View Agenda for this meeting
View Action Summary for this meeting

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2003, 7:30 P.M.
NOVI, MI 48375 (248) 347-0475


Chair Nagy called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.


Present: Avdoulos, Kocan (arrived at 8:38 p.m.), Markham, Nagy (departed at 10:50 p.m.), Papp, Paul, Ruyle, Shroyer (departed at +/- 12:15 p.m.), Sprague (departed at 11:15 p.m.)

Also Present: David Evancoe, Director of Planning; Tim Schmitt, Planner; Darcy Schmitt, Planner; Elaine Grehl, Woodlands Consultant; Mike McGinnis, Landscape Architect; Ben Croy, Engineer; Tom Schultz, City Attorney;


Member Shroyer led the meeting in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.


Mr. Evancoe asked the Planning Commission to add the Proposed Joint Session with City Council to the Agenda under Matters for Discussion.

Member Ruyle asked that Inactivation of Cell Phones and Pagers be placed under Matters for Consideration.

Motioned by Member Ruyle, seconded by Member Papp:

Move for approval of the Agenda as amended.

Motion carried 8-0.


No one from the public wished to speak. Chair Nagy closed this segment of the meeting.


Chair Nagy stated that the correspondence received pertains to the evening’s Public Hearings and will be read aloud at the appropriate time.


Mr. Evancoe introduced Elaine Grehl, Woodlands Consultant, who addressed the Planning Commission on behalf of the Environmental Committee.

Ms. Grehl noted that the Implementation Committee is proposing certain ordinance revisions and the Master Plan Update is underway, which will include Woodlands and Wetlands map updates. Ms. Grehl suggested as a parallel move that additional revisions to the Woodlands Ordinance also be considered. She will write her suggestions down and submit them to the Planning Commission. Member Paul stated that the Environmental Committee has met with Ms. Grehl, and is now receiving all of her information as it pertains to the Woodlands map. This will assist the new Woodlands Consultant in becoming more quickly acclimated to the City’s Ordinance and Woodlands status. Member Paul summed up Ms. Grehl’s contribution as her exit interview that details what changes she recommends for the City. Ms. Grehl has accepted a graduate school fellowship and will be leaving for school in Delaware.

Ms. Schmitt clarified that the Implementation Committee has a list of ordinance changes going forth in May. They would like to add the Woodlands Ordinance proposed changes that directly reflect changes that will be made to the Woodlands map.

Chair Nagy commented that through Ms. Grehl’s presentations she has learned that Novi has lost 300 acres of Woodlands since 1998. Also, Novi’s Woodlands Ordinance, when compared to other cities, is neither too strict or not strict enough, rather it is moderate. Chair Nagy wished Ms. Grehl luck with her schooling.


Mr. Evancoe offered the Planning Commission another training opportunity called, "Integrating Water and Natural Resource Protection into the Planning Process." This is co-sponsored by Macomb County, Oakland County and SEMCOG and will be held on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights. The cost is minimal and looks like a good program. This is the first of three seminars dealing with water and natural resource protection; the next one will discuss how this relates to the Zoning Ordinance and the third will discuss how this topic relates to site plan review. Mr. Evancoe asked that any Planning Commissioner would like to attend to let him know so that registration can be submitted prior to May 21, 2003.

Mr. Evancoe also brought to the attention of the Planning Commission that Lyon Township has received a rezoning application for a 20-acre parcel on the southwest corner of 10 Mile and Napier Road. The request would change the parcel from R-1 (one acre lots) to B-2 (Community Commercial). This rezoning would have an impact on the Novi property located on the same corner. Mr. Evancoe spoke with the Township, as well as McKenna and Associates (their planner) and was told that this rezoning request is not consistent with their Master Plan. It appears that the planners will not offer a positive recommendation. It will be discussed on May 12, 2003, and the Public Hearing will likely be set for June 9, 2003. Also, one-half mile west of Napier at 10 Mile and Johns Road there is a south side 14-acre property (radar site) that has also requested the same rezoning and a Public Hearing has been held. This parcel will go before the Township Board on June 2, 2003 and will likely be rezoned as it is consistent with their Master Plan. Mr. Evancoe reminded the Commission that directly north of that site will be home to the newest South Lyon High School. Mr. Evancoe stated that the Township is revisiting their 10 Mile corridor. They are working with a concept called Commercial Nodes, and they are considering where these nodes should be. Mr. Evancoe requested that McKenna keep the City of Novi abreast of their meeting regarding the 10 Mile corridor. Mr. Evancoe told Chair Nagy that he is not aware of any Lyon Township plans to widen 10 Mile.


There was no Consent Agenda for this meeting.




The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Claudio Rossi, for reconsideration of a Planning Commission condition of Preliminary Site Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 16 on the north side Eleven Mile Road between Taft and Beck Roads. The developer proposes a 45-unit condominium under the Open Space Option in the R-1 (One Family Residential) District. The subject property is 53.78 acres. The developer is requesting reconsideration of the berming requirement in the northwest corner of the property.

Planner Tim Schmitt began his presentation by reminding the Planning Commission that this Petitioner was before them on February 26, 2003 and the subdivision was approved subject to a berm being placed along the northern property line – in the northeast and northwest corners but avoiding the Wetlands. Mr. Schmitt used the overhead and described the property: 11 Mile is to the south, Beck Road to the west. Asbury is zoned residential, Central Park Estates to the west is RM-1, and I-1 zoning is to the north. Mr. Schmitt repeated that there is a berm in one area that screens the property from the industrial property to the north. It is the City’s intent to screen higher intensity land uses from lower intensity land uses, and therefore that screening is appropriate. Mr. Rossi and Mr. Jeffrey Hein approached the Planning Department regarding this proposed berm. Mr. Hein is in the preliminary stages of developing his property. Given the location of utilities in the area, Mr. Hein will more than likely plan to tap into Asbury Park’s utilities. His site also has no access onto Grand River, so he will likely have to tie into Asbury Park via a gated secondary access point. The Planning Department found that building the berm at this time when it is so very likely that it will be torn down in the future is not practical. A panoramic view of the property was shown to the Planning Commission. With the natural screening that is in place and the absence of development on that northwest property, the Planning Department is in full support of removing the berm stipulation at this time; its placement will be required on the northwest property at the time of its development, Mr. Hein or otherwise.

Mr. Rossi did not choose to address the Commission. Chair Nagy however, thanked him for making contact with the Vedro family about the changes on the property. Mr. Rossi indicated that they have appropriately measured the property line between their properties. Mr. Rossi stated that Warner Cantrell Company surveyed the property on Mr. Rossi’s behalf. Chair Nagy confirmed with Mr. Rossi that the backyards of the homes built in that area (lots 9 and 10) will have Woodlands but they will remain untouched unless those homeowners choose to request a variance for a deck or pool. There will be a berm along 11 Mile that will provide a buffer. There will be an open area near the utility pole but nothing substantial. If additional screening is necessary, Mr. Rossi said that tree plantings will be adjusted. Mr. Rossi invited Mr. Vedro to call if he had any problems.

Mr. Rossi did explain that he and Mr. Hein spoke earlier of the berm placement and that Mr. Hein had concerns. Their conversation resulted in their coming to the Planning Commission on this evening to ask that the berm requirement be waived.

Chair Nagy read a letter aloud regarding this property:

William Dutka, 25906 Glenmore, Novi: Not in favor of the development as mature trees will be lost. Construction will add to the 11 Mile traffic which is already complicated by the Grand River closure. There will be construction noise and the roads will be muddied. The deer population will have to move. The development will decrease the area water pressure even more. The writer expressed concern that electrical transformers in the area are not adequate to handle air conditioning use in the summer. The population will create congestion, especially on 11 Mile.

