View Agenda for this meeting 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2001 AT 7:30 P.M.

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

PRESENT: Members Canup, Churella, Kocan, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Richards

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Koneda (absence excused), Piccinini (absence excused)

ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Staff Planner Beth Brock, Planning Director David Evancoe, City Attorney Gerald Fisher, Façade Architect Engineer Christian Fox, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber.



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


Moved by Mutch, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as submitted


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

No: None






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

Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of August 1, 2001 and Special Planning Commission Meeting of August 29, 2001. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.

Member Kocan made a minor correction to the minutes. She requested the Special Planning Commission Minutes of August 29, 2001 be removed from the consent agenda and placed under Matter for Discussion.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of August 1, 2001 as amended and move the minutes of Special Planning Commission Meeting of August 29, 2001 to Matters for Discussion.


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

No: None



This retail shopping center project is located in Section 17,on the southeast corner of Grand

River and Wixom Roads. The 58.14 acre site is zoned B-3 (General Business) and I-1 (Light Industrial). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan (Phase I), Wetland and Woodland Permit approvals under a Consent Judgement.

Chairperson Churella requested that City Attorney Gerald Fisher speak to the matter due to the Court history with the proposed project.

Gerald Fisher, City Attorney, indicated the litigation was initiated in the Oakland County Circuit Court in the year 2000, following a denial of a rezoning. The property was an industrial categorization and the Master Plan was amended to permit commercial use on the property. It was a case of seeking money damages. Consequently, the matter was being handled by Legal Council, which was assigned by the City’s Insurance Provider. At some point, discussions were initiated between the property owner and the Administration in an effort to determine whether or not a compromise could be reached to avoid a win/lose situation. The Administration and the developer met over a period of time and set the goals of seeking a development in which a large area of the property (40%) could be maintained in open space and some of the critical wetlands and natural areas on the property would be preserved. The compromise was approved at City Council and entered with the Court last July. The Consent Judgement contemplates a regulation of the property in numerous ways. Both with respect to laying out an overall development plan, preservation of various resources on the property, it authorizes three (3) large retail uses on the land and allows three (3) outlot areas (which are not the subject matter of the meeting this evening). The three (3) outlot areas are located near the frontage of the property, toward Wixom Road, which will be the subject of their own independent Site Plan Review based upon the City Ordinance. The balance of the property, (before the Commission this evening), as regulated under the Consent Judgement is contemplated to be regulated by the Ordinances of the City as they would normally apply to the extent that the expressed provisions of the Consent Judgement (including the exhibits) make other provisions. In this situation, the provisions of the Consent Judgement supercede the provisions of the City Ordinance. He explained the further that the Ordinances of the City would apply. However, various items in the Judgement have been spelled out that are inconsistent or different than the Ordinance, to the degree that they are expressly spelled out in the Judgement. In essence the Judgement supercedes the provisions of the Ordinance. This is the only way the developer would agree to compromise the litigation and agree in a way that met the objectives of the Administration. He noted his letter, which outlines the regulatory aspects of the Judgement for the land as it relates to the Site Plan Review Process. He highlighted the provision of page 6 subparagraph c of paragraph 12 of the Judgement. The provision gives the property owner the election to proceed with the first large retail user on the property, so-called Phase I. If the developer elects, (which he/she has), then the specific provisions of paragraph 12 c on page 6 would apply. The review of Phase I, located on the southeast portion (proposed Target location), would apply the several subparagraphs of 12 c and have a regulatory effect on the Commission’s decision making process.

Tom High, Vice-President of The Landon Companies (owner of the property), presented The Novi Promenade. There have been four generations of the Site Development Plan since July 30th. He understood the Commission only recently received the elevations. He indicated the drawings were previously submitted prior to being pulled off of the last Planning Commission Agenda. He was uncertain if the submitted plans were disposed. He explained that with the short timeframe, he was unable to replace the color renderings. The Consent Judgement allowed the development of a three-hundred-seventy-five thousand square foot (375,000’) shopping center. The first phase involves the primary entrances located off of Grand River Avenue and Wixom Road, the Target parcel and the development of the mitigation areas. One consideration of the Consent Judgement involved having forty-percent (40%) green space, either as woodland preserve, wetland preserve, woodland/wetland preserves or landscaped areas. He indicated they have exceeded the 40% with 42.5% green space. Together his consultants, the City Consultants, and the Michigan D.E.Q. have worked together to ensure all the environmental issues with woodlands and wetlands were addressed. The Consent Judgement includes the addition of a lane along Wixom Road on the property and the installation of a traffic light at the main entrance. The Consent Judgement also includes a heavy landscaped buffer along Wixom Road and the south side of the property and the recreation of Wetland areas in the designated vicinity. He noted an issue, which arose with the adjacent property owner, regarding the screening between the rear of the Target Building and his building. He stated that he was not aware of the concern until yesterday afternoon. However, in attempt to address the issue, he presented a rendering depicting the anticipated view from the adjacent property. He pointed out the Target Building. Although the berm is six foot (6’) high, he indicated there is a fifty foot (50’) buffer between his property and the adjoining property owner. He explained if the properties were on the same elevation, then thirty-six foot (36’) of width and two- foot (2’) of width for the top would be needed to create the six-foot (6’) buffer. However, the adjacent property falls when traveling east. He stated this has made it impossible to provide a six- foot (6’) berm unless the slopes were to approach vertical. In compromise, he noted the six-foot (6’) wall, which continues up to the total of the six-hundred-feet (600’) as required under the Consent Judgement. In working with the City Consultants to achieve the capacity, he noted the significant increase from the two original submissions. He hoped that this effort would alleviate the expressed concern(s).

Mr. High presented a rendering depicting the entries. A combination of three-foot (3’) stacked stone, colorful landscaping, ornamental trees and brick signage were used to create a unique landscaped entry. He noted the brick theme with high-pitched roofs. He questioned if the Commission received the rendering of the entrance.

Chairperson Churella stated that it was not included in the packet. He indicated that the Commission received the layout of the site and the location of the buildings.

Mr. High clarified that the rendering was not furnished.

Chairperson Churella answered, no. He stated if the rendering was not furnished to the City, then it would not have been furnished to the Commission.

Mr. High apologized.

Chairperson Churella stated that the Commission did not receive any rendering depicting the type of building proposed.

Mr. High stated that he had a black and white elevation of the Target Store. However, he did not have a color rendering. He restated that he submitted the color renderings prior to being rescheduled to this meeting.

Mr. High presented a color elevation of the concept plan, which was approved as part of the Consent Judgement. However, he was not certain if it was the correct version. He designated Phase I and Phase II on the rendering. He added that they were only seeking approval of Phase I of the rendering.

Chairperson Churella informed the applicant that the Commission only needed to see the Target Building and not the elevations of the other buildings. He indicated that the applicant would have to return for approval on the other buildings.

Mr. High agreed. He presented the Commission with the black and white Target elevation, which he did not feel was reflective of the time and work involved.

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

Michael Stanford, 49251 Grand River Avenue, property owner of Varsity Lincoln Mercury located adjacent to the proposed property. He expressed his concern with the amount of business that the proposed project would bring to the area. He noted the ten-foot (10’) difference in height between the Varsity Lincoln Mercury property and the property in question. His property is 10-ft lower. There have been past issues with water drainage into the retention pond and water over the road on the corner of Wixom and Grand River Avenue. He believed that the new roadwork would address some of the problem. However, based on the amount of asphalt, he did not feel that his retention pond would be able to absorb more than it currently does. This could place the Varsity Lincoln Mercury inventory in jeopardy of water damage.

