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


(248) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:32 p.m. by Chairperson Weddington.


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Chairperson Weddington


ABSENT: Canup (excused)


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







Chairperson Weddington announced that Public Hearing Ordinance 97-18 Site Plan Extensions cannot proceed this evening because the wrong Ordinance Text Amendment was included in the packet. She asked if there were any other changes, additions or corrections to the Agenda?


Member Hoadley would like to add Harvest Land Company as Item 1 under Matters for Consideration. Chairperson Weddington did not believe the Matter was ready to be considered, she stated it could be discussed but she did not believe any decisions could be made on it.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated it can be requested tob e added to the Agenda and then the Commission as a whole can debate whether to adopt an Agenda so modified and then make a decision whether to adopt it or not.


Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Watson to advise on the Site Plan Extension issue.


Mr. Watson stated the draft of the Ordinance that was placed in the packets was not the actual Ordinance that was supposed to be before the Commission. He suggested when that particular item comes up on the Agenda, a motion be made to postpone it to a date certain, that way additional notices will not have to be cone for the Public Hearing.


Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any other changes to the Agenda? Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the Agenda.




Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Churella, FAILED (4-4): To approve the Agenda as amended.





Member Bononi asked the maker of the motion through the Chair, what the reasoning behind the amendment to the Agenda was?


Member Hoadley answered he would like to put it on the Agenda because he felt it should be moved forward. It is an item that was previously approved and from reading the packet, the applicant has not changed anything ont he plans except for reducing the amount of denisty. He did not see any reason to postpone it to a future meeting.


Member Bononi stated she read the City Council minutes where the Matter was referred back to the Planning Commission and the supporting material indicated that there had been some changes made to the plan. She was not in support of looking at the issue until that information is before the Commission. She stated she did not want to hold up the Matter, however until the documentation is provided, she would not support the motion.


Member Vrettas stated he had no problem bringing the matter up for Discussion, however, he would not be in support of it because his commitment is to the Council and if then sent it back to the Planning Commission, they feel there is something that needs to be looked at. He felt it would be disrespectful to just send it on up. He thought the Commission needed to take the time to review it.


Member Churella expressed support in discussing the Matter and voting on it. He stated Coucnil did not give a reason for sending it back, they did not give any recommendations for what they want. He stated many hours were already spent on the Matter and thought it was just a waste of time. He thought the Commission should vote on the Matter and proceed.


Member Csordas was in support of discussing the Matter. He stated he reviewed the packet but not closely enough to detrmine what number of changes were made to it. He believed that his vote would remain the same, therefore, should the Commission wish, he would support discussion of the item.


Chairperson Weddington was not in favor of discussing Harvest Land because it was an additional item. She stated there were changes made to the proposal and the Ordinance. She did not have a chance to review and compare them, she stated she had informed Harvest Land representatives that she would schedule the issue for the August 6, 1997 meeting and also bring forward the possibility of holding a Special Meeting to discuss it. Because it is such a large project, she believed it required adequate consideration and thorough discussion and review. Chairperson Weddington stated it was a huge development that has tremendous impact on the future of the City, for that reason she preferred to give it proper consideration. She expressed disappointment that some Commissioners felt that it needed to be "rammed" through. She stated she discussed the matter of putting it off until August 6, 1997 with Mr. Weiner and he agreed to it.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley

No: Bononi, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Bononi, FAILED (4-4): To approve the Agenda without Harvest Land Company.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley

No: Bononi, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington


Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Watson if he had any advice for the Planning Commission?


Mr. Watson stated it was beyond him that the Commission could not approve an Agenda, he did not know that he had any advice. He did not know if the four members who voted against the last motion intended not to have a meeting, he supposed the Commission could adjourn until they had an additional member present. He stated the Agneda could be postponed until August 6, 1997 or a Special Meeting could be conducted next Wednesday or at some other date.


Member Hoadley stated he would reverse his vote but his feeling was that the Commission should have accepted the Matter or at least had a debate on it. He stated he was opposed to a Special Meeting on the Matter because he would not be able to attend.


Member Churella stated it was discussed, he stated Member Vrettas was the only member who changed his vote. He asked Member Vrettas why he changed his vote?


Member Bononi felt that questioning individual members about the reason for their votes was totally out of line.


Member Vrettas stated he would like the opportunity to answer the question because it gives him the chance to say some other things that he wanted to say. He stated he was initially in agreement with the project, however, City Council has sent it back to the Commission with good cause. Out of respect for Council and their wishes, he thought it should be discussed.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (7-1): To approve the Agenda.





Yes: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington

No: Churella






Joseph Galvin, 150 West Jefferson, Detroit spoke in regard to Society Hill. He respectfully requested the Commission to recommend favorably to the Council, an extension of the approvals for one year.



Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, spoke in regard to Harvest Land Company. He stated the last time the issue was before the Commission, there was a lot of debate because the RUD Ordinance was also being discussed. He thought that some of the detail work should be addressed by the Planning Commission. He stated there will be a neighborhood middle school and a number of children will have to walk to that school, he suggested that the area plan should have a designated pedestrian path to the school. Secondly, there will be a major city park as a part of the RUD and the two major mobile home parks in the surrounding area will need access to the park. Mr. Mutch stated there were Master Plan changes that needed to be looked at because currently some of the denisty and proposed alnd uses will have some changes. He stated this was the type of detail work that needed to be done on the front end that could not be addressed at the Site Plan level and are best addressed now.



