(810) 347-0475


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


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley,

Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington






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


Chairperson Lorenzo introduced and welcomed Louis Csordas, the new Planning Commissioner.


Louis Csordas stated he is a 19 year resident of Novi, both of his children have been through the Novi Schools. By profession he is the Vice President of Corporate Development for Genesis Group.








Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any changes to the Agenda? Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the Agenda as proposed.





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





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

No: None









Chairperson Lorenzo announced there will be a second Audience Participation after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.





Bruce Leightman represented a New Bankok Restaurant in itís unsuccessful attempt to obtain one of the new Class C liquor licenses. He appeared before the City Council on Monday, November 18, 1996, his clientís application was rejected 4-2. Although he was confused and disappointed with the denial of the application for a liquor license, he would be remiss in his professional obligations if he did not point out how helpful one of the Cityís employees, Steve Cohen, was to him and his clients. He had never before requested a liquor license before City Council, therefore, it was unchartered waters for him. Without Steve Cohenís help, he probably wouldnít have even gotten as far as he did, Mr. Cohen was particularly helpful in explaining the criteria in the Ordinance, informing how many copies of the application had to be filed, making certain the time limitation was understood, etc. In short, Steve Cohen was a perfect public servant and Mr. Leightman and his client appreciated his willingness to assist them in preparing their application. He stated the Commission is to be commended for having such a user friendly department.


Member Weddington asked the Department to make sure this letter is filed into Mr. Cohenís personnel file.





Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any approvals or removals to the Consent Agenda? Seeing none, she asked if there were any corrections to the November 6, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes?


Chairperson Lorenzo stated on page 28, second line from the top should read, "Chairperson Lorenzo answered she thought...". Page 29, first paragraph, last sentence should read, "...not in any particular "site specific" manner." Fourth paragraph, third sentence, " be studied from a general point of view."








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





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced if anyone in the audience is present for Linens ĎN Things or Fountain Park Apartments, their projects have been approved.







Property located north and south of Grand River, west of Beck Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from Light-Industrial (I-1, Office Service Commercial District (OSC), and Planned Office Service District (OS-2) to General Business District (B-3) and Office Commercial District (OSC) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Michael Cervenak, 47601 Grand River Avenue, represented Providence Hospital where he serves as Vice President of Operations. He thanked the Commission for the opportunity to speak on this issue. He introduced his co-presenter, Joe Galvin of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone. He also introduced William Bowman and Bob Bowman of Thompson-Brown, Steve Troest of JJR Environmental and Planning Consultants, Paul Slavin of Reid Cool Michalski & Antosz Inc. Traffic & Transportation Engineers, Richard Abbott, Director of Facilities for Providence Hospital, Ben Hubbard, Director of Real Estate for Mission Health and Alan Paup of Albert Kahn.


Mr. Cervenak was seeking favorable consideration of the Planning Commission, relating to Providenceís application for change of zoning of the Providence Park campus, located near Beck Road and Grand River. The 67 acre parcel which is deemed as Providence Park North was acquired by the hospital with the goal of assuring that development of the area surrounding the medical center campus would occur only in a manner which corresponds to the character and image of Providenceís medical facilities of health care services. Additionally, ownership of the property created a potential guarantee that the hospital could deliver to the Michigan Department of Transportation, affordable access to ROW that is ultimately required to enable replacement of the proposed Beck Road interchange. The request to change an existing zoning is related to the north and south parcel and represents the next major steps along the critical path of Master Planned development. Mr. Cervenak thanked the Planning and Community Development staff and the Cityís Planning and Engineering Consultants for their cooperation and patience in the processing of the application.


Joe Galvin stated he comes to the Planning Commission in the spirit of cooperation. He stated he is trying to take the steps that are necessary, to do two things for the future planning of the city: 1) He stated he wishes to arrange the land usage in a way which maximizes value of the area which will be taken; 2) Provide health care to members of the community. In order to make this easier, he is asking for the adjustment of the zoning and the Master Plan. Mr. Galvin referred to a map which showed the current zoning designations on the parcel. He stated a number of adjustments have been made after a series of meetings. He reviewed the map to clarify the changes. To the south, there are 23 acres of residential property which will remain. There is a narrow strip of I-1 land that is isolated, Mr. Galvin stated he wishes to integrate it on the south campus with the remaining Providence improvements. To the north is OSC property. Mr. Galvin requested that everything south of Grand River be zoned OSC because the hospital wishes to bring 5 story office buildings to the south which is allowed under the OSC zoning. Mr. Galvin stated there is an area that is being desired B-3 by the persons who are planning for the future of Novi, for use as an interchange for I-96. Providence would also like the area to be zoned for an interchange, however, in order to allocate land, they are negotiating to provide it at the minimum cost to the city while ensuring the maximum value to the city, because it can be used as a part of the credit toward the matching funds which are required in order to build the interchange. Mr. Galvin stated the land that could have been used for office is the portion which is being included in the interchange. During the course of many discussions, a number of people raised particular uses which they thought might be inappropriate on the north parcel. Mr. Cervenak has written a letter to Chairperson Lorenzo which has been distributed in the packets. Providence undertakes to enter into whatever mechanism is satisfactory to the city attorney, which would delete those uses which the city found most offensive. Mr. Galvin asked for the help of the Commission so that he can help the City.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he addressed the entire 48 acres before he was aware that it was being reduced by 5 acres. The petition involves three different areas: 1) the change of zoning of the present medical campus from OS-2 to OSC; 2) changing the industrial from I-1 to OSC; 3) changing a portion of the property, north of Grand River, from OSC to B-3. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends the area south of Grand River for Office and Light Industrial future use. The OSC would fit under the Office classification but there would be a disparity where the plan calls out Light Industrial along the Edison line. The area north of Grand River, currently zoned OSC, is proposed for Office use, if this were rezoned B-3, part of it would be in disparity to the Master Plan. Mr. Rogers was in agreement with the rezoning of the OS-2 to OSC, south of Grand River. He was also in favor of the rezoning from I-1 to OSC, south of Grand River. Regarding the OSC property to B-3, north of Grand River, he stated there have been a number of staff conferences, Master Plan and Zoning Committee conferences to find out the types of uses. Mr. Bowman Sr. advised of the desire for retail, hotel and restaurants on the site. Mr. Rogers stated he has not seen a site plan for the residual area after the 21 acres is taken out for the interchange. Mr. Rogers stated a number of impact uses are allowed in the B-2 District upon special land use approval, much as in the B-3 District. He was not convinced that the B-2 District offered many benefits, however, it is an alternative. Mr. Rogers stated the uses he would not want to see in the B-2 or B-3 Districts are auto service stations, fast food restaurants, car wash, oil change, open air business or businesses that would be a poor introduction to the medical campus. The OSC District does permit some commercial uses such as hotels, motels and financial institutions upon special land use approval. A retail center is permitted up to 20% of the area of the OSC park and up to 150,000 square feet of gross leasable area, a sit down restaurant having at least 100 seats is allowed as well as amusement and entertainment uses. The problem with Phase I, which may be the corner parcel, is that it must stand on itsí own with the required percentages. As an alternative, amending the phasing of the site plan manual was looked at, to allow more commercial in Phase I which would balance out over the full phasing, however this did not seem to fit. Mr. Rogers recommended the rezoning to B-3 only if some mechanism could be found to limit certain impact uses. The area is at a strategic entryway to the City and is proximate to major quasi-public uses. The Master Plan for Land Use reflects these types of uses. The applicant has submitted a letter willing to bind themselves not to have these impact uses if the property is zoned B-3. If these three groups of amendments, north and south of Grand River are affected by City Council, it would be necessary to revisit the Master Plan for Land Use and make it into conformity with the zoning changes. Lastly, Mr. Rogers stated the need and necessity for the interchange must be kept in mind.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the purpose of his letter is to provide a comparison of trip generation between the existing zoning classification and the proposed classification. It has been broken down into the north parcel and the south parcel. The developer has submitted a forecast by their consultant and they have also come up with a development scenario for the property. Mr. Arroyo felt the submission seemed to be a reasonable mix of development that might occur on the given scenario versus the proposed scenario. Looking at the north parcel, under the existing zoning scenario, the forecast on a 24 hour basis is approximately 15,000 trips per day, compared to roughly 14,800 under the proposed zoning scenario. Some things could modify this, for example if it were all built as retail the trip generation rates could be higher. Looking at the south parcels, under the existing scenario, the predominant use is medical office which generates more trips. Under the proposed zoning scenario, it changes in that there is more flexibility. Looking at the 24 hour volumes, the proposed zoning scenario does generate more on a 24 hour basis, however, during the morning peak hour it is a wash, while during the afternoon peak hour it is generating 5,700 versus 5,200. Mr. Arroyo again stated that it appears that what has been submitted, is a fairly reasonable estimate.


