View Agenda for this meeting
View Action Summary for this meeting

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2005 7:30 P.M.
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, Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Wayne Wrobel
Absent: Andrew Gutman (excused), David Lipski (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Mark Spencer, Planner; Jason Myers, Planner; Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect; Ben Croy, Civil Engineer; David Gillam, City Attorney

Member Kocan led the meeting attendees in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

City Attorney David Gillam told the Planning Commission that at the previous City Council meeting, the stipulation attached to the Orchard Hills North Woodland Permit was repealed. He said it would be appropriate for the Planning Commission to add to this Agenda, a discussion on whether a Reconsideration of the Orchard Hills North Preliminary Site Plan approval should be placed on the following Agenda. Member Wrobel asked that this topic be placed on the Agenda as Item #3 under Matters for Consideration, and Member Pehrson seconded the request. The Planning Commission took an informal voice vote to confirm their approval of this Agenda addition (the item was eventually discussed as Item #2).

Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Meyer:


Motion to approve the Agenda of October 12, 2005 as amended. Motion carried 6-0.

No one from the audience wished to speak.

There was no Correspondence to share.

There were no Committee Reports. There was an Implementation Committee tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 17, 2005, though Member Kocan did not think a quorum would be present. She suggested that the members of that Committee consider Tuesday, October 18, 2005.

Director of Planning Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission that several items previously reviewed by the Planning Commission were on the most recent City Council Agenda. City Council approved the Providence Hospital permanent helistop location. The Rosenzweig Rezoning (Fourteen Mile between M-5 and Haggerty) was approved, changing the property from R-A to R-4. The Tuscany Reserve request for an RUD Amendment was approved. Evergreen Estates’ request for a sidewalk waiver for one side of the road was approved, as well as their request for the shared, narrow driveway for the two northerly lots. Taft Knolls II’s request for a sidewalk waiver for one side of the road was approved, as was the request for a reverse frontage lot request. Orchard Hills North’s request to remove the Lot 3 stipulation from the Woodland Permit was approved with certain conditions. Finally, Ms. McBeth said the Public Hearing on a property near Twelve Mile and Dixon will not be heard at this Planning Commission meeting due to the Applicant not providing adequate on-site signage.

There was no Consent Agenda.

The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Jeff James for Preliminary Site Plan, Wetland Permit, Woodland Permit, and Storm Water Management Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 35, north of Eight Mile and west of Meadowbrook Road in the R-1, One Family Residential District. The subject property is approximately 9.31 acres total. The Applicant proposes building a 900-foot long cul-de-sac and utilities to serve 13 lots for single-family dwellings.

Planner Mark Spencer stated that the project is located west of Meadowbrook Road on the north side of Eight Mile. The site contains two existing dwellings and accessory buildings that will be removed. The site borders Country Place Condominiums on the west and north, Pine Hollow Subdivision on the north, Mirabella Estates (formally the Meadowbrook 8 site condominium) that is under construction, and single family homes in Northville Township to the south.

Mr. Spencer said that the site is master planned for single family uses with a maximum density of 1.65 dwelling units per acre. The properties to the east and northeast are also in the Master Plan for single family uses with the same density. The south is master planned for residential. The west and north properties are master planned Multiple Residential at 9.3 units per acre.

Mr. Spencer said that the site is in the R-1 Single Family Zoning District. To the north are RM-1 Multi Family Residential and R-2 One Family Residential. To the east is R-1 One Family Residential. To the south are R-1 and R-2 Residential in Northville Township. To the west is RM-1 Multi Family Residential.

The regulated Wetland Map does not depict any wetlands. The site plan indicates two wetlands associated with an inter-county drain on the southeast corner of the property. The City’s regulated Woodland Map depicts a sizable amount of medium density woodlands.

The Applicant is requesting approval for the Preliminary Site Plan, Wetland Permit, Woodlands Permit and Stormwater Management Plan for a 13 lot site condominium. The project proposes a 900-foot long cul-de-sac style public street, sidewalks along Eight Mile and the proposed cul-de-sac, a gated entry structure, utilities to serve 13 lots for single-family dwellings and associated landscaping.

The Planning Review does not recommend approval due to several items not complying with the City Ordinance. As required in the Subdivision Ordinance, the streets do not extend to the neighboring property. Staff supports a City Council waiver of this requirement since neighboring properties are developed and they did not provide for a future road connection.

The length of the proposed road exceeds the maximum 800 feet permitted without a secondary access as required in the Subdivision Ordinance. An access easement to the east is depicted on the site plan, but it does not connect to the existing easement on the Meadowbrook 8 (now Mirabella) property. The Applicant’s engineer stated in their reply letter that they would provide the connection. The Applicant worked with Staff on a conservation option that would have reduced the length of the road and eliminate the need for the connection, but they elected not to take advantage of the option.

A gate is depicted on the landscape plan and the Applicant has indicated a desire to apply for a City Council waiver to construct a gate. The City’s Fire Protection Code prohibits gates. Also Staff does not support a gate because it tends to isolate communities and it is not appropriate to gate a public road. In addition, public safety has indicated some difficulty in gaining access to gated communities and they have not noticed any substantial decrease in crime in gated developments.

The Wetland Review recommends approval of the site plan and Wetland Permit with some minor issues to be addressed at final site plan.

The Woodland Review does not recommend approval of the Woodland Permit because woodland preservation is limited on the site. The Applicant is proposing a fifteen-foot conservation easement along the east property line and a 30 to 35 foot easement along the west property line to protect some of the site’s existing trees and some of the proposed mitigation trees. Trees will be left on approximately one-third of the lots and additional tree mitigation will be addressed as each of these lots is developed.

The Landscape Review does not recommend approval of the Preliminary Site Plan because of several items not complying the Landscape provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. The Applicant is requesting a Planning Commission Waiver of the landscape berm requirement on the north and west boundary. Staff supports this waiver if screening is provided that meets noise attenuation and opacity requirements. Existing trees along the west boundary may provide sufficient buffering. Obtaining sufficient buffering along the north boundary may be problematic due to two existing sewer lines near the property line. Staff has discussed with the Applicant the possibility of planting a single row of large conifers within the sewer easement to accomplish the required opacity if they can maintain a ten foot separation from the sewer lines. It may be possible to place a wall ten feet from the lines instead of the landscaped berm. Also, Engineering has indicated a berm with shrubs and shallow rooted ornamental trees may be acceptable.

Berming and landscaping east of the entrance does not meet Ordinance requirements. Staff supports a waiver of these requirements due to severe grade changes at this location. The detention pond is in this area, and the first house is much further back. The Applicant has proposed additional plantings in the Eight Mile right-of-way. Staff supports this waiver subject to Wayne County approval.

Mr. Spencer said that except for the items noted, the plan is in general compliance with City Ordinance with minor corrections to be made on the Final Site Plan.

Jeff James addressed the Planning Commission. He introduced Dino Lekas, JJR (landscaping); Andrew Schripsema of Warner Cantrall and Padmos (Engineering); Matt Stone-Palmquist and Derrick Strylock, King and MacGregor Environmental (Wetlands); John Moses, Mike's Tree Surgeons (Woodlands).

