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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, Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Wayne Wrobel
Absent: Andrew Gutman (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Tim Schmitt, Planner; Jason Myers, Planner; Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect; Ben Croy, Civil Engineer; Paul Taylor, Façade Consultant, David Gillam, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The meeting attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Member Avdoulos.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chair Cassis stated that the Planning Commission and City Council would be holding a joint session, so he asked that this item be added to Matters for Consideration.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Kocan:
VOICE CALL VOTE ON AGENDA MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER KOCAN:
Motion to approve the Agenda of December 14, 2005 as amended. Motion carried 7-0.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
There was no correspondence to share.
Member Pehrson stated that the CIP Committee meet prior to the Planning Commission meeting, and Planning Director Barbara McBeth would be preparing a time line for the upcoming budget process. The Committee budgets should be considered, and the next budget meeting would be held in mid-January.
PLANNING DIRECTOR REPORT
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth stated that on December 5, 2005, City Council approved the Schafer PRO and rezoning, from I-2 and I-1 and R-1, to R-T. The first reading of the Sign Ordinance Text Amendment was approved (temporary signage for limited windowed-buildings). On November 28, Twelve Oaks Mall improvements were approved. The Boulder Construction rezoning request for the northeast corner of Twelve Mile and Dixon roads was approved – changing the land from R-A to OS-1. Singh’s Eleven Mile PRO was approved, from R-A to R-1.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
1. NOVI SITE, SP02-55C
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Ron Nuechterlein of Superior Diversified Services Corporation, for a revised Woodland Permit, Final Site Plan, and revised Storm Water Management Plan. The subject property is located in Section 15 on the west side of Novi Road, between Wendy’s and House of Blinds, in the TC, Town Center District. The subject property is 0.481 acres and the Applicant is proposing to construct a speculative retail building.
Planner Tim Schmitt reminded the Planning Commission that they have reviewed this plan previously. The parcel is located south of Wendy’s and north of the former House of Blinds on Novi Road. The property is master planned for Town Center Commercial, as are the properties in all directions. Further west is the Downtown West designation. The properties are zoned TC, Town Center. Further west the property is zoned I-1, Light Industrial, and EXPO, Exposition Center.
There are no wetlands on the property. There are a floodplain and floodway on the neighboring property to the west. There are woodlands on the property, and on the property to the west.
Mr. Schmitt explained that the plan is before the Planning Commission because the Applicant brought forward a revised plan with a new Stormwater Management plan. The Applicant is now proposing to place an off-site detention facility on the property to the west. Previously the Applicant had an underground chamber at the far western end of their site, which was then going to be pumped back above ground and discharged over land onto the neighboring property, eventually reaching the Walled Lake branch of the Rouge River. Given that the new plan affects the Stormwater Management and the Woodland Permit, this plan had to come back for Planning Commission review.
The Planning Commission originally approved the Preliminary Site Plan on March 24, 2004. There were substantial variances and waivers required on this site. City Council ultimately approved several variances to the Design and Construction Standards, including the pump to discharge out of the underground tank. At the time, this seemed to be the only feasible alternative for stormwater detention. The Applicant went to the ZBA but was denied some of the necessary variances. After the meeting of August 10, 2004, Don Saven, the Building Official, Lance Shipman, Landscape Architect, and Mr. Schmitt met to discuss how to minimize or eliminate some of the variances. The project went back before the ZBA and the plan was ultimately approved. The variances were reduced to five. The building is somewhat smaller – it was 3,500 square feet and now it is just below 3,000 square feet. The building is a bit further from the Wendy’s property line. Landscaping has been added to the east and west sides of the building. The Stormwater Management system is on the neighboring site. This system will be shared by that property when it gets developed. This is a better system. The neighboring property owner realized that this is a good system for them too.
Mr. Schmitt said that because of this new design, some trees will have to be removed. Overall, the woodland quality is not great, and at this point the Woodland Consultant is not concerned; they acknowledge that the new stormwater system is far superior.
Chair Cassis complimented the Planning Department on their efforts with this Applicant.
Ron Nuechterlein addressed the Planning Commission on behalf of the Applicant. He offered to answer to any questions. He said that the integrated sewer system is a gravity flow basin, which was their motive in making this design change. This is a good solution.
Member Wrobel read the correspondence into the record:
Randy Israel, 714 West Michigan Avenue, Jackson: Stated that Wendy’s had no problem with the plan.
Chair Cassis closed the Public Hearing after determining that no one in the audience wished to speak.
Member Avdoulos noted the many reviews that this plan has had. There are issues associated with the location and size of this site, and much planning has been put into the plan to make the development viable. This is a great example of how the City works hard to accommodate applicants. The City does not want a legal process to guide a development; this has been a give-and-take review. Member Avdoulos approved of the better stormwater system.
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Pehrson:
In the matter of the request of Ron Nuechterlein of Superior Diversified Services Corporation for Novi Site, SP02-55c, motion to grant approval of the Final Site Plan subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters, for the reason that the Applicant has worked diligently with the City to substantially reduce and eliminate a great amount of variances to allow the project to conform to the greatest content of the Zoning Ordinance.
City Attorney David Gillam clarified that the motion included accepting the conditions and waivers approved by City Council.
Member Kocan appreciated that the building was downsized and the variances were minimized. She recognized that this was a difficult site. The conditions of City Council included access stub easements and City indemnification. She asked whether the easement was for the dropped curb for emergency access. Mr. Gillam responded that she was correct, and the indemnification related to possible damage to the City’s fire vehicles.
Member Kocan asked about the snow deposit area. Mr. Shipman said that he thought that the issue had been resolved and would be reviewed again at the time of Stamping Set submittal. It is a matter of practicality – where will the snow end up in the winter months?
ROLL CALL VOTE ON NOVI SITE, SP02-55C, FINAL SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER AVDOULOS AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PEHRSON:
In the matter of the request of Ron Nuechterlein of Superior Diversified Services Corporation for Novi Site, SP02-55c, motion to grant approval of the Final Site Plan subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters, for the reason that the Applicant has worked diligently with the City to substantially reduce and eliminate a great amount of variances to allow the project to conform to the greatest content of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Pehrson:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON NOVI SITE, SP02-55C, WOODLAND PERMIT MOTION MADE BY MEMBER AVDOULOS AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PEHRSON:
In the matter of the request of Ron Nuechterlein of Superior Diversified Services Corporation for Novi Site, SP02-55c, motion to grant approval of the revised Woodland Permit subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters, for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Woodland Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Pehrson:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON NOVI SITE, SP02-55C, STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER AVDOULOS AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PEHRSON:
In the matter of the request of Ron Nuechterlein of Superior Diversified Services Corporation for Novi Site, SP02-55c, motion to grant approval of the revised Stormwater Management Plan subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters, for the reason that the revised above-ground stormwater storage system is far superior to the previously approved underground storage system. Motion carried 7-0.
2. ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT 18.200
The Public Hearing was opened for Planning Commission’s recommendation to City Council to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance to modify Section 2505, to expand opportunities for the landbanking of parking spaces throughout the City.
Planner Tim Schmitt explained that this topic has been discussed for approximately a year at the Implementation Committee level. This proposed language has gone through several drafts. This amendment will expand the opportunity for Applicants to landbank their parking. On several occasions Applicants have been asked by Planning Commission members whether landbanking would be helpful in their site planning, though under the current Ordinance there are only two uses (warehousing and furniture stores) that qualify for landbanking options.
Mr. Schmitt cited Husky as an environmentally-friendly company that has routinely discussed landbanking in their site planning process; they would prefer to reduce their parking pavement in favor of more green space. Mr. Schmitt defined landbanking as an option that allows green space to remain instead of paving for unneeded parking spaces. In the case of a warehouse or furniture store, much of their floor space is for equipment or inventory, reducing the actual occupant load.
The Planning Commission has mentioned this concept several times, resulting in the Implementation Committee reviewing the Ordinance for the purpose of modifying the language. The idea was to expand the concept to any business who could demonstrate the applicability of landbanking to their use. The proposal before the Planning Commission is meant to streamline the process for the Applicant. The standards that must be met have been clearly outlined. The Implementation Committee determined that a minimum should be set for the landbanking request, to prevent every Applicant from requesting to use it. Landbanking can be considered on those sites requiring a minimum of 45 parking spaces. That is roughly a 10,000 square foot office building, about a minimum two-acre site. Realistically, it will be the bigger sites that will request landbanking.
Mr. Schmitt said that with the old Ordinance language, the onus was on the City Clerk’s office to ensure adequate parking. The responsibility will now fall upon the Building Official or his/her designee. If additional parking spaces need to be installed, the Applicant will be notified to add those spaces. This might happen as a result of tenancy changes, which would likely bring about a building permit, and therefore the Building Official becomes aware of a possible need for more parking spaces during the permitting process.
Landbanking is at the option of the Applicant. The City hopes that the new language encourages the Applicant to consider it a viable option. The City considered adding a maximum parking space standard as well. Given the suburban nature of Novi, and the hit and miss nature of how parking standards have worked, the City would not really want that standard in place.
Chair Cassis closed the Public Hearing.
Member Pehrson thought that Mr. Schmitt’ synopsis was well done.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:
Member Kocan suggested that a definition of landbanking be placed in the definition section. She suggested something such as, "Construction of all required parking is planned for but is allowed to be deferred until a future need is determined." She understood that the City Attorney’s office would have to approve of the actual language.
Member Kocan also suggested that the term "deferral" in Sections 2505.16.d and 2505.16.h be replaced with "landbank."
Member Pehrson and Member Wrobel agreed to the changes.
Member Avdoulos felt that the language was very clear, and written in such a way that the Applicant must prove that his request is viable. This option can save the Applicant some money and provides less impervious surface. He commended the Implementation Committee and Mr. Schmitt for this submission.
Chair Cassis particularly liked that in 1.h, the use of landbanking was left to the judgment of the Planning Commission. Mr. Schmitt responded that this stipulation was actually removed but replaced upon further review by the Director of Planning. Mr. Schmitt said that he would use his resources to create an adequate definition.
Member Meyer liked Member Kocan’s definition and suggestion about replacing the word "deferral" with "landbank."
ROLL CALL VOTE ON LANDBANKING TEXT AMENDMENT 18.200 RECOMMENDATION MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:
In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.200 relating to landbanking standards, motion to send a positive recommendation to City Council, subject to: 1) A definition for "landbanking" being added to the Ordinance; and 2) Changing of the word "deferral" to "landbank" throughout the proposed language. Motion carried 7-0.
3. ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT 18.202
The Public Hearing was opened for Planning Commission’s recommendation to City Council to amend the Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Novi to comply with recent state-mandated changes and clarify inconsistencies throughout the Ordinance.
Planner Tim Schmitt explained that the Planning Commission discussed this item briefly in February. The consensus was that the changes could be prepared by Administration as they were mostly housekeeping items. The City Attorney’s office worked on the language that is before the Planning Commission. The thrust of the proposal is something that the City already does. Each project that comes into the City begins with a pre-application meeting. The Applicant submits ten sets of plans and they are routed to the various disciplines with a ten-day review time. General comments are discussed with the Applicant. This saves time and money because major problems are identified before the plan is underway. Each plan is reviewed at least twice before the Planning Commission sees the plan. This gives the City a level of quality control, which the State also recognizes. Now, communities are required by law to give an Applicant the option of having a pre-application meeting.
Mr. Schmitt explained that there are strict time frames for subdivision review and platting process. With this meeting step, it allows for items to be addressed on an earlier submittal and therefore the subsequent time frames are more easily met. It modifies some definitions as well. "Subdivider" becomes "Proprietor." This more accurately reflects that the rules run with the property, not just the developer.
Mr. Schmitt said that "Land Division Act" replaces "PA288 of 1967". The Planning Department has reviewed this and the other changes at length. With the new language, the Applicant is well-informed about the options available to him during the planning process.
City Attorney David Gillam reiterated that these changes now required by law have actually already been addressed by the planning process that Novi follows. The law doesn’t directly affect the City because of this. The different authorities involved in subdivision review, e.g., the road commission or water department, will now review a proposal at the same time. Mr. Gillam noted that the communities, like Novi, who have incorporated pre-meetings into their planning process, actually spurred the State into making these changes to the law. There are also some good changes in this text amendment that were recommended by the Planning Department.
Chair Cassis closed the Public Hearing, after determining that no one from the audience wished to speak.
