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

PRESENT: Members Canup, Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer.


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Staff Planner Beth Brock, Planning Director David Evancoe, Planner Amy Golke, Senior, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Planner Barbara McBeth, City Engineer Nancy McClain, Landscape Architect Lauren McGuire, City Attorney Tom Schultz, Engineering Consultant Victoria Weber



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

Member Nagy amended the agenda placing Development Review Format – Presentation by Planning Director David Evancoe under Matters for Discussion. She postponed Matters for Consideration Item #4 – Proposed Planning Commission ByLaw Amendments to the next Planning Commission meeting when there would be a full commission present.

Member Kocan added Fountain Walk Façade under Matters for Discussion.

Member Shroyer added By-Laws and Rules of Procedure to Matters for Discussion.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED: To approve the Agenda as amended.


Yes: Canup, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer

No: Churella


Chairperson Churella introduced Rick Helwig City Manager.

Rick Helwig, City Manager updated the Commission on the significance of the upcoming presentation by Mr. Evancoe. The Gateway District legislation will appear for discussion and second reading on the December 17, 2001 City Council Agenda, which will include a staff report under the leadership of Mr. Evancoe. The Staff Report would synthesize the comments put forth by councilmembers in their work session held in the fall of 2001 and what was considered the first reading of that legislation.

Secondly, Mr. Helwig stated a provision of a brief update on the Sandstone Litigation would be given. Judge Berry Howard has stepped down in the private practice and Judge McDonald would be handling the case in the Circuit Court. Judge McDonald approved the motion of Sandstone Associates to intervene in the case filed by Friend of Novi Parks against the City of Novi. The partnership is encouraged and needed in the attempt to continue to proceed to achieve the proposed settlement. There will be a hearing at nine o’clock on December 6, 2001, which City Attorney Gerald Fisher described as a trial with witnesses on the matters/issues included in the Friends of Novi Parks litigation against The City of Novi. It will also include the provision of judicial review on matters per the request of the City of Novi. The closing remarks of the Friends of Novi Parks litigation indicated there was no emergency. However, he strongly disagreed and noted City’s view of the matter as an extreme emergency facing the Community with the value of the Judgement standing at nearly three and half times the size of the annual generated fund revenue.

Mr. Helwig indicated the pledge, as authorized by the City Council, to enhance in-house organization capabilities is being full-filled. The Plan Review Center is currently established on the first floor. He stated there would be an open house at the beginning of the year. The Plan Review Center brings together the individuals, Plan Examiner Ken Elphinstone, Landscape Architect Lauren McGuire, City Engineer Nancy McClain, City Planner Amy Golke and City Planner Barbara McBeth. Plan Reviews will be conducted for new plans received in the system beginning January 2002. However, the need will remain for an overload capability with consultants, as it will be a growing process. He noted the talent and academic achievements of the Staff and the potential. He stated the Center provides all of the disciplines in one location, which allowed for the reduction in required number of Site Plans from twenty-three to eight. The City is streamlining the business process, which is hoped to do a better job of coordinating the disciplines, ensuring higher quality output, better coordination with consultants and a more responsive product for the Commission, City Council, the applicant and the overall community. He emphasized that "the stakes are huge" for developing an in-house organizational capacity. He indicated that perhaps it is his view or his previous experience, but the Sandstone matter should have never reached the magnitude or stage, which reinforces his long held commitment that the City should be more self-reliant as an organization. It is urgent the development of organizational capabilities to better plan for and better serve the fast growing City of 50,000 people who have high expectations for the community. The community will live on for hundreds of years. He recalled the example of his first Michigan snowfall experience last winter, in which he noted Grand River Avenue went for nearly twenty hours without deicing salt or snowplowing services. As a consequence of catching up with that situation, (the opening of major routes to the access the hospital and conduct commerce), many residents in subdivisions were not able to get out for over twenty-four hours. Immediately this was addressed and as a result, the City has entered into a Winter Maintenance Agreement with the Road Commission of Oakland County. He noted the discovery that these types of agreements have existed in other cities for a length of time. Ten Mile has been selected as a major residential corridor in the community and Novi Road and Grand River Avenue as major commercial corridors. Last year, monies were made due to the small and infrequent snow falls after the beginning of the year. He recalled an experience with outside contractors during a blizzard situation in the 1970’s, where contractors did not show up. He added that these matters need to be dealt without that dependency. He recalled the recent watermain break. Some communities contract out for Community Relation services, which the City may need to do for a special circumstance in the future. However, in the recent situation, he noted that Community Relations Manager Maureen Malone coordinated the information needed to inform every Novi household twice in addition to the mass meeting. He commented that one could not pay for her dedication or the dedication that the Staff would bring twenty-four hours a day to only Novi.

Mr. Helwig emphasized that the City Council could not have twenty (20) people accountable to them for the affairs in the community. He noted his accountability to the City Council. He stated the importance accountability of the one serving the community, who would be held accountable for the quality, timeliness and completeness of their work as opposed to the nodes that have been coming in without coordination.

Chairperson Churella thanked Mr. Helwig for the update.



Mr. Evancoe welcomed the new commissioners on behalf of the Staff. He thanked them for their dedication and willingness to serve the community on the Planning Commission.


Mr. Evancoe introduced the new Planner Barbara McBeth. She worked at the City of Southfield for approximately 15-years prior to her employment at the City of Novi. Prior to the City of Southfield, she was employed at the City of Pontiac in the Assessing Department. Ms. McBeth has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University with an emphasis in Land Use Analysis and Cartography and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Oakland University.

3. DEVELOPMENT REVIEW FORMAT – Presentation by Planning Director David Evancoe

He requested permission from the Chair to provided the public with some information regarding the changes. However the discussion would continue to be entertained later in the meeting according to the amended agenda.

Chairperson Churella requested that his presentation be brief.

Mr. Evancoe stated three aspects to the changes, which would become evident at this evening’s meeting. He indicated that it would not be appropriate to make the changes without providing context and background. All commissioners were distributed a summary report for the Ash gear and City Center Plaza Addition, which is a newly generated item of information. Its purpose is to consolidate all various reviews typically distributed to the commissioners. In the past, consultant letters were distributed, which gave the reviews of various components (landscape, engineering, façade, woodland, wetland, planning and traffic). However, the summary report would consolidate the comments in one document. He noted that the intention was no to replace the letters and the letters would continue to be part of the packet information. Reviews letters from in-house reviews would also be included. The summary report is intended as a quick reference for both the commissioners and the public. He noted that suggestions of ways to improve the report were received. He welcomed additional suggestions as it is an evolving process. He looked forward to the possibilities of computer simulated fly-throughs through sites (simulation of walking through a site). The summary report will be made available to the audience and placed at the entrance of each meeting. He hoped to create a better outreach to the public.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that in the past the applicant gave a presentation. However, he would be providing the oral presentation of the cases. It is anticipated that the oral presentation would set a context for the deliberations and focus on broad planning policy issues and key site planning issues. It is hoped that this change would help speed up the meetings because it would focus discussion better. He noted that in his previous experience, if the Staff provides a comprehensive report then the petitioner would then shorten their report. The comprehensive oral presentation is intended for the benefit of the Commission as well as the benefit of the viewing public and audience.

Mr. Evancoe noted the suggestion made to the Commission, which could help enable them to better deliberate over its cases. There is a desire to improve communication. The proposed format, included in the distributed memo, is similar to the format currently utilized by the City Council. In the review of various matters if there were a question, Mr. Helwig would address the question or direct the appropriate individual to respond to the City Council. He felt this format could be more effective than current Planning Commission’s format.


Mr. Schultz indicated the two letters from Commissioner Kocan could be properly read with the pertaining item on the agenda. In respect to Ash Gear, it would be at the discretion of Member Kocan whether the letter should be read or her comments made personally.

Chairperson Churella asked Member Kocan her preference.

Member Kocan note her preference to wait.


Chairperson Churella announced there was one (1) items on the Consent Agenda.

Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of September 19, 2001. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.

Member Nagy made a minor correction to page 5 replacing the word "addition" with "edition".


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Richards, CARRIED (7-0): To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of September 19, 2001 as amended.


Yes: Canup, Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle

No: None

Member Shroyer abstained.






1. ASH GEAR SP01-57

This proposed addition is located in Section 26 on the north side Nine Mile Road between Venture Drive and CSX Railroad. The 2.69 acre site is zoned I-1 (Light Industrial District). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.

