View Agenda for this Meeting


WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards and Watza (arrived late)




ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Victoria Weber, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Director of Planning and Community Development Jim Wahl and Planning Assistant Beth Brock






Chairperson Capello asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda? Seeing none

he entertained a motion to approve the Agenda as presented.



Moved by Koneda, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.




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

No: None








Member Churella announced he has received two letters, one was in regard to one of the items up for Public Hearing, which he would read during the time of that hearing and the other was in regard to Venture Drive Spec Building.


Lynn F. Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive reviewed the plans for the proposed spec buildings at Hickory Corporate Park which abuts Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision. As stated at the December 01, 1999 public hearing, the primary concern with approval of the site plan was blind approval of Special Land Use. It was very evident at the December 01, 1999 meeting, the Commissioners agreed with the residents that the developer must ensure both the City and residents that the only businesses that comply with the ordinance would be considered to occupy the spec buildings. She requested that the Planning Commission emphasize, and even make it a condition of approval, that no hardship concerns would be entertained after approval of the project. She also requested confirmation that when a business does propose to occupy the building, there will be another Public Hearing for approval of the Special Land Use. She expressed concerns about Ms. Lemke’s recommendation #3 regarding the landscape plans. She wanted to know if there was a requirement that stipulates the berm must be landscaped at this time or could the plantings be installed when the building(s) are occupied. Her property does not abut the development, but thought the residents who do abut the property should be considered and did not believe the issue had been discussed with them.









An Ordinance to amend Subpart 2503.2E(2) of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the height limitations pertaining to roof top appurtenances.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated the amendment comes forth from the Implementation Committee because there have been a number of situations where the developers have expressed concern with the calculation of building height in the inclusion of mechanical equipment on top of buildings. Mr. Arroyo stated the Ordinance currently includes that mechanical equipment within the maximum height regulations. The Implementation Committee felt it was a good time to look at the provision to see if there might be some changes that could be made that would accommodate the fact that mechanical equipment is becoming an issue with building height while at the same time keeping with the overall objective of the Ordinance. Mr. Arroyo stated a formula has been developed that would provide for a one to five ratio for building height modifications for rooftop equipment. Potentially the applicant could go an additional 5’ above the building height maximum, the equipment would have to be setback 5’ per additional height above the maximum building height restriction.


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


Bennett Donaldson asked if the Ordinance currently stated that the applicant could go 5’ above the roofline for the mechanical and screening.


Mr. Arroyo answered, no. Currently the applicant can go as high as they need to, as long as they do not exceed the maximum building height of the district.


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.



Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to adopt an amendment to subpart 2503.2E(2) of Ordinance 97-18 to revise the height limitation pertaining to rooftop appurtenances.




Member Koneda clarified that the reason Mr. Arroyo was asking for the five to one ratio on the setback was so that the rooftop equipment was less visible from the property line.


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.


Member Koneda stated therefore, if the Commission allows for a 5’ height increase, the applicant must set it back 25’ on all sides from the end of the building.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Picicnini, Richards

No: None



The proposed rezoning of 3.9 acres in Section 24, located north of Ten Mile and west of Haggerty Roads. The applicant is seeking a positive rezoning recommendation from Office Service District (OS-2) to General Business District (B-3) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Tony Delacali of Cityscape Architects, Inc. represented the petitioner. He introduced Tim Stolker represented legal counsel for Ford Motor Land Services, Nathan Conniers future owner and operator for Jaguar of Novi, Saad Chahab the manager for facility design and construction for Ford Motor Land Services, Dominic Sebastiani of Ford Motor Land Services, Terry Wiggens, development manager and Mimi Sale from CB Commercial.


Mr. Chahab gave some background information. He reviewed the site plan.


Mr. Stolker addressed the rezoning of the property. He thought the parcel was an excellent parcel to rezone from OS-2 to B-3. He stated the property was in part developed as a medical office building. Immediately to the north of the property is the Suburban Chrysler-Plymouth dealership which is zoned B-3, adjacent is the Infinity parcel which is zoned B-3, across the street is the Mercedes dealership which was recently rezoned from B-1 to B-3 to allow the development. On the opposite side in Farmington Hills, the entire lineal distance of Haggerty is developed as the Ford dealership. South of the site is B-1 zoning, and OS-1 zoning. He stated behind the parcel, they would retain the OS-2 portion. He stated the zoning patterns in the area and the proposed zoning was a natural extension of the B-3 zoning to the site.