Member Kocan said that while some complain about the planning process in Novi, more and more Applicants are coming forward and thanking the City for all of their input. Member Kocan made suggestions to the proposed language (changes in bold):
Section 301.b.2: "…the proprietor shall file an application in duplicate, including a receipt from the applicable school district."
Section 303.c.4: Revise sentence structure to read, "…the proprietor’s engineer shall submit cost estimates for all approved improvements to the City Engineer."
Section 303.d.1.d: Change "verification" to "verified."
Section 302.a.1.b: "…submit to City Clerk a list…"
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Meyer:
In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.202 relating to the Subdivision Ordinance, motion to recommend approval to City Council of the proposed language as amended by Planning Commission Member Lynn Kocan.
Member Meyer liked the words "option" and "flexibility" in the language. Mr. Schmitt explained that "flexibility" is helpful when projects cannot be placed on an appropriately-timed agenda. Member Meyer noted that the City has a reputation for making it challenging for developers; he felt this new language made the Ordinance more user-friendly. He welcomed the change. Mr. Schmitt responded that one of the goals of the Plan Review Center was to improve the planning process. Member Meyer felt that the changes would remove many of the unnecessary hurdles.
Chair Cassis noted that when he first came to Novi to do business, he first met with Brandon Rogers, the City’s then planning consultant. He said that developers should always avail themselves for a City meeting prior to beginning their planning process. It will make their process more efficient. He suggested that some developers submit plans filled with bells and whistles in an effort to see what they can get away with. This Ordinance amendment should filter out that unnecessary step and make a more accommodating process. It is good for both the Applicant and the City. He felt that the Planning Commission has reduced its commenting on projects because of the good work performed by the City’s planners.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON SUBDIVISION TEXT AMENDMENT 18.202 RECOMMENDATION MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER MEYER:
In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.202 relating to the Subdivision Ordinance, motion to recommend approval to City Council of the proposed language as amended by Planning Commission Member Lynn Kocan. Motion carried 7-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. TGI FRIDAY’S, SP05-57
Consideration of the request of WT Development Corporation for a Section Nine Façade Waiver. The subject property is located in Section 14, east of Novi Road between Crescent Boulevard and I-96, in the TC, Town Center District. The Applicant is proposing a rebuild of the building façade.
Planner Jason Myers presented the façade board and the rendering for the Planning Commission to review. The site is currently developed with a TGIFriday’s, a 6,800 square foot restaurant on 2.8 acres.
To the north is I-96 and Twelve Oaks mall, zoned RC, Regional Commercial, and some area is still zoned R-A, Residential Acreage. The Master Plan for that area is also Regional Commercial. On the north side of Crescent Blvd. are Red Robin, Olive Garden and Grady’s. To the south is the Novi Town Center, with Boyne Country Sports, Borders and Bally’s being the closest tenants. This area is zoned TC and master planned for Town Center Commercial. To the [east] the land is zoned OSC, Office Service Commercial, and master planned for Office.
There are no woodlands, wetlands or natural features affected by this plan.
Mr. Myers showed a picture of the existing restaurant. The changes also include interior renovations and a sign change that will be reviewed by Neighborhood Services. The façade change will make this Friday’s look similar to the Kentwood, Michigan restaurant which is near Grand Rapids. The entry structure will be extended from 16 to 25 feet, which will be taller than the rest of the building and will be made of granite and marble tile. The doors and windows in the front entry will be replaced. The existing trim and cornice will be painted. The awnings will be replaced with taller red and white striped awnings like the Kentwood restaurant. The architectural lighting will be changed.
The TC District language requires a design to complement and contrast the existing buildings. Mr. Myers showed pictures of other restaurants and businesses in the area which included Red Robin, Grady’s, Boston Market, Boyne Country Sports and Blinds to Go.
The Planning Review does not recommend approval of the plan because the percentage of awning exceeds that allowed by Section 2520 of the Zoning Ordinance.
Parking and circulation on the site present no issues. The Planning Department does recommend that the Applicant connect the existing entrance to the existing sidewalk along Crescent Blvd. This is approximately 25 feet of sidewalk. Since this section of the plan is not proposed for change, it is not the policy of the Planning Department to require this change.
The property is zoned TC, but it is less than five acres. Section 1602.1 of the Zoning Ordinance allows the Planning Commission to retain jurisdiction instead of City Council. The Planning Commission can grant a Section Nine Waiver for façade materials, if two determinations are made. Section 1602.7 requires the existence of complementary and contrasting architectural design. The contrast should not be out of character so as to create an adverse effect on the civility and value of the area. Section 1602.9 cites that brick and stone are the primary façade material for this district, but they may be augmented by other materials.
The Planning Commission is asked to make a finding regarding these other materials, using the standards found in 1602.9.a-d. The Applicant proposes awnings that are a greater percentage than the Ordinance allows. The materials must be consistent with the building and enhance it (a). The materials must be complementary to existing buildings in the area (b). The materials must not detract from the area (c). A written design statement must be submitted by the Applicant that describes how the materials will satisfy the Ordinance requirements (d).
The Planning Department recommends that the Planning Commission grants the Section Nine Waiver, citing the acceptable use of alternative materials under the terms of 1602.9, and that this façade is complementary to and contrasting from the other buildings as stated in Section 1602.7.
Mr. Myers said that the Façade Consultant, Paul Taylor of NSA, recommended the granting of the waiver, given the location of the building, its distance from Novi Road, its proportionality and its relationship to its neighbors.
Bill Beckett of WT Development represented the Applicant. He introduced Susan Yonker, President of Great Lakes Dining, the owner/operator of this TGIFriday’s. Mr. Beckett said that this restaurant has been in Novi for about eleven years. The building is now tired and needs revamping. Friday’s is now in a period of upgrading – both façades and interiors. The entries are being upgraded with a new 25-foot entry tower designed with golden travertine tile and black granite accents. The top of the tower will have a brushed silver finish accent. The existing building is fully bricked, and the proposal introduces both complementary and contrasting materials. The shell materials meet the Ordinance requirements.
The real issue is the percentage of awning allowed. Mr. Beckett thought that the proposal is better proportioned to the height of the wall and mass of the building.
Member Pehrson asked about the pedestrian connection. Mr. Myers used a GIS photo to show where the sidewalk is and where the connection could be located. It would impact the berm, though the City’s Landscape Architect was not concerned about that.
