View Agenda for this Meeting


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2001 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Churella


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



Chairperson Piccinini announced the Planning Commission needed to elect the Chair. She noted that because she was Acting Chair, Member Canup would act as Chair for the election.

Member Canup clarified if there would be an election for two (2) officers?

Chairperson Piccinini answered the two (2) officers to be elected were Chair and Secretary.




Moved by Richards, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Nomination of Member Karen Piccinini for Chairman of the Planning Commission.




Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None


Member Canup announced the commission elect the officer for Secretary.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Nomination of Member Bob Churella for Secretary.




Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards.

No: None





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


Member Koneda requested the addition of two (2) items to Matters for Discussion. 1) 2001/2002 Budget Year Planning Studies 2) Budget 3) Planning Commission Procedures.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.




Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None











Chairperson Piccinini announced there were three (3) items on the Consent Agenda.


Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of February 7, 2001 and February 21, 2001. She asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.


Member Mutch indicated a minor change to the minutes of February 21, 2001.




Moved by Nagy, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of February 7, 2001 and February 21, 2001 as amended.




Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None



This project is located in Section 26, on Arena Drive, east of Novi Road between Nine and Ten Mile Roads. The 3,662 square foot addition is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Chairperson Piccinini announced the Sports Club of Novi Addition SP 01-07 was granted approval.





The proposed rezoning of 24.242 acres in Section 20, located on the northwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck Roads. The applicant is seeking a positive recommendation from One Family Residential District (R-1) to One Family Residential District (R-3) or any other appropriate district.

Richard Rosin, managing member of Ten & Beck LLC, introduced himself. He added the family has been active in Novi for over twenty-five (25) years. He noted their past developments include Simmons Orchard, Briarwood PUD, Andover Pointe, Weathervane Village and The Maples of Novi Shopping Center. He stated the family’s long standing history in Novi also included bringing the sanitary sewer main and water main from Novi Road to Beck Road in 1970. He noted the several attempts made by the previous owner, Mr. Sheldon, to rezone the property to commercial, which the residents did not support. Mr. Rosin stated the previous and current mayor felt the rezoning of the property to a commercial use would not occur without the support of the residents. He stated that several visions were derived for the property and mail notifications were sent out to the homeowners. A meeting was held with the residents and the developer to compromise the residential concerns and commercial vision(s) for the property. He described the unsuccessful attempt of the upscale boutique shopping center on a fifteen (15) acre park with gazebos, wetlands, bridges, play areas and condominiums at the rear. Therefore, he stated another attempt was made to appease their concerns. He proposed the single-family residential, meeting the R-1 density requirement, which would allow the flexibility to address the surrounding area. He felt there was a positive response for this proposal from the surrounding residents. A response in mailings depicted sixty-two (62%) in approval and thirty-eight percent (38%) did not approve. He calculated the response from the homeowners located directly behind the property, eight (8) support the project representing fifty-seven percent (57%), one (1) disapproval he accounted for seven percent (7%) and thirty-six percent (36%) were non responsive. He stated the intention and commitment to uphold the promise made to the residents of a development not to exceed forty (40) lots. He ensured that even with the rezoning, they would not develop more than the promised forty (40) lots. He added the maximum units they could fit onto the property, with the property configuration and the R-3 standards, would be forty-two (42) units. He felt the rezoning would benefit the City. He introduced Paul LeBlanc of LSL Land Planning, Susan Friedlaender of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn LLP and Design Coordinator Dwayne Bennett.

Paul LeBlanc of LSL gave an overview of the proposed rezoning. He addressed the Mr. Arroyo’s comments in his review letter dated December 8, 2000. Mr. LeBlanc disagreed with the comment regarding the density of 1.65 dwellings per acre, as he felt they conformed with this requirement. He noted the same permitted uses and special land uses under R-1 zoning and R-3 zoning. He stated the rezoning would simply allow them a smaller lot size to achieve the density recommended in the Master Plan. He explained the dimensions of the parcel limited the number of lots that could be accommodated to thirty (30). He described the land as shallow, bound by two (2) major thoroughfares (double frontage lots), the need to provide for on-site detention and the compliance of the minimum width requirements. He stated the R-1 requires one hundred twenty (120) feet, which severely restricts the number of lots with the other factors. He felt Mr. Arroyo’s comment that the R-3 zoning that would allow a density of 2.7 units per acre was theoretical. He noted theoretically they should be able to have sixty-five (65) lots, however due to the features of the property, they could only derive forty (40). Mr. LeBlanc restated their commitment to the neighbors/residential homeowners with the possibility of placing a deed restriction on the property. He noted the discrepancy of the 2.7 DU/Acre of Mr. Arroyo’s review letter. He stated under the current zoning, there would only be thirty (30) lots with a density of 1.23 units per acre. He stated there were no natural amenities to offset or compensate for the location at a major intersection across the street. He noted the other areas in Novi zoned R-1 were not faced with these disadvantages. He pointed out that the nearby areas with less density were developed with septic tanks, prior to water and sewer and he felt they were at a lower density due to necessity. Mr. LeBlanc noted three (3) R-3 areas in the City of Novi he did not feel were logical extension of existing R-3 areas. He noted the R-3 area located at Eleven Mile Road and Beck Road was inconsistent with the Master Plan.

Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant designated the location of the site. He located Briarwood Residential Unit Development on the East side of Beck Road, Greenwood Oaks, Warrington Subdivision to the west, larger acreage parcels to the south and Broadmoor Park Subdivision to the southeast. He noted the three (3) quadrants of the intersection are currently zoned R-1, the R-4 zoning across the street and Commercial Zoning at the corner (associated with the Broadmoor Park Subdivision, which came fourth through a litigation consent judgement). He noted the surrounding projects: phases of Greenwood Oaks, Warrington Subdivision, Briar Pointe Plaza, Briarwood Condos, two (2) daycare center that were not approved and Broadmoor Park. He pointed out the more intense residential development of 1.65 dwelling units per acre located to the east of the site and to the west was lower densities of 0.8 dwelling units per acre. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval in his review letter dated December 8, 2000. He noted the rezoning was not consistent with the Master Plan for Land Use or with the residential density pattern map. He explained when the current Master Plan was under preparation in 1998 and 1999, it was carefully considered the information provided and chose to maintain the density at 1.65 DU/Acre. He stated the Implementation Committee is currently reviewing potential changes to the residential options, to allow more flexibility to more challenging sites under the existing zoning. Mr. Arroyo anticipated the recommendations of Zoning Ordinance Amendments to be before the Planning Commission in the next thirty (30) to sixty (60) days. He restated the amendments would provide more flexibility for these types of sites to allow the provision of greater amounts of open space or buffering while attempting to maintain densities that are appropriate for the property. He stated the applicant did not demonstrated that the existing zoning classification was not economically feasible and could not be developed as a R-1 property with single-family homes. He suggested a subdivision open space option be explored because it did not heed to having woodlands or wetlands on the site. Mr. Arroyo reminded the Commission that a site plan is submitted as a means to demonstrate how property could be developed under proposed/existing zoning and the applicant is not bound to the presented plans. He stated once the rezoning is granted, the applicant can develop the land any way that is consistent with the zoning. He encouraged the Planning Commission to focus on the use of the property and the proposed density of the property while considering their potential recommendation to the City Council.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo referred to the applicant’s traffic study submitted. He noted the potential trip generation under existing zoning for forty (40) units maximizing. He added that often there could be factors such as configuration that could keep the site from reaching the maximum yield. He stated there was no guarantee there would only be forty (40) units. He added at the full density under R-3 zoning, the site could develop sixty-six (66) lots. He stated there are potential ways of achieving increased density through options, such as those changes being discussed by the Implementation Committee.




Member Mutch announced that he had received several responses on the ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.606.



James Rosin, 47200-47340 Ten Mile Road, wrote "We are the owners of the Briarwood Plaza and we fully support the rezoning from R-1 to R-3. It would be good planning to have smaller lots backing up to the main roads as opposed to the larger lots in the R-1 zoning. As a commercial owner, it would only improve the area and create diversity."


Catherine Hapanowicz, .24254 Warrington Court, wrote "I/we approve rezoning of above land from R-1 to R-3 family residential but not any other rezoning."

Margo and Jerry Smith, 23962 Forest Park, wrote "We have no objection to zoning change as long as it stays residential."

Lynne Coleman, 47114 Scarlet Drive South, wrote "By changing to R-3, this will create additional stresses to traffic and roads and utilities (especially water pressure) to an increasingly crowded area. It also impacts the uniformity from a visual standpoint of the surrounding area. As for ‘or any other appropriate zoning district’, I object to anything other than residential R-1."

George Odmmen, 47453 Greenwich Drive, wrote "We moved to Novi for the green space and good schools it had to offer. Smaller lots will destroy the beauty of the neighborhood. More homes imply more children which turn implies overcrowding in schools. If approved every new developer will demand the same concessions. We reviewed the City Zoning and Development plans and school expansion plans before deciding to move to Novi. Altering you plans will result in violation of your commitment, thereby lowering the value of our investments – potential for lawsuits. In two meetings and subsequent communications, I seriously doubt the integrity of this development."

George and Jane Keller, 24284 Warrington Court, wrote "I object because I do not want traffic increased anymore than necessary throughout our subdivision, surrounding the land. I want similar homes built as in the surrounding subdivision."

Stephen Olsen, 47346 Scarlet Drive, wrote "Stick with the original plan."

