View Agenda for this meeting

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2001 AT 7:30 P.M.


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


PRESENT: Members Canup, Churella, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Mutch, Nagy and Piccinini


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Richards


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






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


Member Landry added under Matters for Discussion the possibility of the Planning Commission responding in writing in opposition of the Coordinating Planning Act. He stated he would like to discuss the meeting that several of the commissioners attended.


Member Kocan added to Matters for Discussion the issue of the City’s responsibility for enforcement and/or follow up after final site plan review with regard to warehousing uses, spec buildings, long term parking on sites, landscaping that may die.


Member Kocan added to Matters for Discussion the issue of notification of abutting property owners for development other than Public Hearings and/or Special Land Use.




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




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

No: None


Chairperson Piccinini announced that Summerlin SP 01-11 of Novi Public Hearing has been postponed to the Planning Commission meeting of April 25, 2001.








Member Churella read a letter from the City Attorney, Gerald Fisher, regarding the Novi Party Store. "Dear Members of the Planning Commission, apparently upon presentation of both property owners, an application for Novi Party Store proposal to develop a site on the Novi Party Store and the adjoining property would provide a common interest and a greater frontage buffer on the south side of Grand River Avenue and East Road. This arrangement was deemed to be superior to utilizing two separate points of access on Grand River Avenue and less buffering. Following the development of the site plan with common access, it has been advised that the owner of the adjoining property made demands upon the Novi Party Store owner that could not be met. Thus the Novi Party Store owners requested that the grant or approval of the plan that he has does not have to take advantage of the common entry buffer. Before granting such release, the Planning Commission requested our office pursue contacting the owners of the adjoining property to access whether utilization of common entry could be feasible for reasonable terms. We have been unsuccessful in our effort to make contact with or otherwise secure relief from the owner of the property adjoining the party store."




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



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


Member Koneda noted corrections to the minutes.




Moved by Churella, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Approval of the Consent Agenda and the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of March 7, 2001 as amended.




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

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.

Member Canup expressed his disappointment of the matter not being settled with a resolution that would benefit all concerned. He requested to review the site plan further and add it as Item #5 under Matters for Consideration.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Nagy, MOTION RETRACTED: To add Novi Party Store SP 98-41G to Matters for Consideration.





This office project is located in Section 12, on the West Side of Cabot Drive, south of Thirteen Mile Road. The 4.969 acre site is zoned Office Service Technology (OST). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit approvals.


Brian Hughes of Northern Equities, developer of Haggerty Corporate Park, proposed the fifty thousand five hundred (50,500) square foot custom designed building. Paychex is a payroll processing company.


Tim Melvin of Gilligan Associates, architect explained the architectural details of the Paychex Building. He compared the similar architecture to their existing developments Haggerty I, Haggerty II. He described Paychex as a one-story, masonry building with tinted glazing and anodized aluminum trim around the windows. In contrast, the Paychex Building has been designed with nicer canopies and entrances. He noted the two-story glass feature on the one-story building, the pre-finished metal enclosure around the roof screen with a limestone-looking brick accent band. He stated all of the materials proposed are both durable and in keeping with the other six (6) buildings in the area.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant described the location of the proposed project in relation to the surrounding developments. These developments include Omron, Cabot Technology Center, Eberspacher, Magna and two developments that have not come before the Commission, Millennium Tech and White Hall Reality. In addition to a few minor items, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the preliminary site plan in the letter dated March 19, 2001.


In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval with the minor items being addressed at final.


Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval in the review letter dated March 20, 2001. Existing utilities water and sanitary sewer will service the site. Storm water runoff will be collected in the proposed on-site storm sewer and routed to the existing storm located on Cabot Drive. On-site sedimentation and water quality controls are proposed to be provided by use of a vault type structure prior to discharge to the Cabot Drive storm sewer. Storm water is the routed north to and detained in an existing detention basin, which was installed as a part of the overall Cabot Drive development. In addition to the comments to be addressed at final she recommended approval.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect indicated approximately 1.9 acres of woodlands on the proposed site beginning and entering the site from M-5. The woodlands are of poor quality, a non-continuous canopy primarily consisting of Ash with some Blackcherry, Elm and Box Elder. The understory is rough with some Ash returning, Grey Dogwood, Raspberry and Rose. She noted several trees along the site, adjacent to M-5, that may be salvageable. She requested that the applicant explore the opportunity to save these. In addition to a number of items to be addressed at final and conditioned upon her letter dated March 27, 2001, she recommended approval of the plan in regard to a Woodland Permit.


In regard to the Conceptual Landscape Plan, Ms. Lemke recommended approval in her letter dated March 30, 2001. She noted the letter being similar to the review letter dated March 27, 2001 with the exception of the removal of two (2) variances that should not have been included in the March 27, 2001 letter. She stated the revised plans satisfied the variance issues and the additional items could be addressed at final. She indicated there were no required variances.


Chairperson Piccinini announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, dated March 19, 2001, which states: The above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal. 1) It appears that landscape plantings will be obstructing the Fire Department Connection. The FDC shall be relocated to the east wall along the sidewalk, or the trees and shrubs relocated to provide clear access. She announced she had received a letter from Doug Necci from JCK, dated March 17, 2001, which states the above shown façades are in full compliance with the Façade Chart and a Section Nine Facade Waiver is not required.


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 commended the applicant for their site plan. He asked Mr. Arroyo if he foresaw any future conflicts with the driveway location.


Mr. Arroyo stated that he was not aware of any conflict and was comfortable with the location. He added until a future development is built on the vacant site, it could not be certain what could occur.


Member Koneda clarified that the poor quality of the Woodlands. He asked Ms. Lemke her preference of preserving the poor quality Woodland or tree reforestation on site.


Ms. Lemke stated her preference of reforestation on site is due to the species that were existing, the disruption and inconsistent canopy occurring on the site.


Member Koneda restated that based on the poor quality of the woodland, she believed that the woodland plan proposed is acceptable. He clarified if the applicant had not presented a tree replacement plan.


Ms. Lemke stated the tree replacement plan was presented and needed to be defined further. The applicant has started the tree replacement plan and would provided the majority on-site. She indicated the details would be worked out at final.


Member Koneda referred to the Oakland Courtyard loading area landscaping issues. He asked Ms. Lemke why a variance was not required for this. According to the Ordinance, he understood that a non-obscured courtyard located in an OST District would require a variance.


Ms. Lemke stated that the loading area did need to be screened as shown on the revised site plan.


Member Koneda clarified if the screening would be landscaping along the property line.


Ms. Lemke answered correct.


Member Koneda asked if this was sufficient.


Ms. Lemke answered, yes.


Member Koneda restated that a variance was not required due to the screening.


Ms. Lemke answered, correct.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Canup: In the matter of Paychex Building SP 01-15 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Woodland Permit Approval conditioned upon all consultant’s recommendations and conditions.





Member Mutch noted the topography. He asked if the building was elevated enough to avoid the vision of the roof equipment. He stated the one-story building beside the proposed site has visible roof equipment from M-5.


