View Agenda for this meeting


WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 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, Piccinini, Richards




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






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




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




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

No: None












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





This project is located in Section 1, north of Thirteen Mile Road and northeast of Meadowbrook Road. The 102.817 acre site is zoned Residential Acreage (RA).


The subject site is proposed to be changed from Single Family (1.65 dwelling units per acre) to Multiple Family (20.7 dwelling units per acre) Residential with a "PD-1" designation.


The applicant is seeking a positive recommendation from Residential Acreage (RA) District to Low Density Multiple Family (RM-1) District with PD-1 Option or any other appropriate zoning district.


The applicant is seeking approval for Preliminary Site Plan with PD-1 Option, Special Land Use Permit, Woodland Permit, Wetland Permit and a Section Nine Façade Waiver.


Joe Galvin, spoke on behalf of Erickson Retirement Communities. He noted that the previous presentation was to explain the purpose and proposal of Erickson. He was aware that the items for approval were numerous, however, he stated they were goals leading to the Fox Run Village project. He felt the project was an opportunity for the City to provide future housing and service needs for its population of population today and of the future. Joe Galvin outlined the presentation to include information on the services that would be provided, the request for Master Plan Amendment, Rezoning, Preliminary Site Plan with PD-1 Option, Special Land Use Permit, Woodland Permit, Wetland Permit and Section Nine Facade Waiver. He stressed the efforts of the City Staff, the City Consultants and the Erickson Staff during the course of the project planning. He indicated the revision made to the location and configuration of the two (2) buildings at the northeast portion of the property. He stated with this revision, Ms. Lemke recommended approval of the site plan and Woodland Permit. He stated all of the significant environmental features on the site would be fully protected with this site plan. Joe Galvin expressed his confidence that the City could not oppose the project, because of its physical attractiveness and that it would be an asset to the City. He restated the new revisions would further increase the preservation of the woodlands on the site. He did not feel another development could offer more environmental protection to the site. He felt the Master Plan could be changed safely with the reliance on the nature of the proposed project as providing the proposed form of housing with the revision for that explicit purpose. In return, he felt the City would achieve a project with less of a physical intensity than the alternative projects that could be built on the site. He described to the Commission their ability to seize the opportunity to provide for the City of Novi’s need. He stated the project would meet the needs of the Novi citizens and benefit the City economically. He reminded the Planning Commission of their purpose to do things that are good for their communities.


Daniel O’Brien expressed the enthusiasm of becoming part of the Novi community. Erickson Retirement Communities was founded 18 years ago and dedicate themselves to providing the highest quality of life-care to middle income seniors. He indicated that Erickson currently operates in five (5) states with eight (8) communities. He explained that they are able to deliver high quality housing and services to middle income seniors with an economy of scale. He proposed fifteen hundred (1500) units of independent living in four-story and five-story buildings with requisite healthcare. Mr. O’Brien stated they would not be selling the community, yet instead would be operating and managing the community to provide the highest quality of life-care for its seniors. He introduced the full service retirement campus with independent living, assisted living, nursing care, home healthcare and six (6) physicians on campus. He stated that its residents could be confident that as their needs change over time, they could be provided with the services and facilities to meet their needs. He noted the trauma the seniors experience when they have to move repeatedly according to their changing needs. He stated the residential fees includes one meal a day, exercise room, indoor pools, convenient stores, pharmacy, on campus physicians, computer labs, library and more on a campus setting. He noted with the six (6) on campus physicians each senior would have ½ hour office visits, which would not typically be considered financially profitable by those in the medical field. He stated their Senior Vice President and Medical Director, Dr. Applebaum, was named clinician of year by the American Geriatric Society. Mr. O’Brien gave the a life example of Virginia Moore, an eighty (80) year old widow, with no children. She broke a bone and spent nineteen (19) days in the nursing facility. He explained that the average eighty (80) year old widow with no children would receive no visitors. However, Virginia counted seventy-four (74) visitors in nineteen (19) days. He stated this interaction and support impacted her healing process. Mr. O’Brien noted this was the quality of life that Erickson proposed to bring to Novi. He stressed that Erickson wanted to bring to Novi an active, alive campus environment. He referred to a study conducted by Nilman and Robertson, that found that seniors living in retirement communities live longer and healthier. He quoted Dr. Applebaum stating that "The greatest health risks among the elderly is social isolation and depression". Mr. O’Brien stated that a senior often eat 21 meals a week alone. In contrast to an isolated and lonely lifestyle, he stated those seniors could go on trips, play bridge and dine with friends in this retirement community. He noted that a group of forty-five (45) residents, from the Springfield, Virginia retirement center, planning to visit the Henry Ford Village in route to the Tulip Festival in Holland. He felt strongly that if those residents did not reside at Springfield Village, they would not be taking this trip.


Mary Jukuri, Associate Senior Designer of Smith J.J.R., outline her presentation to include the request to amendment to the Master Plan, the request for rezoning and recommendation on the Preliminary Site Plan as PD-1 Option. She requested the amendment of the Master Plan from R-1 to RM-1 with PD-1 Option to permit the development of Fox Run Village Senior Housing. The 102-acre site is located at the northeast corner of Thirteen Mile and Meadowbrook Road. She felt there were many reasons it would be appropriate for the City to amend its Master Plan including the proposal being supported by its goals. She noted previous amendments made to provide for Senior Housing in other areas of the City. She felt there was a change in conditions and a need for the proposed transitional land use. She stated the site’s compatibility with the proposed location and it being served by all public services. Ms. Jukuri listed some of the residential goals supporting the project: 1) To provide Senior Housing and services in locations convenient to commercial uses near recreational area and integrated with surrounding neighborhoods. 2) To provide a variety of housing options for the City of Novi for its residents. She indicated the Master Plan goals that speak of a range of residential housing types, land use densities, land use patterns and residential densities in appropriate area to be supported by city infrastructure and self-sustaining land uses adding to the City’s tax base.


Ms. Jukuri referred to Kathy Crawford’s presentation February 7, 2001 regarding the Senior’s needs and the rise in the senior population in the City of Novi. Ms. Jukuri stated that currently seniors are ten percent (10%) of the City of Novi’s population. She noted number to be growing at a rate of thirty-eight percent (38%). She foresaw in 10–20 years, the seniors would represent at minimum, twenty-five percent (25%) (18,000 seniors). She compared the potential 18,000+ seniors and eight hundred fifty or more (850+) senior housing and assisted living beds in the City (existing or planned). She interpreted this as a shortfall and tremendous need for high quality senior housing in the City. She indicated that with the approval of Erickson’s Fox Run Village, the senior housing stock would be brought under nine percent (9%) of the total housing stock, creating twenty-three hundred (2300) senior housing units/beds. Ms. Jukuri noted the Master Plan’s previous amendment to provide for senior housing sites. She gave the examples of the Beck House Assisted Living, Waltonwood and Meadowbrook Commons. She compared the 1993 Master Plan with the designated R-A zoned was amended to RM-1 and RM-1 in the 1998 Master Plan, which allowed for the Beck House development. The 1993 Master Plan designated an office use for the current location of the Waltonwood, which was amended to a RM-1 with PD-1 Option. Meadowbrook Commons was a R-4 District and amended to RM-2. She stated typically the senior housing sites in the City are zoned at least an RM-1. She explained that there are no RM-1 Districts left that are not being planned, already developed or a pending project. Therefore, she noted no additional RM-1 sites left in the City to permit senior housing. She felt that the Planning Commission would eventually have to consider an amendment of the Master Plan to provide for future senior housing. She pointed out that Fox Run Village is at a gross acreage comparison to the other existing senior housing projects in Novi.


Ms. Jukuri introduced the need for transitional land use. She noted that the approved Brightmoor Church (located to the east of the proposed project), seating over a 1000 people, has a planned an expansion. She felt the M-5 Connector has caused changes in the land use designation, such as the OST District to the east. She added Chateau Estates Mobile Home community to the west supported the need for a transitional land use. She indicated the site location ¼ mile east of the M-5 Corridor and its influence of the new OST District, commercial use and mixed single and multi-family residential. She noted the immediate area around the site would have a mix of the single and multi-family development, which include townhouses, apartments and Chateau Estates. Traveling from Novi Road to M-5, excluding the parcel’s frontage. She noted twenty-five percent (25%) as being undeveloped with single family residential character. Therefore, she did not feel this was an exclusive single family residential area. Ms. Jukuri felt the PD-1 Option would allow the compact development and open space preservation on the site.


Ms. Jukuri demonstrated the amount of open space possible with the proposed development patter of Fox Run Village. She indicated that the open space, of over forty percent (40%) of the site, area could be utilized for open space linkages and corridors that would correspond to the City’s Wildlife Habitat Master Plan. She stated the site would be well served for public access/ thoroughfares and would be fully served by public infrastructure with city water and sewer. Ms. Jukuri calculated that the development would add less than six percent (6%) to the future traffic, with background developments taken into consideration. She noted that peak trips would be comparable to adjacent uses, such as Chateau Estates, Brightmoor Church/School and future residential to the east. She supported her outlook stating that a senior housing unit is a lesser population than a single-family home or multi-family unit with fewer cars and lower daily vehicle trips off site.


Ms. Jukuri believed there to be several positive community benefits with low community impacts. She stated there would not any school children residing in Fox Run Village, yet there would be tax revenue. She estimated $1.8 million dollars in property taxes to support City services to the County and the School District. She calculated water/sewer fees in excess of $4 million dollars. She noted the residents would utilize retail businesses to generate $300,000 in annual sales tax for local businesses. She stated the gated community would have its own 24-hour security trained to handle first response for emergency situations. She indicated that Fox Run Village would create local jobs ranging from a physicians and administrative to high school part-time employment.


Ms. Jukuri reviewed the proposed Preliminary Site Plan. She requested the rezoning of the site from R-A to RM-1 with PD-1 Option. She noted the positive recommendations received on the site plan. (City Wetlands and Forest Wetlands are designated in blue.)


Peter Albertson of Norstrom Samson Associates gave the exterior site perimeter orientation. He noted the development of one entry/exit area to the site located approximately five hundred feet (500’) from the church entry drive. He designated a secondary means of egress only and additional future egress points. The site is connected internally with a ring road around the perimeter and exiting on Thirteen Mile Road. He noted the community and campus consisting Neighborhood No. 1, Neighborhood No. 2 and Neighborhood No. 3 and Neighborhood No. 4 (for the Extended Care Center). Each neighborhood consists of a Community Building and surrounding residential buildings. He interpreted the community building as the heart of each neighborhood, with primary social functions and complete access to the facilities and services. Additionally, each community building would have a unique character to contribute to the campus. Community Building No. 1 designed with a pool area, Community Building No. 2 designed with an auditorium and Community Building No. 3 designed with a community hall. He stated the individual building links between the buildings are throughout the campus to provide access. He noted the "bridges" (Internally finished for social spaces.) provide a continuity connection throughout the campus to connect the further separated buildings. He stated this unique feature of the Erickson development would allow a continuous link throughout the year for functions and residential communication throughout the campus. He noted the dining area location is no further than seven hundred fifty feet (750’) from the furthest point of a residential building. Mr. Albertson indicated the parking spaces located within the maximum of two hundred fifty feet (250’) of the building entry to the residential entry. Additional functions include a chapel function, interior landscaped areas and site preservation areas.


Mr. Albertson indicated the single entry point from Thirteen Mile Road to the focal point of Neighborhood No. 1, which would be an open vista courtyard. He explained that each neighborhood is designed with its own central focal point. He designated two-story community building with residential building character surrounded with adjacent residential structures. The chapel is located to the right side of the entry. The residential buildings and community buildings were designed each with its own characteristics, including color, texture and façade amenities. He stated that the buildings are completely fire protected with sprinklers, alarms and notifications to a 24-hour man station. He stated the façade in Region 1 is ninety-five percent (95%) brick and the remainder of the buildings were within the Region 2 with the finishes meeting and/or exceeding the façade ordinance. He noted the different canopies and gable ends located on the lower portions of the buildings. He displayed the typical residential entry in which the two residential buildings meet. He noted the integration and changes in elevations on the site to accommodate the buildings. He displayed the 24-hour security gatehouse.


