WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 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, Hoadley,

Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington




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








Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any changes to the Agenda? Mr. Cohen added Item 2 under Matters for Consideration the appointment of members for the Rules Committee and the Town Center Committee. He also added Item 3 under Matters for Consideration, the approval of a Special Meeting on Wednesday, April 16, 1997 at 6:00 p.m. for a seminar on Architectural Design. Member Hoadley added Item 4 under Matters for Consideration, the reconsideration of Master Planning the property south of Twelve Mile Road and west of Donelson, which was put on a six month hold.





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





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

No: None






Chairperson Lorenzo announced there would be a second Audience Participation after the mid-point break and a third before adjournment.





Member Capello announced he received a letter from Peter, Sherri & Sarah Roberts which involves Cheltenham Estates. They asked the Commission to please consider the following, as it effects their residence which is located directly east of the property. 1) The proposed subdivision would increase traffic; 3) there would be danger to their daughter when she embarks and disembarks from the school bus; 3) there would be danger as they enter and exit their driveway; 4) the level of noise would increase. They requested that a privacy berm be constructed between the subdivision and the back of their lot.


James and Susan Shepard wrote in regard to Cheltenham Estates. Their house is located on the west side of Beck Road and would back up to the west end of the proposed subdivision. There would be increased traffic on Beck Road and they would like to see adequate planning to preserve and utilize the wetland area. They wanted to know if there was adequate availability of water for the new homes. Mr. and Mrs. Shepard asked if the relatively small, ribbon-shaped plot of land could be engineered to comfortably hold thirty or so homes with adequate entrance and exit routes? They expressed concerns of privacy and noise control and have been residents and taxpayers of the City for 20 years and asked the Commission to protect their rights.


William A. Snyder represented Helen Vanderhoff who owns property by Dixon and Twelve Mile Road. He wrote that his client feels that the land under consideration is best suited to remain multiple family with the PD-1 Option and does not feel that the change to multiple family is in the best interest of the area. She objects to any amendments that would change the multiple family with a PD-1 Option.





Chairperson Lorenzo announced there were two items for approval. The approval of the January 13, 1997 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes and the approval of the February 19, 1997 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes. She asked if there were any corrections to either set of minutes?


Chairperson Lorenzo had one correction to the February 19, 1997 minutes, page 14, fourth paragraph, second sentence, should read, "...and not going with land use...".


Member Bononi referred to page 12, last sentence, she changed the sentence to read, "...a single question, the Commission is saying that this question hasn’t been looked at and asked until this time."


Chairperson Lorenzo entertained a motion to approve both sets of minutes as amended.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the January 13, 1997 and February 19, 1997 Special and Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes as corrected.





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

No: None








Property located south of Twelve Mile Road, west of Haggerty Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from Office Service District (OS-1) to Community Business District (B-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Leonard Siegal presented an aerial photo of the area. He stated the site is a nominal 3 acre site, once the road R.O.W. is removed, it is 2.3 acres. There are wetlands and woodlands on the south part of the site which brings the site down to about 2 usable acres. It is zoned OS-1, the surrounding zonings are R-A to the north, west and south, immediately to the east are two parcels that are zoned and developed B-3. The Master Plan calls for the property to be Office and the adjacent zonings to the east are consistent with the Master Plan.


Mr. Siegal recognized that the City of Novi had a history of concerns regarding commercially zoned property. In his instance, he thought he had an unusual situation that had no adverse impacts and the zoning change would be a logical continuation of the zoning to the east. He proposed a small modest service center about 18,000 square feet. It would contain uses such as a Kinko’s type store, bagel store, coffee shop, small family restaurant, computer related services and products, cellular phone and perhaps dry cleaners. The types of services that relate to both residential and office developments.


In looking at the impacts of the proposed zoning, Mr. Siegal recognized that the request was not consistent with the Master Plan. He stated one of the considerations in Master Planning the area for Office was to create a terminal point for the Commercial development. He stated perhaps the consideration of: 1) the parcel of property immediately to the west is owned by the City of Novi and 2) the high quality forested wetland, were not recognized at the time it was Master Planned.


Mr. Siegal stated given the circumstance the office use becomes an isolated use and from a planning standpoint, perhaps it would be worth considering as being part of the other B-3 uses to the east. In regard to the need for a commercial development, Mr. Siegal wondered if the same standard would apply for other uses? He stated there has been a demand that has been demonstrated with the two commercial uses to the east. He stated there are tenants that are interested in coming into a small service center as he is proposing. There is a demand in terms of the bypass traffic on Twelve Mile Road. He stated the property to the south is proposing a high-tech business development which will create a future demand for his services.


Mr. Siegal stated he submitted a traffic report and the difference between the traffic under the present zoning and the proposed zoning is negligible during the a.m. and p.m. He stated his project would not effect any residential property. He asked for a modest proposal that provides service with no adverse impacts. He believed it to be a continuation of the existing Commercial zoning to the east.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated Mr. Siegal is representing the Selective Group to rezone a gross area of 3 acres from OS-1 to B-2. The reason for the rezoning is to provide the commercial business uses and services required by the Twelve Mile Road corridor and surrounding area. Mr. Rogers stated the property is previously vacant, having been previously granted final site plan approval for a branch of Comerica Bank. The property to the east is B-3 and has two commercial uses on it. The property to the north is zoned R-A and is vacant.


Mr. Rogers recommended against the rezoning for a number of reasons: 1) it would conflict with the City’s Master Plan For Land Use; 2) the property is potentially usable for office use under the OS-2, OS-2/PD-4 or OST District regulations; 3) to rezone to B-2 would encourage and set precedence for strip development commercial along Twelve Mile Road; 4) there is no perceived demand or demonstration shown that there is a need for commercial businesses and services in the area. Mr. Rogers stated the comments of Mr. Siegal, in regard to the precedence issue of zoning another parcel Commercial, the property to the west may belong to the City but he did not believe it to be completely wetlands, he stated there was some developable land along Twelve Mile Road. He stated the City could reclaim and mitigate some of the wetlands and it would be developable. Mr. Rogers reiterated that the property to the west was not totally unusable. Mr. Rogers stated he could not recommend something that departs from the Master Plan and comes on the heels of a new classification which is yet to be tested in the area.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant provided a trip generation comparison. Under the existing zoning, a 30,000 square foot office development was looked at, a bank and a shopping center of 18,000 square feet under the proposed zoning scenario. In a 24 hour period, a shopping center generated approximately 2,400 trips per day versus 1,200 for the bank and 565 for an office use. The a.m. and p.m. peak hour comparisons were also made.


Chairperson Lorenzo opened the Matter to the Public and asked if anyone would like to address the Public Hearing?


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court brought up an issue that related to the Commercial zoning on the corner of Twelve Mile Road and Haggerty Road. He stated there has been an effort in Novi and Farmington Hills to greatly control the fact that there be no Commercial development along the Twelve Mile Corridor or the Haggerty Corridor. The reason for the Commercial zoning at Twelve Mile Road and Haggerty Road relates to the Town Center development, he stated before that, there was no intention of having any Commercial zoning. He stated there were other considerations that were involved in the Commercial zoning and to extend it would be a bad precedent, would detract from the area and would inhibit the type of development Novi would like to have there in the future.


