(810) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:36 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Hoadley


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








Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any additions or deletions to the Agenda? Steve Cohen, Staff Planner reported that Greg Capote, Senior Staff Planner, has asked him to pull Item 3 under Matters for Consideration, the Economic Base Study. Mr. Cohen would also like to add approval of the 1997 Planning Commission Meeting Schedule. Chairperson Lorenzo replaced Item 3 with the approval of the 1997 Planning Commission Meeting Schedule. Member Bononi added 1) the discussion of the Residential Unit Development Option and 2) the revised Design and Construction Standards, which was received in an informational packet to Planning Commissioners on October 25, 1996, under Matters for Discussion. Member Capello asked if Mr. Cohen’s Item 3 under Matters for Consideration could be moved up to Item 2 under the Consent Agenda. Seeing no objections, Chairperson Lorenzo moved it to Item 2 under the Consent Agenda. Member Capello would also like to move Rotary Park Final Site Plan Approval up to Item 4 under Consent Agenda, subject to all of the Consultants recommendations. It was Chairperson Lorenzo’s belief that there were some specific issues on the matter, relative to drainage. She asked the Commission if they were all satisfied in terms of the information received? Seeing no objections, she added it as Item 4 under the Consent Agenda.





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





Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None






Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, announced on Monday, November 11, 1996 at 7:00 p.m., the Northville Township Planning Commission will be holding a Public Hearing regarding their Master Plan. He stated Northville Township shares about 4 miles of Novi’s southern border. They have some development proposals and ongoing development in the Haggerty Road Corridor and possibilities along Beck Road that will have potential impact on Novi as Novi has ongoing developments that are impacting Northville Township. It was Mr. Mutch’s feeling that Novi should be in communication with its’ surrounding communities regarding mutual plans. He also addressed the Sherwood Place Office and Residential Care Facility. He passed out to the Commission, a product of an Urban Design Plan city study that was conducted eight years ago. He commended the developer of the project for implementing the designs. He hoped to see more of the Urban Design Plan implemented in that area to create a more cohesive design and look for that region. Finally, in regard to the second Public Hearing, Settler’s Creek Subdivision, he asked the Commission to keep in mind that there are some properties to the east that are a part of the City’s Storm Water Master Plan. He also mentioned the future use of the city properties could be used as some kind of recreational use and providing access to that property through the subdivision if approved.


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 second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.





Gail Esker wrote in regard to Settler’s Creek Subdivision. She stated Novi has such beautiful forests and wetlands that are not seen in too many communities, this makes Novi a great place to live in. Many communities and subdivisions are building around natural areas, not on top of them, including wetlands, she did not see why Settler’s Creek could not do the same.


Nancy W. Janik and Christopher J. Janik both would like the Commission to reconsider sending the OSC Zoning Ordinance to the Implementation Committee for a clear definition of "office, service and commercial" as used in that ordinance. They attached a copy of the Orchard Hill II Place Covenant Codes and Restrictions that pertain to their subdivision as the adjoining property owners. Since it specifically states, "as defined in Novi City Ordinance", they feel that the city has an obligation to clearly define the terms in the ordinance. The city’s expediency could prohibit another hotel from being built at that location.


Jacqueline K. Schaefer stated on Thursday, October 4, 1996, she met with Brandon Rogers to discuss the possibility of conducting a small day care from a home she was interested in purchasing on Ten Mile Road. She was troubled to hear Mr. Rogers recite the restrictions and the ordinances on operating a childrens day care center. After a 30 minute conversation, she concluded that Novi is very supportive of large centers on large lots. She operates a center out of her home and has been in business for 14 years, in the fast moving, two income families, small day cares and consistent care givers are most important. She asked the Commission to please reconsider the ordinances on the issues of setbacks, home occupancy and students allowed.


Lynn Kocan wrote in regard to Harada Industries of America. It was her understanding that no variances to the ordinances are being requested. Also, there is to be no manufacturing in the building. She has been told that the current hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. six days a week. The developer states that the decibel levels of any activity will be less than the required 60 decibel level. The Interlock berm was to have a ten-foot crest, it looks like the berm on the prints is only a current minimum of six feet. She hoped the berm height could be at least ten feet. Residents have preferred that Hickory Corporate Park be developed mostly as office. Of most concern, is the amount of semi-truck traffic proposed for this facility in Hickory Corporate Park, estimation is that there will be 35 diesel trucks daily. She believed the city needs to address the following: How will these semi-trucks get to Hickory Corporate Park? Should this much semi-truck traffic be traversing through residential subdivisions? Which roads are physically able to handle this much traffic, load-wise and traffic-wise? Should there be a designated truck route in the City of Novi? If so, which neighborhoods should be adversely affected? How many trucks determine when a warehouse becomes a distribution center? Does a distribution center fit within the intent of an office/engineering corporate park? If or when Harada moves out, what types of companies would take over the building utilizing the 13 truck wells? This is a Special Land Use and the Commissions special attention to all these details is greatly appreciated.


Member Capello stated he has received a letter from the Novi Heights Community Association, to Clif Sieber. Per Mr. Jones, you have suggested a meeting to inform the residents of the subdivision of your plans. Due to many of the residents not being directly affected by this development, we feel that it may be more appropriate to send direct correspondence to the residents at Clark Street and Marlson Avenue and advise them of the following: 1) verification of your development plans; 2) the approximate start to completion dates; 3) telephone number. The main concern as officers of the subdivision is any damage the construction trucks may cause by traveling in and out of Clark Street.




Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any corrections or other changes to the Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of October 2, 1996 or October 16, 1996? Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has a received a note which reflects Member Hoadley’s corrections, as he was unable to attend the meeting, as well as a few of her own corrections. She read the note which reflected Member Hoadley’s corrections and referred to Page 38, however, there was no comment in regard to a correction so she moved forward to the minutes of the October 16. Page 9, Chairperson Lorenzo stated, unfortunately the note does not indicate where the corrections are to be made, she suggested Mr. Cohen could call Member Hoadley at a later date and clarify his corrections. She stated the Commission would approve the minutes subject to Member Hoadley’s corrections.


Chairperson Lorenzo had some corrections on the October 16 minutes, Page 25, last paragraph, should read, "Chairperson Lorenzo stated she will be in support of the motion because she feels that limiting extensions are important and necessary." Page 30, third paragraph, second sentence, the word "devicive" is misspelled, it should be "devisive". She had corrections to the minutes of October 2, Page 28, fifth paragraph, "swaled" is misspelled as "swailed". Page 30, fifth paragraph, second sentence should read, "She did share...". Page 33, third paragraph, the word "advise" should be "advice". Member Weddington referred to the minutes of October 16, Page 10, fourth paragraph, second sentence "rely’s" should be spelled "relies". Member Bononi referred to the minutes of October 2, Page 9, last paragraph, sixth line should read, "...ground signs at gasoline stations." Page 13, seventh paragraph, third line, the word "trenchant" should be "transient". Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there are no other corrections, the chair will entertain a motion to approve the minutes as amended.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve all four items on the Consent Agenda.






Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced if anyone was in attendance for Rotary Park, the Final Site Plan has been approved.






Property located at the north end of Venture Drive for possible Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approvals.


Don Kegley of Cunningham-Limp Company represented Harada Industries for whom they are planning to build a building in Hickory Corporate Park in Novi. He gave some history, stating Cunningham-Limp developed the Hickory Corporate Park several years ago. He stated the site being discussed, was sold to Interlock Corporation about 4-5 years ago. It was determined that its’ use would not be compatible to the adjacent residential subdivision. He stated as industrial real estate building contractors they have built a number of projects in Novi. In developing Hickory Corporate Park, he stated they have been sensitive to the fact that it is adjacent to residential and prior to acquiring the property, he invited a number of residents from the Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision to explain his development plan and what is envisioned for the property. He stated the intent was not to fight with the residents. At the end of that meeting, he received good reception, he bought the property, put the road in, and built the Burrows facility. Until the property was sold to Interlock, there was no other activity within the park. When Harada explained their type of building and geographical preference for their facility, this site immediately came to mind. Cunningham-Limp contacted Interlock to find that they were interested in selling the property back to them if there was a purchase agreement to buy the property back subject to the project approval. Mr. Kegley’s goal is to come up with a project that will be as unoffensive to the residential neighbors as possible. He feels that this is the project that will deliver that. Prior to submitting for Site Plan Approval at the City of Novi, he asked the homeowners if they would meet again, he presented his plans to them, they raised a number of valid concerns and to the extent possible, he stated he has tried to incorporate the concerns into the plan.


The two-story facility is proposed at 120,000 square feet, of which 20,000 square feet will be office and 100,000 square feet will be a warehouse facility with thirteen truck docks. He stated they anticipate 35 trucks per day, they were careful not to place windows or mechanical units on the side of the building that would affect the residents, they are all located inside the building. To the north, is a woodland area that would remain, the development to the east is of concern to the residents in regard to berm height. Mr. Kegley stated he added an additional berm to screen the parking area and the turntable. He stated he would be happy to work with the residents to try to develop and landscape the berm so it has minimal impact.


Mr. Kegley stated Harada Industries designs automobile and light truck antennas. One function of the facility is the design of antennas. He stated the automobile makers are moving toward a desire to stay away from unsightly electric antennas and this is where Harada comes into play. They design the antenna, have prototypes manufactured, place them in a test vehicle and put them on a turntable with a 20 foot high antenna where the measurements can be recorded to see how a given antenna design works with a given body style. The turntable is mounted by underground components and it locks automatically when not in operation.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he has reviewed the project for a second time. The project is a 120,800 square foot warehouse and office facility. He stated that no manufacturing or processing was indicated to be done in the building. The site requires Special Land Use review because it abuts residential zoning to the north and east. In Section 1905.5, because of the size of the site, the building and parking setbacks, height and nature of the use should not have an adverse effect on adjacent residential if all standards are met. No long term truck parking or outside storage is intended on site. Various data was provided on environmental impact, further study is being conducted to make sure the applicant stays within the City’s performance standards regarding noise. HVAC units are to be located within the building, which will require intakes and exhaust on the building. Municipal services are located at the site. Regulated woodlands on the site are not to be disturbed. In conclusion, Mr. Rogers recommended Special Land Use approval.


Mr. Rogers stated all application data is provided on the site plan. All setback requirements in an I-1 District have been met. The building is at the maximum height of 25 feet. The applicant complies with off-street parking requirements based upon the standards in the ordinance for usable floor space, 134 spaces are provided including the 5 required handicapped spaces. All off-street loading and unloading is located on the west side of the building facing the CSX Railroad. Landscape plan is reviewable at the time of Final Site Plan, there is a rough graded berm along the Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision area which he deferred to Ms. Lemke. Conceptual building facades are reviewed at the time of Preliminary Site Plan review. The building will be insulated metal siding and split face concrete block, Mr. Rogers stated it appears to meet the standards of the facade ordinance Section 2520 of the Zoning Ordinance. He also stated additional data will be required to be submitted at the time of Final Site Plan. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the applicant providing a sidwell number or an application for a separate sidwell number. He stated the property is not the same size as Interlock, it has been reduced in acreage and will require a separate parcel identification number before Final Site Plan approval is granted.


Dave Bluhm of JCK stated Hickory Corporate Park is an industrial subdivision much like a residential subdivision. The property is subdivided, there are lots available and all of the improvements are put in at the time that the property was developed several years ago. There is a water main that exists along the east side of the two properties and connects to the water main at Venture Drive and then out towards Nine Mile Road. In addition, sanitary sewers and storm sewers are available. The storm sewers have been sized for develop flows which are directed down to Nine Mile, across and into the Rouge River which is then directed to the south. With respect to the proposed improvements, the applicant is proposing a water main to be looped around the site, hydrants are provided in accordance with the Fire Department. A sanitary sewer lead will be extended into the building for service. The applicant is proposing a storm sewer system on site, no detention is required as the detention was accommodated for downstream. There is a single access to the site and Mr. Jerome has provided a letter that indicates some improvements slated for Nine Mile Road to repair some of the failing slabs of concrete between Venture and Novi Roads. Mr. Bluhm stated some minor comments need to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan and recommended approval.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated he has reviewed the Preliminary Site Plan as well as the Traffic Impact Analysis submitted by the applicants’ traffic consultant. He stated this project provides access from the cul-de-sac bulb of Venture Drive. It is forecasted that this project will generate approximately 125 trips during morning peak hour and 135 trips during afternoon peak hour. Mr. Arroyo provided a brief summary of conclusions from the study submitted in regard to the traffic study. He stated counts were taken at the Nine Mile/Novi, Nine Mile/Meadowbrook and Nine Mile/Venture intersections, all of which are operating at Level of Service "C" or better. There are some improvements that are slated for the Nine Mile Road and Novi Road intersection that were included in the Road Bond Proposal and it is anticipated that there will be a center left turn lane provided on Novi Road. Right turn lanes and signal modifications will include left turn signal phasing and an upgrade in signal operation. With the addition of traffic that is expected to be generated by this project, all three of the critical intersections continue to operate at Level of Service "C" or better. The improvements to Nine Mile Road and Novi Road will enable the intersection to operate at an improved level of service. An addendum to the traffic study was submitted to address truck traffic. The information that was provided, indicates an anticipation of three truck deliveries per day, per dock which means 39 inbound and outbound truck trips per day. Truck peak deliveries are forecast to be mid-morning and mid to late afternoon. Mr. Arroyo reviewed trip generation comparison as charted out in his letter. There are no anticipated improvements warranted for the Nine Mile Road and Venture Drive intersection. With the exception of a minor modification to the driveway approach as indicated in the letter, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan and as a part of the consideration for Special Land Use approval, he pointed out the trip generation comparison might be of use to the Commission.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there are two regulated woodlands on the site which are both being 100% protected. Both show protective fencing, no construction is to be conducted in the areas. In a previous letter, the water main was proposed in the northeast corner, however, it is existing and has already been installed into the woodlands. The applicant was asked to adjust a swale to remove further water from the building on the northern side, away from the woodlands, and this has been completed. In summary, Ms. Lemke recommended approval for a Woodlands Permit subject to the following conditions: 1) Payment of a Performance Bond, amount to be determined at the time of Final Site Plan Review; 2) Payment of a Woodlands inspection fee; 3) No construction including clearing or grubbing can begin until the protective fencing has been approved by the City and an environmental pre-construction meeting is held; 4) Remaining Regulated Woodlands which are not platted are placed into a Preservation Easement; 5) Preservation signage is erected as directed by the City; 6) Review of Final Engineering Plans for woodland impact is conducted.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a letter from Andy Pless, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states concerning the hazardous chemical surveys for this project, all surveys have been submitted and reviewed by the fire department, and meet the conditions for site plan approval.


