View Agenda for this meeting






Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Member Churella.


PRESENT: Members Canup, Cassis, Churella, Mutch, Nagy and Richards


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Capello, Koneda, Piccinini


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






Member Churella asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?




Moved by Canup, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as presented.




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

No: None




James Korte, Shawood Lake questioned why Mr. Ted Andris was not present? He felt there was still the possibility of him attending the meeting since he was scheduled later on the agenda. He stated this had been going on for eighteen (18) years. Mr. Korte stated at the last meeting, it was said by the board to give Mr. Andris the opportunity to present, which he agreed was fair. He stated at this point, the Mr. Andris should be denied and forced to start over and pay more money. Mr. Korte stated the secretarial and clerical staff do the repetitious paperwork and Mr. Andris is again not present. He stated the Planning Commission was aware this was not acceptable and it was time for them to deny Ted Andris and have him pay more money for he excess work he has caused the City.


Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, spoke regarding the Ted Andris proposal. She understood that he was trying to open his loading doors in compliance with the code of ordinances. She reminded the Planning Commission of her comments two (2) weeks ago. She felt if loading doors could not open facing residential, Mr. Andris would have to have the loading doors facing Fourteen Mile Road. She stated Mr. Andris’ property was surrounded by residential, properties to the south and the west under his ownership and the multiple residential, Beachwalk Apartments, on the east. She felt his hardships were self-imposed. She did not agree East Lake Drive, a residential street, should be the entrance to this retail complex. She stated this condition did not exist in any other place in the city. She stated the last project approval, which she recalled being a restaurant, for this site included a Fourteen Mile address. She felt it was appropriate and within the board’s power to have all ingress and egress off this site from Fourteen Mile. She stated a residential street was a residential street. She felt if the Planning Commission was to approve this, it would set precedence that could be followed throughout the city. She cautioned the Commission with this project. She pointed out that Mr. Andris had not requested or required any down zoning from Commercial to Residential to utilize the entire site, which the neighborhood would support. She stated Mr. Andris’ attempts to have the site rezoned, which resulted in a couple lawsuits. She stated those involved in the neighborhood, as well as the board, were aware of these details. She felt they should be made aware of the history of the area. She felt this was a difficult issue and if Mr. Andris wanted to be a good neighbor and work with the area he had a lot of options. She stated in her opinion that over the last fifteen (15) years that Mr. Andris was not willing. She asked the Commission to be careful with the site. She stated it is a gateway project in the north area of the city. She made reference to the unrestricted discharge into the lake from the site after it was clear cut. She felt this was inappropriate and against everything the city stood for regarding drainage issues. Although there is an existing ordinance requiring on site retention, she stated Walled Lake continues to be considered a detention basin. She stated Walled Lake is either a lake called the Jewel of the City or it is a detention basin for dumping of storm water. She expressed her disapproval of the storm water being dumped in their area.


Art Servie, 28331 Haggerty Road, spoke regarding the possible zoning change for Twelve Mile Road and Haggerty area. He felt his lack of knowledge of the details for the rezoning, may cause his view to be premature. He stated that he did not mind the possibility of a restaurant. He understood the area was zoned OST and those that employed in the area needed places to eat. However, he stated he was not in favor of a strip mall. He understood that the applicant would explain their intentions of the rezoning request. He clarified that he was in support of restaurants only.


Cathy Yamatuchi, 47188 Dunsney, Northville, stated she received a notice for the discussion of Eight Mile and Beck and it was not on the agenda. She felt it would be appropriate for the City to also inform residents when the item is removed from the agenda.


Beth Brock stated the agendas are forecasted fifteen (15) days ahead prior to the Planning Commission meeting. Since that time, the applicant, Our Lady of Victory, requested to be removed from the agenda. She apologize for the lack of notification. She stated they are tentatively scheduled for the December 6, 2000 Planning Commission Meeting, and another notice will be sent out.


Seeing no further participants Member Churella closed the audience participation.




Member Churella announced he had a letter regarding the Zoning Map Amendment 18.603, which he would address when they discuss the rezoning issue.




Member Churella announced there were no items on the Consent Agenda.




  2. 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 (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit approval.


    William Myers representing Ericar Company explained this was their second appearance before the board. He stated that the project was tabled to allow Mr. Schultz, City Attorney, to review the project’s historical files. Mr. Myers stated that he has been in communications with Mr. Schultz in an effort to address the raised concerns of the planning consultants. He stated he, his client, as well as Mr. Schultz, believed these concerns could be constructively addressed with more time. He stated they are anxious to proceed, however they have not had the opportunity over the last two (2) weeks to complete conversations and completely address the matter. He stated on that basis, they submitted a letter suggesting and requesting the matter be tabled until the December 6, 2000 Planning Commission meeting. Mr. Myers felt by this time, all avenues would be explored and concerns addressed and prepared to make a complete presentation with reference to those.


    Member Churella announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.


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








    Moved by Mutch, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To table Novi Technology Center No. 5 SP 00-18A until the December 4TH Planning Commission meeting.








    Yes: Canup, Cassis, Churella, Mutch, Richards

    No: None


    Mr. Myers clarified if the Planning Commission meeting was December 4th as stated or if it was December 6th?


    Ms. Brock answered December 6th.



This condominium project is located in Section 4, south of Pontiac Trail and east of Beck Road. The 10.835 acre site is zoned Low Density, Low-Rise Multiple-Family Residential. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland and Wetland Permit approvals and Section Nine Facade Waiver.


