View Agenda for this Meeting


WEDNESDAY, August 2, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Canup, Churella, Koneda, Mutch and Piccinini


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Capello, Cassis, Richards and Watza


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Eric Olson, Landscape Architect, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson and Staff Planner Beth Brock






Commissioner Piccinini asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?



Moved by Churella, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Koneda, Mutch and Piccinini

No: None












Commissioner Piccinini announced there were 2 items on the Consent Agenda.


Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of June 21, 2000. She asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.


Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the minutes.




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




Yes: Canup, Churella, Koneda, Mutch and Piccinini

No: None





This warehouse and office building project is located in Section 22, on the south side of Grand River Avenue between Taft and Novi Roads. The 2.59 acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking an One-Year Site Plan Extension.


Jason Rickard of Seiber, Keast and Associates introduced himself as representing George Greer of the Ace Building. He proposed the seven thousand two hundred and twenty (7,220) square foot office building on 2.6 acres zoned I – 1. For wastewater, there would be a connection through the wetland to an existing eighteen (18) sanitary sewer south of the site. The water service tap would be on a sixteen (16) inch water main located on the south side of Grand River Avenue. Storm water treatment would consist of a sedimentation basin which would outlet through a wetland into the Levenworth Regional Detention Basin located on the south side of the site. Mr. Rickard proposed a single access driveway to Grand River Avenue as a result of regulated wetlands and existing driveways could not be met. He stated City standards for separation distances from existing driveways. During Preliminary Design, he stated Mansfield Cabinets was contacted to work out a combined entrance, which would eliminate the waiver. He stated they prepared exhibits to show the owner of Mansfield Cabinets which were declined. At this time Mr. Rickard asked for Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit Approval, along with the Waiver from the city’s commercial drive spacing standards. He stated he had recommended approval from the consultants with minor changes, which he felt could be addressed during Final Site Plan.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recommended approval. He stated there were a few minor items that needed to be addressed on the Final Site Plan. In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo stated there was a driveway spacing waiver that should be part of the motion if the project is approved. He explained with the existing driveways located in the area, it would not be possible to meet the spacing standards regardless of where the driveway was placed on the property. He restated the applicant’s unsuccessful attempt to work with the adjacent property owner to provide for a shared access driveway. Therefore, there has been a driveway approval included with the application. Mr. Arroyo stated other traffic issues have been identified and could be resolved through the Final Site Plan Process. He pointed out there was only one point of access to the project. He also stated the Fire Marshall has recommended approval as meeting the fire codes.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant recommended approval. He indicated the western half and southern half of the property as regulated wetland and very low in that area. He stated the building location was on a ridge line that would be a proposed retaining wall to border the parking area down to the wetland location to better protect the wetland and the wetland buffer. It would be over a four (4) footwall with possible structural calculations to be provided which they would be looking for detail at the Final. He restated issues regarding the discharge to the sedimentation basin which exists at the located area shown on the drawing. No on site detentions provided. A storm water tap fee would have to be paid into the basin as it is a City basin. He stated a number of minor comments would be addressed at the Final and the Plan demonstrated engineering feasibility.


Eric Olson, Landscape Architect recommended approval of the project. He required additional landscaping be provided along the eastern property line. He stated there would be a number of issues to be addressed at the Final.


Debbie Thor of JCK, Water Resources stated the project fell under the non-minor use permit category of the Wetland Ordinance therefore, approval from the Planning Commission would be required. She stated the property is along the western and southern property boundaries. She stated the southern property is ponded and Levenworth Creek flows in the back area shown. She explained the impacts proposed, single storm water outfall from the sedimentation basin extension of sanitary sewer through the wetland and under Levenworth Creek. A small portion of boardwalk crossed the wetland along Grand River and detaining in the Regional Detention Basin. She stated most of her comments were minor in nature. However, Ms. Thor asked that the sanitary be board and jacked underneath the ponded portion of the wetland and the creek itself. She stated she has had Preliminary discussions and it did not appear to be a problem for Seiber Keith. She stated the applicant would need to get a DEQ Permit prior to their permit issuance and she would like to see the sedimentation basis be noted as permanent. Ms. Thor also recommended a conservation. easement be placed over the wetland areas with applicant’s consent.


Commissioner Piccinini announced she 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. She also announced she had a letter from Doug Necci of JCK, which states the applicant is accordance with the façade ordinance and the Section 9 waiver is not required.


Commissioner Piccinini announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.


Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.



Member Churella announced he has received correspondence regarding Ace Building SP 00-10.

Russ Gardner, 44855 Grand River, was in favor of the progress.





Member Canup stated it appeared that this was a fairly uniformed and good use of the property.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That in case SP 00-10 the Ace Building that we approve the Preliminary Site Plan and Approve the Wetland Permits with the Approvals being subject to the permits with the approvals being subject to the compliance of the recommendations of our consultants and the waiver of the driveway spacing.




