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CALL TO ORDER
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Planner Tim Schmitt asked that the language describing the Caring Nurses’ case be updated to reflect that the Applicant was seeking a right-of-way berm waiver rather than a building façade waiver. This is a modification to the Final Site Plan.
Moved by Member Wrobel, seconded by Member Gutman:
VOICE VOTE ON APPROVAL OF AGENDA MOTION MADE BY MEMBER WROBEL AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN:
Motion to approve the Agenda of June 28, 2006 as amended. Motion carried 7-0.
Chair Cassis opened the floor for public comment:
Toni Nagy, Novi City Council: Worked side by side with Lynn Kocan on the Planning Commission and on its various committees. She said it was a great pleasure to work with Member Kocan. She was always thorough and prepared. Council Member Nagy thanked Member Kocan for her time and effort, and reiterated how much the residents of Novi appreciated Member Kocan’s commitment to the City.
Chair Cassis closed the Audience Participation.
1. TRIBUTE TO LYNN KOCAN
Chair Cassis said that the Planning Commission, the Staff and the residents of Novi all join together in honoring Member Kocan for her years of service on the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Woodland Review Board. Chair Cassis was glad to have Member Kocan, her husband Richard, daughter Kimberly and parents Frank and Flo Mathis present to share in the tribute.
Chair Cassis stated that Senator Nancy Cassis will present a tribute to Member Kocan at an upcoming City Council meeting. The tribute states, in part, that, "Given to do what is right, her true reward comes from being a person of the community. She will be remembered as an inspiring role model and friend. May her voice echo in the halls of the City and the Civic Center once again." The tribute was signed by Senator Cassis, Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche and the honorable Governor Jennifer Granholm.
Chair Cassis named Member Kocan’s "hot topics": Venture Drive, interlock, plastics, manufacturing, noise, decibels, woodlands, wetlands, etc. He said that Member Kocan’s concern for the community was always uppermost on her mind. Member Kocan became active in local politics when she came forward to protest a zoning change that she felt would not be compatible with the adjacent properties. He noted the similarity in Member Kocan’s story to his own wife’s, who also descended upon City Hall with her neighbors to voice their opposition to a zoning change.
Chair Cassis said that Member Kocan spoke her case to City Council methodically and pursued her cause with vigilance. As a result of Member Kocan’s involvement with local issues, she deservedly earned an appointment to the Planning Commission. She has served with dedication and commitment. She was always passionate about her favorite issues – protecting the City’s vital woodlands and wetlands. She was truthful with her feelings and stances. She weighed the issues and judged them with fairness. She was chosen as Chair of the Planning Commission, a position in which she led capably and with kindness. She earned the respect of petitioners and fellow commissioners. She was knowledgeable and precise. She worked her packets with specificity and diligence, often bringing forward issues she felt were overlooked. She strove successfully to adhere to the rules of precedence and proceedings on the commission. She most amusingly kept a close eye and combed the Planning Commission minutes for accuracy, where no misspelling or misplaced punctuation would escape her.
Chair Cassis had a final word regarding Member Kocan’s tenure: Time. Innumerable number of hours, days and months were spent by Member Kocan studying Planning Commission packets. Member Kocan’s wisdom and passion and kindness will be missed. Her smile will be missed. The City of Novi owes Member Kocan a debt of gratitude for her long and dedicated service. Chair Cassis was sure that the City will be hearing from Member Kocan in the future. Her voice will undoubtedly echo in the halls of the Civic Center again. Chair Cassis again thanked Member Kocan for her service.
Chair Cassis read an excerpt from Member Pehrson’s comments. Member Pehrson said that, as a fellow citizen of the City of Novi, he wished to thank Member Kocan for her tireless effort that she put forward while serving on the Planning Commission. Her dedication to the City is something to be admired. Member Pehrson learned much from Member Kocan. She was a great mentor to him, and he appreciated the extra time Member Kocan took to answer his simplistic questions. He wished that he had even one-tenth of Member Kocan’s knowledge of the Ordinances. Member Kocan’s shoes are mighty to fill. Member Pehrson hoped that when Member Kocan has a chance to look in on the Planning Commission, she will find that they continue to meet the standards that she set. He wished her the best.
Chair Cassis said that all of these words were well deserved. Member Lynn Kocan will be missed a lot.
Member Kocan joked that it wouldn’t be her if she said she was at a loss for words. She was flattered by the comments and the turnout of her peers to wish her well. She felt appreciated and it meant a lot to her. Member Kocan confirmed that a proposal for a 24-hour factory next to the Meadowbrook Lake subdivision in 1993 got her involved in the City’s planning process. She admired the fact that Nancy Cassis had fought extremely hard prior to Member Kocan’s moving to Novi to have the subject property rezoned to office as opposed to light industrial. Her fight was to no avail. It was rezoned to light industrial. Member Kocan’s subdivision came together to discuss the lack of compatibility between the two zoning districts, and she remembers certain people’s passion and dedication to the cause. She particularly remembered Richard Clark sitting at the table saying, "Location. Location. Location. This is not where this project should be." The plan had three votes at the Planning Commission level. Member Kocan said that the City does not have this 24-hour factory today, thanks to the efforts of the residents, herself included.
Member Kocan worked on the Noise Ordinance from 1994 to 1997. It was a three-year stint working with the Implementation Committee. She was made aware of the process in the City. It wasn’t until 2000 that Member Kocan had the time to accept an appointment and work with the effort she expected of herself.
For Member Kocan, it has always been about the process. The Planning Commission is charged with enforcing the Ordinances and the City’s Master Plan. She has always been concerned about the compatibility of uses, particularly residential with commercial or light industrial. She has tried to be reasonable and fair. The best way she found to accomplish that was to be consistent with Ordinance enforcement. She believed that Planning Commission members walk a very fine line when variances are granted. Unless there is a true hardship, variances tend to chip away at the integrity of the Ordinance. That is why she has been so protective.
Member Kocan said that if there are flaws in the Ordinance, there is a process in place to get it changed. That is why she worked so many years on the Implementation Committee. From sitting on the Planning Commission, Member Kocan has learned that she doesn’t have to have all of the answers, but it does help to have a lot of questions. The Planning Department Staff and City Consultants have been available practically 24 hours per day, seven days per week to field Member Kocan’s questions and concerns. She appreciated everyone’s professionalism and thanked each of them for their dedication, time and concern for the City.
