REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, JULY 19, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Capello.
PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini and Richards
ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Watza
ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay and Staff Planner Beth Brock
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Capello asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?
PM-00-07-094 APPROVE THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED
Moved by Richards, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve the Agenda as presented.
VOTE ON PM-00-07-094 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, and Richards
Chairperson Capello announced there were three items on the Consent Agenda. He asked if there were any additions or deletions to the Consent Agenda?
Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the consent agenda
PM-00-07-095 TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA
Moved by Canup, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve the consent agenda.
VOTE ON PM-00-07-095 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards
NOVI TOWN CENTER 8 THEATER
The Novi Town Center 8 Theater faÁade waiver that is granted is subject to the conditions in regard to the color of the standing metal seam roof as set forth in Mr. Necciís letter of April 19, 2000.
Linda Lennox, 24555 Christina Lane, speaking for Cedar Springs Estates 1 & 2 is representing someone out of town. She wrote a letter to Ms. Brock in regards to a letter sent from Singh Development. The subdivisions recommendations were that there be no connections made to the Cedar Springs Estates 1 & 2 from Churchill Crossings due to concerns of traffic on Christina and Buckminster. There is already a heavy load of traffic because of only 3 entrances to those subdivisions. One is Petros from the north, which goes onto Buckminster and the other is Christina from the south, which directly affects Cedar Springs. The only other one is Jamestowne for the Jamestowne Green. Her concern is that the connection to the subdivision will increase the traffic load on Christina and Buckminster to the north and south as a second entrance to Churchill Crossings. Their recommendation is to open the second entrance to Novi Road and to use that as the construction entrance. Prior to that when they went in to do the initial clearing, to look at the land, the proposed street McMillan was what they used and there was damage to both the sidewalks in the subdivision. The road was also damaged and they were never fixed after they went in. Her biggest concern was the traffic if the roads were opened. If they were to use the roads the subdivision didnít want a construction route off of their subdivision from Christina. It was addressed more clearly in the letter, specifically.
Chairperson Capello stated that the process tonight was to merely make a recommendation to City Council. City Council has the ultimate power to make decisions and they do not have to follow the Planning Commissions recommendations. Whatever happens tonight is not the final decision and will be made at the City Council meeting when it comes up on the agenda.
David Lennox, 24555 Christina Lane would like to add that he has lived in Novi for two years now and has experienced a lot of traffic. He lives on Christina Lane and his neighbors were selling their house. The first day they had eighteen couples to look at their house and sixteen had major concerns about traffic up and down Christina Lane and that was last year. What happens if he tries to sell his house? We arenít going to have people who will want to live on a street with that much traffic. It is a residential street, although it is a little wider. He doesnít know why because he didnít live in Novi twenty years ago when they built it. It is still a residential street with a two-year girl next door, four-year-old twins across the street and we donít need all this traffic coming down our street.
Brian McPherson, 25998 Petros Blvd. wanted to reiterate what has been said. He also lives in Cedar Springs Estates at the finish line of the north route going through the subdivision. He lives on the corner of Petros and Eleven-Mile where Buckminster and Christina actually have (tape out) on the other side of the road. He has kids that are nine, seven and five months and is very concern about any additional traffic. He thinks that most of the people here tonight are on that side of the issue. He guarantees that if a proper resolution is not reached, you will have a lot more people at future meetings.
Paul Donnan, 23810 Harvest, lives in Orchard Ridge Estates, which is across from Churchill Crossings. He very strongly believe that this thing should not be built at all because Ten Mile Road is insufficient to serve the developments that are already here. He thinks that the subdivision will need a light there regardless of what the entryway looks like. He also thinks that since Singh is building this and is going to make the money off of it, they should do the following. One, reconstruct the entryway subject to Homeowner approval, pay for the cost of the traffic light and compensate for the loss of the mature trees that the subdivision has. Final approval should
be subject to Singh agreeing to these things with the Homeowners Association.
Tom Doyle, 23475 High Meadow, inaudible.
Richard Bale, 25893 Clark Street, lives on Clark Street, which is the so-called freeway of Novi Heights Subdivision. His concern is that the proposal to project Clark Street from Grand River through Ten Mile Road will increase the traffic flow dramatically to the point where these other folks are concerned for the same reasons we are Ė for the safety. Clark Street has no sidewalks at all and people walk on the street there. The addition of the Settlers Creek Development added additional traffic. With the proposal of 207 homes, which will be probably 414 cars, half of which will be coming one way out of that subdivision will dramatically increase the traffic flow. It will be a hazard and a detriment to the people who walk on that street, so he is adamantly opposed to that proposal to develop Clark Street from Grand River to Ten Mile Road.
Jim Wasolek, 25884 Clark Street, has been a resident in this neighborhood for 25 years. The neighbors he has talked to are definitely strongly opposed to it. There is an abundance of small children, older people, and younger people. However, it doesnít make any difference because they donít have any sidewalks to accommodate the foot traffic. Everybody has to use the roadway to communicate up and down the subdivision. The main concerns he has not only speak for him but also his neighbors, which are the environmental impact, safety issues, the school buses up and down, the kids walking coming in and out of the buses. The residents have already paid for the road. The last payment on the road, which everybody in the subdivision paid for, the residents, is already falling apart due to the construction of other subdivisions that have already gone in. He truly believes that there should be an alternative to opening up Clark. The residents are not looking for a gate. They are worrying about being overridden by the residents of the new sub in a vote of 200 of their residents to 80 of the residents of the Novi Heights Sub.
Denise Bator, 25536 Clark, thinks that Rita Roder may have submitted a letter, kind of voicing many of the concerns that are probably reiterated here. She objects to the Churchill Crossings development as proposed based primarily on the gated emergency access at the end of Clark Street. Her concern is that once the property is developed it will be very easy to remove the gate and create a thoroughfare to Grand River. As the residents have previously demonstrated and stated that Clark Street is very narrow and has a couple of rises creating limited sight lines. The road is straight and traffic speed is already somewhat of a problem. Any increase in traffic would only exasperate that problem. Since there are not sidewalks a thoroughfare would jeopardize the safety of the residents. They donít want to see the street, which the residents financed suffer with additional wear and tear. The road was surfaced with three inches of asphalt and she doesnít think that is what the current standard is. She does not believe that it was built to handle the amount of traffic that Churchill Crossings would generate. The residents have stated their concerns on the impact of the wells and the water quality that has been impacted already by the recent development of Settlers Creek. The fact that the Novi Heights consists of a series of dead end streets has not created any problems in the past so why should they believe that it would in the future? They already have gated emergency access at the end of Marlson Street and an additional gated access isnít necessary for Novi Heights. They would support plans for a second entrance to Churchill Crossings from Novi Road. In recent years many people like her and her husband have made substantial improvements to their homes and property because they like Novi Heights the way it is. They could have gone to other subdivisions in Novi, but they didnít, they wanted to stay where they were. Novi Heights Subdivision has been around for over 50 years and some of the existing residents are the same people who originally built there, and the people who helped build the City of Novi. They want to maintain the character and the integrity of the neighborhood. They realize that they canít stop the development, but they donít want it to be at the residentís expense.
Teresa Fischer, 25550 Clark Street, lives at the corner of Clark Street and Marlson, and she objects to the opening of Clark Street to more traffic. She has been living here since last September and what a peaceful neighborhood it is. What she sees daily is people walking, sometimes with their dogs and some with little children, pushing strollers, and little tricycles and bikes and rollerblades. However, what she had seen last week brought tears to her eyes. Someone was going by riding in a wheelchair. It was a beautiful day that the person had the chance to enjoy being outside and seeing some of the neighborhood around him. There can not be any more traffic coming in, it is not safe for the children or adults. There are not sidewalks and Clark Street is very narrow. She came from a neighborhood with heavy traffic, cars, trucks, semis and trying to get out of your driveway was nearly impossible. Can anyone imagine the gas fumes and noise that was created by all that traffic? She had to keep her windows and doors closed all the time. She hopes that this will not happen here. So she does hope that the Planning Commission will look at this seriously and not allow the opening of Clark Street to the Churchill Crossings Development.
