View Agenda for this meeting


WEDNESDAY, October 4, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Nagy and Piccinini


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Canup, Churella, Mutch and Richards


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, Director of Planning and Community Development and Staff Planner Beth Brock






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




Moved by Cassis, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Nagy, Piccinini

No: None












Chairperson Capello announced there was one (1) item on the Consent Agenda.


Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of August 16, 2000. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.


Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.




Moved by Nagy, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of August 16, 2000 as submitted.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Nagy, Piccinini

No: None






This industrial building project is located in Section 23, on Trans-X Drive, southeast of Grand River and Novi Roads. The 3.61 acre is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land Use and Wetland Permit approvals.


Douglas Hyman of Hyman, Lipitt, PC represented Monica Monte Costella & Company. He stated his client was seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land Use and Wetland Permits approvals. Mr. Hayman introduced Charles Wilson, an officer of the corporation, Glenn Sheek of Tiseo Architects, William DeTazy of Schoolcraft General Contractors and Richard Kalano of Kalano & Saha Engineers. He addressed the Planning Commission and expressed the lengthy process that extended beyond a fourteen (14) month period from the original plan to develop the property. They had met with City of Novi Consultants throughout the process and changed the plans numerous instances to accommodate the comments and recommendations. Mr. Hyman felt their efforts to preserve the wetland and woodland areas demonstrated the sensitivity his clients have regarding the environmental concerns. They had been before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission, regarding adjoining properties, prior to the enactment of new ordinances. He stated they have built buildings back there. Residential areas abut the property. Mr. Hyman stated his clients have owned the property for an excess of twenty (20) years and felt the developmental situation in Novi was that residential has come to industrial. This situation has created sensitivity to issues raised by residential concerns as well as a concern to preserving the value of their property. He commented on the expense it took to continue the process for fourteen (14) months in hope to obtain approval. He stated they were making some variance requests, which were based on the recommendations of the woodland and wetland experts. He explained the berm placements were due to the advisement of the experts and their wanting to preserve the natural state of the property. He did not desire to have to abide by the hundred (100) foot setback on one (1) portion of the property, since the area abutted a railroad track and wetland exists on the other side of the railroad track. Although the property is currently zoned residential, Mr. Hyman did not feel that it would be able to be built upon due to the restrictions. He listed the restrictions of the Rouge River and the railroad track. Therefore, he requested a variance for the hundred (100) foot setback. Mr. Hyman stated the owners were present and were ready to address the issues raised in the documentation from Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., whom they felt they had the approval of until receipt of the letter not recommending approval.


Mr. Hyman felt there was unquestionable "mixed use" in the neighborhood. He stated there were businesses not being governed by the same standards, which ordinances indicate should be applied to the proposed development. He stated there were adjoining property owners who were in receipt of industrial deliveries via diesel trucks. He felt these issues needed to be addressed because it was not equitable to apply a harsher standard to their development. He questioned how many Planning Commission members visited the site. He felt the most aggravating noise was that of a freight train traveling behind the property hourly. He felt these issues needed to be taken into consideration when reviewing the proposal. He introduced Mr. Wilson to address the questions.


Mr. Wilson referred to the letter from Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., dated September 25, 2000, which summarized the requested variances and waivers. Mr. Wilson stated the variances and waivers were issues to appease the conditions site. He felt they had been sensitive to the neighboring residential properties abutting the site.

Chairperson Capello stated it seemed every one of them had sent a noise variance based on moving out of the woodland and moving the building up to the front of the site. Therefore, he agreed with Mr. Wilson.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant gave some background information on the site. Using an overhead, he explained the zoning of the site and the surrounding area. He pointed out the location of the subject’s property at the end of Trans-X Drive, the railroad track, Main Street Village (residential multiple family project) immediately to the north, Meadowbrook Glens Subdivision immediately to the east and industrial property directly to the west, such as Michigan Cat and other industrial users. He showed an aerial color photograph that was taken earlier in the year. It showed Meadowbrook Glens Subdivision to the east, Dales and Graphic Supply building and the subject’s site with the railroad. Mr. Arroyo pointed out the southern property line of the subject’s site.


Mr. Arroyo clarified some of the noted issues. He referred to the discussion regarding the fourteen (14) month review process. He felt the applicant might have been referring to the internal planning. In terms of the amount of time the project had been before the City, Mr. Arroyo explained the Preliminary Site Plan was submitted on May 31, 2000. Therefore, being just over five (5) months. A re-submittal was also dated August 22, 2000.