Ms. Jukuri stated that the three (3) residential neighborhoods were designed to orient natural feature preservation area, pockets of wooded wetland or formalized landscaping courtyards. She stated the site plan has met and exceeded the required setbacks. She noted the setback is over 150 feet along Thirteen Mile. She noted an over 700 foot deep setback on the north side of the site (with the recent revision, the setback is 800 foot deep). She displayed a landscape photo from an existing Erickson Retirement Communities, Green Springs located in Virginia. She noted the features on the proposed site. She spoke of the great efforts made to evolve the site plan to be sensitive to the site without compromising Neighborhood No. 3. Ms. Jukuri showed the commission the several steps of reconfiguring the buildings to arrive at the proposed site plan. She noted the agreement reached with Ms. Lemke of revisions to the site plan that would reduce the length of the leg of Residential Building 3.2 and add to Residential Building 3.1. She indicated the parking lot and access drive located on the wooded ridge would be eliminated. She calculated this to total a reduction of 1½ to 2 acres of the woodland intrusion. She outlined statistics that she felt were significant: proposal of 1,497 independent living units; approximately 14.5 dwelling units per acre on a gross basis; a little over 20 units per acre on a net acreage basis minus the land area for the extended care center; 390 skilled nursing units assisted living beds; density is within the density of a PD-1 Option; building coverage is ½ of what is permitted in a PD-1 RM-1 District; setbacks meet and exceed requirements; main entry road shifted over from 500 feet from New Life Drive on Thirteen Mile Road with unlimited site distance visibility; road improvements – proposed continuous left-turn lane for the entire frontage to Meadowbrook Road, extension of the right turn only lane from New Life Drive into the main entrance; architectural design meets and exceeds the façade materials requirements for Region 1 and Region 2; and preservation of over 40% of the regulated woodlands (with the changes would be 80% of the high quality woodlands on site). Ms. Jukuri stated that a study conducted found the proposed development would preserve more woodlands than an RUD Option and is comparable to an attached cluster option. Therefore, she believed that the plan could compare favorable to any single-family development. She continued the minimum amount of wetland impact with the provision of 1½ acres of wetland mitigation. She stated the site plan meets the landscape and perimeter buffering requirements. She noted the opportunity to preserve additional woodland along the eastern property line. She added if the Planning Commission waived the berm requirements for the eastern property line, they would provide supplemental plantings to preserve more trees.


Ms. Jukuri closed stating that Erickson Retirement Communities is a well-respected developer and operator of high quality of retirement campuses. She felt this development would allow a Novi resident to retire and remain in Novi near family and friends.


Joe Galvin felt the City needed this development. He stated that the Planning Commission and the City Council were the only people in the City that could bring the project to the City on the proposed site He felt this was a situation that the Planning Commission was empowered to approve this for the City of Novi and its population. He asked the Commission to approve amendment to the Master Plan, a recommendation of the rezoning with a PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan Approval and a recommendation or approval of the permits to allow the City of Novi to have this project.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant recapped the decisions that are made by the Planning Commission. He stated there are decisions that effect the use of a property, the design of a site, some discretionary and non-discretionary, administrative, legislative and policy based. He informed the Planning Commission they are faced with all of these decision in one package.


Master Plan Amendment

Mr. Arroyo noted that the Master Plan Amendment effects a document that is prepared and adopted by the Planning Commission. He felt it was important for the commission to keep in mind that according to the State Statue a Master Plan Amendment requires six (6) affirmative votes. He gave an orientation of the site location in relation to other projects. He noted the site on the Zoning Map as zoned R-A and Master Planned for the equivalent of R-1 zoning at 1.65 dwelling units per acre. He noted the location of the proposed property on the Woodland and Wetland map. Mr. Arroyo outline the Master Plan Process to include the collection of information, the development of goals and objectives by the Planning Commission and the result would be a decision and recommendation on the Master Plan. Mr. Arroyo hoped that the information that he and the consultants provide, in addition to the information already provided by the applicant, would give the Planning Commission the data needed to make a decision. He felt it was important to keep in mind that the presentation of the impacts of the project were based on the basis of a senior housing development. He stated if the commission amended the Master Plan to reflect a higher density, a footnote should be included recognizing the decision being made based upon the presented information and identification of the senior housing project. He stated this would set forth a policy decision. He explained that if the applicant were to leave the project, the next developer would be addressing the Master Plan and the regulations based upon a senior development verses any multiple-family development. Mr. Arroyo indicated the current dwelling units per acre is 1.65 and the proposed amendment would change the dwelling units per acre to 20.5. There was a decision of whether or not to designate the area as a multiple-family as opposed to the current single-family designation. He stated the PD-1 Option would permit the applicant to come before the Planning Commission and the City Council to permit additional density. He noted the PD-1 approval would allow the City the additional flexibility of a discretionary decision of whether or not to allow the density above the RM-1 Density to an RM-2 Density. He stated the Planning Commission’s decision on the PD-1 Option would determine if the application could go forward to the City Council. Mr. Arroyo interpreted the decision as a reevaluation of the north side of Thirteen Mile and west of M-5. If the commission chose to move forward in a positive manner, he suggested additional consideration to be given to the remainder of the Brightmoor parcel to determine if the density of 1.65 was appropriate with being located between the M-5 and the proposed project. He felt it was important to evaluate the impact of the additional development on the public facilities and public services. He noted the provisions of the current Master Plan designation in comparison to the propose change provisions. He stated this change would increase the total number of dwelling units and the total population. The current Master Plan indicates a build out population range of 68,000 – 74,000, depending upon the occurring development in the mixed-use areas. He noted Town Center with the potential to have residential or non-residential. If the proposed project was approved, it would increase the population by two and one half percent (2.5%). He calculated and additional eighteen hundred and seventy (1870) people making the high end range 75,900.



Mr. Arroyo reminded the Commission that their recommendation to City Council utilizes the Master Plan as a Policy Guide and basis for consideration of changes to the Zoning Ordinance. He gave the options of recommendation of denial, recommendation of approval as presented or recommend additional zoning classifications. He referred to page #3 of the review letter dated April 23, 2001, which identifies an overview of the existing zoning, existing land use and the Master Plan designation of the subject property and the surrounding property. He noted the indications of the permitted uses under the existed zoning R-A verses uses under the proposed RM-1 and PD-1 Option. Also noted are the impacts on the Public Services and the consistency with the Master Plan and compatibility with the surrounding land uses. He pointed out the importance of the comparison of the trip generation when making a decision on rezoning. He compared the trip generation differential (page #5 of review letter dated April 23, 2001) between the current Master Plan zoning with standard RM-1 apartments and the proposed Fox Run Village zoning. A single-family RA zoning would generate 707 daily trips and 74 PM Peak Hour Trips. A single-family R-1 (If rezoned according to the Master Plan.) would generate 1,385 daily trips and 142 PM Peak Hour Trips. A standard RM-1 apartment would generate 4,330 daily trips and 394 PM Peak Hour Trips. He noted the proposed rezoning with the Fox Run Village project would generate 5,618 daily trips and 453 PM Peak Hour Trips.

PD-1 Option/Site Plan/Special Land Use Permit

Mr. Arroyo noted that this portion of the decision making process would be subject to the rezoning. He stated the applicant addressed the concern of the need to submit a noise analysis that was noted in the review letter dated April 23, 2001. He stated they provided an analysis performed by a certified noise engineer that depicts compliance with the noise standards of the City. Therefore, he noted this issue as resolved. He noted the number of variances and waivers required for the site plan and the PD-1 Option. He indicated the potential for two (2) ZBA Variances for building height and insufficient building separation, which the applicant noted would be brought into conformance at final submittal. He stated the Planning Commission Waivers dealt with the forty-five degree (45°) building orientation. He noted several buildings located along the east and west property line that do not meet the forty-five degree (45°) angle orientation requirement. He commented that the buildings are set back in excess of the minimum requirement and therefore, will aid in minimizing the bulk of the building to adjacent neighbors. Landscaping between the building and the adjacent site will mitigate the impact of the larger structures not oriented at the forty-five degree (45°) angle. He noted the factors involved when considering previous waivers included the provision of additional landscaping to mitigate the impact or setting the building back further than the required distance to minimize the bulk of the building. The component of determining if the proposed community buildings and the layout meet the PD-1 Option for maximum gross floor area, retail and a mid-rise building location. He noted the unusualness of the proposed project. He stated the PD-1 Option provides for the ability to have a community building, retail and offices if they exist to serve the residents of the community. Mr. Arroyo felt the designated square footage to be consistent with the ordinance. He pointed out the requirement that the uses must exist in mid-rise buildings. He commented that the project is somewhat interconnected with a walkway system. He reminded the commission of the need to review and determine if the project meets the intent of those standards. He briefly outlined some of the PD-1 Option standards listed in Section 2406 of the Zoning Ordinance to include the conformance with the Preliminary Site Plan standards: conformance with the Special Land Use standards; the provision of the community impact statement of the Traffic Study; the plan must satisfy the intent of the section with respect to the use of land, principle and accessory uses and their relationship with the site and the adjacent site; the plan provides all of the applicable bulk height area requirements, building setbacks and preliminary site plan engineering requirements; a reasonable, harmonious relationship between the location of the buildings on the site relative to the buildings on the surrounding area; and a reasonable architectural and functional compatibility between all structures on the site and structures in the surrounding area. He encouraged the commission to review the details the these standards in Section 2406 to ensure the proposed project would meet the standards in the PD-1 Options. Mr. Arroyo stated a PD-1 Option needs to meet the Special Land Use Standards. He added that the proposed project is additionally proposing a Special Land Use in the RM-1 District for the assisted living facility and the skilled nursing facility. Therefore, the applicant has submitted a Special Land Use application. The 7 Special Land Use standards located in Section 2516 2(c) of the Zoning Ordinance. He made a correction to his review letter, which included only six (6) of the standards. He noted the missing Special Land Use standard of 2516 2c(4) "Whether, relative to other feasible uses of the site, the proposed use is compatible with adjacent uses of land in terms of location, size, character and impact on adjacent property or the surrounding neighborhood."

In regard to Traffic, Mr. Arroyo noted the required City Council Design and Construction Waiver for the driveway approach to Thirteen Mile Road due to the gated entry and separate card entry readers. Therefore, the project requires an entry that is wider than what is permitted. He stated that the waiver was similar to the Timber Meadows project located on Beck Road. He noted the proposed connection to New Life Drive, the access serving Brightmoor Church. He stated it is proposed to be a gated exit only drive. In a traffic review study, it was found that thirty-five percent (35%) of the exiting traffic would utilize this access to New Life Drive. Therefore, he felt this was an important component to reduce the delay for the exiting traffic from the property. He compared the average PM Peak Hour delay would be 179 seconds without the access to New Life Drive and with the drive the delay would be 75 seconds. In speaking with Brightmoor Church, he found that they were supportive of this proposed connection. He outlined the improvements to Thirteen Mile Road. The applicant proposed to add a center turn lane, extending the turn lane provided by Brightmoor and extending the right-turn lane on the north side of Thirteen Mile to provide for access. Mr. Arroyo explained the project would be constructed in phases. Therefore, he felt it would be critical, from an emergency access and safety standpoint, to provide two (2) ingress and egress. He explained there could be long runs or difficulty reaching portions of the development. He asked that the applicant provide a temporary connection across the property connection the two (2) portions of the road system until the ring road is completed. He stated until there is access around the site, there should be an emergency connection to allow emergency vehicles to travel from the westerly portion of the ring road to the easterly portion. He noted the applicant has agreed to provide this. He found the traffic impact study from the applicant’s traffic consultant to be acceptable. He noted the improvement indicated would assist in the left-turns and right-turns into the project and the connection to New Life Drive would assist with the egress from the project.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant indicated eight (8) months of discussion with the applicant’s engineer in effort to address concerns, which have narrowed the comments of the review letter significantly. He commended the applicant for their efforts and cooperation. He indicated in the review letter dated April 25, 2001, that the site plan demonstrates feasibility and he recommended approval. He noted the private single access driveway circular through the site. He stated the design of the driveway is proposed to be concrete curbs and pavement to the City’s design standards. He added the design would meet the public roadway standards, including the width of the driveway. In regard to utilities, he stated a sixteen inch (16") water main would extend the length on the south side of Thirteen Mile Road. The applicant would bring a water main into the site, looping it throughout the site with stubs to the east and west for future looping. He noted the benefit of these redundancies in the water main system in the event of a break in the main. Public sanitary sewer service is to be provided by connection to the existing stub at the southwest corner of the Brightmoor development. One loop around the eastern edge going north and one along the western edge going north. He stated the site would be fully serviced by sanitary sewer. He stated there was a capacity issue with the sanitary/sewer in which it required additional extensive capacity than what the land had originally. Excess capacity is available for use with the purchase of the capacity with the North Commerce Treatment Plant (north of Fourteen Mile & west of Haggerty Road). He noted the City’s construction through the capital improvement program, sewers extending from M-5 to the north to service the OST District and the proposed development. He noted the 8" sewer existing in the frontage of the Brightmoor Tabernacle was sized for the intended use. Mr. Bluhm stated the applicant was aware of this drawback and was prepared to replace the sewer with a sewer of adequate size to tie to the sewer the City will construct.


