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CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at or about 7:00 PM.
Present: Members John Avdoulos, Brian Burke, Victor Cassis, Andrew Gutman, Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Wayne Wrobel
Absent: Member Michael Lynch (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Deputy Director of Community Development; Mark Spencer, Planner; Kristen Kapelanski, Planner; Alan Hall, Façade Consultant; Doug Necci, Façade Consultant; Kristin Kolb, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Member Gutman led the meeting in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Gutman:
voice vote on agenda approval motion made by Member Avdoulos and seconded by Member Gutman:
Motion to approve the Agenda of October 10, 2007. Motion carried 7-0.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
There was no correspondence to share.
1. 2007 MASTER PLAN REVIEW UPDATE
Planner Mark Spencer gave the Planning Commission an update of the 2007 Master Plan Review. He stated that the Master Plan and Zoning Committee agendas, packets and minutes were available for review on the City’s website, cityofnovi.org. He described the Chesapeake Group’s interviewing process, the "Susceptibility to Change" review performed by the Committee, and the upcoming review of the City’s utilities. A revised Woodland Map will be coming forward. Single Family Residential options are under review. The historical planning process for the southwest quadrant will be explored, as will past City-wide retail studies. The Vision Fair, the Master Plan Open House, will be held on October 30, 2007. There will be a Vision Fair posting in the Novi News along with mailed postcards to those homeowners within the study areas. The Planning Commission members are encouraged to volunteer at the Vision Fair. There are currently several ways that stakeholders can comment on this Master Plan Review, i.e., the atrium display, the website, in person, and various opportunities at the Vision Fair.
Chair Cassis thanked Mr. Spencer for his excellent work.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR REPORT
Deputy Director of Community Development Barbara McBeth informed the Planning Commission that the City Council approved the first reading of the "instructional language" text amendment for the TC Districts. Some amendments were made to the language. The Planning Commission members were asked to get their pictures retaken on October 17 or October 20.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
1. zoning ordinance text amendment 18.217
The Public Hearing was opened for Planning Commission’s recommendation to City Council for an ordinance to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Subsection 2520, exterior building wall façade materials, in order to make several modifications.
Planner Kristen Kapelanski said that façades have become an issue recently. The intent of the Ordinance was not reflected in the current façade chart. This and other consistencies, and additional materials, have been incorporated into this text amendment proposal.
The new language will require future buildings to be built in context with the neighboring and existing buildings, with regard to percentages of materials and the overall aesthetic quality. Façade materials from the LEED checklist will be considered, provided they meet the aesthetic standards of the City. The façade Chart will now address panel brick (vs. clay brick). The allowable percentage of fluted and split-face CMU permitted in Region 1 will now be 10% (vs. 0%). The total CMU will be limited to 75% (vs. 100% combination of split-face and fluted, et al). Concrete brick will now be allowed if it resembles natural clay brick. Cast stone and glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) will be added to the chart.
As a courtesy, various developers were asked to comment on the new language. None of the developers have commented on the changes. The Façade Consultant worked closely with the City on this text amendment.
Façade Consultant Doug Necci showed samples of the new material. C-brick looks like brick, provided earth tones are used. GFRC was another example shown, and Mr. Necci identified the glass-fiber matrix on the back side of the sample. It has a life-span similar to limestone, and has been tested for freeze-thaw cycles. The materials have to meet certain standards, but the quality and durability of the material is not addressed in the Façade Ordinance. That would transcend the aesthetic parameters of the Ordinance, which is more of a code-compliance issue. Cast stone was shown to the Planning Commission. C-brick is allowed in Regions 1, 2, and 3 at 25%, 50% and 75%, respectively.
Mr. Necci said that the regions are based on the visual importance of a property. Buildings along major thoroughfares are in Region 1.
Mr. Necci said the chart deals with categories of products, and these changes will improve the Applicant’s ability to achieve compliance without seeking waivers.
No changes were made to the language regarding the use of metal panels.
