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CALL TO ORDER
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, Wayne Wrobel
Absent: Members Andrew Gutman (excused), Lowell Sprague (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Mark Spencer, Planner; Darcy Schmitt, Planner; Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect; Brian Coburn, Civil Engineer; Kathy Smith-Roy, Finance Director; David Gillam, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Member Avdoulos led the meeting in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
VOICE VOTE ON AGENDA MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
Motion to approve the Agenda of March 9, 2005.
Motion carried 6-0.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
There was no Correspondence to share.
Member Avdoulos told the Planning Commission that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee met in the previous week. He said that developers are looking at combining parcels to improve their chances of designing a project that meets the Ordinance. The Master Plan and Zoning Committee reviewed a 26-acre project and a 60-acre project. He said that will come before the Planning Commission in the future, and they look like interesting projects. Chair Kocan said that it has been said that the remaining parcels in the City are the most difficult to develop, and perhaps this trend of combining parcels will continue.
PLANNING DIRECTOR REPORT
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth reported the outcome of some City
Council Agenda items from March 7, 2005. The K-4 Architecture request to
rezone the southwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck Road from R-1 to OS-1 was
denied. A consulting report from Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber was
approved for the land use, roads, sanitary sewer district study. The City is
seeking requests for proposals from pre-qualified engineering consultants
for the design of that. This will ensure adequate sanitary sewer flow,
mostly for the western part of the City. The Unlisted Use Determination Text
Amendment first reading took place, and City Council asked that it return
for its second reading with the Planning Commission recommendation on
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
1. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.645
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Felix Valbuena for Andes Construction for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning on property in Section 16, at the northwest corner of Eleven Mile and Taft Road, from R-A (Residential Acreage) to R-1 (One Family Residential). The subject property contains approximately 12.15 acres.
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth located the property on a map for the Planning Commission. The property contains approximately twelve acres and is located near the northwest corner of Taft Road and Eleven Mile. The site is currently vacant of buildings. To the north are single family homes fronting on Taft Road. To the east are single family homes, also fronting on Taft Road. To the south are the Novi Community Schools. To the west are single family homes fronting on Eleven Mile.
The current zoning of the property is R-A, Residential Acreage, and the Applicant is requesting R-1, One Family Residential Zoning. The property to the north and south and west are all zoned R-A, Residential Acreage. To the East the property is zoned R-A and R-4, one family residential.
The Master Plan for Land Use recommends single family uses for the subject property, and the surrounding properties, with the exception of the property on the south side of Eleven Mile, which is planned for educational facility. The Master Plan recommends the density of 1.65 units to the acre for the subject property, which is consistent with the Applicant’s request for R-1 zoning.
The Woodland Map shows that the site is covered with medium density woodlands. The Wetland Map does not indicate that there are any wetlands, although the Planning Department believes there is a river or stream that cuts through the property.
A Planning Review, Civil Engineering Review and Traffic Engineering Review were included in the Planning Commission packets for consideration for the required Public Hearing. The Planning Commission is asked to forward a recommendation to City Council for approval or denial of the Applicant’s requested rezoning to R-1 zoning for the property.
The Planning Review recommends approval of the rezoning request, as it is consistent with the master planned density for the area. The request may allow a development similar in character and density to the residential subdivisions to the southwest. The Applicant may consider designing the site using the Cluster Option, which is not permitted under the current R-A zoning, and would possibly assist in the preservation of the site’s natural features.
The Planning Commission may have noticed a possible development plan in the Applicant’s application packet. The Planning Department has not reviewed that plan for this submittal and the Planning Commission should note that it is not considering that plan as a part of the request for rezoning. There are natural features on the site, including woodlands and possible wetlands on the properties, which will be reviewed in detail when a site plan is submitted for the property.
The Engineering Review indicated that public water is not available in the immediate vicinity and would need to be extended to the possible future development on the property. Sanitary sewer is not currently available adjacent to the property, and would need to be served by the sanitary sewer located north of the site. The developer would be responsible for extending the sewer to the property. This property is located in what is referred to as the Lanny’s Sanitary Sewer District, which is anticipated to have capacity issues in the future. On Monday evening, the City Council did approve the findings of an infrastructure report and approved initiating the engineering design of the project. If funding of the construction is approved by City Council, construction could begin as early as next year.
Traffic Engineering indicated the increase in density of units would not significantly increase the trip generation for the property. They provided a Trip Generation Comparison table in their review.
Felix Valbuena addressed the Planning Commission. He was requesting the rezoning of these two parcels as the request is consistent with the trend in the area. He added that he was also the developer of Andes Hills. He said the request is also consistent with the Master Plan.
Chair Kocan opened the floor for public comment:
·Matt Rozek, 45950 West Eleven Mile: Lived in the area. He said that R-1 zoning allows for a subdivision, and the lots will probably be cleared of their trees. He said this project and the Family Fun Center will affect the trees. He read from the Master Plan regarding the City’s opinion on natural features. He said that the Woodland Ordinance puts the priority on the woodlands when there is no location alternative. Mr. Rozek said that the Grand River Corridor Plan states that high quality woodlands exist on this side of Grand River. Mr. Rozek said that this woodland area will be cut in half with the proposed development for the area, which will affect the wildlife. He was worried about the traffic as well.
Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing.
Member Cassis thought the request was a little more complex than what was presented. He said the surrounding area was zoned R-A, but the plan is consistent with the Master Plan. Ms. McBeth said that the surrounding development is on large lots, but greater density is to the north – Andes Hills, R-2 and R-4. The properties to the southwest have natural features but were developed under the R-1 zoning. This property also has the natural features, and there are options available to the developer with the R-1 zoning. This Applicant will be encouraged to save as many of the trees as possible.
Chair Kocan asked Ms. McBeth to explain the discrepancy between the zoning and the Master Plan. Ms. McBeth said that the density pattern map indicates the recommended density for the City. It is a guide for the future development of properties. This whole area is master planned with the R-1 density, which is 1.65 units per acre.
Member Cassis questioned Ms. McBeth on the density, because the surrounding properties are zoned and developed R-A. Ms. McBeth explained that the Planning Department is being consistent with the Master Plan. Several parcels immediately to the south are on lots that are consistent with the R-1 zoning. The width is consistent with R-1 zoning. They were developed over the years and don’t meet the current standards. The lots to the west are the very long narrow parcels. The Planning Department would not expect them to be redeveloped under the R-1 classification.