Member Pehrson had no issue with the Section Nine Waiver request. This is a welcomed upgrade to the facility. The red and white striped awnings are a trademark of TGIFriday’s. He agreed that the proposal is proportional to the building. He liked the addition of complementing materials.
Member Pehrson agreed that the sidewalk would be good to have, but he did not know if he’d ever seen a pedestrian walking along Crescent Blvd. There are cars in the area. He wondered if the Applicant was inclined to offer this sidewalk as part of his upgrade. Member Pehrson did not consider the sidewalk a necessity because there isn’t foot traffic in the area. Member Pehrson did believe that the proposal was an enhancement and met the points of Section 1602.9. The façade is complementary to the other buildings, given that they too have their own trademark identity. The base brick is the foundation, and the additional materials provide the signature look. Member Pehrson felt that the conditions of Sections 1602.7 and 1602.9 have been met.
Member Kocan said that she would take an opposite stance. She said this was a discretional decision; many times aesthetics are. She looked at the intent and the current stature of the buildings in the Town Center area. The increased awning height, covering more of the brick – the primary ingredient of the Town Center – detracts from the other businesses. She did not agree with Member Pehrson, and she could not make a finding on any one of the four findings in the Ordinance. She did not think the proposal was compatible. She did not think it was consistent with the building materials. She did not think it was complementary. She thought her objection was to the height of the awning. They are proposed to be so high that it takes away from the percentage of visible brick. She liked the current look. She understood that the Applicant wanted to add some "fun" into the area and provide a different look. There are considerations. New signs are being proposed. She said that the ZBA will determine whether the Applicant can have three signs. She suspected that they will not approve that as they have not done so in the past. There is one sign on the building already. If the ZBA does not approve the additional signage, what does that do to the tower?
Member Kocan felt that this particular design would fit better in Fountainwalk. She was not particularly fond of that area’s décor. She said she was more conservative in her approval of building designs. She liked the look of brick. This is an area dedicated to brick and stone. She thought that this proposal was out of character with the surrounding property.
Member Wrobel said that in his 25 years of living in Novi, he routinely hears that the Novi Town Center is "non-descript." Everything is the same. That is a problem for him. He understood the concept, but something like this proposal would enhance the area. Member Wrobel did not have a problem with the request, given the adjacency of this building to Red Robin – another "different" building. He supported the Applicant’s request.
Member Meyer said that he has served on the ZBA for four years. He told the Applicant that he would be challenged in his request for oversized, additional signage. He supported the Applicant’s request, but he hoped that the building would not be gaudy. He hoped that the proposal will be compatible and will blend in and stand out at the same time.
Member Avdoulos asked if the awning projection would be the same along the bottom as what currently exists. Mr. Beckett said that it is pushed further back – probably half the projection. Mr. Beckett said that there would only be front fabric and no end panels. He said that the non-descript light fixtures will extend out from the building and blend with the brick. They will not be very noticeable.
Member Avdoulos said that it was good to update a building. It helps keep up with the times and competition. There are many food dollars out there. He also understood the concept of brand imaging. He agreed that sometimes one can recognize a business even without seeing the signage.
Member Avdoulos felt that the existing Friday’s is a conservative building. It is pleasant. Member Avdoulos was not opposed to visual interest or variety, as long as there is quality. The execution of the design must also exude quality. This proposal picks up on some of the elements already in place. The canopy design at the entrance is similar to Grady’s restaurant. The golden granite color will blend with the beige brick. He reviewed the Kentwood picture, which is too stark with all of the white above the granite. He did like the proportion of the awning. Member Kocan had mentioned that the proposal would cover up too much of the brick. Member Avdoulos asked whether the Applicant would consider pulling down the height of the awning. The tiles are 16 or 18 inches in size. If the awnings were reduced by one tile so that more brick showed, it might make some of the Planning Commission members more comfortable. Member Avdoulos did not have an issue with the proposal. He agreed with the Façade Consultant, that if the proposal doesn’t project as much as the current design, it is not going to be that obvious. Mr. Beckett said that the proposed projection is about two feet, as opposed to the current four-foot projection.
Member Avdoulos asked again about the reduction in the awning size. Mr. Beckett said that he may not be able to answer that on behalf of the Applicant, without conferring with the Friday’s corporation. He said that they would like to have the proposed façade approved. He said that he could always go back to the corporation and see if they would like to adjust the proposal. Mr. Beckett said that the Kentwood store uses different materials. There are brick and drivit/stucco design elements. This building is 100% brick. Member Avdoulos felt that was why this proposal is pleasing. By the same token, Member Avdoulos agreed with Member Wrobel’s comment, that sometimes sameness is pleasant, but sometimes it is too muted and looks too much the same. He felt this enhancement was good for the facility, and he didn’t have any objections to what he saw, but he understood that showing the brick a bit more might be more palatable for some.
Chair Cassis agreed with Member Kocan more so than the others. Mainly, his concern was the proportion of the elements. He thought that the tower was too high. The awnings are too awesome and too much for the building. The building is overwhelmed with the awnings. When the bottom three or four feet are removed from the building and the awning is extended upward, the brick is overwhelmed. Chair Cassis was concerned about the signs. Their request as shown will not be approved.
Chair Cassis was concerned about the neighbors. The design does not blend with the neighbors. This is a complete divergence from what the neighbors have. If this design is approved, every other building along Crescent Blvd. will come forward with a different design. He had no problem with "fun" and he said it was pleasing and good and brings people in. However, the City has to know the consequences of approving this plan include the rest of the building owners coming forward requesting similar changes. If the Planning Commission approves this design, they must realize that this means more signs, more awnings and excessive height for all the surrounding buildings.
