View Agenda for this meeting






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


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


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Piccinini


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






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




Moved by Churella seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended to include Rod Arroyo’s Special Report adjourned from the previous Planning Commission meeting due to the lateness of the meeting.




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

No: None












Chairperson Capello announced there were no items on the Consent Agenda.





This project is located in Section 35, on the west side of Meadowbrook Road between Eight Mile and Nine Mile Roads. The 6.39 acre parcel is zoned Single-Family Residential District (R-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan, Special Land Use Permit, Wetland Permit and Section Nine Facade Waiver approvals.

Ronald Cieslak represented Meadowbrook Congregational Church. He stated the original church was constructed in 1984 and the meeting house addition was constructed in 1990. He proposed a thirty-six hundred (3,600) square foot classroom addition to the west end of the original building, which is currently the parking lot area. He explained since this would eliminate a large portion of the existing lot, they proposed to maintain the parking in the designated location. He proposed photometric light fixtures to provide better lighting and safety. Mr. Cieslak proposed a new water main and located a fire hydrant. Currently there does not exist on-site storm water detention. However, he stated following the suggestion of JCK, a capacity study was completed on the eighteen inch (18") storm sewer. It was determined that the 18" storm sewer would be over taxed and therefore, he proposed a storm water detention basin. He pointed out the area and indicated that the city wetland map designates the location as a wetland. JCK Engineers determined that the placement of the storm water detention basin in this location would be permissible. Mr. Cieslak explained that the original set back was forty-five (45) feet, however, the setback had been updated to seventy-five (75). He explained that because they would like to maintain the alignment of the existing and future parking, they were requesting a variance for the setback and allow the berm and landscaping to be extended along Broquet. He requested a variance for the landscape island. He explained with the elimination and replacement of the parking they would be adding in approximately nine hundred fifty-five (955) square feet of new area. Mr. Cieslak requested a variance for the landscape berm along Meadowbrook Road. He explained that there are existing plantings per ordinance standards, however, due to the height of the proposed building the berm would provide limited screening if any. The fourth variance he requested was of the noise study. He explained the only additional equipment would be two (2) residential type condensing units. He requested the variance based on the distance of the new equipment with surrounding area. He added they would need waivers from the City Council with regard to engineering requirements. Currently they are required to provide an underground storm water system to collect storm water. He explained that since 1984 the site has had a natural draining system. Therefore, he would be requesting that they allow the site to continue to sheet drain to the corner where it is retained and the out flow restricted to the 18" storm sewer. Mr. Cieslak stated because they would like to continue to sheet draining they would also need a waiver for the curb and gutter on the new parking area of the site. A variance for the new bike path along Meadowbrook Road would also be requested. He stated they would have a corridor, new porch entrance to provide an entrance for the parking to the west, handicap entrances are at the existing building and the meeting house, three (3) classrooms subdivided into six (6) smaller classrooms and new restroom facilities. He stated the main reason for the added space is for Sunday school. Currently the church uses the multi-purpose room, however, he explained that due to the growth of the church the space is no longer adequate. The size of the addition is 52’8" X 72’8’. Architecturally, Mr. Cieslak proposed to continue the colonial character of the existing building. The roof would be raised slightly to create a break due to the widening of the building. He added the building would be brick, brick coining on the corners to coordinate, a shingled roof, molding details with the traditional double hung window. The porch at the west end would have a small gable and two (2) architectural columns.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant did not recommend approval of the Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan due to the variances and waivers requested by the applicant. He stated these would need to be addressed with the appropriate bodies. He stated the setback requirement is seventy-five (75) feet and they would only be providing forty-five (45) feet. He added Ms. Lemke would address landscaping issues. Mr. Arroyo stated a noise analysis is a requirement of all Special Land Uses and therefore the applicant would need to request a variance. He stated the bike path is required along Meadowbrook Road. He informed the applicant of the amendment to the exterior lighting standards that were approved by City Council. He stated the applicant would need to provide more information at Final with this new ordinance amendment. He advised the applicant to obtain a copy of the amended ordinance.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo indicated the applicant could provide the end islands and remain within the parking count requirement. Therefore, he felt the end islands should be provided on the plan. He explained the current parking area met the old parking standards of twenty-two foot (22’) parking isle and twenty foot (20’) stalls. He agreed with the reasoning to extend the parking isle in the same dimensions of the existing parking area. Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant would need to address the secondary emergency access issue. He added that although there was discussion to provide this at one point, it was not included in the plan. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval from a traffic perspective due to the necessary variances and waivers.


Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan in the November 3, 2000 review letter. Existing sanitary sewer and water would service the site. She explained the topography of the site falls from the northeast to the low area of the southwest corner. The applicant proposed to detain at a level that would exceed the existing out flow conditions. She stated they would need a Design and Construction Standard Variance for the concrete curb and gutter, requirement for the enclosed storm sewer and the 8’ wide concrete bike path along Meadowbrook Road frontage.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect did not recommend approval in her letter dated October 30, 2000 due to the variances and additional concerns. She stated the applicant would need two (2) variances from ZBA and one (1) waiver from the Planning Commission. She explained the variances would be for island space and trees for the parking lot area. The requirement is one thousand seven hundred and thirty (1,730) square feet with twenty-six (26) canopy trees. She stated the site had seven (7) trees on site that could be counted toward this requirement. She explained the purpose of the section of the ordinance was to provide relief from the expansive paving with islands that contain canopy trees and plant materials, therefore, she was not in support of the variance request. She noted the applicant has saved an Ash tree at the southwest corner of the western parking lot. However, the fire hydrant and the water main are located too close to actually save the tree. She would asked that those be relocated further north. The landscape buffering along Meadowbrook Road requires ten (10) canopy trees and thirty-six (36) inch berm. She stated she could support the applicant’s request for the variance for the berm if additional plant material was added to meet the opacity requirement. She added these would include shrubs, Evergreen trees, sub canopy trees and deciduous trees. Ms. Lemke explained that the waiver is for the use of existing woodlands to meet the opacity requirements adjacent to residential. She stated the requirement is a four foot six inch (4’6") berm along the west and south property line, which abuts existing developed residential areas. She explained that the Planning Commission waiver would be for the western property line. She described the woodland as an open woodland area. She required additional Evergreen trees and shrubs to meet the opacity requirements. Ms. Lemke expressed her concern for the southern property. She described it as a wide open area. She stated that although they have shown the berm, she needed additional reference spot elevations at existing houses to the south. She described the area as having minimal plant material. The plan demonstrated a lot of Evergreen trees spaced far apart. She added they would need additional shrubs and canopy trees to meet the opacity requirement. She commented that a lot of material would be required along with a number of additional items that she would be looking for at Final.


Victoria Weber recommended approval from a wetland perspective in the November 3, 2000 review letter. She stated that because the project is a non minor use permit, a wetland permit approval is required from the Planning Commission. The .17 acre wetland is located at the southwest corner of the site. The wetland has been determined as non-essential to the preservation of the natural resources of the city due to the small size and limited functions and values. She stated the two (2) proposed impacts are: 1) the excavation of 4500 square feet; 330 cubic yards of wetland to construct a detention basin and 2) the extension of the existing storm sewer pipe through the wetland to the proposed detention basin. Ms. Weber stated that although there are a number of comments to be addressed at Final, she recommended approval.


Victoria Weber continued to recommended approval of the façade from the letter dated January 26, 2000, which indicated a positive recommendation was given for Section Nine Facade Waiver and recommended approval.


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


Chairperson Capello announced 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 Canup felt it was unfortunate that the church sold the four (4) acres next door due to the current need. After listening to the presentation, he suggested the plan return to address all of the presented issues. He listed the matters to be addressed: façade, parking setbacks, berm issues, bike path issues, landscaping, curb and gutters. He stated the magnitude of problems made it clear that there were too many issues to be addressed to be before the board for approval.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To table Meadowbrook Congregational Church SP 00-01A.




