(248) 347-0475


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


PRESENT: Members Bononi, Churella, Csordas, Watza, Chairperson Weddington


ABSENT: Member Canup (excused), Capello (excused), Hoadley (excused), Vrettas (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








Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?


As Item 2 under Matters for Discussion, Member Bononi added the subject of the vote on seminar speakers and the fact that the Planning Commission has received no results, nor has there been any scheduling. She also added as Item 3 under Matters for Discussion, the Architectural Review Ordinance and wanted to know who is working on it.


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





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Csordas, Watza, Weddington

No: None















Chairperson Weddington announced there were three Items on the Consent Agenda. The approval of minutes from the Regular Planning Commission Meetings of October 1, 1997 and October 15, 1997, and the Sherwood Place Office and Residential Care Facility. She asked if there were any changes to the minutes?



Member Watza referred to the minutes of October 1, 1997, page 16, following the second paragraph, he would like to have his comments added which disclosed that he represented the Selective Group prior to the vote and there were no objections to the fact that he represented the Selective Group and that he had no knowledge of any interest by the Selective Group in that project.


Member Bononi referred to page 14, at the end of the ninth paragraph she stated she gave an example that she would like to have inserted. That example being, if we picked up all of the trees as straws, they could form a figure that would be 78" in diameter and 292' around, this was to further describe how many trees were being removed from the site. She also noted that there were a lot of word streams and misspellings on the first several pages, she thought they could be corrected by running a spell check.


Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any changes to the minutes of October 15, 1997.


Member Bononi referred to page 19, she stated a similar illustration was omitted in the last paragraph, midpoint where the sentence begins..."In addition, the wetland regulations provide for Administrative approval of 300 cubic yards of material... She stated she would like to have added, "or the equivalent of 416 to 500 single axle tandem truckloads of soil."





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve both sets of Minutes as corrected.





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Csordas, Watza, Weddington

No: None


In regard to Sherwood Place Office and Residential Care Facility, Chairperson Weddington stated the Commission is always concerned about extensions of site plan approvals, she asked the applicant and wanted to make sure that it will be moving forward.


The applicant estimated that they would start in the Spring.





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the extension request for Sherwood Place Office and Residential Care Facility, SP95-12E for one year.





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Csordas, Watza, Weddington

No: None








Amendment to the NCC Ordinance to modify the standards and uses allowed in the Non-Commercial Center District.


(Note: Voice did not pick up well on recorder, voice faded in and out all throughout report.)


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated there has been a lot of concern by property owners of the useability of the NCC District. He stated it requires a certain minimum lot size. This District has basically been applied to the south side of Grand River. Some retail businesses in certain cases require variances from the ZBA for a 200' frontage. Mr. Rogers thought the entire NCC Ordinance should be addressed and make it a business district for offices, businesses and multiple housing, which would have low impact on adjacent land uses and do not involve automotive-type business establishments. Mr. Rogers thought it could also include standards to increase the amount of green space. He stated the NCC Ordinance currently limits a commercial building to a single user, he thought it could allow a second use in the common structure with a shared entrance drive and parking. At that point, it would reduce the minimum area to one acre with a frontage of 200'.


Mr. Rogers reviewed the permitted uses under retail business uses, retail business service uses, office uses, restaurants and other principal uses permitted subject to special conditions. Under required conditions falls building facades, access to the site, marginal access roads, outdoor storage, certain site plan requirements, off-street parking requirements, and the Schedule of Regulations. The square footage for individual retail sales establishments has changed from 10,000 to 15,000. A secondary use may be permitted on the site if certain criteria are met, including: 1) Environmental features of site can be better preserved; 2) A shared entranceway and parking lot design is possible; 3) Unified architectural design of building is demonstrated; 4) Site is of unusual size and shape. A Floor Area Ratio of 0.25 has been added which would limit the amount of building floor space to 25% of the gross land area. The open green space on a site plan shall not be less than 25% of the total site area and it may not include any area used for parking, building footprint or marginal access road.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the new language, for the most part is parallel to the language that already exists in the Ordinance. He suggested that the references to the widths of the roads be deleted and refer instead to the Design and Construction Standards. Mr. Arroyo referred to Page 5, second paragraph, last line should read, "Paving of the marginal access road shall be in accordance with the City’s Design and Construction Standards.


