View Agenda for this meeting
View Action Summary for this meeting


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

PRESENT: Members Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague.


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



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

Member Paul added Matters for Discussion Item #1 – Educational Seminar.

Member Kocan announced she had received a letter from Mark Canvesor requesting the removal of S.C. Novi One SP02-36 from the agenda. Therefore, she amended the agenda to reflect this request.

David Evancoe Planning Director added Matter for Discussion Item #2 – 2003 Proposed Calendar.

Chairperson Nagy added Matter for Discussion Item #3 - Letter addressed to Karl Wizinsky Dated September 3, 2002.

Member Kocan added Matter for Discussion Item #4 – Agenda Items for Joint Meeting with the City Council.

Member Shroyer added Matters for Discussion Item #5 – Attachments to Minutes.


Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended with the addition of Matters for Discussion Item #1 – Educational Seminar, the addition of Matter for Discussion Item #2 – 2003 Proposed Calendar, the addition of Matter for Discussion Item #3 - Letter addressed to Karl Wizinsky Dated

September 3, 2002, the addition of Matter for Discussion Item #4 – Agenda Items for Joint Meeting with the City Council, the addition of Matters for Discussion Item #5 – Attachments to Minutes, the removal of Public Hearing #2 - S.C. Novi One SP02-36 at the request of the Applicant.


Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague

No: None


Steve Blazo, 24013 Westmont Drive stated, "The concerns I have are from 5-years ago with the plat approval for Phase II of Westmont Village. It was in fact predicated upon the remaining acreage be deeded to the City of Novi and a conservation easement be placed on that. Not knowing who has the next step or if who took the last step, my information is the fact is that it has not happened. That is a very important part. As an average citizen and a member of Westmont Village, I feel as if once that was approved then the wheels are in motion and it was done. For five years this issue has seemingly disappeared. As you look at new developments and new issues and such, I would like to reflect back on that. The fact that that is a process issue that is broken somewhere or we are in fact looking at a performance issue where someone is to be doing something this isn’t. I am not sure where that falls, so I am not blaming the irresponsibility, just that this issue exists. As a second point, the Westmont Village road condition is under investigation right now. They are seven years old and are in a deplorable state. It is a safety issue, it is not a trip, fall bicycle in-like skate issue, and it is now to the point where it is retaining water. For West Nile amongst any other issue, it is a serious safety and health issue. As you consider going forward with a new development, let’s reflect what we have done in the past or have not done in the past. Learn from our lessons."





Clay Pearson Assistant City Manager thanked and congratulated the Planning Commission and Par Group whom for the first time made the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) planning an integral part of the budget deliberations. There were several items that were not carried over to the final document in the Planning Commission’s last adoption. The City Council, as the budgeting body, has the ultimate responsibility for making the budget allocations and edits. There is an aggressive and important CIP in the midst of being implemented. He stated the budget cover highlights some of the prime projects as an action plan: Orange barricades throughout town depict projects that are working for the community; Twelve Mile Road improvements are moving ahead very quickly; working with the Road Commission of Oakland County with Grand River projects; Road Commission has been an important partner on Novi Road; and signal upgrades that have been completed on Ten Mile. The Neighborhood Road Improvements Program offers a million and half dollars each year as part of the Road Bond and local street fund for investments back in the neighborhood streets. He stated the CIP was included in the budget and he was available to answer any questions from the Commission.

Member Kocan verified that the Commission’s recommendations from the March meeting were not passed onto Council.

Mr. Pearson stated the recommendations were passed onto Council and the items were reviewed Kathy Smith-Roy Finance Director and four of the projects were selected. He stated there were a group of Planning Commission members and City Council members that made a recommendation, the Planning Commission made additional changes as part of these recommendations. These changes were not reflected in the Final Document.

Member Kocan stated the Planning Commission is charged with the Capital Improvements Program. She stated her name is on the CIP indicating it is a program she adopted, however final document is not the program that she adopted. She understood the City Council has the prerogative to change things, however she questioned whether or not the Council was made aware of the Commission’s recommendations. Member Kocan read through the City Council minutes and did not recall any Council discussion with regard to the items that the Commission moved from 2003 to 2007 or those moved from 2007 to 2003, indicating the desire to have the items remain where they were originally. Although the process is a group effort, she wanted to make sure the Commission’s input was included. She suggested starting the process earlier for the next budget year. She asked how the Commission could ensure their actual recommendations are being forwarded to Council.

Mr. Pearson stated in keeping in context with the whole program there were four projects that Kathy Smith-Roy picked that could be read into the record if the Commission desired.

Chairperson Nagy stated by State Statute the Commission is charged to do the Capital Improvement project. She was disappointed as well. A few examples she noted were the Commission’s recommendation to remove the Crescent Boulevard Extension; the Commission, as a whole, did not approve the item with regard to Maybury Park. She stated the items the Commission removed should have been reflected and forwarded to the City Council with any changes brought back to the Commission. She requested Mr. Pearson to read the four items into the record.

Mr. Pearson stated Maybury Park is a sanitary sewer listed as CIP Item 34 (Beck Road Section 32 Document). He stated that to his knowledge this item was ever added; it has been in the CIP. The only item the Planning Commission removed outright at their last deliberation was Crescent Boulevard. The other three items are out-year projects that were moved; Eleven Mile Repairs recommended as part of CIP to 2007; Nine Mile Road was moved to 2003-2004; and Item 73 and Item 62 Lakeshore Park were combined.

Member Paul stated Lakeshore Park Parking asphalt is designated for 2004-2005 with $200,000. In contrast, Parks Recreation and Forestry Lakeshore Parking Road Improvements designate for 2002-2003 and list the amount as $158,000. She asked for the correct year and dollar amount.

Mr. Pearson stated the City Council elected to utilize the $55,000 from the HCD Fund (instead of the recommended $60,000) for Lakeshore playground equipment. A switch from General Fund to HCD and change in dollar amount were recommended. The Lakeshore Park Asphalt ($200,000) was not included.

Member Paul clarified he was referring to number 73.

Mr. Pearson answered, yes.

Member Paul stated one says Road Improvements and another says Asphalt and they are different years. She asked for the correct year.

Mr. Pearson stated $30,000 is budgeted for the concession and restroom facility; $25,000 for the Road and Parking; and $55,000 for the HCD.

Member Paul asked if there is a plan to spend $200,000 for 2004.

Mr. Pearson stated it is in the CIP recommended by the Planning Commission.

Member Shroyer asked whom determines whether or not matters are coordinated through the Finance Department as opposed to through the Planning Department.

Mr. Pearson stated it was recommended last year to include it as part of the budget as opposed to having separate tracks with the CIP added at the end. The budget is a recommendation from the Manager’s Office and developed with the Finance Department. The Planning Department Staff suggested coordinating through the Finance Department.

Member Shroyer clarified that the team effort went well this year and is anticipated to be handled the same for the coming year.

Mr. Pearson answered, yes.

Beth Brock, Planner stated the changes that occurred from the Planning Commission level to the City Council level. Abolishing funds for conferences and workshops, reducing funds for the growth management plan from $98,200 to $42,100; eliminating funds for proposed planning and incorporating aspects of the studies into the growth management plan; and transferring the emerging issues fund from the Planning Department Budget to the Planning Commission Budget.


David Evancoe introduced City Planner Timothy Schmitt from the Columbus Ohio. He is a graduate from Ohio University with a Bachelor Degree in Geography and a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning.

Nancy McClain, City Engineer introduced City Engineer Brian Coburn from Waterford. He is a graduate of Michigan Tech University.






Continuation of Public Hearing on the request of Claudio Rossi of Mirage Development for a Woodland Permit approval and a recommendation to City Council for a Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetlands Permit. The subject property is located in Section 26, south of Ten Mile Road and west of Meadowbrook Road. The developer is proposing a 42 lot single-family subdivision in the R-4 (One Family Residential) District. The subject property is 18.68 acres.

Chairperson Nagy announced the continuation of the Public Hearing for Orchard Hills West Subdivision.