Mark O’Rourke of Landmarc Building and Development introduced the moderately, entry level housing to an area of rentals and light industrial buildings. He outlined the concerns during planning process and benefits to take advantage of. He proposed the ten point eight (10.835) acre project located on Pontiac Trail and Beck Road. He pointed out the wetland limits on the map, which represented 3.6 acres of the site. He explained after the woodland limit was outlined, only two (2) acres of buildable property remained. Therefore, to design a meaningful development in the limited space created a challenge. He stated they had attempted several plans and concepts while evaluating the areas of value and highest quality areas of the site. Mr. O’Rourke explained the original concept plan consisted of a ranch product with two (2) bedrooms, two (2) car garage and basement. He explained the neighboring properties were apartments, commercial strips, undeveloped commercial property, and Wixom industrial buildings. He stated with the ranch style footprint took up a majority of the site and pushed it into the wetland and woodland areas. He and the consultants felt the woodlands and the wetlands were the assets to the site and therefore sought another concept plan. Another difficulty was that two (2) of the buildings did not meet the forty-five (45) degree angle to the property line required by ordinance in a multi-family district. Mr. O’Rourke introduced the second concept of a stack product. He stated the concept yielded seventy-one (71) units. However, he stated this concept also impacted the wetlands. Almost the entire site violated the forty-five (45) degree angle requirement. He explained they combined the ranch style with the stack concept to arrive at the proposed project. He proposed three (3) different buildings of ranch units. He stated two (2) of the buildings had walkout units to view the wooded area. Another set of ranch units would have standard size basements. He stated there would be three (3) different buildings with a stacked ranch under the town house. He felt this concept would enable them to place a detracting view from the negative commercial and industrial surroundings. He stated upon entering the property, the first attraction would be the high quality of woodlands, along with the boardwalk through the trees, landscape. He explained they were attempting to allow the façade of the building to impact upon entering the project. Another high quality woodland area and boardwalk could be seen further down the site. He explained the buildings were oriented so that the front façades around each unit were available. He stated the garage entry sides would be enclosed inside the project to avoid the appearance of high intensity apartment style project. He stated the decks were designed in the back to hide the BBQ and chairs are out of view. The project consists of fifty-one (51) units, fifteen (15) being ranch units and thirty-six (36) are stacked ranch townhouse style. Mr. O’Rourke stated the parking requirements have been met. He proposed and additional twenty-five (25) guest parking spaces. He stated they were able to meet the forty-five (45) degree requirement in most areas. He understood the purpose of the forty-five (45) degree requirement was to minimize the impact of a large building facing the front street. He explained the front of the building is two (2) stories and when traveling Beck Road, very little would be seen of the building due to it being tucked in. Therefore, he did not feel the forty-five (45) degree rule was a major impact to approve the project. He explained the area of woodland that would be impacted is early growth. He stated there was a tree replacement planting planned for the site and they would like to enhance the exterior of the project with one hundred seventy-five (175) new tree plantings. He introduced the two (2) bedroom ranch unit. He stated this unit could have the two (2) bedrooms on the second floor or one (1) bedroom on each floor with the first floor being the master. He stated both designs would meet the ordinance requirements. Mr. O’Rourke introduced the second design of the entry level in the rear with garages and basements for two (2) units with the (2) bedroom ranch unit above and the two-story townhouse unit above. In conclusion, Mr. O’Rourke stated they were excited to bring the entry level product to the City of Novi.


Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval in his review letter dated November 7, 2000. He pointed out the two (2) buildings that were deficient of the forty-five (45) degree requirement. He stated they were substantially shielded from adjacent property due to the wooded wetland area directly to the east. The other building faces the back of commercial areas with potential for landscaping to buffer. He stated thirty-nine percent (39%) of the side yard is consumed by pavement, such as parking and maneuvering areas. He stated they would need to go to ZBA to have this addressed. He stated they are within the density, building length, setback and parking requirements of the ordinance.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo stated the access was proposed by one (1) driveway coming off of Beck Road into the site. The emergency access connection proposed to the existing commercial development, which satisfies the requirement for two (2) points of access. He stated they have worked with the applicant to resolve internal circulation issues. Mr. Arroyo felt the ninety (90) degree bend required modification for large trucks/vans to be able to make a turn. He felt this issue and other minor modifications could be resolved on the Final. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan from a traffic perspective, subject to the items being resolved on the Final.


Ms. Weber recommended Preliminary Site Plan Approval in the review letter dated November 9, 2000. She stated there were a number of comments, easements and agreements that would be required prior to Final Site Plan approval. In addition, she stated the applicant must show the limits of and verify adequate capacity for the 100-year overland flow route from the proposed detention basin outlet to the nearest established 100-year floodplain.


Ms. Lemke stated there are seven (7) acres of regulated woodlands on the site. The highest quality of area is the wooded wetland area to the south and to the east. She pointed out the area by building C where the higher quality area continued and its continuation across the eastern property line to the north. She stated the plan submitted proposes to remove approximately 1.9 acres of regulated woodlands and saving 5.1 acres. She stated there were additional design items included in her letter dated November 7, 2000, that she would like the applicant to explore at Final. She stated one (1) of the designs dealt with the sanitary connections along the eastern property line. She stated there were five (5) and JCK has recommended that they reduce the number of connections because they do not need all five (5). Ms. Lemke recommended that one (1) of the two (2) northerly be eliminated. She preferred the northerly connection to be removed. However, she stated if the one (1) further south was removed, it would still miss a lot of the trees and the larger woodland vegetation. She designated an area of higher quality and stated the importance of the edge vegetation of the woodland. She requested a recalculation on the number of trees required. She commented that the fencing shown was not fifteen (15) feet from the edge of the building. Therefore, she anticipated the removal of additional trees. Currently the calculation was forty-eight (48) trees, 8" dbh and greater, without the replacement ratio. She anticipated the number to be higher after the final grading information was available. She recommended that the remaining regulated woodlands on the site be placed into a Preservation Easement. In regard to the landscaping, she stated there was a waiver required from the Planning Commission for the required berming. She explained the site is zoned RM-1 with RM-1 adjacent to the east, M-1 along the south and B-3 adjacent to the west and north. She stated berming along the west and the south areas are required. She stated the property to the north was vacant and would need to provide screening when they come in for development. The property to the south is located in Wixom and is buffered by the woodlands with a three hundred (300) foot depth extending four hundred twenty (420) feet. She stated this goes along the western property line along Beck Road. She stated Ardmore Court would also require berming. She explained how limited they were by the area, and therefore would need a waiver. She commented on the existing vegetation along that area. She was looking for design considerations in the woodlands of removing the sidewalk and placing it on the northern section. The area also required some evergreen plantings. Ms. Lemke designated an existing berm on the adjacent property to the west, in which additional plantings would be required on the berm. She stated an easement would be necessary. She commented additional plantings and berming were required along the western property line. She stated although there were a number of items she would be looking for at Final however, she recommended approval.


Ms. Kay recommended approval. She pointed out an additional tenth (.1) of an acre of wetland that was not designated in the other rendition. She stated there was a cross hatched section on the map, for road linkages and remaining area for lawn area. She stated this fill was necessary due to the forty-five (45) degree angle. A condition listed on the November 7, 2000 review letter was to have one (1) of the sanitary sewer leads removed. However, due to the higher quality woodland and grades she stated they would not be in opposition of this through the wetland if it is found necessary.


