WEDNESDAY, APRIL 02, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:33 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Csordas, Hoadley, Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington


ABSENT: Members Capello, Churella


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








Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any changes or additions to the Agenda? Member Hoadley would like to add the discussion of a Wireless Master Plan under Matters for Discussion.





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





Yes: Bononi, 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 Bononi would like to remove Item 3, Capital Improvement Program and Item 4, Total Petroleum Station, SP95-27F.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the two remaining Items under the Consent Agenda was the approval of the February 12, 1997 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes and the March 5, 1997 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes. She asked if there were any corrections to either set of minutes?


Chairperson Lorenzo referred to the minutes of February 12, 1997, page 8, fifth paragraph, last sentence, should read, "...through the money available."


Member Bononi referred to the minutes of March 5, 1997, page 9, paragraph 4, second sentence should read, "She stated that Main Street..."





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the February 12, 1997 and March 5, 1997 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.





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

No: None





Possible adoption and recommendation to City Council.


Member Bononi stated she was very interested to read the document although she did not understand who the author was. She was impressed with the amount of work that was contained therein and especially the fact that Member Vrettas and Member Csordas serve on the Committee. In reading the document, she was specifically interested in the capital improvement idea from the standpoint of the charge to the Planning Commission. Her concerns were how to make limited capital resources work efficiently to insure that the most needed projects are planned. How the projects further the goals of the Master Plan was her main concern. She thought when it was read in the Enabling Legislation how it is a tool for the Commission to get where it wants to go in the Master Planning process, that it is one that is very important to the Commission. How the projects will further the goals of the Master Plan should be contained in the document. Another item she expressed interest in was how the projects furthered economic development of the City. Member Bononi was interested in knowing the priority as far as the need of the community for the particular projects. Member Bononi was interested in knowing how the members came to their decisions.


Member Csordas stated that the Department heads were all notified that the process was going to be implemented and they were requested to submit their requests and list their priority levels for each project submitted. They were also asked to provide justification for each project. By the time the Committee began to meet, most of the Departments had responded.


Member Csordas stated he took each project and read each Department’s purpose, justification, etc. A number of them came through with no justification, and then he went through the remainder by justification. Each of the Departments supplied a level of critical response (ie. 1 through 5) and Member Csordas reviewed them with common sense.


Member Vrettas announced that Larry Frey should be commended for an excellent job in preparing the report, he stated it was truly professionally done.


Member Bononi thanked Member Csordas because she thought all of the work that is done is worthy of much more than a footnote and she was very interested to hear about it.


Member Markham agreed that it looked like a lot of time was put into the report. She did not understand how the priority rankings were done. She stated in several cases where a department had ranked an item lower than another item, it was actually moved ahead of it as a priority, she referred to a couple of cases and asked why the priorities were changed after the department’s themselves felt they were important? She also asked if it was discussed with the departments as to why it was done this way?


Member Vrettas stated he looked at them from the standpoint of which would impact the general public the greatest? He stated he did not speak to the departments, the criteria that was set-up was if the department presented their cases, the Committee members should be able to incorporate it into the material. Member Vrettas stated he felt very comfortable with the top 15 to 20.

Member Csordas stated he also did not contact any of the Department heads, he did not assume any expertise, only logic.


Member Markham disagreed with Member Vrettas because she thought the Department heads do take their charge of serving the pubic seriously. She stated she spends a lot of time discussing Parks and Recreation issues in the community from a variety of aspects. She stated that the priority that was ended up with was not what the department wanted and some of the issues were put at the bottom of the list that were absolutely essential. Her point was that if a priority was to be changed, she thought it should have been owed to the department head to talk about it before the change occurred.


Member Vrettas stated the message they were trying to send was to take the process seriously, and give reasons for the issues. He stated in the case of Parks and Recreation, the reasons they provided for every item was "Quality of Life". He stated this required him to do a lot of research which should have been done by the department.


Member Markham stated if Member Vrettas felt that he did not have enough information, she did not feel that he had any business changing priorities. She reiterated her main point, if someone’s priority is going to be changed, she thought it was owed to them to ask them or discuss it with them before hand.


Chairperson Lorenzo suggested in the future, if the Committee needs more specific information, through Mr. Frey, they could go to the Department heads and precisely tell them that more specific reasons are needed and allow them the opportunity to come back with the information.


Chairperson Lorenzo commended the Committee members for their efforts and also Mr. Frey for his efforts including the report.


Member Hoadley stated the members did a good job and he expressed his appreciation for their thinking process. He stated the problem, as it is with other items that the Commission has to make recommendations on, is the matter of not having adequate time. He stated the process needs to be started early enough so the Committee can function and have the time to do the proper investigation. He thought the Committee did the best that they could with the short time they had and commended them. Member Hoadley asked the members if it was fair to assume that if it was not on the Department’s list, that they did not prioritize anything on their own?


Member Csordas noticed that there were some projects placed at the bottom of the list that he never saw.

Member Hoadley stated there was nothing presented by the DPW in regard to the widening of Fourteen Mile Road which will have to be done, the widening of Thirteen Mile Road which is already funded, the Beck Road improvements that are Master Planned but not mentioned, Ten Mile Road improvements and a small area between Beck Road and the interchange that needs to be addressed with passing lanes. He stated in other words, it is deficient in a lot of areas and he understood why the members did not have any prioritized because it was not brought to their attention. He stated it all goes back to having enough time. Member Hoadley asked if it had to be approved during this meeting?


Larry Frey, Planning Aide stated it was important that the report be approved because it is a planning tool and should be included with the budgetary process. He explained that this was one of the reasons it was hurried along.


Mr. Frey explained that department priorities were not changed, they remain the same and it is the function of the CIP Committee to prioritize the projects based on the information that was given to the Committee. He stated there were about 60+ projects included in the overall program and not all of them reached the Committee in time to be prioritized and scrutinized, this is the reason for only 25 that the Committee actually prioritized. He explained that the members did not change the importance of the project according to the departments, however, based on the information they received, the projects were prioritized in that manner.


Mr. Frey further explained that the particular projects did not loose funding because of the way they were prioritized, it is still the responsibility of each department to seek out funding since the City of Novi does not have CIP fund to work with at this time. Mr. Frey recommended that the process be implemented in November versus January to get a head start on the process.


Member Vrettas stated part of the process is an evolutionary process. He explained that it was the hope of the Committee that it would become more and more meaningful and what it is intended to be.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the projects only come through the Department heads or do the members of the Committee as well as the Planning Commission have an opportunity to suggest certain CIP areas?


Mr. Frey stated the City Manager initiates the process each year by sending a memorandum to each Department head, requesting capital project requests. Each Department, in turn, sends their requests for capital improvements to the Planning Department and he forwards them to the Committee for prioritizing.

Chairperson Lorenzo stated it did not seem like the Planning Commission or the Committee is solicited in terms of what they personally or collectively believe to be important CIP items even though it is a Planning Commission function.


Mr. Frey stated the Committee was chosen to represent the Planning Commission.


