REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 05, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Capello.
PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards and Watza
ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Cassis and Churella
ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering 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 Capello asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?
PM-00-01-001 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.
VOTE ON PM-00-01-001 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza
Chairperson Capello announced that the Public Hearing for Novaplex would be until the January 19, 2000 Planning Commission Meeting, therefore, there would not be any Audience Participation at the Public Hearing. He suggested if anyone wished to comment that they do so during the first Audience Participation.
Chairperson Capello announced that the order of presentation for Public Hearings calls for the communications relative to those Public Hearings to be done during the presentation. Therefore, he announced that the general communications would be read as normal and specific communications pertaining to the Public Hearings would be read during the Public Hearings.
Chairperson Capello announced there was one item on the Consent Agenda. The approval of the December 15, 1999 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.
PM-00-01-002 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF DECEMBER 15, 1999 AS PRESENTED.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of December 15, 1999 as presented.
VOTE ON PM-00-01-002 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza
ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT 18.159
An Ordinance to amend the definition of "Microbrewery or Microbrewer" contained within Section 210 of Ordinance No. 97-18, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to permit the production of all types of alcoholic liquors on-premises subject to certain production volume limits.
Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated since the Ordinance was amended to include this specific use, the State law has changed to allow greater flexibility in terms of what can occur within a microbrewery. He explained that wine products as well as other spirits could be produced on site. The Text Amendment amends the definition within the Zoning Ordinance to be consistent with what has occurred with the State law. He stated under the Microbrewery provisions, only those goods that are produced on site could be sold on site in terms of alcoholic beverages.
He clarified once more that it was an Ordinance to bring the definition up to date with changes in the State law.
Chairperson Capello announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public for comments.
Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
It was Member Canup ‘s opinion that it was just a technicality which allowed the opportunity to brew alcohol. He saw it as a way of cleaning up the Ordinance.
PM-00-01-003 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO AMEND SECTION 210 OF ORDINANCE 97-18 CONSISTENT WITH THE LANGUAGE PROPOSED BY THE CONSULTANTS.
Moved by Canup, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send a positive recommendation to City Council to amend Section 210 of Ordinance 97-18 consistent with the language proposed by the Consultants.
VOTE ON PM-00-01-003 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza
Project is located in Section 12, on the west side of Haggerty Road, north of Twelve Mile Road, and south of Thirteen Mile Road. The 22 acre site is zoned Office Service Technology (OST). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Woodlands, and Wetlands Permit approvals.
Chairperson Capello announced he has received a letter from the applicant requesting that the project be postponed until the January 19, 2000 Planning Commission Meeting. He entertained a motion to do so.
PM-00-01-004 TO POSTPONE THE PUBLIC HEARING ON NOVAPLEX SP99-32 TO JANUARY 19, 2000.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To postpone the Public Hearing on Novaplex SP99-32 to January 19, 2000.
VOTE ON PM-00-01-004 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza, Canup
POLICE DEPARTMENT ADDITION SP 99-61
This project is located in Section 27, on the south side of Ten Mile Road between Taft and Novi Roads. The site is zoned One-Family Residential District (R-4). The project is adjacent to an existing residential area and requires Special Land Use approval. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use approvals.
Doug Shaeffer, Chief of Police for the City of Novi announced that the Citizens Committee looked at the needs of the Police Department based on the growth of the Community and decided that several modifications, additions and renovations were necessary to the Police Department Building. He stated a bond issue was voted on and passed by the Community which provided some funding for the project.
Dennis Dundon presented a site plan of the existing building. He stated the proposal is to add an addition along with a number of alterations inside the building, as well as refurbishing the asphalt.
Mr. Dundon explained that the addition would be used as a training center. It has its own entry as well as being able to access from inside the building.
Another addition will be storage areas as well as an expansion of the vehicle repair garage of two additional bays. He stated there would be a corresponding increase in the amount of parking area, however, there are existing trees and shrubbery which gives a 40’ setback versus a 20’ setback. He explained that it runs back into a hillside which requires a retaining wall to be built.
Mr. Dundon stated the new addition would be built out of the same brick as the existing building.
Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recommended approval subject to several conditions. From a Special Land Use perspective one requirement is a noise analysis. He recommended that if the Commission chose to act favorably, that it be conditioned upon either a noise analysis being provided prior to Final Site Plan approval or the ZBA granting a variance on the issue. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Site Plan subject to a number of minor items being addressed from a planning perspective.