Member Kocan did not want to neglect the City Administrative Staff, without whom none of them could function. She acknowledged Jane Schimpf, Angela Pawlowski, Sarah Marchioni and Juanita Freeman. She continued that she admired each and every one of her fellow Planning Commission members – both present and past. She particularly wished to thank those who have gone on to serve on City Council: Toni Nagy, Andrew Mutch, Lynne Paul, Laura Lorenzo and Nancy Cassis. She understood the amount of energy that is involved. It is so important to have the different personalities and backgrounds. Each Planning Commission member brings a different perspective and experience to the table. Whether or not consensus was reached, Member Kocan always respected the opinions of others. She thanked them for their commitment and said she learned something new from them each and every week.
Finally, Member Kocan thanked her family for understanding when she had to do her homework and forgiving her for spreading her paperwork all over the dining room table. They lived with Member Kocan’s site plans stacked up to the ceiling in the basement. They understood when she would corner them to discuss a development or an Ordinance. She appreciated their understanding. She said the good news was she would be home on Wednesday nights; she then joked that the bad news was, she’d be home on Wednesday nights. She thanked everyone for their presence at her tribute.
Chair Cassis also thanked everyone who attended the tribute.
There was no Correspondence to share.
There were no Committee Reports.
PLANNING DIRECTOR REPORT
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission that at the last City Council meeting, text amendments for pet boarding facilities for the light industrial district and outdoor storage of recreational equipment received their first reading approvals. Some modifications will be made prior to their second readings.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
1. ISLAND LAKE 5-C, SP04-65A
Consideration of the request of James Hepler of Toll Brothers for a one-year Final Site Plan extension request. The subject property is located in Section 19, north of Ten Mile and west of Wixom Road, in the RA, Residential Acreage District, with an RUD Agreement.
2. STAPLES AND RETAIL EAST, SP04-07A
Consideration of the request of Michael Hamame of Jonna Companies for a one-year Final Site Plan extension request. The subject property is located in Section 17, at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road in the B-2, Community Business District.
3. EVERGREEN ESTATES, SP04-42
Consideration of the request of Eden Garden, LLC, for a one-year Preliminary Site Plan extension. The subject property is located in Section 30, north of Nine Mile, east of Napier Road, in the R-A, Residential Acreage District. The subject property is 13.2 acres.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Wrobel:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CONSENT AGENDA MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:
Motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion carried 7-0.
1. CHASE BANK, SP06-27
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Nudell Architects for a Preliminary Site Plan, Section Nine Waiver, Stormwater Management Plan, and Wetland Permit approval. The subject property is located in Section 16, at the northeast corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road in the OST, Planned Office Service Technology District. The subject property is 1.1 acres and the Applicant is proposing to construct a Chase Bank branch.
Planner Tim Schmitt began by thanking Member Kocan for her work, and never chastising him for bungling the pronunciation of her last name.
Mr. Schmitt showed an aerial view of the subject property. To the west is West Market Square. Providence Park is to the southwest. The property is zoned OST, as are the properties to the north and east. To the south, zoning includes B-3 and OSC. These areas are master planned for Office. West Market Square is zoned B-2 and master planned for Local Commercial.
There are no wetlands on the map, but there is a small wetland complex along Grand River. This complex encroaches the southeast corner of the property; therefore, a permit is required.
There are no regulated woodlands on the property.
Mr. Schmitt reminded the Planning Commission that Bank One came before the Planning Commission on July 13, 2005 with a plan for this site. It was denied due to the stacking requirements. The Applicant appealed to the ZBA for the site plan approval and the variances. The ZBA denied the variances in a split decision. The Applicant made modifications to the plan during which time, the stacking requirements have been recommended for change. City Council should consider this text amendment on July 24, 2006; the new language will reduce the number of stacking spaces for banks from six to three per lane.
The subject bank has been reduced in size, is now a Chase Bank, and the northern drive aisle that comes out on Beck Road has been redesigned to the north. This Applicant and the northerly property owner have begun working on that easement agreement.
The Planning Department recommends approval subject to the finalization of the text amendment.
The Wetland Review asks for additional information. It does not appear that there will be any permanent impacts. There will be temporary impacts to the buffer where the retaining wall will be placed. The details of this work will be submitted with the Final Site Plan.
The Landscape Review noted a couple items requiring Planning Commission discussion. The Applicant has asked for an Interior Building Landscaping Waiver, consistent with the other banks that have come forward. The Applicant is also seeking a Parking Lot Landscape Waiver. Some of the proposed islands do count in the total landscaping, but the Applicant is still short. Some modifications can bring the Applicant closer to the requirement. A parking space could be removed or other changes can be considered. This can be ironed out at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Applicant needs to clarify the parking lot tree requirement. It needs to be made clear which trees are being counted for which requirement. There are a lot of trees on this relatively small site.
The Landscape Consultant, Doris Hill, noted that the Applicant proposed a berm along Beck Road. However, West Market Fuel across Beck Road is proposing a wall for their frontage. Ms. Hill suggested that this Applicant take advantage of this opportunity to match the property across the street. This is a nice opportunity to design an "entranceway" into the City. This Applicant has been relatively flexible in the past so Mr. Schmitt anticipated that he would be willing to entertain this concept. If the Applicant agrees to build the matching wall, the City will facilitate bringing the two landscape architects together to synchronize their design efforts.
The Traffic Review noted that until the Ordinance is updated, the stacking requirements on this plan are lacking.
The Engineering Review recommends a Driveway Spacing Waiver to address the drive’s proximity to the Beck Road/Grand River intersection. The Applicant can not push the drive any further east. This will be a right-in/right-out drive, which will also help mitigate the traffic problem.
The Applicant is requesting a Section 9 Waiver for the use of cast stone. The Planning Department continues to recommend approval of this request. Cast stone is similar to limestone and therefore is being recommended as an acceptable material.
The Fire Department Review recommends approval; the correct letter is in the Planning Commission packet.
Alan Okon from Nudell Architects addressed the Planning Commission. He wished to comment on the waiver requests. First, he said the Applicant would not have a problem with matching the neighbor’s wall. He will work with the Planning Department to ensure the material matches both his building and the wall across the street. He said they prefer the wall to the berm anyway.
Second, Mr. Okon explained that because of the drive-through lanes he must seek the Interior Building Landscape Waiver. He continued that the Applicant agrees to remove a parking space in favor of another landscaped island. This will reduce their parking space count to thirty. He will work with the Planning Department to determine where the best location will be.
Mr. Okon said they will re-label their plans to reassure the Planning Department that there are indeed enough trees to satisfy the various requirements.