Mr. Mike Osinsky, 46380 11 Mile, Novi, stood before the Planning Commission and gave a brief history of the area as he has lived there for almost 23 years. He indicated that the traffic is frequent and fast without any enforcement. He is not in support of the development. He agreed with the letter that was read aloud. There will be an Asbury entrance right next to his property which upsets him. The removal of trees is upsetting and he said that the deer have been displaced. He is concerned about the construction noise starting at 7:30 a.m. six days per week. He has requested that a barrier be placed between the Asbury entrance and his property during construction to help preserve his quality of life. On a long term basis, he wants a substantial barrier – not just trees – between Asbury and his property. He asked that some consideration be given to a Novi resident of 23 years. Chair Nagy confirmed with Mr. Osinsky that he understood tonight’s Public Hearing only addresses the berm and not the approval of the development. Chair Nagy asked Mr. Schmitt to show where Mr. Osinsky’s property is in relation to Asbury. Mr. Schmitt used the overhead and Mr. Osinsky pointed out where his property sits. Mr. Rossi stated that there is a park area between the Asbury entry and Mr. Osinsky’s property. There are also trees being replanted in that area. Mr. Osinsky commented that it looks like a nice plan on paper but the trees aren’t mature yet. He prefers a berm for instant insulation. Mr. Rossi stated that the property is rather narrow there, and the berm’s height would be minimized by the slope requirements of the City. Mr. Rossi stated that he will try to plant the area heavily.

Chair Nagy assured that Mr. Osinsky that Mr. Rossi has already proven that he intends on being a good neighbor. She also assured him that Mr. Rossi is required to put up construction barriers. She explained that the Planning Commission does not have any leverage on making requests since the site plan has already been given approval. Mr. Osinsky understood; he just wanted to be on the record as having requested that his quality of life be considered throughout the development process. Mr. Rossi offered to meet Mr. Osinsky on site to discuss the plans for the adjacent areas. Chair Nagy closed the Public Hearing.

Landscape Architect Mike McGinnis told Member Paul that the area in question is about 30 feet wide. The sidewalk will not go right on the curb, so there is only really about 20 feet to work with, which results in a 3-foot berm. The trees are currently listed as deciduous, but Mr. McGinnis thought they could be changed to evergreen. Mr. McGinnis thought that with a mixture of deciduous, evergreens and bushes, Mr. Osinsky’s privacy would be kept. Chair Nagy thanked Member Paul for her comments but she asked that the Commission direct their comments to the Public Hearing issue.

Motioned by Member Paul, seconded by Member Ruyle:

In the matter of Asbury Park Estates, Site Plan 01-82, motion to remove the condition of requiring a berm in the northwest corner of the property until such time as the property to the north develops, as required by Ordinance 2509.6(a), subject to: 1) All other conditions of approval and comments from Staff and Consultant review letters; and 2) The Ordinance’s specific language as to who develops the berm when they shall be provided and maintained on those sides abutting or adjacent to any residential district on lands and earth berm.


Member Shroyer noted that the City’s recommendation is for four years. Mr. Schmitt explained that after further review the property to the north will always have the requirement of the berm if it is developed as light industrial.

Member Ruyle thanked Mr. Rossi for his plans and appreciates his willingness to work with his neighbors.

Motion carried 8-0.

Member Kocan arrived at 8:38 p.m.


The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Toll Brothers for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan, Site Condominium, Wetland, and Woodland Permits. The subject property is located in Section 19 on Wixom Road between Ten and Eleven Mile Roads in the R-A (Residential Acreage) District under a RUD agreement. The applicant is proposing multiple family residential site condominiums, totaling fifty-two units in thirteen buildings. The subject property is approximately 23.23 acres out of a total of 907 acres in the development.

Mr. Schmitt described the property: Wixom Road is to the east, the Oak Pointe Church is to the southwest and the southeast is the greenhouse. This request is for the area adjacent to the lake, and the additional five acre parcel approved by the Amendment to the RUD. City Council has approved the final language of the Amendment so it is okay for the Planning Commission to proceed. The entire area is zoned residential acreage and the Land Use shows that the area is single family residential in nature. The site plan shows three units on the northern part of the road, which is part of the amended five-acres.

The planning review letter noted that several items will need to be addressed at the Final Site Plan. The floorplans for the cluster units must indicate that a maximum of 75% common walls is met. This possible change would require shifts of just a few feet and will not have a major impact on the site.

Mr. Schmitt stated that the Wetlands Review will be discussed by Mr. Freeland of Tilton Associates. The Woodlands Permit is recommended with comments to be addressed at Final Site Plan. The Landscape Review determined that a ZBA variance is needed to eliminate the ROW berm along Wixom Road. Originally, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke agreed that this elimination was acceptable; Mr. McGinnis will comment further. The review indicated that additional plantings are necessary north of the three amended units; the Applicant has already informally addressed this matter and will address it fully at the time of Final Site Plan.

The Traffic Review discovered a matter that the Planning Commission should discuss. The Applicant has suggested that instead of tearing up the yards of the eastern Wixom Road houses again, he would like to place the (northern driveway) left turn lane west of the center line, which is not typical. This action would require a DCS waiver, and the City Engineer supports this request in order to lessen the impact on the surrounding property owners.

The Engineering and Fire Department reviews both indicated minor issues that can be addressed at Final Site Plan.

Member Ruyle asked where the five-acre farm is that is not owned by Island Lake. Mr. Schmitt showed Mr. Ruyle where the five acre piece is located.

Chair Nagy shared correspondence regarding this development with the Planning Commission:

Father Elmore, Catholic Central, 14200 Breakfast Drive, Redford: Father Elmore approves of the site.

Mr. Larry Schmitt, 25377 Wixom Road, Novi, stood before the Planning Commission. He stated that his property is the adjacent five acre parcel to the development. He thought the plan looked good. He confirmed that the amount of space between the condominium and the woods was 75 feet, and the stakes marked with "PL" indicate the property line. He confirmed that trees would be added to the 75-foot space between the condos and the woods. He expressed his satisfaction with the plan.

Chair Nagy closed the Public Hearing.

Mr. McGinnis discussed the elimination of the berm at section number one. There is a grade difference of seven feet between the sidewalk and the road. In the other section there is a four-foot difference in the grade. He recommends the waiver for the berm requirement as the grade differential is so great. The applicant has submitted another landscaping plan for reinforcing the plantings along the property line. Some of the varieties have to be changed, so he is working with their landscape architect to choose appropriate plantings.

Member Sprague confirmed where exactly a berm waiver would apply. Mr. McGinnis noted that the shallow portion of the grade is at a location where there would not be any residences. He would recommend leaving the berm out completely, thereby allowing a nice view of the lake. Mr. McGinnis reiterated that he recommends a waiver for the whole section. There is an area by the Woodlands where the berm is being eliminated.

Member Paul asked John Freeland of Tilton and Associates whether he was comfortable that Toll Brothers addressed all of his concerns regarding the flagging of the Wetlands shoreline and the northwest corner of the project area. Mr. Freeland stated that progress is being made in working with the Wetlands. They have met on property to determine the location of the Wetland boundary. A lake-fringing Wetland was located and subsequently flagged. An on-site review found that the flagging was adequate. The flagging of an isolated Wetland in the corner needed upgrading and Mr. Freeland has been assured that this will be done. Mr. Freeland stated that the silt fence needs to be moved higher into the landscape. The woodchip pathway along the shore is actually in the Wetland and needs to be moved to an upland position. Mr. Freeland also noted that grass should not run right up to the shore; native Wetland vegetation is preferred. The Applicant needs to present the native-plant seeding and planting information on their prints for the lake-fringing Wetland and the 25-foot buffer zone where the woodchip path is located. Finally, the plans must show the five docks and volume of impact anticipated so that Mr. Freeland can determine that the impact is within the amount allowed by the Wetland Permit.