Mr. Necci explained that cast stone can look differently on a building, depending on whether a v-groove joint or a different type joint is used. It can be used with great detail or as a method to cover large areas. The City expects the use of this material to look like limestone panels. The joint pattern is the key characteristic that will be reviewed. He noted that cast stone is more readily available than limestone and costs about the same. He wasn’t able to comment specifically on the costs of the different materials, and he stated that the Ordinance does not address cost either. He agreed that some developers’ decisions are made based on cost, but the Façade Consultant’s review is really based on whether a quality visual appearance has been achieved.
No one from the audience wished to speak and no correspondence was received so Chair Cassis closed the Public Hearing.
Member Avdoulos said that the LEED initiative is a good thing, and he was pleased to see it incorporated into the Ordinance. As the country becomes more energy-conscious, regardless of any position on global warming, these changes have become necessary. He confirmed that panel brick is not allowed in the more visible Region 1.
Member Avdoulos asked how the Façade Consultant would review a pre-cast panel. Mr. Necci said it would be considered as brick; it is an excellent product that doesn’t have the durability issues of panel brick. He offered to add it as a line-item on the chart.
Member Avdoulos said that every now and then, an Applicant will propose an exotic material. In these cases, the Applicant would have to present proof of the product’s quality.
Member Avdoulos wanted to make sure that the new language about each building using materials in context with its neighboring buildings would not result in too much similarity. Mr. Necci said that he would review the text amendment again to ensure that the language does not infer that intent. Member Avdoulos suggested that additional language could spell out that the intent is to maintain similar characteristics among buildings without jeopardizing a building’s own distinct aesthetic.
Mr. Necci said that it was important that the language convey that, even if a building meets the standards of the Ordinance chart, it must still have the same quality as the neighboring buildings in the area if they were designed to a higher standard.
Member Avdoulos felt that the quality of the bricks would be something for the Building Official and the Building Codes to decide. He thought this was a good amendment to send to City Council.
Moved by Member Avdoulos, seconded by Member Pehrson:
In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.217, motion to recommend approval of the proposed text to City Council.
Member Meyer was glad that the discussion ensued to clarify that the Ordinance was not promoting sameness. He appreciated the City reviewing the Ordinances for their timeliness and relevance. If the Ordinances become outdated they can become a burden to the City. This update means there is one less hurdle for the developer who chooses Novi.
Chair Cassis was glad that the City is evolving and accepting new materials. Novi is progressing yet adhering to quality.
roll call vote on zoning ordinance text amendment 18.217 positive recommendation motion made by Member Avdoulos and seconded by Member Pehrson:
In the matter of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.217, motion to recommend approval of the proposed text to City Council. Motion carried 7-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. MAINSTREET PHASING PLAN, SP6-38B
Consideration of the request of Triangle Main Street, LLC, for a recommendation to City Council for Phasing Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 23, south of Grand River Avenue, east of Novi Road, along the north and south sides of Main Street. The subject property is approximately twenty acres and the Applicant is proposing to construct a mixed-use development on the vacant land to the north and south of the existing Main Street Development.
Chair Cassis asked to be recused from the consideration of Main Street as he is an adjacent property owner.
Moved by Member Pehrson, seconded by Member Avdoulos:
voice vote on cassis recusal motion made by Member Pehrson and seconded by Member Avdoulos:
Motion to recuse Victor Cassis from the Main Street consideration. Motion carried 6-0.
Planner Kristen Kapelanski reminded the Planning Commission about the Main Street mixed-use development that came before them on September 27, 2006 that was later approved by City Council on November 13, 2006. This property is zoned TC-1 and master planned for Town Center Commercial. The Applicant was required to phase the plan in its entirety, not just signaling out the first phase. There are now ten phases shown on the plan. Phases 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10 are buildings only. Phases 1, 5, 7 and 8 will also include roads, open space and utilities. Each plan will be reviewed as a Final Site Plan submittal. The Applicant will be required to incorporate the comments and conditions of the Preliminary Site Plan approval on the entire development. There are minor corrections needed on this plan that can be addressed on the Stamping Set.