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth said that the Planning Department agrees with Chair Cassis’ comments in general, in terms of the size of the awnings and the changes to the building. She wished to point out that the Section Nine Waiver is related to the proportion of the awning to the brick. One side of the building has 22% awning, where only 10% is allowed. Another side has 12% awning. Chair Cassis said that was exactly what concerned him. He hoped his colleagues would be careful in their vote. He had no problem if the Applicant were to come back with a shorter tower and shorter awnings that are more proportionate. The signs are a ZBA issue.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:
In the matter of the request of Bill Beckett for TGI Friday’s, SP05-57, motion to grant approval of the Section Nine Waiver associated with the revised Final Site Plan, subject to: 1) The provisions of the barrier-free pedestrian path from the building entrance to the public sidewalk on Crescent Blvd.; 2) A positive recommendation to the ZBA for the signs that the petitioner will go for approval with that committee; for the reasons that 1) The proposed façade is complementary to the existing or proposed buildings in the surrounding areas and that the proposed contrast will not be so far out of character with the existing building design and façade materials so as to create an adverse effect on the stability or the value of the surrounding areas (Section 1602.7); 2) The combination of façade materials will be consistent with the enhancement of the building design concept (Section 1602.9.a); 3) The selected façade materials and material combinations will be complementary to existing or proposed buildings within the site and surrounding area (Section 1602.9.b); 4) The use of the selected façade materials and material combinations will not detract from the future development in the district of buildings with facades of brick and stone, augmented by materials complementary to brick and stone (Section 1602.9.c); 5) The request is accompanied by a written design statement describing how the selected façade materials will satisfy the above requirements (Section 1602.9.d), as submitted by the petitioner; and 6) The plan meets the intent of the other Ordinances.
Member Avdoulos understood Chair Cassis’ concerns about the entrance tower. He, himself, did not have an issue with it, but he understood the problem to be with the awning, since the building is well below the height that is allowed. The granite is allowed. Member Avdoulos was not against the design. He hated to deny this plan just for 16 inches. He wondered if the Applicant could address the reduction of the awning size. Member Avdoulos did not want this decision to set a precedent for other upcoming façade changes. The Master Plan is an effort to keep certain areas in a themed cohesion. TGIFriday’s is going to be busy with or without an awning.
The Applicant stated that he would prefer to get an approval at this meeting, and therefore he would entertain the request to reduce the awning by 16 inches. With regard to the signs, TGIFriday’s has a standard sign package. They are studying some options for this location, but it is not part of this review. He did wish to express that the company was looking at alternatives for the tower signage.
Member Avdoulos was looking at the percentages of brick and awning. Paul Taylor, the Façade Consultant, explained that a change to the awning would increase the brick percentage. The awning percentage gets lower on its own, as well as a percentage of the total. This would reduce the percentages. A 16-inch reduction to the top of the awning would drop the awning size 16 inches. This would not do anything terrible to the proportionality of the building. It was obvious to Mr. Taylor that TGIFriday’s is looking to attract attention. If this were his restaurant he would probably do the same thing, which is the reason for the height increase of the entrance. Proportionally, it does make sense to increase the height of the awnings. Mr. Taylor’s concern is the fact that the awnings are glaring red and white. This seems to be in opposition to the muted brick attitude of some of the surrounding buildings. There is a golden dome in the area, which was done to attract attention. Mr. Taylor thought that the new façade would still attract attention if the awnings were made 16 inches smaller.
Mr. Taylor said that a review of a flat elevation does not provide a clear depiction. These awnings will not be as bad in reality as they look in the drawings. The Grand Rapids awnings stand out because the building is white. In this case, the building is brick. The awnings will attract attention; it is just a matter of what degree.
Member Kocan asked about the percentages. Mr. Taylor responded that the change of 16 inches would not reduce the awnings to 10%. The awnings will be reduced by about 20%, with a 16-inch change. This will increase the amount of brick, and the percentage of the building’s awning reduces even more. This requested change would not reduce the percentage from 22% to 10%, but it would be somewhere around 15%.
Member Avdoulos asked that the motion be changed to accommodate the request for an awning reduction of 16 inches to allow more brick to be exposed and to reduce the prominence of the awning. Member Avdoulos noted that the Grand Rapids TGIFriday’s had more breathing room above the awning. Member Pehrson and Member Wrobel agreed to the change, though Member Pehrson had his reservations about whether the change would have much effect. He really felt that the proposed design was an enhancement to the building. He would agree to the language in order to get the façade approved. The Applicant said he was willing to accept the reduced awning size if it would get his project approved.
City Attorney David Gillam asked for clarification on the signage stipulation. Mr. Gillam understood Member Pehrson to state that the Applicant would get a positive recommendation for the signs from the ZBA; Member Pehrson said that the positive recommendation was from the ZBA. Mr. Gillam said that either the signs as presented will have to be permitted or go to the ZBA and get approved as proposed. If the Applicant could not get any variances for the signs as depicted, then the condition would not be met, and the Façade Waiver would not be valid. Member Pehrson explained that the Applicant would have to meet the condition of the Ordinance, which provides a certain square footage, or the Applicant has to go to the ZBA to get approval of three signs. Mr. Gillam said that hypothetically, if the Applicant got some variances but not all, then the condition placed in the motion would render the motion invalid.
The Applicant wished to remove the sign portion out of this review. This would allow him to move forward with the façade elements, as well as the interior portion of their rebuild, shortly after the holidays. They have not put their application in with the ZBA yet. They are looking at alternatives. He felt that the Planning Commission should just review the façade and awning issue at this time. He did not want them to consider the signs. Member Pehrson said he would remove the sign stipulation. Member Pehrson said that the signs as proposed do not meet the Ordinance, and therefore they would require a variance. Director of Planning Barbara McBeth explained that the façade changes would still go forward even without the signage. She said that if the big signs were not approved, the stone façade material would still be present on the tower. She asked the Applicant to clarify whether the tower would be reduced in size if the big signs were not approved. The Applicant responded that the tower has a tumbler and the TGIFriday’s letters. The canopy is a part of the façade, not the signage. The canopy typically has signage, but it can be removed for this site. Member Pehrson confirmed that any writing on the canopies would be considered signage.
Member Pehrson asked the Applicant to remove the words on the canopies, and the Applicant responded that he would. Member Pehrson said that the building must then meet the intent of the current Sign Ordinance, and anything more would have to go before the ZBA for approval. The signage shown on the current plans does not meet the intent of the Ordinance. Ms. McBeth said that the Applicant could just reduce their sign sizes to meet the Ordinance. Ms. McBeth thought that the tower height was designed in proportion to their signs, so she was looking for clarification on whether the tower would be reduced if the sign sizes were reduced. She wondered if the architect would modify the tower height. The Applicant just asked the Planning Commission to approve his petition with an amendment of a 16-inch reduction in the awning size. He said they will go to the ZBA for sign variances, if they decide that they would like to have the larger signs.