Mr. Arroyo indicated that Chris Fox would address this concern in his architectural review at final.


Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke if the proposed landscaping along the M-5 was sufficient enough to screen the areas of concern from M-5.


Ms. Lemke answered, yes. She stated the revised site plan includes plantings and a berm, which would be provided along the property line to the south property line. She noted they would be removing the unnecessary parking spaces as indicated on the revised site plan. (grass creek area)


Member Mutch felt this adequately addressed his concerns. He requested the motion to include the sidewalk connection.


Member Koneda accepted the amendment to his motion.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Paychex Building SP 01-15 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Woodland Permit Approval conditioned upon all consultant’s recommendations and conditions and sidewalk connection to Cabot Drive.




Chairperson Piccinini asked the applicant if they would be providing for this connection.


Brian Hughes answered there would not be any problem with this request.


Member Nagy referred to Ms. Lemke’s letter, which indicated the 1.9 acres of Woodland as regulated. She asked if the Woodland is regulated, how could it be removed.


Ms. Lemke stated the Woodland could be removed if it is of sufficient poor quality and if it is replaced.


Member Nagy asked for the replacement ratio.


Ms. Lemke stated the ratio would depend upon the size of the existing tree. She explained if a tree measures 8" to 11" the replacement ratio is one (1) replacement tree. She continued 11" to 20" would be two (2) replacement trees and greater than 20" would be three (3) trees. The trees would be a 2½" caliber.


Member Nagy asked if Item #8 (regarding the proposed rear connection to Omron), of Mr. Arroyo’s traffic review letter, was a condition that would be accomplished.


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He added that it would be reviewed at final.




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

No: None



  2. This office project is located in Section 26, on the West Side of Venture Drive, north of Nine Mile Road and east of Novi Road. The 2.6 acre site is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.

    Bennett Donaldson of J.B. Donaldson Company representing J.H. Bennett Company requested site plan approval for the proposed project. The forty-two (42) year old J.H. Bennett Company is currently located in Novi and employs seventy-five (75) people. Half of the building is for office use and the other half would be used for warehousing and light assembly. He noted ninety percent (90%) of the warehouse is for warehousing and ten percent (10%) for light assembly.


    Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the preliminary site plan in his letter dated March 30, 2001. He requested a complete lighting plan and additional documentation on the floor plan be submitted at final. He stated the project is a principle permitted use provided the 1901 or 1902 uses are included. He indicated that any 1903 uses would require special approval. He noted the proposed use does not fall under the 1903 category.


    In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval. He stated a Planning Commission Waiver is required because the ordinance states that landscape curb end islands are required on the site. He explained in circumstances with low anticipated traffic volumes or a special circumstance the requirement could be waived. He noted the applicant is requesting the waiver close to the location of the proposed loading area. He felt the remaining comments of his review letter could be addressed at final.


    Ms. Weber recommended approval in the review letter dated March 29, 2001. She noted that the applicant proposed to pre-treat the storm water by use of a sedimentation permanent water quality basin and oil/gas separators. She stated the site has unrestricted flow as it was originally set up as part of the original Hickory Corporate Park Development. She stated the additional comments in the review letter could be addressed at final.


    Ms. Lemke recommended approval in her letter dated March 27, 2001. She felt confident that the remaining items could be addressed at final. She stated these included additional fencing and additional shrubs around the detention basin.


    Mr. Fox identified the proposed projected located in the I-1 District as Region 3. He stated all of the proposed materials were within the percentages allowed. He recommended Full Compliance in the review letter dated March 17, 2001.


    Chairperson Piccinini announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, dated March 29, 2001, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: 1) A gate valve in a well shall be provided on the 8" fire suppression line, separate form the domestic service line.




    Member Kocan informed publicly her residence at the Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision, which abuts Hickory Corporate Park. She did not find a conflict of interest with the proposed development. She noted that she is not a member of the board of directors and there is currently no pending action regarding the proposed development. Therefore, she did not find any reason to abstaining from the discussion and vote.


    Chairperson Piccinini asked if the Commission agreed with her continued participation in the discussion and vote.


    Commission did not find any conflict.


    Member Kocan clarified that the warehouse would not be leased and he would be utilizing the entire warehouse.


    Mr. Donaldson answered the client would be using the warehouse.


    Member Kocan asked if the proposed project was a speculative building.


    Mr. Donaldson answered, no.


    Member Kocan asked what type of truck traffic was anticipated.


    Mr. Donaldson answered the standard 55 foot or 60 foot semi. He stated the client anticipated the one (1) delivery a day to be a light shipping and receiving of goods as displayed. He stated the owner was available to give more details if the Commission needed.


    Member Nagy reminded the applicant of the NO TURN sign located at the end of Venture Drive for commercial truck traffic. She asked the reason for the nonconformance with the end island requirement.


    Mr. Donaldson stated the reasoning is due to the parking. He explained the site has the exact number of required parking spaces. He stated that raising the end islands could require a larger island that would cause the site to lose the required number of parking spaces.


    Member Kocan felt the development was non intrusive and represented the type of development that she would like to see when abutting residential.


    Member Koneda noted the end island closest to the truck well, the applicant proposed to delete. (tape ends) He asked if given relief for the end island, could the applicant bring the other into compliance.


    Mr. Donaldson stated he could possibly slide the parking down to bring the other end island into compliance. He noted the motivation was the parking. Therefore, if this relief could be given, he was willing to slide down the parking to gain the additional foot on the other end island.


    Member Koneda asked if the parking was deficient in the other row.


    Mr. Donaldson stated it was the parking issue as a whole. He estimated the distance between the end island and the parking at the southerly island to be twenty-four feet (24’) at both ends. He stated the required maneuvering lanes were included.


    Member Koneda felt strongly that the end island should be large enough to allow the plantings to survive and that it was important to meet the minimum requirements. Therefore, he was willing to support the granting of relief from the end island if the others could be brought into compliance. He asked if Mr. Arroyo felt this was a possibility.


    Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.


    Mr. Donaldson clarified if Member Koneda including the southerly parking in his reference.

    Member Koneda answered, yes. He requested that all of the other end islands be brought into the minimum conformance requirement.


    Mr. Donaldson clarified that this would be stripping the one end island closes to the truck well.


    Member Koneda stated he was willing to give complete relief from that end island and not have him stripe it at all.


    Mr. Donaldson asked if this meant to not have it.


    Member Koneda answered, yes he would support this. He explained that he wanted to give the applicant the incentive to bring the others into compliance.


    Mr. Donaldson stated although it would be helpful, he did not know the distance from the parking lot to the end island.


    Member Koneda suggested the adding another parking space to provide enough space in the second row. He hoped the granted relief would allow two parking spaces to be moved from the row below. He stated the spaces could be temporary parking spaces providing it did not conflict with the truck traffic. He suggested the applicant work out a solution with Mr. Arroyo.


    Mr. Donaldson felt that this idea was feasible.




