REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 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 Acting Chair Watza.
PRESENT: Members Cassis, Koneda, Mutch, Richards and Watza
ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Canup, Capello, Churella, Piccinini
ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber, 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
Acting Chair Watza asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?
PM-00-02-030 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED
Moved by Cassis, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.
VOTE ON PM-00-02-030 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Cassis, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, Watza
Acting Chair Watza announced there was one item on the Consent Agenda. Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of January 19, 2000. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.
Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.
PM-00-02-031 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF JANUARY 19, 2000 AS PRESENTED
Moved by Cassis, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of January 19, 2000 as presented.
VOTE ON PM-00-02-031 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Cassis, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, Watza
COUNTRY INN & SUITES SP00-02
This hotel project is located in Section 36, on the west side of Haggerty Road between Eight and Nine Mile Roads. The 2.47 acre site is zoned Office Service Commercial District (OSC). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approvals.
George Norberg of Sieber Keast and Associates introduced Todd Pipfer and Alan Baskins representing the applicant. He proposed a four-story, 101 room, 50,876 square foot hotel on a location previously approved for a Ramada Inn. The site contains 110 parking spaces of which 107 are required. Access to the site will be provided by a boulevard entrance off of Haggerty Road. There are two accesses provided to the site for emergency vehicle access. Sanitary sewer will be provided by connecting to the existing sewer. Mr. Norberg stated connection would be a 6" lead from the existing sewer which only impacts two trees which will be replaced. He stated there is a third tree to be removed in order to construct the retaining wall. Water for the site will be provided by connecting into the existing Extended Stay stub, it will be looped back to Haggerty Road. Storm sewer on site will discharge into a temporary sediment basin. The proposal shows parking lot detention at 12" at the deepest point.
Mr. Norberg stated he had no objections to making all of the changes and corrections that Linda Lemke asked be done on the Landscape Plan. In regard to the parking lot detention, Mr. Norberg stated he has since put together a plan that shows three parking spaces being removed and a detention basin would be constructed. It would provide volume for about 50 percent of the storage while the balance would be stored in the parking lot with a depth of about 6". Mr. Norberg asked for approval of the original plan subject to the Consultants review. He stated he could meet the requirements.
Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recommended approval, he indicated that there was one contingent item he would like to see resolved. There is an Ordinance requirement that the front yard parking does not occupy more than 50% of the front yard. He stated Mr. Norberg provided him with calculations that indicated he meets the requirements of the Ordinance. There were some other minor items that needed to be resolved on the Final Site Plan.
In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval. He stated he has received trip generation information from the applicant’s consultant. There is an existing center turn lane, therefore, there is no need for them to add additional pavement. There will be a shared driveway which will have a deceleration lane which he felt would have a positive benefit. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval.
Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant did not recommend approval based on the original proposed complete parking lot detention. She stated she has since met with the applicant who presented the revision showing a portion of the site being able be detained in a detention basin. She stated with the change, she was in a position to recommend approval of the plan subject to those revisions being shown on a revised plan in the future.
In regard to the façade review, Ms. Weber referred to a letter dated January 21, 2000 from Doug Necci of JCK which states the percentage of asphalt shingles exceed the maximum allowed by Ordinance. In consideration of the fact that the use of asphalt shingles is consistent with the style of architecture used, it was his recommendation that the design was consistent with the intent and purpose of the Ordinance. A Section 9 Waiver was therefore recommended.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect did not recommend approval of the Woodlands and Landscape Plans because they did not match and it was hard to get a handle on how many trees were to be removed. The quality of the woodlands was a very narrow edge vegetation, the applicant is removing very little of it. They are proposing three trees to be removed but not more than six total. Ms. Lemke stated the plans now match. She stated there were some concerns that could be addressed at the time of Final. She did not see a problem with approving both the Landscape and Woodland Plans at Preliminary. Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the Woodlands Plan with her standard conditions based on financial guarantees and fees, the resolution of all of the items in her letter at the time of Final, and no construction until an Environmental Pre-Construction Meeting is held and snow fencing is inspected. With these comments Ms. Lemke recommended both Landscape and Woodland approval.