Dick Faulkner, 25890 Clark Street, is a resident of the best subdivision for many many years. He has a letter that was dated July 7 from the Singh Group as a result of some Homeowners meetings. In that letter they outline four alternate plans A-D. He would like to add alternate E to that which reads as follows: That no road connection is made what soever to Clark Street.
Pat Tankersley, 25914 Clark Street, lives on Clark Street and would like to reiterate what his neighbors have said. Opening Clark Street would be very dangerous. He has been there 27 years and seen a lot of changes and that is one change he doesnít want to see.
Jeffrey Cook, 44468 Sussex, would like to voice his objection to opening Sussex or Clark Streets or McMillan into the Cedar Springs sections 1 & 2. He lives on the corner of Sussex and Christina and where the one gentleman referred to being at the finish line, he is at the second leg. People come down Christina at excessive speeds. They are fortunate to have sidewalks for the children but they also have inclined driveways. A ball rolls into the street and there is a situation that no one really wants to think about with their children. Opening Churchill Crossings into the North and South corridor of Christina, Buckminster and Petros is not in the best interests of the community in general, so he does oppose this.
Carlton Korzeniowski, 25940 Buckminster Drive, stated he is also opposed and feels at this point that it is a shortsighted and an ill thought out plan by the people at Singh. Pursuant to the commission meeting earlier, they did meet with a number of subdivision homeowner groups to get ideas ostensibly to come up with a solution that will mollify at least the majority of people if not everybody. It appears as though the latest correspondence from Singh to the commission totally blocks out any mention of an alternative entry-egress into the subdivision off of Novi Road. Some ideas were bandied about at our subdivision meeting with Singh in regards to perhaps having City owned property that would abut the eastern edge of section 22 towards Novi Road and use that as a easement into that new subdivision. Alternatively what was also discussed was perhaps approaching one of the business owners along that Novi Road corridor whose property would abut the eastern edge of the new proposed subdivision and perhaps trying to get some kind of tax abatement or something to that effect, to that business owner for a little used parcel of property, and use that as the alternative route into the subdivision. There is a lot of traffic off of Christina Road heading North into the subdivision. There is a lot of traffic coming into the subdivision from Petros heading South, and as it stands with the type of population increase that is being projected with those additional homes, we are talking a rapidly deteriorating situation as far as the main infrastructure of the streets and the rapid deterioration of the safety features for our children. We would like the Commission to give it very careful thought before proceeding forward with the next step.
Greg Meadows, 25595 Buckminster, he lives on Buckminster close to Petros, and is also opposed to the Crossings, mainly because of traffic. He has a six-year-old son, and doesnít want to have the same situation as the woman said on Clark Street. She had stated that she could not get out on her street because of high traffic volumes. He knows now that he canít play street hockey like she said they are able to do, because of the volume of traffic that goes down his street. He has tried it and every three seconds you are back at the curb and worried about the puck. You are worried about a lot of things going on, and you realize that you are not supposed to be in the street anyway. However, like another neighbor stated, we have our driveways on slants like this, and nothing can be done in the subdivision otherwise. He is against the Sussex, McMillan and Clark opening. However, if it came down to his street or the Clark residents then he is going to say open Clark, because this is ridiculous. He does not want that traffic coming down his subdivision so they can have a nice sub at their place.
Scott Sawaya, 25588 Buckminster, lives across the street from Greg Meadows on the extreme north end of Buckminster just before Petros. He is a concerned parent with two small children; he has seen enough close calls in his four years on Buckminster that he is strongly opposed to any additional traffic being put on his street. He feels that the developers should come up with an alternative access that wonít inconvenience anyone on any part of the existing residents including Clark Street. There must be an alternative that will put the safety of the children before the convenience of the new residents moving into Novi.
Rob Dodds, 25516 Buckminster Drive, lives on Buckminster also, and is very concerned about the traffic volumes that are already there. He also has two small children. He frequently parks his car in the street because it tends to make the traffic slow down a little bit to try and swerve around his car. Adding to the traffic doesnít make any sense at this point in time and he is highly opposed to that. The new subdivision really shouldnít connect in with any of the existing subs, either Clark Street or his, they should find alternative access.
Virinia Yanity, 24689 Bashian Drive, would simply like to have some information on the new senior citizen home. We have no way of knowing anything, what there plans are. Chairperson Capello stated that this is not the time now, this is audience participation, but would try and get an update to you.
William Barrel, 44109 Stassen, lives on Stassen Street in Novi Heights Subdivision, which empties off Clark Street. He is also opposed to opening Clark to through traffic and agrees with everybody that has gone before about the safety hazards, but he has a second concern. Twenty years ago when he moved in he attended a subdivision meeting at former Mayor Karevichsí house. He remembers that there was a guest speaker that night that was police chief Lee Begole. He told the residents how happy they should be to be living in that subdivision with no through access. They could sleep a lot safer knowing that the criminal element was much less likely to come into their neighbor because there was no through access. That is another slight slant that he doesnít think anybody has taken on this.
John Huber, 44115 Stassen and has just a couple of comments in addition to theirs. One is he understands that the developer is asking for a lot of waivers for the setbacks. He is probably hesitant to ask for more waivers not to connect to the subs, but he thinks the subs are more important to consider than 20 foot setback waivers and that kind of stuff. Second thing is after this issue is done and everyone moves on, the builder builds his houses and makes his money, Planning Commission turns over in the future and even City Council turns over, we have to live in these subdivisions and deal with whatever the outcome is. So he urges the Commission to please make the right decisions when they make a recommendation to the City Council.
Chris Jacek, 44011 Stassen, stated he has just a few notes. The Fire Department may also have concerns since they use mile roads when going to a fire. One of my questions is can they enter and exit for a fire off Ten Mile Road? Also, can the City of Novi purchase a piece of property on Novi Road? The way he looks at it is if you charge roughly $5,000.00 a year on taxes on each house it should come to about a million bucks. Some of that could go to buying a piece of property on Novi Road to get to the Churchill Sub. As you well know, they donít have sidewalks for the kids and they have enough problems policing the people who drive through the neighborhood. Also, it looked like the City had a device to number the amount of cars coming into the Novi Heights sub. It was placed at the beginning of the sub two days after Memorial Day. The traffic flow was about half as much because everyone was on vacation. If the Clark Street opens up to the new sub it will compromise the safety and welfare of the sub and the new sub coming in. He is sure that the Board would not like to pick up the paper and read child killed by a speeder trying to avoid the traffic at Novi Road due to the train, when deep down you know you had the opportunity to make a change. He believes that they have to make it difficult for people to get in and out of the two subs. Also, he realizes that Churchill Crossings will go in and progress will go on. We live in one of the best school systems in the United States and also have one of the most desirable areas to live in. Everyone wants to live in Novi and he knows this because he sells insurance. Letís keep the standards up where they need to be. He doesnít think the Board made the rules to make exceptions. He understands that the builder wants to make money. However they have to live here, so he asks for the Board to be wise in making their decision for the safety and welfare of all the people in the two subs.
Chuck Westman, 24895 Christina Lane, lives on Christina Lane a couple of doors down from the Sussex intersection, which is getting to be quite busy. He and his wife moved to Novi a year ago because of the quality of living was what they were looking for. The street is quite busy now as it is between Cedar Springs 1 & 2. There are about 160 units and behind him is another 40 to 50 units that use Christina and Buckminster as a thoroughfare. His concern is that these 200 units are going to add to Churchill Crossings, they are going to find Christina, Buckminster again the path of least resistance whether they are heading north, south or west. He doesnít think that anybody in this room wants to have traffic on their street doubled immediately, so he is opposed to Churchill Crossings connecting to Christina and Buckminster.
