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NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
The proceedings had in the above-entitled matter were taken before me, Glenn Miller, CSR-2593, Notary Public in and for the County of Oakland, State of Michigan, at 45175 W. Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, on Wednesday, February 12, 2003.
Antonia Nagy, Chairperson
David Evancoe, Director of Planning
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Good evening. I'd like
5 to call the Planning Commission meeting to order.
6 Ms. McBeth, if you would please
7 call the roll.
8 MS. McBETH: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9 Member Avdoulos?
10 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Here.
11 MS. McBETH: Member Kocan?
12 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Here.
13 MS. McBETH: Member Markham?
14 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Here.
15 MS. McBETH: Chairperson Nagy?
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Here.
17 MS. McBETH: Member Papp?
18 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Here.
19 MS. McBETH: Member Paul?
20 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Here.
21 MS. McBETH: Member Ruyle?
22 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Here.
23 MS. McBETH: Member Shroyer?
24 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Here.
25 MS. McBETH: And Member Sprague?
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think Mr. Sprague
2 will be late.
3 Mr. Shroyer, if you would please
4 the lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
5 (The Planning Commissioner and the
6 Audience were lead by Commissioner
7 Shroyer in the reciting of The
8 Pledge of Allegiance.)
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do we have any
10 additions to the agenda?
11 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Motion to approve.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is there a second?
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Second.
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Motion seconded by Mr.
16 All in favor approving the agenda
17 say aye?
18 PLANNING COMMISSION: Aye.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: The first audience
20 participation at this time is directed towards any item
21 other than what is on the Public Hearings. If you'd
22 like to address the Commission for any reason other than
23 what is on the Public Hearing agenda, please come
24 forward, state your name, spell it for the court
25 reporter and you're welcome to come forward.
1 Is there any member of the audience
2 that would like to come forward?
3 Seeing none, I will close the
4 Public Hearing.
5 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Audience
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm sorry, I will close
8 the audience participation.
9 Madam Secretary, do we have any
11 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: None other than
12 Public Hearing responses.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Do we have
14 any communications and/or committee reports?
15 Mr. Shroyer.
16 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Thank you, Madam
18 Our Rules Committee met last week
19 and we made an initial attempt in starting to go through
20 the bylaws. I believe we got through six pages or so.
21 We feel very good about what's been accomplished and
22 we've set up two additional meetings. Our goal is to
23 have an entire activity ready for presentation to the
24 committee by summer. And there is one item that we've
25 asked to be included on the agenda this evening, which I
1 believe is under Matters for Consideration. I was
2 trying to remember what it was, and that's all I have,
3 Madam Chair.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
5 Do we have any further reports?
6 Mr. Evancoe, do we have any
8 MR. EVANCOE: We do not this evening.
9 Thank you.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
11 Going on to the consent agenda. Do
12 we have any -- Mr. Ruyle.
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: I would like, before
14 we vote on it, to have discussion, just one quick
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Sure.
17 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: The quick question
18 is, how many extensions have they asked for and is this
19 the last and final one they can ask for?
20 MR. EVANCOE: I'm going to ask if Barb
21 McBeth can answer that.
22 MS. McBETH: Thank you. This is the third
23 one-year extension that Redford Baptist Church has asked
24 for and this is of the Preliminary Site Plan. This
25 would be the final time that they could request a site
1 plan extension.
2 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: So they go back to
3 stage one if they don't come forth within the next year;
4 am I correct?
5 MS. McBETH: They do. They have an
6 opportunity to come to the Planning Department for Final
7 Site Plan approval and if that's granted then they would
8 have an opportunity for further extensions, but this is
9 the final time they can ask for a Preliminary Site Plan
11 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: With that, Madam
12 Chair, I'll move for approval.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is there a second to
14 the motion?
15 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I have another minute
16 of discussion.
17 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I'll second the
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: The motion was seconded
20 by Member Kocan.
21 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I have a question for
22 Ms. McBeth. If this site is approved and they do
23 develop it in this year, will the Stormwater Ordinance
24 and the Landscape Ordinance, if it's passed, apply to
25 this site?
1 MS. McBETH: Thank you. I think I'd like
2 to defer that question to the engineer and the landscape
4 MR. COBURN: Because they've already
5 received Preliminary Site Plan approval they would not
6 have to comply with the new Stormwater Ordinance;
7 however, if they expire, then they'd have to go back to
8 preliminary again and they would have to comply with the
9 new Stormwater Ordinance at that point.
10 COMMISSIONER PAUL: How large is this
12 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Forty acres.
13 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay. And since we
14 have new information on this I, you know, we're trying
15 to really enforce the Stormwater Ordinance. I would not
16 be in favor of supporting an extension at this time
17 because I would like all the new ordinances applied as
18 much as possible. So I will not be in support of this
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
21 This is a Consent Agenda on Redford
22 Baptist Church, SP 99-15, for approval of a one year
23 Preliminary Site Plan extension. The subject property
24 is located in Section 12 on Meadowbrook Road between
25 Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads.
1 Mr. Ruyle has made a motion,
2 seconded by Member Kocan. This is a Consent Agenda. We
3 really shouldn't be having discussion.
4 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Either you vote or
5 don't vote.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is there anything else?
7 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I just had one quick
8 comment and we can end this, if so. There was a comment
9 that if the site plan does change because of the
10 variances that were not approved that it would have to
11 come before the Planning Commission.
12 MS. McBETH: That's correct. There's an
13 opportunity maybe for the site plan to change because
14 one of the waivers that was needed to be granted from
15 the Zoning Board of Appeals was not granted. So there
16 might be a possibility that they would change the site
18 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Then it would come to
20 MS. McBETH: If it's a substantial change,
21 it would return to the Planning Commission.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Would you
23 please call the roll, Ms. McBeth.
24 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Kocan?
25 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
1 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Markham?
2 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes.
3 MS. McBETH: Chairperson Nagy?
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
5 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Papp?
6 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
7 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Paul?
8 COMMISSIONER PAUL: No.
9 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Ruyle?
10 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
11 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Shroyer?
12 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: No.
13 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Sprague is not
15 Commissioner Avdoulos?
16 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
17 MS. McBETH: Motions passes 6 to 2.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
19 At this point we're at our first
20 Public Hearing, which is Zoning Text Amendment
21 99-18.172. This is a continuation of the Public Hearing
22 to amend the ordinance, the City of Novi Zoning
23 Ordinance, Appendix A of The City of Novi Code of
24 Ordinances, to revise Section 2509, "Landscape
25 Standards: Obscuring Earth Berms And Walls,
1 Rights-Of-Way Buffers, And Interior And Exterior
2 Landscape Plantings", in order to update and revise the
3 entire section.
4 Is there someone that would like to
5 comment? Mr. Evancoe.
6 MR. EVANCOE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7 Good evening to you and to all members of the Planning
8 Commission. I appreciate the opportunity to take a look
9 at the Landscape Ordinance again with you. You'll
10 recall that at our last meeting we had a good discussion
11 and overview of the ordinance. We went through it
12 actually page-by-page and a number of changes were
13 suggested and agreed to and so you were provided in your
14 packet with a new version that is closer to I think what
15 you're hoping to be able to approve.
16 I want to extend a special thanks
17 to Member Kocan for providing some excellent suggestions
18 via e-mail to me, yesterday I believe, and all of her
19 comments were very well taken and we fully would intend
20 to implement those in the final version that goes up to
21 the City Council. So, again, thank you for those
23 Also, you'll note that we provided
24 you with a handout this evening having to do with the
25 buffers abutting right-of-way. That's been perhaps the
1 most difficult portion of this revision to the Landscape
2 Ordinance and that's due primarily to the fact that some
3 -- that the goal, if you will, of perhaps widening our
4 greenbelt requirements in order to accommodate berms
5 that could vary horizontally and vertically ends up
6 being in conflict with the building setback regulations
7 and that's not necessarily a good situation, although,
8 it is a manageable situation.
9 If the Commission were to decide
10 they wanted to have those wider greenbelts without
11 changing the building setbacks, there is a general
12 principle, as I think you're aware, in ordinance
13 interpretation that when two provisions are in conflict
14 with one another the stricter is what applies. However,
15 I would not necessarily recommend that that be the mode
16 we seek to operate by because I think it would be better
17 if we can have the two requirements match each other.
18 And so our interim landscape
19 architect, Mike McGinnis, along with myself and Barb
20 McBeth, did some considerable work here and Mike has
21 prepared some sketches and overheads that he's going to
22 go over with you at such time as you wish. And with
23 that I think I would turn it back to the Chair, and I'm
24 available to answer any questions and work through this
25 and come up with a good ordinance for City Council.
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you, Mr. Evancoe.
2 Mr. McGinnis, if you could do your
3 presentation and after we're done with your presentation
4 maybe the Commission can go through page-by-page and I
5 think there's a couple of people that have some comments
6 and then we can finish with the ordinance this evening.
7 Mr. McGinnis.
8 MR. FISHER: Madam Chair, I also want to
9 point out this is a Public Hearing as well.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, thank you very
12 MR. McGINNIS: Is the speaker on? This
13 diagram just illustrates, tries to incorporate all the
14 changes that are proposed in the ordinance. With the
15 first berm, it would indicate a berm that would be on
16 the property line, a four-and-a-half foot berm with a,
17 let's see, four-and-a-half berm with a five foot crest
18 and every time you alter the height by two feet then the
19 requirement of the berm, the berm expands accordingly.
20 There was a request that the
21 measurements be taken to the nearest structure, the
22 finish floor elevation, at 200 feet, within 200 feet,
23 and if you project this line out to 200 feet and then
24 raise it accordingly two feet the berm grows in width.
25 We have an example of a project
1 currently that was -- that's in the approval process and
2 this is Avalon, lot number 3, where we have a church,
3 it's adjacent to a church, and they have a 50 foot
4 setback in the rear yard to the building envelope. They
5 were required to put in a four-and-a-half foot berm.
6 And this is the finish floor elevation of lot number 3
7 and this is the property, the church property parking
9 This is the berm as it was proposed
10 in the original ordinance and if you extend the berm
11 with all the variables that are involved, this is the
12 existing ordinance, the berm comes out to 29 feet. If
13 you increase the crest of the berm to five feet, it
14 extends out to 32 feet. If you increase the berm width
15 by 25 percent to allow for variability in the berm, it
16 would extend it out to 40 feet.
17 And then under the new requirement
18 we're supposed to take the elevation of the berm from
19 the finish floor elevation. Most finish floor
20 elevations are at a two percent grade from the property
21 lines to allow for pitch away from the house and in
22 addition the finish floor is usually about 18 inches
23 above, 18 inches to two feet above the surrounding
24 grade. At this point this is the old existing grade but
25 the finish grade is about 860, about in here. But,
1 anyway, the finish floor is at 862.5. And then if you
2 take a four-and-a-half foot measurement from that point,
3 the top of the berm extends out to this point, so that
4 would be 862, 863, 867 with a five foot crest and the
5 three-on-one side slopes. And then if you increase that
6 by 25 percent to allow for variability of the berm, the
7 berm extends out to here. So you can see that the berm
8 grows rapidly with all the variables.
9 So on the perimeter berm for, say,
10 a residence, a residential area, we have kept the side
11 slopes at three-on-one. We are probably not going to
12 use an extended width on the berm in the residential
13 area because it's not as visible as the right-of-way
14 berm. But you do have the new verbiage in the ordinance
15 that allows you to make adjustments if the developer
16 runs into problems with grade changes.
17 So, for example, if this finish
18 floor elevation was up higher, you'd have a berm that
19 would be too large to deal with. Now, this happened to
20 deal with Avalon where the subdivision was developed --
21 the berm was developed on the subdivision side and if
22 you come in with a commercial development or a business
23 development on the development side that's coming in
24 after the residence, of course they'll have room to
25 develop the berm. But this just gives you an idea on
1 the property line berms.
2 Here's another example of the
3 current project. This is Island Lake. They just came
4 in for a concept meeting along Wixom Road. I think it's
5 their Phase 4D, but the berm under the current ordinance
6 for a right-of-way berm is only three feet when it's
7 adjacent to parking, and this is what the berm would
8 look like.
9 Under the proposed new ordinance,
10 if we extended it out to 40 feet, which allowed for
11 variability in the right-of-way berm, and increased it
12 to the height of four-and-a-half feet with a five foot
13 crest, we would move over into their proposed driveway
14 as it is now and they would probably lose the capacity
15 to develop the end unit over at this area because of the
16 setback from the lake.
17 We are proposing in our chart on
18 our right-of-way, rights-of-way berm, the chart that you
19 have, that we have differing percentages of expanding
20 the berm. As you can see in your chart, you can't read
21 this, but if we use the -- we have the current ordinance
22 and then progressions of expansion of the berm to allow
23 for -- the requirement in the ordinance calls for
24 varying the heights and the widths of the berm so that
25 it's undulating and natural looking, but if we stick to
1 the 20-foot berm you can't achieve that. You end up
2 with a three-foot berm and it looks just like a, you
3 know, just a very unimaginative berm. So this gives you
4 the options.
5 The last column is the current
6 setback, front yard setback. And so we don't have to go
7 back and change the front yard setbacks, what we will
8 have to do is go along this chart and select the berm
9 that best fits in with the setback requirements.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much,
11 Mr. McGinnis.
12 Are there any other comments by the
13 staff before I open it up to the Public? Thank you.
14 We are at a Public Hearing
15 regarding our Landscape Ordinance. If there's anyone
16 that would like to come forward and make any comments
17 with regard to the ordinance, please come forward, state
18 your name and address.
19 We don't have anyone interested in
20 the Landscape Ordinance. With that I will close the
21 Public Hearing and I will turn it over to the
22 Commission. Who would like to start? Member Markham.
23 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I have one very
24 small change and that is on Page 17 under subheading I,
25 down toward the bottom, about seven lines down. It's
1 talking about replacement trees. It says -- or street
2 trees in subdivisions -- "No final certificate of
3 occupancy will be granted until the trees have been
4 planted and inspected by the City." But I think we need
5 a coma in there or two more words that say "planted by
6 the developer, and inspected by the City," otherwise it
7 looks like the City is supposed to plant the trees and I
8 don't think that's the intent. And that's all I have.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think that's a very
10 good comment.
11 Does anyone else have anything
13 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I'll go.
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Kocan.
15 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I'm sorry. I should
16 wait to be called on. Thank you, Madam Chair.
17 I did give a list of some changes
18 to Mr. Evancoe, but before we presume that they're all
19 going to be accepted I should probably place them on the
20 table for review by the Planning Commission. Some of
21 them are just some questions and, Mr. Evancoe, you can
22 answer the question.
23 On Page 7, h, it refers to a
24 diagram, an obscuring earth berm and obscuring wall
25 diagram, at Section 2509.6. Will there be a diagram
1 there or has that been removed?
2 MR. EVANCOE: Yes. There is a diagram and
3 that reference should now say 2509.A and then 6 in
5 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. I thought it
6 referred to something in the back.
7 One thing that we did talk about,
8 maybe I'll wait to talk about the chart that Mr.
9 McGinnis just talked about because that is the most
10 cumbersome one. There are some changes that I had with
11 regard to on Page 10, b 2 d, and one of the things
12 that's stated in there, we didn't talk about it at the
13 table but I don't have a problem with it, was the crest
14 width will now become the same as the berm height.
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Can you say that again
16 a little bit slower? I missed that.
17 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Let me see if I got
18 that right, b 2 d.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Oh, I see. Right here.
20 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay, correct. There
21 were two things changed. One was the maximum slope,
22 which changed to a three-on-one, and I don't have a
23 problem with that.
24 The other one was, the next
25 sentence says, "and a crest with a width equal to the
1 required" should be berm, b-e-r-m, "height". And just
2 so that people know, that was not something that we
3 talked about at the table but I think it makes sense and
4 I would like to have that incorporated into the chart.
5 What I want the chart to do, when
6 we get to the chart, is I would like to be able to flip
7 to the chart, just like we do in Section 2400, and have
8 everything we need to see on that page, what the setback
9 is, what the berm height is, what the crest height width
10 is, just to make it simple because when you bury things
11 in paragraphs, not that they're buried, but they are, it
12 just makes it easier to have a chart.
13 I did add -- I went through and
14 looked at the footnotes. There were some references to
15 some footnotes at the end of that sentence. It wants
16 you to refer to another chart in the residential
17 section, B, C, D. I think we need to add footnote E. I
18 don't think F applies because it's more residential than
19 it is for right-of-way. Keep the G, remove H, again for
20 the same reason, add K and keep L. And Mr. Evancoe and
21 the staff have reviewed that and felt that that was
23 The chart needs to be moved. On
24 Page 11 the word -- in Section 4 for waiver, "The
25 Planning Commission may waive," and waive was removed
1 and I think we need to keep it in because we're actually
2 going to be making a waiver at this table. So I would
3 like to keep that in and I think that we should say,
4 "The Planning Commission may reduce or waive." I would
5 reverse those.
6 MR. EVANCOE: Right, and we will remove
7 the word "eliminate". If I may just add, right above
8 that is where we would put in the right-of-way chart.
9 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay, because it
10 moved from the previous page.
11 MR. EVANCOE: Right above the waiver
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So the sentence would
14 read, "The Planning Commission may waive or reduce" and
15 you're taking out the word "eliminate" altogether.
16 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: "May reduce or waive
17 the right-of-way landscape screening buffer" or
18 whatever, landscape screening buffer.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay.
20 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Mr. McGinnis spent a
21 lot of time on Page 12 talking about that chart, but
22 there was also a chart on Page 15 that was the Parking
23 Area Canopy Tree Chart and in my notes from the previous
24 meeting I had a note that said that these percentages
25 could mean a significant change, and I haven't seen or
1 heard anything that says that these numbers are good.
2 Are you comfortable with these?
3 MR. McGINNIS: I'll explain what the
4 difference is from the old ordinance. Everything, even
5 though it's in a different form, most of everything
6 remains the same except that last factor where it says
7 "number of canopy trees required equals". The old
8 formula, by the time you got through it, was equivalent
9 to dividing the square footage by 100, which gave you a
10 number of trees to use in the parking area. This
11 formula divides by 75, which increases the number of
12 trees in the parking lots or that can be planted around
13 the parking lot by about a third. That's the only major
14 change with this. Now, it does not increase the amount
15 of greenspace or parking island space, it just refers to
16 the number of trees.
17 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. This is also
18 the same area and I did not include this comment, Mr.
19 Evancoe, and I was thinking about it today as I was
20 re-reviewing a site plan for this evening.
21 On Page 14, the intent of the
22 parking area landscaping requirements is to develop
23 larger green spaces within parking areas, reducing
24 impervious surfaces. We've had what could be the second
25 request this evening to consider landscaping outside of
1 the actual interior parking space to count towards
2 interior parking landscaping and I think as a Commission
3 we need to decide if that's the way we want to go. I
4 did not think that that's what we wanted to do, that we
5 wanted to keep this very specific, it's within the
6 parking areas, to cut up the impervious surface and to
7 decrease runoff, and I'm getting lots of nods. So I do
8 not want to add anything in here that gives credit for
9 boulevards or whatever that run along parking spaces.
11 On Page 16, number 4, the waiver,
12 is semantics. "The Planning Commission may reduce or
13 waive," just switch the order of the words. I guess I'd
14 like to see us reduce it first and waive as a secondary.
15 On Page 20 there was a change that
16 I'm not sure we talked about at the table, I don't
17 remember it, 3 b, (ii) (a), the end of the sentence,
18 "Evergreen trees," and we're talking about in
19 non-residential subdivisions, "Evergreen trees shall be
20 no closer than" it used to be 25 feet from the roadway
21 and now it's moving to 20 feet from the roadway. Is
22 there a reason why we're allowing it closer to the road?
23 MR. EVANCOE: Well, what I was attempting
24 to do there, if you look over to Page 19 under 2 (b)
25 (i), you'll see the same sentence and it says,
1 "Evergreens shall be no closer than 20 feet from the
2 roadway." So I was simply trying to make sure they said
3 the same thing. We could go with 20 or 25.
4 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: So 20 was not a
5 problem and that's in our current ordinance now.
6 MR. EVANCOE: Right.
7 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay, then I don't
8 have a problem with that.
9 On Page 20, semantics again. When
10 I read 3 (b) (ii) (b) the first sentence says,
11 "Evergreen shrubs are required to provide screening of
12 parking areas only" and I am suggesting taking the word
13 "only" out because it sounds like the only place you
14 could use Evergreen shrubs is to screen parking areas
15 and I don't believe that's what we want to say. And
16 maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it sounds like
17 we want Evergreen shrubs because they're not deciduous,
18 they would provide more screening in the winter, and if
19 that's what we're looking for then I think it just reads
20 better taking the word "only" out. Does that sound
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
23 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: And in the back
24 sections I saw that the berm charts had been removed.
25 Were you planning to replace them with a similar kind of
1 chart that Mr. McGinnis presented this evening?
2 MR. EVANCOE: I think the charts that Mike
3 was showing were really for this evening's meeting just
4 to illustrate some principles, but the berm charts that
5 were in there before were very confusing, they were
6 inaccurate and they were not drawn to scale and I just
7 felt that they were of little use so they were removed.
8 There still are some sketches of berms that are rendered
9 with tree symbols and so on, I think those are still
10 useful, but those very basic line drawings I felt were
11 not of any value to keep.
12 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. The cumbersome
13 chart on Page 12, Right-of-Way Landscape Screening
14 Requirement Chart. Are we, Mr. McGinnis, it sounded
15 like what you thought you might be recommending that
16 goes to Council is perhaps a different percentage added
17 for green space depending on the district. Is that what
18 I heard? I guess I was looking for if we want to add
19 additional green space -- and one of the examples you
20 used was residential next to a church. It was my
21 understanding that residential next to something or when
22 anything abuts residential we're not going to add any
23 additional green space for undulating berms; that this
24 particular chart only applies to right-of-way landscape
1 MR. McGINNIS: Correct.
2 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. Is there going
3 to be one percentage that we're going to use for the
4 greenbelt, a ten percent, a 15 percent, if the 25
5 percent is too high, or is it your recommendation that
6 depending on the zoning or the use and the height of the
7 berm, etcetera, the slope, that there could be a
8 different requirement for the greenbelt in each area?
9 MR. McGINNIS: I think what we tried to
10 show is -- one thing I didn't point out on the chart --
11 is that in the last column it says current front yard
12 ordinance setback. There are some setbacks that are in
13 bold and they do -- they are in conflict with the
14 proposed -- from the original proposal on the ordinance
15 with the buffer requirement because we have a 40 foot
16 buffer requirement in the residential but we only have a
17 30 foot required setback.
18 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Excuse me. Point of
19 information. That's with a 25 percent increase.
20 MR. McGINNIS: Yes. Yeah. So what we
21 have to do is, if we don't want to change the current
22 ordinance setback requirements to conform to the berm is
23 that we have to select a berm that best fits the
25 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: My understanding, I
1 don't want to change the berm heights that we have in
2 the chart, my opinion. I do not want to change the
3 minimum berm heights that we have on the chart on Page
4 12. If we -- and the crest height would be the same
5 because I think that's a major thing and I wouldn't be
6 prepared to discuss lowering any of these berm heights.
7 That's not something I want to do here at the table
9 I would like us to pick -- if 15
10 percent is the one that works in most cases with the
11 berm as it should be, then I would like us to be able to
12 adopt that. I'm trying to make it consistent across,
13 but I will not be able to agree to change -- to lower
14 any berm heights in any of these areas.
15 MR. McGINNIS: I just want to point out
16 that we were attempting to meet the ordinance
17 requirement for variability in the berm so we don't end
18 up with a very rigid berm along the right-of-way and to
19 allow for some undulation as it calls for in the
20 ordinance. And if you decrease the berm height by, you
21 know, a foot, or a percentage down to 15 percent -- I
22 mean, 25 percent on a three-foot berm will allow you to
23 have enough variability, but if you start decreasing
24 below 25 percent in the smaller berms or the smaller
25 widths you don't get much variability to start
1 tightening up the berm again.
2 So it is a struggle, but wherever
3 we can meet the buffer ordinance, the proposed for 25
4 percent, we should do it. But if we don't, if we go to
5 the 40 percent buffer width and the 40 foot berm, then
6 we might have to change the setback requirement. That's
8 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Just one other thing
9 with this chart. I notice that all the pages refer to
10 abutting rights-of-way. None of this talks about when
11 it abuts parking, adjacent to parking.
12 MR. EVANCOE: This is the greenbelt
13 between the right-of-way line, the property line, and
14 the building or parking lot. So it does -- the chart is
15 for both. It's for screening parking and building.
16 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay, because we do
17 currently have if it abuts parking it's a higher berm.
18 MR. MCGINNIS: Correct.
19 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: If it just abuts the
20 right-of-way, it's a lower berm, and what this is saying
21 is it -- there could be now a three-foot berm
22 potentially trying to screen a parking area and I'm not
23 so sure that's the direction we want to go. So this is
24 a tough one because this to me is not in final form. I
25 don't see one recommendation. I'd like to pick one
1 column and say this is the one I want to do. So I guess
2 I'll listen to comments, but that's all I have. Thank
3 you very much.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Shroyer.
5 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Thank you, Madam
7 I have several things, primarily
8 for discussion, a few recommendations. The first one
9 has to do with the chart, the Landscape Tree Credit
10 Chart on Page 3, and I provided Mr. McGinnis with a copy
11 of that and was requesting that he review it.
12 Is there a good explanation as to
13 why we have a difference in what I would call current
14 size range? If you look on the left.
15 MR. McGINNIS: No, I don't know why they
16 did that.
17 MR. EVANCOE: I'm sorry. What is the
18 question again?
19 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Can we put it on
20 the overhead?
21 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you could do that,
22 because I don't think anyone is following along.
23 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Let's do both.
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So if we could just put
25 it on the overhead, then the question and explanation
1 will be much clearer.
2 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: As you go down the
3 diameter of the trunk preserved trees on the left-hand
4 side, starting at the bottom and going up, going from a
5 three inch to a seven inch caliper is four inches in
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Wait, wait. Could you
8 slow down when you say this?
9 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I understand.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
11 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: On the greater than
12 seven inches to twelve inches is a five inch difference,
13 then you jump from five inches to seven inches, and then
14 you go back down again to six inches. And I didn't know
15 if there was a landscaping reason based on growth of
16 trees or something along that line as to why we have the
17 differentiation there, when you could go over to Option
18 A on the right-hand side and have a natural progression
19 of four inches, five inches, six inches, seven inches or
20 perhaps even all the way from four to nine inches.
21 This is something that I had sent
22 to Lauren McGuire just before she left, so I don't think
23 she had an opportunity to look at it.
24 MR. McGINNIS: And I don't know why
25 they --
1 MR. EVANCOE: I think that that's fine. I
2 think that's a great suggestion.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: You know what, one at a
4 time for the court reporter, please.
5 MR. EVANCOE: If I may, I'll just respond.
6 I think it makes sense to have these differences the
7 same. So, I don't think there would be any problem in
8 fixing that.
9 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And I would not
10 have a problem with the progression, either Option A or
11 B. I just think we need some consistency of going up
12 and not jumping all around. So whatever the
13 Commissions' pleasure with that I would be open to it.
14 What's the recommendation from the
15 staff? If you look at Option A or B, which would be
17 MR. EVANCOE: It just went off the screen
18 so I don't have it in front of me.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: May I make a comment?
20 The higher you go on the caliper of trees, the more
21 difficult it is for the tree to take. The nine-inch
22 caliper tree may not be as good to plant, even though it
23 looks nicer, than maybe a five inch, four inch or six
24 inch. So I would prefer the Option B where you go up to
25 seven inches, only because of the shock.
1 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: You mean Option A.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm sorry, Option A. I
4 MR. EVANCOE: I think there may be some
5 confusion here because we're not talking about the size
6 of trees to be planted. This is the size of trees that
7 already exist on a site to be preserved and then the
8 number of trees that would replace one of those if it
9 were removed.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
11 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And seven inches
12 and nine inches, etcetera, is the difference in size as
13 we progress up. So, again, the question would be, what
14 would be a preference or recommendation from staff?
15 MR. EVANCOE: I guess I need to ask one
16 question. In Option A, when you say for the second row
17 from the bottom same, is that indicating --
18 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Greater than seven
19 inches to 12-inch caliper.
20 MR. EVANCOE: Okay, you're staying with
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Staying with what's
23 on the left. So we'd only change the credits on the
24 three, four and five tree sectors.
25 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: The only change with
1 that then is instead of a 17-inch caliper tree would now
2 count for six whereas previously -- I'm sorry -- it
3 would count for three or four -- it would actually --
4 it's not more restrictive, it's less -- the developer
5 would get more credit for preserving --
6 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: No, the developer
7 would -- actually on a 17-inch tree would have to
8 provide four trees as opposed to three.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So you're increasing.
10 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I'm sorry, it's the
12 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Right. We would be
13 increasing -- well, at certain caliper inches. So the
14 only difference in the third line up is two inches, the
15 difference in the next line up then is another two
16 inches, or actually four inches, it would be two inches
17 at each end. But it gives us a consistency of an
18 increase as opposed to going four inches, five inches,
19 seven inches then back down to six inches.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I do have a question,
21 Mr. Evancoe. I thought that we had talked about the
22 Landscaping Ordinance and that if we increased the
23 caliper of the tree then we would count -- let's say if
24 we put in a six-inch caliper tree we would count as two
25 trees versus two three inch. This doesn't change that.
1 MR. EVANCOE: What you're referring to
2 there, Madam Chair, is a different table in the
3 ordinance that deals with encouraging developers to
4 plant larger trees from the beginning.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. I realize all
7 MR. EVANCOE: If I could just ask, Mike,
8 do you have an initial impression as to A or B on this?
9 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Madam Chair.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, Commissioner
12 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: My impression is,
13 if I may, under Option A, in general we would end up
14 with more trees than if we went with Option B.
15 MR. EVANCOE: Right.
16 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: So typically we'd
17 like to see more trees, so my recommendation would be we
18 select Option A, unless somebody has an objection.