Acting Chair Watza announced he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
Acting Chair Watza 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 Mutch expressed concern regarding the boulevard concept serving this parcel as well as the other parcel. He asked what the distance was between this entrance and the new traffic light and boulevard entrance that serves the other portions of the office complex?
Mr. Arroyo stated it was several hundred feet, he did not have the exact number at this time.
Member Mutch asked if there was no opportunity to use that entrance to service the larger parcels?
Mr. Arroyo believed that when a traffic study was submitted for the entire office development, they were looking at about 800,000 square feet of development at build-out. This would be too much development to serve with just one access point. Therefore, a second point of ingress and egress would definitely be looked at. He did not anticipate the need for another one, therefore, this should be the second and hopefully last access point to serve the project.
Member Mutch asked if the amount of traffic generated at this entrance would justify another signal?
Mr. Arroyo stated he would expect that it would remain unsignalized as typically one signal would be sufficient. He stated the signal is primarily to help adjust the left turn movements.
Member Mutch asked if the hotel to the south would present any turning conflicts?
Mr. Arroyo answered, no. He stated there was adequate separation between the two.
Member Mutch asked if there was any knowledge of any development plans
for the neighboring Farmington Hills as far as coordinating driveways?
Mr. Arroyo answered, no. He stated they have shown the access points that are across the street and there does not appear to be any conflicts associated with Commercial development on the other side of the road.
Member Mutch asked the applicant if they would be responsible for constructing the boulevard entrance into the property?
Mr. Norberg answered it would be constructed as part of the development.
Member Mutch asked if the section immediately west of the first entrance was the planned width of the road entrance?
Mr. Norberg answered it would be reconfigured but they would still have to maintain two accesses off of the boulevard entrance.
Member Mutch asked if there were easements?
Mr. Norberg answered if the easements were not in place, they would be before the closing occurred.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo if it was part of the conditions?
Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He stated as a part of the Final Site Plan review and approval, all easement documentation must be submitted for review.
Member Mutch expressed concern that pedestrian access was not being provided from the exterior sidewalk system into the interior. He stated when the larger property is developed, he would like to see if a sidewalk could be put in along the boulevard. He stated if the applicant could plan and provide connection from their property to the boulevard, it should be explored.
PM-00-02-032 TO APPROVE COUNTRY INN & SUITES SP00-02 FOR PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN AND WOODLAND PERMIT APPROVAL CONTINGENT UPON ALL OF THE CONSULTANTS COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING FUTURE REVISIONS TO THE PLAN AND A SECTION 9 WAIVER
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Country Inn & Suites SP00-02 for Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approval contingent upon all of the Consultants comments and recommendations concerning future revisions to the plan and a Section 9 Waiver.
Member Koneda asked if there was a traffic impact statement provided to demonstrate that the minimum site distance requirements for the boulevard entrance was in compliance with the Ordinance?
Mr. Arroyo stated that was a piece of information that he was looking to be submitted with the Final Site Plan. He did not anticipate there to be a problem.
In regard to the front yard parking, Member Koneda asked the front yard was considered to be Haggerty Road?
Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.
Member Koneda asked if landscaping the berm along Haggerty Road was a condition of approval?
Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She stated they have already added shrubs and some sub-canopy trees to the plan.
Member Koneda asked if there was enough room to achieve the correct height to the berm?
Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She added that it would be looked at during the time of Final and stated it appears to be able to meet it at this time.
In regard to the lot split, Member Koneda asked what the boundaries were for the original 6.4 acres?
In regard to the original 6.4 acres, Mr. Arroyo did not know. He stated the balance plus the remainder was all under one ownership. He stated the narrowest point of the large piece was about 400’ deep and continues to the north. He believed this was all part of the planned office development.
Therefore, Member Koneda stated at some point there could be another site plan that comes in for the land directly behind the parcel. He assumed that the boulevard entrance would also extend to the rear to service whatever development comes in.
Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He stated the boulevard was planned to eventually link up internally to the boulevard to the north.
