REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 01, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD

(248) 347-0475

 

Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Weddington.

 

PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley,

Vrettas, Watza, Chairperson Weddington

 

ABSENT: Member Canup (excused)

 

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

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Agenda? Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the Agenda.

 

 

PM-97-10-240 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-240 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Member Capello announced he has received two additional letters that were not included in t he packets. The letters were all in regard to the Westmont Village Subdivision.

 

Bernie and Terry Ponkey were opposed to granting a tentative preliminary plat and woodland permit for the above subdivision. The encroachment of the woodlands and wetlands should not be permitted since only a precious small portion of the original woodlands remains.

 

Allison and Bryan Berent were very concerned with the Phase II development of the Westmont Village Subdivision. They understood that Mr. Lewiston submitted some plans for approval, they preferred that the area stay as it is, however, if any development is necessary, they urged the Commission to accept the plan that proposes cul-de-sacs at the end of Westmont Drive and Willingham Drive without a connecting street. They felt it would be best to preserve the natural habitat of the numerous wildlife in the area and satisfy everyone involved.

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Brian Kreucher wrote to the Commission to deny the invasive development proposed by the developer, Richard Lewiston for Phase II of the Westmont Subdivision. They moved into their dream home located in Addington Park which backs up to the protected woodlands and wetlands that Phase II will destroy. Before the purchase of their lot, they looked at several potential sites on which to build in Novi. No other lots offered the natural amenities that their lot had to offer as a result of the adjacent woodlands and wetlands. Before purchasing, they were assured that the property behind them was protected woodlands and wetlands. The area directly behind their lot is designated as a private park.

 

Ruby and Max Maze stated the Novi Planning Commission’s answer to your letter of May and yet another building. They suggested that they do not need any more congestion that already exists.

 

Brian Xue and Jenny Shi own Wintergreen Lot 15 and their house will be completed in July. They paid the highest premium in the subdivision for the wooded lot, knowing that their house backed into the wood which is part of the protected wetland. Occasionally, they see deer running in the wooded park area. Westmont Village Phase II will run road and homesites through wetlands and almost back into their lot. They were informed that the plan layout also puts homesites right behind several Westmont Village Phase I lots that were also sold as premium lots. They urged the Commission to deny Phase II.

 

David and Lynne Paul shared their concerns related to a proposal for additional development of Westmont village. They were strongly against any additional development that destroys the woods behind Westmont village. As residents, they requested the Planning Commission to vote no related to any such development for the following reasons: their family takes many nature walks through the woods, it provides their family with quality time spent together, during nature walks, their family has watched how deer, frogs, turtles, rabbits, skunks and other animals live in their natural environment. It enhances their children’s education about animals and nature. During the recent Earth Day as well as many other days, their son Adam and his friend Justin spent the day cleaning the woods of human garbage blown from current buildings sites of Westmont. They filled over 5 large Hefty bags with human garbage. They were not pleased with waste that continues to pollute the woods, but are proud of Adam and Justin for making their contribution to the community. They proposed an alternative plan that avoids destruction of the woods behind Westmont Village. Instead of removing the woods, running existing streets Westmont Drive and Willingham Drive straight into cul-de-sacs without any connections or additional streets developed. This alternative plan would protect the inhabitants and wildlife. Trees have already been removed from the proposed area due to the sewer installation, therefore, this alternative will not upset the balance of nature in the woods. They requested the concerns and the proposed alternative become part of the public record.

 

J.R. and Nancy Astorga had concerns regarding the intentions of the developer to clear cut the woods immediately to the south of their property and joining the two stub streets for the purpose of creating lots for 19 homes. Two of their concerns were the woodlands area - their is a significant amount of mature wooded area immediately south of their home. Developer informs of woodlands area - additionally the developer informed them prior to their purchase that development of the area would be extremely limited due to the desire of the City of Novi to maintain the natural habitat. The developer provided a brochure with a birds-eye-view of the lots with heavily wooded areas immediately behind homes along Willingham and Lathum Drive. The developer further stated that they have a commitment to creating quality custom homes and environments that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come. The wooded area was the major reason for their purchase, they were willing to pay an additional premium for the lot. The City of Novi can allow the developer to create two cul-de-sacs at the end of the stub streets, constructing homes which would abut the woodlands area. This would satisfy both the developer and the natural habitats of the woodland area.

 

Richard and Margaret Sayles stated joining the stub streets of Westmont Drive and Willingham Drive would result in the removal of a portion of the woodlands immediately to the south of Phase I. Please do not approve this proposal for the following reasons: 1) They visited the Planning Department to obtain information about the land to the south of Phase I, they were told by the personnel that the developer had previously proposed connecting stub streets and the City denied the request. They relied on the accuracy of the data provided by the Department, only to find out that a year later, the Planning Commission is considering the developers proposal to connect the stub streets and remove a portion of the woodlands. 2) The City of Novi is growing by leaps and bounds, as you look around the numerous newly developing subdivision, there are very few wooded areas left. The trees in the proposed Phase II may seem small in comparison to other wooded areas of the City but they serve as a nice visual buffer for the residents of not only Westmont Village but also those of Windridge Place and Addington Park. They asked the Commission not to approve the developers proposal to connect the stub streets and eliminate the woodlands immediately to the south of Phase I.

 

Brian and Denise Fink suggested instead of connecting the stub streets and removing the woods, they agreed with the Woodlands Consultant that as an alternate, two cul-de-sacs at the end of the stub streets should be created. This alternative will protect the beauty an nature of the woods.

 

The Grech Family were strongly opposed to the proposed development, they paid a premium for their lot and considered it a breach of their building contract if the woods were removed. They complete enjoyed the privacy and country feel that the woods gave them and considered it an enhancement to the beauty of their home. They have a lot at stake because they are located at the end of Willingham.

 

Gary and Lisa Simms stated in August of 1995, prior to purchasing Lot 26, they asked the Westmont village Sales Manager if there were any plans for building or removing any trees behind their lot. The answer was, "no, there are no current plans for building behind you, that is protected wetlands and woodlands." They now hear that the developer is seeking a clear cut of the woodlands to build houses right behind their house, that was totally unacceptable. In addition, there is considerable wildlife activity in the woods.

 

Satish and Debra Kantebet were strongly against any additional development that destroys the woods behind Westmont Village. They requested that the Planning Commission vote "No" related to any such development for the following reasons: 1) One of their primary reasons for moving to Westmont Village and staying in Novi had to do with the site location of their current home. As an alternative to the removal of the woods, they suggested that the developer exercise his building ability to extend Westmont Drive and Willingham Drive into cul-de-sacs without any connections or additional streets developed.

 

David and Beth Quinley were in great disagreement with the proposal to clear cut the woods to the south of Westmont village Subdivision and the adjoining of Westmont Drive with Willingham Drive to create lots for additional homes. It was thier opinion that the last thing the Ctiy of Novi needs is more lots for additioanlhomes at the sake of wildlife and plant life. They vividly recalled the sales approached used by the realtor which was based on the intelligence and foresight of the Planning Commission to create a communtiy with a rural like atmosphere. The abundance of trees and wildlife would not be diminished to make way for growth. The sales tactic used was an obvious mistaken one, when is it going to stop.

 

Kathleen Ann Bartlett wrote in protest to the plans submitted by the Westmont Subdivision Developers. She stated it created an impact on the environment by eliminating woods, the trees supply oxygen, the wetlands filter the water table and the woods are habitat for animals. The ecological value of the pockets of nature keep the City from looking like a huge parking lot. Her kids play there, they catch snakes and frogs. It seemed to her that there was possibly an issue of fraud, the homeowners paid large premiums for their lots, the selling point was that they backed up onto wetlands that would not be developed.

 

Member Capello stated he received a copy of a letter to Mr. Lewiston from the residents of Westmont Village. The letter is dated June 18, 1997 and stated this will have reference to you June 11, 1997 correspondence wherein you declined an invitation from the residents of Westmont Village Subdivision to discuss proposed plans for Phase II. We are not asking you to give anything up that you already have, as was briefly mentioned to you in our initial phone call, there are some concerns that we wish to discuss. We are confident that meeting with us will provide you and the residents a greater level of common understanding. It would also enhance the process that will eventually be used by the Planning Commission and City Council.

 

Jerry and Holly Byrnes stated when they purchased their lot in October of 1996, they paid a premium for a wooded lot because the back of the lot abutted a regulated woodlands area in the City of Novi. They were told by Kevin of Crescento Builders, that the plans for Westmont Village II were not fully done and that when the lots were platted they would be bigger than Westmont I and not of a traditional shape because they had to work around the woodlands/wetlands regulation. The wooded area in question is home to deer and countless other wildlife that will be permanently displaced, where are the animals to go? They know there has been a long standing commitment to create a beautiful and unique community in Novi, to maintain the property values at their highest possible level.

 

Member Capello read a memorandum from the residents of Westmont Village I. Please see the attached information pertaining to the woodlands issues for the development immediately south of Westmont Village Subdivision Phase I. Affidavits of residents are attached. Blueprints dated March 9, 1992 detailing the developer’s intent for Phase II, when Phase I was submitted. This plan provides for two cul-de-sacs at the end of existing stub streets. This was the information given to and relied upon by the residents choosing their lots in Phase I. The southern lots of Phase I were priced at a higher premium due to the woodlands back drop. Note: this plan differs greatly from the plan currently proposed by the devloper. Also, Linda Lemke and Chris Pargoff support this cul-de-sac plan in lieu of the proposed plan. Blueprints dated January 7, 1997 showing the proposed Phase II. This plan allows for a few more lots than in the March 1992 plan but also removes more woodlands. Petition signed by over 100 voting residents in the City of Novi who are tired of watching trees in Novi carelessly mowed down.

 

Member Capello announced he has received a group of affidavits and he summarized them. They were all sworn to in front of a Notary Public.

 

Pria Patel - "I did pay a premium on Lot 22, I was told by Bill from Westmont Village that back to the wood lots, no further construction or homes would be built."

 

Shara Patel - "When I agreed to build my home on Lot 22, I was told by a representative of the builder...I had the option to build on Lot 22 or elsewhere in Westmont Village, I chose to build here because it backed up to the woodlands."

 

Gerald Byrnes - "I paid a premium on Lot 27, meeting with Rose Simms regarding lot selection, I asked about the trees behind Lot 27, we were told that there was some uncertainty as to how far the protected woodlands would extend, we were led to believe that the next phase of the development would try to protect as many trees as possible. I met with Kevin Spezian at architects office February of 1997 when asked specifically about the woods, Kevin said Westmont II was planned with irregular larger lots than Westmont I to try and preserve some of the trees."

