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CITY OF NOVI
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 | 7 PM
Council Chambers | Novi Civic Center |45175 W. Ten Mile
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at or about 7:00 PM.
Present: Members Brian Burke, Victor Cassis, David Greco, Andrew Gutman, Brian Larson, Michael Lynch, Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Wayne Wrobel
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Deputy Director of Community Development; David Beschke, Landscape Architect, Ben Croy, Civil Engineer; Martha Holzheuer, Woodland Consultant; Kristin Kolb, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Member Larson led the meeting the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Wrobel:
voice vote on agenda approval motion made by Member Gutman and seconded by Member Wrobel:
Motion to approve the October 8, 2008 Agenda. Motion carried 9-0.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
There was no correspondence to share.
There were no Committee Reports.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR REPORT
Deputy Director of Community Development Barbara McBeth told the Planning Commission that the text amendments related to the filming permits and corresponding text additions to the Light Industrial and OST districts were approved for the first reading. The Oberlin PRO was extended for that 58-Single Family Residential condominium west of Beck Road and south of Eleven Mile. Ms. McBeth said that Karen Reinowski had a baby boy named Anthony John.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
1. FIFTH THIRD BANK, SP06-32
Consideration of the request of K-4 Architecture for a one-year Final Site Plan extension. The subject property is located in Section 4, west of Beck Road, south of Pontiac Trail, in the B-3, General Business District. The subject property is approximately 1.64 acres and the Applicant is proposing a 4,100 square foot, one-story bank branch with four drive-through lanes.
2. BECK NORTH CORPORATE PARK UNIT 9, SP07-45
Consideration of the request of Dot Development for a one-year Preliminary Site Plan extension. The subject property is located in Section 4, at the northeast corner of Hudson Drive and DeSoto Court in the Beck North Corporate Park development. The subject property is approximately 2.39 acres and the Applicant is proposing to construct a 31,156 square foot speculative industrial building.
Moved by Member Wrobel, seconded by Member Gutman:
voice vote on consent agenda motion made by Member Wrobel and seconded by Member Gutman:
Motion to approve the Consent Agenda of October 8, 2008. Motion carried 9-0.
1. TURNBERRY ESTATES WOODLAND PERMIT, WRB08-01
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of Kay Environmental and Associates, LLC for Woodland Permit approval. The subject property is located in Section 36, at 21000 Turnberry Boulevard, Turnberry Estates Subdivision. The Applicant proposes to place a gazebo in the regulated woodlands and plant native species in the woodlands.
Landscape Architect David Beschke described the Single Family Residential project. The parcel is 19.2 acres, with the home and accessory buildings near the front of the lot. The rear of the lot is a ten-acre woodland. To the west is undeveloped residential containing woodlands, to the north is Single Family Residential containing woodlands, and to the east is existing commercial development zoned OSC.
Mr. Beschke said that the woodland on this site is very mature. It contains about 60% maples, 10% beech, and assorted elm, oak, hickory, ash, cherry and walnut trees. A total of 760 trees were surveyed and only 2% were assessed in poor condition. There are three small vernal wetlands on the property – wet only in the spring and during rain events. There is an existing dirt trail loop used for pedestrian enjoyment of the woodlands and small wheeled vehicles for maintenance and security purposes. ATVs occasionally use the loop for recreational purposes. The property is entirely fenced. There are woodchip and debris piles that have been or will be removed.
Proposed is a 477 square-foot gazebo for passive woodland enjoyment. It is a minimum of 250 feet from any property line. A post foundation will be used to minimize the disturbance to the woodland; no trees will be removed and protective fencing will be used during construction. The gazebo area is already free of trees, a clearing that was probably done so some time ago. The existing trails will remain and will be further delineated using existing downed tree trunks. A woodland management plan was provided to the Planning Commission for review.
Horticultural improvements include planting forty eastern red cedars as a buffer to the adjacent commercial. Dead, diseased and hazardous trees close to the trail will be removed. Invasive understory will be hand-removed. Overpopulated maple red seedlings will be removed. Herbaceous species and shrubs will be planted on the site. Three woodland interpretative signs highlighting the pond, a mature beech grove and a prime salamander breeding grounds will be placed on site. The Woodland Consultant recommends approval.
