View Agenda for this Meeting


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


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


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Cassis and Piccinini


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Director of Planning and Community Development Jim Wahl, Staff Planner Beth Brock and Planning Assistant Sarah Marchioni






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




Moved by Churella, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To approve the Agenda as presented.




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

No: None
















OMRON SP 00-21


This office-building project is located in Section 12, south of Thirteen Mile Road and west of Haggerty Road. The 2.2 acre site is zoned (OST) Office Service Technology District. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approvals.


Joe Drolshagen, of Northern Equities Group, proposed the 12,000 square foot Omron building located in the Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park, north of Lewis Drive, along Cabot Drive, and located on the west side of the road. He stated Omron Incorporated was founded in 1933 and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of reliable advanced electronics and control system components. In corporate aspect of this company, the revenue of this company has exceeded 4.6 billion dollars last year. The local arm is Omron Automotive Inc. and their component supplier; Magna International is one of their customers. Omron Automotive Inc. relays switch assembly instrument panels and electronic modules. This location is a research center, it conducts prototype evaluation, electronics labs, prototype testing, testing the electronic components and engineering center. It will also be used as the President’s office and sales functions. Mr. Drolshagen requested preliminary site plan approval for the entire phase as he introduced the second phase to be used for research. The first phase is 12, 230 square feet, located on 2.4 acres with 53 parking spaces. To the north are adjacent wetlands, to the south is OST land owned by the same owner and to the east is OST land. The building is white brick and blue glass, with block construction. One entrance is located off of Cabot Drive. Mr. Drolshagen requested Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recommended approval for Preliminary Site Plan for phases one and two of the project dated June 13th. He stated there was additional information he felt will need to be addressed at the time of final stamping. However, for the purposes of the Planning Commissions action he recommended approval for both phases.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan and final subject to some minor items being addressed upon stamping.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect, recommended approval for the Planning Commission wavier for screening the loading areas along the west and south property line with a three (3) foot high berm along right of way for M-5. She stated she is looking for additional plant materials in that area. If the applicant cannot complete the three (3) foot high berm due to the existing topography then the applicant will need to get a ZBA variance for the right of way berm, as it is a dual jurisdiction on the loading areas berm and the right of way berm. There is no waiver procedure from the Planning Commission if the applicant could not meet the three (3) foot berm. There is a wavier procedure for the six (6) to ten (10) foot high berm that is required to screen the loading areas along the south property line and the west property line. A waiver is therefore recommended.


Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the Woodlands Permit. She stated there is approximately one (1) acre of regulated woodlands on the site. It is primarily Elm, Cherry and Box elder, very low quality and very open under story. They will be replacing all of the trees on the site. Ms. Lemke stated, although there are a number of items that will be required at time of Final, she is recommending approval.


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.


Chairperson Capello announced he has received a letter from JCK which states the Preliminary Site Plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and they are recommending approval.


Chairperson Capello announced he has received a letter from Debbie Thor of JCK, which states after completing a wetland review she has determined a Wetland Permit is not required. However, administrative review and approval is necessary for the proposed buffer disturbance.


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.








Moved by Canup, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval and Woodland Permit approval to Omron SP00-21 subject to the Consultants conditions recommendations with the Planning Commission Waiver for the landscape berm.




Commissioner Koneda asked if approval of a phasing plan would be needed or if the second phase would open upon completion?


Mr. Arroyo stated if Preliminary Site Plan approval was granted for Phase I and II they would not need to come back for approval upon opening Phase II.


Mr. Arroyo asked the applicant if he was seeking approval for Phase I and Phase II?


Mr. Drolshagen answered yes.


Therefore, Mr. Arroyo stated a Phasing Plan will need to be included as part of the motion. The Phase Plan indicates an additional building.


Mr. Drolshagen stated the phases are designated on the Plan.


Member Koneda stated the applicant was seeking Final Site Plan approval for Phase I, and that Final Site Plan approval is done Administratively. He confirmed the Phasing Plan was mainly Phase I would be built first and Phase II would be built second and there would be no time frame.


Mr. Arroyo answered yes, there is no time frame for the second phase.


Member Canup stated to Member Koneda that his motion was for Phase I and Phase II.


Member Mutch asked if the waiver of the screening for the loading area was because it is permitted by Ordinance?


Ms Lemke answered, yes.


Member Mutch asked in regard to landscaping along the right away, would the applicant have to go to ZBA?


Ms. Lemke clarified they are trying to revise some of the engineering to meet it. However, if they cannot meet it they will need to go to ZBA. There is no provision to waive it.


Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke if in terms of the waiver they would be required to provide additional Evergreens?


Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She clarified in terms of the waiver for the screening and loading, they would still need to meet the Opacity Requirement and provide additional Evergreens.


Member Mutch asked if the additional Evergreens would efficiently screen the loading area from the M-5?


Ms. Lemke stated there is a three (3) foot wall and it is set down. The plant materials on top should screen the loading area.


Member Mutch asked in terms of the Woodlands Replacement, if it was indicated where the one hundred thirteen (113) replacement trees would be placed?


