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REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Nagy.
PRESENT: Members Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul (late arrival), Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague.
ALSO PRESENT: Planning Director David Evancoe, City Attorney Gerald Fisher, Planner Tim Schmitt, City Engineer Nancy McClain, City Engineer Brian Coburn,Interim Landscape Architect Mike McGinnis, Woodland Technician Elaine Grehl, Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson Nagy asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda.
Chairperson Nagy added Matter for Discussion Item #1 – Landscape Ordinance Public Hearing.
PM-02-10-230 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED (8-0)*: To approve the agenda as amended.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-230 CARRIED*
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
(*Member Paul late arrival)
Member Kocan announced her receipt of a letter from Kim Taylor Papp, 46000 White Pines Drive wrote, "Currently I am disturbed by the ignorance being displayed by several City Council members as it pertains to the recent decision that have been made about the Mallot Drive conundrum. I am disturbed that they have blatantly ignored your recommendations and in addition to the recommendations of the Consultants. I am especially distraught over the Councilmember DeRoche’s comment on the October 7, 2002 City Council meeting eluding to all wetlands as being a West Nile Virus manufacturing site was a clear cut example of him exuding his ignorance about nature and common sense. With that mentality, then we can say good-bye to all wetlands, lakes and woodland areas. After all, if we get rid of all that unnecessary and water and stuff then we won’t have to worry about lime disease either. We should also pull our children out of schools because schools are breeding grounds for germs. We must not forget too
sanitize our hands. We will now know as an example, while on a campaign trail whether a potential voter is suffering from hand foot mouth disease. People become ill because their immune systems are compromised or because they do not have the antibodies necessary to fight off the agent causing the disease. We vaccinate our children against many pathogens. The answer to West Nile Virus involves taking the necessary precautions such as using an insect repellant with deat, which reduces one’s chances of contracting West Nile Virus. Draining and destroying wetlands are not the answer to the Mallot Drive conundrum as Mr. DeRoche has implied. Safety of the neighborhood children is the number one priority; however, is destroying the pristine wetlands to construct Mallot Drive the answer to the safety issue? In conclusion I wish to express my sincere gratitude in regards to how you and your fellow commissioners research the plans for future projects. Your decisions are based on your team taking the time to investigate the sites recognizing and suggesting alternatives and more importantly being well informed. Perhaps a handful of City Council members could benefit from your practices. Respectfully submitted, Kim Taylor Papp."
1. ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI, RUD AMENDMENT, SITE PLAN NUMBER 99-58
Public Hearing on the request of Toll Brothers for a recommendation to City Council to amend the Residential Unit Development (RUD). The applicant is proposing several changes to the RUD. The changes include: an additional 5-acre parcel along Wixom Road has been incorporated into Phase 3 of the overall development; a modification to permit single-family attached cluster homes in Phase 4B in the southeast corner of the overall development; and several other revisions to the street layout in Phases 4 & 5 including relocating stub street connections to the east and west of the Ten Mile Road entrance. The subject properties are located in Sections 18, 19, and 20, north of Ten Mile Road, between Napier and Wixom Roads. The subject property is approximately 907 acres.
Rod Arroyo Planning/Traffic Consultant noted the location of the 5-acre addition to the RUD, which was not included in the original approved RUD. The Applicant is requesting the addition of this particular parcel, which is located north of Phase 3D (a cluster component of the RUD Plan). He showed the commission a current Master Plan for Land Use, highlighting the phases of the development and the surrounding area. Surrounding land uses include existing manufactured housing, planned office to the north, a school and park area near Eleven Mile Road and Wixom Road and predominantly residential development surrounding the property as well as the Links of Novi on the golf course on the south side of Ten Mile directly across the street from the subject property. The original RUD was submitted in 1997; an amendment was made in 1999 with a supplemental package; and the currently proposed 2002 amendment. Mr. Arroyo indicated his comments would compare the proposed 2002 RUD amendment with the currently approved RUD Plan (1999). The total area of the site has changed. The currently approved plan is a 901-acre RUD and the proposed RUD is 906-acres. There is no change in the number of units and it remains 876. Although there is a slight difference in size, after rounding the density remains the same overall at just less than one dwelling units per acre. Open space is increasing from 470-acres to 476-acres due to the reconfiguration of certain areas as well as the addition of attached units in an areas that was previously single-family attached. There was a larger area of wetlands originally identified. After DEQ verification occurred, there was a reduction in the area previously determined to be regulated. Some of the area was shifted into upland woodlands because it was no longer a wetland. Other shifts took place as part of the overall redesign that is before the commission. In terms of single-family detached units, he noted one question that was a major concern when the project first came forward was maintaining majority of the units in single-family detached, which has not been changed (remains at 57% of the total number of units). He indicated that these changes are not being amended by this proposal. There is a Cluster provision added on the north side of Ten Mile east of the Oak Pointe Church site, which was previously a single-family detached area with a cul-de-sac system. The Applicant has indicated that the proposal is due to the impact of the anticipated church. He noted the Commission may want to take into consideration that the Special Land Use and Site Plan for the church is now expired. There is a cluster expanded on the newly added 5-acre piece. Additional clusters will be added within the five-acre portion itself. The Applicant does not have control of the other 5-acre parcel. It was previously the emergency access and will become a full access connection lining up with Delmont Drive. Previously, the road to the north was farther south and did not aligned with the proposed portion of the RUD on the east side of Wixom; however, it has been shifted north to align and create a larger area where additional detached Single-Family units are proposed. He believed the change was possible because of the new wetland determination. Other changes include access and configuration of lots and streets along Ten Mile Road. He noted the location of the proposed cluster area adjacent to the Oak Pointe Church site and a parcel that is not part of the Church or part of the RUD. The currently approved RUD Plan shows two stub connections. The proposal is to rid of one connection and shift the upper stub connection to the south to provide access. Mr. Arroyo recommended the cul-de-sac become a stub connection to the north. He indicated that he is currently reviewing a sub phase plan, which shows the cul-de-sac as a stub connection. If these stubs are provided, then achieving the 800-foot cul-de-sac would be likely, which would eliminate the need to extend an access point to Ten Mile Road. If the connection is not provided and there is only one access, then the required 800-feet (for the cul-de-sac) is measured from the center of the point where there are two points of access. Therefore, he found it more advantageous to have the two connections. Additionally, it will provide for interconnection between the developments. There is a proposal to shift up to the north, the stub connection to the parcel directly to the west. He designated an area that was redesigned slightly; the park area moved and the road configuration amended on a various level basis. There is an interconnection of open space, continuous through the area that was not previously included. He indicated that the applicant could comment further; however, one reason it was changed was to provide for improved drainage and a trail system and interconnection from an open space perspective. There are now drainage benefits as well as marketing benefits with the interconnected open space and associated trails. There are also changes to the pedestrian network. The pedestrian network is part of the RUD Plan and the changes are highlighted in yellow. The applicant is requesting the elimination of the pedestrian path proposed along the segment coming out to Wixom Road across from the school. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend the elimination of the pedestrian path as it would force a mid-block crossing of students and others that might be residing on the south side of the roadway, which is included in the approved RUD Pedestrian plan as it currently exists. A pedestrian connection is proposed to be added on the north side. Previously there was only a connection on the south side because there were no units on the north side. He noted the collector road system that will have bike paths with not proposed connection to Napier Road on the north side. The pedestrian connection was included on the RUD plan and should be added. Therefore, he requested the change be made prior to the plan proceeding to the City Council for Final action. According to RUD provisions, attached units proposed next to existing Single-Family zoning required a 330-foot buffer. There are some provisions where the City Council can allow for a relaxation of the separation requirement, which the Applicant has requested. The plan before the Commission shows the new area with additional units adjacent to the 5-acre residentially zoned that is not part of the project. Technically, a 330-foot buffer is required, as well as a 75-foot setback. Currently the plan shows a 70-foot setback that needs to be increased, which he felt could be resolved through the site plan process. The Applicant is requesting a City Council waiver to not provide the 330-foot buffer in this location. If the waiver is granted, a 6-foot berm or equivalent screening will need to be provided by the use of existing woodlands and vegetation. He restated that the new cluster area was never previously proposed for clusters. It is a policy decision and design decision that needs to be addressed by the Commission through a recommendation to the City Council. Along Ten Mile Road, there were previously no cluster units proposed, which are now proposed. The 330-foot separation is not provided to the Oak Pointe Church property that is located to the west, which is an issue. He outlined some areas the Commission may want to discuss as part of their deliberations. Is the visibility of cluster units from Ten Mile Road desired? Is it an area that was not originally anticipated and the appropriate level of screening? Previously, there was an unconventional cul-de-sac design in the cluster area. An agreement has been reached with the Developer for the design and how it would operate. If the Commission agrees to provide for cluster in that particular location, then the minor modifications need to be incorporated prior to the plan proceeding to the City Council. Concerning the pedestrian network plan, the engineering review plan recommends the provision of sidewalks on both sides of the street around the park in Phase 4. Currently, the park only has sidewalks proposed on one side of the park.
Kevin Sullivan, Development Manager of Island Lake of Novi indicated Toll Brothers has been working steadily in Novi and continues its commitment to the Novi Community with the provision of high quality residential homes. Island Lake of Novi has become one of the premier residential neighborhoods in Western Oakland County. The original RUD was set up over 5-years ago based on a concept that has preserved the beauty and character of the land. It was once a mining operation of sand and gravel and is now a land of beautiful homes and parks. Over the last few years of building the project, he indicated they have looked back to what has worked in the original plan and forward to where the development could improve as it continues. He stated the evaluation has lead to the amendment proposal before the Commission. Toll Brothers has fulfilled the promise and commitment of the RUD; preserved and replanted woodlands, wetlands and common area make up over half of the land area and have been placed in a dedicated conservation easement. In addition to preservation of open space, Island Lake contains over 20-miles of walks, paths and trails linking all homeowners with the parks and amenities of the site. The streets have been designed and aligned to provide safe access and flow for the residents of Island Lake. Additionally, he noted the effort to work with the approvals and proposals of the neighbors. Island Lake has been a fantastic site to build and it will continue to improve on what the owners want the community to become. He hoped the Commission and the City could support the amendment request. He stated the amendments would make Island Lake of Novi more diverse and successful and further preserve the rich natural setting. He introduced Mary Jukuri Planning Consultant.