Chairperson Lorenzo suggested in the future that the Committee solicit the Commission at some point, before they receive the document, in terms of what they feel the priority should be in terms of CIP items. For instance, under the DPS Department, under storm water drainage system, there was none reviewed by the CIP Committee. Back in February, she had a conversation with Bruce Jerome who indicated that the DPS Department only had one piece of storm water drainage equipment to maintain the system. Due to a lack of equipment and personnel, there appears to be a back log of incomplete work for drain maintenance for years 96 and 97. Having that knowledge, Chairperson Lorenzo thought another piece of storm water drainage maintenance equipment seemed to be necessary. Since the Planning Commission was not solicited, she had no way of incorporating that suggestion to the Committee. She again suggested that the Commission be solicited independently or through the Committee in terms of possible suggestions for prioritizing the items.


Mr. Frey stated this was something that could be done at the beginning of the process next year if it is the consensus of the Commission.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: For the process to include the Planning Commission and solicit the Planning Commission in determining suggestions for priorities.





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the Commission was prepared to adopt and make a recommendation to City Council?




Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED (6-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the Capital Improvement Program for this year forward.







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

No: Markham





Property located at the southwest corner of Ten Mile Road and Novi Road for possible Site Plan approval.


In regard to the landscaping behind the building and to the property to the south, Member Bononi stated there is nothing proposed on the berm and expressed concern about what the back side of the building presented to neighboring properties. She stated she would like to see some landscaping on the berms and asked if there was a way to accommodate it?


Amy Nowlan of Tech Express answered certainly. She explained there was no landscaping put there because she had worked with Linda Lemke’s office and none was ever requested there. It was her impression that the berming would be adequate screening. She stated she would be willing to put in bushes or whatever the Planning Commission would like.


Member Bononi stated whatever would be acceptable to Ms. Lemke.


Chairperson Lorenzo directed Ms. Lemke to review the plan further.


Member Bononi pointed out specifically the area she was speaking about. It was southerly and southwesterly, the plans indicate a sodded berm only. She stated the neighboring property to the south, which is the Michigan National Bank. She realized that there were utilities present but there was also a transfer pad that was being shown on the southerly side, she believed that the persons viewing that building would have a rather stark, unpleasant view.


Mr. Rogers stated he made certain that there would be adequate green space setback. The site is less than ½ an acre. He asked Member Bononi to give the Administrative review to Ms. Lemke, she will see that she receives it.


Member Bononi stated if the Commission was willing to do that, it was fine with her.


Member Bononi asked a question that was brought up by a past Commissioner, of how the improvements would be coordinated, considering that there were improvements to be done simultaneously on the northeasterly side of Novi at Ten Mile Road? She wondered what the timing was and how would it be coordinated?


Ms. Nowlan believed Speedway has begun construction on their site. She believed them to be on a 60 day construction schedule. Assuming that she receives Final Site Plan approval, she would pursue the building permit which would be about a 6 to 8 week process before she actually received the permit. This would coordinate with Speedway’s construction schedule.


Member Bononi asked if she understood the applicant to say that it was absolutely possibly to have the two projects going on at the same time?


Ms. Nowlan answered yes, it was possible.


It was J. Kaatz’s understanding, also of Tech Express, that the concern was with construction vehicles backing up on to Ten Mile Road and Novi Road. He stated by the time he is to the point of breaking ground and bringing large equipment onto the site, Speedway will already have their tanks in place, their underground storm water in place and the vehicles that will be utilizing their site will be able to pull off the road and park onto their site. He stated there would be minimal amounts of congestion, only for the amount of time for a vehicle to pull off the road onto the Speedway site or the Total site.


Member Bononi commented that she was impressed with the plans from the standpoint of the erosion and sedimentation control plan. She stated if the mechanisms utilizing Best Management Practices are not only placed, but replaced when they are needed, she had a strong feeling that there would not be mud on Novi Road or Ten Mile Road.








Moved by Bononi, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve final site plan for Total Petroleum Station, SP95-27F subject to additional landscaping to the berm on the Michigan National side with Administrative approval by Ms. Linda Lemke.


In addition, Member Hoadley stated that a former member of the Planning Commission suggested some striping, he asked if the striping shown on the plan was the striping that was referred to and was it properly placed?


Ms. Nowlan stated it was her understanding that the striping was to be placed in the front of the building to eliminate parking congestion in that location.


Member Vrettas commended the applicant for voluntarily taking down the large sign and erecting a smaller one.


Chairperson Lorenzo also commended the applicant and stated she truly appreciated the coordination of the construction because it is very important.





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

No: None







Property located south of Ten Mile Road, east of Novi Road for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Dan Davis, Novi Building Authority stated the project would benefit the City of Novi and its’ residents, it has been in progress for almost five years.


Mr. Davis over viewed the site facility. The facility is a two ice surface facility, approximately 77,000 square foot building. The location is on the southeast corner of Novi Road and Ten Mile Road, next to the River Oaks Apartment complex where Erwin Farms used to be. The site will be serviced by a new public roadway that will be brought in off of Novi Road. At the end of the cul-de-sac, the entry point coming into the parking lot will feature 258 parking spaces, a service road that will surround the building for loading, egress and fire protection. The site takes care of its’ storm water detention on site, there is minimal wetlands or woodlands on the site, therefore, Mr. Davis felt he has been able to provide conformance with all of the Ordinances. There will be full landscaping throughout. He showed the layout of the facility, it will be two levels, with the main entry on the upper mezzanine level. As you enter, there will be the reception area, main areas for concession stand operations, office space, pro-shop area and there will be stairs to enter down into the spectator areas of the arenas.


Mr. Davis referred to the two arenas, one will have a larger spectator seating area of approximately 500 seats. The smaller seating capacity arena will have a spectator seating area of approximately 225 seats. It is fully accessible for physically challenged individuals, the lower level has locker rooms. The locker rooms do not actually have lockers in them because there is not a requirement for them, it is a unisex changing room with bench space. There is a figure skating locker room area for participants, they will have lockers in them as that type of use requires the storage of equipment that is conducive for the figure skating program. There is a team room area that will have lockers, changing areas and will provide changing space for the skating officials. On the lower level there is a break out area with a small concession facility and bench space. In the back of the facility is the ice resurfacing storage area and maintenance equipment area. One resurfacer will service both arenas and there is space adequate for people to walk through both sides on the lower level or on the upper level to access both arenas.


Terry Seyler believed the Novi Ice Skating Rink was outstanding. Functionally, he thought it would become the standard by which other youth hockey skating rinks would be judged by. He also believed it would be attractive to figure skating instructors. He believed if fit into the neighborhood. The entrance faces the apartments and it is buried by approximately 12 feet, this makes the mass of the building fit the neighborhood because the average height on all sides of the building is less than 25 feet. The predominant color is a soft green. The remainder of the material is a light brown textured block, it appears to be in squares because it is scored. He believed the color combination was fitting to the area and believed it was well placed on the site as it tends to obstruct the view to the two warehouse buildings. The building is not on a heavily treed lot, therefore, smaller trees will be planted and will grow bigger in time. Emphasis has been placed on the entrance by bringing it higher and out, this helps to make the entrance as the main focus of the building.



