View Agenda for this meeting

 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1999 AT 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD

(248)-347-0475

 

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

 

PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards and Watza

 

ABSENT/EXCUSED: None

 

ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Paul Weisberger, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Planning Assistant Beth Brock

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

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

 

Member Churella stated that he would like to add to item number four (4) under the Consent Agenda to schedule a public hearing for January 5, 2000 to amend the definition of micro-brewery in Ordinance, Section 201, Ordinance 97-18.

 

PM-99-12-277 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve the Agenda as amended.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-277 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Member Churella stated that he had three (3) letters on the SP 98-41. One is from Gorguis Senawi and Max Printing sent in the same letter. They both object the approval of Preliminary Site Plan because there are serious problems with the woodlands. There are no hardships that exist that would allow variances to be granted. The third letter is by Ken Bank of Bankís Vacuum Superstores and he objects to the Novi Party Store.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

Chairperson Capello asked if there were any removals of the Consent Agenda? He asked if there were any additions besides the amendment?

 

Seeing none, he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.

 

PM-99-12-278 TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA

 

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve the Consent Agenda.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-278 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

  1. CODE OF ORDINANCES TEXT AMENDMENT 99.100.26
  2. An Ordinance to amend Subpart 28-6(2)b.3 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to allow a business closest to a thoroughfare a wall sign although the businessís entrances does not face the thoroughfare.

     

    Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney, stated that right now the Ordinance provides that if you have an identification sign before your business it has to be within the lineal frontage of that business. He did have a provision that said that if you happen to be a business that has a strip mall that doesnít face or front the thoroughfare, all people see is the side of the building, that the business that occupies that portions of the building closest to the thoroughfare can put itís sign on that wall but not the other five (5) or six (6) stores in the strip mall. The language that is enclosed in the Commissionerís packet reflects that.

     

    Chairperson Capello 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.

     

    DISCUSSION

     

    Member Richards stated that if a building has three (3) businesses in it and they do not face the thoroughfare, the business that is closest to the thoroughfare can have a wall sign. The other two-(2) businesses would have to have signs at the front of their establishments.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that they could also have a wall sign, if they have a direct separate entrance to their establishment.

     

    Member Richards stated that in the typical strip mall the businesses are all lined up. Only the owner on the end could have a sign on his wall. If there were two (2) other people in the strip mall then their signs would have to be towards the front of the building. He stated that it is an advantage to the owner who has the end building.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that the question is whether or not the Commissioners want to permit the person who happens to occupy the building closest to the thoroughfare if he should have the option of putting the sign facing the thoroughfare versus facing the parking lot.

     

    Member Richards stated that his feelings are about the other two (2) owners of the strip mall.

     

    Member Koneda stated that the end business could have two (2) signs, one of the front of the building facing the parking lot and the additional sign.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that the owner would have the choice of one. The normal requirement is that is has to be within the lineal frontage of the business, the front facing the parking lot.

     

    Member Koneda asked if this would be an option only for the person on the corner lot?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated yes.

     

    Member Koneda stated that he understands it now and that he could support it. He agrees with Member Richards that the primary tenant may want to have the sign on the side of the building. If it is in place of the front side, not an addition to, then he can support it.

     

    Member Churella asked if this is primarily for TC?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated no.

     

    Member Churella stated that he noticed one place where this worked and it was on LifeTime Fitness. They needed a wall sign because they were facing the thoroughfare but away from it from many miles. They had to get a variance to do it. He asked if this would prevent that from happening?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that it would not prevent them from getting a variance.

     

    Member Churella stated that he is talking about so that they can have the sign. If there is a building that is free-standing all by itself at the end of the boulevard, then he is thinking of if someone else has the same problem are the Commissioners circumventing the fact that they would have to go to ZBA to get a variance? Will they be able to put the sign up because they are way in the back on the wall or is this just for the people on the thoroughfare?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that LifeTime Fitnessí sign is facing the thoroughfare, it just happens to be far back. This is not the scenario that he is talking about. He is talking about if LifeTime Fitness was rotated ninety degrees so it was not facing the thoroughfare, then they could put the sign on the side of the wall.

     

    Member Mutch asked where this came from and what problem is trying to be addressed? He asked if there is a particular situation that has arisen that is trying to be resolved?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated yes. The last TC major sign Ordinance amendment was tweaked a little bit and read instead "provided further that where such a building is oriented so that the front entrance to the business do not face the adjacent thoroughfare. Said business may place its sole wall sign upon the wall facing the thoroughfare." That left some ambiguity as to what business is being discussed. This language just clarifies that the business that is being talked about is the business closest to the road not just any business located in that building.

     

    Member Mutch stated that Member Koneda made a good point. You may have a center where the primary business is not the business closest to the thoroughfare. If you were going to have a sign, there it would be most effective serving that business as opposed to whomever happened to get the end building. Maybe it is not a problem that needs to be addressed. Maybe the latitude is necessary because you may have tenants that need the flexibility to have a sign on the end of the building than in front. He would not want it to allow two signs but if it would allow the latitude for the largest tenant to have the sign then he thinks that it should be left in.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that instead of saying the business occupying the portion nearest to the thoroughfare, you would say one (1) business is permitted to place a sign on the wall. If it is not done then everyone will argue that they are a business and that they should be able to put their sign on the wall. There would then be a collage of signs and this is what is trying to be prevented.