Chair Cassis asked for clarification on the motion. Mr. Gillam said that the motion grants the approval of the Section Nine Waiver with the condition that the top of the awnings being dropped 16 inches from what has been proposed. That is essentially the motion. Whatever happens with the sign happens with the signs. If the Applicant wants, they can pursue a ZBA variance for the signs. If they don’t get the variance for the big signs, they still have the Planning Commission’s Section Nine Waiver. If the signs are reduced in size, their Section Nine Waiver is still in place. If their tower size is reduced, they still have their Section Nine Waiver. The only issue on the table is the size of the canopies. The reduction in canopy size as proposed by Member Avdoulos was agreed to by both Member Pehrson and Member Wrobel.
Chair Cassis asked Member Pehrson whether his motion addressed the tower height. Member Pehrson said that he only addressed the awning.
Member Meyer said that the north side of the building is not in compliance, and the awnings are not proposed to be as tall as the others. Member Meyer asked whether those awnings should also be brought down in size.
Member Pehrson said the north side of the building was in a different proportion and he didn’t think that the north side of the building required a reduction in awning size.
Member Kocan asked if there were awnings on the north side. The Applicant said that there were, but this design does not increase their height. Member Kocan complimented the Applicant for reducing the size of the awnings, though she said she would not support the request because she felt that the 10% requirement should be held fast for the Novi Town Center area.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON TGIFRIDAY’S, SP05-57, SECTION NINE FAÇADE WAIVER MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:
In the matter of the request of Bill Beckett for TGI Friday’s, SP05-57, motion to grant approval of the Section Nine Waiver associated with the revised Final Site Plan, subject to: 1) The provisions of the barrier-free pedestrian path from the building entrance to the public sidewalk on Crescent Blvd.; and 2) an awning reduction of 16 inches [not on the north side] to allow more brick to be exposed and to reduce the prominence of the awning; for the reasons that 1) The proposed façade is complementary to the existing or proposed buildings in the surrounding areas and that the proposed contrast will not be so far out of character with the existing building design and façade materials so as to create an adverse effect on the stability or the value of the surrounding areas (Section 1602.7); 2) The combination of façade materials will be consistent with the enhancement of the building design concept (Section 1602.9.a); 3) The selected façade materials and material combinations will be complementary to existing or proposed buildings within the site and surrounding area (Section 1602.9.b); 4) The use of the selected façade materials and material combinations will not detract from the future development in the district of buildings with facades of brick and stone, augmented by materials complementary to brick and stone (Section 1602.9.c); 5) The request is accompanied by a written design statement describing how the selected façade materials will satisfy the above requirements (Section 1602.9.d), as submitted by the petitioner; and 6) The plan meets the intent of the other Ordinances. Motion carried 4-3 (Yes: Avdoulos, Meyer, Pehrson, Wrobel; No: Cassis, Kocan, Lipski).
Chair Cassis called for a fifteen minute break.
2. CROSSPOINTE MEADOWS CHURCH, SP99-35C
Consideration of the request of Mark McPherson of Merritt, McPherson, and Cieslak for approval of landscape waivers due to previous Zoning Board of Appeals actions related to the submitted Final Site Plan. The subject property is located in Section 12, east of Meadowbrook Road and south of Thirteen Mile in the R-A, Residential Acreage District. The subject property is 40.19 acres and the Applicant is proposing Phase I of a multi-phased church project.
Planner Tim Schmitt described the project. To the north is Meadowbrook Elementary. To the east is Spring Valley. To the south is Wildwood Hills Subdivision. To the west is the Vistas Planned Unit Development. All properties are zoned R-A. The Master Plan recommends Single Family Residential at a density of .8 units per acre. The Vistas is master planned for 4.0 units per acre, consistent with the overall density of the entire development. A substantial portion of the site is covered by wetlands and woodlands, both of which have a bearing on the requested landscape waivers.
This project was previously known as Redford Baptist Church, and received Planning Commission approval in March 2000. It was designed with five phases. The original plan proposed a road from the north, running along the property line, and culminating at a cul-de-sac that would service several residential lots. The plan was approved by Planning Commission, with several ZBA variances necessary. The ZBA denied the variance request for a reduced setback between the road and the parking lot. Without any plans to build the single family homes, the ZBA felt the request for this variance was premature. With the intervening economic hardship on the Applicant, the Final Site Plan has been reviewed slowly over the past few years. All of the disciplines have now recommended approval of the plan, with the exception of the Landscape Review, which indicated several waivers are necessary due to the notion of the road placed between the church and the home sites.
A Planning Commission Waiver is required for the berm necessary between the residentially zoned property in the south and the existing wetlands. A substantial wetland complex was described for the Planning Commission. The Planning Department supports this waiver request.
A similar waiver is required between the properties along the east property line. There are substantial woodlands and wetland in the area. The Planning Department supports a partial waiver. The Applicant has proposed some supplemental plantings. In both cases, the Planning Department would recommend a Conservation Easement be placed on the land to preserve these natural features.
A berm would be required along the northerly property line, as that land is zoned R-A. The property is developed as a school. The school has provided a berm of the appropriate height, but it is not appropriately planted. Schools are exempt from local Zoning Ordinances. The Applicant has proposed plantings along this border, on the church property. However, the school is unable to provide an easement over this berm to preserve it and ensure that a berm is in place to screen the church in the future. The school district supports the supplemental plantings on their berm; however the Planning Department has not typically approved of these requests in the past. The Applicant can explain his discussions with the school board. These three waivers would resolve the outstanding issues. Otherwise, a redesign on the site will be necessary.
Mark McPherson addressed the Planning Commission. He introduced Erin Kleckner, the landscape architect. He described the wetlands on the southerly end of the property, and explained that the berm would not be beneficial. It would disrupt the regulated wetlands. The site rises up to the residentially-zoned property. Any berm in that area would be looked down upon and they would not provide any screening.
The easterly property line is adjacent to woodlands and wetlands, and a berm would disrupt the natural setting. From the Seeley drain to the north property line, there is significant landscape being proposed. This would provide screening in that area.
Mr. McPherson explained that along the northerly property line, there is a detention pond on the school site that is fenced in and is only accessible for maintenance purposes. The Applicant has proposed a berm in another area. In another location the aforementioned school berm is already in place. Mr. McPherson has spoken with the Walled Lake School System, and while they cannot provide the easement, they did provide a letter from Mr. Bill Chatfield, Director of Operations, stating that his berm adequately accomplishes the goal of blocking site lines between the two sites. He further stated that the School System consents of the church’s request for a berm variance, with the understanding that the Crosspointe Meadows Church will provide additional landscaping in place of the berm to the extent deemed appropriate by the City.
