REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairperson Csordas
PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Churella, Chairperson Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Watza (arrived late)
ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber, Assistant City Attorney Paul Weisberger, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Planning Assistant Beth Brock
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Csordas asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?
PM-99-09-226 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED
Moved by Csordas, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To approve the Agenda as presented.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-226 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini
Peter Valdez stated that his main concern is the lack of traffic light on Eleven-Mile and Beck. He asked what is happening with it?
Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated that there is a traffic signal coming to this intersection hopefully in the fall. There has been some construction at the intersection to prepare for it. The signal is currently under design. He could not give him an exact date.
Mr. Valdez stated that another problem is the traffic. Beck Road is used as a raceway on Saturday and Sunday between 6-8:30. Two out of three cars that go through are driving at 50-60 mph. He thinks that this is uncalled for and more police are needed over in this area.
Gerold and Beth Winsheimer, 47200 Eleven Mile Road, stated that they are in objection to the zoning change on Beck Road near Eleven Mile from residential to multiple-family use. They state that it will cause much more traffic on Beck Road and will make it even harder for them to get out of their subdivision.
Jean Grant, 41824 Cherry Hill, in regards to the Gateway issue. She stated that she listened to the initial presentation by Mr. Wahl and Mr. Arroyo at the Planning Commission meeting on September 01. She stated that she has some concerns that she wants to make sure that what the Planning Commission discussed is what is carried through. She stated that she would like it to be the use that was discussed - mixed use of commercial, office, and multiple family residents. She feels that the Gateway community is going to be the gateway to the downtown area and wants it to be presentable the way that it was done. It is a very important issue that needs to be addressed and looked at because it could be an exciting residential area. She would like to make sure that the architecture appearance is right so that it will go along with the residents that already there and not give them any decrease in property values. She stated that she has lived on Cherry Hill for twenty-one (21) years and that the Association would like to the project to be done the way the Planning Commission stated that it would be done. She would like it to look like a whole community so the atmosphere will be proper and the city and downtown will look like a nice place to go walking, shopping, and eating at.
Benjamin and Maylene Chaska, 49650 Deer Run Road, stated that they would like to see the following conditions applied before approval. One, all Deer Run Association covenants is met. Two, they oppose the waiver of the sidewalk requirement. Three, the Deer Run Association covenants can only be overruled by consent of more than fifty (50) percent of the current homeowners who live on Deer Run. Runny Run or Mr. Langdon cannot invalidate any of the covenants. Four, no house is similar in size or appearance to any other house.
Chairperson Csordas announced there was an item on the Consent Agenda.
PM-99-09-227 TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA, WHICH HAD ONE ITEM OF THE COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION
Moved by Canup, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda, which had one item of the Community Credit Union.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-227 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini
Mr. Wahl introduced Tamara Buswinka from Superior Township and a Planning Commissioner from Plymouth. She has her Masters Degree in City Planning from Michigan State University.
Mr. Wahl introduced Beth Brock as the Planning Assistant and she also has a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
This 9 unit single family residential site condominium project is located in Section 31, on the west side of Garfield Road. The 9.78 acre project is zoned RA, Residential Acreage. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Clif Seiber, Seiber Keast and Associates stated that he is representing the petitioner, Runny Run LLC. He stated that Deer Run is a site condominium which consists of nine (9) lots. The road on which it fronts is Deer Run, which is an existing road dedicated to the city of Novi last December. The project will be served with sanitary sewer extension from the Park Place project, which is currently under construction. The water supply is through the use of individual wells. He is planning on asking the City Council for a waiver on the sidewalk requirement. City Council did waive sidewalks within the Park Place Development and the first half of Deer Run was constructed without sidewalks. This would leave this section between the two (2) and does not appear to serve a purpose to provide sidewalks for just this small section. He is planning on going to City Council asking for a waiver on the sidewalk. In addition, the roadway is an open ditch design, which does not lend itself to sidewalk construction. It was requested that any general or limited common element areas be identified. However, because it is an existing city road and there are no parks there is no general common element or a limited common element. All of the lots or unit areas are completely units so therefore there are general or limited common elements there.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would begin by going over the August 24 planning review. This is a preliminary site plan because it is a site condominium. As the applicant has indicated, they are proposing nine (9) lots in this particular development. This project is a little unusual because this project started off as a construction of a roadway with the partitioning of lots through the land division process. It was not a standard subdivision or site condominium as you are normally used to. The entire Deer Run project started off through land divisions and the construction of a road which the City Council did address and approve. Now they are at the westerly section of this component, the road is already in, and they are proposing a condominium for this westerly portion of the project. This enables them to yield more lots in this particular area then they would if they went through the conventional land division process through lot splits. There is an existing cul-de-sac of Deer Run and the emergency access connection, which leads into the Park Place subdivision. When Park Place came before the Planning Commissioners, it was a significant issue for both Park Place and Deer Run. He would like to clarify that the emergency access connection is going in as part of Park Place. He is currently going through the final review on the sub-engineering drawings on the project and should be commencing construction shortly. His recommendation on this project is negative for one (1) reason and this is because of the sidewalks. The ordinance requires that if a new subdivision or site condominium comes forward that five (5) foot sidewalks be built on both sides of the local roadways. This is an unusual situation because the remainder of the first phase took place without sidewalks because of the process. In addition, he thinks it may have started even before there were requirements to put in sidewalks in R-A subdivisions. There was a time when you were not required in an R-A district to have sidewalks at all. He thinks the applicant is going to be in a position to be requesting a waiver or variance from this issue. He stated that he has had some brief discussion with Mr. Weisberger on it. He asked that when he is done that Mr. Weisberger could comment on whether or not it is appropriate for it to be a ZBA variance or a City Council waiver. It is in both the Zoning Ordinance and the Design and Construction Standards. The applicant meets the minimum lot size, lot width, and all of the minimum setback requirements so with the exception of the one (1) outstanding item he is in a position to recommend approval.
His traffic review letter was a pretty straightforward review from a traffic perspective because the road system is principally in place. He pointed out the emergency access connection to Park Place, which is going to be constructed by others. The emergency access will have a gate across it so that there will not be a free flow of traffic between the two-(2) subdivisions. He is recommending approval based upon his traffic review of August 25.
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated that he had also reviewed the plan. The plan is not proposing public water, there is none in the area, and they are proposing wells as the applicant has mentioned. Sanitary sewer is being proposed in through Park Place. One comment that would like to make regarding sanitary sewer is that there is one (1) lot that is proposed to be served by a pumping facility. However, it does appear that there is enough depth to squeeze it into a gravity system. The roads are existing public roads, have ditches but no curbs. All of the drainage from the lots will be utilizing the ditches flowing to the east into a detention basin that is proposed. The water quality controls would all be confined to the ditches and he feels that they are very good water quality controls. There are some issues related to the detention on one (1) of the lots. However, he thinks that when it comes to final he will find that the detention will not be on that lot. The details that were provided are appearing that they are going to show that that is not required. If it is, the applicant will have to get a Council variance, if it is not there is no variance required and would be acceptable as is. He feels that this plan demonstrates engineering feasibility, his other comments can be addressed at final, and he is recommending approval.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated that she reviewed the plans and is recommending approval per the comments in her August 26 letter, which can be addressed at final. She stated that there are woodlands on the western edge of the property and the applicant is not going into them at all. They will be required to have protective fencing along them and has been indicated on the plans.
Chairperson Csordas stated that he does not see a wetland review so he is assuming that there is no wetland.
Mr. Bluhm stated that there are no wetlands.
Chairperson Csordas announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.
Cindy Gronegan stated that she has lived on Garfield Road for nineteen (19) years. She is representing the residents on Garfield Road and Deer Run to reaffirm the emergency road access. She would like to make sure that this is not changed now that the site condominiums are coming. She worked very hard last year with the Planning Department, Planning Commission and City Council. It has been approved and is to be brick pavers with a gate. She realizes that this is separate from the site but she and the residents would like to see it in, installed, and working prior to the construction of the site.
Chairperson Csordas asked what the requirement for the access road?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it is actually tied to the Park Place subdivision project and is principally on the property associated with that project as well as the easement. The actual scheduling of construction will be coincident with Park Place subdivision. The only part that would be associated with this project would be the stub connection to the property line, which is just a very short distance. After that, it is really under the requirements and the responsibility of the Park Place subdivision for them to put it in place. It may not be in at the time that the first units are going in for this project because he cannot require for it to go in when it is being built on another piece of property. He thinks that it is good news that Park Place is moving forward and it appears to be progressing so hopefully it will be in line shortly.
Donna Maloniol, representing the Chaskas on the builder on parcel EF that is currently under construction. Currently, her property, E-F1, and all of the F parcels which include the two-(2) adjacent lots are under a fire suppression system. She wants to know how the Planning Commission is going to address that. She would like to know if it would be waived because she would like to have her parcel waived also.
Chairperson Csordas stated that he has a letter from the City of Novi Fire Department. The above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended. It should be noted that a previous Construction Board of Appeals decision requires these buildings to be protected with residential fire sprinkler system. This is signed Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal.
Ms. Maloniol asked if this is going to be waived on her existing parcel? Also, when she was doing the excavation on the F-1 portion of her property she ran into three (3) buried, underground culverts that are draining into F-2 and she would like to make sure that they are ripped out. She stated that there are still outstanding fines left on parcel E from a wetlands mitigation suit. This held up her building permit for two (2) months. She would like to find out if these fines, that were addressed to Mr. Langan and Mr. Joe Jurak could be addressed. She questions whether gas will be available to the new subdivision and if she could tap into it?
Chairperson Csordas asked exactly where her property is?
Ms. Maloniol stated that she has the existing house under construction, E-F1. She stated that Chris Weber, one of the inspectors has been out several times and is aware of the culvert situation.
Chairperson Csordas stated that this is not part of the site plan but he does not want to overlook this. He asked if Ms. Maloniol has had a chance to talk to Mr. Wahl in the Planning Department?
Ms. Maloniol stated that she has talked to Don Saven, Terry Morrone, and Chris Pargoff.
Mr. Wahl stated that he would work with her.
A concerned citizen stated that especially at night, there are large groups of people walking in the road and she has to drive very carefully. Sidewalks or a bike trail would be greatly useful. She asked that all of the houses conform to the covenants. She stated that she saw the plans have all of the houses drawn the same and she hopes that it is not an indication of what the houses will look like.
