WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.


(810) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:35 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 additions or changes to the Agenda? Member Csordas added West Oaks I Renovation as Item 1 under Matters for Discussion.


Member Churella asked that Public Hearing number 2, Harvest Lake of Novi, SP97-06A, become number 1.


Chairperson Lorenzo objected stating she specifically placed that item as number 2 because the Ordinance Amendments needed to be focused on first, since they would have very broad implications throughout the City.


Member Churella felt it would be better for himself to understand.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (5-4): To re-arrange the Public Hearings.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas

No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Chair had any control over the move?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney answered, no.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any other changes to the Agenda?





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-3): To approve the Agenda as amended.





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

No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham






Bill Bowman Sr., 30180 Orchard Lake Road was hopeful that the Commission would move directly in regard to the RUD Ordinance. He thought it would be a very workable and good plan and program. He encouraged the continuation with the flexibility, the setback arrangements and the inclusion relative to the sensitive areas in the calculations in the density and number of units.


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





Birchwood Homeowners Association wrote in regard to the Harvest Lake development which stated, Mr. Weiner has met with the Board several times to show the plans, explain his proposals and answer, to the best of his ability, any questions the Board has asked. The Board members feel Harvest Land Company is doing its’ best to preserve and protect as much open space for wildlife as they possibly can. A development this large is going to take many years to complete and Mr. Weiner appears to be sincere in his willingness to work with us in a gentlemanly manner to resolve any concerns the sub may have throughout the duration of the project. We hope that the City Officials will be more open- minded toward the needs and desires of residents at this end of the City.


Lakeside Oakland Development stated they own a 206 acre parcel immediately north of the Harvest Lake of Novi project. They were in full support of the project as planned, they encouraged the Commission to approve the proposal and the related changes to the RUD Ordinance.


Blooming Day Child Care Center wrote in regard to Harvest Lake. I own the property at the southeast corner of Ten Mile Road and Wixom Road and are presently building the Blooming Day Child Care facility. We have a small concern relating to two specific items, at the south-east corner of the development is presently left open for a future use. We want to ensure that it does not become a piece for commercial use. Secondly, our property has Detroit Edison poles, how do we make sure that any additional high voltage transmission will not be added on to it. With the exception of the above items, we think it is a very good project for the growth of residential neighborhood in that area.


Gary Whitener of the Links of Novi stated after reviewing the plans for the Harvest Land Company’s development of the Ten Mile Road and Wixom Road area, he committed full support to the idea. He believed the development would compliment his property and enhance the entire area.


David Pocock stated he owns a 4.06 parcel on the north side of Ten Mile Road between Wixom Road and Napier Road. His letter confirmed his support for the Harvest Lake of Novi project and the proposed change in the RUD Ordinance.


Margaret E. Schmidt, The Farm Lady stated the 800+ acre development will surround our 5 acre farm and greatly impact our lifestyle. For us, the development of the land surrounding our five acres is more than a simple fact, it is also an emotional issue. Through the years we’ve hiked this acreage, pastured our sheep in the fields and took hay rides down the path Larry made through the field. We’ve floated pumpkins with our 4-H club on the lake and spent hours searching for fossils along the shoreline. We’ve been caretakers of this land and we have used this land as if it were our own. We’ve always known that someday development would come and now that the time is upon us, it is with deep regret and sadness that we’ll watch "progress" come to this beautiful natural area. In spite of this, we are encouraged by what we’ve learned to date about the Harvest Land Development Company. The plan as shown to us seems to take into consideration this philosophy, it works with, not against the natural surroundings. We do have a few concerns relating to the plan, for example, how can this 800 acre development go on with outlets onto Wixom Road without significantly altering traffic? We are also concerned about single family attached cluster adjacent to the deep property. Finally, we are concerned about the houses that but up to our driveway. We feel that some type of barrier would be appropriate and appreciated. (Steve mentioned that this decision could be taken care of when builders get involved.) We look forward, with interest, concern and hope to the future development of this land that so many years was like our own.


Dinser’s Flowers & Greenhouse stated they have owned 20 acres of land in Novi since 1971. They supported the development project and the proposed changes to the RUD Ordinance for the following reasons: 1) The project is environmentally sensitive and will protect natural resources; 2) The project is a reasonable density and does not exceed the overall density of Novi’s Master Plan; 3) The project will bring public utilities to the west side of Novi, which they supported. Development of their land according to the ½ acre or 1 acre lot guidelines is unrealistic and environmentally unfriendly. Their plan to preserve open space and cluster the housing is creative, attractive and responsible.


Geza & Shirley Lang expressed their endorsement of the open space concept as presented by Mr. Steve Weiner.


Dr. Emmett Lippe of the Novi Community Schools stated the school project has been integrated into the overall RUD area plan submitted by Harvest Land Company. He has met several times with Mr. Weiner and his consultants regarding the major residential community development and he was in favor of the project as planned. He supported approval of their plan and the related changes to the RUD Ordinance.


Karl Wizinsky stated his family home is located on an eleven acre parcel north of the proposed city/park/school site and directly across from the northeast entrance to the proposed Harvest Lake of Novi. Novi has been his home for 21 years, through his letter and his presence at the Public Hearing, he supported the Harvest Lake of Novi project proposal for the following reasons: 1) The proposed plan offers an integrated master plan for over 900 acres, it offers a variety of residential lot sizes and styles in one integrated community; 2) Although historically he has been supportive of minimum 1 acre lots, he believed flexibility was needed because open space allows the project to retain more of the natural characteristics of the adverse property; 3) It appears that a great deal of research has been done to retain and enhance the environmental features of the property. He supported the Harvest Lake of Novi project proposal and believed it would have a very positive effect of the development of western Novi and the neighborhood.







Property located north of Ten Mile Road, east of Napier Road for possible Residential Unit Development Option Application to City Council.

Steve Weiner stated in 1978, when the Levy Company presented their mining plan, they proposed a re-development of that site in a reclamation plan, furthermore, since the founding of the Levy Company in 1918, the company has been focused on reclamation and recycling. They were pioneers of that industry and are now one of the largest players in the United States, in that business. He referred to his company brochure which addressed the history of the company.


Mr. Weiner introduced Mary Jukuri, Senior Planner from Johnson, Johnson and Roy, Woody Held, Chief Environmentalist from Johnson, Johnson and Roy, Kevin Kohls of Honigman, Miller, his partner, Bob Doyle from Levy Co., Paul Salvin from Reed, Cole and Michelski and Rick Hofsess from Ziemet Wozniak. Mr. Weiner stated these individuals have worked closely with him over the past two years and they are all very motivated to work with the Commission and the community to make the project become a reality.


Mary Jukuri stated Harvest Lake of Novi will be a single waterfront residential community. Rich with natural features and common preservation areas with easy access to water, woods, parks and trails. She believed it would be a premiere residential development for the City of Novi. The site is located in western Novi ½ mile south of the I-96/Wixom Road interchange and it is bounded on three sides by Wixom Road, Ten Mile Road and Napier Road. To the north of the site are industrial, commercial and future office service technology uses, planned and existing, a high-density manufactured housing community abuts the site to the northwest. There are existing subdivisions to the east and undeveloped residential land to the west, south and east. The Links of Novi Golf Course and a significant core reserve wetland area are immediately south of the site, south of Ten Mile Road.


The site is 901 acres, there are 122 acres of wetlands and there are 94 acres of upland woods off of Napier Road, west of Wixom Road. There is a piece of upland woods in the central forested wetland system, there are also upland woods on the north of the site and on the very eastern edge of the property. The most significant feature is the lake, created by sand and gravel mining activities through the 1980's along the Novi line drain.


Ms. Jukuri stated Harvest Lake is 169 acres, which makes it the second largest lake in the City. It is over one mile long with three miles of shoreline. Harvest Lake will be the central focus and main common amenities for future residents of Harvest Lake of Novi. Preserving the lake environment and protecting its’ water quality over the long term are the highest goals of the project. Ms. Jukuri stated they have used open space planning principles in their plans. The project will also include a middle school and elementary school on the east side and a new 50 acre City park. A total of 937 single-family homes are being proposed. A mixture of attached and detached cluster homes will be located at either end of the lake, along the edge of the manufactured housing community, on the very north edge of the site and a few units in the upland woods piece. The majority of the homes will be single-family detached lots. The project has been planned so that smaller lots and cluster housing are more central to the site, with larger lots along the lake where they are most visible. The largest lots will be on the water front, approximately one acre in size to a minimum width of 150 feet. Single-family homes inland will be a range of lot sizes starting at a minimum of 90 feet wide, up to 110 feet wide and up. There will also be attached and detached cluster homes with luxury townhomes on the lake and attached cluster housing next to the manufactured housing community and on the north side of the property. A select number of cluster units will be located in the upland woods in the center of the site.


Because of the variety of housing and lot sizes proposed, the plan preserves significant open space. Over 50% of the site will remain as common permanent open space. There are 148 acres of common open space. The amount of resident neighborhood parks proposed will help offset the City’s projected deficit of neighborhood parks for the western side of Novi. There will be a variety of usable common open space throughout the project so that no resident or family is more than a three minute walk from a natural feature or park. There will be a total of four waterfront resident parks, two with swimming beaches, the lake will be for non-motorized use only. Each waterfront park will have play structures or equipment for families. As a part of the later phases of the project, the developer would like to renovate the barn off Napier road as part of the fourth waterfront park, perhaps for use as a possible resident community meeting room. In addition to the waterfront parks, there will be a common preservation easement and footpath along the lake where the cluster townhome units are proposed. Wetlands and significant stands of upland woods will be preserved undisturbed. Ms. Jukuri stated with upland meadows and isolated wetland pockets preserved and linked, as part of a single conservation corridor. On the north side of the site, the conservation corridor will range from 150 feet wide to over 700 feet wide. All major entrances will be landscaped with entrance boulevards, creating a common visual identity. With a 25 to 50 foot wide naturalized landscape buffer between the private lot and the adjacent major thoroughfare. All of the open space will be linked by a connected pedestrian network using sidewalks along streets, connecting to off-street trails with boardwalks and wood chip paths in environmentally sensitive areas and mown paths through upland meadows.


Woody Held stated JJR has been involved in two years of environmental studies for the project. Throughout the process Harvest Land has encouraged JJR to make environmental stewardship a fundamental objective of the Master Plan. The studies were begun before any preliminary development planning in order to create an environmental framework within which sound planning decisions could be made. As alternative Master Plan concepts were developed, additional environmental information was gathered to help refine those concepts. Approximately 8 miles of wetland boundaries and 2 miles of woodland boundaries were flagged and surveyed to provide accurate locations during planning studies. Additional field studies were conducted to identify the location of subaqueous wetlands as required under the RUD Ordinance, a botanical inventory of the significant natural areas was performed to document existing conditions for future efforts to preserve, restore or enhance natural and open space areas. A hydrologic model for the upstream water shed of the lake was prepared to determine the lake water levels under existing and future developed conditions within the water shed. The amount of information provided by the studies allowed them to competently represent that the objective of environmental stewardship can be achieved, even though they are only at the Master Plan level.


