View Agenda for this Meeting


WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


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


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Piccinini


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, 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?


Member Churella asked to add Item 5 to the Consent Agenda to schedule a Public Hearing for June 21, 2000 to revise the requirements for Accessory Buildings.




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




Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, and Watza

No: None












Chairperson Capello announced there were four (4) items on the Consent Agenda. 1) West Market Square Outlot Retail East SP00-24; 2) Novi Crossings SP99-13; 3) Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of April 19, 2000; 4) Schedule Public Hearing Date for Zoning Text Amendment 18.163 on June 21, 2000 and 5) Schedule Public Hearing Date to Revise the Requirements for Accessory Buildings on June 21, 2000.







Moved by Koneda, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY(8-0): To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, and Watza

No: None





The proposed rezoning of 2.55 acres in Section 16, located south of Grand River and east of Beck Roads. The applicant is seeking positive rezoning recommendation from Low-Density Multiple-Family Residential District (RM-1) to Office Service District (OS-1) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Blair Bowman represented NOBE Property Group, LLC. Mr. Bowman spoke briefly about the actual building and user because he felt it was important to the project. He stated the property is a portion of the overall site, which was brought before the Commission for the Timber Meadows Apartment project but is physically separated by a wetland pocket. He stated it is isolated and makes sense to be included with the zoning designations that will be taking place to the north. He respectfully requested a positive recommendation to City Council.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recommended a positive recommendation to rezone. He stated that there was some missing information at the time he completed his letter and that information has since been provided. He stated the current zoning is RM-1, there is RM-1 directly to the north, there is R-A and B-3 at the corner and there is OSC. The Master Plan for the area shows Office directly north of the property. He stated the long-range plan calls for Office to compliment the offices across the street. Even though the application was not specifically consistent with the designation on the Master Plan for Land Use, he was in favor of it because it was abutting an office area. Also, he thought the natural feature would make it difficult to develop independent of the multiple family to the south and it was a more logical relationship to the office classification to be extended down to include this property. In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval.


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 a letter from D.J. Burgess who approves of the request. He stated the Novi/Beck Road intersection was ready for planned growth to benefit the needs of the City.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Cassis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to rezone Map Amendment 18.594 from Low Density Multiple Family Residential to Office Service District.




Although it was not strictly consistent with the Master Plan, Member Mutch thought it would help establish Office along the east side of Beck Road so the parcels to the north would more likely go into an Office designation. He stated the Master Plan Committee felt it was important because it was a gateway into the City, that it not be a Commercial gateway, but more of a progressive image. He thought this would move it one step closer to that.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, and Watza

No: None



This subdivision project is located on 80 acres in Section 22, on Ten Mile Road and west of Novi Road. The proposed development is in a Single-Family Residential District (R-4). The applicant is seeking Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetlands Permit recommendations to the City Council and Woodlands Permit approval.


Mike Kahm of Singh Development Co. introduced Paul Rizzardi, Joe Galvin, and George Norberg from Seiber Keast, and Dave Purdy from Brooks Williamson and Associates.


Mr. Kahm asked the Planning Commission for a positive recommendation to go before the ZBA to ask for a front setback variance for the homes.


Mr. Rizzardi felt the best way to develop the property was to stay within the R-4 provisions and try to present a product style that the market is comfortable with. He stated the idea was to try to put the garages behind the houses in the rear quadrant of the house with a side-entry garage. As part of the development, he wanted to retain the intimacy along the public view, this meant bringing the homes closer to the road. He was looking for a blanket variance to reduce the setbacks to 20’ in order to do so. He stated by providing the garages in the rear quadrant, cars would be parking next to the house to eliminate the concern of the car bumpers going over the sidewalk areas.


Mr. Rizzardi proposed to raise the lots to soften the visual impact of the street. He stated the homeowners would be required to put in lampposts within 8’ of their front property lines in the driveway to keep a consistent location of the lampposts. He stated if the variance is granted they would be willing to enter into a number of conditions of approval, which would give the City the guarantees they need in order to make sure that they build what is being promised. The four conditions are as follows: 1) Building Permits must be issued within the architectural control guidelines as listed; 2) Elevations must be consistent to those shown in the booklet; 3) Per the request of the City Staff and Consultants, they would include a park area at the entrance point where Churchill Boulevard meets the first cross street; 4) Ornamental entrance to the subdivision.