Member Bononi expressed concern with the Consultants directly addressing comments that come from outside the Implementation Committee or the Planning Commission because any other citizen who would wish to have such treatment should receive it. She thought there needed to be a clarification about who the client is. She stated the people who participated in the meetings are very interested in what the Ordinance language says, however, she would not like to see the Commission continue in that vein. Secondly, she wanted the Commission to keep in mind what the NCC Ordinance is intended to do. As it existed, it was out of date and unwieldy, no one was using it for obvious reasons. She did not think the Commission was going in the right direction by looking at buildings that were not free standing because the goal is for low impact, spacious sites, this is the reason for the acreage requirement. She thought there was enough intense and dense development in Novi. The Ordinance was not only intended to be used on the southerly side of Grand River, but it can be used for other zoning classification proposals. Member Bononi thought that applicants already had a varied choice of intense retail and commercial zones from which to choose. If the concern is to maximize the site, then she thought going to the ZBA to add just one more unit would defeat the purpose. NCC can also be used for neighborhood services and it is something that is not on the zoning classification listing and will be needed. She thought the point of neighborhood services was to offer low intensity, low impact, spacious uses and if the Ordinance is to be used in other places, then it has to be broad enough to apply to other places. To look at it from the standpoint to see whether or not it is going to fit someone’s business shoes, is not serving everyone and it is not a wise land use decision. In regard to the proposed changes to the NCC amendment, Member Bononi thought that the buildings not having to be free standing, defeated the intent of the purpose of the Ordinance and as long as the legal requirements are met, she would like it to stay in.



Chairperson Weddington stated she remembered when there was a concern about the large number of small, narrow, deep parcels along Grand River, there were efforts made through the Zoning Ordinance to encourage the accumulation of larger parcels by implementing the acreage requirements. There was also a concern at one point in time when a number of automotive uses were being proposed and these were restricted along Grand River. Over time, in a reactive fashion, the Ordinance was trying to address those specific concerns. The Committee was struggling with what Grand River should look like. Chairperson Weddington thought it was the main strip, the main street of Novi and it should be developed with that in mind. Rather than have it geared toward neighborhood services, her idea was to encourage larger destination type uses that had less of an impact and not as much volume of traffic. She had some specific concerns about what the end result was and stated the intent was to try and encourage larger developments.


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


Jonathan Brateman, 42705 Grand River stated he was the Legislative Affairs Chairman of the Novi Chamber of Commerce. He gave some background of what the text amendment was not doing, he stated the fast food and the automotive elements were not being changed. In the building to land ratio, the amendment is looking to end up with a parcel that is develop able. The market trend history is that even the office uses that are happening along Grand River are office uses that require exposure, for these parcels to develop into an office corridor, in his opinion was not happening. As a result, there are people who have investments in the properties and they cannot develop it because the building to land use ratio is not great enough. Mr. Brateman stated that many uses were looked at that would be wonderful because of their low intensity, however, a user that is only going to take 2,000 to 4,000 square feet is never going to put a 4,000 square foot building on a parcel that has 200 feet of frontage because of the depths of the parcels. He stated if the Commission does not allow two uses to be together in one building, the status of everything that is happening really will not be changed. He asked the Commission to allow two uses together in a single building.


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.





Member Churella asked what the average depth of the parcels were?


Mr. Brateman thought the lots were anywhere from 350' to 500' in depth, he deferred to Mr. Rogers.


Mr. Rogers stated in the NCC District, it is about 600' to 660' deep.


Member Churella thought if it would be causing a hardship by limiting the 200', there should be some compensation to the property owners who cannot use all of their property. He thought the Commission needed to develop a proper design to be used. Member Churella stated the way it looks, it is not going to fit the needs of Mr. Brateman nor the property owners. Member Churella asked if this was the only NCC property in the City?


Mr. Rogers answered, yes. He stated the schedule of classifications might apply in other parts of the City.


Chairperson Weddington clarified that Neighborhood Center is different from Non-Center Commercial and that is a part of the problem, it is not local business, it is between the smaller local business and the large Town Center and Regional Center.


Member Churella stated he could not recommend the Ordinance as it stands. He thought it had to go back to come up with the type of buildings something like the Town Center buildings where there is one entrance.



Mr. Brateman did not think the intent was to build a strip shopping center or any kind of commercial development that is 1,300 feet deep. He thought the parcels that were applicable were those that were 500' in depth or shorter. The only change that he was looking for was, for example, if the building to area ratio for two acres is 20,000 square feet, then you could have a 15,000 square foot and a 5,000 square foot user, or some combination thereof. He thought that all of the Ordinances that are currently in place, will force attractive facades to be on the buildings.


Member Churella thought there were a number of uses that do not fit the criteria.


Member Csordas asked Mr. Brateman for some examples of two free standing operations that could meet the Ordinance?


Mr. Brateman stated it was a function of how much frontage there was. He stated if there was 400' of frontage, he assumed there would be over 2 acres and there could be any two 10,000 square foot users or any 15,000 and 5,000 square foot users, etc. He stated there must be 400' of frontage, which these parcels do not, therefore smaller uses that are recommended.


Member Csordas asked if Mr. Brateman sat in on the Committee meetings?


Mr. Brateman answered, yes.