19 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I would recommend
20 that as well because I think the 36 inch or greater
21 caliper is the max that I'd like to see us go to instead
22 of trying to measure trees at 42 inches or greater,
23 etcetera. So unless staff had a different
24 recommendation, I would propose Option A.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Does anyone else have
1 an objection to Option A? Would the Commission be
2 amenable going for Option A so we could move on in the
3 discussion? Okay.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: The second item I
5 have is on Page 6, and I believe this would go to our
6 attorney. We're talking under the (iii) section right
7 in the middle, everything we talk about is increasing --
8 I mean reducing or eliminating the height of the berm.
9 Do we have an option of increasing the height of a berm
10 as well requiring that?
11 MR. FISHER: You could do that. You would
12 have to have very clear standards in the ordinance for
13 the circumstances in which you would exercise that
14 authority. What you find in this section, which really
15 is intended to provide relief for the property owner,
16 the standard of practical difficulties is utilized. And
17 while in most instances you need standards that are a
18 little bit more specific than that, the phrase
19 "practical difficulties" has a very significant meaning
20 in the law of zoning because since the 1920's that
21 phrase has been utilized in ordinances throughout the
22 country for a basis for granting a variance.
23 So the court has concluded that
24 while you have to make findings, of course, that this
25 standard is adequate. If you're going to go the other
1 way, I think you're going to have to develop a whole
2 list of standards to follow.
3 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. So in terms
4 that I can understand, we shouldn't do it.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Correct.
6 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Thank you.
7 MR. FISHER: Thank you.
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Any other comments?
9 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Not on that page.
10 Moving over to Page 8. This goes back to the beginning
11 of the Public Hearing when we had developers in the
12 audience and they came forward and spoke.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Excuse me. They were
14 landscape architects.
15 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I'm sorry,
16 professionals that came forward and spoke. They asked
17 for flexibility and I was trying to look at some things
18 within our ordinance that we could help them with. One
19 of the things I looked at was down under the wall
20 requirements, item 6 (a). We talked about -- it says,
21 "Freestanding walls shall have all exterior sides
22 constructed of face brick."
23 Is there any reason why we wouldn't
24 want to allow a little bit of flexibility there to the
25 developers and allow stone or perhaps stucco or perhaps
1 drivit or some other permanent type material as opposed
2 to something that would rot like wood? I'd like to see
3 a little bit more flexibility there instead of saying
4 every single wall we build has to be brick.
5 MR. EVANCOE: I'll just respond. I think
6 that's an excellent idea, too. Particularly in
7 residential situations it seems like it would be very
8 appropriate to use rock walls, boulder walls. I think
9 when you get into your TC and TC 1 area I think we've
10 established a brick standard, but I think some variation
11 would be very appropriate.
12 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: With that comment,
13 one of the things I was thinking if we could change it
14 to read "Freestanding walls shall have all exterior
15 sides constructed of face brick or stone with a suitable
16 cap, and the interior constructed of masonry or
17 reinforced concrete" and then add "The Planning
18 Commission may consider other durable construction
19 materials such as stucco, drivit," etcetera.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: With all due respect, I
21 will not support drivit, nor stucco.
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Or stucco?
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: No.
24 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. How about if
25 we put a period after materials?
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, I would agree to
2 that because you have to remember what it's going to
3 look like when it wears and tears, and it looks
4 terrible. Do you have any other comments, Mr. Shroyer?
5 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Not on that page.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Would you like to read
7 the sentence slowly and completely so we're all in
9 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. This is item
10 6 (a) under Wall Requirements. "Freestanding walls
11 shall have all exterior sides constructed of face brick
12 or stone with a suitable cap, and the interior
13 constructed of masonry or reinforced concrete."
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is everyone in
15 agreement with that statement?
16 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I'm not done.
17 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm sorry. I thought
18 you were done.
19 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: "The Planning
20 Commission may consider other durable construction
22 MR. EVANCOE: Commissioner Shroyer?
23 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
24 MR. EVANCOE: I missed one word. "The
25 Planning Commission may consider other"...
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Durable.
2 MR. EVANCOE: Durable. Okay. Construction
3 materials, was it?
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Or if there's a
5 better -- part of what I'm getting at here is, as new
6 materials are developed and coming on the market, I
7 don't want to have to go back and change the Landscape
8 Ordinance time and time again. If they come up with
9 some type of a fake stone, which actually they have
10 right now, that they put on buildings, we may want to
11 consider that. This would give us the option of
12 allowing that.
13 MR. FISHER: Madam Chair.
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Fisher.
15 MR. FISHER: The word "durable" is fairly
16 ambiguous. You might want to put "The Planning
17 Commission may consider other materials of equal
18 durability," which would refer back to brick and stone.
19 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I would be happy
20 with that.
21 Mr. Avdoulos, do you have any
23 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: I agree with you
24 on the intent. You could use granite, you could use
25 marble, you could use that kind of facing. So if you
1 allow flexibility with the design of the wall, I think
2 that's appropriate, but brick, fieldstone, regular
3 stone, any type of durable material like that I think is
4 appropriate. So I think Mr. Fisher had a good comment.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Does anybody have any
6 comment with regard to the change and do you accept the
7 change of wording by our attorney?
8 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes, but in doing
9 that let's eliminate the last sentence and change it to
10 read "Freestanding walls shall have all exterior sides
11 constructed of face brick or other construction material
12 of equal durability," using his words but that allows
13 then for the marble, for the granite, for the stone,
14 fieldstone, etcetera, and we wouldn't need to add the
15 sentence at the end then.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is everyone in
17 agreement? Okay.
18 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: On Page 11 we have
19 the same thing under 4 (b), "use of wrought iron
20 decorative fence with brick accents." Can we
21 incorporate the wording there "brick accents or other
22 construction material of equal durability"? By the lack
23 of response I assume it's okay. Over to page --
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Wait, wait, wait.
25 Brick accents with -- okay. Does anybody have any
1 comment regarding Mr. Shroyer's comments?
2 MR. SHROYER: I do have a question, Mr.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Evancoe.
5 MR. EVANCOE: I've had some personal
6 experience with alternative fencing products to wrought
7 iron and you can get into some pretty flimsy plastic,
8 fake iron fences that are not as durable and do not
9 weather as well and don't hold up as well. So I guess I
10 just want to make sure the language is what you want it
11 to be, that it's -- maybe it is but I've seen these
12 products and they're very bothersome. They don't stay
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I agree with Mr.
15 Evancoe, and I saw Member Paul with her hand up.
16 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I have concerns that
17 we're giving way too much flexibility and what happens
18 is the developer comes in, puts in the front wall to
19 look beautiful for a period of time. They're done
20 developing, they move on and then the residents are left
21 with the cost of redoing the front entryway that could
22 be a very expensive project. So I think giving this
23 much flexibility is a lot of room for give. And I don't
24 mind giving some room for flexibility in the
25 landscaping, but the actual building material, such as
1 masonry, is a very expensive endeavor and I think we're
2 giving way too much room and I think it should be stone,
3 marble, granite or brick and let's leave it at that, and
4 give them four or five mediums to work with and not get
5 into wood products or flimsy wrought iron material like
6 Mr. Evancoe is suggesting. And I think I don't want to
7 stick any residents with the cost of a several thousand
8 dollar endeavor that usually isn't there under a budget
9 for a subdivision.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Avdoulos, did you
11 have your hand up?
12 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: I think
13 Commissioner Shroyer doesn't want to negate the use of
14 wrought iron. I think the wrought iron wants to be
15 there along with brick or stone or marble or granite or
16 whatever material that's suitable. And I agree with Mr.
17 Evancoe, that you don't want to deter the use of a good
18 quality product to sort of experiment and, as
19 Commissioner Paul indicated, you know, put the burden on
20 the residents of the sub that have to pay for it. I
21 think the intent is to be consistent. If we're going to
22 dictate something for a wall, then if the wall has
23 wrought iron then it should be able to follow the same
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Commissioner Kocan.
1 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: So I think we can
2 accomplish that with after the word "brick" put,
3 parentheses, or other substance of durable material.
4 MR. FISHER: Equal durability.
5 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Equal durability, and
6 then it applies only to the brick and not to the wrought
7 iron fence.
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Shroyer, are you
9 accepting that?
10 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes, ma'am.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Does anyone else have
12 any comment? Do we all accept that? I'm looking at
13 everyone. Could we nod or something? Thanks. Okay,
14 Mr. Shroyer, go ahead.
15 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: It's not really on
16 Page 13 but that's where I'm going to discuss about it.
17 This is in regard to transformer and utility boxes. In
18 our 9-27, 2002 proposal there was a statement in there
19 that talked about screening on three sides of the
20 utility box and I cannot find it anywhere on the
21 transformers. I can't find it anywhere in our ordinance
22 anymore. Was it removed and, if so, why?
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Evancoe, can you
24 address that for the Commission?
25 MR. EVANCOE: I'm sorry, I was trying to
1 find the place. The question had to do with the three
2 -- providing screening on three sides?
3 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes. It said
4 "Transformers are to be screened on three sides to allow
5 utility company access."
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, we've always had
7 that, as I recall.
8 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And I can no longer
9 find it in the ordinance, or in the proposal here.
10 MR. EVANCOE: Oh, I don't know if this
11 answers it or not, but (d) says that "Doors of
12 transformers must be kept accessible." That would imply
13 that there's one side that remains open, but if there's
14 a better way to say that. I don't really know about the
15 language and it being there or not there, but I think
16 that's the intent.
17 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: If it's covered
18 elsewhere in this packet, that's fine.
19 COMMISSIONER PAPP: I thought there was
20 something where it was six feet away.
21 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: It says is eight
22 feet under (d), 2 (d) on Page 13.
23 MR. EVANCOE: I think you have a few
24 performance standards in here that end up getting to the
25 same point within the intent. It says that you have to
1 effectively screen the transformer then you have the
2 section that leaves the door accessible, but I'm
3 certainly open to any change.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I'm all right with
5 that if everyone else is.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think so, plus I
7 think there's some requirment in the ordinance book
9 COMMISSIONER PAPP: I just have one
10 question for David. Who determines where the
11 transformers go?
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: The utility company.
13 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Because you see some
14 in the front yard and you see some in the backyard.
15 MR. EVANCOE: Right. And it's usually the
16 utility company that determines that. However, that's a
17 great point and I don't like to dive into things where I
18 don't know where I'm going here, but I thought there was
19 somewhere in this ordinance where it talked about in
20 residential that the transformers should be located in
21 the rear yard.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Under that Section 2,
23 Requirement I reads, "Transformers shall be located in
24 the rear of the residential yards unless restricted by
25 regulated woodland or regulated wetland areas." So in
1 the residential it's restricted and in the commercial
2 it's the utilities make a determination.
3 COMMISSIONER PAPP: The Vistas are all in
4 front and ours is in the back and yours is in the front.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Probably before the
6 ordinance. Anything else, Mr. Shroyer?
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes, ma'am, there
9 Actually on Page 15 but it's a
10 continuation of parking area landscaping requirements,
11 under the general requirements. It is not addressed and
12 I want to ask if we feel it needs to be addressed, and
13 what I'm referring to is materials that are put in the
14 landscaping around the trees of an island, etcetera,
15 because we do not want gravel, egg stones, certain types
16 of mulch, etcetera. Do we need to say "items not
17 permitted" or are we covered adequately with what is
19 MR. EVANCOE: Commissioner Shroyer, I'm
20 not able to locate it quite yet but I'm going to look,
21 but it is in the ordinance somewhere where it prohibits
22 gravel from parking lot islands.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, it is covered in
24 our ordinances.
25 MR. EVANCOE: It may be in the landscape
1 plan requirements, but I know it's in here.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think maybe -- I was
3 going to say Page 18 but that's not it.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: We have several
5 people that are sure it's there so I have no problem
6 moving on.
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do you have any others?
8 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes, I do.
9 MR. EVANCOE: I did find it if you're
10 interested. It's on Page 29, non-living durable
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
13 MR. EVANCOE: It's in that section.
14 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. Good. Thank
16 This again isn't in here, but when
17 we talked about the chart with canopy trees, Member
18 Kocan was discussing it and I had written something down
19 at the bottom of this page and I think we need to
20 discuss this as well.
21 At one time, and it was within the
22 last several months when we had a developer come forward
23 with his plans, we discussed putting in written form
24 something to the effect of one landscape island is
25 required for every run of blank number of parking spaces
1 with the intent to prevent a sea of asphalt or concrete.
2 Did that fall by the wayside and are we no longer going
3 to consider that or is there a place that we should be
4 putting that in our Landscape Ordinance?
5 MR. EVANCOE: I think that we could put
6 that in here, certainly. I remember some discussion and
7 if you look at landscape ordinances that have been
8 developed in communities throughout the country, there's
9 just a slew of different ways that they assure that
10 there's landscaping areas provided within parking lots.
11 You know, for example, just one
12 example, is I believe it's in Savannah, Georgia. They
13 say -- it's very simple. They say no parking space
14 shall be further than 50 feet from a tree and that
15 automatically means that within that parking lot you're
16 going to have a lot of islands.
17 So there's different approaches,
18 but this is the approach that was worked out between
19 Lauren and the ORC and so we kept going with this. It
20 works. It calculates area. It's a little complicated
21 in my opinion how you arrive at that, but if you do all
22 of these multiplications and additions you do end up
23 with a number.
24 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I know one that I
25 read it did indicate one landscaped island is required
1 for every run of 15 parking spaces, and by a "run"
2 meaning 15 in a row and then you have an island then
3 another 15 and you have an island. That's the maximum
4 and it sure prevented having what we termed a sea of
5 asphalt or sea of concrete and it doesn't matter if it's
6 on the perimeter or if it's in the middle. Anytime you
7 have a run of parking spaces, you're going to have an
8 island, landscape island. And I'd sure like to see us
9 incorporate that somewhere in here and I thought perhaps
10 this would be the page to put it under as maybe number 3
11 or 4, number 4. And I'd like to have comments from the
12 rest of the Commission on that if they choose to do so.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Markham.
14 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: The only comment I
15 would have relative to that is that we need to think
16 about snowplowing and if we're going to put islands in
17 spaces throughout the parking lot then somehow we need
18 to accommodate areas where the plow can get through
19 without being encumbered and still have the landscape
20 effect that we want.
21 So I don't know if that means we
22 need a chart or a drawing or rendering of some sort, but
23 I like the idea of specifying a maximum number of
24 parking spaces, but I do think snowplowing is a
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. McGinnis, do you
2 have any thoughts on this?
3 MR. McGINNIS: I think the current
4 ordinance is adequate. I mean, it provides for a lot of
5 interior landscaping. It's just a matter of enforcing
6 it when the plan is reviewed and making sure that we
7 adhere to looking at interior planting islands rather
8 than corners and everything else on the parking lot
9 where plants can be put in.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Papp.
11 COMMISSIONER PAPP: What type of planting
12 would we have on this island, just trees? Because then
13 you have a problem of getting water to them or if you
14 just let them sit.
15 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I'm open to any
16 type of landscaping; however, the intent typically is to
17 have canopy trees to help provide shade and reduce the
18 heat loss, and there is always the possibility of a
19 sprinkler system or whatever, but I know there's a lot
20 of islands in Novi that are not watered and there's
21 surviving trees and healthy trees.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Evancoe.
23 MR. EVANCOE: One approach that might work
24 is to say something to the effect that if a parking lot
25 has a certain number of parking spaces over some given
1 figure, let's say if the parking lot has more than 50
2 spaces, then 50 percent of the required landscaping has
3 to be placed within islands within the interior of the
4 parking lot, or perhaps it's a parking lot that's bigger
5 than 100 spaces, whatever we would choose, but
6 essentially saying that there's a certain amount that
7 has to go within interior islands that are disconnected
8 from the perimeter of the parking lot and then the
9 remainder could be along the perimeter.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Avdoulos.
11 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: As a person who
12 designs sites, I like to have things a little bit more
13 clear and, Barb, I remember at the city of Southfield, I
14 can't remember what their requirements were for every 15
15 spaces or there was a maximum that you could have and
16 then you had to have an island. The island serves a
17 couple purposes. It allows you to put a tree, it allows
18 you to put some kind of bushes or vegetation, but it
19 also allows you to center a light fixture so you get
20 even distribution of lighting without having a pole and
21 a round concrete bottom to it that people slide into all
22 the time anyway.
23 I think our requirements in the new
24 -- in the revised ordinance indicates that all islands
25 are to be irrigated anyway, and that helps out in that
1 regard. But I would like to see something that has more
2 of a direction so that there is a way to say, okay,
3 after 15 spaces at the maximum, which is 150 feet, I'm
4 going to have an island with some kind of landscaping in
5 it. That's the way I'd like to see it written or
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: May I point out
8 something? We actually have something in our
9 ordinances, 2509, Parking Area Landscaping Requirements.
10 We could incorporate that into the Landscape Ordinance
11 itself, our new ordinance. We actually have that and we
12 actually apply it.
13 So, for example, excuse me. For
14 OS1, OS2, OSC, B1, B2, B3, NCC, EXPO, EXO, FS, TC, TC1,
15 and RC districts and Special Land Uses, development
16 within the OS1, OS2, etcetera, etcetera, and "shall
17 provide the following area of parking landscape
18 inclusive of the 50 square foot minimum provided in
19 subpart 250981 above.
20 "There shall be one square foot of
21 interior landscaped island for each ten square feet of
22 parking space. Actual parking space area on the site,
23 not including the access aisles, must be calculated
24 except in EXO overlay district. There shall be one
25 square foot of interior landscaped island for each 16
1 square feet of parking."
2 So there actually is something. So
3 maybe we could incorporate that into the Landscape
4 Ordinance. What do you think, Mr. Shroyer, because I'm
5 willing to do that?
6 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I'm open to almost
7 anything. I'm looking for something simple that is not
8 open to subjectivity.
9 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Right, and I think
10 the way this is written is you have a formula of one
11 square foot of an island for each ten square feet of
12 parking and when you go into EXO it's one square foot of
13 interior landscape island for 16 square feet of parking.
14 There's my calculation. I have X
15 amount of square feet of parking, I need this much of an
16 island, and so I'm going to pick a spot somewhere within
17 the parking, stick this island and I meet the
18 requirements, yet I can still have acres and acres of
19 parking. So the intent is to start splitting up and
20 dividing that parking lot into something that's more
21 regulated so that you can get an even distribution of
23 I think that's where the confusion
24 lies. Everybody can abide by what's written here but
25 everybody incorporates it differently because this has,
1 -- this requirement right here provides maximum
3 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: That's why I keep
4 going back to the word "run", a run of so many parking
5 spaces, then you have to have an island and then another
6 run and you have to have an island. And I'm totally
7 open to the number of parking spaces but I want
8 something, like I said, very definite that it's not open
9 to misinterpretation, somebody can't take it and create
10 a corner island or an island in the southwest corner
11 then you have a huge sea of asphalt again.
12 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: And it's the same
13 thing if you take a look at the mall or you take a look
14 at a Meijer's parking lot. They create these large
15 islands basically in the middle of nowhere but then you
16 have acres and acres of parking, you have lights all
17 over the place and there's no breakup of the space, it's
18 just wide open. And it's nicer to be able to provide
19 these islands, provide light fixtures that have low
20 level -- not low level but light the surface instead of
21 uplighting and creating all this light pollution that we
23 It's a little better way to start
24 directing what we want. If you pick 15, that's 150 feet
25 between islands if we're at ten feet, a ten foot wide
1 space, and that's a pretty good distance. So if we
2 wanted to pick something and incorporate it into the
3 ordinance and see where that takes us, that's fine by
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think if you read the
6 whole ordinance, though, there's other areas of the
7 ordinance that -- that's the old one? The current
8 ordinance, if you read that whole section it tells you
9 the minimum size for an island is eight feet wide. If
10 more than one island is provided, they are to be
11 distributed throughout the parking lot. Islands are to
12 conform in dimensions to Section 2506. Layout is to be
13 between rows of parking and a long strip with eight foot
14 minimum width wherever possible.
15 It's in the ordinance presently. I
16 would have really liked to have had this discussion the
17 last time.
18 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Madam Chair?
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
20 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I think Mr.
21 Avdoulos makes a good point, though. You can meet all
22 those requirements with one big island in the middle of
23 a huge sea of parking, and that's really not what we're
24 trying to get at. What we're trying to get at is evenly
25 spaced islands throughout a parking lot and I think
1 there is a difference.
2 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: So it --
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Kocan.
4 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: It sounds to me like
5 we're pretty much in concurrence with having it be more
6 instead of the square foot of parking space we want an
7 island for every set number, whatever that set number
8 is, of parking spaces. And perhaps we can leave it to
9 staff to come up with an appropriate number and send
10 this on to City Council, that we would like to take some
11 of the language from the current ordinance but to
12 restrict it more instead of -- so that we do not have
13 just one huge landscape area for a sea of parking
15 MR. EVANCOE: And I assume you want some
16 degree of balance, that you also don't want little, tiny
17 islands everywhere at the expense of the possibility of
18 some significant islands. You kind of want both I
20 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: That's where those
21 minimum size requirements would apply.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Would you be amenable
23 to that, Mr. Shroyer, to have the staff calculate out
24 some so we can move on and send it to Council?
25 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Absolutely. I
1 think Member Kocan's suggestion is well taken.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. What else,
3 Mr. Shroyer.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Well, I only have
5 another 15 -- no, that's actually all I have. Thank
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much,
8 Mr. Shroyer. Nice job.
9 Mr. Lowell -- I mean Mr. Sprague.
10 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Thank you.
11 Actually, I wanted to come back to this chart Member
12 Shroyer passed around to make sure I understand it.
13 If we take the example of a 23-inch
14 tree, right now, if I understand it right, the developer
15 gets credit for four trees. So that's four trees that
16 he would not have to put on to the property because he
17 kept the one tree.
18 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: It's the other way.
19 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: It's the other way?
20 If he cuts it down? Okay. So where it says diameter of
21 trunk preserved, we're not really talking about
22 preserved trees, we're talking about cut-down trees? I
23 guess that's what's confusing. The heading is Diameter
24 of Trunk of Preserved Tree, which makes me think that
25 it's being kept, not being cut.
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: No wonder I got
2 confused myself earlier. That is confusing. Can we
3 change the verbiage on that?
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: It shouldn't say
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Or removed. Diameter
7 of trunk of tree removed. How about that, Mr. Sprague?
8 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yeah. If that's
9 the case, then Option A is acceptable to me. If it
10 really is preserved, I'd want to keep it the way it is.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Does anyone else have
13 any comments? I have a couple of comments, luckily only
15 The first one is on Page 6. It is
16 that large paragraph (iii). How I would like it to read
17 is -- I would like to add a few words in there. So I'll
18 read the sentence: "Where practical difficulties exist
19 with respect to site development as a result of parcel
20 size, configuration, topography or other physical
21 characteristics the Planning Commission may reduce the
22 height of the berm or eliminate the berm and may require
23 that additional landscaping or other materials
24 commensurate with the numbers, size and types specified
25 be provided."
1 So what I'd like to add is
2 "commensurate with numbers, size and types specified be
3 provided, including a wall subject to Section,"
4 etcetera. I'd like to be more specific.
5 MR. EVANCOE: If I may, Madam Chair, just
6 so I get this written down because I'll have to change
7 it, commensurate with the number, size and...
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Maybe I read that
9 wrong. Yes, numbers, with numbers, size and type
10 specified. I want to make sure that they delineate the
11 types of material, etcetera, that they're going to use.
12 And then further down in that
13 paragraph I'll just start with "where it determines that
14 an alternative design utilizing landscaping or other
15 materials, including a wall subject to Section 2509.4.a
16 below, provides similar and effective noise
17 attenuation." I'd like to add "and effective".
18 And continuing with that sentence
19 it reads "or screening benefits or where such
20 alternative design provides a substantial aesthetic or
21 site design benefit while still providing for noise
22 attenuation and screening to the extent practicable,"
23 instead of possible. Reasonably practicable instead of
24 possible. I don't want the word "possible" in there.
25 And then the next sentence I would
1 like to read "The intent of this section is not to
2 encourage and allow elimination or reduction of berm
3 height for the sake of convenience or cost savings."
4 Those changes are with regard to that discussion of
5 future Commissions and that we want to keep the control
6 over what is being put in.
7 Does anybody have any problems with
9 And then I have one more change, on
10 Page 16, and that is under number 4 with regard to
11 Waiver. I think Member Kocan wanted to change -- it
12 should read "The Planning Commission may reduce or
13 waive." She wanted to change that, but at the end of
14 the sentence I would like to change "such action by the
15 Commission shall be taken" and I'd like to have the
16 words "any and all" -- "when any and all," because you
17 can't meet all four requirements underneath there, "any
18 or all".
19 And then I would also like to add
20 in that "a specific need must be demonstrated by the
21 applicant to entertain the waiver."
22 MR. EVANCOE: To what?
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: "To entertain the
24 waiver." In other words, you just don't want to keep
25 waiving things, you want it demonstrated to you.
1 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: What was the first
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: "A specific need must
4 be demonstrated by the applicant to entertain the
6 Outside of that, I have nothing
8 Yes, Member Markham.
9 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I just want to be
10 clear that what you meant to say was "Such action shall
11 be taken when any or all"?
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, "any or all," and
13 then we can put in here -- I don't know where I put it
15 So do we have anything else? Mr.
16 McGinnis, you had your hand up first.
17 MR. McGINNIS: Yes. I'd like to go back
18 to Mr. Shroyer's chart, on Page 3. I think if you read
19 F I think it clarifies what the credit is for. This is
20 if in a landscape that does not fall within a dedicated
21 woodland, if the developer saves the trees he can get
22 credit for trees that he could normally cut down without
23 any penalty towards his landscape, his landscape
24 requirement. Suppose he saves trees around the
25 perimeter of the site that can be cut down but he
1 doesn't, then he can get credit.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Because this is for all
3 the existing plant material.
4 MR. McGINNIS: It's credit toward -- for
5 example, if he has right-of-way trees, existing
6 right-of-way trees and there's one tree for every 35
7 feet, he can get credit for that, for that tree. I
8 think that's the way the ordinance reads.
9 MR. EVANCOE: And that's correct. This is
10 a reward for preserving existing trees. So actually the
11 title of this would be correct and we would want to
12 retain that. Sorry for the confusion about that though.
13 That's a good question.
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay.
15 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Madam Chair.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Kocan.
17 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Did I just hear that
18 the developer can cut down anything he wants without any
19 penalty as long as it's not in a woodland or a wetland
20 area? That is Woodland Review Board, anything over
21 eight inches now you have to have replacements.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: That's our Woodlands
24 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay.
25 MR. McGINNIS: That's in regulated
2 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. I guess I
3 didn't think of it that way.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Sprague.
5 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: If that's the case
6 then, what's proposed under Option A is keeping less
7 trees or adding less trees to the site than our current
8 -- what we currently have. So I would rather keep what
9 we currently have and keep at least the same level of
10 trees being put on the land.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think you may be
12 right, Mr. Sprague.
13 Does anyone else have a comment?
14 Mr. Evancoe, do you agree?
15 MR. EVANCOE: I do agree with Commissioner
16 Sprague. I think again the idea is to reward but not to
17 over-reward. We need to -- I think you may want to
18 consider going back to the way it was originally phrased
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So, Member Shroyer,
21 would you withdraw your request or would the Commission
22 like to reconsider the request of Mr. Shroyer? Either
24 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I would withdraw
25 the request, but I still don't care for the variance in
1 the size range. I think that ought to be reviewed and
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So we are withdrawing
4 Option A.
5 Yes, Mr. Fisher.
6 MR. FISHER: Thank you. I don't want to
7 belabor this. I know we've spent considerable time.
8 Just two minor points on Page 23.
9 In paragraph 6, the underlying material in the middle of
10 the paragraph, contemplates a developer completing an
11 agreement on a pre-approved blank form as provided by
12 the City and that in and of itself is a little bit broad
13 in the sense that we could put anything in front of them
14 and require them to sign. So I merely suggest adding at
15 the end of that line "with provisions reasonably
16 calculated to assure maintenance consistent with the
17 intent of this section of the ordinance," and that then
18 clarifies that --
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Could you repeat your
20 sentence? "With provisions reasonably calculated" --
21 MR. FISHER: Yeah. "With provisions
22 reasonably calculated to assure maintenance consistent
23 with the intent of this section of the ordinance."
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Kocan.
25 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Madam Chair, as we do
1 have in our packet a site maintenance agreement that I
2 was going to include with the motion to adopt that, and
3 if we did do that would that site maintenance agreement
4 be the one that Section 6 would be referring to?
5 MR. EVANCOE: Right.
6 MR. FISHER: And then we'd change the
7 language. Rather than a pre-approved blank, it would be
8 to the agreement and schedule something.
9 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: That was going to be
10 my recommendation for this evening. I read through the
11 maintenance agreement and I thought that it sounded fine
12 and was going to recommend attaching that.
13 MR. FISHER: That would be a fine
14 alternative as long as it's something specific that
15 doesn't essentially open the door to arbitrary activity.
16 I have one other point in paragraph
17 7. These cost estimates are included -- there's a cost
18 estimate required to be made and the intent there is to
19 make sure that the bond is adequate. And cost to one
20 individual is different than a cost to a developer and
21 it may be different than cost to the City and what we're
22 really talking about here is cost to the City. So I
23 think we should clarify that accurate planted costs that
24 would be available to the City.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Where would you like to
1 insert this?
2 MR. FISHER: Right after the word "costs".
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Accurate --
4 MR. FISHER: Planted costs that would be
5 available to the City. Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do you have anything,
7 Mr. Sprague? Okay.
8 If we have nothing else, the Chair
9 will entertain a motion. Member Kocan.