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


Jerome L. Reiss, 6701 Alderly Way, West Bloomfield represented the property owner, Anna Gilmore, on the east side of Beck Road, slightly south of the proposed southern portion of the rezoning. He was in favor of the submitted plan.


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court agreed with Providenceís philosophy regarding the rezoning proposal of the area. He felt there was a better vehicle to achieve what they are proposing and that would be TC zoning for the north parcel. He explained: 1) TC zoning allows all B-1 and B-2 retail uses except the automotive related uses, so this would immediately eliminate the need for a restrictive covenant or other legal agreement; 2) allows the other uses desired by Providence, including offices, restaurants, and hotels; 3) it provides other uses that may be desired or useful in that area, including day care centers and senior housing; 4) there is a requirement for 15% of the site preserved as open space which would help protect the wetlands on the property; 5) there is guarantees of architectural design and facade controls, which are not present in the B-3 ordinance; 6) it requires a pedestrian orientation to the development; 7) requires development amenities with the project, and because it is a gateway location, this is a benefit that would not come with a B-3 development; 8) for large projects, it would require City Council approval. Mr. Mutch believed TC zoning to be preferable over B-3 zoning because it provides the controls needed, allowing the applicant to do what they want while also allowing the City to achieve itsí Master Plan. Mr. Mutch also felt there was a better vehicle regarding the south parcel. Specifically the OS-1 with a PD-2 Option. He stated PD-2 Option allows a five-story development, allows all of the uses Providence is looking at, and also allows some residential/office mix and some minor commercial within a larger office complex. One benefit of PD-2, OS-1 over OSC is that there is no front yard parking, so the green space in the front of the buildings will be maintained and the PD process grants the Planning Commission a better chance of achieving greater control of the project. Finally, in regard to the roads in the area, Mr. Mutch preferred to see some examination concerning the traffic volumes from those developments, looking at 4 or 6 lane boulevards. He stated because of the current lack of development in the area and with the Providence development being set so far back from the road, there is a potential for a boulevard which is more attractive and would be able to handle higher volumes of traffic. Mr. Mutch was in support of the proposals, he felt the Planning Commission needed to examine the other vehicles that he believed would better achieve what everybody wants.


Matt Quinn referred to Noviís futuring process. He stated part of the futuring process means getting together with the business community to find out what itsí needs are, to make their businesses better while at the same time serving the citizens of Novi. He stated that Providence is the second largest employer in the city and they are telling the Commission what they need in the future to make their business competitive with the marketplace and also to provide better services to the city. He stated they are willing to give the city the same type of zoning uses they can build today. Mr. Quinn felt this was only a win-win situation by granting the rezonings on both sides of Grand River and urged the Commission to vote in favor of the rezoning and send a positive recommendation.


Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Vrettas asked Mr. Rogers if he considered the TC zoning and the options that were just discussed?


Mr. Rogers answered he did not, however, now that it has been brought up, he might make a preliminary observation that the TC District was set up to encompass areas planned for the Town Center. The proliferation of the TC zoning throughout the city was not the objective of the Master Plan. Mr. Rogers stated the OSC Statement of Intent speaks to having the district near freeway interchanges. Mr. Rogers stated this may be an item that might take further study.


Member Vrettas asked, putting aside the fact that the TC District was designed initially to serve the Town Center area, what would be the negative of applying it to the location?


Mr. Rogers answered he could not see any negatives other than the review process would be different because it would have to go to City Council if it were over 5 acres. There are certain development amenities, The Technical Guide Book which has been adopted as part of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Rogers stated there are differences, however, at the moment he could not be specific.


Member Vrettas asked how long would it take to reevaluate?

Mr. Rogers answered it would have to be revisited at the Master Plan and Zoning sub-committee, it would have to go back to the possibility of the impact of diluting TC District by having a proliferation of smaller TC Districts. It would delay more than one month. He stated it can be discussed and a recommendation can be made.


Member Vrettas asked Mr. Galvin what the impact would be to Providence?


Mr. Galvin answered, it would be preferable if it were advanced to the City Council as soon as it is reasonably feasible and he though tonight could be reasonably feasible with a recommendation. He stated he is willing to look at any suggestions and work with the City.

Member Vrettas asked Mr. Galvin specifically, if it were delayed for a month to a month and a half, how will it impact him?


Mr. Galvin answered it would impact him adversely.


Member Vrettas asked Mr. Galvin to elaborate on how it would adversely affect him?


Mr. Galvin stated he is preparing the plan for the development and he would like to know if he can build a five-story office building and a five-story hospital. He also stated he has to finalize the dealings with the City of Novi on the north parcel, he wanted the assurance that he has a marketable parcel because he must report back to a series of boards.


Member Vrettas stated in regard to the south parcel, Mr. Mutch suggested OS-1 with a PD Option. As he understood it, the five-story developments were allowed in these zonings. He still did not understand why.


Mr. Galvin stated he would resist it on the basis of control. He stated somewhere in an earlier life, he heard somebody say that the PD Option was just an option and the applicant can say "no".


Member Vrettas expressed support for Mr. Mutchís suggestions, he was hesitant to loose control when the possibility to make the project even better existed. He stated the suggestions sounded like a different approach that would make Novi even better, and not just another standard suburban area.


Mr. Galvin stated the fundamental issue is the valuation question on the north parcel. It is critical because the value is being taken for the city to use, in effect keeping as much of it as possible. He stated this puts him in jeopardy with the persons to whom he must answer to.