Chun Liang Lee, 24294 Lynwood Drive, wrote "I object to the above request for the following reasons: 1) The Master Plan shouldn’t be changed because it would effect a lot of people who purchased their properties before the change. 2) We purchased our property based on the Master Plan. If it changes, then it will effect the life we had expected when we made our purchase. It is not fair. We trust you who made the Master Plan, so don’t change it."

James and Paulette Shaffer, 24507 Nantucket Drive, wrote "Lots are too small this would cause more traffic congestion in our subdivision and the property value would go down. We object."

Robert Garr, 47951 Ten Mile Road, wrote "Please reject this zoning amendment. I believe property values in my area will be adversely affected by the request, if granted. I was required to follow zoning and the present R-1 should be upheld. Traffic on Ten Mile during the busy hour in front of my house is stop and go and I believe it will be much worse if this request is approved. Please vote no!"

Joe and Lucy Simkins, 47501 Greenwich Drive, wrote "I am opposed to the proposed rezoning of the NW corner of Ten Mile and Beck from R-1 to R-3. Like other home owners in the Greenwood Oaks Subdivision, I made an informed decision to purchase my home with the understanding this parcel of land would not be rezoned. To rezone at this time would be unfair to other homeowners and could adversely affect the value of tour investment if smaller homes are built on smaller lots!"

Robert Churella, 39500 High Pointe Boulevard, wrote " On the matte of the proposed zoning change that concerns the 24.24 acres in Section 20, located on the north, west corner of Ten mile and Beck Road. I can see no reason to change R-1 to any other zoning district. The City of Novi’s Master Plan calls for R-1. Therefore, I will vote no on the said zone change."

Joe Gohde 47527 Greenwich Drive, wrote "Please be advised we object to the above request. The property was zoned R-1 when we purchased our property which backs up directly to this parcel. This was a consideration in our selection. Additionally this property remained R-1 on the second Mater Plan adopted by the City. We trust the City of Novi to represent themselves as being trustworthy and staying consistent to the mission and vision of representing the neighborhoods (Greenwood Oaks) to developers who’s interest are motivated by money and not necessarily the community. Please see additional comments attached."

Joe Gohde, additional attachment, "It is important to note some of the history of our dealings with the Aspen Group. The sequence is as follows. I was,(as was everyone in Greenwood Oaks) notified by the developer (the Aspen group) of their first meeting where they were to present their "vision" for the property zoned R1 directly behind us. First Meeting -At the meeting (where they supplied pizza, beer and wine) they detailed to us a development that had a grocery store and condominiums. Long story short... it was shot down by everyone at the meeting. They then proceeded to show us strictly condominiums. Again, with many from the neighborhood in attendance, we stated absolutely not. The presenters (Aspen) then attempted to intimidate us, stating that "they could wait us out", "we’ve done this before and we have more resolve than you do". (Quite frankly, this confrontational approach really upset quite a few people.) We demonstrated our resolve and vowed to fight them all the way, including the courts if need be. (People were very, very angry by the attitude that they had displayed. As if the master plan of the city meant nothing).We challenged them to go back and present to us a development that was consistent with the zoning that is in force. They stated that they would consider our comments and make new drawings from our input. We trusted them at their word. Second Meeting - Aspen proceeded to show us another layout that again had many of us concerned. Again condominiums. Again, we were not pleased. They then showed us homes that were smaller in size, of lesser quality and on substantially smaller lots. Additionally, they stated that they had taken our input and that this was the best layout which they could consider. (As it rams out none of this was true). From this point forward, the trust begins to evaporate. Upon examining the development layout closely, the drawings indicated a date prior to our original meeting. This concept of them considering our input was a total fabrication. They were executing a pre- determined plan to paint a picture of worst case, while expecting us to settle for the best of the worst. They wanted us to endorse their plan for rezoning out of fear. We were being had. Our trust in Aspen was terribly shaken. I and others felt we were being misled. After the meeting adjourned several of us remained behind to review the presentation closely. Noting that two of us were especially concerned, Aspen offered to take us (John Gohde and Tom Bushman) to their developments to show us the types of homes, entrances and landscaping they would provide. We consented and took a trip visiting their other developments. Relatively satisfied, we trusted that they would build homes that would not diminish, but add value and be consistent with the zoning and types of homes in Greenwood Oaks. Well here we are. We now have a request for a zoning change from R1 to R3 or other suitable zoning. What does that mean... that means, there never was an interest in attempting to meet the requirements of the city as stated in the master plan. THE TRUST IS GONE! That leaves us with the city. The people we elected to represent us, the homeowners, citizens and taxpayers. The government of Novi, needs to represent it's people, not a developer! We look to the City of Novi to keep its word and to stand behind us. What we as a neighborhood believe in, what we as a neighborhood have invested in, what we as a neighborhood chose to raise oar children in. We believe in the city, the city needs to believe in us. The Novi master plan is what we trusted and we trust the individuals in office to represent those who are effected most directly by this proposed change. If you violate the trust of the Master Plan here, where does it stop! The Master plan would have no value with which people could place their trust. Keep the trust and do not change the zoning! Keep the zoning R1 as stipulated in the Master Plan. Sincerely, John and Maureen Gohde, 47527 Greenwich Drive Novi, Michigan 48374."

Dorothy Gazette, 47518 Greenwich Drive, wrote "I am writing in response to the rezoning of the property located at the northwest corner often Mile and Beck Roads. I object to the proposal presented by the Aspen Group for several reasons. 1) The City's Master Plan has all residential property west of Beck Road zoned R-l with ½ acre lots. Historically, builders have complied with the Master Plan. I feel there is no reason to make the Aspen Group an exception. The large size lots is one of the features that attracted our family to the area. 2) I feel decreasing the lot size will negatively affect the property values west of Beck Road. 3) In the Master Plan, Ten Mile Road west of Beck Road is to remain a two lane road. With the increase of population density, the Ten Mile Road traffic would be adversely affected. 4) If the City allows for an increase in population density, have they considered the increase in the number of students attending Novi Schools?

5) The Aspen Group presented a plan to surrounding residents for a new subdivision. The plan had only one road entering and exiting the subdivision located off of Beck Road just north of Ten Mile Road. This concerns me a great deal since I live on Greenwich Drive and feel this street will be used as a major access road to go north on Beck Road. Any approved plan should include a secondary entrance off of Ten Mile Road. Please consider the above concerns when deciding whether to allow for the rezoning of the property located on the northwest corner on Ten Mile and Beck Roads."

Carol Ringvelski, President of Greenwood Oaks Association, wrote "The letter below and the pages that follow best summarize our association's communications with the Novi Planning Commission and the Novi City Council regarding the Aspen Group proposal. The intent of this communication is provide a reminder and/or update board members as to the position that our board has taken regarding this matter which will be before you on Wednesday, March 7th. I have enclosed a letter from the Aspen Group that was recently sent to all residents in Greenwood Oaks Subdivision. Since this matter will surely be reaching the Novi Planning Commission and the Novi City Council, I thought you should be informed as to the position that the Greenwood Oaks Board of Directors has taken on this proposal. I have enclosed the response the board has sent to the Aspen group. The Greenwood Oaks Board of Directors met on Thursday, August 3, 2000. Among other items on the agenda was the discussion of the Aspen Group Development on the comer of Ten Mile and Beck Roads. The following questions best reflect the thoughts of our board regarding the proposed use of the land at the above-mentioned site. What do we like about the plan? The Aspen Group has kept the parcel of land R-I as it was intended by the city of Novi. It includes berms and open spaces. What are our concerns? It does not adhere to the Master Plan in that all lots west of Beck Road were zoned to be ½ acre lots. (The zoning of ½ acre lots evolved in the last several Master Plans because of a concern for population density and for the accompanying infrastructure and quality of life issues throughout Novi.) The entrance way off of Greenwich adds to traffic on Greenwich either from Greenwood Oaks II as cars use their entryway to avoid congestion at Ten Mile and/or down Lynwood onto Greenwich in Greenwood Oaks I as cars from the proposed subdivision take short cuts from Ten Mile Road into the Aspen Development. What does the board recommend? That Aspen complies with the ½ acre lots as stated in the Master Plan. Aspen proposes 40 lots, when potentially there is room for 32 half acre lots. Exclude from the plan, Graham Lane off of Greenwich, and since two entrances are mandated by the city for emergency routes, replace the entryway with a road off of Ten Mile or through Warrington on Warrington Drive. Consequently, fewer homes and fewer children playing near these roads would be affected. What future action should take place? Instead of individual letters asking for isolated voting leaving little room for open discussion, a meeting should be held to welcome the homeowners most affected by this development."