Doug Necci, of JCK addressed the recommendation for the Section Nine Facade Waiver. He stated there might be correspondence with the planning staff disagreeing with the Section Nine Facade Waiver. He stated the history of this incident revolved around the usage of vinyl siding on the building. He stated the original recommendation was based on the fact that the building was located in Regions 1 and 2, it was significantly screened from any direct visibility from a major thoroughfare. He stated they felt the building was nicely designed and consistent with the adjacent buildings to the east. He explained the façade ordinance makes a distinction between the different types of vinyl sidings allowed. A 1/8 inch gagged textured vinyl siding, a premium grade of vinyl siding equal to wood siding by ordinance, is allowed. The sample on the façade board was not that grade of vinyl. He stated the sample shows a cupping/curvature on the vinyl, which is a lot less with a heavier gage vinyl. He stated the heavy gage would render the vinyl siding almost indistinguishable from wood. He stated the opinion of those who brought this to his attention was well founded and agreed with the planning staff that this was a concern. He felt the Planning Commission would need to pay special attention to this issue. He stated the options to the applicant to use the heavier gage vinyl or substitute wood or fiber cement siding. He stated all of these options would bring the building into full compliance and would eliminate the need for a waiver.


Member Churella announced he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items corrected on the Final: 1) Additional fire hydrant shall be added on Ardmore Court between building E & F. 2) The hydrant near the mail gazebo shall be relocated to a parking peninsula so that it is not blocked by parking cars. 3) Details for emergency access gates shall be provided. Applicant shall use Figure VIII-K in the Design & Construction Standards. 4) An additional hydrant shall be provided on Ardmore Court at the 90 degree bend in the road. 5) All roads are to be pave prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plan. 6) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plan. 7) The building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least 3 inches high on a contrasting background. This shall be noted on the plans. 8) The multi-residential buildings shall be numbered. Each number shall be a minimum 10 inches high, 1 inch wide and be posted at least 15 feet above the ground on the building where readily visible from the street.


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


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




Member Mutch praised the applicant for the design considerations, amenities, the care and attention to the sidewalk layout. He expressed his concern with the façade and the overall look of the ranch units. He stated the ranch style and rental units have the garage dominating the façade. Member Mutch stated his liking to the townhouse units, which have a created continuous façade of the townhouse view. He felt the ranch units mare this look. He understood the wetland issues made it difficult to bring access to the back of the units. However, he stated that he was not comfortable approving the design of the units unless they could emphasize the entrance and the fronts of the units, to take away the dominating look of the garage units. He felt the contrast was striking and with more work, this could be addressed. He asked Ms. Lemke about the waiver required for the southern property line due to the adjacency to the Wixom property? He stated the aerial photograph, showed an additional thinner parcel within the city, he assumed had RM-1 zoning. He asked Ms. Lemke if this would eliminate the need for the waiver along the southern property line?


Ms. Lemke stated she did not see this on the zoning map.


Member Mutch asked if they would not be required to provide a berm in that location?


Ms. Lemke answered correct.


Member Mutch stated his question was based upon the map provided in the packets. He clarified if Ms. Lemke’s comments recommending the sidewalk on the entrance drive be moved to the north side of the street was with the intent to preserve more woodland?


Ms. Lemke answered correct.


Member Mutch asked if there would be issues in terms of landscaping with the move of the sidewalk to the north?


Ms. Lemke answered, no.


Member Mutch did not agree with placing the five (5) foot sidewalks to the curb of the street. He stated with the plowing of the snow, the sidewalk would become useless. He agreed with the moving of the sidewalk along the northerly side of Ardmore Court. He stated the consultants could find a way to connect it across at that location. Member Mutch asked the developer to discuss the type of product that he was introducing into the market? He asked him to specifically address if the project was rental or a rental condo split?


Mr. O’Rourke thanked Member Mutch for his comments on the design. He stated all of the units would be for sale. He stated the ranch units that faced the high quality woodland and wetland portion of the site, were the preferred units to build the entire site. He felt this type of unit was more desirable and of higher quality, due to the full basement and the two (2) car garage, no stairs, no residents above. He felt this product appeared to single people and retirees. He felt from a marketing and value standpoint, these were the most valuable units because they are more like a house verses a condo.


Member Mutch understood, however, his concern was that with the ranch style, the garages were dominating the façade and the impact of the garage could be reduced. Regarding the issue of the vinyl siding, he asked the developer to explain his choice of thickness?


Mr. O’Rourke stated they would originally wanted to keep the product in line with what people expected when they purchase a condo, which is lower maintenance. He stated the association and the residents would be responsible for their own maintenance. He agreed that wood siding was the best looking product, however, it was not the best for this type of buyer. He felt the market they were selling to was looking for the lower maintenance. He stated the desire of the consultants to see a thicker vinyl was not to his knowledge until this meeting. Therefore, he stated he was not prepared to address this concern to the board.


Member Mutch asked what the total number of parking spots they were proposing to provide on site?


Mr. O’Rourke stated the ranch units would have two (2) units enclosed in the garage and two (2) parking spaces in front of the garage totaling four (4) per unit. The townhouse, ranch units and stack units have one (1) enclosed and one (1) in front of the garage for a total of two (2) per each unit. He stated this meets the ordinance requirements. He stated they have added parking spaces throughout the project in some areas. They were required by planning and fire standards to provide two (2) entrances for safety purposes, two (2) means of egress to the site. He stated they have negotiated with the owner of the building to provide emergency access in the location. Due to the nature of the site, with the sixty (60) foot access easement, he stated they do not have the ability to meet the ordinance requirement. He designated the area they would have to stop the pavement to meet the thirty-nine percent (39%) requirement, not allowing the ability to access.


Member Mutch stated part of the thirty-nine percent (39%) was the additional parking being provided. He was not certain of the need for the parking in that location. He asked the applicant to clarify why additional parking was needed along the westerly side?

Mr. O’Rourke stated they would like to keep the ability to raise the grade in some landscape areas and add berming and landscape details to shield from future commercial. He stated they could provide parking in another area, but the other areas are utilized by pedestrian access and the ordinance requirement of distance from pavement from the side of the units. He stated there was not a lot of extra space for parking.


Member Mutch asked if he felt the total number of parking was justified?


Mr. O’Rourke stated there would be twenty-five (25) spaces for fifty-one (51) units. He stated he would consider reducing it, however, in previous units he constructed, he has found that the parking is a selling feature.


Member Mutch understood, however, if the parking was excessive and not needed, he preferred that it be eliminated. Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo if the loop road shown was a requirement or if it was a fire code issue?


Mr. Arroyo stated with the emergency connection, the trucks would not be able to access and also a dead end would exist without the connection. He stated it appeared to be necessary for the circulation of the site.


Member Mutch asked if in terms of radius issues would this be resolvable?


Mr. Arroyo answered it was resolvable.


Member Mutch referred to the sidewalk along the emergency access into the commercial area. He suggested to have this moved off of the road. It did not seem to connect across and he would like to see a connection provided to the north. (tape ends) He stated he would like to have pedestrian access to the site to allow the residents to utilize the future commercial development.