Wesley Colmery, 25941 Petros, lives down at the Eleven-Mile end with four houses. He moved here about seven years ago. Listening to everyone tonight, it gave him a thought that maybe he would like to have everything opened up because he could cut down Clark Street faster than he could get through to his subdivision if Clark Street was opened. That is really not equitable to his subdivision and not equitable to those folks. He is really looking to be treated equally among all the residents in Novi, and he thinks that by opening up either subdivision you are placing one preference in front of another. He thinks that if you are going to open them up open them all up, but his preference would be to not open anything up, just have the access from Novi Road. This seems to be the simplest, probably a little more expensive, but when he counts the driveways when he walks his dog down Petros and through his subdivision, there are 97 driveways between Ten and Eleven Mile Roads. There are also 31 driveways between Eleven Mile and what would be the access to Clark Road. Among all those houses there are a ton of kids, and he hadnít thought of the idea of parking cars out on the street, but people do slow down because you canít get by a car when a car is coming at you when you are on Buckminster or Christina. There is just too much congestion and he is afraid that by opening up his subdivisions to the traffic from Churchill Crossings it will just slow things down and make it unbearable.
Jennifer Longstreet, 44180 Durson, lives on the corner of Clark and Durson and is also opposed to Clark Street going through. She doesnít think itís fair to go to the other sub to cut through theirs, so she would hope that the Board could find a good alternative in going out to Novi Road.
Monica Jackson, 23425 High Meadow Dr, stated that the Homeowners Association president has just arrived, but she will speak anyway. Her subdivision, Orchard Ridge has one way in and out and that is not very common, she was told. They have no sidewalks, and cannot get out of the subdivision now, especially when the students get out of school. The cars are always lined up on Ten Mile past the railroad tracks. So they do not need any more traffic hazards. She understands the 207 homes are going up in the new subdivision by Singh. She happens to like Singh builders. She thinks they did a fantastic job with Blue Heron, very architecturally beautiful, but she is concerned about her subdivisionsí interests. If they have 207 houses going up across from Orchard Ridge that means approximately 400 cars or more. In fact, nowadays there are 3 or 4 cars to a home with 2 teenagers and mother and father with everybody working. So, Singh told them that the homes are not going up in one week, it might take 2 or 3 years, but think about that. The gravel trucks will come in, they will build the roads and basements and during all that time while they develop the land, there will be tremendous traffic. They will even have those orange and yellow barrels and what have you. All this will be hazard. She also understands that if you have a crossing and an opening across from our subdivision on Ten Mile Road, there might be land taken away from her subdivision and they donít like anything taken away from them. Do any of the Board members like something taken away you because she doesnít. Orchard Ridge has been here 20 years in this city. Let the new developer use their ingenuity and figure out something. Let them come up with an idea that is agreeable, that they can live with. They built the beautiful Blue Heron, let them think of something very nice for Orchard Ridge residents too. If they have a beautiful entrance, which she understands they are planning, then they have to do something for her residents, because nobody takes anything away from anybody without giving. They are talking about traffic light, okay, if there is going to be traffic light, would everybody from Orchard Ridge please stand up, we have a petition with over 60 signatures by the way. Signatures count and they mean something. She understands that they might put a traffic light, but she also understands that it takes a long long time. Well, they donít want a long long time. She just mentioned the traffic with the gravel trucks and all this construction will already be a traffic hazard. So they need the traffic light, if there is going to be one, and if there is an entrance to that subdivision across from her sub, they need the traffic light even before they start and lift the first shovel. Does that make sense? The Board might want to consider a solution of a "No Turn on Red Light" on Novi Road, because that would stop some of it. Another idea about the traffic light, if they should be so kind and put a traffic light up, that would also make more traffic stop on Novi Road all the way to Meadowbrook, that would stop even more, wouldnít it? Wouldnít that do it? If there is already a back up,now with another traffic light, there would be even more. So all of this must be considered. The residents in Orchard Ridge need to be consulted about this, they need to get together if you decide to open up to Novi Road. They need to be since the school buses canít go in and out, the residents canít go in and out, donít make it worse. It is a beautiful community, letís keep it that way. Singh should have in mind that this is a nice community and keep it that way, and keep the residents who pay the taxes in mind. Please consider all that and donít be foolish.
Tom Doyle, 23475 High Meadow, he has lived in Orchard Ridge for 12 years, and the issue that he wants to bring up is traffic and making a left turn out of the subdivision onto Ten Mile Road. Itís a heavily used area for the kids going to school and 400 additional cars pulling in and out of 200 homes in Churchill Crossings will add to that traffic. Sometimes in the morning school hours, after school hours and at night you can sometimes wait 5 to 8 minutes to make a left turn. If the subdivision goes in and there is an entrance across from Orchard Ridge, he thinks a traffic light is mandatory to make it reasonable for access for left turns out of the sub.
Dawn Colston, 23981 Harvest Drive, she is President of the Orchard Ridge Estates Homeowners Association, and would just like to read this statement that comes from all the homeowners from the subdivision which had a meeting last night and came up with this. "The Orchard Ridge Estates Homeowners Association would like to recommend in consideration of the Churchill Crossings development that an agreement be made between Orchard Ridge and Singh Development. The agreement would include that the builder of Churchilll Crossings creates an escrow account for Orchard Ridge Estates. The funds allocated would be substantial enough to cover new landscaping for the front and middle medians so that they are similar in design. A new entrance sign as well as electricity and lighting. It is also recommended that the design at the front of our subdivision be harmonious with the new subdivision due to the close proximity of both entrances. In addition we would like encourage the City of Novi to expedite the installation of a traffic light at our entrance for the following reasons: 1. Orchard Ridge Estates has only one entrance 2. Most of all the schools are located left of our subdivision with heavy traffic minimizes our ability to turn left 3. Any closing of I-96 or slow down due to construction results in heavy traffic on Ten Mile Road. 4. Sometimes in 2001 the Grand River Bridge between Novi and Taft Roads is slated to close for major repair- which will result in heavy Ten Mile traffic. 5. The installation of Churchill Crossings will more than double traffic flow in itself. 6. Obvious increase in traffic accidents due to increase vehicle volume." Because of the above mentioned reasons Orchard Ridge Estates recommends that there be no turn on a red light at the Ten Mile Road and Novi Road intersection. This will help enable Orchard Ridge homeowners to make safe turns and minimize accidents until a traffic light can be installed. (She gave a letter with signatures of the homeowners to the Board.)
Chairperson Capello asked if they had given a copy to Singh and if not suggested that she give them one on the way out.
Chairperson Capello closed audience participation.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
CHURCHILL CROSSINGS SP00-14
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.
Member Churella summarized the letter from Cedar Springs. A letter from LaReta Roder, President of Novi Heights was submitted with a few other points that werenít brought out. One was on the wetlands and the accumulated impact on the quality of the well water which each project that goes on. It does cause a problem with the small pockets of wetlands that might be removed, and sometimes the retention basins do not replace the function of the wetlands. Also she definitely didnít want to see Clark Street opened up. She is deeply concerned about the 20'ísetback request and the lack of green space in this development.
Chairperson Capello asked if the developer is present?
Mr. Galvin was present.
Chairperson Capello asked if he had a solution that would make everyone happy?