Mr. Evancoe introduced the Ash Gear property located on the north side of Nine Mile Road immediately East of the CSX Railroad, between Meadowbrook Road and the Novi Road. He indicated that the petitioner Bradley Jerris requests Preliminary Site Plan Approval for a thirteen thousand four hundred fifty-five (13,455) square foot addition to an existing thirty-four thousand nine hundred fifty (34,950) square foot office and warehouse building. The northeast photo depicts the building in the background with a sidewalk located along Nine Mile Road, which currently ends and does not cross the CSX Railroad tracks. The view looking toward the Southwest, indicates the area of the proposed addition to the right of the existing building. The West view toward the CSX Railroad tracks and Nine Mile Road on the left, indicates the existing office portion of the building. The view looking toward the Southeast indicates the existing building and the area directly north of the proposed addition. He located the generator and transformer, which are surrounded by deciduous shrubs for screening purposes with the evergreen trees immediately to the east. The present property is zoned Light Industrial (I-1) and is surrounded entirely by the same zoning on each side. The site is served with sanitary sewer and public water. The proposed permitted uses are warehouse and accessory office. Adjacent land uses include light industrial type properties; Pioneer Mortgage is an office use; railroad tracks to the west; and fire station directly south of the property. He noted the importance of looking at the Master Plan for Land Use, which designates the property as planned for Light Industrial and its location within an area that is entirely planned for the same land use. The developer of the project is not requesting any ZBA Variance. A Planning Commission Waiver is required from the rear parking setback of ten feet (10’) to allow a setback of zero (0) feet in the vicinity of the proposed loading area. The waiver is related to the area in the vicinity of the proposed turn around for truck traffic its two loading docks. The pavement is up to the property line as opposed to the ten-foot setback, which is found elsewhere along the same property line. A Design and Construction Standards Waiver from Section 11-94(a)(10) for a secondary emergency access to allow for only one point of access is necessary for the approval of the Preliminary Site Plan. The only point of entry onto the proposed property is located on Nine Mile Road. He noted that no Neighborhood Concerns were brought to the attention of the City of Novi. However, a letter from Member Kocan was received, which expresses her concern(s) in regard to the generator located on site. Currently, the generator is shown at the northwest corner of the building, the generator to the east and the transformer to the west, which were not shown on the submitted site plans. This information would need to be shown on the Final Site Plan. It appears that relocation is necessary due to its current proposed location being a proposed concrete sidewalk. Therefore, clarification will be necessary at Final. He stated the issue of the possibility of excessive noise from the generator was raised. Attempts were made to obtain a sound measurement. However, it was unsuccessful because the generator was not operating the several times a Code Enforcement Officer was sent to the site. He referred to the Reminder to the Commission portion of the Summary Report, which indicates that according to the I-1 requirements, the Planning Commission must find that lighting, noise, vibration, odor and other possible impacts are in compliance with Performance Standards of Section 2519.

Mr. Evancoe referred to Key Findings of the Summary Report. Planning: The Site Plan complies with the building setback requirement, loading zone requirements and height requirements of the I-1 District. A Lighting Plan must be submitted. The Façade is being designed compatible with the existing site, therefore, a Section Nine Facade Waiver is not required. The Fire Department has indicated the Final Site Plan must show the location of an additional hydrant in the new end island at the rear of the building. Additional notes must be added to the Final Site Plan with regard to the construction of the access road and the timing of the installation of water mains and fire hydrants, which could be handled by Staff at Final. Engineering: The Final Site Plan needs to show existing topography for a minimum of 100 feet beyond all site boundaries in order to show contour lines. He noted that the information was important to assess drainage in terms of the location(s) that water is flowing. The existing detention basin needs to provide a spillway. The petitioner needs to provide documentation of acceptance of the water main constructed in the first phase, an executed easement for the sidewalk along the Nine Mile Road frontage and documentation of the recorded easement of the 20 foot wide drainage easement located at the southwest corner of the site. Traffic Engineering indicated the required City Council Waiver as he previously mentioned. The opening between the east and north parking areas is approximately 16.5 feet wide, which was a determination made by the City’s Traffic Consultant. He noted that Staff performed an on-site check and determined that the width is twenty-two (22) feet. The new turn around area to the north of the building addition will accommodate only single-unit trucks. The insert showing the turn around maneuver (noted on the full size site plan needs to show the proposed curbed end islands. A sign advising this constraint in vehicle size should be placed on the entrance road. He stated that this information would need to be shown on the Final Site Plan. Landscape: He corrected the Summary Report to state that "The landscape plan is not consistent with the Preliminary Site Plan". The parking island layout and the topography information must be reflected consistently on both plans. This inconsistency will necessitate a change in the location of plant materials. Mr. Evancoe noted to the developer that when making these changes hat no plantings can be located within ten (10) feet of a fire hydrant. Additionally, the Landscape Plan will have to be modified to relocate the tree plantings (currently shown) from under the overhead utility lines running along the CSX Railroad. The required landscaping in the new parking area has been provided. The proposed Landscape Plan meets the Zoning Ordinance requirements for landscape buffering along Nine Mile Road right-of-way. The four (4) feet of green space immediately adjacent to the building has been provided as required. The plant material cost estimate for plant materials, turf and mulch is missing and will need to be shown on the Landscape Plan. If there are any additional or relocated transformers and/or utility boxes, locations and screening must be indicated on the Landscape Plan and the Final Site Plan.

Woodland Permit: The site does not fall under the Woodlands Protection Ordinance according to the City of Novi Regulated Woodland Map. Wetland Permit: No wetland permit is required at this time; however review and approval of the wetland buffer disturbance is necessary.

Mr. Evancoe referred to the Staff Recommendations of the Summary Report. He indicated that the Staff recommends approval subject to the following items. He noted that the conditions are addressed in greater detail on the attached review letters. Waivers: The Final Site Plan shall demonstrate compliance with the Zoning Ordinance requirements or petitioner must obtain the following waiver: 1) A PC waiver from the required 10 foot rear parking setback to allow for a setback of zero feet. 2) A City Council waiver from the Design and Construction Standards, Section 11-94(a)(10), for a secondary emergency access to allow for only one point of access. He indicated the conditions, which needed to be addressed on the Final Site Plan. Planning:

1) Submit a lighting plan in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance, Section 2511. The lighting plan must include a photometric plan, light locations, mounting height for all proposed new wall and pole-mounted exterior lighting, and catalog cut sheets for all proposed fixtures. 2)

on the Final Site Plan that all uses will be completely enclosed within the building and that no outdoor storage is permitted. 3) Show the zoning categories of the nearest parcels in all four directions. Façade: Ensure that the proposed materials match the existing with respect to color, texture and size. Fire Department: 1) Provide an additional hydrant in the new end island at the rear of the building. 2) Note on the Final Site Plan that, prior to the construction of the foundation, all-weather access roads must be capable of supporting 25 tons for fire apparatus. 3) Note on the Final Site Plan that all water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and in service prior to construction above the foundation. Engineering: 1) Provide a spillway for the detention basin. 2) Provide existing topography a minimum of 100 feet beyond all site boundaries. 3) Provide a minimum of two ties to established section or quarter section corners using the Michigan State Plane Coordinate System. Traffic Engineering: 1) Expand the existing opening between the east and north parking lots to 24 feet. 2) Show the raised landscape islands on the turning inset and Landscape Plan. They should be designed as curbed islands with a 2-foot radius at the tip per City specifications. Indicate all parking lot dimensions. 3) Indicate the installation of signage to read "No Tractor Trailer Units Past This Point" on the entry road. Landscape: 1) Revise the Landscape Plan so that it is consistent with the Final Site Plan, indicates all utilities and complies with the planting/utility setback requirement. 2) Submit a cost estimate for plant materials, turf and mulch. 3) Note interior landscape calculations and parking lot tree calculations on the Landscape Plan.

Bradley Jerris petitioner of the proposed Ash Gear project indicated that many of the comments noted in the Summary Report were already included in the revised site plan, which was submitted to the Commission. He noted that he was not aware of some of the issues until after reading the Summary Report, therefore, those revisions were not made. However, he indicated the remaining revisions would be included at Final. He stated that although there were not any questions regarding the aspects of the building, he indicted that he had the materials available for the Commission’s viewing. He stated the generator comes on the first Tuesday of every month to test itself and is not operated daily. He assumed the problem mentioned may have come about when the generator came on for the weekend due to an electrical surge that caused the building to lose power. He noted that they were closed on Saturday and therefore were not aware until Monday morning that the generator had come on.