Mr. Arroyo clarified the were two (2) different topic areas in his review: planning and traffic. He stated he did not recall approving a plan at one (1) time and changing his approval in the review letter. He felt this might be a result of confusion on behalf of the applicant. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval from a planning perspective. However, he did recommend approval based on their Traffic Review.


Mr. Arroyo stated his letter dated September 25, 2000, indicated he did not recommend approval of the Site Plan and Special Land Use due to the needed variances for setback standards and the noise information. He stated Special Land Use requires the submittal of a noise study, demonstrating the forecast of anticipated noise to be generated by the project and its relation to City Standards. The noise study did not meet the City Noise Standards at the property line, therefore he was not recommending Special Land Use. He stated the review letter noted the necessary Planning Commission Waivers: a waiver from the required berm when adjacent to residential, to be addressed by Ms. Lemke, and a waiver from the front yard parking setback. Forty (40) feet is required in the I-1 District and fifty (50) feet in the I-2 District. Mr. Arroyo explained the property has split zoning and there was no building in the I-2 District, only parking. The planning review listed five (5) of the necessary ZBA Variances: the ordinance states that dumpsters shall be in the rear yard. The proposed plan shows dumpsters located in the front yard, the applicant stated this was due environmental reasons; a variance required for the screening area, berm, along the front yard parking area; a variance required for the building setback. Mr. Arroyo corrected the typo stating the building setback was to be hundred and twenty-three (123) feet and not one hundred (100) feet as stated correctly on page four (4) of the letter. He stated the setback was based upon five (5) feet for every one (1) foot of building height or whichever was greater. Due to the height of the building, they were beyond the one hundred (100) foot minimum required. He stated the parking setback from residential is one hundred (100) feet. He stated a small area of the parking lot encroached into the one hundred (100) foot setback. A variance for the requirement that all truck loads/loading docks doors, which faced the front street, be recessed sixty (60) feet into the building. They proposed to recess forty-two (42) feet into the building. He stated the fifth (5th) item, with noise change in the site design, would be a noise variance from the standards. Mr. Arroyo indicated residential development exists to the east and south of the property. He stated the residential property to the north did not directly abut the subject’s site. The residential property directly to the south is primarily environmental features. He felt this was an area that would not be developed in the future. Directly to the east there is an existing subdivision. He stated there were other minor details to be addressed if the applicant received approval from the Planning Commission and the ZBA.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo stated a trip generation forecast for a building of this size was reviewed. As the Trip Generation indicated in the report, there would be one hundred eight-six (186) and two hundred and thirteen (213) trips per day. He stated these numbers were dependent upon a trip forecast on employee or square footage. He stated the need for the applicant to demonstrate the appropriate cross access agreements through the adjacent private property recorded and shown on the plan appropriately. Mr. Arroyo explained there were minor land width and stripping details that needed to be addressed. He recommended approval of the Site Plan from a traffic perspective subject to those items being addressed on the Final Site Plan.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant recommended approval of the Site Plan. He indicated the site is served by water/sewer and hydrants would be constructed. He pointed out the access to the site with the driveway stubbed off at the northern point of the site. Topographically the site falls almost twenty (20) feet from the north end to the south end. A large wetland and a regional detention basin are located beyond the south side of the site, which would treat the volume of water discharged from the site. The Rouge River flows through the site. Mr. Bluhm stated the river came from the other side of the railroad tracks, crossed over to the large wetland on the south side and then crosses Ten Mile. He indicated the applicant proposed storm sewer for the site. He stated there was a temporary sedimentation and a permanent water quality based proposed for the west side, immediately to the west of the building. This would be a permanent feature and would provide permanent water quality control before releasing into the regional basin and wetland associated with the regional basin. Mr. Bluhm stated the review letter indicated the trees along the east side of the building would likely need to be removed, because they are within fifteen (15) feet of the building. This letter also indicated there was protection and buffering attempting to be achieved in this area, therefore, he felt some of the trees could be saved. He asked that the applicant review the possible created drainage problems by leaving the trees in this area. He stated despite comment No. 6, he did see some ability to save some trees in this area. He recommended a drop footing be provided for the building on the south side of the site, to create grading at a lower elevation to protect the wetlands and minimize the impacts. He stated there were other comments he would like addressed at the Final.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval for Landscaping and did not recommend approval for Woodlands. She stated she did not recommend approval for the woodlands due to the wetlands mitigation shown on the plan within the woodland area that is to be preserved. She stated according to their wetland consultant, the mitigation was not needed. Although the applicant has stated they would no longer be doing this, the plan submitted showed the wetland mitigation in the woodland area. However, Ms. Lemke would recommend approval when the plan demonstrated no mitigation in the woodlands area.


