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REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Churella.
PRESENT: Members Churella, Kocan, Markham (late arrival), 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, Planner Barbara McBeth, City Engineer Nancy McClain, Landscape Architect Lauren McGuire, City Attorney Tom Schultz
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Churella asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda.
PM-02-02-034 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Paul, CARRIED: To approve the Agenda as amended.
VOTE ON PM-02-02-034 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
*Member Markham was not present for this vote.
Chairperson Churella indicated there were two (2) items on the Consent Agenda.
1. REDFORD BAPTIST CHURCH SP99-15
Consideration of the request of Merritt McCallum Cieslak, PC, for approval of a one year Preliminary Site Plan extension. The subject project is located in Section 12 on Meadowbrook Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads. The applicant proposes a church building on 40.1944 acres. The property is zoned R-A.
Member Kocan stated that she did not have a problem supporting the granting of an extension to the Redford Baptist Church. However, the petitioner’s letter states a completion of the drawing and engineering needs in 2003 and construction phasing in 2004. Therefore, she questioned if the completion of the Preliminary Site Plan was required or the starting or submission of more paperwork was needed for an extension.
Mr. Evancoe stated in granting an extension, the Commission is re-authorizing the previously granted Preliminary Site Plan Approval. Therefore, the Commission is in essence indicating that they still approve of the Site Plan.
Member Kocan clarified if they need to break ground a year from this date.
Mr. Schultz indicated that under the Ordinance, three one-year extensions are permitted. At the end of the third extension, a building permit would need to be pulled and actual improvements would need to begin.
Member Kocan clarified if this was the second request for an extension.
Mr. Evancoe agreed.
Member Paul asked hypothetically what would occur if the petitioner returns in one-year to request another extension and the Ordinance changes.
Mr. Schultz indicated that if actual construction has not begun and an Ordinance change occurs effecting the Site Plan, then the change(s) would apply to their Site Plan. The petitioner would need to make the necessary amendments to the Site Plan.
Member Paul questioned how this would be enforced.
Mr. Schultz indicated the Planning Department is responsible for tracking this information. One is not vested under the Michigan State Law until actual physical improvements have been made. Therefore, by not making actual physical improvements at this time, the petitioner is taking a risk.
Member Paul clarified that if the project comes forward in one-year and amendments have been made and implemented in the City Ordinance, then those changes would apply and be enforced on the Site Plan.
Mr. Schultz stated the new Ordinance amendments would apply.
PM-02-02-035 IN THE MATTER OF REDFORD BAPTIST CHURCH SP99-15 TO APPROVE THE ONE-YEAR PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN EXTENSION
Moved by, seconded by CARRIED (7-0): In the Matter of Redford Baptist Church SP99-15 to approve the one-year Preliminary Site Plan Extension.
VOTE ON PM-02-02-035 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
*Member Markham was not present for this vote.
2. APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 19, 2001 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Member Nagy and Member Kocan indicated minor changes to the minutes.
PM-02-02-036 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF JANUARY 09, 2001 AS AMENDED.
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Shroyer, CARRIED (7-0): To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of January 09, 2001 as amended.
VOTE ON PM-02-02-036 CARRIED
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
*Member Markham was not present for this vote.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. CITY CENTER PLAZA ADDITION SP01-64
Consideration of the request of Superior Diversified Services Corporation, for Preliminary Site Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 22 on the west side of Novi Road and south of Grand River Avenue. The developer proposes a 6,170 square foot addition to the building. The 4.524 acre site is zoned TC-1 (Town Center District).
Mr. Evancoe outlined the significant changes City Center Plaza Addition. He noted an aerial photograph depicting the surrounding land uses, which include the Antique & Pine Center, Mobil Gas Station and Fendt Transit Mix. He recalled the issues that arose when the Site Plan was before the Planning Commission previously. One issue involved the setback between Antique Pines site and the subject’s property. The space was too narrow and would require a variance. There were issues with regard to the activity node area, which has now been relocated near the corner of the building. The previous site plan showed the activity node located adjacent to the parking lot. While it met the requirements of the ordinance, it was thought to be an odd location. The previous site plan also showed a loading area and a couple parking spaces were not ideal with very little screening between the Antique Pines property and the proposed addition. In addition, no landscaping was shown adjacent to the building, which is required by Ordinance. In contrast, Mr. Evancoe described the new Site Plan as a great improvement. He felt the Planning Commission "at its very best" was depicted in this particular planning process as the Commission identified solutions to a problem. He credited Member Nagy for her exceptional idea to possibly redesign the building with a setback to eliminate other problems. The new Site Plan locates the activity node at the corner of the building. There is meaningful landscaping along the north side of the building adjacent to it. He noted that although the entire four foot of landscaping adjacent to the building has not been provided, the landscaping has been increased. From an architectural/façade point of view, the new Site Plan indicates a good solution. He stated that it would have not been consistent with the remainder of the building to have the landscaping entirely up against the building. He pointed out the addition plantings, which would assist in screening the two uses and encapsulate this site and this building façade. He restated that the former two parking spaces (which were of concern) have been eliminated and the area landscaped. Due to the new building design with a setback, as requested by the Commission, the need for the variance along the perimeter along the north side is no longer necessary. He noted the required ZBA Variance in regard to the size of the building. The maximum permitted size for a retail building in the TC-1 District is 7,500 square feet (Section 1602.3). The proposed addition increases the existing 26,375 square foot building to 32,377 square feet. The retail area will exceed the maximum by 24,877 square feet and will require a ZBA variance. The front yard building setback in the TC-1 District is a minimum of 80 feet and a maximum of 137 feet (Section 1602.4). The front yard setback of the proposed addition is approximately 270 feet and will require a ZBA variance. The loading zone must be in the rear yard (Section 2507 and 1602.10). The loading zone is located in an exterior side yard and will require a ZBA variance. He reminded the Commission that the rear of the building is a flood plain. There are no major wetland issues. Wetland Permit: A Minor Floodplain Use Permit and Soil Erosion Permit will be required prior to construction. Woodland Permit: Mr. Evancoe made a correction to the Summary Report indicating that the Woodlands Permit comments should read "protective fencing as shown on the site plan meets Ordinance Requirements". Therefore, there are no negative concerns with regards to woodlands. Landscape: The required landscaping and plantings for the new parking area have been provided. The pedestrian orientation and architectural amenities, required by Section 1602.7, have been provided. The new location for the pedestrian node is in the area created by stepping the building face back in the northeast corner of the addition. This location is more useful and logical. The four feet of interior green space around the building has not been provided. However, two parking spaces were removed in the loading zone area to the north of the addition and replaced with additional landscaping. Because significant additional pedestrian and landscape space has been added in this area, it is within the purview of the Planning Commission to grant a waiver of this requirement. The Staff Recommendation is to approve the Preliminary Site Plan subject to obtaining the required variances and waivers and meeting all of the conditions of the review letters.