Member Kocan stated that she resides in a subdivision next to Hickory Corporate Park and has heard the generator numerous times other than the first Tuesday of every month. She believed the instances to be typically very early in the morning and on weekends. The difficulty with the situation is the information was not included on the Site Plans nor was it discussed in 1997 (when the plan was brought forward). She suspected the generator, when running, was in violation of the Noise Ordinance. She questioned if the applicant anticipate relocating the generator with the planned area for parking and turn around area.

Mr. Jerris indicated that there is room on the Site Plan submitted, however the location was not designated on the Plan.

Member Kocan questioned a sidewalk was between the building and the parking spaces against the building.

Mr. Jerris stated there was not a sidewalk at that point.

Member Kocan questioned if the site plan submitted to the Commission depicts the area as grass instead of sidewalk.

Mr. Jerris indicated the transformer and generator are located close to the building. He noted that although there was some grass, it was not very much.

Member Kocan referred to both plans and referenced the area that could possibly be grass.

Mr. Jerris confirmed that the area is grass.

Member Kocan indicated that the Planning Department thought the area would be concrete.

Mr. Jerris reconfirmed that the area is planned to be grass.

Member Kocan stated if the area is planned to be grass, then she questioned if landscaping should be provided along the entire span due to the requirement to have landscaping on all four sides of the building (within four feet of the building).

Mr. Evancoe agreed. The requirement is at least four foot (4’) of landscaping around the perimeter of the building.

Member Kocan clarified if plantings would be required at the location of the proposed trees.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that the grass is considered a landscaped planted area. He stated the trees noted on the Site Plan with a dash symbol are proposed to be relocated.

Member Kocan noted that she had never heard of grass being considered as landscaping. Therefore, she requested more landscaping in that area. Member Kocan indicated that in order to make a finding that the proposed building is in compliance with the Noise Ordinance a noise analysis (performed by a certified sound engineer) should be submitted. She noted that the generator is extremely loud. She stated that a five-minute or occasional occurrence might not be a situation that a resident would complain about. However, she felt it could be a problem if the generator were running an entire weekend. Therefore, with the possibility of these occurrences, its compliance with the Noise Ordinance (75 decibels/day and 70 decibels/night because it is completely surrounded by I-1) should be confirmed. She noted that shrubs do not absorb noise and therefore, might need to be shielded further. There are no other generators located outside the buildings in Hickory Corporate Park. Therefore, she questioned the purpose of the generator.

Mr. Jerris indicated that the generator was not included in the original plans when he sought approval for the original building. However, after reviewing the Lighting Plan, it was found that with the existing warehouse and the type of racks used required a lot of emergency lighting. Therefore, the generator became the possibility to serve as emergency power. He indicated that nothing would be run off of the generator. The generator has test mode the first Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. He noted that Detroit Edison is currently determining whether or not a larger transformer was needed, which would fit on the same pad). The City Landscape Architect advised the placement of shrubs to be planted around the generator and transformer. However, Detroit Edison informed him that those plantings might not be within Electrical Code.

Member Kocan suggested that the situation be further explored and addressed. She asked Mr. Evancoe why there is no request for secondary emergency access.

Mr. Evancoe addressed the generator situation. He indicated that at Final the Staff would review the Noise Study to ensure that it complies with the Noise Ordinance. Optionally, the Commission could request to review the study. The secondary access was not required to be provided when the initial building was constructed. The proposed addition allows two possible locations where secondary access could be provided. 1) Directly north from the entryway into the site off of Nine Mile Road a connection to the building’s parking lot directly to the north. 2) The area of the proposed truck dock could be extended north to the northerly property. However, permission through a Cross-Access Easement is required for this location. He noted that because there is no guarantee the property owner would comply, a condition for approval could not be placed upon the developer. The Fire Department Review did not deem the provision of a secondary access necessary, which is typically the reason for the secondary access. The Fire Department determined there was not a need for the secondary access due to the location of the fire hydrants on the property and their ability to access the site for fire fighting purposes without making use of the secondary access.

Member Kocan clarified that Mr. Evancoe spoke to the Fire Chief.

Mr. Evancoe answered, yes. He indicated that the information was confirmed in a conversation earlier that afternoon.

Member Kocan referenced the Summary Report, which states, No Wetland Permit is required at this time; however review and approval of the wetland buffer disturbance is necessary. She questioned if the Commission needed to make this requirement. She referenced her letter, which questioned if an approval granted subject to consultant recommendation(s) should take into consideration the actual consultant letter (requests) or should the consideration be the Summary Report. She stated the buffer disturbance information was not included in the Summary Report. However, the information was included in the individual consultant letters.

Mr. Evancoe explained that the Summary Report is merely a summary intended to serve as a helpful document for the commissioner’s review. The Summary Report is not a replacement for the actual review letters generated by the Staff or Consultants. The Commission’s final recommendation should be based on the actual review letters, which are attached to the summary. He agreed that the Wetland Permit should be made a requirement to be shown during the Final Site Plan Process.

Member Canup noted his experience in working with generators. He stated if standing within ten feet of the generators, the sound level may be within a range of eighty-five (85) to one hundred (100) decibels, which exceeds the Noise Ordinance. He suggested the possibility of placing a sound attenuation on the generator to lower the noise level to sixty-five (65) decibels.


Moved by Canup, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Ash Gear SP01-57 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Planning Commission Waiver from the required 10 foot rear parking setback to allow for zero feet, subject to the generator being modified or replaced not exceed seventy (70) decibels at any time, subject to City Council Waiver from the Design and Construction Standards Section 11-94(a)(10), for a secondary emergency access to allow for only one point of access, subject to addressing the Wetland issue, subject to the Consultant’s and Staff’s conditions and recommendations.


Member Nagy noted her concern with Item #10 of Mr. Arroyo’s Traffic Review letter dated October 8, 2001. As we noted at the pre-application meeting the island immediately south of the existing truck well was not built according to the Site Plan approved by the City in 1998. The applicant proposes to correct this error by modifying the island to include a 50-ft radius rounding allowing trucks to exit the well without driving over islands in the area. However, the new curb is not shown transitioning smoothly into the existing curb on the south side of the well. The center point of the new curve should be shifted so as to provide both a smooth transition and a typical (2-ft radius) minor rounding, setback about 3-ft from the aisle. She questioned why it was not built according to the approved site plan. She asked Mr. Evancoe if it should be a condition for approval.

Mr. Evancoe verified with Ms. McClain City Engineer if the information was highlighted. He apologized to the Commission if the information was inadvertently left out of the Summary Report.

Ms. McClain indicated that the information was not shown in the Staff letters. However, it needed to be addressed.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that it should be included.

Member Nagy clarified if Mr. Arroyo was indicating that this was a necessary requirement.

Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.

Member Nagy referred to Item #6 of Mr. Arroyo’s review letter, which required a standard aisle width of twenty-four feet (24’). She asked if this item could be provided on the proposed Site Plan.

Mr. Arroyo answered, yes. He indicated that the minor modification to the length of the end island should be made on the Final Site Plan.

Member Nagy questioned if the raised end island modification(s) would be made at Final.

Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.

Member Nagy stated that she was familiar with the site. She referred to the Landscape Plan, which proposed shrubbery at the south side of the building (location of the proposed addition). She felt that the site appeared baron and lacked landscaping. She questioned the anticipated relocation area for the trees proposed to be removed. She requested that her question pertaining to the transplanting of the Evergreens be addressed first.

Mr. Evancoe stated that the applicant has indicated on the Landscape Plan the trees, which are to be moved and the trees, which are to be transplanted. The plan also indicates the new location of the transplanted trees. However, he explained the difficulty in "pin-pointing" a specific tree and its proposed relocation.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Evancoe to point out the information.

Mr. Evancoe indicated the legend at the top of the Landscape Sheet, which references symbols representing this information.

Member Nagy clarified if there was no need to be concern with the location of the transplanted trees.

Mr. Evancoe disagreed. He stated that the location of the transplanted trees is important. The applicant has indicated the location and proposed species of the transplanted trees. However, this information would need to be verified at Final.

Member Nagy felt that the proposed bushes for the front of the building appeared baron.

Mr. Evancoe noted its compliance with the Ordinance. The design is an open grassy area with foundation plantings. However, he suggested requesting the applicant to provide more.

Member Nagy stated that more height would address her concern.

Mr. Jerris clarified if Member Nagy was referring to the proposed side or the existing side of the building.

Member Nagy indicated that she was speaking to the south side of the front of the proposed side, which faces Nine Mile Road.

Mr. Jerris noted the possibility of providing additional height if the it was agreeable with the Landscape Review.