Mary Jukuri Senior Designer and Associate of Smith Group JJR., indicated that her experience with Island Lake of Novi started in 1996. She considered the proposed as positive modifications to the RUD Plan. She found Mr. Arroyo’s requests reasonable and the acceptance of the requests. She showed the Commission the proposed RUD area plan in comparison with the currently approve RUD area plan. The primary modification is the addition of the 5-acre parcel (previously known as the Deaton property) located off Wixom Road and across from Delmont Drive. Secondly, the proposed change in unit type off the cul-de-sac down toward Ten Mile Road. Third the proposal of slight modifications to the street network, open space corridor and park location for Phases 4B and 5B on the south side of the lake. The 5-acre Deaton property is a long narrow parcel with over 3-acres being regulated woodlands and a small wetland pocket on the far western edge. She proposed twelve attached cluster units on this parcel as four building each containing three units. Test layouts of units for the area determined that the required 75-foot setback can be provided. The cluster proposal is due to visual consistency with the waterfront condominiums (already approved as part of the Plan) and she believed the attached clusters would help the preservation of the existing woodland at the side yard and rear yard of the property. It has been estimated that approximately 40% of the existing regulated woods would be preserved with the cluster unit development. The units are the same type of unit developed in Timber Trail and are proposed with the same distances between the buildings (130-feet). She requested a City Council Waiver of the 330-foot setback requirement as the parcel is very narrow (150-feet deep). The Council could consider a waiver on one the conditions that the parcel is an unusual shape or size. The cul-de-sac was shifted up slightly and a full access entrance road created. The cul-de-sac now conforms to City Standards. The second area of modification is to change the unit type of the cul-de-sac in Phase 4B toward Ten Mile Road. The proposed 44-cluster units have the same distance requirements as the Arbors on the north side. There are two basic reasons for the request. There was a lot of housing diversity on the north side of the site when the RUD was originally planned. As Toll Brothers has been building out, starting with the phases on the north side, they have found that there has been very strong market demand for what they call the Arbors. She showed the Commission the design of the Arbor unit. Due to the market demand, the popularity of the units and the attempt to work in a greater housing variety on the south side, the proposed seemed to be the best location of the south side of the lake to introduce more housing variety. Adjacent to the property are changes in land planning assumptions that were not in place in 1999 when the current RUD plan came before the Commission. Approval of the Oak Pointe Church Preliminary Site Plan, while a Single-Family zoning district, yielded an institutional character use. She showed the Commission a superimposed drawing of the proposed adjacent church, loading dock and its parking configuration surrounding and its main entrance road. She believed that the parking and loading dock immediately adjacent to the area creates a less desirable setting for Single-Family detached homes. The combination of a strong market for attached condominiums and the ability to introduce housing variety posed the change in the unit type in this area to attached cluster housing, which would be beneficial both to Island Lake of Novi and to the City. She indicated the 75-foot setbacks are matched from the property line into the rear of the units both along the church property boundary and along Ten Mile Road. The corner of Wixom and Ten Mile Road is the only other adjacent Single-Family zoned property and the back of the Island Lake units are 330-feet away from that site. She stated the only relationship and zoning question is the church property. There are slight changes to the road network and open space on the south side. As mentioned, the park was relocated closer to the Ten Mile Road to create more visibility and add to the image of the Island Lake entrance. Two stub street locations were consolidated and a stub street created closer to the center. The open space network has been revised slightly to create a more continuous network. This modification has helped with the drainage and laying out the detention basins for the southern half of the site. Ms. Jukuri responded to Mr. Arroyo’s recommendations. She pointed out that the changes are simple. She apologized, as some were simply due to typos. The pedestrian network plan has been revised. She proposed to accept the modifications and revisions per the consultant’s letter. The sidewalk has been added back into the site plan and the other sidewalk is currently constructed. The natural trail connection was also added back in. She concurred with the recommendations. Secondly, if the attached cluster units on the 5-acre parcel are permitted, then she requested a waiver of the berm requirement. The waiver would allow the preservation of more woodland. She agreed to the additional landscaping and screening to reach the required opacity of 80% in that area. Additional planting and evergreen material will be added. The current layout of the four buildings on the north side of the cul-de-sac has an end unit at 100-foot distance from the center of the cul-de-sac with 130-foot spacing in between allowing the preservation of the "fingers" of woodlands. The City’s Woodland Consultant suggested three buildings with four units; totaling twelve units; however, it allows the sliding of the buildings over thereby gaining at least 100-feet of woodland preservation on the lake edge of the cul-de-sac. She noted her willingness to consider and accept the revision if the Commission and Council deemed appropriate. She showed the Commission a photograph of the units being constructed on Timber Trail. She was amenable to the cul-de-sac modification as requested by the Traffic Engineer, which would be incorporated into the package and site plan preparation. She accepted the request to modify the cul-de-sac into a stub street. She reiterated the items that would not be changed; no increase in density is proposed and the site is well within the 876-units approved for Island Lake of Novi Development; the maintaining of 57% Single-Family detached and 43% attached cluster condominiums; the maintaining of the open space commitments; and providing approximately 476-acres of permanent preserved open space compared to the 470-acres minimum. The Traffic Study update demonstrates a slight decrease in the total number of vehicle trips since condominiums tend to generate fewer vehicle trips than the typical Single-Family detached homes. Ms. Jukuri stated the applicable provision continue to be met with the original plan. The same amount of open space, traffic has reduced, circulation has been enhanced for pedestrians and vehicles, there is and will continue to be adequate utility service, the proposed changes will still be compatible with the recently approved adjacent land uses, the plan remains within the development total of 876-homes, the required distances can be met between buildings and the 75-foot setback and Toll Brothers will continue to provide the site with the infrastructure support necessary of the development.
Chairperson Nagy announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the matter to the Public.
Conrad Stouch stated, "I am Legal Counsel for Someways God Michigan District the owner of the Ten Acre parcel that is adjoining the Ten Mile entrance. I am also the principle of the company that is going to purchase the parcel. We are in the process of developing the Ten-acre parcel and have with the Subcommittee of the Planning Commission. We have reviewed the plans based upon our meeting. We are pleased that they are changing the stub street and the cul-de-sac into a stub street that meets with our intents. We would like to put substantial parkland in the front of our parcel on Ten Mile Road. If we were unable to do that and had to have an entrance, I think that would destroy the parkland. We are pleased with what is being done and we are in support thereof. I think one of the real issues is the 44 cluster units and is that going to have an effect on our development and it is not. We still intend to develop ours as Single-Family residential not withstanding that cluster unit. I think Toll Brothers is correct. I think the institutional use of the church does affect the property. I think it is something that has to be taken into consideration. Their cluster development is a nice development for that site. Our parcel is different in that we have stub streets coming in from a Single-Family residential subdivision. I think trying to use our parcel, as cluster would not be advantageous to the City or to the existing development. We will not be doing any type of cluster request on our parcel and we are in support of those being requested. Thank you."
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.
Ward Detrich 49829 Layland Circle wrote, "Too much development in a short period of time. I believe the lake area is being over developed."
Martin Sviland 25410 Wixom Road wrote, "We need left turn lanes from Target to Ten Mile."
John Foley 24930 Delmont Drive wrote, "I oppose the addition of the 5-acre parcel and the associated attached condominiums due to the proximity to the abutting Single-Family residential homes as well as the proximity to the homes of Birchwood Subdivision, which was developed as R-A large lots. The addition of the units on this parcel is simply an over-kill of high-density housing in an area of large lot homes. The requirement of a 330-foot buffer was included in the RUD ordinance to prevent such development. I also feel the best way to preserve the woodlands on this five acre parcel is to not include it in the RUD. Due to the configuration of the lot, development on this five acre parcel, non RUD, would be limited and most likely save many more trees than if it were included in the RUD. The change of house style from Single-Family to attached single-family condominiums in the southeast portion of the development is because of the proposed church to be developed on the abutting property. I do not support a change to the RUD based on what could potentially be built on abutting land. What is the status of the church? I heard there was a lawsuit filed to prevent the church from building what the City approved. What happens if the church is not built and there are condominiums next to R-A? There are many nice homes built next to churches; for example Saint James. Any additional high-density housing is too intense and would detract from the overall appearance of the development. I see no benefit to the City or the area residents with the proposed changes to the RUD."
Chairperson Nagy asked if the site would have been designed differently had there not been a church proposed on the abutting site.
Mr. Sullivan indicated that there would have been an attempt to modify it due to the Ten Mile area. He stated the church was a significant factor. He stated the church could resubmit their plans to the City.
Chairperson Nagy recalled Oak Pointe Church requiring a number of variances. She questioned what would happen if Oak Pointe Church did not receive another approval from the Commission.
Mr. Fisher stated it is fair to assume that there is an interest in placing a church at that location. He stated if the site plan approval has expired, then the Commission can consider that factor as well.
Member Ruyle asked Mr. Sullivan if he made any overtures to Oak Pointe Church to purchase the property.
Mr. Sullivan answered, yes. Oak Pointe Church has expressed their desire to keep the parcel and continue with the development of their church.
Member Ruyle asked how his plans would change if he could purchase the Oak Pointe property.
Mr. Sullivan anticipated Single-Family Homes due to the location, elevation and view of the lake.
Member Ruyle objected to Phase 4B becoming a cluster option and requested that it remain Single-Family detached homes. He did not want condominiums on Ten Mile Road if the church property were to be developed in the future. He restated that he did not have a problem with the 5-acres; however, he was opposed to Phase 4B.
Member Shroyer stated the project is very difficult and involves a lot research. The commissioners were given the new proposal in their packets; however, did not receive any information on the current RUD. Therefore, there was no information to compare to the proposal. Additional information was distributed to the commissioner in a Tuesday packet; however, some of the maps were unreadable. He thanked Mr. Arroyo for the informative presentation. Member Shroyer felt everything still fit under the RUD and was approvable. He asked if the removal of 2-acres of regulated woodlands and the Consultant’s recommendation to reduce it to 1-acre was referring to the 5-acre parcel located at the northern portion of the site. He asked if a center turn lane was considered to help Delmont Drive.
Mr. Sullivan answered, no. The traffic counts were not high enough to generate the center turn lane.
Member Shroyer noted it was a recommendation of the Traffic Consultant.
Mr. Arroyo stated the counts were taken during a time that construction was occurring on Wixom road and the counts showed a lower volume than the counts previously taken. Mr. Arroyo recommended a center turn lane. If the applicant is not willing or if it is not made a condition, and then he suggested the collection of new information and counts taken during a time that there is no construction and a reevaluation at the time of Site Plan approval for that particular parcel. Mr. Arroyo felt there was likelihood that they will be met at that location.
Member Shroyer noted his concerns with Wixom Road and access issues; the volume from 800 or 900 units onto a curved road that dead ends into Ten Mile; and the ingress and egress. He suggested sliding the park to the other side of the street, with the potential of hooking up with other development that might be connected, to create one large park.
Mr. Sullivan agreed to consider the possibility. Additionally, he agreed to provide the center turn lane.
Member Shroyer noted his appreciation that the Applicant would consider the park option, as it would enhance the entrance. He agreed with all of the road realignments and the removal of the stubs and the new stub in that section. Member Shroyer opposed cluster units in the Phase 4B. He was concerned whether the Oak Pointe Church’s approval expired and indicated that until there is a physical structure one could not know what will occur. He recommended dedicating the area for future connection to the property to the west should it become single family or another residential property. He inquired about the recommendation to area on the east side of Wixom Road to change the safety path to a 5-foot wide concrete path.
Ms. Jukuri stated the notes have been added to the pedestrian network plan, which indicates a 5-foot concrete sidewalk per the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan. She confirmed that the addition has been made.
Member Avdoulos thanked Ms. Jukuri for her presentation. He did not object to the location of the 5-acre parcel with the Single-Family attached cluster as it creates a border at the north end of the development. He noted his preference of the three building design due to the potential to spread the buildings further apart and maintain another acre of woodland. He agreed with the road system cleanup, connection of pathways and other activities in the southwest corner. He agreed with the suggestion to make the cul-de-sac a stub to interconnect the property. He did not have a problem with the cluster proposed to the east of the potential church property. It creates a frame and border the lake on the corners while mirroring what is going on in the opposite corner. The variety on Ten Mile Road will be created whether a church exists there or not. He felt the church would be a nice break in the path of home after home. He gave the example of St. James Church. Member Avdoulos liked the proposed location of the park area. Concerning the berm, he wanted to keep the area as natural as possible; however, he was not opposed to enhancing with landscaping.