10 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Thank you, Madam
12 In the matter of Zoning Text
13 Amendment 18.172 to amend the City of Novi's Zoning
14 Ordinance, as codified in Section 34, Zoning, of the
15 City's Code of Ordinances, Section 2509, Landscaping, in
16 order to update and revise the entire section, motion to
17 recommend approval of Zoning Text Amendment 18.172 with
18 the following conditions: All the changes discussed
19 this evening will be incorporated, particularly staff to
20 revise and finalize the right-of-way requirements chart
21 on Page 12, taking our comments into consideration,
22 without reducing berm heights with respect to greenbelt
24 Additional requirements for parking
25 islands from current Ordinance 2509.8.b with islands to
1 be placed throughout the lot based on a set number of
2 parking spaces as recommended by staff.
3 Including the adoption of site
4 maintenance agreement and recommended verbiage,
5 including the plant material list, including the
6 following statement regarding the effective date for
7 projects in process from the memorandum of January 23rd:
8 In the event a development has received Final Site Plan
9 approval prior to the effective date of the ordinance,
10 then the new standards shall not apply. In the event a
11 development has received Preliminary Site Plan approval
12 prior to the effective date, then the review required
13 under this new ordinance shall be in compliance with the
14 terms of the new ordinance to the extent feasible
15 without having to redesign the development.
16 That's all I have.
17 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Second.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Seconded by Member
19 Paul. Do we have any further comments?
20 Mr. Evancoe.
21 MR. EVANCOE: I would defer first to
22 Commissioner Sprague, who had his hand up.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm sorry. Mr.
25 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Does the motion
1 include adopting Option A under this Landscape Tree
2 Credit Chart or not?
3 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: We removed it.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: We removed that.
5 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Evancoe.
7 MR. EVANCOE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8 Member Kocan, you referred to a
9 memo dated January, is that correct, because there is a
10 February 7th, 2003 memo that has the recommendation?
11 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I never got that. It
12 wasn't in my packet.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Here.
14 MR. EVANCOE: It had one additional point
15 at the bottom.
16 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Can I amend my own
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Can we just change the
20 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Well, I think it's
21 indicative but we can add it: Developments already
22 submitted but not having been approved for Preliminary
23 Site Plan approval shall comply fully with the new
24 requirements. That's the additional sentence.
25 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I'm also amenable to
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Mr.
4 MR. EVANCOE: And then also a note that
5 the street tree list is a part of the ordinance as well
6 as the planting details that were provided in the
7 packet. I just want to make sure that you're aware that
8 those are part of the ordinance.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I didn't realize that
10 was part of the ordinance. If the tree list is part of
11 the ordinance, I'd like to remove all ash trees --
12 MR. EVANCOE: They are.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: -- because they're ash
14 borer diseased. There's no ash left.
15 MR. EVANCOE: And if I can ask another
16 question. With regard to the abutting right-of-way
17 chart, I'm not sure if Mike and I are clear on your
18 direction as to what you want to do on this. If we
19 could maybe just clarify.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Kocan, would you
21 like to clarify that for Mr. Evancoe.
22 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I wish I could make
23 it real clear, but we don't have a -- I'm hopeful that
24 you could come up with one percentage, 15 percent
25 greenbelt, 15 percent additional greenbelt space,
1 without reducing the current berm heights. And if that
2 doesn't work, then I would attach a memo to City Council
3 -- it was their recommendation, from what I understand,
4 to increase the greenbelt to allow some more
5 flexibility. So we can put it back in their lap and ask
6 them to get creative.
7 MR. EVANCOE: Shoot for 15 percent and --
8 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: You pick the number.
9 MR. EVANCOE: But whatever works.
10 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Whatever works in all
11 the instances so that every single one isn't five
12 percent, ten percent, twelve percent, fourteen percent.
13 I just think it would be easier. Maybe that's
14 unrealistic but --
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm not sure -- I don't
16 mean to interject -- but I'm not sure if a specific
17 percentage would work for all areas. Is that what
18 you're trying to say?
19 MR. EVANCOE: Well, the problem that does
20 come in is to get a percentage that works in all areas
21 it becomes a pretty low percentage, ten percent or less.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Why don't we just go
23 with the motion as it was and I think that it was
24 indicating during the discussion that would be sent to
25 Council, these flow charts, I mean not flow charts,
1 percentage calculations.
2 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Understanding that if
3 it can't be done then I would expect a recommendation
4 from staff to City Council.
5 MR. EVANCOE: Okay. Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: With that, Ms. McBeth,
7 if you would please call roll.
8 MS. McBETH: Thank you, Madam Chair.
9 Commissioner Markham?
10 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes.
11 MS. McBETH: Chairperson Nagy?
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
13 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Papp?
14 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
15 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Paul?
16 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
17 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Ruyle?
18 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
19 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Shroyer?
20 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
21 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Sprague?
22 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yes.
23 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Avdoulos?
24 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
25 MS. McBETH: And Commissioner Kocan?
1 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
2 MS. McBETH: Motion passes 9 to 0.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
4 At this time the Commission will take a ten minute
6 (A brief recess was held during
7 the meeting.)
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'd like to call the
9 meeting back to order. We are on our second Public
10 Hearing, which is Island Lake of Novi, (Lake Shore
11 Activities), Site Plan Number 02-62. The Public Hearing
12 is on the request of Toll Brothers for approval of a
13 revised wetland permit. The applicant is proposing to
14 amend the wetland permit previously issued in order to
15 make changes to lake bottom, lake shore, wetland buffer.
16 The property in question is located in Sections 18 and
17 19, north of Ten Mile Road, between Napier and Wixom
19 Ms. McBeth.
20 MS. McBETH: Thank you, Madam Chair.
21 I'll put an aerial photo up to
22 display the location of the property. And for the
23 Commission and the audience and for orientation, Ten
24 Mile Road is located here, along the bottom part of the
25 page, Napier Road is located on the left side of the
1 page and Wixom Road is located right about in this
2 location here. The lake at Island Lake, of course, is
3 this dark area that's outlined here.
4 So this aerial photo also shows the
5 areas under consideration for the wetland permit
6 activities, which are located primarily around the lake
7 itself. The four general activities are displayed on
8 this photos. The first area is generally located along
9 the north and west sides of the lake here where the
10 applicant is proposing to deepen the lake in some areas
11 to allow sufficient lake depth to accommodate seasonal
12 boat docks.
13 Secondly, the applicant provided
14 some lake buffer planting details for the proposed lots
15 and homes, mostly along the north but I believe also
16 along the south side of the lake, some standard details
17 for the lake buffer plantings.
18 The third request is for new
19 boardwalks proposed in two locations, one on the west
20 side of the property and one located right about here on
21 the property. Those boardwalks are proposed to span
22 existing wetlands in those areas.
23 And, finally, the fourth request is
24 for a community boat launch and fixed docks in the area
25 that would be used for a park for the Island Lake
2 You will note that the Michigan
3 Department of Environmental Quality has reviewed and
4 approved the permits for these four requests and the
5 applicant now seeks The City of Novi Wetland Permit
7 Two reports were prepared for The
8 Planning Commission's consideration of this request for
9 the revised wetland permit. The planning review
10 indicated support for the proposed wetland permits
11 subject to the applicant submitting a plan showing the
12 improvements to the community park proposed to be
13 located again on that southwest side of the lake.
14 The RUD agreements approved by the
15 City discuss the concept of a community park at this
16 location. Improvements, such as a driveway and parking
17 spaces, may be necessary to provide access to the boat
18 launch and the docks at that location. In fact, a
19 Preliminary Site Plan was submitted for improvements in
20 this park area last year, and I'll put that up briefly.
21 This preliminary plan was submitted
22 with Phases 4a and 5a. Those were the homes that were
23 located on the south side of the lake. This plan was
24 not presented to the Planning Commission at that time
25 because the applicant withdrew their request for the
1 community park at that point and does plan on submitting
2 a plan in the near future for this community park and
3 the improvements that are shown, including a driveway,
4 some parking spaces, a community meeting room in the
5 existing barn that's there and a driveway that would
6 lead out to the boat launch and the fixed docks.
7 The Planning Department suggests
8 that The Planning Commission consider granting
9 conditional approval of the part of the wetland permit
10 for the boat launch and the boat docks, subject to a
11 plan and improvements in the park area being submitted
12 for a review and approval.
13 The second report was the wetlands
14 report and that did indicate support for the revised
15 wetland permit subject to a number of conditions. The
16 Wetlands Review letter is included in your packets this
17 evening for consideration. Aimee Kay, our wetlands
18 consultant, is here this evening, and I believe the
19 applicant is here as well with his wetland consultant if
20 there are any further questions. Thank you.
21 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do we have any comments
22 from the applicant?
23 If not, is there anyone in the
24 audience that would like to address the Commission with
25 regard to this Public Hearing?
1 Seeing no one, do we have any
2 correspondence? Member Kocan.
3 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes, we do. We have
4 two Public Hearing responses. One from Julie Herron,
5 H-e-r-r-o-n, 25552 Hilldale, who approves of the
6 request, and this is the same one. So I only have one.
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. If there's
8 no participation from the audience members, then I will
9 close the Public Hearing and turn it over to the
10 Commission. Member Paul.
11 COMMISSIONER PAUL: JCK, Aimee Kay, to
12 please come forward. I have a question for her.
13 When I looked initially at this
14 site I was looking at almost two-thirds of an acre of
15 dredging and when I then sat down and really figured out
16 the square feet and the cubic yards and calculated it I
17 gathered it was about .5 yards, which is approximately
18 18 inches in height. Is that approximately right? I
19 know there's going to be variation in the land and a
20 then variation of what you're going to have to dredge
21 out depending on the depth of this lake, but is that
22 approximately correct?
23 MS. KAY: Yes, and these are just
24 estimates, exactly for what you mentioned. The
25 topography is going to be changed from area to area, but
1 they just know that basically in that end of the lake
2 it's shallow overall and they're not able to get the
3 boats there and so we gave you some estimates.
4 COMMISSIONER PAUL: When I talked with the
5 MDEQ, Todd Loci (ph) was in favor of this, and when I
6 got the MDEQ letter everything seems to have met all the
7 requirements of the letter. So it looks like Island
8 Lakes is following everything recommended. Is there
9 anything you see that we need to have included in this?
10 MS. KAY: No. We're obviously looking for
11 feedback, but we are in support of the plan. All of
12 these items, excepting the boat launch, was part of the
13 RUD agreement and we believe that they always intended
14 to have a boat launch and even if it wasn't explicitly
15 mentioned in the RUD that doesn't mean it was not
16 something that they anticipated. So we believe it's
17 reasonable use under the conditions. The lake is a new
18 lake, as you well know. It was mined for years and
19 years and it's a different sort of lake system than
20 most. So we're in agreement with the submittal as such.
21 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Under Page 3 of your
22 letter you talk about the lake buffer to be tested for
23 nutrient content in the soils and there was an RUD and
24 that was in the master deed. What is this test for the
25 nutrient control and how often does it have to be done?
1 MS. KAY: Okay. Actually, the baseline
2 testing has already occurred and I believe that occurred
3 last year and I believe you're remarking on our comments
4 under the -- it says nutrients and what we -- really, to
5 explain that a little further we're really referring to
6 any potential nutrient loading, so not nutrients per se
7 but nutrient loading that would be caused from
8 fertilizers from lawns, from any of the back lots of all
9 the individual residential homes.
10 So the testing has already been
11 done and they tested the soils. And what I mean by
12 baseline is just get what is existing in the soils there
13 now so that, say, ten years from now somebody can go
14 out, or there should be continued monitoring actually.
15 I think under our permit there's going to be continued
16 monitoring and they can see if it's increasing in
17 phosphorus, increasing in nitrogen, etcetera, and check
18 for pesticides as well. And, obviously, if there is an
19 increase then they can regulate the use.
20 There's already restrictions for
21 those condominiums on the type of applications they can
22 use for those --
23 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Fertilization?
24 MS. KAY: Right. So we have the
25 monitoring for a starting point to see if it's
2 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Is there a set time
3 frame that you want this testing to occur or is there a
4 specified amount already that's been in the master deed?
5 MS. KAY: I believe it's already in our
6 permit. I don't have our permit with me, but I believe
7 that's for five years and I believe their wetland
8 consultant can correct me.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Excuse me. You can't
10 just interject because you have to identify yourself and
11 then come down. So let her speak and we'll be happy to
12 listen to what you have to say, sir.
13 MS. KAY: Okay. So twice a year for
15 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay. And the other
16 thing is, what phase is the boardwalk in? Under
17 recommendation number 1, you have the boardwalk being
18 either Phase 2b or 3d.
19 MS. KAY: Yeah, we put that in there
20 because actually the plans that were submitted it is
21 unclear what phase is that in and even from all the
22 plans that we've had from previous submittals we
23 couldn't tell that.
24 So we're just putting that in there
25 as a point of clarification so if it happens to be in a
1 different phase that he can note that on the plan. So
2 it's really a clerical thing, but we are approving that
4 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay. Then I think
5 I'd like to ask the applicant if they would specify
6 where the boardwalk is so we can put it in our soil
7 erosion control.
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Sir, if you would
9 please state your name and spell it for the court
11 MR. RICKARD: Jason Rickard, with Toll
12 Brothers, R-i-c-k-a-r-d.
13 Did you have the site map? The two
14 boardwalks in question are this one right here, which is
15 kind of in limbo in between two phases. We have the
16 Single-Family homes along the lake, this part is already
17 developed, and then the condos that were submitted right
18 now for our pre-application meeting. We just had that a
19 couple weeks ago. So it's kind of in between those two
20 sections. And then this section over here, along Napier
21 Road, once again is kind of in between two sections. We
22 just wanted to get all the boardwalks wrapped up. We
23 had just completed some other ones along Wixom Road
24 through some wetland crossings and then through the
25 woods over all the wetland crossings there.
1 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I'm still not sure
2 which phase then you're talking about. I'd just like an
3 answer. Is it 2b or 3d and can it be included in the
4 soil erosion control?
5 MR. RICKARD: For which boardwalk?
6 COMMISSIONER PAUL: It says, "The
7 boardwalk on the east side of the lake is within phase
8 2b or 3d. If the boardwalk is within phase 3d, our
9 office recommends including the boardwalk in the soil
11 MR. RICKARD: Well, I guess it would be
12 considered 3b.
13 COMMISSIONER PAUL: That's not even one of
14 the options.
15 MR. RICKARD: I'm sorry, 2b.
16 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Can you specify that
18 MR. RICKARD: 2b is the section along the
19 lake and then the --
20 MS. KAY: If I could interject. Actually,
21 let me make a correction here. There's a soil erosion
22 permit already for all the lake shore activities and all
23 we're saying in the letter is when he determines whether
24 or not that really is in 3d or is part of this lake
25 shore per se or another phase, whatever phase that may
1 be --
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Can you speak up?
3 MS. KAY: Excuse me. That they just note
4 that and he amends the soil erosion control permit
5 that's already active and that he tell the person that's
6 in charge of that permit what these activities are so
7 it's duly noted on their plans so they can put the
8 appropriate soil erosion control measures for this
10 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Thank you for
11 clarifying. I appreciate it. Then are you in agreement
12 to substitute any other species of a natural medium for
13 the Silky Dogwood?
14 MR. RICKARD: Yes, that is not a problem.
15 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Thank you.
16 In the matter of the request of
17 Island Lakes of Novi (Lake Shore Activities) SP 02-62,
18 motion to grant approval of the Revised Wetland Permit,
19 subject to the submit review and approval of a site plan
20 showing the necessary improvements in the community
21 park, prior to construction of the proposed boat launch
22 and permanent boat docks for safety of the water
24 Number 2. The 11 conditions
25 detailed on the wetlands review letter as implemented;
1 the boardwalk on the east side of the lake to be
2 specified into the soil erosion control, and to add
3 native species other than dogwoods are recommended.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do I have a second?
5 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Second.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Seconded by Mr. Ruyle.
7 Is there any further discussion? Yes, Member Markham.
8 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: It seems a little
9 unusual to me that we're approving a wetland permit
10 conditional to a bunch of plans that we haven't seen.
11 Is that typical? I haven't seen this book.
12 MS. KAY: Actually, you have seen most of
13 the phases for this. The reason -- you're right, it is
14 a little atypical. The reason we specifically requested
15 that they come before the Planning Commission is because
16 so far what's been happening now the reviews have been
17 coming in at the plot plan level individually and that
18 doesn't mean that it can't continue to do so but because
19 we know they -- they actually wanted to have the whole
20 lake shore development being done at once and we were in
21 opposition to that because we believe it needs to be
22 phased for environmental reasons so you have a little
23 more control over enforcement, etcetera.
24 So we actually did request that
25 they come in for this specific wetland permit. So
1 you've actually seen most of the permitted impacts that
2 are shown on the DEQ permit but the only additional new
3 permitted activity is the boat launch per se.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
5 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Thanks. Nothing
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Member Kocan.
8 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Thank you, Madam
10 Following up on that, because I had
11 the same concern, why am I approving a plan that I don't
12 see in front of me? And obviously the addition of the
13 boat launch and the boat docks requires parking changes,
14 it requires a road, it's going to require a turn-around.
15 We don't have a plan showing it. It also requires, from
16 previous comments from City Council, the people who live
17 there shouldn't have to look at parking. So I know
18 there was a blanket statement in the review letter
19 saying we think this is feasible, but I don't like this
20 process. I'm concerned about if we give them approval
21 subject to submittal, review and approval of the site
22 plan, does that not have to come in front of the
23 Planning Commission so in essence we're giving them
24 nothing? I don't understand.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Ms. McBeth.
1 MS. McBETH: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2 Yes, you would still need to review
3 the site plan for the proposed improvements at that
4 community park. The Planning Commission would still
5 need to do that. Maybe the applicant would like to
6 address the timing of these improvements that they're
7 proposing for that boat launch and those fixed docks at
8 the community park. I understood there was some concern
9 about doing the work during the winter months as opposed
10 to the summer months in this case.
11 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: If I can get
12 clarification from the city attorney.
13 Are we giving them any approval if
14 it says it's conditional on approval of a site plan?
15 MR. FISHER: No. I think that the
16 sequence is rational in the sense that they needed to
17 know that the City would approve this type of wetland
18 activity before preparing the site plan. Why go through
19 all of the site plan process if they can't impact the
20 wetland? So the wetland activities are, you might say,
21 aside from the site plan, although you need the wetland
22 activities in order to do the development that is
23 contemplated in the site plan. So I think it's
24 rational, I think it's a rational request.
25 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Do you also agree
1 then that we will not be in a situation where they could
2 claim hardship later on to say you approved the wetland,
3 you let me spend this money and dredge the lake and
4 whatever and now you're not going to approve my parking?
5 I mean, I don't want us in a position that we have to
6 approve whatever comes in front of us because we've
7 given a previous approval.
8 MR. FISHER: I think the point would be
9 that you are implying that you are going to approve some
10 kind of community project. You do not have to
11 necessarily approve the specific plan they present, but
12 you are implying that you are going to approve some site
13 plan as long as it meets all the other requirements.
14 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do we have any further
16 comments? I have a couple comments.
17 Number one, with every Preliminary
18 Site Plan we've had we have wetland approval. I think
19 what's driving this is that they want to do this during
21 Number two, I'd like to know how
22 the -- we know that this was basically dug out, that
23 this was a gravel pit or something that's dug out. I'd
24 like to know who is responsible for the water table.
25 Mr. Coburn, if you could answer that, or the level of
1 the water.
2 MR. COBURN: Because it's a gravel pit
3 it's a different situation than what you have with a
4 normal lake. I believe that the lake level would be
5 fixed by the level of the water table. So in a regular
6 lake, if you were to dredge something out, the level of
7 the lake might go down. In a gravel pit lake like this
8 one is, you dredge something out, the water table is
9 still going to be the same level. So you're not going
10 to see any decrease in the water elevation.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is there someone that
12 maintains the level, is that under the Drain Commission
13 or is that within Island Lake's responsibility?
14 MR. COBURN: I believe it's maintained by
15 the outlet and there's no level maintained, it's just
16 whatever the outlet is.
17 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. I personally
18 happen to agree with the prior speaker, that I would
19 have liked to have seen site plans, but I will support
20 the motion.
21 If there's no further discussion
22 then, Ms. McBeth, if you would please call the roll.
23 MS. McBETH: Thank you, Madam Chair.
24 Chairperson Nagy?
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
1 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Papp?
2 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
3 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Paul?
4 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
5 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Ruyle?
6 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
7 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Shroyer?
8 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
9 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Sprague?
10 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yes.
11 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Avdoulos?
12 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
13 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Kocan?
14 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
15 MS. McBETH: Commissioner Markham?
16 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes.
17 MS. McBETH: Motions passes 9 to 0.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Good night.
19 Can I have your attention, ladies
20 and gentlemen. We are under the Public Hearing for
21 Catholic Central High School, Site Plan number 02-61.
22 Consideration of the request of Father Richard Elmer for
23 approval of a Preliminary Site Plan, Wetland, and
24 Woodland permit and a Special Land Use Permit. The
25 subject property is located in Section 18 on the west
1 side of Wixom Road south of Grand River Avenue in the
2 R-1 (One Family Residential) district. The developer is
3 proposing a private college preparatory high school.
4 The subject property is approximately 60 acres.
5 Mr. Schmitt.
6 MR. SCHMITT: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Go slow.
8 MR. SCHMITT: I will go as slow as you'd
9 like me to.
10 As you can see on the aerial photo,
11 this is the location of the property we're discussing.
12 Twelve Mile Road is to the north and Wixom Road is on
13 the extreme eastern portion of the picture. As you can
14 see, Island Lake Drive does come up to the south. To
15 the north is vacant land and to the west is vacant land.
16 Across the street to the east is the Novi Promenade
17 commercial development.
18 The current zoning for the parcel
19 is R-1, Single Family Residential. To the north it is
20 zoned a combination I-1 (Light industrial) and I-2
21 (general industries). To the south is the Island Lake
22 RUD, which is zoned R-1 in this area. To the west is RA
23 (residential acreage) and to the east is I-1 (light
24 industrial) for the Novi Promenade development. And the
25 land use map is consistent with these zoning
1 classifications. Both Catholic Central and the Island
2 Lake property to the south are single family. To the
3 west is Master Planned for office, as are the three
4 parcels fronting on Wixom Road, and to the north is a
5 light industrial classification.
6 I'd like to briefly walk through
7 the site just to give everyone a general overview of
8 what is being proposed.
9 As you can see, Wixom Road is on
10 the east. This is the main entrance to the driveway, to
11 the parcel, which begins the ring road, which will
12 encirculate the site. As you can see, part of parking
13 lot is along the front. The school is located roughly
14 in the center of the site with a wetland directly
15 adjacent to the south.
16 The ring road continues to the west
17 to an additional parking lot, the lighted football field
18 and track, the baseball diamonds, both varsity and
19 junior varsity, along with a practice football/soccer
21 Their on-site detention is located
22 in this location, and as you travel further back to the
23 east eight tennis courts are proposed and two practice
24 fields for the site. The ring road then exits back out
25 onto Wixom Road.
1 In going through the review
2 letters, several issues have been noted that should be
3 brought to the attention of the Commission. The fire
4 department has said that the site meets the requirements
5 and is recommending for approval. The fire marshal and
6 the applicant have gone through several meetings and the
7 site is designed to the fire marshal's liking. The
8 facade review indicates that the current building and
9 the concession building both meet the facade
10 requirements, therefore no Section 9 waiver will be
12 The engineering review indicated
13 minor comments that could be taken care of at the time
14 of Final Site Plan approval. The planning review
15 indicated two variances that will be required for this
16 site and both of them involved the football field
17 lighting at the lighted field at the west of the
18 property. The applicant is proposing 80 foot high
19 football standards for the lights, with a 45 degree
20 cut-off angle.
21 Under our code, the maximum height
22 allowed would be 25 feet and the lights would have a
23 cut-off angle of 90 degrees. The Planning Department is
24 under the impression that this is not a situation that
25 was taken into by the current ordinance. It's very
1 difficult to plan for every possible situation and a
2 private high school is a very unique situation to the
4 For comparison sake, Novi High
5 School has 90 foot high poles with a slightly higher
6 cut-off angle which provides further spillover than will
7 be at the Catholic Central site. In talking to lighting
8 consultants throughout the area, one of the foremost
9 experts in the field, Musco Lighting, has given us the
10 standards that 60 to 90 feet is a general standard for
11 football field lighting. The higher the poles are the
12 less spillover you get on surrounding properties because
13 you can more easily direct the light towards the field.
14 In addition, the question was
15 raised as to the proximity of some of these fields to
16 the surrounding developments. As you can see, the
17 baseball diamond is within 30 feet of the south property
18 line. However, there is a substantial setback on the
19 Island Lake property to the nearest condo in that area.
20 From the property line of Catholic
21 Central to the nearest condo on Island Lake is 275 feet
22 and it is 305 feet to the first baseball diamond. To
23 the mobile home park, that is further to the southwest,
24 is 375 feet to the property line and 405 feet to the
25 baseball diamond.
1 For comparison sake, I'd like to
2 show you the recently proposed concept plan for Novi
3 High School, the additions that they will be making to
4 the south of their current location. As you can see,
5 they're proposing -- this is Taft Road to the west --
6 they're proposing two practice soccer/football fields
7 and one softball field. Once this is constructed, the
8 nearest house in the subdivision to the south will be 40
9 feet from the property line and 240 feet from the
10 practice facility, substantially less than the Catholic
11 Central setback.
12 One of the other issues that was
13 raised in terms of the review were the islands, the
14 parking islands in the far west parking lot. The
15 applicant has initially proposed to make these islands
16 flush with the asphalt and simply painted. I will let
17 them further discuss this; however, the traffic
18 consultant has indicated he would not support this and
19 would like to see raised landscaped islands in that
21 In addition, a Planning Commission
22 waiver of the opposite side driveway spacing will be
23 required under the traffic review for the southern drive
24 in relation to the truck entrance for Novi Promenade.
25 Bill Stimpson is here from Birchler Arroyo & Associates
1 and he can comment on any of the traffic issues this
2 evening, but he indicated in his review letter that he
3 would support such a waiver.
4 As you saw previously, Aimee Kay,
5 our wetlands consultant, is here this evening. Aimee,
6 after working extensively with the applicant, came to
7 several agreements and can support the plan as it's
8 currently proposed. Two of the items that should be
9 pointed out are the fact that there are a total of 14.
10 roughly 37 acres of wetland on the site and only 2.04 of
11 them are being permanently impacted. They are
12 mitigating on the site. However, in working with the
13 wetlands and woodlands consultants, a proper amount of
14 mitigation was determined in order to preserve as many
15 of the trees on the site as well.
16 In addition, Ms. Kay has requested,
17 and I believe the applicant can comment further on this,
18 that a bond be placed with the City in the amount of
19 $70,000 to cover approximately 158 wetland trees in
20 roughly this area of the main wetland. This is to
21 alleviate concerns that some of these trees may die off
22 as a result of future flow, water flow, into wetlands;
23 however, Ms. Kay is satisfied that this bonding will
24 protect the City in the event that these trees do die.
25 This is one of the few situations in the City where this
1 type of bonding has been done separate from actual
2 woodland bonding.
3 Our woodland technician, Elaine
4 Grehl, is here to discuss the woodland issues on the
5 site, a few things to point out, and the applicant can
6 speak further to this. They are working and fine-tuning
7 the site in order to get as many replacement trees on
8 the site as possible and I believe they have further
9 discussion tonight as to more ideas to further that
11 In addition, the bleacher design
12 for the lighted field has been proposed in such a way to
13 minimize the impact to the trees on the far west portion
14 of the site. The home bleachers were intentionally put
15 on the eastern side of the field so as to impact as few
16 trees as possible and to keep the amount of asphalt at a
17 minimum on the far west side. In addition, the visiting
18 bleachers in that area will be a special design in order
19 to save as many trees as possible.
20 Additionally, the southern drive
21 entrance is being designed to avoid as many of the trees
22 in the areas as possible. It will almost provide a
23 tree-lined boulevard design in the area just because of
24 the natural features on the site, and the applicant is
25 working diligently with their landscape architect in
1 order to make sure to preserve as many as possible.
2 The applicant has provided a facade
3 board, which as you can see is located in front of me on
4 the floor. I'd be happy to pass it around if you'd like
5 to see it.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, we would because
7 we can't.
8 MR. SCHMITT: In closing, I'd just like to
9 point out that the applicant has worked extensively with
10 every member of the City's team and every member of
11 their team have had several meetings in order to provide
12 the best design possible for this site. I think it's
13 safe to say that had this site come in as an office or
14 industrial development as it was previously zoned and
15 Master Planned, we would not be getting quite as
16 nature-friendly of a design.
17 For some perspective, over 70
18 percent of the site will be open space in the final
19 design, not have hard-packed surface such as asphalt or
20 building on it, and approximately 50 percent of the site
21 will actually be left green, meaning wetland or
22 landscaping or woodland trees that will remain.
23 I have no further issues. I'd be
24 happy to answer any questions you may have, as all our
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
2 Would the applicant like to address
3 the Commission? Father Elmer.
4 FATHER ELMER: Two minutes for me then
5 I'll introduce those who are my support staff here
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
8 FATHER ELMER: It's very good to be here,
9 especially because our entire Catholic Central family is
10 looking forward and excited about being part of the City
11 of Novi.
12 I want to give a couple of thanks
13 especially to David Evancoe and Tim Schmitt and their
14 staff for turning around our documents so quickly that
15 we are actually able to be here tonight and, of course,
16 was crucial to keeping the tight schedule that we have
17 in order to open our doors in August of 2005, which is
18 our goal.
19 I'd like to thank, too, the welcome
20 I've really enjoyed from all parts of the City of Novi,
21 from the City administration, including the Mayor and
22 the Mayor Pro-Tem, Members of the City Council, the City
23 Manager and Assistant City Manager and, of course,
24 Members of this Planning Commission.
25 And the spirit of friendliness is
1 actually happening, too, between Catholic Central and
2 the Novi Board of Education. I've had several meetings
3 with your superintendent. Our two principals have
4 gotten together with a meeting, our athletic directors
5 just today got together, and so we do want to have a
6 good understanding working relationship with the schools
7 in Novi.
8 Catholic Central intends to be good
9 citizens in the City of Novi. Just a couple of examples
10 that we might have. Already we're in discussion in
11 opening what will be a very environmentally rich campus
12 to the students in Novi so that they can have field
13 trips there to do their various experiments and so on.
