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View Action Summary for this meeting

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2002 AT 7:30 P.M.

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

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

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Canup (absence excused),

ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Staff Planner Beth Brock, Planning Director David Evancoe, Planner Amy Golke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, Planner Barbara McBeth, City Engineer Nancy McClain, Landscape Architect Lauren McGuire, City Attorney Tom Schultz



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

Member Kocan added Matters for Discussion Item #4 - Follow up discussion on Maybury Estates, Matters for Discussion Item #5 -The letter from Quadrants regarding Trane, Matters for Discussion Item #6 – The letter from Mr. Wyzinski regarding Promenade and Matters for Discussion Item #7 – Additional Changes to By-Laws and Rules of Procedure with regard to Member Shroyer’s comments.


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


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

No: None


Ted Minasian, 41800 Eleven Mile, pointed out that as the manager of Beechforest Park, which owns three parcels on the west side of Meadowbrook Road. He noted that he and Burton and Katzman previously sent a letter of objection to the City Council regarding the proposed. He stated the history of the proposed change was to allow the properties fronting Meadowbrook Road which are currently allowed to be 65-ft to continue to be 65-foot if Singh Development rezoned their property to RM-2. He noted that when the Councilmember made the addition, it defeated the whole point of the ordinance, which was to allow Meadowbrook Road OST to continue to exist at 65-feet. The OST Ordinance has been phenomenally successful and therefore, he was surprised it would be changed. He noted his site plan approval for a four-story office building that is sixty-five (65) feet high. Burton Katzman has a site plan for five (5) buildings, one of which is a three-story and approximately 55-feet high, which would be in violation of the new ordinance. He stated that Trinity Health has several parcels totally approximately seventy (70) acres. Two or three of their parcels front Twelve Mile Road and the remaining parcels front Meadowbrook Road. He assumed that they were permitted to be 65-feet under the current ordinance. He felt that many property owners would be severely effected by the change. He stated the current ordinance is successful and requested that it not be changed.

John Panczocj of Trinity Health noted his recent knowledge of the proposed amendment and his letter of opposition. He stated that 15-acres of the Trinity Health property is directly adjacent to Twelve Mile Road and the remaining 55-acres front Meadowbrook Road. In his letter, the belief was that the amendment would restrict the entire 70-acres to the 46-foot requirement and not allow a 65-foot height. He opposed the amendment.

Chuck Dimagio of Burton Katzman Development noted the submission of his letter of opposition to the City Council. Burton Katzman owns Meadowbrook Corporate Park located on the East Side of Meadowbrook Road, north of I-96, west of M-5 and south of the Trinity Parcel. The property was purchased in February 1999. He noted the assembly of approximately six (6) parcels for the corporate park nine (9) months after Council passed the OST Ordinance. He stated that passage of the ordinance greatly encouraged the assembly of the six parcels for the corporate park. He stated that the atmosphere, encouragement and the provisions of the Ordinance gave a great comfort to their company for doing business in Novi. He noted his concern regarding the proposed amendment and the reduction in the height. He stated that it would greatly limit their flexibility and their ability to carry out the already approved plans for the corporate park. He stressed the need for flexibility when developing a corporate park. He noted the need of flexibility to address the many demands of the different users with different requirements. He stated the loss of the 65-foot height would greatly effect their development and their expectations when the property was purchased. Therefore, Mr. Dimagio respectfully requested that the height restriction remain at 65-feet. He noted the difficulty in understanding the basis for the reduction from 65-feet to 46-feet and the circumstances that have changed since the acquisition of the property. He noted that his property continues to abut M-5 and I-96, Trinity property continues to own the property to the north with their future plans and OST remains across the street. He stated the circumstances and conditions under which it was passed as it relates to his property have not changed. He did not find where his plans would detrimentally effect any adjacent properties. Therefore, he asked that the Commission respectfully review the proposed and not change the ordinance. He felt the current existing ordinance has been beneficial for the community and that the Commission would find that it would continue to be beneficial in the long run.


Member Paul suggested moving Committee Reports with the communications to read Communications/Committee Reports.

Chairperson Churella stated that it could be added to the agenda, however, he recalled being informed that the rules needed to be changed. He recalled discussing the matter at length and was under the impression that it would be done. He agreed with the addition.

Member Ruyle suggested addressing the matter with Matters for Consideration Item #2 – By-Laws Amendments & Adoption of By-Laws by Planning Commission.

Chairperson Churella clarified if Member Paul’s intention was to combine Committee Reports with Communications.

Member Paul agreed.


Moved by Paul, seconded by Richards, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To move Committee Reports to be in conjunction with the communications to read Communications/Committee Reports.


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

No: None

Member Richards announced that the communications are related to the Public Hearing and Matters for Consideration.

Chairperson Churella asked if there were any Committee Reports. Seeing none, he moved to the next agenda item.


David Evancoe stated that Linda Lemke has served the Novi Community for many years making incredible contributions to the betterment of Novi. He stated that Ms. Lemke exemplifies the ideals of the Landscape Architecture profession. For a long time, she has been an advocate for the natural environment as well as the built environment in the City of Novi. He felt that the measure of her work was evident simply by moving about through the community. Ms. Lemke’s contributions would be remembered each time one drives by a development and notes the beauty of the landscaping. She will be remembered each time one notes a natural area that exists due to her contribution and her standing up for what is right. Therefore, he stated that with great honor, he honored Ms. Lemke tonight. He presented her with flowers and a plaque, which read "Presented to Linda C. Lemke on this day of January 23, 2002 in recognition and appreciation for outstanding service to the Citizens of Novi".

Chairperson Churella stated that the roses were for the beauty that she held and in appreciation for all that she had done for the Commission throughout the years. He stated that he has learned a lot from her and she has changed his attitude over the last six years. He stated that Ms. Lemke is unique and would be greatly missed. He presented her with watch.

Ms. Lemke thanked the Commission and the Staff. She noted her enjoyment working with everyone over the years. She stated that she was proud to represent and worked with the citizens of Novi.




Public Hearing on the request of Schonsheck Incorporated for approval of a Preliminary Site plan, Woodland Permit, and Wetland Permit. The subject property is located in Section 12 between Haggerty Road and Cabot Drive and south of Thirteen Mile Road and north of Lewis Drive. The developer proposes two 46,056 square foot office buildings in the OST (Office Service Technology) District. The subject property is 9.67 acres.

Mr. Evancoe stated the property is currently undeveloped. However, originally there were two residences and some associated out buildings on the property, which are no longer there. The site will be served with public sanitary sewer and public water. The proposed use is office and warehouse, which are principle permitted uses. Specifically the applicant is seeking approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland Permit and Wetland Permit for a two building office development. The development contains two identically sized buildings totaling ninety-two thousand one hundred twelve (92,112) square feet. They are one-story buildings that would be used about 60% for office use and 40% for warehouse use. He stated the City of Farmington Hills and surrounding property owners within the City of Novi (within 500-feet of the subject property) were notified of the use. He noted that no particular concerns were received from the neighbors. Mr. Evancoe outlined the key issues. Planning Review: The Planning Review indicated that screening of the loading area is needed from the north property line. Wetland Review: JCK & Associates recommended approval of the non-minor use Wetland Permit with the required changes to be made on the Final Site Plan. He located the wetlands on the site. He noted that Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay is available to address any of the Commission’s concerns or questions. Woodland Review: The site falls within the Woodlands Protection Ordinance. Woodlands are located in the southwest corner of the site, which are indicated on the Site Plan indicates to be protected by woodland fencing during the construction process. There is a twenty-five (25) inch diameter tree along the north property line, which he encouraged to be preserved. The feasibility of this preservation will be evaluated at Final. Approval of the Woodland Permit is recommended provided the appropriate tree replacements are made, if there are any necessary tree removals. Landscape Review: The landscape plan must be revised to comply with the OST screening requirement for the loading area or the Planning Commission must approve a waiver from the loading zone wall or berm requirement of the OST district. The loading areas for both Building #1 and Building #2 are screened with evergreen trees on the north property line. The adjacent property to the north is zoned OST. A waiver from the OST berm/wall requirement is recommended. (Section 2302A, 2509.5, 2509.6) He pointed out the parking lot upon entering the site, which dead ends. Therefore, he noted that additional landscaping must be provided within the traffic separation island on the north side of the most westerly parking area to clearly separate the driveway from the nearby parking area. Mr. Evancoe indicated there were conflicting views between the Fire Department and the Traffic Consultant. The Fire Department felt there should be a connection to allow fire equipment to enter the site with direct access. However, the Traffic Consultant felt the connection would create conflicts with traffic due to its location close to the entrance from Cabot Drive. The Staff agrees with the Traffic Consultant in that a connection would produce some traffic movement conflicts as well as make it difficult for vehicles to line up as they enter/exit the site. The Staff recommended that it be done as shown on the Site Plan. Engineering Review: The northern entry point on the site to Cabot Drive appears to be encroach on the property directly to the north in terms of its radius. He noted that the "sliver" of property is owned by Northern Equities. The parcel to the east is Ridgeview Centre, who is currently seeking an agreement with Northern Equities for placement of their driveway across this parcel. The relative position of the two drives is a concern. To eliminate the encroachment issue, the developer should explore the option of shifting the northern access drive further to the south or obtaining a letter from Northern Equities agreeing to the radius encroachment. Either solution would be acceptable, which he suggested could be worked out at Final. Mr. Evancoe stressed that one of these alternatives needs to take place for the issue to be resolved. In addition, the radii of the drive must be adjusted to accommodate anticipated truck usage, which could be addressed at Final. He reminded the Commission of the discussion regarding the issue of access with the Ridgeview Centre property. It was said that if the developer could not obtain the access they desired in this location, they would either need to find access to the south or to the east. He stated that materials were distributed to the commissioners indicating that the owner/developer of the Millennium project made an offer to the developer of Ridgeview Center that would allow an access point connection. He described the location of the access as if having the driveway extending between the two buildings north to the Ridgeview Centre property. He stated the petitioner would address the stipulations and provide the details related to this matter. He stated that a number of stipulations were mostly in favor of Ridgeview Centre and most of the obligations related to the proposal fell upon Millennium Technology. He noted that it was a conditional offer to allow access. He felt it would be a good location in terms of Ridgeview Centre because it almost lines up perfectly with their driving isle. Therefore, he looked positively for this type of connection to occur, particularly if Gary Jonna of Ridgeview Centre was unable to secure his desired access to Cabot Drive. The existing left-turn lane on the northbound Haggerty approach to Thirteen Mile Road must be extended to a point 150 feet south of the proposed driveway centerline. Façade Review: Approval of a Section Nine Facade Waiver for Building 1 is recommended. Mr. Evancoe showed the Commission samples of the façade materials. Building 1 exceeds the Ordinance maximum in regard to split-faced block on each façade. However, the JCK review letter dated November 19, 2001 indicates that "the percentage of split-faced block on all façades of Building 1 exceed the maximum allowed by the Façade Chart. Due to the fact that the split-faced block is being used to simulate a stone base and that the use of the material is consistent with Building 2, it is out recommendation that the application meets the intent and purpose of the Façade Ordinance and that a Section Nine Façade Waiver is recommended."

Craig MacDonell of Schonsheck, Inc. proposed the Millennium Technology Center. Due to the OST zoning, he noted the desire to create a high tech building appearance. He stated that a glass sample was not submitted as part of the façade due to its large size. He noted the proposed blue reflective glass, which would be used in the bands of the windows. The glass would also be used in the canopies to create a blue glow in the when up lit in the evening. He commented on the access issue. A joint traffic study was conducted with Ridgeview Centre and Eberspacher to the south. He noted his understanding of issues with the Eberspacher site. In the spirit of being a good neighbor, Mr. MacDonell met with the two adjacent developers and came to terms to share a drive with Eberspacher off of Cabot Drive to allow them a secondary ingress/egress. It was also determined to share water main and storm water main release, which discharges through the Millennium Technology site. He noted his willingness to continue working with the neighbor to the north regarding the access.

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

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


Member Kocan noted the courtyards and the delivery access points. She stated that one site plan appeared to have six or seven doors for delivery and another plan appeared to indicate two doors. She asked the applicant to clarify the discrepancy.