Member Vrettas stated he would reserve judgement on the project until he has heard from the rest of the Commission.


Member Markham was pleased with the proposal, especially on the southern parcel. She believed the Commission should encourage Providence to continue to grow and serve the community because she feels they are a good employer and the kind of organization that the city wants. In regard to the north parcel, if it is allowed to be rezoned to B-3, essentially anything can happen to it. It could be rezoned and then sold tomorrow, therefore, she was reluctant to proceed with it. She was intrigued by Mr. Mutchís proposal stating she thought it was an interesting compromise that might be an improvement over what has been proposed and an improvement over what currently exists, and it could potentially benefit everyone.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (8-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the rezoning of the south half of the Mission Health property to OSC.





Member Hoadley stated the applicant has 23 acres that they do not want rezoned to OSC and the motion was to recommend that they rezone all of it. He asked Member Markham if she would be willing to amend the motion to exclude the R-1 if they want to continue to keep it the same.


Member Markham answered, yes. She was speaking about the 107.6 acres that are currently zoned OS-2 that the applicant wants to rezone to OSC, and the 33.6 acres that they want to rezone from I-1.


Chairperson Lorenzo did not believe the residential was in the rezoning request.


Member Hoadley stated the way the motion was stated, was that all of the property south of Grand River and we do not want to rezone something that the applicant does not want to rezone.


Member Markham agreed.



Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney commented that the proposal before the Commission, is a Zoning Map Amendment that encompasses both of the requests. He was under the impression that the Commission would like to do separate things with each of them, however, the Commission is making a recommendation to City Council on the whole thing. He stated he would like to see the Commission incorporate it into a single motion as a recommendation to City Council.


Member Vrettas asked if the Commission would do one part at a time and then tie them together.


Mr. Watson answered, that is fine for discussion purposes.


Chairperson Lorenzo thought the first part of the motion could remain, she added that a second part would have to be included, addressing the north piece.


Mr. Watson stated if there is no further discussion on the proposal, perhaps the Commission could discuss the other portion of the property.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Cervenak, having listened to the comments of Mr. Mutch and the Planning Commission, does Providence have any flexibility in regard to taking under advisement, what has been said and perhaps taking a look at TC, B-2 or B-3 zoning for the northern part as some kind of a compromise?


Mr. Cervenak answered he was interested in seeking a favorable resolution to the petition. He will make the commitment, he would like to continue to study the best solution for Providence Hospital. He stated he was not in a position to be able to give the city an affirmative response regarding the ROW until there is closure to the rezoning matter. Mr. Cervenak stated he would be willing to work with the city to conduct further study with the understanding in terms of the delivery of the ROW.


Member Hoadley asked if there would be merit in postponing the north portion of the property?


Chairperson Lorenzo interjected she thought that question was asked several different ways and answered several different ways.


Mr. Galvin agreed with Chairperson Lorenzo that the question has been asked and answered and he would like to answer it again. He explained the basic issues with the north piece are the timing and value. A delay to consider TC or any other alternative on the north piece impedes his assurance that there is a sufficient residual value for Mr. Cervenak to make the commitment to which he spoke of. Mr. Galvin did not think that delaying the issue would be helpful.


Member Hoadley asked if it would work better for the marketability of the property if it were to be rezoned B-2 versus B-3 thus requiring less covenants?


Mr. Cervenak answered he petitioned the Commission and ultimately the Council for a B-3 District, he has worked with staff and consultants and it was agreed to exclude certain developments. He stated a B-2 District outcome would literally conform with all of the exclusions that he is willing to put in a restrictive covenant and a B-2 achieves what Providence wants to see in terms of the character image of the whole site.


Member Hoadley stated under B-2, the Planning Commission does have jurisdiction on special use of the objectionable things while B-3 does not. He asked Mr. Watson if restrictions or covenants can be put in for the city to accept, or would it be better to rezone to B-2?


Mr. Watson did not believe that B-2 would necessarily accomplish what is wanted. Although they would be special land uses, gas stations, oil change stations and open air business would be permitted as such. There is more discretion to say no to those types of businesses, however, if they meet the criteria of the ordinance there may be a tough time denying them. He stated there is still the potential for them being built there. As to the possibility of using restrictive covenants, it is a means to limit the use of property beyond what is allowed in the Zoning Ordinance. If the City is going to rely on that to give any assurances as to the land use, it must be able to enforce the covenants. It has been discussed in the past regarding other proposals and the recommendation has always been that the only way the City consider it, is if they are actually acquiring some sort of property from the common parcel. Mr. Watson stated this is reallly out of the realm of this proposal. The land use issue is something of concern, there are certain uses within a B-3 that Mr. Rogers feels are inappropriate to the site. Mr. Watson stated, yes, a mechanism is possible. If it is going to be presented to Council by Providence Hospital, an aspect where the Commission could be of use would be to make a recommendation as to what uses it would like to see prohibited.


It was Member Hoadleyís understanding that the applicant does not desire to put anything on the land that is not desired by the Commission. He stated if they give up control of the land, after it is rezoned, it will be a different story. Member Hoadley stated if the City cannot enforce covenants or deed restrictions, Mr. Mutchís suggestion does not seem to be a vehicle that can work.


Mr. Watson stated the Commission should think about which uses they do not want to see on the parcel, and leave the mechanism up to Providence Hospital to make a specific proposal to the City Council as to whether there is any property they want to deed to the City.


Mr. Galvin stated it has been suggested that somehow it will be interested in a large portion of property at some point.


Member Hoadley stated the Commission is speaking of the property to be developed as B-3 in Commercial.


Mr. Galvin stated that Mr. Watson said the mechanism is not appropriate for the Planning Commission and he understands that. Mr. Galvin clarified his comments, a mechanism that would restrict a parent parcel would benefit one parcel and burden the other. He stated that Mr. Watson could not properly speak to what property might end up going through the City or by the City.


Mr. Watson clarified that Mr. Galvin could not speak to what property the city might accept. He stated Providence must propose something, it has to be reviewed by the City Council. He stated Mr. Galvinís concern is not the specifics of the mechanism, but the specifics of the land use restrictions he wants to see imposed.


Member Bononi asked the applicant, from the standpoint of how the property was acquired, was it ever in a single contiguous piece?


Mr. Watson answered, yes it was. All of the golf course property on the north and south, although he stated he would not call it contiguous because it was separated by the road.


Mr. Galvin stated that was Member Bononiís question.


Mr. Watson then stated it was not entirely contiguous. There was probably some property to the south that was purchased separately.


Member Bononi asked, under the OSC Ordinance, why could the parcel not be considered to fall under that "integral part of a larger overall complex of buildings", and then that northerly parcel would be allowed to be used in a retail sense?


Mr. Watson answered it might be, however, he thought the applicants have looked long and hard to try and come up with a proposal. As he recalled, the problem was that they would not be able to do anything with commercial property until the tail end of the development.