    Moved by Koneda, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of J.H. Bennett Company SP 00-68B to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Planning Commission Waiver of the need for the end island closest to the truck well contingent upon the recommendations and conditions of the consultants.




    Member Nagy felt the front of the building was barren. She suggested shifting the landscaping.


    Chairperson Piccinini asked Ms. Lemke and the applicant if this was feasible.


    Ms. Lemke answered, yes.


    Mr. Donaldson answered, yes.


    Member Kocan asked if a parcel split needed to be addressed.


    Mr. Donaldson stated they received approval notification of the parcel split yesterday. He added they only needed to obtain a letter from the Assessing Department.


    Member Mutch asked if the unrestricted storm water would discharge to the Rouge River.


    Ms. Weber answered, correct.


    Member Mutch clarified that there were no storm water facility planned for the park.


    Ms. Weber answered, correct.

    Member Mutch asked where the closest detention basin was located to retain the storm water.


    Ms. Weber answered that there is not a downstream detention facility. She explained it would route directly to the Rouge River and ultimately leave the City.


    Member Mutch asked if there were any plans downstream for detention.


    Ms. Weber answered, no. She noted the hydraulic studies that were conducted on the lower part of the Rouge River that found detaining within this development would cause more problems downstream. She explained the unrestricted discharge would help flatten out the peak flows downstream. If the water was detained, all of the water would be downstream at once creating higher peak flows.


    Member Mutch questioned why the applicant needed to pay storm water fees if no facilities were being constructed.


    Ms. Weber noted that this could be reviewed at final. She stated the fee is for the ultimate Regional Detention system and there is no downstream detention.


    Member Mutch asked the City Attorney with the overall site plan being approved, if then the individual site plans would not be required to have on-site retention.


    Tom Schultz stated once the storm water drainage pattern is established for the area, the Planning Commission would review the individual site for compliance with the ordinance requirements. They could not require any off-site improvements that might be required to address foreseen problems as a result of an updated storm plan.


    Member Kocan asked if the Rouge River would connect with the flow on the opposite side of Nine Mile Road.


    Ms. Weber answered, correct. She stated there is a culvert system under Nine Mile Road that conveys the storm water and discharges to the Rouge River.




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

    No: None

  4. This office project is located in Section 25, on the northwest corner of Haggerty and Nine Mile Roads. The 1.684 acre site is zoned Office Service (OS-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval and a Section Nine Façade Waiver.

    John Vitale of Stucky & Vitale Architects proposed the two-story, twenty thousand six hundred forty-four (20,644) square foot office building. He presented the color scheme of masonry they were proposing for the four sided building. The top of the Palushaj Building would consist of a screened mechanical mansard system with a standing seam metal roof. The glass would be tinted with a colored system. He requested a Planning Commission Waiver for the Nine Mile entrance; a Planning Commission Waiver to provide a wall instead of the required berm along the north and west property lines. Mr. Vitale also requested a ZBA recommendation for the elimination of the Haggerty Road and Nine Mile Road right-of-way berm.

    Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the preliminary site plan subject to issues summarized in his review letter dated March 5, 2001 being addressed on the final site plan. At final, he requested the provision of the required lighting information, in Section 2511. During the rezoning process, he recalled comments/concerns, from residents located west of the site, regarding the desire for appropriate screening. He recalled the resident specifying the preference of a wall as opposed to a landscape berm. The Palushaj Building has proposed the screening wall. Another condition of the rezoning was that the access point on Haggerty Road would be shared with the property to the north, which is zoned multiple family. He noted the existing driveway connection off of the Haggerty drive for a future extension to serve the RM-1 property. He noted this shared driveway was a condition of the rezoning.


    In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval subject to the items of the March 19, 2001 review letter being addressed on the final site plan. He stated his concern with the location of the driveway on Nine Mile Road and the driveway on the opposite side of Nine Mile Road as a full left turn lane did not exist. He noted interconnection concerns would arise if there was a full left turn. He recommended that the Nine Mile driveway be designed and signed to be a right in, right out driveway to eliminate the left turn conflict.


    Ms. Lemke did not recommend approval in her review letter dated March 6, 2001 due to the required ZBA variances. In working with Mr. Ludwig’s office regarding the landscaping, it appeared that most of the items requiring a variance could be met, with the exception of the thirty (30) inch berm. She felt the minimum setback of twenty-five (25) feet required for the parking stall from the proposed right-of-way line could possibly be met. If it could not be met through the redesigning of the site, a ZBA Variance would be required. Ms. Lemke stated she supported the variance the applicant proposed to eliminate the 30" berm required adjacent to the building along Nine Mile Road and Haggerty Road. The building is at a higher elevation than the adjacent road. Ms. Lemke stated a Planning Commission Waiver is required for a wall instead of a berm, as noted by Mr. Arroyo. She supported this waiver with the condition that 20’ intermittent plantings - subcanopy or canopy trees with shrubs along the base of the wall are provided in addition to parking lot requirements. Where no overhead utilities exist along the northern portion of the west property line, large trees will need to be used. She felt this would be feasible if it was planted well. She stated in discussion with the applicant, they appeared to be able to meet the opacity requirements and provide the parking lot trees. She was satisfied with the resolution of the corner clearance issues and would be reviewing them at final. Ms. Lemke felt the issue regarding the additional two hundred (200) square feet of required island space was resolved. She noted at final she would be reviewing the amount of interior trees, additional trees adjacent to the western wall. Some of the trees would be subcanopy trees and some on the northern portion of the wall will be canopy trees to meet the interior requirement. The applicant has agreed to meet the interior building landscaping requirements: an additional twenty (20) feet of the east facade needs to be planted in shrubs, perennials, annuals, ornamental grass, and/or bulbs and increase the size of the Dense Yews to screen the proposed transformer when installed. Ms. Lemke felt the remainder of the items could be addressed at final.


    Ms. Weber recommended approval of the preliminary site plan in the review letter dated March 8, 2001. She noted the proposed surface runoff would be collected on site in the proposed storm sewer and routed to a detention basin north of the site. Storm water would then discharge at a restricted rate to the existing storm sewer located on Nine Mile Road. This proposed basin would contain temporary sedimentation and permanent water quality controls. She stated water service would be provided by extension of service leads from the existing 8" water main on the north side of Nine Mile Road. She added that the sewer has adequate capacity to handle the flows. She stated the applicant would need to provide a number of easement requirements prior to the final site plan approval. Ms. Weber noted information not included in the review letter: the site was previously part of a sanitary sewer district located to the south. The Sanitary Sewer Master Plan has since changed and the district limits had shifted. However, the site is subject to paying into that SAD District to the south.


    Mr. Fox recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver in the review letter dated March 13, 2001. He noted the building’s location in façade Region 1. He stated the proposed building is primarily brick with spandrel glass and standing seam metal roof. He noted the standing seam metal roof exceeded the maximum percentages allowed by the ordinance. He stated in consideration of the fact that the use of standing seam metal roof enhances the overall appearance of the building and that the material exceeds the ordinance by a small amount (5% maximum), he felt the building met the intent and purpose of the Ordinance.


