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CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at or about 7:30 p.m.
Present: Members Victor Cassis, Richard Gaul (7:43 p.m.), Andy Gutman, Lynn Kocan, David Lipski (7:39 p.m.), Mark Pehrson, Lowell Sprague, Wayne Wrobel
Absent: Member John Avdoulos (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Acting Planning Director; Tim Schmitt, Planner; Darcy Schmitt, Planner; Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect; Ben Croy, Engineer; Tom Schultz, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The meeting attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Pehrson:
Motion to approve the Agenda of July 28, 2004.
Motion carried 6-0.
Wayne Hogan, Novi: (inaudible for one minute)… there are handicapped parking spaces that are eight foot wide while the other parking spaces are nine feet wide. Also they are 19 feet deep but should be twenty feet deep. He said that the ramp is located improperly (in the front of a parking space) on the Citizens Bank plan. He said that access for the second space is not on the right side. He also made the same two comments listed above regarding the Citizens Bank handicapped parking spaces. Mr. Hogan said that the bathroom doors swing into the entry doors and could be easily redesigned.
There was no Correspondence to share at this time.
Chair Kocan noted that the Implementation Committee, when formed later this evening, will discuss when their next meeting will be held.
Acting Planning Director Barbara McBeth updated the Planning Commission
on issues of their concern that went before City Council at the July 26,
2004 meeting. The Wilshire Abbey Plat final plat was approved. The
dedication of streets and utilities were accepted for Cheltenham Estates.
The first reading of the Fences text amendment was held, and some
modifications will be made for the second reading. The first reading of the
Performance Guarantees Ordinance was approved, which relates to an issue the
Planning Commission will set a Public Hearing for later this evening. Ms.
McBeth noted that Providence Park was approved for its 200 beds, and that
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
There were no Public Hearings.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. LASALLE TECHNOLOGY, SITE PLAN NUMBER 04-28
Consideration of the request of Joseph Drolshagen, Northern Equities Group, for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan and Storm Water Management Plan. The subject property is located in Section 12 at Cabot Drive, north of Twelve Mile, south of Lewis Drive in the OST (Office Service Technology) District. The subject property is approximately 6.26 acres. The Applicant is proposing a 60,000 square foot speculative office building.
Planner Darcy Schmitt said that the subject property is located in Section 12 on Cabot Drive, north of Twelve Mile and south of Lewis Drive. Paychex is located directly north of subject property and vacant lot is located to the south. The M-5 connector is located to the west and Cabot Technology Center is located to the east. The subject property is zoned OST, Office Service Technology, as are the properties surrounding the site. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends Office use for this property and the surrounding properties.
Ms. Schmitt said that the Woodlands Map shows that the property has medium-density woodlands, but the current aerial photograph does not show the woodlands.
The proposed site offers two primary access points located off Cabot Drive, one secondary access to the north connecting to the Paychex property and one noted future secondary access stub to the south connected to the vacant property.
The Planning Review indicates that the site plan meets Ordinance requirements. A wetland affidavit was submitted stating that there were no regulated wetlands on the site.
A woodland affidavit was submitted stating that there were no regulated woodlands on the site. This may have been true at the time of the Preliminary Site Plan submittal. Ms. Schmitt said that information received recently may indicate that trees were removed without a Woodlands Permit and the site may be in violation of the Woodland Ordinance. A December 2003 aerial shows woodlands on the site. The allegation is being investigated at this time but a complete report is not yet available.
The Landscape, Traffic and Engineering reviews indicate that the site plan meets Ordinance requirements with only minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan Submittal.
The Fire Review indicates that the site plan does meet Ordinance requirements.
The Façade Review indicates that the site plan does meet Ordinance requirements and materials are displayed on the board presented to the Planning Commission.
City Attorney Tom Schultz reiterated that the Woodland Affidavit was apparently true at the time of its submittal to the City. The Planning Department, when reviewing the aerial photo, noticed that trees were in fact on the property at some point in time. The City Attorney’s office recommends that the Planning Commission review the plan against the Ordinance standards for compliance. Because no Public Hearing was noticed regarding a Woodlands Permit, this review is not recommended at this time.
Mr. Schultz explained that a Woodland Permit is not required for dead, damaged or diseased trees, which is typical language for a Woodland Ordinance. It was his understanding that this is why the Applicant removed those trees. Mr. Schultz continued that diseased trees require some professional verification prior to their removal. As an exception to the rule, it becomes the obligation of the person relying on the exception to prove that they are entitled to it. The City is at a loss in proving what trees were removed and whether they were diseased. In the City Attorney’s opinion, and at least one court in Oakland County has agreed with this opinion, gives the burden to prove that to the person who cut the trees down.
Mr. Schultz said that the City will have to investigate when the cutting might have occurred and what the conditions of the trees might have been. In the meantime, Mr. Schultz told the Planning Commission to continue with their regular review of the site plan. At the end of their review, he suggested that the request be postponed until the City has had the chance to meet with the owner and figure out how this issue is going to be dealt with and what their position is and what the City’s position ought to be. If there is a correction it will show up at the next meeting. If the City accepts their position, the plan would move on.
Mr. Schultz said that when the plan comes back, if the City makes the determination that trees were cut and a permit was required, it would come back to the Planning Commission for a Woodland Permit. The Applicant could challenge that, but that is probably how the City would set it up. He told Chair Kocan that if she were comfortable calling it a retroactive permit, that description helps explain what has happened. The reality is that it would just be a discussion of how the trees are going to be replaced. The Applicant will either agree with the City or not, and then the City will move forward from that point.
Chair Kocan confirmed with Ms. Schmitt that about one acre of the property had some form of woodland (out of 6.26 acres total).
Joe Drolshagen of Northern Equities addressed the Planning Commission. He said that this was the setup area for the roads. There was a lot of heavy equipment using this area (cement trucks, cement beam manufacturers) and as a result it decimated whatever trees were on the site. Additionally, there were numerous ash trees affected by the emerald ash borer. He said that they removed a small number of trees that they felt were outside the Woodlands. He said that when they planned the site, the building could have been much bigger but they designed it so that the Woodland would not be disturbed. They created the parcel at the six-acre size for that reason.
Mr. Drolshagen said that this plan is a continuation of their single-story technology centers that they have built in the past. The first was Cabot Technology Center (84,000 square feet housing companies from Germany, England and Japan). The second was Lewis Technology Center (housing Azmo in 21,000 square feet and NGK). Cabot North has been approved for 37,000 square feet, of which 17,000 square feet are leased. Cabot South is also 37,000 square feet. Other buildings are in the planning stages.
Mr. Drolshagen said that currently this is a speculative building but they have had interested prospects ask about the building. The parcel to the south that houses the trees will likely be brought forward as dedicated land. They want to make sure that what they bring forward is going to be approved. They have had many "build-to-suit" inquiries for that parcel.
Member Pehrson asked about the u-shaped structure and whether there was any ADA-access inside the horseshoe of the building. He asked whether the Applicant and the Staff would be amenable to having some ADA spaces located in that area. Mr. Drolshagen said that every man door has a handicapped-access ramp at it. Civil Engineer Ben Croy said that the Building Department actually performs the full ADA review on the site. The Act requires that handicapped areas be placed near the main entrances of the building. That determination will have to be made at the Building Department stage.