Mr. Okon explained that the bank was redesigned to assist in making the project more compliant. Previously the Planning Commission had told them that they were overbuilding the site. This is a custom designed floorplan that has been arranged to fit the site more precisely. Hopefully, City Council will approve the new stacking requirement language.
Mr. Okon thought the new façade is better than the old design. The bank finally understood how important this corner is and what look must be achieved. The use of cast stone is part of this equation.
Mr. Okon introduced Tom Moffitt from Chase Bank.
No one from the audience wished to speak and no correspondence was received so Chair Cassis closed the Public Hearing.
Member Avdoulos agreed that this new plan flows better than the previous plan. The Ordinance adjustment will help this bank. He asked what the aisle width was for the bypass lane. Mr. Schmitt responded that the curb-to-curb measurement on the east side of the building is thirty feet. Typically there is a nine- to ten-foot stacking aisle with 20-21 feet of bypass. This measurement tapers downs at the north end at the curve. Where the lane is adjacent to parking the measurement is 15 feet. The Fire Marshal said that because this area is outside of the canopy and because it is not necessary for fire access purposes, it is classified differently and can be only 15 feet wide. The Traffic Review recommended 18 feet. Mr. Schmitt explained that he told the Applicant that they could design with just a 15-foot space. In order to make this measurement work, the Applicant just needs to rotate the parking spaces to 53 degrees. It will have no substantive impact on the plan, other than modifying the shape of the detention basin. Mr. Schmitt apologized for creating this issue.
Member Avdoulos asked if the bypass lane had to be thirty feet wide. He suggested that by sliding the measurement the Applicant could add some green space next to the building. Mr. Schmitt responded that an additional two feet could be taken up in that area. The Fire Marshal is going to look for an 18-foot measurement.
Member Avdoulos asked whether the stacking lane was necessary. Mr. Schmitt said that if the Ordinance text amendment is approved, the Applicant will not need the extra stacking spaces. Member Avdoulos asked whether the land could be used for landscape in the event that the text amendment is approved. Mr. Schmitt felt that at least some of the land could be substituted with green space. It would be up to the Applicant to agree to this. Member Avdoulos said it would negate some of the landscape deficiencies on the site. In reading the Landscape Review, Member Avdoulos agreed with the Consultant that the plan does meet the spirit and intent of the Ordinance. With this additional land being used for landscaping, Member Avdoulos felt that the landscape numbers improved. 2,080 square feet are required; 1,020 square feet are proposed. Mr. Schmitt said that the increased landscaping would get very close to the required number.
Member Avdoulos noted that the Applicant states that 27 parking spaces are required and they will now propose thirty spaces. Member Avdoulos asked whether there was a need to provide more than the requirement. Mr. Okon said that thirty is their ideal minimum. They felt that eliminating one from their 31 proposed was a good compromise for meeting the landscape requirement. Member Avdoulos felt these changes would all improve the site. Mr. Okon agreed to continue working with the Planning Department. Member Avdoulos said there might be a way for the Applicant to keep his 31 spaces, if the rest of the changed space is turned into landscaping.
Member Avdoulos appreciated the Applicant’s willingness to work with the City. This is a cornerstone site. Member Avdoulos also appreciated the Applicant agreeing to match the neighbor’s wall. He liked the look of the building. There is character to the building that reflects Novi – it is not super traditional nor is it modern. It is a nice, clean design. The corner is set up well and the arched element will work well here.
Member Avdoulos was concerned about the easement rights to the access curb. The idea of the access is to go north and allow the possibility of a left-hand turn. Mr. Okon said this drive is currently designed to allow the driver to go in any direction. This is ideal for their customers. There were RCOC issues regarding a right-in/right-out design. The other landowner was present at the meeting and would field any questions about this easement.
Member Avdoulos was concerned about this intersection. He knows how the traffic signals work. When there is southbound traffic, and people are trying to make a left hand turn onto Grand River, traffic and congestion build up. There is a drive in the area that sometimes confuses people. Member Avdoulos said that a watchful eye must be kept on this design, to ensure that more confusion does not ensue.
Mr. Okon said one redeeming quality is that their customers are repeat customers. Once they access the site they become educated on the traffic flow. Member Avdoulos said that the north access feature was a benefit to the site. Member Avdoulos supported the Applicant’s request for approval.
Member Wrobel was not a fan of placing a bank on the corner. He did think that the bank’s appearance would look okay on this site. It is not overwhelming.
Member Wrobel thought the wall design would be stunning. It will signify the entrance into the City, which has been a goal of the City.
Member Wrobel asked about the Grand River entrance. There will also be a "no left turn" sign for those heading southeast, which may help reduce backups. However, he was concerned about the practicality of this design. There are a number of these designs throughout the City, and Member Wrobel sees people turning anyway. He did not know whether there was a physical element that could be added that would prevent these left turns. Mr. Okon said that there was an option. There will be a concrete island that can possibly be accessed by a 4x4 truck but access may damage the vehicle. Mr. Okon will follow the recommendations of the RCOC, and if they have signage requirements or other suggestions, they will do whatever they can to control the traffic in the area.
Mr. Schmitt said that the Traffic Review also has recommended a slight modification to the plan that would deter left hand turners. Member Wrobel cited the "no left turn" north of Eight Mile on Haggerty; he said that people still line up to turn left and it creates havoc. He encouraged the Applicant to do what he could to reduce traffic congestion. He supported the project.
Member Kocan was happy that the Applicant was complying with the City’s requests, thereby reducing the need for waivers. She said that it sounded as if the easterly stacking lane may be removed entirely from the plan. She asked if a waiver should still be provided in the motion, or should it just indicate that the Applicant will continue to work with the Landscape Architect to meet the requirements for interior building landscaping and parking lot landscaping as much as possible.
Mr. Schmitt responded that if the Applicant makes the changes, the requirements should be met. However, since the design is contingent on the text amendment, he wished to ask the Planning Commission to grant the waivers should the amendment not be approved. Otherwise, the Applicant will just have to come back to the Planning Commission. City Attorney David Gillam agreed with those comments. The Planning Commission should acknowledge the need for some kind of waiver. If, despite the best efforts of both the Applicant and the Planning Department the plan does not meet the requirements, the Applicant would in fact have to come back at a later time. He recommended motion language similar to Member Kocan’s comment – that the Applicant continue to work with Staff to eliminate the need for the waivers to the fullest extent possible.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
In the matter of the request of Nudell Architects for Chase Bank, SP06-27, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow a wall in lieu of a berm along Beck Road, with its design coordinated with the northwest corner development, as agreed to by the Petitioner this evening; 2) Planning Commission Waivers for lack of interior building landscaping and parking lot landscaping, contingent upon the Petitioner continuing to work with Staff in order to eliminate the need for the waivers to the extent possible, taking into consideration possible new Ordinance revisions and elimination of a parking space, or whatever needs to be done with regard to the stacking lane; 3) A Planning Commission Driveway Spacing Waiver for the proposed entranceway on Grand River Avenue, with respect to Beck Road (275 feet required, 185 feet proposed); 4) A Planning Commission Section 9 Waiver requested for use of cast stone; 5) Clarification by the Applicant of the parking lot tree requirement; 6) Finalization of the Zoning Text Amendment regarding stacking spaces, or the Applicant redesigning the site to meet Ordinance requirements; and 7) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan does comply with the Master Plan and the Petitioner has worked to eliminate most all of the variances.