Mr. Bluhm recommended approval in the letter dated April 25, 2001. He stated the northern two-thirds of the site falls to the north and to the east. He explained the headwaters start near the Brightmoor property and pointed out on the drawing where they cross the site. He noted the two (2) driveway culvert crossings proposed, the large body water existing along the western edge, which extends to the west to Walled Lake and discharges into Walled Lake. Less than one-third of the site discharges to the south and east off-site. He described the three (3) basins systems proposed. Basin A – a constructed basin located at the southeast corner of the site. The water will be detained, temporary permanent sedimentation water quality controls implemented with the basin and will discharge to a storm sewer constructed in New Life Drive with the Brightmoor development to the east. Basin B – located along the West Side of the site, adjacent to the Chateau Estates Mobile Park to serve 33 acres of the site development. The basin will contain a temporary sediment forebay as well as an underground sedimentation removal vault prior to discharge to the basin. The basin is a detention basin and a wetland mitigation area. Pre-treatment will occur in the northern portion of the basin and the southern portion will be planted with wetland material and materials to promotion wetland growth. The clean water will be discharged into this area. Basin B ultimately discharges through a pipe to the north into the large

wetland body, which is the Morgan Creek. Basin C/D – Basin C is located on the north side of Morgan Creek and Basin D is in the wooded area along the western property line. Basin C will served sedimentation and water quality functions and the northern basin will provide the bulk share of the detention. The basin will discharge back into the northern portion of the large open body of water, which is tied to the Morgan Creek. The two (2) basin system will serve the four (4) buildings at the northern edge. Mr. Bluhm stated that all three (3) basins are 100-year detention basins. He noted the standard is a 10-year, however, because the applicant has the ability and the room to treat to a 100-year storm level they have chosen to provide a 100-year. Mr. Bluhm stated this provision is a benefit the development and the downstream areas of the Morgan Creek areas that primarily developed to Walled Lake. He commended the applicant for providing a discharging rate slightly less than the ordinance requirement.


Mr. Bluhm requested that at final the applicant provide an easement for the headwaters in the Morgan Creek as it bisects the site. He indicated they have keep the development out of this area, however, he was looking to secure an easement across the head water area prior to the development’s completion. He expressed the concerns of the water main in the Phase I, the southern 1/3 of the development. He requested the applicant provide a loop system back across the area for Phase I to create a redundancy in the water supply. He noted the applicant has agreed make this provision. Regarding sanitary sewer, he requested the area running along the western edge and the northern development be relocated into the Thirteen Mile Road right-of-way. He noted the service district is located on the south side of Thirteen Mile. He stated this would allow the sewer to be in an ideal location to service the other properties. He noted the applicant has agreed to make this provision. He requested that Basin B be kept at a level that would not compromise the storage ability of the basin.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval of the Conceptual Landscape Plan, in her letter dated April 23, 2001, with the Planning Commission Waiver. She noted there remained a lot of detail to be worked out. She indicated in this stage they are counting trees to ensure they meet the required numbers according to the ordinance. She stated there would be more trees on the site than what was shown because of the woodland replacement trees that would be required. She noted the considerable supplemental planting and species along eastern property line. She stated at final it would be determined if the opacity could not be provided with the screening, they would require a berm. A number of conditions accommodate her recommendation in her review letter dated April 23, 2001.


In regard to Woodlands, Ms. Lemke noted Light Woodlands, (represented in light green), throughout the site and a medium quality Woodland located in the upper portion of the site. She noted throughout the woodlands are a Wetland System. (The wetland system is represented in blue and the wetland buffer depicted in greenish-blue.) She also noted the topography and explained that more grading would create more disruption to the environmental system. She noted a wooded wetland system following the wetland area on the diagram with its highest quality located in the rear and in the system traveling across the property in the upper middle area. Another significant wooded wetland area is the Wetlands Q with several identified Pumpkin Ash Trees (a rarer species). The Lighter Area of Woodlands on the site consist of Pioneer Species (Popular and Elm) are fast species are fast growing that colonize the site. Also present are a lot of shrubs. She described the area as appearing very dense from an aerial view and difficult to walk through during the warmer parts of the year. The site is listed as primarily Type A Habitat with a small pocket of Type B on the City’s Wild Habitat Map. She explained the wildlife is attracted due to the Pioneer Species Area due to the dense vegetation, which allows them to breed. A vast number of protected wildlife species have food and water with the wetland systems. The upland woodland area leads off-site to the east and west allowing additional routes for the wildlife to continue, therefore, resulting in another type of wildlife system. She stated they are both equally important. Her review when determining the quality of the Woodland includes factors such as soils, topography, Wildlife Habitat and tree species. From a woodland perspective, she identified the highest quality of woodlands as being the successional woodland, (woodlands that have lived there for 100-years). These include Beech/Maple and Oak/Hickory, which have an established understory, (they have understory on the ground, usually a lot of wild flowers, a middle story with smaller shrubs typical of that type of species, a middle story with common smaller trees and fantastic overstory or canopy). She noted an upland area could have higher quality woodlands than others, such as this case. The area is more open, the species change, it becomes of a lesser quality from a woodlands perspective, it is still in between a wetland system and therefore, the need to protect the buffer exists. However, she indicated another area of more importance. An area filled with larger 100-year old trees with rare species such as the Pumpkin Ash and Tulip trees, (Liriodendron tulipifera), which she noted only finding one (1) other place in the City. In review to preserve, she noted the area focused on to be the area around the Pumpkin Ash and the area with the Tulip trees with larger Oaks. She noted the quality being consistent to the back where it becomes a high quality wetland system. Ms. Lemke stated that any removals on the site were not taken lightly. She noted there were a considerable amount of impacts proposed with the plan, because the entire area provides a lot of positive aspect to the City of Novi.


Ms. Lemke showed the commission the applicant’s proposal prior to the last revision. She designated the higher quality woodlands and the successional woodlands on the map. She noted the areas depicted with the green scribbles represent the areas the applicant would be preserving on the site. Areas noted with red lines are the areas proposed to be removed. She stated that the sixty percent (60%) removal from the site and the saving of forty percent (40%). She explained they proposed to save seventy-five percent (75%) of the upper medium woodlands/higher quality woodlands. In reviewing alternatives, they found anything placed in "this" area would disturb the vegetation. Due to the young age, the options of replanting and reestablishment with additional landscape plantings seem possible. She indicated there was a lot of work remaining with the plantings in order to reproduce the area for wildlife and establish more of a connection between them vegetatively. She explained it could be recreated to a degree through the process would be re-grading the land, removing the topography and adding it back in. She noted the applicant proposed to pull the buildings away from the center wetland system to allow more room and preserve more of the area. Ms. Lemke described the area below Wetland J, as a more open area and is not as much of a concern for intrusion. However, she noted the three (3) buildings were a major concern to her. She noted after several meetings, the applicant removed the first building of concern. She described the two (2) buildings that formed a courtyard-like around the Woodland and Wetland Q. She requested the area be open and up to allow the wildlife habitat movement to continue the continuity of the higher quality woodland. Ms. Lemke pointed out the applicant‘s newly proposed revision to save an additional area of woodland. She explained there would be no impact on the wetland buffering. However, it would open up Wetland Q, it removes the development off of the ridge and provides one contiguous area of 600-900 feet to be preserved at once. Ms. Lemke gave a positive recommendation for the design alternative. She stated in a brief review of design alternatives included review of the RA options, as zoned, the preservation option of a subdivision open space plan and RUD. She noted the subdivision RUD Plan could/would take up approximately the same amount as the revised plan. She stated they did not look specifically at the Preservation Option, which might save more, however, it would need more review. Under R-1 Zoning, as designated under the Master Plan, would permit the preservation option of a one-family cluster option. She stated with the one-family cluster option, there would be disturbance. On the surface it might be approximately the same, however, she added if the grading was examined, it may be less of a disturbance because there would not be a need for the large flat areas for surface parking. Ms. Lemke expressed the significance saving eighty percent (80%) of the high quality woodlands. She felt the significance of the many woodlands being removed on the site should be considered. She calculated the number of replacement trees, based upon the ratio of replacement, to be three thousand two hundred fifty-eight (3258) required replacement trees. She stated there were a number of concerns listed in her letter dated April 23, 2001. Ms. Lemke was concerned with the drainage into the wooded wetland areas and would be looking for more detailed hydraulic studies at final. She stated that she was impressed with the first submittal of studies. She noted that she would continue to examine closely the grading plans. The applicant proposed to place retaining walls around the buildings that are around Wetland Q and additional areas of significant topography to work with. Ms. Lemke stated in addition to a number of items that she would be reviewing at final, her review letter also listed her four (4) conditions if there was a recommendation for approval.


Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist stated the proposed impact is under the non minor use permit category due to it having more than one (1) impact. She highlighted some of the areas of the letter dated April 25, 2001. She noted fourteen (14) wetlands on site and approximately twenty (20) acres on the total site. She referred to Wetland M and Wetland J, noting that they are part of the headwater system mentioned earlier in the meeting. She was concerned with fish species downstream that live in Walled Lake and span upstream. Although the fish do not use the proposed site area, they span between the proposed site and the Chateau Estates and Maples of Novi. The smaller fish travel upstream to the small stream areas and span in the wetland area. Therefore, these are a wetland dependent species and depend on the wetland to travel back downstream. She wanted to ensure that the integrity of the fishery system was preserved as intended in the Ordinance. She noted in the previous submittal, they did not recommend approval, primarily due to the more severe impact to Wetland M on the north south section of the wetland. She had requested that the applicant shift the building and reduce the footprint of the building to meet the need of their community as well as reduce the buffer impact to the area. She recalled the previous submittal having twice as much of buffer impact in that specific area. Based on the previous review, she noted the applicant has omitted all of the significant impacts to the wetland system. Ms. Kay stated the proposed impacts. She noted the significance of the one (1) acre of fill out of twenty (20) acres of wetland. She explained that statistically it might appear differently than qualitatively. She felt the applicant appeared to avoid as many impacts possible throughout the review process. She stated that the impacts are primarily for construction of road and the edge of buildings. She stated the grading limits are the reasoning for the buffer impact.