Member Bononi explained the only reason she brought up the subject was because she thought it could get him where he wished to go. She did not have any problems with regard to the southerly portion of the proposal, stating that it sounded like a marvelous proposition. She did express concern with the B-3 zoning that is being proposed on the northerly side, stating she did not believe it was good planning practice to enter into agreements with covenants and restrictions. Member Bononi expressed concern that this sets what she considers to be an unwelcome precedent for future proposals. She also expressed concern with the sale of the property, she disagreed with Mr. Rogers when he interpreted that TC could not be appropriately used in the area. Under Article 16, Section 1600 under Intent, TC does not restrict the use to a particular geographic boundary within the City. She believed that this could be a suitable way to get the applicant where he wants to go because she personally had great reservations about B-3 and stated she would not be in support of it. She would, however, be in support of an investigation into TC or any other vehicle that might come up as a result of the search.


Member Vrettas stated he is a regular customer of Providence. He likes Providence and wants the best for it, as does everyone. He stated Member Hoadley suggested to postpone the item and discuss it with Mr. Rogers. It was Member Vrettasís feeling that it did not have to be postponed for a month, but perhaps until the next meeting.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Vrettas


Member Markham stated her hope was that during the time between the Commissionís recommendation and as Providence goes before City Council, that it will give everyone some time to look at whether TC District will work and be an improvement without slowing the process down.


Member Weddington clarified and suggested if Council sees fit to rezone to B-3 or preferably to B-2, the uses that the Commission would like to prohibit would be any gasoline and oil sales and service, auto wash facilities, auto sales facilities, auto servicing and outdoor sales and fast food establishments.


Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers if hotel/motels were allowed in the B-2 District?

Mr. Rogers answered no, they are not.


Member Capello stated they would need a B-3 District in order to accommodate the hotel/motel.


Mr. Rogers thought the hotel/motel was intended for the area that was extracted from the petition.


Member Capello did not have a problem with the rezoning of the southern portion. He also stated he did not have a problem with the B-3 because he felt the City Council was totally capable and competent of negotiating the deed restrictions that will protect the corner from the uses that the Commission does not want. He stated he would like to see it passed on to City Council, he was opposed to any delay. Member Capello believed the Council was more knowledgeable regarding the TC, B-2 and B-3 Districts and they would not need Mr. Rogers to conduct any further studies to inform them what the differences are. He stated the Mr. Mutchís suggestion is not something new because it has been discussed to expand the TC District from itsí current location to other locations in the city. The opposition to it has been, the encumbrance that the property is going to bear with all the additional amenities. Member Capello stated there is an additional burden in the TC District that OSC or B-3 does not have, this will diminish the value of the property by encumbering it with a TC zoning as opposed to a B-3 zoning. There is a benefit to the City to have the highest value on the property. He stated the City would not benefit if it were rezoned to TC because the parcel of property the City would be getting would also be TC as opposed to B-3. If the same goal can be accomplished by putting deed restrictions on the property, then the city will benefit by having the higher value of property. Member Capello stated he would be voting against the motion because he does not agree with the TC in the northwest quadrant, but he fully agrees with the rezoning in the southwest quadrant.


Chairperson Lorenzo expressed her appreciation to Mission Healthís commitment to the City of Novi. She was in support of the motion, and agreed with Member Capello in terms of supporting the B-3 petition for the north part of the site. Partly because of Mr. Watsonís information in terms of there being a legal mechanism that is possible. She hoped that some type of restrictions are put into place because of her concern regarding the undesirable uses. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would like to place faith in Mission Health that they would not do anything detrimental to the City of Novi, and knowing how detrimental those types of uses might be, that they would honor their commitment to the City and not allow those uses to be put into place. She further asked Mission Health to consider the northern corner an appropriate area for a grocery store, if it is going to be Commercial and particularly if senior citizen housing is being considered to the south.


Member Capello asked Chairperson Lorenzo if she feels that the B-3 is appropriate, why doesnít she vote "no" to see if a "yes" vote can be obtained for the B-3 as the applicant has asked for with deed restriction?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered, because she has heard from enough people where she is not sure that there would be support.


Member Churella stated he was in support of what Member Capello said but he hasnít spoken out. He believed the Commission should move ahead and vote and if it does not pass, make a new proposal to accept B-3 with deed restrictions.


Member Vrettas supported the comments of Member Capello. He felt City Council should look at both the TC District and B-3 District for the property north of Grand River Avenue. He stated by putting "or any other district" in the motion, it would give City Council the option to do what they felt was right.


Member Csordas stated that he drives by the property every day because he lives on that side of the City. In his opinion, the Providence Medical Center has been a welcomed addition to the community. He felt confident that Providence/Mission Health would choose appropriate uses for the north property. He stated that the hospital has been a good neighbor and great contributor to the community. He does not have a problem with the rezoning request.


Member Bononi stated that the Commissionís discussions have pointed out that the City does not have an alternative vehicle to offer the petitioner to enable them to make a specific development recommendation. She asked the Commission to think about such a vehicle because the City needs something like that, so petitioners can make specific proposals to use their land that will make both them and the City happy.


Member Capello stated that there seemed to be a consensus, if the motion where amended to state TC, B-3, or any other appropriate zoning district. He then requested that motion be amended to add B-3 as recommended use to City Council.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Vrettas


Chairperson Lorenzo then restated the whole motion and asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.




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

No: Bononi




Property located south of Twelve Mile Road, east of Novi Road for possible PD-3 Option and Preliminary Site Plan recommendation to City Council.


David Ware, Vice-President of the Taubman Company, stated that he was before the Planning Commission to talk about a piece of land his company has owned for a very long time and has had many proposals, none of which have been successful except for this evening. Mr. Ware stated the property was very important and sits next to the Hotel Barronette. It also sits east and west of the Air Touch and Cellular One facilities. He stated he was happy to be before the Commission with Mr. Edgar Hagopian, who owns the Hagopian Rug Company, which has a tremendous reputation. Mr. Ware stated his company thinks Hagopian World of Rugs would be a tremendous marketing addition to the quality of the Twelve Oaks Mall. The site was very complicated and very large. It was about three acres. This presents a tremendous amount of topographic information. Mr. Ware stated that the Commission would see a process that was started 20 years ago. He introduced John Sarkesian, architect, and Mr. Edgar Hagopian, owner.


John Sarkesian, stated he would like to brief the Commission on the concept of the building and then introduce the consultants and Mr. Hagopian. Mr. Sarkesian stated before the Commission was a model of the development. To the left of the site was Gormanís, which was incorporated to show the scale of the building. The site offers tremendous possibilities and barriers that had to be overcome. The site drops 40 feet from the northwest to the southeast corner. The concept was to create a building that cascades down the site but does not become bewildered by the masses of the Gorman building. The rendering was from the Twelve Mile Road side and the model was from the Mallís "Ring Road" side. Mr Sarkesian stated they tried to build a strong presence on Twelve Mile Road, yet still have a very welcoming presence from the "Ring Road". The aesthetics of the building was conceived as a converted loft or 1920's light industrial building that was converted to retail space. He then clarified that the building was a new building. He stated that they just wanted to keep that kind of flavor. He then stated that the light industrial buildings from earlier in the parts of the century were more ornamental and interesting than most of the new retail developments of today. He said that they tried to borrow the flair and flavor of the that era by introducing warm colors and materials. Using red bricks with some lime stone color drived accent, the building will plentiful display windows all the way around the building. The entry would be very inviting with a marquis type canopy over the top. The interior would have very open tall spaces with a lot of natural light. He stated that he feels that this building would be an exciting addition to the community. He introduced Edgar Hagopian, who commented on the project.