Member Mutch commented on the connection of the interior sidewalk and the exterior sidewalk and that it could be run along the entrance drive. Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo in regard to the encroachment on to the property from the adjoining property, if there was any way to control this?


Mr. Arroyo stated they have suggested the applicant talk to the adjacent property owner to possibly form an easement.


Member Mutch asked if there was any burden on the applicant in terms of use of the property down the road?


Mr. Arroyo stated it was primarily an encroachment of a drive, and thought it was likely to see further improvement to the property to the west. He felt there was potential of correcting the issue through a new Site Plan.


Member Koneda stated his concerns related to the driveway spacing waivers. He asked Mr. Arroyo if the driveway spacing would create more of a problem, less or if it would remain the same with the future Grand River widening.


Mr. Arroyo stated when Grand River is widened, it would become a five (5) lane section. It would vary slightly. There would be another lane added to the center, in which in some cases it could make driveway spacing a little more difficult. This being due to the use of the same lane as opposed to opposite lanes with a passing lane. However, he said there was little that could be done because the Mansfield Cabinet closely directly lines up, also the Corrigan driveway to the west, leaves very little to be done for alternatives. He stated they have explored other options.


Member Koneda clarified the only prudent alternative would have been what they pursued with shared driveway agreement with Mansfield Cabinet.


Mr. Arroyo stated, correct.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None




This 10,000 square foot addition project is located in Section 35, at Nine Mile and Novi Roads. The 9.32 acre site is zoned Light Industrial District I-1. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit approvals.


Terry Bilovus Architect of the project, introduced himself. He explained this is an addition to an existing building on Nine Mile Road just east of Novi Road. It is about a ten (10) thousand square foot footprint being added to the south end of the building. The upper level is being extended about ten (10) thousand square feet to the south. However, due to the grade dropping off severely, a lower level is being added underneath the ten (10) thousand square feet. Part of this will be a loading dock and warehousing area. The remainder would be a covered delivery and pick up area.


Mr. Arroyo stated this is a special land use because it abuts a residential district. He stated the applicant is also seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan from the planning perspective. He also recommended approval for the special land use subject to the items in our letter being addressed in the Final. In regard to traffic, he stated internal circulation issues were raised and the applicant has given alternatives to address these concerns. He felt confident these would be addressed on the Final as well.


Mr. Bluhm recommended approval. He stated the additions of the building and the parking would require a minor expansion of the detention space. He stated it appeared they were expanding the basin to facilitate drainage from the existing areas. This was bringing the existing site into better compliance with the ordinances. Minor comments have been made on the Site Plan which the applicant is in the process of addressing.


Mr. Olson recommended approval along with six (6) items to be addressed at the Final stamping.


Ms. Thor stated no wetlands permits were required.


Commissioner Piccinini announced she 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. She also announced she had a letter from Doug Necci of JCK dated July 7, 2000, recommending the design is consist with the intent and purpose of the ordinance and a Section 9 waiver is recommended.


Commissioner Piccinini announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.


Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.






Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To

grant Preliminary Site Plan approval and special land use approval for Qualex addition SP 00-37 subject to all our consultants recommendations and conditions, the section 9 waiver of the façade and Planning Commission waiver of the berming.




Member Mutch commented the facility looked nice from Nine Mile, and it has really been an improvement. He stated it was nice to see additional expansion with this project.




Yes: Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Canup

No: None



This office warehousing project is located in Section 35, north of Eight Mile Road and west of Meadowbrook Road. The 3.62 acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit approvals.


Mr. Mamola outlined the nature of the Clements Industrial Properties project. He stated there were two buildings with some related shops and offices support to it. He introduced Site Plans A and B. Site Plan A was granted Special Land Use approval and Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to further acceptance and approval by the City Council. The plan was shown to the Commission November 1999. In February 2000 the plan was put to a halt, related to certain off site developments utilizing Rotary Park. There was an offsite detention basin, and screening was being planted on in a manner that would work with the Parks and Recreation Department. The site is bound by Rotary Park on the south to the east, and to the north Roethel Drive and other industrial properties. To the west is an elevated railroad berm. Since the council had effectively stopped the proposal, the applicant went back to reconfigure Site Plan B. Site Plan B consists of two (2) buildings with the detention basin located completely on the property. Building A is now larger, Building B is smaller, however the combined square footage is approximately sixty (60) thousand square feet. The screening of the trees is also completely on the property. None of the development is located on Novi Rotary Park. The reason for the Special Land Use Permit is due to the property abutting residential property, He explained several years ago the City initiated to rezone Rotary Park to industrial. However, they were required to reconstruct berms. Therefore, it was communicated to have a private sector to come before the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals to seek the variances that would allow the project to be developed as if it did not abut residential property. The previous projects obtained from ZBA in November 1998, dealt with issues such as not providing a berm, set back issues etc… as noted on the drawings. These were also properties that abutted residential properties. Therefore, the applicant intended to treat the property as though it did not abut residential property. The park would never have residence living on it; the portion south would not be developed into a park as stated by the Parks and Recreations Commission in February. He then referred to Linda Lemke’s Landscape Review regarding this matter, stating they go before the ZBA to determine if the previous ZBA variances would be in effect for this plan. He stated members of the ZBA felt uncomfortable, due to the variances being granted back in 1998, and felt it would be appropriate to go through the public hearing process again. Therefore, the applicant is attempting to be on the next agenda. He explained parking is generally calculated on the basis of employee counts, square foot area or the greater of one of those methods. Based on the square foot basis, the parking was a few spaces short. The police, tenants and landlords were concerned the employees and visitors would have ample room to park. He stated other projects where parking was based on employee count have no difficulties. He restated that they are seeking Special Land Use approval and Preliminary Site Plan approval contingent upon the applicant obtaining the required variances from the ZBA.