    Chairperson Piccinini announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, dated February 16, 2001, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal: 1) Relocation the Fire Department Connection to the area of the front entrance to the building (west side). 2) Provide a hydrant in the parking island across form the front building entrance. 3) The fire protection water main gate valve shall be in a well.




    Member Mutch asked if the Ordinance defined the type of material permitted and the design for screening wall.


    Ms. Lemke answered, correct. She described the detail of the screening wall proposed by the applicant as a brick wall with the colors matching the building with a limestone sloped peaked cap. She noted it was not indicated at the required height at this time.


    Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke to describe the landscaping along the screening wall.


    Ms. Lemke stated the landscaping along the wall would consist of canopy trees (primarily Ash) along the northern property line and shrubs underneath the trees (with a variety of Potentilla species). The western property line consists of subcanopy trees (Amelanchier/Shadblow Serviceberry) to provide a full head. She requested eight (8) additional trees in this area.


    Member Mutch asked if the landscaping was on the applicant’s side of the wall and therefore the applicant’s responsibility to maintain.


    Ms. Lemke answered yes.


    Member Mutch referred to the waiver for the thirty (30) inch berm along the intersection, due to the elevation from the roadway. He asked Ms. Lemke if she felt the applicant’s landscape proposal justified the Planning Commission Waiver. He asked if the waiver would achieve the same effect as if the berm had been there.


    Ms. Lemke noted that the thirty (30) inch berm is for areas that do not have any vehicle use or parking. She stated the applicant heavily landscaped this area along the façades of the building. She felt the waiver was justified due to the building height. She stated the applicant would provide screening for the parking area with shrubs. She noted that Evergreen screens have been requested to screen the parking where there would not be berm.


    Member Mutch considered Nine Mile Road and Haggerty Road an entrance into the City with a fair amount of traffic. He asked if more could be done in terms of presentation this entrance to ensure a positive impression upon entering the City.


    Ms. Lemke felt the entry signs were a possibility for this key corner. She noted that this corner was pointed out in the Urban Design Studies for an entry sign into the City. She stated there was not a lot of room for the placement of a sign. However, a smaller sign may be possible.


    Member Mutch asked what she felt could be place on the corner with the given space.


    Mr. Arroyo indicated the site distance issue that exists at this intersection. He noted this would be evaluated under the City Road Bond Program. He did not think this issue could be resolved at this stage, however, he felt the answers may be available at the time of final to evaluate what would be possible.


    Member Mutch stated requested this explored at final because, although not a major entrance, it is an entrance into the City. He noted the sidewalks shown along the major road and wrapping around the building. He felt the intersection should have the provision for a crossover. He stated on the Farmington side, there are sidewalks to the 275 bike path. He asked if this could be included for future connection for the properties to the north and west that might develop or redevelop.


    Mr. Arroyo answered yes. He added that both could be done. He stated what is existing could be kept and brought down to the corners, creating a triangle area. He agreed with Member Mutch that it should come to the corner for crossings.


    Member Mutch was in agreement with the triangle, however, he felt the crossovers should be a must. He noted there might be crosswalk signals with the new signalizations.


    Member Nagy was interested in the historic land use of the hill on the property. She referred to the possibility of the hill historically being a landfill. She asked if it would be necessary to conduct an environmental site assessment and hazard material survey on the site.


    Member Canup only recalled residential existing in this location.


    Mr. Arroyo designated on an aerial photograph, an old drive off of Haggerty Road.


    Member Nagy stated she wanted to avoid a situation similar to Jaguar. She asked if the site would be excavated and if so, by how much.


    John Vitale stated the grade would be extremely close to the existing grading, due to the sanitary sewer being shallow.


    Member Nagy commented that it was wise for the petitioner to use brick because the residential property to the west is also brick. Therefore, she felt this was in conformity.


    Member Landry asked Mr. Arroyo regarding the traffic report. He asked if the opposing driveways on Nine Mile would have an island to prevent vehicles from turning left.


    Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.


    Member Landry referred to the comment of the traffic review letter: Given the daily traffic volumes estimated to be now using Nine Mile and Haggerty, the office building traffic alone will meet City warrants for a passing or center left–turn lane on both roads. He asked if the entire intersection would be reworked with the new Road Bond.


    Mr. Arroyo answered it would not be the entire intersection. He noted there were minor improvements that would be made to address site distance. He stated the budget was fairly modest. He noted the Road Commission rebuilt it not too long ago to add turn lanes. He stated there would be an extension of a center turn lane on Haggerty Road to the north associated with the development in Farmington Hills. He stated this would serve the proposed project’s site. However, it the anticipated extension did not occur, this development would be responsible to provide for the center turn lane for the Haggerty Road drive. He explained that this would not be necessary on the Nine Mile Road drive because the left-turn prohibition would eliminate the need for any type of left-turn lanes.


    Member Landry asked if the issue needed to be dealt with at the Planning Commission as opposed to waiting for it to be addressed by other road improvements at a later date.

    Mr. Arroyo agreed that the issues should be addressed with the site plan.


    Member Landry asked if the lighting plan would comply at final.


    Mr. Arroyo stated this condition would be included in the review letter. He noted that if it were included in the Planning Commission recommendation, they would ensure that it complies with the ordinance.


    Member Koneda recalled the discussions, during the rezoning, regarding the shared access driveway and the screening retaining wall. He expressed his liking to the 6’ high wall as opposed to the required 4’6". He noted the unusualness of the two (2) rear yards due to the entrances facing Haggerty and Nine Mile. Member Koneda expressed his concern regarding the dumpster location in the rear yard. He asked Mr. Arroyo if the dumpster could be located further from the residents. He specified a location to the east.


    Mr. Arroyo stated the ordinance is written to allow a corner building to chose where the front yard is located. The site has two (2) fronts, therefore the applicant would designate one (1) as the front and the opposite would become the rear. The site is designed with Haggerty Road as the front of the site. (tape ends)


    Member Koneda clarified his proposal to move the dumpster away from the residents. He suggested it be moved a few parking spaces to the east, closer to the shared access driveway.


    Mr. Arroyo noted there were a few possibilities. He stated the dumpster would need to be in line with the isle to allow the truck to maneuver. He noted this was an advantage of a corner location. He pointed out one location would be near existing residential and the other would be near future residential.


    Member Koneda stated he was not concerned with the future residential because when they move-in, they would be aware of the dumpster. He requested the options be explored to move the dumpster. He asked how close the nearest home was to the dumpster’s current location.


    Mr. Arroyo stated these options would be explored.


    Member Koneda stated the lighting plan would need to be revised and brought into full compliance with the ordinance requirements. He expressed his concern with the traffic conflicts on Nine Mile Road. He understood that the site needed two (2) points of access and that there was not a better location. He was concerned with the right in, right out and addition of the island. He assumed a NO LEFT TURN sign would be posted, however, he realized this could not be consistently enforced on the private property. He felt vehicles would still make the left turn in, however, the right turns in could be discouraged. Although Member Koneda was not in favor of the solution, he did not feel there was an alternative, therefore he supported the waiver for the driveway spacing.