Member Markham directed her comments to the Planning Department. She indicated that she did not have a complete copy of the RUD. She did not like the fact she had to look at the materials in pieces. Every commissioner should have copy of the original RUD and any subsequent amendments. She indicated that she previously served on the Commission when the RUD was being developed five years ago and still had questions. She did not feel there was enough material to review the proposal adequately up front. She did recall the intent of the 330-foot buffer and the design of the RUD. She recalled the concern of the existing developments along Wixom Road and those residents further east on Ten Mile as the RUD was being developed. Their concern was that this rural area would be turned into multi-family. Therefore, the RUD was designed placing the location of any cluster type housing more toward the center or toward the area of the mobile home park at the northwest portion of the property. Additionally, anything that could be seen from Ten Mile Road or Wixom Road would be Single-Family to retain the overall philosophy of Single-Family. Therefore, she was concerned with Phase 4B. She clarified that the number of cluster homes located near the mobile homes are decreasing and new placement of cluster units at Phase 4B. Member Markham felt 4B should remain Single-Family regardless of whether the church is constructed next door. She agreed with Member Avdoulos’ comments regarding St. James Church. She stated the placement of cluster housing in Phase 4B did not meet the requirement of retaining the nature of the surrounding developments. Member Markham liked adjustments to the roadway plan and coordination efforts being made with the adjacent parcel. She requested consideration be given to the relocation of the park; however if it is not feasible then she understood. She supported all efforts to create more contiguous open space. The minutes indicated that cluster units would not be visible with the exception of the waterfront cluster units. She did not want to see more than what was intended with the original plan. She noted her liking of the three building configuration as opposed to four buildings.
Member Papp concurred with Member Markham’s comments regarding Phase 4B. He preferred that Phase 4B develop as Single-Family. He asked if Wixom Road would be able to handle the traffic flow. He asked the number of units in the development.
Mr. Sullivan stated 876 units are approved in the RUD.
Member Papp asked the number of trips per day.
Mr. Arroyo indicated a Single-Family has ten trips per day per unit and a condominium has six to seven.
Member Papp noted that there are five entrances on Wixom Road, one on Ten Mile and one on Napier Road.
Mr. Arroyo stated the advantage of having a lot of frontage is the traffic will disperse onto different roadways. An overall traffic study conducted upon its original submittal indicated that Wixom Road would suffice primarily as a three-lane road (one lane in each direction and center turn lane). He noted the unknown is what will occur in Lyon Township and how much traffic might come down Ten Mile and up Wixom to the interchange. If it grows at a reasonable level, then chances are that Wixom Road could remain the type of roadway that it is currently evolving to, which is a three-lane roadway. If there were a drastic change in density to the west, then it could ultimately impact Wixom Road.
Member Papp asked if there were any plans to purchase the other 5-acre parcel.
Mr. Sullivan answered, no. He indicated the owner has no interest at the present time to sell the property.
Member Paul stated Island Lake has become a nice development all the way though. She recalled Mr. B’s on Novi Road in which only the restaurant was developed and the bowling alley never followed. In the same effect, she felt there would be a zoning change and new configuration of a parcel according to what could happen with the church’s property. She did not feel the church property should be taken into consideration. She advised the developer to redesign Phase 4B and return to the Commission. If the church sells the property, then a road could configure from Mr. Stouch’s property through the church parcel and create all one site. She noted the comment, the official regulated Woodlands Map indicated there is a dense parcel of woodlands but it appears to show early stages of regrowth. She found this comment conflicting and asked for explanation.
Elaine Grehl Woodland Technician stated the beech trees in the area are not of 8-inch diameter. The comment was referring to the new variety of native woodland beginning to grow there.
Member Paul asked if the woodland is dense.
Ms. Grehl answered, yes. It is primarily Maples and Basswood.
Member Paul asked her to comment on the parcel of land coming into the area. She asked if she was pleased with the three building configuration.
Ms. Grehl answered, yes. She added the trees are of nice quality along the lake edge side (west side) and decline in quality toward Wixom Road.
Member Paul asked if she was please with the distance Area 3 has been moved over to save the larger species by the lake.
Ms. Grehl answered, yes. She stated originally that the woodlands were 100-feet from the center of the cul-de-sac and now it is 200-feet. She found these the most vital.
Member Paul asked if more evergreens should be added to provide a barrier for the northern portion of the site.
Ms. Grehl answered, no. She stated it would do more harm than good. She stated they could add hemlock and native understory evergreens to increase the opacity; however, she did not find it necessary.
Member Paul asked if the northern portion of the property is at buildout.
Mr. Sullivan stated most of the condominiums are almost at buildout and sold by the end of the year.
Member Paul asked if the northwest corner of the lake was at buildout as well.
Mr. Sullivan indicated the condominiums located at the northwest corner of the site are a different product; they are larger yet still selling well. He indicated that almost everything on the north side of the lake is sold out and now sales are moving down the west side of the lake to Napier Road.
Member Paul asked the percentage of home completed or sold at this point.
Mr. Sullivan stated 210 homes are sold and 120 lots are ready to be built on and are not sold. There is a pace of 128 homes a year.
Member Paul supported the 3D portion of the site; however, she was concerned with Phase 4B until further knowledge of the church property was available.
Member Kocan noted the importance of the 1997 and 1999 Planning Commission and City Council meetings as the minutes are part of the RUD Agreement. The current Planning Commission and City Council should consider the intent of the City Council at the time they approved the Agreement in 1997. She read from the minutes. (July 28, 1997) Mr. Curry said that the housing was laid out so that except for the water front townhomes no cluster-housing site will be visible from the adjacent thoroughfares. The proposed is an R-A site and should appear as an R-A site from the roads. Concerning the realignment of the road coming out to Wixom Road across from the Single-Family detached homes, she noted the map indicates it as a secondary conservation zone with the road coming through. She noted to her understanding the road was moved north and appeared to be in the secondary conservation zone. The 1997 minutes reflect Mr. Curry’s comments that the secondary conservation zone is a significant natural element of the property. It is ¾ of a mile long and at its minimum point 150-feet wide and the importance of maintaining this conservation zone. Therefore, she asked how the conservation zone would be affected if the road were relocated farther north.
Mr. Arroyo deferred to the environmental staff to respond to her inquiry.
Mike McGinnis Interim Landscape Architect asked Member Kocan to clarify the question.
Member Kocan stated the road is located north of the 5-acre parcel that is requested to be added. The road is southeast on the approved plan and northeast on the proposed plan. The road begins to enter the conservation zone and other forested wetlands in that area. She questioned the impacts of the design change.
Mr. McGinnis indicated that he had not reviewed this portion of the RUD as he was not yet working for the City. Therefore, he deferred the question to Mary Jukuri.
Ms. Jukuri stated when the RUD Plan was first laid out, there was a preliminary wetland map and an established series of ground water monitoring wells scattered throughout the site to collect data over the course of at least two or three years. The data showed that the initial assessment of wetland boundaries changed significantly in this zone. A reconfiguration was designed to push the road north and obtain a better traffic intersection. She described it as a trade off and not a net loss in open space or preservation areas. She described it as a differentiation in categories. She indicated the secondary conservation zone Member Kocan was refereeing to still exists through the center area and some pockets along the edge. The area designated forest/wetland and secondary conservation zone that was lost has been gained in upland woods and an increase in upland woods on the south side of the road. She explained that all of the area below the road has not all been developed and the connection was regained. The change was in response to the new data obtained since the RUD was approved.
Member Kocan asked if a permit was required. She asked the Staff to clarify that the land was buildable and would not be adverse to the wetlands in the area.
Ms. Jukuri pointed out that all necessary Wetland Permits and Woodland Permit have been obtained. The road is already constructed and was dealt with in the previous site plan reviews while working administratively with the City. Therefore, the City Staff is acquainted with this portion of the site.
Member Kocan clarified that it is not a proposed change.
Ms. Jukuri indicated that it is not a requested amendment.
Member Kocan asked Staff to clarify if the request is part of the amendment.
Mr. Evancoe indicated the request is for Phase 3D, Phase 4B and the realignment of the road network and open space network on the westerly portion of the property.
Member Kocan apologized for the misunderstanding. She indicated that she may have misheard Mr. Arroyo’s comments.
Mr. Evancoe agreed that Mr. Arroyo made comments concerning the realignment of the road; however, he believed the reasoning was to provide context about other recent changes that were related to the Wixom Road frontage. He asked Mr. Arroyo is this was correct.
Mr. Arroyo indicated that to his understanding, it had been modified in a previous approval.
Member Kocan indicated that she did not have a problem if the matter was already addressed and part of a previous revision. She wanted to avoid any destruction of environmental conservation areas that are being preserved as part of the RUD.
Mr. Arroyo asked for time to verify information and give a response to the Commission later in the meeting.
Member Kocan stated the 1997 minutes reflect that the City Council found it very important that the rural appearance be maintained, detached cluster housing be set back farther from the road, R-2 should be on the edges of the property and perhaps move R-3 inland. Additionally there was a comment from Mr. Wiener wanting to ensure ample space was provided that exceeded the minimum requirement from the house to the road along Ten Mile, Wixom and Napier Road. She felt these comments add to the argument that having Single-Family attached cluster along Ten Mile Road is not within the intent of the original RUD City Council concept. Concerning Oak Pointe Church, she indicated that she served on the Planning Commission when the project was approved. She did not approve the Special Land Use for Oak Pointe Church due to her belief that a church of its proposed size, with the requested variances for height and setbacks, was not an appropriate development within Island Lake. She was disappointed that an Island Lake representative was not present at that meeting; however, she defended the future residents of that project. If the Oak Pointe Church project should come forward again, then she would look more closely at protecting the residents. Island Lake is closer to buildout and the impacts the industrial size church would have on the residential area are more apparent. Member Kocan agreed with the other commissioners to protect the single-family detached houses located on Ten Mile Road. She was not pleased with the location of the attached cluster; however, she was willing to negotiate. She was concerned with the effect on the parcel not included in the RUD Agreement. She was concerned with the setback from Wixom Road and wanted to ensure sufficient landscaping is provided to prevent visibility. The 75-foot setback, although wooded, does not provide the 80% winter opacity. If the City Council should approve a waiver of the 330-foot buffer, then she found it imperative that additional landscaping be provided. She was pleased that the Developer was amenable to making the cul-de-sac changes and recommended revisions to the cluster units and pedestrian area.
Member Sprague asked how the site plans would change if the owner of the other 5-acre parcel were willing to sell the property. He asked the impact(s) of a recommendation for a waiver of the 330-foot.
Mr. Sullivan indicated that, at the most, three homes could be placed on the 5-acre site; however, it is heavily wooded.
Member Sprague clarified that the homes would be Single-Family homes.
Mr. Sullivan answered, yes. In response to Member Kocan, he indicated that an Island Lake Representative was present; however, they were outnumbered.
Member Sprague did not have a problem with the Single-Family Cluster Option due to the Fire Station on one side and the Golf Course on the other; however, he requested a sufficient buffer for the adjacent future development.
