(810) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo


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


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Hoadley, Churella


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








Chairperson Lorenzo announced the applicant for the first Public Hearing has respectfully requested postponement until the December 4, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting. Chairperson Lorenzo would like to add as Item 2 under Matters for Consideration, subscription to the Planning Advisory Service with funds being allocated from the Special Studies Fund. She asked if there were any other additions or changes to the Agenda?





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended which includes the postponement of Zoning Map Amendment 18.562.





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced anyone who is present for Mission Health, the postponement has been granted.








Jonathan Brateman, 24230 Karim Boulevard operates a commercial real estate firm. He stated he is working on trying to find a more efficient, workable basis for the NCC Zoning Ordinance along the Grand River Corridor. He stated the ordinance is established in such a way, in regard to commercial development, with a limit of 10,000 square feet for one retail use on the site. He has been working with the Implementation Committee and is requesting the changes he has sought, be incorporated within a larger review of the Zoning Ordinance. He outlined what he is seeking: 1) A property owner with a one acre site be allowed 9,000 square feet of retail; 2) The total amount of retail for larger sites, be on a sliding scale. (ie. the first acre be allowed 9,000 square feet of retail and 3,000 square feet for each additional half acre.) He appreciated the consideration of the Commission and hoped his changes could be incorporated into the overall change of the Zoning Ordinance.



Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive spoke in regard to the Public Hearing regarding Ordinance No. 96-18. She stated she has been participating in meetings with the Implementation Committee for about two years regarding recommendations and changes to the current zoning ordinances and feels quite knowledgeable about the ordinances. She stated she did not realize that the Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 96.18 was about potential revisions to the existing ordinance. She asked if the Hearing is to discuss changes to the existing ordinance, why is it identified as a "new ordinance"? She found the announcement to be very misleading, when she saw it in the Novi News, she paid no attention to it, not realizing that it is something that she was greatly interested in. Therefore, she recommended postponing the Public Hearing until a more accurate description of the subject matter is relayed to the residents or when it comes before City Council, she believed it should be identified as a rewrite of the existing zoning ordinance.


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


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney introduced Paul Weisberger, an associate at Fried, Watson and Bugbee, P.C. He has been an attorney with the office for over one year, prior to that he was a law clerk. Mr. Watson announced Mr. Weisberger will be observing the Commission to get a feel for how it operates.





Mark Abanatha, would like to support the Planning Commission’s recommended rezoning from B-3 to R-4 or a similar residential zoning.

Dr. William Lukacs, wrote in regard to Zoning Map Amendment 18.598, property located south of Erma and Linhart along Novi Road. He stated he is once again confronted with the City of Novi attempting to change the zoning in the area, however, some of the properties along the stretch are being left B-3. The parcels involved which Mr. Lukacs owns, were purchased over a decade ago and were zoned B-3. In addition, the placement of residential homes onto Novi Road is not feasible in the area. The Novi Road bypass will still leave way to much traffic for anyone to want to purchase a new construction home on the sites, therefore, a change to R-4 would render the sites undesirable.


Lynn Kocan wrote in regard to the Public Hearing Ordinance 96-18, the amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. She was very surprised to find the addition of publicly owned and operated parks, parkways and recreational facilities added to Section 1901. This should be placed in Section 1902, also how does the Commission justify moving indoor commercial recreational facilities from Section 1903, where they are not allowed next to residential to Section 1902.17 where they would be allowed with Special Land Use approval. Although the Implementation Committee has decided to focus on performance standards in the I-1 Ordinance, the City should reconsider moving all manufacturing from Section 1902 and placing it in Section 1903. Her letter went on to make some specific references to items and Section numbers which would make no sense unless they are read directly. She believed there to be discussion of providing for a setback of a minimum of 100 feet for parking in zones abutting residential, is this addressed in the ordinance? She attached a copy of Brandon Rogers’ January 30, 1996 letter to Greg Capote.















Property located on the east and west side of Lanny’s Road.



Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated as the maps show, the subject lots are north of the lots that front onto Eleven Mile Road. The lots today are zoned residential. He stated the subject property is totally developed with single-family homes and it would seem appropriate to bring the zoning district line and the master plan boundary line coincident as shown on the Master Plan Map in his report. Mr. Rogers recommended the establishment of a Residential Density Plan Map 3 in the Master Plan for Land Use and the area be proposed for future density of 3.3 units per acre.


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


Ted Soley, 5130 Cullen Road, owns Lot 18 which is adjacent to the areas being reviewed. His lot is vacant and currently zoned I-1, it is 100' wide x 200' deep. He was in support of the proposed amendment to the Master Plan as presented because the current Master Plan as well as some zoning in the area is unrealistic and can never be implemented. He stated the fact that there are four houses on the four lots being reviewed, makes it impractical for it to be master planned industrial. Though he supports the proposed amendment, he did not feel the amendment fully addressed the zoning issues in the area. It was his belief that lots 17 and 18 should also be zoned residential. In regard to his lot, he presented a request to the Commission in the Spring of 1996 to rezone his lot from I-1 to residential which the Commission was in support of and the City Council failed to pass the request by one vote. It was his understanding that some members of the Council were reluctant to change the zoning of his lot without further study. He assumed that the amendment was a result of the Planning Departments’ further study of the area as requested by the Council. He stated if this is the case, the amendment is incomplete because it does not address the desires of the Planning Commission in regard to lot 18. Mr. Soley requested the proposed amendment be tabled for 30 days so he has an opportunity to work with the Planning Department to fulfill the wishes of the Spring of 1996 Planning Commission and the City Council desires.