Chairperson Lorenzo also announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: 1) Add an additional fire hydrant on the west side of the main parking lot; 2) No parking shall be allowed within 15' of a hydrant; 3) All weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation; 4) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and in service prior to construction above the foundation; 5) The building address to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least 3" high on a contrasting background; 6) Fire Prevention practice during construction shall be in accordance with the adopted Building Code and Fire Prevention Code.

Chairperson Lorenzo announced it is a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to members of the Public.


Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive thanked Don Kegley for meeting with the residents and informing her of additional information and questions. She hoped this would be the new norm with regard to developers working with residents within the City. She stated she misspoke, stating there were 35 trucks, when in fact there are 39. She expressed concern with the number of truck wells and how the trucks must travel through residential neighborhoods to get to the Industrial Park. She stated at the Merritt Handling Site Plan approval there was discussion of load limits for Nine Mile Road. She understands Nine Mile Road to be "Class A" from Novi Road to Heslip Drive, "Class B" from Heslip Drive to Venture Drive and "Class C" east of Venture Drive. This subject was referred to the appropriate department within the City, however, she did not see anything in the packet with regard to load limit. Ms. Kocan asked Mr. Rogers if she heard correctly that the intakes and the exhaust configurations locations may not be finalized at this time?


Mr. Rogers deferred to Mr. Cagley who has the plans and can describe the operation better than he can.


Ms. Kocan stated the 60 DB Level is the breakpoint for Special Land Use and adverse impacts. In conclusion, she requested the Final Site Plan to come before the Planning Commission with appropriate notice to the residents.


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 and Action.





Member Capello followed up on Ms. Kocan’s questions, he asked if Harada is a Japanese company?


Mr. Kegley answered yes, it was formed in the 1940's, he believed Harada Industry of America to be an American Corporation since 1976.


Member Capello asked if the 13 truck wells had anything to do with the way the materials are warehoused?


Mr. Kegley answered it is a function of the interior design. It is a racking system, antennas are relatively small and lightweight. The number of truck wells was specified by their own industrial engineers based on their operation.


Member Capello noticed that distribution was referred to in one of Mr. Cagley’s letters, he stated he did not specifically see anything in the Ordinance for distribution and asked if it was covered under warehousing?


Mr. Rogers stated in Section 1902, Warehousing and wholesale establishments, light manufacturing, office sales. Mr. Rogers stated he did not recall the name "distribution" as such. He stated if it were a truck terminal, it would be an I-2 use.


Member Capello asked specifically does distribution fall into an I-2 use?


Mr. Rogers answered no, he clearly sees it as related to the warehousing function, which it is.


Member Vrettas asked assuming everything goes as planned, how soon will the building be up and running?


Mr. Kegley answered he would like to have the building up and operational, the Summer of 1997.


Member Vrettas asked in regard to the Road Bond Proposal, when will Novi Road be up and running?


Mr. Arroyo answered he was not exactly sure when the improvements to the Novi Road/Nine Mile Road intersection are scheduled within the realm of all the improvements that are included in the Bond Issue. He stated the intersection itself, is currently operating at an acceptable level of service. The problem is with the eastbound left turn to northbound Novi Road which the Harada project will not add traffic to that movement.


Member Bononi asked if the proposed office space functions relatively to the single product being distributed or does it relegate to anything else?


Mr. Kegley answered it relates to the engineering of the product. In addition, the administration, sales and other functions related to the running of the business also takes place. The entire operation is focused around the antenna design.


Member Bononi asked again if all of the office space is relegated to that product and no other product?


Mr. Kegley answered, yes.


Member Weddington asked if it was necessary for the turntable to be located outside for the testing purpose?


Mr. Kegley answered, yes. He stated he was not an expert on the turntable and transmission of radio waves, however, if it were located inside, the roof, floor, walls and the reflection of the waves would alter the test. He stated they have to be careful what is put around the turntable within the immediate vicinity. Fencing was looked into, to alleviate the safety concern of the residents and it was found that this would interfere with the test.


Member Weddington asked how high the screening is proposed for the turntable?


Mr. Kegley answered it will be 8 to 10 feet high and will be landscaped.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Arroyo if there is a way to restrict or require the trucks to use Venture Drive to Novi Road versus heading east on Nine Mile Road?


Mr. Arroyo stated he had the opportunity to speak with Bruce Jerome the DPW Superintendent regarding the issue. Mr. Jerome’s recommendation was that the way Nine Mile Road is designed and structured, heavy truck traffic is not intended to go from Venture Drive east towards Meadowbrook Road. The road has specific limitations, Mr. Jerome suggested posting weight limit signs along that segment of Nine Mile Road to deal with this particular restriction. When they are properly posted and traffic control orders are approved by City Council, the Weighmaster then has the authority to pull over any trucks that exceed the limits and ticket them. Mr. Arroyo suggested that the Planning Commission express this concern to Mr. Jerome and ask him to proceed with this type of regulation through the City Council.


Member Markham asked Mr. Kegley what the planned hours of operation are for the facility?


Mr. Kegley answered the office operation will be from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. generally, the warehouse will be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. generally. There are three (3) employees who will be there from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.


Chairperson Lorenzo followed up to Member Weddington’s question in regard to the trucks. She asked if the Commission also has the ability to post some type of sign at the exit to Hickory Corporate Park in terms of no trucks over a specific weight limit and direct them to the right?

Mr. Arroyo stated as a part of the installation of weight limit signs, it would be advisable to have them posted for the industrial road intersections as well, so the truck drivers coming out of Heslip Drive and Venture Drive are also aware of the restriction. Mr. Arroyo stated he believed this would be a part of the entire signage program.


Member Churella stated the ability of the trucks turning east would have to be eliminated. He suggested limiting left turns by hours or strictly by stating that semi-trucks cannot make left turns.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated this was exactly what she was suggesting.


Mr. Arroyo stated identifying signs like this, posts some difficulty because he was not aware of how the signs that are authorized through the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and those that can be enforced through the vehicle code might work, whereas, the weight limitations are enforceable.


Member Weddington asked if the signs could be included at the time of Final Site Plan?