Mr. Arroyo confirmed that the alignment shown this evening is a change from the 1999 plan that came before the Commission, which was the last technically approved RUD Plan. Since 1999, the phase came forward to the Commission a minor adjustment was made to the alignment of the roadway, which was approved as a minor amendment to the RUD Plan when the site plan came in. Therefore, the change was technically not part of the Original 1999 RUD Plan; however, the Commission has already technically agreed to it as part of a previous minor amendment for a site plan.
Chairperson Nagy noted her concern that the Planning Commission was not adequately supplied the necessary information to make its decisions appropriately. She agreed with Member Markham and Member Kocan comments. She found it very important for the commissioners to be informed of past occurrences. The Planning Department should have provided the Commission with the RUD Agreement. Although the commissioners were sent additional information in a subsequent packet, she did not have the time prior to her Committee and Commission meeting to review the new materials. It is not appropriate for commissioners to request the amount of information that was contained in the subsequent packet.
Mr. Evancoe requested the opportunity to respond to her comments at the appropriate time.
Chairperson Nagy continued indicating that due to the size of the project, it is important for the Commission to have all the material necessary.
Concerning dewatering, Chairperson Nagy indicated the materials stated the wetland boundary changed. If the property was a wetland in 1999, then she questioned if dewatering caused it to no longer be a wetland.
Mr. Sullivan indicated that it was changed prior to the start of any development.
Chairperson Nagy verified that the owner of the strip of land is not being landlocked with Phase 3D and there are no legal situations being created.
Mr. Fisher stated it appeared that the property owner has Wixom Road frontage and essentially the same situation that he/she had prior to the proposed modification.
Chairperson Nagy did not agree with Phase 3D. She wanted the 330-foot buffer, as the minutes of 1997 clearly indicate what the previous commissioner said about the buffer. Therefore, she felt there were too many condominiums in the top section and one should be removed in order to allow to the requirement. She indicated that she was serving on the Planning Commission when Oak Pointe Church was before the Commission. She did not support its concept. Additionally, unlike St. James Church it is not a "normal" church. Chairperson Nagy stated she could support the concept more if additional buffering was provided on Ten Mile Road. She suggested the reduction of the number of units by two or another alternative. Her goal is to maintain the area in the spirit as indicated in the minutes of 1997. The landscaping and buffering should be increased to meet the opacity. She clarified if the Applicant has agreed to all of the traffic concerns.
Mr. Arroyo indicated that to his knowledge, the Developer is amenable to make the recommended changes.
Chairperson Nagy asked if the center turn lane would be provided.
Mr. Arroyo indicated the Developer agreed.
Ms. Jukuri agreed.
Mr. Arroyo indicated it will be located at Delmont Drive where the new emergency connection will become a full connection and line up with Delmont Drive.
Member Avdoulos described the property as unique as it is not flat with open characteristics. He indicated that he spent a lot of time researching the project. He did not intend to negate all of the past comments simply because it has been in review since 1997. He found this review as a different opportunity to maintain the uniqueness of the site. Member Avdoulos noted his continued support of the proposed amendment. He supported keeping within the zoning and agreements; however, he found the proposed as a unique opportunity to gain something different.
Member Shroyer stated there are three distinct items in review; the addition of the 5-acre parcel with the three cluster units; changing the 4B to allow the Single-Family attached cluster units; and the remaining miscellaneous road stubs, bike paths, etc. He asked if each item should be included in a separate motion.
Mr. Fisher asked if the Applicant presented the request as a package or if they are willing to accept a "piece-meal" approach to obtain some approvals and not all. In some instances the money that comes forward to agree to some of the traffic items, for example, may be based upon the assumption that the whole package would be approved. Therefore, he asked for the Petitioner’s response to make the determination.
Mr. Sullivan did not object to either option.
Member Shroyer explained his reasoning for asking was due to the amount of opposition with regard to the cluster issue; however, it seemed that the majority was in favor of the other requests.
Member Paul asked how many lots were affected by the floodplain.
Ms. McClain did not have the exact number. She explained that the affect by the floodplain is not that the lots cannot be built and floodplain can exist along the backside. There have been changes to the floodplain through the FEMA process.
Mr. Sullivan indicated that twenty were addressed in the first two phases. Currently twelve sites on the east side of Wixom are in the FEMA revision process. Additionally, there are a few on the south side; however, it falls under an as built situation. Once it is as built, they realign, check the line again and make the amendment to the floodplain.
Member Paul clarified if the few to the south are referring to 4B.
Mr. Sullivan answered, yes. He stated part of the entrance from Wixom Road, where the tributary goes through, is currently located in the floodplain.
Member Paul asked if it is the very southern portion closest to Wixom Road.
Mr. Sullivan designated the area on a map.
Member Paul clarified that the road is in the floodplain.
Mr. Sullivan answered, yes.
Member Paul clarified that it is already built.
Mr. Sullivan answered, no. He indicated it is under construction now. The raising of the elevation will bring the road out of the floodplain. Additionally, the combination of the already cleaned drains and the upcoming redoing of the structure will address the floodplain issues that were on the site.
Ms. McClain explained the FEMA revision revises the location of the floodplain. The floodplain will not be lost, it will be moved.
Member Paul asked how this would affect the woodlands. She asked if the floodplain would change in 3D.
Mr. Sullivan indicated that there is no floodplain in the 3D area.
Member Paul asked how the remainder of the floodplain would be affected by the change to the southern border.
Ms. McClain explained that it is based on the volume in the floodplain, which is being replaced elsewhere. She noted a raised area of the lake where floodplain is across some of the lots. The flood plain areas were moved and the areas that were not floodplain areas are not floodplain areas and vice versa. Some of the lots are technically in the floodplain at this time because the map revision is in review and has not yet been approved; however, the lots will move out of the floodplain when the map revision is completed.
Member Paul asked how the utility plan for 3D and 4B will be affected if the section is approved.
Ms. McClain indicated there will be no affective changes to the utility plan.
Chairperson Nagy indicated that the discussion has referred to the RUD Agreement; however, the Commission does not have a copy of the RUD Agreement. Therefore, she questioned how the Commission could make a decision without the benefit of the RUD Agreement.
Mr. Fisher stated certainly if the RUD Agreement has an impact on the proposed modification, then the Commission could not make a decision and would be in need of the Agreement. He indicated that he could not address the issue of whether the Agreement is relevant.
Chairperson Nagy stated she also was not aware if the Agreement is relevant because did not read the Agreement, as she was not provided with a copy. She stressed that her intention was not to make accusations; however, she questioned if the Commission should read the Agreement prior to making a decision. She appreciated the Applicant’s effort in working with Commission and the Planning Department. Chairperson Nagy indicated that she personally had a difficult time approving a request without the benefit of knowing the information contained in the RUD Agreement. She requested a copy of the RUD Agreement. She asked the Commission to comment.
Mr. Evancoe responded to her comments. The Staff and Consultants have described to the Commission in detail the differences between what is proposed and what had been previously proposed. He did not feel the Commission was missing critical information. Based on the analysis drawn by the Staff and Consultants, the Commission can draw its conclusion(s).
Chairperson Nagy stressed that she was not intending to argue any point. She understood the Commission was made aware of the differences by Staff; however, the Commission is then being asked to rely upon what has been "told" by Staff and again not what the commissioners read. She felt there was a difference between the two. She deferred to Mr. Fisher for support of her opinion.
Mr. Fisher agreed that the Commission would be relying on Staff.
Mr. Evancoe found it appropriate for the Commission to rely on Staff.
Chairperson Nagy stated the material is an Agreement and unlike a typical site plan as it involves a legal agreement. The Agreement was signed between the City and the Developer and she preferred to have been made privy to the materials by reading it herself.
PM-02-10-231 IN THE MATTER OF ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI RUD AGREEMENT SP99-58 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE PROPOSED RUD AGREEMENT AMENDMENT TO SECTION 3D ON THE SITE PLAN SUBJECT TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION EVALUATION AND FINDINGS THAT THE PROPOSED PLAN MEETS THE INTENT OF THE RUD ORDINANCE (SECTION 2404.7A AND B) AS THERE HAVE BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE RUD AGREEMENT, SUBJECT TO THE CITY COUNCIL MODIFICATION OF THE REQUIRED 330-FOOT BUFFER BETWEEN THE PROPOSED ATTACHED CLUSTER UNITS IN AREA 3D AND THE PERIMETER PROPERTY LINE ON THE 5-ACRE PARCEL ALONG WIXOM ROAD WITH A REQUIREMENT OF ADDITIONAL LANDSCAPING TO PROVIDE 80% WINTER OPACITY, IF THE CITY COUNCIL GRANTS THE 330-FOOT BUFFER MODIFICATION THEN ADDITIONAL LANDSCAPE SCREENING IS REQUIRED BEHIND THE UNITS, SUBJECT TO THE REVISION TO THE CLUSTER UNITS IN AREA 3D TO THREE GROUPS OF FOUR AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONSULTANT AND ACCEPTED BY THE DEVELOPER, SUBJECT TO THE ADDITION OF A CENTER TURN LANE AT WIXOM ROAD AND DELMONT DRIVE AND SUBJECT TO ANY OTHER COMMENTS IN ATTACHED REVIEW LETTERS BEING ADDRESSED AT THE TIME OF SITE PLAN SUBMITTAL WITH REGARD TO AREA 3D.
Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Island Lake of Novi RUD Agreement SP99-58 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council of the proposed RUD Agreement Amendment to section 3D on the site plan subject to the Planning Commission evaluation and findings that the proposed plan meet the intent of the RUD Ordinance (Section 2404.7A and B) as there have been no significant changes to the RUD Agreement, subject to the City Council modification of the required 330-foot buffer between the proposed attached cluster units in Area 3D and the perimeter property line on the 5-acre parcel along Wixom Road with a requirement of additional landscaping to provide 80% winter opacity, if the City Council grants the 330-foot buffer modification then additional landscape screening is required behind the units, subject to the revision to the cluster units in Area 3D to three groups of four as recommended by the Consultant and accepted by the Developer, subject to the addition of a center turn lane at Wixom Road and Delmont Drive and subject to any other comments in attached review letters being addressed at the time of Site Plan submittal with regard to Area 3D.
Member Markham asked if the exclusion of the Area 4B was included in the motion.
Member Kocan indicated Area 4B would be included in a separate motion.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-231 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
PM-02-10-232 IN THE MATTER OF ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI RUD AMENDMENT SP99-58 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE PROPOSED RUD AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 4B WEST ON THE SITE PLAN TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT THE PLANNING COMMISSION FINDING THAT THE PROPOSED PLANS MEET THE INTENT OF THE RUD ORDINANCE (SECTION 2404.7A AND B), PEDESTRIAN CONNECTIONS SHALL BE PROVIDED (INCLUDING UP TO THE SCHOOL AREA) AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONSULTANT AND ACCEPTED BY THE DEVELOPER, SUBJECT TO THE CUL-DE-SAC CHANGE IN AREA 1 AS WELL AS A CHANGE FROM A CUL-DE-SAC TO A STUB ON PHASE 4B WEST, THE NATURE PATH TO THE PARK SHALL BE PROVIDED AND SUBJECT TO ANY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON THE ATTACHED REVIEW LETTERS BEING ADDRESSED AT THE TIME OF SITE PLAN SUBMITTAL WITH REGARD TO THIS SPECIFIC AREA
Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Island Lake of Novi RUD Amendment SP99-58 to send a positive recommendation to the City Council of the proposed RUD Amendments to section 4B on the site plan taking into consideration that the Planning Commission finding that the proposed plans meet the intent of the RUD Ordinance (Section 2404.7A and B), pedestrian connections shall be provided (including up to the school area) as recommended by the Consultant and accepted by the Developer, subject to the cul-de-sac change in Area 1 as well as a change from a cul-de-sac to a stub on Phase 4B (WEST), the nature path to the park shall be provided and subject to any additional comments on the attached review letters being addressed at the time of Site Plan submittal with regard to this specific area
Member Paul asked if the possibility of relocating the parkland space should be included in the motion.