Jim Krystoff, 47631 Greenwich Drive, wrote "My name is Jim Krystoff, and I love at 47631 Greenwich Drive of the Greenwood Oaks subdivision at Ten Mile and Beck in Novi. My residence is within 300 feet of the parcel under consideration, and I am opposed to this proposed "spot rezoning" from R-1 to R-1. When we initially moved here, and prior to purchasing, we clearly understood this parcel was not part of our subdivision, but were assured by zoning regulations and the City’s Master Plan that it was designated as R1. As I understand it, the zoning an recently revised Master Plan has maintained the R1 zoning for this parcel. Given this, adjoining subdivisions like Warrington Manner and later phases of Greenwood Oaks have been developed in accordance with the zoning regulations of R1. Then, just last year, the Aspen Group purchased the property (knowing it was zoned R1). Now, without apparently even trying to pursue development of the property under the existing zoning, their initial proposal is to seek an immediate rezoning. The only reason I can determine for their opposed rezoning is simply to add houses, and make more money. This is absolutely not fair to all of the area residents, and especially the immediate adjoining residents, who have made an informed decision to locate to this area and make the largest investment of their lives. To change the zoning of this parcel, which is the last piece of development in this area, at the dime would be wrong! Secondly, in retrospect, it is not fair to the other developers, whom in the past have played by the rules and built quality developments without zoning deviations. Lastly, I would be concerned over the precedence granting a spot rezoning of this type would set future developments in the city. I can see no inhibitor(s) to developing this parcel under conventional R1 zoning. In summary, I cannot, and do not support a rezoning of any type on this parcel. The Aspen Group, to the best of my knowledge, purchased this parcel with a clear understanding of the zoning, and that the surrounding area had been developed in accordance with the zoning regulations. The City and area residents should not compromise on the zoning to provide a greater return on their investment that what they should have assumed it would be when they purchased the property as R1. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. Sincerely, Jim Krystoff."

Roger D. Monforton, Jr. and Deanna C. Brann, 47578 Greenwich Drive, wrote "Dear Planning Board Members, We have been residents of Greenwood Oaks Subdivision-Phase I for the past four years and live on Greenwich Drive, within 200 feet of the proposed Aspen Group development on the northwest comer of Ten Mile and Beck Roods. As your constituents and significant tax payers of a Novi community (of which we am proud to be members), we wish to voice our strict opposition to the proposed "spot rezoning" of this parcel from R1 to R3. When we moved here, we specifically investigated the zoning and development plans for this area and confirmed that the Master Plan and zoning regulations called for properties along the west side of Beck to remain R1 parcels. Since that time, we've been pleased to see the City's commitment adhered to through the development of our own Greenwood Oaks Phase III as well as in the Andover and Beckenham subdivisions. Why, at this point, would the City consider a change in their consistent adherence to the R1 zoning in this area for this last parcel in the immediate area? That would seem most unfair to all the current residents, who have invested their family savings after specifically seeking out this most attractive area Of Novi for its large parcels and less dense development. Likewise it would seem unfair to the other developers who have put up beautiful subdivisions in accordance with the established R1 zoning, rather than seeking higher density rezoning for purposes of making more profits as the Aspen Group seems intent on doing. Lastly, as to the Aspen Group, they were aware of the R1 restriction from the beginning. Rather than bringing forth a development proposal in accordance with that zoning, their first and subsequent proposals all have called for such 'spot rezoning". This seems both manipulative d our (your) City Plan, as well as unfair to other area developers who have "played by the rules". Thus, we do not support the proposed rezoning from R1 to R3 for the Aspen Group parcel, and we ask for your support as our representatives in having our voice heard. Please don't compromise our city's Master Plan!"

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


Thomas Bushman, 47531 Greenwich Drive, stated that he and his wife responded to the letter based on a conditional approval. 1) The minimum home size of thirty-two hundred (3200) square feet to remain similar to the approximate home size in the Greenwood Oaks Subdivision. 2) A noise abatement barrier along Beck Road to the entrance. 3) The property would remain R-1 zoning. He noted that if there was a new developer on the property after the rezoning, the project could change to any development allowed in the R-3 District. He withdrew his support because the request to change the zoning from R-1.


Dennis Ringvelski, 24359 Nantucket Drive, noted like the developer, he has also been a long time resident. He asked that the Planning Commission keep its commitment to the Master Plan. He mentioned the Master Plan that Mr. Arroyo was speaking of was predicated on a Master Plan that was in place for many years before. He felt the developer and the owner prior were aware of what the property would afford when the purchase was made. He felt the he and the surrounding residents knew what type of neighborhood they were making a purchase on. He opposed to spot rezoning anywhere in the city because he felt it would ruin the overall plan of how the city would develop to the west. He commended the judgement of the city planners and the master planners that he felt the Planning Commission should uphold. He expected that his investment in Novi would be protected. He stated that he did not recall an avalanche of support at the meeting spoken of by the developer. He stated many of the residents at the meeting supported some of the aspects of the plan, predicated on the fact that the property would remain R-1 zoning. He stated the support would be eroded with the change of plans on the developer’s behalf. Mr. Ringvelski noted the R-3 zoning permits 12,000 square foot lots, which he felt would erode the value of the surrounding homes. He stated that he would get a city referendum if he needed to.


John Gohde, 47527 Greenwich Drive, thanked the Commission for listening to the resident’s comments. He agreed with Mr. Ringvelski in that the developer was aware of the limits on the property when they chose to invest on it. He stated his lack of support for changing the zoning. He noted the developer did not mention what they were interesting in building on the property. He did not feel the percentages the Mr. Rosin gave were an accurate representation because only fifteen (15) lots back up to the property, therefore the percentage representation could change dramatically with one (1) or two (2) votes. He read his letter that Member Mutch paraphrased.


Tim McDonald, 47610 Warrington Drive, stated his investment was based on the Master Plan and the expectation of the lot behind him (the proposed property for rezoning) would remain R-1 zoning. He commended the applicant who took the time to learn the resident’s concerns, unlike the previous developers. He stated his first preference would be to maintain the R-1 zoning. However, he had reluctantly agreed to the support the PUD of forty (40) houses to prevent alternative developments. He stated he in no manner supported the rezoning of the property to R-3. He felt that the Aspen Group would have nothing holding them to build what they have promised. He stated they could resell the property to another developer who could then build the maximum of sixty-six (66) lots. He opposed the rezoning because it would set a bad precedence for the future development in Novi. He suggested the applicant and the City agree on a PUD Plan or alternate plan to build the forty (40) lot development without the rezoning.


Jill Baty, 24295 Warrington Court, resides adjacent to the horse farm. She stated she originally sent a letter of support to the applicant. However, she retracted her letter of support due to the lack of information regarding the rezoning. She also felt the property could be resold.


Lou Achille, 47590 Greenwich Drive, did not support the rezoning proposal. He agreed with the reasons already mentioned. He stressed the pointed that the property could be sold to another developer.


Jianry Ma, 47530 Greenwich Drive, noted she purchased her home with the understanding that the surrounding homes would be developed with ½ acres lots as well. She wanted the commission to maintain the harmony of her community.


Min Weng, 47577 Greenwich Drive, did not support the rezoning of the property. He wanted the lots to remain on ½ acre lots. He stressed that the residents live in the community and are not just coming in and out to make money.


Charles Hornacek, 24296 Warrington Drive, resides behind the proposed development. He opposed the rezoning and agreed with the opposing comments that were already mentioned.


Mike Bart, 47640 Warrington Drive, thanked the Aspen Group for taking the time to meet with the residents. He did not support the rezoning. He noted he attended the meetings with the developer and the residents. He did not recall any information given regarding a rezoning to R-3. He stated a letter was sent to the residents suggesting a cluster use. At the time of the meeting, he stated the Aspen Group assured the residents that they would not do a cluster development. Mr. Bart did support the open-ended statement. He also mentioned the possibility of selling the property. He felt the history of the residents fighting to maintain the R-1 zoning was a matter of precedence and principle.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if there were any other audience participants to speak to the matter? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.



Member Mutch felt it was important that the residents understood that the Planning Commission would be giving a recommendation to the City Council. However, the City Council would have the final decision on the matter. Therefore, he encouraged the residents to follow the issue to City Council if they wanted to voice their opinion(s). He noted that the comments from the Planning Commission would be forwarded to City Council as well as become part of the City Record. As the Planning Commission, he noted they hold a responsibility to the neighborhood and residents of the community. He added they also are enabled by the State to create a Master Plan for the community. This Master Plan guides the development in the community. He noted the Master Plan is intended to protect the interest of residents, property owners, neighborhoods and the City as a whole. Therefore, he stated when the Planning Commission is considering rezoning issues, they are required to look beyond the discussion of the neighbors with the developers, to determine if the rezoning would be positive for the neighborhood and the entire community. He stated he served on the Master Plan and Zoning Committee that reviewed the proposed property. Since the time of approval of the Master Plan, he did not recall any changes that could justify rezoning of the property. He felt that R-1 zoning and the coinciding density were appropriate as well as supported by the planning consultant recommendations and the Master Plan. He noted the long-standing history of the property. He stated the issue was a deliberate effort by the City to attempt to control the growth and density on the west side of the City. He noted the zoning was not driven by water and sewer issues. He explained as water and sewer have been extended to that area, the R-1 and R-A zonings have been maintained. He stated it would raise potential legal issues should they decide contrary to the Master Plan. He noted the loss of faith from the residents and a legal system undercutting the legitimacy of the master plan. In order to maintain the legality of the Master Plan, Member Mutch felt the zoning decisions should be made based upon it. He agreed with the Mr. Arroyo that it had not been demonstrated that the land could not be developed as R-1 zoning. He did not feel the applicant showed any economically unfeasible issues to prevent the property to be developed at the current zoning. He noted other potential uses were a church or a school. He felt rezoning the property would set a bad precedence for additional surrounding vacant property to the south. He stated there was no way to control the density if the property was rezoned and therefore, an approval would be based on "blind faith". The traffic study indicated a R-3 density, could cause a fifty-eight percent (58%) increase in traffic. He stated this would impact the density of schools and the demands on the City. Member Mutch stated the applicant has not demonstrated a unique situation. He felt the Master Plan indicated feasible and responsible zoning.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Nagy: To send a negative recommendation to the City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.606 for a proposed rezoning from One-Family Residential District R-1 to One-Family Residential District R-3 based on the it not being compatible with the current Master Plan, based on the comments of the planning consultants and the applicant has not demonstrated the current R-1 zoning is not reasonable.