A number of Best Management Practices have been incorporated into the planning to protect the two primary environmental features of the property, its’ lakes and wetlands. The Best Management Practices include: 1) clustering development to reduce the amounts of impervious surfaces and maintain the landscape; 2) establishing an open space system which preserves and links the natural areas on the site; 3) controlling the discharge of storm water to protect forested wetlands; 4) using created wetlands to treat storm water run off. Mr. Held explained that JJR has been involved in the creation and restoration of over 1,000 acres of wetland habitats in Michigan. He felt the areas would not only contribute to the successful treatment of the storm water, but would also provide wildlife habitat and aesthetic features within the development. The Master Planning approach will create an environmental context for an attractive residential community as well as provide long term protection for the natural features which make the community attractive.


Steve Weiner thought he had genuinely attempted to make a collaborative effort of planning. He stated he has spoken several times with a broad constituency of people who have a vested interest in seeing what the project will do for Novi. He stated he has recently changed his plan after the first formal review process in order to accommodate specific advise and consultation. He thought his submittal was as comprehensive as possible, at the same time he stated he has not violated the basic standards of the Master Plan regarding density or the build out projections. He believed he addressed the intent of the RUD regarding a variety of housing types and flexibility. He stated he intends on making his packet part of a contract that he will live up to.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the project is 901 acres and there may be an opportunity to expand the site further in the future. Road stubs have been provided for that expansion. Mr. Rogers stated it was a fine, comprehensive evaluation of the site. He also stated It was a coordinated, integrated and thorough Master Plan for the site that encompassed many sound planning principles.


Regarding the RUD plan, Mr. Rogers stated it preserves open space. He stated 52% of the dwelling units would be single-family detached homes, 48% would be made up of attached/detached clusters. Lake access would not be limited. Half of the lake frontage would be accessible to all people living within the 900 dwelling units within the project. There were a number of changes made to the road system to conform to the Master Thoroughfare Plan.


Regarding regulated woodlands, wetlands and watercourses, Mr. Rogers stated that Ms. Tepatti, Ms. Lemke and Mr. Pargoff have all walked the site with the experts from JJR many times, thus confirming the boundaries. Mr. Rogers thought the consideration of incorporating school and park sites into the plan was good planning and would enhance the neighborhood facilities for western Novi.


Mr. Rogers stated the initial plan originally came in with over 1,000 dwelling units, the formula for incentive open space housing units was lowered, increased setback requirements between single-family detached homes was provided, R-4 dwelling units were eliminated, more definitive setback boundaries were provided. Further, there was a minimum number of single-family detached homes in the plan. The phasing and timing was reviewed and it was clarified in the proposed amendment to the RUD Ordinance.


Mr. Rogers referred to the Implementation Committee’s studies and their amendments to the RUD Ordinance. He stated the preliminary draft was forwarded to the Council by the Planning Commission, however, no discussion was conducted on it. It was Mr. Rogers’ opinion that the plan had merit, he stated the area could be served in a Phased system by utilities and infrastructure needed by the project.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Rogers to clarify the various non-compliance items in the present plan.


Mr. Rogers stated one issue was the setback requirements between single-family homes. In regard to "additional credit", it allows up to one dwelling unit per acre of the RUD open space where such space is dedicated to the residents of the RUD subject to criteria in the proposed ordinance. He stated there was no density credit in the present ordinance, it was an add on. It would increase the density of the site. He suggested the cap on the density credit be to take gross area, the density on the underlying zoning including the subaqueous wetlands, capping at 937 dwelling units. The perimeter boundary areas and the present RUD Ordinance state that the applicant shall meet the standards of the adjacent zoning district. Mr. Rogers stated if the cap of 937 homes was reached, the applicant has advised that they would comply with those standards for lot area and depth for the R-2 and R-3 type lots.


Mr. Rogers referred to his April 15, 1997 letter, upon further study and reflection, he pointed out that the present proposed ordinance would say that a majority of the residential components of the RUD was comprised of detached one family dwelling units. The existing language in the Ordinance states, "A portion of the residential component of the RUD is composed or comprised of conventional one-family dwelling developments." Mr. Rogers stated the present Ordinance does not require at least 50% single-family residential. An RUD could have 90% cluster as a stand. Secondly, the term conventional refers to lot sizing and width of the underlying zoning. He pointed out that under the language of the existing and proposed ordinance, the City Council and Planning Commission shall review the mixture of dwelling unit types to determine whether the proportions of dwelling units meet the purpose and intent of the section.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated he reviewed the engineering of the plan against the Zoning Ordinance, Section 2404 and made engineering requirements within that Section. Public water supply and fire protection are proposed to be provided by public water mains constructed throughout the development. Off-site water main extensions have been shown as "by others" bringing service to the proposed new Novi Middle school at the northeast corner of Wixom Road and Eleven Mile Roads. Sanitary sewer service is proposed by extension of public sewers into the site with the use of multiple lift stations around the lake to help minimize excessive sewer depths. The off-site sanitary sewer and water main extensions have been shown as "by others" bringing service to the proposed new Novi Middle School at the northeast corner of the site at Wixom Road and Eleven Mile Road. The applicant proposes the uses of constructed basins for storm water management, detention, water quality control, sedimentation purposes. These areas are intended to be constructed outside of the natural wetland areas and the lake itself. Approximately 20 basins are shown throughout the RUD and are located to be constructed by phase as the phased plans come in for the development. The Novi-Lyon Drain, a drain under the jurisdiction of the Oakland County Drain Commission flows from the southeast corner of the site along Ten Mile Road, west of Wixom Road. North and west across the development through the lake area and outlets across Napier Road and into Lyon Township.


Mr. Bluhm stated all application information required for the engineer evaluation of the concept plan has been submitted and is in order. He offered several comments with respect to the submitted application: 1) Section 2404 states, "There is or will be, at the time of development, an adequate means of disposing of sanitary sewerage and of supplying the development with water and that the road system and storm water drainage system is adequate." Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant has demonstrated a feasible means of providing this infrastructure to the project; 2) The applicant is proposing a two-celled wet treatment basins for the development. The concept appears to exhibit a number of Best Management Practices. They will need to be further refined as the phased plans are reviewed for approval. As the basins serve to provide storm water detention, they will need to be designed and constructed in accordance with the Design and Construction Standards Ordinance; 3) A level control structure is proposed for the northwest corner of the lake. The structure is intended to stabilize the lake surface levels because the lake is part of the drainage course of the Novi-Lyon County Drain, all applicable agency permits will be required.


Based on the requirements contained within the Ordinance, it was Mr. Bluhm’s recommendation that the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and he recommended approval. The approval was conditioned on a number of more detailed engineering issues which need to be addressed prior to the submittal which include the following: 1) Additional off-site construction improvements may be necessary to the City of Novi water supply system in order to provide adequate domestic and fire protection pressures for the full development of the project. A determination of the types of improvements necessary will require a City wide analysis of the water supply system. Once the analysis is complete, a determination can be made as to specific infrastructure requirements that will be needed off-site and on-site for the project. Mr. Bluhm stated he has been through the engineering water systems for the City of Novi and it appeared that they would need to provide some improvements off site that would help bring water supply to the area. He stated it was something that would need to be looked into during the summer months. Sanitary sewer exists all the way to Beck Road. He stated there were a couple of segments in the sewer that he had some capacity concerns with. At this time he did not think the development would excessively put a demand on the sewers. Mr. Bluhm recommended that analysis and determination of the necessary improvements be provided at the phased levels.


On-site sanitary sewer systems have been developed with the use of multiple lift stations with gravity sewers. Consideration should be given to minimizing the use of lift or pump stations. Gravity sewers were much preferred and efforts should be made to minimize construction below the static water elevation. This would help minimize the de-watering of the lake area during construction. Harvest Lake has been identified on the Storm Water Master Plan as a Regional Detention Basin. It was Mr. Bluhm’s understanding that the lake was to be owned and maintained through the development. The applicant should contact the Public Services Director with a request to remove the "Regional Basin" designation from the lake. A 100 year flood plain elevation would be required to be established prior to submittal of individual phased site plans abutting the lake area. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there were multiple points of access, included are access points to Napier Road, Ten Mile Road, Wixom Road and Delmont Drive. There would be a need to show R.O.W. both internal and external to the site at the time of future plat developments.


In regard to trip generation and traffic study, Mr. Arroyo stated there were four different scenarios given in his report. The first scenario involved looking at each phase as an individual project and doing a separate trip generation for each. It gave a higher number because smaller projects tend to generate more trips per unit than larger projects. Scenario 2 looked at the development as a whole. He believed that the scenario would be the most accurate reflection of trip generation, however, because the number of units have been reduced according to what was originally proposed, it must be taken into consideration. Scenario 3 looked at the entire project as if it were single family homes. It was based on the assumption that the residential condo’s generate trips at a level similar to single family development. Mr. Arroyo stated typically residential condominium developments generate fewer trips per unit than standard detached single family units. Scenario 4 looked at the number of units that would be allowed under the current RUD Ordinance.


Mr. Arroyo stated the traffic study was based on a 10 year build out of the development. It included trips that would be added to the road network by residential projects that have been approved by the City but were not yet completely built. It also included a background growth rate to account for other developments that would come on-line over the 10 year period. Mr. Arroyo referred to Table 2 where he compared many critical intersections in the area, comparing existing delay in level of service to forecast conditions with site traffic, and then with the addition of both site traffic and the background traffic. Of all the intersections, there were only two that appeared to be of concern, Grand River/Wixom Road, and Ten Mile Road/Beck Road. Grand River and Wixom Road currently is experiencing some delays in the northbound approach. There are problems in the morning with eastbound movements at Ten Mile Road and Beck Road. Both intersections could be improved with some fairly minor improvements, to improve levels of service.


Mr. Arroyo stated because the plan is conceptual, he believed that additional traffic study supplements should be provided to the Planning Commission and City Council when individual phases come forward.


The applicant’s traffic consultant also reviewed the need for deceleration tapers, passing lanes, etc. Basically all of the access points would require deceleration and acceleration tapers. All of the driveways on the west side of Wixom Road would require either a passing lane or a center left turn lane, the access point to Ten Mile Road will also require it. Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant’s RUD plan does take into consideration the recommendations of the Planning Commission and the Thoroughfare Plan by including a collector road system that runs along the south side of the lake, connecting Napier Road to Wixom Road.


In regard to Napier Road, which is an unpaved road, Mr. Arroyo anticipated as the first connection made to Napier Road from the development, most of the traffic would likely go to the north because of the internal road system. He thought the paving from the collector road, north adjacent to the mobile home park would likely be the first area that would warn any type of paving and then eventually the entire Napier Road would need paving as traffic increased. Mr. Arroyo stated funding was not currently in place and would require further planning.


Mr. Arroyo stated there have been substantial modifications made to the RUD plan, to include a number of new stub streets and also to modify some of the previous cul-de-sacs that exceeded the 800 foot maximum length. He believed that the general intent of the Subdivision Ordinance was met, however, he recognized that because of the conceptual nature of the plan, it was likely that some of the stub street locations would be moved. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the RUD plan. He believed it reflected the concepts in the thoroughfare plan, provides reasonable access to the external road system and is consistent with the traffic-related ordinances of the City.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there were approximately 162 acres of regulated woodlands on the site. Area 1 is approximately 24 acres of woodlands, it is located in the southwest corner of the site and continues south for a small distance. It is a very high quality mature woodlands. Area 2 is approximately 114 acres, it is a large central system that begins in the upper northwest quadrant. Area 3 is approximately 9 acres and is located in the southeast corner. Area 4 is on the school site and is approximately 12 acres. Lastly, there is a small regulated area where the barn is located. The site contains several areas found on the City’s Wildlife Habitat Master Plan.