Member Kocan indicated that it is not part of the motion.
Member Sprague asked if the center left turn lane on Wixom Road should be included in the motion.
Member Shroyer indicated that it was included in the last motion.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-232 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
PM-02-10-233 IN THE MATTER OF ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI RUD AMENDMENT SP99-58 PHASE 4B (EAST) ON THE SITE PLAN TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE PROPOSED RUD AMENDMENT TO ALLOW ATTACHED CLUSTERS BUT RATHER RETAIN THE SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED HOMES BASED ON THE INTENT OF THE RUD AGREEMENT AS EVIDENCE IN CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS FROM JULY 28, 1997 AND ALSO THE FACT THAT OAK POINTE CHURCH SITE PLAN HAS EXPIRED AND WILL REQUIRE A SPECIAL LAND USE IN THEIR SITE PLAN RESUBMISSION.
Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, MOTION AMENDED: In the matter of Island Lake of Novi RUD Amendment SP99-58 Phase 4B (EAST) on the site plan to send a negative recommendation to the City Council of the proposed RUD Amendment to allow attached clusters but rather retain the Single-Family detached homes based on the intent of the RUD Agreement as evidence in City Council comments from July 28, 1997 and also the fact that Oak Pointe Church site plan has expired and will require a Special Land Use in their site plan resubmission.
Member Markham asked if the verbiage the housing is not compatible with the adjacent development should be included in the motion.
Member Kocan amended her motion to include the verbiage; with the Planning Commission finding that it does not meet the intent of the RUD Ordinance Section 2404.7A and B specifically because the housing is not compatible with the adjacent development.
Member Ruyle accepted the amendment to the motion.
PM-02-10-234 IN THE MATTER OF ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI RUD AMENDMENT SP99-58 PHASE 4B (EAST) ON THE SITE PLAN TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE PROPOSED RUD AMENDMENT TO ALLOW ATTACHED CLUSTERS BUT RATHER RETAIN THE SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED HOMES WITH THE PLANNING COMMISSION FINDING THAT IT DOES NOT MEET THE INTENT OF THE RUD ORDINANCE SECTION 2404.7A AND B SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE THE HOUSING IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE ADJACENT DEVELOPMENT AND BASED ON THE INTENT OF THE RUD AGREEMENT AS EVIDENCE IN CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS FROM JULY 28, 1997 AND ALSO THE FACT THAT OAK POINTE CHURCH SITE PLAN HAS EXPIRED AND WILL REQUIRE A SPECIAL LAND USE IN THEIR SITE PLAN RESUBMISSION.
Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, MOTION AMENDED: In the matter of Island Lake of Novi RUD Amendment SP99-58 Phase 4B (EAST) on the site plan to send a negative recommendation to the City Council of the proposed RUD Amendment to allow attached clusters but rather retain the Single-Family detached homes with the Planning Commission finding that it does not meet the intent of the RUD Ordinance Section 2404.7A and B specifically because the housing is not compatible with the adjacent development and based on the intent of the RUD Agreement as evidence in City Council comments from July 28, 1997 and also the fact that Oak Pointe Church site plan has expired and will require a Special Land Use in their site plan resubmission.
Member Shroyer asked if there was a need to indicate that the stub on the original plan should remain in place.
Member Kocan clarified if he was referring to the emergency access.
Member Shroyer answered, yes.
Mr. Arroyo answered, yes.
Member Kocan clarified that the Commission would recommend that it revert to the original plan, which includes the emergency access to Ten Mile Road.
Mr. Arroyo assumed the Commission was referring to the plan, as it currently exists. It would include a stub to the Oak Pointe Parcel to the west and an emergency connection down to Ten Mile Road.
Member Kocan and Member Ruyle amended the motion to include the verbiage; the Commission recommends it revert back to the original plan, which includes a stub to the Oak Pointe Parcel to the west and an emergency connection down to Ten Mile Road.
PM-02-10-235 IN THE MATTER OF ISLAND LAKE OF NOVI RUD AMENDMENT SP99-58 PHASE 4B (EAST) ON THE SITE PLAN TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE PROPOSED RUD AMENDMENT TO ALLOW ATTACHED CLUSTERS BUT RATHER RETAIN THE SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED HOMES WITH THE PLANNING COMMISSION FINDING THAT IT DOES NOT MEET THE INTENT OF THE RUD ORDINANCE SECTION 2404.7A AND B SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE THE HOUSING IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE ADJACENT DEVELOPMENT AND BASED ON THE INTENT OF THE RUD AGREEMENT AS EVIDENCE IN CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS FROM JULY 28, 1997 AND ALSO THE FACT THAT OAK POINTE CHURCH SITE PLAN HAS EXPIRED AND WILL REQUIRE A SPECIAL LAND USE IN THEIR SITE PLAN RESUBMISSION AND WITH THE PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS IT REVERT BACK TO THE ORIGINAL PLAN WHICH INCLUDES A STUB TO THE OAK POINTE PARCEL TO THE WEST AND AN EMERGENCY CONNECTION DOWN TO TEN MILE ROAD.
Moved by Kocan, seconded by Ruyle, CARRIED (7-2): In the matter of Island Lake of Novi RUD Amendment SP99-58 Phase 4B (EAST) on the site plan to send a negative recommendation to the City Council of the proposed RUD Amendment to allow attached clusters but rather retain the Single-Family detached homes with the Planning Commission finding that it does not meet the intent of the RUD Ordinance Section 2404.7A and B specifically because the housing is not compatible with the adjacent development and based on the intent of the RUD Agreement as evidence in City Council comments from July 28, 1997 and also the fact that Oak Pointe Church site plan has expired and will require a Special Land Use in their site plan resubmission and with the Planning Commission recommends it revert back to the original plan which includes a stub to the Oak Pointe Parcel to the west and an emergency connection down to Ten Mile Road.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-235 CARRIED
Yes: Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer
No: Avdoulos, Sprague
2. NORTH NOVI MEDICAL PHASE II, SITE PLAN NUMBER 02-12
Public Hearing on the request of Bennett Donaldson of J.B. Donaldson Company, for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit. The subject property is located in Section 1 on the west side of Haggerty Road and south of Fourteen Mile Road. The developer is proposing a medical office building. The subject property is 1.79 acres.
Mr. Schmitt indicated Phase I was approved approximately 2-years ago. The property is currently zoned OST (Office Service Technology). Novi’s adjacent property on the corner of Fourteen Mile Road and Haggerty Road is zoned B-3 (General Business District). The surrounding community properties (Commerce Township, Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield Township) are zoned B-2 (Community Commercial) and built out per the requirements of those cities’ and townships’ ordinance. Multi-Family is located farther to the east in the City of Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield Township. Current land use proposals for the area include office for the vast majority between M-5 and Haggerty Road with the exception of the gas station on the corner. A Single-Family development is proposed across M-5. Mr. Schmitt highlighted some of the issues raised during the review of the project. A variance or modification of the plans is needed to address the setback of the accessory structure. The dumpster enclosure, which is considered an accessory structure, must be set back a minimum of 6-feet from the rear lot line. He indicated that there is sufficient room to move the dumpster forward to obtain the 6-feet. A literal reading of the Ordinance does not require a parking setback for a loading area; however, given previous interpretations through city application, there is a requirement of the 20-foot setback for the loading area. There are several options to remedy the problem. The property was originally one large parcel encompassing Phase I and the proposed Phase II. The lot is currently split on an angle and Mr. Donaldson has proposed, as part of this development, a re-lot split to bring the parcel into conformance. The new property line could be moved 20-feet to the west to obtain the required setback. The lots could be re-combined into one lot with the option to re-split in the future should it become necessary. The Landscaping Review recommended approval subject to revisions prior to Final Site Plan Submission and the granting of a waiver for the required 4-foot of green space around the building. The Planning Commission could grant the waiver due to other substantial landscape plantings in the area and the finding that the site abuts a wetland, which would provide a substantial amount of green space. Additionally, the provision of the 4-foot green space around the building would increase the amount of impact to the wetland buffer. A berm is required along Haggerty Road. He noted the wetland in the area and that a berm is infeasible. He noted another small area requiring a berm; however, the Landscape Review recommends waiving the berm and instead placing a 30-inch high wall to provide the necessary screening from the Haggerty Road right-of-way. The installation of a berm in this location would destroy the landscape plantings proposed in the area and decrease the amount of landscaping overall. The Traffic Review indicated an opposite-side driveway spacing waiver is required. The Traffic Consultant recommended requesting the Applicant’s engineer to justify the need given the feasibility of redesigning the drive to eliminate the need for the waiver. At the time, the traffic review was generated, the required distance was not known; however it has since been determined to be 200-feet and a same-side driveway spacing waiver is required. No Section Nine Facade Waiver is required. The Engineering and Fire Review have minor comments, which could be addressed at Final. The Wetland Review did not recommend approval due to the lack of specific detailed information. After speaking with the Wetland Consultant, nothing would substantially hinder the process; however, specific details need to be submitted prior to Final.
Mr. Arroyo referred to the Traffic Review letter dated April 4, 2002. A single, 24-foot wide access is proposed on Haggerty, offset of 6-ft south of the existing shopping center drive across the road (center-to-center). The plans indicate that a Planning Commission Waiver will be requested of the City’s minimum opposite-side driveway spacing requirement (150-ft per Design Construction Standard Fig.IV.12). The applicant has not "shown cause" for using other than the City-Standard 30-ft wide commercial drive (per DCS FigIX.1), and the end island on the north side of the drive has not been set back 3-ft from aisle end of the adjacent stall, as generally required by the Zoning Ordinance. We note that the 6-ft opposite-side offset could be eliminated – while meeting the above standards by using a 30-ft wide throat tapering on its north side to a point set back 3-ft from the first parking stall. He indicated this could be addressed at Final. A same-side spacing waiver is required; however, due to the wetland, there is a practical difficulty to move the drive to the south along Haggerty Road. The sidewalk along Haggerty Road requires a City Council Design and Construction Waiver. In the past, the Applicant has been requested to place cash in an escrow or other financial agreement for the value of the sidewalk should it be constructed in the future. If the City were to fill in the gap, as with along Ten Mile Road, then the monies could be applied. A standard approach could include a boardwalk-type sidewalk on a portion with a standard-type sidewalk on another portion. He noted to avoid the need for a ZBA Variance for the deficient landscaping adjacent to the north side of the building, the parking stalls abutting the 7-ft wide sidewalk should be shortened to 17-ft (with a 4-inch sidewalk height as we requested in our pre-applicant comments) and the 2-ft savings added to the currently proposed 2-ft landscape strip. He found this option appropriate and would look for the changes on the Final plan. He highlighted other traffic related comments. The applicant has proposed three parallel parking spaces; however, it is unconventional to incorporated parallel parking in the center of a ninety-degree parking bay. In order to park in this space, one would need to travel from the west, pull up into the driveway, and back into the parking space. He suggested reincorporating the spaces and made a modest adjustment in the building size if necessary to eliminate the need for these three spaces. Alternatively, the Applicant has the option to seek a ZBA Variance. Mr. Arroyo did not recommend keeping these spaces, as there are potential safety issues and circulation issues. Further, there are practical issues with accessing these spaces, as the driver would need to leave the site to park in them.