Mr. MacDonell indicated that both buildings are speculative. He stated that originally, the project was thought to be a phased project. He hoped that the first building would lease out quickly and allow the beginning of the second phase approval process. He stated the idea was to have a common exterior truck dock. The remainder of the access for loading and unloading would be through grade doors around the building. He noted the grade doors on the building, which were based on tendency. He explained that the openings would allow for "knock outs" in the case that a large tenant leased the entire building, which would allow for fewer doors. However, if the building were segregated for multiple smaller tenants, then there would be the possibility of at least one grade door.

Member Kocan questioned if there would be a one-truck well or a two-truck well. She clarified if there would be a main truck well.

Mr. MacDonell answered, yes. He stated that each building has a truck well; Building 1 with a double-slip and Building 2 with a single-slip.

Member Kocan recalled a comment that the courtyard was not large enough with regard to fire truck traffic. The fire trucks need a one hundred foot courtyard and the proposed courtyard is approximately eighty-eight (88) feet. She asked for clarification.

Mr. MacDonell stated the Traffic Consultant raised the issue. He stated that the comment was based on a newly City-owned one hundred foot radius fire truck. He stated the issue was not raised in the Fire Marshall’s review. Therefore, he assumed the Fire Marshall would have commented in the review if there were an issue to be addressed. He recalled the report stating courtyard was ninety-six (96) feet and the other slightly smaller.

Member Kocan asked if the City if size of the courtyard was an issue.

Mr. Evancoe agreed that the Fire Department did not make mention of the matter in their review. He did not feel there was an issue with the size of the courtyard. He stated a fire truck could easily pull up to either side of the building with easy access if needed. He believed the fire hoses to be a thousand feet (1000) on the average fire truck. He added the possibility that the fire truck may not be able to turn around within the courtyards. However, he stated that this area was not his expertise.

Mr. MacDonell stated that typically a fire truck would make a connection to a fire hydrant. He noted that all of the fire hydrants are located around the periphery and there are no hydrants located in the courtyards. Therefore, the connection would be made at the periphery and the hoses would run through the courtyards.

Member Kocan questioned if the existing driveway is the same driveway noted on the Site Plan.

Mr. MacDonell stated that it is close to the same position. Originally there were two homes located on the site. There are currently two driveways leading into the site. The northerly driveway is very close to the location for the entry off of Haggerty Road.

Member Kocan stated that she was speaking of the cement drive located off of Cabot Drive. She noted the possibility that the drive was south of the proposed site.

Mr. MacDonell indicated that the drive could possibly be the shared access drive to Eberspacher. He noted that the Eberspacher project progressed more quickly then Millennium Technology and has already constructed the shared access drive.

Member Kocan noted the Staff review comments indicating minor wetland permit changes that needed to be made. In reading the Consultant Review letters, she noted items she felt raised concern. She asked for clarification on items such as filling in of wetlands, buffer disturbance and culvert constructed of unknown origin.

Mr. Evancoe suggested that Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay give clarification.

Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay agreed that the activity on the site was not minor work. She noted the wetland along Haggerty Road and the northeast corner of the property. There were two disturbances to the wetlands prior to the plan submittal. The disturbance was not wholesale remove the soils, however there was some disturbance to the soils. All of the wetland vegetation was removed and there was some de-watering of both of the wetlands. The extent of the de-watering of the western portion of the site remains undetermined due to the lack of desire to take years of research to determine if the wetland would be able to be restored naturally. It was determined that it would be better for the wetland along Haggerty Road to be reconfigured, which is shown on the Site Plan as a mitigation area and detention basin area. The other wetland (1.07-acres) would be filled in its entirety. It was determined that the wetlands were essential to the preservation. Thereby meaning that the condition of the wetlands was consistent with those wetlands that desired to be preserved in the City.

Member Kocan questioned if the applicant should be required to post bonds if there were disturbances that should not have been done.

Ms. Kay indicated that a violation letter was sent and normal protocol was followed. However, there was not a lot of detail due to the amount of work that had been done prior to the review. She felt that their follow up was satisfactory. She explained that the violation letter was sent before the Preliminary Site Plan was submitted. Since the applicant was aware that they would be submitting for this type of activity they were cooperative and the review was concurrently done at that time. She noted the provision under the Wetland Ordinance, which calls the Commission to determine if the impact is irreparable, whether they destroyed the wetland or repaired it. Ms. Kay indicated that this legal language would need to be examined. She stated that over a year was spent with the applicant’s wetland consultant to determine whether or not they were "impaired or destroyed".

Member Kocan clarified that Ms. Kay’s final response to the issue was that it would be mitigated.

Ms. Kay answered, correct. She stated that regardless of the violation, it was a normal review. It was decided that because of the mitigation, the ratio would be met. She noted that the ratio would be slightly over 1:1. She stated that the site plan basically depicts a new design of wetlands on the site. The connectivity and other issues mentioned in the letter would connect the wetlands from East through the southern area of the property to the southwest and connect to wetlands off site. She noted that she was in favor of this wetlands system.

Member Markham referred to the notation which stated "wetlands determination is under appeal with the City". She asked Ms. Kay to clarify this notation.

Ms. Kay stated that typically there is an initial essential/non-essential determination made on the site. Using the ten criteria listed in the Ordinance, it is determined if there are wetlands that would be regulated by the City. It is decided if they meet any one of the ten criteria. The proposed site has met two of these ten criteria. Therefore, the wetlands were determined to be essential. Technically the Ordinance gives ten days for an appeal. To her understanding, the applicant was not planning to appeal and challenge whether or not the wetlands would be regulated; this being the reason for the redesign, reconfiguring and mitigation.

Member Markham noted Ms. Kay’s indication of the 1:1 ratio replacement. However, she recalled comment made regarding storm water coming from the Eberspacher property. Therefore, she questioned if the 1:1 ratio would be sufficient or if the detention basin should be larger to carry this additional storm water.

Mr. MacDonell interjected and addressed her comments. He indicated that water coming from the Eberspacher site would need to be detained on the Eberspacher site. He stated that Eberspacher would intersect the storm pipe approximately in front of Building 1. Eberspacher would need to flow into the storm pipe at an agricultural rate, which would be restricted to flow to large ponds. Both ponds would have sedimentation structure to remove any debris. It would also have a filtration system, which would be determined at the Final Engineer process.

Ms. Kay stated that there was good historical documentation. If it was agreed to replace or reconfigure it is decided whether or not the original functions of the wetlands could be replaced. She believed that this was possible and thereby being the reason for a recommendation for approval.

Member Markham clarified that although the essential features of the original wetland would continue to exist, she questioned if it would be enough since it would carry more water than previously.

Ms. Kay noted her understanding of the "best management practices" for the engineering. The engineering features would make sure that the storm water is clean.

Member Markham stated that her concern was with the volume and not the cleanliness. She questioned if there would be a flood on the property.

Ms. Kay identified Member Markham’s concern as an engineering matter, which she was not able to address.

Ms. McClain indicated that it has been designed in advance to account for the additional flow that is anticipated from Eberspacher.

Member Markham asked Ms. Kay to point out the wetland mitigation area that add up to the 1:1 ratio.

Mr. MacDonell pointed out the front wetland detention pond along Haggerty Road, the rear pond along Cabot Drive and the linear swale that would be planted with wetland vegetation along the southerly edge.

Member Markham noted her concern with the strip along the bottom. She questioned how effective this would be as a wetland in terms of vegetation, habitat, etc… She noted its location next to a parking lot.

Ms. Kay felt it was primary usage. She agreed that its common sense value would be its connectivity between the systems, which was not there previously. She stated there were two isolated wetlands. Being isolated wetlands, (not connected to any streams) the systems were operating by themselves with the exception of the wetland next to Haggerty Road where there is a small wetland to the north. She noted that the wildlife value is evaluated. She hoped that having all of the systems connected would add value.

Member Markham clarified that she felt it would be better.

Ms. Kay indicated that it would be difficult to say due to the prior disturbance. However, at times some assumptions need to be made and she assumed that it would be sufficient.

Mr. MacDonell noted the small wetland to the north of the site. He noted that the water would continue to discharge in its same path and flow under Haggerty Road and into Farmington Hills.

Member Nagy questioned how an essential/non-essential determination could be made if the wetland has been disturbed. She indicated that when she visited the site she found nothing there. Therefore, she questioned how the determination was made. She questioned who was responsible for the disturbance.

Ms. Kay believed the prior owner might have been responsible for the disturbance. She stressed that they immediately called and hired a wetland consultant after the violation letter was sent. She stated that it was not the easiest to determine whether or not the wetland was essential or not. However, it was not difficult either. Prior documentation recorded that both wetlands were looked at under the wetland study ten or eleven years ago. There was also a list of vegetation, which was consistent with wetlands that were preserved in the City over the last fourteen or fifteen years. There was consideration give to its size, how it was connected to the water shed and the fact that it was not connected to any nearby streams. Further, the soils were not wholesale removed. She explained that soils were worked over and de-watering methods took place. There was some remaining vegetation especially in the wetland along Haggerty Road, which started to grow again after the disturbance was discovered.

Member Nagy asked the content of the violation letter. She clarified if it was a warning or fine.

Ms. Kay stated the violation gives a notice of how many days that they have to respond. In this case, she believed the letter allotted the twenty (20) days. She noted that they met upon their response to address the conditions. She noted that the original violation requested immediate restoration because there was no knowledge of the proposed development. However, upon this information, negotiations began of their proposed development plan if they were not planning to restore the disturbed wetland.

Member Nagy clarified that "nothing" happened with the violation.

Ms. Kay disagreed. She indicated that many instances in the City involve the violation, reparations are made and the restoration of the wetlands

Member Nagy noted her shared concerns with the comments made by the other commissioners. She felt the main issue was with the parking radiuses. She noted the changes the applicant indicated would be made. She asked Mr. Arroyo to comment on the anticipated shared access drive with Eberspacher.

Mr. Arroyo supported the anticipated shared access drive.

Member Nagy questioned if he felt the one access road to the northeast was correctly positioned.

Mr. Arroyo clarified if she was speaking to the access onto Cabot Drive.

Member Nagy answered, yes.

Mr. Arroyo noted the comments included in his review letter recommending that the access be narrowed to the standard 30’ commercial driveway width, which would make the access farther from the northern property line. He stated that additional comments regarding modifications to the drive were also included. He stated the ultimate decision of whether or not the location is appropriate would depend upon the out come of Ridgeview Centre. He reminded the Commission that Ridgeview Centre is in the process of evaluating and relocating their driveway farther north and then returning to the Commission with their Final Site Plan. He felt that because the two projects were in the review process concurrently, the two driveways could be coordinated during the Final Site Plan. He stated the encroachment onto the northern property would need to be resolved with a letter and the modifications according to his review letter would need to be made on the Final Site Plan.

Member Nagy questioned if the existing left turn lane (Haggerty Road approaching Thirteen Mile Road), which Mr. Arroyo recommended be extended to a point of 150 feet south of the proposed driveway, would be the responsibility of the applicant.

Mr. Arroyo stated this was correct based on the City’s warrant standards in the Design and Construction Standards.

Member Nagy referenced the installation of the corresponding 75-foot acceleration taper.

Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.

Member Nagy questioned the location of the sidewalk.

Mr. Arroyo stated the sidewalk would be located along the southerly portion of the drive onto Haggerty Road and connect over to the first building. It is in keeping in consistency with the attempt to connect the internal sidewalk system with the external sidewalk system, as requested by the Commission in the past.

Member Nagy asked the applicant if he was agreeable to Mr. Arroyo’s suggestions for changes to the end islands and/or the radii.

Mr. MacDonell stated that there was not problem and the modifications would be made on the Final Site Plan.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Arroyo if he had any further suggestions.

Mr. Arroyo answered, no. He stated that although there were numerous items in his review letter, they were minor items that could be easily addressed on the Final Site Plan. He stated that if these items were addressed, then he would be in a position to recommend approval.

Member Nagy asked Ms. McGuire if she felt the landscaping was appropriate.

