REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Weddington.
PRESENT: Members Bononi, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Chairperson 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 Steve Rumple
Chairperson Weddington introduced Steve Rumple the new Staff Planner who comes to Novi from SEMCOG. He worked in Community and Economic Development and he is also a Planning Commissioner in Hamburg Township, Chairperson Weddington welcomed Mr. Rumple.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?
Member Bononi added Status and Delivery of Woodland and Wetland Maps as Item 2 under Matters for Discussion.
Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any other changes or additions to the Agenda? Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the Agenda as amended.
PM-97-09-232 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-232 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
Member Capello stated he has received a letter from Mr. Robert Lang in regard to the wetland mitigation which states, as owner of Lot E of Deer Run Subdivision, he has reviewed and approved the proposed one acre mitigation area as shown in plans developed by Brooks and Williams & Assoc. dated October 1996. He stated he would be working with the Haggerty Partnership in development of construction easements in a conservation easement for the constructed wetlands.
Member Capello stated he has received several letters in regard to the rezoning of property south of Grand River, east of Beck Road.
Hugh McVeigh wrote in support of the rezoning to allow for development of multi-family housing and much needed senior housing in the location. His concern was with the fact that he has become aware that the Planning Consultant has suggested that an alternative use of OST may be more properly suited for this area of Beck Road. He is the owner of property adjacent to the north side of I-96, south of Twelve Mile Road, along Taft Road in Novi. It was his firm belief that many other sites including the area in and around his property are much more suitable for the OST. The placement of OST in a secondary location such as the property being considered would serve little positive purpose and they have some negative consequences. Much hard work has been done to develop a functional industrial research zoning classification and now the City must look to make responsible application of that zoning district.
Pauline Berry felt the need for senior housing in the area is in great demand. Seniors are leaving the City of Novi and finding housing elsewhere. She realized that there was also a project going up in the Twelve Oaks area that has already been approved. She applauded the Commission for approving the project but more is still needed. She stated she met with Blair Bowman and he showed how they are trying to preserve as many trees and wetlands as possible to make the project feasible. She stated she knows the planners and they are very credible, they have built other quality facilities in the past and will continue to build quality facilities in the future. She stated lets keep this project in the City of Novi and not let them look elsewhere.
Dan Davis, Director of Novi Parks and Recreation and Kathy Crawford, Special Recreation Coordinator for Novi state that it should be pointed out that a previous Senior Citizen Housing Committee had identified this particular site, along with a few others, as a recommended site for a City initiated Senior Housing project. They enthusiastically supported the concept of the private sector providing additional Senior Citizen Housing initiatives for the Novi Community. The City of Novi is currently in the preliminary stages of facility design for a City Initiated Senior Housing Project, it was their belief that the projects would not conflict with each other but would rather compliment one another by providing senior housing alternatives for residents.
Edith and Thomas White supported the plans as proposed, they feel the developer has taken a lot of time and consideration in which the development will not only preserve some of the natural existing areas, but will also enhance the area.
Richard Abbott of Providence Hospital stated Providence Hospital would like to express its support for the rezoning of the referenced project. Development of the property as illustrated is complimentary to Providence Hospital’s operation of its medical facilities as well as their plans for retail development at the northwest corner of Beck Road and Grand River. The development of a quality multi-family complex and the placement of senior housing for the 51 acres is more consistent with what Providence is attempting to accomplish than some other form of intense use.
Raymond L. Cousineau stated he has reviewed the rezoning request and found it desirable as a transitional land use between business industry and residential properties. It is also a sensitive development proposal preserving natural woodland, wetlands and the overall character of the existing site.
Susan Hanson-Gaynor stated she has had several meetings with Mr. Blair Bowman and was impressed by his dedication to preservation of the natural wooded areas and what would appear to be a very successful transition buffering the homes to the south and east of the parcel. She supported Mr. Bowman’s proposal for a combination townhouse/senior housing project.
Richard Herbel stated he has had the opportunity to review the proposal and discuss some of the details with Mr. Bowman. He was impressed with his sencerity and his concern fo rthe woodlands as well as the overall quality of the project. The project would be a definite asset to the City of Novi. The townhouses would act as a buffer between the commercial and industrial areas along Grand River and the senior housing could help provide for opportunities for the housing needs and possible medical care for the growing number of "seasoned citizens" living in the area. A project of this size always has the potential of accompanying water problems, he would like to be assured that the long proposed regional detention basin for the area will be built and will be able to handle the additional water run off and if necessary, add additional retention basins to the site. His only concern was the method and manner that the water run off is handled.
Victor Cassis was in full support of the rezoning being projected for the development of the 51 acres located on Beck Road across from Providence Hospital. There are many industry uses located along Grand River and with future development, this form of multiple-family housing will provide a good buffer and relationship to the more intense uses.
Tom and Judy Noteman stated they were not in favor of any rezoning along Beck Road for any other purpose than single-family residential. Beck Road is a residential road and has enought traffic. Apartments, condominiums, grocery stores and other commercial development can be located on the Grand River corridor or even on Twelve Mile Road. Grand River could be widened to allow for future development, Twelve Mile Road as well as Novi Road, between Ten Mile Road and Grand River. Ten Mile Road and Beck Road should remain residential.
Robert and Carolyn Pohlman stated the buildings, renderings and plot layouts show a project in their estimation that would be a tremendous asset for the City of Novi. The location of the planned projects is such as being perfect. They are close by a hospital for emergencies, expressway entrance and exit and shopping areas. The projects would be shielded by large growths of trees from both commercial business property and single family homes. Such combinations do not exist in many places.
Member Capello stated he has received three letters in regard to the Mobile Station.
Charles Kevin Gross expressed his concern with the following items, increased traffic congestion at the intersection of Thirteen Mile Road and Decker Road, potential damage to the area wetlands, potential contamination to the ground water, potential air pollution from additional fuel fumes and emissions, potential noise pollution, potential for added crime in the neighborhood, the station will reduce the value of homes, gas stations already exist at Twelve Mile Road and Novi Road.
Gary Maxey moved into the Woods of Novi Subdivision approximately 5 years ago. He was attracted by the community and its country setting. Since then he has experienced increased housing and a five lane road. He was dismayed when he received a letter from the Planning Commission in regard to a Mobil Oil Station. To begin with, a gas station will spoil the feel and appearance of the community. It will also increase traffic and congestion at Thirteen Mile Road and Decker Road.
Shirley and Thomas O’Connell had serious concerns regarding another industrial oil or gas well on the property west of Echo Valley Subdivision. How many more will want to drill wells or build industrial sites on these properties and expect a variance, when will this stop?
1. MOBIL OIL STATION/CAR WASH/ON THE RUN, SP97-23A
Property located at Thirteen Mile and Decker Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Woodland Permit.
James Swaitko of Patterson Construction Company, Inc. stated Patterson is the planners, designers and constructors for all of Mobil Oil’s corporate sites in the Detroit and Chicago markets. The project is a proposed Mobil Oil Service Station comprising a convenience store, gasoline pumping and a self-serve car wash. He stated it is located on the southeast corner of Thirteen Mile Road and Novi Road and is part of the Vistas of Novi P.U.D. which is currently under construction. The lot size is approximately 221' x 308', the proposed station includes three separate facilities. A 2,950 square foot convenience store, an 18' x 42' car wash and a 36' x 84' canopy which covers six gasoline dispensers. He has had many meetings with the developers on the site as well as the Planning Consultant and City staff. He stated the station is physically developed and designed using the architectural standards and the engineering standards of the City of Novi as well as the architectural standards for the Vistas of Novi as part of the P.U.D. documents. Through the planning and design process, he has received comments from the staff and consultants and have used them to update the architectural style and site planning of the site. The building is hexagonal in shape, the facade is constructed of brick with a dryvit band around the top and a shingled hip roof. The colors chosen are consistent with both the architectural standards of Novi and the Vistas of Novi P.U.D. A manseured roof has been added on the canopy and the car wash, on the rear of the building, any doors will be painted to match the brick color, the downspouts and gutter materials will be painted to match the section of the building where they are located in order for them to blend with the building structure. The screening wall to the rear of the site screens all of the air conditioning condensers along with significant landscape buffers along Thirteen Mile Road and Novi Road. Additionally, Mr. Swaitko showed elevations of the car wash and a front elevation of the convenience store. He pointed out that he has worked with Mr. Rogers, JCK and the planning staff to account in the design of the site, in that he has added some details to the brick work on the building, added an overhang to soften the builidng and to keep in the general architectural nature of the Vistas of Novi, he added that they have even changed the configuration of the door handles on the front door. Additionally, the car wash building has some subtle architectural features so that the whole project blends together.
Physically, to blend the design of the facility into the overall P.U.D. of the Vistas of Novi, the service station is serviced by two common access roads and drives, one along Thirteen Mile Road and one along Novi Road. These common access roads will be extended by the developer when the additional commercial area behind it is developed. Along Novi Road is right in, right out and along Thirteen Mile Road, there will be lane widening for deceleration and acceleration to allow traffic to slow down and exit safely from the site. To the east of the site is a proposed temporary detention/sedimentation basin for storm water run off. It is temporary in nature so when the rest of the development is completed, the rest of the storm water structures for the parcel next to the site will be put in underground. Between the Mobil site and the detention basin will be an oil/water interceptor as a safety measure for any run off. Lastly, Mr. Swaitko pointed out that he has worked diligently with Ms. Lemke and staff to design what he feels to be a very nice landscape plan to provide a buffer around the outside and some interior landscaping to help soften the site for good visibility.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the applicant is building a convenience store, service station and office, car wash and canopy on a 1.5 acre site. The phasing plan is phase three, the boundaries are the same as on the approved area plan, the two structures comply with B-3 District standards. Based upon the intended use of the facility there is a need for 43 spaces, under the new Ordinance, they would only need 29 spaces. He deferred to Ms. Lemke for the landscape report.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated she had two minor points that she would like to see addressed during Final Site Plan submission. The landscape plan shows the plan as being primarily an evergreen planting. Around the entire perimeter of the station with deciduous shrubs. The applicant provides a good screen. Ms. Lemke recommended approval.