Bennett Donaldson of J.B. Donaldson Company stated the first Phase of the North Novi Medical has been successful. The building is full, which is the motivation for Phase II. There are substantial wetlands on the site to maneuver around. He addressed the issues raised by Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Schmitt. It is apparent that moving the driveway south would significantly impact the wetland. Currently, there is 200-feet and he did not find it feasible to move it further south. Concerning the aligning of the two drives, he noted his willingness to modify the radius to the north to possibly eliminate the line up issue and obtain the 30-foot as opposed to 24-feet. He noted his willingness to modify to the 17-foot parking spaces to accommodate some sort of green belt between the sidewalk and the building. Although a 5-foot sidewalk and 17-foot space do not provide for a lot of walking room he indicated that he would try. The property line can be moved further west to comply with the 20-foot setback and eliminate the ZBA variance. The owner of Phase I also owns Phase II, thereby making the compliance simple. Mr. Donaldson was amendable to post a bond or other financial agreement for the future construction of a sidewalk/boardwalk. He raised the issue of the internal communal agreement between Commerce Township and the City of Novi with regard to utilities. Commerce Township supplies Phase I with sanitary and water, although the infrastructure was installed in the City of Novi and inspected by Novi. Concerning parallel parking, rearranging the site would allow additional parking on the site with the exception of possibly obtaining a variance and going into the buffer zone with three more spaces further to the east and continue the 90 parking on the south side of the property. The three spaces would be located in the buffer to some extent. It is feasible; however, it would be impacted at its easterly most point about seven to eight feet.
Mr. Arroyo clarified the driveway spacing issue. He noted the north property line at Haggerty and their attempt to align the drives by modifying the access. An opposite-side driveway spacing waiver is still required for the other driveway. The City of Farmington Hills has two driveways practically on top of one another. He believed on of the distances was approximately 60-feet center-to-center. Technically, it should be 150-feet to meet standards. He designated the drive assumed to be corrected and indicated there would be an opposite-side spacing waiver for the driveway located to the northeast of the site and a same-side spacing waiver for the southerly gas station drive.
Concerning the sidewalk along Haggerty Road, Mr. Evancoe agreed with Mr. Donaldson in that the sidewalk would not attach to anything if it is put in place now; however, the City would like the sidewalk installed. Due to the location, a boardwalk would be necessary along the property line to accommodate any future widening of Haggerty Road. He explained that the amount of the monies bonded now would not likely adequately fund the construction cost at a future time. Additionally, it is a cumbersome process for the City to track all of the undone sidewalks and take on the Developer’s responsibility of connecting the sidewalk system later. He restated the City’s preference to have the network installed at this time. He did not feel it would take long to connect the entire sidewalk system at the rate the community is growing. Concerning the 4-foot green space around the building, he stated the design intent is met around the building by the fact that additional planting were provided by the developer between the sidewalk and the wetland. The Commission could grant a waiver based on this finding. Additionally, the building size could be reduced to allow the necessary room to achieve the 4-foot. The Wetland Review did not recommend approval due to the type of structure proposed by the developer to handle stormwater runoff that would be deposited into the wetland. Brian Coburn, City Engineer could address the issue in further detail. The Developer has agreed to provide a higher-grade structure than what was referred to in Ms. Kay’s review letter. From an Engineering perspective, this modification would address these issues. Additionally, Ms. Kay indicated it would also address her main concern, which led to her recommendation to not approve.
Chairperson Nagy announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the matter to the Public.
Seeing no one, she closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for discussion.
Member Paul stated the building has diagonal lines with brick started and stopped in different locations. She questioned the Developer’s intent with the brick lines.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that the diagonal might be shading lines. The details of the brick were not continued through on the drawing; however, it is the same façade material. The Phase II building will match Phase I.
Member Paul asked the purpose of the accessory building and the reasoning for its location.
Mr. Donaldson asked if she was referring to the dumpster.
Member Paul answered, yes.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that the dumpster cannot be located in the front yard or side yard. The rear yard is the only location.
Member Paul recalled the comment that the dumpster could be relocated to the east.
Mr. Schmitt indicated that there is sufficient room to shift the dumpster enclosure. Three feet are needed and there is approximately 7-feet to the edge. The parking space will not be lost.
Mr. Donaldson was amenable to this modification if the Commission desired.
Member Paul preferred the dumpster meet the Ordinance.
Mr. Donaldson stated the property has to be moved for the loading zone and the issues with the dumpster could be resolved at the same time.
Mr. Schmitt agreed that the shifting of the property line to address the loading setback will also address the dumpster setback.
Member Paul asked if there would be adequate space for the trucks to access the dumpster it is shifted 3-feet.
Mr. Schmitt stated it appears on the site plan that the garbage hauler would enter straight on the site, obtain the dumpster and then back out.
Member Paul clarified that the 3-feet would not create any difficulty.
Mr. Donaldson stated the property line would shift; however, the dumpster would not be shifted.
Member Paul clarified that it would be accessible.
Mr. Schmitt answered, correct.
Chairperson Nagy asked Mr. Arroyo to elaborate on the lot split.
Mr. Arroyo stated by shifting over the property line 20-feet, it would establish the greenbelt needed for the other parcel. It would also eliminate the dumpster’s setback issue. It can be determined at Final if there is a need to shift the line over a few more feet to make it easier to back out of the parking space. The flexibility will be available because the dumpster can be located 6-feet from the rear property line and there will be 20-feet to work with. The trucks will drive straight in, pull out and exit on Fourteen Mile Road if necessary.
Member Paul did not support the three parallel parking spaces, as they are a safety hazard. She found it cumbersome for sport utility vehicles to get to the other side of the road after pulling into the parking lot. She asked if the three parking spaces could be placed elsewhere on the site.
Mr. Arroyo stated other than making the building smaller, he was not certain of the options. He indicated it might be possible to squeeze in two spaces without getting into the buffer.
Mr. Schmitt confirmed two spaces would barely fit; however, three spaces are not possible.
Mr. Arroyo indicated only one space might be feasible and ZBA Action would then be appropriate. He stated these options would be better than the parallel spaces.
Member Paul agreed with Mr. Arroyo’s comments. She asked if the two spaces in the #10 area were numbered individually or if it is parking space.
Mr. Arroyo stated they would be extended over and noted the location of the green space.
Member Paul clarified that green space could be gained while only one parking space lost.
Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.
Member Paul found this option a better use of the parking spaces as well as a safer alternative. She asked him to clarify his review letter comment regarding to one space per location of the barrier free parking.
Mr. Arroyo asked which items she was referencing.
Member Avdoulos stated the item was related to signage.
Member Paul agreed.
Mr. Arroyo explained that at Final, the Michigan Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices for the appropriate signage will need to be met; particularly the labeling and signage of the van-accessible space. He indicated it was not a major issue and could easily be addressed at Final.
Member Paul stated an arrangement with two parallel parking spaces and additional green space could enhance the entrance of the site; however, she asked if a landscape buffer would create safety issues for those parking closer to the building.
Mr. McGinnis stated increased landscaping would enhance the site. He anticipated that there was sufficient distance from Haggerty Road to avoid safety issues for vehicles backing out. He agreed that it could be a good solution.
Member Paul asked if it would be a nice amendment to the site plan to have the sidewalk located on Haggerty Road go through the wetland.
Mr. McGinnis answered, yes.
Member Paul asked Mr. Donaldson if he was amenable to the boardwalk/sidewalk at this time.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that he did not want to build it. He stated the boardwalk/sidewalk served zero purpose at this time. He understood that the boardwalk/sidewalk would become of use when the area is buildout; however, he questioned the impact level on the wetland. He stated if he had to build it, he would; however, he did not find it practical now.
Chairperson Nagy indicated it is a requirement.
Member Paul asked if he was amenable to the two parallel parking spaces.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that 175-square feet of the building would be lost with the removal of one (1) parking space. After weighing the possibility of obtaining a ZBA Variance, he agreed to the amendment.
Member Paul asked if 175-square feet was truly an issue.
Mr. Donaldson indicated at $22 a foot it is an issue.
Member Paul asked if the anticipated tenant would be impacted by the loss of office space.
Mr. Donaldson answered, yes. He indicated that it is already tight. He suggested exploring the possibility of moving the retaining wall further west with the moving of the property line. The entire building would shift over and allow the third space.
Member Paul asked if there is a basement below the site.
Mr. Donaldson answered, no.
Member Paul suggested considering a basement. She stated being in the medical arena herself, in her experience, she found a basement facility a cheap space that could be utilized for the storing of medical records.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that a basement was explored; however, parking is still associated with the basement. Every 1700-square foot of basement requires one parking space.
Member Paul stated the Commission might be more willing to grant a waiver for this situation as opposed to encroaching on the wetland or safety issues. She indicated that she was trying to understand his needs.
Mr. Donaldson identified the need to reallocate the 175-foot space that would be lost; however, he did not find it feasible. Therefore, he wanted to keep the building configuration and shift the building to the west to preserve the third parking space.
Member Paul asked how the stormwater discharge would be handled during construction.
Joe Jarvas, Project Engineer of Professional Engineering Associates, indicated the intent is to utilize pre-cast concrete chamber of structure and maintain it during construction. He explained that once the sediment builds up, the developer would be responsible to clean it as required to maintain its use and function.
Member Paul asked if his response meets the City’s intents and requirements.
Mr. Coburn stated stormwater sediment chamber is an effective way to treat stormwater for sediment and oil and gas. He noted the disagreement between he and the Wetland Consultant regarding whether this option is a valid manner to handle sediment loads in stormwater. The Soil Erosion Plan provides the chamber with other BMPs that would take care of the stormwater sediment during construction. He noted his discussion with the Applicant’s Engineer, it was determined the Phase I sedimentation basin has additional capacity, which is not being used by Phase I. The Applicant might be amenable to use this capacity as opposed to discharging directly into the wetland through the stormwater treatment chamber. Additionally, the option could be a good compromise between him and the Wetland Consultant.
Mr. Jarvas agreed to use the additional capacity of the detention basin, split the difference and store the remainder while upsizing the pipes needed in the parking lot. The result would be a better treatment system.
Member Paul supported the granting of the two parking spaces, additional greenspace, and a boardwalk over the wetlands and change in the discharge for the wetlands. Additionally, she preferred a reduction in the building size, as the square footage is too large for the site and the provision of a 30-foot width drive. Finally, she requested the matter return for Final approval.
Member Ruyle clarified if the applicant was amenable to move the property line 20-feet to the west.
Mr. Arroyo answered, correct.
Member Ruyle clarified if Mr. Arroyo indicated the dumpster could be moved 6-feet from the back of the property line (14-feet).
Mr. Arroyo indicated the dumpster could be moved more. The minimum setback is 6-feet from the rear property line.
