View Agenda for this meeting


WEDNESDAY, October 25, 2000 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini and Richards




ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber, City Attorney Tom Shultz, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, Director of Planning and Community Development/Staff Planner Beth Brock, Façade Consultant Doug Necci






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




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




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, and Richards

No: None












Chairperson Capello announced there were two (2) items on the Consent Agenda.


Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of September 6, 2000 and September 20, 2000. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.


Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of September 6, 2000 and September 20, 2000 as submitted.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, and Richards

No: None






This multiple family project is located in Section 16, on the east side of Beck Road and north of Eleven Mile Road. The 45 acre site is zoned Low-Density, Low-Rise Multiple-Family Residential District (RM-1) and High- Density, Mid-Rise Multiple-Family Residential District. The applicant is seeking Wetland Permit and Section 9 Façade Waiver.


Blair Bowman represented L.L.C. He introduced Timber Meadows, a two hundred fifty-four (254) unit luxury townhouse apartment project located south of Grand River Avenue on the east side of Beck Road. He requested a Wetland Permit and a Section 9 Facade Waiver. He stated they have worked closely with the consultants regarding the wetland issue. He felt they had made great attempts to stay out completely out of the environmentally sensitive areas. However during the Final Site planning process, he stated there were some areas that they could not avoid. He felt they were minor in nature and they were willing to work out the screening and buffering issues with the consultants. Mr. Bowman addressed the façade issue. He stated when scheduling for Final, a large amount of the material on the plan and façade was identified as not being under ordinance when. He stated they had modified it to wood material and all of the plans were revised and resubmitted. He stated with the new Region 1/Region 2, there exists a five hundred (500) requirement. He felt this was the first case in which a residential project was severed by a five-hundred (500) foot line. He stated of the forty-three (43) buildings, only seven (7) were effected. The two (2) main buildings visible from Beck Road, (the clubhouse and gatehouse), the elevations had been modified to meet the Region 1 standards. The remaining five (5) buildings are located in the body of the residential development. He stated a portion of the buildings were literally severed by the five-hundred (500) foot line. Mr. Bowman requested that with the façade modifications made and the submitted plans, that they be allowed to development the buildings consistently. He explained the main frontage buildings complied with Region 1 and was asking for the Façade Waiver to allow a balance of the buildings.


Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist recommended approval. She stated Timber Meadows had previously been before the Planning Commission for an Administrative Permit. She stated it was thought at that time they could avoid the wetland disturbance. However, she felt it was unavoidable as was found under additional review. Ms. Kay recommended approval of the proposed wetland fill and wood chip trail.


Chairperson Capello clarified if with Mr. Necci if the plans in his review letter dated October 18, 2000, were the same as the plans that were submitted?


Doug Necci of JCK stated revised plans were submitted that afternoon. He stated a complete review has not been done at this time. However, he felt the plan looked favorable. He stated the recommendations of the last review letter had been addressed. He explained the review process was complicated, as each building would need to be reviewed individually. There are residential buildings, clubhouse and gatehouse.


Chairperson Capello asked if they were only reviewing the seven (7) building within Region 1 and if the buildings located in Region 2 complied?

Mr. Necci answered yes. He stated they have only been able to do a cursory review and had not been able to measure the percentages. He stated although they appear to comply, he was unable to give a final determination.


Chairperson Capello asked the applicant what they would like to do regarding the façade review due to the fact the most recent plans have not been reviewed?


Mr. Bowman stated due to his schedule, another representative would need to attend the meeting. He asked the Commission if it was permissible to work with the consultants administratively and pursue, on the basis, a waiver with the residential building compliance with Region 2 and the frontage building in compliance with Region 1?


Chairperson Capello clarified if they would be complying with the Façade ordinance with the gatehouse and the clubhouse? He asked if that would be all of the buildings in Region 2 would then comply with the façade ordinance?


Mr. Bowman answered it would be with the exception of the residential shingle.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Necci if a Façade Waiver would be needed for this area of asphalt roof?


Mr. Necci stated the issue of overage of asphalt shingles was a recommendation made in the last review and would need a waiver. He stated it appeared that the Clubhouse and Gatehouse was in full compliance with Region 1.


Chairperson Capello asked if that compliance would also include the levels of the asphalt roofs?


Mr. Necci stated the asphalt shingles on both the Clubhouse and Gatehouse would still require a waiver.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Bowman what if he would like to be scheduled on the agenda for next week?


Member Koneda asked if a Section Nine Facade Waiver was already granted for the shingles and therefore, would not need to be redone? He felt if the remainder of the plan was in compliance and not in need of a Section Nine Facade Waiver for the Final and if they only needed a woodlands, they would not need to return.


Mr. Bowman addressed the fact that the five-hundred (500) foot line captured two (2) of the interior development building and goes through a portion of three (3).


Chairperson Capello recalled a Section Nine Facade Waiver being granted for a different building.


Mr. Necci stated it was a completely different design.


Chairperson Capello suggested that Mr. Bowman return with a Façade Waiver. He asked Mr. Bowman if he wanted to continue or if he would like to return?


Mr. Bowman stated he would return as suggested by the Commission.


Chairperson Capello clarified with Mr. Bowman to adjourn the Façade Waiver request to the November 1, 2000 Planning Commission meeting under Matters for Discussion.





Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Façade issue to next Wednesday.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, and Richards

No: None


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


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




Member Nagy stated that with less than .25 acre there is enhancing. However, she did not see any enhancing and wanted to know if this would be done?


Ms. Kay answered yes. She stated Item one (1) on page three (3) of the review letter dated October 16, 2000 addresses this. She stated plantings were required.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant the Wetland Permit subject to consultant’s conditions and recommendations on Timber Meadows SP 99-15




Chairperson Capello requested that the applicant bring the Site Plan and the Façade Material Board for the next meeting.


VOTE ON PM-00-10-143


Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, and Richards

No: None




This industrial spec building project is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue between Haggerty and Seeley Roads. The 2.97 acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit approvals.


Ray Galper of Ericar Company, developer of Novi Technology Center, requested Preliminary Site Plan Approval for Phase V.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant gave a brief perspective of the site and its location. He pointed out Grand River Avenue on a photograph and explained at the time the photograph was taken there were three (3) buildings in place for this use. He pointed out Seeley and the property directly north of a former project. He stated there was a piece to be split off and become the location for the building No. 5. The site abuts a mobile home park directly to the north making it an industrial use adjacent to residential use. He stated the action was to include Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Special Land Use Approval. Mr. Arroyo stated in his September 8, 2000 letter, the issue of ownership to the property was raised. He explained the first building was approved as a site plan and subsequently there have been additional buildings added. He noted the condominium approval associated with the previous portions of the site. He stated whenever there is a development broken under individual ownership through a site condo, there are particular site condo regulations in the ordinances: you shall have access to a public road from each unit; you shall have access to a private road meeting public road standards within an appropriate easement. Mr. Arroyo stated in this instance, the property was being brought into the condominium and therefore, there was no public access or a private road meeting public road access. Due to this, he stated there might be a need for a variance from ZBA. He stated if this particular ordinance applied, a variance would be necessary to address that.


Mr. Arroyo addressed another significant issue under Special Land Use. The tenants needed to come before the Planning Commission for Special Land Use Approval with any speculative industrial building. They would need to demonstrate that they meet the Special Land Use Standards. He commented this would be dependent upon the lot split and combination. Mr. Arroyo stated additional minor comments could be addressed at Final. He did not recommend approval. However, he could recommend approval upon these issues being resolved and the ZBA Variance granted.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo referred to the comments in his review letter dated September 12, 2000. He addressed the issue that the site did not have two (2) points of access. He stated the ordinance was amended approximately six (6) months ago, requiring all projects have two (2) points of access. He explained in order for the Commission to grant the waiver, the applicant would need to demonstrate that they have pursued all feasible means to obtain a second point of access from adjacent property owners. He stated this would be necessary in the form of a waiver for the project to be approved from a traffic perspective.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo which parcel the project was a part of?


Mr. Arroyo designated the parent parcel on the map.


Victoria Weber Engineering Consultant recommended approval. She stated there were additional minor item that could be addressed at the Final Site Plan.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval on a conceptual level. She stated they were providing the berm height. She stated it varied from 1.25’ to 1.35’ in height. She had a number of conditions and items to be provided at Final. She indicated the end slopes on the berm needed to be increased to 3:1 slope to provide maximum height. A number of species would be looked at and the protection of the existing trees along the edge of the mobile home park. She stated the plan indicated the trees being saved, but did not show protective fencing.


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. He announced he has also received a letter from Doug Necci of JCK dated September 6, 2000 stating "We have reviewed the drawings dated March 13, 2000 for the above project. The drawings are consistent with the drawings for which a positive recommendation was made in our letter dated April 10, 2000". He stated the Façade Ordinance was not required.


