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PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 2006 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER
45175 W. TEN MILE, NOVI, MI 48375
(248) 347-0475

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at or about 7:30 p.m. Vice-Chair Kocan chaired the meeting.

ROLL CALL

Present: Members John Avdoulos, Andrew Gutman (arrived 7:55 p.m.), Lynn Kocan, Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Wayne Wrobel

Absent: Victor Cassis (excused), David Lipski (excused), Michael Lynch, (excused)

Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Tim Schmitt, Planner; David Gillam, City Attorney;

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Member Wrobel led the meeting in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:

VOICE VOTE ON AGENDA APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:

Motion to approve the Agenda of April 5, 2006. Motion carried 5-0.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

No one from the audience wished to speak. Vice Chair Kocan noted that the Public Hearings for Oberlin Condominiums and Infinity Medical Phase II were noticed in the paper for this meeting but both Applicants asked to be removed from consideration at this time.

CORRESPONDENCE

There was no Correspondence to share.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

There were no Committee Reports.

PLANNING DIRECTOR REPORT

Director of Planning Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission that they received information at the table regarding City contacts and Planning Commission contacts. They also received an updated Projects Map.

CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL

There was no Consent Agenda.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.661

The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Triangle Development for a recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property in Section 23, north of Trans-X Drive, east of Novi Road, from I-2, General Industrial District, to TC-1, Town Center District. The subject property is approximately 1.5 acres.

Planner Tim Schmitt described the site for the Planning Commission. It is zoned I-2 and located directly northwest of the Main Street Village II project, which is zoned RM-2. It is adjacent to Trans-X drive. Novi Road is to the west, and Main Street is to the north. The site is master planned for Town Center Commercial uses, as are all of the properties to the north (all zoned TC-1), southeast and west (property zoned I-2). Directly to the south the properties are zoned I-2 and master planned for Light Industrial, and further south, the properties are master planned for General Industrial. The I-2 land is part of the early industrial properties in Novi and they were not rezoned as part of the original Main Street initiative. There are no wetlands on the property. There are no woodlands on the property.

This rezoning is a request from Triangle Development. The Planning Department reviewed the Concept Plan for their upcoming project and determined that this portion of land needed to be rezoned to TC-1. This is 1.5 acres that had a different owner at the time of the first Town Center rezoning, which might explain why that rezoning did not include this parcel. The Planning Department recommends approval of this request. It is in compliance with the Master Plan for Land Use. This area was always designated as the Town Center area and intended to be part of the Main Street development. A property of this size would be difficult to develop on its own. It makes a good deal of sense that it becomes part of a larger overall development.

The surrounding uses are mixed. To the north is vacant land, but its plans are under development by this Applicant. To the east is Main Street Village. Directly to the south is the Temperform Corporation. To the west and southwest are two vacant industrial buildings owned by Frank Stevens. Both are zoned I-2 and the Planning Department is unaware of any future plans for these sites.

Mr. Schmitt said that I-2, General Industrial zoning, is the heavy industrial district in the City. TC-1 is a retail/mixed use/Multiple Family Residential district meant to accommodate a downtown atmosphere.

The Traffic Review provided trip generations for the site. The residential impact on traffic for a 1.5 acre site would result in a maximum of ten dwelling units yielding 70-100 trips per day. It would be extraordinarily difficult for this site to yield that number of units on its own. The Engineering Review noted that this request would not prompt adverse demand on the utilities.

Vice Chair Kocan asked whether the number of units the site could yield took into consideration that the Applicant might build as high as four or five stories. Mr. Schmitt said that the ten unit expectancy assumes stacked units.

Alicia Heideman from McKenna and Associates addressed the Planning Commission. She introduced Dave Nona from Triangle Development. She felt that the review of this request was thorough. She appreciated the Planning Departmentís endorsement of the request.

Vice-Chair Kocan opened the floor for public comment:

Frank Stevens, neighboring property owner: Also provided his objections in writing. He opposed the plan because he operates heavy industrial buildings, one of which has a second shift in operation. He felt this was poor planning, to put residential next to his general industrial. He was involved with the Master Planning of this area. At that time, it was anticipated that the three industrial users (Temperform, Enamalum and Stevens Industries) would be relocated under the grand plan. When that fell apart, there was no provision for these users in the Master Plan. One of these users operates two shifts seven days per week. He has not received any reasonable offer for his property.

Member Wrobel read the Correspondence into the record:

Michael Kahm, Singh Development, 7125 Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield: Approved of the request because it was consistent with surrounding uses.

Frank Stevens, Stevens Industries and Raven Investments, P.O. Box 201: Objected to the request. He felt that it could be dangerous to place residential next to heavy industrial property. The residents will constantly complain about noise and odors. Health, safety and welfare should be considered.

Vice-Chair Kocan closed the Public Hearing.

Vice-Chair Kocan asked whether the general industrial properties could anticipate any need to change their operation in light of this proposed rezoning. City Attorney David Gillam responded that this rezoning would not directly affect those properties. Those uses are going to be able to continue as they always have. There would not be a requirement of diminished operating hours or impact from these businesses.

Member Avdoulos said this request was presented to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee prior to this meeting. The Master Plan does show this site being planned for the Town Center. He wondered if this could be considered spot zoning or whether it would have an effect on the sites around it. He understood however, that this site is also adjacent to Town Center uses. In keeping with the contiguous development of Main Street, and the fact that the site would otherwise be difficult to develop, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee did provide positive comments on this request.

Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Wrobel:

In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.661 for Triangle Development, motion to recommend approval to City Council to rezone the subject property from I-2, General Industrial, to TC-1, Town Center, for the reason that the request is in compliance with the Master Plan for Land Use.

DISCUSSION

Vice Chair Kocan was also concerned about industrial uses being adjacent to residential. She was aware of the previous plan to relocate these industrial uses, and she was also aware of the plan to develop this as part of the Main Street area. She told Mr. Stevens that his operation could still operate and that there wouldnít be any restrictions placed on him. She wondered who was taking the risk with this rezoning Ė the City for possibly approving a project that potentially no one is going to buy? Is it the developerís risk? Should the Planning Commission consider the potential risks that the developer is taking? Sometimes she feels as though the Planning Commission should, but in the end it is the developerís call. The people who move in will know that the heavy industrial uses are already there. Buffering must be provided by the residential property.

Vice Chair Kocan wasnít even sure if any of these industrial uses in the area were still in operation. She suggested that perhaps the City should initiate a light industrial rezoning across the street now to put that land into compliance with the Master Plan. If the general industrial land is vacant today, it could be used as heavy industrial in the future. Those types of uses are significantly adverse to residential. She would not think that Mr. Stevens would be amenable to having his property rezoned to light industrial, though she did not wish to speak for him. That is what Vice Chair Kocan would like to see happen.

Mr. Schmitt said Vice Chair Kocanís suggestion would not be in the best interest of the City, because there would be substantial opposition from at least one of the businesses. Temperform has spoken with the City about a possible expansion. They do have room to expand and itís always been part of their plan. Mr. Schmitt would not want to speak for Mr. Stevens either, but changing his property to I-1 would be a down-zone. It would further limit the uses permitted on his site. He did not think this would be a recommendable option. The City takes on little or no risk with this proposed rezoning. It is in compliance with the Master Plan. It encourages the redevelopment of the area, which was always anticipated. Mr. Schmitt did not wish to comment on the economics of Mr. Stevensí site, and he did not even know there was any kind of offer proposed to Mr. Stevens, or rumor thereof. In the end, the City would like to see this area redeveloped as Town Center, and the market will dictate what ultimately happens. Mr. Schmitt said that the buffering requirements will be dealt with when the site plan comes in.

Vice Chair Kocan said that previous City Councils have said that they would not rezone property adjacent to the railroad track to residential. Because the future property owners will be aware of the railroad track, existing industrial uses and the downtown Main Street vision, and in light of the appropriateness of bundling these parcels, Vice-Chair Kocan supported the motion.

Member Avdoulos drove the area to try to get a feel for the future use of this site. He cited two areas in Northville where residential properties are situated near industrial uses and railroad tracks. One might think that people wouldnít want to move there, but if it is done nicely, people will indeed move there.

Member Gutman arrived at 7:55 p.m.

ROLL CALL VOTE ON ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.661 POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION MOTION MADE BY MEMBER AVDOULOS AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:

In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.661 for Triangle Development, motion to recommend approval to City Council to rezone the subject property from I-2, General Industrial, to TC-1, Town Center, for the reason that the request is in compliance with the Master Plan for Land Use. Motion carried 6-0.

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

1. APPROVAL OF THE MARCH 8, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

The Planning Commission members turned in their changes for incorporation into the minutes.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Gutman:

VOICE VOTE ON MARCH 8, 2006 MINUTES APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN:

Motion to approve the March 8, 2006 Planning Commission minutes as amended. Motion carried 6-0.

2. APPROVAL OF THE MARCH 22, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

The Planning Commission members turned in their changes for incorporation into the minutes.

Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Meyer:

VOICE VOTE ON MARCH 22, 2006 MINUTES APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER PEHRSON AND SECONDED BY MEMBER MEYER:

Motion to approve the March 22, 2006 Planning Commission minutes as amended. Motion carried 6-0.

CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION

There were no Consent Agenda Removals.

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

There were no Matters for Discussion.

SUPPLEMENTAL ISSUES

Member Avdoulos asked whether the Rules Committee meeting date had been set. Vice Chair Kocan said she would be working with Chair Cassis on choosing that date.

Mr. Schmitt said that the Implementation Committee would be meeting in the future, and the bank stacking language would be prepared for their consideration. Flagstar and other banks have provided stacking information for the Cityís review. The cell tower information will be brought forward as well. Berms and opacity will also be a future topic.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

No one from the Audience wished to speak.

ADJOURNMENT

Moved by Member Meyer, seconded by Member Pehrson:

Motion to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS

FRI 04/14/06 CITY OFFICES CLOSED

MON 04/17/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM

WED 04/26/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM

TUE 05/02/06 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM

MON 05/08/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM

WED 05/10/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM

MON 05/22/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM

WED 05/24/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM

MON 05/29/06 CITY OFFICES CLOSED

MON 06/05/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM

TUE 06/06/06 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM

WED 06/14/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM

MON 06/19/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM

WED 06/28/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM

TUE 07/04/06 CITY OFFICES CLOSED

 

Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, April 10, 2006 Signature on File

Date Approved: April 26, 2006 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date