Mr. James said that there is a sanitary line along the north property line which was owned by the City of Novi and installed by the City of the Novi. Currently there is no easement associated with the line. Its location and extensive clear cutting of the trees has created a problem for this development, with respect to Ordinance compliance. He said the problem is the distance between the existing line and the property line is only about twenty feet. To create the buffer required, the trees would have to be planted in the proposed sanitary easement to create the opacity that the City is looking for. Mr. James has no intention of seeking financial compensation from the City of Novi for that sanitary easement – by way of a condemnation hearing, or any other type of procedure. He hoped to grant the City the easement conditioned upon resolution of the associated engineering and landscape plans.

Mr. James continued that the small noncontiguous stand of trees proposed to be saved in the proximity of the Lot 7 area is clearly mitigated by the extensive conservation easements bordering the entire site, and the many replacement trees placed within those easements. He asked the Planning Commission to consider the letters provided by Mike’s Tree Surgeons, King and MacGregor, and JJR. Their goal is to preserve as many trees as possible on each lot while providing the approved grading and drainage needed for the site.

Mr. James said that the secondary access issue was unresolved. The plan before the Planning Commission shows the access between Lots 9 and 10, which required the Meadowbrook 8 site to relocate their previously approved emergency access drive from Lots 5 and 6 to Lots 4 and 5. Mr. James worked on this agreement with Vistal Home and Land Development, with the stipulation that Vistal would be the exclusive builder of these homes. Both engineering firms (RP Donen and Warner Cantrell and Padmos) worked on the new emergency access connection. The City has reviewed this new location and approved it. The new access location is now staked and cut in on the Meadowbrook 8 site. The required culvert for drainage has been staked and cut in as well. The Master Deed for Meadowbrook 8 has been revised to show the new site of the access. The carrier pipe for the water main loop is already installed under the existing street on the Meadowbrook 8 site, so as not to tear up their existing street and curb. This was done by Vistal, and paid for by Mr. James. The utility plan for Meadowbrook 8 has been changed to accommodate the new location of the access drive (gas, electric, telephone and cable). Mr. James said that two days prior to his submitting the plans for this Planning Commission meeting, Vistal informed him that due to the weakening economy and the slowing down of their home sales, they were no longer interested in building the homes within the Normandy Hills site, and now were unwilling to relocate the access drive.

Mr. James continued that Meadowbrook 8 did offer to keep the proposed drive if Mr. James gave them one of three things: An interest free loan for twelve months, a site in Normandy Hills (average value of $225,000), or $200,000 cash. Mr. James said that these options were unacceptable, and were never previously negotiated. Now, Mr. James said that his options at this time include requesting a variance from City Council for the emergency access drive, or redesigning the site to match the original Meadowbrook 8 stub.

Mr. James apologized for this last minute problem, but emphasized that the problem was not of his doing. He said he appreciated any comments from the Planning Commission.

Chair Cassis opened the floor up for public comment:
• Karen Gibbs, 41520 Eight Mile: Property owner adjacent to the east. She was concerned about the drainage, and wanted to ensure that any development on this site would not adversely affect her property. Previously she had been advised that the “Meadowbrook 8” property (different owner at the time) needed their property for a retention basin. The northwest corner of her property does tend to collect water. She didn’t want any more water added to this area to add more flow into their creek.

Chair Cassis asked Member Wrobel to read the correspondence into the record:
• Sandra Steffke, 41757 Onaway: Objected because she wanted the woodlands preserved.
• Virginia Ericson, 20923 East Glen Haven Circle: Objected because the woodlands and wetlands should be protected.
• Dorothy Hand: Approved of the project:
• Norman Kotarski, 21216 West Glen Haven: Objected for density and traffic reasons.
• Bernadette Nentwick, 21218 East Glen Haven: Approved of the project.
• Thomas and Amelia Griffin, 21136 East Glen Haven: Objected because the woodlands, wetlands and habitat should be protected.
• Harry Robbins, 20958 East Glen Haven: Approved of the project.
• Phyllis Johnston, 20871 East Glen Haven: Objected for traffic reasons.
• Maria and Anthony Corridore, 20860 East Glen Haven: Objected because the woodlands and natural habitat should be preserved, and there is too much development in area.
• Rosemary Burke, 20854 East Glen Haven Circle: Approved because it would improve the value of the area.
• Linda Claussen, 20844 East Glen Haven: Objected for density and traffic reasons. The natural setting and wildlife is being displaced.
• JoAnn McClure, 41765 Onaway Drive: Objected because the wildlife would be displaced. The design is too dense.
• John Little, 21135 Meadowbrook: Approved of the project although he was concerned about the loss of habitat.
• Diana Klawitter, 41767 Onaway: Objected because the wetlands would be affected. She was concerned that she received the Public Notice just four days prior to the meeting.

Chair Cassis closed the Public Hearing.

Member Wrobel stated that he did not like gated communities. He did not see where there would be turn-around space for those vehicles that did not gain access. He did not see a decel lane for this development shown on the plans.

Member Wrobel asked why Wayne County was the approving body for the Eight Mile corridor. Mr. Spencer responded that Wayne County is responsible for Eight Mile.

Member Kocan was concerned about this property back when Meadowbrook 8 was designed because of the cross access. It was discussed at that time the access would be off the cul-de-sac because the woodlands were of such high quality, and therefore, there would not be access for this site off of Meadowbrook Road. She felt that the woodlands would be devastated. She said that 25 feet of deciduous trees are nothing in the winter time. She was disappointed in this plan, and wished that there was an alternate plan with a preservation option. She recognized that the amount of density being requested is less than what is allowed on the site. She appreciated that the Applicant was choosing to build larger homesites.

Member Kocan wanted to maintain the intent and integrity of the Woodland Ordinance. She said that this has not been done at this time.

Member Kocan did not support the gated access request for health and safety reasons – Section 15-21g prohibits use of gates across public and private streets, and she wanted to be consistent in her decisions.

Member Kocan asked if this Applicant had any recourse regarding this emergency access. She said that Meadowbrook 8 has actually moved the location of their emergency access to accommodate this Applicant’s request, and they have cleared the trees – and now they have shut the door on this request. City Attorney David Gillam deferred to Director of Planning Barbara McBeth. She responded that they have discussed moving the easement with Meadowbrook 8 but she did not recall their submitting an actual revised easement location. Mr. Gillam continued that Meadowbrook 8 is obligated at this time to provide the easement that has already been approved – not one that has just been discussed between these two applicants. Mr. Spencer showed where the two locations of the easements are. Mr. Gillam summarized the issue, and said that this Applicant could also go to City Council and seek a waiver for the emergency access. Otherwise, they must resubmit their plans connecting to the original location.

Member Kocan said that it was unfortunate that both properties weren’t looked at when the original easement was agreed upon. She said the road going east and west would have been a perfect solution to this.