Chairperson Csordas stated that it is just Preliminary Site Plan approval.
She stated that Mr. Langan could waive the covenants so she has no control over it at all.
Ray Kuhnick, stated that he wanted to address two (2) issues. He lives on 49601 Deer Run and he is not in favor of sidewalks. Deer Run is a winding street with a lot of ponds right off the road through the majority of the street. He does not know how a sidewalk would be fit into the street. The only possibility would be towards the end where the development is going. He would also be against that because it would ruin the look of the natural, wildlife type of area. He stated that he enjoys where he is living and the other residents enjoy mingling. He stated that maybe someone will have to drive carefully but he does not believe that it is a nuisance. He does not think that it could be done aesthetically and he encouraged the Commissioners to look at the street. He knows there was a misunderstanding on the emergency exit of whether it was going to be a paved or a grassy block. He asked if there has been a clarification?
Mr. Arroyo stated that originally the City Council had issued a condition that there were grass pavers used to provide the connection. That was changed at a later date when the project came back to them for additional approval because the Design and Construction Standards were in the process of being amended. In the new Design and Construction Standards calls for an eighteen-(18) foot wide paved connection between the two (2) because the Fire Department prefers it. It will be eighteen (18) feet wide, paved, and gated.
Mr. Kuhnick stated that he just wants to make sure that it will not be used as a main road.
Mr. Arroyo stated that one of the problems of doing that is that the standard for a subdivision street is twenty-eight (28) feet wide and it would be a substandard street.
Mr. Kuhnick asked if there would be a variance that would be in place for the sidewalks not to happen? He also asked if they did put sidewalks in could the applicant only put it in the development and would they be able to bring them up to the rest of the street?
Mr. Weisberger stated that in his opinion, a waiver would be required but that waiver would come from City Council. He would recommend any of the comments that the residents have in favor of the waiver be submitted to City Council.
Dick Carrol, 49590 Deer Run, stated that he has a number of concerns. The first fifteen hundred (1500) feet of Deer Run now contain a total of thirteen (13) home sites. It was originally proposed to have only five (5) or six (6). This site plan would now add nine (9) more housing units on the last nine hundred (900) feet of Deer Run where the original called for seven (7) or fewer. As a result of changes that have already been allowed on Deer Run the traffic flow is already more than he anticipated based on the small number of houses that were originally going to be there. He was the fourth house built on Deer Run. He was told at that time that the south side of the street was a protected wetland and was not build-able. He was also told that there might be one (1) house there if a flat, dry spot could be identified without disturbing the wetland. Subsequently all of the trees along the ridge south of Deer Run were bulldozed down. The ridge was pushed down into the wetlands, the wetlands were filled in and there are now four (4) houses and two (2) vacant lots across the street. When he contracted to have his house built the entrance to Deer Run was nicely landscaped on both the north and south side of the road. He was told that the entrance to Deer Run would remain as is. Subsequently, the south side of the entrance was destroyed, two (2) building sites appeared, and now there are two (2) houses there. He has no problems with any of his new neighbors but the street certainly does not look anything like he thought it would once it was fully developed. He was told Deer Run was a dead-end street with a cul-de-sac. However, he had to come before the Planning Commissioners and City Council to make sure that it remained a dead-end street without a paved connector road to Park Place. He was surprised to learn that it is back to being a paved connector road. He does not understand how it can change without the residents that fought so hard to get it to the condition that it was in back to being a paved road again. Notification was not sent out to those in the surrounding areas who are so concerned about what is going on. He was surprised one day in June 1997 when heavy equipment showed up on the property next to his to start work on what was a wetland mitigation project. Work on that project stopped a few weeks later and yet the project has never been finished. He lived there from 1982-1994 and only came to the city hall building when he wanted to. Since he moved back in 1996 he has been to the building so many times on different issues it is unbelievable. He has a number of additional questions that may have been covered already. He wanted to know the reason for condominiums rather than houses. He asked if the units would be comparable in value to the homes that are already built? He would like the growth to be planned and then done according to a plan without changes being made after the property is bought. The residents of the city should not be put in a position of having to live at city hall to protect their interests. If they purchased property based on a given set of perimeters only to find those things changing dramatically once they own their property.
Seeing no one else he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Capello stated that he was a partner with Bob Langan on a project on Grand River Avenue. The project never got off its feet and he no longer has any interest in the project. He has no interest nor ever had an interest in Deer Run. Right now, he has no financial ties to any project. He does not have a problem voting he just wanted to make this disclosure to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Weisberger stated that his office is aware of this situation and he found that there is no conflict with Member Capello voting on this matter.
Member Mutch asked if Member Capello has anything planned down the road with the Langans?
Member Capello stated not that he was aware of.
Member Mutch asked for clarification regarding Park Place development. His understanding was that there would be sidewalks within the subdivision except for some portions. It was represented tonight that there would be no sidewalks. He questioned what the status was?
Mr. Arroyo stated that there will be sidewalks but there are certain areas that the City Council has granted waivers due to environmental features.
Member Mutch asked if there would be sidewalks on Buck Drive?
Mr. Arroyo stated that there would be in the actual road itself but obviously not within the emergency access.
Member Mutch stated that he has a question for Dave Bluhm regarding drainage. He asked if the wetland, referred to as parcel E on the south side of Deer Run, is the wetland mitigation site for High Pointe?
Mr. Bluhm stated that he believes the mitigation site is north.
Clif Seiber stated that the High Pointe mitigation area is located on parcel E to the east of the project.
Member Mutch asked if the pond was designed to detain the flow of water that will go to that point? Will the property owner have any issues with water on their property from the detention pond?
Mr. Bluhm stated that the one (1) thing that he has asked the applicant is to provide more information for the parcel on the north side as far as where the drainage is going. He believes that the homeowner mentioned some culverts that the applicant was not clear about. The intent is to reduce the discharge to pre-development conditions before it goes to the north side of the road. It will be detained prior to that in the area that is on the south side which is not a wetland.
Member Mutch stated that his concern is that the flow into the pond. He asked if the pond could hold five (5) or six (6) lots worth of drainage?
Mr. Bluhm stated that if the rate of discharge of the storm water were restricted it would be back to its agricultural level.
Member Mutch asked how that would be done?
Mr. Bluhm stated through the detention on the south side of the road. He asked if he is talking about the water that would discharge into the northern wetland area?
Member Mutch stated that he is not concerned about north. He is concerned about a house on the parcel that is abutting the pond.
Mr. Bluhm stated that the preliminary indication show that it will. He believes that there is an easement already over the property for drainage.
Member Mutch stated that he could not really tell what the difference in elevation is. He has a comment regarding the sidewalks and it sounds like there is for and against in the neighborhood. He is familiar with Deer Run, he has driven back there a number of times and it is a very nice street. He would second some of the comments that were made earlier that when the street was first accepted by the city that nobody realized the scope of the development that is going in there. He knows at the time that there were probably five (5) or six (6) parcels and not the thirteen (13) plus another nine (9) equaling twenty-two (22) parcels. That is a significant amount of traffic. He knows that Northville will be building a school in the area and the MDOT property that will eventually become a city park. There will be kids walking to school and he does not think that it is safe to have kids walking in the streets. He thinks that sidewalks are needed. He also thinks that there should be a sidewalk connecting the two-(2) new subdivisions. The rest of the street is public and whether there will be a sidewalk or not is up to the city to pay for it. He thinks that with new developments sidewalks are needed. He would not support a waiver but he will support the project.
Member Canup stated that his concerns were addressed.
Member Churella stated that he has lives in a subdivision in Novi that has no sidewalks. It has seventy (70) homes and in the nine-(9) years that he has been there no one has been hit. There are small children that play in the street and the residents drive very carefully. He does not see the big thing about having sidewalks in subdivisions that do not need them. He thinks that the twenty-(20) residents that will live in the subdivision will abide by the law and drive at fifteen (15) miles an hour. He stated that he is for the project and that City Council should decide if they want the waiver or not.
PM-99-09-228 TO APPROVE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR DEER RUN SP 99-31 SUBJECT TO THE CONSULTANTS RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUBJECT TO CITY COUNCIL WAIVER OF SIDEWALKS AND IF NECESSARY A VARIANCE FROM THE REQUIREMENT FOR DETENTION ON LOT NUMBER ONE. ALSO, SUBJECT TO THE RE-REVIEW OF THE CITY OF NOVIS FIRE DEPARTMENTS REQUIREMENT FOR FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS IN THE HOMES
Moved by Churella, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To approve Preliminary Site Plan approval for Deer Run SP 99-31 subject to the consultants recommendations and subject to City Council waiver of sidewalks and if necessary a variance from the requirement for detention on lot number one. Also, subject to the re-review of the City of Novis Fire Departments requirement for fire suppression systems in the homes.
Member Koneda asked for clarification on the fire issue. The fire marshal did ask for residential fire sprinkler systems and he questioned if that is still a condition?
Member Capello stated that no, it is not. When they extended the cul-de-sac so far that when they got the variance from City Council, they required sprinklers because there was not a secondary access. Now, that there is the secondary access for fire purposes a sprinkler is not needed. He does not think that the Planning Commission can require it as part of a site plan approval.
Member Koneda stated that the Commission could require whatever the consultants recommend. The fire marshal recommended it and if he decides that it is no longer required then he could waive the requirement. Right now in the packet it states that there has to be that provision.
Mr. Weisberger stated that his understanding of the ordinance is the requirement that was put in was to provide for the fire protection when there was not secondary access. He thinks that the requirement of sprinklers at this time would not exceed the ordinances because there is now secondary access. He thinks that the Planning Commission has the powers to simply enforce the ordinance as is and not exceed them by requiring the sprinklers on the homes. With regards to the existing homes that now sit there until there is secondary access these homes will need to have sprinklers. That is per the Construction Board of Appeals.
Member Mutch asked if this project could not go forward until secondary access is available?
Mr. Arroyo stated that the issue of secondary access is interesting because the cul-de-sac is already in place. Normally, you are looking to approve the extension of a roadway, which is the trigger for the placement of the secondary access. In this case, the roadway is already in place. From a legal prospective, it sounds like the ordinance would not require it because there is a secondary access proposed.