Ms. McBeth showed the area on a map. She noted that some southerly parcels are not part of the request, and they are not consistent with the R-A zoning, although they are zoned R-A. They are more consistent with the R-1 zoning, both in size and in width. They are approximately one-half acre in size. The lots further to the west have more acreage but are still narrow.
Member Cassis understood that the request is consistent with the Master Plan and the trend of what exists in the area. He wished to hear from his colleagues. He wanted a commitment from the Applicant that he would design half acre lots. Ms. McBeth said that there has not been a pre-App meeting with the Applicant to discuss the layout. She was unsure whether he would utilize a preservation option.
Member Cassis asked what the R-1 zoning would allow the Applicant to do. Ms. McBeth said that the R-1 would allow the Applicant to consider using the single family cluster option. If the Applicant’s design includes parcels covered by woodlands or wetlands (50% at least), the Applicant can choose instead to cluster the houses closer than a typical R-1 design, as long as he agrees to preserve 50% or more of the site with its natural habitat. The plan would progress through the review stages in standard manner.
Member Pehrson said he understood that only the request for rezoning was
on the table, but he did not like the design layout provided
by the Applicant. It showed a total of twenty parcels, although the document
stated 19 parcels would be designed. He did not think the plan looked good
or fit the area. He was not sure whether any additional trees would be saved
with an R-A 11-unit plan versus an
Member Pehrson asked why the Master Plan and Zoning Committee did not choose to review this request and provide a recommendation. Member Avdoulos responded that it was probably a previous Master Plan and Zoning Committee.
Member Pehrson said that the Master Plan has the property slated for R-1 density, but he did not see that the City was doing the property any justice by saving a lot in any development that goes in there. That is where Member Pehrson sees the trouble. He thought the Applicant’s previous development, Andes Hills, was a quality development. Member Pehrson was on the fence. He did not know how many woods would be saved. It is the only area between Grand River and Eleven Mile that has any kind of preserve.
Chair Kocan asked Ms. McBeth to comment on the preservation on the Andes Hills property. Ms. McBeth said that it appeared that the development utilized the cluster option. There is a large wetland area to the south.
Member Wrobel was not sold on this request belonging in this area. He
said the Master Plan statement about preservation along Grand River gives
him no reason to change the zoning. He thought it put a burden on the
residents. It didn’t fit
Member Avdoulos said he lived in an R-A area, although he wasn’t as close to any type of major intersection. He would be intent on learning of any proposal like this near his home, because he would like to keep the area the way it is. In looking at this request, he said it was consistent with the Master Plan density. It does conform. The area includes a school and Grand River. Even if the area was kept zoned R-A, the development would have the same character as an R-1 development. The other difference between R-A and R-1 is 150-foot frontage versus 120-foot frontage, respectively. The R-1 would allow the cluster option. Member Avdoulos said that the Andes Hills project is eleven homes on six acres. He wondered if something similar that maintains the openness on this site could be designed. There are further developments down Taft Road, and this site is a transition from the wide open R-A that is to the west. Member Avdoulos did not have qualms about recommending R-1. The land is not isolated in the middle of a big R-A area. This is Eleven Mile and Taft Road, and Eleven Mile is getting busier. The Traffic Study indicated that it wouldn’t have a lot of impact on the area.
Member Avdoulos asked Ms. McBeth to comment on the City Council motion on Monday regarding the Lanny’s Road District. Ms. McBeth said that this is one of the properties that would be affected by the sanitary sewer study. City Council did approve the design for the sewer, but there are still a number of steps between that and when it is actually constructed. Member Avdoulos said that there is something in the works to take care of the needs of this area. He said that he had less concerns than the others, because of this property’s proximity to a larger intersection, and that it is not inconsistent with the Master Plan.
Member Lipski asked about this area receiving an educational classification and the discussion that ensued during the Master Plan process. Chair Kocan responded that the discussion pertained to Eleven Mile and Beck Road.
Member Lipski asked City Attorney David Gillam to comment on the resulting analysis of a Planning Commission’s recommendation in sync with the Master Plan and a recommendation out of sync with the Master Plan. Mr. Gillam first reminded the Planning Commission that their role is just a recommendation; the actual rezoning request will be determined by the City Council. The decision of the Planning Commission is something that will be taken into consideration by the City Council. In terms of a court reviewing a decision, the decision of the Master Plan would be taken into consideration. As a general rule, but not true in every case, a court that looks at a rezoning request will first and foremost refer to the Master Plan to see what the designation of the property is. That is probably the most closely looked at element. If the rezoning request is consistent with the Master Plan and is not approved, the next question that comes up is, does this just mean that the rezoning of the property consistent with the Master Plan is just not right at this time. If the City is assuming that in the long run the property is going to be rezoned consistent with the Master Plan, and a request comes in that is consistent with the Master Plan and the request is denied, then the conclusion of the City’s position has to be in the long run it is still going to be rezoned, but it is just not time yet. It could be for reasons of the surrounding properties, infrastructure, etc.
Member Cassis said he was trying to cope with approving the R-1 while understanding what will happen to the north of this property. What kind of zoning will this decision bring about? Ms. McBeth responded that, the zoning will probably be consistent with the Master Plan, eventually. The area may redevelop as R-1, depending on whether the Planning Commission and City Council approve the request. It is consistent with what the Master Plan designates.
Member Cassis confirmed that Andes Hills is detached condominiums. Member Cassis said that the center-parcel Applicant could come forward and say that there is intense development to the north, and R-1 to the south. He could ask for R-3 or R-4. Ms. McBeth said that the City would rely on the Master Plan and all of the studying that went into its determinations. If the Planning Commission wished to change the Master Plan to match the zoning in the future, certainly the Master Plan can be modified and changed. Otherwise, that hypothetical rezoning request would be handled in like manner: Is it compatible with the surrounding uses? Is the infrastructure available? Is it generally a good use for the property?
Member Cassis asked if the northerly home owner has ever come forward with a rezoning request. Ms. McBeth did not have knowledge of that request. She offered to look into the files to determine whether that has ever been a request.
Chair Kocan said that for any rezoning request, she looks at compatibility. On this property, she noted that there are wetland and woodland issues and those are her greatest concerns. She asked what the Planning Commission could do to help preserve the natural features. In her opinion, she would be looking for the cluster option. This property has a priority three natural features area. It fits to a tee. The conventional subdivision approach would destroy the environmental significance of the site. This could be a transitional development. There is the reality of a bus barn to the south. There is the reality of all of the elementary school traffic. Her biggest issue is the amount of woodlands on the parcel.
