REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 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 Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Chairperson Weddington
ABSENT: Members Bononi, Canup, Capello
ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Assistant City Attorney Paul Weisberger, 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 changes or additions to the Agenda?
Chairperson Weddington suggested if the Commission wished to discuss the OST Report that was located under Communications, that it be deferred to Matters for Discussion.
PM-98-02-015 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED, INCLUDING MOVING THE OST REPORT TO ITEM 1 UNDER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
Moved by Churella, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended, including moving the OST Report to Item 1 under Matters for Discussion.
VOTE ON PM-98-02-015 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
Steve Rumple, Staff Planner announced he received a letter from Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive in regard to Fidelity Communications Corporation Special Land Use approval, she expressed concerns regarding HVAC noise.
Mr. Rumple announced he received a fax from Tom Crabill of Medora Building Company with a letter attached from Charles Schwab of Sound Engineering Incorporated dated February 02, 1998 in regard to sound pressure level.
1. FIDELITY COMMUNICATIONS, SP97-33B
Property located north of Nine Mile Road, east of Venture Drive, seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Special Land Use Approval.
Tom Crabill of Medora Building Company represented the owner Fildelity Communications. He introduced Rick Stanbridge and Bob Gillis.
Mr. Crabill stated he has complied with the Zoning Ordinance. He thought he had gone above and beyond the call of duty to make the plan good for the City as well as Fidelity Communications.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the project is an Office warehouse type use located adjacent to Residential that requires Special Land Use approval. He found that the development would meet the standards with the extraordinary landscaping, truck service will be handled in the side yard with no truck parking permitted in the rear yard, lighting details are shown, public utilities are at the site and there are no regulated woodlands or wetlands on the site. Mr. Rogers recommended Special Land Use approval with the cheviot that there be confirmation of the 37 decibel limit by a competent sound engineer.
In regard to the site plan, Mr. Rogers stated the applicant stays within the 25' height limit of the building, there is 100' setback for parking, there is a 5 to 1 setback for every foot of height, and they comply with the parking requirements.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect spoke in regard to the berm that abuts Residential. She stated the berm is primarily 10', it goes up to 11' in some areas and down to 9 ½’ in other areas. The lower areas have heavy evergreen screening. There is a mixture of plant materials, the spacings are appropriate for the screening, Ms. Lemke stated she has spoken to the applicant and they indicate that they are willing to work with her during the inspection process so there is a good dialogue between the residents and the installation of the plant materials. The applicant has met all other requirements and she recommended approval of the Conceptual Landscape Plan.
In regard to the building facade, Mr. Rogers stated the design reflects face brick, split-face block and prefinished metal standing seam panels. He found that it meets the standards of Section 2520 of the Facade Ordinance. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval without conditions and he also recommended Special Land Use with the condition that prior to Final Site Plan review and approval, a certified sound engineer will attest to the findings of the applicant’s sound engineering company that the decibel reading at the property line is below 60 decibels.
Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant stated the site will be serviced by an existing water main and sanitary sewer. Storm water run off will be collected by the proposed on-site storm sewer that will be routed to the existing storm sewer located along Venture Drive. She stated there is a requirement for a site benchmark and oil and gas separators which can be addressed at the time of Final. Ms. Weber recommended approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated two points of access are proposed onto Venture Drive. Because of the dimensions of the site and the narrowness of the parcel, he stated there were some advantages to the two driveway system, particularly in terms of minimizing impact to the residential area. He explained with one driveway, all of the trucks would have to come in around the back, turn around and maneuver, causing additional truck noise. The spacing of the driveways do not meet the spacing standards, the Design and Construction Standards calls for 105' spacing, there is 92' provided, the applicant could actually meet the Ordinance but in order to space the driveways a little further, they would have to create skewed intersections with Venture Drive which is not recommended. Mr. Arroyo felt that the spacing standard waiver that the Commission could grant was something that should be granted, giving the size of the site and the design of the development. Mr. Arroyo provided an estimate of trip generation for the site. The applicant provided information regarding truck traffic and they have indicated that truck traffic will consist of standard UPS deliveries on a weekly basis, two short semi-trailers per month and the use of company mini vans. The applicant has posted "No Truck Parking" along the east side of the site, adjacent to the residential. The loading and unloading will take place on the north side of the site. Mr. Arroyo stated there is a standard in the Ordinance that specifies that the Planning Commission has to review the site plan and the driveways and there has to be a demonstration and a finding that it has been done in a manner to discourage semi-trailer truck traffic access to that portion of the site located adjacent to the residential. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to the granting of the spacing waiver for the driveway.