Mr. Stolker stated the residential community to the south and southwest of the site was approached. There was a meeting with the legal counsel to review the proposal and based upon discussions, there does not appear to be any concern from the homeowners association. They did not feel a need to meet with the homeowners to discuss the plans any further than what was presented to the legal counsel.


He stated the same transitional properties also existed at Ten Mile Road and Meadowbrook Roads. He thought the patterns were consistent throughout the City. He stated they also looked at the Master Plan for the site. He noted that it was the gateway into the City of Novi. He believed he could incorporate the gateway concept along with the property and make a statement to those entering the City. He did not believe the proposal was consistent with the planning and development for the area based upon the zoning patterns and the acreage of OS-2 and OS-1 within the City. The City’s Land Use Plan has designated almost 2,000 acres for OS-2, in comparison there is only 214 acres for B-3. The change for rezoning would be minimal. The addition would be approximately 1.1% of the total property. Mr. Stolker stated traffic studies were submitted that support the use and showed that there was sufficient capacity on Ten Mile Road and Haggerty Roads for the B-3 use.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant gave a brief overview of the aerial photo. He stated there was a fairly consistent commercial zoning classification along Haggerty Road. The City rezoned the property at Grand River and Haggerty Road from I-1 to B-3 for the Mercedes dealership. Mr. Arroyo stated there were a couple of options. He recommended that the Commission approve and make a positive recommendation to the City Council to rezone the property. Another option was to only rezone the portion that is designated for the Jaguar dealership and leave the balance in its current zoning of OS-2 until such time that there is a proposal for the area. He thought the Commission should consider the fact that if the property is zoned to B-3, any B-3 use could be permitted potentially on the project.


There has been a traffic analysis presented by the applicant’s traffic consultant. Mr. Arroyo stated a new car dealership would generate less traffic than an office use on the particular property. However, if another B-3 use were to be developed on the site, there could be more traffic generated.


Jim Wahl, Director of Planning and Community Development stated the applicant came into the office and asked for assistance in evaluating possible locations in the Grand River. He stated this location was preferable to other possibilities, therefore, the applicant was encouraged to proceed with the site. Furthermore, originally the dealership was to be located on Ten Mile Road with the possibility of other related uses between Jaguar and the Chrysler dealership. Mr. Wahl thought Jaguar would be an excellent corporate citizen in the community, he felt it would be a positive step forward and supported the application.


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.




Member Churella announced he has received two letters.


Joyce Trombly, 39582 Burton Drive stated it was impossible to make a left hand turn heading to Novi from the south side of Ten Mile Road west of Haggerty. She objected to the rezoning, she was concerned about traffic in and out being worse. She stated Ten Mile Road and Haggerty could not handle any more traffic.


Karen Brown, 24482 Olde Orchard Street stated there were currently too many commercial buildings in the area. The buildings are boxing in the residents with more traffic, noise and no space. The area is nice with no buildings. She has lived in Novi since 1972 and would like to leave things the way they are.




Member Mutch stated any use that comes into that area should incorporate the gateway concept. He stated the gateway concept is about creating corridor character. Member Mutch stated the plan was nice, however, it is not a site plan issue, it is a rezoning issue and there is the chance that Jaguar may not come in with their facility. Member Mutch stated he would not support a positive recommendation for rezoning.


Member Canup shared some of the concerns of Member Mutch. He did not have a problem with the car dealership going in, he expressed concern with what could happen with the rest of the property.


Chairperson Capello stated the Commission can go with alternative B that was presented by Mr. Arroyo to rezone only the 2.8 acre parcel and leave the 1.13 as it is.


Member Canup asked the applicant how Plan B would fit in with his ability to develop the property?