 

Hollace Byrnes - "I paid a premium on Lot 27...(affidavit was the same as Gerald Byrnes).

 

Gary Simms - "In August of 1995, prior to the purchase of Lot 26, I was told by Genie Havermall, the Westmont Village Sales Manager, "no, there are no current plans for building behind you, that is protected wetlands and woodlands." In addition to our paying a $2,000 lot premium for that protection. Based on that statement, we bought Lot 26."

Lisa Simms - "We purchased our lot in August of 1995, we chose Lot 26 with the understanding that it would, at the very least, remain wooded to the extent that any building would not be done directly behind us and that a buffer would remain. We understood that Pahse II would involve cul-de-sacs, I paid a lot premium beyond other lots of similar dimension, to be on the woods."

 

Nancy Astorga - "The developer informed us prior to our purchase, that development of the wooded area would be extremely limited due to the desire by the City of Novi to maintain the natural habitat. The developer provided as part of the features site plan, a brochure with a birds-eye-view of the ltos with heavily wooded areas immediately behind homes along Willingham and Lathum Drive. The developer further states that they have a commitment to creating quality custom homes in environments that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come. The wooded area was a major reason for our purchase."

 

J.R. Astorga - (made the same statements as Nancy Astorga).

 

Richard Sayles - "In February of 1995, I was advised by Genie Havermall, the Sales Agent that Westmont Village Subdivision Pahse II was a realistic possibility and would be lcoated south of Westmont Village Phase I. I was also told that the City would require Phase II to retain a significant number of mature trees due to the fact that no trees were saved in Phase I. She indicated that this could be accomplished by adding two cul-de-sacs, one at the end of Westmont and one at the end of Willingham. Relying on the information, I purchased Lot 23 because it backed up to the woods.

 

Margaret Sayles - (made the same statements as Nancy Astorga).

 

Satish Kantebet - "In March of 1995, contacted Novi City Forester, confirmed that plat for Westmont Phase II had been approved as two cul-de-sacs off the stub streets. Based on this information, we chose to purchase Lot 25. In March of 1995 we paid a lot premium for the purchase of Lot 25 because it was a wooded lot, September of 1995, contacted JCK, investigated and was advised that neither Cohen Associates nor we as property owners could make any changes to the land or trees behind our property."

 

Debra Kanteget - (made the same statements as Satish Kantebet ).

 

David Paul - "My spouse Lynn Paul and I paid a lot premium for our lot."

 

John Grech and Marilyn Grech - "I paid a premium for Lot 28, this is bordered on two sides by woodlands. Signs were posted in front of these woods but I chose the above mentioned lot by the City Forester stating that thewe were regulated woodlands, thus my decision to purchase th elot bordered by the woods. When signing the purchase agreement for the home, I was told by the Westmont Village Sales person that at the most, a cul-de-sac would be developed at the end of the street where I live."

 

Lynn Paul - "My decision to purchase my home was directly related to the woodlands south of the porperty I own. When speaking to the real estate agent Genie Havermall, she stated cul-de-sacs would probably be south of the property or a buffer would remain between Phases I and II. The real estate package states information about the woodlands.

 

Member Capello stated he has received a petition with 143 signatures on it. He read the heading of the petition: "We the following residents of the City of Novi make it known that due to our concern for saving the woodlands, we do not support developer Richard Lewiston’s proposal for Pahse II of Westmont Village Subdivision. This plan includes connecting the two stub streets Westmont Drive with Willingham Drive. In lieu of connecting these streets, we recommend a cul-de-sac at the end of each stub street. We sincerely believe the cul-de-sacs would pose far less of an intrusion to the woodlands and less of a disruption to the existing wildlife.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

Chairperson Weddington announced there was one item for approval, the September 03, 1997 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes and asked if there were any corrections?

 

Member Bononi referred to page 4, 11th paragraph, the word "ventrious" should be "vitreous". Page 9, 9th paragraph, the word "ventrious" should be vitreous".

 

 

PM-97-10-241 TO APPROVE THE SEPTEMBER 03, 1997 REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES AS CORRECTED

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the September 03, 1997 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes as corrected.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-241 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

1. WESTMONT VILLAGE SUBDIVISION NO. 2, SP97-05B

 

Property located on the south side of Ten Mile Road west of Taft Road seeking Tentative Preliminary Plat and Woodland Permit.

 

Chairperson Weddington underlined the guidelines for public comment due to the large number of interested residents in attendance regarding the matter.

 

Richard Lewiston stated he initially owned 60 acres at the site, Westmont Village Subdivision I comprised 26 of those acres. Westmont I was built substantially to avoid all involvement with woodlands and wetlands. The only involvement being the extension of a sanitary sewer south of the line. This leaves 34 acres of which Westmont II will comprise 8 acres. He stated it was not expected that the balance of the land amounting to 26 acres would be developed. He offered it to the City by way of donation because of the woodlands and wetlands it contains.

 

Mr. Lewiston stated the plat has been approved by Mr. Rogers, it has been reviewed and approved on a preliminary engineering basis by JCK, with one reservation in regard to the stub street. It has been determined to contain no regulated wetlands on the 8 acre site, there are substantial wetlands in the areas to the south which is not proposed for development. The 8 acre site contains 24 regulated trees. He presented a tree preservation plan to the City and he would be required to replace those 24 trees with 32 trees of approved species and he agrees to abide by it. In addition, it was suggested that Mr. Lewiston limit the outlet of drainage from the gutters and downspouts on the houses except directly to a sump drainage system and he agrees to abide by that condition. He stated he has no intention of extending Willingham further south into the regulated areas, therefore, he agreed to the condition of an eyebrow at that location. He stated that Oakland County has no objection to the subdivision because there is no involvement. Birchler Arroyo had no objection to the street pattern proposed, with the exception of the stub street, Willingham. There are some trees and brush to the north of Suffolk which are not regulated woodlands. According to Ms. Lemke’s letter, they are mostly elm and apple trees in declining condition. He stated he would be replacing each of those trees even though not required to do so. Mr. Lewiston stated there were 68 additional trees to be removed north of Suffolk in an unregulated area, these trees will be replaced with the same species and at the same ratio as in a regulated area. Mr. Lewiston stated he has never met any of the residents in Westmont Village I, having sold all of the lots to a builder seven years ago, he therefore takes no credit or discredit for the comments, statements and misrepresentations made to them. He stated there was never a plan presented for approval or otherwise involving two cul-de-sacs at the end of Westmont and Willingham. When the subdivision was first designed in 1992, the question was raised at the level of the Council as to why the streets were stubbed. He explained it was because they did not know enough about the land to the south to know how it was going to be developed. He stated he brought an alternate plan that eliminates Lot 62 and creates the eyebrow which is mentioned in three of the consultants letters, should it become material.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he found that all of the lots comply with R-3 District lot area and lot width standards. Woodlands Permit review continues and conditions therein will be applicable to his recommendation.

 

David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the applicant is proposing public water and sanitary sewer facilities to be extended from the existing systems in Westmont Village I. A water main will be looped around and the sanitary will be extended across the frontage in the roadway areas to service the lots. Storm sewers will also be enclosed, the roadways will have catch basins, the storm drainage will be picked up and outletted into an existing enclosed drain. The storm sewer extends into Addington Park IV development, south and east across Addington Park I, it then extends across Taft Road into a regional basin on the east side. Mr. Bluhm stated there were a couple of minor corrections that needed to be made to the plans and they could be addressed at the time of Final Preliminary Plat. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval as the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility.

 

Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated access to Westmont Village II would come from the existing Westmont Village I. There are no new points of access proposed to any external roads. A trip generation estimate has been proposed. The primary concern is with the stub street and the fact that if it was not feasible to extend the development further to the south, then a stub street would not make sense and an eyebrow should be provided. The developer has indicated that they are willing to do that. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval subject to resolution of the stub street/eyebrow issue.

 

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

 

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect spoke in regard to the woodlands and the cul-de-sacs as a part of the reason why she recommended a negative approval. Ms. Lemke stated the regulated woodlands line is at the northern edge of Lots 62 through 69. The regulated woodlands go all the way down to the bottom of the property line and further to the south into Royal Crown. It also goes across Section 28 and it has been a primary goal to preserve the woodlands. It has been identified as Type A habitat in the City’s Wildlife Habitat Master Plan which is the most important habitat next to the two core reserve areas in the City. She stated it contains a variety of primarily Beech Maple mature woodlands. The proposed Chelsea Lane and the remaining lots that abut Westmont I are not regulated, however, they are covered with vegetation. In the regulated woodlands, it is primarily Red Maple in the overstory and in the unregulated woodlands it is Elm. The species in the regulated woodlands are Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Beech, Ash, Elm, wildflowers, it is a high area for habitat value. The area that is not regualted is a fringe vegetation which contributes to the habitat value. The site is 8 acres, there are approximately 2.7 acres of regulated woodlands on the site. The total woodlands area is approxiimately 27.5 acres. There are approximately 2.47 acres proposed to be removed and 0.3 acres saved. Ms. Lemke reminded the Commission that it was a Woodlands Ordinance which means it protects understory as well as trees 8" dbh and greater. The trees 8" dbh are a replacement mechanism and when looking at reviewing the Ordinance, it is to how much is being removed. Ms. Lemke did not recommend approval of the plan for three reasons: 1) There are other alternatives that would save more areas of the regulated woodands and also provide some relief for some of the fringe vegetation. One idea that has been discussed but not explored in detail is the presentation of the two cul-de-sacs at the end of Westmont and Willingham Drive. 2) The stub road on Willingham Drive, which she has been opposed to, for the reason that it does encourage proposals for development to the area to the south. 3) Minor submittal items. Ms. Lemke did not recommend approval for these three reasons.

