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View Action Summary for this meeting

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2002 7:30 P.M.

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

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

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Markham (absence excused)

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



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

Member Richards removed Public Hearing No.5 Brookhaven SP02-26 due to the Petitioner’s submitted request to be tabled to the July 24, 2002 or the August 7, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended with the removal of Brookhaven SP02-26 as requested by the petitioner.


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

No: None



David Ruyle, 40474 Mill Road Court E stated, "I come before you because I feel it is very important that as a citizen of Novi, that we have three gentlemen that will be leaving our Commission tonight as their final meeting. They have all spent many years in service to the citizens of Novi, of which I am one. I want to congratulate them and let them know that their service has not been in vain. They have done everything that I, as a citizen, expected of them. I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to work with them for the last six months. But, the fact is that the City owes you a deep, deep sense of gratitude. Thank you."






David Evancoe Planning Director introduced James Reardon a summer intern who would be working this summer in the Planning Department. He is an Urban Planning graduate from Eastern Michigan University.


Chairperson Churella announced there were no items on the Consent Agenda. He asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda.

Hearing none, he moved to the next item.



Public Hearing on the request of George Ross of Wixom Associates to rezone property located in Section 9 on the southeast corner of West Road and C & O Railroad from I-2 (General Industrial District) to I-1 (Light Industrial District) or any other appropriate zoning. The subject property is approximately 4.2 acres.

Barbara McBeth Planner introduced the request of George Ross of Wixom Associates is to rezone property located at the southeast corner of West Road and the CSX railroad in section 9 in the northwest corner of the City of Novi. The property is currently zoned I-2, General Industrial, and the request is to rezone to I-1, Light Industrial. The Planning Commission in April of 2001, at which time a public hearing was held and the commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to City Council, heard this request. The matter was scheduled for City Council in May of last year, but the applicant requested that the matter not be considered that evening, but be rescheduled at a date in the future. The applicant, Mr. Ross, recently contacted the Planning Department in order to be placed on a City Council agenda for consideration of the rezoning request. However, because of the amount of time which has elapsed since the first public hearing in April of last year, the City Attorney advised that the matter be sent back to the Planning Commission for another public hearing to assure that there were not any changes in the factors that led to the favorable recommendation of the Commission last year. The subject property contains 4.2 acres and is currently vacant of buildings. The property to the north, across West Road is vacant, and has recently seen several projects approved in the Beck North Industrial Park. The property to the south and west across the CSX railroad tracks is under construction with developments in the Beck West Industrial Park. The properties to the east are vacant and developed with a single family home. The subject property is zoned I-2, General Industrial, and the request is to rezone to I-1, Light Industrial. The properties to the north, south and west are all zoned I-1, Light Industrial. To the east the properties are zoned I-1 and I-2. The master plan for Land Use recommends light industrial land use for this property and much of the surrounding properties, which is consistent with the applicant’s request for the use of the land under the proposed rezoning request. The woodlands and wetlands maps indicate that the site does not appear to contain regulated woodlands or wetlands. The Traffic Engineer indicated that the parcel has 530 feet of frontage on West Road. Any future access driveway for this site would be required to be located in a position directly opposite Hudson Road, in the Beck North Industrial Park, where it is possible there will be a traffic signal in the future. There may be another access point allowed at least 400 feet to the west of this location, however, the proximity to and the crossing angle of the railroad may prove challenging. A westbound left-turn lane may be required for any development of this property, either with or without a signal being provided at the intersection of West and Hudson Road. In conclusion, the Commission is asked to hold a public hearing on this matter, and make a recommendation so that this matter may now proceed to the City Council.

George Ross of Wixom Associates requested a rezoning to I-1 (Light Industrial District), which was according to the Master Plan. He felt that Ms. McBeth’s presentation was sufficient.


Member Richards announced that he received correspondence from David E. Stewart, President of Northern Equities Group whom is not in support of the request and asked that it be denied. He wrote, "As the developers of Beck West Corporate Park, south of this parcel, we attempted in August 1999 to rezone the second phase of our park from I-2 (General Industrial District) to I-1 (Light Industrial District). It was denied because the City’s Planning Consultants said the remaining I-2 zoning is integral to the Master Plan for Land Use and that any remaining property can not be rezoned. We were denied on this basis and feel that it is only equitable that this request before the Commission be denied as well."

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 Canup stated the rezoning would bring the property in line with the Master Plan for Land Use. He stated the I-1 (Light Industrial District) use was softer than the I-2 (General Industrial District) use. For the residents in that area, he felt an I-1 use would be more desirable.


Moved by Canup, seconded by Ruyle, MOTION AMENDED: In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.609 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council for the rezoning of the 4.2-acre property from I-2 (General Industrial District) to I-1 (Light Industrial District) to bring it into conformance with the Master Plan for Land Use.


Member Kocan indicated that because there is not a Site Plan nor are there stipulations stating the street needed to be aligned a certain way, she questioned if there were any reason to include that verbiage in the motion.

Mr. Schultz agreed.

Member Kocan clarified that it was for general information for the developer.

Mr. Schultz answered, correct.

Member Shroyer asked if it would be appropriate to include the summary of significant findings from the Birchler & Arroyo review letter. For example, "The uses permitted in the I-1 (Light Industrial District) are compatible with existing and future development in the area."

Mr. Schultz indicated that it would be appropriate to add these findings to the motion.

Member Shroyer amended the motion to include these findings.

Member Canup and Member Ruyle accepted the amendment to their motion.


Moved by Canup, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.609 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council for the rezoning of the 4.2-acre property from I-2 (General Industrial District) to I-1 (Light Industrial District) to bring it into conformance with the Master Plan for Land Use, and based on the Significant Findings 1-4 of the Birchler & Arroyo Associates review letter dated April 2, 2001, which still apply today.


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

No: None


Public Hearing on the request of Trillium Village to rezone property located in Section 25 north of Nine Mile Road and west of Haggerty Road from R-3 (One Family Residential District) to RM-1 (Low-Density Multiple Family District) or any other appropriate zoning. The subject property is 4.73 acres.

Ms. McBeth introduced the request of Trillium Village is to rezone property on the north side of Nine Mile Road and West of Haggerty from R-3, (One Family Residential) to RM-1 (Low Density Multiple Family). The site contains 4.73 acres. She reminded the Commission of the preliminary site plan request from last October, which was under the same name, Trillium Village. That site plan request was withdrawn, and now the applicant has acquired additional land adjacent to that request for this zoning map amendment. If the rezoning request if approved, the applicant would like to return to the Commission, at a later meeting, with a new preliminary site plan for a low density multiple family development, probably again under that same name Trillium Village. The subject property contains 4.73 acres and contains two single family homes and associated out buildings. The property to the north and west is developed with the Pavillion Court Apartments. The land to the south, and across Nine Mile Road is development with a Highline Club Apartments and Crosswinds West Condominiums. To the east are single family homes fronting on Nine Mile Road and the recently approved Palushaj office building scheduled to start construction soon. The subject property is zoned R-3. One-Family Residential. To the north, south and west the properties are zoned RM-1 (Low-Density Multiple Family Residential). To the east the properties are zoned R-3 (One Family Residential) and OS-1 (Office Service). The master plan for Land Use recommends Multiple Family uses at 9 units to the acre, which is consistent with the RM-1 zoning being sought, for the existing property, as well as for the properties to the north, south and west. To the east, the master plan for land use shows multiple family at 9 units to the acre, which is consistent with the RM-1 zoning, as well as Office uses to the east. The reasoning for the proposed zoning change is because the applicant would like to submit a Site Plan for this property, as well as the adjacent property fronting on Haggerty Road for a multiple family development. She anticipated the submittal of a plan for a RT, Two-Family Development on this subject property, as well as the adjacent property. The proposed RM-1 zoning allows development of the site under the RT standards. The applicant has stated that the RM-1 zoning that is requested would allow for a residential development that will maintain continuity with surrounding development and will conform to the City’s Master Plan. Ms. McBeth indicated that both water and sewer are available to the property. The Traffic Engineer estimates for traffic generation purposes, that the rezoning would allow a multiple family residential development of a total of 35 dwelling units on both parcels combined, compared with the previously proposed 20 units on the adjacent property only. The property will now front on both Haggerty Road and Nine Mile Road. The applicant did submit a traffic study with the rezoning request. With the submitted study, the Traffic Engineer analyzed projected traffic counts based on the proposed development under the rezoning. The Traffic Engineer recommends that a full-time direct-access driveway be provided on Nine Mile Road and that it be made a condition of the rezoning. The requested action this evening, is that the Commission hold a public hearing regarding this zoning map amendment and make a recommendation to the City Council to approve or deny this rezoning request.