Member Koneda felt the motion needed to include the following findings 1) The request is not in keeping with the Master Plan for Land Use. 2) The proposed zoning is not an extension of an existing district. 3) There are no natural features on the site to prevent development. 4) Land lost due to on-site storm water detention and development of roadways is part of the cost of development decreases the lot size. 5) There is not demonstration that the current R-1 zoning is not feasible. 6) That restriction can not be attached to rezoning requests. He stated that the economic items were already covered as the part of the demonstration.





Moved by Mutch, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a negative recommendation to the City Council based on the following conditions: 1) The request is not in keeping with the Master Plan for Land Use. 2) The proposed zoning is not an extension of an existing district. 3) There are no natural features on the site to prevent development. 4) Land lost due to on-site storm water detention and development of roadways is part of the cost of development and decreases the number of available building sites. 5) There has been no demonstration that the current R-1 zoning is not feasible. 6) That restriction can not be attached to rezoning requests.



Member Kocan felt the residents purchased their homes based on the expectations of the zoning to remaining R-1. She did not find any reasons supporting the change in zoning. She indicated Broadmoor Subdivision borders the same intersection that the applicant has claimed that they can not border. Member Kocan stated that the zoning was with the land and not the owners, therefore, the plan should not be attached to the zoning request. She noted her support in the motion to send a negative recommendation to the City Council.

Member Nagy expressed her disappointed with the applicant’s lack of exploring alternatives of development.



Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None


Mr. Rosin stated he was limited to ten (10) minutes for his presentation. He did not feel he was given the opportunity to discuss the additional alternatives. He stated to the audience that he was flabbergasted with the suggestion that he deviated…


Chairperson Piccinini interjected that it was not appropriate for him to speak to the audience.


Mr. Rosin continued that he did not deviate from any promises or representation that he made to the homeowners. He stated there was obviously a miscommunication. He stated the R-3 rezoning was at the request of the Planning. He stated his promise to the residents had never changed.


Chairperson Piccinini stated he would be able to speak at the City Council meeting.



This project is located in Section 12, on the northwest corner of Cabot Drive and Twelve Mile Road. The .77 acre site is zoned Office Service Technology (OST). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approvals and a Section Nine Façade Waiver.

Dave Mielock, architect for Michigan National Bank, introduced the twenty-three hundred (2300) square foot bank with three (3) drive through lanes. He noted the nearest lane would be an ATM, with the outer lanes to be used for typical drive-through banking. Internally, the new branch would consist of teller stations, additional banking operations typically associated with banking and the employment of six (6) people. He stated the hours of operation are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. He noted their continued efforts to work with the consultants to achieve the best site plan they could. He proposed a landscape berm along Twelve Mile Road to address the lack of berm issue. Regarding the setback issues, he noted they would shift the driveway toward the building to allow a greater landscape area between Cabot Drive and the proposed property. He stated they would push down the north portion of the parcel to allow for trees to be adequately planted in the buffer zone. He believed that the issued raised by the consultants could be addressed at final. He introduced their landscape architect, representatives of the engineering firm and representatives of Michigan National Bank. Mr. Mielock felt this project would be an asset to the City of Novi. If the project is approved, he stated planned construction would be for the summer with a completion in the fall.


Mr. Arroyo did not recommend approval in the planning review letter dated February 8, 2001 due to a number issues. Based on the applicant’s letter and presentation, he stated it appeared that they would be addressing the two (2) outstanding issues that would have required a variance and waiver. Item #2 - The required right-of-way berm is not provided along Twelve Mile Road. He restated the applicant’s indication that they would provide this berm. Item #1 – The site plan does not provide the required east side and rear parking setback. He restated the applicant’s indication that they would shift the drive that runs parallel to Cabot Drive, to maintain green space. He stated the site does not meet the parking lot setback along the north property line. According to the ordinance, the applicant could provide the additional parking setback, to equal the area of what was lost in the other areas and the Planning Commission could grant a waiver for flexibility in parking lot setback. He noted the applicant’s letter indicating the provision of this additional area along the west property line. Arroyo stated the applicant’s letter indicated the building setback issue would be rectified and the inconsistencies addressed on the final. Mr. Arroyo noted they would also be looking for the exterior lighting plan at final.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval subject to the items being addressed on the final.


Ms. Weber recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. She noted water and sanitary are available to service the site. She stated storm water detention is proposed on-site. Ms. Weber stated there were a number of items to be addressed at final. She stated an easement would be required for the proposed concrete sidewalk for areas where it is to be located outside of right-of-way.


Ms. Lemke stated she spoke to the landscape architect prior to the meeting and it appeared that they would be able to address all of the concerns in her review letter dated February 12, 2001. She noted they would not require any variances from the ZBA. She changed the recommendation of her review letter dated February 12, 2001 to recommending approval of the landscape plan subject to the items of her letter dated February 12, 2001 being addressed at final. She stated the project consisted of 0.2 acres of regulated Woodlands located on the west side of the property. She added they are not of high quality. Ms. Lemke recommended approval of a Woodland Permit with the condition that "the applicant reduce the grading into the regulated woodlands as much as possible. This can occur by making 3:1 slopes and installation of a small retaining wall along the western portion of the site immediately west of the parking area." She stated in addition to the number of items to be addressed at final she recommended approval.


Mr. Fox recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver for the excessive asphalt shingles on the north and south sides of the building. He stated it this was due to the large, expansive high roof. He stated most of the lower portion of the structure is brick with a small amount of efface running along the top of the building. He stated the rest of the building is approximately ninety percent (90%) brick.


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


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


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




Member Koneda referred to the recommendation to consider an emergency connection to the west, through the Edison easement, to an existing driveway west of the easement. He asked Mr. Arroyo if this was not feasible because it was across the easement and it would interfere with the Woodlands?


Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant felt this was feasible and the Fire Marshall suggested the access plan would be acceptable.


Member Koneda asked Ms. Lemke if the secondary access was provided along the western property line if it would have a detrimental effect on the small Woodland area?


Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She noted the Woodland is not a high quality area.


Member Koneda asked why she felt a detention wall was necessary to preserve the Woodlands if they are not of high quality?


Ms. Lemke stated there are a few good size trees that are worthy of being saved. However, she stated the small area did not meet the definition of the traditional "Woodlands".

Member Koneda clarified the applicant had agreed to provide this detention wall?


Ms. Lemke stated this was not discussed.


Member Koneda asked the applicant if they would be willing to take the measures to preserve the
Woodlands in the area by the recommendations of Ms. Lemke?


Mr. Mielock stated they have worked on a bolder retaining wall or decorative masonry retaining wall to preserve the trees.


Member Koneda asked if he felt an agreement could be made with Ms. Lemke to satisfy her requirements?


Mr. Mielock answered, yes.


Member Koneda asked if the north side parking setback deficiency had been made up elsewhere on the site and if so, where?


Ms. Lemke stated according to her conversation with the applicant and their presentation, it appears that they would be able to meet this requirement and were not in need of the waiver.


Member Koneda clarified that the applicant would not need a waiver for the north side?


Ms. Lemke answered, correct.


Member Koneda clarified that this would not need to be part of the motion?


Ms. Lemke answered, correct.


Mr. Arroyo stated a non-landscape waiver that would need to be made part of the motion. With regard to the parking setback, he stated the difference would be made up on the west side where there is a twenty-five (25) foot setback verses the required twenty (20) foot setback.


Member Koneda expressed his disappointment that the fire review letter did not specifically address the secondary access. However, he stated he would assumed that it was reviewed under the plan review.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Mutch: In the matter of Michigan National Bank SP 01-05 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Planning Commission Waiver for the parking lot setback, Woodland Permit Approval and a Section Nine Facade Waiver contingent upon the consultant’s comments and recommendations.




Member Landry stated assuming they add the extra green space to the north side, he asked Mr. Arroyo if they would still require a setback waiver?


Mr. Arroyo indicated the applicant’s request for consideration of the fact that they would add additional green space on the west side in exchange for not adding extra green space to the north end. He stated the reason for the waiver is that they would be aligning the driveway with the driveway across the street for safety purposes. Therefore, he felt this is warranted.


Member Richards was concerned with the border between the two (2) asphalt parking lots. He asked Ms. Lemke how this would look with all of the asphalt?


Ms. Lemke noted that this was one (1) of the comments in her review letter. She felt it was tight for the trees on this north property line.


Member Richards asked if Ms. Lemke anticipated these trees to live?

Ms. Lemke requested that the trees be relocated. She stated there is an island that is not quite the minimum eight (8) required feet in width. She added if the area was eight (8) feet in width, the trees would survive. She noted that ideally, she would like to see more.

Member Richards clarified that she felt the trees would live?

Ms. Lemke answered, correct.

Member Richards asked Ms. Lemke if there would only be trees?

Ms. Lemke stated there would only be trees. She stated there is not requirement for there to be trees in-between a similar use. She stated the extra trees would be placed in the interior parking space. She stated the island space would be met and the trees would be placed in the adjacent green spaces.