When or if approval is given on this request, the nine or 19 units that come forward on the Applicant’s Preliminary Site Plan will be reviewed for its impact, specifically for the Woodland Permit. The Planning Commission will determine whether there are other design or location alternatives available in order to protect the woodlands. Chair Kocan said the Planning Commission will find that there are. The Planning Commission can deny the Woodland Permit if this Applicant comes forward with a destructive plan. She said at that time, the Planning Commission can put muscle behind their opinion and uphold the Woodland Ordinance.
Chair Kocan looked at the Andes Hills development and she said that it is
situated such that a lot of the natural features have been preserved. It is
tucked in, and she hoped that this property can be similarly developed. She
said that it is difficult to look
Chair Kocan said that future development issues include the water capacity issues. She understood that the Lanny’s District review has been approved. She asked Civil Engineer Brian Coburn to comment. Mr. Coburn said that their Water and Sanitary Master Plans are based on the Planning Commission Master Plan. He said they look at the future uses based on the Master Plan, so therefore the densities provided by the Planning Commission is what is taken into consideration. As long as the Master Plan does not change significantly, there shouldn’t be any problems. Chair Kocan asked if the capacity was there right now; Mr. Coburn responded that there is capacity right now. The reason for the concern on Lanny’s is when the area reaches build-out, there won’t be capacity. That is why the by-pass sewer project is being proposed for that district. Chair Kocan asked if the incoming projects will use up the available capacity and Mr. Coburn said yes.
Chair Kocan said that the Eleven Mile area is beautiful. She said that the Planning Commission knew they didn’t want to set a precedent that creates an R-1 rezoning domino effect. However, based on the location of the wetlands and woodlands, the R-1 rezoning requests can be contained to this area. She would support a positive recommendation.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Lipski:
In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.645 for Felix Valbuena for Andes Construction, motion to recommend approval to the City Council of the rezoning request from R-A (Residential Acreage) to
R-1 (One-Family Residential), for the reason that the request is in compliance with the residential density patterns of the Master Plan for Land Use, both the Novi 2020 version and the 2004 update.
Member Cassis said he would vote in favor of the motion. He said that City Council will review the Planning Commission discussion and will take note of their concerns. He said that the Woodland Ordinance will be taken into consideration at the time of Preliminary Site Plan review. He was persuaded by these two reasons.
Member Avdoulos asked that the motion include, "The Planning Commission wishes to encourage the developer to utilize the single family cluster option for the preservation of the natural features." He restated that the R-1 does allow this option. The City Attorney stated he had no problem in stating in the motion that it was the Planning Commission’s desire to see the property developed under the cluster option. He said the record should be clear that the Planning Commission was not stating that the condition is imposed on the rezoning, because the City Council does not have the authority to do so. He said there was no problem in the Planning Commission stating that this was their desire. Member Avdoulos said this would hopefully help maintain the character of R-A zoning. The maker and seconder of the motion agreed to the language.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.645 POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LIPSKI:
In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.645 for Felix Valbuena for Andes Construction, motion to recommend approval to the City Council of the rezoning request from R-A (Residential Acreage) to
R-1 (One-Family Residential), for the reason that the request is in compliance with the residential density patterns of the Master Plan for Land Use, both the Novi 2020 version and the 2004 update. The Planning Commission wishes to encourage the developer to utilize the single family cluster option for the preservation of the natural features.
Motion carried 5-1 (Yes: Avdoulos, Cassis, Kocan, Lipski, Pehrson; No: Wrobel)
2. HAGGERTY CAR WASH, SITE PLAN NUMBER 04-55
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Gerald T. Odom of American Land Incorporated for Preliminary Site Plan and Storm Water Management Plan approval. The subject property is located on the east side of Haggerty Road and north of Eight Mile in the FS, Freeway Service District. The subject property is approximately .48 acres.
Planner Darcy Schmitt stated that the project is located in Section 36. She said the proposal is for a 2,300 one-story building car wash. Northeast of the site is a hotel located in Farmington Hills. Directly south is a large detention basin. To the west is the Novi Sheraton. The subject property and the property to the south are zoned FS. The property to the west is zoned OSC.
Ms. Schmitt said the Master Plan for Land Use recommends Community Commercial for this property and the southerly property. The west property is master planned for office, and the northeast property is again, Farmington Hills.
Ms. Schmitt said there were no wetlands or woodlands on the site. The site plan proposes a northerly primary access and a secondary emergency access to the south. The entrance is off of Haggerty; just north of this entrance is the hotel entrance to the Farmington Hills property.
The Planning Review indicates that the site plan does not meet Ordinance requirements, due to the need for several ZBA variances:
·A variance of five feet for the front yard building setback at the northwest portion of the site – thirty feet is required, 25 feet is proposed.
·A variance of fifteen feet for the front yard parking setback at the northwest portion of the site – twenty feet is required, five feet is proposed.
·A variance for the lack of one stacking space beyond the tunnel for drying purposes - a minimum of one space is required and zero is proposed.
·A variance for inadequate access to parking spaces due to stacking spaces blocking access to parking.
·A variance for the lack of a loading zone.
Ms. Schmitt said that there are also minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Landscape Review indicates that the plan does not meet Ordinance requirements, due to the need for interior building landscaping – four feet around the perimeter of the building is required and zero feet is proposed. Several Planning Commission waivers are also required:
·A waiver for parking lot landscaping - 300 square feet are required, zero square feet is proposed.
·A waiver for the deficit of four parking lot landscaping trees – six are required and two are proposed.
·A waiver for the deficit of seven evergreen/deciduous trees for the greenbelt area – sixteen are required and nine are proposed.
·A waiver for a deficit of thirteen ornamental trees for the greenbelt area - 22 are required and two are proposed.
·A waiver for the placement of ten street trees – ten are required and zero is provided.
There are also minor landscaping items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Traffic Review indicates that the plan does not meet Ordinance requirements. The plan requires a City Council Waiver of the Design and Construction Standards for a two-way driveway. A radius of 7.5 on the northernmost driveway is proposed.
The Engineering Review indicates that the plan does not meet Ordinance requirements, due to the need for a Planning Commission Waiver of 89 feet for same side driveway spacing – 230 feet are required and 149 are proposed. There are minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Fire Department Review indicates that the plan meets Ordinance requirements. The Façade Review also indicates the plan meets Ordinance requirements. Ms. Schmitt showed the Planning Commission the façade board.
Tony Gallo, Car Wash Builders, 30555 Hoover Road, addressed the Planning Commission. He said that his company specializes in carwashes. He reminded the Planning Commission that on May 12, 2004 they came before the Planning Commission for an interpretation on whether a car wash would be allowed in the FS District. The Planning Commission determined that carwashes were indeed a permitted use.