Ms. Lemke stated Area 5 is a lower quality woodland because the species that occur there and its’ isolation. Consideration should be given to replacing existing species with higher quality trees when the phase is submitted for detailed review.





Area 4 on the school site is of good to high quality and is being preserved in it’s entirety.


Ms. Lemke referred to Area 1, she stated the area has some intrusion into it, however the line was changed to reduce the impact. The impact was reduced on the easterly edge, the road has been reduced to a single lane road. There is an area along Napier Road for a proposed water main. The area is primarily Beech Maple, it is indicated as Type C on the Wildlife Habitat Master Plan basically because of isolation. There appears to be some connection to the properties to the west in South Lyon Township, this would increase the value. The impact has been reduced by approximately 100 feet along the edge. It was determined that the road was necessary for access to the southern portion of the development. Wildlife culverts should be used under the road in at least 2 areas.


Area 2 has been divided into three sub-categories; 1) Single-family, AC, Area 3 - is an upland strip of approximately 450 feet in width, located in the midst of a "sea" of wooded wetlands. Ms. Lemke stated she asked that the cluster units be moved apart to allow for wildlife movement and save more woodlands between the units. 2) This area is located further south, the woodlands are a mixture of Oak/Hickory and wooded wetlands. The quality of the area is very high and similar to Area 1. The northerly cul-de-sac has been removed, and several significant areas of SF-D and SFW-D have been removed from the plans. The removal of the road to the units adjacent to Wixom Road was discussed. The petitioner believes the connection is vital to the design of the project. 3) These areas are upland Oak/Hickory woodlands. The attached cluster will remove a mature woodlands edge of large Oak trees by the location of the road. The lots will be a 150 foot width minimum and this will help in the potential ability to save trees on side and front yard areas. The re-location of the road on the lake side has been discussed. Wildlife culvert should be used under the roads in key areas to provide access to the lake and woodlands unit.


Area 3 is a remnant of a larger woodland that was removed for mining. The Wildlife Habitat Master Plan indicates this area as a possible linkage, therefore, a review of the lake’s edge composition to encourage wildlife and wildlife culverts to connect the woodlands is recommended.


Ms. Lemke stated storm water was being directed to the lake, not into the wooded wetlands. The storm water management plan incorporates treatment areas prior to entering the lake, this would greatly reduce the impact on the wooded wetlands. Utilities are being shown along the roadways with the exception of a 12" water main which is in the high quality woodlands of Area 1. Location of the water main in Area 1 will cause considerable removal of trees and under story vegetation. However, there is not another alternative location that would have any less impact. Pathways are proposed in a connecting system throughout the woodlands, this will help keep people from wandering through the woodlands and cause damage.


Ms. Lemke stated while there was some intrusion into the woodlands, significant alternative designs and measures have been proposed to lessen the impact. The open space areas are being proposed and are contiguous to the regulated woodlands and wetlands. The design allows environmentally functional residential development. Ms. Lemke recommended approval in regard to woodlands preservation with two conditions: 1) a detailed woodland review is a part of the approval process and will occur for each phase; 2) measures highlighted in her report with an "*" be included in the revised plans.


Susan Tepatti, Water Resources Specialist stated the current lake edge watercourse setback consists primarily of young vegetation. There are two main watercourses, one enters the site near Ten Mile road and exits the site at the northwest corner. Another watercourse comes across Wixom Road and flows into the lake. The wetlands on the site total 122 acres and include primarily State Regulated Wetlands and also some small pockets that are regulated by the City. Several issues require extensive wetland review at this time. They include the filling of some of the small wetlands to allow for construction and road crossing as well as the storm water detention and sedimentation plans for the site, waterfront parks, vegetative lake buffer, mitigation and construction of a marina.


Ms. Tepatti stated JCK has walked the site on several occasions to inspect the wetland boundaries as shown on the plans. She stated they also met several times to confirm the subaqueous wetlands and verify the acreage. She explained the definition of a subaqueous wetland to be a wetland that has standing water at some time during the year. The primary impact to the wetland was the road crossing, in most cases. The applicant is not proposing a large scale filling of wetlands to obtain buildable areas. Road crossings will take place at narrow areas of the wetlands which is in keeping with the general guidelines in the Wetlands Ordinance. There are a couple of wetland pockets that are less than 2 acres that are proposed to be filled, they were determined to be of low quality.


The wetland fill proposed for the school site was reviewed by the DEQ and permitted. Detention is being proposed in the wetland along Wixom Road just north of Eleven Mile on the school site. Wetland mitigation is being proposed for any impact and will be reviewed in detail at the site plan level. The applicant has designated three areas throughout the site as potential mitigation areas.


Storm water for the entire site is routed to the lake. The applicant has approached the overall storm water management plan and has proposed the construction of ten acres of wetland/detention basins which will receive all storm water prior to its discharge into the lake. No storm water will be discharged to the forested wetlands on the site.

Other issues Ms. Tepatti was pleased with were the vegetative buffers around the lake, she stated they would be an enhancement to what was currently there. It would provide additional wildlife habitat and protection from the lake. Also, the fact that motorized boats would not be allowed on the lake would help to protect the water quality and habitat. Ms. Tepatti stated the project complies with the wetland provisions of the RUD Ordinance and she felt the plans exhibited compliance with the Wetland and Watercourse Protection Ordinance.


Chris Pargoff, City of Novi Forester stated although the progress has been made on the Harvest Lake project, more needs to be done to move the plan closer to the spirit of the Woodlands Ordinance. The Woodlands Ordinance states the development shall minimize disturbance, protect the integrity or place priority on the preservation of woodlands when there are no location alternatives. Mr. Pargoff stated there were primarily five intrusion areas into the woodlands and they are defined by the applicant’s letter as SFW-D, SF-D, the southwest single-family area, the eastern portion of Phase IV and SFAC. The areas of the southwest quadrant and SF-D have had reduced woodlands impact. Substantive changes have been made in these areas to better address the Woodlands issues that were raised by Ms. Lemke. There were two areas of intrusion into SFW-D, the area is just reaching maturity and two new edges would be created in the proposed road. The two edges could be characterized by some of the impacts that have been seen recently.


The west side of the street will have 150 foot lots and contain regulated woodlands. It was Mr. Pargoff’s opinion that the use of large lots is the key in any attempt to save trees. The distance between the housing envelopes would be strictly enforced and he hoped to achieve side lot islands of trees.


Mr. Pargoff stated the road that bisects section SFAC was ill-advised. There are two proposed roads that surround the regulated woodlands and the third cross woodlands road and cluster complex is proposed to be built through the area of upland trees. Many of the trees shall be removed by the construction of the road. The road is based on economics of the project, therefore, he felt the continued study of the cul-de-sac was a viable option to minimize the road construction.


Mr. Pargoff requested the applicant attend a homeowners meeting to gauge some of the reactions of their new residents in the area. The area was already in a state of decline and die back in the wooded wetland would cause a problem for future residents.


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

Chairperson Lorenzo suggested following the Public Hearing, the Commission should take a brief recess. She then opened the Public Hearing.


Karl Wizinsky & Marcia Boynton, 26850 Wixom Road, stated his home is on 11 acres and located north of the proposed park/school area and directly across from the northern entrance of the proposed Harvest Lake project. He stated he has reviewed information on the project and met with Mr. Weiner. He was in support of the project for three major reasons: 1) The master developer - To have such a large project under the planning of one entity was an overall benefit. 2) Open Space Planning - He was supportive of large 1 acre lots, however, in reviewing the plan, he believed that Open Space Planning does fit the parcel with it’s unique features and would provide retention. 3) It appeared that a lot of energy and effort has been put into support the environment. Mr. Wizinsky again expressed his support for the Master Plan that was proposed by Harvest Land.


Chuck Young, 50910 West Nine Mile Road, stated Mr. Weiner spoke to him to gain his support. He explained to Mr. Weiner that he doesn’t take a stand one way or the other because as in the past, there have been some problems. Mr. Young referred to the book he received from Mr. Weiner. He suggested that it be read carefully because it was a program that was three times as large as any entity that Novi has ever had and it would affect the rest of the development of the area.


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, stated in general he was in support of the overall plan and concept. Regarding the roads through the woodlands, he stated the woodlands to the southwest and the north central area are high quality woodlands and he was not in support of running roads through them. He stated he would like to see the Commission re-examine it for alternatives. Mr. Mutch spoke in support of the pedestrian network concept, he stated it needed to be ensured that along every road, there was at least some sort of pedestrian network and added that alternatives such as trails should be examined. Finally, he stated the Levy Company does own property to the west, in Lyon Township that will eventually develop in a similar manner. He would like to see some exploration of the long term impact of that property’s development, because it will put a strain on Novi’s infrastructure. He thought maybe it could be something that Novi could look at bringing into its’ community as another asset.


Barry Kaltz, 25040 Delmont Drive, President of Birchwood Association and resident. He stated that Mr. Weiner has met with the Association and explained his Master Plan to the Board of Directors. He stated Mr. Weiner has gone out of his way to provide an answer regarding any concern that was expressed. Mr. Kaltz was in favor of the Open Space Planning, he thought it was good to preserve the natural resources that are there. He stated Mr. Weiner has promised to work with the Birchwood Association on any concerns they may have.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else wanted to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and announced the Commission would take a brief recess.


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


Member Hoadley commended the Levy Company for what he thought was an outstanding project. He expressed support for the project.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Wahl if he had any comments on the project that he would like to offer to the Commission?


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning and Community Development stated the Department had not prepared a formal comment or recommendation at this stage in the planning process. The Department does not provide recommendations to the Planning Commission, but will be preparing conclusions and recommendations for any future City Council reviews. However, he reported throughout the Administrative responsibilities, he has been very satisfied with the applicant. He reported that it is one of the better, if not, one of the best applications, information, illustrations and mapping that has been received in 12 years. He stated the applicant has been very responsive, timely, and the accuracy has been first rate. Mr. Wahl noted that the Department was involved in an extensive pre-application planning process. He stated they had an opportunity to look at numerous alternatives, they were invited and encouraged to provide ideas and input, he thought it was a positive working relationship and everyone should be aware that there were a lot of approaches that were looked at and altered or rejected because they did not meet the desired standards. Mr. Wahl thought the plan represented good residential planning and zoning, and reflects an excellent approach to "open space planning". Mr. Wahl also noted that this type of development would provide natural areas, features and habitat for wild animals that are a part of a more "rural atmosphere". Comments from residents at the Planning Commission and through the visioning process indicate a desire to preserve and enhance our remaining rural areas. He thought that any specific questions should be addressed to the consultants, he appreciated the opportunity to comment on the project.


Member Hoadley could foresee a problem with intrusion along the area adjacent to the trailer park. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Weiner if fencing was also being proposed in addition to the buffering?



Mr. Weiner thought it was appropriate to construct a berm with a fairly substantial amount of landscaping. He stated it was a substantial visual barrier and as he gets near that phase of development, he would likely supplement it with a fence. In the area from the edge of the manufacturing housing community to the north, there is a substantial amount of existing trees, underbrush and an existing fence. He stated it is a slightly environmentally sensitive area and he did not want to build a fence. He did not see intrusion as being a problem to date.


Member Hoadley stated Mr. Pargoff and Ms. Lemke did not see eye to eye on the intrusion. He asked Mr. Weiner to comment as to whether it was necessary to the integrity of the project and if so, why?


Mr. Weiner asked Mr. Doyle to answer that question since he was the most prepared for it.