Ms. Kay referred to page #3 of the review letter dated April 24, 2001. She noted the highest qualities of wetlands on the site are being preserved. She did not feel there was any comparison of the wetlands on the southern edge of the site and the wetlands on the northern edge of the site. She stated starting at Wetland M and northward is significantly higher in quality. She stated species composition and hydrology concerns were addressed. She recapped some of the revisions the applicant made. The reduction of an entire building unit as part of the second and third revision. She restated the applicant’s comment that due to the activities and the community they would not be able to reduce any additional buildings. She noted the retaining walls that were placed where feasible and she hoped that the applicant would be able to find additional smaller areas to have less buffer impact. Ms. Kay indicated that they have utilized the 1 on 3 slopes due to the retaining walls. The shifting of the road to avoid the higher quality areas and the placement of the two 67" by 95" arch pipes to maintain seasonal (intermittent) surface water flows between Wetland M and Wetland J and provide the potential wildlife crossings from east to west. She felt that because the project would impact a small area statistically, there remained the potential for a high amount of disturbance based on the topography and that it would be an intense land use. She explained that everything would need to be shifted on the southern half of Wetland M and the fact that there are numerous buildings. Ms. Kay noted that being unaware of their experiences, however requested that they maintain the soil erosion measures on site. She recalled Maples of Novi’s mass grading. She noted if the site does not maintain soil erosion on site, there remains the potential for a high impact to the wetlands systems. She stated because the applicant reduced the footprint to some of the building and shifted some of the road areas to more narrow areas of wetlands and lesser quality wetlands, the were able to reduce ½ acre from the original 1½ acre of impact. Ms. Kay stated the plan meets the mitigation of the ordinance requirement. Although in excess, she noted this to be valid based on the fact that some of the impacted wetlands have tree species she would like to see replicated the best that it could. Due to the dual purpose of the detention basin along the western edge of the site, she noted the competing uses would not out weigh their benefits. She stated the preference of having them separate with their own location, however, it was found through the review process that this was the best area for this site plan.


Mr. Fox of JCK stated the proposed project is zoned RA with both Region 1 and Region 2 buildings on the site. He noted thirty-eight (38) structures reviewed; sixteen (16) located in Region 1 and twenty-two (22) are located in Region 2. He commented that there have been revisions since the dated review letter. He stated the Region 1 brick percentages have increased to eighty-five (85%) and the efface decreased to fifteen percent (15%). He noted these percentages are within the ordinance. He stated the roof pitches were lowered and the asphalt shingles are no longer included in the ordinance. Split faced block has been eliminated from all of the building, which was an issue on the last review. Brick veneer has been added to the piers, which support the bridge structure, to eliminate a lot of the exposure of the pre-cast concrete. Mr. Fox stated there were six (6) different items for a Section Nine Facade Waiver on various structures or buildings on the site. 1) Region 1, there are four (4) one-story links and the other communities, the links are three-story and four-story. Therefore the percentage of brick had increased, due to the amount of glass in wall. This exceeds the ordinance by 12%. He stated because it is in keeping with the remainder of the structures, he recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver. 2) The percentage of asphalt shingles exceed the maximum percentage allowed by the ordinance on the Chapel in Façade Region 1. He recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver for the shingles because it is consistent with the residential style of architecture. 3) The pre-cast concrete left over on the parking decks and on the bridges is not permitted by ordinance. He suggested that the applicant color it more beige verses a standard concrete color in attempt to blend it to more of a sandstone or cast stone. He noted the applicant has covered as much of it as they could and the only remaining exposure on the bridge is the structure holding the bridge up itself. He noted there was no material that would support and be allowable underneath the structures. Therefore, he recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver. 4) Percentages of flat metal panels. He stated the majority of the 8’ to 10’ feet tall bridge is glass in the center with metal siding at the bottom and the top. He stated the metal make up the majority of the material on the bridge, because the vision glass is excluded. Therefore, the percentage is sixty percent (60%) flat metal siding, due to the lack of the material counted. Therefore, he recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver. 5) The percentage of wood siding on the car port is considerable, because the carport has no structure. He explained they have small wood triangles at the end of the structure and steel columns underneath to support. He recommended that the applicant provide brick panels on the ends of the structure to tie the buildings together better. He noted with the condition of brick panels, he recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver. 6) The percentage of the trim on the gatehouse exceeds the ordinance due to the it being a small structures. Therefore, he recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver. He concluded that all of the buildings are consistent with the intended purpose of the ordinance and he recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver for the entire project.


Chairperson Piccinini announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, dated April 12, 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) Buildings RB 2.1 and 2.2 are shown to have an inter-connected fire connection. However, the location of the FDC on RB2.1 does not make it feasible for use for RB2.2. Provided a FDC on RB2.2. 2) The phasing plan is found to be acceptable for building construction. However the ring road should be completed for Phase I or alternative temporary access drives provided. The maximum allowable dead-end road at any time is 800 feet. 3) All roads are to be paved prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. 4) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and to be in service prior to construction above the foundation. This should be noted on the plans. 5) The building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least 3 inches high on a contrasted background. This shall be noted on the plans. 6) The multi-residential buildings shall be numbered. Each number shall be a minimum of 10 inches high, 1 inch wide and be posted at least 15 feet above the ground on the building where readily visible form the street.





James Remijan, Peter Hoadley, Lewis Bartlett, Dorothy Bartlett, Dennis Wahlstrom, Betty Wahlstrom, Donald Jackson, James Zurak, Alfred C. Morelli, Wanda G. Morelli, Reece Clift Jr., Aida V. Smith, Walter Scott, Majorie Scott, Jean M. McLean, Susan M. McLean, Dinesh Sekcaria, Gary Habert, Steve Wagstaff, Diane Wagstaff, James Tang, Linda Smerton, Joyce Kelly, Lillian Weisberg, Matt Clairday, Margaret Godfrey, Robert Martin, Rick Montes, Cynthia A. Antor, Ronald Muskat, Pat Muskat, Richard Budzinski, Robin Clarday, Louis Berlin, Lisa McKnight-Jackson, Joanne Boyd, William Roberts, Tyra Moore, Jean Luca, William Steiniger, Dorris Morrin, Audrey Gulley, Ronald Cujurian, Lillian Duffey, Jean Lutern, Victor Milcallef, Tara Denlin Moore, William Roberts, David Hutka, Mary Hutka, James McLean, John Laybourn.


Member Churella summarize their comments of objection:

1) Feel that this development is considered a commercial type complex not a residential. 2) The infrastructure is not prepared to take the development, specifically the road system. It would congest Thirteen Mile and Meadowbrook Road. 3) The property values will decrease due to the development. 4) It would overcrowd the area and the area is not in need of additional apartments. 5) The woodlands and wetlands are being demolished and therefore, the wildlife would not have anywhere to go. 6) Would like the are to be left the same. They do not want to eliminate the woodlands and felt this type of building would be over-congesting the area.



Paul Balconi, Florence Baptist, Donald Heckman, Michael Kahm, Paul Valconi, Gerald Hepp, Donald Heckman, Genevieve B. Riley, Dianna Lynch, Gerald Help, John Rush, Ester Rush, Florence Boytice, Dorothy Smith, Helen Wilk, Yvonne A. Balconi, John Laybourn (Master Plan Amendment), Kenneth Lally.


Member Churella summarize their comments of approval:

1) It would be good for the community because this type of development will take care of the elder and provide them with living. 2) Support of the development due to the growing number of seniors at this time. 3) They wanted to see the change and felt it would be a good "mix" for the area and good for traditional family living.


Member Churella indicated he received a letter from State Representative Mark Schumann who wrote that he visited the Henry Ford Village. He found the campus-like setting to include the independent living apartments, assisted care and nursing home in one location. He felt this was important. He found many opportunities for the residents to have activities such as ceramics, pool activity and community fund raisers for scholarships for high school students.


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


Dorthy Backoff, 15081 Ford Road #406 Dearborn, spoke her support of the Erickson Retirement Community. She does not regret her move to Henry Ford Village seven (7) years ago. She stated that although it was difficult to give up her home, her life has been changed with her residence at Henry Ford Village. She felt the center was an asset to everyone who has lived in the community. She noted that as the Chairman of the Council, she represents the residents with the management to address any problems that arise. She stated the positive association that exists with the students who work in the dining room. Ms. Backoff reiterated the scholarship program, which they have already raised $54,522 toward their annual $65,000 goal. She noted the residents love the student and the staff. She felt that the commission would be making a mistake if they rejected the proposed project, because she felt it was a great place for senior citizens to come and enjoy the rest of their lives. She stated her experience with finding nursing care for her parents and did not want to place the same burden on her family. She explained at Henry Ford Village, if she or her husband became ill, they could move to the assisted living and the other could stay at the independent living. They would be able to visit one another each day without having to leave the complex. She was in support of the continuing care. She informed the commission of the many residents who arrive depressed, after losing a spouse/loved one, and turn around quickly. She did not feel this development would be a detriment to the area.


Member Koneda asked Ms. Backoff where she resided prior to her residence at the Henry Ford Village.


Ms. Backoff stated her previous residence was in the Royal Oak/Beverly Hills area for forty-three (43) years.


John Backoff, 15081 Ford Road #406 Dearborn, reiterated his wife’s comments. He added the Erickson concept is a healthy place. He addressed some of the concerns mentioned regarding the development. He referred to the traffic issues. He stated that many of the residents do not own a car when the move-in and if they do, they rid of it shortly. He added the campus has a bussing system to take the residents out in the community area. He noted the number of objections during the process of Henry Ford Village, who have now taken residence there. He indicated the State Representative for the district moved into the complex. He stated the complex has a volunteer group system that allows the residents to start and run the activity. He noted that there are over one hundred (100) different volunteer group activities. He noted a resident who underwent a surgery, in which the doctor indicated it was not his care that pulled her through the recovery. Therefore, Mr. Backoff felt it was the support and prayers of the residents. He did not feel that Novi would find a bad atmosphere to their area.


Tim Gambino, 25645 Kilreigh Drive, stated he represented Brightmoor Tabernacle Church. He looked forward to the possibility of having Fox Run Village as a neighbor. He anticipated the Fox Run Village seniors participating in the school programs. He hoped there would be the opportunity for the seniors to read to the children, assist with the math program, speak on career planning and life skills to the high school students. He felt these programs would help the high school students develop a better appreciation for senior citizens and give the seniors the opportunity to feel appreciated, wanted and needed by young students.


Konrad Stauch, 31800 Northwestern Hwy Suite 330 Farmington Hills, attorney for Brightmoor Christian Church noted the several meetings with Erickson Retirement Community. He stated the Board has discussed in detail the economic impact and future land use development impact of the church. He stated the Board believes that Brightmoor Church and Fox Run Village would be able to work together. He noted discussion of the shuttling of seniors for church services and community outreach with the church. He stated the church’s support of the project.

William Oliver, 2009 Walled Lake Drive, stated his 8 year residency. He noted the many changes in the community. He stressed the fact that ultimately change will occur, however at this stage, the commission has the opportunity to dictate what change will occur. He recalled the numerous homes and apartments that have been constructed. He felt that the proposed development was the least intrusive type of development in terms of traffic. He stated the property would eventually be developed and this was an opportunity to develop it the least intrusive as possible. Regarding the tax implications, he understood that it would generate more revenue than a housing development. He was in support of the project.


Art Vuolo, 30860 Palmer, stated his 6 year residency in the Maples of Novi. He stated he has been in the broadcasting business for 41 years and the importance of demographics to the industry. He reiterated the broadcast that at the end of 2001, the United States will have over 50% of the population at 50+ years of age. He stated there are a number of seniors currently residing at Maples of Novi. Mr. Vuolo stated that he also just turned 50 years and would prefer to stay in the same area. He felt if this development was not approved, then another project would be proposed to the area. He felt that those that did not support the proposed project are selfish.


Joe Borg, 42154 Loganberry Ridge, stated his residency of 30 years in the City of Novi. He noted the many changes that have occurred in the City over those 30 years. He felt that the City has lacked the senior housing. He stated the proposed project would be a benefit to the community and would not tax the school system. He was in support of the project.