Mr. Kleckner explained his plan for landscaping in the northeast section of the site. Conifers and deciduous shrubs have been proposed. In another area they have proposed a six-foot berm. There is a row of existing conifers. There are also conifers on the existing berm. They do not feel that a berm added to the church property would provide additional screening. It could create a drainage problem between the two berms.
Chair Cassis confirmed that no correspondence was received regarding this request.
Member Kocan understood that the Planning Commission’s role at this meeting was to review the three waiver requests. She felt that there was justification to the requests, particularly if the natural features will be preserved. Mr. McPherson said that the Applicant would consider the Conservation Easement if it is deemed a requirement by the City.
Member Kocan asked City Attorney David Gillam if the Planning Commission could require this Applicant to provide a berm if the school’s berm is removed. Mr. Gillam answered affirmatively, stating that it would be a reasonable condition. He suggested that the motion language also include a time frame in which the Applicant must replace the berm, and even require a bond to secure the performance of the installation. Landscape Architect Lance Shipman was most interested in having a time frame specified in the motion, according to Mr. Gillam.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
In the matter of the request of Mark McPherson of Merritt, McPherson and Cieslak for Crosspointe Meadows Church, SP99-35c, motion to grant approval of the following waivers related to the submitted Final Site Plan: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver for the required berm adjacent to residentially zoned property in the south, allowing for preservation of existing wetlands and a Conservation Easement being provided over the preserved areas; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver for the required berm adjacent to residentially zoned property in the east where existing woodlands provide appropriate screening, and supplemental plantings to be provided where there are gaps, to preserve woodlands along the property line and a Conservation Easement being provided over the preserved areas; 3) A Planning Commission waiver for the required berm adjacent to residentially zoned property to the north as there is already an existing berm on the school property to the north, with the development of an agreement from the church, in collaboration with the City Attorney, to address the potential future event of the berm ceasing to exist on the northern property, and if that should happen, a requirement that the church would provide a berm within one year of the [original berm’s removal]; 4) All comments in the Staff and Consultant being addressed at the time of Stamping Set submittal; for the reasons stated in the above waivers.
Mr. Gillam stated that he did not know whether a specific written agreement needed to be written for the berm installation, as it is understood to be a specific condition of the waivers granted at the meeting. He asked Mr. McPherson whether the Applicant would agree to install a berm in the event that the school removes their berm. He answered affirmatively.
Mr. Shipman explained that there are two areas along the northerly property line that needed to be addressed. The middle portion, adjacent to the school, is the location of the existing berm. There is also an easterly portion that needs to be addressed. Noise attenuation and visual screening requirements are still required. He suggested, "In the event the adjacent parcel removes the existing berm, the Applicant must then install the required landscape berm on the church property within that same year, or next appropriate growing season." Member Kocan and Member Avdoulos agreed to the language.
Member Kocan asked about the easterly portion. Mr. Shipman responded that the Ordinance refers to adjacent zoning, not adjacent uses. This area requires a berm. There is a basin in this area. There are no woodlands in that area. This is an approximate 300-foot stretch.
Mr. McPherson explained that there is a basin to the north. They assumed that the basin would remain in place in perpetuity. A berm would not screen anything in that area. Member Kocan thought that something should be put in place to address noise and visual screening. Mr. Shipman said that the existing condition was described correctly, but the future of the northerly parcel must be considered – the property may not always be a school, and the basin may someday be moved. The Applicant must describe a practical difficulty or provide a superior plan. Mr. Shipman did not know why a berm shouldn’t be in place just because of the adjacency to the basin. Mr. Gillam thought that a statement similar to the other berm installation statement could be used. Mr. Gillam felt that Mr. Shipman was correct in enforcing the standard, as per the Ordinance.
Member Meyer stated that on June 6, 2000, 22 letters were received regarding the Applicant’s request to forego a noise analysis, but the ZBA did not approve the request. Mr. Schmitt explained that no Public Hearing was required for this request.
Member Kocan said that the berm must go in, or there must be an agreement made to install a berm in the event the basin moves. The area must be landscaped.
Member Pehrson felt that the berm is required per Ordinance – it didn’t matter that the adjacency was a basin. He would prefer to see the berm.
Mr. McPherson said that there are wetlands and a woodland in the area, and if a berm were put in, could it be cut short of the corner to preserve those natural features. Mr. Shipman said that would be appropriate. He said that the berm must be between 4.5-6 feet, and the Planning Commission may allow the lower berm.
Member Kocan stated the motion that a Planning Commission Waiver for the required berm is for the area directly adjacent to the berm on the school property. Mr. Shipman said that no additional language was necessary if the Planning Commission required the berm. It was understood that the berm would be appropriate to preserve the natural features. Mr. Schmitt explained that the Woodland Permit and Wetland Permit would not allow for encroachment of this area without the matter having to come back before the Planning Commission anyway. Mr. Schmitt said it was clear where the berm would end along the easterly edge.
Chair Cassis thought that the outcome was acceptable. He called for the roll.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CROSSPOINTE MEADOWS, SP99-35C, LANDSCAPE WAIVERS MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
In the matter of the request of Mark McPherson of Merritt, McPherson and Cieslak for Crosspointe Meadows Church, SP99-35c, motion to grant approval of the following waivers related to the submitted Final Site Plan: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver for the required berm adjacent to residentially zoned property in the south, allowing for preservation of existing wetlands and a Conservation Easement being provided over the preserved areas; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver for the required berm adjacent to residentially zoned property in the east where existing woodlands provide appropriate screening, and supplemental plantings to be provided where there are gaps, to preserve woodlands along the property line and a Conservation Easement being provided over the preserved areas; 3) In the event the adjacent parcel removes the existing berm, the Applicant must then install the required landscape berm on the church property within that same year, or next appropriate growing season.; 4) All comments in the Staff and Consultant being addressed at the time of Stamping Set submittal; for the reasons stated in the above waivers. Motion carried 7-0.