Tony Randazzo represented Trillium Village. He indicated that his proposal was consistent with the current Master Plan for Land Use. He recalled presenting the Commission with a duplex product, which he intended to present again to the Commission after the rezoning was granted.


Member Richards announced that he did not receive any correspondence on the matter.

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 Ruyle asked if Member Nagy, as the President of her Homeowner Association, was notified of this public hearing.

Member Nagy answered, no.

Member Ruyle indicated that he was not notified of the Public Hearing and he resides in the neighborhood.

Member Nagy believed the properties that could be affected would include the apartments. Lakewood is situated more west of the proposed property and is separated by the apartment complex. Therefore, she did not believe it would affect their property. She restated that the Condominium office did not receive any notification of the proposed amendment. However, she assumed the notification was printed in the newspaper. She asked Mr. Evancoe to comment.

Mr. Evancoe answered, yes. He added that to the best of his knowledge, the property notifications were mailed.

Ms. Brock indicated that the distance is greater than 500-feet.

Member Nagy agreed.

Member Ruyle did not have a problem with the proposed. He indicated that he resides in the area and he found the proposed to be compatible with the Master Plan for Land Use.


Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Paul, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.622 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council to rezoned the 4.73-acre parcel from R-3 (One Family Residential District) to RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) subject to the conditions and recommendations of the Staff and Consultants for the reason that it meets the Master Plan for Land Use.


Member Canup noted the residential property along the Nine Mile Road frontage. He requested that the Petitioner make an effort to assemble the property and bring it all into one masterpiece to avoid having a hodgepodge there. He anticipated those property owners would come forward in the future with the desire to bring themselves into alignment. He asked if this were possible.

Mr. Randazzo indicated that he previously spoke with the property owners and would continue to be in contact with them in the future.

Member Canup indicated that when/if the Applicant returns, he would no longer be serving on the Commission. However, he anticipated that the Commission might look favorably upon his effort if he brought the entire piece to closure and had one nice development.

Mr. Randazzo indicated that it would be designed for that eventuality due to the economy of scale associated with it. He thanked Member Canup for his suggestion.

Member Shroyer referenced the recommendation that Commission include, as part of the motion, the provision of a full time direct access driveway onto Nine Mile Road. Therefore, he requested an amendment to the motion.

Mr. Schultz advised that the Commission could not add the condition to the motion because it would be a clear example of what is called "conditional zoning". Michigan does not have a clear authority to permit this. On occasion, Mr. Fisher advised the property owner to enter into a Development Agreement as opposed to a condition being placed on an Ordinance Amendment. Mr. Schultz stated the issues raised were considered Site Plan issues and not rezoning legislative ordinance amendment issues. He stated the Planning Staff and Consultants, other than the Traffic Engineer, did not have the opportunity to review a Site Plan to make a determination of whether or not these conditions would be feasible with the layout of units, etc. He advised the Commission to instead, communicate the issue(s) to the property owner and incorporate it when he returns with a Site Plan.

Mr. Randazzo assured the Commission had already spend an extensive amount of time working with the City on the Site Plan. He anticipated that Commission would be pleased with the Site Plan. He indicated that the Site Plan already proposes an exit on Nine Mile Road.

Chairperson Churella concluded that the condition would not be included in the motion at the advisement of the City Attorney.

Member Shroyer agreed.

Member Nagy recalled that the previous Site Plan included the proposal of condominiums.

Mr. Randazzo indicated that his Site Plan proposal is for duplexes.

Chairperson Churella clarified if he was referring to two houses that are attached.

Mr. Randazzo agreed. He stated previously there were four-plexes before, which did not fit. He recalled the recommendation, made by one commissioner, to redesign the site with duplexes, which he felt, worked out nicely with the roads etc.


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

No: None


Public Hearing on the request of Singh Development to amend the Zoning Ordinance:


Ms. McBeth introduced the request of Singh Development is to amend text of the Zoning Ordinance as it relates to the Planned Development Number 2 Option (commonly referred to as the PD2 option). The intent of the amendment is to allow for mixed use developments: essentially to add a residential component to the existing PD2 Option ordinance which already allows for a variety of retail and service uses. The PD2 option is available only in certain areas of the City of Novi, as designated on the future land use plan and with the underlying zoning of RC, Regional Center. The map referenced above, which is within the report prepared by Singh Development, and is taken from the Future Land Use plan, shows the areas of the City of Novi which are currently designated PD2. These designated areas are around the Twelve Oaks Mall for the properties zoned RC, and are intended to allow intensive major nonresidential land uses types, otherwise not permitted in the RC zoning district. She noted her understanding that the reasoning behind the Planned Development options was that the Planning Consultant at the time, Villican Leman, in working with the City of Novi, established the Regional Center zoning, and provided for a creative method, the Planned Development option, to develop complementary uses for the outlots around the mall. Development under the PD2 option requires that the Planning Commission make a recommendation to City Council for any proposed site plan under this option. The PD2 option currently allows the following types of development: convention centers (including motels, auditoriums, theaters, assembly halls and concert halls), planned commercial centers (containing at least 150,000 square feet), entertainment centers (theaters, health clubs and racquet clubs), retail commercial uses containing at least 50,000 square feet, with no outdoor uses, and limited kinds of restaurants, banquet halls and some accessory uses. The PD-2 Option ordinance amendment, as presented this evening allows the addition of transitional mixed use buildings with residential components on the periphery of regional shopping centers. It will allow single use, or mixed-use buildings with uses permitted in the B-1, B-2 or OSC districts, which may have an attached residential component. The retail/office component will be limited to no more than 20 percent of the total floor area of the building. The ground floor will not contain any residential use, except for lobbies, hallways, garages, etc. Retail and commercial uses will not be permitted above any residential uses. Additional conditions have been added to the text to insure the development is a benefit to the City, and constructed in harmony with surrounding properties. This brings us to the request of Singh Development, and the parcel of land located on the south side of Twelve Mile Road, east of the most easterly drive to the Twelve Oaks Mall. Singh Development’s initial request in March of 2001 was to rezone the property from RC, Regional Center to TC, Town Center to allow a mixed-use development on the property with retail and office on the first floor, and residential use above that. This request went to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee in March and October of 2001, where it was discussed, and generally agreed upon that rezoning was not appropriate, but the applicant could pursue amending the PD2 option to allow mixed use buildings with a residential component. At the January 23 2002 meeting of the Planning Commission, a public hearing was held and the Commission voted to send a negative recommendation to the City Council for the proposed text amendment. The Commission reasoned that there are already other districts which allowed mixed use developments, and that the proposed change has been studied for one property in particular, but not for other properties which may also be affected. On February 20, Singh Development requested that before the request was forwarded to the City Council with a negative recommendation, that the matter be more fully studied at the Implementation Committee, the committee charged with reviewing text amendments. Over the next several months, the Implementation Committee met several times to study the request in detail. She briefly outlined some of the major points brought out throughout the discussions. The Committee studied basically three things: A) Is a mixed use development with a residential component appropriate at this location, as well as the other areas designated on the Master Plan with the PD2 option? B) In amending the PD2 Option is amending the option the appropriate vehicle or avenue to allow for the mixed use or are there other alternatives which would allow for this type of development? C) Are the mechanics of the text amendment language sufficient to provide the mixed-use building that the applicant wants, while still retaining control by the City of Novi in assuring a quality development? She noted the several sub-points under the three areas. A.1) A concern was raised about providing competition with the existing Main Street developments and the Gateway development and areas along Grand River. To address this concern, the applicant did provide letters of support for the mixed use development from the adjacent property owner and manager of Twelve Oaks Mall, the Taubman company, as well as from the Gateway mixed use development at the northwest corner of Grand River and Meadowbrook Road. Each letter stated that the proposed development would be welcome and would not cause harm to their developments. These letters are included again in the package of materials provided by the applicant. A.2) Individual committee members did express concern about putting the residential component immediately adjacent to the commercial developments, which are proposed and already existing in the area. A.3) Residential is designed as the predominant component, and office and commercial are the secondary component, comprising no more than 20 percent of the mixed use building as the language has been designed. B.1) Was this the appropriate vehicle amending the PD2 option? The committee members did state that the ordinance change would change the very intent of the RC district, which is to allow intensive Major non-residential uses. Some members had serious concerns about changing the intent of the ordinance to allow the residential component. B.2) Another concern about this being the right vehicle for allowing the mixed use was discussed at length. City Attorney Tom Schultz did provide a list of options for providing the mixed-use alternatives, which was reviewed by the Committee. The Committee did discuss that a Planned Unit Development ordinance (PUD) would be another way to allow for the kind of development that is being sought by the applicant. C.1) The Committee did commend the City Attorney and applicant for working through a number of issues to provide language that would allow sufficient city control over the proposed development while allowing the applicant to provide the desired mixed-use building. Detailed information about the language changes is included in commissioner’s packets, as is the text ordinance language worked out with the Committee and the City Attorney throughout the process. She indicated that the applicant was present to address a number of the concerns, which resulted in the negative recommendation of the Committee to the Planning Commission, as well as any other concerns of the Planning Commission’s before a recommendation is made on this matter to City Council to amend the PD2 option.