John Crane of C & W Consultants proposed a boulevard entrance for Churchill Crossings. He stated there would be two lanes in and two lanes out. During the morning peak hour, exit volumes would be approximately one vehicle every 30 seconds, 120 vehicles. The afternoon peak would be approximately 130 vehicles. Mr. Crane did not see any substantial traffic between Churchill Crossings and Orchard Ridge Estates. He proposed signing and striping the road for right turn only out and requiring the cars to use the center lane for continued movement.


In regard to the traffic review, Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant summarized his comments. He stated the applicant is proposing three points of access to the project. They have selected a location south of the existing residential homes to minimize the impact of any traffic generated by this subdivision on the existing subdivision. There is an existing stub street at Sussex that would provide for another possible connection into Cedar Springs Estates. The applicant has chosen not to provide for a connection at that location. The Ordinance requires a full connection between the two. In this instance, the applicant is going to ask the City Council to waive that requirement. Mr. Arroyo supported it to the extent that he does not believe a full access is a good idea in that location because there are other multiple points of access. However, he would like to see a gated emergency access in that location. The other location of proposed connection is Clark Street to the north. The connection would help alleviate some of the emergency access problems to Clark Street and subdivisions off of Clark Street. Mr. Arroyo stated the location of the access point is ideally spaced for a traffic signal. It also provides an opportunity to create some gaps in traffic for those who use Christina Lane and now have a difficult time turning in and out. Mr. Arroyo stated that in terms of dealing with access to the subdivision, one option would be to not have access to Ten Mile Road. Moving it to another location on Ten Mile Road is not feasible because there is not enough frontage. Therefore, if there is going to be access to Ten Mile Road, this is the place to do it. In regard to the left turn problem, the ideal situation from a traffic flow perspective is for the existing island into Orchard Ridge Estates to be narrowed down. He stated narrower islands are favored because it allows for the head to head meeting of the left turn so there is clear visibility of through traffic in both directions. Mr. Arroyo reviewed another alternative that would have a modest impact on the design. He stated it was most favorable in terms of maintaining as wide a possible landscape area while providing for left turn and through traffic movements. Rather than eliminating and narrowing down the island to 6’, one idea would be to provide a taper on both islands. It would enable the left turning traffic to get closer to the alignment and provide for a greater visibility of traffic. This modification would still allow for landscaping within the entrance. It would however, have an impact on Orchard Ridge.


The project is forecast to cause three additional cars per signal cycle during the a.m. peak hour and 5 additional vehicles per signal cycle during the p.m. peak hour. Total project traffic is forecasted to be just over 2,000 vehicles on a daily basis. The applicant has agreed to enter into an appropriate arrangement to have maintenance above and beyond normal city street maintenance covered by the subdivision.


Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval of the Tentative Preliminary Plat. The applicant is proposing to reduce setbacks and the ZBA will need to take this into consideration since it is non-conforming with the Ordinance. If the ZBA were to grant a variance, Mr. Arroyo stated he would look more favorably upon the development. He stated there were City Council Design and Construction and/or Subdivision Ordinance waivers needed for not providing the stub street connection. There is a requirement to have connections to the subdivision every 1,300 feet and if it were not provided at Sussex, the applicant would be in violation of that provision. Mr. Arroyo had other minor comments in his letter.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the application proposes public water and sewer throughout the project. The roads are public. The applicant is proposing a three phased construction plan that sequence in from south to north with Ten Mile Road being the first phase. Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant would need to install a good number of utilities. The site flows from a drainage point of view in two directions. The southern 2/3 of the site drains towards Ten Mile Road. The southern 2/3 of the site’s stormwater is proposed to be handled by a detention basin. There will be water quality controls and the basin is proposed to be located on the west side of the access off of Ten Mile Road. The northern 1/3 of the site drains to the north and east. There is a detention basin planned to the northeast corner which outlets directly to the Monroe Creek. There are easements available to direct the stormwater to the Monroe Creek. There were a number of minor comments that were expected to be addressed at the time of Final. There were some revisions that needed to be made and the applicant’s engineer indicated that they would be willing to provide them. There were sidewalks proposed throughout the development. There is also a pedestrian facility required on the north side of Ten Mile Road. At the eastern edge of the Ten Mile frontage, there is a wetland that the applicant would be asked to provide a boardwalk across. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and recommended approval.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there were two small areas of regulated woodlands on the site that were located along Ten Mile Road. There are no designated historic or specimen trees on the site. The proposed plan removes approximately one acre out of the 3.68 acres. The applicant is removing approximately 15 regulated replaceable trees that are 8" dbh or greater, they will be replaced with 21 replacement trees. Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the Woodlands Permit. She stated there were a number of items that needed to be furnished upon the time of Final. Ms. Lemke recommended a Preservation Easement due to the significance of the treed areas along Ten Mile Road. She stated there were four (4) items in her letter dated April 04, 2000 that were conditions of the approval.