Ms. McGuire stated that upon driving by the site, she shared the same reaction as Member Nagy. She noted the problem that the plantings along the roadway are down the incline, into the detention area and not very visible. In addition, the area is open, as it is the location of the proposed warehouse addition, which adds to the baron appearance. She noted that plantings could be requested for the West Side of the building to help buffer the building.

Member Shroyer clarified if the original overhead door had a radius to accommodate a small truck to back in and unload.

Mr. Jerris indicated that although only small trucks back-up to the original overhead door, he believed the radius was also large enough to accommodate larger trucks for the existing building.

Member Shroyer recalled Mr. Jerris’ previous comment regarding a single bed truck. He questioned if there was a need for the amount of proposed turnaround, which requires a zero (0) clearance. He noted that the existing overhead door does not bear the same need.

Mr. Jerris stated that the zero clearance was not his requirement. Instead, the Traffic Consultant required it. He believed that the Consultant might have anticipated the possibility of a larger truck requiring the radius. Mr. Jerris noted his willingness to adjust the plan according to the Commission’s preference.

Member Shroyer asked Mr. Evancoe if the Staff discussed the matter.

Ms. McClain questioned if Member Shroyer was referring to the existing truck well radius, which is located on the East Side.

Member Shroyer stated the existing radius was feasible for trucks backing into the existing overhead door and the existing building, which is with a ten-foot (10’) setback. However, the applicant is requesting a Planning Commission Waiver for the ten-foot (10’) setback. Therefore, he questioned if the waiver was necessary due to the anticipated truck traffic that would be loading/unloading.

Ms. McClain explained that using a turning radius, with using a Y-type or T-type turn to turn a vehicle in that location without the doors being opened, requires the clearance.

Member Shroyer clarified that the zero (0) setback was necessary.

Ms. McClain answered, correct.

Member Shroyer stated the existing sidewalk, located in the front of the building, leads "no where". He noted his understanding of the City’s request for a two hundred sixty-five thousand ($265,000) funding issued for placement of a sidewalk on the south side of Nine Mile Road, which would lead to the railroad tracks. He questioned if it were possible to, at minimum, tie-in the sidewalk to the paved road to avoid a dead end. He questioned if this was appropriate time to address the issue.

Mr. Evancoe agreed that the issue could be addressed at this time. He stated the location of the sidewalk, the lack of connection on the other side and the alignment contemplates an eventual widening of Nine Mile Road, which is the reasoning it is setback so far from the edge of the pavement. Hypothetically, if it were requested that the applicant extend the sidewalk to Nine Mile Road, would a pedestrian be able to safely cross over going west. Therefore, he noted the safety issue of leading pedestrians on the shoulder of Nine Mile Road, over the tracks and through grass on the West Side of the tracks to reach a paved sidewalk.

Member Shroyer questioned the pedestrian’s current route of travel. He added that they currently travel on the grass.

Mr. Evancoe agreed with his comment. He suggested facilitating the situation with the addition of pavement.

Ms. McClain stated an agreement with CSX to extend the sidewalk across the railroad portion is currently being negotiated. It has been addressed by the City Council and sent back for negotiations.

Member Shroyer questioned the timing of proposed sidewalk on the south side of Nine Mile Road.

Ms. McClain indicated the timing would depend upon the response from CSX. However, she noted that regardless, the sidewalk would not be added until spring due to construction over the winter.


Yes: Canup, Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer

No: None



This proposed addition is located in Section 22 on the west side of Novi Road and south of Grand River Avenue. The 4.524 acre site is zoned TC-1 (Town Center District). The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.

Mr. Evancoe stated that the petitioner requests approval of a Preliminary Site Plan for a 6,170 square foot, single story addition to an existing 26,375 square foot retail building. He indicted that the site is 4.524-acres, which is currently developed. Site photographs depict the south, southeast, west and northwest views of the site. He noted the area proposed for the building addition is currently a parking area, which the petitioner has accurately described as an under utilized. Although one could encounter more difficulty finding a parking space at the other end of the side, there is sufficient total parking. The southeast view shows the area, which would continue as the connection from the existing easterly parking lot and to the northerly parking lot. However this would be shifted as shown on the Site Plan. He noted the detention basin appeared to have been sized properly to accommodate the proposed addition. The proposed property and the surrounding properties are zoned TC-1 (Town Center District). He pointed out the I-1 zoned property and noted that it does not abut the proposed property. He indicated that the site would remain zoned TC-1. The Site will be served with public sanitary sewer and public water. The proposed use is retail, which is a principle permitted use. Adjacent land uses include: Transit Mix Company (directly across the gravel roadway), the Mobile station and the proposed gas station site. The Master Plan designates the proposed property as Town Center Commercial with the surrounding area similarly planned. He indicated that ZBA Variances are required for the Site Plan approval. A ZBA Variance from the 80-foot minimum / 137-foot maximum front yard setback requirement to allow for a front yard building setback of 260 feet. He indicated that the variance was related to the setback off of Novi Road and the location of the proposed addition in its proximity to Novi Road. A ZBA Variance from the requirement to place the loading zone in the rear yard to allow for the loading zone in the exterior side yard. A ZBA Variance from the required 170 parking spaces to allow for 169 parking spaces. Mr. Evancoe explained the discrepancy with the counting of parking spaces. The one hundred sixty-nine (169) is based on the count on site plan, which was submitted. The applicant submitted a letter indicating they conducted a site count of parking spaces and found there were one hundred seventy-one (171) parking spaces. Therefore, there is a discrepancy between what was indicated on the site plan and what actually exists. A ZBA Variance from the requirement to provide four feet of interior landscape space around four sides of the building to allow no landscape space immediately adjacent to the building on four sides. He noted that this is a requirement of the current TC-1 district. However, because it was not a TC-1 Requirement when the property was first constructed, there is no landscaping in the front. The petitioner has indicated that the requirement would cause the building to have a different look and thereby not fit in with the existing development. However, because it is an Ordinance Requirement, a ZBA Variance is required. A Planning Commission Waiver is required from the 10-foot setback requirement to allow for the parking area and maneuvering lane setback 6 feet from the north property line. He stated a Planning Commission Waiver is required and not a ZBA Variance because the applicant has provide additional setback area elsewhere on the site. He noted that the City had not received feedback from any neighboring properties or residents regarding the proposed project.

Mr. Evancoe indicated the Key Findings. Planning: The development is located in the TC-1 District and, according to the Town Center Design and Development Study/Technical Reference, must include pedestrian-oriented amenities, such as exterior lighting, paved activity nodes, street furniture, safety paths, screen walls and planters. While provision is made for an activity node and bench, the location of the node on the Site Plan differs from that shown on the Landscape Plan drawings. The TC-1 District also requires 15% of the gross site be maintained as permanent open space. The open space calculations have not been provided on the Site Plan. A lighting plan will need to be submitted for final review. Additional notes specified under Staff Recommendations will need to be included on the Final Site Plan. With regard to parking setbacks, the existing lot is an existing non-conformity as the setback of 10 feet is less than the required 20-foot setback from a Right-of-Way (Section 1602.5). The reconstructed parking area and maneuvering lane has a setback of 6 feet, which does not meet the required parking setback in this area of 10 feet. Façade: The building addition elevations are consistent in color, texture and size with the materials of the existing building, as shown in the site photographs. According to the Zoning Ordinance, a Section 9 Waiver is not required. Fire Department: The Site Plan has been reviewed and approved with no comment. Engineering: The Site Plan needs to show the location of the construction access route from the site to the arterial street system of the City. The survey needs to show a minimum of two ties to established section or quarter section corners using the Michigan State Plane Coordinate System. Traffic Engineering: The existing island at the Novi Road entrance driveway needs to be shown on the Site Plan. He stated that it is a triangular shaped island, which was paved over. He explained that because the documents become a historical reference to determine what items existed at a certain point in time, the drawings being approved need to accurately reflect the site. The new connection between the north and east parking lots should be reduced from 26 to 24 feet to provide an additional 2 feet of landscaping area near the building. The proposed four parking spaces along the east side are shown at 18 feet and need to be revised to comply with the City’s standards. This can be accomplished by either lengthening the spaces to 19 feet or by shortening them to 17 feet, reducing the sidewalk height to 4 inches to allow for a 2-foot vehicle overhang. The loading area striping and signage needs to be revised to be consistent with recent recommendations throughout the City. Landscape: The required landscaping and plantings in the new parking area have been provided. The pedestrian orientation and architectural amenities, required by Section 1602.7, have been provided. He noted that clarification of the intended placement needed to be indicated on the Site Plan. He stated the staff preference of the location indicated on the Landscape Plan verses the loading area as shown on the Site Plan. The four feet of interior green space around the building has not been provided. If additional amenities and plantings had been proposed, then a Planning Commission waiver could be sought. No additional amenities are proposed, therefore a ZBA variance is required. Regarding the reduction of the front yard parking setback from 10 feet to 6 feet, an equivalent amount of green space, has been provided on the western side of the building. This does not include the Regulated Woodland area. Because the reduced setback area is compensated for elsewhere on the site, a PC waiver, rather than a ZBA variance, is necessary unless the Final Site Plan is revised to comply with the requirements. There is an existing transformer shown on the Site Plan. If there are to be additional transformers and/or utility boxes, then their locations must be indicated on the Final Site Plan and Landscape Plan. The required screening will need to be provided. Woodland Permit: The site does fall under the Woodlands Protection Ordinance. All existing woodlands on the site will be saved. Protective fencing is located along the drip lines of the trees in an appropriate manner and a detail of the protective fencing has been provided. Additional notes specified under Staff Recommendations need to be included on the Final Site Plan. Wetland Permit: A Minor Floodplain Use Permit and Soil Erosion Permit will be required prior to construction.