Mr. Evancoe recapped information related to the proposed project. Last month the Tentative Preliminary Plat was tabled to allow the Staff to further investigate certain issues and allow the Stormwater Management & Watershed Stewardship Committee to conduct a more thorough review. The City Attorney has recommended (in an opinion letter) that the processing of the Tentative Preliminary Plat not be delayed any further. He highlighted the existing conditions. The subdivision is located directly south and west of the existing Orchard Hills Subdivision, school property to the north and Novi Ridge Apartments directly to the west. The future land use map for the community designates the area as Single-Family Residential. The Staff reviewed roadway access, berm height location and lot depth issues; the feasibility of eliminating lots was explored, stop sign locations and MDEQ Permit. The review of the Plat was expedited and placed on the agenda sooner than planned. Therefore, it was not possible for the Stormwater Management & Watershed Stewardship Committee to conduct a further review, however a memo supplied at the previous meeting expressing the concerns of the Committee. In addition, as the Tentative Preliminary Plat proceeds to the City Council, there would be an opportunity for the Committee to conduct the requested review and provide feedback to the City Council. The Master Plan for Land Use states: development that is compatible with natural features and scenic views should be encouraged; future growth and redevelopment in Novi should be thoughtfully planned to protect public health, safety and welfare; encourage uses of land that balance environmental economic health and safety factors; recognizing that environmental protection and development are not mutually exclusive the City is dedicated to making every effort to preserve important natural features; promote the preservation and buffering of poor wildlife habitat areas; make reasonable efforts to preserve woodlands (including related natural resources) and encourage planning techniques that incorporate natural features as site amenities. The Subdivision Ordinance asks the Commission, in its review of a Tentative Preliminary Plat, to determine if it conforms with the Subdivision Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance and to the Master Plan for Land Use. The Master Plan for Land Use further speaks of public interest stating, one of the purposes of the Master Plan is to promote the public interest and the interest of the community at large rather than the interests of individuals or special groups within the community. Further it states, that long-range considerations should be injected into the determination of short-range actions. Additionally it states, it should be identified, and when appropriate, protect valuable environmental resources. The proposed development presents a difficult dilemma with Mallot Drive as an access point to the subdivision from the east because there are stub streets in the existing subdivision, which also provide access. Utilizing Mallot Drive through Type B Wildlife Habitat would impact both the Wetlands and the medium and dense covered Woodlands. The Master Plan for Land Use was derived from a broad base of input from the community and therefore represents the public interest, which is to preserve natural areas. He felt a strong case could be made that the public interest, as it pertains to the proposed development, is to preserve the natural environment. There are several alternatives to address the situation. The Commission could recommend approval, as shown, with the 28-foot wide paved street with curb and gutter. Secondly, the Commission could recommend approval of a lesser width (as highlighted in the Staff report) with the implementation of a 25-foot wide road with a City Council Design and Construction Waiver. Thirdly, the Commission could recommend approval as a temporary gravel construction road. Finally, the Commission could recommend approval of the plat subject to the removal of Mallot Drive east of the proposed Borchart Drive extended road. These four alternatives are listed in order of their environmental impact with the greatest impact being at the top and the least impact at the bottom. Residents to the north and to the east of the development have expressed concerns of safety of their children walking to school. A Staff review was not able to determine a clear and compelling reason for the necessity of the Mallot Drive extension. Access is feasible from streets that were intended to be extended as evidence by stubs that were left behind. The primary issue of safety involves the construction phase of the proposed subdivision. Again, he stated the Master Plan for Land Use states; long-range considerations should be injected into the determination of short-range actions. Therefore, he questioned if the environment should be impacted to provide a marginal level of improved safety for the time period of the construction and then after the fact live with the destruction that has occurred. Alternatively, should the Commission consider the long-term situation and recognize that there will be construction headaches for residents that will be short lived. In the long run, if Mallot Drive is not constructed, then the some of the goals of the Master Plan for Land Use could be achieved. The Staff recommends approval of the proposed with the removal of Mallot Drive east of the proposed Borchart Drive extended.

Mr. Lewiston stated the plat was originally filed in 1995 without Mallot Drive. He stated the judgment of the earlier Commission and Council determined the minor impact was worth the safety of the residents. Mr. Lewiston stated he did not object to either version.

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

Bill Manquietz 23655 Silvery Lane stated, "I live immediately adjacent to the proposed plat that is being discussed this evening. The gentleman that was just up here expressing his concerns about preserving that area, it thinks he is talking out both sides of his mouth. He is not really concerned with preserving that area. Members of the Council that did vote to put this thing on the table to study, I thank you for your interest in the subdivision. As a parent, my first concern is for the children of the subdivision. We have children playing on these streets and there are no sidewalks in this subdivision. Our kids have no bus service. Our kids, due to the proximity to the schools are not offered bus service and are walking to school in the mornings and from school in the evenings. The man that stated the construction period would be a short-term thing...well, it is only short term if you don’t live in the subdivision. During the construction period there will be heavy truck running there early in the morning. Some mornings are very foggy and our kids are on the streets. The same thing in the evening. These guys will be trying to get out of work late in the evening and our kids will be on the streets again walking home from school. I think it is a very hazardous situation and very dangerous. I am totally against this development. Also, no one seems to be considering that there is a huge development along Meadowbrook Road. Anyone that lives in that area will tell you, just north of Ten Mile there are condos being constructed. There are two lane highways and another 40 or 50 houses back in Old Orchard, there will be another 80 to 100 cars coming in and out of the subdivision and up and down Meadowbrook Road. There will be a gridlock. There is a five or ten minute wait to get out of there now. You throw another 100 cars in there; we will have a gridlock. We are not doing anything to improve the roads. There again, it is another concern for the people that live there. I have lived at this location for over 20-years. At that time, I came and spoke to the City and they had a good organized plan with no rush to let builders come in and throw houses everywhere. Now all of a sudden it seems that we have flipped over and are trying to get too many houses and condo and everything in here. We need to slow down and look where we are going, plan for the future, and preserve our wetlands and natural lands. I don’t know if any of you folks have walked that area back there, but it is a very natural place with a lot of wetlands and a lot of animals that live back there. There are 14 deer that come in there every winter that I feed. Where are these animals going to go? We are pushing them out and they will have o place to go. There are countless other small animals. Oh yeh, he could relocate the wetlands. Well, I don’t think he can. If he could relocate the wetland, he sure as heck cannot relocate the animals. This is not fair. The people that have lived there have supported Novi all our lives and supported this City. We have watched it grow and enjoyed the growth. We should now be able to relax a little bit and enjoy some of the things that we have here. I think forcing the road is a terrible mistake. Once the area is destroyed, we will never recover it. I am not sure if anyone is here from DNR, I am tired of these folks rolling over and giving away all of our wetlands. Everywhere we turn, we are destroying all of our property. The builder certainly has the right to build somewhere. He has owned the property for a long time. He has been very tolerant. I am not saying this is his fault. But, can we not, as a City, offer him another location and give him some kind of tax break. It is not my business. Can’t we give him some place else that is drier and higher? Folks, I think I read somewhere that he is going to increase the elevation 35 to 38 foot on this new installation of houses. I am a retired engineer. A lot of things including water go downhill. I do not care what kind of storm drainage you are putting in there; you are going to flood us out there. My neighbor that lives next door floods out every spring. The DPW guys have just put in a special ditch in attempt to relieve some of his water coming down. You raise that land 35-foot back there, it will be like the great wall coming at us. I have many concerns and I am firmly against this proposal. I know you folks have to do something with the builder, but I would ask you to try to work something out with this gentleman to give him another plat that he could build his subdivision and not take our area away. Why can’t the area be preserved or used as a City Park? Thank you for your time."

Chairperson Nagy stated that to her knowledge, the Developer is not planning to increase the elevation. The elevation is simply higher.

Mr. Lewiston stated the natural grade is being used in the 18-acres being used for the subdivision. The entire parcel is 60-acres and 41-acres of that will remain in its current state. There will be a disturbance to 38,000 square feet of the 41-acres of regulated wetlands. Two hundred of the 15,000 trees will be removed. There have been hundreds of permits issued in the City of Novi involving wetland disturbances more than 38,000 square feet. Certainly hundreds of permits involving tree removal of more than 200 trees.

Mr. Manquietz stated, "Everything done in the past is not necessarily correct."

Chairperson Nagy interjected and discouraged the dialog.

Stan Olkowski 23303 West LeBost stated, "I agree with the previous speaker. I am entirely opposed and object to the project for many reasons. The disruption of wildlife and disruption of the water table. We have a shallow well-fed sprinkler system that in the first ten years of the 19-years that we have been in our home, the bottom of the water table has shifted by two feet. I have had to adjust the well points. It was perhaps from the construction Turtle Creek, Deerbrook as well as Chase Farms. To give you some perspective, my home is located east of Meadowbrook Road in the Willowbrook II Subdivision. It is the east side of Meadowbrook Road and directly adjacent of the proposed plan. I am concerned with the potential disruption of the flood plain as well. Some fellow neighbors and myself were excluded from Federal Flood Management Insurance Requirements to the cost of approximately $1000 a household. I am sure that while you can not demonstrate that there is some effect as far as flood plain is concerned or direct causing effect, it only needs to be in the eyes and the mind of FEMA whether or not you are in a flood plain. My particular lot ended up within FEMA years after I purchased my home. In addition to that, we are still paying for a special assessment on drainage improvements that took place along the lot line that separates the houses that have frontage on Meadowbrook Road verses ours with backyards along those houses that have the frontage on Meadowbrook Road. Drainage improvements became necessary after Turtle Creek, Chase Farms and Deerbrook popped up. If this passes, I would seek to find legal alternatives, which will likely involve the City of Novi, its planners as well as the developer. If I were involved in City management, I would caution that in the recent wake of the Sandstone disaster, maybe we should slow down as the previous speaker suggested. Thank you."