Mr. Rogers stated the utility transformers and H.V.A.C.’s on the roof are screened from all sides. The applicant is proposing a 5' concrete sidewalk along Thirteen Mile Road, if the Council gives a second reading to a new Ordinance for an 8' asphalt bike paths, that requirement will take effect. Under the present Ordinance, they are showing what is required. In regard to the common access roads, the applicant will need a cross easement to gain access into the subject site and this is a requirement of the Final Site Plan approval. The proposed building facades reflect a brick vanier, E.I.F.S. dryvit material, gable roofs. The facade plan has been detailed to show brick simulated coins on all corners of the building and some of the detailing around the doors and windows. Mr. Rogers recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the applicant is proposing a water service lead from the main that exists in Novi Road, sanitary sewer exists on the west side of Novi Road and will be extended across and along the south edge of the site to provide service to the building in addition to a couple of phases of the Vistas project to the south and east. The applicant is proposing underground storm sewers for the project will be released to an oil and gas separator at the downstream manhole prior to its release from the site. Storm water is going to be detained, the sediment control temporarily in a basin which exists off site to the east. The ultimate location will be about 400 to 500 feet to the east, near the existing wetland area. In regard to the ingress/egress easement to Thirteen Mile Road, it will be required, a couple of other easements will be required, one for the sedimentation/detention basin and one for the sanitary sewer on the south side of the site. Mr. Bluhm felt that the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and recommended approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there are two points of access proposed. The access points are consistent with the P.U.D. plan that was approved for the Vistas of Novi and they are required to be consistent with that. The access point to Novi Road would be for right turns in and out. The access point to Thirteen Mile Road will include appropriate decleration and acceleration tapers as well as the extension of a center turn lane to serve the driveway. Information regarding trip generation has been provided and stacking for the car wash meets the standard in the newly adopted Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.
Chairperson Weddington announed 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) the hazardous chemical survey that was submitted was not signed. The applicant must provide a signed hazardous chemical survey. All other fire department concerns have been satisfactorily addressed.
Ms. Lemke stated the area is a light woodlands on the Official Woodlands Map which means that the trees are quick growing that colonize the site and eventually turn into a mature woodlands. She stated there is very little understory, it is primarily Locust with Walnut, Cherry and Maple. The Walnut trees on the site are the best quality on the site. Overall, the woodlands on the site is poor primarily due to its isolation or detachment from other areas of woodlands. Ms. Lemke stated there are ten regulated trees on the site. The plan is proposing to save four of those trees and take the remainder of them off of the site, the applicant is showing the correct number of replacement trees, which is 32 and they will be replaced by putting money into the City’s tree fund. Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the Woodland Permit with seven standard conditions for woodlands approval which are stated in her letter dated August 29, 1997.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Chris Pargoff, City Forester which states that this office concurs with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant Ms. Linda Lemke. The applicant has agreed to contribute to their replanting fee to the City of Novi tree replanting account. In addition, a $5,000 bond for fence maintenance will be required on this project. An environmental Pre-Construction meeting must be held before any clearing and grubbing takes place.
Mr. Bluhm stated the Environmental Department of JCK has also reviewed the plan for Wetlands Permit. It does require a permit which falls in the minor use category and will be reviewed Administratively at the time of Final Site Plan. There is a wetlands pocket east of the site, it is surrounded primarily by a scrub shrub vegetation of willow trees. There is open standing water in the middle with a stand of dead trees. There is a swale ditch that exists from the wetland to the west toward the site, the applicant proposes a release of restricted storm water into the ditch and ultimately into the wetland. This provides the need for the minor use permit. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval and stated there were some minor issues that needed to be addressed at the time of Final.
Chairperson Weddington asked how large the wetland was?
Mr. Bluhm believed it was around an acre in size, maybe a little less.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK who has reviewed the plan for compliance with the Facade Ordinance and states that the percentage of materials appears to comply with the Facade Chart, however, he pointed out four important concerns: 1) the elevations indicate finishes identified as F-1, F-2 and F-3. The type and color of these materials are not clearly indicated; 2) the letters refer to the finish schedule on sheet A-5 and sheet A-5 was not provided; 3) Brick Quoins are illustrated in such a way as to give the impression that alternate brick colors are to be used, this should be clarified; 4) it is recommended that a material sample board be provided which illustrates the color and texture of all proposed materials.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public. Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Capello asked if it was a requirement in the Vista’s contract, that phases be built in any specific order?
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated they are done numerically, however, there is a provision in the P.U.D. agreement that allows revisions in the phasing plan if done Administratively. He stated they have come in on a number of occasions to have the phasing plan changed in certain ways. The changes have been reviewed by the consultants to be sure that they correspond to the phasing requirements.
Member Capello asked what the purpose was to move Phase IV up to Phase III? He asked what was the previous Phase III?
Mr. Rogers answered, it was a residential development on the west side of Novi Road, south of Thirteen Mile Road.
Member Hoadley asked if the facade coincided with the facade planned for the station that was approved in the contract? If so, where is the original facade?
Mr. Rogers stated he reviewed that area plan that was approved in the contract and there were no specific plans for commercial buildings, there were some perspectives but they were very generalized.
Member Hoadley stated the theory is neo-traditional and the plan does not reflect it. He asked why it was not being required to be in the same architectural style that the rest of the Vistas is going to be in?
Mr. Rogers stated he could not find any specific standards. He stated when the commercial property comes in, the neo-traditional will be seen with the zero lot lines, shared parking and commercial on the front property line.
Member Hoadley stated the applicant has just testified that it is architecturally compatible with the Vistas of Novi and it did not look that way to him, he asked if it was a true or false statement by the petitioner?
Mr. Rogers answered, it was the opinion of the petitioner. He stated there was nothing to compare it with because there is no other commercial development in the Vistas. He stated it was not a typical Mobil Oil Gas Station.
Member Hoadley asked the applicant if the rest of the commercial had similar architecture?
Mr. Swaitko stated he could not answer to what the rest of the commercial development that was coming in from the Vistas or people who are purchasing or leasing separate parcels from the Vistas. He stated when he started on the journey, he met with the main developer of the Vistas and was given a book as part of the process. The book contains a description of architectural standards, site planning guidelines, architectural guidelines and the materials that he had picked out for the building.
Member Hoadley asked if the book could be made available to the Commission?
Mr. Swaitko stated the book was provided to him from the Vistas of Novi, he did not create the book.
Member Hoadley stated it was not colonial architecture and what he understood was in the P.U.D. the architecture is supposed to be compatible. The plan seems to deviate dramatically from it, since it is a gateway lot to the City, he had a real problem approving it. He stated he would like to see as high a quality of standard as possible for gateway lots. Member Hoadley asked what the requirement was for the height of the berm?
Ms. Lemke answered, there are more stringent requirements along the roads, the applicant shows 12" of berming and that meets the requirements, as long as there is enough heavy screening. The current Ordinance requirement is 36".
Member Hoadley asked why 36" is not being required?
Ms. Lemke answered, because the standards that are in the P.U.D. are being used at this time.
Chairperson Weddington clarified that it was a P.U.D. and it was approved based on certain requirements.
Member Hoadley asked even though the Ordinances have been upgraded, do they not apply?
Mr. Watson answered, yes.
Member Hoadley asked if the berming complies with the old Ordinance?
Ms. Lemke answered, the applicant does comply with the old Ordinance and she has had them add additional shrubs to provide screening.
Member Hoadley asked if the original P.U.D. contract mentioned anything about a fast food restaurant in conjunction with a service station?
Mr. Rogers answered, there was an automobile service station with its accessory uses therewith. He stated the service station did not call out a fast food restaurant. Mr. Rogers stated he considered it in his report for off street parking requirements and it is a permitted use in the commercial district.
Member Hoadley asked if it was a permitted use under the contract with the City?
Mr. Watson stated he would review it to make sure. He believed it was for auto service stations and other commercial uses.
Member Hoadley stated the car wash only shows a five car stack, he asked if nine cars were currently recommended?
Mr. Arroyo stated the plan only shows five cars dimension, however, the stack continues beyond what is shown. The applicant does meet the nine car stacking standard.
Member Hoadley asked if the petitioner was contemplating a drive-thru window for fast food?
Mr. Swaitko answered, no.
In regard to the sidewalk, Member Hoadley asked if the petitioner was willing to comply with the new Ordinance?
Mr. Swaitko answered, yes.
Member Hoadley had reservation with the facade. He stated he was not opposed to the service station concept, however he was not in favor of the facade. He asked to take a closer look at the rendering. Member Hoadley asked if it was out of place with the overall P.U.D. concept and the facades that they have presented.
Member Csordas asked where the oil and water separator was located?
Mr. Swaitko answered, it would be located in the northeast corner.
Member Csordas asked who would be responsible for the maintenance of it?
Mr. Swaitko answered, Mobil Oil Company.
In regard to the car wash, Member Csordas recalled at the station located at Twelve Mile Road and Novi Road, during the winter as people are exiting the car wash, the water is tracked out onto Twelve Mile Road and it freezes creating danger in that area. With current technology and design, he asked if it has been addressed so that most of the water can be drained off to reduce the impact onto Thirteen Mile Road?
Bob Doles Director of Production at Patterson Construction Company answered, yes, technology has come along and there are two things that are done. He stated one is the installation of heat mats, the other is the installation of a rumble strip so that the water will shake off of the vehicles when they exit the car wash.
Member Csordas asked if the heat mats were located in the cement or were they mats that sit on the top of the pavement?
Mr. Doles answered they are imbedded in the concrete which keeps the concrete warm.
Member Csordas asked who checks to make sure that the maintenance on the oil and water separator is maintained?
Mr. Doles answered the service station will be a corporate store and it has a maintenance program for each location. On a regular basis, they check various aspects of maintenance features of the operation.
Member Csordas referred to the letter from Doug Necci, dated August 29, 1997 which states that the facade meets the Ordinance he asked if this was correct?
Mr. Bluhm answered, yes.
Member Churella asked if the sign fits the Ordinance of 30 square feet?
Mr. Doles answered the sign would be addressed at a different meeting. He stated there is a potential to come in for a variance for a slightly larger sign than a 30 square foot sign.
Member Bononi asked for the location of the wetland on the site.
Mr. Doles stated based on the scale of the site plan provided, the wetlands are about 500' to the east of the leased premises for Mobil Oil.
Member Bononi asked who owns the area?
Mr. Doles stated the area between Mobil Oil and the wetlands area is part of the Vista’s development.
Member Bononi asked if the Vista’s development would also own the area that will comprise the temporary sedimentation basin during the construction phase? She asked where it would be located?
Mr. Doles answered yes and stated it is located directly to the east of the site. He stated it was the best methodology for taking care of storm water at this time, since the actual site plan for the adjacent property has not been developed.
Member Bononi was interested in the manner in which the water would be pre-treated as it leaves the site. She stated such items as antifreeze, salt, motor oil, grit, sediment, car wash run-off, bacteria and toxin are all a part of pollution everywhere, not to mention motor oil and gasoline. She stated one quart of oil could contaminate two million gallons of clean water. She stated it was not satisfactory that the applicant was speaking of temporary treatment of water at which time when the station is on line, it will go away and divert into a wetland.
Mr. Doles explained when the temporary structure goes away, it will be replaced by a permanent structure which is required in the contract with the Vistas of Novi to be located approximately 300 to 400 feet to the east of the Mobil property. He stated that area has not been fullly engineered and designed and this was the temporary measure between today and the design and constrution of the permanent sedimentation/retention basin to be built later.
Member Bononi asked if she understood the applicant to say that there will be not time at which the storm run off from the site will not be pre-treated?
Mr. Doles answered, that was correct.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Watson if that could be made a condition of approval?
Mr. Watson believed it was required by the Design and Construction Standards, but it would be no problem making it a requirement just to make sure.