Debbie Bundoff, Novi & Twelve Mile Road commented that another placement of the presentation boards should be looked into because they block a good portion of the audience as well as the audience not being able to view them. She also commented on Society Hill. She stated she was recently informed that there was a grading change and was unaware if there were other changes that have been made. She expressed concern with road access in regard to the development versus her property.


Chairperson Weddington asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Commission? Seeing none she closed Audience Participation and announced there would be a second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.


















Property located south of Grand River Avenue, on both sides of Novi Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from Town Center District (TC), General Business District (B-3), and Light Industrial District (I-1) to Town Center-One District (TC-1) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development gave background information for the City initiated rezoning proposal and why it is before the Commission. He stated the area being recommended for rezoning to TC-1 had previously gone through the Pubic Hearing process, it was recommended to the City Council and had a favorable vote of 4-2. However, since a protest was filed, it needed a 5-2 vote, therefore, the rezoning failed. Subsequent to that, he stated he had received several inquiries from Council members and Commissioners suggesting that the Matter needed to be brought back in order to help implement the Main Street design concept. Mr. Wahl determined that the appropriate way to handle the inquiry was to refer it to the Town Center Steering Committee to see whether they would take up the Matter again. The Committee did decide to revisit the question, the Matter was brought before the Committee and they determined to bring the Matter back to the Planning Commission with a recommendation that it be a City initiated rezoning.

Mr. Wahl summarized that the most appropriate way to accomplish a more intense development as planned to be implemented for Main Street is through the TC-1 provisions of the Town Center District. He stated if we are to achieve more of a Main Street type development, this is the way to do it. It is the recommendation of the Department and the Town Center Steering Committee that this rezoning go through. He also pointed out that there are other properties, it is not all TC zoning.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the property for rezoning would create TC-1 zoning from Main Street Village to the CSX Railroad and southerly to Trans-X Drive. He stated there are 54 parcels which are owned by 26 different property owners. The City of Novi has ownership of two of the parcels. Some of the property is developed and whether or not they conform with the TC-1 zoning, they are presumed to be legal non-conforming uses and can continue as such. To create uniform setback standards, parking locations standards, building height standards and a number of features, it is firmly felt that a consistent zoning classification would be suitable. The TC-1 District allows curb parking to be considered for off street parking use and computation. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends the subject areas for Center Commercial future land use except for Novi Cemetery which is called Neighborhood Park use which is currently zoned B-3. Mr. Rogers referred to the Town Center City-Initiated Rezoning Report that traces the history and ownership of the area, he stated it concludes and recommends the rezoning. Mr. Rogers recommended the rezoning as being a step forward in implementing the City’s overall Main Street concept and Master Plan for Land Use.


Member Hoadley stated he attended the last two meetings of the Town Center Steering Committee and the property owners were invited to comment. He stated there were several property owners present and none of them indicated any adverse opposition to the rezoning. At the last meeting, the vote was unanimous to recommend that the property be rezoned.


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


Jerry Leonard, 4518 Shenandoah, owns the property next to Fendt. He stated he has been in the storage business for many years in the Detroit area and planned an expansion in the Novi area. He stated the property was rezoned TC before this could happen and because he is located next to a cement company, no one wants to buy the property. He did not understand the TC zoning. He heard that TC had a 50' setback and TC-1 had an 80' setback, he heard that TC-1 could be a zero lot line and asked if this was correct?



Mr. Rogers explained the 80' setback in a TC-1 district is measured from the center line of the road. The TC district has a setback from a major thoroughfare and is 50' from the property line. He stated that Mr. Leonard does not front on Novi Road therefore he does not have a frontyard setback, however, under the present zoning he has a 50' requirement and under the TC-1 it would be a zero lot line in front, side and rear. Mr. Rogers stated he would have to have some space on the site for truck maneuvering and passenger vehicle parking. He felt that the property has more future marketability as a downtown commercial center than a warehouse.


Mr. Leonard stated until something happens with the cement company, the property will remain vacant and he appreciated any efforts that could be made to correct the situation.


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








Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (7-1): To send a positive recommendation for the proposed zoning map amendment 18.595 for City initiated rezoning or properties on the south side of Grand River Avenue, east and west of Novi Road from TC, B-3 and I-1 Districts to TC-1 District.


Member Hoadley pointed out that map #2 was not quite correct. The southwest quadrant is really the northwest quadrant and vice versa.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Rogers how much of the land area being proposed for rezoning, was owned by the City of Novi, with the exception of the Novi Cemetery?


Mr. Rogers answered at the most, the cemetery occupies 2.5 acres and the Fire Station occupies about 1 acre.


Member Bononi asked what the benefits would be to the landowners, as a result of the rezoning?

Mr. Rogers stated more floor space could be generated because of the zero lot line opportunity, it speaks to shared parking and a shared parking reduction which means less parking per square foot is required. He stated some of the signage regulations in the TC-1 District are more modest in keeping with the scale of the building. Sidewalk widenings, brick scape, and awning treatments create a more pleasant pedestrian oriented shopping area. Mr. Rogers stated there is also a limitation on very large commercial uses coming in. Between every 100' or 120' of business frontage, there must be a public access way to break up the linear frontage which encourages small store fronts.


Member Bononi understood Mr. Rogers to say that the value of the parcels would be increased as a result of their being able to be developed in a different way.


Mr. Rogers answered, yes.


