SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 05, 1997 AT 6:00 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo
PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Chairperson Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington
ABSENT: Members, Hoadley, Markham
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
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any changes to the Agenda? Seeing none she entertained motion to approve the Agenda.
PM-97-03-066 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
VOTE ON PM-97-03-066 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington
1. MAIN STREET NOVI, SP 95-53C
Property located on both sides of Main Street, between Novi Road and Market Street for possible Preliminary Site Plan, Phasing Plan, and Wetland Permit recommendation to City Council and Woodland Permit approval.
James Chen of Evergreen III presented Main Street Novi. He thanked the Commission for allowing him a Special Meeting to consider his project. He presented building 200 and 300 and stated the awnings are subject to change depending on the tenants’ needs. Mr. Chen pointed out the atrium and stated it is a major link between Main Street and the parking lot to the back of the building. He stated it is being used as a major passageway for people to walk from the front to the back.
Mr. Chen referred to the Main Street court, is proposed to be located on Novi Road, south of Main Street. He stated it is about 23,600 square feet of the building. Building 200 is located behind the bridge which is connecting north Main Street to south Main Street.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated all application data has been provided they have provided the correct number of parking spaces that will be provided on the site. Mr. Rogers stated he has conferred with Mr. Arroyo regarding qualifications on adequacy of the parking and later phases of the project. There is a commitment to put in a sidewalk along Novi Road after the Trans-X and grade separation is resolved.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated the plan represents changes that the applicant was asked to do. She stated more pedestrian areas in the parking lots were added, she requested additional brick paving adjacent to the buildings in the rear and pedestrian amenities throughout the site such as pedestrian lighting and benches, the applicant has agreed to do this. The applicant basically has met all of the concerns during the last submittal and will be adding more details in the final submittal.
One issue was how to handle Novi Road as it is in a temporary flux with the proposed overpass over the railroad tracks. The applicant has provided screening with plant materials and will be adding notes on the plan that the Town Center amenities will be added at a later date. All of the other notes on the plan are being required of the petitioner during the final site plan review.
Mr. Rogers commented on the facade, he agreed with Mr. Necci in his most recent letter of February 27, 1997 that the project complies with the facade standards for the TC-1 District. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval and Phasing Plan approval.
David Bluhm of JCK stated water mains are being provided in the site, they exist in Main Street and Market Street and will be extended to service the buildings at both the fronts and the rear. Services are to connect domestically to the buildings, also provided, the moratorium has been lifted so those connections can be made without wells for the site. The sanitary sewer is at the south edge of the site, it will be extended up into and across Main Street to service the north side of Main Street. All of the service will be directed to the south and toward Trans-X Drive. The applicant proposes several roadway connections. Mr. Bluhm stated the building at the southwest corner is proposed to be elevated extensively and it may need some retaining walls along the south side and west side of the building where it abuts Trans-X and Novi Road. There is a proposed grade separation at Novi Road over the railroad tracks, the intent is to lift Trans-X up for a certain distance from Novi Road and ultimately eliminate the retaining wall that may be needed in that area. A lot of the improvements in the general vicinity may be temporary in nature until the Road Commission improves the area.
Storm sewers are going to totally service the site, parking areas, buildings, and roof drains will collect it and dump it into storm sewers. The storm sewers go into two general directions, the area to the north of Main Street and west of Market Street are the northern buildings and will be connected into the storm sewers that are already in Main Street. This is directed to the northern part of the existing sedimentation basin. Previous to its’ outlet into the sedimentation basin, there will be an oil and gas separator, a storm septor separator. On the southern end of the site, storm sewers will be provided and outletted directly into the larger pond that exists on the site. Previous to this, there will be a sedimentation basin, four-bay type of situation, to try to protect the wetland and open water area. Ultimately it will be directed into the existing sedimentation basin via a channel that will be put in. No detention is required on site, storm improvements have been made downstream, open channel flows through the Main Street Village project, carry the water down to the south, towards Trans-X and into new storm sewers.