Edgar Hagopian, owner of Hagopian World of Rugs, stated that it was a pleasure to be able to build this facility in the City of Novi. He stated he has had the reputation for doing things on a first class basis. He does not think it was a time to change that reputation. He stated he wanted to assure the Planning Commission of his intent to be a very first class citizen, and he would be building a facility that the City would be proud of and would maintain it as well. Mr. Hagopian stated that it would be an exciting store and he does think that there was one like it in the Midwest.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant, stated the applicant wishes to build a two-story 27,000 square foot retail store, on a three acre, RC zoned site, which was eligible for PD-3 Option. All the application data was submitted and all setbacks under the PD-3 setback requirements were complied with. The off-street parking based on a single use retail building would be 187 spaces with 6 handicapped spaces which Mr. Rogers stated that he has shown mathematically on page 2. The applicant has sought a reduction in the parking under the Land Banking Option, which is eligible for a furniture store and appliance store. Under the particular arrangement, the parking was computed under a different formula where the parking requirement was as few as 27 spaces plus 2 handicapped, however, on the plan, they have indicated 78 spaces plus 4 handicapped. The difference between what was required under a retail use which was the first formula to follow, and what they had provided shown on one of the plans as a land bank parking were providing for those spaces and meet the setbacks on property immediately east of their site. Parking and loading areas were on the rear yards on the south side. There were two areas, one on the southwest corner of the building for truck wells and a smaller area on the southeast of the site for short term deliveries. In an RC District, the single use building should be 50,000 square feet, unless an exception is obtained from City Council. Mr. Rogers stated the Hagopian project was seeking that exception. It was the same exception that Air Touch or Cellular One received from City Council and the exception that the Scott Shuptrine building received. This particular three acre site was developed prior to the establishment of the 50,000 square foot requirement under the PD-3 Option which was something like a site condominium parcel controlled by the Taubman Company. There was a shared use of the driveway on the Gormanís site. West of the site, a cross easement would be required. Mr. Rogers stated having access to the Gormanís site improves circulation at Gormanís and at Hagopian and it eliminates another curb cut out to Twelve Mile Road. The developer has shown a proposed 8 foot asphalt safety path along Twelve Mile Road to connect the alignment of the Cellular One safety path. Mr. Rogers stated that Linda Lemke would explain the landscape design because now the consultants were doing conceptual preliminary landscape reviews at the time of the preliminary site review.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect, stated if the Planning Commission can remember that this was the first conceptual plan that has landscape comments. Usually, landscape comments are done at the time of Final Site Plan. Ms. Lemke stated she did that so the aesthetics of the site could be evaluated on screening, architectural design intent, to the site itself, and to maximize the qualities that the City were looking for, at a conceptual level rather than waiting for the end at the final site plan which would be difficult to make changes and cause delays to the developer. This particular project the consultants had the opportunity to review it twice. Ms. Lemke stated she has asked for changes that would give more plant materials on the northern part of the site along Twelve Mile Road. She stated that she has requested additional sub-canopy trees and canopy trees and shrubs to provide more of a buffer for the ROW. Ms. Lemke stated this has been done. She had two minor points to be addressed in the final site plan submission. First, a change in the note to refer to the planning consultant on the plans. Second, she would like to see sub-canopy trees be located along the interior drives which the property abuts another property. Ms. Lemke stated that it was predominantly on the western side of the site. She would like to ask Mr. Devlin his intent of the model which shows the canopy and sub-canopy trees. Ms. Lemke recommended conceptual approval for the landscape plan.


Brian Devlin of Ludwig and Associates, stated that had tried to comply with the requirement of the number of trees along Twelve Mile Road and did try to concentrate the trees at each end. The parking lot trees were as per the requirements and there were existing vegetation that was put in possibly by the hotel or Twelve Oaks Taubman Group. He stated that they were going to relocate those trees over to the easterly portion of the site to allow for lower vegetation at the focal point of the southeast corner of the building. This was the concept behind the planting. He stated that Ms. Lemke requested more ornamental trees and sub-canopy trees along Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Devlin stated that they had done that. Mr. Devlin stated that the model does not show shrub groupings but there were several shrub groupings along Twelve Mile Road specifically located near these other larger groupings of trees. That was how he has proceeded with the landscape plans.

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if Ms. Lemke had any additional comments?


Ms. Lemke answered, no.


Mr. Rogers stated on page 4 of the facade plan, the face brick was a split face brick E.I.F.S. the drived system enamel painted metal luves. It was in his opinion that it was in compliance with Section 2520. In summary, Mr. Rogers recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan and the PD-3 Option subject to the approval by City Council:


1. PD-3 Option and the Preliminary Site Plan.

2. Granting of an exception by City Council permitting 26,790 square feet building floor versus the 50,000 square feet required.

3. Provision of a cross easement to use the Gormanís driveway, west of the site.

4. Provision of an easement for the proposed 8 foot asphalt safety path along Twelve Mile Road.

5. Addressing comments of Ms. Lemke regarding conceptual landscape plan review at the time of Final Site Plan.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant, stated this was the second submittal for the plan. Mr. Arroyo stated as mentioned the access to the site was coming from three locations. One was the access onto the service drive of the Ring Road and two access points into the Gormanís property which has access to Novi Road and Twelve Mile Road. He stated there has been changes to address previous comments. One comment was to the service drive along the Ring Road for some minor modifications and approval of the adjacent property owner of the radius of the exiting maneuver to extend beyond the property line. Also, the adjoining access agreement was needed as Mr. Rogers had indicated for the access to Gormanís which needs to be provided for final. Mr. Arroyo stated one thing that came up from his initial review and still was an issue was the provision of the loading area on the south side of the site. From the architect plan, the loading area was shown the main driveway at the end of the site. The loading area does not show up on the engineering plan, but it does show up on the architectís plan. The size of the loading area as such extends into the maneuvering area for access in and out of the site. He has talked to the applicantís architect about not needing a loading area of that size. The intent for the loading area was for short term delivery by panel vans of bringing a rug in for short term basis. There was not a need for a heavily loaded area and not be used by large trucks. The applicants would be making modifications to the plan when the final plan comes in to make the size of the loading area smaller to accommodate a 20 foot panel van.