In regard to the Traffic Review of December 22, 1999, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval. He stated there were a number of minor issues that needed to be resolved and could be done as a part of the Final Site Plan approval.
Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. She had a few comments and stated they could be addressed on the Final Site Plan.
In regard to the Façade Review, Mr. Necci recommends that the application is in full compliance with the Façade Ordinance and a Section 9 Waiver is not required.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated she requested revised plans which were provided and are in the packets. These revised plans address the concerns of her last letter. She recommended approval of the conceptual and final landscape plan. One item is to be provided at the time of Final. She stated her major concerns were along the eastern property line. One to preserve as much of the existing vegetation as possible because it provides a lot of screening and to provide additional screening by use of supplemental evergreen trees. Ms. Lemke stated the Commission needs to provide a waiver for the berm to save the existing plant material, which is what she recommends.
Zhi Fu objects to the project and states that tax money should be spent on other projects that are more beneficial to the public.
Edgar Vollmer wrote in favor of the addition to the Police Department.
Linda Oestman expressed four concerns. She felt that the addition would be too close to her property and lower her property value. She stated evergreens were needed to block the current view of the building, and stated that the City needed to provide some sort of barrier to help reduce the noise of the air conditioning unit and more noise from the police building and loss of privacy in her backyard.
Chairperson Capello announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.
Debra Phillips, 23449 Winthrop Court expressed concerns based on the mailing. She was concerned that the Special Land Use would also mean Special Land Use for the remainder of the area to Taft Road.
Mr. Arroyo explained that the City property was much larger than just the Police Department site.
Chairperson Capello clarified that if approved, all that would be added would be just the proposed addition.
Pat Holt, 45409 Addington Lane expressed the same concern as Debra Phillips and stated her question was answered.
Barry Turner, 44910 Roundview Drive reiterated the previous comments. He expressed concern that the project affected Powers Park. He opposed anything happening to Powers Park.
Linda Oestman, 23755 Hickory Grove asked if the addition was considered to be added on the north side of the Police Station rather than encroaching into property which was closer to backyards as well as the park? She also asked how far the addition would be built to the south? She expressed concern regarding the berm and asked about its size.
Chairperson Capello asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Ms. Lemke stated there would be no additional berming along the eastern area because she wanted the existing vegetation to be saved. She stated there would be supplemental evergreen trees placed in amongst the existing vegetation.
Chief Shaeffer responded to the question regarding building the addition on the south end of the building. He stated when the building was originally constructed, the north end of the building primarily contains the lock-up facility. Because of the security complex and the way it was originally designed and built, to change it becomes exceptionally expensive.
Member Koneda was disappointed that the Special Land Use required a noise analysis which was not conducted before the applicant appeared before the Commission. He asked if the applicant planned to conduct the analysis or appear before the ZBA?
Chief Shaeffer explained that he was not aware that a noise analysis was required until yesterday. He stated that the process has already begun to complete one.
Member Koneda asked why an additional two doors needed to be added to the back of the building to provide access into the garage?
Chief Shaeffer explained that the garage was very narrow and lacked depth. He stated additional hoists were being added in the new section.
Mr. Dundon explained that one bay was a hoist and the other was not.
Member Koneda still thought the two existing doors would be sufficient without adding the additional ones.
In regard to the air conditioning, Member Koneda asked if the door would be closed in the summer when the pneumatic tools were running? He understood that some of the residents complained that in the summer, the bay doors were left open when vehicle work was being done and therefore a lot of noise was being generated. He asked if something could be done about the doors?
Chief Shaeffer explained that the ventilation was being upgraded for the garage and that it wasn’t actually going to be air conditioned. He stated he had not previously heard of any concerns in that regard, however, he stated it could be looked into.
Member Koneda expressed concerns regarding the lighting. He asked if lighting was allowed on the side of the building?
Mr. Arroyo stated it was something that would be looked into as part of the Final Site Plan.
Member Koneda asked if it was required that the entire building be in compliance with the lighting ordinance even though the new addition only applied to one end of the building?
Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney stated it was his opinion that when an addition is added to a structure, that portion would need to come into compliance as well.
Member Koneda believed the lighting should be considered as part of the building addition. He stated if it became a condition of the Consultants report, he would then support it.