Chairperson Capello asked Ms. Lemke if it was her understanding that there would not be any wetland mitigation in the woodland area?


Ms. Lemke answered, correct. She needed to see it indicated on the plans. She commented on the applicant’s cooperation in preserving the majority of the woodlands abutting the residential to the east. She pointed out the green areas on the exhibited map as being the areas to be preserved. She stated the "slashed" areas were not designated to be preserved on the site. The area is a Pioneer Woodland, wooded wetland system for the majority of the area with approximately 2.5 acres on the site. She stated there were two (2) previously designated Historic and Specimen Trees on the site, which were being preserved. The site had been through a Woodlands Violation, in which there was a guilty plea. Ms. Lemke included in her recommendation, an inch by inch calculation of the number of trees that were removed, and recommended they be replaced as part of the permit. She felt the plan was preserving the higher quality and removing the smaller trees at the edge of the vegetation area. The Pioneer Species are primarily Elm, Poplar and Ash.


In regard to the Landscape Review, Ms. Lemke recommended approval conditioned upon the ZBA Variance and two (2) Planning Commission Waivers, and a number of items to be furnished at Final Site Plan Submittal. The ZBA Variance for the parking in the front yard. She asked the applicant to consider placing the parking in the front yard to preserve the continuous woodland areas adjacent to the residential properties to the east. This would also allow the woodlands to continue to function as a buffer. The Planning Commission Waivers for the forty (40) foot setback requirement, was met with the additional greenspace adjacent to the building along the northern property line. Therefore, they have provided additional island space. Ms. Lemke stated the second Planning Commission Waiver was relating to the berm requirements when adjacent to residential. The requirement is a ten (10) to fifteen (15) foot tall berm and plantings along the east and southern property lines. She felt it was not possible to save contiguous areas of woodlands with the placement of a berm. She recommended more plantings adjacent to the areas of woodlands being saved in addition to their supplemental plantings. She specified additional Evergreen Trees be placed further south along the southern edge of the woodlands to the western property line and east of the building and parking lot at the edge of the woodlands. She stated the trees and shrubs previously be removed in the Woodlands Violation be place at within and at the edge of the woodland area where no understory occurs. Ms. Lemke stated per her comments and the preservation of the areas as buffers she gave a positive recommendation for the two (2) Planning Commission Waivers. At Final she recommended the easterly dumpster be relocated further away from the residential area or the possible combination of the two (2) dumpsters on the site.

Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist recommended approval. She addressed items noted in the review letter dated September 12, 2000. She stated there was one (1) Wetland located at the southern edge of the property. It is a forested wetland with some small areas of standing water. Emerging vegetation, .5 acres on site and continued southward into the Rouge River System. She stated the proposed impact would permanently impact .10 acre for filling for the proposed building site. She stated the temporary impact was for construction zone around the building footprint. The storm water outfall connected into an existing storm sewer and led to the Rouge River. She agreed with Ms. Lemke’s opposing comments related to the removal of the trees and contiguous woodlands. Ms. Kay stated the mitigation was not required and may have been a misunderstanding. She anticipated the removal of this from the plan. Due to the quality of the woodlands on the property, she stated mitigation would not be required as stated in her letter. She required enhancement plantings in the existing buffer, which would be discussed with the applicant.


Chairperson Capello announced he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended. Chairperson Capello announced he also had a letter from Doug Necci of JCK stating the Façade is in compliance of the Ordinance, therefore a Section 9 Waiver was not required.


Chairperson Capello announced that although Ms. Lemke gave a report regarding the Woodlands, the Woodland Permit would not be determined at this meeting. He explained the necessity of her report to allow the Commission to understand the impact to the Woodlands prior to acting on the Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use. He stated the Woodland issues would be addressed at the meeting dated October 25, 2000. He stated the matters to be addressed were the Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land Use and Wetland Permit.