Member Koneda agreed that there were a number of issues that needed to be addressed and solved before it came before the Planning Commission again. He felt that the commission should inform the developer and the church what needed to be corrected and what they could support. He gave the example of the parking area, which he would not support. He did not feel the responsibility should be passed to the ZBA. He felt the Planning Commission should determine the planning aspect and the ZBA should determine if there were no remedies, they would be the judicial governing body. Therefore, he felt if there were solutions available, they should identify the solutions. He suggested the elimination of four (4) parking spaces to accommodate the end islands. He referred to Mr. Arroyo’s review in that the parking would only be decreased from one hundred sixteen (116) to one hundred ten (110) still leaving the site in an excess of nine (9) spaces. He could support the noise analysis, the existing condition of Broquet Drive, the on-site detention in the wetland and the ZBA variance of the parking isle. He felt they should provide the bike path and secondary access provided. He supported the motion to table to allow the applicant to address these issues.


Member Nagy asked if it was possible to turn the addition around, creating a court area and change the parking lot. She expressed her concern and lack of support of the number of variances and waivers requested. She felt the frontage onto Meadowbrook Road was bare and agreed with Ms. Lemke for additional plantings. She suggested extending out the circular area to create a secondary access drive.




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

No: None



This project is located in Section 24, on the north side of Grand River Avenue between Haggerty Road and Meadowbrook Roads. The 5 acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Approvals.


Matt Quinn appeared on behalf of Autometrics Collision. He stated he first became involved when they were looking for a rezoning for the site. He stated that City Council told them that it could be more easily handled by asking the Zoning Board of Appeals for a use variance. Based upon the use variance that was granted, with the six (6) specific conditions that are on record, they are requesting Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Special Use Approval. He questioned whether or not they should be before the Planning Commission for a Special Use Approval as compared to a Public Hearing based upon a site plan subject to special conditions. He stated the special conditions were given by the ZBA. He felt the main difference was that a Public Hearing was based on the conditions only then the specifics of the Special Land Use, such as a noise analysis, would not be included. He stated this would be a three thousand five hundred ($3,500.) cost his client would like to avoid. Mr. Quinn requested Special Land Use Approval subject to either a waiver being granted by the ZBA for the noise analysis or an Ordinance Interpretation from the ZBA. He stated Lee Mamola would be presenting the site plan and request a Planning Commission Waiver on the near side driveway. He explained that due to the engineering of the site, they would need to go to the City Council for a Waiver on the Sedimentation Basin. He stated they are proposing to use two (2) sedimentation tanks.


Lee Mamola briefly restated the presentation regarding the Special Land Use and Site Plan Approval issues as noted in the letters of November 7, 2000. He stated Autometric Body Shops is a body shop repair business. The specialty would be to repair higher end vehicles such as Mercedes, Porches, Jaguars etc… He stated there were several other existing locations throughout metro Detroit. He felt that Novi was fortunate to have this company establish here. He stated the current structure was impeded by an extraordinary number of columns of businesses of this type. He gave the example of the grid spacing of the columns of sixteen (16) feet to twenty (20) to twenty-four (24) feet as compared to a 30’ X 40’ type of grid spacing in more current industrial buildings of this type. He stated there were limited height restrictions of clearances from floor to the underside of the structure of approximately twelve (12) feet. He explained that most Light Industrial buildings in the market have sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) feet as a norm. He described it as a "white elephant" structure that Autometrics has been able to make use of. He explained that Autometrics would only need half (1/2) of the thirty-five (35) or thirty-six thousand square feet (36,000’) of floor area. He explained that one (1) of the conditions of the ZBA was that any car under repair must be within the structure of the building. The vehicle could not be outside the shell of the building until the moment the customer was ready to drive the vehicle away. Another condition was that cars that were coming in for repair could not be outside of the building. He explained the plan is designed to allow vehicles to be driven into the building and removed from the transporting vehicle and repaired accordingly. He stated all of the dismantled and partially assembled cars would be completely within the shell of the building. They proposed fifty-seven (57) parking spaces within the shell of the building to accommodate this condition. He explained that the existing building resembled the older industrial 1950’s vintage. He did not feel there was much of an opportunity to change the façade due to the structural limitations of the existing steel. They have attempted to comply with the façade ordinance by using material that were permitted in the ordinance and remain in accordance with the image of the user. He stated the front glass of the Grand River Avenue elevation would be predominately a smooth non-vision glass, with a little darker view than that of the rendering. He explained the lighter vision glass would become a ribbon below it to allow daylight into the office and work areas. He stated this was intended to give a metallic or polished sheen to the front of the building. Mr. Mamola described the building as symmetrical and the middle would have a glass structure for a rotating display of samples of finished work, such as classic cars or new cars. He explained the site lay out consisted of the building and the driveway to the westerly edge of the building. Currently the driveway is a gravel driveway with no excel or decel existing lanes. They proposed the proper excel, decel lanes and curve cuts which would determine the parking in and around the site. Customer parking would be located near the front door and employee parking would be located along the west side of the building and the back. He explained that in attempt to abide by the secondary access, they have proposed to extend the parking lot near the rear of the site to the easterly line as far as they can. He hoped the neighbor to the east would have joint consideration and do likewise. He felt this proposed use would fill the existing void on Grand River Avenue. He felt the parking ratio needed to be addressed. He explained that there was not particular standard for body shops in the ordinance. He felt the ordinance allowed a proposal of a reasonable standard. Mr. Mamola stated they have attempted to align the parking ratio standards as close as they could to the existing standards. They proposed five (5) spaces plus one (1) space for every employee. He explained this facility required a minimum number of employees relative to the square feet in capacity. They have also calculated two (2) interior spaces for each work day. They proposed twenty (24) exterior spaces of the required twenty (20) and fifty-seven (57) interior spaces of the required fifty-six (56). He stated there was area on the site designated by a dash line, which they could land bank an additional fifty-seven (57) parking spaces. He felt that this demonstrated that there was sufficient parking on the site to accommodate other uses in the future. He calculated the exterior parking alone would exceed the required forty-six (46) at eighty-one (81) spaces. Therefore, he felt it was clear that they could provide ample parking on the property as well as develop the southern portion of the property. He requested the approval of the Planning Commission to allow them move forward to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Mamola stated the civil engineers of Seiber and Keast were present to answer questions related to engineering issues.


Mr. Arroyo felt it was important to address the issue if Special Land Use approval was before the commission or if this was a public hearing to determine if the conditions of the ZBA are being met. He asked Mr. Schultz to make this determination. He stated if Special Land Use was required, the noise analysis would need to be addressed through a ZBA Variance. He stated the noise analysis would not be required if this was not a Special Land Use and he recommend approval of the preliminary site plan as meeting the ordinance requirements. He stated the applicant was correct in his comment that the parking requirements for this particular land use were not included in the ordinance. The ordinance allows the Planning Commission to review other uses and make an appropriate determination of the amount of parking they feel is correct for the proposed use. Mr. Arroyo agreed with the calculations provided by the applicant and found the calculations to be reasonable. He felt the approval, if granted, should be with the condition that if in the event the city determined there was a problem with the parking in the future, the applicant would add in the appropriate number of spaces that are land banked to resolve the problem. He explained that this was how the land banked specifications were interpreted in the ordinance. Mr. Arroyo stated there were very specific standards for land banking of parking allowed in certain cases. He explained that one (1) of the caveats was that if in the event it was determined by the city that parking needed to be added over and above what was put in place, it would be the applicant’s responsibility to provide and pave the additional parking area. Mr. Arroyo stated at Final they would be looking for the complete lighting plan to meet the new recently approved amended section of the ordinance.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo stated they required a waiver for the near side driveway spacing. He stated the project was located east of Production Tool with an existing drive. He explained the driveway with Production Tool was currently not meeting the spacing standard. He explained that there was a two hundred seventy-five (275) minimum near side spacing is required for 50 mph roadway. Therefore, the applicant would need to request a waiver for the deficiency associated with that drive. Mr. Arroyo stated the remaining issues identified in the review letter could be addressed in the Final Site Plan. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval from a traffic perspective.


Ms Weber recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. She stated the site would be serviced by the existing water and sanitary sewer located along the Grand River Avenue frontage. She explained the site topography fell from the northeast corner to the southwest corner. The site proposed unrestricted storm water discharge directed to the existing Meadowbrook Regional Detention Basin located at the northeast corner of Meadowbrook Road and Grand River Avenue. In addition to the recommendation for approval, she added to have the existing culvert located to the west of the site within the right-of-way along Grand River Avenue to be evaluated at the time of Final to ensure adequate conveyance. She stated the applicant proposed the use of sedimentation tanks, which is not allowed according to the ordinance. Therefore, a variance from City Council would be required for the use of these tanks.


Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the conceptual landscape plan. She stated at Final she would be looking for additional items regarding screening of the loading and planting adjacent to building the front. Included in the items she would be looking for at Final, she noted the issues raised by the Police department regarding being able to see the front of the building. Ms. Lemke stated their comments would be incorporated into the review letter.


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 with the following: 1) All weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. 2) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation.


Chairperson Capello announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public. He also stated Tim Herrington and Keith Wilson, audience participants, were given a copy of what was already approved by the ZBA use variances.


Tim Herrington, 39586 Grand River Avenue, stated that his business, since 1980, has been located down the street from the proposed project. He explained in 1986, he attempted to build his business and was told that he could not build a body repair shop on Grand River Avenue. He stated Bob Sellers Pontiac, A & M Collision and Varsity Lincoln Mercury were told the same information. Ironically, he stated this project is a body shop for Grand River Avenue. Mr. Herrington stated if the proposed business was successful and needed to add parking as stated by Mr. Arroyo, this would be considered outdoor storage. He pointed out in the drawing, a wall located on the perimeter of the property, which he interpreted as a screening wall to park wrecked cars behind. Typically, he added, this is what the wall is used for in a collision shop. He stated when Collex Collision Center on Novi Road came to Novi, they agreed to have not outdoor storage. However, this evening Mr. Herrington stated, Collex Collision Center has thirty (30) wrecked cars parked in the front parking lot. Mr. Herrington pointed out that this business is only a third of the size of the proposed shop. He did not feel that this was the spirit that the city was looking for on Grand River Avenue or what was represented in the past. He asked that this history be taken into consideration.


Kevin Wilson, 38000 Grand River Avenue, general manager of Bob Sellers Pontiac GMC stated that he has history of consulting work for General Motors and Bmac Planning for body shops. He expressed his amazement that this plan was before the commission. He stated the plan was not feasible. He added that it made no difference on what type of vehicle was under repair. He stated he has also worked at the City of Novi and the Board of Directors of Chamber of Commerce. He expressed his fair, honest and truthful business view for the community. He felt the commission was "buying into" and ordinance enforcement nightmare. He felt the land bank future parking was a problem. He explained they would be able to come before the board stating their business has increased, and this would allow more parking to be created outside in spite of the condition of the ZBA that states that the parking must be inside parking. Although he did not have the legality perspective, he did not feel that this would be in the best interest of Novi. He stated the competition did not intimidate him, so if the plan was feasible that was great. He explained that he would never misrepresent anything before the commission and that is why he chose to build his body shop off of Grand River Avenue. He restated his concern of what could occur in the future and the possibility of violating ordinances. He felt the commission would be opening doors for future problems. He added if the business succeeds with the way the ordinance was written with the condition of inside parking, the vehicles should sit inside for the time of repair. Mr. Wilson stated the applicant’s business at other locations is not high line and there would be a lot of insurance work being done. Therefore, he felt there were other things that would be done at this location that were not consistent with what was being presented. He explained if the business had insurance delays, there would be sitting around, haggling to determine if a vehicle was totaled or not. Therefore, there would be a large amount of time the vehicle would sit in a non productive stall. He restated he was worried about the competition, because his company did not repair import vehicles. He stated his comments are intended for the best interest of the City.


Seeing no further audience participation, Chairperson Capello closed the public hearing.


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Arroyo to explain the purpose of the land use parking and the future use for the parking.

Mr. Arroyo stated that there were several reasons. Under the conditions of the ZBA, this would not involve the storing of wrecked cars, which would be a violation of the approval of the variance. He stated this area would need to be for additional employee cars or people coming to the facility in good working order condition vehicles or if the use of the facility were to change over at some point with another industrial use. He stated under the condition of the approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals did not permit the storage of wrecked vehicles outside of the building.




Member Koneda suggested asking the city attorney’s opinion regarding the action taken by ZBA. He stated the ZBA essentially granted a Use Permit for the body shop to go into the site, would this mean that they are exempt of the noise analysis?


Mr. Schultz stated that the property owner was told that it was not a use permitted of right or a use that was permitted on special conditions or special land use. Therefore, the Planning Commission could not have given any type of approval in the first instance. The applicant went to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a Use Variance. The Zoning Board of Appeals referenced the special conditions language of the Zoning Ordinance that the project could fit under as a model repair shop and pulled out some of the limitation and conditions that would have applied to a Special Land Use. The ZBA attached these to the Use Variance as conditions. Hypothetically, the Use Variance granted by the ZBA is the equivalent to a Special Land Use granted by the Planning Commission. The applicant has been given approval by the city for the use subject to these conditions. It would have been redundant to go back to the Planning Commission for the Special Land Use for essentially the same considerations. Mr. Schultz stated Planning Commission packet include the request for a variance from Mr. Quinn, which includes a paragraph under "g" essentially stating that the applicant did not have to go through the Special Land Use process. However, Mr. Schultz stated the ZBA left off of their approval and did not include this as a condition of the use variance. He felt that ultimately the commission would need to determine if the ZBA intended for them to go through the Special Land Use criteria again, including the addition of the noise analysis. Mr. Schultz believed that the ZBA included in their conditions that all doors and windows would be kept closed at all times. He stated this could have been addressing the noise issue. Mr. Schultz felt the Planning Commission was the interpreting body for this decision.


Member Koneda understood that when the use permit was granted, Special Land Use was also permitted. He felt that the Planning Commission could only permit Preliminary Site Plan Approval at this meeting. He felt this was the only action that they could and should take. Member Koneda indicated that the conditions that specified no outdoor storage of vehicles, equipment or materials and that all activities must be contained within the building and all doors and windows must be closed, were what was considered to be Special Land Use conditions. He stated the conditions imposed by the ZBA include no outside storage of vehicle therefore, he asked Mr. Arroyo if there needed to be a condition attached stating that the land bank area could not be used for outdoor storage? He agreed that the land bank parking would not be needed by the tenant and could be necessary should the next tenant need the additional parking. Member Koneda felt that the providing of the land bank parking has allowed the parking requirement based on square foot of space of occupancy to be met. Member Koneda commented on the driveway spacing waiver. He stated when he viewed the site plan, it appeared that it would create a worse situation with the driveway on the opposite side of the street should they move the drive way more in line with the westerly driveway.


Mr. Arroyo added that it makes it very difficult with the existing building to shift their driveway to the east.


Member Koneda stated felt that even if a zigzag type of design could be worked out, it would still be a worse condition for the driveway on the opposite side of the street. Therefore, he felt that the driveway spacing wavier should be granted and was appropriate. In regard to the secondary access and the access lanes, he asked if Laird’s Auto glass would also benefit from the secondary access?


Mr. Arroyo stated they did not currently have secondary access and agreed that they would benefit. He stated when the original pre-application meeting took place, it was determined that the engineers from this project also were the engineers for Laird’s. In the meeting, they indicated that it would be feasible from a grading standpoint to connect the two (2) sites. Mr. Arroyo felt that this connection could occur.


Member Koneda did not think the Auto glass would be interested in extending their parking lot around the back to create the hook-up.


Mr. Arroyo stated to make it accessible they could provide a base to support a fire truck and the curving to mount it. He stated the connection would be next to an isle and there is no current parking there. He felt the ability to make the connection would be fairly easy and it was a good location.


Member Koneda felt Laird’s would be willing to make the connection to benefit from the secondary access. Member Koneda asked Ms. Weber if they were proposing to use sedimentation tanks verses the basin due to the available space?


Ms. Weber assumed this was their reason. She stated that she would like to have the option explored to find if there was the sufficient room for sedimentation basin.


Member Koneda asked if there was a motion made to grant Preliminary Site Plan and a Planning Commission Waiver of the driveway spacing conditional upon either City Council Waiver of using sedimentation tanks but with the preferred solution would be to put a sedimentation basin on site?


Ms. Weber answered yes, she would like to have that possibility reviewed.





Moved by Koneda, seconded by Churella, CARRIED (5-3): To grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval for Autometrics Collision SP 00-61 subject to Planning Commission Waiver for the Design and Construction Standards, the Driveway Waiver for the driveways spacing and City Council Waiver for sedimentation connection to the rear and the easements required subject to the consultant’s comments and recommendations.