Richard Brahm, 26111 Lannys Road, owns lot 17 and has owned it for 20 years. He did not realize he would have a problem until he wanted to add on to it. He did not know why the property was being pushed to be zoned industrial, he stated he plans on staying in his house and spend his retirement years there. He expressed appreciation if the matter was tabled until it could be worked out.


Roger Jacob, 3935 Lakefront Street, addressed the property located on the southwest corner of Novi Road and Erma Street. He objected to the rezoning of the property from commercial to residential stating that it is totally unfeasible from a developer standpoint to build a residence next to an existing party store. Mr. Jacob has plans and would like to develop the property, however, due to monetary reasons he plans to try to develop the parcel into some kind of business and objected to a residential zoning.


Antonios Koutsouradis, 7230 Colony Drive spoke in regard to the property at Novi Road and Austin Road. He stated he purchased the property 10 years ago as commercial and did not understand why it was being rezoned to residential. He stated the property to the south is zoned commercial and to the north is a lot of commercial property. Mr. Koutsouradis restated he did not understand why the corner could not be used as commercial property.


Marcy Davis, 2299 Austin purchased property on Austin Road with the intention of buying the commercial property behind it, which is on Novi Road. She stated she has been into the City several times to assure the property would remain commercial only to find that two months after she made the property purchase, she is told that it may not be commercial property anymore. She requested that the property remain commercial.


Jim Korte stated the property was subdivided in 1919 and re-established in 1922-1923. He stated he owns property within the subdivision. Three of the 20 foot lots can be put together and be built upon without going to the ZBA if the side lot lines can be met. Mr. Korte referred to Thirteen Mile Road between Novi Road and Decker Road where six new houses were built. He stated this is the same type of situation, they will have Sandstone and Vista’s commercial on the corner, the houses are up and sold. He stated Novi Road is no longer the major thoroughfare and will never be again. He also stated Councilman Mitzel brought up minor talks that it may or may not build. Mr. Korte stated every piece of property, except for one, has been used residentially for the past 26 years. He stated it makes total sense at this point in time to change it, it is not what it used to be and houses will be built.


Matt Quinn represented the property owners on the east side of Novi Road who have owned six lots for 8-9 years. He stated it has always been zoned B-3 and they have intended to develop it as B-3. The city helped to further the B-3 building when they vacated the alley behind them making it economically possible to build a convenience store on the site. Mr. Quinn stated whenever there is a change to the Master Plan, it is done for the benefit of the city as a whole, he did not see any benefit to the city by changing the parcel of property. He stated the property owners are against the Master Plan change, stating it is not necessary for their side of the roadway.


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





In regard to Mr. Arroyo’s memorandum dated September 17, 1996, Member Capello asked Mr. Arroyo what property is being spoken of?


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant answered his memorandum refers to the lots between Linhart and Wainwright which are immediately north of the property that Mr. Quinn referred to, they are not proposed for a zoning change.


Member Capello asked what makes the two parcels different, causing the property directly to the north not to be rezoned, but the abutting property directly to the south would be?


Mr. Arroyo recalled the conversations by the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, there were a couple of things that came to mind; 1) The property is currently vacant; 2) The property that is located directly across the street is intended to be changed as a part of the city initiated zoning from B-3 to residential; 3) The abutting properties directly to the east are also currently developed as residential; 4) The change to Novi Road and the traffic volumes. These were characteristics that Mr. Arroyo remembered the Committee mentioning as being important and why they considered the property as being one for rezoning.


Member Capello asked Mr. Arroyo if the property to the north was already developed?


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. The property to the north is already developed as mixed-use, commercial, office and residential.


Member Capello asked if the size of the lots combined, was large enough to accommodate a reasonable commercial building?


Mr. Arroyo answered potentially, if a small enough building were built, however, he could not say whether or not the building would be a feasible size.


Member Capello asked if Novi does develop some type of a project on the lake at the end of Novi Road, north of Thirteen Mile Road, wouldn’t some commercial uses in the area be consistent with whatever is developed?


Mr. Arroyo stated in making the recommendation, the Committee has retained suggesting that the commercial areas closer to the city property be retained in commercial zoning. It is only those properties that are primarily undeveloped, or developed as residential along Novi Road that are being proposed for change. Mr. Arroyo felt there was some recognition that the intersection of Thirteen Mile Road, Novi Road, and Southlake retain some commercial zoning, however, it was felt that it wasn’t necessarily needed along the entire Novi Road corridor.



Member Capello had a few questions on the Lanny’s Road rezoning. He expressed concern with lot 17, he asked if the residential line is moved further up, will the industrial properties have some problems with setbacks and berms?


Mr. Arroyo answered if they are currently adjacent to industrial and they become adjacent to residential, then anytime there is a modification in the site plan amendment or expansion, they would have to provide for the required screening. There would also be setback requirements. Mr. Arroyo stated if the change in the Master Plan is approved, the industrial depth from Grand River, along Lanny’s Road, will be consistent with the depth to the west of the properties.


Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers if there has been any site plans submitted that he has reviewed yet?


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant answered, not recently. He stated five years ago there was a 7-Eleven type store proposed, they had a number of variances and they did not proceed. Mr. Rogers stated he has not seen any other plans yet.


Member Bononi asked for the total number of non-conforming parcels?