Mr. Davis indicated that review letters from all of the consultants and architects were included in the packet materials, and they indicate a positive recommendation for Preliminary Site Plan. He stated hard work has been done to provide a package that meets all of the Ordinances, for Preliminary Site Plan Review. Mr. Davis pointed out the issue of the requirement for a secondary access. He stated he was currently in active negotiations with the property owner to provide the secondary access. He explained he was at the Construction Board of Appeals and worked out the variance that was required for the length of the cul-de-sac. However, they do have the same requirements and stipulations that Mr. Rogers had made in his recommendation letter that secondary access must be provided. Mr. Davis stated he was committed to do it. Along the service road, a secondary access point will be accommodated for emergency vehicles only. If all negotiations move accordingly, Mr. Davis expected to have it resolved within a couple of weeks.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the building complies with I-1 District setback standards, building height, 25 foot cap, green space around the site, a sidewalk leading from the facility, out to Novi Road will be provided within the new R.O.W. of the new city street being built. Based upon the capacity analysis, adequate off-street parking has been met, off-street loading is located in the rear yard. There are a few items in regard to landscaping that need to be addressed at the time of Final Landscape Plan, the Conceptual Landscape Plan met the terms of the standards. The building facade plan meets the district standards. In regard to the secondary access, there were a number of options. One of the options was a temporary, interim or secondary access through River Oaks West, out to Novi Road. The option being pursued, is access to Heslip Drive to the south Drive. Mr. Rogers stated this was absolutely essential and believed the Fire Department also called it out. The site abuts a public R.O.W. of which the issue is satisfied. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan Approval subject to the landscape plan concerns being addressed and the provision of the secondary access.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the site is proposed to be accessed by a new city roadway that will have access directly out to Novi Road and then bend to the south. The access to the site is at the terminus of the cul-de-sac bulb where there will be a one way in/one way out driveway. The City is in the process of going before the Road Commission for approval of the entryway to Novi Road for the new City road, it is planned to be a signalized intersection. There will be a separate left turn lane, and a separate right turn deceleration lane on Novi Road to serve it, there will also be considerable stacking lanes outbound from the roadway onto Novi Road, to account for outbound left and right turns. The work is under weigh and is currently being reviewed.



Based on counts at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena, it is forecast that the project would generate about 20 trips during the morning peak hour, about 280 trips during the afternoon peak hour. Mr. Arroyo stated the project is a part of a larger development that will access the new City road. The development will include the Sports Club of Novi to the north and two other sites, one of which is zoned Industrial and one is zoned Office. He provided a forecast of trip generation for all of the developments as part of the analysis to determine the impact that the entire development would have on the City roadway and Novi Road. Mr. Arroyo also performed an analysis of off-site intersections at Ten Mile Road/ Novi Road and Nine Mile Road/Novi Road. He stated there would be some improvements in levels of service, due to road improvement projects that are funded. Forecasts and levels of service showing the impact on some of the improvements that will be made due to the roadway improvements have been provided. Mr. Arroyo stated the site plan was acceptable and recommended approval.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant water mains will be provided by the City of Novi through the site around the eastern edge of the site, extending to the north edge of the site, they will then be extended along the east side of the new roadway, with a connection near the River Oaks system. A second connection into River Oaks is also provided, so there will be three points of connection for the water system. Sanitary sewers will be provided off of the existing sanitary sewer on the south edge of the site. It will extend along the west edge of the front of the building, through the parking area and along the east side of the proposed road. The property falls from the west to the east, the applicant is proposing storm sewers in the parking lots which will be directed around the south side of the building to the east side of the site and temporarily detained in a detention basin. The basin will be provided with permanent water quality devices built into it. The outlet is to the Chapman Creek to the north of the site. There is a flood plain along the northern edge which is off the site, it does not appear to pose a problem at this time. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval of the project.


Mr. Bluhm reported that Sue Tepatti has reviewed the project and indicated there is no wetlands impacts, therefore, there are no permits required from a wetlands point of view.

Chairperson Lorenzo 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 with the following. The letter from Terry S. Seyler of ArchEnomics Associates, Inc., dated March 20, 1997 addresses all outstanding fire department concerns. These issues shall be resolved prior to final approval.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has also received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which indicates that the application is in compliance with the Facade Ordinance and a Section IV waiver is not required.


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





Member Vrettas stated one of the concerns was the fact that the funding of public institutions was very tight. He commended the applicant for not bringing in a plan with a flat roof, the roof shown on the plan will last for a long time and the project’s cost will be minimized because of it.


Mr. Seyler stated the materials were selected because they have long life at a low cost. He stated the roof is standing seam roof which is the best he could buy.


Member Vrettas commended Mr. Davis on the project, he stated he was very excited for the City and the Parks & Recreation Department.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Preliminary Site Plan for Novi Ice Skating Rink, SP97-07B subject to all of the consultants recommendations.


Member Weddington asked what the maximum building height was?


Mr. Rogers estimated 30 feet maximum and explained that it was measured to the mid point of the gable roof.


Member Weddington asked if it was within the Ordinance standards?


Mr. Rogers answered, yes.


Member Weddington thought it was a nice looking building and was glad to see a natural gas powered zamboni being used.


Member Hoadley expressed concern with the adjacency of the project to the residential. He asked if it directly abutted residential?



Mr. Rogers answered, yes, it was abutting and there was greenspace available to put in the required berming.


Member Hoadley was concerned that there would be a lot of children using the facility and it would be a collector place for kid. He thought some thought should be given to the people living in the apartments. He asked what consideration was given to a non-climbable fence in addition to the berming, that would restrict the easy flow of children running into the residential areas?


Mr. Davis pointed out that the project abuts the River Oaks Apartment Complex along the western side of the property. He stated he has the appropriate setbacks with the appropriate landscaping, he has worked extensively with Mr. Sasoon and his partners in the project. Mr. Davis stated he was looking to enlarge some of the berming on Mr. Sasoon’s area to conform. Mr. Davis spoke to Mr. Sasoon about the possibility of erecting a fence, when additional landscaping along the property line is completed. The entire site will be serviced by a sidewalk. The sidewalk will be built as a part of the public roadway construction and will be on the east side of the road, running in a north/south basis and on the north side of the road, running in an east/west configuration. This will keep the pedestrian traffic on the opposite sides of the road, away from residential.


Member Hoadley again expressed concern with the potential of loitering traffic. Secondly, he asked for clarification between textured block and split faced block, and which one was actually being used as they were both referred to by the architect and the applicant.


Mr. Rogers explained that textured block, split faced block and ribbed block were types that were eligible in the existing Facade Ordinance.


Mr. Davis answered, split faced block would be used.


Member Hoadley suggested with the Sports Club being developed, it would be ideal to campus the two projects. He stated it could be a savings to both parties if they could campus shared parking, shared sidewalks interlocking the two projects, joint treatment to sediment basins, and landscaping could be integrated with one another. He asked Mr. Davis to comment on this.