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 plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which indicates that the plan has been reviewed for compliance with Novi Ordinance 2520 and he finds that the applicant has revised the percentages of materials to achieve full compliance with the Facade Chart. It is therefore recommended that the application is in compliance with the Facade Ordinance and a Section 4 Waiver is not required.
Ms. Weber stated Michael McAdams of JCK has reviewed the plans for soil erosion and he had a few comments. Non-woven geotextile fabric inlet filters will be required on all storm sewer inlets, any disturbed slopes will be required to be stabilized with erosion control blankets, and gravel access drives to the site must be shown on the soil erosion plan. Mr. McAdams recommended approval and the above mentioned items will be required at the time of Final.
Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney stated there are only 10 to 11 Certified Sound Engineers in the state. With this in mind, he stated the applicant would have to have a report submitted by a Certified Sound Engineer and he reiterated that Mr. Rogers stated this could be done at the time of Final.
Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.
Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive stated everyone has worked so hard on getting new Ordinances over the past three years and she just wanted to assure that the Ordinances are enforced. She stated she has met with the developer and the owners and expressed appreciation for them taking that time. She stated she did not want to hold up the development but she believed that the noise would be and could be mitigated to comply with the Ordinance guidelines. As required by the new Ordinance, she requested that there be an analysis done by a Certified Sound Engineer. She stated a good Ordinance was written but the Ordinances are only as good as their enforcement and the enforcement begins at the Commission. She stated she was very pleased with the berm height and the plantings.
Jim DuFrey, 22611 Ennishore Drive stated he lives directly behind the middle of the project. He agreed with Ms. Kocan that the company has done an exceptional job and he was particularly pleased with the berm. He asked if HVAC was ever considered to be put on the side of the building on the ground rather than on the roof? He stated it would appear to be much more attractive if it were put on the side.
Mr. Crabill stated he knew there would be a concern in regard to the noise, he stated his mechanical contractor informed him that the system is the quietest system that could be installed. He stated it was true that the condensing units could be placed on the ground level, however, in this case, he found that maintenance is a severe problem and it is not a preferred way to do things. He also stated it is louder than the roof units. He stated he is providing screening around the units which will further decrease any noise, in addition, there is a parapet wall around the roof which may further decrease the noise.
Chairperson Weddington asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing none she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Vrettas commended the owners and developer for being good neighbors. He stated the project looks like everything that the Commission has asked for and he was very impressed with the way that they have worked with the community.
PM-98-02-016 TO APPROVE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN FOR FIDELITY COMMUNICATIONS, SP97-3B CONDITIONED UPON ALL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONSULTANTS AND TO GRANT SPECIAL LAND USE APPROVAL THAT WOULD INCLUDE THE CERTIFICATION OF SOUND LEVELS BY A CERTIFIED SOUND ENGINEER, AND RETURN TO THE COMMISSION FOR FINAL
Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval including all of the Consultants conditions and to grant Special Land Use approval that would include the certification of sound levels by a Certified Sound Engineer, and return to the Commission for Final.
VOTE ON PM-98-02-016 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. 7-11 BOTTLE STORAGE ADDITION, SP97-5B
Property located south of Ten Mile Road, west of Meadowbrook Road, seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval.
Dan Myron of Ron Jona & Associates represented The Southland Corporation 7-Eleven Stores. He stated the addition behind the existing building is 10' x 30', it is approximately 9' high, it is block construction with brick veneer. The roof is sloped with asphalt shingles and painted wood trim. The applicant is proposing to add the bottle storage addition to alleviate the problem of storing bottle returns.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the 7-Eleven store is existing on a ½ acre site. All application data is provided. The addition will comply with the B-1 District standards. Adequate parking is provided, there is no landscape plan needed because of its location. The facades are all brick veneer and he concurred with Mr. Necci’s report that it complies with the Ordinance. Mr. Rogers recommended Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval. She commented that proposed grades be shown around the building addition at the time of Final Site Plan.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant recommended approval. He stated the building addition is positioned in a good location in terms of providing for a large turning radius around the rear of the site.
Chairperson Weddington announced she received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci of JCK which states that he has reviewed the plan for compliance with the Novi Facade Ordinance 2520. The percentages of materials proposed are as shown and the maximum percentages allowed by the Schedule of Regulating Facade Materials are also shown. All facades are in full compliance with the Facade Chart, it is therefore recommended that the application is in compliance with the Facade Ordinance and a Section 4 Waiver is not required.