Mr. Bluhm stated there were some minor comments on the plans which could be addressed at the time of final site plan, he stated the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and recommended approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated multiple points of access are proposed for the development. Some specific issues related to the access onto Novi Road, south of Main Street, the proposed driveway does not meet the spacing standards. It should be noted that the standard is 175 feet not 230 feet. Originally the field notes indicated a 45 mph speed limit which is actually 40 mph. The driveway is being proposed 110 feet from a main driveway serving a commercial/light industrial building and a 43 feet to a narrow drive serving an industrial site. These two drives are fairly low traffic generators, however, there will be a need for a waiver from City Council from the Design and Construction Standards. In accordance with the requirements, the applicants’ traffic consultant has not issued a letter indicating the need for it. The primary location for the driveway as shown onto Novi Road is because future improvements to Novi Road will cause the road to be shifted further to the north for adequate site distance and spacing. The applicant’s traffic consultant has recommended that the function of the driveway be right turn in/right turn out, which Mr. Arroyo concurred with. He recommended that the final site plan show that there be a channelizing island to make it more difficult for left turns.
Mr. Arroyo stated one access point is to Sixth Gate, which goes out to Grand River. It is an unpaved roadway. Mr. Arroyo suggested if the road remains unpaved, it should function as an "in only" for the project, so that the amount of outbound traffic from the traffic would be essentially eliminated. A minor improvement has been indicated north of the access to Trans-X, to narrow the width of an aisle which could provide an opportunity for some additional landscaping. Access from Paul Bunyon is proposed. The applicant’s traffic consultant has proposed that this also be right turns in/right turns out only, Mr. Arroyo concurred with it. He stated this would require Council action and also approval by the Road Commission since Novi Road is a County road.
Mr. Arroyo stated a traffic study was submitted, trip generation information and traffic study finds have been provided. In terms of improvements, he stated Trans-X Drive is proposed to be shifted to the north by 20-30 feet as part of the improvements to Novi Road. Mr. Arroyo stated he and Mr. Rogers have reviewed the shared parking arrangement, the applicant is requesting a modification in that the original Vic’s parking showed the need for 239 spaces, the applicant’s consultant conducted some counts and proposed to treat it as a 178 space requirement rather than a 239 space requirement. Mr. Arroyo did not believe it made sense at this time, to modify the shared parking formula, he thought it was too early in the project and would like to see how the project operates once more phases come on line. Mr. Arroyo felt the Planning Commission should stick to the original formula. He stated later on down the road it will impact some of the phases. The applicant needs to provide a surplus of at least 61 parking spaces to get back to the original formula. A minor modification could be made to building 400 to bump it up to 61 spaces and this would take them through to the last two phases of building 900 and building 1000. If sufficient justification is not provided for an adjustment in the formula, the applicant would either have to cut down the size of the buildings or somehow provide additional parking. It was Mr. Arroyo’s recommendation that the shared parking formula that was originally approved, be followed.
Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to a number of comments that are noted in his letter and as indicated, his primary concern is the access to Sixth Gate. He believed it could be addressed by keeping it one-way in for the project and could be evaluated further, in the event that the road is paved.
Ms. Lemke stated the landscape plan has met and exceeded the standards of the ordinance for the parking lot trees and for additional trees and shrubs being added. In addition, pedestrian sidewalks are proposed. Ms. Lemke stated there was a partial Woodlands Permit approved for the construction of Main Street. There are scattered trees which are isolated and of poor quality, the proposal calls for the removal of 30 of them except for the ones that form a buffer along the wetland area. The trees that are removed will be replaced in the final landscape plan. The petitioner has met all of the requirements and Ms. Lemke recommended approval.
Sue Tepatti, Water Resources Specialist stated there is primarily one large wetland on the site which is about 1.4 acres in size and continues extensively to the southeast on the Main Street Village property. There are two other small pockets of wetland which are isolated, she has determined that they are of a lesser quality. One is a part of the woodland that is rather sparse and some areas around it are disturbed, so it has not been recommended that the two areas be preserved. The large wetland area is going to be preserved. The proposal is for a disturbance of a portion of the buffer area, about 10 to 15 feet in spots, to allow for the construction of the parking lot. The proposal is to cantilever part of building 400 over the buffer. A portion of the buffer will be preserved, it is proposed to have the edge of the building in about 10 feet of the buffer. The wetland is primarily an open water pond of yet undetermined depth, it has black willows around the edge and a shrubbed border. The plan requires a wetland permit primarily for the storm water discharge that is proposed. There is one proposed at the southeast end of the large pond and one proposed to enter the existing sedimentation basin for Vic’s market, just east of the large pond. The wetland pond and the constructed sedimentation basin are currently separated by an existing slope so the two do not have free flowing water between them.