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




Linda Olsen, 42551 Park Ridge, stated she would like a better review of the plans. She currently works at an architecture office with the consultants and remains unclear of the proposed area and if it would be interfering with her property. She requested to see an overall plan or plan review.


Chairperson Capello stated the Commission would cover this area during their Discussion.

Donna Nicholson, 42543 Park Place Road, stated she has resided in the subdivision for eighteen (18) years. She did not recall there being any mention on what they proposed to build. She did not feel the residents were notified appropriately and that some residents received no notification. She was concerned about the two hundred (200) forecasted trips a day. Ms. Nicholson commented on the current noise from trash dumpster trucks arriving at the Dale Graphics Warehouse at 6:30 AM. As a subdivision resident, she stated her concern of the noise and the wildlife. She felt the wildlife would be displaced if the woodlands were removed. She felt it was a requirement for their lively hood as well as the vegetation. She suggested the DNR be involved with the uprooting of animals. She stated one (1) of the reasons she chose to reside in Novi was the country. However, now it has become mainly businesses. Ms. Nicholson commented on the apartments that were constructed on Grand River were not monitored for the tree replacement. She stated the trees were replaced with four (4) foot trees between the apartments and residential leaving large gaps. She did not feel the noise was being properly evaluated. She questioned the interest of the City, was it the businesses or the residents. She stated Dale Graphics has outdoor speakers creating noise. Therefore, she questioned if this would be part of the development. She stated she would also like to see a Site Plan and given information on the proposed project. Ms. Nicholson seemed upset the project had been occurring for fourteen (14) months and she was just recently notified. Therefore, she did not feel like she was appropriately notified.


Chairperson Capello stated the ordinance required notice be given to residence within a certain district. He stated the notification complied with the requirements of the ordinance. He stated the ordinance requires notice to be given at the Public Hearing stage.


Beth Brock, Staff Planner, stated residents within five hundred (500) feet receive notification. She also informed Ms. Nicholson that plans are available in the Planning Department and the Library for her review.


Ellen Witechowsky, 42527 Park Ridge Drive, stated she has resided in her Novi home for twenty-four (24) years. She viewed the situation as industrial moving into the residential. She was concerned the parking of the unidentified tenants. She wanted to know who the proposed tenants were. She wanted to ensure the Commission consider the opacity when approving this plan. She wanted the Commission to ensure the percentage of trees to exist be met as in the zoning ordinance. She did not feel they should have to accept more noise due to the existence of a train. She commented on the early morning noise created from the trash pick up, the loud speakers from the building and the truck traffic from the already existing building. She encouraged the Commission to consider Mr. Arroyo’s comments on why he did not recommend approval. Ms. Witechowsky referred to the Monte Costella comment regarding not understanding why they were afflicted with the new restrictions. She hoped the new restrictions in the zoning book were improved conditions and felt the applicant should abide by all of the restrictions. She stated she was concerned the consultant approved the traffic plan allowing up to two hundred (200) trips a day. She felt this was a lot of noise and felt significant sound studies should be done. She stated the residents did their own sound studies to fight previous buildings.


Tom Harmon, 42463 Park Ridge, stated his property directly abuts the proposed development. He stated Mr. Lipitt trains do not run hourly. He stated he has resided in his Novi home for twenty-six (26), predating Mr. Costella. He felt the development was too large for the site. He felt if the development was reasonable, the applicant would not be asking for all of the variances. He asked that the Planning Commission deny the Trans-X Drive site plan for several reasons. He stated the applicant has been a questionable neighbor engaging in illegal activities for a number of years. He felt the site plan raised too many unanswered questions to justify approval and the existing boundary dispute in litigation possibly impacting the setback requirements. He asked that the Planning Commission not reward illegal behavior. He stated the applicant has a record of numerous zoning and ordinance violations, felt the applicant unlawfully bulldoze a substantial portion of regulated woodlands, which he has not yet repaired as instructed by the courts. He stated Ms. Lemke possessed the applicant clearly the property in an illegal fashion. He stated his attempts to work with the applicant have failed and resulted in threats to his wife in front of his three (3) small children while trespassing on his property. Mr. Harmon felt due to the following questions, the site plan should be denied at this time: Why do the proposed sound levels exceed the Novi Code by twenty-eight percent (28%); why is there a truck well facing residential homes; why are wetlands depicted in the wrong area in the topographical map when the wetlands are actually under the southeast corner of the proposed building; why is there only a fifty (50) foot setback on the south end of the project which abuts residential; why are thirty-six (36) of the replacement trees on the west side of the building when the residents are on the east side; where are the replacement trees on the site plan that are replacing the illegally removed trees; why is there no ten (10) foot berm between the site and the residents of Meadowbrook Glens; what kind of guarantee is there that would stated the tenants business would not become a larger nuisance to the neighborhood; why are there not Hback units depicted on the site plans; why was the foundation proposed when three (3) of the seven (7) soil boring were not done under the proposed building; and the existing litigation regarding the eastern boundary line that is currently in dispute. Mr. Harmon extended his thanks in advance on his behalf and the residents to the Planning Commission for rejecting the Site Plan.


