which to base the decision.
Mr. Watson stated being a Zoning Ordinance change, it would not go to the Ordinance Review Committee, it would either go to the Implementation Committee or it could be referred to Brandon Rogers, Rod Arroyo and himself.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Hoadley if he would like to withdraw his motion?
Member Hoadley answered, no. He stated he would like to call the question.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Watson of the Planning Commission’s ability to amend its’ own rules and the conflict with regard to the ordinance, how does the Commission retain its’ autonomy to establish their own procedural rules in order to better business without running into the conflict.
Mr. Watson recommended rather than the current motion, it was his belief that it goes beyond the rule of procedure of the Commission and suggested it be done by ordinance change rather than by rule. In particular, his concern was that if it is done by rule, it will be inconsistent with this section of the Ordinance.
Member Bononi stated the only problem was if the ordinance change were not approved, then the Commission would be precluded from making its’ own procedural rules and she did not want to see this happen.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-275 FAILED
Yes: Churella, Hoadley
No: Bononi, Capello, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington
PM-96-10-276 TO ASK BRANDON ROGERS, ROD ARROYO AND DENNIS WATSON TO WORK UP SOME LANGUAGE TO AMEND THE ZONING ORDINANCE 2516.6 TO INCLUDE SOME LANGUAGE TO PUT SOME REQUIREMENTS DOWN AS TO WHEN THE PLANNING COMMISSION WILL AND WILL NOT GRANT SITE PLAN EXTENSIONS AND WHAT THE AUTHORITY IS, WHEN A PLAN COMES IN FOR AN EXTENSION
Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To ask Brandon Rogers, Rod Arroyo and Dennis Watson to amend the Zoning Ordinance 2516.6 to include language as to when the Planning Commission will and will not grant site plan extensions and what the authority is when a plan comes in for an extension.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-276 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi
3. RECREATIONAL USES IN INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL, AND OFFICE DISTRICTS
Review of the first draft of amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. Draft has been submitted per City Council’s direction on 7/10/96.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant referred to Councilman Mitzel’s memorandum dated September 23, 1996. Mr. Rogers stated in the schedule of report date to Council, it said they would like to see the report back to the Planning Commission at the first Council meeting in November. He stated he did an inventory of the types of Recreation facilities, indoor/outdoor, public/private permitted in the various districts. Mr. Rogers recommended the deletion of Section 2508.2, Uses Otherwise Not Permitted In Any Zoning District which refers to Commercial Recreation Uses. The requirements say that it has to be located in I-1 or I-2 Districts, it cannot be in areas that are served by water and sewer, you cannot have a building other than sanitary restroom facilities, etc. Mr. Rogers stated this is really intended to be a transition use until industry takes the land, so rather than modify it, he thought it might be good to eliminate it entirely and permit beginning recreation facilities and outdoor recreation facilities when in association with an indoor recreation facility, upon Special Land Use approval. He suggested putting this language in the OS-1, OS-2, OSC, B-2, RC and I-1. If it is put into the B-2 District, it becomes also permitted as a principal use in the B-3 District. Also if it is put into the I-1 District, it will automatically permit it forthwith in the I-2 District. Mr. Rogers did not recommend any change in the listing of all the recreation uses in the various residential districts, mobile home park district, NCC, TC or TC-1 Districts. Setbacks have not been fully explored, currently the setbacks would be established in the schedule of regulations.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Rogers if the first draft has addressed abutting residential in any of the designations?
Mr. Rogers answered it does address it in the area of required setbacks and screening. Section 1905 is the special setback screening requirements for I-1 and I-2 next to residential.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if it was currently covered? Could SoccerZone have been put adjacent to abutting residential?
Mr. Rogers answered, no.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated there was an extended meeting on the issue and there did not seem to be much support of locating abutting residential. She questioned whether the Commission would be meeting the same thing if it were suggested. She stated she had no problem supporting the inclusion of all of the districts, except when it abuts residential.
Mr. Rogers stated much of the OS-1 and B-2 abut residential and a lot of these areas would be excluded, however, the requirement could be made.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was concerned that the Commission could be back to square one. She stated she hated to have to be devisive all over again.
It was Member Hoadley’s belief that the difference was that Mr. Rogers was suggesting if I-1 and I-2 are modified, it will fall under Special Land Use where it can be tinkered with. It would almost be like an overlay zoning. Member Hoadley thought it was a good idea.
Member Churella agreed with Member Hoadley.
Member Weddington also agreed with Member Hoadley. She stated it was her suggestion in the past that the Commission consider Special Land Use for these things. Member Weddington stated she understood Chairperson Lorenzo’s concerns, however, with the revisions that are being made to the screening and landscaping requirements, those concerns can be addressed.
Member Capello stated when the REC Ordinance initially came before the Commission, the Commission wanted to have an Ordinance available so that recreational facilities could locate in the city and bring recreational facilities to the residents. The districts that they are being put into are districts that are running from $90,000-$120,000 per acre. For some of the recreational uses that want to come can, cannot make it buying property that expensive. Secondly, the berming and landscape requirements will cost the applicant more money, again, making it unaffordable for them. Member Capello stated what is really being done is the writing of an Ordinance that is not feasible for any developer to come in.
PM-96-10-277 TO DIRECT BRANDON ROGERS TO SUBMIT THE PROPOSAL TO CITY COUNCIL
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (6-1): To direct Brandon Rogers to submit the proposal to City Council.
Member Churella asked about all of the language that was worked on for weeks and was submitted.
Mr. Rogers answered it has all been discarded and all of the uses listed apply under Special Land Use criteria and Public Hearing requirements. He stated the uses could be made Special Land uses in the B-3 District. The I-2 District does not have Special Land Use provisions in it, he saw some value in putting it in B-3 for consistency.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-277 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would like to schedule a second joint meeting with City Council on a Saturday morning from either 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The three Saturdays available in November are the 2nd, 9th or the 16th. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she will recommend to City Council, November 2, 1996 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
PM-96-10-278 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:05 P.M.
Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:05 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-96-10-278 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Capello, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington
Steven Cohen - Staff Planner
Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr
October 28, 1996
Date Approved: November 6, 1996