Khanh Pham of Singh Development stated the PD2 Option was created as a result of the creation of the RC District (Twelve Oaks Mall), which was intended to address outlot buildout around the Twelve Oaks Mall. With all the commercial that has "come on board", such as Fountain Walk, and the different economic factors, he felt the questions at hand were, "Is the PD2 Option still the same?" or "Should it be changed to address the changes in the City of Novi and its market?" Mr. Pham deemed the PD2 Option should be changed. He noted the property location and its surrounding developments. Two outlots remain after the buildout; the subject’s site and the site to the west. He questioned if it was appropriate to allow some flexibility or allow an adaptive use that would be more consistent with the surrounding land uses. He commented on Ms. McBeth’s comment regarding the intent of the PD2 Option and the intent of the RC District. The general intent of the PD Option is to create a desirable environment, providing for the harmonious relationships between land use types with respect to uses of land, the location of the uses on the land and the architectural and functional compatibility between uses. If keeping to the intent of the PD Option, which is a flexible way of developing the buildout of the Twelve Oaks Mall, then one would need to realize that things have changed and the Ordinance should be changed to allow something that is a little different. He noted that it might not be better, but it was at the discretion of the Planning Commission and the City Council to approve. However, it should allow the flexibility to propose. Mr. Pham indicated that Ms. McBeth thoroughly summarized the details and he did not have any further comments to add to her presentation.

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 Nagy recalled when the Singh Development’s OST property, located west of Meadowbrook Road, was previously before the Commission. The Commission voted to keep the property zoned OST. She noted her concern that if the Commission were to rezone the property, then it could result in the same situation as before. At that point, there would be a driveway through Waltonwoods and possibly up to the subject’s site. She had seen the concept in other cites and felt it was admirable. However, she objected to the location. In her review of Twelve Mile Road, she did not find any similar uses along the corridor. In addition, Waltonwoods is setback from Twelve Mile Road. Thirdly, she objected to the idea of writing "designer ordinances". She did not feel it was appropriate to rewrite an ordinance to suit one specific site or development. She stated that although other cities and other developers in other areas approve of the concept, the Gateway Ordinance is exactly that, an ordinance, which has not been passed. Currently, there is no knowledge of what will go in at that area. Member Nagy did not support the text amendment.

Member Paul agreed with Member Nagy. She did not support the location, the land use and further it does not comply with the RC District. She did not support the text amendment for the same reasons as stated by Member Nagy.

Member Kocan indicated the Implementation Committee spent a considerable amount of time discussing the ordinance revision. She liked the concept of an ordinance that allowed a residential component within commercial. However, she felt the proposed amendment was rezoning the property residential with a minuscule amount of commercial (a maximum of 20%). She stated if the intent of the RC PD2 was supposed to be commercial, then there should be more commercial than residential. Therefore, she did not support the verbiage for a maximum of 20% commercial. Instead, she suggested having a minimum of 20%. She noted the recommendation that 115 to 130 residential units would be applicable, compared to the proposal of 156 units. Although there was not a Site Plan being approved tonight, she noted the inconsistencies. She estimated that the applicant’s proposal was approximately 90% residential and 10% commercial. The intent of the RC Zoning is to develop intensive major non-residential land uses while acting as a transition district. She stated if residential property were located east of the park property, then the proposal would make sense. However, there is office, a medical center and a major OST Development desired along Meadowbrook Road. Member Kocan liked the idea of a mixed-use facility. However, in this instance the proposed seemed to be more of a residential rezoning than a commercial rezoning. She noted the changes were made to the ordinance text since the Implementation Committee meeting. B(6) now identifies the kinds of office buildings, which she did not have problem with. B(7) was changed to allow retail commercial uses. However, the term "commercial uses" is not defined. The Gateway Ordinance is specific by listing retail business uses. Therefore, she asked if there was a difference between retail business uses, bakeries, bookstores, coffee shops, which she believed was their intent as opposed to the retail commercial uses. For this reason, she did not support this change. 8(a) proposes that no more than 20% of the total floor could be retail/office and states that the Regulations are applicable to the RM-2 District (High-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) with respect to density. In the Gateway Ordinance the regulations are applicable to the RM-1 District (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District). She noted that there were some things that maybe were missed in Implementation Committee but that could be picked up at tonight’s meeting. She believed the RM-2 District (High-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) did allow five-stories. She indicated that RM-1 (Low-Density, Multiple-Family Residential District) allows three-stories. She believed discussions were in terms of three-stories, therefore, RM-2 regulations should not be applicable here. For all these reasons, She did not support the Ordinance Amendment at this time.

Member Shroyer agreed with the commissioner’s comments. He felt the Implementation Committee was on target with their concerns as to what the Commission desired for the City. Member Shroyer liked the mixed-use development with residential on the second floor and commercial on the first floor. His main concern was the 20%. He did not understand why an Ordinance would limit a maximum of 20% commercial. Instead, he suggested the verbiage that a two-story unit not to exceed 50% commercial or a three-story unit not to exceed 33%. He agreed with Member Nagy’s comments regarding it being a "designer ordinance", which was also a concern of his. He did not support the text amendment.

Member Canup clarified that the proposed was a recommendation to Council. He agreed with the commissioner’s comments. For the reasons as stated by the other commissioners, he did not support the amendment. He did not deem a need for the proposed amendment.


Moved by Canup, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Zoning Text Amendment 18.171 to send a negative recommendation to the City Council.


Mr. Schultz commented on Member Kocan’s comments regarding the changes on page 2. He stated the draft sent to the Implementation Committee was referenced two sections in the old PD-3 ordinance, which were never picked when it was changed previously. He indicated that the actual language was obtained from the Traffic Consultant, Rod Arroyo. Therefore, Mr. Pham was not responsible for adding the information.

Member Kocan suggested giving the applicant an opportunity to comment prior to the Commission’s vote.

Mr. Pham stated his understanding that the Commission liked the concept and simply did not like the idea that it was a Singh Development proposal or "designer ordinance". Unfortunately, he stated this was reviewed at the Implementation Committee. It was discussed that the City of Novi could either have "designer ordinances" or live with the existing ordinances. He gave the Expo Center as a prime example of a situation where changes needed to be made to reflect the Expo’s needs at their new location. The City of Novi does not have a mechanism to enact something special with a PUD. The process was not intended to make Singh Development feel special. Instead there was not another mechanism available. He restated that Commission liked the concept. However, they did not like the idea that the concept was developer driven, location driven and proposed a of 20% maximum commercial.