3. CARING NURSES, SP05-68
Consideration of the request of John Grant of Finkel, Roth, Wood Group for a Section Nine Façade Waiver. The subject property is located in Section 12, south of Thirteen Mile between the M-5 Connector and Haggerty Road in the OST, Office Service Technology District. The subject property is approximately 3.33 acres and the Applicant is proposing to replace the previously approved EIFS on the building with cast stone.
Planner Tim Schmitt described the project, and stated that the building was underway. The Applicant came forward a short time ago and requested to change the EIFS to a more substantial material. A brick of the new material was at the meeting for the Planning Commission to see. Cast stone is not permitted in Region 1, but is a superior material to EIFS. The Planning Department supports this request.
Mr. Schmitt also stated that the Planning Department would like the Planning Commission to consider discussing whether the use of cast stone should be allowed in certain circumstances without a Section Nine Façade Waiver.
Mr. John Grant addressed the Planning Commission. He said that they were requesting to upgrade portions of the façade. The color combination is white brick with light grey cast stone. The units are two feet by one foot by four inches. They will extend the life of the building. They will improve the building’s appearance. A picture of the building was shown to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Schmitt said that the corners and centers of the walls were previously approved with EIFS. The cast stone product would replace that material if this request is granted.
Member Pehrson thought the cast stone was superior and this was an example of the Ordinance not keeping up to date with the materials being offered on the market. He suggested that the Façade Ordinance be sent to the Implementation Committee for review, which would include a review of the materials list.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
In the matter of the request of John Grant of Finkel Roth Wood Group for Caring Nurses, SP05-68, motion to grant approval of a Section Nine Façade Waiver subject to the Stamping Sets being submitted for final approval by the Façade Consultant and the Planning Department for the reasons that the material is of a higher quality than what was originally planned and is a new use material that is not covered in the Façade Material Schedule.
Member Avdoulos thanked the Applicant for continually working to provide a quality development. This building is on a nice corner of the City, and he applauded the Applicant for choosing a material that will be long lasting.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CARING NURSES, SP05-68, SECTION NINE FAÇADE WAIVER MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
In the matter of the request of John Grant of Finkel Roth Wood Group for Caring Nurses, SP05-68, motion to grant approval of a Section Nine Façade Waiver subject to the Stamping Sets being submitted for final approval by the Façade Consultant and the Planning Department for the reasons that the material is of a higher quality than what was originally planned and is a new use material that is not covered in the Façade Material Schedule. Motion carried 7-0.
4. APPROVAL OF THE OCTOBER 26, 2005 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission members turned in their grammatical corrections for incorporation into the minutes.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:
VOICE VOTE ON APPROVAL OF MINUTES MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:
Motion to approve the minutes of October 26. 2005 as amended. Motion carried 7-0.
5. APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER 9, 2005 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission members turned in their grammatical corrections for incorporation into the minutes. Member Kocan sought to clarify the Casa Loma language, changing the word "site" to "stub streets" on page 10. She added "with respect to the pathway" on Member Avdoulos’ comment regarding his agreement with the neighbor.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Meyer:
VOICE VOTE ON APPROVAL OF MINUTES MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER MEYER:
Motion to approve the minutes of November 9, 2005 as amended. Motion carried 7-0.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There were no Consent Agenda Removals.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. JOINT MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL & PLANNING COMMISSION ON JANUARY 23, 2006
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth said that the meeting has been set for January 23, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. This is a regular City Council date, so the joint meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and end no later than 8:00 p.m.
Chair Cassis asked that the Planning Commission members come prepared for the meeting. The comments should be succinct and straight to the point. Only meaty matters should be brought up for discussion.
Member Pehrson asked if there was a goal associated with this meeting, or is this a learning session? Chair Cassis responded that the outcome should be that the meeting facilitates the efficiency of the Planning Commission. Additionally, if there are issues which need to be brought forward, this would be a good time to bring them up. Since the Planning Commission is a board that must uphold the Ordinance, this meeting would be a good opportunity for deficiencies in the Ordinance to be brought up and considered for review by the Implementation Committee or Ordinance Review Committee. If change is not considered, then the City isn’t making progress.
Member Pehrson suggested that the Planning Commission members e-mail amongst themselves over the month. They can discuss the direction they see the City Council going, future plans for the City that may affect zoning and the Master Plan, etc. Because there is no decision making involved in the group e-mailing each other, it would not be a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
Member Kocan agreed. She said that Planning Commission members could forward their topics to Ms. McBeth for a list to be compiled, and then this could be a topic at the first January Planning Commission meeting. There will probably be two or three Planning Commission items discussed at the joint meeting, as the City Council probably has two or three items they wished to have discussed as well. She said that one of the City Council members thinks that natural feature preservation is big on the list. Density could be reviewed for its implications. Is the Master Plan finalized, with regard to density? Member Kocan suggested that comments be sent to Ms. McBeth by January 3, 2006, so that they can be compiled for Planning Commission review.
Chair Cassis thought that Planner Tim Schmitt probably had a list available that he refers to for the Implementation Committee; he suggested that Mr. Schmitt make that list available. Chair Cassis also said that there are issues that were discussed with the developers [at the Tax Base Alternatives Roundtable] that should now be discussed with City Council. Chair Cassis encouraged everyone to call or e-mail Ms. McBeth with his or her suggestions.
According to Member Kocan, the Administration Liaison Committee did outline the results of the Tax Base Alternatives meetings for the purpose of sending the information to City Council. Ms. McBeth said that she would follow up on that item.
Member Meyer thought this would be a good opportunity for the boards to have a conversation with one another. He thought that a face to face meeting was a good idea.
Member Kocan reminded everyone that Committee budget requests need to be summarized and given to the Budget Committee. The Administrative Liaison Committee should consider the training/seminar budget line. She encouraged the Planning Department to get in touch with the various Committee chairs.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Moved by Member Kocan:
Motion to adjourn.
The meeting adjourned at 10:42 p.m.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
WED 12/14/05 JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION/CIP MEETING 6:30 PM
FRI 12/23/05 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 12/26/05 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
FRI 12/30/05 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
WED 01/11/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 01/09/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 01/23/06 JOINT CITY COUNCIL/PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 6:30 PM
WED 01/25/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 02/06/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 02/08/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 02/13/06 CITY COUNCIL INTERVIEWS 7:00 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, January 25, 2006 Signature on File
Date Approved: February8, 2006 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date