Karl Wizinsky and Marcia Boyioton, 26850 Wixom, indicated they reside directly south of the proposed project. His home shares a seven-hundred seventy foot (770’) border with the subject’s property. He referenced the submission a letter to the Commission indicating his concerns after reviewing the engineering and landscaping plans. The current and prospective zoning of the property is I-1. The berming requirement for I-1 zoned property adjacent to residential is ten- foot (10’). The berm substantially but not wholly meets the six-foot (6’) requirement. He questioned if the property remaining as I-1 would be an issue with the screening. The City Ordinance indicates the zoning district and use, which he interpreted to mean that the berming should meet the requirements of I-1. He showed the Commission a scale of the Target Store compared to his property. He noted the location of his home, shed, garages and barn. He found it overwhelming that he could fit the amenities of his 12-acre property within the Target Store. The point his home views the berm, he noted the berm does not meet the six-foot (6’) requirement. Depending upon where the berm is required to start, the floor level of the target Store is nine hundred eighty-five feet (985’) and the berm is nine hundred eighty-five point seven feet (985.7’). Therefore, the berm is one (1) foot short directly at the point that is most important in relation to his property. He stated the Ordinance requires a brick wall on both sides. However, the site plan indicates a precast concrete wall. He did not feel a two hundred ninety-foot (290’) precast wall was attractive. He indicated that he was told that the matter would be reviewed. He indicated his shared concern with Varsity Lincoln Mercury regarding the retention pond. The storm water management was his main concern. He noted the tremendous amount of fill and raising of the property adjacent to his property. He estimated the retention pond size to be approximately three hundred fifty-foot (350’) by one hundred foot (100’). It is located an estimated fifty (50) feet from his property line. He noted the dry natural detention pond. He understood that the water from the pond would run into the storm sewer with the installation of an underground drainpipe. However, he stated the water would be absorbed from the pond into the ground. The bottom of the pond is approximately four to five feet (4-5’) above the water level in his pond. He noted the area has clay and gravel. Island Lake across the street was originally a gravel pit. He indicated that if a hole was dug after three weeks of rain or in the spring, the layers of clay and gravel could be found and the water pouring through the gravel. Therefore, if the bottom of his pond is below the pond, there will be absorption and the water will flow south toward his property. The City has taken responsibility for a drainage ditch, which he has approached the City for 12-years in attempt to have it maintained and cleaned. He noted the communications with the contractors regarding the horses on his property. Three (3) of the five (5) border the northern border. The construction of the berm and the amount of fill that would be brought in to bring up the level would use large equipment. He hoped for the cooperation in communication during the construction to allow him to move his horses to another pasture. He questioned how many trucks trips were anticipate per day. He noted that the truck entrance is the closest area to his property. He indicated the six foot berm is one foot below the first floor of his home. The City has been working on revisions to the landscaping ordinance for some time. The third draft was under review in April. If the draft provisions were in place this evening, then the berm would have to be six foot taller than it is proposed. According to the revisions, the berm would start at the first floor level of the adjacent residence. He believed the proposed berm measured from the level of the Target Store.

Marcia Boyioton, 26850 Wixom, indicated that it might be helpful for the commission to visit the property. She felt it would enable them to understand the elevation issues. She stated that assumptions regarding ground floor properties do not apply to her property.

Mr. Wyzinski continued noting the natural screening and large trees at the front. However, the trees stop at his house and pick up further back. He stated if the Spruce trees were to the back, there would not be an issue. He noted his interest on how the matters would be addressed.

Chairperson Churella asked Mr. Wyzinski to stay for Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber’s presentation. He indicated that she might have information to answer his questions and concerns.

Ed Andrews, 6756 Dunn Road, indicated his property is located to the east of the proposed area. He shared concerns with the water run off.

Laura Williams, 45011 Lightsway, asked if bio-diversity studies were conducted on the area. She noted her shared concern(s) with the drainage mentioned by Mr. Wyzinski. She questioned where the motor oil and salt from melting the ice would drain. She indicated the numerous wells in the area and was concerned if it would go into the ground effecting their water. She questioned what types of ornamental trees would be planted.

Chairperson Churella indicated that the consultants would address her questions.

Chairperson Churella asked if there were any further audience participants to speak to the matter. Seeing no one he closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.


Member Richards announced that he received one (1) correspondence from Karl Wizinsky and Marcia Boyioton, 26850 Wixom. The letter addresses the same issues they presented to the Commission during audience participation.

Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant noted the property line and the surrounding developments; Varsity Lincoln Mercury, Cadillac Asphalt, single-family homes, Don’s of Traverse City Restaurant. An aerial photograph displayed the relationship of the property lines in the area. Grand River Avenue is currently under construction to widen the road. The existing Master Plan for Land Use indicates the surrounding property is zoned for Light Industrial (I-1). Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan Phase I subject to the items of the review letter dated October 11, 2001 being addressed at Final. The lighting plan and lighting information has been revised, but further revisions are necessary. He stated the applicant appears to be making progress toward bringing their lighting plan in compliance. He noted the applicant verbally indicated to him that they would make the necessary adjustments to meet the City’s lighting standards. He noted the sensitivity to the adjacent residential property. A review of the light fixtures, particularly the wall pack lights, which need to be shielded to avoid creating a glare that could negatively impact the adjacent residents. The building height exceeds that included within the Consent Judgement. A revised Consent Judgement should be submitted by the applicant for City Council and City Attorney review or the Final Site Plans should be modified to conform with the Consent Judgement. The applicant has stated in their cover letter that they are working with the City Staff to address this issue. He reminded the Commission to keep in mind the provisions of the proposed Consent Judgement, which vary from the Ordinance standards. For example, Off-Street Parking Requirements. Planned Commercial Centers are required by Ordinance 5.2 per thousand (1000) square feet gross leasable area. The Consent Agreement permits 4.2 is per thousand (1000) square feet or 1,725 spaces for Building A, B, C. The applicant has indicated the type of uses they would attract would not require as much parking and have proposed 1,780. Mr. Arroyo indicated that this would impact the amount of impervious surface on the site. Clarification on the note on the setback from the south property line being fifty feet (50’). He understood that this matter would be resolved. The remaining comments of the review letter address the lighting issue, which he noted the applicant is currently working on.