Mr. Weisberger stated that is what they are proposing and it is what he is requiring. They need to build their site plan as proposed which requires secondary access. The JCK letter also requires secondary access in the event that Park Place does not go forward. There is going to be secondary access absent in revision to their site plan. He thinks that they can approve the site plan as drafted and not have the sprinkler issue be a case.
Member Mutch stated that he has read the ZBA minutes in the past. It is not a matter of the cul-de-sac length, it is also the lack of utilities in the area. There is no water system so any fire equipment would have to bring water to the site. There is no public water so they would have to wait for a tanker truck to provide fire suppression. It seems somewhat strange that the Planning Commission would over-rule the Construction Board of Appeals but he is not clear on how far their jurisdiction goes.
Mr. Weisberger stated that the Commissioners will go with Preliminary Site Plan approval and he can investigate the sprinkler issue before final.
Chairperson Csordas stated that he would feel much more comfortable with that and real clarity is needed. The amendment would be subject to the consultants recommendations and City Council waiver of the requirement of sidewalks. Also, if necessary a variance for water detention on lot one (1). He would recommend also subject to review of the letter submitted by Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal requiring sprinklers and fire suppression in all the homes.
Member Canup stated that he understands that it is an ordinance.
Chairperson Csordas stated that he does not think that it is an ordinance, it is a requirement because of the length of the cul-de-sac prior to this and no availability of public water.
Mr. Arroyo stated when this project first came through they had to meet the cul-de-sac length requirement and at the time, it was eight hundred (800) feet. Because they could not meet the cul-de-sac length requirement, they needed to get a waiver. If it is associated with the site plan or plat, the City Council grants the waiver for the Design and Construction Standards. If it is not associated, it goes to the Construction Board of Appeals. In granting the cul-de-sac length waiver, as a condition of that waiver would be homes beyond a certain distance would be required to be sprinkled as means of mitigating the excessive cul-de-sac length. He believes that is the history of how he got to that point.
Bob Langhan, applicant stated that Mr. Arroyo commentary on the minutes is explicitly accurate save one (1) detail. The Construction Board of Appeals required fire suppression for all homes built on that road until such a time as secondary access was approved / built.
Mr. Weisberger suggested once and only when the secondary access goes in the Planning Commission might be in a position to ask the Construction Board of Appeals to then waive the requirement.
Member Canup stated that he thinks it is a futile effort to address it because it was not intended for anything other than this street.
Member Capello stated that the project is called a condominium but it is only a form of ownership. The lot sizes are not going to be any smaller and the houses are not going to be any smaller. It is just called a condominium instead of a subdivision or lot splits. He does not have any control or authority to tell the residents what type of deed restriction it is and how to draft their Master Plan.
Mr. Weisberger will review it but he will review it to make sure that it is in compliance with the ordinance but wont review it to make sure that it is consistent with what the residents deed restrictions are. He is sure the restrictions are going to be similar or stricter than the restrictions in regard to the size of the house or the types of the house. He saw one of the letters from the residents that wanted to make sure that the houses were similar. There is an ordinance that JCK reviews that is called a similar / dissimilar ordinance to make sure that the houses are similar to the houses that are there but dissimilar enough to be different. The residents as adjoining property owners do not have any ability to enforce the deed restrictions in the condominiums. The condominium owners are the only ones that can enforce their deed restrictions.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-228 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Canup
Member Mutch asked whom the builder would need to contact regarding the sprinkler systems?
Mr. Weisberger stated that she should contact Terry Morrone who is on the Construction Board of Appeals and is the contact person.
An Ordinance to add Article 9A to Ordinance No. 97-18, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to add the designation for the Downtown Gateway District to the Schedule of Regulations contained within Section 2400 of said Ordinance, to amend footnotes (k) and (o) to the Schedule of Regulations contained within Section 2400 of said Ordinance, to amend subpart 2509.6a and 2509.8b of said Ordinance, and to add the designation for the Downtown Gateway District to Region 1 of the schedule regulating façade materials contained within Section 2520 of said Ordinance, to create the Downtown Gateway District which is intended to encourage mixed-use development, including office, commercial and multiple-family residential land uses in a setting that provides a transition from the predominant suburban development pattern found throughout most of the Grand River corridor to the traditional downtown setting that exists and is expanding near the Grand River / Novi Road intersection.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would briefly provide some background as to why he is here with this proposed ordinance amendment and then briefly go through the components of it. The Master Plan for Land Use, which was approved in May of this year, included in it a proposal for a Town Center Gateway. It was intended to be an area just east of the Town Center from Meadowbrook Road west to the Town Center district that would provide for a transition area. Transitioning up in density but also providing for a certain character of appearance in the area and a certain development pattern that is more urban in nature. This is a very general concept of what had been envisioned as one (1) possibility in terms of a Downtown Gateway. Potentially providing for some office buildings, retail, and townhouses for mixed uses. A fairly significant amount of the property that is included in the proposed Gateway District as envisioned in the Master Plan would be in the general vicinity west of Meadowbrook. This property is currently zoned NCC (Non-Center Commercial). One of the ideas behind this proposal was to attempt to keep some of the labor of the NCC district and some of the concepts but also blend it with some of the components of the Town Center district. For example, one of the major issues in the NCC district is a restriction in retail development. When Planning Commission and City Council first envisioned the NCC district, the entire concept behind it was that strip commercial was not wanted up and down Grand River. There are fairly serious restrictions on the amount of retail that can be placed. An individual retail store can not exceed fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet in the NCC district. More than two (2) retail users can not be on one (1) particular piece of property in the NCC district. Some of this has transferred into this proposed district but in a slightly different form and with a little more flexibility and ability to have slightly more retail development if a mixed-use concept is provided. In the NCC district you can develop with multiple-family, retail, and office. There are not a lot of projects coming forward in this district so the Planning Commissioners do not review it on a regular basis. This district also provides for mixed-use but it goes a little bit farther in that it provides the applicant with bonuses and incentives to provide a mixed-use development. It actually gives greater density for both residential and non-residential development if you accomplish the goal of mixed-use development. In the NCC district is the requirement for marginal access road or a parallel frontage road along Grand River as a way to address the fact that a lot of the parcels along Grand River are fairly narrow and deep. The concept of the marginal access road system was to interconnect individual parcels without a lot of frontage so that curb cuts could be minimized. That concept is carried forward into this district but in a slightly different manner. Instead of having the frontage road right up against Grand River it is brought to the back of the first set of buildings for a couple of reasons. He wants to display the architecture in the area, provide a little bit more of an urban feel and push the buildings up closer to the roadway. Also, allow a little more height than you would allow in the NCC district and make it a little more exciting as you come into the district. It is felt that this is a good location for mixed-use and potentially residential development. It would provide for additional rooftops that can then be used to support some of the retail users in this district and the Town Center area. There is a major investment in retail development in the Town Center district and by providing additional residential on the area would be a way of trying to boost the health of the commercial in the district. That was a little bit of background information as to where he got where he is.
He stated that he would briefly go through the district provisions and then open the discussion for questions. One of the most important things that have come out of this is the entire mixed-use issue. It does allow for an increase in density if you were providing for a mixed use project particularly if residential was a component. Right now, if you were to develop under the NCC district you would be limited to RM-1 density. RM-1 density for residential is about 7.1 dwelling units per acre if you have all two (2) bedroom units. In this particular situation, if you were to come forward with this in a single user project all residential you would not fair that much better. You would end up with nine (9) units to the acre, which is just slightly higher than the NCC would allow. However, if you were to go with the mixed-use project, have at least another use that comprises of at least ten (10) percent of the land area or ten (10) percent of the total floor area you would be able to go up to 12.1 dwelling units per acre. If you had a mixed-use building where you actually had a connection between a residential and a non-residential building, either with residential above the non-residential use or side-by-side with a physical connection, you could potentially go up to eighteen (18) dwelling units per acre with all two (2) bedroom units. There are incentives for mixed-use development. Another thing that carries forward into this district is senior housing. Senior housing would be a permitted use within the district and this is provided for. Incentives that are built into the current senior housing provisions that allow more one-bedroom units and more efficiency than traditional multiple-family. One of the changes that he sees in this district though is spacing among buildings and setbacks. There are reduced setbacks, you can have a building basically with just a twenty (20) foot greenspace between the building and the right-of-way for Grand River. The setbacks are measured from the centerline of the road as they are in TC to provide for uniformity. There is a minimum setback and there is a maximum setback insuring that you will have buildings closer to the roadway. For the spacing between the buildings, the current multiple-family section has a very complicated formula that requires spacing between buildings depending upon how much both the building has and how high the building is. That is not going to apply in this district because it is recognized that a lot of these buildings are going to be closer together. It is more of an urban feel and there is a whole different set of spacing standards, twenty (20) feet between buildings unless they are thirty (30) feet or taller and then it is thirty (30) feet between buildings. It provides for a reduction in setbacks.
Floor area ratio is another component in the ordinance that is not found in all of the district provisions but it is in this one. The NCC district is probably your least dense retail district in terms of floor area. It only allows a floor area ratio of .25, which means that the area of the buildings on the site can not be more than twenty-five (25) percent of the total land area. In this particular situation, if you have a single-use project the FAR is permitted to be at .5 which would be roughly half of the site being filled up with buildings or if you went to two (2) stories it would be a quarter of the site filled up with buildings at two (2) levels. If you do a mixed-use project you can go up to .75 FAR which is another incentive and provides the potential for greater density even with non-residential development. There is actually a maximum building height specified and there is a tiered approach to this maximum building height. The maximum building height is fifty (50) feet and three (3) stories. However, there are a couple of provisions that regulate that. If you have a residential development and you incorporate a fourth floor into the gable roof system so that it has the appearance of a three-story building you can actually have that fourth level in the gable roof system or some similar system so that it basically has the appearance of three-story residential but you could conceivably have most of the fourth story within the structure. There is also a limitation if you are adjacent to a single family district. There is single family zoning and an existing subdivision is Meadowbrook Glen, located to the south of this general target area. There is a provision in here that specifies that if you are within three hundred (300) feet of a single family dwelling district that the maximum height the building can have is thirty-five (35) feet. Once you get at least three hundred (300) feet away then you can get up to fifty (50) feet. That is one way of providing a transition from Grand River, which obviously has a much different character than the residential area. There is also building separation requirements from residential which specify that you have to set back the building three (3) feet for every one (1) foot of building height. If someone builds a thirty three (33) feet high building it will have to be approximately one hundred (100) feet from any residential property lines. There is some protection built into for the single family dwelling districts that may abut this district. It is important to keep in mind that the action that the Planning Commission is taking this evening is potentially to make a recommendation to City Council for this district. This does not rezone any property whatsoever. There is a target area from the Master Plan that he has been talking about. There are no current proposals to actually rezone the property. What he is doing with it is proposing this district to be put in place, which would then open the door for later applications for rezoning.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he had a chance to talk to the attorneys about the language that is written regarding streetscape amenities. It is the intent that development would be consistent with the Grand River overlay district. The problem is that the Grand River overlay district does not exist yet and is something that he is hoping to bring to the Planning Commission within the next few months. The suggestion that he is making is that on page eleven (11) where there is reference to street scape amenities following the Grand River Corridor plan that it be modified to specify that the amenities from the Town Center guidelines be included as an interim measure until the Grand River overlay district is put into place. That way he will at least be sure that there will be a certain amount of amenities here along the streetscape that will provide for the type of character that he is looking for in the area. It is hoped that it would never be applied because there would be a new overlay district that will probably be slightly different and then he could amend this particular provision to specify Grand River overlay once the district comes forward.