Mr. Arroyo gave perspective on the location of the site in relation to Rotary Park. He explained Rotary Park is located directly east of the property. Due to the variance required for parking, he is not recommending approval. However, if the variance were granted, they would be in a position to recommend approval. He felt the ZBA could address the issue as well. Mr. Arroyo stated there were a number of variance issues remaining to be resolved that will be addressed by the Zoning Board of Appeals. In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo is not recommending approval mainly due to the parking deficiency. However, if this can be resolved through a variance with the ZBA then he felt the issues involving internal circulation traffic could be resolved on the Final Site Plan.


Mr. Bluhm recommended approval. He restated the applicant’s Site Plan B proposal with the detention basin. He explained the storm sewer would function the same. It would direct water to the basin from the site, then to the south and ultimately it would cross Roethel Drive and abut; a little further is where Middle Rouge River crosses. He stated other aspects of the engineering are similar. Utilities were still being provided for the building, water and sewer are not a problem. He felt the plan was acceptable, and demonstrated feasibility. Mr. Bluhm stated the location was in an identified flood plain area and the buildings have been elevated over one (1) foot above the flood plain. He stated there are errors in that map that need to be addressed at the Final.


Mr. Olson recommended approval for the Preliminary Site Plan. He stated there was an issue related to the berm that needed clarification from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Therefore, the recommendation would be contingent upon receiving approval for that.


Commissioner Piccinini announced she 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. She stated she also has a letter from Doug Necci of JCK, dated July 10, 2000 recommending that the application is in compliance with the façade ordinance and a Section 9 Waiver is not required.


Commissioner Piccinini announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.



Member Churella announced he has received correspondence regarding Clements SP 00-39.


Jan Fetters, 43106 Ashbury Drive, stating she objected to any zoning or set back changes for the property. She felt the park and the subdivisions are very close. She stated a manufacturing facility would not work well in the area. Her letter also stated the wild life would suffer.


Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.




Member Koneda asked if the significant ZBA variance had been granted which was the rear yard set back variance and the parking lot set back for the Preliminary Site Plan.


Mr. Mamola answered, yes.


Member Koneda asked the applicant if they had received the ZBA variance for the noise analysis for the Special Land Use.


Mr. Mamola answered, yes.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (4-1): To grant Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use approvals for Clements Industrial Property SP 00-39 conditional upon receiving ZBA Variance to substitute additional plantings in a place of earth and berm along the southern property line. Resolution of the parking space efficiency and conditional upon all of the recommendations from the consultants




Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney, asked Mr. Arroyo if the landscaping on the berm was a Planning Commission Waiver?


Mr. Arroyo answered if the site was adjacent to residential property and the existing vegetation with supplements had the same screening effect of berms requirement, then the Planning Commission could grant the Waiver. Mr. Arroyo also stated the berm issue was previously taken before the ZBA.


Member Mutch asked in terms of the ZBA variances, was the use of the property covered as Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 uses?


Mr. Watson answered they dealt with issues that caused it to be a Tier 2 use.


Mr. Mamola stated there was a note on the drawing that indicating the uses must comply with Tier 1 or Tier 2 uses. The uses that would be allowed to abut residential and not the more abusive uses.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Watson in regard to the berm, if there was a situation with an existing industrial use and a residential use develops beside the property, the residential use has to put in the berm that industrial would normally be required to put in. Member Mutch asked if this would apply if City ever developed the park property?


Mr. Watson answered, no assuming this gets the variance then it would be deemed to resolve the issue. He explained the provision would come into effect if there were industrial use that was in effect before there were those requirements.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo if the status of Ashbury Drive was industrial or residential?


Mr. Arroyo stated in this particular instance it would be an industrial roadway serving an industrial park. He added that particular road should not carry residential traffic. However Roethel would on occasion.


Member Mutch stated did not support the motion because of his concerns with the potential Tier 2 uses coming into the site. He added his concern regarding the lack of berming on the edge of the property, no buffering between the edge of the property and the residential to the south. He stated although the location was not directly next door, it did not take much to have the sound travel a distance. He explained without the berming there, he was not comfortable approving the potential for Tier 2 uses on that site.


