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CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at or about 7:30 PM.
Present: Members John Avdoulos (8:44 PM), Victor Cassis, Andrew Gutman, David Lipski (7:46 PM), Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Wayne Wrobel
Absent: Members Brian Burke (excused), Michael Lynch (excused),
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Director of Planning; Tim Schmitt, Planner; David Beschke, Landscape Architect; Ben Croy, Engineer; Steve Dearing, OHM (Traffic Consultant), John Freeland, ECT (Wetland Consultant), David Gillam, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Member Pehrson led the meeting attendees in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:
VOICE vote on agenda motion made by Member Pehrson and seconded by Member Wrobel:
Motion to approve the Agenda of October 11, 2006, with the Matters for Discussion being moved in front of the Public Hearing. Motion carried 5-0.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
There was no Correspondence to share.
There were no Committee Reports.
PLANNING DIRECTOR REPORT
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission about items that were recently discussed at City Council. The OST text amendment second reading was approved with modifications. The RSM rezoning requests were approved on the properties near Twelve Mile and West Park Drive.
The Planning Commission thanked City Attorney David Gillam for his service. Mr. Gillam will become the City Attorney for Royal Oak.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. APPROVAL OF THE JULY 12, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Moved by Member Wrobel, seconded by Member Meyer:
ROLL CALL on July 12, 2006 minutes approval motion made by Member wrobel and seconded by Member Meyer:
Motion to approve the minutes of July 12, 2006. Motion carried 5-0.
2. APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 23, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Meyer:
ROLL CALL vote on august 23, 2006 minutes approval motion made by Member Pehrson and seconded by Member Meyer:
Motion to approve the minutes of August 23, 2006. Motion carried 5-0.
3. 2007 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING DATES
Director of Planning Barbara McBeth said that City Council approved their 2007 dates on Monday. Ms. McBeth asked that the Planning Commission consider the City Council dates, closed library dates, school holiday breaks and Jewish holidays when deciding their calendar. Ms. McBeth noted that the second November date could be used for a study session, and December traditionally holds only one Planning Commission date.
Member Pehrson preferred Calendar #1. He asked whether a study session could also be considered for the first half of the year.
Member Wrobel said that either calendar would work for him.
Member Gutman said that he could accept either calendar.
Member Meyer said that he would not be available for the first April meeting.
Member Lipski arrived at 7:46 PM. He accepted the suggestion of Calendar #1.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Gutman:
roll call vote on 2007 calendar motion made by Member Pehrson and seconded by Member Gutman:
Motion to approve Calendar #1 for 2007. Motion carried 6-0.
January 10, 2007 January 24, 2007
February 14, 2007 February 28, 2007
March 14, 2007 March 28, 2007
April 11, 2007 April 25, 2007
May 9, 2007 May 23, 2007
June 13, 2007 June 27, 2007
July 11, 2007 July 25, 2007
August 8, 2007 August 22, 2007
September 5, 2007 September 26, 2007
October 10, 2007 October 24, 2007
November 7, 2007 November 28, 2007
December 12, 2007
1. MAIN STREET OF NOVI, SP06-38
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Triangle Main Street, LLC, for recommendation to City Council for Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit, and approval of Stormwater Management Plan. The subject property is located in Section 23, South of Grand River Avenue and east of Novi Road in the TC-1, Town Center – 1 District. The subject property is approximately twenty acres and the Applicant is proposing a mixed-use development.
Chair Cassis said that a quorum was needed to hear this request, and he was unable to participate in this deliberation because of the potential conflict with his ownership of an adjacent property to the north. There is a possibility of Sixth Gate (Paul Bunyan) being vacated, and this street is adjacent to Chair Cassis’ property.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Wrobel:
roll call vote on victor cassis recusal motion made by Member Pehrson and seconded by Member Wrobel:
Motion to recuse Victor Cassis from consideration of the Main Street of Novi request. Motion carried 5-0.
Member Pehrson acted as Chair for the remainder of the Main Street request. Member Pehrson asked Member Wrobel to act as Secretary and read the Public Hearing correspondence at the appropriate time.
Ms. McBeth said this long awaited plan with bring the entire Main Street project to fruition. She said it has been a pleasure working with Mr. David Nona and his colleagues. She reminded the Planning Commission that they held a Public Hearing on TC-1 text amendments that were later approved by City Council. There was a rezoning request on a sliver of property, and City Council approved that as well.
Ms. McBeth said that the proposal is for 1.2 million square feet. There are 401 residential units. There are 107,000 square feet of restaurant. There are 104,000 square feet of medical and general office space. There are eleven buildings proposed, including one parking structure. The first phase of the development will be the medical and retail building fronting on Novi Road, and the four story parking structure that sits behind the stated building. Ms. McBeth said that the review of this plan has been complex. There is a lot of detail and the Ordinance is complex. She appreciated Planner Tim Schmitt’s efforts, as well as the efforts from Civil Engineer Ben Croy and Landscape Architect David Beschke. She also thanked the consultants for the City and for the Applicant for their work as well.
The review format is different for this project, as there are so many waivers and variances necessary. Ms. McBeth asked that the Planning Commission note that the Main Street Court building (Red Hot and Blue and Fifth Avenue location) has an approved plan which presents a parking lot and access drive conflict with the subject plan. This issue should be resolved. She said the Planning Commission is asked to make a recommendation to the City Council after considering the request.
Chair Pehrson suggested that based on the scope of this review, perhaps the Planning Commission could review each discipline in its entirety rather than jumping from one to the next as each Planning Commission member spoke.
Planner Tim Schmitt said this land is part of the original overall Main Street concept. The 200-300 building was intended to stretch to Novi Road. Those plans were abandoned. This Applicant obtained the property after a bankruptcy. The subject plan is on both sides of Main Street, and one property reaches down to Trans-X. Main Street Village II is adjacent to this property. There is a .8-acre regulated wetland at the intersection of Main Street and Market Street. There are no woodlands.
The Master Plan is designated as Town Center Commercial. There is no conflict between the Master Plan and the current zoning of TC-1. The Applicant is proposing to make updates to Sixth Gate, which is now a gravel road that is blocked by a DPW horse because of a collapsed storm sewer. They propose bringing the road up to standards and offering parallel parking along one side.
There are a variety of issues associated with this project, which is typical of a major TC or TC-1 project because these Ordinances are very specific. Mr. Schmitt said that the City’s Consultants were available at the meeting to answer questions. Stephen Dearing from OHM is the Traffic Consultant. Dr. John Freeland from ECT is the Wetland Consultant.
The Fire Department Review recommended approval. There is an issue with 50% coverage around the buildings, meaning that the fire truck should have direct access to at least 50% of the building. The Applicant has a slight deficiency in the southerly residential buildings. The Applicant would like to use turf pavers to accommodate those buildings. The Planning Department thinks this is an interesting solution; the Fire Marshal has not permitted it in the past. The fire protection standards do not allow that. This would require a City Council Waiver. The Applicant will need to address this – but it is not an emergent issue.
The Façade boards for each building were at the meeting. The base design is fairly cohesive. The materials and themes are used throughout, with some variations between each building. Some materials are not specifically called out in the Ordinance, but TC and TC-1 districts have a different standard for façade review. These districts require a waiver from the Section 1602.9 standard. A finding by City Council must approve of the material’s appropriateness. Cast stone has been proposed. There is some EIFS, though not a substantial amount. It is more of an accent. Vinyl siding is proposed for the residential buildings. The Applicant should be encouraged to match the other residential buildings in the area, to the extent feasible. The standing seam metal proposed is not bronze, which is what is required in these districts. City Council will need to address these issues. The Planning Commission should make a finding on the project as a whole.