    Member Canup stated that after his years of being involved in the Sign Ordinance with the ZBA and the Planning Commission he thinks that whatever is done with it, somewhere along the way it is going to be wrong. He does not care how well the Sign Ordinance is written and thought out someone will crawl through a hole to create a problem down the road.

     

    Member Koneda stated that he could see a problem where a business could take an advantage of this and end up with two (2) signs. He asked if the business that is on the corner puts his sole wall sign on the outside of the building facing the thoroughfare but on the inside window he puts another identification sign? He then has an advantage because he will end up with two (2) signs although one is inside the window.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that that would violate the Ordinance. He would be permitted to put a two-(2) foot square sign on the front of the door. He would not be permitted the typical wall sign square footage. The election would preclude from putting the same kind of sign on the front facing the parking lot.

     

    Member Richards asked if the Ordinance was not changed and someone wanted to have a wall sign could they go to the ZBA to request a variance?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that right now, if the nothing was done to the Ordinance then a strip mall with five (5) businesses could have five (5) signs on the wall facing the thoroughfare. It would be per the Ordinance drafted right now. If the Commissioners believe that five-(5) signs on the end of the wall facing the thoroughfare is a flaw, he believes there is a flaw.

     

    Chairperson Capello read the drafted Ordinance.

     

    Member Canup stated that this is a more restricted Ordinance than the present one and will clean up the Ordinance.

     

    PM-99-12-279 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO ADOPT ORDINANCE SUBPART 28-6(2) B.3 OF THE NOVI CODE OF ORDINANCES

     

    Moved by Canup, seconded by Koneda: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to adopt Ordinance Subpart 28-6(2) b.3 of the Novi Code of Ordinances.

     

     

    DISCUSSION

     

    Chairperson Capello stated that he half-remembers discussing this and it has been talked about in retail sense. It does make sense to allow the end user but what if there is a two (2) story office building along I-96 or 275? Normally the tenant occupying the largest percentage of space in the building is allowed to have a sign not on the entranceway, but on the expressway. He does not know if they are variances or if they are allowed by the Ordinance. This addresses retail but it does not necessarily address an office situation.

     

    Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated that he is reading through the language and he doesnít think that it is restricted to retail.

     

    Chairperson Capello stated that it is not but it has been discussed as retail. The language as he understands makes sense to him as retail. A directory wall sign indicates more of an office than retail setting because it is where you see them. How will this apply to a two-(2) story office building? The tenant that might have the corner of the building that faces the expressway can have a sign on the building regardless of the amount of space that he has because the landlord has to approve it.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that the office-building scenario is generally not going to have a separate direct entrance to one (1) person. There will not be the identification sign, it would be falling under the general provision which allows every piece of land and structure one (1) advertising sign. The one (1) that allows you to have an individual sign for each business falls within the exceptions to the one-(1) sign per land rule. The typical office building is on one (1) plot of land and is permitted one (1) advertising sign.

     

    Chairperson Capello asked if they would have to give up their directory sign of all of the tenants to give the signage to one (1) tenant or not have a directory sign?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that a directory sign is permitted.

     

    Chairperson Capello asked if they would have to have one (1) or the other?

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated no; there are exceptions to exceptions. The rule states that you get one (1) sign per building. It does not count against directory signs, kiosk signs, or several other types of signs. It does not go against the one-(1) sign per building. Directory sign is limited to placement right next to the entranceway and cannot be greater than twenty-four (24) square feet.

     

    Chairperson Capello asked if an office building could have a directory sign at the front door and a sole tenant sign somewhere else? It would make more sense to identify the building by the largest tenant as opposed to the location of a smaller tenant within a building.

     

    Member Mutch stated that the language could be amended from "the business occupying that portion of the building" to say "one business in the building or parcel of land." It would say that one business in the building may have a sign on that wall and leave it up to the landlord.

     

    Mr. Weisberger stated that there could a business that is L-shaped where three (3) of the businesses face the thoroughfare but one (1) of them does not. It would be the business that does not face thoroughfares.

     

    Member Richards asked if they are voting on the amended motion?

     

    Member Mutch stated that he could have made it as an amendment but he did not actually throw it out to see if there was any support.

     

    PM-99-12-280 TO ALLOW ONE BUSINESS TO PLACE A SOLE WALL SIGN UPON THE WALL FACING THE THOROUGHFARE

     

    Moved by Mutch, seconded by Piccinini: To allow one business to place a sole wall sign upon the wall facing the thoroughfare.

     

    DISCUSSION

    Chairperson Capello stated that there are other sections of the Ordinance that deal with how many signs a building can have on it in different locations. Maybe the language should not go in this particular subsection, maybe it should go somewhere else within the Sign Ordinance.