PM-98-02-017 TO APPROVE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR 7-ELEVEN BOTTLE STORAGE ADDITION SP97-58, SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CONSULTANTS
Moved by Csordas, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval for 7-Eleven Bottle Storage Addition, SP97-58, subject to all of the Consultants conditions and
Chairperson Weddington asked if there was an existing trash enclosure currently?
Mr. Myron answered, yes. He stated it was located on the side of the building.
Chairperson Weddington asked if it was going to be removed and replaced with the bottle storage?
Mr. Myron answered, no. He stated the existing trash enclosure would remain.
Chairperson Weddington asked Mr. Arroyo if there was a problem with clearance or circulation of traffic it as it currently stands?
Mr. Arroyo answered, no. He did not find any problems and explained that the Fire Department has also reviewed it and that is probably the most critical review.
VOTE ON PM-98-02-017 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington, Churella
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. OST REPORT
Briefing by Brandon Rogers, Rod Arroyo and JCK
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the overview study was assigned in December with a completion date of February 1, 1998 which has been met. Mr. Rogers explained that the report was being provided to the Commission as a first exposure, it would be sent to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee next Tuesday and certain recommendations may be forthcoming from the Commission to the City Council. Mr. Rogers stated reports were provided from Rod Arroyo, Linda Lemke, Sue Tepatti and David Bluhm on each of the seven study areas.
Mr. Rogers referred to the Study Areas, 1) Haggerty/M-5 Corridor; 2a) Sinai parcel, south side of Twelve Mile Road, east of Meadowbrook; 2b) South side of Twelve Mile Road, west of Meadowbrook; 3) Galleria parcel, south side of Twelve Mile Road, west of Donelson to the CSX Railroad; 4) Grand River, North Side - I-96 between Taft Road and Beck Road; 5) Property bounded by Twelve Mile Road, CSX Railroad, City of Wixom and residential zoning on the east; 6) South side of Twelve Mile Road, between Wixom Road and Napier Road.
(Tape defective, did not record properly - See 1998 OST Study Report)
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant spoke in regard to Study Area 1and highlighted trip generation comparison. In regard to access, he identified the major routes, M-5 being the most significant. Haggerty Road is maxed out due to it being the primary route for people to get to the M-5 interchange or to get to the employment opportunities in the general area. Once M-5 is complete there will be significant reductions in volume on Haggerty Road. He stated the east/west road will become more congested as people head towards M-5, he stated volumes on Fourteen and Thirteen Mile Roads will begin to increase, therefore, there must be some capacity improvements made.
In terms of areas that can handle the additional development, Mr. Arroyo stated Area 1 would be one of the best areas in the City because of the fact of the substantial road improvements coming on line that will increase the capacity of the road system.
In regard to Area 2, Mr. Arroyo stated the area is already planned for Office, if it were to be zoned for OST, it would generate 30% to 40% less traffic than Office, so potentially it would be a plus situation.
In regard to Area 3, the area is also Master Planned for Office, if it were to develop as OST, once again, there would be less traffic potentially being generated than the Master Plan calls for.
Area 4 is currently planned for Office and has the PD-4 on it which is similar to the High Tech Office. He stated if OST zoning were put here it would be fairly consistent with what the Master Plan calls for. The amount of traffic would be fairly similar. He stated the Beck Road Interchange is holding up this area, until it happens, it will have some dampening on the ability to fully develop this area.
Area 5 is primarily planned for Industrial, OST would generate slightly more traffic because it is somewhat of a hybrid between Industrial and Office. The Taft Road improvement will improve north/south capacity, but once again, the Beck Road Interchange is an important component to overall attraction in this area.
Area 6 has probably the worst access situation at the current time because of the condition of Twelve Mile Road and the fact that the Wixom Road Interchange is also in need of improvement. He stated with some additional improvements in the area, it could become more attractive but in terms of future land use in this area, OST could potentially be similar to what it is Master Planned, which is Office PD-4.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect spoke in regard to three areas that dealt with environmental. She stated there were two areas that do not have any Wildlife Habitat Master Planned and they are Study Areas 3 and 4, the remainder of the study areas do have some types of habitat as indicated in the Wildlife Habitat Master Plan. She stated there is a variety of woodlands and wetlands, depending on the Study Area, they either take up a significant area or a minor area. The one area she believed had the most significant wildlife habitat was in Section 5 which is part of the Core Reserve Area. Ms. Lemke explained that there are only two Core Reserve Areas in the City and they are meant to remain in tact in the City to provide a basis for wildlife throughout the City. Ms. Lemke again reiterated there are a lot of good quality woodlands and wetlands depending on where you are and they would all be subject to all of the regulations in the Ordinances.
Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant stated JCK has performed studies to determine the general impact on utilities in the Study Areas. She stated it was found that for Areas 1 through 5, there would be adequate capacity within the water system and the sanitary sewer to service the areas, should they go to OST. The only area that may have some problems is in Area 6, she stated there would be more detailed studies performed of that area and they would probably know more about the impacts of changing it to OST in about a month. In regard to storm water run off, there are two regional basins that were not originally sized to service increased densities. Those areas would need to be supplemented with on-site detention. There are currently some regional basins within the study areas that have not been developed, the future OST zoning would need to be taken into consideration for these areas.
Greg Capote, Economic Development Coordinator stated during the course of the meeting, he was looking forward to the possibility of getting a recommendation from the Planning Commission to move forward on the issue, with recommendations to hold a Public Hearing to amend the Master Plan and make a recommendation to the City Council to rezone properties to the OST District.
Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development thought some of the key areas targeted for OST development and studied in the report were already Master Planned Office, therefore, there is no conflict with the existing Master Plan. Mr. Wahl explained that the process would involve a Public Hearing because it is a general advertisement for those types of Master Plan amendments, he stated the same level of detailed notification is not given as with an actual rezoning of property. Mr. Wahl stated the question of City initiated rezonings also could require the prerequisite title searches, the checking of the records for the owner of record so that a notification can be sent in the event of a Public Hearing for a rezoning. He stated there is an expense involved in this process and the Council is being informed of it, the Department is looking for some direction in terms of the timeframes for consideration of the rezoning issue.
Mr. Wahl reported that the Department is getting an increased number of contacts regarding OST development due to the fact that the City of Farmington Hills development sites are filling up. Mr. Wahl thought research had been thoroughly conducted and stated if significant policy decisions were going to be made regarding both the Master Plan and Zoning, it needed to be based on some planning practice.
Chairperson Weddington commented in regard to the criteria. She stated at the joint meeting of December 13, 1997 with City Council, she was frustrated because the Commission has been trying to find appropriate places for OST. Having worked on the OST Ordinance, she was anxious to see it put on the map and used because she thought it had tremendous potential to diversify the tax base and bring very high quality development to the City. Chairperson Weddington stated she had a conversation with Bill Bowman, Sr. who confirmed that the criteria was used in site selection for those types of facilities. He also commented that the parcel size was not as important because parcels as small as an acre and a half could be used for OST. Another factor that Mr. Bowman brought up was Class A roads, some of the users have heavy equipment so they often like to be on Class A roads. The question was whether Meadowbrook Road is Class A or not. She stated the criteria are not cast in stone and they were never intended to be, she was trying to get some factual information that could be used in evaluating parcels and trying to identify where OST might appropriately be located. She appreciated all of the work and commended all of the Consultants for contributing to it. She stated some type of action needed to be taken. She thought the Community was anxious to see whether the City is serious about OST. She stated the City has been criticized about being difficult to deal with and uncooperative and this is an opportunity to show them that the Commission is putting the zoning where its’ hopes are. Chairperson Weddington distinguished between the Master Plan designation and rezoning.
Member Hoadley commended Chairperson Weddington for the criteria she set out at the joint meeting. He stated the report is fairly comprehensive and he would like to move forward.
PM-98-02-018 TO SET A PUBLIC HEARING IN APRIL 1998 FOR AREA 1, 2A, 2B, 3 THE SHADED AREA FROM AREA 3 TO BECK ROAD AND AREA 4, AND THE SHADED AREA BELOW AREA 4 ON GRAND RIVER
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Churella.
Member Hoadley stated the reason he did not include Area 5 was because it abuts Light Industrial which is currently Master Planned and Zoned Light Industrial and he felt it might be the best thing to keep it Light Industrial.
Mr. Rogers stated some of the areas were already Master Planned for Office, therefore, he did not think they needed to be updated.
Chairperson Weddington stated the only areas that would need to be updated were the ones that were not currently Office.
