WEDNESDAY, MARCH 05, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:38 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Csordas,

Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington


ABSENT: Member Hoadley


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








Chairperson Lorenzo noted two changes to the Agenda. Public Hearing number one, Zoning Map Amendment 18.564, the applicant respectfully requested postponement until the March 19, 1997 Regular Planning Commission Meeting. Under Matters for Consideration, Cheltenham Estates Subdivision (F.K.A. Bentley Estates), the applicant requested postponement until the March 19, 1997 Regular Planning Commission Meeting.


Steve Cohen, Staff Planner added two changes. Item 2 under the Consent Agenda be amended to 120 days. He stated he worked with the applicant and believed that they could get approvals within four (4) months. Also to add Item 3 under Matters for Discussion, the addition of a member to the Communications and Community Liaison Committee.


Member Bononi added under Matters for Discussion, the routing of Zoning Ordinance amendments or supplements to Planning Commission.


Under Public Hearings, Item 3, Member Capello proposed to move the approval of the Final Site Plan to the Consent Agenda and leave the Revised Wetland Permit under Public Hearing, he stated there was no need to have a Public Hearing on the entire issue.


Chairperson Lorenzo was not sure that the Commission would be in agreement with it, she thought it should be kept as is unless the Commission felt otherwise.


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





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (7-1): To approve the Agenda as amended





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

No: Capello






Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive directed her comments to the Harada Final Site Plan approval from two weeks ago. It has been said that an industrial park should have never been placed next to residential zoning in the first place, however, since Hickory Corporate Park was already zoned that way, specific safeguards were written into the Ordinance in order to protect the residents from any adverse impact. The berm is the only thing that the residents have to separate themselves from the industrial complex. It is the Planning Commissions intent to require a substantially larger berm in the new revised Ordinance. With regard to the decision not to add any height to the berm between Harada and the residents of Meadowbrook Lake, she believed it was important to remember the reasons for the berm requirement in the first place. She did not believe the Planning Commission had all of the pertinent information in order to make a responsible decision on the landscape plan proposed for Harada. Topography was the real issue and it was not adequately documented nor discussed at the Final Site Plan review. Linda Lemke is the most knowledgeable about the berm, she was not present at the meeting and therefore was unable to represent the residents concerns, also the residents were not allowed to qualify any of the comments made by the consultants or the developer at the meeting. She stated the right thing to do, was for the Planning Commission to request the topography be documented by the consultants so that the elevation can be compared to the elevation of the Harada building and the berm. If it is found that the proposed berm will be inadequate, the City should require whatever additional height is necessary to be a true buffer between the industrial and residential properties.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that Ms. Lemke informed her that the three lots in question, the petitioner has agreed to increase the berm to ten (10) feet on the residents side.



Lisa Barton, representative from Meadowbrook Lake stated she was at the meeting with Ms. Kocan where they met with Ms. Lemke and Mr. Rogers. She was glad to have the opportunity, as a resident, to sit in and have input. She stated there was much confusion as to whether the Planning Commission had the Final Site Plan. She stated after working so hard to develop a rapport with the Planning Commission, to understand what happens in the process of the decisions, it was too bad that there was not enough explanation during the Planning Commission meeting so it was understood by the attendees of the meeting and the residents that they were actually looking at the site plan. She thought if the residents views are not acted or voted upon, they should at least feel that the views are being acknowledged during the meeting so they know their viewpoints are being taken into account. She asked the Commission to be more clear about what it is talking about when the Discussions take place. She thought if a rapport is trying to be developed, a few more steps should be taken in that direction so there is more of a clear understanding as to what is happening during the meetings when the decisions are being made.


Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that the landscape plans were in the Commissioners packets, however, the detailed landscaping plan was not as detailed in terms of those specific lots and the berm heights. She stated having the plans in front of them, would not have given the information that they were looking for.


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





Dr. Emmett Lippe, Superintendent of Novi Community Schools wrote in regard to Zoning Map Amendment 18.596. On behalf of the Novi Community School District, he urged the Commission to look favorably upon the City initiated rezoning. Time consideration is critically important to the beginning of the construction of the new middle school.


Karl Wizinsky wrote in regard to Zoning Map Amendment 18.596. His home is located on an 11 acre parcel on Wixom Road approximately 118 feet north of the property under consideration for rezoning. He supported the rezoning of the 30.5 acre parcel from Light Industrial District and General Industrial District to One-Family Residential.


Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth R. Kiepert, Jr. wrote in regard to the northwest corner of Ten Mile Road and Beck Road. This letter comes to you in regard to the proposed zone change of the property located on the northwest corner of Ten Mile Road and Beck Road for a commercial use by the developer, Mr. Stuart Frankel. As nearby homeowners to this property, we are very opposed to this potential change to a commercially zoned area. A commercial development on this parcel of land would bring a great deal more traffic at all times of the day and night and a great level of noise increase, additional pollution, crime and many other hazardous conditions not suitable for a quality living situation for our family, especially our children. When choosing this location for our home to raise our family, we had viewed the Master Plan anticipating this location to be a residential neighborhood and believed in a plan that would not be changed mid-course. We feel that a commercial development is incompatible in every way with this particular area.


Chuck and Mary Smith, Brian and Kami Anderson, Tom and Cathy Herc, Dean and Stephanie Henkel, Jim and Janet Partain, Tom and Eileen Cooke, Spencer and Rochelle Taylor and Lynn Kocan wrote in regard to Harada Industries of America. After speaking with Laura Lorenzo last evening, we realized that the Planning Commission did not have all of the information necessary in order to make an informed Final Site Plan approval for Harada Industries. You had incorrect presumptions about the meetings between the developer, Cunningham-Limp and the residents of Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision. Your planning packet did not contain the blueprint plan of the landscape proposed by the developer. As you can see from the attachments, we knew that we would have to request special consideration by the Planning Commission because there was no additional berm height relief from the developer nor the city consultant. The primary purpose of bringing the Harada plan back to the Planning Commission for Final Site plan approval was the resolution for berming issues with the residents to the east. We feel that the lack of additional berm height creates a considerable adverse impact on us and, therefore, request that each of you be provided with the landscape plan so that you may reopen a discussion to reconsider your approval based on the above information. We’re only asking for dirt!





Chairperson Lorenzo stated there were three issues, one is the approval of the February 05, 1997 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes, the second is the Waltonwood Continuum of Care Facility (F.K.A. Crescent Oaks), SP93-30D possible recommendation to City Council for a four month revised PD-1 Option and Revised Preliminary Site Plan extension and three, Provident Family Dentistry Building, SP96-05 for a possible one year Preliminary Site Plan extension approval.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of February 05, 1997? She entertained a motion to either approve all three items under the Consent Agenda or remove any items as proposed.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda with the amendment to the Waltonwood Continuum of Care Facility extension request to four months.





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced anyone present for Waltonwood or Provident, the requests have been honored.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced there will be a special report from Greg Capote, Senior Staff Planner regarding possible city-initiated rezoning for the OST District.