Member Churella stated he visited the site and saw no homes near the site. He continued that south of the site is a field that runs to the stream. Therefore, he did not understand what homes Member Mutch was trying to protect. He stated it is a City Park and therefore, he supports the motion.


Member Canup explained the dense vegetation present between the site and the closest home on the east side. He stated if the homes were closer, he could understand his concern, however, there is also a creek. Therefore, he asked that Member Mutch take these issues into consideration.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Koneda, Piccinini

No: Mutch






This hotel project is located in Section 14, at the northeast corner of Eleven Mile Road and Town Center Drive. The 1.87 acre site is zoned Office Service Commercial District (OSC). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval.


Mike Kahm of Singh Development Company stated they had previously submitted a proposal for a Best Western hotel on 1.87 acre property on Town Center Drive north of Eleven Mile Road. He stated they presented a plan they felt met the character of the area and balanced the developments along Town Center Drive. He stated the two (2) parcels are the last two (2) to be developed within the immediate Town area. He recalled at that time the Planning Commission was concerned about the number of variances they were asking for. Mr. Kahm stated they have cut the variance requests in half. He explained the property is a difficult piece of property with a roadway built east from Town Center Drive being the southern boundary of the property. He stated it restricts what can be done, and therefore is asking the Planning Commission to consider the uses of the property already developed around the site and then consider the plans that they are proposing. He stated the Site Plan included the requested greenbelt along Town Center Drive and eliminated the parking in the front of the building. Mr. Kahm stated they would like to build a quality hotel in the location and he felt the City could benefit from this. He stated with the recommendation of the Planning Commission they would then be able to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for their consideration for variances for plan approval. He introduced Tad Krear of Land Design Studio who did the site planning.


Tad Krear introduced the new Site Plan. He stated one of the changes included the height of the hotel. The previous design was a four (4) story, one hundred (100) room proposal, however the new proposed hotel is three (3) stories with ninety (90) rooms. He added this helped with the parking considerations. The previous plan requested a twenty (20) foot variance with parking to the property line due to the greenbelt. He explained with new plan there is only a fifteen (15) foot variance request because they were able to five and a half (5 ½) foot off the property line. There was already an existing twenty (20) foot greenbelt to the north, and a commissioner previously commented there was no sense in placing another greenbelt there. The prior plan to propose a ten (10) foot greenbelt separating the private drive access to the hotel campus. The new plan maintains that ten (10) foot greenbelt. Mr. Krear stated he felt this was very consistent throughout the entire site, creating the adequate separation of the landscape buffer between the vehicular uses. He stated a key concern was the parking in the front yard. He referred to the ordinance requiring only fifty (50) percent of the parking area to be allowed in the front yard. He stated with this proposed plan the building has been moved back and provided a larger greenspace adjacent to Town Center. He stated this allowed them to provide the twenty (20) foot and more. He referred to the concern of the berm in the previous plan. He explained that the road sits higher than the proposed building elevation. He explained that with the site, there is a four (4) foot grade change with the existing Town Center Road, to the finished floor of the building, however it is being handled with a retaining wall and plantings on top of that. Mr. Krear expressed his efforts of exploring extending the wall to seven (7) feet, but then they would need to put a four (4) foot fence on top of that. He felt this was harsh and therefore was requesting from the ZBA the same type of variance they were given on the prior hotel site next door. He stated the location of parking in the rear yard was an issue that came up on both of the plans. He stated with prior Site Plan the property line bisects the drive isle, leaving it impossible to avoid the variance. He stated the loading zone was being handled under the porte chochere area. He explained there are no restroom type facilities therefore it is a limited what type of services come through there. He raised the turn around issue on the Plan. Before, the site could be accessed all the way around. However now, they have a dead end parking lot. He stated they met with the Fire Marshal to discuss the concerns of immediate access to fifty (50) percent of the building sides. He stated he did have approval from the Fire Marshal. He stated the need to have the ability to turn around a vehicle was resolved with a one way system in and one way out which provided adequate circulation for larger vehicles. Mr. Krear spoke in regard to the dead end parking issues. He stated they did not provide stripping spaces to allow vehicles to turn around easily at the end of the parking lot. He also stated the possibility of being able to have offsite parking with a special easement with a potential future restaurant across the private drive. They agreed to do that, and it would be set up primarily employee parking with six (6) spaces. There would be an access drive that would circulate around the building. Therefore, the building was moved further to the east and eliminated some of the parking. He stated with this plan, the previously shown one way in and out circulation would not be necessary. However, he stated it raised some concerns. He stated it was discussed with the Fire Marshal to do some grass pavers to ensure the greenspace as requested by the Planning Commission. The Fire Marshall did not think from a maintenance standpoint that this would work. However, if greenspace in the front yard became an option they would attempt to put together a maintenance agreement to maintain the pavers in the wintertime. He explained by moving the building back by definition of the Ordinance, it creates one parking space in the front of the building, therefore we would need a variance from the ZBA.