Mr. Freeland stated that there are no Wetlands in the area of proposed buildings. The area in the northwest corner of the property that was flagged as a Wetland should have its 25-foot setback indicated on the plans. It is possible that the last building (#60) in the northwest corner may infringe on the setback. Mr. Schmitt reminded the Planning Commission that Island Lake just brought forward their Wetland Permit for the lake and the lakeshore activities. Phase 3D was specifically removed from that by JCK and Associates for various reasons. The Planning Department is still working through those issues.

Member Paul asked Mr. Freeland whether he is comfortable giving Preliminary Site Plan approval to this developer. His response was yes. Member Paul asked Mr. Kevin Sullivan of Toll Brothers to come forward. She asked him what his thoughts were regarding the Consultant’s comments. Mr. Sullivan replied that basically he had no problems with any of the comments. He pointed out that there is a learning curve in removing JCK and adding Tilton to the process. He prefers that all the review letters are done together so that he may continue to address them as a whole. Member Paul thought that Island Lake’s request to put the left turn lane off center was a nice accommodation for the neighbors. She also supports the efforts being made around the Wetlands. She supports the project with the waiver of the berm because of the grade.

Member Markham stated that she is uncomfortable with the Wetlands issues. Mr. Schmitt explained that the reason the section was not in the Permit with the rest of the lake is in part based on the fact that it is the southwest corner and the water flows to this area. Timing also played a role in removing it from the Lake Permit, as they were working on the additional five-acre parcel, the road alignment in 4B-1 and the possible clustering (not accepted) in another area. In all, the area’s features are very different than the rest of the property. (tape ends)

Mr. Evancoe explained that the developer didn’t want to disturb the area with the earthwork until it was really necessary. Now that the site plan is here for approval, it seemed to be a more appropriate time to grant the Permit. Mr. Freeland stated that he supports the approval of the Preliminary Site Plan but not the Wetlands Permit. Member Markham supported the idea of waiving the berm requirement. She asked Mr. McGinnis about the 1200 foot long, 6’ high hedge. He explained that thus far he has only opened the dialogue by suggesting that they diversify their plantings.

Member Markham also supported the idea of minimizing the impact on the neighbors by placing the left turn lane off center. She cited the changes (Target, Catholic Central) at the north end and wondered whether a full-scale review of the traffic pattern on Wixom Road has been considered. Engineer Ben Croy stated that the multiple changes to the area have been accounted for. The most recent traffic study was performed in 2002. It has been determined that each Island Lake entrance, Catholic Center and the Target area would have left turn lanes. Left turn lanes between the two Phase 3D Island Lake entrances are not warranted, though could be added at a later date if found necessary. She asked whether the curve created by the off-set turn lane would create a problem for drivers. Mr. Croy stated that it wouldn’t, and that the same design was used a little further north on Wixom Road. The curve is only one half of a lane, and with the amount of distance between intersections, it is not a traffic hazard. He stated that there are no current plans to make Wixom Road three lanes all the way, and that it is not in the CIP budget. Member Markham asked whether a future road widening would be funded by Novi taxpayers; Mr. Croy stated that if a new development were to come they may also play a role in funding the road widening. Mr. Schmitt noted that if the greenhouse area were ever to develop then that might be a possibility for a road-widening partnership. Member Markham’s concern is that after all the area’s development is complete residents may find that the road was poorly designed. Mr. Croy stated that DCS only requires a passing lane and the left turn lanes are an enhancement to the project.

Member Ruyle confirmed with the neighbors in the audience that the 75-foot clearance from the condos to the woods was acceptable. He then complimented Mr. Sullivan in the integrity he has shown in developing this project. He encouraged him to keep up the good work.

Member Papp also had concerns about the Wixom Road issue. He counted a total of 23 roads that funnel into Wixom and he would prefer to see a full left turn lane along this section. He forecasted that within five years the need for the wider road will be apparent. Mr. Sullivan explained that the road taper is going to only be 245 feet and does encroach the Schmitt’s ROW frontage but not the property. Member Papp expressed his concerns about Wixom Road being able to accommodate the traffic created by Island Lakes phase 4B.

Member Kocan understood that this development would have to meet the requirements of Section 2403.4 - the need for staggered buildings, percent of walls shared, etc. She noted that Mr. Arroyo can’t confirm whether the buildings meet the Ordinance. She expressed concern that the Woodlands at buildings 70, 71 and 72 may be more affected than first thought. She believes that a 15- or 20- or 30- foot offset may very well encroach the Woodlands. Mr. Sullivan stated that the footprint for this development is standard and only offers a few variations that change the footprint only by a few feet. She asked whether they would be built to the standards of a site condo or a one-family cluster. Mr. Sullivan responded that they would be site condos. Mr. Schmitt explained that they will be built to the terms of the RUD Agreement which calls for a maximum of a 75% party wall. He stated that what Mr. Arroyo needs are the overall floor plans, not just single model floor plans, and that Mr. Sullivan will need to dig out a previously submitted blueprint from another phase and supply it for this phase. He stated that the 10-foot or 15- foot area around the units provides enough area for movement. Member Kocan disagreed, stating that the Woodlands fence would also have to move. She wants the plan back if the number of trees removed is significantly different that what is currently anticipated.

Member Kocan asked whether there are still 191 trees that need to be placed on the property to make up the requirement of 371 trees. Ms. Grehl concurred, stating that she asked them to put that information on the plan so that it would help keep track of the trees in the entire Island Lake development. It is a running total for the whole development.

Member Kocan does not support the 1200-foot long hedgerow. She cited the Ordinance’s requirement for clusters or grouping of shrubs to provide visual interest. A canopy or evergreen is required every 35 feet. She encouraged the developer to work with the Staff to meet the intent of the Ordinance.

Mr. Evancoe asked the Planning Commission to consider a section of the City’s Landscape Ordinance which asks the developer to preserve scenic views. He supports the waiver of the berm so that the residents of Novi can enjoy the lake, even if it’s from a distance.

Chair Nagy also supported a berm waiver but not the 1200’ hedge on the property. She would agree to recommending the berm waiver to the ZBA. She would also be in favor of a sidewalk connecting to Birchwood. Chair Nagy does not endorse the proposed left turn lane, and stated that Wixom Road has not been planned with the future in mind. Her concern is that all of the left turn lanes are unsafe. Mr. Croy stated that the left turn lanes are not an unsafe condition. The jog created by the lane is only slight and is also a common design.

She asked about the Woodlands report and the protection of trees (4137, 705, 4076?) Ms. Grehl stated that in the Permit process the developer bonds for the replacement trees and she also requires a "Protection Bond" for trees that are slated for saving but may die in the process.

Chair Nagy asked the attorney whether the approval can proceed without an actual, completed Wetlands review. Mr. Schultz stated that the Planning Commissioners must feel a comfort level, and that it is within their right to table any matter that they feel is not ready yet.

Mr. Sullivan asked that the Permit remain intact and he commented that the constant reviews have become confusing even in his office. He assured the Planning Commission that anything that Dr. Tilton’s office requests can be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan. Chair Nagy then asked Mr. Freeland directly whether he would support the approval of the Wetlands Permit in light of the many observations and issues discussed at the meeting. Mr. Freeland stated yes, adding that the approval language addresses "additional conditions other than those listed in the Tilton letter" as well. In so doing the approval would cover more than just the five issues in the approval letter. Mr. Freeland stated that he really needs to see a real print with the changes to this phase. He also needs to better determine whether building 60’s setback is encroaching any protected area. Mr. Sullivan stated that his company is amenable to conforming to any requests made by Dr. Tilton’s office. Mr. Sullivan stated that the Wetlands are important to his company too. Mr. Freeland does not feel comfortable granting a Wetlands Permit based on a plan he hasn’t seen but he will support any decision the Planning Commission makes. Mr. Schmitt explained that Mr. Freeland has received all the information that the City has received, but there is a shortage of information based on the fact that Phase 3D was removed from the overall lakeshore Permit. Mr. Freeland confirmed that the site plan they reviewed had an incorrect Wetlands boundary line.