Member Ruyle clarified that with the 6-foot minimum, 14-feet could be gained.
Mr. Arroyo stated the dumpster could be shifted back, if necessary, to improve circulation for backing out of a parking space. He noted the issue with the pond.
Member Ruyle clarified that another parking space could not be obtained in this area.
Mr. Arroyo answered, correct. He explained that another space was not possible due to the pond.
Member Ruyle did not like the parallel parking; however, he wanted to find options to keep the site as it is and still provide the additional parking space.
Mr. Arroyo stated the Applicant needs to determine if they want to apply for a ZBA Variance or eliminate the 175-square feet from the building at Final, which would eliminate the need for the parking space.
Member Ruyle clarified that it is not within the Planning Commission’s discretion to grant a waiver for the one parking space.
Mr. Arroyo explained that it is a ZBA action to modify parking spaces as it is a Zoning Ordinance and is not a waiver.
Member Shroyer agreed with most of Member Paul’s comments. He noted the entry, located at the north side, that is a segment with the center doors and parking on each side.
Mr. Donaldson clarified if he was referring to the front of the building with the main entrance and the parking on each side.
Member Shroyer answered, yes. He suggested narrowing the building in the front to achieve an additional parking space on each side. The building could be widened on the east and west side to recapture the square footage. He stated a design change could eliminate the parking space issue.
Mr. Donaldson stated a fair amount of manipulating of the site has occurred at tonight’s meeting. He assured that the matter would be resolved with a ZBA Variance, a reconfiguration, or the elimination of 175-square feet from the building.
Member Shroyer agreed that the storage area could be moved from the first floor and placed in a basement. He stated floor space would not be lost and the building would be narrowed.
Mr. Donaldson appreciated his comments; however, an elevator using additional space would be necessary, or an exterior staircase would need to be provided. Mr. Donaldson was not ruling out the option; however, he did not have a solution at this point. He was agreeable to confining the issue to be resolved with one of the three options: a ZBA Variance, a reconfiguration, or the elimination of 175-square feet from the building.
Member Shroyer recognized his position; however, he felt the building was too large for the site. He felt the City Ordinances and requirements could be met by making the building smaller.
Mr. Donaldson understood his comments. In defense, he noted his attempt to fit the building on the difficult site without a request to mitigate any wetlands. It is not represented on the site plan; however, there is a 15-foot grade elevation and there will be a 15-foot wall along the property line to enable the dumpster and loading zone’s proposed location.
Member Shroyer noted the surrounding property; undeveloped L-shaped parcel, gas station and the proposed parcel. He asked if there were any potential driveway problems, road access problems, traffic problems, etc.
Mr. Arroyo clarified if he was referring to the relationship to the property to the south.
Member Shroyer answered, no. He indicated that he was referring to the north.
Mr. Arroyo noted the vacant parcel between the gas station and the proposed parcel.
Member Shroyer answered, correct.
Mr. Arroyo stated in order for them to come forward, they would have to combine with the gas station as part of a gas station rebuild, which was done a few years ago and he did not find it likely to occur. Alternatively, they could come in with a separate proposal on the parcel, which would require a driveway that would not meet spacing standards. Unfortunately, there would be an access problem and due to the small size; it will be difficult to meet the setback requirements of the OST District. He noted it would ultimately be the best situation if the piece were incorporated into the north parcel or the proposed development. He was not certain if the applicant attempted to acquire the parcel; however, he added that it would provide the needed design flexibility on the site.
Member Shroyer agreed with his comments and asked the applicant if he had pursued this option.
Mr. Donaldson stated he approached the property owner with an offer at fair market price; however, the owner was not interested in selling at a realistic price.
Member Papp stated although he was in favor of the boardwalk he was not in favor of it being constructed at the time of the building. Other boardwalks in the City dead-end and have railings that are beginning to warp. He was concerned that the boardwalk would begin to warp before it would be used. He asked who would be responsible for maintaining the boardwalk. He did not support the 24-foot drive, as it is too small. The loading area is located far from the building. He questioned its use.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that the loading area is provided to comply with the Ordinance.
Member Papp clarified that the only purpose of the loading area is to meet Ordinance requirements.
Mr. Donaldson answered, yes. He explained the medical office has no need for a loading area; however, it is required by the OST Ordinance. If a waiver could be obtained, then he preferred to use the area for parking.
Member Papp anticipated UPS trucks would deliver to the front of the building.
Mr. Donaldson agreed.
Member Papp noted the side entry on the west side with no sidewalk. He asked if this was an emergency exit.
Mr. Donaldson indicated the side entrance is for ingress and egress.
Member Papp asked if the Commission could grant a waiver of the loading area.
Mr. Fisher indicated that it falls under the authority of the ZBA.
Member Papp asked if the Commission could make a recommendation to the ZBA to grant a variance.
Mr. Fisher answered, yes.
Mr. Arroyo agreed.
Member Papp felt the loading area should be the three spaces off to the right.
Mr. Donaldson agreed.
Member Avdoulos agreed with several of the comments made by the other commissioners. He agreed with the elimination of the parallel parking spaces and with the widening of the drive to 30-feet. Additionally, he agreed with Member Papp regarding the boardwalk. If the boardwalk were constructed with the building, then it could cup and begin to split. Further, it is pressure treated sitting in wetlands where chemicals could leech into the wetlands. He suggested the use of a product called Tech Deck is a plastic impregnated wood is typically used in marinas.
Member Kocan asked if sidewalks were required along the entire front along every parking space in front of the building.
Mr. Arroyo clarified if she was referring to the end of the parking stall.
Member Kocan answered, yes.
Mr. Arroyo indicated that it is not an explicit requirement.
Member Kocan asked if the sidewalk along the east side of the building around the corner, around the corner, etc., is intended for patients.
Mr. Donaldson answered, no. He indicated that it is to meet the ingress/egress requirements for the building to be 75-foot from any entrance.
Member Kocan stated the sidewalk is in the buffer/wetland setback and the actual construction of the building would be a minimum of 15 to 20-feet into the wetland buffer area. Additionally, the site is overbuilt. In contrast, the setback might have been okay if there were not wetlands located on the site. Member Kocan did not support the project with the proposed building size and the parking packed in as much as it is.
Mr. Donaldson indicated the buffer against the wetland would be restored once out of the buffer zone. The building of Phase I was approved to be in the buffer zone and is currently located in the buffer zone, which subsequently was restored. He stated Phase I looks nice and the protection of the wetland worked well. He felt the impact to the wetlands in the Phase II plan was over stated.
Member Kocan asked how old is Phase I.
Mr. Donaldson stated a Certificate of Occupancy for all the suites was issued two (2) weeks ago.
Member Kocan pointed out that impacts of the buffer disturbance will not be known for the next couple of years.
Mr. Donaldson stated the project has been ongoing and undisturbed for the past two years. Therefore, he felt there was a good idea as to what the disturbance has been.
Member Kocan asked if the wall (in place of the berm) was proposed for one side of the driveway or both.
Mr. Schmitt indicated that Mr. McGinnis recommended the wall for both sides; however, due to the wetland sloping to the north, it might not be feasible on the south side. It is virtually impossible to place a berm on the north side; therefore, a wall is necessary.
Member Kocan was concerned with continuity.
Mr. Schmitt stated the wall is preferable on the north side; however, it is not necessary on the south side due to the wetlands and slope.
Member Kocan asked if there is landscaping in that area.
Mr. Schmitt explained that there is a natural buffer of the wetland between the building and the road due to the lay of the land and the wetland sloping to the north. A berm or wall would disturb the natural habitat.
Mr. Donaldson indicated that he did not have an issue with the placement of the wall or berm; however, he felt a wall would hinder the ability for a southbound driver to see traffic flowing in and out of the site.
Member Kocan stated the Planning Commission cannot waiver a wall and berm. Therefore, the matter would need to go before the ZBA for a variance.
Mr. Schmitt agreed. He indicated that a wall might be feasible without impacting the vision. He explained that vehicles traveling south on Haggerty Road already have a difficult time seeing the driveway due to the Woodlands on the L-shaped site. Therefore, the addition of a 30-inch wall would not substantially impair a driver’s vision along Haggerty Road.
Member Kocan clarified that a 30-inch wall is allowable.
Mr. McGinnis answered, yes.
Chairperson Nagy agreed that the site is overbuilt. Although the new building looks nice, it is a different site, which is not being reviewed by the Commission. She felt the building could be redesigned and the 175-square feet removed. She was concerned with the impact to the wetland buffer and the discharge not being detained and the untreated stormwater. Although an agreement may have been reached, Chairperson Nagy trusted and supported the Wetland Consultant’s review comments. She agreed that the boardwalk should not be installed at this time and the monies should be placed in escrow. The maintenance cost would become greater and there is no knowledge of when the future sidewalks would be installed. Chairperson Nagy indicated that she wanted to support the project; however, it does not meet ordinance requirements. She could support the project if the building size is reduced, the discharge treated and the stormwater enhancement provided.
Mr. Coburn clarified the stormwater issue. The comments from the wetland review letter would be incorporated and chamber would not only be used to treat the stormwater. Instead, it would be discharged from the chamber into the sedimentation basin from Phase I, which has access capacity. It would no longer discharge directly into the wetland. Instead it would go into the sedimentation basin and then into the wetland as allowed by Ordinance.
Chairperson Nagy apologized for the misunderstanding. She still did not support the project, as it is too much building for too little land. She felt additional greenspace should be provided around the building, the building should be removed from the wetland buffer and she concurred with the other commissioner’s comments regarding not building a boardwalk now.
PM-02-10-236 IN THE MATTER OF NORTH NOVI MEDICAL PHASE II SP02-12 TO DENY THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN WITH THE FINDINGS THAT THE SUBMITTED PLAN DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PLANNING REVIEW, WETLAND REVIEW, LANDSCAPE REVIEW AND TRAFFIC REVIEW. ADDITIONALLY, THERE IS A MULTITUDE OF REQUESTED WAIVERS AND VARIANCES TO THE CITY ORDINANCES AS DETAILED IN THE CONSULTANT’S LETTERS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN RESOLVED.
Moved by Shroyer, seconded by Markham: CARRIED (7-2): In the matter of North Novi Medical Phase II SP02-12 to deny the Preliminary Site Plan with the findings that the submitted plan does not meet the requirements of the Planning Review, Wetland Review, Landscape Review and Traffic Review. Additionally, there is a multitude of requested waivers and variances to the City Ordinances as detailed in the consultant’s letters that have not been resolved.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-236 CARRIED
Yes: Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Shroyer, Sprague
No: Avdoulos, Ruyle
3. ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT 01-18.174 -OPEN SPACE AMENDMENT
Public Hearing on a proposed amendment to Article 24, Section 2405, of the City of Novi Ordinance no. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, relating to open space preservation, in order to encourage the long-term preservation of open space and natural features and the provision of recreation and open space areas in accordance with P.A. 179 of 2001.