Mr. Galvin stated no actually, and that is the source of the problem. The notion that it is ever possible to make everybody happy when different groups of persons have legitimate differing interests that are clashing. He would like to cover a couple of things tonight, after the public hearing before the Planning Commission. Mike Kahm, Paul Rizardi and other folks from Singh met with each of the Homeowners Associations and listened to all of their concerns. A number of those concerns were things which members of the Planning Commission had previously expressed. Without over simplifying it, it became pretty clear that the principal concern of each of the subdivision groups was the opening of the stub streets, the traffic from the new subdivision and the treatment of the entryway. These are the issues that he would like to spend most of the time on tonight. Other issues were raised, he believes that they were dealt with principally at the public hearing, and what we really are doing tonight, collectively is formulating a recommendation by this body to the City Council. Now the members of the commission know and many of the audience from their remarks know that because of what we are asking for is for the tentative preliminary plat approval, that this body makes a recommendation to the City Council. He thinks that it might be a little helpful for a couple of reasons. Take a look at this location map so that we are at least talking about the important things. Singh proposed a subdivision that has super imposed upon the current roadways. You can see the video that we saw at the public hearing regarding the stub streets for Clark, MacMillan and Sussex. Those are the three that were mentioned and you can also see the relationships schematically of the proposed entryway and the subdivision to the south. The purpose of those stub streets being there initially was, and is, that they be connected to the development on the Singh property. That is why they were put there. There isnít anything that any of us in this room tonight can do to change the fact, so what is really being asked of the commission, is that the policy considerations, whatever they were for having those stub streets, be changed by this City in order to meet other needs. He would like to make it clear to everyone in the room that it was not the commission, nor was it the developer who put the stub streets there. It was the policy of the City, and we collectively must deal with that. After the meetings that we had with the various subdivision associations and during the conversations that were generated from that meeting, Singh has come up with a number Ė 4 to be precise- proposals for dealing with the situation. Our baseline as it must be, is what the City ordinances tell us what to do and what we have done is that we have shown, we have shown three points of connection at each of the three locations where the current stub streets are. He pointed out that we have also added 2 parks to the proposal in response to comments, which were made at the public hearing. In any event, this is the baseline plan, He is going to say this twice so that everyone is operating from the same page. This is what we are required to start, we are required to deal with the ordinance and Singh Development is willing to build the subdivision, opening all of the connections at all of the stub streets and building them as the ordinance tells it to do. We are willing to do that. We are not coming to the Planning Commission or the City Council or the City of Novi saying, this is what we demand that you do. It isnít even close to that, what were saying is, we will do what the ordinance tells us to do, what we have in front of you meets your ordinance save for one waiver which was an access gate, so that it would be limited to emergency traffic only at Clark Street, But if the City tells us, and he thinks that this is important, if the City tells us to take that away, we will take that away. The point being is that we are presenting a plat that conforms to the City ordinances, and thatís our base point and thatís our starting points. He would like to speak here for one second, and that is to the ZBA waiver that we talked about at the public hearing concerning the setback to build the housing type that we proposed, the neo traditional housing type. We can take this plat and build without the setback. Let me repeat that. We can build houses conforming to the Cityís ordinances without the variance that we are going to request from the ZBA. That is not an issue tonight. We have indicated and ask that at the end of the meeting the Planning Commission as part of its recommendation to the City Council, also make a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals one way or the other. If they think the neo traditional waiver should be granted. But that is another matter and he doesnít want to confuse things because the suggestion has been made that somehow we are coming to you asking for these massive changes from your ordinances. We are not.
Mr. Galvin stated that the next point to meet head on is the comments of the persons who live and who would be most affected by the construction of the streets to match up with the stub streets. Those folks, how do we deal with that? You deal with it by not tripping over the cord. They have seen the first alternative which is marked "Alternate A " on this board, we have talked about that, you recall it has the opening of all the stub streets and then there is a gate at the Clark Street which would limit it to emergency access. "Alternate B" the second alternate, totally eliminates any access by motor vehicles to Clark Street. Obviously, that is probably going to be very popular with persons from Clark Street. This isnít surprising when I say that Sussex is open. He suspects that there are persons who live in the subdivision to the west that are not going to find this alternative desirable to them. However, we presented as an alternative, which can work, a variation on "Alt B" and he doesnít want to create more alternatives, but the variation on it would be, to put the emergency gate at Sussex. He hasnít mentioned McMillan not for any reason except that tonight is the first time that he has heard vigorous ascertain that the McMillan access point should be closed, and that is the only reason that itís not on the board. We didnít deal with it not because we were trying to slight anyone but because we understood that because of flow patterns both within the existing subdivisions and within our proposed subdivision that we did not think it raised the concerns that the Clark and the Sussex connector raised. Variations on a theme. We are also able to do "Alt C" Alt C would have an emergency access at Clark and it would have the Clark access not on a public street. A & B had a public streets there and available, this would place the access point with an emergency access on an private easement, and again Sussex would be there and you could put the gate there or not, as you chose. Now physically A & B & C. He suspects leave some persons saying all right, Singh you solved his problem, but you didnít solve her problem or his problem. "Alt D" eliminates the park, why, because of the radius on the road and the absent of a public street for a lot. It is in order to maintain the 207-lot count. What does it do? It creates private easements with emergency access gates on both Clark Street and Sussex. These are four alternatives that we present to you, each is an alternative that Singh can live with and develop this subdivision with. Each of them that involves anything other than having all of the stubs streets open requires a waiver from City Council, as you know. Each of them requires a change in the public policy of the City of Novi. We will build any of the alternatives, we ask you help, your help being to make a recommendation to the City Council as to one of these four alternatives, saying to the City Council, as a matter of public policy of the City of Novi we the Planning Commission believe that the City Council should select this alternative.
Mr. Galvin stated that the second major issue, so that no one misunderstands, is the initial plan that we brought to you. We havenít discussed it, but it is available for you to compare. The second major issue involved the connection of our Churchill Boulevard to the subdivision to the South. He asked the Planning Commission to indulge him because these statements were made to you at the public hearing but he thinks itís important based on some of the things that were said tonight. That the commission and the public and all of us be again on the same page. We came to the City with this proposal. This proposal takes nothing away from anybody. We didnít ask to take something from the subdivision to the South. We are willing to build this proposal, do you remember John Crane, who is our traffic consultant, discussed the proposal with you, and a proposal was made by Mr. Arroyo which is shown on this board. We have indicated that we are willing to do this should the City ask us or require us to do it. The point that Singh is trying to get across is that we have come to the City with a proposal that meets the ordinance requirements. We have worked with the staff and have meet with all the Subdivision Associations. We do not have any magic solution, and let me speak to the Novi Road notion. Well, why donít you just solve our problem and build a drive out to Novi Road, and it was suggested that the City owns a parcel of ground and we investigated the parcel of ground. Which he believes is this parcel that is outlined. That contains one of the largest wetlands in the City. Its shape is something like this, it is a magic solution, itís not a real solution. The real solutions are up there, they are the four alternatives, we submit the four alternatives to you in good faith, and again reiterating our under taking that we do that which the Planning Commission, we will take that which you indicate as your preference to the City Council and advance it as the Planning Commissions desired solution and we will, he is sure with a similar group of persons appear before the City Council, but it is at that point that the City will make itís policy decision as to which of these alternatives is to be the alternative that is built. We ask you to do three things tonight. We ask you to make a recommendation of a plan for tentative preliminary plat approval for City Council. To recommend in accordance with your consultants recommendation for a wetland permit and a woodland permit is issued in accordance with your consultantís recommendation.
Chairperson Capello stated that we have had this before us in the public hearing so letís just highlight the changes or differences especially with woodlands and wetlands because he doesnít think they have been an issue.
Rod Arroyo will address a couple of planning issues first. One of the changes that you do see, as the applicant has indicated there are some changes from the plat that you saw at the last meeting, and the one you see here. They center around a couple major things, you got really 3 new park areas that are identified on the plat that were not there before, you got changes to the access system which I think have been addressed rather extensively, and there is a reduction in the number of lots from what you saw before by 3. They had 210 and theyíre at 207. He thinks that a lot of the issues related to planning have been addressed. He wants to make sure that you are aware of the major changes since the last plan that you saw, and how that might impact your recommendations.