Member Kocan said that the Eight Mile entrance is designed with a fence. There is no room for a berm on the east side because of the creek and the culvert. Landscape Architect Lance Shipman described the decorative treatment that uses both a mason wall and fence with masonry piers. To the east of the entrance it begins as a wall and becomes a fence as it nears the water. The Applicant said that a full wall might require trench footing, and the slope is pretty drastic. It might be difficult to maintain the soil in that area, which would result in severe erosion. They have opted to propose the fence with piers rather than a wall. To the west, the treatment is a full masonry wall, for the full extent of the frontage to the property line. There is also a berm on the west, and the wall is on top of the berm.

Member Kocan asked about the north property line and the utility easement. Mr. Shipman said there is an assumed utility easement at the rear portion of the property, in the area where the City would require berming and screening. This poses a problem. The City Engineer and the Applicant have discussed the feasibility of this situation. This easement limits the treatment that can be placed in the area. Currently there is talk of a single row of evergreen trees that would be placed on the north side of the sanitary line. It would not meet the full intent of the screening requirement, but would likely be the best option. The Engineering Department is not opposed to the placement of the berm with shallow rooted vegetation, but a staggering of evergreens is not feasible.

Member Kocan said that technically, this is residential next to residential. Mr. Shipman explained that “Multiple Residential” is treated like commercial. The screening requirement is necessary between that zoning and Single Family Residential. Member Kocan said that the berming is beneficial to both uses. She confirmed with Mr. Shipman that the berm is more to protect the lower density from the higher density. Mr. Shipman also said that usually it is the obligation of the higher density use to provide the berm, however, in this case the Multiple was already legally developed, so the burden falls on this Applicant.

Member Kocan thought that she heard the Applicant state that the easement area has already been clear cut, but she thought there was a Preservation Easement in place. Member Kocan asked if any trees were left in the 35-foot setback near the north property line. Woodland Consultant Larry DeBrincat responded that the north area was cleared, and it is assumed that it was cleared during the sanitary sewer line construction.

Member Kocan asked whether Lot 5 had an awful lot of trees outside of the building envelope that were scheduled for removal. She asked if there was a slope to the land. Mr. DeBrincat explained that there is a sanitary sewer line that goes in on one side, and a storm sewer line that goes in on the other side. Therefore, the side lot lines will be cleared. Also, the Applicant submitted a preliminary grading plan, which has a swale running across the back part of Lot 5, east of the Conservation Easement. That area was going to be cleared as well. Mr. DeBrincat explained that historically, when swales run through a woodland area, the construction of the swale would be hand dug, and the preservation of trees would be paramount. The swale should run around the trees to reduce the number of trees being removed. He would like to work with the Applicant on this project. Some understory would have to be removed, but perhaps some of the trees larger than eight inches could be saved.

Member Kocan said that a comment was made in the review of this project about whether feasible alternatives were considered, or whether the length of the cul-de-sac could be reduced to eliminate the need for the emergency access. Mr. DeBrincat said that one alternative was developed by the Staff which used a smaller lot size, and would have preserved more of the woodland area to the north. This would have reduced the length of the cul-de-sac. The Applicant has not submitted a plan of this nature. They did not like the smaller lot design on the alternative plan.

Member Pehrson asked about the sugar maples on Lots 7 and 8, and the wildlife in the area. Mr. DeBrincat used the term “isolation” for that area because that particular woodland is not connected to any other woodland areas. There isn’t a way to connect these woodlands to any other woodland. The best tree quality is located on Lots 7 and 8. The higher concentration is on Lot 7.

Member Pehrson wondered whether there were any Planning Commission options to actually protect the woodlands. Previously, the Planning Commission was trying to preserve the integrity of another plan’s woodlands by suggesting that lots be removed from the plan, only to have City Council send the request back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration. Ms. McBeth responded that the Planning Commission could ask for alternative designs that might preserve additional trees. She said that the Planning Department has been working with the Applicant for many months on this site. The Applicant has been responsive.

Mr. Gillam said that while the Ordinance is meant to preserve the woodlands, and the Planning Commission would like to see the woodlands preserved, the Planning Commission just does not have the authority to impose a Conservation Easement upon an Applicant in order to preserve the woodlands. As Ms. McBeth suggested, the Planning Commission can request alternative designs. Generally speaking, if the requirements of the Ordinance are met (regarding lot size, etc.), subject to the layout of the utilities and roads, the Applicant does have the right to use the lots that have been proposed. The Planning Commission cannot dictate that an Applicant set aside a lot as a method of Woodlands Preservation. The Planning Commission can ask for preservation, and the Applicant can offer it, but the Planning Commission cannot require it. An option that the Planning Commission does have is to ask the Applicant for additional information. The Planning Commission can encourage the Applicant to continue to work with the City on the building envelope definitions, the size of the structures, etc. In the recent case that Member Pehrson cited earlier, these are the kind of issues that City Council was asking the Planning Commission to reconsider. The City is comfortable in discussing these items with an Applicant from a legal standpoint.

Mr. Gillam also said the Applicant has made reference to using deed restrictions for the preservation of woodlands. The Planning Commission could ask the Applicant to expand further on that issue. How would he use deed restrictions to further preserve the woodlands?

Member Pehrson said it was in everyone’s best interest for the Applicant to come up with a solution that fits. He wished to encourage the City not to just settle for what seems to fit because it is the straightest line on a plan or it is the easiest thing to present. The City is slowly running out of pieces of property that have woodlands. It behooves everyone to put more effort into the planning.

Member Pehrson asked about the decel lane for Eight Mile. Steve Dearing, Traffic Consultant, explained that Eight Mile is a multi-lane design in this area. Acceleration and deceleration lanes are most valuable on two-lane roads, where turning movements into the site tend to greatly impede traffic. Once there is a multi-lane road, there isn’t much need for the accel/decel lanes, unless one is proposing a particularly heavy traffic producer, like a shopping center.

Member Pehrson was concerned about the length of the cul-de-sac. There is a reason why the Fire Marshal wants the road less than 800 feet. He was troubled by the lack of emergency access. He was not a fan of gates because it provides for isolation. He did not think a gate serves any other purpose, other than perhaps aesthetics.

Member Pehrson asked about the soil boring samples. Civil Engineer Ben Croy responded that he reviews the boring to ascertain a description of the soil. Are there clay, sand, traces of gravel? Hopefully there isn’t peat or loam or other types of wetland soils. Those soils would have to be excavated and replaced. He also looks to see where the ground water elevation is. With these borings, ground water wasn’t even encountered. Mr. Croy said this was a typical example of a soil boring.

Member Meyer thought that the emergency access could still be achieved with the neighbor through negotiations. He could not approve of the plan without that access. He believed that a gate along Eight Mile would be very close to Lot 1, and he would rather see a different design or a plan on how this proposal would work. There is a light at Eight Mile and Meadowbrook, and therefore he thought that perhaps the traffic wasn’t a critical issue.

