PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Council Chambers |
Council Chambers |
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.
Present:Members Victor Cassis, David Greco, Andrew Gutman, Michael Lynch, Michael Meyer, Mark Pehrson, Leland Prince
Absent: Members David Baratta (excused), Brian Larson (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Deputy Director of Community Development; Kristen Kapelanski, Planner; Kristin Kolb, City Attorney
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Deputy Director McBeth led the meeting attendees in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Deputy Director McBeth suggested a change in the Agenda to allow the Kohl’s Department Store item to be moved up to the third item on the agenda, as the applicant is present this evening.
Chair Pehrson asked if the Commission Members would indulge in the change to the agenda to move the Kohl’s Department Store to the third item on the Agenda.
Moved by Member Meyer, seconded by Member Gutman.
VOICE VOTE ON THE AGENDA MOTION BY MEMBER MEYER, SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN:
Motion to approve the Agenda of February 10, 2010, as amended. Motion carried 7-0.
Chair Pehrson asked if there was anyone in the audience who wished to address the Planning Commission.
Mr. Norman Malden resides on Endwell Street, Walled Lake: stated that he would like to address the Commission regarding Rezoning 18.693. The property is zoned business. Prior uses of the Lakeshore property were an amusement park, then a flea market. The property is now a park for the people of this area and has been a park for a very long time. Mr. Malden said he can see why the City wants to rezone this property to residential: the City would make a profit on the sale of the land as well as collect property taxes. Other properties in that area are not being utilized. There are businesses for sale in that area. Housing is for sale or being foreclosed on. Mr. Malden stated that if the property is rezoned, the park will then be gone. There is a smaller park just down the road on South Lake Drive, but pets are not allowed to run there. Mr. Malden stated that he and his neighbors run their animals on this property and would like to see it stay a park.
Mr. Jerry Neuman resides on Henning: stated that he does not see a purpose to rezone this property to residential. If it is developed for residential, the traffic would make it impossible to get in and out. Mr. Neuman is concerned with the way the traffic signal is set up and the way all of the streets come together. Mr. Neuman said he does not know the results of the survey, but ventures to guess that the majority of the people would like to see this stay a park area. If housing is developed, there will be fertilizer and other run-off into the lake. There are no storm sewers on that end of the lake. It took forever for storm sewers to be put in on South Lake Drive. Mr. Neuman said these are not really storm sewers, because the water is being dumped back into the lake. Mr. Neuman does not approve of changing the use of this property and he does realize it is zoned business right now. The land is open and free for the residents to use to go for walks, take animals for walk as well as children playing and flying kites. Mr. Neuman wants to see this stay a park and stated we do not need any housing in that area.
Mr. John Morgan and his wife Leoco have purchased a house on Thirteen Mile and the main attractions were the park across the street, view of the lake and also being able to go for walks. Mr. Morgan and his neighbors do not want residential neighborhoods on the subject property. There are three or four foreclosed homes behind Mr. Morgan’s home and he thinks it is important to focus on getting these homes occupied and keeping the area as a park. A lot of Mr. Morgan’s friends go walking there as well as senior citizens, and he would like this to stay as parkland.
Mr. Dave Love came forward and stated that he has lived in the Walled Lake area for at least 15 years now and that he and his fiancé use the park for walking, riding their bikes, watching the sunsets go down and the park means a lot to the people of the community. Once a space like this is rezoned and gone, the community will never get it back again. This is a beautiful park and it draws a large amount of people to it and on a summer day Mr. Love can go outside and see the bikers, joggers, and people just enjoying the property. If anything, Mr. Love would hope there would be more consideration in making this park even better than what it already is and no plans to make it residential. There are a lot of properties in this area with foreclosures that are available. With the economy today, there is no guarantee with builders and if developers for this property go out of business, the land could be sold to someone else. Sometimes a project is started and the builder loses backing or cannot finish it and Mr. Love and his neighbors would not want to see anything like that happen here and would rather keep it parkland.
Mr. Peter Elliott came forward and stated that he lived on Austin Drive. His wife had lived on Charlotte for seven years prior to moving around the corner to Austin. They both enjoyed the view of the lake. Mr. Elliott and his wife do not think redeveloping the major part of that area is a good idea and agree with the comments that the other people have made. Mr. Elliott does think the land east of East Lake Drive is acceptable to rezone for housing.
Mr. Terry Back stated that he and his wife Luann live at 217 Linhart and both agree with the people that have spoken so far that the majority of the land should be left as a park. To his understanding, Mr. Back would agree with the rezoning as long as the property is kept as a park or a plan to enhance the park is proposed. Mr. Back very much enjoys walking in the park in the different seasons and enjoys the views. Parks are important to the community. Parks make a community more wholesome and more family-friendly. There are also statistics on this that show how communities are richer and fuller because of parks in the area. Mr. Back would like to see the property remain a park.
Ms. Luann Kozma who lives at 23837 West LeBost came forward and asked if all of these questions presented tonight would be part of a record of the public hearing?
Chair Pehrson confirmed all of the comments would be made part of the record of the meeting.
Ms. Kozma stated that a lot of people in Novi have not been notified of this meeting due to the fact that they do not live near the public park. The public park belongs to all of the 65,000 residents or so, and she is glad to see a segment of the town come out tonight for this meeting. A lot of people feel the same way. This is a park that everyone feels very strongly about it and wants to keep it a park.
