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45175 W. TEN MILE, NOVI, MI 48375
(248) 347-0475


The meeting was called to order at or about 7:30 p.m.


Present: Members John Avdoulos, Victor Cassis, Lynn Kocan, David Lipski, Mark Pehrson, Lowell Sprague, Wayne Wrobel

Absent: Members Andrew Gutman (excused), Richard Gaul (excused)

Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Tim Schmitt, Planner; Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect; Tom Schultz, City Attorney


The attendees of the meeting recited the Pledge of Allegiance.


Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Sprague:

Motion to approve the Agenda of September 22, 2004.

Motion carried 7-0.


No one from the audience wished to speak.


There was no correspondence to share.


Chair Kocan said that the Implementation Committee will meet on Monday, September 27, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss land banking parking allowances and Special Land Use language for uses not listed in the Zoning Ordinance.


Director of Planning Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission that on September 13, 2004 City Council approved the Boulder Design Rezoning request from R-A to OS-1 (Twelve Mile between Novi Road and Dixon Road). City Council approved Phase II of the Final Plat for Tollgate Woods subdivision located on the west side Meadowbrook Road between Twelve Mile and Thirteen Mile. City Council approved the second reading of the text amendment relating to performance guarantees.

On September 27, 2004 City Council will consider the draft copy of the Master Plan. Teir Their input will be brought forward to the Public Hearing which will be held by the Planning Commission, likely on October 27, 2004. City Council will consider the Knightsbridge Gate development for the Paragon property, a single family development of 353 homes on 74 acres (the southeast corner of Napier Road and Twelve Mile).


There was no Consent Agenda.



The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Ivanhoe-Huntley for recommendation to City Council for approval of a Planned Rezoning Overlay in conjunction with Rezoning request 18.633. The subject property is located in Section 11 on the north side of Twelve Mile between Novi and Meadowbrook roads on in the OS-1 (Office Service District) and R-A (Residential Acreage District). The subject property is approximately 9.720 acres. The Applicant is proposing 64 units consisting of eight buildings with eight 2-bedroom units in each building.

Moved by Member Cassis, seconded by Member Sprague:

Motion to recuse David Lipski from the review of Wellington Ridge Condominiums PRO.


City Attorney Tom Schultz asked that the record reflect that the basis for the recusal is that Member Lipski’s employing law firm represents the proposed developer and possibly the underlying property owner. That is an appropriate basis for a recusal.


Motion to recuse David Lipski from the review of Wellington Ridge Condominiums PRO.

Motion carried 6-0.

The Wellington Ridge Condominiums PRO is the first PRO site plan that has been submitted to the City. Planner Tim Schmitt located the property on an aerial map. It is currently zoned OS-1 (along Twelve Mile) and R-A to the north. It is master planned for office in the "front" and cemetery in the "rear". This property has not been split from the cemetery, similar to the Eldridge Rezoning request brought before the Planning Commission earlier this year. To the west of the subject property is the Oakland Hills Memorial Garden (zoned R-4 and master planned for cemetery), to the east is the Michigan State University Tollgate Educational Facility/Americana Foundation property (zoned R-A and master planned as the MSU Tollgate Center). To the south is Twelve Mile and Twelve Oaks Mall (zoned and master planned for regional center development), and to the north are more of Oakland Hills Memorial Garden, and eventually the Vista Hills subdivision (zoned R-4 and master planned for single family residential). There are two other OS-1 parcels along Twelve Mile.


This plan has transformed from the Ivanhoe-Huntley Rezoning request heard by the Planning Commission on February 25, 2004. At that time the Planning Commission voted to send a negative recommendation to City Council on the straight RM-1 zoning. The Applicant spoke with the Planning Department and subsequently waited for the PRO Ordinance to be in place before pursuing this project. Now, this plan will follow a two-part process. First, the Applicant has submitted the PRO Concept Plan and Agreement. (The Planning Commission has already heard the rezoning request. The land use issue has been discussed previously.) Tonight the Commission will review the Concept Plan and forward a recommendation to City Council if they so choose. City Council will ultimately authorize the approval of an agreement between the Applicant and the City, much like the former Development Agreement process. The City Council will also approve the Concept Plan as the basis for future development. The second step of the process will require the Applicant to continue through the site plan review process. This process allows the Applicant to get an idea whether his project will gain approval before he spends a significant amount on engineering and other costs.

The Planning Department has expressed a negative recommendation for the land use, which was discussed at length before.

Mr. Schmitt explained that under the PRO, an Applicant is required to submit a Concept Plan indicating the location, size, height of buildings, and general bulk items with respect to development on the site. They must specify a maximum density for the site. In this case, the Applicant has suggested a maximum density of 64 dwelling units on the site; the maximum density with an 80/20 mix (two bedroom/one bedroom) would be 78 units. Preservation of the natural features and open space must be described. The stormwater management and detention must be described and must indicate that the capacity for the site exists. Traffic issues and the impact on surrounding developments must be described. Signage, landscaping, lighting and building materials may also be described. This Applicant has given some preliminary information on their building materials.

The Applicant must also submit in writing a list of items that they will agree to, such as the limiting of the density, preservation, etc. The plan is reviewed by the Planning Commission for recommendation to City Council. It will be the responsibility of City Council to make findings that: 1) Under the State Enabling Legislation, the project meets the criteria of a Special Land Use (this comes from the old PUD language); 2) According to Section 3402.d.2 of the Zoning Ordinance, the integration of the proposed land development and the characteristics of the area will result in an enhancement of the project area as opposed to the existing zoning, and such enhancement would not be likely to be achieved or assured absent a Planned Rezoning Overlay; and 3) Specific conditions must be placed on the PRO Plan and Agreement, and City Council, in their discretion, can conclude that compared to the existing zoning and considering the specific land use proposed by the Applicant, it would be in the public interest to grant the PRO. In other words, would it clearly outweigh reasonably foreseeable detriments, taking into account reasonably accepted planning, engineering, environmental and other principals, as well the general knowledge held by the Planning Commission and the City Council? Mr. Schmitt also said that the Planning Commission and City Council need to determine whether this plan brings something to the City that cannot be achieved through straight RM-1 zoning.