    Member Canup stated that maybe it should be reviewed a little bit before it is taken any further. He thinks that it should be looked at more from all of the conversation and uncertainties that are coming forward at this time.

    Mr. Weisberger stated that there is a flaw. The language proposed would address that and if it needed to be dealt with more specifically then it can be taken from there.

    Chairperson Capello asked if there is an immediate problem with this or is it just being cleaned up?

    Mr. Weisberger stated that this is pointed out by Ordinance Enforcement Officer that does signs that said that the language was changed to TC. The language that is being read tonight has always been the intent and what has been applied in the city. It was asked to be reinstated.

    PM-99-12-281 TO TABLE AMENDEMENT AND SEND IT BACK TO THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE MEETING ON JANUARY 05, 2000 TO HAVE IT CLEANED UP. IT WOULD THEN BE BROUGHT BACK TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION.

     

    Moved by Canup, seconded by Koneda, PASSES (5-3): To table amendment and send it back to the Implementation Committee meeting on January 05, 2000 to have it cleaned up. It would then be brought back to the Planning Commission.

    DISCUSSION

    Member Koneda stated that there are two (2) problems that are different. If it is a business, he thinks that there is one (1) set of circumstances that makes sense. If it is a commercial development, he thinks that one (1) set of circumstances would make sense by allowing the business on the end to have a sole sign on the outside. He does agree that if it is a commercial development with an office building then the rules are totally different because the entrances are different and how it is handled is different. It may be broken up in two (2) specifics.

     

    VOTE ON PM-99-12-281 PASSES

     

    Yes: Capello, Churella, Koneda, Watza, and Canup

    No: Mutch, Piccinini, and Richards

     

  3. NOVI PARTY STORE SP 98-41

This project is located on a .38 acre site in Section 23 along the south side of Grand River, east of Novi Road. The site is zoned Town Center District (TC-1). The applicant is seeking Revised Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands Permit approvals.

 

Ron Katchman, architect for Building Design Group, stated that he would be representing Mr. Sampuda. He is before the Planning Commission with a preliminary site plan that has been kicked around in the city for about a year. He was before the Planning Commission earlier and it was tabled per some of the comments that were given to him via the Town Center Committee. He met with the Town Center Committee two (2) other times. The consensus was to move the building to the west property line. Also to make the building and the site to look as if it is a part of a center or complex rather than standing alone on the east side of the property. He has come up with another layout where there is their driveway going straight through the site. He worked with two (2) other concepts and the latest one is before the Commissioners where the drive is shared with the electronic store next door. The diagram shows what the setback requirements are; there are ten (10) on the side, eighty (80) feet from the center line road to the front property line which is approximately twenty (20) feet of setback, and ten (10) at the rear. The parking setbacks are twenty (20) feet off and there is basically a billable area of sixty (60) by one hundred fifty four (154). By the time that you eliminate seventeen (17) feet for a parking space, twenty four (24) for a maneuvering lane and everything else, then there is not a lot of room to work with. He met with the property owners to the west so that the project does not push out in front of their building and does not block the visibility of their building. He feels that with this flow and what that has been worked with at the Town Center Committee and with the Planning Department, he feels that this would be the best layout for this particular site. There will be brick pavers coming from the sidewalk along Grand River and will continue until the Chen property. The site has been substantially landscaped with plantings around the front and lanterns that were requested. Along the east side there is a bench and waste receptacles designed for the Town Center area. He knows that the project is deficient on a few items. However, he thinks that with the size of the site and the way that it is laid out he thinks that everything has been tried to comply with the ordinance. He thinks that this particular site will enhance the people to the east of the site and will open the site up.

 

The applicant stated that a design has been worked in with windows, awnings, and an architectural faÁade to the top of the building. He feels that with the way that the project is designed and the colors being used, it will fit in to the Town Center area. He thinks that this would enhance the area and the building around him.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated described where the site is located and what buildings are around it. He stated that there is a large area in front of the businesses, which is currently one (1) large asphalt area and not much in the way of landscaping. It deals with the fact that the road right-of-way used to extend all the way. Recently, the Road Commission has determined that there was excess right-of-way and there has been additional right-of-way provided to some of the property owners along the property. Now in front of the property there will be green space developed and that will change some of the ways that this area looks from a landscaping perspective.

 