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





Member Hoadley did not find anything in the packet that indicated any demographics, testimony or surveys were conducted that would support the demand to rezone the property. He asked Mr. Siegal what surveys were conducted to tell him that the property would be better suited for a commercial strip mall.


Mr. Siegal answered it was based on prospective tenants.

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Siegal what he did as a developer, to see if there was a demand. He asked if he conducted a telephone survey or a written survey of the residents that might want to use the services?


Mr. Siegal did not think it was possible, for a center of its’ size, to do the kind of market study that Member Hoadley suggested. He thought a reliable test would be the business judgement of established merchants who are willing to come into the area and have expressed a desire to come into a shopping center.


Member Hoadley reiterated there was no testimony or back-up information from prospective tenants for the Commission to take into consideration. He stated there was a shopping center at Thirteen Mile Road and Haggerty Road that is doing very poorly. He also stated there are three million square feet of shopping center, east of the proposed development and many of the same services are already at that location. Member Hoadley also mentioned that Main Street was soon to come on line and would provide additional services. He asked Mr. Siegal why he thought it would be a successful development, because the Commission has to take into consideration the future success of any project.


Mr. Siegal stated he could provide the statements of merchants who are interested. He commented on the shopping centers that Member Hoadley referenced. He stated the one on Haggerty Road just south of Fourteen Mile Road, never did well from day one. He stated it has a lot to do with design and concept because the one on the northeast corner of Haggerty Road and Fourteen Mile Road has been extremely successful. With respect to the other facilities, he stated certainly there are services in West Oaks and in the Town Center, he thought it required people to travel further distances to avail themselves of the services which would be more conveniently located in the proposed area.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (7-2): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.564.





Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers if ancillary uses such as a computer retail store, were allowed under the existing OS-1 District, with some type of office building?


Mr. Rogers answered he could look it up, he stated there were some ancillary commercial uses permitted. He stated the question of whether a computer store is a retail sales agency or a teaching type use, would have to be looked into in each case. He stated in the OST District, within a building some service commercial is allowed.


Member Capello asked what about restaurants or banks?


Mr. Rogers stated banks were construed to be an office use even though they are known in the Financial Institutions Bureau as Commercial banks, they are conceived of as office uses. He stated he would have to look up restaurants.


Member Capello asked if the PD-1 Option made any difference in regard to allowance of some of the commercial retail uses?


Mr. Rogers corrected Member Capello to be speaking about PD-2. He stated it would permit retail commercial uses, provided all such business uses are located on sub-floors, low grade or on the ground floor or ground floor mezzanine only, hospitals, office buildings, residential above the first floor.


Member Vrettas explained the reason he made a negative recommendation, was because it was not requested by Council, he did not believe it was going to be a long term ownership and he has not seen any kind of documented evidence that it could not be developed under its’ current zoning. He stated he was not willing to look at anything new until he has seen these things.


Member Markham asked Mr. Siegal, if Comerica went through all of the trouble to develop its’ site plan and do all of the wetland studies six years ago, could he give some insight as to why they did not develop the property?


Mr. Siegal had no knowledge of why Comerica did not proceed.


Member Markham stated she has been on the Commission long enough to hear the argument that "it is not consistent with the Master Plan" through convenience and ignore it when it is not. She did not believe it was a compelling argument because the Commission has been inconsistent with the Master Plan as an argument. Member Markham agreed with the applicant that the parcel sits all by itself zoned Office. She thought a proper development on the two acre site would not be a problem and thought it might even be a benefit, supporting offices which may be built to the south. Member Markham stated she would be voting against the motion.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Siegal if there was any reason the property could not be developed as office?

Mr. Siegal did not know of any physical reason it could not be developed as Office. He stated five years have lapsed since Comerica received site plan approval and decided not to proceed with it, for a reason that he could not represent. During those five years, there has not been a prospective office user or purchaser that has come forward for the piece of property.


Member Weddington asked whether or not Comerica had tried to market the property?


Mr. Siegal answered to best of his knowledge, it has been on the market.


Member Bononi did not see anything terribly consistent about an isolated parcel that was designated Office and backs up to the limiting zones of wetland and an extensive R.O.W. She stated it was such a small site and did not see an office use functioning as any better a transition zone than other uses. On the other hand, she was not ready to say that B-2 was a relevant rezoning choice because there are certain uses that are included in the tiers of uses in B-2 that might not be the best uses for that location. Her biggest concern was that a restaurant would be a permitted use and asked Mr. Rogers if this was correct?


Mr. Rogers answered as it is being formulated, a restaurant would be permitted but not a drive-in restaurant.


Member Bononi expressed concern about the B-2 intensity of potential use and was concerned about the effect it would have on the abutting RA land until it is changed and used, it still must be considered. She was also concerned that another choice of looking at a zoning vehicle would be a specific neighborhood service that might provide accompanying uses to businesses. Member Bononi did not believe it has been conclusively proven that what the applicant is saying would not be a better use than a vacant parcel of land. She was also not convinced by the argument, that "the need" has to be considered. For these reasons, Member Bononi would not be in support of the motion.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Rogers, in answering Member Capello’s question, did he indicate that the Master Plan currently is for Office with a PD-4 Option or Office with a PD-2 Option?


Mr. Rogers answered, Office/PD-4. He stated Office/PD-4 is the new PD Option that has now been converted into the OST.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked for clarification because Mr. Rogers’ letter states PD-2.


Mr. Rogers explained he meant to say PD-4.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if it were rezoned to OS-2, would it also allow all of the uses under OS-1?


Mr. Rogers answered, no. The OS-2 is a more limiting district and does not permit the ancillary retail uses. The OS-2 also permits three story construction.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if it was conceivable that some of the uses that the applicant is proposing could be utilized under the present OS/PD-4.


Mr. Rogers answered under the PD-4, to trigger it, he believed it would have to be rezoned to OS-2 from the present OS-1. He stated OSC would also qualify for the area which would permit a multi-story building.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Siegal if Comerica still owns the parcel?


Mr. Siegal answered, yes, Comerica still owns the property.


Member Churella asked Mr. Siegal if Comerica had a deed restriction on the parcel, stating that no other financial institution can be built on it?


Mr. Siegal stated he knows of no such restriction. He stated there was nothing in the purchase agreement that would include it. He could not attest to what may have occurred other than that.


Member Vrettas stated Mr. Siegal reaffirmed his concern about trying to do something with the present zoning. As he understood it, there has been no effort to try to move the property under present zoning. He stated he had a problem looking at a change when there has been no effort to live within the present guidelines.


Member Hoadley asked the petitioner if he has tried to market the parcel?


Glen Canter of the Selective Group could not speak for Comerica bank although he understood that they had tried to market the property for office use. The Selective Group is a multi-faceted developer. They have developed a number of office buildings throughout southeastern Michigan and have no greater aversion to office than to shopping centers. Unfortunately, as Mr. Siegal mentioned in his presentation, it is an isolated parcel and as an office building, it is not feasible to be developed, he stated it was not a good office site.