Mr. Schmitt gave the example of Deeridge Condos behind Brightmoor Church as a plan that went through the Development Agreement process but would have benefited from the PRO process. He said that the Planning Commission should take note of the review letters. There is no detailed engineering or landscaping.

There are dense woodlands along the far eastern edge of the property, contiguous with the large stand of trees on the MSU property. This proposal will preserve a portion of those woodlands, most specifically within the setback area. The Woodland Consultant has indicated that there are some design issues that should be looked at in order to preserve some additional trees.

There are no wetlands on the site. The Applicant will be asked to confirm this at the time of formal site plan submittal.

The Engineering Review and Fire Department Review have both indicated two substantial problems that would require Design and Construction Standards variances. The first is that the length of the cul-de-sac exceeds 800 feet. Outside of the R-A district, a plan is limited to an 800-foot cul-de-sac. This plan proposes an approximate 1,115-foot cul-de-sac. The Fire Marshal added that the secondary access as currently proposed is not acceptable from the standpoint of Fire Department standards. The roads in the cemetery are not designed to carry fire equipment. It should be noted that the cemetery is the only option for secondary access. The City will have to take a hard look at what to do in this case. To the east is vacant pristine land and the only other opportunity to the west is very close to Twelve Mile at the other office buildings and access from there will not serve the purpose of the Ordinance.

Mr. Schmitt reiterated that the density has been proposed at 64 dwelling units (versus 78 units with RM-1). Previous plans proposed as many as 96 units. The plan proposes buildings that are parallel or close to parallel with the exterior property lines. There is a requirement that buildings be oriented at a 45-degree angle. Given the narrowness of the site and past history, said orientation would be difficult. The distance between buildings must be a minimum of eighty feet based on the proposed length and height of the buildings; the plan proposes between thirty and sixty feet of separation.

The cul-de-sac length is a problem. There are limited secondary access options.

Mr. Schmitt stated that Section 2514 (Supplementary Standards for Road and Parking Lot Design), which was formerly known as the Interim Road Policy, anticipated that developments would have loop roads, with parking not directly accessing a main drive throughout the site. The City has noticed that with multiple family developments, backing out onto the main drive was widely accepted in the past. Whether it will be allowed on this site must be discussed. This plan currently has parking that backs out directly onto the main drive.

There are no property boundaries from the cemetery site. This plan was reviewed based on what has been presented. When the property is ultimately split (which the Planning Department would like to see done in the near future), changes could occur based on the actual boundary lines.

Chair Kocan asked for clarification on Mr. Schmitt’s comments about the Planning Commission’s role in making a recommendation on this PRO. Mr. Schmitt replied that the Planning Commission has already given a negative recommendation on the rezoning request, so the recommendation this evening is for the Planning Commission to send their recommendation of the Concept Plan and Agreement. He said that reconsideration of the negative recommendation on the rezoning is another matter. He said that in the future these plans will likely be brought forward at the same time as the rezoning and the recommendation will be for both.

Brad Straiter, LSL Planning, Royal Oak, represented the Applicant. Mr. Straiter works with many communities throughout Michigan and is author of several Michigan Municipal League handbooks. He said that there was a split Planning Commission vote on the rezoning issue back in February. Some members remarked that they liked aspects of the plan but the request for straight RM-1 zoning without a guarantee of what was to be built was difficult to endorse. Therefore, the Applicant waited for the PRO to be in place before returning to the City with their request. They also revised their plan with suggestions made by the Planning Commission.

Some changes in their plan include reducing the density from 96 to 64. The buildings were once straight to the property lines; now the smaller buildings (eight units versus ten) meander along the road. There are three unit designs – ranches on the end and 1½ story units in the center. This is a superior plan that still preserves the woodlands.

Mr. Straiter said that with the uncertainty of what will become of the Tollgate property to the east, this proposed land use gives the City flexibility in master planning the Tollgate piece. Options for this site include single family, office and multiple family. Split zoning can also be considered. If Tollgate does not remain single family, this piece would stick out as single family. This is not a good site for single family because it would be too isolated and would have marketability problems. Office on this site could limit the City’s ability to keep the Tollgate property as residential. Therefore, multiple family gives the most flexibility as a transitional use, from the commercial on the south side of Twelve Mile and a cemetery to the west. It can transition to single family, mixed use, multiple family or office. It is a good neighbor for all those uses.

Mr. Straiter said that they considered all the options for this property. Split zoning with a mixture of office and multiple does not work. There isn’t enough land to provide enough of either to make the design practical. The configuration of the parcel does not lend itself to office. Offices aren’t typically built next to a cemetery. One Planning Commission member previously remarked that residential does not belong next to a cemetery either; but that is the most common neighbor of a cemetery. It is a quiet neighbor. It is an attractive vista for residential. For whatever reason, cemetery-adjacent land does not attract office uses but is complementary to residential.

Mr. Straiter said that multiple family is a good transitional use for the more intense use across Twelve Mile, and a gradual transition to the less-intense uses to the north. He disagreed with the Planning Department’s stance that this is a spot zone, which he described as a small piece of land whose property owner is given a special benefit not available to others: Commercial in the middle of an agricultural area, or commercial in the middle of a single-family area. A transitional use is not a spot zone. He cited the existing office use as more of a spot zone than what he is proposing.