Member Churella stated that it appeared that there was plenty of vacant property at the rear of the property, therefore, he asked what the problem was?


Ms. Weber stated that topography was higher at the rear of the property and everything would drain to the southwest corner of the property. She stated they are usually placed at the lowest point prior to discharge.


Member Churella asked if there was a five and one half (5 ½ ) foot masonry wall around the vacant property in the back as shown in the site plan?


Ms. Weber answered that it was existing.


Mr. Mamola stated the wall runs along the existing property. He stated it is an existing wall that was built by another site. He pointed it out on the drawing and stated that the wall did not go around the entire site. He stated there was a hook that came around into the existing pavement on the drawing which represented the existing wall that came back on to the property. He stated it the property line was represented as the bold continuous line that was continuous around the entire site.


Member Churella felt that this should be better depicted what these items are. He stated the drawing made it appear that the wall was continuous around. He felt this should be addressed on the Final.


Member Nagy asked Ms. Weber why the applicant was proposing sedimentation tanks verses a basin? She was concerned why Ms. Weber was not aware of this and the future of the eighteen (18) inch storm sewer. She read from the review letter that "It is recommended that this segment of storm sewer, as well as the proposed storm sewer, be upsized to sufficiently allow for the future development of the rear portion of the site." She felt since this recommendation was included she felt it was important and she would like to have it included as part of the future of the site. She was concerned about Grand River Avenue. She felt it looked like "mish-mash" of buildings that did not make sense for their existence. She wanted to know what the city attorney thought about Member Koneda’s question regarding the ZBA?


Mr. Schultz stated that he thought the ZBA essentially granted all of the relief that the property owner needed.


Member Nagy stated that she wanted a clear understanding of sedimentation tanks verses a sedimentation basin before she would give her approval of the site plan.


Member Cassis clarified with the city attorney that this case would not be a Special Land Use? He asked Mr. Schultz for a determination of the situation. He wanted a determination because if there was legal action in the future and it was found that the Planning Commission was not in authority to take the action. He asked Mr. Schultz to clarify what the Planning Commission should be doing?


Mr. Schultz stated that it is the decision for the Planning Commission to decide what the Zoning Board of Appeals to decide what the ZBA intended the relief to be and whether the ZBA intended the Planning Commission to have continuing authority. He stated that he read the report and felt that the ZBA gave all of the relief that the property owner needs. He did not think they needed a Special Land Use. He stated that it would not be his decision. It is the decision of the Planning Commission to determine the ZBA’s action. He felt it was appropriate to decide that there was no Special Land Use required. However, if Member Cassis was asking Mr. Schultz to defend the decision, he stated he could.


Member Cassis asked if there should be a vote to determine if the Planning Commission was deciding this was a Special Land Use or not?


Mr. Schultz felt that the motion demonstrates that it is not and that was a good way to handle it.


Member Cassis asked if this motion would cover both?


Mr. Schultz answered correct.


Member Koneda stated the motion he made did not grant Special Land Use. He stated it only granted Preliminary Site Plan Approval, based on the use permit. Member Koneda restated the attorney’s comments for the commission to determine what they felt was correct. He stated he gave his interpretation of what he thought the ZBA enacted. However, he stated if there was a difference of opinion, he encouraged it to be expressed and if the commission felt that a Special Land Use was required a motion could be made that the motion is incomplete and it could be discussed. Member Koneda felt by eliminating the Special Land Use only Preliminary Site Plan was being granted. He stated the commission is then assuming that the ZBA, under the conditions that they outlined, essentially granted the Special Land Use relief. He stated this was his interpretation when he read what they did. He stated everyone on the board is entitled to their own interpretation. He was interested in what the rest of the commission thought.


Member Cassis stated that he respected Member Koneda’s interpretation and he wanted the attorney to clarify his interpretation.


Mr. Schultz stated that he did not want to take the decision out of the hands of the Planning Commission, however, he did agree with the motion that was made.


Chairperson Capello asked if the applicant did not have to make improvements to the building and could move right in, they would not need site plan approval and would not need to have a Special Land Use?


Mr. Schultz answered correct.


Chairperson Capello clarified that the applicant could go into the building with the current use and the only reason they are before the commission is because they are doing modifications to the building?


Mr. Schultz answered correct.


Chairperson Capello asked Member Cassis if he preferred the motion to grant site plan approval be tabled?


Member Cassis stated he was not attempting to suggest anything beyond what the city attorney would recommend.


Member Canup stated that he reviewed the grades after hearing Member Nagy’s comments. He stated if the grade numbers were correct, the basin or retention pond could be made in the back on the north side of the building. He stated they might have to bury the sewer deeper. Member Canup stated that according to the numbers, there was an eight percent (8%) grade from the building to the back of their lot. He stated this was more significant than what would be needed. He explained if the grades were modified and the storm sewer deepened it could be placed in the back.

Ms. Weber agreed that this could be an issue. She stated there was not a lot of detail at this point because it is a Preliminary Site Plan. However, she stated the existing outlet would determine what the grades would be set at for the storm sewer. She explained that there could be the situation in which the storm sewer may not be able to pick up all of the drainage. She stated this would need to be reviewed by the engineers.


Member Canup stated the floor on the building was eight eighty-eight (888) and the back lot is at the eight eighty-five (885) range.


Ms. Weber added another factor involved, that could create limitations, would be the minimum of a three foot (3’) cover would be needed over the storm sewer.


Member Canup felt this was a contested area by most of the members of the board.


Ms. Weber agreed that this was something that could be looked at, however, ultimately, it would be the decision of Council. She stated they would evaluate the situation and make a recommendation at the time it is requested.


Member Churella stated his motion indicated that it would be up to the engineering staff to decide if it would be a sedimentation basin or tanks. He felt the tanks would be better because they would be required to be emptied and the sediment would be taken off site and out of the city.


Member Canup disagreed with Member Koneda. He stated as the 100-year rain came, whatever was in the tank would end up in the storm sewer. He stated it would pass right through there with the flow and velocity stirring up the tanks and it would be washed out.


Member Churella stated there are hundred year rains up north around the lakes as well and the holding tanks are preferred over the septic fields.


Member Canup stated he was not speaking of septic tanks. He was referring to the solids in the tanks that would be stirred up with the velocity of the storm water.


Member Churella stated the way the motion was made left it up to the engineering department to decide.


Member Koneda stated in his motion specified that a sedimentation basin was preferred. He felt that it was up to the city engineers and the applicant’s engineering to determine that it is not before they go to the City Council. He stated the city engineers would need to give a recommendation to support or not support the tanks if they went to the City Council. He felt the motion covered this area and would avoid having the applicant to return before the Planning Commission for the sole purpose of a sedimentation basin review. He felt this would allow engineering to do their job and help them come to a solution on a sedimentation basin. He stated if this could not be done, the condition would be that they could go to the City Council for the waiver. Member Koneda stated if his motion was not worded to reflect this, then it should be fixed.


Member Richards stated the drawing and literature indicated that there would be no outdoor storage on the land bank parking. He asked how this would be enforced?


Member Koneda stated it would be with an Ordinance Officer.


Mr. Schultz stated there were tough conditions placed by the ZBA. As a practical matter, he stated that someone would complain and an Ordinance Officer would go to the site. Also, he stated the Ordinance Officers would focus on particular areas and eventually note the violation. He stated there would be attempts made to have the property owner remedy the situation. Mr. Schultz stated that since this was a ZBA variance and the city determine there was a violation of the conditions, they would probably go to circuit court to take action to enforce the conditions for the declaratory relief. The city would be in a position to enforce this should there be an appeal by the property owner. He explained if the property owner accepts the relief, he also accepts the conditions and can not get around them without further action by the ZBA. He stated they run with the land and govern the use of the property. If the applicant can not use the property, they have to come back for more relief.


Member Mutch asked Ms. Weber if there was an existing sewer system or a ditch the water would flow into? He recalled her reference to the future pipe and the culvert and asked her what was currently in the ground?


Ms. Weber stated there was an existing culvert under the drive and a ditch where it drains down into the regional basin.


Member Mutch asked if it had been established that there was a flow from the ditch to the regional basin?


Ms. Weber answered correct.


Member Mutch asked how the future storm sewer would be implemented? He asked if the city would construct this or if a future development would trigger this?