Ms. McGuire felt the closely spaced evergreens at the north property line with regard to screening and the waiver was adequate. She stated that more landscaping could be provided at the northeast and northwest corner of the building because they are entrances.

Member Nagy clarified if there was no landscaping report included in the review.

Ms. McGuire answered, correct. She stated that Ms. Lemke did the review.

Member Paul commented on the requested waiver for the berm. She noted that some of the offices of the property to the north would be facing the loading dock area. Therefore, she questioned if there should be a berm or if it would infringe upon the twenty-five foot radius tree located there.

Ms. McGuire noted the numerous trees in this location. She stated the tree would die if the tree roots were built upon.

Member Paul clarified if this was her reasoning for the waiver.

Ms. McGuire answered, correct.

Member Paul questioned if heavier landscaping could screen the view of the loading dock from the offices to the north.

Ms. McGuire stated that although it is significant in this area, more could be requested. She stated that they are all evergreens, which are spaced closely together.

Member Paul asked Ms. McGuire to explain protective fencing.

Ms. McGuire clarified if she was speaking to the southwest corner of the site.

Member Paul answered, correct.

Ms. McGuire noted the small "corner" of Woodland located in this area where the applicant has protective fencing on the Site Plan. Therefore, they would not be going into this area.

Member Paul questioned if it would be fenced permanently or temporarily.

Ms. McGuire indicated that it would be temporary and would be removed.

Member Paul noted her participation with the implementing a recycling plant on site at the School District. She questioned if the applicant anticipated a similar system to decrease the amount of waste and increase the amount of reuse/recycling.

Mr. MacDonell felt that such determinations to participate would be made by the tenants on a voluntary basis. He indicated there are no provisions for recycling and the Ordinance requirement for dumpsters have been met. Therefore, he felt that it would be on a voluntary basis for each tenant.

Member Paul hoped that it would be done for the sake of the environment.

Member Richards referenced the driveway onto Cabot Drive. He questioned if the upper northern corner was part of the Northern Equities property and how the issue would be resolved.

Mr. Arroyo stated the strip of land from the edge of the proposed right-of-way to the beginning of the Ridgeview Centre property is currently owned by Northern Equities. Due to the encroachment into this area the applicant would need a letter of permission from Northern Equities.

Mr. MacDonell stated the original owner, Brent Besheers, was approached by Northern Equities during the layout of Cabot Technologies. Mr. Besheers gave up this portion of land to allow Cabot Technologies to come through the Edison Easement and make the curve. He indicated that originally before the road was installed, the site extended over. Therefore, he felt confident that Northern Equities would help out in any way possible.

Member Richards stated that Ridgeview Centre was not confident in the cooperation from Northern Equities for an easement to use the property.

Mr. MacDonell noted that the relationships with Northern Equities were different. He indicated the submission of letters from the City Manager, which promised cooperation with the road dealings and an access point into the site.

Member Richards clarified that there is written documentation.

Mr. MacDonell stated that the documentation is from the City and not Northern Equities. However, he noted his confidence of their cooperation.

Member Richards stated that these were not the same. He questioned what would happen if Northern Equities did not provide the cooperation anticipated.

Mr. MacDonell stated the drive would be shifted farther to the south as suggested by Mr. Arroyo.

Member Richards questioned if that modification would continue to provide access for fire trucks and the larger trucks. He questioned further if they would continue to stay out of the detention basin.

Mr. MacDonell stated that he could not guarantee this one hundred percent. However, he would lay the option out and explore the possibility. As mentioned by Mr. Arroyo, he restated that the road is wider than the standard City requirement. He stated that some of the space could be gained in the narrowing of the throat.

Member Richards asked Mr. Arroyo if this would be the correct radius into the site from Cabot Drive.

Mr. Arroyo indicated that if the letter is not obtained and a modification is necessary then the Site Plan would be required to meet City Standards. Therefore, either way it would have the proper radius. He noted the possibility of having to redesign the site.

Member Richards added that typically a "handshake" agreement would not be substantial in court. Therefore, he suggested that the applicant present a concrete alternate plan in the event Northern Equities does not cooperate verses only a plan that "might be". He stated that he would like to see the applicant have complete control of what would be occurring on the Site Plan.

Mr. MacDonell did not feel it would be difficult to meet the City Standards.

Member Shroyer noted the inconsistency on the Site Plans with the location of the pedestrian doors in relation to the overheads. He clarified that this was temporary and based on tenants it would be adjusted accordingly.

Mr. MacDonell answered, correct.

Member Shroyer noted his concern with the timing and the current economic conditions. He recalled the applicant’s indication of hoping to line up tenants in Building 1 to enable the process of the second building. In the event this does not occur, he questioned where the obligations fall for the landscaping, driveway and the remainder of the property.

Mr. MacDonell stated the Eberspacher share drive currently exists. He added that Millennium Technology would place the landscaping along the northerly site line, the drive access and wetland mitigation as part of Phase I. The only remaining item would be the location of the building and any minor landscaping associated with the building. He felt that it did not make sense to plant the shrubs and tear them up for construction of a building.

Member Shroyer clarified if the location area for Building 2 would be maintained and clean.

Mr. MacDonell answered, correct.

Member Shroyer referred to the eastern side of the landscaping and the location of the parking. He questioned if there was adequate buffering to defuse the parking lot lighting and headlights from shining into the residences across the street.

Ms. McGuire noted the request for additional plantings around the basin, particularly native plantings, to create more of a wetland area.

Member Shroyer clarified that the additional planting would be of the proper size to shield the lighting.

Ms. McGuire stated that she could ensure this at Final.

Mr. MacDonell noted the required berm along the sidewalk, which is heavily vegetated. He felt the wetland vegetation and the berm would be adequate to buffer the light.

Member Markham recalled the previous discussion Ridgeview Centre regarding the number of curb cuts on Cabot Drive. She clarified that if under the best circumstances there would still be three (3) curb cuts. She noted her preference for the Ridgeview Centre, The City, Northern Equities and Millennium Technology to work out combining the northern access to the proposed development with the southern access to Ridgeview Centre to have one (1) main drive. She was not supportive of having three entries in a short period of time as it would "chop up" the road.

Mr. Arroyo indicated the issue was raised six months when there was knowledge of the developments coming together. The three developers were asked to consider the joint traffic study and cooperated with the exploration of sharing driveways. He noted both developers were concerned with sharing the driveway on Cabot. Ridgeview Centre’s was concerned with their development being all office with no industrial components and Millennium Technology has industrial-type component with truck docks and loading/unloading. Mr. Jonna with Ridgeview Centre represented the concern with the shared driveway from a marketing/functional standpoint because it would bring their tenants along loading docks. He felt that Mr. Jonna would prefer to find another option to make the connection occur. Mr. Arroyo noted that it was still uncertain if the driveway for Ridgeview would be constructed. He stated that if the permission were not obtained from Northern Equities, then the driveway would not be built. He noted the possibility of the connection in the middle part of the Millennium Technology site. This alternative would provide Ridgeview Centre with a second way in and also provide a connection to Haggerty Road. He indicated the unique situation with the projects due to the difference in use.

Mr. Ruyle asked Mr. Arroyo to indicate the location of the connection on the diagram.

Mr. Arroyo pointed out the area on the diagram.

Member Markham indicated the alternative would expose the loading docks of both of the buildings to any traffic that would be coming from Ridgeview Centre. She stated that she had some type of access over to the west in mind that would not pass by the buildings. She explained further that it could go in two different directions.

Mr. Arroyo suggested the possibility of the concept of coming in at the location of the Ridgeview Centre drive and "drop" something down into the Millennium Technology site. However, he believed that the developer of Millennium Technology expressed resistance to this idea, which they could speak to. According to Millennium Technology, they have been assured at some point that they would have the access point that they have shown. He stated these events pre-date the Site Plan and have therefore have effected "how the project has progressed where it is today".

Member Markham expressed her dislike.

Member Richards questioned if Ridgeview Centre would be in violation of the driveway spacing standard with the construction of both driveways.

Mr. Arroyo indicated that this concern was brought to their attention. He noted the Planning Commission agreed to address this issue at Final Site Plan Approval for Ridgeview Centre. The Commission would have to potentially have to address this if the driveway remains and there is a spacing issue. However, he stated that it could not be determined at this time.

Member Richards clarified that Ridgeview Centre would be reviewed for the possible driveway spacing violation as opposed to Millennium Technology.

Mr. Arroyo stated that typically there is not a spacing issue until one driveway exists. Therefore, he described the situation as the "chicken and egg" "which one came first". He stated that it would complicate the situation further if there was representation from the City for the provision of "this" driveway prior to the Site Plan. Thereby, leaving the question if the driveway spacing would be Ridgeview Centre’s responsibility or if Ridgeview Centre is first if then it would be their responsibility. He noted that he was not certain of the solution to this situation.

Mr. Schultz indicated that he was not certain if a better answer existed. He explained the difficulty is due the dealing with parcels in a row with relatively narrow frontage. Each property owner has separate individual property rights. He stated that while there could be discussion to convince it is a logical argument ultimately, each of the property owners have the right to exclude others from their property to a certain "large" extent. Mr. Schultz indicated that Northern Equities, Gary Jonna, City Attorney and City Representatives would be meeting on January 24, 2002. However, he stated ultimately the property owners have their rights. He stated short of condemning access or actions of this nature; one somewhat relies on the intelligence of the developers to work these matters out themselves.

Brent Besheers indicated to the Commission that he and his mother sold the property to Millennium Technology. In 1999, Mr. Besheers indicated that he was approached by the City of Novi and Northern Equities to give up some of his land for the "good of the community". In reference to Mr. Arroyo’s comments, he noted that he was the first one. He noted a letter from former Novi City Manager, Edward Kriewall, which clearly illustrates that he would grant a curb cut on the northwest corner of the property. He stated the Mr. MacDonell lacks the history of events. He believed the Purchase Agreement between he and Northern Equities, it clearly illustrates there would be curb cut on the northeast corner of the driveway. He noted that this also takes into consideration the possibility that Northern Equities may own the street for a while prior to its dedication to the City.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that the Commission has received a copy of this information.

Member Nagy stated that the Landscape Plan shows eleven (11) green ash trees. However, she recalled that green ash trees have the potential for disease and require maintenance such as spraying etc. She suggested selecting a different species for these replacement trees.

Mr. MacDonell agreed.

Member Nagy noted to Mr. Schultz that this is not the first Site Plan where everything is incumbent upon the actions of Northern Equities. She stated that she did not like the idea of approving a Site Plan with "ifs". She questioned if it would be right for the Commission to approve a plan with nothing in writing. She questioned if the three site plans would need to be redone if the agreements were never approved. She stated that she was not placing the onus on the applicant.

Mr. Schultz clarified if she was focusing on the "nook" being made across the properties. He stated that part of the situation is "timing". He stated the possibility of having to pay Northern Equities for an easement. He noted that it would be difficult to expect the applicant to do this prior to a Site Plan Approval indicating a location for the driveway. He did not find it unusual for a property owner to come before the Commission to present what they expect to build, receive an approval of what they expect to build and if it could not be built then it is simply not built. The Final Site Plan Approval would not be granted and there would be a need to return to the Commission. He explained that the developer assumes the risk of the possibility that he/she may not be able to receive the approval and if he/she does not and can not satisfy the objective City Standards then he/she would return to the Commission. He stated that the developer will have spent a lot of his/her own time and resources, which he felt was a calculate risk on his/her part. However, he restated that he did not find it to be unusual to have relationships that needed to be worked out.

Member Nagy noted her empathy for the applicant. She stated that she did not understand Northern Equities. She questioned if a new traffic review would need to be redone if the north/east stub street was changed, (bringing it closer to the wetland).

Mr. Arroyo indicated it was not unusual for a minor adjustment in the alignment between the Preliminary and Final. Final Engineering, Final Wetland and Final Woodland Review may often call for a minor "tweaking" of the alignment. He stated that a review at Final did not present any difficulty.

Member Ruyle stated that Ridgeview Centre was returning to the Commission for Final Site Plan Approval. He recommended that Millennium Technology also return to the Commission for Final Site Plan Approval due to the connections.


Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Nagy, MOTION AMENDED: In the matter of Millennium Technology SP01-66 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval subject to the Site Plan returning to the Planning Commission for Final Site Plan review.


Member Kocan amended the motion to include the granting of a Planning Commission Waiver for the wall/berm taking into consideration that there will be substantial landscaping, granting the Section Nine Facade Waiver, subject to obtaining the Non-minor Use Wetland Permit and Woodland Permit.

Member Ruyle and Member Nagy accepted the amendment to the motion.


Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Millennium Technology SP01-66 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Woodland Permit, Wetland Permit, Planning Commission Waiver for the OST berm/wall requirement taking into consideration that there will be substantial landscaping and Section Nine Facade Waiver, subject to obtaining the Non-minor Use Permit, subject to the Final Site Plan returning to the Planning Commission for Final Approval, subject to the Consultant’s and Staff conditions and recommendations.


Chairperson Churella asked if a lot of seepage from the old wetland, which was removed, went into the ground water. He clarified that it was not a concern.

Ms. Kay clarified that he was referring to the construction of the new wetland and whether or not they would be able to maintain water.

Chairperson Churella clarified that he was questioning if the new wetlands would be better for the ecology than the old wetlands.

Ms. Kay agreed that this would "remain to be seen". However, she stated that "everything on the table" is not much different than any other designed wetland in the City with the exception to the narrow swale on the south side, which has only been done once prior. The prior research was not done as to whether or not it was connected to ground water.

Chairperson Churella questioned what type of base would be used for the new wetland.

Ms. Kay noted provisions in the past. For example, if it were determined that the water would not hold with the sub-soils being placed in the wetland, a clay liner is put in place or a combination of a clay liner with other provisions used.

Chairperson Churella clarified if the applicant has the right to construct the north driveway.

Mr. MacDonell stated that in his opinion, he felt it was his right.

Chairperson Churella noted the letters submitted to the Commission, which indicate they have that right.

Mr. MacDonell agreed.

Chairperson Churella did not find that there was any difficulty with the driveway.

Member Markham pointed out the fact that it encroaches on property that they do not own.

Chairperson Churella stated the letter mentioned by Mr. Besheers indicates that they have this right. Chairperson Churella called for the vote.


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

No: None


Public Hearing on the request of Baruzzini Construction for the approval of the Preliminary Site plan and Woodland Permit approval. The subject property is located in Section 12 on at the southwest corner of Haggerty Road and Lewis Drive. The developer proposes additional an parking lot in the OST (Office Service Technology District). The expansion is approximately 171,000 square feet.

Mr. Evancoe stated the parking lot is ancillary to the existing office building. The property is surrounded entirely by OST properties with the exception of the single-family neighborhood located in Farmington Hills (east of the subject property). Using a site photograph, Mr. Evancoe noted the existing retention pond and the location of the proposed forebay retention pond. Surrounding land uses include: Novaplex directly to the south and single-family residential tot he east (Farmington Hills, which are along the Haggerty Road frontage). He noted the existing detention pond would be enlarged as a part of the parking lot expansion to accommodate the additional runoff. He designated the area being referred to as the first flush forebay, where the runoff would drain, cleansed of impurities and sediments and discharged into the existing, but enlarged pond. The petitioner requests Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Woodland Permit Approval for their parking lot expansion. The proposed parking lot would add four-hundred-ninety-two (492) spaces to the facilities already existing six-hundred-fifty-eight (658) spaces, totaling one-thousand-one-hundred-fifty (1150) parking spaces upon completion of the project. The petitioner has calculated eight-hundred-twenty-three (823) for the square footage of the building. However, the Staff has subtracted out some of the areas such as stairwells, restrooms, etc…which is permissible and the correct calculation formula. Twelve (12) notices were sent out to the surrounding property owners as well as the City of Farmington Hills. Key issues include: A pedestrian walkway is requested in the existing median to provide access for pedestrians from the proposed parking lot to the building. Although it may appear that there are sidewalk connections across the median, they are merely openings in the curbing for surface drainage. He noted that these connections should be provided at Final. Wetland Review: JCK recommends preliminary approval of the minor use wetland permit with changes to be made on the Final Site Plan. (Minor use wetland permits undergo administrative approval). Woodland Review: The site falls under the Woodlands Protection Ordinance, Chapter 37, Linda Lemke & Associates recommends preliminary approval of the woodland permit. Landscape Review: Native plant materials are required within the mitigation and wetland enhancement areas. The petitioner has indicated that their facility is undergoing a transformation in terms of how it is being utilized. The petitioner has stated that office would take on a more predominant role in the function of the building. Therefore, there is a greater need for additional parking. The petitioner has also indicated that there are numerous visitors to the site based on the type of work that is done. The petitioner has expressed that they would like to have 1150 total parking spaces. Mr. Evancoe indicated that an open space calculation has estimated that over forty-percent (40%) of the site would continue to remain open space with the 1150-parking spaces. He stated the petitioner has met the requirement and beyond. He suggested that this might be an issue that the Commission would like to address as a whole.

Dennis Kirkwood of Baruzzini Construction stated the correct number of parking spaces is 1,050 spaces and not 1,150. He indicated that he and the architect allocated the spaces according to the intent of the Ordinance and derived 823 parking spaces. This figure was based on a certain mix of research and certain mix of office. He stated the petitioner has experienced some changes over the last 1½ -years that he has spent on his project. He noted that the applicant does not have access to the building and has not occupied it to date. However, their requirements have changed. Due to the requirement changes, he noted a two-story area into all office, which according to current Ordinance requires a larger parking lot. He noted the petitioner’s concern that any future minor changes would again place them outside the Ordinance requirements. He stated if the current square footage of the building allocated to research and office space is converted to all office then under the current ordinance 1,025 parking spaces would be required. He requested 1,050 parking spaces.

Mr. Evancoe clarified that he was not attempting to debate the petitioner. However, the Site Plan indicates 492 parking spaces for the proposed lot and 658 existing parking spaces. He stated the total of these two figures is 1150 parking spaces.

Mr. Kirkwood apologized. He stated that Mr. Evancoe’s calculation of 1150 parking spaces is correct. He stated that 97,000 square feet is research and the balance of the facility would be allocated to office space calculated to 823 parking spaces. If the research area is allocated to all office, then the requirement is 1,025. He stated the petitioner is taking a prime piece of property and allocating it to a parking lot and would like to make the maximum use of the buildable area.

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

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


Secretary Richards announced that he has received one (1) correspondence from Mark A. Sturring, 31731 Northwestern Highway Suite 250 – Farmington Hills, indicating his support of the petitioner’s request to allow sufficient parking for the anticipated needs of his neighbor.


Member Nagy questioned if Mr. Kirkwood indicated that a second story would be built.

Mr. Kirkwood stated the two-story area that was dedicated to research will become a second floor. A second floor would be created making it two floors of office space.

Member Nagy stated the Site Plan has already received Site Plan Approval. Therefore, what is on the site is what has been approved. Since the applicant has decided to change the usage of their building, she questioned why the Commission needed to approve the addition of the parking space. She stated the proposed is not the Site Plan that was approved by the City of Novi.

Mr. Schultz stated the petitioner is before the Commission with a permitted use and the consultants and Staff have addressed whether it meets Ordinance Requirements. He agreed that there was an original use. However, he stated that that does not in and of itself preclude the property owner from coming forward under the City Ordinance requirements and alter the site, use or configuration so long as it continues to meet the City of Novi Ordinance Standards. The Commission’s task is to determine if what is presented in the Site Plan meets the Ordinance requirements in its use and site.

Member Nagy stated upon visiting the site, she noted the area fenced by a chain-linked fence with barbed wire located behind the building by the wooded area. She did not recall this area on the Preliminary Site Plan. She questioned if this type of fence was illegal.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that he has not dealt with the Fence Ordinance, however he did believe that barbed wire was prohibited.

Member Nagy asked the petitioner to explain why the fence is there.

Mr. Kirkwood stated that he did not do the original site and the original building. However, he noticed that particular fencing area, which was done by DeMatia and it is on the Site Plan. He stated that if it is not supposed to there then he felt the City would address it prior to Final Approval and Certificate of Occupancy for that building structure. He agreed that it would need to be taken down if it was not allowed. However, he restated that it is on the Site Plan that he viewed. He stressed that the fence is a separate issue.

Mr. Evancoe referenced the Ordinance, which states "no fence shall exceed eight (8) feet in height except barbed wire placed along the top of the fence may project beyond the maximum limitation of the fence but no fence including barbed wire shall exceed an overall height of eleven (11) feet."

Member Nagy stated that in good conscious she could not look at the site and approve the number of requested parking spaces. If a motion is made for the requested number of parking spaces, Member Nagy indicated that she would not be supporting it.

Chairperson Churella stated the building is not a concern as it has been approved. The Building Department and not the Planning Commission handle the issue of whether or not they have changed the building to a one-story or two-story inside. He reminded the Commission that they should be determining if they would like to employ more people in Novi, to live in Novi and give them parking. He stressed to the Commission to determine if the Site Plan meets the requirements of the Ordinance. If it is determined that it does then a motion needs to be made to approve and vice versa.

Members Markham questioned how many parking spaces are truly needed. She noted her understanding that if the building is an office-building by zoning then there are a certain number of parking spaces per square foot. She stated this is what is before the Commission this evening. However, the petitioner is requesting the approval of approximately 350 extra parking spaces. She stated that she did not find the need for the extra parking. She questioned if the Ordinance includes in its calculation the anticipated number of visitors to a building on a regular basis.

Mr. Arroyo commented on the interior changes to be made. He noted the traffic study submitted and the need for clarification of item number two, which was to be clarified on the Final Site Plan. However, he deemed it necessary to clarify that item this evening. He stated there would be an addition of approximately 38,000 square feet of space to the building over what was approved by the Commission. He clarified that the building would not be expanded. It is a primarily a reconfiguration of the internal floor plan to add additional space that was not originally there. This reconfiguration is generating the need for more parking. He described the change as a conversion of space and a modification of space. Mr. Arroyo recalled other cases that come before the City that have unusual characteristics. Some of these tend to ask for more spaces then what the Ordinance requires. He suggested that the Commission ask the petitioner if the spaces are needed for the operation and if the request is going beyond. He felt that some of the request was needed now and some of the request seemed to be a protection for future use. However, he noted that this was a determination that needed to be made by the Commission. He agreed that the petitioner is providing more parking spaces then necessary, which is partly based on the changed in the floor plan and the remainder is based on giving them the ability to make changes in the future without having to add more parking.

Member Markham clarified that based on the change of the floor plan, the required parking is 801 and the petitioner’s number is higher.

Mr. Evancoe indicated his staff just informed him that the correct number is 823 parking spaces. He explained that the GLA (Gross Leasible Area) is the method that should have been used in the calculation. Therefore, noted the Commission should disregard the 801 figure given and utilize the 823 parking spaces.

Member Markham noted the petitioner is asking for 1,150, which would lead the Commission to believe the approximately 327 parking spaces are for potential growth.

Mr. Kirkwood answered, correct. He explained that if the entire building were to become office usage, then 1,084 parking spaces would be required. He stated the in order to meet the City Standards; they are required to build a parking lot with the interior changes to the building.

Member Markham stated that she was prepared to make a motion to approve the 823 parking spaces, a Woodland Permit and a Wetland Permit. However, she would not be willing to approve any higher number of parking spaces based on what "might" happen.

Mr. Kirkwood indicated that it has already happened. He stated that they had to pay approximately $12,000 in review fees and will pay another $30,000 or $40,000 in permit fees to make the parking lot larger because the environment within the building changed. He stated if the building was sold to another party in the future and they decided to convert the building to completely office then they would need the 1,100 parking spaces. Therefore, he felt he was requesting at least the number of spaces required if the building was full office. Mr. Kirkwood stated The City of Novi told the applicant that they would need to make the parking lot larger. This being the reason the petitioner allocated the property located on Haggerty Road.