Aimee Kaye addressed the Planning Commission on behalf of the Applicant. She said that Mr. Beschke’s description of the work proposed was rather capable. She added that Mr. and Mrs. Morgan bought this property in June 2007 and at that time the home had been vacant for two years. The existing home was in disrepair. They have since invested into this property, fixing up the home and upgrading the landscaping. The resulting debris is now being cleaned up. The original intent was to bring horses to the site, but that plan has since been abandoned. Ms. Kaye reiterated that not a single healthy tree is being affected by this plan.
Ms. Kaye said there are two remaining issues from the four identified by the City’s Woodland Consultant. As requested, she has omitted the utility service to the gazebo, which was an error on the plan. The interpretative signage will be shifted out of the wetland and placed in the buffer. Ms. Kaye said the City’s Woodland Consultant does not recommend the planting of the red cedars along the northeast property boundary as screening because of the low probability of the trees’ survivorship. The Applicant would like to reserve the right at their own cost to see of those trees can survive with the help of Mother Nature. There is a heavy canopy and the cedars may not survive in the shade, but the visual screening provided by the cedars would be better than a fence. Ms. Kaye distributed pictures of this property line to the Planning Commission for its review.
When this property owner bought this home, there was no fence along the north ten acres of the woodland. There is an existing path from one of the commercial building’s loading dock into this property – probably made by employees visiting the site for picnic lunches. The red cedars will help buffer this adjacency.
Ms. Kaye said the property owners are committed to conservation of the woodland and this has been demonstrated by the woodland management plan submitted to the Planning Commission for review. This owner is taking an active management approach to caring for this woodland. She did not think that a conservation easement as proposed by the Woodland Consultant is in proportion to the work proposed by this request. The management plan provides for preventative construction techniques to avoid damage to wetlands and woodlands. The property owners are not in favor of placing the regulated woodlands into a conservation easement because the impacts of this proposal are addressed through active management, enhancement plantings and the proposed planting plan exceeds the minimum replacement trees per Ordinance requirements.
Ms. Kaye said that there has been discussion about why the gazebo plans have not been submitted. The property owner does not want to hire an architect to design the gazebo until he is granted approval to place one in this area. The plan proposed at this meeting meets the intent and the spirit of Ordinance, according to Ms. Kaye. There will be eight footings for the gazebo on a ten-acre site. Both sides are in agreement that poured concrete will not be used for the footings. The plan is meant to minimize disturbances.
Chair Pehrson opened the floor for public comment:
Member Gutman said no Public Hearing responses were received so Chair Pehrson closed the Public Hearing.
Member Burke asked whether there were any City Ordinances that would prohibit ATVs on private property. Mr. Beschke said there is no language prohibiting motor vehicles in a woodland. Member Burke determined that perhaps the only violation may be to the Noise Ordinance, which dictates a certain decibel level at the property line. Ms. Kaye said the path is probably one hundred feet inside the property line at its closest location. She said that the owner’s teenaged son does ride his ATV on this path, and this adds to their reasoning why they wish to add a natural buffer along the path, i.e., to prevent further impacts to the intact portions of the woodlands and wetlands.
Ms. Kaye said that the signage can be any size, and she will address any of the neighbors’ concerns. The north signage is planned for the large beech tree grove. The signage is meant to alert users of the path to the features of this woodland, and prevent misuse of the landscaping. This is part of the educational process. This is not a public park meant for visitors and the owner is not proposing large signs.
Member Burke determined that the gazebo is about 450 feet away from the property line. He said that as a property owner, if he had a parcel like this he’d probably want to put a gazebo on it too. He didn’t think this gazebo should impact the neighbor, and might actually block his view of the big screen television in the house. He didn’t mean to make light of the situation, but not a single trees is proposed to be disturbed. He fully supported the request.
Ms. Kaye said that the request is before the Planning Commission because of the gazebo. The other work has been found to be acceptable. The new property owners want to be good neighbors. They want to do the right thing.
Deputy Director of Community Development Barbara McBeth confirmed for Member Burke that the Building Department would review the gazebo administratively.
Member Greco supported the request. The concerns of the neighbors are taken seriously by the Planning Commission members. The issues for their review at this meeting are the signage and the gazebo. The issue is not ATV usage or the intended use of the gazebo. He thought these issues were something that the neighbors could take up among themselves in the future.
Member Wrobel asked about the fence. Ms. McBeth responded that the City does not require a permit for most fences, so it is likely that no permit was required for the fence that was once in place. She said it was fair to say it was legal to place a fence on this property. Member Wrobel asked why the path had to be demarcated with logs if this is not a public path. Ms. Kaye responded that this feature was added to the plan at the decision of the property owner. The path has been violated previously by the landscaping crews, and this feature will deter the future misuse of the path. Member Wrobel thought it was overkill, and the issue could be addressed verbally with the property owner’s staff, but he still supported the request.