In addition to the required ZBA Variances and Planning Commission Waiver Mr. Evancoe recapped the conditions which must be addressed on the Final Site Plan. Planning: 1) Submit the lighting plan in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and the Town Center Design and Development Study. The lighting plan must include light locations, fixture details, and mounting height for all proposed new wall and pole-mounted exterior lighting. 2) Show the location of the activity node and bench on all plans as indicated on the Landscape Plan. 3) Include open space calculations. Façade: Ensure that the proposed materials match the existing with respect to color, texture and size. Engineering: 1) Provide the location of the construction access route from the site to the arterial street system of the City. 2) Provide a minimum of two ties to established section or quarter section corners using the Michigan State Plane Coordinate System. Traffic Engineering: Revise the loading area striping and signage to comply with City standards and design practices. Landscape: 1) Submit a cost estimate for all pedestrian amenities (site furnishings, paved activity nodes and decorative lighting.) 2) Ensure that the plant material sizes are in compliance with the requirements of Section 2509. Woodlands: 1) Add note on Site Plan stating that no work, clearing, grubbing or removal of any vegetation shall occur until an environmental pre-construction meeting is held and the woodland protection fencing is inspected and approved by the City of Novi. 2) Ensure all notes from the Standard City Tree Protection Detail Sheet are included on the Final Site Plan. He noted that the consultant review letters are attached.

Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant indicated that when a property is developed under a particular zoning district, is rezoned and then followed by an expansion there are typically variances required. He noted that often this could involve the making of interpretations. Mr. Arroyo indicated that another variance, dealing with Section 1602, is required. He briefly highlighted Section 1602 paragraph 3 which indicates that no retail commercial space within the TC-1 district shall exceed seventy-five hundred (7500) square feet of gross leasable area unless three scenarios are met. a) An open air building similar to Vic’s Market, b) a department store meeting certain classifications or c) a multi-tenant building that is a multi-story building. When the proposed project was originally reviewed, it met all of the requirements because it was TC zoning and not TC-1 zoning. He stated that although the expansion is less than 7500 square feet, the entire building is non-conforming. Therefore, technically a ZBA variance is required. He suggested that the Commission incorporate this issue in the list of variances.

Ron Nectarline of Superior Diversified Services represented the developer. He indicated that his company was the original construction manager who built the development in 1997. He stated the primary reason for the request for an approval of an addition is to better utilize the entire site. He noted the described the finding of the parking to the north as being virtually vacant. He felt the addition would allow for a better utilization of the area thereby making the activity level throughout the center better. The building has been fully occupied with national tenants since its development. He indicated that he concurred with the comments of the consultant review letters, which he felt could be addressed with changes or modifications to the site plans. He commented on the required variances. He noted the TC District required a setback of a minimal of fifty feet (50’) and TC-1 District requires 80-foot minimum to 137-foot maximum. He stated the variance is a result of the original zoning. Therefore, he indicated the existing building, which is four (4) years old, is in non-compliance. He requested that consideration be given to the fact that the site was recently developed under the TC District. He indicated the attempt to create the same symmetry and continuity with the original building. He noted the desire for the building to appear as if it were constructed at one time as opposed to an addition. He felt the addition of the four (4) foot green space to the perimeter would probably reflect that it was an addition. He noted the amenities, which he felt, would already break the unity of the two buildings. He commented on the current requirement for a ten foot (10’) setback at the property drive. Mr. Nectarline stated that the current design promotes good traffic engineering and safety, without impacting the neighborhood property. He added that the drive could easily be reduced by two (2) feet and an additional two (2) feet taken between the curb and the building to comply with this requirement. However, he felt that the traffic pattern flows better with its current design. He stated that an actual count of the site parking indicated the site is in compliance. He commented on the variance from the requirement to place the loading zone in the rear yard. He stated during the original review of the project, it was indicated that the building fronts on streets on its entire periphery. The rear elevation of the building depict the same beauty as the front elevation with respect to the architectural treatment. Therefore, the building is not construed as having a rear yard. He noted the location of the loading area to the north end on the Grand River frontage, which is three hundred (300) feet from Grand River Avenue. He stated that the additional loading was necessary however, it was created to meet the requirement of the ordinance. However, he stressed that the type of uses in the building have work well with the existing loading area, refuge area and transformer area located at the south side of the building. He indicated that there would be no additional refuge or transformer pad in the vicinity of the proposed addition.


Member Nagy noted her concern that the site plan seemed to indicate the building would intrude on the 100-year flood plain. She asked Mr. Evancoe to clarify the matter.

Mr. Evancoe referred Member Nagy to the Sheet 1, which showed the 100-year flood indicated by a dashed line. The building and the sidewalk adjacent to the building are located to the east by approximately twenty (20) feet.

Member Shroyer noted the 100-year floodway line on the site plan. However, he stated that it falls within the 100-year flood elevation.

Mr. Evancoe deferred the matter to Victoria Weber.

Victoria Weber, Engineering Consultant directed the commission’s attention to the label on the Site Plan, which read 100-year flood plain line elevation 909. She indicated it meanders through and touches the side of the building and heads in a northeasterly direction. She stated that a Local Flood Plain Use Permit would be required at Final. She noted the purpose of the permit was to assure that the local ordinances are met regarding flood plan use. The largest factor would be that the finished floor of the building would need to be elevated one foot above the base flood elevation. There are a couple areas needing adjustment(s), which could be addressed at Final.

Member Nagy recalled the applicant’s comment regarding the conformity of the building and the proposed addition. She noted that it seemed that in order for the building to appear as if it were constructed at once it would almost match the side of the "staircasing" like Panera Bread. She questioned if this would also reduce some of the waivers or variances.

Mr. Evancoe asked her to clarify her question.

Member Nagy noted the south side of the current building appeared terraced verses a square stair-step. The proposed is a rectangular addition. In order to create the appearance that both were constructed at one time, she felt that it would make more sense to have the new addition terraced in the front. Further if it were terraced, she questioned if some of the variances and waivers would be alleviated.

Mr. Evancoe referred to the color elevations. He questioned if she was referring to the top elevation.

Member Nagy indicated that she was looking at the top elevation facing Novi Road.

Member Shroyer interjected. He designated the portion and questioned if it were a mirror image on the other side, if it would create a reduction in the variances the applicant is pursuing.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that it might be possible. It could allow for the interconnecting driveway to be able to be moved further to the south, which could possibly reduce the relating variance. It could allow for the provision of the green space to be more feasible next to the building. Also, a step in the rear could possibly address the flood plain issue.

Member Nagy asked the applicant if it were possible to design the "step" in the front (similar to Panera) and if it would meet their need in terms of square footage.

Member Shroyer added and in terms of future tenants.

Mr. Nectarline deferred the question to the architect.

Matt Nile of Wah Yee Associate Architects indicated that Member Nagy’s suggestion was physically feasible. He noted that it was not possible to expand any further to the west due to the floodplain/floodway. Therefore, the options for a significant expansion were limited.

Member Nagy noted her understanding for this need. She clarified her question. She stated if the front of the addition, facing the parking lot, was mirrored, then it would not take a lot of space off and yet it would enable the applicant to meet more of the Ordinance requirements.

Mr. Niles noted that although she was correct, they are considering the leasability of space.

Member Nagy indicated that the space in Panera Bread is fairly large. She clarified that he was indicating that he was not aware of the future tenant or type of business.