14 And on another point, all of our
15 students are required to do ten hours of community
16 service and that factors into over 10,000 hours of
17 community service that would be available again to the
18 City of Novi.
19 Among those in the chambers this
20 evening are members of our Catholic Central family who
21 live here. They were invited to come to show their
22 support for Catholic Central coming and there are almost
23 400 households that are connected with Catholic Central
24 that are on our mailing list that have Novi addresses,
25 and there are others I understand from Farmington Hills
1 and Northville that also vote in Novi. So there are
2 quite a few CC connections here already. And I've
3 noticed that a number of our alums are now moving into
4 the city with the idea that they have young boys and
5 they want them to go to Catholic Central. So I think
6 you'll find that will happen as well.
7 And just finally I'd like to
8 introduce our support staff that are here tonight. I've
9 been very impressed with the expertise of all of them in
10 coming to this point that we're at tonight. And if they
11 would just stand as I call off their names.
12 Our architect, from Coquillard,
13 Dundon, Peterson and Argenta, John Argenta and Steve
14 Flicka; our attorney, Tom Ryan; our owner's
15 representative, Greg Kreutzer; our project director,
16 from McCarthy, Smith & Associates, Bill McCarthy; our
17 woodlands experts, from King & McGregor, Jeff King and
18 Woody Held; and our engineers, from Zymet-Wozniak,
19 Julian Wargo and Mark Highlen.
20 I would like to just give a few
21 words to John Argenta, our architect, and then to Ken
22 Weikal, the consultant to our landscape architects, who
23 will give a very brief explanation on some issues that
24 I'll know you'll be asking about later on.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Father, before you
1 leave, can I ask you a big favor? Do you think you can
2 give the list of the names you just read off to our
3 reporter so he can have the correct spellings?
4 FATHER ELMER: Absolutely.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
6 Sir, if could you please state your
7 name and spell your last name for the court reporter I'd
8 appreciate it.
9 MR. ARGENTA: John Argenta, A-r-g-e-n-t-a.
10 Just a few brief comments to
11 supplement what Mr. Schmitt said.
12 When Catholic Central made the
13 decision --
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Could you speak up?
15 Thank you.
16 MR. ARGENTA: When Catholic Central
17 originally made the decision to build a new high school,
18 it was because of inadequate facilities at their Redford
19 campus, both for academic and athletic facilities. The
20 building was presently built as a junior high by Redford
21 Union in 1954. It was eventually closed because of
22 declining enrollment. Catholic Central bought it and
23 has been there since the early seventies.
24 When planning began, fortunately we
25 were donated by a very generous donor 50 acres of
1 property on Wixom Road, the site that we're proposing.
2 When planning began with a program of requirements that
3 outline Catholic Central's needs for a modern high
4 school, both academic and athletic, for a campus that at
5 last would be their permanent home, several meetings
6 were held with the City of Novi and with the DEQ to
7 determine planning alternatives and planning
8 requirements. And as the site planning progressed, it
9 became very clear that in order to protect the wetlands
10 and the woodlands on this site to the maximum extent
11 possible that certain design compromises were going to
12 have to be made in the original program requirements
13 because of the large quantities of wetlands and
14 woodlands and the confines of the site and the way they
15 were laid out.
16 The large area and location of
17 these natural resources, they place significant
18 restrictions on the available area for construction as
19 well as the locations, the relative locations of the
20 different facilities. One of the things was that we
21 were directed early on that the main access to the site
22 would have to be up in the northeast corner, opposite
23 the entrance to the mall across the street. And this
24 really put a constriction between the wetlands and the
25 north property line, and we went back to the donor and
1 we were able to get an additional ten acres to make this
2 a 60 acre site, because of the narrow confines we had to
3 do any building since that was going to be the main
4 entrance. So then the decision was made to design
5 around the wetlands, many of them wooded, and to treat
6 them as a site amenity rather than a restriction. I
7 think as we've gone along it's been rather successful.
8 A significant amount of trees in the wetlands have been
9 saved so that now the wetlands and the natural features
10 are a very significant part of the design.
11 The main entrance is to the north,
12 the parking is to the north and the main entrances to
13 the building are to the north. To the south of the
14 building there are no entries because of the wetlands
15 and the proximity to the wetlands and the woodlands.
16 And then, as we mentioned before, the drive wraps around
17 the building.
18 The floor plan of the building
19 incorporates a two-story classroom wing. It has a media
20 center. The two-story wing is that triangular piece
21 down at the end. And the building was shaped to take
22 advantage of every in and out of the wetlands because of
23 the constrictions on the site. There's a two-story
24 classroom wing, a media center, administration and
25 counseling offices, staff offices. There's a chapel,
1 the portion that projects into the wetlands, a
2 gymnasium, cafeteria, kitchen, art and music areas,
3 athletic locker spaces, auxiliary gym and a fitness
5 When we got to the site amenities
6 and requirements, the original program called for a
7 varsity game field for football and for soccer and
8 lacrosse with a track. It also required, because of the
9 extensive athletic program with varsity, junior varsity
10 and freshman running three different levels of
11 athletics, three football practice fields, three soccer
12 fields, three baseball fields and ten tennis courts.
13 It quickly became obvious that
14 because of natural site constraints all of these
15 facilities wouldn't fit on the site. So this area here
16 was developed as an artificial synthetic turf field that
17 could eliminate the need for multiple fields and combine
18 the requirements and eliminate the turf management that
19 would be required.
20 That field, here, serves as a
21 varsity football game field, a varsity soccer game
22 field, a varsity football practice field, which usually
23 destroys a regular turf field, a JV football game field,
24 freshmen game field, lacrosse game field and freshmen
25 and JV soccer fields can all be played on this game --
1 on this field. Also a track around the field and then
2 three practice fields, here, and you'll see the other
3 two at the other end of the site, two for football, for
4 JV and for freshmen, and one for soccer, and then a
5 varsity fenced baseball field and a practice baseball
6 field that is overlaid by a practice field to again
7 reduce the number of fields that would be required on
8 the site and how they would impact all of these natural
10 And after some real review with
11 some real innovative scheduling, most of the programs
12 for the school can be accommodated with these sites now
13 in this reduced state because of the synthetic turf
14 field that would go up here.
15 Ken Weikal is here from the
16 landscape firm that has a few comments on the wetlands
17 and woodlands and then...
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
19 Sir, if you could please state your
20 name and spell it for the court reporter.
21 MR. WEIKAL: My name is Ken Weikal,
22 W-e-i-k-a-l, landscape architect with Grissom, Metz,
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: And you know what?
25 It's getting very late, he's been going a long time. If
1 you could speak a little bit slower, we'd all appreciate
3 MR. WEIKAL: Oh, all right.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thanks.
5 MR. WEIKAL: I'll just hit on a few
6 points. I know you've all reviewed the proposed
7 landscape plan. This has been a very interesting
8 project to work on with the constraints of the extensive
9 wetlands and natural features.
10 The planting concept is basically
11 utilizing those and keeping those as much as possible
12 with the natural plantings that will be introduced.
13 We're going to be using mostly native plant types and
14 then also a very diverse grouping of these native plant
15 types due to the -- probably inspired by the emerald ash
16 borer problem.
17 There were a couple points in the
18 review letters from staff. One was the sports field
19 parking, right here, the islands in the parking. We've
20 decided those will be curbed, per the recommendation of
21 the traffic engineer, and we will be doing the required
22 tree plantings in those islands also.
23 There was a request by Mr.
24 McGinnis, the staff landscape architect, about the
25 plantings along the north buffer area. We will be
1 planting additional native shrubs along there also.
2 The bonding for the wetland trees
3 in this area, this portion of the wetland is going to be
4 used as a very shallow detention basin. Water will be
5 gone within 24 hours, etcetera. That's all described in
6 your packets. We do agree to that -- posting a bond for
8 The woodlands, we've been working
9 diligently ongoing with Elaine from the staff. We have
10 agreed to -- since we've been working on the fine
11 grading now, since we made the original submittal, we
12 are working out the very detailed grading. We've worked
13 out -- again that north property line, we can add
14 woodland replacement trees to that area. And then we're
15 still working on other smaller areas, more precise
16 areas, with Elaine to increase the number of woodland
18 Lastly, there was a note Mr.
19 McGinnis had on what we're calling the "no mow" lawn
20 areas, natural areas around the site, since the concept
21 is to keep the site completely natural. We don't want a
22 real manicured landscaping kind of look. That will be
23 submitted. Those areas will be submitted at final
24 review. Thank you.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you, sir.
1 Is there anyone else that would
2 like to come forward? This is a Public Hearing and the
3 audience has the ability to participate. We have one
4 gentleman, one person, Mr. Allen Bond, that would like
5 to speak. If you'd like to speak to the Commission, you
6 may come forward and address the Commission, and keep it
7 to three minutes as an individual, five as a group, and
8 try not to be repetitive. Mr. Bond.
9 MR. BOND: Good evening.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Good
12 MR. BOND: Allen Bond and my wife
14 We're a couple of Catholic
15 Central's new neighbors on Wixom Road. We own one of
16 the three remaining parcels. We've listened with a
17 great deal of interest tonight to the various
18 presentations made by Mr. Schmitt and Catholic Central.
19 A lot of the concerns that we've had about the site
20 itself have been addressed by those presentations, so we
21 have just a couple of minor things that we've asked the
22 Commission to consider.
23 The secondary access road runs very
24 close to our parcel. We've seen in some of the plans a
25 deceleration lane widening to about 12 feet wide would
1 start in front of our property. Some years ago when
2 Wixom Road was paved we lost some frontage at that time
3 and we would like to keep what we still have. We're
4 wondering if the site plan could be looked at to perhaps
5 start that deceleration lane at the property line
6 instead of beginning on our property.
7 The other concerns we have are very
8 minor and have been addressed by the landscape
9 architect. We saw that there was some concerns with
10 lighting and berms there. We would simply ask the
11 Commission to consider when they review these plans to
12 help us minimize the intrusion of this school, and we're
13 speaking specifically about light intrusion from any
14 lighting fixtures or noise intrusion from especially
15 this secondary access road, and if that can be mitigated
16 for us by the use of landscaping or berms or so on we'd
17 just simply ask the Commission to consider our needs in
18 those matters.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
20 MR. BOND: Thank you very kindly.
21 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Madam Chair.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, Mr. Ruyle.
23 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Before you leave,
24 sir, point out your property on that big map so we know
25 exactly. I'm sure yours is the bottom portion but I
1 want to know.
2 MR. BOND: We are this parcel, the
4 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Thank you.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
6 Is there anyone else in the
7 audience that would like to speak?
8 Sir, if you would please come
9 forward. Please state your name and spell your last
10 name for the court reporter.
11 MR. WISKA: Yes. My name is Jeff and the
12 last name is Wiska, W-i-s-k-a, an 18-year resident of
13 Novi and a 1977 graduate of Catholic Central.
14 Just for a moment, could I please
15 have anyone in the room who is a Novi resident who is
16 either a Catholic Central alumnus or has someone going
17 to Catholic Central right now, just please stand for one
18 brief moment. Okay. Very briefly. Thank you.
19 When I graduated from that school,
20 now 25 years ago, hard to believe, I know I look
21 younger, I'm not sure -- I know I was well prepared for
22 the world, but let's just say at the 25 year reunion you
23 have a different perspective of life, and when it's all
24 said and done what is Catholic Central? You get
25 everybody that just stood up and you can get a lot of
1 different answers, but I think -- he's going to kill me
2 -- but I think ultimately Catholic Central is right
3 here. It's alive and it's well.
4 What's he doing here? I mean,
5 certainly he's too young to be retired but certainly he
6 could justifiably be semi-retired. There's no half a
7 million dollar bonus for him to get this project done.
8 There's no if he gets this done he gets to be the
9 principal. He's doing it because he an honorable, good
11 And for years people like him and
12 Father McKernan and Father Donaher running around
13 selling bagels on Friday afternoon so he can make the
14 thousand dollar donation to UNICEF, whatever needs to be
16 See, when you're 16 and 17 and 18
17 sometimes you don't appreciate it, but in a world of
18 intellectual derelicts and in a world of Enrons and in a
19 world of immorality, as life goes on you're so grateful
20 to have people like this.
21 The world has been very good to me.
22 Catholic Central, I can't say enough things about it.
23 On your tape you say alumnus have a tendency to get
24 emotional and grown men cry, well, believe it or not it
1 For the last seven years I coached
2 the Novi-Northville Little League football team and
3 everyday -- it's not about winning and losing. And I
4 was one of the lucky ones. I played in college and got
5 drafted and played in the NFL, and everyday I give the
6 kids a little theme and it's not the stuff I learned at
7 Michigan State, it's not the stuff that I learned in the
8 NFL, it's about saying yes, sir, no, sir, it's about
9 treating ladies with respect, it's about honor, dignity,
10 it's about team work, it's about taking that extra step
11 when you don't think you can, it's about sitting in the
12 front of the classroom.
13 And you know what, I don't know if
14 the kids are going to Novi High, I don't know if they're
15 going to Northville, God forbid one or two of them may
16 want to go to Brother Rice, but if that happens -- the
17 point is, and I'll summarize it this way and I'll leave
18 it at this: Everyday we, the alumnus of Catholic
19 Central, have been mentored by people like this who do
20 nothing -- the Father Elmers, the Father Donahers, the
21 Mr. Santellos, the Mrs. Bales, the Coach Matz, the Coach
22 Rodiguezes. It's not about money, it's not about
23 anything but doing what's right. And what they do is
24 they enhance young minds, not only academically but
25 intellectually and spiritually as well. And we have
1 been taught not to forget where we came from, and I can
2 assure you that we that live here in this community, we
3 will take -- we're going to make sure people like this
4 live forever.
5 You know, we buried Father Clemons
6 several months ago. Father Clemons married my wife and
7 I, and darn it, I'm going to make sure he lives forever
8 because those little kids, so much of the stuff I tell
9 them is the same stuff that he taught me.
10 And I guess in a nutshell and to
11 summarize, we, the alumnus of Catholic Central, know,
12 via our mentors, the responsibility that we have and we
13 challenge those of future years that graduate from that
14 fine institution to keep on giving back to the community
15 as men like this have given to us.
16 And I asked everybody here who is
17 here affiliated with school to stand. I guess I would
18 ask anybody that that doesn't kind of summarize the way
19 that you feel about what's going on at Catholic Central,
20 if you don't feel that way please stand and you can come
21 -- other than that you can just ditto by 50 or 60 people
22 whoever stood up before. Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you, Mr. Wiska.
24 I believe that all the alumni of Catholic Central have a
25 lot to be proud of.
1 Sir, if you would like to address
2 the Commission, we would appreciate it for three
3 minutes, and spell your last name for the court
5 MR. SPRYS: John Sprys, S-p-r-y-s.
6 I certainly can't be as eloquent as
7 Jeff; however, keep in mind that the motto of Catholic
8 Central is "Teach me goodness, discipline and
9 knowledge". And I think that has been the motto through
10 all its history and it will continue to be the motto of
11 Catholic Central. I think in Catholic Central you'll
12 have a good neighbor, you'll have a good community
13 member and I think it will continue all of its fine
14 conditions. So I urge your support.
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
16 Is there anyone else that would
17 like to address the Commission? I know you all feel
18 passionately. We can feel your passion sitting up here.
19 Does anyone else like to say
20 anything? Yes, ma'am, if you'll please come up. I
21 know you didn't go to Catholic Central.
22 MS. KELLER: I am a Catholic Central
23 mother. I have a son that graduated and then --
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you could state your
1 MS. KELLER: I'm sorry. My name is Jane
2 Keller, K-e-l-l-e-r, and I live at 24284 Warrington
3 Court in Novi.
4 I'm really pleased to see all the
5 efforts that Catholic Central has made to bring this to
6 Novi. I think it's a reflection on our community and if
7 there is a resident that has any problems I'm sure we
8 can work it out. I'm happy to see a school of higher
9 education other than -- coming to Novi other than
10 another shopping mall. I think Catholic Central brings
11 a different kind of consumer to this area, which a lot
12 of the businesses would appreciate. And they can use
13 all the support they can get at this point trying to get
14 this on its feet. And any parents that -- just talk to
15 Father Elmer, if they can help in any way, he would more
16 than appreciate all their help that they can get. I
17 appreciate speaking tonight and I think they did a
18 wonderful job. And good luck.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
20 By the way, what are your school
22 FATHER ELMER: Royal blue and white.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Royal blue and white.
24 I like that. I think color is very important.
25 If there's no one else that has
1 anything that they would like to address the Commission
2 with, then Madam Secretary, will you read any
3 correspondence that we have.
4 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I have three
6 Michael Stanford, 49251 Grand River
7 Avenue, approves of the request because it will be a
8 good addition to our community.
9 I believe it's Louise Stanford,
10 49251 Grand River. The school will bring more families
11 to Novi and surrounding business.
12 Also from L. Steven Weiner,
13 W-e-i-n-e-r, 27575 Wixom Road, approves, stating the
14 Edward C. Levy Company supports the development of
15 Catholic Central as proposed and strongly encourages
17 That's all I have, Madam Chair.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
19 If there's no more correspondence
20 and no one else to participate from the audience, I will
21 close the Public Hearing and turn it over to the
22 Commission. Who would like to begin?
23 Mr. Shroyer.
24 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Thank you.
25 Well, I think a lot of us have a
1 lot of things to discuss and as you all know we've been
2 very happy to work with Father Elmer and the entire
3 group in making this come forward. The job of our
4 Commission, however, as you know, is to make sure we
5 follow all the rules and guidelines and ordinances. And
6 so we, at least several of us, have some questions that
7 we need to have addressed.
8 One of the first things that I
9 have, and I don't remember which gentleman it was, I
10 think it was the second architect, Ken Weikal, if he
11 could come forward I'd appreciate it.
12 MR. WEIKAL: Would you like to just maybe
13 state the questions first or do you want us to answer
14 them kind of one-by-one?
15 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I would like you to
16 address them as I ask them.
17 MR. WEIKAL: Okay.
18 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Thank you. The
19 first one, you did indicate that you are going to go
20 ahead and put the curbing in for the islands.
21 MR. WEIKAL: Yes.
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And I marked that
23 off my list, but the other question I had, and you did
24 discuss about the northern berming and talked about the
25 recommendations that our interim landscape architect had
1 made. Could you go over that once again for me, please?
2 MR. WEIKAL: There was a -- since the
3 property to the north is zoned industrial, when that
4 property would be constructed there's a ten foot height
5 berm required under the industrial zoning berm and
6 planting, etcetera, and we were trying to get the uses
7 for the school and the drive, which we've widened for
8 safety, and the parking within that area so we've pretty
9 much gone to the extent of our -- the setback to the
10 property line.
11 The drive is actually above the
12 property line due to grading, so for berming to go up
13 and down there's really no room to do a lot of the
14 calculations that Mr. McGinnis discussed this afternoon
15 with height, or this evening with heights.
16 Originally we wanted to say if
17 there's a berm that's needed, since we're the
18 residential zoning and they're the industrial zoning,
19 they would be responsible for the berm, or a berm, not
20 us. But with the help of Mr. McGinnis, he said, well,
21 that's an opinion but what we should probably do is we
22 should also screen, not necessarily have a berm but
23 screen using plantings along that area.
24 He recommended extensive shrub
25 plantings indigenous. And then it was also an area
1 where we wanted to use some of the woodland trees that
2 we're required to use in that area also.
3 So due to grading and I believe --
4 do we need to go to zoning to get variance on this one?
5 MR. McGINNIS: Not on this, not in that
6 area but in the rest of the area.
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: The main reason I'm
8 concerned about it is, yes, you're correct, currently
9 the land north is zoned light industrial. We don't know
10 what it's going to be zoned a year from now, five years
11 from now, ten years from now. We haven't done an update
12 on the Master Planning activities so we don't know what
13 it's going to be Master Planned. We don't know what
14 it's going to be zoned, so we do have to account for
15 some type of buffering between those areas and I just
16 want to make sure that we're on target with that.
17 MR. WEIKAL: We'll review that.
18 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Also, and I'm not
19 sure who this goes to, but --
20 MR. WEIKAL: I'll try. Architecture,
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Going back through
23 my records and I found in the minutes of November 13,
24 2002, it states the school will not be proposing a full
25 football stadium on this site, and then I see the plans
1 and there's a full football stadium. And at another time
2 when I asked about lighting, because I was concerned
3 about residences, I was told that there wouldn't be any
4 lighted facilities on the entire property.
5 Help me transition from those
6 statements to the current site plan.
7 MR. WEIKAL: I can take a stab at the
8 first one. The field and the track and the bleachers,
9 we're not really considering a stadium because it's very
10 similar to the other local high schools and I'm not sure
11 those are considered stadiums also.
12 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Well, under
13 Webster's definition a stadium is a large modern
14 structure for sport events having seats arranged in
15 tiers. It has to be considered a stadium.
16 MR. WEIKAL: Okay. Father, do you want to
17 address that maybe?
18 FATHER ELMER: When I indicated that there
19 were no plans for a football field or stadium, at that
20 time it was our athletic director's demands for fields
21 was such that there was no room. We wanted to save as
22 many of the trees as we could, and the wetlands of
23 course, so as you could see the whole campus is rather
24 shoe-horned in.
25 Our athletic director then told us,
1 he was making a deal with us, if we would put artificial
2 turf on one of the football fields that he would give up
3 one of his practice fields. He said, "I'm short even
4 now," and he still is. He still would like to have one
5 more but he's willing to do without it, at least for the
6 time being. So that's how the football stadium came
7 into being and, of course, we didn't need lighting until
8 that happened. So that's kind of the history of the
9 change in our plans. I have never had an issue that our
10 alums reacted so strongly against as the notion that we
11 were not going to have a field and it would have been a
12 rather politically incorrect thing for us to do.
13 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I wouldn't be the
14 one to tell the NFL person there isn't going to be a
15 football field.
16 FATHER ELMER: You're absolutely right. I
17 know Jeff very well.
18 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I just want to
19 understand by any means not -- I am not opposed to a
20 football field. I played high school football. I think
21 it's essential. I didn't have the talent to go much
22 further than that. I played rugby instead.
23 MR. WEIKAL: Can I ask a question then?
24 With the fields and the bleachers systems here, are
25 there specific items you'd like us to further
2 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: There may be some
3 through other Commissioners' questions. I have no
4 others at that point.
5 MR. WEIKAL: Because I'm writing things
6 down here for the whole team.
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: What we'd like you to
8 do in terms of how we do it, is the Commissioners will
9 ask you the questions and then you can respond. So each
10 one will have the opportunity to ask you questions.
11 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And some of them
12 may eliminate -- I mean, I may ask some things other
13 would, so they do not have to reask it. I'm sure I
14 won't ask anywhere near everybody's questions.
15 Help me out also. The westernmost
16 portion of the property is the most heavily wooded and I
17 know that we were -- the woodlands expert, I see her
18 sitting over here, probably has some concerns and I know
19 there's a large amount of ash in that area; is that
20 correct? You need to come up and state your name and
21 give us some opinions.
22 MS. GREHL: Elaine Grehl, G-r-e-h-l. Can
23 everybody hear me?
24 In answer to your question is there
25 ash in the western half of the property? Not as much as
1 on the eastern side. The western contains mostly
2 American beech, hickory, some oaks, that kind of thing.
3 It kind of progresses into ash as you go further east.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: There's some large
5 maples on the west side.
6 MS. GREHL: Sugar maples, yes. Thank you.
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Most of the ashes
8 are in the wetlands.
9 MS. GREHL: Correct, yes.
10 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. What is it
11 considered as having to do with quality? Again I'm
12 talking about the western portion.
13 MS. GREHL: In my opinion the western is
14 really good quality trees, just with the given species
15 that are there and the condition they're in, too. It's
16 pretty good there.
17 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. Thank you.
18 I'm sure someone else will have questions. Back to the
20 MR. WEIKAL: Landscape architect.
21 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Landscape
22 architect, okay. Well, it would still be to you. Did
23 you look at other sites on the property for the football
25 MR. WEIKAL: Let me have Mr. Argenta
1 answer that because he was involved in more of the real
2 up-front planning.
3 MR. ARGENTA: Yes, we did. There were
4 very extensive, I'd say at least 20 or 30, different
5 site layouts that we worked on, but by the time we ended
6 up with all of the regulated wetlands and the extent of
7 the wetlands and the water management, the retention,
8 that ended up really the only place it became feasible
9 after we were able to locate the building also.
10 There were a lot of schemes thrown
11 around and that became, really, the most feasible way.
12 At one time it was oriented this way, it was further up
13 here, and just to get all of the requirements in the
14 most logical layout, that seemed to work the best.
15 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: So, in other words,
16 to save the woodlands you would have had to infringe
17 upon the wetlands more so.
18 MR. ARGENTA: Yes.
19 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. While you're
20 there you can probably address this as well. I note
21 there is no parking at all near the tennis courts or the
22 southern practice facilities. It's about a 300 yard
23 walk from the building itself, provided they go on the
24 one path through the tennis courts even to get to the
25 practice fields. What problems is that going to create?
1 In other words, are we going to be seeing you guys
2 coming back at a later date saying we have to have
4 MR. ARGENTA: No. We've talked about this
5 extensively and most of those are practice fields except
6 for the tennis courts and there will be -- the parking
7 will have to take place up in this area. Notice through
8 here -- there are some walkways --
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Sir, there is a
10 microphone right there that you can take.
11 MR. ARGENTA: There are some walkways and
12 there is a pathway that crosses the wetland, sort of
13 like the bridge-type, and that's the way this is going
14 to have to go. There really is no room down there to
15 put any type of parking lot, and they are practice.
16 There is some parking along the lower roadway, about ten
17 cars, in case parents are going to watch the kids or
18 something, but the majority of the parking would take
19 place here and it would be walking to those tennis
21 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. In a letter,
22 and I'm not sure who to address this to, maybe I'll
23 start with the City -- no, I'll start with you guys. In
24 the January 24th letter this year to Mr. Schmitt, it
25 indicated that you were approaching the Zoning Board of
1 Appeals on January 29th on several items. Can I safely
2 assume that didn't take place?
3 MR. ARGENTA: No.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: It did not.
5 MR. ARGENTA: Not yet. I understand it's
6 scheduled for March 13th or something like that.
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Unless we can
8 alleviate all the problems tonight and then you don't
9 have to go. Okay. I have a couple other things here
10 but I think I'm going to pass on to the other
11 Commissioners, with the reservation of perhaps coming
12 back with additional questions. Thank you.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Papp.
14 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Thank you, Madam
16 First of all, I'd like to thank
17 whoever put this package together. Normally my Planning
18 Commission package comes in an envelope, this came in a
19 box, so it gave me a lot to do for the weekend. It was
20 very well put together.
21 The first question I have is, how
22 many total parking places do we have available?
23 MR. SCHMITT: On site there are 599 spaces
24 plus an additional 13 barrier-free spaces.
25 COMMISSIONER PAPP: And the total seating
1 capacity in the gymnasium is 1,884.
2 MR. SCHMITT: That is my understanding.
3 COMMISSIONER PAPP: And if we put three
4 people in a car, that's a total of 628 cars to fill
5 that stadium. I'm sorry. Is that right?
6 MR. SCHMITT: Approximately, yes. If they
7 sold out the entire basketball arena, that would be
8 approximately that number of cars.
9 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Where are we going to
10 put the other cars? Is there going to be a lot of
11 parking on the ring road?
12 MR. SCHMITT: My understanding is there
13 won't. Perhaps the applicant can speak to overflow
14 parking issues; however, I believe the site -- they've
15 parked the site for what they feel they need. I mean,
16 there are -- worst case scenario, obviously there are
17 other parking lots in the area that certainly could
19 COMMISSIONER PAPP: With that in mind, if
20 they park in the Target parking lot and cross Wixom
21 Road, are we ever planning on putting a cross-over so
22 people won't have to run across?
23 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: There's a light
25 COMMISSIONER PAPP: There is a light
1 there. Okay. What is the stadium seating?
2 MR. SCHMITT: Approximately 3,450 seats.
3 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Three thousand four
4 hundred fifty seats?
5 MR. SCHMITT: Yes. That's home and away
6 bleachers. Just for comparison sake, Novi High School's
7 football field is roughly comparable, approximately
8 3,000 seats there, although that number seems to be a
9 little low in that they have a slightly larger number of
10 bleachers, too.
11 COMMISSIONER PAPP: When Novi has a full
12 stadium they park on the grass.
13 MR. SCHMITT: I don't know. I'm sorry.
14 COMMISSIONER PAPP: And on Taft Road along
15 the side.
16 MR. WEIKAL: I was told that there will be
17 approximately five games a year and we will be utilizing
18 the practice fields in that area and then the boardwalk
19 and then, of course, these parking areas also.
20 COMMISSIONER PAPP: So you'll use the
21 practice fields as additional parking then.
22 MR. WEIKAL: Yes, for those five games,
24 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Okay. When was the
25 time we did a traffic study on Wixom Road? Do we know
1 what the traffic on Wixom Road is today? Anybody?
2 MR. COBURN: I could defer that to the
3 traffic consultant, Mr. Stimpson.
4 MR. STIMPSON: Bill Stimpson, Birchler
5 Arroyo Associates.
6 Counts were done for the Novi
7 Promenade Study I believe. The latest -- cut to the
8 quick, basically the study done for the Novi Promenade
9 estimated about 12,000 vehicles per day. At the time
10 the Promenade builds out, supposedly this year, I think
11 it may be off a little bit, but 12,000 to 13,000
12 probably. The school would add approximately two to
13 3,000 just at the very north end.
14 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Does that include the
15 -- it must include the Island Lake traffic then because
16 all of Island Lake right now goes up to Wixom Road?
17 MR. STIMPSON: Yes, that assumes -- I'm
18 sorry -- the build-out of Island Lake as well as the
19 Novi Promenade as well as other regional growth of
21 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Tim, would you put
22 this up on the overhead, please.
23 Wixom Road is currently a curbed,
24 two-lane highway; is that correct?