Chairperson Churella did not feel there was a reason it could not be developed the property with the present ordinance. He noted the numerous discussions he had with Mr. Pham regarding developing the property as it is.

Mr. Pham agreed. However, he asked why eighteen months were spent working with the City for this proposal. He reminded the Commission that Singh Development developed Beckenham and Main Street Village. Singh Development desired to work with the City to develop something "special".

Chairperson Churella indicated that he could discuss it further at the City Council level. He called for the vote.

Member Kocan clarified her comments to Mr. Pham. Member Kocan supported the idea of a mixed-use type of building. However, the proposed area is not the location for it. She felt it should be next to residential, which the proposed is not.


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

No: None


Public Hearing on the request of Jim Barnes of The Boardwalk Investment Group for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan, Wetland and Woodland Permits. The subject property is located in Section 1 south of 14 Mile Road and west of M-5 in the R-2 (One Family Residential) District. The developer is proposing 45 detached condominiums under the One Family Clustering Option. The subject property is 22.91acres.

Ms. McBeth introduced the request of Jim Barnes of the Boardwalk Investment Group for Preliminary site plan approval, Wetland and Woodlands Permits for the development of 45 homes on property located on the south side of 14 Mile Road and west of the M-5 highway in Section 1 of the City of Novi. The site is zoned R-2 (One Family Residential), as are the properties to the west. To the east and south the properties are zoned R-A (One Family Residential). The site is developed with a single family home and outbuildings associated with the donkey farm business currently located on this property. This parcel is 19.47 acres. There is also a 3.44 acre parcel recently rezoned from R-A, Residential Acreage to R-2 (one family residential) on the southeast part of the site. The petitioner did agree to the Development Agreement requested by the Planning Commission and City Attorney at the PC public hearing, which would restrict the use of the wooded parcel at the southeast part of the site to open space types of uses. A copy of the draft Development Agreement was included in the Planning Commissioner’s packets. The total site with the two parcels consists of 22.91-acres. Haverhill Farms site condominium id located to the west, the Robert Long Park in Commerce Township is located to the north, vacant land and a daycare are located to the east. Brightmoor Tabernacle is located to the south, which has recently been petitioned for rezoning to multiple-family residential. The request of the petitioner is to develop a 45 unit detached condominium project reviewed under the One-Family Clustering Option. The plan proposes a private road, Benson Drive, to extend south from 14 Mile Road, with a stub street for future connection to the property to the east, an emergency access road to Paisley Circle in the Haverhill Farms development to the west, and extending to the Brightmoor Tablernacle property for a possible future connection to a development to the south. The plan also shows the retention and enhancement of wetland and watercourse areas on the site, and the retention of the woodland and wetland area at the southeast part of the property. To clarify the submitted plan for the Commissioners and audience, the brown boxes shown represent an area in which the proposed homes will be located, called the building envelope, and not the building footprint which we have seen on some other plans. During review of the submitted plans, staff and consultants found a number of important items for the Planning Commission to consider. 1) The Planning Commission needs to make a finding that the proposed cluster development meets the intent of the Zoning Ordinance under section 2403.1. This section of the ordinance requires that certain criteria to be met, as indicated in the Ordinance, as well as in the Planning Consultant’s letter, such as the property is an unusual shape or the site consists of slopes in excess of 15 percent. The applicant has stated that the long and narrow shape of the parcel at 354 feet in width and 2480 feet in depth is unusual and that a conventional approach to development would be difficult. Additionally, the applicant stated that the topography of the site will make development challenging. In working with the Planners, the applicant has moved the proposed homes further from the sloping topography on the south part of the site. The applicant has also attempted to integrate the natural sloping topography of the site into the road layout. However, these slopes are not in excess of 15 percent, which is the standard of the ordinance. 2) The Planning review letter has also indicated that there are deficient side separations between clusters in 5 locations: between 16 & 17, 20 & 21, 29 & 30, 33 & 34 and 37 & 38. The Planning Commission may modify the strict application of the distance between clusters in those instances where it is found that a natural amenity would be destroyed or topographical or soil conditions limit a practical dimensional separation of clusters. 3) The Planning Commission also needs to approve a non-minor use Wetland Permit, if approving the site plan. Three wetlands have been identified on the part of the site to be developed. The City’s consulting Environmental Specialist has recommended approval of the Wetlands permit subject to an MDEQ permit or letter of no jurisdiction being issued and a soil erosion permit being issued by the Building Department, as well as a number of considerations and changes to the final site plan. 4) The Planning Commission needs to approve a woodlands permit for the development. Staff recommends approval of the Woodland Permit, subject to a number of items to be addressed at the time of final site plan approval. 5) Landscaping review revealed that either a Zoning Board of Appeals Variance needs to be granted for the lack of irrigation for all landscaped areas or the note on the plan needs to be revised prior to Final Site Plan Review indicating that all landscaped areas will be irrigated. Additionally, the applicant will either need to provide the required 6-foot tall berm along 14 Mile Road, or seek a waiver from the Planning Commission. She noted her preference to have the applicant address the issue. 6) Traffic review revealed that a City Council waiver is needed for extension of the proposed road beyond the maximum cul-de-sac length of 800 feet. She indicated the Traffic Review letter indicated several alternatives that could be considered if the waiver is not granted. 7) A second traffic issue are the mini-roundabouts shown on the site plan need to be approved by CC as a waiver of the Design and Construction standards. These roundabouts were suggested the Traffic/Planning Consultant as a traffic calming measure on the road system that is proposed. If the Planning Commission approves the plan, additional details would need to be provided to the City ensure the design would allow for traffic safety, road maintenance and fire truck access is maintained. 8) Engineering and Fire have issues, which may be addressed at Final. 9) A facade review is not required as these are single family homes and will be reviewed under the similar/dissimilar ordinance. However, the applicant provided the building facades and elevations for the Commission’s review, as are required by the Zoning Ordinance for single family cluster developments.

Bob Leighton, Landscape Architect and Planner for Brae Pointe Estates, felt the summary was thorough. He agreed with the comments and recommendations and did not express any difficulty in meeting all the requests made. He noted his misunderstanding of the Ordinance, which requires 75-foot setback between the clusters. He apologized and indicated the corrections would be made. He showed the Commission a Site Plan sample representing the site with the 75-foot setbacks. He did not feel a variance was necessary. In response to the traffic turnarounds, he asked that the Commission recommend approval for the 130-foot variance, which would run the cul-de-sac to the end of the property. He indicated the location of the cul-de-sac if it were designed according to the City limitation of 800-feet. The traffic review indicates a variance could be granted to extend the cul-de-sac to the end to allow for additional units. He suggested taking the cul-de-sac to the end because the road would extend through at some point in the future. He suggested handling the mass grading and the cost of installing utilities in the construction phase. He noted the cost involved to saw a small section of the road at a later date. He noted his understanding that the 800-foot width was a water pressure question. A fire truck could turn around at 900-feet or 800-feet or 700-feet. Therefore, he stated it is not a question of where a fire truck could turnaround and it was more of a loop system of a water system of pressure. He stated the 800-feet was livable, however, he asked that the Commission consider the practicalities of extending it out at this point in time. He stated the irrigation noted was simply to left off the drawing and it would be included at Final. He agreed to provide the six-foot berm. He explained that although the berm on the Site Plan is labeled 6-foot it only shows 4.5 contours. He presented the Commission with a façade board. He stated the intent of the façade was to match and be compatible with the Haverhill Development located to the west.

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

Steve Gabel, 40595 Kingsley Lane stated, "Could the Staff bring up the overhead that showed Haverhill? My concern tonight is not with the project itself. Two years ago, this was discussed. My main concern is that there would be consistency, which there appears to be. My main concern is the emergency connection point here, which would be on Paisley Circle. The first point, which I have discussed with some of the developers this evening, was that that our roads are presently private. They have not been deeded over and accepted by the City. We have a strip of land, trees, grass and sidewalk and then the grass between the sidewalk, road and the curb gutter. There is not a public road and therefore, no right-of-way and not easement at this point. There was some discussion this evening between some of the people from Haverhill and the Developer that they would agree to a grassy-type connection only. There is precedence for that only because up in this area, here, you can see is a grassy emergency access point here. Between Fourteen Mile and the cul-de-sac here there is a grassy connection. That is our second access point in addition to this. That precedence, having been set, we would like to see that at this point here as well. Thank you."