He started out with the planning review. There have been some changes since the letter has been written. The City Council approved the Zoning Text Amendment that the Commissioners had previously recommended. There were some changes that affect TC and TC-1 setbacks. It will eliminate at least one (1) variance from the request and possibly two (2). In his letter, he indicated a number of variances that are required. The second one, sideyard setback, no longer applies. The minimum sideyard setback in a TC-1 district is now ten (10) feet instead of twenty (20) feet. They are providing ten (10) feet so that is no longer a variance item. There is a small area on the east side of the site where there is a parking space against the property line and is not permitted because there has to be a ten (10) foot green space. However, the Commissioners have the ability to grant a waiver of that if they are providing for additional green space somewhere else on the property. The sideyard setback for the building is an issue that potentially the Commissioners may be able to address as well. Another Ordinance Amendment that went through tried to clean up some of the provisions in the TC and TC-1 district. Before it wasnít very clear of whether or not the Planning Commission, for projects under five (5) acres, had the authority to allow for building setback waivers without going to the ZBA. The City Council has always had that authority in TC and TC-1 for sites larger than five (5) acres. The amendments to the Zoning Ordinance clarified that and now the Commissioners have the ability to grant relief of building setbacks within the TC and TC-1 districts if certain criteria are met. There are three (3) criteria that have to be met. One, the reduction and the setback or the waiver of a setback altogether will not impair the health, safety or general well fair of the city as related to the use of the premises or adjacent premise. Two, the waiver of the setback along the common arsol line between two (2) premises would result in a more desirable relationship between the proposed building and an existing building. Three, the adherence to a minimum required setback would result in the establishment of non-usable land area that could create maintenance problems. If you find those conditions apply in this particular situation. You may grant a waiver of the building setback deficiencies that have been identified in his letter. If the applicant were to be successful in getting the waivers from the Planning Commission, the only other outstanding item that would require ZBA action would be the number of parking spaces. Seventeen (17) spaces are required and only sixteen (16) spaces are being proposed. With a proposed connection into the Main Street development to the south, there will be a joint access easement that will be established. It abuts against the parking lot for Main Street. Potentially, there could enter into a shared parking arrangement where you could have overflow between the two (2). When the Main Street project came forward they were able to have a reduction in parking spaces overall because of shared parking among users. It looks like it will be an item that would have to go before the ZBA. He had a number of clean-up items that need to be addressed as part of the final site plan. He is not recommending approval of the Preliminary Site Plan from a planning perspective due to the need for at least one (1) ZBA variance. If the variance were to be granted then he would be in a position to recommend approval.

 

He moved on to his November 17 traffic review. This proposal involves the elimination of one (1) fairly significant driveway access point to Grand River in combination with an existing driveway located to the east. There is an existing driveway, which lines up with the drive on the north side that is going to be utilized. Technically, this driveway, although it is an existing one, is being re-constructed. It does not meet the spacing standards from the drive located to the west of the property with the buildings that abut it. A driveway spacing standard waiver would have to be addressed as part of the motion. The forty-(40) mile per hour speed limit would require a one hundred eighty five (185) foot separation. He thinks that there is one hundred twenty seven (127) foot spacing that currently is shown on the plan. That is a waiver that needs to be noted. Some other details from a traffic perspective that he has identified can be cleaned up at final site plan review. He is recommending approval of the site plan from a traffic perspective based upon the items in the November 17 letter.

 

David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated that the plan has changed considerably with respect to the building location and parking. Sewer and water service the site, storm water is proposed and is intended to be parking lot detained. It is not an ideal situation, he allows up to a foot apart for storage of water on a temporary basis in a parking lot if there are no other options. He would like the applicant to use as much of the capacity in the existing storm sewer that they are outletting to in an effort to minimize the amount of storage in the parking area. He will be looking for them to provide that at the final site plan. Mr. Arroyo had mentioned some of the easement requirements in addition to an easement to allow discharge into the off-site storm sewer. They will have to verify that capacity and secure that easement from the off-site property owner prior to final site plan approval. He had a number of other minor comments that can be addressed at final site plan and he is recommending approval.

 

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated that she would begin with the woodlands review. There are woodlands on the site and are located at the rear of the property. There is a cluster of leftover woodlands that previously traversed Main Street property to the south. They are pioneer species woodlands, primarily Elm, Poplar, Cottonwood, Silver Maple, Willow, Ash, and Box Elder. The quality is low with no wildlife habitat value or other value in the area due to the type of species that are there. With this proposed development, they will be removing all of the trees and understory vegetation. There are fifteen (15) trees that are eight-(8) inch d.b.h. ranging to seventeen (17) inch d.b.h. that will be removed. She is recommending approval with twenty-three (23) replacement trees required for this site. They have not indicated how they will be replacing them and that needs to be listed as to which recourse they will go to. She is recommending approval for the woodlands permit with two (2) conditions. One, the review of the comments in the letter in final engineering. Two, payment of all financial guarantees and fees to be determined at final site plan review.

 