Member Bononi asked what the cost of the rezoning application was?


Mr. Rogers did not know, he did not think he charged a fee for the City initiating rezoning, he deferred to Mr. Wahl.


Mr. Wahl stated the only charge he was aware of was for the title searches conducted by JCK.


Member Bononi explained the reason for her question was because she had a real concern for City initiated rezonings being ambitious projects. She could understand it from the standpoint of furthering the Town Center zone and the development of Main Street on a limited basis. She stated she would not be able to justify the wholesale look that is being taken on the area from the standpoint of the City being the sponsor of it when in fact it does not own any of the land. She thought it was a compatibility issue in regard to responsibility and it was a tax payer paid application. She stated there were people in the audience who have spent their own money to bring their applications forward and thought that a lot of the applicants who could benefit from the rezoning could do the same. She stated for these reasons, she would not be in support of a motion for approval. If it were smaller in scope, less ambitious and specific costs were spelled out, she could be convinced. However, under this circumstance, she did not think that the City should be paying for rezonings for property that it does not own.


Member Churella suggested considering beautifying Grand River by adding a boulevard starting at Haggerty Road.



Mr. Rogers stated the Grand River Corridor Study exists and deferred to Mr. Wahl.


Mr. Wahl stated there is a Corridor Design and Development Study that is currently underway and the matter is being looked at.


Member Capello disagreed with Member Bononi. He stated the particular area of land has been looked at twice and if the City does not take the initiative to rezone the area, the whole concept will be lost. He stated if the City waits for the developers to come forward to develop their property or ask for the rezoning that is consistent with how the City wants to develop the property, the City will be missing an opportunity to control the district and turn it into a TC-1 District.


Member Capello explained that what initially brought the rezoning forward about 1 ½ years ago was a particular project that came forward which the Commission did not feel was consistent with what was wanted in the downtown district. He stated the Town Center Steering Committee has spent a lot of time considering which sections to rezone and what to rezone it to. He thought they have made a wise decision to take a large scale view of the southeast and southwest quadrants and try to bring everything into compliance under one application as opposed to doing spot zonings. Member Capello stated he was in favor of the rezoning.


Member Vrettas stated under normal circumstances he would agree with Member Bononi, however, this situation is unique. He stated many years ago, Council made a conscious decision to try to recreate an old fashioned downtown and thought they should have rezoned the whole section TC-1 at that time. Because of the long term commitment to the rezoning, he stated he would be in support of it.


Member Hoadley stated he was in support because of the number of small odd lot parcels, and to try to get everyone organized to come in all at once was impossible. He stated one of the reasons it was denied in the past was because Mr. Keros who owns a large part of the land wanted to remain TC, Member Hoadley stated it was grandfathered in and he spoke to Mr. Keros since then and he is not opposed to having it rezoned to TC-1.


Mr. Wahl clarified that the cost is something that should be looked into if a City initiated rezoning is being done. He stated at times in the past there has been an excess of $10,000 that would have been necessary for title searches for large area wide rezonings. The way these were handled was prior to the fiscal year, the Commission’s Work Program indicated that they wanted to do a City initiated rezoning and what amount it would cost. Mr. Wahl thought this made sense and thought it was something that the Commission should pay attention to. It was his understanding that this rezoning was an incidental amount of money, therefore, it was not an issue and did not need a report. Mr. Wahl stated the question of the City being in the business of rezoning large parcels of land in order to accomplish planning goals and policies. He stated the Planning Commission did do this in the past, they brought forward large areas, residents came forward and indicated reasons that they were for or against it and Council in large part, turned them down. Planning Commission was confused because they had been told to move forward and implement the Master Plan. More recently the Commission had received some City initiated rezonings in the north end of the City and it was again an area that the Commission had tried to rezone, it was turned down but then a more recent Planning Commission thought it had merit and that it should come forward. Mr. Wahl stated there is no real City guideline, policy or statement on the half of the City Council or the Commission regarding City initiated rezonings. There is no law or rule of thumb in the Planning profession that says it is required, nor is there one that says it cannot be done. He understood it to be a judgement call. Generally speaking, what Member Bononi stated was correct, that the City has taken a stand back position that they are not proactively in the zoning business. Mr. Wahl stated as a rule that has been the practice, however, there have been exceptions.


Chairperson Weddington stated normally she would agree with Member Bononi as she raised some good issues, however, she also agreed with Member Vrettas in that it is an issue that has been dealt with for quite a long time and the costs are significant but they have already been spent. She stated there was little or no opposition to the rezoning and the benefits outweigh the costs or detriments in this case. She stated she would be supporting the motion.





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

No: Bononi





An Ordinance to amend Subsections 2516.6 and 2516.7 of Ordinance No. 84.18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, and to add Subsection 2516.8 to said Ordinance, to provide criteria for approving extensions for approved site plans for possible recommendation to City Council.








Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Site Plan Extensions to the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of August 6, 1997.





