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CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at or about 7:30 p.m.
Present: Members Avdoulos, Cassis, Gaul, Kocan, Markham, Pehrson, Ruyle, Shroyer, Sprague
Also Present: David Evancoe, Director of Planning; Barb McBeth, Planner; Darcy Schmitt, Planner; Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect; Kristen Kapelanski, Intern; Brian Coburn, Civil Engineer; Peter Albertson, Façade Consultant; Larry DeBrincat, Woodland Consultant; Tom Schultz, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The meeting attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Cassis asked that Parking Lot Islands be placed under Matters for Discussion.
Moved by Member Ruyle, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
Motion to approve the Agenda as amended.
Motion carried 8-0.
Mitchell Ober, 21739 Rathlone Drive: Asked the Planning Commission to comment on the zoning changes proposed. He said that it was difficult to keep on top of the requests when some posted signs are over two years old.
Brent Canup, 47201 Glamorgan: Disappointed that the rezoning request 18.638 for the northeast corner of Twelve and Novi has come as far as it has. As a plot holder in the cemetery, he is upset that there are plans to desecrate the entrance.
Andrew Mutch, 24740 Taft Road: Said that the zoning change signs that sit as long as some have are blight and are useless. He asked that the Planning Commission ensure that the entrance to Sam’s Club is conducive to pedestrian traffic.
Chair Markham closed the audience participation.
There was no correspondence read into the record.
Member Kocan said that the Rules Committee should be bringing the revised rules forward soon.
Chair Markham thanked Director of Planning David Evancoe for his efforts in bringing the Planning Department through the transition of the Plan Review Center. She presented him with a signed copy of the City’s new Master Plan and wished him well in his future endeavors. Member Cassis also wished Mr. Evancoe well.
Mr. Evancoe told the Planning Commission that the City Council approved Hummer dealership at a recent meeting. The Accessory Structure Ordinance Amendment was also passed. Mr. Evancoe explained that the zoning request for the corner at Ten Mile and Beck Road is still a pending issue. He said that there was an Ordinance that determined how long those signs could remain and that there was a City employee who contacts land owners and asks for the signs to removed when the timeframe has expired.
Mr. Evancoe introduced Kristen Kapelanski as the Planning Department’s intern.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
WOODLAND REVIEW, CASE NUMBER WRB04-01
The Public Hearing was opened and the Woodland Review Case WRB04-01 came before the Planning Commission/Woodland Review Board on the request Robert Geracz for approval of a Woodland Permit to remove trees from the building envelope for the property located at 48860 Nine Mile, Parcel C, on the north side of Nine Mile and west of Beck Road.
Woodland Consultant Larry DeBrincat from Vilican Leman told the Planning Commission that when the lot was approved by City Council there was a conservation easement requirement as well. Its boundary must be fifty feet from the building’s rear façade, which is further back than the actual tree line.
Mr. DeBrincat told the Planning Commission what items that Applicant was asked to provide. He said that the case was before them because this request did not fall under the category of administrative review. Mr. DeBrincat reviewed the Applicant’s request for removal of seven trees. He recommended that three more trees should be bonded for potential problems arising from their proximity to the construction process. He said that repositioning the driveway could save one of those trees but it should still be bonded.
Member Kocan confirmed with Mr. DeBrincat that the plans before them were similar to what was reviewed in Vilican Leman’s office. Mr. DeBrincat continued that the location proposed for the home was the best place on the lot. Based on the need for a guarantee of the ten trees as determined by Mr. DeBrincat, a bond would be necessary for 26 (replacement value) trees at $325.00, or $8,450.00.
Robert Geracz, 88428 Hanson, Plymouth was the Applicant and was available for questions.
Chair Markham closed the Public Hearing after determining that no one from the audience wished to speak.
Member Kocan confirmed with Mr. DeBrincat that the location of the house was within an opening in the trees and saved more trees than any other location. Mr. DeBrincat recommended that the fencing be placed around the groupings of trees and along the woodland line/conservation easement; he said that the Applicant will have to show these locations on his plan prior to any permits being issued.
Mr. DeBrincat said that heavy machinery will have to be used for removal of these trees. This may also affect the survivability of some of the trees. He also said that the woodland line determined by Linda Lemke is somewhat off-skewed from the reality of the woodland boundary.
Member Cassis commented that the draining must be appropriate to save the remaining trees. He confirmed that this will be reviewed by an engineer. Member Cassis thought that the Applicant did a nice job in trying to place the house in the least intrusive area.
Moved by Member Kocan, supported by Member Gaul:
In the case of WRB04-01, (Robert Geracz, 48860 Nine Mile), motion to grant approval of a Woodland Permit as the request minimizes the number of trees to be removed within the fifteen-foot building envelope, in order to build to build a home on the lot, subject to: 1) The removal of the seven trees indicated on the plan, as well as three other trees identified by the Consultant (Trees 3459, 3425 and 3444) unless the driveway is moved and one or two of those additional trees can be saved. If the ten trees are removed, the replacement tree value is 26, to be located on the site, requiring a woodlands replacement bond of $8,450.00, plus a $500.00 fence maintenance bond; 2) The Applicant working with the Woodland Consultant to move the tree protection fencing to protect the woodlands as well groupings of trees on the site.
Member Sprague clarified that the bond was to ensure the trees’ survival and not necessarily for their removal. Mr. DeBrincat said that he would not require bond money for one particular tree if the driveway was reconfigured.
Chair Markham asked if "subject to the comments of the consultants" could be added to the motion to cover this issue.
Member Kocan added "that if any additional trees were identified that can be saved a replacement bond for them would not be required." The changes were accepted by the maker and seconder of the motion.
Chair Markham asked that the site indicator on the blue print be fixed to properly identify the location of the parcel.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON WRB04-01 MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GAUL:
In the case of WRB04-01, (Robert Geracz, 48860 Nine Mile), motion to grant approval of a Woodland Permit as the request minimizes the number of trees to be removed within the fifteen-foot building envelope, in order to build to build a home on the lot, subject to: 1) The removal of the seven trees indicated on the plan, as well as three other trees identified by the Consultant (Trees 3459, 3425 and 3444) unless the driveway is moved and one or two of those additional trees can be saved. If the ten trees are removed, the replacement tree value is 26, to be located on the site, requiring a woodlands replacement bond of $8,450.00, plus a $500.00 fence maintenance bond. If any additional trees are identified that can be saved a replacement bond for them would not be required; 2) The Applicant working with the Woodland Consultant to move the tree protection fencing to protect the woodlands as well groupings of trees on the site; and 3) The comments of the Consultants.
Motion carried 9-0.
ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.639
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Jerome A. Ruggirello for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning on property in Section 36 located south of Nine Mile and west of Haggerty Road from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to OS-1 (Office Service) District. The subject property is 2.3 acres.
Planning Department intern Kristen Kapelanski told the Planning Commission that there is an existing single family home on the site. To the north there is an office zoned OS-1, to the west are Highline Club Apartments zoned RM-1, to the east is an office complex zoned OS-4 (Farmington Hills) and to the south is a credit union zoned
OS-1. This property is zoned R-1. The Master Plan for this area recommends office for this area and multiple family to the west. The Applicant has asked for this rezoning so as to bring the property into conformance with the Master Plan for Land Use. No site plan has been submitted.