Ron Nuechterlien of Superior Diversified Services identified himself as the Construction Manager of the original building and the applicant of the proposed addition. He noted that the Commission’s concerns, raised at the December 5, 2001 meeting, were taken into consideration with the attempt to rectify, improve upon and resolve as many items as possible. He felt the items have been narrowed and the remaining required variances are a result from the change in zoning from the TC District to TC-1 District. He hoped that Commission was satisfied with the efforts made to accommodate their comments/concerns.
Member Nagy stated the Site Plan seemed to indicate a flood plain through the back area of the site. She questioned if it would impact the Rouge River.
Ms. McClain agreed with the location of the flood plain area. However, she stated that it would not be encroached upon. She indicated that although they would be building near it at the top of the flood plain, the required permit approvals have been obtained.
Member Nagy asked Ms. McGuire to comment.
Ms. McGuire noted the 100-year flood plain elevation on the site plan and indicated the retaining wall proposed is set above this.
Member Paul stated the site is being reviewed as a TC-1 District. The existing building is approximately 26,000 square feet with an addition it would be approximately 32,000 square feet. She noted the required ZBA Variance. Since the building currently exists larger then the 7,500 square feet, she questioned the reasoning for requiring the applicant to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance.
Chairperson Churella stated the Site Plan and the Agenda indicate an addition of 6,100 square feet.
Member Paul questioned again why the petitioner would need to go before the ZBA since they are currently over the maximum capacity.
Mr. Evancoe explained that the additional 6,000 square feet is an attachment to an existing building. In contrast, if it were a stand alone building it would not be required. However, the addition is making what is already nonconforming even larger and therefore it is required to go before the ZBA.
Member Paul noted her personal opinion was that it should not be necessary because the building already exists larger. Member Paul asked Ms. McGuire to give her opinion on the green space being added to the addition portion only and how it would appear from a whole building perspective. She stated there is only one green corner and the remainder of the building does not have landscaping adjacent to the building.
Ms. McGuire felt the green space would appear okay. She stated the front of the building and around the corner would continue the existing look, which has a sidewalk adjacent to the building. She indicated the one corner on the north side with the loading would have the landscaped space.
Member Paul noted the green space by the park benches and that they would be closer to the road area. She questioned the possibility of placing the benches periodically around the building on the sidewalk area. On warmer days she stated customers like to eat at the side area. However, she was concerned with the safety aspect due to the amount of traffic Panera Bread generates. Therefore, she suggested placing the benches periodically around the site on the sidewalk area.
Mr. Arroyo questioned if she had a specific concern regarding location the benches were proposed.
Member Paul stated that she was questioning if there should be additional benches and if the buffer provided was sufficient with regard to the vehicles that pass by at high speeds. She noted that the vehicles turning from Grand River Avenue into the site are typically speeding. Therefore she was questioning the safety of those sitting on the bench with their back facing the roadway.
Mr. Arroyo noted the advantage of the parking lot and the drives being constructed with curbs, which would provide for a certain level of protection, particularly at speeds that would typically be driven at this location. He noted an area closest to the building with a sidewalk, back of the curb and plantings to provide for a buffer. He pointed out that one factor would involve the question of what use would occupy this area. Some uses such as a restaurant may generate customers that want to go outside, whereas a retail use might not.
Member Paul agreed. She felt a retail use might generate husbands sitting on the benches waiting for their wives. Therefore, she suggested placing a bench at this location because she has noted people actually sitting in this location.
Mr. Arroyo clarified the building size. The proposed building addition is 6,002 square feet. He stated the previous plan showed a larger size, however it was reduced due to the notch placed on the building.
Member Paul questioned if it would be advantageous to have some tall evergreens in a planter along the other doorway. She suggested pulling the green space down from one corner along the site. She suggested continuing the green space down the corner.