Mr. Arroyo answered the Commission can see what they look like, however, the signs cannot be a part of the site plan because they are located off of the site.


Member Weddington stated she was concerned about what type of directions are being given to the truck drivers.


Mr. Arroyo stated the staff could be directed to make sure the information be provided to the Planning Commission as part of any further consideration.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit for Harada Industry of America, SP96-27A subject to all of the consultants recommendations. To come back for Final as well as the resolution for the berming along with the traffic control signs from DPS.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas





Member Markham asked Member Weddington why she feels it is necessary for the plan to come back for Final?


Member Weddington answered primarily for the resolution of the traffic issues and direction of the truck traffic. She stated there was concern about prohibiting truck traffic to the east and she would like to prevent a violation before it happens.


Member Markham did not disagree with Member Weddington’s comments, she stated she does not like to see plans come back for Final if there is not a good reason, however, in this case she was in support of it.


Member Vrettas supported the idea of the plan coming back for Final because he felt it was important to make sure the applicant has worked with the residents on the eastern border. Member Vrettas also mentioned with the future expansion of Novi Road, he did not see it becoming an issue. He expressed support for everything mentioned in the motion.


Member Capello believed it would be nice to do something at that intersection, however, he did not feel the developer has the obligation or the ability to put a sign at that intersection. In order to protect the residents, he stated it will be incumbent upon the Commission through the DPW.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None




Property located east of Clark Street, between Eleven Mile Road and Ten Mile Road for possible Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit recommendation to City Council and Woodland Permit approval.


Clif Seiber of Seiber, Keast & Associates, Inc. represented the Beech Tree Development Company. He presented a proposal for an 18 lot, single-family residential subdivision, located in an R-4 zoned parcel which provides for 80' wide lots with a minimum of 10,000 square feet. It is located at the end of Clark Street between Novi Road and Taft Road. The entire westerly frontage of the 10 acre parcel fronts on the platted ROW, however, when Novi Heights was developed, the roadway was not constructed. Mr. Seiber proposed to extend the pavement to the southerly boundary and extend a cul-de-sac called Settler’s Creek Court easterly to another cul-de-sac. Approximately half of the site contains a regulated woodland area from the middle to its’ northern boundary. Munroe Creek crosses the Clark Street ROW at the westerly edge and traverses to the north edge of the property to the easterly property line and then south continuing toward Novi Road. To the east of the site is Johnson Controls industrial building, to the north is Novi Heights single-family residential lots which front on Marlson Street. To the west is part of a platted lot of Novi Heights and to the south is an existing 80 acres of vacant property which is zoned R-4. As part of the construction of the roadway and utility system, some wetland fill is proposed. In order to construct the crossing of Munroe Creek within the existing Clark Street ROW, it is necessary to provide 0.22 acres of wetland fill. There are 356 regulated trees on the site, of which about 73% will be preserved either within the four acre park or in the backyard areas of the lots. Mr. Seiber stated he has already secured a Department of Environmental Quality Permit and ended up with a proposal to fill 0.46 acres of wetland area. Mr. Seiber stated he has explored some alternatives as a part of the review process for woodlands and wetlands. The second alternate proposed the relocation of Clark Street, creating a T-intersection. The alternate proposal required about 35% more wetland fill, which Mr. Seiber stated there was no real advantage in pursuing. A third alternative proposed paving or moving the road further to the south in order to move away some of the wetland area, and then relocate one of the lots to the upland area. The wetland fill was slightly less, a major disadvantage was that it created a very deep and unusual lot that was very close to being unbuildable. Finally after meeting with Sue Tepatti, a plan was arrived upon, whereby, the 0.46 acres of fill that was allowed by the DEQ was reduced to 0.37 acres and have provided a mitigation area along the back of lots 17 and 18. In addition some mitigation plantings have been provided in a storm water quality basin. In regard to secondary access to the site, Mr. Seiber stated alternatives have been explored at great length. He stated there have been discussions with representatives of Johnson Controls and have identified alternatives to access emergency vehicles through the back of the parcel to the cull-de-sac, through the Johnson Controls site. Concerns in an attempt to accomplish this were: 1) Johnson Controls has provided for a landscape berm and some tall evergreens along the back of the building. If an emergency driveway were to be constructed through that area, a portion of the berm would have to be removed; 2) There is a steep drop off of the topography. The difference in elevation from the parking lot to the creek is about nine feet. It would be necessary for the fire trucks to negotiate the bank slope, if it were bridged or a culvert were installed, it would reduce some of the slope, however, it would necessitate a greater wetland fill; 3) Johnson Controls was not enthusiastic about granting an ingress/egress easement at that point due to concerns about security at the back of their building, another driveway located at the rear of their building may represent some additional security problems. Therefore, the alternative of connecting Johnson Controls did not appear to be a viable alternative. Another potential for an access point is through the vacant 80 acre parcel. To the south of the proposed end of Clark Street is a stub street from the Cedar Spring Estate Subdivision. Mr. Seiber stated there has been difficulty contacting Dr. Ann Edmonds, the owner of the property in order to determine if she would be interested in granting ingress/egress easements for the secondary access. Mr. Seiber stated although the willingness to construct an access exists, the lack of any ingress/egress easements prevent him from doing so. He stated another alternative would be if the City were interested in condemning a portion of the property to provide for that, it could be constructed. Mr. Seiber stated a waiver from the City Council will be asked for in order to provide for the length of the cul-de-sac as it measures 821 feet. Alternatives were explored to reduce the cul-de-sac by 21 feet, in order to comply with the 800 foot maximum length, however, the result is that the lots are pivoted around the cul-de-sac causing removal of trees and the relocation of the detention basin. Mr. Seiber stated contact was made with Mr. Jones, president of the Homeowners Association for Novi Heights, in an attempt to make a presentation to the Homeowners Association. The homeowners indicated they would prefer not to meet, but suggested instead, to send correspondence to the homeowners on Clark Street and Marlson in order to advise them of the plans. Mr. Seiber stated he also included a map of the proposed development. He stated there was a comment about the condition of the roadway and pavement on Clark Street since it is the only access point to the parcel. Mr. Seiber indicated in a letter to the residents that video taping of the condition of Clark Street, prior to the start of any construction is planned, and any subsequent damage to the road as a result of the construction of the development will then be repaired.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the property is zoned R-4, the lots meet the lot area and minimum lot width for the R-4 District. Gross density is 1.81 dwelling units per acre. Mr. Rogers stated the cul-de-sac is slightly over 800 feet when measured from Clark Street, however, when the cul-de-sac is measured from Eleven Mile Road and Clark Street, the distance is 3,260 feet. A waiver from City Council is required. The need for a secondary emergency access exists, Mr. Rogers stated the stub up to the easterly line of Cedar Spring Estates could be looked into. The street naming committee has approved the name of the subdivision and the name of the court. Five foot concrete sidewalks are proposed along Clark Street and on either side of Settler’s Court. Mr. Rogers recommended Tentative Preliminary Plat approval subject to: 1) The compliance of the Woodlands Permit standards and conditions; 2) Waiver of the length of the cul-de-sac by City Council; 3) Further consideration of the secondary emergency vehicular access.