She has four (4) comments on the landscape review from her November 17 letter. It appears that they have additional space to allow the Planning Commission to provide a waiver for the small area, which is approximately ten (10) by twenty (20) feet on the southern property line. They have additional landscaping space elsewhere on the site that would allow the Commissioners to recommend the waiver. Her letter states that they did not have it when she was looking at the twenty-(20) foot area and that a ZBA variance would have been required. The Town Center Committee suggested that the size of the plant material should be increased to compensate for lack of setback when she was looking at a variance. There is extra area by the dumpster in the rear of the building and in the front of the facility that would meet that ten (10) foot by twenty (20) foot area requirement. There is one (1) other ZBA variance that is required and that is for the four-(4) foot green space adjacent to the building. She is supporting the variance because they have provided additional brick paving and planters throughout the site. They have provided buffering from Grand River Avenue by two (2) means to fulfill this requirement. One, an evergreen planting adjacent to the driveway and the other is a thirty-(30) inch high brick wall. She has some comments about changing the species of the shrub to a more upright shrub. The fourth comment concerns the requirements per the Town Center district. They have furnished twenty-nine (29) percent of the site as open space and open space in the Town Center district is defined as "permanently landscaped open space and pedestrian plazas." They need to meet fifteen (15) percent of the gross side area and they have met it at twenty-nine (29) percent. In addition, they have provided pedestrian orientation. The brick walk goes the length of the building and to the walk parallel to Grand River Avenue. They have provided a number of Town Center amenities such as the brick splash strip along Grand River, the brick paving within the site, two planting areas on the walkway, a bench, trash receptacles, and three pedestrian lighting standards. Treatment of the amenities has been accomplished in an interesting manner, which she feels greatly compliments the site. With these comments and the other items that are noted in her letter for final review, she is recommending approval of the landscape plan.

 

Jim Wahl stated that this had been at the Town Center Committee meeting and there are several Commissioners that are on the committee. In reference to the variances and waivers, there was a conclusion that if the variances and waivers were not supported then the applicant was basically being told not to improve the property and keep it the way it is. The conclusion was to encourage the project to move forward to improve the site and make it more visually attractive.

 

Chairperson Capello announced he has received two (2) letters from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, dated November 18 which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is not recommended due to several deficiencies. There is also a December 9 letter that states that the architect for this project has provided a letter stating they will comply with all of the fire department concerns regarding this project. The preliminary site plan is recommended for approval subject to the applicant complying with the November 18 letter.

 

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

 

Lisa Senawi, representing Jonnaís Fine Wine on 43035 Grand River Avenue, stated that she would like to object to the request for Novi Party Store for a few reasons, which were stated in her letter. They include the variances, which will also significantly affect her operation and ability to provide service to her customers. A lot of the front area is her parking space for the customers. She feels that there will be visibility lost for her business. The petitioner mentioned that there would be improvement for people on the south side and the east side of the location. Obviously, the trees and other things that will be located towards the end of the facility will negatively impact the people on the west. She feels that the variances should not be approved because there is no hardship existing at this time. She feels that the Ordinance is in place to protect the public and other adjacent property owners. Approving those variances for this purpose would be against the reason that they are in place to begin with.

 

Ken Bank, Bankís Vacuum, stated that he is in the vacuum store thirty (30) feet from the proposed building. It looks like a huge mistake. There are landscape variances, zoning variances, setback variances, and a myriad of issues. It will negatively impact his business and ability to service the customers. He is opposed to it very strongly. He believes that the petitioner did not address the business owners and property owners to the west of the proposed site. He mentioned the east and south but nothing about the west. Obviously, he does not feel that it will enhance the west and he may even believe that it will be a detriment to the people in the west. The parking situation is a nightmare as it is and this will only make it worse. The plan has a proposed ingress/egress from the Chen development. He asked why the other business owners next to the building could not have an ingress/egress for their businesses? The proposed building does not look like it makes sense. The area in the back is being called woodlands. He would like to know if there has been any definition from the DNR to see if it is wetlands. The proposed site looks like too much of a building, too many repercussions and needs too many variances. The owner of the property is in a position where unless he enhances the building nobody would buy. Mr. Bank offered to buy it and has several developers that would gladly go in to put a few good-looking places. He does not think that the building has ever been up for sale formally. He is not in agreement with that issue at all. He would be interested in buying it if it were. There is an issue with visibility coming from the east, affecting the view. It does not look like it would be a positive impact on the buildings to the west of the site. There is a four-(4) foot variance adjacent to the building that needs to be addressed.

 

The owner of the property stated that he bought the property in June 1977, which were lots six (6) and seven (7). His project is older and he would like to make it more modern. Mr. Bank is describing his property and thinks that it should stay the same for him to use as parking. He does not think that that is the right way to feel about it. He is just trying to do the right things and he is not trying to hurt anyone. He has stayed in this building and he believes in doing things the right way.

 

Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for

Discussion.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Watza stated that Mr. Bank was interested in buying the property. He asked if he bought the building, how would he build the building?

 

Mr. Bank stated that he would push it further back and allow a similar parking situation that is already there.

 

Member Watza stated that his rear yard setback is zero (0). He is already backed up as far as he can go.

 

Mr. Bank stated that the project does not make sense on that site because there is not enough landscaping for the zoning requirements. This looks like an attempt to get a project done with a bunch of variances. If the owner wants to enhance the property then it could be done with a lot better. If variances are going to be given, then give variances that are going to make sense with the building.

 

Member Watza asked if he is familiar with the first plan that came in?

 

Mr. Bank stated that he is not familiar with the first plan. It would make more sense to him if the new building were all the way back to the Chen development so that there is a similar parking situation on Grand River. This is a detriment to him and the other businesses.

 

Member Watza stated that the petitioner originally came to the Commissioners and wanted to build out the building that he has now. It was the Commissioners suggestion that he come back with a plan similar to. The neighbors were not supposed to be impacted negatively.