Member Koneda expressed concern regarding the berming. He stated part of the site is currently a chain link fence and asked Ms. Lemke if she wanted the retention wall to extend the entire property line?
Ms. Lemke stated the property rises up and provides the 4’ 6", however, it is not a contained berm on the site. She stated she was looking for a waiver for the berm.
Member Koneda stated during the summer the vegetation is very thick and there is no complaint regarding the lighting, however, in the winter when the vegetation is very sparse, it does not provide much screening. He asked if the additional vegetation would provide adequate screening?
Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She clarified that the applicant has added about fifteen (15) additional evergreen trees along the existing parking lot to supplement what currently exists.
Member Koneda asked if the number of parking spaces met or exceeded the Ordinance requirement? He was concerned that the parking spaces extended too far into the building.
In regard to drainage with regard to the additional parking lot, Member Koneda asked how it would be handled and if there was enough capacity?
Ms. Weber stated it was an issue that could be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan. It will need to be evaluated to make sure that the existing storm sewer has capacity to pick up the additional flows. If it does not, the applicant will either need to provide some type of detention or upsize the storm sewer pipes that have a capacity issue.
Member Richards asked if the dumpster would be relocated?
Chief Shaeffer answered, yes.
Member Richards expressed concern regarding the dumpster facing east and the noise it would create when the trucks came to empty them.
Chief Shaeffer stated he wanted to be good neighbors to the residents, as they are directly adjacent to the building, he stated he would take it into consideration.
In regard to the parking, Mr. Arroyo stated the use was an unusual one and there was no specific parking requirement category in the Ordinance that fits. He gave a comparison and stated the number of spaces being added was approximately equivalent to what the Ordinance would require for an office building. He stated it was not out of line with what would be required. He stated the calculation is based upon looking at the factors and the Commission’s determination in what they feel is appropriate.
PM-00-01-005 TO APPROVE SP99-61 NOVI POLICE DEPARTMENT ADDITION, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL AND SPECIAL LAND USE APPROVAL PER ALL OF THE CONSULTANTS RECOMMENDATIONS AND INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF A SOUND ANALYSIS OR A ZBA VARIANCE FOR THE SOUND ANALYSIS AND THE WAIVER OF THE LANDSCAPE BERMS, PRESERVE EXISTING VEGETATION WITH THE SUPPLEMENTAL PLANTINGS PER THE CONSULTANT RECOMMENDATION AND ENSURING THAT THS SIGHT LIGHTING ON THE EXISTING BUILDING AND PARKING AREAS ARE SUCH THAT THEY ARE DIRECTED AWAY FROM THE RESID AREAS
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Watza, CARRIED (6-1): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval and Special Land Use to Police Department Addition SP99-61 with the berm waiver with supplemental plantings as recommended by Linda Lemke and to either require a Noise Analysis or a ZBA variance for the Noise Analysis.
Member Koneda still questioned the practicality of the west parking lot. He thought it would provide adequate parking for the training facility. He had a problem with the expansion of the parking space, therefore he would not be in support of the motion.
VOTE ON PM-00-01-005 CARRIED
Yes: Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza, Canup, Capello
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM: FY 2000-2001
Presentation by Planning Department Director Jim Wahl and Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo.
James Wahl, Director of Planning and Community Development presented the draft proposal and requested questions and direction from the Commission regarding the proposed Work Program and Budget. He was hopeful that the Commission could adopt a proposed budget for fiscal year 2000-2001 in a couple of weeks.
Mr. Wahl pointed out a couple of corrections and additions that were made from the Planning Studies Committee meetings as well as the previous general overview with the Commission. He stated that the Environmental Consultants recommended that the Commission consider the two environmental planning studies, Environmental Educational Outreach and the second deals with endangered species and plant and wetland resources. He pointed out fundamental changes in the budget and administration and stated Consultant retainers were now located in the General Administration budget. He also stated there have been some other changes where administrative functions have been transferred to the Department. The Department also conducts some planning and design work under its responsibility.
Mr. Wahl also provided a draft of the Community Development Department Work Program which included a number of initiatives that fall under the information services program where technology is being used to better present mapped information and other data related to planning.
Mr. Wahl explained that this was the start of a five year process leading to the adoption of another revision of the Master Plan. He suggested that the Commission also look at the five year program and make a resolution recommending to proceed according to the program.