Member Richards asked if the small space was due to the driveway being moved north to line up with the driveway across the street?

Mr. Arroyo answered, correct. He added another reason was the attempt to maximize the separation from Twelve Mile Road to allow the traffic traveling northbound on Cabot, turning left onto the site, to have a maximum amount of stacking.

Member Richards noted the Boulevard on the roadway.

Mr. Arroyo agreed. He stated originally the Boulevard was planned to be longer and when they became aware that this site would become a separate development with a driveway, the Boulevard was shortened to provide stacking for left turners to enter the center left turn lane.

Member Richards asked if there was sufficient stacking room for the left turn into the bank?

Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.

Member Richards stated when he was at the bank, it did not seem like more than three (3) cars.

Mr. Arroyo stated given the use and the percentage of inbound left turns and the times they would occur, he felt it was sufficient.

Member Kocan commended the developer for his response letter and efforts. She suggested that the consultants encourage other developers to respond to the issues in a similar manner. She felt the letter allowed the commission to understand where the applicant was and what direction they were headed. She questioned if the restriction was being placed on shingles or on the asphalt shingles? She asked if there were additional shingles allowed according to the façade ordinance? She asked what the alternatives would be if they were not approved for the asphalt shingles.

Mr. Fox stated the applicant could use wood shingles, however the percentages would fall into the same category as the asphalt shingles. He explained the building is being categorized as residential due to the peak roof design over the entire structure. He believed the height of the roof to be taller than the building itself. He noted this created a large expansive material without or very few breaks. He stated in the past, there have been projects that have been almost entirely brick that did not comply due to the large expansive roof material. He stated the proposed building, is ninety percent (90%) brick and still requires a waiver due to the roof. He stated regardless of the type of shingles, the percentage would still exceed due to the roof.

Member Nagy asked if the expansive roof would cause more run off than another design?

Mr. Mielock answered, no. He proposed to place gutters on the edges to drain the water into the storm sewer verses directly onto the surface.

Member Nagy complimented the design.

Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke if the applicant agreed to shift the drive to the west to meet the twenty (20) foot setback along Cabot Drive?

Ms. Lemke answered, correct.

Member Mutch asked how this would impact the green space around the building? He asked if the site would continue to meet the ordinance requirement for the four (4) foot landscaping?

Ms. Lemke stated the applicant would be required to meet this or they would need a variance. She assumed the applicant was intending to meet this requirement.

Member Mutch asked the applicant to speak to this matter.

Mr. Mielock stated they would maintain the four (4) feet. He noted it was minimal. He indicated a strip from eight (8) feet at the lowest dimension to thirteen (13) feet at the high dimension. He stated they would be re-orienting the driveway and pushing it closer. He noted that all of the plantings would be maintained with the exception of one (1) tree that they may need to shift to the side.

Mr. Arroyo added at the least dimension existed twenty (20) feet of green space. He stated the further north, it becomes less. He stated it was likely there would be more than four (4) feet of green space in front of the building.

Member Mutch stated the ordinance requirement is fifteen (15) parking spaces and the site plan proposed twenty (20). He asked the applicant the reason for the additional five (5) spots?

Mr. Mielock stated the site could use thirty (30) spaces if it was permissible. However, the twenty (20) parking spaces were a "happy medium". He stated they were in need of more spaces, which he felt was substantiated in other Michigan National Bank locations. He noted the spaces would provide parking for the drive through facility, six (6) employees and the remainder would be for customers.

Member Mutch indicated he was only ensuring that these spaces were not excessive. He felt the applicant had demonstrated the need and that it is not excessive. Member Mutch asked if the storm water would run off into an existing basin?

Ms. Weber stated the storm water would be detained on-site and would discharge into the Cabot Drive storm sewer system, which connects to the Twelve Mile Road storm sewer system.

Member Mutch clarified if there was an existing storm sewer?

Ms. Weber answered, yes.

Member Mutch stated he was not certain at what point the lot split occurred. He stated the driveway issue should not have occurred because the project at the corner was developed before the project to the north.

Mr. Arroyo elaborated on Member Mutch’s comment stating that changes to the Land Division Act allowed this corporate park to accommodate a large number of land divisions without having to go through a plat process or site condominium process. He noted the Planning Commission never reviewed the park as a site condominium or plat because it was done through the Land Division Act. He felt this was unfortunate, because it made it difficult to plan items in a sequence.

Member Mutch asked Mr. Fisher if there was anything that would preclude the City from providing an extra level of review at the land division stage to address concerns of this nature?


Mr. Fisher stated an actual land division as contemplated under the amended Land Division Act, the Planning Commission could not require that. However, as a condition to building after the land division has been granted, the Planning Commission could require scrutiny in this regard.


Member Mutch requested a sidewalk connection between the interior and the exterior to be included in the motion.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Michigan National Bank SP 01-05 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Planning Commission Waiver for the parking lot setback, Woodland Permit Approval, a Section Nine Facade Waiver contingent upon the consultant’s comments and recommendations and a sidewalk connection between the interior and exterior.





Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None





This project is located in Section 4, north of West Road and east of the City of Wixom on Ryan Road. The 1.83 acre site is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking a Planning Commission waiver for driveway spacing.

Oleg Amcheslavsky representative for Paramount Investments indicated he had already received Preliminary Site Plan Approval at the previous Planning Commission meeting. However, he found there was a need for a Driveway Spacing Waiver. He felt the eastbound traffic out of Ryan Court would not have a great impact turning onto the Suntec’s drive on the left.

Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant explained the potential for a redevelopment of a driveway on the opposite side to serve two (2) properties. He noted this would have eliminated the need for the Driveway Spacing Waiver. He stated the applicant to the north was attempting to rotate the building to position the driveway more on the west side, leaving the already approved Suntec drive sixty-eight (68) feet from Paramount Investments. Mr. Arroyo stated the ordinance requires the driveway to be located two hundred (200) feet, therefore, Paramount Investments would require a waiver. He felt the conflict between the two (2) drives would be low. He noted the location of the cul-de-sac. He stated the only inbound traffic into Suntec would be a few potential future businesses to the west turning left into the drive. Mr. Arroyo anticipated this to be low volume with low turn conflicts between the two (2) drives.




Member Richards asked what the anticipated volume of right turning traffic would be from the

Paramount Investments site into the Suntec property?


Mr. Arroyo stated this would be minimal. He added that a light industrial building of the proposed size would generate twenty-six (26) trips during the morning and twenty-seven (27) during the afternoon.




Moved by Richards, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant approval of the Planning Commission Waiver for driveway spacing for Paramount Investments Parcel 7 SP 00-73 contingent upon all of the consultant’s recommendations and conditions.








Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None




This project is located in Section 23, along the south side of Grand River, east of Novi Road. The .38 acre site is zoned Town Center (TC-1). The applicant is seeking revised Preliminary Site Plan approval.

Ron Kachman of Building Design Group represented Sami Poota, the owner of the Novi Party Store. He noted the previous times Novi Party Stored appeared before the Commission regarding a shared drive with the neighboring Audio Video store east of their site. He felt an easement agreement was no longer possible due to the Audio Video’s continually added criteria. Therefore, he noted they decided to seek Preliminary Site Plan Approval without the shared driveway. He stated the difference with the present plan was the inclusion of the easement at the south of the site into the Main Street project. He stated the final easements were in completion stages of cross access agreements with the city attorney. He noted they have obtained Oakland County Approvals for the Approach Permit based on the proposed design. Mr. Kachman requested Preliminary Site Plan Approval so they could begin building by spring 2001.


Rod Arroyo recommended approval in his review letter dated February 20, 2001. He noted the amount of time and work spent on the site over a length of time. Mr. Arroyo recalled the meeting, which the adjacent property owner agreed to provide for the access easement. He expressed his disappointment that it would no longer take place. He stated the applicant is requesting an amendment to the plan to allow the driveway, where previously there would have been a connection to the Audio Video store. He stated this amendment presented driveway spacing issues. He located the Discount Tire drive, the entry to the bank shared by Steve and Rocky’s, which would require a driveway spacing waiver. He designated another location in which the same side spacing waiver would be required. He noted that although the choice of access was not the best, it was the only form of access to Grand River Avenue the applicant could provide.


Victoria Weber stated her continued recommendation of approval of the preliminary site plan.


Linda Lemke recommended approval in her letter dated February 7, 2001.


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


Chairperson Piccinini announced she has received a letter from Doug Necci from JCK, Consulting Engineer, dated February 16, 2001, which states: "We have reviewed the drawings dated 1-12-01 for the above referenced project. The drawings are consistent with the drawings for which a positive recommendation was made in our letter dated 11-16-99 (attached)".




Member Canup expressed his disappointment that an agreement could not be reached for an easement. He questioned if there could be an opportunity to have the City Manager mediate with the neighboring business. He felt the original plan was the best they could do with the property and the possibilities of resolving the issues between the two parties should be explored. Member Canup stated because this location is a focal part of the City, a better option should be pursued.


Member Fisher stated the Member Canup’s idea could be explored, however, he stressed the difficulty that exists when the government attempts to engage between two (2) private property owners. He stated the result could be one party feeling the pressure of the government and bringing upon them an unanticipated economic result.


Member Canup stated he has seen similar situations in the past. He felt if the neighbor was made aware that with or without their cooperation the plan would be approved, they might be more willing to reach an agreement for the benefits.