 

Chris Pargoff, City Forester concurred with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant, Ms. Linda Lemke. He stated the Woodland Permit, WP94-10 that allowed a major intrusion through the woodlands for the installation of a sanitary sewer to service Westmont Village was issued with a plan showing a cul-de-sac at the terminous of Westmont Drive. A recent request for bond refunding or tree planting also showed the cul-de-sac. It was the opinion of Mr. Pargoff that two cul-de-sac plan is a much better plan from an environmental pint of view and that the previous woodlands plan permit should not be amended. The area contains a large number of great blue herin nests that may be disturbed by additional intrusion into the regulated woodlands of new housing units. It was the determination of Mr. Pargoff that the entire area behind lots 20 and 33 is a regulated woodland, under Section 37-6 of the Woodlands Protection Ordinance, which allows the reviewing body or the permit granting body of the Planning Commission, the authority to designate it as such. All of the trees marked for removal will have to be replanted and all trees on the individual lots shall be bonded if a revision to the woodlands permit is granted by the Planning Commission. Additionally, no walk out basements should be permitted on lots 62-69 so as to avoid created run-off that would flow into the wooded wetlands behind the lots and allow a Briarwood-type situation to develop. These lots shall also be required to have gutters and downspouts connected to the sump system. Mr. Pargoff stated he was informed by the Building Department that it is not recommended that it be tied into the sump system because of possible sump failures. They recommended that it be tied directly into the storm lead that is outside the house. Mr. Pargoff reiterated Ms. Lemke’s recommendation for an eyebrow rather than a stub at the end of Willingham. In summary, Mr. Pargoff could not support the proposed revisions to the Woodlands Permit contained in SP97-05.

 

Mr. Bluhm stated the Environmental Department of JCK has reviewed the plan for a Wetlands Permit. It was determined that a permit was not required. There are no wetlands that exist on the site as proposed, however, about 100' south of the lots, there is a wetlands line. It is primarily forested with shrubbing understory. To the west of the stub street, there is an isolated pocket of wetland but this does not impact the development. There will be no work allowed in the wetland buffer areas of Lots 62, 63 and 69, this will be addressed when the Final construction plans come in. Mr. Bluhm reiterated that no Wetlands Permit was required.

 

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

 

Brian Kreucher, 45488 Kimberly Court stated his comments were already addressed during the Correspondence portion of the meeting.

 

Holly Byrnes, 45837 Willingham Drive was concerned about the habitat. She asked where the trees were going to be replanted, the wildlife that currently lives in the woods keep getting pushed further to the west. She stated she would very much like to have a plan approved that has as little as possible impact on the habitat factor.

 

Deb Kantebet, 45809 Willingham Drive stated she purchased the first lot that was sold in Westmont Village. She stated before choosing the lot, she did some homework. On her lot there were regulated woodlands, she stated she paid a premium for her lot because it was wooded. She based her purchase decision on the faith of the City and the information she gathered. She hoped that the City would take into consideration, the information provided by the residents at tonights meeting. She encouraged the Commission to demand a development plan for Westmont Village II that is consistent with what was represented.

 

Rich Sayles, 45785 Willingham Drive stated he went to the City and spoke to the Planning Department before he put money down. He believed morally that the City should defend the situation. He felt that he had been wronged with the submittal of Phase II.

 

Margaret Sayles, 45785 Willingham Drive stated when she decided to build her home she did her homework. She went to the Planning Department and spoke with the Staff Planner, she staed he penciled in two cul-de-sacs, very similar to the plan. With that in mind, and based on the research for the 1992 proposal that was given by Mr. Lewiston, she chose her lot. After she heard about the proposal for Phase II, she was surprised. At the suggestion of a Planning Commissioner, she called Mr. Lewiston and invited him to speak with neighbors to discuss alternatives to his plan, hoping that concerns of all parties could be resolved with mutual understanding. After calling, writing and faxing him, he declined all invitations. After speaking with him on the phone he stated it was not his problem that the residents paid premiums for their lots, the residents were absolutists if they really thought the woods would stay there. Mrs. Sayles quoted Mr. Lewiston, "it is hard enough already to develop in Novi with the onerous restrictions they impose on developers." She stated that Mr. Lewiston said he had no desire to come out and meet the neighbors and compromise any rights he had. He told Mrs. Sayles that they would have to meet and fight it out in front of the Planning Commission. In regard to the cul-de-sac plan, it was submitted with the March 1992 Council Minutes where Mr. Lewiston said he would pursue the 11 lot cul-de-sac plan. Both Linda Lemke and Chris Pargoff support the cul-de-sac plan for the very good environmental reasons. By reading the affidavits, the residents were all told by a variety of sources that the viable alternative to the proposal is the cul-de-sac plan, it is only going to reduce the number of lots by 8. It was Mrs. Sayles understanding that the basis of the Woodlands Ordinance that the City operates under is to represent alternatives which have the least intrusion into the woodlands. She asked the Commission to keep the cul-de-sac alternative in mind when they vote.

 

Lynne Paul, 45761 Willingham Drive stated there were several residents who do not want to take up extra time of the Commission to reiterate what they’ve written in a letter or are being said by other parties. She asked them to stand and state their names so they could be a part of the public record. Lisa Simms 45821 Willingham Drive, Steve Wegrin 24045 Westmont Drive, Marie Enright 45563 Addington Lane, Gary Simms, 45821 Willingham Drive, Kathleen Nevil 24081 Westmont Drive, Satish Kantebet 45809 Willingham Drive, David Quinley 45883 Lathum Drive, Beth Quinley 45883 Lathum Drive, Karen Wegrin 24045 Westmont Drive, Roger Tecor 45871 Lathum Drive, Brian Bartlett 45737 Jaslyn Lane, Gerald Byrnes 45837 Willingham Drive, Brian Barent 45487 Kimberly Court, Martha Kreucher 45488 Kimberly Court, John Grotch 45847 Willingham Drive.

 

Ms. Paul stated she chose to live in the city for various reasons, one of the reasons being that her lot backed directly to the woodlands. The real estate agent representing the builder informed her that the cul-de-sac plan would complete the development. She stated she paid a lot premium for her home to border the woodlands. Ms. Paul spoke in regard to the 1992 cul-de-sac plan, she reiterated the warnings that the Council and the Commission gave to Mr. Lewiston at that time. Ms. Paul emplored the Commission to listen to the presenters in support of the cul-de-sac plan. She asked the Commission to give Mr. Lewiston a negative vote on his plan and provide the cul-de-sac plan as his alternative as he agreed on March 23, 1992.

 

David Paul, 45761 Willingham Drive stated the consultants have qualified their facts and have looked out for the best interest of the City and its’ residents. Mr. Paul stated he would like to employ that the residents have the support of the Commission in the recommendations that they are making. He read a few quotes from the Planning Commission meetings in March 1992.

 

Sharad Patel, 45773 Willingham Drive stated he has been a loyal taxpayer for almost 18 years, he stated when he moved to Westmont Village the builder told him that there were no plans to build anymore houses behind him. He stated he paid a premium for his lot. He stated it was absolutely not good and not right for it.

Priya Patel, 45773 Willingham Drive stated when she built her house, she was told by the City Forester that there were going to be two cul-de-sacs at the back of the houses. She provided pictures that were taken by some residents which showed the trees. Mrs. Patel proposed to keep the woodlands and build on the cul-de-sacs.

 

Lynn Meisel, 45895 Lathum Drive stated when she and her family were looking for a community in which to live, Novi was at the top of the list because of its natural beauty, exemplary schools and reputation for a meticulous planning committee. Time and time again she heard how committed the City is in their goals to maintain and develop a beautiful community. She expressed concern with the needless destruction of the woodlands. She asked the Commission to take into consideration the recommendations from Ms. Lemke, she urged the Commission to look at an alternative plan with the cul-de-sacs to help preserve the woodland areas. As Novi grows, she challenged the Commission to uphold their reputation as a careful, thoughtful Planning Commission and to keep Novi beautiful, help protect the valued woodlands without stopping private enterprise, decide that trees and development can be compatible.

 

Greg Berry, 45652 White Pines Drive, President of the Royal Crown Estates Homeowners Association spoke on behalf of the Associations Board of Directors. He stated the residents of Royal Crown Estates had grave concerns that the further development of the subject area could have adverse effects on the quality of life within Royal Crown Estates. First is the disruption of the storm water detention areas, they were not convinced that the discharge water from the additional development won’t adversely effect the wooded natural preserve areas within Royal Crown Estates. They are thankful for their wooded and wetland areas and they do not want them to end up under water. Secondly, is the disruption of the natural habitat wildlife. They are concerned that the wildlife will be diminished to a level of almost non-existence with the greater intrusion into the areas. Thirdly, there appears to be a breach of faith exhibited on the part of the Westmont Developer. The residents of Westmont Village expended large amounts of money with the implied understanding from representatives of the developer, that only cul-de-sacing of the two roads in question would take place. Changing the rules of the subdivision’s development at this stage is just wrong. It is time that the City take notice that developers cannot always get their way, this may be a lost cause to the people in Westmont Village, but sometimes lost causes are the best ones worth fighting for. The Royal Crown Estates Board of Directors respectfully requests that the ultimate determination rendered be that of cul-de-sacing Westmont and Willingham Drives with very little minimal intrusion into the regulated and woodland areas. This will serve the best interest of the Royal Crown Estates Subdivision.

 

David Landry, 45471 Kimberly Court stated it is stated in the Master Plan for Land Use that there should be effort to preserve the City’s watercourses, surface waters, wetlands and woodlands as functioning eco systems. He stated the Commission has the opportunity to do this in rejecting the proposal and accepting the cul-de-sac plan. He urged the Commission to do so. He personally thought it was reprehensible that the developer stood before the Commission and apologized for all of the misrepresentations, that he did not make them nor has he ever in his business career made a misrepresentation. Mr. Landry reported that Mr. Pargoff stated there were requests made to the City and in those requests, representations were made for cul-de-sacs, not streets. In addition, further representations were made thorough City Council minutes, by the developer for cul-de-sacs, not streets. Mr. Landry urged the Commission to reject the proposal.

 

Steve Blazo, 24013 Westmont Drive stated he will be moving into Westmont Village, one week from Friday. He stated some of the misinformation and statements regarding the potential use in the area were made to him after the plat was put in front of the residents. He referred to a brochure which stated, Novi’s abundance of rolling wooded acreage provides a scenic natural backdrop to the dynamic family community of Westmont Village. He hoped that the Commission focused on achieving a consensus, he stated it was something that everyone could live with. He challenged the Commission to help the residents of Westmont Village and the developer achieve a consensus.

Marilyn Grech, 45847 Willingham Drive stated if the plan goes through, she has so much to loose. It would put a sidewalk right next to her living room window, it would take out everything that she bought the lot for. She stated she has lived in Novi for 18 years, she asked the Commission to do what is best and support the cul-de-sac plan for all of the residents.

 

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

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Vrettas took excerpts from the letters and comments that were stated during the public hearing. He summarized them into two sections; 1) Quality of life in Novi and 2) Honesty.

 

"One of the things that attracted us to build in Novi was the preserved tracks like these, in addition to the ecological value, these pockets of nature keep our City from looking like a huge parking lot." Kathleen Bartlett.