Member Bononi was concerned because at that particular time, it may be owned by others. In regard to the architecture, she thought that it was disappointing if it were to be compared to Victorian architecture. She did not find it to be attractive, she also found the landscaping to be thrifty. She did not think architecturally it was a project worthy of Novi. Member Bononi did not think that the plan could be described as Victorian. Her largest concern was with the storm water and added that she would like to see the applicant do something else with the building facades. She asked the applicant if he would be willing to do that?
Mr. Doles stated he would be willing to re-look at the situation if necessary but as stated earlier, when he went into the process with the developers of the Vistas, and they went through the architectural features, they picked out materials that were requested in their book which is a part of the contract with the City of Novi. Mr. Doles stated he was not focused in on the residential portions of the development, he was looking at the commercial portions and this was what they keyed in on, during the developmental meetings with the owner of the property.
Member Bononi thought the operative word in the P.U.D. was "planned", she thought most planners looked for consistency and a sense of place. She was not satisfied with the architecture, however, if the majority of the Commission thought the requirements were being met, that that would be another question.
Chairperson Weddington did not think that there were specific requirements for Colonial or Victorian type architecture.
Mr. Watson did not believe there requirements for the gas station. He stated the question to the Commission is whether it complies with the facade standards in the Zoning Ordinance and any additional requirements that were imposed as a part of the P.U.D. agreement. He thought Mr. Rogers indicated that he went back and reviewed the area plan for the architectural requirements and found that the plan fit within the requirements. Mr. Rogers further indicated that there were additional, more stringent requirements for the single family residential structures that emphasized the early 1900's architecture.
Mr. Rogers stated there were some sketches in the area plan showing a streetscape. He stated it was very attractive and there was copy on each of them stating that it was not the exact plan and it was subject to change.
Mr. Watson stated the additional architectural guidelines are additional facade requirements that the developer has imposed upon all of the structures even beyond the single family residential structures within the P.U.D.
Member Vrettas stated there was a difference between materials and architecture. He stated there was a question regarding whether or not it would fit into the community and he did not think it did. He stated it does not serve Mobil, not to fit in and look attractive.
Member Canup stated his major concern was whether or not Pizza Hut would be allowed. He stated until that issue is resolved, he thought there should be no action taken.
Mr. Watson stated the Commission’s alternative would be to give conditional approval, conditioned upon verification.
Member Canup stated he would not be in favor of a conditional approval.
Member Hoadley stated he also would not be in favor of a conditional approval.
Mr. Doles clarified that the Pizza Hut offering at the location does not mean that it is a full service fast food restaurant. Mobil Oil has obtained Pizza Hut, Blimpies and a couple of other fast food type items to provide another over the counter offering in its stores. The area encompassed by the Pizza Hut food service area is 12' 5" from side to side, it is a counter only, there are no seats in the facility.
Member Canup asked Mr. Rogers if there was an interpretation rendered by the ZBA as to what constitutes a fast food restaurant?
Mr. Rogers stated there was an amendment proposed in the B-1 District to permit it since restaurants are not permitted in the B-1 District. He did not think the Ordinance was ever amended, restaurants are still not permitted in the B-1 District.
Mr. Watson stated at several points, there was discussion about changing the Ordinance to try to clarify Member Canup’s question. He did not think that a change was ever adopted. The particular issue is separate because it is a question of whether it was an included use on the site.
PM-97-09-233 TO POSTPONE TO TAKE THE QUESTION TO ANOTHER DATE UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT THE PERMITTED USE OF THE PIZZA HUT IS DETERMINED TO BE WITHIN THE CONFINES OF ALLOWED USE
Moved by Bononi, seconded by Canup, CARRIED (6-3): To postpone the matter until such time that the applicant and/or the consultants can determine whether or not the Pizza Hut use is a permitted use.
Mr. Watson stated he could have an answer for the next meeting.
Member Churella thought the facade should also be included in the motion.
Member Hoadley agreed.
Member Bononi stated the only problem she would have in adding that to her motion was that she understood Mr. Watson to say that is not a part of the Commission’s pervue.
Mr. Watson stated it is only a part of the Commission’s pervue to the extent that there are facade regulations to regulate the use and anything additional in the area plan that would further restrict it, Mr. Necci has reviewed it and indicated that it complies with the facade standards. Mr. Rogers has reviewed the area plan for any additional restrictions and compliance, and it complies with. He did not think there was any facade questions.
Member Hoadley stated if it comes back, he would not be able to support the project unless he can see that the balance of the commercial is in the same tone. The whole project was sold to the Planning Commission and the City as a Victorian-type of project. He stated it was a nice looking station, however if the rest of the commercial was going to be Victorian-type, then it will stand out like a sore thumb, it is not compatible. He stated he would still like to see the applicant come back and show what the rest of the commercial will look like.
Chairperson Weddington believed it to go beyond the scope of what the Commission could address.
Mr. Watson reiterated that the Commission’s review is whether the plan complies with the facade standards and whether it complies with the area plan. It does not include a responsibility for the applicant to provide plans for other portions of the development for phases which are not up for review.
Member Hoadley then asked for a re-reviw of the area plan to make sure that what Mr. Watson was saying was correct.
Mr. Watson stated that he and Mr. Rogers would review it. He assured the Commission that when Mr. Rogers reviews the plans, he is reviewing them with regard to the P.U.D. area plan approval and the P.U.D. agreement.
Member Bononi added to her motion that the consultants and/or staff will also investigate the documents for any further architectural compatibility requirements.
Member Hoadley, seconded it.
Member Csordas asked what expenses would the petitioner incurto come back before the Commission?
Chairperson Weddington did not believe there would be any filing fees.
Member Capello stated he was one of the Commissioners who sat on the Planning Commission when the Vista’s first came forward. He stated all of the Commissioners put a lot of effort into it and he thought it was the intent that the entire project be incorporated. He did not think the Commission could hold the petitioner accountable for something that the Commission missed. He asked if the canopy was shown anywhere in the drawings because he could not find it, he stated he would like see it somewhere in the drawings.
Mr. Swaitko stated the canopy is approximately 36' x 84' as depicted on the rendering. He stated it may have been sorted out of the package that was received.
Member Capello stated he would like to see the facade for it as well.
Member Bononi added that the plan should also include the height of the canopy.
Mr. Swaitko stated the drawing shows the plan view and elevation and lighting plan for the canopy.
Member Capello noted that all of the drawings show a blue tinted glass. He thought if the applicant went with something other than the blue, it might fit the architecture a little better.
Mr. Swaitko stated the glass is clear tinted.
Member Capello suggested that the Amoco station at Twelve Mile and Novi Road has a canopy that would probably fit more into the design that the Commission is looking for. He suggested that maybe with some minor changes to the design, it might fit into what the Commission is looking for.
Mr. Swaitko stated the subtle changes that are being described could be addressed, he asked if they could be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan because the planning process would require him to resubmit 6 additional drawings and then another 17 sets of drawings and go through another three month process.
Member Capello stated he was not asking the petitioner to do this and he was not going to vote against the project because he didn’t unless Mr. Rogers and Mr. Watson tell the Commission otherwise. He assumed that the project meets all of the facade requirements, he was just throwing out some ideas that might satisfy some of the other Commissioners.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-233 CARRIED
Yes: Bononi, Canup, Capello, Churella, Hoadley, Weddington
No: Csordas, Vrettas, Watza
Chairperson Weddington asked the Commissioners to save their packets and bring them back next time with their notes.
2. COMERICA WELLHEAD, SP97-35
Property located on the south side of Ten Mile Road, east of Wixom Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Woodland Permit.
Bill Horn spoke on behalf of the applicant Somoco. He proposed to drill a second oil and gas well on an existing well site on Ten Mile Road just east of Wixom Road. He was seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval as well as to obtain a recommendation to City Council approving it as a special use and the drilling on the property. Mr. Horn stated the property was about 75 acres in size, heavily wooded, with wetlands surrounding it. There is an existing drive that goes back to the well site. The area involved has already been cleared, there will be no additional clearing involved in the process. Mr. Horn stated they would be going into the same reservoir that the first well penetrates because drilling into the reservoir with a second well will allow the producction of the remaining reserves in the reservoir much quicker. Once the reservoir is depleted, they would leave the site. The well flows along an existing pipeline, previously approved by the Commission and City Council to a processing facility known as the Delta Trucking site. The site is currently located on property which is owned by the City and planned to be developed as a park. In regard to the processing facility site, the City has a plan to install a fourth baseball diamond once the operations are complete at the site.
Mr. Horn stated once approval is granted, the fence surrounding the site will be opened to allow the equipment to come in. A hole will be dug from which the drilling will start, a plastic liner will be put in to catch any fluids that are produced during the drilling process. He stated the existing wellheads will be secured so there is no interference or impact while the second well is being drilled. Monitoring equipment is placed on the existing well to monitor it while drilling, at the same time there are existing monitoring wells surrounding the site. The drillling rig is set on top of plastic to prevent any spills from entering the environment. The fluid that is produced is drained into an area that is recovered for reuse or proper disposal. The initial drilling process will take approximately 7 to 10 days, and the depth will be approximately 4,000 feet. Once the drilling is complete, a completion rig will be moved in to finalize the drilling and this will take approximately one week. After this is done, the final equipment will be installed which will allow the product to flow from the well, into an existing pipeline which runs from the site to the Delta Trucking facility where it is processed. He stated there would be no changes to the pipeline, he asked for approval of the drilling of the well and the use of the land as such.
Mr. Horn stated there would not be any impact to surface conditions of adjacent properties. He stated he was in compliance with the City’s Ordinance. Wetlands and woodlands will not be disturbed. Mr. Horn stated the ZBA found that the proposed usage would have a minimal impact on the surrounding area in terms of future growth and devlopment and minimize the impact on sensitive areas surrounding the proposed site. At that time, the City retained extra witnesses and consultants to demonstrate that the plan was clearly environmentally sensitive and protective of the ground water of the City. He believed that with the change in technology, the more restrictive and protective oil and gas rules, that the second well would be even more protective of the health and welfare of the City and its’ residents.
Mr. Horn stated this would be the third well that Somoco has drilled. He stated they would continue to operate in the responsible manner that they have in the past. The benefit to the City is that the duration of operations at the site and the processing facility site will be shortened and the land will then become available for future use. He stated the wellhead is proposed to be located 12' from the existing well. The Drilling Ordinance requires a 660' separation, City Council has authorized to grant an exception from that. Mr. Horn believed that locating the wellhead the distance proposed would result in less disturbance and minimize any impact to the site. He asked that it be approved subject to the Council approving the distance proposed for separation from the wellhead. He stated he has been asked to pave an area for parking. He stated a gravel road was installed at the time the first wellhead was drilled. The road is heavy duty and is able to hold the size of equipment that emergency vehicles would use if they had to access the site, he believed it was a 25 ton limit and believed the road to be adequate. Mr. Horn stated he would prefer not to pave it for several reasons: 1) he is a temporary use of the property; 2) it makes an attraction for people to enter the site, he believed from a security standpoint, pavement may not be appropriate; 3) In terms of usage of the road, a pick up truck drives down the road twice a day and that is the only use that it gets. At a minimum, if paving was required, Mr. Horn asked that he be allowed to put it in after drilling is completed so it is not disrupted by the heavier equipment. He stated he would show some driveways on a revised site plan, he would also put in a second tie to a quarter section corner.