There is an urban park proposed for the corner of Main and Market, where the wetland is currently situated. It is across from the 200-300 building. It will be open to the public and is readily accessible. There will be parking on three sides of the park. The Parks Department has commented on the plan, and the Applicant has responded to Director Randy Auler’s comments. Mr. Auler sees this plan as an opportunity to cooperate with the private sector and do some interesting things. This parks leads into the wetland issue on the site. The wetland must be filled. There are stormwater considerations, which would need to be worked out at the time of Final Site Plan submittal.
The mitigation is proposed offsite in an area near Twelve Oaks Mall. The property was rezoned for Singh for Multiple Family Residential. The area is inaccessible and is on the other side of the lake. The Applicant would put their mitigation in this area. The City has previously considered mitigation alternatives – Gateway Village and Brooktown are two such cases. This is the first time an Applicant has proposed a complete fill with complete offsite mitigation. Dr. Freeland will comment if the Planning Commission would like.
The Traffic Review indicates three major items. The Planning Department recommends that the plan be redesigned to prohibit cars from backing into an intersection or pedestrian area. The Applicant will be able to do so. This is an imperative safety item. The three parallel parking spots south of the 800 building should be removed. The Applicant is proposing a redesign of that area, and even in light of this the Planning Department recommends the spaces be removed. The traffic circles may better serve if they were designed as roundabouts.
The Planning Department has asked that the Applicant provide the details on what would be in the traffic circle center. Clear vision standards must be met. Fundamentally, the Planning Commission’s recommendation for a roundabout or a traffic circle could be made to the City Council.
The Engineering Review states that a Design and Construction Standards Variance is required to eliminate the end islands in the parking structure and the underground parking. The Applicant is proposing underground parking for the residential buildings. This is all but the three buildings shown on the screen at the meeting. The parking deck is four stories. The Applicant has not proposed any end islands.
A redesign is necessary for the 800 Building entrance onto Novi Road. There are gridlock concerns. The building must be two feet closer to the road. The parking should be twenty feet back from Novi Road, not ten feet, and no redesign can easily address this, short of redesigning the entire site and reducing the building sizes. The Applicant will be requesting a ZBA Variance for this. The in/out turns are an issue. The Applicant has proposed putting in a boulevard. There is additional right-of-way in this area that was acquired when Main Street was first built. The boulevard will be extended down to the area of parallel parking, preventing people from turning directly into the parking lot in front of the 800 building. It is not the perfect solution, but for many reasons, the Applicant would like to propose this boulevard concept.
The Engineering Review states that a redesign is necessary to leave the roadway open between Main Street and Trans-X Drive. This provides good circulation in general, and the Planning Department is also considering the future update to Novi Road being built over the railroad track. This route will be used as the detour to Trans-X when Novi Road is closed. At minimum, this must stay open until the Novi Road updates are complete. With respect to Main Street Court, the Planning Department would like both the Planning Commission and City Council to request this road remain open on a more permanent basis. The Applicant has been in contact with the Main Street Court owners.
The Landscape Review reveals the need for some Planning Commission Landscape Waivers (not City Council Waivers). Brick walls are proposed in front of the 800 Building, which is called for in the Ordinance. They propose a wall around the parcel on Trans-X. The Applicant is asked to match the Main Street Village wall. The Planning Commission is asked to waive the height requirements. The Applicant proposes taller walls, which is a standard called for in the Ordinance. This is an odd situation, where the Ordinance is very specific as to the height. The Applicant proposes six-foot tall walls around the Trans-X building, and a four-foot wall along Novi Road. The Planning Department feels this is an appropriate screening effort to conceal the industrial building from view.
A Planning Commission Waiver is requested to allow right-of-way, street tree and parking lot requirement tree plantings throughout the site – in non-standard positions. The Applicant proposes to place the parking lot trees in an area not adjacent to parking. The Planning Commission could discuss a waiver of the location, with no net loss of trees throughout the site.
A Planning Commission Waiver of the parking lot landscape islands is requested to address the parking structures. This is appropriate. The Planning Department does not recommend the Waivers for the above-ground space. The Applicant should be able to meet this requirement. The Applicant is requesting a Waiver from the maximum 15-spaces-in-a-row requirement. The Planning Department believes this requirement is in the Ordinance for a reason, and therefore this request is not supported. The Applicant is proposing some larger islands in certain locations, to make up some space, and the Applicant will speak to this Waiver later in the meeting.
The Applicant seeks a Waiver for the building foundation plantings since the area is designed for pedestrian use and parking. The residential buildings meet the requirement in many ways. The Applicant seeks a Waiver of the actual square footage requirement as well.
The Planning Review indicates several items to be addressed. The Zoning Board of Appeals must act upon several items. The parking lot setback near the 800 Building requires twenty feet versus the proposed ten feet. There is an exterior building setback requirement of thirty feet for residential buildings. One building does not meet this requirement because of its relationship to the Main Street Court building.
Throughout the site there are residential buildings with walls with openings within ten feet of pavement. The Planning Department is not concerned with this, given the urban nature of this proposal.
A Variance to allow reduced loading zones is required. Mr. Schmitt would like to introduce a Town Center text amendment to address this common theme in the near future.
A Variance is required for the 45-degree building orientation, which is required of multiple family developments. The Planning Department does not have a problem with this request.
A Variance is required to allow pavement within five feet of a property line for residential buildings in one location of the plan. The Planning Department believes the building can be redesigned to accommodate this requirement.
A Variance is required to allow parking for residential buildings greater than 300 feet from the building. The Applicant has underground parking for the units, and there is surface parking. However, there will be some areas where the distance is greater than 300 feet. The Planning Department has no concerns regarding this request.
City Council will be asked to waive the setback requirement along Main Street for the buildings that front that street. The Applicant has indicated no more than fifteen feet of pavement between the back of curb and the building will be provided. The Planning Department thinks this is appropriate and supports the Waiver request.
City Council will need to approve the vacation of Sixth Gate, aka Paul Bunyan, aka, Orchard Avenue. Mr. Schmitt showed the area on the map along the north edge of the site. The City did vacate a portion of this road several years back, with respect to the condominium. The condominium included part of the road, and was included in the bankruptcy, but it had never been vacated. In order to clear the title, City Council did vacate a stretch of the road, with the caveat that a cross-access easement would be filed for this area. The unvacated section of road causes setback problems for the buildings and the parking lot. It creates perimeter greenbelt issues. The Planning Department thinks that long term, this will be a problem for the City. First, it is a maintenance issue. This is becoming a private drive with parking on it. The City will have to maintain it because it is a public piece of property. Secondly, with the gap in the road caused by the previous vacation, there are issues with long term maintenance.
The Planning Department proposed four alternatives. First, the Applicant is asked to seek vacation of the road. The Applicant thinks this is the best route and they will ask City Council for this. The Planning Department recommends that the Planning Commission make the recommendation on the overall site plan. City Council will approve or deny the site plan subject to the vacation going through the formal process. No decision is being made on the road this evening, nor will it be made at the first meeting City Council holds this review. The statute outlines a specific process for road vacation, and therefore nothing is being recommended until a more formal design has been hammered out.