Member Cassis asked Woodland Consultant Martha Holzheuer whether she was satisfied with the plan. She responded yes. She supported diversifying the ground cover, removing invasive species, and educational signage. She continued to support the requirement of a conservation easement being placed on the woodland. She confirmed for Member Cassis that there is no evidence of recent tree cutting on the site.
Member Cassis said that this property owner has made a great investment into this site and he wants to be a good neighbor. He did not see much intrusion into the neighbors’ lives as a result of this request. He has seldom seen such a comprehensive woodland management plan; this homeowner has spent thousands of dollars on this project and has been honest about the use of the property. Member Cassis encouraged the neighbors to meet this new homeowner as he will likely respond to them with goodwill. He supported the request.
Member Gutman asked the Woodland Consultant whether she could work with the Applicant on the items listed in her letter. Ms. Holzheuer said the Applicant is free to try planting the red cedars – she was giving them advice that they are a shade-intolerant species.
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Burke:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON 21000 TURNBERRY, WRB08-01, WOODLAND PERMIT MOTION MADE BY Member Gutman AND SECONDED BY Member Burke:
In the matter of 21000 Turnberry, WRB08-01, motion to approve the homeowner’s request to allow the construction of a gazebo, installation of interpretive signage, demarcation of the existing trails, removal of trash and landscape debris, removal of invasive species, pruning and removal of dead and diseased trees within forty feet of the trails, addition of forty red cedar trees, and removal of sugar maple seedlings and the replacement with native shrub and herbaceous groundcover within the regulated woodland subject to: 1) The terms listed in the ECT memo dated October 1, 2008; and 2) Fees and performance guarantees being paid prior to the commencement of the work; for the reason that the plan is otherwise in compliance with the Woodland Ordinance. Motion carried 9-0.
2. TOTAL SPORTS ROLLER HOCKEY, SP08-32
The Public Hearing was opened on the request of John Stewart Associates for Special Land Use Permit approval. The subject property is located in Section 16, south of Grand River Avenue, east of Beck Road, in the I-1, Light Industrial District. The subject property is approximately 7.8 acres and the Applicant is requesting Special Land Use Permit approval for the property at 46039 Grand River Avenue.
Deputy Director of Community Development Barbara McBeth described the project located on Grand River between Beck and Taft roads. There are three vacant Light Industrial properties on the site, which is zoned Light Industrial and master planned for Light Industrial. The sites to the east and west are developed with Single Family Residential, one of which is vacant, and master planned Light Industrial. Further east is Paradise Park. Rock Financial is to the northwest, zoned OST with the EXO Overlay and master planned for Office. Other northerly property is zoned Light Industrial and master planned for Office. Single Family Residential is to the south, zoned RA (which makes this a Special Land Use request) and master planned for Single Family Residential.
Ms. McBeth said the rear building is proposed for the subject roller hockey use. This is a Special Land Use when the property abuts residential properties. The Zoning Ordinance requires a noise analysis in this case, and the Applicant is seeking a waiver, with the rationale that the proposed use does not add noise-generating rooftop or ground-mounted equipment. All of the activity will be within the building and there are no other measurable noises expected as a result of this Special Land Use.
Ms. McBeth said the number of parking spaces was reviewed; the Zoning Ordinance requires one space for every two occupants. The City’s Building Official believes that an occupancy of about 200 people is proposed for this use, or 100 one hundred parking spaces. The striping plan shows about 100 spaces are provided throughout the site, meaning that there wouldn’t be parking for the other two buildings. One additional space should be added on the stamping set, if the Planning Commission approves this plan. Also, the plan must address the concerns of the Fire Marshal. The Applicant has been asked to provide a letter stating that the other two buildings cannot be occupied until additional parking is provided or a ZBA Variance for the parking is granted.
John Stewart represented the Applicant. A new set of plans has been designed to address the Fire Marshal’s concerns. There are now 104 parking spaces. The fire lane issue identified by the Fire Marshal has been addressed. This is a self-contained, very low impact use for the site. This will actually be an upgrade over a manufacturing facility. It is a single-purpose destination where people would come to within a limited timeframe. Its use is somewhat seasonal. This is a good use for the property. The building is the newest of the three on site. There are no plans for the two buildings on Grand River. This site has been vacant for about five years. This is the first procedure designed to improve the site. He has been meeting with the building staff to determine that this building is acceptable for this use. He requests the Noise Analysis Waiver as this use will not make any exterior noise and will make less noise than a manufacturing site.