Bernard Nefey, 40523 Paisley Circle stated, "I live approximately right here. I have three items. There is noise coming from the M-5 in this direction here. This is the low point that leads us out to the M-5. Most of the traffic noise on the M-5 is coming from this direction. When MDOT constructed the M-5 they did a noise study. Because this piece of land is undeveloped, then they take into consideration that this is undeveloped and there was no plan for it. It was zoned as it was originally and not for residential. I have had a discussion with MDOT. They said if the developer does make changes to that property, and subsequently to the next properties over, that effect the sound quality of our neighborhood, then MDOT or State or Federal Highway would do nothing about it. It does not fall under a Type-1 because they already put the road in and did the analysis. It would not fall under a Type-2 from existing. Therefore, there will be no re-course from a sound perspective. Looking at the neighborhood of the neighborhood, I do see that these houses would provide some actual sound barrier that might help this discussion. After looking at the layout, I am not that concerned. Also the fact that this is still remaining as tree cover. That was another concern that that was not going to be developed. The next point is drainage. This little piece of wetlands here, which it is not marked as wetlands. It was my understanding that these are protected wetlands in here. Woodland, sorry. If you look at a topographical, this is the low point of everything that is going on here. If you recall back in June of 2000, when we went through the approval process, I did mention that this road still experiences a drainage problem during heavy storms. You will get a foot or so of water directly on the road going across the road that rises as high as the sidewalks on both sides. It covers the road, all the way up the grass to the sidewalks. That is a big concern of mine. Now when you develop this land, of course, the rooftops on the top of here, any of the road improvements, this water is going to come straight down. I am hoping that my basement will not become a swimming pool. I am counting on the Planning Commission to protect the Haverhill residents from that and make sure that the drainage is property taken from this area and taken back in this pool here. I am hoping that these woodlands here are not disturbed. I have spoken to the developer and he has said that these woodlands are intending to stay and that he was not taking those out at all. My third issue is the property line. The property line is being discussed. There are some markings showing this property line. It really is much further into the Haverhill subdivision than I had originally thought. Obviously, they did a survey and so on. One of the interesting comments that is coming across from the property on this side, the daycare, is that this mark could have possibly moved during the construction of Fourteen Mile Road. The builder is saying yes, they have to do another point, which brings it back to the section locator. I want to make sure that the property lines are appropriate. That is sort of a given, these markers, so I wanted to make sure that that issue was taken care of. Thank you."

Karen Cortos, 31120 Kingsley Boulevard stated, "I live about here. The developers tonight were kind enough to share the plan with us tonight. I think it is a very nice plan. Originally when we saw the plan several months ago it had incorporated a curved street in the center, which I liked a little better. However, the fact that they are proposing round abouts is a nice idea. Being on the particular corner that I am, I can stay that, while the round abouts might detur some people from speeding down the street the corners would enhance it some people from around those corners. Two weeks ago, we turned in 41 signed affidavits from Haverhill residents to the Planning Commission."

Chairperson Churella indicated that he had the document.

Ms. Cortos continued, "…of people that agreed that we would strongly suggest that we have a naturally landscaped emergency access road similar to the one that we have in the front of our subdivision. That is for a couple of reasons. I think that we set precedence with naturally landscaped road. Very few people even know that it is there, which is the point of it being naturally landscaped. Although the police and fire department could get through if they needed to. In addition, we do not want to take any more chances on getting more traffic through our subdivision. We have literally over 100 children in our subdivision. We certainly do not want the opportunity for a gate not to be locked for some reason and have more traffic through there. We feel strongly about this and hope that the Planning Commission will consider this request by the residents of Haverhill. We are also concerned about the fact that the possible future development that Brightmoor might have to the south of us. If in fact there was a development there that would give it an access from Fourteen to Thirteen Mile and if in fact the gated road ever became an ungated road for whatever reason, it would give, not only the residents of several subdivisions, but it would give anyone coming across Thirteen or Fourteen Mile an avenue to cut through the subdivision and eliminate getting onto M-5. It would cause more traffic in our subdivision, which we are strongly trying to eliminate. Thank you."

Linda Wash, 40499 Paisley Circle stated, "I am probably going to echo some of the concerns in that I live on Paisley Circle where this road is being discussed. I was a first homeowner into the subdivision. I have been there for 6 ½-years. We have had this natural road as the emergency access road. It has worked just fine. It has met the requirement. We hope that would continue to meet the requirement with a natural road. It is a grassed area. Living here has been nice because Haverhill is a natural setting type subdivision. We have a lot of protected woodland areas. It would be a shame to have it interrupted by this new subdivision. When this property was rezoned two years ago as R-2, it was discussed that there would be 2¾ homes per acre. It seems like now there are a lot of homes on top of each other. I am hoping that that is still part of the plan. Thank you."


Member Richards announced he received fifty-nine (59) responses objecting the proposal. All responses expressed the concern that the access road should be naturally landscaped and not a gated road. Other responses were regarding drainage and noise level. Three responses were regarding the woodlands.

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


Member Ruyle indicated that he is a member of the Brightmoor Tabernacle Church. He offered his recusal if the Commission saw fit.

Chairperson Churella indicated the Commission voted on the matter twice prior and therefore, he did not find it necessary to vote again.

Chairperson Churella asked if Member Ruyle was on the Board of Directors.

Member Ruyle answered, no.


Member Ruyle asked the City Engineer to address the drainage issues. He asked what was being done to open sewers in the area, as they were promised to be available by July 1, 2002.

Ms. McClain stated the sewer on Thirteen Mile Road, effecting Brightmoor Tabernacle and Erickson Retirement, does not effect the proposed property. The sewer at Fourteen Mile serves the proposed property. In speaking with George Norberg it was determined that the drainage would be handled through a catch basin and swale along the backside of the lots to prevent the drainage from going off site.

Member Nagy asked if the property was subdivided.

Mr. Leighton clarified if she was referring to prior to the proposed.

Member Nagy answered, yes.

Mr. Leighton indicated that he had no knowledge of that information.

Member Nagy asked Ms. Kay if Wetland A was located on the proposed property.

Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay indicated that Wetland A was located partly on the property and partly off of the property.

Member Nagy asked why the Applicant would be allowed to fill it.

Ms. Kay noted her understanding of the buffer impact. She referred Member Nagy to page 2 of the review letter dated May 7, 2002, which states, "0.02 acres of wetlands buffer in wetland A." She stated it is only the buffer that is being impacted and not actual wetland.

Member Nagy clarified that it would be only the buffer and not the wetland.

Ms. Kay answered, yes.

Member Nagy noted the residents’ concern of the flooding of the street up to the curb. She asked where the water drains to.

Ms. McClain stated there is a low spot by the topography. She stated the applicant proposed a catch basin and swale. The water would be swailed and brought to a catch basin to keep it on site and avoid flooding.

Member Nagy asked if the catch basin and swale would solve the present flooding problem in the Haverhill subdivision.

Ms. McClain indicated that it would help solve it.

Member Nagy clarified that it would not alleviate the problem.

Ms. McClain pointed out the low spot where the water from Haverhill would continue to go. The Applicant’s proposal would remove the water from Brae Pointe. Although, it might possibly solve the Haverhill problem, she explained that she could not say for certain that it would be perfectly dry due to it being a natural low spot. The trees in that area would not be removed. Therefore, a lot of the topography would be left along the property line (up by the houses) to catch the water coming off of the houses.

Mr. Leighton pointed out that the water is shedding all the way down. The catch basins would reduce the watershed in a substantial area. He anticipated that it would make a big difference.

Member Nagy asked if other developments were proposed on the other side of the property.