Brent Beshears, 1101 South Lake Drive, agreed with the points made regarding the traffic impact. He did not feel that the elderly would be traveling as much as statistically shown in a traffic count. He felt if the property was developed as a residential community, the number of children and their car count would need to be added in to the traffic count. He did not feel that the proposed development would enhance the traffic on South Lake Drive.


Asa Smith, 1294 East Lake Drive, recommended that the commission take the advice of the consultant’s, who have put the time and effort, to bring forward the positives and some negatives that would need to be worked out on the project. He felt the proposed project would be an asset and a value to the City. He stated it would provide a place for the seniors of Novi and the seniors of the future. He stated this project would provide for them a nice place to live and the opportunity to have what they need for their capabilities of continuing the life they are used to. He felt his concern of the storm water and the consultants addressed wetland issues. He agreed that someone would develop the property at sometime. Therefore, he felt they needed to be sure that the right project, with the least impact with its infrastructure, roadway systems and the additional traffic between M-5, Haggerty Road, Meadowbrook Road and Novi Road. He felt confident that the traffic generated by the development would not be a negative impact compared to other developments.


Deb Bundoff, Novi Road and Twelve Mile Road, commented on Mary Jukuri’s presentation on the availability of RM Master Planned properties in the City of Novi. She stated there are currently several RM projects being developed in the City. She disagreed stating there are existing Master Planned RM property not built as RM at this time. She noted she was impressed upon her visit to the Henry Ford Village. She felt the proposed use was good for the proposed area. Although the proposed a change in current zoning would be drastic, she felt the senior housing in the community was a benefit that the City needs. She asked encouraged the architect to design wider restroom stalls in the community buildings to provide more than one handicapp facility.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if any one else would like to address the Commission. Seeing no one she closed all of the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.




Chairperson Piccinini explained the order in which the motions would proceed. 1) Motion to adopt or deny the Master Plan Amendment. 2) A positive or negative recommendation to the City Council for the rezoning with the PD-1 Option and site plan. She stated that the City Attorney has advised that the Planning Commission make the Preliminary Site Plan motion at the same time. Therefore, the rezoning and the site plan would be made in one (1) motion. 3) A positive or negative recommendation to the City Council for a Wetland Permit. 4) Planning Commission action to deny or approve a Woodland Permit. She stated the Special Land Use would be postponed to a later date, which would be discussed later in the meeting.


Member Mutch asked the City Attorney if the commission needed take an approval/denial action on the Master Plan.


Gerald Fisher clarified if he was asking if it was mandatory.


Member Mutch answered, yes.


Gerald Fisher answered that it is not mandatory. However, he strongly recommended that they do. He explained if the Commission did not act on the Master Plan and acted on the zoning, the zoning would not be in accordance of the Master Plan.


Member Mutch clarified that this would be assuming if they rezoning not in accordance with the Master Plan. He stated if they chose to rezone in accordance with the Master Plan, then the commission would be acting properly.


Gerald Fisher answered, correct.




Master Plan Amendment Discussion


(tape begins)




Moved by Churella, seconded by Landry: A Master Plan Amendment for SP 00-66A that the subject site be changed from single-family to multi-family residential with a PD-1 designation, a footnote in the Master Plan be added that the PD-1 density on this site is for senior housing only and not intended for standard multi-family residential.




Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo how the approval of the Master Plan designation change would impact the vacant properties to the south, east and north (along M-5).


Mr. Arroyo felt that special consideration could be give to the corridor on the north side of Thirteen Mile Road as being unique. He pointed out the intensity of uses with the existing mobile home park, the church use and the possibility of the proposed project. He stated establishing a more intense corridor was one option. Another approach would be to look at both sides of Thirteen Mile Road. He felt it was possible to draw the line on at Thirteen Mile, on the north side, and identify it with a different characteristic from the south side. He explained although a PUD development, the Vistas, exist to the west, he stated south of Thirteen Mile Road is primarily of single-family characteristic and therefore could be treated differently.


Member Mutch recalled discussion on the Master Plan in 1999 included the possibility of drawing the line with the single-family. He asked if it was not sustainable and the traffic volumes increased resulting in a 5-lane cross section, would it be realistic to keep the possibility of maintaining single-family to the south along Thirteen Mile Road.


Mr. Arroyo felt that single-family could be maintained to the south.


Member Mutch asked if he felt it would be possible with the limited frontage.


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He suggested if the project was approved, there would be follow up action to examine the adjacent properties, Brightmoor in particular, to determine if there was any need for adjustments based upon change. He stated this would be the second step in the process if the Planning Commission felt it was appropriate.


Member Mutch referred to Mr. Arroyo’s review letter. He asked him what level of density he stated it would revert back to.


Mr. Arroyo clarified his comment. He stated if the Master Plan Amendment was approved, then it would be approved for a senior housing project at the proposed density. He felt there were a few options. The commission could state this designation. If there was an approach for an different project, he noted the commission could address that proposal separately. He gave the second option of specifying an appropriate density for conventional development. He added that this option could be explored if they wanted to incorporate it. However, at this point, he stated the motion was to specify the density and the PD-1 for senior housing purposes. He explained that if they specified densities for other types of residential use, there is not a "fall back position" indicated.


Member Mutch clarified that whether or not this project was approved, the Master Plan Amendment for the proposed area would be 20.5 units per acre of senior housing.


Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.


Member Mutch clarified if the traffic generated per senior housing would be less per unit than a single-family development.


Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.


Member Mutch noted that the current Master Plan as R-1 would generate 1385 trips daily, RM-1 standard would generate 4330 and the proposed project would generate 5618. Therefore, he calculated the total traffic volume from the proposed project higher than the standard apartment complex and significantly higher than what the current Master Plan permits.


Mr. Arroyo answered, correct. He referred to the morning peak hours of the standard apartment complex, which would generate more traffic than the senior project, which has more units. In comparison, the senior complex would generate more traffic in the afternoon. Therefore, he noted that Member Mutch was correct, however, his point did not apply to all of the peak hours.


Member Mutch stated in comparison with the current Master Plan, the numbers are significantly more.


Mr. Arroyo agreed that there would be a difference with the current Master Plan designation and the current zoning.


Member Mutch recalled the audience comment indicating that there would not be a lot of seniors driving. He asked for the total number of staff proposed to work at the site.


Mr. Arroyo recalled the number to be seven hundred (700).


Member Mutch asked if this would be full-time staff.


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.


Member Mutch asked if Mr. Arroyo would anticipate the majority of the staff would drive to the site.


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He also anticipated the majority of the traffic would be destined to the M-5 as a regional connector.


Member Mutch suggested that the staffing component was a significant portion of the traffic volume.


Mr. Arroyo stated that although it was a significant portion, he could not determine if this constituted a majority without further investigation.


Member Mutch referred to the applicant’s indication that a standard single-family development would generate approximately 142 students. He asked Mr. Arroyo if this was consistent with his anticipation if the property was developed under the Master Plan as a R-1 Development.


Mr. Arroyo stated the figure was fairly close. He noted under a standard single-family development at the Master Plan Density would be 137 dwelling units. He stated typically there would be less than one student per household on average. He added that this could depend upon the market, the type of single-family development being established and the number of bedrooms. He stated that the City of Novi has an average household size of just under 2.5 persons per unit. Therefore, there would be a variation in the number of adults and children.


Member Mutch recalled the applicant indicating their project would generate tax revenue for the school district. However, school districts do not net any additional operating revenue from new development. He stated instead it is based entirely upon the number of students that attend the district. Therefore, from an operating viewpoint, the loss of the 142 students, would cost the school district for the year 2001 foundational allowance, almost eight thousand dollars ($8000) per student for the Walled Lake School District. He stated this would be over a million dollar loss for the school district. He restated that this proposed development would not generate any net operating revenue for the Walled Lake Schools. He felt that this element was not applicable. He stated that according to the Master Plan studies, there is currently 38% single-family development. He stated if the Master Plan amendment was approved, there would be 9% single-family development. He felt that essential Haverhill development would become an island. He indicated there was 23% single-family at the entire northend. He calculated this number to be at 16% if the proposed development was approved. He found it interesting that there was discussion of housing variety and in contrast, the motion would rid the area of the housing development that was at less than a quarter of the percentage.


Member Landry felt the proposed Master Plan was unique due to the senior housing footnote. He noted only one (1) parcel to the south of Thirteen Mile appeared to be undeveloped. He expressed his support of the proposed Master Plan Amendment. He did not feel there was any question of need. He stated when reviewing for amendments to the Master Plan, the need for the use is examined and he felt the need was clearly established. He did not feel the use was a typical traffic use, due to the non peak hour use indicated by Mr. Arroyo. He stated that although the gross use may be larger, he did not feel the peak hour traffic use would be an issue with the senior housing.


Member Nagy asked the City Attorney regarding the statement "If the Planning Commission chooses to amend the Master Plan, it may be appropriate to footnote or add text stating that this amendment was made to reflect the City’s desire for senior housing not standard multi-family residential." She asked if the addition of this footnote binds the site or future owner of the property to put in senior housing.


Gerald Fisher suggested that the Planning Commission recommend to City Council that prior to the action (of the City Council) that the City negotiate a development agreement with the property owner to allow the connection of the Master Plan Amendment, Zoning Change, Site Plan and the PD-1 Authorization together with the other significant project requires such as the natural resource preservation. This would be in the event that the developer did not develop the property, the City would have the option to revert back to what the areas was prior to the proposal or the City could change it to what they deemed reasonable.


Member Nagy asked if the development was a negative or a positive impact. She stated in some comments, Mr. Arroyo was indicating the development was overburdening the utilities such as police, fire etc… and other comments indicated that it is not. She asked Mr. Arroyo to clarify which impact it would be.


Mr. Arroyo stated the impacts are both negative and positive. He stated some of the impacts would be generated by the change would create a greater demand on certain services and facilities as opposed to if the site remained at the current Master Plan. He stated there would also be certain services and facilities that would have a lesser impact by the change. He noted his attempt to point out that there would be both positives and negatives that the commission would need to balance when making their decision.


Member Nagy referred to the fiscal impact analysis. She questioned if the City was aware of this or if there was a designated person in the City to conduct this analysis.


Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He stated several years ago, he was involved with the fiscal impact model the City did. However, he added that unfortunately it is not running. He stated his involvement in performing the fiscal impact studies. He explained the study would provide the revenue and cost portion(s) of the equation. All of the various revenue streams that might be generated by a project compared to all of the cost to the municipality or other taxing districts. He noted this would be used to indicated if there was positive or a negative impact. He stated that this study is not required under the City Ordinance.


Member Nagy stated when there are requested changes to the Master Plan, zoning, etc…she felt this would be an appropriate study. She felt it would answer those questions raised by Member Mutch.


Chairperson Piccinini asked Mr. Fisher to clarify his position. She stated in discussion prior to the meeting, she recalled him assuring her that the footnote would guarantee that there would be multi-family. She did not feel that Mr. Fisher addressed Member Nagy’s question. In addition, she stated that he raised another topic. She asked Mr. Fisher if the footnote would guarantee that senior housing would be there if the Master Plan was changed.


Mr. Fisher answered, no. He stated the reason would be because it is not part of the Master Plan. He stated the footnote is not a formally recognized element of the Master Plan. However, he explained his answer to Member Nagy was to provide comfort to the City that by way of the development agreement that would accomplish the formalization of the connection between the PD-1 and the site plan to the Master Plan modification, zoning, etc…


Chairperson Piccinini clarified that he was changing his position.


Mr. Fisher stated that he was not changing his position. He stated that prior to the meeting, he recalled contemplating both.


Chairperson Piccinini stated in the conversation, she recalled him stating yes. She asked him to clarify if he was changing his position.


Mr. Fisher stated if she wanted to discuss it further, he was willing.


Member Richards asked if there was a reason that the site was being reviewed as a RM-1 with a PD-1 Option as opposed to a RM-2. He asked Mr. Arroyo to explain the difference in density.