Tony Marroni 41608 Chattman Drive stated, "I reside just south of the development. First of all I want to thank the board members because I see how time consuming this is. I hear the pay is not too good either. I really want to thank you as a citizen of Novi for the time that you spend working on these committees. I have prepared a statement to read, however it is basically the same perspective as Mr. Evancoe founded."

Scott Humpney 41801 Aspen stated, "I live in the Orchard Hills Subdivision. My concern is with the opening of our subdivision for the construction trucks. I personally have three children under the age of five. There will be an explosion of young children who are going to be on the streets, going to school, playing and chasing balls. The trucks are large, the streets are narrow and there are no sidewalks, which is a recipe for disaster. It is difficult when my family takes a walk and a car is coming down the street toward us. We have to dodge out of the way for a car. Two cars are more difficult. There is not enough room for the power company’s large trucks. I also have a well that provides my water. I am concerned about the impact that another subdivision would have on my well. Is there any possibility to hooking up the people in that subdivision to City water to alleviate that if we are going to start draining water out of there or during construction? Who knows what could happen to the water table. Those are my concerns. Thank you."

Steve Blaso, 24013 Westmont Drive stated, "When I hear the word preservation… if there is any language in here that is requiring deeding and easements or such…bind it with time. Something less than five years. Please just make it time based, create action and do what you can to make sure those type of actions are committed to and are actually going to happen. I would appreciate it. Thank you."

Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay stated her involvement with the project began on August 21, 2002. She apologized for the lateness of her memo. After the last Planning Commission meeting, she went back to the JCK Staff whom was reviewing the plan and researched some of the issues that were raised at and after the meeting. It was determined that the JCK Staff had written a letter of approval based on the previous letters of approval. Ms. Kay did not believe the site was revisited, enough phone calls made or sufficient information gathered to give a thorough review. Based on the comments made at the August 21st meeting, she reviewed some of the information brought forth and found some technical problems. She indicated her findings were noted in her memo. She read part of the memo, "I believe the issues discussed at the August 21, 2002 Planning Commission meetings should result in our department taking a closer look at the project. In addition we did not apply the current Ordinance review standards for this project since changes have been made to the Ordinance in 1999." She stated it would not be the focus of the entire review, however, it is a point of technicality that some of the revisions in the Wetland Ordinance dealt with mitigation ratios. Therefore, when the replacement calculations were verified, it was determined that it was under by 0.2-acre, which should be addressed in any continued review. Although it does not sound like a lot, the plan shows there is little room left for the compensatory mitigation that is already on the plan. The MDEQ Permit has comments as to the fill amounts and the mitigation requirements. The mitigation requirements are basically a little under 1.5:1 and the City of Novi Ordinance requires 2:1. It does not mean that their permit is revoked; however the issues need to be explored. The Compensatory Flood Plain cut that is a requirement of the State Permit calls for a certain amount of cubic yards to be cut for the flood plain issues, which is separate from wetland mitigation and wetland replacement. She noted that this was not included on the site plan and would need to be accounted for. Ms. Kay took responsibility for the lack of information.



Carole Abshier 41912 Borchart wrote, "It’s okay with me!"

Robert Redmond 23424 West LeBost indicated an approval on his response form.

Patrick J. McClatchey 41747 Sycamore wrote, "I approve the above request because I think the property owner has the right to develop his property. He is complying with the local regulations by submitting his request to the Planning Commission and if he continues to comply, the request should be approved."

John Pflaum 41911 Aspen wrote, "Access road to Meadowbrook near Mallot should be constructed to keep traffic on Aspen to a minimum. Aspen and other existing streets are way too narrow to allow additional traffic. If it is ordered that widening or improvements to Aspen be made, then developers should pay those expenses. In addition, many children use Aspen to walk to school and increased traffic would increase hazards. The impact on woods or wetlands would be minimal and justified."

Henryu Sowul 41710 Borchart wrote, "I do not have any reasons to object."


Paul and Diane Cusumano 41680 Chattman wrote, "Property is a natural flood plain, wetlands and we thought protected woodlands. Any construction there would upset the natural habitat wildlife that exists."

Ronald Mitchell 41481 Chattman wrote, "Object. NO more curb cuts on Meadowbrook Road. Why not access the site without a 3/4-mile access road. This site cries out to be a natural area. Make it happen."

Dan and Kim Rutenbar 41072 Hollydale wrote, "We have enough subdivision as it is. We do not need to destroy more of the wetlands. Even if rebuilding any wetlands afterwards you have destroyed the habitat of many animals in the process. Leave their home alone. There are many areas to build in that do not have wetlands and woodlands. We have destroyed many woodlands in the area already there is no where for the animals to go already."

Joan Cox 23214 Balcombe wrote, "Haven’t seen site plans or effect on woodlands. Also traffic considerations."

Joyce Higgins 41910 Aspen wrote, "I object to the above request because the proposed site is on the Rouge River water shed and frogs are thriving there because there are not pollutants; such as pesticides, fertilizers and salt, that development would bring with the lands high elevation. Frogs are a bio-indicator and their abundance is telling us that the water and land they inhibit are clean. There are also two species of frogs that are protected under the Michigan Endangered Species Act that need to be surveyed, during their breeding time, to determine if they inhabit this area. I do believe this man has a right to develop on his own property. I just don’t want to hear less and less frogs years after he has developed and moved on. If that should happen then I am forced to be concerned with my well water. With talks lately of terrorists possibly tampering with our water supply, I am comforted with the fact that I have a well and I want to keep it clean and safe for my family."

Geraldine R. Hyde 41854 Sycamore Drive wrote, "Wetlands – There is a water problem in that area. Homes built there will add to this problem. The streets of Orchard Hills are narrow and there are no sidewalks. The children must walk on the streets to and from school. It would be dangerous for large trucks or an addition of more cars to use the streets. Our streets were repaved recently and already in need of repair."

Derrick Leonard 23685 Meadowbrook Lane wrote, "I object to the request because I can hardly get out of my driveway on Meadowbrook now. More traffic will create worse traffic. Also we have the nature trails in that area."

John R. Love 23680 Meadowbrook wrote, "No more traffic on Meadowbrook – Save the woods and wetlands – No more houses in Novi. Say no for a while to building. Save the land."

Joseph W. Michal 23585 Silvery Lane wrote, "I object for the following reasons: I live at the bottom of the hill on Silvery Lane. During normal years, the wetland south of my home is completely covered with water. The creek I sonly 100 feet from my yard, and it often reaches my fence during extremely wet weather. Where will all the water go if they area allowed to build a road there? All of the rainfall form Orchard Hills School, Sycamore Drive and Silvery Lane ends up in this area. Mitigating wetlands has not yet been proven successful; the jury is still out. Again where will all the water go? Moreover, where will the water form the new subdivision go? Living at the bottom of the hill, you surely must see why I am concerned. Simply creating a so-called wetland further east may not perform the same way; it would lack the same soil and substrates. What about all the additional traffic. Has the planning department decided that Novi need s traffic signal on every corner? Where will all the children walk since we have no sidewalks? Novi installed new signals on Ten mile Road west of Novi Road and east of Meadowbrook Road this summer. Now you want to put a signal south of Ten mile road on Meadowbrook. Silvery Lane is only about 50 feet from my house on the east and Sycamore Drive is only 49 feet north. Since the creek is only about 100 feet from my yard and the utility pole construction of a permanent or temporary road would surely be within 50 feet of my yard to the south. no man is an islands but surely my lot would be. For these reasons, I surely hope that the access road will not be approved as proposed." (Additional information provided with letter is included in the packet.)

Sandy Mitchell 23740 Meadowbrook wrote, "This is already a very congested area bordered by a thriving wetland. I see no need to add more homes adding more disruption to the roads and existing subdivision. The excavating and building of a new road into this wetlands area in order to exit onto Meadowbrook has to be stopped.’