Member Meyer said he would like the residents’ concerns about flooding be addressed. He would also like to hear the Applicant’s proposal for the deed restrictions. He was concerned about the trees, but he got the impression from the Applicant that a Conservation Easement would address this issue.

Member Avdoulos asked about the detention and sedimentation pond. Mr. Croy said that he felt the design would not yield concerns. He didn’t quite follow what the neighbor was suggesting in her comments. The basin is on the other side of the property and the request for a reduction in that setback would only affect lots in that area. There is a watercourse between this property and the one to the east, and there is a steep slope going up on that property. The discharge from the detention basin is at the southern end of the property. It will leave the property and go under Eight Mile. There shouldn’t be any backup waters or additional flooding concerns for the neighbor who spoke earlier.

Member Avdoulos noted that one of the Engineering Review comments requested that the Applicant verify that his drainage is not directed offsite at the rear of Lot 13, which is right near the sediment basin. The comment also stated that it appears there is a slight slope to the east. Mr. Croy responded that the slope could be handled by some grading in the area. Mr. Croy said he would be reviewing that.

Member Avdoulos asked about the emergency access situation. Mr. James explained that when they laid out their plan, the area between their Lots 9 and 10 lined up with their lot lines between Lots 5 and 6. It seemed like an appropriate place to put the access – neither property would be adversely affected. Mr. James approached them regarding this change, and they were very open to the request. Meadowbrook 8 has already cut in the access road at the location agreed upon with Normandy Hills. The area is staked, the culvert is there, the deed restrictions have been changed. The leader pipe for the water line has been installed, to carry underneath their street. This was put in before they paved. The City’s Engineering Department was given the full set of plans from Mr. Bauman of Vistal that reflected this change. The Planning Department reviewed it for location and has approved it pending the Planning Commission’s approval of location for both sites.

Member Avdoulos asked whether the Meadowbrook 8 property has already made this physical change on their site without final approval. Mr. James responded that the City approved it for location and design, and copies were sent to the Fire Marshal, Ben Croy and Barbara McBeth. The approval was pending the Planning Commission’s final approval of the relocation.

Member Avdoulos asked if Meadowbrook 8 had to bring their plan back to the Planning Commission for approval of the relocated access. He said it seemed like the intent was for these two property owners to agree on a mutually beneficial connection. Something was presented for approval, and now at the last second there is a pull-back. The opportunity is there but he did not know if the Planning Commission could take full advantage of it. Ms. McBeth responded that his understanding seemed correct – the Engineering Department was presented with plans for review, which has apparently been done. She apologized that she did not recall that happening. She said she expected that at some point the City would make a determination that if these two points line up, the request would come before the Planning Commission for approval, unless they felt this was something that could be done administratively.

Member Avdoulos said that the official plan approved stands, even though the proposed new location has been prepared on site. Mr. James said that these alterations to their plan would have to be corrected on their site. Member Avdoulos reiterated that the physical change on the Meadowbrook 8 site was done without official approval, and now this new location would be better for both developments, but he did not know where this could be taken from here. Mr. Gillam responded that it is not the Planning Commission’s role or the City Attorney’s role to address the relationship between the two Applicants. The issue is whether or not there is an official approval of the change in the location of the Meadowbrook 8 access. It was his understanding from what he has read that there is not an official approval. The City must work from what is on the books.

Member Avdoulos understood that, but there are times that the Planning Commission asks an Applicant to work with a neighboring Applicant to find an amenable location for access points. It appears that the attempt was made, and the process was heading in that direction. If Meadowbrook 8 was developed years ago, then the connection would exist and that is where the City has to consider as the access point. Right now, until anything is officially documented, the original location is what the City has to look at. Based on comments in the reviews and by the Planning Commission members, Member Avdoulos would consider very heavily having the secondary access. If that is the location, then that is where it has to be worked out, unless by some stroke of luck the proposed location can become official. If so, he would have no issues with that location. As Mr. Gillam indicated, this is not a legal situation for the Planning Commission to resolve.

Mr. James said he understood. He added that he felt bad bringing the plan forward with this issue unresolved. He continued that a very preliminary design has been submitted, showing access to the original location. Member Avdoulos said he was not prepared to review the new submittal at the meeting.

Member Avdoulos said that some of the wetland and woodland issues have been addressed. Sometimes a gate is not a big deal – it gives the people in that community an added sense of security. The reason that the City tends to shy away from gated communities is that it creates pods that become disconnected from the fabric of the community. There is a plan to put sidewalks everywhere. Citizens want this completed. They want to use them for a walkway system for their health and aesthetic reasons. It would be nice not to have things cordoned off, so people can walk up Eight Mile, walk through the sub, then walk back out. They can then enjoy the community that they are in. That is his strongest reason for not approving gates. He has been told that there is access to these communities at any time, but after 6:00 p.m., the gates are shut and he cannot go into the community.

The traffic issues were cleared and Member Avdoulos thought there would be minimal impact. He agreed with Member Meyer that the development is right at a light. The traffic should be okay. The engineering issues have also been taken into account.

Member Avdoulos appreciated the Applicant’s willingness to work with the City. He was familiar with his consultants, so he knew the proper effort was being put forth.

Chair Cassis felt that every aspect of the development had been discussed, without asking for an alternative plan. As to its efficacy and whether it will work for the City, he felt that the alternative plan was necessary. Once a legal situation has been established, the Planning Commission has no authority to change it. As to the access’ best location, as everyone has agreed, it would be at the proposed location. However, the negotiations between the two Applicants maybe should continue. Chair Cassis suggested that be the case. If that is impossible, then Chair Cassis suggested that the Applicant continue to work with the City on the alternative design. He hoped that the Applicant has taken the comments made by the Planning Commission to heart.

Another troubling thing about this plan is that due to the cul-de-sac being so long, coupled with its location on Eight Mile, Chair Cassis felt he had to pass on the request for a gated access. With the gates so close to the curb, he felt the Applicant was creating a tough situation, as far as the Fire Marshal is concerned. If the Applicant was willing to move everything to the north, and create a “staging” area before the gate, he might approve of the gate request. The cul-de-sac is difficult for a firetruck to maneuver and make its turn in order to protect the people.

Chair Cassis would like to see an alternative plan. If the Applicant continues to work with the City, and with the neighbor, Chair Cassis hoped the issues could be resolved. He said the Applicant has expended a great amount of work, and if it wasn’t for so many different items on the list, this plan could have been worked out.

Member Pehrson asked Mr. Gillam if the Planning Commission had the option of postponing the matter and requesting the Applicant to return with an alternative plan, or did the Planning Commission have to outright deny the plan. Mr. Gillam said that the Planning Commission could do either. He said it sounded as though the Applicant has taken the effort to begin working on an alternative plan with the appropriate connection to Meadowbrook 8. Mr. Gillam suggested that the Applicant make known his wishes before the Planning Commission makes their motion on the plan. He said the Applicant could seek a variance from the City Council for the cul-de-sac length without a secondary access. Ms. McBeth explained that the Applicant has worked well with the City, and she felt it would be beneficial to the Applicant to postpone action of this plan until the Staff and Consultants can take a look at the alternative plan. If the site plan were denied, the Applicant would be back at square one. An alternative would be considered a revised Preliminary Site Plan. A number of aspects would have already been reviewed. Not everything on this plan is going to change. It might be more straightforward, to move ahead in this manner. Mr. James preferred to be postponed.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:

In the matter Normandy Hills, SP05-03a, motion to postpone until the next available meeting, at such time the petitioner can detail the connection with the Meadowbrook 8 subdivision for emergency access and develop and present a revised site plan for consideration to the Planning Commission.