In regard to the conceptual landscape review, screening is required for the property adjacent to the OS-1 property along the eastern border. Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the waiver, however, she had a number of conditions. She stated most of her conditions dealt with adding existing vegetation at the edges along the wetland areas and woodland areas to meet the opacity requirements. She still had concerns regarding lots 89 through 80 and the narrow strip of woodland area. She was not sure whether or not the woodlands could be preserved, if not, she would like to see the berm put in. With these comments, Ms. Lemke recommended approval.


Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist stated the project falls under the Non-minor Use Permit category of the Ordinance and requires permit approval from the Council with a recommendation from the Commission. She stated there were fifteen (15) wetland areas, which total 4.9 acres. Of the 15 areas, 2.5 are regulated and ˝ is being filled. The major impact area is the entrance road. She agreed to the impacts and that this is the better alternative due to safety concerns. Ms. Kay stated that typically the office does not allow fill for the regulated wetlands for the purpose of gaining lots. However, in this case, she did not have any objections to the two small wetlands in the northern portion of the property as they have significantly limited functions and values. Ms. Kay recommended approval of the Wetland Permit.


Chairperson Capello 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 with the following: 1) All roads are to be paved prior to construction above the foundation and should be noted on the plans. Note #2 of Fire Department Notes is not acceptable.


Member Churella announced he has received 16 letters of correspondence.


Member Churella announced he received one letter of approval. James Coutts approved of the project subject to a sidewalk being built along Ten Mile Road from Christina to Novi Road.


15 letters objected to the project. LaReta Roder, President of the Novi Heights Community Association stated when there is a major change of this type, everyone should be notified. Especially because of the woodlands and wetlands and the direct affect of traffic. She felt the association, as a whole should have been notified. Currently there are a series of dead end streets that would alter the character of the neighborhood. She felt that Taft Road would be used as a through street causing problems for the children who ride on bicycles and play. She stated Novi has strict codes for preserving wetlands and woodlands, however, there are always Special Land Uses granted. She did not feel there should be any given on this particular project. She felt the impact and over development of 210 lots would cause a lot of traffic for Grand River, Ten Mile and Novi Roads. She felt the project was coming on too soon.


Mr. John Hubert reiterated the comments of Ms. Roder. He stated the addition of the subdivision would cause more traffic throughout the neighborhoods. The proposed plan includes a new subdivision and he felt Sussex Road would be better for the subdivision versus going through Clark Street.


Thomas Welsh and family objected based on the fact that the entrance of the subdivision would increase traffic to his sub on Ten Mile. The current roads and traffic patterns were inadequate at this time. He felt a traffic light should be installed.


Robert Mitzel asked that the developer be required to provide a sidewalk connection from the east end of Sussex to Churchill Crossings. This would allow the children and adults to walk to their neighbors in Churchill Crossings. He believed there was a section in Novi’s Subdivision Ordinance that allowed the Planning Commission to require pedestrian connections where block lengths exceed 1000 feet.


Deborah and Darnel Krause object stating that the woodlands would be lost. They should be protected to the best that they can so children can continue to explore and learn and play.


Douglas Watson objected stating he did not want Clark Street to become a freeway.


Gregory and Nancy Richardson objected due to the traffic problems that Churchill Crossings would cause destruction of the wetlands, destruction and inconvenience of new construction of noise and dirt. Novi is overbuilt at this time.