Ms. Weber stated the storm sewer along the Grand River Avenue frontage is currently being constructed with the Laird’s Auto Glass project. She stated their project is also going unrestricted to the regional basin.


Member Mutch clarified if they were currently constructing a pipe from their site to the regional basin and that Autometrics would tie into the pipe?


Ms. Weber answered correct.


Member Mutch asked Ms. Weber if her notes regarding the upsizing would deal with the entire property?


Ms. Weber stated that the eighteen (18) inch storm sewer segment is currently set up so that where Autometrics is to tie in, the sewer is sized to pick up three (3) acres of the site. She stated if the remaining portion of the site was to be developed in the future, the applicant would need to consider detaining on the site or upsize their proposed on site storm sewer as well as looking at the eighteen (18) inch sewer. She stated she has spoken with the applicant’s engineer and they are currently in process of revising this eighteen (18) inch storm sewer to handle the full unrestricted flow from the site. She stated there is a site plan in that is revised to do this as part of the Laird’s site.


Member Mutch clarified that the site alone would not trigger the upsizing.


Ms. Weber answered correct. She added if they were to develop the back portion, they would need to look into this. She stated they were recommending it now so that they would not have a future problem with the storm water on the site.


Member Mutch asked if it has been determined that the ditch along Grand River Avenue had the capacity to handle this?


Ms. Weber stated that there is actual conveyance in that portion of the ditch. She stated they were concerned with the upstream culvert section and would like to determine if there were restrictions at Final.


Member Mutch asked once the pipe is in, if this would no longer be an issue?


Ms. Weber answered correct.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo if the land banking proposal followed the land banking standards within the city ordinance or if it was something that came from the ZBA approval?


Mr. Arroyo stated that because the use is not specifically in the city ordinance for parking standards, it would be up to the Planning Commission to determine whether or not they felt it was appropriate. He stated if the Planning Commission believed what the applicant provided in terms of actual parking spaces was appropriate and no need exists for the safe guard land banking, then the land banking issue could "go away" until there was a change of use. He stated if the Planning Commission would like the safe guard for more parking and would like the land banking provisions that are in the ordinance, then he felt this would be a reasonable condition to attach to the approval of the parking standard being accepted for this use.


Member Mutch stated the three (3) alternatives. He stated they could have no land banking required because the parking provided is adequate. They could also require the applicant to set all of the parking into place now. He stated the last option could be to have the land banking proposal meet the standards of the city ordinance.


Mr. Arroyo stated that it would be triggered based on the standards already existing in the ordinance.


Member Mutch asked if the standards that apply with the land banking apply, such as not utilizing the area for other uses?


Mr. Arroyo answered yes.


Member Mutch asked Member Koneda if he intended the motion to include the land banking in the Preliminary Site Plan Approval?


Member Koneda understood that the land banking was part of the site plan. However, he was not asking them to provide the paving. He did not think it should be paved.


Member Mutch agreed. However, he felt that the parking issue needed to be addressed now.


Mr. Arroyo agreed that this should be addressed.


Member Mutch felt if the land banking was going to be approved, it should be consistent with the provisions in the city ordinance governing land vacant. He stated this would govern the use of the property and when it would be triggered.


Member Koneda felt that the parking that was being proposed without land banking was more than adequate for the site. He felt the indoor storage and the parking exterior for the employees were adequate and that the land banking was not necessary. Member Koneda stated the only reason land banking would be necessary would be for a potential future tenant. He did feel that they should identify the area as future land banking. He stated all this would do would designate an area for future parking.


Member Mutch stated the ordinance had specific language in terms of safe guards to prevent people from parking cars in that area. He stated they could park employee vehicles or other vehicles stored from another location. Therefore, he felt it should be referenced as a safeguard.


Member Koneda asked Mr. Arroyo what the land bank safe guards that the ordinance called for?


Mr. Arroyo stated in the parking section, it states that if the city determines that the current parking supply is not adequate to meet the demands of the site then the city would require that the parking spaces be built out according to what was dashed out on the plan and this would be the applicant’s responsibility. He added that it called that those areas would have to be reserved as grass area and there could not be permanent landscaping or permanent obstruction in that area. When the need arose the applicant would be triggered to go out and pave the additional areas to provide for the additional parking.


Member Koneda understood that the applicant had adequate parking. He stated the new tenant would need to meet the I-1 district and would be forced to put in the required parking to use the building.


Mr. Arroyo stated this was correct.


Member Mutch asked if the new user would have to come in for another site plan approval?


Mr. Arroyo explained if all they only wanted to add parking it could possibly be an administrative review.


Member Mutch asked if there were other plans for the remainder of the site in terms of developing, expansion or another use?


Mr. Mamola stated there were two (2) broad options that the owner considered, however, no decision was made. One option would be an expansion of the building, if the business did well, to allow continued parking inside. Therefore, he stated they were holding the back property in advance in the event the business does well. Mr. Mamola stated the alternative would be to develop the area in another type of use. He stated it may accessible to Grand River Avenue and it might join two (2) properties that abut the rear portion. He added that the proposed land banking was primarily to protect the city and future tenants of the building to demonstrate that there is enough area on the property to accommodate future I-1 uses.


Member Mutch clarified that Mr. Mamola did not feel that this use as it is configured would ever need the land banked parking?


Mr. Mamola answered no.


Member Mutch continued without an expansion that would require another site plan review.


Mr. Mamola answered correct.


Member Mutch asked if the option of another I-1 use, would be a separate development on the site?


Mr. Mamola stated this was a possibility, but there was no decision.


Member Mutch stated he was concerned because of the recent industrial project in which there were ownership and access issues. He asked if it was another use, where would the secondary access to the back portion be and how would it be envisioned?


Mr. Mamola stated one (1) of the options would be to incorporate the rear portion to one of the developments to the east, the Vincenti Park area. He restated that this would be a possible scenario and it was not a known fact.


Member Mutch asked if the remainder of the property would be sufficient to develop?


Mr. Mamola answered yes, it was two (2) acres.

Member Mutch stated originally, he did not support this type of use along Grand River Avenue. However, he stated that this could be an improvement over the existing non use of the building and felt they should make the best use of what was before them. He hoped with the ordinance protection and the ordinance enforcement, this situation would not become like the business the gentleman pointed out with thirty (30) junk cars parked outside. Member Mutch felt they were stuck with the ZBA decision that had essentially given the applicant a Use Permit. He expressed his point of view regarding the Special Land Use issue and the noise analysis. He stated the ZBA dealt with some of the noise issues, however, the noise analysis covered a broader area than the doors being open or shut. He stated there are fans, noises from the processes going on in the facility that needed to be assessed. Despite the extra cost, he felt this was necessary.


Member Cassis agreed with Member Mutch. He stated Marty Feldman Chevrolet had to do noise and fumes analysis. He reminded the commission that for eight (8) or ten (10) years he attempted to get that use. He stated back to 1985 they passed ordinances to change the zoning in that area to avoid having these issues before them. He stated he respected the ZBA decision however, there were some unresolved issues with the site. Member Cassis stated his uncertainty with the land bank issues, the drainage and water and the storage situation. He stated there were a lot of things that needed to be established. He did not previously approve this plan and he would still did not approve it.


Member Nagy stated she was not willing to support the motion without a consultant recommendation and noise analysis. She felt that it was necessary with this type of business. She stated that the drainage issues needed to be addressed more carefully.


Member Canup asked if there was a city requirement for an obnoxious odor analysis?


Mr. Arroyo stated the performance standards specify that odors could not be emitted to that extent, however, he added there was not a requirement for an analysis before the site is approved.


Member Canup asked if there were EPA guidelines that would govern the emissions from the body shop?


Mr. Arroyo answered yes. He stated there were both Federal and State guidelines that effect emissions from a body shop.


Chairperson Capello clarified that the decision they were going to vote on was for Preliminary Site Plan Approval and not Special Land Use. He did not think there was a noise analysis included, because that was only related to the Special Land Use. He stated to deny the Preliminary Site Plan because there was not noise analysis would be not be appropriate. He asked did not feel the commission had the authority under the ordinance to grant Special Land Use for a body repair shop. He believed that was why the plan was turned down the last time. Under Section 1903 subsection 4 it states "but no including body repair and collisional". Therefore, Chairperson Capello stated they could not grant Special Land Use and are stuck with what the ZBA gave them. He stated they need to look at the Preliminary Site Plan in which no noise analysis is required. He stated they could not combine the Preliminary Site Plan issues and the Special Land Use issues.