Mr. Stolker stated Jaguar would be introducing a new car next year that would compete with the BMW series at a lesser price. He stated the potential concept was to be able to increase the dealership location to that site. He stated it was currently being discussed. A suggestion made by planner was to limit the curb cut to one curb cut on Ten Mile Road and one on Haggerty Road. He proposed to stay within the same concept and not go further into the site.


Member Canup asked if Ford Motor Company owned the building in the back?


Mr. Stolker answered, they own the entire 10 acres.


Member Canup recalled that a car dealership was located where Too Chez currently sits. He stated things could change in a very quick moment. He stated he would like to find a way where the applicant has what they need while protecting the City from something that they may not want.


Member Piccinini asked why the applicant would not come in at two separate times as suggested by Mr. Arroyo?


Mr. Stolker stated from a development standpoint, there is a time period in which they must implement it. He stated they would have asked for the B-3 to go all the way across to be consistent but they did not want to take away from any of the OS-2. He stated this would give him the flexibility so he would not have to come back to rezone the property in the future.


Member Koneda stated if the entire 3.9 acres is rezoned, he thought since it was under common ownership, a condition could be put on the no additional curb cuts. He thought if it were split off separately and something were done with it later, a separate curb cut could be put in and that is something that the Commission does not want to happen.

Member Koneda stated he was an employee of Ford Motor Company and is compensated by the company, therefore, he felt he should abstain from voting.


Mr. Watson agreed.


Member Churella expressed concern about the rezoning to B-3 and if the car dealership ever left the property it would allows a number of uses that could be put in. He asked if a deed restriction could be put on the property which would allow only a car dealership to be put on the property?


Mr. Stolker did not know if that could be done. He stated he could do an analysis. He stated there were only a limited number of uses that could be built on the proposed acreage.


Chairperson Capello asked if the applicant could come through with a rezoning application and a site plan at the same time and the site plan would be subject to the rezoning.


Member Canup asked if there was a legal way for the Commission to recommend zoning and limit curb cuts on the piece of property?


Mr. Watson thought it could be done. However, he did not think the Commission could add a condition to restrict a particular use because there would be problems with the uniformity provisions in the Zoning Enabling Act.


Member Canup stated if it were a realtor with a prospective buyer, he would look at it differently. However, being that Ford Motor Company owns the land and does not have the intention of selling he made a motion.









Moved by Canup, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (5-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.592 to rezone the entire 3.93 acre parcel from Office Service District OS-2 to General Business District B-3 subject to the entire parcel only being allowed one curb cut on Haggerty Road and one curb cut on Ten Mile Road.




In regard to conditions, Mr. Watson stated courts and other jurisdictions usually call for a number of parameters to those types of conditions. It has to be a reasonable condition, it has to be something that primarily benefits the Community as a whole not a private interest and the condition has to reasonably relate to fulfilling the needs caused by the rezoning.




Yes: Capello, Churella, Piccinini, Richards, Canup

No: Mutch





This project is located on 1.6 acres in Section 26, on Venture Drive, north of Nine Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Novi Roads. The proposed development is in a Light Industrial District (I-1). The site is located to an R-4 Residential District and is considered a Special Land Use. Building A shares an access easement to the site with Venture Drive Spec Building B. The applicant is seeking Final Site Plan approval.



This project is located on 1.6 acres in Section 26, on Venture Drive, north of Nine Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Novi Roads. The proposed development is in a Light Industrial District (I-1). The site is located adjacent to R-4 Residential District and is considered a Special Land Use. Building B shares an access easement to the site with Venture Spec Building A. The applicant is seeking Final Site Plan approval.


Bennett Donaldson represented the owners of the land. He gave a brief history of the property. He stated they would be building the shells of the buildings, they would put down the asphalt, curb and gutter, landscaping around the buildings and exterior lighting. He stated from the outside the buildings would look completed, however, on the inside of the buildings, they would not pour the concrete floor. The electrical service would be brought in, sanitary and water would be stubbed in, the riser for the fire suppression would also be stubbed in.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated the applicant would have to come back to the Commission because the use is designed as an industrial use with industrial parking. The applicant could not come in and make it all office because they would not have enough parking. He stated there would be the situation where the applicant would be coming back for Special Land Use approval because an office use could go on the property as designed. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval. He stated there were a couple of clean up items that needed to be addressed.


Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval subject to ingress/egress easement being provided with the Final stamping set of plans.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated she received several calls from residents who abut the property. She stated the berm was approximately 11 feet. She stated the applicant has changed the type of plant materials on the berm to make it primarily evergreens and lower maintenance shrubs where it abuts the houses. She stated the Commission could waive the requirements for the berm for existing plant material if they still had the same audio and visual screening. She stated the lowest point of the berm would be approximately 5’ to 6’ high and the highest point of the berm would be approximately 8’ to 9’ in height instead of having a consistent 10’ to 11’ berm across the two parcels.


Chairperson Capello asked if this was substantially different than what the Commission granted at the Preliminary Site Plan stage?


Ms. Lemke stated it involves a different berm height. The plant materials would be the same but the berm configuration would be different.


Although this Matter is not a Public Hearing, Chairperson Capello allowed some residents to speak on the Matter.


Sam Matthew, 23019 Balcombe lives behind the proposed property. He did not understand why the applicant could not leave the trees. He asked that the trees be left alone.


Marian Pickl, 23035 Balcombe has lived here for 30 years. She stated they have taken part to secure the residential areas from encroachment by industrial development. She stated they tried to persuade the City officials to recognize the railroad as a good boundary between industrial and residential but were unsuccessful. A berm was built to the west of the fence that runs along the subdivision. To the north, a berm has been planted and is mostly maintained. The plantings end three lots to the north of her lot. Through all of the negotiations between the subdivision and developers, retention of the natural growth of trees and shrubs where they existed, was agreed upon. The berm to be planted and maintained to provide additional screening for residents. Ms. Pickl stated it now appears that the developer chooses to disagree and disregard the natural growth and wipe out everything to within 6’ of the western boundary fence. She was opposed to clear cutting the area as well as similar green areas behind neighbors to the south of her. She preferred to retain a shorter berm and the natural green screening over what is being built to the south. She urged the Commission to consider the impact that the buildings would have on Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision with more traffic, noise and light.


Chairperson Capello asked Ms. Lemke if the waiver was to "beef-up" landscaping in that area?


Ms. Lemke reviewed the configuration of the berm and plantings. She stated she could support it either way.


Chairperson Capello asked the applicant if he was willing to comply with the comments of Ms. Lemke.


Mr. Donaldson answered, yes. He stated it was in the 100’ greenbelt so it was not buildable area. He stated his motivation to build the berm was what he thought the residents wanted, he stated if they do not want it, he was willing to comply.




Moved by Richards, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Final Site Plan approval to Venture Drive Spec Building A SP99-52 and Venture Drive Spec Building B SP99-53 subject to the Consultants conditions and recommendations with the amendment to the Preliminary Site Plan Landscape Plan to move and reduce the size of the berm and to have the Planning Commission grant a waiver regarding the berm height.



Member Mutch understood the concerns of the residents, however, he was concerned because the reason for the berm height requirements was because the lower berm heights did not provide sufficient audio and visual screening from the uses. He expressed concern because there are no specific uses for the buildings so they will need to come back for Special Land Use. He was concerned that the lower berm height would not work down the road. He asked Ms. Lemke for her opinion regarding the lower berm height being able to provide sufficient screening from a visual and audio standpoint.

Ms. Lemke stated it was a concern if there was a large height difference. She stated it was still a 5’ to 6’ berm with solid plantings across it. She stated it was a concern especially if the properties change ownership.

Member Mutch asked if the lowest area of the berm was mainly deciduous?

Ms. Lemke answered, it was mainly deciduous. The evergreens were by the lot line, the rest of the area was all deciduous.

Member Mutch asked if the modified berm and plantings were going to protect against truck and car lights as they turn into the buildings?

Ms. Lemke answered, it should be high enough to screen that.

In regard to the building lighting, Member Mutch asked how the lighting was configured at the back of the building.

Mr. Arroyo stated he specifically asked in his letter and as part of Final stamping, that issues related to this be clarified. It did not appear to him that there was to be lighting in the back.