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


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




Ms. Brock asked Mr. Schultz regarding public hearing notices. She asked who would need to be notified by law, the owner or the property, each individual mobile home unit?


Mr. Schultz answered the owner of the mobile home park.


Member Mutch asked Ms. Weber regarding the storm water discharge. He stated her letter indicated the southerly portion of the property would flow into an existing storm sewer. He asked if this was considered unrestricted discharge and there were associated fees?


Ms. Weber stated the discharge would not be unrestricted and they would be detaining the southern one-third (1/3) of the site within the parking areas. She stated there is down stream and storm sewer restrictors present in the associated phases.


Member Mutch stated the property owner to the south, downstream, had done the improvements and asked Ms. Weber how they would be compensated for the improvements? Would there be charges?


Ms. Weber asked the applicant if the entire property was under his ownership?


Mr. Galper answered, yes. He stated he stubbed in for storm sewer along the southerly portion. Therefore, it would be his expense.


Member Mutch asked where the northerly discharge into the wetlands were continuing?


Ms. Weber answered it would eventually discharge. She stated she would need to verify the ultimate outlet. The storm water that discharges to the wetlands is restricted.


Member Mutch asked if the impact on the wetlands was determined to not lead to an increase in water?


Ms. Weber answered correct.


Member Mutch was concerned with the number of adjacent residents that could be affected. Therefore, felt more than the mobile home owner should be notified.


Mr. Arroyo stated the department was contacted by one (1) or more adjacent residents stating they did not received notice from the owner. Therefore, the department would be requesting the Planning Commission consider postponing action for the next meeting to allow adequate time to notify the residents within the park as a courtesy. He stated there were some questions related to the ownership issue, possibly requiring additional research.




Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn Novi Technology Center No. V SP 00-18A to the next meeting November 15, 2000.




Member Koneda clarified if the site currently had four (4) buildings? He asked if it might have come through as a site condo?


Mr. Arroyo stated he did not have record of it coming in as a site condo. He stated it might have. Although to his understanding it is individual site plans.


Member Koneda questioned if the developer purchased a piece of property that was adjoined to another owner, would they have to resubmit the site condo to include the piece of property and make it all under common ownership? He stated he was concerned with the frontage. The property has frontage to the road providing it is attached to the other piece of land. However, if it was split off, it would become a land lock piece of property. Therefore, what would it be attached to?


Mr. Schultz stated these issues would need to research and resolve at the next meeting.


Mr. Galper responded to Member Koneda’s question. He stated the land was not land locked because he owns the piece of property to Seeley.


Chairperson Capello stated if this was part of the original application for condo approval and contiguous land and expandable, it would not have to come before the commission. However, he stated if the applicant wanted to add onto the condo, they would need the commission to grant approval for condo and site plan. He explained this would be to ensure the access through common entranceways and easements.


Member Koneda stated the real issue was where the access point for the property would be? Would it be from Seeley Road or Grand River Avenue?


Mr. Galper answered Grand River Avenue. He stated they were only expanding the condo development.


Chairperson Capello stated that was the concern and the city attorney would be checking this.


Mr. Schultz stated he spoke with Mr. Galper’s council and was in receipt of information.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini and Richards

No: None




This subdivision project is located in Section 3, southeast of West Road and south of Pontiac Trail. The 18.73 acre site is zoned Single-Family Residential (R-4). The applicant is seeking Woodland Permit approval and Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit recommendations to the City Council.




Member Churella stated he had six (6) letter stating they were opposing the project. He stated all the letters expressed the same concerns: it does not aesthetically fit; it poses problems to traffic on the lake; it poses problems to street improvements; and hindrance to wildlife. The letters were received from Larry Pierce Jr., Joseph Witch, Glenn and Lisa Cregger, Lee Willard and Carol Stool.


Rick Hers of Warner, Cantrell & Padmos, Inc., engineer of the proposed project introduced himself as representing Mirage development. He requested Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval and required permits.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recommended approval. He stated there were two (2) waivers. There was a waiver needed the required five (5) foot sidewalk on the north side of North Haven Woods Drive. He explained there was a short connection continuation of Faywood Drive. The applicant was seeking to maintain the forty (40) foot right-of-way width rather than placing the required sixty (60) foot right-of-way. He stated this would also require a Design and Construction Waiver from the City Council. Therefore, he recommended approval subject to the waivers from the City Council.


In regard to traffic, there was a Planning Commission Waiver required for driveway spacing. The proposed Ludlow Drive is one hundred seventy-eight (178) feet from the existing opposite right drive and two hundred (200) feet is required. North Haven Woods is ninety-five (95) feet from an existing opposite left drive and one hundred and fifty (150) is required. Mr. Arroyo stated Ludlow is an existing street and the off-set would be improved. He stated currently there was a sixty (60) foot separation. Mr. Arroyo recommended the Commission include this in their motion. He stated additional items such as subdivision engineering drawings showing center left turn lane and appropriate deceleration lane could be handled later in the approval process. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval.


Ms. Weber Engineering Consultant recommended approval of the Tentative Preliminary Plat in the letter dated October 13, 2000. She stated there was a forty-eight (48) foot storm sewer the site would be discharging unrestricted storm water into. She stated that storm water discharges into Walled Lake, a regional detention basin. Therefore the applicant will need to verify that that storm water could accept ten (10) year unrestricted flows at the time of subdivision construction drawing submittal. She stated the applicant would also need to verify that adequate conveyance of 100-year storm flows to Walled Lake. She stated there were also requirements for easements and variances. An off-site easement would need to be obtained for the sedimentation basin and the storm sewer leading to that. The basin is located to the south of the site. She stated this would be required prior to subdivision construction drawing approval. A private maintenance agreement for the sedimentation basin. (A maintenance agreement between he development and the development to the south.) She stated there were three (3) variances. A City Council Variance would be required for the Platting of wetland on lots. A Design and Construction Standards Waiver is required for the proposed Faywood Drive 40’ right-of-way instead of the 60’ right-of-way. A Design and Construction Standards Variance is required for the non placement of the sidewalk on the north side of Haven Woods Drive.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval in her letter dated October 16, 2000. She required an additional number of items to be changed on the Final in regard to additional species and diversity of plant materials. She stated the site requires a Woodland Permit. There are approximately nine (9) acres of regulated woodland on the site, almost the entire site. The woodland are located throughout the site and continue off-site to the south into a similar type of vegetation. This being primarily Pioneer Species, which include Elm, Poplar, Hickory with a variety of open and closed understory. She stated there were two (2) areas on the site with a higher quality. She stated the overall quality on the site, because of the type of species and the size of the plant material (8" dbh and smaller), was overall a poorer quality. However, the two (2) higher quality areas were located in Lot 44 with a consistent stand of Black Locust, and behind Lots 19 through 27 there is also a wetland system. She stated the previous submittal had mitigation areas in the woodland areas (behind Lots 19 and 27 with the exception of Lot 20) they were preserving. She stated those were moved out. Ms. Lemke stated she was looking for additional areas of woodland that could be saved. Specifically the area along the eastern edges of the same area and around Lot 45. She felt additional smaller areas could be saved. She recommended approval along with a number of items to be furnished at the Final, due to the lower quality of the vegetation on the site and the efforts to save the two (2) areas of critical quality of the site (Lot 45 and along the eastern property line). She stated there were four (4) conditions she would be looking at, including one (1) recommendation to place the remaining woodlands in a preservation easement.


Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist recommended approval of the Wetland Permit in the review letter dated October 16, 2000. She stated it was a non-minor use category. Ms. Kay listed the basic primary proposed impacts. The applicant proposed to fill all of Wetland #3, .13 acres for the construction of Lagoon Drive. Also proposed to fill Wetland #4, .26 acres, which is non-essential and will not factor into the mitigation. The applicant proposed to fill one hundred (100) square feet of Wetland #1 for the construction of a sidewalk along North Haven Woods. She stated the last impact was the construction of the mitigation site. She stated that although it was unusual, a variance was recommended at this point. She commented that under normal circumstances platting would not be allowed under the ordinance. However, it was the best scenario under the present submittal. She recommended it be granted provided it demonstrates that a typical house complete with lawn area and deck could be constructed on the lot without impacting the wetland.


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




Sarah J. Gray, 133 Maudlin, stated she reviewed some of the preliminary information on the project. She did not feel it was a bad thing overall it. She felt it was refreshing to see residential being placed next to residential. She stated the density was lower than what was permitted. She was encouraged to see the efforts to mitigate the wetlands. She referred to the JCK letter dated October 13, 2000 dealing with the on-site storm sewer system to collect storm water run off and discharge unrestricted into an off-site sedimentation water quality basin prior to discharging into Walled Lake. She questioned where this was located? She stated to the south was a vacant piece of property that she would follow up on for developments. She read a portion of item No. 1 " In addition, conveyance of 100-year overland flow routing would need to be shown to Walled Lake". She felt when referring to overflow to the lake, they were speaking of the existing homes, yards, landscaping and street that have been there since the early 1900’s. Therefore, she informed the commission that she would be observing how and where the 100-year overland flow routing would take place. She believed there was an ordinance stating "you can not flood out your neighbors". She stated she spoke to a gentleman from water quality and felt they should not forget that the first function of Walled Lake is that it is a "lake". She stated there are Federal Laws for quality. She requested the commission’s strict oversight on the issue as the remaining properties around the lake are developed. She did not recall any provisions mentioned for the sidewalk/safety path on the east side of West Park Boulevard between Ludlow and North Haven, and assumed it was part of the site plan.