Ms. Lemke answered they currently have some on site and will be getting more on site. For the remainder they have indicated they will be placing on other property they own in the immediate area.


Member Mutch asked what guarantees are on the trees that they will be around for more than a couple of years? Should they be placed on a site that is becoming a future development?


Ms. Lemke stated a record is now kept with the City’s file stating which property the trees are placed on.


Member Mutch asked if it would be a condition of the site plan that the trees be maintained?


Ms. Lemke answered if the trees were on another piece of property, they would be regulated.


Member Mutch asked if they would be regulated even though they would not be of size to be considered regulated?


Ms. Lemke answered, yes.


Member Mutch stated his concern was addressed.


Chairperson Capello stated when he heard the motion, he assumed it was granting the waiver for the Planning Commission. He asked if the applicant needed a ZBA waiver, would the change be handled administratively and then go to ZBA?


Ms. Lemke responded the change would be to have a three (3) foot berm on the site plan now, located on the western property line and additional plantings.


Chairperson Capello asked if the applicant needed to go to ZBA would they have come back with a different Site Plan subject to ZBA approval or can this be done administratively? He explained, normally if the applicant is being sent to ZBA, the Commission can deny it because it does not meet the variance or it can be approved subject to ZBA approval. However, in this motion the ZBA variance has been ignored. In the alternative subject to ZBA variance the applicant would obtain it, and if they do not, they fight the Ordinance rights.


Member Canup amended the motion to include approval subject to ZBA variance if needed. If the ZBA variance is granted the applicant does not need to come back to the Planning Commission for further approval.




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

No: None







This office-building project is located in Section 14, on the northwest corner of Eleven Mile and Meadowbrook Roads. The 9.3 acre site is zoned (I-1) Light Industrial District. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit approvals.


Lee Mamola of Mamola Associates Architects introduced Dixon Hall and Michael Hall representing the owners of the Hall Group. The Bishop Creek Office Center is nine (9) acres, located on the northwest corner of Meadowbrook. Applicant is seeking approval for an eighteen thousand (18,000) square foot building on the site. Mr. Mamola stated the ultimate plan is to return to the Planning Commission in the future with a separate Site Plan for an additional building as included in the packet labeled MP1 (Master Plan of the Site). The site contains the Bishop Creek, pond, wetlands, and significant topography. The intent of the building is to be occupied by office users. Due to the topography, the building resulted in two stories. Each story will be its own confined building. The levels will not travel by elevator or stairway to one another. The ideal situation would have one (1) tenant, possibly two (2) to occupy the upper level and one (1) tenant, possibly two (2) for the lower level. Each level has its own parking area. The upper level and lower level parking are separated by a retaining wall which somewhat grows out of the side of the building. The building is a brick façade material. Mr. Mamola explained some existing difficulties with the site. He stated due to the bike/pedestrian path along the north side of Eleven Mile Road and future construction they are seeking City Council approval to fund sidewalks in another part of the city as opposed to installing that part of the sidewalk.


Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan for the building shown subject to minor items being addressed on the Final.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval. He also stated there are a number of items to be addressed on Final.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the project fairly significantly slopes from Garden Brook Drive, a private road, to the Creek. Storm water will be detained in storm water basin. The Creek is a city owned drain with a floodway and a floodplain associated with it. There is impact proposed preliminarily. However, additional information will be needed. A floodplain use permit will be required and hydrolytic studies may be necessary if the floodway impacts are determined to be necessary. These items will be reviewed at Final. Mr. Bluhm recommended approval and commented there are a number of other items that can be addressed at Final.


Ms. Lemke recommended approval. There are a number of items to be furnished at Final. She stated they are looking for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals regarding the four (4) foot green space immediately adjacent to the building. The plants deficient down in northwest and western façade and as presented Ms. Lemke stated she would not recommend approval. She also stated her concern of berms being provided along the right of way of Garden Brook, Meadowbrook and Eleven Mile Road. Although there is a note stating a berm will be provided, there are no berms shown. Therefore, the applicant can request a waiver from the Planning Commission for a wall or it will go to ZBA.


Mr. Bluhm stated open body wetlands on the site are associated along the banks of Bishop Creek. It is a non-minor use, and approval is required. It closely borders a minor use permit, as there are two (2) minor impacts. One impact is a discharge from the basin itself and the second is some minor grading work and pruning that is necessary along the buffer of the Willows that are in the buffer area. Although the work is very minor and there are several conditions to be met before a permit is issued, Mr. Bluhm is recommending approval.


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 items being corrected on the next Plan Submittal: 1) the proposed control valve for the fire water main shall be in a well or be a post indicator valve.


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 Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo to address the issue of right of way on both Eleven Mile and Meadowbrook Road? Member Mutch stated that according to the site plan, a forty (40) foot setback from the future right of way from the existing right of way is not provided.


Mr. Arroyo responded that is correct.


Member Mutch asked if it is anticipated that a need for an additional right of way would create non-conforming situations with these buildings?