In regard to the landscaping, Mr. Horn stated the installation of shrubs are being proposed where the driveway turns from heading in a westerly direction to a southerly direction. He did not have a problem with it as long as they were short enough that the gate is visible from Ten Mile Road. He stated he would be happy to remove the dead canopy trees and he has been asked to plant some trees along the driveway. Mr. Horn asked that he be allowed to plant the trees on the south side so a privacy screen is not created in front of the driveway. A structural elevation and design was requested to show any proposed buildings, Mr. Horn stated he was not proposing to add any buildings to the site. He stated he would provide an 8' pedestrian pathway along the Ten Mile Road R.O.W., however, there is no connection on either side of the property and it may intend to encourage movement along the edge of the property and allow for more trespassing than he would like to see, he asked the Commission to consider deleting the 8' pathway requirement. The Fire Marshal has requested that he show or install a T-shaped driveway for a turnaround. Mr. Horn stated this already exists, it is gravel, however, since it does not get much use, grass has grown up in it and it is not readily visible.
In conclusion, Mr. Horn stated he saw an article in the Detroit Free Press where the City Manger of Novi commented that there are several wells in the City and while initially there was some controversy about them, now hardly anybody knows that they are there. Mr. Horn stated the wells are his and he intends on keeping it that way.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated such drilling facilities are permitted subject to the requirement the Oil and Gas Drillling Ordinance and after Special Land Use approval of the City Council, after Planning Commission Public Hearing and recommendation. Mr. Rogers stated they have complied with all of the standards except for the spacing of 660' from an exisiting well site. He did not see any traffic impact but deferred to Mr. Arroyo. There is no impact on existing woodlands, wetlands and watercourses. Mr. Rogers stated there were a number of items that were missing from application data. He thought the 8' pathway needed to be completed whether or not the applicant was going to be at the site in the future. He stated if there was a R.O.W. and it could be designed, he strongly recommended it or it was a matter that would have to be waived by the City Council. Mr. Rogers recommended Special Land Use approval and Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the provision of certain missing data, special land use approval by City Council and approval by City Council as an exception of the proximity of the two wellheads.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated his main concern was the paving of the access which the applicant has addressed. He stated if the applicant felt that there were appropriate reasons for waiver of it, it would have to be taken up with the ZBA. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the site plan subject to showing the paving or getting a ZBA variance for maintaining it as a gravel entryway.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated he had no concerns from a site engineering point of view. In regard to the pathway, Mr. Bluhm added that the R.O.W. is not currently sufficient along the frontage of the property to put a foot pathway in. He stated there is an extensive amount of wetlands in the area and it is likely to be an expensive proposition if the pathway is put in. Mr. Bluhm encouraged the applicant to provide an easement and construct the pathway, however, there were other issues that needed to be addressed.
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 condition; 1) provide a "T" style turnaround at the end of the existing driveway before entering the fenced area. The turnaround shall be of all weather material capable of supporting 25 tons.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK regarding the initial review of drawings for compliance with the City’s Facade Ordinance. The letter stated the drawings submitted do not appear to have a building on site. In this case, Novi Oridinance 2520; the Facade Ordinance does not apply.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.
Frank Brennan, 23876 Heartwood stated he has lived in Echo Valley for 13 years. He clarified that Somoco received their first well because they held a litigation shotgun to the City’s head. The business of oil and gas drilling and operation is dangerous and hazardous which reads as line one in the Oil and Gas Ordinance. Mr. Brennan had a great deal of trouble with Somoco’s request for the expansion of the site. He stated the submittal will highlight the dangers of hydrogen sulfide he stated it was a natural side effect of oil and gas wells. He stated it was most threatening to the elderly and young children. Mr. Brennan asked the Commission to keep in mind that the well has been sunk on residential property. He stated that Somoco promised that they would never be back in Novi for another well and this should be reflected in the City Council record. He stated the proposed project is an expansion of a mistake and asked the Commission not to be a part of it, he asked if they wanted to double the chances of an accident occuring, he asked if they wanted to assume the liability and expense if someone gets sick or damage from the effects of the oil and gas well? He asked if it was fair to expand the risks that the community has already assumed. He stated the Commission has the option and the right to say no, and asked them to just do it.
Rawland Storm, 48114 Rushwood recalled a quote from the oil company when the request for a well was finally approved, that they would never come before the board again for another well. He also remembered a quote from someone about no new taxes. Everything that could have a negative impact on future development has been put around older established subdivisions as to not discourage future developments in other areas of the City. He stated there is no current need for more oil. It took over seven years for the first well to be approved and only then because of fear of a possible legal battle over potential lost income. Since then it has been established that lost income of oil wells is nowhere near where oil companies lead us to believe. A simple variance to allow another well is no way to deal with an issue as complex and potentially detrimental to the environment and future development. Mr. Storm noticed that the applicant gave no guidelines or timelines as far as when they would finally complete the resources that are there, he saw no reason to put in a second well.
John A. Kuenzel, 23819 Heartwood lives on the west side of Echo Valley in one of the residences nearest to the proposed additional well site. He stated he was a royalty receiver from the initial well that was drilled. He stated that no one from Somoco Oil Company asked him if he wanted them to pump the oil from under his property at any faster rate but yet they choose to do so. He did not understand why he had to appear before the Commission because he received a notice that the meeting was occuring. He stated he found out that the notice that occured on this issue was just six days ago in the newspaper. He asked if there was a prior notice that he missed?
Chairperson Weddington asked if there was a record of the public notices that were made?
Steve Rumple, Staff Planner answered it was to his understanding that the proper public notices were filed.
Mr. Kuenzel asked when, where and how they were filed? He stated he only knew of one article that appeared in the newspaper last Thursday and that gives less than seven days notice of the Public Hearing. He stated he was not notified and he is an adjacent property owner, he is also a Somoco royalty recipient.
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated the notification in the newspaper was within the appropriate timeframe, it is supposed to be not less than five days and not more than fifteen days. As to the notification to adjacent property owners, usually the City maintains a record of who they were mailed out to and when they were mailed.
Mr. Kuenzel expressed concern because it was something that potentially posed a risk to 100 families that live nearby. He stated discussions were held previously when the oil well was forced upon them. He stated they went through a lot of claims by Somoco Oil Company when they first came into the subdivision, including the one that they would never be back to drill another well. Mr. Kuenzel was concerned about oil companies that come in and want to make a rapid profit, putting the residents at risk and then they leave. He challenged the adequacy of notice, the safety risk that the families are being exposed to and the truthfulness of Somoco.
Chairperson Weddington asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Hoadley asked the petitioner if the well was going to be gas or oil or a combination?
Mr. Horn answered, it will be an oil well.
Member Hoadley asked if he was slant drilling?
Mr. Horn answered, the surface location is not directly vertical over the bottom hole location.
Member Hoadley asked the depth of the well.
Mr. Horn answered, the bottom hole depth was 4,050 feet.
Member Hoadley asked for the angle of the slant.
Mr. Horn deferred to his engineer.
Dave Tung, Petroleum Engineer stated the angle of the flexion of the well has a total maximum angle of 28 degrees. The bottom hole location is going to be 1,323 feet east of the surface location which is adjacent to the existing well.
Member Hoadley asked if any part of the pipe would run under property not owned by the applicant?
Mr. Horn answered he does not own any of the property, is all leased property.
Member Hoadley asked if any of the piping would run under developed residential property?
Mr. Horn answered, the direction of the kick would not be underneath any residences themselves but it is property that is zoned residential. The entire course of the kick is going to be within the confines of the leased area.
Member Hoadley asked what assurances could be given to the Planning Commission and the public if there were to be a rupture of the pipe, that the oil or gas would not contaminiate the City?
Mr. Horn stated the State of Michigan has developed rules that require an intermediate string of casing that would prevent contamination from happening. He stated this well would have 1,750 feet of intermediate casing which will be cemented to the surface. There is a surface string of casing which is 405 feet and is cemented to the surface. Between the two cemented strings of casing, there is 100 percent assurance that any ruptures or anything that might occur down hole, would not in any way enter a layer of soil or rock that would result in any emissions at the surface. Additionally, he stated that they were going into an existing reservoir which has been depleted.
Member Hoadley had a real problem with oil and gas wells being drilled within a high quality developing community. He thought it would be a mistake to approve any kind of oil and gas exploration within the City limits of Novi.
Member Vrettas asked the petitioner what his reasons were for violating his word to the community that he would not drill again?
Mr. Horn answered he was not involved in the first Public Hearing, he did not know anything about what was or was not said as far as coming back. He stated the reason for drilling the second well was to shorten the duration of the time that they are there.
Member Vrettas stated whoever the spokesperson was at the time, gave the word for Somoco and he felt there was a moral obligation to hold them to their word. He stated he would be voting against the motion.
Member Bononi asked what the proximity was to the nearest dwelling?
Mr. Horn answered, 850 feet.
Member Bononi asked if the applicant was regulated by the Federal or State Government with regard to possible environmental impact?
Mr. Horn answered, yes, by the State Government and he was subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Quality under Part 615 which specifically deals with oil and gas operations. He stated he is subject to the environmental statutes and provisions that are applicable to the State level and the Federal level. He stated there was a specific division in the DEQ that regulates oil and gas drilling.
Member Bononi asked how he would describe the element of risk that exists to the drillers and the surrounding community at the time of drilling?
Mr. Horn answered, in this situation the risk would be minimal, giving that the first well has already been drilled and it is known what will be encountered down to the reservoir. The technology is better today than when the first well was drilled and the oil and gas regulations were recently changed to be even more stringent than they were before.
Member Bononi asked if the applicant holds liability insurance on the operations?
Mr. Horn answered, yes. He stated as a part of the process, he has to obtain insurance for approval of the drilling permit.
Member Bononi asked what the amount was?
Mr. Horn stated it was to be set by the City and he could not recall the amount.
Member Bononi asked if the applicant had an emergency spill response plan?
Mr. Horn answered, yes. As he understood the drilling regulations, there always has to be one for any drilling operations.
Member Bononi asked what would happen if there would be a spill and there was no person who would be there at the time with monitors or gauging equipment that would indicate that?
Mr. Horn stated the well is visited twice per day and there are automatic controls in place which detect some sort of loss or reduction in pressure. Automatic controls operate to stop any further operations. Also, the entire area is subject to the secondary containment requirements which means that there are layers of thick material between the surface where the fluids would come from and the underlying soil.
Member Bononi asked during the time of drilling, where will detained water go?