    Member Nagy commented that regardless of the corner the dumpster is placed, it would be adjacent residential. She felt there was a good distance between the location of the dumpster and the residential property to the west and therefore would not pose any difficulties. She asked if the right in and right out was similar to the Meijers.


    Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.


    Member Nagy did not feel this would create any difficulty. She did not feel there were many vehicles turning left into Meijers.


    Mr. Arroyo stated there would not be a heavy demand of east bound traffic in the morning on Nine Mile turning left into the site. He noted that it is an office use and most of the traffic would be coming from Haggerty Road.


    Member Nagy stated that she travels Nine Mile every morning and the traffic is traveling east.


    Mr. Arroyo noted this was because they are traveling to the freeway.




    Moved by Nagy, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Palushaj Building SP 01-13 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Section Nine Facade Waiver, Planning Commission Waiver for opposite side driveway spacing on Nine Mile Road, Planning Commission Waiver for the wall instead of a berm contingent upon ZBA Variance to eliminate the thirty (30) inch berm along Nine Mile and Haggerty Road and contingent upon all consultants recommendations and conditions.




    Chairperson Piccinini clarified if the ZBA Variance for the parking lot setback was no longer needed.


    Ms. Lemke stated it appeared that it could be fulfilled. However, if it could not be fulfilled, then the applicant would need to obtain the ZBA Variance.


    John Vitale stated he would comply with the parking lot setback.


    Chairperson Piccinini clarified that the applicant was certain that he would be able to comply.


    John Vitale answered, yes.


    Member Mutch commented that he would not support the site plan without the twenty-five (25) foot setback due to its prominent location along the two (2) major roads in the City. He felt that they should be required to meet it and therefore, did support having this condition attached to the motion.


    Member Kocan expressed her strong dislike to the second entrance on Nine Mile Road. She noted the other office buildings on Haggerty Road have one entrance way. She felt a multi-building with a shared driveway, could cause traffic cutting through to access Nine Mile Road verses traveling to Haggerty.


    Mr. Arroyo stated the option would be to have no driveway on Nine Mile with only a driveway on Haggerty. Concerns with one drive would be that one drive would need to serve this property and the future residential project due to the condition of the rezoning. Therefore, traffic of two sites would be forced through one driveway. The ordinance requires two (2) points of access. Mr. Arroyo felt that because there is the required second drive, he felt it was important to construct it in a manner that it would maximize its usefulness and safety. He felt the left turns on Nine Mile were the greatest concern due to the offsets of the drives on the south side of Nine Mile. He noted if the left turns were limited to the site, it would solve a potential future issue. Therefore given the conditions they needed to work with, he felt this was a reasonable solution.


    Member Kocan clarified if the fire trucks with the island could access the entrance.


    Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.


    Member Landry asked if the applicant would be submitting a revised lighting plan to meet the ordinance requirements.


    Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.




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

    No: None


  6. This project is located in Section 4, at the southeast corner of Hudson Drive and Peary Court. The 4.753 acre site is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.

    Cliff Seiber, project engineer, introduced the forty-four thousand (44,000) and the thirty-three thousand (33,000) square foot Peary Court Building A & B. He addressed the driveway spacing issue. He stated the driveway on Hudson Drive is located under the one hundred fifty (150) foot required distance to Ryan Court by 8.36". He explained the second spacing conflict with the proposed Suntec driveway location. The required separation distance is two hundred feet (200’) and he noted their plan provides one hundred fifty-two feet (152’). He predicted that the majority of the traffic would be turning left into Peary Court. Therefore this would decrease the left turn traffic into the site. He added the north bound traffic would enter "this" driveway, avoiding the conflict. Regarding the thirty inch (30") high berm adjacent to the front of the building and the main roadway, Mr. Seiber requested permission to create a up and down waving berm as opposed to the straight berm. He felt the creativity of this berm would add to the appearance and would also address the comments made by Ms. Weber regarding the utilities along the frontage of the site.

    Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Peary Court Building A & B preliminary site plan in a letter dated March 26, 2001, subject to item #2, (the depiction of fixture F in the lighting plan being provided on the plan), listed in the review letter being addressed on the final site plan. He stated the proposed project is Light Industrial District and does not abut residential, therefore it is a Tier 1901 and 1902 uses are permitted. He stated 1903 uses would require a Special Land Use application. He complimented the applicant for a clean site plan in terms of meeting the ordinance requirements.


    In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval in the letter dated March 29, 2001. He noted that both of the driveway spacing waivers did not raise any concern. He stated the traffic coming from the north would be likely be turning left. He noted West Road as the major access point. He anticipated the majority of the traffic would travel north and turn right into Peary or "this driveway". He stated there would be very little southbound traffic making the left turn into the site. Traffic would turn left onto Peary Court and right off of Peary Court first, therefore creating a low inbound left turn situations along the driveways. Mr. Arroyo was not in objection to the waiver. He added if the applicant was to increase conformity, the facing to Ryan Court would be worse. He felt this was the best choice. He stated the remainder of comments in his review letter could be addressed at final.


    Ms. Weber recommended approval in the review letter dated March 16, 2001.


    Ms. Lemke recommended approval conditioned upon comments in her review letter dated March 16, 2001. She stated that the items primarily deal with the provision of more plant material adjacent to the west end and the north side of Building A and the north side of Building B. In speaking with the landscape architect, she noted they agreed to meet this request. She stated the purpose of the thirty inch (30") berm is give more interest to the site, therefore, she was not in opposition of the applicant’s suggestion of waving the berm up and down. However, she stated because the other berms are primarily for screening and they should remain level.


    Mr. Fox indicated that the buildings are within Façade Region 3. He stated the proposed materials meet the requirements of the ordinance and he recommended full compliance.


    Chairperson Piccinini announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, dated March 19, 2001, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected in the next plan submittal: 1) The gate valves serving both 6" fire protection water mains shall be in a well.




    Member Mutch asked how the development pattern of the units together impact parcel #19 - the end unit adjacent to residential.


    Mr. Arroyo recalled Parcel #19 being one hundred eighty-six feet (186’) wide. Adjacent to this parcel is an eighty foot (80’) wide landscape wildlife buffer that he believed was under the ownership of the City of Novi. The City Ordinance refers to the setbacks from a residential district. For example, parking and buildings are setback 100’ from the residential district. He stated the provision of the eighty foot (80’) wildlife/landscape area helps the situation, because eighty feet (80’) of the one hundred feet (100’) is taken up by that property. He stated the residential zoning district occurs on the east side of the wildlife/landscape buffer and is not on the west side. Therefore, he felt the parcel, being wider than the others, is developable.


    Member Mutch asked if Beck North requested an interpretation or variance.