Ms. Tepatti stated she has information on a new oil and gas separator called a storm septor which the EPA and several other organizations are promoting as an improved oil and gas separator. The typical separators include an elbow pipe, one concern is that during a very large storm, some of the oils can be flushed out. They are required to be maintained under the City’s ordinance, but the storm septor has a deeper structure with a bypass route for storms. This does not allow the sediment and oils to be flushed out into the wetland, they are contained within the system. Ms. Tepatti stated the applicant is proposing to construct a small basin to the south of the wetland and open water pond which the storm septor will catch the run-off prior to it entering the sedimentation basin. After that, it will be a sedimentation and water quality basin and then it will be discharging to the pond. The pond overflows at certain times of the year to the wetland to the east, at other times, it is self contained. There is also a storm septor which is proposed at the last structure prior to the discharge to the Vic’s Market basin.
Ms. Tepatti recommended approval of the Wetland Permit with several conditions: 1) The basins be reviewed in the final site plan engineering drawings for additional water quality benefits, slopes, stabilization, vegetation and the existing Vic’s Market basin will be looked at to see if improvements can be made. 2) the connection between the open water pond and the sedimentation basin be looked into further as far as the elevation and location of the overflow. 3) A DEQ Permit will be required for the storm water discharge. In summary, Ms. Tepatti recommended approval of the permit.
Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a letter from Douglas Necci which states that the application is in compliance with ordinance Sections 2520 and 1602.9 and a Section 4 Waiver is not required for the project.
Chairperson Lorenzo also announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
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.
Member Capello asked if Mr. Necci had anything to add?
Doug Necci of JCK stated there was an initial review and there was an 8% overage on metal siding, following that, the applicant made a revision eliminating all of the metal siding and he has brought it into full compliance.
Mr. Rogers stated along the south edge of the property, the green space varies from 7 feet, there should be 10 feet. It has been compensated for with alternate interior green space. That is a waiver that the Commission can make.
Member Csordas stated with the quality of the project, it appeared odd that there was a third road leading into the back of the project. He asked Mr. Arroyo if the recommendation of a one way entry or exit was the proper thing to do, or asked why might it be left a dirt road entry?
Mr. Arroyo stated he would prefer that it be paved. He stated it has been mentioned to the applicant several times, as it turns out, it is a City road and R.O.W. and not a part of the site plan, therefore, it is the responsibility of the City to address it. Mr. Arroyo did not think that eliminating it was the solution, he believed it was an important connection and should remain open.
Member Csordas asked if it would be best to limit it to one way out, if it were to remain gravel?
Mr. Arroyo believed ingress to be the best because outbound movements and the access to Grand River has been indicated to operate at a very poor level of service. Mr. Arroyo thought that providing for the inbound movements could help move some of the traffic off of the main road and if outbound delays occur, it would stack up within the project and not impact the public road system as much. Mr. Arroyo believed the inbound route to be the best, given the circumstances that are being dealt with.
Member Csordas was hopeful that the City would take a look at that issue and stated it seems to be a huge blemish on a high quality project.
Member Weddington asked what the proposed design for the railroad crossing was? She asked if Novi Road was going to be elevated and if so, at what point does it return to normal grade?
Mr. Arroyo stated it was still under design, the final design is not yet complete. The concept behind the proposal would be to elevate the roadway over the railroad. The reason is because there is a hill where Main Street comes out to Novi Road and it dips down toward the R.O.W. He stated it makes sense because the road is already elevated, so to speak. Based on what Mr. Arroyo has heard, it will touch down south of Trans-X Drive. He stated this is one of the reasons Trans-X Drive needs to be moved slightly north so that it can still function in relationship to where the bridge structure will be.
Member Weddington asked if all of the parking lot would be developed in Phase I or will they be developed partially along with each phase?
Mr. Rogers answered sequentially. He stated a substantial portion of the parking is underground. Further, the first development is providing more parking than would normally be required, this is where the cushion comes in. Mr. Rogers stated each phase has to stand on its’ own.
Member Weddington expressed concern with the pedestrian walkway that crosses Main Street. She asked why it was necessary, or was it considered an amenity for the second story shops?
Mr. Rogers thought it was a great idea. The individual buildings on the north and south side of Main Street are also linked at the second level, he thought it made for a "people friendly" shopping area.
Member Weddington shared the concerns of Member Csordas in regard to Sixth Gate. She felt it should be paved to complete the development.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Rogers if there was a specific place in the Ordinance where open space calculation is designated for TC, TC-1.
Mr. Rogers answered yes, he believed there was a 15% requirement which the applicant computed and Mr. Rogers believed them to be over 20%.