25 MR. COBURN: In this section it's three
1 lanes. It has a center left-turn lane.
2 COMMISSIONER PAPP: At some points; is
3 that correct?
4 MR. COBURN: Right, correct.
5 COMMISSIONER PAPP: As I was going down
6 Wixom Road, there's a total of 22, I believe it's 22,
7 counting Catholic Central, that will go into Wixom Road,
8 22 streets that will lead into Wixom Road access. At
9 the end of Wixom Road on the south is a fire station.
10 If we put a lot of traffic on Wixom
11 Road and the fire department decides to go north, you
12 also have curbs there so you'll have to pull off
13 somewhere to get through there. I think this is going
14 to be very congested as time goes on and as we build out
15 more off of Wixom Road. Is there any plans -- of
16 course, probably not because we have curbs now, but
17 there's no plans to widen Wixom Road?
18 MR. COBURN: There are no plans to widen
19 Wixom Road at this time.
20 MR. STIMPSON: Several intersections are
21 being widened to three lanes with construction of Island
23 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Is Island Lake paying
24 for that or are we, the taxpayers, paying for that,
25 anything that happens on Wixom Road?
1 MR. COBURN: I believe that's part of
2 Island Lake.
3 MR. STIMPSON: Island Lake will be doing
4 that. And the section not only from Grand River down to
5 the south end of Novi Promenade is now three lanes. The
6 Island Lake south access down to Ten Mile will also be
7 three lanes soon. That's a fairly long stretch.
8 COMMISSIONER PAPP: So you feel that Wixom
9 Road, with what's in the plans in the future, will be
10 able to handle this traffic?
11 MR. STIMPSON: Oh yes. A two- to
12 three-lane road can handle comfortably 15 to 20,000
13 vehicles a day. I believe they're mountable curbs.
14 Worse comes to worse, vehicles could go up over the
16 COMMISSIONER PAPP: My biggest concern is
17 the parking that's available for this football field,
18 athletic field. There's 3,450 people can sit in this
19 stadium and I know Catholic Central will probably pull
20 in 3,451. Okay. No further comments.
21 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
22 Any other comments? Commissioner
24 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I'd just like to
25 comment that I really would like to see Catholic Central
1 come forward. There are some real constraints with the
2 site and I think you've done a relatively good job
3 staying out of the wetlands, but I do have great
4 concerns with the woodlands that are going to be gone
5 and what would happen to the wetlands at that point.
6 There are 14 wetland areas that are
7 located within this parcel. Over the years urbanization
8 has changed the wetland that connects between the east
9 and the west side of Wixom Road. The west side of Wixom
10 Road is the site we're speaking of and the connection
11 that once existed from the east no longer exists.
12 The wetland fronting Wixom Road has
13 deteriorated but the western portions of the site are
14 heavily forested. The ecosystem existed of heavily
15 regulated woodlands since the 1920's. This parcel has a
16 total woodlands of 48.03 acres. The tree impact has
17 1,717 trees that need to be replaced and only 283 are
18 able to be placed on the site. Therefore, a deficit of
19 2,906 trees exist.
20 The reason the number is larger
21 than the trees cut is the actual size of the trees are
22 larger, warranting more trees, and many of you -- I'm
23 just stating that for you in the audience so that you
24 understand why there's such an increase in number and
25 that's why we were going through the Landscape Ordinance
1 at such extensive degrees.
2 When the trees are cut the water
3 flow and ecosystem are altered. The water flow to the
4 site with a baseball and football fields will be
5 elevated above the neighborhood sites. I really am
6 concerned, and maybe this question will go to the
7 wetland expert, Ms. Kay.
8 What will happen to this water and
9 can we predict with this much of a change in the upland?
10 MS. KAY: I'm going to put a different
11 rendering here.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is our hand-held mike
14 MS. KAY: Is it on? Can you hear me?
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes. Thank you.
16 MS. KAY: I wasn't going to use it but I
18 For those of you who had this in
19 your packet, I'll just go over briefly because you
20 really have a lot of questions, really, but let's go
21 through the wetland from east to west. It does front
22 Wixom Road and ends roughly here and there are two
23 southern lobes of the same wetland system, and that's
24 just the largest wetland on the site, and that's
25 referred to as Wetland ABC in your packet.
1 As far as -- I'm going to actually
2 turn around here because I don't like using this. Your
3 question really has to do with hydrology and I think the
4 basis for your question is what we spent most of our
5 time reviewing, as far as trying to perceive any --
6 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Use the hand mike.
7 MS. KAY: I should use it?
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes. Ms. Kay, you have
9 a very soft voice.
10 MS. KAY: I apologize.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
12 MS. KAY: We were trying to perceive --
13 under your ordinance we are obligated to make sure we
14 take care of water quality as well as quantity. I'm
15 going to defer some of the more particular stormwater
16 detention calculations to the engineers and I'll just
17 try to cover in general what we know with regard to
18 wetland specific items.
19 And obviously I focused many of the
20 comments in my letter with regard to potential mortality
21 of trees and the reason I focused on that somewhat
22 obviously because they're detaining in the wetland.
23 That's not a typical situation. Applicants most often
24 are able to dig detention basins, retention basins and
25 divert the water to other areas.
1 And in this case they have the two
2 southern lobes of wetland, of the large wetland system,
3 are -- that's your starting point and there are two
4 existing 12-inch culverts that, as I understand it, they
5 are unable to change because that is where all the water
6 is going to flow to. So that's your starting point.
7 They have to base all their calculations upstream of
8 that on those two 12-inch culverts.
9 Now let me digress a little bit to
10 just the site plan in general. They've done everything
11 that we've requested as far as trying to minimize
12 potential impacts. The road, the entrance road, is as
13 narrow as it can possibly be; side slopes, again, are as
14 minimal as they can be. They've changed the building
15 and you've heard the discussion this evening regarding
16 the sporting facilities.
17 We have through, I think, a
18 two-year process discussed in great detail about the
19 sporting events and we did initially make a lot of
20 commentary on could they reduce that and subsequently,
21 as I believe their landscape architect mentioned,
22 there's some overlapping here with the baseball field
23 and one of the practice fields and that wasn't on the
24 prior plan.
25 With regard to water quality in
1 general, we know there's going to be a change in
2 hydrology. It's unavoidable. I think the basic
3 calculation that's been done as far as impervious
4 surface, which is something that we always look to, is
5 actually halfway decent for this site. For a 60-acre
6 site it's at 28 percent, and as many of you know because
7 of other site plan submittals before you, we commonly
8 get upwards of 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 percent impervious
9 surface on other site plans just by virtue of -- the
10 Target store is a good example. We have a lot -- they
11 need to have large parking areas.
12 This site we had a little more play
13 with that and because they did avoid filling large areas
14 of wetland that's a positive thing you need to focus on,
15 but again they are changing the hydrology. Part of the
16 drainage for the storm system is going to come from the
17 east side, from the entrance road. They're going to
18 take drainage from the parking area obviously and it's
19 going to enter into a detention basin. Let me point
20 that out to you.
21 So basically the water will be
22 coming east, pick up from this road and will be coming
23 down here from this parking and will be going into the
24 detention basin here and then during peak flow and storm
25 events it will be entering the southern portion of this
1 wetland system. And based on these two culverts, that
2 will be acting as restrictors, as soon as you reach
3 higher storm events it will start detaining, and that's
4 what we looked at.
5 So under our worst case scenario,
6 and there could be some tree mortality, because even
7 though we're not questioning the engineering
8 calculations per se we do know in practice, based on
9 developments being built around wooded wetlands in the
10 city, there have been areas that have experienced tree
12 COMMISSIONER PAUL: In your estimation,
13 with the detention basin being on pretty much the middle
14 of the site on the south border and the north border of
15 Island Lakes that will have -- the mitigation, the main
16 portion of the mitigation will go into that detention
17 basin then it will be disbursed into Wetland ABC?
18 MS. KAY: And when you're saying
19 "mitigation," you're now referring to wetland mitigation
20 proper. You're saying it is being mitigated for.
21 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
22 MS. KAY: Yes, yes. And they've mentioned
23 in the literature over the course of this review if they
24 weren't going to have the sedimentation/detention basin
25 they would have a vortex-type structure to address that.
1 Also, I think a way of ameliorating
2 some of the gases and oils and greases that you get from
3 the cars on the parking lot, obviously they're going to
4 have some oil and grease sumps and all the typical
5 treatment things that you are used to seeing on these
6 site plan submittals. So there's nothing different in
7 that regard.
8 The only thing different here is
9 that they know, based on the two culverts existing, that
10 they have to detain in a wetland for a short period of
11 time. I mentioned in the letter what the duration times
12 would be. I focused on the area that we really felt --
13 well, there is no standard for wetland science, and let
14 me just be honest with you, as far as somebody trying to
15 predict when you think a tree is going to die in a
16 wooded wetland, we don't know that.
17 COMMISSIONER PAUL: You give a five year
18 prediction and there's a warranty for that amount. Do
19 you think there's any benefit to having a ten-year
20 warranty just because we don't know the fluctuation of
21 the Wetlands, we don't know what the total impact is
22 going to be because we're basically eliminating many
23 acres of upland? Would that be something that would be
25 MS. KAY: Well, I'm not sure -- I mean, I
1 understand that there's a direct correlation to the loss
2 of upland woodlands and the hydrology of this wetland
3 and since we can't predict that I'm not sure that I can
4 answer that question as far as whether I think a
5 ten-year bond is reasonable. That's really at your
6 charge. We feel the five year one was reasonable. Any
7 other out of condition that you deem necessary will be
8 up to you. I wish I could say I think that's going to
9 do the trick, but generally speaking when you have
10 die-off experience with trees, it's going to happen
11 within that first five years and most certainly with
12 cases that we've seen in the City over the years it
13 usually happens within the first two years, if
14 construction is rather quick.
15 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Say this happens in
16 five years and we have 158 trees to replace. What is
17 the cost of 158 trees? I'm sure the tree increase in
18 cost isn't going to be much, but it's the labor I'm most
19 concerned about and I don't want the City to have to
20 foot the bill for a labor increase if it's five years
21 from now and it's going to cost $150,000. I don't want
22 to make up the difference.
23 MS. KAY: There's a few things here. The
24 actual cost that was --
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Could you speak up?
1 You keep lowering it and then we keep not hearing you.
2 MS. KAY: The actual cost for the tree
3 replacement formula that you have under a Woodlands
4 Ordinance roughly was at 90,000. So if you want to go
5 by that straight formula under your woodlands tree
6 replacement, that's what it would be. Adjusting for
7 inflation and all those kind of things are up to you.
8 We think that if you are going to experience die-back
9 it's going to be within the first couple years. So,
10 again, your discretion.
11 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Point of information,
12 Madam Chair.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, Mr. Ruyle.
14 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: With permission from
15 Commissioner Paul.
16 We have an existing, and we were
17 told, that most of the existing woodland and wetland to
18 the east has a lot of ash trees in it. Now, have we
19 made any provision for the removal of those ash trees,
20 because we know they're going to die, prior to them
21 building and what impact by removing those ash trees is
22 going to affect that wetland and woodland?
23 MS. KAY: To my knowledge, there's been no
24 preemptive program in place for this specific site to
25 cut down the ash trees. However, I know that your City
1 forester, Mr. Prince, has been actively working with
2 State of Michigan personnel on the ash borer problem.
3 We, however, did anticipate not having to have the
4 applicant pay for ash tree die-off if everybody felt it
5 was already going to happen and not as a result of this
6 development. So we actually deducted I believe it was
7 23 trees, correct me if I'm wrong, from the total 158
8 that's on that list and sort of gave them credit ahead
9 of time, knowing that the City does have an active
10 program to eliminate trees and have in other areas of
11 the City, but for this site I have no knowledge of that.
12 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Thank you,
13 Commissioner Paul, Chairman.
14 COMMISSIONER PAUL: One other question.
15 When I read all of the information, I have concern about
16 the parking and I'm looking at this ring road that goes
17 around the site and I know if there are 3,000 seats in
18 the football stadium there is going to be a deficit of
19 parking, and I've even spoke with Father Elmer about
21 I'm concerned that we're saving all
22 these wetlands and people may park in the buffer out of
23 desperation of where to go when they're trying to rush
24 their child to the game and want to see the game and
25 it's something that's very important to them. Is there
1 any way we can not permit them to enter the buffer in
2 many of these sites along the ring road?
3 MS. KAY: Yeah. There have been sites in
4 the city where we've asked them to put up a split rail
5 fence. If that's not an aesthetic feature that you want
6 up on this site given the circumstances, you can come up
7 with some other fencing scenario that's appropriate for
8 wildlife mobility but at the same time achieves that
9 goal of not having somebody inadvertently park in a
10 buffer area. And it's been done several times so I
11 think there's an opportunity for that.
12 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Could a wrought iron
13 fence be placed and be very durable or made of
14 durability --
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Durable material.
16 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Thank you. Mr.
17 Fisher, I was looking for some help. Would that be
18 something that would be appropriate?
19 MS. KAY: Yes. I mean, I would support
20 something of that nature. Obviously we've done it in
21 residential areas for that -- not the parking reason but
22 because people do tend to go into the buffers and cut
23 vegetation and whatnot, but in this case I think it
24 would act as a deterrent.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Point of order for one
1 second only. I called the wrong thing. I wanted to say
2 that before you get off track on the railing, what did
3 you say?
4 COMMISSIONER PAUL: It's the wetland
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. With what
7 they're trying to do, which is maintain the wetlands and
8 the natural thing, the wood fences would be much more
9 appropriate, it would tie in with the scenery.
10 Aesthetically I think it would look nicer. So let's not
11 give them more expense than they need.
12 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Would the applicant be
13 interested in helping us in that?
14 MR. WEIKAL: Two things. The Fathers'
15 Club is very, very -- they pretty much run the football
16 game and they run the traffic, so there will be many of
17 these big, burly men out there helping with the traffic
18 and make sure the people don't park along those areas.
19 Also, if you take a real close look
20 at I think it's the landscape and planting and grading
21 plan, you'll notice that in quite a few of those areas
22 there's the curb, there's a four foot -- or a
23 one-on-four area along the curb and then it drops off at
24 one-on-three. So in a lot of these areas that come
25 along the wetlands the road is elevated, so there's kind
1 of a slope across there. So it would be a little
2 difficult to park. And I'm sure that Father Elmer, we
3 could discuss it among ourselves, but if there are a
4 couple smaller areas that are real sensitive, I don't
5 see a problem with a picket fence or a split rail fence
6 along in there.
7 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay. Thank you.
8 Now, this is a question for our
9 tree expert. With all of the trees that are being taken
10 out, they were very kind in giving us a bond for the 158
11 trees of $70,000, and the Commissioners can discuss what
12 price they'd like to put that at, if they'd like to keep
13 it at the $90,000, which is the price value, and I'd
14 like to know what your thoughts are about a tree bond.
15 MS. GREHL: I guess if I can have the
16 overhead for a second I can show you what it would cost
17 if they were to bond for them.
Elaine Grehlís Catholic Central Overhead Comments
Proposed Catholic Central High School
(3,189) Total Required Replacements Value $ 1,036,425.00
Provided On-Site Replacements Value $91,975.00
(42) Provided Additional Parking Lot Trees Value $13,650.00
to be considered Woodland Replacements
(2,837) Required Replacements Unaccounted for $ 930,800.00
18 The top figure here is the total
19 replacement values of the whole site. There are 3,800
20 trees above eight inches caliper surveyed on the site.
21 Of those 3,800, they're removing 1,700 and some odd and
22 the replacement requirements for those depended, as you
23 explained to the audience, depended on the size that
24 adjusts the replacement value for it. That's the total
25 replacement for the whole site. This is the amount for
1 the ones that they are proposing on site, to be planted
2 on site. And then they had some extra parking lot trees
3 that just in conversations with the landscape architect
4 I said if you made them, you know, acceptable woodland
5 replacement plants I can count them as additional
6 woodland replacement trees.
7 So that's kind of the figures in
8 front of you as far as this is what's unaccounted for
9 right now as far as replacements either on site, off
10 site or in the tree fund.
11 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Would there be an
12 amount that you think would be fair for the tree bond?
13 MR. WEIKAL: If I could step in just a
15 With a lot of the additional areas
16 that we've been working on to add more trees to the site
17 to take care of a lot of the woodland trees, we're sort
18 of not at our final number yet on the replacements, just
19 so you know.
20 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay. That's helpful.
21 I really feel if there's going to be a wetland bond, the
22 thing that's being destroyed more is truly the uplands
23 here and I think a tree bond would be fair.
24 MS. GREHL: It is in the ordinance as
25 that. I mean, to uphold the ordinance you would either
1 put the replacements on site, put the replacements off
2 site or pay into the tree fund. So you have to satisfy
3 the ordinance unless it's up to you guys.
4 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Well, that's our
5 charge, is to meet the ordinances. So that's something
6 that we're going to have to discuss and maybe we bring
7 this back to final site review and discuss what the tree
8 bond actually is because it's not determined tonight
9 even close of what our final may be in tree count and a
10 million dollars is a lot of money. So that's important
11 to me.
12 I also want to express my concern
13 still. I understand what you're talking about in
14 regards to the mitigation into the detention basin and
15 then I also understand it's going to go into the
16 wetlands, so the chemicals will be removed in the
17 detention basin.
18 But the amount of water flow is all
19 theory and we've had other theories that have not worked
20 in our city. Briarwood we spoke of, we also talked
21 about Mystic Forest. There was many others. We don't
22 have all the answers to the theories. We can only
23 project what our thoughts are and when you remove a lot
24 of upland and all these trees that absorb fluid and we
25 put this water somewhere, I don't want to flood out our
1 neighbors to the south or even to the west. There are
2 grave sensitive areas there. This is a closed wetland
3 system and I feel that we have to really protect it and
4 all of its sensitivity.
5 I'm not sure if we can vote on
6 approving this tonight. I'm really questioning at this
7 time because I think we still have some issues to work
8 out, that maybe tabling would be a good idea. I'd like
9 to listen to my fellow Commissioners and turn over the
10 table and I might be talking more. Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
12 Do we have anything on this side,
13 gentlemen? Mr. Avdoulos.
14 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: I'll take it
15 whether I want to or not.
16 First of all, I'd like to thank all
17 those who came in order to support the project. I think
18 it's great to have alumni, past and present, people that
19 are associated with the school to show their passion and
20 indicate their feelings toward this project.
21 And a bit of background for the
22 people that are here is that the project came before us
23 in a Master Plan Committee Session where we had to
24 decide what are we going to do with this property and it
25 was indicated that Catholic Central was wanting to join
1 our community, and everybody on the Planning Commission
2 feels strongly the same way, that we do want Catholic
3 Central as part of the community. The next step was to
4 rezone the property. We heard the concerns and issues
5 of the neighbors to the east along Wixom Road and we
6 tried to address those concerns as much as possible and,
7 yes, we did table the meeting but that was to allow the
8 Commissioners to gather all the facts and make sure that
9 we were making the right decision.
10 And the plan that we have before us
11 is the very first time, at least in my eyes, that I've
12 seen the layout, the proposed layout. Throughout the
13 whole process of the Master Plan, throughout the whole
14 process of the rezoning, I didn't know what was going to
15 go on the site. All I knew it was a lot of wetlands and
16 a lot of woodlands.
17 When I opened up the package and
18 started looking at the layout, I really appreciated the
19 amount of effort that's gone into the site plan to save
20 as much of the natural features as possible based on a
21 program that was given by Catholic Central. And doing
22 this for a living I know that there's a lot of give and
23 take and it's very hard to try and accommodate
24 everybody, but I think the location of the entry
25 boulevard swinging the road as far north as possible,
1 locating the parking as far north as possible, locating
2 the building where it's at is the most appropriate
3 location I think on the site. The football field, I'm
4 going to call it, I'm not going to call it a stadium
5 because to me a stadium is an enclosed building that
6 requires building codes, and this is located as far to
7 the northwest corner of the site as possible to help
8 alleviate any concerns that the neighbors along Wixom
9 Road had and I think it takes it as far as away as
10 possible from Island Lakes.
11 The building itself, I appreciate
12 the layout. I like the way it's broken up with regards
13 to the educational wing with the classrooms, the
14 administrative area and the gymnasium. I think the
15 exterior aesthetics works well. Being brick it presents
16 itself as a very institutional building and the use of
17 the brick and the stone accents provide a warm yet a
18 substantial aesthetic, depicting a strong permanence,
19 which is something that Catholic Central has in its
20 reputation and I think is exhibiting in the building.
21 The building may seem conservative
22 in nature when you first look at it and that's well
23 because the general philosophy of a Catholic
24 organization is not to be showy but to show substance.
25 But there are little things that I like about it, how
1 it's broken up, and there's a play on some of the
2 entries which I think are very nice.
3 The location of the fields, I
4 guess, was a major concern that the other Planning
5 Commissioners had and I knew it was going to come up
6 because I, too, had -- in my recollections of the past
7 meetings we had, I was under the impression that we were
8 going to probably share a field with another high school
9 because we didn't know what was going to go on to the
10 site, but now that I see the field and then I see two
11 baseball diamonds and I see tennis courts and I see the
12 practice field, I do have also a large concern with
13 parking and especially when it's associated with ball
15 I know there was an indication
16 there's only five throughout the season, but 3,000
17 people dictates a lot of parking. Compuware Arena at M
18 14 and Beck seats 4,000 people and when I go there,
19 especially for Windsor Spitfire games, the place is
20 packed and the parking gets full very quickly.
21 The concern I have with parking on
22 the practice fields is if it's very rainy people might
23 get stuck, there might be ruts that we'll have to fix
24 and it's just a major upkeep. I don't know what to do.
25 I don't know if there's any auxiliary plans for parking.
1 I don't know if you'd want to even cut a deal with
2 Target because that sort of fills up their spaces and
3 eliminates the customers from utilizing the spaces just
4 to go shopping.
5 The other concern I had was the
6 height of the lights. Eighty feet is about the size of
7 a four to five-story building and with 23 light fixtures
8 on each pole, and I'm not sure, I can't remember how
9 many poles we were looking at. Is there someone that
10 could answer?
11 MR. WEIKAL: Four.
12 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Four poles, and
13 the lighting levels that were shown on the plan, the
14 intensity of the light level is an average of 70
15 footcandles on the field, and then there was some
16 calculations that were shown around the outer perimeter
17 of the field itself.
18 Are those the calculations that are
19 part of the lighting for the football field?
20 MR. ARGENTA: Yes. Those were all
21 computer generated --
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: You know what? Please,
23 when you come to answer a Commissioner, could you step
24 to the mike first before and not talk from there.
25 MR. ARGENTA: Those were all computer
1 generated and those were based on accepted footcandle
2 levels. If you'll notice, there's a very sharp cut-off.
3 We just installed two fields like that this summer with
4 the same type and they were 80 foot high and they have a
5 very sharp cut-off. The higher the better. And there's
6 very, very little spill. In fact, I think residential
7 back yards, and those were about 25 feet away from the
8 fields, and it was almost like there was a straight line
9 right there of light and dark.
10 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: And that's why I
11 asked the question, because when I looked at the numbers
12 that were shown you can see the high intensity around
13 the field and then you saw a quick drop-off and I didn't
14 know if that was just indicative of the spillover light
15 from the site lighting that went there or if that was
16 the light from the lighting standards used for the
17 football field.
18 MR. ARGENTA: That's basically from the
19 lighting standards.
20 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: If that's the
21 fact, then that's a good indicator that you're not going
22 to have a lot of light leakage that's going to creep
23 beyond the periphery of the field. So I don't know what
24 to do about that. I don't know what direction we're
25 going to take with how we're going to look at approving
1 the lights or not.
2 I think a lot of the other comments
3 were addressed with regard to wetlands, with regard to
4 the trees, the parking and the light fixtures. Again,
5 looking at the project for the first time and trying to
6 absorb it over the past three days, I was kind of
7 disappointed there wasn't like a football jersey in that
8 big box that we got.
9 MR. WEIKAL: We can arrange that.
10 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: No, we can't.
11 MR. WEIKAL: That big guy up there has a
12 couple extras I think.
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Keep it under five
15 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: I'm not here to
16 cause trouble, believe me, but as it's presented, the
17 effort that's gone into it I think, in all honesty, it's
18 a valiant effort. I think the reading that I did,
19 especially with stormwater management, indicated that
20 the applicant has tried to work as much as possible with
21 the City. And the concern again, and maybe as we think
22 about -- more about how the project is going to be
23 handled when a game is on, I'd like to see some kind of
24 plan, whether it be written or an idea of how we're
25 going to handle it because 600 spaces is quite limited
1 and, you know, I know it happens in Novi, people parking
2 along Taft Road. I know Northville High School plays at
3 the Cook Middle School and Cook Middle School gets full,
4 Taft Road gets full, the site across the street where
5 they take the pedestrian bridge over gets full. And I
6 really appreciate the enthusiasm and intensity of these
7 football games, I love seeing people get together. This
8 is not a neighborhood school, though, it's a commuter
9 school, and it's not like we could walk to it. So I
10 think those concerns are most paramount in my mind.
11 FATHER ELMER: The property to the north
12 of us I've been talking to, I don't think I'm giving
13 away any undue secrets here, talking to Thompson and
14 Brown, who are partnering with Mr. Pellerito to develop
15 that land. They're holding back from going forward too
16 fast until we get our act in order, but we've been
17 talking to them about the possibility of their parking
18 for what they're going to do to be in proximity to our
19 football field and they seem to be very amenable to
20 helping us in that regard.
21 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Excuse me. Father, is
22 that why there is that stud, or stub road rather.
24 FATHER ELMER: They call them Freudian
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Stub road to the north.
2 I assume that is the -- would be the potential entryway
3 to the Pellerito property if they build out and then at
4 that point I assume what you're saying is that they
5 would have parking area for you to park there.
6 FATHER ELMER: It would be -- we don't
7 know, they don't know the design. I mean, this is all
8 in the talking stage, of course. I just wanted to make
9 sure that you knew that we were addressing this issue of
10 parking and trying to solve it, and Mr. Pellerito has
11 been very good to Catholic Central and he still wants to
12 be of assistance in helping us to make this school
13 possible. And so that's the basis of our hopes, that we
14 will have additional parking for those games when --
15 usually at night and, of course, whatever is there
16 probably wouldn't need the parking at night as they do
17 during the day.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
19 I'm sorry. Go ahead.
20 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Thank you, Father
21 Elmer. That was my one question. I've noticed in all
22 these drawings that there was these dotted lines
23 indicating a stub road and I didn't know what that was
24 for. I was assuming, but again you never assume.
25 The one thing I wanted to point out
1 to the Planning Commissioners, just for their
2 information, and I spoke to a few of them, I've worked
3 before with Grissom, Metz, Andriese and I have the
4 utmost confidence in their capabilities. They're very
5 sensitive to a lot of issues such as incorporating
6 formal architectural or landscape architectural features
7 within a natural context and CDPA Architects have a very
8 good reputation in the Metro Detroit area.
9 So I think they got a good crew
10 that's on board and I think for that I -- wherever we go
11 I have the utmost confidence in the project and at this
12 point I'm on the support side.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Sprague.
15 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Thank you, Madam
17 As usual, John said everything a
18 lot more eloquently than I ever could. I share a lot of
19 the same concerns. What I was hoping to try to focus on
20 a little bit was I think it's a very environmentally
21 sensitive area. I congratulate you on doing what I
22 think is an exceptional job in trying to deal with this
24 What I'm afraid of is that the
25 uses, like the football, are going to cause some
1 unintended consequences on it. I'm wondering if we're
2 going to do the overflow parking on these practice
3 fields, how many cars can that actually hold and what is
4 the intended path over to the football field for that?
5 Because I think if it's supposed to go through that
6 boardwalk, we're asking for trouble there and we're
7 asking for that whole part of the wetlands to end up
8 being destroyed by traffic.
9 MR. WEIKAL: We haven't done any specific
10 quantities on that because it kind of just came up today
11 in preparation for the meeting. I don't know where the
12 site plan went. There is a sidewalk that goes from the
13 sports field area all along the perimeter road on the
14 inside and I think that's either eight or ten feet wide.
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you take that off,
16 it's right underneath it.
17 MR. WEIKAL: Oh, okay. Thanks. Yes, the
18 sidewalk system runs from the school and the parking
19 area along, all the way along the edge to here, to the
20 tennis courts, and then the boardwalk area runs through
22 If there would be any parking down
23 there or even the students moving back and forth, they
24 would be using the boardwalk, of course, and mostly this
25 larger enlarged sidewalk for more people. It's not just
1 a five-foot wide sidewalk.
2 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Do you know how
3 wide it actually is, is it eight foot or ten foot?
4 MR. COBURN: It's ten feet on the site
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Excuse me. Once again.
7 MR. COBURN: It shows ten feet on the site
9 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Thanks. How many
10 cars do you think those two fields can hold?
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If I may interject,
12 those are the regulation size practice fields, which are
13 360 feet by 160 feet, so maybe someone that has a --
14 MR. SCHMITT: It's roughly between 150 to
15 200 cars per practice field I believe.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Well, an average car is
17 17 feet long so...
18 MR. SCHMITT: Our ordinance requires, just
19 doing a basic 9 by 20, I think it comes out -- let me
20 run the calculations exactly and I'll get right back to
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
23 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: I guess the major
24 question is, until another alternative may be developed
25 would you be willing to restrict access over that
1 boardwalk so that all the traffic that came from those
2 fields did use the sidewalk --
3 MR. WEIKAL: Sure.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: One at a time.
5 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Thank you.
6 Thank you, Madam Chair.
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you, Mr. Sprague.
8 Mr. Ruyle.
9 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Thank you, Madam
11 I, too, as a Commissioner are
12 looking forward to the day you can break ground and
13 build your school. I think it's going to be a good
14 asset to the City of Novi.
15 I do have a couple of questions
16 that I'd like to -- one we had a resident that's going
17 to be your neighbor address us so I think I have to talk
18 to a Birchler Arroyo representative. Could you take the
19 podium, sir.