Dave Bluhm of JCK stated the construction access for the site will be via Clark Street. The process to assure that Clark Street is maintained in the usable form and then restored to its’ proper condition when finished is by way of a ROW Permit through the DPW. The project is served by public utilities, water main will be extended from the corner of Johnson Controls into the cul-de-sac and then running to the west to Clark Street with a stub off to the north side. Sanitary is available at the southeast corner of the site, it will also be extended down to the west to Clark Street and stubbed off as it needs to service future areas to the west. The project will be providing storm sewers in the street, a detention/sedimentation/water quality basin is proposed off the north edge of the cul-de-sac with an ultimate outlet to the Munroe Creek. Mr. Bluhm stated there have been several comments with regard to the plan. The plan has been rejected primarily due to the secondary access issue. Mr. Bluhm stated it has not been demonstrated that there is a way of getting across and accessing the site. Another comment was brought up with respect to keeping the sidewalk a fair distance from the street. He stated they would like to see them at five feet which will also allow the preservation of some of the wetlands in that area. Mr. Bluhm stated with the above comments, he is not in a position to approve the project at this time.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated in terms of the cul-de-sac length from a practical standpoint, according to the ordinance, it is supposed to be measured from the point where there are two points of access. Mr. Arroyo stated his comment differs from Mr. Rogers’ in that he sees the point of beginning of the cul-de-sac to be at the intersection of Clark Street and Marlson, because of the fact that Marlson has a secondary access to Arbor Drugs. When measured from that intersection, the total length is just under 1,300 feet. This project does not meet the City’s secondary access requirement nor does it meet the cul-de-sac length requirement. In regard to trip generation, an 18-lot subdivision can be expected to generate approximately 212 average trips per day. No improvements would be necessary to Clark Street due to the size of the development. Mr. Arroyo is not recommending approval based upon the fact that the project does not meet the cul-de-sac length requirement or the secondary access requirement.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated the woodlands are primarily a dense, young pioneer species woodland that lies in direct proximity to the Munroe Creek. It is an isolated woodlands with the exception of the fact that it abuts the Munroe Creek, it consists of approximately 6.5 acres, half of which are wooded wetlands. Some evidence of deer and small mammals was found near the stream. It is generally low quality because of its’ isolation, its’ importance is that it is a buffer to the Munroe Creek and provides some habitat value. In summary, Ms. Lemke is not recommending approval because of the proposed use of upland woodland areas as mitigation areas for a wetland. Ms. Lemke expressed concern because of the precedence that it would set for the remainder of the wooded wetlands in Novi. She stated it has not been accepted in the past. As such she proposed the mitigation of the areas for the woodlands and the planting of a number of 1 to 1½ " caliper trees that would survive in mitigation areas. Ms. Lemke is not recommending approval, however, should the Planning Commission approve the use of the upland areas as mitigation areas and make conditions, she would recommend approval with the standard six conditions with the exception of the fact that the Planning Commission would add conditions.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester concurred with Ms. Lemke’s evaluation, however, the replacement numbers provided by the engineer and the developer are inadequate for the amount of mitigation being proposed. Mr. Pargoff stated an analysis was conducted and the number of replacements were almost increased by one half. There should be approximately 200 replacement trees proposed. Lots 13 through 18 must be designated as "no backyard" lots. This excludes any clearing or grubbing at the rear of the lots. The developer must put in the grading guidelines which were developed by the Woodlands Review Board and any prospective homeowners will be asked to sign the grading document so they are made aware of what their particular requirements are for living in a wooded wetland lot. If there is consideration of the Woodlands Permit, Mr. Pargoff requested that the number of species for replacements be increased to ten in order to get a diverse planting in the area. Mr. Pargoff responded in regard to Mr. Seiber’s comments regarding MDEQ. He stated the MDEQ is oblivious to the City of Novi Woodlands Ordinance and treats it as if it does not even exist.


Sue Tepatti of JCK stated the parcel does contain a substantial amount of wetlands in the northern half. The Munroe Creek flows east through the parcel and the wetlands which surround the creek are primarily forested and scrub-shrub in nature. The plan requires a Wetland Permit for the reasons of the road crossings which are on the western portion of the parcel. It dies involve 0.37 acres of fill. The water main is proposed across Munroe Creek at the eastern border of the site and that area can be restored. The storm water quality and sedimentation basins are proposed at the northeast corner of the site which will discharge to the Munroe Creek. An oil and gas separator will be installed prior to the discharge to the creek and wetland mitigation is proposed for the wetland fill. The DEQ has required, along the new Clark Street road crossing, that cobblestone be placed in the bottom of the creek for 100 feet to try to increase the habitat in the area. Of the alternatives submitted and discussed, the one before the Commission has been preferred by JCK. There are approximately 0.44 acres of new wetland construction on the upland island and north of Lot 18. The basin proposed in the eastern corner is about 0.19 acres and is shown as additional mitigation. Ms. Tepatti stated it will be required that the basin be converted to a wetland mitigation area after construction is complete. If the mitigation is approved in the islands, it will require Woodland Permit approval, any modification to that would also have to be reviewed by the DEQ for a Modified Wetland Permit. In summary, Ms. Tepatti recommended approval of the wetland permit with the following conditions: 1) The watercourse setback and stream banks be restored with plantings following the water main construction; 2) Subdivision covenants and restrictions list those lots containing the wetland setback and include language regarding those restrictions as well as additional restrictions for Lot 13; 3) Plans for the basin shall include conversion for water quality benefits and the mitigation areas should be monitored for three years; 4) Landscaping or mitigation plans shall provide for replanting of shrubs on slopes at the road crossing to restore the habitat.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced that she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: 1) Provide a secondary access road at the end of the cul-de-sac with a minimum width of 18 feet. This road must be of all-weather construction and designed to support vehicles of 25 tons; 2) All roads are to be paved prior to construction above the foundation.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced it is a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to members of the Public.


Barry Kilic, 44139 Marlson stated he was not aware that a presentation had been refused by the chairman of his association. He expressed concern that the land will act as a buffer. He has heard that the land has various wildlife and natural attributes. He believed a lot of the large trees that act as a buffer are dead or detained, he stated it is gradually deteriorating. He asked if it was the responsibility of the developer or the City, to plant new trees or refurbish the area into a natural buffer zone. He also expressed concern with a secondary access through Johnson Controls as it will increase traffic. He also asked if a video of Clark Street was adequate to insure the condition of the road, if truck traffic decays it. He stated there could be underlying damage that would not be caught on video tape that could cause the road to deteriorate one year after the construction is completed.