Greg Capote, Senior Staff Planner stated the purpose he was appearing before the Commission was: 1) to give a brief historical account of where the OST has come from and why; 2) to suggest some areas that the Planning Commission may want to consider city-initiating rezonings upon his recommendation from working with the Master Plan and; 3) Zoning Committee and the Commission directly send the duty to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to study the matter and come back and make a recommendation as to which areas the Master Plan should be amended and city-initiated rezonings should take part relative to the OST District.


Mr. Capote stated looking back 10 to 13 years ago, the PD-4 Option was the City of Novi’s High-Tech zoning. That Planned Development Option was never utilized, therefore, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee began to look at it in 1991 to alter and make some changes to it, it seemed to die within the Committee and was then resurrected in late 1993 and called the OS-3 District. He stated making some more changes to it, it was still working through the Implementation Committee and the OST Ordinance was born. Recommended to the Commission from the Implementation Committee and then on to the City Council and was recently adopted December 16, 1996.



Mr. Capote stated he has received a lot of phone calls from area developers and Realtors and property owners in the area that are very interested in this district. The Planning Commission has the opportunity to help create the environment of opportunity to diversify the economy, given the City is tremendously loaded with high intensive uses. Mr. Capote stated when you look at the impact to City services, and if the commercial trend continues to grow at the rate it is, surely, the citizens of Novi are going to be put in a position to have to pay the additional taxes for the burden that is placed upon City services for the intensive uses.


Mr. Capote stated recently Chairperson Lorenzo asked him about tax implications of the OST District. He stated it is an easy yet complex question, given it depends on the type of OST user and the type of commercial user it is being compared to. He stated buildings in commercial areas tend to be not quite as expensive as those of industrial, but it depends. It depends on the circumstance, the city, the tax rate and all kinds of other things come into play. As a generality, at times, the personal property that is taxable at a high-tech building could be and can be up to four times the real property value as opposed to a commercial use where it may be a one-to-one ratio or much less.


Mr. Capote suggested areas to be examined by the Planning Commission. He suggested the areas with the current PD-4 Option along Haggerty Road and east of M-5 and also west of M-5 coming up to the RC District. Mr. Capote stated looking toward Twelve Oaks, West Oaks II area, being the Commercial core of Novi, he could see the area going further west along the CSX railroad tracks along I-96, south of Twelve Mile Road, possibly being Phase II of areas to be rezoned or re-Master Planned to an OST District. Lastly, would be the area running along Haggerty Road further north, just east of the M-5 connector. There are a few areas in the City where there is currently the OS-2/PD-4 and it may not be in the most desirable place given the existing uses that are there. Mr. Capote stated the Planning Commission may want to give some consideration to changing the area south of I-96 back to Light Industrial. Western Novi, the north section of Section 18 does not have the visibility that would be best utilized by High-Tech. The High-Tech users want to have the visibility when driving along I-96, M-5 or I-275. The likelihood of it ever being High-Tech is remote.


He stated the purpose of his presentation was to have the Commission along with the Committee as they go through the process. The first step was creating the OST District and the next step is to take it to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and come back with some recommendations and put it on the map. Mr. Capote asked the Planning Commission to pass a resolution, sending the matter to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for discussion, and study if needed, and to come back as soon as possible with its’ recommendation.

Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that Mr. Capote would like the matter of looking at the Master Plan map and the Zoning map, referred to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for further study for possible and appropriate OST locations.


Mr. Capote answered, essentially that was correct. He added the examination of the areas that have the OS-2/PD-4 designated on the Master Plan and possibly change them to either I-1 or Residential.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked for any further clarification from the Commission. Seeing none she thanked Mr. Capote for his presentation.








Property located north of Eleven Mile Road, east of Wixom Road for possible recommendation to City Council for City-initiated rezoning of property from Light Industrial District (I-1) and General Industrial District (I-2) to One-Family Residential District (R-1) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the property is immediately south of Profile Steel and Wire Corporation on the east side of Wixom Road. The property is zoned I-1 and I-2, the Master Plan for Land Use recommends it for Single-Family Residential. The purpose of the rezoning is to allow the Novi School District to build an elementary and middle school and the City would also develop a park. This would include 30.5 acres of the subject of the rezoning and a larger area that goes south to Eleven Mile Road. The property is vacant, there is a Sunoco transfer station and storage facility that was approved by the City about 10 years ago, it is still active and may continue even though surrounding areas may be developed for school and park purposes.


The property to the north is zoned I-2 District, General Industrial, to the east the property is zoned RA, the property of Providence Medical Center is zoned OSC, property to the south is zoned RA and to the west the property is zoned R-1 and is vacant. Mr. Rogers recommended the rezoning of the property to R-1 District as a transition district and reflection on the adjacent I-2 zoned property and the proximity of R-1 zoning to the west and north. The Public Hearing advertises for R-1 District but also refers to any other acceptable classification. He stated under the present I-1 zoning, an elementary school is not allowed to be built. The use of the property for a publicly owned and operated park is not permitted in the I-1 district.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant provided some comparisons under the proposed zoning of R-1. 50 dwelling units is the maximum units that can be placed on a 30.5 acre site giving the maximum density, trip generation is approximately 545 over a 24 hour basis and 60 during the p.m. peak hour. Elementary school was also looked at, the Harvest Land proposal shows the area to be primarily used as an elementary school, however some of the school spills over to the property to the south so he did not believe the entire school would be on the subject property. Trip generation forecasts for a 350 student elementary school are proposed in his letter. The current zoning could permit office and light industrial as two possibilities, significantly more traffic would be generated by the existing zoning classification than by the proposed zoning classification.


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





Member Bononi asked Mr. Rogers who owns the site?


Mr. Rogers had an opinion but he was not sure.


Steve Cohen, Staff Planner stated the application does not state whether or not the City owns the property. Normally when City initiated rezonings are done, it is not stated on the application. He did not know whether the City owned the property or not.


Mr. Rogers could not read off the legal entity that owns the property, but he thought it might be the Levy Company.


Member Bononi asked if there were wetlands or woodlands present on the site?


Mr. Rogers answered yes, there are.


Member Bononi asked why would it be proposed to be rezoned to R-1 as opposed to RA?


Mr. Rogers stated residential property is wanted on the property to conform with the Master Plan which shows 99% of it as residential. Mr. Rogers stated it buts up to Profile Steel and Wire and they have another potential building underway at the east end of the site. I-2 permits open storage if it is properly screened. He stated the property is zoned R-1 today, he wants it residential and recognized the fact that the Master Plan showed an R-A type density for the property. It was a difficult decision.

Member Bononi stated the reason she asked the question was because she sees what the dilemma is from the standpoint of abutting property use. Perhaps concluding that a denser single-family residential would lend itself more on one side of the argument that may be true, on the other side, larger lots may lend themselves better to the screening factor. She was just curious to know the reason R-1 was being brought forward.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated it was his understanding that the property was still with the Levy property, the City and the school district are in the process of acquiring the property from them.