Mr. Evancoe advised the Commission to limit the request(s) to the proposed addition.
Member Paul noted her understanding of his concern(s). However, she stated landscaping was being placed along the one corner against the building. She was concerned that it would appear like an addition and not flow with the remainder of the site. Therefore, she was attempting to look at the site with a "whole site perspective" with regard to the landscaping. Member Paul stated the landscaping was fine all around the building. However, she clarified that her concerned was whether or not the landscaping being placed on the one corner would flow with the remainder of the building’s landscaping.
Ms. McGuire pointed out the pavement areas on the landscape plan and noted that there is not an opportunity to add more plantings.
Member Paul stated that she understood these factors. However, her concern was that there is no green area along the storefronts of Calico Corners, Leather Center and Gateway. There will only be green area at the north corner of the building. Therefore, she questioned if there should be plantings or greenery closer to the other sites to create a "flowing" appearance.
Ms. McGuire stated this could be possible. However, it would need to be done with planters.
Mr. Nuechterlien indicated that the front of the building is eight feet (8’) and noted the perpendicular parking along the entire façade. He stated that thirty-six inches (36") is needed to be allowed for overhang for the vehicular parking, which would then allow five feet (5’) for a pedestrian walkway. He stated this was the minimum with respect to traffic. He felt that any additional plantings would be difficult to place in the existing walkway. He indicated that the Panera Bread side was originally designed for a patio/eating area. He stated the addition of plantings at the north end of the building did not isolate a different condition. He stated the north portion is not construed as a walkway for customer use, however it has been continued with brick pavers to match the Panera Bread side of the building. He noted the attempt made to create a similar theme. He did not feel it would stand out. He felt the plan was well thought out and presented itself well.
Member Paul noted that the site has three access points, Grand River Avenue, Flint Street and Novi Road.
Member Kocan noted her understanding of Member Paul’s comments. She felt if the entire building was being reviewed, then there might be more room to negotiate additional plantings. However, she did not feel that the Commission could do that at this time. She stated that the developer at some point might consider adding some plantings. She did understand the developer’s point of having a safe walkway. Member Kocan clarified that the original building was under the TC zoning.
Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.
Member Kocan continued clarifying that due to the TC zoning, the building was allowed to be 25,000 square feet. However, since that time, the site was rezoned to TC-1, which adds the new 7,500 square foot maximum, which is the reasoning it will have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.
Member Kocan thanked the developer for making the changes discussed at the previous meeting. She noted the Commission’s appreciation. She stated the project looks better than it did a month ago.
PM-02-02-037 IN THE MATTER OF CITY CENTER PLAZA ADDITION SP01-64 TO GRANT PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL, PLANNING COMMISSION WAIVER FOR THE 4-FOOT INTERIOR GREENSPACE (SECTION 2509.9) TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THEIR SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL PEDESTRIAN AND LANDSCAPE SPACE ADDED, SUBJECT TO THE PETITIONER RECEIVING THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL VARIANCE FOR THE BUILDING SIZE (SECTION 1602.3) BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL TC ZONING DID NOT HAVE THIS REQUIREMENT, ZBA VARIANCE FOR FRONT YARD SETBACK (SECTION 1602.4) BECAUSE OF THE LAYOUT OF THE LOT AND ITS CONNECTION TO THE EXISTING BUILDING, ZBA VARIANCE FOR THE LOADING ZONE LOCATION (SECTION 2507 AND 1602.10) IN ORDER TO PRESERVE WOODLAND AND WETLAND BUFFERS, SUBJECT TO THE PLANNER’S AND CONSULTANT’S CONDITIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of City Center Plaza Addition SP01-64 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Planning Commission Waiver for the 4-foot interior greenspace (Section 2509.9) taking into consideration their significant additional pedestrian and landscape space added, subject to the petitioner receiving the Zoning Board of Appeal Variance for the building size (Section 1602.3) because the original TC Zoning did not have this requirement, ZBA Variance for front yard setback (Section 1602.4) because of the layout of the lot and its connection to the existing building, ZBA Variance for the loading zone location (Section 2507 and 1602.10) in order to preserve woodland and wetland buffers, subject to the Planner’s and Consultant’s conditions and recommendations.
Member Ruyle commended the petitioner(s) for their cooperation in addressing the commissioners comments and concerns. He noted that he would be supporting the motion.
Member Nagy asked if the brick would match the existing brick.
Mr. Nuechterlien answered, yes.
Member Nagy commended the petitioner for making the revisions.
Member Shroyer thanked Mr. Nuechterlien for his efforts. He stated their actions represent how the Commission and planning process is intended to operate. He suggested that the developer consider the addition of a few benches. He clarified that it is not part of the motion, yet just an option for the developer to consider.
VOTE ON PM-02-02-037 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
2. ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT 18.171
Consideration of the request of Singh Development to have the following matter referred to the Implementation Committee:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE NO. 97.18 AS AMENDED, THE CITY OF NOVI ZONING ORDINANCE, ARTICLE XXIV, "SCHEDULE OF REGULATIONS," SECTION 2406.6, PD-2 PLANNED DEVELOPMENT OPTION," IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FOR MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS
Mr. Evancoe indicated the Commission sent a negative to the City Council in January 2002 regarding the matter. The essence of the request is to allow for a mixed-use development within the PD-2, RC area to allow for mixed-uses within a singular building. Singh Development has brought forth the request. Singh Development was present at the Implementation Committee meeting with regard to their OST amendment (Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.170). It was felt at the January Planning Commission meeting that the matter, being that it was an Ordinance Amendment, needed to go through the Implementation Committee instead of only to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee. He indicated the request is to have the matter sent to the Implementation Committee for review.