Member Markham stated that she would not make a motion that would pave over an area based on speculation at this point. However, she noted that she could support and make a motion to recommend a parking lot to accommodate the changes that have been brought forward to date.


Moved by Markham, seconded by Nagy, FAILS (3-5): In the matter of Magna Parking Lot Expansion SP01-73 to deny the Preliminary Site Plan to a level of 1,150 parking spaces.


Mr. Schultz stated that after briefly reviewing the off street parking requirements, he did not find any information giving a direct obvious authority to design the parking lot to a number of spaces the Commission prefers. He stated the concerns raised were legitimate. The City Ordinance has land banking provisions, which he understood were generally explored with the proponent who "shot it down". He suggested that the proponent comment on whether or not they would like to discuss the possibility further. He stated unless there were timing issues that he was not aware of, he suggested tabling the matter to the next available agenda. In that time, he suggested exploring what the authority is under the Zoning Ordinance to deal with a petitioner that is requesting too much parking for a site, further explore (in light of the Commission’s comments) land banking with the petitioner. He stated that the petitioner seemed to be concerned with "What if something happens in the future?" Land banking would set the property aside and not necessarily pave it over unless it is needed. Rather than a denial, which stops the issue with a number that is not certain to be correct, he suggested tabling the matter to address these issues. If need be, he suggested deriving a number that could be justified.

Chairperson Churella indicated that he was not in favor of the motion. He felt the petitioner presented good reasons for his request. He noted Mr. Schultz’ suggestion of land banking. The Commission could grant the petitioner the parking needed now and land banking provision to pave over the needed area in the future. He did not feel the petitioner would pave over land he did not need and he simply wanted the right to be able to do it.

Member Ruyle agreed with Chairperson Churella. He stated that he would not be supporting the motion.

Member Richards asked Ms. McClain if the petitioner had adequate drainage and runoff.

Ms. McClain answered, yes. She stated the detention basin would be enlarged.

Member Richards understood the petitioner’s point of view. He felt that the petitioner was indicating that he wanted to be plan ahead if the building were to become all office. He noted that the request is approximately 100 additional spaces.

Mr. Kirkwood explained that they wanted to ensure that they would have the adequate parking spaces if the facility were to become all office.

Member Richards clarified if the correct number is 1,125.

Mr. Kirkwood stated that he believed that the number of spaces was 1,084.

Member Richards stated that it seemed that the 1,084 would allow enough parking spaces for everyone if the building were to become all office.

Mr. Kirkwood stated the Ordinance states that one space is required per every 286 square foot of office floor space. He stated this calculates out to 1,050.

Member Richards stated with 825 parking spaces there remains a need for parking for visitors. He was not certain of the type of business, however, there could be as many as 50 visitors a day.

Mr. Kirkwood stated there are three (3) labs design studios for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors in the building. These companies will be visiting the building to look at their products being developed. He added that this would be revenue coming into Novi.

Member Richards stated that based on this information, it did not sound unreasonable to have 1,084 parking spaces to take care of the anticipated and projected business. He understood the reasoning for the petitioner wanting to build it one time and be "done with it".

Mr. Kirkwood agreed.

Member Richards understood their reasoning of not wanting to come back in a few years for another addition to the parking lot. Member Richards noted his support to construct the parking lot the correct size to ensure the risks are removed and that it is large enough to accommodate the possibilities. He recalled the neighboring business owner who supported the expansion. He felt this was possibly to avoid having vehicles parking on the street.

Mr. Schultz stated that he felt more comfortable defending this objective standard particularly in light of the proponent’s indications of satisfaction.

Member Kocan stated that many numbers were giving and none of them are the same. She noted her concern of approximately five hundred (500) parking spaces 14-feet away from Haggerty Road across from a residential district of Farmington Hills. If the Site Plan was brought before the Commission today, she did not feel the building location would be approved with all of the parking between the building and the road. She felt this was the problem. Therefore, she preferred to have 100 parking spaces "bumped out" to leave another 50-feet from Haggerty Road. She recognized that they need parking, however she wanted to have the exact number of spaces needed. She noted the many discrepancies with the number of parking spaces. She noted her concern of the trees protecting the residents from the development that would be taken down. The building is at an elevation of 923 and the road at an elevation of 901. She noted her concern that the residents would be viewing a parking lot. She wanted to work with the City and the Developer therefore; she supported tabling the matter.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, FAILS (3-5): In the matter of Magna Parking Lot Expansion SP01-73 to table the matter until exact numbers could be determined and brought closer to what would be required if the building was all office.


Chairperson Churella indicated that the number provided was 1,084.

Member Kocan stated that she heard it was 1,025 parking spaces.

Chairperson Churella restated that it is 1,084.

Mr. Kirkwood agreed that it is 1,084 parking spaces.

Chairperson Churella stated that 1,084 is the exact number the Ordinance requires.

Member Kocan stated the petitioner is still 75 parking spaces over. Member Kocan indicated that she was still motioning to table.

Mr. Kirkwood indicated that the petitioner could not afford to put the matter off any further. He requested to come to some type of agreement.

Member Richards asked if the applicant would be willing to "live with" 1,084 parking spaces as opposed to 1,150 parking spaces.

Mr. Kirkwood answered, yes.

Member Richards questioned if he would be amenable to lose the spaces in the front.

Mr. Kirkwood answered, yes. He requested to word the agreement to allocate parking spaces to meet the current facility if it were all office. Therefore, the site would not be outside the ordinance. He believed the number was 1,084. He agreed to take the extra spaces from Haggerty Road back toward the building.

Chairperson Churella called for the vote.

Member Paul indicated that Ms. McGuire has been trying to speak to the matter. She noted the several issue with regard to the islands. She felt this should also be addressed and included in the motion.

Chairperson Churella indicated a motion to table is on the floor.

Member Paul stated that motion might need to be amended to included some of the landscaping issues.

Member Kocan noted that a vote needed to be taken for the motion to table.

Member Paul requested that Chairperson Churella allow Ms. McGuire to comment on the matter.

Ms. McGuire stated if the south parking spaces along the south edge were land banked it would give 27 parking spaces. The entire east perimeter of the site would give 64 parking spaces. Therefore, 91 parking spaces could be land banked or removed easily without changing the configuration of the parking. The islands within the parking lot could be enlarged to remove additional spaces.

Mr. Evancoe felt it would be helpful for the Commission to be "that" specific because the Staff would need to know what Site Plan the Commission had in mind.

Mr. Kirkwood questioned how many spaces were along the border of Haggerty Road.

Staff of Mr. Kirkwood indicated sixty-four (64) spaces along the eastern edge of the parking lot.

Mr. Kirkwood indicated that if the entire line of spaces were removed then it would provide twenty feet (20’) closer to the building. The corner area could be banked.

Ms. McGuire suggested they drop the south edge to give 27 more spots.

Chairperson Churella asked for the total spaces to be clarified.

Ms. McGuire indicated that it would be 1,150 minus 91 spaces.

Chairperson Churella clarified that the spaces would be 1,059.

Member Kocan stated that now the number was twenty-one (21) short.

Mr. Kirkwood agreed. He stated that the number is now below the 1,084.

Chairperson Churella called the roll.

Member Kocan clarified if she could vote against her motion.

Mr. Schultz indicated that she could vote against it.

VOTE ON PM-02-01-022 FAILS

Yes: Markham, Nagy, Paul,

No: Churella, Kocan, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer,


Chairperson Churella indicated the previous motion was now on the floor. He called for the vote on the motion.

VOTE ON PM-02-01-021 FAILS

Yes: Markham, Nagy, Paul,

No: Churella, Kocan, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer,


Moved by Richards, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Magna Parking Lot Expansion SP01-73 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval and Woodland Permit subject to granting one thousand fifty-nine (1059) parking spaces, subject to removing equivalent to one row of parking along Haggerty Road and the removal of one row along the southern property line and removal of one row along the eastern property line, including the pedestrian walkway, subject to the consultant and staff conditions and recommendations.


Member Shroyer clarified if the tree replacement was factored in.

Ms. McGuire answered, yes. She stated that the site has met the tree replacement requirement.

Member Shroyer clarified if more trees would be saved with the taking out of the southern row.

Ms. McGuire answered, yes. However, she indicated that they have already met their number and have exceeded it.

Member Shroyer noted the topographical map and that the parking lot is at a higher elevation than Haggerty Road. He assumed the new parking lot would remain on the same elevation and not be lowered.

Mr. Kirkwood stated that it would start at the existing line and its sloping meets Ordinance requirements.

Member Shroyer noted the headlights that would be shining into the residents and the parking lot lights. He questioned if there was an adequate buffer.

Ms. McGuire stated a three foot (3’) berm has been provided. She noted it would be as if the parking lot elevation was 910 then 913 and then a drop down to the road.

Member Shroyer noted that there was no directional shielding in the parking areas.

Ms. McGuire indicated that the Lighting Plan is currently under review.

Member Shroyer questioned if it could be assured that this would be reviewed at Final and that no light would be admitted into the residences across Haggerty Road.

Mr. Evancoe indicated ensured that the Site Plan would need to meet the City Ordinance requirement at Final.

Member Shroyer stated that he did not believe that the applicant would go through the cost of building an additional parking area and the incurred maintenance if it was not truly needed. Therefore, he noted that he would be supporting the motion.

Member Kocan noted the Traffic Impact Study, which referenced the intersection of Lewis and Haggerty Road. She questioned if the installation of a traffic light was being proposed or if it was an issue that needed to be addressed in the future. She clarified that the developer would not be required to provide this. She clarified that the City would follow up on this matter.

Mr. Arroyo indicated that the City of Novi and the Road Commission would follow up on this item as a future issue.


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

No: None


Public Hearing on the request of Singh Development to consider:


Mr. Evancoe indicated the proposed idea originally came before the Implementation Committee per the request of Singh Development. Although there was not a quorum at that meeting, there was discussion regarding the merits of the idea. He stated the he would give a brief overview and Singh Development would present to the Commission what they hope to achieve. He noted the Twelve Oaks Mall, West Oaks and Fountain Walk are zoned Regional Center Commercial District (RCC). He located the properties of interest directly north of the area zoned RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) and is currently the site of the Waltonwood senior housing development. In terms of the Future Land Use plans for the City, the area is designated at PD-2 (Planned Development Option 2). The RM-1 property is PD-1. Singh Development would like to develop the area in a manner that would include a mixed-use development, in which commercial or office uses would take place on the first floor and residential above that use. He noted that this mixed-use is not uncommon to what is seen in other downtown areas.

Khanh Pham of Singh Development stated the request was made before the Master Plan Committee in March 2001. There was discussion of how the property could be developed with a mixed-use building. He noted that new commissioners have been appointed since their process began. Member Canup is the only remaining commissioner whom he worked with, however, he was not present at tonight’s meeting. He agreed with Mr. Evancoe’s comments regarding the introduction of a mixed-use building. Mr. Pham noted the reasoning(s) historically that a mixed-use would be a good use for the property. The property is 8-acres, an outlot of the Taubman Twelve Oaks Mall. The property has a deed restriction as part of the transfer of the property, which does not permit any use that is competitive with the mall. Therefore, due to the deed restriction, any type of retail that is currently occupied or similar to uses in the mall is prohibited. Rather than having a "strip center", Singh Developed (owner of Waltonwood development to the south) hoped to develop another quality development such as Waltonwood. He proposed a mixed-use building with retail/office on the first floor and residential located on the second floor. He noted the surrounding uses DMC Medical Center, Waltonwood and Enclave (RM-1 w/PD-1 Option). He stated a mixed-use facility located on Twelve Mile Road would be more appropriate and more desirable than a "strip center". He felt that the Singh Development could present a great entrance from Twelve Mile Road to the Twelve Oaks Mall. He noted that uses such as Krispy Crème Donuts, Baskin Robbins or restaurant would be consistent with the proposed as they are service retail oriented. The second floor would have upscale apartments with underground parking in the rear. In working with Staff and the Commission, he noted the proposal that has evolved. He requested an amendment to the Text Amendment to allow for the transitional use, which is adjacent an office and north of a senior facility verses having to develop a "big box" furniture store or a "strip center service retail".