Member Capello agreed with Mr. Rogers recommendation.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation for Zoning Map Amendment 18.596 to the City Council to rezone the property from Light Industrial I-1 and General Industrial I-2 to One-Family District R-1.





Member Markham asked how much of the property is planned to be used by the school district and how much is planned to be used by the City?


Mr. Rogers referred to his conceptual sketch. He stated the City is attempting to buy the property and then sell back part of the property to the school district. The school district is very anxious to get moving.


Member Markham understood and thought it made sense to put the schools there, on the other side of the coin, she recalled that the parcel to the south was under consideration for a possible aquatic facility and it eventually was not considered because there was so much wetland. She wondered if the parcel was being considered for that or if it had the capability.


Mr. Rogers did not know what improvements the City was planning for the park site at this point.


Member Weddington agreed that the parcel needed to be rezoned to residential. She preferred to see it rezoned to RA to keep it in the large lot category and consistent with the Master Plan for that area. She stated she would be in support of the motion but would very much have preferred RA.


Member Vrettas asked the motion maker if he would be willing to switch to RA?


Member Capello answered, no. He thought Mr. Rogers recommendation to R-1 was appropriate.





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





Property located at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Haggerty Road for possible Administrative Final Site Plan and Revised Wetland Permit approvals.


Lee Mamola stated he came before the Commission with Preliminary Site Plan approval and the Commission requested he come back for Final Site Plan approval. In between that time he has been before the Commission for a Facade Waiver. Currently, he believed to be settled on the question of facades. He presented the second submission of the Final Site Plan and explained that he was before the Commission before he submits the third submission in the hopes that the meeting would be more of a semi-working session to gain the input of the Commission and allow him to incorporate whatever input and discussion, before he resubmits. He felt this was the most efficient way for all parties concerned.


Mr. Mamola updated the Commission on the overall schedule of the project. He stated the scheduling is unique in that it has to be done to accommodate the new car year. He was looking at a Fall completion for the building. In order to do this, he has completed all of the construction documents, the project has been bid, the contract has been let for the structural steel for the building addition.


Mr. Mamola has had meetings and discussions with the consultants. He asked the Commission to work with him and the consultants to finalize the plan. He sought Administrative approval after the meeting. He introduced Mark Young of Seiber Keast who will speak about water quality issues, Landscape Architect Jim Ludwig will speak about some of the landscape issues, he explained that these two issues are the broadest categories that remain unresolved.


Mark Young of Seiber Keast & Associates discussed some of the conditions that were placed on the December 18, 1996 approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. He stated the Final Site Plan is substantially identical with the Preliminary Site Plan that was approved by the Commission conditionally. The overall length of the culvert was originally proposed at 140 feet. The length of enclosure has been shortened to 60 feet and the overall length of the culvert is 85 feet. In addition, the amount of fill in the floodway was reduced from 1800 cubic yards to about 450 cubic yards. The plan was submitted to MDEQ and was permitted on February 17, 1997, he stated the same plan was also submitted to the Oakland County Drain Commission and their letter dated February 25, 1996 states they had no objections to the plan at this particular time, as yet they have not permitted it.


Mr. Young stated the Planning Commission requested that additional flood water storage volume be placed on site in order to compensate for storage volume lost in the floodway, due to the fill. He had submitted calculations to JCK & Associates, in order to demonstrate that additional storage volume has been provided, Mr. Young was not aware of any problems with it.


Mr. Young stated the Planning Commission also conditioned the Preliminary Site Plan approval on the employment of Best Management Practices associated with storm water management, particularly concerns with the water quality basin. He stated the plan has been revised so that all storm water does pass through the storm water basin and the basin has been enlarged accordingly. During the MDEQ permit review, they were also concerned about Best Management Practice. The MDEQ requested the addition of two additional oil and gas separators which have been added. Through discussions with JCK, Mr. Young recently learned that he had omitted a feature that they would like to see in the basin. It is known as a four bay, which involves the addition of an earthen berm that separates the basin into two chambers. The first part of the basin would be the four bay, where the energy of the water is dissipated and sedimentation takes place, the water then spills over, into the second portion of the water quality basin and together they perform the detention basin. Mr. Young saw no problem in including the four bay design feature and expected to be able to incorporate it within the next several days.


Jim Ludwig stated he has been working closely with the applicant trying to work out details and concerns that the Commission may have. He stated his plan was slightly modified over the plan that was included in the packets. Mr. Ludwig stated there was much discussion regarding the Francis Drain which traverses the property parallel to Haggerty Road. Mr. Ludwig stated his goal was to work with the ditch to maintain its’ quality as a drainage way and a water element with in the city. Several trees were identified which are located on the plan, it was agreed by the consultants that they be substantial trees to save, they will remain as they are. Another issue that was discussed and agreed upon by the consultants, was the five proposed planting areas that consist primarily of the perennial bed. The plantings will be systematically planted to accent the buffer zone between the drainage area and the maintained portion of the site. In regard to the row of nine transplanted evergreens that range in size from 8 feet to 20 feet, they will be relocated to another portion of the site.


Mr. Mamola explained one last diagram. In regard to how much vegetation should remain within the ditch. There is a schematic section where there is growth in and on the sides of it. Mr. Mamola explained that he intends to keep the growth there but keep it manicured in a way that it would not grow above the crest of the ridge. He stated in time, he understood that the shrubs are the type that will thicken and look more pleasant in the future.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the facade plan has already been approved, a Section Four Waiver has already been granted, the overhead door facing Haggerty Road has already been approved by the ZBA. Mr. Rogers recommended approval of the Final Site Plan.


David Bluhm of JCK believed Mr. Mamola’s letter dated February 27, 1997 to be in error. Mr. Bluhm explained that at the request of Mr. Mamola, he did not review the initial plan that was submitted, the letter seemed to insinuate that he might have. Mr. Bluhm did provide some minor and general comments without really having a good chance to look at the plans. He stated his first review of the plan was the second submittal that was made.


In regard to the second submittal, the engineer addressed a lot of issues with regard to everything on the site except the storm drainage, there are only minor comments with the other issues that are typically addressed Administratively after the Planning Commission approves the final. Mr. Bluhm commented on the drainage of the ditch and the town line drain. He stated at the time his review letter was written, he was still corresponding with Mark Young, through Friday and Monday, they provided a good deal of clarification on those plans. The DEQ permit, the Oakland County Drain permit and with respect to the compensatory storage issue for the flood plain and issues relating to flood plain and flood way, Mr. Bluhm felt comfortable with the plans.