 

Mr. Bank stated that this is seriously going to impact the neighbors. It will impact them from a visibility, traffic and parking standpoint.

 

Member Watza asked if the neighbors are planning on improving their buildings at all?

 

Mr. Bank stated that he does not own a building in Novi, he has been leasing the building since 1993. He offered to buy the building but the owner did not want to sell it.

 

Member Watza asked who owns the building?

 

Mr. Bank stated Victor Cassis. He stated that it looks like too big of a project for the site.

 

Member Koneda stated that it is his understanding that since this is zoned TC-1 that any improvement that goes into the property has to meet the requirements of TC-1. He asked if it would eliminate parking along the street?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that it would be very limited. You can have one (1) bay of parking in front of the building. There is actually a maximum setback so that you cannot put the building all the way back like you typically might find in another district where you push the building back and put the parking in the front.

 

Member Koneda asked if any improvements that are made along the properties that are on Grand River, the front yard parking will be eliminated in order to come into compliance with TC-1 zoning?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated not necessarily eliminated. In some cases, it may be reduced.

 

Member Koneda asked if the landscaping along Grand River is a condition of the zoning?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct. They are putting the landscaping in to meet the Ordinance.

 

Member Koneda stated that it looks like the building is in line with the adjacent property, Jonnaís.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct.

 

Member Koneda asked if the setback is exactly the same as the building that is already there?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct.

 

Member Koneda stated that the shared access driveway eliminates all of the off-street accesses currently there. Basically, it improves that site but it may take away some parking from the businesses next door.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that they would be parking on the ownerís property.

 

Member Koneda stated that he initially thought that there were five (5) ZBA variances. He thinks that two (2) of them have been transferred to the Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that there is only one (1) ZBA variance left.

 

Member Koneda stated that the first one is the side yard parking. That has been reduced to ten (10) feet.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that it now meets the Ordinance.

 

Member Koneda asked if one (1) of the conditions was that the size of the planting materials has to increase?

 

Ms. Lemke stated that it was from the Town Center Committee when it was a variance.

 

Member Koneda stated that now it meets the ten-(10) foot parking setback, the conditions of having the increased planting materials is no longer there.

 

Ms. Lemke stated that for the side yard, yes.

 

Member Koneda stated that this one (1) does not require any action by the Commissioners at all because it meets the Ordinance. The four-(4) foot green space adjacent to the building, in place of that there are brick pavers. He asked if that is a ZBA variance?

Ms. Lemke stated that she thought it was until she talked to Mr. Arroyo who is keeping closer track of what the City Council passes. They did pass an amendment for TC-1 and TC for the Planning Commission to waive that four (4) foot green space. It is another Planning Commission that she was going to bring up.

 

Member Koneda asked if the Planning Commission has to grant the waiver and not the ZBA?

 

Ms. Lemke stated that is correct.

 

Member Koneda stated that the condition is that pavers and other amenities can be exchanged for green space?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct. It is only in TC and TC-1 that you can do that.

 

Member Koneda asked if the petitioner is in violation of the setback for the rear yard?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that he is in violation. However, it is a waiver that the Commissioners can grant because if there is excess green belt to make up for that somewhere else on the site. Ms. Lemke has indicated that there is excess so it can be a Planning Commission waiver.

 

Member Koneda asked if the requirement for green space is fifteen (15) percent of the net site area? He thought that Ms. Lemke had mentioned that it was twenty-nine (29) percent.

 

Ms. Lemke stated that they exceeded it twenty-nine (29) percent.

 

Member Koneda stated that the side yard-building setback is now a Planning Commission variance.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that they have the ability to grant the variance.

 

Member Koneda stated that the other one is the parking spaces, sixteen (16) spaces instead of seventeen (17).

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that that one has to go to ZBA.

 

Member Koneda stated that there is one (1) that has to go to ZBA and four (4) are Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that there is one (1) other that is not planning related, the driveway spacing.

 

Member Koneda stated that he had that one also. The driveway spacing is an existing condition but since it is a new development then a variance has to be granted.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that this is making the spacing better than it is today.

 

Member Koneda stated that the Commissioners would have to grant five (5) waivers and one (1) conditional upon going to ZBA. He thinks that the shared driveway is a plus because it eliminates curb cut and traffic problems. He agrees that the site is too narrow to build on. He thinks that the building setback is in line with the building next door. The improvements to landscape will only improve the site. He asked if the petitioner has to get the shared access easement for the two-(2) driveways?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated yes and he will look for that at the time of final site plan.

 

Member Koneda stated that he assumes that the petitioner agrees to make the bike path eight (8) feet wide instead of the current five (5)?

Mr. Katchman stated yes.

 

Chairperson Capello stated that they would have to go to the ZBA because they are one (1) parking space short. He asked if Mr. Arroyo said that if the petitioner goes to Chen to get a shared parking easement agreement then they would not need the ZBA variance?