Bob Doyle stated the issue of necessity was looked at from a number of perspectives. The first was from a planning perspective. The area to the north was looked at as being a neighborhood and the project was looked at as being an integration of neighborhoods. From a planning perspective, he thought it made sense to have a second connection from the north part of the project to the central part of the project. From a traffic perspective, he thought it made sense to have two connections because it would allow the traffic to disperse.


Member Hoadley asked if there was anywhere else the road could be located to get the same result?


Mr. Doyle stated it was looked at, he showed a slide and referred to the area where the road crosses regulated wetlands. He stated an alternative that was considered to maintain the two connections to the northern neighborhood, more than doubled the impact to the regulated wetlands. Other concerns regarding eliminating the road was 1) it allows a loop water system to be used; 2) it significantly improves fire safety access to the various parts of the project.


Member Hoadley asked how many regulated trees were actually being removed by running the road through that area and what was the mitigation plan to add trees somewhere else?


Mr. Doyle stated he has not quantified the number of trees in that area, the actual level of detail is consistent with the site plan submittal. He stated he has quantified the edges of the woodlands and done a qualitative study to determine the quality, size, species, etc. He did not know what the acreage was off hand.

Mr. Weiner asked Mr. Held to address Member Hoadley’s questions.


Woody Held stated the entire system was 11 acres, he estimated 3½ to 4 acres of woodland impact. Mr. Held defined woodland impact as the area included within the zones proposed for development. He stated it was not necessarily a total loss of trees if he could work with the landscape and minimize clearing within the zones.


Member Hoadley asked about the mitigation plan and adding regulated trees.


Mr. Held stated he has tried to reinforce the connections between the existing habitats that currently exist, which do not have well established tree canopies.


Member Hoadley asked Ms. Lemke to verify the accuracy of the statements that were just made by Mr. Held.


Ms. Lemke stated she has not done any measurements to know how many acres of upland woodlands are being disturbed on the site because of the conceptual nature. She guessed it to be accurate. Ms. Lemke envisioned a lot of replanting of smaller trees next to the units. She stated immediately around the units would have to be a lot of under planting and she recommended this in her letter.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Weiner if he was willing to accept the recommendations in regard to mitigation and the suggestions of the consultants?


Mr. Weiner answered, yes.


In regard to Napier Road, Member Hoadley asked if Mr. Weiner had a problem with paving the road, if it was warranted and the consultants felt that it was necessary.


Mr. Weiner stated his intention was to follow the recommendations of the consultants.


Member Hoadley expressed his support for the project, he thought it was an opportunity to set a tone for the Novi as well as the State of Michigan. He stated it was a landmark project.




Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (5-4): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for the Harvest Lake of Novi RUD Application, SP97-06A, subject to the approval of the proposed text ordinance amendments also proposed by Harvest Land Company.





Member Vrettas stated he had a problem with the RUD Ordinance. He stated final say on the Ordinance would come from City Council, he asked if the RUD was sent with a positive recommendation and City Council alters it, would it alter the Planning Commission’s recommendation?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney answered it does not alter the Planning Commission’s recommendation, but once it is out of the Commission’s hands, it is in the hands of the City Council and they will act on it in a fashion they deem appropriate.


Member Vrettas was concerned that the applicant was not affected. He stated a part of the motion was being based on the RUD document. He expressed concern if the document was altered by Council, would it in any way affect the Commission’s recommendation.


Mr. Watson stated the Commission’s recommendation is conditioned upon the Ordinance change occurring. If the Ordinance change does not occur, then a positive recommendation has not been given.


Member Weddington stated she was not able to support the motion because she felt the Commission was voting for something that was not finalized yet. She did not know what shape or form the RUD change may take. There were a couple of different proposals that have not been discussed at all, she thought the discussion should occur first. Member Weddington thought the motion was premature until the issues and Ordinance changes were discussed.


Member Markham applauded the efforts of Harvest Land to apply Open Space Planning concepts to the parcel. She thought it was the right thing to do and stated it was a better use of the land than Conventional Zoning would give to the City.


Member Markham wanted very much to support the proposal, she agreed that the proposal was of good quality and there were many positive features. One issue she had concerns with was the fact that the school and city park land was being included in the density calculation. She did not think it was right to include them in the density calculations for the whole parcel because for all intent and purposes the land will belong to the City and the school district. She supported Mr. Rogers suggestion of capping the density at a figure that is based on the gross area and the underlying density, however, she would exclude the school and city park area.


Member Markham agreed with Harvest Land’s requested modification to the 330 foot buffer. She commented that the Commission was looking at this issue before talking about the Ordinance, as Ms. Lemke stated there were many more sites on the west side of Novi with similar issues associated with them. She stated this was exactly the reason why the Zoning Ordinance should be talked about, because it has to stand alone on any of the sites that an applicant may want to apply it to. Member Markham also commented that some of the wording in the RUD Ordinance and the proposed different text amendments was that, one reason someone might be allowed to have an RUD would be because they do something that is special and unique. She stated she would like to see Harvest Land do something to ensure unique houses, as they come forward with their site plans. Especially in the area of the waterfront properties as they will be highly visible from Wixom Road.


Member Markham again stated she could not support the motion as it stands because she thought the density was greater than it should be.


Member Bononi stated the application was quite unlike anything she has seen in these parts and she complimented it. She had no problems with the concept, however, she stated she would not be supporting the motion because of the request for increased density. The problem she had with it, was the school parcel was being included in the density calculations. Member Bononi did not believe it was valid, she also did not agree with the submerged subaqueous definition. Member Bononi’s biggest objection was the "zone as you go" attitude that was being taken. She thought Mr. Wahl’s statement about the status of the Zoning Ordinance in regard to residential classifications was proof that the Ordinance was not where it should be. Reviewing an application with no approved underlying zoning classification topped it for her. She had a grave reservation about Mr. Pargoff’s comments regarding reasonable and prudent alternatives, which she believed could be worked out. For these reasons, she could not support the motion.


Member Capello stated he also had some initial concerns when he looked at the packet and thought about sending a recommendation to City Council based on an Ordinance that had not yet been adopted. He stated the more he looked into it, the Ordinance and the application were both recommendations. Therefore, City Council would presumably adopt some modifications or revisions to the RUD Ordinance and then they would make sure that the application was consistent with the modifications. Member Capello stated he did not have a problem with sending recommendations on to Council on the Ordinance amendments and the application.


Member Weddington thought the plan was very impressive, she stated she liked the Open Space Planning concepts and principles that have been incorporated into the plan. Her reservation was she believed they were getting the "cart before the horse".


Member Weddington asked if the lake and wetlands were included in the density calculations?


Mr. Rogers stated, of the 122 acres of regulated wetlands, there are 50 acres within it that are classified as subaqueous, this leaves 72 acres of regulated wetlands that are included in the density computation. The lake is included in the density computation.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Watson to explain what the procedure was, if the Commission sends the recommendation on to Council, would they ever see it again or have the opportunity to review each phase specifically?


Mr. Watson stated the Ordinance does not call it a conceptual plan, it calls it an RUD Plan and at one point it refers to it as a Preliminary Plan. With regard to each phase, the Commission will see either a Tentative Preliminary Plat or a Preliminary Site Plan, depending on what form of development they are utilizing.


Member Weddington asked if there would be another opportunity to review it in more detail?


Mr. Watson answered, yes.


Member Weddington asked Ms. Lemke and Ms. Tepatti to address the alternative plan that was shown on a slide that moves the second road out of the upland woodland and further east and south, to go around it. She asked if it was a better proposal than avoiding the heavily wooded area?


Ms. Lemke stated it is in a wooded wetland, however, the quality as it goes toward the Eleven Mile edge does decrease. There would be impact, however, it would not be as great as it would be, if it went through the center of the woodlands. She stated there would be a lot more wetland impact.


Ms. Tepatti stated normally the wetland crossings are favored at the narrowest points and any road crossings should involve the minimum amount of wetland impact. One problem that might occur with the State being involved is that the State might prefer the alternative where the road goes through the woodland pocket. The State does not typically consider upland woods in their review of permits.


Ms. Lemke commented looking at the plan where it comes down to join with the other road, that road has been eliminated. It used to be two cul-de-sac areas that were proposed for units. It was removed along with a considerable amount of units and allowed for a total green way with the exception of the roads. She stated she was also recommending wildlife culverts in that area.


Mr. Pargoff stated it becomes a DNR issue and he imagined that Ms. Tepatti’s comments were correct in that the DNR does not care about woodlands. He stated he had been told by the DNR in large meetings, only in Novi do the woodlands count.


Member Weddington asked the applicant whether the development was proposed to be platted as a subdivision or if it would be site condominiums?


Kevin Kohls stated the petitioner has not yet concluded the land development concept. He stated conventional condominiums, site condominiums or platted developments all would be reviewed as he goes through the phasing process. Mr. Kohls added that the roads would all be built to Novi standards, whether platted subdivision or site condominiums.


In regard to the road that goes through the upland woodlands, Member Weddington asked approximately how many housing units would be located there?


Ms. Jukuri answered she was proposing a total of 28 units, they are cluster units as noted on the plan. They would be in groupings of two and four as allowed by the Cluster Housing Ordinance.


Member Weddington expressed concerns regarding the adequacy of the water and sewer. She asked if additional utility facilities were required who would pay for them?


Mr. Bluhm did not think it had been determined yet. He stated he was looking at it from two perspectives: 1) adequate service needs to be maintained to the existing consumers in Novi; 2) adequate service has to be provided to the development. Mr. Bluhm stated at this point it is being determined, through the modeling system of the water system, what kind of additional improvements will be needed off-site, and from there the funding mechanisms will fall into place. Based on the models thus far, there will be adequate capacity. More importantly, it will not compromise the capacity that the other residents in Novi need, to maintain their service.


In Member Weddington’s opinion, maintaining existing service levels is barely adequate. She had concerns about the utilities and funding for them, until better information is provided.


Mr. Watson stated in Mr. Bluhm’s review letter, he referred to Section 2404 (6)(d) of the Ordinance with regard to utilities. He stated, it appeared in his letter that the comments referred to the plans as being provided by others, he asked if there was any explanation of what "by others" was referring to?


Mr. Bluhm stated it looked like there were agreements that were being worked out through the school purchase. However, it appeared, to construct the utilities to the site, would be provided by the City of Novi to extend to the school.


Mr. Watson asked as of now, to Mr. Bluhm’s knowledge, was there an agreement in place to do it?


Mr. Bluhm did not believe the agreement to be in place.


Mr. Watson asked if it does not happen, would it alter his recommendation as to the adequacy of utilities to the site?


Mr. Bluhm answered, no. He stated it would just put the burden on the developer to bring the utilities to the site and it would still remain a feasible alternative.


Mr. Watson clarified that when Mr. Bluhm make his recommendation, it was contingent on either it happening, or the developer taking it upon himself to do it.


Mr. Bluhm answered, yes.


Member Weddington asked Mr. Cohen if Lyon Township was notified about the proposal?


Mr. Cohen answered, yes. He stated they did not respond. He stated that Lyon Schools were notified and then he found out from Mr. Weiner that the students would attend Novi Schools. Therefore, the City Clerk’s office notified Novi Schools and the surrounding communities.