Mr. Arroyo stated that from a traffic prospective obviously there are changes to access impact traffic flow. The applicant is now connecting to all the stub streets that stub to this property, they are correct that your subdivision ordinance specifies that where a stub abuts a piece of property that the ordinance requires that it be extended into that property. There is however a provision that calls for potential alternative treatment, where you are stubbing to a roadway of a different width, and that is where the Clark Street proposal comes from, because Clark Street was built so many years ago under a different set of design standards that it would be appropriate to not extend that roadway from this proposed subdivision for full access, because of the fact that they are different. (new tape)The connection to Clark Street for emergency vehicles. As you will recall when Settlers Creek came in for approval, which is the subdivision just North of here, actually had to go before City Council to get a variance, because the length of there street extended beyond the City maximum of 800í from where there is two points of access. That is taking into consideration the emergency connection into the CVS property. We think that from an emergency vehicle connection that there should be a connection between these two properties. It could occur in one of two manners, and he thinks that you have seen some alternatives proposed here. Either one of them would as long as designed to the City standards would provide for connection to Novi Heights from this proposal. It could be a full roadway stub with a gate or could be an emergency access easement built on private property with a public easement that would minimize obviously the potential for any future extension of that as a full public roadway. From our prospective, as long as there is an emergency connection then we would be meeting your Cities minimum standards for emergency connection, we would be in support of that. There have been a number of questions raised tonight regarding the potential for a traffic signal at Ten Mile Road and Courtland which is the main entrance that serves both this subdivision and Orchard Ridge to the South. This particular location we think is an ideal location for a traffic signal from a spacing standpoint, it would provide for roughly 1/3 of a mile spacing as you go from Novi Road to this location, to where the signal is outside of this building and to the Civic Center complex, and then to Taft Road. That is considered appropriate signal spacing for that type of speed of roadway in order to provide for progression of traffic so that as you go from one signal to another you can get one green light then another green light so that you are not stopping and causing additional congestion. We think that this does make sense. The question is how does that happen? The only way a traffic signal can be installed at this location is if the Road Commission for Oakland County approves it. This is a county roadway and traffic signals come under their jurisdiction. Certainly the City can make a request that the County study this intersection to determine if in fact the warrants are meet as we have talked before, there are specific guidelines that are followed under the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The County would conduct the study to determine whether or not it meets one or more of those warrants and then would make a recommendation as to whether or not a signal could go into this location. One of the advantages of providing a connection across the street from Cortland with this proposal is that it adds additional traffic to the intersection which is a good thing if you are trying to get a traffic signal, because that means you are increasing the traffic volumes and you may help to bump up your support for the warrant levels, the minimum warrant levels for whether or not a traffic signal would be warranted. So one possible scenario is that the Road Commission may study this and may find a signal not warranted but once this subdivision is built, then it may be warranted. It may be warranted now, we really canít answer that question because it is the Road Commissions ultimate decision. Another suggestion that was made was to prohibit right turns on red at Ten Mile and Novi Road, once again those are both County roadways and that would be up the Road Commission as to whether that prohibition would be placed there. If the City felt that is something that should be evaluated they could ask the County to evaluate that as well, but it is not a decision that the City of Novi can make.
Victoria Weber would like to highlight the changes to the engineering plan since the last time this appeared before you. Basically the storm water detention, pre-treatment, and discharge has remained the same since last time. Overall the utilities has for the most part stayed the same, there has been a couple minor changes regarding utility connections. Also, the layout of the sidewalks and bike path along Ten Mile Road has remained consistent since the last plan and we are still recommending approval.
Linda Lemke is continuing to recommend approval of the woodland plan. There are a number of items that need to be provided at final and she does have four conditions in her June 30 letter. Very briefly the regulated woodlands are located along Ten Mile Road and a portion of the eastern property line. There is approximately 3.6 acres of regulated woodlands, they are removing approximately one acre of woodlands and only 15 trees of 8"dbh or greater. They will be replacing those with 21 woodland replacement trees. In regards to the landscaping, there are no variances or waivers being requested that deal with landscaping at this point as there were previously. They have provided the 20í non access greenbelt along Ten Mile Road. The eastern property line there is either an existing berm or there is undeveloped commercial or industrial property. So she is continuing to recommend approval of the landscaping with the number of items to be provided at final.
Aimee Kay stated that at the last public hearing she did not have a visual aid here regarding the wetlands, so she will be providing that to you this evening just in case you want to take a quick look at it. She is still continuing to recommend approval of the project, there are no significant changes with regard to impacts to the wetlands as a matter of fact they have already addressed one item with the revision as far as the boardwalk on this South East end of the property, they already have that shown on the plan instead of asphalt sidewalk. There are 15 wetlands on the property, in blue is the depiction of the regulated wetlands on the property that are being preserved, and one of the reasons why we are recommending approval is with the alternatives analysis that was submitted, the access road is the primary impact to the wetland and it was already disjointed in a couple of areas, and we understand because of traffic issues and safety issues that this access road has to be there. They are offering mitigation at one to one and half ratio and that is being provided on the East end of the property between these two existing wetland areas, and I also understand they also have approval of their DEQ permit, since the last public hearing. The yellow areas, these small isolated wetlands are being filled and those are the proposed impact areas and non-regulated areas. The pink areas are the two small northern wetlands that are regulated DEQ and locally on a technicality because they are within a 500í of a stream, they are very small and we are recommending approval. Normally, we donít recommend approval for lots but these are already not functioning significantly. If you have any questions she will be happy to answer them.
Chairperson Capello stated that he knows that Mr. Arroyo didnít write a report on it, but he is probably the closest thing that they have to someone that could render some kind type of opinion on the ZBA variance that they are requesting in regard to the neotraditional type of housing and the benefits or detrimates of that. He asked if he could spend a couple of minutes on that for us?
Mr. Arroyo stated that based upon his discussions with them and the information that they have provided, the reason they are asking for a ZBA variance in the front yard setback is in order to be able to provide for side yard entry into the garages. Essentially when you have R4 subdivision with a narrow lot such as that, which is your minimum single family. In order to provide for side yard entry it can be somewhat challenging, what they are trying to do is to get the square footage that they feel they need to meet the market and to provide a product. By doing so they feel it is necessary to bring the structure closer to the roadway. Another reason is they are trying to present a type of development that has a specific feel, specific design, and they believe that by taking those structures and moving them closer to the road it is going to provide an atmosphere within the subdivision that would be different and unique, and that some of the reasons that they have indicated. You may want to ask them to elaborate on some of those reasons in more detail, but that is my understanding of the basis for why they are asking for it.
Member Koneda says that this is one of these site plans that if we went by the rules as someone said earlier, if we went by the rules we would have to approved the plan as it was initially submitted with all the stub road connections. He knows that nobody likes that, except for perhaps correcting the traffic conditions on Ten Mile Road. We would have to approve it, but we know that is not prudent in itís current state, there were several alternatives that were suggested and I could support an emergency access road off of Clark Street, gated, 18í wide, private drive. As for the Sussex of stub road connection, if that was a gated emergency access, he thinks that it could just as well be deleted from the plan because we would have a North end connection, and we probably donít need it. As for the south end off of McMillan stub street, he thinks that it is an ideal spot to put the secondary access to this piece of property, so he would like to see that stay open as a permanent connection. Member Koneda asked Aimee Kay a question about Novi Road, City owned property on Novi Road, do you agree with the assessment that itís City owned wetlands and it wouldnít be conducive to building in a roadway?
Ms. Kay asked if access from Novi Road east. Our office was not asked to look at that as far as an environmental services, about the particulars of that wetland system and what its quality issues are. She does understand that it is a large system and she did look at the wetland map. It is a very large system that continues from the north all the way through these wetlands on site, south ward off site, but she really donít have an informed opinion as far as whether or not that is a desirable aspect. Just from looking at the map, and how large the wetlands are, quality issues aside, there would certainly have more wetland fill over all, but we would need to do further analysis if you wanted us to see what the quality issues would be in regard to those natural features.
A commissioner asked Mr. Arroyo if he agrees that the alternative for the Ten Mile entrance is the way the traffic conditions should be handled? Thatís the modified entranceway.
Mr. Arroyo stated in concept yes, we believe there should be a modification in the mediums in order to better align the left turning traffic and to maximize the amount of sight distance.
Member Koneda asked Mr. Watson if it is appropriate to put a condition on that since this has an impact on the subdivision to the south, that one of the conditions would be an agreed upon landscape plan with Orchard Ridge Homeowners Association?