Member Burke thought that the phasing was already set. He was anxious to see this project move forward.
Moved by Member Burke, Member Gutman:
In the matter of Main Street Novi Phasing Plan, SP06-38B, motion to recommend approval to the City Council of the Phasing Plan subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters being addressed on the Final Site Plan for the reason that the plan is otherwise in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
Member Avdoulos commented that the plan before them only showed Phase 1. He recommended that a colored plan be submitted so that the phases could be more readily studied. Overlapped areas would become more evident. Adjacencies of the phases could be reviewed. A matrix could provide the expectations of each phase, and the Applicant could even provide the anticipated timing of each phase. That chart should be submitted with each phase, and if a phase is completed, the matrix could be updated. It is easier to delineate when color or bold lines are used.
Courtney Miller represented the Applicant. She responded that a colored graphic will be provided to City Council.
Member Meyer asked whether the Planning Commission should be concerned about the Paul Bunyan right-of-way. Ms. Kapelanski responded that the Applicant went to City Council and asked them whether the City would like additional right-of-way dedicated so that the parking spaces weren’t split in half. City Council indicated that they would like that. This isn’t shown on the current plan, but the City would like the future plan to show what the future dedicated right-of-way line will be.
Member Meyer presumed that everything else was in order. Ms. Miller responded that the right-of-way issue was determined after this set of plans was submitted, so it was their intent to update the plan with the revision. It should not affect the phasing plan at all.
Member Wrobel asked whether there was a projected date for the completion of Phase 10. Ms. Miller said no. She said that Mr. Nona is already working on Phase 2, and he is anxious to work through the process as quickly as possible, but timing is dependent upon market conditions, construction timing and approvals. The intent is to progress from one phase to another as quickly as tenants are on board. Member Wrobel didn’t want to see any lull between the phases, leaving the plan half-finished as it is already.
roll call vote on main street phasing, SP06-38, positive recommendation motion made by Member Burke and seconded by Member Gutman:
In the matter of Main Street Novi Phasing Plan, SP06-38B, motion to recommend approval to the City Council of the Phasing Plan subject to the conditions and items listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters being addressed on the Final Site Plan for the reason that the plan is otherwise in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 6-0.
2. APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 5, 2007 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Moved by Member Burke, seconded by Member Pehrson:
voice vote on september 5, 2007 minutes approval motion made by Member Burke and seconded by Member Pehrson:
Motion to approve the September 5, 2007 Planning Commission minutes. Motion carried 7-0.
3. APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 26, 2007 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Moved by Member Burke, seconded by Member Pehrson:
voice vote on september 26, 2007 minutes approval motion made by Member Burke and seconded by Member Pehrson:
Motion to approve the September 26, 2007 Planning Commission minutes. 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.
City Attorney Kristin Kolb said that her law firm will be hosting a seminar in December, at which her firm’s work on a recent RUILPA case, which resulted in the courts swaying the clock back in favor of municipalities, will be discussed. The seminar will also touch on a DDA-type development tool known as Corridor Improvement Authorities. The Planning Commission will be invited, and she thought it would be in the afternoon on December 5, 2007. Mr. Fisher will be the RUILPA speaker, and Steve Joppich will speak on the Corridor Improvement Authorities.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Moved by Member Pehrson,
Motion to adjourn.
The meeting adjourned at or about 7:52 PM.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
THU 10/11/07 MASTER PLAN AND ZONING COMMITTEE MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 10/15/07 CITY COUNCIL INTERVIEWS 7:00 PM
MON 10/22/07 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 10/24/07 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
TUE 10/30/07 MASTER PLAN VISION FAIR 6:30 PM
MON 11/05/07 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:30 PM
WED 11/07/07 PLANNING COMMISSION STUDY SESSION 6:00 PM
WED 11/07/07 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 11/12/07 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
TUE 11/13/07 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 11/14/07 MASTER PLAN AND ZONING COMMITTEE MEETING 7:00 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, October 17, 2007 Signature on File
Date Approved: October 24, 2007 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date