Ms. Kozma was part of one of the two focus groups that were held this summer for the land use study. Ms. Kozma feels the Landings Land Use Study is much hidden on the City’s website. The people in the focus groups were not notified of this meeting, but were notified by email on December 4, 2009 that the report exists. Ms. Kozma feels that there would be a lot more people here this evening if they had been notified by the City. Even though rezoning to residential knocks out some of the options that are laid out in this report, only Options D and G are really Public Park. Option D is a public park and Option G is do nothing and everything else is highly development-oriented whether it is commercial or residential. Ms. Kozma thinks that the deck is stacked for this park to go one of those routes rather than what the focus groups were saying. Ms. Kozma thinks that it should stay a park and agrees with what everyone else here tonight is saying. The City should just leave it alone.
Ms. Kozma thinks by rezoning it to residential that the City is cutting out the possibility of using that area that is on the east side for space that would enhance the park and amenities that the park would need so it could be more useable by everyone. Ms. Kozma doesn’t mean only people who can walk there, but for people wanting to drive up there and park and be able to use the park. By loading up the space in front of the view of the lake with parking or bathrooms, Ms. Kozma would not want to see any of that crowding any space. If that would have to go somewhere, Ms. Kozma wouldn’t want it to be in an area that was blocking the view. Everyone is concerned about the view. As the Planning Commission is considering this rezoning tonight and in future meetings they should be thinking about the total use of the entire site. Ms. Kozma would like to see this City and the Planning Commission and everyone call it our park, which is what it is zoned for.
No one else from the audience wished to speak.
Member Greco stated that this letter was addressed to the Novi Planning Commission from Margaret J. Grant, 41824 Cherry Hill Drive, Novi and is dated February 7, 2010.
I am writing in regard to the Text Amendment concerning the sale of alcohol and gas stations. Why would anyone want to see this happen in Novi? Surely the residents would not. The only people who would benefit from this sale would be mainly prospective developers. It was interesting to see these developers who hope to build and would be the ones directly affected by the Amendment to come before the Commission at Audience Participation segments and a Public Hearing. Alternative #3 is the only one that can be debated. There seems to be some ambiguity about the square footage of the building itself as well as the distance from the pump area and monetary value of the establishment. What does the State of Michigan say or have as a rule that enforces these requirements? Does the State Law override Novi’s decision on this Amendment? Other communities have voted against this and these cities can never be compared to our great city. Novi is a jewel and our Master Plan and Ordinances have made it that way. Let’s keep it that way.
There were no Committee Reports.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR REPORT
Deputy Director McBeth reported on items that were on Monday night’s City Council meeting that the Planning Commission has recently considered. The following items were approved by the City Council:
The rezoning request for the property at Grand River and Beck Road was postponed. At the beginning of the presentation, the applicant announced that he would be willing to submit a revised rezoning application with a Planned Rezoning Overlay. Staff will be working with the applicant on that revised application and expects that this will return to the Planning Commission for a public hearing in the new few weeks.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There was no Consent Agenda.
Public Hearing of the request of the City of Novi, for Planning Commission’s recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property in Section 2 and Section 3, located north of Old Novi Road and Thirteen Mile Road, east of South Lake Drive and west and east of East Lake Drive, from B-3, General Business to R-4, One-Family Residential District. The subject property is approximately 13 acres.
Planner Kapelanski stated that she would give a brief overview of what is proposed. The City is proposing to rezone approximately 13 acres of property located mostly between South Lake Drive, East Lake Drive and Thirteen Mile Road as well as a small portion of property, about two acres, east of East Lake Drive.
The property is proposed to be rezoned from B-3 (General Business) to R-4 (One-Family Residential). The rezoning is in response to the recently completed Land Use Study that was presented to the City Council at their December 7, 2009 meeting.
At that meeting, the Council discussed the possible land use alternatives and directed the administration to take the necessary steps to begin the process to create a potential park on all or a portion of the site.
The Council requested that the Planning Commission hold a Public Hearing and make a recommendation on the zoning of the subject property, which is commonly known as The Landings.
This matter was reviewed by the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and they generally felt that the rezoning was compatible with the surrounding land uses and generally consistent with the Future Land Use Map. They were also in favor of making some minor adjustments to the Future Land Use Map in response to the Land Use Study and the directions from Council.
This evening the Commission is asked to hold the Public Hearing and make a recommendation.
Chair Pehrson confirmed no one else in the audience wished to speak.
Member Greco read the correspondence related to this Public Hearing into the record.
Letters of Approval:
Letters of Objection:
Chair Pehrson closed the public participation and turned it over to the Commission for their consideration.
Chair Pehrson addressed Deputy Director McBeth and asked relative to the City Council’s direction, it is his understanding the Council is trying to establish this property as parkland and changing the zoning from B-3 to R-4 would aid that proposition.
Deputy Director McBeth confirmed that the B-3 zoning has been the historic zoning on the property. B-3 zoning would allow any number of retail uses, specifically more intense uses such as gas stations, restaurants and retail stores. The Community Development Department sometimes gets questions from people interested in knowing whether that land is available to develop as a retail business use. The residential zoning that is proposed would be more consistent in terms of zoning for parkland than the B-3 would be. The City does not have a zoning district that specifically allows parks only. However, most of the parks located in Novi are in a residential district.
Member Lynch confirmed with Planner Kapelanski that the subject property is zoned B-3.
Member Lynch verified that if the property remains zoned B-3, technically someone could come in and develop the site as a strip mall or a similar retail development.
Deputy Director McBeth responded that the City does own the property and the City Council would have the right and authority to allow development on that piece of property. A developer could not just purchase that property and develop it without a discussion of the sale of the property and the terms of that sale through the City Council.
Member Lynch asked that the property be pointed out on the map.
Planner Kapelanski pointed out the property that was involved.
Member Lynch asked if there is a higher probability of the subject property becoming parkland if it is rezoned to residential.