    Mr. Arroyo recalled the developer of Beck North approaching the Planning Commission and the ZBA, with the request that no property be considered adjacent to residential due to the location of the wildlife buffer. However, that was not agreed to by the City and therefore, parcel #19 and the other parcels along the wildlife corridor are considered adjacent to residential. Therefore, any use other than office use will be a Special Land Use.


    Member Mutch asked if the corridor itself was within the I-1 zoning and the residential did not begin until the Bristol Corners development.


    Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He added it would also include the large parcel residential developments to the south.


    Member Mutch clarified that there would not be requests for variances on parcel #19 due to the configuration of the other units and the driveway layouts, etc…


    Mr. Arroyo stated it is possible to build on the site without variances.


    Member Mutch felt this was an issue because it was "left over". He felt that typically the properties adjacent to residential developments lead to increased setbacks.


    Member Koneda suggested not having the Hudson entrance. He asked the applicant if they had taken this option into consideration.

    Cliff Seiber answered, yes.


    Member Koneda continued that the entrance would serve the two (2) proposed buildings and the future building on site #19. He added that site #19 would become the primary truck entrance into the site as it is closest to West Park Drive.


    Cliff Seiber stated this modification would detract from the circulation and the parking would be located along the south end of the site. He stated this would be a long dead end parking space. He pointed out a stubbed driveway to lot #19 to help the circulation. He referred to Mr. Arroyo’s comments regarding the majority of the traffic anticipated to turn right verses left. He did not foresee any left turn conflicts.


    Member Koneda was satisfied with the response. He stated his support of the driveway spacing waiver.





    Moved by Koneda, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Peary Court Buildings A & B SP 01-14 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Planning Commission Waivers for opposite side driveway spacing on Hudson Drive for Ryan Court and Suntec driveway contingent upon all consultant’s recommendations and conditions.




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

    No: None


Presentation by Clay Pearson.

Clay Pearson stated in addition to a presentation, this would be an opportunity to discuss the Planning Commission’s budget submittal to the City Council and obtain feedback on the Planning Department’s budget. He stated the decision of initiatives to propose in the budget package included the feedback from a meeting with Chairperson Piccinini, Commissioner Koneda, Commissioner Richards, Commissioner Kocan, Commissioner Churella and David Evancoe. He stated one of the included emphasis were the Master Plan elements. He announced that proposed budget from the City Manager was delivered to the City Council on Friday. Mr. Pearson noted the efforts to make this year’s budget a policy document. It would start with the City Council’s strategic goal session in November, which he noted was used extensively throughout budget discussions and deliberations. He extended an invitation to participate in the six (6) hour session open on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to address the budget. Following would be a Wednesday session and an additional Saturday session.

Chairperson Piccinini asked if the decision package 3, 4 and 5 were specifically for the Master Plan.

Clay Pearson answered, yes.

Ms. Brock stated the footnotes were incorporated in the final draft.

Member Churella stated that only two (2) of the items in the budget were related to the Planning Commission. Those being the Conferences/Workshops and tuition/reimbursements. He did not recall the commission having the opportunity to input an ideal budget amount. He stated last year the commission requested more money and the instead the Planning Commission’s budget was cut back. He suggested that the commission take an opportunity to voice what they may need budgeted in these two items.

Clay Pearson stated the budget submitted was a base budget for the Planning Commission that was obtained based on the amount budgeted in the previous years. He stated it would be the Commission’s prerogative to request additional funds or chose to give additional detail on the use of the funds.

Member Mutch asked for the process to be clarified. He stated the Planning Commission was presented with a copy of the budget that was sent to the Budget Committee for review. He asked those on the Budget Committee if any changes were made to the Planning Commission budget.

Member Koneda noted the suggestion of having the requirements of the Master Plan be included. He explained that in the past, the budget meeting process typically started in January with approximately three (3) meetings. He noted those meeting were separate from the staff and were to discuss the budget for Master Plan, Rezoning, Education and Training. However, this year, the Budget Committee was not given that same opportunity. Instead, he continued, that the Committee approved the Department budget along with the Planning Commission budget. Member Koneda distributed to the Commission and Mr. Pearson a list of the items placed in the budget the previous year. He explained the Budget Committee typically looks over a five (5) year time frame when budgeting for the Master Plan. The Master Plan update takes several years, therefore, all of the challenges are done in steps. He commented that an OST and Industrial Inventory Training Analysis were planned for the past year, which he did not believe was completed. He informed the Commission of Mr. Pearson’s assurance that this would be paid out of this year’s budget, although it may not be completed until after the budget year. Two components were included for the 2001 Master Plan Studies: 1) Demographic Study 2) Public Participation Process (the solicited input of the public). Updates to the Master Plan are on a five (5) year cycle at 2004. He stated last year, it was recommended that City Council initiate the Beck Road and Novi Road Corridor studies due to the action(s) needed. He believed that the Novi Corridor Study was started and the Beck Road Corridor Study was not. He referred the resolution that was passed to obtain a Land Grant, to purchase land out of sensitive land. Due to the budget constraints last year, he stated the Ranking of Environmental Areas was not pursued. If this is an item the Planning Commission deemed important to support the future efforts for obtaining grants, then he felt they should voice that it be considered to be included in the budget. Overall, Member Koneda did not feel that it was the planning commission’s position to approve the planning department’s budget. He indicated that the Planning Commission historically had a separate budget, however, it appeared that it is all one budget now. Therefore, should the budget continue to be combined or should the Commission only cover its items.

Mr. Pearson indicated the planning department’s budget is presented as a referral to obtain feedback and it is a department submittal. He clarified that the planning commission budget is the planning commission budget. He explained the base budget was set up according to the operating expenses in the previous years. Regarding the outline of the Master Plan Studies, he stated this is an essential element of how the departmental strategies are developed. He clarified if the Industrial and OST were not funded last year.

Ms. Brock stated one was not funded last year, however, it is proposed for this year.

Mr. Pearson continued that in addition to the efforts to keep to this schedule, were two (2) suggested plans for this year. He indicated the elements for the increased use of in-house staff. He stated they would continue to utilize and rely upon the expertise of the consultants while supporting the gathering of information and coordination with those in-house staff.

Chairperson Piccinini asked if the Planning Commission’s General Fund was part of the Planning Department budget.

Mr. Pearson clarified if she was referring to the Planning Commission’s $15,000.

Chairperson Piccinini answered, yes. She clarified if the General Fund was not part of the $15,000; if items 3, 4 and 5 were part of the Planning Department budget; and if it conformed with the requirements of the Planning Commission to fulfill the Master Plan updates in planning studies.

Mr. Pearson stated it is a shared goal.