Member Nagy expressed her appreciation to the developer. She asked Mr. Arroyo the degree that the applicant has not met the forty-five (45) degree requirement?


Mr. Arroyo stated this was calculated when the plan was reviewed. However, he did not have the information with him. He pointed out the areas that they met the degree requirement and designated the areas in which they were off quite a bit.


Member Nagy asked if the applicant were to meet the requirement of the forty-five (45) degrees, how many units would have to be removed?


Mr. O’Rourke stated the primary reason for requesting a waiver for the forty-five (45) degree angle was for the impact on the wetlands. He explained if the units were to be rotated, it could be closer into compliance, however, it would also impact the area the consultants suggested to avoid impacting.


Member Nagy asked Mr. Arroyo if he felt the land was being overbuilt?


Mr. Arroyo stated it would depend on the perspective of review. He stated if the ZBA does not agree with the variance, then that assumption would be true. He stated if the applicant could show practical difficulty, the answer would be no, because of the determination would be made that they met the ordinance requirement except for the variance.


Member Nagy stated if units No. 12 and No. 13 and building C were removed, the buildings would be pulled out from the wetlands. She asked Ms. Lemke if this would alleviate some of the 1.9 acreage that the applicant would like to use?


Ms. Lemke answered yes. She stated that was one (1) of the areas that she and Mr. O’Rourke reviewed that was a higher quality area.


Member Nagy felt that the elimination of No. 12, No. 13 and building C would be better.


Mr. O’Rourke stated they looked for the balance of the higher quality units verses the lower quality units. He stated they could build on the site impacting very little woodlands if they chose to build an apartment style product. He stated if they downgrade the quality of the unit, they could fit fifty (50) to sixty (60) units in an area not needing a lot of variance.


Member Nagy stated she did not feel if they reducing the number of units would mean changing the quality. She stated there were smaller complexes that are high quality. She commented on the vinyl siding. She informed the applicant that she would like them to meet the ordinance with the siding. She referred to Mr. O’Rourke’s comment that it would be a condominium association and being that, they could contract a maintenance company to maintain the building.




Moved by Nagy, seconded by Canup, Request withdrawn by applicant: To deny the Section Nine Facade Waiver for the Pointe Park Condominium SP 00-51A




Mr. O’Rourke asked if he had the opportunity to amend the plan before the façade waiver was denied?


Member Nagy restated the applicant’s desire to not use the wood due to the resident maintenance.


Mr. O’Rourke stated he could decide at this time to use wood or a quality vinyl siding to meet the Section Nine requirement.


Member Nagy reminded the Planning Commission of Mr. Bowman’s case not meeting the Section Nine Waiver and that he also voluntarily changed it.


Member Churella asked if she was asking specifically for wood?


Member Nagy stated she was asking for something that met the ordinance and that it was not vinyl siding.


Member Churella asked if she preferred wood?


Member Nagy stated she did not have a preference for wood, however, if it was vinyl, it needed to meet the ordinance.


Mr. O’Rourke volunteered to meet either wood or a higher quality vinyl. He requested the opportunity to check on prices before deciding which one.


Member Nagy stated there was a motion on the table.


Member Churella asked if the request for the waiver was withdrawn because he was going to meet the ordinance requirement?


Mr. O’Rourke stated correct.


Member Churella stated the applicant was no longer needing the waiver.


Tom Schultz stated the applicant has withdrawn the request for the waiver because he will meet the ordinance by providing either the wood or the higher quality vinyl siding required by the ordinance, therefore, it would be resolved.


Member Cassis liked the project, he felt it was well designed and preserved a lot of the ordinance. He preferred this type of project rather than a several story apartment complex. He stated the applicant had a good concept and did not see any problem with the lack of meeting the forty-five (45) degree requirement. He stated he would approve the plan if the applicant was willing to upgrade the siding. He added that he was mindful of Member Mutch’s objection to the one-story units. He stated he has seen similar designs in Farmington Hills, Walled Lake and Novi, and did find a different arrangement of the garage and still be able to maintain the square footage. He asked the applicant what price range he was attempting to accommodate?


Mr. O’Rourke answered one hundred fifty ($150,000) to two hundred ($200,000).


Member Cassis stated he would rather have this type of concept as opposed to a high rise development and he appreciated the care the applicant has taken.


Member Richards asked if the units were limited to adults?


Mr. O’Rourke answered no.


Member Richards stated his concern of the tenants. He felt with the units being two (2) bedrooms there would be a lot of children residing. He asked the applicant what the children would do since there was not a lot of greenspace and their homes would be surrounded by commercial area to the west? He asked if there was the possibility to allow greenspace for a park or swing set?


Mr. O’Rourke stated the project was definitely not a family oriented project. He stated the units have several stairs. He projected the tenants would be singles, newlyweds or first time buyers. He stated they were constructing a similar project in Walled Lake that was twenty-five percent (25%) sold with no children.


Member Richards stated with the idea of more affordable housing in Novi, he was concerned that there was also the idea of excluding families.


Member Canup stated his shared concerns with Member Nagy regarding the overbuilding of the property. He felt the property was over crowded. He stated the product on Fourteen Mile was not impressive and lacked greenspace. He did not support the site plan.


Member Nagy felt the applicant would not be able to restrict who would purchase the condo. She stated because of the price range, they would inevitably have buyers that include children. She agreed with Member Richards in that there was not enough greenspace provided and everything is close to the road. She stated for the applicant to provide more greenspace, they would have to remove units. She felt this could be done. She stated at the present design, she was not in support of the project.


Member Cassis cautioned the member of the preference of this project as opposed to a two (2) or three-story apartment complex.


Member Churella agreed with Member Cassis. He expressed his liking of the project. He did not see any problem with the garages. He supported the project.




Moved by Canup, Seconded by Nagy, Motion Fails (3-3): To deny the Site Plan SP 00-51A for the reasons as stated.




Member Mutch agreed with Member Cassis in that an apartment could be proposed. He looked at this project as an alternative. However, he disagreed regarding the garage. He did not feel that it would be too difficult architecturally to bring the house forward five (5) feet to recede the dominant feature.


Member Nagy questioned again the amount of building that was being placed on the site. She did not feel the only alternative was to build apartments. She felt the alternative would be to reduce the number of units. She asked the applicant if this was a possibility?


Mr. O’Rourke stated in order to have more greenspace, he would need to take out a building and stack it on top of another building. This would eliminate the two (2) car garage feature, which would reduce the quality. He stated if they were denied tonight, they might consider that alternative. He stated the only possibility to make that site less dense with fewer buildings would be to build up.