"Recently our son Adam and his friend Justin spent the day cleaning the woods of human garbage blown in from the current building sites of Westmont Village. They filled over five (5) large Hefty bags, we are not pleased with the waste that continues to pollute these woods but we are very proud of Adam and Justin for their contribution to our community. The wooded area in Westmont Village was the major reason for our purchase and the paying of an additional premium for our lot." J.R. & Nancy Astorga.

 

"We have lived in Novi for thirteen years, now. I have watched far too many of our supposedly protected woodlands and wetlands fall to the developers’ bulldozer." Jerry & Holly Byrnes.

 

"Developers have turned Novi from a quiet scenic community into...one great big sub-division with little character left to it." Satish & Debra Kantebet.

 

"The amount of clearing cutting that the Novi Planning Commission has allowed to take place is a travesty." David & Beth Quinley.

 

"We vividly recall moving to Novi Eleven Years ago. Based on the sales approach of the realtor which stated, using intelligence and foresight...The Planning Commission created a community with a rural-like atmosphere. The abundance of trees and wildlife would not be diminished to make way for growth." David & Beth Quinley.

 

"In August of 1995, the Westmont Village Sales Manager stated you are paying a higher lot premium to protect these wetlands and woodlands. Gary Simms.

 

"Before purchasing, we were assured that the property behind our lot was protected woodlands and wetlands, with these assurances, we purchased our home." Brian & Martha Kreucher.

 

"The developer informed us prior to our purchase that development of this area the woodlands and wetlands under discussion would be extremely limited due to the desire by the City of Novi to maintain the natural habitat." J.R & Nancy Astorga

 

In conclusion, Member Vrettas quoted a resident to whom he spoke with over the telephone. She said, "I don’t know where people get this idea that Novi is tough on developers, if you ask me, Novi is more like a bar room floozie." Member Vrettas stated the question was whether or not Novi is the bar room floozie or a community that demands that those who deal with it, to honor its commitments and respect it for what it is envisioned to be. A city that takes seriously, their commitment to a quality lifestyle where it shares its space with nature and try not to cover it over with parking lots and subdivisions.

 

 

PM-97-10-242 TO POSTPONE WESTMONT VILLAGE #2, SP97-05B IN ORDER TO GIVE THE APPLICANT THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE LOT LAYOUTS SENSITIVE TO THE EXISTING WOODLANDS AND WETLANDS

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney asked Mr. Rumple when the last plan that is before the Commission was submitted because there is a State Statue that regulates subdivisions as well as the City’s Subdivision Ordinance that requires the Commission to make a recommendation to City Council within 45 days. He stated unless the developer is proposing to bring back alternatives, he stated the Commission should make a positive or negative recommendation to City Council versus a postponement.

 

Member Vrettas stated he was trying to give the developer an opportunity to reach a reasonable compromise.

 

Mr. Watson asked the applicant whether he would like it postponed...

 

Mr. Lewiston stated he has made no prior commitments, the purpose of the 1992 plan has been misrepresented this evening by City officials, he stated the Commission may move to deny.

 

 

PM-97-10-243 TO AMEND THE MOTION TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL ON WESTMONT VILLAGE SUBDIVISION #2, SP97-05B

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (7-1): To send a negative recommendation to Council on Westmont Village Subdivision #2, SP97-05B.

 

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Pargoff the lots on the south side of Willingham were all regulated?

 

Mr. Pargoff answered, according to the Ordinance, it gives the reviewing official or the Planning Commission the authority to make that determination and this was what he had done. It was his opinion that all of the woodlands were regulated.

 

Member Hoadley asked Ms. Lemke if she concurred with the opinion of Mr. Pargoff?

 

Ms. Lemke stated it was a tough question, she would not say that all of the area to the rear of the lots that front on Willingham Drive are regulated woodlands, based on the criteria that she has used to develop woodlands. She stated the center lots could definitely be considered to be part of the woodlands, however, she did her review based on the woodlands map which draws the line at the south end of Suffolk Lane.

 

Member Hoadley asked why there was a difference of opinion between Mr. Pargoff and Ms. Lemke?

 

Ms. Lemke stated her definition of a woodlands, which she uses to update and generate the woodlands map, is to have a canopy. She stated there are areas that do not have tree canopy, they are basically a shrub area or more of an isolated open stand of emerging trees.

 

 

Mr. Pargoff stated he felt the woodlands were regulated because the Ordinance states that the areas that have under story as describe by Ms. Lemke, can be viewed as regulated areas.

 

Member Hoadley asked Ms. Lemke if she agreed with Mr. Pargoff’s statement?

 

Ms. Lemke stated it was definitely part of the Ordinance, however, she used it and interpreted it based on the standards she used to make the woodlands map. She thought she differed from Mr. Pargoff with lots 75 through 79. She considered these lots as a potential to be part of a woodlands and the end lots, 73 & 74 would not be. Ms. Lemke stated it is very hard to discriminate where the edge of the woodland stops and the non-regulated vegetation begins.

 

Member Hoadley asked what kind of animal habitat can be found on lots 75 through 79 and how will they be disturbed?

 

Ms. Lemke stated it was definitely a part of the eco system that continues to the south and then over to Beck Road. It is more of an open, lighter area, probably a good breeding area, it has some very dense areas that would provide good habitat areas for birds. She stated there were animals from woodland birds to deer found there.

 

Member Watza asked Mr. Lewiston if he had any partners in Phase II and if so who are they?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, he had no partners, he sold the lots to builders.

 

Member Bononi asked who the wetland or soil expert was who mapped the wetlands boundary shown on the maps?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, Ludwig and Associates of Farmington Hills. He stated they were licensed to perform wetlands and woodlands studies.

 

Member Bononi asked if they flagged the boundary?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, yes. It was also inspected in the field.

 

Member Bononi asked if there were any soil borings taken as a result of their flagging?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, there were none taken by his expert to the best of his knowledge.

 

Member Bononi asked what the storm water plan is for the lots that are proposed as opposed to what is shown on the street, what about the rear of the lots?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, he would grade from rear to front and outlet the lot drainage to the front of the lots. There has been an outlet built in connection with subdivision #1 and with Addington Park which is sized to take all of the run-off from the site.

 

Member Bononi asked if it was correct that the topography would require a great deal of fill as it was shown?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, yes.

 

Member Bononi asked if he would be filling an area that would drain at some point to the existing wetland area?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered he would try to avoid draining to the wetland area. By virtue of installing some sump drainage and draining it to the front as much as possible, most of the drainage will go directly in to the storm sewer system and outlet into the 36" outlet.

 

Member Bononi stated without having that information before the Commission, and without knowing that, how would the applicant be able to conclude the effect that the drainage system would have on the existing wetlands?

 

Mr. Lewiston stated it had been determined in the past that the minor effect of 19 lots was almost an Administrative matter for wetlands drainage. At the proposed plat stage, he stated he was not normally required to have such detailed engineering studies.

 

Member Bononi disagreed with the applicant due to the information that was provided to the Commission, unless the applicant had information that he would like to give to the contrary. At the point that the applicant has the information, he can make his conclusion.

 

Member Bononi asked for the number of trees that were to be removed?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, in the regulated area, 24.

 

Member Bononi referred to sheet 1 of the plans, where it talks about how many trees are to be removed project wide, she asked how many trees are being referred to at that point?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, to the best of his knowledge, 92.

 

Member Bononi stated she came up with the same number and she had a problem with the applicant removing that many trees. Unlike the regulated versus unregulated, she had a problem with it because when trees are cut, it disturbs a whole lot else. This included brush, wildflowers, earth, and the land is never the same. Member Bononi stated the applicant has made an environmental choice when he decided to plant 2 ˝" caliper trees in the place of what is being removed. To further describe how many trees were being removed from the site, she gave an example, if all of the trees were picked up as straws, they would form a figure that would be 78" in diameter and 292' around.

 

Member Bononi asked Mr. Bluhm how the wetland boundary was determined and if he had additional information about the manner in which the decision was made, relative to the information that is shown on the plans.

 

Mr. Bluhm answered, he had no other information. He was not aware that soil borings were necessary to verify that the wetlands line was accurate. He stated that Ms. Tepatti did verify that it was accurate and she feels that it does meet the Ordinance and the boundary is properly located.

 

Member Bononi asked the Commission to take serious consideration that the wetlands that are shown on the map will not be affected by what the applicant is proposing to do. At the point that there is any further consideration of the wetland matter, she believed that a Wetlands Permit was in order, or at the very least, further discussion about the merit of a Wetland Permit. She did not believe that with the filling that has to be accomplished, that it will be an insignificant activity. Member Bononi stated she would not be supporting the particular alternative, she believed that the applicant had alternatives to develop the property and obtain the number of lots that he wishes. She came up with a design of her own, absent finished floor elevation, absent building envelopes, absent elevations on the storm and sanitary sewers. She felt it could be done as well as previous Planning Commissions who thought it could be done, and another Council thought it could be done.

Member Capello asked Mr. Rogers if the Preservation Option could be used on the property?

 

Mr. Rogers answered, absolutely.

 

Member Capello asked what the minimum lot size would be with all of the remaining woodlands, the Preservation Option and 19 lots.

 

Mr. Rogers stated it could be reduced up to 20% down to the floor, which would be 10,000. The R-3 zoning allows 12,000+ sized lots, so it could be done. He stated it has not been submitted, it has not been explored, but it could be reduced down to 10,000 square feet. The minimum lot width would be 80'.

 

Member Capello asked if there would be any restriction on the depth of the lots?

 

Mr. Rogers answered, the subdivision regulations say, generally three to one ratio. For example, an 80' lot should not be any deeper than 240'. He stated there is no minimum, as long as the square footage is met.

 

Member Capello asked the applicant if he was familiar with the Preservation Option?

 

Mr. Lewiston stated he could only imagine the problem he would have if he came in with smaller lots and smaller houses, he answered, no, he had not proposed to use it but he was familiar with it in general terms.

 

Member Capello asked if the deed restrictions were prepared for Phase II?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, no.

 

Member Capello asked if the deed restrictions for Phase I allowed front entrance garages.

 

Mr. Lewiston stated to the best of his recollection, side entrance garages were required.

 

Member Capello stated the option would be needed to keep the lots at least 90' wide but the depth could be shortened under the Preservation Option. Member Capello asked if there was a reason why the lots to the west of the proposed street, encroached 150' into the woodlands?

 

Mr. Lewiston stated this is done so that there are generous yards in each direction, he stated they could be shortened somewhat.

 

Member Capello thought if the applicant exercised the Preservation Option, he could keep the 90' lots with a depth of 112'. This would keep him an extra 30' out of the woodlands.