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




Member Mutch disagreed with the consultants. He stated in review of the surrounding area and existing subdivisions, the plan may not look bad. However, he felt they should demonstrate a more creative in the subdivision development and preservation of the existing natural resources. He felt the proposed plan demonstrated the taking of the last inches of land that could be developed and then more. He did not feel sensitivity was given to the natural features in the area. He disagreed with the filling of wetlands to create buildable lots, which is not permitted under the ordinance. The removal of four hundred eighty-two (482) trees. Although they are not the highest quality of trees, he felt the quality was better than the surrounding area. Therefore, he would not approve a Preliminary Plat, a Wetland Permit or a Woodland Permit without the exploration of alternative options. He suggested the possibility of it qualifying for a cluster option or a subdivision open space option. He found it unacceptable to have new subdivision development without provision of some open space being more than the "left over bog"
in the corner of the property. He would support tabling to give the opportunity to explore alternative options.


Member Churella stated his complete agreement with Member Mutch.




Moved by Nagy, seconded by Cassis, CARRIED (5-3): To deny Woodland Permit approval for North Haven Subdivisions SP 00-43




Member Koneda referred to the high quality woodlands to be preserved, Lot 44 and behind Lots 19-27. He asked Ms. Lemke if she felt there were additional woodlands worthy of saving?


Ms. Lemke stated she would rather see replacement trees for what is there. She felt the quality of trees was low. She preferred to have replacement trees based on what is currently on the site. She agreed they could be put in an open area.


Member Koneda agreed with the idea of having open space and reforestation on site. He thought Lot 35 and Lot 36 could be done and also provides greenspace in the lot as well as Lot 44. He stated there was nine (9) acres of woodlands. He asked Ms. Lemke how much of these nine (9) acres were being preserved?


Ms. Lemke stated approximately two (2) acres.


Member Koneda clarified that Ms. Lemke felt the highest quality of woodland was being preserved and the remainder was not worthy of keeping.


Chairperson Capello explained to the applicant the options. He stated if the Woodland Permit was to be denied, then they would receive a negative recommendation on the Preliminary Plat Approval and Wetland Permit approval. However, they could still go to the City Council with the negative recommendation and appeal the Woodland Permit. He gave the other option of tabling and work with the Planning Commission.


Mr. Galper stated they have worked with the city in the past. He was pleased with the plans that had been revised in attempt to receive a positive recommendation. He expressed his desire to receive the positive recommendation, however he did not want to be tabled. He stated they have larger lots and did not intend to maximize the density. He stated there were existing streets to deal with that go through the project quartering it and due to the lay of the land, he agreed it resembled the older style of developments. He felt give the area and the conditions, he felt this would have been a suitable plan.




Yes: Cassis, Churella, Mutch, Nagy, and Richards

No: Capello, Koneda, and Piccinini




Member Mutch stated his willingness to give the applicant the opportunity to revise their plans. He did vote to deny the Woodland Permit. However, since the applicant has chosen to go before City Council he would make a negative recommendation.








Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Nagy, CARRIED (5-3): To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit Approval on North Haven Subdivision SP 00-43.




Member Koneda asked regarding the wetlands. He stated there were four (4) wetland areas and the two (2) wetlands proposed to be filled were Wetland #3 and Wetland #4. He asked Ms. Kay if the Wetland #4 was non-essential and if it was the area the applicant proposed to build lots on?


Ms. Kay answered correct. She stated when the verification was done; it was verified the wetland boundaries were in agreement that this was a poor area of vegetation of woodland and wetland. She stated it did have some wetland vegetation and the percent to call it a wetland, however, it was not functioning.


Member Koneda asked if the variance was to permit home building? He asked Ms. Kay to clarify which lot she was concerned with.


Ms. Kay stated it was Lot #3. She felt they were relatively large lots and they could build around the wetland.


Member Koneda clarified that there were not any issues to address with Lot 35 and Lot 36 because they are non-essential wetland?


Ms. Kay answered correct.


Member Koneda clarified that the concern was with Lot 21 due to the setback requirement. He asked if setbacks on residential lots were not permitted on a residential lots? He asked Ms. Kay what the amount of impact, including the buffer, would be on the residential lot of that setback?


Ms. Kay stated it was marginal. She stated based on the size of the lot, they should be able to work around it.


Member Koneda asked if there would need to be conditions imposed upon the lot owner who purchased the land that would not allow them to encroach into the buffer zone?


Ms. Kay felt this could be recorded at the time of the conservation easement. She stated additional actions could be signage.


Member Koneda asked if the boundaries of Lot 21 were redefined, so that the rear of the property did not encroach into the wetland, would it still be a buildable lot meeting ordinance requirements? He stated the depth of the lot appeared to be one hundred and twenty-two (122) feet and ninety-one and one half (91.5) feet wide. He asked if they were to shorten up the back property line, redefining the property lines, would it encroach upon the wetlands?


Mr. Arroyo asked what the depth would be?


Member Koneda stated approximately one hundred (100) feet.


Mr. Arroyo stated it would have to be ten thousand (10,000).


Member Koneda clarified it did not meet the minimum lot requirement. He asked regarding the engineering on the water main. He asked regarding the proposed water main, if it would need to be constructed before the subdivision was constructed?


Ms. Weber answered yes.


Member Koneda asked if the other developments did not occur in time, then the development would need to be put on hold or the developer would be responsible to install the water main?


Ms. Weber answered, correct.


Member Koneda asked if it would have to be serviced by city water?


Ms. Weber answered correct.


Member Koneda asked if the storm water detention was off-site to the south behind Lot No. 15?


Ms. Weber clarified there was no storm water detention for this development. She stated there was a sedimentation water quality basin located at the southeast. She explained that storm water would be routed unrestricted. She stated there was an existing forty-eight (48) inch storm sewer that traveled approximately 1/8 of a mile that discharged into Walled Lake.


Member Koneda stated it appeared there was a new development going into the south. He asked if the parcel was under different ownership?


Ms. Weber answered yes.


Member Koneda asked if the property owners to the south would need to have the two (2) requested easements in place before they could begin construction?


Ms. Weber answered yes.


Member Koneda asked if the Street Naming Committee would have to approve the names before Council could act?


Member Koneda asked if the city would need to vacate the existing Ludlow road to allow the new development to be constructed?


Ms. Weber stated yes.


Member Koneda asked how this would take place. He asked how they would vacate the road and still provide access to the existing homes?


Mr. Schultz explained that approvals would be given and make the vacation subject to other events occurring.


Member Koneda asked if they would be denying access to the existing homeowners?


Mr. Schultz stated the property would not be vacated until the new road was constructed.


Chairperson Capello asked Ms. Kay regarding Wetland #1, identified as essential in the review letter. The letter stated there was standing water, American Elms, Silver Maple, Green Ash and White Oak. Mr. Capello asked what else would make this wetland essential?


Ms. Kay pointed to an area in the corner of the property. She stated the description in the review letter was brief per the request of the Commission. She had more thorough documentation available in the file for their review. She stated Wetland #1 was of a higher quality as well as woodland. She stated the stand of trees is mature. There is not a lot of understory due to the canopy being high in the forest. There is a significant amount of standing water. She stated their concern that if the wetland were displaced and filled, the water would reroute somewhere. Although engineering techniques could address this there is tension in the water. She explained the vegetation diversity and wildlife would need it for putt absorption.


Member Cassis felt the development was a reputable builder. He thought some type of plan could be reached between the developer and Ms. Lemke.


Ms. Lemke stated her focus was on preserving the higher quality woodland. She stated the majority of the site is Elm and Cottonwood. She stated the trees do not have a long life span, were prone to disease/insect infestation and did not contribute very much to habitat or canopy. There is a seed area, Pioneer Area, to establish another woodland. However, in terms of a woodland, Ms. Lemke felt it was an over growth of a light area with the majority being 8"-10" dbh.


Member Cassis asked what Ms. Lemke felt the solution would be?


Ms. Lemke felt the solution would be replacement. She stated they are replacing a number of the trees. She encouraged the replacement trees be for the more open space areas for the subdivision if the design allowed this.




Yes: Cassis, Churella, Mutch, Nagy, Richards

No: Capello, Koneda, Piccinini




This industrial building project is located in Section 23, on Trans-X Drive southeast of Grand River and Novi Roads. The 3.61 acre site is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking Woodland Permit approval.