20 Look down at the section where the
21 man pointed out where his house is. He's the bottom
22 house there. He was addressing the question of the road
23 extension going in front of his property. What gives us
24 the right to do that, do we have the right-of-way, do
25 Catholic Central have to acquire that or what?
1 MR. STIMPSON: This plan is not drawn
2 correctly I just noticed.
3 MR. EVANCOE: Bill, before you continue,
4 you do need to have that microphone.
5 MR. STIMPSON: Actually, the site plan,
6 the true site plan, not the artistic rendering, shows a
7 deceleration at the north driveway, not the south
8 driveway. They've got them reversed here.
9 There would be presumably a taper
10 at the south drive which would have a lot less impact,
11 in fact, it wouldn't go in front of this out parcel at
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: So, in other words,
14 he is not going to be impacted?
15 MR. STIMPSON: This is not drawn
16 correctly. I would have to look at the site plan
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: With all due respect,
19 it shows it on the site plan that the Commission
20 received. If you'd like to --
21 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: That's why I'm asking
22 the question.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you'd like, Mr.
24 Evancoe, if you would maybe give him the actual site
25 plan, or Mr. Schmitt.
1 MR. EVANCOE: Tim is looking for that now.
2 MR. STIMPSON: I don't recall seeing the
3 decel lane at the south driveway. That wouldn't be
4 warranted. A taper would be. We can revise that at --
5 once we take a closer look at the final traffic
6 assignments, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't warrant a full
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Would you explain to
9 the Commission how that would change it? What would
10 make it different, a taper?
11 MR. STIMPSON: Well, the pavement would
12 simply flare out over a hundred feet to the radius. It
13 wouldn't have this full width lane preceded by an
14 upstream taper. There's plenty of right-of-way for
15 either treatment frankly.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Well, what Mr. Ruyle's
17 question originally was is the impact it would have upon
18 the resident and the resident's home if that
19 deceleration lane goes in front of his house.
20 MR. STIMPSON: I think we can revise that.
21 I don't remember seeing this decel lane, frankly, on the
22 review I did. I don't have a scale handy, but it looks
23 like the taper, the standard decel taper that we would
24 normally have on a driveway like that would not even go
25 in front of the out parcel as I said. There shouldn't
1 be any disturbance at all of the frontage with the
2 treatment we could put on Final Site Plan. I wouldn't
3 hold them to the decel lane at this point. I would
4 perhaps leave that to Final Site Plan.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'd like a guarantee
6 for the resident that lives there at the present time
7 that it would not affect his property. I don't know
8 about anybody else.
9 COMMISSIONER PAPP: A point of
10 information. Is that ring road going to be a one-way
12 MR. STIMPSON: No, two lanes. I asked for
13 a center line to be striped, limiting the road to 24
14 feet to keep speeds down.
15 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Thank you.
16 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: As the Chairman said,
17 though, what guarantee do we have to that resident? We
18 need to know something that we can tell him.
19 MR. STIMPSON: I personally would be quite
20 satisfied to have you put a condition of approval that
21 there would be no widening in front of that out parcel
22 with this project.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Coburn, would you
24 like to add to that?
25 MR. COBURN: Yes. Mr. Stimpson was
1 referring to a hundred foot taper instead of the decel
2 lane as shown. A hundred foot taper would keep it
3 outside of that property. There would be no need for
4 the lane to front on that. It would completely be on
5 the Catholic Central side.
6 MR. STIMPSON: Just to give you a little
7 context, the traffic consultant for the applicant has
8 estimated that probably no more than about ten percent
9 of the traffic from the north would go to the south
10 driveway to turn right in.
11 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: The impact is on the
12 neighbor. That's what I'm concerned about, and I don't
13 want the impact to be on Catholic Central that they got
14 to buy a right-of-way or something of that nature.
15 MR. STIMPSON: There's ample right-of-way
16 for either treatment in the long term, but certainly
17 under current traffic conditions, the ones we
18 forecasted, there's no need for a full decel lane there.
19 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: As long as we can
20 assure that neighbor of that and I don't want him coming
21 back here and saying you said and then we don't. Do you
22 understand what I'm saying?
23 MR. Stimpson: Right.
24 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Point of information
25 to the applicant. There is -- you said you had several
1 contacts with the Novi city school system, Dr. Lippe,
3 FATHER ELMER: That's correct.
4 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: If my recollection is
5 right, isn't there a major junior high school across the
6 street or middle school?
7 FATHER ELMER: A middle school and an
8 elementary school are down the road from us.
9 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: And you're going to
10 have your five games every year at night?
11 FATHER ELMER: I can't -- probably.
12 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Probably at night or
13 on the weekends when that school is not in session.
14 FATHER ELMER: That's correct.
15 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Then I think maybe
16 you can enter into an agreement with the school district
17 about their parking and maybe run a shuttle bus that
18 would give you access to more parking on something that
19 is not used at that time so that would give you leeway
20 and a free-for-all for an additional couple hundred
21 parking spaces, which would alleviate a lot of our
22 concerns about parking on the practice fields, etcetera.
23 FATHER ELMER: That's a good idea and
24 certainly we'd be willing to consider that.
25 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: That's something that
1 I would suggest.
2 Madam Chair, I'm finished.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Schmitt, did you
4 want to answer --
5 MR. SCHMITT: Yes, if I may interject.
6 The parking on the practice fields, I was grossly
7 underestimating. I believe I was using yards instead of
8 feet. It's estimated that each field could hold
9 approximately 400 cars.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
11 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Excuse me, Madam
12 Chair. We need to vote to extend the meeting.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Will someone --
14 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Madam Chair, I'd
15 like to move that we extend the meeting at least another
16 hour in order to conduct the business that we have on
17 the agenda tonight.
18 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Second.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: All in favor say aye.
20 PLANNING COMMISSION: Aye.
21 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I would like to have
22 some courtesy for our court reporter. He's been writing
23 now for over two hours.
24 You don't care? Okay.
25 Does anybody else want to take a
1 break before we go on? We'll take a five minute break
2 before we go on, please.
3 (A brief recess was held during
4 the meeting.)
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If we can call the
6 meeting back to order, please. I think the last
7 Commissioner was done with questioning so the next
8 questioner is Commissioner Markham.
9 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. First thing
10 I'd like to say is I was overwhelmed with the amount of
11 material that was dropped on my doorstep on Friday night
12 and if I ask questions where the answer was included in
13 the material I apologize. I really did try to read
14 everything and I read everything once and I made notes
15 as I went through, so please bear with me. I did break
16 my comments down into some general areas.
17 I'll start with my traffic
18 questions because that's what I have the least comment
19 about. I, too, am concerned about parking but it sounds
20 to me like there's been some alternatives recommended
21 tonight and it sounds like you can work some things out
22 and it's really more of a surge issue and I would rather
23 see you resolve those few occasions in a creative way
24 than pave more parking lot on your own site. So I'm
25 hopeful that you'll take care of that because you have
1 been sensitive and I expect you will continue to be.
2 I did wonder if you have buses for
3 your student population and, if so, where do they park
4 on this site?
5 MR. WEIKAL: I'm not sure of the number of
6 buses. How many buses do we have right now, Father?
7 FATHER ELMER: Four right now, large ones.
8 MR. WEIKAL: Four right now, large ones.
9 The bus area is back here, parking right along the west
10 end of the site.
11 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: And then when you
12 have sporting events and you have opposing teams and
13 their buses and their students who all come to
14 participate, do you have an anticipated staging area for
15 their buses as well?
16 MR. WEIKAL: I think there are actually
17 six spaces.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Speak into the mike,
20 MR. WEIKAL: I'm sorry. There's six
21 spaces I believe on the plan, as I'm looking here.
22 Yeah, six.
23 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: All right. The
24 question of the driveway spacing waiver that's required,
25 there's no other way to deal with that. We have to have
1 the driveway spacing.
2 MR. STIMPSON: There was an alternative
3 considered where the waiver would not be necessary, but
4 the driveway would be very close to this out parcel that
5 we were concerned about earlier. I think it's a fair
6 compromise. There will be negligible southbound traffic
7 turning left behind the Target store to possibly
8 conflict with northbound left turns into the school, so
9 I don't anticipate a problem.
10 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. The rest of
11 my traffic questions were answered when other
12 Commissioners asked their questions.
13 As far as the sports facilities go,
14 I recognize that you're a Class A school and although
15 you only have 1,100 students they are all boys and so
16 that makes you equivalent to a co-ed school that's twice
17 the size essentially. So I called around to some of the
18 other schools in the area to look at their facilities
19 and it turns out that you have been very conservative in
20 your estimate of what you need, maybe even too
21 conservative, but certainly I don't think you can
22 squeeze anything else on the site and I don't want to
23 see you try.
24 I appreciate what you have done to
25 try and put practice fields on top of baseball diamonds
1 and the astro turf on the football field to accommodate
2 additional practices, but there was some questions that
3 just popped out at me. There was a discussion of the
4 noise analysis and what a football game would generate
5 and that sort of thing and it did say that all football
6 games were planned for the daytime. Did you really mean
7 to say that?
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If I may interject.
9 Our daytime hours per our ordinance are 7:00 a.m. to
10 10:00 p.m.
11 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Oh.
12 FATHER ELMER: Then the answer is yes.
13 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. Is lighting
14 proposed for any other sport besides football? Do you
15 plan to illuminate the baseball diamonds at all?
16 MR. ARGENTA: No. There is no other
17 lighting for any other sports. None of them would take
18 place in the evening.
19 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Are you planning to
20 have a swim team?
21 MR. ARGENTA: They do have a swim team.
22 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: And where will they
24 MR. ARGENTA: Right now they practice at
25 Mercy High School and they probably would. They've been
1 practicing there for years.
2 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. My concern
3 is there is not an overabundance of swimming pool
4 capacity in the city of Novi, there really isn't, and as
5 much as I want you to come to this community I don't
6 especially want your swim team to squeeze out the other
7 swimmers in this community. So that's something for the
8 City of Novi to remember.
9 Have you had any discussion with
10 Park and Recreation regarding sharing the sports
11 facilities for parks and rec leagues or private leagues
12 in the off season? For example, the school district,
13 Novi School District, let's the Parks and Rec soccer
14 leagues practice on their fields and their baseball
15 leagues play on some of the baseball diamonds. Have you
16 had any of those kinds of discussions?
17 FATHER ELMER: No, we haven't. As a
18 matter of fact, we met the athletic direct for Novi just
19 today, but I mentioned before we want to be good
20 citizens in Novi and certainly those kind of things are
21 open for discussion and obviously we can't -- we have to
22 fit it into what our schedule is like as well, but yes,
23 we certainly would consider that.
24 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I'm thinking
25 primarily summer kinds of things.
1 FATHER ELMER: Then that's not a problem.
2 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: All right. I think
3 that's all the questions I have about the sports
5 The last subject that I want to
6 talk about is the woodlands. I know we've had a lot of
7 discussion on that tonight so I won't repeat any
8 questions that anybody else had.
9 On the south property line where
10 we're not recommending that a berm be put in place, I'm
11 a little bit concerned with how close the road is to
12 Island Lake and the Island Lake road that's there and
13 I'm just wondering if you're going to try to maximize
14 the plantings between the two roads to screen the
15 practice fields and the school site from the residential
16 that's to the south of it.
17 MR. WEIKAL: Mr. McGinnis and I walked
18 that area specifically and we prepared a few real quick
19 boards here.
20 This is the Catholic Central site
21 with some of the additional Island Lake information on
22 the same board. This, of course, is the road. These
23 are existing hedge lines that will be preserved, and
24 I'll show you some pictures of those. This is the
25 wetland mitigation that Island Lake is currently
1 installing in this area. Here's the Island Lake road.
2 Here's -- this shows where their berm is installed, this
3 is their existing conservation area.
4 So real quickly, photo number 1,
5 and I'll probably bring these up a little more close,
6 this is the entrance, this is the existing house that's
7 going to be removed. As someone noted previously,
8 there's an existing alley of Siberian elms on either
9 side. We're keeping those and that's going to be used
10 as our entrance through there.
11 Photo number 2 is, as you walk down
12 about halfway, almost where the existing home is now, it
13 will be removed, and you look into this little wetland
14 treed area that Island Lake owns, this is what you see
15 here. And there's actually another parcel beyond that
16 that you can barely see through the trees even in the
18 Photo number 3, there are three big
19 white pines that are along the drive. Those occur here,
20 here and here. Mr. McGinnis is actually standing about
21 right in the middle of the current proposed wetland
22 mitigation, and this border, this edge, will be
23 preserved also here.
24 Photo number 4 looks right at the
25 Island Lake property down along the preserved hedge row,
1 so you can see the trees here. So this is the type of
2 thing we're keeping. This is why there is no berm
4 Number 5 is another picture. This
5 is a large tree that's in a little pocket of wetland
6 that occurs in here.
7 6 and 7 are looking on to our
8 property and away from our property. So you can see in
9 the distance all the way across the mitigated wetland
10 through another group of foliage tree buffers which
11 occur in here.
12 Photo -- let me skip ahead. So you
13 kind of get a feeling for that whole area. Then just a
14 couple more.
15 Down as the Island Lake road gets
16 closer to our property, and here there's a little
17 wetland area with some large trees in here that's
18 preserved, the Island Lake berm and Evergreen plantings,
19 the berm is about this high from the existing grade of
20 the road, and then these are the Evergreen plantings on
21 their parcel in here. So we're beyond that. Did that
22 answer your question?
23 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes, it does.
24 Thank you.
25 I have an idea for the question of
1 trees replacement, because you have a big number of
2 trees that you have to try to replace. First of all, my
3 question -- I have a question relative to the cost of
4 tree replacement, that million dollar number that was up
5 there. Does that include labor?
6 MR. WEIKAL: Yes.
7 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: That includes the
8 labor to do the job; is that correct?
9 MR. WEIKAL: Yeah, and the two-year
10 guarantee required by the City.
11 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I believe the
12 intent of the Woodlands Ordinance as it pertains to tree
13 replacement is to try to sustain the number of healthy
14 trees within the city and it's not just for air quality
15 and water quality and habitat, and it's also for
16 beautification. And the way I read the ordinance is it
17 first requires you to replace the trees on your own
18 property but if that's not feasible then you're to
19 replace them within the city, and if that's not feasible
20 then you're to put money in the tree fund. And not only
21 is the cost an issue, it's really a practical matter of
22 the City personnel trying to plant this many trees and
23 actually get the job done that I see as an issue for the
25 So what I'd like to propose is that
1 Catholic Central, in partnership with the City forester,
2 develop a plan by which Catholic Central actually plants
3 the trees within the city over some agreed upon period
4 of time.
5 And, Father Elmer, I wouldn't
6 presume to tell you how to run your business, but you
7 have 1,100 young men between the ages of 14 and 17 that
8 I think could probably make pretty short work of 2,900
9 tree plantings, you know, if we plan it right. So you
10 talk about your community service component and I think
11 there's something that could be done here for the
12 benefit of all. It would bring down the overall cost of
13 the tree replacement, it would get them planted, it
14 would get them planted where the City wants them. I
15 talked to the City forester about this and he said, you
16 know, just starting to think about replacing the ash
17 trees around this community is a huge undertaking and
18 he'd really like help from any direction he could get.
19 I think about this in the context
20 of what Governor Granholm and the Mayor have talked
21 about finding ways to volunteer in our communities to
22 make things better. I don't know. This idea just came
23 to me and I thought it might work. I have a fifteen
24 year old son, I had him digging holes and planting
25 trees. And I think this is a big problem that can be
1 solved and help integrate Catholic Central into the
2 community as a citizen in a really positive way very
3 quickly and it could probably be accomplished over a two
4 to three year period if it's planned right. So what I'd
5 like to see at the Final Site Plan is a plan for how
6 these trees are going to be -- how these replacement
7 trees are going to be handled, but that would be my
8 suggestion. And that is all I have at this time.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
10 Member Kocan.
11 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Thank you, Madam
13 Catholic Central's plan is quite an
14 aggressive endeavor and I do applaud you for a lot of
15 the work that has gone into it and I know it has gone on
16 for a number of years. And as was stated earlier, the
17 fact that we're critiquing your plan is what we're
18 charged to do, is to try to minimize any waivers that
19 are brought before us or if we can't minimize them we
20 have to at least substantiate them. That's what we're
21 doing this evening, looking at your recommendations, the
22 City's recommendations and what can we do or what can
23 you do so that we can give you substance for when you
24 have to go to ZBA or if there's something that is really
25 a negative impact we need to eliminate it.
1 This is a Special Land Use. We
2 have to make sure that there are no adverse impacts on
3 the residents around this property. We cannot approve a
4 site plan until we can approve the Special Land Use. So
5 that's our process here this evening.
6 Having said that, a couple things I
7 want to say first. I'm pleased that the football area
8 is going to be synthetic turf. I had heard that you
9 approached the high school to see if your varsity team
10 could play there. And I talked to Emmett Lippe last
11 night, I talked with George Cortland and I talked with
12 Curt Ellis last night and expressed my concern and they
13 also stated that they had said to you that that probably
14 was not a viable alternative. The fields that the Novi
15 schools are using right now are totally maxed out. So
16 the fact that you may be able to even help out the City,
17 particularly when this is a nonprofit organization so
18 you're not paying property taxes, that would be a
19 definite plus for the schools of Novi.
20 I do have questions for the
21 landscape architect because to me it seems like most of
22 the variances are in the landscaping. First I'd like to
23 address the berms. And there is a requirement around a
24 Special Land Use whether it abuts anything, residential
25 or whatever, there is a requirement for a
1 four-and-a-half foot berm, three-to-one ratio. So my
2 calculation is we need to have at least, if not a berm
3 that runs a span of 30 to 33 feet, then we should have
4 at least landscaping that takes up that same amount of
5 area. I know you've addressed the south border.
6 My number one concern is behind the
7 residents on Wixom Road. I do not believe that there's
8 a berm proposed behind their homes right now. From the
9 pictures it looks like most of the woodland are
10 deciduous trees. There's not a lot of opacity there.
11 So my concern is for the residents who are on Wixom
12 Road, is that they're going to need some additional
13 protection. If it's not a berm, it needs to be
14 additional Evergreens. And I notice that there is
15 mitigated wetland back there, and I will talk to Ms. Kay
16 with regard to that, but I don't believe the buffer for
17 the wetland should be anywhere near -- I mean, it should
18 be a minimum of that 35 feet away from the property line
19 to allow for what would be a required berm.
20 I don't know if Ms. Kay wants to
21 address that or if you want to address it. I know it
22 was in your letters but I'd still like to hear it again,
23 the reasons for not having berms along the perimeters
24 along the right-of-way. I don't believe there's a berm
25 to the north. We need to hear and substantiate why we
1 would waive a berm in those areas.
2 MR. McGINNIS: The mitigated wetlands
3 would be to the west of the residences and I'm sure,
4 after talking with Aimee Kay, that we could add some
5 Evergreens along the upper levels of that area and she
6 may want to address that, too, because if you look at
7 the contour elevations they would support some upland
8 plantings and Evergreens in that area because it doesn't
9 flood that high. But that is the reason that we were
10 proposing waiving or asking for the variance there.
11 Just because of the slope going from the property line
12 down to the wetlands, it would be difficult to put the
13 berm in and I don't think we'd want to put a wall in in
14 that natural area, but I think we can reinforce it with
15 Evergreens and I think the applicant would agree to
17 As far as the entrance road, the
18 south entrance road, there should be a berm or a wall
19 along the south residents' property line, but again
20 there's a distance, there's quite a distance in there
21 between the drive and the residents and, you're right,
22 there isn't much Evergreen in there but I'm sure the
23 applicant would be happy to put in Evergreens, enough to
24 provide the opacity along that area, provide the
1 The right-of-way berm at the south
2 entrance, there are large existing deciduous trees, as
3 you can see on the photograph that Ken Weikal provided.
4 If we put a berm in there, we would impinge on the drip
5 zone of the trees and we might affect the trees and I
6 think the best way to handle that is by adding
7 additional planting in that area but -- if we need the
8 berm. I mean, usually you have the berm along a
9 right-of-way because there's a structure -- you're
10 trying to buffer the traffic from the structure or to
11 enhance the structure, and in this case there isn't a
12 structure. And I really think that with the existing
13 deciduous trees there that they can seek the variance
14 for the berm and not put the berm in. That's the
15 right-of-way berm.
16 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: As you heard in our
17 Landscape Ordinance discussion this evening, that's the
18 kind of discretion that we would like the Planning
19 Commission to have so we don't have to send these types
20 of issues to the Zoning Board of Appeals, who typically
21 does not have access to a landscaper or a woodlands
22 expert. We would like to be able to have more control
23 over those issues here.
24 So it would be a requirement of
25 mine that the developer would work with the City to beef
1 up the areas around the residential properties and
2 wherever possible for a minimum of that 35 foot berm
3 setback area to be an exchange. I mean, I can
4 understand you don't want berm areas that are wetlands,
6 To the north of -- interior
7 landscaping, interior parking landscaping. Again I
8 asked the question during Landscaping Ordinance, should
9 perimeter -- it's not perimeter but like a boulevard --
10 is it the intent of this Planning Commission to allow
11 landscaping around the parking lot to count towards
12 interior parking landscaping? And that was not our
13 intent. Can you discuss this particular plan with
14 regard to that?
15 MR. McGINNIS: The reason the applicant
16 cut back on the interior landscaping was to keep the
17 parking lots at a minimal size to help preserve the
18 trees, especially around the football field. I said in
19 my letter that if you do count the perimeter trees as
20 part of the interior landscaping because they exist
21 between the parking and the perimeter road and they
22 would not be part of the perimeter buffer, but they are
23 along the parking area and they are between two
24 vehicular use areas, and it is sort of a unique
25 situation, having this long linear lot with a drive
1 behind it, that we can -- that would be one way to sort
2 of get around the internal parking, or internal
3 landscaping requirement.
4 However, if the other alternate is
5 to provide the internal islands, and they actually are
6 not that short. If you total up all the internal
7 islands, I think that they are equivalent of 16 parking
8 spaces, that much green space short. However, given the
9 need for parking on the site, it would probably be
10 preferable if we don't count that edge treatment to the
11 parking lot, it would be preferable to add that to the
12 variance requirements for getting -- get a variance for
13 the interior landscaping requirement.
14 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. Ms. Kay, can
15 you come to the podium and pick up where he left off
16 with regard to the impervious surface and runoff and is
17 it from a -- if this is your area -- is it beneficial to
18 have the landscaping where it is at the north between
19 the ring road and the parking lot, and also if you could
20 address the landscaping additional trees behind the
21 residences on Wixom Road.
22 MS. KAY: We concur with your landscape
23 architect that there are opportunities with the design
24 of the mitigation in that area, and especially near the
25 residents, that we can make sure that the deeper pockets
1 for the higher levels of water are farther away, thereby
2 sloping toward that end, toward the residents, so that
3 you have more upland, if you will, and more buffer on
4 that end, and I think we can achieve that. If we can't
5 and we get to that point during, you know, Final Site
6 Plan then by all means we can make an exception in this
7 case and I think we can support having any kind of
8 upland trees on the upper, upper ends of the buffer.
9 Obviously the buffer is upland anyway.
10 Typically we want more deciduous
11 and more variety of trees but we can have some shrubs as
12 well. So with regard to the mitigation design, I think
13 there's enough room there to achieve what you're trying
14 to achieve, which is some screening. Correct?
15 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Correct.
16 MS. KAY: Okay. And the same would be
17 true for the ring road. I'm not sure there's as much
18 opportunity on that end, although I didn't look at that
19 very closely, but you can see that there's very little
20 room given the north end of that road and the property
21 boundary, but whatever can be done certainly should be
23 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Is there going to be
24 a negative impact from there not being the interior
25 islands in that --
1 MS. KAY: Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, I missed
2 that one entirely. Well, everything is relative and
3 that parking area is relatively small. I mean, if you
4 look at the overall acreage of the site, that area in
5 between the school and the football stadium is a small
6 parking surface. And I know that everybody is trying to
7 achieve all these different things but this particular
8 site is obviously where you're going to have to give a
9 little in some areas and take in others. I am not
10 opposed to keeping the parking as is. I'm not sure what
11 you can actually achieve on such a small parking surface
12 space. I mean, 600 doesn't sound small but for this
13 city that is, and I'm not sure what you can actually
14 achieve as far as attenuating any heat with a few trees
15 here or there.
16 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: The wetland
17 mitigation is less than the one-to-one ratio that's
18 required in our ordinance and you had in one of your
19 letters a recommendation to possibly remove this
20 north-south field and there was a response from the
21 developer stating they did not want to do that. Was
22 there ever a discussion about removing half of the
23 field, the upper north half that is actually on the
24 wetland area? And the reason I ask that is because if
25 we did that, I'm just throwing this out here, it would
1 eliminate the variance for the one-to-one ratio and it
2 would also allow for less mitigated wetland area. My
3 concern about the mitigated wetland area is, and we've
4 said it before, what's proposed and what really happens
5 are two completely different things. And the major
6 concern -- if this mitigated wetland was on the west
7 side of the property I wouldn't be as concerned as I am
8 with it being on the east side of the property with the
9 residents being negatively impacted. We've got practice
10 fields that are elevated, which makes them much more
11 visible. What is your feeling about that alternative?
12 MS. KAY: Okay. Again, there's a great
13 trade-off on this property with regard to even the
14 natural resources themselves. If I'm forced to make a
15 value judgment between the upland woodlands and some
16 wetland for the sake of meeting your wetland ordinance
17 and having no net loss, if you will, because I think the
18 actual estimate is that you would have roughly a third
19 of an acre loss of wetland on the site without your
20 typical wetland being built for mitigation, I am going
21 to have to lean toward preserving as much upland
22 woodlands on the site in lieu of that and that's why we
23 wanted them to preserve every available upland woodland
24 and gave them credit, if you will, for that net loss of
25 wetland mitigation.
1 And we don't do that that often and
2 I think by far this is probably the one case where we
3 took that kind of liberty with that amount of acreage
4 for that net loss. We did try to explore alternatives
5 as is required under the ordinance with the applicant.
6 They can still explore other alternative. They can
7 certainly try to find other areas in the city as
8 required by the ordinance, they can try to use your city
9 area-wide mitigation property, all those things.
10 I'm not sure what's going on with
11 that, but we really felt that the upland woodlands on
12 this site, especially on the western half, is of such
13 great value that the more that you're going to preserve
14 of that adjacent, especially adjacent to the wetland
15 system itself, it's going to actually help the post
16 development wetland on this property. So that's why we
17 came to that judgment.
18 And as far as losing the practice
19 field, the one that is oriented north-south, again, it's
20 a little bit of a stretch for me because I'm supposed to
21 stick just to the wetlands. If I'm just going with the
22 wetland ordinance and they had to lose a field, then
23 obviously we would be in support of that. However, in
24 this case I can't make that decision in a vacuum and I
25 think that we'd much rather then preserve anything they
1 can on the western half of the site with regard to just
2 maintaining the viability of the wetland system overall.
3 Does that answer your question?
4 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Sure. Leaves room
5 for interpretation.
6 MS. KAY: Sure.
7 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: I think that's I all
8 I have for wetlands.
9 Just some general comments. I am
10 opposed to parking on the practice fields particularly
11 since the north-south practice field is going to be over
12 a current wetland. And I do agree with the comment that
13 was made that it would be more beneficial to not have
14 more impervious surface for those five, ten times a year
15 when you're going to be having -- and my calculations
16 are considerably higher than anyone else's. If you have
17 something like -- from what I understand with the
18 bleachers in the football area, you've got 8,550 linear
19 feet of bleachers. Usually people don't take up more
20 than two feet. So that gives you 4,275 people that can
21 fit in that football stadium. That's a ton of people.
22 So if there's some way, and I would
23 like to hear, and I know that you started to pursue
24 either parking arrangements or whatever, I would like to
25 have a, and I don't know if it's an agreement that I'm
1 looking for or maybe just some sort of solution that you
2 would bring as part of a Final Site Plan approval, that
3 you've either worked out some sort of a shuttle system,
4 or Target has allowed you to park on their property, or
5 people to the north of you are going to give you some
6 land. I really don't want to see parking on Wixom Road
7 and we already have that problem with Novi High School.
8 FATHER ELMER: One of the Commissioners
9 also suggested the possibility of making for the games
10 the road one way so that there could be parking along
11 the road and still have room for traffic.
12 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Would we have to get
13 approval for that from the fire marshal? I would think
14 that we would have to have -- to see if the road is wide
15 enough to allow parking plus the fire truck to go
17 MR. EVANCOE: I think we could certainly
18 run it by the fire department during Final Site Plan
19 Review and see if it is okay, see what their comment
20 would be.
21 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Because that would go
22 toward my request to have some sort of arrangement for
23 Final Site Plan approval.
24 The decel lane to be changed to
25 whatever we called it, the taper, makes sense. There
1 was no traffic study done on the south entrance, so I
2 don't believe it's going to require the amount of
3 traffic going in. The one area I didn't mention, I said
4 we talked about landscaping or you discussed a little
5 bit on the west side. Again, I do see landscaping there
6 but because the fields are elevated, and I know that
7 there's no -- you can't put in a berm plus have it
8 elevated, and I think this has already been said, but I
9 do want to see additional landscaping between the
10 fields. And the property is currently zoned residential
11 to the west. I know it's Master Planned as office but
12 it is zoned residential so we have to be very sensitive
13 to that.
14 I think that's all I've got at this
15 time. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Commissioner Markham.
17 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Well, I'm ready to
18 make a motion but do you want to speak before I do?
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'd like to make my
20 comment put on the record.
21 Even though most of the
22 Commissioners have asked a lot of questions, I do have a
23 couple of questions that I do want to ask and, Mr.
24 Stimpson, you're one person I have a question of.
25 On your report provided by your
1 office, item number 10 regarding access, there's a
2 statement in here that says, "We have reason to believe
3 that the stub was never constructed," referring to a
4 ramped sidewalk stub.