Member Weddington thought some tough decisions needed to be made, in terms of preserving wetlands versus woodlands and providing wildlife habitat. She reiterated her comments about not knowing what the Ordinance is, or is going to be.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was very uncomfortable about commenting on the plan because to say that the application review was premature, much less a recommendation to City Council, was an understatement. The most relevant point in the review was that the project was in non-compliance with the current law. She had serious reservations and concerns about the procedure, she strongly disagreed with the extremely casual approach toward non-compliance with the current law. Chairperson Lorenzo strongly disagreed with Member Capello, she stated while the Commission only makes recommendations to City Council on both the text ordinance amendments and the plan, she thought the Commission had a duty and an obligation to do so in a very thorough, carefully thought out manner. Chairperson Lorenzo was very disappointed in the approach and she questioned it seriously. She asked Mr. Wahl or Mr. Watson for an instance where the Commission has reviewed plans that were in non-compliance with the current law, before reviewing any type of amendments. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she has never witnessed or been a part of anything like this in the five years she has been on the Planning Commission, nor could she recall an instance as an observer in the City. She thought a very serious precedent was being set. Chairperson Lorenzo stated she could not comment on the plan because it was in non-compliance.





Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham, FAILED (4-5): To postpone until a conclusion is reached regarding the proposed amendments.





Member Vrettas stated he would like to support the project because there is so much about it that he likes. He also did not want to support it because he did not like going through the woodlands and he still had not heard justification to accept it.


Member Vrettas stated the Council has too often ignored the Planning Commission’s recommendations. He stated the Council chose the Commission, therefore, he felt they should support the Commission once in a while. Member Vrettas felt when a negative recommendation is sent to Council, they shouldn’t counter it so quickly because it sends a message to the Commission that they do not matter. Member Vrettas stated if the recommendation of the Commission would make a difference with Council, he would vote "No". He did not believe that the road served a purpose other than to make a few extra dollars. He did not believe it would do what the petitioner said it would. Member Vrettas felt the Commission was wasting its’ time, for that reason he was in support of the motion.

Member Capello did not believe the main role of the Planning Commission, in the recommendation area, was whether a positive or negative recommendation was given. He thought the role of the Commission was to simulate information to gather the facts to work a project, and then forward the project to City Council. Member Capello thought City Council was as familiar with the facts of the project as the Commission was. Whether a negative or positive recommendation was sent, he did not see any reason why the Commission believed they did not have enough information to send it to Council.


Member Vrettas stated the members just have a philosophical difference of opinion.


Chairperson Lorenzo thought the members had a real philosophical difference of opinion and thought they should look to the Ordinances and to the legislature that governs Planning Commissions.


Member Weddington explained her intent in making a motion to postpone the matter until discussion of the Ordinance took place, was to try to get some sort of consensus or idea about what was being sent forward. She stated she did not know because the Commission has not had the chance to talk about those things. She stated she would like to talk about the Ordinance and come to an agreement, before acting on the RUD application.


Member Churella stated the Commission send a draft of the RUD to the Council. Therefore, they know what the Commission thinks and what they want, he stated many hours are being spent talking about the same thing. Member Churella thought the plan should be voted on. He stated even if the project were recommended to the Council, it would come back to the Commission. Over the course of ten years, the project would probably come back to the Commission five times, therefore, the Commission would be making a lot more input.


Member Hoadley stated he would not be in support of the motion to postpone. He stated he would consider supporting a motion to table it.


Mr. Watson stated the motion that Member Weddington made was to postpone action until such time that the Commission has the opportunity to discuss the Ordinance.


Member Markham asked if the Commission sends the proposal forward, are they sending a proposal that does not comply with the Ordinance?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered, in several instances.


Member Markham stated this was the way she understood it. She asked if it was the responsibility of the Commission to make sure that the proposals that are sent forward, meet the requirements of the Ordinances?


Mr. Watson answered, absolutely. He stated the nature of the motion was contingent upon ordinance amendments being adopted, if the ordinance amendments are not adopted, it would no longer be a positive recommendation.


Member Bononi was concerned that some of the Commissioners took the attitude that it didn’t make a difference whether a recommendation was made to approve or deny. She read in the State Mandate what the responsibility of the Planning Commission was. She stated the responsibility, among many other things, was to make wise land use decisions according to the Ordinances. Member Bononi stated she has put too many years in the planning profession to think it was not important. She thought the most powerful words in the State Mandate were that we have no guarantees that anybody is going to take our opinion, it is our responsibility to persuade others to go the good land use decision route. She thought maybe a postponement would do some good, she stated she would support a postponement.





Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington, Bononi

No: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas





Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas

No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington





An Ordinance to amend Section 2404 of Ordinance 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the standards for (RUD) Residential Unit Developments for possible recommendation to City Council.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson whether the Commission can continue the Public Hearing to the next meeting considering the lateness of the hour?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney answered, sure. He explained it could be done two ways: 1) a Public Hearing could be conducted and then postpone action on it until the work is completed; 2) If a postponement is going to occur, it should be done to a specific date or else be prepared to do a re-notification of it.


Chairperson Lorenzo announced considering the lateness of the hour and considering there was another Matter on the Agenda, she requested consideration of postponing the Public Hearing until the next meeting. She entertained a motion.







Kevin Kohls was requesting an ordinance modification to the Residential Unit Development, Section 2404 of the Zoning Ordinance. He stated when the land owner and developer evaluated the City’s Ordinances, they concluded that within the framework of the existing Zoning Ordinances, the Open Space Planning could not be brought to fruition. He stated they searched for a mechanism to implement the modification to the Ordinances. He stated last October, they suggested to the City that the RUD Ordinance be modified to accommodate the Open Space Planning.


Mr. Kohls referred to the area of perimeter buffering. He thought the perimeter buffering discretion in the City could be expanded to allow consideration of additional factors such as the 25 foot greenbelt, unplatted, outside of any lot perimeter buffering. Another area was setbacks. Mr. Kohls stated the planning setbacks were an issue that should not be brought before the ZBA, they should be brought before the Commission. The setback issues have been addresses by giving discretion to the Commission to make adjustments with setbacks in the clustering and with setbacks that might be approved for the overall development. Density was another area where the applicant provided the opportunity in the context of Open Space Planning and upland preservation, an additional one unit per acre of upland open space as a common area for the community. Subject to the overall cap that Mr. Rogers referred to based on the gross acreage of the property. Phasing of the development was also a concern to the developer. He stated the phasing revisions in the existing RUD were harsh, under the existing RUD, all improvements for an entire RUD must be installed in a single phase, Mr. Kohls stated that was impractical. For that reason he respectfully suggested the phasing provisions for the RUD be modified to accommodate the financing and the phased real estate development of a project. Finally, Mr. Kohls referred to sidewalks. He stated under the existing RUD Ordinance, concrete sidewalks are requested on both sides of every road within the community. He stated that concrete sidewalks on both sides of every road within the community run contrary to the open space planning principles that were at the very core of the development plan. For this reason he suggested a modification that would allow a single path, five feet in width, connecting the entire development on one side of every road.


Mr. Kohls stated as he began writing the proposed amendment, he did not think narrowly of just the Harvest Lake development. He stated he attended Implementation Committee meetings as they reviewed the RUD, he took notes and saw that other properties as well as the City could benefit from the modifications that he suggested. Mr. Kohls asked the Commission to act favorably on the Ordinance.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he found the proposed draft of the Ordinance to be acceptable. He found that it was applicable in areas other than Harvest Lake of Novi. The minimum site area was reduced from 40 to 25 acres to make it even more applicable. It was Mr. Rogers’ opinion that the RUD Ordinance had a lot of good content, about 90% of it is retained and he thought with the amendments, it would be used. Mr. Rogers recommended it.


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


Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court expressed concern that the two issues were brought forward at the same meeting. He found it next to impossible to discuss one without discussing the other. He felt the RUD was a good vehicle and in the Harvest Land instance, it had good application. However, he expressed concern about the future application and some of the proposed changes. He also felt it was lacking in many areas because it does not meet what is currently in use in other communities. Mr. Mutch also expressed concern with the fact that there was no standard of Open Space requirement in the RUD, he thought there should be a number defined and implemented in the Ordinance. In regard to the inclusion of the City and school property, he stated it was a transfer of development rights issue, which he did not have a concern about. He thought it was something that should be explored and implemented. Mr. Mutch thought that all of the recommendations should be considered, he again stated to try and consider the two issues at the same time would be difficult.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and suggested the issue be taken point by point, allowing each Commissioner to comment on each point. She turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.







Member Markham did not believe the wording explained the intent of the RUD. She did not believe it to be broad enough in terms of the whole range of Open Space Planning. She suggested changing to the wording to what the Commission proposed for the RUD.




Moved by Markham, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To replace Harvest Land Company’s language in 2404.1 with the language proposed in the Planning Commission’s Implementation Committee’s recommendations.


Chairperson Lorenzo agreed with Member Markham. She thought the Harvest Land Company’s wording was much too vague and subjective, particularly in terms of "thus achieving a higher quality of development". She also stated "Open Space" was not emphasized, it was almost an afterthought. Chairperson Lorenzo agreed with Member Markham that the Implementation Committee’s language was much more inclusive and Open Space oriented and much more definitive. For these reasons, she was in support of the motion.





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

No: None


Member Markham stated Harvest Land proposed the minimum parcel size be 25 acres, the Implementation Committee proposed 10 acres and the current Ordinance states 40. She explained the reason the Implementation Committee proposed such a low number was because they did want to promote Open Space Planning on as many parcels as possible, however, she stated it was not a sticking point for her.


Member Markham referred to sub-element B, Rental or management offices and clubrooms accessory to the RUD. She asked the applicant to describe how they would be used?


Mr. Kohls stated it was language that was in the existing Ordinance, he explained that the bold, underlined language was the new language. He stated he did not plan on any rental offices but there may be clubrooms.


In regard to Item 2, Member Csordas asked why the Implementation Committee was going down to less than 40 acres?


Member Markham explained this was to promote Open Space Planning wherever possible, to preserve as much of the natural environment as possible while developing the west end of Novi.


Member Csordas asked what percentage would the Open Space Requirement extrapolate to?


Chairperson Lorenzo answered at the end of Mr. Rogers report, he gives the percentage of Open Space with the percentage of lot reduction under the different underlying zones.

Chairperson Lorenzo expressed concern with changing the language to automatically eliminate any conventional one-family developments from the mix. She stated the RUD allows a mixture of conventional and non-conventional single family housing, however, changing the Ordinance to allow a majority of non-conventional housing without an equitable and measurable qualifier could have serious development consequences across the board, particularly in western Novi. It would be a substantial departure from the current Ordinance and Land Use Plan. Chairperson Lorenzo would consider a mixture or proportion of conventional and non-conventional, based upon equitable and measurable benefits.


Member Hoadley respectfully disagreed with Chairperson Lorenzo. He did not agree with the word "majority" because the old Ordinance indicated just a proportion. Member Hoadley envisioned the RUD to substantially maintain the integrity of the underlying zoning. He stated it would require the majority of the houses to be single-family homes.

In terms of the underlying zoning, Chairperson Lorenzo stated the density would have to remain the same. Secondly, in terms of the mixture, the current language does say "a portion". She stated it was very subjective and discretionary on the part of the Commission and the Council, in terms of what proportion there is. Chairperson Lorenzo stated there does not seem to be any equitable measure of what the proportion should be. She explained that conventional homes under RA would be one acre lots or 43,560 square feet, under R-1 they would be ½ acre lots or 21,780 square feet. The only conventional lots being proposed by the applicant are the 50 waterfront lots. Chairperson Lorenzo stated the applicants’ proposal with half R-2 and half R-3 was not in accordance with conventional zoning, she stated it was a rezoning. She reiterated there was no equity or measurable qualifier. It was a concern of the Implementation Committee during their review, however, there was not ample time to address it considering the time constraints. She thought equity and measurability needed to be addressed, she did not agree with the wholesale removal of conventional.