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

No: Bononi, Markham





Property located north of Twelve Mile Road, west of Novi Road for possible amendment to the Master Plan for Land Use Map from Multiple Family/PD-1 Option to Multiple Family or any other appropriate land use classification.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the property is Master Planned for Multiple Family with a PD-1 Option, the property to the immediate east is the Society Hill project, the strip of land on the south side of the Society Hill project is the Bundoff property. The recommendation was to delete the PD-1 designation from the Master Plan for the area. Mr. Rogers recommended there be no change in the Master Plan at this time. The location of the PD-1 Option reflects a uniform area bounded by Novi Road, Twelve and ½ Mile, the back end of homes fronting on Dixon Road and the proposed Office future land use on the Master Plan along Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Rogers stated if the PD-1 were to be deleted, it would create the narrow strip of land, which could be developed under the PD-1 Option. In the alternative, if the PD-1 Option were to be deleted, the property would still be recommended in the Master Plan for Land Use, for Multiple Family future land use and could be developed under the RM-1 density standards. Mr. Rogers stated his recommendation concurs with that of the Master Plan and Zoning Committee of October 15, 1996. In 1996, the Planning Commission recommended to City Council, to rescind the PD-1 Option from the Ordinance text and presumably thereafter, from the zoning map. On March 4, 1996, the City Council voted to leave the PD-1 Option alone until the Commission addressed an amendment to the RM-1 and RM-2 Ordinances to provide for the preservation and flexibility currently in the Single Family options. Mr. Rogers recommendation was to leave it as it is.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated he prepared a trip generation comparison of various land uses, giving several different scenarios, one being a 40 acre site, the other being a 31 acre site. In comparing an RA single family development, an R-1 single family development, Multiple Family with RM-1 with and without the PD Option. He was provided with an estimate of the number of units that could be constructed based upon the various scenarios and he in turn provided a.m., p.m. and 24 hour trip generation comparisons.


Chairperson Lorenzo opened the Matter to the Public and asked if anyone would like to address the Public Hearing?

Robert Gibbs of Gibbs Planning Group asked the Commission to reconsider the Master Plan amendment to remove the PD Option on the property. He stated his firm has been working with Biltmore Properties for over six months to develop a Master Plan for the property, that would propose a combination of single family and attached multiple family homes. He found that the PD Option gives a great amount of flexibility in both planning and the quality of the development that is proposed. The site has a number of unique conditions. He stated the site is very open, slightly wooded and gently rolling and is an ideal site for a medium density residential project. Mr. Gibbs stated to the south, the site backs to what is Master Planned for Office and is located across the street from very large regional shopping centers. Mr. Gibbs realized that a Master Plan is a balance between different land uses. He stated he proposed to use the PD Option and hopefully use the proposed RUD Option as a part of it, he thought by combining the two he would be able to present the Commission with a very innovative plan that was significantly less than what is allowed under the PD Option. He asked if the Commission was not inclined to totally dismiss the proposal, that they consider tabling it and then amend it so it can be a better option.


David Stollman, 2025 West Long Lake Road in Troy represented Biltmore Properties Corporation. He stated for almost two years Biltmore has worked diligently to purchase properties in Section 10 for the purpose of creating a residential community. Of the 38.9 acres designated as PD-1 under the Master Plan, Biltmore currently controls over 50%. Mr. Stollman stated in the near future it may control upwards of 90% of the property. He asked the Commission to table the proposed amendment to the Master Plan until there has been an opportunity to review the site plan. The plan will be unlike a typical site plan developed under the PD-1 Option. He stated it was not his intent to present a site plan consisting of five-story apartment buildings, his plan is substantially different. The community he proposes to develop is a condominium project, there will be no rental units, only home ownership. It will consist of buildings not more than 2 ½ stories in height, the community’s density will be substantially lower than the 20 units per acre permitted under the PD-1 Option. Finally, the plan will be consistent with past Biltmore projects.


Mr. Stollman stated Biltmore is presently one of the largest land developers of residential properties in Michigan. Biltmore and its’ affiliated companies have developed land in southeastern Michigan for over 35 years, they develop quality living communities, their reputation is impeccable. He stated it was as important to Biltmore to build a quality living community as it is to the Commission. It is their intent to develop a well planned, high quality community for the property. In conclusion, he anticipated presenting a non-rental, lower in height, lower in density site plan which would provide an excellent living environment. He asked the Commission to permit him the opportunity to present the plan prior to making any decision regarding amending the plan.

Rick Katterman, 28480 Dixon stated as Mr. Rogers noted, the development is trying to be kept around the Center area and it is written in the goals of the Planning Commission to keep the residential development near the Town Center area. Mr. Katterman stated the lot looked a lot like one of the flag lots that the City does not allow. He asked if it would change the way the property would be used? He stated the development should be kept where the infrastructure is.


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court thought there were several points that needed to be addressed regarding the Master Plan amendment. In regard to the environmental considerations, the property is very environmentally sensitive, there is a large wetland as well as woodlands. Mr. Mutch pointed out that they are cut off from the Sasson property, which means that they cannot be developed in conjunction with the Sasson property. With the exception of the Bundoff property, which he did not feel should be changed from the PD-1 Option, those properties cannot be developed without accessing Twelve and ½ Mile Road. Mr. Mutch presented a portion of the Habitat Master Plan map which showed the core reserve. He stated it is the most environmentally and habitat sensitive area, any development would effect the core reserve, therefore, he thought the efforts should be to preserve it as much as possible. Mr. Mutch referred to the 1988 and 1993 Master Plan in regard to density. He stated they point out that there has been a major error in the 1993 Master Plan. In 1988, the area being considered was projected to have 810 units, when looking at the 1993 Master Plan, the planning area #2 only projects 516 units total. He stated there a lot of people making decisions based on these numbers, the 516 number is clearly wrong. He stated this error needs to be addressed. Under the PD-1 Option, the Master Plan projects approximately 14 units per acre, the actual language of the Ordinance allows up to 30 units per acre. In regard to infrastructure, the area that will be greatly impacted by a PD-1 development in the area, is Twelve ½ Mile and Dixon Road. The approximate cost to pave one mile of dirt road is between 2 and 3 million dollars. He stated this would be an impact to the tax payers of Novi, for which there would be essential no benefit, except for the development. Mr. Mutch stated it is not a transitional zoning, there are development options that Biltmore could look at, the RUD would allow attached and detached clusters and single family development, any of the single family zoning densities would allow cluster option, preservation option. Mr. Mutch thought it was time for the Planning Commission to look at the property again and come to the right decision and remove the PD-1 Option and also to re-examine the Multiple Family and look at a single family for the area.


Ron Arnold, 43843 Twelve and ½ Mile Road lended his support to Mr. Rogers’ recommendation that nothing be done on the issue. He stated there were a number of reasons and though Mr. Rogers covered them in his report, he expressed his support for Mr. Rogers recommendation.