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

No: None





An Ordinance to amend Section 2406 of Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the standards and procedures for Planned Development Options for possible recommendation to City Council.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated there were a couple of projects that came through the PD Option Process last year. He stated there was some confusion at the Council level regarding some of the steps, therefore, the Department was directed to look at the process to see if the procedures could work more smoothly and understandably to all concerns. There were also a couple of errors that were contributed to by the way the process was constructed. Last fall they looked at it, came back to City Council with a report and they directed it back to the Planning Commission for purposes of holding a Public Hearing and reviewing the potential amendments.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant referred to his memorandum dated July 10, 1997 to Mr. Cohen. He reviewed the seven key items: 1) If there is a need to rezone land to effect the PD Option, a fully documented Preliminary Site Plan must be submitted. 2) Certain data required for a rezoning request has been deleted owing to redundancy of site plan application requirements, Woodland and/or Wetland Permit applications. 3) Conditions and criteria for Planning Commission to review an application to rezone and develop under the PD Option have been replaced and adapted as appropriate elsewhere under the individual PD-1, PD-2, PD-3 and PD-4 Options. 4) All Preliminary Site Plan reviews must meet all of the criteria for Special Land Use approval. 5) A Community Impact Statement and Traffic Study is required at time of Preliminary Site Plan regardless of site size. 6) Language clarifying the review process is introduced wherein the Planning Commission recommends action to the City Council. 7) Review of a Final Site Plan is recommended to be done Administratively. Facade and other building appearance proposed revisions to a approved Preliminary Site plan shall be submitted to the Planning Commission and City Council. Other revisions may be reviewed administratively. Mr. Rogers recommended this to the Planning Commission as cleaning up the Ordinance.


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


Debbie Bundoff was concerned about the changes in how PD Options are handled and how they are administratively handled versus coming back to Planning Commission. She stated PD Options allow a lot of things, she liked the fact that it may be going to a Special Land Use. She stated PD Options seem to pop up on the Zoning Plan that were never Master Planned, she has watched PD Options come into the City in the past year and get put on the fast track versus long track. Sometimes they are not looked at, possibly as clearly as they should be because sometimes minor things are overlooked. Ms. Bundoff hoped that the City does not allow administrative things to happen that do not get the viewpoint of the public.


Chairperson Weddington asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Matter? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Hoadley referred to page 18 of the comparison draft, he asked why item #2 showed 150,000 square feet of gross leasable floor area, he thought it was a high number. Secondly, he referred to item #5 and stated that 1,000 feet may be a little intrusive, he asked for the reasoning for these numbers.


Mr. Rogers stated the PD-3 Option is clustered around Twelve Oaks and West Oaks as are all of the other PD Options except for PD-4. Mr. Rogers stated that 150,000 square feet is only over 3 acres of floor space. The intent of the draft of the Ordinance was to create signature type buildings around Twelve Oaks Mall.


Mr. Rogers stated the 1,000 feet in item #5 was to prevent a restaurant row. He stated it is a large scale commercial center, the dimensions and square footages are more significant and this was the intent.


Member Hoadley felt 1,000 feet was too much as well as 150,000 square feet.



Member Vrettas felt the Crescent Boulevard restaurant row was terrible because of the types of restaurants. He felt it would be a plus for Novi if it were going to set up an Ordinance for a restaurant row of fine restaurants, he thought that 1,000 feet was not enough and wanted to make it about 5,000 feet. He stated he would support keeping it at a minimum of 1,000 feet.


Member Capello stated he liked the restaurant row of Crescent Boulevard. He stated it was convenient during lunch time. He thought the 150,000 square feet should be larger, the idea of the PD-1 Option was to allow for larger centers and not to provide for medium sized centers that could possibly be enlarged by using the PD-1 Option. In regard to item #5 and 1,000 feet, Member Capello did not have a preference, however, he thought the language should be cleaned up. He stated the Ordinance should be clarified whether 1,000 feet was from property corner to property corner or building corner to building corner, he thought it should be from building corner to building corner.


In regard to Item #7, Review of a Final Site Plan is proposed to be done administratively,

Member Bononi asked how the idea originated?


Mr. Rogers thought if the Council and the Commission had faith in the staff and consultants, they take very great care to expedite and do things right. He stated in regard to the PD Option, the applicant must go through 4 channels. At one time he recommended that the Council be cut from the process, giving the final jurisdiction to the Planning Commission, however, the Council wanted to retain the function, therefore, it was incorporated into the draft based upon their unanimous concern.


Member Bononi understood the language to say that the Council may ask to have projects back or may defer them to the consultants, she asked what will trigger Council asking for a particular project to be brought back before them?


Mr. Rogers answered, it was quite like the Commission wanting site plans brought back if there were some concerns.


Member Bononi stated the manner in which it would occur was not clear.


Mr. Rogers stated maybe some language could be introduced. He noted that it does not say that the Council has the right to call it back, however, it does state that a plan can be called back by the Planning Commission and thought it could be introduced into the draft. He suggested that it could say that Council could request to have the Final Site Plan brought back.


Member Bononi stated she did not mean to suggest language, however, if that was the suggestion of Mr. Rogers it was fine. As a result of reading the document, she was looking for what is gained and what is lost. She thought the PD Options leave a lot to be desired, however, they are the law and she respects that. She expressed concern in relinquishing the Final Site Plan at the Council level, that Council would relinquish final discussion unless it specifically requests it. If a majority decides equality to each applicant is sacrificed, she believed the public is eliminated from the process at that point. Council may also give the impression that land use accountability is not important, and the state mandate is not only to promote good land use decisions, but also to try to persuade others to do the same. Although she believed that consultants are perfectly capable of reviewing Final Site Plans, she did not believe it was their job in the place of an elected official who has accountability to the people who live in the City. Member Bononi believed that Planning Commission conditions of approval should be made known to the Council as well as the citizens and if the plans are approved administratively, that the citizens opportunity to hear it is lost. She thought the Commission was going in the wrong direction from the standpoint of promoting land use decision and education to the people who live in Novi as well as to the Commission not to see the process go forward in it’s completion.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Vrettas, NO VOTE WAS TAKEN.