PM-02-02-038 TO SEND THE MATTER OF ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT 18.171 TO THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE FOR REVIEW.
Moved by Nagy, seconded by Member Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.171 to the Implementation Committee for review.
Chairperson Churella clarified why the matter was going before the Implementation Committee.
Member Kocan stated the petitioner came forward and requested that the matter go before the Implementation Committee. The matter went before the Master Plan & Zoning Committee, who discussed the concept, and then the matter came before the Planning Commission. Technically the process for making Zoning Text Amendment changes goes through the Implementation Committee. Therefore, the petitioner was recommended to bring his request forward to be sent to the Implementation Committee to follow the correct process. She felt it would be the commission’s determination of whether or not the matter should be sent to the Implementation Committee. Although the matter was discussed at the January Planning Commission meeting, a representative who attended the Master Planning & Zoning Committee meetings was not present. She stated that she did not have a problem with protecting the process and having it be brought forward to the Implementation Committee. However, she noted that she would be looking for where it overlaps the Gateway Ordinance as well as some of the other Ordinances. She stressed the fact that sending the matter through the correct process was not a guarantee that the matter would receive a positive recommendation. However, she felt the commission should allow the petitioner to bring the matter forward to the Implementation Committee. Therefore, Member Kocan indicated that she would be supporting the motion.
Chairperson Churella clarified that the Commission had given the matter a negative recommendation.
Member Nagy answered, yes.
Chairperson Churella clarified that he was speaking in regard to the Implementation Committee and not the recommendation to the City Council. He recalled the petitioner presenting the matter to the Implementation Committee.
Member Richards stated that the matter was discussed, however a recommendation was not given.
Chairperson Churella then agreed to send the matter to the Implementation Committee.
Member Shroyer questioned if there were alternative options.
Mr. Schultz indicated an alternative option was for the Commission to take no action and the petitioner would either drop the request or take it on to the City Council. He agreed with Member Kocan’s view that the matter went before the City Council without following the process. Therefore, the matter is simply "backing up" and starting from "square one".
VOTE ON PM-02-02-038 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
3. ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT 18.170
Consideration of the request of Singh Development for a positive recommendation regarding the following:
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE NO. 97-18, AS AMENDED, THE CITY OF NOVI ZONING ORDINANCE, FOOTNOTE (u), OF THE SCHEDULE OF REGULATIONS CONTAINED WITHIN SECTION 2400 OF SAID ORDINANCE, RELATING TO HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS IN AN OST DISTRICT; AND TO AMEND SUBPART 2509.6(g), RELATING TO BERMS, IN ORDER TO CLARIFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE OST DISTRICT WHEN ADJACENT TO RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that the matter was before the Planning Commission previously. The request is in regard to two items; building height allowances within the OST District; and screening requirements when an OST property is adjacent to a residential property. The current Ordinance provides that OST properties between Grand River Avenue and Twelve Mile Road can have a height of sixty-five (65) feet providing the property is not next to residential. The proposed amendment would more clearly define the term "residential" limiting it to either One-Family Residential, RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) or MH (Mobile Home District). Therefore, RM-2 (High-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) would not be included. City Council determined the text should include the exception of property located on Meadowbrook Road. Due to the fairly substantial change of the text the Planning Commission previously made their recommendation on, the matter was sent back to the Commission. The Planning Commission then referred the item to the Implementation Committee. The Implementation Committee’s recommended that the additional language, regarding Meadowbrook Road be removed, and clarity regarding the screening when next to residential. Mr. Evancoe read the language of the proposed Ordinance, "…should the retained wooded area be removed, destroyed, diminished or altered in any manner such that it no longer provides the screening required under this Section, the berm or wall shall be installed at the property owner’s expense or additional screening material as required by the City shall be installed and maintained at the property owner’s expense as required under this Section". He stated the Implementation Committee has given a positive recommendation of the proposed Ordinance.
Member Kocan recapped the history of the Zoning Text Amendment. The OST was originally was adopted in 1996 and allowed a forty-two (42) foot height limitation anywhere it was OST. In September 1998 Husky, the first development applying under the OST Zoning, could not meet the forty-two (42) foot height requirement. Based on the Ordinance at that time, Husky went before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a Variance. The ZBA granted the variance based on the finding that Husky had certain equipment, which required the building to be higher. In discussions with other technical people at that time, the ZBA felt that 42-feet was too restrictive. At that time the City Council and the Planning Commission began to explore changing the 42-foot height limitation to sixty-five (65) feet. In September 1998 it was determined to allow a height of 65-foot, providing that the property was not next to residential. Also an additional setback requirement eventually came about, which required 2-foot additional setback for every additional foot over 42-feet. The City Council discussed the matter considerably. In reviewing minutes, Member Kocan felt that upon origin of the OST Ordinance the City Council’s vision was to not have a high-rise community and three-stories was adequate. There was also discussion as to if there should be OST throughout the entire City or in designated areas. She noted that the item went "back and forth" at several meetings and then it was determined that there was not a want for a Special Land Use or sending matters to ZBA. The OST Ordinance was written for a streamlined ordinance to cut down on the paperwork and the amount of time it takes to develop. At that time, there was the recommendation to limit it to a certain area. Member Kocan noted that this was how the designation of the area north of Grand River Avenue and south of Twelve Mile Road came about. Since January 1999 the Ordinance has indicated a forty-two (42) limitation, unless located in the designated area north of Grand River Avenue and south of Twelve Mile Road, which is allowed a sixty-five (65) foot height limitation providing that it is not adjacent to residential. Today the Planning Commission is being asked to change footnote (u) within Section 2400, to allow sixty-five (65) feet next to residential other than Single-Family Residential; RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) and MH (Mobile Home District), which would only apply to sites north of Grand River Avenue and south of Twelve Mile Road.
