WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.


(248) 347-0475


Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairperson Weddington.


PRESENT: Members, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Piccinini, Watza, Chairperson Weddington


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, David Wickens Environmental Specialist, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Planning Assistant Kelly Schuler





Vice Chair Csordas announced if anyone was present for the Public Hearing for Willowbrook Farms Subdivision, it has been removed from the Agenda and will be postponed until November 04, 1998, due to the fact that the Public Hearing notices for Willowbrook Farms #2 and #3 did not properly reach all surrounding parcels.





Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive commented regarding the publication of Public Hearing and/or Planning Commission Meeting Notices and the access that residents have to packet information. She spoke specifically to the Quicksend packet but thought that her comments could be taken generally and applied to future communications and packets for all developments. Ms. Kocan stated the notices give very little information about what kind of development is being proposed. She expressed concern because due to work and other commitments, it is not always easy for residents to appear at City Hall before 5:00 p.m. to view the packet. She stated she went to the library to view the packet and they couldn’t find it. This makes preparations extremely difficult for the residents of Novi. Finally, in regard to packet information, she stated as part of the Consultants letters, nowhere did it give discussion about the activity that the businesses engaged in.


Vice Chair Csordas asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one he closed Audience Participation and announced there would be a second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.





Kay Lester wrote regarding the Greater Detroit Golf Facility proposed for the Novi taxpayer owned parklands. He stated there were enough golf courses in the area and the taxpayers money did not need to be used to support and build one for the public.


Margaret Jankowski, President of the Willowbrook Community Association stated at the last meeting of the Willowbrook Community Association, the subject of Singh’s new subdivision north of Willowbrook Sub #1 was brought to the attention of the Association. Being affected by the construction, she felt they needed to be informed so they could better apprise the residents of what is happening. She asked that the Association be notified of any meetings related to the property as they wish to keep their members informed and attend any meetings with regard to the development of the property.










Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda.





Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch

No: None








This project is located in Section 26 on the east side of Venture Drive, north of Nine Mile Road. The 1.35 acre site property is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval and Special Land Use Permit approval.


Bennett Donaldson stated there were a couple of issues in which he would be applying for a variance the frontloading of the truck wells and the distance between the two driveways. He stated the proposal is an 11,000 square foot office and warehouse facility for Quicksend Delivery which is a miniature UPS with deliveries ranging from early morning until early afternoon with a few return stops in the evening. He stated it is a warehouse for packages being delivered.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated the application was a Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan. He recommended approval of the Special Land Use and stated he finds that it meets the conditions, however, there is a deficiency regarding the front yard loading that will require action by the ZBA. He stated there is a standard that specifies that truck loading docks should be on the opposite side, away from residential or 90 degrees to the residential property. Mr. Arroyo stated there was also a provision in the loading standards that states that the loading should not be facing the front yard, he stated the two are conflicting in this situation. The applicant explored a possible side entry loading near the front of the project and it was determined that the parcel was too narrow to allow for it. There were also some problems with the internal operations and it was not a viable alternative. The loading and unloading as the applicant has provided, allows for minimal impact to the residential neighborhood. He explained that this puts two driveways close to one another on Venture Drive. Mr. Arroyo stated the site that is up for development includes a portion of Lot 16 and 17 within Hickory Corporate Park which abuts the rear of Lot 11 and 10 within Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision. He stated there was a noise analysis provided by a certified sound engineer as required by the standards and it is forecast that the noise levels will not exceed the City’s standards. There were some minor comments related to site plan issues that need to be resolved at the time of Final. Mr. Arroyo pointed out that because the project is located in an I-1 District, it will be required to come back to the Commission for Final Site Plan approval per the Zoning Ordinance.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the site is part of an industrial subdivision. The utilities, water, sewer, storm sewer and detention have all been addressed with the development of the park several years ago. Storm sewers will be constructed in the parking areas and directed to the large storm sewer unrestricted that exists in Venture Drive. The site is very flat and slopes from the north to the south toward Venture Drive. There were a couple of minor comments, an oil and gas separator will be required in the last structure prior to release into the existing storm sewer. They will need to clarify the location of the existing gatewall. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and recommended approval.