Mr. Arroyo reviewed the plan again. He stated the applicant gave a good overview of where they were before and where they are now as well as alternatives to allow the project to move forward. He did not recommending approval from a planning standpoint. He stated reasons were primarily based on the various ZBA variances. He stated it is difficult to develop this property with no variances due to the unusual situation and campus type development that has occurred in the area. He stated many of the items could be resolved in the Final Site Plan. Mr. Arroyo stated the main concern is the circulation. The front circulation and parking adjacent to Town Center was removed from the plan. He stated he preferred the last alternative given. It would not have parking in the front yard with the exception to the one (1) space, a circulation drive across the front. Mr. Arroyo agreed it was better to have circulation around the building as opposed to having long dead end situations especially with future development. He restated the applicant’s one way in one way out situation as a resolution around the porte chochere area. Mr. Arroyo agreed with that, if the Planning Commission did not want the access along the front of the building, they would want to see the one way pair in front so the circulation could occur. He again asked the Commission to consider the last alternative presented which provided the driveway in front of the building. He stated the drive would be down from the Town Center, therefore he felt the building would be the focal point to those passing, and that it would not be the driveway. Mr. Arroyo has met with the office building to the north, and stated they were exploring the potential of a restaurant pad in the parking lot that currently exists. He explained if that were to occur, as well as the development of a project to south, there would be a line of building façades along the east side that could enhance the area. However, he would like to see some of the modification discussed this evening reflected on a revised plan. Mr. Arroyo stated he would be willing to address these on the Final as opposed to having the applicant coming again. He stated the other items were minor and felt they could be addressed in the Final Site Plan.


Mr. Bluhm stated the areas are well set up for engineering with public utilities extended throughout the unbuilt areas to serve proposed buildings. The site falls from Town Center Drive to a lower elevation building with a retaining wall along the frontage road. He stated Town Center Drive would be approximately a 3½’ to a 4’ drop in the retaining wall to the lower building with parking. The storm sewers proposed would extend to the east to the existing man made lake, which serves as a detention basin for all of the developments that are surrounding the lake area as well as for the Town Center. This will provide the detention control which outlets to the creek to the east. He stated there were a number of comments that he felt could be addressed at the Final. He did ask the applicant to consider a manufactured best management practice, a vault type structure, prior to outlet storm water from the site. He stated this would help in separation of oils and gases and the collection of sediments allowing them to be removed better than a normal storm structure prior to the release to the lake area. Mr. Bluhm requested this condition be added to his letter along with his recommendation.


Mr. Olson did not recommendation approval due to the variances needed. He stated if the variances were granted the number of issues could be addressed at the Final Site Plan Process.


Commissioner Piccinini asked if there was anything on the façade available?


Commissioner Piccinini announced she 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. She also has received a letter from Mr. Necci of JCK states his recommendation that the design is consistent with intent and purpose of the Ordinance and he is recommending a Section 9 Waiver.




Member Mutch understood it was impossible to develop the land without a variance due to the nature of the adjoining parking lots on the east side. However, he stated the site was a basic flat and square, therefore he felt any hardships existing are created by the applicant. He did not agree with the setback along the north side of the property. Although there was an existing greenbelt, Member Mutch stated this was not the applicant’s property. He felt each applicant needed to provide the required setbacks for parking for their project. He stated when a project does not have wetlands or woodlands and yet requires variances of that nature, he felt it showed the project is to big, or it is poorly designed. Member Mutch addressed concerns regarding the building façade of on the western elevation facing Town Center Drive. He stated it was basically a flat wall and that bringing the building closer to Town Center Drive would not do anything for Town Center. He did not feel this was acceptable for the area and therefore, would not approve that. He suggested to the applicant to introduce windows or another architectural feature. He felt the hardships were self-imposed and now required a ZBA variance.


Member Canup responded to Member Mutch’s concerns of the building being too close to the road. He asked what would happen if they moved the building to the east and switched the parking around?


Member Mutch stated he was not concerned with the location of the land, yet he was concerned with the fact that they moved it forward, and felt the building was not attractive. He stated he would not have a problem if they did something on the end of the building to address the façade. He stated it could be done to either end.


Member Canup stated if the building was moved back, it would create a new look from the road. He asked Member Mutch if this would address his concerns?


Member Mutch stated it would address some of his concern.


Member Canup felt this would remove the stark of the big brick wall.


Member Koneda stated in November they felt the site was over developed and therefore wanted to see some greenspace along Town Center Drive. He stated although the greenspace was provided, they now have a building that is bigger than what they started with. He stated there are ten (10) rooms less, lost a floor, and the footprint got bigger. He asked it to be clarified why the building could not stay four (4) stories high and reduce the footprint to allow the greenspace and alleviate some of the setback requirements. He stated he would rather see the building stay four (4) stories with a hundred (100) rooms and move the parking off of Town Center Drive with the drive around the building. However he felt it was too much building for the site.