Ms. Lemke stated it was not just green space, it includes pedestrian ways.
Member Bononi stated she found that section when she read the ordinance, however, she did not find the section where the allowances that have been taken in the plan, are spelled out. It includes the Main Street, street width area and a lot of other areas that might be construed as open space, however, in her opinion it was not open space. This was the reason for her question if there was a specific area in the Ordinance where it is spelled out as to the formula and how open space may or may not be calculated.
Mr. Rogers answered, no.
Member Bononi asked then if it meant it was subject to negotiation?
Mr. Rogers answered, yes. He stated in districts other than TC, TC-1, there are several formulas.
Member Bononi asked whether or not skywalks or bridges are referred to anywhere in the Ordinance, or are permitted in general?
Mr. Rogers stated there was a provision where setbacks requiring a certain side yard must be observed from ground to sky. Therefore, a skywalk might obscure a clean cut setback. One issue with building a skywalk across a public way is that it has to be very carefully designed and there is a liability because components of the walkway could fall and hit a pedestrian or a car. Mr. Rogers believed Tony Nowicki, Director of Public Services would be involved in any such improvements over a dedicated R.O.W.
Member Bononi asked if skywalks or bridges were specifically mentioned in the Ordinance?
Mr. Rogers was sure that there was not.
Member Bononi was in support of the Main Street concept, however, she was concerned that Novi has a confused identity. She stated Main Street is trying to do everything, the City is pedestrian oriented, but then again, it is not; it is Main Street traditional, but in a lot of ways it is not; it is commercial is some ways and in other ways it is not; it is enclosed but it is open; it is "people friendly" when it comes to enticing customers but she did not think it was "people friendly" by the environment that is being proposed. She explained that too much is trying to be done from the number of buildings that are proposed, the impervious material which covers the site. She expressed concern with how the space will work and stated as a supporter of the Main Street concept, she would want it to be successful.
She was concerned about what green space the employees, shoppers and people who are drawn to the area would go to. The only thing offered is a 5,100+ square foot park next to the wetland basin, which she did not consider a park. Considering the number of people who will frequent the area, she did not believe the proposed space was suitable. She did not think it met the open space intent in the Ordinance for the district. Member Bononi also expressed concern with whether greenbelt screening would be sufficient after the plantings are in place. She was concerned about how the Ordinance read in Section 1601.5. "the principle uses permitted include outdoor theaters, plazas, parks, public gathering places including those along a riverwalk and the like public facilities all pavement, all building, all parking spaces in a tiny green space. She referred to the packet of information she received in the mail regarding Novi 2020 Focus On The Future. In regard to growth management, which is one of the pages being proposed to get the Vision Statement, the last sentence says, "Novi will be recognized for its’ innovative development practices in becoming model for other cities fortunate enough to design their own future." Member Bononi stated this is the opportunity to design our future, we do not have to work from someone elses mistakes, this is a new area. She felt the Commission could do better from the standpoint of reflecting the intent as well as the spirit of the Ordinance with regard to pedestrian friendliness.
Member Bononi was disappointed that the applicant proposed to encroach on the wetland boundary with parking spaces. She was not in support of any application that would propose to do that, considering there is so much area on the site. Member Bononi also expressed concern with the cantilevered building situation. She thought it was going too far, it was not too much to ask to look at the building that abuts the wetland area and cut it down. She stated it was a reasonable and prudent alternative.
PM-97-03-067 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION OF THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN, PHASING PLAN, WETLAND PERMIT TO CITY COUNCIL, AND THE WAIVER OF THE TEN FOOT GREEN SETBACK REQUIREMENT ON THE SOUTH END OF THE PROPERTY
Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, FAILED (3-4): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Main Street Novi, SP95-53C for the Preliminary Site Plan, Phasing Plan, Wetland Permit and a Planning Commission waiver of the ten foot green space setback.
Chairperson Lorenzo shared all of the concerns of Member Bononi. She stated from day one, since the project is somewhat City sponsored, she believed the City has a responsibility to set a good example and at least meet, if not exceed, the standards in the laws. She was disappointed that the project was not proposing to do that. She was disappointed that a ten foot parking space green space setback was not being met, that there is the proposal of intruding into wetland setbacks for parking, overbuilding on the site also disappointed her greatly.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated the traffic study indicated that the Grand River and Novi Road intersection would degrade from a level of service "D" to an "F" and at the Novi, westbound I-96 off-ramp will degrade from a "B" to a "C". She asked if there were any types of improvements that would allow the City to maintain the levels of "B" and at least a "D" and what those improvements might be?