Mr. Watson stated that any modification to that, and he said this based on the presumption that, that boulevard on the south side is within the right-of-way. Anything that is done in there, when he said within the right-of-way being within the actual street property that was dedicated as a part of that subdivision, itís property that in essence is owned by the City of Novi. The landscaping there is at the permission so to speak of the City and the City Council, any change to that would have to be by permission of the City Council. So it would be up to them to either approve that or not approve that. If he understood what Mr. Galvin said when he made his presentation was, that they would be more than happy to construct that boulevard in this development in the way they originally proposed it, but by the same token, they would be willing to construct it in the manner in which it was shown as being modified. If that is the case, fine, if their not, if they are advising the Planning Commission that they are not willing to make the modifications to the south, then thatís a problematic issue as to whether they can be required to that or not required to do that. Thatís something we would look at, certainly before the City Council made a final decision on this.
Ms. Lemke stated that in most of the subdivisions that are being built today, the entrance boulevards are very narrow and donít have high plantings. They usually have low plantings of some kind because of sight distance and the fact that you canít really support trees on it.
A commissioner asked if it would it be possible to get trees from the City tree fund and plant essential boulevard plantings similar to what they are doing in Churchill Crossings on the north side? In other words, provide a streetscape tree line and run it down the property line on the south side, is that possible?
Ms. Lemke asked if he was talking on Churchill Crossings property?
A commissioner stated no, on the Orchard Ridge Estates subdivision if the modifications to the entranceway occur as proposed in "Alt B" where essentially the center berm, the center boulevard goes away or half of it goes away to make up for the loss of that green space, would it be possible to get from the City tree fund, plantings along the properties that are along the entrance way to provide a streetscape or treescape?
Ms. Lemke stated conditionally yes, but it would deal with right-of-way issues and if there is money and things like that. The homeowners would have to agree.
Member Koneda was thinking that if there was just something to offer to kind of entice and make that entranceway a little more attractive. Is the developer willing to work with Orchard Ridge to develop some type of landscape agreement? We understand that you donít want to do anything to that entranceway but if your asked to provide the, in fact you might want to throw up the Alternative B entranceway to show the impact. If you are asked to do that, would you?
Mr. Galvin stated that first that if we are asked to the modifications, they answer is yes to what he thought was Mr. Watsonís question. Second, if you asked are we willing to work with the subdivision association, yes. They only balking that he is having at all is that he heard an early suggestion of the funding of a large escrow account. We would prefer to work with the subdivision and with the City, as he understands it, this is in the public right-of-way, which belongs to the City and you folks through the City Council are going to tell us: A) Which of the two we are going to do because we have agreed Mr. Watson, we will do either, so he is by the off site improvements problem. B) We will work with the subdivision to see that the treatment here is pleasing to them and we appreciate, Mr. Koneda, the notion that we can use our requirements for trees from the Cityís tree fund or shrubs or something to meet that obligation financially. Hope that was clear.
Member Koneda stated that he is ready to make a motion, but he thinks that some of his fellow members may have other comments.
Member Canup stated that he agrees with most everything that has been said, except that my thinking is that the Sussex Drive should be opened, and there could be some controls on that. The traffic in and out of there by use of no right hand turns exiting the new subdivision, but it could be handled with traffic controls. So he would support a motion when Member Koneda is ready, except that he would like to consider the Sussex Drive on the North, as an ingress and egress, instead of putting a break away gate across it. He does support the closing of Clark, mainly because of the Clark Street is just not physically capable to handling the traffic.
Member Richards stated that we have latitude in the subdivision ordinance for flexibility in these roads, that we could either have a gated road or we could have private easement. There are Sussex Drive or Clark Street are the two Iím thinking of because that is essentially the difference between Alternative D & B. In the ordinance can we have a private easement at two places, do we have that flexibility? Then what would you think about that as opposed to having two private easements as opposed to having one gated one private?
Member Koneda stated that his reading of the subdivision ordinance is that you certainly have the ability through the plat and the Councils approval, to make a modification to the Clark Street access and make it emergency only, due to the difference in type of construction. The connection to Sussex is a little different, in that in order to make an emergency connection, it would require a specific waiver or variance from the subdivision ordinance by City Council as part of their approval of this tentative preliminary plat. So as long as City Council agreed to it and were willing to grant that variance from the subdivision ordinance then you could potentially see that happen, but it would obviously be subject to approval by City Council and then agreeing to make that modification from the subdivision ordinance.
Member Churella asked if there has been any research on the type of light your going to put up at Ten Mile Road? Is it going to be a Scat light or a light with a left turn light?
Mr. Galvin stated that we would need all the support of the people whom just applauded. We will go and work with them to see that a light gets put up, and to answer your question directly and truthfully, we have not given any consideration to the design.
Member Churella stated that the County is going to tell you how to design it. He asked if he has done research at all when the light goes up? By putting that light up the majority of the traffic will probably come down your street to the light so that they can make there turns, instead of using the other subdivisions? Would you assume that?
Mr. Galvin stated that he would love to make that assumption.
Member Churella stated that he would make it for him.
Mr. Galvin stated that he knew he would.
Member Churella stated that he believes that the way it would be. He would like to make a motion to take plan B.
Member Cassis discussed with Mr. Arroyo a win-win situation here. Actually a win-win situation would have been where former City Manager Ed Kriewall, wanted to buy this entire property for the City and it never took place. However, here we are and letís see if we cannot make everyone happy here. Mr. Arroyo, what do you think about a one way entrance through McMillan into Churchill Crossings?
Mr. Arroyo stated that is certainly an alternative that could be considered he knows they briefly discussed a couple of things. One way is to possibly post it with a turn restriction so that traffic leaving this proposed subdivision going to Christina Lane would not be permitted to turn right, thatís one option. The one way option is certainly something that could be constructed, they only down side to that is that you have enforcement issues with someone trying to go the wrong way and when you have a fairly short stub connection it tends to make it easier for people to sneak through, where as a longer distance you could have some problems.
Member Cassis asked to curve it a certain way.
Mr. Arroyo stated that you could design it in order to, for example, limit and make it very difficult to make a turn in the direction you donít want them to turn in. For example, if you wanted to make it difficult to turn right and go north on Christina, you could reduce the turning radius and make modifications to make that very difficult. Yes, there are ways to make that happen.
Member Cassis asked what Mr. Arroyo thinks of that kind of design? Seeing as the biggest traffic jam would be in the afternoon and evening. Certainly people leaving the subdivision in the morning may want to start regulating their exits onto Ten Mile Road, but coming in the evening people come at different times, and maybe this way we can regulate it.
Mr. Arroyo stated that it really depends on the design, he thinks the concept of the no right turns is obviously something that could also be explored. It is difficult to make a final determination at the table like this without looking at those types of alternatives, but they are certainly alternatives to be explored.
Member Cassis suggested here tonight that something like that would be looked into and also suggesting an entrance to your specifications on Ten Mile Road with traffic light. Also possibly trying to get a no turn on red off of Novi Road, and also having Clark a gated entrance. Thatís pretty much what the whole picture would be. Itís up to our colleagues here to consider that.
Member Mutch stated that there are compliments for there were several things that were brought up at the previous meeting that Singh has incorporated into the plan including some additional small parks. Of course, he would like to see more of it since they are not required to do anything. The additions are a bonus. He would also like to say that whatever route we take with these stub streets, he thinks itís imperative that whatever treatment we do with those stub streets includes a pedestrian connection from those streets to the subdivision. Whether we use an easement or a gate or a full connection, that we have at least, the ordinance requires a 12í path, not the path itself, but the amount of land reserved. Itís unacceptable for children for living in these adjacent subdivisions to be forces to trespass or ask mom or dad to drive them some round about way so that they can visit a friend who lives practically next door. We are a City of neighborhoods and these neighborhoods need to be connected for pedestrians. How we handle the traffic may be a different issue, but every one of these connections needs to have pedestrian access. Unfortunately, some of these alternatives that we are discussing that Singh has presented I donít see that. Member Mutch will not support any motion that doesnít provide pedestrian access as these locations. As the individual connections go, wait and see what the motion is. The motion should include this.