Chair Cassis said this has evolved into a great project. He thanked the Applicant for working with the planners. He was pleased the Applicant acknowledges that the Planning Commission is available to help them and that the new plan works for the City as well as for the customers. It presents a great look for the City.
Chair Cassis said that the Beck Road SPUI (Single Point Urban Interchange) intersection is a nightmare. Going north on Beck, trying to go west on I-96, the traffic is backed up to Grand River at peak traffic hours. The same thing is happening on the other side in the evening hours. He wished drivers good luck who think they will be able to exit onto Beck Road. Chair Cassis would advise any other City considering a new intersection to use the cloverleaf design. It costs more, but he said that, because of the amount of gasoline consumed by vehicles stacking and the time it takes for them to negotiate the left turns, plus the myriad of directions, he preferred the traditional cloverleaf.
Chair Cassis asked how the drive on Grand River will coordinate with the property to the east. Mr. Schmitt responded that he has limited knowledge of that property, and he has looked at a conceptual joint proposal between Mr. Palushaj and Mr. Heyn. They never submitted a traffic study, which is what held that project up. That area of Grand River has many MDEQ regulated wetlands. It is very likely that no entrance will be designed on the north side of Grand River for several hundred feet, which should place any drive outside of the driveway spacing requirement. The south side will be more difficult to develop. The southerly lots are much smaller. There will probably be problems at some point in time, when the south side comes forward for development. For this property, the drive location is ideal.
Chair Cassis asked how many banks currently exist in the City. For the sake of curiosity, he would like to have that number. Director of Planning Barbara McBeth said that she would research that number for him.
Mr. Okon said that in Novi, there is one Chase Bank, and another proposed bank (at Beck Road and Pontiac Trail) is no longer going to be a Chase Bank.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CHASE BANK, SP06-27, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
In the matter of the request of Nudell Architects for Chase Bank, SP06-27, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow a wall in lieu of a berm along Beck Road, with its design coordinated with the northwest corner development, as agreed to by the Petitioner this evening; 2) Planning Commission Waivers for lack of interior building landscaping and parking lot landscaping, contingent upon the Petitioner continuing to work with Staff in order to eliminate the need for the waivers to the extent possible, taking into consideration possible new Ordinance revisions and elimination of a parking space, or whatever needs to be done with regard to the stacking lane; 3) A Planning Commission Driveway Spacing Waiver for the proposed entranceway on Grand River Avenue, with respect to Beck Road (275 feet required, 185 feet proposed); 4) A Planning Commission Section 9 Waiver requested for use of cast stone; 5) Clarification by the Applicant of the parking lot tree requirement; 6) Finalization of the Zoning Text Amendment regarding stacking spaces, or the Applicant redesigning the site to meet Ordinance requirements; and 7) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan does comply with the Master Plan and the Petitioner has worked to eliminate most all of the variances. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CHASE BANK, SP06-27, WETLAND PERMIT MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
In the matter of the request of Nudell Architects for Chase Bank, SP06-27, motion to grant approval of a Wetland Permit subject to clarification of the wetland impacts at the time of Final Site Plan submittal, provided that the buffer impact is minor and temporary, for the reason that the plan complies with the Ordinances. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CHASE BANK, SP06-27, STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
In the matter of the request of Nudell Architects for Chase Bank, SP06-27, motion to grant approval of the Stormwater Management Plan subject to the plan complying with the requests from the Engineer, for the reason that the plan will comply with the Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. CARING NURSES, SP05-68A
Consideration of the request of Finkel Roth Wood Group, LLC, for Preliminary Site Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 12, on the south side of Thirteen Mile between Cabot Drive and Haggerty Road in the OST, Office Service Technology District. The Applicant is requesting a right-of-way waiver.
Planner Tim Schmitt explained that Michael McGinnis met with the City to discuss this project. The Caring Nurses site plan was approved in 2004. In winter 2005 the Applicant came forward seeking a cast stone Section 9 Waiver. An EIFS façade was previously approved. The building is very nice, and the Applicant is just about ready for occupancy.
During construction, it was revealed that the boulder wall along Thirteen Mile could not be built as steep as originally designed. The neighboring site, KIP America, has large black boulders with a large detention basin at the bottom of the hill. This plan mimicked that plan in some ways, using a different type of rock in a different formation. But, the slope did not accommodate the design. Reduction of the top of the wall was considered. Mr. Schmitt said that another matter to consider was the fact that this is the area where the right-of-way berm would be placed. The berm would normally go where the detention area is. The full berm no longer fits because of this wall top reduction. The Applicant came to the City to discuss their options.
Mr. Schmitt said that this request would require Planning Commission approval. The Applicant was encouraged to ensure that the site had adequate plantings on site. Mr. Schmitt said the subject plan accomplishes just that. Every plant planned for the berm has been redistributed throughout the site. If there are still deficiencies, the Applicant has agreed to make up for them elsewhere on the site. The Applicant now seeks a waiver for the right-of-way berm, and the plants for that area will be placed throughout the site – to the east and west along the right-of-way and around the rocks, wall and parking lot.
Mr. Schmitt showed a diagram that depicted the sightline as a dashed black line. A driver on Thirteen Mile will be able to see just over the wall, and will barely see the cars parked behind the rock wall. The wall goes slightly above the grade of the parking lot, and there will be some plantings in the area. The proposal is a solid one, largely because the Applicant has accommodated all of the plantings. This is a nice design based on the unusual circumstance. Hitting the Thirteen Mile grade has always been a concern. The Landscape Consultant, Larry DeBrincat, has spoken with Mr. Schmitt about this plan. He would approve of the request subject to some plant modification. This waiver is preventing occupancy of this building.