Member Koneda asked if the detention basin could be put in the northwest corner of the property without affecting the road alignment? He asked if it was possible to have a larger detention basin so the parking lot would not have to be used for detention.
Ms. Weber stated unfortunately the topography is quite flat, therefore, to locate a basin in that area would face the same types of issues of obtaining the adequate depth for storage.
Member Koneda asked if she was satisfied with the alternative plan?
Ms. Weber answered, yes.
Acting Chair Watza asked to see a colored rendering of the facades.
VOTE ON PM-00-02-032 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Cassis, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, Watza
ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI SP99-58
The site condominium development project is located in Section 18, 19 and 20 on the north side of Ten Mile Road between Napier and Wixom Roads. The 901 acre site is zoned Residential Acreage District (RA) and is being developed using the Residential Unit Development option. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland and Wetland Permit approvals. The applicant requested that the project be postponed until the March 01, 2000 Planning Commission meeting.
Acting Chair Watza announced that the Public Hearing for Island Lake of Novi was being adjourned to the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of March 01, 2000.
PM-00-02-033 TO POSTPONE ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI SP99-58 TO THE MARCH 01, 2000 REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Island Lake of Novi SP99-58 to the March 01, 2000 Regular Planning Commission Meeting.
VOTE ON PM-00-02-033 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Mutch, Richards, Watza, Cassis, Koneda
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
BRATEMAN MEDICAL OFFICE BUILDING SP99-66
This medical office building project is located in Section 2, south of Grand River Avenue and west of Haggerty Road. The 1.15 acre lot is zoned Non-Center Commercial District. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Leonard Siegal of Siegal Toumaala Associates spoke on behalf of Dr. Brateman. Dr. Brateman’s medical practice has been in Novi for the past eleven years. He is currently located near the proposed site. In developing the site, he thought it was appropriate to continue the theme that had been set by the Provident Family Dentistry the west. He stated parking is located at the side and rear to allow the continuity of greenspace across the front. The architecture is in theme with buildings to the west. Mr. Siegal stated the lot is 1.15 acres and 158’ wide and the requirement is 2 acres and 200’ wide. He stated the property owner to the east is not interested in selling, therefore, there is no way of expanding the site, the only way to deal with it is to obtain a variance. There were some driveway spacing deficiencies, the distance should be 150’ and 126’ are provided. The side to side drive should be 185’ and 96’ are provided. He stated this is an unavoidable circumstance due to the existing driveway. Mr. Siegal asked the Planning Commission to approve a 6’ high brick screen wall at the rear of the property instead of a 6’ berm. He stated they were voluntarily contributing the 10’ for the R.O.W. of Grand River. Mr. Siegal also requested a Section 9 Waiver. A pitched shingled roof was proposed which was consistent with the character of the building to the west. He stated the percentage of asphalt shingles is in excess of the Ordinance requirement. Mr. Siegal requested Preliminary Site Plan approval.
Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant did not recommend approval of the Preliminary Site Plan owing to the required variances. If the ZBA grants variances, he would then be in a position to recommend approval. The lot does not meet the minimum width or area size, however it is an existing lot. Therefore, the applicant will go to the ZBA to address the issue. Mr. Arroyo stated there were some minor issues, one being the request for a brick screen wall in lieu of a berm.
In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval. There is a need for driveway spacing standard waivers from the Planning Commission. He stated there was no alternative for access to the site. Mr. Arroyo indicated that the spacing standard deficiency for the driveway to the east could be corrected at some point that the property is redeveloped. Mr. Arroyo recommended that the waiver be granted because of the circumstances and the lack of any feasible alternative. There is an existing three lane section on Grand River with a center turn lane. There will be a need for an extension and continuation of deceleration taper to provide access. The applicant will provide the required 8’ bikepath along Grand River. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.
Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval. There were a few minor comments that she felt could be addressed at the time of Final.