Mr. Straiter said that another advantage to this proposal is the traffic issue. While one could argue the amount of traffic that either office or single family would generate, he said the owner-occupied condominiums will have significantly less traffic than office, and less traffic than the current zoning. Whether it is 66% or 70% of the traffic, it is less traffic than what the other scenarios would create on a daily basis, especially during peak traffic hours.

Mr. Straiter said the benefit of the PRO is that the City is assured of what will be built. It also allows the Applicant some flexibility in designing this otherwise (narrow) difficult piece of land. The proposal seeks relief from the 45% building angle requirement so as to preserve the woodland area.

Mr. Straiter discussed the issue of allowing no parking that backs out into a major drive. His interpretation of the Ordinance is such that a development that has a series of drives has both major and minor drives, and parking should not back out into a major drive. In this case, there is but one drive, and even if this were part of a larger development this drive would be considered minor. He said the intent of this Ordinance is to prevent parking in a development – commercial or otherwise – where backing out from a parking space into a major drive could be a traffic safety issue. In this case, these are driveways (not parking spaces) that lead to garages. This is similar to driveways in a subdivision.

Mr. Straiter addressed the secondary means of access. The Applicant said the narrowness of the site makes this requirement difficult to obtain. They want to work with the Staff on finding a solution. He thought it was a good observation by the Fire Marshal, that the cemetery roads may not be able to accommodate the weight of a fire truck. Two other options might be to extend the median from Twelve Mile so that the cul-de-sac would only be 800 feet and two means of access would be provided (either side of the median), or the drive could be connected to another area. The drive would have to be widened and looped with a fire lane. This is not necessarily an aesthetically pleasing option.

Mr. Straiter agreed with Mr. Schmitt that the PRO process is meant to tie the zoning to the site plan, with acknowledgement that there are details that need to be worked out. These would be owner-occupied units with façades consistent with the renderings provided. Whatever conditions the Planning Commission chooses to impose, the Applicant will come back with those items on the next plan submittal.

Mr. Straiter showed a rendering of the elevations. The four units in the middle ("c" type) are surrounded by ranch units. These designs are for a particular lifestyle and will attract homeowners who want to downsize or older adults who want a ranch unit. The architecture is interesting. Mr. Straiter concluded his comments and noted that Paul Knuth from Ivanhoe-Huntley was also present.

Member Sprague read correspondence into the record:

Marilyn W. Conner, 42984 Sandstone Drive: Objected for traffic reasons.

Edward Lee, 43094 Sandstone Drive: Objected for noise, traffic and crime reasons. He said that it would degrade the quality of life.

Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing after determining no one from the audience wished to speak.

Member Cassis stated that he previously supported the concept for this property. He asked Mr. Straiter if there was an explanation for why there were two parcels, and asked if the split from the cemetery was properly deeded. Mr. Allen Greene, the Applicant’s attorney, responded that he represents Ivanhoe-Huntley in the matter. His understanding was this was excess land that was never part of the cemetery. Mr. Eldridge retained ownership of this land. The deeds and titles are proper. As a condition of this sale, the property does have to be formally split.

Member Cassis asked why the split hasn’t occurred to date. Mr. Greene did not have that answer. As a representative of Ivanhoe-Huntley in the matter, he is not in position to have that answer; his role is to assure that the split occurs prior to the sale taking place. There are no impediments, e.g., setback issues, that would disrupt the split from proceeding. He said that none of the issues from the corner rezoning, e.g., whether this land is part of the cemetery plat, apply on this parcel. Chair Kocan asked for clarification.

City Attorney Tom Schultz said that he agreed with much of what Mr. Greene has said. There is some overlap of the issues. It does not appear, from the City Attorney’s review of the Oakland County plat records, that this piece of land is part of the cemetery plat. What is similar to the corner rezoning is the fact that there is some kind of use of the property as an egress to some other area of the cemetery where there are burial grounds. Another similarity is the fact that the land is part of the overall cemetery sidwell and has therefore been tax-exempt. A letter from Attorney David Gillam was placed in the Planning Commission packet regarding these issues.

Mr. Schultz said that these issues were not raised during the February rezoning Public Hearing because they didn’t really come to light until the corner rezoning came forward. He said it was worth noting that City Council will tentatively consider the corner rezoning at the October 4, 2004 meeting. Hopefully the City Council will provide guidance on the redevelopment of what may have been platted cemetery land, or tax-exempt cemetery property. For that reason, Mr. Gillam suggested in his letter that it might be appropriate for the Planning Commission to wait and see what happens at the October 4th City Council meeting, when City Council discusses what to do with the tax-exempt status of these pieces of land, which was based on their "cemetery overlay" appearance.

Mr. Schultz agreed that all of the issues with this parcel are not the same as the corner piece of land. The question that remains is how the City is going to deal with the development of any or all of the splits from the cemetery. He did not think those answers could be forthcoming at this evening’s meeting.

Member Cassis asked how long it takes to complete a land split. Mr. Schultz replied that it is an administrative process in Novi. The Applicant submits his application to the City Assessor, who checks with the Planning Department and Building Department regarding pending issues. It is not a lengthy process, unless there is a problem with a proposal, e.g., it doesn’t meet a setback or an area requirement.

Member Cassis thought there should have been enough time between February and this meeting for the Applicant to have split this parcel. He asked if the Applicant would be satisfied with postponing this consideration until the land split issue has been addressed. Mr. Straiter responded that he thought that a rezoning could not have conditions, but that the lot split requirement could be a stipulation in the motion for the recommendation of the PRO. Mr. Schultz replied that that would be an option of the Planning Commission to recommend that as a stipulation of the final approval. If the Planning Commission determined they liked this concept, and as long as everything else was legal, they could recommend approval to City Council contingent on the legalities and lot split. If the Planning Commission wants to find out more about whether the cemetery is going to be dealt with, they can postpone this consideration until after City Council determines how to deal with these issues.