In regard to traffic, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval subject to the granting of the required Waivers and the issues in the review letter dated October 11, 2001 being addressed at Final. He stated the applicant has indicated a plan revision would address the Design and Construction Waivers. It appears that the site’s Grand River access drive will require Planning Commission Waivers of the City’s minimum driveway spacing standards, for one or two near-sided driveway spacings and one far-side spacing. One of the access point to Varsity Lincoln Mercury aligns with Twelve Mile Road, a signalized intersection. Traditionally, it was envisioned as an entryway into this project, when it was proposed as an industrial development. With reconstruction of the Grand River Avenue (widening) and the fact of the intersection being skewed, the Road Commission has proposed to change the alignment of Twelve Mile Road as it intersects with Grand River Avenue. He showed the Commission plans, which the Road Commission used at the time of concept evaluations. The Road Commission would be attempting to "T" the intersection to create a ninety-degree angle. He noted the likely area for the relocation of the signal. He stated that to his understanding the applicant planned to construct a driveway that would align with the Twelve Mile Road access and be signalized. The access would serve their project and Twelve Mile Road. However, this information is not included on the current Site Plan and to his understanding, the applicant is working toward addressing this issue. He added that the information would be reflected on the Final Site Plan and would require a City Permit and a permit from the Road Commission for Oakland County. Mr. Arroyo commented on the City’s same-side and opposite-side driveway spacing requirements. There are existing driveways located on the north side (within the City of Wixom), industrial drive and the access into Don’s of Traverse City Restaurant. He noted the attempt to estimate the deficiencies based upon the realigned drive. The new drive’s opposite-side separation from the existing restaurant drive to the east will be (per the concept RCOC drawing) about 255 ft, significantly less than the 400 ft required by the City’s Design and Construction Standards. The new drive’s same-side separation from the existing commercial drive to the east will likely fall below the City’s 275 ft minimum and require a Planning Commission Waiver of the City’s Design and Construction Standards. He noted that they are unable to estimate precisely the size of the required waiver at this time, since it will depend on both the width and exact position of the driveway proposed. He indicated that this could be calculated with a scaled plan showing the new alignment. However, he added that it appears to be less than the requirement. If the Varsity Lincoln Mercury driveway remains and a drive is constructed approximately 210 feet over, then a driveway spacing waiver would be required. He indicated that these would need to be addressed as part of the Preliminary Site Plan. Mr. Arroyo noted the trip generation forecast has been included in the packet for the Commission’s review. The applicant proposes signalization of the southerly of the two boulevards of the two intersections on Wixom Road. It would have the potential for aligning in the future with the conceptual analysis for a High School on the West Side. He noted the press coverage regarding the possibilities of Catholic Central locating here. He indicated that it could not be determined if the drive would align until the High School Site Plan is complete. However, he stated the potential exists. The possibility would continue to be reviewed when/if site plans are submitted in the future. There are five (5) access points; one (1) on Grand River Avenue and four (4) on Wixom Road. All Wixom Road access points meet the driveway spacing requirements for both same-side and opposite-side and no waiver is required. He indicated the possibility of the need for easements across the property for access. For example, to Grand River Avenue if the property is not owned and controlled. A letter has been received from the entity that controls the designated property along Grand River, which indicates that they are willing to grant the necessary easements for the realigned drive to locate with the new Twelve Mile Road/Grand River intersection. These easements would have to be finalized as part of the Final Site Plan and also reviewed by the City Attorney to ensure they meet appropriate City Requirements. Mr. Arroyo indicated that according to the Road Commission, Boulevard access to Grand River Avenue would not be permitted. Therefore, to avoid left-turn conflicts, it would need to be an undivided drive, since it would align with another undivided drive on the other side. The same issue has been raised for the signalized boulevard drive on Wixom Road. In the event of the locating of another drive on the other side of Wixom Road that aligns with it, the boulevard would need to be modified. The boulevard modification would either eliminate the front portion to allow left-turns to allow proper alignment or narrow it down. He notified the applicant that if at some point in the future, another drive was placed on the West Side of Wixom Road then the applicant would agree to modify the Boulevard making the appropriate traffic safety improvement(s) to allow it to function and eliminate left-turn conflicts. If a drive is never placed on the West Side, then the boulevard entrance would be acceptable as proposed and could continue to function according. (Assuming the minor modifications mentioned in the review letter are addressed on the Final Site Plan.) He felt the sidewalk issues could be addressed at Final. He noted that several of the modifications relating to internal circulation issues were made. However, a couple additional minor changes would need to be addressed at Final.

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended approval of the conceptual landscape plan for Phase I subject to the items of her review letter dated October 11, 2001 being addressed at Final. Labeled contour elevations for berms are required on the Grading Plans. Enlarged areas for the berm proposal along Wixom Road and the south property line would need to be submitted to ensure they are sufficient. She noted that the landscape review is for Phase I only and the Woodland review and Woodland Permit are for entire site. As condition of her letter and as a part of the plan requires all landscape plantings to be planted as part of Phase I, including the outlots. The plans were changed to reflect this condition. The Consent Judgement changed the zoning from an Industrial Zoning to a B-2 Zoning, which reduced the height of the berm along the south property line. The height of the berm is specified in the Consent Judgement. The berm is 1.25 feet lower than Mr. Wyzinski’s first floor elevation. Typically, this section of the Ordinance has been interpreted to be measured at the first floor elevation. As part of the exhibit, there is a fifty (50) foot buffer to have a berm to six foot (6’) in height and the thirty-eight feet (38’) is needed. She noted that the berm could be brought up to eight feet (8’), however, there are utilities in that area (The Consent Judgement has specified six foot (6’) high berm). She addressed Mr. Wyzinski question regarding changes to the Landscape Ordinance. She indicated the matter has been under review for a few months and would go before the Ordinance Review Committee October 18, 2001. There are ten (10) different species and cultivars of canopy trees on the site. She noted her awareness of Ash decline. The City restricts the Green Ash and twenty-seven (27) White Ash have been proposed. She indicated the landscape plan was available if any one in the audience would like to review it more closely. Regarding the berm and wall on Exhibit A approved by the Consent Judgement, the wall is required by ordinance to be face brick, which has been noted in her letter. She indicated her request made to the applicant for twelve-foot (12’) Evergreens on the berm along the south property line adjacent to the loading areas for the Target Store, which they have provided.

In regard to Woodlands Permit, Ms. Lemke did not recommend approval of the Woodland Permit in her letter dated October 12, 2001. The Woodland Permit is for the entire site, not just Phase One. There are Medium and Light Woodlands on the site forming an area of approximately 20.24-acres of Regulated Woodlands. A small area along Wixom Road (noted in dark green) outlines of the Woodland’s boundary and a larger system located in the southeast corner are both wooded/wetland areas, which travel across the site. The more upland areas are located closer to the eastern property line. The larger Woodland System connects off site following a wooded/wetland system. The smaller area along Wixom Road has some connections across Wixom Road on the Western side of the property. The area is diverse in plant material and part of a Type B Wildlife Habitat, which continues to the east and follows across the site to the west. In the past, White Huron have been located on the edge of the property and easterly of the property. She noted the open area, which would partly be used for a wetland mitigation area. Also, she noted an area outside of the woodland area, which has been reviewed for wetland mitigation. The areas to be removed have been designated in pink and the areas to be saved have been designated in green. Of the 20.24-acres of Regulated Woodlands, approximately 8.09-acres are being preserved and 12.15-acres removed. The quality on the site is high due to the duality of the wooded/wetland system and the Wildlife Habitat. Ms. Lemke indicated that based on her count, they were short on the seven hundred (700) trees (of the total trees listed in the tree survey), which were to be saved according to the Consent Judgement. Therefore, she was not able to recommend approval of the Woodland Permit. She noted that in conversation, they have indicated that they would be able to save the trees. However, this would have to be reviewed further at Final and she could not recommend approval at this point. Ms. Lemke noted a number of conditions included in her review letter (indicated by bullets) that she would be looking for at Final. The following conditions would apply: 1) Payment of a Replacement and Fence Maintenance Financial Guarantee and payment of Woodlands Inspection Fee with the amount to be determined at the time of Final Woodlands Review. 2) No construction including clearing or grubbing can begin until our office has approved the protective fencing and an environmental pre-construction meeting is held. 3) Submittal and review of the items that are listed in the review letter dated October 12, 2001.

Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan in the review letter dated October 12, 2001. Public sanitary sewer will be extended into the site to serve all phases from Grand River Avenue. Public water mains and fire hydrants will be constructed throughout the site with connections to existing mains both Grand River Avenue and Wixom. Storm damage is proposed to be collected in enclosed storm sewers and directed to a proposed detention basin located at the south end of the site, east of the Target Store. The basin is designed to detain a 100-year storm event with discharge restricted to development "agricultural" conditions. Discharge of storm water is proposed to be directed to the existing storm sewer along the west of Wixom Road. The storm sewer ultimately outlets to the existing City Regional Detention Basin located at the new Novi Elementary/Middle school facility. The plan proposes the construction of a separate storm sewer system to direct roof runoff from Retail A and B to a perforated storm sewer discharging into the proposed mitigation area. The system is designed to provide a source of clean water to establish and maintain this mitigated wetland which in turn conveys to the south through wetland C. The system is designed to match current storm water flows from the undeveloped land into wetland C and to the swale flowing south. She explained this would keep the area recharged and functioning as a wetland mitigation area. The roof drainage is clean water and is therefore being directed back. The amount of water to be directed back is proposed to be the same as the existing "agricultural" flows. She addressed the concerns raised by the residents. She responded to the comment regarding the difference in the grade elevation between Varsity Lincoln Mercury and the proposed parcel. She indicated that currently some of the drainage from the proposed parcel flows to the north. However, with the ultimate build-out of the development, the drainage would be diverted to the proposed detention basin. Therefore, it should improve the conditions and the current problems with excess water. She responded to Mr. Wyzinski’s comment regarding the elevation of the detention basin. She stated the basin is a dry detention basin, which is sized to detain 100-year flows. Typically, the de-watering time for a dry basin that would hold a 100-year flow would be approximately ten (10) hours. Therefore, the water would not be in the basin for an extended period time or days. She added that a 10-year might have de-watered in four to five (4-5) hours. She addressed the concern regarding the amount of water anticipated to drain to the existing ditch, which is not shown on the site plan. She indicated that with what the applicant has proposed, there would be a slightly less amount of water flowing to the ditch. It has been estimated to be 2-3 C.S.F. less than existing "agricultural". Therefore, there would not be additional drainage to the ditch. She addressed the comment regarding oils/gases from the development. The applicant has proposed to two or three pre-treatment vaults prior to discharge of the storm water to the basin, which would aid in the removal of oils and gases from the development. She directed the resident’s concern regarding salt to the applicant. Ms. Weber indicated that she was not aware whether or not they planned to use salt on the development during winter conditions. She reiterated that there would not be any additional drainage in the direction of expressed concern. She noted the comments included in the review letter could be addressed at Final.

Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist located the wetlands on the map. The project falls under the non-minor use permit category. She stated the non-essential wetlands are all proposed to be filled. The total wetland impact for the wetlands 2.17-acres. The applicant is proposing to fill approximately a 2:1 ratio for mitigation, which are indicated on the map as bright orange. Ms. Kay made a correction to page 2 of the review letter dated October 12, 2001, omitting #1 under General Comments. The comment no longer applies because the watermain already exists. She indicated that most of the comments of the review letter are standard. She recommended approval in the review letter dated October 12, 2001. She addressed the resident’s comments regarding the bio-diversity study. She explained the answer would depend upon what was meant by bio-diversity and whether or not it was in reference to the Flora and Fauna. The wetland and woodland system is a complex together, obviously woodlands on either side and the entire complex forested (diverse in species) with the exception of the area along Wixom Road, which is lightly forested. The bio-diversity is low for the wetland along Wixom Road. She indicated to the resident that more information was available if they had further questions. She noted the information to include the verification of the wetland boundaries with the listing of species and wildlife observations (if any). Ms. Kay recommended approval in the review letter dated October 12, 2001.

Christian Fox, Façade Architect of JCK, recommended a Section Nine Facade Waiver for the Target Building only in the review letter dated October 12, 2001. The percentage of E.I.F.S. on the Target Building exceeds the maximum allowed by the Ordinance. Due to the design of the building and the fact that it is consistent with the other buildings in the area, (Varsity Lincoln Ford has a large amount of E.I.F.S.), he recommended approval.

Chairperson Churella announced he has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal: 1) All fire department connections shall be located on the building fronts within 100’ of a hydrant. The FDC on the Target building is 150’ from a hydrant. 2) All weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. 3) All water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. 4) The building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. This address is to be set at least 3 inches high on a contrasting background. This shall be noted on the plans.


Member Mutch asked the City Attorney how the Commission should address several of the issues raised in the consultant reports and/or the applicant’s statements that are not consistent with the Consent Judgement. He clarified the Consent Judgement does not allow the Commission the power/authority to waiver or modify the specific items "spelled out" in the Consent Judgement.

Gerald Fisher, City Attorney answered, correct.

Member Mutch gave the example of the applicant’s site plan, which indicates a wall for portions of the berm. However, the Consent Agreement states the buffer shall be a six-foot (6’) landscape berm. He questioned if the issue was open to interpretation or should the six-foot (6’) landscape berm contemplate a wall. Another issue was the height of the building. The planning consultant noted the proposed height was in excess of what was allowed in the Consent Judgement. The Consent Judgement indicated seven hundred (700) as the number of trees to be saved on the property. However, the Woodland Consultant noted a discrepancy between the applicant’s numbers and her numbers, which was a number less than seven hundred (700).

Mr. Fisher indicated his understanding of Ms. Lemke’s comments, which were that the matter of preserving trees was still under discussion. To his understanding, there had not been a final resolution at this point in time. The Judgement provides that approximately seven hundred (700) trees of the total of fourteen hundred forty-one (1441) regulated trees shall be preserved. The burden would seem to fall on the applicant to demonstrate that the deficiency could not be achieved. If it were to become a point that, it was marginally less than seven hundred (700), then the appropriate disposition would need to be discussed. He clarified with Ms. Lemke if there was currently an attempt to resolve the matter.

Ms. Lemke answered, correct. She stated her list of determinations has been e-mailed to the applicant. To her understanding, the applicant is redoing their plan.

Mr. Fisher anticipated that the applicant would give the appropriate notification if they held a different position then Ms. Lemke’s. The height of the building would have to be modified on the plan or the Consent Judgement would have to be modified, which is under the jurisdiction of the City Council. Therefore, the applicant would have to go before the City Council to modify the Consent Judgement.

Member Mutch clarified if the issue could be approved subject to a modification. He asked to what degree the items could be allowed to move forward or if they needed to follow the letter of the agreement.

Mr. Fisher felt that the items could be passed forward subject to the issues being resolved. The height would need to be resolved by the City Council and the number of trees as part of Final Site Plan Review. He indicated that his understanding of the "berm issue" at this point and time was to limited to appropriately answer Member Mutch’s question.

Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke for her current tree calculation.

Ms. Lemke stated it was six hundred and one (601).

Member Mutch commented on the significance of the deviation from seven hundred (700), which he felt was a fairly substantial percentage overall.

Ms. Lemke indicated that she could not give her approval because it was not a couple of trees and the matter was not resolved.

Member Mutch stated that Ms. Lemke abilities and experience enable her to recognize the difference between what can be saved on the plans and what could be saved in the field. He questioned if she felt that the seven hundred (700) trees could realistically survive or what would be necessary to have this occur.

Ms. Lemke stated that some trees indicated to be saved were right on the edge. The plan began its review as Preliminary and Final. She noted that there were some numbers between the discrepancy, which were removed because they were located on the edge where the grade differentiation was too great for them to survive. However, this percentage was not very large. She noted the areas of disagreement(s) are involved. She noted the numerous trees and number involved in the calculations. Ms. Lemke indicated that she was not certain if the applicant would be able to meet the seven hundred (700).

Member Mutch clarified if there was confusion with the information.

Ms. Lemke stated that she felt clear with her numbers. However, the calculation would depend upon how the data was being interpreted. She noted that there had not been the opportunity to go through the information with the applicant. The information was e-mailed to Ralph Nuniez of Design Team for his review. She reminded the Commission of the work involved when dealing with charts and calculations for the 1441 trees. Although she was not certain if they were able to reach 700 trees, she did not want to indicate that they "could not" because the matter was still be worked out.