Member Hoadley disagreed. He stated it was a contract-type zoning, the underlying zoning would always be the cap. He stated the majority would have to be single-family homes, not clusters. The Commission has the control of not giving more than one unit per acre, it has the ability to limit the total number of units based on the underlying zoning and it is not a radical change to the existing Ordinance. Member Hoadley stated he would rather see the majority of single family homes be a part of it. He was against changing this portion of the proposal. He thought one reason the RUD has not been used in the past was because there was no advantage to develop that way.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated any applicant that comes in, has to be treated under the Ordinance in a fair manner. He stated in one sense, the change was increasing the number of required detached single family dwellings by changing a portion to a majority. On the other hand the current Ordinance speaks about conventional one family dwellings which talks about the type of lot that the underlying zoning would provide. Mr. Watson stated the more density credit that is given, the lots will either be larger or smaller, depending on how much buildable land will remain. He thought the issue that should be considered, was whether some other criteria should be included as to how the size of the units would be classified.


Member Hoadley asked if there was a cap on the density?


Mr. Watson stated the cap was on density, but it was not a restriction on the size of the lots or units.


Member Hoadley disagreed stating there has to be less than 50% clustering and the balance would be single family homes, which the applicant cannot exceed the underlying zoning. He stated it would automatically trigger certain sized lots.


Mr. Watson stated there was no restriction on the lot size, only the density.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers what he would recommend?



Mr. Rogers stated he did not have a specific recommendation, he agreed that the density determined how many units could be built. He stated the present Ordinance states if conventional meets the underlying zoning lot width and lot area, it could be reviewed by Planning Commission and City Council to modify the particular standards.


Member Weddington asked what language could be put into the Ordinance to address the standards?


Mr. Watson stated it depended on what the Commission wanted. He suggested a list of categories that would require a certain percentage of single family dwellings be of the underlying zoning, and another percentage might be restricted to be of the next zoning classification. He stated it was not just the method that was critical, it was where the limits were set.


Member Hoadley asked Chairperson Lorenzo how she would propose to do it?


Chairperson Lorenzo used the same method as used for the lot reductions. She explained that 20% of non-conventional single family homes would be given for 20% Open Space plus another 10% of non-conventional homes for a proportion of 70/30, plus a 20% lot reduction under the conventional zoning. Chairperson Lorenzo stated the issue deals with proportions of types of homes. Conventional is a basic standard lot of 1 acre, ½ acre, etc. versus Cluster housing or something less than a 1 acre or ½ acre lot.


Mary Jukuri stated the basic issue was how much Open Space Planning was to be promoted. She stated it was not the same as a rezoning, there is a density cap tied to underlying zoning. She clarified the intent of the RUD and stated she was hoping to promote the flexibility to promote Open Space standards. Ms. Jukuri implored the Commissioners to allow development flexibility and leave it to the discretion of the land. She stated if percentages are put in, depending on the land, a builder may or may not ever be allowed to meet the density calculations that are formulated separately. She cautioned the Commission against abstractly putting a percentage of conventional zoning and leave it to their future discretion to negotiate flexibly, based upon the land.


Chairperson Lorenzo did not take it at face value, she thought the wetlands and woodlands consultants would need to talk about what would be buildable under the Ordinances.


Mr. Watson did take it at face value, he agreed with Ms. Jukuri. He stated the question that is posed, was still a policy choice as to whether the preservation of Open Space was one goal the Commission was attempting to reach with those types of developments. He stated there were other goals in the Zoning Ordinance, some of which were lot sizes. Mr. Watson stated it was a philosophical policy decision for the Commission to make a recommendation and the Council to ultimately act upon.


Chairperson Lorenzo explained what the Implementation Committee attempted to do was to find a compromise with percentages. She stated they wanted to allow some type of proportionate reduction, that was why the Committee came up with the percentages that they did.


Mr. Watson stated it was true that when those types of standards are put in, it is restricting the flexibility that the Commission would have on some of the plans that come before it.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated it was a trade off for lot sizes. She stated the alternative could be cluster and non-conventional developments on any undeveloped piece of land.


Member Markham asked if a reasonable compromise would be to change the word "detached" back to "conventional", leave the word "majority".


Chairperson Lorenzo was not sure a majority was needed, she thought it should be left as it was or come up with some criteria to measure the proportions.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Under 2404.2 of Harvest Land Company’s proposed amendments, to delete the word "majority" and retain the words "portion" and "conventional" under letter A.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the equity and measurability issues still had not been addressed. She stated it could come back to bite the Commission at a later date.


Member Weddington asked if the last sentence on the prior page was also being changed to conventional one-family dwellings?


Chairperson Lorenzo thought it was a matter of semantics. She stated under the current Ordinance, there were only two types of homes that were permitted, conventional and one-family dwelling clusters.


Mr. Rogers stated it provides for one-family detached housing, which can be housing on any sized lots. The second type of use is one-family dwelling clusters. It is conditioned upon a majority of the total dwelling units in the RUD be of conventional detached one-family dwelling units. He stated this was where a portion of the conventional homes comes in.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated on page 3246 the Ordinance currently reads, taking the letter of the law for purposes of determining yard area requirements and regulating the distance between buildings, the following requirements shall control: 1) One family detached dwellings shall be subject to the minimum requirements of the district. She stated the minimum requirements of the district for a yard area is 43,560 square feet under RA and 21,780 under R-1.


Mr. Watson stated it was not the case, the definition of yard refers to the front, side and rear yards, it does not refer to a lot.





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

No: None


Member Bononi stated in the proposed text amendment, line 4, under Perimeter Buffering where it begins, "Abuts a struck one developed single-family residential district", she proposed removing the term" developed" because she thought it ran concurrent with the intent of the RUD that was voted favorably upon. She stated the language would then support concern for visual intensity of development. She thought it was irrelevant whether there was development presently across the boundary line.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (7-2): To remove the term "developed", add a minimum of 100' under C, and eliminate D.


Member Hoadley objected to the 100 feet. He stated there was a 75 foot scenario that the buffering would be 330 feet but could be reduced to 75, based on recommendations by the Planning Commission or the City Council. Member Hoadley stated 100 foot setbacks did not even exist on subdivisions, why would a stricter requirement be imposed when open space planning was trying to be encouraged? He stated he would not accept a 100 foot setback, however, he would accept a 75 foot setback.


Member Capello stated when putting a RUD backing another residential subdivision, why would the buffering need to be different than any other two subdivisions? Secondly, he stated if the property was not developed and the future purchasers know what will be built next to it, why would they need any additional protection if it was undeveloped?


Steve Weiner stated it was his interpretation that the alternatives would be reviewed by the Planning Commission and the City Council in the process of Preliminary Final Site Plan Approval at each stage.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that was his intent with his project, she asked how it would be the intent of developer A, B and C? Perhaps he or she did not have the same intent.


Mr. Weiner thought only if the circumstances were met, the Commission and Council would have the option at the Site Plan Review Process to waive the buffer or not. He stated he did not see it as problematic as perhaps the Commission did.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that Mr. Watson stated it would have to be done under the RUD application, not at Site Plan Review.


Mr. Watson stated the nature of the buffer was that normally there would be conventional one family dwellings in that area, he stated this was an instance where the requirement would be waived.


Member Capello asked why there should be a 330 foot buffer around the vacant residentially zoned properties? He stated it did not make sense.


Mr. Watson stated it was not 330 foot of buffering, it was conventional one family dwellings, unless it is waived by virtue of one of the examples.


Mr. Kohls stated a strip south of Power Park abutted a residential district, the northern 330' strips are very large lots, they are conventional underlying zoning lots. The open space was not preserved, he stated there was no reason for the lots to be as big as they are. Mr. Kohls stated it was this fact that drove Harvest Land to add Option D and to make the other change with respect to existing residential development.


Member Bononi stated when she looks at the Ordinance, she does not look at the Harvest Land development and she was not making her comments to the development. She stated she looked at it from the standpoint of how she saw it happening from abutting properties, compatibility with any development and abutting neighbors concerns. She stood on her motion.


In regard to Option D, Member Markham asked if there was a development that abutted RM-1, was it possible to interpret it in exactly the opposite way?


Mr. Watson stated if it was adjacent to RM-1, it would not even apply. He explained it only applies when it is adjacent to a one family district.


Member Markham used R-4 as an example, she asked if it was possible that there was a loop hole where a developer could put a lot of units in one corner of his development because he has high intensity development on the other side?


Mr. Watson did not think so because whatever density would be gained, would also be lost someplace else.





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

No: Churella, Hoadley


Chairperson Lorenzo did not support the additional credit for various reasons: 1) Regarding the increase of density, she was reluctant and not in favor of doing it. She stated she had received a report from the Novi Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the schools, Novi at the Crossroads. It spoke to the issues of residential versus non-residential and how it effects the tax base, city services and infrastructure. She stated to increase density is to increase the total population, traffic, infrastructure, parks and the number of schools, she thought caution needed to be taken. 2) In regard to the Master Plan, page 52, under Table 16, she read the footnote, "Attainment of proposed densities is subject to actual site characteristics. From experience, densities could be up to 10 percent less owing to parcel and lot size variations. Only planned residential areas included. Some residences exist in non-residential planned areas. Remaining capacity is adjusted to reflect available vacant land at propsed densities." She stated it was an over estimate.


Member Vrettas when comparing the percentage of apartments, concentrations and clusters to regular housing, Novi has much more than surrounding communities.







Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Markham.


Member Capello responded to the Novi at the Crossroads report. He stated the report had factual information that the Residential growth in Novi was outgrowing the Commercial growth. He stated the findings in the intent of the report were saying that there was not enough Commercial growth to provide balance and the Commercial growth would bring the amenities to support the residential growth that is currently happening. Member Capello asked if the Commission deletes the portion of giving additional credits, what incentive is there for the developer to utilize his open space?


Member Markham stated in the proposed Ordinance, there was a section where the basic density regulations were stated for RA through R-4. There was also a whole segment on open land preservation credits and open land preservation penalties and there was table that related lot size to open land preservation. She stated there was a list of things that would qualify a developer for open land preservation credit.


Member Capello could not see where the harm was.


Member Bononi stated the fact of the matter was, the language runs counter to the intent of open spaces as she understood it. She felt that of the items that were listed, only one of them made sense in regard to something that was not currently in the Ordinance that could otherwise be obtained. She stated to amend open space at every turn would cause the open space concept not to happen.


Member Capello asked if there was a way that the language from the Implementation Committee’s draft could be incorporated into A through H without deleting all of it.


Member Bononi stated from the standpoint of providing additional credit per acre, she would not support it.


Chairperson Lorenzo agreed in regard to lot reduction sizes and disagreed with additional density.


Member Capello did not think giving lot reduction sizes would give the flexibility that they would need. He asked if anything would be acceptable less than one dwelling unit per acre?


Member Bononi stated she could look at the plan and see what they could have.


Mr. Rogers stated with the density cap at 937, if the applicant does have 148 acres of uplands open space, it would only be an additional ½ unit per acre, this was the reason for putting in "up to 1 acre".