Another suggested change that he spoke with the attorneys about was under the mixed-use development section, paragraph eight (8), on page ten (10). He asked how this proposal should be dealt with concept plans? He stated that the conclusion that has been reached based upon some further discussion on this issue is that the references to concept plan should be deleted and should be replaced with preliminary site plan. However, he is suggesting that a clause be added into it that would allow the Planning Commission to waive the requirement for façade drawings and for floor plans for future phases. At a later stage, they could come back to the Planning Commission once the future phases are actually in a position to move forward and there are tenants in place. What the Planning Commission would end up getting is an overall preliminary site plan for an entire project. There would be a more detailed information provided on the first phase that would be going forward. All the other information you would normally see on a preliminary site plan would be provided for the future phases except you wouldnt see building façade elevations and building floor plans. This would enable the developers of these projects to have some flexibility to come back at a later stage once they have nailed down the final designs. It was the opinion of the city attorneys that by referencing preliminary site plan there is already a number of protections in there that the city has related to preliminary site plan approval.
The final comment that he would like to make regarding this particular ordinance amendment is the issue of front street parking. There have been a number of drafts of this ordinance as he has attempted to work with a number of different people that are interested in developing in this area. The Planning Department has been active in seeking out input from the development community as well as discussion with the Homeowners Association of Meadowbrook Glens. There has been a fairly significant effort in trying to get input from all sides. The issue of front street parking is one that there has been some debate. One concept that is shown is to potentially allow one (1) full bay of parking which includes two (2) rows in front of the building adjacent to Grand River. Another concept, which is the one that the Planning Commissioners have before them, would allow the aisle and one (1) row of parking but not the second row of parking. This would get the buildings closer to Grand River but still allowing some of the users some exposure of their parking spaces to the main road which is generally considered to be desirable by retailers and some office users. The third possible concept is to eliminate front street parking altogether and bring all of the buildings up to the roadway so that you can showcase the architecture and not the parking lot. He thinks that the compromise that is in the draft is a good one, it allows for one (1) row of parking and one (1) aisle that could be parallel, angle, or perpendicular.
Chairperson Csordas announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public
Gary Wilson, Community Planner with McKenna Associates, stated that he has been working with a developer that has an interest in some property potentially within the Gateway District. This is the property located at the northwest corner of Meadowbrook and Grand River. It is a fifteen-(15) acre parcel and is a significant piece that is in the Gateway area. The developer is very interested in working through the ordinance. He thinks that it is a great concept. He knows that as a planner, he often finds himself advocating this. His firm very often works with communities like Mr. Arroyo does and he thinks that it is a great idea. He is ninety (90) percent plus in agreement with the draft of the ordinance. He had submitted a letter with detailed comments in a chart. He does think that it is important that this is moved forward while the plan is fresh and get this idea implemented. He would like to see some changes made. The one that he would like to focus on is the issue that Mr. Arroyo brought up about parking. He does think that the two-(2) full rows of parking in front is important to have. Obviously, you want to get away from the sea of parking in front of buildings because everyone is tired of the look and it does not achieve the design objectives that he is after. He thinks that the two (2) rows are essential to attract a quality retailer / commercial user and that they need this convenience. He stated that having one (1) row is inefficient because it requires a full aisle of depth and pavement to serve one (1) row of parking. He does strongly encourage the Planning Commissioners to go with the full two-(2) rows of parking in front of the project.
Mark ORourke, Landmark Building and Development stated that he is also a developer looking at a potential project in the Gateway District. He would like to make two (2) points that fairly well mirror the comments from Mr. Wilson and add a couple of his own. He is currently building a townhouse project that is very similar in nature - high quality, brick and limestone, multi-story and fairly high-density product that the Planning Commission is considering tonight. He has had great responses from customers and was encouraged in the community that he is building in because of the trade-off of high quality versus density. Mr. Bowman had submitted a letter commenting on several items that have taken place in the background planning of this ordinance. He believes that two (2) rows of parking is something that every developer wants. The Planning Commission has a great opportunity here to take advantage of a mixed-use design and some high-quality ideas that are going throughout the country. It is real difficult to find sites in town locations that would accept a multi-use type concept. He believes that it will set the downtown portion of Novi apart, especially having the control of making a site that is contiguous and designed to match throughout the whole entrance of the Grand River Corridor. He thinks that it is very important to consider two-(2) parallel parking in the front for the benefit of the retailers. In addition, to consider providing mixed-use density by attached buildings to consider the increase of density for the multi-use buildings. The only other modification that he can say is for developments that are mixed-use he found that it is a lot easier to plan without attached but rather a whole concept with the two (2) or three (3) different uses.
Debbie Bundoft, 12 Mile Road, stated that the new planning consultant seems to differ in word usage than the previous planner used. Although the idea of showcasing in the downtown area - closer buildings, higher heights, higher densities, is not a new concept. It was a concept created at the Town Center over fifteen (15) years ago. Back then the residents did not get the mixed-use, they got the commercialism and offices. The residents went to TC-1 where it did not quite happen. Main Street then happened and was a little better. The residents got walking distance to commercial and residential. It is still not enough. The multi-use was added in the NCC and that did not work. There is now the new plan for the Gateway. Novi just continues to stretch the commercialism, extending the densities higher, giving more commercial than would have normally been allowed and end up with multiple housing. She thinks that it is ironic that over fifteen (15) years Novi has not gotten what was started out with in the Town Center.
Seeing no one else he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Capello stated that there is an option of a three and half (3 ½) foot landscape berm or a two-(2) feet ornamental wall. He stated that to him it would not be visibly appealing to see a two and half (2 ½) foot brick wall along Grand River Avenue. He asked if there is a reason that there would be a wall and not just the berm?
Ms. Lemke stated that she believes that this is taken from the Town Center standards but Mr. Arroyo could comment on it.
Mr. Arroyo stated that that is exactly right, it is the same standard that applies to the Town Center district and was one of the components of the Town Center district that was brought into this one. Once again, you are creating more of an urban feel and the idea of berms along Grand River didnt seem as appropriate as walls. Low walls that are attractive and use the same building material as the buildings that would be nearby. He thinks that it is more of an aesthetic issue and it relates to the type of character that he is trying to establish along the corridor.
Member Capello asked if the wall makes sense?
Mr. Arroyo answered yes.
Mr. Wahl stated that what you would likely get would be a masonry wall and landscaping. He does not want to give the impression that all that you will get is bricks and mortar. The design concepts that he has been talking about incorporate landscaping and the wall as an integrated design theme. It is not necessarily a nice landscape berm or just hardscape. The wall could be designed with planting areas, there just will not be the berm and the hill type design theme. He would like to make this distinction that people will get an impression that you will get this plain concrete sidewalk, a wall and no other integration of landscape materials.
PM-99-09-229 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT 18.154 DOWNTOWN GATEWAY DISTRICT WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES. ONE, IN SECTION SIX C, STRIKE "BE LIMITED TO NO MORE THAN ONE ROW OF PARKING" AND LEAVE IT AS IT PREVIOUSLY WAS PROHIBITED SO IT WOULD READ "ON SITE PARKING AND FRONT YARD ADJACENT TO A MAJOR THOROUGHFARE SHALL BE PROHIBITED." TWO, IN SECTION ELEVEN ON PAGE ELEVEN RATHER THAN USING THE LANGUAGE AS GENERALLY DESCRIBED IN THE GRAND RIVER CORRIDOR PLAN THAT WOULD BE DELETED. A REFERENCE WOULD BE MADE TO THE LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS IN THE TC-1 DISTRICT THAT MR. ARROYO AND MR. WEISBERGER COULD WORK OUT THE EXACT LANGUAGE BEFORE IT WOULD GO TO CITY COUNCIL. THREE, ON PAGE FIVE IN SECTION ONE D, THE LAST NUMBER 1200 HE WOULD DELETE THAT AND CHANGE IT TO 950. IN THE CHART, ON THE BOTTOM OF FIVE, UNDER SINGLE USE BUILDING, UNDER ONE BEDROOM TWO ROOMS, WHICH ARE CURRENTLY 18.15, HE WOULD CHANGE TO 22.92. ON THE NEXT PAGE, UNDER SINGLE USE BUILDING TWO BEDROOM THREE ROOMS HE WOULD DELETE 12.1 AND CHANGE IT TO 15.28. UNDER SINGLE USE BUILDING THREE BEDROOMS FOUR ROOMS HE WOULD DELETE THE 9.07 AND CHANGE IT TO 11.46. HE WOULD LET MR. ARROYO AND MR. WEISBERGER WORK OUT THE LANGUAGE IN REGARD TO THE PHASING. HE WANTS TO ASSURE THAT REFERENCES TO THE CONCEPT PLAN BE DELETED AND THAT THE ORDINANCE GAVE THE PLANNING COMMISSION THE ABILITY TO WAIVE SUBMITTAL OF ELEVATIONS AND FACADES THAT ARE NOT CURRENTLY GOING TO BE BUILT FROM BEING SUBMITTED WITH THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN.