Mr. Arroyo stated there are three 40 foot wide parcels with a 40 foot designation next to them. These three are non-conforming in terms of lot width. He also stated at the intersection of Austin and Novi Road, there is a piece of property with an unusual shape and it is substantially non-conforming.


Member Bononi referred to the minutes where Mr. Arroyo stated if the rezonings for the properties were RT, there still remains the possibility that an R-4 type development could be built, she asked Mr. Arroyo to expound on that a little.


Mr. Arroyo explained, because the Zoning Ordinance allows single-family developments consistent with the R-4 zoning classification within that district.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Master Plan for Land Use Map Amendment for Lanny’s Road.







Chairperson Lorenzo asked how long has lot 17 been Master Planned and Zoned Light Industrial?


Mr. Rogers answered at least since 1984.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked, prior to 1984 was it Residential or Light Industrial?


Mr. Rogers couldn’t answer.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if Mr. Rogers knew how long that home has been on the property?


Mr. Rogers did not know.


Member Vrettas stated the owner said he has lived there for 20 years.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it is possible that prior to 1984, the property might have been zoned Residential.


Mr. Rogers stated a lot of the property was zoned I-2 and 90% of the I-2 zoning in the city was rezoned I-1. He stated it could have been that the property was zoned I-2 at that time.


Chairperson Lorenzo expressed empathy for the homeowners on lots 17 and 18, she stated she would like some further information regarding the history of the two parcels.


Mr. Rogers stated lot 18 is vacant and lot 17 has a house on it.


Chairperson Lorenzo shared Member Capello’s concerns in terms of whichever way the Commission decides, they will effect someone’s property, but she would like to find out what the property was zoned when the home was originally built. She stated she would like to know the answer to this before she can come to any further conclusion.


Mr. Rogers stated it can be taken under advisement. He recommended the Commission act on the Public Hearing and then direct staff and consultants to look into the history of the area per the Council’s directive.







Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Weddington


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the issue is not including lots 17 and 18, however, she would like a little more of the history before she comes to any determination.





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

No: None


Mr. Rogers asked if the Master Plan Amendments have to be officially recorded as the original Master Plan was with the County?


Mr. Watson answered, yes they do.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer to staff, the possible rezoning of lots 17 and 18.


Member Capello stated with those lots that are being looked at for rezoning, could the southerly 90 feet of the lot be rezoned as well, that way the abutting industrial is still abutting industrial for at least 10 feet.


Mr. Rogers stated the ordinance does not allow a transition to be fabricated, if a separation is desired, a developable parcel must be left in between.


Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers to look into this with Mr. Watson and come back before the Commission.








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

No: None




Property located on both sides of Novi Road, south of Erma and Linhart.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Weddington, FAILED (0-6): To approve the Master Plan Amendment for the property south of Erma and Linhart on Novi Road, from Non-Center Commercial to Single-Family Residential.





Member Markham stated the last time this was discussed, she stated it was premature for the Master Plan to be changed or for the zoning to be changed on these parcels of property mainly because the people who own these parcels have strong opinions about the rezoning and they keep appearing before the Commission and stating that they do not want it rezoned. She recognizes that the complexion of the neighborhood will change, however, she does not think the Commission knows how exactly it will settle out. She agreed with Member Capello that there may be some development to the north end which may make it feasible for small commercial businesses. She believed it was premature and stated she would not be in support of the motion.


Member Vrettas supported the comments of Member Markham and stated even though he made the motion, he will be voting against it.


Member Capello would like to see how it would develop on its own after the rest of the park and the lake property is developed. He is in favor of the smaller lots because he would not like to see it developed into a strip center. He stated he would not be voting in favor of changing the Master Plan or the Zoning Ordinance.


Member Weddington agreed with the comments of Member Markham and believed it to be premature. She asked Mr. Watson if the maker of the motion is allowed to vote against his motion?


Mr. Watson answered, yes.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would not be in support of the motion. She felt she could support it if the property that Mr. Quinn referred to, was not included in the motion because she thought it might have potential for commercial without adversely impacting any other residential area. She believed, in terms of long range planning, in order for those lots to be developed as commercial, they would need all sorts of variances. She stated there would be much more potential for development with a residential type development.


Having looked at the matter as a member of the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, Member Bononi was in agreement with Member Capello, in saying that some of the information was newly arrived at. She stated the fact that the Master Plan for Land Use Amendment is accompanied by the Zoning Map Amendment makes it a horse of a different color. Being that there is a Zoning Map Amendment attached to it, and considering the information that has been brought before the Commission, Member Bononi stated she would not be in support of the approval, however, perhaps the Commission could consider whether or not the Master Plan should still be amended.





Yes: None

No: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello




Property located on both sides of Novi Road, south of Erma and Linhart.




Moved by Markham, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (4-2): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.598.




Yes: Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Capello

No: Lorenzo, Bononi







Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant provided a "clean copy" and a "comparison draft" of the Zoning Ordinance and stated the major divisions additions could be combined into three basic areas: 1) Dealing with the parking and handling of vehicles, i.e., off-street parking, handicapped parking, parking lot design, stacking, etc.; 2) Landscape Design and Planting Standards - which deals with most land uses, it has been expanded and fine tuned; 3) Architectural Review - Section 2520, i.e., standards, types of materials, review process, etc. Mr. Rogers stated there are other sections dealt with in the ordinance, some definitions have been added, new graphics and all of the diagrams and the landscape plantings in Section 2509 have been revised.