The Planning Review indicated that this request is in conformance with the existing and proposed Master Plan. The OS-1 provides a suitable transition behind the apartments and Haggerty Road. The Haggerty Road corridor’s character is mainly office. The viability of R-1 zoning for this property is questionable. Public water is adjacent to the site, sanitary sewer is accessible nearby. There does not appear to be woodlands or wetlands on the site. The Traffic Review provided traffic increase assumptions based on the rezoning and the existing zoning.
Jerome Ruggirello addressed the Planning Commission. He offered to answer any questions posed by the Planning Commission.
Member Avdoulos read the correspondence into the record:
Shel Annas, 39972 Crosswinds: Objected because of population growth, crowded roads and property value.
Karen Kasanic, 22038 Edgewater: Objected because of too many unleased building in the area, traffic and the need for the road to be widened first.
Frances Crowe, 22178 Pondview: Thought that the approvals for these rezoning requests were always completed before the meeting date and therefore would not attend the meeting.
Daphne Jackson, 39960 Crosswinds: Thought that traffic is too heavy and the noise is constant.
Dorothy Rice, 22313 Peachtree: Objected because of the increased traffic.
Martin J. Leavitt, 22375 Haggerty Road: Approved because of the conformity of the use.
Douglas McCullough, 22355 Peachtree: Approved because of the location and tax base.
William Hace, 22375 Peachtree: Objected because of the traffic.
Marilyn Tworzillo, 22357 Peachtree: Concerned for her property value, aesthetics and would rather see the property remain residential.
Mary Campbell, 22359 Peachtree: Objected because there are too many offices. Asked that occupancy levels be discussed at the meeting.
Michael Thomson, Hometown Community Credit Union: Approved because it would be more in line with neighboring properties.
Luigi Giachino, 22177 Pondview: Approved because of the increase in property values in the area.
Norman Sorensen, 40015 Crosswinds: Approved because the surroundings are already OS-1.
Chair Markham closed the Public Hearing.
Member Ruyle lives in the area and said that the area should be zoned for office. He said that this parcel’s rezoning would not interfere with traffic. He supported the request.
Member Sprague appreciated the request conforming to the Master Plan for Land Use. He said that these are not done deals before the requests come to the Planning Commission. He said the Haggerty traffic concerns should not be unloaded on this petitioner. It is his right to take on the risk of office vacancy rates.
Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Cassis:
In the matter of the request of Zoning Map Amendment 18.639 for AJR Development, motion to recommend approval to City Council to rezone the subject property from R-1 to OS-1 for the reason that it is in compliance with the Master Plan of the City of Novi.
Member Cassis thought this was an excellent fit for this area. It endorses the Master Plan. The property fronts on a major thoroughfare. He supported the request.
Member Kocan agreed. She noted that office provides one of the best transitional uses between a thoroughfare and residential (Highline Club). Utilities are available. She supported the motion.
Member Shroyer asked that the information provided by the Planning Department be put in to the record regarding why the rezoning is recommended. The OS-1 zoning will provide an appropriate transition between the apartment complex in the west and Haggerty Road in the east, consistent with the intent of the OS-1 zoning district. The Haggerty Road corridor’s character throughout Novi is decidedly office, with large office buildings both in Novi and Farmington Hills near this site and this rezoning will allow for a small scale office building to be constructed on the site, similar to the properties directly north and south of the subject property. With a higher intensity residential development to the west and the surrounding office properties in the north, south, and east, the long-term viability of R-1 zoning on this parcel is questionable. He supported the motion.
Member Sprague and Member Cassis agreed to add that information into the motion.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON THE ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.639 MOTION MADE BY MEMBER SPRAGUE AND SUPPORTED BY MEMBER CASSIS:
In the matter of the request of Zoning Map Amendment 18.639 for AJR Development, motion to recommend approval to City Council to rezone the subject property from R-1 to OS-1 for the reasons that: 1) It is in compliance with the Master Plan of the City of Novi; 2) The OS-1 zoning will provide an appropriate transition between the apartment complex in the west and Haggerty Road in the east, consistent with the intent of the OS-1 zoning district; 3) The Haggerty Road corridor’s character throughout Novi is decidedly office, with large office buildings both in Novi and Farmington Hills near this site and this rezoning will allow for a small scale office building to be constructed on the site, similar to the properties directly north and south of the subject property; and 4) With a higher intensity residential development to the west and the surrounding office properties in the north, south, and east, the long-term viability of R-1 zoning on this parcel is questionable.
Motion carried 9-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
SAM’S CLUB, SITE PLAN NUMBER 04-06
Consideration of the request of Wal-Mart Stores, Incorporated for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan. The subject property is located in Section 17 at the southeast corner of Wixom Road and Grand River Avenue in the B-2 (Community Business) District. The subject property is approximately 13.98 acres. The Applicant is proposing a 137,000 square foot retail store and fueling station as part of a Consent Judgment.
Planner Barbara McBeth reminded the Planning Commission that they first reviewed this plan at their April 28, 2004 meeting. Their decision was postponed until such time that the Applicant could incorporate more information regarding the gas station. New review letters, an Applicant response letter, a Planning Department memorandum, new plans and the previous minutes were given to the Planning Commission for their review.
Ms. McBeth said that no additional variances or waivers are required based on the inclusion of the gas station. This Sam’s Club is planned for the Promenade Plaza, which also includes retail outlots and the Target store. Catholic Central and Cadillac Asphalt zoned I-2 are to the west. To the north is the Lincoln-Mercury dealership zoned B-3. The easterly properties are zoned I-1. The three outlots are to be developed under B-3.
The Master Plan shows the area is to be developed for community commercial, with light industrial on the east and west sides. Catholic Central is shown as residential. Ms. McBeth reiterated the site plan issues brought forward at the last Planning Commission review. She noted that some of the setback issues relate to the fact that Wal-Mart, like Target, purchased their tract of land instead of signing on as a tenant.
The Planning Review indicated that parking lot setback variances are necessary along the western and southern property lines (ten feet required, zero feet provided). Excess setback is provided elsewhere in the development. Two conservation easements provide setback on the site. There is substantial setback from Wixom Road. The continuity of the parking may be preferred alternative in this case. The building setback along the southerly property line (thirty feet required, zero feet proposed) is also the result of Wal-Mart purchase of their land.
Ms. McBeth said the tire mounting facility requires a ZBA variance for the overhead doors as they currently face Grand River. The Applicant provided various screening options for consideration. The "canoe island" can be extended and will provide a fair amount of screening. The Planning Commission should determine whether this use can be considered an ancillary use. Previously the Planning Department provided information confirming this use is an ancillary use because it is a retail use and is the norm for this type of business. The use is not new for Sam’s Club. The Planning Commission must make this determination or the Applicant will need to seek a ZBA variance.
The building height varies from 27 feet on the south and east and 42 feet at the main gable. The Planning Department maintains that along the western and northern building elevations, the main cornice of the building is somewhat higher than what was described in Exhibit G of the Consent Judgment. The Planning Commission must determine whether the proposed elevation meets the intent of the Consent Judgment or the Applicant needs to seek a ZBA variance.
The woodland and wetland issues have been coordinated through the initial review. The Landscaping Review indicates that an interior building landscaping variance is necessary. The Applicant has been working toward a favorable resolve. A Planning Commission waiver may be required for a planting in the ROW area. The Planning Department and Landscape Architect support this waiver.