There is a parking issue for this project. 2,100 parking spaces are required, and the Applicant is proposing 1,600. In the TC Districts, a shared parking study is encouraged. The original development provided a very detailed study with linked trip factors and peaking factors, which resulted in a more reasonable standard for the property to meet. This Applicant has done a shared parking study which indicates just over 1,600 parking spaces are necessary. The parking issue can be resolved by reducing certain uses on the site, adding parking, adding another floor to the parking deck, or, as the Planning Department would prefer, coordinating with Main Street Court.
Mr. Schmitt explained that a few months ago Main Street Court had a restaurant use for a vacant space, but there wasn’t enough parking for the use. Combining the entire site into one parking study would do many things. It promotes the downtown feel – cross access between the sites is helpful. It benefits both parties – the parking number will then likely work for the two sites combined. No other action would be required other than the acceptance of the shared parking study. The Applicant will otherwise need a Variance from the ZBA.
Mr. Schmitt said that there is a group of Waivers and Variances that are not controversial. They are stipulations A through J on the motion sheet. Some are recommendations – like the vacation of Sixth Gate. The 45-degree angle on the building issue is minimal. The parking further than 300 feet from the residential unit is minimal.
Mr. Schmitt said that stipulations L,M,N,O and P do concern the Planning Department to some extent. The end islands for the parking lot can be discussed with Mr. Croy. The turf paver issue is another issue that should be discussed. The Planning Department is not keen on the lack of building setback for Building 800 but an alternative that solves the concerns has not been proposed. Two items relate to the Main Street Court – setback to the 1300 building and the pavement within five feet of a property line.
Mr. Schmitt said that stipulations Q through X are items that require discussion. The Applicant has provided some information, but there are still problems. Landscape issues and parking problems are the biggest issues that should be discussed.
There is a summary of issues that provides the Applicant’s response to the reviews. Some of the issues are Final Site Plan items, and some are just items that the Planning Department does not endorse. Overall, the plan harkens the old days of downtowns. There is a grid pattern with taller buildings designed with different architecture. It is not that monotonous. The buildings are in harmony with each other.
The concept of an urban park is an excellent idea – the City must consider the tradeoff of the park for the wetland. This plan offers some nice things, and it is far better than the vacant piece of land that is overgrown with weeds.
Mr. Schmitt said that the TC-1 Ordinance is very detail-oriented and this large of plan has uncovered some of the road bumps in designing to this Ordinance. There are many items to digest.
Dave Nona of Triangle Development addressed the Planning Commission. He thanked everyone for their input. This is a two-year project thus far; many of the consultants were at the meeting. This proposal comes close to the vision that the City has for a downtown. People can live, work, shop and dine in a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Some of the issues have been addressed already with the text amendment.
Mr. Nona said that they have not marketed this project yet, though there is already some interest in it. A major medical user is interested in the medical building. Three or four tenants have also expressed interest.
Mr. Nona introduced John Jackson of McKenna Associates (Planners); Mark Abernatha of Alexander Bogaerts and Associates Architects; Stan Joniec of Michael Boggio Architects.
Mr. Jackson said that residential will add to the vibrancy of the Main Street corridor. It will make parking work a lot better. Connectivity is important – Main Street must join with the entire Town Center area. This plan has several streets that make those connections. There is a high level of pedestrian amenities. The flexibility they seek in the landscaping is meant to promote the pedestrian areas. The parking is meant to be adequate but not too much. It must have enough to be viable, but the pedestrian scale will be lost if too much parking is provided.
Mr. Jackson said they have emphasized public gathering places. That makes a sense of place for the community. There are three different areas. The public park will have an amphitheatre. That is a critical element to a Town Center area.
Preserving natural features is absolutely important. In an urban area there are different approaches. An urban park is more effective than the wetland. Semi-public spaces are available for the residents. These areas will allow residents their own space. The sidewalks are important and they have been generously supplied in the plan.
The buildings enclose a true Main Street area. It creates the feel that the pedestrians are truly off of Novi Road and Grand River. It is safe. They can walk. They don’t have to worry about speeding cars. They believe the plan meets the intent of open space.
Traffic on Main Street is one of the issues to discuss. They feel strongly that there is a purpose served by using traffic circles. They will calm traffic. They will create a safe pedestrian environment. If they were roundabouts, their purpose is to facilitate turning movements and ensure that traffic can process at an uninterrupted pace. This plan is meant to ensure the safe interaction of pedestrians and vehicles.
The philosophy behind the urban park is not meant to downplay the natural features. It is a place for the entire community to meet. In an urban environment, the open space should allow for interaction between people.
The turf pavers were suggested so that the plan did not introduce too much impervious surface. Maintaining the green space was important. Hopefully these areas will never need to yield fire access, so the idea was to maintain the green space through the use of turf pavers.
Parking supply and demand is addressed by this plan. There are almost 1,600 parking spaces, of which 400 are in a private parking deck. This tight-knit plan is meant to keep the fabric of a downtown intact. Based on their review of shared parking, there are only a few times each day where the parking reaches capacity. These times are at noon and 5:00 PM. The parking requirement has a 10-20% cushion built in; therefore, even at capacity there should be some parking available. He reiterated that there is a 400 space parking deck.
Mr. Jackson showed all of the streets that run through the project. The interior streets are private streets and have been designed in the traditional grid pattern to make the connections all the way to Grand River, Novi Road and Trans-X.
He understood the need to connect to Main Street Court. They are willing to do so.
The amount of landscape required has been exceeded with this plan, but the plants have been reallocated so as to emphasize the pedestrian areas. There are large, concentrated areas to make more of an impact. In terms of landscaped islands, they chose to create smaller areas of parking, so there aren’t many areas where 15 spaces are in a row. In those cases, there may be 16 or 17 spaces and they did not see any reason to add a parking island in those few instances.
In an urban environment, the point is to have people along the base of the buildings, not plants. That is why they reallocated the foundation plantings, based on the principles of urban design as depicted in the City’s Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
The building designs were meant to emulate a town center that has evolved over time. A number of architects were used to design buildings so that different approaches were used. All the while, these architects tried to maintain the principles of the urban environment and pedestrian orientation.
Mr. Abernatha said that three architectural firms were used on this project: Alexander Bogaerts, GAV and Associates and Boggio Architects. They tried to create a timeless architectural theme. The three companies were used to provide different styles, but the cohesiveness of the plan was always considered. Styles used include traditional, contemporary, and a residential look with gabled roofs. A mix of brick and stone was used throughout. Some buildings introduce a polished mill-finished aluminum. A transitional look occurs in some of the buildings – some contemporary radial themes are mixed with cornice details that tie into the traditional styling.
There is a wide variety of units – lofts, ranch styles, townhouse products, and a mix and variety of bedroom counts and square footages. This will help meet market demand and provide variety.
Early on the Planning Department and the Applicant discussed how important it was that there was a mix to the mass of the buildings. Some buildings are one story, two story, three story, four story, even five story. There is a nice rhythm. The Main Street corridor mixes height and uses. This design incorporates the feel of Singh’s Main Street residential next door. This plan transitions from the urban architecture to the traditional style.
This project will take multiple years to complete. The Applicant hopes for the assistance of Planning Commission and City Council to allow this project some flexibility, from the standpoint of uses allowed, allocation of those uses, sizes of residential units, etc. He said that as the plan continues there may be reason to make changes and adjustments. The spirit and intent of this plan will always go through.