Ray and Ruth Tobias objected stating that they have lived in the subdivision for 29 years. They have seen a lot of development go on. They feel that this project is not ready to be built at this time because of the lack of conveniences around to take care of it.


Jane Tierney objected and was concerned that there would be an additional 420 cars that would be driving around in the area causing congestion.


Dorothy Zielinski stated she has lived in Novi since 1957. She objected because she has had enough traffic on Clark Street. She felt that it would cause a safety problem and was afraid that the new neighbors would use Clark Street as a way to get to Grand River and Eleven Mile Roads.


Harold and Audrey Ortwine objected for the safety of the children and additional traffic. They felt that the citizens were not in favor of the site because of those reasons.


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


LaReta Roder, 25910 Clark stated the proposed development as presently planned would forever alter the subdivision as it has been for over 50 years. She was struck by the reason given for having only 20’ setbacks in that the applicant wanted to achieve a traditional feel to the project. She stated her subdivision was just that, a truly authentic traditional neighborhood. It was unique to Novi. In order for Churchill Crossing to achieve its desired flavor, the unique and diverse character of Novi Heights Subdivision would have to be destroyed. All of the streets are dead end streets, they are also straight line streets with no curbs or cul-de-sacs. The number of trip generations forecast by the City does not take into account the number of people who will use it as a bypass for Novi Road.


Rod Callahan, 25610 Clark Street showed a video of the condition of the roads and the proposed access sites.


Chris Jacek, 44011 Stassen thought both parties could benefit if the new proposed subdivision were closed off at Stassen. He stated it was a bad idea and it would become a freeway. He asked the Commission to consider not turning Clark into a freeway.


Patrick Downey, 26030 Clark stated that the 25-mph speed limit was a farce. Originally the road was paved to accommodate 55 homes. He has lived in the area for 26 years. He did not want to see Clark Street go through.


Teresa Fischer, 25550 Clark objected to opening up Clark Street.


Denise Bator, 25536 Clark expressed concerns about the impact on the wetlands and woodlands and wildlife. She stated there were several species of wildlife that were being threatened by the proposed development. She was concerned about disturbing the water tables because the homes are on wells. When Settler’s Creek went in, the water quality changed. She absolutely did not want access from Churchill Crossing to Clark Street. She thought the poor design of Christina Lane and the subsequent speeding problems that are experienced validate her concerns. Children are on the street at the times of day when the largest increase in traffic would be seen. The addition of 18 homes in Settler’s Creek has already made a noticeable increase in traffic on Clark Street. She felt Clark Street would soon become a popular alternative to Churchill Crossing as well as Orchard Ridge and anybody else that wants to bypass all of the traffic on Novi Road. She proposed that Sussex Drive off of Christina Lane be opened. She did not want Clark Street to be used for construction traffic. The blacktop roadway paid for by the residents was not built to carry the weight of gravel trucks or cement haulers. She wondered if the surrounding infrastructure could handle another 420 cars. She expressed concern with the large number of cars turning onto Grand River from Clark Street as it was already getting difficult to turn. She had many concerns with the project as proposed with regard to the environmental impact, the safety hazard and the infrastructure.


Elaine Echols, 24032 Greening Drive stated the entire sub would be impacted by the development. She stated the high school students come out of her sub, turn right to make a left into the High School. She stated the traffic is so bad that they take Ten Mile to Novi Road to Nine Mile over to Taft and make better time than trying to make a left turn out of Orchard Ridge. She stated the traffic would be heavier.


Jim Wasolek, 25884 Clark has been a Novi resident for 21 years. He shared some of the same concerns as his neighboring residents. He stated the road was just paid for and it is already falling apart and needs major construction work. He felt strongly for the safety of the children. He added the fact that the Expo Center creates a traffic problem all around the City every time an event goes on. He stated the Grand River bridge was scheduled for replacement. If Grand River is shut down at the bridge and Clark Street is opened up, there would be some hot residents.


Dick Faulkner, 85890 Clark has lived in the area since 1962. He stated the road would be used as a drag strip. He thought the subdivision might be a wonderful thing, however, connecting it to Clark Street was out of order. He did not think it should be connected. He stated Novi does not have the police protection to monitor the street. He recommended that Clark not be connected and as a group, he thought they should meet with the Council to make sure it does not occur.