Mr. Gallo said the property has unique shape and therefore is a challenging shape to develop. It is pie shaped. There is a major easement that runs through the property. Mr. Gallo showed the Planning Commission a plan outlining the building envelope (tape ends). He said his company has been diligently working on this plan for ten months. They have made a half-dozen revisions in an effort to minimize the number of variances needed. He said this will be a nice building and an asset to those who use the car wash.
Mr. Gallo said this is the last undeveloped FS parcel in Novi. He introduced Mr. Gerry Odom from his company. Mr. Odom stated that this property had issues. The triangular shape does not lend itself to meeting the Ordinance requirements, as the code was designed with rectangular shaped parcels in mind. The side yard restrictions and setback requirements are basically measurements designed for properties that are generally square.
Mr. Odom said this property is shaped somewhat like an arrowhead. When the Ordinance restrictions are applied to the site, and the 30-foot wide Buckeye Pipeline easement is considered, only 19% at best of the land is usable for the building envelope. The total land area on the entire site, when the easements are taken out for the side yards and setbacks, is approaching 25 feet. In this case, 5.5% of the available 20% is separated from the other portion by the gas main easement. A very small envelope for building is left.
Mr. Odom said that their non-compliance to the Ordinance is not by choice. They have looked at each issue and have tried to comply. Because of the configuration of the property, they were unable to meet those requirements. To eliminate the five-foot northwest corner variance, the buildable area had to be moved down 19 feet. Then, the envelope encroached the ten-foot line on the other end of the property, and the turning radius for the car wash was inadequate. The building could not be shortened.
Mr. Odom said that this is a terrific use for the area. Eight Mile and Haggerty Road are both high-traffic roads. It is a very difficult situation for the community and for the Applicant, because this is the only remaining FS parcel. The entire area began developing in 1985. This property remains after twenty years. It sits on the tax rolls and remains undeveloped, presumably waiting for someone to design a creative and viable project. He said this project will be a 1.2-1.5 million dollar use. Until this project came along, this property has been carried on the tax rolls at $750.00 assessed valuation.
Mr. Odom said that their plan has come up short but they want to work with the community. He said there is no room on the property for the 22 trees. They would be willing to give to the tree fund.
The property is approximately one-half acre, surrounded by about five acres of dedicated open area. This project does not abut residential, so other than the people staying at the hotel, there are no homes that would be affected by this project. Mr. Odom said that the Ramada Inn is going to be torn down and a new Holiday Inn Express will be built.
Mr. Odom passed out a plan that showed the project and the open space surrounding his property. He said that there is good circulation and easy-in/easy-out onto Haggerty Road. They had a Traffic Study done to review the sight distances issues; no problem was found. Mr. Odom said that there is already an entrance to the site that is mandated by the pipeline easement.
Mr. Odom said that if the Planning Commission sees this as a viable project, he would be happy to continue working with the community on designing an acceptable plan.
Mr. Gallo said that this is an exterior car wash only. Drivers will remain in their car. These facilities run with two employees, no more than four employees on a busy day. Hours of operation are typically 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days per week.
No one from the audience wished to speak. There was no correspondence. Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing.
Member Wrobel said the property was difficult. He had problems with the
number of variances
Member Cassis agreed. He said the other projects (McDonalds and the gas station) are very intense uses. Traffic is very bad in this area. Member Cassis said that the Applicant used the words, "challenging, we’ve got issues, horror story." He said that he didn’t have to comment further on the difficulties plaguing this site.
Member Cassis said it was a small, irregular site, presented in a difficult location in the City. He asked about the employee parking area. Mr. Gallo said there were four parking spaces. Chair Kocan said there were three parking spaces. The Applicant said that they are not proposing any vacuums for the customers.
Member Cassis said that the Applicant has worked very hard to design the site but it is crying out that it shouldn’t be used for a car wash. He understood that it provided only a small amount of taxes. Member Cassis said that the Planning Commission cannot tamper with the health and safety of people, just to make a couple of tax dollars.
Member Cassis said that drivers coming from the south would have to make a very sharp right turn. The stacking on Haggerty Road is going to be difficult. He said the Applicant tried hard but the property isn’t going to work for this use. His main concern was safety and welfare. He could overlook some of the variances, but because there are so many, it told Member Cassis that this is not the right plan.
Member Cassis said that the properties north of south of the subject property dictated the shape of this lot. He was not in support of the project.
Member Avdoulos went to the site and was surprised that this site was so close to the hotel. He stood on the spot where the carwash is proposed, and he said this would create a 110-foot wall for the occupants of the hotel. That concerned Member Avdoulos.
Member Avdoulos did not think he had enough information. There wasn’t a pan-out shot of where the other driveways were located. He understood that this lot abuts Farmington Hills. He said that the Traffic Consultant made a good comment about the queuing, that there should be a gap study to look at discharge out of Haggerty Road. There are times that the traffic barely moves in this area, as there is such a backup of southbound Haggerty turning left at the Eight Mile light. Member Avdoulos said that it is a shooting match for drivers who are trying to leave the various parking lots at the same time.
Member Avdoulos asked whether there should be an escape route for a driver who needs to leave – they have no money, or an emergency occurs, etc.
Mr. Gallo said their original plan had an escape route but it did not provide the landscaping. He said that they redesigned this plan six or seven times to reduce the variances. Mr. Gallo said that they are a candidate for the ZBA or the appellate court because of the shape of the property. The property is a standalone parcel with a separate tax number. There is access to this site. Mr. Gallo said that there is no other use that would be able to comply with the stringent requirements of the Ordinance. This is not a self-created hardship. It is not a self-imposed situation. The fact is their use would use the least amount of parking possible. He said a Hallmark or a bank, or any other permitted use, would also not meet the Ordinance requirements – not because the site does not work functionally, but because there are landscape requirements, setback requirements, and again, regardless of the proposed use, this site will require variances.
Member Avdoulos asked how the site could be evacuated if something happened. Member Avdoulos gave the example of the power going out. Mr. Gallo said that in an emergency situation, the cars would have to back out. On a day to day operation, the cars would go through the car wash. Member Avdoulos said that the Planning Commission looks at safety and how the site functions. Mr. Gallo said that what Member Avdoulos described would be considered an emergency situation. In this case, the "emergency egress" area could be used.
Member Avdoulos said that northbound Haggerty drivers would not have a decel lane. He wondered if that was a concern. Civil Engineer Brian Coburn said that the City would have to look at the amount of traffic in the area to determine whether the Applicant would be required to provide one.