Stanley Olkowski 23303 W. LeBost wrote, "Object – Disruption of wildlife. Disruption of water table. Potential disruption of flood plain. We have recently been excluded from FEMA flood insurance requirements – out of pocket cost is approximately $1,000. water table is a concern as we have a shallow well-fed sprinkler system. We are still paying for a special assessment for drainage improvement that became necessary after Turtle Creek Deerbrook and Chase Farms popped up. If this passes I will seek to pursue legal alternatives which will involve the City of Novi, its planners, as well as the developer. If I were involved in the City Management I would be leery of fast-talking developers especially in the wake of the recent Sandstone disaster."

George Ossian 23486 Meadowbrook wrote, "The heavy traffic on Meadowbrook Road is enough reason to keep the property as it is. Thank you. We do not want a Woodland Permit approval."

Gary Reno 41698 Chattman Drive wrote, "It would have a negative on the surrounding wetlands, too many of which are being destroyed. It would have a major negative impact on property values in Meadowbrook Lake, especially those homes on the north end. The woods and wetlands behind my house are the major reason why we bought this home."

Victoria Rose 41548 Woodland Creek wrote, "Please be sure that the new development does not cause flooding in the Orchard Hills Subdivision."

Thomas A. Scherger 41490 Chattman Drive, "I object to the construction of a new road. the extension of Mallot Drive, destroying acres of irreplaceable woodlands and wetlands, when existing streets and road could be improved to save this area. when will this City stop destroying out children’s natural heritage? When will we make preservation a priority? It is disgraceful and unpatriotic to schedule this hearing on the first anniversary of the attacks on America, at precisely the same time as the community civic and religious observances. Whoever make this decision should be ashamed. How dare you force us to make such a choice?"

Richard F. Smith 41609 Sycamore Drive wrote, "Novi has wetland and woodland Ordinances yet these areas are continually being eliminated. Many animals live in this area. we have deer coming into our yards. What will happen to their habitat? I only hope that those who are deciding on this issue will observe the density of these woodlands?"

Kenneth Spisak 41600 Borchart wrote, "If the developer does not build a new permanent road off Meadowbrook to Orchard Hills West because existing road in our subdivision would be damaged if used as haul route. Safety – we have no sidewalks and an elementary school. We would have a significant amount of increased traffic and construction traffic in our subdivision if a new permanent road is not built to initially be used as a haul route and then an access road. Thank you."

Dolores Stachura 41533 Borchart wrote, "I do not want more traffic on Borchart. If this goes though a permanent road should be built on the south side of our subdivision."

Galaine E. Stewart 23605 W. LeBost wrote, "I object not only to the disruption of the woodlands and wetlands. I also object to the dangerous conditions caused by the creation of West Mallot. Unless a stoplight is installed on Meadowbrook at east and west Mallot it will be twice as dangerous trying to get on Meadowbrook form the subs. At certain times of the day Meadowbrook is like a major highway. If the 42 homes must be built let the entrance and the exit be on Ten Mile or let them use the entrance and exits already in use by Orchard Hills."

Arthur and Sharon Teran 41655 Sycamore Drive wrote, "We strongly object. It will destroy the wildlife and the quiet. We enjoy the animals especially the deer right in our backyard. All of this will be destroyed this is the main reason that we bought o8ut house. There has to be some beauty left in Novi."

James Thomas 23228 Gilbar wrote, "I object to development of the wetland. I want it left alone. There is enough building in Novi now."

Carmen Wertherimer 41472 Chattman wrote, "Object – I believe that any construction be it building or road will have detrimental affect on adjacent properties including wetlands."

Mary Wright 41528 Woodland Creek wrote, "I object to using the site for houses. It is heavily treed area and houses many animals. We would lose the wildlife, they would have no place to go. Also, Meadowbrook and Ten Mile is a congested area now. It would be much worse."

Jeffrey and Ann Stocker, 23743 Meadowbrook Road have indicated their objection to the proposed project. Parks are disappearing at a discouraging rate, traffic is increasing at an alarming and dangerous rate, and people suddenly wonder why there are so many dead animals on the road, both wild and domestic. The proposed woodland/wetland permit approvals for site plan 94-09 will only add to these unacceptable problems. What kind of environmental issues can be learned by the young people of this community when the eco system around them is being turned into over-crowded, over developed and in many cases unnecessary commerce as in the rise and fall of main street. When we move to Novi 7 years ago it was for 2 reasons. We had both grown up in neighboring communities and awe appreciate the balance and blend of old and new. We didn’t expect time to stand still but over the last couple of years that pleasant balance has been destroyed by over zealous developers bringing in condos, $400,000 homes and unnecessary strip malls when so many others stand empty. Meadowbrook was once a reasonably quiet safe street. Now everything from 12 mile to 9 mile road that was once a haven for wildlife and waterfowl has essentially been cleared out to serve the interests of local government and developers leaving local wildlife with no where to go. Site plan 94-09 is a fairly small portion of the remaining wildlife/wetland area along Meadowbrook, but if these permits are approved now, how long will it be before developers decide to bid for the entire area? It is time for concerned citizens who care about the destruction of wildlife areas dwindling around us to emphatically say no. Let us preserve what little area nature has left for us in this section. In closing we strongly reiterate that we heartily object to the granting of any type of developmental permits for site plan 94-09. Thank you."

Tony Marroni 41608 Chattman Drive wrote, "Attached is additional historical information, which I believe would be useful in your consideration of the proposed Orchard Hills West Subdivision. A copy of the applicant in March 1995 by the City of Novi to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for a grant to have the DNR buy this land (which ended up being ranked 4th our of 84 applications, but was subsequently rejected due to a revision in the grant qualification standards). Letter of April 6, 1998, form Susan Tepatti, JCK & Associates, with a negative recommendation of a wetlands permit approval for construction of an access road to t Meadowbrook Road. As the material indicates, this piece of property is exceptional. The City should not allow construction of a permanent road through this wetlands, particularly when there are already roads leading to the development site. Sincerely, Tony Marroni." (attachments included with letter)

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


Member Paul asked why the berm is 3˝-feet in height and 4˝-feet per Section 2509.6.

Ms. McGuire stated the requirement is 4˝ and was indicated as 3˝-feet in contour lines, however this is easily corrected.

Member Paul asked if this was her recommendation.

Ms. McGuire stated the berm is required to be 4˝-feet as stated on page 3325 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Member Paul asked if there would be trees lost with these changes.

Ms. McGuire stated there are some box elder trees in that area, however there is nothing of major quality most of it is grub.

Member Paul asked if the soil boring tests were performed to determine if the site could handle the roads. The area seemed to have a lot of peat and therefore, she asked if it would be necessary to conduct soil boring tests prior to the building of the road.

Ms. McClain stated soil borings need to be done before any road can be built. The results would determine the design of the pavement of the subsurface structure. This step is part of the sub engineering, which follows after this step in the process.

Member Paul asked if there were a 100-feet of peat would it then remove more soil than anticipated and disturb more of the wetlands.

Ms. McClain stated if a soil boring shows that a depth needs to be removed and replaced, then it is typically done within the road right-of-way and within the area that needs to be replaced. If it is too deep then it would have to go back on the side slopes, however, this area is already disturbed as part of the clearing for the roadway. The depth off to the side does not necessarily have to be removed to get the structure underneath.

Member Paul wanted the least amount of impact to the southern portion of the site. She noted the construction site at the school and Quince Road as two options for construction traffic. There is a possibility to route the construction traffic along Quince Drive behind the existing homes.

Ms. McClain indicated the property belongs to the school. Therefore, any use of the property would require the approval of the school.

Member Paul stated the Ad-Hoc minutes seemed to indicate that the Developer attempted to work with the school. She suggested a temporary road from Quince Road along the drainage ditch where the clear cutting will occur with the site’s construction. Additionally, a temporary bridge or structure could be placed over the drainage ditch to prevent impairing the water flow. She felt this would have the least impact. She suggested limiting the construction traffic during school peak hours to address the safety of the children walking to/from school.

Ms. McClain stated the road does not belong to the City or the Applicant and it is not a public right-of-way. Therefore, permission from the property owner is required. The Applicant cannot be required to obtain this permission when public access to the site is available in three locations. The drainage flows toward the south. In order to construct a roadway, the drainage would have to be piped to allow continued flow. Additionally, permission is required from the property owners of the two lots due to the impact it would have on their property.

Member Papp stated there is an easement there.

Ms. McClain stated it is not an easement for access. There is drainage across there from the school, however there is not an access easement across that area.