Mr. Arroyo stated both Meadowbrook and Eleven Mile are three lane sections in front of the applicant’s property. There is a center left turn lane and two (2) lanes in each direction. Eleven Mile Road may never have to be widened. Meadowbrook Road could possible be widened to five (5) lanes in the future from Ten Mile to Twelve Mile. This would move the edge of the pavement over approximately twelve (12) feet. Mr. Arroyo stated he felt until actual construction drawings were made for widening a road, there is never a guarantee because modifications could shift the road one way or the other.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Mamola to address why the buildings were not set back further to deal with the future right of way?


Mr. Mamola stated the property has several factors that make it difficult to work with. He expressed the topography combined with sensitive land areas on the site that are not able to be developed. Also, the geometry of the driveway to the site presents only one point of entry. He concluded this leaves the property with very little developable area. Mr. Mamola felt if the road was widened there would be space for it since the sidewalks are proposed to be set back within the future right of way.


Member Mutch clarified the option of moving the building north and west was not feasible?

Mr. Mamola answered no.

Member Mutch asked the applicant to explain why there was an excess of twenty (20) parking spaces from what the Ordinance requires?

Mr. Mamola stated the parking spaces are in excess today, however the spaces will be used for the second building.

Member Mutch asked Mr. Bluhm what the potential impact on the surrounding properties is by filling in the flood plain if there is a hundred (100) year flood, and what measures would be taken to alleviate?

Mr. Bluhm stated filling the floodplain is typically not a problem. If all the floodplains in the City were filled into the floodway location, the models at the DEQ show the flood stages would not increase the flood stages by more than a tenth. However, the floodway is the Creek’s actual carrying ability for the flows. The impact that flood would have on offsite properties if it increases the base flood elevation by more than a tenth of a foot and compensatory cut or some other measure will need to be done to assure they would not be detrimentally impacting downstream and upstream properties. Once this detailed study is done, it will show there will be no impact downstream or upstream. However, going into the floodway requires a whole new level of engineering design and calculations that would need to be seen.

Member Mutch stated his concern to see a connection between the interior sidewalk system and the exterior sidewalk system, due to the potential proximity to new development at Grand River and Meadowbrook with the Gateway Concept and possible continuations of paths.

Member Koneda asked for explanation in regard to moving the path or plans to not construct it at this time and instead putting it on property the applicant already owned in the City?

Mr. Mamola stated funding would be made available to the City to construct a sidewalk.

Member Richards asked if funds would be provided for bike paths to be constructed in the future.

Mr. Mamola answered yes, at some other location not under their control.

Member Richards asked the applicant for clarification on what other location?

Mr. Mamola stated in a previous project with the same owners, it was decided for the owners to put funds in an escrow account approved by the City. It is understood that these funds may be used to construct a sidewalk on this site or the City may also elect to use the funds at their choosing to construct sidewalks at another location in the city.

Mr. Bluhm added to Mr. Mamola’s response, he stated there is a reconstruction plan for the culverts that can be shown where the Creek crosses Eleven Mile Road. The culverts have been problematic and the soils are bad and have been sinking. There is a plan for their replacement. He agreed there would not be merit in constructing the sidewalk over the culverts at this time. However, this is a very defined project that will not extend beyond the creek. If waived or escrowed for future construction with the replacement of the culverts, part of the pathway would be built with no connection over the drain. He stated the question would be whether or not to escrow the whole sidewalk or part of the sidewalk. In his opinion, only part of it would need to escrowed and the remainder could be built.

Member Richards asked how it would be assured the escrowed money would be used to build the sidewalks or the bike paths on this particular property?


Mr. Bluhm stated the escrowed money could be earmarked directly to the project and the culvert replacement project. It would be guaranteed that it would be built at that point if it were escrowed directly into that part of the project.

Member Richards clarified whether this would need to be a part of the recommendation that is offered?

Mr. Watson answered yes, it should be part of the motion.

Member Koneda stated the Site Plan being presented shows sidewalks. He asked if the applicant is seeking approval of the Site Plan with the sidewalk with the intention to go to City Council for a waiver of the sidewalks? He suggested approval of the Site Plan with the sidewalks as shown in the Site Plan as opposed to placing conditions in a motion.

Mr. Bluhm stated his appreciation to the Planning Commission for recognizing if it were not for the guardrails, culvert situation and several other issues, the owners would build the sidewalk.


Mr. Mamola stated the need of support to avoid the minutes going to Council.


In resolving the issue at hand, Mr. Arroyo suggested to approve the Plan contingent upon the appropriate Design of Construction Standards Waiver from City Council. At this point City Council would determine whether or not to choose the escrow program, putting it into the culvert plan, or another alternative worked out with City Council.


Mr. Watson stated if a site plan had an improvement, such as a sidewalk, not constructed at the time of TCO or Final, money would be posted for the cost of the improvement. He stated according to Mr. Mamola’s statements, it sounded as though it would not be built until the culvert job is done. Therefore, they should approach the City Council for a Design Construction Waiver with the condition to the Waiver of having money posted with the foreknowledge it would be used with the culvert project to complete the sidewalk.