Deputy Director McBeth stated that a park would be a permitted use in the B-3 District. It would also be a use that is permitted in the residential district. There has been discussion at recent City Council meetings regarding the subject property. At the past Monday’s City Council meeting the subject property was a part of a number of agenda items. First discussed was the approval of the initial park development components to include in a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Development Grant Application. There was a plan that showed a pathway and some trees along the pathway and a couple of other amenities. The City would be applying for a grant to install these amenities. There was also a discussion about vacating the rights-of-way that are located within that property. Currently, some of the rights-of-way shown on paper are not actually constructed on the property. The City Council is likely going to be considering a vacation of those rights-of-way.
Member Lynch stated that it is his understanding that the City Council is trying to make this into a park and has begun applying for grants to do so.
Deputy Director McBeth stated that was correct. The City Council discussed a Land Use Study that was conducted earlier in the year, and looked at a number of alternatives. The direction that they provided for the Planning Commission to consider was to look at the zoning and see which type of zoning would best fit with the park developments that they are considering.
Member Lynch asked if rezoning the property would increase the likelihood of the property remaining a park or being a park, and if that was the case, he would have no problem with that. If leaving the existing B-3 zoning is going to decrease the likelihood of a park being developed on the site, Member Lynch would not be in favor of that. The citizens who have come out seem to want the property to be a park and Member Lynch would agree with them.
Deputy Director stated that the intent was that the B-3 zoning is not the kind of zoning district that you would typically expect to have as the underlying zoning for parkland. B-3 zoning is where one would expect the most intense kinds of commercial uses.
Member Lynch stated that he felt confident that his question had been answered and that an R-4 zoning would give the subject property a higher likelihood of becoming a park or staying a park.
Deputy Director McBeth stated that the property is really considered open-space right now. A park would be permitted in the B-3 District and it would also be a use that would be allowed in a residential district.
Member Lynch stated that from Deputy Director McBeth’s last comment, it sounded like most parks are residentially zoned.
Chair Pehrson responded that it was his understanding that residential zoning is what is typically found on public parks.
Member Meyer stated that in this particular case the Planning Commission should listen to the citizens. If by chance homes are built on the property, there should at least be a designated walkway, benches and possibly a sign that would honor where the Casino had been, as indicated in the letters received for the public hearing. It would be nice to have a sign to commemorate this location as the site of the former Walled Lake Casino. Perhaps the new park could be called Sunset Park in recognition of comments from citizens talking about the sunsets they’ve observed there.
Member Meyer stated that there might be some developers who would like to take advantage of this prime piece of real estate and develop homes there, whether other homes have been foreclosed on or not. Member Meyer would like to be at least realistic enough to think that if the Planning Commission votes in favor of the rezoning that indeed there may be some developers coming to the City in the near future to talk about building on the subject property. If development of the property does take place, a certain portion of that land should be set aside for the designation of a walkway, benches and to honor what used to be there.
Member Gutman stated that it sounds like the intention of this Zoning Map Amendment is in line with what the citizens of Novi are asking for and he would like to clarify that. Member Gutman would not anticipate the development of new homes on the water in the future and he would hate to see that, but would love to see the site remain as parkland. It sounds like the City is trying to do things like achieve grants that would enhance the beauty of that area.
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Lynch:
In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.693 for City of Novi, motion to recommend approval to the City Council to rezone the subject property from B-3, General Business District to R-4, One-Family Residential District for the reason that it is generally in compliance with the Future Land Use map and the Master Plan for Land Use update and the proposed R-4 zoning is consistent with the residential zoning surrounding the subject property.
Member Cassis wanted to comment that residents of the lake area are to be commended. The people love their area and are protective of it and that is why there are so many people here that have come to this Planning Commission meeting. That is wonderful. In the last thirty-three years that Member Cassis has been in this community, he has seen people from the north area of the City come to various City meetings to comment and he would like to commend them for that. The lake has grown to be such a jewel, as said in letters. The citizens are the custodians of this beautiful lake and it should be preserved for the enjoyment of all the people. The Planning Commission should confirm by their vote on the proposed motion to change the zoning of the subject property to R-4 so that there will not be the insinuation or suggestion that the more intensive B-3 zoning and the uses associated with that zoning district will be permitted on this property.
Member Cassis stated that he heard the City Council discuss the land use study and concept plan with the consultant contracted to complete the study. The development of a park will add to the enjoyment of the property by all the residents. Member Cassis will support the motion, as under his estimation, it is the intent of the City Council as the policy makers of the City government and it is for the Planning Commission to affirm their desire.
Member Greco did want to reiterate to the public that is here that he recognizes that change is something that makes everyone nervous. The proposed rezoning before the Planning Commission has been proposed to ensure a more intense use permitted under the current zoning doesn’t occur on that property. There may be some change to the area, but Member Greco does not believe it is the change that everyone has feared. The proposed rezoning is to change from a more intense use such as gas station, strip mall or something similar, to something much less intense. With the economy, in the public sector and in the private sector, money is tight and everyone is wondering if grants can be secured and will this be a park that is developed in the next year or two years. There is no way to know now what grant money will be available, but even if nothing is done in the next couple of years, the proposed rezoning ensures that a more intense use permitted under the current B-3 zoning will not occur in that location even if a new City Council is elected. Member Greco will support the proposed zoning map amendment as it is the prudent thing to do in order to protect residents from intense commercial development on the site if a park development cannot happen right now.