Chad Zamler represented the Applicant. Mike McGinnis was also present. He prepared this new plan. The owner will make the revisions as requested in the Landscape Review. They intend to provide an as-built plan to the City so that the inspector can be sure that the transplanted landscape material can be identified.
Mr. McGinnis said that only one-third of the berm is affected. The other two-thirds of the berm (the eastern half) comply with the requirement. During excavation, the subcontractor did not leave enough room for the boulder design. No one caught the error until it was too late. There are two sketches on the plans that depict how the design will be modified. Some boulders can come straight up. Plantings can be placed behind it. Or, some of the boulders will be set back. The net effect will be that the three-foot screening will be in place. One sketch is incorrect – the height of the wall will reach three feet above the parking.
Member Kocan sought clarification of the two designs. Mr. McGinnis said he would like to incorporate both sketches. Mr. McGinnis said there is a larger area that will be a water feature. That will be the focal point.
Member Kocan confirmed with Landscape Consultant Doris Hill that the motion should be acceptable with mention of the berm waiver and the relocation of the plant material. Ms. Hill said that there was concern about some of the plant material and the cost estimate. These things can be ironed out. Mr. Schmitt said that the stamping sets will need to be accompanied by the Applicant’s response to the Planning Commission comments, and the four to five items on which Mr. DeBrincat was seeking clarification. Mr. Schmitt assumed that the Applicant’s package would be ready to be turned in as early as the next day.
Member Kocan said it was an unfortunate situation, but the Planning Commission could be flexible after the fact. She thought the two designs were pleasing. One softens the rocks a bit more. The eye will trail across the front of the building. Member Kocan is a proponent of green space; she would have objected to the plan had the Applicant not provided the landscaping. She didn’t want the design to hide the building either.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Lipski:
In the matter of the request of Caring Nurses, SP05-68a, motion to grant approval of the modification to the Final Site Plan subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver of the right-of-way berm to be replaced by a boulder wall because of the increase of elevation from the road to the parking lot; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver of specific planting locations for right-of-way plantings, as the topography is such that if not moved, the plantings could effectively screen out the view of the building; and 3) The comments in the Staff and Consultant review letters and comments made this evening; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Ordinance.
Member Avdoulos stated that this area of the City along Thirteen Mile, specifically his favorite building - KIP America, is very nice. He liked the arched opening of this building. The boulders and fountain work well with each other. These amenities are what Member Avdoulos likes to see when new plans come through. He also appreciated applicants working with the City, hopeful to arrive at a nice project for the City.
Member Avdoulos noted that it was nice to hear Member Kocan make the motions this evening. He said she was correct in her application of the Ordinance, all the while remaining flexible when issues like this come forward. He said that with the help of applicants working with the City, the requirements of the new Landscape Ordinance are now coming to fruition. He noted that new buildings along Twelve Mile are also well-designed. He appreciated that the Applicant and the City were able to work through this hiccup for the benefit of all.
Chair Cassis liked how this design has evolved. The landscaping especially adds to the entire site. There seems to be a holistic and human touch that lends itself to the nature of the building.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON CARING NURSES, SP05-68A, REVISED FINAL SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LIPSKI:
In the matter of the request of Caring Nurses, SP05-68a, motion to grant approval of the modification to the Final Site Plan subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver of the right-of-way berm to be replaced by a boulder wall because of the increase of elevation from the road to the parking lot; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver of specific planting locations for right-of-way plantings, as the topography is such that if not moved, the plantings could effectively screen out the view of the building; and 3) The comments in the Staff and Consultant review letters and comments made this evening; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
2. RETAIL WEST (WEST MARKET SQUARE), SP06-17
Consideration of the request of Michael Hamame of Jonna Companies for Preliminary Site Plan and Section Nine Waiver approval. The subject property is located in Section 17, at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road in the B-2, Community Business District. The subject property is 64.7 acres (total site) and the Applicant is proposing to construct the last phase of the originally approved West Market Square shopping center, which will be the connection between Home Depot and Outback Steakhouse.
Planner Tim Schmitt said this plan was originally reviewed by the Planning Commission on June 19, 2002. The plan was ultimately put on hold and the approval expired. The Applicant is now seeking a re-approval.
The site was located on a map for the Planning Commission. Grand River is to the south. Beck Road is to the east. Twelve Mile and the city of Wixom are to the north. The entire property is zoned B-2 and master planned for Local Commercial. The westerly 52-1 courthouse is zoned OSC. In Wixom, the area’s designation is consistent with Novi’s B-3 zoning (General Commercial) and master planned for Local Commercial. Across Grand River the properties are master planned for Office uses.
There are no woodlands on the subject property, nor are there wetlands.
This proposal is for a 23,000 square foot addition, bringing the site’s square footage to almost 324,000. The reviews have noted several items to discuss.
The original Planning Review indicated that the site was deficient in parking. The Ordinance requires one parking space per 192 square feet of a planned shopping center. As the other uses of the site changed (TCF Bank and Applebee’s are two examples of change) the site became deficient. The Applicant has now submitted a landbank plan for spaces that could be provided in the future. Specifically, these areas include an area northwest of Home Depot, and some spaces east of TCF Bank. This is the main issue pending from the perspective of the Planning Department. A dumpster enclosure must be designed and a modification to the lighting plan must be made. The Planning Department recommends approval of the landbank plan, subject to the Applicant removing the far east spaces near the TCF drive-through exit lanes, and the landbank north of "Retail North" (adjacent to Kroger). Both areas could be dangerous, with potential problems stemming from either the drive-through traffic or the truck traffic. The Applicant can pick up more spaces northeast of Home Depot, where they are already proposing 13 landbanked spaces. If any further development occurs, this Applicant knows there is a pending parking problem in terms of the Ordinance requirements.
The Traffic, Engineering and Fire reviews approve of the plan, with minor items to be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The Applicant is seeking a Section 9 Waiver for the use of cast stone. They also need a waiver for the use of half-size CMU. There is one location where this style of brick will always show – where Staples is set back from Kroger. However, the use of this material was approved earlier, only because the areas designed with it were anticipated to be covered up as the various attaching phases came forward. The Applicant wants to use it on the dumpster enclosure, but the Planning Department maintains that these enclosures should match the building brick.
Two Landscape Waivers are required to address the interior building landscaping deficiency. The Planning Department supports this request because additional planting beds have been disbursed throughout the frontage of the building. This is typical for a retail user. This was found to be acceptable on the original plan, and the Planning Department maintains their position.
There is a Planning Commission Waiver request for the loading zone requirements. Twelve Mile is at least a quarter of a mile away, with a wetland complex situated between. There is a wall in place. Further screening of the loading zone will be difficult. The Planning Department supports this waiver request.