Mr. Rogers stated there are some other substantial ordinance amendments that might be included in the evaluation of the Commission: 1) Revisions to the noise standards, which the Implementation Committee came to an agreement; 2) Communication Antennas/ Cellular Tower Ordinance; 3) Light Industrial Setback Standards from Residential; 4) Indoor/Outdoor/ Public/Private Recreation Facilities. Mr. Rogers invited comments from those who had a chance to review the document. He drew attention to his report dated November 4, 1996 regarding Proposed Zoning Update Status. In his report, he mentions the Office Service Technology District (OST) and stated if this comes to City Council at its’ next meeting, it is likely that it will be a part of the ordinance before the new compendium is adopted. He also made mention in his report regarding Member Hoadley’s concerns to off-street parking.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant brought to the attention of the Commission, one minor correction. On page 212 of the comparison draft, the table that includes the parking dimensions looks like there are no changes proposed, however, there are some changes which are correctly reflected on page 212. The diagram called Parking Lot Illustration has all of the corrections, what is shown on the diagram will be reflected on the table, making them consistent.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated the diagrams are now included in the ordinance and changes were made per the last meeting.


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


Steve Weiner, 27575 Wixom Road represented land owners who control 865+ acres in Section 17, 18, 19 and 20 in the northwest corner of Novi. Mr. Weiner’s company has controlled the property since the 1960's. He is now in the process of finalizing preparations of a large scale residential development to present to the Commission and the City Council which was proposed as far back as 1978. He stated he has reviewed package 6 and is in support of the process, however, in comparing the details of package 6 to package 5, there have been some material changes that impact him in terms of credits and density calculations. Mr. Weiner respectfully requested that the process be questioned at this point in relation to those specific issues. He asked the Commission to recall his letter dated October 28, 1996 in which he formally requested the opportunity to modify the RUD ordinance, as this was the closest to what he wanted to utilize in order to develop the residential project. He stated this was followed by a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and the City Council on Saturday, November 2, 1996, which a motion was made to direct the Planning Commission staff to come back to the City Council within 90 days with a report regarding credits and density issues related to his request. Furthermore, at the last Planning Commission meeting, it was proposed that the RUD be sent to the Implementation Committee for assessment, review, etc. Under the circumstances, Mr. Weiner stated he has two studies that are ongoing, and because these studies are ongoing, he feels it would be premature to finalize the ordinance changes that are reflective of density and credit changes in Section 2400 of package 6. He requested at a minimum, that the proposal be tabled in order for the studies to be completed. If this is unable to be done, then he encouraged the Commission to deny any changes in the new Zoning Ordinance that reflect changes in Section 2400.


Lori Buerger, 26877 Northwestern Highway of AT & T Wireless, commented on one of the areas of substance that Mr. Rogers mentioned, with regard to wireless telecommunications facilities. Overall she commended the Implementation Committee for its’ hard work on the issue and its’ willingness to listen to industry. She expressed concern with regard to setbacks. The norm and widely accepted standard in communities throughout Southeast Michigan is becoming the setback equaling the height of the tower. She stated it is a standard that has been accepted and adopted into the New Model Ordinance which has been developed by a coalition of Oakland County communities. Ms. Buerger also expressed concern and objected to the requirements of 10,000 square foot parcels being required for wireless telecommunication sites. She stated typically 2,000 square feet of space is leased, and is adequate for the needs. No other jurisdiction in Southeast Michigan or in the country, has chosen to impose such a requirement for wireless providers. She feels the requirement is too large as currently being considered, as to possibly have the effect of prohibiting the ability to serve the citizens of Novi and could be construed as discriminating against new providers versus existing providers. Ms. Buerger did not believe that a blanket requirement for all sites was right because there are various types of facilities. She urged that various types applications can vary and therefore a blanket requirement is not right for the community or the industry. Finally, she stated the new proposal is completely protective of the Commission’s ability to have a site plan review process for every new site. She thought it added to the argument that a blanket requirement may not be the best because there is always the opportunity to fully flush out any concerns with regard to applications.


Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive spoke in regard to Section 1900 and relevant ordinances. With respect to recreational facilities abutting residential, she believed the publicly owned recreational facilities could be compatible with residential, however, there should always be a Public Hearing. Therefore, she asked that this use be included in Section 1902 rather than 1901. In regard to indoor commercial recreational facilities, the consensus from the proposed Recreation Ordinance Public Hearing was that many such facilities do not belong next to residential. However, with the proposed revised ordinance, such a facility could apply for a site plan, and incur the time of the city and applicant when the actual development is not feasible. She suggested to remove the potential problems before they occur and put these commercial uses in Section 1903. She also expressed the same rationale for manufacturing next to residential. In regard to berm height, and increasing opacity, she did see changes in Section 2509, however, she did not see those changes reflected in Section 1905.4. With regard to Item 19, Providing for Final Site Plan Review of Special Land Uses, in her review of the proposed revised ordinance, she found no provision for it. She commended the Implementation Committee and the City Staff for their diligence in reviewing the noise ordinance. The major improvement to the Ordinance is the provision for maximum decibel levels permitted by receiving zoning districts, she expressed concern in raising the decibel level from 60 to 65 and requested the maximum residential level be left at 60. She also expressed concern that residents did not have an opportunity to comment on the recommended decibel levels and stated they deserve the courtesy of prior review of the ordinance and comment in a Public Hearing format prior to the Commissions recommendation to City Council.