Mr. Davis stated over one year ago, when he looked at a facility location that could potentially house the Ice Arena, he was also looking at a location that could potentially house the Sports Club. He stated the Ice Arena was on a quicker time schedule than the Sports Club. Unfortunately, Mr. Davis was unable to be in harmony, however, the opportunity has been left open to work cooperatively with Mr. Healy on a programming aspect. He looked forward to entertaining any joint site developments. In regard to shared parking, he thought it was appropriate and could be dealt with at such time necessary. Mr. Davis stated he had to move forward and provide on-site retention, in the future, it might be advantageous for Mr. Healy to look to expand the retention basin which would service both parcels. Mr. Davis stated he was looking to work cooperatively with the Mr. Healy, unfortunately the timeing was not in place so that they could move forward at the same time.


Member Hoadley asked if it was possible to leave the parking to a later date to work with Mr. Healy?


Mr. Seyler stated specific arrangements were made in the Ice Arena plan so it was possible to tie the parking together.


Member Hoadley offered a friendly amendment to the motion to include fencing along the area that abuts residential, for health and safety purposes.


Member Vrettas accepted the friendly amendment.


Member Hoadley also asked Member Vrettas if he would be willing to amend the motion to include subjecting it to the petitioner securing a secondary access.


Member Vrettas stated the secondary access was a part of Mr. Rogers letter. It was a part of the conditions already contained in the motion. He stated he would like to hear Mr. Davis’ comments in regard to the fencing before he answered yes or no.


Mr. Davis reiterated that he has had lengthy conversations with the property owner, Mr. Sasoon. He stated he was meeting with him in what his desires are, at this point he has not had a request or the desire for a fence to be put in. Mr. Sasoon would rather see a natural landscape separation in place. Mr. Davis stated he was prepared to leave the space and if problems arise in the future, they can be responded to accordingly. At the present time, Mr. Sasoon has indicated in previous meetings that he is comfortable with the natural berming.


Chairperson Lorenzo suggested perhaps the motion could include if Mr. Sasoon so desires a fence in the future, it would be accommodated.


Member Hoadley accepted Chairperson Lorenzo’s suggestion.


Member Vrettas accepted Member Hoadley’s friendly amendment.

Member Weddington seconded the friendly amendment. She deferred to Mr. Davis and Mr. Sasoon on the issue.


Member Markham thought the site was good for the complex, she liked the fact that it was going to be associated with another sports facility, yet it was central to the City. She stated she would have liked a more complete set of plans. She stated she was looking for some interior views which the Commission did not see until tonight. Member Markham asked how many people the locker room for figure skating accommodates at a time?


Mr. Seyler answered the women’s locker room has room for about 160 permenant lockers.

Member Markham referred to the comment that Mr. Davis made earlier in regard to figure skating shows coming in to use the site on occassion, she expressed concern with the locker room being large enough to handle a show.


Mr. Seyler stated there were eight other changing rooms that would be used at the same time.


Member Markham was undertain if the changing rooms would be private enough to handle a large influx of figure skaters changing their clothes.


Mr. Seyler explained in a show, troops come out in groups and they all dress together. The reason for specific locker rooms is for the figure skaters that come and go and are not part of a group.


Member Markham asked if Mr. Seyler thought it would accommodate a large number of figure skaters if the need was there?


Mr. Seyler answered, definitely.


Member Markham asked if there were plans for a weight room or ballet type of facility, for the more advanced figure skaters to train off of the ice?


Mr. Seyler stated in the multi-purpose room, he would like to put a divider and one half of it could be used for dance class for non-skaters.


Member Markham commented that metal stairs as used in the Farmington Hills facility do not seem to be holding up very well. She suggested striving for the type of lighting in the parking lot and around the building that illuminates down, she stated she would like to see great lighting, but she would like to see it directional to the site.

Mr. Seyler stated the Ordinance was very specific to prevent lighting of the neighborhood and he has been very careful to meet the Ordinance. The boxed fixtures that are proposed, direct the light downward to the pavement. He stated he would like to add textured lighting on the building, however, the Ordinance does not allow it.


Member Bononi referred to the Preliminary Site Plan A010, she noticed that the building was proposed to be served by overhead electric power and asked why?


Mr. Seyler answered the power that was already adjacent to it, is overhead. There is an overhead pole, and to bring it down and bury it for that short distance would not accomplish much.


Member Bononi thought it would accomplish a lot, she stated she would like to see it put underground. She knew it could be done and thought it would do everything to affect the appearance of the building. Member Bononi asked if there was a finished floor elevation established for the building and what it was?


Mr. Seyler referred to the Preliminary and stated 872 feet for the main floor.


Member Bononi commented on the landscaping, she thought it was uninspired and unimaginative. She did not think it was worthy of the building or the City of Novi. The building as designed has potential to be a showplace and she thought the landscaping should match the building. She felt strongly about bringing the matter back for final. Member Bononi asked who the author of the Community Impact Statement was?


Mr. Seyler answered the architects were.


Member Bononi referred to page 5 in regard to noise escaping the building. She was concerned that there were specifications for all of the equipment noted and that it would meet the requirements.


Mr. Seyler answered they would.


Member Bononi commented in regard to traffic generation. As a result of reading Mr. Arroyo’s review comments and also at looking at the traffic reports, she did not come away very favorably and impressed with the fact that there would not be a traffic problem. Based on personal experience, she stated drives Ten Mile Road very frequently and at all different times of the day, traffic is queued from Novi Road to Meadowbrook Glen. She asked how people would exit the site and travel westbound?


Mr. Davis stated the service road that will come into the facility would be to Novi Road. It will be just south of the intersection of Ten Mile Road. To travel westbound would be a right hand turn and then into the left hand turn lane at the intersection with the signalization. As Mr. Arroyo pointed out, there would be a signal installed at the boulevard entrance.


Member Bononi stated she did not receive that understanding as a result of looking at the plan, nor was the road extended northerly, showing how it intersects with Ten Mile Road. From the day to day traffic conditions and the levels of service, Member Bononi did not feel satisfied with what the facility was going to add to the situation. She realized that there were planned improvements, however, her concern was how the improvements would chronologically come on line to meet with the opening date.


Mr. Arroyo stated the access directly to Novi Road would be the first critical point, this is planned to be a signalized intersection and there will be substantial improvements made to stacking lanes. The intersection is forecast to operate at level of service "B" in the morning and level of service "C" in the afternoon. The other intersections of concern are Novi Road/Nine Mile Road, which will be operating at acceptable levels of service with the proposed improvements. Novi Road/Ten Mile Road intersection is probably the most problematic, however with the widening of Novi Road, north of Ten Mile Road, the level of service is forecast to stay at "D" in the morning and "E" in the afternoon. Mr. Arroyo stated there will eventually come a time where there will have to be some types of improvements made to Ten Mile Road in order to improve capacity. At this point, the City is looking at some alternatives and there will be a report to City Council at some time in the future to address some alternatives.


Member Bononi asked which improvements would be in place at the time the Ice Arena opens for business?