Moved by Member Shroyer, seconded by Member Markham:

In the matter of the request of Toll Brothers Phase 3D, SP 03-09, motion to grant approval of a Preliminary Site Plan, Site Condominium Plan, Wetlands and Woodlands Permits, subject to: 1) The Applicant providing additional information to address the reviews by the Wetlands Consultant; 2) The Applicant’s agreement to meet all of the requirements stated under the Wetlands Review letter and other Wetlands issues that may arise during and after the Wetland Consultant has an opportunity to complete their Wetlands investigation of this Plan; 3) ZBA Variance to eliminate ROW berming along Wixom Road due to the property’s topography with additional information provided to the City Landscape Architect for review; 4) The Council’s waiver for design and construction standards for location of the left turn lane on Wixom Road, which is proposed to be offset from the center line of the road; 5) Trees numbered 654 through 657 be maintained as requested in the Review Letters; and 6) The comments on the attached review letters being addressed at the time of Final Site Plan review. The Plan must come back before the Planning Commission for Final Site Plan approval.


Member Paul confirmed that the request for landscape variation is covered under the review letter condition. Member Kocan confirmed that the plan will come back for Final Site Plan approval.

Motion carried 9-0.


The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Superior Diversified Services Corporation for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit. The subject property is located in Section 15, west side of Novi Road, north of Grand River Avenue in the TC (Town Center) District. The subject property is .481acres. The developer is proposing a 3,304 square foot commercial building.

Mr. Schmitt used the overhead to locate the property for the Planning Commission. Wendy’s is to its north and the former House of Blinds is to the south; further south is Wonderland Plaza. Across the street is Boston Market, 5/3 Bank and Kim’s Gardens. Novi Road is the east perimeter and Crowe Drive and Fonda Street are the local cross roads. The zoning and Master Plan for this property and the surrounding areas are both Town Center.

The parcel is 58 feet wide by 384 feet deep. The Planning Review indicates that the building setback for the north side yard is zero; the south side is 26 feet. Exterior lines in the Town Center District require a 50 foot setback. There is a provision in the code that states that the Planning Commission can waive or reduce the setbacks where no good purpose would be served in their requirement, provided that: The reduction or waiver of the setback cannot negatively impact general health, safety and welfare. The waiver of a common property line setback would produce a more desirable relationship between the properties. The setback adherence would establish non-usable land area that could create maintenance problems. The setback waiver should be considered for this property.

A ZBA variance will be required for the parking lot setback. Current standards call for 20-foot setbacks from the side property lines, five feet (south) and zero feet (north) are proposed.

A ZBA variance will be required for the loading area setbacks, which are the same as the parking lot setbacks.

A ZBA variance will be required for the dumpster locations (accessory structure). The Applicant can change the location of the dumpster so that a variance is unnecessary.

The pedestrian orientation for the site is less than what is typical for the Town Center district. However, the Applicant will extend the brick paver sidewalk to the ROW sidewalk if necessary. They are providing the decorative bench and lamppost as required in the district. There are no Wetlands. The City just needs clarification on which trees are being saved to satisfy any Woodlands issue.

A ZBA variance to eliminate the ROW berm or a Planning Commission waiver to allow the brick wall will be required. The Planning Commission should state their preference at this meeting.

A ZBA variance will be required to address the lack of parking lot landscaping. There is a minimal amount of space for landscaping in the lot.

A ZBA variance will also be required for the four-foot greenspace around the building, as there is not enough land to provide this.

A ZBA variance will be required for the lack of screening around the loading area, as again, there is not enough land to provide this.

The Traffic Review indicated driveway spacing waivers are needed. The same side driveway spacing waiver is required to address the space between this drive and House of Blinds’ drive. 185 feet are required, 68 feet are proposed. A same side driveway spacing waiver is required to the north; 185 feet are required and 49 feet are proposed. An opposite side driveway spacing waiver is required to address the proximity of Crowe Drive. 200 feet are required and 27 feet are proposed. For Kim’s Gardens, 200 feet are required, 180 feet are proposed. For the south 5/3 Bank Driveway, 200 feet are required and 37 feet are proposed. A DCS waiver is necessary from City Council for the seven-foot curb return access on the south access drive. A DCS waiver will also be required for the lack of a secondary access point, which is not going to be provided and is not possible at this point on this site. The south access drive should be redesigned to meet City and RCOC standards for throat width and entering radius.

The Engineering Review indicated that a separate sheet for the Storm Management Plan would be required. This plan is not recommended for approval at this time. A DCS waiver will be required to allow the pump to discharge from the detention basin.

The Façade Review indicated that Standing Seam Metal will need to be modified in color. The façade board has already been modified. The façade information will be reviewed again at Final Site Plan.

The Fire Department did not recommend approval of this site due to the lack of turnaround area for fire apparatus. This is a requirement for drives that exceed 150 feet in length. The applicant is seeking a DCS Waiver for this requirement.

Mr. Schmitt closed his presentation by acknowledging the Applicant’s response letter that was put in the Planning Commission packet. He noted that the site is indeed difficult to develop. The staff has worked hard to minimize the problems associated with developing the site, but can do no more to help with the various design issues. The Applicant has no choice but to seek relief from the appropriate boards for the remaining unresolved issues. They are before the Planning Commission tonight, and will also need to seek relief from the ZBA and City Council.

Chair Nagy asked for clarification on the Fire Department letter. She noted that according to Section 11-9120 and the International Fire Code, a drive that exceeds 150 feet requires a turnaround location. She asked whether there was any update on this information. Mr. Schmitt stated that the Applicant has spoken with the Fire Marshall but there is no updated letter.

Representing the Keros family was Attorney, Norman Hyman, 32270 Telegraph, Bingham Farms; Project Manager Ron Nectarlein (Superior Diversified Services); Engineer George Norberg (Seiber Keast); Architect Matthew Niles (Wah Yee); and Patricia Keros. Mr. Hyman agreed that this is a difficult site. He also acknowledged the fact that the Staff has worked and reworked the plans for this site to reduce the number of waivers and variances necessary. He stated that the plan submitted tonight is the closest they can come to conforming to the standards and intent of the Town Center District Ordinance. He requested that the Planning Commission grant the waivers under their jurisdiction and approve the Preliminary Site Plan conditional upon the Applicant being granted the ZBA variances and the City Council waivers.

Mr. Nectarlein reminded the Planning Commission that the Keros family have successfully developed both the City Centre Plaza and the Novi Pavilion in the Town Center District. He offered to answer questions or address comments regarding his submitted letter to the Planning Commission. He also stated that this is a difficult site with a 57-foot width. He said they tried their best to incorporate all of the Town Center Ordinance that they could, and will cooperate with any design suggestions offered. Some requirements, he said, just cannot be met. He noted that the Keros Family has exhausted all efforts to combine this parcel with the neighboring properties. In closing, he remarked that the Keros family has owned this parcel for fifteen years and has paid substantial taxes on the piece. They feel that they have no choice but to develop it with the plan submitted tonight; otherwise the property is valueless.

There was no correspondence and no one from the audience wished to speak. Chair Nagy closed the Public Hearing.