Debbie Bundoff of the Twelve Mile Road and Novi Road area understood that there was some information that was given to the Commission that the public was not privileged to because it was dated today. She stated she would like to know what the information was because it directly effects her. She stated she has spoken in the past in regard to the use that the City demands of the property she owns. It has changed the proposed uses and the current zoned use which currently has a dual zoning and she still thought it was wrong. She asked what exactly does developable mean? She asked what the size of the units and how many could actually be built on the narrow strip under the RM-1, meeting all of the requirements without waivers or special conditions. She was interested in the density, the setbacks and what could be built there if it would be zoned PD-1. She stated the City spent a great deal of money to improve a road that seemed to be only improved for the people who do not reside on the road, at the cost of the people who own property on or adjacent to the road. She stated the City had the opportunity in the mid 1980's to have a low density development for senior housing and during planning concepts it was turned down because it did not go with adjacent developments. She did not think it was fair to the residents who have been in the area or who have been forced from the area, that now the City wants to lower the uses again.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to address the issue? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and before closing, she asked Mr. Rogers to review the existing zoning in the area and also the adjacent existing land uses and projected land use in the area.


Mr. Rogers stated in his report, he outlined the various projects that were apparent to him. The Bundoff property, Society Hill and Highland Company Development plan.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked what the underlying zoning of the property was?


Mr. Rogers answered, the underlying zoning today is RA except for the immediate corner which was zoned OS-1 and the immediate-immediate corner was zoned B-3. The cemetery is zoned R-4 and the south side of Twelve Mile is zoned RC. In regard to the existing land use, there are homes fronting onto Dixon Road, backing to PD-1. The Master Plan recommends a multiple family use with a PD-1 overlay. There is single family residential on both sides of Dixon Road, over to the park property which goes to the CSX Railroad.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked what the proposed density of the single family was?


Mr. Rogers believed it to be R-1, 1.65. To the north of the property is RA zoning and R-4 zoning around Shawood Lake, the density is 3.3 whereas, the property in the Master Plan is 1.65.


Chairperson Lorenzo reminded the Commission that the matter was a Master Plan for Land Use question, it was not a site plan question or a project question. The Master Plan for Land Use is under the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission and she turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Hoadley did not see a need for any more high density. He referred to Mr. Arroyo’s report which emphasizes potential use and additional trips generated. Member Hoadley was in favor of eliminating the PD-1 Option. He stated there was nothing that the PD-1 Option offered the petitioner, that would not be offered under RM. Member Hoadley thought the new RUD might work on the property and offer more options. He was in support the removal of the PD-1 Option on the land.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if everyone received a copy of the information she submitted in regard to the projected dwelling units for each scenario?


Member Hoadley stated he would not be opposed to postponing the issue, however, it seemed to him that it was time to do something with it.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the PD-1 was not an entitlement, it was an option, and it was the City of Novi’s option. She did not see any particular benefit or purpose that it serves. The only thing the PD-1 offers and permits is up to 21 to 22 dwelling units per acre and up to five stories. She stated it does not require anything in return for the density, all it does is eat up more land creating more pavement, it eats up more woodlands, it increases more traffic, it increases City services based on increase in density. Chairperson Lorenzo thought it did nothing positive for the City of Novi. She asked for someone to point out some positive benefits that it can service. In her opinion, it was a bad land use and it was a bad business decision for the City. She referred to Mr. Arroyo’s comparisons and stated in regard to 24 hour trips, 5,459 versus 1,850 with RM-1, 704 under R-1 and 361 under RA. She did not see how allowing the option to be in the location made any good business sense. Chairperson Lorenzo was very much in favor of its removal.


Member Weddington asked Ms. Lemke to address the issue of the core reserve and whether the PD-1 Option had any impact on it.


Ms. Lemke stated what was bad for both was the parking. She stated single family cluster would be great because there is less parking than a higher use that requires a bigger footprint.


Member Weddington asked if there were other alternatives on the books that would better preserve the natural resources in the habitat in the area?


Ms. Lemke answered, that was correct.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (8-1): To remove the PD-1 Option from Section 10 from the Master Plan.





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

No: Bononi


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission would take a brief recess.





Property located west of Beck Road, between Ten Mile Road and Nine Mile Road for possible Revised Tentative Preliminary Plat recommendation to City Council and Revised Woodland Permit approval.


Leroy Asher with George Norberg, spoke on behalf of Ken and Jenny Nanda. Mr. Asher reviewed the five issues that the Commission asked to be addressed at the meeting of January 22, 1997. 1) Site Drainage - Mr. Asher stated the calculation of the detention has been adjusted such that the current design will only produce 50% of the existing water. He has also adjusted the district to which way the flow will go, more of the property will drain toward Beck Road to alleviate the drainage problems to the west. 2) Secondary Access - A secondary access has been secured through Lot 3. The proposal is a temporary fix, until the property to the north is developed, a temporary access would be made out to Beck Road through Lot 3. At such time the property to the north develops, it would provide a secondary access and at that time the temporary access would be removed and Lot 3 would become developable. 3) Cul-de-sac Length - The layout of the property is such that it is impossible to do it on the property by itself. Mr. Asher stated the amount has been reduced from 2,200 feet to 1,370 feet. This has been done through the secondary access. Mr. Asher also pointed out that Sarnia Road is proposed to be connected to the development to the north, once this happens, he would be in compliance with the 800 foot requirement, once again it is a temporary situation. He stated in terms of the location of the road, the reason it is where it is at is because it appears to be a depression area on Mr. Lokey’s property to the north. He did not know if it was a regulated wetland but it made sense to locate the road to stay out of the area in anticipation of the future development of that property. 4) Woodlands Preservation Option - Mr. Asher stated he has looked into this Option and reported that the current plan had a 97% saving rate. Attached to his letter, he submitted a Woodland Preservation Option. He was able to pull it out of Lot 16 by using the smaller dimensions. The savings was only 0.26, the problem was that a small number of the trees would still be impacted in terms of the overall site. 5) Cooperation and potential development of the property with Mr. Lokey’s property to the north. At the time, the direction was to meet with Mr. Lokey and attempt to work out something that the two properties could be developed logically together since they sit between two other existing developments. Mr. Asher stated it has been done, he met with Mr. Lokey on two occasions, Mr. Nanda and Mr. Norberg have had numerous discussions with Mr. Lokey and his architect Mr. Hartman. There have been a number of contacts back and forth and Mr. Asher thought what has happened was that there may have been a mixed signal. He stated the problem was with an inability to reach an agreement. He stated he has tried as best he could. Mr. Asher stated he understood Mr. Lokey’s position to be that he would like Mr. Asher to move his road further to the northern property line and move Lots 28, 29 and 30 south of the road, thus eliminating Lot 1. He has asked that Mr. Asher pay for the re-engineering to do that, and also the full cost of the road. He has also asked that Mr. Asher pay for the additional 135 foot roadway that would need to be constructed and that potentially, a portion of Lot 28 be gifted to him to allow for a buildable lot. Mr. Lokey would essentially gain three lots and he has also asked for some design approvals over the boulevard and signage at the entranceway. Mr. Nanda essentially offered a compromise, he said he would be willing to relocate the road if Mr. Lokey would be willing to share in the cost of doing so. Mr. Nanda asked for a trade-off, being that Mr. Lokey was gaining three lots and he was loosing one lot, he asked for the potential to develop to lots within his subdivision as a trade off to what is being done to the development. He understood that Mr. Lokey was not in agreement with it. Since there is not an agreement, Mr. Asher asked the Commission to proceed to act on his plan. He stated he has attempted to look at Mr. Lokey’s property and address the access points. Mr. Asher expressed concern with the delay because during the course of the meetings with Mr. Lokey, there were discussions of the potential that he would sell the land for farming purposes, there was a potential that he would sell the land for a single estate lot. Mr. Asher again stated he was concerned with the timing, Mr. Nanda has purchased the property and expended a great deal of money to do so and the delay would be substantial to him. He believed the plan to provide him with the most options and the most flexibility toward the development of his property when he is ready to do so. It was not Mr. Asher’s intention to interfere with it or to be uncooperative, he clarified that he does want to move forward with his development. He respectfully requested a positive approval of the plat to the City Council.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant expressed concern regarding the length of the cul-de-sac. He stated even with the new secondary access, it would be 1,350 feet. The Street Naming Committee has approved the street names, Mr. Rogers stated he has also urged the property owner to the north and Mr. Nanda and Mr. Norberg to consider tying the two parcels together. If the roadway were moved to the north, it could create a series of double frontage lots, which he felt to be poor planning. It would also create a second curb cut in close proximity on Beck Road. Mr. Rogers did not recommend Tentative Preliminary Plat approval, owing mainly to the excessive length of the cul-de-sac and the property leading in from Beck Road.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Planner stated the petitioner does not meet the 800 foot standard cul-de-sac length and a waiver from City Council would be required. Regarding the stub streets, the Sabrina Drive stub street is off-set from the inverness stub street to the property north of Mr. Lokey’s. This has been done because of a potential wetland and Mr. Arroyo stated this was a piece of information that he had not heard before. The question in not 100 percent satisfied, he thought it was an issue that probably could not be addressed until plans for the property to the north and detailed information was provided. He indicated that it would be desirable for the boulevard entrance coming off of Beck Road and thought the description of plan to shift the road to the north would work very well. Because the cul-de-sac standard is not met, Mr. Arroyo could not recommend approval, if the City Council grants the cul-de-sac waiver, he would recommend approval, however, subject to further input on the issue in relationship to the project to the north.