Mr. Arroyo stated they are basically the same in terms of density. He noted the City’s advantage in terms of a PD-1 Option. He explained that an increase in density from RM-1 to RM-2 becomes a discretionary decision based on meeting certain standards of the City Ordinance. He noted the greater flexibility of the ordinance tying site plan, PD approval and the zoning through the PD Option. He added that instead of the project being a principle permitted use in a RM-2 District, it becomes discretionary and could have conditions attached if they are reasonable and tied to meeting ordinance requirements.


Member Richards understood that the majority of the traffic would be generated by the staff. He asked if the staff would be sequenced in shifts.


Dan O’Brien stated the establishment would operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a variety of shifts. He gave the example of the nurses work shift of 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.


Member Canup was concerned of the ability of the sewers to serve the area. He clarified if the sewage from the site would travel to the South Commerce Treatment Plant.


Mr. Bluhm answered, correct.


Member Canup noted Mr. Bluhm’s comments regarding the arrangements made for the area. He asked what service area would be covered, how much capacity does Novi have in the plant and would the proposed project consume a large portion of that capacity stymieing the growth of additional project to the area due to lack of sewage treatment ability.


Mr. Bluhm stated the City has purchased two thousand (2000) taps into South Commerce Treatment Plant. He stated the proposed project would utilize approximately ½ of this purchase.

He understood that it appeared to be a lot, however, an evaluation of the remaining properties determined that there was enough capacity. He added that a majority of the property was OST on the East Side of M-5. He stated the reason for the excess capacity was due to the overlapping of the service district that was built into the Master Plan. He explained the service district that is utilizing the Commerce Plant extended to Twelve Mile Road, therefore, all of the property down to Twelve Mile Road/east of M-5 was accounted for in the 2000 taps. He continued that the lion’s share of the flows of Twelve Mile Road to Thirteen Mile Road are currently traveling south into the North Huron Valley System. He stated this has freed up the additional flows from the proposed development and to cover the changes in OST and the remaining parcels there.


Member Canup clarified if there were 1000 taps remaining.


Mr. Bluhm answered, yes, approximately 1000 taps. He stated in the evaluation of what is currently purchased, he noted they found there would be sufficient capacity. He added that there may be the ability to purchase more taps in the system.


Member Kocan questioned if the existing projects at Thirteen Mile and Novi Road were allowed to be density built out due to the Master Plan indicating that there would be less density north of Thirteen Mile. She explained with the request and the discussion of need for a transition period, she was concerned of the over extension of the area. She understood the situation of M-5, Thirteen Mile Road and the need for retirement housing, however, she requested the Master Plan Committee define this to her. She asked if the option existed to recognize the need for senior housing, understand the need to change the zoning and yet consider less density. She compared the Henry Ford Village with 1030 units and the proposed project with 1900. She calculated this to be 55% of the proposed size. She asked if this was an "all or nothing" option.


Dan O’Brien noted the reasons for the difference in size. He compared that Henry Ford Village is located on 33 acres and on the birthplace of Henry Ford. He stated the project was a joint effort with Ford and Ford contributed resources to allow the project to succeed. He stated the goal is to meet the needs of middle income seniors. He continued that in order to do this in an economically feasible way is with economies of scale. Therefore, he stated the size the project has been proposed, is the only size in which it would work. He explained that if the density were reduced, they would need to seek another opportunity.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if the applicant already decreased the density once.


Dan O’Brien answered, yes. He noted that it was reduced significantly and there was no more room to reduce.


Chairperson Piccinini responded to Member Kocan’s question regarding the Master Plan. She did not recall examining senior housing specifically. She felt that this was becoming more of an issue.


Mr. Arroyo recalled some discussions, however, historically the City had not designated a separate senior housing classification on the Master Plan. He stated at one time there was a senior citizen zoning classification, however it was repealed. Therefore, there was a City Policy decision to not address that specifically on the Master Plan for designation. He noted the considerations of the number of project being proposed. He recalled discussion of additional projects within the mixed-use area.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if he felt there was and would be more senior housing needs. She asked if there was currently a specific area of the City of senior housing.


Mr. Arroyo stated he was not aware of any additional designated areas other than what is already approved and built. He noted discussions for numerous properties, however, no project has been submitted. He did not recall an area designated for the specific use of senior housing other than what would be allowed in a multiple-family category or a mixed use such as Town Center or Gateway.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if Mr. Arroyo agreed with Ms. Crawford’s finding she presented at a prior meeting. She indicated the findings were items such as population statistics and the growth population of senior.


Mr. Arroyo agreed that there was a growing senior population. He stated there would be a question of the impact of senior facility development would have on the people who chose to leave Michigan and relocated to a warmer climate. He continued further questioning if these numbers would reduce due to the option in Michigan or if those retiring would still chose to relocate. He hoped this would have an impact on the demand that exists for these types of facilities.


Member Canup agreed with Member Kocan regarding the area being crowded. He felt it was important to consider this when making a decision. He did not recall senior housing being considered for that general area. Therefore, he felt the proposed project had brought the entire area under consideration.


Member Mutch added that the density was increased along the western quarter on the West Side of M-5, because of the awareness of M-5. He stated the committee felt the pre-existing RA zoning might not be feasible. However, they felt the R-1 was feasible for the Meadowbrook Road Corridor heading north. He did not recall the topic of senior housing being discussed specifically.

Member Koneda asked why this issue came before the commission first verses being sent to the Master Planning & Review Committee.


Mr. Arroyo recalled the committee feeling the issue should be addressed as a whole before the Planning Commission due to the size of the project.


Member Koneda asked the time frame of this, because he did not recall the discussion.

Mr. Arroyo stated it was approximately four (4) months ago.


Member Koneda clarified if it was prior to the changes in the committees.


Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.


Member Koneda noted that when considering a Master Plan Amendment, the Commission evaluates the area and determines what is right for the area. He stated they are addressing a single piece of property with a specific purpose to forward it to City Council. He stated that typically this is not an action of the Planning Commission. Therefore, he was concerned that the action the commission may take would place the remaining parcels of area 3 in jeopardy. He stated if the proposed development is approved, then Erickson Development would be the single largest provider of single services within the City. He added this would more than triple the current available residential developments in the area. Member Koneda noted that an amendment to Planning Area 3, would increase the build out residential capacity over 40%. He was concerned of this major impact on the site. He agreed that the construction of the M-5 Connector has changed the residential character of the area. He added that it provided the entire OST District to the East Side of the M-5 Connector. He felt the proposed facility would have a regional draw along with serving the residents of the City of Novi. Member Koneda stated that the project is intended to make money for Erickson and it is not intended for the residents of Novi. He did not feel that this was a bad character and agreed with the need to do this. He was concerned that the project is a self-contained village within the City of Novi, providing all of the required services that the residents need. He felt the impact or support for the commercial developments would be limited. He understood why they chose the site location, due to the natural wooded features and the access to the M-5 connector off of Thirteen Mile Road. He noted this was similar to Henry Ford Village. He stated the surrounding area around Henry Ford Village abuts the paved portion of the Rouge River, to the west is an industrial complex, to the northwest is the Vistian Tech Center, across the street is the Michigan Golf Residential Community, Springwell Historic District, an RM district and a few churches.


Member Koneda gave some reasons he might consider an amendment. Is the current zoning in compliance with the Master Plan recommendations, he commented that in this case, the recommendation is not in compliance. Can the land be developed under the current Master Plan Zoning designation, he commented that the land could be developed. Would the rezoning preserve more natural resources than the current zoning, he commented that the applicant might have an advantage. Is there a deficiency in the needed zoning designation to build the type of facility, he felt the applicant met this requirement. He felt the main reason they should discuss the Master Plan Amendment would be to allow City Council to look at the plan. He felt it was a good business decision for Erickson to build because they would make money off of the site. He felt from the perspective of the City, it needed to be determined the project is a good business decision for the City of Novi. Will the City get more back in tax revenue potential verses the infrastructure burden, a point raised by Member Nagy, which he felt the City Council needed to address. Therefore, he felt the decision was a business decision to be addressed by the City Council. He stated he originally intended to vote against the Master Plan Amendment and vote for the Zoning Request, however, he is not allowed to do this. He understood that the only way the project could go before City Council would be to make a Master Plan Amendment. Therefore, he asked the City Attorney if there was a way to move the project to the City Council without making Master Plan Amendment.


Mr. Fisher stated the Planning Commission chose to not make a Master Plan Amendment and recommend the zoning. If the commission did this, they would be recommending zoning in a manner that would not be in accordance with the Master Plan. He did not feel this was a wise thing to do.


Member Koneda asked if it would make sense based on the fact it would make a good business case for the City and the City should treat it similar to a business or is it strictly based on zoning.

Mr. Fisher indicated that he understood Member Koneda’s point. However, it was the mentioned Master Plan classification would allow the use.


Member Koneda was also concerned with the over burdening of that area of the City, however he did not find other alternatives. He stated he reviewed the plan as an OST development verses a residential development, because it would bring in a higher level of expectation for others to follow. Although he felt the proposed project would be a nice use to the land and a nice product, he felt that it placed a burden on that portion of the City. Therefore, he felt the City Council should determine if it would be a good business case. He stated he preferred to see the development in another area, possibly the Novi School District. He stated he would like to have his property taxes benefit from the development as opposed to the Walled Lake School District. He indicated in his list of pros and cons, he found the negatives out weighing the pros. However, he felt that it would make a business case for the City.


Mr. Arroyo made a correction to the review letter dated April 23, 2001. He stated the reference should be to Planning Area 4 with the total capacity build out of 1196 units. Currently there exist 499 units, based on the Master Plan at the time of preparation, with the remaining capacity of 697 under the current Master Plan.


Member Landry asked the City Attorney if they assured that the parcel would have senior housing if the Master Plan Amendment was made contingent upon a development agreement being reached.


Mr. Fisher stated there are not certainties in the law, however, he felt it would be doing as much as they could to make the link.


Member Landry asked if Member Churella would accept the amendment to his motion.


Member Churella answered, yes.


Chairperson Piccinini asked what the process would be if the contingency was added to the motion. She clarified when an agreement is reached, if everything at the same time would be accepted if it passed with City Council.


Mr. Fisher answered, correct.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if it went forward to City Council and an agreement was not reached, would everything die.


Mr. Fisher stated if the Master Plan is amended and the recommendations are made to City Council and fails or the property owner does not continue, then the Planning Commission would have the opportunity to replace the zoning or establish another reasonable district.


Chairperson Piccinini asked if everything would come into place if the City Council approved it. She restated the process of Planning Commission approval and City Council approval or if there are addition conditions that are set on the agreement.


Mr. Fisher noted additional conditions that could be included. 1) To ensure that the environmental natural preservations conditions are satisfied. 2) That not plan is submitted that is inconsistent with the environmental preservation that is represented by the property owner.


Chairperson Piccinini clarified if he would typically add more restrictions.


Mr. Fisher answered that he would typically not.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Landry, CARRIED (6-3): A Master Plan Amendment for SP 00-66A that the subject site be changed from single-family to multi-family residential with a PD-1 designation, a footnote in the Master Plan be added that the PD-1 density on this site is for senior housing only and not intended for standard multi-family residential contingent upon a development agreement being reached.




Yes: Churella, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Piccinini, Richards

No: Canup, Mutch, Nagy



Zoning Map Amendment, Preliminary Site Plan and PD-1 Option

Member Mutch stated that based on his previous vote, he would not support a positive recommendation. He felt that the Planning Commission had sent a message, with their motion, to the developing community that "senior housing" would be the way to get into Novi with a multi-family development. He stated the R-1 Zoning would have allowed cluster option would have required 50% preservation on the property; and a rezoning to a RM-1 zoning would not entail any environmental preservation requirements. He stated although the plan is good, he felt the City could have had better. Therefore, he would not support any rezoning, with the exception to the R-1, which is consistent with the Master Plan.