The Traffic Review, Engineering Review and Fire Department Review were favorable, all citing minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal. The Façade Review indicates that the plan substantially conforms to Exhibit G of the Consent Judgment. No Section Nine Waiver is necessary because the Consent Judgment supercedes the Ordinance. The Applicant will continue to work with the Consultant on the façade design. The gas station canopy was also reviewed.
Joe Galvan, 150 West Jefferson, Suite 2500, represented the Applicant. He said that with the exception of the property split setback issue, the Planning Commission should be able to address all remaining issues based on Section 21 of the Consent Judgment. Mr. Galvan asked that Nick Miller of Atwell Hicks answer the questions that the Planning Commission poses. He said that it was no stretch of the imagination that tire mounting and battery
Installation are an accessory use relating to the sale of those items and incidental to the business of a Sam’s Club.
Mr. Galvan noted that there are parcels that sit in front of the exposed overhead doors (therefore the property does not "front" the thoroughfare) and the landscaping is adequate, so the front-facing doors do not violate the Ordinance.
Nick Miller, 500 Avis Drive, Ann Arbor, addressed the Planning Commission. The Applicant was requested to supply fueling station site plan and elevations. They provided façade information. They modified their handicapped parking from parallel parking to perpendicular parking. They have worked diligently toward resolve on the landscaping issues. They added cart rails. They provided a merchandising and floor plan which indicates only 20% of the store is dedicated to the sale of grocery items. He offered to answer the Planning Commission questions.
Chair Markham thanked City Attorney Tom Schultz for delineating which items in this review fell under the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission.
Member Shroyer thought that interior landscaping, overhead doors and building setbacks were the issues that needed to be addressed. He hoped that the Applicant and the Landscape Architect have had the opportunity to address the landscaping issues. He did not have a problem with the overhead doors based on its proximity to Grand River. He did not have a problem with the setback issue as the project will be contiguous with the future building.
Member Shroyer thought the Planning Commission must make a determination on the tire mounting facility as an accessory use. He thought that it was an accessory to the main use and is consistent with other similar establishments.
Member Shroyer said the Planning Commission must make a determination on the building setbacks. He did not see a hardship that justifies the westerly waiver. He wanted to make sure that the Applicant’s statement that the setbacks would be made when Outlot One is developed is included in the Planning Commission’s position on this site plan. He said a southerly setback requirement would break up the contiguous parking lot and he did not think there should be a separation; he supported that request.
Member Shroyer said the Planning Commission must determine if the building height is in accordance with the Consent Judgment. He said that the building façade must conform to the Consent Judgment.
Member Pehrson asked if the canoe island or a north-south area in front of the gas station created blind spots. Mr. Miller responded that the canoe island was designed with ground cover/midrange/tree height landscaping to provide the necessary screening of the overhead doors. He agreed that it was a good idea to shrink the low and medium landscaping at the ends of the island to reduce the blind spots. The north-south area was expected to be landscaped with ground cover and the trees could be taller species that do not affect sightlines. Member Pehrson wished to ensure that these two issues were addressed if the plan was to move forward.
Member Pehrson thought that with due care, the pedestrian areas were acceptable. He asked why the parking spaces were designed six inches wider than the City standard. Mr. Miller responded that the design is market-driven and more functional given the large grocery carts common to Sam’s Club.
Member Pehrson thought that tire mounting was an accessory use. He did not have an issue with the southerly or westerly setback waiver request. He thought that the site plan correlated to the Consent Judgment, but thought that the building height would have to go before the ZBA.
Member Avdoulos thought the new site plan submission cleared up some outstanding issues. He asked that the sidewalk from Grand River to the building should be studied. He thought there was adequate visibility near the building entrance.
Member Avdoulos asked about the aisle provided near the barrier-free parking. Mr. Miller responded that the ADA Act allows for traverse behind the subject vehicle but not other vehicles in order for the person to access the building. The pathway accommodates this stipulation in the ADA Act. Member Avdoulos has heard of eleven-foot van spaces with five-foot cross-hatched access aisles to alleviate confusion between the eight-foot parking area and eight-foot cross-hatched aisles. He commented that the parallel barrier-free parking is also somewhat confusing. He liked the design presented by Sam’s Club.
Member Avdoulos said the layout of the store lent itself to explain the accessory use nature of the tire mounting facility. He said parapets shield the roof-top appliances. The average height of the roof is 27’6", and 24 feet is allowed. The gable is 42’8", and 50’4" is allowed. The elevation of the second highest roof level can be 32’8", and the Applicant is proposing 38 feet. The next level can be 29’4" and proposed is 35’4". The next allowed height is 26’8" and proposed is 29’4". The main height can be 24’ and proposed is 27’6". The most predominant elevation along Wixom Road is about 35 feet. The most predominant elevation along Grand River is 26’8" and the rear is mostly 27’6". In Member Avdoulos’ judgment, the elevations meet the intent of the Consent Judgment, with the average elevation being less than thirty feet.
Member Avdoulos was informed by Façade Consultant Peter Albertson that he did not have any new comments regarding the new drawings with dimensions, but overall he did not see any glaring issues regarding the new submission. Mr. Albertson said that the gas station review was based on the less than thousand square foot design being considered as an accessory structure. He further commented that reviewing the building with the overhead canopy square footage of approximately 5,400 square feet, he did not have issues with the design because the construction materials were similar to those of the main building. He said that he could not confirm the material for the proposed trellis, and asked the Applicant to confirm that it was not wood. The Applicant said that it was tube steel and would be painted green to match the standing C metal.
Member Avdoulos suggested that Target was built to the fifty-foot maximum and that Sam’s Club would not be as tall. He said that he did not have a problem with the front-facing doors. He accepted the tire mounting facility as an accessory use. He thought the building height issues were addressed. He agreed with Member Shroyer on the setbacks and did not have a problem with the zero setback in the interior of the parking lots. He thought the Traffic Consultant was comfortable with those issues and he was glad that the landscaping issues were coming to resolve.
Member Cassis recently learned that Catholic Central will be widening Wixom Road. The ingress/egress taper near the gas station is a positive design. He commended the Applicant on their improved presentation. His main concern was traffic and it has now been nullified. He thought the project looked good, had nice landscaping and provided nice facades. Member Cassis agreed that this project would not be higher than its sister project to the south. Retail building design has evolved over the years to accommodate the public’s preference for open-aired projects. Higher building elevations are a product of this evolution. Member Cassis agreed that the front-facing doors are far away from the thoroughfare and their impact is further lessened by landscaping. He supported the project.
Member Sprague was happy to recommend the setback issue to the ZBA. He approved of the overhead doors. The tire mounting facility is an accessory use in his opinion. He thought the building heights met the intent of the Consent Judgment.
Member Sprague asked for clarification on why moving one of the setback lines would negate the need for a variance. Ms. McBeth said that for Outlot One in the north the property line could be moved ten feet to remove that need for a variance. She said the Applicant may wish to comment, and the Planning Commission can waive this requirement if they wish. She said the Planning Department would ensure that there is a ten-foot setback when the outlot comes forward for development. Mr. Galvan said that the Applicant would accept the motion with the requirement for the ten foot buffer. He said that the question was in selling the parcel in the size that is indicated on the plan brings a question of continuity within the center. He said that as long as the setback is provided one way or another, it would be helpful to this Applicant if the setback was provided by the outlot developer as opposed to moving the property line, thereby reducing the size of the other parcel. Ms. McBeth said that both properties should be providing the ten-foot setback. Member Sprague wanted any motion approving this plan to include the setback requirement.