David Bluhm of JCK stated the engineering is identical to what was submitted in January, he continued to recommend that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility. Regarding the drainage to the west, the indications from the preliminary hydrology say that there will be less water going into the wetland, therefore, Mr. Bluhm saw it as being a benefit and no detriment to the wetland area. He recognized that there was a problem out there and stated he would work with them, from an overall standpoint to improve the condition. There is a wetland in a flood plain at the edge of Somerset Park, there is no proposed filling of the wetland or the flood plain, so there will be no disbursement of any of the water along the west edge of Lots 15 through 17. The cul-de-sac excessive length issue still remains and he recommended approval that was still subject to the Council’s approval.



Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there were a number of items that still needed to be addressed with the final site plan submission. The lots that will require a "no backyard" classification should also include Lot 17 as well as 5 through 16. She recommended approval with five conditions, she stated she has not reviewed the Preservation Option which was included in the letter. Looking at it briefly, Ms. Lemke stated the only difference would be that Lots 16 and 17 would not require the "no backyard" classification.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester stated the key was that all of the trees shall be bonded for. It would be a substantial increase of the bond, over and above what the engineer has indicated. He felt it was a situation that needed further review and stated he would be doing it.


Susan Tepatti of JCK stated nothing has changed from the previous submittal regarding the wetland standpoint. She stated the application still requires a Wetland Permit for the single storm water outfall to the western outlet. There have been several meetings with the applicant since the last Commission meeting to discuss various alternatives, the result was that they left the wetlands in tact and have not changed the impacts. Therefore, Ms. Tepatti stated she would again be reviewing future construction drawings for the basin and future details on the engineering. She stated she would probably recommend approval at that time.


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 is not recommended for approval: 1) Even though the applicant has secured a temporary access through Lot 3, the dead end cul-de-sac is still over 1,400 feet long, which is well over the maximum 800 feet. 2) It must be noted on the plans that all roads are to be paved prior to construction above the foundation. Item #2 of the fire department notes is unacceptable.

Chairperson Lorenzo turned the Matter over to the Public and asked if anyone would like to address the Public Hearing?


George J. Hartman, 6905 Telegraph Road addressed Mr. Asher’s letter. He stated there were a number of inconsistencies in the letter he submitted, he stated Mr. Lokey and he had been brought into it rather hurriedly. He stated Mr. Nanda purchased the property sometime last summer and he believed he purchased it with the full intent of developing the property. Mr. Hartman stated he was not contacted until January 15, 1997 in regard to the roads. At that time he stated he was asked to grant an easement across Mr. Lokey’s property without any concern for how the development might take place. Mr. Hartman told Mr. Nanda and Mr. Norberg that at the time, he had no plans to move ahead with development of the property, but in an effort to work with Mr. Nanda, he would consider beginning the development process. He stated he has conducted a topographic and wetland survey and retained the services of a civil engineer to begin concept plans. This would give the information and facts necessary, to make an informed decision as to where an easement could be put or where roads could connect to the property. Mr. Hartman stated that Mr. Asher believes he has refused to work with Mr. Nanda. He stated he has had numerous meetings and phone calls with Mr. Nanda and during each one, it was stated that as soon as the facts and data are in hand, an informed decision could be made about where roads could connect to the property. In regard to the property being gifted to Mr. Hartman, he stated that he has never asked for anything from Mr. Nanda. There have been discussions about possible concepts and road layouts, he also stated it was not true that he gained 3 lots along the north side of Mr. Nanda’s property. In regard to moving the road, Mr. Hartman stated there may be some benefit to him as far as access to his site, but without having the data to look at, he could not make a decision as to what would best work for him. He stated he would like to have all of the information "in hand" before he commits to anything in regard to road locations. He asked to be allowed some time to gather up his concept plans, he hoped to have them completed during the first week of April. Mr. Hartman asked the Commission to delay any decision on the Matter until he was able to develop his concepts.


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court spoke in regard to the Preservation Option concept plan. He stated he was not sure if the calculations were done strictly by looking at the woodlands preservation because habitat areas and wetlands could also be counted. He thought it was an important consideration because there was a statement made that preservation is about equal between the two. The benefit of the Preservation Option over the conventional plat is that it brings the lots out of the woodland areas. Mr. Mutch stated the reason for the Preservation Option was not only to preserve the woodlands but for the habitat. To maintain the area as a habitat corridor was one of the importances of the Preservation Option that would not come from the regular option. Mr. Mutch stated the minimum lot size in the Preservation Option in an R-1 is approximately 18,000 square feet. He stated the benefit to the property owner and the developer was to go with slightly smaller lots but more preservation of woodlands. More importantly, preservation of the habitat areas and preservation of the wetland buffers should be looked at in the discussion. He thought the Preservation Option was viable and it was a doable project.


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







Member Markham stated after listening to everyone, it was her opinion that the project was not ready to go forward.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated under the Subdivision Ordinance, the Commission is required to make a recommendation to the Planning Commission within a particular period of time. He stated it had been tabled once, so this puts the Commission at the end of the time period of 45 days. Under the Ordinance, the Commission is called upon to make a recommendation to the City Council (he corrected himself as he also referred to the Planning Commission earlier in his response), either recommending a Tentative Approval, a Disapproval or an Approval with Conditions.