No one from the audience wished to speak. Member Gutman read the Public Hearing correspondence into the record.
Chair Pehrson closed the Public Hearing.
Member Cassis thought this building has been vacant for over ten years. He was glad to see it put to use. He thought this was a good use because it will bring life to the property. He noted that the neighbors did not voice any complaints. He supported the plan.
Member Wrobel discussed hours of operation with Tony Mosconi, the General Manager. The main hours of business are 5:00 PM to 10:00 or 11:00 PM. Traffic is heavier in the winter and slower in the summer.
The southerly properties are residential and Ms. McBeth told Member Wrobel that they front on Eleven Mile and are quite some distance away.
Member Burke confirmed with Ms. McBeth that the Planning Commission was considering the Special Land Use, and that the site plan approval was minor in nature and could be granted administratively. Member Burke supported the Noise Analysis Waiver and the project.
Moved by Member Burke, seconded by Member Gutman:
In the matter of the request of John Stewart Associates for Total Sports Roller Hockey, SP08-32, motion to approve the Special Land Use permit subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Finding under Section 2516.2.c for the Special Land Use permit that, relative to other feasible uses of the site the proposed use: a) Will not cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares; b) Will not cause any detrimental impact on the capabilities of public services and facilities; c) Is compatible with the natural features and characteristics of the land; d) Is compatible with adjacent uses of land in terms of location, size, character, and impact on adjacent property or the surrounding neighborhood; e) Is consistent with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; f) Will promote the use of land in a socially and economically desirable manner; g) Is listed among the provision of uses requiring Special Land Use review as set forth in the various zoning districts of this Ordinance, and is in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the applicable site design regulations of the zoning district in which it is located; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver of the required Noise Analysis since there are no external changes to the tenant space; and 3) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; for the reasons that the plan is otherwise in compliance with Article 19, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
Chair Pehrson confirmed with City Attorney Kristin Kolb that the parking issue could be handled with an additional stipulation to the motion stating, "The Applicant signing a letter acknowledging that the two front buildings may not be occupied until such time as additional parking spaces are addressed as stated in the Planning Review letter." Member Burke and Member Gutman agreed to the addition.
roll call vote on total sports roller hockey, sp08-32, Special Land Use motion made by Member Burke and seconded by Member Gutman:
In the matter of the request of John Stewart Associates for Total Sports Roller Hockey, SP08-32, motion to approve the Special Land Use permit subject to: 1) A Planning Commission Finding under Section 2516.2.c for the Special Land Use permit that, relative to other feasible uses of the site the proposed use: a) Will not cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares; b) Will not cause any detrimental impact on the capabilities of public services and facilities; c) Is compatible with the natural features and characteristics of the land; d) Is compatible with adjacent uses of land in terms of location, size, character, and impact on adjacent property or the surrounding neighborhood; e) Is consistent with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; f) Will promote the use of land in a socially and economically desirable manner; g) Is listed among the provision of uses requiring Special Land Use review as set forth in the various zoning districts of this Ordinance, and is in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the applicable site design regulations of the zoning district in which it is located; 2) A Planning Commission Waiver of the required Noise Analysis since there are no external changes to the tenant space; 3) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the Staff and Consultant review letters; and 4) The Applicant signing a letter acknowledging that the two front buildings may not be occupied until such time as additional parking spaces are addressed as stated in the Planning Review letter; for the reasons that the plan is otherwise in compliance with Article 19, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 9-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
There were no Matters for Consideration.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There were no Consent Agenda Removals.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
There were no Matters for Discussion.
There were no Supplemental Issues.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Moved by Member Wrobel,
Motion to adjourn.
The meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.
SCHEDULED AND ANTICIPATED MEETINGS
TUE 10/14/08 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:00 PM
MON 10/20/08 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 10/22/08 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 11/05/08 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 11/10/08 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
TUE 11/11/08 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
WED 11/12/08 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 7:00 PM
WED 11/19/08 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 11/24/08 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
THU/FRI 11/27&11/28 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 12/01/08 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 12/10/08 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 12/15/08 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
Transcribed by Jane L. Schimpf, October 15, 2008
Customer Service Representative Signature on File
Date Approved: October 2, 2008 Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant Date