Member Vrettas stated he likes the way it has been done in the past where a Commissioner would express concern and make sure the plan comes back to the Commission for Final Site Plan or if a plan looked really good, the administration was allowed to approve it.


Member Capello noted that in the draft, it says that Final Site Plan shall be reviewed administratively unless the City Council requests that it comes back for review.


Chairperson Weddington stated the recommendation to Council would be for the Planning Commission to have the option to review the plans one final time.


Mr. Watson understood the motion to delete the change referred to as Item #7 in Mr. Rogers report. He thought if it were deleted the way the current Ordinance reads, is that Final Site Plans would automatically come back before both bodies. He clarified that Member Vrettas was discussing a change to page 9 of the comparison draft. Mr. Watson stated the change he would make was that review and approval shall be administrative unless the City Council or Planning Commission request that Final Site Plan be submitted.

Member Bononi stated that was not her motion, the intent of her motion was to allow the final approval to rest with Council as it does now, and strike the administrative approval.


Member Vrettas stated he remembered several instances where the Commission has asked for a Final Site Plan to come back but he did not recall if it was PD-1. He stated this may be where he is getting confused.


Mr. Watson stated under PD Options, the Final Site Plan automatically comes back to both bodies. Under non PD site plans, they are done administratively unless the Commission requests that it come back. He stated the changes last described would say that review and approval of Final Site Plan shall rest with City Council.


Member Vrettas stated he would also like to see that if the Commission has a concern, that they be able to look at it and make a recommendation to Council.


Member Hoadley stated he would not be in support of the motion. He thought Member Vrettas had a point as well as Member Bononi. He thought the way it was currently written, it has to come back to both bodies and it was redundant. Member Hoadley stated the Commission should be more than comfortable allowing the administration to make the final approval, however, he felt the Commission should still have the option, his recommendation was that review and approval should be administrative unless City Council or Planning Commission asks that it come back.


Secondly, in regard to page 19, with a 1,000 foot separation, you would never be able to have a second restaurant, he stated it would have to be an enormous project with that kind of required footage and he thought it should be changed.


Member Capello noted that it said, provided that when restaurants are independently free standing uses, he did not think it was speaking of restaurants within a mall, his point was just to clarify the language. He agreed with Members Hoadley and Vrettas to have the option given to the Council and the Commission to have the plans come back for Final. He did not think it should be dictated in the Ordinance that City Council must have it come back for Final, they should have the prerogative to review it or allow it to be done administratively. He agreed with the amendment as Members Hoadley and Vrettas have made it. He thought something other than the 1,000 feet should be recommended.

Member Vrettas concurred with Member Hoadley.


Member Hoadley thought 500' to 750' would be more realistic because he would not want to discourage somebody from having a second restaurant in a nice commercial district.


Member Churella agreed with Member Hoadley and thought 750' would be a good compromise.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Ordinance 97-18 PD Option as proposed with the following change: on the comparison draft, page 9, final site plan review and approval shall be administrative unless the City Council or Planning Commission request that the Final Site Plan shall be submitted to it for review. Page 18, item 5, the 1,000 feet distance shall be changed to 750 feet, measured from nearest building corner to nearest building corner.


Member Bononi stated the Commission should not loose sight of the fact that PD Option development applications are not normally run of the mill applications, they require a lot of thought and they are usually very complex. In her opinion, to cavalierly decide that the plans could be administratively approved is not doing a land use job. She thought the language should say that the matter be directed to Council, if they wish to refer it to be administratively approved, so be it. She did not want to see it fall through the cracks from the public’s right to know about how the applications are handled.


Member Bononi asked whether or not the PD Option would be administratively approved in a Council session on part of an Agenda item and/or Consent item?


Mr. Watson stated it was conceivable that it could be a Consent item, he stated it would be on an Agenda in some form.


Member Bononi agreed to the amendment.


Member Hoadley asked if Member Bononi would also agree to the 1,000 feet going to 750 feet, from nearest building corner to nearest building corner.

Member Bononi agreed.





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

No: None


Chairperson Weddington announced the Commission will take a 10 minute recess.






Debbie Bundoff gave some specifics in regard to Society Hill Apartments. She stated one reason she has a concern is because over the last year since Mr. Sasoon has gotten his Preliminary’s approved, there has been major changes to the future land use in that area. It surrounds Mr. Sasoon, it has now gone to a point where there is RA property going next to a five-story development. Across from that there is a cemetery, if the Commission makes a recommendation to the Council to give an extension of time to the Preliminary Site Plans, she would like to know if the Ordinance change would take effect, would it take the people who would think they are going to come back before the Commission to see the site plan finals, will no longer happen. Ms. Bundoff also expressed concerns with the fact that a year ago, things have changed in the fact that she was assured that a curb cut would not put her in jeopardy in existing or entering the properties. She stated she no longer had that assurance since the City has located a driveway where they want it versus where she had requested it.


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








Property located west of Novi Road, between Twelve Mile Road and Twelve ½ Mile Road for possible recommendation to City Council for PD-1 Option and Preliminary Site Plan extension request until August 26, 1998.