Yes: Canup, Nagy, Richards

No: Cassis, Churella, Mutch




Moved by Cassis, Seconded NONE, Motion Fails lack of support: To approve SP 00-51A subject to all consultants’ letters and the upgrading of the siding situation and the ZBA Waiver that is needed.




Member Churella stated the project was good. He felt that they should reconsider the motion and not let it die. He asked Member Mutch if he was requesting that the garages be moved up five (5) feet and asked Mr. Arroyo if this could be done?


Member Canup stated the applicant has heard the concerns of the board. He requested that the gentlemen review the comments and seek to satisfy some of the concerns. He felt the vote was going to stay at a three (3) to three (3) with the present site plan. Member Canup suggested tabling.


Mr. O’Rourke stated in effort to save time, he would remove one (1) unit, reduce the wetland fill and possible ease things up.




Moved by Canup, Seconded by Nagy, CARRIED (4-2): To table SP 00-51A until the next regular scheduled meeting.





Yes: Canup, Mutch, Nagy, Richards

No: Cassis, Churella




The proposed rezoning of 9.26 acres in Section 12, located at the northwest corner of Twelve Mile Road and Haggerty Road. The applicant is seeking a positive rezoning recommendation form Office Service Technology District (OST) to Community Business District (B-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.


Matt Quinn stated his client was attempting to make the east side of the city a focal point for automation alley. He requested rezoning for Haggerty Road and Twelve Mile Road. He asked the commissioners to focus on the two (2) mile north stretch and the one (1) mile to the south, from the M-5 Corridor to the east of Haggerty Road is OST zoning. South of Twelve Mile Road is OST zoning. He stated on the Farmington Hills side is a similar zoning to Novi’s OST. He calculated that upon completion of Northern Equities’ development, combined with Farmington Hills, there would exist six (6) million square feet of office and/or high tech research development. This would correlate to twenty-five (25,000) to thirty thousand (30,000) employees, in five (5) years. He stated the developments constructed in the area have the need to eat. The alternatives in the city would be to eat at the Town Center, five (5) miles away, Twelve Oaks Mall, two (2) miles away, both which he did not feel were the best possibilities. Mr. Quinn felt that when the Master Plan was created for the Novi, there was a rushed decision to zone the proposed area OST. Therefore, he did not feel it was zoned appropriately. He stated a restaurant built in the OST District, could exist if it is within or attached to one (1) of the common walls of the office building, as outline in the OS-1 zoning requirements. He stated these types of restaurants typically close and turn over ownership. He gave the example of the restaurant inside of Southfield Town Center, which has repeatedly turned over. He compared it to the free standing Friday’s outside in the parking lot which has existed for over ten (10) years. Mr. Quinn felt the restaurants located inside businesses did not succeed. He and his client do not feel there was a market for restaurant located inside businesses. The general market of restaurants nationally have the square footages of six thousand (6,000), eight thousand (8,000) or eighty-five thousand (8,500) square feet. He claimed this was determined by national restaurants to work best for their product.


Matt Quinn presented two (2) curb cuts on the corner with access from Cabot Drive. He pointed out the new road through the Northern Equities Development. He proposed to place a connector through the parking lot or free standing driveway. This would allow those using the office buildings to the north to travel Cabot Drive and access the restaurant parcel without having to travel Haggerty Road or Twelve Mile Road. He stated the purpose of using this site as a restaurant was to decrease the amount of traffic traveling to restaurants in a limited amount of time. The design incorporated the woodlands and wetlands throughout the site with specific water features. He referred to the conceptual plan with four (4) restaurants and the water features from the entrance into the city. Northern Equities has volunteered to place a welcome to Novi on the corner. He stated architecturally the design carried forward nicely. Conceptually there would be an Asian restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a Mexican restaurant and a fish restaurant. All four (4) would be sit down restaurants. He commended Northern Equities for previous products they contributed to Novi. He stated they could fit two (2) office building on the corner with OST capacity. Mr. Quinn explained that at one time the site was sold by Northern Equities to another developer, who has since vanished. Northern Equities has the option to repurchase the site, however it will cost more than their selling price. Therefore, in order to recoup the cost of the land, the two (2) office buildings would be a two-story and a three-story. He felt the proposed development was a win for the City of Novi because it would be a nice entrance into the city and four (4) restaurants. He stated the focal point of this corridor would be in this general area and therefore, the corner should be rezoned to B-2. Mr. Quinn introduced Ralph Nuniez the architect and planner, and Mr. Beaubien the director of traffic.


Ralph Nuniez, president of Design Team Limited, stated the value in price and location of this corner. In their review of the development, he stated they considered joint access and cross parking between the restaurants. He stated there are approximately four hundred and twenty (420) inventoried trees. He stated it was difficult to determine the quality of woodland because fifty percent (50%) of the trees are Elm with forty percent (40%) that are dead. The Elms that appear to be healthy are located on the peripheral portion of the property. The remainders of the species are the soft maples, silver maples, box elders, crab apples and one beech tree. He stated the replacement trees would need to be evaluated by the consultants. He stated the water course that runs through the site would need to be addressed as well. He figured the difference between the two (2) plans to be one hundred fifty-three thousand (153,000) square feet of office space verses a little over thirty thousand (30,000) square feet for the restaurant buildings. He stated the water course travels through the site from the north and exits by way of a culvert into Farmington Hills. Mr. Nuniez expressed his interest of the restoration of the water course, preservation of the better quality trees and enhancement of the trees in the area creating a storm water detention. He pointed out the design for pavers to show a simulation of a stream. He stated the water course in the center was for aesthetic purposes and not storm water detention. He added that the idea was to create a view for those in the restaurants or out door seating terraces. The water course continued to look as if it was designed to connect. He designated the drop off area for valet parking and a storm water detention basin in the front to hold water as a back drop for the sign to Novi. He stated that the landscaping would be consistent around the perimeter meeting the regulations and requirements of the city. Conceptually there are two hundred fifty (250) trees, which he stated would increase after the environmental feature reviews. He explained the curvature of the area with the restaurants to create visibility at the intersection to those traveling westbound and viewing through the water detention basin, landscape area and back to the regulated trees in the rear of the property. Mr. Nuniez commented the interest to keep the sidewalks continuing along Haggerty Road and along Twelve Mile Road into the office space.