Member Weddington stated she would withdraw her motion.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Woodland Permit could be postponed if the Commission so chose to do so?


Mr. Watson answered, yes it could. He then stated he would have to check to make sure there was not a similar time line.


In regard to the proximity of the two drives that may result when the property to the north is developed, Member Weddington asked approximately how far apart would they be and what sorts of traffic issues will it raise?


Mr. Arroyo stated Lot 30 in the proposed subdivision appears to be about 137 feet wide, there are roughly 150 feet from the boulevard entrance to the north property line. Depending upon where the access point would be, they would be roughly 150 feet apart, which would be less than he would want to see for two public street accesses to a thoroughfare. He stated one of the reasons he liked the idea of the shared access was because the frontage that Mr. Lokey has on Beck Road could be used as a construction route on a temporary basis and the boulevard entrance could be maintained for the use of the residents.


Member Weddington did not see any reference to the Auburn Park entrance.


Mr. Arroyo stated it was shown on some of the iterations. He stated Tab 2 from Mr. Asher shows the location of Sunnybrook Lane on the east side of Beck Road.


Member Weddington asked if it would preferable to have the driveways aligned?


Mr. Arroyo stated in the best sense, it would be best to have them off-set, far enough apart where it is not a problem because they would not have to worry about opposing traffic when exiting the subdivision. There would only be six turning movements versus twelve.

Member Weddington asked if they were far enough apart?


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. The way it is proposed, there are several hundred feet and he considered it to be adequate.


In regard to the temporary emergency access, Member Weddington asked if it has to be paved?


Mr. Arroyo answered, no. It must be of all weather construction capable of supporting 25 tons.


Member Weddington asked if the existing house would have to be removed?


Mr. Arroyo did not believe it was a part of the proposal. The proposal was to run the access along the north side of the existing house, because eventually the thought was that the access road would come out once the stub was connected to the north.


In regard to Lot 6, Member Weddington was not sure that it was developable, giving the wetlands and woodlands that are on it. She asked if this was where the Woodland Permit would take out all of the trees and create an adequate building envelope?


Ms. Lemke stated it would be one of the "no backyard" classifications.


Member Weddington stated the drawing did not look like there was even room for a house. She stated it did not appear to be buildable.


Ms. Lemke stated it would probably walk out next to the wetland buffer.

Member Weddington shared Member Markham’s opinion that it was not ready to go forward. She stated she saw it coming when Beckenham plans came in, Mr. Rogers raised the issue about the need for a connector and everytime a plan is approved, that does not adequately address itself to its’ neighboring properties, more problems are created and it becomes a domino effect. She stated it would have been much better to have provided access through Beckenham and wondered if it was still a possibility. Member Weddington stated that public safety has to be the paramount concern. With the issues that have been raised in terms of the excessive length of the cul-de-sac, the proximity of the drives and access to Beck Road, Member Weddington could not support the plan as presented. She stated it does not meet the Ordinance requirements.


In regard to the 45 day period, Mr. Watson received some additional information from Mr. Cohen that there was a resubmittal of the project, so the date that would be counted from is a different date. The 45 days would actually run out on April 24, 1997. Mr. Watson stated there was a meeting on the 2nd and the 16th where the Commission might still act on the issue and provide a recommendation.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (7-2): To postpone Cheltenham Estates Subdivision until April 16, 1997 to allow both parties to re-negotiate an agreement.


Mr. Watson clarified that it would not be a postponement for 45 days, it would be until either the meeting of April 2, 1997 or April 16, 1997.


Member Weddington corrected the motion to postpone until April 16, 1997.


Mr. Cohen saw two problems with it. He stated the packet day for the April 2nd Agenda is next Wednesday because of Good Friday so there was really not much time for the petitioner to get together and come to an agreement. Secondly, the April 16th meeting was being dedicated to the Harvest Land Project.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated there would just be one more additional project to the April 16th Agenda.





Member Capello asked Mr. Asher how it would effect his project?



Mr. Asher stated it would be another delay. He stated the only difference between the plan that was submitted in November and the re-submittal, was to change the secondary access, which the Commission asked him to do. He stated it truely was not a re-submittal, it was the same plan with a revision.


Mr. Watson did not agree with Mr. Asher, he stated it was a re-submittal and that was the reason a second Public Hearing was conducted.


Member Capello asked who the client purchased the property from?


Mr. Asher answered, Kim Baker.


Member Capello stated the reason he asked was because prior to being on the Planning Commission, he represented a client who was looking to purchase the property and he thought it was Mr. Lokey’s brother that owned the southerly parcel. The reason that deal fell through was because Mr. Lokey to the north, would not cooperate in any development or assist his brother in selling the property to the south. He stated it was in excess of five or six years ago. Member Capello stated he could sympathize with the applicant in trying to cut a deal with Mr. Lokey because he did it on behalf of a client and got nowhere. He did not think Mr. Lokey was being squeezed in, he believed him to be there by his own preference. Member Capello did not feel that Mr. Nanda should have to go back and try to deal with Mr. Lokey any further just because the Commission wants to see what can happen with the project. In regard to the secondary access, Member Capello thought the petitioner has done a lot to build a road. He felt the reason this was being done was because by some technical error, the City missed linking Beckenham into the subdivision where there should have been a secondary access road through the other subdivision. The petitioner is constructing Cheltenham Drive which is giving Mr. Lokey access to his property without any cost to him. Member Capello did not see a problem with having a lot north of the subdivision accessing onto Beck Road with two lots. The only potential problem would be the length of the cul-de-sac, he stated if City Council were to deny it, Mr. Hoadley suggested that the Commission could ask the petitioner to phase the project and in the first phase, they could build it to the legal length and then continue it when there is access to the north. He did not think it was fair to make the petitioner come back again when they have done everything that was required under the Ordinance. Member Capello stated he would be voting against the motion to postpone.

Mr. Asher thanked Member Capello and stated if he had 30 or 45 days, he believed that they would not be any further ahead then he is today.


In regard to the access road to the south, Member Capello stated the proposal seems like the road would go directly through the wetland area and the wetlands are not being filled. He asked Ms. Tepatti if this was the case?


Ms. Tepatti answered it was correct. She stated there were several meetings in the field and in the office discussing it and they were urged to preserve the wetland.


Member Capello asked if it was an alternative?


Ms. Tepatti answered, no, not the way it was shown.


Member Vrettas appreciated the comments of Member Capello. Member Vrettas stated if the petitioner was not working in good faith with their neighbors it would come back to haunt them. On the other hand, Member Vrettas understood that the applicant wanted to get started on his project. He explained that the Commission wants the two parties to sit down and do something in the best interest of the community.


Member Hoadley stated he has been out to the project more than once. He was not in support of the project the way it was configured. He stated there were three options, 1) postpone for another month; 2) negative recommendation; or 3) strongly suggest that the petitioner withdraw his plan voluntarily and come back with a phasing plan that could be approved and meet the Ordinances. This would include to move Cheltenham Drive to the north and to cut the cul-de-sac length off at Lot 21. It would allow about 20 lots to be developed, there would not be a question in regard to the back half because it could be phased in later. Member Hoadley stated it would take a couple of years to develop and sell the lots and by that time the this would have given the opportunity to figure out where Sarnia Drive will be located. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Nanda what he desires to do?