Member Vrettas stated the motion was very dangerous precedent setting and he felt it was very inappropriate. He explained that the sub-committee asked for the information, and the City Council’s direction was that the Commission was to follow normal procedures. The normal procedure is for the sub-committee to review and report back to the Commission, he stated the last time the sub-committee met, a schedule was set up where they would report back to the Commission who would then go to the Council well within the deadline that the Council had established. He stated a lot of concerns have been answered by the material and he felt it could be done, however, he stated the standard procedure of allowing a sub-committee to do its job was being violated. He stated it has not been possible until today because the information was not available, but now that it is, he asked that the sub-committee be allowed to do its job. He felt the motion was out of line as well as not being well defined as to what needs to be done and he stated he would have to vote against the motion.
Mr. Wahl clarified at the joint meeting of December 13, 1997, the request of Council was that the OST designation be accomplished by April 1, 1998. He presumed that this meant they were respectfully requesting that the Planning Commission will have acted by that date to make whatever changes to the Master Plan that the Commission feels are appropriate. He stated if the Commission did take action to schedule a Public Hearing at tonights meeting, the earliest date the Hearing could occur would be March 4, 1998. If a Public Hearing is scheduled during the next Planning Commission meeting, it could be considered for placement on the March 18, 1998 Agenda. Secondly, Mr. Wahl clarified from the beginning of working on the OST Ordinance, one of the concepts was that the District could fit in Office Districts throughout the City and it would give a lot of flexibility in dealing with development opportunities. He stated the Ordinance was written in such a way that was closer to an Office classification than Industrial, to allow that kind of flexibility.
Member Watza asked if the Public Hearing was necessary due to the fact that some areas were already Office? He asked Mr. Wahl to explain the timing.
Mr. Wahl stated if a Public Hearing was set during this meeting, the Commission would have three meetings in which to discuss it at the Commission level before the end of the first week in April. If the Commission holds off until the next meeting, which would give an opportunity to have some report back from the Committee, the Commission would still have two potential meetings to have it on the Master Plan by April 1, 1998.
Chairperson Weddington also stated there was the possibility of scheduling a Special meeting to address only OST because it is a relatively controversial issue.
Member Watza stated he would like to see it move as quickly as possible. He stated he would support the motion and stated he would like to see more areas along Grand River designated for OST.
After hearing Mr. Wahl’s report and the comments of the Commissioners, Member Hoadley amended his motion to move for a Public Hearing on Area 1 to the first meeting in April 1998. He explained because the problem with taking it back to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee is that there has been difficulty in reaching a quorum and he would not want to delay it because of that. Secondly, he stated he would be absent the month of March and he thought the full Commission should be present because it is going to take six positive votes to change the Master Plan. Member Hoadley was in favor of getting something going.
PM-98-02-019 TO AMEND THE MAIN MOTION TO INCLUDE AREA 1 FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AT THE FIRST MEETING IN APRIL 1998
Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Watza, CARRIED (5-1): To set a Public Hearing for Master Plan amendment to designate OST for the area identified as number 1 in the report and the Public Hearing should be held at the first meeting in April 1998.
Member Vrettas disagreed with Member Hoadley and reiterated that the Commission needs to let the sub-committee do its job. He stated there have been meetings held and there has not been a problem with the Master Plan and Zoning Committee being able to meet.
Member Watza stated he has not heard anything that would preclude the sub-committee from commenting on anything that goes forward in the next several weeks. He stated he would like to get it moving.
Member Vrettas stated there is a set process and when the process is violated it is done for one of two reasons; 1) the people who are involved are not doing their job or; 2) there is an emergency and time is of the essence, neither of which is the case. Therefore, the Commission should follow its standard procedure, to do otherwise is to set a precedent that would be used down the road for some other reason. He stated if the Commission wants to violate its process, it should be done for a good reason, this is not a good reason.
VOTE ON PM-98-02-019 CARRIED
Yes: Hoadley, Watza, Weddington, Churella, Csordas
Chairperson Weddington stated her only regret was that it could not be done sooner because as Member Vrettas stated, she did not think it would be controversial but it does require affirmative votes of six numbers in order to make any Master Plan amendment.
For purposes of scheduling any future actions, Mr. Wahl stated the action taken this evening does not preclude or otherwise delay the opportunity or possibility to tag rezoning initiatives in conjunction with the Master Plan Public Hearing. He stated based on the Title Search Proposal from JCK, they could conceivably send notifications and be at the April meeting.
Chairperson Weddington stated it was entirely up to City Council and she did not want to confuse Rezoning with Master Plan at this time, she stated she would like to keep it as clean as possible.