In regard to the Conceptual Soil Erosion review letter, it indicates that a Soil Erosion Permit from the Building Department is necessary as the site is over one acre in size. The application and permit will need to be secured prior to construction on the site. The catch basins will need to provide sedimentation control, Best Management Practices. The plan demonstrates soil erosion feasibility and approval was recommended.

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval of the plan. She stated the applicant has provided enough information. They have provided the berm adjacent to residential on the east side of the property. Additional plant material has been added per the request to meet the opacity requirements and density similar to the berm. Landscape buffering requirements along Venture Drive have been met, the parking area requirements have been met, the interior building landscaping requirements have also been met. The corner clearance has been met as well as the screening of garbage and refuse areas. Ms. Lemke recommended approval and stated she would be looking at the final items at the time of Final Site Plan Review.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo referred to his letter dated September 29, 1998. Access from the project is to Venture Drive. There are two points of access, one of which is for loading and unloading only and the other is for the standard vehicle access. Because two driveways are being proposed onto Venture Drive and the narrowness of the site, the two drives do not meet the spacing standards and the Commission will also need to grant a waiver of the City Driveway Spacing Standards should they choose to approve the plan. Mr. Arroyo stated there were a couple of other site plan comments and stated he could not recommend approval of the site plan because of the loading and unloading area deficiency. If it were to be resolved through a ZBA variance, he would then be in a position to recommend approval.


Vice Chair Csordas announced he has received a letter from Douglas R. Necci which states the drawings are consistent with the previous review and 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 Wavier is not required.


Vice Chair Csordas announced he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.


Vice Chair Csordas announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.


Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive stated the amount of traffic was mentioned, however, the types of trucks were not mentioned. She asked if trucks would be stored on the property, would traffic be directed to turn right heading west on Novi Road, what were the hours of operation? She referred to the letter from Mr. Kilano regarding meeting the Noise Ordinance, however, she expressed concern with the growth of the operation and the possibility that the applicant will not stay within the 55 db level at night. She thought this would set a precedent in Hickory Corporate Park and asked the Commission to be careful to ensure that the quality of life of the residents was protected.


Vice Chair Csordas asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Csordas asked the applicant to expand on the business as far as what types of materials are received and delivered, when they are received and delivered, how long they are there, etc.


Mr. Pope, the owner of Quicksend Deliveries answered they deliver 80% office supplies to independent office supply stores. They have a 24' truck deliver at approximately 1:00 a.m. to the warehouse. It is then separated into three different routes where three trucks drive out for deliveries at 5:00 a.m. The product is never in the warehouse for more than a day or two as it is not a storage area. He stated the loading was done outside. The hours of operation would be Monday night through Friday night and no weekends.


Member Capello asked if there were only four trucks per day?


Mr. Pope answered there were two trucks that go out at about 8:00 a.m. for drop ship deliveries. He explained that these deliveries were those other than the specific route trucks who go on the same customers day after day.



Member Capello asked if there was any additional property on either side of the acquired property that could be picked up in order to relocate the loading docks so it faces to the north?


Mr. Pope stated the site is rather narrow and he looked into that option, however the room did not bear putting the truck well inside the building and it would inhibit Mr. Pope’s ability for his business to run effectively. He stated there was additional vacant property.


Member Capello could not see where there was going to be a hardship, he thought any that hardship was being imposed upon the applicant by himself.


Member Mutch asked how long the 1:00 a.m. delivery unloading period typically lasts?


Mr. Donaldson answered about 15 to 20 minutes. He stated the truck will be there for about one hour.


Member Mutch asked what the applicant saw in terms of future expansion?