Ken Nanda stated he purchased the property in June knowing that it had a lot of problems in regard to the Beckenham Subdivision where a stub street should have been left but was not. He stated he spoke to various engineers at the City before he purchased the property and it was his understanding that the City created the problem, therefore, the City would solve it. He stated he purchased it in good faith, spent several million dollars and he wants to develop it. He stated it would be financially stressful to him if it were to be tabled, he requested that the Commission approve the plan as it was submitted.



Member Hoadley stated he would be in support of the motion to postpone. He agreed that the plan was a poor one for the total acreage. He stated if it comes back as the same, he again would not support it.


Member Churella thought a negative recommendation should be sent to the Council and let them handle it.


Member Vrettas understood Member Churella’s point, he stated he was not ready to send a negative recommendation because he would like to believe the statement that the attorney made, that they just need some time to get their concept plans completed and then they would be willing to work with Mr. Nanda.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo if he had the opportunity to review the Preservation Option that was considered?


Mr. Arroyo stated he had seen a copy of it, he would not say that he reviewed it.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated her question was going to be, in terms of the Preservation Option, it seems to pull back the cul-de-sac to some degree. She stated it probably would not be in compliance, but she was wondering how many feet it might be.


Mr. Arroyo stated it was difficult to say and suggested asking Mr. Norberg from Seiber Keast since he prepared the plan.


Mr. Norberg answered, it was approximately 100 feet.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated for three reasons, it would shorten the cul-de-sac, it would reduce the impact to the woodlands and it would provide an additional lot. She suggested that the Preservation Option be seriously considered in this case.


Mr. Norberg stated he gave it a lot of consideration. He stated there was a Preservation Option with 32 lots but the best bonafide plan that was come up with was 31 lots. With 31 lots, Mr. Nanda felt that he would like to continue with large lots.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated knowing that the Preservation Option would cut 100 feet off of the cul-de-sac length, she would support the Preservation Option, she would not support the current proposal. Chairperson Lorenzo did not think that even a "no backyard" classification was a prudent alternative. Particularly she thought there needed to be some foresight and some additional sensitivity towards the woodlands. Chairperson Lorenzo further stated through speaking with Mr. Bluhm, it would also eliminate any question of any flood plain easements across Lots 15, 16 and 17, she asked Mr. Bluhm if this was correct?


Mr. Bluhm answered, yes.


In addition, Chairperson Lorenzo stated in the name of good planning and good faith negotiations, she urged both parties to negotiate in good faith, in the spirit of cooperation and come back with something that everyone could mutually accept. She stated as the project currently stands, it is not a good alternative for the City of Novi. She strongly urged both parties to negotiate in good faith and come back to the Commission.





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

No: Capello, Churella





Moved by Capello, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the Revised Woodland Permit until April 16, 1997.





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

No: None






Debbie Bundoff referred to the PD Option Public Hearing. She stated she would still like answers to a question as to how Mr. Rogers and under what requirements an RM-1 would be developed especially with the number of accesses needed. She also asked about the road R.O.W. widths minimum to meet the street requirement standards, the maximum road lengths of a cul-de-sac, the building setbacks of 2 ½ story buildings, the parking setbacks and orientations of the buildings and property lines, the building orientations in accordance to the adjacent lot lines and information about the properties being put under a RUD and its’ requirements.


Chairperson Lorenzo suggested that Mr. Rogers was available on Thursday’s.



Ms. Bundoff stated she was not available on Thursday’s because of her schooling and work hours.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated possibly Mr. Rogers could schedule an appointment with her.


Mr. Rogers stated he would get in touch with Ms. Bundoff.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one she closed Audience Participation.








The Committee has forwarded recommendations to the Planning Commission (February 26, 1997 Environmental Planning Committee meeting.)


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Committee recommended that the Planning Commission for the 1997-98 Work Program and from here on in, for all future study proposals, that there be contractual arrangements that would indicate the starting date, a mid-point progress point including a presentation, the amount of funds not to exceed the amount presented, coming back to the Planning Commission if there was a change in scope or a change order and a guaranteed completion date. She stated the Committee would like the Commission to support it.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: From here on in, for all study proposals presented to the Planning Commission will indicate a start date, a mid-point progress report including a presentation, the amount of funds not to exceed the amount presented, any change in scope or change order to come back to the Planning Commission for approval and a guaranteed completion date.





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Committee appreciates the support of the Commission.


Member Hoadley asked about the amount, he stated it was $3,000.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that is the second part, she allowed Mr. Bluhm, Ms. Tepatti and Ms. Lemke to explain what has transpired thus far.


David Bluhm of JCK stated when the work item for the Woodlands and Wetlands update maps were provided last year, they were provided with two phases each, one data collection and the second to provide the maps in an Auto CAD format. He stated approximately 4 to 5 months ago he began exploring the issues and options of going to implementing it on the City’s GIS system as it is much more user friendly for the citizens of Novi. There was some discussion with Margaret Jolin, she indicated that the cost has been included to provide the maps on GIS which makes the dollars that were proposed to put it into Auto CAD, available for both the woodlands and the wetlands map which accounted for about $3,000 each. The issue that Ms. Jolin has, is that she has several work items that need to be completed prior to the maps being completed, she cannot assure a completion date of the end of the fiscal year. She has however indicated that she may be able to complete it in an August 1, 1997 time frame which was what the Environmental Committee would have liked to have seen, however she was hesitant to provide it in writing due to the fact that she cannot confirm with total conviction, a completion date.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the $3,000 dollars that was going to be used to place it on Auto CAD, was going to be used by both Mr. Bluhm and Ms. Lemke to do additional field surveys?


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated the first discussions with Ms. Jolin were in September of 1996 and she agreed to put both the woodlands and wetlands maps on GIS at that time as well as the Wildlife Habitat map. About that time it was realized that the digitizing of the 2020 Study was not included in the budget. Ms. Lemke stated she wrote memos to Mr. Wahl asking that the $3,000 from the woodlands map be used by JCK to digitize the 2020 Build Out Study. Since then, Ms. Lemke added another proposal for the $3,000 to do more detailed studies of the woodlands mapping. She stated it was found, by looking at the budget for this year, that it took 2 ½ weeks of time in the field does not allow for a very detailed survey of what is out there.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked in terms of the 2020, did Ms. Lemke re-evaluated her request and came back with an additional request for monies from this years budget?


Ms. Lemke stated she asked for the $3,000 for the 2020 and was told there would not be a problem with it.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated but Ms. Lemke has not moved forward with it using the $3,000.


Ms. Lemke stated it would not have been used until the end of the study. She stated it was her impression that there would not be a problem with using the money and it was a settled thing. She state the reason for the proposal for the $3,000 was because it was her understanding that the Environmental Committee wanted a more environmental use for the $3,000.


Member Churella asked Ms. Lemke if it was the big map that she showed him.


Ms. Lemke answered, yes. It is taking the map and the design studies that will be finished by June 1, 1997.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked when Ms. Lemke originally came to the Commission with the proposal for 2020, she did not plan of the digitizing of that information?