In regard to the Endangered Species Study, Member Richards asked for an explanation of the purpose of the study. He asked if it is found that there is an endangered species, is there an action plan or would one be developed based on the study?
Aimee Kay, Senior Environmental Specialist explained that there has recently been a State threatened tree species discovered in the City of Novi. She stated there is currently a survey being done by a private consultant for reasons of being able to provide the information up front. This step would hopefully eliminate applicants having to grapple with the issue of whether it will be a problem for the development.
Chairperson Capello asked how it was perceived that they would be able to go out and conduct the research?
Ms. Kay stated they would have to contact property owners. She clarified that they would be looking in areas where developments could potentially be built.
In regard to the conservation easement, Member Piccinini asked if it gave the right to go onto the lands?
Ms. Kay answered, absolutely not. They would not be on anyone’s property without prior permission.
Member Richards asked why the developer would want this study conducted on their property when it could cause additional hardship?
Ms. Kay stated it was actually the opposite. She explained that the developer would have to do it at their own cost during the development process regardless. She stated the general idea was that more areas could be looked at to see if the species were of grave concern.
Member Watza asked what the benefit was the Community?
Ms. Kay stated it was more of an educational tool. She stated it was not the intent to frighten the developer away. She stated it was already a part of what is supposed to be done under the Wetlands Ordinance, however, it ordinarily is not done. She thought it would bring out more information to the development community as well as the citizenry.
Member Watza still did not see the benefit to the taxpayers.
Ms. Kay stated it would answer some serious questions regarding research and development.
Ms. Lemke thought the benefit to the Community was that it gave a more definitive inventory of the resources. By knowing that an endangered species exists on a property, the developer has the ability to protect it.
Mr. Wahl thought the advantage was that it would provide an inventory of information that is currently not available.
Member Mutch commented that there is a finite amount of vacant, undeveloped land in the city and there are currently about half a dozen studies, some at the County, State and Federal level that will tell where there are unique environmental resources. He thought it would be more valuable to do a study that looked at vacant properties in the city that can be readily identified as being important. He stated the only property that would be preserved permanently from development is city acquired property. He thought those properties that were truly worth preserving should be identified.
Member Mutch thought a study that identifies those properties which are most critical would be more valuable long term.
Member Piccinini asked if this data already existed?
Ms. Lemke answered, yes, however, there has never been a proposal done to rank the areas.
Member Canup asked where the funding would come from?
Member Mutch answered, State grants. He did not believe the City has applied for State funding for grants for parkland acquisition and preservation. He stated with the budget priorities the City would not spend millions of dollars, this was another reason why prioritization was important. He stated if the City knows what is truly critical in the long term, they could pick and choose. Therefore, a study along this line would accomplish this.
Member Watza thought this would avoid some entanglements with developers.
Chairperson Capello asked if there was any authority for the Planning Commission to allocate money to do research to look for parklands?
Mr. Arroyo stated preservation, natural resources and environmental protection were all included in the State Enabling Legislation for Planning Commissions. He believed it came under the authority of the Planning Commission to evaluate them and come up with ideas to protect and preserve them.
Member Koneda stated the City has applied for grants in the past and has received them. However, one problem was that the City had no money to come up with their share and ended up forfeiting the grant. He felt it was important to identify the natural resources and if there is land that should be acquired as part of the conservation of future parklands. He thought it was important to have a plan, look at sites and determine if there is important land and then apply for another bond issue or millage proposal.
Member Koneda thought the study should be more than what was being asked for. He was in support of it.
Member Watza agreed with Member Koneda. He stated he did not want to money to designate a few areas that were of concern and pose this concern on developers who will then have to bear the cost. He stated if it is important, identify it, recommend it to the Council to take it up as a budget issue and try to turn it into a park.
Member Piccinini thought before a study was conducted the City should find out if the residents were interested in spending tax dollars to do so.
Member Mutch asked what information would be gathered and how it would be used in a way that the Community could make use of it?
Mr. Arroyo answered the whole idea was to look at existing Industrial and OST property using the GIS System and determine how much of it has certain environmental limitations. This would include wetlands, woodlands, floodplains and any other limitations or resources. Another component would be to look at what types of projects have been announced or approved within the Industrial and OST areas and gather a realistic inventory of how much land remains in the Master Planned areas for these types of land. At that point it would be determined whether or not it might be appropriate to designate additional land for OST or Industrial uses.