Chair Pehrson stated that as you read the project summary, the one sentence that says why the Planning Commission is considering adjusting the zoning and master plan designation of the property is in preparation for the potential creation of a public park. That is what the rezoning does. This is City owned property and a rezoning is not opening the door for anyone to walk in the door tomorrow and make this a large development. If any developments are proposed, there is still discussion and deliberation to be had at the Planning Commission and the City Council. For all the reasons that have been stated, this is the right amendment to protect that property and the Planning Commission appreciates everyone’s opinions.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON RECOMMENDATION OF APPROVAL MOTION FOR ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.693 MOVED BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LYNCH:
In the matter of Zoning Map Amendment 18.693 for City of Novi, motion to recommend approval to the City Council to rezone the subject property from B-3, General Business District to R-4, One-Family Residential District for the reason that it is generally in compliance with the Future Land Use map and the Master Plan for Land Use update and the proposed R-4 zoning is consistent with the residential zoning surrounding the subject property. Motion carried 7-0.
Public Hearing of the request of Bordine Nursery for Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit approval. The subject property is located in Section 23, at 41600 West Ten Mile Road, north of Ten Mile Road and west of Meadowbrook Road, in the B-3, General Business District. The subject property is approximately 11 acres and the applicant is proposing a temporary plant materials nursery totaling 5,520 square feet.
Planner Kapelanski explained the applicant is proposing a temporary plant materials nursery in the existing parking lot of the Novi Ten Shopping Center, on the northwest corner of Meadowbrook Road and Ten Mile Road. The property is currently zoned B-3, General Business. The property to the north and west is zoned for multiple-family uses and commercial uses to the south and the east. A plant materials nursery requires Special Land Use approval in the B-3 District and the Planning Commission should consider the findings listed in Section 2516.2.C of the Ordinance.
There are various standards that the applicant must meet in the B-3 District in order to obtain approval of a plant materials nursery. The applicant has met most of those standards, but is requesting a waiver of the required Noise Impact Statement. Staff will support the waiver as no noise generating equipment will be added to the site. The applicant is proposing to install an outdoor fenced area totaling approximately 5,500 square feet for outdoor plant sales.
The proposed plant sales would take place from approximately April 15th to July 9th for the 2010 and 2011 seasons only. Staff is recommending approval of this Special Land Use request subject to the applicant submitting a revised striping plan to ensure barrier free access is provided. The applicant has agreed to submit the revised striping plan and to the other conditions noted in the Planning Review letter and is working with the Fire Marshall to resolve his concerns as well.
The applicant, Mr. Cory Bordine, one of the third generation owners of Bordine Nursery. came forward and also introduced Cathy Briton, who has been working with Planner Kapelanski and City staff.
Mr. Bordine stated that he is in front of the Commission today to ask for a Special Land Use Permit as well as a Noise Impact Statement waiver. Bordine’s is pleased that the City staff is recommending approval. The Fire Marshal has expressed some concerns and Ms. Briton had a very positive meeting with the Fire Marshal to discuss those concerns. The Fire Marshal indicated that if Bordine’s received approval tonight, the details could be worked out and that he was comfortable with what has been proposed.
Mr. Bordine explained he is one of the third generation owners and his grandparents founded the nursery as a road-side stand seventy-one years ago. Today there are four brick and mortar nurseries including the large production facility near Grand Blanc, which is actually in Mundy Township.
Mr. Bordine stated one of the things that makes Bordine’s unique is that they grow most of their plant materials themselves. Not only does that allow Bordine’s to take things literally from seed all the way to sale to the customer, but it also allows Bordine’s control the process and the ability to employ a lot of people. A few years ago, after listening to customers, the number one complaint was that Bordine’s was too far away from them. The first Bordine’s Express Store opened and received a strong welcome reception from the citizens of Royal Oak. Bordine’s Express operated there again last year very successfully and are planning on operating there again in 2010. Again, with outstanding comments back from the citizens of Royal Oak as well as the City staff in terms of operation.
With the express concept Bordine’s is trying to bring their locally grown plants closer to the people that want them. Mr. Bordine has a friend who lives in Novi and when he visits the friend complains to him that he does not have Bordine plants available near his house. Bordine’s Nursery is too far away. There are a lot of details involved in the express nursery and Kathy Briton does an outstanding job getting the express nurseries up and running. Bordine’s realizes that an approval tonight is not the last step, and they will work with the City staff on the restriping and with the Fire Marshal on any outstanding issues.
Bordine’s track record shows that they are going to follow through and Mr. Bordine hopes the Planning Commissioners will stop by and make a purchase. If, and when they stop by, they will see that this corner is more attractive and a better place with the Bordine Express there displaying the beauty of the plants and flowers. The mission of Bordine’s is to go to work everyday and make peoples’ lives and landscapes more beautiful and Bordine’s is hoping to do that in the City of Novi.
No one from the audience wished to comment and there was no correspondence. Chair Pehrson closed the Public Hearing and turned it over to the Commission for their consideration.
Member Cassis asked Planner Kapelanski if notices were sent out to the surrounding businesses regarding the Special Land Use.
Planner Kapelanski answered notices were sent. In accordance with the State requirements, notices were mailed to all properties within 300 feet of the property and there was also a notice posted in the Novi News.
Member Cassis asked if there were any objections from the merchants.
Planner Kapelanski responded no objections have come in and to her understanding, Bordine’s has been working with some of the tenants and they are all aware of the proposal.
Member Cassis asked Mr. Bordine about the pictures that were submitted with his plans showing a tent.
Mr. Bordine answered saying there are two different versions of the tent. The front version has a hoop frame on it and that is what Bordine’s is proposing and has worked with the City staff on. The hoop house is going to be 20 feet by 60 feet. The tent picture is an example of what was used in Royal Oak and was included to show a version of an Express location that is already operational.
Member Cassis asked Mr. Bordine if he would have good staff and people that are knowledgeable on the site.
Mr. Bordine stated that Ms. Briton’s job is to manage the different Express locations. The Express locations are more plant focused than hard good focused. From a diagnostic perspective, if people are having blight or something similar to that, the staff will not be trained for that. There will be no sale of trees or chemical remedies on the site. There are other businesses in the area. If someone comes in and needs a chemical or shovel, Bordine’s Express employees will refer them to the ACO Hardware and there will be someone knowledgeable there.