Josette Poirier, 43980 Durson stated the goal as stated, of Churchill Crossings was to create an intimate development of 210 homes. She asked how intimate it could be with 210 homes.


Delaro Poirier, 43980 Durson reiterated that there is too much traffic, there are no sidewalks and it is dangerous.


Chairperson Capello asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and stated it seemed that most of the comments of the Public Hearing had to deal with Clark Street. He asked the applicant to explain why they were tying into Clark Street.


Mr. Kahm stated that they were attempting to try to comply with the Ordinance as best as they could with the street connections. He stated they opted not to connect into Sussex because of the very same reasons of the people who live on Clark Street. He stated he spoke to the Fire Marshal regarding Sussex and he indicated that he did not see a necessity for him to have the Sussex connection as long as there was a Clark Street connection.


Mr. Kahm stated the Clark Street connection was made because of the length of the street. There is only one way in and out for emergency access. The connection was made to comply with the Ordinance but he stated he was more than willing to work with the neighbors and the Planning Commission in coming up with a way to preserve the emergency vehicle access to both neighborhoods and prevent through traffic from interfering with the quality of life.


Chairperson Capello turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.




Member Canup expressed concern with traffic for the residents of Clark Street, and the 20’ setback. He stated he absolutely could not live with it. He stated the Ordinances were written around a 30’ setback and without it being changed, there was no way he would vote to approve the project.


Member Richards expressed concerns regarding the entrance onto Ten Mile Road. He stated the alternative to posting no left turn signs at Orchard Ridge and Churchill Crossings, if the two streets line up, why not off-set them and then the left hand turn out of either one could be made without a signal. He asked for the p.m. peak hour traffic counts and what was anticipated at Churchill Crossings.


Mr. Arroyo stated at the intersection of Ten Mile and the project entrance, the afternoon peak hour westbound traffic was forecasted to be 1,089 vehicles per hour. The eastbound traffic was forecasted to be 662 vehicles per hour. He stated this was the through traffic generated by the combination of existing plus future traffic.


Member Richards stated if the traffic is taken into account and there is only one way in and out of the proposed sub, everyone will travel down Clark Street. He thought something was wrong and that there had to be another way of getting out of the subdivision without blocking it. He stated if this was the only in and out, he would be voting against it.


Member Koneda asked about the water quality because of the wells and what impact the development would have on it?


Mr. Bluhm stated about 2/3 of the site drains to the south, it is in a sub water shed area. The two watersheds that make up the development and the area to the north drains primarily to the east. The Rouge River is to the east and wraps to the west. It is going to be one factor in determining how the groundwater reacts. He expected the development to have less of an impact on wells.


Member Koneda asked Ms. Kay if she agreed with the assessment? He asked where the wetlands were being added?


Ms. Kay stated it was proposed along the east side of the property between two existing wetlands.


In regard to the east berming, Member Koneda asked if there would be adequate screening to the OS district to the east or was a waiver required for the berm?


Ms. Lemke stated a waiver for the berm was required from Lot 90 to Lot 205.


In regard to the park area on Lots 33 and 34, Member Koneda asked if the two lots were going to remain and just take off the frontage?


Mr. Kahm stated he has been able to reconfigure the lots. One is on a conventional layout without the park and the other is with the park and the loss of one lot.


In regard to the traffic, Member Koneda stated he was a resident of Orchard Ridge subdivision and knows the problems that exists when coming out onto Ten Mile Road. Signalization is needed at the corner now, not after the subdivision goes in. He expressed concern regarding the left turn conflict problems. He stated none of the plans submitted look to be feasible solutions unless a signal is added. He thought this needed to happen. He asked if it was possible to shift Churchill Crossing Drive to the east 5’ to minimize the affect on the berm at the existing Orchard Ridge Estates?


Mr. Arroyo stated the problem in doing so further separates the target area for the left turn even more, therefore, there would be more of an overlap in the center turn lane.


Mr. Kahm clarified that he was not suggesting, nor has he ever suggested doing anything to the boulevard. He stated he would like to avoid doing anything to the boulevard whatsoever. If necessary, he stated he would work with the City in any way that he could.