Member Avdoulos began by noting the number of variances. He agreed that that the site has difficulties first in where to place the building and parking area. He noted that the site is near a number of curb cuts on Novi Road at a very congested intersection. He confirmed that there is no specific retail tenant yet identified for the long and narrow site. Member Avdoulos doesn’t like the north elevation as it is a blank wall. He believes that the building has three sides that are predominantly visible and should be designed with that in mind. Mr. Hyman said the building is up against the property line because it is acting as a retaining wall to accommodate the five-foot grade differential between this property and the Wendy’s property. Member Avdoulos still thinks the wall needs a little character. Member Avdoulos is not a fan of mansard roofs and thinks a simpler building would work better on such a complex site.

Member Avdoulos considered whether moving the building to the center of the property and adding a loop road would be better, but it is not possible in the space provided. He thought constructing the building up on stilts to provide parking and maneuverability may be an option, but then vertical access becomes an issue.

Member Avdoulos is concerned about large vehicles pulling into the property but can’t turn around so they would have to back out onto Novi Road. He finds that the Fire Marshall’s concern is warranted. He encouraged the Applicant to continue working with a neighbor to combine the property. The Town Center District is meant for pedestrian traffic but in this instance there isn’t that kind of pedestrian traffic. If there were, Member Avdoulos would suggest moving the building up to the road to be more friendly. He would support waiving the berm and brick wall, but the other pending issues he cannot support. Member Avdoulos wondered if an alley way in the back of the property could be used to provide the second access feature but that is a Master Plan issue. This option might make this property work and be safe, but in its current form this project is too difficult and Member Avdoulos cannot support it.

Member Shroyer agreed with Member Avdoulos. He asked about speaking to the property owners to the west. Mr. Hyman said they have a seven acre parcel with a home. He has spoken to them about access to the creek for stormwater gravity flow drainage. They didn’t have any interest in the Keros property, as they have access to Expo Center Drive. Mr. Hyman reminded the Planning Commission that this property already has a curb cut onto Novi Road. Member Shroyer said that if the neighboring owners ever develop their land they will probably need secondary access and that this parcel could accommodate that for them. Member Shroyer is doubtful that the neighbor’s area will remain residential.

Member Shroyer asked how, with zero clearance on the north side, could this building be constructed without infringing on Wendy’s. Mr. Hyman stated that this is similar to what the Keros Family did with the Novi Pavilion, servicing the building from their neighbor’s land, and constructing the building from the inside. Mr. Hyman was confident that they would work it out with Wendy’s. Member Shroyer pointed out that with Wendy’s drive-through, the 26 feet between their building and the property line is rather well used. Mr. Hyman said there is a greenbelt along the property line. Member Shroyer questioned whether Wendy’s would work with the Applicant on this issue if they haven’t shown any interest on working out the other issues. Mr. Hyman assured the Planning Commission that they could work it out and they would make as many provisions as necessary to accomplish this task.

Member Shroyer asked Mr. McGinnis about "bulbing the south landscape area" cited in the Arroyo letter (page two, number ten). Mr. Croy responded that it is a suggestion to incorporate a fifteen foot [exiting] radius with a 23-foot throat width, and setting a 20-foot entering radius back three feet relative to the parking stalls, because the current plan only offers an exiting radius of about half that. This suggestion would provide a more gradual turn.

Member Shroyer might support four of the 17 required waivers and variances. He can not support any requests that create safety concerns. He cannot support the plan as submitted.

Member Markham asked Mike McGinnis about the landscaping in the parking area. Mr. McGinnis explained that the Ordinance requirement for landscaping is meant to break up a sea of asphalt. Because this site is so small, the Applicant did not provide any of the required landscaping. He saw no practical way for the Applicant to meet the intent of the Ordinance.

Member Markham asked about trash pickup. Mr. Hyman stated that they would set up trash removal for evening or early morning hours. Generally at that time the lot would be empty and the truck would have ample space. Additionally they would be able to use the loading area for turnaround needs.

Member Markham confirmed that the Landscape Plan shows the proper landscaping and the rendering is just a picture. She commented that the City wouldn’t want a tree at the turnout area that might impair a driver’s vision. She does not support the plan because she doesn’t see how it could work. She stated that any kind of business will have some level of truck traffic – Fed Ex, trash, fire, etc. She agreed with Member Avdoulos that the north elevation is not ideal butted up against the property line.

Member Markham asked about the stormwater. Mr. Croy explained that the City is not comfortable with the plan right now, although the concept is allowed in accordance with the DCS standards when its use is absolutely necessary. The pump discharge may actually be their only option. The other concern is where the site would drain to, as the Applicant has had difficulty in garnering cooperation from their neighbors. A further analysis is needed on how the site will drain and what impact it will have downstream.

Member Markham asked about House of Blinds. Mr. Hyman indicated that it was his understanding that they are just looking to re-tenant the building.

Member Markham does not support the proposal for reasons of truck access and traffic impact. The Stormwater Plan is also an issue. She expressed her understanding of the Applicant’s desire to develop but at this time she can’t support the plan.

Member Kocan commented that the submitted plan seems to be about 95% impervious. She stated that the plan is overbuilt. She asked whether the Applicant has considered a use other than retail. She stated that the estimation of 760 cars visiting the site each day seems excessive. She asked whether office use was considered. It would reduce the parking necessary. She suggested that the building could be two story. If there was a smaller footprint on the ground, there would be more room in the back. Member Kocan said that there are too many variances for the site, and Applicant should rethink what the site could be used for.

Mr. Hyman is open to considering other uses. Member Kocan stated that perhaps the Planners wouldn’t agree, but because of the elevation change on the site, a two story building may not be as obtrusive as it sounds. The ultimate use should not draw so much traffic because of its location and restrictions of the site. Member Kocan is unable to support the Plan at this time.

Mr. Schultz commented that there is a plan that will ultimately be developed on this site unless this City plans to buy it and make it a park, and that is not an expectation. The Planning Commission has two avenues: Option 1 is to work with the proponent for an acceptable alternative and the Applicant should keep a record of the Planning Commission’s thinking about the potential for some other development that is more palatable. Option 2 is to deny the Plan and let it go before the ZBA. This puts the ZBA into the position of acting as the Planning Commission and removes this Planning Commission from the planning process.

Mr. Hyman agreed that this Applicant has terrible problems with the site. He stated that it is possible to put relief on the north wall to spruce it up. He stated however, that garbage trucks will be there with office or retail. An office building may generate less traffic, but he believes that point is arguable. What is demonstrable, he said, is that office would generate more traffic during the peak hours of Novi Road traffic. 760 cars during retail hours is insignificant in relation to the traffic in the area, but 760 cars during the two peak office-traffic times on Novi Road is a far greater problem. He stated that the applicant is willing to sit down and work with Staff. The building could go two stories, but then again there are only so many costs that a developer can justify. As Member Avdoulos said, regulatory problems and handicap issues happen when you build up. He noted that the regulations aren’t cost justifiable given the site- and footprint-size. The Applicant will take another look but he cautioned that a new plan won’t reduce many of the necessary waivers and variances. He suggested that most of the variances asked for are not major matters. He stated that truck traffic can be controlled by regulating their timing, and that fire trucks can get access from the north property if they have to. He stated that it may be awkward but the fire truck can turnaround. Chair Nagy interjected and stated that there is not a question on table for him. He apologized.

Member Ruyle asked what happens with a site plan denial. Mr. Schultz said the Applicant would go to the ZBA and request the variances even with the denial of the site plan. From there, the potential outcomes are that the ZBA approves a combination of approvals that brings the plan back to the Planning Commission with mostly planning waivers and DCS waivers needed, or the ZBA denies relief and then the Applicant goes on to circuit court, not City Council. Member Ruyle asked if the Applicant was amenable to a tabling of the matter to work out the issues. Mr. Hyman knows that not much can be done but they will work with staff. The Applicant would take the tabling.