Cari Abrego, 42559 Park Ridge, stated she passed on Audience Participation.


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


Chairperson Capello stated he understood that several of the residents had not seen the plan. He stated it is available for review. He explained that a majority of the waivers and variances regarding the project are a direct attributable to the applicant attempt to keep the building out of the woodlands, and part was by the request of the City’s Consultants. He asked Mr. Hyman to state the uses of the proposed project.


Mr. Hyman stated the uses of the project were not yet determined. He said because it is a spec building there was not a defined tenant at this time.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Hyman if the spec building was for warehouse purposes?


Mr. Hyman answered, correct. Mr. Hyman expressed his emotion toward Mr. Harmon’s comments attempting to liable and slander his client. He felt it was important for the members of the Planning Commission to understand Mr. Harmon’s motivations were. He stated he would give the details of the litigation if the Planning Commission felt it was necessary.




Member Nagy stated after reviewing the site, site plan and consultant review letters she felt the Trans-X request of Special Land Use did not meet Section 2516.1C of the ordinance. She stated she was concerned regarding the compatibility of the issues with the adjacent single family zoned.




Moved by Nagy, seconded by Cassis: To deny Special Land Use to Trans-X Industrial building SP 00-32A




Member Koneda stated he studied the plan and agreed with Commissioner Nagy regarding the sound analysis. He understood the applicant’s time and efforts working with the consultants to attempt to keep most of the activity away from the residential area. He was most concerned with the truck well on the East Side of the building. He felt this might be causing the noise deficiency to the east. He suggested the possibility of moving the truck well and placing it next to the other truck well. He asked Mr. Kalano what might happen to the sound level with this possibility? He stated his main concern was the sound level on the east property line, which exceeded the daytime limit by seventeen (17) DB.


Mr. Kalano with Kalano & Saha Engineers introduced himself. He stated under his evaluation of the preliminary building plans, he had not yet considered the possibilities. He stated he looked at some preliminary noise controls due to the idling of diesel trucks in the truck well. He stated in regard to Member Koneda question, he did not have a specific decibel level project for that scenario. He stated he would have to add some noise control measures along with moving the truck well, to ensure the structure in place had sufficient sound reduction between the diesels and the property lines and concerns of reflection. Therefore, he wanted to ensure the conditions that could effect sound propagation were properly addressed.


Member Koneda stated he would support tabling allow the opportunity to address the noise. He felt the site would not remain empty, would be developed and that the applicant had done a good job attempting to meet the requirements. However, he would not pass the plan in its present form. He also addressed the dumpster located on the east side of the building. He felt it should be relocated to the west side along with the other to alleviate some of the noise. However, both would require ZBA variance being in the front of the building.


Mr. Hyman addressed Member Koneda’s suggestion regarding the dumpster. He stated they had concluded the one (1) dumpster could be eliminated. He stated in regard to the noise, they could possible place an additional screen wall along that side of the building.


Member Koneda stated in order for his approval, he would need to see something to reduce the noise level to the ordinance requirements.


Mr. Hyman stated another option of turning off the trucks upon arrival.


Member Koneda stated he was not in favor of that option because that would require an enforcement officer to ensure this. Therefore, he preferred to have a more positive abatement.


Chairperson Capello recalled Mr. Arroyo’s statements of additional screening to buffer the noise level. He stated because there was no berm, the berm was unable to block some of the sound. He stated there were other alternatives.


Mr. Arroyo felt it was a good idea to have alternatives explored to bring the site into conformance.


Chairperson Capello clarified if it was a multi-tenant spec building giving the reason for two (2) truck wells on each end of the building. He asked if one (1) truck wells could be alleviated without hurting the marketability of the building?


Mr. Hayman answered, it was possible it could be a two (2) tenant building, and that it needed two (2) truck wells.