Dick Beaubien of Hubbell, Roth & Clark Consulting Engineers examined the parcel and estimate the trips that would be generated if it were developed office and compare it to an estimate if the property were developed for restaurants. He explained he looked at daily trips, a.m. peak hour trips and the p.m. peak hour trips. He felt the most significant times would be the peak hours. He stated during the a.m. peak hour trips would be greater for the office development because the restaurants would not be open. According to Mr. Arroyo’s traffic table, the office would have an additional two hundred fifty-two (252) trips and the restaurant would have an additional one hundred fifty-six (156) trips. Mr. Beaubien stated the traffic impact on the adjacent road system the restaurants would have less of an impact than the offices.


Mr. Arroyo showed an aerial photograph to show the general site vicinity. He pointed out the gas station, Cooker; the vacant B-2 zoned property, developing Haggerty Corporate Center, OST type zoning in Farmington Hills and office development in Farmington Hills. Mr. Arroyo pointed out the development at Twelve Mile Road and Haggerty Road location: Fata Automation, Haggerty Corporate Park, the expired Comerica B-2 zoned property and Americenter Office suites. In a regulated woodland map, Mr. Arroyo designated the woodlands in the area. He also showed the location of the site in relation to a wetland map. There is a small regional detention basin functioning in the location providing a connection upstream.


Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval of the rezoning application. He stated the current designation was consistent with the master plan designating the area for office. He indicated that there were other opportunities for restaurant development and B-2 type uses elsewhere. He reminded the board that the application was not specifically for a restaurant. He stated it could be any use that is allowed in the B-2 District. He felt this was important for the Planning Commission to understand. He explained the Novi Road, Grand River Avenue and the I-96 was the heart of the city, and the downtown area. He stated there currently exist several restaurants and also some restaurants in process of being built. He reminded the board of Twelve Oaks Mall, who plan to convert the theatre area into a food court, Fountain Walk Development, Town Center and the Main Street Development, the concentration of restaurants on Grand River Avenue and Haggerty, restaurants in Commerce for those who work along Cabot and the M-5 corridor. Mr. Arroyo stated he would like to encourage those individuals to come into the Town Center and commercial center. He restated the long range goals and objectives to concentrate commercial uses and create activity centers near freeway interchanges. He stated the employees would have the option to travel surface streets or the freeway interchanges, a three (3) mile stretch. He stated that although there were restrictions for restaurants in the OST district, they were possible. To meet the ordinance requirement, they applicant would need to have only one (1) common wall. It would not have to be completely enclosed. Mr. Arroyo disagreed that the OST was drafted in a hurry. He felt the reason the OS-2 language was carried forward was due to the Planning Commission and the City Council feeling comfortable with the language and did not see the need to replicate new language in the OST District. He stated it is often better for those viewing the ordinance to have fewer words and refer to another district and view the provision. He felt it made sense to reference the provisions when they are the same in different districts. He stated in the B-2 district, retail development was possible, dry cleaners, professional offices, sit down restaurants, child care centers, private clubs, hotel and with special approval a gas station. He reminded the board that they are not seeing a site plan and are not making a decision on a detailed site plan, however, they are reviewing if the requested zoning could fit on the site. He recapped the office plan would take out almost of the woodlands, wetlands and stream through the site. Mr. Arroyo stated there should be realistic comparisons of the different uses under both zoning scenarios.


In regard to traffic, he commended Mr. Beaubien for his review in traffic. He explained they distinguish between the new trips, pass by trips and total trips. He state trips in and out of the site would be those in and out of the project driveways represented as the higher numbers on the table. General office would not have pass by trips: two hundred fifty-two (252) p.m. peak hour; two hundred sixty-three (263) a.m. peak hour; approximately eighteen hundred (1800) over a twenty-four (24) hour basis. He compared those number to the 2-High turnover & 2 Quality restaurant of approximately thirty-three hundred (3300); two hundred seventy-six (276) p.m. peak hours. He stated when reviewing the total new trips added to the surrounding road network, the applicant was correct to state that the p.m. peak hour there would be fewer road trips added under a restaurant scenario. However, Mr. Arroyo added that there was not other potential use comparisons available. He stated these comparisons could give an example of how impacts may differ from different times of the day and over a twenty-four (24) hour basis. He stated the existing zoning was in keeping with the master plan, and felt that there were opportunities within Novi for uses similar to what would be permitted in the B-2 district, and those areas are sufficient to serve this particular area in question.


Ms. Weber stated in there is sufficient capacity in the sanitary sewer that is to serve this property if it is rezoned form OST to B-2. From an engineering perspective, she recommended approval.


Ms. Lemke stated that although her office does not review rezoning requests, she has looked at the site in regard to woodlands. She stated Mr. Nuniez’ inventory appeared to be correct however, she had not done a specific site inventory.


Ms. Kay brought it to the commission’s attention that because they are not reviewing for a preliminary site plan, their office did not determine if the wetlands were an active depiction as the applicant had represented.


Member Churella announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.



Art Servie, 28331 Haggerty Road, stated that he would like to have seen an actual proposal instead of a conceptual plan. He felt this project would be an asset only if the proposed project was what was going to be built.


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






Moved by Nagy, seconded by Cassis, CARRIED (5-1): To give a negative recommendation for the Zoning Map Amendment 18.063.




Member Mutch asked Mr. Quinn regarding his representation of the properties to the south not having commercial in the immediate area. He asked Mr. Quinn what the distances were that he indicated people would need to travel to reach the restaurants?


Mr. Quinn showed the diagram they used. He stated knowing they would have twenty-five (25,000) to thirty thousand (30,000) people, the basic conception from either of the two (2) mile stretches would be to travel to Farmington Hills on Halstead, or North to Commerce Twp., south to Grand River Avenue and Haggerty for fast food or the Novi Town Center. He stated there currently is a parking problem for the existing restaurants. He stated these are facts he has heard from the current tenants.


Member Mutch asked if Mr. Quinn felt this rezoning would meet this need, or would they be reviewing another restaurant proposal on Thirteen Mile and Haggerty?


Mr. Quinn did not feel that these four (4) restaurants would meet the total need. He felt it would add to help take the capacity off of the streets, however, there would be another proposal for restaurants either for Novi, Farmington Hills or Commerce.


Member Mutch clarified if he felt there would be a need for additional commercial zoning in the immediate vicinity for restaurants above and beyond what has been proposed?


Mr. Quinn answered yes.


Member Mutch referred to Mr. Quinn’s comment stating the OST Master Plan not addressing the commercial needs of the area. He did not recall the need being brought forward in the meeting for the Master Plan for the entire city. He asked Mr. Quinn to express why he felt that was not brought forward at that time?


Mr. Quinn stated at that point the development was just starting. He stated there might have been one (1) or two (2) office buildings at that time.