Lynn Kocan spoke on behalf of LaReta Roder, 25910 Clark Street. The major issue of concern is the use of Clark Street as the only access road. Clark Street was paved at the expense of each homeowner on Clark Street at $5,000 per lot of which many of the residents are still paying for the upgrade. Clark Street is slowly being destroyed. Programmed Products used the street during the construction phase of their building, they had no concern for the danger posed to the residents on Clark Street where they continually parked construction vehicles, many times totally blocking traffic. Creek Crossing also did not pay anything towards the road upgrade, but used it for access for their development. Clark Street residents do not want construction traffic using their roads for the very same reasons that Orchard Hills residents don’t want construction traffic on their roads. The issues are damage to the road, safety for the children walking to the bus stops, and the detriment caused to the residents trying to commute while construction is undertaken. Mrs. Roder would not be as concerned about the development if there was a second access route, however, she understands that access from Johnson Controls is not feasible. Mrs. Roder is very concerned about the video taping of the road and requiring the developer to restore the road to its’ present condition because she feels the City does not have a very good track record of enforcing ordinances or resultant violations. The residents are already besieged by noise from Arbor Drugs Warehouse, Johnson Controls and the railroad spur. She asked how the City can assure that the residents be compensated in whatever way necessary for the damage caused to the road, safety for the children and general inconvenience to the current residents caused by the development? Ms. Roder requested if there is no other access other than Clark Street, the development should be denied.


Mike Carvalho, 44089 Durson shared many of LaReta Roder’s concerns. He stated the development that occurred on the corner of Clark Street and Grand River was not well done. He stated there were trucks that frequently blocked access onto Grand River Road which created some substantial safety problems. He expressed concern with the amount of traffic that is coming into the neighborhood, initially it will be construction traffic but even after that, with the proposed additional subdivision. He also expressed concern with the access issue, if it is not safe to do it, trying to force it will not benefit anyone.


Toby Dome, 44145 Marlson stated he bought is property five years ago because of the site. The woodlands and wetlands play a major part in the enjoyment of the property. He stated it is the responsibility of each individual to protect the limited natural resources and urged the Commission to deny the proposal and protect the natural resources.


Rod Callahan, 25610 Clark did not support the proposal due to the increased traffic that will occur as 18 new sites are constructed. He stated there are no sidewalks and increased traffic will be terrible. If another access road is added, it will only add the ability for other vehicles to access Clark Street. He expressed concern with fact that Clark Street is a straightaway of which vehicles can increase their speed, increasing the chance for someone to get hurt.


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 Weddington asked why the island parcel requires the removal of trees?


Ms. Lemke stated basically a mitigation area is being constructed and excavation is being done to make a wetter environment. There are some upland islands that will have trees on them.


Mr. Seiber responded that the island on the initial proposal, was to leave the trees in tact and provide supplemental wetland plantings and grading between some of the trees. The alternative was to leave the island in tact and provide the wetland mitigation area, an area where there are no trees 8" or larger. He stated for any of the mitigation, it is not proposed to remove any trees 8" or larger.


Mr. Pargoff stated in order to create a mitigation site in that area, the soil must be excavated, and in so doing, almost 80% of the root systems of the trees will be destroyed. Mr. Pargoff stated this will not allow the trees to survive.


Member Weddington did not see how the Commission could move forward with the proposal because of all of the concerns that have been expressed by the consultants. It was Member Weddington’s feeling that public safety has to be the top concern and until the lack of the secondary access is resolved, the plan is premature.






Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Settler’s Creek Subdivision, SP96-22A for Tentative Preliminary Plat, Wetland Permit and to deny the Woodland Permit.





Member Capello asked the applicant if he would rather have a negative recommendation, since this is the direction it looks to be taking, or is there something he thinks he can work out with some different mitigation to save some of the trees, or do something different?


Mr. Seiber stated he believed there could be something done to save the trees, however, the secondary access issue is something that he does not know how to deal with, he did not believe there was much else he could do. He preferred to just be denied so he can have access to City Council and ask for a variance or a waiver.


Member Weddington stated the length of the cul-de-sac is not the only issue or problem that was sited by the consultants and it is not her only concern. She stated there are traffic concerns and a number of issues that have not been adequately addressed that is why she feels the proposal is premature. She encouraged the applicant to try and address the other issues and if it does go to City Council, she hoped that they would also consider all of the issues, not just the waiver of the length of the cul-de-sac. In regard to the DEQ’s approval process, the applicant needs to meet the requirements of the state law as well as the City Ordinance, which Member Weddington did not see happening.


Member Vrettas supported the comments of Member Weddington. He suggested maybe it is too early to develop the area, maybe the applicant should wait until the area is developed further, the road is redone and a secondary access is created.


Member Bononi expressed concern with the lack of quality of the proposal. She was also concerned that the comments of the consultants have not been addressed and the applicant does have alternatives which are reasonable and prudent with the exception of the cul-de-sac length waiver. The project could be scaled down, there could be alternatives made to the placement of trees and a number of other alternatives. Member Bononi stated if the consultants are not willing to approve the application on the basis that it is, she is not willing to accept it either. She supported a negative recommendation to City Council.


Member Capello asked the applicant if the DEQ required the mitigation of the wetlands, in the areas that are shown, in either of the alternatives?


Mr. Seiber answered, yes. They required a one for one mitigation ratio.


Member Capello asked if the DEQ required it in those specific areas?


Mr. Seiber answered the DEQ suggested it and directed him primarily toward the island area, suggesting that the lot be deleted and that is where the mitigation could go.


Member Capello asked if there was any area that could be mitigated without infringing upon the woodlands as much as he has?


Mr. Seiber answered, yes. The initial submittal to the DEQ provides for mitigation in the northeasterly corner of the site. The back corner of the cul-de-sac has very large lots and initially a park area was proposed adjacent to the creek, it is proposed as a mitigation area. The area next to the first home on Clark Street is an open grass area that was suggested as a mitigation area, however, the DEQ did not like the area because it there is a house located next door about 10-15 feet off the property line.


Member Capello asked how the problem is resolved without putting the developer in the middle between the battle with the DEQ?


Ms. Tepatti stated the DEQ does somewhat take the City’s Woodland Ordinance into consideration. Under the law they are not allowed to enforce or consider it too heavily because they have to consider the usable upland under the State Law. If someone were impacting additional wetlands to save upland woods, they have to try and reduce the wetland fill. The DEQ is sensitive to it, however, they are somewhat restricted in what they can permit. Ms. Tepatti stated it is possible the DEQ may reconsider looking at the mitigation areas.


Member Capello asked what the problem was with the southeastern corner?


Ms. Tepatti believed the DEQ wanted to keep it in one main area, creating one main pocket rather than having to create smaller ones.



Member Capello asked if there was somewhere else the basin could be located as opposed to in the woodlands?


Mr. Seiber answered, no, he did not see where they would put it.


Member Capello concurred with the negative recommendation in regard to the recommendations to City Council, however, he stated he would rather see the Woodlands issue postponed to give the Commission the opportunity to work with the applicant.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham


Member Markham asked the applicant if he has considered reducing the number of lots in the development to be able to find a better place to mitigate the wetlands and to resolve the issue of the cul-de-sac length being too long?