Mr. Gallo said that if a decel lane is required, they would provide one.
Member Avdoulos said that the site’s grade is higher to the east. He thought there was a depression near Haggerty Road. Mr. Coburn said that the Applicant is proposing to discharge into that basin, so any discharge from offsite would have to pass through this site. They would be carrying the same path of flow, but it would be through a pipe rather than through an open channel. Member Avdoulos restated that the grade would be leveled and Mr. Coburn agreed. Mr. Coburn said they are proposing a storm system to pick up the onsite stormwater that would be discharged into that same basin.
Member Avdoulos noted again that there would not be any vacuums. He did not have a warm feeling for this project. He would like to understand the ingress/egress issues for Haggerty Road. This is the last remaining parcel in this area, and this project will be viewed to determine whether it is appropriate for this site, if it is going to work safely and adequately. During the course of the past week, Member Avdoulos has been going to various carwashes to discern other examples of carwash emergency access plans. He visited the carwash at Northville. He visited the carwash at Long Lake.
Member Avdoulos said the corner of the proposed building is fifty feet from Haggerty Road and he wondered how that compared to other carwashes. He appreciated the work the Applicant put into this plan, but he was not confident about the plan. Most of his concern was about the traffic pattern and how tight the design is, how the cars are exiting, how exiting cars will drip water that will turn into ice slicks.
Member Avdoulos did not know whether an agreement could be reached that would allow for joint access from the hotel property. This idea would alleviate another curb cut onto Haggerty Road. He did understand that the adjacent property is Farmington Hills.
Member Lipski was less concerned about the boundary between this site and the hotel. He was more concerned about the escape lane. If there is no escape lane, a driver at the front of the lane would be making a big deal out of having to exit. Member Lipski does not have a problem with the cosmetic deficiencies.
Member Lipski looked at the Long Lake carwash as well. He noted that the lot there was also very small. Member Lipski thought that escaping the lot was important. He would have approved of the previous site plan submitted that showed an escape route. He said that the Applicant would have to meet issues A through O that would be reviewed by another thirty people. That number of reviewers would represent a consensus of the views of the entire community.
Member Lipski said that his number one call to duty was to make sure nothing dangerous is done. He really felt that the original plan was better than the plan provided to the Planning Commission. He thought that he was hearing from the other Planning Commission members that if the Applicant resubmitted the other plan they would still say no, but Member Lipski would approve. He did think that the escape route should be in place, and all the other various requests and waiver requests are do-able. Member Lipski said the Applicant was correct in stating that the triangular piece of property leaves one wondering what can be done. He thought that the Applicant did an energetic and expensive job on this plan. He confirmed with Mr. Gallo that he was the option holder on the site. Member Lipski concluded that he would support the plan with an escape route, and though he couldn’t say whether the ZBA or City Council would approve the plan, he would be comfortable giving Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to the twenty hurdles.
Member Pehrson remembered when the Applicant came before the Planning Commission for an unlisted use determination. At that time, the Applicant was warned that the location did not fit the application, the site wasn’t big enough to suit the use. The Planning Commission half-heartedly approved the use, knowing that traffic would be the problem. Member Pehrson said it was not a question of hurdles A through O, but the health and safety of the site. Member Pehrson said that this was probably the busiest corner in the City, and probably high ranking on the accident list based on the volume of traffic. Member Pehrson could not support the plan. He said it was a beautiful plan and the Applicant did everything he could, but if it proposes health and safety issues, that was paramount in his decision.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:
In the matter of the request of Gerald Odom of American Land for Haggerty Car Wash, SP04-55, motion to deny the Preliminary Site Plan for the following reasons: 1) The health and safety concerns posed by the amount of traffic being generated; and 2) An insufficient escape route on the plan.
Chair Kocan agreed with the Planning Commission. She was not sure how she would look at the other plan. She noted that many of the landscape waivers are necessary, and she would be able to support those requests. She would not be able to support variances that pertain to traffic. She said her deal breakers were there was no stacking lane, and trucks have to pull over to pull their mirrors out. Cars pull over to clean their windows. If there are three cars stacking up at the exit, it will shut down the carwash, which will back up the cars onto Haggerty Road. Any future plan would have to have stacking space.
Chair Kocan said the car wash on Novi Road backs traffic onto the road. Employees are needed to help stack the cars into rows. There aren’t enough parking spaces for the employees. There must be parking for every employee plus two spaces. There is a parking deficiency. Ms. Schmitt said that would be a ZBA variance request.
Chair Kocan said that the exit is a deal breaker. Chair Kocan said sometimes kids get terrified about going through a carwash, so the driver must get out of the line. There must be an escape route. Sometimes cars are too wide or too tall; there needs to be an escape route.
Chair Kocan said the health, safety and welfare of the Haggerty traffic must be considered. There are no dumpsters outside of the building, but people just dump their trash at carwashes or when they get to a gas station, so the Applicant would have to supply something of this nature.
Chair Kocan asked what could fit on the property that is properly zoned for the FS District. Chair Kocan was not sold on the notion that nothing would fit on this site. It may not be the best use, or the most financially viable use to the developer, but a gift shop or store is allowed. She said the Hallmark at Ten Mile and Meadowbrook gets traffic even though there is not a lot of traffic in that area. Chair Kocan said that if there were parking spaces where this Applicant has proposed stacking, there wouldn’t be an issue of parking.
Chair Kocan was looking at the distance between driveways. She was looking at the accel/decel issue. Even her family could not believe that the City would allow a left turn out of this property. She said that sometimes drivers can’t get out of the McDonalds. She said that more stacking room is necessary because of the amount of traffic on Haggerty Road.
Chair Kocan did not understand why the setback adjacent to the hotel was only ten feet. She did not think the setback was meant to abut another district; it was meant to abut a freeway. If the setback did abut the freeway, it would be easier for the Planning Commission to allow the project to run up against the lot line. She said that the development was too large for the property. She could not support it for the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Novi.
Mr. Gallo said he heard comments about additional traffic. He said this
Member Cassis said back in 2004 he cautioned against allowing this Applicant to spend his money and work so hard on submitting a plan. He said he gave the Applicant signals then that his plan wouldn’t work. He wished to give the Applicant the same signals tonight because he says he wants to come back. Member Cassis did not know how his colleagues felt about it, but he did not see a way for this little spot on a tiny road so close to the corner to work. He said the Long Lake and Telegraph carwash sits on a divided highway. He said that health and safety is so important. He could not conceive a way for a carwash to work on this site. Member Cassis said that the Applicant could spend more money and come back again at his own discretion. Member Cassis said that a Mr. Softie ice cream would be a good use. Mr. Gallo said the parking requirements could not be met. Member Cassis suggested that the Applicant try. Member Cassis said the Planning Commission was not trying to be antagonistic, but they are representing the City and the health and safety of its citizens. He said that many of them are trying hard to make this plan work for the Applicant. As far as Member Cassis was concerned, he would not spend any more money or time on this.