Member Mutch stated his support for the negative recommendation. He agreed with the petitioner’s in that this would be a gateway into Novi. He questioned if the gateway into Novi would be a gas station and a restaurant strip while Farmington Hills would have an office building. He did not agree with making Novi "commercial heaven". He agreed with Mr. Arroyo to support the commercial districts in Novi. He stated Main Street and Fountain Walk would be additional opportunities for those to eat. Member Mutch felt they should keep with the high tech look as opposed to the restaurant row look.


Member Cassis recalled a lot of discussion involved to zone the area from residential to OST. He did not support the rezoning due to the many existing commercial areas in the city. He stated the parcel has already gone through a rezoning. He did not feel this was an appropriate area to have as B-2 zoning.


Member Churella felt they could build a restaurant within the OST district. He mentioned Ruth’s in Troy, which is located in an office building.




Yes: Cassis, Churella, Mutch, Nagy, Richards

No: Canup





    This corporate park site condominium project is located in Section 4, east of Beck and north of West Roads. This forty-seven acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking Final Landscape Site Plan Approval.


    (tape begins)

    Ms. Lemke stated she recommended approval however, there were a number of items she would need to see prior to Final Stamping of the plan. She stated her major concern was with the establishment of the wild flower or meadow area on the berm. She stated her letter gave the recap of what had occurred with the City Council and the minutes from that meeting.




    Member Nagy stated that the actual maintenance agreement was not in their possession. She stated this maintenance agreement was worked out with the previous city attorney, Dennis Watson.


    Mr. Schultz stated that he was not certain that Mr. Watson reviewed any of the final language for the maintenance agreement. He thought the proposal was to propose some language that would be in the Master Deed for the condominium, to give the city rights to enter on the property and enforce the agreement. Since the city attorney office would be reviewing the documents, he believed there would be a stand alone agreement that would refer to the language. He stated the attorney would have to agree with Ms. Lemke’s input on the language and until this occurs, there would not be a complete approval.


    Member Nagy asked why this case is before them for Final Landscape approval without that document?


    Mr. Schultz stated the Planning Commission would need to approve the plan subject to the language being finalized and approved by the city staff.


    Member Nagy stated her concern of the section of Ms. Lemke’s letter regarding wildflower seeds. She stated she would like to ensure that all of the conditions of Ms. Lemke’s letter were met before the Final Site Plan approval was given. She stated that Ms. Lemke’s letter indicated landscaping plans were being changed to evergreen plantings. Member Nagy expressed her objection to Austrian Pine due to the diseases and it not being a native species. She asked if these could be substituted?


    Ms. Lemke stated that under her landscape plan requirements indicate that Pinus nigra be changed to the other 2 coniferous species due to problems with diplodia tip bight.

    Member Nagy clarified if Ms. Lemke was requesting the Austrian Pine be changed?


    Ms. Lemke answered yes.


    Member Mutch stated in the City Council minutes, plantings were mentioned for the adjacent residential property. He asked if this was a private agreement between the applicant and the property owners or if it was contained in the landscape plan approval or the City Council’s Waiver agreement?


    Mr. Quinn believed this was to be done voluntarily on site when the trees are planted and the property owners would be there.


    Member Mutch clarified if this was then not part of the landscape plan?


    Ms. Lemke answered no.


    Member Mutch asked if this was something that should be included in the landscape plan?


    Ms. Lemke stated this would be difficult to place in the landscape plan without conveyance of easement.


    Mr. Quinn stated the Member Mutch could trust Arnie Serlin would ensure the trees are planted.


    Member Mutch noted that the City Council did not address the issue of the use of the city property.


    Ms. Lemke stated this was part of the whole motion. She stated they were not specific, however she was specific in what they needed to decide that night.


    Member Mutch asked if the landscape plan incorporated the use of the city property?


    Ms. Lemke answered yes.


    Member Mutch stated he did not support this motion. He felt the developer should place the berm on their own property. He stated they were getting the advantage of the use of the city property at no charge. Therefore, he did not support it.




    Moved by Richards, Seconded by Cassis, CARRIED (5-1): To give a positive recommendation for Beck North Corporate Site Condominium SP 00-13 subject to the Consultant’s report and an agreement with the city attorney.


    VOTE ON PM 00-11-169 CARRIED


    Yes: Canup, Cassis, Churella, Nagy, Richards

    No: Mutch




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

Member Churella stated that the applicant Mr. Ted Andris was not present. He stated he had a letter sent to Chairperson Capello that stated "Thank you for yours of yesterday. It prompted me to call you and discuss the reasons for my adjournment request in more detail. I have discussed my adjournment request with the city attorney, Tom Schultz, by telephone prior to speaking with you. Hopefully there is no misunderstanding that I will in fact not appear for the hearing since neither Mr. Schultz nor you or able to advise me of any written conforming authority requiring personal appearance in order to simply obtain an adjournment."


Member Canup asked if they needed to vote on approving or denying the request for adjournment?


Mr. Shultz recommended that the request for adjournment be granted. He stated the request was received on Friday, allowing more time than the last occurrence.


Member Canup asked what the difference would be if the site plan were denied or the adjournment was approved?


Mr. Schultz stated if the site plan was denied, the applicant would have to pay another fee if he chose to come back.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Cassis: That in Case SP 00-33 that we deny the site plan as submitted.




Member Mutch expressed his sympathy to the motion and felt there should be a standard regarding these types of situations. He felt if the board voted to deny this case, the issue needed to be sent to Master Planning & Zoning to readdress the corner’s zoning. He recapped the several projects that were submitted for this corner were not feasible. He did not feel the site plan should be denied and have the corner not addressed.


Ms. Brock stated the conditions of adjournment is on the next Implementation Agenda.


Member Cassis recalled Mr. Ted Andris’ failure to attend the last two (2) Planning Commission meetings. He stated this would be the third instance that Mr. Andris communicated by mail. He felt if Mr. Andris brought forward another project, it would be a different project. Therefore, he felt they should deny this site plan. In regard to standards, he stated if one (1) does not show up for the Planning Commission Meeting two (2) or three (3) times without giving the courtesy, he felt the board should not give them more than three (3) chances.


Member Mutch did not disagree with Member Cassis’ view. However, there was nothing in writing that stated that policy. He stated the fact that Mr. Andris wrote a letter and did not appear, was not an appropriate reason to deny the site plan. He stated that a site plan needed to be denied on its merits. He felt there needed to be something on the record stating why the site plan was being denied as opposed to the lack of Mr. Andris failure to appear. He did not like the situation that Mr. Andris had created, however, it was not a legal reason to deny a plan.