Mr. Tung answered, during the drilling operations, the site will have a 40 mill plastic covering over all of the soil areas. At the completion of the well, the wellhead facility is contained in the immediate area with a sump that is plastic lined, it will contain the amount of oil that could conceivably leak out of the facility in a 24 hour period. He stated the secondary containment contains the fluid before it gets into the environment.
Member Bononi asked how it is cleaned out?
Mr. Tung explained that a truck is brought in and it is vacuumed out.
Member Bononi understood that there was a wetland approval given by the City of Novi at one point. She asked what agency gave the wetlands approval?
Scott McKay, stated the determination was made by a wetlands consultant, that there was no area within a wetland. He stated it was a determination that was made in June when the facility was put in, that no wetland area would be affected by the project, therefore, a wetland permit was not needed from the City.
Member Bononi asked the staff if anyone remembered if a determination was made by the City that a wetland permit was not necessary?
Mr. Bluhm stated he could not answer that question at this time, he would have to check his files.
Mr. Watson suspected it was reviewed to find out whether there was going to be any activity within a wetland and they may have concluded that there was not and that is what it may have been based on.
Mr. McKay stated there was a review, he did not know of any further steps that were taken.
In regard to the pipe that carries the oil away from the site, Member Bononi asked where the pipe outlets?
Mr. Horn answered, the Delta Trucking site which is located north of Eleven Mile Road, just east of Wixom Road.
Member Bononi asked if the oil was for the applicant’s own use or is it sold?
Mr. Horn answered, the oil was sold.
Member Bononi asked the applicant if this would be the last oil well drilled on the site?
Mr. Horn answered, he did not know whether it would be the last well. He stated he could not answer.
Jeff Shunk who works with Somoco stated he takes care of the wells in the area on a day to day basis. He offered to report back to the Commission with an answer and stated at this time he would like to be able to say no there will not be any more wells drilled on the site. He stated he will have a definite answer the next time they appear. Mr. Shunk explained that if a well is not successful, he has to reapply for another permit. At times, that means drillling another well, that is what makes it tough to say whether another one will be drilled or not.
Member Bononi asked if the name of the wellhead was Comerica, as in the bank?
Mr. Horn explained the way wells get their name is they usually take the property owners name, then they assign numbers to each well. Comerica is the trustee of the trust which owns the property and that is why Comerica shows up in the name.
Member Bononi asked why there was an abandoned railroad car on the site?
Mr. Horn did not know why it was there. He stated it was not Somoco’s railroad car. He never heard the issue that Somoco was going to remove the car from the site.
Member Bononi stated it was a compliance issue from the standpoint of being located in a single-family zone.
Mr. Horn asked if it was a compliance issue with Somoco or the property owner?
Member Bononi stated it depends on who owns the property. She stated she was asking the question on behalf of the concerned resident. She asked the reason for the spacing minimum, she was concerned if it was a saftey issue or a physical limitation of some sort.
Mr. Horn did not know, he stated as a part of oil and gas regulation, they generally like to have wells spaced apart so that there is no interference with somebody elses well. He did not understand why this was a part of the City’s Ordinance because he thought the City might want to group more of them together on a common site.
Member Vrettas stated they used to space them apart because there was a fear of them blowing up, therefore, they wanted them spaced apart so if one blew up they all would not blow up, it was a safety issue.
Member Csordas asked the petitioner if they were not to drill the second well, could they still extract the same amount of oil over a longer period of time?
Mr. Horn understood by drilling the second well, he would get some more oil out of the reservoir, he deferred to his engineer.
Mr. Tung stated there was an incremental increase in total percent of recovery. In this case, adding another well into the same reservoir will provide a more rapid depletion of energy and will significantly shorten the length of oil and gas activities on the site.
Member Csordas asked if anyone has seen Mr. Brennan’s letter? Or if anyone was familiar with the Great Lakes Bulletin?
Mr. Horn answered, no. He stated the article was referencing hydrogen sulfide the existing well does not produce hydrogen sulfide, therefore, it is not expected from the second well.
Member Csordas asked if there were any dangers from the gas or anything that might escape from the hole?
Mr. Horn stated the system was sealed at the well site. He deferred to the engineer.
Mr. Tung stated the gases that are associated with the oil are considered to be sweet gases. It is considered a sweet well by the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. They have no intention of requiring any type of hydrogen sulfide safety equipment on site because they do not believe that there is any danger of any poisonous gases. The issue of hydrogen sulfide will not be an issue in the drilling of the well.
Member Csordas asked if Mr. Tung was familiar with the Michigan Land Use...
Mr. Tung stated he has heard about the organization. He understood it to be an organization that was formed by environmentally concerned citizens to address sour gas issues and oil and gas drilling in Northern Michigan.
Member Csordas asked if Mr. Tung could say with 100% certainty that there would not be any hydrogen sulfide in the area?
Mr. Tung stated with 100% certainty that there would be no hydrogen sulfide, he could not. He stated he could say with 100% certaintly that there would not be concentrations of hydrogen sulfide that would be considered in any way detrimental to the safety or welfare of human beings, it would be almost non-detectible.
Member Csordas asked what Mr. Tung would feel if he and his family lived right on the edge of the well?
Mr. Tung stated if his family lived adjacent to the site, he would be encouraged by them completing the well and draining the reservoir in as short a period of time as they could. Especially if the original well was expected to be in that area for 15 to 20 years.
Member Csordas asked if he would be concerned about getting a potential hazard out of the area quicker than it might be?
Mr. Tung answered, no.
Member Hoadley asked if there was any oil shale in or around the pool of oil?’
Mr. Horn stated the geologic column that is penetrated by the well does not contain any evidence of either oil shale or gas shale that would be considered commercial in any way.
Member Hoadley asked if the applicant ever anticipated steam operation?
Mr. Horn answered, no.
PM-97-09-234 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR COMERICA WELLHEAD, SP97-35
Moved by Churella, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (7-2): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Comerica Wellhead, SP97-35 for Special Land Use and to deny the Preliminary Site Plan.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-234 CARRIED
Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi
No: Canup, Watza
Chairperson Weddington announced the Commission would take a ten minute recess.
3. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.568
Property located south of Grand River, west of Beck Road for possible rezoning from RA, Residential Acreage to RM-1, Low-Denisty Multiple-Family Residential District and RM-2, High-Density Multiple-Family Residential District.
Matt Quinn represented Nobe Property Group, L.L.C. He introduced Blair Bowman a managing partner of Nobe Group, Bill Mayer, Mason Brown, Bob Straight and Mike Labade. Mr. Quinn stated the area is a 51 acre parcel west of Beck Road, south of Grand River, across the street from Providence Hospital. To the north it is bordered by Light Industrial and B-3 on the corner of Grand River and Beck Roads. To the east is a large wetland area, to the south is residential RA property. The southerly one-third of the property consists of quality woodlands the northern two-thirds is open and flat with a City easement going through the middle for sanitary sewer. To the south are homes that are on approximately 5 acres each, all of the homes that face Eleven Mile Road are at the boundary. There are three homes on Beck Road which the Nobe Group has under control by option and all but one front Beck Road in the project area. The wetland flows from Beck Road along the back where it abuts I-1 property and to the east is another large wetland that continues into the larger wetland on the adjacent property.
Mr. Quinn spoke about why the property could not be used as RA zoning today. In regard to the features, he stated the water table is extremely high, it is very difficult and very costly to build any type of a home on the property that requires a basement. The cost of the property in the area it is located, is so expensive that it is not single family marketable property. If single family homes were to be built on the parcel, the cost of the homes would be so high that the market could not support it given the industrial property that is zoned around it. The economics of it does not work for residential property.
Mr. Quinn provided various overlays for the different types of development that could go into the area. In an RA zone, the woodlands would be impacted by 70% and the wetlands would be intruded by 36%. In an R-4 zoning the woodlands would be impacted by 85% and the wetlands by 26%. He also mentioned that there is a major interchange that goes across the north which will add noise to the single family homes, the traffic on Grand River flows down into the single family home area, Beck Road will be at least a 5 lane road in the future so there will be additional traffic.
In an RM-1/RM-2 zoning, if it were rezoned to RM-2, anything could be done with the property thereafter. He stated the applicant would be able to work out a process with the City Attorney’s office to place deed restrictions on the property so that it will only be developed as senior congregate housing. One method he felt he could do this was because the developers are willing to make a conservation easement to the City, of the woodlands that are being saved in the northeast section. By having the current and future owners and the City enter into a deed restriction agreement, he believed that it could be upheld in that the City would be guaranteed that it will become senior congregate housing on the 7+ acres. Mr. Quinn thought that it was unquestionable that there was a need for senior housing in the City. He made reference to a letter that was received from Dan Davis and Kathy Crawford which states that the site was selected by the Novi Senior Housing Committee for senior congregate housing. Since there isn’t much senior housing in the City, it seems to be a logical use for the property.
Mr. Quinn referred to elevations of the senior building. The building will house approximately 120 units, 100 of which will be for well people; 75 one-bedroom units, 25 2-bedroom units and 20 medical studios for those who need assisted care. Mr. Quinn stated the senior building will be working with Providence Hospital to have a cross relationship with the doctors so that the doctors can come over and help the seniors as well as the seniors having immediate medical care across the street. He stated he received a letter from Providence speaking in favor of the development. The building is approximately 100,000 square feet and 2 ½ stories high.
He stated the other acreage will be RM-1 for apartments. There are approximately 280 to 300 units, 70% of the apartment units will have their own garages. There are open spaces that are being maintained throughout, there will be no intrusion into the wetlands, the ponds are a part of the drainage program for the site. Mr. Quinn stated that apartments fit nicely into the scheme. The apartments will serve approximately half of Novi that currently is not serviced by apartment uses. Under the Master Plan, the area falls in the density area, by adding the contregate and the apartments, the denisty projection is not exceeded for study area #7. Upon reading Mr. Rogers letter, Mr. Quinn did not feel that he believed the area to be used for single familiy residential purposes. By adding the apartment complex and the congregate housing, an average of 2 cars per minute will be added to the a.m. peak hour, the p.m. peak hour will have 3 cars added per minute. He stated there is not a significant impact by changing the zoning. There will be about 31 apartment buildings containing 9 units each, they will be about 35' tall. Open space will be worked in, there is natural buffering to the surrounding areas. To the east is the wetland, all of the trees to the south will be maintained, it is a very isolated parcel of multiple use.
Bill Mayer introduced himself. He explained that the congregate care facility is a sheltered environment for senior citizens. They offer meal service, maid service, transportation, activities and a sheltered environment that helps the seniors function in today’s society. There is a planned senior outreach clinic in the facility to work with the interaction with Providence. The population of the seniors is growing, the average age in a congregate care facility is about 85 years. There are 100 apartments proposed, and 20 rooms proposed for those who need more assistance, the 20 rooms will have a separate dining area. Mr. Mayer invited all of the Commissioners out to his facilities to see how they operate.