Member Sprague asked Landscape Architect Lance Shipman whether adequate adjustment has been made for the interior landscaping. Mr. Shipman responded that he has been working with the Applicant on providing more landscaping in the northwest corner where the greatest expanse of pavement exists. The need for the variance will be eliminated if the Applicant comes forward with the plan that was discussed earlier in the day, excluding the areas for loading and entries. He said it would be a significant addition to the perimeter landscaping. Mr. Shipman said that because the Ordinance allows for an exclusion of landscaping at loading and entry areas the variance should not be necessary, provided the Applicant can demonstrate the merit of this request. Mr. Schultz recommended that an approving motion should include the landscape language since the plans before the Planning Commission does not propose additional landscaping.
Member Sprague asked about the façade conformity to Exhibit G of the Consent Judgment. Mr. Albertson said that he would need to review the plan again before he could comment on that issue. Mr. Schultz said that the Planning Commission can look at the renderings and make the finding that conformity to the Consent Judgment appears to exist, and is subject to a final review and calculation by the Façade Consultant. Member Sprague wanted any motion approving this plan to include this façade language.
Member Sprague thanked the City Attorney for his memorandum regarding the Planning Commission’s role in reviewing this plan in light of the Consent Judgment.
Mr. Shipman stated that most of the landscape issues outlined in his review can be resolved by the Applicant through site plan submittal. Mr. Shipman commented that the Applicant has not met the ROW landscape requirement. There are two items that they fall short on providing. The Applicant is required to provide a three-foot berm with two foot crest. The Applicant has not asked for this waiver so this item is expected to be on the Final Site Plan submittal. The street tree requirement along Wixom Road is new to the Ordinance and therefore Phase I (which has the majority frontage along the road) was not subject to this requirement. If Phase II – Sam’s Club – provides their trees they might appear out of place because of the lack of trees on Phase I. Therefore Mr. Shipman recommended the street tree waiver.
Mr. Shipman asked that the record reflect for everyone’s benefit that there is a ten-foot minimum width for landscaped islands. He said that because their plans were drawn to a smaller scale he could not confirm that the Applicant’s submittal provided for this minimum width pursuant to Section 2509.3.c.2.a of Appendix A of the Ordinance.
Member Kocan said the lot splits cause the parking setback problems. She asked who owned the conservation easements and the detention basin. She asked who paid taxes on those areas. She wondered if it was in everyone’s best interest to approve of this lot split. Member Kocan did not support a waiver for the setback by Outlot One, because each lot is required to provide the ten-foot setback.
Member Kocan said she did not understand why a variance was still necessary for the building height. She said that she could agree to the 35-foot height as it represented thirty feet plus five feet for appliance screening. But she also said it appeared that the front elevation was 42 feet and therefore the entire review of the building height seemed convoluted. Ms. McBeth said that the proposed plan showed a lower gable height than the maximum allowed by the Consent Judgment (42’8" vs. 50’4"). She explained that typically the average roof height is considered but in this case the Consent Judgment described two different front elevation heights; rear elevation heights are not described in the Consent Judgment. She offered to have the Planning Department review the information again, but at this time their opinion was that the proposal was slightly higher than the provisions found in the Consent Judgment. Member Kocan thought that perhaps this project was originally turned down because of the building heights so she preferred to abide by the terms of the Consent Judgment.
Member Kocan said the canoe island being extended 75 feet is not depicted on the plans, nor has the Planning Commission addressed the implications of lot parking spaces. This is a stipulation Member Kocan wanted in an approving motion.
Member Kocan said that previously the Planning Commission discussed lining up some of the traffic aisles which would eliminate eleven parking spaces but it would improve traffic safety.
The ROW berm in front of the gas station is a requirement and Member Kocan would like to see that berm placed in front of the pumps. Member Kocan supported the waiver request for the ROW trees if the berm is put in. She confirmed with Ms. McBeth that the dumpsters, compacter and loading area would be placed in a small location on the southwest side of the building. The transformer will be at the northeast corner of the building.
Member Kocan noted stone columns under the canopies of the entrance and while they are offset from the entranceway, they may impede pedestrian safety. She asked that this issue to looked at more closely.
Member Kocan confirmed with Ms. McBeth that there will be CMU material on the building, and that ordinarily this building would not meet the terms of the Ordinance. However, this is a Consent Judgment stipulation and is therefore acceptable. Member Kocan said that an approving motion should state that the design must meet with the requirements of the Consent Judgment.
Member Kocan asked about the Planning Department’s position on the gas station. Ms. McBeth replied that the reason for the Planning Department’s negative recommendation is that their positive recommendation is reliant on waivers and variances. Mr. Schultz replied that the Planning Commission is not approving a lot split, but a site plan with a property line. The Applicant must get that approval or this plan would not go forward as shown. The Applicant must seek the variances and then apply for the lot split. Mr. Schultz said that the Consent Judgment is recorded in the Oakland County Register of Deeds so all terms run with the land no matter who owns what parcel. The Consent Judgment provides that if the areas aren’t cared for the City may do so at the landowners’ expense. Mr. Schultz said that nothing in the Ordinance would preclude the lot split from happening. He acknowledged that this is becoming more and more common.
Member Kocan noted that some signs were requested by the Traffic Consultant. Member Kocan agreed and thought there were several locations where they would be of benefit. Civil Engineer Brian Coburn said that the Applicant and Planning Department may wish to look again at what directional signs and their placement would best serve the property. Mr. Miller stated that a one-way traffic design is proposed, and they are working with landscaping, signage and striping to help visually steer the customer in that direction.
Mr. Miller said customers heading west on the southernmost pumps will be near a bypass lane. There is concern that a 180-degree turn cannot be made from that bypass to exit from the gas station. He recognized this as a valid concern made by the Traffic Consultant. Chair Markham suggested that the signage shouldn’t be "one-way" but "exit" with an arrow.
Member Cassis said that the driveway design should accommodate the customers who want to navigate from one Promenade location to the other. He said that employees will likely be asked to park south of the gas station. He felt that the road system should be based on creating the best traffic flow and not necessarily the exact alignment of the aisles. He thought the current design looked okay.
Member Cassis noted that there several ordinance- related greenbelts throughout the project and questioned how much more usable land should be "taken away" from a landowner for setback requirements. He reiterated that the proposed building heights reflect today’s social outlook and not a less-modern Ordinance requirement.
Member Pehrson confirmed with Ms. McBeth that the CMU is acceptable based on the terms of the Consent Judgment. He confirmed with Mr. Miller that the new canoe island design has been worked on and can help provide screening.
Chair Markham asked about the gas station pricing sign, and Mr. Miller said that Sam’s Club does not advertise the price of its gas outside of the store. The gas is only available for purchase to members.
Chair Markham confirmed that the Grand River entrance is not part of this parcel. She asked where the Sam’s Club signage will be. She was concerned that a great amount of care has been spent designing screening for the building, and now it won’t be visible along a major thoroughfare. Chair Markham said that allowing signage for businesses in Novi is imperative. Mr. Galvan said that Sam’s Club name will be placed upon the existing sign at the Grand River entrance.