Member Cassis was happy to hear there would be knowledgeable people working on the site.
Mr. Bordine stated that all of the Express locations last year had a manager that was a knowledgeable horticulturalist. This is not a full Bordine Nursery but instead mostly focuses on annuals and on color. The name Express was purposely chosen to indicate that. There will be combo pots, hanging baskets and things of that nature and the plant quality will be something special.
Member Cassis stated that he has been to other Bordine locations and thinks this would be a nice addition and would bring beauty to the area for that certain period of time with the colors from the nursery materials.
Member Lynch thought this was a perfect spot and good location and that the area needed something like this.
Member Meyer stated that there would be sufficient parking and it will be good for the other establishments there also.
Motion made by Member Meyer and seconded by Member Lynch:
In the matter of the request of Bordine Nursery, SP 10-01, motion to approve the Special Land Use permit, subject to the following: a)Planning Commission finding under Section 2516.2.c for the Special Land Use permit: Whether, relative to other feasible uses of the site: The proposed use will not cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares due to the fact that the addition of 5,520 square feet of additional retail space requiring parking for eleven vehicles would not generate a substantial amount of additional traffic; The proposed use is compatible with adjacent uses of land in terms of location, size, character, and impact on adjacent property or the surrounding neighborhood due to the fact that a substantial amount of retail is already present on the subject property and surrounding properties; The proposed use is consistent with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; The proposed use will promote the use of land in a socially and economically desirable manner; The proposed use is in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the applicable site design regulations of the zoning district in which it is located as noted in the staff and consultant’s review letters; b) Planning Commission waiver of the required Noise Impact Statement based on the applicant’s representations that the proposed use will not generate any noticeable noise; c) A revised striping plan shall be submitted for administrative review to ensure compliance with ordinance standards; and d) Compliance with all the conditions and requirements listed in the staff and consultant review letters for the following reasons: it is otherwise in compliance with Article 15, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
Deputy Director McBeth suggested one addition to the motion. Staff has included in their reports and the applicant has indicated that they are only planning on operating during the 2010, 2011 seasons and limited dates within those seasons. The Planning Commission may want to include this provision so that there is not an indefinite approval.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON THE SPECIAL LAND USE APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER MEYER AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LYNCH:
In the matter of the request of Bordine Nursery, SP 10-01, motion to approve the Special Land Use permit, subject to the following: a)Planning Commission finding under Section 2516.2.c for the Special Land Use permit: Whether, relative to other feasible uses of the site: The proposed use will not cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares due to the fact that the addition of 5,520 square feet of additional retail space requiring parking for eleven vehicles would not generate a substantial amount of additional traffic; The proposed use is compatible with adjacent uses of land in terms of location, size, character, and impact on adjacent property or the surrounding neighborhood due to the fact that a substantial amount of retail is already present on the subject property and surrounding properties; The proposed use is consistent with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; The proposed use will promote the use of land in a socially and economically desirable manner; The proposed use is in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the applicable site design regulations of the zoning district in which it is located as noted in the staff and consultant’s review letters; b) Planning Commission waiver of the required Noise Impact Statement based on the applicant’s representations that the proposed use will not generate any noticeable noise; c) A revised striping plan shall be submitted for administrative review to ensure compliance with ordinance standards; d) Compliance with all the conditions and requirements listed in the staff and consultant review letters; and e) The proposed use will operate for the 2010 and 2011 seasons between approximately April 15th and July 9th as indicated by the applicant for the following reasons: it is otherwise in compliance with Article 15, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Meyer, seconded by Member Lynch:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON THE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER MEYER, SECONDED BY MEMBER LYNCH.
In the matter of Bordine Nursery, SP 10-01, motion to approve the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to the following: a) The conditions and items listed in the staff and consultant review letters being addressed on the Stamping Set; b)That the applicant adequately addresses the Fire Marshall’s concerns regarding materials composing and access to the hoop house; and c) A revised striping plan shall be submitted for administrative review to ensure compliance with ordinance standards for the following reasons: because the plan is otherwise in compliance with Article 15, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Public Hearing 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, in order to provide for standards for siting wind energy turbines.
Planner Kapelanski stated the amendment is being proposed so when a business or residence wishes to install a turbine or explore that possibility, the City has some structures and regulations in place to address that installation.
As the Commission recalls from previous meetings, this amendment addresses residential and business turbines and regulates three different types of turbines.
turbine can be installed for each 2 ½ acres of land with the setback equal again to the tower height.
The draft language proposes allowing small tower mounted turbines and structure mounted turbines as Special Land Uses requiring City Council approval in residential districts on parcels containing institutional uses only. Those would be uses such as schools, civic buildings and churches and parcels would need to be 25 acres or larger. The staff believes educational and civic uses and alternative energy education and demonstration are an appropriate combination.
A significant amount of public involvement was done on this proposed amendment. This included soliciting input at the Fall for Novi event held in September, 2009 and collecting responses through a questionnaire posted on the City website.
Other communities in the area have also begun to adopt ordinances to regulate turbines including West Bloomfield, Canton Township and Port Huron. These ordinances are very similar to the amendment before the Commission this evening and most require special land use approval.
Chair Pehrson asked if there was anyone in the audience that would like to participate and address the Commission on this matter. Seeing no one, Chair Pehrson closed the Public Hearing and turned it over to the Planning Commission.
Chair Pehrson stated that per Planner Kapelanski, the questionnaire data that was collected and analyzed focused on the various types, sizes, and scale of the turbines themselves. Participants seemed to be in favor of solar panels and there seemed to be more of a 50-50 split on the use of wind turbines.