Mr. Evancoe clarified if she was referring to the east.

Member Nagy answered, yes.

Mr. Evancoe answered, no. There have not been any proposals submitted at this time.

Member Nagy noted her concern of the noise that Haverhill would experience with the removal of the trees.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that the Developer would enter into a Development Agreement to preserve that area in its natural state. Therefore, that portion of the site would retain its vegetation. However, if the areas to the east were developed then it could be partially cleared.

Member Nagy asked Ms. McGuire to comment on the landscaping.

Ms. McGuire indicated that at least three hundred sixty-seven (367) new trees would be planted to buffer the noise. The new trees would accommodate those that are to be removed. She also noted the street tree requirements. She felt the homes and the trees could create a better noise buffer than what currently exists. Ms. McGuire recommended larger mini roundabouts to give more of a visual impact to vehicle down the road. In addition, she felt there were too many units and preferred to have more greenspace on the property. She suggested having open space along the area detention pond, along the stream and a wood-chipped-path through the woodland area available for usage by the residents.

Member Nagy asked the Applicant if he was agreeable to make the changes suggested by the Ms. McGuire. Although Unit #25 was no longer alone, she found Ms. McGuire’s comments appropriate and agreed that there should be more greenspace and larger roundabouts.

Mr. Leighton indicated the Landscape Architect, Fire Department and Traffic Engineer were reviewing the roundabouts. He agreed with the series of detailed suggestions that he was given. Mr. Leighton indicated that he was willing to make the changes. Some of the suggestions included items such as additional brick, enlarging some of the hard surface area and possibly oblong instead of circular.

Member Nagy asked if he was amenable to having the wooded chip path up to the stream.

Mr. Leighton answered, yes. He added that the path would extend into the wooded area.

Member Nagy asked if his marketing focus was family, specifically children.

Mr. Leighton indicated that typically the market would include those who have grown children that have moved away. However, he added that there could be some families.

Member Nagy clarified that he was mostly marketing to the "empty-nesters"

Mr. Leighton anticipated the number of "empty-nesters" to be greater.

Member Nagy asked if Mr. Leighton was amenable to the access road being naturally landscaped as some of the adjacent residents requested.

Mr. Leighton proposed the road base, gravel, road base and then a concrete block with a hole in it with topsoil in it. The concrete block sets on the road base and supports the vehicle and allows the grass to grow in the topsoil. He stated it works well and looked nice.

Mr. Evancoe asked Ms. McClain to comment on whether or not the City allows Grass-Crete products to be used for this purpose.

Member Nagy suggested the possibility of changing the access road location. She asked Ms. McClain if the proposed access road location was the appropriate.

Ms. McClain indicated that the proposed location was the correct location for the access road when Haverhill was designed. Paisley Circle was brought up to that property line to provide for a future access into the proposed site. It does not have to be an ungated access. It is allowed to be gated. However, the Fire Department does not want to consider further the Grass-Crete products. She read from the Ordinance, "As provided in Section 15-25 a secondary emergency access driveway is required where only one access point to a site is provided. A secondary access driveway shall be a minimum of 18-feet in width, paved to provide an all-weather and shall be designed to support a vehicle of 25-tons. Minimum easement width for secondary width for access driveways shall be 25-feet, a permanent break-away gate shall be provided at the secondary access driveway’s intersection with the public roadway in accordance with figure 8-k." Currently, Haverhill is in the process of having their roads looked at to become public roads. There are also areas where private roads are used between subdivisions for emergency access. She recalled Section 11-194b(19) deals with the access roads.

Member Nagy clarified that because Haverhill had not dedicated their street and then they could not have that natural setting.

Ms. McClain indicated that Ordinance states that it shall be paved with an all weather surface.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Evancoe how it was possible that Haverhill had the natural setting access road.

Mr. Evancoe asked if she was referring to the existing access located off of Fourteen Mile Road.

Member Nagy answered, yes.

Mr. Evancoe deferred to Ms. McClain.

Ms. McClain believed that it was prior to this. In addition, a Design and Construction Standard revision is currently being reviewed to require a 35-ton minimum access due to the new equipment the Fire Department recently acquired.

Member Nagy asked if the applicant was made aware of this information.

Ms. McClain stated the Ordinance has not been changed at this point and it is currently in process. She believed it would not effect their access road.

Member Nagy questioned if the proposed materials were permitted by Ordinance.

Ms. McClain clarified that the access, as currently designed/proposed, is according to the Ordinance. However, if the changes were to be made with the Grass-Crete, then it would not be according to the Ordinance and would require a City Council Waiver.

Member Nagy explained that her intention was to make the Ordinance information clear for the benefit of the audience.

Member Canup stated that he did not support the idea of interconnecting roadways not being open. He recalled the concept from years prior was to make the community flow from one place to another. However, he respect the fact people who live there would rather not have others cutting through their community. In looking at the layout, he noted that he, personally, would not choose cut through the community because of the winding roads. In light of the Commission’s discussion he felt there were items that needed to be cleaned up on the Site Plan, which remained undecided. He asked if the Site Plan included in the commissioner’s packets did not represent the site to be constructed.

Mr. Evancoe indicated the Site Plan submitted to the Commission is a new Site Plan that the Staff and Consultants have not yet seen.

Member Canup suggested the matter be table to allow the developer to clean up the problems and return to the Commission with the correct Site Plan or that the Commission approve the Preliminary Site Plan and have the matter return to the Commission for Final Site Plan Approval. He asked the Commission for feedback.

Member Nagy supported tabling the matter.


Moved by Canup, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Brae Pointe Estates SP02-08 to table until the next Regular Planning Commission meeting to give the Petitioner the opportunity to clean up the Site Plan and return to the Commission under Matters for Consideration with a Site Plan that depict s what will actually be built.


Member Richards noted the new proposal moves units 24 and 25 together to meet the Cluster definition.

Mr. Leighton agreed with his comments.

Member Richards stated the City Council Waiver is necessary because the home sites are 800-feet from the centerline of the proposed emergency access with Paisley Circle. He asked if this was still an issue.

Ms. McClain indicated that it would be an issue if the home sites were built on prior to the connection of the road to the south. The suggestion was made by both the Fire Department and the Traffic Consultant to restrict those lots from being built until there is a connection through to the south.

Member Richards indicated that, in that case, it appeared that nine (9) home sites could not be built until that road was connected. He asked the Mr. Leighton if he was aware of this information.

Mr. Leighton answered, yes. He asked the Commission to consider waiving this requirement.

Member Kocan answered, no.

Member Richards noted his expectation to have the Site Plan return to the Commission with this situation resolved.

Mr. Leighton asked the reasoning for the 800-feet, which he added no one yet has been able to answer. He stated it is not related to fire safety. Instead he believed it was a water pressure issue because a line could only be run out only so far before it needs to be looped back without losing the pressure. He noted that the proposed is only an additional 130-feet of distance. He stated the entire road could be built for "X" number of dollars. However, he explained that building 800-feet now and 130-feet two-years later would multiply the cost.

Member Richards noted his understanding to Mr. Leighton’s point.

Mr. Leighton asked the reasoning for the 800-foot dimension. He asked the Commission to consider the rational to build it now as opposed to later.

Member Richards indicated that 800-feet is the standard.

Mr. Leighton stated some communities have their standard at 600-feet and others 900-feet.

Member Richards indicated that unless the standard was changed for everyone, it could not be changed just for him. He noted that other developers have had to deal with the same situation.

Member Canup suggested obtaining his site plan approval. At that point, if Mr. Leighton saw fit, then he could go before the Zoning Board of Appeals and request a variance. However, he did not believe the Commission could legally waive the requirement.

Member Kocan noted her understanding that the road could be built to the end of the development. However, the houses could not be developed until an opening has been provided. Therefore, she explained to Mr. Leighton that there was not an issue with having to go back and build the road. Instead, the issue was that the houses could not be built until the connection to the south was established.

Mr. Leighton noted his understanding to her comments.