Member Mutch stated that the next issue to address is something that he brought up at the last meeting, when he brought up the concept of the extension to Novi Road. Mr. Galvin will be shocked that he is disagreeing with him on this point, but not enough information has come before him to say that alternative is not a doable alternative. Obviously there is concern with wetlands and with traffic flow if that connection is adopted, but before we reject that as an alternative we need to explore it. This isnít precedent setting, the Orchard Hills West subdivision over on Meadowbrook Road which had stub street connections to Orchard Hills, build about 1/3 mile of access road, well his plans develop about 1/3 mile of access road out to Meadowbrook Road for their subdivision. In fact, there were wetland issues involved in there and City Council decided that the small impact on the wetlands out weighed the potential negatives of not allowing that access road to be constructed. There are a couple of other concerns related to that, in terms of this development and its impact on the properties to the east. When we did our master plan last year, we really didnít look at this southeast corner of Section 22 in too much detail. In reviewing our new existing land use plan and our wetlands and woodlands plan, itís clear to me that there are parcels to the east of this property which front Novi Road and some of which donít, which have definite access issues that will really create problems in the future if we donít discuss them before we approve a final plan for this site. There may be properties to the east of this that arenít justified to developing the way our master plan discusses in terms of office zoning, that they may be more legitimately developed in relation to this residential development, than an extension off Novi Road. If you look at our wetland map it is clear that some of these parcels just to the east of this are completely separated from the frontage along Novi Road. Any development of that is going to be very problematic, and he is concerned that if we approved the plan without examining those issues, we are going to have land lock parcels where we are going to be forcing development to either poor development or environmentally destructive development. The final issue is about the City owned property, that even if there is not a development of that as a road that this plan or the final approved plan needs to explore the potential for a pedestrian connection from this subdivision across the City property to Novi Road. These homes are going to within Ĺ mile of the Main Street area and we have been talking over and over again in our Main Street discussions for the need pedestrian access and residential proximity to Main Street. We should explore the potential for again, it doesnít need to be anything more than a path, but at least potential for pedestrian access from this site to Novi Road which would then put it within the proximity to Main Street. Some of these things are outside our ballpark here; we canít really tell these developers what to do with City property. That is something that City Council needs to do, but we can make recommendations to City Council along with this plan, about exploring the use of City property and the potential for alternatives. If not a roadway at least a pedestrian connection that makes use of that City property more than just a vacant piece of property.
PM-00-07-096 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL ON PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN SP 00-14. ALSO, A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT THE WOODLAND PERMIT SUBJECT TO THE CONSULTANTíS CONDITIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS APPROVING PROPOSAL B, ALTERNATE B OF THE SUBDIVISION PLAT AND ALTERNATE B OF THE CHURCHILL CROSSINGS, TEN MILE ROAD AND ORCHARD RIDGE INTERSECTIONS WITH THE RECOMMENDATION THAT THE DEVELOPER PURSUE CONSTRUCTION OF A SIGNAL LIGHT AT THE INTERSECTION OF CHURCHILL AND TEN MILE. ALSO, TO PURSUE THE PEDESTRIAN CONNECTION BETWEEN LOTS 204, 205 AND THATCHER PARK THROUGH CITY PROPERTY OUT TO NOVI ROAD.
Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards
Member Koneda would like to talk about alternative B, which is essentially two stub street connections through Christina Drive and it has no connection what so ever to Clark Street. Member Koneda asked Mr. Arroyo who wanted the connection to Clark Street the emergency exit, wasnít it a Fire Department request to really provide protection to the residents to the back of Clark Street sub, do they really need that connection for fire safety or not?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it was recommended by both the Fire Department and by his office to provide for secondary access to that area because its currently deficient in terms of your ordinances.
Member Koneda asked about the connection through the industrial complex off Novi Road and isnít it gated connection?
Mr. Arroyo stated yes there is a gated connection, but it still creates deficient lengths of roadway with only one point of access in that subdivision and the ones that are connected to it, such as Settlers Creek.
Member Koneda asked Mr. Arroyo if he feels very strongly about the emergency access should remain to Clark Street?
Mr. Arroyo states, yes he does.
Member Koneda agrees and therefore canít support the motion as it is, unless we willing to change it to one of the other alternatives. Another comment about what my friend Member Cassis mentioned, putting one way streets from Christina into the other subdivision. He would like to say that one way streets donít work and left turn signs donít work on Ten Mile. Member Koneda drives Ten Mile every morning going to work heading east at the Speedway Station. He stops probably three days out of five that he is going down that road waiting for somebody making a left hand turn into the Speedway Station right in front of the No Left Turn sign. Also on the way home when they are turning into the Total station off of Ten Mile Road. So those signs donít work, so in a residential community where there is very little policing, itís going to be something that is just not going to happen. Member Koneda would like to add an amendment to the motion. First of all he wonít support that motion, but if we do make a motion, I would like to include an amendment that has a condition that a landscape plan be agreed upon for Orchard Ridge Estates. Member Koneda would like Linda Lemke to spearhead that since she is a landscape consultant.
Member Piccinini feels the same as Member Koneda, so she could not support it unless there is emergency access.
Member Cassis would not support this plan. He would like to see what the consideration about a curved one way into the subdivision, how would that go and letís see if our colleagues here would agree or not?
Chairperson Capello stated that he would like to make a brief comment and then they can vote on the motion on the floor. With the audience not present in looking at this as a pure planning, he would consider opening of Clark Street, because that is the way traffic should go. Looking at the different subdivisions, Orchard Ridge is going to be effected by not opening Clark Street because they are going to take all that traffic in the mornings. All that traffic right on Ten Mile Road, down to one of the worst intersections in the morning in Novi, which is Ten Mile and Novi Roads, have that traffic turn left and have that traffic turn left and move up Novi Road. It would make a lot more sense to go directly up Clark Road and turn right on Grand River. That is strictly from a planning aspect. That would be fair to Orchard Ridge that is not fair to Clark Street. Orchard Ridge came forward and said donít put Churchill through because that will bring traffic towards our subdivision and our intersection and send everybody up Clark Street, and there are more residents in Orchard Ridge, and there is only 26 or 27 residents on Clark Street. By numbers we would be doing a better service to the community by opening Clark Street because there are more people in Orchard Ridge than Clark Street. Now if we close Clark Street and open Sussex it is not going to take a brain scientist to figure out that you can come up Sussex turn right and easily get back to Clark Street and to Grand River, which is a path of least resistance compared to taking Churchill down to Ten Mile and Ten Mile down to Novi Road, even with the traffic light there. Iím sure people are going to go through Sussex, were going to carry more traffic through the subdivisions in the mornings when kids are getting on the bus around curved roads, especially in the winter time when its darker out when most of us leave for work in the mornings. So by closing Clark Street were creating more traffic in a greater area of its subdivision where more children are apt to be. We are not going to make everyone happy, he thinks that some of the residents that got up there and said well if your just going to close one and open another, the fairest thing to do is to open all of them, and that would be my conclusion. Let the traffic go were it will. Someday in the not too distant future that Clark Street would get improved at the City of Novi expense. Sidewalks would go in along Clark Street and resolve that condition. He canít approve the motion as it is, if anything at all, if there is ever going to be anything on Clark Street I would want to see a full road through there with emergency access. In the event, in the future that Clark Street gets improved then City Council can review this in the future and perhaps open it up with better road conditions, With that we will call a roll on this motion.
Member Canup stated that this motion is not going to pass, but if we amend the motion to make that Clark Street a stub street, put the street in and put the breakaway gate in it. That motion may pass. Is that do-able?
Chairperson Capello asked is that opening Sussex, McMillan, and Clark Street with a breakaway gate? That Clark Street is a full-dedicated road with an emergency breakaway gate.