Joe Galvin asked to have the plan extended for one year in order to complete it. The level of complexity of the project is such that it is taking more than one year to complete it. All of the plans have been submitted to the City, he has arranged all of the other pieces in order to do it. He could not think of a reason that the year would not be granted. He respectfully requested the extension.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant recommended extension of the project be granted for Preliminary Site Plan and PD-1 Option.


Victoria Weber of JCK stated the plans have been reviewed for PD-1 Option extension and Preliminary Site Plan extension. She had one comment regarding the Preliminary Site Plan extension and stated it could be found in her letter dated July 9, 1997. Other than that, Ms. Weber recommended approval for both.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant recommended approval of the extension.


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the request for PD Option and Preliminary Site Plan extension is recommended.


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Linda Lemke directed to Mr. Pargoff which states there have been no changes to the Woodlands Ordinance since the project was approved by City Council. Please refer to our previous letter for any further comments.


Victoria Weber reported that Susan Tepatti recommended approval of the extension.


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





Member Hoadley asked if the cut shown on the plan was going into wetlands?


Ms. Weber answered, not that she was aware of.


Member Hoadley asked if a developer adjacent to it would be able to access the cut?


Ms. Weber answered, yes.


Member Hoadley stated he was opposed to the project before, he felt it should have been postponed because there was too much density on it. He stated to approve the extension, his heart says no, but his mind says it has to be done. He regretted that it was approved because he thought it was destroying a natural habitat situation.





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Society Hill Apartments SP95-44D for PD-1 Option and Preliminary Site Plan extension until August 26, 1998.





Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Bononi, FAILED (2-6): To amend the main motion to recommend that Council restrict the extension to one year.


Member Churella thought that a lot of time and money has been put into the project already. He stated as long as he gets the project started it could take up to seven years.


Member Vrettas stressed the point that the applicant must start the project within one year.


Member Churella stated that things change and he thought to adhere it to one year would be a mistake. He stated he did not agree with the amendment.


Member Capello stated by the time one year was up, the Ordinance will have been addressed as well as all of the requirements to grant an extension. At that time it can be looked at and determined whether or not it should be extended for another year. He thought it was premature to cut them off right now.


Member Vrettas thought Member Capello made a good point.


Member Bononi added that in a planning sense, it was traditional for the permits to run concurrently with the terms. She stated it was not the Commission’s responsibility to get the developers ducks in a row. The time frames are considered doable, of course they do not always work. Of course the applicant has the ability to come before any governmental body and ask for an extension, however, she thought it was within the jurisdiction of the Commission to decide what is reasonable and not reasonable. She did not think a year’s time was unreasonable.







Yes: Bononi, Vrettas

No: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Watza, Weddington





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

No: None





Property located east of Wixom Road, south of Grand River Avenue for possible Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Tom Crabill spoke on behalf of the owner of CZ Cartage, Inc. and Medora Building Company in seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval. He stated he has reviewed all of the consultants letters and did not see any problem with complying with any of the recommendations. He pointed out that the recommendation from Linda Lemke to increase the landscaping either adjacent to or an island of the property, he stated he spoke with the owner and they reviewed the plan. He indicated areas on the plan on the east and west side of the proposed addition and other areas would be in compliance with Ms. Lemke’s letter.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the applicant wishes to add 5,250 square feet onto an existing industrial building on a 6 acre site. He stated all preliminary application data are provided, it meets the I-1 setback standards, based upon required parking, the applicant is providing more than the minimum. The landscape details have been reviewed and there are a few items that can be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan. Mr. Rogers stated there was concern about the interior green space and it was his suggestion to place some plant materials near the building rather than black topping right up to it. The proposed building facades replicate that of the existing building and meet the terms of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to picking up the landscape concerns in the Final Site Plan.


Victoria Weber of JCK stated the plan has been reviewed for engineering feasibility, the applicant is proposing to pave over the existing parking area and add additional parking to the rear. A storm sewer system will be required and additional storm sewer is requested at the time of Final Site Plan. There is existing sanitary service for the site and there will be an extension of the water main for purposes of placing a hydrant in. Ms. Weber recommended approval.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there is one point of access which will remain. The applicant has been asked to provide some information regarding inbound left turns into the site in order to evaluate whether or not a passing lane should be provided, based on the information that has been provided, he recommended that a passing lane be shown for the driveway on the Final Site Plan. A trip generation estimate has been provided for a warehouse facility. There are other site plan details that should be resolved on the Final Site Plan, the most significant being, if there is to be permanent truck parking areas on the site, they should be striped out accordingly. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval subject to the outstanding items that have been identified in his letter dated July 10, 1997.


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: 1) Provide an additional hydrant at the midway point of the existing asphalt drive. This will reduce the travel distance between hydrants to 300' which is the maximum allowed; 2) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation. (This shall be noted on all plans).


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which states approval of the plan and no facade waiver is required.


Chris Pargoff, City Forester stated there were no regulated woodlands on the site.


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





Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers what the property to the south was zoned?


Mr. Rogers answered I-1.


Member Capello asked if any of the property was zoned B-3?


Mr. Rogers answered, no.








Moved by Capello, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to CZ Cartage, Inc. SP97-09A subject to consultants recommendations with the addition of enhanced landscaping parallel to Grand River under the direction of Ms. Lemke.





Member Churella asked Mr. Pargoff it would be wise to plant the trees back away from the road?


Mr. Pargoff stated he did not think the applicant had the property to do that. He estimated the property to be less than 10 feet. He stated there was also concern regarding a power line.