Moved by Capello, seconded by Mutch, FAILED (5-2): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for zoning ordinance amendment 18.154 Downtown Gateway district with the following changes. One, in section six c, strike "be limited to no more than one row of parking" and leave it as it previously was prohibited so it would read "on site parking and front yard adjacent to a major thoroughfare shall be prohibited." Two, in section eleven on page eleven rather than using the language as generally described in the Grand River Corridor plan that would be deleted. A reference would be made to the landscaping requirements in the TC-1 district that Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Weisberger could work out the exact language before it would go to City Council. Three, on page five in section one d, the last number 1200 he would delete that and change it to 950. In the chart, on the bottom of five, under single use building, under one bedroom two rooms, which are currently 18.15, he would change to 22.92. On the next page, under single use building two bedroom three rooms he would delete 12.1 and change it to 15.28. Under single use building three bedrooms four rooms he would delete the 9.07 and change it to 11.46. He would let Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Weisberger work out the language in regard to the phasing. He wants to assure that references to the concept plan be deleted and that the ordinance gave the Planning Commission the ability to waive submittal of elevations and facades that are not currently going to be built from being submitted with the preliminary site plan.
Member Koneda stated that there are a couple of issues that he has. One, under section nine hundred (900) in one a (1A) principal uses permitted, all of the principal uses here are the same as what is in the NCC district except for the deletion of dry-cleaners and laundries. He questions why it was deleted? The other question is that since all of the usages are essentially the same as what is in an NCC district except for the bonuses for mixed-use development why dont they just state that it is the same permitted usages as defined in the NCC district?
Mr. Arroyo stated that the dry-cleaners and laundry should be included, it was just an oversight that was missed. He stated that he has no problem with adding them back in. He thinks that he would prefer to see them listed just because when you go to the district it is easier to have them listed out than to have to go to someplace else in the ordinance.
Member Koneda stated that there is an error in the chart on page six (6) where they is talk on floor area ratio. It should be in the right hand column as .75.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would change it.
Member Koneda stated that as for the deletion of the front-street parking, he thinks that if there is front-street parking it should be two (2) rows. However, he will agree with Mr. Capello that the parking should be put in the rear of the building.
Member Mutch stated that one of the things was under uses that came from the TC district was what was currently listed on page four (4) as just museums, there are actually public and quasi public uses and there were a number of things. He asked if this could be expanded to accommodate everything?
Mr. Arroyo asked if he is referring to the municipal uses that are allowed in the TC district?
Member Mutch responded yes.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he does not have an objection to that.
Member Mutch stated that on page eight (8) number three (3) the building setback allows a thirty (30) foot setback adjacent to residential for one-story residential structures. He would like it to say one-story single family residential. He stated that this would be consistent with the other ordinances and the other developments in the area. He stated that thirty (30) feet would put you right on top of those homes in Meadowbrook Glens. He stated that he would just insert single-family and then any multi-family would just meet the normal setbacks as defined in the ordinance. There was a comment in the McKenna letter regarding sidewalks and as he read it he didnt see anything that required that they put in sidewalks. He thinks that it uses the language from the TC ordinance, which just says that they will meet the Design and Construction Standards.
Mr. Arroyo stated that it is the second line that it really descriptive. It says that sidewalks shall be required between vehicular parking areas and building facades with pedestrian entrances. Basically, it requires an interconnection of all the parking and buildings within the district so that people could be able to walk from one building to another.
Member Mutch asked if this would require an eight-(8) foot sidewalk? The example that he is thinking of is Main Street Village where they have sidewalks in front of the townhouses and he believes that those are five (5) foot sidewalks.
Mr. Arroyo stated that one of the suggestions that have made is going to a five-(5) sidewalk if it is a residential area.
Member Mutch asked if this would require an eight-(8) foot sidewalk in front of the townhouse?
Mr. Arroyo stated yes.
Member Mutch stated that he would like to incorporate this then. He thinks that this would be consistent with Main Street Village and have the same effect of five (5) foot sidewalks in front of the residential buildings and eight (8) foot in front of the other buildings. There is a provision in the TC ordinance that deals with the arcades, buildings of a certain length that there has to be some way for pedestrian traffic. He stated that he has a concern of a long length of commercial buildings on Grand River with no interconnection. He stated that he is not looking for through the middle of a store but he wants some way to incorporate this type of language.
Mr. Arroyo stated that could be done.
Member Mutch stated that regarding the parking in front, he is both ways. He stated that he could see Member Capellos point about not wanting something that looks like an Orchard Lake. On the other hand, when there are developers quoting Duany and New Urbanism handbooks it is a new day in Novi. He is not strongly in support of one (1) direction or another so he would like to hear other comments.
Chairperson Csordas stated that there was one (1) item that if Member Capello wanted it added to his proposals.
Member Capello stated that there were two (2). He asked Member Mutch if on page eight (8) section three (3) was where he wanted to change one-family residential?
Member Mutch stated that he wanted to say one-story single family residential would get a thirty-(30) foot. If it were multi-family it would have to meet the normal setbacks.
Member Capello asked if it would only be in the last sentence?
Member Mutch stated that was correct.
Mr. Weisberger clarified that Member Mutch also wanted to add all municipal uses permitted in the TC district.
Member Mutch stated that there is language in TC that there is a specific section.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he could pull that and the laundry section out.
Member Capello asked if Member Mutch wanted some buildings broken up with some sort of pass through.
Member Mutch stated that a length should be identified.
Member Capello asked if this applies to just retail or retail office?
Member Mutch stated that he is looking for the uses along Grand River, whatever they are. He doesnt want a quarter of a mile length of building?
Mr. Arroyo asked if the other addition was the five (5) foot sidewalks in the residential areas instead of eight (8)?
Member Capello asked if this would be in the districts non-abutting?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it would be internal, not along the major thoroughfare. Internal in front of residential buildings five (5) foot sidewalks would be permitted.
Member Capello asked how that would apply to the internal road?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it depends on the use. If you have residential on both sides you could have a five (5) foot sidewalk connecting them. If it were commercial you would have to provide an eight-(8) foot connection. It does not specifically require that the sidewalk run along the internal road. It requires that the parking areas and buildings have some type of connection between them. It wouldnt necessarily require that the internal pathways have sidewalks running up and down them. It would provide for a pedestrian to get from one building to another and one parking area to another. It probably would end up with achieving the concept of providing the connection but not requiring an expansive amount of sidewalks all over the place. It would be enough to make the connection.
Member Koneda stated that on the three bedroom four rooms he thinks that the Planning Commission is going too heavy with 11.46. He thinks that the nine (9) is sufficient.
Mr. Arroyo stated that if you change one you almost have to change all of them because it is based on the number of rooms. Your formula for multiple-family is based on how many rooms you have in the structure. If you change the twelve hundred (1200) to nine hundred fifty (950) you have to change all three of them or you will be totally inconsistent with the way the ordinance is applied. He would be concerned about having an inconsistency and the way you apply the density. From a consistency standpoint, the numbers are needed to be kept the same based upon the number of rooms because it is the formula for all applications of multiple-family.
Member Churella asked if Member Capello formula was correct?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it is correct.
Member Koneda stated that he would like to talk about the front-yard street side parking. When he looked at things like the Town Center area and things that had large commercial development coming in and being developed at one time, he envisioned having internal circulation roads and the businesses serviced by the internal circulation roads. With this type of development, developers are going to come in and develop small parcels of land and hopefully in the future connect them. He is concerned about not having some front yard parking and no developer will be interested in the building in the area. He stated that he will support it with the parking the way that Member Capello specified it. However, he thinks that front-yard parking is necessary because individual developments will go in and want to be able to see the businesses when they drive by. He is concerned about the building is going to look like. He asked where the entrance is going to be? The entrance isnt going to be on Grand River, the entrances will be on the parking side because that is where people are going to park.
Chairperson Csordas asked if Member Capello wanted one (1) row of parking in front?
Member Capello stated that he prohibited parking. He stated that he is trying to get away from the parking on Grand River. An example is the old buildings that are on Grand River and Novi Road where there is no parking so people have to go around back. That seems to work fine with the frontage on Grand River. He agrees that it is not convenient getting in and out but it is the way that the parking in the back was designed. The complaint that he has heard from retailers is that if there is a front and rear entrance where do you load from? Most of the small retailers dont really need any more loading area than a single passageway door. He stated that he wouldnt mind parallel parking but that isnt going to be feasible. He doesnt see any other alternative. If the Planning Commission required the developer to put the parking behind the project can still be designed so that it is easy in and out.
Chairperson Csordas stated that the decision is up to City Council. He also added that has tried to be avoided was the look Orchard Lake Road where there are buildings way back with the big parking lots in front. He stated that he doesnt see a lot of problems with one (1) row of parking in front.