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, commended the change in the parking setback from 10 feet to 20 feet as he felt it was much needed. He stated what is needed in the ordinance, is a more rigorous berming requirement for the green belt space. Currently, living material only has to reach a height of 30" within 2 years. He stated the berming will reduce the visual of headlights and cars and move the focus onto the buildings. He stated this addition in Section 2509.6 would be very beneficial. In Section 2400 (d), he suggested that it should read, "on both sides of the internal roads in a multiple-family development". Mr. Mutch agreed with the change in regard to density computations utilized in the cluster option. He stated there should not be credit given for wetlands. Regarding the Open Space Option, he believed it needed to be revised. He stated it is not being utilized because the benefit is not worth going through the pain to get it. He hoped the Commission would approve his changes.


Lee Mamola spoke in regard to the text amendments. In regard to the increase in square footage to retail sales in industrial districts from 500 to 2,000, he felt that in reality more square footage was needed and suggested the Commission to continue to tie the amount of retail sales to the square footage of the building, however, only applying it to major industrial buildings that are on major thoroughfares. Regarding maximum lot coverage in residential districts, he felt the Commission was doing a disservice to property owners in the lakes area because many of the lots are very small and would not be able to build much more than a garage on them. He urged the Commission to create a separate district for the lakes area that would recognize many of the property configurations. In regard to the Landscape portion, he did not understand the rationale for the four foot green belt around a building and stated it would appear that in most cases, there would be a green area around a building. In regard to the Facade Ordinance, Mr. Mamola felt that much of the Administrative procedures need to be re-addressed. He stated in any given project, there are only a limited amount of resources. The ordinance does not state when the Initial Review occurs, it talks about an "architectural consultant" and encouraged the use of such a consultant. The proposed ordinance talks about the applicant submitting photographs of similar buildings, he stated every building he does, he tries to make it unique to the particular site and need. He stated the ordinance requires more work and would be happy to volunteer his resources to create an ordinance which would provide results. As proposed, the ordinance does not do that.


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 Capello asked when the OS-2 Ordinance was discussed, was it discussed to provide for a setback and leave the natural habitat instead of berming along residential?


Mr. Rogers stated the OST Ordinance has been revised and it does speak to saving vegetation and tree wells and this amendment went into the OST District. He referred to the Zoning Update Status Report dated November 4, 1996 and stated that language is included in a memorandum to Mr. Watson and Ms. Lemke of September 25, 1996.


Member Capello thought it was incorporated into the OST, that when there is a woodland area, the developer would not have to cut down the woodlands and build a 6-10 foot berm.


Ms. Lemke stated it is in the industrial sections of the ordinance already, stating if there is existing vegetation, the applicant may build a berm around it or supplement it with existing vegetation.


Member Capello thought it was specifically stated that if there were existing woodlands, a berm would not have to be built at all.


Ms. Lemke answered, yes, if it meets the opacity requirements.


Mr. Rogers stated it is a judgmental thing that is determined in the field and if there is sufficient opacity, a berm is not needed.


Ms. Lemke stated if the woodland does not meet the opacity requirement, it would have to be supplemented with evergreen trees, but not build a berm.


Member Capello asked when there is a six inch tree, does the developer have the right to build a berm around the tree?


Ms. Lemke answered, it allows provisions for protecting individual trees by building a berm around it by incorporating tree walls or retaining wall.


Member Capello stated he would like to postpone the matter for several reasons. It was his feeling that the ordinance needed some additional work, he stated before it is sent to Council for approval, he would like to see what the staff comes back with in the way of changes. In the meantime, he suggested taking advantage of Mr. Mamola’s services and maybe some of his changes could be incorporated.


Mr. Rogers stated Mr. Mamola is part of the Technical Advisory Committee and many of his suggestions were incorporated. Mr. Rogers welcomed Mr. Mamola’s continued participation.


Member Capello asked if it was also sent to the Implementation Committee to begin the same review as the staff in terms of the R.U.D.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington, FAILED (3-3): To postpone any recommendation to City Council on Ordinance No. 96-18 until January 22, 1997.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if it is an indefinite postponement or is it being postponed to a certain date?

Member Capello asked when staff was due to report back to the Commission and if this was enough time for the consultants?


Mr. Rogers stated he was not certain what the parameters are and how much investigation is needed. He and Mr. Arroyo have already provided a report to Mr. Wahl on various development options.


Mr. Arroyo stated there is tentatively scheduled for December 16, 1996 at 6:00 p.m. regarding a study session on residential development options which is somewhat related. He stated if this moves forward, some issues could be discussed and become part of the input to the staff report.





Eda Weddington stated she seconded the motion, not because she wants to delay it, but because she thinks that it is important that it be done correctly and this is a very large project. There have been a number of specific comments and recommendations which she feels have a great deal of merit. She stated she would like them specifically addressed by the consultants and hoped it would not take too long. She felt the need to wrap the entire thing up so that a very clean, well thought out ordinance could be sent to Council for consideration.


Mr. Arroyo suggested that a number of items that were discussed could be brought back on a relatively quick fashion, however, there are others that may become more complex. If the potential exists to move forward with some of the other Zoning Ordinances before the January due date, he felt there were a lot of positive benefits to the City that can be realized, by moving them forward as quickly as possible.


Chairperson Lorenzo respectfully requested that the motion maker and the seconder consider amending the motion to include specifics as opposed to the entire document.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington


Member Capello stated he would also like include the memorandum in regard to having the City of Livonia review the proposed noise ordinance, as far as the enforcement of it. Mr. Rogers believed that it has already been done.