Mr. Schmitt stated that reworking the Plan won’t substantially reduce the variances and waivers. It might work out the throat width redesign and the Stormwater Management Plan, but not the driveway spacing waivers, DCS waivers, or setback variances. Member Ruyle asked about making the footprint smaller and making the building two stories. Mr. Schmitt said that even with two stories the site will still need setbacks, parking setbacks, and if more square footage is added, then more parking is necessary. Chair Nagy stated that Mr. Schmitt’s conversation belongs at Planning Department level, not at the Planning Commission table.

Moved by Member Ruyle, supported by Member Paul:

Motion to table this Site Plan 02-55 to have Applicant bring the reworked Plan back to the Planning Department and Planning Commission.


Member Papp asked Mr. Schultz whether the north part of the building is on the property line, meaning that the overhang would be suspended over the Wendy’s property. Mr. Schultz said that the Planning Commission could not approve a design like that. Mr. Evancoe stated that there is no overhang based on the elevation print.

Member Paul agreed that tabling this matter is the most appropriate move. This Developer has been a member of the community and has a good track record. His other projects are well utilized and kept clean. The issue is truly safety. The Applicant can make the building’s appearance more attaractive with potted plants and window boxes, but every Planning Commissioner yields to the Fire Marshall’s concern. She suggested that the Plan Review Center determine whether a shared drive is at all possible; relief to the curb cuts is always looked upon favorably by the Planning Commission. Member Paul prefers to keep the Plan here at the Planning Commission, not with the ZBA or a judge.

Member Sprague agreed with other Planning Commissioners. He doesn’t think that the plan will ever work, but not from lack of support on the part of the Applicant or Staff. He believes that safety concerns will never be adequately addressed. Member Sprague does not think that tabling the site plan will solve anything. He is amenable to tabling this plan if the Applicant wants to rework it and come back. He would also be in favor of calling the vote on denying the plan if the Applicant would prefer to move forward through the process beginning with the ZBA.

Chair Nagy stated that this site plan puts her in a difficult position because she knows that the Applicant has provided Novi with some nice projects. Her biggest concern remains health, safety, and welfare issues. She stated that she is not an architect, but recognizes that whatever is designed will call for variances. She hopes that a better plan would limit the number of variances. Chair Nagy stated that the problem is already on Novi Road, and this site will only amplify the existing problem. She said the Applicant has a right to build. Chair Nagy supports tabling the plan to accommodate both the Applicant and the residents. Again she stated that the area is so difficult and heavy with traffic. She is unsure of the answer but would like to think something is out there. She suggested that the Applicant find a creative architect. She stated that it is not the Planning Commission’s job to redesign the Applicant’s sites. Chair Nagy said she had a hard time with Fire Marshall letter. Chair Nagy accepts that some variances will be needed. She hopes that what is best for both the Applicant and the City can be determined. She said that taking the site plan to the ZBA and then to circuit court is a logical process but doesn’t solve anything. It only creates more situations – the best of which are for the attorneys.

Mr. Hyman said the Applicant will take a stab at a new design. He reiterated that most variance requests won’t be resolved. Chair Nagy said she is looking forward to the Applicant, Staff and Architect becoming more creative.

Mr. Hyman stated that in the Troy campus case the judge determined that you can’t take all the traffic problems along the road and make the last developer responsible for them. Chair Nagy said that the traffic is only one issue. Hyman said that the Applicant will try again out of respect for the Planning Commission.

Member Avdoulos agreed with direction taken. The Applicant should at least take a look at the Planning Commission’s ideas. He suggested that the Applicant take a look at the backend of the plan and if there is land that could help with a turnaround, the Planning Commission would take its use into consideration. He suggested that removing two parking spaces to bring more landscaping to the front would look nicer and make it safer. He thought that if the building had any kind of architectural zing he would support its approval solely on it. He doesn’t want a project to go up that ultimately won’t work. He said that the Fire Department will fight a fire regardless, it’s just that the internal workings on the site need to be massaged so that the Planning Commission feels more comfortable. He thinks there is a possibility that would ultimately work.

Motion carried 9-0.



Consideration of the request of Carrier Real Estate LLC, for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan. The subject property is located in Section 9, on Magellan Drive east of Beck Road between Twelve Mile and West Roads in the I-1 (Light Industrial) District. The developer is proposing a 36,000 square foot industrial building. The subject property is 3.6 acres.

10:50 p.m.: At or near this portion of the meeting, Chair Nagy left and Member Markham assumed the role of Chair

Ms. Schmitt located the property and gave its description. The CSX rail runs along the back side of the property. Beck Road, Magellan Drive and Amson Dembs are to the east and Magellan Centre is to the north and to the south is an undeveloped site with Wetlands. The property is zoned and Master Planned I-1 as are properties to the north, east and west. The south property is zoned and Master Planned I-2. The 36,000 sf one-story building will house three tenants for light industrial warehouse use. The site offers an access point near Magellan Centre and a south, dual-access point that will be shared with the south site.

The Site Plan Review meets the Ordinance, and minor items can be addressed at Final Site Plan. The Landscape Review meets the Ordinance with minor items to be addressed at Final Site Plan. The Fire Review approves the site with no changes necessary. The Engineering Review meets the Ordinance requirements; the initial review called for onsite detention, but further review revealed that there is no need for onsite detention. The Façade Review indicated that the materials meet the Ordinance and the Façade board was on display for the Planning Commission.

The Traffic Review revealed that the Plan does not meet Ordinance Requirements. There are three driveway spacing waivers necessary for the submitted plan:

Proximity of North Access and Magellan Center South Access: 80-foot Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver necessary. 45 feet are provided but 125 feet are required. The Traffic Engineer will not support this waiver if the drive is open to 2-way traffic.

Proximity of North Access to Amson Dembs South Access: 18-foot Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver necessary. 132 feet are provided but 150 feet are required. The Traffic Engineer will support the Waiver if the North Drive would be entry only.

Proximity of South Access to Amson Dembs South Access: 164-foot Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver necessary. 36 feet are provided but 200 feet are required.

The Traffic Review noted that changes to the current plan to provide a one-way north entry, angled parking and dumpster relocation would provide a good basis for the driveway spacing waivers. The Applicant will make his presentation to the Planning Commission, at which time the members can make their determination.

Tom Moss, the Applicant on this project, spoke to the Planning Commission and introduced owner Dan Carrier, architect John DeBruney of STA Architects and Joseph Marsen of Parson’s Transportation Group. The Applicant indicated that they struggled for about six months with this site trying to position the building and address the stormwater management. He noted that the City’s major concern remains the driveway. He stated that they have explored every possibility with the northern neighbor to create a shared driveway but they are not interested. The south driveway is part of a platted easement and as such must remain.

The Carriers enlisted Parson’s to perform an additional traffic analysis to address the potential conflicts between the existing and proposed driveways. Their study doubled the amount of traffic anticipated for this project as a conservative measure, yet they found that no conflict existed because the traffic volume is still so low. Mr. Marsen noted that the Amson Dembs drive services northbound drivers, not left-turn traffic. He noted that the south drive would not service left-turn traffic because those drivers would enter into the north drive. The south drive’s use would be minimal, perhaps delivery trucks going to the loading area but their visits are not during peak traffic hours. Additionally, he suggested that Magellan Centre’s southbound drivers use their south entrance.

He also commented that cars exiting simultaneously would be able to see each other as the curvature in the road negates any issue. He summed up by stating that the site does not promote conflicting traffic or safety concerns because ultimately the volume of traffic is so low. Even when the buildings are at buildout, the proposed drives will function properly.