Member Mutch asked if the information would be kept up to date and how would it be distributed to be affective for use by the City as well as the development community.
Mr. Arroyo answered, yes, it would be kept up to date. One advantage is that it will be on the GIS system. He stated once the study is complete, as new development comes on line, it can be folded into the system with ease and little cost to the City. He added that there is also the ability to convert it to CD Rom to make it usable to the general public.
Chairperson Capello stated he would rather see the study done closer to the time that the Master Plan would be revised.
Mr. Arroyo thought there was some value to the study if it were to be completed today, particularly from an economic development standpoint. He stated the Economic Development Coordinator identifies land for businesses who come into the community looking for sites. This up to date information could be presented to potential users of the land who are seeking to come into Novi right now. He stated there is a today value as well as a future value associated with the work.
Mr. Arroyo stated this study would make information available to anybody who is looking to locate in Novi and have a good understanding of what types of limitations they might be facing with a particular piece of property.
Member Canup stated it looked like the City would be doing a lot of due diligence for someone who wanted to buy a piece of property.
Mr. Arroyo answered, it would not. He stated it would provide valuable information as part of due diligence. He stated the OST development would build the City’s tax base and this would have a positive impact on the Community.
In regard to Environmental Education Outreach, Ms. Kay stated there were several violations and this was simply to eliminate these issues. She stated there were a number of common questions from citizens which could be avoided in the future. She stated this would give some of the true benefits of the areas and give direct feedback.
Ms. Kay stated the study would reach the older subdivisions that have residents who have wetlands in their backyards.
Member Piccinini asked if more people could be reached by producing something in writing regarding specific topics and making it readily accessible. She thought the study would not reach many people.
Member Watza suggested doing a once through and putting it on the cable station.
Chairperson Capello agreed with Member Watza stating that it made more sense because it could be re-run on cable.
Ms. Kay was open to suggestions, however, she was hopeful that the process could be more of a one-on-one basis.
Ms. Lemke thought the idea of cable was good. She also suggested developing a handout that coincided with the workshop.
Member Piccinini felt it was the job of JCK to deal with individual residents. She did not think that the tax payers should fund extra money for them to do so. She supported the idea of cable and a fact sheet handout.
Member Mutch reiterated that corridor studies needed to be completed. He stated road improvements needed to be identified and lined up now, not five years from now. He did not see money in the budget to do so.
Chairperson Capello agreed with the comments of Member Mutch. He thought the OST and Industrial would run itself in the next couple of years. He saw that the major immediate concern was Grand River Avenue, Novi Road and Ten Mile Road. He thought focus needed to be put on the Town Center District in the upcoming year.
Chairperson Capello thought that with the suggestions of the Planning Commission, the money could be re-allocated toward some different studies or become more specific on educational outreach. He asked if something could be brought back by the next meeting?
Mr. Wahl stated he wanted to deal with the road planning issue because it has come up at several meetings. He stated over the past several years, the road plan program has been expanded from a very conceptual thoroughfare long range R.O.W. study to a quite detailed study. He stated the Council funded it, it was presented to the Commission several times as part of the road planning briefing program. The priorities were debated by City Council. He thought what has happened was that there were different views of what the priorities should be. He stated a lot of the views were subjective conclusions regarding importance. Mr. Wahl did not think there was a gap in the road planning in terms of infrastructure and the information associated with it. He stated a Grand River Corridor design and implementation program has been discussed, an overlay district had also been discussed. He stated there were other types of design and land planning related corridor studies that have not been done, however, in regard to infrastructure planning, he felt that a tremendous amount of time and effort has been invested.
PLANNING COMMISSIONERS BRIEFING PROGRAM: Wireless Communication
Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo.
Rod Arroyo, Planning Consultant gave a brief overview of Wireless Communications. He stated the Telecommunications Act of 1996 had a significant impact on how wireless communications are regulated and the ability of local government to regulate them from a zoning perspective.
He stated wireless communication facilities cannot be excluded, they cannot be discriminated between individual wireless communications carriers, the number of towers cannot be limited to a finite number and the applications have to be acted upon within a reasonable timeframe. He added that there were a number of standards.
PM-00-01-006 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 9:43 P.M.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:43 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-00-01-006 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards, Watza
Beth Brock - Planning Assistant
Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr
January 20, 2000
Date Approved: February 02, 2000