Member Koneda asked Mr. Watson if his interpretation was to not have this as a condition of the motion?


Mr. Watson stated the alternative should be left to leave the plan as it is with the anticipation it will be built or the alternative of going to the City Council for the waiver.


Chairperson Capello asked if it were left on the Plan as it is with the proviso in the approval that moneys be escrowed and used when the culvert is done, it would not be necessary to go to City Council?


Mr. Watson stated technically the Design Construction Standards specify it has to be included. Therefore, it would still need to go to City Council.


Chairperson Capello clarified if it would still need to go to Council regardless because the City is constructing it?


Mr. Watson answered, yes.


Member Koneda stated it would have to be a condition of the approval that a Design Construction Waiver of the sidewalk has to be approved before they build it?


Mr. Bluhm clarified if these conclusions were based on the whole sidewalk or just the part that would be necessary to be eliminated or removed and replaced. He recommends it should just be that area.


Member Koneda asked if this area was along Eleven Mile Road or along both Eleven Mile and Meadowbrook Road?


Member Watza answered this area included is along Eleven Mile Road and possibly a hundred fifty feet (150) of the pathway.


Mr. Watson suggested when the request for a variance from City Council is made any portion can be requested and granted.


Member Koneda asked Ms. Lemke if it was correct that she did not want to approve the plan due to the fact that it does not meet the sixty (60) percent green space along the west and northwest areas.


Ms. Lemke stated the variance is required because the applicant does not meet the four (4) feet of green space immediately adjacent to the building.


Member Koneda asked if some open space was allowed?


Ms. Lemke agreed and added that open spaces are allowed for loading and unloading.


Member Koneda restated the applicant does not meet that requirement?


Ms. Lemke answered, correct.


Member Koneda asked what would need to be done in order to meet that requirement?


Ms. Lemke stated they would need the four (4) feet of green space. There is a continuous walkway along the area with no green space. The walkway is adjacent to the building, and the provision requires four (4) feet between the building and that walkway.


Member Koneda asked if it would be necessary to go to ZBA for a variance?


Ms. Lemke answered, yes. The Planning Commission can only make a waiver in the Town Center Districts, if additional brick paving or special paving is provided. The ZBA would also be looking at reviewing this.


Member Koneda stated there are four (4) waivers that are required. 1) A ZBA waiver for the four foot green space adjacent to the building, 2) a ZBA variance to eliminate the berming along the road right of way, 3) a Planning Commission waiver for the berm along Eleven Mile, with the granting justified to preserve and retain existing vegetation.


Mr. Mamola corrected Member Koneda’s number of variances. He stated he spoke with Ms. Lemke on June 1, 2000, and disagreed with her opinion that there was a need for a variance for the four (4) foot green area. The area Ms. Lemke is referring to is under the building with the road extending out over the building. This extension is regulated by setback requirements, regulated by fire suppression systems requirements, and is part of the building. Although it is an exterior of the building, it is under the building footprint as regulated by other issues, including the zoning variance. Due to this information he did not believe the four (4) foot green space requirement applies to that portion of the sidewalk.


Ms. Lemke agreed she had this discussion with Mr. Mamola. However, it seemed these steps are unavoidable if it was required by another ordinance.


Mr. Mamola stated theoretically a sidewalk could be pulled away from the building allowing people to walk not undercover. He continued to explain two (2) points of entry and egress into the lower level. Due to the parking arrangement relative to the one (1) front door, every attempt was made to allow the pedestrian to be undercover while traveling to the front door, this being the roofline overhang. He stated although a sidewalk could have been placed further south, the intent was to have the southern greenbelt between the building and Eleven Mile Road left in its natural state. He felt it diminished the natural state, gave the pedestrian more walking and no undercover to have the sidewalk extended out.


Member Koneda asked Mr. Watson if he felt this was a condition or not of the ZBA variance for the green space?


Mr. Watson stated although it is a Zoning Ordinance requirement if they are going to vary from it, it is a ZBA case. He asked to what element the building code is?


Mr. Mamola stated the building line extends out from over the second floor, the roofline and gives cover to the pedestrians. There are columns that protrude to support the cover. He stated his understanding of the ordinance is that the cover and columns must be behind the building or setback line. Therefore, they form part of the building. He felt it should be considered as a walk into the footprint of the building as opposed adjacent to the building.


Member Koneda asked if the sidewalk did not extend over the overhang of the building?


Mr. Mamola answered, yes.


Member Koneda clarified the sidewalk was all contained within the footprint of the building.


Mr. Mamola agreed. He stated there was an area where the building extends beyond over the overhang of the building along where we have more than a four (4) foot green.


Chairperson Capello asked if Mr. Mamola was stating that the four (4) foot greenspace begins at the overhang of the canopy and extends out?


Mr. Mamola answered, yes.


Chairperson Capello asked if this were true, does this meet the Ordinance requirement?


Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She stated if one were trying to plant or place grass in an area that had an overhang, it would be very difficult.


Mr. Arroyo addressed the interpretation of the Ordinance in similar cases. He stated in terms of a building projection or overhang, there are provisions in an Ordinance that allow it to extend into a required setback. However, if columns were supporting that overhang, it could be interpreted as part of the building. It would have to meet the building setback. Therefore in this case if the walk was under the overhang that was supported by columns, then it would be subject to the setback requirements. He agreed the sidewalk is not actually in front of the building, yet is under and within what would be considered the footprint of the building. In other cases it was not a sidewalk, however, there was a setback issue.


Mr. Watson stated it is being approved subject to either going the ZBA or determination being made that meets the Ordinance.



Moved by Koneda, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To grant preliminary site plan approval to Bishop Creek, SP 00-25 along with a wetland permit and Planning Commission waiver of the berm along Eleven Mile Road conditional upon resolution of the greenspace issue, upon a ZBA variance for the berming along Meadowbrook Road and subject to consultants conditions.



Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke to clarify according to the Ordinance, the four (4) foot green space area that is required to have shrub plantings and other enhancements?

Ms. Lemke clarified the sides that are visible from the public road, need to have sixty (60) percent of that façade linear footage planted with shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses etc…

Member Mutch asked if the area requires any other enhancements outside of that walkway area, along the perimeter?

Ms. Lemke stated that she did not believe that area would be that visible and that it would not be required and would be behind that wetland area.

Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke in terms of the areas being wavered, does your letter include conditions that would preserve and ensure the area would not be disturbed?

Ms. Lemke stated this is covered under the Wetland Review.

Member Mutch stated this would cover the issue of those areas not being disturbed and being maintained in their natural state.

Chairperson Capello asked if a decision could be made to render whether or not the Ordinance is met, plan submitted and approved?

Mr. Watson stated this could be done, however if it is not correct, an approval cannot be granted that is contrary to the Ordinance. Therefore the approval could be void.

Chairperson Capello asked if a letter from Mr. Watson or Mr. Arroyo would have more weight or authority in regards to the Ordinance or a decision of the Planning Commission? He stated he could understand if the letter came from an administrative body or judicial.

Mr. Watson stated the Building Department before they grant a Building Permit might ask if the Site Plan Approval was appropriately granted.

Chairperson Capello asked how the Building Department could overrule the governing body due to an opinion?

Mr. Watson stated they ask him whether or not an Ordinance is being properly applied or not.




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

No: None




An Ordinance to amend Section 2511 of the City of Novi Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the standards for exterior lighting within the City of Novi.


Mr. Arroyo stated that this Amendment has come before the Planning Commission through discussions the Planning Department had with the Police Department regarding lighting and security issues. It was requested the Planning Department take a look at the exterior lighting requirements. There were also some concerns that the current exterior lighting standards could be evaluated to update with improvements. This went to the Implementation committee and was reviewed. The Amendments intend to 1) address security to establish minimum lighting levels for certain areas. 2) Address glare and spill-off into residential areas by establishing standards for lighting. 3) Maintenance issues because in the past, the maintenance of lighting that was approved has been a problem. This makes it clear that once you put in lighting, you are responsible for maintaining it, keeping bulbs and fixtures in working order. If this is not done, it is a violation of a zoning ordinance. Those are the main goals that this attempts to accomplish. You will find that there are some minimal lighting level requirements. In a parking area, the minimum level is two (2) foot-candles. Research was done as to minimum lighting levels that are required from a security standpoint in order for police to be able to do a drive by and look into the area. Also for pedestrians who are walking in the area, a minimum level of lighting is required. This establishes different minimum levels of light according to the usage of the area. It also sets a requirement that you submit a lighting plan with your site plan. This is routine these days. Once you hire a company to develop a lighting a parking area or exterior, they will generally at little cost prepare a photometric plan that shows a grid of what the illumination levels will be throughout the site. The ordinance requires submission of this photometric grid showing the foot candle illuminations throughout the site including the property lines. With that information we can determine if the lights are meeting the standard. This would be a maximum of one (1) candle at the property line if you are adjacent to non residential areas, and one half (1/2) of one foot candle if you are adjacent to residential. The other key standard is that it establishes a maximum ratio of four (4) to one (1) from the average light level to the minimum light level. This is recommended in the national standards. The purpose is to provide uniform lighting and get away from hot spots that cause glare. This ratio was suggested in one study that was viewed as very informative. The illumination engineering society of North America also suggests this ratio. We use this as a guideline. One of the sources that have been made available is an outdoor lighting manual for Vermont municipalities and it was developed because of the issue of sky glow. Trying to address this where the illumination from urban areas spills out into rural areas. I believe these recommendations will help address that.


Member Watza stated the reason this is addressed is because spillage into adjacent properties is referenced in the intent but nothing is mentioned as to protecting or reversing some of the dark sky issues.