In regard to the vegetation and the removal of the vegetation in the drain, he referred to the Drain Commission letter. He stated there was a condition in the Preliminary approval that they feel removal of the vegetation in the ditch and clear cutting the area to 15 feet behind the top of the berm is an advantageous situation. This will allow the ditch to function from a point of not being impeded by the vegetation, it flows better, the conveyance is better and it is an improved situation to a drain that is already over capacity and is experiencing problems all along the entire stretch. Mr. Bluhm concurred with the comments of the Drain Commission and felt hydraulically, it would be a better situation to remove it, however, the Drain Commission indicated that the comments they made were preliminary and they need to see the final plans. They may be willing to make some concessions, however, Mr. Bluhm clarified that any conditions that they impose in their letter will probably supersede any conditions the City may make with respect to the wetlands because it is a County drain. Mr. Bluhm stated his position continues to be from an engineering point of view that it would be the best situation. He stated he would like to ultimately leave it up to the County, in their permit approval.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended conceptual and final landscape approval, however, she expressed three concerns. One concern was the trees in the stream area, the second was the transplanting of the spruce and the fact that if they weren’t full enough at the bottom, they would need to use supplemental shrubs to meet the screening requirement along Haggerty Road. The third concern was the plantings next to the building. There are partial plantings along the building, but there is an open area of 155 feet that just has stone immediately adjacent to the building. The area is screened from Haggerty Road because of the line of spruce trees, it would be visible from the parking lot if there were not cars parked there. It is there intention to park cars there and use the area for snow removal. She stated trees on the site have been tagged for removal and it was in the agreeance of everyone. There are about 10 to 15 trees that will be saved.


Sue Tepatti of JCK stated there were a number of issues that came up during the review of the plan, the Planning Commission’s previous comments including the culverts and the sedimentation/detention basin have been addressed by Mark Young and the soil erosion permit is currently under review and there will be a number of concerns addressed under that review. The primary reason for the revised wetland permit review is for the increase in work that was proposed within the stream banks and the watercourse setback. The original proposal did not propose any removal of vegetation within the watercourse, subsequent to that, at an on site meeting they had requested to have sod from the edge of Haggerty Road all the way to the sidewalk with no plantings within that area. Concern in regard to this is primarily from a habitat standpoint in that a lot of the habitat characteristics of the stream will be removed when removing all of the native vegetation.

Subsequent meetings with the applicant have resulted in their agreement that they will provide some enhancement plantings on the west side of the watercourse. They will be providing some planting beds, which Ms. Tepatti would like to review in detail with Ms. Lemke to determine the number and types of plantings that will be installed. In regard to the Drain Commission comments, Ms. Tepatti explained that there are two different views on streams and drains, her view was more from a wildlife/habitat/water quality perspective.

In summary, the concerns with the basin have been addressed and she felt the concerns with the wetland setback can be addressed as she received agreement from the applicant that they will be addressing the issues. She believed they have also provided a letter at the table, stating that as well. She stated the applicant will be maintaining the vegetation within the water course as shown, she would like to see it maintained at the top of bank and not any lower. Ms. Tepatti recommended approval if the conditions can be met.


Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that Ms. Tepatti’s recommendation of approval has changed from the letter in the packets?


Ms. Tepatti answered, yes.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked what the approval is based on?


Ms. Tepatti answered, it is based on the last couple of meetings that were held within the last few days and based on the fact that the applicant has agreed to provide enhancement plantings throughout the wetland setback and to maintain the vegetation within the stream banks.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were plans or a formal commitment at this time.


Ms. Tepatti answered, not in detail. They have provided a letter at the table which references it in general.


Chairperson Lorenzo opened the Matter to the Public and asked if anyone 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.








Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Final Site Plan approval subject to Administrative review.

Member Capello asked Ms. Lemke if at one point there was discussion regarding the plantings along the wall and it was decided that if there were plantings, they would not live because of the snow build-up. He asked if there was something new that came about?


Ms. Lemke answered, no. She had thought all along that there would be plant material that would grow there, the applicant has added some at either end, but they still want to use the area for snow and feel that the parked cars would block the facade. Ms. Lemke stated she raised it as a comment because she did not feel it was totally addressed the way the Commission had discussed it at the last meeting. She stated she did not have a problem with it, it is screened from Haggerty Road and that was her main concern.


Member Bononi expressed concern about the manner in which the stream will be treated as a result of the suggestions of the Oakland County Drain Commissioner. She was surprised to see the memo in the packet, stating the classic conflict of looking at the hydraulic situation as opposed to the wetlands issue. She referred to the photos of the stream and stated it looked like a viable stream, although with the proximity to the roads that exist, there is some limitation of how much wildlife is expected to see thriving there. However, she looked very carefully at the water quality that will be sacrificed as a result of sodding down to the edge of the stream bank. It does not provide the vegetation that is needed to help improve water quality as it flows over land. She did not have a problem with the existing vegetation in the stream being trimmed, she had a big problem with having any of it removed. Member Bononi thought it was an area where great compromise could be had. She thought the Commission could rely on the expertise of the landscape architect and the wetland specialist to look at such accommodations as providing aesthetically acceptable plantings that would do well on the banks that would not be of a high height and could be more visibly acceptable. She did not agree with the fact that it could not be looked at with more creativity and sod had to be put down to the stream bank edge. She thought it could go a lot further without costing a lot of money. Member Bononi stated she would like to see a plan and she would like to see the applicant working in conjunction with the experts.


Member Vrettas asked for a point of clarification, he thought he heard the petitioner mention the fact that they were just going to put sod to the crest and then the growth from the crest down was going to be left natural. He asked the petitioner of he misunderstood?


Mr. Mamola stated from the crest down would be left natural. As the plants grow above the crest line, they would be manicured off to a height at the crest line.


Member Bononi did not have a problem with the plants being trimmed, she hoped it would be judicial trimming and at the discretion of the wetlands expert.

Mr. Mamola understood Member Bononi’s points.


Member Bononi did not support the sodding down to the edge of the bank because she thought something better could be done.


Member Vrettas did not understand the petitioner to say this and asked the petitioner to clarify.


Mr. Young stated the Oakland County Drain Commission wanted sodding of the ditch. He was willing to do whatever the City and Oakland County will agree to. Either alternative was fine with him, he thought it was a problem that was going to have to be worked out between the City and the Drain Commission.


Member Bononi suggested pursuing a route that is somewhere in between what is being proposed, for a happy conclusion for all.


Mr. Young did not know if the Drain Commission would buy the program totally, which was the first choice of Ms. Tepatti and he stated he would be willing to go along with it.


Member Bononi stated the only problem she had was the sodding at the top of the bank. From a water quality concern, she was interested to know what their objection would be, from the standpoint of having the landscape architect and/or the wetland specialist propose specific plantings that would do the job that they needed to do.


In regard to the Oakland County Drain Commissioner’s comments, Chairperson Lorenzo would like to see documentation from the Drain Commissioner’s office that any of the vegetation within the stream or the banks is causing an obstruction of the 10 or 100 year storm flows. She also wanted to know, by removing the vegetation in those areas, what the measurable decrease in amount of standing water in any upstream property or what the measurable effect would be. Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there was an obstruction for a 10 year and 100 year storm flow, she would be sympathetic to it and would agree with it, however, there is no documentation that a legitimate obstruction exists. Until she sees documentation from Oakland County Drain Commissioners office, she was not buying into it. Chairperson Lorenzo stated if there is no documented 10 year or 100 year obstruction and the Drain Commissioner’s office is requiring removal of the vegetation, not only as a Planning Commissioner, but as a constituent, she would take great exception to it and will follow up on it.