Mr. Wahl stated that he would like to remind the Commissioners that when he went through a long planning process with Main Street in convincing people to put the parking in the rear. The real sales part that he was able to go forward with the project was 1) there was parallel parking on Main Street so that there was some parking in front of the stores. 2) There was a street of low speed with the cars very close to the buildings so that the shops have a lot of visibility to passing traffic. What is being discussed is Grand River Avenue that has cars going by at a higher rate of speed, further distant and the marketing connection is totally different. He thinks that the environment is different. He doesnt know of any examples where this kind of development with no parking in front has had any success. The department would like to see the Commissioners consider one (1) row of parking as almost a bare necessity for marketing purposes.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-229 FAILED
Yes: Canup, Capello
No: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini
PM-99-09-230 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION FOR ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT 18.154 DOWNTOWN GATEWAY DISTRICT. ONE, IN SECTION SIX C, AN ALLOWANCE OF ONE ROW OF PARKING IN FRONT OF ALL OF THE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS. TWO, IN SECTION ELEVEN ON PAGE ELEVEN RATHER THAN USING THE LANGUAGE AS GENERALLY DESCRIBED IN THE GRAND RIVER CORRIDOR PLAN THAT WOULD BE DELETED. A REFERENCE WOULD BE MADE TO THE LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS IN THE TC-1 DISTRICT THAT MR. ARROYO AND MR. WEISBERGER COULD WORK OUT THE EXACT LANGUAGE BEFORE IT WOULD GO TO CITY COUNCIL. THREE, ON PAGE FIVE IN SECTION ONE D, THE LAST NUMBER 1200 HE WOULD DELETE THAT AND CHANGE IT TO 950. IN THE CHART, ON THE BOTTOM OF FIVE, UNDER SINGLE USE BUILDING, UNDER ONE BEDROOM TWO ROOMS, WHICH ARE CURRENTLY 18.15, HE WOULD CHANGE TO 22.92. ON THE NEXT PAGE, UNDER SINGLE USE BUILDING TWO BEDROOM THREE ROOMS HE WOULD DELETE 12.1 AND CHANGE IT TO 15.28. UNDER SINGLE USE BUILDING THREE BEDROOMS FOUR ROOMS HE WOULD DELETE THE 9.07 AND CHANGE IT TO 11.46. HE WOULD LET MR. ARROYO AND MR. WEISBERGER WORK OUT THE LANGUAGE IN REGARD TO THE PHASING. HE WANTS TO ASSURE THAT REFERENCES TO THE CONCEPT PLAN BE DELETED AND THAT THE ORDINANCE GAVE THE PLANNING COMMISSION THE ABILITY TO WAIVE SUBMITTAL OF ELEVATIONS AND FACADES THAT ARE NOT CURRENTLY GOING TO BE BUILT FROM BEING SUBMITTED WITH THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send a positive recommendation for zoning ordinance amendment 18.154 Downtown Gateway District. One, in section six c, an allowance of one row of parking in front of all of the commercial developments. Two, in section eleven on page eleven rather than using the language as generally described in the Grand River Corridor plan that would be deleted. A reference would be made to the landscaping requirements in the tc-1 district that Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Weisberger could work out the exact language before it would go to City Council. Three, on page five in section one d, the last number 1200 he would delete that and change it to 950. In the chart, on the bottom of five, under single use building, under one bedroom two rooms, which are currently 18.15, he would change to 22.92. On the next page, under single use building two bedroom three rooms he would delete 12.1 and change it to 15.28. Under single use building three bedrooms four rooms he would delete the 9.07 and change it to 11.46. He would let Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Weisberger work out the language in regard to the phasing. He wants to assure that references to the concept plan be deleted and that the ordinance gave the Planning Commission the ability to waive submittal of elevations and facades that are not currently going to be built from being submitted with the preliminary site plan.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-230 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Canup, Capello, Churella
The proposed rezoning of a 1.63 acre parcel in Section 16 on the east side of Beck Road between Eleven Mile Road and Grand River Avenue, from Low-Density Multiple-Family Residential District (RM-1), to High-Density Multiple-Family Residential District (RM-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.
Blair Bowman, N.O.B.E. Property Group I and II stated that the site in question right now from a rezoning perspective is a very odd configured parcel. This is the original concept plan that he submitted along with the original rezoning which had a parcel that was dictated largely by where he planned to locate the RM-2 Congregate Housing Facility. The idea was that it would represent a single fairly significant intrusion into the woodland area, nestle the elderly housing facility into the woodlands and create a nice transition from commercial uses through the planned RM-1 multiple-family into the RM-2 and buffer it with a significant natural preserving wooded features from the residential to the south. When he came forward he did rezone the properties in accordance with it. He discovered after going through some of the initial planning review processes that there was a swale area and a drain area that the environmental consultants desired to protect. He adjusted the plan in accordance with those wishes and moved the building further north, which had also the secondary positive effect of saving some additional woodland. He re-submitted again and came before the Planning Commission several meetings ago with the expectation that he would have to rezone .744 acres of the RM-1 to accommodate the new design of the building moving to the north. In that review process, there was another area that was identified that it was also a concern that was another natural feature on the site that the wetlands consultants would like him to avoid. It necessitated a move to the east of the building as well as additionally to the north. Now, he is here before the Commissioners tonight and he would like to note the error in the agenda. It still refers to the .744 and he is actually before the Commissioners to request a rezoning of 1.63 acres which will allow for the placement of the Congregate Housing Facility to the north and east of where it was previously proposed. He stated that as he understands it, the announcement that was made in the newspaper was correct and the Commissioners now have the proper letter in the packet that refers to the rezoning and recommendations from the consultants. A lot of other positive things have happened in his assemblages of the properties, he was able to come to terms with an out-parcel property owner that was along the Beck Road frontage. That is also subject to a previous rezoning request that he came before the Commissioners with and had been approved. He will be taking both of them to City Council for that to go from R-A to RM-1.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would be going over the letter of September 03, which was placed, on the table. He has attempted to provide one (1) letter that addresses both parcels. As Mr. Bowman mentioned there was the previous one (1) acre parcel that is being rezoned to RM-1. There is a new application for an area that was previously submitted and has been revised. The 1.863 acres is the new component that the Commissioners have never seen before in this form for review and this is the rezoning to RM-2. The principal reason for this has been the site plan issues addressing some of the environmental components in trying to make the site work. He feels that the proposal is reasonable and he is recommending approval of the rezoning. He stated that there really was no traffic review necessary with this case because it was such a small component. He had done one (1) back when there was a larger rezoning but since it is only 1.63 acres from RM-1 to RM-2 it doesnt meet the threshold to go through traffic as outlined in the ordinance.
Chairperson Csordas asked if there were any other consultant letters?
David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated no.
Chairperson Csordas announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.
Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Canup stated that in light of all that he has seen of this project over the past year that he believes that the project has been beat to death. It has been sorted out and is now coming down to fruition. It looks like the rezoning of this 1.7 acres is primarily to accommodate the buildings to fitting better and blending with the surroundings better than what was done originally.
PM-99-09-231 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR ZONING AMENDMENT 18.585
Moved by Canup, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Amendment 18.585.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-231
Yes: Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Watza, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas
This project is located in Section 16, east of Beck Road and north of 11 Mile Road. The 6.62 acre site is zoned a RM-2, Multiple-Family. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland, and Wetland Permit approvals.
This project is located in Section 16, east of Beck Road and south of Grand River. The 42.9-acre site is zoned RM-1, Low Density, and Low Rise Multiple-Family Residential District. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approvals.
Chairperson Csordas stated that Mr. Bowman would be combining his presentation of Congregate Care Facility and Timber Meadows together. However, each will be addressed individually.
Mr. Bowman stated that the two (2) are technically separated projects and he has provided for them as such. They are interrelated on many respects. He has provided a supplementary packet that has renderings and additional information. The primary issue with the congregate housing project is the variances. Mr. Arroyos planning letter and Ms. Lemkes woodlands letter were the only negative recommendations. The planning letter was expected. Because of the type of design of building with the core concept and the wings, the building length is an issue. Also, because of the type of housing that it is, senior housing in a more dense type of a feature, it is going to be in excess of what the typical allowable density under RM-2 is. It is extremely consistent with the congregate housing types of development of this nature. It is also similar to the types of projects that the Planning Commission has passed on before, subject to ZBA variances, which he will pursue after he hopefully gets positive recommendation on the project. On the overall site plan for the Congregate Care, he did move the building again to the north and to the east to avoid, the Novi Lyons drain and the swale. It also provides him with the ability to preserve an additional amount of woodlands and provide the buffer from the residential to the south. There are some other issues but he thinks that the things from the remaining consultants are recommending approval. He does have some accommodations to make about the entrance design for the fire marshal and he is prepared to do that.
He moved onto the overall site plan itself, Timber Meadows. He is proposing two hundred fifty six (256) units of luxury style apartments. The information packet has renderings of the project. It has an elegant gatehouse that creates a statement along Beck Road that he would like to have with the uniformed landscaping along Beck Road. After acquiring a home site that was the out parcel on Beck Road, he was able to move the clubhouse down and that provided a nice view. The construction of the units will actually occur significantly off of Beck Road and in the core of the site. The only significant planning issue that he is dealing with on the townhouse apartment project is that he is requesting a waiver from the Planning Commission as it relates to the building orientation. He is suggesting that there are some parallel buildings versus what would be required typically. The designers were challenged with the fact that if they start to orientate the buildings on the forty five (45) degree angles that that would have to spread the development out considerably from where it is at the moment. Where it would have to go would be into the woodlands that he desperately attempted to preserve. The wetland consultants have identified a couple of smaller pockets where his original building envelopes for building thirteen (13) and fourteen (14), possibly fifteen (15). The consultants had requested that he examine if he could shift the buildings in that location further north. He has done so and has concluded for the review by showing an eight and a half by eleven plan. This has the further effect of moving out of the woodlands again. He is requesting with the modest change for the benefit of the environmental features on the site that the Planning Commission allow the Preliminary Site Plan to proceed. It will be subject to the balance of the consultants reviews and suggestions, which he is prepared to deal with.
Chairperson Csordas stated that both of Mr. Arroyos letters for both projects would be done at the same time. There will be an opportunity for the audience to address both at the same time.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would start by addressing the Congregate Care planning review letter from September 01. As Mr. Bowman indicated, he did not have a positive recommendation due to several issues that will require ZBA action. They particularly relate to building length and setback requirements. They were some amendments to senior housing provisions in the ordinance that allowed for a building to exceed the one-hundred eighty (180) feet maximum length that was previously in the ordinance. It could go up to three hundred sixty (360) feet if there were additional setbacks provided. Three (3) feet for every one (1) foot in excess of one hundred eighty (180) feet. In this particular instance, this building is more than the three-hundred sixty (360) feet, it is approximately three hundred seventy five (375) feet in length. In addition, the building setback requirements are not met for the additional building length. Consequently, if the Commissioners do choose to approve the site plan it would have to be conditioned upon ZBA variances for those particular issues. In his letter, he also addressed the density question and that is going to be another variance issue. This situation came up with the City of Novis senior housing project as well. In the RM-2 district, additional density is permitted over and above RM-1. However, in order to qualify for that density the building has to be four (4) stories or greater. In this particular instance, it is a three- (3) story building and then reverts to the RM-1 density. When you look at the density of this project, it is proposed total number of rooms is two hundred thirty three (233) rooms, which are not bedrooms. Under RM-2, if they had four (4) stories they could have three hundred seventy one (371) rooms so they do not exceed the RM-2 density. However, because they do not have four (4) stories they have to go back to RM-1, which only permits one hundred thirty three (133) rooms. Therefore, they do not meet the density requirements for the RM-2 district. That is another issue that will need to be addressed in front of the ZBA. That is an overview of the deficiencies in terms of the ordinance requirements.