Member Cassis asked how making a decision on this proposal now would reflect upon the Planning Commission, as it would imply that the process could move forward on this parcel even though they’ve previously determined that the process could not move forward on the corner property. Mr. Schultz said that was a fair comment, and the City Attorney’s recommendation is to postpone this consideration until after City Council deals with the issues. He was not suggesting that the Planning Commission cease their review of the project in terms of layout, use, etc.

Member Pehrson agreed. He said that the Applicant has met the intent of the PRO, which is to submit a plan and work with the City on the various issues expected to arise from developing a parcel with a challenging shape. He thought the developer did a great job, but at this point in time he was not in favor of moving the process forward.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Cassis:

Motion to postpone the request of Ivanhoe-Huntley for Wellington Ridge Condominiums PRO,

SP04-33, until the Planning Commission has additional information from City Council relative to the cemetery.


Member Sprague told the Planning Commission that he had another piece of correspondence to share regarding this request. This e-mail referred to a zoning change request and he misinterpreted to which Public Hearing the writer was responding:

Donald and Patricia Goshorn, 28707 Stonewall Court, Novi: Objected because of the destruction to the woodlands. The subject property abuts their property.

Member Sprague agreed that the Planning Commission should wait for more information and direction. He was concerned whether this property is the right size for this project. He said that Ivanhoe-Huntley is a good builder. He said the parcel is tough, but it can be the right transitional piece. What is allowed on this parcel sets the stage for the property to the east. He would like whatever plan that is approved for this parcel to mitigate the potential for a future density problem on the Tollgate property.

Member Sprague was concerned about the safety because of the long cul-de-sac and the lack of secondary access. He thought too many units were being placed on the land. His recollection was that the Planning Commission’s opinion in February was too high of density. Even with the proposed 64 units, this lowered density is far more than the current zoning density of ten. He felt the design was cramped.

Member Sprague was curious about the Applicant’s explanation of changing the median to achieve the appropriate length for the cul-de-sac. Mr. Schmitt cited Churchill Crossing as a development that has a boulevard entry; City Council approved this design as achieving the two access points requirement. Ultimately it would be City Council’s decision. Mr. Schmitt explained by extending the island further up the road, the lanes would not be interrupted, but it would not change the cul-de-sac length, which is measured at the intersection of the two roads. The extended island would mitigate some of the secondary access issues. The cul-de-sac issue can be addressed by moving the bulb to the measurement of 800 feet.

Member Sprague asked about the loop road comment. Mr. Schmitt responded that the Planning Department’s best guess is that the subject road is an access to part of the cemetery. If that was the preference of the Planning Commission or City Council, that road would have to be upgraded to Fire Department standards. Without doing a detailed engineering analysis, he could not be sure that the road met the standards but he thought it was unlikely. Member Sprague said that this option is more appealing to him because a long road has safety issues. If a loop road is feasible that is a better option.

Member Sprague agreed that the drive is not a major drive. He has been at another, similar Ivanhoe-Huntley property and maneuvering the driveway and road is not an issue. Aside from the safety issues, he supported the plan, but he also supported the motion to postpone the project at this time.

Member Avdoulos had an issue with how the property was set up. He did not want to be hypocritical in his review in light of the emotions attached to the adjacent property. He felt the Planning Commission was obligated to state an absolute finding that this proposal will do what it is meant to do. He, too, preferred to receive the City Council information prior to moving the process forward.

In February, Member Avdoulos commented that he liked the layout but was unsure that the adjacency of the development to an office building, a cemetery, a farm area and a mall was appropriate. After the meeting he continued his consideration of the request, and he felt that the existing office in the area is currently an island. The subject property might be deemed appropriate for some kind of residential use. In order to keep the Tollgate parcel as a more rural property in the future, a residential use on this site would be better than loading up the site with office buildings.

Member Avdoulos cited the example of Dixboro Road between Plymouth and Geddes as a location where occasional office buildings are nestled into the landscape and natural features. However, this case is different because of the regional commercial use to the south and the boulevard down the middle of Twelve Mile. He thought that the proposed use could be the right transition, and is probably more appropriate than putting offices against the cemetery, although he has seen that design in other areas (Twelve Mile and Halsted).

Member Avdoulos understands that this is a long and narrow parcel but he wonders if the property is being stressed by the amount of development proposed. Though it is not his place to design this project, he wondered if it were possible to put units at the end of the cul-de-sac, thereby shortening the length of the road. He said that Churchill Crossing suffered during the road closings because they refused the interconnections and then they were left with just one entry/exit point. Member Avdoulos would like to see connections on this property from both sides. It could be set up now or designated as a right-of-way. He did not know if it was appropriate to have the entrance from Twelve Mile, with the road to the west that leads into the cemetery as part of the development. It might get misconstrued as part of the cemetery or part of the development.

Member Avdoulos said that if this parcel is developed as office and Tollgate develops as residential, then there is a pocket of office that will look out of place.

Member Avdoulos was interested in hearing from the City Council. He did not want to confuse any issues regarding this property with the corner property. He did not think there were as many emotional issues attached to this property as there are with the corner piece. He was swaying in the direction of this use for this property, but was concerned about the resulting island of development.