Member Koneda asked where the construction entrance would be located?


Mr. Kahm answered construction traffic would only be allowed to come in off of Ten Mile Road, which is the main entrance to the subdivision.


In regard to Clark Street, Member Koneda felt there was a mismatch of road construction of surfaces and alignment of the roads. He did not think it was a good idea to make the connection. He was not in favor of gated entrances, however, in this case he might be in favor of it to alleviate the problem. He asked why there is a 30’ setback.


Mr. Arroyo stated that generally setback requirements are there to deal with the bulk of development and to try to provide appropriate spacing and get away from overcrowding. Generally there is some variety of setbacks depending on the size of the lots.


Member Koneda stated the idea of putting the garages behind the buildings was very attractive because it gives a nice aesthetic look from the road. He stated it makes the depth of the buildings much longer than the conventional building, he asked if relief was not given for the setback, would greenspace behind the garages run out?


Mr. Kahm stated the proposal is being offered in exchange for the 20’ variance from the ZBA. He stated if the City prefers that this type of neighborhood not be built, standard homes could be built in R-4 with no variances.


Member Cassis asked how many feet were in the rear setback?


Mr. Kahm answered the standard 35’. He stated he is meeting the rear yard setback, he is only asking for a variance in the front in order to build these types of homes. If these types of homes were not built, a variance would not be needed.


In regard to traffic, Member Koneda stated whenever there is an accident on I-96, traffic dumps out onto Ten Mile Road. He stated the intersection needed to be signalized now. He asked if there was a process in place to make it happen?


Mr. Arroyo stated it was under the control of the Oakland Road Commission. He stated there would have to be a request by the City for the Road Commission to do a performance study to determine if a signal is warranted. It would be up to them as to whether or not the signal is put up.


Member Churella stated that Clark Street can’t take anymore traffic and it is very narrow. He asked if the gate could be an emergency gate only, make Sussex an emergency gate and close off Clark completely?


Mr. Arroyo stated that it is up to City Council in terms of if they are going to grant a waiver for the stub requirements. They have the ability to provide for a gated access as an alternative to a full access.


Member Churella asked if Mr. Kahm had ever considered going east with an access?


Mr. Kahm stated that the problem is that there is no single family zoning over there. It could be stubbed to commercial. He had not considered purchasing any of the commercial property in Novi.


Member Churella stated that there would be no problems with Sussex or any other people. He stated that Mr. Kahm could get a light without going through the city.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the Road Commission is going to conduct a warrant analysis. They will look at the volumes coming out of the existing approach, the location of the signal as it relates to other signals and make a determination as to whether or not it meets the guidelines from the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. It is not a city decision, it is a county decision.


Member Mutch stated that there are things about the project that he likes. He likes the thought that has gone into looking at the streetscape. The fact that you can build homes without the garage dominating the streetscape would be nice. However, he sees a plan where every square inch of land possible was taken and maximized for development. He is not seeing enough coming back to the city to want to help accommodate Mr. Kahm. Obviously, these houses that are being proposed are more desirable and will be the type of houses that he would like to see. The new urbanism concept is used as far as it works for the developer and then the rest is dropped. The entrance park is not sufficient for a subdivision of two hundred ten (210) homes. It might have been how subdivisions were built thirty (30) years ago but he doesn’t think that it is acceptable now.


Member Mutch stated that there have been a number of issues that have been brought up and he doesn’t think that this plan as it is currently presented is approvable. He would like to see some options explored. One option that he would like to see done is similar to what was done with Willowbrook Farms where there was access off of an existing road through a boulevard entrance. He would like to see coming off of Christina as the main access and converting that into a boulevard. It would eliminate the wetland issue, eliminate the traffic conflict as shown on Ten Mile Road and would probably justify placing a light at that location. Obviously there are going to be some connection issues that need to be worked out but that is one to explore. The second issue is the question that Mr. Churella had asked. The property adjacent east to the northeast corner of the property is owned by the City and extends all the way over to Novi Road. He thinks that Mr. Kahm needs to talk to the City about the potential for extending a road through that property over to Novi Road for an access. It may not be possible or work but it would open up another access point and relieve some of the pressure on the adjoining areas. With regard to Clark he agrees with most of the comments that have been made. He thinks that it is important to maintain the pedestrian connection between the two (2) subdivisions. He disagrees with Mr. Arroyo regarding the second entrance at Sussex. Christina is more in line as being able to handle the traffic because it does have sidewalks. If you close off that access point than you will force all of the access and traffic onto other streets.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Kahm what the square footage of the entrance park is?