Member Kocan asked if it were important for the motion to state that the Planning Commission’s preference is that the gate be removed from the design, or would the minutes make clear the Planning Commission’s position. Mr. Gillam said the Planning Commission could state whatever concerns or suggestions it would like. If the Planning Commission is comfortable with what is already in the record, then it wouldn’t have to be restated in the motion. Member Kocan confirmed with the Applicant that he was comfortable with his understanding of the Planning Commission’s comments made at the meeting. He asked for a copy of the minutes to assist him with his recollection. Mr. James said his intent was to work with the City on meeting the intent of the Ordinance. He said that they would look at other options beside the currently proposed gate.

Chair Cassis commented that the Meadowbrook 8 project was recently turned down for a higher wall. Chair Cassis suggested that the Applicant consider broaching that subject during the conversation regarding the access point. He said that perhaps they might wish to bring the issue back for reconsideration. He was not suggesting that the Planning Commission would be involved in their negotiation.

Member Kocan asked if it would behoove the City to contact the Meadowbrook 8 developers to inform them that their current requirement is what was approved on their plans. Mr. James said that Meadowbrook 8 was of the mind that they were not obligated to have a secondary access whatsoever. Member Kocan seemed to remember that they requested the removal of the access stipulation, but their request was denied. Ms. McBeth said that the City would be in contact with them.


In the matter Normandy Hills, SP05-03a, motion to postpone until the next available meeting, at such time the petitioner can detail the connection with the Meadowbrook 8 subdivision for emergency access and develop and present a revised site plan for consideration to the Planning Commission. Motion carried 6-0.

Chair Cassis called for a fifteen minute break.

Consideration on the request of Steve Sorensen of J.B. Donaldson for Preliminary Site Plan and Storm Water Management Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 23, at the northeast corner of Ten Mile and Novi Road in the B-3, General Business District. The Applicant is proposing to construct two one-story commercial buildings including a bank with a drive-up window and a combined retail and restaurant building. The subject property is approximately 1.92 acres.

Planner Mark Spencer described the ell-shaped site as being located at the northeast corner of Ten Mile and Novi Road in Section 23 on a 1.92 acre parcel that wraps around the existing Speedway service station and is located in the B-3, General Business District. Across the street are a cellular store and Pine Ridge Plaza. Kitty-corner from this corner is another Speedway. Walgreen’s is on the southeast corner. To the east is Kern Industries and Henderson Glass is to the north.

The Master Plan designates this property for local commercial uses. Properties to the south and west are also master planned for local commercial uses, with the larger vacant land designated as a Special Planning Area. The properties to the north and east are planned for light industrial uses.

The subject property was rezoned from I-1, Light Industrial, to B-3, General Business in March of this year. The Speedway stations and cellular store to the southwest and the Pine Ridge Center to the west are also in the B-3 District. Henderson Glass and Kern Industries to the east are in the I-1, Light Industrial district. To the southeast and past the Speedway to the west the properties are zoned OS-1, Office Service District. Walgreen’s is in the B-1 Local Business district.

The City’s regulated wetland map does not depict any wetlands on the site, but the site plan does show a small wetland in the center of the site. There are no regulated woodlands or landmark trees on the site.

The Applicant is proposing to construct two one-story commercial buildings including a 4,050 square foot bank building with drive-up windows and a 2,750 square foot combined retail and restaurant building. The site plan includes associated parking and utilities including an underground concrete storm water storage structure. The Applicant has provided pedestrian connectivity between the buildings and the public sidewalks. The drive through lane includes a by-pass lane on the east side but it was eliminated to provide berming on the south side. There is still some potential to enlarge that area.

Staff agrees with the Applicant’s proposed driveway locations and recommends a right-in/right-out only driveway on Ten Mile to reduce conflicts with the west bound left turn lane. The Road Commission of Oakland County will also require this stipulation. Staff supports the spacing waivers necessary to construct these entrances. This includes a Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Ten Mile with respect to the Speedway drive to the west,
an Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Metro Cell Drive and the Pine Ridge plaza entrance, and a Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Speedway drive to the south and the Henderson Glass drive to the north.

A minor Wetland Permit will be required to fill the small non-essential wetland on the site and the permit will be handled administratively. A Woodland Permit will not be required because no regulated woodlands or trees exist on the site.

The City’s Landscape Architect recommends a Planning Commission waiver of the parking lot canopy tree requirement along the west property line if the location of the sidewalk can be justified. As submitted the plan would require a waiver of the ROW landscape requirement along Ten Mile. Staff does not support this variance because the Applicant has not demonstrated they cannot comply with this requirement.

Otherwise, the Preliminary Site Plan and Storm Water Management Plan is in general compliance with City Ordinances with some minor corrections to be made on the Final Site Plan. Staff recommends approval of the preliminary site plan with conditions as mentioned.

Member Avdoulos confirmed that the right-in/right-out stipulation was not required of the Novi Road entrance.

Bennett Donaldson of JB Donaldson Company addressed the Planning Commission. He said that he’d been working on this site for about a year and a half, originally working with a Starbuck’s for the site. He understood that previously there was concern that this site, if zoned B-3, would end up with a drive-through restaurant. He felt Terrapin Crossing was a thoughtful development. The size and shape and the proximity of this site to the adjacent businesses make this a challenging site.

Mr. Donaldson said that he has met with the Planning Department for three concept meetings and one pre-application meeting. This plan is the result of those meetings.

Mr. Donaldson explained that he would be happy to plant the canopy trees in the right-of-way, but their reservation is whether the Road Commission will allow them.

Member Avdoulos said this plan was a different scenario than what was discussed at the Master Plan and Zoning Committee meeting. The rezoning to B-3 can result in certain issues. He felt that this site plan was compatible with what is already happening at that corner. Member Avdoulos agreed with the couple of comments made by the Planning Department and the Engineering Department.

Member Avdoulos liked the idea of reducing the parking stall lengths in order to provide green space for the vehicle overhang area. Member Avdoulos thought that this additional 1,000 square feet could widen the drive-through pavement, which would create elbow room for the bank patrons, and would also provide more emergency access space. He explained that this is a location where a single loaded drive turns into a double drive.

Member Avdoulos was also concerned with the location of that drive to Ten Mile. He said that there would have to be some give and take. If a customer pulled in and changed his mind about banking, there is no way to get out. He said that the design would have to be a safe environment.