Mr. Arroyo stated since the time the study was conducted, there has been additional analysis of Grand River and Novi Road, he stated it effectively is already functioning at level of service "F" for the most part. The SCATS signalization has been implemented to improve it and he felt it has been fairly dramatic in decreasing delays. He explained that the addition of a right turn lane from westbound Grand River to northbound Novi Road has been discussed and would cause an improvement in the level of service. Other approaches are limited in terms of what can be done because there are structures in the way, other than removing structures, there is limited R.O.W. He explained that the completion of Crescent Boulevard would improve the function of the intersection.
Chairperson Lorenzo understood that Sixth Gate is a City road, however, because the applicant is proposing access to his site from this road, is there any legal ability to require pavement of that road?
Mr. Watson answered, no. He stated it is an off-site improvement, access can be restricted to it, if that is what it takes to satisfy the site plan criteria relating to traffic safety. He explained that the City Council may consider the imposition of a Special Assessment District to pave the road.
In regard to Sixth Gate, access in only, Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo if this meant right turns in only or access left and right in only?
Mr. Arroyo stated in terms of the actual physical connection of the project to Sixth Gate, it was his recommendation that the approach be narrowed down and it be signed and designed for in-bound only from Sixth Gate. He stated the site plan cannot be proposed to change Sixth Gate’s function in itself, however, he thought that the turning movements to and from Grand River from Sixth Gate need to be monitored because the potential exists that they would need to be restricted in the future, depending on its’ use.
Chairperson Lorenzo voiced her personal preference to see Sixth Gate restricted to right turns only. She thought there was a need to allow people to become used to the idea, setting the tone of the intention of the flow of traffic. In addition, regarding open space, she would not consider walkways to be "open space", it is a requirement because it is a pedestrian oriented center. She was not in favor of considering walkways as open space. She also expressed concern that there was so little open space within the development. She was supportive of the concept of Main Street, she thought the project as proposed had many positive points, she was impressed with the architecture, however, there were a lot of shortcomings that she could see. Chairperson Lorenzo was not in the position of sending a positive recommendation to City Council at this point, therefore, she was not in support of the motion. She suggested scaling back the buildings, scale back the project in order to meet the green space requirements if not exceeding them, to remove the buildings and parking from any wetland setbacks and to consider the road improvements or partially fund the road improvements that Mr. Arroyo referenced. She complimented Ms. Tepatti on including all of the conditions that she had, within her letter. She also complimented the petitioner for including the EPA standard for the gas and oil separator. Chairperson Lorenzo asked Ms. Tepatti who was responsible for maintaining gas and oil separators twice a year?
Ms. Tepatti believed it was the responsibility of the owner of the property. The Department of Public Services sends out notices twice a year to the owner to provide proof of the clean-out.
Member Weddington agreed with the suggestions of Chairperson Lorenzo and asked if a parking structure was considered as opposed to the surface parking?
Mr. Rogers answered the only parking structures are underground and they will be properly constructed. Possibly on Novi Road, on the north side of Main Street, there was some thought given to a multi-purpose building with a parking facility. He stated this was a costly but efficient way to go.
Member Weddington stated it would relieve some of the burden placed on the area and would address some of the concerns expressed by Member Bononi and Chairperson Lorenzo, she stated she shared those concerns.
Member Capello stated in the Town Center, there is a park within the development that wraps around an Amoco Station. He stated most people do not know it is there because it is never utilized for anything, this gave him the idea, why should additional space be created in Main Street for the same purpose and also have it not used. He thought there was a need to have as much square footage as possible to make the development work. He stated it is massive but it is a small development, it is one street compared to most downtown districts which are comprised of several streets.
Member Capello liked the idea of the building cantilevering over the pond so he did not have a problem when he saw that they were encroaching over the top of the pond. He sat on the Town Center Steering Committee for several years and the ideas that have come out, have been hashed over and over. It was the general consensus of the Committee that this was the best plan, taking into account the green space and the ponds, etc. that they could come up with. He did not think Mr. Chen was before the Commission trying to get as much as he can, he thought he was with the general consensus of others. This was Member Capello’s reason for recommendation and this was also why he did not amend his motion to take into account some of the other concerns because in his mind, they have already been addressed.