Blair Bowman elaborated on the issue of the overall impact. He stated he has had many meetings in regard to the impact and the overall concern is how will it impact the infrastructure, the overall community. Looking at the denisity, he felt it was an important aspect. Mr. Bowman stated the analysis was taken from existing data gathered at the City, he stated he included the development of the wetland parcels and the existing larger single family lots and still with the inclusion of the congregate facility, it ends up being less than the master plan for density in the area.
Mr. Bowman outlined the quality nature of the operator. He stated Mr. Mayer’s corporation is not very large, they are very detail orientated and meticulous in the operation of their facilities. Mr. Mayer would like to locate in Novi and Mr. Bowman thought they would be a great community asset and the location makes sense. Mr. Bowman stated the location was looked at because of Providence Hospital and the location to the expressways. He explained that there were two parcels, a 27 acre parcel and a 24 acre parcel to the north. He looked at attempting to develop the southerly parcel or the northerly parcel. In looking at the southerly parcel which was the most attractive to the congregate housing developers, it made a great deal of sense to place it in a serene setting and preserve the woodlands. The problem was that the congregate housing would only need 8 acres and what would be developed with the balance of the property? In looking at that, almost every type of scheme intruded heavily into the woodlands. Therefore, they looked at the northerly parcel and the adjacency to the the more intrusive uses to the north was a concern, wetlands was a concern and configuration of any devleopment is difficult. Mr. Bowman stated he sold the applicant on the wisdom of coming into Novi with an organized plan for the total 51 acres. He stated it may not technically meet the Master Plan or the current zoning, but he submitted that it makes a great deal of sense and thought it would be something that the community would be proud of. Mr. Bowman respectfully requested that the Commission allow him to proceed forward with the project.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the subject property is presently vacant. Across Beck Road to the west is the property of Providence Medical Center and scattered residences to the south. To the north is property used as a homesite, further north is commercial and industrial along Grand River. To the east the property is partly zoned I-1 and RA. To the south the property is used for single family residences on large parcels.
Mr. Rogers stated the Master Plan for Land Use recommends the subject property for single family residential future land use at a density of 0.8 units per acre. The applicant has submitted alternatives. 1) A multi-family project of 318-325, 1,2 and 3 bedroom dwelling units and a proposed congregate care facility of 160 apartment units; 2) An RA single family subdivision development of 38 lots; 3) An R-4 single family subdivision development of 110 lots; 4) An RT development of 124 two-family attached units.
Mr. Rogers stated to depart from the City’s Master Plan for Land Use, it was his opinion that it requires review by the Planning Commission on Master Plan and infrastructure implications. He spoke to Mr. Bluhm in regard to the adequacy of the sanitary sewer system to accommodate 500+ additional dwelling units. The applicant in report on Alternative Development Analysis states that RA and R-4 development do not provide economic viability. Further the RT plan in combination with the proposed congregate care facility did not yield a feasible amount of units and that no form of RA, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, Cluster or even a high density RT housing approach makes economic sense. Other uses such as industrial, commercial, office, OST were not seriously considered. Mr. Rogers stated he asked Mr. Bowman to document the rationale why the other alternatives were not workable, he reported that he has not received such documentation.
In the alternative, Mr. Rogers offered the concept of a planned, general office development for high-tech research character on the subject property as a transitional use between the industrial/commercial uses to the north and east and Providence Medical Center to the west. The plan would obviate the issue of having single family homes abut industrial and other non-residential uses in the area. Mr. Rogers did not recommend OST zoning.
Considering zoning principles in the instant case, Mr. Rogers did recommend spot zoning in an RM-2 district in the proposed location. If the congregate care facility were not built, the RM-2 site could be used for 5-story apartment buildings housing up to 160 dwelling units. Further, the introduction of the 318 to 325 multi-family rental units apears unsubstantiated when other rental units in the general area are coming on line, therefore, Mr. Rogers did not recommend the proposed rezoning plan.
Mr. Rogers thought the alternatives drawn for RA, R-1 and RT, presumed they could go in and take out woodlands just by putting money into the tree fund. He stated they would have to show other alternatives and in his opinion, could not intrude. In regard to the deed restrictions, Mr. Rogers deferred to Mr. Watson whether the City could be a participant in enforcing the deeds and whether the City would want to take over the woodlands in a conservation easement. He asked Mr. Watson to address the matter. Mr. Rogers responded to the comment made by Mr. Quinn about the project serving half of the City that is currently not served. He stated 50% of the dwelling units in the City are now apartment units. He stated evidence has been demonstrated of providing apartments at all price levels to serve the marketplace. Mr. Rogers stated he wanted to see the Planning Commission understand that a major area rezoning should address implications on the Master Plan.
David Bluhm presented the reports of Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant. Rezoning requests such as this require a trip generation comparison analysis. Mr. Arroyo analyzed three scenarios: 1) Current zoning RA: 41 single family homes; 2) Proposed zoning based on intense use: 480 multiple family units; 3) Proposed development: 140 congregate care units and 320 multiple family units. The 24 hour volumes for scenario 1; 454 trips, scenario 2; 3,078 and scenario 3; 2,333 trips. The a.m. peak hour volumes for scenario 1; 37 trips, scenario 2; 239 and scenario 3; 168 trips. The p.m. peak hour volumes for scenario 1; 48 trips, scenario 2; 273 and scenario 3; 112 trips. Mr. Arroyo indicated that Beck Road is carrying approximately 1,200 vehicles per day, south of Grand River as of 1995. The Beck Road / Grand River intersection is currently signalized, the Eleven Mile / Beck Road intersection is currently proposed to be signalized with improvements to the left and right turn lanes, they are anticipated to be constructed early in the spring 1998.
Mr. Arroyo’s second report dated September 17, 1997 was prepared at the request of the Chair. It is a level of service analysis based on current information. The Eleven Mile / Beck Road intersection was analyzed and he indicated that it is currently operating at level of service A during the p.m. peak hour. With the addition of the detour traffic, the intersection is forcasted to operate at a level of service B during both peak hours, primarily due to the low volume on Eleven Mile Road which will allow most of the green time to go to Beck Road. Eleven Mile is carrying 1,811 vehicles per day based on the current counts completed. There is no current level of service informationavailable for the Grand River / Beck Road intersection at this time.
Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Bluhm to address the infrastructure issues.
Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant forwarded some information on capacities they are proposing to generate for sewer use. He stated he analyzed them against the capacities that were designed into the system when the sewer went in about six years ago. The applicant is proposing about a 70 to 80 percent increase above what was designed. When it is allocated over the entire service district, it equates to a little over a 3% increase in sewer use. Mr. Bluhm stated the Harvest Lake Development is looking to use this segment of sewer and areas downstream for their development. He stated there may be a need to reconstruct several segments of the sewer to provide capacity for them. Mr. Bluhm stated the entire service district was designed for very high density, so likewise, he thought there would be a lot of other areas that would be using the sewers. From a feasibility standpoint, there are ways to improve the system to provide excess capacity for this type of development.
In regard to water, Mr. Bluhm stated there are improvements in the works to improve capacity and level out capacity and provide a more reliable system for the water mains. In the area of Beck Road and Grand River, there is a 24" stub that is going to be brought down across I-96 and connected into that area. He did not see any problems based on an increased use in the area.
Chris Pargoff, City Forester stated this was the first chance he has had to see the projected project with the inclusion of the apartment complex. He stated he has been talking with Mr. Bowman about fertilization programs necessary to help the trees that he is proposing to keep on the site. Since he has not seen any preliminary builidng envelopes or structures, he did not feel confident other than to propose that they begin fertilization as quickly as possible.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and asked if anyone would like to address the issue?
Pauline Berry, 41710 Tamara stated she has known the Haneys and the Mayers for about 12 to 13 years. She stated she has worked with them in many aspects of long term care, assisted living and congregate living and thought they were a wonderful group. She stated the facility on Halstead is beautiful and if he could bring this kind of quality to Novi, it is needed. She referred the the Master Plan for Land Use and read from the text. The City of Novi encourages all types of housing to meet the needs of its residents having varied lifestyles, family sizes and income. She thought this needed to be addressed with the senior citizens. Ms. Berry thought the project would be wonderful for the community and a definite asset for Novi.
James Hobley, 5641 Aldingbrook stated he placed his parents in one of Mr. Mayer’s facilities. He stated they provide apartment living, a hotel-like dining room and very family oriented staff. He stated it has provided a setting that has made his family very comfortable. He stated this facility would be an important addition to the community because a large part of the population is becoming older and it provides a place for older people to get the kind of care you would like them to have.
David Johnson, 5221 Mystic Lake stated his family has owned the northern 24 acres for approximately 30 years, he stated that since before that time, his father and Mr. Gilmore who owned the property to the south, attempted to market that property. In the marketing attempts, there were numerous conversations with different officials of Novi. He stated that he was informed that the City of Novi wanted residential development on the property and would accept nothing else. He stated that nobody would talk to him regarding development as an RA designation. He stated finally there is someone who is willing to come in and provide Novi with a fine proposal for the development of the property that is economicallly feasible. He asked the Commission to support the plan as he thought it was a reasonable development in light of the surrounding zoning districts.
Bob Melvin represented the owners of parcels #006 and #007, he stated that the owners of the properties are in favor of the development. He stated he has worked in Novi for 25 years. He stated he is currently working on a piece of industrial property that backs to a wetland. Being industrial property, the developer is required to put a berm or a retainer wall between himself and the wetlands thus blocking the beautiful way of life. Mr. Melvin stated with the proposed rezoning, there will be a little strip and a little square of residential RA which would end up as an isolated area. He stated he would like to see all of it rezoned. He stated if the industrial property were to be developed in the proposed rezoning, a wall or berm would have to be put up to obscure it. He stated if everyone works together, it can all be enhanced and saved.
Richard Abbott, Director of Facility Planning and Construction with Providence Hospital expressed the support of Providence Hospital for the zoning change. He mentioned the retail development that is occuring in the rezoning for the northwest corner of Grand River and Beck Roads and stated there is a real synergy with the hospital, the congregate care facility and the multi-family housing. He thought the proposed architecture was very sensitive in keeping with the architecture of Providence Hospital. Mr. Abbott thought it was appropriate that the Commission support the rezoning and asked that they do so.
Pete Valdez, has been a resident on Beck Road for 20 years. He stated he is primarily impacted on the southern end. He wholly approved of Mr. Bowman’s projected development and thought it would enhance the area at the same time preserving the woodlands and wetlands.
Unknown citizen reiterated the need for congregate living facilities. More specifically he spoke about his relationship with the Mayers and his other two facilities in Southfield and Farmington Hills. He stated the relationship he had was to provide clinical services through the family practice department. He stated the facilities are excellent and of very high quality, the residents receive extremely good care, he thought it spoke highly of Mr. Mayer to provide this service to the patients. He was in support of the facility.
Joseph Pfister referred to a letter that was read during the correspondence portion of the meeting which stated there was a problem with water. Mr. Pfister stated he has lived on Beck Road for over 30 years and it seemed like the water situation was becoming worse and worse as the years go on. He explained that during a hard rain, the water flows south like a stream. His main concern about the project was the water.