Mr. Donaldson said that currently there is enough stacking space for 18 cars, which is the requirement. He said that basically, Member Avdoulos was stating that three cars would be impacted by a non-bailout scenario. Mr. Donaldson’s point was that there would have to be an awful lot of cars for a situation to occur. Member Avdoulos said that perhaps there could be a section without a curb, so that if necessary, the customer could drive on the grass.

Mr. Spencer said that even with the shorter parking stalls, it wouldn’t be possible to add space to the drive without a reconfiguration of the site. He said he would work with the Applicant and the Landscape Architect on this idea, and they would determine whether some of the Ten Mile landscaping could be reduced. This however, would take away from lining up the drives. It might put jogs in place that would make it more difficult to maneuver. Member Avdoulos responded that he was just trying to hold this Applicant to the same standards that they have required from others in the past.

Mr. Spencer said that the Planning Department agrees with the Applicant’s reasoning on this design. He reminded the Planning Commission that the Ordinance requirement for six-car stacking has been an issue before, and the Staff has recommended that perhaps a text amendment be considered for this Ordinance requirement. Six-car stacking is probably obsolete for banks, except on rare occasions. The City’s experience with banks is that this requirement is considered overkill.

Steve Sorensen of JB Donaldson interjected that the 25-foot dimension is a result of the concept meetings, wherein it was discussed that the driveway should be kept 25 feet from the right-of-way. The only thing that will be affected is the height of the berm along Ten Mile. They could easily add another six feet to the drive, if the Planning Commission would prefer to decrease the height of the berm a little bit.

Member Avdoulos said that a right-in/right-out only onto Ten Mile was discussed previously. That was Member Avdoulos’ concern when the rezoning came forward. He did not want any left-turn locks created by this property. The Ten Mile and Novi Road intersection is right there and he didn’t want west-bound Ten Mile cars that want to turn south on Novi Road to have congestion problems. He said this was previously discussed, as was the potential for people using the Walgreen’s parking lot to sneak around the issue.

Member Avdoulos asked Mr. Donaldson if he was willing to work with the City on designing an acceptable island. Mr. Sorensen responded that as proposed, the island is not designed to permit only right-in/right-out traffic. That was discussed with Mr. Dearing, the Traffic Consultant. The design is meant to discourage a left onto Ten Mile, which would create a conflict with Walgreen’s traffic. His felt his discussions with the Traffic Consultant and the Road Commission indicated that this is an acceptable configuration – it would allow for a left turn into the site from Ten Mile.

Mr. Dearing said that he was concerned about eastbound Ten Mile traffic that is turning left into the site for two reasons. Under most times of the day, especially during the peak hours, one can expect a lot of traffic queuing up at the red signal at Novi Road. The cycle links are going to be relatively long. Traffic along Ten Mile is consistent enough that there will be back ups. Generally, these back ups will go beyond this driveway location. Anyone wanting to turn left is going to fight his way through. Ten Mile is going from two lanes to five lanes at the intersection. If there is a courteous driver in the first lane, the safety issue then transfers to the curb lane. This oftentimes results in broadside crashes.

At this intersection, the center lane is dedicated for westbound traffic. There is a double yellow line down the pavement. Anybody wanting to turn left into this shopping center has to do so legally from the through lane, not a left turn lane. There are discourteous drivers who don't use their signals. People may accelerate their cars going eastbound and if somebody in front of them abruptly slows to turn left, then the drivers in the area all make panic moves and rear-ending and sideswipes occur. A left turn into the site is not appropriate.

Member Avdoulos said he thought that is what the Traffic Review suggested. He had the same problem with Novi Road. That is more toward the center lane with people trying to get into Pine Ridge. He could see how blocking would occur, with people trying to get into this site. He did think that Ten Mile was a larger concern.

Mr. Dearing said that on Novi Road, the left turn movement south bound onto Ten Mile, is also substantial. In that case, turning traffic into the site is basically just queuing up behind. They don’t have to compete or be in a through lane.

Member Avdoulos asked about the bank. Mr. Donaldson said that Huntington Bank is the expected bank for the site. Mr. Donaldson handed out a letter from the bank regarding the loading area.

Member Avdoulos said there was a question about the sidewalk width – five feet vs. eight feet. Planning Director Barbara McBeth explained that the sidewalk along Novi Road is five feet wide. The Master Plan recommends eight feet. The City is requesting that the area be reconstructed with an eight-foot wide path. If the Planning Commission doesn’t think this makes sense, then they don’t have to endorse this request. Ms. McBeth confirmed that the sidewalk would still be five feet wide in front of Speedway. Member Avdoulos did not wish to make this Applicant provide something that will not connect correctly with what exists. Member Avdoulos asked if the City was responsible for placing the reconstructed five-foot walk. Ms. McBeth was not sure how the Ten Mile plans were reviewed. At that time, it was possible that the reviewer did not take into account the City’s desire to have an eight-foot wide path at that location.

Member Avdoulos said this corner was turning out more like what he wanted to see for the area. He is not opposed to fast food, and he cited Twelve Mile and Halstead as an intersection that was nicely handled. He hoped this development, with clean architectural elements, would be a catalyst as the City moves north along Novi Road. He hoped it would help out Pine Ridge Plaza, which took a beating during the road construction. As one travels westbound, this center will provide a simple service for the neighboring community. He said that more and more, intersections always have a gas station and a bank. From what was presented, he thought he could support the development.

Member Wrobel was concerned about the traffic, especially Ten Mile. He also had a problem with the traffic on Novi Road. Cars back up there. There is a Speedway entrance, and now this entrance. This is going to block the traffic flow of people in the left hand turn lane – making some people wait for two signal cycles – because people are in their way trying to turn into this shopping center. It stalls traffic.

Member Wrobel asked about the SBC remote terminal location. He was concerned that people would pull their vehicles up to that area and block the area in. Mr. Donaldson responded that there are four parking spaces in that area, although they won’t be regularly occupied. He offered to place “No Parking” or “SBC Parking” signs on those spaces. Member Wrobel stated he just didn’t want to see a problem in that area.

Member Meyer asked about the electrical requirements for light fixtures. Ms. McBeth responded that the Planning Review provided that statement, which is typical, and is meant to alert the Applicant to provide a statement on their plans that states no flashing or distracting lights would be used on this site. This will be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.

Member Kocan said there was a bypass lane along the eastern edge of the property. She asked how it would be signed. Mr. Donaldson said the asphalt would be striped. He offered to put a curb separating the lanes. Member Kocan said it was only eighteen feet wide. Member Kocan didn’t want to see curbing because of snow removal issues and because the road is so narrow. She felt that striping indicating that the area is not a stacking area may be helpful. Mr. Sorensen understood her point.

Member Kocan wanted to ensure that the bank delivery trucks do not block the handicapped parking spaces. Mr. Donaldson said that banks today do not have much cash on hand, and their cash deliveries come from a bank-sponsored car. The big armored truck is a thing of the past. There is not even a vault in this bank.