Mr. Arroyo further stated the additional loading space that was necessary would then be added to the main loaded area on the west side of the site. This would meet the minimum requirement of the ordinance but in the manner that would not impede access. These were modifications to the striping area of the parking but was an important one. Mr. Arroyo stated that there were other comments about trip generation. It was an important point to note that this type of use was a low traffic generator. He stated that a forecast of 115 trips a day, 10 peak hours trip. In a comparison with a straight retail user with two tenants, there would be 3,100 trips per day, 285 trips during P.M. peak hour. This was a substantial difference. Mr. Arroyo stated the parking land banking plan has been reviewed and he has found it acceptable. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval, subject to the comments in his letter and the modifications of the loading area.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant, stated public utilities currently service the site, both along Twelve Mile Road and the Ring Road for the Twelve Oaks Mall development and they would be bringing in service leads into the buildings from there. The storm sewer would be extended to service the site and the sewer would be dumping into the storm sewer of the Ring Road undetained and no detention was required on the site as the sewer was sized to handle flows and then detained in the Twelve Oaks lake on the east side of the Twelve Oaks Mall area. As the applicant has mentioned, the topography was very severe across the site from the west side, Gormanís side, to the Ring Road of 40 plus feet. Mr. Bluhm stated along the southwest corner of the building there were a series of tier retaining walls that would drop the grade along the south edge off of the west to the east roughly 20-25 feet. What the applicant has proposed to do here was to take the parking and driveway areas from the southwest corner to the northeast and south and make the length grade transition work and meet the slopes that would eliminate any unsafe driving conditions. It appears to be feasible and would work on the site. The site was well developed from a grading point of view. Mr. Bluhm expressed concern that the applicant contact the Twelve Mile Road preliminary engineering plan and coordinate work with their site as much as possible, prior to submitting the final site plan for assurance that there were good coordination with that project. He stated that there were some comments which are on the letters. Mr. Bluhm recommended the plan for engineering feasibility.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that she has received a letter from Mr. Pargoff, City Forester which states, this office concurs with the recommendation from the planning consultant, Mr. Brandon Rogers. This office is concerned with the proposal of the planting of the Acer Platanoides Norway Maple because of over planting of the species in the City. However, the columnar varieties of this species may have designed or utility uses. This needs to be explained on the plan. In addition, the note on the plan which states the "owner reserves the right to field adjust location of trees to maximize retail visibility" must have the following language added, "Adjustments must be approved by the City of Novi Planning Consultant". The applicantsí landscaper should also contact the planning consultant before purchasing any plant material.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated for the record, the Planning Commission has also received a letter from Michael Evans, Fire Marshal, which indicates the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any further comments from the public?

Debbie Bundoff, Novi/Twelve Mile Road area, stated that she was concerned with the amount of PD-3 Option area in the City. This happens to be a site that Mr. Taubman has had in the mall package since the mid-1970. She stated that she and Mr. Taubman have the uniqueness of owning property surrounding the corners diagonally from one another on Novi Road and Twelve Mile Road. She expressed some concerns with the uses of the PD-3 area where there were deficiencies under the ordinance of using the PD-3 Option. Ms. Bundoff stated the site happens to be next to a site that was a PD Option area where the previous tenant had to move out to make room for a different type use. The parking and movement around the building was unique. She stated that adding traffic from another development adjacent, although the traffic consultant states moving around the building better, would add more traffic with people going out to Novi and Twelve Mile Road access. She was under the understanding that years ago a little pod that surrounded the Ring Road was not suppose to allow access other than through the Ring Road to Novi or Twelve Mile Road, was that not correct? Therefore, the City was giving pod access to both the streets and that was a concern for her. Although, the use for the design for the building is currently for rugs and furniture that does not mean that after two months it was built, it was not going to be something else leaving the new owner with the hardship of parking and other things. Ms. Bundoff stated that the traffic consultant talked about if it was a different use the traffic amount would unbelievably increased and that was her concern.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the PD-3 Option and Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to all the consultants written and verbal recommendations. The Commission also approves the land bank parking option.





Member Weddington further added approval subject to all the conditions cited by the consultants.


Member Markham commented the development was very professional and lovely project. She stated she would be happy to see it become part of the Twelve Oaks Mall complex and wished that all of the developments that come before the Planning Commission would be of this quality.


Member Hoadley stated that Hagopian was a class act and he highly approved of the project.





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

No: None




Property located west of Novi Road, between I-96 and Twelve Mile road for possible PD-3 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Phasing Plan recommendation to City Council.


Mark Young of Seiber, Keast & Associates, Inc. introduced Michael Rupert the corporate architect for Art Van Furniture and Fred Keywell, corporate council for Art Van Furniture. Mr. Young spoke in regard to the site plan. The existing site is comprised of two pieces, the existing 5 acre parcel which contains the existing Art Van Furniture store, approximately 60,000 square feet and the existing Scott Shuptrine Furniture store, approximately 35,000 square feet. Recently, Art Van acquired the 5 acres immediately to the north. Novi Road is shown on the east side of the plan, West Oaks Drive cuts near the southwest corner of the site, there is a bank on the south side. The proposal is a 2-phased proposal. In Phase I, Art Van proposes to renovate and expand their existing showroom from 60,000 square feet to just under 105,000 square feet. The Phase line proposed for the development is shown on the plan. At an undetermined time in the future, Art Van proposes to expand the existing Scott Shuptrine store, approximately doubling itsí size. Mr. Young was aware of the shortage of parking as required by existing ordinance and indicated the intent of a request of variance on the parking requirement. He pointed out that furniture retail requires much less parking per unit floor area than most other commercial retail uses. In regard to the engineering, traffic, landscaping and fire department reviews, Art Van is prepared to modify the preliminary plan to accommodate the required and suggested changes. The review by Mr. Rogers points out a deficiency in the parking lot green space, Mr. Young stated this is an existing deficiency that pre-dates the ordinance and Art Van is prepared to consider additional landscaping in order to mitigate that condition. In summary, Mr. Young requested the support of the Commission for this project and approval of the PD-3 Option and Preliminary Site Plan contingent on the issues that have been documented by the Cityís consultants.


Michael Rupert, Corporate Architect of Art Van Furniture stated Art Van opened itsí first store in 1959 and has been a resident in Novi since 1982. He referred to the rendering that showed the new atrium entrance and the new brick details, also the site plan shows the incorporation of the service end of the building adjacent to both stores. He passed out samples of the building materials to the Commission. In conclusion, he stated the Fretter property was purchased in the hopes that they could work out a win-win situation with the City of Novi, giving the problems that the City has had with that property in the past.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he has two reports. The applicant is expanding the two phase project, upwards of 175,000 square feet in total. A Community Impact Statement has been submitted and the issues under the PD-3 Option have been addressed. It requires a finding by the Commission that the site plan meets all applicable standards regarding setbacks, parking, etc. Mr. Rogers stated the plan does not comply with off-street parking standards or the green space setbacks. Practically all application data is provided, the existing off-site driveways on either site of Novi Road should be better documented. Both buildings comply with the RC, PD-3 setback requirement.