Member Kocan requested that Developer work with the City regarding the Seeley drain, taking into consideration the possibility of shifting the stub to the south. Also, to address the "clean up" work. For example, one of the mini-turnabouts is not centered between the clusters. Member Kocan liked the new plan on paper better than the plan included in the commissioner’s packets. However, she noted the magnificent topography in that area and questioned if it would be bulldozed down to one level.

Mr. Leighton answered, no. He stated there would be retaining walls in the back of a few of the units to get back to grade quickly.

Member Kocan asked Ms. McGuire to comment on the matter.

Ms. McGuire stated in speaking with the Engineering Firm, it was determined the City standards for road grade do not allow the site to follow exactly those grades as they stand. The topography levels and then goes up pretty steeply, levels and goes up steeply again. She felt the development would be nice if these grades could be kept. However, the roads could not hold onto these grades due to City requirements. In addressing this issue, she suggested more retaining walls near the street. She noted the problem, the applicant expressed, was with the driveway grades matching the road grades and still getting to the existing grades. She suggested having the engineering consultant address the issue more thoroughly.

Member Kocan hoped the Developer would make these considerations because she felt it could only appreciate the housing in that area.

Chairperson Churella suggested having the Consultant’s work with the Applicant’s Engineer.

Member Kocan indicated that she would be looking for these items when the Site Plan returned to the Commission. She clarified for the benefit of the audience, that the proposed property is zoned R-2 (One-Family Residential District), which allows a certain number of houses. However, because there are considerable Woodlands on the site, and more than 50% of those woodlands would be preserved, the R-2 Cluster Option is allowable. Under the Cluster Option, the homes are allowed to be clustered closer together. However, the setback would be considerably more from than that of a subdivision. The setback for the Cluster Option is 75-feet, whereas a regular subdivision home would be set back 35-feet. In changing the clusters, she noted that it appeared that at lease 75-feet was between the clusters of eight and 60-feet between a cluster of six.

Mr. Leighton agreed.

Member Kocan noted that she would also be looking for how close the houses were to each other within the clusters when the site plan returns. She believed that they needed to be a minimum of six, however, she hoped that it was not six.

Mr. Leighton believed the building envelope was fifteen. Therefore, it the distance could be greater than fifteen when the actual building is placed in the envelope.

Member Kocan stated when the Site Plan returns, she would also be looking to see if additional trees were saved as requested.

Ms. McBeth commented on Member Kocan’s statement regarding the preservation of the 50% of the wooded and wetlands areas as one of the criteria for the Clustering Option. She pointed out that the Petitioner’s argument is actually the unusual lot shape and the severe topography on the site. However, in some cases, the applicant did use the criteria of 50% of the site being maintained in wetlands and woodlands.

Member Shroyer suggested that the Applicant look at the ZBA variance for the landscape irrigation and a Planning Commission Waiver for the berm height.

Mr. Evancoe interjected and noted that the Petitioner indicated earlier in the meeting that those two items would be addressed on the new Site Plan. The note regarding irrigation would be added, along with the contour to show 6-feet.

Mr. Leighton agreed with Mr. Evancoe’s comments.

Member Paul addressed the setbacks between each of the homes. She asked Ms. McClain if she was satisfied with the proposal of the Seeley drain.

Ms. McClain deferred the question to Ms. Kay.

Ms. Kay asked Member Paul to be more specific.

Member Paul indicated that initially the engineer was not happy with the Seeley drain being constructed under the road.

Ms. Kay indicated that since she had not seen any new site plans her comments were based on the Site Plan she reviewed. Her review letter contained special permit conditions. One request was that the Applicant explore an alternative bridge option. She stated the Applicant’s Engineer indicated to her that they were exploring a box culvert that was not shown on the Site Plan that she reviewed, which was the detail she was looking for. Therefore, the overall intent of what she was looking for was more open area for the road crossing in general. Also, there are currently two opportunities on the property with small enclosures (bridge areas), which she recommended be opened up to place Seeley drain at its original strength/condition.

Member Paul asked if the site would fall under the new storm water management ordinance that was adopted at the City Council.

Ms. McClain stated the Site Plan was submitted prior to the adoption of the new ordinance. Therefore, the Site Plan does not reflect all of the requirements of that ordinance. However, there would not be a problem because this portion of the Site Plan Process is taken into account between the Preliminary Site Plan and Final Design. They would be required to show the exact design as opposed to only feasibility. Ms. McClain indicated that she spoke to the applicant regarding addressing the Storm water Ordinance addressed on the site.

Member Paul asked if there was any way that Haverhill could be helped during the topography changes being done on the proposed site. She suggested an etched drain or another alternative that would direct the flow toward the same drain, thereby removing some of the water off of the Haverhill property.

Ms. McClain was not certain that was an option until she reviewed the topography. She noted the focus was an attempt to address the drainage from the Brae Pointe side. To do the work in Haverhill would require easements and permission(s) from the residents in Haverhill. In addition the Brae Pointe Applicant does not have the ability to make do the work without their permission. She suggested having the City forces address the issue because the situation is existing and not an issue caused by this Applicant. Therefore, she stated she would refer the matter to the Department of Public Works for further study.

Member Paul thanked Ms. McClain. On a personal note, she stated her subdivision has a lot of drain issues. Therefore, she found the situation an opportunity. Member Paul indicated that she is from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and therefore, she did not find the issues with hills being a major problem if there is proper drainage and storm water management. Therefore, she asked for a better explanation.

Ms. McGuire agreed with Member Paul and preferred to have the situation reviewed more closely. However, she noted that her response earlier was based on the explanation from the engineer.

Member Paul stated the topography is beautiful and she did not want to see another Developer come in and level everything to develop.

Mr. Leighton agreed with Member Paul’s comments. However, he explained that he is in a position to meet the Oakland County Road Commission Standards, which allows 8% roads. He assumed that Pittsburgh allowed 10%.

Member Paul asked Mr. Leighton if he found it possible to address the issues raised and derive a better Site Plan.

Mr. Leighton answered, yes. He believed that the City of Novi had some control because it is not a county road.

Mr. Evancoe indicated that there are minimum critical grades required. He was not certain of the percentages. However, a waiver would be required to vary from this requirement, which would be reviewed by the Fire Department. He recalled a recent subdivision proposal of 11% in another community, where the Fire Department indicated their machine would have a difficult time.

Member Paul interjected and stated it could be done.

Mr. Evancoe continued indicating they would have a difficult time in snowy and icy conditions.

Member Paul argued that it could be done. The snow and the ice would need to be property removed and the situation simply dealt with. Therefore, she wanted to keep the luxury of the site as much as possible. If a wavier needed to be granted at this expense, then she found it to be appropriate. She noted the golf course on the corner of Sheldon and Six Mile, which has been maintained and is lovely. She felt this could be done in Novi.

Member Ruyle indicated Brightmoor Tabernacle is meeting tonight to propose selling approximately 40-acres, which is where the road connection would be placed. The approval of the purchase would be voted on tonight. He anticipated after the purchase is approved, the request for a rezoning would come before the Commission for a condominium development.

Member Nagy agreed with Member Paul’s point of view. She asked Ms. McClain if she had any comment prior to the Commission’s vote.

Ms. McClain indicated the current City standard is for an eight percent road. Having worked in Connecticut, she was aware that roads could be built at a percent greater than eight percent. However, the Design and Construction Standard is eight percent, which is what the applicant is attempting to meet without requiring a variance or waiver as she request. She suggested exploring the option of steepening the grades and talking with the Fire Department to support such a waiver.

Member Nagy agreed with her suggestion. She noted if the Developer is willing to agree to this alternative, she could then deem the variance worthy. She called for the vote.

VOTE ON PM-02-06-134

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

No: None

(10 minute break)



Consideration of the request of Gary Jonna of Whitehall Realty Inc. for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan and a Section Nine Façade Waiver. The subject property is located in Section 16 on the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road in the West Market Square Development in the B-2 (Business) District. The developer is proposing a retail center. The subject site is 24,000 square feet.