Member Churella asked if the trees could be moved along the north/south property line versus east/west.


Mr. Pargoff stated there were two considerations, he stated the water main will be put on the east side of the driveway and the sanitary sewer lead is on the west side, therefore it is very unlikely that the applicant could put any trees along the driveway. He stated the screening should go on the north/south line and there are species of trees that are able to be planted underneath power lines that will not grow into them. He stated that Ms. Lemke would be handling the matter.


Member Hoadley made a friendly amendment to place the screening on the north side to screen off the building and make it a condition of approval at the time of Final Site Plan.


Member Capello accepted the friendly amendment as the motion maker.


Member Csordas accepted the friendly amendment as the seconder of the motion.


Member Bononi asked the applicant if he would explain what CZ Cartage does; particularly with what is intended to be done within the confines of the building.


Mr. Crabill explained it is a trucking facility comprised of mainly loading docks, there is a small office with approximately 6 employees. The addition is comprised of adding four (40 loading docks to accommodate the existing operations. The balance of the facility is to be used as a maintenance garage for the vehicles. He stated there were two grade level doors located at the rear where the trucks will be driven into the facility and worked on inside the building. The maintenance facility is currently located in the City of Farmington and they would like to consolidate the operation to Novi.


Member Bononi stated there was a reference to warehousing, she asked if there was any storage in the building?


Mr. Crabill believed that the operation consisted of trucks coming in during the evening, the packages are moved to the appropriate trucks and the trucks leave early in the morning. He did not believe that there was any actual warehousing in the facility, he stated there certainly would not be any in the proposed facility. The existing facility is more of a drop off, move around and relocate.


Member Bononi stated her main concern was that the maintaining activity be done within the building as opposed to it being done out of doors where fluids could find their way into the catch basins.


Mr. Crabill understood the reason for the addition was to have a covered facility where the maintenance work could be done.





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

No: None





Chairperson Weddington stated she has reserved several sign up sheets from Commissioners and she appreciated their willingness to serve.



Administrative Liaison Committee (1 Vacancy)

Member Vrettas expressed interest in this Committee. Chairperson Weddington announced he was the only Commissioner who volunteered for the Committee and added him to the Committee.



Planning Studies and Budget Committee (1 Vacancy)

Chairperson Weddington stated there were no volunteers and would ask Member Canup if he would like to serve on this Committee.


Communications and Community Liaison Committee (2 Vacancies)

Member Csordas and Member Watza volunteered to serve on this Committee. Chairperson Weddington announced that Members Csordas and Watza were the new members to this Committee.



Environmental Planning Committee (2 Vacancies)

Member Churella and Member Vrettas volunteered. Chairperson Weddington added them to the Committee and thanked them.



Implementation Committee (2 Vacancies)

Member Hoadley, Member Capello and Member Csordas volunteered. Member Csordas deferred, therefore, Chairperson Weddington announced that Member Hoadley and Member Capello were the new Implementation Committee members and added them.



Woodlands Review Board (1 Vacancy)

Member Bononi and Member Watza volunteered. Member Watza deferred, therefore, Chairperson Weddington announced that Member Bononi was the new Woodlands Review Committee member.



Town Center Steering Committee (1 Alt. Vacancy)

Member Csordas stated it is was terrific Committee, however, he would never be able to make the 5:30 start time and respectfully requested to be relieved. Member Churella volunteered to fill the Regular vacancy and Member Watza volunteered to fill the Alternate vacancy.



Housing and Community Development Committee (1 Vacancy)

Member Csordas volunteered. Chairperson Weddington added Member Csordas to the Housing and Community Development Committee.



Rules Committee (1 Vacancy)

Member Hoadley requested to be removed from this Committee. Chairperson Weddington stated she would ask Member Canup if he would like to serve on this Committee. Member Hoadley stated if Member Canup declines he would then remain on the Rules Committee.












Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated the Department tried to provide the information to the Commission as quickly as possible, early in the fiscal year. It is a compilation of a number of issues that have been brought to the Departments attention for discussion. He stated that none of the items have been prioritized or looked at in terms of whether or not there may be other alternatives, secondly, that it exceeds the budget for the Emerging Issues line item. He suggested to refer the matter to the appropriate Committee and look at it in terms of priorities or other alternatives that might be applied.


Member Churella stated he would like to see the Master Plan Committee and the Planning Studies Committee get together to work it out and bring it before the Commission.


Member Vrettas thought the Commission could handle the matter right away. He stated the M-5 figure was the dominant figure and suggested funding the other three issues. He stated the M-5 Corridor has a couple of years before the study needs to be done, therefore, why not just put it off for one year, go ahead with the other three and they would remain well within the budget.


Member Hoadley stated the Wireless Master Plan and the Master Plan for Oil Service Stations have already been referred to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for discussion and recommendation. In order to cut the costs down, regarding the Wireless Master Plan, he suggested that the participants could attend a meeting and forward their potential grid plans to be reviewed for costs. In regard to Oil Service Stations, he stated there were a number of companies in the area that have service stations and the Commission could see where their interests lie in order to cut those costs down. Member Hoadley thought this could be done within the next six months. He thought the M-5 Corridor should be postponed because he thought it was premature at this time.


Member Churella thought that the total amount should be cut down.