Ms. Lemke stated she and Mr. Bluhm discussed which way would be better to computerize design information. It was decided that it would be better to go with the CAD system because GIS would not be ready and they would not be able to digitize it in. She thought this was why it was left out.


Member Churella asked if the money was needed in order to continue the project so it could be finished next year?


Ms. Lemke stated if the Planning Commission wants to have the Design Studies for the 2020, put onto a computer system, then the $3,000 would need to be used for it or it could be figured out how to get it into the GIS or even the alternative of not digitizing the Design Studies in.



Chairperson Lorenzo stated the other alternative is for a budget amendment to the 2020 proposal for the second part.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED (6-3): To utilize the additional $3,000 for the woodland map that was proposed to be used for the Auto CAD, to go toward the 2020 Auto CAD image.





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

No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the other issue is the additional $3,000 for the Wetlands mapping for Auto CAD, she stated Ms. Tepatti has provided a proposal and asked if she had any additional comments?


Susan Tepatti of JCK stated during the discussions with the Environmental Committee, she had expressed the desire to utilize the $3,000 for additional inspections and preferences were raised and discussed to evaluate wetlands in undeveloped areas to better assess potential impacts on those areas.


Member Csordas asked for a clarification as to what was being talked about.


Chairperson Lorenzo made that clarification.




Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To re-allocate the $3,000 for the Wetlands mapping to Auto CAD to additional field surveys of wetlands as proposed by Ms. Tepatti.





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

No: None




Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any volunteers?


Member Csordas volunteered for the alternate to the Town Center Steering Committee.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any other members who would like to be an alternate to the Town Center Steering Committee? Seeing none she congratulated Member Csordas.


Member Hoadley asked if there were any conflicts with the meetings of the Rules Committee?


Steve Cohen, Staff Planner stated the Rules Committee would probably meet bi-annually and more if needed. He did not see a conflict.


Member Hoadley volunteered to be a member of the Rules Committee.


Chairperson Lorenzo thanked and congratulated Member Hoadley.








Moved by Churella, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Special Planning Commission meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in order for Mr. Rogers to present the Architectural Design Seminar.





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

No: None





Member Hoadley stated the reason he was bringing it up was because it was postponed for six months and there was not a full Commission at the last meeting. He stated it was recommended by the Planning Commission to rezone it and it was agreed to and rezoned by the City Council. Member Hoadley saw no reason not to get the Master Plan in conformity to the new zoning.





Moved by Hoadley


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney did not have the minutes of that particular meeting with him, he asked if was specifically postponed for six months, or postponed without date, to be brought back?


Chairperson Lorenzo thought it was for six months.


Member Hoadley stated it was up to six months.


Mr. Watson stated the issue was whether the prior motion called upon the Planning Commission to bring it back...


Member Hoadley stated he had made the motion and it was a postponement for up to six months.


Mr. Watson stated he did not know that without seeing the minutes and suggested moving the item to the next meeting and check it out and then put it back on the Agenda.


Member Hoadley stated the reason he wanted to bring the issue up at this meeting was because there was a full Commission and there may be six supportive votes for it.


Mr. Watson did not know if it would be appropriate without having the information.


Member Hoadley stated being that he made the motion initially, it was the intent of his motion, to postpone it up to six months.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated her interpretation of the motion was for six months, period. As the Chair, she stated she did not appreciate the request of Member Hoadley. She personally felt that it undermined the decision of the majority of the Commission, there may not have been a full Commission at the last meeting, however, there was a majority and would have been able to act. She stated she would not be supporting any reconsideration.


Member Hoadley stated he took some exception to her comments. He stated it was postponed because there were four positive votes and three negative votes at the time.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that he may have postponed it for that reason, she supported it because it was postponed for six months. She was not even sure that she supported the motion.


Member Hoadley stated it was an irrelevant point, he stated there is currently a rezoned piece of property and it makes sense that the Master Plan be in conformity.


Member Vrettas asked Mr. Watson what could be done and when?


Mr. Watson stated he did not want to guess what the motion was.


Member Hoadley withdrew his motion.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if he would be reporting back to the Commission on the issue?


Mr. Watson answered, yes.







Roy Prentice the Tollgate Farm Manager of the Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center located in Novi anticipated improving the pond on his property. The purpose of the improvement of the pond was multi-fold. He stated the pond was originally dredged in the 1950's, it has gotten to a state where it is filled in with run off from the fields and from areas that used to be cattle feed lots, it is currently about 4 to 5 feet deep. In order to be able to manage the pond effectively, he proposed to dredge the pond to 12 feet deep. Mr. Prentice stated although Michigan State University does not fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Novi, he wanted to fill the Commission in on what his plans were for the property.


Mr. Prentice stated a primary goal was also to improve the area around the pond to improve the aesthetics of it, increase the educational opportunities around the pond, a walking trail is going to be put in, around the pond, a constructed wetland will be built that will take water from the fields and conducted through a series of smaller ponds. Mr. Prentice stated it was being set up as kind of an ideal water ecosystem. Developers can be brought to the site and shown how to set up an ideal system and members of the public can be educated. He saw a lot of potential for the site as an educational site. He stated he has had a private consultant work with him, members of the MSU Sufficient Wildlife Department, Water Resources Department, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and many different people who have had some input on the project. Ms. Tepatti has been out to the project and she has made some suggestions as to how it can be improved.


Mr. Prentice again stated the primary aspects that will be pursued in the near future. The dredging of the pond, creating of the constructive wetlands and construction of some berms along the back. The berms would be very low, about two feet high, to catch the water as it comes off of the hill, before it can enter the pond bringing additional sediments into it. He stated the water off of the hill will be caught behind it and create some additional wetland area. He stated the trail around will be a small low berm and the water level will rise about one foot to isolate the pond from any sediments that are brought in through the drain that runs through the corner of the property. This is so that after all of the efforts are made to clean the pond, he will not have to worry about sediments entering the pond through that area.


In the future, Mr. Prentice hoped to install other aspects. He hoped to put in an arboretum in the open field and Oakland County Extension is working with members of the Southeast Green Industry Landscapers to try and get the project going.


Member Vrettas asked if there was a drain that goes out of the pond?


Mr. Prentice answered there was a current drain that runs out and enters a drain that goes underneath Meadowbrook Road and down, eventually underneath Twelve Mile Road. He stated when the berm is built around the property, one drain will be blocked and another one will be created that will flow through a culvert underneath the berm and enter the drain, it will exit the same way the existing one does.


Member Csordas asked if it was accessible to the public?


Mr. Prentice answered, yes. He stated the property is open from 8:00 a.m. until dusk, Monday through Saturday. There are gardens all around the property and the property is accessible to the public. He stated signage is anticipated to indicate the kinds of things that are going along.


Member Hoadley stated he was very impressed with the presentation and he was even more impressed with the visuals. He thought it was a great benefit to the citizens of Novi and its’ developers and he commended Mr. Prentice for it.


Chairperson Lorenzo thanked Mr. Prentice for his presentation.










Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:05 p.m.





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

No: None





Steven Cohen - Staff Planner



Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

March 26, 1997


Date Approved: May 07, 1997