Chairperson Lorenzo agreed with all of Member Bononi’s comments in regard to vegetation. She appreciated if those referring to the area, did not refer to it as a ditch. She stated it is a stream, a watercourse, it is regulated and it is very easy to call it other things that seem less important. She was not in favor of having grass or sod up to the top of the bank, she agreed with Member Bononi that there were much more creative situations that would be equally effective in those areas.


Additionally, she was not in favor of the removal of any vegetation. If it were to be conservatively trimmed, she would be in support of it. She stated she would like to see some type of a natural setback within the area that is being proposed to be sodded at the top of the bank.


Chairperson Lorenzo was not appreciative to the fact that the plan was coming before the Commission at the 11 ½ hour. It was her understanding that Ms. Tepatti met with all of the consultants and the property owner on February 6, 1997, expressed her concerns and it was of the understanding that her concerns would be addressed in the following submittal which is the one in the packets. The concerns were not addressed and here everyone sits trying to design something at the table. Chairperson Lorenzo stated if the Commission was to approve the plan subject to the conditions, she wanted the property owner and the consultants to understand that she considers it as extending a real courtesy, because she was not sure that the plan was at that point yet. With regard to all of the consultants and anyone working on the projects in the City of Novi, Chairperson Lorenzo appreciated in the future, when the consultants make suggestions as to the requirements, that they be taken seriously. She asked that issues be addressed and the design elements be incorporated into the next submittal so that the Planning Commission has them in the packet prior to the meeting.


Chairperson Lorenzo appreciated the design changes with regard to the reduction of the culvert in size. She asked Ms. Tepatti if the proposed gas and oil separators were the "super duper" separators that were recommended by the EPA?


Ms. Tepatti answered, not that she was aware of at this time.


Chairperson Lorenzo suggested adding the "super duper" gas and oil separators as another condition. She stated she had some serious concerns about the plan, if the Commission were to grant that the rest of the approvals be Administrative, in terms of a good faith commitment, she expected that unless documentation is received by the Oakland County Drain Commissioner’s office that the vegetation is causing a legitimate documented obstruction of 10 year or 100 year storm flows, she expected the vegetation to remain except for trimming. Other than removal of trees that would be causing a danger, she was not supportive of the removal of any other trees.


Chairperson Lorenzo recalled a Commissioner talking about amending the motion, however, it was never formally done. She entertained whether a Commissioner would like to do that.


Member Bononi stated it was her suggestion that the applicant come forward with a sensitive wetland planting plan in lieu of placing sod to the edge of the bank, to work in conjunction with the landscape architect and/or wetland specialist, whichever is appropriate.


Member Vrettas stated he would not accept an amendment to his motion because he thought the issue was between the City and the County. He thought the Commission has given some legitimate concerns that the consultants can take to the County and it can be worked out with them.


Chairperson Lorenzo suggested if it were to be handled under Revised Wetland Permit, that the Commission consider an amendment to the motion on the floor, that the Administrative Final Site Plan approvals be subject to any conditions placed on the Revised Wetland Permit approval.


Member Bononi asked if she understood correctly that the wetland issues were to be addressed separately?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered, separately, but they are going to be connected.


Member Bononi stated she would then withdrew her amended motion if that was the case.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated someone needs to make that motion to do what she suggested.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend the motion


Member Churella asked for clarification.


Mr. Watson stated the Commission is granting the petitioner Final Site Plan approval Administratively and the proposed amendment would make it conditioned upon any conditions that are in the Wetlands approval.


Member Capello asked the applicant if the Commission gives Final Plat approval, subject to what happens with the wetlands in the next motion, will this slow them down or tie them up too much?


Mr. Young stated if they are allowed to do it Administratively, it will allow him to get a building permit and if he is allowed to get a building permit then he can still work with the City and resolve the wetland problems.





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

No: None





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

No: None





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Revised Wetland Permit subject to the condition that the applicant will provide a watercourse setback enhancement plan acceptable to the wetlands and woodlands consultants and considering the Planning Commission’s comments and including a description of all trees and other vegetation to be preserved.


Member Vrettas asked what if the County gives the go ahead for the applicant to put in sod?

Mr. Watson answered the applicant would come back to the Commission with a request to revise the wetlands plan.


Member Vrettas expressed concern for the petitioner running around while the City and the County are arguing over something. He stated he was trying to avoid this.


Mr. Young stated the plan was drawn at the request of the consultants and the other plan was at the agreement of the Drain Commission. He stated he would work with the consultants in any way to satisfy the County Drain and the City. He thought the Commission should put its’ faith in its’ consultants.


Member Churella stated he would like to put it in the hands of the professionals at the County level and let them decide without it coming back to the Planning Commission.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that is what is being done.


Member Vrettas stated he was also unclear.


Member Capello clarified, if the County says to go ahead with the sod up to the crest of the bank of the stream, and Ms. Tepatti agrees with it, then it is done.


Member Bononi thought Mr. Watson already answered this question.


Mr. Watson stated the Commission is approving the Wetland Permit, it is not being delegated to the consultants to modify it however they see fit once they have had discussions with the County. He did not know how this duty could be delegated to the consultants. He stated the Commission has made a motion to approve it in a certain fashion and hopefully the consultants are going to resolve it and the County will be satisfied that it can go forward in that fashion. If they cannot, it will come back to the Commission.


Member Capello asked if that was the fashion that was approved?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered, no. It is just a general concept.





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

No: None

Mr. Watson thought from the discussion, the consultants have received the message loud and clear that they do not want to see the petitioners bounce back and forth and that they are along with the applicant going to facilitate getting together with the County to resolve the issues.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission would take a brief recess.













Property located south of Pontiac Trail, west of Novi Road for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Jerry Meng stated he was present for Preliminary Site Plan approval for Wendy’s Restaurant on Novi Road. The site is part of a larger program for Wendy’s International, he stated they have purchased 45 properties in the Detroit Metro area from the Hardee’s Companies. They have decided to sell 5 of those properties and take 29 of the properties and give them to their subsidiary, Tim Horton’s Group. 11 of the properties would be kept and developed as Wendy’s Restaurants. The objectives are to take the existing building and site and convert it to a modern Wendy’s Restaurant. This would included changing all of the equipment that is existing on the site, spruce up the interiors making the dining rooms and restrooms modern, and also change the exterior appearance so that it falls in line with the Wendy’s Corporate look.