Chair Kocan supported the motion to postpone for all the reasons stated. The land use was her main concern. This has been a tax-free cemetery use. She thinks that this may be a self-created hardship; The Applicant has created this parcel that doesn’t fit. Her rezoning issue is always density, which is consistent with her comments from the February meeting. This plan changes the density of this parcel from .8 to 7.12 units per acre. This parcel impacts the rest of the quadrant. At Thirteen Mile and Meadowbrook there is too much density. The PUD is too dense. Although this is not as dense as straight RM-1 zoning, it sets the tone for a higher density on the surrounding parcels.

Chair Kocan is not convinced that a multiple family use is right for this property. Other parts of this plan will need to be addressed. Will the entrance into the Israel Memorial Garden still be there? Will there be signage? Will it be a road capable of handling fire traffic? Is it necessary to even have that entrance? Should there be a separate entrance. If the boulevard is extended, will it serve the intended purpose? If the road is pushed back does the property encroach the setbacks? Mr. Schmitt said that it will be very close. The southerly portion is somewhat tighter around the edges. The third and fourth buildings do have flexibility. It will depend on how wide the road must be built to accommodate the fire apparatus.

Chair Kocan ask how these changes would impact the number of trees that are preserved. She noted that the only preservation that is being offered at this time is what exists within the 75-foot setback. Other trees can be preserved that are not being preserved. Some trees are of medium quality, but when this type of plan comes forward requesting a big density change, the plan should offer something significantly better. She would like to see open space that is usable. The open space in the front of the development is a detention area.

Chair Kocan said the intent of the PRO is not to circumvent the Ordinance. It is meant to rezone the parcel to a certain zoning that wouldn’t normally be allowed in an area. There is a requirement of the PRO that findings must be made for every single variance to the Ordinance. The variance, in conjunction with the plan, must make this proposed land use significantly better.

Chair Kocan said that the Planning Commission must hear back from the Fire Department regarding the secondary access issues. She asked that the Applicant explain when he returns how less setback between the buildings results in less impervious surface. It does not reduce the number of driveways. It is a beautiful development, but why are the setbacks reduced? Are additional woodlands being preserved? What is the purpose? She agreed that it is a difficult parcel to develop because of this length and narrowness, but what is extra special about the project that the variances should be considered?

Chair Kocan said the ruling must be made on the cemetery use. The property is a cemetery, which is not allowed in RM-1; it is only allowed in single family residential. Therefore the legal findings must be made on that issue.

Chair Kocan explained what she thought the motion should include. The Planning Commission should provide a finding for every deviation from the Ordinance. This information will then be readily available for City Council’s review and will helpful in drafting the Agreement. She said that previously the City has had problems when issues went unnoticed during an approval of an RUD, and then the site plan could not be changed further into the process.

Mr. Schultz said the PRO process is the codification of what used to be called a Development Agreement. A typical case would be an Applicant who seeks an RM-1 designation but does not plan to build to the full extent of that zoning, so he designs a plan that "gives and takes". The PRO overlay that brings the RM-1 zoning into play on the zoning map also brings limiting conditions. The Agreement has to be very specific about what the Applicant is proposing and what the City has accepted. The limitations on the project must be specified. City Council will look at the RM-1 zoning and the deviations. The City Attorney and the Applicant will be asked to design a document incorporating these issues if City Council likes the plan. Deletions and additions will be noted in this document. The Planning Commission needs to be as specific as possible so that City Council understands their position. The Agreement itself will also be as specific as possible. There will be a site plan process. If the plan meets the area and bulk requirements of the Ordinance and provides all of the things that the City wanted that are listed in the PRO Agreement, the plan will have to be approved. In that sense, Chair Kocan’s comments are right; acknowledgment of the deviations or additions by the Planning Commission will ensure that the City Council is aware of them for incorporation into the Agreement. It will come back one more time to ensure that these items got put on the plan.

Chair Kocan said that the Applicant should make sure he lists all of his deviations for the PRO Agreement; otherwise the City will enforce the Ordinance. Mr. Schultz also said that there sections of the Ordinance that allow discretionary deviations (landscaping, etc.); Planning Commission will still have discretion over those items that are not otherwise covered by the Agreement.

Member Cassis told Mr. Straiter that he hoped the comments at this table would help him prepare for his next appearance before the Planning Commission. Mr. Straiter told Member Cassis that the units’ square footage range from 1,800 (ranches) to 2,500 (middle units) square feet. The price range will be dictated by the market but will be somewhere around the upper $250s and above.

Member Cassis asked about moving the most northeasterly building or even as many as four of the buildings, to accommodate the cul-de-sac in the middle of the site plan. Mr. Straiter said they noted that suggestion and they will look into it. Member Cassis suggested that the northeasterly building might be able to be redesigned into an ell-shape.

Member Cassis asked what the size of a responding fire truck would be. Mr. Schmitt said that it will likely be the same ladder truck that services Fox Run. Member Pehrson, who is a fireman, said that the Ordinance is written so that the turning radius of the fire truck and ladder reach is considered in road design.

Member Cassis asked how density and woodlands affect one another. Mr. Schmitt responded that the amount of woodlands being preserved on this plan is about the same as the other plan. The woodlands on this site are largely located within the 75-foot setback along the east property line. It is an area that can’t be built upon. There will be some grading issues. He is not sure how the final engineering will play out. Some trees may need to be taken out; some may not. The intent of this proposal is that the trees within the 75-foot setback will not be touched. Mr. Schmitt said there is not a great deal of room to shift these units to the west, so there isn’t much opportunity to save more trees in the area. Even if the curvilinear road were straightened, there won’t be a substantial savings of more trees. An RM-1 development on this site is basically going to preserve within the 75-foot setback, unless the Applicant gives up some area. The density of 64 units on 9.7 acres, with the perfect mix of one- and two-bedroom units, is about 78. The Applicant is proposing all two-bedroom units which is a density of 71. The maximum density is only theoretical and is likely unattainable on this property. They will not be offering additional tree preservation even if they want to increase their density. This makes the two issues separate. The tree preservation is a setback issue and not a density issue.