Mr. Niles stated that although her comments could be true, Panera Bread is closer to the street, has visibility and is an easier space to lease. The other space is farther and more remote. Therefore, more changes could make it more difficult to lease. He noted that they did not desire to construct a space that would be a leasing problem.

Member Nagy noted three accesses to the space, Ten Mile, Flint Road and Novi Road. She stressed that she was not wanting to debate with the applicant. However, she strongly felt the change would not effect the leasing ability and it would meet City Ordinances.

Mr. Nectarline indicated the design was derived from a study, which determined optional designs that would create enough square footage and make the area economically feasible. He indicted that there is no intention of another restaurant. He anticipated the tenants similar to the Leather Center or Voice Stream type uses. He feared that there might not be enough square footage to make the addition feasible. He noted the basic building cost.

Member Nagy stated that she understood his point of view. However, her first preference was to meet City Ordinances, which was the reasoning for her suggestion to redesign the addition. She noted Ms. Lemke’s landscape review letter, which indicated no provision of the 4’ foot green space, plantings and or additional amenities. She stated that currently, the front of the buildings are not maintained well. She questioned why the applicant has not proposed amenities.

Mr. Niles indicated that more landscape is being created on site than what currently exists. He noted the considerable landscaping on the Site Plan. He noted the bench correctly located on the Site Plan in the north. He felt strongly about creating the continuity and the symmetry. He indicated that it was feasible to provide the four foot green space around the perimeter and additional amenities. However, changing the Site Plan to accommodate the consultant comments would have required another lengthy review. Therefore, he noted the intention to address the consultant comments on the Final Site Plan.

Member Nagy noted her understanding of his comment. However, she noted that the Site Plan, as submitted, is before the Commission for an approval or non-approval. She referred to Ms. Lemke’s letter, which indicates that there has been no compensation for the lack of the 4’ green space and plantings. She felt that this matter could have and should have been addressed prior to coming before the commission. She stated that as a condition for her support of an approval, more green landscaping should be provided to compensate for the area referred to in Ms. Lemke’s letter.

Chairperson Churella asked the square footage of Panera Bread.

Mr. Niles stated that he did not know.

Chairperson Churella asked if an estimation of six thousand 6,000 was close.

Mr. Niles believed the square footage to be more than 6,000.

Chairperson Churella suggested that no square footage would be lost between the proposed addition design or the design suggested by Member Nagy.

Member Richards noted the required variance for the parking spaces. He clarified if the parking was 169 or 171 parking spaces. He stated if there were 171 parking spaces, then no variance would be required.

Mr. Evancoe stated that neither the Staff nor the Consultants have been on-site to verify the on- site count. The applicant has indicated their on-site count of 171 parking spaces. He stated the review was based on the Site Plan submitted, which indicate 169 parking spaces. He was uncertain of the discrepancy. He suggested it could be that the spaces were stripped too small leaving one extra space. However, the reason has not been determined because there has not been a field verification of their contention. He advised that the Commission act on the Site Plan based on the Staff Recommendation.

Member Richards referred to the eighteen (18) foot parking spaces, which could be reduced to seventeen (17) feet. He noted the eight (8) foot-wide sidewalk and questioned if the changing to a seventeen (17) foot parking space would require a compensation for width of the sidewalk. He stated the vehicles would hang over into the pedestrian path.

Mr. Evancoe believed an eight (8) foot standard contemplates a possible two (2) foot overhang and the remaining six (6) foot would be acceptable. He asked Mr. Arroyo if that was correct.

Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.

Member Richards referred to the landscaping around the building. He questioned if only three (3) sides were being reviewed because the fourth side is part of the old building. He noted the summary report indicates "A variance… to allow no landscape space immediately adjacent to the building all four sides."

Mr. Evancoe indicated that in this case there are only three (3). Therefore, they need to provide for all of the sides.

Member Kocan clarified if the parking spaces were nineteen (19) feet deep.

Mr. Evancoe answered, correct.

Member Kocan questioned if the parking spaces remain nineteen (19) feet or if there was a reason that they could not.

Mr. Evancoe made a correction, indicating that the spaces were eighteen (18) feet.

Member Kocan believed the existing spaces were nineteen (19) feet and the Site Plan indicates eighteen (18) feet.

Mr. Evancoe clarified that the spaces are currently eighteen (18) as shown.

Member Kocan clarified if it were all the way across.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that he was referring to the four spaces on the east side of the building.

Member Kocan clarified if the existing spaces were eighteen (18) feet due to the TC zoning.

Mr. Evancoe deferred the questioned to Mr. Arroyo.

Member Kocan preferred that the spaces consistently remain 19-foot if possible. She stated if the spaces were shortened to 17-foot it could raise issues with the sidewalk needing to be four inches high and possibly requiring a ramp if the height were changed.

Mr. Arroyo noted that with the applicant’s comments and the Site Plan, he believed the existing parking spaces along the front to be eighteen (18) feet long. He noted that this was permitted. The ordinance states the space could be reduced up to two (2) from the nineteen (19) feet if the overhang is provided for. Therefore, technically eighteen (18) feet could be done. However, as a matter of more recent practice, the seventeen (17) feet has been provided where the overhang is and nineteen (19) feet where it is not. If the Commission desired to provide consistency, then the eighteen feet (18) feet is workable providing that the curb is four inches high along the front.

Member Kocan noted her concern was mainly focused on the sidewalk height. She wanted compliance with the Ordinance. She stated that she found the 17-foot and 19-foot in the Ordinance, however did not node 18-foot. However, she noted that she was willing to work with the recommendation.

Mr. Arroyo noted an area with a fairly natural break with an island. For example if there were a slightly different sidewalk height, such as six inches to four inches, it could be a natural area to break it.

Member Kocan stated that she had not heard a recommendation "one way or the other". However, she felt comfortable with whatever made the most sense. She noted the numerous statements indicating the need for a calculation of the 15% of the gross site area. She questioned if the City has pre-determined that there would be room for the 15% of the gross site area to be devoted to permanently landscaped open spaces and pedestrian plaza areas accessible to the public. She added to Member Nagy’s comment regarding "stepping" the building in that corner. She stated 1) the correct number of parking spaces because they would have cut out approximately one hundred sixty-two (162) square feet 2) there would be more green space 3) instead of burying the activity note behind the parking, it could be brought out in front of the building to make it more pedestrian oriented. She asked the Staff for the calculation of the gross site area to be dedicated as permanent open space for pedestrian areas.

Mr. Evancoe deferred the matter to Ms. Lemke. He stated the reason for requesting the inclusion of the information in the Final Site Plan was to have the applicant demonstrate that they are meeting the requirement.

Ms. Lemke stated the site met the requirement the last time it came in. She recalled calculating an excess to meet the 15%. There is an abundance of an area particularly toward the Grand River Avenue where the detention basin is located, outside the Regulated Woodland Area and the paved areas, which could be counted (pedestrian area). She stated that although she did not do calculations this time, she did not find any reason(s) that they would not meet the 15%. She concurred that the applicant would need to provide the calculations on the Final Site Plan.

Member Kocan stated that she wanted to ensure that it was feasible. She stated the 4-foot green space around the new addition should be provided. She stated it is deeper in to the lot. Although the two sides of the building may differ, she felt that it could only add to the pedestrian orientation of TC-1.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of City Center Plaza Addition SP01-64 to give the applicant an opportunity to revise the Site Plan by tabling the matter to a Regular Planning Commission meeting in January or February since the Site Plan does not comply with Section 1602.3, Section 1602.4, Section 1602.5, Section 1602.8, Section 2509.9, Section 1602.10 and Section 2505 of the Zoning Ordinance.


Yes: Canup, Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer

No: None

3. BIG BOY SP01-59

This proposed façade modification is located in Section 36 on the east side of Haggerty Road and north of Eight Mile Road. This .2552 acre site is zoned FS (Freeway Service District). The applicant is seeking a Section Nine Façade Waiver.

Mr. Evancoe stated Big Boy proposes a façade upgrade of the front entrance to their building to create compliance with other Big Boy restaurants. To his understanding, it would look similar to the Big Boy located on Novi Road. In order to accomplish this appearance, standing seam metal on the south façade and wood shingles on all facades would be in excess of Region 1 Façade Standards. JCK & Associates reviewed the Façade Plan and recommended approval of a Section Nine Facade Waiver. Mr. Evancoe read Mr. Arroyo’s comment from the review letter dated October 30, 2001. In order to determine that appropriate setbacks are being met, the Applicant must submit a site plan (only one sheet required) of the existing building and the proposed front face improvements. He noted Architect Engineer Christian Fox was present to address the Commission’s questions.