Member Mutch asked if the proposed six-foot wall was considered a form of a landscaped berm. He asked if she felt the proposal was a sufficient replacement. He asked if it met the plain language of a landscaped berm as it is stated in the Consent Agreement.

Ms. Lemke noted the difficulty of the item. The Consent Judgement indicates a berm. However, the Ordinance allows for the Planning Commission to use a wall. In discussion with the applicant and the Staff, she noted it was City Staff’s opinion that a wall and berm would be approximately the same. If there are discrepancies in grade that make the berm not feasible, then the next best choice is to have a wall or a combination of a berm/wall.

Member Mutch questioned if the material of the wall would be as defined in the Ordinance, which is face brick.

Ms. Lemke noted that this was also her assumption. This was the reasoning for the comment in her review letter.

Member Mutch asked the City Attorney if the language states a "six-foot berm" and the applicant indicates they can not meet this requirement with the fifty feet (50’), should the applicant then be required to provide additional area to allow the provision of the six-foot berm. He questioned whom the burden fell upon. He questioned if the applicant should provide the six-foot berm or if the Commission should grant a waiver (although the language does not contemplate a waiver).

Mr. Fisher stated the language does not "spell out" how the berm is to be measured. Therefore, the Commission would default to the City Ordinance. However, he did not feel the Planning Commission had the authority to modify the language.

Member Mutch questioned Ms. Lemke’s determination of the meeting of the necessary standards. He noted his concern of the wall substitution and did not feel it was a sufficient substitution. However, he was not certain with the proper proceedings at this point, due to the numerous outstanding issues. He deferred to the Commission for further comments. He stated due to the outstanding issues, he was not prepared to support an approval of the proposed.

Member Landry indicated that it was important to understand that the matter is within the confines of a Consent Judgement, which is a different area for the Commission. The Consent Judgement is a product of negotiation between parties. It is a contract between the parties, which is approved by the Court. He felt the party and the City entered the agreement in the spirit of understanding and with an attempt to work out issues. Obviously, no one would desire to make matters more difficult for any other. He questioned if the proposed could be approved subject to the petitioner working with the City Council to resolve the issues relating to the building height, the number of trees and the berm height. He asked the Mr. Fisher if he was correct.

Mr. Fisher indicated with regard to the building height, Member Landry’s assumption was correct. However, the number of tree and the berm height might only go before the City Council if it could not be resolved within the confines of the Judgement and other applicable regulations.

Member Landry questioned if the Commission could proceed confidently that the language of the Consent Judgement. For example, the Consent Judgement states that seven hundred (700) trees have to be saved. He understood Ms. Lemke’s comment to indicate that the applicant may not be able to save 700 trees. He asked her if his interpretation was correct.

Ms. Lemke indicated it was definitely a concern of hers.

Member Landry questioned the outcome if they were not able to save the 700 trees. He questioned if they would be required to plant new trees to reach the 700.

Ms. Lemke deferred the question to Mr. Fisher.

Mr. Fisher stated that in the normal course, if a sufficient number of trees can not be planted…

Ms. Lemke interjected to indicate the number is referring to trees to be save.

Mr. Fisher continued. He questioned if there was a "back-up procedure" if it is more is taken than the number of what is required to be preserved.

Ms. Lemke explained that the Woodland Permit in the Preliminary stage is an estimated number of trees, which could go either way in the Final stage. It is anticipated to remain close to the estimated number.

Mr. Fisher interpreted the language of approximately 700. If there is no procedure for escrow or other alternative, then the applicant could not be required to preserve more than what can physically be preserved. Therefore, he did not feel a Consent Judgement amendment was needed to achieve the impossible.

Member Landry clarified that the Commission would need to leave the matter in the hands of the administration to ensure that the applicant is required to save as many trees as possible. He questioned the situation with the berm.

Mr. Fisher suggested that an effort should be made to resolve the matter at the Planning Commission meeting. He suggested that Mr. Evancoe address the issue of a wall/berm combination. However, if the matter could not be resolved, then it would have to go before the City Council.

Member Landry referred to the landowner to the south, who expressed the importance of the berm due to their site line to the Target Store. He noted the petitioner’s and the consultant’s comments regarding the "dropping off" of the land. He questioned if the Commission had the ability to interpret the wall as meeting the six-foot requirement.

Mr. Fisher answered, correct. He stated it would be okay, providing it was the Commission’s action in the normal course of the Site Plan Review Process.

Member Landry asked if the Commission could require the planting of very high trees in front of the brick wall.

Mr. Fisher stated in referring to the overall berm, in order to confirm with the requirements of the Ordinance it would be okay.

Member Landry clarified if they could required the applicant to plant twenty-foot (20’) trees to screen the view.

Mr. Fisher referred to the Consent Judgement, "A combination of plantings on the berm shall be determined as part of Site Plan Review and Approval, with the objective of providing the screening as contemplated in the Zoning Ordinance, as amended." Therefore, he indicated that it would okay to the degree that a certain height of a tree would be required and the consideration of a reasonable growth in the future.

Member Landry stated that with respect to the three discussed issues, he would be able to move forward providing other matters could be resolved. He noted his understanding that the tree issue would be worked out administratively, the building height would be subject to the amendment to the Consent Judgement (unless the petitioner was willing to lower the height) and a combination of a berm/wall, providing the petitioner would be willing to plant trees in front of the area of concern. Member Landry suggested twenty foot (20’) trees.

Member Landry asked Mr. Arroyo regarding the Grand River Avenue driveway entrance. He asked if the current driveway is located on Varsity Lincoln Mercury’s property or if there was an easement.

Mr. Arroyo believed that there was an easement. However, he was not certain.

Member Landry stated that in order to avoid the same-side driveway problem, the driveway to east would have to be moved to line up with the signal. He questioned if a solution could be worked out to allow customers of Varsity Lincoln Mercury to access at this location.

Mr. Arroyo indicated it the potential if the owner of the property fronting on Grand River Avenue was willing to grant an easement to allow Varsity Lincoln Mercury to enter in a similar manner as they currently do.

Member Landry clarified that the storm water would not be increased from the agriculture use.

Ms. Weber answered, correct.

Member Nagy indicated her concern regarding the truck access abutting Single-Family Residential. She noted the refrigeration areas in the Target Store. She questioned if the trucks would have inside refrigeration, which would run constantly generating noise. She questioned if the truck access was permitted by Ordinance when abutting Single-Family Residential zoning.

Mr. Arroyo indicated that the Ordinance states overhead doors are not permitted to face residential property. However, they can be ninety degrees. He stated the proposed project does not have doors facing the residential.

Member Nagy questioned how far the truck access was located in relation to Mr. Wyzinski’s house. She indicated that fifty (50) feet was not a sufficient distance to address the running truck noise. She noted the difficulty of the situation for both parties, however she questioned if the truck access could be relocated to the other side of the building. She did not feel its proposed location was appropriate. Member Nagy expressed her concern regarding the tree issue. She referred to Ms. Lemke’s letter indicating the trees to be removed from an off-site property. She questioned if permission was granted from the property owner for the removal of these trees.

Ms. Lemke was not certain, which is why she pointed the matter out in her review letter. She believed that it should be removed from the tree list.

Member Nagy felt there was an obvious problem with communication regarding the trees and tree list. She objected and indicated that it should not be included. She stated that she would not vote in support of the project with the truck access’ proposed distance to the residential property.