Member Kocan recalled her original objection. The proposal to change the Ordinance was brought to the Commission in fall of 2001 and RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) was not included, which would have allowed sixty-five (65) feet next to RM-1. She recalled supporting a negative recommendation for this reason. She stated with the addition of the RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) stipulation to footnote (u)(1) Member Kocan withdrew her previous objection. She stated the Commission is also being asked to evaluate the distinction of treating Meadowbrook Road frontages differently. Based on the history, Member Kocan noted that she might have been able to support the lower height stipulation on Meadowbrook Road three years ago. However, she indicated she was unable to support it today because it has been three years since the Ordinance has been "on the books". She pointed out that what has been heard and what is known over the past three years properties have been purchased and Site Plans approved for development located on Meadowbrook Road with the expectation and approval of heights up to sixty-five (65) feet. She stated that there was no compelling argument presented at the Implementation Committee meeting to substantiate a height reduction on Meadowbrook Road. Therefore, she indicated her support of the verbiage to Section 2400 footnote (u)(1) with no change to (2) or (3) of the current Ordinance.
Member Kocan stated the Commission is being asked to review the berm requirement and the perpetual maintenance. She did not recall a problem allowing extensive setbacks if the Woodlands are located on the residential property, which would form the buffer and replace the berm required by the developer when two different properties abut one another and there is a requirement for berms. The verbiage was added to Section 2509.6(g). She compared the current ordinance to the proposed and noted that the Commission would make a recommendation to City Council. She read, "…when and existing regulated or non-regulated wooded area is preserved on the adjacent residential property and the owners of the adjacent residential property have provided a permanent preservation easement in recordable form acceptable to the City attorney for the wooded area…" and concluded that this would then take the place of the berm. Member Kocan indicated that she did not have a problem with this verbiage. However, the perpetual maintenance was discussed at the Implementation Committee and both Member Richards and Chairperson Churella expressed concerns with the matter. She recalled the Implementation Committee meeting, where the developers questioned who would be responsible to replace the extensive wooded area if it burned down. The Implementation Committee’s concern was if the developer could be required to replace it. The developer did not express any difficulty with the replacement and indicated the area would be their (the developer’s) requirement and their buffer. However, the verbiage from the City Attorney states, "the berm or wall shall be installed at the property owner’s expense or additional screening material as required by the City shall be installed and maintained at the property owner’s expense as required under this section." Member Kocan stated that she would not agree to this amendment. She stated if a developer utilizes a resident’s Woodlands for their development’s buffer, then the property owner (the resident) should not be held responsible to replace the trees if they burn down because the developer is the one benefiting from the arrangement. She questioned if the other commissioners agreed with her point of view and if so, how it should the text be worded to ensure the property owner did not have the burden.
Member Nagy agreed with Member Kocan. She did not have a problem with the Ordinance regarding the berm. She suggested that the term "property owner" be more clearly defined.
Mr. Schultz stated the word "applicant" could be used.
Member Nagy clarified how the verbiage would then read.
Mr. Schultz indicated the words "property owner" would be changed to the word "applicant".
Mr. Evancoe indicated that the City Attorney advised that the Commission schedule a Public Hearing because it is an amendment to the Ordinance. He found the commission’s discussion valuable because it provided better clarity for the verbiage. However, he asked the Commission to consider the advice of the City Attorney.
Member Nagy questioned if there should be a Public Hearing prior to an approval or denial of the Text Amendment.
Mr. Schultz indicated the discussion was useful to resolve verbiage issues. However, the matter is a Text Amendment.
Chairperson Churella indicated the Implementation Committee’s discussion was referencing natural disasters. There was question as to who would be responsible to replace the trees. He noted that most property owners have homeowner’s insurance, which would cover some of the trees. He asked the City Attorney whom the Court might find responsible in the event of a natural disaster. He also added the possibility of arson.
Mr. Schultz felt the City’s perspective was that they wanted to see either the berm or wall or the landscape. If the landscaping is removed then ultimately there would be a Site Plan and property that no longer meets Ordinance requirements. Therefore, somebody, other than natural forces, needs to be responsible for putting the site back to a manner that complies with the Ordinance. He clarified that the term "property owner" was meant to infer "project developer". He agreed that it would be proper to use the term "applicant". He stated a private arrangement could be worked out as part of the easement agreement.
Chairperson Churella felt the property owner (the abutting property) should be responsible for the replacement.