Mr. Joniec designed the 800 building. Their medical/restaurant/retail building is located at the corner of Main Street and Novi Road. It is four stories, with 70,000 square feet of medical office and 16,880 square feet of restaurant and retail on the first floor. This mixed use keeps with the concept throughout this project. The building is designed with brick and cast stone. There are canopies along the façades, at about ten feet, in order to give pedestrians a human scale to which they can relate. They use strong vertical elements at the center entries and at the corners. There are also intermediate verticals and punched out windows. They want to establish a presence on Novi Road so that it signals the development of the Town Center area. The buildings, landscape and towers will delineate the entrance. Their design announces a slower pace at Main Street than the busier pace north of them. They have received positive views on the plan, and some interest from potential tenants.
Alicia Heideman from McKenna Associates addressed the Planning Commission. Their goal is to create the Town Center feel for Novi. She offered to answer any questions.
Member Avdoulos arrived at 8:44 PM.
Chair Pehrson opened the floor for public comment:
George Wu, Main Street Court: Was happy to see that this project is en route to being finished. The parking lot must not be diminished, nor can they remove the connection to Trans-X. They are still in the process of negotiating this issue with Triangle Development.
Member Wrobel read the correspondence into the record:
Hidenori Yasuoka, 42673 Capital: Approved of the plan.
Kazutaka Okamoto, 25463 Pennsylvania: Approved of the plan.
Takashi Tai, 25489 Constitution: Could not attend meeting; did not state whether or not he approved.
Chair Pehrson closed the Public Hearing.
Chair Pehrson said that the Planning Commission should begin with discussing the Fire Review.
Member Wrobel liked the idea of turf pavers because it would help reduce impervious surface. He thought it provided a good base for the fire trucks.
Chair Pehrson asked where these pavers have been used in Michigan. Mr. Beschke thought they had been used around the University of Michigan stadium. He offered to find actual places if the Planning Commission would like to see them in use.
Member Pehrson asked Ms. Heideman if there were concerns with the load-bearing capabilities of the turf pavers. She replied that there are different classes of pavers, and there are some that support fire trucks.
Member Avdoulos asked whether the Fire Marshal had seen any of this information. Mr. Schmitt responded that the Fire Marshal has concerns – will they hold the weight? Will they be plowed in the winter? Will the area become overgrown? Only one other plan has proposed pavers – Husky Injection Molding Systems on Twelve Mile – but they haven’t been installed. That is an environmentally-friendly company, and the Fire Marshal approved it for their plan because access to that area of their building was not necessary from fire protection point of view. The Applicant can request this Variance from the Design and Construction Standards from City Council, at which time the Fire Chief will have to weigh in on this request. Acting Chief Jeff Johnson also has his concerns. While it is expected that the pavers can handle the weight, the ancillary concerns of maintenance and plowing must also be concerned. If the pavers are approved, the Planning Department will have to work with the Applicant on how this area will be identified for the Fire Department, how it will be maintained, what the standards will be, etc.
Member Avdoulos agreed with trying to keep the area green. He was not opposed to the pavers, but he wants to ensure that the area is identified properly. He challenged the design team to continue proposing green architecture and environmentally-friendly planning practices. As an architect, Member Avdoulos is also trying to introduce green planning into his designs. Cities are being encouraged to develop green standards. He suggested that the Planning Commission continue to encourage Applicants to bring green designs forward, thereby demonstrating their positions as stewards of the environment.
City Attorney David Gillam thought that pavers were used at the Blue Cross/Blue Shield building in Lyon Township on Grand River. Pavers were used for the overflow parking area, since the building would only occasionally need large amounts of parking. The Township allowed that plan to move forward.
Chair Pehrson asked whether the cast stone provided was colored throughout. Mr. Schmitt said that a variety of cast stone products were proposed. None are stained. They are colored throughout, to Mr. Schmitt’s knowledge.
Member Avdoulos had no issues with the materials proposed. He thought each building was adequately reviewed. The red seam metal was acceptable. Things would be monotonous if everything looked the same. He preferred a cement board to vinyl siding on the residential, even though the Applicant was trying to match the Singh residential. It holds paint better and looks nicer. He supported Section 9 Waivers where applicable.
Parks and Recreation:
Member Wrobel liked the idea of an urban park. He remembered that a gazebo was once planned for the area. Though he didn’t like losing the wetland, he thought the park would be a nice touch. He asked what the capacity of the amphitheatre would be. He noted that the condo association would be in charge of scheduling it. Would the City be able to use it? He asked when the park would be built in this phased project. Ms. Heideman said she did not know what the amphitheatre capacity would be yet. The association would coordinate events with the City. It is a privately owned park, but it needs to be used in a public capacity. The park would be part of Phase 3 at a minimum. Their concern at this time is getting the MDEQ permit. Mr. Schmitt added that there is a Town Center Ordinance that requires certain timing for open space. He noted that the wetland would not count as open space. The first residential phase is Phase 3; therefore that is when the park would be required. The Planning Department encourages the Applicant to get the MDEQ permit up front, because otherwise, they have a big redesign ahead of them.
Chair Pehrson asked about the redesign of the roadway between Main Street and Trans-X. Will the City Attorney become involved if this Applicant meets a deadlock with Main Street Court? Mr. Nona has met with Main Street Court and their attorney, Matt Quinn, three times. They proposed some solutions to this problem. During the second meeting, the suggestion that is found in the Applicant response letter was proposed. They had not heard back from Main Street Court. Now Main Street Court is not pursuing a restaurant use in their vacant site. Even without that restaurant there are still some problems. Connection will be provided – either with the existing street or with a new street.
The other issue is that the present plan has 26 parking spaces being used by Main Street Court that are on this subject property. The plan proposed tonight includes removing those spaces, which is part of the issue. Just recently Mr. Nona came up with another solution, which is to take these 26 parking spaces and make up for them using a shared parking formula. He proposed it to Mr. Quinn, and he thought it was sensible. Mr. Quinn said he would speak with his client. That would allow reciprocal parking.
Chair Pehrson asked about the connection, assuming that all of the parties can agree on a solution. Mr. Nona said that it would take place in Phase 2. Phase 1 will be the buildings along Main Street. The underground utilities and roadwork would be part of Phase 2.
Chair Pehrson asked whether this would be acceptable. Mr. Schmitt said that the funding for the Novi Road bridge is up in the air. The project has been pushed back by the Road Commission of Oakland County. Mr. Schmitt did agree that the Phase 1 construction will be isolated to the Main Street – Novi Road intersection. Mr. Schmitt presumed the road would continue in its present state until Phase 2. During Phase 2, it will be torn up and replaced. The Planning Department has asked for more detail regarding the phasing of this project. They want to ensure they understand the infrastructure timing. Additionally, once the City learns of the timeline for the bridge, these projects will be coordinated. Mr. Nona said he has been contacted by the Road Commission. He has committed that Main Street will remain open as a detour for this project.
Member Lipski thought the plan was in line with the Master Plan. He thought the presentation was thorough. He didn’t think Main Street Court would lose anything by cooperating with this Applicant. He thought it was important to recognize the synergy of this project. He liked the landscape alternatives. He liked the green space atop the buildings. He liked the circular components in the thoroughfare and how they favor pedestrians rather than vehicles. He thought it made a lot of sense. He kept thinking of the diag in Ann Arbor when he reviewed this plan, and how it too, is pedestrian friendly.