For the Novi project specifically, the site lends itself to including a exterior eating area which would enhance the pedestrian orientation of the Town Center District that it is located in. Furthermore, the site would be enhanced with the pedestrian lighting and sidewalk treatment along Novi Road as well as the required screen walls for the parking areas. In general, the facade treatment would try to pick up some of the things that have already been established in the Novi Town Center. This would include the copper coat roofing. On the ends of the building, there is a new brick wall proposed to enhance the existing grey brick wall.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated there is no increase in the footprint of the building, they have redesigned the parking in the front of the building to provide more landscaped area. The off-street parking requirements have been met. Mr. Rogers stated the conceptual facade plans have been reviewed and the petitioner will need to go to the ZBA for the continuance of a drive-in window which is currently in place. The addition of a cash window in back of the pick-up window is being proposed. They will be taking down the existing canopy over the windows. Mr. Rogers stated any action that the Commission takes and recommends will have to go to the ZBA on the non-conformance of a drive-up window in the Town Center District.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there is a low brick wall in the front of the building that meets the Town Center standards, the brick splash drip has been included, pedestrian lighting will be provided and benches along the front on both sides of the drive and in the center area are proposed. The petitioner has added additional plant materials within the parking and an evergreen screening area adjacent to the wall dumpster area. The edges of the site will be cleaned up and canopy trees will be added, they will not intrude into any of the existing woodlands that go along the Middle Rouge River to the west, therefore, a Woodlands Permit will not be required.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the project was a previously existing fast food restaurant that is being converted over with a second cash window for the drive-thru. Mr. Arroyo stated it would not effectively change the effect of the operation, other than the expediency of processing by having a separate cash window from a delivery window.


Mr. Arroyo stated there were a couple of improvements that are being made from the existing condition from a traffic flow perspective. At the entryway, currently there are two spaces on either side of the inbound aisle, these are proposed to be deleted so there is more stacking area between Novi Road and the first parking space. Also, it is being proposed to change the entering radius for the inbound drive so that it lines up with the aisle, currently the entering radius takes you almost into a parking space. There will be a need to go to the ZBA for the drive-thru facility since there are modifications that are being made.


As a point of information, Mr. Arroyo stated the project was discussed at the Town Center Steering Committee Meeting and a couple of traffic issues came up which he researched. He stated that some Town Center Steering Committee members felt that the possibility of a deceleration taper lane should be explored for the inbound lane. One problem that was indicated at the meeting, and was confirmed, was that there is only about 9 feet of R.O.W. from the back of the curb of existing Novi Road to the existing R.O.W. line. To put a deceleration taper in, 12 feet of R.O.W. is needed, therefore there is not sufficient R.O.W. for a deceleration taper to serve the location. There was discussion about possible access to Fonda Street or Expo Drive which is located to the north. There is a property located between the Wendy’s site and Expo Drive and there are traffic benefits from having access to that location. It was Mr. Arroyo’s understanding at the Town Center Steering Committee Meeting that the applicant was working to try to acquire the two lots toward the rear end of the facility so there could be access onto Fonda Drive. Mr. Arroyo believed this would be a substantial improvement.


Mr. Arroyo stated prior to leaving town, Member Hoadley called him to discuss his concerns. He believed Mr. Cohen had put these concerns in the form of a memorandum which was placed on each Commissioner’s desk. One thing Member Hoadley wanted done was a rough sketch to be drawn up as to how outbound traffic would be treated if there was access to Fonda. Mr. Arroyo stated that had been done with a rough sketch that was attached to that memorandum. Mr. Arroyo thought the applicant should comment on where they stand in terms of acquiring that property since it has come up as an issue and it would provide some traffic benefits. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.


David Bluhm of JCK stated the site engineering improvements are minimal. Some of the surfaces of the parking lots will be improved, although not specified, they will probably overlay the parking lot with an asphalt treatment of some form. Beyond minor comments that can be addressed at the time of Final, he recommended approval.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.


Chairperson Lorenzo also announced there is a letter in the packets from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which indicates that for reasons stated in his letter, it is his recommendation that the design is not consistent with the Ordinance, therefore, he was unable to recommend a Section Four Waiver at this time.


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





Member Vrettas asked the applicant if he had looked at buying the property to the north and including it in his project?


Mr. Meng answered, yes.



Randy stated he does have the option on parcels 10 and 11 that he can exercise if the Commission feels that is the direction they would like him to go in. He stated he was glad to work with the City in whatever way he could to accommodate it.


Member Vrettas stated visually, the location is hard to spot. He thought the business would be a lot easier to spot if the old house on the corner were taken out, making it one property.


Randy stated there is a group that is looking at purchasing that parcel all the way back, they also want the two parcels 10 and 11. When the house comes down, anything would be an improvement. He stated he did not have an option with the property that has the house on it, as it is too expensive. He stated he did acquire the options to parcels 10 and 11 which he has 60 more days to exercise that option. Randy stated he was looking for direction from the Commission on what direction it wanted him to take. He stated if it was something that the Commission did not want him to do then he would allow the option to lapse. He asked the Commission to approve the plan as it is so he could move forward with the project and not have it held up. He stated he would work with whatever departments to come up with an agreeable traffic plan.


Member Capello asked Mr. Arroyo if the applicant were to acquire lots 10 or 11 with access onto Fonda, how would the traffic flow work with the drive-thru’s?


Mr. Arroyo explained when coming off of the drive-thru, left turns out would be prohibited, so if you wanted to go northbound on Novi Road, you would travel across the crossover and go out the area where the property is and have the access to up to Fonda and then come out to Novi Road. He stated the traffic coming from Expo would then have the ability to come in without going out onto Novi Road so there is a dual benefit. He stated the down side was that some of the amenities in front would be lost.


Member Capello asked if a right turn only exit could still be utilized?


Mr. Arroyo answered it could, however if a reasonable opportunity is not being offered to get out to Fonda, there will probably be some violations. He felt people should be given a reasonable way to get where they want to go. By providing the cross over, even though it is inconvenient, people will still use it if they know they can get to the location at Fonda.

Member Capello asked if there was any other way to move the traffic around, using an access to Fonda without taking out the outside seating area in the front?


Mr. Arroyo answered, no, because of the location of the drive-thru window. He stated the choices are limited.


In regard to someone else purchasing the property directly north of the petitioner, Member Csordas asked what their opinion was regarding a road going in there?


Randy explained he has not gotten to that level of discussion, he did not know. He stated he would be glad to work with them.


Member Csordas asked the petitioner what his response was to Mr. Necci’s concerns regarding meeting the Facade Ordinance?


Mr. Meng stated he was very close to meeting the Facade Ordinance and believed he was just to increase the height to create a balance between the face and the brick.


Member Csordas asked if he was able to do it without adversely affecting the Wendy’s Corporate image?


Mr. Meng answered, yes.


Member Markham asked for clarification on the page included in the packets that was entitled "F.Y.I."


Mr. Cohen explained the reason he included it in the packets was so that the Commission was aware that the petitioner is not allowed to proceed to the ZBA unless the Commission acts on his project.