Member Mutch expressed his concern that historically the Planning Commission had input in the budget prior to it being submitted to Council. He did not agreed with a process, which informed the Commission of the budget after its submission. He did not feel a one hour meeting and input from the Commission after submittal of the budget was proper for any public body to establish and approve their budget. Member Mutch stated the Planning Commission is responsible for guiding the long term development of the Novi Community. He stated decisions are made at each Planning Commission meeting that have an enormous impact on the City’s financial future and the character of the Novi Community. He felt if a quality community is wanted, then it should be funded. He compared the necessary planning budget to the spending allotted for roads and schools. He stated the issues raised by Commissioner Churella needed to be included in the budget. Additional funding to allow the Commissioners to become better educated to allow better informed decisions to be made. He stated funding for Beck Road should be included. He continued that although it is common knowledge of this area becoming the major corridor on the west side of the City, there has been nothing done to plan for it. He felt strongly that this was an item that needed to be included in the budget. He reminded the Commission of their request in last year’s budget for Environmental Ranking. Member Mutch explained that if the Environmental Ranking had been established, they could have used that supporting document and submitted a grant for the area. He felt they were foolish to have been pennywise. Although City Council has the prerogative to establish the budget, he did permit the Planning Commission to submit a weak budget such as the one presented. He stated he would not approve the budget as presented without including the additions as outlined by the Commission.

Chairperson Piccinini clarified that the review process had not begun.

Mr. Pearson answered, correct. He stated the Planning Commission is free to submit what they feel is appropriate.

Chairperson Piccinini understood that the commissioners desire to place their input to the budget prior to its continuance.

Member Mutch answered, yes. He stated the timing is unfortunate because the decisions are rushed to be debated and decided at this meeting. He did not feel sufficient elements were available to make an adequate decision. He assumed Council would be finished with the budget prior to the next Planning Commission meeting, therefore any Planning Commission decisions would be rushed.

Member Kocan recalled packets being distributed to the planning commissioners, 2 or 3 weeks ago requesting feedback. She understood the timing was short. She hoped Mr. Pearson could explain to the Commission how the budget amount was at $40,000 and is being submitted at a base budget of $15,000. She indicated that the base budget of $15,000 was a base without any additional new projects. She noted the Commission’s requests to the City Council to fund additional studies. She stated it appeared that the funding 3, 4 and 5 were additions to the base budget.

Mr. Pearson answered, correct.

Chairperson Piccinini noted that although items 3, 4 and 5 were for Master Plan, they were technically a Planning Department request. She stated it fills it, but it is a different section.

Mr. Pearson stated they hoped for the Commission’s support with these.

Member Kocan recalled from the meeting, Commissioner Koneda prioritizing the items that he felt the Planning Commission needed with regard to the Master Plan.

Member Mutch stated his lack of support for the proposed budget. He felt the staffing needs of the community could be met with keeping the consultants actively involved. He understood that the consultants would not be entirely eliminated, however he was concerned that in the future they would no longer be with the City. He did not think this would be in the best interest of the City. (tape ends)


(Tape begins)


Member Kocan expressed her concern of "good neighbor" notifications when proposed developments abut residential. She felt the neighbors should have the opportunity to give their input and therefore, she would not support waiver requests in which the residents were not notified. She stated that residents rely on the Planning Commission to enforce the ordinance. She stated if the residents do not have the information prior to the waivers and variances being considered, they are at a disadvantage. She asked if a policy could be enforced or a friendly suggestion be made to the Planning Department to have the residents notified when a proposed development is abutting residential.

Member Mutch asked if Member Kocan was requesting a notification in terms of a letter or if she was referring to Public Hearings for Special Land Use, Rezoning etc…

Member Kocan stated she was requesting it be a letter.

Member Mutch asked if she was referring to five hundred (500) feet.

Member Kocan answered, no. She stated it would be a letter to the person directly abutting the proposed development. She explained she was not referring to a Special Land Use or a Public Hearing, but the person most immediately impacted. She was not certain if this should be an ordinance revision. She also addressed the issue that the City should not send out a Public Hearing to be received on a Friday or a Saturday of a Holiday weekend. She noted the residents should be given additional time under these circumstances. She stated these were two (2) issues that should be addressed under notifications. She questioned the legality and the risk of liability because it is not included in the ordinance.

Chairperson Piccinini clarified if Member Kocan was inferring that any residential property that any proposed development abuts should be notified. Further she asked if Member Kocan was stating that every proposed development that touches residential, the City should notify the residents.

Member Kocan answered, yes. However she added that it would need to be reviewed as to how many instances this would be referring to and the workload.

Chairperson Piccinini asked the City Attorney if the ordinance would need to be revised.

Tom Schultz answered if it was intended to be an obligation on the City’s part, it would need to be included in the ordinance. He did not feel this action of courtesy would create any type of liability. However, he added that it could become an issue that one (neighbor) could use as a point in court. He did not feel that it was within the purview of the Planning Commission or the Administration to instruct the Planning Department as a blanket obligation. He stated that he could not speak to the feasibility of this as an obligation on every site plan matter that came before the Planning Commission.

Chairperson Piccinini asked if it was made obligatory, then it would have to effect every ordinance.

Tom Schultz answered that it would then be subject to an argument that was an arbitrary imposition if it was not made for each kind of development. However, if it is only for OST or Light Industrial District (I-1), due to the intensity of the use, it could be accomplished in an ordinance amendment.

Chairperson Piccinini asked Mr. Evancoe what the impact of this change would be on the Planning Department.

Mr. Evancoe suggested take the time to evaluate what the impacts this change would have on the Planning Department. He stated it could be feasible if it involved the notification of industrial developments abutting residential as opposed to every development that abutted residential. He agreed with the City Attorney in that if the Planning Commission felt strongly about this, then they should amend the ordinance. He noted the con would be if one was missed, it could posed liability. He stated if the commission did not feel that strongly, they might want to keep it as a courtesy notice.

Chairperson Piccinini stated if this was made a courtesy notice and one was missed, although it could be removed from the agenda, it would have set precedence.

Tom Schultz disagreed. He stated that there is not precedence and that the notification is a courtesy. He stated it would not be an ordinance obligation or something that they would be precluded from acting on because of a missed courtesy notice. However, he informed the Commission that by doing the action will make it an issue to deal with.

Member Canup felt the Commission should vote on whether or not this is an action that they would like to pursue.

Chairperson Piccinini asked the City Attorney a vote could be held under Matters for Discussion.

Tom Schultz answered, typically no. However, there could be a consensus to close the discussion.

Member Nagy indicated to Member Kocan that there was a sign on the property indicating the zoning change and contact information. Therefore, she felt those in the area of that development were aware. She added that the Planning Commission Agendas are published on Channel 13 several days prior to the Planning Commission meeting. She commended Member Kocan for her intentions of a courtesy notification, however, she did not find it necessary.

Chairperson Piccinini added that information is also available at the library.

Member Koneda understood the reasoning for Member Kocan’s request. However, he stated typically the Commission grants variances to make the site nicer for the resident. He added that it is often in keeping with promises made. He gave the example of the site involving the brick wall separation, which specific requirements were made. He expressed his concern of the precedence that would be set with sending out notifications in general. He felt it would create the idea of an obligation of the City to notify verses the intention of a courtesy notice. He felt the current Special Land Use notification was adequate along with the information available to the public at the library.