 

Mr. Lewiston stated the problem is that the yards do not usually change with the option. All it does is make the building envelope almost unbuildable. He stated the depth is needed when building side entrance garages, unless there is an equivalent adjustment made in the yard applications, it just does not work, the housing stock quality is not there.

 

Member Capello asked if this was something that was specifically addressed with the builders?

 

Mr. Lewiston stated it has been his experience and he has done about 300 subdivisions.

 

Member Capello asked the applicant if he wanted an opportunity to go back and look at the Preservation Option to see if he can work things out and stay out of the woodlands a little bit more and satisfy some of the concerns of residents?

 

Mr. Lewiston stated it would require all of the alternative plans. He stated he has been working on a cooperative basis in connection with the Orchard Hills West Subdivision for a year and a half, after an ad hoc committee session, it took six months to arrive at an alternate to using the public streets in Orchard Hills Subdivision. He stated he still has a lot of work to do, there may be alternates to what was suggested but he preferred to stay with the plan that he presented.

 

Member Watza disclosed that he represented the Selective Group and asked if the Selective Group had any ownership interest in any of the proposed lots?

 

Mr. Lewiston answered, to the best of his knowledge, no.

 

Member Csordas stated City Council would be predominantly familiar with the project, therefore it is probably a great opportunity for the applicant to continue the discussion with them. He believed that most everybody appreciates the efforts of developers to come and develop the City. He stated it is the charter of the Commission to follow the Master Plan as closely as possible whenever possible. He thanked the developers who come to the Planning Commission and City Council to develop the City. He suggested that it might not be a bad idea for the applicant to talk to people who are familiar with the project and reiterate their statements.

 

Chairperson Weddington did not believe that the subdivision plan could be approved as presented without a Woodlands Permit. She asked Ms. Lemke, if cul-de-sacs were developed at the end of Westmont Drive and Willingham, would it avoid the regulated woodlands?

 

Ms. Lemke answered, no, it would not avoid them, it would concentrate them at either end. However, she said that alternatives needed to be explored. She did not believe that a cul-de-sac could be continued off of Westmont Drive where the wetlands are, without a wetland intrusion, therefore, this would have to be looked at again. She stated it was possible to bring a cul-de-sac off of Westmont Drive and then cul-de-sac it to the west. Another alternative would be to reduce the lot size in the proposed plan and pull the lots out of the regulated woodland areas about 20' and still meet the 12,000 square feet minimum requirement for R-3. She stated there are alternatives to be looked at.

 

 

Chairperson Weddington stated the standard for approval of a Woodlands Permit is that there are no other reasonable alternatives for development and as has been pointed out, she believed there were various alternatives that could be explored and presented. Therefore, Chairperson Weddington supported the motion to send a negative recommendation to City Council.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-243 CARRIED

 

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

No: Watza

 

 

PM-97-10-244 TO DENY THE WOODLAND PERMIT

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED (7-1): To deny the application for Woodland Permit for Westmont Village Subdivision #2, SP97-05B.

 

 

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley thought the motion should be amended due to Linda Lemke’s testimony that there are other viable alternatives to the presented plan that might make a Woodland Permit permissible.

 

Member Vrettas accepted the amendment as the maker of the motion.

 

Member Capello expanded on the amendment that it not just include the comments of Ms. Lemke, but also to incorporate her statements, Mr. Pargoff’s statements, the written correspondence from the residents and their statements as part of the reasons for the denial of the Woodland Permit.

 

Member Vrettas accepted as the maker of the motion.

 

Member Hoadley accepted as the seconder of the motion.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-244 CARRIED

 

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

No: Watza

 

 

2. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.569

 

Property located at the northwest corner of Thirteen Mile Road and M-5 Connector seeking rezoning from Residential Acreage (R-A) to High-Density, Mid-Rise, Multiple Family Residential District (RM-2) and Community Business District (B-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

Joe Galvin appeared on behalf of Hal Robinson and Jerry Gorsica who are representing the estate of Josephine Kovacs. He explained that Ms. Kovacs and her husband owned the 103 acres for a period of more than 50 years. Ms. Kovacs is currently in a nursing home and the property forms a portion of her estate. This fact is relevant because it speaks to the reason why the proposal is before the Commission. Mr. Gorsica and Mr. Robinson are required as trustees of the estate, to deal with the property in the most prudent fashion to maximize the return to the estate. Mr. Galvin stated that the 103 acres is a portion of a larger 120 acre tract, and had property taken for the Thirteen Mile Road widening and the M-5 freeway. He stated single family residental plan was before the Commission and it was recommended unfavorably to the City Council which they denied. The result of this denial was the trustees went into the marketplace to find out what would be the appropriate uses for the property, in this regard, they were met with two uses which people who dealt with real estate, indicated would be appropriate. Those two uses are multiple family and commercial.

 

The proposal before the Commission today involves using about 1/3 of the property for commercial and the remaining 2/3 for multiple residential use. Mr. Bob Layton will explain how the division of the land was made, why the areas in each district were placed there, and the conversations that he had with various persons as to the desirability of using the property for what is proposed. Mr. Galvin stated the property could not be used as it is currently zoned because based upon the physical constraints of the property, approximately 11 acres of woodlands and some wetland areas on the property, coupled with the existence of the M-5 freeway and the widening of the interchange, he could not install adequate infrastructure and build a house of sufficient size to realize a reasonable return. He stated the current zoning designation is both unreasonable and confiscatory, he stated the existence of the M-5 connector and the widening of Thirteen Mile Road, have created compelling circumstances and a change of circumstances such that the City ought to reconsider what it proposes to be done here. He asked the Commission to look carefully at what is permitted, and the existing densities which surround the property. Mr. Galvin stated the current Master Plan does not adequately deal with either existing circumstances or the future circumstances when the roadway comes in. Secondly, appropriate development on the parcel is very important to both the trust and the City. For these two reasons and because of the change in circumstances, he asked the Commission to approve the rezoning.

 

Bob Layton explained the plan. He stated he has spent a lot of time on the site, the wetlands have been flagged and surveyed. The area that is proposed as commercial is primarily an old orchard with very few quality trees. It is subdivided by a wetland that is really a drainage course with a lot of slope to it. In the front 1/3, there are also a couple of other smaller wetlands but it has a limited amount of resource concerns. There is a central portion near the second 1/3 of the property that is high quality, it is steep sloped with a very nice hardwood forest and a large forested wetland with some shrub scrub. This is the primary feature on the site. Further to the rear, there is another open field that has little vegetation.

 

Mr. Layton stated the plan represents an attempt to work with the site and not take out the resources in any kind of significant manner. He stated they were looking to fashion the commercial center after the development at Six Mile Road and Haggerty Road. The types of uses in that development are a Farmer Jack Supermarket, Border’s Bookstore, Office Max and three or four new retail concepts. He stated it was very high quality architecture, extensive landscaping. Two entrances are proposed, a major boulevard that would come in and service a boulevard roadway that would take vehicles to the rear of the site and at the same time, service the center. Mr. Layton stated two upscale restaurant sites are also being proposed. Further into the property will be a guardhouse for an upscale luxury apartment project. As you enter the development, most of the circulation is on a road that is free of parking, the parking is independent from the circulation, the attempt is to take the units and make a park out of the open space.

 

Mr. Layton stated the retail center is approximately 168,000 square feet. The two restaurants are about 7,500 square feet, there are about 600 units shown in the multi family area. To make sure the site has not been crowded too much, Mr. Layton showed opportunities for storm water retention and filtration.

 

Paul Slavin represented Reid, Cool Michalski & Antosz, Inc. Traffic & Transportation Engineers. He stated he was responsible for preparing the traffic impact statement as required by the City Ordinance. The 103 acre parcel is located in the northwest quadrant of the intersection of Thirteen Mile Road and the proposed M-5 freeway. Until recently, the parcel was located on a two lane gravel road, because of the construction, the parcel now abuts an eight lane boulevard. M-5 is designated as a limited access freeway and is being constructed as an eight lane boulevard from I-96 to Pontiac Trail. In addition, at the intersection, there are four lanes in each direction plus southbound and northbound will have right turn lanes to accommodate right turning traffic. The left turns for M-5 will be prohibited, they will be made by the use of U-turn cross overs, both north and south of the intersection. Thirteen Mile Road will have a five lane cross section at the intersection with two lanes both east and westbound. It will also have right turn lanes for east and westbound traffic, there will be no left turns allowed from Thirteen Mile Road.

 

Due to the construction of M-5 and Thirteen Mile Road at the time of his report, he was unable to gather current traffic information, therefore, historical information was gathered from the City for the number of vehicles on Thirteen Mile Road. The 1995 counts that were given for the intersection of Thirteen Mile Road and Haggerty Road show a total of 5,803 vehicles at the Thirteen Mile Road approach. There were 983 vehicles eastbound on Thirteen Mile Road, 4,820 westbound on Eight Mile Road. The reason he stated this was because if traffic on eastbound Haggerty Road is 900 vehicles and westbound traffic is 4,000, most of the vehicles are turning and using Haggerty Road to access north and south to get to the subdivisions and freeway. If he assumed that there was an equal amount of traffic headed westbound on Thirteen Mile Road, there would be about 2,000 to 2,500 vehicles currently using Thirteen Mile Road. Mr. Slavin stated the Michigan Department of Transportation projected traffic volumes of 9,700 vehicles on Thirteen Mile Road west of the intersection and 12,200 vehicles east of the intersection, this would relate to an increase of about 3 ˝ times from the existing traffic for the year 2010 by the Michigan Department of Transportation. These projected volumes are a significant change in the existing traffic pattern.

 

The trip generation that is proposed for the rezoning was outlined in his report and also provided in Mr. Arroyo’s letter. He stated there is a significant increase in the amount of trips that would be from the site as zoned, as opposed to what is proposed. The Michigan Department of Transportation, in their design of the intersection, seems to have taken into consideration the whole area and has developed the interchange, the M-5 connector and Thirteen Mile Road to handle the needed capacity for the future developments.