Member Paul stated three roads with the installation of Mallot Drive would encompass the resident living on the corner of Sycamore and Silvery Lane. In speaking with the homeowner, she learned his existing flooding problems. The location of the peat bog behind and to the side of his home also creates issues for his property. Another nearby resident also has issues with flooding. She was concerned with the continuation of this flow of water with the installation of Mallot Drive. She asked Ms. McClain to comment on the flood plain and the impact on the adjacent homes.

Ms. McClain stated according to FEMA the flood plain currently crosses along the resident’s backyard. The flood plain has been established for many years. She designated the area where the flood plain would need to be mitigated due to the impact, which could improve the resident’s drainage area because the flood plain would be below the road. Additionally, the sedimentation pond would provide flood plain use.

Member Paul stated it seemed more believable that a larger impact on the flood plain would occur due to the increase in elevation with the development of the site, which is almost 30-feet in some areas.

Ms. McClain indicated it is not filling. The site naturally drops across this direction toward the creek. The elevation is naturally higher than the creek area, which is the area of the proposed increased elevation. There will not be substantial filling in this area. The Applicant is working with the existing natural contours of the area. The soil type changes can be observed when walking from the meadow area to the more wooded area (upland area to the flood plain area). She noted this being the reasoning the applicant has proposed building in the upland area instead of the flood plain and floodway area.

Member Paul referenced a review letter from a previous JCK wetland consultant dated April 6, 1998 giving a negative recommendation due to severity of the impact expected on the wetlands. She asked Ms. Kay if she shared this opinion.

Ms. Kay indicated that she and the previous JCK consultant did not perform the same review. Additionally, since several issues were addressed in the letter dated April 6, 1998 Ms. Kay commented on the issues individually. The review letter dated April 6, 1998 indicates the plans received were only for the additional proposed road and did not include the original Orchard Hills West Subdivision. The letter also noted that the original approval had minor items that needed to be addressed, which primarily dealt with sedimentation basins. Ms. Kay indicated that she had not had the opportunity to review the several separate plans involved. Ms. Kay concurred with the commentary under the Existing Conditions Section of the April 6, 1998 review letter. The letter references that the Wetland is part of a large high quality complex in the City. Further, Ms. Kay stated due to the continued development throughout the watershed in City this Wetland is one of the very few wetland/ravines/upland woodland complexes remaining on this portion of the mainstream section of the Rouge River. As part of the Rouge River remedial action plan the headwater stream sections with fisheries and wildlife attach to it. This mainstream section is likely one of five left in the City. In her opinion, this factor made it a rare eco system. The current Wetland Ordinance has a provision under its review standards for the Commission, when determining feasible and prudent alternatives, to consider rare eco systems and weigh it against traffic concerns and other valid issues. This provision poses the question of whether or not the road is needed. The Proposed Impacts listed in the letter dated April 6, 1998 indicate 0.82-acres of wetland area, which is currently calculated at 0.89-acres. Ms. Kay stated given the type of
Wetland soil complex, without the soil borings to provide understanding of the vertical depth and width, she did not feel presumptions could be made that it would remain within the right-of-way.
Therefore, she stated the mitigation ratio would be in excess of its current estimation. At the time the previous review letter was written the ratio was 1.5:1, however it is currently 2:1. The Wetlands Watercourse Protection Ordinance requires that there is no less harmful, feasible and less harmful prudent alternatives to the proposed activity. Further, the April 6, 1998 review letter suggests an alternative of a temporary construction road to be constructed afterward. Ms. Kay felt this alternative was based on a worse case scenario, however it is not a desirable alternative because even restoration is difficult to do given the particulars of the site, soil conditions and not knowing what is under there. The review letter addresses public safety, however Ms. Kay indicated that she has not had the opportunity to review all the Ad-Hoc Committee and Traffic Consultant’s reviews. She stated the issues dealing with public safety need to be looked at from a practical point of view. She concurred with the April 6, 1998 letter in that it can not be gauged what would occur in the future, however the long term permanent effects to the road do not outweigh damaging the system. She stated there could be better numbers, more information with regard to soil borings and no presumptions, however aside from these issues she felt the area needed to be preserved.

Member Paul asked Ms. Kay to elaborate on mitigation and the 0.82-acres shy of the requirement.

Ms. Kay stated per the City of Novi Wetland Ordinance there are standards for ratio. The reason this provision was added in 1999 was to give some guidance. The Federal, State and Local governments varied and there was a need to provide guidance to indicate under what circumstances would deem 1:1. She stated a 1:1 ratio simply assumes that what was removed would be replaced for the same wetland function, however under the City Ordinance for forested areas, several woodland assessments are done to ensure that it is a mature establish wood lot. In this case there was information available indicating the site is part Wildlife Habitat Study and that it is an important quarter and region in the community. Therefore, a 2:1 ratio is needed. The cutting down several mature forested trees upland and wetland, then it will obviously take a long time to replace. Thereby, being the reason it might seem punitive.

Member Paul was glad to hear that Mr. Lewiston was amenable to exclude Mallot Drive. She asked if he was willing to cover the cost of repairs for any damage caused to the existing public roads that he would use.

Mr. Lewiston asked how he could determine if he, someone else, caused the damage or old age. He stated he intended to use the public roads of the City of Novi on the equal basis that everyone else uses the public streets.

Member Paul stated construction traffic is typically heavier than a standard vehicle. She asked in lieu of constructing Mallot Drive if he would be amenable to use a public road and cover any cost of damage caused to the road.

Mr. Lewiston stated he is not there every day and would not be able to limit the vehicles to one street. He stated it would be difficult to define damage. He stated if the Police Department adequately polices the use of Aspen or Borchart, then he would have no objection.

Member Paul believed the City could advise the construction traffic to use one area and post No Construction Traffic signs on other streets. She asked Ms. McClain if to verify.

Ms. McClain stated the construction routing could be limited along with the time of day. Additionally, the Weigh Master could monitor the weight of vehicles. A road evaluation would need to be conducted before and after to determine the effects of the construction traffic.

Member Paul stated this alternative would be cheaper for the Developer as opposed to Mallot Drive. She did not find a problem with having construction traffic for a short temporary period of time; however, Mallot Drive is a permanent issue. She stated Mallot Drive would become a speedway, which would become more of a concern over the long term. In regard to the stormwater issues and wetlands, Member Paul understood the emotions involved with the surrounding residents having their backyards changed. The long-term effects of Mallot Drive would include snow removal, the cost of maintaining the road, possible flood plain issues, possible soil boring difficulties and other unforeseeable issues. She did not support the current plat, however she could support the plat with the removal of Mallot Drive.

Chairperson Nagy asked Mr. Evancoe if the Planning Department had a copy of the April 6, 1998 review letter on file.

Mr. Evancoe stated he could not address the letter specifically and deferred to the Staff for comment.

Chairperson Nagy asked for copy to be forwarded to Mr. Evancoe.

Member Shroyer recalled his request to explore the option of upgrading one of the existing subdivision streets. It was determined that the streets are rated 7 and 8, which is supposedly sufficient to carry construction traffic. He asked if any further study was done regarding the enclosure of ditches and placement of sidewalks.

Ms. McClain stated due to the fact that there are swails, drainage would need to be put in throughout the subdivision or at least along the street that would have the improvements to it. It would require a possible easement into the front yard of those residents along that street. The road is currently at the City’s required width. She added that the City now requests curbs and gutters as opposed to the past request for ditches. The roadway was resurfaced (not rebuilt) in 1997 and is currently in good condition. No investigation has been conducted to determine the foundation of the road. Therefore, she could not determine how long the road would maintain or whether or not the foundation would hold up completely under the construction traffic.

Member Shroyer stated approval is required from each of the residences to construct a sidewalk on one side.

Ms. McClain answered, yes. She stated the City does not have a mechanism for placing sidewalks unless it is done in the subdivisions or unless it is done as part of a special assessment district. In this case, the ditches would need to be filled and drainage installed for the placement of sidewalks, which would raise the cost of the sidewalk. Currently, the drainage is not installed and it is not graded.

Member Shroyer stated there is a safety issue throughout the day and not only with construction traffic. There should be an avenue to move forward and consider a solution. He stated at the previous meeting, he supported Mallot Drive, however after reviewing the additional information, he reversed his opinion. The owner has the right to develop the property. There is access to the property and stub streets out of the subdivision. Additionally, when he walked the site he observed additional parking area and grass clipping, clay and twigs dumped into the wetland, thereby indicating the residents themselves have been abusing the situation at times. He noted his disappointment. In regard to the construction traffic, he stated it should enter off of Meadowbrook Road. The existing drives to enter the site are available. The limiting of construction traffic times should be considered. If the project is forwarded to the City Council, he hoped that consideration would be given to the concerns of the Stormwater Committee and that the City Engineer and Public Works Department review the plat to determine whether or not additional stop signs or speed limit signs are warranted. The berm should be consistently labeled 4.5-feet tall on all future plans. He encouraged the City to construct a plan of reduced speeds and temporary sidewalks to go a step beyond what currently exists to guard the safety of the children. Member Shroyer stated the subdivision could be an asset for the City and improve the property values of the current residences, however he opposed Mallot Drive.