Mr. Schultz indicated that it might be done on the project’s property and not on the neighboring. There might be use of the neighbor’s existing screening/wooded area, however, if it is gone, then the developer might chose to place the berm/wall on the project’s side of the property line or might work out a solution to place screening on the neighbor’s property. He felt that this should be left up to them. However, since the burden needs to be placed on "somebody" he felt it would make sense to place that burden on the developer of the property ("applicant").
Chairperson Churella indicated the applicants present at the Implementation Committee meeting agreed that they would bear the responsibility. Therefore, he suggested changing the wording "property owner" to "applicant". He questioned if a public hearing was still necessary.
Mr. Schultz believed the matter would still require a public hearing because it is a Text Amendment and would need to go "through the process". He pointed out that there is no knowledge of what would occur at the City Council level. He advised the Commission to send the matter to the City Council with having gone through the proper process.
Member Nagy interjected stating that she still had the floor. She agreed with Mr. Schultz in that the process should be honored.
PM-02-02-039 IN THE MATTER OF ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT 18.170 TO SET A PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AND TO CHANGE THE TEXT "PROPERTY OWNER" TO "APPLICANT".
Moved by Nagy, seconded by Markham, MOTION AMENDED: In the matter of Zoning Text Amendment 18.170 to set a Public Hearing for the next available Planning Commission meeting and to change the text "property owner" to "applicant".
Member Markham felt that the wording "applicant" was appropriate because "something" could occur twenty years from now. She pointed out the possibilities of a different building owner or a different residential owner. She suggested a more generic term such as "non-residential property owner" to indicate the responsibility falls on the development that requires the screening. She stated that today the term "applicant" could be applicable however, twenty years from now there would no longer be an "applicant".
Mr. Schultz indicated that if given the latitude, he could derive a phrase that would be appropriate.
Member Nagy amended her motion.
PM-02-02-040 IN THE MATTER OF ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT 18.170 TO SET A PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AND FOR THE CITY ATTORNEY TO DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE FOR THE PROPOSED VERBIAGE "PROPERTY OWNER" FOR SECTION 2509.6(G).
Moved by Nagy, seconded by Markham, In the matter of Zoning Text Amendment 18.170 to set a Public Hearing for the next available Planning Commission meeting and for the City Attorney to determine the appropriate language for the proposed verbiage "property owner" for Section 2509.6(g).
Member Kocan clarified the use of verbiage that speaks to the uses abutting or adjacent to the residential.
Member Nagy agreed.
Mr. Evancoe noted the possibility of an adjacent residential property becoming non-residential. Therefore, he agreed that it was a good idea to allow Mr. Schultz the latitude to derive the appropriate verbiage.
Chairperson Churella referenced Member Kocan’s detailed overview of the Implementation Committee meeting. He clarified if Mr. Schultz was in agreement with everything with the exception to the verbiage the he would be working on.
Mr. Schultz answered, yes.
Member Richards clarified if they would only be looking at 2509.6(g) and would be approving the first part, Section 2400.
Member Nagy stated her motion was to intend a vote on the Text Amendment now. She stated the intent of her motion was to follow the proper process, hold the public hearing and then vote on the matter.
VOTE ON PM-02-02-040 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
Member Kocan suggested that the strikeout version be from the original Ordinance instead of the changes to the changes that are proposed. She felt this would be easier for the Commission to read.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. PLANNING COMMISSION LEGAL TRAINING
Discussion regarding setting a time and date for a Saturday A.M. Planning Commission Training Session to be provided by the City Attorney at the offices of Secrest, Wardle, Lynch, Hampton, Truex, and Morley, P.C.
Chairperson Churella indicated the Planning Commission would have a legal training time held at Secrest, Wardle, Lynch, Hampton, Truex, and Morley, P.C., on a Saturday. He asked Mr. Schultz for the date.
Mr. Schultz noted the assumption that the training would be conducted in March. He indicated the flexibility to work with the Commission’s schedule. It would be an informal session to cover the Ordinances and the Processes.
Chairperson Churella asked the Commission preferred March or April. He noted the Holiday. He indicated that he would not be able to attend the week of the ninth.
Mr. Evancoe reminded the Commission of the APA Chicago Conference in mid-April.
Member Nagy suggested the first weekend of March.
Chairperson Churella indicated that he would not be available.
Member Markham indicated that she was not available on the 23rd.
Member Shroyer indicated that he was not available on the 16th or the 23rd.
Member Nagy questioned if the session was intended to have all nine (9) commissioners present.
Mr. Schultz indicated the idea was to have as many as possible. He indicated the session would be approximately two hours.
Member Nagy suggested taking a vote on certain days as to how many people would be able to attend.
(The Commission poles those available on each Saturday.)
Chairperson Churella announced the session would be held on April 6, 2002 at 10:00 am.
2. REVIEW OF STAFF LETTERS
Member Nagy noted her appreciation of the Staff cooperation with her comments regarding creating charts similar to those Mr. Arroyo used in his review letters. However, she did not anticipate that all the review letters would be in chart form. She did not feel the chart form provided adequate information. She requested that every discipline give a review letter as it was conducted in the past. In reference to the Chart portions, she noted her preference to have review letters as it was with the previous system.
Member Kocan clarified if she was referring to bullets.