Member Bononi agreed with Member Churella. She believed the most reasonable thing to do was, since the items have already been discussed in other Committees that they should go to both Committees, she had great reservation about the form, content and scope of the Architectural Review Program and the Wireless Master Plan. She thought there was enough time to do it and make sure the Committees have the opportunity to report back to full Commission and then Commission make the decision whether or not it is ready to move forward. She stated she would not be willing to do it on the these two items.





Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the Wireless Master Plan and Auto Service Stations back to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and the M-5 Corridor be deferred to sometime in the future.


Member Capello made a suggestion. (Voice did not pick up on tape, too soft)


Member Vrettas agreed with Member Capello.


Chairperson Weddington agreed that the Wireless and the Auto Service Stations should probably be sent back to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for a recommendation. She stated the M-5 Corridor Study is so large and has such potential impact that she was not sure that it was something that should be funded out of Emerging Issues. She suggested going back to Council because through her discussions with the Mayor and Council Members, there is a great deal of interest in it and she thought it was an item that could go back for a request for specific funding. Chairperson Weddington did not think it was an item that had to be funded out of the Emerging Issues budget which is very limited. She stated when the project is adequately defined, a proposal should be sent back to Council to specifically fund it.


Member Vrettas asked why the items needed to be sent back to the Committees?


Chairperson Weddington explained that the Committees have not seen all of the materials yet so in fairness to them, she wanted them to look at the issues and come back with a recommendation to the full Commission. Chairperson Weddington stated the other issue to keep in mind is that the $13,900 is for the entire year, she stated she would be reluctant to commit because something may emerge later on and the Commission will be without anything in the budget.


Member Hoadley stated he would not like to include in his motion that the M-5 Corridor Study be sent back to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee as well.



In regard to studies done in the past, Member Hoadley stated it seems like Mr. Arroyo does one part of them and Mr. Rogers does another part of them. He wondered why one consultant could not do one study and another consultant do another study?


Chairperson Weddington believed that the studies were divided up and deferred to Mr. Wahl.


Mr. Wahl stated the reason for having two consultants work on a particular study is because if there are traffic elements involved, Mr. Arroyo would perform that part and Mr. Rogers would do the land use portion. In some instances it is a time factor, another issue is although both Mr. Rogers and Mr. Arroyo are both planners, they have more or less experience in some areas and they supplement each other with their contributions. Mr. Wahl thought it was an asset when both of the planners work on one study because it provides the co-mingling of different ideas and approaches. He stated there were some efficiencies in just having one person do the study, however, he thought there were also advantages in having separate ideas.


Member Hoadley did not disagree with Mr. Wahl, however, he stated there are some cases where duplication occurs and if this can be avoided and become more efficient, it would be worthwhile.


Chairperson Weddington stated the Commission would leave it with Mr. Wahl to manage.


Member Vrettas stated he would be voting against the motion because he thought Chairperson Weddington’s idea of the M-5 Corridor Study possibly being funded by the Mayor and Council was an excellent idea. He stated if it can be funded by Council, it saves the Commission money for other issues that will come up later.


Chairperson Weddington stated it may be the outcome. She stated she did not have a problem with it going back to Master Plan and Zoning Committee for flushing out and definition of what the project is, she stated they can come back with a recommendation that the project be funded one way or another.





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

No: None







Chairperson Weddington stated there were two special requests before the Commission. The first was from the Mayor and City Council requesting a joint meeting be held sometime in August 1997, the second was the matter of Harvest Land and whether or not a special meeting should be held, she stated it was scheduled for August 6, 1997 but she promised that she would bring it to the Commission to decide whether it should be heard earlier.


In regard to the joint meeting with City Council, Chairperson Weddington stated the Mayor suggested either a Monday night or Wednesday night that is not taken up by the respective meetings.


Member Vrettas suggested, Wednesday, August 13, 1997 at 7:30 p.m.


Chairperson Weddington asked for an alternative date. Since no compromise was reached for an alternate date, she suggested allowing Council to come up with an alternative date.


Member Bononi asked what the purpose of the meeting was?


Chairperson Weddington answered it was to talk about common goals and some projects that might be coming down the line. She stated there have been new appointments to both bodies since they last met as a joint body and this will give both bodies a chance to meet the new members.


In regard to Harvest Land, Chairperson Weddington asked if it was the consensus of the Commission that they want to have a Special Meeting to consider Harvest Lake?


Member Churella suggested, Tuesday, July 22, 1997.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To hold a Special Planning Commission Meeting on Tuesday, July 22, 1997 to discuss Harvest Lake.



Member Bononi asked what kind and what extent of information will be given and when will it be received?



Chairperson Weddington stated she asked that the entire package of materials for Harvest Lake be distributed. She stated it should have been received, a second package that was delivered for this meeting consists of the revised RUD as it now stands and the Harvest Lake proposal as it now stands.


Mr. Cohen stated everyone received two packets, one was marked Harvest Lake and the other was the packet for this meeting.


Member Bononi stated she did not receive it.


Mr. Cohen stated if Member Bononi does not find her packet, the Department has an extra copy for her and then they can ask Mr. Weiner for another copy.



Member Capello asked if anything happens at the City Council Meeting of Monday, July 21, 1997, directing the Commission not to hold a Special Meeting...


Chairperson Weddington answered, then the Commission will be notified by staff.





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

No: None







Member Hoadley commended the staff on the excellent report, he stated it was very comprehensive and he appreciated it.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:00 p.m.









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

No: None




Steven Cohen - Staff Planner


Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

July 22, 1997

Date Approved: August 06, 1997