Ms. McBeth introduced the request of Gary Jonna of Whitehall Realty for approval of a preliminary site plan. The applicant is proposing a retail development within the West Market Square Shopping Center development located at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road in Section 16 of the City. Zoning The site is zoned B-2, Community business, as is the remainder of the West Market Square development to the north and east. To the west and south, the properties are zoned OSC (Office-Service Commercial). East of the shopping Center across Beck Road, the property is zoned OST (Office Service Technology). The site is currently located within the West Market Square shopping center, and the development site is located between the existing Outback Steak House and the Home Depot Store. To the east and north is the existing West Market Square shopping center. To the west of the site is the 52-1 District Court. To the south, across Grand River Avenue is the Providence Hospital Campus. The request of the petitioner is to develop a 24,100 square foot addition to the shopping center connecting the Outback Steak House and the Home Depot. The parking lot for the area has already been constructed. 126 parking spaces are required for the building addition and 126 spaces are designated on the plan for the proposed addition. The proposed addition meets zoning ordinance requirements for building height and building setbacks. The plan also provides adequate loading area behind the building in two locations. The following items are brought to the Planning Commission’s attention as a result of the staff and consultants review of the plans. 1) The Planning, Traffic, Engineering and Fire reviews revealed minor comments, which can be addressed on the final site plan. No woodlands or wetlands are present on the site, and therefore no review was required. 2) The landscaping review indicated that the landscape plan does not meet the minimum requirement of providing four feet of green space immediately adjacent to the building along the exposed side, but does provide appropriate quantities of landscaping at the edge of the sidewalk. The Planning Commission may waive this requirement if there is a finding that significant additional plantings are provided elsewhere on the site. 3) The façade review indicated that the percentage of split-faced block and smooth faced block on the north façade, and the percentage of standing seam metal on the south façade exceed the maximum allowed by the ordinance. The façade consultant did indicate that the design of the façade is consistent with the materials used on the Kroger, Home Depot and retail buildings within the same project, for which a Section 9 waiver was granted previously. The façade consultant recommends that the design is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Ordinance and recommends that the Planning Commission grant the Section 9 waiver.

Gary Jonna President of Whitehall Realty appeared on behalf of Providence Medical Centers. He noted that most of the small store space has been absorbed in the Retail North and East Outlot thereby making Retail West essentially the next phase of the project. He felt the Commission would deem the proposed as a nice addition to the center to link Outback to the existing Home Depot. In maintaining harmony, the tower element in Retail North was basically replicated at a focal point in Retail West. The orientation of the tower allows it to not be dwarfed by the scale of the Home Depot. Therefore, it was been designed in scale with the Home Depot, given a strong access to the driveway and imported from Retail North. Thereby creating a sense of continuity and harmony in the project.


Member Canup stated that he uses the facility often. He described the development as gorgeous and an asset to the community. However, he commented on the traffic flow in front of the Home Depot. He noted that each time he has visited the site that area has been "the next thing to a hazard". He was not certain what could be done to address the situation, but a very poor traffic flow comes from the north side of the project and flows along the front of the Home Depot and then into the street. He anticipated the corner on the building would enhance this problem.

Mr. Jonna suggested that it could be signage issues. He agreed to monitor the situation and conduct studies to improve the situation.

Chairperson Churella asked Ms. McClain if she could address the concern.

Ms. McClain believed the traffic was already studied in the prior approval stages. However, it could be explored further to determine if changes could be made to eliminate these potential hazards. She was aware of the traffic flow that Member Canup was referring to.

Member Canup anticipated the traffic problem would become worse as the center became more utilized. He asked Ms. McClain to visit the site and drive along the front of The Home Depot to the south during a heavy traffic time.

Ms. McClain agreed. In addition, she agreed to meet with the Traffic Engineer and Ms. McGuire to create a visual deterrent that worked with the center.

Member Canup indicated that other than the traffic issue he felt the development was a credit to the City. Further, he felt it is a development that the City needed.

Member Nagy referenced Ms. McGuire’s review letter, which stated the site does not meet the minimum 4-feet of green space immediately adjacent to the building on the exposed side. However, further in the review letter, it stated that there is space for possible additional landscaping on the triangular corner pocket of the front face of the building. She asked Mr. Jonna if he was amenable to satisfy this recommendation with regard to the pocket.

Ms. McGuire commended the Developer on the landscape plan. She indicated that the amount of landscaping provided is equal to the amount that would have been needed if it were to be a small band around the entire building. Therefore, she supported the waiver. She noted that she had already spoken with their landscape architect regarding working out this area.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Jonna if he was agreeable.

Mr. Jonna agreed to make this provision. He stated it would be discussed and incorporated into the Final Site Plan. He believed that they were referring to a modest planter at that location, which he had no objection to.

Member Nagy recalled the problems with the Evergreens and vegetation of that site being dead. She asked Mr. Evancoe if these were replaced.

Mr. Evancoe believed it was replaced. He deferred to Ms. McGuire to comment.

Ms. McGuire indicated that the overall situation has been very difficult. However, she noted that she has been working on it. In fact the plants were supposed to be replaced last week.

Member Nagy noted her understanding that the situation had nothing to do with her. However, she was inquiring if the development had been more cooperative with the City. She asked if there were any issues with the loading area.

Ms. McGuire answered, no.

Member Paul liked the development. However her concern lied with the amount of vacant retail in the City. After speaking with Kroger and Blockbuster, she noted the amount of business problems they are having due to the construction at that intersection. She asked Mr. Jonna if he also developed the area along Kroger.

Mr. Jonna answered, yes.

Member Paul raised another traffic concern. She explained that the pedestrians walking out of the Kroger store have no visibility of the cars driving by because of the large brick pillars. Also, the drivers can not see the pedestrians coming out of Kroger. She suggested placing a mirror on the pillar or possibly redesigning the pillars. She felt the sidewalk should have come out six or eight feet past the pillars for the benefit of both the pedestrians and the vehicles. Member Paul pointed out the landscaping along Blockbusters is dead. She continued her comments on the additional retail to the area. She stated the current site is not filled, a restaurant is going in by Kroger and the difficulty of the existing stores having difficulty with their businesses. Therefore, she did not think it was a reasonable time to open more retail space.

Mr. Jonna responded to her comments. He explained the strategy is not to bring additional retail on line until the maximum occupancy has been reached with the other phases of the project. There are several leases that are about to be signed that would bring the project to 100% occupancy on the other segments of the project. In addition, the Retail West is not being proposed on a speculative basis. The gestation period of bringing a Site Plan to Final Site Plan is lengthy. Therefore, the timing is such that the Grand River widening will be completed, the project will be 100% occupied and a determination will be made if there is an additional demand for retail and what mix that might be because it must complement the center. Also the performance of the current tenants would be monitored. He assured the Commission that he was using a logical progression to the project. He expressed his disappointment that the construction at the Beck/Grand River intersection was not finished. Mr. Jonna indicated that The Home Depot is doing so well that it resulted in an outdoor expansion area. Kroger has reached profitability ahead of its forecast. He agreed that the side shops were struggling and would like more street signage. However, it is not possible to provide street signage with this project. He believed the bringing in of more tenants would add to the traffic and "cross-pollinate". Mr. Jonna indicated that he was not aware of the situation mentioned by Member Paul. However, he assured Member Paul that he would bring the matter to the attention of the Vice President of Kroger.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Retail West SP02-14 to grant Preliminary Site Plan Approval, Planning Commission Waiver for interior building landscaping, recognizing that landscaping equal to the requirement is in close proximity and additional landscaping will be added, Planning Commission Approval of a Section Nine Façade Waiver in order to be consistent with existing development, with the request that the Developer work with the City to create a safer traffic flow around the development, subject to the comments in the Staff and Consultant’s reports.


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

No: None



Member Kocan made corrections to the minutes.


Moved by Nagy, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Regular Planning Commission minutes of May 1, 2002 as amended.




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

No: None





Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Regular Planning Commission minutes of May 15, 2002 as submitted.



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

No: None





Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Canup, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Regular Planning Commission minutes of June 5, 2002 as submitted.


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

No: None











Moved by Kocan, seconded by Nagy, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:15 p.m.


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

No: None



Donna Howe - Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

June 2, 2002

Date Approved: July 10, 2002