Member Kocan indicated the original attachments to the Consent Judgement were not included. Therefore, the commissioners did not have the opportunity to compare the information included in the exhibits from the Consent Judgement to the plans in review. There were not full size elevation blueprints provided, which would allow a determination to be made regarding the height. There was not a color façade to make a determination for a Façade Waiver. There is not a finalization of the Twelve Mile Road and Grand River Avenue intersection design to allow the commission to determine the appropriate location for an entrance on Grand River Avenue or determine if the Varsity Lincoln Mercury drive should be eliminated and its impact on other businesses. She questioned if the entrances could be located off of Wixom Road for two or three years. She did not feel there was enough information to make a determination about Grand River Avenue. Member Kocan did not agree with approving an item that could be moved immeasurably. She stressed her concern regarding the massive light pollution in a nearby residential area. She noted that there was not a plan indicating the location of the lighting on the side of the building. The Ordinance permits up to twenty-five (25) foot height on the back of the building. She preferred the lights not be higher than fifteen (15) feet on the driveway and below the berm height because the adjacent resident should not have to bear the burden of the proposed development, which she described as enormous. She stated that she would not approve any project without seeing the plan. Member Kocan did not feel comfortable with the idea of approving a Site Plan without the needed information on file. She noted that she had further comments and concerns regarding the berm. However, she deferred the discussion to the other commissioners. She indicated that she did not feel prepared to vote on the project.

Member Richards shared the Member Kocan’s concerns with the drive on Grand River Avenue. He added that there was no knowledge of the exact location of Twelve Mile Road. Therefore, it was difficult for the Commission to approve a plan with the hope of lining up the drives and the hope that a waiver would not be necessary. If the drives did not line up, it could create a synchronization problem with the center’s new signal and the Grand River/Wixom intersection. Hypothetically, when three or four cars are cued up, they would not be able to go through the light at the driveway. Also, eastbound vehicles could not go though the Wixom/Grand River light due to the stopped cars that would be there. Due to these concerns, he indicated that he did not feel comfortable voting on the proposed project. However, he suggested the possibility of making a commitment to address the matter at another time and only using the entrance off of Wixom Road. He stated that there appeared to be consent (the legal agreement) of the happenings regarding the berm. Therefore, he did not find the negotiations regarding the berm appropriate. It appeared to Member Richards that the items negotiated in the Consent Agreement "stood alone" and the Commission would review the other items that are typical in the review process. He questioned if there should be more negotiation prior to the project being heard by the Planning Commission. He felt an agreement on how to handle the berm issue and tree calculation issue should be established.

Member Mutch noted the discussion(s) regarding the alignment with northerly drive to Grand River and the potential of the Twelve Mile Road extension to the freeway being realigned. He recalled attending a Public Hearing for a project for the northern parcel, which has been accepted. He recalled the project being denied due to it being almost entirely wet. Therefore, an extension of a drive though the property would involve taking out wetlands. He asked Mr. Arroyo if he was correct.

Mr. Arroyo noted the small wetlands on the Wetlands Map. He recalled the issue, mentioned by Member Mutch, being raised when a preliminary plan was submitted for that property. Therefore, the potential exists for wetland fill. However, he deferred to Ms. Kay for further details and/or to address the extent of this occurring.

Member Mutch indicated that further detail from Ms. Kay was not necessary. He noted his intention was to create an awareness of the situation. The action of extending a drive out to the road would be an action with additional impact(s) that have not yet been discussed.

Member Mutch noted the language of the Consent Judgement creates a maximum ceiling for square footage for the retail developments. It appears the applicant is proposing the maximum square footage allowed with Retail C.

Mr. Fisher indicated the maximum square footage for Retail C is on hundred twenty-five thousand four-hundred (125,400).

Member Mutch noted that typically a site with a conflict between woodlands and wetlands would be asked to reduce the square footage of the development to a degree to meet the Ordinance. He asked the City Attorney the degree that this could be contemplated with the proposed site. He was aware that it might not apply to Phase I. He recognized that the developer would want to have the maximum allowed. He asked the City Attorney if the commission had the flexibility to ensure Ordinance requirements are met and reduce the amount of square footage that would be approved.

Mr. Fisher noted his response was preliminary because a further detail study of the matter would be necessary. However, as a preliminary thought, he felt the preservation aspects, particularly the wetlands, were based upon the information, which was known at the time of negotiation. He felt it was likewise to the case with the seven hundred (700) tree minimum. The degree that further negotiations would be necessary, which may be able to take place at the Planning Commission for Buildings A and B, is noted at the bottom of page 5 of the Consent Judgement. The text refers to the modification of the total square footage of buildings, whereby one building would be larger and another may be smaller. However, he stressed that his interpretation was unilateral, needing further study and that he needed to speak to the petitioner to find if it could be worked out. He felt that potentially there could be flexibility to do "things of this nature" based upon results that were not anticipated at the time the Consent Judgement was negotiated.

Member Mutch indicated the agreement was between the City of Novi and the Developer. He referenced subsection 6, which states "The developer shall obtain preliminary and final site plan approval for Phase I, subject, however to Paragraph 21 of this Judgement. The City shall complete the site plan review process on an expedited basis for Phase I". He asked if the Commission was considered part of this approval process and if any action at tonight’s meeting, not resulting in an approval, could be constituted as a violation of the Consent Judgement.

Mr. Fisher answered, no providing that the Commission is doing everything that could be done to work out the issues.

Member Mutch felt that more information was needed. He stated that the Site Plan was not at a degree that could not be approved. However, several issues need to be addressed, where the applicant would need to revise, resolve or provide to allow the Commission to make an affirmative action. He felt the issue(s) regarding the façade were relevant. The Façade Ordinance requires an architect statement (explaining the reason(s)) to accompany a request for a Section Nine Facade Waiver, which was not submitted. The architect statement helps the Commission judge the reasoning for proposed façade. He felt the proposed has the potential to be attractive, however, he could not make a determination from the information provided. He stressed the importance of having the entire architecture of the site to prevent the approval of one phase that could conflict with future phases. He felt the proposed was too large of a project with long term consequences. Upon completion of the Wixom Road interchange, the proposed area would become a gateway into the Community of Novi. Therefore, he felt that it should look nice.

Mr. Evancoe noted that he could give more detail on the situation regarding the berm and the wall along the south side of the property.

Chairperson Churella asked him to continue.

Mr. Evancoe indicated the issue of the separation between the loading area and Mr. Wyzinski’s property was raised at a meeting with the developer and their landscape architect, Mr. Nuniez. It was indicated at the meeting that due to existing grades on both the Target property and Mr. Wyzinski’s property, that it would be impossible to provide the berm in that particular area. It was also determined that the location of the dry detention pond on the East Side further made it difficult if not impossible to provide the berm. Presented with this information the City was faced with the decision of having a berm or no berm. It was the City’s suggestion that a wall be provided if the applicant’s indication were true that it was impossible to provide the berm at that location. He noted that Mr. Nuniez might be able to elaborate further if necessary. However, he wanted to make the Commission aware of the origination of the 275-foot wall. If the project moved forward, he asked Member Landry the proposed location for the twenty-foot (20’) trees he suggested. He asked further if the trees would be planted within the vicinity of the wall or the entire length of the bermed area.

Member Landry indicated that his comment was addressing the issue of the lowered berm directly in the site line of the homeowner to the south. Therefore, he anticipated sufficient trees to block the site line from the homeowner to the south.

Member Canup questioned why the Planning Department allowed a Site Plan with so many issues to come before the Commission. In the future, he asked that the Planning Department address outstanding matters prior to bringing a project before the Commission. He felt the blame fell on the Planning Department for not ensuring the matters were addressed.