Member Kocan said she would only approve the plan with a right-in/right-out onto Ten Mile. She was not willing to give a waiver for the Opposite Side Spacing with relationship to Novi Road. Member Kocan confirmed with Mr. Dearing that a differently-shaped island would be required. The current design only channels the right-out exit. This design must basically be mirror-imaged to cut off the east-bound left turn into the site.

Member Kocan asked what volume of traffic this use should generate. Mr. Dearing responded that he did not comment about this in his review, because he commented on it at the time of rezoning. Member Kocan said that she somewhat expected the Applicant to argue that Speedway customers are allowed to turn left. Therefore, she wished to compare the two scenarios. Mr. Dearing said that the main difference is that the Speedway driveway is so close to the intersection that it is self-disciplining. No one can make a left into the Speedway from the east bound Ten Mile lanes during almost any time during the day or night. As one gets further to the east, there is no problem. This property is in the grey zone, where it looks like turns should be easily accomplished, but it really is not a good idea.

Member Kocan asked whether there was anything that could be done about Walgreen’s customers who want to travel straight across Ten Mile into this development. Mr. Dearing said that because of how an offset works, they are a quasi-right turn. He agreed that they will try to go straight across.

Member Kocan confirmed with Civil Engineer Ben Croy that Novi Road would be reconstructed. Mr. Croy said that the timing has been pushed back a couple of times. The design is near completion, but when it is going to be done has not been pinpointed. He did not expect it in 2006. Mr. Dearing said that his company, OHM, is designing this roadwork for the Road Commission. Across the frontage of this property there will be five lanes. The asphalt transition north of this site will be removed and replaced by concrete. The purpose of this Novi Road job is to grade separate the railroad. The funding has been the hold-up. He said that the earliest construction is probably 2007, perhaps 2008. Novi Road will be five lanes all the way to Grand River.

Member Kocan asked about the centering of handicapped parking spaces – a comment made in the reviews. Mr. Spencer responded that the parking spaces were reviewed with the Building Department, and the ramp for the spaces is part of the sidewalk. This is a pretty good location as proposed. There will be more traffic expected for the restaurant than for the retail stores. Their placement is within the State standards.

Member Kocan confirmed that the Applicant will place the ROW landscape if given approval from the Road Commission. Landscape Architect Lance Shipman suggested that the Applicant show them on the plan with a notation, “Subject to RCOC approval.”

Member Kocan asked if the parking space depth suggestion was a requirement or recommendation. Mr. Spencer said that the Planning Department recommends it, and the Planning Commission can put this item in their motion, or get an agreement from the Applicant to work with Staff on this design. Member Kocan saw the benefit of this design request, especially for the area behind Speedway. She was surprised that there was no wall between Speedway and this site. Member Kocan said that arbor vitae and dense yews are proposed for this area, and if they gave themselves an additional two feet, some additional higher shrubbery may fit in that area. Mr. Donaldson responded that he would work on this. He agreed that if the spaces were shortened, the use of some quality planting might become possible.

Member Pehrson felt this was a good use for the site and he applauded the Applicant’s efforts. Member Pehrson confirmed that there would not be a drive-through associated with this restaurant.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:

In the matter of Terrapin Crossing, SP05-43, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to the following: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver of the parking lot canopy tree requirement along the west property line, with the Applicant working with the City to develop the reduction in the parking space length and provide additional plantings for screening purposes; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver of the ROW landscape requirement along Ten Mile; 3) A Planning Commission Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Ten Mile with respect to the Speedway drive to the west 4) A Planning Commission Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Metro Cell Drive; 5) A Planning Commission Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Pine Ridge plaza entrance; 6) A Planning Commission Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Speedway drive to the south; 7) A Planning Commission Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Henderson Glass drive to the north; 8) Right-in/Right-out only driveway on Ten Mile; and 9) Comments on the attached review letters being addressed on the Final Site Plan submittal; for the reason that the plan conforms to the Master Plan.

Member Kocan asked whether the second stipulation was supposed to include, “Modification of the plans to meet the requirements of the Ordinance subject to RCOC approval.” Member Pehrson agreed to that language, and Member Wrobel agreed to the change.

Chair Cassis has always been against allowing a B-3 use on this site. The matter has now been settled.

Chair Cassis asked about the parking. Mr. Spencer said the calculation was based on fast-food carryout. In the concept stages of this project, the drive-through concept was discussed. The site is too small to make a drive-through work. Also, it was discussed at the time of rezoning that a drive-through would not be welcome on this site.

Mr. Donaldson addressed the Chair. He said that the activity that they are getting on the site is for a Quiznos, or similar use. This is not attracting a coney island type use. If a restaurant does not present itself, the square footage will be blended into retail. Chair Cassis said that allayed a lot of his concerns. He explained that he was concerned about parking for the number of employees needed for a restaurant plus the parking necessary for the patrons. He asked what type of retail was interested in the site. Mr. Donaldson responded said that Nextel was interested. Chair Cassis hoped there would be adequate parking. If this site is to succeed, the Applicant must be mindful of the tenant choices made.

Chair Cassis thought that this site was similar to City Center Plaza at Grand River and Novi, though he conceded that there is a bit more traffic in that area. Mr. Donaldson said he understood that he cannot sign a big traffic tenant like Panera Bread.

Chair Cassis said that the right-in/right-out is a must. He would endorse that design for the Novi Road site as well. He has experienced traffic with left hand turns into Pine Ridge, and he felt this development will further add to the congestion.

Member Kocan asked about the comment regarding the restaurant. Mr. Donaldson reiterated that the restaurant space could be made smaller, not larger.

Member Kocan said that the Planning Commission should clarify their position on the eight-foot vs. five-foot sidewalk. Ms. McBeth stated that the Road Commission, in designing this intersection, designed to the typical five-foot width. She thought that the Planning Commission could make a recommendation to City Council on this variance to the Design and Construction Standard. If the Planning Commission wants the eight-foot walk, the Applicant could appeal the stipulation to City Council. Member Kocan hated to see the sidewalk be removed in order to provide the eight feet. She did not know if three feet could just be added. She thought the Planning Commission should come to a consensus.

Member Pehrson stated that he purposely left the item out of the motion, because he did not feel like the eight-foot design is required for this site. Since it was just put in, he did not see the value in ripping out the white concrete to put in any more white concrete. Member Kocan said she would concur then, that the five-foot sidewalk could remain.

City Attorney David Gillam suggested that this Planning Commission position should be made a condition of the approval. “A City Council Variance of the Design and Construction Standards to allow for the five-foot sidewalk” should be added to the motion. Member Pehrson agreed to add the language to the motion. Member Wrobel agreed.

Mr. Gillam asked whether the Planning Commission wished to address the expansion of the by-pass lane on the south side of the bank in their motion. If the Planning Commission is satisfied with the current design, then this issue need not be addressed in the motion. Member Pehrson asked what the consensus was regarding making this a dual-lane from the south side heading east. Mr. Spencer responded that this concept would cut into the landscape requirement along that area, and would bring the lane into the setback. It would require a restructure of the site, perhaps moving the location of the building.