Member Landry stated that he was in support of the Zoning Amendment recommendation for the zoning amendment with the development agreement contingency. He felt that they could achieve what they were attempting with the parcel for reasons, which he previously stated. He noted the many commendations to the applicant for the saving of woodlands and wetlands. He stated that he was impressed with the development agreement. He stated if this could be tied in, he would be satisfied with the project. Member Landry encouraged a positive recommendation.


Moved by Landry, seconded by Koneda, Carried (6-3): That the Planning Commission send a positive recommendation to City Council with respect to the Zoning Map Amendment 18.607 to recommend a zoning map amendment from RA to RM-1 with PD-1 Option and recommend Preliminary Site Plan Approval with the comments made by the petitioners, contingent on a development agreement with the PD-1 Option and contingent upon all consultant’s recommendations and conditions, City Council Waiver for the maximum boulevard roadway width, for the entry side of the main entrance, the Phasing Plan, Planning Commission Waiver for the building orientation, Planning Commission Waiver for the berm on the northern and eastern property line, that the community buildings and the layout meet the PD-1 requirement for gross floor area of retail and mid-rise building location.


Member Richards asked if there were plans to signalize the entrance/exit on Thirteen Mile Road.


Mr. Arroyo stated that no plans exist. As volumes increase, he noted the options would include considering a potential signalization at New Life Drive to serve the church and the proposed project and have access to be an egress. He noted a second possibility to place a signal at this location. However, he felt that it was too early to determine if this was warranted. He indicated that it could be monitored. If the access is provided as shown in the traffic study, it should function at a reasonable level. He noted this would need to be monitored. He stated the monitoring would include if there were a likely tie-in where a signal could serve the development on 2 sides of the road, with the spacing and how it relates to other traffic signals.


Member Canup reminded the commission to keep in mind the number of responses that were opposed to the project.


Member Nagy stated she found the site to be beautiful. However, she felt the project was too large for the site. She was not in agreement of the amount natural features that would be impacted and she stated her concern of the impact to the entire area. She did not feel there was any demonstration that would indicate that the RA zoning would have more of an impact than the proposed project. She referred to Item #7 of Mr. Arroyo’s review letter. She asked what he was referencing in the statement "The Master Planned density of 1.65 du/acre could create between 112 (based on previous Arbor Woods Plan) and 125 dwelling units (theoretically maximum).


Mr. Arroyo stated that it was referencing a pre-application conference, for the same site. He stated it was a residential development called Arbor Woods, which would have provided single-family development. He recalled the site showing that amount of dwelling units. He recalled the site being able to fit more. He added that any formal materials such as a plat, preliminary site plan or tentative preliminary plat were not filed beyond the pre-application stage.


Member Nagy was concerned with money spent on studies for wildlife habitat, woodland map and wetland map and the planning commission making decision against their own studies. She asked Mr. Evancoe if he had any information to provide the commission.


Mr. Evancoe noted because the project began a while ago, he did not feel it was appropriate for him to provide new input.


Member Koneda referred to the Master Plan as a guide for land use, which the commission typically follows diligently. He noted the rezoning request that they have reviewed that was not in compliance with the Master Plan. He stated that often the Planning Commission makes recommendations that are not in agreement with the Master Plan, due to the presented evidence. He felt that the commission has again done a similar action with this case. He reiterated his reason for supporting the Master Plan Amendment being based on the idea that this was the only way that the City Council would be able to review the plan. He now questioned if they could have turned down the Master Plan and still voted on the amendment. Member Koneda explained that it is the petitioner’s right to bring rezoning request to the commission for the commission to review. He noted that the commission does not always make a Master Plan Amendment to send a recommendation to City Council. He was concerned with the direction that the Planning Commission was going.


Mr. Fisher stated that based upon the Michigan Law, the Planning Commission should recommend zoning in accordance with the plan as often as possible. He explained that varying from the Master Plan in significant ways, weakens the ability to enforce and uphold the ordinance as adopted and enforce and uphold the Master Plan. He stated the property is significant due to its size. He stated the extent of deviation from the Master Plan that the Planning Commission would be recommending. He stated these factors encourage strongly to zone and recommend zoning in accordance to the Master Plan.


Member Koneda stated that when reviewing a zoning request, the commission questions if it is in compliance with the Master Plan and also if it is the right decision for the site. He recalled a rezoning request to increase the density for a residential development, which was in the Master Plan. However, the request was denied because the commission did not feel the Master Plan was correct. He stated he was concerned with the direction and what was being done with the Master Plan.


Member Kocan stated that her purpose of supporting the Master Plan amendment was to allow the project to forward to City Council. She also felt that the decision should be made by City Council. She stated that she had questions regarding the site plan. She asked if there would be a cost to City due to the additional EMS service required to service a retirement area.


Chairperson Piccinini indicated the letter included in the Planning Commission packet.


Member Kocan understood that the letter stated EMS was willing to service, however, she questioned who would be paying the bill. She stated the City has a contract with the EMS.


Dan O’Brien stated that often the recipient of the service is billed. He stated that the development would be contributing at least $128 million dollars annually toward taxes. He pointed out that this is the only area of community service that the development would be utilizing. He noted that they would be working closely with the response teams in the area. He felt the EMS service would be more than paid for by the bill to the resident and those contributions to the tax revenue.


Member Kocan note that the City Council would need to address this issue. She asked if the widening of Thirteen Mile to five lanes was the City’s burden or the burden of Oakland County.


Mr. Arroyo indicated this was the burden of the City. He noted that the applicant would accomplish a portion of the widening and the balance would be the responsibility of another development or the responsibility of the City in the future.


Member Kocan asked why Region 1 and Region 2 façades were being considered when the site is RM-1. She felt the site should be entirely Region 1 according to the ordinance.


Mr. Fox stated the façade ordinance is written so that if there is a building within 500 feet of a major road, such as Thirteen Mile Road, then the building would be considered Region 1. All building outside of the 500 feet in the zoning district would be considered a Region 2.


Member Kocan questioned if there was proposal to change the ordinance.


Chairperson Piccinini answered, no. She stated this was the current ordinance.


Member Kocan stated that the ordinance indicates that if a building is located in TC, RM-1 and RM-2 Districts, and therefore, there is not need to go any further because it is located in a RM District.


Mr. Fox stated it located in a RA District.


Member Kocan stated that the proposal is to make the site RM.


Mr. Fox answered, correct. However, he explained that currently the property is located in a RA District and therefore was done under the RA District.


Member Kocan was satisfied. She stated that Wetland E was indicated as a regulated wetland. She stated over a third of this wetland would be impacted, thereby creating a high level of disturbance. She asked if there was anything that could be done to mitigate the disturbance on Wetland E. She recognized the developer's efforts to minimize the impact, however, she still felt there were issues with Wetland E.


Ms. Kay pointed out the portion along the eastern edge that would remain. She added this portion has the most standing water for that area of Wetland. She designated the buffer area located in between and the beginning of the wetland. She indicated the area proposed to be filled by the proposed project. She stated the applicant is mitigating and creating wetland on site at the detention basin and other location designated. She noted several scenarios in which the applicant moved the road and shifted things around to reduce. She stated there was not a lot that could be done and they could not reduce any additional building footprints. She asked Member Kocan to restate her second question.

Member Kocan noted that part of the plan was to divert water from already wet areas and adding water to areas that are not currently wet. She questioned if changes could be made for final site plan to mitigate the potential problems seen.


Ms. Kay explained her reference to the soil erosion was based on the significance to the area and the acreage. She noted the experience with construction after approval. She noted the best of designs could often turn a problem. She clarified that she was not accusing the applicant of this scenario, however, she was attempting to inform the commissioners of the flexibility involved with the project. She continued that they do a feasible alternative analysis scenario to ensure that the impacts to the proposed regulated woodlands are worthy of this. Ms. Kay felt strongly that if the applicant maintain them throughout the duration and post construction, then the design would reap the benefits.


Member Kocan asked how those in assisted living would be able to travel to the community center if they need assistance. She stated in her experience, she has found the assisted living developments to be only one-floor.


Dan O’Brien explained that the site is designed with community space de-centralized throughout the community. Therefore, he continued that one section of the assisted living would serve 17 residents, which would consist of its own dining room, activity room, day room and opportunity for outdoor space (by elevator). He noted most of their time would be spent in that area. He explained that in most cases, those in assisted living have a cognitive impairment. In these cases, he explained that it is less disorienting for the resident to have smaller groups.


Member Kocan asked if a waiver was needed for the eastern property line berm and if it was included in the motion.


Chairperson Piccinini stated that it was included in the motion.

Member Nagy referred to Ms. Kay’s comment that a Wetland area would be a competing use. She asked if she had experience with this situation and if it has ever been allowed in the City.


Ms. Kay answered, yes. She gave the scenario of Meadowbrook Corporate Park, which has been constructed with the wetland planting to follow in spring or fall. She also noted the Magna Development, a smaller mitigation area with a competing use. She explained that she was not opposed to it, however, she encouraged a thorough analysis to ensure the benefit is derived.




Yes: Churella, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Piccinini, Richards

No: Canup, Mutch, Nagy



Recommendation to City Council for Wetland Permit





Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards CARRIED (6-3): To send a positive recommendation for the Wetland Permit to the City Council conditioned upon City Council rezoning and contingent upon a development agreement being reached.




Member Landry clarified if a garden variety residential subdivision were placed on the site, there would not be any less of an impact on the woodlands and wetlands.


Chairperson Piccinini answered, correct.




Yes: Churella, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Piccinini, Richards

No: Canup, Mutch, Nagy



Woodland Permit




Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards: In the matter of Fox Run Village SP 00-66A to approve the Woodland Permit contingent upon all the consultant’s comments and recommendations, conditioned upon City Council rezoning and contingent upon a development agreement.



Member Koneda clarified the Ms. Lemke’s change in her support of the Woodland Permit was based on the revisions of the decrease of the building size on Building Neighborhood No. 3.


Ms. Lemke answered, correct. She added her recommendation is conditional upon the plan with the revision that was submitted to her office. She noted that she would also be looking to reduce the impacts of the parking lot to the east.


Member Mutch clarified that the potential for a cluster option, which would have allowed greater preservation, was not explored. He pointed out that the applicant’s work, although commendable, was merely compliance with the ordinance - to protect the high quality wetlands, headwaters of Morgan Creek, threatened species on the site and high quality woodlands. He added that the work done by the applicant is what is expected.




Moved by Churella, seconded by Richards, CARRIED (6-3): In the matter of Fox Run Village SP 00-66A to approve the Woodland Permit and Section Nine Facade Waiver contingent upon all the consultant’s comments and recommendations, conditioned upon City Council rezoning and contingent upon a development agreement.




Yes: Churella, Kocan, Koneda, Landry, Piccinini, Richards

No: Canup, Mutch, Nagy


Special Land Use


Mr. Fisher explained that a Special Land Use would be approved based upon the underlined zoning being RM-1. However, until City Council approves/denies the RM-1, the Special Land Use is not in order for the Planning Commission to grant. Therefore, he stated it would be recommended until the meeting immediately following the City Council Meeting if they approve.





Moved by Churella, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Fox Run Village SP 00-66A to postpone Special Land Use until the Planning Commission meeting immediately following the City Council action.




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

No: None




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send the M-5 Corridor, west side of M-5 between Twelve Mile Road and Fourteen Mile Road, to the Master Planning and Zoning Committee to review the business decision.




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

No: None




Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To continue the meeting to address the remaining items on the agenda.




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

No: None



An Ordinance to amend Section 2520 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to provide more extensive façade review standards and criteria.