Member Lipski thought that this Applicant was making every effort to leave the City with a quality product. He encouraged Main Street Court to find a way to make the reciprocal easement agreements work. He suggested doing a cost benefit analysis on how this cooperation would increase their business.
Member Meyer affirmed Member Lipski’s comments. He liked the fact that the Applicant is trying to strike a balance. He liked the explanation of the traffic circles versus the roundabouts. He appreciated the Applicant’s attention to detail. He asked for additional information regarding the boulevard concept. He asked about the tree replacements.
Mr. Schmitt said the boulevard explanation is in Applicant’s engineering responses. Member Meyer asked whether anyone opposed the boulevard design. Mr. Schmitt said the reason for this issue being raised is because the Planning Department was concerned at first that nothing was proposed for the area. Later, in a meeting, the boulevard was suggested because it solved some traffic problems. Mr. Croy explained that the boulevard would stop people from turning onto the road and immediately turning left into the parking area. Without a boulevard traffic could back up on Novi Road. This is a concern. People will be able to get into that parking lot, but their route will just be less direct. The boulevard details will have to be reviewed.
Member Wrobel thought the boulevard was a great concept. He wondered if u-turns at the end of the boulevard would still create a problem. Mr. Croy said that one cannot plan for every situation, but he ensured the Planning Commission that the boulevard will be reviewed at great length. Perhaps the boulevard will be extended even further. Once people acclimate themselves to the new design, they will educate themselves on how to get to the parking lot. Many cars will not be able to make that u-turn anyway. Member Wrobel noted that those who work in the area will know how to navigate, but the casual user of the site will attempt the u-turn. He hoped that this issue could be resolved. He suggested removing one of the exits so that people have to go in through the back end of the site.
Mr. Schmitt said that originally that was a suggestion from the Planning Department. However, the Applicant does not like the solution, and for many valid reasons. The other option will be for people to pass Main Street and enter through Sixth Gate. Then, just a big right will land the driver where he wants to be. Also, the entrances to the parking deck are past the first driveway. The people going in the first drive will likely be the people patronizing the retail on the first floor. There won’t be enough spaces there to accommodate the slow turnover of the medical office facility. The ideal situation would not include the driveway, but the Applicant has offered another solution with which the Planning Department can probably live.
Member Wrobel asked whether the parking structure was free parking. Ms. Heideman said that at this time it is.
Member Avdoulos felt that the City was comfortable with the median. He thought it was an appropriate solution. He understood the need for up front parking. The Applicant wants some activity to be seen. He said the parking up front issue was discussed and allowed for Brooktown for the same reason.
Member Avdoulos thought the turnaround, landscaping and islands should be looked at. The traffic circles don’t seem to be there for handling large amounts of traffic. They are there to act as a respite – slow down and allow the driver to catch his bearings. He thought they worked well.
Member Avdoulos thought that Mr. Schmitt did a great job in preparing the report. He marked it up with a red pen and then compared his notes to the Applicant’s response letter. He felt the Applicant did a great job responding – either by agreeing to make the requested changes or by explaining their position and why they would seek the Waivers and Variances.
Member Avdoulos asked about the design feature of adding the islands and raised curbs within a parking structure. Rich and Associates, the Parking Consultant, has indicated that this may be a safety hazard. He understood where this statement was coming from. Parking structures are tightly designed. He thought it was important to understand this concern and for the City to take into account their comments. He asked if the Engineering Department had anything more to add. Member Avdoulos asked whether these raised curbs were for those below grade or for the spaces at the top level. Mr. Croy responded that the underground parking and the parking deck spaces were both issues. The typical end islands at at-grade parking have been requested for both areas. He has not heard a good reason why they should be eliminated, other than they are not typical for decks, since decks are typically designed to pack everything in. The City will discuss this further with the Applicant. The end result will go to City Council for their decision. He will discuss it further to determine whether the islands are a safety hazard or whether there is some compromise. If there are support columns in the same area, that might serve the same purpose.
Member Avdoulos would rather take the word of a consultant who works with this issue on a daily basis. Parking structures are designed tightly, and he understood that placing islands would result in people always running over the curbs. He did not think this was a make or break issue, but he hoped the Applicant could clean it up. Member Avdoulos felt the other Engineering Review issues had been addressed.
Chair Pehrson supported the Applicant’s proposal. They have agreed to eliminate the onstreet parking spaces that back into the intersections. He liked the traffic circles. They are a unique touch and they will do exactly what the Applicant has suggested – they will slow the traffic down and they are not really meant to regulate traffic. The Applicant has integrated the design of the traffic circle into the entire campus design well.
Wetlands and Landscaping:
Member Avdoulos thought the Applicant addressed many of the landscaping items in their commentary. Member Avdoulos asked about the wall. Mr. Jackson said he didn’t have a problem with the wall. The wall was less than four feet. The adjacent property has a six-foot wall – a requirement between industrial and residential. He said the suggestion made sense to carry that wall through. Member Avdoulos said he thought the heights were appropriate for where they were located.
Member Avdoulos said that 34 subcanopy trees were required, and the Applicant has proposed eight. The other 26 would be located elsewhere. There are issues like this. Due to the urban nature of the district, the Applicant chooses this direction. Member Avdoulos understood that. The City does require the foundation plantings but this site is a little different from an office or industrial building. He agreed with much of what the Applicant said.
Member Avdoulos asked Mr. Beschke to comment. Mr. Beschke said that, in general, he was in agreement. This is a tough site, designing with the TC District standards and the foundation requirements – as they do not necessarily go together. He was concerned that at least three of the buildings were concrete all the way around. The Applicant could address that. A couple of the buildings have now been proposed to be moved forward. This would create green space. Mr. Beschke said the Applicant has also proposed large planters on the sidewalk. The biggest one they suggested is 3.5 feet across by 13 inches tall. Mr. Beschke was envisioning something larger.
Member Avdoulos thought the direction of the landscaping was appropriate for the setting. He understood the need for pedestrian area, but too much concrete would create too much runoff. He agreed that the Applicant should address the size of the proposed planters. What else can the Applicant propose to soften up the edges?
Courtney Miller of McKenna Associates addressed the Planning Commission. They have discussed sliding some of the buildings forward with the City. There is a bit of extra room that would allow for foundation plantings in the rear of the building. In keeping with the Ordinance requirements, they would be in-grade plantings. In the front, they want pavement up to the building, with planters that vary in size and style. There will be different seating areas and types of furniture. The planters should tie in with each area, all tying into the traditional downtown setting. Member Avdoulos suggested they continue working with the City’s Landscape Architect on this issue.
Member Avdoulos assumed the "15 parking spaces" issue referred to the angled parking. Member Avdoulos typically prefers not to veer from the Ordinance. This is one of the things in the Ordinance that stops the seas of asphalt from being designed. This situation is different. This area is along the road. It is not a big parking lot. Convenience is necessary in order for this area to be successful. Member Avdoulos was willing to bend on this item, only because of what it is. It is not a big parking lot like at Sam’s Club. He noted that the Applicant has enlarged some of the other islands. He thought the parking as shown was more of a benefit to the site than changing it. It will help with circulation. If this were a large lot Member Avdoulos would not bend on this requirement.
Member Avdoulos said the Landscape Review was excellent. He thought it allowed for the Applicant to address the various issues.