 

Phillip Dondero stated historically, since the property was purchased by Mr. Kovacs in the late 1940's, it has been zoned for agricultural or rural residential use. Times and conditions have changed and Novi is no longer a rural agricultural country town. He stated it was clear that a transitional use was called for at the intersection of Thirteen Mile Road and M-5, the business and multiple family residential proposal fits that transitional purpose.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the property is presently vacant, to the north is the Haverhill Site Condominiums. To the east across M-5 is zoned RA, the property to the south is used for several single family homes on large lots and zoned RA, the property to the west is vacant and zoned RA and further to the west is the mobile home park. The Master Plan recommends the property for single family residential future land use as it does for a density of 0.8 dwelling units per acre. Mr. Rogers did not recommend the rezoning owing to: 1) a conflict with the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; 2) no showing property cannot be used as master planned and zoned; 3) no showing there is a need for 168,000 square foot community shopping center; 4) the introduction of the proposed 600 multi-family units which could be up to five stories in height and potentially 1,334 permitted units raises serious questions on the need, owing to the substantial numbers of existing and proposed multi-family units at the Vistas of Novi PUD and Maples of Novi PUD all within one-half to one mile distance; 4) issue of spot zoning high impact commercial and multiple dwelling uses in a single family residential planned and zoned area.

 

Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated he was asked by Member Hoadley to provide some additional traffic count information for Meadowbrook Road between Twelve Mile Road and Thirteen Mile Road. He stated it is a gravel roadway that currently carries approximately 8,800 vehicles per day as of 1995. It is proposed to be paved as part of the Road Bond Program possibly as early as the end of next year. It is likely that the volumes will drop some, when M-5 is opened. M-5 is scheduled to open to traffic in the summer of 1999 and it is planned to open as one package up to Fourteen Mile Road, they will not open it in segments. In addition, Mr. Arroyo provided trip generation information.

 

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

 

Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court stated the decision was a very important one because it addresses a number of philosophical issues regarding the Master Plan and the future development of the Community. He countered a statement made by Mr. Galvin, "a change in circumstances had occurred and a rezoning was appropriate." by saying if a change in circumstances has occurred, no rezonings should be recommended until a thorough study of the entire area has taken place and all alternatives have been examined. Those alternatives should be a decision that best suits the long term needs of the City and is in concert with the goals and objectives of the Master Plan. He stated when the Master Plan was looked at and the long term future of the City was planned, a number of things come to light. There is the desire to limit the amount of commercial development in the City, mainly to the area identified as Town Center because of the impact on City services. The addition of a number of multiple family housing units is completely inconsistent with the Master Plan. There are large areas of multiple family development existing in the City and to continue to add to it will create a future imbalance. The disruption of the environmental features on the site, generated by high impact uses should be discouraged. Mr. Mutch asked the Commission to think of the long term impact on the whole Haggerty Corridor. He urged them to look at all of the alternatives and decide what would benefit the City long term, not what would benefit a particular property owner.

 

 

Chairperson Weddington asked if anyone else would like to address the issue? Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers if the developer proposed or spoke about using an RUD on the land?

 

Mr. Rogers answered, no.

 

Member Hoadley thought the traffic studies that the petitioner brought before the Commission was inaccurate. He stated according to the DPW, there were approximately 10,000 cars per day using Meadowbrook Road, a great majority are going down to Twelve Mile Road to use the Haggerty Connector. He thought the estimates of number of trips were low. He asked Mr. Arroyo if consideration was taken of the school being built on Meadowbrook because this will also be an additional traffic generator.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated the type of analysis that is required at this point does not require a traffic impact study that takes other projects into consideration. However, the school was discussed and it will likely be opened within the next two to three months on the east side of Meadowbrook just south of Thirteen Mile Road.

 

Member Hoadley stated there is already high density in the area with 11,000 homes, there are already high end apartments on Novi Road. It appeared to Member Hoadley that there were more than adequate number of high density units which would also include the trailer park. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Bluhm if water and sewer were available to the site?

 

Mr. Bluhm answered, yes, the water is under construction down Thirteen Mile Road to make the turn at Meadowbrook Road. In regard to sanitary sewer, there is nothing available in that location currently. A sanitary sleeve was put under M-5, south of Thirteen Mile Road for a future extension from Twelve Mile Road and Haggerty Road to service the site. From a capacity point of view, it should not be a problem, the are has the luxury of having overlapping capacity. Mr. Bluhm stated there are no planned sewers at this point.

 

 

PM-97-10-245 TO SEND A RECOMMENDATION TO DENY THE REQUEST FOR REZONING OF ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.569 FROM RESIDENTIAL ACREAGE RA TO HIGH DENSITY MID-RISE MULTIPLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT RM-2 AND COMMUNITY DISTRICT B-2

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a recommendation to deny the request for rezoning under Zoning Map Amendment 18.569.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi was disappointed that the Commission gets so deeply into the site plan presentation. She believed that it clouds the land use issue. She asked how the storm water system would be accommodated at the point that the basins discharge. She congratulated the applicant for looking at the matter in the way that he has, not to mention the fact of staying out of the wetlands almost in their entirety.

 

Mr. Bluhm stated the drainage course generally flows south and east, it will go across M-5, south of Thirteen Mile Road and then it converges down and conduces south and east.

 

Member Bononi asked if there was infrastructure there for it to flow into or would it have to be constructed?

 

Mr. Bluhm stated M-5 has constructed storm culvert sized for developed flows, so they would not be a concern, the rest is overland flow.

 

Member Bononi expressed concern about the specification of the B-2 District. Although she thought that what the applicant has proposed is very dense for that area, she understood that there had to be growing room in the developments. She stated if you look at the B-2 uses, the zone change would enable the applicant to have any service as part of a retail adjunct, restaurants, theaters, schools, private clubs, special use gasoline service stations, bowling alleys, mini lubes, quick change, etc. she had great concerns about the provision of B-2 and the result intensity that could happen as a result of the approval. In conclusion, she stated the parcel was not suited to such high density use, she did not believe that what was being proposed was compatible with the surroundings. Lastly, she expressed concern with the slopes on the property. She stated she looked into the soils and there are a lot of very sensitive soils. She hoped at the point of development, the applicant would have sanitary sewage because she would have big reservations in looking at the seven soil types that are listed.

 

Mr. Galvin clarified that he was not proposing to use septic. He stated he has commenced initiated discussions with special assessment district to bring sewer.

 

Member Bononi stated she did not mean to suggest that the applicant was considering it, but one of the things that needs to be considered is infrastructure existing or otherwise and what the potential to utilize those things might be. Member Bononi saw a utilization of the RUD, although the RUD in its present form would not go far enough in looking at an open space development with specific limited neighborhood services.

 

Member Vrettas made a point of order with all due respect to the Chair, the Commission and Mr. Galvin. Member Vrettas stated that what Mr. Galvin just did to Member Bononi was out of line and out of order. He explained that it was inappropriate.

 

Member Capello agreed that RA was not a proper zoning and thought it should be rezoned. He did not think he was ready to make any positive recommendation for the rezoning. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee has begun to look at the property to the east of M-5 between M-5 and Haggerty, he asked the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to try to look at the property to the west so that if Council turns it down, the Commission will have begun its studies to see what better use than RA can be brought in.

 

Member Watza asked the applicant if he had considered OST as an alternative?

 

Mr. Galvin answered he had not thought about it. He apologized to Member Bononi and Member Vrettas and stated he intended no offense,he was trying to clarify the issue which he viewed as being factual.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-245 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

 

Chairperson Weddington announced the Commission would take a brief recess.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

None

 

 

 

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

 

1. MOBIL OIL STATION/CAR WASH/ON THE RUN, SP97-23

 

Property located at Thirteen Mile Road and Decker Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit

 

Chairperson Weddington announced this item was a continuation from the last Planning Commission meeting where the Commission asked to postpone the matter to check to see whether the fast food carry out was a permitted use and to check on the architectural requirements for facades for commercial buildings in the area.

 

Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated that he and Mr. Rogers collectively looked at the issues and conferred on them. In regard to carry out of food as an accessory use to the market that is assocated with the gas station, they concluded that it was a permissible use under the PUD. In regard to the architectural controls, the conclusion reached was that the developer was required to put together an architectural code as a part of the development, it was done and it appeared that the proposal complies with it and the facade regulations of the City.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant concurred with Mr. Watson in regard to the accessory use of a fast food type of food service. In regard to the architecture, he thought that the all brick building with some further refinements such as brass lights on either side of the front doorand a steeple on the roof might enhance it and bring it to a less stark appearance. He stated the present building does use the materials and has the low profile features that he feels are inherent in the Vistas of Novi design book. Mr. Rogers asked the Chair to have Mr. Swaitko tell what he has come up with.

 

James Swaitko, Patterson Construction Company, Inc. stated the question of adding the brass coach lamps on the corners of the building is not objectionable in any way to Mobil Oil, he would just have to make sure that it is compatible with the architectural standards through the Vistas of Novi.

 

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

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley stated the plan looked better, however, it still was not up to his expectations of what neo-traditional could look like. He asked if the applicant had any problem going with one of the door styles that were shown in the book? He stated it also shows a specific type of lighting along the street, he asked if this was going to be put in?

 

Mr. Swaitko answered the lighting shown in the book is more in tune with the pedestrian walkway in the central shopping area, not in the facility such as this. The yard lights that are proposed are in accordance with the box type lights, fully enclosed with no exposed light bulbs.

 

Member Hoadley stated the contract also calls for a 6' sidewalk versus a 5' sidewalk and he felt that the contract should be adhered to.

 

Mr. Swaitko stated the sidewalks that were already installed along the Novi Road side were part of the facility prior to Mobil. He stated he did not know how to answer the question. He stated the trees in the book were in a pedestrian walkway, the trees that he is planting in the landscaped area are in mulched areas with 6" or more of mulch around the trees. They are not in a pedestrian walkway, therefore, they would not have the wrought iron guards around them.

 

Member Hoadley asked what the roof would be constructed of?

 

Mr. Swaitko stated he is using the asphalt shingles, specifically the ones that are detailed in the book.

 

Member Hoadley asked what has been done to the island canopy to make it architecturally interesting?

 

Mr. Swaitko answered, the canopy over the islands has a mansard roof with the same shingles to match the roof on the building along with the roofing on the car wash.

 

Member Hoadley asked about the signage. He stated it was a contractual item.

 

Mr. Swaitko stated he has reviewed the sign package with the developer and there were two issues; 1) he did not come prepared to speak to the signage issue and its exact requirements because he did not feel it was in the purview of this meeting to discuss it. He stated he has to look at the City’s requirements as well as the Vista’s requirements with respect to signage and he is trying to work within both sets of rules.

 

 

PM-97-10-246 TO APPROVE MOBIL OIL STATION/CAR WASH/ON THE RUN, SP97-23 FOR WOODLAND PERMIT SUBJECT TO THE APPLICANT’S TESTIMONY ON RECORD AND SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE CONSULTANTS RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED (6-2): To approve Preliminary Site Plan for Mobil Oil, SP97-23 subject to the representations of the applicant and all of the comments and conditions imposed by the consultants, motion also includes the Woodland Permit.