Mr. Fox proposed the amendments to the façade ordinance. Part 1 Section 2520 #1 - General states "Agricultural buildings, silos, greenhouses and sheds having an area less than 1,000 square feet shall not be subject to this Section, provided they are adequately screened from view by landscaping or other natural features." Mr. Fox explained the previous issues with the screening of pumphouses (and items of this nature), which are exempt from the ordinance. Therefore, he requested the addition of this language into the ordinance. He proposed the language for Part 1 Section 2520 #7 - "If an addition of any size is proposed for the front façade of an existing structure located in Façade Region 1, the addition an retained portions of the existing front façade shall be brought into full compliance with this section. Any façade facing a major thoroughfare shall be considered a front façade for the purpose of this section." He stated the current ordinance allows additions in the existing materials. He explained they want to avoid, for example, pulling a smooth faced block further into the front yard with the existing material when an addition is proposed to the front of a building. He stated the language is proposed to comply with the ordinance for a front yard addition, using materials that are consistent with the city’s preference. He proposed the language for Part 1 Section 2520 #13 – Utility Structures – "Utility structures located within residential sites shall have an architectural style and extent of residential site shall have an architectural style and extent of ornamentation consistent with the surrounding residences." Mr. Fox explained the language was in reference to the pumphouses, which should have brick, wood trim and peaked roofs to create the consistency with the surrounding residential projects.


Mr. Fox proposed an amendment to Region 1 under Façade Regions – "Buildings located in the TC, TC-1, RC, RA, R, RM-1, RM-2 districts and all buildings within a project site within any one building located within 500 feet of the right-of-way of a freeway or major thoroughfare, as defined in the City’s Master Plan for Land Use." He gave the example of the Erickson project, which this language would place all of the buildings on the site within Region 1. He clarified further that if one building was located in Region 1 then all of the buildings must be in Region 1, which would avoid multiple compliance on the same site. He noted the changes and additions in the percentages. Integrally colored fluted & split faced C.M.U. the percentage changes from 0% to 15% with a footnote stating that "Integrally colored split-faced block shall be allowed in Region 1 when used to simulate a stone based projecting not less than 2" from brick above." He stated that several of the Section Nine Facade Waivers were for split-faced block used in this manner. He added that this amendment would alleviate a lot of the burden. He stated that footnote 11 would be revised – "The percentage of wood siding and wood trim may be increased to 50% in zoning districts RA through R4, RM-1 and RM-2 when the used wood siding is consistent with residential style architecture." A revision to note 12 under wood siding would remove "1/8" gauge wood grain texture solid vinyl siding and 3/8" gauge". He explained a research determined the material would no longer be produced/available after August of 2001. He stated this change is consistent with the removal of the vinyl and aluminum siding from the percentages. He stated if the vinyl siding is proposed, it would require a Planning Commission waiver recommendation. He stated that currently the vinyl siding is only permitted by ordinance in Region 3, which is I-1 and I-2 District. He noted this was not a change to the ordinance and instead it would be a removal from Region 3. Note 13 – "Asphalt shingles used on residential style architecture shall not be subject to this ordinance." He stated this change is due to the large number of waiver recommendations made for peaked roofs on commercial buildings with residential style architecture. He explained this change would allow a full peaked roof to be exempt from the ordinance and the shingles would not apply to the roof.


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.




Chairperson Piccinini stated the Implementation Committee had the opportunity to review Mr. Fox’ summary of the trends for the previous year. She noted the committee significantly addressed a majority issues found to be repetitive.


Mr. Fox stated 205 reviews were done in the year 2000. He stated thirty (30) Section Nine Facade Waivers were granted with twelve (12) for shingles and six (6) or seven (7) for the split-faced block.


Chairperson Piccinini mentioned the issues of Region 1 and Region 2 differences.


Mr. Fox explained further that one building that may need to comply with Region 1 and the remaining project could comply with Region 2. As a result, there may exist a difference in quality in the buildings.


Chairperson Piccinini added that often the applicants were not willing to comply with the Region 1, resulting in a different product. She stated with this amendment, any building located within 500’ would all be Region 1.


Member Landry clarified if note 14 would allow integrally colored split-faced block in Region 1 when used to simulate a stone based…only up to 15%.


Mr. Fox answered, correct. He noted the research found the average to be between 7%-12% for this base.


Member Landry asked if vinyl and aluminum siding is not allowed in the ordinance.


Mr. Fox clarified if he was referring to the current ordinance.


Member Landry answered, no. He stated he was referring to the change.

Mr. Fox answered, correct. He continued it would be exempt from the ordinance with no language in the ordinance allowing it.

Member Landry referred to note 11 – "The percentage of wood siding and wood trim may be increased to 50% in zoning districts RA through R4, RM-1 and RM-2, when the used of wood siding is consistent with residential style architecture." He felt it appear to apply because note 11 indicates that the percent of wood siding and wood trim may be increased to 50%. He asked if the trim could constitute 50% in Region 1.


Mr. Fox answered, correct. He explained that note 11 applies to both molded cornices and wood siding.


Member Landry asked why note 11 would apply to molded cornices.


Mr. Fox noted that the previous situations of 30% on some buildings. He stated when a portico is placed on a building, the latticework of wood with wood columns would be considered trim. He added this would become exempt from waiver issues.


Member Landry stated that he has not seen a façade waiver turned down since he has sat on the Planning Commission. He was not certain if he supported the quantitative ordinance verses a qualitative ordinance. However, he noted that he probably would support the amendment due to the necessity of the changes needed.


Member Nagy stated that she would like to have copies of the architectural review ordinances. She expressed her preference to have a material other than dryvit.


Member Churella commented that dryvit has improved immensely from what it used to be. He indicated that a more impervious material exists, that does not wear out, but it is made of concrete with plastic.


Member Nagy stated aside from its major improvement, it is banned in some states and the insurance companies do not like to insure it. She asked that it be looked into.


Mr. Fox stated he would look into her request.


Mr. Arroyo added that Mr. Fox rejects a number of plans in the concept stage, prior to the plans coming before the Planning Commission requesting waivers. He noted that although the commission does not witness those revisions, there are a lot of rejections in the earlier part of the review process.


Mr. Fox stated several of the issues are discussed and worked out in the pre-application stage. He stated the applicant is made aware ahead of time that they would require a Section Nine Facade Waiver and they adjust their plans.


Member Nagy asked what Mr. Evancoe had at his previous City.


Mr. Evancoe stated they did not have these ordinances. He stated there was an attempt to form an Architectural Review Board and the architects opposed it. They did not want to be judging each other’s work. He stated a lot of communities have this board and it seemed to work well.


Member Nagy asked if he had experience with a façade ordinance.


Mr. Evancoe answered, no. He stated that he did not have experience with architectural façade.


Member Kocan asked the City Attorney to legally define the word "shall". She felt there is an option in the ordinance to not have to meet this requirement. She questioned why the word "shall" is used if it is not enforced. She asked if the word "should" would be more appropriate.


Gerald Fisher stated the word "should" is difficult to enforce because "should" is a recommendation. He stated the word "shall" is the rule and the exceptions are the exceptions and this is a typical format.


Member Koneda noted the numerous variances to use 1/16" gauge 3" vinyl siding and the determination that it was equivalent to the wood grain. He explained that the determination that it was equivalent to the wood grain was because the 1/8" would no longer be available. He felt that although they could require wood siding, the developers do not have to repaint it every 5 years. He stated a vinyl siding is a 30-year material, looks nice and is durable. He questioned why the vinyl siding was not being permitted in the ordinances. He was concerned that the next variance request for this would leave the commission debating again. He did not find the reasoning if it is equivalent to the wood siding.


Mr. Fox stated equivalency issue arose with a project with a vinyl siding issue. He stated this was part of a waiver recommendation granted, which had been done on some other projects of similar size and scope. He explained that a waiver is generally recommended for the vinyl based on the surroundings of the building location. Surrounding buildings with the same vinyl siding has brought the issue to the forefront. Although the building was within the 500’ of the roadway, it was hidden behind another complex and could not be seen. Therefore, a Section Nine Facade Waiver was granted based on Council’s decision of whether or not to use the vinyl siding based on its location. He stated this raised the question if vinyl siding should be used or not.


Member Koneda clarified if the vinyl siding was okay, but upon the adoption of the ordinance, it would not be permitted.


Mr. Fox explained that the ordinance does not currently allow it with the exception of it meeting the 1/8" gauge requirement. He stated no applicant has attempted to meet this because the cost would be more expensive than wood. Therefore, he explained that the elimination of the notes would not change the standing in relation to the ordinance. Currently, a waiver would be required and a waiver would also be required under the new ordinance. He stated the difference would be if they could have the 1/8" gauge siding, then it would be called wood and be acceptable.


Member Koneda clarified that 1/16" gauge 3" vinyl siding is not equivalent to wood.


Chairperson Piccinini explained that the committee felt there was latitude in the façade waiver allowance and recommendation and it would be better to eliminate the vinyl siding in the ordinance because it could become automatic. The committee felt it would be better to review on an individual case and the location.


Member Koneda felt the vinyl siding and long-term durability was a better product. He preferred the developments present vinyl siding instead of wood. He stated currently there are a number of poor-looking wood sided buildings that are not painted.


Chairperson Piccinini stated the waivers could be granted based on the location.


Member Koneda expressed his concern of continued waiver requests that would not meet the charts when it would be equivalent. He preferred that vinyl siding be included in the ordinance as an equivalent option to the wood siding.


Chairperson Piccinini stated 50% of vinyl siding in Region 3 is a significant number.


Mr. Fox stated that he had not seen vinyl siding in Region 3 in the last year. He noted that it mainly is proposed for Region 1 or Region 2.


Chairperson Piccinini stated that they do not want the vinyl siding in Region 1 and Region 2.


Member Nagy asked, why.


Mr. Fox stated it currently exists at 0%. Therefore, it would not make a difference in relation to the percentages. He explained the difference would be the notation that gives it the equivalency of wood.


Member Koneda noted that he would be in support of a waiver for future projects that propose the vinyl siding.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Zoning Text Amendment 99-18.148 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council




Member Kocan asked why vinyl siding was being removed. She stated that she preferred vinyl siding to the wood siding.


Member Mutch restated that the vinyl siding is not used in Region 3.


Chairperson Piccinini stated Region 1 includes residential and Town Center, which vinyl siding may not be preferable.


Member Mutch stated the two issues. 1) whether or not to use the vinyl siding in Region 1 and Region 2. 2) Under the current ordinance, it only applies to Region 3 and no one uses it in Region 3.


Member Nagy agreed with these points.


Mr. Fox felt waivers would exist for this in either situation. He did not feel the change would effect the waiver recommendation issue. He stated the issues would still remain debatable, because it would remain 0% unallowable in either Region being proposed.


Member Kocan asked why precast other would remain with percentages of 0%.


Chairperson Piccinini stated it would be to differentiate.


Mr. Fox stated they would not be able to use precast unless it is exposed aggregate. Therefore, the ordinance is defining the exposed aggregate percentages allowed and 0% allowed of other precast.


Member Kocan stated she would support the revision. She suggested a cover letter accommodate the recommendation to Council stating a summary of the issues for the recommendation being sent by the Planning Commission.


Chairperson Piccinini suggested sending Mr. Fox’ summary with the Planning Commission recommendation to City Council.




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

No: None





Member Landry stated included in commissioner’s packets is a letter opposing the proposed Coordinated Planning Act to be sent from the Planning Commission. He stated he also submitted a letter indicating why he felt this letter should be sent. If there was no objection to the letter, he proposed that the secretary sign the letter and send it.


Moved by Churella, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED (8-1): To send the letter from the Planning Commission in opposition to the Coordinated Planning Act.


Member Mutch wanted Member Landry to be aware that some of the concerns mentioned in his letter have been addressed in the redrafted version of the Coordinated Planning Act. He explained that the Planning Commission legislation was written in the 1920’s and the attempt was to align it with the year 2000. Therefore, he hoped that the Planning Commission would be acceptable of some of the changes because what may have worked then may not work now. Therefore, he was not in support of the letter.



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

No: Mutch


















Moved by Koneda, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 12:11 p.m.




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

No: None





Sarah Marchioni - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

June 1, 2001


Date Approved: June 12, 2001