Mr. Beschke added that there some existing street tree planters along Main Street from Novi Road. He suggested that the Applicant look at those for updating, as they won’t match what they will propose for this site. Also, there is a stretch by Building 400 that does not have planters. The Applicant has graciously agreed to work with his neighbor in choosing planters for this entire stretch.
Ms. McBeth offered that Mr. Dearing, the Traffic Consultant, could discuss the traffic circles.
Mr. Dearing was concerned about the circular intersections proposed for the site. He reviewed the Applicant’s response. He said the Applicant’s team is comprised of architects rather than traffic consultants. He understood their limitations. He said that the Applicant used some information from the Federal Highway’s Information Guide on Roundabouts. This roundabout information was used for designing the landscaping in the central island. The information misses the point regarding operational and safety issues. This distinguishes traffic circles from roundabouts.
Traffic circles are usually retrofitted into existing situations where adequate room is not available for something better. Roundabouts have superior safety characteristics. A traffic circle brings traffic up to the circulating roadway perpendicular to that route. They are "T" intersections. If someone is sitting on the approach trying to determine whether it is safe to proceed, they will have to figure out if a vehicle already circulating is going to exit or not. If their judgment is wrong, and the driver moves into the path of that vehicle, there will be a broadside crash into the driver’s door. A roundabout angles the entry so that if there is a mishap or misjudgment it will be a sideswipe rather than a broadside crash.
The Applicant’s response is that they don’t have room for a full roundabout. They don’t know about urban compact and mini-roundabouts. Mr. Dearing thought a correct roundabout design could be developed that would fit into this footprint. It would have superior operational and safety implications.
Mr. Dearing felt that the design team did not fully understand the roundabout concept, based on the responses they made to some of his comments. The pedestrian crossing on the approaches to the circulating roadway should be set back one car length from where the approach traffic would enter the circulating road. The Applicant responded that would be okay. The advice is specific and unique to roundabouts and makes no sense at all for traffic circles. The two concepts cannot be integrated.
Mr. Dearing said that a strong engineering review should determine what is safe for this design. This will be a public road.
Chair Pehrson asked if speed is a matter in choosing a traffic circle over a roundabout. Mr. Dearing said that when properly designed, roundabouts can promote very low speeds, certainly appropriate to what is wanted for a pedestrian centered urban environment.
Member Lipski asked how a roundabout would affect pedestrians, with the pedestrian crossings set back. Mr. Dearing said that studies have been done on properly designed roundabouts that address changing crash behavior. Studies have reviewed previously designed full intersections, some under signal control that have been retrofitted into a roundabout. A roundabout will have upwards of half the crashes of a normal signalized intersection. It will have upwards of 60-70% [drop in] personal injuries, and upwards of 80% drop in fatalities. There are so few traffic circles that exist and remain in operation, it is hard to derive any comparisons directly between the modification of a circle into a roundabout.
Mr. Dearing said that a lot of people don’t understand why the pedestrians should cross a car length back from the yield line or entry point into the roundabout. It makes sense. A driver sees a lot happening when he approaches the intersection. Is it signalized? Stop [sign] controlled? Are vehicles approaching? From how many legs? Into that mix are the pedestrians. The whole idea of setting the crosswalk back is that architectural features will be used to make the crossing stand out, so when the driver comes up his first acknowledgment is that there is a pedestrian crossing. He can then determine if it is occupied or not. If there is a pedestrian he has to yield. Once the driver has made that observation, he redirects his attention to the circular roadway to determine whether it is safe to enter or not. In the meantime, the pedestrian is behind the driver and the driver no longer has to balance looking left and not seeing the pedestrian crossing to his right. The Applicant said he would move the crossing back. Mr. Dearing said that the next level would be to get the geometry right so that it angles the cars on entry and in doing so, the Applicant can also split the pedestrian’s path a bit by providing a safe haven in the middle. It could be a painted area or a raised median. The idea is the pedestrian must cross the equivalent of two one-way roads, rather than a two-way road. The intended speed limit prima facie would be 25 mph. In this context, the roundabout should be designed to control the operating speed to be 12-15 mph.
Mr. Dearing understood that Main Street would remain public. Mr. Schmitt said it is a public road built by the City. The City has no intention of vacating the road. Market Street is the same. The remainder of the streets within the development - with the way they are designed with parking on either side and close buildings - are not eligible for dedication in the future. Everything off of Main Street will be a private road.
Member Lipski asked if the recommendation could go through, subject to Mr. Dearing providing some of his knowledge of smaller roundabouts. Mr. Schmitt said nothing would pre-empt that, and the Planning Department would appreciate having some direction on how the Planning Commission would like this design to proceed. Ultimately, the Planning Department will lean on the direction it receives from Planning Commission and City Council, as to how the Applicant will be advised on their next site plan submittal.
Member Lipski concluded that at least in the car to car scenario, hazards can be reduced by changing from a traffic circle to a roundabout. It is uncertain as to whether a sidewalk setback converted to a roundabout would reduce the car to pedestrian impact, under the studies that exist. Either way, the City can offer suggestions to the Applicant on how to accomplish the idealized goal. Mr. Dearing agreed. He felt a roundabout could fit; the geometry needs to be modified from the current design.
Ms. Heideman said she would happily work with the City to make the design with the safest intersections possible. She said that the traffic circles were planned with stop signs; they wanted stopping at each intersection. They proposed choke-outs at the intersections to reduce them to twenty feet at the crossing. That is why a splitter was not designed for the area. She agreed to work with Mr. Dearing.
Chair Pehrson asked how the stop signs affected his comments. Mr. Dearing said that given the fact that this is a public road, there are warrants for the installation of stop signs. They are not just placed because the Applicant feels like putting them in. There is no indication as to whether these locations meet the warrants for a four-way stop. The presumption is that people stop for the stop signs. What Mr. Dearing would like to suggest is a design that is intrinsically safe and does not rely on signs. The design will meet the criteria of the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is a State-mandated set of guidelines for the installation of any traffic control devices.
Chair Pehrson asked Ms. Heideman if she was in a position to state the Applicant’s intent to work with the City on making the circular traffic areas the safest design possible. Ms. Heideman agreed to do so.
Chair Pehrson asked about the wetland mitigation. He agreed that the public amenity is a great thing, but he wrestled with the concept of offsite mitigation, given that there isn’t much of a history of doing this. What will happen to the water fowl and the animal life? Dr. Freeland said the condition of this wetland was reviewed onsite. It is an approximate one-acre complex with an open water wetland fringed by approximately one-quarter acre of combined emergent and scrub shrub wetland. It is like a pond with a lot of shrubs around it. He has seen blue heron, snow egrets and turtles. He has not inventoried the amphibians and reptiles in that pond, but he knew they existed.
The wetland is both City and State regulated. He understood that the Applicant has made application to the MDEQ. He has not seen any correspondence regarding this application. The wetland has significant functions – water storage, significant wildlife component, aesthetics, and cooling. Cities are heat islands. In the summertime, the asphalt, roofing materials, and the like, heat up under the sun. They radiate a lot of heat out into the atmosphere. A comment was made that urban areas are for people, and natural features are for somewhere else. Dr. Freeland suggested that this plan be designed with both things in mind.