Member Csordas asked if the end result of the recommended Ordinance was what Mr. Brateman perceived it to be during the course...


Chairperson Weddington interjected that Committee’s sometimes end up with odd results and this may be one of them. She stated the Committee would like some direction from the Commission on some specific issues. Whether there should be separate uses in one building, separate uses in separate buildings and the total number of uses per parcel. She asked the Commission if anyone had any feelings on those items.


Member Csordas stated it appeared that two free standing buildings with two different types of business operations does not appear to be too much to ask for. He also stated that multiple uses of the same building does not seem unreasonable. It was his opinion that he would have no objection to free standing operations on the same property of that size.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To revise the NCC Ordinance, 97-18 to allow two uses within one building and to make other modifications in the Ordinance language, consistent with the discussion of the Commission and to send it back to the Implementation Committee for rework.


Member Watza asked where it states in the Ordinance that the limit is one use per building.


Mr. Brateman stated on Page 4, first paragraph states, "Each business...shall occupy individual free standing building."


Member Watza suggested offering paragraph 9 with an amendment as an exception to the earlier paragraph.

Mr. Rogers added cross referencing back to the earlier paragraph.



Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney suggested revising the prior paragraph. Eliminating the lot width requirement and the side yard requirement, adding an interior yard requirement and modify the requirement for an individual free standing building. He stated he would have to work on the language.


Chairperson Weddington stated there was a safety issue with the lot width for the driveway, curb cuts and access.


Member Watza asked if the two uses in one building would only be permitted on the larger lots? He suggested that paragraph 9 could be an exception to the general rule set forth in the prior paragraph.


Member Bononi stated to the best of her memory, it was never intended that each of the two parcels should have a separate 200' frontage. Because there is no Schedule of Regulations attached to it, it is rather difficult to picture. The reason for the discussion about marginal access roads, is so that a single parcel with a 200' frontage could share the frontage. She thought it was absolutely correct that the language on Page 4 does not address it, that does not mean that it could not. To say that the intent of the Ordinance was to look for a 200' frontage for each building is not correct. For each lot, a minimum 200' frontage is required, and it is the applicants design problem to work it out to accommodate two buildings.


Mr. Watson added the percentage of lot coverage requirements and the landscaping green space.


Member Churella thought that one building with two entrances would look better than two individual buildings.

Chairperson Weddington thought it depended on the size of the parcel.


Member Bononi pointed out that it is a land use design problem and when looking at the Ordinance, the Commission is not looking at Mr. Brateman’s parcel or anybody elses parcel in particular. She stated the applicant always has two other alternatives: 1) the option of going to the ZBA, if his hardship can be proved; 2) to seek a rezoning for a zoning classification that can fit what he wants to do. She stated there is a lot more leeway than one would be led to believe.


Member Csordas asked why the opinion might be that two uses in the same building would not be appropriate?


Member Bononi answered, because of the intent of the Ordinance. The intent of the Ordinance is to have campus-like spacious sites, low impact, low density uses.


Member Churella thought that the applicant was being told that the wrong types of services had to be put in, he stated the Commission was contradicting themselves. He stated that the Commission is making suggestions but the suggestions do not fit the parcel.


Chairperson Weddington agreed stating that it needed to be looked at again, she stated most of the service uses are not appropriate.


Mr. Watson stated the shoe repair shops, etc. are not the exclusive uses in the District, there are also office uses, restaurants, clubs and multiple residential uses. It may be that some parcels are more appropriate for those types of uses.


Member Bononi agreed with Member Churella. She stated it pointed out the incongruity of looking at small isolated parcels and trying to tailor write an Ordinance to fit it. Trying to encompass all of the uses that would fit under this intent is very difficult and she did not know that it was going to satisfy everyone.







Yes: Churella, Csordas, Watza, Weddington, Bononi

No: None








Property located north of Eleven Mile Road and east of Town Center Drive, seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Chairperson Weddington announced this was a continuation from the last meeting, the Commission asked for an opinion or determination as to whether there were wetlands on the site. She announced she had received communication from JCK, signed by David Wickens.


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney thought the question was addressing whether the wetlands approval was Administrative, if it was not, a Public Hearing would be required. He understood the question to arise because of the number of possible impacts listed in the Administrative approval section of the Wetlands Ordinance. He stated the second impact is a sedimentation basin that is not within a wetland. It is controlled under the wetland setback provision in the Zoning Ordinance.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated his letter of October 1, 1997 detailed the issues.


Member Bononi asked why the material was not included in the packets?


Steve Rumple, Staff Planner explained it was an oversight on behalf of the Planning Department.