Chairperson Capello announced the Public Hearing was to address the Woodlands issue and the remaining issues from the last Public Hearing will be heard under Matters for Discussion.




Member Churella stated he had three (3) letters objecting and reiterating the same issues. The letters stated complaints regarding the loss of trees near the resident’s homes, the increased noise, lights, pollution, and traffic. The letters also claimed the construction workers played "boom boxes" loudly. Member Churella felt this last issue of loud music could be handled easily.


Douglas Hyman agreed that the loud music situation could be handled easily. He stated that although he did not know how the residents would know that "boom boxes" were being used, they would accommodate the issue.


Douglas Hyman introduced himself representing the petitioner, Monte Costella & Company, who was seeking Wetlands Permit approval. He stated he had questions regarding Ms. Lemke prepared report. Mr. Hyman introduced Monte Costella’s Wetland Expert, Aaron Cleckner, who also had some questions for Ms. Lemke. Mr. Hyman referred to Ms. Lemke’s letter, in which she noted a Wetlands Violation by Costella, which was handled by Judge Brian McKenzie at the District Court in Novi. Mr. Hyman stated that Mr. Costella had gone out onto the property and one (1) protected tree was damaged during the process. He was requesting an explanation from Ms. Lemke regarding her recommendation because Judge McKenzie disposed of this matter. Mr. Hyman stated in July 2000 the violation was removed from the record. He questioned the replacement due to the understory destroyed in result of that. He named forty-four (44) two and one-half (21/2") inch caliber trees and seven hundred (700) shrubs. He calculated this to be a twenty-one thousand dollar ($21,000) fine. He stated that Judge McKenzie ordered Costella to restore what was there. Mr. Hyman felt that seven hundred (700) shrubs was a fourteen thousand dollar ($14,000) penalty. He stated they have already been assessed and they paid the penalty from the District Court. Therefore, although he did not object to the recommendation he requested an explanation from Ms. Lemke. He introduced Mr. Cleckner to discuss the submitted plan, which he believed was the requirement of the District Court.


Aaron Cleckner, of Cleckner Associates, introduced himself as the landscape architect representing Monte Costella & Co. He gave an overlay of what had occurred and what they planned to do with the project. He stated the intent was to impress upon the Commission the relatively dense planting due to the trees proposed to be removed on the site. He clarified the discussion being about woodlands as opposed to wetlands. He stated there were one hundred and nine (109) existing regulated trees on the site. He proposed to remove forty-four (44) of the trees, and stated this was slightly over forty percent (40%) of the trees. Mr. Cleckner proposed to replace the forty-four (44) trees with sixty (60) trees, hence meeting the ordinance requirements. He proposed most of those trees would be planted along the north and the east property areas. He stated they were proposing a substantial amount of Evergreen plantings. Referring to drawings, he pointed out the proposed building and stated the regulated woodland encompassed "this" area. He designated the area in which several trees would be removed. He showed the Commission the area of woodlands that would be left untouched. He proposed to densely plant the two (2) areas he felt were relatively open. Mr. Cleckner stated they would plant a lot of Evergreen material to provide year round screening. He stated the remainder of plantings would be used for parking lot requirements and buffer/greenbelt plantings.


Chairperson Capello suggested that Ms. Lemke elaborate on the District Court action due the difference in Mr. Hyman’s comments and her letter of recommendation.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect designated the woodland line, as shown on the drawing, represented approximately sixty-five percent (65%) of the site. She stated the applicant was proposing to preserve two point five (2.5) acres of regulated woodlands. There are two (2) previously designated Historic Specimen Trees on the site that are being preserved. She stated the applicant had explored several options with her during the long process. She felt this was the best proposal to date. Ms. Lemke stated the woodland area was disturbed, a woodland violation. Although this is not a high quality woodland, it is an established woodland containing Ash, Willow, Elm, Hickory, Basswood and Poplar. She explained the City has a Woodland Ordinance as opposed to a Tree Ordinance. Therefore, when referring to percentage of trees saved, it is more a percentage of acreage verses individual trees.


Mr. Lemke stated a Woodland Violation was issued on July 16, 1999 for removal of understudy vegetation and regulated trees. She recalled a guilty plea being taken under advisement, to give the applicant time to submit the Site Plan to the City. She stated at this time, and inventory was done to determine what was removed. She stated the result of the inventory was an area of twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet, a ten inch (10") DBH Elm, seven (7) four inch (4") DBH Elm, one (1) six inch (6") DBH Elm, one (1) seven inch (7") DBH Elm and approximately twenty-three DBH trees of varying species were removed, cut down or damaged as a result of the violation. Therefore, she recommended it be reestablished based on "an inch by inch" replacement. She explained this was not a penalty yet, a reestablishment for the violation. Based on an inch by inch calculation, she stated the total number of tree owed would be forty-four (44) two and one half inch (2 1/2") Caliper trees and seven hundred (700) shrubs at twenty-four inch (24") to thirty-six inch (36") high spaced on twelve foot (12’) spacing. Ms. Lemke explained that at the previous meeting, she did not recommend approval because they were showing wetlands mitigation within the regulated woodland area that was removed. She stated there were a number of items that she would be looking for at Final that were not provided at this phase of submittal. She stated one (1) of the items was replacement trees. With the removal of forty-four (44) trees over eight inch (8") DBH they would be required to replace sixty (60) replacement trees. She anticipated the final number would change when she reviewed the Final Engineering Plans. Ms. Lemke recommended approval with the four (4) conditions stated in her letter dated October 13, 2000. She stated one (1) of the conditions was the placement of the remaining area of woodlands into a Preservation Easement and that the woodland that were removed be reestablished.




Bruce McLeod, 42503 Park Ridge, objected to the proposed project. He recalled a previous development by Monte Costella, Dale Graphics, in which the same cinderblock façade could be viewed from his backyard. He explained the trees hide the building with the exception of winter. He suggested that a berm not be recommended if this project is approved, because he felt the woods/trees would be a nicer view than the façade of the proposed building.


Tom Harmon, 42463 Park Ridge, objected to the proposed project. He stated that he was not opposed to developments on this site, however he felt this site plan was incompatible with the residents of Meadowbrook Glens. He quoted Section 19054E regarding earth berms and plantings "the Planning Commission may waive or modify this requirement when adjacent to a woodland. Woodlands area shall be of sufficient width and density to provide visual and audio screening that the berm or wall would provide". He presented a photograph of the view, which was taken from his back door. He stated there are woodlands to the north and south of his residence, however, there is no screening in the area, which was quoted as part of the woodland violation. Mr. Harmon objected to the view this would give him in his backyard and was concerned about the seven foot (7’) Pine Trees submitted in the plan. He stated in two (2) years, with a growth rate of one foot (1’) a year, would leave him with thirty-six percent (36%) opacity. He stated the city zoning requirements between residential and light industrial have an eight percent (80%) opacity in the winter and ninety percent (90%) in the summer. Therefore, it will not be until fifteen (15) years that the area will be in compliance. He quoted Section 1905-5 "For all uses permitted there shall be a finding by the Planning Commission that the size and activity is such that current residential uses will be protected from adverse impact and light, noise, vibration and other possible impacts are in compliance with these standards". Mr. Harmon explained the building was fifteen (15) times larger than the typical home in Meadowbrook Glens, it abuts residential, the building does not conform to zoning ordinances, the tenants are unknown. He stated it would be too noisy, too big, there was not sufficient screening and requires too many variances. He felt the project was bad for Meadowbrook Glens and because it does not conform to the City of Novi Ordinances he asked that the Planning Commission deny the presented site plan.


Christine Caren, 42447 Park Ridge, read a letter written by her husband. "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen I am personally happy to see more business development in the City of Novi and I am sure that you agree that one (1) of the main things that the Planning Commission should do is provide some orderly development. This orderly development should have special awareness where those areas of the city where the businesses locate next to residential properties. There has to be a balance of fairness to the residents as well as to the businesses that want to develop these. With that in mind I ask only one (1) thing if you do decide to approve this business please do not under any circumstances grant any variances to the rules that were designed and put in place to make sure city’s development is an orderly and a fair one (1) for all involved." She stated her biggest concern was the berm. She did not understand the logic of how the site was suitable for a building this size and how a berm would be effective.