Member Koneda thought it was intended to be a single tenant building allowing both truck wells to be located on the western side. He stated typically the commission would grant the Planning Commission Waivers for the berming between the residential to the east to preserve the woodland. He stated his support of the forty (40) foot setback requested by the landscape architect to preserve the woodlands/additional buffer to the rear. He stated the five (5) ZBA Variances. 1) In support of the ZBA Variance for the dumpster in the front yard; 2) Front yard parking. Member Koneda asked why there was no berming for the front yard parking?


Mr. Hyman answered it was because of the need for planting for replacement trees for what would be removed.


Member Koneda asked if the front yard parking berm was a result of the negotiations with the consultants for an acceptable plan?


Mr. Hyman answered, yes.


Member Koneda continued covering the ZBA Variances: 3) Front yard truck wells. He stated although he did not like to see front yard truck wells, he did agree when it is adjacent to residential to lower the noise; 4) the building setback to the south; Member Koneda felt the deficiency of the setback was to the south. He stated the setback to the east was at least one hundred and twenty-five (125) feet and to the south there was only a fifty (50) foot setback. He asked who owned the property to south zoned residential?


Mr. Arroyo believed it was part of the Meadowbrook Glens.


Member Koneda stated it was the retention basin and did not abut any residents. Member Koneda commented on the fifth (5th) ZBA Variance regarding the noise and did not feel it should be granted.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Watson if there was a motion to approve the plan, could it be approved subject to ZBA Variances and require the noise analysis standards be met either by buffer or reduction in the noise as opposed to sending it to the ZBA for a variance to ensure the noise level is met?


Mr. Watson stated if they wanted this to be accomplished, they should explore that and bring it back on October 25, 2000.


Member Koneda stated there was a motion on the floor to deny the Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED (4-1): To table action on Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land Use and Wetland Permit approval on SP 00-32A until our meeting of October 25th when the Woodland Permit Public Hearing would be held.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Piccinini

No: Nagy




Member Cassis asked if the adjacent residents would have enough information available to give their opinions regarding the project?


Beth Brock, Staff Planner stated they also met with Meadowbrook Glen Homeowner Association and made copies of the review letters available to them. She stated there were also site plans available in the Planning Department and the Novi Library for review.





    This retail building project is located in Section 3, south of Fourteen Mile Road and east of East Lake Drive. The 2.07 acre site is zoned General Business District (B-3). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.





This research and high-technology multi-tenant building project is located in Section 24, on the west side of Haggerty Road, north of Grand River Avenue. The 3.31 acre site is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Jenni Lawrence, of Land Design Studio, represented Novi Development L.L.C. She introduced the thirty-three thousand eight hundred sixty-one (33,861) square foot unit located on. They requested approval for a 3.31 acre high technology research building. The building is a multi- tenant spec building, approximately seventy-five percent (75%) office and twenty-five percent (25%) shop. Its location is in the previously approved Regency Industrial Centre, and would be the third unit development in this area. She requested a waiver for the city separation standards for driveways. The city ordinance requires that driveways on a twenty-five mile per hour (25 mph) drive, as Regency Drive, be separated by one hundred and five (105) feet. She stated the north driveway was separated by the driveway on unit six (6), which is directly north of the unit, by forty-eight (48) feet. Therefore, she requested a waiver for the separation. She introduced David Green of Signature Associates and Joanne Shelly of Land Design Studio to explain why they felt it was appropriated to keep the north driveway.


David Green of Signature Associates gave a brief background of his experience. He stated his experience over the last ten (10) years with high tech facilities along the 275 corridor, Farmington Hills, Novi and Plymouth. He stated he worked closely with the ownership to market the facility. He stated a "constant" of the prospect tenants, with a multi-tenant facility, was when the tenant is required to drive around to the back of the building. He stated this hurts the marketability. He stated it was common to lease the front portion near the entranceway. He felt when they are able to offer two (2) different entrances, they are able to give the perspective of their "own park", where it would naturally be the back portion of the facility. From a marketing standpoint, he felt the two (2) different egresses were based on the type of facility they are developing. He explained there would be up to ten (10) different companies there, and they would like to give those tenants the visibility they desire and request.