Chairperson Capello stated that it has been moved to amend the motion that Clark Street now will be full-dedicated road with a breakaway gate, with McMillan and Sussex being opened.
PM-00-07-097 TO GRANT WOODLAND PERMIT AND SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR WETLAND PERMIT AND TENTATIVE PRELIMINARY PLAT FOR CHURCHILL CROSSINGS USING ALTERNATIVE B SOUTH INTERSECTION PLAN WITH LANDSCAPE PLAN FOR CHURCHILL AND ORCHARD RIDGE AND THE DEDICATION OF CLARK STREET WITH A BREAKAWAY GATE, THE OPENING OF SUSSEX AND MACMILLAN WITH THE RECOMMENDATION THAT THE CITY COUNCIL LOOKS INTO USING PEDESTRIAN PATHWAYS TO GET TO THE DOWNTOWN AREA AND THE RECOMMENDATION THAT THE APPLICANT PURSUES A TRAFFIC LIGHT WITH THE OAKLAND COUNTY ROAD COMMISSION.
Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards, PASSES (6-2): To grant woodland permit and send a positive recommendation to City Council for wetland permit and tentative preliminary plat for Churchill Crossings using alternative B south intersection plan with landscape plan for Churchill and Orchard Ridge and the dedication of Clark Street with a breakaway gate, the opening of Sussex and Macmillan with the recommendation that the City Council looks into using pedestrian pathways to get to the downtown area and the recommendation that the applicant pursues a traffic light with the Oakland County Road Commission.
VOTE ON PM-00-07-097 PASSES
Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Koneda, Piccinini, and Richards
No: Cassis and Mutch
Chairperson Capello asked if there is a recommendation to the ZBA on the front lot setback variance?
Member Canup is still adamantly opposed to the 20í front yard on the 10í variance. If they would give it back in the back yard then I would accept that. In other words, they want just a 10í take away and in order to be sold on that, I would like to see a layout of a lot both ways, before even considering a yes vote on that.
Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Kahm what the rear yard setback with the garage was?
Mr. Kahm stated that the rear yards meet the ordinance of 35í.
Chairperson Capello asked if there is any excess back there?
Mr. Kahm stated that in some cases. Just to answer Member Canupsí question, the plan that we submitted does have the footprints of our proposed houses on it. One of the plans does. These are actual home designs these are already designed. We can pull the plan with the elevations, if you would like. What we are proposing to do with the ZBA is to commit to them specific housing elevations, very similar to what we did with Tollgate Woods and Ravines, where we as a condition to the variance, we will commit to the City to build very specific elevations and they can use that very much like they used the PUD at Tollgate. We would commit, it is a little unorthodox, but that was the mechanism we were proposing to use, so that we were putting our money where our mouth was so to speak. Would you like to see the elevations?
Member Canup asked if they are going to have about 3500 square feet of living space is that correct?
Mr. Kahm answered yes, with a 2 story.
Member Canup stated that is a pretty big house for a 12,000 square foot lot.
Mr. Kahm stated that 3500í is extreme, 3200í is probably the limit we have in the designs right now. As Mr. Galvin indicated, these houses all have side entry garages, and that is one of the reasons were asking for the variances to accommodate to manuvering space we need to get into the side entry garages. The other thing is, we are really trying to create a Neo traditional streetscape.
Member Canup stated that he gives. Itís a nice product. When you think about it, it doesnít sound very good, but when you look at it here, he agrees that it does look a lot better than it sounds.
Mr. Kahm stated that this is unique, not seen in any other R-4 sub in the City.
Member Canup just hopes and prays that it turns out as nice in reality as it is in this picture.
Mr. Kahm stated that they are committing to make sure it does.
Chairperson Capello asked if that is a motion for a positive recommendation to the ZBA to grant the front yard variance subject to a commitment of elevations?
Member Canup said that is exactly what he had in mind.
PM-00-07-098 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS TO GRANT FRONT YARD SETBACK VARIANCE CONDITIONAL UPON THE EXPECTANCE OF SPECIFIC ELEVATIONS
Moved by Canup, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To send a positive recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant front yard setback variance conditional upon the expectance of specific elevations.
VOTE ON PM-00-07-098 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, and Richards
Member Mutch would like to get on the record that he supports this concept, the reality is that they can come in and build a standard R-4 product. You can drive over on Meadowbrook Road and see Willowbrook Farms, see the new homes going up there and what you see are some nice looking homes, because Singh does a nice product, with a lot of garages thrown up on the front of the houses. The homes are expensive, and this alternative, however yet to require a variance, is going to be a much nicer looking product. It will probably be a higher end product than we would get with traditional R-4 subdivision. Thatís the nature of land in Novi, Singh paid something like 8 million dollars for that piece of property, that you canít put up a small ranch, as you might have done in an older subdivision. The alternative is, big house a lot of garages in the front, or big house with garages on the side, he will go with the latter.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
EXISTING LAND USE STUDY
Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo.
Mr. Arroyo stated that this is another of the various studies under way or been completed in this case, regarding your master plan for land use update. This one looks at land the way it is currently being used today. In order for you to plan for the future, itís important to have an understanding of how land is currently being used in itís existing configuration. A summary was passed out that highlights some of the findings that are interesting. For one thing, approximately 1/3 of the Cities total land area is now vacant or agricultural use. We went back to your 1986 existing land use survey, and found approximately 2/3ís of the land was vacant or agriculture. You had a flip flop, you had 2/3ís in open space and over the course of approximately 14 years you have only 1/3 of that total land area in open space and agricultural. That is reflected obviously, in the amount of growth that occurred in that time. Approximately ľ of your total land area is comprised of single family homes. Obviously you have a lot of single family homes as you drive through, you think a Novi as a single family area but really it only accounts for only ľ of your total land area. When you combine single family and multiple family and manufactured housing together, it represents approximately 30% of you total land area as residential. Business uses such as shopping centers and retail stores comprise almost 4% of you land area, while industrial uses are about 4.7% of your land area. 10% is devoted to right-of-way, for roadway and other public needs and 4% is water bodies. In addition to that you have wetland areas which we have discussed in other studies. We also looked at the highest rate of growth in land use and growth changes since the last analysis was done 5 years ago. The highest growth percentage was the public category with 59% increase since 1995. This includes things like such as parks public education facilities; a lot of school properties come on line. You had park property come on line. Office has the second highest rate of growth at 53%, followed by general business at 39%, and quasi public includes medical office, private hospital, privately owned golf courses, private parks, and including parks within subdivisions that might be in conservation easements or what have you, and churches and places of worship. That in summary, I believe categorizes this. Itís important to point two additional facts, one, this was prepared using a geographical information system, the map you have has been digitized, it fits in with the GIS system you use at the City. I remember when this study was approved by the Planning Commission that one of the conditions was that it would be in a format that could be updated by the City on a regular basis, it is in that format, and we will be transmitting it to the Date Management specialist Dave Maurice. My understand that the Planning Department is going to be working with the Building Department to put a mechanism in place so that this map can be updated as Certificates of Occupancy are issued for new developments, so that it can be on going up today map of how land is currently being used within the City. Mr. Arroyo will answer any questions you might have after the meeting.
Chairperson Capello has two things he would like to discuss. He would like to get on the next agenda for matters for discussion. He sees that a letter from Midwest Investments in regards to appealing a wetland essentiality determination. Debbie Thor and Dave Bluhm were going to get back with us on some type of differentiation and application between a normal wetland permit and essentiality request determination. If you could just have them give us a status on where they are on that. They were working on it but we havenít heard anything in awhile. Also, this was brought up before, the City Tree Fund, whoís in charge of that, Sheila Weber? Would she know how much money is in there and how much money has gone in and where it has gone? With all the money we have been putting into the tree fund that there may not be any money in there.
PM-00-07-099 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 9:45 P.M.
Moved by Mutch, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:45 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-00-07-099 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Canup, Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, and Richards
Sarah Marchioni Ė Planning Assistant
Transcribed by: C.J. Killebrew
August 7, 2000
Date Approved: August 16, 2000