Ellen Witechowsky, 42527 Park Ridge Rd, stated she understood that the members of the Planning Commission were to ensure the residents quality of life was not adversely effected when industrial was built next to residential. She felt the proposed project would adversely effect her quality of life. She stated the sound from the current Monte Costella development, Dale Graphics, awoke her at 5:15 AM when a truck came to pick up garbage. She felt the larger structure more noise would exist and there was no control placed on the time of day of the noise. She also stated her concerned with the opacity. She stated during the summer, the Dale’s Warehouse is not in view, however, in the winter, she views a large cinder block building. She stated the land to the south of the site which is zoned residential, but is too small to ever be built upon. She stated she was concerned if this development would exceed into this area. She wanted to ensure that the development stayed as far away as possible from the area that is zoned residential. She was also concerned with the tenants. Not knowing what tenants would occupy the building, she felt it was also uncertain what sounds, smell or products would be brought to the area. She stated currently she experienced noise and smells from the Caterpillar Company. She restated her concern of who the future tenants would be and how they would effect her quality of life. She stated she has lived on Park Ridge Road for twenty-one (21) years. She stated the industrial building is moving closer and closer. She stated they have not moved into an area that is built with industrial. She stated it was the Commission’s job to look at the resident’s quality of life and ensure that they are not adversely effected.


Seeing no further audience participation Chairperson Capello closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.


Chairperson Capello suggested tabling the decision on the Woodlands Permit to be discussed with Matters for Discussion.






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


Douglas Hyman introduced himself representing the applicant Monte Costella.


Chairperson Capello stated he would like it clarified where the District Court Action stands in order to address the Woodland Permit issue with an understanding of what is being incorporated with regard to recommendation. Chairperson Capello stated Ms. Lemke’s recommendation letter appeared to be consistent with how the courts handle a Woodlands Violation. If there is a Woodland Violation and are submitting a Site Plan, the court will usually take it under advisement and see the Planning Commission for a Woodland Permit Application as part of the advisement. He did not think the court would fine the applicant as well as pay for replacement trees. Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Hyman if he represented the applicant in the District Court Action.


Mr. Hyman answered, yes.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Hyman if the court fined other than an advisement fine?


Mr. Hyman answered, no.


Chairperson Capello asked if the court required more tree plantings?


Mr. Hyman answered the court required them to submit a plan.


Chairperson Capello clarified that when the plan is approved, they are required to return to District Court and the case is over?


Mr. Hyman answered, correct.


Chairperson Capello asked if any recommendation would not duplicate what already happened?


Mr. Hyman answered he did not think so. He addressed the issues that were raised. He stated that he was not familiar with the garbage pick-up time. He was aware that garbage pick-up was 5:30 AM in the residential area as well. Therefore, he did not know how they could accommodate that particular complaint. Mr. Hyman stated the "cinder block" building was the same material used to construct the African American Museum in the City of Detroit, which has won numerous design awards. It was awarded for both the material used and the design and was also constructed by Mr. Costella in part. He did not want the last impression of a "cinder block building" left upon the Planning Commission. He felt this was incorrect factually. Mr. Hyman addressed the second issue regarding the noise standards. He stated he was shocked that their expert, from Kalano Engineers, had found that the decibel limits exceeded those as permitted by Novi Ordinance. He stated due to their concern of the negativity of the findings, they retained another entity, Valley Acoustical & Thermo Services Inc., to do new ratings. A letter was submitted with their resubmitted original plan. The letter is addressed to Glen Cheek, of Tiseo Architects, from Mr. Kolano acknowledging that Mr. Kolano used the wrong standards/ratings. This resulted in noise level reading nineteen (19) decibels above the actual readings. He introduced the presence of Mr. Kolano at the meeting to verify his incorrect reading as well as give the correct readings. He stated during the testing, it was found that the decibel levels of the wind blowing through the trees on the property line exceeded the decibel levels of a truck idling in the truck well of the proposed site. He explained this was what sparked the need to have a reevaluation. He stated another problem was the location of the dumpsters, in which they have agreed to move the dumpsters. Mr. Hyman also addressed the problem of taking the land out of mitigation. He stated this change has been reflected in the submitted plan. Mr. Hyman understood the genuine concerns of residents. He stated Mr. Harmon presented to the Planning Commission that there was a property dispute, which could tie up the development pending in the Oakland County Circuit Court. Mr. Hyman stated that Mr. Harmon did not stated that the property dispute was not a dispute raised by Mr. Harmon, however, Mr. Costella raised it. It was alleging a trespass by Mr. Harmon and his family members onto the land onto Monte Costella Inc. Mr. Hyman stated the Honorable Stephen Andrews, who held that Mr. Harmon had no claim of adverse possession and acquiescence in obtaining property from Mr. Costella, made the decision. He stated only the trespass action of Mr. Harmon and his wife remained, in which they would be subject to treble damages. Mr. Hyman listed the damages: Mr. Harmon and his family members removed boundary stakes from the property; they removed surveyor stakes from the property; two (2) criminal complaints pending at the Novi Police Department that were placed on hold until the civil issue was resolved. He stated now that the civil issue was resolved, they would be encouraging those to be processed. Mr. Hyman wanted the Commission to view Mr. Harmon’s complaints in the context, in which he felt they were forthcoming. He felt it was a defeated litigant, who tried to "take property belonging to Mr. Costella". (As quoted by Judge Andrews) Mr. Hyman felt Mr. Harmon would be subjected to a substantial damage claim. Therefore, he felt this should all be considered in mitigation of Mr. Harmon’s unwarranted objection to the development. Mr. Hyman stated he was aware that they currently do not violate the noise ordinance in any respect. They have agreed to remove the property from mitigation as recommended. He stated they have agreed to relocate the dumpster. Mr. Hyman felt all of the requested variances were due to the recommendations of the wetland or woodland consultants of the City of Novi. He stated they were seeking Site Plan Approval and Woodland Permit Approval. He introduced Mr. Tiseo, Mr. Costella and Mr. Kolano to answer questions.


Chairperson Capello clarified the issues to be discussed. He stated they were sheets P1 through P-3 and LP-1 dated 10/19/2000, which does not show the enclosed truck dock. He stated it would also include the most recent letter dated October 19, 2000 from Kalano & Saha Engineers Inc.


Mr. Arroyo clarified the various waivers and necessary appeals that were associated with the plan. He stated the applicant had indicated the submittal of a revised noise analysis and feel they have demonstrated and stated they can operate within the boundaries of the City’s noise ordinance. Mr. Arroyo referred to the previously presented Novi Tech Center Project. He stated because it is a Special Land Use adjacent to residential, future land users would need to demonstrate that they would also fall within the same guidelines. Therefore, it is a requirement of the City Ordinances and it applies to any special land use adjacent to residential. Mr. Arroyo noted two (2) required Planning Commission Waivers, the berm and the front yard parking setback of forty (40) feet for an I-1 District and fifty (50) for an I-2 District. However, the applicant has proposed twenty (20) feet. He stated this could be a Planning Commission Action due to the excess setback elsewhere. However, if the Planning Commission did not grant this, the applicant would present the request to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Arroyo stated the variance for the requirements for the dumpster to be located in the rear yard. He stated there was also a building setback issue. He clarified his letter to state one hundred twenty-three (123) foot building setback required. He stated one (1) of the formulas was based on the height of the building and the other was the simple one hundred (100) feet, however, due to the height of the building, the setback is a one hundred twenty (120) foot. He stated there was also a one hundred (100) foot parking setback requirement when adjacent to residential. He stated the applicant was in need of this requirement where the existing homes are located, however, there is not a parking setback to the south where there is an encroachment of twelve (12) feet into the one hundred (100) foot setback. Mr. Arroyo stated there was a variance from the requirement that the truck wells loading doors/docks which face the front street be recessed sixty (60) feet where the proposed loading areas are recessed forty-two (42) feet. Therefore there would be a ZBA variance required. He stated Item 4, the variance from the noise analysis standards, appeared to no longer apply. He felt the Commission accepted the applicant’s demonstrated study and subject to further verification with future tenants. Mr. Arroyo stated there would be other information he would be looking for at the Final.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo stated he indicated in his letter dated June 30, 2000. He stated the secondary access was being provided through a connection into the Dales & Graphics project. There were recommendations that would need to be shown on the Final Site Plan related to this topic as well as signage requirements specified. He stated the other additional information could be resolved at the Final.


Ms. Weber stated comments regarding the proposed plan have not changed from the letter dated June 28, 2000. She stated the ingress/egress easement for access of the site to Trans-X Drive would be provided prior to Final Site Plan Approval.


Ms. Lemke briefly explained the Planning Commission Waiver berm issue. She stated the requirement without a Planning Commission Waiver is a ten (10) to fifteen (15) foot berm requiring a three (3) to one (1) slopes and approximately one hundred (100) feet of removal of existing vegetation along the eastern property line. She stated based on the Wetlands in the area, the berm would not be able to go in the Wetlands area and there was still existing woodland vegetation in that area. Ms. Lemke recommended the Planning Commission waive this to preserve the existing vegetation there, provided the screening was met. She recommended that screening, in addition to what is shown on the plan, be added along with restoration.




Member Richards asked if the trees that are saved and replaced provide an effective barrier to the residents to the east.