Mr. Seiber indicated, as far as the length of the cul-de-sac, he does have an alternative to reduce it to 800 feet. As far as deleting lots, he did not know if there was a good alternative.


Member Markham stated she has not studied it to that level, however, it seems that every available spot has been taken up and he is having some problems.


Mr. Seiber stated one other alternative that was considered, was turning Lot 18 back into a lot and then locate the mitigation area outside of the woodland area on Lot 11. This was viewed as being more detrimental because a lot placed on the upland area would destroy more trees than any mitigation would.


Member Markham’s recommendation to Mr. Seiber was that he look at reducing the overall number of homesites in the development plan as opposed to shifting them around.


Member Capello asked, what would happen if the road were moved to the south, through lots 1 and 2 bypassing the wetlands? Member Capello stated one lot might be lost.


Mr. Seiber stated he would probably lose a couple of lots. He stated 18 lots are proposed and he has had to construct 433 feet of roadway on Clark Street. Because of the amount of roadway construction on the single loaded road on the initial part of Settler’s Creek Court, it makes it difficult to start eliminating lots.

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Seiber why he went to the DEQ before coming to the City of Novi, and asked if it is normally done this way?


Mr. Seiber answered, on occasion. He stated they have done this a few times in order to verify the boundary with the DEQ and make sure they are in agreement with the wetland boundary. He stated he realized once approval was given by the DEQ, there may be some subsequent changes required by the City which would have to be amended.


Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that the suggestions to use the upland woodland for mitigation were "suggestions" and not "requirements" of the DEQ Permit, she asked Mr. Seiber if this was correct?


Mr. Seiber stated the DEQ suggested that because the implication was that if he proposed anything other than that, it was likely that he would not receive a permit.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the permit requires mitigation in that particular area?


Mr. Seiber answered, yes. The plans show mitigation at that location, that is a part of the permit.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Commission has the authority to modify the DEQ Permit?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney answered absolutely not. He stated anything the Commission or Council does with the plat may modify what the DEQ has asked the applicant to do, just as if the applicant were to come before the Commission prior to going to the DEQ. He stated this is just how the process is when there are multiple jurisdictions of authority.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated normally with multiple jurisdictions of authority, it’s usually the more stringent that prevails, she asked which supersedes the other in this instance?


Mr. Watson stated it is not a case of which supersedes, it is a question of what sort of plan can the developer come forward with, that can receive approval from both bodies.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Ms. Tepatti, in her dealings with the DEQ, does she feel if the City recommends particular mitigation areas, would they concur with it?


It was Ms. Tepatti’s opinion that they would strongly look at it and reconsider. She did not know if it would give the development enough mitigation area if they omitted the island.

Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was looking at the alternative of having mitigation in three different locations as opposed to it being contiguous. She asked if this would have met it, in terms of the 1 to 1½ ratio or would it have been short?


Mr. Seiber stated the DEQ is requiring the 1 to 1 ratio and it has been met. He stated it was met with the splintered plan, however, this is the plan that they did not want to approve. The DEQ suggested removing the lot and using the upland area.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the Commission is requiring more mitigation or are we accepting 1 for 1?


Ms. Tepatti answered she is accepting the 1 to 1 ratio but also asking for the basin to be converted to a wetland.


Chairperson Lorenzo expressed concern in sending a negative recommendation to City Council because she felt the Commission could be "passing the buck", not planning. She felt the Commission should try to deal with the situation whether it recommends the splintered mitigation or the removal of a lot to provide mitigation. She did not feel that the Commission would be serving its’ purpose of planning if it is just sent to City Council without trying to do something with it.


Member Bononi agreed partially with Chairperson Lorenzo. She did not believe it was the job of the Commission to design the applicant’s project for him. Working with the applicant to suggest alternatives, is fine, however, she felt what is being discussed is much, much wider than that. Member Bononi stated the plan has not met enough of the consultants basic requirements to say that the Commission is at the point where it could fairly do that, either for the applicant or for the Commission.


Mr. Rogers stated that Member Hoadley telephoned him this afternoon. Member Hoadley recommended that the cul-de-sac length be reduced from 821 feet to 800 feet by pulling it up, losing a few trees. He also suggested shortening.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission will take a brief recess.








Property located south of Ten Mile Road, west of Novi Road for possible Final Site Plan approval.


Amarjit Chawney stated the property is a 16 ½ acre site, about 60% is in a wetland area. Preliminary Site Plan approval was received in May 1995 and it was extended in May of 1996. There are six phases and Mr. Chawney is requesting Final Site Plan approval for Phase I and II. He stated the plan has been reviewed by all of the consultants and has received approvals. Mr. Chawney requested after approval of Phases I and II, the balance of the phases be approved Administratively.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the name has been changed from Hampton Office Plaza to Sherwood Place Office & Residential Care Facility and the name has been approved. Mr. Rogers stated Phases I and II comply closely to the previously approved Preliminary Site Plan. The building facades comply with the standards of Section 2520 of the Zoning Ordinance. Before Final Site Plan approval of Phases IV and V, there will have to be adjustments made to resolve the boundary between the OS-1 and R-4 Districts. Mr. Rogers recommended Final Site Plan approval for Phases I and II.


Dave Bluhm of JCK stated there are still several issues with regard to securing permits. Water and sanitary sewer permits will be required, local floodplain permit will need to be secured and detention volume calculations will need to be revised. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval of the Final Site Plan with a final re-submittal for Administrative approval.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated all of the issues identified have been resolved and he recommended approval.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval of the landscape plan, she stated the applicant has added additional plan material and complied with other standards. She stated Chris Pargoff, City Forester had a couple of minor issues that are being worked out and he will be recommending approval once they are taken care of. In regard to the woodlands, there will be the removal of only one tree, the protective fencing is up for the office portion and will be inspected as part of this phase. Ms. Lemke recommended approval.


Sue Tepatti, Water Resources Specialist stated the review of the resubmitted plans are in conformance with the previously approved Wetland Permit by Planning Commission in May of 1995. She stated this phase of the development involves the discharge of storm water to the basin in the southern portion of the property, prior to release to the wetland. The applicant will be revising the basin somewhat which will reduce the amount of buffer impact. There is a small portion of the wetland which was allowed to be filled under permit, this was at the request of the Fire Department to allow access to the building and is in compliance with the previously approved permit. The soil erosion permit application is under review pending review of revised plans, it is expected to be issued as well. Ms. Tepatti stated following review of the redesigned basin, mitigation plans and issuance of the DEQ permit, she expects to issue the Wetland Permit. She had no objections to the Final Site Plan.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated 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.


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








Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Final Site Plan for Sherwood Place Office and Residential Care Facility, SP95-12E subject to the consultants written and verbal recommendations and to be Administratively reviewed.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm if one of the reasons the plan came back to the Commission for Final Site Plan approval was the detention basin and the volumes? She stated his letter indicates "calculations will need to be revised", and asked him to explain what this meant.