In regard to the façade review, Ms. Weber reviewed the letter dated January 10, 2000 from Douglas Necci of JCK. He recommended a Section 9 Waiver.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval. She stated that the Planning Commission needed to decide if the existing 6’ wall was adequate to screen with additional plantings. She stated this would be looked at during the time of Final. She stated there were overhead utilities in that area, therefore, there would be limitations on canopy trees. The applicant would be required to put in sub-canopy trees and shrubs along the wall. Ms. Lemke felt that the wall with the plantings would provide the required screening.
Jim Wahl, Planning Official stated he is a neighbor to the project. He felt it was a positive addition to the neighborhood.
Acting Chair Watza stated he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended subject to the owner dealing with the landscaping material that blocks the fire department connection.
Acting Chair Watza turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Koneda asked Mr. Arroyo to verify the number of square footage.
Mr. Arroyo stated the medical and office components totaled 8,296 square feet.
In regard to maximizing land use by minimizing curb cuts, Member Koneda asked if any consideration was given to the property to the east regarding using the shared access driveway?
Mr. Arroyo stated the problem with that is the existing structure located close to Grand River. He stated for them to try to share a driveway would be very difficult giving the location of the development.
Member Koneda asked if the 6’ wall already existed?
Ms. Lemke answered, yes.
Mr. Siegal stated there was a wood fence that starts at the west at Olde Orchard Road. It runs at an angle along the common property line between Provident Family Dentistry and the Condominiums. It continues along the back of the property and then returns to the masonry wall. Mr. Siegal stated he was unsure if the wood fence would be acceptable in lieu of the berm. Inasmuch as the Halling Company had received Site Plan approval of the 6’ masonry wall, Mr. Siegal included it in his plan assuming that it was an acceptable solution to the Planning Commission.
Member Koneda asked Ms. Lemke if it was acceptable to her.
Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She clarified that she was looking at a masonry wall in place.
Member Koneda stated this looked like an ideal place for a sidewalk hook-up. He asked if the applicant was willing to connect the sidewalk in front of the building to the 8’ bikepath?
Mr. Siegal answered, yes he could do it. He stated he would have to interrupt the berm which would eliminate part of it.
Member Koneda asked Ms. Lemke if the sidewalk should be connected due to the fact that it eliminates part of the berm?
Ms. Lemke stated the berm is 30" high because there is no parking lot. She stated it would be giving up 20’ to 25’ of the berm, however, plantings could be added and she did not think it would be a great hardship.
Member Koneda asked Ms. Lemke to address the issue at the time of Final.
Member Koneda asked if the Commission could grant Preliminary Site Plan conditional upon a favorable recommendation from the ZBA to help speed the process along?
Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney answered, yes. He stated the Commission does not have to deny and it has been done several times.
PM-00-02-034 TO GRANT PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL TO BRATEMAN MEDICAL OFFICE BUILDING SP99-66 SUBJECT TO THE WAIVERS INCLUDING A SECTION 9 WAIVER, RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONSULTANTS AND CONDITIONED UPON ZBA APPROVAL
Moved by Koneda, seconded by Mutch.
Member Richards expressed concern with the close proximity of the driveways. He stated it did not look like there was enough space and saw it as being unsafe.
Mr. Arroyo stated it was less than desirable. The problem is that there are no real alternatives. He stated there were two points of access, he was hopeful that one served more of an entry and the other an exit.
Member Richards asked if the footprint was the most desirable use of the land?
Mr. Arroyo stated it was preferable because the driveway is located on the west side of the property and they have situated the building on the east side. If it were the other way around, the driveways would be on top of one another which would be even worse. He felt the applicant has made the best attempt possible to make the driveway as best as it can be, giving the limited configuration. He stated it was an existing lot of record with some serious lack of alternatives.
Member Richards asked if the project was within the intent of the NCC District?
Mr. Arroyo stated, giving the uniqueness of the property, yes. He thought that was one thing that had to be taken into consideration.
Member Richards stated although he has concerns about the driveway, he was worried that it may pose some dangers.
Member Mutch asked if the front yard setback was to the future R.O.W. line or the existing R.O.W. line?
Mr. Arroyo believed it to be the existing R.O.W. line.
Member Mutch stated if the future R.O.W. is purchased or deeded to the City, it would be deficient.
Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. It would be deficient by 10’. Mr. Arroyo believed that the applicant was setting the bikepath inside the 60’ R.O.W. not the 50’. Therefore, they are putting in all of the landscape improvements as if the full R.O.W. were there. The additional 10’ would not impact the landscaping and improvements that are being placed in front of the building.
Member Mutch asked if there were any problems with the overage of parking spaces?
Mr. Arroyo answered he had no problem with it. He stated if the applicant was aware of the type of practice they have and they realize that there is a need for additional parking, he felt that you have to go with it because they know their business.
In regard to the site lighting, Member Mutch asked about the 40’ traffic island pole.
Mr. Arroyo stated this is normally addressed at the time of Final.
Member Mutch stated because of the adjacency to residential, before Final, he felt the lighting issues should be properly addressed.
Member Mutch asked if the applicant was to build a wall consistent with the Ordinance requirements in terms of brick?
Ms. Lemke answered, yes.
Member Mutch offered a friendly amendment to the motion to connect the sidewalk. He stated efforts were being made to make the Grand River Corridor a pedestrian friendly environment. Therefore, he thought if there could be fewer people leaving the site in their cars and walking it would improve the traffic on Grand River.
Member Mutch stated he was unaware of the nature of the circle in front of the scuba shop. He stated it looks as if it is within the R.O.W. He asked if there was anything that the Road Commission could do in terms of correcting it? He stated it was creating a dangerous condition.
Mr. Arroyo understood that if it was based on a legal R.O.W. Permit at the time it was installed than nothing could be done.
Mr. Weisberger deferred the matter to Haim Schlick of the DPS Department who handles City R.O.W.’s.
Member Mutch asked the Planning Department to make that contact.
Member Koneda agreed with the comments of Member Mutch regarding the driveway to the east. He was hopeful that there was something that could be done to shut down the westerly driveway. He stated it seemed like a lot of driveway for such a low usage and it creates a traffic problem. He pointed out that Provident has an access drive off of the Olde Orchard entrance, not Grand River. Therefore, there is plenty of site distance to the corner of Olde Orchard Road. Member Koneda was disappointed that along Grand River there are driveways that have grown wider over the years because there are no curbs. He wished there was something in the Ordinance that would allow the Commission to fix the situation.
Mr. Wahl stated over the years, there has been an accomplishment to access a number of projects to connector or arterial roads, totally removing Grand River access. He stated it is a challenge because of historical lot development along Grand River.
PM-00-02-035 TO AMEND THE MOTION TO ADD THE CONNECTION OF THE PEDESTRIAN WALKWAY
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Brateman Medical Office Building SP99-66 subject to the waivers including a Section 9 Waiver, recommendations of the Consultants and conditioned upon ZBA approval and to connect the pedestrian walkway.
VOTE ON PM-00-02-035 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Koneda, Mutch, Richards, Watza, Cassis
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. THE CITY OF NOVI DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY REPORT - 1999
Presentation by Planning Department Director Jim Wahl and Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo
Rod Arroyo highlighted key points of the report.
In regard to residential development, Member Mutch asked about new construction.
Mr. Arroyo believed it to be trending up although it was not specifically covered in the report.
Member Mutch asked if the trend could be expected to continue into the future as lower density, larger lots were built out?
Mr. Arroyo stated as you get into larger lot projects with larger footprint buildings, there would be higher values associated with them. Therefore, he thought residential would continue to trend upward. He did not see any likelihood that the values would trend downward anytime soon.
Member Mutch asked if there were specific projects coming in looking for tax abatements?
Mr. Arroyo answered, there have been no submittals that he was aware of.
Jim Wahl stated Novi was becoming attractive for Fortune 500 Corporate representatives and major companies. He was not aware of any specific requests, however, he thought it was fair to say that they were coming because they were approaching other developing communities such as Troy and Farmington Hills.
PM-00-02-036 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 9:02 P.M.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:02 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-00-02-036 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Cassis, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, Watza
Beth Brock - Planning Assistant
Transcribed by: Diane Vimr
February 24, 2000
Date Approved: March 01, 2000