Ms. Lemke stated the applicant was proposing to plant Evergreen Trees at a 2:1 ratio. She stated it was still seven (7) foot. However, it would not be what would exist with a one hundred (100) foot berm, however, there would be screening.


Member Nagy asked if it could be made a requirement to have the Evergreens be more than seven (7) feet?


Ms. Lemke answered the Planning Commission could do this. She stated that recently at City Council, they had increased berming size to a twelve (12) foot Evergreen, when Industrial is adjacent to Residential.


Member Nagy felt this would provide height and width.


Ms. Lemke agreed.


Member Nagy felt because Mr. Hyman referred to the words as opposed to reading it verbatim, it was considered hearsay and she did not feel it was appropriate. She questioned the noise analysis study. She referred to No. 2, Basis Sound Level Prediction, in the applicant’s letter. She read "The truck well would be covered with a roof and the two (2) long sides of the truck well would be enclosed with sound absorbing masonry units". She stated she did not see any "specs" for the masonry units.


Chairperson Capello clarified the plan Member Nagy was referring to.


Member Nagy stated she was referring to the only letter she had.


Mr. Hyman stated due to the inaccurate noise level studies, they were proceeding with the original submitted plan without the panels, because they were no longer in violation of an ordinance.


Member Nagy stated she did not see any information to support how the noise analysis was done. She felt documentation should be provided on the actual process.


Rick Kalano of Kalano and Saha Engineers Inc., introduced himself. He addressed his report generated on October 19, 2000. He stated it was a revision to prior reports. He stated the input data of the predictions made at the property line were based on a high idle diesel noise. He pointed out there was very little data available on truck idle noise, due to the main interest lying when the truck is in motion or coupled with refrigeration units. He stated most of work they have been involved with has addressed terminals and cargo inspection facilities. He stated the data input to the model was from the Ambassador Bridge study. Therefore, it was high idle data and the area it was taken from was not labeled. Mr. Kolano explained when Monte Costella requested that additional support data be researched. Monte Costella pointed out measurements made on the site. These measurements raised concern with Mr. Kolano and he then reviewed a U.S. Department of Transportation that provided a variety of measurement data of over the road diesel powered trucks. Mr. Kolano found the result to show a difference of noise levels produced with low idle (one that exists when a truck is idling during a delivery) as opposed to a high idle, (when a truck is at maximum governed speed). He stated the difference was nineteen (19) DV. He explained when this is factored into the model predictions, it is determined the predicted noise levels met the noise level ordinance of the City of Novi.


Member Nagy stated she was not convinced the process was a scientific calculation.


Mr. Kolano stated they used a model of mathematics. He explained mathematics predict outcome based on information from the standards.


Member Nagy stated she still felt the validity of the results was questionable. She recapped that one (1) person did the study claiming the noise study to be at seventy-five (75) decibels and under a second study the results suddenly fall under the ordinance. Therefore, she felt there should be another study performed.


Mr. Hyman stated they had copies of the second study that was commissioned which caused them to go back and have Mr. Kolano determine the accuracy of the readings. He stated they had a study available from Valley Acoustical & Thermal Services Inc., which substantiated the error, which caused them to go back to Mr. Kolano. He then distributed the studies to the Planning Commission.


Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant was attempting to provide a forecast of noise levels based upon a hypothetical situation with a plan not built and an unidentified user. Mr. Arroyo felt there would come a point in time that there would be identified tenants and the Commission would be able to have specific information on the specific type of structure and the applicant would be responsible to demonstrate a noise level that is not worse than the original projection on the speculative development. He stated the information the applicant was providing could be used at this point. However, there would be the opportunity to see what noise the identified tenant would actually propose. If at that time the user is not acceptable and not within the noise guidelines the Commission could reject the user. He stated to the Commission they would have another opportunity to ensure the city ordinances would be protected.


Member Koneda asked if they assumed a noise source to be generating a level of noise at "X" feet away from the property line and noise level dissipated as the distance was further away?


Mr. Kolano answered, correct.


Member Koneda asked if Mr. Kolano assumed it was all in air? He asked if there was abatement from the trees, shrubs, planting existing or did they assume it was pure air?


Mr. Kolano answered he assumed pure air. He stated there was not a noise reduction benefit taken of trees or foliage in the space.


Member Koneda asked Mr. Arroyo regarding a previous project. He asked what was the distance from the property line the idling trucks in the project Quick Send Delivery on Nine Mile.


Mr. Arroyo answered he was not sure but, he recalled it being closer to the property line and the lots were not very deep.


Member Koneda stated he recalled the result being a noise abatement wall along the one (1) property line. He stated when a new user came in and demonstrated exceeded what was in the report verses the ordinance requirement. He asked Mr. Arroyo if that was correct?


Mr. Arroyo felt it would be based on the overall findings were in terms of meeting Special Land Use analysis at the time it would come before the Commission. Therefore, it would be up to the Commission determination on where or not it met the standards.


Member Koneda asked if this was a problem, could a noise wall be added to the building after for noise abatement?


Mr. Kolano felt this would be a question for the architectural designers who know the infrastructure of the building. However, he thought there would be plenty of opportunity for noise control there.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Kolano regarding the letter dated October 19, 2000 addressed to Mr., Glen Cheek of Tiseo Architects. He referred to the first set of numbers on page 2 of Mr. Kolano’s letter, which stated "property lines sound levels expected from the operation of HVAC equipment". He asked if the HVAC equipment was referring to air conditioning units?


Mr. Kolano answered, correct.


Member Mutch stated the most relevant one (1) would be the east property, adjacent to residential, which they showed a decibel sound level of fifty-three (53) decibels. Novi daytime and night time limits of sixty (60) and fifty-five (55). Member Mutch asked if the equipment was operating during evening hours, was the expected level still to be two (2) decibels below the ordinance requirement?


Mr. Kolano answered, correct.


Member Mutch referred to the next page of the letter regarding property lines, sound levels expected from idling diesel tractor/trailer combinations. He stated the same issue, the east property and they were indicating an expected sound level of fifty (50) decibels. He clarified the Novi daytime sound limit is sixty (60) decibels, therefore, the expected level would be two (2) decibels below this?


Mr. Kolano answered, correct.


Member Mutch asked if during operation hours they were assuming there would be no traffic or tractor/trailer traffic in the evening?


Mr. Kolano agreed.


Member Mutch asked Tom Schultz if restriction on hours of operation were permissible for Special Land Use Approval?


Mr. Schultz clarified if he was referring to loading and unloading?


Member Mutch answered, yes.


Mr. Schultz answered, yes.


Member Mutch asked in terms of the noise generated. He stated when the combined the HVAC and the tractor/trailer noise would there be a cumulative level of that noise above or will the fifty-eight (58) decibels be the maximum level of noise?


Mr. Kolano stated that Member Mutch was partially correct. He stated they occur at different points along the property line. He stated the numbers were the maximum projected levels at the closest points to the sources. Therefore, the trucks would be at a point closer along the property line at a different point than the HVAC units. He stated the projected numbers applied specifically at the highest points. He stated at he points further from that closest position, the levels would go down. Mr. Kolano stated when the two (2) are added there was logarithm addition, yet in the worst case, the ordinance limit would not be exceeded.


Member Mutch asked if this was something that could be generated in a mathematical analysis to show that a combination of all the noise on the site would not exceed the limits?


Mr. Kolano answered, correct.


Mr. Arroyo stated the ordinance defines nighttime hours as 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo when the parcel was split?


Mr. Arroyo stated within the last year or year and a half.


Mr. Hyman stated two (2) years.


Member Mutch asked when the parcel was split if there were any significant changes with the Zoning Ordinance, Woodlands Ordinance or Wetland Ordinance that would apply to this parcel?


Mr. Arroyo stated there was nothing that he could recall from a zoning standpoint.


Member Mutch stated that they have been told the variance issues that have arisen due to the request of the City Consultants in order to comply with the City Ordinance. Member Mutch felt the applicant chose to split the parcel in the manner it was split with the knowledge of the wetlands on the property, the woodlands on the property and the zoning requirements of the property. Therefore, he felt a property owner should have explored the development potentials for the property with the knowledge of the zoning requirements, wetland requirements and the woodland requirements of the city prior to the split. Member Mutch also stated the property was owned by the City or the Meadowbrook Glens Homeowner Association, therefore it was property that would not be directly developed. However, adjacent to the property are additional homes of Meadowbrook Glens, which topographically sit at a lower elevation than the proposed project. Therefore, he explained the screening that was not being provided on the southern property line was not protecting the homes adjacent to the vacant property and were not benefiting from the waivers the Commission would grant to allow the lack of screening on the southern property line. Member Mutch felt due to these reasons the stated the argument of the applicant being forced to seek the variances due to the city consultant recommendations was not valid.