Mr. Donaldson clarified that there was not lighting at the back of the building.

Member Mutch asked if the applicant was given approval from the Assessors office for the lot splits.

Mr. Donaldson answered, yes.

In regard to potential future uses, Member Koneda asked if a Special Land Use comes in, a noise analysis would have to be conducted on the business, he asked what the decibel level would be at the property line?

Mr. Donaldson believed it to be 65 decibels during the day and 55 decibels at night after the berming.

Member Koneda stated it could result in higher noise level at the property line because by abiding by the residents wishes for a lower berm, it would create a hardship to the potential user of the facility.

Mr. Arroyo claified that the nightime maximum is 55 decibels and daytime is 60 decibels. He stated a noise analysis would be necessary if there is a lower berm in place. If the noise analysis shows that something else has to be done, they would have to mitigate it somehow and they would be in a position to present something new to the Commission. He stated it may involve something different such as a different building design or a wall toward the front to deaden the nose.

Member Koneda stated by granting the variance and allowing the berm to come in at a lower height, the burden is being put on the new potential user. He stated it seemed that the Commission should be giving the potential user some leighway on the sound level at the property line.

From a building design standpoint, Mr. Arroyo thought the applicant has done every they could do. He felt if there was a user that was not going to meet the noise requirements, than it must be something unusual.

Member Koneda stated he would accept that. He stated he liked the fact that the truck wells were located as far forward as possible and thought this was good for the residents. He stated he would vote for the motion.

Member Churella felt the lower berm and vegetation helped to buffer the noise.

Mr. Donaldson asked if the prospective tenant who will occupy the building was required to submit a noise analysis?

Chairperson Capello answered, yes.

Mr. Arroyo stated if the new user comes in and can demonstrate the their impact is exactly what the previous noise study is, the same number of trucks are coming in, the same equipment is being used and the same conditions are in place, potentially he thought the previous noise study could be submitted with the future Special Land Use consideration.



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

No: None


Chairperson Capello announced the Commission would take a five minute break.








Rod Arroyo, Planning Consultant stated this was a request from City Council who have asked that a report be brought to their next meeting. Mr. Arroyo stated he has been working closely with the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to address the issue. Mr. Arroyo briefly reviewed the procedure for the accomplishments and recommendations.


Mr. Arroyo stated there were three major components, a tower, accessory equipment and the antennae. The purpose of the study was to look at establishing some type of criteria that the City can use for future wireless communications facilities. They are trying to identify priority areas where future facilities could be sited. He stated they were trying to identify areas that make sense from a planning standpoint so that if future towers have to go in, there would be locations that the community thinks make sense. Mr. Arroyo stated the daytime and nighttime demand are two very important market considerations because the geographic location of a daytime demand can change.


Mr. Arroyo stated co-location on existing structures and buildings is the preference because it does not involve new towers. Public and quasi-public land was looked so the natural features such as trees could be used as screens for some of the towers.


In regard to areas for future location, Mr. Arroyo suggested that a zoning overlay district be created to deal with it rather than have the uses addressed as uses that go through a special approval process. He thought a zoning overlay district would allow the Commission to designate areas in different parts of the City with different zoning classifications and have them fall under one set of umbrella regulations. He thought this technique made sense. The areas for future tower locations include public land, quasi-public land and industrial land at strategic locations. A single tower would be a principal permitted use. All other towers including a second tower or a tower outside of the preferred area would come under Special Land Use provisions and would only be permitted if the applicant could prove that co-location or location within a single tower in a preferred area is not feasible. He stated co-location would continue to be the preferred means of providing service and additional capacity.


Mr. Arroyo reviewed a map that showed a combination of existing towers, existing co-location, Detroit Edison corridors and the future preferred wireless tower site areas.


Mr. Arroyo stated tower locations outside of the preferred areas require detailed documentation by the applicant that no other tower facility is capable of providing the service and the denial of the tower would have the effect of prohibiting service. He suggested the documentation should be very extensive and prepared by a radio frequency engineer that would convince the City to locate a tower outside of the preferred areas. Tower setback should be 200’ of the tower height adjacent to residential and the special view corridors. Setbacks adjacent to non-residential should be reduced to 50’ rather than 40% of the tower height to provide more flexibility if there is no residential around. Setbacks from other principle structures can be eliminated.