Member Cassis leaned toward accepting this project in the past because it is a good transition for the border along the MSU Tollgate property. He noted that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee is also considering another residential piece further east on Meadowbrook.

Member Cassis said that if the cemetery issue is resolved and the cul-de-sac issue is resolved he would be in favor of this project.

Member Sprague said that in his opinion this property is R-A with a density of ten, and that considering this property as RM-1 with a density of 78 is a great distinction that must be made. Mr. Schmitt said the property is zoned R-A with an actual density of five. The other three acres are zoned for office. Mr. Schmitt said that under the PRO, the Applicant is also submitting a rezoning request. During the Planning Review it was presumed that this request was for RM-1, and their charge was to determine where the plan differs from RM-1, and where the enhancements or sacrifices are. Where are the substantial benefits to the community? Member Sprague said he understands that this must be presumed during the Planning Review process, and it is also part of the Planning Commission’s consideration.

Chair Kocan asked whether the Public Hearing is also postponed or whether the Planning Commission’s consideration is what the motion is postponing. Mr. Schultz said that the Planning Commission has held the Public Hearing and closed the Public Hearing. The Planning Commission has satisfied the Ordinance requirement. The Planning Commission would not be obligated to take public comment at the next hearing. If the Planning Commission wants to continue the Public Hearing, then the motion should say so. Chair Kocan asked the maker of the motion how he felt. Member Pehrson responded that he felt the Public Hearing has been conducted. The only caveat is the location of this property, and what might have to be done once the split from the cemetery is determined. He was talking about the entryway that this property and the cemetery now share. This could be an issue. At that point in time, public comment could be brought to the Planning Commission for the record. He felt the Ordinance had been satisfied.


Motion to postpone the request of Ivanhoe-Huntley for Wellington Ridge Condominiums PRO,

SP04-33, until the Planning Commission has additional information from City Council relative to the cemetery.

Motion carried 6-0.

Mr. Greene stated that he is unsure what the Planning Commission expects to receive from City Council, because the upcoming review at that level is on the corner cemetery parcel. The issues with respect to this parcel will not even be discussed. He said that as Mr. Schultz indicated, this parcel has significant differences. This parcel is not part of the cemetery plat. The front three acres of the subject property already have their own separate tax number. The drive that was discussed is simply an easement over the office property that allows for access to the Jewish part of the cemetery. The drive is rarely used, and under the easement, the owner has the right to move it anywhere they want, and they have approached the cemetery owner about abandoning it altogether.

Mr. Schultz responded that City Council is going to discuss generally the cemetery and the existence of only one tax parcel. The City Attorney is seeking direction from City Council on how to address this matter. When the City Attorney feels that it is appropriate to bring this back to the Planning Commission, which will not be far into the future, it will be put back on the Agenda.

Chair Kocan said the Planning Commission also needs a comfort level in knowing this land is not part of the cemetery plat.

Mr. Greene said that this has never been an issue with this parcel. He said that perhaps the Planning Commission can ask the City Council for a particular decision or advice regarding this property. The other issue is a rezoning; City Council may issue some determination as to how that corner piece, which was the entrance into the cemetery, is permitted to be used. This particular parcel is not before them. Perhaps it could be put on the Agenda so that they can specifically look at it. Mr. Greene said that he does not want to get into this "never-never land" where City Council addresses the corner parcel but never addresses the independent issues that relate to this property. Chair Kocan said that she understood and thought that Mr. Schultz did too. She said the question that sits on the Planning Commission’s mind is, why is this parcel is tax-exempt, yet the Applicant stands before them telling them that the land has never been part of the cemetery plat? Mr. Green responded that Ivanhoe-Huntley was not aware that this was even going to be an issue, and they are trying to proceed within a specific timeframe. The prospect of a postponement was never considered.

Chair Kocan called for a short break.


The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Shannon Development to rezone the subject property located in Section 10 on the north side of Twelve Mile, between Novi and Dixon roads, from R-A (Residential Acreage) to OS-1 (Office Service). The subject property is approximately 1.343 acres.

Planner Tim Schmitt located the property on an aerial map. The split on the parcel has occurred and this is no longer an issue for the Planning Commission to consider. To the north are several vacant properties zoned R-1 and master planned for single family residential. To the east is a property developed subject to a Consent Judgment (Carlton Properties vs. The City of Novi), through which the property was zoned OS-1. There are limitations on the rear portion of the property, adjacent to the R-1 and RM-1 of Carlton Forest. To the west is the property that is the subject of Rezoning 18.642, which was recently recommended for approval for rezoning to from R-A to OS-1 by the Planning Commission (and approved by City Council on September 13, 2004). To the south is property zoned and master planned for R-C, regional center. The subject property and the properties along Twelve Mile are master planned for office development.

There are no wetlands on the subject property. The wetlands complex is located further to the east.

There are no woodlands on the property. A tree survey will be required at the time of site plan submittal to determine whether there are any historic or specimen trees.

The request from R-A to OS-1 is recommended for approval from the Planning Department as it will be consistent with the remainder of the corridor and the previous recommendations on the properties to the east and west.

This Applicant also owns the property to the east, which is the property subject to a Consent Judgment. This Judgment limits the use of the property to the rear for parking and landscaping. Mr. Matt Quinn is the attorney retained by Shannon Development for the subject property as well as this property to the east; he has been retained for the purpose of amending the terms of the easterly property’s Consent Judgment. These two properties will be developed together. The Applicant has submitted pre-application plans for the site, although nothing more formal has been submitted.