Member Landry recalled his earlier comment indicating that he would be able to move forward. However, after listening to the commission, he felt that more information was needed. He suggested tabling the matter. He stated that in light of the Consent Judgement language, the matter should be moved as expeditiously as possible. He requested that the information regarding the façade, the lighting information and all plans submitted. He felt that tabling the matter would give the petitioner the opportunity to work with the City Planners regarding the berming issue, determination of whether to lower the building height or have the project addressed subject to the building height in excess of the Consent Judgement and be sent to City Council and to allow the landscape consultant and the petitioner to address the tree issue.


Moved by Landry, seconded by Mutch, MOTION WITHDRAWN: In the matter of The Novi Promenade (Phase I) SP01-53 to table to the November 7, 2001 Planning Commission meeting in order to address the berming issue, determine whether to lower the building height or have the project addressed subject to the building height in excess of the Consent Judgement and be sent to City Council and to allow the landscape consultant and the petitioner to address the tree issue.


Member Nagy further discussed the truck access issue. She asked Ms. Lemke if there was vegetation along the south side of the building. She questioned if it would be possible to relocate the truck well on the other side of the building.

Ms. Lemke clarified if she was referring to the green space area east of the building.

Member Nagy answered, correct. She described further the area east of the building next to the berm.

Ms. Lemke indicated that some of the trees are interior parking lot trees. The width area is required to be four feet (4’) and does not have to be as wide as proposed. She stated that the green space in that area is not required for any type of screening. Therefore, it could be switched to another location.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Arroyo or Ms. Weber to comment on the matter.

Mr. Arroyo clarified if she was suggesting relocating the truck well closer to Wixom Road or toward the north side.

Member Nagy stated it would be to the north side.

Mr. Arroyo indicated if the truck access was relocated to the north side, then the truck loading would be at the front of the building.

Member Nagy stated that she was not in support of a truck access fifty feet (50’) of a resident.

Mr. Arroyo agreed the distance was the fifty-foot (50’) buffer. However, he indicated there is also the drive and the loading area. He suggested that Mr. Nuniez scale it off.

Mr. Nuniez indicated the distance from the green space to the parking lot was fifty feet (50’). The distance between Mr. Wyzinski’s house and the back of the building calculates to three hundred feet (300’). When measured diagonally, the distance from Mr. Wyzinski’s house to the loading area calculates to three hundred feet (300’) and the parcel is approximately three hundred fifty (350’). Therefore, he indicated that the area is not only fifty feet (50’).

Member Nagy questioned if a noise analysis would address her concerns.

Mr. Arroyo clarified her concerned was the noise level from the trucks.

Member Nagy answered, correct.

Mr. Arroyo indicated that the noise analysis study could provide here with a forecast.

Member Nagy questioned if a noise analysis was submitted.

Mr. Arroyo answered, no.

Mr. Fisher suggested the possibility of resolving a number of issues remaining to lower the number of items to be addressed at the next meeting. Therefore, he indicated that subject to the Chairperson’s discretion, he suggested that the applicant have the opportunity to address the issues.

Chairperson Churella stated the matters could be addressed at the next meeting. He indicated that the applicant was aware of the commission’s expectations.

Mr. Fisher indicated the question would be "What issues still need to be addressed?"

Chairperson Churella asked the Staff to read the motion.

Mr. Fisher felt that some of the matters in the motion could be resolved at tonight’s meeting. For example, the exterior façade issues might already be resolved by the Consent Judgement. He questioned what issues would need to be resolved at the next meeting.

Chairperson Churella stated if the applicant returns to the Commission November 7, 2001 and indicated the matters have been resolved, then the Commission would vote on the Site Plan.

Mr. Fisher indicated his concern was if the motion called out any number of items, then would Staff review things that might not be necessary.

Chairperson Churella clarified if Mr. Fisher was suggesting to vote on the motion.

Mr. Fisher indicated that would be within the Chairperson’s discretion. However, he suggested that the Commission give the applicant the opportunity to address the matters and then determine whether or not the motion should move forward.

Chairperson Churella called the applicant forward to address the matters.

Mr. Nuniez spoke to the issue regarding the lighting. He stressed that he was requesting Preliminary Site Plan Approval to allow the preparation of the Final and allow the project to move forward. He stated that all the consultant’s comments would be answered satisfactory and negotiated out. He spoke to the history of the building height. The review of the permit that was submitted for the building itself required screening of the roof top air conditioning/heating units. The answer for the screening was to raise the entire height of the building by two feet. It was a parapet wall increase to keep the proportionality of the building, two feet was added around the building above the roofline. It has become apparent in discussion that this change would require a modification in the Consent Judgement, which he was not willing to do. Therefore, he stated he would reduce the height of the building and provide screening the individual units. He addressed the issue of the berm. He noted that it became apparent a berm giving six foot of height on his side of the property line could not be provided. He noted that the topography was not apparent on a flat piece of paper. He explained the area where the berm would have been six feet on his property, it is actually twelve feet or greater at some locations. However, he was willing to assure that at all points there would be a six-foot berm on his property. He stated that he would accomplish this with the construction of a retaining wall on his side of the property line. The Promenade side of the property would have a six foot high berm merging into a retaining wall and eventually reaching a height of eighteen feet (18’) on the residential side of the property line. This area would be planted and continue to add additional screening. He indicated that there are no refrigeration units in Target. He noted the twelve-foot high Evergreen trees planted directly adjacent to the truck dock on the Promenade side of the berm, which is in excess of ten or twelve feet when standing at the base of the berm from the residential side. The lighting issues are the wall mounted units, which are 40-watt security lights intended to light the doors only. He agreed to shield the lights as recommended earlier in the meeting. There is no avenue lighting. There are no light poles at the back entry drive. Target’s philosophy is to not light up the truck docks or entries. Instead they only want to light the doors incase of a break-in. He assured the Commission that all lighting issues and concerns raised by the Consultants would be addressed and the photometrics comply with the Ordinance.

Regarding the access to Grand River, Mr. Nuniez explained that it was not a situation that he had control over and it was stipulated by the Oakland County Road Commission. He felt confident that it could be worked out with the adjacent property owner. According to the direction of the Oakland County Road Commission, the Final Site Plan will show the Promenade property aligning up with the light at Twelve Mile Road. There would not be a synchronization issue between the existing location of the traffic light serving the Varsity Lincoln Mercury dealership and the new traffic light, because the light will be moved to the new location. He stated that it was not his desire to move the entrance, but the Oakland County Road Commission’s. He assured that the site would work feasibly with the relocation of the traffic light.

Member Nagy asked him to address the façade.

Chairperson Churella indicated that Mr. Fisher addressed the façade.

Mr. Nuniez indicated that the façade is exactly the same as the façade in the Consent Judgement. He stated the Commission could stipulate this in their approval if they wanted. Mr. Nuniez commented on the tree count issue. At the time of negotiation, he noted a tree survey was done. The tree survey showed an approximation of 1441 trees. He noted the Consent Judgement states "approximately" 700 trees are to be saved on the property. He stressed that the amount of land for the shopping center has been reduced and not increased. He stated that it is substantially the same as it was at the time of the Consent Judgement. He pointed out that the Consent Judgement states 1441 "regulated" trees. He stated that there are only 1333 "regulated" trees. He indicated that saving seven hundred plus (700+) trees would be forty-eight and one-half percent (48.5%). He explained how the number 1333 was derived. There were five (5) trees on the property that were not counted, ten (10) hazardous trees, which were non-regulated because they were hazardous and need to be removed, twenty-three (23) of the numbers were not used and a number of trees that were dead. He felt the number of trees that were considered dead was fairly consistent with Ms. Lemke’s calculation. He calculated sixteen hundred thirty-three (1633) trees, which was forty-seven point six percent (47.6%) of the trees saved. In the spirit of agreement, he calculated 1.1% lower than the required percent. He indicated that all the trees removed would be replaced according to the required formula. He agreed to work with Ms. Lemke and the other consultants to stay in the spirit of the agreement. He requested Preliminary Site Plan Approval with the agreement to work out the remaining detail at Final.