Mr. Arroyo stated it is covered by two (2) different things. 1) the requirement for cutoff fixtures which specify that the light should be directed down and not up. It is mentioned as number three (3) under required conditions. Page three (3) says that parking lot lighting shall be designed to provide the minimum illumination levels. Full cut off fixtures shall be used to prevent glare and direct illumination away from adjacent properties and streets. So, there are requirements for these fixtures in residential and non residential. This is also addressed by the four (4) to one (1) ratio because the minimum is kept to a certain level since the average cannot be more than four (4) to one (1) over the minimum and this will keep the light down to a reasonable level. This combination of generally low light levels plus cut off fixtures is going to reduce the amount of sky glow.


Member Watza stated the only other suggestion is that because the intent does not specifically mention keeping sky glow to a minimum, we could change the sentence to state this clearly. This will be made paragraph one (1).


Member Koneda stated currently there are no lighting plans as a condition of site plan approval, therefore are now asking for an additional feature to be added. Who will review the lighting plan?


Mr. Arroyo stated they have been requested in situations with a sensitivity issue and have been getting them on a regular basis. He stated his office reviews them routinely.


Member Koneda clarified this would fall under Mr. Arroyo as opposed to under Engineering at JCK?


Mr. Arroyo stated it could be a combination, but that it would need to be reviewed.


Member Koneda asked who defined "glare" when it is stated unnecessary glare?


Member Watza stated his concern was in addition to the children being able to see the night sky. There are studies showing there is a significant cost saving to be incurred if the lights are not shining and being wasted upward.


Member Koneda stated a low voltage single bulb could produce a definite glare intrusive to the eye, and yet have a higher powered hooded light fixture, and not be aware of its presence. This is the reasoning for the request of the definition of "glare". Member Koneda stated section 1 spoke about the intent of the Ordinance, Section 2 refers to the Lighting Plan, Section 2A states what needs to be included as part of the Plan, Section 2B states what the Plan is attempting to do and Section 3 states required conditions. In Section 3J on page five (5), it states the City may chose to waiver, alter or cut off requirements of this section when appropriate historic or decorative fixtures are proposed. He asked who is the "City"?


Mr. Arroyo answered it was the entity who is approving the site plan. Generally it would be the Planning Commission, City Council or Administrative. He gave an example of the Town Center. The type fixtures used may not likely meet the cutoff requirements, however, are still bound by the illumination levels. In reviewing the Plan, if there is a special light standard approved for a District, they may not meet the cut off standard, it allows it to be approved. However, the illumination levels that are specified in the Ordinance will still bind them.


Member Koneda stated his support.


Member Richards referred to page four, item four, Maintenance. It states "failure to maintain fixtures shall be deemed abolished in this Ordinance and a violator should be subject to penalty provision contained in Article Thirty-eight (38)." He asked what are these?


Mr. Arroyo stated it was a misdemeanor provision, which is a fine up to five hundred (500) dollars (per day), and/or imprisonment up to ninety (90) days. Typical misdemeanor provisions.


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.





Moved by Canup, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Text Amendment 18.163 (exterior lighting) as amended at the table.








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

No: None




An Ordinance to amend Subsection 2503.1 of Ordinance No. 2503.1 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Ordinance, to revise the standards for accessory buildings within the city.


Mr. Arroyo explained that this amendment comes from the Implementation Committee. As times and building standards have changed there have been a demand for a changes in accessory structures and garages associated with residential structures. Particularly in the RA and the R-1 districts with the larger lots and larger structures. It was determined with the Implementation Committee, in reviewing the current ordinance, to modernize this particular component of the ordinance to reflect the demand that is being felt in these areas. This Ordinance has been reworked. First is dealing with parking of vehicles within a garage, that the maximum size of structures that would hold vehicles in a R2 through RT district would remain at its current six hundred (600) square feet. However, if it were a R-1 or RA district it would be an increase from the current seven hundred fifty (750) square feet to one thousand (1000) square feet. In addition to this, the Ordinance states a there can be two hundred fifty (250) square feet for other storage within a garage that is proposed to be an increase to three hundred fifty (350) square feet. There is a provision that states if a garage has more than three overhead doors facing a front yard, it has to be designed in a courtyard manner so that the garage is screened from the public road to minimize the visual impact. This essentially allows for more flexibility and the demand for more cars with a larger home. Second, are amendments that deal with accessory buildings. In some of the larger lot subdivisions the Ordinance currently provides for larger accessory buildings. This section is being clarified for several reasons. To specify a lot at least a half acre is allowed no more than two (2) detached accessory buildings. Those buildings are not to exceed two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet in ground floor area. The building must also comply with all the applicable set back requirements. In addition, there is a standard that does not currently exist. It specifies if the accessory structure is greater than seven hundred fifty (750) square feet, it must be designed and constructed of materials that are compatible with the principle building. It must include a minimum roof pitch to avoid pole barn type construction, yet instead an accessory building that fits in with the character of the surrounding area with similar building materials. This is intended to update the Ordinance, and address some of the issues being raised by some of the members of the Implementation Committee and builders in the area.