Mr. Cohen answered yes, it has. Larry Frey from the Planning and Community Development Department went over to the City of Livonia and reviewed it with their building supervisor and brought some comments back to the Implementation Committee.


Member Capello asked if those comments were incorporated?


Mr. Cohen answered he believed so.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Cellular Towers is not a part of this yet because the Implementation Committee hasn’t...


Member Capello stated the comment he was trying to make, was as long as it is being postponed, other changes should be incorporated to the NCC, OST and Cellular Towers and get it all done at once.


Chairperson Lorenzo agreed with Mr. Arroyo in terms of she would like to see the bulk of the document moved forward except for these areas.


Member Capello stated this was not his motion. He stated his motion was to postpone the entire document with some directives on these issues, which are the ones to be worked on, not the entire document.


Member Weddington asked if it would be easier to state that the Commission would like to review the written and oral comments that have been received and focus on them, trying to incorporate them into the ordinance where there is agreement from the consultants.


Member Capello answered, yes.


Member Vrettas supported the comments of Member Capello because he thinks the work done thus far has been outstanding. He stated he has not heard one thing from the audience that he does not support 100%.


Member Markham stated she was not clear if the motion included the comments that Andrew Mutch made relative to the Cluster Option and the Open Space.


Chairperson Lorenzo believed that it included all of the verbal and written comments that were received from the public.


Chairperson Lorenzo pointed out that even though this is a large revision to the Zoning Ordinance, it is still a living document which the Commission will always have the ability to propose changes to. She cautioned the Planning Commission not to get into a situation where they want to perfect everything or add things to the effect that it becomes paralyzed. She stated there are many items that can move forward now, without any further discussion or consideration. Chairperson Lorenzo was not in support of the motion because the Commission is not sending the bulk of the document forward and she feels there is the ability to do so.


Member Bononi asked, if the Commission did send the bulk of the document on, what difference would it make from a time frame standpoint as opposed to postponing until the comments are addressed?


Chairperson Lorenzo presumed that the remainder of the document would be approved. She stated if it is postponed, Council would not have the option, without the recommendations to move forward with adopting any part of it. However, if it is sent to Council, minus postponing the particular items discussed this evening, they can still move forward with the bulk of the document.


Member Bononi stated the only burden would be the separation of the documents into those items which have been approved versus those that have not been approved, and stated the only reason she would not be in support would be in terms of more resources.


Member Vrettas believed the document needed some minor "tweaking" and the Commission should strive for perfection.





Yes: Vrettas, Weddington, Capello

No: Markham, Bononi, Lorenzo





Moved by Markham, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (4-2): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Ordinance No. 96-18 minus the Noise Ordinance, NCC District, Cellular Tower Ordinance, OST Ordinance, RUD Ordinance, Facade Ordinance, Section 1905, Section 2509 and all other comments from the public. The remaining items will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on January 22, 1997.


Brandon Rogers strongly recommended that he and Mr. Arroyo meet with Mr. Watson to sort and sift after they have read the literature because the improved landscape standards and more liberal parking standards are needed.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated Mr. Rogers’ point is well taken and it sounds like a plan.


Member Markham asked what would be the best way to handle typographical and definition errors in the document?


Mr. Watson believed the best way to handle it, would be to make a list and send them him.





Yes: Weddington, Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham

No: Vrettas, Capello


Chairperson Lorenzo announced that the Commission will take a brief recess.


Chairperson Lorenzo reminded the Commission to save the Zoning Ordinance Update books to avoid another expenditure to reproduce them.







Property located north of Twelve Mile Road, between Novi Road and Decker Road. The developer seeks a variance to place certain utility lines in the front yard for possible recommendation to City Council.


David Lanciault was unsure why he was appearing before the Commission, he thought he had received approval, however, Mr. Watson stated he had to come back before the Planning Commission. Mr. Lanciault stated he received a letter from Mr. Nowicki that states, "pursuant to ordinance, the Director of Public Services may grant the variances", and he granted it.

Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated he has not seen a letter from Mr. Nowicki stating that he granted...


Mr. Lanciault read the last sentence of the letter which stated, "by copy of this memorandum, developer is being notified of a waiver to the rear yard utility placement in the above stated lots."


Mr. Watson stated Mr. Nowicki was referring to lots 38, 39, 43, 44, and 45, whereas, Mr. Lanciault was requesting 32 through 54.


Mr. Lanciault stated previously he had received approval for lots 42, 45 and 53 in a letter dated June 20, 1996.


Mr. Watson stated as of now, Mr. Nowicki has not approved all of 32 through 54.


Mr. Lanciault stated it is difficult to understand some of the details of the ordinances. He stated the site plan is a series of concentric ring roads, the last road backs up to a wetland so there is a serious topographical change where the lot falls down to the wetlands. There is the practical hardship that Edison’s utility trucks cannot physically get back there to install and/or maintain. Secondly, because of some of the severe grade changes, there will be retaining walls. He asked if the lots all have similar conditions, why shouldn’t the solution be the same for all of them?


Mr. Watson believed the reason different lots are treated in different ways is based upon the ordinance. The Director of Public Services only has the authority to deal with those that deal with regulated woodlands and wetlands. Mr. Watson stated that Mr. Nowicki’s letter indicates that he granted it as to the lots that were requested. The ordinance does not give Mr. Nowicki the authority to grant a waiver for the reasons of topography or other hardships. This is the basis that the additional variance is required. Mr. Watson stated perhaps the ordinance may be revised to provide additional standards for an administrative waiver, however, currently this is what the ordinance states.