Mr. Donaldson answered he did not see that the business would operate on the weekends as they deal mostly with businesses who are closed on the weekends, therefore, deliveries would not be possible. In regard to expansion of the business, he explained that a lot of the expansion would come without even using the warehouse. He explained that the warehouse was mainly used for cross-docking, which includes unloading the truck, sorting, separating and then sending the merchandise back out.


Member Mutch asked where the trucks were parked when not in use?


Mr. Donaldson answered they would try to park as many as they could inside the building, especially in the winter. He stated he has one cargo van, four hi-Q vans and four 24' trucks.


Member Mutch asked how many of the vehicles could actually fit into the warehouse?


Mr. Pope answered most of the vans could fit in the warehouse and the 24' truck would sit idle in the truck well during the weekends.


In regard to the unloading areas, Member Mutch referred to the two loading docks shown on the plan, he asked if it was for future expansion?


Mr. Pope answered it was a lot easier to have on of the smaller trucks parked and to be able to stack the material in front of the truck well. He stated they would probably never have two trucks delivering at one time.


Member Mutch asked a door is being shown on the elevation, he asked if it was necessary or could it be eliminated and placed elsewhere?


Mr. Pope answered it could be placed elsewhere. It was just for egress purposes only


Member Mutch stated he would like to see the door moved around the corner to eliminate the possibility of impact to the residential area. He asked Ms. Lemke if there was landscaping proposed around the truck well to help buffer it in terms of noise?


Ms. Lemke stated the ash trees on the north side could be changed to evergreens and some shrubs could be added.


Member Canup asked if the building has been designed with the drainage system including oil and gas separators?


Mr. Bluhm answered any drainage systems inside the building would utilize the sanitary sewers. He could not speak for what the applicant was providing in the building, but it would be draining to sanitary sewers.


Member Canup asked if there was a Code that deals with parking a vehicle inside of a building?


Mr. Bluhm answered if there was a protection system for that type of use, The BOCA Code would cover it when the Building Department reviews the Building Plans.


Member Canup asked if is was possible to relocate the dumpster? He also referred to the lighting that lights up the parking lot. He asked if it was going to be affixed to the building?


Mr. Pope answered a parking lot light could be put in the back with no wall packs which shine down or there is a wall pack that shines directly down where the light would expand to the width of the parking lot.


Member Canup stated the residents would prefer to put light poles in the rear and shine the lights toward the building.


Mr. Pope stated he has not reviewed the best possible solution. He stated it may be to affix the lights that shine down on the back of the building.


Member Canup asked Ms. Lemke if there was anything that could be done with the dumpster.


Ms. Lemke answered no. She stated she looked at it when it came in and it needs to be placed where they can back in and dump into it. She stated it is located in the best place, it will be enclosed and there are plantings around it. There is a berm that is heavily planted with evergreen trees and she thought this was really the best place for it.


In regard to the truck wells, Member Koneda asked if the unloading floor was even with the entrance to the warehouse?


Mr. Donaldson answered, yes. It would have a dock plate or load leveler.


Member Koneda asked how unloading would be done?


Mr. Donaldson answered with a pallet jack. He stated the trucks are under 26,000 pounds, therefore, they would not be able to carry a fork lift on them.


Member Koneda asked how close the back of the trucks were to the building?


Mr. Donaldson answered a matter of inches. He stated there would also be a shelter around it.


Member Koneda asked if there was ever an instance where a customer makes a pick up for themselves? He asked if the business would ever be expanded to where Fed Ex would come in and make a pick up?


Mr. Donaldson answered, no. He stated the wholesaler that he delivers for has their own will call located in Livonia.


Member Mutch asked if the use of the building ever were to change, at what point would the Commission review it in terms of hours of operation and the use of the building? How much change would have to take place before it occurs?


Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney stated if there is a change in the users, it does not result in returning to the Commission. It does have to return to the Commission if there is a change with respect to what the I-1 standards deal with.


Member Canup expressed concern with the truck wells being located in the front.