He has also reviewed the traffic for the Congregate Care Facility and has been looking at the traffic impact study that was prepared for the Congregate Care and Timber Meadows. In terms of access, the Congregate Care Facility does have three (3) points of access. It has principally a boulevard entrance that comes off of Beck Road, there is a secondary access point that comes off of Beck Road as well, and there is another potential point of access into Timber Meadows. There is adequate access from an emergency standpoint. One of the things that he noted in the re-design of the project is that if a fire truck would come in the main boulevard it would not make it around the curb to get to the front of the building. He is suggesting that some modification was made right in front with the greenspace so that a fire truck would be able to pull up and access the front of the building. He thinks that he can work with the Fire Department, JCK and Ms. Lemke to make it work. It is something that he feels confident that he could address at final site plan. He would like to see some modification made so emergency vehicles can get closer to the front door. In addition, some internal modifications would be necessary to insure that fire trucks could move around the site. Because of the fact that these two (2) projects are only interconnected by emergency and there is not going to be a free flow of traffic. Because of the low traffic generation of the Beck House Congregate Care component it does not appear that a passing lane is going to be necessary for this project. It does not appear that warrants will be necessary for the Congregate Care. In his Timber Meadows letter, it does indicate that a center turn lane might extend beyond to both of the properties. Because he has been reviewing these and new information has been coming in, he was finally able to get all of the information that he needed. It looks like only a passing lane will be necessary for the Timber Meadows project. The Congregate Care will not need one. However, there will be deceleration tapers and lanes provided at both project entrances.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would begin with the Timber Meadows planning review letter of September 3. He is recommending approval of the revised preliminary site plan subject to items #3 through #5 being addressed on the final site plan. It also includes the Planning Commissions action on the waiver that Mr. Bowman indicated which is necessary for the forty five-(45) degree angle along the east property line. There is also a need for additional information on the proposed screening of the trash compactor area. Also, to clearly identify the five (5) foot sidewalk along Beck Road. He is recommending approval of Timber Meadows subject to those conditions.
Mr. Arroyo moved onto the traffic review in which he went into significant detail about some of the issues. Item number nine (9) in the traffic review points out the need for some Design and Construction standards waiver. The waivers are primarily because there is a gatehouse associated with this entry feature. The boulevard island exceeds the maximum length of one hundred (100) feet. In addition, they are proposing that the driveway width for the boulevard approach exceed the maximum in the standards. If they are to move forward with this type of proposal, they will have to go before City Council for Design and Construction Standards waiver for those particular provisions. There are some other items that need to be addressed. However, he feels that the rest of them can be addressed at final site plan. He is recommending approval from a traffic perspective of Timber Meadows preliminary site plan.
Mr. Bluhm stated that he also reviewed both plans for engineering feasibility. He will be reviewing both of his September 9 letters simultaneously. Both of the sites are fully served by public water and sewer. The road system being proposed in the Timber Meadows site plans are to be private driveways, they are not public roads. The interconnection into the Congregate Care facility. One comment that he would like to make in respect of that is that the applicant is going to have to provide a number of ingress / egress documents to allow proper access for both of the developments. Both for emergency access purposes and he will be detailing those with the applicant at final site plan for both plans. The storm water system is going to be tied together. The Novi Lyon drain extends from the upper terminus extending to the west around to the south side of the Congregate Care facility and then outleting across Beck Road at the southwest corner of the site. Both of the site generally slope from the northeast to the southwest and outleting to the drain itself. There are a number of basins that are interconnected wet detention basins. They will be permanently ponded basins that will handle storm water as well as sediment and water quality control. They are interconnected between the three (3) outletting as planned to Beck Road and then south to Novi Lyon drain. The basin is to service the Congregate Care facility. He has asked the applicants engineer to combine the systems all together and provide a storm system that outlets instead of using Beck Road for conveyance outlets directly to the Novi Lyon drain. They have provided engineering details, which show that it can be done and he will be looking for that further at final site plan. That is the only concern that he had with the Timber Meadows project. The only other comment that he would like to make of substance from an engineering point of view is that the Novi Lyon drain has a flood plain associated with it that generally follows the boundary of the drain itself. It encroaches into the Congregate Care facility and is a flood plain that does not have an established elevation to it. Some of the flood plains in Novi do not have elevations. He has asked the engineer to provide him with calculations showing what the elevation is to assure that the finished floor of the building can be raised to at least one (1) foot above the flood plain. They have provided a good deal of information, enough to give him a preliminary comfort that the flood plain elevation is going to be at least two and a half (2 ½) to three (3) foot below the finished floor. He is going to be looking for some detail from them not only to fully establish the elevation but also to make proper submittals to FEMA to try to get that elevation established. He will be looking for them to expand on those at the final site plan. He feels comfortable with the elevations that they are proposing and will not cause a flooding problem. He has a number of other comments, which he will not go into but they can be addressed at the final site plan. He does feel that both of these plans demonstrate feasibility and he is recommending approval.
Ms. Lemke stated that she would go over her landscape letters first and she would be referring to her September 1st and 3rd letters. She would begin with Congregate Care. Actually, she is recommending approval for both of the landscaping. There are a number of waivers that are required and they would be from the Planning Commission. For the Congregate Care, a waiver is required for the four (4) foot six (6) inch berm on the south side of the property where it abuts R-A zoning. She is supporting this waiver. Preliminary landscape plans are showing additional evergreen trees in the area and they are providing the buffer along the stream area. For Timber Meadows, there are a number of waivers that are required to meet screening. On the south, there is R-A zoning and there is approximately four hundred forty (440) feet in width of regulated woodlands that is being preserved. She will be looking for protective fencing per the woodlands plan. On the east side, there is an existing hedgerow that is part of the City Wildlife Habitat Master Plan. This area is sixty (60) feet in width and would need to be supplemented with additional evergreen and deciduous materials to increase screening and wildlife habitat value. She would also be looking for additional fencing in that area. On the northeast and northwest corners, there is already a vegetated woodlands/wetlands area. The area between the two-(2) corner areas is forty (40) feet in width and would also need supplemental plantings. She will need to look at that more closely as to type and location of vegetation of plantings so that they will not disturb the edge plant materials in that area. She would also be requiring protective fencing. She would also be supporting the waiver for the orientation of the buildings because they would be saving additional vegetation that would add to these requirements for residential screening.
She would like to go over the woodlands for Timber Meadows first. She is very pleased with what Mr. Bowman is proposing to pull the development even further out of the woodlands. This area is on twenty (20) acres that is on the Timber Meadows site and the site removes approximately two (2) acres of woodlands on the northern edge of the woodlands area. They have reduced the intrusion considerably and are proposing to reduce it even more. She is continuing to recommend approval with the comments in her letter. There are four (4) conditions in her letter for Timber Meadows.
For Congregate Care she is not recommending approval. That is because of the amount of intrusion that is in the area of the woodlands where the Congregate Care is proposed. They have presented alternatives and the last alternative has saved an additional acre of woodlands. However, the overall project still removes most of the woodlands on the site for the Congregate Care. They also have proposed land bank parking spaces in the southwest corner, which will temporarily preserve additional woodlands. She does support this option and she asked them to look into that. The woodlands in the area proposed for the Congregate Care is a high quality woodlands and is an overstory woodlands on the north area of the water course. It is a very interesting mix of oak, hickory and maple in the upland areas and Ash, Red and Silver Maple in lower pocket-like areas. There is also a combination of Oak, Maple, Ash, and Hop Hornbeam, a variety of shrubs and a profusion of wildflowers. Twenty-six (26) of the trees are greater than twenty-(20) inch d.b.h. There was evidence of many deer, small mammals, and birds on the site. There are several potential Historic or Specimen Trees present on this site. The quality of the woodlands and groundcover/understory are very good. The site is flat with drainage going to the southwest to the stream area, which Mr. Bluhm detailed. The woodlands on the immediate area continue as part of the twenty-(20) acre woodlands for the Timber Meadows on the fifty (50) acre site. These also continue off site to a larger woodlands further east to Section sixteen (16). There is good soil quality of upland and lowland soil types. Although this area is not on the Wildlife Habitat Master Plan it directly connects to the areas in Timber Meadows and to the area off-site in the middle of the section that are on the Wildlife Habitat. She is looking for demonstration that no better feasible and prudent alternative could be provided that would preserve more of the high quality woodlands on the site. She offered some design alternatives that could be explored. One, a reduction in building size and they are required a variance for the building length. Two, a reduction in footprint of development and would require a variance and setback requirements. Three, a reduction in the number of units and the density is exceeded. Four, a reduction in parking spaces which would result from the reduced development proposal. Finally, re-working the proposed grading to save more trees and woodland areas. She found that grading was proposed through many of the trees that were indicated on the Tree List to be saved. There are four hundred nine (409) trees on this site and they are proposing to save two hundred seventy eight (278). She believes that this number will be much higher. There are a number of items that need to be submitted at final. She would like to point out that the applicant has provided a graph preservation easement for the entire area of woodlands onto Congregate Care. For the remainder of the project, she would have liked to have been able to recommend approval of this but she believes that the amount of intrusion is too great.
Aimee Kay, Senior Environmental Specialist stated that the project does fall under the non-minor use permit for the wetland ordinance. Basically, there is the Novi Lyon drain that was already referred to along with other areas. She is recommending approval because they are so small in nature that the impacts are quite small. The applicant went to great lengths to avoid the wetland.
She stated that it is an administrative approval. The only thing that the applicant is proposing is a woodchip trail to access and have some education benefits for recreational.
Mr. Bluhm stated that the façade letter for the Timber Meadows was quite intensive. In summary, the residential buildings are types 1, 2a, 2b, and 3. Mr. Neccis recommends that the applicant complies with the façade ordinance and that a Section Nine waiver is not required. The clubhouse, mailbox pavilion, and gatehouse buildings are consistent with previous reviews and he is recommending that they do qualify for a Section Nine waiver in which he recommends approval. For Congregate Care, it is in full compliance.