Moved by Piccinini, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (6-2): To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Special Land Use Approval, Woodland Permit and Wetland Permit for Trans-X Industrial building SP 00-32A subject to a Planning Commission Waiver for the construction of the berm adjacent to the residential due to the existing woodlands, Planning Commission Waiver for their front yard parking setback, a ZBA Waiver for the dumpster location, a ZBA Waiver for the building setback, a ZBA Waiver for the parking lot setback, and a ZBA Waiver for the length of the truck wells, subject to the Consultant’s comments, conditions and recommendations, Special Land Use based upon the facts contained in the Consultant’s letters.




Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke where the additional setback was being made up that would allow the Planning Commission to grant the waiver?


Ms. Lemke answered it occurs adjacent to the building and slightly over the ten (10) foot on the northern property line.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo what the required setback was on the northerly for the parking?


Mr. Arroyo stated it was one hundred (100) foot parking adjacent to residential.


Member Mutch asked regarding another area along the south?


Mr. Arroyo stated that was also zoned residential and was also one hundred (100) feet there. He stated the applicant has exceeded it in some areas and in other areas they have an encroachment.


Member Mutch felt that if the applicant could not meet the requirements of the zoning ordinance, he felt they had over built the site. He felt that was the case with this property. He felt granting Special Land Use with this number of variances, which he felt were self created hardships, the applicant should not be entitled to relief.


Member Koneda stated they have come up with a plan that required a lot of ZBA Variances and he felt this has caused a lot of discomfort. However, he also felt the variances were ones that made the site more attractive to the residential area. He asked if site could be developed and still meet the current zoning ordinance criteria?


Mr. Arroyo stated he did not feel the building with this configuration could be developed on the site without a variance.


Member Koneda clarified that without a variance the building could not be built because it was too big?


Chairperson Capello clarified if there were not woodland or wetland issues?


Member Koneda stated a lot of the variances were building further away from residential to preserve more trees and woodlands. He asked if they were to push everything to the limits and just built to the ordinance, could the building be developed on the site under the conditions of the ordinance?


Mr. Arroyo stated in the proposed configuration, he did not think so. He stated it was difficult to tell, but without actually going through the numbers and the analysis, he was not able to answer precisely.


Member Koneda stated that he was in favor of the variances to move the dumpster to the front, the truck wells to the front, the front yard setback for parking and all the variances that make an improvement to the site.


Chairperson Capello stated that he felt they could place a thirty thousand (30,000) square foot building on 3.61 acres if they did not have the woodlands and the wetlands. Except the configuration was not a square building.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Piccinini, Richards

No: Mutch, Nagy





    This bank project is located in Section 17, on Grand River Avenue and west of Beck Road. The 1.02 acre site is zoned General Business District (B-2). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Section Nine Facade Waiver.


    Michael Boggio of Michael Boggio Associates proposed a fifty-three hundred (5300) square foot, single story Standard Federal Bank with four (4) drive-up positions and one (1) drive up ATM machine. He stated the project met all zoning ordinance standards. He designed the building to be compatible with the architecture, elevations and exterior materials of the West Market Square.


    Mr. Arroyo gave the relation of the proposed project to the overall plan of West Market Square, which the Planning Commission approved. (Using an overhead) Mr. Arroyo pointed bank’s original location, adjacent to the westerly most drive. The applicant is requesting a modification to the original arrangement. He recommended approval of the proposed Preliminary Site Plan subject to a number of items to be addressed. In regard to traffic, there were several issues he felt could be resolved. He stated there were two (2) driveways proposed off of Grand River Avenue. He felt the activity would be more intense now that the bank was shifted over. Mr. Arroyo recommended one (1) driveway should be closed and that future access needed to be away from the intersection. (He designated the driveway on the overhead) He felt the removal of the westerly drive should be removed for the Final Site Plan. He stated other modifications were related to internal circulation. During non-peak hours, the bank would have a bypass available. However, he did not find the bank drive-thru would have a clear bypass lane under busy/full conditions. The review letter does not specify this item to be address because there is not a requirement in the ordinance for a bypass lane. He stated the applicant did not feel they could provide for this concern on a permanent basis do to the size of the site.


    Ms. Weber stated the infrastructure, such as underground utilities, water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and storm water management was placed with the overall West Market Square plan. The site would only be tying in leads to the existing utilities. In addition to the one (1) comment in the review letter, she recommended approval.


    Ms. Lemke recommended approval. She stated there were minor items, including the change in cultivars as stated in her letter to be provided at Final.



    Member Richards gave the example of six (6) cars stacked would leave no alternate route for the vehicles to go around. He felt this could present several problems.

    Mr. Boggio stated Standard Federal Banks typically has a bypass lane along the west end of the property. He stated the typical lanes for drive-up are nine (9) feet. The proposed project has twenty (20) feet from the last island to the paving. He stated if the entire site was filled with cars, which he felt would be infrequently based on experience, there would not be a bypass lane. He felt there may be enough land to move the building up to minimize greenspace on both sides of the building and behind the parking to increase the drive to thirty (30) foot. He stated this could allow for bypass. However, he felt the number of infrequent times the bank would be busy, they preferred the additional landscape area as opposed to the extra paving. He stated if they were to widen the drive ten (10) feet in another area would make it difficult to police.

    Member Richards felt they should take a good look at this issue. He stated it would be a concern on the first and fifteenth and every Friday of the month. He felt customers are going to want to utilize the drive through. His concern was that they would not see the back up and then would be blocked in. He advised Mr. Boggio that essentially they would end up losing customers.

    Mr. Boggio stated that during their review of an escape lane, they discovered customers trying to enter in and "cut" in line. Due to this, he felt that it caused more problems than help, but he was willing to do another review on the idea.

    Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Arroyo if he suggested on this plan that the first cut into the bank be eliminated?

    Mr. Arroyo answered no. He suggested eliminating the cut on the opposite side going into the other parking field. He stated their access was acceptable with some modifications.

    Member Mutch felt there was more space on the site to work with. He stated the plan showed forty-five (45) parking spaces and the requirement was only thirty-five (35). He expressed the doubt of the bank utilizing all of these spaces. He felt the primary use of the bank would be customers driving through the ATM and the drive through. Therefore, he suggested the ten (10) extra spaces be utilized for other purposed. He pointed out the additional parking to the east was an excess. He stated a bypass lane could be done and was necessary. Member Mutch commented on the southerly access point next to Grand River Avenue. He felt it would back up traffic after two (2) vehicles are stacked along with the traffic exiting the retail area. He suggested the elimination of the entrance on the west and east side and reorienting the site to have access coming off the road further north. He felt the overall site plan exhibited the primary entrance would be the entrance by Grand River Avenue. He stated it would not be feasible if that eighty (80) to ninety (90) percent of traffic was coming out at a point, which only allows one (1) or two (2) cars. He felt the site could work, but the two (2) issues he raised needed to be addressed to avoid future problems.

    Member Koneda agreed with Member Mutch’s idea of reorienting the site. He liked the idea of a single lane for the teller to prevent those cutting in. He asked if it would violate the ordinance to make the outside lane an ATM lane only? He stated that currently both lanes were being used for stacking for vehicles. He suggested the use of only one (1) lane for stacking and utilizing the remainder for a bypass lane.

    Mr. Arroyo stated the plan would need the total number of spaces per ordinance. He stated the issue that arose was whether or not the Planning Commission would accept a different stacking number for an ATM machine. He explained the Planning Commission had the ability to look at special cases and modify the stacking if it is a use that is not specified. Currently an ATM is treated like any other drive-thru. Mr. Arroyo stated that typically the ATM line did not have the same peaking characteristics and cueing characteristics when the drive-thru is open. He described it as an off-peak use.

    Member Koneda stated it was a faster use because people spend less time at an ATM verses a drive up window.

    Mr. Arroyo felt the Planning Commission had the ability to assign a different cueing recommendation for the ATM line as opposed to a drive-thru. He stated the ordinance specifically addresses uses that would not otherwise be covered and allows the Planning Commission to determine that.

    Member Koneda felt the problem of getting the vehicles to the cueing was still an unresolved issue. He stated his concern was getting people to the ATM machine. He referred to the NBD on Grand River Avenue. He stated they put in a second ATM machine with a bypass lane. Although they do experience some stacking problems, it was not very often. He stated that if they changed the stacking requirements for the ATM the problem of back up was still unresolved. He suggested adding another lane for the ATM or reorienting the site. He understood the location of the exit; however, he was concerned of traffic back-ups. He agreed the entrance should be moved to the back and the reorientation of the site. He asked if the Grand River Avenue exit would have a traffic light in the future?

    Mr. Arroyo stated it was very unlikely because a traffic light already existed at the entrance to the east.

    Member Churella did not recall experiencing the stacking difficulties being raised. He did not agree that a problem would exist with the current design of the project. He felt they were experienced in designing a bank to take care of their customers. He stated those without banking experience did not know what the stacking occurs.