Mr. Arroyo referred to paragraph (J). This states the total aggregate floor area for attached and detached accessory buildings intended for parking and storage of vehicles is limited by this amount. He suggested a minor amendment to reflect the storage vehicles not used on a frequent basis, would be allowed to do this within the twenty five hundred (2,500) square foot accessory structure. This may apply to car collectors who reside on a one (1) acre lot or larger. This would allow them to store their vehicles in an accessory building if it is considered to be accessory to the residential use.


Mr. Watson suggested having a cross-reference to Subpart (I) to indicate that if one falls under (I) that they are not limited by (J).


Mr. Arroyo stated one beneficial amendment was if a resident owns a large lot, and desires to have accessory structures, the appearance of the structures would fall in line with the principle structure. It will have similar materials, with a roof pitch and fit into the residential area even though it is a larger lot residential area. He felt this would be an improvement over the current ordinance standards. Under the current ordinance standards, there is not a limitation on the number of accessory structures. Therefore this amendment defines the limitation of two (2) detached accessory structures. There are limitations on how large the structures can be depending upon the size of the principle building and upon the amount of floor area coverage to floor area ratio.


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 Richards asked if the change the RA and R-1 from seven hundred fifty (750) square feet to one thousand (1000) square feet was a predetermined number based on the size of the houses now being constructed in that zoning?


Mr. Arroyo answered it was based on the size needed to store vehicles. He stated there was discussion at the Implementation Committee meeting regarding the current standard of a garage per vehicle is increasing in size as resident’s desire to open garages, and also with some of the vehicles being larger. He stated the Implementation Committee was considering vehicle storage area twelve (12) feet wide by twenty-four (24) feet long, which is less than three hundred (300) square feet. This would allow for a three (3) car, possibly even four (4) car garage within one thousand (1000) square feet. The committee examined various examples and came up with what they feel is a reasonable number with relationship to the size of the structures being built within the district.


Member Richards asked to confirm the fact that the size of the garages in the district will be limited to one thousand (1000) square feet with additional storage space limited to three hundred fifty (350) square feet.


Member Koneda asked if residents could have two of these garages?


Mr. Arroyo answered that residents can have two detached garages if they have lots of at least twenty one thousand seven hundred eighty (21,780) square feet and all minimum standards are met.


Member Koneda said that he felt this would be a very crowded situation.


Mr. Arroyo said that the homes built on these sites might not be able to reach twenty five hundred (2,500) square feet. There is a twenty five (25) percent maximum lot coverage so that a half-acre lot could only cover five thousand four hundred forty five (5,445) square feet of land area. Assuming a three thousand (3,000) square foot home, only two thousand four hundred (2,400) square feet of land area would be left for building.


Member Koneda refers to page two (2) where the detached building may reach seven hundred (700) square feet. Member Koneda would like to see that number be decreased. He feels that a prefabricated shed that matches the house.


Mr. Arroyo said the number could be brought down.


Member Koneda asked why the seven hundred fifty (750) square foot size was chosen.


Mr. Arroyo said that the committee wanted to allow for residents who wanted either a large attached structure or a smaller prefabricated structure.


Member Koneda felt it would be questionable to find a prefabricated structure larger than ten (10) feet by twenty (20) feet in size.


Mr. Arroyo said that a decision could be made as to the size that a structure would have to be before it had to be constructed of like materials to the main structure.


Member Koneda felt it would be an atrocity to build a seven hundred and forty-nine (749) square foot building that did not match the façade of the home.


Member Churella asked if the size eight (8) by ten (10) is the size allowed by ordinance?


Mr. Arroyo responded he did not think there was a maximum size and that it is governed by the accessory regulations.


Member Koneda asked if there was a difference between a temporary building and a permanent building? He stated a shed, temporary building, is not intended to last for a long period of time.


Member Churella stated it should start off at a hundred (100) square feet.


Member Watza stated his doubt that residents would actually build a ten (10) by (10) shed, and wanted to know where the idea came from to prevent it?


Member Koneda stated they were located along the Walled Lake area at the north end.


Member Mutch asked in regards to subdivisions and lots that are not zoned RA or R-1, should the provision be covered by a lot size as opposed to zoning?


Mr. Arroyo stated if they happened to be a larger lot, and a larger structure is allowed to be built, it could be split at some point and create a larger problem.


Mr. Watson stated that if there was a possibility of a future split, it could go to the ZBA and have a condition placed on it.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Arroyo to clarify if (B) is stating these are front yard and side yard be front yard setbacks and side yard setbacks?


Mr. Arroyo stated it is correct to say shall not be erected in any required front yard or exterior side yard. It is defined in the Ordinance as a yard. He stated it is an actual side yard. A garage could not be put in the required side yard. For example if there is a minimum fifteen (15) foot setback for the side yard, the garage may not be placed in that required side yard. He stated this is exterior that is adjacent to a street different from an interior.


Chairperson Capello asked if the required exterior side yard is actually the side yard setback?


Mr. Arroyo answered yes.