Chairperson Weddington asked if there was anyone else who wanted to address the issue? Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and stated the Rules require that if the meeting is going to beyond 11:30 p.m. the Commission needs to take action to extend the meeting.
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney clarified that action is taken to extend the meeting past 11:30 p.m. unless there are applicants still on the Agenda, therefore, the Commission can continue until this item is finished.
Chairperson Weddington turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Capello believed that the use of residential as opposed to any industrial/offiice or high-tech research is a better transition from the industrial uses. He thought it was a very compatible use with the hospital across the street and the new shopping center. He believed that most of the traffic impact would be carried up onto Grand River, north of Beck Road and down to the expressway and was very pleased to see the project come in.
PM-97-09-235 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO REZONE THE PROPERTY FROM RA TO RM-1 AND RM-2 AS THE APPLICANT PROPOSES
Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (8-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council on Zoning Map Amendent 18.568 to rezone the property from RA to RM-1 and RM-2.
Member Vrettas expressed concern about the senior complex being packaged with apartments. He felt that Novi currently has plenty of apartments and does not need any more. He was concerned about the infrastructure in the area because of the Harvest Lake project and the water issue. Member Vrettas felt that the applicant has not shown justification for not going with a senior citizens complex and single family housing, he stated he would be voting against the motion.
Member Hoadley stated he had mixed emotions about the project. He sits on the Senior Citizens Committee for senior citizen housing, he clarified a couple of statements that Mr. Quinn made. He stated for as long as he has ben on the Committee, the property has never been considered for congregate care, however, there has been property on the other side of the road that is owned and under the control of Providence that has been considered. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Mayer what the cost per unit will be for the rental of a senior facility.
Mr. Mayer answered, approximately $1,900 to $2,000 for a one-bedroom unit which includes full service. A two-bedroom would be approximately $2,200 to $2,400. He stated it was an upscale operation.
Member Hoadley did not agree that B-3 was a negative impact in regard to the salability of potential homes. He stated the homes where he lives have gone up $50,000 to $75,000 per unit since he bought and commercial is coming in on his property and it is definitely not a negative impact toward the value of the homes.
Member Hoadley also expressed concern that there was no economic back up to the statements that were made as to alternative development. He was not saying that they were not true, just that it has not been proved. He was not sure that the Commission should make a recommendation at this point in time until those studies are brought to the Commission so all of the information is on the table. He was not opposed to the project, however, he was not totally for the project at this point.
Mr. Bowman often times developers attempt to discuss economic issues as it relates to land use and planning matters and they are told not to because it should not be considered in the planning process. He stated he did not dismiss the uses that were examined. He stated he looked carefully at all of the uses, it has been a ten month process. Mr. Bowman did not argue that a service commercial might not be seen as a positive, however, on Beck Road near the Grand River intersection, in a non-residential category, it is not going to be a positive feature to force single family residential in the location.
Member Hoadley asked why RM-2 was needed for the multi-family residential?
Mr. Bowman answered because three stories are allowed in RM-2, the congreate footprint was able to be reduced instead of having a two-story footprint that would extend out to a 30% greater area than what the three- story allows for. It also provides for the amount of density must be obtained. He does not have the ability in the RM-1 to obtain the 20 to 21 units per acre that is required.
Member Hoadley stated that in the past, Mr. Watson has advised that deed restrictions do not work unless the City is an active participant in the property. He stated the applicant has testified that they were willing to give deed restrictions for the RM-2 district to only put congregate care on it and asked Mr. Watson if this could be done and if it could be enforced?
Mr. Watson stated there are mechanisms within which to restrict the use of property beyond zoning. One of the methods discussed in the past is conditions. The type of restriction proposed, is really not the kind of limitation that is recommended by conditional rezoning because there are provisions in the Zoning and Enabling Statute that call upon uniformity in the treatment of like zoning districts. One other technique is restrictive covenants. The catch is that there has to be some other property interest, so it is possible to do but it presumes that there is property interest.
Member Hoadley asked if the Commission votes for a positive recommendation, should it be couched into proper verbage to the City Council?
Mr. Watson did not think the Commission should make a part of the recommendation as to the precise mechanism by which they do it. If the Commission has a concern over the rezoning of the property to RM-2 and the other property to RM-1, then part of the recommendation could be that City Council look to some legal mechanism to provide the additional assurance and then it will be incumbent upon the applicant to provide some more details.
Member Hoadley thought the Commission should couch their recommendation to the Council with some verbage in the motion to do so.
Member Vrettas stated the problem he had with the project was the apartments. He asked the applicant if they looked at the idea of condominiums?
Mr. Bowman answered, yes. He stated he conducted a feasibility study and the bottom line is that a for sale approach to things would not be feasible.
Member Vrettas genuinely felt that Novi has gone too far in the area of apartments and because of that he stated he would have to vote against the motion.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Bluhm about storm water capacity with regard to where the water is going, where it will be held and where it will end up generally.
Mr. Bluhm stated it is a part of the Huron River system which flows to the south and west. The majority of the property is directed to south crossing Beck Road and ultimately to a regional basin that is not currently on line, which would be south of Eleven Mile Road and west of Beck Road. He stated it was not on the applicant’s property, therefore, they will not have a lot of control over it.
Member Bononi asked if she was correct in saying that the R.O.W.’s and easements for the regional basin are not in place?
Mr. Bluhm answered that was correct, they are not in place.
Member Bononi stated she sees it as a land use issue from the standpoint of transition and adjacency. She stated she has tried to do every configuration and every zoning use that she thinks the property could be used for and she keeps coming back to what the applicant came back to. Secondly, in looking at rezonings, she thought this is what should be looked at, not schematics. She reminded the Commissioners about those particular facets of the zones that are being proposed. She stated if you don’t think about those particular facets, there is nothing to compell the applicant to build the project or to propose the density. In her opinion, the numbers that were shown, are not in concrete until the Commission sees the final development plans.
Member Bononi expressed concerns in regard to the proposed zones. She stated in the RM-1 district, a 1,500 square foot land area per bed is a requirement. In the RM-2 district, her concern is that under special conditions, retail/commercial/office use related to the principal use can be allowed. Looking at what the applicant has proposed, she believed that the reasonable land use that is being proposed also makes the best sense. In regard to the storm water situation, she understood that the applicant had enough space on site to accommodate holding their own water and this was a great concern to Member Bononi. She also expressed concern with the ultimate number of units proposed would be subject with the concerns about protecting the woodlands and wetlands.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-235 CARRIED
Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Watza, Weddington, Bononi, Canup
4. TC-1 TEXT AMENDMENT, DEPARTMENT STORE
Amendment to the TC-1 Zoning Ordinance for a department store provision which allows for a retail store greater than the current 7,500 square foot maximum.
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated this was a matter that was discusssed by the Town Center Steering Committee and they referred it to Mr. Arroyo and himself to do a final draft. It relates to a particular section of the TC-1 District that restricts retail commercial buildings to 7,500 square feet. There are presently a couple of exceptions to that restriction, this would add an additional one. The additional exception pertains to department stores. In effect it would allow within the TC-1 District, a department store in excess of that size it would have to be a minimum of 50,000 square feet. There is an upper range that arises from the fact that one of the additional requirements is that the floor space devoted to the department store cannot exceed 20% of the total gross leasable area of a particular development. In other respects, there is an additional restriction that it has to be a minimum of two stories, the second floor has to contain at least 40% of the gross leasable area, there are also restrictions as to the entranceways. There has to either be a single pedestrian entranceway or else if there are additional entranceways, they have to be designed to serve single departments and the building has to have a varied facade treatment. There is a minimum spacing between the doors, in addition, the departments that are served by the additional entranceways have to have display windows. Finally, there cannot be more than one department store within 1,000 feet of another unless they are separated by a major thoroughfare. The idea is to permit a single facility as an exception, in effect it would act as an anchor to a given area and it would have to be supported by other individual stores and facilities. There was a positive recommendation from the Town Center Steering Committee and it was referred to the Planning Commission for a Public Hearing.
Todd Smith of Thompson Brown stated the Ordinance Amendment is a result of an ongoing process over the last couple of years. He reported that construction has started on buildings 200 and 300, in his travels, he has come across a wide variety of tenants that would be a fine mix and would fit within the small niche type marketing. He stated he has been approached by Crowley’s for a 100,000 square foot full service department store. Mr. Smith stated he was in ongoing negotiations with them to finalize the lease. One of the items is that the Ordinance does not allow for anything over 15,000 feet.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he conferred with Rod Arroyo earlier and there were two changes that the Commission might want to consider. Page 1, B1, "the minimum gross leasable area of a department store shall be 50,000 square feet", Mr. Arroyo suggested increasing the number to 80,000 or even 100,000 to keep out smaller type department stores. Secondly, on page 2, item 3, third line, "additional entrances may be provided...", Mr. Arroyo suggested that the word "may" should be "shall". Going down to the fifth line, he suggested inserting words to the effect that it should also meet the following standards a, b, c, and d. Mr. Rogers agreed with Mr. Arroyo on these changes and recommended the amendment.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and asked if anyone would like to address the issue? Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Capello stated the Ordinance has been in front of the Town Center Steering Committee twice and has gone through two revisions, the revision that is before the Commission is consistent with the recommendations of the Town Center Steering Committee. He stated the reason he and Mr. Arroyo wanted to increase the square footage to 80,000 to 100,000 square feet was because Cathy O’Malley of Twelve Oaks suggested if it were kept at 50,000 square feet, they may get a TJ Maxx, Target or Kohl’s type of store and that is not what is desired. In regard to sub-paragraph B2, he suggested the issue should be addressed, if a department store goes up to three stories, you may not want to require 40% on the second floor but rather 35% on the second floor and 5% on the third floor. In regard to sub-paragraph B3, he suggested that the language read, "additional entrances shall be provided". He explained that he wanted to make sure that on Main Street, the department store did not have one door, but several doors to look like small unique shops and to add specific language that each of the doors attributed to a specific shop have display windows.
Mr. Watson asked in regard to adding the additional entrances shall be provided, in other words he does not want to permit a single exterior entrance?
Member Capello answered, yes.
Mr. Watson stated the first sentence would have to be changed as well.
PM-97-09-236 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO CHANGE THE TC-1 TEXT AMENDMENT DEPARTMENT STORE LANGUAGE AS PROPOSED BY DENNIS WATSON AND ROD ARROYO
Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-3): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Text Amendments to TC-1 for department stores reflecting the changes recommended by Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Watson and the comments offered by Member Capello.
Member Hoadley suggested text that should be considered. He referred to number 5, and stated gross leasable area is not defined. He expressed concern that if Flint Street was ever changed to Main Street West, it could be considered as part of the Main Street project and the 20% would change the whole end. He suggested adding language that says that the project stops at Novi Road and Main Street West would be considered as a separate project.
Member Capello stated that site plan is approved so even if another project comes in...
Member Hoadley interjected, but it is an Ordinance that says, "notwithstanding the above floorspace devoted to department store use shall not exceed 20% of the total development gross leasable area." He reiterated that there is no definition.