Chair Markham opened the discussion to the Commission. Member Shroyer confirmed with Mr. Croy the City’s issues with the proposed drive. Mr. Croy stated that all of the waivers deal with the left turns into or out of the drives. He conceded that perhaps the concern for traffic problems has been overstated based on the volume of traffic anticipated. Mr. Croy has not thoroughly reviewed the Parson’s analysis. Member Shroyer asked Mr. Croy about the similar problems elsewhere in this industrial park. No traffic problems have been reported.

Member Shroyer asked about the south property line screening between ingress/egress area but nothing to the east. Mr. McGinnis explained that there is room for additional landscaping on the Applicant’s property, and it has been requested. The Applicant did not have a problem with addressing this request.

Member Sprague asked about the south parcel access. Mr. Croy reiterated that there is an easement that guarantees access to that site. Member Sprague suggested that if the Applicant made his drives one-way as the Traffic Review requested, that would contradict that access point’s guaranteed use for egress to the south property.

Member Sprague expressed concern about the proximity of the north access and Magellan Center south access, where only 45 feet is provided. He wondered if there is a problem with cars exiting from the north Carrier Drive and cars exiting from Magellan Centre – is their visibility of oncoming traffic obstructed? He asked whether by approving this site plan the Planning Commission has acknowledged that there are problems but they are willing to live with them. Mr. Croy stated that the Traffic Consultant has not approved this Plan, but he has also not yet taken into consideration the new study presented by the Applicant. If he agrees with the findings contained therein, he may give a favorable recommendation. Approvals to this Site Plan could be made contingent upon a favorable recommendation by the Traffic Consultant.

Mr. Schultz interjected that an approval contingent upon the Traffic Consultant’s recommendation is necessary only if Planning Commission wants the approval to be contingent. The Planning Commission has the final say. He confirmed that if the motion is contingent upon the recommendation and the Consultant does not give it, the Plan comes back to Planning Commission. The Applicant would have to come back with an alternative plan for the Preliminary Site Plan review.

Member Papp determined that Tenant A will be moving into this space from another Carrier building. Tenant A’s loading area is directly south of Tenant B. The loading area is a space and not a dock. He analyzed the Plan and found that Tenant A’s delivery trucks would be prohibited from getting out or getting to the loading dock with a one-way road; they would have to come in against one-way traffic. Mr. Croy conceded that the South Drive going one-way may be infeasible. He did note however, that the Consultant offered an option that would give appropriate turn radius from the north to the south. The trucks would still have to back out and leave via south drive. Member Papp sees that there is a bigger problem with a one-way drive than with traffic going both directions.

Member Avdoulos had no issues with two-way traffic. Overall, he remarked that the building placement works well, the stepping of the building provides an open area, and the angle of the sidewalk is nice. He understands the concerns of Mr. Arroyo, but the applicant cannot make the one-way road work on the site. Member Avdoulos supports the project without the stipulation, but adding the stipulation for the Traffic Consultant’s approval is okay too.

Member Ruyle also endorsed the project. He’s been to the site on several occasions and has never seen a traffic problem in the park. He asserted that common sense dictates that the Applicant does not have traffic concerns with this design.

Member Kocan is unsure whether the Traffic Consultant will endorse the two-way traffic plan. She wondered if the Planning Commission is missing something obvious or if there is a safety issue they aren’t aware of, perhaps that trucks can’t get around corners. Member Kocan wouldn’t have a problem with a stipulation in the motion. She stated that it is unfortunate that lately every project needs spacing waivers. She declared that the City must find a way to alleviate this problem in the future designs of corporate parks. She then confirmed with Mr. Moss that he would be addressing all the questions in the Fire Review.

Member Paul asserted that shared drives are effective and reduce impervious surfaces. She supports the project. She then confirmed that the Applicant agrees to address the south landscape area. Mr. Moss reminded the Planning Commission that the south side easement will be constructed and maintained by Carrier because Lot Six is not under development, so the burden is Carrier’s.

Chair Markham remarked that there are systemic problems with both the Façade Ordinance (waivers necessary on 2/3 of the proposals presented to Planning Commission) and the Driveway Spacing Ordinance, especially in new developing corporate parks. She remarked that the City needs to find a way to enforce shared driveways as the corporate parks are developed, or the Developer should design service drives. Most importantly, the driveway issues need to be resolved before the buildings are in place, or the last person in has the biggest set of problems. The City needs to find a better way to create corporate parks, and she hopes that the professional planners can find their way to solve this. She supports the plan without a stipulation in the motion. She described this project as an industrial site with employees and deliveries - not a retail operation with a lot of traffic. She remarked that two-way traffic is better and she is willing to support the Plan as is.

Motioned by Member Kocan, supported by Member Shroyer:

In the matter of Carrier Real Estate LLC, Site Plan 03-05, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) The driveway designs both remain two-way roads unless the Traffic Consultant has safety or design issues which must be addressed which would include that the driveway designs would allow for a Planning Commission Waiver of the same side spacing of the north drive, an 80-foot waiver; A Planning Commission Waiver of the opposite side driveway spacing for the north drive, an 18-foot waiver; A Planning Commission Waiver of the opposite side driveway spacing for the south drive, a 164-foot waiver; and 2) Including compliance with the comments on the attached review letters being addressed on the Final Site Plan.

Motion carried 8-0.

11:15 p.m.: At or near this portion of the meeting, Member Sprague left.


Consideration of the request of Novi Development LLC, for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan. The subject property is located in Section 24 on Haggerty Road between I-96 and Grand River Ave in the I-1 (Light Industrial) District. The developer is proposing two light industrial buildings. The subject property is 3.013 acres.

Ms. Schmitt described the property off Haggerty Road between I-96 and Grand River. The developer proposes two two-story industrial/shop buildings. Building A is 28,553 sf and Building B is 19,948 sf. The property is zoned and Master Planned I-1, as are the properties surrounding it. The two-story buildings are speculative. The primary access point is located off Regency Drive and the secondary access is connected to the developed property to the north.

The Planning Review meets Ordinance Requirements with units 4 and 5 being joined into one. The Wetlands and Woodlands Reviews indicate there is nothing to regulate on the site. The Landscape Review meets the intent of the Ordinance, with minor issues to be addressed at Final Site Plan. The Applicant and Landscape Architect have already had discussions on these points. The Traffic Review indicates the Plan does meet the Ordinance with minor points to be addressed at Final Site Plan. The Engineer Review indicates the Plan meets the Ordinance Requirements with minor issues to be addressed at Final Site Plan. The Fire Review states the Plan meets Ordinance Requirements. The Façade Review states the Plan meets Ordinance provided the entry canopy materials are adjusted to conform to the percentage of allowable materials. The Façade boards were available for the Planning Commission to review.

Mr. Bradford Egan, Novi Development LLC, 27087 Gratiot Ave., Roseville, Michigan: This Applicant added that this 30-acre site currently has two buildings with class A tenants in them. These proposed buildings will fill in the space between the existing buildings. The Landscape Architect for the Applicant has made the necessary changes and a new colored rendering was available that addressed those comments.

Member Kocan asked Mr. Egan about the loading spaces. She noted that the truckwells are in the back and overhead doors are through the middle of the property – they face the interior parking. It is noted that loading and unloading are prohibited at these doors, and she questioned why those doors are there. Mr. Egan explained that on the Unit 6 project (south of Building B), Underwriters Laboratories, there is an overhead door, similar to Building A and Building B. Primarily, he noted, deliveries come through the truckwell, but this overhead door is opened for employee egress. The inclusion of these doors is based on the Developer maintaining a similar look throughout the buildings. Ms. Schmitt explained that the loading and unloading would be done through the rear. The overhead door can be on the interior side yards.