Member Lynch stated that it seems this ordinance would make an exception from regular ordinance standards for one particular use, and there is not a place in Novi where a wind turbine’s benefits would outweigh the cost since there is not a lot of open space and there is a lack of wind in the City. Member Lynch has concerns about allowing wind turbines in residential areas and thinks the turbine would be more of an ornament in those areas as opposed to actually generating power due to the topography of the land. Member Lynch cannot support turbines in any residential areas whatsoever, regardless if it is a church, civic center or school.
Member Cassis stated as indicated in his previous comments on the record regarding wind turbines, he is opposed to their use in Novi. It has been well documented that Novi does not have the necessary wind to generate enough power from turbines. Michigan is not a suitable state for wind energy production except in areas by the lakes and in the thumb area. With all due respect to Chair Pehrson, there is not a 50-50 split in the answers received from questionnaire respondents. Member Cassis read some of comments of survey respondents into the record: Residents are concerned about noise and vibration and that wind turbines create the most environmentally unfriendly noise; The residents talk about Novi as unsuitable for wind turbines; The wind turbines create the most environmentally unfriendly noise along with pollution, wildlife interference, and safety hazards; Member Cassis has concerns that a neighbor could put a wind turbine in his backyard and he would have to look at it. Member Cassis referenced the correspondence from Michigan State University and their interest in installing a wind turbine at their existing 25 acre MSU extension facility at Twelve Mile Road and Meadowbrook Road and noted the possibility of a special permit for this site since it is a large farm and they would be proposing a demonstration turbine. Member Cassis does not agree with the passage of a wind turbine ordinance in Novi. Even if the turbines were only permitted in certain districts, residents abutting property with an OST zoning, for example, would still see a turbine that is 100 feet tall and would not be able to enjoy their property without hearing the noise from the turbine.
Member Prince stated that he did not agree with Member Cassis and he thanked the staff for putting this proposed ordinance together. Any steps that are taken toward alternative energy have to be positive. The Planning Commission is well aware of the limited resources available and the problems associated with fossil fuel and the reliance on other companies and countries for sources of energy. Member Prince thinks it is good to explore any possible energy sources that may be necessary and make us less dependent on others for power. In regard to concerns with noise from turbines, this is a noisy society and the elimination of wind turbines is not going to create a quiet society. Any concerns that have been expressed have been outweighed by the seriousness of the issue as it relates to alternative sources of energy. Member Prince will support the ordinance as submitted by staff.
Member Meyer appreciated what Member Cassis said with regard to a special permit for Michigan State University Tollgate Farms. Member Meyer read an excerpt of the letter from Michigan State University. "Michigan State University and the governor’s office have both identified the development and utilization of alternative energy as one of the prime areas of focus for Michigan. As part of this effort, the Michigan State University Tollgate Educational Center is in the process of developing a solar, wind and other alternative energy teaching and demonstration area located on the property in Novi. As currently planned, this facility would be used primarily by all who are interested in installing, maintaining, and inspecting small to medium scale alternative energy installation. Wind powered generation equipment would be an important component of this teaching project. Wind powered generating equipment can be very efficient and effective but only if it is positioned high enough to be above the wind shading effects of trees and structures on the ground."
Member Meyer has traveled across the country in the last few years and, having driven from Arizona and back has seen wind turbines in Texas, one right after another that are in areas where there are no residents. Member Meyer does not think turbines should be near residential. As part of a learning experience, it should be made available to Tollgate to allow at least one of these turbines. With 25 acres of land, it would be far and high enough away that the noise and sight factor would be minimal. At the Implementation Committee meeting, the members also talked about maintenance, which is a critical factor. The turbines would need to be lubricated, and the owner would have to deal with rusting and possible noise. Member Meyer believes the City should have something on the books regarding these wind turbines, so that when people or businesses come in with questions, staff can give them answers about what is permitted and how those regulations apply to their situation.
Member Greco stated that after viewing the materials for this hearing and remembering some of the comments, he believes all of the Commissioners are in favor of green technology or energy sources as long as they are not just ornamental. Member Greco agrees with Member Meyer and Member Cassis as far as maintenance and that Novi may not be the appropriate place for wind turbines. Member Greco spoke with City Attorney Schultz at a previous meeting and inquired as to whether it is better to have an ordinance in place prohibiting the use where the City doesn’t want it or if even having that ordinance would encourage the use of turbines; If the Commission does nothing, does that open the City to litigation regarding whether turbines can be allowed if not specifically addressed in the Ordinance?
City Attorney Kolb responded it is not necessarily a question of promoting or encouraging the use. If a resident or business comes before the City wanting to install a turbine, the City would be in a position, with no ordinance to simply say it is not regulated and we can’t stop you, or, the City would be scrambling around to get an ordinance in place. Member Meyer’s comments are well taken that it may be better to have something on the books, whether it be to prohibit turbines or put the regulations in place so that a petitioner or someone wanting to pursue a turbine installation has guidelines to follow. It is probable that there will be someone asking at some point to install a turbine as people are starting to show an interest in alternative energy technologies.
Member Greco stated that the ordinance is essentially then a question for the Commissioners. Is this specific ordinance restrictive enough for what the City wants to accomplish, or is it not? In listening to his fellow Commissioners, Member Greco is not sure that this ordinance is as restrictive as the Commission wants it to be. It may not be appropriate to completely prohibit wind turbines in Novi by passing an ordinance with so many restrictions that it makes it impossible to install a turbine. Member Greco will reserve his judgment until after he hears comments from other Commissioners.