Member Kocan asked about the parking space calculation. Mr. Schmitt said that the calculation in the Planning Department letter is the full build-out number, which includes the gas station, Retail East and Retail West.
Chair Cassis asked whether any speculative plans are available for the rest of the area. Mr. Schmitt said that Retail West is partially leased with restaurants and retail users. The parking ratio is a blend of retail and restaurant numbers, as this type of tenant mix is anticipated for a center of this size.
Frank Jonna of the Jonna Companies addressed the Planning Commission. Their primary issue is the parking space count. This site has been functioning for about five years, and they acknowledge the significant surplus of parking on the site. They are comfortable with the idea that the existing parking is sufficient. Matt Slicker of HRC completed the traffic studies for this project. The parking proposed today is the same number as what was originally proposed. The tenancy expected for this addition will be small shop retailers – these are shallow spaces. These uses will include general merchandise, restaurants, etc. They too, are concerned about balancing the parking, keeping in mind the demand that Outback Steakhouse generates for dinner (they are not open for lunch). They will seek complementary uses for this site. The parking field in this area is more than adequate. There is plenty of spillover space. The lumber canopy is least parked area of a Home Depot, based on a review of all of their operations.
Matt Slicker of HRC said that the Ordinance requires 1,691 spaces for this shopping center. After this buildout there will be 1,578 spaces. This is a shortage of 114 spaces. As Mr. Schmitt said, the landbank parking plan has been submitted for this deficiency. The use of parking on this site is less than what the City’s Ordinance requires. There are studies that show this site would be more in line with the Urban Land Institute’s number of 4-4.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet; Novi requires 5.2 per 1,000 square feet. The 114 spaces can always be built if the center needs them. Banking them will keep the center greener in the interim, which is also a goal of the City.
Member Wrobel said that the Outback Steakhouse could change their corporate strategy tomorrow and open for lunch. If that would occur, could it affect the parking needs? Mr. Schmitt said that Outback requires about 120-130 parking spaces. There are 240 spaces to the front of Retail West. That is a substantial amount of parking. Even if Outback Steakhouse was occupied to its maximum there would still be parking spaces available. The Applicant, in a good move, is adding spaces to the north, which will function as employee-type parking. That will further free up spaces. The City doesn’t anticipate a parking problem, even if Outback opens for lunch. It might be tight, but there won’t be a shortage. Member Wrobel said that at times the lot seems full. Will another restaurant create too much demand for parking? People are lazy and don’t want to walk great distances to their cars.
Member Wrobel asked about the setback from the road. He felt that people dart out from Kroger and drivers can’t see them until they are right up on them. Mr. Schmitt said the shallowest setback is near the center of the addition. The minimum measurement is eleven feet – seven feet of clear distance is required as is a four-foot planting bed. It appears that the Applicant designed with a bit more space than eleven feet. Member Wrobel added that it didn’t look as if any architectural features of the building would further block the clear view.
Member Kocan said she would not approve a waiver for the dumpster enclosure. The City requires matching brick and she would continue to uphold this requirement. She asked about the dumpster doors. Mr. Schmitt responded that the Applicant does not believe that doors are a requirement. Mr. Schmitt’s position is that requiring doors on dumpster areas is a City practice. Mr. Schmitt has not found the supporting language in the Ordinance, but he is sure that it is there. Two of the three existing dumpster areas in West Market Square do not have doors. Mr. Schmitt said doors should be required, and that is what he recommends to the Planning Commission. It is a minor cost but it is the City’s preference. Member Kocan noted that this location is near the wetlands, which means animals will be present. It is a protection for the center. Mr. Jonna said he had no problem with the dumpster brick or the gates. He would comply with both requests. Member Kocan appreciated his agreeing to this request. Even though the area will be mainly used for employee parking, it will provide a cohesiveness to the site.
Member Kocan was surprised at the size of the loading area, but she found out that is the requirement of the Ordinance. She was pleased that the Applicant was able to find the land area to accommodate this requirement. She asked about additional landscaping on the other side of the ring road, but there are wetlands and a wall, and Twelve Mile is a considerable distance away. She supported the request to waive the screening requirement.
Member Kocan was surprised to read the Traffic Review, wherein the removal of a stop sign was recommended. This location is the southeast corner of Retail West. This stop sign keeps Home Depot traffic going to Grand River on a through-way. She asked what the rationale was for this stop sign removal. Mr. Schmitt said that typically, a shopping center wants to keep some traffic flowing so that people understand what is going on. If everyone stops, and other cars are pulling out of parking aisles, traffic becomes confusing. He cited the new signs at regional centers that state, "Incoming traffic does not stop." People need certain direction when there is this type of traffic flow. Coming out of the parking for Retail West and Outback is the subservient movement – the driver must turn one way or the other. Therefore, that is the traffic movement that should be required to stop. The other movement is going straight to the light and should be able to flow.
Member Kocan was also concerned about the proximity of parking to the businesses. She said this has become more of a prevalent problem as centers get built out. The last guy in has the problem. The Planning Commission understands that it is in the City’s best interest to fill all of the buildings and it is in the landlord’s best interest to have people patronize the buildings. The City must rely on the landlord’s judgment and the City’s Ordinance with regard to whether there will be enough parking. The Applicant has agreed to landbank. If that parking is ever needed, it will be provided. She was concerned about the northerly parking that is so far away. She understood that this parking would become more critical when Retail East is developed. The other proposed parking areas appear to be more suited for employees, which will require the businesses to inform their staffs where to park.
Member Kocan asked Landscape Consultant Doris Hill to comment on the landscape plan. Ms. Hill said this project provides a creative landscaped frontage. They are deficient in the foundation plantings, but they are providing an exemplary design consisting of many nice plants. The beds will be irrigated. In this kind of situation, she is concerned about salt spray, especially around big malls. This results in damaged plants. She would rather see high quality smaller areas than large areas that are not maintainable. On the north side of the building they have a large deficiency, but that side of the building won’t be exposed to the public eye as much. The natural features in that area are for more enhancing than any landscape that could be put in.
Member Kocan said the entire development is looking very nice.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Gutman:
In the matter of the request of Michael Hamame of the Jonna Companies for Retail West, SP06-17, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) Planning Commission approval of the landbanked parking plan, with Staff’s comment for the removal of thirteen of those parking spaces; 2) A Planning Commission Section 9 Waiver for use of cast stone only, which is consistent with materials used throughout the development; 3) A Planning Commission Waiver for lack of interior building landscaping, consistent with previously approved plans; 4) A Planning Commission Waiver of specific loading zone screening requirements; 5) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan is consistent with the existing mall and complies with the Master Plan.