Mr. Gallo was not trying to disrespect the Planning Commission. He, himself, was once a Planning Commission member. He understands health, safety and welfare. He understands zoning issues.
Member Lipski said he would have a problem with a left turn out of the carwash. He would limit the exit to northbound only.
Member Avdoulos asked if the stacking spaces (numbering 25) were side by side, and how would that design work. Mr. Gallo said that the lanes merge into one at the entry to the carwash. Mr. Gallo said that it is an unrealistic situation, that all stacking lanes would be in use, but the Ordinance calls for peak usage times. The industry standard for carwashes is 60,000-80,000 annually. He has designed some that wash 200,000 cars per year. There are only about five days per year that the usage is really high – days after salt trucks and ultra sunny days. Member Avdoulos reiterated Member Lipski’s point about submitting a plan with an escape route, and how the Planning Commission might be more understanding of the variances and waivers because of the issues of health and safety. Member Avdoulos asked if the Applicant contacted the easterly property to discuss joint access. Mr. Gallo has not discussed anything with the hotel.
Mr. Gallo knew from day one that this would be an uphill battle. He is aware of the money he has invested thus far into the project. He wanted an opportunity to return to the Planning Commission to show them how the various issues, e.g., escape route, stacking, etc., can be addressed. This plan would also not meet the Ordinance, but the design could be improved.
Member Avdoulos said that the Applicant could be before the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, which would not require a full-blown review. Member Avdoulos said that there is a lot of congestion in the area, and when Eight Mile was repaired they may have disturbed some of the traffic light timing. Member Avdoulos said that way finding signs would be helpful. He suggested a sign at the entry that reads, "If a car is at this point, please continue and come again." He said this would be pro-active. He also would like to see a wide-angle site plan of the area.
Chair Kocan asked Mr. Gillam about the Applicant’s request to come back
with plans to review. She was not interested in reviewing a bunch of plans,
but she might be amenable to having the Applicant resubmit a new plan to the
Planning Department. Chair Kocan asked what the options were if this plan
was denied. Mr. Gillam said that if the plan was denied, the Applicant could
take it to circuit court for review. The site plan is the purview of the
Planning Commission, not the ZBA, so it wouldn’t go on to them for review of
those variances. Chair Kocan asked if the plan would go to City Council,
Mr. Gallo said that he wanted to make certain for the record, that he would not have to go to the ZBA in an effort to exhaust all of his appeal options. He wanted to make sure that the circuit court would be his next step.
Chair Kocan thought that the Applicant would appeal a Planning Commission decision to City Council. She also thought that the Applicant could try to get his ZBA variances and then return to the Planning Commission for another review.
Mr. Gillam said that even if the Applicant got his variance requests, that wouldn’t change the Planning Commission’s position. He said there is no administrative remedy for this. The Planning Commission is the last stop as far as the site plan is concerned. Mr. Gallo said that if he continues on it would be to the circuit court level, and Mr. Gillam agreed.
Chair Kocan asked if Mr. Gallo preferred to have this site plan review postponed so that he had the opportunity to work with Staff on another design. Mr. Gallo said yes, if it were to a date certain. Chair Kocan said she did not think it could be made to a date certain. Mr. Gallo said he knew that very well; he’d been trying to get on the agenda for many months. Ms. McBeth said that there are a number of items in for a review and that the next two agendas were already allocated. If the Planning Commission requests a date certain for this Applicant, the Planning Department would comply, but Ms. McBeth reiterated that there are others waiting for Planning Commission review.
Member Lipski said that he would make the motion, but it would not be to a date certain. He said it seemed like the Applicant was looking forward to going to circuit court. Mr. Gallo said he was not excited about that at all.
Moved by Member Lipski, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON HAGGERTY CAR WASH, SP04-55, POSTPONEMENT MOTION MADE BY MEMBER LIPSKI AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
Motion to postpone the hearing of the request of Gerald Odom for Haggerty Car Wash, SP04-55, to a date not certain.
Motion fails 3-3 (Yes: Avdoulos, Kocan, Lipski; No: Cassis, Pehrson, Wrobel)
Mr. Gillam said that there are five specific site plan review criteria listed in the Ordinance. He said that most if not all were covered in the discussion. He asked whether Member Pehrson, as maker of the motion, could include any of the five factors, as he deemed appropriate, to the motion. These criteria can be found in Section 2516: Is the plan in compliance with the applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance? Is there adequate traffic access to and from the site? Is there adequate internal traffic circulation? Is there compatibility with the surrounding use and zoning? Would the activities on the site be considered a nuisance?
Member Pehrson added to the original motion, "The Applicant’s request does not meet the provisions of Section 2516 of the Zoning Ordinance, in that the plan does not provide adequate traffic access to the site to prevent vehicular congestion. It will further the impairment of traffic that may result from access to and from this site. The plan also does not provide proper traffic circulation within the site, location for parking, or an escape route for the safety of the public." Member Wrobel reseconded the motion.
Member Cassis wondered if the nuisance aspect might also apply. He said that the backups into this project could be a nuisance to the surrounding developments. Chair Kocan said that there is a request for a driveway spacing waiver to the north, and because the site plan does not show the distance between this plan’s driveway and the driveway to the south, the Planning Commission does not know the distance. Chair Kocan asked Member Pehrson if he wanted to add, "There could be potential backups onto Haggerty Road that could be a nuisance to surrounding developments," at the request of Member Cassis. The maker and the seconder of the motion agreed to the language.
Member Lipski asked for clarification on voting for a motion that had findings with which he disagreed. Mr. Gillam said that if a Planning Commission member disagrees with the motion or any specific element of the motion, the appropriate vote would be no. Member Lipski asked whether he should clarify his vote at the roll call. Mr. Gillam said that would be his recommendation.
Chair Kocan said that if Member Lipski wished to expound on the reasoning for his vote, he should do so during the discussion, because once the call for the vote has been made, it is strictly a yes or no vote.