Mr. Arroyo commented that the application is a Special Land Use. The Commission is charged with looking with the case before it and to make a discretionary decision. He thought if it was made clear in the approval of the Special Land Use that it is based upon the representations of the use that has come before the Commission, then if it were to change, the Commission would anticipate a revised Special Land Use application to come before it. Another way to address it would be when the ZBA acts upon the issue of front yard loading, they have the ability to attach conditions to any variance that are reasonable.


Member Capello stated he did not like the front entrance doors, he did not think they were attractive and did not think it was any enhancement. He thought this was why the Ordinance did not allow them. Member Capello asked why a door could not be put on each side of the building to allow the trucks to pull into the building, load and unload them and then pull out of the building through the other door.


Mr. Pope stated it was too hard to load a truck because it was 4' to 5' above the ground, he stated it was a lot easier to wheel items onto a truck when it is in a well.





Moved by Canup, seconded by Capello, NO VOTE TAKEN.


Member Mutch agreed with Member Capello regarding the loading in the front of the building, he did not feel it was very attractive and thought there were solutions. However, he would like to see the Commission work with the petitioner on the project. He stated he would like to give the petitioner an opportunity to come back. He thought the remainder of the outstanding issues could be addressed between Preliminary and Final. Member Mutch stated he would not vote for a denial.


Member Capello asked the petitioner if he would like to try to revise his plans as opposed to getting turned down?


Mr. Donaldson answered, yes, he would like the opportunity to revise his plans.





Moved by Capello, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To table action on Quicksend Deliveries, SP98-21A for future Discussion.


Member Koneda stated putting the loading doors on the front of the building may not be as aesthetically appealing as they would be if they were put on the side. He thought if they were put on the side, it would have a significant impact on the residents in the surrounding area.





Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch

No: None





Moved by Koneda, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend the Agenda.





Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch

No: None


Vice Chair Csordas would like to add the appointment of a member of the Planning Commission to the Environmental Committee under Matters for Consideration.









Vice Chair Csordas understood that Member Watza volunteered for the Committee and entertained a motion.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Commissioner Watza to the Environmental Committee.





Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch

No: None








Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated it is a part of the ongoing process of the Master Plan update. He stated they have been working closely with the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to establish a draft of goals and objectives. He stated the goals and objectives provide some policy direction for the actual land use and thoroughfare plan component. Mr. Arroyo stated he was looking for general comments on the goals and objectives so he could proceed on with the planning process and continue on.


Mr. Arroyo gave a brief overview of some of the approaches that the Committee has taken.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development addressed issues regarding the Town Center. He thought it was a good summary of many of the things that the Committee has been working on for 10 to 15 years.


Member Canup stated the document was very well done.


Member Capello stated one idea he would like to see the Master Plan and Zoning Committee look into would be greater density than what is current in the Town Center District. He also asked Mr. Arroyo or Mr. Wahl to ask Blair Bowman what the intent is for the Expo Center because the current location is integral to the Town Center area and if it is to change, the Commission should be aware of it for the changes in the Master Plan. He also mentioned creating an overlay for the Grand River Corridor to enhance development in that area with higher restrictions on the OST or Light Industrial.


Member Mutch wanted to make sure the Commission was going in the right direction. He mentioned residential and Town Center and stated both in traditional downtowns a real emphasis should be put on insuring that residential development is integrated along with Commercial and Office Development. Member Mutch thought there should be ways sought out to ensure that the retail development does not "shut down" after 5:00 p.m.


In regard to the traffic, Mr. Wahl stated when the thoroughfare plan and long range planning are done, some kind of communication program needed to be created about the traffic plan for the Community so that new residents are not surprised when they read that a road is planned to be widened. He thought the Commission might want to consider how those kinds of things are a part of the planning process.


Member Churella asked Mr. Arroyo if he worked with the neighborhood communities with what will happen to the roads in their Community? He thought it would be nice to coordinate with them to see what they have in mind for the main thoroughfares that surround the Community.