Member Cassis stated that Mr. Schultz stated it was up to the commission. He felt that Member Koneda’s motion was decide whether this would be a land use or not. He asked Mr. Schultz if this was correct?


Mr. Schultz answered correct.


Member Cassis stated this would then negates what Chairperson Capello stated.


Chairperson Capello disagreed. He stated if Preliminary Site Plan Approval was granted, ZBA has granted the use variance and that would be it.


Member Nagy stated that the attorney told the commission that it was up to the commission to interpret the intent of the ZBA, because they did not specifically state that they were granting the Special Land Use.


Chairperson Capello stated the ZBA could not grant a Special Land Use.


Member Nagy asked Member Cassis if the issue was that the Commission was being asked to interpret what the ZBA intended? Member Nagy asked Mr. Schultz if he was asking the Commission to interpret the ZBA intentions?


Mr. Schultz answered yes, they need to do that.


Member Cassis stated on the application, it states Special Land Use.


Chairperson Capello asked the commission for a motion to table the motion for Preliminary Site Plan Approval?


Member Koneda answered no, he thought the commission should act on the motion.


Chairperson Capello suggested that the commission table the motion and deal with the Special Land Use issue and then come back to the Preliminary Site Plan Approval issue.


Member Koneda agreed.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To table the motion for Preliminary Site Plan Approval.



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

No: None



Chairperson Capello stated that he did not think the ordinance permitted the Planning Commission the authority to grant a Special Land Use under any provision particularly Section 1903 for body shops. Therefore, he stated if the commission wanted to address this issue, a motion would need to be made and denied.


Member Koneda felt the reason for the issue of the Special Land Use was to allow certain uses to occur in a zoning district. He defined that a Special Land Use states that they would be permitted to put a particular use in the zoning district if they meet certain conditions. He continued that the ZBA essentially did this by granting the applicant a Use Permit. Therefore, he did not feel that the issue of Special Land Use applied to the use of the I-1 Zoning and the use that was granted. He felt this was negated by the ZBA.


Chairperson Capello agreed with Member Koneda.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED (6-2): That the Planning Commission makes a determination that based on the action of the ZBA granting the Use Variance that a Special Land Use is not required.




Mr. Schultz felt this was the appropriate motion and that it interpreted that Special Land Use was not required.


Member Mutch asked for clarification from the council regarding the process. He stated if the ZBA granted the Use Variance in the I-1 District, when it was reviewed by the consultants, were the only standard of the review the conditions placed by the ZBA or was it evaluated against the I-1 District?


Mr. Schultz answered that it was evaluated against the standards of the I-1 District with respect to setbacks etc… and it would be evaluated further against the requirements set forth in the variance and the conditions for the variance.


Member Mutch asked Mr. Schultz if he was aware that the I-1 Zoning Ordinance consists of the three (3) tiers of principal permitted uses, principal permitted uses adjacent to residential and principal permitted uses not adjacent to residential?


Mr. Schultz answered yes.


Member Mutch continued that each of the tiers have specific conditions that attach to uses in these tiers that would be triggered if it was a 1902 or 1903 use and would not be triggered if it was a 1901 use. Member Mutch asked what tier this would be? He stated it would not be a 1902, because it is not adjacent to residential.


Mr. Schultz stated it would not necessarily fall into any of these. He stated the commission is primarily reviewing the decision of the ZBA for the site plan in light of the decision of the ZBA and the requirements that the ZBA placed on it. He continued that the ZBA accrued the use subject to a list of conditions and this is the only use that could go in there and the site plan must reflect the conditions. He stated the use could not change or expand without further approval from the ZBA. He stated the Commission was really to determine if the site plan complied with the requirements of the ZBA decision. He stated that he was not certain if there were other setback requirements that could apply, however, he did not feel the project fit into a particular tier.


Member Mutch clarified that Mr. Schultz’ interpretation was that any conditions beyond what the I-1 section defined and 2400, would not be part of the commission’s consideration?


Mr. Schultz answered correct.


Member Mutch stated if this was the city attorney’s opinion, although he would have wanted to apply a Special Land Use to the property, due to the attorney’s interpretation he would agree with the motion that the Special Land Use would not apply.


Keith Wilson, 38000 Grand River Avenue, stated the plan shows no less than twenty-four (24) spaces inside in the isle-ways. He stated in his past planning experiences, this was not permitted. He stated the question remained if these spaces were approved. He felt this should be addressed as part of the Site Plan approval.


Chairperson Capello stated they only approve outdoor parking.


Mr. Wilson stated that the architect stated the parking was available and it was a question of if this was approved. He stated in other municipalities, this is not permitted.


Chairperson Capello did not think indoor parking was governed in the site plan process. He asked Mr. Arroyo if he was correct?


Mr. Arroyo agreed. He stated there were other automotive uses, such as outdoor display of cars in which the layout does not meet the parking standards. In this case, he stated there might need to have three (3) cars on top of each other for a storage situation. He stated this would be a similar case with the indoor parking. It may not meet all of the specific dimensions of the off street parking standards, however, he stated this was an internal storage area for the storage of cars while they are being worked on. He felt that the parking standard layout dimensions only applied to the outside the building as he interpreted during his review.




Yes: Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Nagy, Richards

No: Cassis, Canup


Chairperson Capello placed the motion to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval back on the table.





Yes: Capello, Churella, Koneda, Mutch, Richards

No: Cassis, Canup, Nagy


Chairperson Capello asked Mr. Mamola what was planned for the exterior brick?


Mr. Mamola stated it would remain.


Chairperson Capello asked Ms. Lemke if the applicant was submitting the landscaping?


Ms. Lemke stated this would come in for Final.



This project is located in Section 26, at Nine Mile and Venture Drive. The 1.6 acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking Special Land Use Permit approval.


Bennett Donaldson of J.B. Donaldson Company requested a Special Land Use Permit for his client Carpet Work Room. He stated his client wished to purchase Spec. Building A. He explained the Carpet Work Room would be relocating from Plymouth. Carpet Work Room is a warehouse of carpet with approximately eighty (80) employees. They derive most of their profit from installing carpet. He explained the carpet is stored in the warehouse between one (1) to two (2) weeks to a maximum length of sixty (60) days.


Mr. Arroyo stated the building is before the commission because it had originally been designated as a speculative building with a Special Land Use. He explained that in the past, a Special Land Use with a spec building needed to return to the commission when the use was determined. He stated the project complies with the standards of the original public hearing for Special Land Use approval. The noise study included truck delivery impact on the adjacent. The originally required berm is as it was approved, the building is also the same. He asked that the commission consider the seven (7) warehouse and two (2) office employees with the operating hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. He felt the hours were what the commission may had anticipated with Light Industrial District (I-1) is adjacent to residential. The site would receive three (3) to five (5) truck deliveries per day and one (1) to two (2) semi-trucks per day. He stated the applicant provided the noise analysis indicating that they would be within the ordinance standards. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Special Land Use Permit. He believed that it was in line with the original Special Land Use approval the commission granted.




Member Churella indicated he received a letter from Marian Pickl, 23035 Belcome #B, indicating she strongly object to every business coming into Novi requesting Special Land Use or other diversification to local building ordinances, including the proposed project. She asked why it was so difficult for business to be in compliance with the Novi requirements?




Member Richards asked if there were any additional hours past 8 p.m. they would anticipate operating, outside of the hours presented?


John Macassel, owner of Carpet Work Room, answered the latest a worker is in the warehouse is 5 p.m. He stated an extended hour example might include Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., usually for a special pick-up.


Member Richards expressed that this is often a concern of the adjacent residents.





Moved by Richards, seconded by Cassis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Special Land Use Permit for Carpet Work Room SP 00-70.




Member Koneda commented that it would need to be determined that the noise analysis was in compliance with the ordinance. The study indicated that the daytime noise would be below the nighttime standard and therefore, he felt noise beyond the hours of operation would still fall within the ordinance.


VOTE ON PM-01-01-006


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

No: None









Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo.