Member Weddington expressed concern with the painted brick in Mr. Necci’s letter. She asked if it had been resolved and will the petitioner not be painting the brick?


Mr. Meng answered there was no guarantee that he would not ultimately want to paint the brick. He stated if it were sandblasted and still was not very appealing, he would most likely request that it be painted to match the new brick.


Member Weddington stated she was still unsure about the Facade Waiver, she would like to have the issues resolved.


Member Churella asked the petitioner if he would prefer to make the exit right turns only or exit out the rear with the purchase of the two lots?


Mr. Meng‘s preference was to work within the existing site as it is today and make it right turn only.


Member Bononi understood that the outer wall was to be 24" high, from the standpoint of the delineation between the concrete unit paver area and the landscaping area, she asked Mr. Arroyo if he knew how high that area was or was it some sort of landscaping curbing? She expressed concern with regard to oncoming traffic from the drive-thru windows and the back-up motion of the parking spaces directly south of it and the fact that there may be children in that area.


Mr. Arroyo did not believe that he had the landscape plan details that show what Member Bononi was referring to. He stated the three parking spaces that are near the exit are potentials for relocation to another part of the site if they obtain the additional property.


Member Bononi stated she was concerned about the effect of safety with regard to children dining outdoors and if there would be some kind of barrier to keep them from running out through the plantings into oncoming traffic.


Mr. Arroyo thought it was something that would have to be reviewed by all of the consultants at the time of Final.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Preliminary Site Plan for Wendy’s Restaurant SP96-49A subject to all of the consultants recommendations and conditions, subject to the ZBA variance and subject to the revision to the plan to include the two parcels with access to Fonda.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Watson if the two adjacent parcels to the north, Lots 10 and 11 were acquired, would it have to come back to the Commission for Revised Site Plan?


Mr. Watson answered, not necessarily. He explained if the approval given was an approval that was subject to that revision, they could make the revision and then go on to Final with that revision.





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

No: None


Mr. Meng asked for clarification. He stated he would like to move the project forward, he asked for direction on who he should specifically talk to so he can move forward before going to the ZBA.


Mr. Rogers suggested he review the plan with Ms. Lemke because it will need some fine tuning to go through the front landscape.


Member Capello clarified that the issue of Facade Waiver was not before the Commission.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it was not on the Agenda and the Commission did not address it.


Mr. Meng asked if that meant he has to come back to the Planning Commission for a Facade Waiver?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered, yes, if there is still a request for a Facade Waiver. She stated the petitioner can either comply with the Ordinance or come back to the Commission.


Mr. Rogers stated the petitioner should show the compliance on the Final Site Plan submittal.


Member Capello referred to Mr. Necci’s letter, when the petitioner comes back, if he is not in compliance, he needs to bring samples of colors and materials so the Commission can see what is being asked for.





Property located south of Pontiac Trail, west of West Road for possible recommendation to City Council for Front Yard Utility waiver.



Arnold Serlin, Developer of Bristol Corners, stated he was before the Commission to discuss the location of Detroit Edison’s transformers. Six situations in the Bristol Corners development deserves consideration for placement of the transformers in the front yard because of engineering, wetland, access, and storm water concerns. For the next part of the presentation, Mr. Serlin turned it over to Jerry Witalac of Detroit Edison and Rick Hofses of Zeimet-Wozniak.


Jerry Witalac, Detroit Edison, stated that Mr. Hofses has submitted plans showing where the waivers were required. The situations on sheet #3 are on lots 11 & 12 where the waiver was being requested for the transformers to be placed in the front lot footage. A lot of those lots have walk out basements. By placing transformers in the back, this produces an inaccessible area especially for the trucks during maintenance and also gets really close to the wetland buffer. Another problem was the buffer zones on lots 10 and 11. By placing transformers in the back yard and near the buffer, JCK has stated that they did not want Detroit Edison to come anywhere near the wetland buffer zone. In order to maintain the transformers, Mr. Witalac stated that he would not want to be in an inaccessible buffer zone; therefore that was why Detroit Edison was requesting to place the transformer in the front yard. Looking at sheet #4 which includes lots 23, 24, 27, and 28, Mr. Witalac turned it over to Mr. Hofses.


Rick Hofses stated in designing the subdivision, we tried preserving the hedge row on the north end of the site that separates the subdivision from the apartment complex. In order to do that, we moved the storm sewer 25 feet south of the property line or 25 feet into the lot. By doing this it forces Detroit Edison to place the transformers into the lots because they can not go north of the storm sewer and between the property line and storm sewer because that was where trees are. Therefore, Detroit Edison would place the transformers south which would place the transformers 30 feet into the lot and would cause a safety issue.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked what lots were affected?


Mr. Hofses answered lots 22 through 29. Detroit Edison needs to place two transformers in the front yards of those string of lots.


Mr. Witalac stated the two transformers would be placed in front of lots 23, 24, 27, and 28. The City has requested that Detroit Edison does not put in pedestals which we comply with that. By doing that the transformers are placed in front with temporary cable marker. Once the builders puts the house in, the plastic tubing would be taken out and splicing would commence. The only thing that would be seen would be low green tag marks. Also, there were other conditions on lots 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, and 63 that are asking for front lot footage waivers. The criteria for the waiver was due to the design because the transformers can not be on the top of the rims or near them. As a result of the existing conditions, we, also, are asking for waivers for lots 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, and 63. Mr. Witalac stated that Detroit Edison loops the system for reliability; therefore, by allowing for the front lot footage waiver for Phase I, Detroit Edison would request again front lot footage for Phase II. The situation for Phase II would require the front lot footage in order to complete the loop system. However, if it was required that the transformers were placed in the back, then the electrical loop could not be completed.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect agreed with Mr. Pargoff on all issues.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester, stated that lots 23 through 28 would be able to handle the rear yard utility placements if by no other means than along the lot lines. The transformers do not necessarily have to go along the back of the lots, but they can along the lot line and come back out to the same area. This has been done in other subdivisions so the transformers could be placed in the back. The root system of the trees have already been damaged in order to create the swales to feed the storm basins and by the installation of the storm sewers. The trees are bonded; therefore, they would be replanted. Mr. Pargoff stated that the applicant prefers a screen between themselves and the apartments, and the screen could be put on the apartment property in addition to the subdivision back yard. The screen could be provided in the lot area 23 through 28. Also, on the area of lots 11 and 12, the elevation in the back was the same as the walkout basement. If the utility box was under water then the basement would be under water and that was why he stated he would not recommended for front yard utility. Mr. Pargoff stated on lots 55 through 63, the City Ordinance specifies that unless there are woodlands or wetlands, front yard utilities can not permitted administratively. For those lots, there were no wetlands or woodlands involved. If Detroit Edison has a problem accessing, the applicant would have to allow for additional easements to provide access for the side property lines.