Member Koneda stated he liked the idea of having preferred areas. He asked about screening of the equipment and asked if any consideration had been given to what would be accepted.


Mr. Arroyo stated he would like to see it addressed in the zoning regulations that would come back to the Commission at a later date. He envisioned that when the first tower goes in on a co-location, that the future co-locators be taken into consideration when the original design is done. He stated this could mean that a brick structure is potentially designed so it could be built in sections as each user comes along and the end result would be one structure that has architectural consistency and blends with the surrounding community. He stated if a cabinet structure is put in, an area could be identified where all of the locators could go in and then a landscape plan could be done that comprehensively addresses landscaping of the entire area. He stated it would all be installed up front so the screening is in place and the vegetation has time to mature and as the future co-locators come in they have the benefit of the growth before the equipment is put in.


In regard to Eight Mile Road and Napier Road and the Community Sports Park, Member Koneda stated since the Detroit Edison trunk line runs right through it, it seems like there is already an existing co-located facility. He asked why put it at the Community Sports Park?


Mr. Arroyo stated this was discussed. He stated the height of the Detroit Edison towers is a fixed height, the corridor is also fixed in terms of where it goes, therefore, you would only get a band of coverage. He stated it looked like there may be a need for a taller tower to increase the service area as well as addressing the demand that could come from the growth in the area.


Member Koneda stated there is a rapid increase in the number of people that are using cell phones. He stated as more users come on line, are there going to have to be more than one tower put up in a specific area.


Mr. Arroyo stated there were two ways to address this, one was by providing taller towers to increase the coverage, providing a co-location and the hope that the technical component of the equipment increases so one set of antenna structures can provide more capacity without changing the antennas.


Member Koneda asked where the towers would be located in the wooded areas because a driveway access needed to be provided.


Ms. Lemke believed the towers would be located at the edge of the wooded areas, she stated she would not want to see it in the middle of a woodlands unless there was a clearing.


Member Richards asked if there was any kind of recommendation that when the towers become obsolete, the person who is installing them would take them down.


Mr. Arroyo stated it is already in the Ordinance. He stated if they cease to exist for 90 days, there is a requirement that they be removed.




Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to adopt the Wireless Communication Analysis and recommendations.




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

No: None





Procedures Re: Determination of "Essential" – Final Determination – Appeal

Planning Commission Decision on Magna


Member Koneda asked if a checklist could be created for the Woodland and Wetlands Ordinances so that once the steps are established and agreed upon, they are documented and can be referred to.


Chairperson Capello stated this was something that Mr. Watson would work on.


Chairperson Capello stated under Subsection 12-17(3) b, there were four processes under which an applicant could submit for different types of use permits. In regard to Subsection b(1), Residential Minor Use Permit, he asked if there was a separate process to ask for that type of review?


Aimee Kay, Senior Environmental Specialist stated at the time of the pre-applicant meeting, the applicant is told that a wetland verification must be done.


Debbie Thor, Environmental Specialist stated the Residential Minor Use Permits are handled through the Building Department and then it is forwarded on to JCK for review.


Chairperson Capello asked about Subsection b(2), Non-Residential Minor Use permits.


Ms. Thor explained that the applicant makes an application through the Planning Department which then is forwarded to JCK for review.


Chairperson Capello asked how Subsection b(3), Determination of essentiality is processed.


Ms. Thor stated it goes through a wetland verification process. The applicant pays their fees through the Planning Department and the plans are then forwarded either through the Planning Department or directly to JCK.


Chairperson Capello asked about Subsection b(4), Other Use Permits.


Ms. Thor stated they all go through the Planning Department unless it is residential.


Chairperson Capello asked if the Magna Wetland Permit was submitted under Subsection 3 or 4?


Ms. Thor answered, Magna was asking for a Wetland Permit. They also had to have a wetland verification done.