Regarding off-street parking, the applicant has computed the required parking only for the expansion area with a need for 545 parking spaces, in addition to the 189 existing spaces. The applicant has provided 407 spaces on the plan, plus handicapped, for a total of 421 parking spaces, Mr. Rogers stated there is a shortfall of parking spaces. If parking requirements were computed based upon the entire project, then 690 spaces, plus handicapped for Art Van and 448, plus handicapped for Scott Shuptrine would be required for a grand total of 1,161 parking spaces based upon a planned commercial center. Mr. Rogers stated if the off-street parking is computed based upon if the project were two independent furniture stores, land banking is possible if approved by the Planning Commission for required spaces in excess of those computed using the alternate formula. Mr. Rogers stated there has to be a demonstration that land banking is available and can be provided in the future if needed and the use of the buildings change on the site. No surplus area exists on the site for any land banking. Under land banking, the applicant would need to provide space for 963 parking spaces. For Art Van Phase I, 251 parking spaces need to be provided and for the entire complex, 704 parking spaces are required. Under land banking for Art Van, the applicant would need 110-115 parking spaces and would have to land bank 585 spaces on the Phase I site. Mr. Rogers stated there is quite a difference between the minimum parking requirement that must be provided under the two scenarios of a planned commercial center. The major issue in the site plan is the deficiency in parking spaces which the applicant acknowledges and states that a ZBA variance will be sought. Mr. Rogers stated the two furniture stores pre-existed the current Zoning Ordinance regarding off-street parking. He stated a case could be made that only the additional building space should come under the current standards, in which case there would be a deficiency of 122 parking spaces. However, in computing the entire development, there is deficiency of 740 parking spaces. Because of the major modifications in the overall site plan, the reconstruction of parts of the existing Art Van store, the parking and access aisle unified layout, Mr. Rogers concluded the parking should and must be computed on the basis of the total development not just on the expansion. He commented that the land banking option does have merit but one must consider first, in having the land banking option, the potential reuse of the building must be considered. Mr. Rogers stated he investigated shared parking with West Oaks I & II. Under the present ordinance, West Oaks I is deficient and in West Oaks II, no excess parking per the present ordinance is available. Required green space setbacks have been met with one exception along the south edge. The existing parking comes within five feet, this should be ten feet of the south property line. This could be waived by the Planning Commission if alternate green space can be provided on the site. Loading areas are in the rear yard for Art Van and east side for Scott Shuptrine and are provided in the proper amount.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect had quite a few items that needed to be done or further information be supplied at the time of final submission. 1) Planting detail needs to be revised. Nylon or plastic straps should be used, not hose and wire; 2) Proposed plant materials are acceptable in the type and variety proposed. However, additional shrubs should be used to provide further screening of the parking from Karevich Drive and of the parking and loading drives from West Oaks Drive. The shrubs should be planted in between the canopy trees and provide a continuous screen along the length of the rights-of-ways for both Drives; 3) In addition, upright evergreens plantings need to be added in the island area just north of the truck well to provide more screening for the loading and unloading areas; 4) Additional plant materials should be used in the front facade to provide additional interest and better delineate it as the front view of the site; 5) In examining existing trees on the site, five (5) trees at the eastern end of the ROW plantings along West Oaks Drive are in poor condition due to abuse from lawn mowers and need to be replaced with new canopy trees. The remainder of the existing trees on the site are acceptable. Protective fencing has been shown on the plans and will need to be installed on the site and inspected before any construction can occur; 6) The Patmore Ash should be changed to a different species. Ms. Lemke stated the landscape plan meets the requirement for the Landscape Standards that are currently in place, however, she would like to see additional plant materials as discussed, along both ROW areas. The plan indicates a trash compactor on the site, if there are any dumpsters proposed, they will need to be screened according to the guidelines of this section and details will need to be provided on the Final Site Plan submission. There has been no indication of transformers on the plan, if these are intended to be used, they also need to be shown and screening provided. In summary, at this stage of conceptual landscape plan, Ms. Lemke found the plan to be acceptable with the above mentioned conditions.


Mr. Rogers stated he had a problem with the facades. The conceptual building facade plans depict use of face brick and E.I.F.S. system and 8' C.M.U. block on the west wall of Art Van. Mr. Rogers expressed concern about the lack of windows along the entire lengths of the north facades of either building or along the south facade of the Art Van store. The use of C.M.U. block on the west facade of Art Van is improper, it currently has face brick and Mr. Rogers thought this should be changed. At the time that details are brought in, Mr. Rogers stated better definition of the facade materials will be needed. In summary, he did not recommend approval of the preliminary site plan and the PD-3 Option owing to deficient off-street parking, green space setback deficiencies and concerns on proposed building facades. In regard to the Phasing Plan, Mr. Rogers could not recommend approval since Phase I cannot stand on its own owing to deficient parking and similarly Phase II cannot stand on its own owing to deficient parking.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated utilities fully service the site, the applicant will need to relocate several hydrants to better access the proposed paved areas. They will also be relocating several segments of storm sewer and constructing others to better service the site. Detention is provided in the regional basin off the southwest corner of the location of the development. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there are several modifications being made to the access system. Essentially there will be the same number of access points, there will be three points deleted and three points added. He expressed concern with the location at the northwest corner of the site where West Oaks II access drive intersects with the north/south road that connects West Oaks I with West Oaks II. He believed this driveway was too close to the intersection and an alternative access location should be found. In regard to trip generation, there was a traffic study submitted. The signalized intersections at West Oaks I, West Oaks II and Novi Road are at acceptable levels of service and with the addition of traffic, they will continue to operate as such. Mr. Arroyo stated the other issue, which has already been discussed by Mr. Rogers, is the lack of the parking land banking plan, this has not been provided. The end islands proposed within the site should be modified to reflect the standard practice of the City, to provide for better internal circulation. If a ZBA variance is granted for the parking land banking issues, Mr. Arroyo would be in a position to recommend approval subject to the above items being resolved on the Final Site Plan.



Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has received a memorandum from Chris Pargoff, City Forester which states, this office concurs with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant, Brandon Rogers. As indicated in Mr. Rogers review, this office is concerned with the proposal of planting Fraxinus pennsylvanica not americana Patmore Ash because of over planting of this species in the City. The applicantís landscaper should also contact the planning consultant before purchasing any plant material.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has also received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states the above plan is not recommended for approval due to the following: 1) Relocate the fire hydrant at the north side, center of Phase I to be within 100 feet of the F.D.C.; 2) Hydrants shall be spaced a maximum of 300 feet. Add additional hydrants along the south and west sides of the project; 3) Show the location of the F.D.C. on Phase II addition and locate a hydrant within 100 feet of the F.D.C.


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


Debbie Bundoff expressed concerns with the Phasing program of the project and itsí deficiencies. She stated she spoke with the petitioner to see if going under the PD Option, they would be allowed the extra story to possibly have a tiered building allowing them to shrink the size of the building, giving them more green space. She stated financially, this is not an option the petitioner would take. She expressed concern regarding landscaping because this is a phasing project, she asked when the land would be cut and landscaped properly? She stated she is not against development, it is an island in the middle of a parking lot, there isnít a lot of green space available. She stated it is nice to have this little patch of land for the few animals that are in the neighborhood. She hoped for the people of the community who walk through that area, perhaps the petitioner might consider park benches here and there for the benefit and look of the area.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to comment on the project? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Bononi expressed concerns with: 1) A PD application requires a clear designation of use per Section 2406.2(c) and 2406.4(g). In not providing the information for the Scott Shuptrine addition, Member Bononi did not feel it met the requirement. 2) In regard to the parking requirements, the problem she saw with the applicant just deciding to go to the ZBA after the site has been maxed out, was that she thought the applicant had reasonable and prudent alternatives to take in proposing the application. Member Bononi suggested that the applicant look at the application and the existence of two zoning standards which predicated the existing parking requirement for the additions to both buildings. She did some calculating and saw it differently from Mr. Rogers stating what the applicant would be looking at in order to cut the 101 space shortfall, would be the subtraction of approximately 6,312 feet from each building or a combination from one or both of the buildings. Looking at the size of the buildings, she did not think this was unreasonable. This proposition would presume that the ZBA would look favorably on a position, saying that the existing buildings were built under another zoning standard, consequently the parking requirement was less, however, she thought this would be a much more palatable stance to take with the ZBA if agreed: 1) to reduce both or one of the buildings by that square footage, if they are to be looked at as a single parcel; 2) there would be a 101 shortfall. Member Bononi felt that wanting to max-out a site in order to have that amount of square footage, was a self imposed hardship.