Mr. Arroyo anticipated the improvements that would be in place would be improvements to the Ice Arena road, new City road intersection, hopefully the signal will be in place at Novi Road, the left turn and right turn lanes and the outbound stacking lanes. Other improvements that may be in place would be the ones at Novi Road/Nine Mile Road, which includes adding the center turn lanes and right turn lanes on all approaches and upgrading the signal. The Novi Road improvements are moving along in the approval process for funding, the design work is coming to a close. He hoped to see the improvements within 2 to 3 years.


Member Bononi realized that the traffic situation was not great and did not see how it was going to improve matters. She expressed concern with the ease at which people can bring their children and exit safely and conveniently as she would not want it to effect the success of the location. Member Bononi felt strongly enough about the landscaping and the minimal landscaping on the plan to ask the makers of the motion if they consider bringing the matter back for final site plan approval specifically to deal with landscape issues and underground power service to the building?


Member Vrettas accepted the friendly amendment.


Member Weddington also accepted.


Chairperson Lorenzo referred to Mr. Arroyo’s traffic chart. She asked with the new signalized intersection of Novi Road/Nine Mile Road would the level of service be going from a "B" to a level of service "C"?


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any traffic improvements that would bring the level of service back up to a "B"?


Mr. Arroyo answered, no. Other than widening Nine Mile Road to five lanes, which is not proposed, there are no other improvements. He mentioned that generally, level of service "D" is considered to be an acceptable level of service.


Chairperson Lorenzo was concerned that Nine Mile Road was primarily a residential corridor and referred to Quality of Life. She stated that at Level of Service "D", the number of vehicles stopping was significant, influence of congestion is noticeable, individual cycle failures are noticeable and this was not acceptable in a suburban community.


Mr. Arroyo stated there would be some significant improvements made to the intersection and it will function much better than it currently does.


In regard to Ms. Lemke’s portion of the letter, she refers to an obscuring six foot high landscaped berm in I-1 next to Residential. Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Rogers if it should be 6 to 10 feet?


Mr. Rogers stated the actual cross section has yet to be developed. He stated there was an existing berm on River Oaks West, the two are to be integrated. Mr. Rogers stated there were a lot of details missing from the conceptual landscape plan, however, the berm will be setback and in Ms. Lemke’s opinion was a good screen.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Ordinance requires a six to ten foot berm and asked if it would be in that range?


Mr. Rogers stated it would be somewhere in that range. He stated there is space to make it higher and would make a point to bring it to the attention of Ms. Lemke.





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

No: None


Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission would take a brief recess.





Property located at the southwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Richard Abbott, Director of Facility Planning and Construction for Providence Hospital. He stated his plan is for further development of Providence Park and reallly a continuation of development that has made them one of the top 100 Hospitals in the United States. He introduced Floraluz (Luz) Macaraig of Albert Kahn Associates, Inc.


Mr. Abbott stated the site plan describes improvements that are being made to the site to accommodate Phases 1D and 1E of the site master plan. Phase 1D is the construction of a 32,000 square foot Michael and Rose Assyrian Cancer Center, he stated it was a state of the art world class cancer center which incorporates high tech treatment and high touch treatment. Art therapy, art display areas and a spiritual healing space are planned to be incorporated. Phase 1E is a continuation of the development of the medical office buildings, it will primarily contain physician offices. Also within this space, conference space will be developed that will be used for staff and patient and community education programs. Mr. Abbott stated the facilities would continue to provide an asset to the City of Novi and stated they would be developed and designed continuing in the character that the buildings currently on site, have been developed in.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant edited his letter dated March 17, 1997. He stated the first line should read 31,000 square feet, as opposed to 3,100 square feet. Also, where he refers to OS-2, it should be OSC, as City Council rezoned the site about 3 weeks ago.


Mr. Rogers stated the expansion is part of their master plan. The parking analysis complies with the types of uses in the complex. The Conceptual Preliminary Landscape plan has a number of items that are required on the final landscape plan at the time of final site plan review. In regard to existing trees being removed, Mr. Rogers recommended that it be addressed by the applicant. However, they are to be saved as part of the approved plan. He stated the applicant should explain why the trees are to be removed, explain other alternatives that have been explored to save the trees. There is a landmark tree that is to be saved, it was Ms. Lemke’s opinion that it was under the regulation of the Woodlands Ordinance. The protection features around the tree need to be shown on the plan and a note on the landscape plan indicates which trees will be relocated into the courtyard and other places on the site. Mr. Rogers stated the other items were customarily provided at the time of final landscape plan. The proposed building is to be a continuation of the materials that are used on the existing buildings. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the landscape concerns being addressed at the time of final. The double bulleted item on Page 2 should be discussed by the applicant.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated access to the external road network is not changing, the primary entrances will continue to be located off of Grand River and Beck Road. There were three internal site issues: 1) The proposed parking lot access southwest of the Phase 1E building does not align with the driveway that is across from it. It should be shifted southeast to properly align. 2) The intersection area northwest of the Cancer Center building should be modified to better define traffic movements. Excessive pavement width is not recommended. 3) The proposed emergency temporary parking spaces directly across from the traffic circle will require backing out to a main access road in an area of multiple traffic movements, it is recommended that another location be found for the spaces. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Plan subject to the three items being addressed on the final site plan.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the applicant proposes the relocation of some public and private utilities through the site. The applicant is has also proposed additional impervious surfaces. They will be utilizing the existing detention basin. The basin will be regraded, reshaped and they have provided preliminary calculations on the detention. In addition, an outlet which exists to Shaw Creek will be relocated slightly. A minor or Administrative permit will be needed to handle the relocation of the outfall area. Mr. Bluhm recommended that the applicant consider a sidewalk that runs the length of the property, along the west side of Beck Road. He stated the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester apologized to the Planning Commission and the petitioner for the tardiness of his review. He highlighted the portion of Mr. Rogers’ report where Ms. Lemke indicates, althought the trees that were saved in the original project are not on the woodlands map, they were part of the approved plan for saving. The petititioner should explain why the trees are to be removed. Mr. Pargoff stated it was proplexing to him as to work that was done and the high quality of saving that took place. He stated imparticular, trees 570 through 572, and 575 are Beech Trees and they are in the area of the corner of the building. There was discussion with Mr. Abbott about the possibility of adjusting the corner of the building by curving it to accommodate the trees. Trees 602 through 607 are being sacrificed for parking and a larger entryway, the possibility of removing some parking spaces was being looked at, and making the entryway slightly smaller. Mr. Pargoff stated Tree 566 was an outstanding 31" Oak tree which was being sacrificed for approximately 4 to 5 parking spaces. In regard to the landscaping, there were several tree species that will have to be adjusted on the final plans.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced she received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan is recommended for approval contingent upon the recommended revisions of his site plan review dated January 14, 1997 being made to the final site plan submittal.


Chairperson Lorenzo also announced she received a letter from Douglas Necci which indicates that the design was found to be in full compliance with the Facade Ordinance and he also recommended approval.


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





Member Hoadley asked the petitioner if there was any way that he could accommodate any of the concerns of Mr. Pargoff?