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that there is a way that they can do it and it may make more sense at this point to go to the ZBA. The Planning Commission can grant a shared parking agreement subject to the applicant being to them a study indicating that there will be sufficient parking for both uses if there is a sharing of parking between the two (2) users. If they were to present that study then the Commissioners would be able to grant that as a Planning Commission action. It would allow them to have fewer spaces in the event that they were providing the total number of spaces over the properties.

 

Chairperson Capello asked if this is a separate new study or can they rely on what is already submitted to the city from Mr. Chen because it is only one (1) space difference.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that he would like in the Ordinance but he thinks that it is another study.

 

PM-99-12-282 TO GRANT PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL TO NOVI PARTY STORE SP 98-41 WITH THE WOODLANDS PERMIT APPROVAL SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONSULTANTS AND THE FIRE MARSHAL GRANTING FOR THE FOUR (4) WAIVERS BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION AND SUBJECT TO THE ZBA GRANTING A VARIANCE FOR THE ONE (1) PARKING SPACE OR SUBMITTING SOME FORM OF AGREEMENT SATISFACTORY TO THE CONSULTANTíS

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Novi Party Store SP 98-41 with the woodlands permit approval subject to the conditions and recommendations of the consultants and the fire marshal granting for the four (4) waivers by the Planning Commission and subject to the ZBA granting a variance for the one (1) parking space or submitting some form of agreement satisfactory to the consultants

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Mutch stated that there were some questions regarding the development of this site in conjunction with some other properties. He asked if the department has been approached by any of the surrounding property owners in terms of developing this as part of a larger site?

 

Mr. Wahl stated that there have been discussions with some people that have expressed a desire to do so but had no success in putting together multiple properties.

 

Member Mutch asked if the properties on either side of the site have submitted any plans for improvement?

 

Mr. Wahl stated that there are none that he is aware of.

 

Member Mutch stated that the ideal project would be to do something larger and take all the properties in to do something coordinated. It does not sound like the property owners are going to work with each other on something bigger. The Commissioners could be sitting here five years from now still waiting for that area to improve. The objections that he is hearing are if the site is improved it will negatively impact the adjoining businesses. In the sense that somebody has something that looks nicer than that may be true. If there is an impact on parking it is because they were using parking on this applicantís property. The landscaping and the layout of the site is all according to the Ordinances. The elimination of the asphalt will be a tremendous improvement. He likes the brick paver sidewalk that they have extended because it lines up with the back entrance into Main Street. They have created almost a pedestrian connection between Grand River and Main Street. It is actually a key piece in the puzzle. The letters talked about allowing a new use into the area. He is going to improve the site and hopefully the adjoining property owners will take this as an impetuous to do the same to improve their buildings. That area along Grand River, which is not the most attractive part of Town Center, will start to look more like a downtown. He will support the project with the variances.

 

Chairperson Capello stated that this is not a new business that came in and bought the property. It has been here for years and is being expanded. He thinks that the city should work with him to keep him as a business in Novi.

 

Member Canup stated that when they first came to the Town Center Steering Committee the site plan was somewhat different. They were going to take the existing building and build around it. It looked like it was going to be a hodge-podge. The Committee made some suggestions as to what they thought should be done.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-282 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza, Canup, Capello

No: None

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

  1. COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

 

Chairperson Capello stated that there was a letter in the packet regarding the committees.

 

Member Watza volunteered for Master Plan and Zoning Committee, which has one (1) vacancy.

 

PM-99-12-283 TO NOMINATE MEMBER WATZA TO THE MASTER PLAN AND ZONING COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Watza to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-283 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

Member Mutch volunteered to be on the Capital Improvements Program Committee.

 

PM-99-12-284 TO NOMINATE MEMBER MUTCH TO THE CAPITAL IMPROVMENTS PROGRAM COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Mutch to the Capital Improvements Program Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-284 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

 

 

 

Member Koneda volunteered to be on the Planning Studies and Budget Committee.

 

PM-99-12-285 TO NOMINATE MEMBER KONEDA TO THE PLANNING STUDIES AND BUDGET COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Watza, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Koneda to the Planning Studies and Budget Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-285 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

Chairperson Capello stated that there are five (5) vacancies. He stated that he is on the Housing and Community Development as a citizen, not a Planning Commission representative. There are two (2) vacancies on that committee. That committee meets about four (4) times a year before budget and Dan Davis does all the work.

 

Member Richards volunteered to be on the Housing and Community Development Committee.

 

PM-99-12-286 TO NOMINATE MEMBER RICHARDS TO THE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Richards to the Housing and Community Development Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-286 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

Member Piccinini stated that in July she was nominated to Environmental.

 

PM-99-12-287 TO NOMINATE MEMBER PICCININI TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Piccinini to the Environmental Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-287 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

Member Koneda volunteered to be on the Housing and Community Development Committee.

 

PM-99-12-288 TO NOMINATE MEMBER KONEDA TO THE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Mutch, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Koneda to the Housing and Community Development Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-288 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

Chairperson Capello stated that there is a vacancy in Planning Studies and Budget and Rules.