Member Papp learned of the water issues with Orchard Hills after speaking with homeowners. He asked if the flow empties to the Nine Mile area.

Ms. McClain answered, yes.

Member Papp stated the installation of Mallot Drive could disturb the area. At times, the water already flows over Rotary Park. Additionally, he was concerned with the traffic issues. In the City Council minutes of March 20, 1995, a resident indicated that a cement truck weighs 74,000 pounds with ten yards of cement. Therefore, they might need to be limited to one road. He asked what the 7 and 8 rating meant.

Ms. McClain stated the roads are rated in a scale of one to ten with one being poor and ten being excellent. The 7 to 8 rating places the street on the high side of fair to good condition.

Member Papp stated the rating is due to the fact that the road was replaced in 1997.

Ms. McClain stated the roads were overlaid in 1997.

Member Papp clarified that the rating is not related to weight restrictions.

Ms. McClain stated the rating is based on a surface evaluation. It is not a full evaluation of the pavement structure.

Member Papp stated 74,000 pounds 420 times might have an impact on the road.

Ms. McClain stated it is possible.

Member Papp stated after walking the property, he supported keeping it the way it is. At the last meeting he recalled being borderline yes and no, however, now he opposed Mallot Drive itself. He stated either eighty percent of the homes have filled in the ditches or there is no water flow. If property is placed at a higher level then and its water flow will take the path of least resistance. He asked if that path would be Orchard Hills Subdivision.

Ms. McClain stated the Orchard Hills West Subdivision would have drainage in the subdivision streets. The site is not using Orchard Hills as part of their drainage pattern. It will drain toward the sedimentation basin and toward the higher loop in the river.

Member Papp stated the water would be taken further down and flows out to Nine Mile Road.

Ms. McClain stated the filling of the ditches with sediment, whether in occurred over the years or it was intentionally filled, likely caused the water drainage problems in Orchard Hills Subdivision because the water drainage system was eliminated.

Member Papp opposed Mallot Drive and any impact to the wetland area. An alternative route needs to be determined for the construction traffic or the times restricted.

Member Sprague verified that it has not been determined whether or not the roads can handle the construction traffic.

Ms. McClain answered, correct. She stated an evaluation was not conducted to determine the strength of the road.

Member Sprague asked the outcome if the plat is approved without Mallot Drive and later it is determined that the existing roads cannot handle the construction traffic.

Ms. McClain stated a strength basis analysis could be conducted prior to the construction traffic utilizing the roads. The analysis would determine whether or not the road could be utilized and determine the additional work that would need to be done prior to construction traffic being placed on the road. Alternatively, the road could be replaced after the road being used for construction traffic. Basically, the road improvements could be done before or after the construction.

Member Sprague asked whom bares the cost.

Ms. McClain indicated that she was not able to make that determination at this point.

Member Sprague asked if this remedy is less expensive than installing in a new road.

Ms. McClain stated taking into consideration the amount of work involved with the placement of a new road, the removal of the trees, geotechnical type of work to support a construction road or permanent road on the proposed Mallot Drive location, it is feasible that reconstruction of another road would be less expensive.

Member Sprague asked if the cost amount could be estimated or fixed ahead of time.

Ms. McClain indicated it is possible to obtain an estimate along with an agreement of payment and whether or not the entire cost would be the responsibility of the Developer. The roads are not brand new and there has been some degradation throughout their life. Therefore, it is not reasonable to assume that the entire cost of the road replacement would be a cost of the developer’s.

In response to the resident’s comment, Member Sprague asked the best way to ensure the conservation easement would occur in a timely fashion.

Mr. Evancoe stated the Commission could make the provision of the conservation easement a condition of the Final Plat Approval. The Final Plat would not be signed for recording purposes until bonding; fees and conservation easement are in place. Once the Final Plat is signed and recorded at the County Record of Deeds, the developer is then able to sell lots. Since, this is the last point at which the Commission has the ability to obtain the items required, he advised it would be the most logical point.

Tom Schultz, City Attorney advised that it be in place at the time of Final Preliminary Plat, which is the interim step between Tentative Preliminary Plat and Final Plat Approval.

Member Sprague did not support Mallot Drive. He did not feel the road was an effective solution for the long term problem and instead would only accommodate the temporary construction traffic problems. He was disappointed with the lack of cooperation from the school. He asked what mitigation measures could be put in place, how they are monitored and the consequences if they are not observed.

Mr. Evancoe stated there are a number of measures that should be outlined in the Commission’s motion. The motion should also allow flexibility for consultation with the Police Chief to derive different solutions for safety issues. Ultimately, the public safety issues fall to the Police Department after the subdivision is in place. The Commission could make the Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval conditional upon traffic calming, increased crossing guards at key locations and other related topics.

Member Sprague asked if these needed to be specified at this time or if it would be feasible for the Commission to revisit the matter prior to the start of the development.

Mr. Schultz stated it is difficult for the Commission to recognize where its authority ends and another’s begin. The issues Member Sprague has raised fall between the Commission, engineering and public safety aspect. Mr. Schultz interpreted the issues falling under the public safety aspect. He advised the Commission to not dictate construction routes, times, and crossing guards or items of this nature. For example, the Commission might recommend approval without Mallot Drive and also recommend that close attention be paid through the public safety and engineering department to the obvious construction traffic issues. The entities that deal with the issues on a daily basis should create the rules and restrictions. The Commission should point out the issues for Council to take into consideration. He reminded the Commission that their position involves the layout of the property and the engineering’s position to have it designed in a safe manner.

Member Sprague concurred with his comments, however wanted to ensure the follow through. If the traffic routes through the current subdivision, he recommended that the developer ensure the roads are sufficient and fixed after the fact. He agreed the owner has the right to develop the property. He stated the cost of fixing the road after construction would not likely exceed the cost of installing Mallot Drive. Thereby being a feasible solution and a reasonable limitation. He requested that the safety issue be addressed and the road repairs made after construction.

Member Markham stated the site is being developed under the traditional Subdivision Ordinance. The Commission is not able to compel the Developer to preserve the Wetland in a conservation easement.

Mr. Schultz stated it can not be compelled, however to his understanding the Developer has offered on the record that it would be a condition to which he would agree.

Member Markham stated to her understanding it was partially predicated on the fact that the road would exist. She questioned why the Developer would want to provide a conservation easement when the upland property, at the proposed location of Mallot Drive, could be conceivably being built upon.

Mr. Lewiston stated he has owned the property since 1965. He recalled offering the conservation easement involving all of the regulated portions of the remainder of the property when he brought the first plat presentation forward in 1994. He stated his offer never depended upon Mallot Drive. Mallot Drive came about due with the Ad-Hoc Committee and discussions that took place from 1966 to 1998. Secondly, he did not feel that conservation easement were "lost in the shuffle." The Clerks Department has a copy of the Westmont II Conservation Easement. Mr. Lewiston stated if the plat were approved without Mallot Drive, then would make a conservation easement for the remainder of the property available to the City of Novi. Mr. Lewiston indicated that he had no interest in fighting with the City of Novi over the remaining eight lots or the upland portions of the wetland areas. In order to obtain access to those lots, there would have to be some type of access through a regulated area. He desired to make a clean subdivision of 42-lots that depended on nothing or did not involve major impacts on wetlands or woodlands. He stated it was thought by everybody involved that Mallot Drive solved a lot of problems. He requested to husband the money that would be saved by not having Mallot Drive, to make such repairs as may be on occasion in the subdivision on closely regulated streets by the Police Department. He indicated the answer is "yes".

Member Markham was concerned with the traffic passing through the Orchard Hills Subdivision. Both Meadowbrook Subdivision and Orchard Hills Subdivision have expressed their opinions of the appropriate solutions. She anticipated if the situation were reversed, then the Orchard Hills residents would be in favor of preserving the wetlands and Meadowbrook Lake would be against the construction traffic on their streets. She stated the construction of 42-homes would not be completed in one-year thereby, bringing the construction traffic on the resident’s streets for a number of years. She did not felt the option to select one road in the subdivision was a pleasant alternative. The literature indicates the installation of Mallot Drive could improve the drainage of Orchard Hills Subdivision due to the design of the road and drainage needed to accommodate the road.