5 MR. STIMPSON: I'm sorry, Madam?
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Number 10, under Access
7 in your letter, it says, "A ramped sidewalk stub was to
8 have been constructed on the northeast corner of the
9 signalized driveway to allow for a future pedestrian
10 crossing to the school site. We have reason to believe
11 that this stub was never constructed. The City should
12 verify that this is the case and take steps to ensure
13 that the stub is provided prior to its being needed for
14 crossing." Has your office verified that with the City?
15 That is -- has this taken place, Mr. Coburn? Maybe
16 you're the wrong person I'm directing the question to.
17 MR. COBURN: I went out to the site and
18 took a look at it and the stub going across Wixom Road
19 towards the Catholic Central site has not been
20 constructed. That is something we can take a look at.
21 And I know on the Promenade site we are not completed
22 with all the items for that, so we can take a look at
23 that and make sure.
24 MR. STIMPSON: It may have been an
25 oversight. That stub was not on earlier versions of the
1 Wixom Road improvements, as we call them, for Novi
2 Promenade. An early version was inadvertently stamped
3 improperly before its time and another version was
4 stamped some weeks later. There may have been some
5 confusion in the field as to what was required.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I appreciate that, Mr.
7 Stimpson. I want to make sure that this is not one of
8 those we're-going-to-look-into things, and if we're
9 going to have a school there that that is provided.
10 MR. COBURN: No, that's something we'll
11 definitely follow up on.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you, Mr.
14 The other concerns that I have are
15 the winter opacity.
16 Mr. McGinnis, in photograph number
17 2, if you -- or maybe I could ask the landscape
18 architect. In photograph number 2, that is depicting
19 the site from where to where?
20 MR. WEIKAL: Standing right on the
21 property line.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you would take the
23 hand mike, I would appreciate it.
24 MR. WEIKAL: Thank you. Photograph number
25 2 is standing almost directly next to the existing home
1 that's there, where our drive will be. And so I stood
2 on the property line, or Mike and I stood on the
3 property line and looked -- in fact, you can see the old
4 fence and looking right across through there's a little
5 bit of an open area and then a forested wetland that
6 occurs right here.
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So what you're looking
8 at is, if you're standing at their property line, you're
9 looking south into Island Lake.
10 MR. WEIKAL: Yes, just to show the buffer
11 that occurs along there, existing planting material.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Usually we have certain
13 requirements for opacity for winter. Did you say or did
14 someone say that there would be a couple of Evergreens
15 put in there?
16 MR. WEIKAL: Well, on the landscape plans,
17 on the concept plans, we have introduced Serbian Spruce
18 right there.
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Serbian Spruce?
20 MR. WEIKAL: Well, we haven't picked them
21 yet but they would be Serbian. It's a narrow growing
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Then you agreed
24 that you would be putting in some Evergreens around the
25 perimeter of the homes located there.
1 MR. WEIKAL: Yes. There actually is a
2 buffer planting.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Right, yes.
4 MR. WEIKAL: So the Commission wants more
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: A couple, yes. I think
7 that would be helpful. Thank you for your time.
8 I understand about the upland and
9 everything, but I was reading about hummocks and we
10 don't have a whole lot of those within our city, do we?
11 Ms. Kay, if you could. I have a couple questions
12 regarding the wetlands, specifically Wetland Y, which is
13 where one of the practice fields are.
14 MS. KAY: Yes, on this specific the
15 hummocks that you are referring to, I mean, they're not
16 rare in the city but they are a system that is uncommon,
17 so that's sort of like splitting hairs.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Can you, for the
19 benefit of the Commission, explain what a hummock is?
20 MS. KAY: Sure. It's basically a grouping
21 of sedges and grasses and it's elevated. There's a
22 picture of it in your packet in one of the photographs.
23 It actually gives you a little bit of perspective. And
24 generally speaking there's a foot from the base of this
25 grouping of plants to the top that shows you what the
1 levels of water are standing during a normal storm event
2 in the summertime. And all that tells us is that
3 there's a lot of water standing in that wetland area
4 temporarily in spring and fall during large storm
5 events. So for Wetland Y, we indicated that in the
6 packet just because we described the different wetland
7 systems and different wetland vegetation types for you.
8 But as far as a rare system, it is not but it is a very
9 special wetland system in that some of the vegetation
10 diversity is different. We pointed it out again just as
11 information for you so that you could compare.
12 Obviously the majority of wetland
13 on the site is forested, not a lot of understory,
14 meaning underneath the tree canopy there's not a lot of
15 herbaceous vegetation. Wetland Y is different, it's not
16 forested -- excuse me -- there's some trees around the
17 periphery but the majority of it is these kind of
19 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. There's a couple
20 things I want to ask. First of all, there is going to
21 be some mitigation on the south of the road which would
22 be in Island Lake. What impact is that going to have?
23 I mean, you're putting a road through that one area,
24 we're breaking up this whole area. Doesn't this
25 tributary go into Davis Creek? And it's a good system.
1 What is that -- you know, those two sites, how will they
2 impact each other? You're mitigating in one area,
3 you're mitigating in another area. I see some trees but
4 if you put wetlands in there the water will kill the
5 trees. How does this all impact? This is the whole
6 system, isn't it, with Island Lake included in it?
7 MS. KAY: Yes, and I'm going to try to
8 summarize that. That's a lot of different points, as
9 far as, you know, items in wetland.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: You're right. It's
12 MS. KAY: Again, for the wetland system,
13 the largest contiguous wetland system on this
14 property --
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is A.
16 MS. KAY: Right. There's no doubt in
17 anybody's mind that we're saying that, you know, there's
18 going to be some impacts from the development, but we
19 think that given the circumstances the, you know,
20 percentage of impervious surface, albeit there is some
21 but it's not high, this wetland system should remain a
22 viable wetland system.
23 Again, practice has shown us that
24 there could be some tree mortality. It is not
25 throughout the whole system. I don't want to mislead
1 anybody here. We don't have a good rendering here for
2 you this evening with regard to where they're actually
3 proposing to detain in the wetlands, so let me move over
4 here and I'll try to outline that area.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I would appreciate it
6 because that's a hard site to walk into.
7 MS. KAY: I lost my rendering here.
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I think it's behind the
10 MS. KAY: Oh, it's underneath. No, that's
11 not it. Excuse me a minute.
12 This is the one time I could have
13 highlighted it with my magic marker like I usually do
14 and I didn't. This should have been in your packet as
15 well. The most southern/southwestern lobe of this
16 wetland system, this area in gray is the only area
17 that's proposed for detention for a, well, I'll read it,
18 "A five-year storm event and a ten-year storm event".
19 And that is a standard for engineering again with regard
20 to those storm events, not necessarily a direct
21 correlation whether or not the trees are going to die.
22 But that's the area that we outlined for you, and that
23 is a decent standard that they designed to. I don't
24 want to mislead anybody here. That is very detailed and
25 the area conforms to an elevation, a known elevation
1 within that wetland area.
2 The 158 trees are within this area
3 alone. There's not much -- and this is just for a
4 different storm event, a one-and-a-half year, first
5 flush. This larger area over here on the right side of
6 this rendering in the purple and the light purple is for
7 a much larger area on site and that's for two
8 back-to-back 100-year storms. That's the worst case
9 scenario. That's basically designed to a 200-year
10 storm. And that's a much larger area obviously but it
11 doesn't go all the way to Wixom Road.
12 Obviously under those calculations
13 you would anticipate that once every 100 years, right,
14 if all that holds true. So that's the area. What else
15 did you specifically want to know?
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I guess you kind of
17 answered my question because I wanted to know if there's
18 any -- you answered my question. I appreciate it.
19 I do have a couple questions,
20 Father, if you wouldn't mind answering, I think that
21 came out this evening and that I thought were rather
22 interesting and maybe could solve some future problems.
23 You know, I am on the Master Plan
24 and Zoning Committee and so I know what these properties
25 around you are Master Planned at the present time and
1 zoned, and to the north of you, Mr. Pellerito's
2 property, is commercial, so he has the -- I know,
3 commercial-light industrial -- so he has the ability to
4 build something there which would probably have the
5 ability of parking on the north side which you could
6 probably use, right? And this is the kind of discussion
7 that you're having with him. And before I ask another
8 question of you, do we have -- I guess, Ms. Kay, I
9 probably asked you to leave too soon. Is she here
11 What is on the north side of that
12 property, is there a bunch of wetlands there? If
13 there's future build-out there will there be, you know,
14 would that be a problem?
15 MS. KAY: Okay. I haven't personally
16 walked that site in a great many years, but one thing I
17 do know from some previous files in the office there are
18 some wetlands on that property. It was farmed for years
19 there. We had an active wetland violation many, many
20 years ago, over ten years ago, on the Pellerito property
21 you're referring to, the property on the north I take
22 it. So there are some wetland systems there intact is
23 my understanding but not a lot of wetland system overall
24 because he did farm that area for years. And that's my
25 understanding but I have not personally verified any
1 current wetland conditions on that property.
2 I wanted to back up also because I
3 realized I didn't answer one of your quick questions,
4 and not to belabor this, but you mentioned something
5 about Davis Drain, and downstream, whatnot, and closed
6 or open system, and I know there's been some
7 conversations with that regard, but our position for the
8 wetlands on this property is that it's a closed system.
9 A lot of the calculations that we
10 requested from the applicant and discussions that we've
11 had is that their position is that it's an open system.
12 And, you know, we've walked the property downstream, if
13 you will, but what we consider an open system for
14 wetlands in general are when a wetland system is
15 actually connected to a major stream section, a
16 continuous major Rouge River stream section or somewhere
17 where you have an actual outlet. And so that's why
18 we're calling this in our letter a closed system,
19 because we know that the two southern lobes of that
20 wetland end. And even though there's some existing
21 downstream drains, Novi Line Drain, and the large lake
22 system as part of Island Lake, you know, that's our
23 position so far. Unless somebody brings some additional
24 information to our attention, we're going to consider
25 this a closed system.
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
2 Once again, Father Elmer, is there
3 any, is there any negotiation regarding the property,
4 the residential that are left? Is there any
5 anticipation of acquiring those properties that are left
6 along Wixom Road?
7 FATHER ELMER: We certainly obviously
8 would like to acquire them. Whether we can afford that
9 or not is in question right now.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So I assume --
11 FATHER ELMER: There has been conversation
12 with the property owners there.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: So I assume the
14 reliability of future parking would probably be to the
16 FATHER ELMER: Yes.
17 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Is there any
18 future plans for a rectory? Where will the priests
20 FATHER ELMER: That's a good question and
21 I'm not sure how we're going to answer that right now.
22 The priests right now are willing to stay where we are.
23 It's about 15 miles from where the school will be.
24 Right now, as far as the land is concerned, there isn't
25 room for it and that's -- the driving force right now is
1 that. But if we were to obtain more property, that
2 might be a possibility.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: We have talked about
4 the wetlands and the woodlands and this looks a little
5 bit different than the concept plan that I saw at the
6 Master Plan, but I do think that on the whole I think
7 it's a very nice design. I did want to ask whether or
8 not you really need the third practice field, which
9 would be Wetland Y, and would it be possible to use half
10 of it instead of the whole field?
11 FATHER ELMER: I think my athletic
12 director would resign if we took any more practice field
13 space from him. The main problem is in the fall. We
14 have soccer and football and three teams each, freshmen,
15 JV and varsity. So that's -- really, if we're going to
16 have the ideal situation, that's five practice fields
17 and a game field because one of those teams would
18 probably be playing. So right now we're very tight, as
19 Commissioner Markham pointed out, with practice fields.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much,
22 Mr. Coburn, are we meeting all the
23 requirements for the new Stormwater Management
25 MR. COBURN: Yes, they are.
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. There is only I
2 think one question I had for you. I apologize.
3 Regarding the -- on your review, your plan review,
4 regarding project summary, you said, "Water service
5 would be provided by a looped 12-inch water main from
6 Island Lake development to the south and from Wixom Road
7 to the east. A water pressure booster station and a
8 pressure regulator are being proposed to provide
9 required pressure for this site."
10 When I read that I just wanted to
11 make sure is it going in, is the pressure going to be
12 correct because this says, you know, is everything for
13 the 12-inch water main -- what's the word I'm looking
14 for? -- sized?
15 MR. COBURN: Yes.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. And all the
17 stormwater is being treated, you have Vortechnics in
18 there, and -- geez, I don't know if I have any more
19 questions. Everybody was so -- oh, I know.
20 This is again for you, Father. Do
21 you give out athletic passes?
22 FATHER ELMER: I could make sure you get
23 one if that's what you're asking.
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: No, I mean like -- that
25 didn't come out right. I'd just like you to know that I
1 am Catholic. You know, I meant like, you know, like
2 more tickets out to friends and neighbors.
3 FATHER ELMER: Complimentary tickets?
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: That's it.
5 FATHER ELMER: There are some that do go
6 out but...
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm looking to see how
8 much that will add to your parking.
9 FATHER ELMER: Oh, I see. Our stadium is
10 only going to be able to hold so many no matter what, so
11 I don't think that would have any effect.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I thought my question
13 was perfectly fine.
14 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: As long as the Chair
15 gets one, that's all we care about.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I want to be clear
17 before anyone makes a motion. We are going to be
18 putting in -- you are going to be putting in the berm --
19 adding on the south. What about the lights, what did we
20 talk about with regard to the lights?
21 Mr. Stimpson, do you have any
22 knowledge regarding lighting, is that your expertise at
24 MR. EVANCOE: I think Tim Schmitt can best
25 handle that. He did the review regarding the lighting.
1 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Did you really?
2 MR. SCHMITT: Yes, ma'am. I've done a
3 lot of lighting reviews since I got here.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Let's talk about that.
5 MR. SCHMITT: I'd be happy to.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm not familiar with
7 this thing, what did you call it, Muska, some kind of..
8 MR. SCHMITT: Musco Lighting. It's one of
9 the larger companies in the area.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. So you're
11 telling me if it's 80 foot tall and it has a 45 degree
12 angle that it's going to go straight down?
13 MR. SCHMITT: That is almost the best case
14 scenario for lighting of this sort given the, and Mr.
15 Argenta had mentioned it before, the light loss from
16 these lights -- if you were to put this at a 90 degree
17 angle that high, the lights are going to spread much
18 farther than they are when you have them pointed
19 directly at what you want to light.
20 So there really is almost a curtain
21 right behind the light because the light is not going in
22 that direction, it's all going forward. So you're
23 pointing lights towards each other and it's providing a
24 much cleaner lighting and very minimal spillover. I was
25 actually very surprised when I saw the site how little
1 spillover there actually was.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I appreciate your
3 answer, however, I wanted to ask you, in the future when
4 we're talking about lighting, especially new lighting or
5 something that doesn't fit our ordinance, if there could
6 be visuals. I mean, I think that would make things a
7 lot -- especially when it's 12:30 at night.
8 MR. SCHMITT: Certainly. This is
9 obviously a very rare situation. I would doubt --
10 unless the City itself comes forward and proposes
11 lighting at either Power or Sportsman's Park, you would
12 probably never see this situation again.
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: One other question.
14 Will there be any other lights? Like you have this big
15 ring road. Will there be any other lighting along the
17 MR. SCHMITT: Yes, and they meet the
18 ordinance requirements along every other place on the
19 site except for the football field.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. That will be
21 25-foot lights. Is that going to be bright?
22 MR. SCHMITT: Twenty-five feet where
23 adjacent to residential. So given the size of the site
24 we essentially split it in half. The southern half,
25 being adjacent to residential, will meet the 25-foot
1 requirment and the northern half is going to be 30 feet
2 high, being adjacent to industrial.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: And you're going to put
4 lighting in on the southeast corner in such a manner
5 that the residents that abut Wixom Road will not be lit
6 up at night?
7 MR. SCHMITT: I'd have to check and see
8 where the nearest pole is, but I'm guessing if they set
9 it off the road fairly substantially so the light
10 doesn't spill over to the property.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Those are all my
12 questions that I have. Thank you very much.
13 If someone would entertain a
14 motion, I mean, the Chair will entertain a motion.
15 Commissioner Markham. Please break
16 it down to the Special Land Use first and then the rest.
17 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Then I need the
18 list of the findings, don't I?
19 In the matter of Catholic Central
20 High School, Site Plan 02-61, a motion to grant approval
21 of the Special Land Use, finding that relative to other
22 feasible uses of the site this proposed use will not
23 cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares
24 and whether -- and relative to other feasible uses of
25 the site it will not cause any detrimental impact on the
1 capabilities of the public services; that it is
2 compatible with the natural features and characteristics
3 of the land, and compatible with the adjacent uses of
4 the land in terms of location, size and character and
5 impact; it's consistent with the goals, objectives and
6 recommendations of the City's Master Plan for land use;
7 it will promote the use of the land in a socially and
8 economically desirable manner; and it is listed among
9 the provisions of uses requiring Special Land Use and is
10 in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the
11 applicable site design regulations of the zoning
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Second.
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: The motion was made by
15 Commission Markham, seconded by Mr. Ruyle.
16 Does anyone have any other
17 discussion? Commissioner Paul.
18 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Under this Special
19 Considerations, the very first one is the proposed use
20 will cause any detrimental impact on existing
21 thoroughfares in terms of overall volumes, capacity,
22 safety, vehicular turning patterns, intersection view
23 obstruction, and line of sight, ingress, egress,
24 accleration/deceleration lanes, off-street parking,
25 off-street loading/unloading, travel times and
1 thoroughfare level of service.
2 I don't know how we can say yes to
3 that because we have no answers to the parking at this
4 time. We are -- if we have 4,000 seats in the football
5 field, how can we say that?
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: With all due respect,
7 parking is not a part of that.
8 COMMISSIONER PAUL: But off-street parking
9 is definitely an issue and patterns of the thoroughfares
10 are definitely an issue.
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm sorry, you said --
12 COMMISSIONER PAUL: The whole sentence.
13 And, you know, I'm very much in favor of this site, but
14 I'm looking at the deficit of parking that we have
15 without an agreement and I'm gravely concerned that
16 people will park in Island Lakes, people will park on
17 Wixom Road, people will park along the ring road no
18 matter what we do, people will possibly park in Target,
19 maybe they'll park in the three residents' houses, close
20 to their house or their drive and block them. I'm
21 looking at this and thinking there's no way we can
22 actually meet that first requirement at this point in
24 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Madam Chair.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, Member Markham.
1 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: In my second motion
2 for approval of the Preliminary Site Plan I was going to
3 include a comment that at Final Site Plan there needs to
4 be a plan by which they will accommodate sports event
5 level parking requirements, which would answer that
6 question that they have to -- by the time they get Final
7 Site Plan approval they have to tell us how they're
8 going to handle that.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: For Special Land Use
10 you'd like to amend the motion?
11 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Does it belong with
12 the Special Land Use motion or does it belong in the --
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Fisher, I wouldn't
14 think that belongs with the -- can she amend a Special
15 Land Use motion to indicate that?
16 MR. FISHER: Yes. It could be a condition
17 that some solution, I think as Commissioner Kocan stated
18 it, must be provided by the time of Final Site Plan
19 approval for the parking. That would be a reasonable
20 condition to impose.
21 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. So I would
22 amend the motion to say on the condition that there is a
23 plan in place at Final Site Plan to -- what's the word?
24 MR. FISHER: Accommodate.
25 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Overflow parking
1 for sporting events.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Is the seconder of the
3 motion amenable to that?
4 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: I will accept it.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Commissioner Paul.
6 COMMISSIONER PAUL: I have a question for
7 legal counsel.
8 If we agree to do this and we do
9 not have any of those agreements in place --
10 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: They can't get final.
11 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay. Then can we
12 have this at Final Site Plan approval? Would that be --
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: That can be part of
14 the next motion.
15 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Okay.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Does anyone else have
17 any further comments?
18 Mr. Schmitt, if you please call the
20 MR. SCHMITT: Thank you, Madam Chair.
21 Commissioner Papp?
22 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
23 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Paul?
24 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
25 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Ruyle?
1 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
2 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Shroyer?
3 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
4 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Sprague?
5 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yes.
6 MR. SCHMITT: Commission Avdoulos?
7 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
8 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Kocan?
9 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
10 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Markham?
11 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes.
12 MR. SCHMITT: Chairperson Nagy?
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
14 MR. SCHMITT: Motion passes 9 to 0.
15 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: The Chair will
16 entertain another motion for the -- Commission Markham.
17 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: In the matter of
18 Catholic Central High School, Site Plan 02-61, motion to
19 grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan Wetlands
20 Permit, Woodlands Permit and the Stormwater Management
21 Plan, subject to a ZBA variance for the height of the
22 football field lighting. Do I have to spell out what
23 it --
24 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Fisher, does she
25 have to state exactly what the footage is?
1 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: This says 80 feet
2 but what if it turns out to be 90? That makes sense.
3 MR. FISHER: You can merely say a variance
4 in order to comply with the ordinance.
5 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. Then I won't
6 state a height. A ZBA variance for the cut-off angle of
7 the football field lighting; a ZBA variance for removal
8 of the berm or wall requirement along Wixom Road
9 right-of-way, taking into consideration additional
10 Evergreen plantings around adjacent residential
11 properties; a ZBA -- well, actually, that goes with the
12 next one -- a ZBA variance for removal of berm or wall
13 requirement along residentially zoned properties; the
14 Planning Commission waiver of the City's opposite side
15 driveway spacing requirement; a wetland bond filed with
16 the city in the amount of $70,000; the deceleration lane
17 changed to a taper on the southern access point in front
18 of -- near the residence; and I don't know exactly how
19 to talk about the replacement trees. They're required
20 to do something about the replacement trees.
21 MR. FISHER: I think under the
22 circumstances, from all the discussion, I think it might
23 be appropriate to merely say they must comply with the
24 ordinance with regard to tree replacement.
25 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Okay. Applicant
1 must comply with the ordinance regarding tree
2 replacement; and a parking agreement at the time of
3 Final Site Plan approval which will accommodate overflow
4 parking associated with sports events; and a ZBA waiver
5 for interior landscaping requirements -- I thought we
6 were -- I thought they agreed to put the landscaping on
7 the interior.
8 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: On the existing
9 islands but they weren't going to add additional
10 islands. They were going to count the trees surrounding
11 it as additional, the way I understood it.
12 MR. EVANCOE: Yes. If I may, I think this
13 is regarding the -- allowing the islands that separate
14 the ring road from the parking lot to count as interior
15 parking lot islands.
16 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: All right. So what
17 do I want to say? Waiving the interior parking
18 landscaping requirements to separate the ring road from
19 the parking, the student and staff parking, and this is
20 to be brought back to the Planning Commission for Final
21 Site Plan approval.
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I'll support it.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Member Paul.
24 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Do we want to specify
25 the tree bond or the replacement trees around the city?
1 Do we want to spell that or is just following the
2 ordinance the same?
3 MR. FISHER: I don't think any resolution
4 to that, you know, exactly how that's going to be
5 carried has been decided, so we don't even know what the
6 numbers are. So I think the appropriate thing is they
7 have to comply with ordinance.
8 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Secondly, do we want
9 to say anything about the Bonds' property not having the
10 deceleration lane?
11 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I said that.
12 That's included.
13 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Madam Chair, second
14 the motion.
15 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: He already did, Tim
16 already did.
17 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I did.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: The motion has been
19 made by Commissioner Markham and seconded by
20 Commissioner Shroyer. Any further discussion?
21 Mr. Schmitt, if you would please
22 call the roll.
23 MR. SCHMITT: Thank you, Madam Chair.
24 Commissioner Paul?
25 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
1 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Ruyle?
2 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
3 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Shroyer?
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
5 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Sprague?
6 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yes.
7 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Avdoulos?
8 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
9 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Kocan?
10 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
11 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Markham?
12 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes.
13 MR. SCHMITT: Chairperson Nagy?
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
15 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Papp?
16 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
17 MR. SCHMITT: Motions passes 9 to 0.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
19 Good luck.
20 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Madam Chair, I'd like
21 to make a motion to extend the meeting.
22 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Second.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Till 1:30 at the
24 latest. Thank you.
25 Excuse me, we have another site
1 plan. Is the petitioner for Duke office still present?
2 Our next item is matters for
3 consideration, Duke Office Building, Phase II, Site Plan
4 Number 02-57. Consideration of the request of Lonnie
5 Zimmerman of Siegal/Tuomaala Associates for approval of
6 a Preliminary Site Plan. The subject property is
7 located in Section 36 on the west side of Haggerty
8 between Eight and Nine Mile Roads in the Office Service
9 Commercial District. The developer is proposing to
10 remodel the existing three-story office building,
11 including adding additional parking and landscaping.
12 The subject property is 4.42 acres.
13 Mr. Schmitt, are you presenting for
14 the applicant?
15 MR. SCHMITT: Yes, ma'am.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: How interesting.
17 MR. EVANCOE: Make it brief, please.
18 MR. SCHMITT: I got the longest drive, so
19 I would be happy to.
20 As you can see on the overhead,
21 we're looking at Haggerty Road to the right-hand side,
22 Orchard Hill Place swooping in an L-shape fashion. The
23 Duke Office Building is the L-shaped parcel at the
24 corner of Haggerty Road and Orchard Hill Place.
25 As you can see on this zoning map,
1 the entire area around it is zoned OSC, with a small
2 amount of OS-1 further to the north and some residential
3 to the west. And the Master Plan shows that the entire
4 surrounding area is Master Planned for office uses.
5 To begin with, I'd like to state
6 that this is actually an existing building. If you
7 drive out there, they're currently in the process of
8 remodeling the interior and changing the facade, which
9 was previously approved internally. The building was
10 built prior to many of the ordinances that are currently
11 on the books, therefore it is a nonconforming building
12 under today's standards. The goal of most
13 noncomformities is to bring them into conformance to the
14 extent feasible under most situations.
15 The applicant has decided to do a
16 complete remodel and to provide a better entranceway to
17 the project, which will be located right here. Really,
18 the main entrance to the building is somewhat obscured
19 and hard to get to, so he will be providing a more
20 impressive opening to the building and bringing the
21 parking into conformity in terms of numbers that are
22 required for the office building.
23 The reviews for this plan were
24 exceptionally clean. There's only one major issue to
25 note. The landscaping review indicated that a ZBA
1 variance is required for the lack of a Haggerty Road
2 right-of-way berm, and I will let Mr. McGinnis further
3 discuss that should the Commission have questions.
4 In addition, the traffic review
5 indicated that a Planning Commission waiver of the
6 opposite side driveway spacing will be required and a
7 City Council waiver of the secondary access requirement
8 will be required.
9 After discussing internally with
10 our City engineer, it has been determined by the
11 Engineering Department that neither of these will be
12 required. It is an existing building. The fire marshal
13 does not -- after speaking with the fire marshal, he had
14 no problems with only having one point of access to the
15 building given the fact that it's a fully sprinklered
16 building, there are not elderly or children in the
17 building, it's a general office use, it's got excellent
18 access off Haggerty Road and very close to Eight Mile.
19 So Mr. Evans did not feel that a secondary access will
20 be absolutely required in this situation. And given
21 that the driveway is currently in place, the driveway
22 spacing waiver would not be required given that the
23 driveway predates the ordinance.
24 I'd be happy to answer any
25 questions you might have, and that's all I have for now.
1 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: I guess I'm the
2 chairperson while the Chairperson is gone.
3 Would the applicant like to address
4 the Commission? Please state your name and spell your
5 last name for the court reporter.
6 MR. ZIMMERMAN: My name is Lonnie
7 Zimmerman. I'm an architect with Siegal/Tuomaala
8 Associates. Zimmerman, Z-i-m-m-e-r-m-a-n.
9 I'm here tonight with Tom Duke, the
10 owner of the building, and with Eron Kleckner, our
11 landscape architect. I think Tom would like to say a
12 couple words to you about the development of the
13 building so you've got a clear picture of what we're
14 trying to achieve with it and then I would like to make
15 a couple quick comments afterwards. Thank you.
16 MR. DUKE: My name is Thomas Duke, and I
17 served for three years with the Farmington Hills
18 Planning Commission so I have an appreciation for the
19 late hours that you folks have to endure.
20 The building in question was built
21 in 1980 and it was never finished. The original site
22 plan for this building showed an additional wing coming
23 off the south end of it and it was to be a two-story
24 bank branch building with drive-ups. So that seems to
25 address some of the open space that's to the south of
1 the building. So as the building is now unfinished, the
2 south entrance seems to be quite unfinished and doesn't
3 make a lot of sense, frankly.
4 Over the years tenants have come
5 and gone and the building's out-of-state owner had let
6 it fall into disrepair, both inside and out. When I
7 took over in September, the occupancy in the building
8 was only 17 percent. For years, despite the building's
9 excellent location, it has been ignored by tenants and
10 brokers that represent them. The deferred maintenance
11 of tenant areas, common areas, bath, lobby and grounds
12 can only be overcome by a significant renovation.
13 This renovation, now over budget at
14 2.5 million, is curing many, if not all, of the
15 property's shortcomings. One major factor, in my
16 opinion, in the building's failure is the current
17 landscaping. It is overgrown and uncared for. It does
18 not enhance the site but rather degrades it. There is
19 nothing in the current inventory of plantings that
20 deserves prominence on the site or in the city. The
21 trees that exist are the most common and unimportant
22 species, poorly shaped and poorly groomed.
23 When I visited Longwood Gardens,
24 which is an estate built by the Dupont family in
25 Philadelphia, it comprises about 500 acres, I picked up
1 a nice book called Plants That Merit Attention by the
2 Garden Club of America and I'd just like to read a few
3 short sentences.
4 "For years concerned and devoted
5 gardeners and plantsmen have lamented their repetitious
6 and narrow palette of plants drawn upon for home and
7 park landscaping. One need view no more than a dozen
8 gardens in any city to make an inventory of the handful
9 of plants used in any particular region. While many
10 have speculated upon or decried this uniformity, few
11 have tried to do anything about it."
12 The plan that I propose was
13 partially inspired by the twin columns of chestnuts
14 along the Right Bank of the Seine River in Paris. The
15 plan is formal, it is elegant. It lends a first class
16 appearance to a prominent corner site. It will help put
17 a fresh colorful face on a tired, old property.