Later in the meeting, Ms. Schmitt cited paragraph 2507.3 to substantiate the inclusion of the overhead doors on the building. Member Kocan asserted that the quoted paragraph requires loading/unloading to be in the rear of the building. Ms. Schmitt responded with, "except in those instances where the interior side yard is located adjacent to Industrial Districts, Expo or Expo Overlay District, loading and unloading may be conducted in that interior sideyard when located near the rear of the building." Member Kocan related that the overhead doors are near the front of the building, not the rear. She wasn’t sure she that she supported the doors in the forward location. She questioned why that should be allowed, even if UL has a door there. She knows that sometimes doors are moved forward when the parcel abuts residential to maximize the space between the two, then she stated that she will not make this an issue if no one else minds.

Member Kocan asked about the parking spot closest to the building (marked with a "50" on the plan) on the southwest corner of Unit 5. She asked if there is enough radius there for the car to back out. Mr. Croy stated that the requirement is for a five-foot backout "T" space which is provided (though not dimensioned on the plan).

Member Kocan reviewed the June 16, 1999 Planning Commission minutes and the August 10, 1999 ZBA minutes, and she found it understandable that the Applicant asked to waive the berm along Haggerty Road because it was for the entire site. The Applicant also asked for a berm waiver for the inside of the site along the ROW. She finds berming to be aesthetically pleasing. She does not believe that the Kostal landscaping to the north is as nice as the UL landscaping. She likes berms, bunching and grouping because it improves the site’s aesthetics. The rationale for the berm waiver in 1999 was that the berming separated commercial buildings from one another and was somewhat unnecessary. Essentially, the ZBA waived all the berms on Regency Drive. She finds that curious as each site brings its own landscaping plan. She wondered if the waiving of the internal berming was done legally.

Mr. Schultz explained that the Applicant who went before the ZBA had ownership of the entire parcel, and therefore the ZBA had the authority to grant the request. Whether it was a good idea or not is another question, but it was done properly under the terms of the Ordinance. Member Kocan expressed that she hopes it doesn’t happen again and Mr. Schultz replied that it was unusual. Member Kocan asked the Applicant to consider adding a little bump here and there.

The Applicant showed the colored rendering of the new Landscape Plan to the Planning Commission and the audience. It was created to address the questions that arose from the Landscape Planner. Considerable landscaping was added along Regency Drive and the west property line to screen the building from the office buildings in the area. These changes were provided to the Planning Commission in the plans they have already received. Mr. McGinnis responded that although some additions were made, he believes that more still needs to be done. His letter indicates this request. The Applicant agreed to satisfy Mr. McGinnis’ request provided it wasn’t over the top.

Member Shroyer determined that the truckwell is a back-down configuration. As a point of reference, he suggested that some companies have small "golf cart" vehicles that go outside the building and would need to use the overhead door rather than the truckwell which it wouldn’t be able to navigate. He did note that there are other overhead doors on the western portion of the buildings. He doesn’t know why this design was necessary but assumed that perhaps it reflects the interior design of the building.

Member Paul was satisfied by the earlier landscaping comments. She asked what a Class A tenant was, and the Applicant responded that it is one who pays his bills. Kostal of America occupies Unit 3 and they design automotive electrical components. The Applicant said that they are a very good tenant. UL is also an exceptional tenant.

Member Paul requested additional information on the canopies. Ms. Schmitt explained that a minor alteration in canopy material will satisfy the façade requirement. The Applicant confirmed that his company could come to an agreement on this issue. Member Paul supported approval of the project with landscape and façade stipulations.

Member Avdoulos expressed his pleasure with the buildings. He commented that developers are bringing forth challenging projects that are, in essence, Class A buildings for Class A tenants. He appreciated that green space between the buildings and he supported the current canopy design. The Applicant would also like to keep the building as is, but if that is going to hold up getting the approval, he agreed to look at other options.

Member Avdoulos asked for clarification on the location of the overhead doors. The Applicant responded that he should look at the south side of Unit 4 and the north side of Unit 5. The Applicant reminded the Planning Commission that the overhead doors also provide for cross ventilation in the summer. Member Avdoulos does not have a problem with the placement of the doors and he supports the project.

Chair Markham asked about the Master Deed Amendment wherein the parcels are no longer separate. The Applicant explained that this change would be completed by the end of the week or the following week. Mr. Schultz interjected that this comment will be seen more and more often, as developers are constructing buildings across the established property lines. Mr. Schultz explained that the Assessor’s Department was getting requests for separate tax bills for parcels that technically didn’t exist, and the Building Department has had to deal with the problem as well during the Permit process. By turning the property into a site condo the problem ceases to exist.

Chair Markham communicated her pleasure in receiving plans that meet the intent of the City’s Ordinances. She supported the plan.

Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Papp:

In the matter of Regency Center Units 4 & 5, Site Plan 03-02A, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) Units 4 & 5 being joined into one unit, amending the Master Deed and providing the necessary letters of support from current unit owners within the condominium site; 2) Section 9 Façade Waiver for the black steel entry canopies to maintain the character of the building; 3) Additional landscaping for the ROW area as discussed and to be approved by the Landscape Architect; and 4) All of the comments on the attached review letters being addressed at the time of Final Site Plan.


Chair Markham clarified that the motion on the table allows the Applicant to leave the Façade as shown on the submitted Plan.

Motion carried 7-0.


Changes to the March 26, 2003 minutes were turned in for incorporation. Chair Markham clarified for Member Ruyle that the Planning Commission Rules require complete minutes but not verbatim minutes. In general the Planning Commission would like more information in the minutes.

+/- 12:15 p.m.: At or near this portion of the meeting, Member Shroyer left the meeting.

Motioned by Member Kocan, supported by Member Paul:

Motion to revise the Planning Commission minutes of March 26, 2003 as recommended at the table and to have those minutes brought back for approval.

Motion carried 5-0. Member Ruyle abstained in voting which reflects his absence from the March 26, 3002 Planning Commission meeting.

Member Markham determined that letters received by the Planning Commission do not need to be attached to the minutes but are maintained in the files.


Changes to the April 9, 2003 minutes were turned in for incorporation. The Planning Commission confirmed that the members do not want the various grammatical corrections put in the minutes. Aside from grammatical corrections, more detail was provided to Member Paul’s discussion regarding the process for routing issues between City Council, Planning Commission and the Implementation Committee.

Moved by Member Ruyle, seconded by Member Paul:

Motion to approve the Planning Commission minutes of April 9, 2003 with revisions discussed at this table.

Motion carried 6-0.


Changes to the April 16, 2003 minutes were turned in for incorporation.

Motioned by Member Kocan, supported by Member Papp:

Motion to amend the Planning Commission minutes of April 16, 2003 and bring back for approval.

Motion carried 6-0.

6. Cell Phones and Pagers:

Member Ruyle requested that the following verbiage be added to the Planning Commission Agendas:

"All mobile phones, pagers, or other sound activating devices must be disabled prior to the meeting."

Additionally, Mr. Evancoe will confer with Mr. Klaver about having a permanent sign placed outside the Council Chambers.


There was no Consent Agenda.


Chair Markham explained that the discussion regarding a joint meeting with City Council would have to be postponed until the full Commission is present to participate.


Mr. Evancoe informed the Planning Commission that the Implementation Committee and the Planning Commission had put together a list of pending Ordinance issues for which they are seeking endorsement from the City Council. Mr. Evancoe confirmed that the issue of "Defining Net Site Area" is still on that list. Member Kocan responded that the Implementation Committee will have it on their Agenda on May 20, 2003.


No one from the audience wished to speak.


Moved by Member Paul, Seconded by Member Ruyle:

Motion to adjourn the meeting.

Motion carried 6-0. The meeting adjourned at or about 12:30 p.m.



MON 5/28/03 CITY COUNCIL 7:30 PM



Transcribed by Jane Schimpf, May 14, 2003 Signature on File

Donna Jernigan, Planning Assistant

Date Approved: May 28, 2003