Mr. Lanciault asked if Planning Commission was the final process?


Mr. Watson answered, no, this is a recommendation to the City Council for the variance. He stated the issue being addressed, is why there is a hardship for those additional lots.

Mr. Lanciault stated the topographical conditions are the same on all of the lots where a variance has been requested, however, there are not sufficient wetlands or woodlands in the backyards to qualify under the authority of Mr. Nowicki. Mr. Lanciault is appearing before the Commission pursuant to the Ordinance to request a waiver on the additional lots pursuant to the plan submitted.


Mr. Watson stated it appears that the letter from Jerry Witalec of Detroit Edison, refers to the remainder of the lots and says that steep grades and inaccessibility would cause problems for maintaining equipment in the rear yards.


Dave Bluhm of JCK stated Dave Wickens submitted a letter, responding to the wetlands issues. Mr. Wickens concurred that the variance be given in accordance with the lots listed. Mr. Bluhm stated from an engineering point of view there were no problems found with the request for lots 32 through 54. The lots are very steep, the units are very close together making it difficult for accessibility in the rear yard area, this is a potential problem from an engineering point of view.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect had no problems with the variance and gave her recommendation.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester stated there were no problems with the front yard utilities and the location of lots 44, 45, 52 and 53 which would have an impact on the woodlands. These lots would have movement towards the front of the lot, in order to make this connection, there would also be another front yard utility between lots 48 and 49. These were recommended because of woodlands impact.


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





Member Capello asked Mr. Pargoff if the applicant posted a bond for the lots that Mr. Nowicki granted a waiver?


Mr. Pargoff answered most of the lots between 32 and 43 have been cleared to the back lot lines so there would not be any impact on any existing trees. He answered, yes, the applicant has submitted a landscape bond, however, the bond may need to be increased because it was only for three and currently the applicant is proposing six.


Member Capello asked Mr. Pargoff if the Commission were to grant the waiver, would he follow up on it?


Mr. Pargoff answered, yes, he will obtain an additional bonding before any building permits are issued.

Member Vrettas stated he has lived in this type of situation where the utilities were located in the front yards. He stated it makes sense to locate the utilities in the front, creating unity down the line.





Member Vrettas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Vistas Parkshore Phase II front yard utility waiver.





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

No: None




Allocating funds from the Special Planning and Zoning Studies fund for the year 1996 in the amount of $410.00.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To subscribe to the Planning Advisory Service and have the funds allocated from the Special Planning and Zoning Studies Fund.





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

No: None







Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a memorandum from Edward Kriewall, City Manager and asked Dennis Watson to comment on it. She stated there may be a misunderstanding.

Mr. Watson stated he was not sure what the misunderstanding is, it appears that the City Council discussed the Design and Construction Standards and came to the conclusion that they were not interested in any recommendations from the Planning Commission. He stated it is up to the Commission as to what they want to do. Mr. Watson stated any citizen, whether on a commission or not, has the ability to comment on a proposed ordinance. He stated if any members of the Commission desire to do so, it is a possibility.

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he was at the meeting and believed that City Council wanted the prerogative to request an opinion from the Planning Commission in the future, if they saw fit. Mr. Rogers stated he got the impression that in the future, the Council will direct and respectfully request the Commission’s opinion on matters. He did not get the impression that the decision was to prevent any discussion.


Mr. Watson asked Mr. Rogers if there was a formal motion from the City Council on this matter?


Mr. Rogers answered that Councilman Mitzel spoke on the matter the most, and there was not a particular motion that he heard. He believed the Council turned to Mr. Kriewall to touch back with Mr. Watson.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she certainly does not think it was the Planning Commission’s intention to violate any particular protocol. She stated the Commission would like an opportunity to express its’ concerns and perhaps make comment on issues that have been raised over and over again during the site plan review. She stated at those times, Mr. Watson has directed the Commission to refer the matters to the Ordinance Review Committee, she asked if the Commission still has the opportunity to do this? She asked what is the appropriate protocall in terms of the Planning Commission expressing concerns and referring matters?


Mr. Watson answered, it would be the Ordinance Review Committee. It is the Committee that deals with ordinances, other than the Zoning Ordinance.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced if the Planning Commission has offended anyone on City Council, it certainly was not the intention and they did not intend to violate any proper procedure or protocall, they simply would like the opportunity to express their concerns and refer the matter to whatever appropriate committee of the Council.


Chairperson Lorenzo opened the matter for Discussion.






Member Vrettas stated he was hesitant to get involved, he asked if a specific motion was made? It was his belief that since the Planning Commission serves City Council if a specific motion was made, the Commission should see that they live within the directives that have been given. He stated he was disappointed that the Commission does not know whether this was a general directive or a formal motion, he felt he did not have enough information at this time and was hesitant and recommended postponement.


Mr. Watson apologized for not having more information. He stated the Commission could postpone the discussion on this item until the next meeting. Mr. Watson recommended that the two memos that different Commissioners have prepared on items they have spotted in the Design and Construction Standards should be forwarded on to the Council.

Member Vrettas concurred with the comments of Mr. Watson.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Capello, FAILED (2-4): To postpone discussion on the Design and Construction Standards until further clarification as to the specific City Council directive is obtained.