Chairperson Churella asked the petitioner if they wanted to comment.


Member Richards clarified if the Staff was essentially declaring that the proposed façade is the same as the Big Boy located at I-96 and Novi Road, which the Commission approved.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that he was not attempting to tie the two Big Boys together in any type of official statement. Instead, his intent was to provide it as anecdotal information. He stated that the two sites are separate and separate projects.

Member Richards stated that often they could be a national chain.

Mr. Evancoe stated that the applicant indicated their intent to make all of the Big Boys appear the same.

Member Nagy requested that the applicant show the Commission a sample of the proposed materials.

Randy Couture of Remi-Keith Construction showed the Commission an original painted shingle, which would be restored to its original color.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Big Boy SP01-59 to approve the Section Nine Facade Waiver subject to the consultant’s conditions and recommendations.


Yes: Canup, Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer

No: None



Presentation by Planning Director David Evancoe

Member Nagy noted her reasoning for placing the item under Matters for Discussion. She did not believe that it was within the purview of the Planning Director nor the Planning Commission Chairperson to implement a policy change to the Planning Commission. Secondly, a change in procedure of the Planning Commission should be generated by the members of the Commission and not as a directive from the Planning Director. Thirdly, the summary presented by the Planning Department is nothing but a summation of what is in the Consultant’s Review Letter. Therefore, adding eight (8) additional pages to the commissioners review process, which seemed quite lengthy. She noted that in some summaries, some of the comments of the consultants were not included in the summation. Fourth, the summary of the Planning Department did not cite the applicable Ordinances. She questioned how would a new Planning Commissioner find the applicable ordinances other than by review of the consultant letters. She felt that citing the applicable Ordinance is of utmost importance to the Commissioners. She requested that the Planning Director, whom she stated was relatively new, to give a brief presentation of his planning philosophy as well as his view on the City’s Master Plan. For example the pros and cons of the City’s Master Plan. She requested that he indicated his goals and objectives with regard to the Planning Department. She stated that knowing his planning philosophy; goals and objectives would go a long way of improving the policies of the Planning Commission. She stated that the improvement could be accomplished together. She indicated that until such time that the Planning Commission, as a whole, discusses a policy change and votes accordingly, she proposed that the Commission continue to conduct their meetings in accordance with the current policy. Member Nagy noted that she did not intent to sound critical. However, she did not find any information in the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure indicating that the Commission’s meeting procedures were to be directive from the Planning Department. She stated that she enjoyed the freedom of being able to ask the Consultants questions directly. She understood that the process was one that is utilized by the City Council, however, she stated that the Planning Commission is not the City Council. She felt the Commission should determine whether or not the procedure should be changed and if there is a change that is necessary before Mr. Evancoe’s style in presentation was to continue. She restated that the summation is repetitive. She did not feel that it made sense to read the same materials twice. Member Nagy stated that Mr. Arroyo includes a chart, which delineates the subject/issue and Ordinance reference(s). His letter also includes the permitted use and whether or not the proposed use meets City requirements. She felt that tonight’s meeting was a good indication that the process did not shorten the meeting, if that was the intention of the Planning Department. She suggested having bulleted items or a chart (similar to Mr. Arroyo’s letter) to avoid reading the same information twice. Member Nagy restated that the idea of the Planning Department giving directives to the Planning Commission was disturbing, as this is not the purpose of the Planning Department. The Planning Department exists to aid the Planning Commission and not to set the Commission’s policies and procedures.

Chairperson Churella recalled the procedure(s) being changed slightly when Mr. Arroyo replaced Brandon Rogers. He did not recall voting on the change in procedure. He asked Mr. Arroyo to explain the procedure that he went through to make the changes that were made.

Mr. Arroyo recalled the format of the letter of review as being the primary change. He noted the institution of a chart, which summarized information. The presentations at the Planning Commission meetings were essentially the same in the sense that an overview was done, ordinance issues covered and a recommendation given.

Chairperson Churella indicated that he thought only the style was being changed. He did not anticipate that the change would generate any problems. He noted his request for Member Nagy to meet prior to the change.

Member Nagy interjected and stated that her intention was not to criticize him.

Chairperson Churella interpreted her comments as criticizing him of attempting to railroad the change through. However, he clarified that this was not his intention. He noted that he took all possible steps to invite the commissioners to a meeting to discuss the changes. He stated that he invited Member Nagy two (2) times, which she was unable to attend due to legitimate circumstances. He felt that Mr. Evancoe’s idea would work with some "tweaking". He agreed with her comment regarding the extra reading. However, it has been brought to Mr. Evancoe’s attention and would be worked out. Chairperson Churella asked the Commission for further input.

Member Shroyer stated that having attending Planning Commission Meetings in the past, he agreed that some change was necessary. He did not recall the meetings running smoothly. Instead, he recalled "hic-ups" and problems for the viewer attempting to follow the meeting. He noted his desire to establish consistency in the format along with the Planning Consultants and the Planning Department. He believed that summary was good, necessary and should come from the Planning Director. However, brevity is the key word. He suggested that the report provide the Commission with bulleted items that need to be highlighted and Ordinances that need to be reviewed prior to the meeting. He stated that as a new commissioner, he was not certain of the proper format to make these decisions. He supported a change.

Member Kocan stated that she wrote a letter to the Planning Department addressing the amount of extra review time in relation to the weekend. In regard to requested variances, she noted her appreciation for visuals and justification for the variance(s) such as if it is feasible to meet the ordinance or if a cost issue was driving the need for the variance. She stated that some of the items she felt to be important were left out of the summary and typos led her to search for Ordinances that were incorrectly referenced. She stated that the more information is duplicated the more chance there is for error. She agreed that the meeting seemed to flow better with having one person talking. She suggested reducing the length of the Summary Report. She recalled a decision made years ago to keep Staff or Consultant negative/positive recommendations. Member Kocan supported the idea of bringing the matter to the table for discussion. She agreed that the process would experience "tweaking" in the future. However, she requested that a shorter summary be provided to the commissioners. She felt the change was going in a positive direction and noted her liking of the summary for the residents.

Member Ruyle noted the difficulty, as a new commissioner, following the direction of the meeting. However, he indicated that tonight’s meeting, with one person delivering the report, was clear. He requested more brevity to avoid the repetitiveness, which he felt Mr. Evancoe would be able to address. He noted his support of the change. However, he agreed with Member Kocan regarding the confusion created by too much information and typos in the summary. He added that the presentation of information eliminated the confusion and he liked the change.

Member Richards felt that changes are part of life and the proposed change is merely an attempt to be more efficient. He agreed with the suggestion of utilizing a chart or bullet format. He did not agree with the presentation of facts with a recommendation, which could be misinterpreted as "us against them". Instead he preferred a presentation of the facts with an indication of agreement or not, which would then give him the opportunity to address issues that may be in question. He agreed with the provision of the applicable Ordinance(s) to reference.

Member Nagy clarified her position regarding the matter. She stated that with change there should exist the courtesy of discussion with the Commission. She found it to be surprising to receive and read an incomplete summary and then have to read the consultant review letters, which she found to be a duplication of her efforts. She was not impressed with the tone of the letter to the Commission, which directed the commissioners on how to ask questions of the consultants. She felt that the Commission’s needs should be determined. She found it important for Mr. Evancoe to present to the Commission his position and viewpoint in regard to planning. She noted that his presence at the Planning Commission does not indicate his philosophy. She questioned Mr. Evancoe’s opinion of the pros/cons and strengths/weaknesses of the City’s Master Plan. She was certain that Mr. Evancoe held goals and objectives for the Planning Department. In order for the Commission and the Planning Department to work cohesively together, she felt that knowledge of his goals and visions were important. She noted to Mr. Schultz that she believed that the Planning Commission was the maker of approvals. Therefore, she questioned if there were any legal issues presented to the City.

Mr. Schultz indicated that equally the Commission should be comfortable with their decision. He stated that in judging a discretionary decision of the Planning Commission with staff or consultant recommendations, he felt that most judges could "get past that" with the understanding that everyone could make a recommendation. However, the Planning Commission is the decision making body. He stated that as long as the Commission’s decision was supported by the evidence, then the judge should be able to "get past it".

Member Nagy felt that the matter should be brought to the forefront and discussed for the benefit of the Commission. She believed that the apprising of the situation and not the presentation of it in a packet establish good communication. She understood the intent of the change and felt it might be better in the long run. However, it needed to be "tweaked" because repetition is not good. Member Nagy noted her preference of the chart generated by Mr. Arroyo and the identification of applicable ordinances. She recalled the ordinance references being helpful for her when she was a new commissioner.