Mr. Arroyo agreed that if a plan was to be denied, a reason needed to be stated. He gave the example of the doors facing the residential district. He stated this was a Section 1503-5 of the Zoning Ordinance. He suggested if the site plan was denied, it would need to be based on an ordinance standard.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That in Case SP 00-33 that we deny the site plan as submitted amended to include it is being denied for concerns as raised by our consultants.




Member Nagy stated that the record was of Mr. Andris’ lack of appearance, and it should be reflected.


Member Mutch stated this was not against the ordinance.


Member Churella clarified that the letter was received by facsimile.


Mr. Schultz stated that Mr. Capello received an initial letter from Mr. Andris by certified mail on the 10th. The statement in the letter was that he intended to speak further with Mr. Arroyo regarding the issues that were raised. Mr. Schultz felt the commission needed to be aware that there was not a standard in the ordinance that stated there were three (3) chances and then the plan would be denied. He stated ultimately this would be a due process question. He questioned if Mr. Andris was aware when he filed his application that these were the rules. He questioned if the commission was furthering the legitimate governmental interest by refusing the request to table the matter and act on the matter substantively. He requested that the board incorporate further discussion of why they were acting on the matter.


Member Richards recalled negative recommendations from the consultants based on Section 1503-5. He stated because Mr. Andris was not present to elaborate on the details, the board was forced to operate on its own. He stated the site plan violated Section 1503-5 of the ordinance. He stated this was the basis of denying the site plan, not that Mr. Andris was not present. He felt the commission needed more detail to understand Mr. Andris’ violation of Section 1503-5 and was unable to obtain it. Therefore, they were forced to operate on the details that they had before them.




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

No: None









Presentation by Assistant City Manager for Developmental Services Clay Pearson


Mr. Pearson spoke regarding the concept of traffic calming. Traffic calming has spread to the United States from Europe. The concept involves constructed materials into the road right-of-ways. He stated his appreciation for the concept extended to the opportunity for it to be a tool to build neighborhoods. He announced expert speaker, Michael Wallwork, offered to come to guest speak at the City of Novi on Tuesday, November 28, 2000. Mr. Pearson felt that traffic was an issue in the quality of life, the residential neighborhood and the commercial cores. Therefore, he felt it was important to keep opportunities and experiences open for traffic calming. Mr. Pearson stated there are three (3) legs to traffic calming: 1) enforcement and regulation, 2) education, 3) design and engineering. Enforcement and regulation could address traffic speed with police and radar, or lower speed limits, placement of stop signs. He stated these all have limitations in that there are only a limited number of police, in a limited space, for a limited time; stop signs are left up to the driver to obey and give a false sense of security. He stated there was the option to educate people through public information campaigns of the need to follow traffic regulations. He felt these impacted for a limited amount of time. Mr. Pearson felt that the design and engineering gave the best impact over a long term period. He focused on the design and engineering aspect of the traffic calming concept. He gave the example of a straight, wide-open roadway would naturally give the inclination to drive faster. Therefore, if a residential street were constructed like with the features of a highway, drivers would drive it like a highway. Traffic calming attempts to reinforce through the built streets and the environment. A traffic circle is one example of traffic calming. He stated traffic calming needed to be viewed with a larger system. He stated impossibility of slowing down the traffic on all of the streets. Instead, he stated the roads needed to be viewed part/parcel. For example, the fast roads would be faster and the slow streets slower. He felt the road bond, that was just passed, would greatly benefit the attempt to make the streets designed to carry more traffic work more effectively. He stated if the heavier traffic roads are working more effectively, there would be less of an inclination for drivers cutting through neighborhoods. He stated traffic calming was growing in popularity. It has been a standard for years in Europe and Australia. Seattle has six hundred (600) roundabouts; Phoenix, Arizona and Florida are the leaders of traffic calming. He deterred the reasoning that it would not work with snow removal, however, Mr. Pearson stated he has observed roundabouts in New Hampshire, Vermont and major intersections carrying a lot of traffic. He offered this as another solution as opposed to paving over more roads and widening them. He stated Institute of Traffic Engineers have put together guidelines for traffic calming. He stated there was a large amount of evidence for the effectiveness. Mr. Pearson stated in his previous city experiences, there were complaints of speeders and requests for stop signs. The city response was that they could not place stop signs, because the state statues did not conform to the uniform manual traffic design. The traffic calming was effective. He stated for traffic calming to work, there was a process and it would involve the residents that it would effect. Data would need to be collected based on the residents concerns. The data and solutions would need to be discussed with the residents. Mr. Pearson explained that the process would involve working closely with the residents. He stated the impact on city services would need to be reviewed. He gave the example that the snow plows would not be able to travel as quickly through the streets. He stated it would effect fire service, ambulance and police. Mr. Pearson stated deflection would involve moving the cars to the left, right or up by using roundabouts, chicanes, medians barriers, speed bumps, raised crosswalks and speed humps. He stated these things would allow the automobiles to travel at a proper rate of speed and integrate them into the larger transportation system, make neighborhoods conducive for pedestrians and bicyclists. Mr. Pearson stated that these devices needed to be applied in a series. For example placement in a three (300) or four hundred (400) to create a constant motion. He questioned if the new neighborhoods had the best standards. He pointed out that some of the newer neighborhoods were designing narrow streets, which was also a traffic calming measure. He stated there were technique drawing examples attached to the handouts for review.


Member Churella asked Mr. Pearson regarding the passing of the Road Bond and improvements to the major intersections. He asked if traffic calming had been incorporated in the review of these improvements? He asked if Mr. Pearson had given thought to using the Road Bond toward traffic calming? He asked if it could be used when building a subdivision to create a circle to allow right turns to go around verses turn lanes?


Mr. Pearson felt new subdivisions should be viewed with these alternatives. In regard to his first question, he stated it would be difficult. He stated the retro fitting, the road bond projects onto existing highways, limits the right-of-ways. He stated there are different government bodies such as the state and the county. He felt the road bond projects were major public improvement projects in terms of landscaping, traffic calming and entryways.


Member Mutch commented on the old subdivision and new subdivision situation. He suggested incorporating it into the subdivision standards verse the debates about the street connections. He suggested the possibility of the street connections incorporating the traffic calming devices to prevent cut throughs. He felt the traffic calming device would offer a third alternative to the open street verses close street.


Member Mutch commented on the Our Lady of Victory project that was noticed to be on the agenda. He stated there was not a standard to deal with a project that withdraws after they receive a public notice. He stated a motion was needed to send this matter off to Implementation.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To recommend to Implementation Committee to study the issue of applicants up for a Public Hearing who withdraw from the agenda.



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

No: None










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




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

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

December 29, 2000


Date Approved: January 17, 2001