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

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


Member Markham indicated the PD-2 Designation on the Master Plan is not only on Singh Development’s 8-acre piece of property, but also on several other areas in the Regional shopping districts. Therefore, she clarified that a change to the Ordinance would apply to Singh Development’s property and potentially used with any of the parcels, which fall under the PD-2 designation.

Mr. Evancoe answered, correct. He stated the area(s), which Singh Development referenced, are the only large vacant parcels remaining. However, if there were redevelopment, then it would apply.

Member Kocan stated that the issue was brought to the Planning Commission from the Master Planning and Zoning Committee. To her understanding, the Master Planning and Zoning Committee recommends zoning changes, however the Implementation Committee rewrites Ordinances. The Planning Commission did not send the matter to the Implementation Committee for review, this being her first concern. The City Council is working on a Gateway Ordinance, which to her understanding would include mixed-residential use. It is dedicated to a certain portion of the City and she felt that it should remain there. She noted the inconsistencies within the actual language of the Ordinance itself. Section 2406.6(3) states "The area being requested for rezoning is immediately adjacent to like or similar zoning so as not to create unrelated penetrations of nonresidential districts into residentially zoned areas." She stated that there is an inconsistency within this section of the Ordinance. She stated there was no quorum at the Master Planning and Zoning Committee. Member Kocan felt that the matter should have gone before Implementation Committee. Therefore, for her reasons stated, she was not ready to approve the proposed amendment. Further, she did not feel that it should be approved. She noted her inclination to not support the proposed. She clarified if the petitioner was seeking a recommendation to the City Council.

Mr. Evancoe answered, correct.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.171 to send a negative recommendation to the City Council, recognizing that there are other zoning districts within the City that allow a mixed-use development and that the Ordinance would not only be related to one area within the City but might relate to other areas that have not been studied.


Mr. Pham stated the Town Center District currently allows for a mixed-use building. If the proposed Gateway Ordinance passes, it would also allow for another district with a mixed-use. He stated the PD-2 Option changes would only effect the PD-2 areas with RC Zoning and the "PD-2 bug" placed upon it by the Master Plan. He stressed that the change would not alter any other PD properties because the other PD properties would effect other zoning districts in other areas. He stated there are two vacant properties in the RC District which are outlots for the Twelve Oaks Mall. Singh Develop also owns the 9-acre parcel to the west. During the review with the previous Planning Commission, Consultants and Staff, he noted it was determined that it was not appropriate to zone to TC or future Gateway because it was considered "spot zoning". Therefore, the proposed is an option for transitional use as opposed to placing a TC or Gateway zoning on Twelve Mile Road. He agreed that there was not a quorum. However, he noted that he was prepared to answer any questions of the Commission regarding the feasibility and the practicality of the proposed use.

Member Nagy pointed out that further in Ordinance 2406, it states "The area requested for PD-2 Option development demonstrates suitable road traffic capacities/access…" She stated the area is already overcrowded and therefore, she could not imagine the placement of more traffic. She agreed that the proper channels were not taken to bring the matter forward to the Planning Commission.


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

No: None




Singh Development requests consideration of:


Mr. Evancoe gave the background to the request. He noted the correspondence received from Thompson Brown and Trinity Health, which expressed their objection to the request. He noted the Text Amendment was proposed by Singh Development. It previously came before the Commission and was recommended for approval to the City Council. The City Council sent the item to the Ordinance Review Committee, where changes were made. The item then returned to the City Council. In the process, he noted the important addition recommended by the City Council relating to the properties fronting on Meadowbrook Road. The City Council and Legal Counsel concurred it would be best for the item to return to the Planning Commission because the addition substantially changed what the Commission recommended. It was believed that that Commission should review the item with the changes. Mr. Evancoe asked the Commission to keep in mind in their discussion that the area bound by Twelve Mile Road and Grand River Avenue is the area being looked at. He noted specifically the OST office properties located along Meadowbrook Road between Twelve Mile Road and I –96 Freeway. Currently the Zoning Ordinance allows for OST Buildings to attain a height of sixty-five (65) feet providing that the property is located within the Grand River Avenue/Twelve Mile Road boundary and are not adjacent to residentially zoned properties. Singh Development’s proposed change would make the type of residential more specific. It has been narrowed down to Single-Family Districts, RM-1 Districts and Mobile Home Districts and would exclude RM-2 (High-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District). The proposal would allow for taller buildings when the OST is adjacent to RM-2. The maximum building for RM-2 is sixty-five (65) feet and the other districts have a lower building height restriction. In addition to the property being located between Twelve Mile Road and Grand River, the City Council added that if the property fronts on Meadowbrook Road then it would not be permitted to participate. He noted the properties fronting on Meadowbrook Road, which would not be able to participate in the sixty-five (65) foot "bonus". However, as the Ordinance is currently written, those properties would be able to participate. The properties with frontage on Twelve Mile Road are adjacent to residential and would not be able to participate in either the current existing or the proposed provision. He stated that during the previous week, he spoke with Trinity Health and informed them that they would not be effected by the change because they currently could not have a height of 65-feet nor would they with the amendment. Therefore, he noted his surprise of their letter of objection. However, he indicated the letter was not written by the individual he had conversation with. The Zoning Ordinance reads that adjacency includes properties that are across the street. Although, Twelve Mile Road separates the property from the residentially zoned area, it is still considered adjacent. In speaking with City Attorney Tom Schultz, it was determined that it would be appropriate for the Commission to consider sending the matter to the Implementation Committee to allow the merits of the Meadowbrook Proposal could be discussed. If this were a desirable way to phrase the Ordinance, it would then be based upon some rational background data as to why Meadowbrook Road would not qualify. He advised that they might not want an ordinance that is arbitrary. He added that the Implementation Committee was the most appropriate process to bring forth a new Ordinance. Mr. Evancoe contended that the proposed change would make it a new Ordinance. He stated that Public Notice would be appropriate if the Commission were to make a recommendation of a new Ordinance.

Mike Kahm reiterated that the Commission had already sent forward a positive recommendation for the Ordinance Amendment minus the additional clause of the 65-foot exemption along the Meadowbrook Road Corridor. He noted his favor of the Ordinance proposal that the Commission originally recommended to the City Council. However, with the Council’s addition, he noted that it was now at the Commission’s pleasure.


Member Richards announced that he received three (3) correspondences, who oppose the change of lowering the permitted height of buildings that may be constructed on their property from the now existing permitted height of 65-feet.

Burton Katzman owner of Meadowbrook Corporate Park oppose the change.

Trinity Health opposes the change.

Thompson Brown Realtors representing Ms. Mary Louise Taylor and Ms. Marjorie F. Gibber oppose the change.


Chairperson Churella suggested taking the advice of Mr. Evancoe and sending the matter to the Implementation Committee.

Member Nagy did not feel the matter followed the correct process.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Shroyer, CARRIED (7-1): In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.170 to send the matter to the Implementation Committee


Mr. Evancoe indicated that he did not want the Commission to misunderstand the situation with the Trinity Health. He noted his understanding that the property owned by Trinity Health is regarded as a "zoning lot". Although it may consist of many parcels (some of which front on Twelve Mile Road and some deeper in) the Trinity Health’s development would be considered as one zoning lot. The "zoning lot" is adjacent to the Single-Family Residential.

Mr. Arroyo recalled Trinity Health’s first approach to the City when considering developing a facility. He recalled some discussion of certain elements of the project that would be privately held and would generally be a non-profit organization. There was also discussion of medical office buildings that would be separate and need to be set up in a different structure for profit. In this case, there may have been a lot split creating a "for profit" medical office building and a "non-profit" medical facility on another parcel. In that scenario, there may have been a situation with the property fronting on Twelve Mile Road having a lower height and the remainder with the additional height if the Ordinance were not modified. Another potential could be if the property were sold to another developer, it could be "carved" up into different lots with the applicant of separate zoning lots. Therefore, he felt that there were ways that the amendment could effect Trinity Health and their ability to go above that height.

Member Kocan questioned if it were appropriate to ask Mr. Arroyo’s opinion of the exclusion of Meadowbrook Road. She noted that information such as what has been approved, what is coming up, how it would be impacted, etc… would need to be provided if the matter were sent to the Implementation Committee. She questioned where the Ordinance would lead with the property currently zoned OST between Meadowbrook Road and the shopping center. She noted the developer has approached the Commission requesting a rezoning to RM. She questioned if precedence would be set that could not be turned back later and be forced to rezone a property.

Mr. Arroyo noted the approved Beechforest Site Plan, which is a 65-foot building fronting on Meadowbrook Road on the West Side. An approved site plan for a three-story building within the range of 55-feet is located on East Side. There are site plan approved buildings on both sides of the road that exceed the amount. He recalled the original establishment of the OST District for the area was that the borderline between Grand River Avenue and Twelve Mile Road would be an area that would tolerate additional building height because it is closer to the freeway and other existing districts that allow for it. He believed that there would be merit in continuing this type of consideration particularly since there are approved site plans along Meadowbrook Road and it was likely that others would like to go above the 46-foot height. He stated that the matter could be evaluated in more detail if it was sent to the Implementation Committee. However, he noted that his first reaction is that the 65-foot OST area was fairly well thought out when it was originally envisioned for the area. He noted that he has not seen a good reason to change it.

Member Kocan recalled when the matter came before the Commission prior to it going before the Council. She did not recall it excluding the RM-1 property with regard to the height variance. She recalled it including Single-Family Residential and Mobile Homes.

Mr. Arroyo agreed. He added that there were modifications.

Member Kocan clarified that the RM-1 and the Meadowbrook Road were added since it was originally before the Commission.

Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.


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

No: Churella


Mr. Evancoe indicated that the Ms. Brock was prepared to give background if needed.

Ms. Brock stated that she would be available for any questions.

Member Kocan suggested taking each section individually and have a separate motion for each section.

Policy and Procedures:

Member Kocan indicated that she did not have a problem with the wording. However, she wanted to clarify that she understood it correctly. She stated that additions to the agenda, that are action items, need to be submitted a week prior the Planning Commission meeting. She did not recall any instances where she needed to request an action item and was surprised of the amendment. However, she clarified that items could still be added to the agenda under Matters for Discussion.

Chairperson Churella answered, correct.

Member Kocan asked the reasoning for the amendment.

Ms. Brock recalled a By-Laws and Rules of Procedure item that was forwarded from a Committee for an amendment on the night of the Planning Commission meeting. There was discussion amongst the commissioners, who felt that there should have been proper time for preparation allowed to the commission to review the amendment.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, SUPPORT WITHDRAWN: To approve the new wording for Policies and Procedures for amending the Planning Commission Agenda.


Member Shroyer asked where item#1 Policy and Procedures for Amending the Agenda and Committee Report would be added to the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure.

Ms. Brock indicated that it was suggested that it be added to Section 3.7A.

Mr. Schultz indicated that at the top of page two of the document, the text is the entire re-written 3.7 as it would then read.

Ms. Brock stated that technically the Order of Business for Committee Reports has already been taken care of at the beginning of the meeting with the suggestion to add the Committee Reports to Communications.

Chairperson Churella stated the only change it the removal and approval of the Consent Agenda. He stated that it was his understanding that Special Reports would be moved.

Ms. Brock noted the motion at the beginning of the meeting to move Special Reports up to Communications. Therefore, technically Committee Reports were addressed at the beginning of the meeting.

Member Ruyle withdrew his second.

Member Markham noted that the audience participation was omitted. She believed this was an error.

Ms. Brock stated it was an error and noted that it would be added back.

Member Nagy stated the materials were difficult to read. She questioned if the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure were on the computer. She suggested bolding the section to be changed.

Ms. Brock suggested formatting the materials such as a Text Amendment with underlines, etc…

Member Nagy restated her preference of bolding the text to be changed.

Chairperson Churella suggested changing the materials and bringing it back for approval.

Member Shroyer indicated that a motion was on the floor.

Member Kocan stated that she was prepared to vote because the matter has been on the agenda for three (3) months.

Chairperson Churella did not feel there was a lot to be changed. He agreed that the Commission should vote on the matters now.