Chair Cassis thought the project looked good. He noted that there are never cars in the parking lot extremities, where he would expect employees to park. He encouraged the Applicant to enforce this requirement: Leave the close parking for the customer.
Member Lipski said that the Applicant could be asked to discuss this with the property management company.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON RETAIL WEST, SP06-17, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN:
In the matter of the request of Michael Hamame of the Jonna Companies for Retail West, SP06-17, motion to grant approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) Planning Commission approval of the landbanked parking plan, with Staff’s comment for the removal of thirteen of those parking spaces; 2) A Planning Commission Section 9 Waiver for use of cast stone only, which is consistent with materials used throughout the development; 3) A Planning Commission Waiver for lack of interior building landscaping, consistent with previously approved plans; 4) A Planning Commission Waiver of specific loading zone screening requirements; 5) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan is consistent with the existing mall and complies with the Master Plan. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Wrobel:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON RETAIL WEST, SP06-17, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER WROBEL:
In the matter of the request of Michael Hamame of the Jonna Companies for Retail West, SP06-17, motion to grant approval of the Stormwater Management Plan subject to the letters contained in the packet for the reason that it meets the intent of the Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
3. WEST MARKET FUEL, SP05-48C
Consideration of the request of Michael Hamame of Jonna Companies for a revised Preliminary Site Plan Loading /Unloading Area Foundation Landscaping Waiver. The subject property is located in Section 17, at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road in the B-2, Community Business District. The subject property is 1.2 acres.
Planner Mark Spencer reminded the Planning Commission that they approved the fuel station on April 26, 2006. The Applicant is proposing a 4,900 square foot gas station, convenience store and fast food restaurant. This is a principal permitted use subject to special conditions, and has already been approved by the Planning Commission. Retail stores and restaurants are principal permitted uses.
The Applicant was required to obtain a ZBA variance for the reduction of the loading area from 1,100 square feet to 720 square feet. The Applicant is now seeking a Landscape Waiver so that they can increase the width of this area, and then they don’t need the variance. The general layout of the site has not changed and therefore the Engineer, Facade and Traffic Consultants did not submit a review for this request.
Section 2509.3.d.3 permits the Planning Commission to reduce or waive the building foundation landscaping requirement when it can be determined that there are practical difficulties due to the parcel size and configuration, or where the design of the site would be enhanced by an alternative design solution, while still meeting the intent of the section. The Ordinance states such action will be taken when pedestrian safety concerns or activities that are ancillary to the primary building’s function inhibit the application of the requirement, or landscaping has been proposed in other areas adjacent to the building that offset the loss.
Mr. Spencer said that while this request is for a change to the loading area, there have been other changes made to the plan. The four-foot plus landscaping strip between the south side of the building and the sidewalk was removed. The width of the loading area was increased by four feet so it now measures 16 feet. Now the 1,120 square foot requirement has been met. The width of the island separating the drive from the loading area was reduced from seven feet to five feet. The depth of the building increased two feet, bringing that measurement to 42 feet. The Applicant thinks this change is actually an error on plan and that the building will remain forty feet. The building area increased further with the backside bump-out being stretched to match the new loading area. The island west of the building was reduced by nine feet to provide one additional parking space. The width of the sidewalk to the east of the building was increased by one foot to eight feet. This reduced the overall landscaping by about 900 square feet. Other minor landscape changes also occurred, but those can be addressed at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The City’s Landscape Consultant, Doris Hill, does not support the approval of the plan due to nonconformance to the Ordinance. The building foundation waiver could be supported to permit the enlargement of the loading area, but the previous landscaping submitted for the west side of the building should remain. Also, the island landscaping in the back could be increased.
Mr. Spencer and the Applicant have discussed solutions for the loss of landscaping. The Applicant has suggested providing a four-foot by eight-foot landscaped island with benches. Ms. Hill said that could be an acceptable alternative if the Planning Commission thought so too. That island could be placed in a sixteen-foot wide paved area. That would provide the same visual relief as the foundation landscaping. The Applicant would like to have the additional parking space, and they would like to keep the paved area because it is easier to maintain.
Member Kocan asked about the parking space depth. Mr. Spencer believed they were designed at 19 feet.
Frank Jonna of the Jonna Companies addressed the Planning Commission. The idea of this submittal was to relieve the need for a loading area variance. He said they would be flexible with their landscape design. Again, it is important to provide convenient parking. The additional parking space is a convenience factor. The landscape area was suggested at four foot by eight foot, but he would look to maximize that, perhaps to four by ten or twelve. With sixteen feet they can leave five feet of pavement against the parking space, the landscaped area, then space against the building. That would be a nice addition to the west edge and would compensate for the lost island. Another possibility is to add an island along Beck Road to break up the parking along Beck Road.
Mr. Jonna said he will work with Chase Bank on the wall design.
Member Lynch said this was one of the first projects he reviewed upon joining the Planning Commission. This plan has come a long way and looks beautiful. He appreciated the Applicant working with Staff. He liked the gateway entrance coming together as a steadfast plan rather than in hodgepodge form. He felt this plan was rapidly approaching the final solution for the site.
Member Avdoulos confirmed that only the bump-out increased on the building. Mr. Jonna said that there is a graphical error on the plan. The curb should match the end of the building. The curb could probably even come out more. An addition of one foot would keep truck traffic off of the building. The radius has to remain. A tiny bit more green space could be added.
Member Avdoulos said the wall of the loading zone is attached to the storage area, which did increase in size. The loading area increased from twelve to 16 feet. The island up above and in front of the wall was decreased by two feet. Four feet were removed from the front of the building. Since only four feet were added to the loading area, the removal of space should not equal six feet. Mr. Spencer said that if the building size did not increase by two feet, then the one island did not increase by two feet. Therefore, the four feet is offset by four feet.
Member Avdoulos said the south side parking spaces are 19 feet long. Director of Planning Barbara McBeth said that the spaces are 17 feet with a seven-foot walk. The west side spaces are 19 feet deep. Member Avdoulos would prefer 19-foot spaces with a five-foot walk, with landscape from the sidewalk edge to the building. That would provide the same effect as what is provided on the east side of the building.
Mr. Jonna likes the idea of an elevated planter, so that there would be a vertical expression and the plants would be removed from the salt spray. Member Avdoulos said that if the height was designed at 18 inches tall, as commented by Mr. Jonna, that alone could provide a seating opportunity.