Dr. Freeland said there is a rule of thumb called "The Three Ms" in wetland management: Miss, Minimize and Mitigate. First, the plan should miss the wetland entirely. Avoid it. Leave it there. Recognize its functions. Second, the plan should minimize the impacts. Keep them insignificant. Third, mitigate if the impacts are significant. This is compensatory replacement. This plan fills the wetland entirely. Nothing will be left of it. None of its functions are kept. No part of it would be preserved as part of this plan. He understood that there are a lot of competing interests and Dr. Freeland appreciated that. But all of this wetland would be filled. This Applicant will have to go to mitigation. They have identified an area – a very general concept of an area – near Twelve Oaks Mall. It is adjacent to Twelve Oaks Lake. It is an area that is partially shown on the regulated woodlands map. Dr. Freeland does not like to mitigate in woodlands. Much of the area identified is immature woods. It wouldn’t meet the criteria of regulated sized trees, but give these trees another twenty years and this area will be a more mature woods. He was concerned about this location. He has not seen a map that specifically identifies this area. He has not seen a mitigation plan yet. He would need to see this before he approved the Preliminary Site Plan.
Dr. Freeland said that because of the significant functions of this wetland, and if in fact this wetland has to go, which he understood there are reasons for doing so, he wished to emphasize that the plan must satisfy the MDEQ and the City. He recommended that a thorough inventory of the wetland’s wildlife be done so that those features can be incorporated into a first class mitigation plan.
Mr. Schmitt said that in years past the Applicant has been asked to bring the MDEQ permit in with the Preliminary Site Plan submittal. This Applicant felt that since this is such a big decision for the City, it should be cleared by the City first before the MDEQ is approached. He did believe that the Applicant either has submitted their MDEQ request or are just about to do so. Dr. Freeland is correct; the mitigation is a big item. Mr. Schmitt was aware of only a couple sites that have not done mitigation. Those sites are subsets of ones that have done mitigation. This is an urban area, so the question becomes long term viability. This wetland functions pretty well which is amazing. The wetlands across the parking lot are not doing well at all. They have become more of a function of the stormwater management.
Mr. Schmitt said that it is not a requirement to have the MDEQ permit at this stage. However, before the Wetland Permit is signed, the MDEQ permit must be approved or in the final stages of approval.
Chair Pehrson confirmed that the recommendation should include a comment regarding the mitigation. Mr. Schmitt said the Applicant is strongly encouraged to get more details together before this request goes before City Council. Not having more information available could negatively affect their process.
Chair Pehrson asked the Applicant whether they understood the request to bring more wetland information for their City Council appearance. Mr. Nona understood. He said that his wetland consultant, Woody Held from King and McGregor, was present at the meeting. Mr. Held said that he did turn in the application to the MDEQ in the previous week. They tried to figure out a way to work this project around the wetland. The wetland is ten feet lower than the rest of the property. Essentially, this wetland if kept in tact will be surrounded by walls. The water that goes into the wetland will be redirected into a stormwater management system. The wetland will become a hole, inaccessible to humans but still would receive visits from water fowl and winged birds. It would degrade over time. He did not know how the hydrology would be altered. Because the wetland is an emergent marsh and shrubby area adjacent to open water, the site they identified for the mitigation could realistically recreate this situation. There is a large open body of water with a piece of upland next to it. It has scrubby vegetation. That is how they chose the mitigation site.
Mr. Held said that the mitigation area was also chosen based on its placement in the same subwatershed. Both sites are in the Walled Lake branch of the Rouge River. There are not a lot of sites available.
Dr. Freeland said their first choice for mitigation would be on site. The ecological aspects of the site must go with it. Dr. Freeland suggested then, that some green building practices be instituted on site to compensate for what will be lost when the wetland is filled in. A rainwater cistern could be used for irrigation and would help to minimize runoff. It would help compensate for the stormwater storage that the site will lose.
Member Avdoulos asked whether the Applicant had a Plan B if the MDEQ does not approve the filling in of the wetland. Mr. Nona said there was a Plan B. The park is located where the wetland is. Plan B would keep the wetland but no park would be provided. Member Avdoulos said a wetland could also be a unique feature. Mr. Nona said there would be a lot of retaining walls around the pond. When a wetland is affected like that, the quality of the wetland is diminished. He thought that with the added development to the area, the quality of this wetland is going to deteriorate.
Member Wrobel was concerned with the amount of residential. He wondered about satellite television, and whether numerous dishes hanging off the buildings would detract from the ambience of the design. Mr. Nona said that there will be restrictions in place for what can be placed on the outside of the buildings – dishes, grills, decorations, etc. Ms. Heideman said that the FCC does not allow for satellite dishes to be restricted. They have to have the same access as cable. There can be screening requirements added to the condo documents. The dishes could be restricted in their placement. In their other developments, they have restricted their locations to minimize their appearance. Mr. Pierre Nona said he would explore these options. Mr. Schmitt also added that the dishes have to be in the rear yard or on the roof – that is a City Ordinance.
Member Avdoulos said that this is more than just a tremendous quality project. He understood that something of this magnitude does not get built overnight, and that adjustments will naturally occur. He thanked the Applicant and his team for their hard work, and the Planning Department for breaking down the information so that the Planning Commission could understand everything.
Member Avdoulos said he liked the aesthetics. Building 600 was his favorite building. Building 800 is nice and will be built first. All of the buildings have nice proportions and geometry. He felt this would become a nice gathering area for the City. He would provide a positive recommendation, acknowledging that there are still some big ticket items that need to be addressed.
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Meyer:
In the matter of the request of Triangle Development for Main Street Novi, SP06-38, motion to recommend approval to the City Council for the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to: 1) A City Council Waiver of specific setback requirements along Main Street, with no more than 15 feet of pavement between curb and building; 2) City Council approval of Paul Bunyan/Sixth Gate road vacation or redesign to accommodate setbacks in this area; 3) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance to allow pavement within ten feet of walls with openings throughout the site; 4) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance for reduced size of loading zones throughout the site; 5) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance for lack of 45 degree building orientation throughout the site; 6) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance to allow parking for residential buildings greater than 300 feet from building; 7) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow additional height on brick screen walls adjacent to neighboring properties and right-of-way; 8) A Planning Commission Waiver to eliminate parking lot landscaping for parking structures and below ground parking, with no reduction in requirements for above ground parking lots; 9) The Applicant redesigning the Building 800 vicinity to meet building setback requirements and avoid left turn interlocks; 10) The Applicant redesigning the plan to eliminate all parking spaces that back into intersections or pedestrian facilities; 11) A City Council Finding under Section 1602.9 for use of EIFS, Cast Stone, Vinyl Siding, and red colored standing seam metal; 12) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow tree plantings in non-standard locations throughout the site; 13) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow parking spaces in excess of 15 without a landscaped island; 14) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow reduced building foundation plantings, with other planting types provided; 15) A Planning Commission Waiver to eliminate the four feet of greenspace adjacent to the building foundations at the locations currently shown on the planswith the Applicant utilizing the alternative landscaping design discussed at the meeting (e.g., aboveground planters, etc.); 16) The Applicant redesigning the plan to eliminate parallel parking spaces along Main Street south of the 800 Building; 17) The Applicant redesigning the plan to incorporate the previously approved Main Street Court plans and maintain access to Trans-X Drive; 18) The Applicant redesigning the plan to meet minimum parking standards from the Shared Parking Study and incorporating the Main Street Court property into the Shared Parking Study;19) The Applicant working with the City to correct the traffic circle concerns, as the experts deems fit; 20) The Applicant receiving MDEQ approval for proposed wetland fill to occur prior to Final Site Plan approval for wetland fill activities on the site.