Member Canup stated because most of the board did not seem to agree with the plan, he suggested that it be Tabled.


Member Mutch agreed with this idea. He felt if the applicant could show the alternatives, he could work with that. He felt moving some of the parking across the street was a good idea.


Member Koneda stated he was mostly interested in seeing the greenspace along Town Center Drive. He stated although he has seen this, he would also like to see the access drive circulate around the building to alleviate the problem. He stated he would like to avoid the dead end parking situations. He felt if the footprint could be reduced, it might be possible to regain the parking on the same side.


Member Koneda asked if the Marriott driveway ran almost to the next road and if there was a way to access the drive to the north of the site?


Mr. Kahm answered they did attempt to get a curb cut, yet, the adjacent landowners were not cooperative. He stated they have attempted to find many alternatives. Mr. Kahm addressed Member Koneda’s suggestion of keeping the four (4) stories. He indicated with his basement type floor, this would bring him up to five (5) stories, which would involve a different building code. He stated that is why they provided the greenbelt along Town Center drive and also satisfied the Fire Marshall’s concerns of safety.


Member Koneda asked if it became a four (4) story footprint with only three (3) stories, how many rooms would be lost?


Mr. Kahm answered he would lose eighteen (18), leaving eighty-two (82) rooms.


Member Koneda asked the applicant how this change would effect his parking?


Mr. Kahm answered it would probably be okay. He expressed in the hotel business, at a certain point the amenities that can be offered may bring it closer to a motel than a hotel. He stated the parking would go down by eight (8) spaces, and therefore this might eliminate some of the variances and give a little more greenbelt.


Member Koneda asked the Mr. Kahm if the access drive into the parking lot is a boulevard drive?


Mr. Kahm stated boulevard is a two (2) way drive, and this is a thirty (30) foot drive.


Member Canup stated he still agreed with Member Mutch’s comments about the starkness of the building being so close to the road. He felt the east should be on the west and the west on the east. He stated this would get it away from the road and the remove the starkness of it being so close to the drive.


Mr. Kahm explained from a hotel layout that was not practically functional.


Member Canup asked what the problem was with switching it?


Mr. Kahm answered in the previous design, there were windows facing the road with parking in the front. If the building were switched around, it would require a variance for the parking in the front.


Member Canup stated he would rather have the parking in the front.


Member Piccinini requested to see the old design.


Mr. Kahm stated in the first design, the rooms faced that drive with a stairwell in the middle. This allowed the people in the back to view the pond as opposed to viewing the parking lot on both sides. There was also some more artwork involved in the first plan. However, he stated this plan placed nine (9) parking places in the front of the building which was not permitted by the Ordinance.


Member Koneda stated it was a better-looking building.


Mr. Kahm stated the first plan had a brick paver patio, walk out.


Member Koneda confirmed there was still the four (4) foot drop?


Mr. Kahm stated yes. He stated as Member Canup pointed out there was an attempt to shift the building back and placed parking with a wider façade.


Member Canup asked why he could not take the present design and move it back and then ask for a variance for the parking in the front? He stated the building next to the applicant has massive parking in the front.


Mr. Kahm if he were to do this, he would then have again his original design he proposed with two (2) rows of parking.


Member Koneda stated his objection to the original plan was the issue regarding the greenspace. He liked the original plan with the windows on the side. He stated he was willing to accept some front yard parking. He stated he thought the only issue was the twenty (20) foot greenspace.


Commissioner Piccinini added she thought there was discussion about moving a couple of spots and adding greenspace in the front. She asked if they could move a few to the extra lot as they have already suggested in moving the parking to the extra lot.


Mr. Kahm stated the only area they did not meet the greenspace is the area where it tapers off. He stated if they were willing to consider it, they would take the spaces, expand the greenbelt and place them on the Singh Parcel and use the same design as previously presented.


Mr. Watson stated he understood with the Commission desires to go with the prior plan with the revision it would be fine.


Member Canup asked Mr. Arroyo if the parking set backs would be the same in the original submission? Would the issues be resolved with the greenspace and grant a Preliminary Site Plan with the original submission?


Commissioner stated if they moved the parking spaces, it would work.


Member Mutch asked how many spaces there were?


Mr. Krear answered six (6) spaces.


Member Mutch asked if the remaining spaces were in compliance?


Mr. Krear answered, yes.


Mr. Arroyo stated the spaces could be moved across the drive. He stated they could take five (5) or six (6) spaces out add green space and then move them on the south side of the isle.


Commissioner Piccinini asked if the applicant was going to get an easement?


Mr. Kahm stated Singh owned the other parcel, therefore there would be a permanent easement to meet the greenbelt areas.


Member Mutch commented again on his issues with the north side. He stated the greenbelt along Town Center was also a concern. He felt the alternative plan, the original plan, was more attractive than the presented plan. However, Member Mutch stated he would like to see the plan with the changes first before giving approval. He asked if it would be possible to have something at the next meeting.