Member Bononi took exception to the fact that a Wetland Permit should not be asked of the applicant. She stated it was not a question of whether or not there were direct wetland issues, but it is a question of the impacts of the items that the applicant is proposing. She referred to the plan dated June 11, 1997, and thought there were more than two impacts shown. She took serious exception to Mr. Wickens remarks that he feels it is an Administrative permit made in the public interest, she did not believe that it falls within the intent or spirit of the Wetland Regulations, and did not believe that the letter dated October 21, 1997 proves it. She stated she categorically disagreed with the interpretation.


Chairperson Weddington stated the other issue was the facade design, materials, etc. She asked the applicant to address any changes that were made.



(Applicant’s comments were not picked up on the recorder)


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant reported that the applicant added an inch or more of the vinyl siding and they comply with the Ordinance.


Mr. Bluhm stated there was an additional letter from Doug Necci which indicates that the applicant is in full conformance to the Facade Ordinance.


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





Member Watza stated he was not present at the last meeting, therefore he missed some of the presentation. He asked the applicant to point out where the brick and the E.I.F.S. was going to be located. He asked what the lifespan of the E.I.F.S. was?


Morris Taitt from Marriott stated the oldest Courtyard was built in 1983 and was built of all E.I.F.S. He stated as long as it was well constructed, there should be no problems. It was his experience that problems only come into play if it is not installed correctly, especially where the joints are located.


Member Watza asked if the manufacturer gives any kind of a warranty?


Mr. Taitt believed if the recommendations were followed, there is a 15 to 20 year warranty.


Member Csordas asked the applicant what the anticipated tax revenue to the City would be for Marriott Courtyard?


Dennis Gardner stated he was budgeting approximately $450,000 annually for property taxes on the Courtyard and approximately $375,000 annually for Towneplace.


Member Csordas asked what the anticipated police and fire response requirements would be?


Mr. Gardner believed it to be almost zero in his community impact statement.


Member Csordas asked for the hotel occupancy rate in Novi.


Mr. Gardner answered the general market conditions in Novi are running approximately 70%. He stated Marriott historically runs approximately 8 to 10 points higher than the market.


With all that being said, Member Csordas asked why this particular area for the applications?


Mr. Gardner stated the Courtyard was designed as a business travelers hotel, it was built specifically in response to focus groups that Marriott did approximately 17 years ago. Over 70% of business is business travelers. The closest Courtyard in the area is located at Six Mile Road and I-275 in Livonia, and another in Southfield. Based on the client base at those hotels, he knows that this market is not being served.


Member Csordas asked what the ratio of occupancy would be on weekends versus weekdays?


Mr. Gardner answered at this location, if the hotel is running at 80% then Monday through Thursday would be sold out, Friday would drop down to 50%, Saturday and Sunday would drop below 50%.


Member Bononi expressed concern with the number of impacts proposed, particularly with the fact that the water quality basin was being shown as temporary, she asked why?


Mr. Gardner stated it was intended for soil erosion purposes during construction to be maintained.


Member Bononi asked if the applicant would consider making it a permanent water quality basin?


Mr. Gardner answered certainly.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Bluhm if there was any reason why it could not be accommodated by a permanent water quality basin?


Mr. Bluhm answered, no. However, the shape and the way it is treated may change. He stated there are certain required characteristics for sedimentation and at the Final review of the plans, he may ask the petitioner to make changes to it to accommodate the final water quality. Therefore, there may be additional modifications, it may not look exactly as it does now because there are other standards that will be applied to it. He stated the basin would remain, it would just take a different configuration.


Member Bononi asked if the applicant would be willing to provide any additional information that Mr. Bluhm may need as of a Final approval?


Mr. Taitt answered, certainly.


Member Bononi if the sanitary sewer extensions needed an MDEQ approval?


Mr. Gardner stated there were no sanitary sewer extensions, there are service leads from an existing sewer.


Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant does not need an MDEQ approval, they are just tapping the existing sewer. There is no construction proposed. He stated there may be leads that have been left off, that may allow the applicant to remove any intrusion into the buffer for the lead connection.


In regard to the storm water impact, Member Bononi asked if the one year storm detention was suitable to Mr. Bluhm?


Mr. Bluhm answered the requirements for a sedimentation basin are a one year storm, the lake itself is a detention basin that has been sized to handle a ten year storm, which is required in the Ordinance. The applicant will have to verify that the lake actually has the capacity.


Member Bononi asked what the possibility of topping the basin in an average storm event would be?


Mr. Bluhm answered there would be no possibility, he stated it would be very remote.


Member Bononi asked if the possibility of the basin being made a permanent basin would remain the same?


Mr. Bluhm answered the one year storm requirement in the sedimentation basin is for sedimentation purposes. The basin may change shape because the water quality requirements are not based on a one year storm storage event, there may be grass swales that are accommodated in there, there may be some storage component, it is all based on the Best Management Practices Guidelines. He stated the ultimate basin may not be tied to a certain storage requirement.