Mr. Kachman stated that when the neighboring property discovered Novi Party Store was in for a building permit, they began to ask for a the following: a specific amount of money, maintenance of the driveways for the life of the property, tear down a building, stack trailers in a certain location and have his parking lot re-paved. He did not feel that the Audio Video store understood the benefits the common drive would have for both of the businesses.


Member Canup stated that if the neighboring business continued to be uncooperative he would support the proposed project without the shared access. He stated he would like to give the neighboring property another opportunity to benefit from the shared access.


Mr. Kachman stated they have attempted to have Audio Video comply for a length of time and the lack of cooperation has resulted in delays and increased costs to meet their requests for the easement that make the project not feasible.

Member Canup asked if there was a point in which the requests were reasonable?


Mr. Kachman answered, yes. He noted in early discussions, Audio Video wanted a certain dollar figure. He stated later Audio Video requested to have their parking lot paved, life time maintenance on his approach and reconstruction of the building to keep the truck away from his site.


Member Nagy asked if the city attorney or the city staff consultants were involved with the negotiations?


Mr. Kachman stated that Audio Video agreed to share the access at the meeting. However, he stated when the negotiations took place only he and the owner of Audio Video were present.


Member Nagy asked if the applicant and the city attorney would be amenable to meet with Audio Video in attempt to establish an agreement for the easement before the next Planning Commission meeting?

Mr. Kachman stated they have been making these attempted efforts for the past 1 ½ years. He noted they have not come any closer to a resolution.


Member Nagy stated the negotiations might be successful with the city attorney present. She noted her willingness to make a motion to approve the site whether or not the neighbor cooperated.


Member Canup agreed. He noted it might make a difference if the effort was made and a final message sent to the neighbor to benefit from the easement.


Member Nagy stated the applicant alone may not be the appropriate person to address the neighbor at this point. She asked the city attorney if this was a feasible idea?


Gerald Fisher recommended if the Commission approve the proposed plan, it should be with the understanding that if there was an agreement worked out between Audio Video and Novi Party Store for the shared access, the original plan would be superior and used.


Mr. Kachman stated he was willing to do whatever needed to be done to allow the project to move forward.


Member Landry stated if the plan was approved, there would be no incentive for the applicant to agree to anything. He felt the plan should be approved or not.


Member Nagy clarified if the applicant was applying for preliminary site plan approval?


Beth Brock stated the applicant applied for both preliminary and final together. Therefore, he was at Final.


Member Richards stated it could be tabled to the next Planning Commission meeting to allow the efforts to be made to reach an agreement on the easement. If the attempt did not succeed, the Planning Commission could review the proposed plan as the superior plan and make a recommendation.


Mr. Fisher stated it would be appropriate to inform the neighbor that the Planning Commission would like to ensure an agreement could not be reached.


Member Nagy stated she preferred to have the City Attorney and the City Manager involved.


Member Landry asked Mr. Fisher who he felt would be the appropriate person to mediate the situation?


Mr. Fisher stated he would discuss the situation with Mr. Helwig to reach a consensus. He deemed it appropriate for the City Manager to determine the mediator.


Chairperson Piccinini asked Mr. Fisher if he felt two (2) weeks was an appropriate amount of time to address the issues?


Mr. Fisher stated that it should be feasible to determine if it would work. However, he stated it may not be feasible to finalize the documentation.


Mr. Kachman noted he sent a letter and heard no response for three (3) months. He suggested another form of contact be used to contact Audio Video.





Moved by Landry, seconded by Richards: To postpone to the next agenda under Matters for Consideration Novi Party Store SP 98-41G in an attempt to have the two (2) owners reach a mutual easement access.




Member Koneda felt the Audio Video owner should be aware of the Planning Commission’s willingness to act on the second site plan.


Mr. Kachman stated that ultimately an agreement could always be reached. However, he felt he concern was how much his client wanted to spend to obtain the easement. He asked at what time would it be appropriate to say "that is enough conditions"? He explained that eventually the numerous requests make the easement not feasible.


Member Koneda liked the first plan because it cleaned up Grand River Avenue and it was a step to minimize curb cuts in the TC-1 District. He felt that due to the lack of cooperation from the neighboring property owner, they would be forced to go back into the same situation. Currently there is not curb. He stated he was willing to support the driveway spacing waiver, but it was not the preferred end result for the area. Member Koneda felt these issues should be addressed to avoid future situations.


Member Kocan asked why it could not be placed on the Consent Agenda?


Chairperson Piccinini stated it could be placed on the Consent Agenda.


Member Kocan suggested that the item be placed on the Consent Agenda to expedite the approval.





Moved by Landry, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone to the next agenda, under Consent Agenda, Novi Party Store SP 98-41G in an attempt to have the two (2) owners reach a mutual easement access.


VOTE ON PM-01-03-050


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None



Member Mutch stated traditionally the committee members who have served on the committees are given the first opportunity to continue to serve on the committees. He suggested that this tradition continue. He stated that although he is currently on Woodlands Review, he was willing to step down. However, he asked to continue to serve on the committees that he is already appointed to.




Motion by Mutch, seconded by Canup: That members currently appointed to committees will continue to serve on the committees that they are already appointed to, with the exception of Member Mutch stepping down from the alternate position on the Woodlands Review Committee.


Member Landry disagreed with Member Mutch. He stated there was nothing written in the bylaws or ordinance that discuss this issue. He felt if the tradition continued to take place, there would remain only four (4) openings of the nine (9) committees. Therefore, he stated five (5) committees would be closed to potential new members. According to the current list of committee members and those to remain, he calculated twenty-nine (29) possible committee spots. He stated if these were equally divided, it would allow three (3) committee positions per commissioner with an extra two (2) spots. He noted that currently two (2) commissioners are on six (6) committees and one (1) commissioner on five (5) committees. He did not understand why it could not be equally spread out. He did not feel that vast experience was required for any of the committees and that every commissioner would be equally qualified to serve on any committee. He did not agree with a system that closed out the possibility of change or the consideration of new members on the committees. Therefore, he would not support the motion.

Member Koneda stated there are not twenty-nine (29) positions, because nine (9) of the positions have to be filled by the Planning Commission Officers, the administrative liaison has three (3) positions, Implementation Committee has four (4) members, three (3) of which are the Planning Commission Officers. The Rules Committee is also filled by the Officers. Therefore, he stated there would remain twenty (20) positions. He agreed that consideration should be taken with the situation of commissioners serving on all of the committees. He felt that some issues were on going and continuity with some of the committees and its members needed to exist due to the on-going work that is in process.

Member Nagy stated the Liaison Committee was the only committee that the bylaws required the positions be filled by Planning Commission Officers. She understood Member Koneda’s comments about continuity, however, she felt that it was evident that the rules indicated that the committee members were to serve for one (1) year. She felt it was improper to violate the bylaws and the rules should be followed.

Member Mutch stated the fact that an issue was not mentioned in the bylaws did not preclude the commission from taking the action. Therefore, he did not feel the motion was improper or unwarranted under the bylaws. He agreed with Member Koneda regarding the benefits of having continuity on the committees. He agreed with Member Landry that there is not a requirement for experience, etc…He stated there are benefits of having the knowledge and background with the committees especially with the on-going issues on the Master Plan and Zoning and the Implementation Committee. He felt because some of the commissioners have served on the commission longer they should be entitled to request the committees they would like to serve on. He felt the commissioners with the length of service could contribute to the committees a length of experience that new members may not be able to bring. Member Mutch indicated that he serves on two (2) committees and is an alternated on a third committee. He did not feel this was excessive.

Member Kocan stated she would not support the motion because of her previous comments and Member Landry’s comments. She felt the committees should be open to the new members to allow them to gain more experience and in-site. She agreed that the commissioners could stated the three or four committees they prioritized as their top committees. She objected to the idea that commissioners could serve on five or six committees. She felt the commission should take committee by committee and have those reaffirm if they would like to be on the committee.

Member Nagy stated all of the members of the Planning Commission are appointed by the Mayor and City Council vote. She did not feel the older planning commissioners should give the new members the distinct impression that they are "locked out". She felt that this was the impression that Member Mutch was giving and she would not support his motion.

Chairperson Piccinini agreed with Member Koneda and Member Mutch. She stated five of the seven have openings. She stated with adding the Environmental Committee there is six of the seven available committees with openings. She stated in a friendly amendment, her name could be withdrawn from the committee. Therefore, she did not feel anyone was being "shut out". She stated the committee appointments were not done last year due to the wait for new Planning Commissioners.

Member Landry stated the green sheet showed four (4) committees with openings.

Chairperson Piccinini stated the openings:

Planning Studies Committee – 1 opening

Environmental Committee – 1 opening

Communications Committee – 2 vacancies

Master Plan & Zoning Committee – 1 vacancy

Woodlands Committee – 1 vacancy

Main Street Committee – 2 vacancies



Motion by Mutch, seconded by Canup, CARRIED: That members currently appointed to committees will continue to serve on the committees that they are already appointed to, with the exception of Member Mutch stepping down from the alternate position on the Woodlands Review Committee and Chairperson Piccinini stepping down from the position on the Environmental Committee.


Yes: Canup, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards

No: Kocan, Landry, Nagy

Member Koneda asked Member Canup his intentions? He stated the commission was also unaware of Member Churella’s intentions due to his absence. He noted that Member Churella is on three mandatory committees and also three non-mandatory, Planning Studies, Environmental and Communication. He noted that Member Churella may want the opportunity to step down from the some of the committees he serves on. He suggested the possibility of tabling the election.