Mr. Schmitt said that the original rezoning request on the property to the west was for OS-2 but the Applicant amended his request at the Planning Commission meeting to OS-1.

The intent of OS-1 in this corridor is designed to serve as a transitional area between residential and commercial districts, and to provide a transition between major thoroughfares and residential uses. The use of the OS-1 district in this stretch of Twelve Mile is typical of its intended use. It does buffer the residential to the north from Twelve Mile and the associated traffic and congestion. The current and proposed Master Plan designate the property for office.

There was discussion in the Traffic Review of a shared driveway with the property to the west. This has been discussed with both property owners. No formal plans have been submitted, but it would be a benefit to both property owners, given the fact that driveway spacing waivers on the north side will be required, and driveway spacing with respect to the boulevard must be considered. The Planning Department is encouraging it. Both parties are still in the process of putting their plans together, so the Planning Commission may wish to comment on that this evening.

Pat Cavanaugh represented Shannon Development. He was available to answer questions.

Member Sprague read the Public Hearing correspondence into the record:

· Marsha Hubbard, 28255 Carlton Way: Objected because she said this will generate more traffic than residential zoning.

No one from the audience wished to speak so Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing.

Member Cassis said that the request complies with the Master Plan.

Moved by Member Cassis, seconded by Member Pehrson:

In the matter of the request of the Zoning Map Amendment 18.643 for Shannon Development, motion to recommend approval to City Council to rezone the subject property from R-A, Residential Acreage, to OS-1, Office Service, for the reasons that it complies with Master Plan and the use will serve as a logical transition.


Chair Kocan reiterated that the Applicant is encouraged to design this project with a shared driveway with the property to the west. That will improve the ingress/egress functions along Twelve Mile.


In the matter of the request of the Zoning Map Amendment 18.643 for Shannon Development, motion to recommend approval to City Council to rezone the subject property from R-A, Residential Acreage, to OS-1, Office Service, for the reasons that it complies with Master Plan and the use will serve as a logical transition.

Motion carried 7-0.


The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Toll Brothers Inc., for a recommendation to City Council for an amendment to the Residential Unit Development (RUD) Plan. The subject property is located in Section 19, on the north side of Ten Mile, west of Wixom Road. The Applicant is requesting that the RUD be amended for the purpose of adding a ten acre parcel to the Island Lake Community.

Planner Tim Schmitt located the subject property on an aerial map. He reminded the Planning Commission that approximately one year ago they reviewed this property under the ownership of a different developer. He located the Oakland Pointe Church property and said that the planning for that church is now underway. He located the current location of entry for Island Lake Phase 4B1, which is currently under construction. The subject parcel is where the cul-de-sac is shown.

Mr. Schmitt said that the previous request on this property was a rezoning request from Conrad Stauch to rezone the property from R-A to R-3, to single family residential, which would have provided lots similar to the lots found in Island Lake 4B1. The Planning Commission recommended R-1 to City Council for the property. It was Mr. Schmitt’s understanding that Mr. Stauch has since sold the property outright to Toll Brothers. As such, the property will be integrated into the Island Lake development and from a planning perspective, will provide for a better type of development.

The Links of Novi is directly to the south and zoned R-1 (the future site of Quail Hollow). The entirety of the Island Lake development is zoned R-A, subject to an RUD and its amendments. The entire area is master planned for single family residential. Links of Novi is currently master planned for a golf course but the new Master Plan shows the site master planned for single family residential as well.

There are no woodlands or wetlands on the property.

The Planning Review recommends approval. A question raised by Birchler Arroyo in their review was whether a significant portion of the lots, including the future lots on the subject parcel, will meet the R-A and R-1 conventional lot sizes. The Applicant responded to this question and stated that 14.6% of all single family homes will be on R-1 or R-A sized lots. 9.1% of all housing units will be R-1 or R-A lots. The Planning Department feels this is a significant portion when reviewed against other RUD developments in the City.

The Traffic Review had no comment at this time, as the addition of this land will provide a negligible traffic impact.

The overall development of Island Lake is at .97 dwelling units per acre, which is equal to 884 total residences. Toll Brothers is under that amount, even with the development of these proposed homes.

Chair Kocan asked if the proposed 22 lots would be R-A or R-1 sized. Mr. Schmitt responded that they will be more similar to R-3 zoning, virtually the same as 4B1. The lots are 12,000 square feet with 90-100 foot frontages. Mr. Schmitt explained that the R-A Island Lake lots are around the lake. The lots immediately to the west are smaller, and this addition will be built in like manner for continuity.

Ron Boshaw represented Toll Brothers. He thanked the Staff and Consultants for their unanimous recommendation for approval of this RUD Amendment. This ten-acre parcel is a natural progression in the puzzle that is Island Lake of Novi.

Member Sprague read the correspondence into the record:

Joint Letter from Stan and Lisa Anatolec, Jeff and Annalise Budd, Mark and Karen Carlson, Ward and Densie Dietrich, Robert and Deanna DuBoise, Ken and Sherri Kelzer, Nancy Larson, Robert and Carleen Lunsford, Steve and Maria Nicholas, Tim and Rhonda Rush, Tom and Amy Smith, Tom and Linda Trestler, Doug and Michelle Weil, Tim and Tina Wheeler, residents of Island Lake of Novi: Wrote the Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor to state that Toll Brothers did not proceed with an RUD Amendment earlier in the year (regarding the relocation of 12 Arbors units) because yet another Amendment to the RUD would have upset the City. They are upset that Toll Brothers is now coming forward with an RUD Amendment for the addition of ten acres.