Joanne Shelly of Land Design Studio introduced herself as the architect of the proposed project. She stated the above unit was previously approved. There currently exists a cross access agreement for unit six (6) due to the single access onto the site and requires a secondary access for emergency vehicles. She stated the cross access agreement could function for unit seven (7), however, they would like to take advantage of the opportunity for a two (2) drive access. She explained the items to be considered. She wanted to discourage the use of the drive access by having those in unit six (6) and unit seven (7) circle in the parking lots. She stated the northern access would provide better access for the users in the units on the north and west side of the wings. She felt this would also provide a safer exit for trucks entering and exiting the facility not having a curved entryway. She stated it is the first building encountered for visitors when entering the site. She felt if visitors passed the building and the first entrance, they could still enter the secondary access. She felt this secondary entrance would also create a better flow of traffic around both buildings.


Jenni Lawrence stated the cross access agreement was required as a function of the Final Site Plan approval for unit six (6). She stated they wanted to prevent traffic from using that as a general point of circulation. She explained by disallowing the northern driveway it would require them to provide a cross access agreement across and out to Regency Drive or around the side of the building. This would provide a greater area to be an easement for that access rather than straight out through the drive.


Mr. Arroyo recommended approval in his letter September 15, 2000 along with minor items to be addressed at Final. In regard to traffic, the ordinance specifies a provision of a minimum number of access points for safe and reasonable access to the site. He referred to the applicant’s indications regarding the emergency connection from unit six (6). Mr. Arroyo explained when entering from Haggerty Road, there exists an entrance point in which the curvature of the road seemed to be in the line of site when approaching from the east. He felt this would improve the visibility off the southerly access point. He stated they did not meet the driveway spacing standards. He felt the site could operated in a reasonable fashion, with internal circulation, without having the northerly driveway. He stated the ingress and egress to the site to the north left little incentive to visitors to travel down to a second point. He felt it was an easy route out to the internal road system and the project to the north. Therefore, he did not foresee intermingling existing between the two (2) facilities. In regard to competition, the one (1) point of access to the piece of property and the main road system was becoming the standard as opposed to the exception. Mr. Arroyo stated the other sites reviewed with Magellan, light industrial, have the parking lots interconnected. He stated the City of Wixom was also interconnecting the rear of the parking lots and providing one (1) point of access. He felt the idea has become common and it provided the flexibility and access by emergency vehicles. He stated it did not result in an excessive number of driveways spaced too close together. Therefore, he preferred and recommended the northerly driveway not be include in the site plan.


David Bluhm stated unit seven (7) of Regency Industrial Centre was approved earlier in the year and is currently under construction. He stated the utilities are being installed. Regency Drive is proposed to be a public road with access to Haggerty Road to the east. He stated the unit would be fully served by public utilities when installed. The storm sewer is discharged to a storm sewer in Regency Drive, to the north and east and then to a temporary detention basin provided by the applicant. The applicant has provided water quality control and temporary sedimentation. As the ordinance requires, Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant would need to have a sedimentation vault constructed on site. He stated there was a permanent City of Novi pumping facility for sanitary sewer at the rear of the project, serving the entire Regency Development Industrial Park. The applicant has been asked to provide an easement to allow Department of Public Works crews to service and maintain the facility. He stated he would be looking for the applicant to provide this prior to the Final Site Plan approval. He stated the temporary detention basin, located north and east, was intended to be replaced with a Regional Basin currently under negotiations with the City and the developer of Regency Industrial Park. He stated these negotiations were in their final stages. Mr. Bluhm informed the applicant that if this Detention Basin should occur prior to the Final Site Plan approval; there would then exist an issue of a storm water tap fee if they fully intend to use the Regional Detention Basin. Mr. Bluhm stated aside from the other comments to be addressed at the Final, he did recommend approval.


Ms. Lemke recommended approval at this stage of conceptual review. She stated the overall park was in for a Woodlands Permit and is planting thirty-six (36) replacement trees on the site.


Chairperson Capello announced he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.




Member Piccinini asked Mr. Arroyo if there was discussion of a center drive in between to meet the spacing standard.


Mr. Arroyo stated he did not recall discussing that option. He stated it would make it difficult for the truck access to occur due to the immediate turn. He felt with the turning radius of the trucks, it would not be practical unless the building was moved back further from the front property line.


Jenni Lawarence stated due to the truck turning radius it would need to "come on" more centered on the driveway.