Member Lipski said that for the record, he could not support the motion, because he did not agree with the stated external traffic concerns. He did agree with the safety concerns, i.e., there is a lack of an escape route.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON HAGGERTY CAR WASH, SP04-55, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:
In the matter of the request of Gerald Odom of American Land for Haggerty Car Wash, SP04-55, motion to deny the Preliminary Site Plan for the following reasons: 1) The health and safety concerns posed by the amount of traffic being generated; and 2) An insufficient escape route on the plan. The Applicant’s request does not meet the provisions of Section 2516 of the Zoning Ordinance, in that the plan does not provide adequate traffic access to the site to prevent vehicular congestion. It will further the impairment of traffic that may result from access to and from this site. The plan also does not provide proper traffic circulation within the site, location for parking, or an escape route for the safety of the public. Also, there could be potential backups onto Haggerty Road that could be a nuisance to surrounding developments.
Motion carried 5-1 (Yes: Avdoulos, Cassis, Kocan, Pehrson, Wrobel; No: Lipski)
Chair Kocan called for a short break at 9:42 p.m.
3. ADOPTION OF THE 2005-2011 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Member Pehrson said that nothing was changed or modified at the recently held CIP meeting. Chair Kocan clarified that there were four people who each put in their priorities, and from those priorities the list was developed.
Finance Director Kathy Smith-Roy was in attendance and offered to answer any questions. Chair Kocan said that the order of the process was proper this year, the first year Chair Kocan could make that statement. The Planning Commission looked at the CIP, made recommendations to the Committee members, the Committees met, the Planning Commission reviewed it again, and then the CIP went to the Joint CIP meeting. The priorities were incorporated into the document that was before the Planning Commission for adoption at this meeting. She appreciated all the work that was put into this document.
Chair Kocan said that some of the prioritization was adjusted. She said that this is a recommendation to the City Administration. They will look at the document and crunch numbers. They will then make recommendations to City Council. The budget process will still take place.
Chair Kocan said that the most traveled roads in Novi are the roads that have been prioritized. Haggerty Road between Eight Mile and Ten Mile is a safety issues; the gaps need to be filled in.
Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing after determining that no one from the audience wished to speak.
Member Avdoulos asked if the Planning Commission decided to keep items on the list from year to year. Ms. Smith-Roy said that for the most part, that was correct. Sometimes items fall off the list because other Master Plans were being developed. The Stormwater Master Plan and the Sanitary Master Plan are in the process of being completed. Once they are complete, they may affect the order of certain CIP projects.
Member Avdoulos liked the graphics. It helps the reader understand what has to be done. He agreed with Chair Kocan, that the process was fluid and the CIP Committee did a fantastic job. Ms. Smith-Roy acknowledged the efforts of Bill Berdelman, GIS Manager; Brian Coburn, Civil Engineer; and the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Cassis:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON 2005-2011 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT MOTION MADE BY MEMBER AVDOULOS AND SECONDED BY MEMBER CASSIS:
Motion to adopt the 2005-2011 Capital Improvement Program.
Motion carried 6-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. PRESENTATION ON LANDSCAPE BERM SCREENING REQUIREMENTS
Landscape Architect Lance Shipman addressed the Planning Commission. He said that there are screening requirements between uses when adjacent uses are different from one another. There is an 80-90% opacity requirement. There are also height requirements. He said that occasionally comments made about whether the plans that are being approved actually meet the requirements. He said that it may be more of an interpretation issue than an Ordinance issue.
Mr. Shipman said that he would describe the various issues and then perhaps the Planning Commission could decide whether these items should go to the Implementation Committee for further review. The landscape requirements are part of Section 2509 of the Zoning Ordinance.
Berming is required between non-residential and residential, and in some cases, properties adjacent to rights-of-way. The Ordinance refers to opacity/screening requirements. Determining this measurement is very subjective. The landscape manual calls for 80% winter/90% summer opacity. The Ordinance does not explain how that requirement is measured. There is no height specified. The time frame is an issue. There is a twenty-foot intermittent visual obstruction requirement in the Ordinance. Some feel that the opacity requirement is necessary at the twenty-foot level. That is somewhat not feasible. It is not described by way of illustration within the Ordinance. A better description of how to measure this opacity would be helpful.
The Ordinance states there is a two-year requirement to achieve opacity. From Mr. Shipman’s experience, when a tree is transplanted, it usually takes two or three years for the tree to grow. There is a transplant shock to the tree. There is a two-to-three year period where a transplanted tree may not grow at all. Its planting size is required by the Ordinance. For example, an evergreen must be seven feet tall. A tree this size would be four-to-five feet wide at the base. By following those guidelines, as well as the minimum spacing guidelines, these trees can’t be planted closer than ten feet in staggered rows, fifteen feet in straight rows. At best, there is a five-foot gap when the trees are planted. The opacity will probably not be met in two years. An evergreen is triangular in shape, so the measurement of opacity would be different at different heights. It is helpful to plant various types of trees to help the Applicant meet the opacity requirements.
Mr. Shipman said that most projects in Novi have been planted according to the old Ordinance. The new Ordinance does provide illustrations, but the language remained the same. Mr. Shipman showed an illustration from the old Ordinance, and he said it indicated that the opacity was closer to five feet, where the 80/90 opacity requirement was reached. Mr. Shipman provided a rendering of a plan designed under the old Ordinance. When the plan is progressed to show tree maturity, the opacity is probably reached for great deal of the height. Maturity may take ten, twenty, even 25 years.
Mr. Shipman said that when plants are placed on a berm, the growth process is slowed down. Water intake is harder, as the water wants to run down the berm. It is a harsher environment in which to grow. That again, brings the question of what is the true time frame that the City is looking for the opacity requirement to be achieved?
Mr. Shipman displayed an illustration from the new Ordinance’s landscape manual. It depicted a double row of evergreens, flanked by pods of deciduous trees skirting the berm. The design was on a ten-foot berm. He noted that many of the berms are only 4½ feet high. Mr. Shipman provided a depiction of the design at the time of planting. He noted that no shrubs were shown, which indicates that the Ordinance would approve of that planting arrangement. He said that the majority of the building was very visible. Since the trees were brought down the slope of the berm, it brings the trees even lower. At maturity, this design probably achieve the opacity requirement quite well. Again, he asked, what is the timeframe that the City is looking at?
Mr. Shipman said that the timeframe question is occasionally asked. Sometimes the berm is only 4½ feet tall, which brings the whole opacity level lower.
Mr. Shipman said that the Ordinance does not give a clear definition for the twenty-foot intermittent obstruction. Where is this measured from? Would it be from the base of the berm? Is it measured from the top of the berm? That should be cleared up. In most cases, even if the land was flat, the intermittent visual obstruction will be achieved. Trees grow up to twenty feet, even higher. How big can the gaps be? This is a grey area. Applicants are now asking whether their design works.