Member Capello stated the development is approved so it covers the problem that Member Hoadley is concerned about.
Member Hoadley stated that the Ordinance does not say, "as it is approved".
Mr. Watson stated a development is the project that comes in with the site plan, it is not talking about the general area.
Member Hoadley asked Mr. Watson if he was saying that if Main Street West comes in, being that it is already zoned TC-1, the 20% would not ever apply to it?
Mr. Watson answered, yes.
Member Bononi stated she has read a lot of wretched ordinances in her lifetime, but this one takes the cake. She believed that it takes a concept that is worthy of the citizens of the City and just dumps it at the first sign of any kind of stress from the standpoint of marketability. She stated she has not seen anything in the information to indicate why it should go this way, or to justify it. Member Bononi felt that Crowley’s did not belong here, she felt that Main Street was being turned into a glorified strip mall and nothing more. She was concerned about taking away the Main Street concept. She stated it is a broken promise to people in the City who have supported the concept. Member Bononi thought it was an excellent concept that deserves commitment, attention and patience. She was convinced that it was a great mistake and thought the concept was going to be destroyed, she suggested looking at the Emerging Issues budget and have an expert come in who has dealt with Main Street problems. She presented an article from an expert who has dealt with Cities and written about Cities who have had problems doing what Novi is doing. Member Bononi stated that Mr. Wahl brought up some good points in his letter regarding what a department store is, in a Main Street. She stated if Crowley’s comes into Main Street, others will also. Furthermore, she asked what gives any department store the right to have a disproportionate space in the Main Street center when in fact the City cannot even give somebody more than 7,500 square feet. She thought it was an inequity and a planning embarassment. Member Bononi thought the best thing they could do was to look at the Emerging Issues budget and get some expert advise.
Member Capello stated the Commission was keeping its promise to the City of Novi and the supporters of Main Street to develop a main street and fill it with certain tenants. He stated Main Street would not survive with little coffee shops and restaurants. People want to go to a main street so they can also do some retail shopping. The problem is that Main Street cannot be filled with smaller retail shops unless they can get a medium sized department store to act as the draw and this is the reason for the Crowley’s application.
Member Hoadley shared the feelings of Member Bononi when he first heard about the project at the Town Center Steering Committee Meeting. He stated after some research and study, he was convinced that if there was not some type of major attraction, Main Street will not survive.
Chairperson Weddington was concerned about the definition of department store, the definition she read was a clothing store. Her belief of a department store was one that has different types of departments, traditionally one that sells clothing, furniture, housewares, linens, sporting goods, appliances and other types of things which none of are reflected in the definition. She shared a lot of the concerns expressed by Member Bononi, the biggest one being if the anchor store went out of business, or bankrupt, etc. and Main Street would be left with a big empty box. Chairperson Weddington believed that a traditional type of Main Street needs an anchor, she stated she was not real crazy about the idea but saw that it might provide the balance and compatible type uses that might spur the completion of the project. She expressed concern about the size and was not sure what the appropriate size was.
Member Capello stated the Commission could suggest to City Council to add some additional language to the definition of department store to say, "offering a wide variety of goods, including but not limited to women’s wear, childrens wear, furniture, shoes, cosmetics, etc. He stated the reason the language primarily focuses on the sale of clothing, is to try to keep out something like Pier 1 that might have some clothing but it is not the major focus such as a department store.
Chairperson Weddington thought the definition should somehow reflect the comments of Member Capello.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-236 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Weddington, Canup, Capello
No: Vrettas, Watza, Bononi
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. WHITEHALL HEALTH CARE CENTER OF NOVI, BUILDING ADDITION, SP97-24A
Property located on the south side of Ten Mile Road, west of Novi Road seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Roger Boskus of Hiegel-Miller Architects stated the project is located off of Ten Mile Road, just west of Novi Road. He is proposing to expand the existing nursing home by approximately 5,000 square feet. The addition will accompany rehabilitation therapy and add ten beds to the facility which will enable the facility to provide a better quality of life for its patients. He clarified that they are not adding beds to the facility to increase the bed count, they are adding beds so that they can convert existing small rooms into singles in lieu of small doubles. Mr. Boskus reviewed the initial comments from the planning consultants and has complied with the items.
In regard to the road in Mr. Arroyo’s comments, he added the passing lane on the north side of Ten Mile Road as well as the deceleration tapers. He increased the radius as required and accommodated additional parking by bringing the parking count up to the required 48 spaces. He addressed various landscaping requirements per the City Ordinance by adding berms along Ten Mile Road, providing deciduous and pine trees along the berm, providing some interior landscaping within the parking lot and providing screening around dumpsters and rooftop units. In regard to the facade, he intended on providing a gable roof on the new area of the building, he is matching the red brick on the existing building, a light green accent color is provided to enhance the features of the traditional aspects of the building.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the project is on a 6.75 acre site, they comply with setback requirements, off-street parking and the only change in the new Ordinance is that handicapped parking is not an add on, they only need 46 spaces versus 48. Ms. Lemke’s reviews on the conceptual landscape plan are addressed on page 2. Mr. Rogers stated they have screened the dumpster and all roof H.V.A.C units. The proposed facades are exemplary. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility. He stated there were lots of discussions with the applicant in regard to the pathway along Ten Mile Road. The R.O.W. does not exist in that area, the applicant has demonstrated a willingness to provide the easements for the sidewalk but does not wish to put it in. Their property extends quite a ways to the west across an extensive wetland therefore it would be very difficult to construct a sidewalk, there would probably have to be a boardwalk through that area. Mr. Bluhm requested that the developer consider the sidewalk across the frontage of the property adjacent to the building. Secondly, in regard to the small building addition, the Ordinance technically requires detention. It has been discussed with the Environmental Department and he feels it is more beneficial to handle the roof drainage via roof drains onto the surface, he stated this would be dealt with more at the Final Site Plan level. The applicant is proposing a small storm sewer to drain a patio area in the center of the building. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval.
Mr. Bluhm reviewed Rod Arroyo’s letter dated September 11, 1997 which stated the applicant is proposing one way in and one way out circulation, the existing radius for the outbound drive has been modified to address the previous concern, however the exiting radius for the inbound drive should be 5' not 20'. Mr. Arroyo indicated that the site plan shows deceleration/acceleration tapers and a passing lane, it will require approval by the Road Commission. Since the last submittal, a new Zoning Ordinance has become effective which requires 24' wide aisles for two way parking areas and 19' long stalls. The modest changes will need to be reflected on the Final Site Plan. The six new spaces proposed within the center green area should be at 60 degree angles. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval.
Mr. Bluhm stated the wetland component has been reviewed and there is not a wetland permit required for the outfall adjacent to the wetland area. Mr. Bluhm stated the Commission would be seeing more review of the plans regarding conceptual soil erosion on a regular basis along with comments made that should be shown on the Final Site Plan. He stated they would go into more detail in the future and stated that Michael McAdams, Environmental Specialist recommends approval of the conceptual soil erosion plan.
Chris Pargoff, City Forester stated the applicant is not impacting on the woodlands on site.
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.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which states he has reviewed the plan for compliance with the City’s Facade Ordinance and all facades appear to be in full compliance with the facade chart, however, it should be noted that the drawings indicate brick color A and B. It is recommended that the applicant provide a sample board illustrating that the color of brick and other materials are harmonious.
Chairperson Weddington turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion
PM-97-09-237 TO RECOMMENDATION APPROVAL OF THE PLAN
Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To recommend approal of the plan.
Member Vrettas stated he did not have a problem with the sidewalk in front of the building, however, he did not feel that the Commission should ask the applicant to put a boardwalk across the open wetland. He stated he would rather leave the wetland alone and he would like to include this in his motion.
Member Bononi congratulated the applicant on what he was doing to the building, she thought it was a great visual improvement. She stated she was very happy to see the erosion and sedimentation control emphasis and that the Commission would be receiving regular reports. She asked if the headwall that is shown on the plan exists or was it proposed?
Mr. Bluhm answered, it is proposed.
Member Bononi stated there needs to be pre-treatment.
Mr. Bluhm explained that it is an unpaved area that is draining out a grassed area in the center of the builidng, there is no impervious surface.
Member Bononi asked where the parking area is draining and where the roof leaders are draining?
Mr. Bluhm believed there was an existing outlet. He stated there is an existing storm sewer that carries part of the existing parking lot and discharges, the applicant is proposing to move that outlet location slightly.
Member Bononi stated she would like to see some sort of pre-treatment at the time of Final Site Plan. She stated it is a sensitive environmental area and did not believe nor agree that there is no wetland impact. It is tributary to the Rouge River and she thought the Commission should be pro-active and part of the solution rather than part of the problem. She asked the maker of the motion to ask the applicant to work with the engineers to provide some sort of pre-treatment for the water before it enters the wetlands.
As the maker of the motion, Member Vrettas stated he had no problem with it.
As the seconder of the motion, Member Hoadley stated he did not have a problem with it.
Member Capello understood the motion to grant the City the easement R.O.W. and put the sidewalk in the area that does not encroach into the wetland.
Mr. Smith stated the sidewalk is currently not shown on any of the facade plans. He stated they have dedicated an easement that will be granted for the sidewalk if the City wants to put it in.
Member Capello asked if the applicant was going to put the sidewalk in the dry area within the easement?
Mr. Smith asked if he was being required to construct the sidewalk as a condition?
Member Capello clarified it was his understanding of the motion that the sidewalk be constructed.
Tim English, the owners’ representative for the property stated he would put the sidewalk in if it is required. He explained that the front of the building has an area where the residents come out and sit and watch the cars drive by, part of this is being restricted by the berm. The paving and additional parking creates a lot of hard areas versus grass areas for quality of life. He stated currently there is a white picket fence in the area where the sidewalk would go, if it is put in, it would create more hard areas close to the front of the building. He stated this was his only concern with putting in the sidewalk.
Member Capello stated he realized that the sidewalk does not go anywhere at this point, however, City Council is discussing whether they are going to fill in all of the links. He stated the applicant needs to realize that this is a walkway from City Hall down to one of the major intersections, this is the reason for trying to link the walk together.
Mr. English stated he would be happy to put the sidewalk in the front of the building.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-237 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Bononi, Canup, Capello
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. HIGH POINTE SHOPPING CENTER WETLAND MITIGATION UPDATE
Report from JCK and Associates
Chairperson Weddington announced there were two Matters for Discussion on the Agenda, if the Commission wishes to discuss them, the meeting needs to be extended or put them off to another Agenda.
PM-97-09-238 TO POSTPONE THE TWO MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION TO THE NEXT AGENDA
Moved by Capello, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the two Matters for Discussion to the next Agenda.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-238 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Canup, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
PM-97-09-239 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 12:45 A.M.
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 12:45 a.m.
VOTE ON PM-97-09-239 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bononi, Canup, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
Steve Rumple - Staff Planner
Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr
September 30, 1997
Date Approved: October 15, 1997