 

Member Vrettas expressed concern with the pizzas that were going to be served. He asked if they were going to be prepared on site?

 

Mr. Swaitko answered, yes.

 

Member Vrettas asked if it was acceptable under the Ordinances?

 

Mr. Watson answered it was permissible under the PUD.

 

Member Vrettas stated he had a real problem with it. He stated he would support it but he was not in favor of it.

 

Mr. Swaitko stated the fast food industry today is very different. He explained that the dough comes prepared and frozen, the vegetables are all pre-sliced and brought in pre-packaged, therefore, there is very minimal production from the staff.

 

Member Csordas stated a great example of the changing trend in gas stations is on Pontiac Trail and Haggerty. He thought it was a very interesting concept, therefore, he was in support of the motion.

 

Member Bononi agreed with Member Hoadley. She did not believe that the application met the language or the spirit of the intent of the document, she stated she was very favorably impressed with it. She asked the applicant if he would describe the roof as a hip roof?

 

Mr. Swaitko answered, yes.

 

Member Bononi stated according to the document, the applicant needs cedar shakes and she would like to see them on the building. She stated she would also like to see a combination of the field stone. She read a sentence from the document, "The Vistas of Novi was planned and designed to blend people, structures and activity into an integrated community." Member Bononi believed the Mobil Oil Company had the resources to do it, she did not think that adding on brass coach lights was sufficient, when there is a guideline to use. Furthermore, the landscaping is described in the document as being natural in appearance and clumped wherever possible. She believed the applicant could work with the consultant in coming up with a more natural and lush landscaping plan. Member Bononi expected more from the applicant and did not think it would take much more to do it and be in spirit with what the document is asking for.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-246 CARRIED

 

Yes: Hoadley, Watza, Weddington, Capello, Churella, Cosrdas

No: Vrettas, Bononi

 

Member Hoadley hoped that the applicant would take into consideration the comments of Member Bononi. He agreed that the applicant could do better.

 

 

2. HOMESTEAD SITE CONDOMINIUMS, SP97-34

 

Property located north of Ten Mile Road, west of Taft Road seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval.

 

Eugene Richardson the developer, introduced George Norberg from Seiber Keast and John Fenimore from Children’s World Daycare Centers.

 

As requested he brought back the original plans submitted for Preliminary Site Plan review and also a plan that superimposes the proposed daycare center.

 

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

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

 

PM-97-10-247 TO APPROVE THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN FOR HOMESTEAD SITE CONDOMINIUMS, SP97-34

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Preliminary Site Plan for Homestead Site Condominiums, SP97-34

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Vrettas explained that he was not in attendance at the last meeting and asked if the residents were notified that the Matter was being brought back to the Commission so they could come and speak if they wished to?

 

Chairperson Weddington explained that the Matter was postponed.

Member Vrettas stated he would not be voting one way or the other because he was not in attendance and did not know what was going on, therefore, he did not feel that he should vote.

 

Member Bononi asked if the question of the nonconformity of the building to be raised, had been addressed to Mr. Watson’s satisfaction. Secondly, she asked if the lot line of the last lot had been changed so that a ZBA variance was not required?

 

Mr. Richardson answered that both issues had been discussed with Mr. Rogers and he believed that Mr. Rogers was satisfied with the condition of the lot line in question.

 

Mr. Rogers answered, the applicant does not have to appear before the ZBA.

 

Member Hoadley stated he had the same concerns as last time. He wanted to be sure that the accel/decel lanes entering on Ten Mile Road were adequate.

 

Mr. Arroyo answered they were adequate. He stated he looked at the impact of adding traffic from a daycare facility and found that the 75' decel and the 50' accel taper would be sufficient and meet the requirements that are provided. The other advantage is the 50' accel taper is a positive improvement towards dealing with the issue of the tree.

 

Member Hoadley asked what about the tree?

 

Mr. Pargoff stated the tree has a power pole in front of it and anybody coming out would have to address the power pole before they get to the tree. Mr. Pargoff stated the power pole needs to be moved a little to the west. It is currently in the middle of the curve, it will be moved.

 

Member Hoadley asked if it would cause any kind of clear view problem?

 

Mr. Pargoff answered, no. He stated the tree has been trimmed to 14', which is the City standard for visual and traffic clearance.

 

Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Arroyo if the Commission needed to address a waiver for the driveway placement?

 

Mr. Arroyo answered, yes, because it does not meet the requirements. It should be included as part of the action if the Commission is going to approve it.

 

Member Churella added a driveway placement waiver to his motion.

 

Member Capello seconded it.

 

 

PM-97-10-247 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

Abstained: Vrettas

 

 

3. NOVI ICE SKATING RINK, SP97-07B

 

Property located south of Ten Mile Road, east of Novi Road seeking Final Site Plan Approval.

Dan Davis brought forward the revisions that came out of the Preliminary Site Plan meeting. Some information that was called out in the landscape review has been somewhat submitted or will be submitted as Ms. Lemke recommends prior to any issuance of any construction permits.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant recommended approval and deferred to Linda Lemke on the minor landscape issues.

 

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there were a few items that needed to be addressed before construction can commence. 1) Tree survey; 2) change in tree species; 3) a diagram clarifying what is being planned with the entryway; 4) a detail on the dumpster; 5) and screening or location for any transformer pads.

 

David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant recommended approval.

 

Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant recommended approval subject to some minor modifications on signage which have been identified and should be shown on the plan for Final stamping.

 

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.

 

Chris Pargoff, City Forester had a conditional approval subject to some verification by the Department of Agriculture on some trees and the Peat Humus Tree Farm at 12 ˝ Mile Road and Dixon Road. He stated he would be doing an on-site inspection with a representative from the Department of Agriculture, this Friday. He stated he would have more information from Mr. Davis on the location.

 

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

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

 

PM-97-10-248 TO APPROVE THE FINAL SITE PLAN FOR NOVI SKATING RINK, SP97-07B, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONSULTANTS

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Final Site Plan approval for Novi Skating Rink, SP97-07B, subject to all of the conditions stated by the consultants in their letters.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi asked if the electrical service was underground?

 

Mr. Davis answered, yes.

 

Member Hoadley asked if the secondary access road was being constructed?

 

Mr. Davis answered, yes. He explained that he has obtained secondary access to the site and a permanent emergency access to the site from Heslip.

 

Member Hoadley asked who was paving it?

 

Mr. Davis answered it was a part of the project.

Member Hoadley asked about campusing. He stated he did not see any indication on the plan where he proposes to campus to a parking lot.

 

Mr. Davis explained that he has had conversations with the adjoining property owners, he stated no submittals have been presented by the sports club. He stated he has made efforts to try to work with them but he is ahead of their schedule. He stated he was prepared to move forward and he would be prepared to work cooperatively with them in the future as they come forward with their proposal.

 

Member Hoadley asked if it would be wise to put a cut into where there’s would be?

 

Mr. Davis explained, not knowing where they are going to be, it would be premature for them to do so at this time.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-248 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

 

 

4. VINCENTI OFFICE BUILDING, SP97-38

 

Property located on Lanny’s Road, south of Grand River, west of Novi Road seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval.

 

Ray Cousineau proposed two office uses along Lanny’s Road which are intended to be corporate office buildings. He stated he has been a resident of Novi for over 20 years. He would like to continue to be a resident of Novi, it was his intention to develop the two facilities for corporate offices. He stated they would like to remain in Novi, they have looked at several other alternate locations in Novi and determined that this site fits his needs. He realized that the sites before the Commission were not recommended for approval, he asked that they be brought before the Commission because of their time constraints. They have had the property under option for some time and they need to make a decision on what they can or cannot do with the two sites. The west side is the critical site, aside from the variances that are needed to construct both sites. Mr. Cousineau stated because of his needs, he has virtually no flexibility in reducing the size of the building areas. He thought the important thing to take into consideration was that they were both proposed office uses, they were not light industrial as the underlying zoning would permit. He stated the character of the buildings were all residential, he thought it was a great asset to the particular area.

 

Mr. Cousineau gave a brief history on the two sites. He asked the Planning Commission whether or not they could find an avenue to give a conditional approval or some support in the proposal so they could move forward. If not then he stated they would abandon the site and pursue other locations.

 

Lee Mamola agreed that it was a unique opportunity to resolve the light industrial zoning of the properties. In analyzing the site, several things are apparent, the residential to the south, industrial to the north. The site is 200' x 200', the building is placed at its particular location because it is the highest point which allows for natural drainage.

 

 

(Side B of Tape #3 was distorted, therefore non-transcribable, the petitioner’s report was cut off at this point.)

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the applicant proposes to build an 8,074 square foot office building on a 200' x 200' I-1 zoned site. All preliminary site plan application data are provided except: Property line ties two Sections and/or quarter corners. Preliminary Site Plan Checklist 16. The proposed building complies with I-1 District setback standards except for west and south side yards . A 100' setback is required and a 78' setback is provided. Part of the site abuts R-4 zoning on west side, at nearest point, building is setback 86'. Applicant requests approval by Planning Commission to substitute the required 10' landscaped berm for a 6' brick-on-brick wall on south side. Off-street loading/unloading area is provided in the rear yard based on office use standards. Only a 10' landscaped setback is provided along southern part of west lot line, Ordinance requires a 100' setback and 10' berm. To the north, the loading zone encroaches into the required 10' setback.

 

In reviewing landscape concerns with Linda Lemke, the required information has been submitted except for wall detail needs to indicate type of masonry. The proposed plant materials are acceptable in type and variety. The size and spacing of the proposed plant materials meet the required dimensions. The FAP by the dumpster should be moved further south to avoid conflict with dumpster pick up. A 6' high masonry wall is proposed along part of the southern property line and surrounding the dumpster. Wall must have 20' intermittent plantings of trees and shrubs along the wall base. Mr. Rogers recommended that the wall be required for the whole southwest corner with 20' intermittent trees and shrubs in the area adjacent to the wall. The proposed Landscape Plan meets the requirements for landscape buffering. Transformers are adequately screened. The site dies not fall under the Woodlands Protection Ordinance. A Woodlands Affidavit has been submitted. In summary, Mr. Rogers recommended approval of the Conceptual Landscape Plan. There were items outlined in his letter dated September 9, 1997 that need to be addressed at the Final Landscape Plan submittal. Mr. Rogers did not recommend Preliminary Site Plan approval owing to: 1) Deficient building south and west side yard setbacks. 2) Deficient parking lot and vehicular use area setbacks along south and west side of property. 3) Missing site plan application data. It was Mr. Rogers opinion that the site is being over built, requiring much of the site to be occupied by the building and paved areas.