Ms. McClain stated the comment was intended for the lot that would end up with three roads around it. The drainage for the remainder of the subdivision would not improve without further work being done to their swails, however the drainage would not worsen.

Member Markham referenced a letter from JCK (part of the Ad-Hoc information), which states, this should improve the rear yard drainage of the homes backing up to the proposed development. She asked if the verbiage refers to more than the one home on the corner.

Ms. McClain stated it could improve the drainage on the corner. It could also improve the drainage of the other homes that are along the eastern property line. She estimated approximately six west of Silvery Lane that would have swail and drainage running behind due to the drainage in Orchard Hills West Subdivision, which could also improve drainage.

Member Markham stated it is actually a potential benefit to place Mallot Drive.

Ms. McClain stated the drainage benefits do not involve Mallot Road. With or without Mallot Drive, the swail is required to be put in place.

Member Markham clarified that if the 0.89-acres are disturbed and mitigated, then the end result is more wetlands.

Ms. Kay answered, yes with the assumption that the numbers are correct. She reminded Member Markham that two-tenths (0.2) of an acre needed to be added calculation. The best-case scenario of a 2:1 ration would result in an additional acre. She mentioned the compensatory flood plain cut because she was not certain that there were areas on the site that were not already in wetlands. It seems like it is already a competing use.

Member Markham requested an update to the information regarding the mitigation ratios. She stated Mr. Lewiston has the right to develop his property. She did not change her opinion from the last meeting. She stated the traffic issues in Orchard Hills Subdivision were not trivial. There was discussion in the new material relative to road width and whether a permanent or a temporary road would be installed. She asked how long it would take the property to recover if a temporary road put in and removed.

Ms. McGuire stated it takes a very long time for a tree to grow from a 2˝-inch caliper to a substantial 12-inch, 16-inch or 20-inch caliper. She estimated it would take 15 to 20 years for this type of growth. She stated some of the trees in that area are 24-inches to 36-inches in diameter.

Member Markham stated there is not a huge benefit to a temporary road over a permanent road, if a road were to be put in place at all.

Ms. McGuire stated from an environmental viewpoint, it is best to not have the road at all. Once the area is disturbed, it has to start from ground zero. Yet, a temporary road is better than a permanent road from an environmental point of view because the area would ideally return to its natural state and would not have to handle additional stormwater and a drainage system.

Ms. Kay stated part of the permanent impact of the road would be alignment. There is an area on the road within 50-feet of the curvature (cutting edge where it erodes) of the river. There are not soil borings in that area and greater extents might be needed. She stated eventually a permanent structure would be necessary along the stream bank. Stream Bank Stabilization Grants that were given to the City of Novi, however it is "years in the making" and the repairs remain to be seen.

Member Markham supported the development. She planned to vote in favor of the project with or without the road. She informed the Orchard Hills Subdivision that the need for public safety outweighs the environmental concerns because a lot of the parcel of property would not be disturbed. In contrast, if the road were planned to go through the middle of the wetland destroying it, then her viewpoint might be different. Member Markham stated she is sensitive to the environmental issues, water quality, sedimentation and flooding, however thirty plus acres are not planned to be disturbed. Therefore, she found the road the best alternative when balanced against the public safety issues and the construction traffic.

Member Kocan stated Lots 8 through 17-raised concern with the 4˝-foot berm in the backyards of the residents. It appears that the lots are no larger than the other lots in the subdivision. The requirement is 35-foot setback from the building, however 29-feet of the setback is berm. She supported the use of berms because they provide noise buffering and visual separation between two zonings. She calculated 6-feet remaining and suggested the possibility of deeper lots to compensate for the berm. She clarified if the homes were to come in individually and the woodland would not be clear-cut.

Ms. McGuire indicated those are conditions from another development. She noted the existing 5˝-foot wall near the lots. The Commission could waive the berm due to this existing wall.

Member Kocan suggested requiring a 2˝-foot berm, which could result in 17-feet of berm instead of 29-feet and would allow an additional 12-feet in the backyard of the lots.

Ms. McGuire stated the advantage to having a berm is the plants would be higher to begin with to provide screening.

Member Kocan raised the option of a continued wall. She was not certain where the wall ended.

Mr. Evancoe indicated the wall ends at the south end of Lot 11.

Member Kocan stated in order to be consistent, the wall would need to continue along the back of the remainder of those lots. The Developer has the responsibility to make the lots salable; therefore, she asked Mr. Lewiston his opinion on the matter.

Mr. Lewiston preferred the berm and plantings.

Member Kocan stated there are always water issues. The property is higher and water will flow down. Therefore, she felt it was necessary to be extremely diligent and conduct considerable engineering studies. The property is zoned residential, it is Master Planned residential and the proposal is for residential. Therefore, there is not an issue of whether or not it should be allowed. She described the Ad-Hoc Committee information as informative, showing considerable effort and depicting the cooperation of diverse groups with diverse opinions and all participants should be commended. It was obvious the Ad-Hoc Committee had no consensus. The question remains, Should Wetland and Woodlands be destroyed permanently to solve a temporary problem? In this situation, the problem is construction access. Member Kocan did not support a permanent access road to Meadowbrook Road. She was pleased that the City of Novi Staff concurs. The main concern of the Orchard Hills residents is construction traffic. Although annoying, it is temporary. She noted that this is not the first project in which construction traffic utilizes existing subdivision streets. Additionally, she anticipated a similar situation with the Scenic Pines proposal to utilize the unpaved roads. As the City approaches build-out, she anticipated the Commission would have to deal with the issue several more times. Environmentally, Mallot Drive is not recommended. The property is phenomenal, which is evident in the grant proposal written and confirmed in woodland/wetland review letters dated 1996 and 1998. Engineer review letters indicate that all impacts are not known until full engineering plans are submitted. She recalled past situations where plans were approved with no detriments predicted and yet the damage was substantial. She gave the example of Briarwood Subdivision. Therefore, she reminded the Commission to be cognizant of these factors. She described the road as a virtual drag strip that would require policing and have salt runoff in the winter. She recalled discussion of lighting the road, however she did not believe the residents of Orchard Hills envisioned a lighted street behind their homes. The Planning Commission is to make a recommendation to the City Council and the Council will make the ultimate decision. She hoped the City Council would take the decision seriously and not allow a permanent detrimental solution to a temporary construction problem.

Member Avdoulos concurred with the commissioner’s comments. He thanked the Staff for their provision of the requested information. He supported the subdivision as proposed, however he continued to question the issues with Mallot Drive. There are public roads to access the site, thereby making the issue safety. He referenced Mr. Lewiston’s letter, which indicated the Commission looked at matters vaguely and gave unspecified reasons for their actions or doing things as a matter of personal convenience, however the Commission’s basis included the time spent going out to the property, review of the literature provided, considerations of public safety, environment, traffic, construction easements and every possible angle to find what makes sense for the developer, the citizens and the City. Member Avdoulos supported the proposed without Mallot Drive, as the long-term effects to the environment would be heartfelt.

Member Ruyle supported the subdivision with Mallot Drive. He noted his number one concern is the safety of the children and the residents of Orchard Hills. Member Ruyle indicated that he would vote in favor of the project with or without the Mallot Drive. He asked if city water or city sewers would be installed.

Mr. Lewiston answered, yes.

Ms. McClain concurred.

Member Ruyle clarified that Orchard Hills residents with wells would not be effected.

Ms. McClain stated dewatering during construction has been a problem in the western portion of the City. In contrast there have been several areas where dewatering for roads have not effected the wells. She assured the Commission that this would be taken into consideration during further reviews.

Member Kocan asked why the plan submitted in 2002 was not being reviewed under the 2001 plan.

Ms. McClain stated as it was previously discussed, the review was done to determine if there were changes from the plan initially. It was not completely reviewed with regard to any changes in the Ordinance. It will have to be reviewed from the ordinances and she was not able to determine the impact at this time.

Member Kocan clarified that the plan needed to be reviewed with respect to the Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

Ms. McClain answered, yes.

Member Kocan stated the Ad-Hoc suggested having the DPW to video tape the road prior to construction and again at the completion of the road construction to determine the damage, if any, to the road. She expected a road reconstruction agreement or bond agreement to be established prior to the start of the development to ensure road repairs would ultimately be financed. The lots for future development should be removed with the removal of Mallot Drive.

Member Markham reminded the residents that the wetlands areas are not parks and are not publicly owned. The property is privately owned. She cautioned the residents to be mindful.