Member Kocan clarified if it would read Communication/Committee Reports.

Chairperson Churella answered, correct. He felt that the reports could be given or the commission could move it to Matters for Discussion if need be.

Member Kocan clarified that Communications/Committee Reports would be from the Staff to the Planning Commission. She clarified that Correspondence would be letters from the residents.

Chairperson Churella answered, correct.

Ms. Brock clarified if the vote was for Policies and Procedures for amending the agenda.

Chairperson Churella stated the vote is for Section 3.7A

Member Ruyle indicated that he rescinded his second.



Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve By-Laws and Rules of Procedure regarding Policies and Procedures for amending the agenda with adding the audience participation and removing Committee Reports to Communications/Committee Reports.


Member Kocan noted the wording "no additions to the agenda by planning commission members within seven days of the meeting date will be permitted". She suggested the addition of the words "No Matters for Consideration" or "No agenda items, which require voting". Otherwise the commissioners would not be able to add anything for Matters for Discussion.

Chairperson Churella stated if a member would like to add item to the agenda and the Commission agrees, then it should be part of the agenda. Likewise, if the commission does not agree, then it should not become part of the agenda.

Member Kocan noted the text states "except by vote of the Commission". She stated that she would keep her motion providing that it include1 "except by vote of the Commission".


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

No: None

Background Requirements for Committee Appointments:

Member Kocan indicated that 2.4(b) stated that appointments shall be by nomination or vote by the full commission. She questioned if the verbiage insinuated that all nine members would need to be present.

Chairperson Churella stated it would need to be a quorum.

Member Kocan stated that it should read "the vote of a quorum" or "a vote of the commissioners present".

Mr. Schultz agreed.

Member Nagy noted that five (5) member needed to be present to conduct a meeting. Therefore, she suggested it state, "of the commission members present".

Mr. Schultz agreed.

Member Kocan did not agree that a commissioner should be required to be on the Planning Commission for one-year prior to appointment to the Implementation Committee. She noted the possibility that one may be heavily involved with Implementation Issues prior to being appointed to the Planning Commission. However, she did agree with the one-year requirement for the Rules Committee. She noted that in the past officers seemed to be on the Rules Committee. She did not agree with this and felt that it should be more like "checks and balances". Section 2.4 (c) states "Attend Zoning Board of Appeals meetings on a rotational basis when their rotation occurs, on an as-needed basis." She stated that this has not been done.

Chairperson Churella felt that it should be left to read "on an as-needed basis". He stated that it is not a mandatory and the commission could determine if they wanted to send someone. He stated that he had not preference regarding her suggestion to change to the Implementation Committee requirement. He noted that Member Markham has past years of experience serving on the Commission.

Member Ruyle agreed with Chairperson Churella. He questioned if Member Markham should be considered a new member on the Commission or if her previous years should be considered. He felt that Member Markham qualified in all aspects for the one-year requirement.

Chairperson Churella stated that this information could be added if the Commission agrees. However, it is currently not included in the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure. He reminded the Commission that the text would not only apply to Member Markham, but also to any member that returns to serve on the Planning Commission. Therefore, he clarified if the experience would include the serving on other planning commissions.

Member Ruyle answered, no.

Chairperson Churella explained that time and grade would transfer for the Navy or Marines. Therefore, he suggested including the text "no past history".

Member Nagy agreed with the one-year rule. She felt that it takes time to learn the Commission, the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure and the Ordinances. She stated the Implementation Committee is important and should have members with experience.

Member Markham noted that she was on the Planning Commission and the Implementation Committee for 1½-years. She did not agree with arbitrary dates. She stated one could come to the Commission for a year and sleep and yet be qualified to be on the Implementation Committee. Therefore, she did not support the time requirement. However, she understood the requirement for the Rules Committee because it relates to the function of the Planning Commission body.

Member Shroyer pointed out that the Rules Committee and Implementation Committee each have three members.

Chairperson Churella noted that the Implementation Committee had four members.

Member Shroyer suggested having two members with the one-year requirement and allowing one member that is relatively new. He noted that the Main Street Committee needed to be added to Section 2.4.

Member Nagy noted that Town Center Steering Committee is now the Main Street Committee.

Member Shroyer requested that the text be updated with the verbiage "Main Street Committee". He suggested that the wording "Members shall be eligible for reappointment to any Committee…" be added to Section 2.4(b).

Member Kocan indicated that this was part of the verbiage from the City Attorney.

Member Shroyer apologized.

Ms. Brock agreed with the removal of the Town Center Steering Committee. However, she stated the Main Street Committee is still being developed. Therefore, she was not certain if it should be added to the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure at this point.

Chairperson Churella asked that the situation with the Main Street Committee be clarified.

Mr. Evancoe stated that to his understanding, the Main Street Committee has not been officially been created by the City Council at this time.

Member Nagy believed that Councilmember Lorenzo was on this committee.

Mr. Evancoe did not believe the committee held a meeting yet.

Member Shroyer noted that the Committee is listed under the Planning Commission Committees.

Member Rulye stated that his question was never answered. He asked the status of Member Markham.

Chairperson Churella indicated that she is a member.

Member Ruyle questioned how long.

Chairperson Churella felt that any member that previously served on the Commission and returns should not have a one-year requirement.

Member Ruyle clarified that "that member" would have met the one-year requirement.

Chairperson Churella answered, yes.

Member Ruyle noted the Chairperson’s opinion. He then asked if Mr. Schultz shared the same opinion.

Mr. Schultz stated that the Commission creates the committee rules. Therefore, it would literally be "whatever" the Commission states. He stated the matter is not a legal interpretation.

Member Ruyle asked again for his opinion.

Mr. Schultz suggested the Commission could chose one-year of service for the Novi Planning Commission or any commission.

Member Nagy withdrew her previous comments. She stated that Implementation Committee should not have the one-year requirement. She agreed with Member Markham and Member Kocan.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve with the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure regarding Background Requirement with the removal of the sentence stating that members must be on the Commission for one-year before appointment for Implementation Committee and to amend to state the appointment shall be by a nomination and vote by Commission members present, amend to change Town Center text to Main Street.


Mr. Schultz clarified if the Rules should to be incorporated into the motion.

Member Nagy noted that the Rules Committee was fine.

Ms. Brock stated the Administrative Liaison Committee would remain three officers.

Chairperson Churella answered, yes.


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

No: None

Policy Regarding Communications Among Planning Commissioners:

Member Nagy questioned the reasoning for this amendment.

Chairperson Churella indicated the City Attorney indicated that the commissioners could not e-mail one another because it could be considered a quorum.

Member Nagy questioned if telling her that she could not e-mail "someone" was a violation of her constitutional rights. She found the matter absurd. She pointed out that the City Council has the capacity to receive and send e-mail to other councilmembers and the Department Heads. She clarified that she personally does not e-mail her fellow commissioners.

Chairperson Churella stated that if she did then she would be in violation.

Member Nagy argued that she would not be in violation of anything because she could e-mail a fellow commissioner inviting her to lunch.

Member Shroyer stated that there is not a quorum.

Chairperson Churella stated that it would not be permitted to have five (5) commissioners at lunch at one time.

Member Nagy stated that she would not.

Chairperson Churella stated the point was the difficulty that could be encountered. He stated that he did not have a preference about the e-mail verbiage. He clarified that five (5) commissioners were not permitted on a conference call to discuss matters.

Mr. Schultz believed that to be true. He pointed out the question of whether or not the communications would effect the Commission’s action on a matter. In a broader explanation, he noted that they were asked to prepare the verbiage and therefore, it was kept as general as possible. The courts have recently found these meetings involving a quorum of people is a way around the Open Meetings Act. He stated the intent was not to tell the Commission what to do, yet to make them aware that there are consequences for not upholding their actions.

Member Nagy asked if the same recommendation would be advised to the City Council.

Member Shroyer added that it should be all Boards and Commissions.

Mr. Schultz stated that he was not sure, because the request has only been made for the Planning Commission for that specific Committee.

Member Nagy understood the violation of the Open Meetings Act. She did not feel there was a problem because the commissioners do not take part in e-mailing one another. However, she indicated that she would make a motion to include the verbiage.



Moved by Nagy, LACK OF SUPPORT: To insert the Policy regarding communications amongst planning commissioners


Member Paul noted that she also had a problem with the issue. She did not feel there should be an inclusion of the verbiage of "e-mail". She suggested that the commission should make sure that there is not a quorum. She pointed out that commissioners speaking on the phone would also be considered as a communication.

Member Markham stated the Open Meetings Act is a law that the commissioners are expected to abide by. Therefore, she did not find additional wording necessary. The commissioners are aware that they can not have a quorum and she did not feel the verbiage was necessary.

Mr. Schultz indicated that he do not have any problem not adopting the proposed language because he preferred to not having another written rule one could mistakenly or accidentally violate. However, he needed to address if it would be ludicrous to have in writing, even if it is not adopted as a By-Laws, what courts as a practical matter are in fact considered to be violations. One may question "How can it be possible for a Court to say that if Member Paul calls Member Shroyer and he calls Member Nagy, etc… is a violation?" He indicated that it would be a violation. Whether or not it is a good idea or bad public policy the circuit court finds it a violation. He noted the example that four people meet at Panera and then call a fifth member by phone, it is considered a quorum. Rather or not it makes sense, he noted it is how the matter is being dealt with.

Member Nagy clarified if this occurred in the State of Michigan.

Mr. Schultz stated the example that he gave was an actual scenario elsewhere in the State of Michigan. He noted that ultimately, the matter did not go anywhere.

Member Kocan recalled the original reasoning for the issue being raised. She noted that a letter was written by a commissioner and sent to the homes of the other commissioners without having gone through the City. The commissioner who wrote the letter was not able to attend the meeting and wanted the other members to have the benefit of the information. It was determined later that the commissioner did send the letter to the Planning Department to be included in the Agenda. Therefore, it was determined that it was not a violation of the Open Meetings Act. Member Kocan gave the example that when she writes a communication to Mr. Evancoe and indicates cc to the Planning Commission because she is not allowed to send it to the Planning Commission directly. She noted that she would agree that if a commissioner were addressing the commission as a whole, the communication would be required to go through the Planning Department. She believed this was the issue the October 3, 2001 meeting was identified. She stated that she was not prepared to approve the proposed verbiage. She suggested sending the matter back to the Rules Committee to be re-written.

Member Shroyer believed that until such time that all City Boards, City Commissions, City Council, etc… were put in a position to adopt this type of policy consistently throughout, he felt the proposed verbiage should be denied. He noted the possibility that the matter could be reviewed at a later date or never be raised again. He did not feel it should be sent to the Rules Committee.


Moved by Shroyer, seconded by Paul, CARRIED (7-1): Motion to deny the recommendation of adding By-Laws and Rules of Procedure Section 3.9(c) – Policy Regarding Communications among planning commissioners.


Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Shroyer

No: Ruyle


Member Nagy questioned if Member Shroyer would be amenable to sending his comments to the Rules Committee.

Member Shroyer agreed.


Mr. Evancoe stated the Ordinance is not entirely clear as to how to address issues of road deign, building setbacks, parking setbacks with a general condominium type of development. However the Ordinance is clear when dealing with a typical platted subdivision or site condominium. General Condominiums with multiple buildings on one parcel is not clear. Unfortunately there are currently projects in the process that are preparing to come before the Commission and need direction as to how they should prepare their Site Plans. Ultimately, the Commission would make recommendations to the City Council for Ordinance changes. However, he suggested the Commission consider adopting an interim policy to keep things moving with the adoption of technical language at a later date.