 

David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated waste water would be disposed of through a proposed building lead connected to the existing 8" sanitary sewer along the centerline of Lanny’s Road. An on-site storm sewer system will collect run-off from the site which will discharge into the existing ditch line along the west side of Lanny’s Road. A hydrant and water service is to be provided by tie-in to existing 12" water main along the east side of Lanny’s Road. The existing water main on the east side of Lanny’s Road should be tapped once. An oil and gas separator will be required in the proposed catch basin. Mr. Bluhm recommended a 5' wide concrete pedestrian safety path be placed along Lanny’s Road frontage. Several other minor items as noted on the Preliminary Site Plan will require correction at the time of Final. Mr. Bluhm stated the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility, therefore he recommended approval.

 

Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated both the Vincenti Office Building, SP97-38 and the Lanny’s Road Office Building, SP97-37 projects have the deficiency of the 25' separation for the access drive from residential zoned property, they are proposing 20', the driveway width does not meet the 30' minimum, however, they have indicated that they can provide it. The other comment deals with truck entering and exiting the site. Mr. Arroyo felt confident with some modifications to the parking that it could be accommodated, but on the current plan, he did not believe it was accommodated. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval of either project based upon the deficiencies noted in his letters.

 

Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that regarding the Vincenti Office Building, the plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: the proposed project name, Vincenti Office Building is too similar to another road Vincenti Court, and another complex Vincenti Industrial Park. This similarity will create confusion regarding emergency responses since the proposed project and the existing road and complex are in different parts of the city.

 

Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK who has reviewed the plans for compliance with the Facade Ordinance and he finds that the percentages of materials proposed exceed the maximum allowed by the Ordinance on the left west facade, the rear north facade and the south front facade in regard to the siding. All other facades are in compliance with the Ordinance.

 

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

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Capello stated his concern in the past was the size of the property and whether or not it was capable of being built as an industrial property. He never thought it would come back before the Commission with any type of industrial office building on it because of the size. He commended the applicant for doing so, he was glad to see that the two properties were going to get built, he stated it was nice to see that the design and architecture were consistent and compatible with the surrounding residential property. Member Capello asked Mr. Mamola if he believed it complied or did he agree with Mr. Necci that it does not comply.

 

Mr. Mamola stated since he initially submitted, the facades have been continued to be evolved and it was his intent to comply with the facade chart. The only exception may be the rear part of the building. He stated the building includes four garage doors and there may be a slight technicality with it, it was his preference not to have a facade waiver. He stated typically when there are garage doors, they have to be spanned over, there should be lightweight material above the door something like a siding or lightweight paneling because of structural concerns.

 

 

PM-97-10-249 TO APPROVE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN SUBJECT TO A ZBA VARIANCE FOR THE SOUTH AND WEST SETBACKS, THE WALL BEING 6' VERSUS 10', THE DRIVEWAY ACCESS BEING 20' AS REQUIRED BY THE ORDINANCE AND THE COMMISSION APPROVE THE WALL ALONG THE WESTERN PROPERTY LINE AS OPPOSED TO A BERM

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Watza, CARRIED (7-1): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval for Vincenti Office Building, SP97-38 subject to ZBA variances being granted for setbacks, 6' high wall and driveway access dimensions and to approve the use of a wall on the west side as opposed to a berm.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi asked what the specific use was intended of the Vincenti Office Building?

 

Mr. Mamola stated it was going to house the building construction operation which was an office function. He stated there was no manufacturing or construction.

 

Member Bononi asked if the business was going to be the sole occupant?

 

Mr. Mamola answered, yes.

 

Member Bononi asked if there was any square footage above the first floor that is usable or could be occupied?

 

Mr. Mamola answered, he did not think so.

 

Member Bononi asked how about the basement?

 

Mr. Mamola answered, he intended to use the basement for storage only.

Member Bononi asked if an oil and gas separator was intended to be put in the parking lot?

 

Mr. Mamola answered, yes, he thought it was required by Ordinance.

 

Member Bononi stated she would like to see the applicant cut back the size of the building, she agreed with Mr. Rogers that the site was terribly over built. She applauded the applicant for using the site, she thought it was a beautiful architectural design, however, she thought it was entirely over built. She stated if she saw some movement compromise, if the building were cut back in size she would support it.

 

Member Vrettas stated there was some flexibility, he stated the garages are were needed, it was more like a perk.

 

Mr. Mamola stated the garages were an important issue to Mr. Vincenti who is the CEO and it would have to be discussed with him.

 

Member Hoadley thought there were some alternatives that would make the plan a little better. He asked why the building could not be flipped and add some plantings to the back of the building to separate it from the house. He asked why land banking 7 to 10 parking spaces could not be considered so the applicant does not have to go to the ZBA on that issue, he will still have the desired parking and it could be used for additional berming or some dense plantings.

 

Mr. Mamola stated it was looked at, but to do it would force him to have an even greater setback. He stated currently he has 36 spaces which includes the 4 spaces in the garage.

 

Member Hoadley stated that only 22 spaces were needed and the applicant could landbank some additional spaces, giving the homeowner proper landscaping. Member Hoadley amended the motion to consider land banking an additional 6 spaces, further lower the wall and use the extra greenspace for heavy plantings for screening.

 

Member Churella asked if taking the wall out completely and putting in a 3' berm with landscaping would be enough?

 

Mr. Rogers stated it would be a softer edge and thought it would look better.

 

Ms. Lemke did not believe there was enough room for a 3' berm, it would also not give as much screening as the 6' wall.

 

Member Capello asked the applicant if he would consider land banking no more than 12 spaces, take down the wall and put in a 3' berm with heavy, non-deciduous landscaping?

 

Mr. Mamola answered, yes.

 

Mr. Arroyo explained that it has to be added as a ZBA variance.

 

Mr. Watson stated it goes to the ZBA based upon parking and landscaping requirements.

 

Member Capello clarified that in addition to his motion, it would include the size of the berm, land banking 12 parking spaces to add a 3' berm instead of the berm required by the Ordinance. He accepted this as an amendment to his motion.

 

Member Watza accepted it as the seconder of the motion.

 

Mr. Bluhm stated the difficulty would be from a topography standpoint, the land falls off in that area. As it drops, more room will be needed to make the slope requirements for the berm in the back side. Based on that, there will be more than 20' needed to put a 3' berm in. He stated it could require 25' to 30'.

 

Ms. Lemke stated she recommended that the screen be required for all of the area that abuts residential. This would also include the southwest corner, not just the south property line.

 

Member Capello stated when Marty Feldman expanded into Fountain Park, a partial wall was built with berming and it minimized the width of the berm.

 

Mr. Mamola stated the issue was easily dealt with and he did not have a problem coming back for Final Site Plan approval.

 

Member Capello suggested doing this and letting the applicant have the option of how they want to go to the ZBA and come back to the Commission for Final.

 

Mr. Mamola asked for clarification of coming back for Final. He stated typically a Final review means that they are 100% perfect and all of the consultants have signed off. He suggested that they come back after a first or second review because he would like the input of the consultants.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-249 CARRIED

 

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

No: Bononi

 

 

5. LANNY’S ROAD OFFICE BUILDING, SP 97-37

 

Property located on Lanny’s Road, south of Grand River, west of Novi Road seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval.

 

Chairperson Weddington stated the consultants have already offered their reports on the Matter. In addition, she announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.

 

Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which states he has reviewed the plans for compliance with the Facade Ordinance and finds that siding on the east and west facade exceed the Ordinance maximum. The applicant has indicated that he intends to comply with it, therefore, he was not seeking a Facade Waiver.

 

Chairperson Weddington asked if there was any Discussion on the Matter.

 

 

PM-97-10-250 TO GRANT PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR LANNY’S ROAD OFFICE BUILDING, SP95-37 SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE CONDITIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONSULTANTS

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Watza, CARRIED (7-1): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval for Lanny’s Road Office Building, SP95-37, subject to all of the conditions and recommendations of the consultants.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi stated she would not be in support of the plan for the same reason she did not support the last one. She thought if the building size were cut down to about 2,200 square feet, it would have a reasonable site use. She stated the site was almost entirely paved, she thought it was over built and was not interested in sending other matters to the ZBA.

 

Member Hoadley again made reference to the wall, he asked how many parking spaces were required?

 

Mr. Ludwig answered, 14. He explained that there were two parallel parking spaces along the wall.

 

Member Hoadley asked what was immediately to the south?

 

Mr. Ludwig answered, a house.

 

Member Hoadley stated he had the same concern. He suggested reducing the size of the wall or putting in a berm to make it more compatible with the homeowner.

 

Mr. Mamola stated the driveway to the house is located away from his site, he stated he would be willing to put landscaping along the wall on the resident’s property if they were willing to allow it.

 

Member Hoadley did not understand the need for such a large building. He asked if the applicant could cut the building down 300' to 400'.

 

Mr. Ludwig stated the building is about 3,100 square feet.

 

Member Hoadley suggested land banking the two extra parking spaces.

 

Mr. Mamola stated that would be fine.

 

Member Vrettas was concerned about the space needed for truck turnaround. He stated if it could be done safely, he had no problem with the land banking. He stated he would rather leave it up to the applicant and let them come back.

 

Member Hoadley stated he would like to see the plan come back with some alternative ideas that would be the most compatible with the homeowner.

 

Mr. Mamola agreed.

 

Member Hoadley commended the applicant for coming in with a plan that was much more compatible than an industrial plan. He stated he would be in support of it, however, he would like to see it come back for Final.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-250 CARRIED

 

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

No: Bononi

 

 

 

 

 

PM-97-10-251 TO POSTPONE THE MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION TO THE NEXT MEETING

 

Moved by Watza, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the Matters for Discussion to the next meeting.

 

 

 

VOTE PM-97-10-251 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

 

1. HIGH POINTE SHOPPING CENTER WETLAND MITIGATION UPDATE

 

Report from JCK and Associates (carried over from last Agenda).

 

Postponed to next Agenda.

 

 

2. MASTER PLAN AND ZONING COMMITTEE

 

OST Study Update.

 

Postponed to next Agenda.

 

 

PM-97-10-252 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:00 P.M.

 

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

 

 

VOTE ON PM-97-10-252 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

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

No: None

 

 

_____________________________________

Steve Rumple - Staff Planner

 

Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

October 13, 1997

Date Approved: November 05, 1997