Mr. Norberg stated that it is two (2) lot frontages wide and one is a corner lot. It is about two hundred (200) feet in frontage and about eighty (80) to one hundred (100) feet deep.


Member Mutch asked maybe twenty thousand (20,000) square feet?


Mr. Norberg stated maybe twenty to twenty five thousand square feet.


Member Mutch asked what the size of the recreation area on Main Street Village is?


Mr. Norberg stated that it is probably four hundred (400) by one hundred (100).


Member Mutch asked what the number of units is for Main Street Village?


Mr. Norberg stated two forty one (241).


Member Mutch stated that for a development for two hundred forty one (241) units there is an acre of open space with tennis courts, a pool and a clubhouse. For two hundred ten (210) units there will be half an acre, a gazebo and some sitting areas.


Mr. Kahm stated that the connection between the two is similar in architectural character but really that is where it ends. In this city there are very limited number of options to provide for extra park area as an example of the PUD Ordinance existed. If they were able to produce lot sizes in exchange for open space then yes, there are ways of doing things that are being suggested. However, right now he is trying to be creative and offer some unique character of architecture within the current confines of the Ordinance. If the Commission feels that they don’t like the options that he is offering he will withdraw all of these things and just submit a standard R-4 subdivision.


Member Mutch stated that Mr. Arroyo had made the good point about talking about the front yard setbacks. When you give up the greenspace by reducing the setbacks you need to replace it by providing some public park space. If you are going to make the step forward and you want the difference than you need to go the whole way with it and include some central park. He asked if Mr. Kahm has contacted the school district about the impact of this development?


Mr. Kahm stated not yet.


Member Mutch asked if he had any idea of how many new kids this would be adding to the district?


Mr. Kahm stated that he doesn’t but the school has formulas for additional children and the number of homes being built.


Member Mutch stated that is information that is needed because it is a large subdivision and will have an impact on the school district. As this currently stands, he doesn’t think that he could approve this as presented.


Member Cassis asked what the chances are of taking out the lots where there will be a stub going into Clark? Maybe a playground could be provided for the kids, it would be an emergency access for fire and have the exit on Sussex.


Mr. Kahm stated that he is open to discussing the access points and which ones are most critical to the cities emergency vehicles. He was trying to balance the emergency access to his subdivision as well as adjoining subdivisions.


Member Cassis stated that he agrees with the Clark people. It would be a big impact on that neighborhood and that street. He does not think that the street can take it and there are kids in the area. He stated that a few more things need to be provided.


Mr. Kahm stated that he would more than happy to work with the city.


Member Cassis asked Mr. Arroyo what he thought of the Sussex situation?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he believes that an emergency connection makes sense at that location. Having a full connection to that location is something that is more of a policy decision. If the Ordinance is looked at than the answer to the question is yes, there should be a full connection at Sussex. One of the reasons why the applicant did not propose it is that they do have a connection into Christina Lane and it is at a point where the traffic will not travel through to have a negative impact on the subdivision. The location is closer to Ten Mile so therefore the access comes across and is not by the homes. The reason why they made the connection to Clark was because it is primarily an emergency access connection. An emergency access connection is an absolute minimum.


Member Cassis asked what he thought of his suggestion of an open area for kids?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he believes that there is a potential for something like that to happen.


Member Cassis stated that he would not approve this with the Clark exit. He thinks that it is too much for the street. He does like the neo-traditional and hopes that Mr. Kahm has studied the market to think that it will sell.


Mr. Kahm stated that he is in Tollgate right now and he is getting a lot of positive response, which has led him to look at this as another option. In that subdivision, many of homes have twenty (20) foot setbacks so the reason that he proposed this concept was it was very consistent with what he is already doing in another subdivision in the city. He felt that this might be a direction that the city wishes to go.