Member Pehrson asked about the ADA compliance issues of width and depth. Mr. Croy concurred with Member Pehrson that the eight-foot handicapped stall meets the ADA federal standards, because the full measurement includes the access aisle width for a total of 13 feet.
Member Cassis asked the Applicant what type of solution he might pose for the Woodland issue. Mr. Drolshagen said that his company did what they thought was appropriate. He noted that recently the increase of dead and falling trees in Novi has become more apparent. His company gets nervous about the liability of this issue. This is one of the motivations for taking down the dead trees. He said his company will work with the City to come up with something that is equitable.
Member Sprague confirmed with the Applicant that the outside of the horseshoe housed the main entrances to the building, and was the location of the handicapped parking.
Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Cassis:
In the matter of the request of Joseph Drolshagen of Northern Equities for LaSalle Technology,
SP04-28, motion to postpone consideration of the request.
Chair Kocan said that there is an alleged violation that must be taken into consideration prior to moving forward with this site plan. It must be determined whether restoration should have been done, whether there should be a fine, whether there will be replacement requirements, where their location will be, will there be a donation to the Woodland fund, etc. Some trees on the property have been tagged so the Planning Department thinks that there must be a tree survey somewhere. The Applicant should present this information to the City. Chair Kocan said that the Woodland Ordinance maintains that the City must give permission for trees of any kind to be removed from a woodland area.
Chair Kocan agreed that the handicapped spaces should be considered 13 feet wide, which includes the measurement of the access aisle. She said that the van-accessible spaces are eight feet plus eight feet. There is no requirement for which side of the vehicle the access must be located. Mr. Croy added that two spaces can share one access aisle. The federal standards do not call out a specific length; the City’s Ordinance requires 19 feet. The access aisle has been called out at twenty feet, but that includes the sidewalk ramp as well.
Chair Kocan asked the Applicant to review the design of the bathroom to ensure the best design has been considered with regard to handicapped accessibility.
Chair Kocan asked why the future southerly access drive shows landscaping in its way. Landscape Architect Lance Shipman replied that one to three trees may need to be relocated. Mr. Drolshagen said that they would be happy to put these stubs in, as they have been required to do so in the past. Chair Kocan noted that they have proposed an additional access stub and she appreciated the design.
Chair Kocan also liked the courtyard design of the building. She confirmed that the Applicant needs to redesign the landscaping to provide at least 22 feet between large canopy trees.
Chair Kocan asked about the parking spaces. Ms. Schmitt responded that the calculation used was based on general office uses. They can have medical uses in this area, so the extra 29 spaces allows them this flexibility. The parking is not enough, though, to house an entire medical use.
Chair Kocan said the postponement of this request was meant to provide time to gather information on the woodlands. The Applicant should provide the tree survey if possible. She confirmed with Mr. Schultz that the issue would become a Public Hearing if the plan returns with a request for a Woodland Permit. The Planning Department will set up a meeting with the Applicant, the City Attorney will attend, and the ensuing discussion will determine what the Applicant’s reasoning was for not requesting a permit.
Mr. Schultz continued that the information he heard thus far at the meeting did not address the issue. He said that if those trees were damaged during the development process by the Applicant, those issues should have been addressed and prevented and remedied some time ago. Mr. Schultz told the Planning Commission that they would be kept abreast of the situation.
Member Cassis asked whether there is any accurate information in hand regarding this site’s trees. Ms. Schmitt said that there appears to have been a survey on the site at one time. The City has not seen the survey. Member Cassis asked whether the City has surveyed the trees. Ms. Schmitt responded that there are no trees on the site to survey but the City’s representatives have gone out and looked at the species blend along the property line to determine what the species blend might have been that was removed.
Mr. Schultz reminded the Planning Commission that the alleged infraction had just come to light in the last couple of days, and that the investigation is not complete. He said that the City may look at the files for Cabot Drive to determine whether any additional information can be gleaned from them.
Chair Kocan asked if Member Sprague would add the language "in order to get a tree survey and/or any other information to verify the condition of the trees that were removed from the property." Both he and Member Cassis agreed to the change.
Member Sprague confirmed with Ms. Schmitt that the Woodland Map was last updated in 2002. The City also has aerial views from December 2003 and early spring 2004, which identifies the timeframe of when the trees were removed.
Member Sprague confirmed with Mr. Schultz that the postponement meant that the plan must come before the Planning Commission again. He asked if the plan could be approved subject to a positive resolution of the woodland issue. Mr. Schultz said that he wouldn’t recommend this venue because it casts a little shadow on the rest of the woodland issue. It would be appropriate to place this issue on the Consent Agenda if the Planning Department determines that no Woodland Permit must be sought.
Member Sprague said that the language could be added to the motion, "If the issue is positively resolved with the Staff, the request can come back to the Planning Commission as a Consent Agenda item."
Mr. Shipman said that the preliminary review has been completed and in any event the plan will get a full final review as well. Chair Kocan stated that if there is a pending woodland issue, the plan would come back to the Planning Commission not as a Consent Agenda item but as a Public Hearing item.
Member Cassis agreed to Member Sprague’s addition to the motion.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON LASALLE TECHNOLOGY, SP04-28, MOTION MADE BY MEMBER SPRAGUE AND SECONDED BY MEMBER CASSIS:
In the matter of the request of Joseph Drolshagen of Northern Equities for LaSalle Technology,
SP04-28, motion to postpone consideration of the request in order to get a tree survey and/or any other information to verify the condition of the trees that were removed from the property. If the issue is positively resolved with the Staff, the request can come back to the Planning Commission as a Consent Agenda item.
Motion carried 8-0.
2. CITIZENS BANK, SITE PLAN NUMBER 04-27
Consideration of the request of Marcos Makohon of K-4 Architecture for approval of a Preliminary Site Plan and Storm Water Management Plan. The subject property is located in Section 12 at Twelve Mile between Cabot Drive and the M-5 entrance ramp in the OST (Office Service Technology) District. The subject property is approximately 2.00 acres. The Applicant is proposing a 3,780 square foot bank branch.
Planner Darcy Schmitt said that the proposed bank is in Section 12. Haggerty Corporate park is located to the north, Twelve Mile is to the south, M-5 is to the west and Haggerty Corporate Park Phase I is to the east. The property and its surroundings are zoned OST; they are all master planned for office.
Ms. Schmitt said the bank proposes an access onto Twelve Mile and a secondary access north to Haggerty Corporate Office Park Phase V. The Planning Review indicates the site plan meets Ordinance requirements, but the Planning Commission must make a determination on the loading zone and its screening. There are minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
A Wetlands Affidavit was submitted. A Woodlands Affidavit was submitted. The Landscape Review indicates that the plan does not meet Ordinance requirements, unless the Planning Commission grants a Waiver for a parking lot landscape requirement, or the plan is modified to meet the requirements of the Ordinance. The Planning Commission will also need to grant a Waiver for the berm requirement along the south and southwest property lines, or the plans will have to be modified to meet the Ordinance.
The Traffic Review indicates that the site does meet Ordinance requirements with only minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal. The Review recommended that the Planning Commission waive the Traffic Study, but the Consultant has since reviewed correspondence from the Road Commission and therefore he now recommends the submittal of a Traffic Study.