Member Bononi stated she was concerned that the application comes forward with no kind of cut back in the unit numbers. She expressed concern that the proposed parking practically atop the road still remains. She was disappointed that she did not see any movement in that regard. She realized that the applicant had requirements that needed to be met, but the Commission also has requirements that they look for. She asked the applicant if there was any possibility of cutting back the building sizes, because in cutting back the building sizes, she would consider giving her support.


Mr. Gardner stated in order for the buildings to be economically viable, they could not reduce the sizes. He stated the hardships that are being faced are that the pond serves not only the Courtyard but also the Towneplace. It also serves the two tracks on the front and handles the water for the office building next door. If it were not of the size and design, they would not be faced with some of the issues. He stated he went through numerous iterations of the site plan to try to minimize the setback variances, they have more than tripled the setback along Eleven Mile Road as compared to what is around the Town Center.


Member Bononi clarified that the answer was no.


Mr. Gardner agreed that his answer was no.


Member Bononi had great concerns about it because she could visualize what the mass of the buildings would look like. She had greater concerns about the laundry list of ZBA requirements as a result. She reiterated if she saw movement from the standpoint of cutting down the scale of the buildings to suit the site, she would be willing to look at anything that they would want to do in order to accomplish it.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED (3-2): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Courtyard by Marriott SP97-28A subject to all of the Consultants conditions and ZBA approvals.





Member Bononi stated she would not repeat her comments made at the last meeting, they are on the record and the applicant knows what they are. She had great concern about the project because she feared the Commission would not be happy with it and she would not be surprised if the applicant was not either. She knows that attracting customers has everything to do with a successful business, she did not think the site would be attractive and did not think it was worthy of the City. Member Bononi was very concerned with how the applicant makes it to the Planning Commission with an application looking for as many ZBA variances as this one, she was concerned about the quality of advice that the applicant is getting because any such application that does require all of these variances is not a good land use plan. Member Bononi felt there was too much happening on that site and thought it was an over ambitious proposal, she stated she would not be supporting the motion.


Member Watza agreed with the concerns of Member Bononi and asked the maker of the motion to amend it to have the applicant come back for Final Site Plan approval.


Member Churella asked to call the vote as the motion stands and if it fails he would accept the amendment.


Chairperson Weddington agreed with some of Member Bononi’s concerns, she supported the hotel in the area but she thought the site was being over built. She was not sure if there was a hardship or not, and if there was it may well be self imposed. Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Rogers how far the site was located from I-96?


Mr. Rogers answered approximately 2,000 feet.


Mr. Gardner answered it was about 1,300 feet and the pile of dirt is visible from the interstate.





Yes: Csordas, Watza, Churella

No: Weddington, Bononi





Property located north of Eleven Mile Road and east of Town Center Drive, seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval including Revised Facade Plan.



Morris Taitt passed around a brick sample that was more in tune with the buildings that are in the Town Center area. Additionally, he passed around photographs of the existing Towneplace Suites in Virginia. He stated the building in the photo is the standard prototype, shown with vinyl siding, about 15% brick coverage and landscaping that is about 15% of the site. Mr. Taitt stated he has also gone back to the elevations and increased the amount of brick on all elevations of the building which brings it to approximately 52% aggregate on the Towneplace Suites. The front elevation has over 60%.


Mr. Taitt stated this area was selected for the Towneplace Suites because it is targeted to travelers that will be staying an average of 30 days. Room rates will be approximately $65.00 - $68.00 per day, which is a moderate price in the extended stay category. The product is well suited for families who are waiting for their homes to be finished, it is well suited for training, and for people who are setting up at a convention center. There are no services offered at the hotel other than a small office, therefore it is important that the facility is located nearby shopping, restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment. Although not quantified, the people who will be staying in the hotel will be in town spending money at the retail establishments.


Mr. Taitt reiterated that he has changed the brick color and the E.I.F.S. colors to pick up the colors in the brick. He also added more accessories to the peaks and over the windows to tie in with the developments that are in the area.


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Doug Necci which states that he has reviewed the revised drawings and materials for compliance with the Facade Ordinance and there is no need at this point for a Facade Waiver. She did not have Mr. Necci’s recommendation due to the fact that she did not receive Page 2 of the letter.


Mr. Bluhm stated the second page to Mr. Necci’s letter was in his packet and he continued on to say that Mr. Necci’s summary stated, "It is therefore recommended that the application is in compliance with the Facade Ordinance and a Section IV Waiver is not required."