Mr. Watson clarified the provision allowing for variances. The provision allows for an administrative waiver if there were wetlands and woodlands. However, in instances of extraordinary hardship as a result of the regulation, the applicant can come to City Council with the recommendation of the Planning Commission to ask for a variance. The question he asked Mr. Pargoff was if he had any comments about the applicant’s hardship?


It was Mr. Pargoff’s opinion that the applicant could provide access easements along the side property line for lots 55 through 63.


Mr. Bluhm stated from Mr. Wickens review of the wetlands, he recommended several lots that could be applicable for variances. Lots 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 17 have wetlands, therefore, he could not recommend variances on the lots from a wetland perspective.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, FAILED (3-5): To send a negative recommendation to City Council granting front yard utilities.





Yes: Markham, Capello, Churella,

No: Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Csordas, Lorenzo


Member Markham asked if there were some lots that the Planning Commission should be allowing for the waiver.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that a clarification was required. From her understanding the lots involving wetlands and woodlands, the consultants could grant administrative relief from those lots.


Mr. Watson stated from his understanding from the consultants and Mr. Pargoff, have commented on woodlands and wetlands from the aspect for Administrative approval. However, no one has commented on the issue of hardship for a variance.


Member Capello stated from Mr. Pargoff’s comments, there were no hardships on lots 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, 63. He stated from Mr. Pargoff’s comments, lots 23 through 28 do not have any trees. The applicant was not requesting a waiver for wetlands that Mr. Bluhm spoke about. Mr. Pargoff did not site any hardship on lots 11 and 12. Member Capello stated Mr. Pargoff has addressed all the issues.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Pargoff with regard to the hedge row, would there be any impact with accessing the transformers in the rear?


Mr. Pargoff answered the root systems of the hedge row had been impacted by the creation of the swale to feed the storm systems at the back of the lots.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if that was what Mr. Pargoff was referring to in his letter?


Mr. Pargoff replied he did not think there was a lot of hedge row left. More or less the hedge row was gone.

Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that Mr. Pargoff was talking about the trees in his letter.


Mr. Pargoff stated that the trees were part of the hedge row and it was in the same location. Also, there were some trees and shrubs that were still standing.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the trees and shrubs were problematic, but was it definite that trees and shrubs had any chance for survival.


Mr. Pargoff responded that there were some chances for the trees and shrubs to survive, but there would be no impact behind the existing fence. The impact has already taken place in front of the fence to the root system, due to the amount of slope needed to make storm system work.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked in terms of Detroit Edison accessing, would there be any impact to the trees or shrubs within the hedge row?


Mr. Pargoff answered yes, there would be an impact if Detroit Edison installed and maintained the transformers near the hedge rows. However, the impact has already occurred, and the maintenance of the transformers would not have any further impact because the transformers would be placed in front of the hedge row.


Member Vrettas referred to page 3, lots 11 and 12, and asked if the wetland could be approved Administratively? He asked the applicant if the reason for the waiver request was because of the existing wetlands behind the two lots?


Mr. Hofses stated the wetland buffer comes up to lot 11. The transformer has to serve four houses.


Member Vrettas stated because of the involvement of the wetlands on lots 10 and 11, the consultants could grant the waiver administratively, therefore, it does not have to be dealt with by the Planning Commission.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated lot 12 does not have any wetlands.


Member Vrettas stated if he understood this correctly, in order for Detroit Edison to put in the transformer that affect lots 23, 24, 27, and 28, the transformer would be into the property and that would become a safety issue.


Mr. Witalac stated the Edison line can not put on top of the storm sewer and has to be brought 5 feet further into the lot and 30 feet into the lot. The easement would be at 35 feet, but the line itself would be 30 feet in.


Member Vrettas stated he would like to have the box in front of the house. He stated he does like the idea of running an electrical line 30 feet into the property. He stated the applicant was right for asking for the waiver due to safety issues. The next set of lots has similar issues, therefore, he can not support the motion, and he thought the Planning Commission should be sending a positive motion to City Council.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if Member Vrettas would want to amend the motion?





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED: To send a positive recommendation to City Council granting front yard utilities.





Yes: Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Csordas, Lorenzo

No: Capello, Churella, Markham







Verbal report from Applicant regarding the status of the project’s mitigation plan.


Joseph Gerak of Eight Haggerty Partnership stated he inherited what had been the Samelson property. He stated as a part of the responsibility he inherited, was the need to mitigate a parcel for what is called the High Point Shopping Center. He stated he was underway with the work when one of his partners came across some original documents prepared by the Samelson’s. The documents lead him to believe that there was possibly no need to replace and mitigate the parcel, therefore, he stopped work. Mr. Gerak stated he met with Mr. Watson and concluded it was an error and it was indeed his responsibility and resumed the work. Just recently he received documents from Mr. Seiber indicating that all of the documents would be ready and approved and that he felt everything would be complete by the first of June, weather permitting.


Chairperson Lorenzo spoke on behalf of the Commission that they were pleased to hear that the work has been resumed, she stated they were disappointed and displeased that the long delay was experienced and the work has not been completed thus far by the date conditioned in the agreement. Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Gerak in order to make up for the long delay if he would consider specifying within the planting plan that the wetland vegetative species would be of a size, type and number that would accomplish total vegetation within one growing season. This would assure that another six months or a year would not have to pass before the area became totally vegetated.


Mr. Gerak stated it was his understanding that it would be done.


Sue Tepatti of JCK stated she had received a hand delivered copy today, she has not received the official submittal of the final plans yet as they are being processed. She thought the difference was the typical mitigation plans do not allow for a complete cover planting, they allow for some initial plantings to be established and over time, the area will spread out and establish cover throughout the area.


Mr. Gerak stated without checking with the partners, he certainly would make an attempt to do that. As he understood it, the site was already in a marginal wetland area. He stated he would instigate whatever he could to provide that opportunity, if not he would be glad to assume additional responsibility.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would appreciate that commitment in terms of completing the total vegetation within one growing season.








Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the matter of possible city-initiated rezoning for the OST District to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for further study.





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

No: None





Chairperson Lorenzo announced the staff is requesting a new member to the Communications and Community Liaison Committee.


Member Vrettas volunteered.


Chairperson Lorenzo thanked Member Vrettas for volunteering and congratulated him.





Member Bononi asked about the procedure with regard to newly approved Ordinances after they are approved by Council, how is it that the Commission does not receive copies of those to bring their Ordinances up to date. She stated she has not received any amendments since she came aboard the Planning Commission.


Mr. Cohen stated he would get new Ordinances for the Commission and he would make sure they are updated.


Member Bononi stated as the Ordinances are amended, she would like to receive the supplements as they are approved.


Mr. Watson stated it is not just the supplements as they come in from the company that does the printing, they also need the Zoning Amendments themselves, prior to receiving the supplements. He stated a company in Florida puts it in printed form quarterly, so in addition the Commissioners should receive the actual amendments themselves.


Mr. Cohen stated he would provide it in the future.










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, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None




Steven Cohen - Staff Planner

Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

March 13, 1997

Date Approved: May 07, 1997