Member Mutch stated in analyzing the Ordinance, he felt the Commission would find that several of the instances were covered through Special Land Use or other triggers of a Public Hearing. However, he stated if there were not a large number of requests, he supported the validity of the issue raised by Commissioner Kocan. He noted the number of rezoning signs that have been sitting for months, some approved and some denied. Member Mutch stated his support of the new opportunities to notify residents. He felt that Member Kocan had valuable notations of the history of residents who came in "after the fact". He agreed that residents should be available to voice opinions prior to. He added that this responsibility should fall upon the developer. He was supportive to the study of the possibility of this change.

Member Canup requested a consensus vote to determine whether or not to pursue this issue. He stated if determined to be a matter to be pursued, it should be sent to the Ordinance Review Committee. Member Canup asked the Planning Commissioners who were in favor of pursuing this matter to respond by saying aye. (The result of the consensus was 4 Yeas and 4 Nays.)

Member Landry asked Mr. Evancoe and Tom Schultz for more direction. He requested that Mr. Evancoe prepare and report back to the Commission if this would be a feasible issue and that Mr. Schultz gather the legal concerns to address.

Member Kocan stated her main interest would be to have more information. She explained that as she read through her packet in preparation for the meeting, she was not aware of a resident’s involvement in the discussion nor of the setbacks. She felt this information was imperative to her preparation for the meeting. She suggested placing the onus on the developer that it is in their best interest to contact the neighbors prior to coming before the Planning Commission.

Chairperson Piccinini clarified Member Landry’s requests. She indicated he requested Mr. Schultz to inquire the legality of any development abutting residential properties to be notified; Mr. Evancoe would be assessing the feasibility of the Planning Department notifying residential of any abutting development.

Mr. Evancoe clarified if he was also referring to notifications to single-family residential of multi-family developments.

Member Kocan stated she was not requesting residential to be notified of proposed residential developments.

Ms. Brock understood Member Kocan’s intentions. She indicated that due to the shortage of staff, it might take a length of time to compile the data for this matter. She asked the timeframe the Commission anticipated an answer.

Chairperson Piccinini answered at least June due to the agenda already being full.

Mr. Evancoe added that efforts would be made to compile the data as soon as possible.



Member Landry indicated that he recently attended a meeting regarding the Proposed Coordinated Planning Act held at Northville Township. He felt there were potential pitfalls to the Coordinated Planning Act and he was not in favor of it. He stated the Act would endanger the independence of a municipality. He stated in general terms, the act would rid of all of the individual zoning enabling Acts and create one Planning Act. He stated the Act would require any property contiguous to another municipality to give notification prior to the planning of any property. He felt the pitfall would arise if the municipality objected. He felt the remedy would then fall into a Judge’s interpretation. He felt the Planning Commission should write a letter to those proposing the Coordinating Planning Act indicating that the Novi Planning Commission is not in support of the Coordinating Planning Act as it is currently written.

Member Koneda agreed with the points raised by Member Landry. He suggested that Commissioner Landry create a letter to bring before the Planning Commission under Matters for Consideration to receive a vote.

Member Landry agreed.

Member Mutch stated that he did not agree with Member Landry. He gave the example of the shopping center at Fourteen Mile and Haggerty created by Commerce Township. He stated that because the Road Commission handles improvements, due to it being Commerce Township’s development, the City of Novi’s projects are not being funded. He restated this is a result of Commerce Township’s irresponsibility. He noted the millions of dollars spent for the road improvements to Novi Road to deal with the traffic related to the townships to the north. He felt the Novi Community deserved the opportunity to comment on developments directly impacting the City and its taxpayers for road improvements. He agreed that the Coordinated Planning Act may not be perfect, but he felt the element of notification between communities was a necessity. Without this element, he stated the result could be that Novi would pay more taxes due to neighboring developments.

Mr. Arroyo stated since the introduction of the Coordinated Planning Act at the last session, a new version has been introduced. Instead of passing a resolution in opposition to the entire Planning Act, he suggested the Commission outline the elements that they do and do not agree with and submit the information with a suggestion of amendments.

Member Nagy stated that several attendees of the informative meeting were strongly opposed to the Coordinating Planning Act. She encouraged others to read the Act and to keep in mind that the information was continually changing. She believed it was the commission’s right to oppose the Act. She noted that City Council would be sending their letter and likewise the Planning Commission should also.

Chairperson Piccinini asked if Member Landry wanted to comment on the discussion.

Member Landry stated he would prepare a letter and submit it under Matters for Consideration for the Commission to support or deny. He advised the commission that to read Coordinating Planning Act.


Member Kocan stated that the ordinance is only as good as the enforcement. She asked if there was a spec building policy requiring a submittal of a form or hazardous materials information. She questioned whom follows up on these items. She noted the numerous trucks on Venture Drive, which displayed a large amount of on-site parking that she did not recall being permitted by ordinance. She felt they had outgrown their building after occupying a year. She asked if the Planning Commissioners or the residents should contact the ordinance department to follow up on this matter. She indicated the alternate option would be to include this in the Final Site Plan Approval. Member Kocan questioned how it could be ensured that the berms are seeded, the trees replaced as they die, the enforcement of no overnight parking or parking on the street, etc…

Chairperson Piccinini explained that as a spec building completes the space, they are required to submit hazardous material information to the Building Department. The parking spacing are rechecked by the Building Department. She added that the City annually checks the fire extinguishers, entrances, exits and potential hazards. Regarding the landscaping, Chairperson Piccinini referred to Ms. Lemke.

Ms. Lemke indicated the 2-year guarantee period. She stated during this 2-year period, the site is under inspection by the landscape consultants. She stated owner of the property is required to keep the landscaping to the approved final site plan.

Member Kocan asked who follows up on this enforcement.

Ms. Lemke stated the items noted are followed up on. She stated that all ordinance violation issues are handled through the Building Department. She noted the Building Department contacts her.

Chairperson Piccinini added that the Ordinance Officers maintain after that 2-year period. She stated that the officers would ticket the noted violations.

Member Nagy clarified if landscape consultants monitor the plantings for the 2-year period. She notified Ms. Lemke of the dead Evergreens, (approximately 6), located behind the Home Depot/Kroger.

Ms. Lemke stated that she was aware of this concern. She indicated an upcoming May meeting with the developer and the landscape contractor to replace most of the plant material.








Debbie Bundoff, Novi Road & Twelve Mile Road, commented on the Commission’s discussion. She stated that cable is not available in every area of the City and every resident does not subscribe to the cable company. Therefore, she stated that the agendas are not provided to everyone. She felt if the Commission was considering courtesy notifications, she felt they would also have to consider the properties the City has zoned non-residential that are still residential. She advised the Ordinance Review to evaluate the timing that is currently used for notifications. She gave the example extra time for the Holiday periods. She felt that the notices were sent five (5) days prior to the meeting.






Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:52 p.m.




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

No: None




Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

April 26, 2001


Date Approved: May 16, 2001