1. DEVELOPMENT REVIEW GUIDE BOOK
Presentation by Rod Arroyo.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated for those who work with the Development Review Process on a regular basis, the two documents that the most time is spent on reading, are the Zoning Ordinance and the Site Plan and Development Manual. He stated they are both Ordinances while they have a lot of information in them, they tend to generally be criticized as being not the most understandable and not the most user friendly. Mr. Arroyo explained that the guidebook is intended to put the process into a more user friendly format, it is not an Ordinance, it does not change any requirements, all it does is explain it in a way that is more understandable and can serve as a reference guide for everyone who is involved with the review process. Mr. Arroyo briefly reviewed the major sections of the guidebook.
Member Csordas commended Mr. Arroyo for the guidebook. He stated it was an outstanding and informative booklet that really helped him out.
Mr. Arroyo mentioned that credit should also be directed to all of the Consultants as they all worked hard in reviewing the draft and providing input.
Member Churella added that the guidebook was very user friendly which is very easy to read, he thanked Mr. Arroyo for it.
Chairperson Weddington asked if the guidebook was a draft?
Mr. Arroyo answered it was still a draft. He explained that he would like to gather the comments of the Commission, it would also go to the Council and he would like to get their comments as well and then he would modify it and the final format would go to print.
Chairperson Weddington stated she had some minor editorial changes for consistency and she would forward them to Mr. Arroyo.
Chairperson Weddington announced that on Saturday, March 14, 1998, there was going to be an Economic Summit and presumed that the Commission would be invited. She stated it would consist of Council, Planning Commission, members of the Chamber of Commerce, the City Economic Development Commission and other invited parties from the Michigan Jobs Commission and other organizations. Chairperson Weddington did not know what the timing was but she believed Mr. Capote was putting it together. Prior to that, on February 18, 1998 before the Planning Commission meeting, there will be a presentation from Bud Scot of the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee regarding the updated Novi at the Crossroads Report.
In regard to the zoning issue, Member Watza asked Mr. Wahl if he would like to have the zoning issue put together with the Master Plan hearing?
Mr. Wahl stated there has not been a recommendation put in the report, nor is he recommending that it has to or should be done, he stated it was an option.
Member Watza asked if it were done, would it accelerate the process?
Mr. Wahl stated if there was a policy decision of the Commission and Council, that city initiated rezoning either in one area or multiple areas was a desirable method of accomplishing the goal of OST development, then there are timeframes that could be put in motion to do it in a more gradual fashion. He stated if there was a desire or consideration of using City initiated rezoning to implement the concept, it could take place with proper notifications as of the first meeting in April 1998.
Chairperson Weddington stated City Council has not appropriated any money yet to fund the City initiated zoning work that needs to be done. She stated it was entirely up to them, they may or may not do so. If they do, a Rezoning Hearing could be combined along with the Master Plan Hearing. She stated any property owner may come forward with an application or request to rezone their property and it would be entertained.
Mr. Wahl stated the Department would come forward at the next meeting and let the Commission know what, if any action or direction was taken regarding the necessary funds for any potential City initiated rezoning.
Member Hoadley asked if the Special Emerging Issues Budget would be allowed to be used for it?
Chairperson Weddington stated it was up to the Commission, it was at their discretion, whether it was a wise use of the money for the Planning Commission to initiate rezoning, she was not sure.
Bill Bowman Sr., 30180 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills stated one problem from the private sector was that he was out trying to encourage developers to come in and spend their money to go through the process. The problem is that there is a series of different ownerships and in some of the ownerships, the property owner does not know what it is, that is likely that the property may be zoned. He stated it is a matter of timing and getting things moving. Mr. Bowman stated there was still a concern on the part of a number of developers, he thought the issues was putting the collective properties together, identifying those in the planning process and making the recommendation. Mr. Bowman thought the City would be ahead if the Commission would support it to make it happen sooner.
Greg Capote announced that the City Council would be deciding to hold an Economic Summit Meeting with the Planning Commission, the local Chamber and other interested parties during their regularly scheduled Monday meeting. He explained that the purpose of the meeting was to flush out all of the issues that are relevant in Novi in respect to Economic Development, developing property, working with the City, its regulations, Site Plan Manual, etc. He stated the meeting would be held on March 14, 1998 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Activities Room.
PM-98-02-020 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 9:45 P.M.
Moved by Churella, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:45 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-98-02-020 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Watza, Weddington
Steve Rumple - Staff Planner
Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr
February 18, 1998
Date Approved: March 04, 1998