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





It was Member Bononi’s opinion that the material percentages did not make a difference with regard to the appearance of the buildings. The best that she could say about the buildings was that they could be described as "neo-nothing" architecture, she stated they did not fit in the City of Novi. She was extremely disappointed that the applicant thought it was worthy of the City. She stated the photographs that were provided did not do anything more than to bring out how blatantly the "in your face" building mass was going to look once it is on the site. Member Bononi asked the applicant to reconsider the architecture of the buildings if they wish to go with that particular type of housing. She did not think that it met the compatibility requirements to everything that is around it. Member Bononi stated there was no way that she could support anything that looks like this for the City of Novi. Once again, she saw no movement on the part of the applicant to cut down the building size to improve the architecture and the mix of materials, therefore, she did not have a change in her position, she would not be supporting the project.


Member Watza asked the applicant to restate the room rates for Towneplace and Courtyard.


Mr. Taitt answered, the room rates for Towneplace would be $65.00 to $68.00 and Courtyard would be $75.00 to $80.00.








Moved by Csordas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (3-2): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Towneplace by Marriott, SP97-29A and SP97-29B Revised Facade, subject to all of the Consultants Conditions.


Chairperson Weddington stated her concerns were the same. She thought that the complex was being over built and would be massive. She was concerned about the end product.





Yes: Watza, Churella, Csordas

No: Bononi, Weddington



3. STEVE & ROCKY’S, SP97-47


Property located on north side of Grand River between Novi Road and Town Center Drive, seeking Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval.


John Fuleras represented Antoniou Restaurant Ventures, Inc., the owners of the property in question. He introduced Rob Warner, Engineer and Tom Antoniou, one of the owners of the land.


Mr. Fuleras explained that previously, there was a Fuddrucker’s Restaurant occupying the site, it was run by the owners of the land and closed about one year ago. The proposed new tenant is Steve & Rocky’s Restaurant. It is the latest progeny of two Rocky’s Restaurants that are already in existence in Northville and Brighton. They are very upscale successful restaurants. Mr. Fuleras explained that he originally started at the Town Center Steering Committee as the site is located in the Town Center District. He stated he spent a considerable amount of time working with the Committee to come up with a solution to what he believed was problems accessing the site. The owners of Fuddruckers as well as many of the customers experienced some confusion in getting in and out of the restaurant. Mr. Fuleras referred to a letter from NBD Bank showing their cooperation and part of the reason is that they also recognize that many people were pulling into their parking lot trying to get to the restaurant. The Town Center Steering Committee directed Mr. Fuleras to NBD Bank because there was an access road there that could solve the problem without creating a street cut onto Grand River Avenue. Mr. Fuleras stated it was difficult to get in touch with NBD Bank, however, thorough the help of the Committee NBD Bank is fully cooperative. He stated he has already forwarded them a copy of a proposed easement, it was agreed to verbally on the phone and also in writing.


Mr. Fuleras proposed to open an entranceway to the restaurant site using the NBD Bank access road. The NBD opening will be adjusted slightly, mostly at the suggestion of Mr. Arroyo to allow for better traffic flow. He asked the Commission to give their recommendation so he could move forward to the City Council.


Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated all preliminary site plan application data are provided, no increase in existing building footprint or facades is planned. Improved vehicular access is planned by a new curbcut to the NBD access drive and a cross easement to be given by NBD. As a result, 10 parking spaces are eliminated. 238 parking spaces will be provided.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated a majority of the plant materials on the existing site are doing well and they will be counted toward the required landscaping. One condition carries over into the Final submittal, the addition of shrubs along Grand River and along the entry drive, to fill the spaces between the canopy trees and provide the necessary screening for those areas. As all of the plant materials on the site are being credited toward the landscaping, they must be protected during construction and maintained in a healthy vigorous condition. This might involve replacement or pruning existing plant materials and this will be determined on the site during inspections. The applicant meets all requirements except for addition the additional shrubs to meet the opacity requirements. The existing conditions allow for a 2' 6" berm along Grand River. Lawn trees need to have a 4" diameter circle of mulch and all other conditions of review for conceptual are met. The Town Center requirement of 15% open space is met, there is a park bench and a paving area which are to remain, the pedestrian lighting standards are being replaced with the black Kaiser head. Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the landscape plan.


Mr. Rogers recommended preliminary site plan approval subject to addressing landscape plan concerns and City Council approval. If such is effected, he will approve the final site plan subject to the landscape plan issues being satisfied.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated with the exception of the requirement of the applicant to provide an ingress/egress easement, he recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, he stated he would need to look at it for Final Site Plan.


Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the applicant is proposing to modify and convert the former Fuddruckers to another restaurant. This plan includes a new access point to the NBD property. Because this pad was part of the original Town Center Site Plan, this modification represents an amendment to the Town Center project.


A new driveway is proposed to the existing NBD Bank driveway. This will enable Steve & Rocky’s customers to access the site directly from Grand River Avenue and it will give NBD Bank a connection to Eleven Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo stated this was the best alternative to increase accessibility of these sites while not adding new access points to the external road network.