Mr. Abbott stated he took a lot of care in preserving the trees with the intent that they would be preserved and the next expansion of the building would occur to the east of the existing medical office building. As it has been studied, it was determined that the walking distances for patients to access the diagnostic testing and treatment areas would be too great. To minimize travel distances for the patients was how the triangular shaped plan came about. In regard to the oak tree, Mr. Abbott felt that the parking for the emergency department was so critical that every space possible was needed. Mr. Abbott did not know if changing the shape of the entrance was something that could be done because it would effect some of the parking spaces and he reiterated that access to the medical office building was something that had to be provided as a convenience to the patient. He pointed out that there were a lot of trees on the site that would remain in place and are continuing to be preserved.

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Abbott to respond about the sidewalk.


Mr. Abbott stated he did not have a problem with putting in the sidewalk, he expressed concern with installing the sidewalk and then concurrent with the development of the interchange and the widening of Beck Road, the sidewalk would become a throw away item.


Member Hoadley stated it would not be thrown away if it were put on his property. He asked if Mr. Abbott would be willing to do that?


Mr. Abbott answered it was something he would consider, he stated he would have to see how it would work with the road and golf course.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Abbott if he would be upset if it were made a condition of the approval?


Mr. Abbott answered, no.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Abbott how it would affect him if the Commission added saving the historic tree as a condition of the approval?


Mr. Abbott thought it would be a problem. He stated it would create operational problems for the building.


It was Member Hoadley’s opinion that Providence has been a cooperative neighbor and they are trying hard to make their project a premier one. He stated he would like the sidewalk to be put in as a condition of approval and he suggested the applicant think about a compromise on the trees. Member Hoadley was in support fo the motion.


Member Markham asked where the emergency entrance was located as it was not specifically called out on the plan.


Mr. Akey pointed out the emergency entrance.


Member Markham stated according to Mr. Rogers letter, it states there are 192 additional parking spaces than needed, she asked if that was correct?


Mr. Rogers answered yes, there is an excess of parking.


Member Markham asked why the applicant was planning for more parking than needed?

Ms. Macaraig answered it was partially based on what has been experienced and also on the proximity to users. She stated based on usage, the parking has been increased. Therefore, in the computation for the additional buildings, some of the excess parking has been used in order to accommodate the requirements of the buildings. She stated the excess parking would be validated in the final site plan submittal.


Mr. Rogers stated 192 additional spaces are provided on the site plan, 64 were needed for the two additions, therefore there is an excess of 128 spaces.


Member Markham expressed concern with the great area of paved property. If all of the parking was not going to be ultized, from an environmental standpoint, she did not think it was a wise move. In regard to the issue of the trees, she asked if it was possible to rethink the configuration of the parking lot to optimize the ability to get to the emergency room yet try to save as much of the trees as possible.


Ms. Macaraig stated they would re-evaluate the number of parking spaces, based on the need. She stated they have reconsidered some of the existing trees that were previously on the site plan. Ms. Macaraig stated there were at least 3 or 4 additional trees that would be saved near the entrance and some berming was to be added.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (6-1): To approve the Preliminary Site Plan for Providence Medical Center subject to the consultants recommendations.





Member Hoadley stated he could not support the motion. He accepted the fact that the applicant could not do anything about the trees, particularly if they are going to have a helipad because they are in business to serve the public and service patients. Member Hoadley stated he would not be in support of the motion if it was contigent on all of the consultants recommendations. He stated he would support the motion if Mr. Pargoff’s recommendation were eliminated.


Member Vrettas expressed concern with the trees. He was upset because the applicants’ definition of preserving a tree was only to preserve it until it was convenient for them to remove it. Member Vrettas stated he could not support anything that would include the removal of the trees because the applicant gave a commitment to preserve the trees and he expected them to follow it.


Member Csordas thought that Member Vrettas’s comments meant that he would want to support the motion because he thought the motion did include the preservation of the tree.


Member Csordas regretfully stated he would be voting against the motion because the applicant was designing a medical facility where better care for their patients would not take a higher priority over the preservation of the tree. He agreed with the comments of Member Hoadley.


Member Bononi thought her record supported her as being an appreciator of trees and landscaping and she tries to promote it whenever she can. However, there are times when decisions have to be made that are real heartbreakers, she thought this was one of those times. She stated where the interests of people, particularly those in need of medical care, have to get from one point to the other, trees sometimes get sacrificed. She stated if the applicant could show a reasonable and prudent alternative to doing it any other way, she would vote "no". However, in looking at the plans that were presented and the limitations shown, she did not see what the alternative was. Therefore, Member Bononi stated she would be voting in support of the motion.


Member Vrettas stated he kept hearing that the applicant was trying to make the facility more convenient for the patients, he stated he did not hear the applicant say that there was no other way, this was why he perceived that they had not looked for another way. He stated he did not get the impression that the safety and welfare of the patient was the issue, he gathered that the issue was to make it attractive, convenient and easy. He apologized to the presenter if he misread, but this was what he heard.


Member Hoadley stated he did not want to send a negative recommendation. He stated it would be good if the applicant could work to preserve some of the trees, however, for the Commission not approve the plan because they are not going to preserve trees, he thought the Commission needed to stop and think about what they were doing before any votes were taken. He stated the project was a fine one that deserved to be approved, the reason he was against it was because even though he wants to preserve the trees, there is no alternative that would work for them, and he was willing to sacrifice the trees if absolutely necessary.


In regard to the 4 to 5 parking spaces that would be lost if the oak tree were preserved and if the entryway were reduced, Chairperson Lorenzo asked how many feet the patients were being saved from having to walk? Where would they have to park and how many extra feet would it be to the entrance?


Mr. Akey stated if 5 parking spaces were lost, it would mean that they are displaced across the road. It would probably be an additional 150 to 200 feet away.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the applicant indicated that he changed the entryway again, to make it more convenient to get from one area to the next. Again she asked how many feet were being discussed?


Mr. Akey answered, 300 feet.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked in terms of the walkway?


Mr. Akey stated the walkway is through the parking lot.


Considering the Storm Water discharge to the Shaw Creek, Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm if the retention basin had any water quality provisions.


Mr. Bluhm stated the retention basin is a wet basin and there are some water quality benefits to it.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the storm water disharge travels through the detention basin before going into the creek?


Mr. Bluhm answered, yes.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Markham if she could amend the motion to include permanent water quality provisions in accordance with the DEQ’s Best Management Practices in the detention basin.


Member Markham accepted the amendment.


Member Bononi also accepted the amendment.


Member Weddington thought the issues were very narrow and specific and hoped that they could be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.


Member Markham asked Mr. Pargoff if he stated he would like the preservation of the trees to be discussed with the petitioner?


Mr. Pargoff referred to Ms. Lemke’s letter which stated that the petitioner should explain why the trees are to be removed and if they could explore some alternatives to saving the trees.


Member Markham believed the petitioner did talk about whether the trees could be saved by altering the configuration and he stated he could not. She thought his reasons were valid and that was all that was asked of him.


Mr. Pargoff answered that was correct. He believed Ms. Lemke was asking the petitioner to look at conducting some explorations when he does his final design.


Member Vrettas pointed out that the patient would only have to walk a distance to the entrance assuming that the parking lot was filled to capacity. He stated it would not normally happen, therefore, by eleminating those parking spaces, someone would not have to walk unless the parking lot were filled to capacity. He questioned if the petitioner would ever reach the parking lot capacity when the parking lot currently has 192 spaces above the requirement. Therefore, if the parking lot capacity is never reached, why couldn’t the petitioner give up 15 parking spaces to save some valuable trees?


Mr. Akey clarified that the five spaces would be filled almost all of the time because those spaces are the most convenient to the Emergency Room entrance. He also explained that the ten spaces at the entrance to the medical office building will also be filled almost all of the time because they are the most convenient for the patient. He stated the ten spaces will only be replaced by spaces that are approximately 300 feet apart. He reiterated that he was trying to make it convenient for the patient, parking was one of the number one dissatisfiers for the patient.


Member Vrettas stated in a case of an emergency, the injured party will more than likely be dropped off at the front door and then someone will go and park the car. He stated the injured party is not going to necessarily walk 300 yards.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Watson if the current motion would impede the developer from building their buildings on the current site plan if they cannot move the trees?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney answered not the way the motion is presentely made with the clarification.








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

No: Vrettas




Property located south of Nine Mile Road, west of Roethel Drive for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Tom Crabill of Medora Building Company introduced himself as well as Mr. Holloway from Security Corporation. Mr. Crabill stated the building was a 16,000 square foot industrial building. He incorporated quite a bit of greenbelt area, the landscaping was quite sufficient as it was almost double what would normally be provided for a site of its’ size. Mr. Crabill presented a drawing of his site. He stated the colors were going to be of earth tone. He stated he worked diligently at trying to make an attractive project for Security Corporation and the City of Novi. He stated he has received favorable letters from all of the Departments and Security Corporation was looking forward to spending a long time in the building.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the project meets the setbacks, parking, greenspace setbacks and there were relatively few landscape concerns at this time. He stated the location of protective fencing should be to the south. In regard to the facades, there is an indication of the use of split faced block and fluted block, the letter from Mr. Necci indicates the use of the various materials and feels that the application is in compliance with the facade Ordinance. It is in an I-1 District and it is not adjacent to residential.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant recommended approval of the project.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the project is a lot within an industrial platted subdivision. The applicant has access to public sewer and water and will be making service connections to the buildings. The applicant is also providing a storm sewer system to pick up the storm water, it will be directed to an existing storm sewer. Detention was provided when the subdivision was developed, it outlets ultimately to the Rouge River. The applicant will be required to put in an oil and gas seperator to protect the area before it leaves the site. The applicant shall secure a map amendment from FEMA as to when the industrial development was built and it will need to be addressed at the time of final site plan. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval.



Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states, be advised I have received a letter of intent to comply with my plan review of January 31, 1997 from Tom Crabill of the Medora Building Comapny in reference to the above project. The above plan is recommended for approval.


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








Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: For Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to all of the consultants recomendations.


Member Weddington asked the applicant whether there would be any hazardous or flammable materials stored at the facility?


Mr. Crabill answered Security Corporation was a commercial and residential security system provider. The building would operate as a sales, installation and monitoring facility. It was basically a warehouse for equipment types of things.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm if the gas and oil seperator was going to be one of the storm septor "super duper" models?


Mr. Bluhm answered, no. He explained the site was much to small to warrant it, however, the applicant will be required to install one that does meet the BMP’s.





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

No: None




Property located west of Novi Road, between I-96 and West Oaks Drive for possible Preliminary Site Plan recommendation to City Council.



Joe Sutschek of Ramco-Gershenson introduced Michael Ward also with Ramco-Gershenson. He stated he was present to review the second phase of the multi-phase program to re-develop West Oaks I Shopping Center. He explained that the phase was to re-develop all of the retail space between Service Merchandise and the Half Off Card Shop. In order to do this, the front facade of the stores will be extended so that the entire front facade lines up with the existing facade. Some space will be added in the rear of the existing spaces to meet the prototypical footprints of the new national retailers who will be coming in. From a business standpoint, he had to let all of the leases in that area, terminate and absorb the lost rent. He had to buy out the remainder of the lease of Rite Aid so the space could be freed up and new leases could be negotiated with new tenants.


Mr. Sutschek presented the new site plan. He stated there will be three users where there were multiple small users in the past. The front facade of the new facilities will be duplicated with the existing Circuit City, it will include the extensive use of brick, accent entry features, dryvit detailing across the top and crown molding. Lastly, in terms of landscaping on the site, additional areas have been added within the parking area. Additional trees and shrubs have been added along West Oaks Drive and along Donelson Drive. He reviewed all of the recommendations of the consultants, all of whom recommended approval of the project. He stated he took specific notice of the recommendation on the landscaping from Mr. Rogers, he agreed with the suggestion about additional landscaping along Donelson Drive at the rear, he stated he would add this to his final site plan and comply with the suggestion.


Mr. Sutschek explained that he needs two variances from the ZBA which are dictated by the fact that when the project was originally built in 1981, the current standards were different than in 1981. He explained that he needs a parking waiver of 35 parking spaces in a parking lot that was used at 40% capacity during the 1996 Christmas season. In addition, he needs a 4 foot waiver to accommodate the Office Max store. He requested approval of the site plan subject to the three conditions that are in Mr. Rogers letter, he stated he would then go to the ZBA and seek the appropriate waivers.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the Office Max building is set back 96' 1¼ " and it should be 100'. Regarding parking, the applicant needs 1,591 spaces including handicapped, there are 1,181 spaces. He stated if the existing retention pond is removed, upwards of 1,296 spaces could be provided.


Mr. Rogers stated the conceptual landscape plan is adequate, he stated there are issues that need to be addressed at the time of final. He stated there needs to be more landscaping on the west side of the K-Mart building along Donelson, which has been simulated. Along the south side of the property, more landscaping is needed along the proposed renovated portion and around the retention basin. Off-street loading and unloading is properly provided in the rear yard. In regard to the conceptual facade plan, the front facade of brick and E.F.I.S. dryvit meets the Ordinance standards. The rear facade would be a continuation of the CMU painted block.


Mr. Rogers commented on the rear setback. He did not see a problem with the waiver of the 3' deficiency, he stated it does not impede the off-street loading and unloading and it is still set back further than Service Merchandise.


Mr. Rogers recommended referral of the deficient rear yard setback to the ZBA, addressing the landscape plan concerns in his report dated March 21, 1997 and further consideration be given to off-street parking deficiency by the applicant and the Planning Commission. Mr. Rogers was reluctant to recommend a variance on parking for the addition.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the proposed expansion of over 11,000 square feet is anticipated to add an additional 368 trips per day through the development and 35 additional p.m. peak hour trips over what would be generated by a center of its’ size. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated there are no proposed utility improvements proposed to service the site. He stated service leads will have to be relocated slightly to accommodate the revision to the building locations throughout the development. He stated there is a regional detention basin at the southwest corner of the site which functions to serve the detention needs for West Oaks I, West Oaks II and areas west of Donelson Drive. The basin is encompassed by an easement owned by the City, and parking is proposed right to the limit of the easement. If parking is intended to be put here in the future, they will have to find a suitable relocation for the detention basin. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval.


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


Chairperson Lorenzo also announced she has received a letter from Doug Necci of JCK who indicated that the application is in compliance with the Facade Ordinance and a Section IV Waiver is not required. She turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.







Member Weddington asked the petitioner if Service Merchandise would have the same facade as Circuit City and the new proposed stores?


Mr. Sutschek answered it was his intent to eventually re-do the entire shopping center to match Circuit City and the second phase. He explained at the current time, he does not own the Service Merchandise building, it is a ground lease only and they own the building until the expiration of the lease. However, he was recently notified by Service Merchandise that they are closing two of their stores in other shopping centers. The opportunity to negotiate with them on leaving the store or encourage them to duplicate what is going on around them. Mr. Sutschek stated he intends to have the building refaced to match the first two phases.


Member Weddington asked how long before the ground lease expires?


Mr. Sutschek answered it expires in the year 2016.


Member Weddington stated the improvements made to Circuit City, as well as the proposed changes that the applicant has shown, is a great improvement over what was there before and what remains. She stated it would be very welcome to see the other tenants adopt the same facade, she thought it enhanced the attractiveness of the center.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, FAILED (3-4): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for West Oaks I renovation subject to all of the consultants recommendations.


Member Vrettas stated he was delighted with the Circuit City renovations and suggested updating the K-Mart store.


Member Bononi was glad to see that the applicant was considering updating the landscaping on the site because it is really in need of it. However, she was not in support of the recommendation to City Council because the standards of the Ordinance have not been met. She stated the standards are in place because they are to assure that applicants are treated in a like fashion. Although she was sympathetic to the fact that the parking area is underutilized, the parking standard is what is required. Member Bononi thought the applicant had the ability to cut down building size and thought this was the resolution to the problem. She did not see any other reason to approve the plan unless the applicant meets the same standards that other applicants must meet.


Member Csordas asked Mr. Rogers what the applicant could do to come into compliance with the parking?


Mr. Rogers stated apparently Office Max has a floor plan that they have difficulty changing. There are two other tenants, of which he did not know if they could be brought down to a 21 parking space requirement. He stated this would be the only solution, unless the petitioner goes off premises. There was no demonstration that they looked into shared parking with the Doubletree Hotel.


Mr. Sutschek stated he has reduced the square footage from the original proposal. He stated Half Off Card Shop will decrease 20' in width in order to accommodate DSW and Office Max. Mr. Sutschek stated it was very difficult to attract a national retailer unless they can be provided with a prototypical footprint. When trying to update a shopping center that was built 15 years ago under a completely different set of standards, sometimes it is just not possible to meet all of the Ordinance requirements. However, it is possible, and should be expected that the spirit and intent of the current day Ordinance requirements are met.


Member Hoadley stated it was a wonderful project and he was in support of it. He stated he visits the shopping center almost daily, and agreed with the applicant that the parking lot is under utilized. He agreed that the uses will probably increase the parking but he could not envision that it would increase it to 100%. He supported the motion and encouraged the ZBA to grant the waiver. Member Hoadley commended the applicant on the continued upgrading of the shopping center and he was sure the residents would appreciate it as well. He thought the applicant could accommodate the additional planting along the side and back. He stated the only other way to obtain more parking would be to eliminate some of the planting that is being increased in the parking area, however, he was not willing to do that. He believed the overall look far exceeded the concern of 21 parking spaces.


Member Markham agreed with Member Bononi that the project does not meet the standards and for that reason she was not in support of the motion. She appreciated the intent to upgrade the facility, she thought it needed it and thought it would be a benefit, however, she could not support the motion because it does not meet the standards. Member Markham did not believe the Commission could apply one set of standards to one developer and not to another, she stated if the standards are deficient, then the Commission should address it.


Member Vrettas stated the applicant has made a good point, in that he is dealing with pre-existing conditions and they are causing him some problems. Because of that, he could see an exception being made while still maintaining consistency.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would not be in support of the motion for the same reasons as Member Bononi and Member Markham. She reminded the Commission that the applicants’ neighbor to the north had the same situation and found a resolution in accordance with the Ordinance. She thought it was very important that the City is consistent in treating every applicant accurately. For these reasons, she could not support the motion.





Yes: Hoadley, Vrettas, Weddington

No: Bononi, Csordas, Lorenzo, Markham


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Commission needed to make a recommendation?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the Commission should send some recommendation.


Chairperson Lorenzo entertained an alternative motion.


Mr. Sutschek stated when the project was built, he was the one who brought the project before the City. When it was presented to the City, the property was squared. JCK indicated that part of the retention basin is located on his land and it services property that he does not own. If he did not grant that easement to the City to service land beyond his development, he would have more land to put the 21 parking spaces on. He stated he gave the land away at the City’s request. He also stated that the routing of West Oaks Drive did not have its’ original configuration, he ended up loosing a piece of property which had at least another 150 parking spaces on it. He was not suggesting that his standards should be any less than any other party that stands before the Commission. He felt that his situation had him falling short on parking spaces because had he not been a good citizen in the beginning, he would not be short now.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Commission appreciates Mr. Sutschek’s dilemma, however, she hoped he could appreciate theirs as well. She stated every applicant that comes before the Commission may have their own particular view of a hardship. She found it extremely hard to say yes to Mr. Sutschek and no to other applicants.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Sutschek if he would consider going back to the drawing board and look at his configuration from the standpoint of the square footage to see if any of it could be pared off in order to meet the requirement. She stated she would be willing to make a motion to postpone the application if he would be agreeable to do that.


Mr. Sutschek stated he has trimmed the back as tightly as he could, the five percent add on to the shopping center is as minimal as it could be made, his answer was no.


Member Vrettas stated in order to get quality businesses in, the applicant has to basically jump to their tune. He thought it forced the applicant into a situation that they do not have the control to do the negotiating that sole owners of property can do.


Member Markham asked Mr. Watson if it was possible for the applicant to go before the ZBA if the Commission sends a negative recommendation to City Council on the Preliminary Site Plan?


Mr. Watson answered, no, it must go through the City Council first and then it will depend on what they do.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (4-3): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for West Oaks I renovation, SP97-04A.





Yes: Bononi, Csordas, Lorenzo, Markham

No: Hoadley, Vrettas, Weddington








Member Hoadley stated there is a new Ordinance dealing with wireless which he feels to be excellent. He thought it was time to consider sending it to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to develop a Master Plan for the appropriate locations for the use of telecommunication towers, including the existing towers and whether they can have co-location.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the issue of a Wireless Master Plan to the Master Planning and Zoning Committee for further study.





Member Weddington was not sure what the City could do in the way of Master Planning...


Chairperson Lorenzo stated there was information on it and it could be done.





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

No: None










Moved by Markham, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:22 p.m.





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

No: None






Steven Cohen - Staff Planner


Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

May 21, 1997

Date Approved: June 04, 1997