Chairperson Piccinini discouraged the idea of postponing or tabling the issue. She wanted to give the new members the opportunity to come aboard the committee. She noted that traditionally the issue would be tabled to allow all of the members to be present. She stressed that this was not an attempt to shut anybody out. Although uncertain of Member Churella’s intentions, she felt the commission should move forward. However, she stated if the commission preferred, the issue could be tabled.

Member Canup felt the issue should be postponed and tabled to the next meeting. He stated he would step down from the Main Street Committee.

Chairperson Piccinini asked Mr. Fisher if Member Canup’s resignation would need to be made at the next meeting because the commission voted and passed the motion stating the members would hold their appointed positions?

Gerald Fisher stated it would be effective immediately if the commission accepted it.

Chairperson Piccinini asked the commission if they accepted the resignation of Member Canup from the Main Street Committee?

Beth Brock stated a Master Plan and Zoning meeting is scheduled for the 21st with a vacancy. She noted are several items on the agenda. She suggested either filling the vacancy or postponing the Master Plan and Zoning meeting.

Member Nagy informed the commission of her interest in the Main Street Committee. She felt the meeting should be postponed or some other decision needed to be made.


Moved by Nagy, FAILS FOR LACK OF SUPPORT: To postpone the committee appointments until the next Planning Commission meeting.


Member Richards suggested filling the known vacancies. He stated communications could be made with Member Churella regarding his intentions and then fill those vacancies should they become available.

Chairperson Piccinini agreed. She announced Planning Studies and Budget had one vacancy. She asked the commission if anyone was interested?

Member Kocan stated her interest. She clarified if Member Landry was still interested.

Member Landry stated he was not interested in being on the Planning Studies and Budget Committee.


Moved by Mutch, seconded by Landry, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Member Kocan to the Planning Studies and Budget.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None

Chairperson Piccinini announced the Environmental Committee had one vacancy.

Member Nagy expressed her interest in the Environmental Committee.


Moved by Mutch, seconded by Landry, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Member Nagy to the Environmental Committee.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None

Chairperson Piccinini recalled Member Landry expressing interest in the Communication and Community Liaison.

Member Landry agreed that he was interested in this Committee.

Chairperson Piccinini asked if there was another member that would be interested in the Communication and Community Liaison?

Member Kocan stated she would also be interested in being on the committee.


Moved by Mutch, seconded by Landry, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Member Kocan and Member Landry to the Communication and Community Liaison Committee.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None

Chairperson Piccinini announced there was one vacancy on the Master Plan & Zoning Committee. She recalled Member Koneda expressing his interest.

Member Koneda agreed.

Member Landry stated he was also interested in the Master Plan & Zoning Committee.

Gerald Fisher stated if there were two members interested and one vacancy there would need to be a motion with a vote.

Chairperson Piccinini stated they would motion and vote in the order the commissioners expressed their interest. She asked the commission for a motion to appoint Member Koneda?


Moved by Canup, seconded by Richards, CARRIED: To appoint Member Koneda to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Richards

No: Landry, Nagy

Chairperson Piccinini announced there was an alternate vacancy on the Woodlands Review. She noted the board held two (2) afternoon meetings a month. She stated they met on the first Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and the Thursday after the second Planning Commission meeting at 4:30 p.m. She asked if any of the commissioners would be interested in the vacancy?

Member Mutch stated he has served on two or three because Chairperson Piccinini is not absent very often.

Member Kocan stated she was interested although she did not have a lot of experience.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Member Kocan as an alternate on the Woodlands Review Board.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None

Chairperson Piccinini anticipated the Main Street Committee to be very active. She stated Member Nagy and Member Richards expressed their interest in this committee.

Member Landry stated he was also interested in the Main Street Committee.


Moved by Mutch, seconded by Landry, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Member Nagy, Member Landry and Member Richards to the Main Street Committee.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None


Member Koneda stated he was willing to step down from the Planning and Studies Budget if another commissioner was interested. However, if there were no interested members, he would continue to serve on the committee.

Chairperson Piccinini stated she would speak to Member Churella and if needed, they could add the issue to the next Planning Commission agenda.

Member Kocan thanked the Planning Commissioners for working with the new members.

Chairperson Piccinini asked the committee members to contact Sarah Marchioni to verify if they would or would not be available to attend the upcoming meeting dates for the Rules Committee, Master Planning & Zoning, Implementation Committee.

Member Mutch confirmed his attendance at the Implementation meeting April 4th at 5:30 p.m. and Rules meeting on March 21st, Master Planning & Zoning on April 5th.

Chairperson Piccinini confirmed her attendance at the Rules Committee on March 21st.

Member Koneda confirmed his attendance at the Rules Committee on March 21st, Master Planning & Zoning on April 5th.

Member Canup confirmed his attendance at the Master Planning & Zoning on April 5th,

Implementation meeting April 4th at 5:30 p.m.

Chairperson Piccinini informed the commission of the upcoming Planning Commission Briefing. She clarified if the commission would all be in attendance? (With the exception of Member Churella who is not present)

Member Canup, Member Kocan, Member Koneda, Member Landry, Member Mutch, Chairperson Piccinini and Member Richards noted they would be in attendance.

Member Nagy stated she would not be able to attend the briefing due to her job. She noted if her client cancelled, she would be able to attend.

Beth Brock stated the meeting could be taped for Member Nagy. She noted the topic to be discussed at the briefing would be the Façade Ordinance. She also stated information of the upcoming meeting would be included in the Planning Commission packets as well as reminder calls.


Member Mutch gave an overview of the Natural Resources Trust Fund. He explained it is a grant program through the State of Michigan to provide local communities with funding to acquire land for parks, open space and the construction of recreation facilities. He noted the City has not applied for grants through this program the last several years. Surrounding communities have benefited from this grant program and he felt this would be a great opportunity the City of Novi should utilize to purchase park land, open space and develop facilities. Member Mutch stated the Southwest Core Reserve Area in Section 29 and Section 30, is the highest quality habitat area in the City of Novi. The area consists of mostly wetlands, woodlands and unlikely developable. He noted the two (2) current City-owned areas and felt this would be an excellent opportunity to complete the connection. He felt these areas were important to preserve in regard to environmental habitat, potential future recreation and passive open space use. Member Mutch noted the Core Reserve located north of Twelve Mile Road, in which the City acquired over eight hundred (800) acres of property. He stated almost all of the Core Habitat Area could be preserved. He stated the deadlines for the Natural Resources Trust Fund Application were April 1st and August 1st. He did not foresee the possibility of applying by the April 1st deadline, due to first steps of the process. He indicated they would need to complete the grant, receive approval from City Council and amend the Parks and Recreation Master Plan to recognize the application. He stated these steps would be under the direction of the City Council to its various departments and the Parks and Recreation Commission. Member Mutch stated the August 1st deadline is only for land acquisition. He stated one (1) of the special initiatives of the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board is "Projects that create, establish and protect wildlife, ecological corridors by connecting to/buffering existing protected managed state or local natural areas for certain areas". Member Mutch encouraged the Planning Commission to take the proactive step and start a potential project to benefit the City of Novi. He asked for the support of the commission to recommend that the City Council make an application to the Natural Resources Trust Fund. He felt confident in the abilities of Ms. Lemke and Mr. Arroyo to work with the Parks and Recreation Commission to create an outstanding application.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That Planning Commission send a positive recommendation to City Council to make application Natural Resource Trust Fund for the acquisition of property in southwest Novi to protect the Core Reserve Habitat Area, high quality woodlands, wetlands and linkage of existing City-owned property.


Member Koneda stated his support of the motion. However, he cautioned the commission of the cost involved with sending a grant application that would need to be provided by the city. He noted that often the cost could be substantial. In his previous involvement with the two year process of the Tree Farm Purchase (one hundred seventy-five acres of land) the City Council decided against providing the twenty-five percent (25%) to share match the grant application. He did not want to see this attempt have the same result. Therefore, he felt the Planning Commission should be able to provide the City Council with an estimate of cost figures.

Member Mutch agreed with Member Koneda. He indicated this was appropriate time to present the opportunity as City Council has upcoming budget meetings and could factor the expense if they chose. He hoped to obtain the property at a lower cost than the developable property and indicated the possible donation opportunities from land conservancies.

Member Richards asked if the cost factor should be included in the motion?

Member Koneda clarified if the Planning Commission should forewarn City Council in the motion of the cost that could be involved.

Member Landry asked Member Mutch if he had researched the percent of financial obligation that the City would be responsible for?

Member Mutch stated he believed it would be twenty-five percent (25%). He noted that the Land Acquisition might be handled differently possibly making the funding break up higher. He understood Member Koneda’s concerns, however he felt that those involved would be able to quickly determine the cost of the parcels etc…

Member Nagy noted that she accepted the friendly amendment to add to her motion for recommendation that there are financial considerations of twenty-five percent (25%).

Member Landry did not agree sending figures of percent to the City Council if the appropriate research had not been done. He asked Member Mutch if the figures would be available for City Council with the recommendation?

Member Mutch answered no. He stated he has all of the information to identify the assessed value of the parcel, however, City Council would need to direct the City Administration to proceed with the grant application and direct the Parks and Recreation Committee to update the Recreation Master Plan to identify the area. He noted that these items would need to occur as part of the grant application process.