In regard to trip generation, a restaurant such as the proposed, can be expected to generate 51 p.m. peak hour trips, based on the quality restaurant category in Trip Generation, by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The applicant has provided an abbreviated traffic study as required. It is probable that some reduction in the existing NBD volumes will take place because of the new access from Eleven Mile Road. Volumes on Eleven Mile Road generated by Steve and Rocky’s should actually decrease from the Fuddruckers scenario due to the Grand River access.


Mr. Arroyo stated the newly created end islands should be shortened from 20' to 15' to be consistent with the City’s end island standard, this will improve circulation in this area. The entering radius to the relocated NBD drive should be 5' as no inbound right turns are permitted due to the one-way operation. He suggested a double faced one way sign be posted near this corner to advise motorists of the one way northbound traffic. The proposed signage will require approval by the Building Department.


Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to resolution of items 7 and 8 on the final site plan. Once these issues are resolved, he will be able to recommend approval of the final site plan.


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


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from NBD Bank, signed by Thomas R. Woodbury, Vice President which states that NBD Bank supports the proposed Steve & Rocky’s project to gain access to Grand River Avenue through our property entrance off of Grand River Avenue. In helping our neighbor, we gain the benefit of customer access through the adjoining property to the Town Center stores. We have cooperated and will continue to cooperate in the Matter before you.


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








Moved by Bononi, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Steve & Rocky’s, SP97-47.


Member Csordas asked if there was going to be any changes to the outside of the building?


Mr. Rogers stated the footprint will not change, but the building might. At this time no changes have been made.


Mr. Fuleras answered that was correct and stated the sign will change to read Steve & Rocky’s.


Member Csordas asked if it was proper for the Commission to approve the plan and send it forward even though the sign reads Fuddruckers?


Chairperson Weddington stated there was no change to the building, it was just provided as a part of the package requirement.


Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Arroyo if there was any plan to widen Grand River Avenue at this point?


Mr. Arroyo answered there was no confirmed plan to do it, the City is in the process of conducting a Grand River Corridor Study. He stated he was not aware of any plans.


Chairperson Weddington asked if Grand River were to be widened at that point, how would it affect the landscaping?


Mr. Arroyo stated, assuming it is widened to five lanes, it would have little impact at the NBD driveway because there is already a center turn lane, a through lane headed westbound and a decel lane. He stated the curbs are set back to the point where they will be, assuming the alignment of the road does not change.


Ms. Lemke stated it probably would not affect the landscaping, however, it will probably affect the Town Center amenities that are along the edge of the curb line.


Chairperson Weddington thought that overall, it was an improvement in the area and to the circulation. She thought it was a good proposal and stated she would be supporting the motion.





Yes: Weddington, Bononi, Churella, Csordas, Watza

No: None


Chairperson Weddington announced the Commission would take a five minute recess.











Report from Dave Bluhm of JCK


David Bluhm of JCK stated there has been a delay in getting the GIS mapping done through the City’s GIS Department due to some difficulties with the base map. The base map is necessary before the wetlands and woodlands maps are completed. It was indicated that around the first of the year was the targeted date with the delays, Mr. Bluhm stated there were really only two alternatives: 1) to complete the mapping with CAD, which is what his office uses and it is estimated at $7,000 with about 6 to 7 weeks to complete it. The benefit is that it can be immediately dumped into the GIS and would save them all of the effort in completing it in GIS. 2) to prepare all of the maps by hand which would be less expensive at $5,000 but would require about the same amount of time. Based on today’s date it would still be around the first of the year.


Chairperson Weddington asked if there was an estimate when the City’s staff would get around to doing it?


Mr. Bluhm stated through his discussions with Margaret Jolin, she was hopeful that the problems she was having with the base map would be completed shortly and addressed and she was hopeful that around the first of the year it would be completed.


Chairperson Weddington asked when the woodlands and wetlands maps would be addressed?


Mr. Bluhm stated that Ms. Jolin told him the first of the year was a completion date, not a start date.


Member Bononi asked if the original estimates for the mapping included the Auto CAD preparation, she believed that it did.


Mr. Bluhm stated it was included in the original budget, however, he believed that those dollars for the mapping were subsequently removed and used to collect additional data for the wetlands.


Member Bononi added that she did not believe those two amounts to total $7,000. She thought it was closer to $5,000.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect thought it was $3,500 and it was given to JCK to do further wetland studies.

Member Bononi saw a discrepancy between the two amounts and why there was that much apportion to do the CAD that was given to further studies, she asked why there is a total of $7,000, she did not understand.


Mr. Bluhm believed that the original amounts were around $3,000 for each map to be done by CAD. He stated one thing that was looked at was the level of detail to the wetlands with the increased data collection and this will require additional mapping. He stated this would be the reason for feeling that the dollar amounts were a little bit higher.


Member Bononi stated if in-house services can be utilized and a certain date can be given for completion, she would support it, if it was more of the same, she would not. Enough is enough and she stated it was ridiculous. She stated she was looking for very simple but binding contract language to assure that the Commission gets what they buy, on time and in the shape that they ordered it. She stated the Commission needs the information.


Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Wahl if there was anything he could do to move it along?


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development did not think that he could add anything to Mr. Bluhm’s explanation. He stated he has heard basically the same things from the DPS in regard to the system having problems in the development, therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact date. He stated the only thing he could do would be to get something in writing from the responsible parties of that Department.


Chairperson Weddington asked that it be done for the next meeting.


Member Churella asked Mr. Bluhm why it cost more to do it on computer than it does by hand?


Mr. Bluhm answered, from JCK’s mapping perspective, the computer modelers are billed at a higher rate.


Member Bononi asked if there was the option of looking outside for other bidders for a more competitive price?


Chairperson Weddington believed so. She stated they could hire anybody they wanted but in order to spend the money, they had to get approval from City Council.


Member Bononi stated the only thing she was looking for was assurance that it was a competitive rate.


Chairperson Weddington stated since it has been budgeted in-house, she would like to see if Mr. Wahl could get some sort of commitment to get the work done and then take it from there.


Mr. Wahl stated there was the Emerging Issues line item. He was not sure that the matter fit into it...


Chairperson Weddington stated that was not the intent for Emerging Issues. The mapping was budgeted for, it was planned and the work has not been done. She was concerned whether the Commission was taking the back seat to other work that is being done.





Member Bononi stated since the last Planning Commission budget had the seminar budget taken away, there was a poll and speakers and the Commission has heard nothing about it.


Mr. Wahl stated that Mr. Rumple has been assigned to the Communications and Community Liaison Committee to schedule seminars and this assignment is pending.


Member Bononi asked Mr. Wahl if he was saying that nothing has been done after all of this time?


Mr. Wahl reported he has collected proposals and has some contacts to do a seminar on Downtown Planning and Development since it was raised as a concern. He stated other than that, nothing has been done because the staff person who was assigned to that Committee left the City and Mr. Rumple has been with the City for two months and has not been able to get to that assignment.





Moved by Bononi, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To have the results from the Priority Poll furnished to the Planning Commission at the next meeting.





Yes: Bononi, Churella, Csordas, Watza, Weddington

No: None

Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Rumple to try and get the Communications and Community Liaison Committee or whatever work needs to be done to get the seminars on schedule as half of the year has past and the Commission still has not seen anything yet.





Chairperson Weddington stated there was some reference made to a new Ordinance that was being developed by the Planning Commission and the Commission knows nothing about it.


Mr. Wahl stated during the Zoning Ordinance Update meetings with City Council, the work sessions led to that Ordinance. He stated there were a number of changes in the Facade Review Process that were in the Ordinance. At the time it was presented, Council asked some questions and said they wanted it to be looked into further. They felt that the Zoning Ordinance as written was not addressing some concerns. Mr. Wahl stated in October, the Department presented the report that the planning had been done for the Planning Commission in June, questions were also raised regarding if the Commission wanted the Department to further look into the possibility of a design review board, did they want corrections made to the materials board, the Department was looking for some direction. Council said they were not interested in fundamentally affecting the current design review process other than to upgrade the involvement of the consulting architect to have a more active role in facade reviews. Further they wanted a comprehensive review and revision of the facade materials section in the Ordinance to address concerns about certain buildings. Presumably if the Department makes the report to Council, they would direct a Public Hearing and bring it back to the Planning Commission for follow-up action.

After reading the minutes, Member Bononi stated her interest was that if Council was expecting a report from the Planning Commission to be delivered at the end of December, it is going to be a surprise. Secondly, she stated she would very much like to see anything the Commission could do to improve situations such as tonight with Marriott. She thought if anyone has been led to believe that the Planning Commission was going to deliver a report at the end of November, it should be made clear.


Mr. Wahl stated it was his understanding that the staff and Consultants were asked to bring a report back to City Council and then they would determine what direction to go with that report and then it would probably come back to the Planning Commission. He did not think that there was any expectation that the Planning Commission was anticipated to have some findings and conclusions by December.


Chairperson Weddington asked if the revision to the Zoning Ordinance that was included in the packet was the complete new Ordinance?


Mr. Rogers answered, yes. He stated there have been some changes since then, that are still in codification.









Moved by Watza, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:00 p.m.






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

No: None




Steve Rumple - Staff Planner


Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

November 19, 1997

Date Approved: December 03, 1997