Mr. Jonna said these changes were made because the loading zone didn’t meet the Ordinance. This design will not require a ZBA variance.
Member Kocan said that bushes have been removed from the front of the building and that was critical to her. Member Kocan wondered about the waiver for 16 parking lot trees from the first approval. Now she was concerned about the Applicant asking for more waivers. Ms. Hill said that this revision does further reduce the green space. She accepted the compromise of the four-foot foundation planting on the south side in order to assist the Applicant in avoiding the ZBA for the loading area. She thought that was the initial goal of this revision. When she saw the additional parking space and the removal of the west green space, and the architectural feature adjustment, she was surprised. This plan has a lot of pavement. The west sidewalk is 16 feet wide. 171 square feet of landscaping is gone to accommodate the new parking space. If the 19-foot parking spaces were reduced to 17 feet and the sidewalk was reduced to seven feet, the Applicant might be able to design an eleven-foot wide green space on the west side of the building.
Member Kocan would prefer more green space. She didn’t really like the idea of a planting separating a sidewalk. She would prefer to see a continuation of the landscape along the walkway. That would make more sense to her. She understood the planter concept was an attempt to bring a seating area as well. She would like the Applicant to consider putting the landscape against the building. The benches can face each other with the landscaping up against the backs of the benches. It made better sense to her, that a clearer pathway be designed.
Member Kocan asked what could be done with the vent pipes. Mike Hamame said the pipes would be relocated nearer to the loading area. The pipes are two inches in diameter. Mr. Spencer said that this is a Final Site Plan matter. There is some landscape in the area. Ms. Hill said that perhaps some trees could go in this area.
Member Kocan said this was an opportunity for the Applicant to do something with that area of the site that would be far better than concrete and pipes. She didn’t want this site to look like a traditional gas station. The Applicant is providing a lot of landscape and the wall, and she appreciated that. She wants to hide the fact that the façade is a solid brick front. Wood chip piles and other items will be stacked up to junk up the front of the building. Mr. Jonna responded that the vent pipes will be relocated, but the trucks will still need to fill the gas tanks from that location. He wanted the function to continue, and what ever plant material can survive under those conditions, he would absolutely put it, even trees, in that location.
Mr. Jonna said that they will put the minimum hard surface required on the west side of the building. The City requires five feet, and he’ll plant the rest of the square footage. He thought the planter was a different solution that would possibly add a nice touch to the site. If the area of landscape is large enough he may also be able to add an ornamental tree to the design.
Member Kocan and Mr. Jonna discussed how the drive and parking stalls are already in place and therefore the aisle cannot be shifted.
Member Kocan understood that parking close to the station was important. She did not want so much impervious surface but she understood the intent of the design.
Member Avdoulos asked if the building changed. Mr. Jonna said that the building is square but the canopy is curved. Member Avdoulos was pleased that the loading area was redesigned with a safer, wider aisle.
Member Avdoulos suggested that the existing island creep into the paved space and slide down the door just a bit. Then the design blends together rather than having floating pockets of landscape. This could provide for the seating area, and that is the appropriate location for it.
Chair Cassis liked the plan. It is a beautiful design. He appreciated the Applicant working so well with the City.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
In the matter of West Market Fuel SP05-48C, motion to approve the revised Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver of the four-foot building foundation landscaping requirement on the south side of the building to allow adequate loading/unloading area to be provided; 2) Landscaping on the west side of the building and the width of the landscape island between the driveway and the loading zone being reconfigured in cooperation with the Landscape Architect to minimize the pavement and maximize green space; 3) All conditions required of the Planning Commission’s April 26, 2006 approval of SP05-48B being addressed on the Final Site Plan submittal; and 4) The conditions and items listed in the Landscape Consultant’s review letter being addressed on the Final Site Plan; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Ordinance.
Member Kocan said that the Applicant has agreed to work with the neighbor on a compatible wall design. She wanted to add that to the motion as well. Member Avdoulos agreed to the language.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON WEST MARKET FUEL, SP05-48C, REVISED PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER AVDOULOS:
In the matter of West Market Fuel SP05-48C, motion to approve the revised Preliminary Site Plan subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Waiver of the four-foot building foundation landscaping requirement on the south side of the building to allow adequate loading/unloading area to be provided; 2) Landscaping on the west side of the building and the width of the landscape island between the driveway and the loading zone being reconfigured in cooperation with the Landscape Architect to minimize the pavement and maximize green space; 3) All conditions required of the Planning Commission’s April 26, 2006 approval of SP05-48B being addressed on the Final Site Plan submittal; 4) The conditions and items listed in the Landscape Consultant’s review letter being addressed on the Final Site Plan; and 5) The Applicant working with the developer of Chase Bank on the east side of Beck Road on a compatible wall design; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the 4. Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
4. APPROVAL OF THE MAY 24, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The Planning Commission members turned in their corrections for incorporation into the minutes.
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Lynch:
VOICE VOTE ON MINUTES APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LYNCH:
Motion to approve the minutes of May 24, 2006 as amended. Motion carried 7-0.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There were no Consent Agenda Removals.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
There were no Matters for Discussion.
Member Kocan asked that the new light near Eight Mile and Haggerty Road be reviewed for timing accuracy. The traffic problem is exacerbated by the poor timing. Civil Engineer Ben Croy said that the light would be County controlled, and that Oakland County could be contacted. Member Lipski suggested that someone from the City contact the County. Mr. Croy asked for additional information on when the backups occur so that a conversation with the County could be more productive.
Chair Cassis commented that eastbound Ten Mile traffic turning north onto Novi Road has a one- or two-second left turn arrow in the afternoon. Mr. Croy said this too was an Oakland County signal and it could also be discussed with the County. He commented that there are minimum standards for the length of a light, and Chair Cassis’ description did not seem to match those standards.
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth asked that the Planning Commission members take the time after the meeting to sign a Master Plan for Land Use Map to honor Lynn Kocan. She then presented Member Kocan with a bouquet of flowers.
Member Kocan thanked everyone again for their kind words.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Moved by Member Kocan, seconded by Member Lynch:
VOICE VOTE ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION MADE BY MEMBER KOCAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LYNCH:
Motion to adjourn. Motion carried 7-0.
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
TUE 07/04/06 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 07/10/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
TUE 07/11/06 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
WED 07/12/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 07/24/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 07/26/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
TUE 08/01/06 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
WED 08/09/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 08/14/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, August 3, 2006 Signature on File
Date Approved: August 9, 2006 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date