Mr. Bluhm summarized when the applicant went through detention calculations, there was a discrepancy with some of the figures which actually worked in favor of the applicant, allowing them to significantly reduce the volume requirements to meet the city’s ordinances. Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant will be significantly downsizing the basin due to the errors that were made in the calculations found in the last review.






Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Churella

No: None


Clif Seiber asked if it was approved allow the remainder of the phases be approved Administratively for Final Site Plan?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered she thought it was included as a part of the motion.


Member Capello added as a part of the motion that the remaining phases shall be reviewed administratively.








Member Bononi suggested because this ordinance is being discussed, perhaps a closer look at the ordinance from only the land use on planning perspective is indicated. This could be accomplished by a Planning Commission referral to the Implementation Committee.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the R.U.D. Ordinance to the Implementation Committee for a general review from a land use planning point of view.





Member Capello commented that he thought at the last joint meeting, it was discussed whether it was going to be sent to the Implementation Committee or Planning Consultants and that the approved motion was that it would go the Planning Consultants first and then to the Implementation Committee.


Member Bononi stated she did not get the same impression. She did not believe it was being sent to the Implementation Committee at all.


Chairperson Lorenzo believed it was referred to the consultants and staff for review, however, she did not hear anything about the Implementation Committee. She believed Member Bononi’s intent was to look at the ordinance in a very "general overview" manner, not in any particular "site specific" manner.


Member Bononi agreed this was her intention completely.


Member Capello stated it would end up at the Implementation Committee eventually, he just wanted to make sure the Commission was not doing something inconsistent with what City Council voted on.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated City Council made an action to send it to staff and thought since the Implementation Committee is a Committee of the Commission, she believed the Commission has the prerogative to send the issue to them to be studied from a general point of view.


Member Weddington’s recollection was that it was being sent to staff and someone stated they could get back rather quickly because some of the work had already been completed. She asked Mr. Wahl if this was correct?


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Implementation Committee may not look at the issue at its’ next meeting.


Member Bononi stated this was not her intention, she did not understand the situation of the routing because there were so many different proposals that occurred.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated the staff was also somewhat confused by the nature of the discussion and suggested obtaining the minutes of that meeting to be absolutely certain that everyone is doing what was asked. He believed the direction to staff and consultants was to come back by March 1, 1997 to both bodies with some conclusions relative to how to deal with the project and how it fits within ordinances that the city does or does not have. If the Planning Commission or the Implementation Committee chooses to conduct any related study or involvement, he believed it would be helpful to the process and encouraged the Commission to do so. Mr. Wahl stated he would provide the research that has already been conducted and work together on it.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson or Member Capello for their recollection if the report was due back from staff in January versus March.


Mr. Wahl asked if Chairperson Lorenzo was referring to when he promised to have it ready in January versus March?


Mr. Watson believed it to be the result of Mr. Wahl’s promise.


Member Vrettas supported the comments of Mr. Wahl.





Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Churella

No: None





Member Bononi stated she was interested in the information that was sent in the Planning Commission packets of October 25, 1996 because of several points that continuously come up during the review process of applications. Specifically, she gave some examples. There is a section that deals with discharge of storm sewers that states, "storm sewers shall not be permitted to discharge directly into a wetland or watercourse unless pre-treatment is provided prior to its’ discharge." Member Bononi stated this was wonderful and she would like to see it taken a lot further. She was disappointed that Best Management Practices were totally absent in the document. She referred to Part 26 that suggests "sub-section 1194(i) is hereby deleted." Member Bononi stated this deletes the requirement for an oil and gas separator, she read, "Whenever a storm sewer discharges directly into a wetland or watercourse oil and gas separator shall be provided at the last structure prior to discharge." However, further on, it states that only closed systems are requiring this. In Section 11-127, A Location Of Subdivision Storm Water Holding Facilities, she interpreted what the language says, not only are the platting of subdivision lots in flood hazard areas being allowed, but the placement of pre-treatment systems on an individual lot when the lot has been "oversized" is also going to be allowed. She stated there is no definition of what "oversized" is. Part 40, "Sub-section 11-164 of the Novi Code is hereby amended in its’ entirety as follows:" Article 5, storm water holding facilities do not prohibit the use of parking lots as storm water storage, it does not mention Best Management Practices. Member Bononi expressed concern in reading this section of the ordinance, as she understands it, a lot of areas are not particularly relegated to Planning Commission responsibility that have direct overflow into what it does. She suggested requesting City Council to incorporate some of the design, environmental and storm water management concerns into the document, otherwise the same questions will be asked over and over.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To forward Member Bononi’s comments to Tony Nowicki for response and to ask the Administration to write a memo requesting the City Council to consider the items and include a request that the item be postponed until the Planning Commission has a chance to review the document.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development asked for a clarification if there was a Committee or Board...


Chairperson Lorenzo asked how are the fees routed in terms of the revisions?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the fees came about because over the years, JCK, Tony Nowicki and the DPW Department had changes that they wanted to make that had accumulated over time, it is a product of their discussions and work. It was Mr. Watson’s opinion that the whole point of including the information in the packets was to solicit any additional thoughts or changes that anyone might have before it goes to City Council.


Mr. Wahl suggested forwarding the comments to Tony Nowicki so he has an opportunity to respond before it goes to City Council.


Chairperson Lorenzo agreed.


Member Bononi responded to Mr. Wahl stating the only reason she made her suggestions was because of the routing that was noted on the cover letter and she was unaware of the timing.


Member Markham asked if it would make sense to add it to the next meeting Agenda as a Matter for Discussion so if anyone else has comments, one list of comments could be compiled from the Planning Commission.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it would be an excellent idea if time allows, and asked when it is scheduled to go to City Council?


Dave Bluhm of JCK believed that Mr. Nowicki wanted to get the second reading on the next meeting for City Council, but did not feel that it would hurt to delay it one meeting if there was some benefit that would come from it. He stated JCK made a lot of changes with regard to sedimentation and water quality basins and suggested entering some dialogue to make clear what needs to be done.


Chairperson Lorenzo supported Member Markham’s suggestion of allowing the Commission to go through the document as an Item on the Agenda to see if they can come up with further comments or clarification.


Member Vrettas supported Member Markham’s suggestion but added that he would like to have Member Bononi’s ideas sent forward ahead of time.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated both could be done, she suggested including in the memorandum to DPS, to respectfully request that they postpone sending it to City Council for the second reading, until the Planning Commission has a chance to further digest it and make some suggestions.


Mr. Wahl stated this was going to be added to the Agenda of the Environmental Committee. He stated this would give him the opportunity to have a staff member of the DPS sit in on the discussion if it would be of any merit.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked what other items are on the Agenda? She was not sure how much time during the Environmental Committee Meeting would want to be spent looking through the document as opposed to the other items that are on the Agenda.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the document would not be included on the Agenda at the Environmental Committee Meeting.





Yes: Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Churella, Lorenzo

No: None









Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:02 p.m.





Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None





Steven Cohen - Staff Planner



Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

November 18, 1996


Date Approved: December 04, 1996