Member Nagy stated according to the letter, the last traffic review was done December 1998. That review determined the site to have twenty thousand four hundred (20,400) vehicles per day. She felt even with the M-5 extension, it seemed as though this Haggerty area was becoming more dense with business and industrial. She asked if there were any more current traffic studies?


Mr. Arroyo stated there were no new traffic counts that he was aware of. He stated when counts were done north of the site, there was a significant drop in volume with the extension of M-5 north to 14 Mile. There was a reduction of volume especially between 12 Mile and 14 Mile. He stated there was nothing near the proposed site that was more recent than his report.


Member Nagy asked how the traffic of these trucks would impact the entire area. She stated Haggerty was a difficult area to travel especially during the late afternoon hours?


Mr. Arroyo stated a lot of attention was given to that issue when the original plan was submitted for the site. He felt it was a difficult site to establish access to Haggerty Road. He stated a lot of work was done with the Acura Dealer across the street to set up for signalization. He felt the signalization of the access point and providing for gaps for traffic to turn in and out were the main issues to allowing the access. Mr. Arroyo stated there were several changes and negotiations with the surrounding businesses to establish this plan.


Member Nagy stated her concern of traffic was not only due to the proposed project, but was the entire area. She did not foresee the Oakland County Road Commission widening Haggerty.


Mr. Arroyo stated they would have to widen the bridge, and ultimately he did not foresee it in the near future.


Member Nagy asked Mr. Arroyo to restated his exact recommendation.


Mr. Arroyo stated his recommendation was for the site to have the boulevard access on Regency and the emergency connection open to the unit six (6).


Member Nagy asked Mr. Bluhm if the Regional Detention Basin was only a proposal?


Mr. Bluhm stated it has been designed and the construction was in negotiations.


Member asked Mr. Bluhm to clarify who "we" is.


Mr. Bluhm answered the City of Novi was negotiating with the developer of Industrial Park.


Member Nagy stated the area was crucial with the run off in the area as well. She asked him to clarify what developer the City of Novi was negotiating with?


Mr. Bluhm answered it is the developer of the entire Industrial Park.

Member Koneda asked Mr. Arroyo how many units/lots were going to go in when they approved the site condominium for the industrial development?


Jenni Lawrence answered a total of seven (7) lots, Lot 2 is subdivided to include seven (7) building pads. She explained they were not actually subdivided lots, but included multiple building pads. She said this was because it could not be subdivided due to its location in a flood plane.


Member Koneda recalled one (1) of the sites was to be under single ownership and multi-buildings. He stated a lot of time is spent on the site plan process and driveway spacing potentials. Although the site was located in light industrial with low traffic, he did not want to set a precedence of allowing two (2) driveways violating the driveway spacing.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Cassis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval conditional upon eliminating the driveway




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Nagy, Piccinini

No: None



Member Cassis asked Mr. Arroyo why it was only to be an emergency type of access?

Mr. Arroyo stated it would be a full open access. It would primarily be used for emergency vehicles, but could also be used by others.





    Tabled until next meeting when all members of Planning Commission could participate.



    Tabled until next meeting when all members of Planning Commission could participate.



Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo


Tabled until next meeting when all members of Planning Commission could participate.




Moved by Cassis, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To table items under Matters for Discussion until all commissioners are present.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Nagy, Piccinini

No: None










Member Koneda stated a previous review of the site plan for Churchill Crossing required a ZBA variance for front yard setback. He recalled it bringing back the streetscapes they were looking at. He asked if it could be sent to a committee to review the options to reduce front yard setbacks in those situations similar to Churchill Crossings.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Arroyo if this was scheduled to be discussed at the October 25, 2000 Implementation?


Mr. Arroyo answered the Implementation Committee was taking up the entire idea of residential option and a number of related issues. He felt they could also discuss this item at that time.


Member Nagy asked if Chairperson Capello assigns the committees?


Chairperson Capello answered they vote on it as a group. He asked Ms. Brock if there were openings on the committees?


Ms. Brock answered yes.


Chairperson Capello asked if she could bring a list of what committee positions are open?


Dennis Watson stated this is usually done after a reappointment of a Planning Commissioner. He stated the whole process has been delayed. He explained there is usually an election of officers and then go through the committee appointments.


Chairperson Capello stated Member Nagy could contact Ms. Brock and find out what committee openings are available and find the committees that she is interested in.






Moved by Nagy, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:00 p.m.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Nagy, Piccinini

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine K. Otsuji

November 13, 2000


Date Approved: December 6, 2000