Mr. Arroyo spoke regarding Access Management. He stated that the three (3) main objectives to the control of access to major thoroughfare in a community. They are 1) to maximize the road capacity, to enable the road to carry as much traffic as possible, 2) to reduce crash potential, the potential of crashes from vehicles colliding with one another or other objects, 3) to provide reasonable ingress and egress to a particular piece of property. He stated the wide variety of Access Management techniques. Driveway spacing have minimum standards that driveways have to be separated to allow a driver to visualize one driveway from another. He stated that generally the more driveways that exist per mile, the high the crash rates would be therefore, being the reason to minimize the number of access points spaced appropriately. Shared driveways would be a voluntarily cooperation of the adjacent property owners to share one (1) driveway verses each providing two (2). He gave the example of the case before the commission tonight, Carpet Work Room, with the two (2) buildings on two (2) separate parcels that are sharing one (1) driveway. He added that in this particular project, there would be not concern of the driveway spacing, which in turn contributes to reducing traffic crash potential. Mr. Arroyo continued that frontage roads and rear access roads are another option to help minimize crashes. He indicated that the City Thoroughfare plan has requirements along components of frontage roads along Grand River Avenue, the downtown gateway requires a rear access drive to interconnect the properties to allow for travel from one property to another and other areas have ring roads allowing travel without having to access the main road. He added that the ring roads allow the capacity on the main road to be freed up. Mr. Arroyo felt the access management program would delay or eliminate the need to widen a roadway due to the capacity preservation. Turn lanes and deceleration tapers would also contribute to the reduction of crashes. He explained that when there exist several road speeds the potential for crashes is greater. He gave the example of moving the right turning traffic out of the through traffic. He added that turn restrictions were another management skill, which would be the channeling of islands to restrict unsafe turn movements.


Member Mutch indicated the Master Plan designated locations intended to implement potential frontage roads. He asked if they could legally require frontage to be set aside for a frontage road even if it is not built?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the ordinance specifically requires marginal access in the NCC District (unless it is waived). He explained that it was placed in the NCC District because of the long narrow parcels with the high potential for close driveway spacing. The ordinance does not indicate a required dedication of right-of-way, however, it requires a public or private connection from one property to the other. He explained that the ordinance was not intended to impose upon an owner to give up property in a manner inconsistent with federal law. He stated the Gateway Ordinance would require the rear of the properties to interconnect in a similar manner.


Member Mutch clarified that it would not look like an actual road however, just interconnections?


Mr. Arroyo answered yes. He added that it could be an interconnection of parking lots.


Member Cassis asked if there were national standards for these provisions?


Mr. Arroyo answered yes. He stated the City of Novi driveway spacing standards are based on Federal Highway administration research.


Member Cassis asked how well the City of Novi ordinances were coordinated with the national standards?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the City of Novi Standards are very well coordinated with the national standards. He felt there is always room to evaluate standards on a regular basis to improve things.






  2. Review and recommendation of proposed building area and envelope amendments to the Ordinance Review Committee.


    Ms. Lemke stated this issue has been in Implementation since July. She explained it originally was in the Ordinance Review Committee, was sent to the Implementation Committee and now needed to be sent back to the Ordinance Review Committee or on to City Council.


    Chairperson Capello felt that the Planning Commission should refer to City Council and have City Council refer it to the Ordinance Review Committee.


    Member Nagy did not understand the reasoning behind changing an ordinance. She asked why the changes were needed to be made?


    Ms. Lemke felt the language needed to be changed for two (2) reasons. She stated the definition of "Building Area" was confusing with "Building Envelope, the set back area. She explained that it was changed to Woodland Building Area to designate that it had an area that accommodates a residence, garage, deck, driveway, front yard and fifteen (15) feet to protect fencing. She stated this would allow a more reasonable woodland area shown to the Planning Commission at Preliminary Site Plan. She explained the applicant would have to consider what size house would be built on the lot verses placing the smallest envelope and not including the deck etc… She stated it would also allow for field/administrative changes. She explained that during plat plan review they often find that the grading does not work without minor changes. Based on several discussions, the amount of change the Implementation committee derived was ten percent (10%). Ms. Lemke felt the changes were necessary due to the inevitable changes in the field, however, the question remained "How much change?" She stated the decision included feedback of some developer’s opinions of certain scenarios.


    Member Nagy asked Ms. Lemke if she was in agreement of the ten percent (10%)?


    Ms. Lemke felt that ten percent (10%) was high, however, this is the amount the Implementation Committee agreed upon.


    Member Mutch agreed that the first change was important to ensure that the plans submitted for a Woodland Permit would more accurately demonstrated the amount of intrusion of the development on the woodland. He felt the new definition under Part II would allow the commission to see the impacts of the development more realistically. He explained there have been a number of lots needing to go to the Woodlands Review Board for minor changes that could have been handled administratively. He agreed that the grading was a major issue. The building department did not want to continue sending builders and new residents to the Woodland Review Board to have every lot in the development approved when it could all be handled administratively.


    Chairperson Capello stated the ten percent (10%) was not ten percent (10%) of the entire site. He recalled the ten percent (10%) referring to the envelope only.


    Ms. Lemke agreed that it was the envelope.


    Member Koneda read from page 2 of the document, "…ten percent (10%) of the area of the lot…"


    Chairperson Capello stated it should have "building" placed between "the" and "area" and the remainder of the wording up to subsection (i) would need to be crossed out.


    Member Koneda stated the added definition of woodland building, which includes the deck and the perimeter around it, therefore, he asked if the Chair was referring to the building or the Woodland building. He stated the woodland building is larger than the building as it would include the fifteen (15) foot perimeter etc…


    Chairperson Capello stated it was the actual building area.


    Member Koneda stated that he was determining if what the ten percent (10%) was referring to. He explained that when the developers apply for a subdivision plat, they define the envelopes to be placed on wooded lots, however, when residents move in they request to build a larger house. He felt that the site should dictate the building and not have the building dictating the site.


    Chairperson Capello stated there was also a building lot ratio the applicant would need to comply with.


    Member Koneda stated his concern of the encroachment into the woodland area.


    Ms. Lemke stated that the applicant would need to go to the Woodland Review Board if they have a larger building footprint that was impacting.


    Member Koneda was concerned with the ten percent (10%) size. He stated there are some houses at five thousand (5,000) square foot homes.


    Member Churella added with the larger homes is a lot of land.


    Member Koneda stated a lot of the land is trees, which they are attempting to save.


    Member Churella explained his personal experience with the situation. He stated that when he purchased his lot, he took down the existing trees and replaced them with larger trees greater in number. Therefore, he felt that residents that purchase the larger homes would not place small landscaping on the site.


    Member Koneda asked Ms. Lemke if the Woodland Review Committee force replacement trees when there is site expansion?


    Ms. Lemke stated the Committee had been allowing expansion of the building footprint and called for tree replacement.


    Member Koneda interpreted the ordinance to have these handled administratively. He asked Ms. Lemke if they had the authority to make the judgement of having replacement trees?


    Ms. Lemke answered this was what the committee had been typically doing.


    Member Koneda asked if it was defined in the ordinance?


    Ms. Lemke suggested placement of this in the ordinance.


    Member Koneda stated that if this was added to the ordinance, he could support it. He agreed with Part I and Part II of the ordinance. However, Part III he did not agree with the ten percent (10%) rule if there were not conditions of replacement defined.


    Member Cassis agreed in full with Member Koneda. He stated that the woodland lots were generally adjacent to one another. He gave the example of four (4) consecutive lots under the variance, what would be done?


    Member Nagy stated that she was uncomfortable with the ten percent (10%). She asked if the ten percent (10%) figure was used, she wanted to know what percent the woodlands would be decreased by the ordinance? She clarified if the intent was for the Planning Commission to discuss and recommend it to go to City Council?


    Chairperson Capello stated that the Planning Commission should make the changes and forward it to Council.


    Member Koneda clarified that the ten percent (10%) was based on the building footprint on the ground level and not the entire building square footage of the house.


    Chairperson Capello recommended a change to page 2, line 14 "additional use permit…" He did not agree with the language "…which shall only be approved when it is not otherwise feasible to utilize the lot or side condominium unit for single-family residential purposes." He gave the example of a one acre lot with the reasoning of building a twelve hundred (1200) square foot house.