Chairperson Capello read sub section (J), which stated "any garage with more than three overhead doors facing the front yard," is this referring to a double, and a single door?


Mr. Arroyo clarified if he was essentially stating the equivalent to three single overhead doors?


Chairperson Capello answered yes.


Member Canup referred to part (1) (D), which stated "six foot to any side ladder rear lot line?"


Mr. Arroyo stated yes, this is the current standard.


Member Canup stated if an owner has a half-acre and would like to build a twenty-five hundred (2,500) square foot out building on it, how would the Fire Department view this?


Mr. Arroyo stated he did not feel there would be an issue, and would instead be more concerned about separation between other structures.


Member Canup stated in previous instances, the Fire Department usually needs enough room to move a vehicle through that area.


Mr. Arroyo agreed if a structure is to become fairly large, an additional setback would be appropriate and considering.








Moved by Canup, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Text Amendment 18.164 subject to part (1) item (D) being changed from "six foot to any interior side yard" to "ten foot" and subject to review and comments by the Fire Department, and changing subsection (J) to one hundred square feet.




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

No: None













Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo


Mr. Arroyo stated that this weeks training session was on public hearing guidelines. Stated that public input is critical to planning. He stated that certain things should be done to improve public hearings. These things included being prepared with research and information, providing clear background and information to the public, printing public hearing guidelines to provide an overview for public hearing, making a comfortable environment that encourages public comment. All comments should be directed through the chair to keep a more formal situation. Focusing on the goal or purpose of the public hearing. Try to keep public comments to within three (3) minutes.


In regards to guidelines for public participation input, Mr. Arroyo expressed that the rules could be projected on an overhead at the beginning of the meeting. This would let the public know when certain topics will be covered and when public comments and input would be accepted.



Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo


Mr. Arroyo announced a Town Center Visioning Session was set for Thursday, June 29, 2000 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The purpose of this meeting is to gain public input and input from the Planning Commission, City Council, Town Center Committee members, other business persons, and residents. He felt this is a critical time. He stated during a joint meeting with the Town Center Committee and City Council, City Council asked the Town Center Committee to search options of other names to better define the overall scope of the area verses a name only specifying the shopping area.


Also, to look at some of the issues such as land uses, mixing of uses, façade materials, and the overall direction of where things are going; to address residential development, how appropriate is it and where it should be.


This will be an opportunity for public input with a structured format of small working groups. Everyone will have an opportunity to speak and provide input into the situation. Group leaders will be identified and provide their recommendations, which will be recorded and shared with those present. The ideas will also be presented to the Town Center Committee as part of the development of new goals/objectives and new direction.


Mr. Arroyo stated this is a very important time for people to come out who are interested in the Town Center, because their ideas are needed. This is the situation where city staff and consultants will have a minimal role other than to facilitate the discussion to allow the people in attendance to brainstorm on ideas.


Chairperson Capello stated he felt ninety (90) minutes seemed lengthy for a meeting time.


Mr. Arroyo explained the structure of the meetings. He stated it would start off with a twenty (20) minute questionnaire regarding the issues and ideas. It would provide some independent input into the process. There will be groups with five (5) topic areas to cover. He felt the ninety (90) minutes would be utilized. He felt during these ninety (90) minutes was an effective time to discuss, record and let everyone share ideas.


Mr. Wahl referred to the Traffic Committee Session and stated it worked well. He stated it was approximately thirty (30) people. He did not recall complaints etc…


Member Canup asked what is happening at Novi Road and Grand River Avenue?


Mr. Arroyo stated it was awaiting final site plan to be submitted. The site has been demolished, and he understands that the developer is completing a project in another community, and will be moving forward with this one in the near future. As of now the Final Site Plan has not yet been submitted.


Mr. Wahl stated they have had numerous meeting with the applicant with the condition of the site. The Building Department is making sure that all of the requirements are met with the clean up.



Department report by Jim Wahl


Mr. Wahl introduced changes in the department. He announced July 5, 2000 would be his last day due to his acceptance of a new position in Beaver Creek, Ohio. He stated Beaver Creek has a population of approximately forty thousand (40,000) people. It is a community similar to Novi. He stated he has thoroughly enjoyed working with this Planning Commission. He felt this Commission has been the easiest and most comfortable working relationship. Mr. Wahl expressed his gratitude to the Commission for their patience.


Mr. Wahl stated Kerreen Conley, former Director of Developmental Services, instituted new monitoring and procedural changes to track items. He felt these procedures are well known by the current staff. Therefore, no adverse changes should be noticed.


City Manager, Richard Helwig, has instituted a Focus Group program to address roads and road bond issues. Already there have been meetings with the Rotary Club and North Central Traffic Committee. It involves questions to address why the Road Bond did not pass in November and what needs to be done to move forward positively. Mr. Wahl offered to make an arrangement if the Planning Commission wanted to participate in trying to help put together the Fall Road Bond Package.










Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:25 p.m.




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

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

July 17, 2000


Date Approved: August 2, 2000