Mr. Arroyo stated the matter is before the Commission after review by the Implementation Committee. The new State Law PA179 of 2001 became effective December 15, 2001. The law essentially gives municipalities that are qualified, one-year to put an Ordinance in place that allows for the landowner, at their option, to submit for an Open Space type development. In cities and villages, a minimum of 20% of the site area is required to be preserved in an undeveloped state. The City of Novi is qualified because it has zoning for densities that are at the threshold or smaller. It is essentially not intended for cities that have small lot sizes and no large lots size developments. Some urban-type setting communities might have the least dense lot size at 10,000 square feet. The City of Novi qualifies because it has a population over 1800. The City of Novi qualifies because it currently does not have a provision in place where a development has occurred where the ordinance had the same threshold of at least 20% being preserved in open space. The Preservation Option allows the preservation up to 20% but no more. The legislature felt this option should be provided. Ironically, townships need to provide 50% open space and cities and villages need to provide 20%. Therefore, there will be drastic differences from community to community. An undeveloped state refers to the 20% minimum that has to be preserved and maintained as open space. It can be agricultural, landscaping or buffered areas; however, it cannot be a golf course. Another unique feature is that it is at the option of the landowner. It has been interpreted by Secrest Wardle and himself that it should not be a Special Land Use and should be a Principle Permitted Use. In order for a landowner to exercise the option, the standards of the Ordinance would need to be met. The City must permit the same number of units as would be allowed on the entire site under conventional development. There were two options with the original draft to determine this amount. The first option involves a parallel plan or a bona fide plan, similar to the Preservation Option, in which a site plan is prepared showing the layout under conventional development. The maximum number is determined under current regulations while taking into account the woodlands and wetlands. The Alternative Open Space Plan is then designed with no more than the determined number of units. Another option, which the Implementation Committee does not recommend is a more simplified approach involving a formula. The 7th Draft shows the formula in a box, which would delete certain areas giving credit based upon taking into consideration how much of the site could be developed. The formula would indicate the allowed number of units; however, if the developer is not happy with the formula and felt a higher number could be achieved, and then they could chose the parallel plan. He noted the disadvantage that density would affectively be given away. For example, a very restrictive site might not practicably be able to obtain the number of units the formula calculates. In contrast, the parallel plan guarantees the most reasonable number of units that could be constructed on the site under conventional approach. There is an extra expense for the developer as there is an additional fee for the review of two different plans. Mr. Arroyo indicated that there is no minimum lot size in the State Statute. It simply says that the same number of units must be provided for. He asked the commissioners if they were willing to allow the R-A District, with 1-acre zoning, to instead have 9,000 square foot lots. He noted the need to provide reasonable guidelines. He agreed with the Implementation Committee’s suggestion to use a 33% lot reduction because some sites might have an unusual configuration. More than 20% needs to be allowed for in planning a site layout. Additionally, there is a provision to allow smaller lot size if the number of units that could be achieved in a conventional development, are not able to be achieved with the 33% lot reduction; however the provision would only be applied if it is needed to meet the requirements of the State Act. This flexibility is needed for unusual situations. He indicated a recommendation to City Council is required.
Chairperson Nagy announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the matter to the Public.
Seeing no one, she closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for discussion.
Member Kocan clarified that 7th Draft with the changes in the box is actually the 6th Draft.
Mr. Arroyo agreed.
Member Kocan was not certain if the commissioners, other than the Implementation Committee members, received a copy of the 6th Draft. Member Kocan assured the commissioners that the Implementation Committee looked at the material diligently and recommended the 7th Draft.
PM-02-10-237 IN THE MATTER OF ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT 01-18.174 OPEN SPACE AMENDMENT TO APPROVE DRAFT NO.7 DATED OCTOBER 16, 2002 AND SEND IT TO THE CITY COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION.
Moved by Papp, seconded by Shroyer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: In the matter of Zoning Text Amendment 01-18.174 Open Space Amendment to approve Draft No.7 dated October 16, 2002 and send it to the City Council for adoption.
Member Markham thanked the Implementation Committee, City Attorney and the City Staff for the hard work.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-237 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
(Meeting Time Extension)
PM-02-10-238 MOTION TO EXTEND THE MEETING TIME AS NECESSARY.
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Shroyer, CARRIED (8-1): To extend the meeting time as necessary.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-238 CARRIED
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. INTERIM POLICY FOR ROAD DESIGN
Mr. Evancoe stated earlier in the year the Commission approved an interim policy to give guidance to Developers with projects in the "pipeline" with regard to the type of development the policy addresses. He requested additional time; possibly four months, which is typically the time needed to complete the process with the Implementation Committee, Planning Commission and City Council. The small task force has made "headway" on the draft, however additional time is needed.
Chairperson Nagy suggested five months.
PM-02-10-239 EXTEND THE INTERIM POLICY TIME FIVE MONTHS
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Shroyer, CARRIED (8-1): Extend the interim policy time for five months.
Member Paul stated policies are set at City Council. Therefore, she questioned why the Commission was handling the matter.
Mr. Fisher stated the Interim Policy is referred to as a Policy; however, it is an interim interpretation of the Ordinance. The Planning Commission is the body to make the interpretation in the first instance subject to review by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Therefore, the Commission is making an advanced ruling or advanced interpretation to give developers and Staff guidance on how to bring matters before the Commission.
Chairperson Nagy clarified that it was a matter of semantics.
Mr. Fisher answered, correct.
Member Kocan stated the Implementation Committee discussed what was in the interpretation and there were not really any changes. The request is to have it placed in legalese, given an Ordinance number and ensure it complies with everything throughout the Ordinance.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-239 CARRIED
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Nagy, Papp, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
2. DISCUSSION OF POSSIBLE AGENDA ITEMS FOR JOINT MEETING WITH CITY COUNCIL
Member Kocan recalled requesting commissioners to send in their proposed Joint Meeting agenda items. The agenda items were to be gathered and distributed to the Planning Commission for a finalization of the agenda. She learned, after speaking to Ms. Brock that suggestions from Members Shroyer and Kocan were forwarded to the City Clerk; however, they the items were not in forwardable form. She felt it should have been a recommendation from the Planning Commission as a whole.
Chairperson Nagy recalled the same discussion. She asked if she had an agenda.
Mr. Evancoe stated a memo was distributed to the Commission indicating that upon receipt the materials would be forwarded to the City Clerks.
Chairperson Nagy stated Ms. Brock inquired with her as to whether or not the additional item could be placed on the agenda. The agenda was already large and therefore, Chairperson Nagy recommended placing the recommendations in the packet for the Commission to go through at the meeting in order to set the agenda.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that no agenda has been set.
Chairperson Nagy suggested setting an agenda at the meeting tomorrow with Member Markham, Member Kocan, Mr. Evancoe and herself. She indicated the use of Member Shroyer’s written notes, Member Kocan’s items along with any additional items commissioners would like to submit via e-mail or via phone.
Member Ruyle asked the open form of comments from the Council would be addressed.
Chairperson Nagy found it appropriate for the Commission to maintain its decorum and professionalism and understand the City Charter. The fact is commissioners and councilmembers have a certain sense of decorum and professionalism that is to be maintained.
Member Shroyer indicated his agenda items were based on the notion that the joint meeting was scheduled for October 23, 2002; however, it is on October 30, 2002.
Chairperson Nagy recalled sending the Council three optional dates and the Council selected the date.
Member Shroyer did not anticipate his attendance due to prior engagements. Therefore, he indicated if any commissioners preferred, they could change his recommendations.
Mr. Evancoe stated there is not other planning Commission between tonight’s meeting and October 30, 2002. Therefore, the consensus needs to be reached at this meeting.
Mr. Fisher stated the Commission could delegate the establishing of the agenda to the three members.
Chairperson Nagy asked if the Commission would entertain the commissioners creating an agenda at tomorrow’s meeting.
PM-02-10-240 TO DELEGATE MEMBER MARKHAM, CHAIRPERSON NAGY AND MEMBER KOCAN TO SET THE JOINT MEETING AGENDA.
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Paul, CARRIED (8-1): To delegate Member Markham, Chairperson Nagy and Member Kocan to set the joint meeting agenda.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-240 CARRIED
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Sprague
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. LANDSCAPE ORDINANCE PUBLIC HEARING
Concerning the Landscape Ordinance, Chairperson Nagy felt a public hearing was required. She asked Mr. Evancoe for an anticipated timeframe.
Mr. Evancoe indicated that there is not a specific timeframe; however, due to the numerous projects coming forward the November agenda seemed to be full. He advised the Commission to avoid November as an option. Additionally, there are plans to hire another full-time Landscape Architect; however, he was not certain how soon this event would occur. He suggested waiting until the new Landscape Architect is hired so that they could partake, listen to discussion and provide input since they would be primarily administering the Ordinance.
Chairperson Nagy stated historically previous Landscape Architect Linda Lemke worked on the Ordinance with the Ordinance Review Committee. She suggested scheduling the public hearing for November.
Member Paul requested to have the matter placed on the next available meeting in November.
Member Ruyle supported her request.
Mr. Evancoe strongly encouraged the Commission to not place the item on the November agenda, as it is already very full. He noted the backlog of developers postponed from previous meetings and are counting on being heard in November.
Chairperson Nagy indicated the Landscape Ordinance could be placed as the last public hearing.
Mr. Evancoe forewarned the Commission that the decision to place the matter on the November agenda could result in having five items on an agenda.
Mr. Schmitt clarified if the Commission wanted the item on the November 6, 2002 meeting.
Member Paul indicated that any meeting in November was fine.
Commission agreed (8-1), Ruyle, to place the Landscape Ordinance Public Hearing on a November agenda.
Mr. Evancoe addressed the Commission’s comments with regard to insufficient materials provided. He hoped the Commission could accept his desire to respond to their comments. The Staff tries very hard to meet the Commission’s requests and needs; however, the Staff is limited. The Commission’s desire to receive the most possible information pertaining to a project needs to be balanced with the resources available. He recalled their request for the AD-Hoc Report, which cost $490. The Island Lake (f.k.a. Harvest Lake) information is approximately five or six inches thick. The estimated cost to produce 12 copies is $1200 or $1400 (10-15% of the printing and publishing budgeted monies). He noted Committee meetings that used to be one-hour meetings are now three-hour meetings. Although it is important for the Commission to have adequate information for each case, he did not want to bury them in information due to their many other commitments. He noted the uncertainty that the Commission might criticize for the provision of too much information. The Staff attempts to extract the imperative information from the various materials that might assist the Commission in its decision making process as opposed to bury them with materials that might be irrelevant.
Chairperson Nagy appreciated his comments. She indicated the Commission’s comments were not intended to be personal nor were they intended to be negative to any individual. She noted her understanding of the budget constraints and staff.
Mr. Evancoe stated the Staff is putting in an incredible amount of overtime to meet the Commission’s needs and the needs of the Community. The Department is understaffed and is dedicating a lot of time to their job. In fact, two staff members are not present at tonight’s meeting due to the need for relief. He found it demoralizing for the Staff to try so hard and receive criticism at each meeting for the inadequacy of the information provided. Although the Staff has made mistakes in the past, he hoped the Commission would lend understanding to the limited financial and staff resources.
Chairperson Nagy felt the Commission understood the constraints. She suggested the City Manager and the City Council review the situation to offer resolution. She stressed that the Commission appreciates the Staff and their effort. There is no intent to demoralize the Staff. The Commission is aware of their hard work.
Member Paul stated the new Staff made many nice comments. She thanked them for participating in the discussion.
PM-02-10-241 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:42 P.M.
Moved by Ruyle, seconded by Kocan, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:42 p.m.
VOTE ON PM-02-10-241 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Markham, Nagy, Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
Donna Howe - Planning Assistant
Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji
October 28, 2002