Member Lynch wanted to clarify his previous comments indicating he has no issue with wind energy and he is in agreement with Member Prince that reliance on fossil fuel needs to be eliminated. Member Lynch’s main concern is the way the ordinance is written allowing turbines in a residential area. Most churches, schools, and civic uses are in residential areas. Member Lynch thinks it is important to have an ordinance in place and does not want his comments to be misconstrued that he is against wind energy, but that it is the placement of wind turbines in residential areas that he is opposed to.
Member Cassis agrees with Member Greco and Member Lynch that it is important for the City to have an ordinance. Member Cassis proposed issuing some sort of special permit to allow Tollgate Farms to have a wind turbine, but if the only avenue for that is passing the ordinance before the Commission tonight, Member Cassis could not support that. The ordinance is too extensive as far as where turbines could be placed.
Chair Pehrson stated there are limitations to the proposed ordinance relative to residential districts, relative to use in the OST District and Special Land Use permits. Turbines in a residential area must be part of an institution and can only extend up to 60 feet. Most steeples, most spires and most churches are taller than 60 feet, just as a reference point. In a residential district, an institution wishing to install a turbine would have to be on 25 acres or more. The data that was supplied in the Planning Commission packets indicates the minimum investment for the wind turbine itself is over $50,000. This area doesn’t serve to be a financially rewarding venture.
Chairperson Pehrson agrees with Member Meyer and Member Prince that the City does need an ordinance on the books. Relative to the survey data supplied in the Planning Commission packets, Member Cassis was correct in saying that the results did not shown a 50-50 split on support for wind turbines but instead showed more than 50 percent of the respondents supported wind turbines. Per the data and surveys: 13 people voted "disagree" or "strongly disagree" and over 20 voted to "agree" or "strongly agree" with the notion of allowing structurally attached wind turbines. In other questions, respondents agreed with the idea of permitting wind turbines 12-27. Small tower mounted turbines of 100 feet permitted in commercial: disagree 12, agree 25. The questionnaire data does show respondents being in favor of wind turbines by at least a 50-50 split, if not more people suggesting they do want wind turbines in the City.
Chair Pehrson stated that there will not be 100 foot towers: as technology evolves, there will be small roof mounted turbines that feed batteries that sit along side a house like an air conditioning unit to power fuel cells and other devices to provide a secondary source of power. There will not be 300 foot turbines along Ten Mile Road and Novi Road.
Chair Pehrson would support changes to the draft ordinance if that is the request of the Commission but would not support ignoring the issue all together. The City needs something on the books.
Member Gutman stated that this has been a very healthy debate and he agrees with the necessity of alternative energy sources as stated by Member Prince. As citizens, the Commission needs to be supportive. Member Greco raised a very good point in wondering if the ordinance meets the intentions of the Commission and does what’s best for the community. Member Gutman is somewhat against wind turbines, but the main question is does the Commission agree with the ordinance as drafted. With what the staff has put together with the community’s comments and the Commission’s previous comments, this gives the Commission the chance to put something meaningful into play so if a resident or business owner comes to the City wanting to put a turbine in, there are regulations in place to address that. The ordinance as proposed does restrict residential use, which seems to be a big concern. Member Gutman asked Deputy Director McBeth and Planner Kapelanski if there were any provisions in the ordinance for maintenance or could something be added to address that.
Planner Kapelanski stated that there is a provision in the ordinance related to maintenance and it reads as follows: "The appearance of the turbine tower and any ancillary facility shall be maintained in working condition and free of rust and corrosion by the owner of the turbine and throughout the life of the turbine." The enforcement of that provision would be something addressed by ordinance enforcement. Much like every other ordinance is enforced in the City, a resident or business owner could call the City and report a rusted turbine and ordinance enforcement would go out there and address it appropriately.
Deputy Director McBeth also added that there is a section on decommissioning of turbines within 6 months after the end of the useful life of the turbine. If the City had a complaint that a wind turbine stopped working, the City could have ordinance enforcement go out and address that, based on the proposed ordinance language.
Motion made by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Prince.
ROLL CALL VOTE ON MOTION TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PRINCE:
In the matter of Text Amendment 18.237, a motion to recommend approval to City Council. Motion carried
5-2 (Nay – Member Cassis, Member Lynch).
Public Hearing 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, at Article 25, General Provisions, Section 2520, Exterior Uses in order to provide standards for the use of solar collectors.
Planner Kapelanski stated the staff has proposed an amendment to the zoning ordinance to regulate the use of solar collectors in the City of Novi so that when a business or resident wishes to install a solar collector, there are structures and regulations in place to address the concerns of the City, the residents, and the individual or company wishing to install the device.
The proposed ordinance distinguishes between structurally attached solar panels and free standing solar panels. Free standing panels would be subject to the regulations of an accessory structure, much like they already are in the ordinance and would be a principle permitted use in all districts.
Structurally attached panels will undergo administrative review and be permitted in all districts. Panels attached to a sloped roof could not project vertically above the peak of the roof and those attached to a flat roof could not project more than five feet above the roof.
Public involvement was included as part of this process and surveys were distributed and collected at the Fall for Novi event and through the City’s website and those results have been included in your packet.
This evening the Commission has been asked to hold the Public Hearing and make a recommendation to the City Council. As part of the Master Plan Update, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee has been considering some goals, objectives, and implementation strategies as part of the Green Novi initiative. There is one implementation strategy that would relate to both the solar and wind turbine ordinance, which is to review and develop ordinance provisions to permit the installation of renewable energy systems for residential, industrial, and commercial uses.
Chair Pehrson stated that this is a public hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience that would like to participate and address the Commission on this matter. Seeing no one, Chair Pehrson closed the Public Hearing and turned it over to the Planning Commission.