    Moved by Churella, seconded by Cassis, FAILED (4-4): To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval to Standard Federal Bank SP 00-54 subject to the consultant’s conditions and recommendations and to grant a Section Nine Facade Waiver consistent with Mr. Necci’s letter of October 16, 2000 where in the standing seam metal is identical in color to the adjacent building.


    Member Cassis agreed that Standard Federal knows the business and the customer needs. He did not feel the commission had the same expertise nor should they tamper with an architectural drawing of a bank.

    Member Koneda stated he was still concerned with the accessibility to the ATM lane. He felt this needed to be resolved to avoid future problems. He asked if the proposal was to accept the plan with no solution to this? He did not recall a solution being identified. Member Koneda was not in favor of taking away greenspace as the architect suggested. Therefore, he would not support the motion.

    Chairperson Capello stated Mr. Arroyo’s letter indicated comments not conditions. He stated the motion was as it stands.

    Member Mutch clarified that he was not in question of Standard Federal’s ability to design to build a bank. He stated the bypass lane was needed. He felt Standard Federal was looking at their needs for their site and not looking at the overall site. He commented that the Commission needed to be looking at the impact of the development on the overall site. He stated this was within the commission’s ability to make this judgement call. He referred to Mr. Arroyo’s indication that the westerly drive was in an inappropriate location. Member Mutch did not think the location of the easterly drive made sense. He was not questioning Standard Federal’s design, he felt within the "big picture" it did not fit. He did not feel it would work for everyone. He explained the traffic would be not only from the bank but also from the restaurants, retail shops, Home Depot, etc… He felt that if the commission only focused on the bank they would be overlooking the overall "big picture".

    Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Arroyo if the site plan was improved with the buildings in place?

    Mr. Arroyo stated the commission approved Phase I, which did not include this pad site or the pad site to the west or the east outlot. He stated technically, the drives coming off of the westerly access point were never approved in the original plan. He stated it was all part of the new development. He explained the commission would be reviewing each phase separately as it is submitted, because they did not have the information to have all of the phases approved preliminarily. Mr. Arroyo stated the areas that were approved included the shopping center with the Home Depot, Kroger and the gas station. The remaining of outlots were outside and would come before the commission individually.





    Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, and Piccinini

    No: Mutch, Koneda, Nagy, and Richards




    Motioned by Mutch, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED (7-1): To table Standard Federal Bank SP 00-54 indefinite to work with the consultants to address the issue of the southerly driveway and the cueing lines.



    Mr. Boggio stated there were several discussions of the driveway with the city consultants on. He stated the discussed options of reorienting the building. He stated the consultants reviewed the plan they submitted after the alternatives were looked at. He explained the southerly drive was considered to be a reasonable alternative with all the other items that needed to be considered on the site. He agreed with Member Mutch’s comment of their focus being the Standard Federal Site. However, he stated they have worked with the developer and the consultants to work the project into the overall site. He explained the alternatives of orienting the building and eliminating the southerly drive led to the traffic pattern within the site to be less than ideal. He agreed with the assumption of the having one (1) to two (2) cars stacked created a traffic problems with those turning left. However, he felt they could make the alternate turn right from another driveway. Therefore, he did not feel it was a "bottle neck" situation. Mr. Boggio wanted the commission to be aware that the time was taken to consider the alternatives for the site. He stated they could reexamine possibilities to reorganize the traffic in the back to have an additional width of drive and allow a bypass around the site to the ATM.

    Member Koneda stated he would support the plan if it were resubmitted with an escape lane for the ATM or an ATM only lane. He agreed with the applicant regarding the westerly exit. He felt it was workable to have the exit at the front of the property.

    VOTE ON PM-00-10-149 CARRIED

    Yes: Capello, Cassis, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, and Richards

    No: Churella


    Member Cassis asked if the petitioner understood what he needed to do?

    Chairperson Capello stated Mr. Arroyo and Ms. Brock would be able to clarify the details for him.

    Member Mutch recalled the hotel in Town Center who presented an alternative plan and the commission decided the original plan was the better of the two (2). He felt they were flexible. He stated the petitioner needed to bring options before the commission to evaluate the best plan.








    Chairperson Capello announced that City Council members have advised him that the Planning Commissioners were coming before City Council during audience participation and making arguments against projects the Planning Commission had approved and sent on to City Council. The City Council felt that once a decision is made whether unanimous or not unanimous, it should be supported by the entire commission board. It should not be individually argued against. He stated there was nothing in the ordinance or procedures currently. However, he suggested the decision not be made tonight, but that it should be sent to a committee to consider a policy for Planning Commissioner actions after decisions are made by the body.


    Member Nagy asked if Planning Commissioners were considered "regular" residents outside of meetings, etc…?


    Mr. Schultz stated that was a complicated question that could not be resolved in fifteen (15) minutes.


    Member Nagy clarified that when a Planning Commissioner walks out the door, they are not necessarily a "regular resident".


    Mr. Schultz stated only because what one says and does in front of another commission or letters to the editor could effect the city’s decisions or his/her ability to sit on certain issues as a Planning Commissioner. He stated the issue was addressed for other boards and commissions, and felt he could provide copies of an opinion or tailor an opinion for the community to address the free speech vs. how your actions effect the city and where the responsibilities lie as a citizen or as a Planning Commissioner.


    Member Nagy asked Chairperson Capello if he agreed that this was a good idea?


    Chairperson Capello agreed.


    Member Koneda asked when the Planning Commission makes a recommendation or appeal to City Council does the City Council review the minutes of the meeting to understand the decisions made?


    Member Mutch asked that the issue not be limited to addressing the City Council, but also encompass Planning Commission actions in general. He felt that Planning Commissioners have interaction with people in the community daily and should know what the guidelines are. He stated he had appeared before City Council and tried to avoid advocating. He did feel that there were times it was appropriate to have issues highlighted without taking a position for or against the issue. He gave the example of suggesting that the issue of sidewalks not be forgotten may be advocating for sidewalks. He clarified he would not be expressing approval or disapproval of the project, yet only addressing the issues that effect the project.


    Chairperson Capello suggested sending the topic to Implementation.


    Member Cassis mentioned the ethics portion of the conference that was available at the Annual Planning Conference. He felt that everyone could benefit from this. He questioned if there was an ethics code.


    Chairperson Capello stated they did not have one (1). However, they have adopted policies and procedures.


    Member Cassis asked if it was rules and regulations or ethics?


    Chairperson Capello gave the example of the adopted policy of accepting Christmas baskets, lunches etc…from anyone.


    Member Nagy felt there should be a code of ethics for the Planning Commission.




    Chairperson Capello stated that it was wrong for City Council Members to contact a consultant before they have rendered an opinion on an issue coming before the Planning Commission. He felt this was City Council influence prior to the Planning Commission decision.

    Member Nagy asked if Chairperson Capello was indicating that City Council members call the Planning Consultants to influence decisions the Planning Commission is about to make? Or if he was referring the consultant’s approval?

    Chairperson Capello stated it was to give their opinion on the issue. He felt that any contact in this regard was improper.

    Member Nagy asked Mr. Schultz if it was in their purview to discuss issues with City Council?

    Mr. Schultz stated this would be defined under the freedom of speech. He stated in some ways it was inappropriate to raise an issue as to the process by which a consultant’s reports come in. He stated this was inappropriate discussion for the Planning Commission. However, it was not possible to control the actions of City Council members, nor could they tell them to not converse with consultants. Mr. Schultz said that the Planning Commission was able to discuss what they expected to see/like to see in terms of how the consultant reports.

    Member Nagy felt animosity would be caused if the discussion continued further.

    Member Mutch felt there were outstanding issues between the Planning Commission and the City Council. He gave the example of the time spent at the Planning Commission and Implementation working on zoning ordinance issue, (duty by state law), and sending recommendations to the City Council, who forwards them to Ordinance Review. He stated City Council could do whatever they want with four (4) votes. Member Mutch questioned why the Planning Commission was doing the work if the City Council was going to start over again. He stated in past practice, the Implementation Committee and the Planning Commission handled zoning issues and the Ordinance Review of the City Council handled all other issues. He addressed the situation of City Council holding up Planning Commission appointments by not addressing it. He stated there were outstanding zoning ordinance issues, some which were from last year. He felt one (1) possibility would be a joint meeting.

    Member Nagy stated there should be a joint private meeting.

    Member Mutch stated it should be public.

    Chairperson Capello suggested adding this on the first meeting in December.


Mr. Pearson, City of Novi’s new Assistant City Manager/Development Service introduced himself. He expressed the pleasure in meeting everyone during his first few weeks at the City. He commented on how impressed he was with the community. He felt quality and the quality of life were an important emphasis of the community. He stated he is looking forward to keeping that tradition along with the Planning Staff and Consultants.













Moved by Koneda, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:40 p.m.




Yes: Capello, Cassis, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, and Richards

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine K. Otsuji

November 22, 2000


Date Approved: December 6, 2000