Member Koneda stated that he is concerned that if they vote on this and turn it down than a plan will be brought back with the same lot layout with the same issues with thirty (30) foot setbacks. He would like to make a motion to table this discussion and give the applicant a chance to work with the consultants to address the issues of Clark Street, the traffic on Ten Mile and come up with alternatives that are acceptable to both developer and Orchard Ridge subdivision. He does like the idea of having the street across from Orchard Ridge and he thinks that it makes the most sense. His recommendation would be to table it.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Cassis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To table this matter to give the applicant a chance to resolve the traffic issues.




Member Mutch asked that the applicant look at the City property.


Chairperson Capello stated that as far as trading off the twenty (20) foot offset for not having front loaded garages, having the additional amenities of the lights and the neo-traditional look than he thinks that is a fair trade-off. He does feel that the traffic concerns need to be met.





Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, Watza and Canup

No: None


Member Mutch asked how the Board could make sure that the residents get proper notification?


Ms. Brock stated that notices are sent out to the surrounding property owners within five hundred (500) feet of the project.














Mr. Arroyo stated that the actions from one community can often impact another adjacent community. Quite often it comes under the responsibility of a regional planning agency to attempt to coordinate some of those activities. Obviously there has to be some sort of coordination for certain components of planning from one community to another in order to effectively provide for a coordinated review and the provisions of certain types of infrastructures, such as transportation. The first topic is actually transportation and one of the goals of the regional agency is to serve as a resource. More importantly they prepare a transportation improvement program and plan that identifies the funding priorities and which roads are actually going to be improved before others. That is a very powerful tool that a regional planning agency has. This is the way that federal funds are obtained to construct the roads. Regional agencies also serve as a clearinghouse. Many years ago the federal government had an A-95 initiative that specified that all federal activities need to undergo some type of regional review, particularly when there are federal funds. This was later replaced by an executive order. It says that if the federal government is going to spend money on sewer systems, road systems or any other type of major improvement than there should be a regional agency review so that there is coordination with activities and notification of local governments as well. For example, SEMCOG prepares a regional sewer plant. If you are looking to get federal funds to exsend sewers it needs to be within that sewer service area or else you may not qualify for those federal funds. The information center component provides data on housing, population and aerial photographs. They also tend to collect a lot of Zoning Ordinances, Master Plans and other studies. Finally, there is a coordinating agency for Planning Commission. If you remember when Great Lakes Crossing was proposed there was concern by adjacent communities that the impact that that project would have. SEMCOG did conduct a regional analysis and in some states it is mandatory for certain projects. For example, in Florida there is a development of regional impact process which he used to work with when he was down there. Large projects of a certain threshold all have to go through regional review before they get to a local level so that inner-governmental agency review inner-jurisdictional problems can be resolved before local action takes place.


Member Cassis asked how much clout do the regional authorities have?


Mr. Arroyo stated that it varies from state to state. It depends on how much authority is granted by the state legislature. In Michigan, it is more limited than other states. The control and prioritization of federal funding is one of the key roles of the regional agency.




A woman pointed at an overhead and suggested different roads to use. Enforcement of Christina Lane is no reassurance to her since the cops can’t be there all of the time. She approved of the connection to Sussex and she would be in favor of closing off Clark Street. She would like to even out the traffic patterns by not creating more traffic on Christina Lane. The safety issue is her biggest concern and she doesn’t think that the waivers should be issued. She stated that Clark needs to be protected and traffic congestion on Christina Lane needs to be alleviated. She stated that they get a lot of deer on Christina Lane because of the woods. She would like to find a way to leave some of the natural features such as the apple trees.


A woman stated that she is very much against cutting down trees. As far as she knows all of the trees that are between the old subdivision, Cedar Springs and the new subdivision are going to be cut down. If you consider the variance of having the houses moved farther back onto the lots than it will be thirty-five (35) feet from the end of the garage to the lot line. Those people who are in the old subdivision are going to be looking at garages in their backyard. She was wondering if there is any chance that additional space between the old sub and the new sub could be provided for buffering purposes.






Moved by Watza, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:25 p.m.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Richards, and Watza

No: None




Beth Brock - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Diane Vimr

Sarah Marchioni

July 13, 2000


Date Approved: July 19, 2000