Member Landry asked if he was satisfied that there was not a need to be more specific than the motion already states?

Member Nagy felt that the ultimate decision was upon the City Council. She felt the original motion was sufficient.



Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None




Chairperson Piccinini stated she shared the focus of communication that was expressed by the City Attorney and the City Manager. She hoped to see a cooperative effort with the Planning Department, Planning Commissioners, City Council, Mr. Helwig and Clay Pearson to establish better communication. She announced her upcoming meeting with Mayor Clark on March 19th prior to the City Council meeting. Chairperson Piccinini requested that the Clerks Office notify her when any issue related to the Planning Commission goes before the City Council or Ordinance Review. She asked that Mr. Pearson could please send a letter to the Clerk’s office to reaffirm this. She requested that Beth Brock have a specific person in the Planning Department be designated to address the Planning Commissioners questions/issues.

Beth Brock stated that she is currently the contact. However, when the Planning Director start, the procedures may change.

Member Koneda suggested the Communication and Community Liaison Committee take this opportunity to address the deficiency of the communications with the City Council. He suggested the committee design a plan that would include processes, procedures that could be used to communicate with the City Council more efficiently. He noted the Parks and Recreation gives the City Council highlights of the meeting. He suggested a member attend Council meetings on a quarterly basis to update them with Planning Commission activity.


Moved by Koneda, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To assign the Communication and Committee Liaison Committee to establish a procedure for communicating with the City Council on a regular basis.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None


Chairperson Piccinini clarified with Beth Brock if there would be information available by the next Planning Commission meeting or in April?

Beth Brock stated she would need to clarify the information with Mr. Pearson.

Chairperson Piccinini stated Mr. Pearson would be including suggestions for the Budget and Planning Studies in planning commission packets. However, the Planning Studies committee have not met. She asked if the committee would have the opportunity to schedule a time to meet prior to the next Planning Commission meeting? She asked Beth Brock if she felt Mr. Pearson may be have the information ready a week prior to the meeting?

Beth Brock stated she was certain the information would be ready. However, she stated the difficulty would be coordinating the meeting.

(tape ends)

Chairperson Piccinini (tape begins)…stated that this was by no fault of any of those on the Planning Commission. She wanted to ensure that those on the Planning & Studies Budget have the opportunity and City Council could take this into consideration before they go forward with decisions. She asked if the members on the committee, (Member Koneda, Member Richards, Member Kocan and Member Churella) would be agreeable to this?

They agreed.

Member Kocan clarified if this would be a meeting with the committee and a staff representative?

Chairperson Piccinini answered, yes. She stated it would be prior to the next Planning Commission.


Member Koneda asked regarding the Planning Commission appointments. He stated the City Council guidelines depict the attempt to make the Planning Commission appointments by the end of June to allow continuity in the staff. He stated it had been an assumption that if the City Council did not make the re-appointments, the current commissioner would continue to serve. Member Koneda asked the city attorney if this was the proper procedure or was City Council required to take action to extend the terms until re-appointments were made?

Gerald Fisher stated this question was technical. He noted he would need to review the statue prior to answering.

Member Koneda stated the Planning Commission is obligated to elect officers in July. Therefore, he asked if it was appropriate to appoint officers with a Planning Commission consisting of members that may not return after City Council appointments?

Gerald Fisher agreed that there needed to be specifics and he would research the statue.

Member Koneda asked regarding Site Plan Approvals. He asked if a site plan is denied based on the need of obtaining a ZBA Variance and ZBA grants the variance, would the site plan be automatically approved or would it need to be re-evaluated by the Planning Commission?

Gerald Fisher stated in his opinion, the site plan would need to come before the Planning Commission again.

Member Koneda asked if the site plan would return if Preliminary Site Plan Approval were granted conditional upon the granting of the ZBA Variance?

Gerald Fisher stated if the authorization to act in this manner was included in the Ordinance. However, the attempt to conditionally grant approval when and it is not written in the Ordinance, could be unintentionally granting it without conditions.

Member Koneda stated his concern if the site plan was denied, ZBA Variances were obtained and they returned to the Planning Commission. He noted if the Planning Commission found additional reasons to deny the site plan, he felt this would not create a good situation. He stated over the years, several of his motions were conditional upon the granting of variances from other organizations. He asked that it be clarified if this was the correct procedure or if the commission should make negative motions with the petitioner returning to the Planning Commission?

Gerald Fisher stated the preference would be to make a motion to grant approval conditional upon approval of a variance, however, he stated this should only be done if it was permitted in the Ordinance.

Chairperson Piccinini stated this matter had been sent to the Rules Committee. She hoped to expedite the matter by the April Planning Commission meeting. She clarified if Member Koneda wanted a legal opinion on the ZBA variance issue and the Planning Commissioner appointments?

Member Koneda felt the Planning Commissioner terms needed to be addressed. He asked if the commissioners would continue to serve or if the Planning Commission is to operate with fewer commissioners? He noted in the past it has been implied that City Council assumes the commissioner occupies the seat or resigns from the commission until appointments are made. He stressed his concern regarding the process.

Gerald Fisher stated he would have legal opinions available by the next meeting.

Member Kocan stated the Michigan Planning Conference suggested that it would be the applicant’s choice if they wanted to pay the money to go before the ZBA prior to approval granted by the Planning Commission.

Gerald Fisher stated that although some communities handle these situations in this manner, he felt it should be a policy.

Member Canup understood that the City policy required an applicant must be turned down at some point prior to going before the ZBA. He stated he did not think an applicant could go before the ZBA as the first step.

Gerald Fisher stated this might be the reason for the developed procedure to give a negative recommendation. He stated if the procedure were included in the ordinance that the Planning Commission could make "a positive recommendation subject to…" it would be permissible.

Mr. Arroyo agreed with Member Canup. He stated historically the City had used this appeal process. He referred to the ordinance which states variances to be granted upon appeal. He noted it had been interpreted that the petitioner would need to go to a body and be denied or have a conditional recommendation subject.

Gerald Fisher suggested this be changed as an Ordinance Amendment.

Mr. Arroyo stated this suggestion was raised to the ZBA previously. He noted the ZBA stated their preference to not rewrite the ordinance because they like the input from the Planning Commission prior to their action.

Member Koneda stated under this process, the site plan would be denied and a motion made to the ZBA in favor of the variance if it was deemed appropriate. He felt this seemed like a contradiction of terms, however, he was willing to continue this method if it was the proper procedure.





Presentation by Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo.

Mr. Arroyo gave a presentation regarding the subdivision review process. He stated the subdivision review process if used for certain land divisions, which could arrive under two possible review scenarios. 1) The splitting of property, typically reviewed through the Assessing Department. 2) Subdivision Plat Process or Site Condominium would occur if a certain number of splits were exceeded. He gave the example that a parcel less than 20 acres could be divided into four parcels under the Land Division Act through the Assessing Department. However, if the splits were to exceed four, the applicant would fall under the Plat or Site Condominium review process. He noted he numbers were based on a sliding scale and depend upon the size of the parcel.

General Review Process*

Planning Commission reviews the tentative preliminary plat and makes a recommendation to the City Council.

City Council approves the tentative preliminary plat.


Final preliminary plat presented to City Council for approval.

Administrative Engineering Review.

City Council action on the Final Plat.

*County and Stated Agencies are involved throughout the process.

Mr. Arroyo noted the subdivision review facts. He reminded the commission to keep in mind that a subdivision is a proposal for the division of land and the provision of access to it. It is not a proposal to construct buildings. He noted that the building would come after the land is divided. After a subdivision is approved, building permits would need to be obtained. He stated commercial and industrial plats would need to come before the Planning Commission for individual site plans for approval on each parcel. He stated a subdivision plat would also become the legal basis for the division of property. Any conditions attached to the approval process would need to be directly related to the ordinance standards. Therefore, he noted any conditions to the approval process would need to be directly related to enforcing a provision that already exists in the ordinance.

Mr. Arroyo stated the Subdivision Plat Process or Site Condominium Review Process uses the Subdivision Ordinance, which sets forth the local standards for reviewing subdivisions, standards for review of street layouts and division of property. He noted the Zoning Ordinance states a minimum standards for certain lots.

Mr. Arroyo informed the new commission members that Beth Brock would be coordinating orientation sessions. He stated that this would allow the new members to meet with the staff and consultants involved in the review process. He stated an Introductory Planning Commission Training Program could also be conducted if they were interested. He stated the session would cover: duties of the Planning Commission, State statue requirements and a general overview.

Chairperson Piccinini announced the Legal books were available from the seminar if the commissioners were interested.



Debbie Brendoff, Novi Road and Twelve Mile Road, commented on the Novi Party Store. She stated she was disappointed that the site plan would not be as she had heard it presented a few years ago. She felt there was a great incentive to have the neighbor to share the access. She felt Grand River Avenue is an "open parking lot". She stated the Audio Video store would lose the access to the parking lot and his customers would have to use his own entryway. She hoped that if an agreement could not be made, the City would ensure a greenbelt be created to prevent those from parking in one lot and crossing over to the neighboring property. She felt this would motivate the neighbor to comply. She hoped the City could find ways to not stronghold the neighbor, but instead make him aware of what he would miss out on if an agreement could not be reached.






Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:15 p.m.




Yes: Canup, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Piccinini, Richards

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

March 28, 2001


Date Approved: April 4, 2001