Mr. Kahm stated that he is on a time frame with the Franchise Company.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval for SP 00-06 subject to consultant’s recommendations and conditions and subject to ZBA variances for side and rear parking, set backs, loading space, right-of-way along town center drive, front yard parking and that they would have a permanent easement to maintain the greenspace along Town Center Drive for parking spaces and their adjacent property to the south.




Mr. Arroyo clarified the motion with the parking along Town Center Drive. He asked if they are asking the applicant to take the row of parking on the west side of the isle immediately adjacent to Town Center, turn that into a greenbelt and shift those spaces on the south side?


Commissioner Piccinini answered, correct.


Mr. Kahm asked if this was only where a variance was needed?


Commissioner Piccinini answered, correct.


Member Canup stated that they are expecting to catch all of that in the Final.




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

No: None




This concrete recycling facility project is located in Section 9, on the north side of Twelve Mile Road east of Beck Road. The 10-acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1) and General Industrial District (I-2). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Carl Kraiten of Bricherts Angora introduced himself and Brian Devlin of Ludwig & Associates. He stated the Copeland Family has been in Novi for over thirty (30) years. They have continuously operated the paving company and the concrete facility that they currently own and operate on Meadowbrook Road between Eleven Mile and Grand River. The parcel is ten (10) acres; the proposed parcel is a ten (10) acre parcel. As the city grew, the family found themselves with a heavy industrial use in a light industrial area. They have recognized it would be a problem over time and have searched for an alternate site. The site proposed was closed in late February of 1999 with the understanding that Site Plans and Variances would not be required. This previously was a storage site for twenty (20) plus companies that were involved in various construction and manufacturing activities. The applicant has restored the site and learned there were screening issues that needed to be addressed. Ludwig & Associates was hired, a preliminary submission in March, comment letters in April and submission of a letter in June. Mr. Kraiten stated the location is adjacent to a residential area in the City of Wixom. There are expansive wetlands, nominal residential development along Twelve Mile Road, all of which is in the process of being removed at this point. He stated the industrial development for at least the back third (1/3) of the site is also with the extensive woodlands. There is heavy industrial to the further north and heavy industrial zoning to the due north and east. He stated it is a long and narrow parcel with only two hundred forty-seven (247) feet of width, and fourteen hundred (1400) feet of depth, constituting ten (10) acres. He indicated the Site Plan is the projected relocation of Twelve Mile Road to accommodate the new Beck Road modifications. It would cut a swath across the front existing parcel. They are faced with practical and economical difficulties with the Twelve Mile frontage. However because it is unknown what the ultimate road right-of-way will begin and end and what base point they should be using in terms of connecting a road, erecting a greenbelt or installing a bike path. Mr. Kraiten stated the project itself was simple. He stated the project was a portable moveable operation consisting of some crushers and concrete works. It is all electrical powered, keeping the noise level low. The actual product pile and the raw material, is concrete that has been removed from demolished roads or other improvements. It is natural and non-hazardous. He stated there is ample area back by the existing heavy woodlands. There are existing trees along the wetland side on the west side of the property. All of this material could be moved within reason. There would be a well for the dust control. The letter of Ordinance would require berming along residential areas that would cover two thirds (2/3) of the effective usable area of the parcel if they were constructed. Therefore he felt the question would be raised as to why they would be screening due to the improvements being so distant from other existing improvements or residential. He stated the existing shop and building act as a natural screen from the Twelve Mile Road exposure for the entire operation that would be located on the rear half of the Ten (10) acre parcel.


Mr. Arroyo showed area photos of the subject site and agreed with the applicant regarding the storage on the site and modifications of the site. He indicated the large structure on the site and demonstrated where Twelve Mile would realign with the property. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. He felt the project required a number of ZBA variances and setback issues that could not be met practically. The property is two hundred forty-seven (247) feet wide. He stated the site has split zoning I-1 to the front along Twelve Mile Road and I-2 to the back. The crushed concrete operation proposed is located on the I-2 portion. The required side yard setback is a hundred (100) feet when adjacent to residential. Therefore, on the west side, there would be a hundred (100) foot setback and on the side not adjacent to residential there would be a fifty (50) foot setback. He stated there was also a variance for parking setbacks. There is a hundred (100) feet when adjacent to a residential for parking. A variance for required for the screening adjacent to the residential. There is a variance for storage, in which the type of storage is changing and the addition of the concrete operation. The I-2 Ordinance specifies outdoor storage is prohibited adjacent to residential, therefore outdoor storage would not be consistent with the I-2 District. Mr. Arroyo pointed out that the site has had outdoor storage in the past. Mr. Arroyo stated there would be City Council action necessary from an action standpoint due to the design and construction standards. Therefore waivers and variances would be necessary for the access. He stated there would be a requirement to provide an eight (8) foot bike path along Twelve Mile Road. He felt this should be addressed when Twelve Mile Road was relocated. Mr. Arroyo stated due to the several variances associated with the project along with other minor issues, he was not recommending approval.