18 There are major vacancies in office
19 buildings up and down Haggerty and the I 275 corridor.
20 This building needs to be competitive and to command
21 attention from future businesses looking for a home.
22 Thank you very much.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Please
24 state your name and spell your name for the court
1 MR. ZIMMERMAN: I already did.
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I'm sorry.
3 MR. ZIMMERMAN: What I'd like to do is
4 very briefly just explain what's happening on the site
5 with the building to make sure everybody understands.
6 Haggerty Road, Orchard Hills Place
7 Drive. The building faces Haggerty. The entry to the
8 site is off of Orchard Hills Place Drive. We're not
9 changing the entry location at all. The red indicates
10 the existing small parking lot as you drive into the
11 site that's there right now.
12 As I'm sure all of you have seen,
13 the entrance to the building is practically obscured
14 with landscape, overgrown trees, and that's been one of
15 the problems with the building's visibility or the
16 presence of the building. What we want to do is, we're
17 going to remove the trees in the area of the entrance
18 and we're going to put in a plaza at the entrance, as
19 well as expanding the parking lot with a driveway that
20 let's you drive continuously through it rather than a
21 dead-end driveway like is there now. Handicap parking
22 much accessible as well as additional visitor parking,
23 and we're going to put in a rather dramatic looking
25 On the sample board, I don't know
1 if it's here but we delivered it to the City at one
2 point, the basic appearance of the building with the new
3 curtain wall that's underway right now -- what you've
4 seen, if you've been by there within the past couple
5 weeks, is the curtain wall without the mullion covers on
6 it. So it's -- the whole color of the framing is
7 unfinished there. What it's going to be, all the
8 horizontals are going to be a copper color and the
9 verticals are going to be dark. So you're going to see
10 strong horizontal lines in copper color.
11 The entire top of the building is
12 being changed. It's being removed and we're putting on
13 a copper color top which angles out slightly. The
14 bottom metal panels, which have just recently been
15 removed, are being replaced by glass spandrel. So it's
16 going to connect in a clean glass appearance from the
17 top panel right down to the first floor glass.
18 The idea is to make this a clean, a
19 sleek building. The copper colored horizontals will tie
20 in with the copper color canopy. The canopy is going to
21 be stepped, it's going to be metal, it's going to be
22 open, and I think it's going to be a rather dramatic
23 appearance for the entrance of the building with the
24 plaza. It's going to have a presence to it without
25 shouting at you, and that's the goal of this, to really
1 try to make it interesting and dramatic but kind of a
2 classy looking building.
3 And to that end we've also looked
4 at the landscaping and I know it's been pointed out that
5 the landscaping, lack of a berm, is one of the issues.
6 And we have a bit of a problem with the berm being
7 continuous along here and part of that has to do with
8 the particular grading on the site right now.
9 If you've noticed, the grade comes
10 to the sill of the first floor windows. That's just the
11 existing grade that's always been there with the
12 original design of the building. There is a swale, a
13 depression, which takes water from north to south,
14 heading toward the major detention pond to the south for
15 the whole region, a regional pond.
16 If we put a berm there, we're very
17 concerned about water backup. Even though the water is
18 draining to the south, a berm in front of the building
19 is going to block water from moving as rapidly as it
20 needs to and we're worried about it getting into the
21 windows because we've only got about six inches between
22 the sill of the window and the grade right now.
23 Where we did put berms is where we
24 could put berms, at the north lot and the south lot.
25 There we've got berms and, as Tom Duke was indicating,
1 we've gone with a variety of trees across the front of
2 the building with a little more formal planting.
3 And for a better description of the
4 landscape, I guess I'd like to bring up Eron Kleckner to
5 briefly describe to you some of the landscape
7 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you could state your
9 MR. KLECKNER: My name is Eron Kleckner.
10 The first name is spelled E-r-o-n and the last name is
11 K-l-e-c-k-n-e-r, with EJ Kleckner Associates. We're
12 landscape architects.
13 Let me just start off a little bit
14 by discussing the berm a little bit further. Another
15 reason why we didn't show it on our drawings was due to
16 the fact that on a subsequent meeting with the prior
17 city landscape architect we were under the impression
18 that because of nonconformance that berm was not
19 required. And, again, along with the drainage issue,
20 that's another reason why we didn't show the berm on the
22 The second issue I'd like to
23 address is the issue of removal of the existing trees.
24 If I can go over there, I'll show you where there's some
25 existing masses and clumps of trees.
1 We have two distinct clumps of
2 existing trees, one clump here, another clump here,
3 there's also a third clump here and there's some
4 existing Evergreen trees here. Part of these Evergreen
5 trees will be removed because of the parking lot
6 extension and some trees here will also be removed
7 because of parking lot extension. But these trees are
8 very tightly-knit clusters, five, six feet apart, seven
9 feet apart. Many of the trees growing in these clusters
10 are ash and American elm, so their life expectancy is
11 very short.
12 What we're afraid of is if we
13 retain these trees and the ash and elm will die then
14 we're left with rather unshapely individual trees, which
15 we really don't want. What we're trying to do is we're
16 trying to create a strong formal appearance of a
17 particular tree. It's called a Red Flowering Horse
19 We chose a Horse Chestnut for a
20 couple reasons. One is that it flowers, and even though
21 it flowers maybe only two or three weeks out of the
22 year, when it is in flower it's something people
23 remember. The other reason why we chose a Horse
24 Chestnut is realizing that it's a rather rare tree, not
25 a lot of them certainly in Novi, thinking that since all
1 of these are one variety and thinking in terms of
2 diversity we feel that a tree that's rather rare would
3 have a much less chance of becoming a catastrophe in
4 terms of diseases and insect infestation.
5 The other question here is in terms
6 of the Evergreen trees here. They're almost planted in
7 double rows and what will happen is when the parking lot
8 expands we will be removing just about the first row.
9 The trees are not the most shapely trees, very thin on
10 the bottom. What we're afraid of is with just one row
11 of trees here and probably about six or eight feet up in
12 the air they're very thin. We'd like to remove them and
13 putting something maybe a little more impressive than
14 what the Evergreens are.
15 We are berming these areas, we are
16 planting these areas, but we had not at this time
17 intended on the berm going across the front of the
19 If there's any other questions, I'd
20 certainly be happy to answer them.
21 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you very much.
22 Do we have any additional comments
23 from our staff? If not, I'll turn the discussion over
24 to the Commission.
25 Member Kocan.
1 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Thank you, Madam
3 I've heard that this is called a
4 nonconforming -- is it a nonconforming use or a
5 nonconforming building?
6 MR. SCHMITT: I'm going to go with a
7 nonconforming development. The building, I believe,
8 meets all the requirements. The catch is the parking
9 setback and some of the landscape items. So the use is
10 permitted, the building is in the proper location, the
11 parking amounts will now be appropriate. Really, the
12 only problem left is the parking setback issue and
13 that's one nonconforming that's extraordinarily
14 difficult to take care of, really.
15 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. I have no
16 problem with a ZBA variance for the lack of the berm on
17 the Haggerty Road as indicated by the developer that it
18 would require berming over an existing swale. There was
19 a requirment to switch the lighting throughout to metal
20 Halide bulbs.
21 MR. SCHMITT: It's actually a suggestion.
22 Our code sort of pushes you towards Halide. That's what
23 we'd like to see but if it's not feasible then it's not
24 an exact requirement.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you'd like to ask
1 the [Petitioner].
2 MR. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I can respond to
3 that. The adjacent parcel to the west is sodium
4 lighting right now. The parcel to the south is metal
5 Halide. We have no objection, in talking with Mr. Duke,
6 over the course of the next several years to make that
7 change over to metal Halide. Right now the lights are
8 all functioning, and given the amount of work that's
9 going into the building now, he'd preferred to extend
10 the period of time to make that changeover, but he does
11 intend to do that.
12 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. With regard to
13 the differentiation in species, I'd like to ask the
14 landscape architect whether he's in agreement with the
15 comments made by the developer this evening?
16 MR. McGINNIS: Usually on a large site I
17 think I'd be more concerned about the lack of diversity,
18 but he obviously is making a design statement with his
19 trees and if he wants to take the risk that they're
20 going to be not eaten up by invading insects I think
21 that, you know, that should be his choice.
22 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: With regard to
23 changing the dumpster area, was it the traffic engineer,
24 or someone had recommended that there has to be some
25 changes in the width of the lot? It looks -- if those
1 recommendations or those changes are made, that would
2 require removal of one, at least one or maybe two
3 parking spaces?
4 MR. SCHMITT: Our engineer, Ben Croy, and
5 I went out to the site to discuss this a little bit and
6 the situation is north of the dumpster, proposed
7 dumpster location, are two parking spaces. In backing
8 out of there that actually should be a curb in order not
9 to nick the cars as you're backing out.
10 What we would propose to the
11 applicant, and we don't see a major problem with this,
12 is removing those spaces, extending the curb down per
13 the request or not even -- extending the curb so you'd
14 be able to back out easily and then taking those two
15 spaces and adding them to the new parking area to the
16 north, thereby still balancing the site in terms of
17 parking and the new parking area will still be set back
18 appropriately and the landscaping should not be impacted
19 in a substantial way.
20 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Is this the first
21 time you're hearing that?
22 MR. ZIMMERMAN: It's the first time I'm
23 hearing that solution because we have another solution
24 in mind which would not be quite the same but it would
25 do the same thing.
1 We're proposing to add one space --
2 if I can just come around on the drawing.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: If you could point to
4 it, I would appreciate it, and slow down when you talk.
5 MR. ZIMMERMAN: The area in discussion is
6 right over here. This was the old truck well, if any of
7 you drove back there. This is a truck well and this is
8 a covered dock area. We are putting glass frontage on
9 the dock area and that will become a new vending area
10 for the building with glass and a landscaped little
11 courtyard in front of it and we're putting the dumpster
12 enclosure in front of that and the truck well is being
13 removed and brought up to grade level. So that will be
14 eliminated as a recess ramp down.
15 And the area that is being
16 discussed is this area just to the north here. Our
17 solution was to do the curb as was recommended in the
18 report. I was going to add one space down here to this
19 parking area because we have space to add it here and I
20 think the report indicated we would lose one space up
21 here. I had a net loss of only one space and then pick
22 it up down here. So I think it nets out to zero.
23 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: When I looked at it,
24 to leave just one spot on the other side of the -- there
25 were only two spots there in the first place. It might
1 be better, if it's feasible, to move that parking spot
2 somewhere else. I would prefer to see that spot moved
3 and maybe have some additional landscaping where that
4 spot was.
5 MR. ZIMMERMAN: I think Mr. Schmitt was
6 suggesting it up here, to up here, which we can just as
7 easily do. I have no problem with that.
8 MR. SCHMITT: Actually, it's up to the
9 applicant. We can either move the two in front of the
10 building or behind the building. It really doesn't
11 matter as long as the side balances.
12 MR. ZIMMERMAN: We're flexible.
13 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Okay. I appreciate
14 that. I was surprised that the fire chief did not
15 recommend widening the entryway into the parking lot as
16 there is no secondary access. Very surprised. And
17 you're already over budget at 2.5 million, but maybe
18 some day I'd really like you to consider bringing that
19 into conformity with making it a 90 degree turn and
20 widening it because there's only the one entrance. I do
21 understand that if there were a fire that the fire truck
22 could pull up alongside Haggerty Road but I'm just I
23 can't say anything else other than surprised.
24 MR. ZIMMERMAN: We've addressed that. Mr.
25 Duke has sent a letter to the adjacent property owner
1 about putting in an emergency access drive to connect
3 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: To the west?
4 MR. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry?
5 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: To the west?
6 MR. ZIMMERMAN: To the west, and if need
7 be we can do that if we get a positive response. We
8 haven't got a response yet. But the other thing is that
9 we've come to find out that the driveway width is
10 actually -- I believe it was originally shown at 26
11 feet. I think our surveyor has actually found it to be
12 about 29 feet, which is closer to the 30 foot standard.
13 So it is a bit wider than we originally thought that it
15 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: It sounds like you've
16 been doing a lot of work and trying to come into
17 compliance with City and we certainly appreciate that
18 and it looks like that face lift should do considerably
19 -- benefit the company and I appreciate you taking the
20 time and effort and money to do that.
21 Therefore, I'm willing to make a
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
24 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: In the matter of the
25 request of Duke office remodel, SP 02-57, motion to
1 grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to
2 ZBA variance for lack of right-of-way berm along
3 Haggerty Road as the berm would need to be over an
4 existing swale; and subject to the comments on the
5 attached review letters being addressed at the time of
6 Final Site Plan, particularly switching the lighting
7 throughout to metal Halide bulbs over the next several
8 years as appropriate, and given that condition I believe
9 the Planning Commission can find that the parking and
10 lighting are compatible with surrounding developments.
11 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Second.
12 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Seconded by
13 Commissioner Paul.
14 Do we have any further discussion
15 on this?
16 Mr. Shroyer.
17 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes, I have several
18 questions unfortunately, looking at the time. I'll go
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: No, no, you're not
21 going fast.
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: The first one I
23 need ask is to the City. I couldn't find in the
24 ordinances but somewhere I seem to remember, and maybe
25 it was another city I used to work for, we did not
1 permit metal doors on a trash container. We don't have
2 anything in our ordinance that prohibits that. Correct?
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: No, we do not.
4 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. That's the
5 first question. Then I need to talk to Mr. McGinnis.
6 When you surveyed the area and
7 looked at the property, the applicant did talk about
8 several clumps of trees, but when I went out virtually
9 every single tree had a red flag around it, which to me
10 says it's to be removed. The entire south property
11 line, the entire west property line, all the trees just
12 on the west side of the building. And when you surveyed
13 the area, when you looked at the area, did you look at
14 those trees? Are all those ash and elm that we're going
15 to lose eventually? I know there's a lot of white pines
16 or some type of scrub pine tree as well, and they are
17 very poorly shaped, I have to agree with that, but the
18 deciduous trees.
19 MR. McGINNIS: There are a lot of maple
20 trees and they're very nice maple trees but they're not
21 part of the regulated woodlands and the applicant is not
22 prohibited from removing those and he is replacing a lot
23 of the landscaping.
24 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: We're talking, I
25 mean, some of them are eight-, nine-, ten-, 12-inch
2 MR. McGINNIS: The nicest tree along
3 Haggerty is an ash. I mean, it's a beautifully formed
4 tree. When I first saw it I thought it was a sugar
5 maple but on closer inspection it is an ash.
6 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: What are the trees
7 in the two landscape islands on the western portion that
8 they're talking about removing? There's two trees in
9 each one, one on the south side and one on the north
11 MR. McGINNIS: Oh, the clumps. The clumps
12 of trees?
13 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: No. There's an
14 island on the south side of the parking, if you could
15 help point it out, and then there's also one on the
16 north side? I'm talking about the L-shaped portion,
17 down in the lower left. There's one island there and
18 there's an island on the north side that are both --
19 MR. DUKE: The existing island.
20 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Correct. What
21 trees are those?
22 MR. KLECKNER: Those are maple.
23 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And the same thing
24 on the north side?
25 MR. KLECKNER: The north side, those are
2 MR. DUKE: And one of them is on a big
3 hill that sticks out of the parking lot and I can't
4 understand why it's there. It just looks ridiculous.
5 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Let's not talk
6 out of turn, please.
7 MR. DUKE: I apologize.
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I appreciate that
10 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: The concerns I have
11 -- he's passionate, of course -- the concerns I have,
12 you know, we spent a lot of time tonight talking about
13 painted islands and now we're going right back to
14 painted island again. We do have some landscaped
15 islands and we're going to remove them. I think that
16 the new entrance is great, I love the copper idea of the
17 roofing, the entrance not being a dead end, the traffic
18 flow is excellent. I do have concerns about the
19 southern/western parking area and it sure seems like
20 we're losing a lot of really nice trees.
21 MR. McGINNIS: We are.
22 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: And, in fact, a lot
23 of those trees look a lot nicer to me than the light
24 poles. I think the light poles look pretty shoddy, but
25 that's my personal opinion. And, with that, I hope that
1 other Commissioners might have something to say as well,
2 so I'll relinquish the floor.
3 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. Do we have
4 any other comments? I'd like to make a couple comments.
5 I happen to agree about the trees.
6 There are some beautiful trees out there. I'm very
7 familiar with that building. I go past that building
8 every time I go down to 275. I live at Nine and
9 Haggerty area. I think some of the problems have been
10 because the trees were never pruned; however, the ash
11 trees you can't do anything with. I wouldn't mind
12 keeping a couple of your maple trees. I think Horse
13 Chestnut is a beautiful tree, but I just can't imagine
14 -- how big does it get, Mr. McGinnis? I can't remember
15 the height of a Horse Chestnut. Do you remember?
16 MR. McGINNIS: No. Eron, it's about 50
18 MR. KLECKNER: The red flowering variety
19 matures out at slightly less, probably about 40 feet.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I can't imagine, with
21 all due respect, what that's going to look like
22 eventually. I mean, that just seems like way too close
23 to the building, that type of tree, the height and the
24 width. I just can't understand how you think you can
25 plant that in there and -- maybe we'll be dead in 20
1 years or something, but that just doesn't seem like the
2 appropriate tree to put in at that density that you're
3 putting it in.
4 MR. KLECKNER: I guess in my lifetime I'm
5 not concerned about them being overgrown.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I guess you're right.
7 I guess you're right. You don't expect to live real
8 long. But they are beautiful trees. I know what it
9 looks like. I just have a hard time with that. I just
10 don't think it's the appropriate type of tree to put in
11 that area. What else did I have. That's the only
12 comment I have.
13 Member Kocan.
14 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Just in response to
15 Commission Shroyer, I did not read this to say that
16 these were going to be painted-in islands. What they
17 have on the plan does not meet the ordinance but there's
18 a request to have them meet the ordinance.
19 MR. SCHMITT: There are actually two
20 painted islands. They're not really islands, they're
21 just areas to try to delineate the light poles. It's
22 sort of a leftover space, if you will, not wide enough
23 to be a full island but not small enough to just leave
24 it. So I believe it's to delineate the lighting to try
25 to keep people away from the light posts.
1 MR. ZIMMERMAN: That's correct, yes.
2 They're only in line with the light poles. There are no
3 painted islands indicated other than at the light poles.
4 I think there's two on the whole site and they're very
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Any further discussion?
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Let me say one
8 other thing I guess.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Mr. Shroyer.
10 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I sure would like
11 to see the applicant open to a discussion with the City
12 concerning what else can be done with saving perhaps
13 some of the maples, maybe even have a wall-type area on
14 the southern island that's currently there to make it
15 look decent because you're right, right now it's just a
16 big mound, but there's all kinds of decorative things
17 that can be done to make it attractive. And I believe
18 Mr. McGinnis does have some good ideas in regard to this
19 and I think he does want to save some trees as well. So
20 if you would be open to working with the City and
21 perhaps making some recommendations, I could support
22 your plan.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Any other further
24 comments? Do you want that as part of the motion?
25 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: No, but I'd like to
1 hear his response, if I may.
2 MR. DUKE: I'd like to respond to your
3 comment and a couple others that were made.
4 I like the maples, too, they're
5 pretty trees, but they are very common and the quality
6 of materials that we're trying to put in, the oaks, the
7 chestnuts, the Camperdown Elms, they're all spectacular
8 trees that you just don't see everyday. That's the
9 point. We're trying not to be repetitious, we're trying
10 not to be bland, we're trying to make this site really
11 interesting. So I agree with you, a maple with a trunk
12 of that caliper is very nice, but it's a dime a dozen.
13 And we're taking out 75 trees, we're putting in 101 and
14 they're all going to be spectacular trees.
15 Your ordinance, the reason -- you
16 questioned whether or not chestnuts are the right tree
17 for that double row.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I did.
19 MR. DUKE: And I can only say your
20 ordinance requires a shade tree so I tried to come up
21 with a shade tree that has a beautiful flower and is
22 spectacular. And if you've walked the Right Bank in
23 Paris, you know when you walk under those trees they're
24 magnificent, closely spaced like soldiers. Just
1 In regards to lights, I'd love to
2 replace the lights and give me about 24 months when I
3 get this building full up.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Thank you very
6 Any further comments?
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: No, ma'am.
8 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Do you have a resident
9 for this building already?
10 MR. DUKE: A resident?
11 COMMISSIONER PAPP: I'm sorry, a tenant.
12 MR. DUKE: We have signed one tenant for
13 the third floor and we may get lucky and hit the second
14 floor soon.
15 COMMISSIONER PAPP: I commend you for
16 taking on a task like this and redoing a building like
18 MR. DUKE: Thank you. It's a big risk,
20 COMMISSIONER PAPP: It is, and we have
21 several more in Novi if you're interested.
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do we have any further
23 comments? I think this will be a major improvement to
24 that whole area.
25 Mr. Avdoulos, do you have any
2 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Time me. No, I
3 think the improvements to the facade are great. The cap
4 that's being proposed is going to bring it up to, you
5 know, contemporary standards. The canopy, I would have
6 done something different but I think it's a good attempt
7 to at least identify what the entry point is.
8 On the site there is a light pole,
9 and this is what I was talking about before about trying
10 to use an island to contain a light pole, and we have a
11 new light pole that's being proposed but it's being
12 proposed at the intersection of four parking stalls and
13 I don't know why we couldn't shift it over a stall to
14 put it into an island just for safety reasons.
15 And the other ones that concerns me
16 is the shifting of the parking spaces on the light
17 fixture or because of the light fixture on one of the
18 rows. It gets kind of disorienting when you're trying
19 to park and especially, you know, when you're trying to
20 clear the site and stuff.
21 Other than that, I think the
22 attempt to bring this up to par is great, and I'm sure
23 you have a response to my light pole question.
24 MR. ZIMMERMAN: Well, the reason that we
25 had to move around some parking spaces is to try to
1 bring us up into parking compliance with the ordinance.
2 I mean, if we were to be short of the required parking,
3 then we would have more options as to how we would be
4 able to deal with the site, but one of the goals was to
5 bring it into compliance in every place that we could.
6 So we tried to balance lighting with landscape quantity
7 per the ordinance.
8 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Well, the question
9 was why is that one particular light fixture, or this
10 one here, at least it's -- unless it's labeled wrong, is
11 shown in a parking intersection.
12 MR. EVANCOE: It would be on the lower
13 right corner of the site plan, in the lower right
14 parking lot.
15 MR. ZIMMERMAN: Actually, I got the
16 landscape plan up here so I don't have the parking lot
18 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Well, it's shown
19 here on one of the civil plans.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Here, here. Why don't
21 you take this. It would be very nice if somebody gave
22 it to him.
23 MR. SCHMITT: Can I get the overhead,
24 please? Por favor. I believe we were discussing that
25 light pole.
1 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Right, and I don't
2 see why it couldn't be shifted over ten feet.
3 MR. ZIMMERMAN: Into the island you're
4 talking about. I guess we could. I don't have an answer
5 directly on that. It could move. I don't think it's
6 going to affect the photometrics meaningfully. So, this
7 answer is it could move.
8 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: I don't think so
9 either. It's just as we get into site plans, and
10 hopefully the Landscape Ordinance will start addressing
11 some of these issues, but that's the one thing I really
12 find a problem with, is having light poles in the middle
13 of parking lots and you have a concrete standard and
14 that's it. This is just an opportunity just to shift it
15 over a few feet and we're done with that. The existing
16 ones, it's hard, you're going to eliminate parking,
17 probably two spaces per light. So I think everything is
18 -- for what's been done, I think everything is in good
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Any further comments?
21 If not, I'd like to call for the vote.
22 Mr. Schmitt.
23 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Ruyle?
24 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
25 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Shroyer?
1 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
2 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Sprague?
3 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yes.
4 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Avdoulos?
5 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
6 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Kocan?
7 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
8 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Markham?
9 COMMISSIONER MARKHAM: Yes.
10 MR. SCHMITT: Chairperson Nagy?
11 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
12 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Papp.
13 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
14 MR. SCHMITT: And Commissioner Paul?
15 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
16 MR. SCHMITT: Motion passes 9 to nothing.
17 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Madam Chair, if we
18 can continue the meeting for five more minutes, we can
19 finish off the agenda. Okay, two minutes.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: You know, I do not
21 believe that anyone is going to be talking about the
22 rules and the changes to the Committee if you have pages
23 of them. It's up to you.
24 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Do you guys want to
25 adjourn the meeting or are we continuing the meeting for
1 five minutes.
2 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Go.
3 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Five minutes.
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: I do not want anyone
5 talking, speaking fast. Everyone is getting tired.
6 This man has been here since seven o'clock.
7 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Tim, you want to take
8 that one?
9 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: We're on the Rules
10 Committee now?
11 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
12 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Okay. We are
13 recommending that the following change to the Novi
14 Planning Commission Bylaws and Rules of Procedure be
15 presented to the Planning Commission, which we're doing,
16 for approval or denial. The City attorney, Stephanie
17 Simon, reviewed the recommendation and opinion letters
18 attached, etcetera, etcetera.
19 But, if you had a chance to read
20 it, I would like to move to amend our bylaws, Section
21 3.2, Subsection A, to read: "Regular meetings of the
22 Commission shall be held at least once a month on a
23 Wednesday evening in the Council chambers."
24 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Second.
25 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. Is there any
2 MR. SCHMITT: May I ask, is that the text
3 that was included in the packets?
4 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, it was the text
5 that was included in our packets, as I recall.
6 MR. FISHER: A little different.
7 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yeah, it's a little
8 different, shortened it.
9 MR. FISHER: It's a variation on the same
11 MR. SCHMITT: If you could just give me
13 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Well, then, I would
14 like to have you read it verbatim what it is that you
15 guys wanted.
16 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: I did.
17 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: You did?
18 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Just to bring us into
19 compliance. That's all.
20 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Okay. I will call for
21 the vote. Was there a second?
22 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes, there was, by
23 Member Kocan.
24 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Shroyer?
25 COMMISSIONER SHROYER: Yes.
1 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Sprague?
2 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Yes.
3 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Avdoulos?
4 COMMISSIONER AVDOULOS: Yes.
5 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Kocan?
6 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: Yes.
7 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Markham?
8 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: She's not here.
9 MR. SCHMITT: Chairperson Nagy?
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Yes.
11 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Papp?
12 COMMISSIONER PAPP: Yes.
13 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Paul?
14 COMMISSIONER PAUL: Yes.
15 MR. SCHMITT: Commissioner Ruyle?
16 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Yes.
17 MR. SCHMITT: Motion passes 8 to 0.
18 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you.
19 Do we have a motion to approve the
20 minutes of November 20th, 2002?
21 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: So moved.
22 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Second.
23 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: All in favor say aye.
24 PLANNING COMMISSION: Aye.
25 COMMISSIONER RUYLE: Abstain. I wasn't
2 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Do we have approval of
3 the December 4th, 2002 Planning Commission minutes?
4 COMMISSIONER KOCAN: So moved.
5 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: Second.
6 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Second by Mr. Sprague.
7 All in favor say aye.
8 PLANNING COMMISSION: Aye.
9 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you. There are
10 no matters for discussion, there are no special reports.
11 Is there anyone in the audience who
12 would like to address the Commission?
13 Yes, sir. If you could please
14 state your name and spell it for the court reporter.
15 MR. HOGAN: Wayne Hogan, H-o-g-a-n.
16 I just wanted to make a comment on
17 the Catholic Central project. I wasn't aware that a
18 football stadium field, whatever it is, was going in to
19 the place and it's been my experience when the parking
20 is laid out for a place where they have overflow on
21 additional fields that the handicap parking doesn't grow
22 with the abundance of additional vehicles that come into
23 the area. And the way that that lot is set up that I
24 saw on the plan the gentleman showed me is you have the
25 20 cars, in three rows I believe, in the area right
1 where the stands are.
2 And they actually did for once draw
3 some handicapped spaces actually into the plan, which is
4 kind of nice, but they're very poor and only have the
5 utility of a regular parking space. And when I was
6 discussing it with Father, he had indicated to me that
7 not many handicapped people come to his games and that
8 kind of bothered me a little bit. We had a discussion
9 regarding his alumni not getting any younger and his
10 realizing that that could be an issue in the future.
11 But having a 600 car bump from the amount of car spaces
12 that are in that area and not accommodating the
13 additional seniors and persons with mobility issues in
14 the plan from the get-go is very poor forward thinking.
15 And I would like to suggest
16 something that I do at some hotels where we have
17 conferences where this takes place, where you have a
18 conference that has, for instance, persons with mobility
19 issues or a large number of seniors. The hotels are
20 able to put up -- we provided the first few of these,
21 just poles with blue bags on them that say "handicap
22 parking". And that can be picked up and taken back off
23 the field or off the parking surfaces. We don't want
24 people walking on fields and rolling on fields. They
25 have to have hard surfaces to roll on.
1 And so putting up a pole or rolling
2 a pole out, just like you do a cone or anything else to
3 be able to use for that period, ten or 15 of those along
4 the edge there, would be perfect. It's very low in cost
5 and very effective in convenience.
6 So I like that -- I always try to
7 offer some type of solution and in this particular case
8 it is an easy one if it's just regarded.
9 Okay. Thank you.
10 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: Thank you, Mr. Hogan.
11 Appreciate your comments.
12 Move to adjourn.
13 COMMISSIONER SPRAGUE: So moved.
14 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: All in favor say aye.
15 PLANNING COMMISSION: Aye.
16 CHAIRPERSON NAGY: We're adjourned at
18 (The February 12, 2003 General
19 Meeting of the Novi Planning
20 Commissioned was adjourned at
3 C E R T I F I C A T E
5 I, Glenn Miller, do hereby certify that I
6 have recorded stenographically the proceedings had and
7 testimony taken in the above-entitled matter at the time
8 and place hereinbefore set forth, and I do further
9 certify that the foregoing transcript, consisting of two
10 hundred fifty-one (251) typewritten pages, is a true and
11 correct transcript of my said stenograph notes.
14 Signature on File
15 Glenn Miller
16 Certified Shorthand Reporter
19 February 19, 2003
Signature on File
Approved with Amendments: April 16, 2003