Mr. Shipman recommended that the Planning Commission direct the Implementation Committee to review these issues. He thought that the Ordinance stood on its own, but there was confusion.
Chair Kocan told that Planning Commission that other cities’ Ordinance typically require a "visual screen six to eight feet tall within five years of installation." Mr. Shipman responded that this requirement would require shrubs. A paragraph in the Ordinance does state that a berm shall be comprised of trees, shrubs and ground cover. This suggests that a mix is needed. He said that the language posed by Chair Kocan helps define the visual obstructions.
Mr. Shipman said that this is the first community he has worked with that uses the opacity language. Typically the language states "visual obstruction" and is usually interpreted at 100%. A height range, usually six to eight feet, is provided. A time frame is usually provided; five years seems to be sufficient. The twenty-foot intermittent obstruction requirement would ensure that not everyone plants fifteen-foot tall trees. He thought it would be appropriate to add language that determines the height measurement. Mr. Shipman said that if the proposed language was used, it should be measured from the top of the berm.
Chair Kocan said that it is deceiving to see the proposed plan with matured landscaping, and then seeing the new planting at the time of development. Her intent would be to include language to help the opacity along. She said the berm is there to help attenuate noise and block the view. The trees will also help disguise the building. She said this will help between non-compatible adjacent properties.
Chair Kocan asked if the 80/90% language should be removed, and the new language would then take its place. Mr. Shipman said that was an option, since opacity can be somewhat subject. This would provide a more reasonable expectation. He said that the Planning Commission could re-evaluate planting sizes. His initial reaction to the Ordinance requirement would be that three rows of staggered plant material, greater than seven feet, are required. Mr. Shipman said that the "minimum" is what is going to be planted. An Applicant will probably not come in and plant bigger trees. He said that the good landscape practices have to be expected. He said that trees that are planted too close together will be a problem in the future. The trees compete. Oversized trees have a less likelihood of survival, because of the root mass involved.
Mr. Shipman said that some projects were designed with twelve-foot evergreens. There is a high rate of loss for those trees. This becomes a back and forth problem in getting these trees replaced.
Member Cassis said that from his experience, planting smaller trees turn
into beautiful trees. In his own case, he planted two huge evergreens and
Member Cassis asked if a berm has to come to a peak. He asked if it could have a flush surface at the top. Mr. Shipman said that the City typically asks for a crest. It is advisable to have a crest, especially if landscape will be provided. He said that the wider the crest, the wider the berm, the more land that is required. Member Cassis asked if the berm height could be sacrificed to provide a more even top surface. Mr. Shipman said that visually the opacity could be met. It would make a bit of difference for noise attenuation. Vegetation blocks sound but not as well as a solid mass.
Member Cassis did not believe that machine humming and noises was an issue in Novi. Mr. Shipman said that the industrial districts do anticipate a higher level of noise. Mr. Shipman said that industrial-zoned property does have its share of noises, and it couldn’t be determined on a case-by-case basis because the use might change. The Ordinance is designed to protect. He did not have a suggestion for berm-height reduction. Member Cassis said that perhaps the different zoning districts should require different sized berms. Mr. Shipman said that it is already the case, office uses require lower berms than industrial uses.
Chair Kocan said that the berm requirement states that the crest must be five feet wide. Mr. Shipman said that it actually varies by district. Chair Kocan said she found that requirement in 2509.3.a.5.d. Mr. Shipman said that was the requirement for residential adjacent to non-residential. Other berms, like right-of-way berms, vary in sizes.
Chair Kocan asked the Planning Commission if they would like to have the Implementation Committee review this Ordinance language – to look at growth times, opacity requirements, visual screening, etc.
Member Cassis said that the Ordinance must abide by the laws of nature.
Member Avdoulos asked if the idea was to update the Ordinance for clarity. He asked what it was that Mr. Shipman wanted them to look at. Mr. Shipman responded that there are two issues: Description of opacity measurement, and does the Ordinance achieve what it set out to achieve? Member Avdoulos thought this could be sent to the Implementation Committee. He agreed that sometimes people are in a rush to see the desired results. Member Avdoulos asked if the Landscape Ordinance comparison chart provided any example that achieved what this City is trying to achieve. Mr. Shipman said that an Ordinance may be written to allow creativity. This opens the door for subjectivity and review. Sometimes these work very well. It could open up certain challenges. Some Ordinances are quantitative, and provide hard numbers. It takes away some of the subjectivity. This gives the Applicant a bit more confidence in submitting a design.
Mr. Shipman stated that Canton has always been known as having a stringent Ordinance. They require the six to eight foot, five year requirement. They have a quantitative Ordinance similar to Novi. He said this proposed language encourages staggered row plantings. It encourages shrubs. Member Avdoulos liked the language, and he also thought the City should encourage Applicants to go above and beyond the call.
Moved by Member Lipski, seconded by Member Pehrson:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON LANDSCAPE BERM SCREENING REQUIREMENTS MOTION MADE BY MEMBER LIPSKI AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PEHRSON:
Motion to send
Motion carried 6-0.
2. APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 8, 2004 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission turned in their grammatical changes for incorporation into the minutes.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Cassis:
VOICE VOTE ON DECEMBER 8, 2004 MINUTES MOTION MADE BY MEMBERS PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER CASSIS:
Motion to approve the minutes of December 8, 2004 as amended.
Motion carried 8-0.
3. APPROVAL OF FEBRUARY 23, 2005 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission turned in their grammatical changes for incorporation into the minutes.
VOICE VOTE ON FEBRUARY 23, 2005 MINUTES MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON, SECONDED BY MEMBER LIPSKI:
Motion to approve the minutes of February 23, 2005 as amended.
Motion carried 8-0.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There was no Consent Agenda Removals for Planning Commission Action.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
Chair Kocan said that there is an Implementation Committee meeting on Monday, March 14, 2005 at 6:00 p.m.
There were no Supplemental Issues.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Moved by Member Pehrson:
Motion to adjourn
Motion carried 6-0.
The meeting adjourned at or about 10:45 p.m.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
MON 03/14/05 IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE MEETING 6:00 PM
MON 03/21/05 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 03/23/05 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
FRI 03/25/05 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 04/04/05 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
TUE 04/05/05 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
WED 04/13/05 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 04/18/05 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 04/27/05 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, March 28, 2005 Signature on File
Date Approved: April 13, 2005 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date