By taking advantage of the additional dwelling unit credits, Member Markham stated the applicant would be adding 82. She stated the applicants proposal was at a greater density than the underlying zoning allows, based on the fact that they were taking advantage of the credits.


Mr. Rogers stated it was 937 units versus 855 and the density would become a little higher.


Member Markham disagreed with the density. This was what she saw as the impact, that they could actually put more units on their parcel than the underlying zoning allows.


Mr. Rogers stated if they preserve the extra upland woodlands which could be used for development purposes.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Vrettas, FAILED: To eliminate all of the underlying amendments from Harvest Land and replace it with Open Land Preservation Credits A through N on Page 4 of the Implementation Committee’s Draft.


Member Hoadley asked Ms. Jukuri to comment on the proposed changes and how they would affect the project.


Chairperson Lorenzo did not think that how it affected the project was relevant.


Member Hoadley asked Mr. Watson if he had the right to ask Ms. Jukuri to comment on it?


Mr. Watson answered, no.


Member Capello asked Ms. Jukuri for her general comments.


Ms. Jukuri stated she would restrict her comments to the Ordinance amendment and would not reference the plan.


Ms. Jukuri stated the language in the Implementation Committee’s draft did not talk about density. She stated it did not give any gain in density, it was only a reduction in lot size. She stated her proposed draft was a density credit. Ms. Jukuri did not think the language from the Implementation Committee’s draft could be adopted because it does not state a density credit. It only gives a lot size reduction and in some cases, does not give any sense of an acreage. It gives preservation credit for preserving views. She thought even within the Implementation Committee’s draft, it needed to be looked at in terms of the specifics of what was being proposed.


Member Churella stated percentages did not work on Page 2 and asked how they would work on Page 4?


Chairperson Lorenzo stated they were different percentages.



Chairperson Lorenzo felt it did not belong under density regulations. She stated under the Ordinances current present regulations, it is proposed to leave it in tact and it is being proposed to add a section of open land preservation credits, in accordance with the Implementation Committee’s draft. She stated the Implementation Committee purposefully did not address density credits, they only addressed lot size reductions.


Member Hoadley thought if the RUD was going to work, it needed to have density credits. He stated the old Ordinance didn’t give any credits and it was never used. Member Hoadley stated he would vote against the motion.


Member Bononi took issue with the fact that density bonuses were a necessity to make an open space ordinance work, she stated it was not true. Through investigation and research, from Planning Advisory Service, the open space regulations of many municipalities that do not offer density bonuses and they work.


Member Capello stated Ms. Lemke’s map which composites the remaining residential property in southwest Novi shows how much is wetlands and woodlands. He stated the reduced lot size was not going to work, it would not be a workable RUD Ordinance unless density credits were given. He stated he did not mind reducing the number of dwelling units per acre and he did not mind reducing the gross density, however, without the density credit, it would not work.






Yes: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley





Moved by Churella, Seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the language under Yard Setbacks as proposed by the Harvest Land Company.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would not be in support of the motion. She was not comfortable with the language in terms of letter A or as set forth in the approved plan. She was not sure in letter B that soil conditions should be a consideration.


Member Bononi stated she did not know what was in the draft.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was not going to except the soil portion unless it could be clarified. She was not sure what was meant by it. She stated perhaps it should not be a yard setback, perhaps it should say, "for purposes of determining lot and yard area requirements...".


Mr. Rogers stated number 5 was strictly yard setbacks between homes and clusters, it has nothing to do with discussing lot area. He thought it stood on it’s own and gave flexibility to the City Council and Planning Commission to modify it.


Member Vrettas asked if the motion maker would consider dropping the word "soil" because he thought it was vague.


Member Churella asked why Member Vrettas wanted to remove it?


Member Vrettas stated the use of the word "soil" was vague as to what was going to be called good soil and bad soil. He stated he would rather take it out and let Council decide if they want to include it.


Member Churella accepted Member Vrettas’s friendly amendment to remove the word "soil".








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

No: None





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Number 6 as presented by Harvest Land Company.





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

No: None





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To


Member Capello referred to line 4, which begins, "May approve the application...", he stated the application is not being approved, approval is being recommended. He would like it to state, "May recommend approval of..."


Member Hoadley accepted it.


Member Churella seconded it.


Member Hoadley thought the intent was to allow the Commission and/or Council to require storm water drainage as a condition of approval, however, does the perimeter allow the Commission to require pavement of an adjacent road or should the language be further clarified?


Mr. Watson thought it should be clarified. He understood the intent to allow perimeter as referring to off site.


Member Hoadley suggested it be left up to the City Attorney to clarify the language.


Chairperson Lorenzo clarified the language should include that the Commission could require pavement of roads that abut the project, decel/excel lanes, etc.


Member Vrettas stated the definition of perimeter should be understood. He stated perimeter is the outer boundary. However, the legal definition is needed.


Member Markham stated in the Implementation Committee’s draft, there was a comment regarding golf courses relative to the open land. It stated there should not be greater than 50% of the open land in a development, she recommended amending the motion to state this.


Mr. Watson stated at the end of the sentence, it could be added to say, "provided that the area utilized for golf courses shall not exceed 50% of the total open space."


Member Hoadley accepted it.


Member Churella seconded it.





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

No: None





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To allow Planning Commission to recommend approval.





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

No: None





Moved by Capello, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Harvest Land Company’s amendments Number 9.





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

No: None





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To strike Harvest Land Company’s proposed amendments to Number 10, Phasing, and replace it in its’ entirety of the Implementation Committee’s draft recommendation language.


Member Capello asked the petitioner if they had a comment on the draft?


On behalf of the applicant, Ms. Jukuri stated as it was written, it was a positive motion except for the fact that each phase shall be commenced within 24 months of the schedule set forth in the approved site plan. She also noted that soils that have been mass graded shall be stabilized within five weeks during the growing season, seeding was not feasible prior to the onset of hard frost, hydro mulching, etc. was good language. She stated they tried to cover the same intent in terms of stabilization and trying to implement Best Management Practices for soil erosion. Ms. Jukuri respectfully asked that this kind of language be addressed at each site plan approval stage versus an area plan approval.


Woody Held, stated the schedule set forth in the approved site plan, what he has submitted was not a site plan, secondly there was no schedule submitted with it on a phase by phase basis. He stated the construction of the project would be largely dependent upon market demand. He stated it would be difficult if not impossible to determine whether they would be at Phase 5 in eight years or eleven years. He anticipated the project to be a 10 to 15 year project. In regard to the hydro mulching or seeding, he believed it to be a detail and thought it was better off in the Design and Construction Standards Manual.


Member Capello stated, "if they do not commence within the 24 month period as scheduled, it would be null and void", was a harsh statement. He suggested the Planning Commission could give a one year extension if they did not commence within the 24 month period.



Chairperson Lorenzo asked if it would work if the Commission eliminated from its’ language, "each phase of the project shall be commenced within 24...null and void."


Member Capello agreed.


Mr. Watson suggested it to say, "shall be commenced within 24 months of the schedule set forth unless an extension is received."


Member Hoadley stated he would like to see the mulching removed because he thought it was a design and construction standard.


Member Markham stated the reason it was done was because there are a lot of developments in Novi where they take a bulldozer, grade it and leave it which leaves running mud for months.





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

No: None





Moved by Churella, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the amendments to Number 11 Final Site Plans or Plats as amended by Harvest Land.





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

No: None





Moved by Churella, seconded by Csordas


Chairperson Lorenzo expressed a concern about the language and once the RUD application is approved, she stated it seems to be written that the zoning regulations shall have the full force of the Zoning Ordinance. She asked if this meant as site plans were reviewed, the Commission does not have the right to change anything as written?


Mr. Watson stated the Commission was bound by the terms of the RUD plan as it establishes setback requirements or uses for areas. He expressed concern for the language in that it might be interpreted as entirely supplanting the Zoning Ordinance and he stated it was not the intent.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated her concern was, as the woodlands and wetlands consultants explained, they did not do a full review, therefore, the impacts were unknown. Based on the impacts, setbacks could be rearranged and she wanted to make sure the City could still gain control over those items.


Mr. Watson stated woodlands and wetlands would not modify setbacks but it might mean that they might not be able to get the lot.


Mr. Held understood there to be separate woodlands and wetlands ordinances in the City of Novi separate from the Zoning Ordinances, therefore, the language would not affect the Ordinances.


Mr. Watson stated the concern was different than whether it would affect the woodlands or wetlands Ordinances, it was whether the concerns would allow a modification to the layout or a proposed lot or unit, or the setbacks pertinent to that unit.


Mr. Held stated he was not at the site plan stage and he was certain that the clarification that Mr. Watson suggested that the RUD Ordinance, once approve was not meant to supplant in totality, the Zoning Ordinance. Indeed, the intent of the provision was that the zoning regulations of the site shall be as set forth in the RUD.


Member Vrettas stated he could not support the motion because of the fact that Mr. Watson was concerned. Secondly, he did not like the idea of the first sentence being eliminated. He stated in the past the Commission has insisted that final site plans come back to the Commission before any building permits are issued. He did not want to see the language stricken, therefore, he could not support the motion.


Member Bononi stated the language in the existing Ordinance states no builder permits shall be issued until after final approval of the plat and site plans for the entire area.


Mr. Watson stated the reason for that was because it would cause a problem with phasing, he stated it was contrary to how phasing works.


Member Vrettas asked if it could be written in a way that it would say in each phase rather than the total plan.


Mr. Watson stated the Ordinance has already provided for it, a building permit cannot be issued until final site plan approval is received.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated she would prefer to leave the language as it was, except for the phasing permit approval coinciding with phasing.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED (5-4): To amend the motion for approval per Mr. Watson’s final review.


Member Markham stated the Implementation Committee’s Number 19 speaks to revision of approved plans. She stated it might be something to consider. Essentially, it says that the approved plans may be revised and minor changes to an approved plan may be permitted by the Planning Commission following normal site plan procedures subject to the finding of all of the following, such changes will not adversely affect the initial basis for granting approval. Such minor changes will not adversely affect the overall RUD community in light of the intent and purpose of such development and such changes shall not result in the reduction of open land area as required.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated that was pertaining to revisions, the language in Number 12 was under the effect of the approval of the RUD.


Member Markham understood, she stated she was only confused.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas

No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham, Weddington





Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the amendments to Numbers 13, 14, 15 and 16.






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

No: None





Moved by Markham, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED (6-2): To substitute Harvest Land Company’s amendments under Amendments and Revisions with Number 19 of the Revision of Approved Plans under the Implementation Committee’s Draft Ordinance.


Member Hoadley asked what was wrong with Number 17 as it was originally written? He asked what the new one would do that the old one does not?


Mr. Watson thought the distinction was that the old one allowed the Building Official to approve minor modifications to the plan and the new one says that it should come to the Planning Commission.


Member Markham stated the thought was that an RUD development was big enough and all encompassing enough that the Commission would want to be able to make those decisions as opposed to leaving it to the Building Official.


Member Churella stated if it was a minor change, he did not see the importance in having the applicant come back before the Commission.


Member Markham stated with all due respect, the Commission brings a lot of things back for what she considered to be minor changes.


Member Churella asked what classifies a major change or a minor change?


Member Vrettas stated that was the problem, there was no definition.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if it were something simple, it could be put on the Consent Agenda, if it were something that the Commission felt to be more major than minor, it would be discussed.

Member Hoadley thought duplication was occurring.





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

No: Churella, Hoadley


Chairperson Lorenzo presented the possibility of recommending the definitions from the Implementation Committee’s Ordinance.





Moved by Markham, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To include as a recommendation, to amendment of the RUD, that a definition section be included in accordance with the Implementation Committee’s Draft, page 2.





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

No: None





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Markham, CARRIED (8-1): To recommend all of the revisions to City Council.


Mr. Kohls stated in the context of a large RUD, if the City were to see a large RUD come forward, the phasing provisions that were recommended to the City Council could create practical problems in terms of ensuring that the evil to be avoided, is so avoided. He suggested as a matter of clarification, that the phases, for purposes of the phasing provision, consist of the plats or site plans that are brought forward for approval pursuant to the RUD. He clarified that the regulations and controls that were proposed refer to phasing. As long as the interpretation of phasing was defined as a submittal of a site plan, then he was comfortable.


Mr. Watson thought it needed to be clarified because conceivably the applicant may come in with a site plan that is a phased site plan. He stated he would be surprised but it was conceivable because site plans do come in with multiple phases.


Mr. Kohls stated he was thinking the inverse of that. A phase as defined on his plan could be made up of multiple site plans, therefore the control mechanisms should be based on regulating a phase.





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

No: Hoadley







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 stated the Subdivision Ordinance requires that plans be developed to conform to the Zoning Ordinance, subdivision regulations and to the Master Plan. With the exception of the cul-de-sac length, he stated the plan complies with all of the criteria. He referred to the Ordinance which states the plans must be revised to the City’s satisfaction. He stated it appeared that they were attempting to modify or consider modifications to the plans to satisfy Mr. Lokey, not the City. Mr. Asher believed the conditions which were imposed on the development of his property were unreasonable. He stated he has provided access to the adjoining property, and indicated a willingness to adjust his street to match up with Mr. Lokey’s development.


Mr. Asher explained the issue of Mr. Nanda gifting a portion of his property to Mr. Lokey. He explained there was a portion of land that was necessary for Mr. Lokey to develop his subdivision. At one point it was 1 ½ acres, it has been reduced and Mr. Lokey needs a portion of Mr. Nanda’s land in order to develop lots to meet the Ordinance requirements. The land is required to be gifted. Mr. Asher stated it was not an even exchange. He also pointed out that the Ordinance does not require Mr. Nanda to give Mr. Lokey approval over the lighting, landscaping, irrigation entrance walls, size and location of the sign, road names, or architectural and aesthetic control over the style of homes, all of which are to be located on Mr. Nanda’s property. Mr. Asher read these requirements from Mr. Hartman’s letter dated April 14, 1997. He pointed out how extreme the situation has become. He stated there were legitimate differences of opinion.


Mr. Asher stated, using Mr. Nanda’s stubs allows Mr. Lokey 32 lots. It also does not require him to pay any portion of the costs of the entranceway and boulevard, etc. On the other hand, Mr. Lokey’s plan allows 33 lots and he shares the cost of the items which according to Mr. Hartman’s letter, those items total $100,000 plus. Mr. Asher pointed out that it all comes out equal.


Mr. Asher explained that Mr. Nanda does not wish to gift the land to Mr. Lokey. Mr. Nanda has a mortgage on the land and it would complicate matters if he had to go to the bank and try to release a portion of the parcel to give to Mr. Lokey, without any income. In summary, Mr. Asher stated the applicant has met all of the Ordinance criteria except for the 800 foot cul-de-sac and requested Tentative Preliminary Plat approval.


George Hartman was disappointed that Mr. Asher failed to mention a clarification that was communicated via facsimile on some of the items. He has approached the concept to try to be as fair as possible. Mr. Hartman stated he was asked to try to work with Mr. Nanda to come up with a single common entrance. The difference in land exchange was 4,500 extra square feet of land being given by Mr. Nanda. He stated that Mr. Nanda gains a temporary easement across Mr. Lokey’s property in order to proceed with his development, this being the trade off. Everything else was equally split, the cost of the road, landscaping, lighting, irrigation and the entrance wall. Mr. Hartman stated the plan did not change Mr. Nanda’s plan, the only thing it changed was the lots in the front. He stated he did not rearrange or resize any lots.


Mr. Hartman thought his plan was uniform, consistent and worked together, giving one uniform entrance. He stated it was fair to both parties because they both had visibility and homes along the boulevard. However, Mr. Nanda’s plan takes away the visibility of Mr. Lokey’s homes.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated the Commission appreciated the clarification, explanation and position, however, she did not believe the Planning Commission could require Mr. Nanda to enter into the type of agreement that Mr. Hartman was proposing. Mr. Asher had explained that Mr. Nanda was not interested in any type of land exchange or partnership. With that, Chairperson Lorenzo asked what Mr. Lokey was planning to do? She asked if Mr. Lokey would consider utilizing Mr. Nanda’s access, or would he provide his own separate access? She stated if Mr. Lokey were to provide a separate access, the access points may be in too close proximity to allow, and Mr. Nanda may have to move his access further south.

Mr. Hartman stated he was asked to work with Mr. Nanda to prepare a plan for a joint entrance, therefore, this was what he did. He stated Mr. Nanda’s proposal would not work for Mr. Lokey. Therefore, Mr. Hartman thought the best option was for Mr. Nanda to move his entrance down, he believed Mr. Asher’s letter stated he would be agreeable to it.


Chairperson Lorenzo asked if Mr. Lokey would prefer to have his own access in the northern location?


Mr. Hartman answered that was correct because the entrance Mr. Nanda has proposed, does not work for Mr. Lokey.


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





Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there were three options, the plan that was before the Commission, the plan which changes the access or a combination of the two. He clarified that Mr. Nanda’s access south, has not been formally reviewed by the consultants.

Mr. Arroyo stated the other option would be to consider the plat that is before the Commission, and deal with the access issue when something is presented to the Commission.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney asked Mr. Arroyo if he was suggesting that Mr. Nanda’s plan proceeds as requested and the Commission concern itself with the second access when the second plan comes in?


Mr. Arroyo answered, it was an option.


Mr. Watson stated it appeared that it would come in and then there would be a fight over it at that point. He stated the alternative would be to face it then, when it would be a problem, or to deal with it now. He stated if the Commission was inclined to recommend to Council that Mr. Nanda’s plan be modified to move its’ access to the south, he suggested that it be subject to additional review by the consultants.


Member Capello thought it was highly unfair to not approve the plan because of something that the property owner to the north may or may not do in the future. He did not think the Commission could hold Mr. Nanda’s plan up until Mr. Lokey decides what he wants to do.










Moved by Churella, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED (6-3): To send a negative recommendation for Cheltenham Estates Subdivision SP96-40B to City Council.


Member Weddington explained the reason she seconded the motion was because the plan does not meet the Ordinance requirements as far as the 800 feet. It was a safety issue and even though it might be temporary, the temporary condition may remain in effect for years until the adjacent property is developed. She stated safety must be the paramount concern.


Member Vrettas thought the Commission had gone out of its’ way to deal with the situation. He stated putting two driveways so close together was not in the best safety interest of the City. He stated both parties were so intent upon being right that they forgot to be reasonable. Member Vrettas stated the property was not within the Ordinances and he would be disappointed in Council if they approved it.


Member Hoadley was convinced that the two parties were not going to agree. He stated it was too bad because a lot of money could have been saved and they would have both come out in a win/win situation. Member Hoadley stated he could support Mr. Nanda’s conceptual alternate plan and he thought it was a compromise that should be considered to pass on to City Council and make it subject to the Council accepting 1500 or 1600 foot cul-de-sac. He thought the concept plan should be recommended with appropriate discussion by the consultants.


Mr. Asher stated since there was no support for Plan A, he respectfully requested that the Commission adopt Member Hoadley’s suggestion and pass it on to Council, subject to the reviews and the submittal of appropriate items and consultants letters. He stated a negative recommendation would put him at a loss this building season because he would have to resubmit.



Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that the conceptual plan was the one that skirts the wetland.

Mr. Asher answered yes.


Member Capello stated if Mr. Asher took a negative recommendation to City Council, it was possible that Council would give approval. Often times they vote inconsistent with the Planning Commission.


Mr. Asher stated in light of Member Capello’s comments and after speaking with Mr. Nanda, a negative recommendation would be acceptable.


Member Capello stated Mr. Asher would have to come back to the Commission for the Woodlands permit if it is not approved but City Council can overrule the Commission.


Member Bononi thought Mr. Asher was in error if he thought he had no support from the Planning Commission. She stated she would be prepared, under certain circumstances, to support his application. She stated she would support it because if he comes forward with an application that will stand on its’ own, she thought it was contingent upon the Commission to look at the land in the configuration that it exists. From the standpoint of the alternatives to design the land in a different way, considering the underlying zone, she did not know what the alternatives were and she considered it to be a classic hardship. Member Bononi thought being the first person to get a cut on the road, might be a better position for the applicant that he thinks. The burden of proof, the safety issues and the distances between the cuts then goes to the person who develops next. Under these circumstances, Member Bononi was in the position to support.


Mr. Asher believed he would only need a waiver for the 800 feet. He stated it was created when the property to the south of him was allowed to develop without the tie in to his property. Mr. Asher stated there was a 1200 foot cul-de-sac approved in that development that could have tied into Mr. Nanda’s development, thus eliminating the need. He stated the parcel was long and deep and there was only room for one access, unless the property to the north develops, he stated he was stuck.


Member Bononi stated an alternative would be to foreshorten the length of the street and leave some open space.


Mr. Asher appreciated the comment and stated the economics of it looses about 10 lots.


Member Bononi stated those were the only alternatives that she could see.





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

No: Bononi, Capello, Hoadley





Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the Woodland Permit.





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

No: None








Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Csordas if he was willing to postpone this item to a future Agenda?


Member Capello believed it needed to be discussed because of a time constraint.


Member Csordas stated when this issue was last discussed at the last Council meeting, he misunderstood Mr. Rogers’ comments regarding waivers for parking spaces. He thought what was stated was that the Commission never approved the site plan that included a variance for the parking requirements.





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED (6-3): To suspend Robert’s Rules of Order regarding the motion to reconsider.


Chairperson Lorenzo stated if the motion passes, it might be placed on another Agenda. She was not sure that the Commission would be in the position of actually reconsidering it at this meeting because the information was not at hand.


Mr. Watson stated under Robert’s Rules, reconsideration has to take place on the same day. Since it was no longer possible, in order to reconsider, the Commission has to vote to override the particular rule. It requires a 2/3 vote of the Commission. Assuming it is waived, then the Commission can vote to reconsider it, once the decision is made to reconsider, the Commission can deal with it tonight or on another Agenda.


Mr. Rogers stated his intent on the remarks about waivers, he sited a number of recent cases in the RC District and all of them did comply with the ordinance so there was no ZBA variance requirement.





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

No: Lorenzo, Markham, Bononi





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED (6-3): To reconsider the vote.





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

No: Lorenzo, Markham, Bononi





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-3): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for West Oaks I Renovation.





Yes: Vrettas, Weddington, Capello, Churella, Csordas

No: Lorenzo, Markham, Bononi










Chuck Young, 50910 West Nine Mile Road, stated when the Recreational Ordinance came before the Commission, its’ dignity was stolen. He suggested if the Commission was unhappy with what was going on, it could bring the dignity back by running together as a group to get endorsements, bring in a few good people and start something.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 2:15 a.m.





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

No: None





Steven Cohen - Staff Planner



Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

May 05, 1997


Date Approved: May 21, 1997