Mr. Arroyo answered, he has contacted all of the surrounding communities, obtained copies of their Master Plans and has been keeping abreast of what is happening in those communities.


Member Churella asked if consideration was given to what new type of wildlife would be occupying the new type of natural wild area?


Mr. Arroyo thought it was important to recognize that the habitats have been identified and everything should be done to preserve the prime core areas so much of the habitat and wildlife can be preserved. However, there would be areas of the Community that would change which would result in the wildlife changing, he stated this would be taken into consideration.


Member Koneda stated Parks and Recreation had their own Master Plan and thought it should be referenced in the document. He thought credits should be given to that Department or reference it, take highlights from it, or delete it completely from the Master Plan. In regard to the parks, he thought it was confusing. He stated the references to parks on site plans are not really parks in the true sense of a City park. They are defined as common areas that belong to that subdivision, it is land that cannot be developed because of wetlands, woodlands or some other reasons and the developer has marked it as a park. He thought there needed to be a distinction between open space common land and the definition of a park. Within the document there are several references to recreational opportunities and open space areas. Once again, he asked for definition of a recreational opportunity, he thought it needed to be clarified. In regard to the environment, he stated there were two comments, 1) develop and implement a program to provide access to natural features. He stated it sounded like the linear greenway system and asked if that was the intent?


Mr. Arroyo answered, no. He understood it to mean if important areas were going to be preserved that should be viewed by the public, there should be ways to provide access to it.


In regard to public education regarding environment and natural resources, Member Koneda asked if this was something that the Commission wanted to take on as an objective?


Mr. Arroyo thought there were opportunities for coordination. He stated there was such an incredible amount of resources in the Department and he thought there were ways to share it with other members of the Community so they could take advantage of it.


In regard to referencing building heights, Member Koneda asked if it was already covered by Ordinances?


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He explained that this document was meant to be the basis for the future Ordinance amendments, therefore, he thought it was important that the Commission make a clear statement as to how they would like to see the Community develop over the next 20 years.


Member Mutch stated there are developments that are pushing out to the western boundaries, he stated recognition has to be given to the fact that there will be growth beyond the western boundary. He would like to see the City examine where the City may expand its boundaries to the west to capture the growth as it will have an impact.





Ann Ray, co-owner of Carol’s Apholstry stated she was trying to purchase a piece of property on Grand River. She stated she was under the impression that it was zoned Light Industrial and her business has a small amount of retail. She stated the purchase of the building would give her the opportunity to compete on a retail level with fabric stores. She thought her service was necessary in the Community, therefore when issues arise regarding the property, she stated she wanted to work with the City, however, she did not have deep pockets. She stated she would like to move her business to that location.


Mr. Arroyo elaborated stating that the property Ms. Ray is looking at was property that was previously used as a fencing company. The use she proposes is a change of use. Because the property happens to be adjacent to a small residential lot, makes it a special approval use and she would be required to go through a Special Land Use approval process.


Member Canup asked if there was any reason that Ms. Ray could not go to the ZBA and receive relief?


Mr. Arroyo thought the Building Official was the person who must make a determination as to whether or not it is a substantial a change of use that kicks in the approval process.


Member Churella thought the Commission should do something to help these types of people and make it easier for them to come and do business in Novi.


Member Canup agreed with Member Churella.


Mr. Wahl stated typically the Building Official or the City Attorney would give the Department advice on the situation.


Member Capello did not recall the issue coming before the Implementation Committee and suggested that it be recommended to the Implementation Committee to see if there is a way to short circuit the Special Land Use approval process without having to submit site plans, etc. for an existing building that is not going to be changed.


Mr. Arroyo stated that Chairperson Weddington already asked that it be added to the list.


Vice Chair Csordas asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one he closed Audience Participation and entertained a motion to adjourn.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:30 p.m.



Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch

No: None



Kelly Schuler - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

October 26, 1998

Date Approved: November 18, 1998