Member Kocan was concerned that this might make too tight of a turn, for those making a right hand turn off of Ten Mile. The area is only 25 feet from the right-of-way area. She would defer to the City with regard to the concept. Mr. Dearing said that their review did not make it a point to objecting to the single lane feed along the south side of the bank building because they recognize that the industry’s norm for stacking requirements has been changing. Cities that have been reviewing that industry standard have generally been reducing that number. The easiest way to deal with it, Mr. Dearing said, is not to curb the stretch that is parallel to Ten Mile. Drivers could easily drive over the turf if it became necessary. This could be augmented by adding a grass paver for a few feet immediately south of that aisle, so that the driver can still “grass it.” It can follow the shape of the berm, and it will also provide a hard surface if someone has to bail out.

Member Pehrson added to the motion, “The addition of grass pavers.”

Mr. Sorensen said that the area in question is six feet. Six feet works out to be a foot on a one-on-three, so if the berm can be one-foot less than what it is, the six feet can easily be put into the drive. That represents one foot up and foot down for a one-on-three on each side. It that is agreeable, if the traffic movement through the site is more important than an additional foot of berm, he would gladly redesign the site. Member Pehrson said that in this case, it is. He would rather err on the side of caution and lose one foot of the berm.

Mr. Shipman said he did not think this was an issue with the berm. The Ordinance has a 25-foot greenbelt requirement, which is where the site is at right now. If the greenbelt is projected into, it would require an additional waiver from the ROW planting standards.

Member Pehrson added to the motion, “A Planning Commission Waiver for the reduction of green space width required to allow for the second driveway width going to the south side of the bank.” Member Wrobel agreed to the stipulation.


In the matter of Terrapin Crossing, SP05-43, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to the following: 1) Modification of the plans to meet the requirements of the Ordinance subject to RCOC approval or Planning Commission Waiver of the parking lot canopy tree requirement along the west property line, with the Applicant working with the City to develop the reduction in the parking space length and provide additional plantings for screening purposes; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver of the ROW landscape requirement along Ten Mile; 3) A Planning Commission Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Ten Mile with respect to the Speedway drive to the west 4) A Planning Commission Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Metro Cell Drive; 5) A Planning Commission Opposite Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Pine Ridge plaza entrance; 6) A Planning Commission Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Speedway drive to the south; 7) A Planning Commission Same Side Driveway Spacing Waiver on Novi Road with respect to the Henderson Glass drive to the north; 8) Right-in/Right-out only driveway on Ten Mile; 9) Comments on the attached review letters being addressed on the Final Site Plan submittal; 10) A City Council Variance of the Design and Construction Standards to allow for the five-foot sidewalk; and 11) A Planning Commission Waiver for the reduction of green space width required to allow for the second driveway width going to the south side of the bank; for the reason that the plan conforms to the Master Plan.
Motion carried 6-0.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:


In the matter of Terrapin Crossing, SP05-43, motion to grant approval of the Stormwater Management Plan subject to the comments on the attached review letters being addressed on the Final Site Plan submittal, for the reason that the plan is otherwise in compliance with the Ordinance. Motion carried 6-0.

Member Kocan asked whether the Planning Commission would like to have the bank stacking standards reviewed by the Implementation Committee. Chair Cassis said he would support that suggestion.

Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Pehrson:


Motion to send Bank Stacking Requirements to the Implementation Committee for review. Motion carried 6-0.

The Planning Commission discussed the September 28, 2005 Orchard Hills North motion, wherein a stipulation to remove Lot 3 was included. City Council waived the same stipulation from the Woodland Permit at their October 10, 2005 City Council meeting.

City Attorney David Gillam explained that there was a conditional approval on the Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland Permit for Orchard Hills North regarding the removal of Lot 3. This request was repealed by City Council on the Woodland Permit, with certain conditions. The City Attorney suggested that Planning Commission bring this plan back to reconsider this Preliminary Site Plan approval stipulation.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:


Motion to place the reconsideration of Orchard Hills North, SP05-05, on the next available meeting. Motion carried 6-0.

The Planning Commission members turned their grammatical corrections in for incorporation.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Kocan:


Motion to approve the minutes of September 14, 2005 as amended. Motion carried 6-0.

Chair Cassis asked the Planning Commission for comments on the proposed meeting dates.

Member Kocan preferred the second and fourth week schedule. She suggested adding a session for the fifth Wednesday in November. It could be used for training or a budget session. She supported the proposed calendar.

Director of Planning Barbara McBeth noted that the April 12th meeting would fall on the eve of Passover, so the suggestion was presented to place the first April meeting on April 5th. This would still provide for a week in between the last March meeting and the first April meeting. Chair Cassis thought that was a reasonable suggestion.

Chair Cassis asked whether any consideration has been given to a joint City Council/Planning Commission meeting. Ms. McBeth offered to make that request known to the Administration.

The 2006 Planning Commission meetings will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, with the following exceptions:
• The first April meeting will be held on April 5, 2006 rather than on April 12, 2006.
• The second November meeting will be held on November 29, 2006 and will be considered for a work or training session.
• There will not be a second meeting in December 2006.

There were no Matters for Discussion.

Member Kocan asked that Meadowbrook 8 minutes be reviewed by the Planning Department to ensure that there is a requirement for the emergency access. She said that it could have been stated that the emergency access would be necessary if and only if the property to the west required it.

Member Kocan wished to express her gratitude for the well-written Terrapin Crossing Wetland Review.

• Jim Roedersheimer, 41721 Onaway Drive: He wished to express that he would be in support of the Normandy Hills project if it were done in a manner that enhances the City and the environment. He attended the Planning Commission meetings when Meadowbrook 8 was discussed, and he recalled that the placement of the stub road was specified, and was indeed a requirement. He noted that the relocation of the connection would require a City Council Waiver for the cul-de-sac reaching 900 feet. He did not know whether the proposed location was really a better location for the stub. He said that there has been soil cut in the area of the new location on the Meadowbrook 8 property. He did not think the curb cuts were in place. He stated he was the closest Country Place condo owner to this site. He said that he was 200 feet away from his closest neighbor. He said the twenty-foot buffer that he has between his site and this site was an easement and recorded for the sanitary sewer that is on the north side of the property. If the cul-de-sac remained at 800 feet, there would be an additional 100 feet of buffer to the rear of the property. It would help the buffer between properties. It would provide protection for the trees. It could eliminate the access road issue. Mr. Roedersheimer commented that the “500 feet” stipulation for Public Hearing was overnoticed. Ms. McBeth explained that a shortcoming of the address-labeling software is that it cannot detect exact 500-foot locations with a condominium development.

Member Kocan asked if Mr. Roedersheimer could be informed of when the Normandy Hills Plan was back on the Planning Commission Agenda, even though the Public Hearing on Normandy Hills was closed. Mr. Roedersheimer is a board member of the Country Place Condo Association.

Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Avdoulos:

Motion to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at or about 10:30 p.m.


Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, November 3, 2005 Signature on File
Approved: November 9, 2005 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date