No one in the audience wished to speak so Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing.

Member Avdoulos said that the Staff and Consultants agree that this request meets the intent of the original RUD. Mr. Schmitt also noted that the development will still fall below the maximum density for the project.

Member Avdoulos remembered the Stauch rezoning proposal and that at the time he’d hoped that the Stauch development would blend in but would also keep its own character. He thought the Island Lake request makes sense and will provide a buffer to the church. He said this parcel, if it follows in quality and character, will depict the intent of what Island Lake wants to be.

Member Avdoulos said that the Planning Commission cannot control shifting units from one end of the development to the other, or what a developer might say to a prospective buyer during the purchase process. Therefore he felt that he could not offer any satisfactory comment to the residents who wrote the aforementioned letter. He said that the Planning Commission can only look at what is before them and make the recommendation to City Council accordingly. He said this addition is in the spirit of the RUD.

Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Wrobel:

In the matter of the request of Toll Brothers for the Island Lake of Novi RUD Amendment, SP04-38, motion to recommend approval to City Council for the RUD Amendment, for the purpose of adding a ten acre parcel to the overall Island Lake of Novi development, subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters, for the reason that the addition of the parcel is consistent with and in the spirit of the original RUD.


Chair Kocan said that the Planning Commission can make this recommendation, because this Amendment will ensure the removal of a curb cut onto Ten Mile. Mr. Schmitt said that is the theory behind this move. He felt this was the best case scenario for the property. Although a formal submittal has not been made, their RUD paperwork does not show a curb cut onto Ten Mile. Chair Kocan also believes that additional green space will be provided through this plan. She supported the motion.


In the matter of the request of Toll Brothers for the Island Lake of Novi RUD Amendment, SP04-38, motion to recommend approval to City Council for the RUD Amendment, for the purpose of adding a ten acre parcel to the overall Island Lake of Novi development, subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters, for the reason that the addition of the parcel is consistent with and in the spirit of the original RUD.

Motion carried 7-0.



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 the August 25, 2004 Planning Commission meeting as amended.

Motion carried 7-0.


Moved by Member Cassis, seconded by Member Pehrson:


Motion to approve the closed session minutes of the August 25, 2004 Planning Commission meeting.

Motion carried 6-0 (Member Lipski did not vote).


The Planning Commission turned in their grammatical corrections for incorporation into the minutes. Additional language was also provided to add clarification to the minutes.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Sprague:

Motion to approve the minutes of the September 8, 2004 Planning Commission meeting minutes as amended.


Member Avdoulos said that in review of the minutes, he found several areas wherein Consultants and Staff members cited sections of the Ordinance that require updating. He also said that the Implementation Committee has an ongoing list of topics to discuss by directive from the Planning Commission. He asked whether it would be beneficial to make a Planning Commission motion to send all these Ordinance items to the Implementation Committee for review. Planner Tim Schmitt said the Woodland Consultant and the Landscape Architect are preparing their comments at this time for Implementation Committee review. Chair Kocan said the process is that the Implementation Committee must receive its direction from the Planning Commission.

Member Avdoulos said some of the issues that need to be addressed are the addition of language for Planning Commission discretion on building foundation landscaping (versus ZBA review), two-year opacity requirements, compliant natural features language, conflicting language in Chapter 11 and the stormwater management language in Chapter 12, updated Sign Ordinance language, multi-stemmed tree definition, tree protection fencing, tree protection of and encouraged mitigated use of smaller-calipered, higher-quality trees, understory mitigation, etc.


Motion to approve the minutes of the September 8, 2004 Planning Commission meeting minutes as amended.

Motion carried 7-0.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Sprague:


Motion to send the itemized issues previously stated to the Implementation Committee for their consideration.

Motion carried 7-0.


Chair Kocan said that the proposed 2005 dates are for the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. There are twelve weeks that meetings will be held the same week as City Council. A first and third Wednesdays calendar would create ten such weeks but there would be four holidays to contend with as opposed to one holiday on the proposed calendar. Director of Planning Barbara McBeth noted that the City Council dates shown on the proposal are likely but have not yet been approved.

Member Sprague suggested that no meeting be scheduled the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, or that it be moved to the following week. Planner Tim Schmitt said that no Public Hearings could be held on that date in light of the Planning Commission rule prohibiting Public Hearing dates within five days after a City-recognized holiday.

Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Pehrson:

Motion to approve the 2005 Planning Commission calendar, with meetings held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of January through October, and meetings held on the second Tuesday only of November and December.


Chair Kocan told Member Cassis that the Planning Commission is only mandated to hold one Planning Commission meeting per month.

Ms. McBeth also discussed the second November meeting scheduled for 2004. She said that the Planning Department has about fifteen cases in review and if possible, she would like to keep a second November meeting.

Chair Kocan said that it would be unlikely the Planning Commission would have a quorum for the second November meeting.


Motion to approve the 2005 Planning Commission calendar, with meetings held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of January through October, and meetings held on the second Tuesday only of November and December.

Motion carried 7-0.

The Planning Commission discussed whether to move the second November 2004 meeting or cancel it. Chair Kocan suggested that the Planning Commission can just plan for a heavier schedule on other weeks to accommodate the workload.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Lipski:


Motion to cancel the November 24, 2004 Planning Commission meeting.

Motion carried 7-0.


There were no Consent Agenda Removals for Commission Action.


There were no Matters for Discussion.


There were no Supplemental Issues.


No one from the audience wished to speak.


Moved by Member Sprague, seconded by Member Avdoulos:

Motion to adjourn.

Motion carried 7-0. The meeting adjourned at 10:13 p.m.











Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, September 28, 2004 Signature on File

Date Approved: October 13, 2004 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant