REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 07, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Weddington.
PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Chairperson Weddington
ABSENT: Member Bononi
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 changes to the Agenda.
Member Hoadley added discussion on Chris Pargoff, City Forester as Item 3 under Matters for Discussion, and Vistas of Novi future phasing as Item 4.
PM-98-01-001 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED
Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-001 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
Chairperson Weddington announced there was one item for approval. She asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of December 03, 1997.
Member Hoadley referred to the discussion on the process of the Master Plan and the process of having questions put out for the format. He stated during that discussion, he made the point that when it was finally done, they should include or condense the portion of the 2020 report and this was left out of the minutes. He stated there has been some severe criticism from the local newspaper and he would like to have the opportunity to set the record straight that the Planning Commission fully intends to include the report in the Master Plan.
PM-98-01-002 TO APPROVE THE REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES OF DECEMBER 03, 1997 AS AMENDED
Moved by Churella, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of December 03, 1997 as amended.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-002 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
1. BROWNSTONES AT THE VISTAS, SP97-43B
Property located south of Thirteen Mile Road, west of Meadowbrook Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit Approval.
Doug Stratton of Fram Building Group respectfully requested approval for Preliminary Site Plan, Phase V of the Vistas of Novi. He stated the plan is for a 260 unit stacked townhouse development. He introduced Engineer Dave Love of Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc., Mark Abanatha, Vice President of Alexander V. Bogaerts & Associates, P.C., Jim Lemke the Landscape Architect.
Mark Abanatha stated Alexander V. Bogaerts is the architect for the project and they also did the planning for the development. He explained the Brownstones style of architecture for the project as being a grid layout and the site sets itself up based on the surrounding roads and the topography of the site. The site is bounded by Brownstone Drive to the west and a road to the east, to the north is Thirteen Mile Road. The topography falls from south to northeast, down to the wetland depression.
Mr. Abanatha explained that they tried to go with two different styles of product for the development. He referred to the 100 building which fronts along Brownstone Drive. He stated they tried to set up an architecture that is urban in nature and something that will fit in well with the originally Master Planned PUD. He stated the building is predominantly brick on the front and changes to brick and siding on the sides and rear. Interior to the site will be a court-feel, the rear of the building will have vehicular circulation. As the site falls off, there is a change from the 100 style building to a 200 style because the topography starts to fall toward the road and it is set up for more of a walk out situation. Mr. Abanatha stated the color of the brick has been changed slightly, the architecture is slightly different with the garages to the front. Side entrance garages have been designed on the rear to minimize the impact of garage doors. Mr. Abanatha referred to the clubhouse which was set along Thirteen Mile Road because there is a nice spot for the pool and clubhouse to sit overlooking the pond as well as being a focal point draw into the project. He stated there was a reason behind everything that was done from the standpoint of the site plan and the architecture to try and tie into the overall PUD.
Mr. Stratton stated that Mr. Hughes initially discussed a live-work townhouse situation in this particular phase. The market study indicates that it is too urban at this particular time. Therefore, the townhouses are not live-work, they are strictly stacked townhouses.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the area plan agreement referenced three phases. At that time they were known as The Brownstones, Phase 7; The Village Center, Phase 8; and Phase 11 on the south side of Market Street. The three phases were all referenced as possibly being live-work town homes. It was also a mandate that in Phase 7, there would be a public use facility provided which was identified on the August plan. On the two subsequent site plans, the area on the half acre park was deleted. Mr. Rogers stated the reference to Phase 7 was difficult to determine. He stated the applicant was willing to put it back on the plan as a public use facility area, however, without the live-work town homes, the applicant would like to put the facility in the same area that is required in the PUD agreement in Phase 8, the commercial sector. Mr. Rogers felt it would be a far superior place to put it rather than in the park. Mr. Rogers recommended it be a condition on any action of approving the Preliminary Site Plan.
Mr. Rogers stated the plan shows 20 buildings, 260 units. He stated the original area plan showed 188 multiple family units. The area plan provides that they can exceed or diminish from the table on the area plan but in the final analysis, they are capped out at 1,119 dwelling units for the entire Vistas of Novi. Mr. Rogers stated Phase I has 144 units, Phase II was planned at 68 units and the approved plan had 54 units, Phase IV was planned at 54 units and the approved plan has 56 units, the Brownstones was proposed at 188 and they are showing 260 which totals 514 units if they are all built as planned and approved. Mr. Rogers stated he has spoken with Mr. Arroyo and Member Hoadley and they thought the numbers should be reapportioned for the remaining phases. Mr. Rogers recommended that any subsequent phasing plans that come in should be brought before the Commission and the numbers should be balanced out so the last phase is not short changed.
Mr. Rogers stated all site plan application data has been provided. Mr. Rogers stated the applicant is not exceeding the maximum number of multiple family rental units and townhouse units in this particular plan. The R.O.W.’s are provided for the various roads.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval of the conceptual landscape plan. She addressed five items. She stated she would like to see more shrubs throughout the project along with a mixture of perennials, grasses and ground covers added to the site. She suggested that a path be added between the center 2 buildings between Lawrence Circle and Whittler Trail and again between the first 2 buildings immediately east of Holmes on the south side of Joyce and between the second and third buildings immediately east of Brownstone on the south side of Joyce to better access the amenities. Additional trees are needed along Thirteen Mile Road where a sedimentation basin is proposed, the trees should be added keeping 20 feet away from overhead utilities.
Mr. Rogers stated sidewalks would be provided on both sides of all internal roads. An 8' bikepath is shown along Thirteen Mile Road which will require some filling of a wetland and some bridge structure.
In regard to the architecture, Mr. Rogers stated the buildings are three stories, measuring from 28' to 35' in height to the midpoint of the gable roofs. They reflect a type of traditional Brownstone architecture. It was Mr. Rogers opinion that the intent of the area plan is satisfied, materials are brick, stone, horizontal siding, plywood, radial panels and asphalt shingles. The dwelling units range from over 1,000 square feet each to 1,430 square feet each, they range from 2 to 3 bedroom units. There is a need for 541 parking spaces and there are 543 provided of which 260 spaces are in garages and there are 23 other spaces off site at the clubhouse. The clubhouse is a 4,199 square foot building, Mr. Rogers thought the location was excellent. Road names should be reviewed for suitability by the Street Naming Committee. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the landscape plan concerns of Ms. Lemke being addressed at the time of Final.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the roadway system along the perimeter of the site is a proposed public roadway to be dedicated to the City. Internally, the applicant is proposing private driveway systems which are being built to private drive standards which are in the Design and Construction Standards. The public roads will have to meet the Design and Construction Standards for public roadway design and construction. The applicant is proposing extension of an existing water main that was recently constructed along Thirteen Mile Road. A water main will also be extended in the private driveway areas to service all of the buildings within the site plan. The applicant is proposing the extension of a sanitary sewer from Meadowbrook Road, the applicant will then extend the sanitary mains up to service all of the buildings. Enclosed storm sewers are being proposed to handle storm drainage. The development is basically in two different water shed areas, the south half of the site drains to the far southwestern corner of the site. The applicant will be constructing 500 to 600 feet of storm sewer to the south and west with a temporary sedimentation water quality control basin. This will in turn outlet to the large wetland pocket that exists southwest of the site. The northern half of the site drains to the northeast corner. Prior to entering the wetland, the drainage flows through a proposed temporary sedimentation and water control basin. It abuts Thirteen Mile Road just west of the wetland area, it will drain into the wetland area. The applicant is proposing storm water detention for the northern half of the site in the wetland area. Storage is indicated to about 1' of elevation contained within the wetland. The wetland continues to drain southeast and across Hemingway Drive. Mr. Bluhm had numerous comments on the plan and he highlighted the main concerns.
The off-site sanitary sewer will need to be constructed prior to or concurrently with the development to provide the service that the off site storm sewer flows southwest will require easements over the top of it prior to approval of the Final Site Plan for construction. Mr. Bluhm stated he would like to see the applicant store as much storm water in the constructed basin utilizing it as a detention basin. According to preliminary calculations, if the applicant uses the narrow constructed basin, they can reduce the storage amounts from 1' to less than ½ of a foot in the wetland area. In regard to the sedimentation basin off site, it is currently shown in a wooded area and he would like to see it shifted closer to the immediate southwest corner of the site to avoid the woodland area. The pathway that is to be constructed along Thirteen Mile Road will need to have wetlands fill to construct it properly, Mr. Bluhm stated he would like to see the pathway shifted to the north to minimize the fill in the wetland area. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and recommended approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the project initially proposed to have two points of access onto Thirteen Mile Road. Eventually there will be two additional points of external access as Brownstone Drive is extended to the east and the west. To the west it will hook up to Novi Road and to the east it will connect to Meadowbrook Road. The applicant is proposing to make improvements to Thirteen Mile Road to accommodate the access. There will be deceleration and acceleration lanes and tapers, there will also be the extension of a center left turn lane that is being extended as part of the corner gas station. This will provide for left turn movements into the two access points onto Thirteen Mile Road which will minimize the impact that the project will have on traffic onto Thirteen Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.
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.
Susan Tepatti, Water Resources Specialist stated the plan has been reviewed for a Wetland Permit. The Brownstone site includes three wetland areas, two of the areas are less than 1/4 of an acre in size. The larger wetland which fronts on Thirteen Mile Road is just over 2 acres in size. There is quite an extensive wetland system to the south which is off site and at least 13 acres in size and contains significant amounts of shallow permanent standing water. The project requires a City permit due to the proposed impacts of the road crossing, the installation of the sidewalk at Thirteen Mile Road and the discharge of storm water as well as the proposed filling of the two small wetland pockets. Ms. Tepatti recommended approval of the Wetland Permit based on the review. The two small wetland pockets were not deemed to be of high enough quality due to their size, for her to object to the filling. The road crossing of the wetland into the site is located at the narrowest portion of the wetland which is the recommended procedure and involves about 0.07 acres of fill. The installation of the sidewalk requires over 1/10 of an acre of fill for the construction. Mr. Tepatti stated it does not appear that the applicant will need to have a DEQ permit, they are currently reviewing it and they do not feel that any of the wetland pockets will fall under their jurisdiction.
Detention is proposed in the northern 2 acre wetland which there is no objection to, for several reasons. Ms. Tepatti stated the main reason is because the wetland is currently in a ponded state and has sufficient wetland vegetation that grows under the condition normally. There are a few Black Willows which are typically seen to be growing in permanent to semi-permanent standing water. There are fairly good slopes at the edges of the wetland so the detention is not expected to spread out and significantly impact any of the edge vegetation. The water level will return back to its current level after a storm. Ms. Tepatti recommended approval and stated she will be reviewing the future engineering plans for best management practices in the sedimentation basins and required plantings along the edges of the fill and within the basins. The storm water is being discharged to the south into the large wetland system and Ms. Tepatti stated she did not expect any significant impacts in that system due to the extensive size and the small amount of discharge that will be routed that way. Ms. Tepatti stated she would be reviewing the setback areas and wetland buffer for future plantings and enhancement possibilities.
Chris Pargoff, City Forester spoke in regard to the possible storage of storm water in a regulated woodlands. He stated if the applicant continues with the plan and it is approved, they may need a Woodlands Permit to compensate for the possible loss of trees in a regulated woodlands. Mr. Pargoff requested that the Planning Commission have the plan back for Final Site Plan approval to assure that the items in Ms. Lemke’s letter are addressed.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public. Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned it over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Hoadley stated he has done a lot of homework in regard to the project. He stated he was on the ZBA when the applicant was in for their variances, therefore he had some background on it. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Necci to reiterate his conclusions as discussed earlier in regard to the facades.
Doug Necci of JCK stated the project was not reviewed under the Facade Ordinance, he stated the Facade Ordinance does not apply to residential developments, therefore, his involvement was not as thorough as it would have been if it were a Facade Review. Having been involved in the litigation that is involved in the project, Mr. Necci stated he was very familiar with the area plan and the architectural concepts in it. In general, the buildings that are currently shown and proposed are excellent designs but they are not consistent with the original area plan. He stated in the original area plan, there was architectural detailing that exceeds that which is shown on the proposals.
Member Hoadley asked Mr. Necci to specify the differences or deviations that are being proposed over what they originally agreed to in the contract.
Mr. Necci stated the area plan facades are all 100% brick, they all have stone window surrounds, return cornices, dental work on the cornices, and masonry chimneys. Not having studied the current drawings, Mr. Necci stated they may have some of the features but not all of them.
Member Hoadley asked Mr. Necci if, in his opinion, the applicant has met the intent or spirit of what was sold to the City Council and the Planning Commission?
Mr. Necci stated he could not answer that question. He stated he was not involved in the original submittal, all he was going by was the booklet called the Area Plan.
Chairperson Weddington thought Mr. Necci was being asked to go beyond his ability.
Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney asked Mr. Necci if he has had the opportunity to review the facades visa via the Area Plan?
Mr. Necci answered, no. He explained that he has had about one hour to look at them.
Mr. Watson suggested that it was not fair to ask Mr. Necci whether it complies with the Area Plan if he has not had the opportunity to sit down and make the review.
Mr. Watson asked Mr. Necci if his comments thus far were premised on a conclusion that they are single family residences falling under the single family code?
Mr. Necci answered, no. There are drawings of row houses in the Area Plan booklet which are now referred to as live-work townhouses. He stated they all basically have the same caliber multi-story, multi-family dwelling units which he used as his reference point.
Member Hoadley stated the contract calls for 165 work-live in units and asked where they are intended to be put?
Chairperson Weddington stated here again, what appears to have happened is that the developer sold off that portion of the property and the builder may or may not be involved in any future sections. She thought the question should be directed to Mr. Hughes or the developer.
Mr. Watson stated the contract states that the applicant is allowed 265 town homes, 165 of which may be live-work town homes. The applicant is not required to have any live-work, they can just be town homes.
In regard to aligning the roads directly across from the trailer park on Thirteen Mile Road, Member Hoadley stated that normally Mr. Arroyo has always testified that it is not a good idea. To clarify the record, Member Hoadley stated that Mr. Arroyo informed him that if the roads could not be offset enough, it would be worse than having them directly across, he asked Mr. Arroyo if this was a correct statement?
Mr. Arroyo answered that was correct. He stated when you try to separate them, sometimes it is not possible to get enough separation. There is also a wetland that limits the ability to move the driveway to the west. He thought to line them up was the best situation and it is consistent with what the PUD Area Plan showed.
Member Hoadley stated he has not necessarily opposed to the facade designs, he thought maybe the contract needed to be changed so these questions would not come up in the future. Member Hoadley thought the design was very attractive but it does not fit with what was originally agreed to by the developer and the City of Novi. He stated the contract calls out for fencing, he asked the developer if he planned on putting up fencing?
Mr. Stratton answered there is no requirement for him to put up fencing along the exterior of his development and he did not think that it would serve any architectural purpose to do so.
Member Hoadley stated the original contract calls for fencing along any thoroughfares not to exceed 4' in height. He did not know if any of the roads were considered thoroughfare roads.
Mr. Stratton thought the intent was the main thoroughfare was designated as Decker Road.
Mr. Watson stated there was a provision that deals with landscaping which states, "Along major thoroughfares, wood equestrian fences may be used instead of shrubs for landscaping." He stated the applicant is not required to do so, it is optional.
Member Hoadley asked if there were any necessary requirements on Thirteen Mile Road in regard to any hardships to the trailer park? He asked if additional lanes were needed?
Mr. Arroyo stated with the center turn left turn lane that will be available for use by projects on both sides of the road, the trailer park will have the same benefit as the people on the south side of the street. In terms of whether or not there will need to be any additional improvements, it is generally looked at during the Final Site Plan. Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant is required to match what is currently there, they are not required to put in additional improvements for another development, they are required to put in what is needed to serve their development.
PM-98-01-003 TO APPROVE BROWNSTONES AT THE VISTAS, SP97-43B SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE CONSULTANTS REVIEWS, SUBJECT TO RETURNING TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION FOR FINAL SITE PLAN APPROVAL AND SUBJECT TO A REVIEW BY MR. NECCI IN REGARD TO THE INTENT OF THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT.
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, FAILED (8-0): To approve Brownstones at the Vistas, SP97-43B subject to all of the Consultants comments and conditions, also to return the plan for Final Site Plan approval and conditioned on the approval of the Architectural Styles by the City’s Architectural Consultant and also contingent on Council’s acceptance of the public use area.
Member Vrettas asked the motion maker to include approval contingent on the City Council accepting the area in Phase 8 or Phase 11 as specified by the contract.
Member Vrettas thought that when the developer comes in with the next couple of phases, that they keep the cap of 1,119 dwelling units in mind because he thought Mr. Rogers made a good point about reapportioning the number of units so the last phase is not short changed.
Member Csordas was not clear on how the Commission would be able to monitor it.
Mr. Rogers believed the applicant would be coming in for a revised phasing plan. At that point, the chart which refers to the units and acreages for each phase should be updated.
Member Csordas asked if it was clear that the total number of units would be capped at 1,119?
Mr. Rogers answered, absolutely.
Dave Love stated under the Development Rights Agreement with Mr. Hughes, he is fully aware of what is going on within the PUD. He assured the Commission that 1,119 units was etched in Mr. Hughes’s mind. He stated they have gone over the numbers more than once because Mr. Hughes is in the process of selling the single family homes.
Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated this is not the first discussion or awareness that has come up as far as it being a part of the development process, he stated it has been discussed and the developers are aware of it.
Member Hoadley thought it was important to get the phasing important because he did not want to see happen what happened in the Maples where the commercial end was put off until last and the developer decided he did not want to do it. He stated he hated to see the commercial end pushed off until last, he thought the phasing needed to be set and stuck to.
Member Capello asked Mr. Watson to comment on Member Hoadley’s comments regarding the phasing plan because Member Capello did not think it could be accomplished.
Mr. Watson stated one thing in the agreement for the project was that the phasing plan can be revised, therefore, the applicant has the right to come back in and revise the phasing plan. He stated it is something that is done Administratively.
Member Hoadley suggested that it become something that is approved by the Planning Commission or the City Council so a phasing can be nailed down otherwise he could see a horror story on the Commission’s hands.
Mr. Watson understood the concerns of Member Hoadley, however, as the Area Plan and the agreement currently stands, it is an Administrative approval.
Member Hoadley asked if the Administration has to agree to a change of the phasing plan?
Mr. Watson stated they have to review it in accordance with the standards for phasing. He stated they do have to agree to it if it meets the standards for phasing.
Member Hoadley asked if some guidelines could be set for it?
Mr. Watson answered, there are standards in the Ordinance for phasing.
Member Capello understood the ultimate answer to Member Hoadley was, no, the Commission could not be held to anything, even if they come back with another revision. Member Capello was extremely disappointed with how the project is developing and he was also disappointed with what was in front of the Commission today. He stated the Commission allowed high density on the site, representations were made that the work-live type of housing unit needed some type of a high density/multiple in order to survive. Now the applicant is coming forward and saying in the one area where the Commission did not want any high density/multiple, not only will the applicant be putting it there, but they will increase it by almost 50% and they are not going to give one unit toward the work-live type of dwelling unit. Member Capello understood that the market was not there for it today, he suggested that the applicant wait until the market is there, maybe it is not time to build the phase. He suggested waiting until the commercial and additional residential is in. Member Capello stated by putting the additional 70 units into this phase of the project, it is taking away from single family residential which is the whole basis that the Commission was sold on the project initially. He stated the Commission wanted the smaller lots with the front porches and rear entry garages so that the neighbors could get out and mingle. He did not see that this goal was being accomplished by putting the additional apartments into this phase. He thought the representations that were made to the Commission were misleading. Member Capello stated he would not be in support of the project and he would not support any further phases unless it lives up to the contract and the intent and representations that the developer made to the Commission years ago. He specifically would not agree to allow Administration to look at the architectural renderings, he stated he would like the applicant to come back to the Commission.
Due to the number of 72 dwelling units beyond the original plan, Member Canup stated he had a hard time approving anything further.
Mr. Watson commented on the comments being made about the number of town homes going beyond what was permitted in the Area Plan. He stated this is not the case, the Agreement goes on to say that the units can be increased or decreased in categories by a certain percentage and it is within the numbers.
Chairperson Weddington asked if this means that there will be no more multi-family units?
Mr. Rogers answered, there can be no more.
Member Canup asked for a definition of "townhouse".
Mr. Rogers stated he conceives a townhome as possibly having multi-floors, a multi-unit, it may be rented.
Member Vrettas offered a definition, he thought the key was shared yards. He stated the houses are not separated with yards, the houses are attached and the land around it is shared, he thought row houses was the best definition.
Mr. Wahl stated since the project began and for purposes of review of the project and any further reviews, Mr. Rogers, Planning Consultant, has the responsibility to be monitoring, reviewing, checking, reporting and recommending in terms of the numbers and how they fit into the plan and phases for the project. He stated if there is a legal question or issue, it is the City Attorney’s purview. As far as Mr. Wahl was concerned, Mr. Rogers is the one that will provide the Commission with any responses or opinions regarding that particular issue.
In regard to the animal habitat culverts, Member Hoadley asked if they were going to be put in where the wetland is being cut up?
Ms. Lemke stated originally it was to go on the southern boundary... (voice could not be heard on tape)
Member Hoadley asked about the animal habitat, he asked if culverts were being provided so the fish and frogs, etc. can swim back and forth?
(Voice was not picked up on tape)
Member Capello asked if the animal culverts were supposed to be dry culverts for the animals to be able to go under the road as opposed to over the road.
Ms. Lemke stated there were various types of culverts, she stated she would look at it... (voice could not be heard on tape)
Chairperson Weddington agreed with Member Capello’s concerns, she also commented on the street names. She stated it was very confusing to her, especially Lawrence Circle because it looks like it is the alleyway between Brownstone and Whittler Trail. Lawrence Circle is in the middle, Fairchild Court is on the east and Clemens Court on the west, she stated anybody who is using it or gets trapped in the traffic will have a heck of a time trying to find their way out. Situations like this are very confusing and she suggested taking another look at the names that are being given to the Circles, Lanes, Trails, etc.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-003 FAILED
No: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
PM-98-01-004 TO POSTPONE BROWNSTONES AT THE VISTAS, SP97-43B FOR AN INDEFINITE AMOUNT OF TIME ALLOWING THE DEVELOPER TO COME BACK TO THE COMMISSION ADDRESSING ITS CONCERNS REGARDING DENSITY, FACADES, LANDSCAPING, ETC.
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone action on Brownstones at the Vistas, SP97-43B indefinitely until the applicant has time to address the concerns and issues that were raised this evening.
Member Watza stated he was not in favor of postponing things.
Mr. Watson stated the whole purpose of the postponement is to give the applicant a chance to respond to issues that were raised this evening. He stated it seemed like the basic thing to do.
Member Vrettas thought it would be helpful to restate the main concerns, he understood facades to be one and density was another.
Chairperson Weddington added that landscaping was one of the main concerns.
Member Capello had concerns over the live-work type style of unit.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-004 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Canup
Steve Rumple, Staff Planner offered some direction to the applicant. He stated they should contact the Community Development Department at their earliest convenience and the Department will regroup and take it from there.
2. OAKLAND BAPTIST CHURCH, SP97-31A
Property located south of Ten Mile Road, west of Beck Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Approval.
Timothy Whyte stated he was seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval for the Historic Methodist Church that was moved to his property with a temporary use permit in June of 1997.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated it was a Special Land Use in a Residential District. He stated all of the conditions for the Special Land Use are met. He stated there are no regulated wetlands or woodlands on the site. All application data are provided. Mr. Rogers recommended Special Land Use approval with no conditions.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there were some minor items that needed to be included at the time of Final and recommended approval.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the applicant proposes paving the parking lot that is being constructed on site to service the existing building and the newly moved building. An 8' asphalt path is also proposed along the frontage of Beck Road on the west side. There were several minor comments that will need to be addressed at the time of Final. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated the applicant is proposing to rebuild and construct a new access point to Beck Road that will meet current standards. There currently is a passing lane in place, the applicant will be constructing deceleration lanes and tapers to address movements of right turns in and out. In regard to trip generations for a project of this size, it is fairly minimal particularly during the weekday. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received two letters from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshall for the City of Novi Fire Department. The first letter states: 1) The hydrant shall be placed on the north side of the driveway within 175' of the building; 2) Install "Fire Lane - No Parking" signs in accordance with Section 15, F-311.0 of the Code of Ordinances in the following locations. Place one sign on the plans on the north side of the building; 3) The building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least 3" high on a contrasting background. Note this on the plans.
Chairperson Weddington stated there is a letter from Rev. Timothy Whyte which states he will meet all of the conditions. Therefore, Michael W. Evans, has provided a second letter dated December 29, 1997 which states he has received a letter from Rev. Timothy S. Whyte of the Oakland Baptist Church stating that the deficiencies noted in my plan review letter dated December 08, 1997 will be corrected on the final site plan submittal. Therefore, with this letter of commitment on file, the above site plan is recommended for Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Mr. Bluhm stated Mr. Necci has reviewed the plan for facade waiver and indicated that a Section 4 Waiver is recommended. The church that was moved is 100% wood sided, the maximum allowed is 75%. His recommendation for approval is because the church is considered to be a historic structure and any alteration to the type of materials used would detract from the historic look of the structure. Mr. Necci recommended approval of a Section 4 Waiver.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public. Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
PM-98-01-005 TO GRANT SPECIAL LAND USE APPROVAL TO OAKLAND BAPTIST CHURCH, SP97-31A
Moved by Capello, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Special Land Use approval to Oakland Baptist Church, SP97-31A.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-005 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Canup, Capello
PM-98-01-006 TO GRANT PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL TO OAKLAND BAPTIST CHURCH SP97-31A TO GRANT THE SECTION 4 FACADE WAIVER
Moved by Capello, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval with a Section 4 Facade Waiver to Oakland Baptist Church, SP97-31A.
Chairperson Weddington stated she was a neighbor of the church, therefore she was quite familiar with the property. She stated she was very much in favor of the project but she had one correction. She believed it was zoned R-1 rather than RA.
Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Bluhm to address the location of sewer.
Mr. Bluhm stated there is sewer servicing the site, it exists along the east side of Beck Road. He stated he would have to double check to get the locations correct.
Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Arroyo where the passing lane is located.
Mr. Arroyo stated there is a deceleration lane in place for the Broadmoor Park Subdivision with a frontage road that runs parallel which connects and serves as a passing lane for the driveway.
Chairperson Weddington stated it does not extend across the width of the property.
Mr. Arroyo stated it is shown on the plan as extending the entire way. He recalled a connection but he stated he would verify it and if it is not he would investigate it to see if there was a need for additional improvement as part of the Final.
Chairperson Weddington did not think there would be because of the low volume.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-006 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Canup, Capello, Churella
3. CHILDREN’S WORLD LEARNING CENTER OF NOVI, SP97-55
Property located north of Ten Mile Road, west of Taft Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Approval.
Dave Bartone of Seiber Keast & Associates introduced Steve Schwartz of Children’s World, Gene Richardson the current owner of the property and Mr. Richardson’s partner Fred Karwacki. Mr. Bartone requested the Planning Commission’s recommendation to City Council for Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Mr. Bartone proposes an 8,338 square foot child care facility which will serve 158 children. A playground area is provided of 27,590 square feet which has a ratio of 175 square feet per child, the City Ordinance requires a minimum of 100 square feet per child. A shared detention basin is being provided, it will be shared with the proposed Homestead Site Condominiums. Mr. Bartone stated the plan meets all Ordinance requirements except for the entrance onto Homestead Court, he stated he plans to seek a variance from the ZBA since the entrance is not onto a major thoroughfare.
Chairperson Weddington corrected Mr. Bartone and stated the Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use approval are granted by the Planning Commission, it is not a recommendation to City Council.
Brandon Rogers Planning Consultant stated the access to Homestead Drive will have to obtain a variance. He stated that Mr. Arroyo and himself have agreed that it is suitable not to have another curb cut to Ten Mile Road but to access it off of Homestead. Water and sewer is supplied, there are no regulated environmental assets that would be impacted, the project design and the purpose of the use are compatible with the surrounding residential area. Mr. Rogers recommended special land use approval subject to the street access variance being secured.
Mr. Rogers stated all application data has been submitted except for a separate parcel identification, he stated when the applicant receives Preliminary Site Plan approval, if they have not done so already, the applicant will file a request for such a separate ID with the City Assessor. The building complies with R-4 district setback standards which is 75' from all four property lines. In regard to off-street parking, 32 spaces are required and the applicant provides 33 spaces, including the 2 required handicapped spaces. Mr. Rogers thought the applicant should clarify the purpose of the paved area on the west side of the building.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated this Special use requires a 4' 6" high planted berm. It needs to be measured from whichever side provides the most height for screening the residentially zoned property. The berm meets the 4/1 requirement and has the appropriate crest, Ms. Lemke stated she would like to see more shrubs added at the northern end of the berm between the 2 ash on the north side of the Spruce to meet the opacity requirements. In regard to the landscape buffering along the R.O.W., Ms. Lemke stated a 30" high berm with a 3/1 slope, 2' crest and clusters or groupings of shrubs and subcanopy or canopy trees is required. The applicant proposes a 6' high chain link fence with green vinyl inserts which is not allowed. An alternative screening wall of at least 30" in height may be approved by the Planning Commission if parcel size and configuration limit berm. Ms. Lemke stated there were a number of other items such as locating overhead utilities on the landscape plan.
In regard to building facades, Mr. Rogers concurred with Mr. Necci that the applicant complies with the Facade Sections of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to identifying the purpose of the west side driveway, addressing the conceptual landscape plan concerns of Ms. Lemke and the review of the street access to the site as best alternative over a Ten Mile Road curb cut.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the applicant is proposing sanitary sewer off of the existing sanitary sewer to service the building. The applicant is also proposing an extension of a hydrant and domestic service lead to the building from the proposed water main to be constructed by Homestead Condominiums. The access point is off of the roadway proposed by Homestead Condominiums, he noted that the construction plan approvals and construction of Homestead Condominiums roads and water mains will need to precede the project or go concurrently with the project for the site to work for access and water service. A shared detention basin is being proposed, it has been verified that the calculations of the volume is there for both of the projects sufficient for the ten year storage. The basin ultimately outlets to an existing storm sewer that exists in the residential development to the east, it will also be used for temporary sedimentation and permanent water quality controls. The applicant is also proposing a 5' sidewalk along the frontage along the north side of Ten Mile Road. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and recommended approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated a ZBA variance would be required to have the access to the internal local street. He thought that having the access in that manner was more desirable than having a new access point to Ten Mile Road, giving the existing situation. He provided some estimates in regard to trip generation. The internal circulation system is acceptable, he noted there is no drop off area, therefore the parents will be required to escort the children into the daycare center. Mr. Arroyo stated he cannot recommend approval due to the access deficiency, however, if a ZBA variance is granted, he stated he would then be in a position to recommend positive action on the Preliminary Site Plan.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which states that he has reviewed the drawings and finds that the percentages of proposed materials do not exceed the maximums allowed by the Ordinance, therefore all facades are in full compliance with the Facade Chart and it is therefore recommended that the application is in compliance with the Facade Ordinance and a Section 4 Waiver is not required.
Mr. Bluhm stated JCK has also prepared a Review of Conceptual Soil Erosion Control Plan and has indicated that a Soil Erosion Permit is necessary, a number of comments have been listed that JCK would like the applicant to address at the time of Final, prior to having the soil erosion control permit issued.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.
Chris Pargoff, 46480 West Ten Mile Road stated this project contains a storm drain that drains the area of the Roma Ridge basin. He stated the storm drain should be repaired and maintained if it is broken during the construction of the project.
Chairperson Weddington asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Vrettas stated he had no problem with the project. He expressed concern with the playground area being located between the building and Ten Mile Road. Due to the fact that a fence will be unsightly, Member Vrettas suggested building a berm and erecting the fence behind the berm, otherwise, he stated he could not support the project. He stated he had a real problem approving the project without a fence being erected because the children are number one.
Member Capello asked if a berm was required along Ten Mile Road?
Ms. Lemke answered, a berm is required.
Member Capello asked if there was a provision in the Ordinance that would restrict a fence on the applicant’s side of the berm?
Ms. Lemke stated there is a provision for approval from the Planning Commission for a wall but not a fence. Ms. Lemke stated the applicant could erect a fence, however, she would like them to look at other alternatives for the fence.
Member Capello asked if a berm was required along the Simmons Orchard side? He did not think the applicant could be required to do any improvements to Ten Mile Road if they are not putting the driveway out onto Ten Mile Road. Because the additional traffic will be brought onto Homestead Court, he asked Mr. Arroyo if he saw any need to have an apron on the south side of Ten Mile Road for left turn traffic?
Mr. Arroyo stated it was looked at when Homestead Condos came before the Planning Commission because he knew the daycare center was being considered for this site. The driveway that will serve Homestead Condos and this development off of Ten Mile Road will have a deceleration taper to serve both developments as well as an acceleration taper, there is also a center turn lane that is currently on place on Ten Mile Road.
PM-98-01-007 TO GRANT SPECIAL LAND USE APPROVAL TO CHILDREN’S WORLD LEARNING CENTER, SP97-55
Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, NO VOTE TAKEN.
Member Hoadley asked what the berm requirement was along Ten Mile Road as the Ordinance is currently written?
Ms. Lemke answered, 30".
Member Hoadley offered a friendly amendment to the motion, that the berm be a 6' berm contingent upon Special Land Use approval.
Member Capello stated the problem he had was that the berm will take away from the play area, especially if the fence is pushed back and a berm will be required along the Simmons Orchard side. He did not think there would be enough play land left.
Member Canup understood the main concern to be the safety of the children. He did not think it would be aesthetically pleasing to put up a berm with a fence behind it. He thought there could be some things done with creative fencing. He thought it would be in the applicant’s best interest to seek some approval from the ZBA if they are bound to a fence. He asked Ms. Lemke if they could put up a wall instead of a fence?
Ms. Lemke stated the applicant does have the option to put up a wall without a berm.
Member Canup asked how many feet of wall would there be?
Mr. Bluhm answered it was approximately 270' along the frontage of Ten Mile Road and approximately 280' to 300' along the east side, abutting the residential.
Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Watson if it was appropriate to put these conditions on a Special Land Use or would it be more appropriate on the Site Plan approval?
Mr. Watson stated normally when imposing conditions that deal with the site, it is done as a part of the Site Plan, in this instance, it is probably appropriate to do it as a part of Special Land Use. He stated this was because one of the things that is done when approving a Special Land Use is to decide whether relative to other feasible uses of the site, the proposed use is compatible with adjacent uses of land, in terms of location, size, character, impact on adjacent property or surrounding neighborhood. He thought this was talking about the necessity to have a fence was causing some additional impact that a non-special land use development would not necessarily cause.
Member Canup stated the Commission could require the applicant to come back for Final Site Plan approval which would give them an opportunity to make some kind of selection of a fence and address it.
Steve Schwartz of Children’s World Learning Centers stated the primary concern is safety. He stated there is a 6' high fence around the property to prevent anybody from coming up and taking a child. He clarified that the fence is a 6' high vinyl clad chain link fence which is not a painted material so it does not chip and fade. He stated it does not have the vinyl slat material that was quoted on the plan, it is more of a see through type of material. He preferred not to put up a solid wall because of the cost as well as a sense of not being able to see into it. He stated he is sensitive to the fact that it is chain link, therefore, typically additional landscaping is provided around the fence. In regard to the berm, he stated a 30" berm could be built with increased plantings on top of it so it provides a visual barrier without impacting the space of the playground.
Member Canup suggested the applicant go down Novi Road and look at the fences located there. He thought it would be very aesthetically pleasing and would fit with the class of project that the applicant is trying to deliver for the area.
Chairperson Weddington stated there were other types of fences in the immediate area as well that would be more in keeping with the neighborhood.
Member Hoadley stated he would still like to offer the friendly amendment. He would like to make it conditional on either putting up a 5' or 6' berm with a fence inside of it, or a wall that is 5' or 6' high. He did not feel that a 30" berm was high enough to cover the fence.
As the maker of the motion, Member Capello did not see any sense in putting the berm at a 6' height. He thought that Ms. Lemke could require some type of plantings and growths on the 30" berm. He thought the 6' berm with 10' of trees would look more like a wall, than a wall.
Member Hoadley asked if the maker of the motion would be willing to accept a 30" berm with all non-deciduous trees planted on it?
Member Capello stated he did not have a problem with that. As part of the motion, he required that a wrought iron styled, aluminum fence be placed across the front of Ten Mile Road.
Mr. Bartone stated it was just brought to his attention that Simmons Orchard has an existing cyclone fence along the frontage of Ten Mile Road at which point he would connect into.
Member Canup stated the Simmons Orchard fence was a fairly short fence. In his opinion, a 4' fence was completely aesthetically different than a 6' fence.
Mr. Schwartz reiterated the reason for the 6' fence was for safety. He stated usually they try to plant larger trees in front of it to break it up, or berming.
Member Vrettas suggested asking the applicant to come back to the Commission after they have had a chance to seek out some ideas.
Steve Rumple, Staff Planner suggested the possibility of a white picket fence. The cost of this type of a wooden fence would be less and it would be able to be seen through.
Chairperson Weddington stated the applicant has the option to postpone which would give them some time to explore some of the alternatives and come back to the Commission.
Member Churella stated he had no problem with the wrought iron fence along Ten Mile Road and the remainder of the fencing be done in chain link. He did not see why the Commission could not vote on the matter.
Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant was going to the ZBA for the access.
Member Hoadley stated he would be opposed to any kind of chain link fence along Ten Mile Road. He stated he would not be opposed to it if it were hidden by a 3' berm with plantings to cover it up. He thought the same thing could be done along the Simmons Orchard side. He thought a wrought iron fence was dangerous for children.
Mr. Bluhm stated there is a concern with placing another 4' of earth over the existing sewer, the soil pressures and the type would become a maintenance problem. He stated he would prefer to see a wall along the eastern side. He stated he would like to see the north/south portion of the berm eliminated and have the wall extended.
Chairperson Weddington stated it seemed that there were a lot of unresolved issues.
Member Capello restated his motion. He stated the Commission cannot waive the requirement of the applicant putting in the berm. He stated he would like to require the applicant to put some type of aesthetic fence along Ten Mile Road and along Homestead Court. In the motion to give Preliminary Plat approval, he stated he would require a solid wall along the Simmons Orchard side of the property. He asked the applicant if this was something that he could live with or should he adjourn the whole thing and let the applicant think about it and come back to the Commission?
Mr. Schwartz answered, unfortunately, he would have to adjourn and consider it because it is a lot more money than initially anticipated for the project. He asked to come back for the next meeting.
PM-98-01-008 TO POSTPONE BOTH A DECISION ON THE SPECIAL LAND USE AND THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN UNTIL THE NEXT MEETING
Moved by Capello, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone action both on Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use for Children’s World Learning Center of Novi, SP97-55 to the next meeting.
Member Vrettas asked for a point of clarification. In regard to the wall on the east side, he asked Mr. Bluhm if he was talking about as far as the applicant had initially planned to erect a fence or if he was talking about the whole east side?
Mr. Bluhm answered, the whole east side abutting Simmons Orchard.
Member Hoadley asked that the Planning Department make this project number one on the next Agenda.
Mr. Rumple stated he had a logistical concern about the revision of the plans. He stated it would have to go through a review process and he could not say at the moment if it could be turned around in a week.
Chairperson Weddington stated the plans would be the same, the applicant just needs to decide what he will be doing regarding the fence issue.
Mr. Schwartz stated by removing the landscape berm or extending it, the concern about putting in a brick wall is the residents will see a brick wall and this will not help out his cause at all. He stated if possible, he would like to work with Mr. Bluhm and Ms. Lemke to see if something could be worked out by extending the berm and shifting it over to stay away from the utilities.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-008 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas
Chairperson Weddington announced the Commission would take a brief recess.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. PROPOSED WOODLANDS ORDINANCE 97-125.11
Report from Environmental Committee and recommendation to City Council.
Chairperson Weddington reported that the Environmental Committee met this evening to review the latest draft and the most significant concern regarding the removal of understory vegetation has been addressed. She stated the Committee did make a couple of minor changes and additions.
Chairperson Weddington referred to the Comparison Draft, Part 1, second paragraph, she stated "permissible woodland" has been changed to "permitted woodland", to indicate that there is an approval process involved. At the end of that paragraph, some additional clarification language was added which states, "The building areas shall be located by measuring perpendicular distances to front, side and rear lot lines, perpendicular distances to regulated woodland boundaries shall be indicated from the corners of designated building areas."
Chairperson Weddington referred to Page 2, paragraph 8, third line, the word "different" has been inserted, which will read, "Further, the City can determine the amount of different types of tree species in a planting." This is to give flexibility in the selection in the types of plants.
Chairperson Weddington referred to Page 4, first paragraph, at the end, she added, "...as approved by the Planning Commission".
Chairperson Weddington expressed a concern with the application in situations of lot splits. She stated it was not defined or covered. She stated with the changes in the land division statutes, there will be more lots splits coming in and she thought the same regulations should apply to those building sites as well as to subdivisions, parcels and site condo building sites.
Chris Pargoff, City Forester stated when the applicant comes in for a building permit, they require a bond on trees that are proposed for removal. He stated this is already done on any lot split.
Chairperson Weddington was concerned just as long as they do not fall through the cracks.
Ms. Lemke addressed Member Hoadley’s concern as to why Spruce was eliminated from the list. Ms. Lemke stated they were looking for native plant materials, she stated Black Spruce and White Pines could be added back in.
Member Hoadley stated there were some other types of non-deciduous trees that are not on the list that he would like to see added.
Mr. Pargoff stated the biggest problem normally, is they do not run into like for like replacements with pine tree removals. This is why a lot of pine trees were not put in.
Member Hoadley stated he would like to see a time limit put in, regarding the developer knocking down the woodland protective fences. He understood that there was a bonding for it but he also thought there should be some sort of a time limit where they have to get it back up.
Mr. Pargoff stated he and Ms. Lemke addressed it and they both feel that 24 hours is an adequate time amount and this is what has been put into the Woodlands Permits. Mr. Pargoff stated he would not have a problem adding it in the Ordinance on Page 6 under number 2.
Member Hoadley stated in his subdivision, he has experienced root girdling because of improper planting of trees and also the non-cutting of nylon ropes that hold the burlap on the trees which resulted in the loss of some trees. He thought there should be something in the Ordinance that requires the developer to cut the burlap back, release the tension on the ropes and dig the hold deep enough to prevent root girdling.
Mr. Pargoff thought the Planning Commission addressed these issues in the changes to the Zoning Ordinance 2509 when the put in a City Planting detail that requires the removal of all binding cords around the trunk of the tree.
Ms. Lemke thought some language needed to be added to the current Zoning Ordinance 37-8(b), paragraph 7 would read, "Approved through inspection by the city; site inspection of planted ... (unable to hear voice on tape).
Member Capello asked if "builder" was defined anywhere in the Ordinance? He stated the distinction is, if a homeowner pulls his permit and he hires his own general contractor, who is the builder, the homeowner or the general contractor? Member Capello stated there should be some distinction.
In regard to the 24 hour requirement to put up the fence, Member Capello asked if it was saying before a Michigan State University standard fence is required, the applicant has 24 hours to put the fence up?
Mr. Pargoff answered, no. He stated there would be several violations before he would go to the Michigan State Fencing Detail because it is basically a wood corral type fence to the height of 8' and it is a lot more stringent.
Member Capello said all that is stated in the Ordinance is if the fence is taken down or if a violation is written for the fence being taken down, at that point the Michigan State fence could be required.
Mr. Pargoff stated the proposal was to put the fence back up with DPW workers and if that was not sufficient and continued to be ignored, then the Michigan State fence would be required to be put up.
Member Capello stated that was not written anywhere and suggested outlining something like it in the Ordinance as opposed to just procedures.
Member Capello referred to Part III, Subsection C, last sentence. It was beyond him, how the Ordinance could tell someone that they cannot cut their trees down. However, if they do, they have to plant three more and they cannot use them to plant other planting requirements on their property. He thought they should be used for landscaping.
Mr. Pargoff clarified that it says it does not substitute for the landscape requirements. They have landscape requirements in addition to the replantings. He stated he has been allowing applicants to use the woodlands to supplement the requirements over and above their landscaping.
Mr. Watson added that there is a provision in the landscaping requirements that corresponds to it.
Member Capello thought the applicant should be given credit for the trees they plant since they were going back on their property to enhance it.
Member Vrettas did not agree with Member Capello. He stated if that is done, it encourages people to tear out woodlands thinking if they replant some trees elsewhere on their property, that it would account for the woodland. He stated there is a difference between landscaping around a house for personal reasons and a woodland. He stated the current Ordinance inhibits the applicant from tearing down a woodland tree because they must pay to do so, he believed Member Capello’s approach would encourage the applicant to take down the trees.
Member Hoadley agreed with Member Vrettas.
PM-98-01-009 TO FORWARD THE LATEST DRAFT OF ORDINANCE 97-125 TO CITY COUNCIL, WHICH INCORPORATES THE ADDITIONS AND CHANGES MADE BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE AS WELL AS MS. LEMKE’S COMMENTS AND THE ADDITION OF WHITE SPRUCE AND BLACK SPRUCE TO THE PLANT LIST, THE 24 HOUR LIMITATION AND THE USE OF THE CITY TREE PLANTING DETAIL
Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To forward the latest draft of Ordinance 97-125 to City Council, which incorporates the additions and changes made by the Environmental Committee as well as Ms. Lemke’s comments and the addition of White Spruce and Black Spruce to the plant list, the 24 hour limitation and the use of the City tree planting detail.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-009 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Canup, Capello
2. PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM AND BUDGET (FISCAL YEAR 1998/1999)
Recommendation to City Administration
Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated the document is intended as a recommendation from the Planning Commission to the Administration who would then forward it to City Council. After the Administration has gone through the process of reviewing the submittals and makes recommendations of its own, it goes on to City Council for discussions which the Planning Commission participates in.
He stated this budget is particularly important because it is the combination of the 1993 Master Plan to be completed before the year 2000. He stated a number of pieces of the Master Plan have already been completed such as the research, data and other surveys, however, the final writing of a new Master Plan has not been completed yet. The key elements in the proposed Work Program are the completion, the Land Use Plan update, the Residential Density Area Plan update, the Thoroughfare Plan update and a publication element for the Master Plan. This makes up $40,916 of the proposed $72,916 budget.
Mr. Wahl stated the format for the document has evolved over a number of years. The Planning Studies and Budget Committee have had several meetings on it. The objective is to have it forwarded to the Administration as soon as possible. He stated if there is something that is problematic with it, there may still be two more weeks to mull it over, however, he is required to get it in as soon as possible during the month of January. Mr. Wahl offered that the Committee may feel free to supplement the introduction to ‘’the budget.
PM-98-01-010 TO FORWARD IT TO BE SUBMITTED FOR BUDGET PREPARATION
Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hoadley.
PM-98-01-011 TO AMEND THE MOTION TO INCREASE THE BOTTOM LINE FROM $72,916 TO $74,916
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To submit a budget request to the Administration for $74,916 which reflects an increase in the Conferences and Workshops budget to $3,500.
Member Hoadley thought there should be some additions. He stated he would like to see the Conferences and Workshops increased to $3,500. He stated the Commission has been denying themselves the ability to go to some of the more important conferences because there was no money, he thought $1,500 was shorting the Commission. Secondly, he stated he brought up an issue that the Planning Commission agreed with in regard to conducting a study on facades for service stations and he did not see it included in the budget. He stated he would like to see detail for it or he would like an agreement that it could come out of the $13,900.
Chairperson Weddington believed this issue was referred to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to be addressed.
Mr. Wahl gave a suggestion, it was his guess that it could be done under the Emerging Issues Budget, he stated there has not been much spending of this years allocation and this would be something that could get on right away. He suggested that the Committee meet again possibly on Tuesday, January 27, 1998 in the afternoon to address this issue. He stated there has apparantly been quite a bit of confusion over the public input that is being expanded upon as part of the Land Use Plan and the Density Plan. He stated somehow people are confusing it with the Novi 2020 Visioning Process. He stated they are separate and distinct responsibilities, one initiated by City Council, the other a responsibility of the Planning Commission and somehow the differentiation has been confused. He stated he has received a number of calls asking what the Planning Commisson was doing with the Community Attitude Survey. Mr. Wahl stated the Commission was aware that last year as part of the budget process, the City Council effectively has approved and signed off on the Public Participation element that is going to be done this fiscal year. In time and other duties, he thought the $5,000 element of the budget was forgotten about. Mr. Wahl stated he would be forwarding a clarification to City Council regarding what exactly the Community Attitude Survey was intended to do. He asked the Chair for the ability to further discuss the issue because he thought it would be detrimental to the process of updating the entire Master Plan which is quite an overwhelming amount of time and effort on the part of everyone, if there is a digression off into a big controversy about one aspect of the update of the Master Plan. He has received a number of calls and questions, so he has requested that the Committee take another look at it and make sure that a Community Attitude Survey is what they want to do and what the other alternatives were. He stated he wanted the Commission to be aware of it because there is quite a responsibility with updating the Master Plan, it is a lot of work and he would hate to see everyone get into a lot of confusion over one element of it, which has really very little to do with the Novi 2020 Visioning Statement. He believed Council would be looking at the 2020 Program as a separate issue on their own.
Member Hoadley stated the Planning Commission has already approved that as a process to develop the Final Master Plan. He thought in order to change anything there would have to be another vote and he was not willing to change because he thought it was a very good plan. He thought the Novi News was responsible for the problem because they do not understand what the Commission is trying to accomplish, they do not understand the Planning Commission’s responsibilities to develop a Master Plan.
Member Canup agreed with Member Hoadley that $1,500 for Conferences and Workshops was not a lot he suggested taking money from Research on Emerging Issues.
Mr. Wahl stated the Conferences and Workshops line item has been substantially more in the past, however, for certain reasons, the Planning Commission determined that they were not interested in sending that many members to conferences and instead, Planning Education through its own initiative should be expanded upon, this is the reason for the Seminar Program. He stated if any Commissioners wish to attend the Annual APA Conference, it should be noted now because otherwise the money might not be available.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-011 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Watza, Weddington, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. DISCUSSION ON CHRIS PARGOFF, CITY FORESTER
Member Hoadley felt personally responsible for Chris Pargoff, City Forester being taken out of the planning process. He hoped he was not the cause of it and recalled a debate with Linda Lemke a while back. Member Hoadley stated when he first came onto the Commission he thought two people giving a review on the same thing was an overkill, however, over the four years he has come to appreciate the expertise that the Commission receives from both Ms. Lemke and Mr. Pargoff as well as all of the Consultants. He thought the more information that can be brought to the table the better, whether he agrees with the comments of Mr. Pargoff or not. He stated the idea was to have the information available for the Commission to consider and be a part of the debate so that better planning decisions could be made.
PM-98-01-012 TO SEND A RESOLUTION TO TONY NOWICKI, DIRECTOR OF DPW TO ALLOW CHRIS PARGOFF TO CONTINUE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS AS HE HAS IN THE PAST
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas.
Member Churella asked who took Mr. Pargoff off? He thought the person who directed Mr. Nowicki to take Mr. Pargoff off should redirect him.
Chairperson Weddington stated a request would be sent to the City Manager.
Member Csordas was not sure that the Commission understood what the issue was. He stated he did not have anything against Mr. Pargoff and he would support a recommendation to the Administration to review the issue.
Member Capello agreed with Member Csordas, he suggested that the Commission find out what was going on before making any recommendations.
Member Csordas added that the Commission was making assumptions based on an article printed in the newspaper and he did not think it was proper. He thought it was a professional decision for the Administration to make and recommended that they revisit the issue.
PM-98-01-013 TO AMEND THE MOTION TO SEND A REQUEST TO THE CITY MANAGER TO RECONSIDER THE PARTICIPATION OF THE CITY FORESTER IN THE PLANNING STUDIES AND PROCESS BECAUSE HE OFFERS VALUABLE EXPERTISE AND INFORMATION THAT THE COMMISSION FEELS IS NEEDED
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-2): To reconsider the participation of the City Forester in the planning studies process because he offers valuable expertise and information that the Commission feels is needed.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-013 CARRIED
Yes: Weddington, Capello, Canup, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza
No: Churella, Csordas
2. VISTAS OF NOVI FUTURE PHASING
Member Hoadley stated he would like to send some kind of recommendation to the Planning Department and Consultants that all future submissions for phasing be accompanied with the proper phasing map, a copy of the contract, a copy of the book and if the applicant is going to change numbers on a different phase that they also provide the Commission with where they are going to add or subtract units.
1. UPDATE ON FREE SEMINARS AVAILABLE TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Report by Staff Planner Steve Rumple.
Steve Rumple, Staff Planner stated he was unable to fit it in on this Agenda giving length of it. He made the Commission aware that they have not forgotten about it, it will just be an item that will be fit in on a light Agenda.
Member Csordas felt obligated to tell the Commission that the Capital Improvements Committee met this evening and due to the length of the meeting, the Planning Commission can expect a preliminary report on some of the issues coming in front of the CIP and Councilmember Lorenzo.
PM-98-01-014 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:20 P.M.
Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:20 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-98-01-014 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
Steve Rumple - Staff Planner
Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr
January 14, 1998
Date Approved: January 21, 1998