Chairperson Churella asked what would happen if the retention pond became wet.

Mr. Nuniez stated the detention pond is dry, which is sized to hold a 100-year storm event. It would take ten (10) hours to drain. In the event the water was sitting for ten hours and the conditions of the soils, the retention pond has a clay bottom, which creates a bowl. It will hold the water within the bowl until it can adequately drain through the drainage system to prevent it from draining through the bottom and coming up through the gravel on the neighboring property.

Chairperson Churella recalled a dry pond with a 100-year detention pond that has remained wet for 2-years.

Mr. Nuniez stated that it was not his pond.

Chairperson Churella questioned if anything could be done to alleviate a similar situation from occurring. He suggested lowering the drain plug.

Matt Diffin of Bartow & King Engineers stated the drain is lower. He indicated that it is a sedimentation basin. The sediments build up at the low end of the pond and if not maintained property, which will plug the outlet. If a dry pond is wet, when it should not be, then it has not been maintained properly.

Chairperson Churella clarified if there was a lower drain and a higher emergency drain.

Mr. Diffin answered, correct. He noted that the Consent Judgement requires the maintenance of the drainage system. Subsequent to the Consent Judgement and conditional to the earlier reviews, three (3) sedimentation basins have been installed. The intent of the sedimentation basin is to capture any sediment being drained into the retention area. In theory, if enough sediment drained in, then in 50-years or 100-years the depression would no longer be adequate. There are three (3) large concrete vaults. The water would first flow here, the turbulence would settle out the sediments; the sediment rises and flows into an area, which can be easily cleaned. However the bottom of a pond would be difficult to clean. Therefore, he felt that Chairperson Churella’s concern has been addressed.

Chairperson Churella was satisfied with the response.

Greg Strube of Target indicated the elevations have been provided to match the rest of the center. He apologized that the color elevation were not available. He indicated that there would be no refrigerated trucks on the site. The truck operation runs from 9am to noon with one to two trucks per day. Therefore, there is not a lot of truck traffic on the service drive. There is no public parking behind the store. The lighting in this area is kept lower for security against the building for those exiting. The rear service drive would not have freestanding lights. He noted that the requirement of screening the roof top units was learned after the Consent Judgement. Typically, Target screens with parapets. Artificial screening methods could be used, which would place additional fences in front of the units on the roof. Although he felt that this was a poor design, he agreed to provide the screening to comply with the requirements.

Member Nagy asked Ms. Lemke if she felt that there was an adequate amount of time for her to conduct her tree survey.

Ms. Lemke stated a lot of time was spent with the first actual survey. She noted that they looked at the status of each tree. However, the second survey had a short turn around time. There was not enough time to ask questions of the applicant or have dialog with the firms, as would typically be done.

Member Nagy indicated the Consent Judgement stated 1441 regulated trees. She wanted to ensure that Ms. Lemke had the adequate time to work with the applicant’s consultants. She noted her disappointment in the Planning Department, specifically with the missing information. As a Planning Commissioner, she stated the need for an adequate amount of time to prepare for the cases. She felt that a case should not be permitted to move forward if the Planning Department does not receive the materials by Friday at 4:00 p.m.

Chairperson Churella stated that several of the items included in Member Landry’s motion were addressed. Therefore, he questioned if he wanted to rescind the motion.

Member Landry stated that the Consultant’s have indicated a Section Nine Facade Waiver is needed. However, the petitioner has indicated that they meet the Consent Judgement provisions regarding the façade. Therefore, he questioned who was correct.

Chairperson Churella stated that Mr. Fisher indicated the Consent Judgement gave the Section Nine Facade Waiver.

Mr. Fisher suggested following the offer made and to require as part of the motion that the façade be in accordance with the Consent Judgement. The Consent Judgement specifically specifies that the detail of the elevation of the building on all four sides, the specification of the description, type of façade and façade materials used shall be shown on Exhibit E. If the Commission were to confirm that this is the way it would be, then the issue would be covered.

Member Landry stated that the Commission was not given Exhibit E.

Member Canup indicated that it did not matter because it is a court order.

Member Landry stated that he understood.

Chairperson Churella suggested the option for the Commission to vote on the motion.

Member Landry noted the applicant has agreed to lower the building height, provide a six foot berm, comply with the lighting standards and recommendations, work with Ms. Lemke to address the tree issue and the façade would meet the Consent Judgement. Member Landry withdrew his motion.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Landry, FAILS (3-4): In the matter of The Novi Promenade (Phase I) SP01-53 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval as shown subject to Exhibit E as a façade, subject to the other consultants concerns being met.


Ms. Brock asked if the Woodland Permit and Wetland Permit were to be included in the motion.

Member Canup answered, yes. He amended the motion to include the approval of the Woodland Permit and Wetland Permit.

Chairperson Churella called for the vote.

Member Mutch interjected and asked for a clarification on Exhibit E.

Chairperson Churella called for the vote again.

VOTE ON PM-01-10-285 FAILS

Yes: Canup, Churella, Landry

No: Kocan, Mutch, Nagy, Richards




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Richards, MOTION AMENDED: In the matter of The Novi Promenade (Phase I) SP01-53 to table to the November 7, 2001 Planning Commission meeting to allow the applicant time to work with the City Consultants to address all outstanding issues and to return to the Commission with additional information to allow a complete review.


Member Canup asked what would be accomplished at the next meeting that has not already been addressed.

Member Landry suggested amending the motion to place The Novi Promenade SP01-53 on the Consent Agenda of the November 7, 2001 meeting.

Member Mutch accepted the amendment.

Member Richards accepted the amendment.


Moved by Mutch, seconded by Richards, CARRIED (5-2): In the matter of The Novi Promenade (Phase I) SP01-53 to table to the November 7, 2001 Planning Commission meeting under the Consent Agenda to allow the applicant time to work with the City Consultants to address all outstanding issues and to return to the Commission with additional information to allow a complete review.


Yes: Kocan, Landry, Mutch, Nagy, Richards

No: Canup, Churella





Moved by Nagy, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Planning Commission meeting dates to be printed in the City Calendar.


Member Kocan indicated that the meetings are not every first and third Wednesday of each month. She understood that the Commission was working around the City Council and the ZBA. She noted a few second Tuesdays within the first six months, which may effect Member Nagy.

Member Canup stated the Commission voted to not change the meeting times.

Member Kocan agreed. However, when the calendar was "put out", meetings were not scheduled the first and third Wednesday in every instance.

Member Canup indicated that the meetings should have not been changed because the Commission voted to have no changes.

Mr. Evancoe indicated the variations with the meeting date take place only during a holiday.


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

No: None




Member Kocan recalled further discussion from the opening of the Commissioner’s Discussion to the point of the actual motion. She recalled each Planning Commissioner summarizing their main concern(s) with the EXO District in a three (3) to five (5) minute time period, which was not included in the minutes. She felt that it was an important to include these summaries.

Ms. Brock indicated this would be looked into further. In addition, she requested that each commissioner submit their comments to be incorporated into the minutes.

Chairperson Churella stated the approval of the minutes would occur after the amendments.

Member Kocan amended her comment on page 10, paragraph 4.







Moved by Nagy, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:20 p.m.


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

No: None



Donna Howe - Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

December 17, 2001

Date Approved: January 9, 2002