Chair Pehrson noted that in the Planning Commission packets, the survey for Fall for Novi as well as the on-line survey gave the Commission a large amount of information relative to the questions that were asked in the survey. It was very informative to see the residents’ answers and comments regarding whether they liked the idea and should this be permitted in all districts. There was a strong agreement on everyone’s part that solar was a great thing and that they would like to see it in the City. The online survey worked well as a data collector in addition to the Fall for Novi event. The data should serve as a compliment to staff who brought this forward and got the Planning Commission the additional information that was needed.
Member Meyer stated that he sits on the Implementation Committee and the Committee looked at the solar collector issue with quite serious deliberation, as well as the wind turbine ordinance, all under the umbrella as being more green. The citizens of Novi are an intelligent group of people and issues related to both solar and wind need to be addressed. Member Meyer did go to other communities to see what was on their records.
Member Cassis confirmed that solar collectors were the only issues being addressed at this time and stated that he had no issues with solar collectors, but was opposed to wind turbines in Novi.
Motion made by Member Lynch, seconded by Member Gutman:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON MOTION TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL MADE BY MEMBER LYNCH AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN:
In the matter of Text Amendment 18.240, a motion to recommend approval to the City Council. Motion carried 7-0.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
Consideration of the request of Schroeder & Holt Architects for a recommendation to City Council for a Section 9 Façade Waiver. The subject property is located at 43550 West Oaks Drive in the West Oaks II shopping center in the RC District. The applicant is proposing to redesign the façade of the existing Kohl’s store.
Planner Kapelanski stated that the applicant is proposing to redesign the existing façade of the Kohl’s store at West Oaks. The facade change would include the relocation of the Kohl’s sign to the center of the store, the redesign of the two entrances, the elimination of three display cases, changes in the color scheme and the addition of an EFIS element in the center of the façade. The proposed façade is not in compliance with the Façade Ordinance and would require a Section 9 Waiver specifically for the overage of EIFS. The City’s façade consultant recommends approval of the requested Waiver noting that the proposed design enhances the appearance of the façade and is consistent with the intent and purpose of the ordinance.
Chair Pehrson turned this over to the Commission for their comments.
Member Gutman stated that this was a great modification to the building and it is nice to see improvements being done in this economy that enhance the community.
Motion made by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Lynch:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON MOTION TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL TO THE CITY COUNCIL FOR A SECTION 9 WAIVER FOR THE KOHL’S DEPARTMENT STORE, SP10-04, MOTION MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN, SECONDED BY MEMBER LYNCH:
In the matter of Kohl’s Façade Upgrades, SP 10-04, motion to recommend approval to City Council for a Section 9 Waiver, for the overage of EIFS for the reasons: that the proposed façade will generally enhance the visual quality of the project, the color selections are carefully coordinated and will harmonize with both new and existing materials and because it is otherwise in compliance with Article 25 and Article 17 of the Zoning Ordinance and all other applicable provisions of the Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Deputy Director McBeth stated the Planning Commission Budget and Planning Studies Committee met on January 27, 2010 to discuss the proposed Planning Commission Budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The initial draft included a couple of service improvements and additional fees were associated with those. The Committee looked at those service improvements and decided that it is not the right time to request additional funds for updating the Zoning Ordinance in its entirety or for implementing technological updates such as lap top computers for the Commission members. Those service improvements were removed from the Budget that’s presented this evening.
Included in the packet is a description of the Planning Commission’s significant accomplishments and the role of the Planning Commission. There is a conference and workshop request to allow three members to attend the Michigan Association of Planning Conference to be held in Detroit this October. Staff did not hear an interest level from any commissioners, so this is our best estimate on the number of members that may want to attend this conference, as well as citizen planner training.
If the Planning Commission likes the proposed Planning Commission Budget, staff requests that it be approved to forward to the Finance Department and City Administration for further discussion.
Chair Pehrson wanted to make it absolutely clear that the service improvement request is blank, following what has been going on in 2009 and what the City is trying to do fiscally, even on Commissions. It is a state of where the City is and it shows a commitment from all of the citizens and commissioners to help move funds around for public services or other items that make a little more sense. Chair Pehrson applauds the members that took that into consideration.
Member Gutman stated that it would be nice if the Commission members could bring in our own laptops and believes there has to be a way to do that and still maintain the needed security. It is not a budgetary issue since the Commission has not budgeted for laptops.
Chair Pehrson stated that maybe the city attorney could do some research on this question.
Member Gutman identified a mathematical error regarding the meeting refreshments fund.
Deputy Director McBeth thanked Member Gutman for catching that error and indicated it will be corrected before being forwarded to the Finance Department.
Member Meyer also agreed with Member Gutman and said there must be some way, in light of the recession, to decrease the budget for refreshments. As long as the Commission has water as a refreshment, it would be sufficient. Member Meyer said he would like to see the refreshment budget at $500 and it would be a way of the Commission acknowledging, even though they are all volunteers, it would show a recognition of the financially challenging times.
Motion made by Member Meyer, seconded by Member Gutman:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON THE PLANNING COMMISSION BUDGET APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER MEYER AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN:
Motion to approve the 2010-2011 Planning Commission Budget with the proposed amendment of decreasing the refreshment portion of the Budget from $2,500 to $500. Motion carried 7-0.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COMMISSION ACTION
There were 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.
The meeting adjourned at 8:59 PM.
MON 02/15/10 CITY OFFICES CLOSED
MON 02/22/10 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 02/24/10 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
MON 03/08/10 CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 03/10/10 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
TUE 03/16/10 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MEETING 7:00 PM
WED 03/24/10 PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 7:00 PM
Transcribed by Juanita Freeman
Date Approved: _______________________________________________
Angela Pawlowski, Planning Assistant