Member Bononi believed Member Capello to be comparing apples to oranges if he were to compare the open space utilization in a development such as Town Center with a street scape plan such as Main Street. She stated with a traditional street situation, the spaces are used in a different way, people use the space in a different way. She thought if a park setting were included in a situation like this, people would use it. She disagreed with Member Capello because she thought it was an entirely different scenario.
Member Churella was in support of the motion. He stated he has shopped in many towns that have parks and are never used. He stated it seems the plan is designed to meet all of the Ordinances, yet the Commission comes up with new reasons for not approving it. He suggested following the Ordinances and approve the plan for the applicant so he does not have to spend more money foolishly, come back with another plan only to have the Commission will find fault with it again. Member Churella felt the Commission should approve the proposal and get it rolling.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would appreciate it if Member Churella would refrain from a certain tone and any certain implications that he might be making.
VOTE ON PM-97-03-067 FAILED
Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas
No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington
Chairperson Lorenzo entertained another motion.
PM-97-03-068 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN, PHASING PLAN, WETLAND PERMIT AND WAIVER OF THE TEN FOOT GREEN SPACE
Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (4-3): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for the Preliminary Site Plan, Phasing Plan, Wetland Permit and waiver of ten foot green space.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would not be in support of the motion because she believed that some time should be given to the petitioner to perhaps take the comments of the Commissioners into consideration and reconsider. Perhaps it could be postponed to a future date.
Member Csordas asked Member Capello to explain his motion. He asked if the recommendation was being declined?
Member Capello explained what he was doing was sending it on to City Council, letting them make the decisions. They have heard the comments of the Commissioners, they know the concerns and if they want to send it back, they can.
VOTE ON PM-97-03-068 CARRIED
Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Vrettas
No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Weddington
Chairperson Lorenzo asked the Commission if they wished to postpone the Woodland Permit?
PM-97-03-069 TO APPROVE THE WOODLAND PERMIT
Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (4-3): To approve the Woodland Permit for Main Street Novi, SP95-53C.
VOTE ON PM-97-03-069 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Vrettas, Capello
No: Lorenzo, Weddington, Bononi
James Chen, thought there was some miscommunication and addressed a few issues. In regard to open space, he stated four years ago when the project started out, a feasibility study was conducted to show how much of the main street, sidewalks, building and parking spaces could be generated. He stated these items must be in place before the SAD is approved, before the money is spent. He stated the Master Plan has already been determined years ago, this is the total square footage that was needed to support the project. Without the square footage, the project would not move forward because the Town Center is approximately 63 acres, Main Street consists of 16 acres or less. He stated 16 acres or less with the SAD amenities was $2 million and is now raised to $3.9 million dollars from developer to put into the Main Street amenities. He stated the square footage was needed to support those expenses, otherwise it was doomed to failure.
Secondly, regarding the intrusion of the wetland. He stated this was the idea of the building designers. He stated they were trying to create a balcony overlooking the pond, not just looking at the vegetation.
Thirdly, regarding the oversized square footage of the buildings, he stated the square footage has not been increased, he used the same number which was proposed previously. Mr. Chen stated the sidewalk back then, was agreed to be included as open space calculation, that was what John Beckett and the designers designed.
Charles Smith, 23233 Balcombe stated he sent a letter to the Commission. He misunderstood something two weeks ago when he was at the meeting. He stated when the Harada property came up for final site plan approval, the question of the greenbelt or berm, and the planting of the landscape was brought up. There were no plans pulled by the Commissioners and the aesthetics were given by Mr. Bluhm. He laboured under a misconception and he apologized. He did not think that the Commissioners had the plans with them because none of them pulled it out. He stated in his letter to the Chairperson, he noted that there were no plans and again he apologized for it. He stated during the last Audience Participation on the berming of the property, the audience participated and was not able to come back with Mr. Bluhm on the aesthetics. The representative from Cunningham-Limp stood before the Commission and said, what you see is what you get and they weren’t doing anything more. Mr. Smith thought it should be reviewed and looked at by Ms. Lemke, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Bluhm and any Commissioners who would go out and look at the topographics. He appreciated if the Commission could take into consideration or perhaps discussion amongst themselves or go out to the site to look at it.
Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission would take a brief recess before starting the Regular Planning Commission Meeting.
PM-97-03-070 TO ADJOURN THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 7:28 P.M.
Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Special Meeting of the Planning Commission at 7:28 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-97-03-070 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Capello, Churella, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington
Steven Cohen - Staff Planner
Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr
March 11, 1997