In regard to Traffic, Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant proposed there would be an estimated forty-five (45) daily trips, with seven (7) in the morning peak hour and six (6) during the afternoon peak hour. Mr. Arroyo suggested there should be consideration by the City Council to allow for a temporary access point to Twelve Mile Road, a widen road bed and improved approach, to prevent having it torn out when the Twelve Mile alignment and Beck Road interchange goes forward. Mr. Arroyo commented on internal circulation. He stated the existing difficulties with circulating a large truck around the site. He gave the example of a typical WB-50’ Wheel base Combination Truck, stating the difficulty it would have with circulation maneuvers due to the production piles and materials on site. He felt this should be improved and more options explored. Mr. Arroyo stated he was looking for more striping information with the proposed parking lot.


Mr. Bluhm Engineering Consultant stated the difficulty involved in applying the design standards to a facility of this type. Mr. Bluhm agreed with Mr. Arroyo in regard to the paved driveway. He stated the requirement in the ordinance that gravel drives provide paved approach at a minimum to existing roadways. He stated the ordinance also requires curbing and the entire drive to be constructed and paved. He pointed out in the Site Plan the driveway extending back into the crushing facility and the stock piling area, and stated it may not be necessary or best to pave all of those areas. He stated this would be addressed at the Council level with the Variances the applicant will be seeking. Mr. Bluhm raised his concerns of Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit and review. He felt the controls placed on the site, both on a temporary basis and a permanent basis, were most important. He felt it was important to control sedimentation back to the rear of the property into the wetlands once the facility was in operation. Therefore he will be looking at permanent method the applicant will propose.


Mr. Bluhm introduced a letter from Debbi Thor of JCK, stating the determination on the property. There are wetlands to the north and a buffer extends into the property, however the applicant is not proposing any impact to it, therefore a permit is not required. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated feasibility and recommended approval conditioned upon receiving the required variances from Council.


Mr. Olson did not recommend approval of the Preliminary Site Plan due to the number of variances and waivers required. He restated the fifteen (15) foot high berm adjacent to residential waiver. A second waiver would be required to have parking within a hundred (100) feet of residential area. He stated there would also be several waivers involved with a screening. He suggested the possibility to use the existing vegetation at the north end of the site. He defined for screening purposes; part of the area is regulated woodland and part non-regulated woodlands. Mr. Olson stated the stated his concern of the storage exceeding the height of the proposed evergreen trees located on the east property line. Greenspace along Twelve Mile Road would also be required. He stated there are also several other items that could be addressed at the Final.


Commissioner Piccinini announced she 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.




Member Mutch asked Mr. Kraiten regarding the residential zoning in Wixom. Member Mutch stated if the area in Wixom was zoned industrial; the setback requirement of the side yards would still not be met?


Mr. Kraiten stated he did not know.


Mr. Arroyo stated Member Mutch was correct. He explained there would be a side yard setback of fifty (50) feet for any structures and a side yard setback of twenty (20) feet for parking that would be necessary if the property was not adjacent to residential.


Mr. Kraiten explained the equipment is portable on wheels with no foundations to be laid. He pointed out the areas of the proposed parking and stated they would be more than twenty (20) feet from the proposed parking or existing parking in the front.


Member Mutch clarified the setbacks are for a reason. He stated whether it was a structure or portable equipment would still have some impacts. He stated there is some use on the vacant property to the east and the west which will presumably transition into a better use. Member Mutch was concerned that if adequate setbacks were not provided it could impact the potential development of the neighboring properties. He stated although the applicant has the right to use his property within the standards of the Ordinances, he does not have the right to negatively impact the value and use of the adjoining properties due to inconvenience. Member Mutch restated the applicants use did not meet the criteria under the normal standards of the Industrial District. Member Mutch felt when the Beck Road interchange occurs the approval of this project without the proper set backs could effect the potential use of the property to east and the west. Member Mutch asked Mr. Watson to address the issues of structure verses portable equipment.


Mr. Watson stated the Zoning Ordinance defines the setback as the distance required to obtain minimum front, side or rear yard open space. A yard is defined as the open spaces on the same lot with the main building unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward except as otherwise provided in the Ordinance. Mr. Watson explained whether it is a portable structure or a permanent structure, it constitutes a use, it is really not unobstructed from the ground up, and therefore a setback problem exists.


Member Canup stated he felt the property use and its location was harsh. He felt due to the interchange, the area would become a focal part of Novi. Therefore, with all of the issues with variances, setbacks and future neighbors to the east and west, he would not approve this site plan.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That in Case NO. SP 00-18 that we deny the Preliminary Site Plan as presented to this Board




Yes: Canup, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None


















Moved by Piccinini, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:36 p.m.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None








Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

September 1, 2000


Date Approved: September 20, 2000