    Member Mutch disagreed with the Chair. He stated the new definition would allow the woodland building area to be defined beforehand. He felt if the developer did not draw a woodland building area for a twelve hundred (1200) square foot house, a problem would not exist. He felt the changes to Part II force the developer to be honest up front when defining the area they are planning to use. Therefore, he felt a lot of the concerns would be addressed.


    Chairperson Capello gave the example of Bellagio possibly anticipating four thousand (4000) to six thousand (6000) square foot homes. He explained if one wanted to build an eight thousand (8000) square foot home it would encroach into the woodland more, there would be no recourse to return to the board of appeal.


    Member Mutch disagreed. He did not feel this would not preclude them.


    Chairman Capello continued "…activities on a subdivision lot which extend beyond the confines of designated or modified woodland building area shall require an additional use permit, which shall only be approved when it is not otherwise unfeasible…" He restated that a twelve hundred (1200) square foot lot could be built feasibly on any lot.


    Member Mutch stated that he was uncertain if this should be left to the City Council to interpret the language. He added that this was not the practice or the interpretation of the Woodland Review Board.


    Ms. Lemke stated it was existing.


    Mr. Schultz restated that it was existing under the ordinance, therefore he agreed with the Chair’s interpretation. He felt the commission and Ms. Lemke needed to determine if this was a good limitation or not.


    Chairperson Capello suggested leaving it as "…it shall require an additional use permit", and eliminate the remaining text.


    Member Mutch felt the intent of this portion of the ordinance was for the need for the additional use permit to be demonstrated. He did not feel that the ordinance was permitting the building of a shack on a large piece of property. He stated it constituted a legal use of the property and show a realistic use of the property.


    Chairperson Capello stated that the ordinance does not word that.


    Member Mutch felt that the ordinance could be interpreted from this view and he felt that it had been in the past. He did not recall the Woodland Review Board interpreting the ordinance to allow the minimum house to be built. He asked Ms. Lemke if there was a case in the past in which a Woodland Use Permit was denied based on the size of the house?


    Ms. Lemke was not certain and stated that research would need to be done to address Member Mutch’s question.


    Member Koneda agreed with the Chair’s suggestion to place a period after "additional use permit." He stated then if a person would like to go beyond the ten percent (10%) of the developer’s defined footprint, they would require an additional use permit.


    Mr. Schultz indicated the defined standards for obtaining the woodland permit were listed later in the ordinance. He added that footprints are provided when a subdivision is seeking approval. He suggested if one wanted to change the plan, the preliminary site plan process should be redone.


    Chairperson Capello stated the ordinance would have the applicant go before the Woodland Review Board.


    Mr. Schultz added unless another site plan is obtained.


    Chairperson Capello explained that the occurrences are when a developer sells the lots out and his building permit footprint is a ten percent (10%) different than the preliminary site plan. He stated the builder is not the developer and therefore, could not come back in and request the woodland permit to be changed. They would have to go before the Woodland Board of Appeals.


    Mr. Schultz added that the ordinance also stated that only the woodland permit change alone could be obtained if the criteria is met. He continued that the only other relief is to change the site plan. He was not biased to one idea over the other.


    Chairperson Capello interpreted the ordinance as sending the builder to the Woodland Review.


    Mr. Schultz continued that the Woodland Review Board only offered a limited amount of relief. Therefore, more or different relief could be obtained if they changed the plan. He felt this was the outcome of the revision.


    Member Koneda stated this would not apply to a single lot, therefore, it could be a building department issue.


    Mr. Schultz felt the intention was to ensure the site should dictate the building size.


    Member Koneda stated that adjustments should be made to make these situations easier to handle.


    Ms. Lemke added that originally it was determined by the attorney’s office that small field changes were being made to accommodate grading problem with no recourse in the ordinance.


    Member Nagy asked Mr. Schultz if he was indicating that the ordinance and the comments from the planning commission were different?


    Mr. Schultz answered no. He clarified that he was not biased Chair’s suggestion of change being good or bad. However, Mr. Schultz was suggesting that it was an intentional limitation placed on the ordinance, good or bad. He felt it was written restrictively to make the builder or developer aware that he has an obligation to inform the commission up front what his footprints would result in with regard to loss of woodland. He restated that he did not disagree or agree with the Chair’s comments.



    Moved by Richards, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To pass on revisions to ORDINANCE NO. 2000.125 with the revisions that in the subpart II building area shall be depicted on the preliminary site plan, on the top of page two (2), it will read ten percent (10%) of the building footprint area, stricken from line two (2) is "of the lot where site condominiums unit" and the word "woodlands" will be added in line fourteen (14) between "additional" and "use", what will be stricken is "what shall only be approved when it is not otherwise feasible to utilize the lot or site condominium unit for the single-family residential purposes".


    Member Mutch asked it to be clarified if a definition of the building footprint was included in the ordinance. Although the term is commonly understood, he asked if it was actually defined in the ordinance?


    Chairperson Capello did not think it was defined in the ordinance.


    Member Koneda agreed that this definition was important because it would be anything on the ground floor that is a permanent structure.




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

    No: None




    Chairperson Capello suggested to that the Planning Commission create a topic list for the requested joint meeting with City Council.


    Member Mutch stated some of the topics should include issues such as the resolution of the Downtown Gateway Ordinance. He stated upon the decisions made by the City Council regarding the Expo Center Tax Abatement, he felt they should address the how the relocation of the Expo Center would effect the surrounding area and the future use of the current Expo facility location.


    Chairperson Capello felt the development of the property on Novi Road to Ten Mile Road, which are the existing CAT Properties, should be included for discussion.


    Mr. Arroyo stated the CAT Property and the current Expo Property are subject to planning studies that would be conducted between now and June. He felt input from the City Council would be good for the study.


    Chairperson Capello stated that he has heard and felt the frustration of the Planning Commission’s and Implementation Committee’s drafting of Ordinances and then having the Ordinance Review "throw it in the garbage can".

    Member Koneda agreed that there should be discussion on the Ordinance Review Process. He felt the Planning Commission was under the impression that they originate the ordinance and send it forward for action. He stated typically the ordinance is then redone or sent back.


    Chairperson Capello stated the budget would possibly be another topic of discussion. However, this meeting may not be the appropriate time for that topic.




    Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a resolution to the City Council to request a joint meeting to discuss these four (4) items




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

    No: None




    Member Cassis asked who typically requests the joint meetings?


    Chairperson Capello recalled in the past, the request has come from the Planning Commission.




Chairperson Capello notified the Planning Commission that there is currently one thousand one hundred nine dollars and twenty-nine cents ($1109.29) remaining in the conference and workshop budget. He asked Ms. Brock when the new budget would begin?


Ms. Brock answered that it would begin in July 2001. She proposed that the balance be divided equally among those interested in attending the conference. However, the commissioners would be responsible for the remainder any additional cost.


Chairperson Capello suggested the commission allowing those who were not able to attend last year to use the remainder of the budgeted monies.


Member Nagy asked how much different this conference would be from the state conference they just attended in October?


Mr. Arroyo answered that it was very different. He explained this conference would cover a period of four (4) to five (5) days, with three (3) to four (4) sessions per time slot to chose from. He stated there would be special tracks for environment issues or transportation issues, new urbanism etc… There will be eighty (80) to one hundred (100) workshops that cover various topics with a lot of hands on type of activity. Mr. Arroyo stated the potential exists to pick up a great deal of experience and information.


Member Koneda asked if the budget was this limited, he felt they should decide if they wanted to place their priorities on a state level or a national level.


Chairperson Capello asked for a cost estimate?


Ms. Brock answered airfare would be at least three hundred ($300), hotel would be two hundred ($200) per night, registration would be approximately four hundred fifty ($450).


Chairperson Capello asked if Ms. Brock she needed to know at this time who would attend the conference?


Ms. Brock stated she would need to know who was interested in attending and then they would need to decide how the funds would be dispersed.


Member Nagy asked if they could ask at the City Council meeting?


Ms. Brock clarified if all the members received and reviewed the application? She explained in order to reserve hotel rooms, a check would be needed from the city or personal check from the attendee.


Chairperson Capello asked Ms. Brock to clarify what she needed from the commission members and by what date?


Ms. Brock answered a completed registration form. The cost would be determined after the availability is determined. She stated she could fax applications to those who needed one (1).










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




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

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

February 5, 2001


Date Approved: February 21, 2001