Member Markham stated her preference of the summary format. However, the summary should be complete and concise. She noted that she was able to reference the consultant letters when more information was needed. She stated that she was also uncomfortable with the recommendations. She suggested that the recommendation include supporting reasons. She referenced the recommendation to the commission to not recommend the variance requested. However, she suggested that the recommendation include information beyond the reasoning that it did not meet requirements.

Mr. Evancoe thanked the Commission for their input. He noted his observation of items that needed to be changed also. He agreed with the comments regarding brevity. He indicated the chart was not included in the summary report because it is included in Mr. Arroyo’s review letter, which is still included in the packet. He agreed with the suggestion of bulleting items and noted that it would be changed on the next summary. He indicated that it was not the Planning Department’s desire to force anything on the commission. The ideas, which were implemented at tonight’s meeting, were developed over a long period of time with the help of the City Managers office in coordination with the Chairperson of the Commission and himself. He believed that since the City Council adopted its budget for 2001-2002, there was an awareness that changes would be coming. It was felt that it would be best to start the newly appointed commissioners with the new system verses starting them with a system that would become obsolete in a month.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that his willingness to give a presentation on his planning philosophies if the Commission desired. He assured the Commission that the system would continue to improve and their suggestions would continue to be implemented.


Chairperson Churella clarified to the commissioners that they could ask the Consultants questions directly. He stated that the questions do not have to be directed to Mr. Evancoe. Chairperson Churella requested that Ms. Brock distribute information indicating which committees have vacancies.

Ms. Brock noted that this information was included in the new commissioner’s packet. However, she would include the information in the next Planning Commission Packet.

Chairperson Churella indicated that a commissioner would be appointed at the next City Council meeting on December 17, 2001. Chairperson Churella indicated that it was important to fill the vacancies on the Master Planning and Zoning Committee due to the need to meet.

Member Nagy explained further her request to Mr. Evancoe. She stated that she was not intending for Mr. Evancoe to give a dissertation on his planning philosophy. She indicated that she was looking for him to contribute new ideas that he could bring forward from his previous experience that he could contribute with regard to the Master Plan. She noted her interest in the Master Planning and Zoning Committee.

Chairperson Churella suggested waiting until the first meeting in January 2002 to make Committee appointment.

Member Markham questioned if there was a form that needed to be completed.

Ms. Brock stated that the information would be included in the Planning Commission packet. She added that the matter of approving By-Laws and Rules of Procedure would be on the next Planning Commission agenda allowing the Committee appointments to follow in January 2002.


Member Kocan questioned if there was a visual to show the atrocity at Fountain Walk. She found it difficult to believe that the former Planning Commission approved a development with seven (7) different colors, eight (8) different designs and façades next to one another that do not match. She questioned if the Planning Commission could legally act upon the situation. She questioned if there was information on file allowing the colors on the Fountain Walk Development.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that he could produce color renderings shown to the Commission during the façade review. The rendering were very bright and colorful. He recalled one façade with a large fish. The JCK indicated in the façade review that the façade would be "Disney-esc". He stated the matter was researched a few months ago at the request of Member Canup. Mr. Evancoe felt that it was a good example of a weakness in the Façade Ordinance. He explained that the applicant provided brick as required by ordinance, however, the brick was blue. The weakness being, who would have ever contemplated that brick could be blue.

Member Kocan clarified if Mr. Evancoe was indicating that an approved plan was on file permitting what is currently existing at Fountain Walk.

Mr. Evancoe answered, yes.

Chairperson Churella stated the Planning Commission did not approve the façade. He stated that the Commission approved some of the colors but not the façade. He stated original anticipated stores are not the same stores being placed in the development currently.

Mr. Evancoe agreed that it was not specific stores. He believed that it was more of a "theme" that was approved.

Chairperson Churella indicated that Fountain Walk was approved administratively before David Evancoe was employed at the City of Novi.


Member Canup recalled the approval of the development. He agreed that the development looked ridiculous. He noted the efforts that were made to ensure other buildings in the City looked presentable. He stated that he was uncertain how Fountain Walk "slipped by". He stated that the Best Buy located on Eight Mile and Haggerty Road was another example of a development that did not developed as envisioned.

Chairperson Churella stated that Fountain Walk is an entertainment area.

Member Kocan questioned if a letter could be sent to the developer. She stated that Gaylan’s is beautiful and The Great Indoors’ character speaks to the class of the building. However, she described the area next to that as a carnival. She felt that the situation was unfortunate.

Member Canup believed that the large blue arches would be removed with tenant occupancy, which could make it a little more presentable. He did not feel that the project met the intent and a lesson should be learned from the situation.

Member Nagy suggested that possibly the Commission should not continue to waive the façade requirements.

Member Kocan suggested restricting the number of colors permitted. She noted the Façade Ordinance was sent to the City Council.

Member Canup restated his hope that the lesson could be learned from the situation to prevent it from happening again.

Chairperson Churella restated that the color rendering presented to the Commission was not what is there now. He described the building anticipated to be a theater as flashy. However, the remaining buildings were subdued in the color rendering. He agreed that both Galyan’s and The Great Indoors are nice looking buildings.

Member Markham felt it was embarrassing to say that the development was one that was allowed in the City of Novi.



Member Shroyer indicated that after his review of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedures he noted that several sections the Commission might have been remiss in its actions. However, with the three (3) new Planning Commission members, soon to be four (4), he felt it would behoove us to re-look at the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure and derive a full review and discussion of the current By-Laws and Rules of Procedure. Therefore, he made a motion to place the Review of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure on the first quarter of the 2002 Special Meeting Agenda with the allocation of one (1) hour for discussion per Section 3.13 subsection a of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure. (Motion can not be made under Matters for Discussion.)

Chairperson Churella questioned what section he was referring to.

Member Shroyer stated the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure indicated under Special Planning Meetings that the Commission shall hold at least one Special Meeting per quarter for planning purposes only.

Chairperson Churella clarified that there would then be three (3) meetings in one month.

Member Shroyer stated the first quarter is a three (3) month time frame.

Member Markham recalled Mr. Arroyo stating that according to State Statue, the Commission is required to hold a meeting once a month. She questioned if once a month a meeting could be designated as a Special Meeting for planning purposes. Therefore, there would not be an extra meeting.

Mr. Schultz asked Member Shroyer to clarify the section he was referring to.

Member Shroyer stated he was referring to Section 3.13(a) on page 9.

Mr. Schultz did not find the text Member Shroyer was referring to.

Member Shroyer stated that the Planning Department provided his copy of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure to him.

Mr. Schultz questioned the revised date on Member Shroyer’s copy.

Member Shroyer stated his copy was not dated and did not indicate the date of adoption.

Member Kocan stated that her copy of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure has an adoption date of Wednesday, November 1, 1995 with signatures of Laura Lorenzo, Robert Taub and Glen Bonaventura. She indicated her copy does not state the words reference by Member Shroyer. Instead, Section 3.13 states, "Special Planning Meetings: a) The Commission may hold special meetings for planning purposes, on an as-needed basis. b) The Commission may hold a special meeting for a project determined as complex in nature, thus requiring Commission direction. c) Notification of such special meeting shall be in accordance with Section three and five of these By-Laws and Rules of Procedure. d) That special meeting may be with another agency of the City." She felt that it was important to ensure that all commissioners have the correct version of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure.

Mr. Schultz stated that he was not certain which version was the correct version.

Member Shroyer stated that either way; there were matters that needed to be reviewed.

Member Markham noted that she had the same version as Member Shroyer, which identifies Ernest Aruffo as the Secretary.

Mr. Evancoe stated that it seemed the wrong version was distributed to the new commissioners. He apologized and indicated that the correct version would be distributed to the commission.

Member Shroyer removed his motion.

Ms. Brock indicated that the motion did not need to be removed because a motion can not be made under Matters for Discussion. She stated that a new copy of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure in the next Planning Commission packet.

Member Markham stated she received information indicating discussion at the September 17, 2001 meeting regarding changing the Planning Commission meeting dates and times.

Chairperson Churella stated it was decided to not make changes.

Member Markham asked if a 2002 meeting schedule was published.

Mr. Evancoe stated the City Calendar is currently in print. He stated the meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. However, exceptions due to the holidays, tend to place the meetings dates on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. He added that a calendar would be distributed to each commissioner as soon as they become available.







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


Yes: Canup, Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer

No: None



Donna Howe - Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

January 14, 2002

Date Approved: January 23, 2002