Member Avdoulos confirmed that Stipulation 9 provides for the Applicant to redesign the plan with the boulevard concept.
Member Avdoulos asked about the landscaping, Stipulation 15. Mr. Schmitt asked that, "…with the Applicant utilizing the alternative landscaping design discussed at the meeting (e.g., aboveground planters, etc.)" be added to the motion. Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed to the language.
Mr. Schmitt asked that guidance regarding the pavers be added to the motion. "A City Council Variance to allow turf pavers, as indicated in Applicant’s response letter" was added, and both Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed.
Member Meyer asked that the reason be stated to the motion for the positive recommendation. "…for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Master Plan for Land Use" was added and Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed to the language.
Mr. Gillam asked to clarify that the Planning Commission was not recommending the suggestions of L,N,O and P. On those issues, the Applicant would have to comply with the existing Ordinance standards. Member Gutman agreed that has his intent.
Then Member Avdoulos asked that, "…The Applicant continuing to work on their design to eliminate the need for a City Council Design and Construction Standards Variance to eliminate parking lot end islands in parking structure and underground parking" be added to the motion. Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed. Mr. Croy said that the final design on the parking deck will not be the typical standard. If it is too different from the actual standard, Mr. Croy will ask the Applicant to seek a Variance from City Council.
Member Meyer hoped that a healthy conversation regarding traffic circles, roundabouts and stop signs ensues. The bottom issue is safety.
Member Lipski wondered whether the suggestions of L, N,O and P are unnecessary if things work out with this Applicant and Main Street Court. It might obviate the need for compliance. Perhaps the motion should state that, if agreement with the neighboring parcel is not obtained, then items N,O and P need to be followed. Mr. Schmitt said that L does not have any bearing on the issue. The two that do have a bearing are O and P. He thought P could be worked out regardless. Mr. Schmitt said that O is the big one. It would be obviated completely if they could work things out.
Member Lipski asked that, "…The Coordination of building design with Main Street Court is preferred over Applicant seeking a Zoning Board of Appeals Variance for lack of exterior building setback for Building 1300." Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed.
Member Meyer noted that City Council is the approving body, and City Council can make the recommendation to the ZBA for the Variance as well. Mr. Schmitt said this item would be structured such that the outstanding discussion points would be outlined in yet another memo. Member Meyer asked if the Planning Commission’s silence on other issues would be considered approval. Mr. Schmitt said that the phrase that came to his mind is, "Silence is consent." Mr. Schmitt asked that, "All conditions listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters" be added to the motion. Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed. This statement covers the items that were not stated in the motion.
roll call vote on main street novi, sp06-38, Preliminary Site Plan recommendation motion made by Member Gutman and seconded by Member Meyer:
In the matter of the request of Triangle Development for Main Street Novi, SP06-38, motion to recommend approval to the City Council for the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to: 1) A City Council Waiver of specific setback requirements along Main Street, with no more than 15 feet of pavement between curb and building; 2) City Council approval of Paul Bunyan/Sixth Gate road vacation or redesign to accommodate setbacks in this area; 3) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance to allow pavement within ten feet of walls with openings throughout the site; 4) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance for reduced size of loading zones throughout the site; 5) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance for lack of 45 degree building orientation throughout the site; 6) A Zoning Board of Appeals Variance to allow parking for residential buildings greater than 300 feet from building; 7) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow additional height on brick screen walls adjacent to neighboring properties and right-of-way; 8) A Planning Commission Waiver to eliminate parking lot landscaping for parking structures and below ground parking, with no reduction in requirements for above ground parking lots; 9) The Applicant redesigning the Building 800 vicinity to meet building setback requirements and avoid left turn interlocks; 10) The Applicant redesigning the plan to eliminate all parking spaces that back into intersections or pedestrian facilities; 11) A City Council Finding under Section 1602.9 for use of EIFS, Cast Stone, Vinyl Siding, and red colored standing seam metal; 12) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow tree plantings in non-standard locations throughout the site; 13) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow parking spaces in excess of 15 without a landscaped island; 14) A Planning Commission Waiver to allow reduced building foundation plantings, with other planting types provided; 15) A Planning Commission Waiver to eliminate the four feet of greenspace adjacent to the building foundations at the locations currently shown on the planswith the Applicant utilizing the alternative landscaping design discussed at the meeting (e.g., aboveground planters, etc.); 16) The Applicant redesigning the plan to eliminate parallel parking spaces along Main Street south of the 800 Building; 17) The Applicant redesigning the plan to incorporate the previously approved Main Street Court plans and maintain access to Trans-X Drive; 18) The Applicant redesigning the plan to meet minimum parking standards from the Shared Parking Study and incorporating the Main Street Court property into the Shared Parking Study;19) The Applicant working with the City to correct the traffic circle concerns, as the experts deems fit; 20) The Applicant receiving MDEQ approval for proposed wetland fill to occur prior to Final Site Plan approval for wetland fill activities on the site; 21) A City Council Variance to allow turf pavers, as indicated in Applicant’s response letter; 22) The Applicant continuing to work on their design to eliminate the need for a City Council Design and Construction Standards Variance to eliminate parking lot end islands in parking structure and underground parking;
23) The Coordination of building design with Main Street Court is preferred over Applicant seeking a Zoning Board of Appeals Variance for lack of exterior building setback for Building 1300; and 24) All conditions listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Master Plan for Land Use. Motion carried 6-0.
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Meyer:
roll call vote on Main street, sp06-38 wetland permit recommendation motion made by Member Gutman and seconded by Member Meyer:
In the matter of the request of Triangle Development for Main Street Novi, SP06-38, motion to recommend approval to the City Council for the Wetland Permit, subject to: 1) A mitigation plan being developed, with mitigation to occur concurrently with wetland fill activities; 2) MDEQ approval for proposed wetland fill to occur prior to Final Site Plan approval for wetland fill activities; and 3) All conditions listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Wetland Ordinance. Motion carried 6-0.
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Meyer:
In the matter of the request of Triangle Development for Main Street Novi, SP06-38, motion to grant approval of the Stormwater Management Plan, subject to all conditions listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Ordinance.
Mr. Schmitt asked that, "All Stormwater Management functions of the wetland are accommodated in this Stormwater Management Plan" be added to the motion. Member Gutman and Member Meyer agreed.
roll call vote on Main street, sp06-38 Stormwater Management Plan motion made by Member Gutman and seconded by Member Meyer:
In the matter of the request of Triangle Development for Main Street Novi, SP06-38, motion to grant approval of the Stormwater Management Plan, subject to: 1) All Stormwater Management functions of the wetland are accommodated in this Stormwater Management Plan; and 2) All conditions listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reason that the plan meets the intent of the Ordinance. 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.
Member Lipski again thanked David Gillam for his professionalism.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Moved by Member Wrobel:
Motion to adjourn.
The meeting adjourned at 10:37 PM.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
TUE 10/03/06 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
MON 10/09/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 10/11/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
MON 10/23/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 10/25/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
WED 11/08/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
FRI 11/10/06 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 11/13/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
TUE 11/14/06 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
THU/FRI 11/23 & 11/24 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 11/27/06 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 11/29/06 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:30 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, October 17, 2006 Signature on File
Date Approved: October 25, 2006 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date