The Engineering Review indicates the site meets Ordinance requirements. The Stormwater Management Plan will be revised to meet the Ordinance before Final Site Plan submittal. Minor items will need to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Fire Department Review indicates the plan meets Ordinance requirements with minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Façade Review indicates that the proposed plan requires a Section 9 Waiver, or the materials can be modified prior to Final Site Plan submittal. Ms. Schmitt showed the Planning Commission the façade board. She said the Consultant believes that the proposed material would not be of the same standard as the region one area for façade review. It would look more like a pre-cast type of material. The Applicant said the material is of a higher standard than what a brick design would look like, but he is willing to change the design if that is the will of the Planning Commission.
City Attorney Tom Schultz explained that the City reviews plans based on its Ordinance. Oakland County is another reviewing agency. They have given a preliminary indication that they don’t like the access onto Twelve Mile. The Consultant’s Review did not reveal any City objections to a Twelve Mile entrance from a traffic-safety standpoint. However, after hearing from the Road Commission, he has reconsidered the need for a study, but has not reconsidered the access issue. Ultimately, even if the Planning Commission determines that this plan meets the City’s Ordinance requirements, the Applicant will still have to seek a permit from Oakland County. It is appropriate for this Planning Commission to approve the plan if it meets the City’s requirements. It will be up to the Applicant to go on to the next stage with the County. If they do not get the permit from the County, they can challenge that determination, or come back to the Planning Commission with a different site plan.
Mr. Schultz said that the Planning Commission can require the traffic study, and approve the Preliminary Site Plan subject to its review, or they can withhold determination and wait for the study. This can be handled at the administrative level at Final Site Plan submittal, or the Planning Commission can require the plan to come back.
He reiterated that the Planning Commission’s role is to review the plan’s adherence to the City’s Ordinance.
Marcos Makohon of K-4 Architecture addressed the Planning Commission. He introduced Dave Cleary of Citizens Bank and Bob Schrader of the Hayman Company.
Mr. Makohon asked the Planning Commission to consider that a bank has very limited loading and unloading use. Its requirements are more for clerical and small truck items. Secured items are handled during off-hours in a secure area will not require a "loading zone."
Mr. Makohon said his landscape architect has been in contact with the City’s staff and that all items have been resolved with the exception of the berming of the south and southwest sides of the property, near the Twelve Mile corridor and M-5 entrance ramp where there is a considerable difference in grade. The subject property is higher and naturally shields the bank vehicles from the normal traffic.
Mr. Makohon said that Stormwater Management Plan requires recalculation using the correct rate of discharge. This has been resolved at least in concept.
Mr. Makohon said that they became aware of the County issue with Twelve Mile on Monday. Their greatest concern is how the site manages traffic internally, adjacent to Cabot and to the north. The County fears that the drive will generate more traffic than the normal amount of banking traffic. The bank believes their clients will enter from and exit onto Twelve Mile. They do hope to have clients that come from Cabot Drive as well.
Mr. Makohon said that with a positive outcome at this meeting, they will move forward in dealing with Oakland County. The bank believes access from Twelve Mile is paramount and they will work toward that resolve.
Mr. Makohon said that the building is designed with materials typically used for courthouses and high-end schools. He provided the Planning Commission with information regarding the proposed stone. He agreed to modify the material to masonry if the Planning Commission so desires.
Chair Kocan reminded the Planning Commission of their options regarding this review.
Member Cassis asked what the sizes of the stones were; Mr. Makohon replied that the size is 12"h x either 18" or 24" w. This simulates limestone. The bank selected the smooth cut for a richer appearance. 90% of the building will have this material. There will be a different pattern in the area of the building where there are no windows (four inches instead of twelve inches). The buffstone color was selected. The first presentation by this bank showed both pre-cast material and stone. Now the entire building is proposed as stone. Ms. Schmitt explained that the Consultant felt the material was more of a pre-cast material which is not allowed in this region. Ms. McBeth added that this material is oftentimes considered as limestone, which is permitted, but only to the extent of 50% façade coverage. Member Cassis asked if the material was porous. He thought it had a nice look to it.
Member Cassis asked about the berm. Mr. Makohon said there is a six to seven foot height differential in this area; a berm would make a ten-foot differential and would be difficult to plant and maintain. They preferred to meet the intent of the Ordinance by making use of the natural slope of the property. The Applicant is proposing a considerable amount of landscaping.
Mr. Makohon said that he is proposing 100% façade coverage with the buffstone. He would be willing to redesign to 50-55% if the Planning Commission prefers.
Member Pehrson like the clean look of the building and did not have a problem with the Section 9 Waiver. He thanked the Applicant for his response letter. Member Pehrson did not have a problem with the planting waiver for the loading area; this is a recurring request from banks and this is not really a loading area.
Member Pehrson confirmed that the documents for cross-access can be forthcoming, and the standard catch-all phrase of the motion covers the issue.
Member Pehrson did not have a problem waiving the traffic study, as he felt the Applicant already has his work cut out for him negotiating with the Road Commission.
Member Pehrson confirmed with the Applicant that he would adjust his façade if necessary, although he did not endorse requiring this change.
Member Pehrson confirmed with Engineer Ben Croy that the Stormwater Management Plan will be acceptable at the time of Final Site Plan submittal. Mr. Croy explained that items 16-21 are items that must be addressed prior to the pre-con meeting. Mr. Schultz confirmed for Member Pehrson that the Engineering Review is set up based on what is required at each level of review.
Landscape Architect Lance Shipman said his understanding was that the Applicant would address the issues at the time of Final Site Plan submittal. He said that the Applicant has suggested that the parking lot landscaping requirements can be fulfilled, so the remaining issue is the berm requirements. The Applicant is seeking a Waiver for the southwest and south portion of the site. The Applicant has indicated that there is an elevation difference on the southwest portion; the Review recommends the waiver. The southerly portion should accommodate a berm, so the Applicant has been asked to update their plans if in fact the grade difference is more than the three feet shown on the existing plan.
Member Pehrson asked about the ROW. Mr. Shipman said that it is a reference to a landscape requirement. The berm required in this district is a three-foot tall berm and the Applicant wants to provide the landscaping without the berm.
Mr. Shipman said that when Twelve Mile was reconstructed, the curb line may have been lowered, which does not show on the existing contours. If that is indeed the case, the Planning Department might support their request for a waiver. Chair Kocan confirmed that the motion could state that upon the Applicant demonstrating the requirements necessary for a berm waiver the Planning Commission would grant the waiver. Existing conditions is one such requirement.
Member Lipski asked whether the façade issue was one of safety or cosmetics. He said if the issue was cosmetic, the Applicant’s proposal better serves the purpose. Ms. McBeth responded that certain materials were recommended for the various regions. The Consultant’s recommendation on a plan is based on the plan’s meeting the region’s requirements. In this case the Applicant can adjust his percentages and the Consultant would likely have enough information on the material to approve the plan, or he can request the Section 9 Waiver.
Mr. Schultz further clarified that safety and cosmetics are both taken into consideration in the Façade Ordinance. He reiterated that up to 50% of this material could be approved. By granting the Waiver the Planning Commission must cite the reason why. Mr. Makohon said a secondary material would be a common brick.
Member Lipski thought that perhaps the City should try to harmonize their review of the project with the comments made by the Road Commission of Oakland County. Mr. Schultz responded that the Planning Commission can choose to postpone this review until the issue with the County is resolved. The Planning Commission can also deny the plan, but the plan doesn’t appear to violate any City standard. To approve the plan subject to the Oakland County permit issuance is another option. If the County denies the permit the Applicant will challenge the denial or reconfigure the plan for City review –either by the Planning Commission or administratively.
Mr. Schultz said that it was his understanding that the Road Commission does not want any curb cuts onto Twelve Mile. That would be the County’s issue to resolve, not the City’s. Member Lipski thought that decision would stifle the bank’s use of the property. He recommended approving the plan to allow the Applicant the opportunity to pursue this matter with the County.
Member Sprague confirmed with Ms. McBeth that loading areas are an issue on bank plans. Ms. McBeth said that the Comerica Bank at Shoppes at the Trail, the Planning Commission required the loading area, but they argued that it didn’t serve any purpose for them. That Applicant worked with the City on an acceptable loading area but was unsuccessful. They now plan to go to the ZBA for some form of relief. Ms. McBeth said that some banks do not have loading zones.
Member Sprague asked about the northerly property access. Mr. Croy said their primary access is from Cabot Drive. One traffic issue at hand is the concern over traffic coming through this secondary access to gain access to Twelve Mile. One solution would be to place a gated access at that location; use of that access would be reserved for emergency purposes only.
Member Sprague asked about the berm. Mr. Shipman said that the Planning Commission can grant a conditional waiver, providing that the Applicant demonstrate the plan meets the criteria.
Member Sprague thought that the City should stick with the recommendations of its own consultants and leave the road issue with Oakland County.
Member Sprague did not support a Section 9 Waiver. He thought the material should be limited to 50%.
Member Gaul asked why the Applicant designed the building as he did. Mr. Makohon said it was more expensive, but more beautiful. It gives a more monumental look to a building. Member Gaul supported the request for a Section 9 Waiver. The Applicant stated he would prefer to go with the Waiver than change his design.
Member Lipski does not understand the need for 50-50 materials. On aesthetics alone the proposed material will look nicer. Member Lipski suggested that the Staff provide the Planning Commission with an understanding of why the Ordinance is written such as it is at a future date. Mr. Schultz suggested that a Waiver, as explained in Section 2520.9, grants relief for a building when the Planning Commission determines that a proposal is acceptable, although different, from the strict standards of the Ordinance. Section 2520.2 allows for variation from design materials, and requests a design statement which indicates how the materials are consistent with and will enhance the design concept and how the materials relate to the surrounding buildings in the area.
Chair Kocan said that the District 52-1 Courthouse is considered one of the worst architecturally-designed buildings in the City. She hoped this Applicant was not suggesting that his proposed material would emulate that building.
Ms. McBeth said that the Staff was looking for the Planning Commission to determine whether the section of the Ordinance that requires loading zones should be enforced on bank site plans. Chair Kocan said that ideally, the Implementation Committee could look at the Ordinance to determine whether language should be added to address loading areas on bank property. Ms. McBeth said for the time being a policy statement could be given that could be expressed to future Applicants.
Chair Kocan said that she did not want to be too quick to waive the loading zone, because it will be very easy for local delivery trucks to park right behind the handicapped parking spaces and potentially block people in. Mr. Makohon said that there are three parking spaces immediately west of the building. One parking space could be striped for loading purposes. According to Section 2507.2, the loading zone must be ten square feet for each front foot of building. The building is approximately sixty feet wide, so 600 square foot would be necessary, or 10’ x 60’. That represents too much square footage for the area Mr. Makohon was describing.
Ms. McBeth said that it could be recommended that the Applicant seek relief from the ZBA. The Implementation Committee can review this issue In the future. Chair Kocan suggested that a motion be made after the Citizens motion to send this issue to the Implementation Committee.
Chair Kocan asked if the bank considered just a one-way flow of parking lot traffic. Mr. Makohon explained that the current design allows access to the entire building for emergency vehicles. Through signage, customers will be discouraged from traveling north. He said this could be changed but may not meet with approval from the Fire Department.
Chair Kocan said that there is a deficit of 992 square feet of parking lot landscaping. Mr. Shipman said that the Applicant will have to remove some parking spaces if they don’t redesign the lot to accommodate this requirement.
Chair Kocan said it was her understanding that the other Planning Commission members have stated that they don’t need a Traffic Study even though the Traffic Consultant has changed his mind and has now requested one. She was uneasy about that, because she doesn’t see any information about Twelve Mile tapering or how much traffic is expected. She said that the large office complex may produce a lot of traffic and traveling through the parking lots to get to Twelve Mile may be the "path of least resistance." Although someone else’s traffic is not the responsibility of this Applicant, the impact of this building’s placement on Twelve Mile must still be looked at.
Chair Kocan said that the reviews did not specify how far the entrance was from Cabot Drive; the Staff told her it was about 275 feet. Chair Kocan asked whose responsibility it would be to look at the distance between this entry and the "Michigan Left." Mr. Croy said that the County looks at the distance between the two. Mr. Croy said that it appears to be about 240 feet.
Chair Kocan asked about the fifteen-foot easement required from the property to the east, because she did not think that the drive has been shifted to accommodate this requirement. Mr. Makohon said that garnering an easement from DTE is a very lengthy process. The drive was shifted and the transition for turning radius purposes is made further into the site. There is also landscaping in that area that can be mitigated to help accommodate this design requirement. Mr. Croy said this would be reviewed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal. He did not see an issue with redesigning for the additional fifteen feet, but any safety issues that might arise will be addressed and corrected.
Chair Kocan asked about the taper lanes. Mr. Croy said that the decision to put in taper lanes is based on a formula using speed limits and trip generation, etc.
Chair Kocan noted that the Traffic Consultant suggested that the parking spaces could be shortened to 17 feet to reduce impervious surface, but Chair Kocan did not endorse that suggestion for the handicapped parking spaces.
Chair Kocan asked about the detention basin. Mr. Croy said that the difference between a ten-year design and a 100-year design is about half the storage volume. The Applicant must design for the 100-year mark, and it is feasible for this lot.
Chair Kocan would like the motion to address the traffic study, acknowledge the issue with the Road Commission and state whether the Final Site Plan should return to the Planning Commission or be approved administratively.
Member Wrobel said that from a practical point a view, the drive seems too close to the M-5 ramp. He also commented that the traffic on Cabot Drive will only get heavier as time goes on, which will also create a problem. He, too, would like a Traffic Study, and he asked the Applicant to consider exploring other options for the entrance.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Gaul:
In the matter of the request of Marcos Makohon for Citizens Bank, SP04-27, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to: 1) The Applicant must receive positive approval from the ZBA for lack of the required loading zone, as the plan doesn't meet the Ordinance standards, and the loading zone might not be needed for the bank's purposes; 2) The Planning Commission granting a Section 9 Waiver, as the façade is consistent with the area, in accordance with Section 2520.2, and the building is considered aesthetically pleasing; 3) The landscaping and parking lot spaces complying with standards at the time of Final Site Plan submittal; 4) A Planning Commission Waiver of the berm along the west property line due to existing topography, however, the southernmost berm be reviewed by the Planning Department and approved administratively at the time of Final Site Plan submittal; 5) The Traffic Consultant bringing forth a Traffic Study for the ingress and egress into the site and possible Twelve Mile Road driveway taper requirements, and these reviews will be handled administratively unless determined that it needs to be brought back to the Planning Commission; 6) Twelve Mile access must be approved by the RCOC; 7) A gate will be placed on the north property line for emergency only secondary access; 8) The parking spaces to be nineteen feet to meet the ADA requirements; and 9) The comments on the attached reviews being addressed at the time of Final Site Plan review; for the reason that it is consistent with the zoning for the area.
Chair Kocan confirmed with Member Pehrson that the berm waiver was for the southwest property line, not the west. Chair Kocan confirmed that Member Pehrson wanted the Applicant to submit a Traffic Study for the Traffic Consultant’s review. Chair Kocan confirmed that the gate on the secondary access is requested so as to limit that route to only emergency vehicles. Member Gaul also accepted the clarifications.
Mr. Shipman suggested that the motion clarify "a waiver of the requirement for the berm for the south property line if the Applicant can provide verification of grades along the south property line and prove that the plan meets the criteria (to be reviewed and approved administratively at the time of Final Site Plan Review)." The maker and seconder of the motion agreed.
Member Sprague confirmed that there was no need for a west berm waiver. Member Sprague asked if it were advisable to add the RCOC language to this motion if the Planning Commission’s charge is to review a plan against the City Ordinance. Mr. Schultz responded that the statement was really just an acknowledgement that there is an RCOC issue pending on this project. Member Sprague agreed with the gate, although he thought that it should be a condition imposed upon the adjacent landowner to the north. Mr. Schultz said that it is acceptable to have the stipulation imposed on this Applicant, but he said that the Traffic Consultant and the Fire Department should weigh in on the matter. The maker and seconder of the motion agreed. Member Sprague said that because he feels the façade material should be limited to 50% he would not be supporting the motion.
Member Cassis supported the motion. He approved of the façade and he understood that designing a bank is different from designing a standard building and that the Ordinance requirements should be updated to reflect that fact. He did not support the Applicant having to remove parking spaces to accommodate the UPS truck.
Member Cassis asked whether it would be considered a taking of this property if the RCOC refused this Applicant access onto Twelve Mile. Mr. Schultz responded that it was a difficult question to answer, but he expected the RCOC to review the plan and grant approval contingent upon the gated access or something else that is likely to be resolved administratively.
Member Cassis concurred with the Applicant’s position that the grade change on the property ranges from 896 to 904. Mr. Shipman said that the southerly contour is labeled 908, and the southwest curb is listed at 908, which indicates that the contour is flat. Mr. Shipman anticipates the Applicant providing the appropriate documentation to support their request.
Chair Kocan confirmed that the motion does not grant a landscaping or parking lot waiver (item 3 of the motion). Chair Kocan liked the plan but could not endorse the Section 9 Waiver, especially because the Applicant has agreed to modify his plan and there is no hardship.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CITIZENS BANK, SP 04-27, MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON, SECONDED BY MEMBER GAUL:
In the matter of the request of Marcos Makohon for Citizens Bank, SP04-27, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to: 1) The Applicant must receive positive approval from the ZBA for lack of the required loading zone, as the plan doesn't meet the Ordinance standards, and the loading zone might not be needed for the bank's purposes; 2) The Planning Commission granting a Section 9 Waiver, as the façade is consistent with the area, in accordance with Section 2520.2, and the building is considered aesthetically pleasing; 3) The landscaping and parking lot spaces complying with standards at the time of Final Site Plan submittal; 4) A Planning Commission Waiver of the berm along the southwest property line due to existing topography, and a Waiver of the requirement for the berm for the south property line if the Applicant can provide verification of grades along the south property line and prove that the plan meets the criteria (to be reviewed and approved administratively at the time of Final Site Plan Review); 5) The Applicant bringing forth a Traffic Study for review by the Traffic Consultant for the ingress and egress into the site and possible Twelve Mile Road driveway taper requirements, and these reviews will be handled administratively unless determined that it needs to be brought back to the Planning Commission; 6) Twelve Mile access must be approved by the RCOC; 7) A Gate will be placed on the north property line for emergency only secondary access, based upon the expected recommendation of the Traffic Consultant and Fire Marshal; 8) The parking spaces to be nineteen feet to meet the ADA requirements; and 9) The comments on the attached reviews being addressed at the time of Final Site Plan review; for the reason that it is consistent with the zoning for the area.
Motion carried 6-2 (Yes: Cassis, Gaul, Gutman, Lipski, Pehrson, Wrobel; No: Kocan, Sprague).
The Planning Commission took a break until 10:00 p.m.
3. CONTINUED DISCUSSION REGARDING REZONING STRATEGIES FOR TWELVE MILE ROAD PROPERTIES WITH PUBLIC INVITED
The Planning Commission held an open discussion regarding the possible rezoning of residentially-zoned properties (located south of Twelve Mile, north of I-96 and east of Beck Road) to an office classification. Many of these landowners were in attendance at this meeting. Chair Kocan said that although this was not a Public Hearing, it was an open discussion and that the audience was invited to participate.
Acting Director of Planning Barbara McBeth said that the Planning Commission discussed this issue regarding the properties on the south side of Twelve Mile, between the CSX railroad and the area just east of Beck Road on June 9, 2004. The Planning Commission and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee have already discussed this issue and the future development of the area. One property has already been rezoned from R-A to OST for medical offices. The Planning Commission has asked for input from the current property owners and more specifically, they would like to know what their opinions are on a self-initiated or City-initiated rezoning of the properties. The affected property owners were invited to this meeting. If a rezoning does come forward there will be a Public Hearing at the Planning Commission level prior to its going before the City Council.
Member Sprague read the correspondence into the record.
·Edward Bozian, Managing Partner, Marleon Associates, 46091 Twelve Mile, 8.41 acres: Approved of the City proceeding with an OST rezoning.
·Leo Yesayian, Executor, Mary Karagosian Trust, 45833 Twelve Mile: Approved of the City proceeding with an OST rezoning, provided there are no costs or obligations on behalf of the trust.
Chair Kocan opened the floor up for comment:
David Kahan, Taft and Twelve Mile. Approved of the rezoning. He said that in accordance with Proposition A his taxes would not be raised until such time as the property was developed, but he asked for confirmation of that fact.
Scott Marcus, representing the West Park Partners, LLC, owners of the 12.5 acres that has already been rezoned: Planning 100,000 square feet of office space, with groundbreaking within the next twelve months. He thanked the Planning Commission for looking into this issue. The parcels to his east and west are still residential, therefore his planning must include berms. This is a huge expense that will be unnecessary in the years ahead when those properties are no longer residential. He asked the Planning Commission to consider the traffic; he said the plan has been to put a traffic light in at West Park and Twelve Mile, which is right at his parcel. He said they would have a second curb cut to the east. Mr. Marcus said that the concept of a parallel road to Twelve Mile to accommodate the traffic and reduce the curb cuts works. While they don’t want to take all of the traffic onto their property, the concept makes sense. This will eat up some of their parking, so his request would be that he not be prohibited from having parking along one side of it. He also wants to ensure that there would not be unnecessary back-up at the traffic light.
Abel Ortner, representing 46675 Twelve Mile: Summarized the three main issues of the landowners. Will a rezoning have an immediate tax effect? What is the timing of this rezoning issue? (Ms. McBeth responded that the Traffic Study would take time, then the review time is about five weeks, then the Planning Commission holds the Public Hearing, then the City Council typically hears the request one month later.) Can the homes be lived in if an OST rezoning is granted?
Chair Kocan explained that the next step in this process is for the Planning Commission to make a recommendation to City Council regarding their position on this potential rezoning. The City Council will likely make it a topic for discussion on one of their Agendas. Mr. Schultz clarified that there would be a legitimate Public Hearing prior to an actual rezoning request going before City Council.
Mark Schafer, 51331 West Pontiac Trail: located the various parcels on the map for the Planning Commission’s benefit. He represented RSM in the rezoning that is already complete.
Ben Crabill, 19016 Sheldon Road, Northville: The owners of the site he represented would be in favor of the rezoning subject to their understanding and acceptance of the tax implications.
Vinay Gavini, 46735 and 46745 Twelve Mile, three acres: Rents these homes but supports an OST rezoning as long as it doesn’t adversely impact his taxes. He also wanted to ensure that he would not lose his ability to rent those homes until such time as the land is redeveloped.
Carl Follmer, 46695 Twelve Mile: Supported the rezoning but concerned about the taxes. This is a rental property so he doesn’t want to inhibit that cash flow.
Bob Bowman, Thompson Brown Realtors of Farmington Hills and Novi: Represented the properties whose owners’ letters were read into the record. He also represents Mr. McVeigh, the landowner of the ten acres near the freeway. He, too, is in favor of a City-initiated rezoning.
Chair Kocan said that a summary of the posed questions are: If the City initiates the rezoning, who pays for the Traffic Study? Can a road system be a stipulation of the rezoning? What are the tax implications to the non-conforming uses? What are the tax implications now as opposed to holding the rezoning off for a couple of years? What is the time frame?
Ms. McBeth said that a Traffic Study would be very important to this rezoning process. It would shed light on the need for an access road. It would be recommended along with an overall study of the area. If it was initiated by the City it would require financial assistance. The budget could be looked at but approval must come from above, so it would also be recommended to have City Council look at this issue and determine whether there is a policy in place to further the cause. In short, a decision has not yet been made regarding who would pay for the Traffic Study.
Ms. McBeth said that no rezoning request can be approved contingent on factors. This road concept would have to be part of an overall plan, perhaps the Master Plan. This area could be identified on the Land Use Map as an "Area for Special Study." There are already some recommendations for this area in the Master Plan update that is under review at this time. The Planning Department would recommend more detail be added to that section of the Master Plan, if the Planning Commission so chooses.
Planner Tim Schmitt is currently working on the Fiscal Analysis for the City. His understanding of Proposal A passed by Michigan in 1994 (and subsequently added to by the Headlee Amendment), is that property taxes can be increased by one of three ways: A complicated formula based on the rate of inflation or 5%; typically it is 2.5 – 3%. The taxes can go up to its current assessed value if the property is sold. The City can reassess a property at its full value if new construction begins on the site. Mr. Schmitt stated that although he is not the City Assessor, he did not see a way in which the property value would increase because of a change to its zoning classification. A formal response will be requested from the City Assessor at the time of the Public Hearing.
Chair Kocan asked whether taxes are affected by its zoning rather than by the way it is currently being used. City Attorney Tom Schultz responded that Mr. Schmitt was correct. He said that Michigan has a two-tier structure. The Assessed Value (true cash value) will go up when the zoning changes. Under Proposal A, the actual taxable value does not necessarily go up, and can go up only by the rate of inflation or 5%. The homeowners affected by this rezoning would receive a tax bill that would show a substantial increase to the Assessed Value of their property, but not the Taxable Value. When it is sold that Taxable Value will be uncapped and will increase. Mr. Schultz said that the uses would be existing nonconforming uses and would be allowed to continue until they were abandoned or the property is destroyed. It might be possible to be granted relief by the ZBA. Occasionally this is an issue. Mr. Schultz said that banks involved in refinancing nonconforming uses take note of nonconforming uses; sometimes it is an issue, sometimes it is not.
Ms. McBeth said that the section of the Ordinance pertaining to nonconforming uses is Appendix A, Section 2502. 2502.6 describes repairs and maintenance. If the cost of those repairs is in excess of 50% of the Assessed Value those repairs may not be allowed.
Mr. Schultz said that the underlying contemplation associated with a rezoning is that the use will eventually change, and within a not-too-distant timeframe.
Chair Kocan asked how the Traffic Study would be performed. Would be based on the area as a whole or based on the individual pieces of property? Ms. McBeth replied that a smaller piece may not require a traffic study, but an assemblage of properties of a certain magnitude would. In this case, because the Planning Commission is interested in the concept of a service drive, a Traffic Study would be of benefit to the City. A Traffic Study of the entire area would be beneficial.
Chair Kocan asked if the homeowners could collectively participate in a Traffic Study. She also asked if there were any other requirements for which the homeowners would be responsible. Ms. McBeth said there is an application and a fee associated with a rezoning. The fee is a flat amount plus an ascending scale based on acreage. The homeowners would be responsible for this as well as for collecting all the signatures and providing proof of ownership.
Member Sprague noted that 2502.6 states that the repairs cannot exceed 50% of the Assessed Value. Since the Assessed Value would, in this case, be increased, there is a tremendous amount of leeway for repair. Mr. Schultz responded that when the Ordinance was written, there was a different understanding of "Assessed Value" in Michigan. Technically, he said, Member Sprague was correct. The concept that the Ordinance is trying to convey is that prolonging the life of a nonconforming structure is not encouraged.
Member Sprague asked what exactly the City’s rezoning fee structure is. He also asked how much a Traffic Study might cost. Ms. McBeth replied that the cost of a Traffic Study depends on whether there is existing data from which to build, if the Study is conducted by someone familiar with the area, and other variables.
Mark Schafer, a member of the audience, told the Planning Commission that when they rezoned the twelve acres, the Traffic Study was in the neighborhood of $2,500 for the ten acre piece, and there was no additional cost when the site was modified to twelve acres. Member Sprague noted that if the area was rezoned piece-meal, there may be more than one landowner who would have to pay $2,500.
Member Sprague asked what mechanism could be put in place to ensure the traffic flow associated with the future development of these parcels. Mr. Schultz responded that Member Sprague just asked the hardest question. Ensuring that is hard even when everyone is on board, even more so if there’s disagreement among the landowners. He concurred with Ms. McBeth that at a minimum, an Amendment to the Master Plan should be made that indicates what the preferred traffic pattern would be for this area.
Mr. Schultz said that some of the examples of services drives cited at this meeting (Orchard Lake Road, for example) were mandated by older Ordinances that were not restricted by issues like taking of a property and substantive due process and the like. Today, communities have to look at these issues more closely. He said that some things that were done in the 60s and 70s could be challenged, even with their acknowledgement in a Master Plan. Having said that, Mr. Schultz said that the group of people affected by this rezoning discussion seems to be in agreement, and the job of planning for the future is made easier if they are the proponent of this rezoning. As part of their bringing forward the zoning amendment and the Master Plan amendment, a conversation can be held between the landowners and City, and a recordable agreement can be made regarding the future traffic layout. It’s easier to say, but potentially difficult to accomplish. It is absolutely worth discussing. It is not impossible to accomplish. In short, it would be easiest if the landowners banded together and came forward.
Member Sprague asked whether the City could assist the landowners by paying for the Traffic Study. He thought it sounded like the landowners are concerned about the cost issues. From the City’s standpoint, Member Sprague would support finding $3,500 in the budget to make this Traffic Study happen because it will benefit the City in the long run. He can understand the landowners’ position that the Study benefits the City and so why should the landowners have to pay for it.
Leaving aside the issue of money, Mr. Schultz said that it is typical for a Planning Commission to come forward and ask for City-sponsored studies. Sometimes the City has to take responsibility for costs that will, in the long run, be of benefit to the community as a whole. If the Planning Commission makes the request, the Planning Department, the Finance Department and the City Council will look for ways to make it happen. He said that the Planning Commission should make recommendations on issues based on their planning perspective.
Member Gaul took the opposing view. He said that property owners should take responsibility for their own rezoning. He said that instances of road paving or utility infrastructure, if 51% of the affected owners vote in favor of the shared cost, the other 49% are obligated to join in. He thought that this process could be applied to the rezoning process as well. Ultimately, those landowners will realize a benefit from a rezoning. Their property will be more valuable. He said there is room for a win-win situation.
Member Cassis thought that this rezoning would be great for those landowners. The berms are an example of how they will benefit from a group rezoning. There are other costs associated with a rezoning as well. The City Attorney must be paid for drafting the legal documents. Time and effort must be afforded to working with the landowners on a future plan. But in the long run, it is a win-win situation.
Member Cassis asked whether there were specific rules relating to land zoned for industrial. Mr. Schultz said that there are some rules for industrial land, but he saw the character of this potential rezoning request as more office in nature.
Member Cassis was in favor of the City moving forward, with the blessing of City Council.
Member Pehrson wondered whether the Implementation Committee should consider an office-type zoning that would be specific to medical uses. He was concerned about the comment made that a future access road might inhibit the parking capacity of the already rezoned property. Ms. McBeth responded that the OST district encompasses the OS-1 and OS-2. The question of parking is not related to any one district, but the use of the building. Regardless of the zoning, a medical use requires more parking than a general office or technology building.
Member Pehrson asked whether these parcels would routinely have parking deficiencies if a road system was a requirement of the site. Mr. Schultz replied that if the road becomes the driving force in laying out these parcels, a mechanism must be designed that would facilitate that plan. It would have to be in addition to the information contained in the Master Plan. It could be something like the PRO (Planned Rezoning Overlay) or a separate overlay district specific to this area. An Applicant can get certain types of relief from signing a PRO contract for the road. It may be difficult to get everybody’s signature on a PRO contract. The City can design a district like the Gateway East, which basically provides the developer with certain benefits if the land is developed in accordance with what the City envisions for the area. With what appears to be a lot of support, it won’t be as difficult to find the right mechanism to make the road system a reality. It will likely be a mechanism that relaxes some of the Ordinance standards.
Member Pehrson asked what is perceived to be the County’s position on this concept. Mr. Schultz responded that if the road was shown as part of the Master Plan when it was sent to Oakland County for their review, then the County is now obligated to comment on the road under the new planning statutes. Their comments will shed light on their initial reaction to the concept. The Road Commission should be brought into the loop, and the plan should be designed according to their standards.
Chair Kocan said that she considered the cost to the City for initiating the rezoning and paying for the Traffic Study and expending the time on developing a Planned Rezoning Overlay should be a negotiating factor between the City and the landowners. The City’s funding can help drive the stipulations found in the PRO. She did not think that it behooves the City to rezone the property without the service road being part of the process. There is absolutely no benefit to the City if everyone has a curb cut onto Twelve Mile.
Chair Kocan suggested that the Planning Department bring back the actual costs associated with this rezoning process. A time study should describe what everyone’s role in the process will be: Implementation Committee, Planning Department, Master Plan and Zoning Committee, consultants, etc. A dollar value should be determined for this input. This City Council will then have a better understanding of the rezoning to determine whether the City should move forward with its initiation or they should encourage it of the landowners.
Chair Kocan asked if the only benefit of a joint petition coming forward was that the landowners would pay for the Traffic Study. Mr. Schmitt explained that the rezoning known as "The Bond Rezoning" was a joint effort and the costs were shared based on the percentage of land owned by each of the three petitioners.
Chair Kocan said that it would be fair to the landowners to ask them how they feel about the road system stipulation being part of the Planned Rezoning Overlay process.
Scott Marcus, a member of the audience, said the property he is representing is already rezoned. He asked whether any combination of the affected landowners could come forward with a rezoning request. Could they join together to provide one Traffic Study? He noted that in reality, some of the landowners are far closer to wanting their properties rezoned than some of the others. If the landowners put together their own rezoning request there wouldn’t be a need for a Planned Rezoning Overlay, but it would still be a win-win situation because of the time saved on the City’s part. Ms. McBeth concurred that a joint application would be welcomed by the City.
Member Pehrson said that information regarding the financial impact should be given to the Planning Commission prior to its making a recommendation to the City Council. The Planning Commission should understand the costs involved in a rezoning and its tax implications. The costs would include the Traffic Study and a value representing man hours.
Member Sprague agreed. He said that the City needn’t rush this project through because he thought the landowners should be given two or three months to discuss this amongst themselves to determine what support is out there. Ultimately, the City’s position is that the property should be zoned and planned for appropriately.
Chair Kocan confirmed that the Master Plan already shows the area planned for office. Mr. Schultz commented that if the road was the driving issue, which it seems to be, it needs to be worked into the current proposed new Master Plan. Chair Kocan noted that Oakland County is reviewing the Master Plan on August 10. The plan will come back to the Planning Commission in late August.
Mr. Schultz said that planning for a road did not require the City Council. The Master Plan is the property of the Planning Commission, who could easily amend the Master Plan to show the area as a "Special Planning Area" when the plan returns. Chair Kocan restated that the Planning Commission should consider this option when the Public Hearing is held on the Master Plan in late August or September.
Ms. McBeth offered to bring back the information requested by the Planning Commission. She will also have Mr. Schultz identify any other issues that may also be pending that relate to this rezoning.
Member Cassis thought that tonight’s discussion with the invited landowners was akin to inviting them to lunch and then asking them to pick up the bill. He asked what the real purpose was. When statements are made that the City is considering initiating the rezoning, one can presume that means they will also pick up the tab. These landowners came here thinking that was the purpose of the discussion. They don’t want their taxes increased. They want the City to do the Traffic Study. They want the City to do the rezoning. Is it the wish of this Planning Commission that the City pay for everything or is it the wish of this Commission to recommend that these owners join forces and bring the rezoning request in for themselves.
Member Sprague said that the costs need to be determined before the
Planning Commission can answer that. Member Cassis said that it didn’t seem
like that was what he was hearing the Commission say. He felt that the
Planning Commission was suggesting that the landowners do this rezoning on
their own. Chair Kocan said that the position has always been that the
Planning Commission wanted to see the costs involved before they made a
recommendation. Chair Kocan did think that it was the responsibility of the
landowners to come forward with their own request,
Member Pehrson did not think that the landowners were misled. The topic found on the Agenda was "Continued Discussion Regarding Rezoning Strategies." Chair Kocan read the letter aloud that was mailed to the landowners and concurred with Member Pehrson. She did think that better financial information could have been made available for this meeting.
Chair Kocan thanked the property owners for coming to the meeting. She said that at a future meeting the Planning Commission will determine what their recommendation on this issue will be.
4. REVISION TO PLANNING COMMISSION BYLAWS AND RULES OF PROCEDURE
Planner Tim Schmitt said that the Planning Commission had been given a clean version and a red-line version of the Bylaws and Rules. If the Planning Commission approves the new document it would go into effect at the next meeting.
New changes include:
2.1.c and 2.4.c: "Previous, non-consecutive service on the Planning Commission shall be considered when determining length of service" was added.
3.10: "as governed by the most recent version of "Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised" was removed.
Chair Kocan proposed:
3.12.a: Adding the word "Chairperson" after the words "Planning Commission" in the first sentence, because the role of making this decision would actually fall to the Chairperson.
3.12.c: Changing the word "shall" to "should" to minimize the possibility of the Planning Commission having too long of meetings.
Signatures: Changing the names to reflect the new Officers.
Moved by Member Gaul, seconded by Member Cassis:
Motion to approve revisions to the Planning Commission Bylaws and Rules of Procedure as shown, with these amendments made at the table: 1) 3.12.a – Adding the word "Chairperson"; and 2) 3.12.c changing the word "shall" to "should."
Member Pehrson proposed:
2.3.a.1: Removing the words "unless absent or otherwise unavailable." The maker and seconder of the motion agreed.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON THE BYLAWS AND RULES OF PROCEDURE MOTION MADE BY MEMBER GAUL AND SECONDED BY MEMBER CASSIS:
Motion to approve revisions to the Planning Commission Bylaws and Rules of Procedure as shown, with these amendments made at the table: 1) 2.3.1.a – Removing the words "unless absent or otherwise unavailable"; 2) 3.12.a – Adding the word "Chairperson"; and 3) 3.12.c changing the word "shall" to "should."
Motion carried 8-0.
5. PLANNING COMMISSION COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Chair Kocan thanked the Planning Commission members for turning in their Committee sheets.
The Planning Commission Committee appointments are as follows:
Implementation Committee: Members Avdoulos, Cassis, Kocan, Pehrson
Master Plan and Zoning Committee: Members Avdoulos, Cassis, Gutman, Sprague
Budget Committee: Members Gutman, Lipski, Sprague, Pehrson
CIP Committee: Members Sprague, Pehrson, Gutman (Alternate)
Environmental Committee: Members Sprague, Lipski, Wrobel
Communication and Community Liaison: Members Gaul, Wrobel, Lipski
Rules Committee: Members Cassis, Kocan, Avdoulos
Main Street Committee: Members Gaul, Wrobel
Planner Tim Schmitt said that the Implementation Committee will be reviewing the Sign Ordinance at their next meeting, which is scheduled for August 16, 2004.
Mr. Schmitt said that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee will be meeting August 4, 2004 to discuss four projects that are seeking input from the City prior to moving forward
Acting Planning Director Barbara McBeth said that she would be attending the Master Plan review by Oakland County on August 10, 2004. Chair Kocan asked that Ms. McBeth send each of the Planning Commission members a letter with date and time information regarding this review.
Chair Kocan said that each of the Committees should meet within the next few months to name a Chairperson, determine goals and schedules.
6. SET PUBLIC HEARING FOR POSSIBLE ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENTS RELATING TO PERFORMANCE GUARANTEES
Acting Director Barbara McBeth said that a City Council Ad Hoc Committee has been meeting to develop a new section for the Code that will put all Performance Guarantees in the same place. City Council has since had their first reading on July 26, 2004 for adding this section to the Code. The Planning Commission is charged with holding a Public Hearing because of the various changes, i.e., adding references throughout the Zoning Ordinance, that will be made. Ms. McBeth requested that the Planning Commission hold this Public Hearing on August 11, 2004 for the Zoning Ordinance text amendments relating to Performance Guarantees.
City Attorney Tom Schultz said that most of the Performance Guarantees are in the Zoning Ordinance now. Some are very old. Most relate to the issuance of Temporary Certificates of Occupancy. There are others that are spread throughout the City Code. The idea is to assemble all of this information, including what is currently in the Zoning Ordinance, and putting it in one place. Essentially, this means that the bulk of Section 3004 will be moved to Chapter 38 and so referenced in Section 3004. Wherever Performance Guarantees are referenced in the Ordinance, the language will be updated to reflect Chapter 38.
Chair Kocan asked whether she could offer input regarding Chapter 38. Mr. Schultz responded affirmatively.
Chair Kocan asked why 904.h.4 read "may" instead of "shall." She said the language was vague. Mr. Schultz explained that this section refers to Special Development Options and perhaps the word "additional" could be inserted, as the point of this section is that there may be more guarantees required than just the standard guarantees from developers choosing to develop under the SDO.
Chair Kocan noted that "Chapter 28" should be "Chapter 38" on page 5.
Chair Kocan preferred to see red-line versions, but Mr. Schultz said that in this case, there was too much information changing and therefore red-line versions would have been too cumbersome.
Chair Kocan confirmed with Mr. Schultz that "Performance Guarantees" also included Maintenance and Defect Guarantees.
Moved by Member Lipski, seconded by Member Cassis:
Motion to set a Public Hearing for August 11, 2004 for a possible Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment relating to Performance Guarantees.
Motion carried 8-0.
7. APPROVAL OF JULY 14, 2004 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission turned in their corrections for incorporation into the minutes.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Sprague:
Motion to approve the minutes of July 14, 2004 as amended.
Motion carried 8-0.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There were no Consent Agenda Removals.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
There were no Matters for Discussion
New Agenda Item: Chair Kocan noted that under the new Bylaws and Rules of Procedure, there is a new Agenda item called "Supplemental Issues."
Banks and Loading Areas: Chair Kocan said that Member Sprague had suggested that the item of "Banks and Loading Areas" be sent to the Implementation Committee from the Planning Commission. City Attorney Tom Schultz said that informal direction (without a Planning Commission vote) is appropriate for a matter of this kind.
Twelve Mile Rezoning: Member Cassis said that he had been processing the Twelve Mile Rezoning discussion and wondered whether the minutes of these discussions should be forwarded to City Council for direction now. Chair Kocan thought that it would be prudent to have financial information included in the information sent to the City Council, but Member Cassis suggested that City Council was astute and would have a general understanding of the amount of money involved in such an undertaking. Member Pehrson was concerned that the information would not be complete and would not be given the attention it deserves. Chair Kocan suggested that a summary sheet be compiled that provides the City Council with the pertinent information. Member Sprague suggested that this information can go to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee for review. Ms. McBeth said the Committee could review this information at their meeting after August 4, 2004. Member Cassis suggested that the affected property owners be informed of this procedure. Member Sprague reiterated that those landowners deserve some time to discuss this issue amongst themselves.
There were no Special Reports.
Wayne Hogan, Novi: Said that the ADA states that handicapped parking spaces must be a minimum (not a maximum) of eight feet wide. There are safety, common sense and responsibility issues regarding parking space design. A van cannot be expected to back into a space in order to make use of an access aisle that has been placed on the wrong side. He said that a ramp that extends from a van adds eight feet to its length, and the point of requesting longer parking spaces is that these patrons should be able to stay within the boundaries of their parking space when entering and exiting their vehicles. Mr. Hogan said that his goal is to bring the ADA up to date for the 56 million disabled Americans.
Moved by Member Gaul, seconded by Member Pehrson:
Motion to adjourn.
The meeting adjourned at 12:08 a.m.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
MON 07/26/04 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:30 PM
WED 07/28/04 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
WED 08/04/04 MASTER PLAN & ZONING 6:30 PM
MON 08/09/04 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:30 PM
TUE 08/10/04 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
WED 08/11/04 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 08/16/04 IMPLEMENTATION MEETING 6:00 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, August 3, 2004 Signature on file
Date Approved: August 11, 2004 Donna Jernigan, Planning Assistant Date