Member Markham thought the reason for this item being placed on the Agenda was because the Commission did not want to hold up any progress that City Council was trying to make on this subject. She has found, in trying to perform her duties as a Planning Commissioners over the months, there are certain specific issues that continually arise that do not seem to be consistent with quality building practices. She gave an example of the one that was most obvious to her, being that 12" of water is allowed in parking lots as a detention method. She stated this is the perfect time to make comments and believed the Commission has a responsibility to discuss if it feels there are specific issues that there are problems with or think can be improved. Member Markham stated she did not receive a copy of the Design and Construction Standards and had to ask for one. She stated she has learned a lot from reading them, this is where a lot of the requirements that are sited, come from. It was Member Markham’s belief that in order for the Commission to do it’s job correctly, they need to be able to work with the ordinances and should have the ability to help make improvements to them whenever possible.


Member Bononi also thought it was a good opportunity after having been referred the Design and Construction Standard Revisions. She saw five points in the Standards that are seen repetitively at the Planning Commission level and they are of concern to her. 1) Sub-section 11.37; which refers to, "positively grading to minimize negative drainage impacts as opposed to the previous standard," which she understood to be much more stringent; 2) Section 11.94, Sub A(3); which prohibits the direct discharge of storm water into wetlands. Member Bononi thought this was a step in the right direction, however, she added the language could define what "pre-treatment" is, it does not refer to wetland ability to accommodate storm water by way of capacity, nor does it mention best management practices; 3) a technical matter; 4) Section 11.127; appears to continue to allow subdivision lots to be platted in flood areas, if this is to be allowed, at the very least, the term "oversized" could be defined by percentage of total lot area; 5) Sub-section 11.123A(d); one continues to allow paved parking areas to be used for storm water storage. It was Member Bononi’s personal belief that this should be prohibited. Member Bononi stated her point in making these comments was to contribute to the City of Novi. She stated to ask her not to bring forth her comments, when she is concerned about how land use is accomplished in the city, goes against what she feels her responsibility is, as a Planning Commissioner. Although she understands what the reasoning is, as a result, being put in a position to either determine to put the matters forward as a Planning Commissioner or having to do it as a private citizen, if this is her only choice, she will withdraw her comments.


Chairperson Lorenzo did not believe this was the only opportunity, she thought there was still an option of referring these issues to the Ordinance Review Committee.





Yes: Vrettas, Capello

No: Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the chair will entertain another motion.






Moved by Markham, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED (5-1): To forward any comments made by the Commission to the Ordinance Review Committee with copy to City Council regarding the Design and Construction Standards.


Mr. Watson suggested the motion include sending a copy to the City Council.


Member Markham added to send copies to the City Council.


Member Vrettas asked for a point of clarification because he was unsure about the message from the City Council. He stated he does not have a problem sending things to the proper committees, however, he was unsure what to send so that nobody is offended.

Mr. Watson stated in hearing the discussion from the Commissioners, he did not see how anything that was said could be interpreted as something that should hurt someones feelings. Without more details on exactly what City Council did, he did not understand how Member Vrettas could agonize over it and wonder whether the Commission is doing something contrary to that or not.


Member Weddington did not feel she had the technical background to make specific recommendations, however, she did agree with the comments and suggestions that were offered by Member Markham and Member Bononi. She believed the Commission would be remiss in its’ duties, if they did not offer constructive suggestions that would benefit the city and the work of the Commission. She was in support of the motion.


Member Capello asked Mr. Watson if the Ordinance Review Committee is limited in the types of ordinances they can review?


Mr. Watson answered, traditionally whenever any work is done on an ordinance, zoning ordinance changes were worked on by the Implementation Committee and non-zoning ordinance changes have always been referred to the Ordinance Review Committee.


Member Capello asked if there was a requirement that states that ordinance changes have to go through the Ordinance Review Committee before they go to City Council?


Mr. Watson did not believe so, he stated it has been customary.


Member Capello asked if the comments of the Commission were brought up during the review of the Standards by the Council?



Mr. Watson did not believe the comments were solicited. He stated a copy was put into the Council packets for information purposes and it sparked interest by Commissioners.


Chairperson Lorenzo shared the concerns expressed by Member Bononi and Member Markham. She thanked Members Bononi and Markham for their efforts in putting their comments forth in writing and stated she will be in support of the motion to forward them to the Ordinance Review Committee.





Yes: Markham, Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Lorenzo

No: Vrettas





Chairperson Lorenzo announced that the Planning Commission has been invited to share in the celebration of the Main Street Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4, 1996 at 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. She stated this is being brought forth to see whether the Commission would like to attend and whether they would like to change the start time for the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission until 8:00 p.m.


Member Weddington stated whether or not the Commission attends the celebration, she would be reluctant to change the meeting time.


Member Vrettas suggested canceling the meeting to attend the party. He stated it is a great celebration for the community and the Commission should show its’ support.


Member Markham agreed with Member Weddington, however, she believed in order for the Planning Commission Meeting to begin on time at 7:30 p.m., the Main Street Ribbon Cutting Ceremony would have to start at 5:30 p.m.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked the Administration if they knew whether the Ceremony was to begin at 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m?


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated if the Commission requested the Ceremony to begin at 5:30 p.m., the last he heard was that they might be able to begin at that time.







Moved by Markham, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To ask the Planning Department to respectfully request the Main Street festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. so the Planning Commission Meeting can begin on time at &:30 p.m. on December 4, 1996.





Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello No: None










Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:45 p.m.





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

No: None




Steven Cohen - Staff Planner



Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

December 02, 1996


Date Approved: December 18, 1996