Chairperson Nagy stated when the Commission reviews a site plan, it takes the "big picture" into consideration including the impact on the future, residents and public health, safety and welfare of the residents as well as the City. She found it difficult to look at the situation and not have empathy for the residents of Orchard Hills, which she walked. Similarly, she purchased a home without sidewalks and cannot expect the City to put sidewalks in. Nor does she expect the City to do it in this particular case. She commended Ms. Kay for coming forward and noted her appreciation of the letter. She was disappointed to think that the City records might not be kept in accurate order as the letter dated April 6, 1998 was not included in the commissioner’s packets. She explained that the Planning Commission needed additional information, which was the reason for the previous decision to table the matter. As a result, the Commission seems to have made a very educated decision with the additional information provided. Chairperson Nagy supported the project, however did not support Mallot Drive. She commended Mr. Lewiston for wanting to keep the area natural. She agreed that the Ad-Hoc Committee made no consensus. In the best interest of all, for both the present and future, Mallot Drive should not be constructed. She read from the review letter of October 9, 1996, "Our field investigation has revealed that many of the road side ditches are silted in and driveway culverts are partially built or appear off grade. Some of the ditches were enclosed either by the City or the individual residents to eliminate standing water or a deep ditch cross section. This causes slow drainage after heavy rains. This problem is probably intensified in the spring because of the high water table. The majority of the drainage concerns are from properties located on the southern and western borders of the subdivision. The ditches are overgrown and need to be cleaned out." In conversation with Mr. Pakkala of JCK, she learned that the City had only cleaned out one corner. She felt the City should bare credence with regard to maintaining what already exists. Preventative maintenance should be done. She asked that the engineering review be very precise to prevent new drainage and flood problems to the current residents. Utilizing the three stubs could alleviate construction traffic. Those that purchased homes with stub streets should have known that there would be future development. Although she had compassion toward the residents’ concerns, she supported the project without Mallot Drive as it is in the best interest of the City in the long run.


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Sprague, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Orchard Hills West Subdivision SP94-09 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council of Tentative Preliminary Plat contingent upon the following: Mallot Drive and its lots for future development shall be removed recognizing its detrimental proximity to the Middle Rouge River, the Applicant shall comply with Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, consideration shall be given to the recommendations from the Stormwater Management & Watershed Stewardship Committee, the Conservation Easement document required for Final Plat Approval shall be provided, construction times and traffic shall be limited with respect to school peak travel times, there shall be a road reconstruction and/or a Bond Agreement with the Developer to make repairs (possibly video taping the road prior to and after the construction is completed to ascertain any damage), the 4˝-foot berm shall be provided as stated by the Developer, recommendation is subject to Woodland and Wetland Reviews and Permits and subject to any additional comments made by the Consultant/Staff/Commissioners.


Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague

No: None



Moved by Kocan, seconded by Paul, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Orchard Hills West Subdivision SP94-09 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council of the Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetland Permit without Mallot Drive being included on the site plan.


Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague

No: None


Moved by Kocan, seconded by Paul, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Orchard Hills West Tentative Preliminary Plat SP94-09 to approve a Woodland Permit without Mallot Drive being included on the site plan subject to comments by Staff.


Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague

No: None

(10 Minute Break)



Member Kocan made minor correction to the minutes.

Member Shroyer made minor corrections to the minutes.


Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes from the Regular Planning Commission meeting of August 7, 2002 as amended.


Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague

No: None


Chairperson Nagy asked the commissioners to forward notes and helpful information to the Planning Department.




Member Paul handed out information regarding the Superior Township Introduction to Wetland Values. She reserved three slots for the City of Novi. The seminar will discuss the value of wetlands, the method of flow, activities that might impact wetlands, restoration opportunities and potential wetlands issues. She stated any commissioners interested in attending should notify her.


Chairperson Nagy asked if any commissioners wanted to comment on the proposed 2003 calendar.

Member Paul asked if there is intent is to meet on opposite weeks of the City Council meetings.

Chairperson Nagy answered, no. She explained the Commission’s Regular meeting date falls on January 1, 2003, however since it is a holiday there is a need to reschedule that meeting time.

Member Paul preferred to have Planning Commission meetings and City Council meeting on opposite weeks to allow the Staff and Consultants to be better prepared.

Member Kocan stated the issue of changing the meeting weeks to the 2nd and 4th was discussed at previous meeting. She pointed out that some commissioners already have prior commitments and changing the meeting schedule might not be accommodating. Additionally, she requested that the Commission reconsider the September scheduled following Labor Day.

Member Ruyle stated the July 2nd meeting is too close to July 4th. Additionally, he will be on vacation the week of Labor Day.

Mr. Evancoe indicated July 2nd was selected instead of July 9th to prevent the commissioners from having to review packet over the July 4th weekend.

Member Shroyer agreed with Member Kocan. He was not in favor of changing the meeting dates because it was cause back-to-back meetings.

Mr. Evancoe agreed.

Member Markham asked if the Planning Department had a preference.

Mr. Evancoe recalled last year he stated it would make a difference, however now he felt confident of the established routine and did not feel there was a need to be concerned.

Member Avdoulos did not have any problems with the calendar.

Mr. Evancoe indicated to his understanding, some of the City Council and Zoning Board of Appeals Dates might change.

Chairperson Nagy pointed out that there would always be some issue with the calendar. She liked the idea of having meeting before the holiday.

The Commission unanimously accepted the proposed 2003 calendar.


Chairperson Nagy clarified that it is not her intention to embarrass anyone. She read a portion of the letter, "Dear Mr. Wizinsky, This is in follow up to the on site inspection last Friday in where you, Steve Printz and I review the three issues you raised at the previous City Council Meeting. We will replace the two dead Chestnut trees on the east side of Wixom Road at the south end of your property. These will be replaced with Lindens, which will be consistent with the balance of this planting. The other dead trees on the interior of this site, which were planted following construction of the watermain several years ago, will at your request simply be removed. Following your comments on the deceleration lane at the last City Council meeting, I talked to our Planning Staff regarding the addition of this feature to the right-of-way portion of the site plan. As you are aware, this was not included in the Preliminary Site Plan, but was added prior to submittal of the Final Site Plan. This is very typical of the site plan review process where in final details on a range of issues are worked out prior to the review of the Final Site Plan. If any of our review staff had been aware of your concerns regarding this project they may well have thought of bringing this change to your attention. Now that I realize how you feel about this issue I am sorry that you were not make aware of this change between the Preliminary and the Final Site Plan." She did not recall seeing a deceleration lane on the Preliminary Site Plan. She stated when there is such a change from the preliminary to the final, the plan should return to the Commission. She requested the department to contact residents in the future when there is disruption in front of their home.

Ms. McClain stated she and Ms. McGuire went to Mr. Wizinsky’s property to look at the trees and the location of the lane. She researched to determine how the lane came about. The Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD) designates how roads will be stripped detailing the lane. A taper needs to be created with the deceleration lane, however in this case initially it was not done from the intersection back. The taper is necessary and was identified by the Traffic Engineer during the engineering/plan review.

Chairperson Nagy clarified that the taper lane did not meet State Requirements.

Ms. McClain answered, correct. It did not meet the State Requirements, however it does with this change. She was not aware that the change had to take place and that there was additional visual impact across the front of Mr. Wizinsky’s property. The deceleration occurs in the right-of-way. Four small trees are impacted, which, by virtue of their size, did not show up on the woodland plan and removal plan.

Chairperson Nagy clarified that due to the taper lane change, the events were not exactly as the letter stated. The letter led one to believe that the deceleration lane was put in after the Preliminary Site Plan.

Ms. McClain agreed that the letter was somewhat misstating. The deceleration lane existed farther up, however did not carry through the correct taper. The corrections made in order to meet the standard of the State and Federal Standards.

Chairperson Nagy thanked the Staff for their time and efforts looking into the matter. She apologized to Mr. Wizinsky and indicated that the City will be more cognizant of the residents in the future when making changes.


Chairperson Nagy stated the Council has requested the Commission to create an agenda for the upcoming joint meeting. Each commissioner has received a form and may submit their topic(s) of importance to Beth Brock. An agenda will be created from the submitted information.

Ms. Brock indicated the forms should be submitted to the Clerks Office.

Chairperson Nagy preferred this alternative as opposed to holding a discussion. Once the agenda is created, then the Commission as a whole will seek approval of the agenda.


Member Shroyer requested the Staff only provide the Commission with the minutes for approval and no longer include copies of the review letters.

Member Kocan requested the inclusion of the petitions and responses. Although she did not read into the record the letter from Tony Marroni and the copy of the April 6, 1998 JCK letter, she asked that it be included into the minutes. She requested that this information also be included with the materials forwarded to Council.

The Commission agreed.








Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:01 p.m.


Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague

No: None



Donna Howe - Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

September 25, 2002

Date Approved: November 6, 2002