Member Nagy answered, no. She recognized that there has been a miscommunication on her part with the Staff. She explained that there have always been review letters in the past in letter/paragraph form. She realized the summation was valuable to many of the Commissioners. Therefore she suggested the summation be included at the front of the packet. However, she stated the detailed review letter should be included as it was in the past. She stated the detailed letter, previously generated by JCK, should be generated by the City Staff. Member Nagy requested that each Planning Department Staff Member, where applicable, provide the Planning Commission with the review letters verses the Chart form.
Chairperson Churella noted his appreciation for the summary report. He questioned what was removed. He believed that Member Nagy was requesting the information that was used to create the summary report.
Mr. Evancoe stated that he understood Member Nagy’s request. He questioned if the Commission found the Charts helpful or if they should be simplified. He noted his observation of the Staff telling the Commission the various ways a Site Plan already conforms to the City Ordinances. He noted his preference to highlight the areas where a Site Plan does not comply. He felt this would allow the commissioners to focus on issues verses the multitude of ways a Site Plan is in conformance. He questioned if the Commission agreed with his comments.
Member Nagy understood his reasoning to avoid redundancy. However, she asked Mr. Evancoe to recognize her point of view from the position of a new Planning Commissioner who is reviewing the materials. She stated the most detailed report is the traffic report.
Chairperson Churella clarified if Mr. Evancoe’s current information highlights when a petitioner is requiring a Waiver or Variance for noncompliance.
Mr. Evancoe agreed. He gave the example of Building Setbacks. If a building conforms with the building setback requirements of its zoning district, he questioned if the Commission wanted the information to include property line by property line and how it conforms.
Member Nagy answered, no. She stated the information could simply indicate that the setback conforms with the Ordinance.
Member Shroyer pointed out that the purpose of the issue being discussed is to save the commissioners and the Staff time.
Chairperson Churella clarified if this was what Mr. Evancoe was already doing.
Member Markham stated that the informational materials are more than what is necessary.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that in the past the Consultant’s provided this same level of detail. He agreed with the commissioners’ preference to reduce the unnecessary information.
Member Nagy stated that although the information might be "over-kill" in some cases, it should be remembered that there would always be new commissioners. On a personal note, she stated that when she was a new commissioner, she read everything. She indicated to Mr. Evancoe his ability to balance out the informational materials.
Member Markham stated that each development has its important issues. She noted there is certain information such as history of a site or Ordinance changes effecting a site that the commission would need to have included in the materials. However, there are also informational items that are not necessary to include.
Member Shroyer indicated that in time, there would become an understanding of the Commission’s expectations.
Mr. Evancoe agreed in that it would be an evolving process. He noted his understanding of the request.
Member Kocan stated the information referred as "extra" should be listed in the materials because the motion will state "subject to the consultant’s and Staff’s recommendations and conditions". She noted that this would provide a checklist for the developer, the Commission and the Staff.
Chairperson Churella suggested having a meeting to allow the commissioners to review the materials for the next Planning Commission meeting. He felt this would give them the opportunity to comment and give their input.
Member Nagy did not feel a meeting was necessary.
Chairperson Churella continued that the commissioners could either meet with Mr. Evancoe or draw up a "road map" for their request.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that often the materials are not completely ready until the day the packets are sent out to the commissioners. He noted the fine-tuning that occurs up to the very last minutes of packet distribution. Therefore, he suggested that the commissioners give feedback after receiving the next packet of information.
The Commission agreed with Mr. Evancoe’s suggestion.
3. PLANNING COMMISSION WORK SESSION
Member Nagy suggested that the Commission begin to consider updating the Master Plan. However, prior to the update, she felt it would be wise for the commission to have a work session meeting. The work session could possibly cover the size of houses on lots; what the City lacks; are there colleges; the recycling of buildings; the alternatives if something fails; what do other communities have that Novi does not have; how do the ordinances impact the Master Plan; alternatives to adjoining parks with other cities; underground utilities; sanitary sewers; roads, etc… She found it necessary to have a work session prior to the Master Plan Committee meeting to discuss updates. She suggested other issues could be raised such as Leader Ordinances. She recalled that in the past the Commission took a bus tour of the City to look at the landscaping, architecture, etc… Member Nagy felt this work session would benefit the Commission as a whole. She asked Ms. Golke if she agreed that these matters coincide with the Master Plan Update.
Ms. Golke agreed that a work session would be an excellent idea.
Member Nagy restated that she found importance in updating the Master Plan.
Member Kocan indicated that she has begun a list of Ordinance revisions, which she felt, needed to be addressed. In speaking with other Commissioners, she noted the several different suggestions for ordinance revisions. She suggested having a brainstorming session. She stated that some of the items might need to be sent to the Implementation Committee. Member Nagy suggested having a quarterly or semi-annual meeting on a Wednesday with no other agenda items for the purpose of a brainstorming study session.
Chairperson Churella clarified if she was suggesting having the two regular monthly meetings and then a third special meeting.
Member Kocan clarified if it would be open to the public.
Chairperson Churella answered, yes.
Member Nagy stated there was recently an opportunity for a special meeting and it was cancelled. She suggested adding a study work session to an agenda that is not full.
Chairperson Churella asked Mr. Evancoe for the future agenda outlook.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that the March 2002 agendas were looking fairly full.
Chairperson Churella determined that holding a work session in March would require a third meeting.
Mr. Evancoe noted Member Kocan’s comment to hold the meeting quarterly or semi-annually.
Chairperson Churella clarified if one of the April 2002 meetings were being cancelled.