Mr. Arroyo indicated most developments that come to the city are platted subdivisions or site condominiums. A Site Condominium is a building unit that is the equivalent of a lot in terms of dimension. It would appear on the Site Plan as if it were being carved into lots even though they are not technically lots. A General Condominium is one parcel of land with several buildings on it. The difficult arises when determining where to measure setbacks from because there is no lot line except for the very exterior. There is no equivalent to that lot line, such as with a site condominium. If the commission were to approve the interim policy, it would only be effect to for the plans that are currently coming through the process. Ultimately, there would be an approved Ordinance that could refine or modify the policy if necessary. He asked that the Commission consider approving the Interim Policy for Road Design & Building Setbacks in Multiple Building Developments and then forward it to the Implementation Committee. Ultimately it would return for a Public Hearing and then forward to the City Council for a permanent amendment to the Ordinance. Mr. Arroyo noted the proposed policy primarily impacts Cluster Single-Family and two-family Developments. This would not apply to normal R-1, R-2 that takes place without a Cluster Option. The Cluster Developments have buildings close together either attached or detached. He noted that some two-family developments also need to have the same clarity as to how to apply the ordinance.

Mr. Arroyo stated the proposed policy indicates that a single and two-family family residential development with the single family being a cluster development would require a public or a private road. A private road has two possibilities. If the road were off of the main road, the arterial, it would need to be a twenty-eight (28) foot wide road, which is the standard width. This would allow for the flexibility that is typically allowed in a multiple-family development and it would allow for side streets and parking off of the isle. Currently, the private and public road standards do not allow for parking directly off of an access isle. He noted that this would only apply to shorter distance drives that are coming off of major drives. A minor drive would allow parking and could be narrower. Greater flexibility would be allowed with the curvature of the roadway. It would allow it to go down to a one hundred foot center line radius, which is the minimum that is allowed though the national policy standards for road design. The current ordinance specifies a 230-foot centerline radius. He noted that these types of projects are typically in environmentally sensitive areas. Allowing more flexibility in the road design would hopefully protect some more environmental features by allowing the road to curve around them. The policy would identify setbacks from the back of the curb, as it is stated in the current ordinance for Cluster Options. He recalled the Novi Technology Industrial project, which was a general condominium industrial project. He recalled the concerns of which ordinances would apply and if general condominiums could break up the units. The proposed policy clarifies that the non-residential development would have to be built according to the parking lot standards. Thereby applying the same standards for the condominium as with a non-condominium development. He noted the importance of addressing the matter now because of the projects that have been submitted and would be before the commission. He stated if the commission found the Interim Policy for Road Design & Building Setbacks in Multiple Building Developments acceptable, then they should approve it now and refine it later as part of an ordinance amendment that would ultimately go before the Council for approval.


Member Nagy clarified that he was requesting that the policy go through the process and then to the Implementation Committee, etc…

Mr. Arroyo noted that would be the ultimate process. However, for now, he requested that the commission approve the Interim policy to allow for guidance for the projects that are coming through.

Member Nagy clarified if the Commission could set policy or if it was the City Council.

Mr. Arroyo stated the City Attorney; Gerald Fisher identified the interim policy as an interpretation and a clarification of an ordinance. Mr. Arroyo noted that the ordinance is silent in terms of the design because as a general condominium, it does not speak to what the standards should be. Therefore, he felt that he Commission would be interpreting the Ordinance.

Chairperson Churella stated that unless the road is built to standard it could not be given over to the City.

Mr. Arroyo agreed. He stated if a road is constructed less than City Standard, it would remain a private road.

Chairperson Churella suggested that this be addressed at Implementation Committee.

Member Markham questioned if it would make sense to place a time limit on the interim.

Mr. Arroyo suggested six (6) months.

Chairperson Churella suggested nine (9) months.

Mr. Arroyo agreed that nine months might be better.

Member Markham stated that at the same time it would go to the Implementation Committee for evaluation and recommendation.


Moved by Markham, seconded by Kocan: CARRIED (7-0)*: To adopt the Interim Policy for Road Design & Building Setbacks in Multiple Building Developments with the understanding that it will be limited to a nine month period from February 1, 2002 and will be sent to the Implementation Committee for review and action.


Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Shroyer

No: None

*Ruyle left meeting and was not present to vote.


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

Member Kocan made minor corrections to the minutes.

Member Nagy made minor corrections to the minutes.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED (7-0)*: To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of December 5, 2001 as amended.


Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Shroyer

No: None

*Ruyle left early and was not present to vote.



Member Nagy felt that a budget needed to be set for the Planning Commission. She suggested that three (3) commissioners be budgeted to attend the selected conferences on a rotational basis. She stated a lot of money is spent to send people to the same conference year after year. She did not feel it was necessary to send all nine members to the same conference. She noted that some studies were not completed in the year 2001, which monies were allocated for previously. She questioned what happened to the studies.

Chairperson Churella clarified if she was indicating that only three (3) commissioners attend the conference. He questioned what would happen if a fourth wanted to attend the same conference.

Member Nagy indicated that only three would attend the conference.

Chairperson Churella questioned her reasoning for only allowing three to attend a conference. He did not feel it was right to exclude the fourth.

Member Nagy suggested a rotational basis because last year and this year, commissioners were asked to pay for their own travel expenses to the conferences. She felt that if commissioners were sent on a rotational basis then the budgeted monies would be used and the commissioner would not be asked to pay for their own expenses.

Member Kocan shared her concern with the budget. She stated if the commissioners attend the Chicago conference, then there would not be monies to attend the local conferences.

Chairperson Churella suggested that the amount of conference monies needed be determined and then proposed for approval.

Member Kocan stated that she was not in objection to this option.

Chairperson Churella requested that the Planning Studies & Budget Committee derive a figure by the next Planning Commission meeting.

Mr. Evancoe reminded the Commission that the fiscal year ends June 30, 2002. He indicated the studies Member Nagy was referring to are currently being worked on and will be completed by the end of the fiscal year.


Member Nagy stated that the commission is required by the state statute to fund for Capital Improvements. She stated that she did not recall any last year.

Chairperson Churella indicated that he had information regarding the Capital Improvements if she was interested.

Member Nagy clarified that the Commission is mandated by statute to do Capital Improvements. She stated there is no Capital Improvements Committee, which she felt should be the Budget and Finance "people" making a recommendation to City Council.

Member Markham asked how this concern was related to planning issues.

Member Nagy stated it is mandated by State Law.

Member Markham questioned if the Planning Commission was under the State Law. She questioned what Capital Improvements are related to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Evancoe stated that it would be the type of things that implements the Master Plan, such as suggesting what roads should be upgraded or where sewers should be expended to facilitate new development. It would not include determining if the Fire Department should have a new pump or truck or planning should have new computers. He stated it would be a physical improvement that would implement the plan.

Member Markham clarified if it would be part of the Master Plan.

Mr. Schultz indicated it is a separate six (6) year plan that the Planning Commission adopts on a yearly basis.

Member Markham questioned if it has ever been done.

Mr. Schultz stated based on his discussions, he believed the Administration was preparing a draft for consideration by the Commission.

Member Markham clarified that it would come before the Commission for approval.

Mr. Schultz answered, correct. He stated that typically it would be presented to the Commission in a readable form for input.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that Clay Pearson is the head of the CIP and would be overseeing the matter from a staff point of view.

Mr. Schultz indicated that there is not a statutory date. He noted that it is a yearly plan for the Commission to consider every year.

Member Markham clarified that the Commission was not responsible for compiling the information.

Mr. Schultz stated the information would be compiled administratively and the Commission would comment and approve with input if necessary.

Member Nagy clarified that the Commission will have input.

Mr. Schultz answered correct. He stated that the Commission has more than input because it is the Commission’s plan.


Member Nagy indicated that Mr. Arroyo noted that it was time to do updates. She stated since there is now a Master Plan for Land Use Committee she suggested considering this issue.


Member Kocan stated that she wrote a letter to the City, which the City Attorney responded to. She questioned the status of the island that exceeds the ordinance.

Mr. Schultz indicated that there were several subjects, as stated in his letter, which were self-implemented. The most discussion was generated by the issue of the length of the island before a break and stub streets. After the meeting, he reviewed the City Council minute and the Contract and the Site Plan. He stated the legal opinion, (which could be turned into written legal opinion), is that there is a contract with Maybury that permits the island the way it is in terms of the RUD Plan and does not require the stub streets. A letter to Mr. Evancoe in response to Member Kocan’s letter indicates that this opinion could be turned into a written explanation if needed. The written legal interpretation of the contract could be presented to the City Council to determine if they agree or not. He noted a very detailed Site Plan was presented to the City Council. He felt to make changes different than what is shown on the plan attached to the contract would be an uphill battle. He believed that the situation was a City Council "call" because the Developer wanted a detailed RUD Plan. Whether the Council overlooked an item or not is a questioned that only they can address. The Developer has taken the position that he has relied on that plan attached to the contract.

Member Kocan noted that her concern was to avoid having this situation from occurring again. Therefore, if there is an interpretation at a Planning Commission meeting that it would return for Preliminary Site Plan Approval, then she requested an advocate attend the City Council meeting to indicate that the site plan should return to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Schultz stated the Developer had a detailed plan when he was before the Commission, which was the plan the Developer took before the City Council. The Commission’s review could not be cursory at that point. The Commission would have to go through every one of the issues that the consultant’s and staff are going to raise and have all of those addressed at the meeting the recommendation to the Council is made. He stated that the first plan (RUD Plan) has discretionary authority. He stressed that it would not be the second plan (Site Plan). Therefore, if the Commission felt there was a "planning reason" to have something different and Council should have that input, then it would need to be done at that first meeting. Therefore, what is attached to the contract that the Council agrees to include what the Commission wanted to see. This would allow the Commission to include their input prior to the Council’s vote.

Member Kocan indicated that advice is different than what they were told that evening.


Member Kocan referred to the letter regarding connecting to the sewer system. She questioned if the City is working on this and not going in the direction of making force mains in the wrong direction. She questioned if the Commission needed to become involved in the matter.

Mr. Schultz indicated that there would be a meeting on January 24, 2002 regarding the issue of that letter. He noted that it was not an ideal situation for many reasons and the comments would need to be weighed with the position that Trane finds itself in. He stated that he would report the progress of the meeting back to the Commission.


Member Kocan asked if she could assume that the matter would be on the next agenda. She assumed that the research was not completed and therefore, could not make this agenda.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that the item was tentatively scheduled for the February 6, 2002 meeting. Originally Mr. Wyzinski had an extensive request and wanted the results brought to him promptly. However, he noted that realistically, this demand could not be met. In working with Mr. Wyzinski, the request has been changed to one that was more reasonable for the Staff to undertake. He stated that the information would be submitted in the packets.

Mr. Schultz noted the attorney’s for the Promenade have sent correspondence to the City objecting to Mr. Wyzinski being considered at the Zoning Board of Appeals. He stated they object to any further consideration of Mr. Wyzinski’s comment at the Planning Commission level. He noted that it is his understanding that they may be filing a motion in front of the Court in the Novi Promenade vs. City of Novi case. Therefore, he wanted the Commission to be aware that the Court may weigh in on the issue of what is a six (6) foot wall.

Member Nagy stated she watched the ZBA meeting and could not believe the matter was being sent back to the Planning Commission. She felt that Mr. Schultz more or less sent it back to the Commission.

Mr. Schultz stated the Ordinance is not ambiguous. The Ordinance clearly says that a six foot berm measured from the property line and not from the first floor elevation of anybody’s house next door. He felt that the ZBA was confused by the general issue because they did not have the same background as the Commission with the site plan issue. Mr. Wyzinski also raised the issue of prior interpretations. Based on the questions and concerns that were being addressed by the ZBA, Mr. Schultz felt that the Commission, if necessary, have some opportunity to explore those issues. He referred the Commission Mr. Wyzinski’s letter. He felt the ZBA may have been looking for more information and the Commission could possibly assist with this.

Member Nagy did not feel the matter should be coming before the Commission. She felt a decision should have been made at a ZBA level.

Member Kocan stated that she was glad to have the matter coming before the Commission because she did not feel there was an obscuring berm.

Chairperson Churella suggested that the petitioners could also go before the Judge.


Member Kocan recommended that Member Shroyer’s comments be forwarded to the Rules Committee. She stated if other commissioners had further changes that they submit them to be forwarded to the Rule Committee.

Member Shroyer requested an invitation to attend the Rules Committee.







Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul, CARRIED: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:49 p.m.


Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Shroyer

No: None

*Ruyle left early and was not present to vote.



Donna Howe - Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

March 13, 2001

Date Approved: April 3, 2002