Member Bononi also expressed concern with future use. She stated that land use decisions must be looked at from the standpoint of what is going to happen to the buildings down the road and look to adaptively reuse the site. It was her consideration that it would be in the applicants interest to go back to the drawing boards and re-look at this issue in order to at least cut down the size of the buildings because she believed there were reasonable and prudent alternatives.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone any action to allow the petitioner to consider the reduction of square footage so they would not be as deficient in parking.





Member Vrettas added that the applicant should look at all of the comments of all of the consultants to try and resolve as much of them as they can. Member Vrettas agreed with the comments of Member Bononi, stating that it is not ethically right to create a hardship.


Member Capello also agreed with the comments of Member Bononi and asked that when the applicant does come back to the Commission, that he tell the Commission why he needs that much square footage in each of the expansions and why he cannot use a two-story building instead of a one-story building to make up for some of the space.


Member Weddington stated she would be supporting the motion, she also asked the petitioner to specifically address the facade issues. Buildings such as this, that are sitting in the middle of an island, really have more than one front to present to the City. In this case, the north and south sides have a great deal of exposure to a lot of traffic and must have attractive facades, in her opinion. She stated, as it is currently, she doubts that the Commission would be willing to grant a facade waiver with what has been presented.


Member Hoadley agreed with all of the comments from the Commissioners. He thought the applicant should explore building upward as a viable alternative, this would allow some land banking and he would also like the applicant to prove the necessity for the amount of square footage needed. Member Hoadley stated that 400 parking spaces is realistically adequate for the Art Van use, however, if it goes to some other use, it could be totally inadequate, therefore he is in support of the motion.


Member Markham asked the petitioner to strongly look at improving their landscaping, overall. The improvements to the Novi Road side are helpful, however, when you drive up the road, you see boxes and she would like to see some enhancement to the presentation to that whole strip.


Member Vrettas suggested making Scott Shuptrineís facade a little more classier by adding some trees and grass to set the example for the mall.


Fred Keywell, attorney for Art Van Furniture stated the comments and thoughts are well taken and he stated they will certainly be addressed. There is the concept of reducing the buildings by a combined mount of 12,600 square feet is not exactly what his client is interested in because the demand for the complete line in Novi is very significant. The Art Van store is inadequate to handle the volume as it is currently. Mr. Keywell stated the possibility of building two-stories is very difficult because there is an existing store. It is not only a matter cost, but Art Van cannot go out of business while it constructs a second story, or redo the store. He stated this is a compromise by similar type of an expansion in a similar type of design. He stated they will certainly take into consideration the comment with regard to cutting the size down somewhat, he did not think it was feasible to consider two stories. Mr. Keywell asked if there is a way that this matter could be approved subject to?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered it is always a possibility, however she did not think it was the wish of the Commission at this time.


Mr. Keywell stated he can accommodate the wishes of the Commission, virtually all of them as expressed, but he stated he also has to move on with the expansion.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she appreciated Mr. Keywellís comments, however, at this time she is going to have to ask him to stop.


Member Capello asked if Phase II of Scott Shuptrine is in the distant future, why doesnít the applicant take one battle at a time and add on to Art Van, and use the Scott Shuptrine space as the land bank and when they are ready for Scott Shuptrine, come back to the Commission.


Mr. Keywell stated that was a good point.


Member Capello asked if the Commission could just approve Phase I and use Phase II as land bank or does the applicant have to actually come back with a new plan?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the applicant would have to have a new Preliminary Site Plan. The Commission is making a recommendation to City Council and he supposed the Commission could make a recommendation that the plan be revised to accomplish that.


Member Capello asked Mr. Keywell, with that in mind, would he like Member Capello to make that type of a motion?


Mr. Keywell answered, yes.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated there is already a motion on the floor to postpone.


Member Capello then asked given what he just said and what the petitioner just said, does it seem that it will accomplish the Commissionís purpose?


Member Bononi agreed with Member Capello that it would be an alternative, however, she would feel much more comfortable if the Commission had a revised plan in regard to the land use issue. She stated from the standpoint of the Commissionís recommendation to City Council, it would be more complete.


Member Hoadley was against amending the motion. He would like to continue on with postponing the issue, he thought the Commission was negotiating against themselves and would rather have the petitioner come back with a more acceptable plan for the Commission to consider to recommend to the Council either negatively or positively. He stated he would like to give the petitioner the opportunity to amend the plan the way he sees fit, based on what he has heard.


Member Vrettas stated if a second floor is built, it can be built at the same time the first floor is being used, if the building can sustain the weight of a second floor.


Member Churella thought if the project was delayed, and the applicant were to come back with a subsequent plan, by land banking, he thought the plan could be approved.


Chairperson Lorenzo concurred with the Commissioners and their concerns, she thanked Member Bononi for conducting the calculations and stated on behalf of the Commission, in the future the Chair would appreciate if Mr. Rogers would provide some alternatives as Member Bononi has, in terms of reduction in lieu of just going to the ZBA with very deficient parking.


Mr. Rogers explained he did not recommend solving the problem by going to the ZBA.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she understands that, it just would have been helpful if the Commission would have had the square footages as Member Bononi worked out, in terms of how much of a reduction would they need in order to get to a better place.


Mr. Rogers stated on page three he did the numbers for the building expansion and how many spaces the applicant would be short if that was the only element considered. He stated he has about four different alternatives in his report and would be more than willing to re-review the plan if they can show some reduction of floor space, the two-story idea, some land banking, maybe leaving Scott Shuptrine off, he stated the point was well taken.


Chairperson Lorenzo restated the motion and asked Mr. Cohen to please call the role.





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

No: None













Chairperson Lorenzo stated Ms. Lemke is looking for two or three Planning Commissioners to assist.


Member Capello stated he would volunteer, Member Churella stated he would also volunteer. Member Hoadley also volunteered.


Ms. Lemke stated she would take the three Commissioners.






Debbie Bundoff asked, due to the decision that was just made, and because it was a Public Hearing, was it postponed to a specific date?


Mr. Watson answered, the date is whenever they can come back.


Ms. Bundoff asked if someone could let her know by mail?


Mr. Cohen stated Ms. Bundoff could contact him, but tentatively he is looking at the first meeting in January.


Ms. Bundoff asked if it was up to the Planning Department?


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it is when the applicant can get back to the Commission and when they can be fit in.


Mr. Cohen again stated that Ms. Bundoff should contact him.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:00 p.m.








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

No: None




Steven Cohen - Staff Planner



Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

December 12, 1996


Date Approved: December 18, 1996