Member Nagy suggested taking the matter to the April meeting that is being considered for cancellation.
Member Markham suggested holding the session after the April 2002 APA Chicago Conference. She stated the commissioners attending the conference might return with ideas to contribute as to what other communities are doing, etc…
Member Nagy clarified if the commissioners would be back from the conference by the April 17th meeting.
Member Kocan stated the three (3) commissioners who would be attending the conference were Member Nagy, Member Richards and herself.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that three Staff members would also be attending the conference.
Member Kocan stated that although the commissioners would be back by Tuesday, the Staff would not.
Member Nagy indicated the session could be held without the Staff or the Planning Director.
Chairperson Churella stated that if the Commission is willing and can attend on April 17th, then he found it feasible.
Member Nagy clarified that there would be a study work session on April 17, 2002.
Chairperson Churella indicated that some type of agenda would need to be generated to outline the topics of discussion. Since Member Kocan indicated that she started a list, he suggested that she, Member Nagy, Member Paul and Member Markham put together an agenda without violating the communications portion of the By-Laws and Rules of Procedure.
Member Paul noted her agreement with the commissioner’s comments. She noted discussion at the Planning Studies & Budget Committee as to how many commissioners should be budgeted for the next conferences. She noted the suggestion to have only three (3) members attend the national conference in the future. The attendees would then return and give a brief presentation of what they learning and what they would like to bring forward. She suggested starting these presentations at the April 17, 2002 meeting.
Chairperson Churella agreed with her suggestion.
Member Kocan indicated that they might be able to submit the conference materials to the Staff that night to be copied for the commissioner’s files.
Mr. Evancoe indicated the Staff has also encountered several items in the Ordinance that they have identified as problems. Therefore, he suggested contributing to the commissioner’s idealist for consideration. He recognized that a lot of the Commission’s time is spent reviewing Site Plans, which often does not providing them with enough time to plan and address the larger issues of the Public Interest. Therefore, he commended the Commission for their desire to give more time to planning issues. He noted his support to their direction.
4. OPEN ITEM SUMMARY
Member Kocan commented on the Open Item Summary, which was generated by the Communication & Community Liaison Committee. She suggested carrying the completed item for a month and then dropping a matter from the Chart. She clarified if the Open Space Amendment would be returning to the Commission for review.
Mr. Evancoe answered, yes.
Member Kocan stated that she did not have knowledge of this information. She clarified it the matter would be at an Implementation Committee meeting.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that initially he thought the matter would be coming before the full Commission, however, he would need to verify the information prior to giving an answer.
Mr. Schultz suggested the matter return to the Implementation Committee.
Member Kocan stated the Façade Amendment is still at Council, Gateway Ordinance indicates a return to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Evancoe indicated the Gateway Ordinance would be going back to the full Council for a second reading.
Member Kocan clarified the Zoning Text Amendment was the matter on tonight’s agenda.
Ms. Brock answered, yes.
Member Kocan clarified that it would have a Public Hearing.
Ms. Brock answered, yes.
Member Kocan stated Bristol Corner received Preliminary Plat Approval at a January City Council meeting. She clarified that it was completed and would not be returning.
Mr. Evancoe answered, correct.
Member Kocan stated the Commission was finished with the Maybury RUD and Comerica Well. She clarified that the Fox Run Village Site Plan did not need to return.
Ms. Brock answered, correct.
Member Kocan noted the meeting time for March 6, 2002 should have been bolded because it starts at 7:00 pm.
Mike Myers, 41088 Mallot, stated, "I wanted to affirm what you are about to do here and that is to have training sessions and opportunities to step aside and look at the heart of what your work really is, which is the planning of this City. I come here tonight because of the concern I have over the article in the Free Press regarding Vic’s Market. I come here because I know the Tennis and Golf Store is closed in that same area. I love this City. I have been here for 20-years. You all know that I have had some involvement in various positions either with the School or the City. What I am asking is that you would do everything that you can to make this city a little bit more user friendly for the developers and the people who come to this City, stand at this podium and many times feel that maybe you are not aware of the fact that they have done a lot of homework and that they really have an interest over and beyond the financial gain that they might get by moving into the City. I do not know all the facts. I just read the newspaper. For all I know, as Paul Hardy would say, "I am waiting to hear the rest of the story". I do want you to know that I am concerned about that Downtown Area. I am concerned about the fact that at one point there was a dream to have fountain, a park and a place where people would meet. It seems that how quickly that can all be dismissed all in the name of progress. I do see some wonderful developments going on in that Downtown Area, but I am also very concerned about a ghost town possibility. What I am really trying to stand here for tonight and I have not been before the Planning Commission as with the City Council, is to encourage you good folks to be willing to address the challenges that come before you rather than have a defensive posture and think "Oh, these people are just nit picking at the City". They are not. These are good people. This is a wonderful City. This is the premier city of the State of Michigan. My hope and my dream is that you with your planning sessions and efforts to focus on the dreams and the heart of this City that you would indeed make this City a little more user friendly for the very people who want to come and build and make it an even better City. Thank you."
PM-02-02-041 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 9:15 P.M.
Moved by Nagy, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:15 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-02-02-041 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Churella, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Paul, Richards, Ruyle, Shroyer
Donna Howe - Planning Assistant
Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji
March 21, 2001
Date Approved: April 3, 2002