Chairperson Csordas announced that he had received a letter from the City of Novi Fire Department for Congregate Care. The above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal. One, the water service lead into the building shall be separated into a domestic water main and a fire suppression water main. The fire suppression water main shall be controlled by either a post indicator valve or a gate valve in a well. Two, the location of the fire department connection shall be shown. The fire department connection shall be located on the front/address side of the building in an accessible location and within 100 feet of a hydrant. Three, the previous site plan submittal indicated a hydrant on the wet side of the building at the emergency access drive. This submittal does not show it is a hydrant. Replace this hydrant in order to maintain proper hydrant spacing. Four, the direction of swing shall be reversed for the emergency gates from Beck Road for the emergency gates leading into Timber Meadows. Five, the position of the "Beck House Blvd." Leading to the driveway to the front entrance has been changed. A fire apparatus cannot make this turn as it is proposed. The minimum turning radius for a fire apparatus is 45 feet. The driveway layout shall be changed to accommodate this requirement. This is signed by Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi.
There is also a letter from the Fire Department regarding Timber Meadows. The above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal. One, hydrant spacing shall be reduced to a maximum 300 feet. Fire hydrant spacing is measured as "hose laying distance" from an apparatus. Hose laying distance is the distance the fire apparatus travels along improved access routes between hydrants. This is signed by Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi.
Mr. Bowman stated that he would like to talk about the wetland approval letter. He went to great strides to avoid any of the wetlands in the Timber Meadows. He knows that he has the minor intrusion permit to go forward with the DEQ for the Beck House. He thinks that there is a standard list of things that is included in the correspondence and he has talked with Ms. Kay about it. He would like not to go to get a letter of no jurisdiction or site assessment when he is not impacting any wetlands on the Timber Meadows site. That is included in the letter and he requests that it be removed.
Ms. Kay stated that she did have a conversation with Mr. Bowman that he would informally have the State of Michigan look at it for the woodchip trail only.
Mr. Bowman stated that if the woodchip trail provides any concern at all he would not provide it. However, originally he thought the natural resource aspect of things would like to have.
Chairperson Csordas announced it was a Public Hearing for both of the projects and opened the Matter to the Public.
Richard Herbel, Cottisford stated that he wrote a letter dated September 14 to the Planning Department. He had left something off so he was asked to read the letter. He supports the development of Timber Meadows and Congregate Care located on the east side of Beck Road, subject to the installation of adequate water runoff and water retention facilities to be provided on site and that the "Brush Removal Program" for the Novi Lyons drain be completed as promised by Mr. Nowicki in his letter dated July 21. These items should be incorporated together, meaning the drain and the run-off as part of both projects.
Mr. Bluhm stated that he was not aware of the letter but if there was a commitment made by Mr. Nowickis office and DPS he can certainly look into it. It does make sense to combine the two (2) together if there is a commitment to do that.
Mr. Herbel stated that he wrote a letter to Mr. Nowicki and JCK indicating the west side of Beck Roads Novi Lyon drain is overflowing with brush and is holding up the water so that it cant flow westward. With this project coming forward now, you need to have a relief to have the water go where it is supposed to go. Mr. Nowicki stated that he would do it and he is just reminding everyone that if this is done in conjunction with the project it will make the ponds flow properly to relieve flooding.
Chairperson Csordas asked if Mr. Herbal had confirmation in writing?
Mr. Herbel stated that he did.
Chairperson Csordas stated that a copy should be given to Mr. Bluhm.
Mr. Valdez stated that he lives immediately south of the proposed project and he is concerned about the water. When there is a bad storm he gets a lot of it on his property and he would like to see this addressed. He does approve of both projects because he thinks that it is good for the area and the city.
Seeing no one else he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Mr. Weisberger stated that he wanted to point out the obvious. These are two (2) separate site plans and the Commissioners need to look at it in that way when they are making their motions. Although it is the same property owner, the Commissioners need to evaluate them the same way that they would any other site plan separately.
Chairperson Csordas stated that they will start with the Congregate Care Facility SP 98-58B.
Member Koneda stated that there are three (3) variances that are required from ZBA - the room density, the building length and the building setbacks, which all have a negative impact on the woodlands. He asked if Ms. Lemke had any idea if they built to the ordinances how additional woodlands could be preserved?
Ms. Lemke stated that she could guess about a couple of acres.
Member Koneda asked if it would go from one (1) acre to maybe three (3)?
Ms. Lemke stated that is what she would guess.
Member Koneda stated that he has a couple of concerns about the traffic issues and the fire accessibility. He asked if all of these issues could be addressed as final site plan?
Mr. Arroyo stated yes.
Member Mutch stated that there was no sidewalk connection to Beck Road. He asked where the connection to the trail would take place?
Ms. Lemke stated that it could take place from the eastern side of the building. He could follow through the parking area and the access area on the east to connect to the trail system. He could also connect over to Timber Meadows from that area. From the western portion, he could connect out to Beck Road.
Member Mutch asked if the intrusion that is showing is into the wetland buffer of the Novi Lyon drain?
Ms. Kay stated that it more the two-(2) areas in the center of the site that are linear wetlands.
Member Mutch stated that his concern is that he is seeing buildings practically being built into the drain itself. He is concerned about the loss of the buffer and the run-off. He asked how the run-off from the parking and the building itself going to be addressed going straight into the drain without any collection?
Mr. Bluhm stated that between the parking areas and the building most of that will be going into the parking area and then into the basin. There may be some areas that are between the parking areas and the drain themselves that are improved into a grass state. This would direct to the drain itself but that would not be a water quality problem.
Member Mutch stated that the RM-2 zoning allows five (5) stories and sixty-five (65) feet. He asked if the five-(5) stories can be up to sixty five (65) feet but doesnt have to as long as it is five (5) stories?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it cannot be more than five (5) stories and cant be more than sixty five (65) feet.
Mr. Bowman stated that he would like to address Member Mutchs concern and the concern about the density issue that was brought up previously. Mr. Arroyo pointed out that he is under density for the RM-2. Because of the fact that he is not extending above three (3) stories, he is falling in violation of the density issues. When he was in front of the City Council on this issue, he had proposed the preservation easement and there was concern about height in this location. As a part of the preservation easement, it was expected of him to limit to no greater than three (3) stories or a particular height. There are some competing issues as it relates to density and height. He did struggle with this and he would like to strongly state that it is a project that is very consistent with other congregate style housing. It is extremely high quality and not excessive density at all.
PM-99-09-232 TO GRANT PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR CONGREGATE CARE SP 98-58B WITH WOODLANDS AND WETLANDS PERMIT APPROVALS SUBJECT TO THE CONSULTANTS RECOMMENDATIONS AND ZBA VARIANCE FOR BUILDING LENGTH, SETBACKS, DENSITY, AND LAND BANK OF THE PARKING SPACES ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE PROJECT. ALSO, TO INCLUDE A WAIVER OF THE FOUR FOOT SIX INCH BERM ON THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE PROPERTY.
Moved by Capello, seconded by Canup, PASSES (6-2): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval for Congregate Care SP 98-58B with Woodlands and Wetlands Permit approvals subject to the Consultants recommendations and ZBA variance for building length, setbacks, density, and land bank of the parking spaces on the south side of the project. Also, to include a waiver of the four foot six inch berm on the southern portion of the property.
Member Capello asked if what the fire marshal asked for regarding the turning radius is consistent with what Mr. Arroyo asked for in traffic?
Mr. Arroyo stated that what needs to be done is to set up a meeting with everyone that is involved to see what the alternatives are. One, is to design it so that the fire truck can pull straight up to the building without having to go around and worry about the turning radius. If that is acceptable to everyone that is one (1) alternative. If it is not, there would have to be some modifications to the turning radius to get them in. He would like the flexibility to sit down with everyone and talk about it.
Member Capello asked who he means by everyone?
Mr. Bowman stated that he could work together with Mr. Arroyo.
Mr. Arroyo stated that he would like to point out the land banking of parking. If they are going to provide less spaces than the ordinance requires then they will have to go to the ZBA and ask to be able to land bank.
Member Capello thought that the ordinance was amended a year ago that allowed the Planning Commission to permit land banking.
Mr. Arroyo stated that they are allowed to permit shared parking. The Commissioners are allowed to permit land banking for furniture stores and warehouses. This is because of the unusual nature of them and their conversion potentially for warehouse to Light Industrial. Also, for furniture stores to retail because there was a concern about those two (2) issues.
Member Capello asked if the motion should be subject to land banking subject to ZBA approval?
Member Mutch stated that he would not support the project as it is currently configured. If the Commissioners have to send it off to ZBA with that many variances on a new project that is too many. They need to scale down the project again. He does not know what agreements and understandings took place with Mr. Bowman and City Council. City Council rezoned the property to allow an increased height that would reduce the footprint. There are alternatives to come within the ordinance and that is the direction that the applicant needs to go. Otherwise, there are too many "nos" on this to approve it.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-232 PASSES
Yes: Piccinini, Watza, Canup, Capello, Churella, and Csordas
No: Mutch, Koneda
Chairperson Csordas stated that they would move onto discussion of Timber Meadows SP 99-15A.
Member Mutch stated that this is a very good project for the property. Mr. Bowman should be commended for the preservation of the woodlands on the southern part of the property. He thinks that it will be a great asset for both the project and the community.
PM-99-09-233 TO APPROVE TIMBER MEADOWS SP 99-15A FOR PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN AND WOODLANDS PERMIT APPROVAL. ALSO, A WAIVER FOR THE BUILDING ORIENTATION ALONG THE EAST PROPERTY LINE, A SECTION NINE FAÇADE WAIVER FOR THE BUILDINGS INDICATED IN THE LETTER FROM MR. NECCI, WAIVER FOR THE BERMS AS INDICATED IN MS. LEMKES LETTER AND SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE CONSULTANTS CONDITIONS.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve Timber Meadows SP 99-15A for Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands Permit approval. Also, a waiver for the building orientation along the East property line, a Section Nine façade waiver for the buildings indicated in the letter from Mr. Necci, waiver for the berms as indicated in Ms. Lemkes letter and subject to all of the Consultants conditions.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-233 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Piccinini, Watza, Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
Mr. Bowman stated that for the front-yard parking issue for the new Gateway District he would suggest that the Commissioners consider the ability for the double row of parking within reason.
PM-99-09-234 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:05 P.M.
Moved by Capello, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:05 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-99-09-234 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Watza
Beth Brock - Planning Assistant
Transcribed by: Sarah Marchioni
October 1, 1999
Date Approved: October 6, 1999