Chairperson Capello asked if the applicant filed a separate request for determination of essentiality?


Ms. Thor answered, no.


Chairperson Capello asked if the City has a process where the developer knows there is a certain application to fill out to ask for determination of essentiality under Subsection 3.


Ms. Kay stated it would not make sense for an applicant to submit a Preliminary Site Plan without showing the wetlands. Therefore, the regulatory status of each wetland should be done prior to it being shown on the plan because the whole intent of that portion of the Ordinance was that the community did not want to have to redesign site plans in the middle because someone forgot to find out the regulatory status of the wetlands. Ms. Kay stated it did not make sense to put a wetland on a plan not knowing the regulatory status of it.


Chairperson Capello stated the reason Subsection 3 was adopted was because the developer would not have to guess whether or not a wetland was essential or non-essential. As an applicant, Chairperson Capello asked if he could come in under Subsection 3 even if he were not going to develop his parcel?


Ms. Kay answered, yes. She stated anyone has that option. The reality was that more people would come in and have those issues ironed out prior to submitting the Preliminary Site Plan, therefore, they would not have to go back and redesign.


Chairperson Capello asked if someone comes forth with a site plan, is it automatically reviewed for the essentiality review?


Ms. Kay answered, yes. She explained that it is discussed at the table so the applicant knows what is being done and that is to figure out the regulatory status of the wetlands on the property.


Mr. Watson stated it made sense.


Chairperson Capello expressed concern and did not think Magna looked at the application. He thought they submitted their site plan application under #4 and their wetland use permit under #4 as part of a process to move forward and as part of the City’s burden to determine if the wetlands were going to be regulated, the essentiality test had to be done.


Ms. Kay recalled that Ms. Thor had some phone conversations with the applicant and they were verbally told that an essential/non-essential determination was going to be done on the property.


Chairperson Capello thought it needed to be made clear which subsection the applicant was falling under.


Ms. Kay stated when the applicants come forward, they do not have copies of the Ordinance. She stated this is why discussions were held and after some in-house discussions, these were issues brought forward that the applicant needed to address. She stated she was very specific about the essential/non-essential, timing and whether or not they agreed. She stated she was very conscientious about writing letters with regard to the regulatory status. She stated she could provide dates. The applicant knew what was being done and they were given the opportunity at several in-house meetings.


Chairperson Capello thought some department procedures needed to be set up where the applicant is given a choice whether to submit under Subsection 3 or 4 so that they can make an intelligent decision before the process begins. He also thought if they were going to submit under Subsection 3, there needs to be some mechanism that they know when their appeal time starts to run.


Ms. Kay thought it was a good idea and was in agreement.


Member Koneda referred to page 848 (b), which states, "use permit applications shall include the following information…" he thought this applied to any use permit. He referred to number 7 that states the applicant proposes an activity in a non-contiguous wetland of less than 2 acres, the applicant shall have an opportunity to submit data for the purposes of making a determination of whether the wetland is essential to the preservation of natural resources of the City. He stated there are two options, a) the applicant acknowledges that it is essential and nothing has to be done or b) the applicant asks the municipality or its consultants to do the analysis on essentiality. Therefore, he thought it was already outlined and applied to all.


Chairperson Capello stated it did not apply to Subsection 3. He stated it has a less stringent requirement and less information was required.


Member Piccinini asked when the applicant comes in for a pre-application meeting, at that time, couldn’t there be a checklist that tells them that they have the choice of either determining essentiality #3 or #4.


Ms. Kay agreed that it would be the simplest thing to do.


Member Piccinini stated she took the opportunity to go to JCK and the reason she did not vote in favor of the wetlands was because she did not feel that the letter received substantiated the essentiality. She stated she discussed with Ms. Kay, different ways to adjust the letter to show more criteria why it became essential.


Member Mutch stated 12.173 says that the permits are governed by the standards in 12.174. If you go through 12.174 when doing the essentiality determination, all the points are provided. He stated the Ordinance requires that the standards provided are used.












Moved by Churella, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:28 p.m.




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

No: None




Beth Brock - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Diane Vimr

May 10, 2000


Date Approved: June 07, 2000