Chair Markham clarified that when a customer enters from Grand River, they will have to turn right at the canoe island before making a left, and from there the customer will have other turns to make to reach their designation of Target. Her point was that the route through the parking lot is not very accommodating and will be worse in the winter. Director of Planning David Evancoe explained that at the pre-application meeting with this Applicant the City made the request that the location of the "destination determination" area be placed further away from the buildings (by the canoe island) instead of the design with a more direct route to just Sam’s Club that they were proposing. He said this was an improvement over the original plan. Chair Markham thought too many turns are required to navigate this parking lot and the design assumes that all customers know what is in Promenade and how to get there. She suggested more signage or a redesign that is more direct. She agreed that Target traffic shouldn’t have to drive past the entrance to Sam’s Club for obvious safety reasons.
Chair Markham suggested that parking lot lights be placed in landscaped islands wherever possible. Ms. McBeth agreed, and said that an evenly-lit parking lot must be taken into consideration with their design.
Mr. Schultz said that the overhead door issue is a matter for the ZBA and not a matter that can be approved by a Planning Commission waiver.
Moved by Member Shroyer, supported by Member Pehrson:
In the matter of Sam’s Club, Site Plan 04-06, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to: 1) A Zoning Board of Appeals variance for lack of building setback along the proposed southern property line (0 feet proposed versus 30 feet required); 2) A Zoning Board of Appeals variance to allow overhead doors to face a major thoroughfare (Grand River Avenue); 3) Planning Commission determination that the Tire Mounting Facility is considered a use customarily incidental or accessory to the main retail use; 4) A Planning Commission determination that the proposed building heights meet the intent of the Consent Judgment; 5) A Planning Commission waiver for the parking lot setbacks along the southern property lines, as substantial additional setback is found throughout the Promenade development; 6) A Zoning Board of Appeals variance for the lack of interior building landscaping if the issue is not resolved on the next Site Plan submittal; 7) A Planning Commission finding that the façade conforms with the Consent Judgment; 8) The Applicant must meet ROW landscaping requirements; 9) A Planning Commission waiver for the street trees, if necessary; 10) The extension of the northern landscaping "canoe island" to adhere with the Traffic Consultant’s recommendation;11) The Applicant working with the City to determine the appropriate alignment of aisles, exterior building columns and various traffic signage to address safety concerns; 12) The Applicant working with the City to ensure that the façade materials meet the intent of the Consent Judgment; 13) The City working with the Applicant to encourage placement of all light poles within landscaped islands, if possible; and 14) The conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reasons that the Applicant has worked with the City Staff and Consultants and will continue to do so through Final Site Plan and that through the review process the City finds that the Applicant has met or addressed the City Ordinance requirements and the intent of the Consent Judgment.
Mr. Schultz suggested that, "The lot split being accomplished as shown on the plan" be added to the motion. Member Shroyer and Member Pehrson agreed.
Member Kocan confirmed that no waiver for the setback is being granted for the area around Outlot One. She asked that, "with acknowledgement that no Planning Commission waiver is granted for the setback required around Outlot One, as the property line can be shifted to eliminate the need for a variance."
Mr. Evancoe asked whether the western portion bordering the wetlands was not granted a setback waiver in the motion. Member Shroyer said he did not see a hardship for that request. Member Kocan asked whether it is reasonable for the Planning Commission to ask for this Applicant to purchase enough land to accommodate the setbacks. Mr. Schultz replied that it is not incumbent upon the Planning Commission to solve the Applicant’s problem. If the Planning Commission believes the waiver should not be granted, then it is appropriate to state that alternatives are available. Otherwise, the Applicant must provide the setbacks.
Mr. Galvan asked for clarification because it is not clear to them why the setback requirement could not be waived along the wetland. Member Kocan confirmed with Mr. Schultz that the Applicant could take this request to the ZBA for a variance. Mr. Schultz continued that because the Applicant has specifically questioned the omission of this waiver it falls upon the Planning Commission to articulate their reason for not granting it. Member Kocan said that her language only states Outlot One, but in effect it is more than just Outlot One. She said her language should include the western property lines, and the reasoning was that the property line could be shifted to eliminate the need for the variance. She felt the Planning Commission members have stated that there is no hardship on which to base the waiver, and if the Planning Commission is wrong, the ZBA has the authority to make a different determination.
Ms. McBeth said that because of the wetlands in that area, the parking lot will have the appearance of the setback, which Mr. Schmitt felt, in his planning review, justified the waiver request. This is a footnote provision in Section 2400 of Appendix A of the Ordinance, that if additional setback is provided elsewhere on the site, the Planning Commission may waive the setback requirement.
Member Shroyer said he would add the waiver for the western area around the wetland area if the Planning Commission concurred.
Member Cassis opposed the setback requirements – for both the western and the Outlot One locations, for the reason that no additional purpose would be served by adding more setback distance. He also weighed in on the alignment issue of the parking lot, stating that a "straight shot" design could be dangerous in that drivers may drive faster as a result of a direct route. His comments were based on thirty years of experience and he encouraged the Planning Commission to reconsider some of their requests.
Member Pehrson supported the Outlot One restriction but did not have a problem with the western boundary waiver request. He asked if the berming requirement was covered in the motion and someone confirmed that it was.
Member Sprague asked whether stipulations 7 and 12 should be combined to clearly state that, "The Planning Commission finds that the façade conforms with the City’s requirement if the City’s consultant determines the façade conforms substantially to Exhibit G of the Consent Judgment." Member Shroyer and Member Pehrson agreed to combine the language.
Member Kocan asked again what language was being amended in the motion. Member Shroyer agreed to include the Outlot One information and a waiver for setbacks along the western portion bordering the wetland area. Member Pehrson agreed.
Chair Markham implored the Planning Department to revisit the parking lot layout for an optimal design.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON SAM’S CLUB, SP04-06, MOTION MADE BY MEMBER SHROYER AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PEHRSON:
In the matter of Sam’s Club, Site Plan 04-06, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to: 1) A Zoning Board of Appeals variance for lack of building setback along the proposed southern property line (0 feet proposed versus 30 feet required); 2) A Zoning Board of Appeals variance to allow overhead doors to face a major thoroughfare (Grand River Avenue); 3) Planning Commission determination that the Tire Mounting Facility is considered a use customarily incidental or accessory to the main retail use; 4) A Planning Commission determination that the proposed building heights meet the intent of the Consent Judgment; 5) A Planning Commission waiver for the parking lot setbacks along the western portion bordering the wetland area and the southern property lines, as substantial additional setback is found throughout the Promenade development; 6) A Zoning Board of Appeals variance for the lack of interior building landscaping if the issue is not resolved on the next Site Plan submittal; 7) A Planning Commission finding that the façade conforms with the City’s requirement if the City’s Consultant determines the façade conforms substantially to Exhibit G of the Consent Judgment; 8) The Applicant must meet ROW landscaping requirements; 9) A Planning Commission Waiver for the street trees, if necessary; 10) The extension of the northern landscaping "canoe island" to adhere with the Traffic Consultant’s recommendation;11) The Applicant working with the City to determine the appropriate alignment of aisles, exterior building columns and various traffic signage to address safety concerns; 12) The City working with the Applicant to encourage placement of all light poles within landscaped islands, if possible; and 13) The conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; and 14) The lot split being accomplished as shown on the plan with acknowledgement that no Planning Commission waiver is granted for the setback required around Outlot One, as the property line can be shifted to eliminate the need for a variance; for the reasons that the Applicant has worked with the City Staff and Consultants and will continue to do so through Final Site Plan and that through the review process the City finds that the Applicant has met or addressed the City Ordinance requirements and the intent of the Consent Judgment.
Motion carried 9-0.
The Planning Commission took a brief recess and reconvened at 10:47 p.m. Member Gaul left the meeting during the break.
PRELIMINARY HEARING AND SCHEDULING OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON JULY 14, 2004, FOR ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.638, CEMETERY REZONING ON NORTHEAST CORNER OF TWELVE MILE AND NOVI ROAD
Planner Barbara McBeth stated that the subject property contains approximately 1.3 acres of property and is located on the northeast corner of Twelve Mile and Novi Road in Section 11 of the City of Novi. The current zoning of the property is R-4, One Family Residential. The subject property is used as the Oakland Hills Memorial Cemetery entrance with two driveways, one on Twelve Mile one on Novi Road. The adjoining uses are as follows: to the west there is a gas station, to the north and east is the cemetery and to the south is retail and to the southwest is Midas Muffler.
Ms. McBeth said that the subject property is zoned R-4, One Family Residential, as are the properties to the east and north. To the south and southwest the properties are zoned R-C, Regional Center. On the west side of Novi Road the properties are zoned B-3, General Business.The Master Plan for Land Use recommends Quasi Public Cemetery uses for the site and the surrounding properties to the north, northeast and east. To the south the Master Plan recommends regional commercial uses and to the west the Master Plan recommends community commercial uses.
A Planning Review, Civil Engineering Review and Traffic Engineering Review were included in the Planning Commission packets for consideration this evening for a Preliminary Hearing on this matter. It is expected that the Planning Department will schedule the public hearing for the rezoning request for July 14, in accordance with the request of the Applicant. At that time, the Planning Commission will be asked to forward a recommendation to City Council for approval or denial of the applicants requested rezoning to B-3 zoning for the property.
The Planning Review letter recommended that the subject property be retained as R-4, One Family Residential. It is consistent with the historic, current and proposed designation of the Master Plan for Land Use which recommends Quasi Public Cemetery uses. R-4 zoning is consistent with the zoning in the northeast quadrant of Novi Road and Twelve Mile and with the current and historic use of the subject property as a cemetery entrance.
The Applicant has not provided any assurances or written agreement regarding the future uses or tenants of the property as requested by the Master Plan and Zoning Committee. The property owner is aware of their option to pursue a Planned Rezoning Overlay.
For properties on the north side of Twelve Mile, from Novi Road to the M-5 collector road, the City has historically encouraged residential zoning and uses permitted in the residential district. There is, however, a cluster of office uses further east of the proposed rezoning. There are no commercial uses east of Novi Road on the north side of Twelve Mile.
Based on the public opinion survey completed in 2002 for the update of the Master Plan for Land Use, citizens believe there is adequate retail development in the City of Novi and no further land should be zoned for retail purposes.
There is also a property boundary question with respect to the subject parcel. The Planning Department has asked the Applicant to create a separate parcel prior to the approval or denial of the rezoning request. As currently framed, the proposed creation of a B-3 zoning lot leaves the remaining R-4 zoning lot (the cemetery) with a deficient building setback for the mausoleum on the west side.
The Planning Review also highlights some of the history of the requests involving this property, including a previous rezoning request to B-3 dating back to 1994 and 1995; the request was ultimately denied by City Council.
During the recent Master Plan update for the City of Novi, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee recommended maintaining the current designation of Quasi Public Cemetery use for the subject property based on its current and historic use. On May 6, 2004, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee considered the Applicant’s rezoning request to B-3 and recommended that change to the Planning Commission, a use they felt more appropriate. At the time of the Committee’s work session on this topic, the complete professional reviews were not available for the Committee’s discussion.
The following uses are permitted in the B-3 zoning district: retail business and services establishments, as allowed in the B-1 and B-2 districts; auto wash when completely enclosed in a building; bus passenger stations; new and used car salesroom, show room or office; publicly owned parks; and other similar uses.
Civil Engineering Report indicated that there are water mains located along both frontages are adequate to serve the site regardless of the zoning of the site. The sanitary sewer, while not immediately available, does have the capacity to support additional flows that would be anticipated with a higher use zoning of B-3.
The Traffic Engineering Review provided a trip generation comparison for potential uses of the site if the property is rezoned to B-3. The Applicant was asked about peak cemetery traffic times, how that traffic is managed and what the usage differences are between the corner entrance and other access drives. It was recommended that the City’s police chief comment on his department’s experience with cemetery traffic at this location. If the Planning Commission wishes, the Planning Department can follow up on these requests prior to the matter being considered for Public Hearing.
The requested action this evening is that the Commission hold a preliminary hearing on the request, which will allow comments to be considered, and allow the Public Hearing to proceed as planned for July 14, at which time the Commission may make a recommendation to the City Council for approval or denial of this rezoning request.
Allen Green, 39577 Woodward Ave, Suite 300, Bloomfield Hills, represented the Applicant. He said that he was not representing the cemetery’s owner. He said the cemetery is licensed to use the corner entrance only during this transitional period before the corner is developed. He said that cemetery had decided years ago that this corner was inappropriate for the entry into the cemetery. He offered to answer any questions the Planning Commission may have.
Member Pehrson confirmed with Ms. McBeth that the Planning Department would procure comments from the Police Department. Civil Engineer Brian Coburn told Member Pehrson that the Birchler Arroyo Traffic Review compared possible traffic counts based on existing zoning versus counts based on B-3 Zoning. Member Pehrson noted that B-3 would produce far more traffic than the current zoning, and therefore he was as yet unconvinced that the rezoning was practical.
Mr. Green explained that City was condemning land for the widening of Twelve Mile about three years ago. At that time the parties involved were discussing the zoning issues and the condemnation issues at the same time. The City’s appraisal report identified the property as a commercial use for its highest and best use. At that point in time the corner parcel was under different ownership than the cemetery. The owner and the City agreed to put the condemnation money into escrow and pursue the potential gas station use. There was a contract with the owner and Exxon Mobil; they presented plans to City Council and they chose not to resolve the zoning issues in connection with the condemnation action. Exxon Mobil abandoned the project. The parcel has been on the market and some interest has been generated, but with the issue of a failed rezoning and the experience with Exxon Mobil it has been difficult to get anyone interested in a contractual relationship. Most recently, the interested parties have been a restaurant, a service station, a bank and an upscale wine shop. Drug store users have conceded that the site is too small.
Mr. Green said he would prepare a private deed restriction that would prohibit a list of uses even if the zoning allows those uses. He said he would take his direction from the Planning Commission on what those prohibited uses should be.
Member Pehrson asked about the lot split. City Attorney Tom Schultz confirmed that it is only one parcel at this time, and the proposed split line does affect a setback requirement for the mausoleum. Member Pehrson said that this information should also be forthcoming for consideration at the Public Hearing.
Member Cassis said that it was fair to the Applicant to give him indications on how the members felt about this request, even though this was not the Public Hearing. Member Cassis was against the request because B-3 is the most intense use in Ordinance. He said that adding another B-3 goes against everything that this Planning Commission has been told by the Community, City Council and the Planning Department. Member Cassis questioned what covenants were made with the plot owners of the cemetery that would provide for this parcel split. He felt that what this Applicant is proposing is a violation of all those who have purchased lots in that cemetery.
Member Cassis read from the May 4, 1994 Planning Commission minutes wherein a Mr. Sanchez stated that the separate parceling of the corner gave an immediate less-dignified value to the cemetery. Mr. Cassis noted that the Applicant stated the cemetery entrance was moved because the corner entrance was not appropriate; he then asked that if the corner wasn’t appropriate for the entrance, why would it be appropriate to put a B-3 business there?
Member Cassis said that the placement of the Amoco on the northwest corner of this intersection was debated for months in this City and was approved only by a small majority (the gas station replaced the Amoco on the northeast corner of Novi Road and Grand River Avenue). It was never any intent to put yet another gas station on the subject corner.
Member Cassis stated any business that is placed on this corner will have so many traffic stipulations (one-way turns, no entry/exit, etc.) that it will turn away interested parties. The corner cannot accommodate any more traffic.
Member Cassis said that the Applicant has told the Planning Commission that they would deed-restrict the property for types of businesses that weren’t welcome for that corner. Member Cassis said by the time that list is developed, the rezoning request would not be for a B-3 use.
Member Cassis commented that this rezoning request is not based on a hardship but the landowner’s desire to accelerate the value of the property.
Member Kocan agreed with Member Cassis’ comments. She said that while the corner has become commercialized, it does not negate the fact that the cemetery exists. She said that the image of the cemetery must be protected. Anything that is developed on this site must be compatible with the cemetery use, and she did not think the property is big enough to accommodate something like a funeral home.
Member Kocan said that the traffic stipulations were a problem for any future use. She agreed that B-3 is too intense of a zoning classification. She noted that a berm would be required and the ten-foot setback for the mausoleum needs to be addressed.
Member Avdoulos asked if the lot was owned outright, because it has the same parcel identification as the cemetery. Mr. Green replied that when the cemetery was sold, excess property was excluded from the sale. One piece is further up Twelve Mile and another piece is this corner. He said the corner has been deteriorating because the entrance is not used. He said the cemetery has different ownership now. He said that the lot split was not done at the time of the sale and would have to be done administratively – there are deeds that indicate the two different owners of the land. He said that the ten-foot setback from the mausoleum has been met.
Member Avdoulos, a member of the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, was under the impression that this property transfer was a done deal, but without separate tax parcels he did not consider it a complete transaction. Mr. Green said that it is a separate viable property.
City Attorney Tom Schultz interjected that without valid paperwork before the Planning Commission, i.e., separate tax identification numbers, the statement that the corner is a separate entity cannot be entertained. He said that there is no provision in the Ordinance for cemetery zoning. There will always be some other underlying district; here it is residential. Therefore, the Applicant’s argument will be that there is nothing that precludes him from seeking a rezoning, but from the City’s perspective, representations on the record are not enough to satisfy the legality of the request. Mr. Schultz was uncomfortable with comments being made about what the Planning Commission may do with this request, and said they would be better placed at the actual Public Hearing.
Mr. Green stated that he would submit the appropriate paperwork which will prove the corner has a separate ownership from the cemetery.
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Sprague:
Motion to schedule a Public Hearing on July 14, 2004 for Zoning Map Amendment 18.638, cemetery rezoning, on the northeast corner of Twelve Mile and Novi Road.
Member Shroyer said that proof of ownership issues have to be resolved. Mr. Schultz said that the City was aware of the corner’s ownership through the right-of-way pursuit related to the Twelve Mile widening. Nonetheless, it must be demonstrated that the parcel has been formally split. Mr. Schultz also said that whether a legitimate lot line exists is an important consideration, but it is possible to split zone a parcel.
Chair Markham said that the lot ownership and proof of lot split must be addressed at the Public Hearing. She noted that the appraisal on the property at the time of the road widening, which was based on the highest and best use, does not mean the City has to rezone the property to meet that designation.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.638 MOTION MADE BY MEMBER AVDOULOS AND SECONDED BY MEMBER SPRAGUE:
Motion to schedule a Public Hearing on July 14, 2004 for Zoning Map Amendment 18.638, cemetery rezoning, on the northeast corner of Twelve Mile and Novi Road.
Motion carried 7-1 (Yes: Avdoulos, Cassis, Kocan, Markham, Pehrson, Shroyer, Sprague; No: Ruyle).
APPROVAL OF MAY 26, 2004 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission turned in their correction for incorporation into the minutes.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Sprague:
Motion to approved the Minutes of May 26, 2004 as amended.
Motion carried 7-0. Member Shroyer abstained from voting because he was absent from the May 26, 2004 meeting.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There were no Consent Agenda Removals for Commission Action.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
DISCUSSION OF VETERINARY HOSPITAL & PET RESORT
Planner Barbara McBeth said that the Applicants, Philip Smyka, DVM and Robert Grant, have an I-1 property. Under the current zoning classifications, veterinary services are allowed as a Special Land Use in the B-3 district. The term "kennel" is not listed and therefore not provided for in the Ordinance. Because the request occasionally is brought up in the City, the Planning Department asked the Implementation Committee to consider various options regarding this issue.
The Implementation Committee can prepare an Ordinance Text Amendment that would provide language for boarding types and uses in certain zoning district(s). This would allow the Planning Department to steer Applicants to the appropriate districts should there be future interest.
The Applicant could find a suitable location for the business and prepare a site plan, and the Planning Commission, as part of their determination, could approve the use for that location.
The Applicant could also ask the Planning Commission for an interpretation from the ZBA regarding the proposed use in a certain zoning district, as recently seen with the Doggy Daycare.
Member Kocan confirmed with City Attorney Tom Schultz that the Planning Commission cannot make a determination on the proposed use on the proposed property at this evening’s meeting. Mr. Schultz responded that procedurally, the body that makes interpretations is the ZBA. Normally this request would go to them. If the petitioner thinks that the Planning Commission will make a determination that their proposed use is appropriate, they can prepare their plans for Planning Commission review and state that they believe they fall into the catch-all at the end of the I-1 district and ask that their site plan be approved. The Planning Commission could approve and allow the Applicant to move on or deny in order to allow the Applicant to go before the ZBA.
Mr. Schultz noted that the Planning Commission recently interpreted which uses were allowed in the FS Freeway Service district because that was how the Ordinance language read.
Robert Grant, 2918 Wagon Wheel, Troy, addressed the Planning Commission. He said that they were seeking guidance from the Planning Commission because they like the community and it is a viable location for this business. They are looking for the quickest route possible in determining where, if anywhere, this use would be permitted in the City. Mr. Grant said that 75% of the communities he reviewed allowed this use in the industrial zoning.
Chair Markham asked whether there was a parallel manner in which to proceed. She said that other communities allow it in industrial and as a Special Land Use in other districts. She was surprised to learn that "kennel" is not covered in the City Ordinance. Chair Markham noted that rewriting the Ordinance is not a swift process. Ms. McBeth said that changing the Ordinance might make sense in the long term, and for this Applicant he could be sent to the ZBA for a more expeditious handling of their request.
Mr. Schultz said that the Applicant could take his chances, prepare his site plan, and come before the Planning Commission stating that he believes he is a permitted use under the catch-all of the I-1 district. He said the more direct approach would be through the ZBA.
Member Avdoulos said a similar use is located at Northwestern Highway and Twelve Mile in a plaza. He said there is another location in Livonia and another in the Troy/Clawson area. He said they are all in business and light industrial areas. Member Avdoulos noted the use is totally enclosed and well taken care of and there are veterinary services available. This is not just an outdoor run. Member Avdoulos thought it was an appropriate use in I-1, and even in a B-3.
Member Cassis agreed that the use could be placed in industrial. As a business owner located next to a veterinary service, he had firsthand knowledge of pet owners who allow their pets to relieve themselves on the lawn in front of the neighboring sites. The problem caused by the customer is not really transferred to the animal business. For this reason he did not support the use in a B-3 zoning district. He suggested to the Applicant that he purchase enough I-1 property so as to accommodate pet relief. He said that this state-of-the-art proposal is very much needed in this community.
Member Kocan was concerned with this use in I-1. She said the ZBA made sure that the doggie daycare did not offer boarding. She said this was more of a retail use and although the building might be compatible with office and other warehouse uses, the use itself is not compatible. Customers will now be coming in and out. She said the Planning Commission denied a 2,000 square-foot fireplace showroom on Grand River because they wanted to maintain the integrity of the light industrial district. Member Kocan agreed that pets relieve themselves on available property adjacent to veterinary offices.
Member Kocan felt that the ZBA was very specific in approving the doggie daycare. Ms. McBeth told Member Kocan that to her knowledge, the daycare never opened up, which would have triggered on one-year re-review of the use. Member Kocan hoped that the ZBA looked closely at their last set of minutes prior to making a determination on this use. She absolutely would not want to see this use next to residential.
Mr. Schultz stated that every use must be allowed in the City, and there must be a zoning district to accommodate this use. He suggested that if the Planning Commission looks for a district for this use, it should probably maintain a Special Land Use status so that any proposal is reviewed carefully prior to its approval.
Member Kocan wondered whether the B-3 language should be expanded to allow this use. She said the Applicant should not look to rezone a property to B-3 for this use. She said she had a concern for the use. She said that the Implementation Committee would review this so she was interested in hearing suggestions because she was a member of that Committee.
Member Kocan recommended that the Implementation Committee should look at the Ordinance and discuss where language should be placed that states, "…other uses of a similar, and no more objectionable character…" She asked if this language would then allow the Planning Commission to make determinations. Mr. Schultz said it would be appropriate for them to review this. In some communities a stand-alone section of the Ordinance addresses this issue. This section may state, "…any use that isn’t named and is not identified in a particular district shall be considered a Special Land Use and the Planning Commission will determine which district is most appropriate.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Pehrson:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON PET RESORT ORDINANCE LANGUAGE MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PEHRSON:
Motion to request Implementation Committee consideration of Ordinance language and anevaluation as to whether the Ordinance should be changed to accommodate unlisted Special Land Uses in any district.
Motion carried 8-0.
Member Pehrson acknowledged that the previous motion did not immediately provide relief for the Applicant and he suggested that something be acted upon to reduce any unnecessary effort on the part of the Applicant. He suggested that the Implementation Committee create language and determine the appropriate section of the Ordinance for its insertion.
Chair Markham said that the Implementation Committee would do so but that is not the most efficient manner in which to help this Applicant. Mr. Grant said they were anxious to move forward on this project this year. Director of Planning David Evancoe said that the Applicant may seek relief from the ZBA.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Kocan:
Motion to request the Implementation Committee to create and format correct verbiage and determine where pet daycares, pet care, pet grooming and kennels fit into the Ordinance, prior to its return to the Planning Commission for review.
Member Shroyer asked that the term be changed from doggie daycare to pet care center to acknowledge that there would be overnight boarding and additional amenities provided. Member Pehrson said he was including pet care and pet grooming.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON PET CARE ORDINANCE LANGUAGE MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER KOCAN:
Motion to request the Implementation Committee to create and format correct verbiage and determine where pet daycares, pet care, pet grooming and kennels fit into the Ordinance, prior to its return to the Planning Commission for review.
Motion carried 8-0.
Chair Markham recommended that the Applicant could go to the ZBA for an interpretation on whether a vet clinic/ pet resort is in fact covered by one of the zoning districts. At the same time the Applicant could also prepare their site plan for Planning Commission review and take a chance that the Planning Commission makes a ruling that the use fits into the catch-all phrase of the I-1 zoning district; this route would require the City Council to then rule on the Planning Commission finding and could be a much lengthier process that could backfire. Ms. McBeth confirmed that no ruling could be made by the Planning Commission without a site plan before them.
The Planning Commission discussed how the process does not readily accommodate the Applicant. Mr. Grant conceded that it was somewhat daunting – through no one’s fault specifically – and they may decide to back out of their quest. He also stated for the record that there is a difference between an outdoor kennel operation and a totally enclosed facility.
Member Kocan encouraged the Planning Commissioners to throw out ideas for the benefit of the Implementation Committee’s review. Member Avdoulos said that perhaps the residential districts should at least be considered. He said that the use may not be conducive in a high-tech park. Chair Markham said that naming the use as a Special Land Use seems to be the most flexible and accommodating manner in which to handle this.
Member Cassis said that it would be fair to let the Applicant know that residential, though it will be considered, will not likely be named as a possible location after Implementation Committee review.
PARKING LOT ISLANDS
Member Cassis informed the Planning Commission that he wrote a memorandum to Planner Barbara McBeth and requested information on parking lot islands. His intent was to bring forward a request for this issue to be discussed at the Planning Commission level. Ms. McBeth clarified that the Planning Department would like the Planning Commission’s input on whether this issue should be pursued. Member Avdoulos thought that enough time had already been spent on the Landscape Ordinance update, which is not quite a year old.
Member Cassis thought that the outer ridges of a parking lot would be
better designed without parking lot islands that impede snow removal. He
understood the value and reasoning behind the Ordinance requirement for
landscaped islands elsewhere in a parking lot.
Member Shroyer thought the Landscape Ordinance should remain as is for the time being. Chair Markham concluded that Member Cassis had no support.
There were no Special Reports.
Wayne Hogan, Novi: Stated that on the Sam’s Club site plan, the handicapped parking spaces at the gas station should be relocated and should be van accessible. He said that the handicapped area at the doorways does not provide for access from both sides of the vehicle. He suggested that the striping be moved over to provide the space. The van spaces have been moved but the access aisles are on the wrong side of the vehicle. He was pleased to see some of his recommendations incorporated into the plans, especially in this instance where the movement of a handicapped patron has been relocated out of harm’s way. Mr. Hogan implored the Applicant to widen the handicapped parking spaces from eight feet to a greater width and provide deeper spaces.
Mr. Hogan noted that new restaurants are opening in Novi that don’t have appropriate handicapped parking. The lots may not be striped or the stalls aren’t located near ramps.
Moved by Member Ruyle, seconded by Member Kocan:
Motion to adjourn.
Motion carried 8-0. The meeting adjourned at 12:28 a.m.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
MON 6/21/04 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:30 PM
WED 06/23/04 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 07/05/04 CITY OFFICES CLOSED FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY
MON 07/06/04 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
MON 07/12/04 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:30 PM
WED 07/14/04 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
Transcribed by Jane Schimpf, July 6, 2004 Signature on File
Date Approved: July 14, 2004 Donna Jernigan, Planning Assistant