 

Member Piccinini volunteered to be on the Rules Committee.

 

PM-99-12-289 TO NOMINATE MEMBER PICCININI TO THE RULES COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Mutch, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Piccinini to the Rules Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-289 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

Chairperson Capello stated that a few vacancies need to be kept open for the new Commissioner. He stated that Traffic is open right now. He asked Mr. Arroyo if there is an immediate need for it?

 

Member Watza and Churella volunteered to be on the Chamber of Commerce Committee.

 

PM-99-12-290 TO NOMINATE MEMBER WATZA AND CHURELLA TO THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Mutch, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To nominate Member Watza and Churella to the Chamber of Commerce Committee.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-290 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

SPECIAL REPORTS

 

  1. PLANNING COMMISSIONERS BRIEFING PROGRAM: GEOGRAPHIC AREA PLANS

Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that the topic for the evening is geographic area plans. One of the things about the geographic area plan is that it is just like a Master Plan except it focuses in on certain areas of the community. The State Planning Act allows the Commissioners, to do a long-range plan for a specific area of the community and not the whole community. Some examples of where this would be applied include when there is some unusual change like a new mall or sports stadium that will impact the surrounding area and there is a special need for a study. Another one is an extensive natural resources that might have been identified that need to be taken into consideration in terms of long-range planning. There have been several done in the city; the Grand River Corridor Plan, Walled Lake Sector Study and some along the M-5 Corridor. One of the opportunities that you get with an area plan is the ability to be more specific in terms of what your long-range plans are and what your vision is. This is where some of the community character issues come into play. When the Master Plan was done, there was a specific sub-chapter on community character, which talked about some areas in Novi, and how they differ. A Grand River overlay district Zoning Ordinance proposal will be brought forward before the end of the fiscal year. It would try to take some of the recommendations from that Corridor Plan and put them into a Zoning Ordinance that would implement them as new development comes on line. It starts out with the overall long-range plan and gets into more detail with the geographic area plans. It also allows you to get a good handle on what you are looking for in some of these areas and get away from the "McPlan approach."

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

  1. PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM: FY 1999-2000 AND 2000-2001

Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo and Planning Studies and Budget Committee.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that the current Planning Commission work program for this fiscal year, 1999-2000 has several different studies and proposals that are underway. From the Planning Commissionís perspective, a Master Plan chapter is underway this year, which is the natural features chapter. It is being worked on right now and there will be some internal work meetings with the consultantís. An existing Land Use survey is going to be documented through the GIS System so that it can be more easily updated on a regular basis. There are two (2) Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments that will be coming in the near future. One of them will be the Grand River overlay district. The other is looking at the residential development options, which is the preservation option, cluster option, RUD and the subdivision open space option. They will be looked at to see how they can be improved and will be going through the Implementation Committee first. There are four (4) key components in the work program. In addition, he is in the process of putting together a proposed work program for next year. This evening he met with the Planning Studies Committee and talked about another Master Plan chapter that was proposed for next year, which is the Industrial/OST inventory and analysis. This would look at all of the land that is currently designated Industrial and OST use within the city. It would show how much build-able Industrial and OST land is left so that the Commissioners can use it as a decision-making tool when the land use patterns are looked at. He thinks that at the next meeting there will be a more complete proposal for the Planning Commission work program.

 

Mr. Wahl stated the first meeting in January he would like to have a first draft proposal as it would go forward to City Council. Then if any amendments were needed then during the second meeting in January, it could have a final action. There have been a couple of situations where that process took beyond January and the deadline was missed. He would like to keep to this schedule.

 

Chairperson Capello stated that that sounds all right to him. He asked if it can be handed out before Christmas rather than put it in the packet the Friday before the meeting?

 

Mr. Wahl stated that he would pass it out as soon as he can get it together.

 

Member Mutch stated that he had a few suggestions. He thinks that possibly doing some additional corridor studies need to be looked at such as Beck Road and Novi Road. He thinks that some money needs to be incorporated into the Planning Department budget for grant writing activities. One (1) of the challenges of the staff is that they are so over-loaded with the regular workflow that sitting down and writing the grants is not something that can be done in one (1) afternoon.

 

Chairperson Capello stated that maybe the department proposed budget should be available because some of the issues might be in their budget. The two (2) can then be compared. There is an Implementation meeting on January 5 and on the agenda is Local Colorís issue. Member Mutch had a question and wanted to know where to direct it in regard to a pedestrian passageway across Meadowbrook. The sign ordinance will be brought back and he would like to put the Northern Equities issue on that agenda also.

 

Mr. Wahl stated that there was another pending issue, which was the I-1 proposal, related to automobile repair shops.

 

Chairperson Capello asked if there are any problems with scheduling the meeting for 6:00 on January 5.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

PM-99-12-291 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 9:11 P.M.

 

Moved by Churella, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:11 p.m.

 

VOTE ON PM-99-12-291 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza

No: None

 

 

________________________________

Beth Brock - Planning Assistant

 

Transcribed by: Sarah Marchioni

December 22, 1999

 

Date Approved: January 5, 2000